Seven-month-old Kathy in her mother's arms at the Pulau Bidong refugee camp in Malaysia

Department of Tea Leaves: Read ‘Em and Weep


Sure it’s early. There’s lots of time for things to go wrong for the Democrats. But it’s looking like 2018 could be everything we could possibly hope for. Consider the following interim and special election results: In New Hampshire. Edith DesMarais, running for House District 6, became the first Democrat to hold the seat in…

The New Colossus Plaque, Statue of Liberty, New York

It’s Official: We’re No Longer a Nation of Immigrants


L. Francis Cissna, the Trump appointee who heads the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, has revised that agency’s mission statement: Old Mission Statement New Mission Statement U.S.C.I.S. secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding…

Judge Boeckmann's mug shot

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Who watches the watchmen themselves? The question comes to mind because two trial court judges in two different states have been accused of exploitation of the criminal defendants who have come before them. We  trust our trial court judges with immense amounts of authority. The costs of litigation make all but the wealthiest pretty much…

Ruger SR556, a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle

Can We Ban This Killing Device?


According to CNBC, the same kind of weapon has been used in all of these mass shootings. March 19, 2015: Justin Fowler, 24, used an AR-15 to kill one and injure two on a street in Little Water, N.M., before he was killed. May 31, 2015: Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, used an AR-15 and .45-caliber handgun…

Painting of Blaise Pascal made by François II Quesnel for Gérard Edelinck in 1691.

Geek Humor


Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Blaise Pascal are playing Hide ‘n’ Seek. It’s Einstein’s turn to count, so he covers his eyes and counts to ten. Pascal runs to hide, but Newton draws a one meter by one meter square on the ground, then stands in the middle of it. Einstein reaches ten and uncovers…

Arctic Warbler, Whistle Ridge, Denali Highway

Big Show on Tuesday!


Mrs WC, supported by WC, will be presenting “Frozen Feathers — 25 Years of Birding in Alaska” for the Golden Eagle Audubon Society in the Sagebrush Room, at the Cole & Ustick Library, Boise, Idaho, at 7:00 PM tomorrow, February 20, 2018. You’re invited to attend. WC will use the excuse of preparing for the presentation…

Michael D. Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, and Admitted Pimp. Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

Watching a Train Wreck


Consider that these events have all occurred in the last 72 hours: The White House has been caught in a flat-out lie about what they knew and when about disgraced West Wing staffer Rob Porter. The Trump Administration – and specifically Chief of Staff John Kelly – continued to employ an egregious domestic violence offender…

Theresa Obermeyer, 1995

Thirty-three Times


There’s no question that the all-time record for failed attempts to pass the Alaska Bar Examination belongs to Tom Obermeyer. WC may have lost count, but it’s at least thirty-three times. Tom has failed despite individual tutorials and coaching from the Alaska Bar Association – something never offered to any other bar exam candidate. There’s…

Ben Stevens, former State senator and Unindicted

Whatever Happened To?


One of the signature characteristics of Alaska is that people come and go. Including WC. Some stay longer – more than 60 years in WC’s case. Some a lot less. Like sometime gubernatorial candidate and convicted criminal John Lindauer. WC often wonders what happened to, among many others: Shelia Toomey, who for decades researched and…

Drake Hooded Mergansers, Boise, Idaho

More Hoodies


About this time of winter every year, WC starts to get twitchy for spring migration. Sure, winter birds are nice, but if you want color, if you want variety, if you want tons of birds, you want spring migration. Because WC has chronically bad judgment, his bird photography trips start a long time before spring…

Targeting your market, Girl Scout style

Train ‘Em Up Young


WC has grave doubts about capitalism. Certainly when unregulated, it can be horrific. Read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle if you think otherwise. The late Larry Carpenter, a sometime client of WC’s, said that made WC a Communist. Perhaps not. The problem for WC has always been that he doesn’t have a particularly good alternative. Particularly now,…