Giffy Peanut Butter

WC Will Have an Answer in a Jiffy


Back in the early Pliocene of personal computing, when a 1200 baud modem was pretty damn hot, there was something called Compuserve. Compuserve was to the internet what a spear is to a smart missile. Primitive. So primitive that they had to invent a way to include images into what had been a text-only information…

U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 2019

Trump, Sotomayor and Ginsburg


Donald Trump has demanded that U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotamayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse themselves from cases involving the President. There are so many things wrong with Trump’s latest attack on the U.S. Constitution that WC will temporarily put his lawyer hat back on and have a look at what’s really going on.…

Exotic Terranes of Eastern South-central Alaska; the arriviste is green-colored. A lot of geologists would extend the Yakutat Terrane west to the Ragged Mountain Fault. (Based on NPS Wrangell-St. Elias – A Collage of Terranes)

The Yakutat Terrane: A Geologic Arriviste


Arriviste — someone who is just beginning to arrive, esp. an ambitious or ruthlessly self-seeking person, who has recently acquired wealth or social status. You may think that “arriviste” is a strange term to apply to a geologic terrane, but stay with WC on this and he will explain himself. An exotic terrane is a piece of…

An undated photo showing an aerial view of the Red Dog Mine, in Alaska's Northwest Arctic Borough. (EPA)

Why Commissioner Brune Is Wrong


The Environmental Protection Agency released its 2018 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) earlier this month, part of the EPA’s TRI National Analysis. Since 1986, the TRI has reported the release of substances that carry a material risk of hurting humans or the environment upon which humans depend. The TRI is information. It is data. That’s all.…

Eddie LawrenceCredit...GAB Archive/Redferns

Is That What’s Troubling You, Bunkie?


With sincere apologies to the late Eddie Lawrence: [Cue funeral music] You say you you were indicted for stealing $200,000 from the IRS? And you say the jury was out for less than an hour and found you guilty on all 22 counts? And the judge sentenced you to 14 years in the federal penitentiary?…

Yellow-rumped Warbler, CJ Strike Reservoir, Idaho

A Moment to Simply Enjoy


WC was at CJ Strike Reservoir Tuesday, one of the seemingly numberless dam-created pools on the Snake River, south and a little east of Boise. There’s a spot down there that’s off the main roads, where flocks of songbirds reliably appear to feed on the numerous Russian Olives and native Rosehips. It can be a…

Child coffin, 2020

Seeing Children As Property


Idaho has child protection laws. If there are reports by police, teachers or neighbors that children are being badly abused, the State of Idaho has the power to remove the children from their parents of guardians. A judge can even order medical treatment necessary for the health of the child. Unless the children are dying…

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

It’s Official: Barr Gets John Mitchell Trophy


John Mitchell had set the benchmark for U.S. Attorney General misconduct. Back in December, WC warned that William Barr, Trump’s toady Attorney General, was in jeopardy of taking that prize. Well, it has happened. It’s not just the sham investigations into Trump’s enemies. It’s not just his unwillingness to enforce the rule of law. He’s…

Mike Dunleavy, Alaska's governor, Bog help us

Recall Dunleavy Wins Again


Let’s recap. Mike Dunleavy is the governor of the State of Alaska, elected in 2018. In just one year, he has taken the trophy for Worst Governor in Alaska’s history from the likes of Keith Miller, Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell. A remarkable, if appalling, achievement. Dunleavy has been so bad that the Recall Dunleavy…

3633 Anton Avenue, North Pole, Alaska

Reality Bites


WC and Mrs. WC, returning from a few days at the family cabin outside of McCall, Idaho, drove through Cascade, Idaho. The community lost its lumber mill some years ago, and has been limping along on tourism and outdoor recreation since, trading off of its proximity to Cascade Reservoir Lake. Mrs. WC mentioned that the…

Rockhopper Penguin couple, New Island, Falkland Islands

Valentine’s Day — Say It with Penguins.


  Valentine’s Day is a mostly commercial affair; candy, cards and flowers. But the first known link between the Catholic saint and romance comes from is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer: “For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make”. [“For this was on St.…

Medical bill-driven bankruptcies

Breaking News: Cancer Causes Bankruptcy


WC is indulging his penchant for irony, of course. We’ve known since the seminal 2005 studies by then-Professor Elizabeth Warren and her colleagues that the largest single reason Americans file bankruptcy is medical bills. The paper has since been attacked – often by researchers funded by the health insurance industry – but WC’s personal observations,…

Bald Eagles, Kodiak, Alaska Landfill (one of the world's most scenic landfill locations)

In the Dumps


Birders are known to hang around dumps. Because dumps are where certain kinds of birds hang out. Heck, WC got his life Tamaulipas Crow at the Brownsville, Texas Landfill, along with likely a thousand or so other birders. It comes to mind because last week WC spent some quality time scoping out the gulls –…

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

How We Pissed It All Away, Part 3


This is the third part of a series on Alaska’s spendthrift ways. Here’s the first piece. Here’s the second piece. Do you know about cargo cults? The term is somewhat perjorative, and has fallen into disuse, but it was a belief system among members of a relatively undeveloped society in which adherents would practice superstitious rituals…