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Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Opinion


For opinion pieces on any topic.

Transparency & the Judiciary

Since his office didn't post Senator Leahy's "comment...on the nomination of David Barron to serve on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals," I'll do the honors:

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of David Barron to Serve on the First Circuit Court of Appeals

May 6, 2014

“I applaud the administration for making available to all Senators the Justice Department memo regarding Anwar Al Awlaki.  All members of the Judiciary Committee were previously able to review this memo, and I am glad all Senators will have the opportunity to do so now.

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A Bonanza of WiFi Trumps Our Children

The fifth Annual Southern Vermont Educators Symposium was held recently at the Maple Street School, Manchester, to discuss the theme Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Of course, educators want to facilitate their student's access to an incredible resource like the internet that puts the world at our fingertips. At issue is how students access that information, through wired or wireless technology.

WiFi has become commonplace, along with an automatic assumption of its safety. Its use has expanded, unchecked and unquestioned, from coffee shops to public spaces, work environments, home, libraries and now our schools. This expansion is driven in part by industry innovators churning out devices like iPads compatible only with WiFi, and by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in tandem with wireless carriers, whose intent is to create a captive wireless market.

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Cuba Sí, ZunZuneo No!

I have always been led to believe that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was a humanitarian agency, providing assistance to people around the world to improve their lives, not to overthrow their government (AKA “Regime Change”). Silly me!

According to the Associated Press, Yahoo News and other sources, an intelligence program, known as “ZunZuneo,” was created through a cleverly crafted network of unsuspecting executives and an offshore Cayman Islands bank account, all funded through the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID.

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A Pet Peeve

Isn't it odd that the breasts, the amazingly life-sustaining part of the human body, are referred to as "boobs", the definitions of which are 1. "a foolish or stupid person", and 2. "an embarrassing mistake."

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The Stage for Change and Thoughts Going Forward - Brattleboro Taxes

I think everyone, including the Select and School Boards, recognizes that Brattleboro has a major property tax problem coupled with an imminent economic crisis. I think the Town needs to take aggressive steps toward a functional solution.

As the former head of the BUHS Board and its Finance Committee for 10 years, I/we faced a budget crisis every year. We recognized that there was an advocate for every budget dollar – and then some. I remember the public debate, scrutiny and pain we faced when we cut programs or tried to implement cost savings through change. We can no longer afford this brutal, slow process.

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My God, How The Money Rolls In!

Back in college we used to sing this bawdy song. One of the more presentable verses went:

My brother’s a poor missionary,

He saves fallen women from sin;

He’ll save you a blonde for ten dollars,

My God, how the money rolls in!

You get the idea.

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1984 - 30 Years Too Late

About a week ago, I was speaking with an old college buddy. He was reminiscing about a time when we both read George Orwell’s 1984 (everybody was reading it at the time). He sent me a You Tube link to a
film version released in 1956. Link

In the classic novel, Orwell describes a then-not-too-distant future where an oppressive totalitarian elite has perfected a system of social control based on perpetual warfare, manipulation of perceived reality, and total surveillance of the population. The servile obedience of the bureaucracy and the mindless poverty of the masses keeps them in power. (MHP)

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Patriots Have a Solution

I’ve been thinking about the FEMA bullet buy (which has been denied by the mainstream media until lately), and some of the new legislation and executive orders that have been issued such as the NDAA and the PATRIOT act, and it gets my fear glands all worked up.

I ran into a website that has all the answers: Obama’s hidden agenda: MUCH WORSE than The Gun Grab!

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Is There a Skatepark in Brattleboro's Future?

It should never have come to this.

A skatepark at Crowell Lot was about a safe place for kids to roll around on their bikes, scooters and skateboards, a wonderful plaza. It’s not a hog farm or a strip club.

Skating is a rare and magical sport, where athleticism and art come together. It’s a way to get your heart racing, to challenge yourself, to express yourself. It’s largely free and gets kids outdoors and unplugged. It fills an important void for kids that do not play team sports or competitive sports. Skating creates amazing social bonds for kids of different ages and economic backgrounds. There is nothing like it.

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That's What I AM

After spending some time with the dictionary trying to find the terms that best describe me, progressive, radical, activist, I find that I do not wear any of these hats well. My mission is awareness, critical thinking, free speech and some personal ownership for the world we live in. In fact I founded a corporation in 2010 called The Awareness Initiative Inc., to do exactly that.

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Lots of Rain with Little News Coverage

Upstate Vermont, central Vermont, Albany New York area, and multiple parts of New Hampshire have experianced in some cases over six inches of rain in the last few days.   New Hampshire and New York have decleared states of emergency to deal with well over thirty roads made unpassible as a result of these rains.   All this disaster going on and not even a minute of news coverage last night.   

A few years ago the similar damage occured and it made national news.   It seems that this is the new normal.   Flooding and destructive storms everyday.  Some place in the USA is facing some type of natural disaster.  This seems big news to me yet it is becoming so common that I hear people in the blogs saying they are tired of hearing about it.

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The Melting Pot Revisited

I remember hearing the term, "melting pot" used to describe America. That was back in the '60s. 

The idea was that America takes all sorts of disparate human parts from  Europe, Africa, and Asia, and melts them down into an ingot called an American.  All traces of your old self were to disappear as you took on the new identity.

That was the theory. Of course, America was "whiter" back then.

Now, depending on who you listen to  America either soon will, or already has passed the point where European Americans are the majority.

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Discipline and Boundaries

I read a short report in today's Brattleboro Reformer about an "assaultive student" at the Austine School who was cited into court for simple assault and disorderly conduct. It's the second one in recent memory. A previous report sounded much more threatening, and was more detailed, but either way, there's something that doesn't sit well with me in reading about police being called for student discipline. As with so many other things, it's not the way it used to be when I was a kid.

The Brattleboro Retreat, although not recently, has also relied on the police to take authority over unruly or combative youth and there have been past incidents where those youthful patients were tasered into compliance.

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Noan Chomsky on the 21st Century

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political critic and activist. He is an institute professor and professor emeritus in the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. History educator Daniel Falcone spoke with Chomsky in his Cambridge office on May 14.

He has some interesting, iconoclastic ideas on a lot of things. Here are a few excerpts from this interview.

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Memorial Day Weekend Snow - Just Look At All This Global Warming!

Wilmington, where my house is got 2 inches of snow, northern Vermont received between 4 and 15 inches of snow, and Whiteface Mountain in New York received 3 feet of snow!!

Here is a link to photos and a few snowfall reports.

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