Thu, Apr 24, 2014 ●
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Universal Notebook

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  • Universal Notebook: The arrogance of the human animal

    Just about the first thing you read when you open the Bible is that God gave man “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” If by “dominion” we m...

  • Universal Notebook: Raise taxes, please!

    In these dire economic times, it’s easy for politicians to take the No New Taxes pledge. How could you possibly raise taxes when people are hurting, right? Wrong. A refusal to raise taxes when needed is political cowardice, plain and simple. Fiscal responsibility doesn’t just m...

  • Analyze this: Confronting personal prejudices

    At a certain point in every life there comes a time when one feels the need to confront his/her prejudices once and for all. For me that time is now. Having just turned 60, I have finally realized, much to my own amazement, that I am not a perfect human being. In fact, I am a deeply flawed and...

  • Have they no shame?

    The most compelling thing about the howls of public and political execration aimed at the big bonuses given the bailed-out boneheads at AIG is not so much the understandable outrage at rewarding failure with gifts of tax dollars, but the fact the American people haven't been able to work up suc...

  • 'Go ahead'

    Hannah Merker called me from Bristol last week to ask a few questions about how I write my columns and where I get my ideas. I told her my motto is "Make a week's pay off everyone you meet" and warned her that she might easily turn into a column. And here it is.

  • A case of hibernal torpor

    Subnivian – now there's a word I'd never heard, let alone used, until I started reading Bernd Heinrich's "Winter World," a wonderful natural history about how animals survive the winter. The word isn't even among the 260,000 in my "Unabridged Random House Dictionary of the Engl...

  • Maine: 'The Maple Tree State'?

    Back around Christmas this paper published a column by investment counselor, birdwatcher and Maine Heritage Policy Center activist Lawrence E. Dwight Jr. (a.k.a. "J.Dwight") entitled "The biggest con job in the history of man." Dwight tried to make the case that climate chan...

  • Going out of print

    The combination of a recession in the economy and a revolution in information technology is conspiring to put me out of business. Or at the very least, out of print.

  • Rising to a level of incompetence

    Has anyone else begun to suspect that the Peter Principle is hard at work in America? With all the other trendy theories that have passed through our culture in the past 40 years (Remember Total Quality Management? Remember when we thought the Japanese had all the answers? Now we've got Malcolm Glad...

  • Maine Turnpike: 109 miles of highway robbery

    When I woke up this morning I was in the midst of a recurring reverie in which I become a folk hero by leading a popular revolt against the Maine Turnpike Authority.