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April 13, 2009

Jeff Feingold is Editor of NH Business Review's print and on-line editions. He has been a business journalist for more than 25 years, and recognized by the Small Business Administration as National Small Business Journalist of the Year.

What about peanut butter and preserves?

Considering there have been 400 members elected every two years for what at times seems like an eternity, more than a few philosopher-lawmakers have taken to the rostrum as members of New Hampshire’s storied General Court. The most recent has to be John Cebrowski, a Bedford Republican whose argument last month against the same-sex marriage bill was in many ways a tribute to at least the title of the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s work, “Critique of Pure Reason.” It was certainly long on critique and short on reason.  

To present his argument that same-sex marriage would be tampering with a bedrock of society, Cebrowski warmed up his listeners with some throwaways before setting the stage for his metaphorical masterwork. There are things that simply exist as is, that you just can’t mess with, the philosopher-rep intoned – the wheel and axle, for instance, or the musical chord, an accounting balance sheet.

Then he hit Representatives Hall between the eyes with this metaphysical breakthrough: “A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can't be anything other than peanut butter and jelly” Cebrowski said. “Creamy peanut butter and chunky peanut butter can never, ever, be a PBJ -- as appealing a snack as marriage between a man and woman is an appealing institution.” 

Of course, this is only the start of the Bedford Republican’s groundbreaking work. After all, he owes it to all of us to explain the meaning of pastrami and mayo.


Jeff Feingold
Editor, New Hampshire Business Review

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