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message 1: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 30, 2017 11:00AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments What's this ? Book Nook Cafe's Group Read

Book Radio Free Vermont A Fable of Resistance by Bill McKibben Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance

Author Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he's gone on to write a dozen more books, including Eaarth and Oil and Honey. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. McKibben lives in Vermont.
Born William Ernest McKibben
December 8, 1960 (age 57)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Occupation Environmental activist
Alma mater Harvard University (B.A., 1982)
Notable awards Gandhi Peace Award, 2013
Spouse Sue Halpern
Children 1

Author website
http://www.billmckibben.com/index.html

When ? The discussion will begin January 1, 2018.
Read at your own pace and discuss as you read. We will read and discuss for the month.

Where ? The discussion will take place in this thread.

Spoiler Etiquette The book is comprised of 29 chapters. Please put the chapter # at the top of your post and if you are discussing a spoiler please note that also at the top of your post.

Book details
Length - Hardcover is 218 pages
Publisher: Blue Rider Press (November 7, 2017)

Synopsis
A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.


As the host of Radio Free Vermont--"underground, underpowered, and underfoot"--seventy-two-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location." With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.

In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever--seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of 'Ethan Allen Day' and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.
-------
“I hope no one secedes, but I also hope that Americans figure out creative ways to resist injustice and create communities where everybody counts. We've got a long history of resistance in Vermont and this book is testimony to that fact.”
–Bernie Sanders


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 01, 2018 07:20PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments I read the first 4 chapters (33 pages in hardcover edition). I am enjoying it quite a bit.

Page 3 - I had no idea what a balaclava was. It's a ski mask.


I could have used one as temps in New York are in the low teens !


message 3: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments LOL, i'll bet. I am not a fan of them, as i feel too confined. And the static on my hair! Instead i just hold my scarf to my mouth & nose. It's not comfy but i prefer it to that full head thing.


message 4: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: "LOL, i'll bet. I am not a fan of them, as i feel too confined. And the static on my hair! Instead i just hold my scarf to my mouth & nose. It's not comfy but i prefer it to that full head thing."

Deb, the temps in the teens, it was 12 today, when the wind blows actually hurts my forehead.
I use a band that covers ears and forehead and earmuffs over that.

I think if I wore a balaclava in NYC they would thing I was a bank robber ! lol


message 5: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments LOL--i suspect you are right about that. I like earmuffs. It's been years since i wore any though.


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 05, 2018 09:22AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments As I read this book club selection, I keep going to YouTube to listen to the groups that Perry mentions. I am finding a lot of cool music that is new to me.

Here is his suggestion for the anthem for Vermont at the end of chapter 7.

Mavis Staples-- I have learned to do without you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaeNf...


message 7: by madrano (last edited Jan 05, 2018 11:13AM) (new)

madrano | 8523 comments Good tip, Alias. Well, i have to wait until next week before i get my copy. It seems someone allowed another person to check out my reserved copy, so i must wait. Bummer! The lines for e-versions are over 10 deep. Hope for a prompt return.


message 8: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments That's cool. Deb. Glad you are still onboard with the read.

Here is another song from the end of chapter 12.
Abbey Lincoln- Freedom Day from the album We Insist that she recorded with Max Roach in 1960.

YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcUJY...



Lyrics:
http://juan-african-american-music.bl...

Whisper, listen, whisper, listen. Whispers say we're free.
Rumors flyin', must be lyin'. Can it really be?
Can't conceive it, can't believe it. But that's what they say.
Slave no longer, slave no longer, this is Freedom Day.
Freedom Day, it's Freedom Day. Throw those shackle n' chains away.
Everybody that I see says it's really true, we're free.
Whisper, listen, whisper, listen. Whispers say we're free.
Rumors flyin', must be lyin'. Can it really be?
Can't conceive it, don't believe it. But that's what they say.
Slave no longer, slave no longer, this is Freedom Day.
Freedom Day, it's Freedom Day. Throw those shackle n' chains away.
Everybody that I see says it's really true, we're free.
Freedom Day, it's Freedom Day. Free to vote and earn my pay.
Dim my path and hide the way. But we've made it Freedom Day.


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 05, 2018 01:12PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Just a few non spoiler ideas up to chapter 13.

In chapter 12 Vern talks about going small instead of endless growth.

This made me think of how we measure success.
One way is how the U.S. measure it.
GDP - Gross Domestic Product - the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.

Another way to measure success is how the small country of Bhutan does by Gross National Happiness (GNH).
"GNH is built around four pillars of national wellness, consisting of good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation and environmental preservation. Within these four pillars exist nine domains of well-being, which include psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, ecological diversity and resilience, community vitality, and standards of living.

Instead, the Bhutanese believe that we should be striving for the pursuit of long-term contentment derived from good health, education, interpersonal relationships and spirituality.
...The Bhutanese approach to happiness differs immensely from the conventional Western approach in that it opposes the idea of fleeting happiness from purchasing goods and services."

http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/gros...

Here is the Wiki on GNH
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_N...

Here is one article with an audio link discussing GDP & GNH
https://money.howstuffworks.com/gross...

Is endless growth even sustainable ? Do we need to rethink our economic model? Is that possible ? What do you think will happen, if anything, if we don't rethink our economic model ? What do you think ?


message 10: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 05, 2018 01:22PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments non spoiler chapter 12

Vern quotes President Lincoln saying, "that cultivating even the smallest quantity of ground bred freedom and independence."

My initial thought was the "Victory Gardens" some in the U.S. and other countries had during WW I and WWII.
Here is the Wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory...
Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. George Washington Carver wrote an agricultural tract and promoted the idea of what he called a "Victory Garden". They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front.


WWI-era U.S. victory poster.


The British "Dig on for Victory" poster by Peter Fraser
--------------------------------



My question is what about the people who live in cities today ? A google search finds this stat.

According to new numbers just released from the U.S. Census Bureau, 80.7 percent of the U.S. population lived in urban areas as of the 2010 Census, a boost from the 79 percent counted in 2000.Mar 26, 2012


message 11: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 224 comments I do think that McKibbin's main point is about sustainability. There's a local public school where former gang members were turned around completely by learning how to grow vegetables on the school grounds. They would take home the vegetables which they had grown to their families which provided them with a real sense of accomplishment. This was an experimental program in a largely African American city. There ought to be more programs like that one. My point is that Vermont isn't the only place to do that. There are ways to do it in an urban environment on a small scale.


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 06, 2018 06:58AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments I understand the overall themes the author is trying to get across. He is trying to get people to see that the road we are currently on is not sustainable. I agree. However, leaving the union is not an idea I am on board with. Usually one hears this from states like Texas. I don't buy into the augment that Vern makes on this with the radio caller on P 94 chapter 12. Though there wouldn't be a book without this idea to get the authors point across.
I'm with Bernie on this. :)
“I hope no one secedes, but I also hope that Americans figure out creative ways to resist injustice and create communities where everybody counts. We've got a long history of resistance in Vermont and this book is testimony to that fact.”
–Bernie Sanders

----Page 110 chapter chapter 15

Why the dis against NYC ? Prior to reading the book, I thought the author lived in the Adirondacks in NY. There is a fabulous special that PBS did on the Adirondacks and he is in it. I see from Wiki that he is from Vermont. Still, why the anti NY passage? I guess as a New Yorker I am sensitive to that.

P 112
Here is the Bob Marley song Get up, Stand Up for your Rights on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuMlH...

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

Preacher man, don't tell me,
Heaven is under the earth.
I know you don't know
What life is really worth.
It's not all that glitters is gold;
'Alf the story has never been told:
So now you see the light, eh!
Stand up for your rights. Come on!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

Most people think,
Great god will come from the skies,
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high.
But if you know what life is worth,
You will look for yours on earth:
And now you see the light,
You stand up for your rights. Jah!

Get up, stand up! (jah, jah!)
Stand up for your rights! (oh-hoo!)
Get up, stand up! (get up, stand up!)
Don't give up the fight! (life is your right!)
Get up, stand up! (so we can't give up the fight!)
Stand up for your rights! (lord, lord!)
Get up, stand up! (keep on struggling on!)
Don't give up the fight! (yeah!)

We sick an' tired of-a your ism-skism game -
Dyin' 'n' goin' to heaven in-a Jesus' name, lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty god is a living man.
You can fool some people sometimes,
But you can't fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light (what you gonna do?),
We gonna stand up for our rights! (yeah, yeah, yeah!)

So you better:
Get up, stand up! (in the morning! Git it up!)
Stand up for your rights! (stand up for our rights!)
Get up, stand up!
Don't give up the fight! (don't give it up, don't give it up!)
Get up, stand up! (get up, stand up!)
Stand up for your rights! (get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! (...)
Don't give up the fight! (get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! (...)
Stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up!
Don't give up the fight!


Songwriters: BOB MARLEY, PETER TOSH

http://www.lyricsfreak.com


message 13: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments I recall reading a book touted by Governor Jerry Brown years ago (don't know if he still mentions it), Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by Ernst F. Schumacher. Indeed, i've thought about it more the last year than i have since i read it in the 80s.


message 14: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 224 comments Since the Vermont historical figure Ethan Allen is pretty central to this book, I decided to run a search about him. Wikipedia's article seems very thorough. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan_A....


message 15: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Shomeret wrote: "Since the Vermont historical figure Ethan Allen is pretty central to this book, I decided to run a search about him. Wikipedia's article seems very thorough. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan..."

I honestly didn't know much about him. So I went to Wiki, too.
Interesting.


message 16: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 06, 2018 05:40PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: "I recall reading a book touted by Governor Jerry Brown years ago
================================
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

Thanks for the title, Deb ! I am adding it to my list. Amazon has it for $10 new.

Wiki on the author
Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher (19 August 1911 – 4 September 1977) was a German statistician and economist who is best known for his proposals for human-scale, decentralised and appropriate technologies.[1|4615523] He served as Chief Economic Advisor to the British National Coal Board for two decades, and founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group in 1966.

In 1995, his 1973 book Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered was ranked by The Times Literary Supplement as one of the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] In 1977 he published A Guide for the Perplexed as a critique of materialistic scientism and as an exploration of the nature and organisation of knowledge.


message 17: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments Interesting alley, "materialistic scientism". It's still new to me & i've been avoiding it because it will take too much of my time to decipher. ANYway, thanks for looking him up.

Thanks for the link to the Ethan Allen bio, Shomeret. In some ways he's rather lost to history for many folks because he never held national office. The bio also shed some interesting light on his writing. I'm not sure i even knew he wrote!


message 18: by Shomeret (last edited Jan 07, 2018 06:39PM) (new)

Shomeret | 224 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I understand the overall themes the author is trying to get across. He is trying to get people to see that the road we are currently on is not sustainable. I agree. However, leaving the union is no..."

Re secession--You have never even idly considered it under the current political situation? Well, good for you, Alias. But the U.S. is going to be extremely troubled for some time. It's going to get a good deal worse before it gets better.

Re the history behind antagonism toward New York among Vermonters--- Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys' original impetus for revolt was having to buy their land a second time from New Yorkers who'd been given title to the land by the British.

It's also probably true that New York City is often regarded as the opposite of sustainable by members of the sustainability movement. The population density is too high and its completely dependent on food importation. From the California perspective, however, Los Angeles is what I would consider most unsustainable. It's a city in the desert in a state that often has droughts. Yikes!

I have posted my review of Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 19: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments Too many Texans talk about secession today. Like so many things, they don't realize how important federal funding is to things we think we've created with local tax dollars. Military bases closing would alone set this state back decades.


message 20: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 08, 2018 08:44AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Shomeret wrote: Re the history behind antagonism toward New York among Vermonters--- Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys' original impetus for revolt was having to buy their land a second time from New Yorkers who'd been given title to the land by the British. ..."

That's true, Shomeret. And a history I was unaware of until I read the book.
However, for the people in 2017 to hand out cards that say "Being a D*** and or a Ass**** or acting like a New Yorker is discouraged in Vermont" seems too much.

According to this page only 50% of people who live in Vermont were born there.
http://vermontinsights.org/population...

So I don't think Ethan Allan has much to do with the sentiment expressed on the cards for the vast majority even those born there.

I find it a turnoff when people are described with a broad brush. Such as all XYZ people are .....

Also what do they want current NY'S or the other 80% who live in large cities to do? Dismantle the cities and go back to a barter agrarian society ? That's not happening.

I do think we need a way to make our cities more sustainable. Possible a push to buy food and products more local where possible and renewable energy where possible. A tax code that favors whole food and renewable energy may be something to look at. A government that supports mass transit and puts money into the system to expand it and make it affordable. Also a push, possible with taxes, away from cars. NY is thinking of this with congestion pricing for cars coming into Manhattan during certain hours. Though to make this work they need a massive overhaul to the mass transit system and make it more affordable and an attractive alternative to cars.

I would think city planners have have tons of ideas.

I realize the book is fiction or as the covers says a fable. So I am not taking everything literally. I am just using it as a jumping off point for a discussion.

I have to run some errands. I'll return to this later tonight.

Good posts, Shomeret !


message 21: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 08, 2018 08:51AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: "Too many Texans talk about secession today. Like so many things, they don't realize how important federal funding is to things we think we've created with local tax dollars. Military bases closing ..."

I agree. And I always thought they would expect the other states and their tax dollars to come to their aid when some type of disaster hits. What about their defense? All the other financial support the states get: medical, schools, infrastructure, control of their borders etc. They would be able to pay for all that on their own?

Sorry we are one and need to stand together.


message 22: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 224 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Shomeret wrote: Re the history behind antagonism toward New York among Vermonters--- Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys' original impetus for revolt was having to buy their land a second time ..."

Re sustainability solutions-- In Northern California we like to point fingers of blame at Los Angeles a lot. In the last drought, I remember the wealthy of Los Angeles having to be publicly shamed about their water use to get them to cut back.

Yet there is apparently some thought being given to the topic in Los Angeles. I came across a very interesting page from the University of Southern California https://bedrosian.usc.edu/blog/learni...


message 23: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 08, 2018 12:18PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Shomeret wrote: Yet there is apparently some thought being given to the topic in Los Angeles. I came across a very interesting page from the University of Southern California .."

Interesting article. I had no idea that "whopping 80% of the water consumed in LA is imported from afar: generally, from aqueducts and reservoirs that feed from Northern California and the Colorado River"

There is so much I guess we all take for granted.

I know I've read article about the wealthy communities in Cal. and their expanse of green lawns.

Golf courses are also a major environmental problem. They not only consume a lot of water but the chemicals on the grass pollutes the underground water.

Another state with big problems is Nevada. Apparently they have had a population explosion and they can't sustain their current water use. I found this article online, I am sure there are other articles.
http://www.demos.org/publication/econ...

Throw in climate change to this equation and we are in for some tough times ahead.

Some countries, like Germany, are already moving fast on the solar/wind. Currently 85% of their energy is from renewable sources.

Here in the U.S. the current admin. is going back in time and is looking more at coal and fracking etc.

Even Saudi Arabia I've read is looking towards the future. They have invested billions in renewable energy.
https://www.pv-tech.org/news/saudi-ar...

I've heard that in the not too distant future water, not oil, will be the expensive scarce commodity people will be fighting over.


message 24: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments I finished the book and I thought it was thought provoking. I vacillated between 3 and 4 stars. I went with 4/5 because I thought it was thought provoking and it did keep me turning the pages.


message 25: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Page 126
Chapter 17

I liked this quote. It made me think of the Occupy Wall street protests.

Time is always on the side of the status quo; we got people excited, but they know that excitement will fade away and people will just start thinking of the risk. If our momentum goes we go with it."


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 11, 2018 05:17PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments P215 Vermont anthem

Youtube
Nina Simone - O-O-H Child (Nickodemus Remix)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn5EP...

Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things'll get brighter
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things'll get brighter
Some day, yeah
We'll put it together and we'll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter


message 27: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 11, 2018 05:55PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Sorry I can't find the page (it was toward the end) where Vern notes that California gets two senators the same as Wyoming even though the population of Cal is greater. Do you think the House of Representatives takes care of this adequately ?

What do you think about the electoral college? Is it outdated and should be scrapped? Should we go with a popular vote?

And since the Supreme Ct said corporations were people, is it that far fetched to think with a very right SC corporations would get a right to vote?


message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments On p 167-168

on why succession may be a bad idea, he notes that blue states like Vermont can be a check. Do you think this is a valid point ?

This quote made me lol though I could see this happening. "Hell, left to its own devices, Wyoming might turn Yellowstone into a geothermal power plant."


message 29: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments After reading this book where do you stand on various states and succession ?

I am on the side of resistance not succession. On Facebook there is a cool t-shirt that I liked.




message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Page 220 Author's note

Here is a link for the book mentioned.

This Is an Uprising How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century by Mark Engler This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century----Mark Engler

Strategic nonviolent action has reasserted itself as a potent force in shaping public debate and forcing political change. Whether it is an explosive surge of protest calling for racial justice in the United States, a demand for democratic reform in Hong Kong or Mexico, a wave of uprisings against dictatorship in the Middle East, or a tent city on Wall Street that spreads throughout the country, when mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media portrays them as being as spontaneous and unpredictable. In This is an Uprising, political analysts Mark and Paul Engler uncover the organization and well-planned strategies behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest.

This is an Uprising traces the evolution of civil resistance, providing new insights into the contributions of early experimenters such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., groundbreaking theorists such as Gene Sharp and Frances Fox Piven, and contemporary practitioners who have toppled repressive regimes in countries such as South Africa, Serbia, and Egypt. Drawing from discussions with activists now working to defend human rights, challenge corporate corruption, and combat climate change, the Englers show how people with few resources and little influence in conventional politics can nevertheless engineer momentous upheavals.

Although it continues to prove its importance in political life, the strategic use of nonviolent action is poorly understood. Nonviolence is usually studied as a philosophy or moral code, rather than as a method of political conflict, disruption, and escalation. This is an Uprising corrects this oversight. It argues that if we are always taken by surprise by dramatic outbreaks of revolt, and if we decline to incorporate them into our view of how societies progress, then we pass up the chance to fully grasp a critical phenomenon—and to harness its power to create lasting change.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Nation Books; Reprint edition (October 3, 2017)


message 31: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 11, 2018 06:41PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments In the the Author's Note, McKibben writes that Vermont attempted a secessionist movement about a decade ago. Honestly, I don't recall hearing about it.

Here is the Wiki on it.

The Second Vermont Republic (SVR, 2VR) is a secessionist group within the U.S. state of Vermont which seeks to restore the formerly independent status of the Vermont Republic (1777–91). It describes itself as "a nonviolent citizens' network and think tank opposed to the tyranny of Corporate America and the U.S. government, and committed to the peaceful return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic and more broadly the dissolution of the Union."[1] The organization was founded in 2003 by Thomas Naylor (1936–2012),[2][3] a former Duke University economics professor and co-author of the 1997 book Downsizing the U.S.A.[4] A 2010 TIME article featured the Second Vermont Republic as one of the "Top 10 Aspiring Nations".[5]

Link for the rest of story.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_...

Downsizing the U. S. A. by Thomas H. Naylor Downsizing the U. S. A. by Thomas H. Naylor


message 32: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 224 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Sorry I can't find the page (it was toward the end) where Vern notes that California gets two senators the same as Wyoming even though the population of Cal is greater. Do you think the House of Re..."

I'm not a fan of the electoral college. The irony was that it was intended to prevent the popular election of a demagogue. The demagogue we have was the result of the electoral college. The founding fathers would be horrified.

I wouldn't close off the option of secession. I think there could be a situation where secession would be necessary. Right now, there's still hope that our current situation will eventually be remedied without the need of anything so radical as secession.


message 33: by madrano (last edited Jan 12, 2018 09:52AM) (new)

madrano | 8523 comments There are many ideas in this book to consider. I'm going to try to finish it today so i can discuss it overall. I can understand the vacillation in your rating, Alias. Overall, i like it was hoping for "more". Oddly, though, the day after i started the book USA Today had a small stat about the fact that Vermont had the USA's highest percentage of people moving into a state. The relocation percentages were 68% into the state, 32% out of it. (Oregon is second, with 65 in, 35 out.)

I skimmed your posts, Alias, and see some delectable questions there. I'll just talk about one now, the House of Reps. Until gerrymandering i felt this was probably where citizens were best represented. They are responsible (in theory) to fewer citizens, thus should be speaking better for us. However, i live in one of those bizarrely shaped districts which has been created to limit the number of minorities so that a Republican candidate wins. Between that and the fact that non-locals are allowed to contribute to the campaigns, i am not certain now that we truly are represented the way our founders intended.

I'm liking the music education! Actually, the history, too, as i wasn't aware Pabst was from Vermont. Thanks for the musical links, Alias. They've been a pleasure to listen to as i post.


message 34: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 12, 2018 10:05AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Shomeret wrote: I'm not a fan of the electoral college. The irony was that it was intended to prevent the popular election of a demagogue.."

Interesting. I thought the purpose was to give smaller states an equal say in matters and not be overrun by the interests of larger states.

I do think this is a valid concern. However, I would prefer we get rid of the electoral college and go with a popular vote.

A plus would be that people running for election would have to campaign in all states because all states would matter. Now they concentrate in swing states. Every vote would be important.

Now when a state is solidly either red or blue, it doesn't matter for, example if a politician wins that state by a landslide or a small margin. Many feel, why should I bother to vote if I know for example that NY will go Blue in the national election.


message 35: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: "There are many ideas in this book to consider. I'm going to try to finish it today so i can discuss it overall. I can understand the vacillation in your rating, Alias. Overall, i like it was hoping..."

First, I'm glad you enjoyed the musical links. I am hearing a lot of new voices, too !

You bring up a great point about gerrymandering.


message 36: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Is endless growth even sustainable ? Do we need to rethink our economic model? Is that possible ? What do you think will happen, if anything, if we don't rethink our economic model ? What do you think ?..."

There are so many good questions, thoughts & info for this reading already. I'm trying to consider them all & will start with this one, which has been heavy on my mind since the Dec. tax bill passage where one Member actually admitted that his big-money donors expected him to vote for it. Implied was the "...or else".

Is it too late to rethink our economy? For the vast majority of people i suspect it is. Still, i think we can make a decent beginning of it even on our small incomes and limited resources. Alias has been an advocate for healthier eating, which can lead to an upheaval in food production. We've heard the numbers for decades about methane and hormones from enormous business farming interests. Turning to grains, beans, non-dairy is one way to stem that tide. Small but if it blossoms as our children become adults and repeat/expand our efforts, it could matter.

We raised our kids on our produce, when possible by canning and growing our own vegetables. We even bought a share of a hormone-free cow at one point. Now our NYC daughter is part of a sort of food-cooperative (buying club? not sure what they are called), wherein she gets produce each month from nearby farms in a nearby state. She's had to learn some new & creative cooking as a result--learning about kohlrabi and beet green--but feels great about helping small farming families. Recently on the CBS news i saw about communities which are created around such farming areas. Locals buy their produce from them year round, helping the growers learn about other foods they can grow throughout the seasons.

But then how do we combat big buying? Go Amazon? Go Walmart? Go local? There are so many things we can't buy from smaller businesses. And, let's be honest, it takes an investment in time and energy to pursue these alternatives. Who has the willingness? Maybe we need cooperative sources? A resource center for alternative buying opportunities?

And what about banking? Yikes! After the last election we switched our money from one of the "evils" to a more friendly one but couldn't leave with our IRA due to a large penalty. And so it goes. At times i fear we need a cataclysm of apocalyptic proportions before we can get enough people who want to start anew.

Wow! That was just one topic introduced from the book.

I wanted to add again that listening to some of the music mentioned in the book has been a thrill. I giggled when i saw mention of "Moonlight in Vermont" as one song considered for the anthem. It's such a romantic song & has the state in the title, so it was the first i thought of for the contest.


message 37: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: " We've heard the numbers for decades about methane and hormones from enormous business farming interests. Turning to grains, beans, non-dairy is one way to stem that tide. Small but if it blossoms as our children become adults and repeat/expand our efforts, it could matter..."

It's a big problem. I don't know how it will change. Personal economics plays a big part. If the government continues to subsidies dairy and meat and corn and not vegetables or a wide variety of grains, these products will continue to be cheaper.

For consumers that can afford it though, eating no animal products a few days a week they can make an impact.
Even modest changes such as going meatless a few days a week they say will help the environment. Perhaps the younger generation will lead the way.

Another positive is that eating less animal products will help lessen chronic preventable conditions. They would lessen the burden on our medical infrastructure.

I've read the water will be the new oil. Water will be a scarce resource that people will be fighting over. The stats below show how we can help with this problem.

----------
Stats--

Minimize Water Usage

—The water needs of livestock are much greater than those of vegetables and grains.

– Approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef.
– Approximately 39 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of vegetables.[15]

Americans consume nearly four times the amount of animal protein than the global average.[16] When compared with current food intake in the US, a vegetarian diet could reduce water consumption by up to 58% per person.[17]



Reduce Greenhouse Gases

—Studies show that meat production produces significantly more greenhouse gases than vegetables, including carbon dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide – the three main contributing sources of greenhouse gas. Beef was found to produce a total of 30 kg of greenhouse gas (GHG) per kg of food, while carrots, potatoes and rice produce .42, .45 and 1.3 kg GHG per kg of food, respectively.[18]



Reduce Fuel Dependence

—About 25 kilocalories of fossil fuel energy is used to produce 1 kilocalorie of all meat based protein, as compared with 2.2 kilocalories of fossil fuel input per 1 kilocalorie of grain based protein produced.[19] The meat industry uses so much energy to produce grain for livestock that if instead we used the grain to feed people following a vegetarian diet, it would be enough to feed about 840 million people.[20]

http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-u...


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: And what about banking? Yikes!.."

Since nothing has changed since our last economic meltdown, I suspect we will have a repeat at some point.

I think the key is how we fund our elections. This needs to change before I think we will see any substantive positive changes. That is the only way I see for our representatives to truly represent their constituents and not donors. (As you noted in your post, deb.)

Without this key change, we will not switch to renewable energy, protect our environment etc.


message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments One interesting stat that I was wrong about was dairy. I thought our consumption was falling. However, if this website is correct it really isn't. It has some interesting graphs.

"In short, the dairy sector is one of significant but slow changes. Over nearly four decades, per capita consumption has trended higher for butter, yogurt, and some cheeses. At the same time, consumption of fluid milk and ice cream has trended lower. "

https://ageconomists.com/2016/05/09/g...


message 40: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: I wanted to add again that listening to some of the music mentioned in the book has been a thrill. I giggled when i saw mention of "Moonlight in Vermont" as one song considered for the anthem. It's such a romantic song & has the state in the title, so it was the first i thought of for the contest.

Telegraph cables ! )

YouTube
Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald sing Moonlight in Vermont
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKiae...

"Moonlight In Vermont"

Pennies in a stream
Falling leaves, a sycamore
Moonlight in Vermont

Icy finger-waves
Ski trails on a mountainside
Snowlight in Vermont

Telegraph cables, they sing down the highway
And travel each bend in the road
People who meet in this romantic setting
Are so hypnotized by the lovely...

Ev'ning summer breeze
Warbling of a meadowlark
Moonlight in Vermont

Telegraph cables, how they sing down the highway
And they travel each bend in the road
People who meet in this romantic setting
Are so hypnotized by the lovely...

Ev'ning summer breeze
The warbling of a meadowlark
Moonlight in Vermont
You and I and Moonlight in Vermont


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments I can say this book is going to have me check out the biathlon in next months winter Olympics !

Wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biathlon

Basic concepts

A biathlon competition consists of a race in which contestants ski through a cross-country trail system whose total distance is divided into either two or four shooting rounds, half in prone position, the other half standing. Depending on the shooting performance, extra distance or time is added to the contestant's total running distance/time. The contestant with the shortest total time wins.

For each shooting round, the biathlete must hit five targets and receives a penalty for each missed target, which varies according to the competition rules, as follows:[5]

Skiing around a 150-metre (490 ft) penalty loop—typically taking 20–30 seconds for elite biathletes to complete, depending on weather and snow conditions.
Adding one minute to the skier's total time.
Use of an extra cartridge (placed at the shooting range) to hit the target; only three such extras are available for each round, and a penalty loop must be done for each target left standing.

In order to keep track of the contestants' progress and relative standing throughout a race, split times (intermediate times) are taken at several points along the skiing track and upon finishing each shooting round. The large display screens commonly set up at biathlon arenas, as well as the information graphics shown as part of the TV picture, will typically list the split time of the fastest contestant at each intermediate point and the times and time differences to the closest runners-up.


message 42: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments I'll see you on the biathlon trail, Alias. As i mentioned in another thread, it's my favorite & for the very reasons the two athletes in the book mention--speeding up then needing to slow down to shoot. Fascinating.

Thanks for those additional facts about animal products. I hadn't given the water aspect much thought, despite the fact Shomeret mentioned it as far as LA goes. (Good article, as i was unaware of their small scale efforts.) I presumed LA would desalinate ocean water for some use, which would be particularly handy if the oceans begin to claim more coastal land. I'm sure there are articles about why this won't happen now but when first proposed it seemed a good solution.

Re. dairy products. I'm reading (from my 2018 DL, btw) VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good by Mark Bittman. In it he mentions the rising in dairy consumption too, which is about 607 pounds of milk, cheese & other dairy each year for the average US consumer. When i think about myself, i realized my own dairy consumption is the highest it's been in my life, primarily thanks to cheese and yogurt.

The words from "Moonlight in Vermont" are descriptive, which is the main reason the song calls to me. I can feel myself there. *sigh*

Alias, you asked about the NY dis in the book. I wonder if that massive migration is why. When we first moved to Portland, OR,, citizens were outraged that Californians were moving to "our" state, which drove up the prices for homes and other items. Is this something that's been happening in Vt? I'd think that migration from Boston would also be heavy but maybe not.


message 43: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments madrano wrote: "IRe. dairy products. I'm reading (from my 2018 DL, btw) VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good by Mark Bittman. In it he mentions the rising in dairy consumption too, which is about 607 pounds of milk, cheese & other dairy each year for the average US consumer. When i think about myself, i realized my own dairy consumption is the highest it's been in my life, primarily thanks to cheese and yogurt. ..."

I have that book. It's an interesting idea.


message 44: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 13, 2018 05:22PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments I was at the gym today on the elliptical and was listening to my iPod, I started to think if any of the songs on my playlist would work as an anthem for Vermont.

These two are my picks.

Do you have any suggestions ?

I was listening to

Roar-- Katy Perry

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly
Agreed politely

I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing
So I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, You hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready 'cause I've had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter,
dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and
You're gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and
You're gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me roar

Now I'm floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, You hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready 'cause I've had enough
I see it all, I see it now

---Roar Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Youtube
Katy Perry - Roar (Official)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CevxZ...


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Fight Song
Rachel Platten

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion
And all those things I didn't say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me
Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep
Everybody's worried about me
In too deep
Say I'm in too deep (in too deep)
And it's been two years I miss my home
But there's a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe
And all…
And all those things I didn't say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me
A lot of fight left in me
Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong (I'll be strong)
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me
Know I've still got a lot of fight left in me


YouTube
Rachel Platten - Fight Song (Official Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VI...


message 46: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments Two good songs with terrific lyrics. The first calls to me better because i think many of us became quite complacent and were rudely awakened in '16. I thank you for sharing the words, as i was aware of both but not how strong the words were.


message 47: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments I finally looked up a person mentioned in the book, Townshend, Vt., native Clarina Howard Nichols. Ms. Nichols worked on the three most relevant issues of her day--abolition, temperance and women's suffrage. In Susan B. Anthony's book History of Woman Suffrage an entire chapter was devoted to Nichols.

The link below is to a speech she gave at the Second National Woman's Rights Convention in 1851. In it i learned that if a woman who has children remarries, the children are then considered her new husband's. While i can see this as being beneficial if the husband is honorable, this was not always the case. Interesting.

http://www.edchange.org/multicultural...


message 48: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 15, 2018 12:51PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments Thanks for the speech link, deb. I will read it a bit later. I just came back from eye dr. and had my eyes dialeted, so my eyes feel a bit tired for the computer right now.

"In it i learned that if a woman who has children remarries, the children are then considered her new husband's. "

I guess back then there was no government support for women with dependent children so this makes sense. There probably was little divorce. So most likely the women was a widow.


message 49: by madrano (new)

madrano | 8523 comments Oddly, she wasn't a widow, which makes the fact even odder. Her first husband was apparently irresponsible but i still would think that he would have rights before the second husband. Of course this is good news in one way because her second husband was, in fact, a good man. I think she was just presenting the fact of the law.

When i have my eyes dilated i can't even read or look at the computer for hours. By the evening i can watch tv, if the show isn't too bright (not a problem with today's tv shows, she hastened to add...), so i'm impressed you could use the machine at all.


message 50: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16258 comments The dilation does make bother my eyes. I didn't stay online long and actually ended up taking a 2 hour nap.

The last time I had it done it seemed forever for the eyes to get back to normal. I looked online and it noted that people with light colored eyes (mine are blue/green) can take up to 24 hours.


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