It is unacceptable to hear a soldier say, “I did all they asked of me. Why are they doing this?” as Matt Brown posed to me just weeks before shooting himself in his quarters at Fort Lewis. Perhaps this is how Meriwether Lewis felt on that dark, cold night in October 1809 as he crawled across the ground, dying from his self-inflicted wounds as those who could have helped hid behind closed doors and watched him bleed to death. Lewis, whose name graces the Army’s largest base in the Pacific Northwest, died alone, unwanted, and abandoned in his hour of greatest need.
Stuff that works Stuff that holds up The kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall Stuff that’s real Stuff you feel The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall — Guy Clark * “When I finished, he just looked at me and said, ‘Good work’ . That’s what Guy said when he dug […]
Each year on St. Patrick’s Day my wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. 18 years ago on St. Patrick’s day we eloped and were married at the Chapel of the Bells on 4thStreet in Reno. Ten minutes earlier there had been a funeral in the same chapel, and I was so broke I couldn’t even afford the VHS tape of the nuptials. Two decades later I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’m a big believer in “safe spaces.” I will stipulate that my definition is non-standard. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a “safe space” thus: “A place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations.” Bah! I may be tilting at a windmill here, but that’s wrong. At least it […]
The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of the American criminal justice system. It is also a cornerstone of the American republican ideal. It is the fundamental difference between being a citizen and being a subject. A citizen has rights that are not subject to abridgement even if a majority wills it; rights that exist by “natural law” and outside the […]
Out here in the mountain west water is always precious, particularly when living on the east side of any of the hundreds of mountain ranges between the Sierra-Cascades and the Rockies. Out here, the east side of anything is always the drier side, the rain-shadow side, and so eastsiders live within a perpetual loop of drought and diminishing returns. The diminishing returns are a result of aggressive settlement beyond the 100thMeridian, which is desert, and has been a desert since before the end of the last Ice Age.
My weekly Thursday RIR post was delayed due to the Great Snow of ’19. As you read in Craig’s post “Meditations In White,” Sisters was walloped by a mighty winter storm at the beginning of the week. I got up at 5:30 a.m. on Monday to this charming sight: That’s my truck under there. One of […]
On a clear day from Winter Ridge, high above the broad expanse of Summer Lake in south-central Oregon, it is possible to look far into the eastern desert at a low-slung formation called 5 Mile Point. It was way out there, in 1937, that archaeologist Luther Cressman began excavating the Paisley Caves. Today, the U.S. Forest Service maintains a tidy cabin up on Winter Ridge, at the place where John C. Fremont came out of the woods in the winter of 1843 and first beheld the breathtaking reach of the Great Basin.
UPDATE: According to NYT, Amélie Wen Zhao has decided to go ahead and publish her book. That’s a win. The whole mentality needs to be scorched in dragon fire. * A social media lynch mob killed a book last month. The vampire vigilantes slew a dream, too, in a lustful feeding frenzy that must have given a whole set of keyboard […]
Nobody can talk to anybody because everybody has been sucked away on the algorithms meant to charge the dopamine response in their brains, and they are almost incapable of entertaining information that comes from outside of the bubble that AI has created for them based on their own preferences. The effects of digital isolation are so bad that an entire industry now exists merely to re-teach human beings how to sit down in the same room and have a conversation.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good […]
If you feel like your values and your very nature are under assault — they are. Two things happened on the same day last week that provide ample evidence that values and life-ways we cleave to here at Running Iron Report are under concerted and deliberate attack. The American Psychological Association has released new guidelines for […]