All posts by James G. Blaine

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.

“A republic if you can keep it”*

It has been a few days since my last post. I have been traveling, visiting children and grandchildren, celebrating birthdays and impending graduations, and tomorrow I am off to Mexico for my godson’s wedding. But it’s not just the travel and living out of a suitcase that has caused my quiet pen, for these are […]

Rethinking Community

̛I have what may seem kind of a cosmic question: Are we experiencing the contraction of a sense of community, in the broadest meaning of the term, that had been expanding for the last 50 years or more? I had come to believe, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., that the long arc of history […]

American Apartheid on Dexter Avenue

Journey to Montgomery (Part 3 of a series) “Ran away, a negro girl called Mary. Has a small scar over her eye, a good many teeth missing, the letter A is branded to her cheek and forehead.” “Ran away, a negro woman and two children. A few days before she went off, I burnt her […]

“Southern trees bear strange fruit”*

Journey to Montgomery (Part 2 of a series) Last week began with Earth Day and ended, at least for me, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. It was quite a journey – both physical and cultural – that took me from Maine to Washington, D.C., for a benefit concert sponsored by JusticeAid, which was founded […]

Pete McCloskey speaks out on Earth Day

Disclosure: Pete McCloskey, of whom I wrote in my last blog, is married to a friend of mine. The real founder of Earth Day in 1970 was a great progressive Democrat, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. He wanted Earth Day, set for April 22nd, the same day as Arbor Day, to be a bipartisan and […]

“Please, Sir, I want some more.”

“I know how much is enough,” a friend of mine once said to me. “It’s just a little more than you have right now.” And that, in two short simple sentences, is what drives the American Dream. Or at least it did until recently, when many dreamers woke up to find that a few people […]

Revisiting and revising the American dream

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,” John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961. It has become increasingly clear that many Americans no longer buy into the American dream. From the perspective of national unity and morale, this is not […]

Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Just Don’t Get Sick

Yesterday 24/7 Wall Street published a piece on the “Most (and Least) Healthy Countries in the World.”The rankings are based on an index that measures four variables: “life expectancy, infant mortality, maternal mortality, and incidence of tuberculosis.” The ten healthiest countries include the usual suspects from Scandinavia (Iceland #1; Finland #2; Sweden #7; and Norway #8), […]