Book Review: The Broken Earth Trilogy


“Well, some worlds are built on a fault line of pain, held up by nightmares. Don’t lament when those worlds fall. Rage that they were built doomed in the first place.” N. K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy is simply the best fantasy series WC has read in the last 25 years. It’s better than the…

The 9th Anniversary of Wickersham’s Conscience


Today is the ninth anniversary of the first blog post on Wickersham’s Conscience. That first post, aptly enough, was on bird photography. According to the statistics provided by the folks at WordPress, there have been 3,148 blog posts, just under a million views and just under a thousand comments. More than ten thousand images, more…

The State of Alaska Economy. Don't worry. Senators Chenault and Kelly are in charge

Pete Kelly Plays Fast and Loose


Earlier this month, Alaska State Senate Pete Kelly (R, Big Oil) wrote an opinion piece claiming that there was no need to have a state income tax because oil was returning to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and everything was going to be just fine. Let’s parse a few of Senator Kelly’s claims, just for fun. “The…

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Climate Change Denier (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

So What Did You Get for Selling Out, Lisa?


There was a Doonesbury cartoon decades ago, when George H.W. Bush agreed to be Ronald Reagan’s vice-presidential candidate. Throughout the Republican primaries, Bush and Reagan had disagreed on pretty much every issue. Garry Trudeau, in Doonesbury, mocked Bush, putting him in a faux interview: Interviewer: Tell me Governor, how long does it take you to give up…

Hammond Ranch at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

The Hammond Back Story


The Bundy boys seized Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, they said, to protest the U.S. government’s mistreatment of two ranchers, father and son Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr. and Steven Dwight Hammond. The Federal government, the Bundys claimed, had treated the Hammonds unfairly. Really? The Hammonds went to trial on two sets of charges.1 One involved a 2001…

Dorothea Lange, San Francisco, Calif., April 1942 - Children of the Weill public school, from the so-called international settlement, shown in a flag pledge ceremony. Some of them are evacuees of Japanese ancestry who will be housed in War relocation authority centers for the duration, 1942.

WC’s Heroes: Dorthea Lang


WC deeply admires the work of Dorthea Lange. As much as any photographer, she captured the abject misery of the Great Depression and the cruelty of the Japanese internment in World War II. Some of her photos have become iconic, none more so than this one. This photo is popularly known as “Migrant Mother,” but…

Great Blue Heron, Albertson Park, Boise

WC Goes Fishing


Vicarious fishing, anyway. WC stalked a Great Blue Heron at Albertson Park in Boise for about an hour yesterday, watching the bird stalk and strike at prey. A shot of a Great Blue catching prey has been a goal of WC’s for a few years now. You’ve probably seen a Great Blue fishing yourself. The…

Red-tailed Hawk shopping for lunch

Lunch Time


It’s perilous for W to post photos of raptors. WC has friends who are far, far better at bird photography, especially raptor photography, than WC will ever be. Link to their sites are over in the side bar. But here are a couple of Red-tailed Hawk photos, showing that hawks don’t turn their bills up…

Sessions' Swiss Cheese Memory

Jeff Sessions’ Swiss Cheese Memory


A Swiss Cheese Memory describes a witness whose recollection of critical facts is full of holes and smells a little funny. Trial lawyers use the phrase to describe a witness who is lying. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the chief law enforcement lawyer for the United States, has a Swiss Cheese Memory problem. Sessions appeared in…

Kerry Masterson (3rd from left) with her defense team, October 2017

Finally: Kerry Masterson Acquitted


You’ve never heard of Kerry Masterson. She was convicted in 2011 of the 2009 murder of a Chicago convenience store owner. The primary evidence against her was the testimony of eyewitnesses, two of whom plead guilty, implicating Masterson to mitigate their own sentences. She was absolutely innocent. Witnesses reported seeing a skinny Hispanic male fleeing…

The minds of Alabama Republican voters, in one easy metaphor

Metaphor


Okay, it’s actually a semi-abandoned building in Silver City, Idaho. But the locked tight door, the badly wired, burnt out light and the obvious age works as a decent metaphor. WC challenges the Alabama GOP to prove him wrong.