You’ll get pie in the sky when you die


The first song WC learned to play on the harmonica was “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night,” the labor organizing anthem popularized by Joan Baez. It’s an easy, simple tune, as a labor anthem should be. But there was nothing simple or easy about the death of Joe Hill. There’s an excellent new…

Photography Challenges: Fairbanks


Most of Fairbanks is ugly. Part of the problem is the absence of effective zoning. Another part of the problem is the tendency of some locals to leave the exterior of their house wrapped in Tyvek for a few decades. Another part is the seeming sovereign right of Borough residents to have a junk yard. So…

Bachman Channels Robertson


WC was unsurprised to discover Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R, MN) is channeling racist homophobe Pat Robertson. Bachmann said yesterday in Florida, I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me…

Celebrating Sandhill Cranes


The Sandhill Crane Festival was August 26-28 here in Fairbanks. For the after-party, WC thought he’d re-post an essay he originally wrote for another forum a couple of years ago, with some new photos for variety. The Magic of Sandhill Cranes Each fall, several thousand Lesser Sandhill Cranes stage at Creamer’s Field Migratory Wildlife Refuge as a part of…

WC’s Epic Fails: The Riley Creek Solo


In his mis-spent youth. WC did a lot of backpacking, including all of the Oregon Skyline Trail (now part of the Pacific Crest Scenic Trail) and a chunk of the Appalachian Trail. Backpacking is a wonderful way to clear your head. Mostly. Riley Creek lies in Denali National Park (nee Mt. McKinley National Park), running…

A Crowd of True Believers?


Everyone who really wants to understand the mind set of a true believer needs to read the late Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer. Written in 1951, the analysis he brings to the issue of mass movements might have been written about the Tea Party today. For instance: At August 11’s GOP presidential wannabe debate in…

Why Rick Perry’s Science Matters


Lysenkoism – the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives. Kevin Williamson, writing in the National Review, has decided that a presidential candidate’s thinking on science doesn’t matter. Gov. Rick Perry’s disbelief in evolution…