• A primer on Question 1

    It was a cry for help, laced with capital letters and exclamation points and oozing frustration. It came from a local citizen trying to do his civic duty and find out what Question 1 on the Nov. 2 referendum election ballot is all about. It did not go well. There are three questions on that

  • Legislators set to dive into redistricting proposals

    With a Sept. 27 deadline pressing down on them, members of Maine’s Apportionment Commission agreed on proposals for redrawing district lines for Maine’s counties, its two congressional districts and Maine House districts. The exercise, undertaken once in a decade, is meant to restore population balance to voting districts after tallying births, deaths, in-and out-migration and

  • Australia “bets the house”

    The unexpected announcement last week that the U.S. and Britain had agreed to supply technologies that would allow Australia to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines sent geopolitical shockwaves across both Asia and Europe. Most of the headlines actually focused on France, which had a prior agreement to supply Australia with diesel/electric submarines — a

  • Afghanistan in perspective

    “We’ve been a country too long at war.”  — President Biden Headlines have been dominated by the cataclysmic events in Afghanistan — the sudden Taliban takeover followed by the precipitous U.S. withdrawal from the country. A blizzard of expert commentary along with statements from members of Congress have produced an unusually clear consensus narrative. It

  • Burned-out Mainers brace for the unknown

    Labor Day? Done. We are now moving toward the winter of our discontent, but we don’t yet know just how much discontent. The winter of 2020 had barely begun before an unknown coronavirus rocked the world. There followed a year of adjustment, anxiety, suspicion, fear and an unaccustomed lack of mobility for this peripatetic nation.

  • A mask is not too much to ask to protect kids

    Summer is a magic time in Maine, with warm weather, ponds for swimming, the ocean for paddling. Though many in our touristed locale are looking forward to slowing down, the end of summer is always bittersweet. Kids tend to live in the moment, so their attention soon turns from summer to school. There is back-to-school

  • The CIA in the 21st century

    For those who work at the Central Intelligence Agency, this is a time to look forward with a certain uneasy optimism. First, there is relief that the agency survived a commander-in-chief who coupled overt hostility toward the CIA with slavish devotion to the Kremlin. It was something beyond the intelligence community’s worst nightmare — a