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Buffalo's Worst Nightmare
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Vermont is the yin to New Hampshire's raging yang.
 

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Buffalo's Worst Nightmare
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070604/ap_on_re_us/vermont_secession

Vermont secession movement gains traction

By JOHN CURRAN, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago



MONTPELIER, Vt. - At Riverwalk Records, the all-vinyl music store just down the street from the state Capitol, the black "US Out of Vt.!" T-shirts are among the hottest sellers.

But to some people in Vermont, the idea is bigger than a $20 novelty. They want Vermont to secede from the United States — peacefully, of course.

Disillusioned by what they call an empire about to fall, a small cadre of writers and academics hopes to put the question before citizens in March. Eventually, they want to persuade state lawmakers to declare independence, returning Vermont to the status it held from 1777 to 1791.

Neither the state nor the U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids secession, but few people think it is politically viable.

"I always thought the Civil War settled that," said Russell Wheeler, a constitutional law expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. If Vermont fought and won a war with the federal government, "then you could say Vermont proved the point. But that's not going to happen."

Still, the idea has found plenty of sympathetic ears in Vermont, a left-leaning state that said yes to civil unions, no to slavery (before any other) and last year elected a socialist to the U.S. Senate.

Supporters have published a "Green Mountain Manifesto" subtitled "Why and How Tiny Vermont Might Help Save America From Itself by Seceding from the Union."

In 2005, about 300 people turned out for a secession convention in the Statehouse, and plans for a second one are in the works. A poll this year by the University of Vermont's Center for Rural Studies found that 13 percent of those surveyed support secession, up from 8 percent a year before.

"The argument for secession is that the U.S. has become an empire that is essentially ungovernable — it's too big, it's too corrupt and it no longer serves the needs of its citizens," said Rob Williams, editor of Vermont Commons, a quarterly newspaper dedicated to secession.

"We have electoral fraud, rampant corporate corruption, a culture of militarism and war," Williams said. "If you care about democracy and self-governance and any kind of representative system, the only constitutional way to preserve what's left of the Republic is to peaceably take apart the empire."

Vermont, which was historically conservative, has evolved into one of the nation's most liberal states since the latter part of the 20th century, a tie-dyed bastion of countercultural dissent and New England self-reliance where folks wear their hearts — and their anti-war stickers — on their Subaru station wagon bumpers.

Secession movements have a long history. Key West, Fla., staged a mock secession from America in the 1980s. In Vermont, the town of Killington tried to break away and join New Hampshire in 2004, and Hawaii, Alaska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Texas all have some form of secession organizations today.

The Vermont movement has been simmering for years but gained new traction because of the Iraq war, rising oil prices and the formation of several pro-secession groups.

Secession supporters hope to have the question considered in March on Town Meeting Day, when voters gather to discuss state and local issues.

Thomas Naylor, 70, a retired Duke University economics professor and author, wrote the manifesto and founded a secession group called Second Vermont Republic.

His 112-page manifesto contains little explanation of how Vermont would make do without federal aid for security, education and social programs. Some in the movement foresee a Vermont with its own currency and passports, for example, and some form of representative government formed once the secession has taken place.

Frank Bryan, a professor at the University of Vermont who has championed the cause for years, said the cachet of secession would make the new republic a magnet.

"People would obviously relish coming to the Republic of Vermont, the Switzerland of North America," he said. "Christ, you couldn't keep them away."

The Middlebury Institute, a Cold Spring, N.Y., think tank, hosted a North American Separatist Convention last fall in Burlington that drew representatives from 16 organizations. The group is co-sponsoring another conference in October in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Of course, skeptics abound.

"It doesn't make economic sense, it doesn't make political sense, it doesn't make historical sense. Other than that, it's a good idea," said Paul Gillies, a lawyer and Vermont historian.

For now, the would-be secessionists are hoping to draw enough support to get the question on Town Meeting Day agendas.

"We're normal human beings," said Williams, 39, a history professor at Champlain College. "But we're serious about this. We want people in Vermont to think about the options going forward. Do you want to stay in an empire that's in deep trouble?"

___

Second Vermont Republic: http://www.vermontrepublic.org/

Middlebury Institute: http://middleburyinstitute.org/

Free Vermont.net: http://www.freevermont.net[/QUOTE]
 

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Told you so...
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As it mentioned, the town of Killington wants to seceed from Vermont and join New Hampshire. It came to a head in 2004, I don't know if it's still as hot but I'm sure it hasn't gone away. They're sick of being VT's "cash cow"; and at the time the town was "welcomed" by NH.

Seems odd, but up until the 1850s or so, there were some towns along the VT border in NH which had "switched sides" a few times.
 

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That Killington situation seems really strange and kind of dumb to me. So there could've been a piece of New Hampshire literally in the middle of Vermont? That would seem to be a mess in terms of jurisdicting a town located inside another state. Also, if they were tired of being the cash cow for Vermont, then why would they become part of another state? Why not just become a new state and keep all of the benefits to themselves?
 

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Because a new state needs a minimum population of 65,000.
Where does it say that?

As for the ecomonics and being an "island" of NH in the middle of Vermont, who knows. I bet nobody's even thought of it that way. Then again, there are, I believe, a few instances where a piece of a country is surrounded by another. Or you have situations along the Mississippi (and even the Connecticut along the VT-NH border) where one state may be totally inaccessible from within its primary borders.
 

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Actually, do some research on the "Free State Project". It's an ultra-libertarian group with the initial goal of getting 20,000 members to move to New Hampshire within 5 years, with the next goal of getting legislators elected to change state policy and with the ultimate goal of secession from the US if they can't have enough influence on US policy itself. I hesitate to say they're ultra-conservative because they have serious beefs with conservative philosophy as do all libertarians. (The way I see it: Liberals = partisan/subsidize the poor and/or stupid, Conservatives = partisan/subsidize themselves and/or corporations, Libertarians = non-partisan/subsidize nobody "you're on your own".)

They chose NH because of its strong libertarian background and history; other states which they considered were Wyoming and I think Alaska, maybe a few others.

Free State Project said:
Are you frustrated at the loss of freedom and responsibility in America, while the growth of government and taxes continues unabated? Do you want to live in strong communities where your rights are respected, and people exercise responsibility for themselves and in their dealings with each other?

If you answered "yes" to those questions, then the Free State Project has a solution for you.
Both liberal and conservative philosophy are in disagreement with the previous statement. Face it, this country is broken and something like this is needed, if nothing else but for to provide the impetus for improvement. This complacency that nothing is wrong and everywhere else is third-world squalor has got to die. Ditch the conservative lockstep and join the real winning team. Live Free or Die, baby.
 

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i could see why vermont would want to seceed from the nation i mean seriously, not matter what anyone says, the people there or in any other small state really don't have any say in how our country is run.
 

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:lol: they are still sending 2 Senators to DC...and they have enough representitives to accomodate they're share of population.

if they don't like the United States way...maybe we should take and call it North Mexico and let the Border Patrol drop off our "new entries" there for about 10 years...those green hippies would be representing themselves very loudly in DC after that.

I don't hear Wyoming or Rhode Island bitching...they must not get MTV up there in Burlington (pop. 234)
 

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ok, but what if the people of vermont believed in something really radical for instance....like perhaps the people of vermont would stand for nothing less than full on gay marriage. the 2 senators could vote for that, but they would still be overunn by the other states, as would the representitives obviously. when the people in a state want something bad enough, i think they should be able to get it. in general its not fair that half the country ties down the political opinion of the other hald constantly.
 

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Vermont...the state of maple syrup, ben and jerry's, good skiing, independent streak, and fall foliage.

I've driven up I-91 a few times from here...a fresh break from the nonstop urban and suburban lifestyle here in CT. The roads up there aren't good though.

ok, but what if the people of vermont believed in something really radical for instance....like perhaps the people of vermont would stand for nothing less than full on gay marriage. the 2 senators could vote for that, but they would still be overunn by the other states, as would the representitives obviously. when the people in a state want something bad enough, i think they should be able to get it. in general its not fair that half the country ties down the political opinion of the other hald constantly.
If anything, small states like Vermont have MORE influence on a per-capita basis in the Senate because they share the same amount of senators like huge states like New York or California, for instance. The House is a totally different story...they have less influence than even Greater Hartford, then again we have over twice the population of Vermont.

If they wanted to legalize gay marriage (which Vermont, like CT, is one of the states that allow civil unions), they wouldn't even have to deal with the rest of the country. They could make it legal in their own state by legislation from the state, like Massachusetts did.
 
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