Commentary Series

Orwell and Churchill were two of my boyhood heroes. Both men regarded politics, not as dirty work, but as an honorable calling, capable of changing the affairs of people for the better and protecting both the individual and free speech. In fact, Churchill once declared that "A state of society where men may not speak their minds cannot long endure."

Vogel: Homeownership

Jan 23, 2018

For many years, I taught real estate courses at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and lately people have been asking if I think this is a good time to buy a home in Vermont. And my answer is a qualified yes.

For weeks, I slogged my way through the almost seven hundred page American Ulysses: A life of Ulysses S. Grant, one of the two recent big biographies of our 18th president, of whom I knew embarrassingly little.

Screenshot from the trailer for 'The Post'

Apparently perceiving a conspiracy of Democrats, the press and liberal elites, the president is seething. Those around him have never seen him so angry.

Joel Ryan / AP

Searching for perspective on today’s national climate of reckless self-interest some historians find an apt comparison in another decade of unparalleled greed and corruption, the so-called “Roaring Twenties."

Clean water. Good schools. Two excellent reasons to live in Vermont. But it’s easy to take them for granted.

My brother and sister-in-law have given the parents and me an Amazon Echo - or, as many know it, an “Alexa.” They love theirs and thought the more technologically “slow” of us should have one too.

My sixth-grade son came home from school last week and told me he’d heard about the new law legalizing marijuana. “Don’t they have any idea how stupid that is?!” he said in his pre-teen voice that just oozed disdain for grown-ups.

Many years ago I worked with someone who went to Attica - yes, that Attica - for possessing a small amount of pot, and it probably didn’t help that he was also Native American. The prison experience nearly wrecked him as a human being.

The President is the country’s Commander-in-chief – and as such, has a responsibility to ensure that his – or her - behavior and actions are always a model of inspiration for the most professional and probably the most racially diverse military in the world.

Meghan Markle at a public event Tuesday Jan. 9, 2018. Commentator Steffen Gillom suggests Markle's engagement offers an opportunity to consider "a fundamental question about race and language."
Dominic Lipinski / AP

As media outlets follow the engagement of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry – they’re choosing to focus large amounts of attention on her ‘exotic’ biracial identity.

Denis Finley, editor of the Free Press, got into dicey territory when he responded on Twitter to Vermont’s plan to offer a third gender identity option on driver’s licenses.

The initiative to wear black at the Golden Globes was commendable as a stance against a culture historically focused on women’s bodies and clothing as sexual ignitors. But it didn’t eliminate the need for careful and thoughtful consideration of the complexity of the situation at hand.

Arthur Mola/Invision/AP / Invision

Fifteen years ago, a film critically considered a colossal disaster was written, directed and produced by Tommy Wiseau.

Patten: Limits Of Progress

Jan 12, 2018

I was born at the end of World War II as our massive war machinery pivoted to supply domestic consumption with innovations that promised to make our lives easier and help us forget the hardships of the Depression and world wars. It was called “progress” and we all joined the effort.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has suggested that our economic recovery could be stoked by American women simply having more children.

Although it’s not so politically-correct these days to admit it, I relish a good pro football game. This may stem from the fact that watching the NFL on TV was something my father and I enjoyed doing together back when I was a kid.

I was lucky. I grew up in a house full of books and often heard my mother say that "Books are the next best thing to friends."

At the start of every legislative new year the governor speaks to a joint session of the House and Senate to describe his priorities for the legislative session. This is a formal speech marked by carefully crafted remarks designed to inspire.

It’s been estimated that about a third of Vermont’s population was affected by the Equifax breach. But galling as it was, it may have galvanized both public and private sectors to consider better safeguards for personal data.