Op/Eds

  Biden's First 100 Days: We had a Republican President who lied and took advantage of his office in order to better his family and his rich friends. Some of what he did, I felt was good and some not good. He closed the Mexican Border which stopped migrants from coming in, but that also cut off our tourist business and our trade with Mexico. Now we have a Democratic president who has cut a hole in the fence and now we have thousands of migrants coming in like a herd of heifers heading for the corn fields.   We already have Mexicans working in the United States. They are an asset to the...
I’d like to try to explain School Taxes usually referred to as Education Property Taxes. It’s not well understood that most Vermont residents can pay school taxes on their homesite (home and two acres) by virtue of their income, NOT the property value of their home. A household with income up to $138,500 can have their property taxes reduced by virtue of their income. This reduction shows up as a credit on the property tax bills sent by your town. This way of calculating school taxes covers nearly 70% of all residential property in Vermont. Please, if your household income is less than $138,...
China, we think, has a human rights problem. We are free to collect and carry military weapons. We are free to conduct combat assaults locally, inflicting as much carnage as the ammunition allows. As a result, the right to life is not always among our human rights. The Chinese arrest and intimidate. We massacre at home and criticize the Chinese. Our national logic is somewhat deranged. When it comes to freedom, the Chinese fail by a wide margin to match our incarceration rate. The land of the free is afraid of itself. Pvt. A. Lyall 2nd Bat., 7th Cav., retired Middlebury
The pod swing hangs from a beam in our living room like some overripe fruit in a tropical rain forest. It is tear-shaped, made of durable lime green fabric with electric blue trim. You enter the swing through a narrow opening in the fabric; when you settle onto the round, electric blue cushion inside, you are surrounded by lime green on all sides, encased like a pupa in a chrysalis. The pod swing was not an intentional act of interior decorating. I never cast a critical eye on our living room and said, “You know, what this place really needs is a pod swing.” We purchased the swing on the...
One national story grabbing headlines these days, particularly on conservative stations like Fox News, is the number of Central American youth who are crossing the United State’s southern border illegally. Conservative media is hyping the story because they are desperate to distract their viewers’ attention from the successful passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act. That legislation, which was passed with unanimous support from Democrats and opposed unanimously by Republicans, is sending $1,400 checks to Americans in need, plus billions to help reopen the nation’s schools, enhance...
Like so many of us, I am grateful that the school districts have decided to delay irreparable decisions until the end of the summer. There are many people now working hard to craft a path through the huge challenges. Just as we are beginning to see light at the end of the COVID tunnel, so win-win solutions are beginning to emerge for our children and schools. The shifting Federal landscape means that these four easy changes could be implemented simultaneously: •  Remove the burden of health care from employers •  Permit and encourage pre-school parity •  Assure nurturing care from pregnancy...
Our kitchen renovation has barely started, and already the stress is getting to me. It’s not just because of the money we’re spending or all the decisions that have to be made. It’s because things aren’t where they used to be. My brain can’t take it. To be fair, I moved some things sooner than necessary, just in case. Mark is really busy, so he only does work on our house on short notice, when he can carve out a few hours here and there. That means instead of putting our kitchen on his schedule, he’s doing it more by ambush. It’s always been this way. When he redid our home office, for...
17th in a series The Constitution of the United States is not engraved in stone. It can be changed by adding, deleting and revising. Article VI of the Constitution describes the process. The 27 amendments appended to the main text along with internal additions and deletions are the results of this process. Reviewing them and setting them in their historical contexts is a good way to review the history of the United States in its ongoing effort to achieve a more perfect union. For example, Amendments 13, 14 and 15, are best understood when viewed against the background of the Civil War and its...
The indefinite raising of the Black Lives Matter flag represents a student, staff, and community-supported initiative at Mt. Abe. This flag is intended to acknowledge, interrogate, and begin to work towards dismantling white supremacy, which is foundational to our profession as teachers, our school, our communities, our institutions, and our nation. The BLM flag represents holding our institutions accountable to this work both in and outside of our school building. It represents a long-term aspiration to the 13 Guiding Principles of the BLM movement, which stand for radical social, cultural,...
In his letter to the Addison Independent (March 12) Tom Hughes accuses me of writing disparagingly of George Washington. This was not my intention. Indeed, I meant just opposite. Therefore, either I miswrote or Mr. Hughes mistook my point. Probably both are true. In any case, I take it that Mr. Hughes and I agree about Washington’s greatness. We seem to disagree about where in his character and personality the source of that greatness lay. I locate it in Washington’s moral character and not in his intellectual life. But I wrote that he did not read books, which is not true. I stand corrected...

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Addison County Independent