A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.I'm going to keep my eye on this one. Aside from the simple fact that towns don't have jurisdiction over war crimes, this could get some international attention. And knowing Brattleboro, they'll adopt the darn thing.
"This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they're supposed to do," said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.
I have sat on the Grand Jury twice. One time was when Leo Senecal was in the hot seat (for illegally disposing of oil), obviously ratted out by a fellow employee.OK. These are all relevant points that might help persuade governor Patrick to sign the special legislation needed to reinstate the pension.
The state was represented by a woman from that entity presenting the charges. When I questioned her as to the composition of said oil, she could not tell me.
In my opinion, those charges never should have been brought. I found this guy to be totally ignorant of the potential for what he did. His only intent was to save the city some money and bookwork.
Why didn't the city have a procedure in place to deal with this occurrence? The city itself is the culprit here, to not have covered such an eventuality and have a procedure in place to deal with it!
In my opinion, Senecal was not a highly educated individual and dealt with the problem as best he could, given the circumstances. I voted not to indict Senecal because I saw no malicious intent!
The DA's office puts itself forward as a knowledgeable, all-knowing entity. NOT SO. BUT, they lead those on the jury to believe they know the score. Nothing could be further from the truth. Were Senecal to be black, he would have his pension, and it would never hit the news.(emphasis mine)
Carla Howell of the Committee for Small Government said that there is plenty to cut in the state budget, and that the ballot question would give lawmakers the incentive to get down to work.Emphasis mine.
"They need to spend the money they have right and cut all the waste and the damaging and destructive programs out of the state government that do more harm
than good," she said. "If they do that, we will have 20 times more than we need for roads and bridges"
Asked to point to a damaging or destructive program that should be cut, Howell declined to answer, saying that the burden of proof is on lawmakers to justify each program.
A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy was banned from his school Christmas party because he does not believe in God.I would like to know the name of a Christian Church that intentionally excludes non-believers. It kinda' defeats the point, dontcha' think?!?! Mr. Davidson (along with Mr. O'Reilly) obviously was not paying attention in Sunday School.
Douglas Stewart was asked to stay at home while his classmates were treated to jelly and ice-cream, followed by a visit from Santa and presents.
Douglas's mother, Dawn Riddell, was informed that he was unwelcome at the celebration because she had withdrawn him from religious education classes at Cluny Primary School, in Buckie, Banffshire, earlier in the school term.
Ms Riddell, 38, said the headteacher, Ian Davidson,had told her that as the youngster had no interest in religion, he could not celebrate the birth of Christ.
A LOCAL council has banned staff from kissing under the mistletoe, it emerged yesterday.[Insert dirty joke here.]
Hyndburn Council bosses in Lancashire sent a memo telling staff not to be "misled by mistletoe" over the festive season and warning against "inappropriate party behaviour"
including suggestive language, unwanted jokes and bodily contact.
The memo, also said "Secret Santa" gifts should be carefully chosen so as not to cause offence and risqué items should be avoided.
They never meant to make a federal case out of it — literally or figuratively.Umm, then why did they go to court? Doesn't The Eagle have editors?
"It's not just about historical preservation or farming, but also the Mayberry mentality – that ultimately people do enjoy these small towns," says Chad Adams, director of the Center for Local Innovation in Raleigh, N.C. "It's a golden opportunity for small-town America."Waterfront Media sort of fits this mold, although it seems that most of their high paying jobs are in NYC while we get the customer service phone bank. And let's not overlook Berkshire Biodiesel in Pittsfield. It wouldn't shock me if someday this incredibly well connected company is a huge global player in the renewable fuels game.
Three trends are fueling growth in some rural areas, says Bill Gillis, director of the Center to Bridge the Digital Divide in Spokane, Wash. Mobile dot-commers with "golden Rolodexes" are launching tech-based companies. Eco-fuel growth and rising corn prices are pumping money toward entrepreneurs in traditional breadbasket industries. And government investments in broadband and high-tech "incubators" (subsidized office space geared toward high-tech businesses) are allowing local economies to branch out beyond the cotton and corn fields.
Gov. Mike Huckabee has the soul of a Massachusetts state rep. Not to mention the ethics.The Republican freakout over Huckabee's rise is grand entertainment. Huckabee is everything they say he is, but he is also the obvious product of 20 years of Republican pandering to the hard-Christian right and the ridiculous 1990's pursuit of Bill Clinton's sex life.
What other conclusion can you draw after studying the squalid career of the current front-runner for the GOP nomination for president?
The Huckster is from the same town as Bill Clinton - Hope, Ark. - and at the risk of engaging in geographic profiling, what more do you really need to know? From what I can tell, if Huckabee had been raised around here, he would now be known as either “Mr. Speaker” or “the defendant.”
This barefoot boy with cheek is lucky he came up in the hookworm capital of America, because even here in Boston, where political corruption is seldom prosecuted anymore, he would have been in deep doo-doo a long time ago.
I Am Not a Health ReformWhen our state's "new" system becomes unworkable don't say that nobody saw it coming.
By DAVID U. HIMMELSTEIN and STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER
Published: December 15, 2007
IN 1971, President Nixon sought to forestall single-payer national health insurance by proposing an alternative. He wanted to combine a mandate, which would require that employers cover their workers, with a Medicaid-like program for poor families, which all Americans would be able to join by paying sliding-scale premiums based on their income.
Nixon’s plan, though never passed, refuses to stay dead. Now Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all propose Nixon-like reforms. Their plans resemble measures that were passed and then failed in several states over the past two decades.
In 1988, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a version of Nixon’s employer mandate — and it added an individual mandate for students and the self-employed, much as Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards (but not Mr. Obama) would do today. Michael Dukakis, then the state’s governor, announced that “Massachusetts will be the first state in the country to enact universal health insurance.” But the mandate was never fully put into effect. In 1988, 494,000 people were uninsured in Massachusetts. The number had increased to 657,000 by 2006.
Oregon, in 1989, combined an employer mandate with an expansion of Medicaid and the rationing of expensive care. When the federal government granted the waivers needed to carry out the program, Gov. Barbara Roberts said, “Today our dreams of providing effective and affordable health care to all Oregonians have come true.” The number of uninsured Oregonians did not budge.
In 1992 and ’93, similar bills passed in Minnesota, Tennessee and Vermont. Minnesota’s plan called for universal coverage by July 1, 1997. Instead, by then the number of uninsured people in the state had increased by 88,000.
Tennessee’s Democratic governor, Ned McWherter, declared that “Tennessee will cover at least 95 percent of its citizens.” Yet the number of uninsured Tennesseans dipped for only two years before rising higher than ever.
Vermont’s plan, passed under Gov. Howard Dean, called for universal health care by 1995. But the number of uninsured people in the state has grown modestly since then.
The State of Washington’s 1993 law included the major planks of recent Nixon-like plans: an employer mandate, an individual mandate for the self-employed and expanded public coverage for the poor. Over the next six years, the number of uninsured people in the state rose about 35 percent, from 661,000 to 898,000.
As governor, Mitt Romney tweaked the Nixon formula in 2006 when he helped devise a second round of Massachusetts health care reform: employers in the state that do not offer health coverage face only paltry fines, but fines on uninsured individuals will escalate to about $2,000 in 2008. On signing the bill, Mr. Romney declared, “Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance.” Yet even under threat of fines, only 7 percent of the 244,000 uninsured people in the state who are required to buy unsubsidized coverage had signed up by Dec. 1. Few can afford the sky-high premiums.
Each of these reform efforts promised cost savings, but none included real cost controls. As the cost of health care soared, legislators backed off from enforcing the mandates or from financing new coverage for the poor. Just last month, Massachusetts projected that its costs for subsidized coverage may run $147 million over budget.
The “mandate model” for reform rests on impeccable political logic: avoid challenging insurance firms’ stranglehold on health care. But it is economic nonsense. The reliance on private insurers makes universal coverage unaffordable.
With the exception of Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic presidential hopefuls sidestep an inconvenient truth: only a single-payer system of national health care can save what we estimate is the $350 billion wasted annually on medical bureaucracy and redirect those funds to expanded coverage. Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama tout cost savings through computerization and improved care management, but Congressional Budget Office studies have found no evidence for these claims.
In 1971, New Brunswick became the last Canadian province to institute that nation’s single-payer plan. Back then, the relative merits of single-payer versus Nixon’s mandate were debatable. Almost four decades later, the debate should be over. How sad that the leading Democrats are still kicking around Nixon’s discredited ideas for health reform.
David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler are professors of medicine at Harvard and the co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program.
Yesterday, the right-wing group Focus on the Family released “The Attack on Christmas 2007, a list of businesses that advertise during the holidays. Barnes & Noble (B&N) is listed in the “Ugly” category for “censor[ing]” Christmas in holiday advertising.May Santa leave your integrity in your stocking, Bill. Merry Kwanza!
On The O’Reilly Factor yesterday, the group’s Carrie Gordon Earll and Bill O’Reilly — a fighter in the War on Christmas — slammed the business community for “avoiding using the word Christmas.”
But when Earll criticized [Barnes and Noble] for “intentionally removing the word Christmas” and “using that holiday theme,” O’Reilly cowered. “We got - now Barnes and Noble, they say to be fair to them, because they sell a lot of book at Barnes and Noble,” he said:
As governor, Romney raised fees, which generated an additional $400 million in revenue in their first year, according to Factcheck.org, a nonpartisan website that examines candidates' statements. Romney doubled fees for court filings and gun licenses, and he created a $10 fee to receive a certificate of blindness.$10 bucks to prove you're blind?!?! What a prick!
"The Curnins — property tax-paying, second-homeowners who are not registered to vote in Egremont — sued the town and several municipal officials last year. The couple claimed they were prevented from "speaking on issues important to them as taxpayers" — including a sewer project, a zoning law change, and a $350,000 fire truck expenditure — at town meetings in 2005 and 2006.A Judge (the same one who smacked around the Artist Formerly Known a Buchel) has disagreed for the second time. I wish the same logic would apply to election law where the Supreme Court has indeed confirmed that money is equivalent to First Amendment Free Speech when it comes to campaign spending. The same goes for corporations being given the rights of individuals.
The couple, whose legal address is in Larchmont, N.Y., a New York City suburb, said that Egremont officials "unlawfully discriminated" against them and that the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution prohibited town officials from arbitrarily restricting the free speech of people at town meetings"
It’s the kind of ballot question that would seem irresistible to most voters — whether or not to eliminate the Massachusetts state income tax.While some state spending will certainly be cut, other taxes (or "fees", as our former Governor used say, to hide his tax increases from Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire) will most certainly go up to avoid draconian cuts in education, etc....
The radical change in tax law would put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of families, but critics say it would deal a dire blow to key services, from education to transportation, wiping out 40 percent of state revenues.