…And Sometimes the Guilty Go Free


As we struggle to understand how the Bundy defendants were acquitted by the jury, there’s a key fact you need to understand: the criminal justice system is imperfect, Sometimes the innocent are convicted; sometimes the guilty go free. In United States v. Bundy, it’s not clear whether the acquittal of all seven defendants on all charges was…

Tom Hayden (Photo John Berman/CNN)

R.I.P. Tom Hayden, 1939-2016


On December 4, 1969, WC was sent by the University of Oregon student newspaper, the Emerald, to photograph a meeting of student radicals in a UO classroom. It was the day after Black Panther Fred Hampton was murdered in Chicago by Chicago police.1 The first words out of the first speaker’s mouth were, “Last night in…

Retired Associated Justice John Paul Stevens (via WikiCommons)

Citizens United and Redflex: More Evidence SCOTUS Screwed Up


Justice John Paul Stevens’ dissent in Citizens United challenged the unspoken majority premise that campaign contributions from businesses wouldn’t corrupt the political process. The majority rejected the argument but the evidence continues to mount that the line between campaign contributions and bribes is too fuzzy to be safe. WC has written before about the Redflex Scandal. Redflex…

The Donald Acting Out (David Becker/Getty Images)

Your Weekly Donald: Through a Glass, Darkly


The second most astonishing thing to emerge fro The Donald’s performance at the third and final debate was his inability to see the world except in relation to himself personally.1 The Donald’s narcissism — specifically, his inability to accept that he is going to lose to a woman in the biggest contest in the world — seems…

Genuine Wrigley Field bleacher seats and 1906 replica jersey

WC Has Been Here Before


The Cubs and clinch the National League pennant tonight by beating the Dodgers. That would set the first four digits of the Eamus Catulli counter to zeroes. That would be for the first time since before WC’s parents met. WC spent some time in his bleacher seats, purchased at the 1983 remodel of Wrigley. WC has…

The Problem of Counterfeits


Apple has filed a lawsuit against a company called Mobile Star, LLC. Ordinarily, a lawsuit filed by a silicon valley company would be about the furthest thing possible from “news,” but this time Apple has the right of it. Mobile Star was selling 5W USB Power Adapters and Lightning to USB cables on Amazon as genuine…

Jackson Browne's Guitars, Vema Morrison Auditorium, Boise. Photo by Mrs. WC.

Jackson Browne in Boise


WC’s buddy, Joe, has a younger brother. We’ll call him A.D. WC was visiting Joe at his family’s home once, in 1969 or 1970, and A.D. had the headphones on. WC asked A.D. how it was going, and he answered, “Not so hot, but Jackson Browne makes it tolerable.” And there isn’t an idealistic, reflective…

Senator Crapo’s Big Blind Spot


Senator Mike Crapo (R, Idaho), is running for re-election. The Senator, a member of the teetotalling LDS church, was busted for drunk driving in 2012, but, hey, that was in Washington, D.C., and he’s told us all how sorry he is, and he swears he hasn’t had a drop to drink since. But that isn’t…

Dunlin, Old Chevak, Yukon Delta

Bird of the Week – Dunlin


The Dunlin is larger than most sandpipers but at 8.5 inches, still pretty small. It’s understandable if you don’t recognize it. Dunlin has two very different plumages. In the winter it’s a drab grey bird. In the summer, in breeding plumage, it’s a striking rusty-backed, black-bellied fellow. During courtship season, on the edge of western…

The Donald Acting Out (David Becker/Getty Images)

The Donald: When Did the Truth Become Optional?


Politicians famously occasionally drift away from the truth. They can’t help it. It’s in their DNA. But the Trumpster, especially in Sunday Night’s second presidential debate, didn’t just drift away from the truth; he was rarely even in the neighborhood.[^1] He lied about a sex tape. He lied about his lies about ‘birtherism.’ He lied about the growth…

Eastern Machu Picchu

A Few Notes About Machu Picchu


WC was lucky enough to visit Machu Picchu last night. While the place is afflicted with the same kind of industrial tourism that plagues Alaska, the place is astonishing enough that its worth being treated like cattle to see it. You can’t drive to Aguas Calientes, the tourist town at the base of Machu Picchu.…

Another Brief Update on the Bundy Boys


While WC was chasing birds in Peru, the Bundy Boys‘ trial started in Portland, Oregon. Here’s an update of sorts for those who haven’t been paying attention. WC’s buddy David Backstrom, a retired public defender, used to write his closing argument for the jury before the trial even started. If things went right, he reasoned, it…

Hoatzin, Puerto Maldanado, Amazonian Peru

Another Weird Bird


South America has some weird birds. One of the stranger ones is the Hoatzin. Ornithologists squabble over the origins of this species, but you don’t have to be a scientist to see that this bird hasn’t evolved very far beyond the dinosaurs. Most ornithologists seem to agree it is the sole surviving species of an entire…