Baker: Lawmaker says ‘God-given right’ statement lacked context

Mollie Burke doesn’t believe in restricting people’s right to drive wherever they please, she says

by Pam Baker

The Brattleboro Reformer printed an opinion letter by Joshua Nelson on Oct 5 stating that “I find the argument that conservatives can not (sic) speak freely on college campuses bogus. Conservatives can speak as freely as they want, but they self-censor and then blame Liberals as an excuse.”

Well, I would like to address that opinion by reminding readers of the VDC, to this article, “Key House lawmaker would penalize gas-guzzlers” on October 5th, referring to Mollie Burke D-Brattleboro.

That article garnered 60 comments. Many people offered a way to contact this politician as well as encouraged people to apply for information on her, via FOIA. Ms. Burke did finally respond after a second email from myself and she replies that the sentence was taken out of context.

She writes: “Unfortunately, yes, my statement was taken out of context. I believe I was referring in part to the need to find a better way to pay for our roads and bridges.” She also writes this: “I do not believe in restricting people’s right to drive wherever, whenever, or however they please.”

However, that doesn’t make sense when taken in at the same time as the original quote, see below. It doesn’t equate nor make any sense. I replied with that observation. She replied: “Nothing much more to add”. And reiterated the second sentence.

Not surprising that there is a disconnect between the two statements. What I understand about folks who consider themselves left/progressive/liberal (and I’m not saying everyone….) is that logic is not in their wheelhouse. They run on feelings.

But most importantly, and to the point mentioned at the start of this letter, no publication in Southern Vermont has published my “letter to the editor”. Here it is for your edification:

Readers of the Reformer may not be aware but their State Representative, Mollie Burke, D-Brattleboro was recently quoted thusly in the Vermont Daily Chronicle: “The priorities have been so skewed,” “People think they have the God-given right to go whenever they want to go.” She stated this in reference to her declared priority of reducing personal use of gasoline powered vehicles. Implying that she thinks we should NOT be allowed to travel freely.  This statement is an absolute astonishing abomination and violates so many centuries held laws/ beliefs of this country. In doing so she is making an outright tyrannical statement.  I will not take up space discussing the absolute absurdity of this electric vehicle endeavor. I will, however, take her to task for her totalitarian mindset.  Ms. Burke has no legal, moral or ethical authority to take away my right to travel in this country.  Personal property rights notwithstanding.  Unless you have me arrested and restrict my travel that way.  I wouldn’t put it past you. 

I contacted you through your publicly posted email address requesting clarification and allowing that this statement may have been made out of context.  You have not replied. 

The citizens of Brattleboro may tolerate you as you seem to run unopposed, but that doesn’t mean the rest of Windham County residents want you touting this hogwash.  You have completely lost your mind and probably your soul.  You are unfit to serve the oath and office of State Representative. 

So we conservative type individuals may “self censor” as Joshua Nelson stated above, but for sure we are censored by the media. VDC is literally the only conservative news source in this state. I guess I should be (and I am) grateful we have this outlet and source.

And also for your perusal, no one from the House Ethics Panel responded to my email, requesting an investigation into Ms. Burkes comments. And the staff person who answered the phone at the states Ethics committee scoffed at my request. This staff person implied that I was ridiculous for requesting that someone in authority look into this. Ah, the hubris of youth and ignorance. Well, I may only have 20 years left living in the world that this staffer is allowing to exist without examination, but she has her entire life to live in tyranny. Good luck to her.

I entreat all readers of VDC to reach out to Mollie Burke D-Brattleboro to clarify the statement. She certainly hasn’t done so to my satisfaction. We must keep the pressure on. mburke@leg.state.vt.us

Editor’s note: the article in which Rep. Burke was quoted was authored by a reporter from the Community News Service, a UVM-based news service, and republished by VDC.

Categories: Opinion

18 replies »

  1. First, anyone who doesn’t realize the media selectively publishes, edits, and censors, news stories and resulting commentary is ignorant or delusional.

    Second, anyone (including you Mr. Evslin) who believes they know enough about the Ukraine/Russia and Israeli/Hamas conflict (especially given the ‘Six ways from Sunday’ corruption in our government) to make specific statements supporting unspecific reasoning on these matters, is equally misinformed.

    Third, thank goodness for Guy Page’s VDC allowing all of us to express our first amendment rights. I, for one, learn a lot on this forum.

    Yes. We are all entitled to our views and beliefs. And in my humble opinion, we are soon headed into some very difficult times – likely more problematic than anything we’ve seen, since (and I’m dating myself here) before the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’.

    Convincing those with whom you may disagree to consider and respect your point of view is virtually out of the question. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), for example, is effective only when dealing with people who value life. Today, for the first time in my recollection, we are dealing with those who value death. And our choices in dealing with them may be equally stark.

    “Examine the records of history, recollect what has happened within the circle of your own experience, consider with attention what has been the conduct of almost all the greatly unfortunate, either in private or public life, whom you may have either read of, or hear of, or remember, and you will find that the misfortunes of by far the greater part of them have arisen from their not knowing when they were well, when it was proper for them to set still and to be contented.” — Adam Smith

    • Mr. Eshelman,
      You write, “Today, for the first time in my recollection, we are dealing with those who value death.” I have no idea specifically to what you are referring. I do know that this country has faced many times those that value death. September 11th, 2001 comes to mind rather quickly.
      And as for all the other veiled references in your comment, it would be exceedingly helpful if you were specific in your criticisms or comments. To wit, why did you feel it was necessary to make a non sequitur comment to Mr. Evslin about Ukraine/Russia and Israeli/Hamas in this comment section?
      Just curious.
      Pam Baker

      • Ms. Baker, you have every right to question my commentary. It was not intended nor directed to your article. How it landed here I do not know. The link I have in my original reference is:


        This path list includes [/comment-page-1/#comment-50229] – which is missing from the link to your article. And I can’t find the article to which this link refers and to which I responded, which included remarks from Mr. Evslin.

        I will make an inquiry.

      • Ms. Baker, after some extensive searching, I located the Evslin commentary to which I was referring. It was initially included in a VDC post that no longer seems to exist but did include your comment on censorship first and Tom Evslin’s commentary second.

        My comments directed to you were simply those saying, “First, anyone who doesn’t realize the media selectively publishes, edits, and censors, news stories and resulting commentary is ignorant or delusional.” I consider this in agreement with your point of view.

        My second point was directed to Mr. Evslin’s commentary, which I found on his personal blog, ‘Fractals of Change’. It reads as follows.

        Thank You, President Biden
        “Your unequivocal support for both Ukraine and Israel are not only morally right but also strategically essential for the United States. Ukraine’s survival so far is a tribute to the bravery of its own people and the strength of its leadership; but both may well have been in vain had you not led NATO’s support for their heroic resistance.
        The people of both Israel and Gaza have very tough days, perhaps months, ahead of them. Their suffering will end when Hamas is gone. Any delay defeating Hamas means continuing death, destruction, and despair in both countries. Your statement that we have Israel’s back and the strong US actions which followed shorten the road to peace and security. America’s will and determination will reduce the temptation for would-be adversaries around the world to gamble on US inaction.
        I voted for you reluctantly in 2020. I disagree with many of your domestic policies and, especially with hindsight, wish you had and hope you will take a stronger stance with the Iranian leaders who are happy to arm others to fight until the last Yemeni, Syrian, Gazan, and Israeli (not to mention bareheaded Iranian woman) is dead. Nevertheless, I am deeply grateful as both an American and a Jew for the passion and strength in your speech yesterday.
        Thank you.”

        I have, to the best of my recollection, never visited the Evslin Blog site until today’s search. And I’ve asked VDC management how Evslin’s commentary may have been combined with yours on VDC.

        This is as specific as I can be at this time, and I hope it explains to you and all VDC readers why my comments appeared to you to be veiled non sequiturs. In that regard, thank you for your scrutiny. I would never have seen the cross-reference had it not been for your observation.

        With regard to Evslin’s remarks, my criticism stands as I expressed it. My characterization of times to come, and to those with whom we must deal, ‘stark’ as it may be, also stands. Praemonitus praemunitus.

        With equal respect then… Jay Eshelman

      • For the record: I’m concerned that the Pages have not commented on how the Evslin article I referenced and the Baker article above appeared together on a single VDC post.

  2. To Pam Baker, I am not at all surprised by the brick wall you hit with the State of Vermont “Ethics” office or local media. Taxpayers are paying for the courtesy to be treated like subservient peasants if you dare question their authority, deceptions, or stealing. Are we in the United States still? Not sure anymore.

    • Ms. Casey,
      I am not sure when the United States passed away. It was a long and lingering illness. The ghost of the country along with its founders haunts many to this day. I am unsure of the country that we currently reside in. I don’t believe the inhabitants who run the government or media, or entertainment know either.
      (tongue in cheek for those of you literal minded folks)
      FYI-I have posted an update below, from the House Ethics Committee. I also sent her a long email telling her her comments made no sense and weighed in on the whole EV issue. Not that it will do any good but if you don’t try, you never will succeed.

  3. I remember being thrilled in my freshman year of college (1975) that the people there were open-minded, both profs and students. Everyone was encouraged to express their opinions, and some wonderful discussions were had. No one was dismissed out of hand.

    Fast forward to my graduation (1979). College had already started devolving into “Everyone has a right to express their opinions, but only if you agree with us”. *Us* being the burgeoning leftist community that now seems to create every college and university policy across America. Their movement has been brewing and morphing for a long time now. Fail to toe the line and you can expect to be ridiculed – a tactic most sheep eventually give in to, unfortunately.

    Now even our Constitution is under complete attack, but I would remind you, the Ninth Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.”. Over the years, many of those non-enumerated rights have been specified by the Supreme Court, one of those being the right to travel freely between states. which obviously contains “within your own state”.

    Ms Burke obviously cares not for our Constitution, if she has ever even read it.

    However, I would encourage everyone who isn’t familiar with the Ninth Amendment to read it and discover which and how many non-enumerated rights have now been enumerated. By the way, this list includes the right to make your own health decisions for yourself, which is where “My body, My choice” derives from.

  4. Update:
    The House Ethics Panel has finally replied stating they have received the complaint and “Pursuant to § 2 of the Procedure, the Panel will provide a copy of the complaint to Rep. Burke. Also pursuant to that section, if Rep. Burke files a response with the Panel, the Panel will provide you with a copy of that response.”
    Notice this language…. “if Rep. Burke files a response…” So if she doesn’t they don’t do anything? Interesting stuff.
    If anyone has any constructive suggestions, I would be delighted to read them.

    • At least the exercise to hold elected officials to account for their actions proves there is no such thing. Add this to the list of the resounding backlash they received for S5, but put it through anyway. Many more examples too numerous to list within the Judiciary, Executive branches, the agencies, and departments. The fact of the matter is Vermont is a failed State. The Republic of Vermont no longer stands, only on paper I surmise. Vermont is a cesspool of corruption and a grifter’s paradise. When faced with a failed, corrupted system of governence, what is the next move? Anyone?

      Being there is a selection season underway and the Legislative session to begin in a few months, the debauchery and thievery will continue unimpeded and with impunity. Sad, but true. Good luck everybody!

      • Melissa Casey, after taking valuable remnants of my precious time to appear before committees in Montpeculiar in past years (mostly regarding 2A issues) all to no avail, I’ve finally reached a new place in mind on all this insanity. The plandemic was a deviously successful coup over our freedom in so many ways. One outcome was preventing we the people from testifying before “legislators”, ZOOM doesn’t cut it and even that was very selective in who and if anyone offered any testimony. No longer did elected “representatives” have to endure the little people, as they had to in the past. I remember looking into Phil Baruth’s soulless glazed over eyes as he endured my two minutes of testimony, Maxine Grad’s temper tantrum of not allowing the waving of small American flags (calling them banners) while right behind her on the wall was a large American flag, I stared into her angry eyes as I gave a silent thumbs up to the words of someone who was testifying, Mitzi Johnson’s (no relation, I assure you) sudden hearing loss in a call for “ayes” for an amendment to their poorly written magazine ban (the amendment was so poorly written that even many of the Dems had issues with it and voted “Nay” which would have killed the bill most likely) the “Nays” clearly had it, but that was not in script, so Johnson said the “Ayes” have it, when a division of the House was called for (after a whispering huddle) she declared it was too late call for a division because she had already declared that the “Ayes” have it. Soooo, last session I said to myself let them pass what they may, I will live exactly as I wish without injury to another, and if I’m am a “criminal”, whatever! I don’t care! Someone may admonish me for giving up and that would be their right, but I’m done. I will live by moral law, harm no one unless I’m attacked, then I will defend. We need MASS DISOBEDIENCE, in my opinion.

      • Jonathan, I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is not about giving up, being “blackpilled”, or the number of psyops and smear campaigns not taking hold as planned. Some of us simply see through the lies and deception, know right from wrong, and there is copious amounts of evidence and documentation that is not hidden. The system is broken beyond repair. No amount of gaslighting, lawfare warfare, veiled threats, or finger wagging will change that fact. The end game is here. You are wise to go about your life as best as possible under the circumstances. I am doing the same with my middle finger pointed directly at those who earned it and deserve it – which is exactly what my native Vermont elders taught me to do!

      • I will do what I can for as long as I am able to do it. If one has charged up the hill repeatedly without success, it is expected that one may decide to forgo further charges.
        As I commented above in response to Ms. Casey, tongue in cheek as it were, the US ceased to exist some time ago. What remains is an empty dried out husk of its former self. Some old fashioned, idealistic romantics (like me) who hold on dearly to the model taught to us as school children and in my case as a member of the Armed Forces, are still tilting at windmills and charging up hills. I falter some days. I retreat and regroup. If it ends up being “all for naught” and our country fails completely, it won’t be “all for naught” as I did the hard thing. Jocko Willink talks about doing the hard thing. In the end that is what is important. Not always whether you win or lose but what you did on the journey. So, take heart all you fellow old fashioned, idealistic romantics. It will never be “all for naught”.

      • There is the saying, never interrupt the enemy in the midst of destroying themselves, which is logical and happening right before our eyes. Trying to wake people to reality and save humanity as we know it is a spirtual battle – not of the physical, natural realm. There comes a point when the entrenchment of snakes start eating themselves, others slither away wounded, and their weakness becomes the strength of their nemisis. The fire is lapping their heels and their desperation and panic will exhaust them into their own defeat. The ones who think they have power are nothing more than fodder for their Master…which they will realize soon enough. They are led to their own destruction. History proves it to be so.

  5. Mollie Burke D-Brattleboro, is a communist back tracking on what she said and believes. Get rid of her in the next election if you want freedom.