March 16th, 2017
Two weeks ago, our new-to-us wood cook stove broke.
How does that even happen? It’s not like a regular kitchen range: It doesn’t have an igniter, or even any on/off knobs. It’s a big cast-iron tank with a firebox on one side, an oven on the other, and a giant griddle for a top. But the old firebrick inside the firebox had been repeatedly patched by the previous owner, and one day it just broke in half.
I have a simple question for everyone involved regarding the Middlebury/Charles Murray controversy. If you could have a “do-over,” what would you do differently?
I had never heard it said that free speech included shouting other speakers down. This is the opposite of free speech. It is mob rule.
What happened to the old definition of such speech as, “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend with my life your right to say it.”
In the 1998 film “The Truman Show,” Jim Carey lives in a bubble, an ideal planned community, where he is unwittingly the star of a reality TV show. One day, a spotlight falls from the sky, actually from the top of the bubble enclosing Carey’s world, and what he knows as his reality begins to unravel.
In 1799, Congressman Matthew Lyon of Vermont was sentenced to 4 months in jail and fined $1,000 plus court costs of $69.96 as punishment for violating the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 by calling President John Adams a monarch. The founder of Fair Haven was re-elected to Congress while imprisoned in a frigid cell in Vergennes and later cast the tie-breaking vote that elected Thomas Jefferson President in 1800.
In reading the Addy Indy’s recent coverage of the protests at Middlebury College against a talk by author Charles Murray, I was struck by a profound feeling that some much-needed perspective was missing. While it is true that freedom of speech is a bedrock of our nation’s democratic ideals, it is hardly a black-and-white issue (no pun intended). Freedom of Speech is, like everything else down here in the real world, complicated.
On Town Meeting Day, Orwell residents once again chose to vote against a proposed merger under Act 46. The results were clearly incontestable, as the proposal was defeated by 62 percent to 38 percent of voters. There has not been a significant change in voting results over the course of three consecutive votes, in spite of some changes to the merger proposal prior to this latest outcome.