Archive for the 'Vermont Politics' Category

VT Criminal Statute § 4230.

Marijuana (a) Possession and cultivation.

(1) A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana [or cultivating 1 to 3 plants] shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this subdivision shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.

(2) A person knowingly and unlawfully cultivating more than three plants of marijuana shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

+$!

It is estimated that 52,000 Vermonters use marijuana each month. Suppose each of these spends $100 of their monthly income on pot imported from Canada. That’s $60 million per year– about 3% of our $21 billion Gross State Product — siphoned forever from our personal & local economies.

Now triple the figures to reflect the real cost of an honest marijuana predilection. $180 million yearly. 10% of Vermont’s gross annual revenue. $300 a month — garnished unforgivably from the hard earned pay of our Peoples!

Whether $60 or $180 mil per annual — it’s likely somewhere between — we’re loading dough out by the truck-full; a billion dollars in a decade. So we can smoke some Canuck Baloney!

Why exactly? Oh right. We do it for the Children.

But marijuana is more readily had by high schoolers than alcohol or tobacco.

Case in point: I bought a 20 sack from an 18-year old friend recently. He asked me to buy him beer. I told him to stop talking Crazy. I’m too old for that shit! He pleaded. I didn’t budge — even when he offered me the 20-bag for $15.

And don’t you reckon the children may rightfully prefer to have a billion extra dollars in the state when they come of age?

+$!

We need signatures from 400 registered voters — by mid-January — to score a spot for this question on Brattleboro’s Town Meeting ballot. Like, no problem dudes! It’s a total toke-O-rama around here. And no one gives a Hoot.

I got $50 sayin we get a Yes from 85% of Brattleboro voters on March 6, 2007.

Heads Up: Vermonters!

With signatures from 5% of the vote-roll this question can be put to a vote in your town too.

+$!

Petition of Legal Voters of Brattleboro to the Selectboard

 

The undersigned registered voters of the Town of Brattleboro hereby petition the Selectboard to add the following advisory article to the Town Meeting Warning:

 

Shall the Town of Brattleboro vote to advise our legislative contingent to amend VT criminal statute § 4230 by adjusting its’ penalty structure to the following?

 

Knowingly & unlawfully cultivating no more than 10 female marijuana plants — or possessing their harvested equivalent — shall constitute a civil infraction. Persons found in violation may be subject to the following maximum penalties:

 

First offense: A slap on the wrist.

 

Subsequent offeneses: A pat on the back!

 

Signature ++ Please print name

 

1. ________________________ ++ _________________________

 

2. ________________________ ++ _________________________

 

3. ________________________ ++ _________________________

 

4. ________________________ ++ _________________________

 

5. ________________________ ++ _________________________

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Low Blows Cheap Thrills & Assorted Spoils of Victory

Any Republicans on the speedWay tonight?

If so:

It sucks to be YOU!!

$$$

I drove past an American flag flown at half-mast today. Strange. I watched CNN — even in my sleep — all week, but heard no news of a new National Tragedy.

Quite the contrary.

Made me wonder: Is the flag-waver a loyalist grief-struck for the GOP?

$$$

I visited my psychiatrist today. We chatted about the election for a few…

‘You know Mike E,’ He said, ‘I have been Depressed for the better part of 6 years! Incurably — and I am a Pro. But now…Am I cured? No. But now I feel Uplifted.’

‘Shit yeah,’ I agreed, ‘It was AWESOME dude!!”

With that my doctor turned me loose with my free monthly jar of mixed-salt amphetamines. Even upped my dose a wee bit!

It’s been great freekin week.

$$$

Two Words — to describe the feeling while I watched the election on TV:

Cheap Thrills!

$$$

Vermont reelected our Flatlander Pinhead Republican Governor, Jim Douglas, to a third term.

Know what? Right On! We need a governor like Douglas right now. To punch like a bag when we’re ornery.

Legislative Democrats & Progressives gained Big in Vermont on Tuesday and now enjoy a Veto-Proof state-house majority.

Which means our governor is now an utterly inconsequential Flatlander Pinhead Wannabee.

Jim Douglas said he wants Vermont to be the ‘Silicon Valley for Alternative Energy.’ Yet on his watch a potentially vibrant Windmill Industry was literally chased from the state by a handfull of hill-top homeowners who complained that turbines would ruin their ridgeline views.

I have a message for the people with Rigdeline Views: Your view is of the Green Mountains.

And the Green Mountains do not belong to you.

I propose: Legislative Action to formally welcome the Windmill Industry back to Vermont. The bill should authorize the state to seize acerage by eminent domain — as per US Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision — from anyone who don’t like how it looks. Then sell the homes cheap to good Vermont-folk who do.

We should make laws like that from time to time. To insure for the children an Earth that’s habitable & free from tyranny.

And to remind ourselves, when vexed by the question — who has the Power? — of that one Tuesday in ‘06 when America proved unequivocally that the Power is We.

$$$

On a local note:

My buddy Ian ran for State Representative for Brattleboro’s district 2.

Dig:

Pillsbury faces Bigelow for Windham-3-2 seat

Tuesday, October 31
BRATTLEBORO — The incumbent in Windham-3-2, Daryl Pillsbury [Independent], is being challenged by Ian Bigelow, 23, running on the Wingnut ticket, and a self-professed “dishwashing politician.”

A class act all the way & we’re all proud for him. He pulled 15% of the vote — 205 out of 1300 cast — from the popular 3-term incumbent…..

…..Without lifting so much as a finger, campaign-wise, save for hanging around a few hours with a homemade placard sign on election day.

Who has the Power?

$$$

George W. Bush & his murderous cronies maybe. One wonders: Why in hell did he not can Rumsfeld a month ago? A week? My guess is had he fired Rumsfeld one hour before polls closed in Montana the 2000-vote Senate race gap would’ve closed in Republican favor.

Are they that dumb for real?

Or is it a Set Up — a Scapegoat Job — a way, when the Big Shitpuddle drops, to dodge the blame?

One must wonder if They want to lose.

$$$

Maybe that’s the Difference between ’em & good peeps like you & me.

We can’t win every time.

But we want to!

Last Minute Election Notes

It was the so-called Super Sunday on VT Public TV today. They had debates between gubernatorial and Vermont congressional delegation hopefuls — 4 debates total, all lined up in a row.

Big election on Tuesday, here in the United States. I have mixed feelings about it. Pending the outcome, life could suck rotten eggs. On the other hand it could suck a pig’s dick. And I must choose…because as a citizen in this democracy I am Accountable for what results. Unless I don’t vote.

Then I’ll be at Fault.

I swear sometimes I’m like ‘fuck Democracy!’ We have to do this every two years?? Jeez. Even though I always vote, I understand why 50% of Americans don’t.

Anyone I ever vote for (rare exception: Jim Jeffords in ’00) is bound to be some wet-bag Hosehead who loses. Like John Kerry — boy did I feel dumb rooting him on, only to watch him miserably lose an election a left-over cheese pizza slice could’ve run away with.

Anyone out there ever smoke crack? If you haven’t, don’t. Here’s why:

The shit don’t get you High. It does a little something real fast that vaguely tingles. Then you feel like such a pitiful asshole that you must have more.

And you get a a bigger rush handing over $20 for another rock than you’ll ever get from smoking the wretched thing.

That’s kind of how it feels to avidly participate in our so-called Democracy. You know it’ll suck afterwards but you do it anyway — and once your Hooked you anticipate it. Obsess for it.

‘So who do you think’s gonna win in ’08?’ A friend at the Bar asked me, while we watched Kerry concede on the TV in ’04.

‘I don’t think there’ll be an election in ’08.’ I answered hopelessly.

‘Me neither.’

‘I hope not — I’m done with this Honky Bull!’

I said that. But it’s not true. That’d be like a crack head on his way to their dealer saying ‘I hope he doesn’t have any more — I’m DONE with it!’

You can say it & mean it but it’s a lie and you know it. You want another hit of crack for the same reason I want there to be another presidential election. I think it’ll Help — even though I know better.

That’s why I don’t smoke Crack — unless someone gives it to me for Free. Same goes for Voting — which I’ll do tomorrow. But the day they make me pay $20 for the privilege you can can that shit.

Dig?

Moreover, the day someone pays me for the privilege — they can have that shit. It’s for sale.

‘So,’ Absinthe Eve asked while we watched the governor’s debate, ‘Who are you going to vote for?’

‘I don’t know.’ I said. None of the candidates impressed me specifically.

Absinthe Eve is from England. She’s lived in the States since she was 11 but has wisely kept her British citizenship & passport — so despite living here two-thirds of her life, she can’t vote.

‘Will you vote for who I want you to vote for?’ She asked.

‘No.’

‘I’ll give you a Morphine!’

Ah?

Hell yes — for her own good. My friend has never even voted in a US election. The poor girl has lived in this dumb country for 20 years! Isn’t it time she had the pleasure?

‘You want to trade me a morphine for my vote for Vermont Governor??’

‘Yep!’

‘Sold.’

Absinthe Eve handed me the pill, then pulled her hand back at the last second.

My jaw dropped. Why would she change her mind?

‘Governor and US Senator!’ She demanded.

‘No can do,’ I replied, ‘Open Container speedWay has endorsed R2D2 for that seat — I’m obligated to vote for him. It’d be Irresponsible of me not to.’

‘No Senate, no morphine.’ She insisted.

‘How ’bout Lieutenant governor?’ I proffered.

‘What the fuck is a Lieutenant Governor??’

‘Never mind,’ I said.

Stupid foriegners.

‘Alright,’ I relented, ‘I give you my US House vote, too.’

Sorry Martha Rainville.

Crush crush.

Toot toot.

imagine ways

A friend — my oldest friend on Earth — just asked me if I sleep well ever. A couple weeks ago I stayed a couple nights at Superstar Brown’s crib. Gobbled a few monster pot cookies then slept for 40 or 50 hours straight.

Since then I haven’t slept so great. Last week I was awake from Monday until Saturday night. I have a chair I can sleep in at my buddy KC’s place any time I like. But it’s a small place — one room — and though it’s one Champ of a chair for a sit or a nap or to cold pass out in it’s not so conducive for curl-up rejuvenator sleep.

Lots of nights it’s easier just to stay up.

Besides the night-time is my own. Even if I do sleep the days are tough. It’s hard to talk to people. Maybe folks think because I don’t work at a job, like them, it’s somehow easier for me? Because really we’re Up To near the damn same thing — surviving the fucking day. And PTSD happens to be damned honest work. 30-odd hour motor-overtime days. Always on call. Hunger pangs. No pay.

I’ve been awake two nights. A few hours ago I maybe could’ve slept. But I need to go to the post office between 9AM & noon. By the time 9 rolls around — a half hour ago — it’s full-blown today. So I’m up. I like this time of morning anyway. Quiet…

It is hard to write after 2 sleepless nights. Can’t count on myself the same ways. And the bounce-back period is roughly equal to the time I spent awake. A look at the calandar in my sidebar will give a good idea of my sleepless/recover cycle.

It’s been 2 years since I’ve had a home of my own. I hurt for it.

Oh well. I got a fresh pack of smokes. Cup of coffee compliments of KC. Free wireless floats by from the Bar across the street. And — most crucially — I have the lap-top computer my Mom bought me.

Oh bless the woman’s dear soul! My motherfukin Mom so unassailably rules. Mom I can’t let you read this — and I think you know deep down you don’t want to — but I say!

Now & forever Thank You.

Plus I am one fantastically wishful thinker with a potent sense of make-believe. Best thing about Mike E! I imagine ways…

Hey — I busted some chuckle-rips in my two previous posts — at the expense of the Office of National Drug Control Policy! Know what? Fuck it. My heart feels good today.

Works when I’m proud for it & long odds pay out sweet.

Bogus, Bernie!

My good friend Pippi is a fellow Vermonter & big-time Bernie Sanders supporter. Got one of these on her lawn:

bernie-pippi.jpg

I’d like to support Bernie but can’t plumb can’t abide by how he done wrong by his friend Willie Nelson. Seems Willie got busted for weed & shrooms — God bless ’em — in Louisuiana this week. Here’s what the Vermont media said:

It puts Sanders in a tricky spot after Nelson campaigned for the Senate hopeful this summer and made a TV commercial for him.

In a statement, the Sanders campaign said the ad had “run its course” and will not air again. It also said Nelson is “entitled to his day in court” and that Sanders’s record shows “strong views in opposition to illegal drug use.”

Quick point:

The ad had not ‘run its course.’ I have no proof but ol’ Willie is real popular here in Vermont; a genuine Hero. The Willie Nelson action was the coolest thing Bernie had done with his $10-million campaign. The ad did not run its course. If anything they hoped to make another one.

Run Its Course? No. Bernie Sanders lies.

Or else he’s plumb mistaken…odd thing here is that statement was issued resterday. Yet the commercial with Willie — paid for by Bernie for Senate — just aired during a break from Lou Dobbs on CNN.

Now that’s a story for ya there Lou old boy!! Why did a US Senate candidate publicly distance himself from a famed drug-head & waistoid — a Carrear Man — only to continue airing the allegedly pulled commercials??

Pretty slick actually.

This way he can say the popular ad has not quite ‘run its course.’ Just yet. Without coming right out & doin Vermonters proud by making a statement ie:

‘We’re down with Willie here in Vermont. Let’s just let good people like him Be.’

Willie came out Huge to support Bernie. Bernie: will you not do the same for your friend?

R2D2 for US Senate: an endorsement.

Hang on to your Open Containers boys & girls ~ this is the part of Mike E’s blog where we Bitch About The Government!!

We-HEEE!!

This one time I was at a music festival. I forget which – WhateverVille or some such. Anyway I walked up to a campfire. Around it were twenty or so folks I didn’t know. But they were all a bunch of drug-heads & waistoids – god bless ‘em – so I pretty much knew what would happen when I yelled:

‘HEY – who here hates the Government??’

The crowd went riotously wild with cheer.

Like, YEAH!!! Fuck those douche-eatin Fucks in the stinking fuckin Government!

WooHoo!

Someone in the crowd gave me a high 5 & a cold beer. I walked away with that sense of a Job Well Done.

Irony is this was during the salad days of modern American politics — that long gone Golden Era of Clinton Years. Smart people don’t say things like that about the Government anymore — even in private. There are Ears everywhere…

…some days I’m so paranoid I think I might be a Cop. Or even a Republican.

Strange days indeed.

I voted Republican once — for Jim Jeffords in 2000. It was a raw gut-shot choice. I did it because it Felt Right. It was the smartest vote I ever made.

Jim Jeffords, many recall, quit the Republican Party shortly thereafter; a move that spoon fed US Senate leadership to the Democratic party.

‘I became a Republican,’ Jeffords explained, ‘Not because I was born into the party, but because of the kind of fundamental principles many Republicans stood for: moderation; tolerance; fiscal responsibility. Their party — our party — was the party of Lincoln.

To be sure, we had our differences in the Vermont Republican Party, but even our more conservative leaders were in many ways progressive.’

Can dig that shit. If more Republicans were heroes like Jim Jeffords & Abe Lincoln I might damn well be one — and I bet money many of my friends would too.

But today’s Republican bears no resemblence to the ideal Jeffords described. So on a sunny day in May 2001 he proclaimed:

‘In order to best represent my state of Vermont, my own conscience and principles I have stood for my whole life, I will leave the Republican Party and become an Independent.’

The crowd went wild. There was music in the cafes at night. A local brewery named a beer — Jumpin’ Jim lager — in his honor. Revolution was in the air.

In short, it was a glorious day to be a Vermonter.

It was also the beginning of some painfully Dark Days in America & on all Planet Earth. George W. Bush had recently assumed his court-appointed role of Presidency; the result of an obviously stolen election — but nobody seemed to care. To add insult to already grievous injury, Republicans held majorities in both the Senate & US House.

Jim Jeffords saw an opportunity to restore Balance & pounced. It was a powerful answer to a question which, at the time, merely vexed Americans; a question we’ve since grown to Fear:

Who has the Power?

Now we know. The Power is not within the Electorate. Not even in Vermont.

Fast-forward 5 years:

All kinds of fucked up shit happened.

I bitch about the government for Fun. I blame all my problems on the Government because it’s Handy. But there is nothing Fun or Handy about having George W. Bush for President.

He has done Wrong in ways I can’t describe.

Which is why Vermont has voted resoundingly to instruct local hero Bernie Sanders — our lone US Rep (I-VT) & heir appearant to Jeffords’ senate seat — to go on & Impeach the President. Or at very least use the platform of his Senate Campaign to usher the debate onto the national media stage.

Impeach the President?? EXCELLENT!!!

No way, said Bernie.

‘Impeachment,’ he informed us, ‘Would be Impractical at this time.’

Bogus.

We don’t pay Bernie Sanders his handsome congressional salary to be Practical. We pay him to do the Impossible.

That’s what Bernies are supposed to.

When Luke, Han & Princess Lea instructed R2D2 to cut the power to the Death Star’s trash compactor — to save them from being Squished — did the Droid whine about the ‘practicality’ of the request?

Did he lecture them about Political Reality?

Bernie Sanders does not deserve Jim Jeffords’ senate seat. That seat belongs to a Hero. And Berine, sadly, is no hero. He lost my vote and he will not win it back.

We deserve a candidate who will reach his handy-dandy droid arm into the Death Star’s main computer to deactivate whatever nuisance imperils his comarades.

In this case, the nuisance is the President. The comarades are the peaceful inhabitants of Planet Earth. And to deactivate the President, as per the voter’s instructions, we need someone to find some way to invoke the Impeachment Articles. Give our so-called President the Fair Trial which is his constitutional Due.

R2D2 was asked at a recent press conference for his thoughts on George W.

‘Yo fuck that dumb honky slut!’ R-2 replied through an interpreter. ‘Vote for me and I’ll headbutt his nuts!!’

The droid gets my enthusiastic Open Container speedWay endorsement.

Vote 4 R-2!!

Rainville for Congress?

I might vote for a Republican this fall.

This is not an endorsement. But Martha Rainville, Adjunct General of the Vermont National Guard & Republican contender for Bernie’s vacated US House seat, has caught my interest since the campaign began. Since I live in an alleged democracy, I figure it’s my job to explore the reasons Why.

To begin with, her opponent — VT state Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch — is, by my good estimate, a hosehead & a Wanker.

Welch is a Democrat in a powerful spot here in Vermont. As Senate President, he is in a position to drive policy creation to benefit such causes as his party supposedly champions.

Welch bills himself, in his own words, as an ‘advocate of the underrepresented.’ A champion of the Underdog, as it were, always pulling for the Little Guy.

Well.

I’ve lived in Vermont for the duration of Welch’s Senate tenure. During that time, I have been variously working-class, homeless, mentally ill, food-insecure and badly in need of dental care. I also have a keen predilection for Vermont Politics — I like to stay abreast of What Goes On in Montpelier, well as I’m able.

This all begs a question: What has Peter Welch done For Me Lately?

Zilch.

So I’m prejudiced against the candidate I am ‘supposed’ to support. And a bit resentful for feeling obliged to support a candidate, like him or not.

There are 3 ‘major’ political parities in Vermont; Republicans, Democrats & Progressives. When Jim Jeffords announced his intention to quit the US Senate, last year, Bernie stepped in as the heir apparent to his seat. Democrats chose to not run a Senate candidate, in part out of a genuine respect for Bernie. But there was also a healthy dose of Fear — nobody beats Bernie Sanders in a Vermont election.

Shit, the RNC couldn’t even persuade Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie to run against him. Too bad — I had a great bumper sticker idea:

VOTE BERNIE — SMOKE DUBIE!!

Early on, as the various parties jockeyed for position in a political landscape revamped by Jefford’s retirement, Bernie — the only Independent in the US House — pressed strenuously for a two-way, Republican vs. Democrat, race to fill his seat. With a Progressive added to the mix, he argued, we’d risk electing the Republican by default.

What troubles me is that Vermont has 3 Major Parties because we want 3 Major Parties. That is how we wish to be represented. It is not for Bernie Sanders or anyone else to decide, for our own good, that it should be otherwise.

This is not mere ideologue ranting. The exclusion of a Progressive from the House race has a real & unjust consequence.

Vermont has voted resoundingly, via Town Meeting, Selectboard & State Legislature resolutions, to instruct Bernie Sanders to advocate for invocation of the Impeachment Articles. We want to see George W. Bush given the Fair Trial he is so richly due. And Bernie — I say unforgivably — has spurned the will of the People who’ve long considered him our Hero.

The Democrat Party line, regarding impeachment, is that — while it may be the Right Thing To Do — it makes a lousy campaign strategy. They want very much to win the House & Senate in November, so they’ve rejected the issue.

That is their perogative. I believe it will cost Democrats the mid-term elections. Time will tell.

We know for certain that Vermonters favor Impeachment — or, at very least, we want the issue debated on the National Stage. A Progressive running for VT’s lone US House seat would force that issue. That is why we want to be represented by 3 parties. We want candidates who force mainstream politicians to answer questions they Fear.

What can I say? We’re daredevils here…

And that, in a nutshell, is why I’ll seriously consider voting for Martha Rainville. Not because I’m particularly crazy about her — but because I particularly do not like what her opponent doesn’t stand for. Weak argument? Maybe. Like I said, this is not an endorsement. Just an exploration of possibilities.

I’m being a Good American by doing my Civic Duty.

One thing I know: If we elect Peter Welch, he will keep Vermont’s lone US House seat until he retires or dies. The cold fact is he ain’t that good. By contrast, Rainville’s performance — as a Republican — will be eyed with greater scrutiny. She will be Suspect. If she fails to perform adequately she’ll be more easily ousted, in 2 years…

…and hopefully by then Vermont’s 3 party system will produce a candidate we genuinely want to help Win.