Remember lovely, isolated, once rock-ribbed Republican Vermont? Trust fund Bolsheviks and retired stock brokers from Connecticut and Taxachusetts poured in, fleeing their home states’ left-wing mismanagement and spendthrift taxation.
But, no sooner did they arrive than they began lobbying for new services and progressive ways. Now everybody’s crazy Jewish communist uncle is Vermont’s senator and Brattleboro is famous for Nudism.
The politics of Austin, Texas have a distinct resemblance to those of Berkeley, California, and California refugees have wrecked all of Eastern Colorado.
Mark Pulliam finds that they are all over the place in Eastern Tennessee these days, and warns that they are probably coming to your rural red state, too.
As a resident of a small town in east Tennessee, I regret to report that wokeness is everywhere, even in the brightest-red areas of Republican-majority states. My town is home to a small, 200-year-old, Presbyterian-affiliated liberal arts college that appears to be an island of sanity in higher education. But it’s not, and neither is the rest of the town.
When we relocated here from Austin, my wife and I imagined the school was comparable to Hillsdale College, except nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. My wife and I quickly learned the reality is otherwise when a supposedly faith-based lecture we attended on campus was devoted to the teachings of Karl Marx rather than Jesus Christ. The lecturer, who teaches “religious studies” at Skidmore College, is the daughter of the host school’s equally-leftist campus minister.
We were also chagrined to learn that the local public library—in a county that voted for President Trump in 2020 by a margin of 71-27 percent—maintains a curated “antiracism” reading list that includes controversial fare such as Ibram Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist,” Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me.”
Ignoring the blight homeless people inflict on library users across America, the local library also provides office space to a newly formed organization serving the homeless, with which the library works as a partner, even engaging in “street outreach.” The library staffer leading this initiative is—predictably—a graduate of the local leftist college. Indoctrination works.
Even though the area is overwhelmingly Republican, the local paper (owned by a national chain headquartered out of state) is unfailingly and obnoxiously left. The editor admits that one of his “life’s greatest disappointments” was being interviewed by The Washington Post and getting turned down for the job. The local paper is a WaPo wannabe, albeit relying heavily on Associated Press reportage. It consistently boosts leftist ideas, locally and nationally.
Due in part to the paper’s favorable coverage, a leftist activist who chaired the local Democratic Party and founded the radical organization Indivisible East Tennessee was recently elected to the ostensibly nonpartisan city council. The local Republican Party belatedly—and reluctantly—supported the center-right candidates in a four-person race for two seats. Supported by Soros-funded organizations from outside the state, the Democrat eked out a second-place finish by a few hundred votes, establishing a leftist toe-hold in an otherwise solidly conservative county.
Complacency is a problem for east Tennesseans. They are so used to Republicans winning elections that they falsely assume victory is automatic. It is not.
Glancing through the morning’s potential blog fodder, I found a Spectator piece on The Evolution of Vermont. The hijacking of that once-paradigmatic flinty conservative, rock-ribbed Republican state by goat-milking hippies and trust-fund bolsheviks is, to my mind, one of the true tragedies of our time. Seeing Ethan Allen and Calvin Coolidge replaced today by a crazy ranting Communist makes my blood boil.
The Spectator piece turned out to be a tongue-in-cheek philosophical reflection on the same theme by an imaginary old school WASP commentator from the Yale Class of ’89 named “Digby Dent.”
“Digby Dent” is the pseudonymous author of a more-or-less-monthly Wasp Life column, whose nom-de-plume is borrowed from the membership of a dynasty of two British admirals of the 18th Century. The current, quite talented Digby Dent turns out to be one Marlo Safi, a conservative Eastern-rite Catholic writer of Syrian extraction and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
The Digby Dent series links at the Spectator include only four columns going back to last November, but I found them all worth a read.
Iâ€™ve wintered here all my life and during that time Vermont has, like old Digbyâ€™s marital status, seen three permutations. In my boyhood, it was a poor but charming backwater, chockablock with flinty, taciturn Yankees. By bright college years, hippies were making goat-milk ice cream and the cities were run by sex maniacs and communists. Now, Vermontâ€™s resorts are as gauche as Saddamâ€™s bathrooms, half the tourists donâ€™t ski and one of the sex-maniac communists aspires to lead the free world.
The permanent things endure, of course. The Green Mountains are still beautiful and Iâ€™m told they still work them like dogs at the Putney School. Still, I have my doubts. Vermont has never been much for schools and still isnâ€™t; consistency, I suppose. But you canâ€™t have a student kicked by a mule in the Y of Our L 2020. The damn lawyers wonâ€™t have it.
Even the skiing has changed. Last year we got the best snow in ages, but the season is indisputably shrinking. Whatever the causes, and I wonâ€™t pretend to know a damned thing about them, the climate is changing. As a devoted conservationist, Iâ€™ve done my part. The four-door I keep at my summer cottage carries a â€˜Preserve the Soundâ€™ plate. …
When I strode through Phelps Gate and onto the Street in â€™89, I was full of vim and vigor, with big, bold plans to bend the world of junk bonds to my will. Those went the way of my waistline and slackened over time. Thatâ€™s why God invented pleated pants.
As the gal pal clears away lunch and I watch the sun set over the woods, I think about … about my marriages, my career and all the vaporous dreams of youth, these last evanescent as a retreating shoreline. The world will be fine long after weâ€™re gone.
[O]n Tuesday night, March 12, just before 7 p.m., the small Vermont town officially swore in a goat as mayor.
The vote had been a close one.
Town Manager Joe Gunter came up with the idea as a way to raise money for a school play ground. Kids throughout the town were allowed, for a modest $5 fee, to nominate an animal of their choice for the position of Mayor. All told, more than a dozen made the run for office, even a dog named Stella who liked to suck a baby pacifier.
Some in town are not convinced that voters made the right choice.
â€œItâ€™s been baaaaad so far,â€ joked one municipal employee, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation â€” of butting heads â€” with the new administration.
But on Town Meeting Day, Lincoln the goat was the clear winner, beating out the pack (â€¦ or herd?) with 13 votes.
And although the swearing in was a success, within minutes of assuming office, the police chief was already dealing with the Mayorâ€™s first mess; he grabbed a broom and dust pan after her Goatness couldnâ€™t wait for a bathroom.
â€œNote the crap,â€ joked Mark Gutel, owner of local coffee shop Kinder Way Cafe. â€œItâ€™s just like any other meeting.â€
Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck â€” and it was a government check.
â€œI never had any money my entire life,â€ Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.
Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances â€” â€œWe will raise taxes;â€ he confirmed Monday, â€œyes, we will.â€
One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there. Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. â€œHe was a shi**y carpenter,â€ a friend told Politico Magazine. â€œHis carpentry was not going to support him, and didnâ€™t.â€
Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about â€œmasturbation and rapeâ€ and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was â€œalways poorâ€ and his â€œelectricity was turned off a lot.â€ They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment â€” and this is what his friends had to say about him.
The only thing he was good at was talking â€¦ non-stop â€¦ about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. â€œThe whole quality of life in America is based on greed,â€ the bitter layabout said. â€œI believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.â€
So he tried politics, starting his own socialist party. Four times he ran for Vermont public office, and four times he lost â€” badly. He never attracted more than single-digit support â€” even in the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Vermont. In his 1971 bid for U.S. Senate, the local press said the 30-year-old â€œSanders describes himself as a carpenter who has worked with â€˜disturbed children.â€™ â€ In other words, a real winner.
The Lamoille Valley Fish & Game Club shooting range.
The local Fish & Game Club in a rural town just outside the urban community of fashion’s key outpost in Vermont, in response to recent Gun Control moves by Burlington’s left-wing administration and city council, told Burlington that its city police should go find some other facility to use for training and range qualification.
Burlingtonâ€™s mayor and the police department are using the same word to describe a Lamoille County firing rangeâ€™s edict that city officers are unwelcome to train there in a dispute over gun control:
Reached Thursday evening, Mayor Miro Weinberger told the Burlington Free Press that the ban on city police use of the facility is â€œan unfortunate response to the beginning of a process by the City Council to attempt to protect Burlingtonâ€™s children and community.â€
Said Burlington Police Department Deputy Chief Andi Higbee: â€œIt is unfortunate that this important and much-needed community dialogue regarding gun control currently under way in the City of Burlington and across the Nation has resulted in this action.â€
At issue is a decision this week by the Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club Inc. to order a halt to Burlington police officersâ€™ use of the Morrisville facility. The action is a response to the City Councilâ€™s advancing a measure to ban semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines in Burlington.
The City Councilâ€™s action threatens constitutional freedoms, Robert Boivin II, board chairman, wrote in a letter to the police department and to city and state leaders.
That letter, dated Tuesday, was obtained Wednesday by the Burlington Free Press, which broke the news of the expulsion on its website Wednesday night.
The clubâ€™s executive board â€œcan no longer support the City of Burlington with such a prejudice against our club and its members, and has voted to suspend the Cityâ€™s use of our range for its law enforcement. This action is effective immediately,â€ Boivin wrote in the letter.
â€œWe hope that the council reconsiders its actions and redirects its efforts towards perpetrators of violent crimes and security issues,â€ Boivin continued.
The cityâ€™s exclusion from the range likely would affect how and when officers train with firearms, Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling told the Free Press on Wednesday night.
â€œTraining facilities are limited in the area,â€ Schirling said. â€œItâ€™s unfortunate that a polarized discussion of this nature has this kind of impact.â€
The Burlington City Council voted 10-3 earlier this month to direct its charter change committee to craft a ban on assault-type firearms and large-capacity magazines. The meeting was marked by a high turnout by the public, virtually all of whom were opposed to such a ban.
“I’m going into training. Next time, I’ll run faster.”
The old Green Mountain State, once home to rugged individualists and real outdoorsmen, has become a favored residence of affluent fashionistas. Politically, the ‘chucks (as newcomers derisively refer to native Vermonters) are reliably outvoted by treehuggers, goat milkers, and aging Trustafarian hippies.
In the old days, the Vermont state character was typified by drinkers and brawlers like Ethan Allen and by thrifty and laconic Yankees like Calvin Coolidge. Today, it has socialist Bernie Saunders representing it in the US Senate and a governor who champions gay marriage and everyone’s “right to health care” at somebody else’s expense.
Vermont’s wimp democrat Governor Peter Shumlin was recently frightened by some of the local wildlife.
Shumlin says he was in bed in his rented Montpelier home late Wednesday night when he heard what turned out to be four bears in the backyard.
He says he looked out and saw the bears, including two cubs. He tried to chase the bears away, but they kept coming back.
Shumlin says he ran out barefoot in an attempt to rescue his birdfeeders. He says one of the bears charged him on the porch.
Shumlin tells the Valley News editorial board that Vermont “almost lost the governor.” He says he was within “three feet of getting ‘arrrh.'”
Black bears are rough on bird feeders. They typically totally demolish them to get at their contents more conveniently.
Some years back, at my farm in Central Pennsylvania, my father was making his morning coffee, when he looked out and saw a group of bears taking apart his bird feeders. My father stepped outside the cabin door, right on top of the offending bruins, pointed his .44 Magnum revolver in the air and touched off a couple of rounds. He then phoned me and reported with delight the comedy that ensued, noting with surprise just how fast properly motivated bears can run and describing exactly how funny they looked running for their lives up the mountain side.
Governor Shumlin went out and doubtless tried to influence them by making a speech.
All this proves that bears pay no attention to democrats, but understand the language spoken by Smith & Wesson extremely well.
Reminds me of the flooding on the Susquehanna and its tributaries near my home grounds in Northeastern Pennsylvania back in 1972 when Hurricane Agnes came through. This kind of thing does happen once or twice every century.
Bartonsville covered bridge being swept down the Williams River.
Jay Nordlinger, at the Corner, finds the traditional stereotype view of the Republican Party as the party of the rich and the democrat party as the party of the workingman deserving of assignment to the category of persistent, but out-dated, myths.
Iâ€™ve just come back from a weekend in Vermont â€” and hereâ€™s how I understand it: Modestly off people â€” â€œreal Vermonters,â€ as some people say â€” are voting for McCain and Palin. Comfortably off people, such as those who own ski chalets, are voting for Obama and Biden. And the following has been frequently noted about the city of my residence, New York: The rich are voting Democratic. And those who work for them â€” driving cars, cleaning rooms, and so on â€” are voting Republican.
Yet, when I was growing up, the Republican party was always called the party of the rich, and it still suffers from that label. Over and over, that which I was taught is contradicted by the evidence of my lived experience.
(All well-dressed machinists like to sport red berets.)
The New England town meeting has been long admired as a rare surviving instance of direct democracy in action, which gladdened the hearts of the democratic principle’s admirers everywhere by remaining practical and effective.
All that was, of course, in the old days, when town meetings were attended by crusty old farmers notorious for skepticism and common sense. Today, alas! Vermont towns have frequently been taken over by trust-fund bolsheviks and hippie tree-huggers, who bring a very different approach to direct democracy. Given access to direct democracy, these kinds of arriviste dingbats are moving to try to arrest the president and vice president.
We’re planning to arrest, detain and extradite him,” said Kurt Daims of Brattleboro, an activist who has sought to impeach President George W. Bush and is now trying to up the ante. “There’s a fundamental question here. If Congress doesn’t do this, shouldn’t it be done anyway?”
Daims hopes to gather the 440 signatures necessary to place an article on the Town Meeting warning that would call for the Brattleboro Police Department to arrest Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and cart them off to unspecified foreign entities.
“Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?” Daims’ proposed article reads.
“And shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictment, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro and extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them.”
Daims joined a group of eight like-minded activists Friday afternoon for their weekly impeachment march through town. Beating homemade drums and waving signs calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, the protesters walked from the Brattleboro Food Co-op to the Municipal Building and dropped off a copy of the proposed article at the Town Clerk’s office.
“Kurt saying ‘I’m going to arrest the president’ has no meaning. The town of Brattleboro voting to say they’re going to arrest the president does have meaning,” DeWalt said.
As to just where Brattleboro would send Bush if he was arrested, DeWalt said, “I know there are people preparing war crimes charges against him. I don’t know if they’ve officially been filed anywhere, but once they are filed that would give us a place to extradite him to next time he comes to town.”
Daims hopes other towns will be inspired by his quest and pursue similar courses of action — particularly Kennebunkport, Maine, where the Bush family spends its summers.
“We should do something Mr. Bush can feel. Maine is a very liberal state and I think this could pass in Maine, so then he couldn’t get to his million dollar family vacation resort,” Daims said. “They could arrest him there.”