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Monday, April 30, 2007

Downtown Monday Etc.

All scanned. The first one, the PET Scan, took 35 minutes in the tube-thingy. That's after 45 minutes just laying still in a recliner in the back of the truck trailer that lugs it around New England. I dozed off a couple times. It sure does have a Star Trek feel to it all.

Then an hour break to drink a couple bottles of some banana-tasting creamy stuff that's radioactive.


Then into the CT scan, but this time it was less than 15 minutes. Had time to go home for a bite to eat and then a run downtown for a little coffee and printed matter (i.e. newspapers).

Church_st Very quiet.

So quiet that Burlington Officers Matt White ([left) and Lee Thayer actually had a chance to stop and chat with each other in the heart of the smallest largest city known to any state in the United States!

Officer White hails from Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Officer Thayer is from Milton, Vermont.


Lee's a 1999 graduate of Milton High School. The boys, er, men,  went through the Vermont Police Academy together and have been wearing Burlington Blue for three years.

They're the most important people on Earth when you really need 'em.

And am I "dating" myself when I say they look kinda young?

Inger_church_st Also on the street, playing to a very sparse audience, was this gentleman. I'd know his name, but as soon as I pointed the camera in his direction he started improvising a song hitting on me for money for taking his picture.

Public street, pal.

For now I'll just think of him as "Your Excellency!"

Gov. Jim Douglas has changed his schedule, moving his "regular weekly press conference" from Thursday to Tuesday. That means I have a little Tuesday schedule reordering in store.

Wouldn't miss Gov. Scissorhands' performance for the world!

Anybody out there got a good question for our chief executive?

Not a speech - a question?

George "WMD" Bush: drummer

Heading_south As You Like It, Act V, Sc. I

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.  [check *Update* below)

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war
in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor,
for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.

It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind...
And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood
boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no

need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the
citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with patriotism, will offer up all
of their rights unto the leader, and gladly so.

How do I know?
For this is what I have done.
And I am Caesar."

- William Shakespeare

If the shoe fits, eh?


The distinguished chap who sent me the above "alleged" Shakespeare line, now informs me it's not from the pen of Will Shakespeare. Says it's been floating around the Internet for a few years....

I don't have time to dig into it further right now....doctors appointments. (Anybody have time to find the source?)

It's still a good line, eh?

Yours truly's off to the Fanny Allen...."Double Scan Land" for today. The "miracles" of modern medicine.

[photo shot last fall at Oakledge Park. The birds came back. We made it through!]

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Political Theater

 "Four years ago this spring the Bush administration took leave of reality and plunged our country into a war so poorly planned it soon turned into a disaster."

The words of Bill Moyers in his "Buying the War" eye-opener. Like a man who gets right to the point.

Buying_war_title_2 "The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on. Since then thousands of people have died, and many are dying to this day. Yet the story of how the media bought what the White House was selling has not been told in depth on television."

Better late than never, eh?

If you haven't seen it, it's available online here at PBS.

And closer to home in the Beautiful Dark & Damp Burlap area, yours truly's second Statehouse cafeteria food-fight of this season, aka "Point-Counterpoint,"  will air on CH. 17 - at 11:40  A.M. & 5:40 P.M. We, me and the CCTV crew, taped it under the dome on Wednesday when the place was jumping!

It's the only time I'm aware of that Burlington Rep. Kurt Wright, a Republican, has refused to appear on a television program. In this case, he would have been opposite fellow Burlington pol, Rep. David Zuckerman, a Progressive. The issue on the table was the Impeach Bush & Cheney Resolution that had passed the Senate. and was headed for the House Floor that afternoon.

Perfectly understandable, eh?  Who in their right mind would want to have to go before the TV cameras and defend George "WMD" Bush?

With no Kwik Stop Kurt, just an empty seat, I had to play his part opposite The Pony Tail. After knowing Kurt for going on three decades, I think I have his mannerisms and political gyrations down pretty good.

Just kidding.  I didn't play his part. Well, not too much of the time, anyway.

But according to reliable sources, GOP Rep. Wright had heard such - that I played him - and called CH. 17 demanding he be allowed to view the program before it airs!!!

Big Brother?

Those sources say they were eventually able to calm down Ol' Kurt. Poor guy's extra sensitive  imagewise these days. Heck, in addition to state rep, he recently ascended to the presidency of the Burlington City Council.

Presidents have much larger....heads, eh?

Speaking of presidents, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin is also a guest, as is Associated Press writer Ross Sneyd.

No beating around the bush....

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lessons Learned?

Gaye_symington That was one of the questions yours truly put to Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington [right] at her Friday bag-less "Brown-Bagger" with the Statehouse press.

Any lessons learned this week, Madame Speaker?

SYMINGTON: It confirmed for me that Vermonters pay attention to what’s going on in the world around them, and understand well, that policies that initiate at the federal level affect the choices we have on our plate in Vermont, even to the level of addressing property tax pressures and the kinds of budget pressures the Iraq War puts on us...

I don’t think there’s a difference of opinion in terms of our underlying anger, outrage at where our country’s been led under the leadership of President Bush.

As everyone knows, Speaker Symington had let it be known in no uncertain terms as recently as April 20, that the Vermont House was focusing on more important matters and would not have a floor debate on the Bush-Cheney Impeachment Resolution. Besides she opposed it.

PRESS: Now your reaction. It was the right thing to do?

SYMINGTON: Yes, I think it was the right thing to do. I was impressed by the process. I know people are disappointed in the outcome of the vote, but I think they felt heard....

I’ve written a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, indicating that while members differed as to whether now was the appropriate time to initiate impeachment, we are unified in our abhorrence of this Bush Administration and support for the work the current leadership is doing to hold them accountable.

Dear Speaker Pelosi

In the past week, the Vermont Legislature debated resolutions that urge Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.  The Senate passed such a resolution and the House rejected one. Despite reaching different conclusions about whether calling for impeachment is appropriate now, the Vermont Legislature is united in its outrage at the conduct of this Administration and its support of the work that the United States House of Representative, under your leadership, is currently undertaking to investigate the Administration’s activities.

Although I opposed the impeachment resolution, I am writing to express the deeply held feelings that many Vermonters share regarding the Bush-Cheney Administration. Over the course of this legislative session, the Vermont House has heard from hundreds of Vermonters who believe the actions of the Administration have been deceitful, immoral, and potentially criminal. This week, over 300 Vermonters gathered in the Statehouse to express their support  of impeaching the president and vice president. While I disagreed with their support of impeachment, I was moved by their passion for holding the Administration accountable.

As the Speaker of the Vermont House, I would like to convey the sentiments of these and thousands of other Vermonters who agree - regardless of their position on the impeachment issue - that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have done potentially irreparable damage to  our nation’s reputation, our standing in the international community, our civil liberties, and our core belief in the principles of representative democracy.

I would also like to convey my appreciation to you for the dozens of investigations into the conduct of this Administration that are currently underway in the U.S. House. Thanks to your  work, we are getting answers to questions the previous Congressional leadership refused to raise. We are learning about the Administration’s mismanagement of the Walter Reed Medical Center, about fabricated pre-war intelligence, and about a range of other issues that demand action and accountability. Please continue your work to investigate the Administration’s actions and hold them accountable.

Thank you again for your leadership.


Gaye Symington
Speaker, Vermont House of Representatives

Nice letter, Madame Speaker.

Caught these folks on Burlington's Marketplace around the noon hour:


Friday, April 27, 2007

Entergy's Best Spokesman!

Gubernatorial_entrance_2 Entergy, the huge New Orleans power corporation that owns our state's only nuke plant, could not have a better spokesman in Vermont than the one who strode before the TV cameras and radio microphones at the Statehouse Thursday.

The articulate and loquacious smoothie ridiculed the Democrats’ latest proposal to pay for Vermont’s fight to slow Global Warming by taxing either Entergy’s windfall profits or the growing amount of deadly nuclear waste stored on its Vernon, Vermont site. Those buckeroos - about $35 million over the last five years of VT Yankee's operating license - would bankroll a new state-run energy efficiency utility dedicated to reducing Vermonters energy use by boosting renewables and dramatically increasing energy efficiency.

Entergy did not have to hire its new Vermont spokesman. He’s already getting a paycheck - from the State of Vermont. His name is James Douglas. He lives in MIddlebury, and he’s our governor!

Here’s an excerpt of Gov. Smoothie’s remarks on the matter from his weekly presser under the golden dome:

DOUGLAS: It’s another example of Democrats in the legislature proposing a new tax. It seems every few weeks they come up with a new tax idea, whether it’s the transfer of homes, gasoline or home-heating fuel or large vehicles, mini-vans, now it’s the Yankee Power Plant. They come up with more ideas to tax Vermonters and entities in our state that I think is quite disconcerting, because as you know, we’re the most heavily taxed state in America according to both the Census Bureau and the Tax Foundation.

This would fund some new bureaucracy to help Vermonters conserve, and I certainly want Vermonters to conserve...but I think there’s a lot more work to be done before embracing some new tax and new bureaucracy.

Shumlin_426 Press: As you know, Sen. Peter Shumlin [right] at his Monday press conference accused you, and if he were here now would probably say that in the last five minutes you’ve done an excellent job, as you always do, of "talking the talk,” but you have not "walked the walk."

Things are getting very serious on global warming. He says we only have 10 years. We have to take serious steps, serious action. Just filing lawsuits here and there isn’t enough anymore.

You still haven’t told us how you would fund the program.

You never give a suggestion on the funding side?

DOUGLAS: Well, because, Peter,  We don’t have a system where each program of state government is funded by a discreet source. We have a budget, a large multibillion dollar appropriation every year from several sources that funds all the many programs of state government. So it’s not a matter of finding a new source of money for each new program, it’s a matter of establishing some priorities, making decisions and fitting it in to our resources.

PRESS: I wonder if I can characterize your position on this and you tell me if I have it right or wrong. You have lukewarm support for the bill, but you would not support ANY taxing source for it?

New_entergy_spokesman_2 DOUGLAS: Well, I certainly don’t see the need for any taxing source.  And let me cycle back, at the risk of sounding too defensive, and offer more of an answer to Peter’s question.

I don’t accept the  notion that I’m not “walking the walk.”

I saw a bunch of folks from special-interest groups holding a press conference out in front of the Federal Building (in Burlington) a week or two ago in connection with the lawsuit there (U.S. automakers are suing Vermont for adopting tougher tailpipe emission standards).

That was my administration that adopted the tough California auto-emission standards. That wasn’t the legislature. That wasn’t some special interest group. That was my administration that adopted those tough standards that are being challenged.

The defendant in the lawsuit is George Crombie, the secretary of Natural Resources. That was my decision. My walk!

That and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative the other lawsuits that I’ve initiated, the savings we’re achieving in state government. The Climate Change Commission that has objectives for reducing emissions that are very similar to some of the ones that I’ve heard being discussed by private organizations, was my initiative and I feel very good about the steps I’ve taken.

There are a lot of companies who’ve done well and we’re pleased that they do. It just seems to me we don’t need to keep thinking about new ways to tax Vermonters and Vermont companies when we’re trying to improve the prospects for our economic future to attract more investment and capital here. These Democratic lawmakers just keep thinking of more taxes and that’s not what we need when we’re #1 in America.

Next year we'll spend about $4.7 billion in Vermont. I think we can find some resources within that very large amount of money without some new tax if this is a priority.

He's good isn't he?

Entergy's damn lucky to have him.

Nobody around here "talks the talk" any better than Jim Douglas.

That may, in part, explain why King James, a Republican serving his third term as governor, remains an almost prohibitive favorite to win a fourth term in 2008.

Vermont Democrats want to "walk the walk." Good for them!

But they'll need to improve their "talking" skills before they'll ever achieve that goal.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Beautiful Day for Democracy

L When I got to the Statehouse Wednesday morning, the cafeteria was already packed with 200-plus people with name tags around their necks who'd come from all over the state to personally put their bodies on the line for two things:
1. Democracy
2. The impeachment of  President George "WMD" Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

A House Democratic rep who was following the issue closely and keeping a vote count had an ashen look in his face. On Monday, the word was impeachment supporters only had about 25 votes in the 150-seat House. On Tuesday the estimate rose slightly to 30.

But at 10:30 Wednesday morning, our Democrat vote-counter told us he would have predicted impeachment would get no more that 40 votes max....that is until he saw the size of the intelligent, well-behaved grassroots crowd that had showed up. And people were still pouring into the building.

All bets were off.

Cafeteria2 Who are these people?

Folks like Bill Cobleigh, 60, of Wallingford.
"I’m here because I’m angry. I represent thousands of others who couldn’t be here today because they have other obligations," he said.

"I have two children in the United States Military (one Coast Guard one an Army nurse), Bill told us. "I support our troops because they’re my children, but I’m angry."

And Cobleigh confided to us it was the first protest he'd ever participated in in his life!

Also among the crowd that grew to 400 plus was 87-year old Bonney Simons of St. Johnsbury.

Bonnie_simons Why was she there?

"Because they are ignoring the Constitution and in order to get this war stopped we have to get them out of office."

And what was retired school teacher Jim Waters of Milton doing at the Statehouse?

"I’m here because this administration has set about systematically dismantling and destroying the Constitution of the United States.

Jim_waters "Secondly I’m hear because this administration has perpetrated a fraud on the American people and it has used that fraud to send more than 3000 American young people to their death, to say nothing of more than 500,000 innocent Iraqi civilians."

In my 20-plus years of covering the goings-on under the golden dome in Montpeculiar, I have never witnessed the powers that be - the political leaders who run both House and Senate - completely reverse their dug-in public positions in the face of a grassroots outpouring of political opinion,  passion and and determination.

Let me tell ya, it's been beautiful to watch.

Ten days ago, Senate Boss Peter Shumlin, Ol' Pistol Pete from Putney, told his hometown Brattleboro Reformer:

...impeachment proponents should feel free to travel to Montpelier, but his mind is made up. "I welcome them on Tuesday. I welcome them any day. But we're not doing impeachment this year," he said.

As everyone knows, Shumlin pulled a 180-degree switcheroo last week. Shummy took advantage of Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie's absence to slip the "Impeach Bush & Cheney Resolution"  onto the "orders of the day" and it was adopted within 10 minutes on a roll-call vote 16-9.

Four hours later at her Friday "Brown-Bagger" with the press, Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington was still insisting the House would not take it up - more important things to do.

"What I would like to do," said Simple Symington, "is be able to focus on what matters most to Vermonters, and the work that I was elected to do as Speaker of the House."

Whatever you say, Madame Speaker, you're the boss!

Speaker Gaye had her "impeachment conversion," or rather, "democracy conversion" sometime Monday. "Political" minds finally impressed upon the Tuxedo Park, New York native, and consensus-building policy-wonk, the importance in a democracy of actually listening to actual people, ordinary people, people incensed by the high crimes of the most corrupt regime to ever control our government.

On Tuesday the word officially got out that Speaker Symington would allow the resolution to be debated on the House floor Wednesday afternoon and brought to a vote.

Of course, Symington also knew that the common folk from every corner of Vermont were planning to rally at the Statehouse Wednesday to do just that - urge her to allow the House to debate it.

Even though they knew the prospects of winning a House vote were slim - since Symington, herself, strongly opposed it and would bring many Democrats with her - the ordinary folks had the strange notion that having the House address it was, in and of itself, a significant victory for democracy.

And they were right.

Zuckerman_2 The Impeachment Resolution Progressive Rep. David Zuckerman [left] introduced with two dozen co-sponsors was defeated 87-60. But it's worth noting that Democratic Speaker Symington lost the Democratic vote 52-39. The Dems who voted "no" were for the most part Symington recruits which means they're middle-of-the-road to conservative Democrats.

More significant is the fact that the House Speaker lost her own House leadership team!

Both House Democratic Majority Leader Carolyn Partridge, and House Democratic Whip Floyd Nease voted "yes."

So did 11 of the 14 committee chairs Symington appointed, including former House Speaker Michael Obuchowski (Ways & Means). Only three House committee chairs, one of whom is Republican,  voted "no."

Dare we suggest that a House Speaker who can only hold three of the 14 committee chairmen she appointed, is a House Speaker who ought to be thinking of a career change?


Bill_moyers_2 Did you catch Bill Moyers' chilling return to PBS last night with a 90-minute documentary pointing out in specific detail how the major mainstream press - The New York Times and Washington Post along with CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox - collaborated with the Bush Administration in spreading, unchallenged, the lies used to lead us to war in Iraq?

"Buying the War" is a must see. This horror could not have happened without the help of the corporate-controlled major media.

Shocking and shameful!

Even The New York Times and Washington Post.

Finally, the truth is coming out, mes amis. And the truth will set us free.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Democracy Rears Its Head, Eh?

Statehouse_thru_trees In the dictionary definition, democracy is "government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." 

In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

What we are about to witness today in Montpelier, Vermont, the smallest state capital in the United States, is a biggest demonstration of democracy in action that I have witnessed since the injustice of racial segregation and discrimination was broken down by the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. 

Here in Vermont, the "people" exercised their "supreme power" at 37 Town Meetings last month. The good common people of Vermont adopted resolutions calling for the impeachment of a person we all know to be the most corrupt, dishonest and dangerous president in American history.

George W. Bush has had, and will continue to have, a devastating impact on life in America and on life in Vermont. Make no mistake about that. Forget the hundreds of billions of dollars Vermonters and all Americans will be shelling out for years to come. We have paid for President Bush's  War in Iraq with Vermont lives and Vermont blood and it is a war we now ALL know never should have happened.

There were absolutely NO WMDs in Iraq, as President George W. Bush repeatedly told us.

Saddam Hussein had absolutely NO ties to al Qaeda and absolutely NO ties to 9/11, a President Bush repeatedly told us and continues to tell us!

Iraq was in no way, shape or form a threat to the people of the United States of America.

George W. Bush lied to every single one of us and the price of his lies has been staggering. His senseless Iraq War continues with NO end in sight.

People with no prior political activism have become active. The grassroots have never been greener.

Last week the Democratic leader of the Vermont Senate finally realized that most Vermonters are sickened by it all. Despited repeatedly saying the Senate had no time to do an Impeachment Resolution, Sen. Peter Shumlin experienced something akin to a religious conversion. Suddenly, Shummy saw the light! And on Friday the Senate quickly took up and passed the resolution.

Today the spotlight shifts to the Vermont House, the "People's House," right?

There, as everyone knows, Democratic Speaker Gaye Symington is going to do something she has sworn up and down for months she would NEVER do:  Madame Speaker is going to let the Bush-Cheney Impeachment Resolution she's wished would just go away, come up for floor debate and a vote.

Symington has repeatedly argued her House had "more important" matters to tackle, at which point she'd rattle off the usual list we hear every year: property tax reform, health care reform, education reform, environmental protection...they've done a great job, haven't they?

God forbid the People's House would devote an hour to an issue that is actually more important to a whole lot of Vermonters right now - the TRUTH.

Speaker Gaye opposes the resolution and will vote against it, she told fellow Dems at the party caucus Tuesday.

About 25 Democrats will have to join her and the 50 Republicans to vote "no" in order to defeat it.

Karl Rove's probably working the phones, eh?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Deadline Tuesday

Lake_view_422 Crunch day for "Inside Track." And would you believe I was up at 6 A.M. pounding out my May "Under the Dome" column for Vermont Business Magazine?

I love writing. When I was a 20something cabbie in Chicago during the 1970s I always had a notebook with me, a copy of Letters to Theo, a Henry Miller novel. Mike Royko on the corner of the Billy Goat bar nursing a brew. Lincoln Avenue was my Left Bank night scene. Blues, jazz and Mamet plays. 

Chicago was this New Yorker's own little Paris of the 1930s. When I wasn't at the BelAir Hotel on Diversey, I was living with the artist/painter sweetheart who eventually led me to Vermont in the late 70s where life really got interesting.

Still live on the shore of a "Great" Lake as the photo of Burlington shows.

I know, I'm procrastinating. Beating around the bush. That's because there's something I have to write about that I've been ducking....

Something for "Inside Track" about my own personal inside track - something about what I've learned about cancer.

OK. OK. Gotta run......

Monday, April 23, 2007

Vermont Impeach-Bush Feedback

Hotseat_shumlin On Friday morning, the Vermont Senate passed its President George "WMD" Bush Impeachment Resolution on a 16-9 vote.  The news went national and apparently disturbed an unidentified fellow from Al Gore's home state who left the following message on Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin's (at right) office answering-machine:

"Yes, sir. I live in Tennessee, but when people like y’all up there make national news, be prepared for some response.

"I see where you voted for your non-binding resolution to impeach the president, but listen, dumb ass, you need to name some specific crimes, not just some bullshit that you think he may have done.

"Impeachment is a serious business and you’re just politically posturing. You’re a fucking communist just like the rest of the goddamn Democrats! So how about naming some real crimes or shut the fuck up!"

It's said you can judge a man by his enemies.

Shumlin must have done something right, eh?

Wonder if Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington will continue blocking the Impeachment Resolution from floor debate?

The "gentleman" in Tennessee would certainly appreciate it if she did!

Recycling America Week?

Recycle_monday As one who was born and raised in a world that did not have have recycling trucks or seat belts or self-serve gas stations, I've pretty much been able to go with the flow and adapt.

Not everything, though. Still use cassette tapes for my Radio Vermont News reporting. Cassettes have an "antique" feel, which is nice, And they're cheap, efficient and get the job done.

Dashed out a few minutes ago when I heard the recycling truck out front. It's Blue Box Day on the Southside of Burlington, Vermont - each blue box a sign of hope, really, hope that we will, each one of us acting in unison, save the damn planet and stop the environmental degradation that will be the lasting legacy of the Corporate Age and the 20th Century.

Another sign of reason to hope is the big story in today's Times Argus by Editor (and former Howard Dean Press Secretary), Sue Allen. Sweet Sue is not someone who's easily fooled. And when her name is the byline of a news story, pay attention, folks.

In this case, it's a story about the upcoming Wednesday showdown under Montpeculiar's golden dome between the common folk who refuse to be good, quiet 1930s-style Germans, and the lawmaker class of Vermont Democracy. At issue is whether or not our discredited and deceitful President George W. Bush and Veep Dick Cheney deserve Blue-Box treatment for the horror they've dragged America into.

The Impeachment Resolution that passed the Vermont State Senate on Friday morning is expected to hit the House floor Wednesday. House Speaker Gaye Symington of Jericho was in Bennington Sunday evening to speak to local Democrats. And based on what she told Bennington Banner Reporter Neal Goswami, she's still a victim of the chronic tunnel vision that, sadly, is becoming her trademark:

"I'm still coming to terms on whether or not we want to have that debate in the House," said Symington, D-Jericho, before speaking to a gathering of Bennington County Democrats Sunday evening. "I just do not believe it's appropriate, at this point, for the Vermont Legislature to call for the impeachment of the president. I voted against a resolution at my own town meeting."

Symington said the approach taken by Shumlin in the Senate would not happen in the House.

"They brought it up at 8:30 in the morning and there was no notice. I don't think that's a fair way to do it. I think if we were to do it in the House we would do it with a full, open debate," she said.

Symington maintains that debating a resolution in the House would take up a significant amount of time in a legislative session that is scheduled to adjourn the first week of May. She said the Senate, a body of just 30 members, is able to debate issues more quickly than the 150-member House.

Poor Gaye, eh?

Doesn't get it, does she?

Such a "radical" notion -  that the elected-by-the-people Vermont House of the People actually address an issue of great concern to Vermonters, even if it wasn't on House Speaker Symington's "to-do" list for the 2007 session.

Check this out - even retired ABC News foreign-correspondent extraordinaire Barrie Dunsmore of Charlotte addresses the issue in his Sunday Rutland Herald column.

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