Vidda Crochetta

Future generations are at the lawmaking mercy of believers who largely deny science

When I moved to Vermont in 2008, I didn't know that New England is the least religious part of the country. More recently, the 2016 Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study found that just 21 percent of Vermonters attend worship services regularly and only 41 percent say they believe in God with any certainty.

It so happens that I was raised without any beliefs and religion. When, as a teenager, I asked my mother why, she said her family and community were “holy rollers” and she detested the overbearing religion in everyday life. She felt it was wrong to impose religion on children. I always appreciated the blank slate quality of mind she encouraged and the freedom to learn and think for myself.

In 1938, Sigmund Freud wrote to Charles Singer, a British historian of science and medicine, “Neither in my private life, nor my writings have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever.” Despite the claim by many believers that nonbelievers are merely expressing their own beliefs, the opinions of nonbelievers are not based on belief dependency. It would be illogical to do so.

There is also a misconception by believers that nonbelievers who criticize religion and people's beliefs do so with anger or hatred. It would also be illogical for many unbelievers to exercise such high-level emotions to express the fiction of religions and beliefs in the context of history and human behavioral traits. However, sadly, anger and hatred does fall well within the several thousand years of patriarchal Abrahamic infighting, to this day.

Read More

Check Valerie's service record: Community, non-profits and constituents

Many of us have known and voted for Valerie Stuart over the years. If you'd like a comprehensive overview of how Valerie has served the community, non-profits and her constituents, visit her website to revisit why she should return to the Vermont House of Representatives to continue the good...

Read More

The hand of man on Sept. 11, 2001

In a news report on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, Dan Rather, CBS news anchor, commented that the collapse of World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 looked like a Las Vegas casino demolition. You never heard that newsworthy comment again until years later. The “fireball” collapse theory...

Read More


Opioid policy compromises doctor-patient relationship

I don't know how many lives will be saved by the official response to the opioid crisis. In the past, government reactions to illegal drugs have been expensive, heavy-handed, and ineffective. Vermont and the nation have never been able to reconcile themselves to the fact that it is normal for people to actually want to use drugs. In the case of opioids, the crackdown is already having collateral damage to patients legitimately in need of the relief these drugs provide...

Read More

When it comes to marijuana, what are our lawmakers thinking?

As it should be, there is an overriding concern for safety issues as the marijuana legalization snail bill creeps through the byzantine loops of the legislature - so much so that the safety issues are secure, but the legalization bill is in danger of dying until further notice. Yet, just a stone's throw away from Montpelier, we are witnessing the nation of Canada in the process of legalizing marijuana. Note that I said “nation,” not “province” or “state.” It makes...

Read More

So many good choices in this year’s primary election

When it rains it pours. Unlike the presidential election, where we have the usual suspects to vote for - better known as “the lesser of two evils” - here in Vermont we have a slate of candidates in the gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election where actual choices are necessary. That means we have to make up our minds by the Aug. 9 primary. It is a stimulating experience to see the political landscape populated with qualified candidates. So stimulating, in...

Read More

That’s not really what I said

In my letter, the editor got the sentiment right but the context wrong. I did not state that “most people don't oppose drugs.” That is a statistic that's unknown to me. I did state, however, that “[m]ost people who use drugs do not abuse drugs.” Now that statistic I am long familiar with, and I stand firmly behind my sentiment to “leave them the hell alone.” Equating any illicit drug use with “drug abuse” is one of the many failings...

Read More

Most people don’t oppose drugs — so leave them the hell alone

If we lived in a civilized country, we would not have criminalized marijuana or any other drug. Drug criminalization indicates a sociopolitical mental-health problem. You see, it's normal for humans to consume drugs. It is not normal to criminalize and institutionalize our citizens because of drug use. The only time drug use should be criminalized is when a drug is explicitly used in the commission of a “real” crime of deliberate or reckless acts of a violent or dangerous nature.

Read More