Personal Stories and Background Perspective

Personal STORIES

Snow Ball Fights: Passion and Peril

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.” Doug Larson In the beginning, there were snowball fights after every storm, even though they presently are illegal in eight towns in Rhode Island, including nearby Newport and Jamestown. Not illegal here in Portsmouth, however, our town has a long…

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Christmas Letter 2021

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All of Nature is God’s Art

“All of Nature is God’s Art”  Attributed to Dante Alighieri. “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”  Henry David Thoreau, Walden A local townsperson from forty or so years ago in Mount Vernon, Maine, taught in the English Department at the…

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Well Scripted

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World[i] Back in the mists of the early seventies for about a year I was a correspondent for a regional daily paper in Boston. I remember well the cigarettes smoldering in our ashtrays and cold coffee and typewriters at eleven at night trying to…

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Background & Perspective

Swine, Double Speak, and Bringing Home the Bacon

“It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt.” Thomas Paine [i] Recently I read an article about a bacon crisis looming in California. [ii] Sad is the plight of the owner of a small breakfast diner who survived the pandemic restaurant crisis but may be put out of business because…

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Dueling Populisms

“What do I mean by “democratic capitalism”? I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism [i] We rightly have been obsessed with…

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Pharming for Profit Part Two

“All things are engaged in writing their history…. Not a foot steps into the snow, or along the ground, but prints in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson The first time I ever met anyone with a nut allergy was a good friend in Maine. He was a former Marine and CIA something (he couldn’t…

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Pharming for Profit Part One

‘Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it – would they let me – since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.” Herman Melville, “Moby Dick” In a terrible hot summer when I was nine or ten, my mother…

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