Archive - Editorial
August 19th, 2010
After spending most of a day driving through Montana and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, we’d turned east out of Grand Teton National Forest in the late afternoon, still with hundreds of miles to go before we stopped for the night.
Miles after the pine trees had vanished, replaced by sandy buttes and scrub brush, the snow-capped peaks still loomed behind us. Their peaks were etched sharply onto the deep blue sky, just like the mountains a small child would draw.
With only a few days left before the primary, four of the five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor could end up as the winner next Tuesday.
I was a little nervous as I headed to the reunion dinner at the VFW in the tiny western New York State town where I grew up.
My classmates and I were gathering from locations that ranged from an apartment down the street to a house in Thessaloniki, Greece.
I’m sure every one of us heading to the event felt a touch of the silly old fears that come with these gatherings. Then I spotted the big orange sign on the nearby bridge over the Erie Canal:
“WARNING: Emergency Scene Ahead.”
David Kilcullen, one of the world’s leading counterinsurgency experts and preeminent advisor to the US government, says that we must meet certain markers if we are to “succeed” in Afghanistan: We must face the realities of historical and contemporary Afghanistan. There must be agreement between Afghans and Americans on our goals. We must eliminate the Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan. There must be a solid, long-term US commitment including a flexible timeline.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
So reads an inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City.
Perhaps it’s time to add, “... but a lack of funding, will.”
The Postal Service has ended its third quarter $3.5 billion in the red, according to a release issued Thursday, and officials are declaring they won’t be able to pay all of their 2011 obligations.
As many times as I’ve been there, close to a half-dozen, maybe, I’m still not sure how to find the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington.
What I can say to anyone with even a passing interest in birds, nature or carving is that it is worth picking up an atlas (old school) or going online (non-Luddite) and learning how to get to the remote, gravel-surfaced byway of Sherman Hollow Road, where the museum may be found.
So far this summer, I’ve honored my vow not to unload any zucchini on friends and coworkers, especially those who have never done me wrong.
But it’s not easy.
I’ve never grown zucchini before and I’m not entirely sure why I did it this year. I know only too well — as the grudging recipient of several hundred pounds of zucchini each summer — that the number of zucchini eaten annually by the average American family is three, yet the yield of a single zucchini plant is 30 times that. So far. The season’s not over.
Vermont, like the United States, has a government of laws, not of men — what Abraham Lincoln called “of the people, by the people and for the people.”
It’s an ancient idea, one that dates back at least to the time of Aristotle and Plato, more than 300 years before Christ. It was a keystone of the American Revolution. In Britain, the king was the law, but Thomas Paine wrote that, “in America, the law is king.”
Maybe Armando Vilaseca and the municipal officials of Hartford, Vt., should brush up on the principles of democracy.