Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Broken Mirror, a Fractured Movement and the 2016 Elections

This is an interesting post which explains part of the mechanics of the left’s self-immolation this year. Bernie wasn’t perfect but he was the closest thing to change with a heart that we had.

Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio

my-vote-blog

It is 2016 and US radicals are unfriending each other droves. Everyone is so incredulous that their one-time comrades could be as misguided as they are. The inability of social justice activists to get on the same page, however, is not the result of some folks just being too stupid to get it. Rather its the natural product social justice organizing in the time of the non-profit system. How we arrived at this fractured state of affairs holds clues for what we can do to build toward a genuine unified movement in the future.

As these comments are released early voting has started and the campaigns are in their final days. Therefore my observations will not impact many people’s choices. I am more concerned about influencing people’s perceptions. The reasons for the left’s paralysis and division require some reflection. In the process, I hope to reaffirm a tradition of…

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Arrogance

Neither the Democratic Party nor Hillary Clinton recognized the deep-seated antiestablishment sentiment in this country that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders represented. They stayed in their bubble and ignored evidence that was building throughout the spring and summer of 2016 and crowned one of the most disliked people ever to grace the stage as their nominee, giving lip service to the bold and popular work of Sanders. Now they are shocked, shocked, that the others, the voters so enlivened by the two outsider campaigns, still hated the Clintons and all they represent.

Their arrogance, their disdain for Sanders and their manipulating of the media and the DNC led directly to the hell we are now facing. Sure, blame Donald Trump too. But I’m done with the whole pack of them and will have nothing to do with the Democrats again.

Writing Again, But Poetry?

I intimated some days ago that I was writing again, meaning that I was looking at some of my fantasies for new inspiration. But then a funny thing happened. Donald Trump’s 2005 comment about grabbing pussies made the news and turned my world upside down.

I am a 65 year old woman who lived through many of the trials and tribulations of the 1970s and 80s as a woman rising under the feminist movement of those days. To say that I was subject to sexual harassment is an understatement in the extreme. I was also the victim of one sexual assault and two rapes. I did not report any of them, in two cases because the assailants were members of the legal profession in which I was lowly public defender. I will not further detail the incidents, but it should be clear that a woman making charges against two men high in the legal field would have been laughed out of court. I would have been disbelieved and smeared at a level that is no longer present in our legal system, except from certain judges who seem to think that rapists shouldn’t have their futures damaged by a few minutes of fun. They are the dinosaurs of today.

But back to Trump and the effects of his statement. I, like many women, numbering undoubtedly in the millions, suffered the crimes against me alone, and I built internal walls so that I could continue to function without falling apart or lashing out. Many women of my age built walls of different strengths and sizes, depending on the nature of the abuse they suffered. The everyday indignities of being a woman in a “man’s world” we all built walls against. We smiled, and accepted crudities that would stun today’s woman.

But the walls built to hide rape and assault were stronger and more enveloping. I had indeed buried my injuries so deeply that I had not considered them for years. They were part of my youth, and not worthy of spending time on. I had survived and would continue without ever having to review the pain and horror again. Until Trump….

What has this to do with writing? Just this. I have had anger and despair rising up in me in waves, with pain adding a slight piquancy to the mix. I was in danger of exploding at the least provocation, and I knew for my own sanity I had to find a way to tamp it down. I turned to a form of writing which I have used to deal with issues of depression and suicide in the past few years. I have been writing poems. The original ones were wrenching to me, causing me to desire drink or some other means of escape. I knew I was improving when the poems turned more to the failures of Trump as a human being, and less on the damage he had done. But I finally succeeded in writing a witty poem, denigrating Trump as nastily as I could. And with that, although not healed, I am back on a more even keel.

I have done something I’ve never done before. I have submitted some of the poems for publication. Accordingly, I can’t share them with you here. But I’ll keep you informed of any acceptances and let you know if, by any slight, slim chance, they are accepted for publication.

Why We’re Voting No on #3

It’s very clear now I hope.

Selene Colburn

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-8-34-17-am An early vision for added height density at the Burlington Town Center in Plan BTV, Burlington’s 2013 downtown and waterfront planning document.

On November 8th, Burlington voters will weigh in on zoning changes and public TIF investments in support of a mall revitalization project at the Burlington Town Center. We’re three members of the Burlington City Council who strongly support mixed-use development, growth in our local housing stock, efforts to increase housing affordability and the revitalization of our out-of-date downtown mall. We don’t support the size and massing in the proposed zoning, or a process that failed to explore alternatives more in line with the current upper height limits in our downtown.

When we vote on Burlington ballot item #3, we are voting on a zoning overlay district, not a mall project. Zoning, as established through community engagement and codified in the Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan, sets the terms…

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