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  • Published
    May 4, 2017

    Bicycling through zoos

    I recently went to see “The Zookeeper’s Wife” at the Colonial. The film tells the story of a couple who successfully hid, in a zoo, 300 Polish Jews from almost certain death at the hands of the German army in World War II Warsaw. The opening scene is charming. The zookeeper’s wife is riding through the zoo on her bicycle, saying hello to, and checking on, all the animals, and a juvenile camel is running after …

  • Published
    April 27, 2017

    The definition of imbecilic

    There’s good news. In a previous column I suggested that the definition of “insanity” was the Democratic Party. Well, the good news is that you no longer have to dive that deep into the dictionary to find the party. Now you only have to go as far as “imbecilic.” The Democratic Party, which of course got wiped out in November, losing both houses of Congress and the presidency, has had the chance, since November, …

  • Published
    April 14, 2017

    Carrying water for Trump

    President Trump has been in office 11-plus weeks, and tanker loads of ink have been spilled over Trump, Bannon, Kushner, Ivanka, the perpetually hapless Sean Spicer, and even Mike Pence — remember him? But one person hasn’t received her fair share of ink or credit for the relatively small but key role she has played in advancing Trump’s agenda, and that person is Maine’s senior senator, Susan Collins. On a policy …

  • Published
    March 31, 2017

    Third-rate treason?

    The first time he was ever asked about Watergate, Nixon press secretary Ron Ziegler called Watergate “a third-rate burglary attempt,” and that very apt description stuck. Google “third-rate burglary.” You’ll get 385,000 hits, and the first page of them is all Watergate. Fast forward 45 years to 2017. More and more people are starting to use the word “treason” in connection with Russiagate, and the similarities …

  • Published
    March 22, 2017

    The Definition of Insanity

    It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I think that’s too long-winded, so I propose a more succinct definition: the definition of insanity is the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has been playing the working class for suckers for a long time, and in 2016, those chickens came home to roost in no uncertain terms. Though the …

  • Published
    March 9, 2017

    King, Collins and a cabinet of dunces

    In January I wrote a column about Susan Collins’ official introduction of attorney general nominee, now confirmed, Jeff Sessions to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved Sessions’ nomination. When I wrote that, I didn’t know just how low Collins had sunk in her support of Sessions, but thanks to transcripts of Collins’ introduction of Sessions on her website, those depths are now on full display for the …

  • Published
    March 2, 2017

    A lesson in circular logic

    I love circular logic. It has a beauty all its own — which proves it isn’t ugly. And the more blatant and outrageous it is, the more beautiful it is, like a two-by-four upside the head that is somehow welcome. It’s the second to last refuge to which a scoundrel clings, and I have a feeling we’re in for a lot of it in the next four years. My last column was about the Jan. 13 opening arguments in a crimes-against-hu…

  • Published
    February 3, 2017

    J'accuse

    I never thought I would stand accused at a crimes against humanity trial. On Jan. 13, I attended the opening day of closely watched and much anticipated trial in Guatemala City in which four military officers are accused of crimes against humanity in the 1981 torture and multiple rapes of a student activist, and the forced disappearance of her 14-year-old brother. It was the first time I had ever attended a trial …

  • Published
    January 20, 2017

    Susan and Jeff: A love story

    I’m no big fan of Susan Collins. She’s never seen a war or budget-busting tax break for the 1 percent she didn’t like, and her meticulously crafted and maintained image of independence from the Republican Party’s abundant excesses disintegrates under scrutiny — she never bucks the party on close votes, only when it doesn’t matter, when the votes are either there or not there. But she’s good on women’s issues, you …

  • Published
    January 6, 2017

    Vast oceans of courage

    Back in the spring I wrote a column entitled “Witness to a War Crimes Trial: My Heart is Sepur Zarco.” In the column I chronicled the February and March 2016 war crimes trial of two Guatemalan army officers accused, and convicted, of enslaving 11 Mayan Q’eqchi women in the Guatemalan village of Sepur Zarco for purposes of sex and labor in 1982, at the height of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, which ended in 1998. …

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