Daniel Kasnitz

How can we disagree without vilifying?

There is a great deal of evidence, both scientific and philosophical, that we each create our own reality. Many of us share many aspects of a collective “consensus” reality.

Right now, many of us share a consensus reality where the power of the COVID-19 pathogen is a much greater threat to our collective well-being than the economic challenges presented by properly addressing the immediate health issue.

Some feel the economic and political challenges more daunting. Some find the economic and political opportunities to exploit this pandemic irresistible.

I understand that some people's realities do not coincide with mine on this subject and many others. I do not think that is a good a reason to vilify those people or how they think. It does mean that I will sometimes believe in a very different set of conclusions and take very different actions.

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What society and conditions do we want to create?

In our debates about gun violence in the United States, one longstanding element in play complicates the issue and further drives anger, division, and inaction. That element is our propensity for claiming we know causality with little to no evidence to back us up. Rather than take the sometimes-hard...

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Our new post-truth reality

No matter how out of style, we must redouble our efforts to be accurate, to honor truth and verifiable historical facts. We cannot afford to leave them behind when they become difficult to bear.

Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as 2016's International Word of the Year. What does this mean for us, tucked away up here in southern Vermont? How are we to think about the diminishing relevance of, and even outright hostility toward, truth, accuracy, and reality? What do we have to offer...

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A matter of disrespect

Why do vandals attack other people's property? In the many cases locally where “Black Lives Matter” signs have been stolen, it is hard to construe any reason other than racism, mixed with a disregard for freedom of speech and cowardice. What can we surmise when the infraction is not theft of private property, but graffiti or other intentional marring of public property? Here, the messages left will reveal much about the intentions. Within only a few days recently, there have...

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Theft of sign at BAJC an assault on free speech

Free speech matters. Free speech matters so very much, that for generations, it has been at the core of both our collective values and our legal system. For many of us, the right to freedom of speech is a revered covenant. Sadly, this is not universal. On Sunday, Sept. 13, I was rudely reminded that for some, their fears lead to cowardly and clandestine efforts to silence the voices of others. Their fear and anger is strong enough that they...

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Beyond fear, bias, or hatred

Is there an alternative to stabbing each other in the back when we disagree? While we must condemn the dreadful actions of a few deeply disturbed people, isn't it even more important to take productive steps to prevent such horrors? Can we promote healthy and uplifting relations? Israeli, right-wing terrorists recently perpetrated two hateful murders. In one case, the deadly violence claimed an 18-month-old Palestinian infant. The other victim was a 16-year-old Jewish woman whose transgression was that she did...

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Blame Ratzinger, not me

Joseph Ratzinger - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI - will go down in history as one of the most disgusting, hypocritical, unrepentant, criminal sinners in modern times. To anyone offended by my comments, blame Ratzinger and years of abuses by the Catholic Church, not me. They did the deeds.

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So, how do we fix our political system?

RE: “America at a crossroads” [Viewpoint, Oct. 31]: In response to my article concerning the similarities and differences of the two parties that have a headlock on our political process, a number of folks have asked me: “OK, so what do we do about it?” I am very troubled by the problem that arises in a close race when a progressive candidate leeches votes from a moderate, resulting in a win for a reactionary candidate. The problem is that the...

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