Category Archives: Home

J is for Gerrymander (Part 2)

“The simple truth is this: America is the only major democracy in the world that allows politicians to pick their own voters” (David Daley, Ratf**ked). As described in Part 1, Chris Jankowski’s plan to create an impregnable Republican majority in Congress (and many state legislatures) for at least the next decade was ingenious in its […]

And not only in Boston

“I have heard this with Boston hockey fans too, being pretty racist towards PK Subban when he played for the Canadiens,” my son Daniel wrote me reflecting on the racist slurs recently shouted at Baltimore Outfielder Adam Jones at Fenway Park. “Dad, is the city really this notoriously racist?” His question took me back to […]

A Mission Statement for America

A New Series. America has not been this dangerously divided in many years, and the myths that in the past have held us together and shaped our identity as a people are no longer working. Instead, we have become an angry country where, in the words of W.B. Yeats, “everywhere the ceremony of innocence is […]

“As We Go Marching On”*

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can get you to commit atrocities.” Voltaire It’s been noted that I’m not now, nor have I ever been, a big fan of Donald Trump and that I have at times used this space to express my biased views. True. The responses from those who disagree have fallen […]

This Nightmare is Far from Over

“It’s just words,” Donald Trump. “The cancerous con man is determined to take the entire ship down with him!” A Republican friend of mine. Donald Trump is attacking any- and everyone against whom he has ever held a grudge, and that is a lot of people. His object is to (1) humiliate those he attacks and […]

Traveling Through Trump Country

Part 4. From Washington, Pa. to Youngstown, Ohio In much of southwestern Pennsylvania where I traveled, Black Lives Matter is seen as little more than a license to shoot police officers. To Precious Brown, a 17-year-old rising high school senior in Youngstown, Ohio, it is something else entirely. “I believe that all lives matter,” she […]

Traveling Through Trump Country

Part 2: From Johnstown to Homestead It’s 65 miles from the site of the Great Flood to that of the Battle of Homestead, “the deadliest clash between workers and owners in American labor history.”* Two men featured in both events: Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. Both were members of the South Fork Fishing and […]

The Last Best Hope of Earth?

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,” W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Du Bois wrote that line 113 years ago to demonstrate that Black lives matter. Well into the 21st century, how far have we come? In the wake of Dallas and Minnesota and Louisiana, […]

Introducing Perspectives

James G. Blaine

I am a recent resident of Northeast Harbor, although I have deep roots in Maine,including the same name as a rambling house in Augusta. For the last four years, I have written a regular blog ( that connects personal observations and public issues.