Cliff Edwards, voicing Jiminy Cricket, sings "When You Wish Upon a Star," from Walt Disney's Pinochio

WC’s Wishes for 2020


In what passes for tradition here at Wickersham’s Conscience, we spend the last week of each year thinking about the year that is ending, and making our wishes for the coming year. This final blog post in that tradition. Despite the abject failures of his wishes for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and most recently 2019, WC, in his continuing triumph of…

Republicans embrace Donald Trump

2019 in Review: Politics


Not since the events before the Civil War has it been more important for our elected officials to set aside politics, set aside the exigencies of getting re-elected, and simply do the right thing. That’s not happening. What is happening is that their collective obsession with getting re-elected overrides all other considerations, at the expense…

Schiff and Thunberg, 2019

2019 in Review: WC’s Person of the Year


WC couldn’t decide between two candidates; as a result, we have the first co-Person of the Year here at Wickersham’s Conscience. WC isn’t the only one very impressed with Greta Thunberg’s willingness to speak truth to power. Time Magazine named her its Person of the Year. WC does so because she spoke truth to power.1 Her…

Cliff Edwards, voicing Jiminy Cricket, sings "When You Wish Upon a Star," from Walt Disney's Pinochio

2019 in Review: Revisiting WC’s Wishes for 2019


In what passes for tradition here at Wickersham’s Conscience, we spend the last week of each year thinking about the year that is ending, and making our wishes for the coming year. This blog post is firmly in that tradition. Despite the abject failures of his wishes for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 – nine years in a row now –  WC,…

Darth Vader Christmas, North End, Boise

Christmas in Boise — 2019 Edition


It’s Christmas Eve. WC will mark it with some snapshots of Christmas yard decorations that provoke a “What the heck?” reaction in WC. It’s not at all clear to WC what Darth Vader (neé Anakin Skywalker) has to do with Christmas, but you can buy the inflatable and someone did. Photobombed by Snoopy, too. If…

Wash. State Rep. Matt Shea (R, Extreme Right Wing) (photo credit: from law firm website)

Matt Shea’s Theocracy


Washington State Representative Matt Shea wrote a fatwa, a religious edict. Representative Shea’s fatwa calls for a religious war. In fact, it’s called “The Biblical Basis for War“. Here’s a sample: If you don’t agree to Rep. Shea’s vision of America, and are male, you will be killed. Murdered. That’s pretty righteous. Rep. Shea is unclear…

My Name Is Hypocrite

We Have a Winner Loser!


In the end, it wasn’t even close. By an overwhelming 82% of votes cast, Wickersham’s Conscience readers have selected Senator Lindsey Graham (R, Hypocrisy) as the 2019 Wickersham’s Conscience Hypocrite of the Year. WC will create a suitable award certificate and cover letter notifying the Senator of his award shortly. A copy will go to…

Corrupt Politician Being Thrown in the Lake of Burning Pitch, Dante's 8th Circle of Hell, 5th Bolgia

About that Oath in an Impeachment Trial


  WC, along with anyone born before 1973, share a distinction unique in the history of our country. We are witnesses to a third impeachment proceeding in our lifetimes. Perhaps it is because it has happened so infrequently that Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham are unfamiliar with the U.S. Senate Rules for Impeachment, and…

William Barr on Capitol Hill on April 10. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Worst. Attorney. General. Ever.


This has been a hard post to write. WC had faint hopes that William Barr would serve honorably, that he would act as a restraint on Trump and as an enabler, not as a cheerleader. WC was probably being naive. Trump was unlikely to appointment anyone with scruples.   The late John Mitchell, Attorney General…

A Boise police officer stops his bike in front of homeless residents under the South 16th Street bridge in September 2014. (Photo credit: Idaho Statesman)

That’s $75,000 Pissed Away


The City of Boise has a homeless problem. Depending on who is counting, there are 120-150 homeless folks who shuttle between Boise’s limited number of shelter beds and the streets. Outgoing Mayor David Bieter tried to “solve” the problem by enforcing Boise’s long-standing, if unconstitutional, ordinances prohibiting folks from sleeping on the streets. Never mind…

Cave Art, Leang Bulu’Sipong 4, Sulawesi, via Nature Magazine

Notes on Art History


WC, to the dismay of a number of his undergraduate classmates, has never been especially interested in either anthropology or archaeology. Partly it’s because WC believes the history of humankind on the planet can be tracked by extinction events in the natural world. WC finds history depressing enough without studying prehistory. Partly it’s just that…

BLM's Tri-State Fuel Break Proposed Project Area

Dealing with Climate Change: Wildfire Fuel Breaks


It seems increasingly likely that humanity’s inaction in the face of the existential threat of anthropogenic climate change means we are going to have more than than the 2° Celsius of global temperature increase that climatologists regarded as manageable. So, without in any way diminishing the urgency that humanity’s CO2 emissions be reduced, it’s time…

Celadon Headquarters, Indiana (via Celadon)

Why You Should Care About the Celadon Bankruptcy


Celadon is a major United States trucking company. It’s not well-known in the western U.S., but along the I-35 corridor, from Minnesota to Texas, it’s one of the trucking companies you see most often on the road. The Indianapolis-based, publicly-traded trucking carrier employed more than 3,200 drivers and took in more than $1 billion in…

Facebook Comment by Idaho Senate Majority Leader Mike Moyle

The Stupid Is Strong Out There, Folks


Below is a Facebook post by the House Majority Leader for the Idaho State Legislature: Readers are likely a little confused by what point State Representative Moyle may be trying to make, but it seems to involve property taxes and distaste for Democrats. Mostly WC is embarrassed for Idaho and for Rep. Moyle. This is…

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in American Samoa with local anti-vaxxer Taylor Winterstein (via Instagram)

Why Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Is Evil


American Samoa has suffered 63 deaths – and counting – with 58 of them children age four or under. 90% of the 3,728 cases are in children. 20 more children are hospitalized in critical condition. You own these deaths, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Your delusional thinking and well-known name greatly contributed to low vaccination rates…

Reality calling on line three

Hello, Alaska? Reality Calling on Line 3.


It’s madness and folly to attempt to base your state’s economy on a future commodity price. But Alaska has been attempting that since 1979. Alaska’s economy is strongly tied to crude oil prices and production. Crude oil is a commodity. Back when WC was an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Alaska…

A cloud of untruths, a fog of lies

Weaponizing Defamation


Defamation – slander, libel and false light – has its origins in Roman law, but American law of defamation came to us as a part of the British common law. Under the common law, truth is usually a defense to a claim of defamation. Fewer than half of the American states still have criminal defamation…

This composite image of Arrokoth combines enhanced color data (close to what the human eye would see) with detailed high-resolution panchromatic pictures. (Photo: Roman Tkachenko/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)

Meet 486958 Arrokoth (neé Ultima Thule)


It’s the most remote object in the solar system, well in to the Oort Cloud, yet photographed by satellite. It’s in the Kuiper Belt, a doughnut-shaped cloud of lumps of ice and rock left over from the creation of the solar system, that extends from approximately the orbit of Neptune out another 20 astronomical units…

"That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain." Hamlet, Act I, scene 5

Points and Trends


WC has noticed that endorsing Donald Trump for President is dangerous. Ballotpedia tracked who emerged as Trump’s early supporters. Let’s look at the the first eight for evidence: Rep. Chris Collins (R, New York), on February 24, 2016, was the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump’s candidacy, saying Trump “understands the importance of American…