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Music for a Desert Island

If you were to be stranded on a desert island, what would you want to take with you? BBC Radio has been asking that question for nearly 80 years. The show’s guests, known as “castaways,” are interviewed about what eight pieces of music, along with one book and one luxury item, they would choose to accompany … Continue reading

Taking the Next Steps on Climate Change

The future launches at you in the most unexpected ways. It happened to some of us a few years ago when the climate movement suddenly took wing in Vermont. As the climate crisis now grows ever more dire, the movement is shifting into higher gear. That’s reason to reflect on all the changes and where … Continue reading

John Lennon, from Sedition to Stamp

America is the great cultural appropriator. What used to be taboo is now commonplace. The once incendiary is mainstream. Back in the 1930s it was a national language controversy when Vivien Leigh, in a scene from Gone with the Wind, asked Clark Gable, “Where shall I go? What shall I do?” and he replied, “Frankly, … Continue reading

Climate Change and Town Meeting

Nearly three-quarters of Americans now agree that global warming is a real thing. But a recent national survey also found that a majority would not be willing to spend $10 a month to address climate change. Many local voters may be among those who wouldn’t be willing to pay extra, even to help stop this … Continue reading

Fossil Fuel Divestment, Middlebury College, and Vermont’s Future

Environmentalists are accustomed to losing. As Joan Baez put it, “little victories and big defeats.” So when an influential organization actually makes the right environmental decision — and then goes even further — it’s cause for celebration. So it is with Middlebury College’s truly wonderful decision to divest out of fossil fuels. The college’s commitment … Continue reading

Nixon Was Worse than Trump

One of the benefits of age is perspective, a sense of what matters most over time. With that perspective, I suggest that we have seen worse then Donald Trump, and that the republic will survive. This is not to underestimate the horror that is the Trump presidency. On top of denying climate change and removing … Continue reading

Baby, It’s Politically Incorrect Outside

I had to laugh when I read that the Politically Correct Police are upset about the words to “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Can’t we just have a little innocent holiday fun without putting every male-female interaction under a microscope? Then I took a closer look at the song’s lyrics. And decided that in this case, … Continue reading

In Politics, Women Can’t Be Objectified as ‘Broads and Dames’

When Becca Balint was first running for a Windsor County seat in the Vermont State Senate, she told a reporter, she got a postcard from an anonymous sender with this message: “I urge you to end your political ambitions and stay home with your children.” Too often even today, that’s what it’s like for women … Continue reading

Imagining Trump and the State Senate Race

With the election less than two weeks away, I sat down recently with President Donald Trump for another of our intermittent (and imaginary) political “discussions.” GD: Mr. President, I understand you’ve taken a surprising amount of interest in the Addison County State Senate race. Why is that? DT: You’ve got this guy Paul Ralston in … Continue reading

Justice Kavanaugh and Senator Leahy

As Justice Brett Kavanaugh hears his first case on the Supreme Court, it’s worth looking back at the role played by Vermont’s longtime senator, Patrick Leahy, in his staunch opposition to confirming Kavanaugh. No senator shined as brightly as Leahy did during the confirmation battle. The senator, now 78, has slowed down in recent years. … Continue reading

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