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Threat to Free Speech in Vermont

Why does the Bennington Vermont chair of the town select board have a problem with free speech? Why is it that he would make a threat against a citizen based on that malady of his mind as shown here as covered by CAT TV Bennington Vermont Channel 17 with the threat taking place roughly from one hour and 35 minutes to one hour and 45 minutes into the videotape of the meeting of October 28th this year? Good questions!

The reason isn’t actually known. But clearly such behavior of a presiding official of such a public body in what amounts to New England town hall meeting is outrageous as well as appalling. What citizen in a small town such as this where everyone knows virtually everyone else would want to risk exercising free speech rights at a variance with dominant opinion of those on such a body where such had clearly seemed to be the case? Free speech should be for all or none. The Voltaire quotation of “I disagree entirely with what you say but will defend to death your right to say it” may not have always have applied to Voltaire but it sets a high standard to which all should aspire rather than walk away from or even openly reject.

With panhandling legislation before the board as an issue this mad act of a megalomaniac chair of the board came with the chair virtually waving the flag as he got into a verbal confrontation in the video with Ron Conroy who had voiced his opposition to the legislation talking about how the chair was a vet with Conroy in turn responding he too was a vet. The whole idea of bringing up this by the board chair does raise questions about his insecurity as well as his fitness for any office.

Given the context that the business community represented by the Chamber of Commerce favored the legislation but that one businessman and member of the board seemed reluctant to give it his unqualified support and expressed his concerns about how it might not be compassionate, it does raise questions about why anyone else should not be allowed to oppose such legislation without some threat of retaliation by the board chair.

“Civilized Leaders” and How They Sometimes “Get Away from US” or is “Civilization” or at Least “Western Civilization” Evolution in Reverse?

One award winning British businessman and evolutionary psychologist, David Erdal gives his take on the matter of leaders getting away from people such as seems to be happening here and introduced the whole idea implicitly of how Western people often think of other people not part of the “civilized” world for example in the Third World as somehow “primitive” and maybe this is what is going on the mind of this chair especially and in seeing himself as superior and what he does and not something such as Conroy have the least right to challenge or to challenge the chair’s authority. See here what Erdal had to say about that in a presentation on his version of transforming the business world.

A D Hemming has been an activist for progressive causes since the early 1960s, has been a researcher, poet, journalist, historian and got his feet wet as a progressive in the civil rights movement in US South as a teenager.