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Pulse of political history favors change

Posted on August 28, 2009 |
By Chris Graff



Jim Douglas is doing what only one other governor has done in the last 47 years: He is leaving office from a position of strength.

Every governor since 1962 – except for Deane Davis – stayed at least one term too many. The only problem was that no one knew it was too many until it was over.

Phil Hoff’s third and final term – he served 1963-1969 – was an absolute disaster, by his own admission. He was distracted by the national unrest and was exhausted by his first two terms.

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Our irksome food policies

Posted on July 23, 2009 |
By Angelo Lynn



What is particularly irksome about today’s record low milk prices is that they are a direct result of a national food policy that emphasizes mass-produced food that is heavily subsidized over locally produced foods. It’s irksome because the policy is driving Vermont dairy farmers (and others) to the brink of extinction and because the food system is inherently nonsensical, not to mention unhealthy.

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Breaking the boom-to-bust dairy cycle with 'Farm to Plate'

In the face of dismal prices for the state’s non-organic dairy farmers, New Haven’s state Rep. Christopher Bray says the ‘Farm to Plate’ legislation passed this past legislative session may be the most important bill approved in the past decade that has to do with food or agriculture. Why is Bray so optimistic about legislation the average Vermonter has never heard of? Because the initiative encourages Vermont’s local food production to grow from what is now just 3 percent of the food consumed in the state to 20 percent in the next decade.

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The Real Iraq We Knew

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST

By 12 former Army captains
Tuesday, October 16, 2007; 12:00 AM

 

Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

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Guest Editorial

 The CIA Must Rely More on Collecting Human Intelligence

 Earlier this summer, when the CIA released the “family jewels” — nearly 700 pages of documents detailing some of its most infamous and illegal operations dating back to the 1950s — the question that immediately came to mind was: Why now?

 After all, Director of Central Intelligence Bill Colby had let some of those secrets out during the Church Committee hearings in the early 1970s. When Colby made the initial revelations, there was widespread anger among the old agency hands, particularly those from World War II’s Office of Strategic Services, the CIA’s precursor. Much of this anger resided in the division known as the Clandestine Service, which thought it owned most of the jewels. Colby had betrayed them. More gems dropped out of the bag in subsequent years.

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