When the Wolf Comes to Town

Few topics in wildlife conservation are as fundamentally polarizing and explosive as the topic of wolves. And like most subjects in our “Breaking News” zeitgeist, the hyperbole shills on all sides of the wolf issue seem to work in feverish piques, pandering to our baser emotional responses, and often ignoring outright any evidence contrary to ...

The Monkey’s Fist

If there was ever a time to examine the wisdom and efficacy of attempting to govern 320 million people as a single entity, maybe now is it. The GOP’s tax bill came in at 479 pages. It’s a safe bet that not one single professional representative—on either side of the aisle–has read the bill in ...

The Mill Party

I am sentimental about sawmills. That’s especially true around Christmas because the Sierra Pacific sawmill, at one time the second largest of its kind in the United States, was also the principal private employer where I was raised–in the sparsely populated northeastern corner of California. My stepfather worked at Sierra Pacific for over twenty years, ...

For the River, With Gratitude

One frustrating aspect of living in an outdoor paradise is the perpetually nagging notion that—no matter how much you do—you are missing out on something. That’s nowhere more true than in central Oregon, which is known worldwide as a playground for outdoor adventure: from skiing to mountain biking, from climbing to bird watching. And, of ...

A Fistful of Dollars

I’ve seen this man before. He’s Mexican, late middle-aged, soft spoken, and there is a shielded focus in his eyes that betrays the uncertainty of a life spent mostly standing over a trap door. His name is Armando. A couple of years ago, while sitting upstairs in my office working, I saw him ride down the ...

Carrying the Fire

Friends and Readers: For nearly a year Jim Cornelius and I have been writing, researching, reading, and working feverishly on a new literary project to identify, diagnose, and ultimately combat the ironies, mind-numbing complexities, and feverish groping that often define our modern American life.  We are pleased that those efforts are now nearing fruition, and ...

Santa Anna’s Leg

I do realize, of course, and sincerely appreciate, the profundity of our great national obsession with Russians, Hollywood perverts, Donna Brazille’s new book, bump stocks, the NFL kneeling/not-kneeling shenanigans, and even Trump’s midnight bully-tweets aimed at a fat Korean dictator.  But, and here is an admission, I personally lost faith in travelling carnivals somewhere around ...

Vegetable Transparency

It’s time to come clean. Way back in March, or April, or maybe it was May, I wrote in these pages predicting—it was really more of a populist pandering, almost a campaign promise—that we would grow 500 lbs. of vegetables. That was worth a giggle then, and somewhere inside I knew it was a bold ...

Jailbirds

The first True Bill in the big collusion extravaganza has finally been handed down. Early Monday morning, in a showbiz fail, Paul Manafort, former chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign, made a strangely unattended perp-walk with his lawyer into the FBI’s Washington D.C. field office. Manafort, who was clearly the first chair in a sloppy money-laundering ...

The Red Rover Blues

Trigger Warning: I am about to make light, where making light is due, of some of the more sensitive topics currently sucking up so much of our collective bandwidth. But before you remember, suddenly, that time I called you “sweetheart”, or brushed your bosom, or inappropriately sang the old schoolyard chanty “Chinese, Japanese, Dirty Knees, ...

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Jack Donovan

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WARFIGHTER

"Strength Through Honor"