A Perfect Lesson: U.N.A.


This is a re-run, triggered by WC’s struggles to work through an acronym-laden Environmental Impact Statement recently. But it’s been twelve years since the original post, and the lesson is still pertinent. WC was surfing the web the other evening, and came across an acronym: RAGBRAI. WC had no idea what it meant, but Google…

Grandfather Clocks


WARNING: Serious Ear Worm Hazard A recent blog post reminded WC of the great folk musician Tom Paxton. If you are lucky enough to have been to a Paxton concert, you know he introduces his songs with stories, sometimes long stories. At a show at The Quiet Knight in 1973 or 1974, he told this…

More Chickens, More Roosts


And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.1 — Geoffrey Chaucer, The Parson’s Tale, 1390 When Dominion Voting sued Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani for defamation, WC noted that the chickens were coming home to roost, that Powell and Giuliani…

Notes on the Yellowstone Hot spot


At least for those of us riding on the North American Plate, the Yellowstone Hot Spot rivals the Hawai’an Hotspot as the most famous of its kind. As North America has moved westwards, shoving itself over the Pacific Plate, the fixed point of the Yellowstone Hot Spot has left an extraordinary trail of volcanic activity…

Nancy’s Taking Me to the Zoo


(Loosely based on “Goin’ to the Zoo,” with apologies to the great Tom Paxton. And to Zoo Boise.) Nancy’s taking me to the zoo today, Zoo today, zoo today; Nancy’s taking me to the zoo today, We can stay all day.  [Chorus:]We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo;How about you, you, you?You can come too, too, too.We’re going…

Getting Old: The Chicago Eight


WC marks the death of Rennie Davis on February 2 with a look back at the Chicago Eight, the defendants in Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s and the Nixon Administration’s political show trial after the police riot at the 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. Long-time readers will recall WC had two personal connections with the…

Mike Dunleavy, Alaska's governor, Bog help us

Dunleavy Regrets the Bargain


Alaska’s Governor Mike Dunleavy took himself to Texas recently. Strangely, only Dermot Cole has reported on Mikey’s expedition. While he was there, Mikey participated in something called the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, or TPPF, is what is laughably called a “think tank,” a right wing think tank. “Laughably,” because there’s…

It’s Called the Satch Carlson Law


In 1989, popular Anchorage Daily News columnist and sometime substitute teacher Gordon “Satch” Carlson was accused of having sex with one of his students. He was charged in November 1989 with statutory rape. The victim was 17 years of age, above the age of consent, but it was still a crime under the laws at…

Hardly a “Triumph”


The EPA estimates there are more than 15,000 abandoned mines across the West that are leaching dangerous chemicals into the environment. Sometimes it’s windblown dust, laced with arsenic, cadmium lead and other toxic heavy metals. More often it’s groundwater discharging from mining adits and shafts, laced with dangerously high levels of dissolved heavy metals, running…

Male Sage Grouse Strutting His Stuff

Sage Advice


There’s a place just a few hours drive from Boise where the old magic still works.  You want to get there on an early spring morning while it’s still dark. Park, stay in your vehicle, but roll the windows down. It will be cold in the pre-dawn darkness, but the reward is hearing that strange…

Fourteen Pages of Lawyers


The U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia – the D.C. Circuit – issued a decision last week on the Trump Administration’s attempts to throw out the Obama Administration’s Clear Power Plan. As you might expect, there were lots of lawyers involved. Platoons, companies, entire brigades of lawyers. The list of lawyers in…

Rudy’s Really Bad, Terrible, Awful Week


His client has announced he won’t be paying Rudy for his “work” trying to overturn the presidential election. Never mind that the client has a long record of stiffing his creditors. Never mind the client has far more serious financial problems than his A/Rs with Rudy, leaving Rudy standing at the back of the line.…

Geology 101: Greenstone


Drop a large vase on a stone floor. It shatters, of course, pieces go everywhere. Now cover the fragments with 5,000 feet of layered sand, basalt, mud and gravel. Let it sit for 20 million years. Allow tectonic forces to then fault the mile-thick pile, shifting some it vertically and some of it horizontally. Allow…

Baseline


A “baseline,” in science, is a measure where things stand, to be held up against a later point, for comparison. WC thinks it would be interesting to establish a baseline here, at the transition from Trump to Biden. For convenience, WC has broken the observations down into categories, with data points at the third week…

Behind That Mouse Click


This post is dedicated to WC’s buddy Doug Toelle and the long-gone Polarnet, Fairbanks, Alaska’s first internet service provider (ISP). The world certainly has gotten more complicated. When you use your mouse or touchpad to virtually click on a link or a button on a web site, a whole lot of your information gets transmitted…

Is It a Metaphor or Something?


It’s been a while since WC wrote a screed, a phillipic, a rant. It’s time to fix that. The Idaho Statesman is the principal daily newspaper in the Treasure Valley here in southwest Idaho, including Boise. It’s part of the McClatchy Group, which filed Chapter 11 in February last year. The newspaper has driven its…

The Hardest Kind of Case


In WC’s forty-four year legal practice, the hardest kinds of cases to deal with were those where one or both parties were unable to recognize their own economic self-interest. For example, WC served as a mediator in an unsuccessful attempt to resolve a bitter dispute over land ownership. At issue was a strip of land…

Meet Scott Rhodes


Meet Scott Rhodes. He a racist, a criminal, a serial harasser and a neo-Nazi. And he owes the Federal Communications Commission 10 million bucks. One of Rhodes’s favorite means of getting his scurrilous messages out is robocalling. He’s used thousands of robocalls to attack Stacey Abrams in the Georgia gubernatorial race, to attack Andrew Gillum…