Op/Eds

10/22/2020
The election is upon us and millions have already voted. Though we hear that very few Americans remain undecided, we in beautiful blue Vermont should make every last-minute effort to urge them to vote and to choose Joe Biden.  Donald Trump has a natural coalition of the comfortably off who care only about their incomes, religious and “patriotic” zealots, bullies, bigots, racists, haters of all stripes and those he cons with impossible promises. Though Trump lacks a popular majority, it is frighteningly possible that the distribution of his coalition may enable him to win the Electoral College...
10/22/2020
For Addison County Teachers and Staff Nothing like the principal seeing you again, after so many months, walking down our school’s stairs. Looking up and saying “You look beautiful.” As if we had been prepping, putting on make-up, in between classes, in our home rooms. And not, actually at home, teaching a screen-full of children. Telling a few to sit back, they don’t have to be this close to the screen. Don’t have to shout, when they think no one’s listening. Strange, isn’t it, to think each day we’re getting through this? We’re still beautiful. At the same time remembering Our Lady of...
10/22/2020
Molly Gray is exactly the right person that Vermont needs now to be our next Lieutenant Governor — intelligent, grounded in the Vermont experience, but with a level of international exposure that has prepared her to tackle the job. Molly will bring an energy to the job that will highlight the things that need to be done to put Vermont’s business in a great position to succeed. Her experience in the challenging fields of human rights law and humanitarian aid in difficult circumstances for the International Committee of the Red Cross gives her an edge in figuring out how to overcome roadblocks...
10/22/2020
I have had the privilege of getting to know Dave Silberman over these last few months. When residents across Vergennes began to discuss what it would mean to have more citizen-involved policing in our beloved city, he quickly became a wise resource, a trusted voice, and a ready ally. It is my honor today to write in support of his candidacy to be our county’s High Bailiff. I have seen up close how he serves this community as a private citizen, and I look forward to seeing his impact amplified as a public official. At his core, Dave understands the value of bringing more people into the...
10/22/2020
Dear Senator Bernie Sanders,  I told myself to write this thank you letter, months ago. Here goes ... Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for introducing ideas into the minds of the majority of Americans. These ideas have a staying power because they can help our nation heal. Who knew you were going to be a “doctor in the house”? Yes, in order to act on the foundational beliefs set forth in our Declaration of Independence, that all men (an addition: and women and everyone in between) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among...
10/20/2020
My daughters began digging the hole on the first weekend of October.  The large window over our kitchen sink is my window on the world — or the world of our backyard, at least. It was from this vantage point that I spotted three of my daughters hard at work with shovels on a Friday afternoon, clustered around a growing pile of dirt right in the middle of the yard. “What are you doing?” I called out the back door. “We’re digging a hole!” they shouted back. “Couldn’t you have picked a less central place to dig it?” I asked. “Daddy said it was okay!” And that was that. The hole was my 9-year-old...
10/15/2020
A few years back, I remember attending an author event at Bixby Library in Vergennes. It was after hours and the library was closed except to guests. As I entered, I passed a cluster of young kids dressed against the cold huddling on the granite steps in front of the library. I inquired of my host why they were there. “We leave our WiFi on for them,” he responded. “They don’t have it at school and come here to use ours.” Today, the pandemic is exposing Vermont’s endemic problems, accelerating some into full-blown crises, the latest of which is the state and federal failure to meet the...
10/15/2020
I met Ruby Bridges fourteen years ago when she visited the school where I taught. Readers may recall my previous article about her visit and its lasting impact. It was an honor to host Ms. Bridges, the first Black student to integrate the William Franz Public Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960, when she was only six years old. She has been called the youngest hero of the Civil Rights Movement. The final story she shared with my preadolescent students remains vivid. Less than a year prior to her visit to Vermont, right around the time hurricane Katrina ravaged her city, Ruby Bridges’ son...
10/15/2020
Finally, after seven months of stay-at-home monotony, something exciting happened. I caught a cold. It’s not much, but I welcomed the change of pace. To be fair, my life was not all that action-packed even before COVID. I wasn’t jetting off to exotic locales — although I did go to Texas in 2019, and compared to Vermont, that felt in many ways like traveling to a distant planet. But my physical world has gotten smaller. Plus I work from home now, so I only have reason to leave the property once or twice a week in search of food. The biggest pleasure that has been denied to me, really, is the...
10/15/2020
Thomas Hobbes perceived that politics was all about power; the power to govern, to command, to make laws, and to enforce them, along with the power to levy taxes, regulate public opinion, and to make war and peace. The right to exercise this power is the sole right of the sovereign, whoever or whatever it may be.  He recognized that there were different opinions about who is sovereign, and therefore different forms of government. The sovereign may be a single individual, or a select group of them, or a whole people, and the government a monarchy, an aristocracy, or a democracy. Hobbes’...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100