Vermont Blows Off U.S. Constitution

– Reader Supported News

Vermont City Acts Unlawfully & Unconstitutionally, Judge Finds

City of Montpelier deprives city employee of due process rights

One of the wonders of the American legal system is that you can win your case in court, only to have the court’s decision extend and magnify the underlying injustice.

This is a story about how easy it is for a city government to run roughshod over an employee’s constitutional rights, including free speech under the First Amendment and due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. And it’s a story of how hard it is, despite those rights, for that employee to get any kind of justice from the state’s judiciary.

This is a story about the Vermont judiciary failing a Vermont citizen who worked as Director of the Dept. of Planning and Community Development for the City of Montpelier, which is also the state capitol.

This is the story of how City officials first vilified City planner Gwen Hallsmith for exercising her First Amendment rights, then fired her for defending herself.

This is the story of how the City deprived Hallsmith of any semblance of reasonable due process of law in what was effectively a bureaucratic lynching, demanded by the mayor and carried out by the city manager and his assistant without out a trace of fair deliberation.

This is the story of how the Vermont Superior Court affirmed Hallsmith’s complaint of unlawful City behavior, finding that the City’s actions were blatantly unconstitutional and unfair – and then issued an order perpetuating the original injustice.
Continue reading Vermont Blows Off U.S. Constitution

Three men went into a burr…

Comments? :-)

The Independent

The Snail’s Progress – Part 2

Among the things I discovered while rummaging through my stockpile of possessions are samples of my high school course-work. There are course outlines, some class notes and hand-outs, but most surprising are the term-papers and essays. I have assorted papers from several subjects including government, creative writing, history and English. For my English classes, I found several specimens from my sophomore year, a few from my junior year and only one complete work from my senior year. I assume my freshman year work wasn’t worth keeping because in those days freshman English consisted of nothing more than repeating everything we should have learned by 8th grade.

My English classes were probably like everybody’s in the mid-1960’s. High school was the setting for our first formal encounter with “serious” literature, but the selections and order of introduction were pretty much left to the discretion of individual teacher. The best you could have expected in grade school was a Reader’s Digest-like version of some classic. Those had come sanitized, condensed, and replete with illustrations to spur the imagination when the words almost inevitably failed. High school was to be different. We had been forewarned. In high school, we were expected to read stuff and then write about it.
Continue reading The Snail’s Progress – Part 2

Who You Callin’ An Organizing Principle?!?!!

– Reader Supported News

Washington’s ISIS War Drums: Do Stupid Stuff, Do It Now!


“Hopefully we get it more right than wrong” – organizing principle?

Continue reading Who You Callin’ An Organizing Principle?!?!!

How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World

A trove of secret documents details the US government’s global push for shale gas.

Mother Jones, By Mariah Blake, September/October ’14

One icy morning in February 2012, Hillary Clinton’s plane touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, which was just digging out from a fierce blizzard. Wrapped in a thick coat, the secretary of state descended the stairs to the snow-covered tarmac, where she and her aides piled into a motorcade bound for the presidential palace. That afternoon, they huddled with Bulgarian leaders, including Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, discussing everything from Syria’s bloody civil war to their joint search for loose nukes. But the focus of the talks was fracking. The previous year, Bulgaria had signed a five-year, $68 million deal, granting US oil giant Chevron millions of acres in shale gas concessions. Bulgarians were outraged. Shortly before Clinton arrived, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets carrying placards that read “Stop fracking with our water” and “Chevron go home.” Bulgaria’s parliament responded by voting overwhelmingly for a fracking moratorium.
Continue reading How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World

US misses chance to work with Iran

Washington Post article  says we want to exclude Iran from the anti- ISIS coalition.  Silly idea, since Iran is the most powerful force in the region and has national interest in blocking ISIS.  Apparently we are afraid that the Saudis (who support ISIS) might withdraw from the coalition if Iran is allowed in.  If Iran is invited in, the coalition might actually be effective, something the Saudis want to block.  There must be someone in the State Department who has figured this out, but they’ve probably been posted to Tuvalu.


Weekend Jukebox: Scotland

With the vote over independence coming up in Scotland next week…

Roy Williamson (Corries) wrote what may become the Scots anthem.

Continue reading Weekend Jukebox: Scotland

Friday Catblogging: small cats & small kids

Once in a while, an awwfest…

Continue reading Friday Catblogging: small cats & small kids

Analysis – American shakedown: Police won’t charge you, but they’ll grab your money

CBC, By Neil Macdonald

U.S. police are operating a co-ordinated scheme to seize as much of the public’s cash as they can

On its official website, the Canadian government informs its citizens that “there is no limit to the amount of money that you may legally take into or out of the United States.” Nonetheless, it adds, banking in the U.S. can be difficult for non-residents, so Canadians shouldn’t carry large amounts of cash.

That last bit is excellent advice, but for an entirely different reason than the one Ottawa cites.

There’s a shakedown going on in the U.S., and the perps are in uniform.

Across America, law enforcement officers — from federal agents to state troopers right down to sheriffs in one-street backwaters — are operating a vast, co-ordinated scheme to grab as much of the public’s cash as they can; “hand over fist,” to use the words of one police trainer.

Read the rest at the link

Inconvenient Questions

1. What’s the exit strategy? Is anyone discussing what that is? How do we get out? It’s simple to get in. Getting out is the hard part.

2. What are our political goals in Iraq in re: IS(IS)? What do we hope to achieve? And in what time frame? Will our means achieve the ends?

3. These are just some questions that President Hopey-McKill-List™ did not answer last night. He didn’t even come close to answering.

Color me curious.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce

Karl Marx wasn’t wrong about everything.

Tonight, President Hopey-McChange goes on the television to attempt the following (as expressed by Chris Nelson):

The President goes on nation/world TV tonight in what’s being billed as an effort to rally the people, and our allies, to a robust, long-term, strategically and historically essential battle to the death against ISIS and its ilk.  

It’s neither essential strategically or essentially. Why? First, because ISIS can be contained. Second, because ISIS does not pose a threat to our vital national interests. Robust and Long-term? Those can’t mean anything other than wasted lives and treasure.


The only silver lining I can see to this is the following: by our obsessive focus on Iraq we can’t escalate against the Russians. Our military simply cannot do that much at one time and our allies in Europe won’t do it. So, there is that.

A Climate of Unaccountability

They’re back!  John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney – the people who pushed the U.S. into the devastating mistake that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have discovered yet another existential threat ready and able to destroy the world.  Back then it was Saddam Hussein and his mythical cache of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Now it is ISIS and its army of fanatical jihadists who are torturing, raping, crucifying, decapitating and genocidally killing anyone who stands in the way of the new caliphate they are building in what is left of the nations of Iraq and Syria.  It is precisely because there is a political, military, and economic vacuum in the heart of the Middle East that ISIS is able to thrive and expand.

The tragedy of American foreign policy is that the people who helped create that vacuum – who set into motion a war of aggression and choice – have never been held accountable for their mistake.  So here they are, this time doing the bidding of ISIS, spreading terror and fear into the hearts of the American people, priming the country for yet another war of aggression.  The foreign policy of these cheerleaders is encapsulated in one sentence, which ought to be carved on the tombstone of Bill Kristol, the man who said this: “What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?”   Continue reading A Climate of Unaccountability

Obama forms New Coalition of the Willing

President Obama, in meeting with NATO leaders in Wails, has formed a new, improved coalition of the willing to combat ISIS, which is believed to be better than Bush’s coalition of the willing for Invading Iraq.

Better because of both Obama’s Golden Oratory, and his behind-the-scenes threats, were much more effective than Bush’s clumsy speechifying. Bush’s behind-the-scenes threats were much less effective when the Eurozone believed they could challenge the hegemony of the US Dollar.
Continue reading Obama forms New Coalition of the Willing

Fukushima update, Now in Year 4

Fukushima Crisis Continues, Worse Than Reported from Start

– Reader Supported News

And the radioactive waste from Fukushima goes to: Fukushima!

Nobody in the world knows how dispose of radioactive waste safely and permanently. That’s a given. The Japanese central government is presumably aware that anything it does with still the unmeasured, but vast amount of radioactive waste from Fukushima’s six nuclear power generators will be temporary. Leaving it in place is not an option. So Tokyo announced August 29 that the Fukushima waste would be stored for 30 years in Fukushima prefect, in an “interim facility” to be built probably in nearby Okuma or Futaba (now evacuated).
Continue reading Fukushima update, Now in Year 4

Fascists and Army Head for Kiev-Maidan

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men (and US/EU warmongers) gang aft a-gley”.

Looks like events are outpacing plans. Expect a lot of Faux News in the coming days.

I suspect it’s happening too fast for the US/EU to do anything except bitch and moan. I think Putin’s response will be the chief unanswered question of the moment.

As much as US would love to have The Ukraine in NATO, it is not there yet, so even if Russia upped the ante, the only excuse left to the NeoCons is R2P and I think the world – including the American people – have gotten tired of and wise to that ploy, given the situation in Libya, Iraq, Syria and our other failed missions.
Continue reading Fascists and Army Head for Kiev-Maidan