A few scary items of world history that we Americans should be aware of:
Schools: In Germany, after Hitler came to power a "core curriculum" was mandated so that the Nazi Party could monitor, at all times, what was being taught in schools. Does that term sound familiar?
Fascism: One of the tenets of Mussolini fascism was: "Nothing against the state." Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. Sound familiar? F or instance, Benghazi: "What difference does it make?" Senate hearings regarding IRS targeting members of the T ea Party: "On advice from counsel, I refuse to answer under my Fifth Amendment rights." Sound familiar?
Socialism: A way of organizing a society in which major industries are controlled by the government. How about the infamous "bailouts" of auto manufacturers, world's largest insurance company, investment houses, banks, and now health care.
How many billions of taxpayer dollars have been "invested" in these companies? Enough for the government to have controlling interest? It seems to me that our once respected country is heading down these slippery slopes.
Browning is selling Vermonters short
Chris Cranston of Woodford ("How did your representative vote?") thinks Cynthia Browning introduced a "responsible" amendment forcing disclosure of financing details for Vermont's universal and affordable health care.
I am sure that if he were collecting paperwork for an audit and the IRS demanded that he meet with them immediately bringing only what he'd already assembled, he would not think it reasonable. Yet that is what Rep. Browning tried to do.
To date, 300 people representing a broad spectrum of interests have participated in nine working groups to gather information critical to success - but Browning is prejudiced against the idea of health care coverage that will not endanger family finances and is doing what she can to torpedo it.
I have pointed out to Banner readers previously that Browning thinks Vermont, which is wealthier than 92 countries, cannot afford a health care system superior to theirs - yet 25 of them - including countries like Belarus, Nicaragua, Macedonia and Palau - have such systems in place and deliver health care she thinks Vermont cannot.
She is selling Vermont and Vermonters short. Is this how they want their representative to vote?
Better than bartering
The Hour for Our Community Time Exchange (H4O) is better than bartering. I know this because in the past few months I have had a roof put on my garden shed; on three different occasions, I had a housesitter come stay at our home and take care of our three cats and a dog (once for nine days); and had lined wool pants hemmed and living room curtains repaired. But that is not all. I had a bonsai student repot and trim the roots on an ornamental potted tree, transforming it into a work of art; had a relaxing massage, had a voice lesson and had delivered to me two quarts of delicious homemade soup.
In exchange I have provided other members with computer assistance, helped with transportation to appointments, grocery shopped and participated in a fun leaf-raking work party. Every hour of service I contribute to any member entitles me to receive an hour of service from any other member. As good as all these exchanges are, the best thing is the wonderful people I am meeting, most of whom I would not have met otherwise. This community building is at the heart of the Hour for Our Community Time Exchange, which currently has 73 members.
If you want to be part of the time exchange, come to the Bennington Free Library the second Saturday of any month from 10:30 a.m. to noon or call me at 802-379-5951.
Changes to Act 250
Vermonters should be aware that changes to the state's Act 250 allows property owners to build projects that encroach on a neighbor's property and the neighbor has no options to stop that encroachment. Their property rights do not count.
We found out about this when our neighbor decided to install a new septic system right next to our property line. A lot of the isolation area for this septic tank spills over onto our property and almost up to our front door. According to the law, we can not stop this intrusion onto our property.
Attorneys around the state have been debating how to approach this obvious violation of property rights.
Article 9 of the state of Vermont's Constitution states, "Every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property ..." I have been told by an attorney involved in this debate that this intrusion is a probable violation of both the V ermont and United States constitutions.
However, a home owner would have to have very deep pockets to stop such attacks on their constitutionally-guaranteed property rights. Most home owners do not have that kind of money, so the possible rape of their property rights will continue to be a threat in the state.
It does make one wonder what other attacks on home owners' property rights are in store for us Vermonters.
Our state legislators need to change this law to stop this assault on people's property rights.