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  • Published
    June 7, 2018

    OPINION: Nordic's credibility chasm

    In my last column I wrote about plans by the Norwegian company Nordic Aquafarms to build one of the biggest salmon factories in the world in Belfast. In that column, I cited a number of misrepresentations made by Nordic. There are more. At a Feb. 21 public meeting, Nordic made a PowerPoint presentation that showed one of its existing fish factories located in a residential area, and Nordic CEO Erik Heim said the …

  • Published
    May 24, 2018

    OPINION: This stinks

    To the Mayor and City Council: On behalf of many of my fellow Belfast citizens, I’m sorry that democracy is inconvenient for you. I apologize. But you see, we live here. This is our home. And we think we should have a say in what happens here. We don’t think big corporations should be able to do whatever they want while we’re expected to roll over and play dead. We don’t like being handed a done deal. The …

  • Published
    May 10, 2018

    Opium fields, thug soldiers and banditos on horseback

    Often missing from the immigration debate is the personification of immigrants, who are mostly normal, everyday people. They live, love, work, raise children and deal with problems. Many are from Latin America, and I hope these Latin America travel stories will help give them a human face. In early 1997, I was in the chic Mexico City neighborhood of Zona Rosa when I saw a woman selling small framed photos on the …

  • Published
    April 27, 2018

    Sixteen Minutes with Taylor Branch

    Martin Luther King was perhaps the most eloquent prophet this country has ever produced, and he was assassinated 50 years ago this month. Fifty years and six days after King’s assassination — on April 10 of this year — I emailed Taylor Branch, perhaps the world’s preeminent Martin Luther King scholar and historian. I told Branch I was a columnist for a Maine newspaper and asked him for 10 to 20 minutes of his …

  • Published
    April 13, 2018

    Kushner's nightmare

    Recently I wrote about the tightening of President Trump’s inner circle. But that may be child’s play compared to the noose tightening around his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. This guy has some serious potential for meltdown. Never mind special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Kushner’s possible trading on his lofty White House position for $500 million in business loans ― look at the …

  • Published
    March 30, 2018

    Bloody Gina

    President Trump has nominated Gina Haspel, a CIA deputy director who has been directly implicated in a brutal CIA torture program, to be CIA director, and the question here in Maine is whether Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King will vote to confirm a nominee directly connected to widespread torture. Will Susan Collins bestow her much-vaunted seal of moderation on Gina Haspel’s nomination? Regardless of one’s …

  • Published
    March 15, 2018

    It's getting lonely at the top

    With the recent departure of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Staff Secretary Rob Porter, and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, President Trump’s inner circle is tightening. Gone are many of Trump’s top advisers and most of Trump’s staff who had at least a passing familiarity with the word “no.” According to the Brookings Institute, Trump’s staff turnover was 43 percent after 13 months. After two …

  • Published
    February 26, 2018

    A fading revolution?

    Three columns ago I said my next column would be on the current state of the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution. Then I got distracted. A cocked gun in your face will do that. In any event, here is the promised column, two columns late. I arrived in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital and biggest city, Jan. 2, and I welcomed the rush of heat and humidity after an unusually cold December in Maine. It was odd, and exhilarating, …

  • Published
    February 16, 2018

    Guatemala's violence strikes home

    Before last week, I had been mugged a few times. But I had never been robbed at gunpoint. I was walking in the beautiful countryside outside Comalapa, Guatemala, when two men passed me from behind on a motorcycle. They disappeared around a curve in the dirt road, and then one or two minutes later they returned. They parked about 30 feet from me, license plate facing the other way. They dismounted and pulled …

  • Published
    February 2, 2018

    Where beauty abounds

    I have been traveling in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala since Jan. 2. I was three weeks in Nicaragua, and then I endured a brutally cold air-conditioned bus from Managua to Guatemala City, punctuated by half a night in a decidedly budget San Salvador hotel, $14 a night. It’s an odd thing to be traveling in countries recently dismissed in profane terms by one’s president. I sometimes, or often, wonder what …

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