Two Virgins and the Vermont Republic

Virgin Queen

Vermont road mapVA Virginia, a state – a commonwealth – in the southeastern US. Capital: Richmond. Largest city: Virginia Beach.

Since I wrote about Virginia five years ago, I’ll just note that the state was “named for Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen. Historians think the English adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh suggested the name about 1584.”

VI Virgin Islands, a US territory in the Caribbean. Capital and largest city: Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas.

The US Virgin Islands were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1917. Other islands in the archipelago are controlled by the United Kingdom.

“Christopher Columbus named the islands after Saint Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins (Spanish: Santa Úrsula y las Once Mil Vírgenes), shortened to the Virgins (las Vírgenes). ”

GREEN Mountain State

VT Vermont, a New England state of the US. Capital: Montpelier. Largest city: Burlington

I wrote about our 2015 vacation. The truth is, I’ve been all over Vermont. A wedding on Lake Champlain, several choir performances in my Methodist days, even shopping. Of course, I’m inherently fond of the state, since it involves the color green.

On the Travel Trivia website, it listed 5 Countries That No Longer Exist. One was the Vermont Republic.

“On January 15, 1777, Vermont became the Vermont Republic, with its own Declaration of Independence, elected assembly, money, postal service, military, and diplomatic relations. Vermont was joined in its decade and a half of sovereignty by sixteen New Hampshire towns and a few more from New York.

“They were eventually given back to their states when Vermont joined the union [in 1791 when it became the 14th state], but it was a process by which Congress, New York, and New Hampshire recognized Vermont’s sovereignty. That means Vermont’s time as an independent nation wasn’t a fun historical quirk; it was a tangible expression of North American international freedom.”

For the verdant ABC Wednesday

V is for Vermont

Pickleball is a sport easier to play than to explain.

smuggsAll of my wife’s immediate family – her parents, her two brothers, their wives, the three daughters amongst them, and our nuclear threesome – spent several days together just before Labor Day at Smugglers’ Notch Resort near remote Jeffersonsville, VT about 40 miles northeast of Burlington. It’s a ski resort in the winter, but has grown into a family-friendly summer resort.

Smugglers’ Notch namesake “comes from the smugglers of the early nineteenth century, who used the thick forest on the mountain range, and the caves and caverns along the Long Trail to transport Continue reading “V is for Vermont”

February rambling: expats, and the end of “Parenthood”

dance_as_tho

How America’s Sporting Events Have Turned into Mass Religious Events to Bless Wars and Militarism. Amen.

The Weekly Sift analyzes what the Atlantic article “What ISIS Really Wants” gets right and gets wrong. Also, ISIS Bans Teaching Evolution In Schools in Mosul, as well as art, music, history, literature and, of course, Christianity.

American ISIS: The Domestic Terrorist Fallout of the Iraq War.

Melanie: A Modern Day Scarlet Pimpernel and Human Trafficking.

Something most Americans no little or nothing about: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the latest trade deal being cooked up in secret by big corporations and their lobbyists.
Continue reading “February rambling: expats, and the end of “Parenthood””

Not in an upstate New York State of mind

I REALLY liked Madison, Wisconsin when I was there in 1988. Always appreciate the state’s progressive tradition.

LONG-time blogger Dustbury asks a question for this round of Ask Roger Anything:

If a purely arbitrary decision was handed down to the effect that you could no longer remain in upstate New York, where would you first consider going?


I’ve thought on this a lot, actually. It’s pretty much a process of elimination.

Not moving to anywhere there is no fresh water, so desert states such as Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are definitely out. California – well, is the big earthquake still coming? Continue reading “Not in an upstate New York State of mind”

S for Severed States

The part of Missouri Compromise allowing Congress control of slavery in the newly emerging territories was declared unconstitutional.


I saw this article recently in the Wall Street Journal about some people on Long Island wanting to secede from the rest of New York State for a bunch of reasons; it won’t happen, BTW, because the state legislature wouldn’t allow it. But it reminded me that the 50 states in the US were not always the size that they are currently.

Even before there was a United States, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York all insisted that Vermont was a part their state. That’s why Vermont declared itself a kingdom in 1777, and Vermonters to this day refer to the state as the “Northeast Kingdom”, though it became the first state after the original 13.

In the early days of the Union: Continue reading “S for Severed States”