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.

Looking for America (a series)

“I’ve gone to look for America.” Simon and Garfunkel It was a long ride from Boston to Alma, Georgia, in the late spring of 1971, and to be honest, I don’t remember if the bus was integrated or not after we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line. I do remember that Alma wasn’t. I had come to […]

I’ve Lost My Country, Too

Much has been said and written over the last year about people who believe they have lost – or are losing – their country, most recently, Thomas Edsall’s “Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears” in yesterday’s New York Times. Many of these people make up the core of Donald Trump’s support. […]

Senator Murkowski’s Sad Bargain

“In Wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau The price of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s vote to approve the tax bill and reverse herself on health care was to end 57 years – dating back to the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower – of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Like her father who […]

Truth Trumps Satire

Because I have an early dentist appointment, I wrote the following post, which was intended as satire, last night . . . only to wake this morning to Billy Bush’s op-ed piece in The New York Times. It took courage to write, and it brought to mind Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” […]

Maybe it’s time to call in the Worm

In an interview with BBC earlier this week, an expert on North Korea from Johns Hopkins made two unsettling points: (1)  Far from pursuing a policy that differs from its predecessors, this administration has been doing more of the same, the only differences being a more openly aggressive swagger and the childish name calling that […]

Pema Chödrön and the parable of the walled community

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” Robert Frost, Mending Wall. “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Ronald Reagan, Berlin, June 12, 1987. According to Pema Chödrön, the gentle and perceptive Buddhist teacher whose calm recorded voice has helped me through some hard places, the Buddha (sometimes called the […]

OK, but what can my country do for me?

Fifty-four years ago today John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas. In his inaugural address fewer than three years earlier, he had inspired many of my generation with the words, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Those words sound almost laughably naïve these days […]

Friday Follies: Let’s Do the Numbers

• 24% = 24%. This week Team TRUMP sent me the following email: Friend, CNN is at it again. Their latest phony poll claims that 64% of Americans have less confidence in President Trump than they did one year ago. Yet of more than 1,000 people interviewed, just 24% were Republicans. That seemed very unfair. So […]