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Bernie Sanders
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I've known Bernie Sanders most of my life. I think he's a good senator, even if he's not the best driver. He gave me one quintessential piece of advice in 1995. Paraphrasing- he told me that if you're part of a political party, you have to be loyal to that party. You don't cross the party in public. He may have helped found the Progressive Coalition in Burlington, and he may caucus with the Democrats now- but you'll notice he hasn't run with anything except an (I) next to his name since the US Bicentennial. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.

I like being an Independent, too. It's what makes this blog so good. You pretty much know the agenda is my own here. I can endorse Paul Decelles, Bob Kiss, Ron Paul and Barack Obama and nobody can tell me no.

Thanks for reading! Visit often!
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:59 AM  
  • At March 19, 2008 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've never paid him much mind, but does Bernie have anything to say about the current state of the political parties? It's interesting that he so strongly avowed a partisan party mindset. Kinda too bad.

    Um, yeah, lets not forget that his party in Burlington wasn't "I", it was "S" = SOCIALIST. That isn't an option in Washington, so he has to go with the "I"....

  • At March 19, 2008 7:02 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    His party was never (S). Sanders was Libery Union (LU) until 1976, and he has run as an Independent (I) for every race since (mayor, governor, congress, senate).

  • At March 19, 2008 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, that's been his title, because we don't have a Socialist party. That doesn't mean he didn't call himself a socialist...

    "Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, but because he does not belong to a formal political party he appears as an independent on the ballot."

    You can love him all you want, and I freely admit, he's done some good things. But at the end of the day, he's a socialist, but doesn't call himself one when running for office. How can a guy who's a socialist, but runs as an independent, caucuses with the Dems, then say one has to stay tru to the party? Sorry, that's um...crap. You can't simultaneously say you're fighting the power by and play by the same semi-occluded rules of that big guys at the same time. Either he's an outsider or he's not. Either he's a lone voice fighting against an increasing troubled system, or he's selling out.

    If he's a (democratic) socialist, that should be his f'in party! It's dishonest. And don't give me any BS about "that's the way the system works." The same way I can't stand that Clinton won the Senate seat in NY while open stating "no, I have no plans on running for the presidency" or whatever bullshit she spouted, I can't be ok with someone basically lying about their views by hiding behind an "Independent" label. ESPECIALLY given how the rhetoric of being "independent" plays in a place like VT. He votes DEM! The Dems of VT didn't even bother running anyone against him last election. That's a joke. He should sack up and call himself by what he believes.
    It's call honesty. If he want to be the "underdog", the "little guy", he should take that first step of doing something his peers don't: be honest!

  • At March 19, 2008 10:33 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you a Republican when you were secretary of the Navy?

  • At March 19, 2008 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now, let me qualify that a bit, lest my comments get mistaken for some left vs. right diatribe. No such luck. A few questions: when was the last time Bernie voted with a republican majority on an issue? How many times, for important votes, has be been the deciding factor? How often do the Dems need to actually court his vote, versus just assuming they'll have it. Granted, he has voted against Dem. majorities, but he was doing so with 2-3 other people who were making a point, not swinging the vote. If he were truly independent, he vote would need to be courted. Now, some of you might know his record enough to prove to me that I'm totally off base. And, I'd be happy to let the facts stand in the way of a good rant. However, my sense is that at the end of the day, his independence is questionable, at best.

    Now to be fair: lots of people used to be pretty pissed every time Jeffords voted with the Dems before switching parties. When he finally moved, people said "well, he wasn't much of a Republican anyway." That might have been true, and so you can see why people weren't happy.

    My concern isn't left or right. It's the fact that a guy who paints himself as being outside of party nonsense is up to his ass in it. Does anyone think he'd lose many votes if he just called himself a Dem? VT votes for incumbents. His $$ comes from all over America (at least when he's running against the Republicans), he no longer has to be supported by Chittenden county alone.

    He's like the Michael Moore of politics. The point might be valid, but the means used to get that point made are hypocritical.

  • At March 19, 2008 11:49 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    How is Michael Moore hypocritcal?

  • At March 20, 2008 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How isn't he? What's his goal? To show people the 'truth' behind the 'lies'? He manipulates. He uses the same techniques to craft his story as the people he criticizes. He fabricates, he deceives. Sure, his message might be more palatable that the ones against which he argues. But, when he treats the people he's 'enlightening' like moldable sheep, he's no better than his opponents. The means do not justify the ends. That's called totalitarian government. Like Communism. You know, that pesky offshoot of socialism.

    Plenty. But this should be a good read:
    (Christopher Hitchens, of all people!)

    Again, the point is not discounting the overall points he makes. Yes, the war sucks. Yes, health care is a disaster. No questions there. But, the way he portrays things, and the ways in which he manipulates are just wrong.

    That's how he's a hypocrite.

  • At March 20, 2008 12:44 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    You haven't convinced me. I don't see why Michael Moore is a hypocite.

  • At March 20, 2008 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's how: it's called deceit. Is not his point with all his work to bring the 'truth' to light? Isn't he concerned with unveiling the dark side of government and big business? And how does he do that? Manipulation, half-truths, and basic slight-of-hand. That's deceit. That's what he accuses other people of.

    You know why people deceive to make their point? One of two reasons. Either they're not telling the truth, or they are, but don't think the people they're telling are smart enough to make their own decisions. Or more specifically, that people won't make the decisions they want them to.

    It's dishonest.

  • At March 20, 2008 10:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    "I like being an Independent, too. It's what makes this blog so good. You pretty much know the agenda is my own here. I can endorse Paul Decelles, Bob Kiss, Ron Paul and Barack Obama and nobody can tell me no."

    Yo H, isnt that more a product of being an American? I am a republican, but I vote for the best person that may support the issues I believe in, or the best person for the job, be they R, D or I. no one, not even my republican friends has ever put a gun to my head and told me who to support.

  • At March 20, 2008 5:41 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    And how does he do that? Manipulation, half-truths, and basic slight-of-hand. That's deceit.

    Filmmaking is certainly a manipulation of image and media, and since truth is infinite it can be measured as "half" by any observer. I'm not with you on the slight of hand thing. I don't recall Michael Moore doing any card tricks in any of his movies.

    Let's see... I've seen Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine, Farenheit 911 and Sicko. And I've read Stupid White Men and Dude Where's my country. If you click the picture of me and the Dalai Lama at the top of this blog, you will be taken to

    I happen to be a big fan of Michael Moore, so my opinion isn't going to be swayed, just because you accuse him of deceipt. You have to actually give an example of the deceipt and then back it with some evidence, if you want to convince a thinking person. You haven't done that yet. So far you have just been ranting and raving.

  • At March 20, 2008 5:51 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Yo H, isnt that more a product of being an American?

    Yeah. I guess.

  • At March 20, 2008 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Have you read the posts I sent. Plenty of evidence. Bowling for Columbine: he completely distorted the reality of several event to make his point. That's dishonest. If you like him so much, you shouldn't ever be surprised why Bush got reelected: people will believe what they want to hear....

  • At March 20, 2008 7:46 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Have you read the posts I sent.


    What events did Moore distort reality of in Bowling for Columbine?

  • At March 20, 2008 8:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    MOMMY ! DADDY!.. Stop yelling! Idont like it when you fight!

    You guys are classic. :)

  • At March 20, 2008 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You asked for it ("borrowed from

    A. Columbine Shooting/Denver NRA Meeting. Bowling portrays this with the following sequence:

    Weeping children outside Columbine;

    Cut to Charlton Heston holding a musket and proclaiming "I have only five words for you: 'from my cold, dead, hands'";

    Cut to billboard advertising the meeting, while Moore intones "Just ten days after the Columbine killings, despite the pleas of a community in mourning, Charlton Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally for the National Rifle Association;"

    Cut to Heston (supposedly) continuing speech... "I have a message from the Mayor, Mr. Wellington Webb, the Mayor of Denver. He sent me this; it says 'don't come here. We don't want you here.' I say to the Mayor this is our country, as Americans we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here!"

    The portrayal is one of an arrogant protest in response to the deaths -- or, as one reviewer put it, "it seemed that Charlton Heston and others rushed to Littleton to hold rallies and demonstrations directly after the tragedy." The portrayal is in fact false.

    Fact: The Denver event was not a demonstration relating to Columbine, but an annual meeting (see links below), whose place and date had been fixed years in advance.

    Fact: At Denver, the NRA cancelled all events (normally several days of committee meetings, sporting events, dinners, and rallies) save the annual members' voting meeting -- that could not be cancelled because the state law governing nonprofits required that it be held. [No way to change location, since under NY law you have to give 10 days' advance notice of that to the members, there were upwards of 4,000,000 members -- and Columbine happened 11 days before the scheduled meeting.] As a newspaper reported:

    In a letter to NRA members Wednesday, President Charlton Heston and the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said all seminars, workshops, luncheons, exhibits by gun makers and other vendors, and festivities are canceled.

    All that's left is a members' reception with Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., and the annual meeting, set for 10 a.m. May 1 in the Colorado Convention Center.

    Under its bylaws and New York state law, the NRA must hold an annual meeting.
    The NRA convention April 30-May 2 was expected to draw 22,000 members and give the city a $17.9 million economic boost.

    "But the tragedy in Littleton last Tuesday calls upon us to take steps, along with dozens of other planned public events, to modify our schedule to show our profound sympathy and respect for the families and communities in the Denver area in their time of great loss," Heston and LaPierre wrote.

    Fact: Heston's "cold dead hands" speech, which leads off Moore's depiction of the Denver meeting, was not given at Denver after Columbine. It was given a year later in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was his gesture of gratitude upon his being given a handmade musket, at that annual meeting.

    Fact: When Bowling continues on to the speech which Heston did give in Denver, it carefully edits it to change its theme.

    Moore's fabrication here cannot be described by any polite term. It is a lie, a fraud, and a few other things. Carrying it out required a LOT of editing to mislead the viewer, as I will show below. I transcribed Heston's speech as Moore has it, and compared it to a news agency's transcript, color coding the passages. CLICK HERE for the comparison, with links to the original transcript.

    Moore has actually taken audio of seven sentences, from five different parts of the speech, and a section given in a different speech entirely, and spliced them together. Each edit is cleverly covered by inserting a still or video footage for a few seconds.

    First, right after the weeping victims, Moore puts on Heston's "I have only five words for you . . . cold dead hands" statement, making it seem directed at them. As noted above, it's actually a thank-you speech given a year later in North Carolina.

    Moore then has an interlude -- a visual of a billboard and his narration. This is vital. He can't go directly to Heston's real Denver speech. If he did that, you might ask why Heston in mid-speech changed from a purple tie and lavender shirt to a white shirt and red tie, and the background draperies went from maroon to blue. Moore has to separate the two segments.

    Moore's second edit (covered by splicing in a pan shot of the crowd) deletes Heston's announcement that NRA has in fact cancelled most of its meeting:

    "As you know, we've cancelled the festivities, the fellowship we normally enjoy at our annual gatherings. This decision has perplexed a few and inconvenienced thousands. As your president, I apologize for that."

    Moore then cuts to Heston noting that Denver's mayor asked NRA not to come, and shows Heston replying "I said to the Mayor: As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here!" as if in defiance.

    Actually, Moore put an edit right in the middle of the first sentence, and another at its end! Heston really said (with reference his own WWII vet status) "I said to the mayor, well, my reply to the mayor is, I volunteered for the war they wanted me to attend when I was 18 years old. Since then, I've run small errands for my country, from Nigeria to Vietnam. I know many of you here in this room could say the same thing."

    Moore cuts it after "I said to the Mayor" and attaches a sentence from the end of the next paragraph: "As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land." He hides the deletion by cutting to footage of protestors and a photo of the Mayor before going back and showing Heston.

    Moore has Heston then triumphantly announce "Don't come here? We're already here!" Actually, that sentence is clipped from a segment five paragraphs farther on in the speech. Again, Moore uses an editing trick to cover the doctoring, switching to a pan shot of the audience as Heston's (edited) voice continues.

    What Heston said there was: "NRA members are in city hall, Fort Carson, NORAD, the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center. And yes, NRA members are surely among the police and fire and SWAT team heroes who risked their lives to rescue the students at Columbine.

    Don't come here? We're already here. This community is our home. Every community in America is our home. We are a 128-year-old fixture of mainstream America. The Second Amendment ethic of lawful, responsible firearm ownership spans the broadest cross section of American life imaginable.

    So, we have the same right as all other citizens to be here. To help shoulder the grief and share our sorrow and to offer our respectful, reassured voice to the national discourse that has erupted around this tragedy."

    "NRA members are, above all, Americans. That means that whatever our differences, we are respectful of one another and we stand united, especially in adversity."

    I recently discovered that Moore has set up a new webpage to respond to a chosen few points of criticism, one of which is his, er, creative editing of Heston's speech. Click here for a link to his page, and for my response to his attempted defense of what he did. Basically, Moore contends that he didn't mean for the viewer to get the impression that "cold dead hands" was spoken at Denver -- that just "appears as Heston is being introduced in narration."

  • At March 21, 2008 2:05 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Big deal. That's called filmmaking and it gets at the truth of the matter through editing. Bowling for Columbine is filled with facts and statistics about gun violence which are not in dispute. All you've offered here is a film review. Of course Michael Moore has an agenda, but the facts he presents are, in fact, facts.

    Notice how Bernie slipped out of this conversation scott-free.

  • At March 21, 2008 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, that's one generous reading. I gave you but one of many examples in but one of his movies where his "truth" is, at best, questionable. You embody the problem exactly: "Facts are facts"? Fact is, Heston didn't say what Moore has him say, when nor where Moore has him say it. So, the fact is that Moore lied. But, because (presumably) you and millions of other people like what he has to say, that lie is ignored. Scary. Fact, cars and booze kill more people than guns do. Where's his movie on that? Fact, kids die in swimming pool drownings every year, where's his movie on that? Fact, saying Michael more tells "the truth" aint fact. He tells HIS "truth". That anyone of us makes it our truth is a completely different (if related) phenomenon.

    Bernie still needs to stop deceiving people and start call himself a socialist.

  • At March 21, 2008 11:03 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    "Facts are facts"? Fact is, Heston didn't say what Moore has him say, when nor where Moore has him say it.

    Heston did say all those words, or else he wouldn't be on film saying them! You're pissed at Michael Moore for editing! That's what filmmakers do. Don't you see the difference between saying "x number of people are killed each year in America by guns" and using editing techniques to weave a narrative around such facts? You are missing the forest for the trees. You're so focused on playing the Gotcha! game on some stupid editing minutia, that you are missing A) The Facts presented; and B) The profound truth of the whole movie.

    Yeah cars, booze and swimming pools kill people, but that isn't what Bowling for Columbine was about. You want to make a movie about cars, booze and swimming pools, go right ahead. Maybe get Sammy Hagar as your leading man.

    This reminds me of Limbaugh trying to diminish the importance of the number of American casualties in Iraq, because more people die in car accidents, or some such stupidity. He neglects that one cause of death is the result of a political choice and one is not.

    Bernie still needs to stop deceiving people and start call himself a socialist.

    Bernie does call himself a socialist! I've heard him say he believes in democratic socialism many, many times.

    I hate to say it but... Senator, you're no John Kennedy.

  • At March 21, 2008 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, JFK got shot. I'm alive and well.

    See, here's the funny part: the minutia is exactly what matters. Yes, Heston did say those words. I'm not arguing that. But Heston did not say them, as Moore presented them. Moore is manipulating for his agenda. You're ok with that because you agree. But when someone or some party does the same thing re: an opinion with which we don't agree, its suddenly a problem. The point is this: what you call "narrative" and "editing" I call using the very deceptive techniques of the people he fights with. Fighting fire with fire just burns places down. You're happy to swallow the KoolAid as long as it tastes good. If it doesn't, then you care about the ingredients. Sheep can't take the moral high ground, no matter who their shepherd is.

    Sure, Bernie calls himself that. In interviews, and basically in private. Why can't he run as one?

  • At March 21, 2008 2:04 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    You're happy to swallow the KoolAid as long as it tastes good. If it doesn't, then you care about the ingredients. Sheep can't take the moral high ground, no matter who their shepherd is.

    I stopped drinking KoolAid when I was in elementary school, and the Lord is my shepard. I don't know what you're talking about.

    Sure, Bernie calls himself that. In interviews, and basically in private. Why can't he run as one?

    Why can't you comment under your real name?

  • At March 21, 2008 6:37 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    OK sorry about the 'real name' business. Didn't mean to get personal. I've already guessed you are senator Jim Webb of Virgina, but I understand why you can't admit it. Still, though- anyone can easily see on Site Meter you hit from Charlotteville and DC. No big whoop.

    To answer your question, Sanders could run as a Socialist if he wanted to, but he is an Independent. I'm an Independent too. That's what makes this blog so good.

  • At March 21, 2008 7:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    way to piss off the national talent haik. LOL

  • At March 21, 2008 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, no harm, no foul. Legit question, re: the anonymity. I prolly should own up to being me, but this is more fun.

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Good News Garage Blog
by Carmen George

by Peter Freyne

Front Porch Forum
by Michael Wood-Lewis

Ghost of Midnight
by Michael Wood-Lewis

Glow-in-the-Dark Radio
by Mike Luoma

by Megan Humphrey and friends
by Taraleigh Silberberg

Hodska on the Web
by Steve Hodska

by Brian Brown

Identity Theory
by Matt Borondy

Inside Track
by Peter Freyne
by Jeremy Ryan

Local Action Works
by Owen Mulligan and Friends

Loyal's Tidal Wave
by Loyal Ploof

Maverick Media
by Greg Guma

Penelope Post
by Penelope Wall

Radio Deli
by Pam Scanlon

Repeal IRV
by Owen Mulligan

Rip and Read
by Alex Ball

Ron Paul Movement Hour Blog
by Steve Hodska

by Mark Stephenson

She's Right (Original Site)
by Charity Tensel

She's Right (New Site)
by Charity Tensel

Spitting Out Teeth
by Jay

The 9/11 Non-conspiracist

by Marc Awodey

The Burlington Livable Community Project
by The AARP

The Bove's Blog
by Mark Bove

The Deli Magazine
by Adena Harford

The Deadbeat Club
by Eva Sollberger

The Golden Age of Robots
by Adam Rabin

The Stech Blog
by Chris Stecher

The Vermont Daily Briefing (VDB)
by Philip Baruth

Undead Molly
by "Undead Molly"

UVM College Democrats
by UVM College Democrats

VCAM (Channel 15) Blog
by Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM)

Ward 5 NPA News
by Basil Vansuch

Vermont Buzz
by The Burlington Free Press

Vermonters for a Real 9/11 Investigation
by Frank Haddleton

Yes and No
by Frank ____

Koko and Nectar

Surrounding Area
Blogs and Websites

by Michael Colby
Deborah G. Alicen. Ph.D.

Defenders Council of Vermont
by Jamie Zeppernick

Five Before Chaos (Original Site)
by JD Ryan

Five Before Chaos (New Site)
by JD Ryan

Food Stamp Mamas
by "Jeremy" and "Zappaflower"

From the Newsdesk
by Chris Fells

Green Mountain Daily
by John Odum and Friends

Green Mountain Jamie
by Jamie ______

Green Mountain Politics 1
by Christopher Potter Stewart

I must be Dreaming
by Jamie ______

Illuminati Slayer
by Peter Stevenson

Lilac Knitting
by Kristine

Minor Heresies
by "Heretic"

Norsehorse's Home on the Web
by Morgan W. Brown

Norsehorse's Home Turf
by Morgan W. Brown

Political Animal
by Steve Benen and featuring Hilzoy

Politicker VT
by Jared Corey Kushner

Reason and Brimstone
by Julie Waters and Friends

The Carpetbagger Report
by Steve Benen

The Dwinell Political Report
by James Dwinwll

The Prog Blog
by Vermont Progressives

Tirade Parade
by "Tirade25"

Vermont Commons
by Brian McClintock

Vermont Hum
by Brian McClintock

Vermont Scrap Wood
by Scrapwood

Vermont Snarky Boy
by Michael Colby

What's the point?
by "Vermonter"


Fletcher Free Library
Burlington City Arts
Burlington Free Press
Burlington College
Burlington Currency Project
Burlington Film Makers
Burlington Gardens
Preservation Burlington
Burlington Nights
Burlington Schools Coalition
Burlington Telecom

The Just Once Archives:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Burlington Music Scene
Big Heavy World
Icebox Records
Live Music Beth
Tom Azarian

Other Random Websites
Radio Free Quaker
CCTV Channel 17
Here (

Ari K's Strange Blue Planet

Bach's Cello Suite #1 in G Major Prelude

"Bulldog's" Bio

My Dream House


Daily Kos

Michael Moore


CCTV Channel 17

VCAM Channel 15

Vermont Guardian

UVM Cynic

WVAA 1390 AM


90.1 WRUV FM

Lois the Hot Dog Lady

Women Helping Battered Women

Dr. Tuna, et al.


Burlington "Free" Press

WCAX Channel 3 (CBS)

WPTZ Channel 5 (NBC)


Vermont Bar Association

Chittenden Solid Waste District

Chittenden Solid Waste District

Carnegie library building

Wiki Leaks

Madeleine Kunin's Resume

Famous Vermonters Part I

Famous Vermonters Part II

True Crime in Burlington

Kennedy Family Tree

Rockefeller Family Tree

Bush Family Tree

Church of the Subgenius

Robert Anton Wilson

Right Here Writing From China!

Democracy Now!

Neighborhood Planning Assemblies

Huffington Post

Editor and Publisher

Bet on Politics!

Political Graveyard

Rasmussen Reports

Mark Fiore

Frame Shop

The King of All Media

Alexandra Kosteniuk





Boob Nazis



Center for Digital Democracy

Free Radio Burlington

The Freedom Forum

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Random Election Literature





"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

-Emma Lazarus, 1883

Church Street Energy System

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Whatever things
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