Letter from the Publisher

Speaking Truth, Opening Minds, and Reading on the Beach

by Guy Page

On our long-awaited Florida vacation, we went to the beach. I love to sit and read and tan, tan and read, drink a little, then read and tan some more.

That’s my Happy Place. 

Then crisis struck. With two whole beach days left, I finished my designated beach book, the third volume of Blake Crouch’s awesome Whispering Pines trilogy. 

I drove our golf cart (how I love Florida!) to Dunedin’s Roadside Lending Library and selected a trashy spy novel. 

“I hope it’s not trashy,” a loved one said. Knowing.

I muttered “trashy is relative” but then exchanged it for Allan Bloom’s 1987 classic, “The Closing of the American Mind.” He describes how American academia lost its appetite for the bread of Truth and Reason and became addicted to the artificial substitutes of ideology, relativism and emotion. 

Although the bloom is off my tan, I’m still thinking about Bloom. I’ve concluded that closed minds have sent Vermont down a dark intellectual tunnel on three important issues: climate, gender and housing the homeless. 

Mistake #1: Climate change will destroy the world, and therefore bold, painful steps like S.5 are morally justified.  

The truth is that no-one knows how much man-made climate change will affect the world. (I could cite data, reports, facts in support, but others already have done so, and dissuading climate believers isn’t my goal here.) Climate policy makers – zealots, skeptics, hucksters, everyone – should humbly seek the scientific truth – then decide what Vermont should do. 

Mistake #2: Gender is a social construct. The truth is that sex-at-conception is a biological reality. Like all other realities, biological reality can be ignored. Strenuous, semi-satisfying efforts to alter it can be attempted. But….compassionate, constructive help for transgender and questioning youth must begin with telling them the truth. 

Mistake #3: The solution to homelessness is housing. This statement is technically accurate: give a homeless person a home and ipso facto they no longer homeless. But it overlooks the many and chronic causes of homelessness. In the name of compassion, suffering is perpetuated. Vermont’s Housing First policy does not require the housing recipient to address the conditions that led to homelessness. Ipso facto is not presto chango.

The author is editor and publisher of Vermont Daily Chronicle.

6 replies »

  1. Dear Editor-in-chief, it was with a certain sadness that I read the title of the book you were reading comfortably seated in your beach attire. Certainly this book was not going to provide you with the well-deserved Nirvana your tired soul deserved. I read Allan Bloom’s book in 1987 when it was first published. On the back page, as an epilogue which would prove to be, some thirty years later, rather, an epitaph, I wrote: “Everything I always knew about America, but I desperately wanted to deny.”
    On Page 184 Allan wrote this visionary sentence, “Failure of culture is now culture.”

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed your well deserved vacation, a little sun can do wonders for the soul! It does seem that you have completely hit the problems in Vermont on the head but now how to fix it? Your paper gets the message out there now we have to wait and see how many people can read and comprehend.

  3. Dark minds with lots of dark money has led society down a path of destruction. I hear many say the hour of decision is now. Those who remain on the path of destruction will face their own destruction. Those who turn away from that path and repent, will be led through the narrow passages of the valley of death. They will be redeemed and spared. Be the light, not the dim switch.

  4. Stereotyping homelessness and who those suffering that insecurity (along with food and fuel insecurity that go along with it) is the first issue that needs to be addressed.
    Its NOT a personal failure…it is the failure of an economy that rewards those who join the fascists, and punishes those who just want to be left alone to find their own Waldens, or whatevers, that do no harm to earth, plant or animal… or human neighbors.
    Options removed for how one can solve one’s OWN problems kettles choices into no choices at all, dehumanizes humans, and denigrates individuality and not fitting in to the status quo i.e. having vastlyl different values than the rulers.
    Stigmatizing homelessness is a HUGE barrier to the self-esteem one needs to even BEGIN to stand in place and state one’s true needs – for me, my whole life was disrupted because my landlady ‘just wanted her cabin back’ (it has stood empty and untouoched in the 11 months since I vacated without issue) … a privaledged POV at the least.

    Vermont housing stock is weighted towards second homes that stand empty 10-11 months a year — and no incentives for rentals, housesitters, or caretakers without overboard invasions into privacy, and tenant/landlord laws weighted and skewed to prevent either tenant or landlord from saying, “Hey…I’ve a spare room/house/cabin that is standing empty. How can I help?”
    Ubuntu: Cooperation, collaboration, contribution and helping each other out… used to be the Vermont way.
    Now we view each other with so much suspicion, having a stranger in one’s house is on the scale of a house invasion, now. Unthinkable to consider.

    I have two cabins on either side of where my camper is located – both empty. Both would be perfect for my needs. Neither is available, but… empty…

    The state of housing in Vermont is NOT the fault of the homeless…no one CHOOSES to be homeless…do your homework.

  5. I would dicker slightly with “Climate policy makers – zealots, skeptics, hucksters, everyone – should humbly seek the scientific truth – then decide what Vermont should do.”

    It is not up to politicians to decide what to do, especially given “that no-one knows how much man-made climate change will affect the world. (I could cite data, reports, facts in support…”. It is up to each of us individually to prioritize and apply the resources we have to adapt to whatever nature brings. In fact, our resources would be enhanced if our “betters” in Montpelier and DC would stop meddling and spending where they have no business, and that includes education, health care, private property, etc., etc., etc.

    Hope you got your well-deserved rest and can get back to beating back the dark media empire.