March Madness

March did not come in like a lamb, not really, but it’s finally here and with it we begin another promising round of spring work on the Figure 8. As usual, I’m entertaining big dreams of an extraordinary harvest – 500 lbs, you may recall, remains the gold standard — and to that end I’m ...

The Barbary Coast

On February 24 Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, no stranger to the red-hot lava beds of Oakland politics, released a message warning illegal immigrants of deportation action by ICE in the City of Oakland, California, and elsewhere around the Bay Area. Schaaf’s magnanimous behavior – a move sure to shore up her base — sparked the ...

Our Predator Problem

Authors Note:  this column was written for The Nugget Newspaper, in Sisters, Oregon.  For a more thorough discussion of the topic, please see the 2 part series First Person Shooter, at ___ The common denominator in school killings isn’t what you think it is. It isn’t guns, and it isn’t mental illness. The only common denominator ...

The Agony of Defeat

And just like that, the collusion narrative imploded. Which doesn’t mean there is a political winner in the United States. Far from it. What emerges from the indictment produced by Mueller et. al, in addition to some truly laugh-out-loud funny capers pulled on dimwitted, blinded-by-rage Trump rally stooges, is the picture of a magnificently coordinated, ...

The Vanishing Middle

It’s been another great week in the world of hyperbole. I’d been hoping for an outburst from Comrade Bob, former Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, who once famously declared “Britain is a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses.” But now that he has been whisked away by security forces we are down at least one ...

Fear and Loathing in D.C.

The bludgeoning of our Republic continues. For the sake of argument, consider this: suppose the Republicans are right, and the Russian collusion narrative is, in the words of Victor Davis Hanson, “an incoherent effort to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy beyond the bounds of normal politics and later a renewed and unprecedented endeavor to abort his ...

I, Bancini

During my law-enforcement career I responded to a lot—and I really do mean a surprising number—of fights, stabbings, and at least one shooting, at quinceanera celebrations. You can imagine the scene: tables overturned, chairs flying, lots of shrieking and weeping and terrified children hiding behind the DJ table. The big question, after all of the ...

The Night Auditor

This is not the desert. This is not the desert at night. This is a city in the forest at night, 7000 feet above sea level. Winters are cold. Summers are closer to the sun. Long before us, they cleared the trees and made a city here, a concrete well between deserts. This mountain divides ...

Notes on a Greasy Napkin

I like to write in diners. I like it because I always hear something marvelous about politics, or the weather, and also because there is something inspirational in the smell of bacon, the comfort of a worn-out booth beside a picture window, and the reliable goodness of hashed browns, two eggs over-medium, and a side ...


Sinatra at Ground Zero

Our American obsession with celebrity is as interesting as it is potentially dangerous. It’s also hard to dislodge, as war correspondent George Weller discovered when he defied McArthur’s ban on travel to Nagasaki after the Army Air Corps detonated Fat Man, a 21 kiloton nuclear weapon, over the city. Nearly 1000 allied POW’s were living ...

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"Strength Through Honor"