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Bernie Sanders Of Vermont–Socialist United States Senator

Yesterday I wrote that conservatives and Republicans were helping Americans consider socialism as an option for the first time, simply because the political is so often repeating a word that most Americans had never given much thought about . In yesterday’s post I said that today I would consider Vermont’s self-described socialist United States Senator Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders has held public office in Vermont since 1981. In 1981 he was elected Mayor of Burlington. He won that election by 10 votes. Burlington is Vermont’s largest city with a 20oo population of around 39,000. In 1990, Mr. Sanders was elected to serve as Vermont’s at-large member of the U.S House Of Representatives. Mr. Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate  from Vermont in 2006.

Here is Senator Sanders’ web home in the Senate.

Here is some description of Mr. Sanders from the 2008 Almanac of American politics—

Sanders grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, the son of a paint salesman who had emigrated from Poland; his mother died when he was a teenager. He became involved in radical politics at the University of Chicago, then came to Vermont as part of the hippie invasion of 1968 and worked as a carpenter. Four years later, he ran in a special 1972 Senate election….Sanders won just 2% as the candidate of the socialist Liberty Union Party. His rumpled, tieless, sincere persona helped him election as Mayor of Burlington in 1981…”

On the way to the Senate, Mr. Sanders lost his first statewide race in 1988 for Vermont’s one House seat. He won in 1990 in good part because of the National Rifle Association. The Republican elected to the House in 1988 voted for the semiautomatic weapon ban while Mr. Sanders opposes gun control.

Hence the saying that politics makes for strange bedfellows.

In Congress Mr. Sanders has focused on the cost of prescription drugs. He was the first to propose the 2001 personal income tax rebate that later was taken up by former President Bush and Congressional Republicans. He has opposed NAFTA and other free trade agreements saying the harm workers in the United States and in the countries who are our partners in these treaties.

Mr. Sanders strongly opposed the Patriot Act.  This is a view that put him on the same side as many libertarians.

Writing in The Huffington Post last December, Senator Sanders said he supported the following–

“A major economic recovery program which invests at least $400 billion in each of the next two years to create millions of good-paying jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and moving us toward energy independence, sustainable energy and energy efficiency.”

I think this idea, with a few hundred billion dollars tacked on, will sound familiar to most Americans at this point.

Here is what Mr. Sanders said in a 2006 article at Common Dreams.org about his focus and his success at the polls.

“He says his consistent electoral success reflects the widespread discontent with rising inequality, deepening poverty and dwindling access to affordable healthcare in the US. “People realise there is a lot to be learned from the democratic socialist models in northern Europe,” Mr Sanders said. “The untold story here is the degree to which the middle class is shrinking and the gap between rich and poor is widening. It is a disgrace that the US has the highest rate of childhood poverty of any industrialised country on earth….”

Mr. Sanders was willing to take on Alan Greenspan long before most were willing to do so.

 Here is a list of a number of votes that Mr. Sanders has cast in recent years.

Senator Sanders has shown  that one can be what many would consider quite far to left, and still be able to reach the high post of United States Senator. With the involvement of government in so many aspects of our economy in recent months, Mr. Sanders may well be able to say that the nation is moving closer to his ideals than to those of his critics and towards the critics of government intervention in the economy.

The people of Vermont know Mr. Sanders well after all his years of seeking office in that state. Now the nation is moving closer to the views of Mr. Sanders and his supporters in Vermont.  On the other hand, familiarity with George W. Bush and his radical free-market ideas bred only contempt with the majority of American people.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Books, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vermont Is First For Obama—Maple Syrup Subsidy Should Be Increased

Tiny Vermont is the first state to be called for Barack Obama. That is three electoral votes for Senator Obama.

It’s time to increase the maple syrup subsidy to help the people of Vermont.

Above is a maple syrup house.

Here is information on how maple syrup is made.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Election Night Blogging, Politics | , , , , | 1 Comment

What Does Night Sky Look Like If You Live Outside A City?

It has occurred to me that I’ve not seen an unobscured night sky for over 20 years. I recall seeing the Milky Way while visiting Vermont some time in the late 1980’s.

I don’t camp. I’ve never spent a night outdoors in my life. I don’t think I’ve even spent a night outside of a city since that time in Vermont. 

On an airplane at night earlier this year, I could look out and see a number of stars. But you can only see so much looking up from an airplane window.

I don’t know that my life would be different if I could see a sky full of stars. I suppose this is the kind of thing people mean when they say that we’ve lost touch with nature.

That said, I don’t like bats. Maybe the picture above of a night sky and Milky Way will have to suffice.

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Top Vermont Art Teacher Sets Up Blog

Top Vermont art teacher, and maybe the leading art teacher in the United States, Kim Corey of Montpelier, Vermont, has set up a blog. It is called ArtTechie. Art Techie was recently linked to by the blog of the Vermont Art Teacher’s Association.

( Above is the painting Indian Summer, Vermont. This is a work by Willard Leroy Metcalf . Mr. Metcalf lived 1858-1925.)  

Ms. Corey teaches art for K through Grade 8 students in Montpelier. 

Good work, Ms. Corey.

Ms. Corey, a cousin of this blogger, is, as is this blogger, descended from those who stepped off the Mayflower. Also, it has been claimed that we are descended from Sir Isaac Newton.

Don’t tell the rabble, but Ms. Corey and I know we are Blue Bloods at core.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Art, Blogging | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Photo Of Vermont State House

Above is a photo of the Vermont State House. This building, in Montpelier, was built in 1859.

Here is information on the State House.

Here is some good basic information and history about Vermont. 

This picture was taken by my kind cousin Kim who is a resident of Monteplier.

July 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Photo Of Wild Turkeys In Vermont Snow

Here is a photo of wild turkeys taken by my Cousin Kim in Plainfield, Vermont.

She was taking a walk and came across these turkeys.

Here are facts about wild turkeys.

Here are facts about snow.

Here are facts about Vermont. 

Here is a history of Plainfield, Vermont.

March 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

I Am From All Four March 4 Primary States—We Can Define Home As We Wish

Presidential nominating primaries will be held in four states on March 4.

These states are Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio, and Texas 

I consider all four states to be my home states.

 

(Rhode Island State House in my hometown of Providence.) 

We can define “home” in many different ways. More than one place in the world can be your home. 

I lived in Rhode Island for 12 years. I lived in Ohio for 18 years. I’ve lived in Texas for almost 10 years. I spent a summer in Burlington, Vermont while I was in college and I have family in Vermont.

 ( View of my hometown of Burlington, Vermont)

All four places are part of the person I am. 

I have friends and/or family in all these places.

I’ve had interesting experiences in all four places. 

Most individuals are larger than just one place.

  

 (Skyline of my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.)

We can define for ourselves where we are from, and still not lose sight of the fact that we are part of a society and that we do not have full discretion over our personal identity. 

This is no contradiction.

We all have an internal and an external life. The boundaries between the two fluctuate based on our decisions and outlook, and, also, based on circumstance.

(Here is an example of my hometown of Houston being temporarily redefined by circumstances beyond its control–In this case Tropical Storm Allison. A reminder we are not entirley masters of our identity.)

Maybe you view home to be a specific house where you’ve always lived. Maybe you’re at “home” with certain people or with a certain person. Maybe you are a citizen of the world. Maybe you are most at home when alone. 

You may have many different definitions of “home.” I think this is a good idea because it makes more of the world seem a hospitable place.

Within some broad limits, it is your call where home is in your life. 

Please click here for a Texas Liberal post on defining family as you choose.

Please click here for a history of the Texas nominating primary.   

February 15, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cincinnati, Politics, Texas, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Photo Of Vermont Snow & Yeti Scalp With Links To Bloggers In Vermont & Nepal

My Cousin Kim in Plainfield, Vermont has sent me the above picture of recent snow in her town.   

Notice the rustic barn or barnlike structure in the photo.

Here is information about organic farming in Vermont.   

Here is information about Plainfield, Vermont. 1286 people are said to live in Plainfield.   

Here is a blog from Vermont called Non-Toxic Kids. It is about not giving kids toxic toys and about all of us living in a more sustainable and decent fashion.  The blog owner seems like a nice lady. She cares about her kids and other people’s kids.

Here is Down On The Farm from South Peacham, Vermont. I wonder what it would be like to live on a farm. What a different life. There are so many ways to live in the world.

Here is a Vermont politics blog I enjoyed reading called Norsehorse’s Home Turf.

Below is a photo of what is said the be the scalp of a Yeti or Abominable Snowman. It is kept in a Buddhist Monastery in Nepal. 

Here is a link to information about bloggers and blogging in Nepal. 

Here is United We Blog For A Democratic Nepal

Here is a blog from Nepal called The Radiant Star. 

Here are some basic facts about Nepal–

  • Population: 26.3 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Area: 147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles)
  • Major language: Nepali
  • Major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism
  • Life expectancy: 61 years (men), 62 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Nepalese rupee = 100 paisa
  • Main exports: Carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
  • GNI per capita: US $270 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .np
  • International dialling code: +977

 Here is an overview of Nepal from The BBC. Those folks have had a rough ride of late. 

January 5, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Let's Help Our Blogger Friends Around The World, Politics | , , , , , , | 3 Comments