In John Prine’s song, “Way Back Then,” he sings, “I am out undoing all the good I’ve done.” That could be a theme for the past few years in the United States. Environmental laws passed “way back then” are weakened, international agreements are abandoned, traditional friends are snubbed and rancorous, argumentative politics have settled into every level of government. I… Read more →
Category: Political Commentary
A Few Thoughts About Conservatism
When my grandparents landed in Montana long, long, long ago, they brought with them some interesting sensibilities. They were of the pioneer type, but missed the big push into the country and so ended up being, in reality, settlers. They arrived 34 years after the Northern Pacific, more or less, and so found other folks on the ground already. But… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on Spring and Winter
Spring managed to surprise me this year. Again. I walked to the river yesterday and discovered fresh-grown catkins hanging from an errant Sitka alder that has taken root in the stream bank. I have no idea what that alder is doing there, for most of my experience with said plant has been traversing patches of it above 4,000 feet. Where… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on Vladimir Putin and Ukraine
“There are men in the world who derive as stern an exaltation from the proximity of disaster and ruin, as others from success.” Winston Churchill In 2001, I had the opportunity to travel to the “new” Russia. The USSR had dissolved a decade before and the country was full of optimism for the future. It also had a new president… Read more →
A few thoughts on our post-COVID world.
As vaccine cards are issued and COVID masks come off in our neighborhood — not that masks were ever fully on or that everyone has acquired a card — we can move about the country in a more unrestrained manner. I use the word, “our,” because, we still can’t get into Canada except by special permission. Travel overseas is possible,… Read more →
A few thoughts on the “wall” that is really an inefficient fence.
Having survived COVID and feeling sort of — but not completely — immune, I recently traveled down Mexico way. I didn’t go into Mexico, except just a tiny bit, because a.) I didn’t take my passport with me to Arizona, and b.) even if I had, I didn’t want to sit in traffic for an hour to get in and… Read more →
More than a few thoughts on the United States; past, present and future.
I am ranging through The American Trails Series, ten books edited by A. B. Guthrie, Jr. and published in the 1960s. They each have a different author, including Wallace Stegner (The Gathering of Zion) and Stewart Holbrook (The Boston Post Road). Beginning with prehistory, they are accounts of major routes of exploration, migration, trade and conquest on the North American… Read more →
A few thoughts on Covid, masks and manliness.
As we approach our national election day, polls reports that Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 35 points among women, but only by 2 points among men. The good news is that the polls have Trump losing, and the gap is getting wider every day. As a man, though, it sickens me that a large minority of male voters in… Read more →
A few thoughts on pure-d B*** S***
The weather has been unseasonably warm, if you haven’t noticed, and I’ve whiled away a few days getting reacquainted with the prairies and island ranges of central Montana. Day before yesterday, I drove from Chinook through the Bears Paw Mountains, crossed Missouri on the Sanford-McClellan Ferry and found a camp in the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument. Last night, I… Read more →
A few thoughts on rights and responsibilities
To vilify others because of an affiliation as Democrat or Republican is ludicrous, but we are encouraged to do so by those who benefit by sowing divisiveness and concentrating on issues that keep us apart, rather than leading us into areas of agreement and unity. Read more →
A few thoughts on liberty and justice for all
Bill Hodge, Rob Mason and I are rolling slowly down Bloody Dick Creek Road in the Beaverhead National Forest toward a tour of Big Sheep Creek National Backcountry Byway. The way is bumpy, so typing on my laptop in the back seat is slow and oft redone. But, being on a journey, I feel like journaling. Read more →
A few thoughts… on patriotism
There is nothing wrong with being a patriot — vigorously supporting our country. But our patriotism can’t be blind. Patriotism is not about waving the flag or our guns or yelling at each other over religion, race or sexual orientation. It is not defined by genomic structure or our personal view of Spirit. Read more →