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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.