Volunteer Work We Can Assign to Young Vermonters

More needs to be done in Vermont to teach youngsters about the pride one should have for his or her homeland. It doesn’t matter what the racial background of a child is, whether it is northern European or Bosnian, the place where someone grows up is their homeland. They will hopefully, if their childhoods were like mine, have fond memories of their early years, including their homeland, long after they’ve grown up and become parents themselves.

One could argue that due to the close proximities that youngsters share at an early age and the creativity of their thought processes in those years that the closest friendships anyone could hope to form are formed in those early years. This is part of homeland awareness.

Once pride in the homeland is established, we can assign youngsters the mission to volunteer to help build lasting relationships. These relationships could be between boys and girls, boys and boys or girls and girls. The assignment would be to keep things focused on the positive and resolving differences constructively.
We should teach them that humans are like ants or bees who all work together and have colonies. Our colony is Vermont and more broadly America. Every human has a role to play in part of a broader struggle against the elements for survival. Some of us will be doctors, musicians, mechanics, writers, farmers or any of a number of roles that are available for the human species. I personally believe pay should be on a sliding scale with the hardest workers making the most money annually. But each role supported by the colony at some level of pay compensatory to the work that is being done.
Each relationship is therefore important to being included in this colony. If you trample over too many people because you are selfish then you will eventually be frozen out of the colony at those relationship points. Make too many of those bitter relationship points and you can’t survive. You are left in the cold with no resources and no food and no hope. You become a nomad and homeless. At its most basic level these are the instincts in humans. We will freeze someone out. This is usually accompanied by a public shaming.
We should teach youngsters about these patterns observed in human behavior so they are well equipped to conduct themselves in a manner of living that earns them no reprobation from their peers. They must volunteer to help build lasting relationships. The community must help lovers stay together and not just give up on each other. When I lived in Trenton, Maine, I hung out with a crowd of young blue collar workers who stole each others possessions and women and trampled on each other all the time. This doesn’t build long term security for a homeland. This sows the seeds of dystopia.
Imagine a future where generations are allowed to continue to grow up by the television and grow up by the values of the media and Hollywood. Where they are taught to steal from each other and stab each other in the back to get ahead. Now imagine that we take an active role in teaching the next generations to cultivate warm relationships in a kindred spirit of survival. I think you will agree our best hope comes from teaching the teenagers and elementary school students of today in Vermont to value each other equally and not form cliques because ultimately you never know who has hidden talents and will become the next Bill Gates or Willie Robertson.

Poached Eggs

by Ron Powers

Ron Powers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling author who lives in Castleton, Vermont. His latest book, “Nobody Cares About Crazy People” about the dire state of mental health care in America and the loss of his talented guitar-playing son to the disease comes out in November. Here is his column:

Last weekend’s reportage from the battlefields of Wilson Castle in Vermont and the Pez Visitors Center in Orange, Connecticut, where the parking lots apparently ran yellow with the spilled fondant fillings of Cadbury Crème Easter Eggs and the silver tears of traumatized children, made headlines across the Internet (formerly the Nation).

At each site, as the world now knows, plans for a peaceful Easter-Egg hunt for the kiddies were violently disrupted when adulthood broke out in the lines of people waiting for the hunt to begin. Before defensive perimeters could be secured at Wilson Castle, factions of radicalized Moms ‘n’ Dads broke the lines, crawled under the restraining ropes, and waddled across the fields, scooping up vast unprotected stores of the enemy’s (i.e., the organizers’) valuable supplies. These consisted mainly of chocolate bunnies; but unconfirmed lurid rumors spread that some parents, driven mad by the scent of calories, also snatched up such dietary essentials as hard-boiled eggs festively dipped in Rit Dye, jelly beans, Cadbury eggs, and the coveted little wads of marshmallow covered with boiled sugar, dyed in luminescent colors and molded into bunny-wunnies and chickie-lickies.

Wilson Castle, the elegant century-and-a-half-old Dutch neo-renaissance estate, or whatever kind of estate, near Proctor, gained historic distinction in the course of hostilities there: it is believed to be the first Easter-Egg-hunt battle site to witness the deployment of the dreaded weapon pepper spray. Two detachments of Vermont law enforcement galloped into the fray, and a sharpshooter among them hauled out his can and nailed a Newbury man who argued with them before hightailing it across a meadow.

Adding to the devastation of combat, a bounce-house with children inside deflated, causing one horrified woman to go “omg,” and later confess on Facebook that she was “feeling annoyed.” Another survivor recounted how she had to stand in the mud.

In Connecticut, The Battle of the PEZ Visitors Center, as a commemorative marker of marshmallow and nougat already describes it, was equally horrific. A blitzkrieg of a thousand hunt-hardened Moms ‘n’ Dads, some emitting the terror-inducing shriek, “GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! MINE! MIND! MINE!” stormed the field and liberated most of the nine thousand candy eggs scattered there. Some combatants wrenched candy-baskets from childrens’ hands, inspiring one dazed participant to invoke the language of the Scripture: “It was like a friggin riot.” Another happily predicted that within a few years, Brown Gooey Saturday, as it already is coming to be known, will attain the stature, significance and holy reverence that is currently the province of Black Friday.

We Must Abandon Apocalyptic Thinking and Invest In An Alternative to the Church in the Northeast

Just when doubts creep up on me about this planet (half of Vermont Gossip respondents surveyed so far don’t believe humans will survive another million years) my fiancee reassures me that everything is going to be ok and I believe her. Being in a loving relationship is so good for the soul.

I wish schools taught us this lesson early in life. So far, I’ve been too selfish to get into a loving relationship for very long and some of the women I’ve dated have had other priorities besides a loving relationship, and I fault media and the way we raise children these days for that.

Where did the message of family and heritage go? We’re all agnostics in the Northeast and we’ve thrown away everything that had to do with religion, even the family structure, even though it was so much a part of our survival. At least there was a role for everyone to play. Rightly these days we allow same sex marriage. The genders may change but the essential role of the family remains the same: to pass on skills for survival and nurture loving relationships.

Some people have terrible memories of the family structure and prefer their friends over family members. This is unfortunate but it is our job to do better in the next round of survival and family. Family is probably not for everybody. First there should be a loving relationship.

However, once that is established, I believe it is in our spiritual well being to plan on surviving for the next million years. This could help prevent depression which I believe is, in part, an instinctive reaction to the direction society is heading in. If half of us think we can’t survive long term it only stands to reason we get depressed.

It is a depressing feeling when humans can’t control themselves to survive indefinitely like our forebearers did before we started dumping CO2 into our atmosphere.

We used to build lasting churches that were beautiful because we believed it was something nice we’d leave for the next generations to enjoy. Perhaps these days it doesn’t have to be churches in the Northeast, because after all a majority of us are agnostic, but we should be building someplace for people, especially young people, to congregate voluntarily. The money that used to be collected for the building of churches could be collected for the building of central meeting locations.

However, for decades we built cheap and lived desperately, perhaps jaded by two world wars with all the veterans who somehow lived through them and came to expect that they never knew what day would be their last. Moreover, Babyboomers practiced hiding under their desks in case of a nuclear attack. The feeling that an apocalypse is in the near future is somewhat programmed into our forebearers.

It doesn’t need to be this way anymore. After we take out ISIS we can plan for an extended period of peace, lasting many generations. We should plan and prepare for this reality. We should build buildings to last for the next generations. People in the Northeast should come up with an alternative to organized religion that would replace the role of the church as a way to bring the community together and raise funds for beautiful buildings.

Burlington Man Talks Heroin: Why Vermonters Do It, How to Stop It; Praises Immigrant Population

appleby
Sam Appleby, 28, has lived in Vermont for most of his life. “I grew up in Barnard,” he said, “did some traveling in my early twenties, but I’ve been living here in Burlington for about two years now.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the community of Burlington is strong?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I think so. I think it’s getting stronger. Yeah, there’s a lot of art, especially in the South end. The South End arts district has just been exploding with talent. I think musically this town is really getting cool. But there’s the drug problem, there’s also that kind of eating at the heart of it, so it’s something we have to try to combat as a community.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What do you think could be done to combat the drug problem?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Well I think I read some good stuff about treatment and prevention rather than jailing people. When I was younger I had a lot of friends who got mixed up in that. Some of them died, some of them went to jail, and the others got their act together. But I don’t think the solution is more policing and more jailing of non-violent offenders. I think we need to focus on rehabilitation, treatment and education. You know, start in schools.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think that drug use is a result of rebellion against authority?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I think that’s part of it. A lot of young kids want to defy their parents. It’s also escapism. You know if you have a crappy life, it’s really easy, you can just change your consciousness. You know, take some drugs that make you feel better. I think that’s hard for a lot of people to get past once you get into that life. But yeah, I’d say rebellion is a part of it but also just boredom and escapism are two of the big factors.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think adults could do a better job of messaging the importance of, say things like, family and jobs?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Yes. I think definitely with my parents they instilled a work ethic in me, but it’s not something that I see with the new generation. A lot of college kids are, it’s not their fault really, the economy has kind of turned and it’s hard to get a job in your field with a degree. But yeah, I think it’s important that everybody in the community, not just families, really educate their kids about this, the stuff to look out for, and to just you know, become a member of the community by working. Nobody likes to do it but it makes our community stronger and it makes you a better person.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that elementary school students should be taught to grow food in a hands on environment?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Absolutely. Absolutely. I did a little farming when I was younger, and it’s something that every elementary school should teach because food is so important. I remember in high school you could take shop or home ec, I think you should have both mandatory.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that high school students who have an interest in it should be taught how to make furniture from Vermont, sustainably harvested wood?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Absolutely. I actually wish I could make furniture. I’m not too crafty but you know, definitely.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s newsworthy and relevant in your life right now? Birth of a family member? New relationship? Promotion?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Well I’m a comedian. So I would say that the Vermont Comedy Club is the biggest news that I could wish to share with anybody. That scene here in Vermont is getting so huge. It’s starting to attract big names. I think everybody should just go down to the comedy club and have some laughs.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Are you married?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I am not. I’m single.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you have any kids?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “No, not yet.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Is there anything that isn’t being covered by the local media that you would like to see be covered?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Local media is doing better than nationally, but I’d always have to say Bernie Sanders. We gotta get that guy in office. Here in Vermont he’s one of our own, so I think we hear about it and there’s a lot more optimism, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need more coverage. It needs to be, you know, a personal battle for everybody.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that there are tensions between old Vermonters and new Vermonters?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “New as in moved to the state?”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Yeah.”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Maybe not here in town, but I grew up in rural Vermont, so yeah there is a bit of that kind of anger about people coming in and building these huge summer homes, driving up the property taxes and only spending maybe a week out of the year up here. So I think that’s the only thing on that topic I think I would say. Here in town I think there’s a lot more, there’s a big immigrant population here and I’m glad that mostly I see that that’s supported. There’s a lot of Vietnamese, Somalians, and I think it’s really great that up here it’s accepted because that’s not the case in a lot of the rest of the country.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that Hollywood corrupts the minds of our youth with all the sex and violence and parties that they have in movies?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I think that’s always been a part of entertainment. You go back to Shakespeare, there’s just as much sex and violence in that entertainment as there ever was. I think yeah, they’re putting out what sells. Sex sells. Violence sells. I watch violent movies, I play violent video games, but what’s important more is teaching people to draw a line. You know, between reality and a game. I love video games, I’ve probably committed hundreds of thousands of simulated murders, but I know I’m not going to go out into the real world and you know, do some horrible, violent thing. So yeah, as long as people know it’s not reality. It’s just good fun.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that our instincts are as complex as other animals?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I think so. I think a lot of it, I think we’ve forgotten a lot of it. LIke out sense of smell. We’ve gotten away from our animal selves. Being in this, you know, consumer culture, always looking at a screen. So, you know, I think we are as complex but it’s something that we’ve forgotten or maybe choose to ignore.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think it’s important for us to get back to that or do you think we’ll be alright even if we don’t.”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I think that we should be aware of it, at least. Maybe unplug a little bit during the day. As to how important that is, I couldn’t really say until I saw it in action.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think that emotions are instincts that were selected by nature for survival?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Yeah. I think it’s something that, you know, it’s deeper than we understand, you know, that fight or flight kind of instinct. Yeah, you know, emotions are kind of a defense mechanism, you know, if you see something scary your heart rate jumps it means to get out of there. If something makes you sad it means maybe you should do something about it or avoid that situation. So, yeah, I think it’s a deep instinct that we have.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “So you do support refugees coming into the state?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Absolutely. I mean my family…we were Irish immigrants a couple generations back, and you know back then you’re hearing the same stuff you’re hearing now: all the potato eaters coming here and stealing all the jobs. But you know we need to continue to make America that place, you know, give us your tired, your hungry, your poor, you know, all this border containment nonsense about putting up a wall or you know, tearing apart families because maybe the kid was born here but the parents were illegal immigrants. It’s just, you know, whatever your nationality that’s just not good living. We can’t treat each other like that no matter where you’re from.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would make it illegal to charge women more than men for the same goods and services?”
 
Mr.Appleby: “Yeah, I suppose I would support that. You know, I think closing the wage gap between men and women is also something that needs to be enacted everywhere.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would provide all Vermont service veterans who have PTSD with a service dog and a life time of free dog food?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Yes I would.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support a private initiative to build three story buildings in Burlington and Rutland like Brooklyn and San Francisco? Basically raze the Victorian houses and put up apartment buildings?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Oh if it’s housing they’re putting in then yes. There’s a huge housing problem here. It took me forever to find an apartment downtown. Yeah, there just isn’t enough of it, so if that’s what they have to do, that’s what they’re going to have to do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you want to see high tech jobs come to Vermont?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I would say so. Yeah. I know that there’s a growing boom in clean energy and solar projects here, a lot of graphic design firms, and yeah, anything to diversify the economy.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support a website that aimed to pair apprentices with master tradesmen?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Yes.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Are you on Facebook?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I am.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Are you interested in networking with fellow Vermonters?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Yeah, definitely.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think Vermont youth are told often enough that having a family and kids could be one of the most satisfying things they could ever hope to experience?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I guess that would depend on the case: whatever kind of family upbringing they had. I know that was instilled in me, but yeah, no one can be told often enough that family is important. Maybe starting your own teaches you what life’s all about.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think that we should be telling Vermont youth to be on the lookout for a life mate early on because there might never be a better chance to meet a life mate?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I don’t think so. No. I’d say wait. People say life is short. I don’t really buy that. I think that we’re just not aware for all of it. So, you know, just slow down on it, you know, it’s always when you stop looking for love that it seems to find you.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you know who you’re going to vote for for the next Governor of Vermont?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Actually no. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with Shumlin’s performance, so before voting again I need to do a lot more research.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Who’s your favorite Vermont band?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Oh, Iva May. It’s this girl that I work with her name is Brittany May. She’s absolutely fantastic and she performs at the Light Shop, also has a college radio show on Wednesdays.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s your favorite Vermont brew?”
 
Mr. Appleby: “Long Trail. I lived in Bridgewater for a long time so there’s a lot of people who would be angry with me if I said otherwise.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “How do you feel about the prospects of synthetic biology? Genetically engineering everything from salmon to mosquitoes so the former grow faster and the later die off.”
 
Mr. Appleby: “I don’t think that GMO’s are necessarily bad for you. I’ve done some research that suggests that it might be fine to eat, as long as we’re made aware of that, like we have a right to know what’s in our food. As for fish, I’ve seen some of those, the genetically modified salmon and they just look gross. Like I’m a cook. So I would never use that in my kitchen, but there’s a lot more that we don’t know about it. I wouldn’t exactly write it off, but I wouldn’t go tampering necessarily half cocked without knowing more.”

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Should Go At It Code Duello After Bringing Wives Into the Mix

Wouldn’t it be great to see Republican presidential candidates Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz go at it code duello after dragging each other’s wives into the debate?

Here’s Cruz: “It’s not easy to tick me off. I don’t get angry often, but you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids that will do it every time. Donald you’re a sniveling coward. Leave Heidi the hell alone,” according to CBS News This Morning.

“It is not acceptable for a big loud New York bully to attack my wife,” Cruz said.

If Ted Cruz is seriously offended isn’t it in our instinct to settle a fight with fists and not empty rhetoric? How many times have we seen this instinct play out in bars across the country? Doesn’t this tell us that it’s part of our human species to settle fights for real and not just in empty rhetoric? We’ve seen too much empty rhetoric electing officials for too long. It’s time there actually be some manhood behind it? Let us not forget the emperor Constantine (272 AD – 337 AD) who went to war with competing emperor’s-to-be to claim his seat.

Here’s Hillary Clinton responding to the GOP infighting at a time when many are reflecting on the Brussels’s terror attacks, “The way you get eyes or ears is to be provocative, even extreme, to say things that are going to draw attention.”

The only sure bet to resolve the family attacks between Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz is code duello. The Republican pair should set a time and a place to resolve their differences before a national live audience so we can see who is really king of the Republican establishment. Instead of a pistol fight they could box it out in a legally sanctioned boxing match. I think it’s only fair.

Why are we allowing our country to be ruled by men so past their prime? We need to survive for the next million years. That calls for urgency. Only can a young man can muster the urgency with which Conway Whittle used to navigate the confederate battleship Shenandoah through enemy territory, massive storms and arctic ice.

We must urgently reduce our carbon footprint. Nowhere online will you find a soul as passionate for this change in our human behavior as I. We can reduce our carbon footprint. We went through hundreds of thousands of years without using carbon fuels. We can solve climate change and put human civilization on the path to a million years survival at the least.

Rutland Man Trying to Start A Support Group for Teens in the Area

powell
William Powell, 45, has lived in Vermont for most of his life. He lives in Rutland.
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the community of Rutland is strong?”
 
Mr. Powell: “It needs improvement. Less drugs. More things for the kids to do. And clean up the city in general. Like cemeteries everywhere. Yeah, a lot of cemeteries I’ve been walking by gravestones are laying down on the ground when they should be standing up. Like, down here on West Street, that’s a Civil War cemetery so…”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What can be done about the heroin and drug crisis in Vermont?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Keep doing what they’re doing I guess. Try and catch them before they get into Vermont. Stop em at the borders.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you know a lot of people in your neighborhood?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah. Pretty much.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think Vermonters are supportive enough of each other’s success?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the older generations are supportive enough of the younger generations?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah. It takes…everybody gotta support each other, you know, it’s one hand washes the other.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s newsworthy and relevant in your life right now?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Hopefully I get custody of my son back.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What do you do for work?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Right now I get disability. I did cement work but a cement wall fell on me broke my neck in two different spots in 1997, so…”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you like living in Vermont?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah, it’s a nice area for kids.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Are you married?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah, but going through a divorce.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “And you said you have kids? How many?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Nine. My oldest son is 23, I got a daughter that’s 21, son that’s 20, a son that’s 19, a son that’s 16 a daughter that’s 14 a daughter that’s 12, a son that’s ten and a son that’s seven.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Is there anything that isn’t being covered by the local media that you would like to see covered?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Mainly what’s going on are the drugs in Rutland in general. You know, I know they had the bust a couple weeks ago, that was good, but they should be doing that every day.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that there are tensions between old Vermonters and new Vermonters?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Not really. I don’t believe so.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Who do you see as leaders in Vermont?”
 
Mr. Powell: “The governor is doing a good job. As far as in town I don’t know.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe elementary school students should learn how to grow food in a hands-on environment?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Oh definitely, yup. You never know when you’re going to need to know how to do it.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe high school students who have an interest in it should learn how to make furniture from sustainably harvested Vermont wood?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah. If that’s what they want to do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe Hollywood corrupts the minds of our youth with all the sex, violence and parties that are found in movies?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yes. I do. I just went and watched that movie Deadpool and I wasn’t that impressed. All the…not a movie for kids to see. I wouldn’t bring my kids to it. None of them. Maybe the older ones, but none of the younger ones, they don’t need to hear that kind of stuff in a movie.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that our instincts are as complex as other animals?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah. Yeah I do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that emotions are instincts that nature selected for our survival?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah, sometimes. You do what you gotta do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “How do you feel about refugees coming into the state?”
 
Mr. Powell: “I don’t have a problem with it, not a problem. America was build on immigration before anyway, so I don’t have a problem with it. If it’s bettering their life, so be it.”
Vermont Gossip: “How do you feel about farm animals raised in cages?”
 
Mr. Powell: “They shouldn’t be raised in cages. They should be able to go out and hang out. I can see putting a fence up so they don’t get out and stuff, but don’t leave them in a cage.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would make it illegal to charge women more than men for the same goods and services?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Sure, yeah.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support a private initiative to build three story buildings with narrow roads in Rutland? Essentially Brooklyn-ize Rutland?”
 
Mr. Powell: “I don’t know, how narrow are the roads?”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Like one way…”
 
Mr. Powell: “Ehh…maybe it depends on how how it looked and if people got to see a model of it before they actually did it and quote it that way maybe.”
 
Vermont Gossip: :Would you like to see us build more stone building the likes of which can be found at the Capitol in DC and in Italy?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yes.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you like to see high tech jobs come to Vermont?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Sure.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What do you think could be done to bring them here?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Well, we’ve got all the abandoned buildings here in Rutland, why not turn them into offices for the high tech jobs instead of just letting them sit there and people buying them for $10,000 then do nothing with them after they buy them?”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support a website that aimed to pair apprentices with master tradesmen?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think that Vermont youth are told often enough that having a family and kids could be the most satisfying thing they ever hope to experience?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yes, I do. They get told enough, and I think, my personal opinion they’re not being told enough not to have kids at young ages. Because I got this fifteen year old that’s got a four month old baby. I mean I did my part in telling them to use condoms and stuff and somewhere miscommunication got involved.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think we should be telling our youngsters to be on the look out for a life mate early because they may never get a better shot at finding one?”
 
Mr. Powell: “No, enjoy your life, go to college, worry about that afterwards when you get a good career when you can actually support a family.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would decriminalize operating a driverless car while under the influence?”
 
Mr. Powell: “No. That would decriminalize? No. You shouldn’t be behind the wheel under the influence of anything.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you know who you’re going to vote for for the next Governor of Vermont?
 
Mr. Powell: “Not quite sure yet. I’ve got my ups and downs. I know who I’ll vote for for President though: Bernie Sanders.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Who’s your favorite Vermont band?”
 
Mr. Powell: “You know, I’m into music but I don’t really go out much and I don’t really know what’s out there anymore.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s your favorite Vermont brew?”
 
Mr. Powell: “I don’t like beer, so…”
 
Vermont Gossip: “How do you feel about the promises of synthetic biology which means genetically engineering everything from salmon to mosquitoes, so that salmon grow faster and mosquitoes dies off.”
 
Mr. Powell: “No. You leave it the way it is.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you lament that we’ve lost courting rituals or do you think that they’re still alive and healthy?”
 
Mr. Powell: “We lost them probably.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Are you on Facebook?”
 
Mr. Powell: “I am.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Are you interested in networking with fellow Vermonters?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Sure.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that our instincts are more to be good people or selfish people?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Good people for the most part, yeah.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you support legalizing pot?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yes I do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What do you do for hobbies and recreation?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Most of the time I’m with my kids. We hike, we swim. We go down and play basketball. I’m trying to actually start a support group for things for teens in this area because you see all these teens ain’t doing nothing but nothing. And there’s a skate park, but you gotta pay to do it. So how is that helping out the poor people?”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think we focus too much on the economy and not enough on basically surviving together?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Basically yes I do. You know, we should focus on both, really. Not just one and not the other.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s the most pressing issue of our time?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Right now, all the drugs in Rutland, you know it’s me and a bunch of friends were saying we can see ten years from now this is gonna look like Holyoake. And yeah, I don’t want this place to look like that. I’m not saying that’s a bad place to live. I’m just saying drugwise. You know?”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support pairing youth with police so they could help the police root out drug dealers?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yeah definitely. If the youth was into that and they want to do that, then yeah definitely.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that climate change is a serious threat?”
 
Mr. Powell: “Yes. Considering the winter we just had, yeah. 65 degrees in Christmas.”

Vermont Lawmakers Should Move to Exempt Family that Owns Duck From Law that Would Force it From Home

An East Montpelier family has owned a duck for three years and it is in danger of losing the duck to a game warden who has said he will return with a search warrant to take Peep away if the family does not get rid of it.

Kim Stevens came across the duck as a baby when her dog Puggy found him. In an interview aired on WCAX, Stevens nearly cried when she recounted that the game warden was going to take the duck away. Her daughter was crying, too.

I understand the intent of the law which seeks to prevent disease from spreading, but at the same time, come on. It’s not fair that a duck that has spent his whole life living with one family gets taken away because of a cold heartless law.

Lawmakers should move to exempt Ms. Stevens from the law for Peep’s sake.

Love Him or Hate Him, Ted Cruz Knows How to Talk Like a Middle American Against Liberal Elites

Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, has mastered the narrative of Republicans versus liberal elites that was started over ten years ago in the talk radio sphere and in the opinion pages of national newspapers.

The book “Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show,” by Geoffrey Nunberg and published in 2006-2007, illustrates the narrative.

Consider Cruz’s comments following the Brussels attacks Tuesday when President Barack Obama appeared on ESPN at a baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays.

“President Obama is happily at a baseball game, yucking it up with the Castro brothers, communist dictators…rather than directing the effort…” to fight ISIS, Mr. Cruz said, according to CBS News This Morning on March 23, 2016.

Every time Mr. Cruz crafts a sentence, he is slow, deliberate, crafty.

“The President goes on a national television conference and lectures America on Islamaphobia. Enough is enough…” Cruz said, according to CBS News this morning on March 24, 2016. (Italics mine to indicate how Cruz pits “Obama the intellectual” against America the brave.)

Love him or hate him, Ted Cruz has a way of talking that attempts to galvanize the mind against the liberal alternative. His talents here should not be discounted. American liberals, the likes of which are found predominantly in Vermont, must mount a counter defense to this narrative.

It can’t be intellectualism against American ingenuity and blue collar work or Democrats will never win the White House. It must be a combined battle between intellectuals and blue collar workers who solve problems every day in their work: fitting a bolt, drilling out an old bolt, fabricating a part, etc.

There must be unity in Vermont. Liberals must understand why Republicans take a stand against immigrants even if they disagree with that stand because America has traditionally been the land of immigrants. There must be an understanding of why those views are taken. There is the instinct to protect children’s future and wealth. If we get overpopulated, we will live in squalor and hopelessness. The earth will cease to be wild and fascinating.

Ted Cruz is a threat to America. His language is smart and sophisticated. It stimulates every aspect of the brain when it comes to the old narrative about Republicans versus liberal elites. It is important that we unite to fight this red herring. The real problem is that the rich are getting richer and our government is no longer redistributing the wealth fairly to all citizens. When we have poor among us, we have to deal with their crime to help themselves survive. A better way would be higher taxes on the top one percent and a re-distribution of wealth so that all citizens of the United States can live in comfort.

I am not necessarily in support of tax hikes for the rich. I would also support voluntary efforts by the rich to support the poor, and I think this would be preferable to taxes, but history seems to indicate that the rich don’t contribute to help the poor unless they are compelled to and our media doesn’t often compel the rich to give to the poor in America. We are also lacking the teaching on the instincts of humans to support one another and establish a lasting presence on this earth for at least a million years in our respective countries and states.

One way the rich could help the poor is providing housing, food and health care to the poor who would work in voluntary work camps building things like rail connections between cities and apartment buildings in the inner parts of cities like Rutland.

Here is Ted Cruz again on CBS This Morning, March 24, 2016, “They have allowed vast numbers of Islamic terrorists to infiltrate Europe and they live in isolated communities where radicalism festers. And we need to be using pro-active policing, we need to be using pro-active law enforcement, and intelligence and national security resources to prevent radicalization…”

Cruz is a smart and highly calibrated politician. We must take a stand in Vermont and counter this highly potent narrative.

 

Burlington Lady Credits City Festivals for Bringing Together People from Different Cultures and Backgrounds

Allison Castile, 22, has lived in Vermont for three years. She lives in Burlington.
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the community of Burlington is strong?”
 
Ms. Castile: “Yes.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “How so?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I would say I love the community here because everyone seems to be very polite and also very considerate of other people. I also really like just the festivals they have here cuz I think that helps people come together from different cultures and different backgrounds.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s newsworthy and relevant in your life right now?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I don’t know. I’m at a pretty stagnant point in my life, so really all I mainly pay attention to is the news, like politics and stuff like that.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What do you do for work?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I am a human services worker.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you like living in Vermont?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I love it. Yeah, I really enjoy it.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe there are tensions between old Vermonters and new Vermonters?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I haven’t experienced anything, so I personally do not know. But I would say there’s a huge difference usually between the two. But I have not run into any issues.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Who do you see as leaders in Vermont?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I would say I really appreciate the business owners here who are independently owned because I think it takes a lot to start something you believe in and then also keep it going, but I would say small business owners and also I’m a Bernie Sanders fan, too, so I really see him as a leader. Pretty much anyone who is making a difference I would see as a leader.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe elementary school students should learn how to grow food in a hands-on environment?”
 
Ms. Castile; “Yes. I do. I think it would benefit the environment as well as the children who…I mean most people from Vermont still live here, so I would assume that…I think Vermont is a state that actually cares about using the earth for the right reasons instead of neglecting or abusing it, and farming’s definitely a way to do that. From someone out-of-state, I would say I wish I had had that when I was in elementary school cuz I think that a lot of the just wilderness skills that people can acquire are really important in general.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that high school students who have an interest in it should learn how to make furniture from sustainably harvested Vermont wood?”
 
Ms. Castile: “Yeah. I wouldn’t see why not.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think that Hollywood corrupts the minds of our youth with all the sex and parties and violence that is found in movies?”
 
Ms. Castile: “Yes. I do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that our instincts are as complex as other animals?”
 
Ms. Castile; “I would say so. I would say a lot of people aren’t in tune with like their intuitive, just in general their emotions. I would say is a huge thing, but I would say yes, people are very complex.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that emotions are instincts?”
 
Ms. Castile: “I would say in a way, because I mean when you have a gut feeling, that’s an example to me as an instinctual kind of like I shouldn’t be here or I shouldn’t do this or whatever, and I think that has a lot to do with staying true to how you feel and also kind of listening to yourself. So I would say yeah, just in that aspect.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you support building three story buildings in Burlington and Rutland like Brooklyn or San Francisco?”
 
Ms. Castile: “Yeah. I think so. If it doesn’t interfere with the overall environment I guess.”

Randolph Center Lady Says Trades Can be Alternative to Debt-Laden College Education; Sees Dickey Drysdale as Leader

parmelee

Aimil Parmelee, 35, has lived in Vermont 30 years with a hiatus in the middle. She lives in Randolph Center.
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the community of Randolph Center is strong?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I do. We know our neighbors really well. My parents and siblings are all within about three miles. Most of my in-laws are over in Middlebury, about an hour away. We live in a town of about five thousand people and there’s a lot going on in town and everyone is really pretty friendly and watches out for each other. There’s a lot of community events that we are able to partake in, which is really nice. We have a two and a half year old, so the library has a lot of stuff going on, and then there’s events in town usually about once a month, more often around Fourth of July and holidays.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What’s newsworthy and relevant in your life right now?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “Jeez I don’t know. I’m pretty busy at work and with my two and a half year old. We have a family wedding coming up this summer, and my sister in-law is due with her first baby in two weeks.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “What do you do for work?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I’m an occupational therapist at an outpatient center.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you like living in Vermont?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I love it. I’ve lived in a couple of other states in New England. I went to college undergraduate in Boston and we lived in Maine for seven years, and I’ve been to over half the states in the US. And Vermont…there’s just something about it that you bring with you everywhere, and we were happy to come back.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Is there anything that isn’t being covered by the local media that you would like to see covered?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “No, I guess not. I listen to DEV and read Seven Days and Vermont Digger and our local newspaper and I think pretty much everything in my community that I’m aware of is being covered. I think Vermont media has some good respect for boundaries also, like you know, they’ll cover news but they don’t, like when we lived in Maine they sometimes would really harp on things or really spend a lot of time focusing on stuff that maybe was hard for families to listen to every night. And I feel like Vermont presents the news and they kind of move on to the next thing. I appreciate that. We also spend a lot of time covering the good things that are happening in our state. That doesn’t happen everywhere. So that’s nice too.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe there are tensions between old Vermonters and new Vermonters?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I don’t know about Burlington cuz we are only up here about once a month, but in Central Vermont I think that…maybe tension’s not the right word. There’s good commentary back and forth about what it means to be a young or new Vermonter and what it means to be an old Vermonter. And I think there’s benefits of both, and I think that there’s maybe downside that comes with both. So I guess within my own community I definitely see that there’s a difference, and I think there’s an acknowledgement and there’s sort of an embracing also, which I think is nice. But then again I don’t know about up here [in Burlington].”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Who do you see as leaders in Vermont?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “Boy that is a tough question. I really like Phil Scott and Peter Shumlin. I know they sit really on different ends of the political spectrum, but I think that they both have done a lot for Vermont in different ways. But I think there both well spoken and so respectful of each other that it’s really nice to see that. And then the mayor of Barre, gosh and I can’t pull his name up, been very impressed with him and how he’s handled things. And then if we’re looking outside of the political spectrum, people like Jane Lindholm come to mind, and Ken Squire, Dickey Drysdale who’s retired now, he ran our local paper for decades. But those are the people who come to mind.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that elementary school students should learn how to grow food in a hands-on environment?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “Absolutely. Again, I don’t know about in Burlington, but in Randolph where I live there is a strong growing community. I think most people I know who have kids also have vegetable gardens at home. I know for a long time, I don’t know if it’s still the case, Brookfield elementary school bought their meats and produce locally. Most of the restaurants in town, their food is locally sourced.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that high school students who have an interest in it should learn how to make furniture from sustainably harvested Vermont wood?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I do. Yeah. And again, in our community there are programs that do that. There’s the White River Craft Center. Our vocational program does some of those things. So yeah. I do.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the message is out there or do you think it should be more out there that the trades could be just as valid as going to college and getting a degree?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I absolutely think about that and agree with that. My father was a tradesman, my brother is a tradesman. You know, my grandfather was a plumber, my other grandfather was an electrician. I have an uncle who is an electrician. I believe that strongly. College is so expensive. The debt that comes with it does not always, you can’t always pay that off with a salary that you’re making with a four year education or even a master’s degree. I think the trade’s is a fantastic way to make a living. It gives you something meaningful to do. Often you can have your own business and work in town and have flexible hours. I mean there are definitely downsides to it. It’s a very physical job. Even if you own your own business as much as like to think you set your own hours sometimes your hours really set themselves based on the time of year or what you have going on for work. But I think that there really should be a stronger focus on that as a valuable career option. It’s just a very worthy profession.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support a website that aims to pair apprentices with master tradesmen?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “Absolutely.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that Hollywood corrupts the minds of our youth with all the sex and violence and parties that are found in movies?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I would say yes in theory but you’re talking to someone who doesn’t watch television, so I can’t really comment on that.”
 
Vermont Gossip; “How do you feel about refugees in the state?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “Boy that’s an interesting question. I think it’s great. I have seen…when we first moved back to Vermont we lived in Waterbury and there’s a strong Bosnian population there. And it was really wonderful to see their culture in Vermont. I think that the refugees that I’ve known have been really hard working and dedicated and have brought some of their culture with them, which I think is really a good thing for any place. The food and the celebrations that come from a place outside of here.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would make it illegal to charge women more than men for the same services?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “Yes.”
 
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would provide Vermont service veterans who have PTSD with service dogs and a lifetime of free dog food?”
 
Ms. Parmelee: “I would.”
 
Just then Ms. Parmelee’s wife, Avery came up and we realized that we had a Vermont connection. This reporter went to high school with Avery.