Sunday, January 11, 2004

A Vermont town wants to secede. Secession is not a new concept in the world, nor was it confined to the Southern States in America in the mid-19th century. In fact there are several secessionist movements in the U.S. today. What is notable is that since the War of North'en Aggression the "question" of secession was presumed to have been settled by the force of the federal government. Of course I find this erroneous just as most people would find that because someone is stornger than another that person is not in fact stealing when he takes the weaker person's possessions by force. Here's an earlier post I did on secession & some reasons why it's still a legitimate idea.

Getting back to this particular case, we find that the source of the discontent with Killington is that Vermont seems to be taxing the town as if it were just another revenue source, thus causing their desire to secede & ally themselves with New Hampshire which lacks the taxation they find so burdensome.

Of course the town is drawing parallels to the various taxing measures brought about in the colonies by Great Britain in the mid-18th century.

"It kind of reminds us of Colonial days,' Town Manager David Lewis said Thursday. 'The Colonies were being faced with the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, the Sugar Act. England wasn't giving them any rights. They were treating the Colonies as just a revenue source."

So perhaps it's understandable why they wish to leave Vermont. They plan to put the issue of secession before the townspeople in the March elections.

But in steps Vermont:

"Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz said Killington has little chance of secession 'absent an armed insurrection type of thing. ... A town is a construction of the state and exists at the pleasure of the Legislature."

A town exists at the pleasure of the state? If Killington's desire to leave Vermont garnered little sympathy before I'd assume that statements such as that would cause a change of heart. A town is an organization of communities that have bonded together for their common interests, usually bigger than a village but smaller than a city.

From Merriam Webster we find a unique definition as pertaining to New England:

"6 : a New England territorial and political unit usually containing under a single town government both rural areas and urban areas not having their own charter of incorporation; also : a New England community governed by a town meeting"

I have seen nothing that would define a town as a place, unit or organization that is constructed by & for the state. To suggest that is very insulting to the town in question, & should be taken as offensive by all towns within that state.

So if Killington wishes to leave Vermont, I see no reason why it should not. & if Vermont's Secretary of State has an attitude typical of Vermont's governing body, then I can hardly blame them, nor could I fault Killington if an armed insurrection were the course they had to pursue to achieve it. I would even go so far as to offer any assitance possible to Killington, not so much because I agree with the specific issues they have, but because if a community wishes to shatter the political bonds that they feel are no longer beneficial, then that is their Right.

Odds are though that the Secretary of State's insults will be overlooked by most people & Vermont will strong arm any thoughts of secession out of the townsfolk of Killington. Hopefully I'll be mistaken, but chances of Killington actually seceding are slim, despite the townsfolk's wishes.

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