Salesman of the Year

    The 2016 presidential primaries have scorched innumerable campaign trails across the nation, like so many well-meaning, patriotic arsonists. Fellow Southeastern Connecticutians might be excused from fully appreciating the quality and quantity of fireworks currently being set off in other parts of New England, upon distant New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Here, along the placid…

Moving Forward to South Carolina (The Safest Buffet Item Available, Please)

February 11, 2016  Tuesday I agree about the headlines you mentioned.  They both exist without the context of a two-person vs. dozen-person field (important!).  I would suggest keeping tabs by looking up the overall delegate (or the case of the Dems, the super-delegate) counts awarding from each state to really know who is winning over…

Who Does Donald Trump Compare To, Nate Silver?

March 1, 2016  Tuesday Dear Mr. Silver, I have a historical question that I hope might be raised during a podcast or chat. Rarely, if ever, do I hear Trump placed in historical context, and I’ve been trying to square Donald Trump with past outsider firebrands in American history.  Who might everyone think Trump best…

The SeaChange: Sink or Swim

  March 13, 2016  Sunday Like many, I’ve been trying to understand the current waves of discontent that play out almost daily in these early weeks of 2016.  I wish I were more eloquent or insightful for moments like this, but perhaps if I attempt to put down a few thoughts they will be somewhat…

SeaChange: Sink or Swim Part II

  March 13, 2016  Sunday Will, You are certainly more prolific with your words than I am. Even your email titles have a literary quality to them. Since I am far shorter with my words, this will not be as long as your email. From my viewpoint, those supporting Trump do make sense. I understand…

Why I Am Writing Again: Cracking the Hair-spring Lock

May 6, 2016  Friday I never expected to be journaling again. To be sure, I had entertained the idea a few times.  Most recently when I began teaching in my own classroom, in August of 2014.  It was a small door with a hair-spring lock: I knew either I had to commit fully, or the…

Open Call for Opinion Writing Concerning Guns

  Hello all, This is an open call for submissions of diverse opinions  and experiences on the subject of guns, for inclusion in a final, collected post of entries where your thoughts will appear alongside others from around the world. With the United States Senate today beginning a filibuster dialogue into the night concerning American…

Mayor Slay Comes Calling

written August 5, 2012     As a child I loved the poet Shel Silverstein.  My favorite of his poems, ironically, dealt comeuppances to erratic, irresponsible characters.  I could see myself in their crises, I suppose.  The long-overdue library book that elicits fear of punishment, or the grisly end of the pushy Pamela Purse.  Today,…

Shell Games

written February 2015   Shell Games Not many know this: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s heart, the slippery, pulsing piece of warm meat that propelled its perfumed, armored outer shell into leading the famous Scottish insurrection, now resides in a cathedral in Frascati, Italy. It happens to be in Italy and not Scotland because in 1746 the…

That Reminds Me of a Story: Lincoln’s Metaphors and His Audience

written February 2012 Amid the backwoods of Indiana and Illinois Abraham Lincoln received a formal education that was meager, to be kind. With less than a single year in a schoolhouse, Lincoln himself was years later critical of pioneer curriculum.[1] Apart from these “blab schools” Lincoln relied on his own hunger for reading the few…

Yellow Journalism on the Prairie: Illinois Ablaze Amid the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in a Political Fire Flamed by the Ink of Partisan Newsprint

written June 2009 The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 are generally perceived and beheld as a series of seven oratory contests between two Illinois men of renown, the prize being a United States Senate seat. The historical record of the events, however, in the form divisive newspaper reports and editorials, theoretically expanded the field to that…

Lincoln In Edwardsville: The Moral Idea is Boldly Suggested

written February 2012 Edwardsville had a history of “pseudo-slavery,” embracing Illinois’ Black Laws, and an antagonism towards abolitionists long before Abraham Lincoln spoke in the town in September of 1858.[1]  Gov. Edward Coles’ attempt to free slaves and end Black Codes in 1822 also included a ban on the future “emigration of free negroes to…