Issue 27 - Winter 2009
- Why I Support A Second Vermont Republic Ian Baldwin
- Editorial—Vermont Independence: Yes We Can! Rob Williams
- Letters to the Editor
- Free Vermont Media—Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, Obama, and the U.S. Empire Carolyn Baker
- LocalVore Living—Peasant Secrets to Eating Like a Pharoah Robin McDermott
- NOFA Vermont’s Winter 2009 Conference Meg Klepack
- Education by Design—Toward Educational Freedom Ron Miller
- Vermont’s Energy Future: The Choice is Ours Richard Foley
- Homestead Security—Wood Heat: Drying It Ben Falk
- Movement Within Movements—Seeding Our Vermont Food Movement Cheryl King Fischer
- Vermont Vox...
Ian Baldwin is Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence news journal's first Publisher Emeritus.
After he has sworn the oath of allegiance to the Constitution on January 20th, will President Obama begin the process of unraveling the evil and unconstitutional decrees of his predecessor? Will freedom of speech and assembly once again be absolute, protected rights in these still United States? Will that most ancient and hallowed right of the West, habeas corpus, once again be guaranteed to all citizens?
By his deeds shall we know him. And we shall know him soon...
For months now, Truth to Power has been informing readers about Barack Obama’s emerging leadership, including the fundamental underpinnings of his agenda and his likely appointments in the areas of economic, foreign policy, and energy issues. Despite the promise of change, Obama’s adherence to neoliberal, globalist policies offers no substantial departure from the U.S Empire’s ultimate strategies of imperialism, corporate capitalist supremacy, and almost total ignorance of the destructive nature perpetuated by endless growth.
While many people claim that local food is “elitist,” some of the world's great cuisines – Chinese, Italian, country French, Indian – come from the people who had the least to work with: peasants.
Few of us are farmers or homesteaders, so unlike peasants, our livelihood is not directly focused on feeding ourselves. Still, there are many things we can learn from peasants and peasant cuisine that can help us lower our food bills and eat food produced closer to home.
Peasants are small-scale farmers, ranchers, herders, hunters, or fishermen and this means that they are close to their food source – they are Localvores by necessity.
By U.S. standards peasants appear to be poor, and many of us feel sorry for...
“Vermont consists of small farms and agricultural based businesses that are thriving and improving the ecology of Vermont foodscapes. Organic farms and gardens supply local food to all members of their community and everyone knows their farmer.”
NOFA Vermont Mission Statement
Vermont’s local food system is thriving. With the greatest number, per capita, of farmers’ markets, CSAs, and organic farms, we are leading the nation. Yet, even in Vermont, we are heavily reliant on the global food system. No one knows exactly how much local food we consume in Vermont, but David Timmons estimated in his 2006 UVM master’s thesis it is somewhere between 1.2 percent and 38 percent of our diets. Clearly, no matter where...
Educational policies in the United States represent the agenda of modern technocracy: Through standardized curricula, relentless testing, ruthless “accountability,” and unforgiving sanctions for failure, the corporate state has sought to turn schools into efficient factories for producing reliable employees and consumers. Young people are treated as human capital, their skills and aspirations harnessed to the demands of our voracious economy.
This is the educational agenda of Empire. The corporate state requires a reliable workforce and a politically docile citizenry. Educational success is measured in quantitative, objective terms that serve the smooth functioning of business culture by diminishing the variety and freedom of...
Vermont is the only state in the United States that has positioned itself to decide on whether or not nuclear generation will play a role in its energy future. The choice, outlined in Act 160, is straightforward: should the Legislature allow Vermont Yankee (VY) to continue its operations until 2032, or should it refuse to grant the approval needed for continued operation when the plant’s current license expires in March of 2012? This one-time-only opportunity is unique and momentous. After this vote, all regulatory control will revert to the federal government, principally through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Ben Falk writes: Amid the excitement surrounding technological advances that may be useful in our transition beyond fossil fuels, there is surprisingly little discussion about the daily living techniques required to make this transition a reality. This proficiency-building of the individual, home, and community – increasingly referred to as “The Great Re-skilling” – is the focus of this Homestead Security column.
Food, clothing, shelter… and in Vermont: heat. There’s no escaping this part of life in...
Editor's Note: Cheryl King Fischer’s “Movement Within Movements,” is a new column exploring how social change takes place, in New England and particularly here in Vermont.
Today’s food movement in Vermont is really two sub-movements. One food system is driven by consumer, human, and environmental-health concerns: the organic food and farming interests, sustainable agriculture, Slow Food, community gardening, farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), food co-ops, farm-to-school, the localvore movements, and more. The other food movement focuses on hunger and poverty – the food security and food justice movement.
Vermont’s food movement consists of several hundred organizations – and...