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  • I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Leo the pig. Regular readers know all about Leo, a supposed teacup pig that now, at age 4, has grown to what I estimate to be 130 pounds.
  • Mobutu Sese Seko was by the time I arrived in Africa as a college student in 1985 renowned as one of the globe’s most corrupt leaders. Zaire, as the Congo was then called, had withered under his rule. The story was that you could have driven a Cadillac from the Rift Valley in the east all the way to the Atlantic without hitting a single pothole when he assumed power in 1965. Twenty years later, only traces of the road remained, most of it sucked up into the jungle.
  • Having spent most of the past two weeks in bed with what appeared to be the flu, Twitter and I have gotten to know each other well. Not that I tweet, or post, much; instead I have spent hours upon hours following various threads on which the authors express outrage about the election. Twitter is as good a place as any to drive you to despair. But it is also a place where one can get a deeper understanding of what is going on.
  • Not that I want to talk politics (we’ve all heard enough), but November’s election surprise did give me pause. Polls aside, why most of the national media missed the scale of Donald Trump’s strength among voters might be explained by the long and ongoing decline of regional and small-city newspapers, which in their heyday might have noticed.
  • The heat went out at home on Sunday night, though I did not mention it before bedtime. Instead, I put a space heater in the coldest bedroom of the house and hoped the rest of the rooms would not get too cold before a repairman arrived in the morning.
  • Laura Ingraham, the right-wing radio and television personality, is on a shortlist of people being considered as Donald Trump’s press secretary, at least that is what the news media said Monday.
  • One of the puzzles about clamming is how slowly it goes at the start. It happens almost every time: No matter when or where I go, after I step into the water and drop my rake I find nothing for several long minutes. Then, there is a familiar clunk as the tines of the rake strike the first clam, and then another, and it is on. This may reflect some kind of truth about nature and humankind, but I’m not sure what that may be.
  • In his victory speech on election night, Donald Trump called on America to “bind the wounds of division” and “come together as one united people,” but with his anti-immigrant rhetoric on the campaign trail still resonating, his election has struck a note of fear and uncertainty for many.
  • Leo the pig has put on quite a few pounds since the last time I wrote about him. As pigs do, he grew fat this spring and summer, grazing on the lawn, then munched with pleasure on the black cherries, acorns, and beach plums that reached the ground in the fall.
  • News that the Maidstone Club, having just gotten a new irrigation system in place for its golf course, now wants to build a new bridge over an upper reach of Hook Pond reminded me of my childhood in East Hampton Village. In those days, the mid-1970s, we could roam a lot more freely than kids can today.

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