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Friday, September 21, 2007

Water, Water Everywhere...

So I stroll down to Speeder & Earl's about 11:45 Thursday morning for the usual caffeine and New York Times and see how the world has changed!

The water main beneath the old brick building that's worldwide H.Q. for Speeder & Earl's cracked in three or four places around 5:20 a.m., flooded the joint, and the House of the Coffee Bean was closed. Ch. 5 and the Freeps were on the story.

John Briggs has an interesting piece in this morning's local daily which has Public Works Director Steve Goodkind all but admitting the city screwed up when they turned on a new pump at the main plant around 4 a.m.:

Goodkind said that when that particular pump is turned on, protocol calls for shutting down a valve by 80 percent to avoid a water surge known as a "water hammer."

"We're looking into it," he said.

Yes, indeed.

John_hinda But pour moi, there was an upside. Not only did Marie Claire slip me a free New York Times from the unopened bundle on the front steps, but I head down two doors to Fresh Market and who I do I run into but this rather interesting crew. Recognize any of them?

That's State Sen. Hinda Miller, co-founder of Jogbra on the right; former Middlebury College President John McCardell, now a champion of lowering the drinking age, on the left, and Grace Kronenberg, McCardell's assistant at "Choose Responsibility" in the middle.

They were heading up to a 12:30 UVM panel discussion on the issue of lowering the drinking age.

I politely declined their kind invitation to attend, but they had a couple minutes and I had my tape recorder. Except for Grace, we were all the same age. McCardell's 58. Sen.Hinda and I are 57. The Sixties Generation are we: Vietnam, Woodstock, bellbottoms, grass and much more, eh?

Time was short, so I got right to the point:

Freyne: Is this really going to go anywhere, John?  Or is it Just something to help you “feel good” in your retirement?

John McCardell: No. I wouldn’t take this on just if it were to “feel good.” There’s lots of other ways I could feel good without going through this effort.

Hinda Miller: This is a very important issue in regards to our young people.

Freyne: Because?

Mccardellhinda_1 Miller: Because at 18, we send them to war to die, but they can’t have a drink?

And the government has the audacity to connect it to transportation dollars, so our hands are tied because we need those dollars.

And it has to do with how we treat and look at our young people. And I have a 19 year old and I see how much energy is put in the disrespect and harshness of what goes on in this town around kids drinking. It is, I think, way out of bounds.

McCardell: It’s led to binge drinking, too. It’s forced it underground and behind closed doors.

Freyne: But how can you seriously be doing this and ignore crime statistics that indicate more marijuana arrests than other hard drugs. They’re still chasing pot?

McCardell: That’s a fair question and one about which I think there needs to be public debate. We are separating ourselves from that for a very simple reason, at least at this point. [Pot] is a substance that’s prohibited to everyone and there’s not an element of age-discrimination in that law, whereas with the drinking age, there is clearly an aspect of age-discrimination. But you’re an adult at age 18.

Freyne: You’re drawing the line on that - the age-discrimination factor?

McCardell: I think that’s what differentiates the two.

Freyne: But would you support decriminalizing marijuana?

McCardell: I think there are many of the same issues involved in both questions, having to do with the cost to society. I can’t speak even as an individual citizen without being associated with my organization so we have no position on that.

Freyne: Senator, should pot be decriminalized?

: I’m interested in the tax dollars that are leaving our system and that’s one of them.

Freyne: Was that a “yes?”

Miller: I can’t say "yes" to you, Peter.

Time was up. They had to split.

And so it goes.....


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Sir Winston Thriller

"Freyne: Senator, should pot be decriminalized?

Miller: I’m interested in the tax dollars that are leaving our system and that’s one of them.

Freyne: Was that a “yes?”

Miller: I can’t say "yes" to you, Peter."

Pathetic--and totally predictable. "I can't take a stand on a real issue because it might hurt my chances for election to another office." Somebody tell me why we're s'posed to support this politician?


Hinda Miller should be ousted from the Senate. She flops around as badly as Mazza. Which way is the wind blowing today Hinda?

Roger Hill

Dear Senator -

I'm in sincere disgust over your recent vote to condemn the General Patraeus add by "Move On". Not a member, but certainly might become one because of the recent Senate's vote I can tell you.

I can't think of another time that I agreed with them (Move On) more as this whole show of recent was political from the Administration and you and everybody else in this country knows that.

As a Veteran of the Viet Nam era - "WE SWORE TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" not - the just the Commander in Chief.

You senator are supposedly there to protect our constitution of the United States - well you have done many Vermonters a huge disservice being horn swoggled and coerced to make this a politically cowardice vote. And yet by the same folks who want us to stay in Iraq possibly forever to take their natural resources for imperialistic reasons.

We are stuck stuck stuck hoplessly stuck in this war as we spend millions of tax payer dollars to support criminal corruption,and needless death in the name of democracy every minute on this never-ending war swamp.

And I have not even mentioned the dead Vermont soldiers in our near future and for what?

You should have asked if he General Patraeus and the military now only serve one political party - A minority Party at that unchecked out of balance and cocky!

I knew we were trying to export our system to Iraq, but unfortunately what has h appeared to happen is the they have exported their old system on us - A minority politic with dictatorial leanings locked in full control, like a vice grip, tighter than a drum on every American.

You sadly under estimate the anger. And excuse me for the drama, but when there is no political vent, may I ask just what form of political expression comes next?

In the Great State of Vermont, those views are the minority. Even in this country and across so called red States, many believe this “dog and pony show” is and was a political ruse. The General is betraying us constitutionally, and “their private army” at tax payers expense should at least be checked – don’t you think.

All you have done sir is acknowledged your defeat and you should be ashamed.

And as for the Democratic Party of which I “used to be a member” you have morphed into invertebrates in an ocean of hostility very low and deep indeed

Roger Hill
Worcester Vermont.


Well said, Roger. HOwever, they'll put the machine in motion and "constituents" will flood the letters to the editors with letters saying how lucky we are to have our wonderful delegation. Then the party faithfull will say they were wrong but we have to support them. Well, screw them. Some of us are tired of good enough. We want someone to represent us. Part of the dog and pony show is Senator Leahy and he's outlived his welcome.

Revolutionary Pancho

Hinda Miller isn't the brightest and most inspiring politician we have around. Case in point: she lost to Bob Kiss in the mayoral election. She waffles on many issues, but not on being strictly against criticism of Israeli policies. There she's as hard as a rock. Again being a rock doesn't mean you have brains. My impression of her is she isn't the most tolerant of dissent on certain issues and would rather have people's freedom of speech silenced. But then she's between a rock she has for brains and a hard place which she has as a public official.
Maybe it should be time that she gets her issues straight and then she won't be as obtuse as she currently is.


I understand that MoveOn called him General BetrayUs? That's disgraceful and I would vote to condemn the ad also, and I' against Bush and against the war.


Yeah and you are obviously horn swoggled and a sheep. You should at least get perspective.

OOoH BETRAY US - Oh my god. Whoopee wow!

Why he deserved this silly wimpy add - he just carried water for the Administration, briefed for months it is reported by Ed Gillespi - Do you know who he is? He is the replacement for Karl Rove.

Now why in the hell would a military general take lessons from the politico on what to say? That is crossing a line sir - that is very close to a private Army, Very close to Fascism on a party scale.

To pull a Psy-ops on the American public is BETRAYAL and the Lap Dog media is at it again sucking up to war loving, Iran bombing Dick Cheney. MY GOD enough already.

There is a large majority in this country that is not getting government representation. They - the extremely wimpy congress that was elected to do something, better start taking notice. Wimp's who clammer the fence-line can jump out of the way. Go play monopoly or something

I don't remember the Senate deriding such things as the complete political assassination of either Veit Nam vets Kerry and the war amputee senator from Georgia.

And here the Senator from Vermont voted to condemn this add of free speech – what a joke!.
Listen everyone things are WAY OUT OF BALANCE here. Why the hell is he suddenly so scared. Are THEY sending him more anthrax? Is that it?

Inquiring minds want to know just what the hell happened.

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