Vermont Economy at a Glance

  • FY12 Budget Shortfall: $176 million, or 14%
    • One Family's Share: $1,132
  • Population: 621,760   Unemployment Rate: 6.2%   Poverty Rate: 9.4%
  • Median Household Income: $50,619
  • Potential Public Revenue from tax on natural resource extraction: $1,2 Billion / year
    • One Family's Share: $7,720 yearly
    • Currently collected by corporations tax-free
  • Cumulative Afghan & Iraq War Cost to Vermont:
    • $1,724,493,495 ...Not counting the cost of the illegal war in Libya!
    • One Family's Share: $11,904
Full Documentation on the Cost of War to Vermont families courtesy of
Nov 252012


This post is in honor of fellow Riptonite Ceredwyn Alexander, an EMT First Responder who has just travelled to New Jersey to do hurricane relief. Ceredwyn was featured in the Addison Independent, you can read the article here.

Our Emergency Services are gutted and unready. The Vermont Guard was illegally deployed to Afghanistan, and our Guard’s equipment shipped off to Iraq.

Then Hurricane Irene hit Vermont… our Addison elected officials were nowhere to be found. But First Responders from other States travelled to Vermont, to help. The New Jersey Guard sent us two helicopters because we were left with only one med-evac helicopter shared with N.H.

“Doctors Without Borders are operating in the United States for the first time ever.”, Alexander reports.

When extreme centralization breaks down, folks find their own communities, and do for themselves. Extreme centralization is what I have been running for VT Senate against. We can’t afford it.

  • Relocalization: To devolve State powers back to our Towns and communities is something that I have been running for. And will continue to do so through 2014. Local’s the only thing that works: we cannot continue to deny reality, in the face of an economy that will not recover (except for the 1% looters).
  • Decentralization: Centrally planned and controlled schools, services & infrastructure are even now shutting down. We have to learn to do for ourselves. A centrally planned economy should have died with the Soviet Union. Let us make it die here in Vermont.
  • Independence: Localities and individuals must be free to act, help each others and help themselves without fear of government interference.

Irene was Vermont’s wake-up signal. Montpelier hit the snooze button and did nothing but stockpile weapons, drones & tasers against civil disobedience and unrest… as if people are the problem. Now’s the time to hold those under the golden dome accountable. Show your representatives that we Vermonters have power: we are not just a tax farm and source of raw materials for out-of-State industries.

Some are beginning to call Sandy “Katrina on the Hudson” due to the tales that are circulating about the Scary stories are coming out of Sandy’s aftermath: One is the restricting of information coming out of the FEMA shelters. Others are of people trapped in high rise apartments without power for days. Doctors Without Borders are operating in the United States for the first time ever.

The people who have set up the most efficient supply distribution network are the Occupy people. My theory of why this is so is that most of the Occupy volunteers are locals. They know what they and their neighbors need.

Elderly and disabled folk in their 40th story apartments have only been able to get water and other supplies because their neighbors have been helping them. The National Guard, FEMA, the Red Cross and other “authorities” have taken two weeks (or more) to get into some places… -Ceredwyn Alexander, Scaling the Peak

Real people do what we know how to do: help, even as career politicians in Montpelier dither and wait for FEMA help that never comes.

From Scaling the Peak:

It’s almost 12:30 here and I’m working the 8PM to 8AM shift. We have a midnight curfew, so its pretty quiet.

Spent the evening seeing to the usual things one sees in a dorm full of people–cut fingers and hurt feelings mostly.

The shelter I’m working at is known as a “self care” shelter. That is to say all our residents are able to care for themselves and have few special needs.

Out in the lobby, we have hot and cold running law enforcement, which is a luxury when tempers are frayed.

Some of the residents are coming out of their shock into anger. Lots of bitter words about how much help they think they deserve vs how much help is actually available. There are still people trickling into the shelters because they still can’t return to their homes and they either can no longer afford hotels or there’s just no rooms to be had.

One of the huge problems here in New Jersey is that the central office for whatever their welfare program is (every state calls it something different and I can’t remember the initials now) is without power. This means they have no computer connectivity. This means they can’t make determinations of eligibility for things like food stamps etc.

Worse yet, some people have lost their jobs because they had to be transported to shelters where they couldn’t get to work.

Been comparing and contrasting, the reactions of people in New Jersey to reactions of people I’ve known in other disasters. As always, we have a variety of reactions. Some people feel better with something to do. Others need to create little dramas.

Someone once said that adventure was long periods of boredom interspersed with terror. That’s what disasters feel like to me. Strange to say, but for many of the residents, lack of activity is their worst enemy. With the disruption of their normal routines and day to day life, people are left at loose ends. They are also left without the trappings of their lives that make them feel like themselves.

Although residents here are technically homeless, very few of them are homeless. Mostly they are people experiencing the astounding bad luck of being in Sandy’s path. I know many fear homelessness becoming a normal thing in their lives.

The uncertainty, the lack of sleep, unfamilar food, unfamiliar rules all conspire to make very touchy people, and yet they live their lives not much different than before.

The night shift is quiet and I have time to talk to people–to have those conversations people only have late at night. I’ve had three of them since I started this shift and its now almost 5:00.

Gas rationing has started in New York, where more than half the gas stations are closed at any given time. They say its only a short term thing, but people here are settling in for the long haul.

A View from Queens Today

A view shows homes devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy at the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York October 30, 2012. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Nov 222012
We Gather Together

We gather together, as thanks for our blessings.
Remember the lesson the Pilgrims did learn.
They first reaped in common, and then they found out,
That keeping what you sow, is the best way to earn.

The Pilgrims at first, they were communist thinkers.
They thought that the Lord wanted all to be shared.
Then they had no harvest, and they faced starvation.
To work for all the rest, was not what they cared.

A meeting they held, and kept the land common.
But each family could obtain its own plot.
Then they went to work, and the harvest was bountiful.
This economic lesson should not be forgot!

Nov 142012
Playing Nuclear Roulette in Vermont

Sen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison) cast the swing vote to allow Entergy to store its nuclear waste on-site. This action helped keep the aging plant profitable.

I call it Corporate Welfare: Vermonters assume the risk and some of Entergy’s cost of doing business, and a corporation walks away with greater profits.

Rally this Saturday, attend Public Service Board hearings, vote out the incumbents… make your voice heard !

Nov 132012
Never give up, Never give in, Never surrender

Now let’s take a look at what REALLY happened in Addison County this past election. Locally.

The Democrat party bosses, after selling out their constituent base (working people) bought a continued monopoly on power. An Independent was running for an open Addison Senate seat. The Party & super-PACs spent a lot of money to keep a corporatist-statist monopoly on Addison’s legislative delegation.

We’re playing by Citizens United rules now. “The people in power are finally beginning to panic. Knives are being sharpened.”

Nov 112012
Thank You for Your Service

“The Welcome ” is also sponsored by Veterans for Peace. In our district you can see our Vets rallying against war weekly, in Bristol & Middlebury. I sometimes stop and stay a while, learning about what they’re saying.

“The Welcome” offers a unique perspective of coping mechanisms veterans of war have used in order to acclimate back into US society.

…My community service has been doing the duty that the courts shrink from – calling attention to war crimes and trying to stop war crimes… -Elliott Adams, U.S. Paratrooper, Vietnam & Korea.

Nov 072012
Great Accomplishments in 2012

Thank you kindly for your strong support and confidence this election season.

You know that I regard the Legislative seats in Addison County as belonging to US, the People… not parties, super-PACS; nor the career politicians sitting in those seats. That’s why I run as an Independent.

Thanks to you I have shot up to 18%, with no money spent. Vote count has tripled to 4273 (from 1278) two years ago. This growth I attribute to our personal contact in the past two years; talking with each other in markets, barbershops, feed stores, offices & hospitals (mostly listening and learning on my part). And going door-to-door all over Addison County plus Huntington.

Oct 292012
Tim Ryan: Responsible Leadership for Addison-2

Please support Tim Ryan’s bid to represent Addison-2 in the Vermont House. Tim is an Independent, free of Party & corporate control, accountable only to We the People.

I feel that an Independent is in our best interests. Shoreham went Independent, and now have Will Stevens, a representative who works hard for the people of Shoreham, and remains accountable. How do you feel about the accountability issue?

Have you heard Tim’s public opposition to the new Sales Tax on Services? Can our small businesses really afford to stay in business, after paying an additional six percent?

Oct 262012
Update on the Issues

This latest position statement was printed in the Addison Independent.

In addition I would like to say that if you live and work in Vermont, you are a Vermonter regardless of federal citizenship. No discrimination, and freedom of movement must be guaranteed. Our freedom to organize in the workplace must be protected.

If you’d like me to address an additional issue, please click to contact me and I will put the response here.

Aug 292012
The Maternal Instinct versus the Realities of Unwaged Labor

“The scariest part of being pregnant with my first kid has been the overwhelming fear that an impending maternal instinct will, upon the little creature’s arrival, wipe out all traces of my former self and transform me into the kind of psycho-mom…

“…the key to women’s career success should be recognized for what they are: unwaged work parading, like motherhood, as a labor of love. The happy mommy-slave is as ripe for exploitation by her office as she is by her home.”

Aug 212012
Vermont Protests are Widespread

Addison’s incumbent Senators & Reps in Montpelier have made no public statements about the breakdown of civil society this Summer. They continue pretending it’s business-as-usual: getting federal handouts for their districts in exchange for allowing corporations to take over Vermont.

Imposing austerity measures and then hiding behind riot police. Taxing & regulating business and farms out of our State, giving away our natural resources to corporations and not asking them to pay ONE RED CENT in taxes. Entergy, Omya, TransCanada, AIG, People’s United Bank, Nestle, Perrier, Coca-Cola, Enbridge, Gaz Métro, CDNOilSands.

They’re not fit to be in office. Vote ‘em out !