Lifeboat Vermont gets an important spotlight. With the US Constitution formally nullified by NDAA, and $29 Trillion in FED bank-bailouts revealed, how much worse does it have to get before VT takes back our God-given inalienable right to self-government?
Gaelan Brown's blog
Libertarians, constitutional activists and Progressives UNITE! "The (supreme) Court stole our Constitution!" This is a fundamental issue that bridges the political spectrum. THE root cause of what eliminated constitutional rule of law is corporate personhood. This is the cause of the issues that Tea Party activists and OWS activists are mobilized around. Corporate-corrupt big government where corporations have inalienable human rights is beyond a perversion of constitutional law; it's outright fascism.
David Cobb of www.MovetoAmend.og explains it all in plain English, in this 10 minute video:
My take: When the effort to amend the Constitution to restore WE THE PEOPLE as sovereigns fails in DC, it will be even more clear that Vermont's only options for constitutional liberty, justice and sustainability are: nullification of federal law, and ultimately, secession.
The 2nd video is a repost of the interview I did with David after this event.
An 11 minute video interview I did last week with David Cobb of MovetoAmend.org after an event in Montpelier that was sponsored by Ben and Jerrys.
The American people have been asleep. That’s over.
The people are wakening and engaging in an expanding discussion about the present circumstances and future prospects of our nation.
The discussion began with the tea party patriots. But their protest at the injustice of the Wall Street bail out was turned to a focus on health care and taxes, as the money of the Republican right moved in to occupy the tea party.
The same way the money of the Democratic left hopes to occupy Occupy.
It’s all about money and power.
Americans are wakening to the reality that as wealth in America has been concentrated in the hands of the few, so too has political power.
Led by the Wall Street cartel, that power is used to preserve, protect, defend and — above all — increase the wealth of the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent of the American people.
Something’s gonna give.
As it does, it is essential to understand the actions of government that brought the nation to this moment, so that the barricades to equality of opportunity and upward economic mobility can be torn down and the path forward cleared of the debris.
Creation of the so called “Federal” Reserve gave control of the nation’s public money and credit to a private banking cartel, which conferred on itself what it wanted — immense wealth and power.
The birth of the banksters.
While wages for most Americans were kept flat, taxes on the rising income of the wealthiest and their capital gains have been steadily reduced, further concentrating wealth and power.
Wages were attacked by a combination of “free” trade, which opened American markets to the goods produced in low wage paying countries and no taxes on the profits of American companies abroad, which made it even more profitable to export American jobs. Unchecked immigration of the unskilled swelled the supply of labor far above demand to further depress wages.
Private credit, which Wall Street controls and sells, was substituted for rising wages and Congress over-rode state laws and allowed banks and finance companies to gouge Americans with unconscionable interest rates.
The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
Congress allowed America’s banks to combine and the hard assets of the American people were concentrated in the “too-big-to-fail banks,” and then Congress allowed the combination of the investment and retail operations of the banks, providing speculators access to those assets, which they gambled away.
The middle class was devastated.
Congress allowed the regulatory agencies tasked to police the financial markets to be gutted and staffed with Wall Street and corporate front men. No cops on the beat. Fraud and abuse ran rampant.
Nobody did anything about it. Justice was subverted.
Congress turned the lobbying and campaign finance laws into a system of legalized bribes. The political parties became brand names to be bought and sold, stripped of any real power to shape public policy or advance candidates accountable to their members, and the Congress was put up for sale.
Not satisfied to enrich only corporate America and miss out on the good times, members of Congress now enrich themselves by trading on private information acquired in the course of their public duties.
Finally, in a breathtaking example of intellectual sophistry, the Supreme Court “piled on” the already downed American people, turned common sense on its head and decided that corporations that exist only in the law that the people create, are no longer subordinate to the people, but in fact have the same rights as people.
This is a crisis of justice and democracy.
Wall Street career men and acolytes of the central banking bureaucracy now dominate governments in Europe as they dominated the Clinton, Bush and now Obama administrations.
They are there to enforce “austerity measures” which subsidize and protect the banks that constructed the current crisis — in which they made hundreds of billions — and continue the transfer of wealth to the wealthy.
It is the same fate to which many present leaders of both political parties want to deliver the American people, targeting Social Security and Medicare as the drivers of the national debt, while sidestepping completely the drain of war, a grotesquely over fed and under-taxed oligarchy, corporate welfare — and the cost of the Wall Street monopoly on credit.
The Federal Reserve’s website lists interest paid on the U.S. federal debt for the last 24 years — $8.2 trillion, much of that “earned” by Wall Street by borrowing from the Fed at almost no interest, and lending back to the Treasury at higher interest. And now we’re learning the full extent of Wall Street’s colossal failure and the Fed’s bail out, kept secret even from the Congress.
But the American people are stirring, beginning to sort out how we got where we are, and how we get back to what we want our nation to be. Occupy and others have emerged to deliver the message the governing elite do not want delivered to the American people: it’s all about money and power, and the Wall Street led 1 percent now have a despotic monopoly on both.
How do we recover a just society with opportunity for all? While the candidates for president debate anything else, that is the question the American people are forming.
Mike Krauss, formerly of Levittown, is a director of the Public Banking Institute and chairman of The Pennsylvania Project, www.papublicbankproject.org. Email email@example.com
While there are legitimate flaws of our entire fiat/compound-interest money and banking system, there IS a way for state-level financial self-reliance to be created independently of the corrupt mega-banks and the unconstitutional Federal Reserve.
North Dakota's State-owned bank is not a socialist-program, it's merely an example of a state exerting its SOVEREIGNTY to create economic conditions that benefit its people and businesses (access to affordable credit) independently of out-of-state interests.
This must-see video details the history of the highly successful Bank of North Dakota, including many of the business/political leaders in present day N.D. who explain how this institution has helped N.D. become the ONLY state in the US with a budget surplus and low unemployment.
There is a group of Vermont business leaders, politicians and academics who are working on this very issue. We have the ear of several legisltive leaders and Gov Shumlin. We have a road-map for how and why a Vt State Bank could be successful from the Public Banking Institute and other leaders such as the people featured in this video.
What we don't have is a grassroots populist movement to pressure Montpelier to move forward on this issue. That's where you, dear reader, come in. Call your local Rep/Senator and urge them to move forward on a Vt State Bank!
This may be the most powerful and important Youtube documentary ever produced. All hope is not lost, brave men and women of the US military are waking up and the truth is being told widely. Vermont's per-capita share of the US military insanity is $2 BILLION per year, or almost $10k per household per year.
How would you feel if you had racked up $100k in credit card debt over the past 10 years? Well, guess what? YOU DID, and every year another $10k gets added to your share of the US of Empire's military-debt, just to keep the war-profiteers flush with cash.
If you're not ashamed and angry about this, you should try a day without popping anti-depression pills and watch this video again. We must free Vermont from this madness.
This biting essay is by Mike Krauss of the Public Banking Institute (PBI) www.PublicBankingInstitute.org. Mike has been assiting a new ad-hoc committee of Vermont business-leaders and legislators who are exploring how Vermont could create monetary-policies to insulate us from Wall Street. The good news is that the PBI, founded by Ellen Brown (author of Web of Debt), has laid out real solutions to cure the destruction caused by Wall St fraud, and these ideas now have the ear of several key Vt political leaders including Governor Shumlin.
The bad news: the Titanic might sink before these lifeboats can be built, because the majority of Vermonters and business-people still cling to "hope and change" reform-rhetoric coming from talk-alot-but-do-nothing "leaders" in DC.
If the details below don't convince you that the federal monetary Titanic is sinking with a drunken captain, and that Vermont needs to build economic lifeboats asap to protect ourselves from this outright fraud of Wall Street, then I would conclude that YOU are an enemy of all mankind. You're either with the people and the rule of law, or you are with the bankster criminals. There is no compromise or middle-ground possible.
Betrayal of justice
Lesson #1: Pollution is bad, umm kay? Clean air, water and forests are good. Some people think the Earth’s climate is gradually changing over its gazillion-year history, and that pollution might be exaggerating these changes. But we’ve only been keeping track of things for a hundred years, so we really don’t understand the how it all works. Suffice it to say that pollution is bad.
Lesson # 2: Our current energy sources pollute the Earth a lot. And we are running out of the stuff, so it’s getting expensive. Expensive stuff is bad for people, but good for the companies that sell the stuff.
Lesson #3: Good news! We have renewable energy technology that can produce clean energy that is actually less expensive than the true cost of the stuff we’re running out of! Clean is good. Less expensive is good for people, but bad for the companies that sell the expensive stuff we’re running out of.
Lesson #4: Our “leaders” on both “sides” of the national political spectrum get paid a lot of money by the companies that sell us the high-polluting expensive stuff that we’re running out of. These leaders do what they are told by the people who pay them, just like you or I would. Then they talk a lot about divisive social-issues to keep us distracted from their corruption and industry payoffs. Division and corruption are bad.
Lesson #5: These “leaders” spend more than $1 trillion of our tax-dollars per year on weapons of mass destruction and military bases to control foreign supply-lines of the stuff we’re running out of, to make sure the companies that sell the stuff continue to make a lot of money, so that the companies can keep giving the leaders their pay-offs. Mass destruction is bad. Pay-offs are bad.
Any questions? Ok, class dismissed.
Lesson #1 and #2 above are pretty obvious to most people. Lesson #3 is much more obvious lately, but lots of people still get this question wrong on the quiz. But it’s lessons #4 and #5 that are the most important when looking at the “climate change” political movement.
Look, all kidding aside, fossil fuels are only going to get more expensive since we are beyond global peak oil production, (according to the International Energy Agency and the US Military). Since the US is competing for that dwindling supply with rapidly growing nations like China, Brazil and India, prices will be pressed upward even more.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that 2011 global demand for oil will be 90 million barrels per day, while global production will only supply 87.5 million barrels per day. This is why Obama and the IEA recently agreed tor release 60 million barrels from the strategic petroleum reserve, because any kind of long-term supply-gap puts the global economy into recession or depression.
So why do we need “climate change” as political-motivator to inspire investment in non-polluting, affordable, domestic renewable energy systems? Why have carbon-emissions been the focus, when economic AND environmental sustainability is what the people across the political spectrum all want? Why did Al Gore do nothing about clean energy when he was in the White House for eight years, even though he’s been talking about global warming since 1970?
I suggest that the answer to these questions may be logically deduced when you review lessons #1-#5 and realize that none of the major US or global climate-change political organizations or leaders EVER mention the fact that the US military is the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels and the world’s largest air-polluter.
Why should the government enforce a carbon tax on US businesses, when simply eliminating the emissions and economic dead-weight of the military would reduce the problem more than anything else possibly could? Without the burden of the US military budget, we would have plenty of investment capital for the US to become energy independent with renewable technologies.
Regardless of how dramatic climate-change may actually become, any attempt at complex regulation or carbon taxation will undoubtedly become another bureaucratic black-hole like everything else the corrupt US government hands us.
Environmentalists and progressives need to recognize this sad truth and focus on the real obstacle to sustainability and social justice: THE US MILITARY.
Sustainability and conservation should not be political ideologies that divide us, these are merely elements of sound (long term) economic strategy.
Climate change is effectively a wedge-issue that distracts us and keeps us dependent on the fossil fuel industry while the “science” debates rage on endlessly. A logical deduction would suppose that this is a classic Hegelian dialect where the power-elite funds both sides of the climate-change debate, using social issues to keep us divided (through Al Gore on one side, Rush Limbaugh on the other), keeping tight control of the theatre while the oil companies and military contractors rake in record profits.
The US military budget of over $1 TRILLION is almost entirely a direct subsidy to the fossil fuel industry, with the rest accurately categorized as socialism for defense-contractors that needed growth-markets in the post Cold-War era.
The unthinkably large dead weight that the Pentagon budget represents is an utterly stupifying slap in the face to each of us, regardless of which side of the political spectrum we fall on.
Small-government Republicans and Libertarians should shudder in disgust at the enormous waste of money and the mountain of debt this has caused our nation. Democrats, environmentalists and social progressives should cringe in shame at their own hypocrisy for continuing to pay federal taxes that enable the US military to be the single largest polluter on planet Earth.
But instead, right-wingers push back on big-government carbon-tax schemes because they are likely to be ineffective, while questioning the science. And left-wingers focus on carbon and light-bulbs instead of domestic affordable clean-energy. Round and round the climate-change-merry-go-round we go.
Vermont’s annual share of the US military budget, $1.5 billion, is about the same amount that Vermont spends on public education or health-care. This amount of money would also cover the cost of making 75,000 Vermont homes 100% powered by the sun.
Climate science is complicated and hard to understand, and makes for endless debates and high media-ratings. But the math related to the cost of the US military empire is pretty straight-forward. Hey Bill McKibben, Rush Limbaugh and Al Gore: please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a math-lesson on the cost of empire, free of charge.
Our work with www.CompostPower.org is heating up with several projects happening in VT, MA and NH this fall. We've finally figured out how to manage the details to make this concept work in a predictable way, and this winter there will be several systems in use to heat greenhouses and buildings.
The best example yet is a Compost Power project that was integrated into a radiant-floor heating system and a solar hot water system in New Hampshire. Cecil Smith of Polar Solar did this project by himself in one day with a small tractor. He learned how to do this by taking my CompostPower class through Yestermorrow.org. See pictures below.
This system is producing 20,000 btus per hour so far, on a 24/7 basis, which should be enough to provide most of the heat needed for the house. The 80-gallon storage tank is being maintained at 140 degrees by the circulation from the mound.
We've published a DIY design guide at www.CompostPower.org that outlines the details of how to do this. The key is to get aeration under the mound, which enables a chimney-effect to aerate the entire system to feed the microbes in their respiration process that generates heat. We've had success with fresh shredded bark mulch, or a mixture of wood-chips, sawdust and manure. Vermont Compost now makes a "Compost Power optimized mix" of shredded bark and some mature compost blended in which generates 140+ degree water and very high quality organic compost 12 months later.
Another recent project of high interest is the Compost Power system we built for Hartshorn's farm on Rt 100 in Waitsfield, which will be used to heat the seedbeds of a 75-foot long greenhous this winter. See local news-article about this project below.
Compost Power is a growing network of composters, greenhouse-builders, engineers and forestry-perma-culture experts who are available to consult on projects people want to do. There are lots of ways to adapt this concept to various needs using various feedstocks. One of the members of our network has also purchased a high-capacity chipper that can make small-diameter chips out of trees/slash which can then be used to make Compost Power systems. He's willing to bring the chipper to your site for a few hundred $ per day, and the chipper can make 10+ cubic yards of fine-grain chips per hour. Most systems need at least 30 yards of material depending on the amount of heat/compost you want.
This concept has a lot of R&D ahead of it BUT even the current low-tech design works well and only takes one day and a few hundred $ in plumbing parts to make.
With several VT/NH media outlets having covered our projects, I have to admit I'm surprised that there are not more people latching onto this as a short-term "lifeboat" strategy. Who doesn't want affordable, fossil-fuel-free, combustion-free heat while also turning forest-waste into high-value organic compost!?!
Corporate America is unlikley to provide you this concept in a pretty box with a ribbon on top...for now it's DIY or remain a victim of the fossil fuel industry. Your choice.
In case you didn't know, the US of Empire spends more than $1 TRILLION per year maintaining 1000+ foreign military bases that serve to protect the supply lines of the cheap fossil fuels we "need" for our consumption-based economy.
That means that Vermont's share is more than $2 Billion per year, or about $10,000 per household. The ENTIRE VT state budget is just over $4 billion, not including the cost of our participation in the US Empire.
So you think gas and propane and heating oil each cost about $4 per gallon because that's what you pay at the pump (and you go YIKES, that's expensive compared to just a few years ago...)...well, think again.
It's a good thing we don't live in a nation like Ireland that has no military to ensure that fossil fuels stay cheap.
GOSH, gasoline currently costs $4.70/gallon in Ireland! God bless the US where we get "cheap" oil thanks to our military might.
Without including ANY of the direct subsidies the fossil fuel industry gets per year (which are still 13X more globally than all subsidies for renewable energy)...Vermont's share of the US military budget means that gasoline, propane and fuel oil each actually cost us more than $8 per gallon in 2011.
Thanks Bernie, Leahy and Welch for continuing to vote YES on all the US military funding resolutions! Thanks Obombya for keeping the US military budget higher than even GW Bush did! Good thing we have all these progressive heros as our government leaders!