Wednesday, January 30, 2008


What an amazing story connecting Abe Lincoln with Idaho!

A sockdolager, actually.

Many Idahoans do not realize that a Civil War battle, actually took place in Idaho.

Not only that, but also many Civil War Veterans migrated straight to Idaho, immediately following that horrific war's end.

Not only should every Idahoan try to see this exhibit, we should all try sometime to visit our National Mall to pay tribute to the importance of the true democracy, which our founding Republican found so essential.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Might this satellite contain some putrid plutonium?

“Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Yes, but there have also been a handful of times, where a satellite did not fall harmlessly, including this recent near-hit

Report from The N.Y. Times:

In 1964, a rocket failure led to the destruction of a navigation satellite powered by plutonium 238, spreading radioactivity around the globe and starting a debate over the event's health effects.
In 1965, high in the Himalayas, an intelligence team caught in a blizzard lost a plutonium-powered device meant to spy on China. And in 1968, an errant weather satellite crashed into the Pacific, but federal teams managed to recover its plutonium battery intact from the Santa Barbara Channel, off California.

Since plutonium is so wrapped up in the flag, we probably will never hear the truth about whether it is aboard this spacecraft. Amazing in this day and age when NASA plutonium profiteers still stand to make handsome returns by selling out our environment.

And how do you clean some drops of plutonium up out from the ocean?

Let us not be first in stupidity though. The poisonous nuclear power industry kills much more than birds. For the next 10,000 years, we will have to develop warning signs readable long after the English language has died out. Think about it, the proud legacy nuclear waste leaves, will endure longer than the oldest Egyptian pyramid. The gist of it is; no one wants to known as the one who kills the goose with the golden egg, even if they are speckled with plutonium.

Perhaps the Times-News can develop a writing contest, for us to draft letters of apology to our grandchildren’s grandchildren, for how we have wrongly warshiped Mother Earth, to insert in a time capsule, next to the radioactive warning signs.

While it is true that France uses 80 percent nuclear power, don’t think that there is not a big brouhaha going on over there about the wasteful thinking. And where are the elite French trying to lay the bubbling toxins to rest for millennia? Why it’s being shoveled into poor peoples backyards, of course. Affecting many Muslim communities. And that’s just dandy?

The bad spin about wind turbines is very overblown. Improved energy gaining methods from the wind have been developed using large high-tension bands, which kill no birds. If we only put one-tenth as much Research and Development into improved solar and wind projects as we do into killing innocent civilians over oil-Euros, think how much better off we would be. Perhaps we are the true birdbrains, uncaught by trip wires of peace seeking missives.

The recent power outage was due to a broken shield wire on a transmission line between Silver Street in Hailey and the Hailey substations. Nuclear power would not have prevented us from setting up with a cozy book to read by candlelight. I was prepared to settle down with an all encompassing fairy-tale about a kingdom that served up never-ending batches of untarnished freedom-fries, when suddenly the lights came back on.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Seriously embracing zany Stooges

Commentary by Jim Banholzer

Original Url at:

I stumbled into a pal recently, who pointed out that some babes would try to tell you that they just do not like the Three Stooges. These gals think that the only times those mugs put "the ladies" up on a pedestal is when they've accidentally released mice into a room. I say, "Don't mind that lamebrain calling you babe, toots, you just ain't watched enough episodes yet." Call me a knucklehead, but I have seen repeatedly girls claiming to be anti-Stooge, improve their outlook on life with proper indoctrinations from Drs. Howard & Fine.

A recently converted Stooges aficionado is my friend Laura. She had adamantly claimed that there was nothing likeable about those ignoramuses. Then one day a swayback horse episode came on TV. Being a lifelong horsewoman, this lassoed her attention. The three best jockeys were all hanging on to the same horse for dear life—wildly galloping in fast-motion circles, around a 1920s arena. A smiley creak emanating from Laura's lips soon sprung into convulsing laughter, resulting in a strata-stupefying conversion of her attitude towards the Stooges.

I met another gal in town who works at a store selling music and DVDs. She is a recent transplant from the south of France and has barely heard of Stooges high-jinx. What in the world ever made the French want to filter out Stooges from America? They adore Jerry Lewis, but don't know about Moe? Fancying myself a professor of happiness, I demonstrated some nifty tricks with my fists, explaining how they knock each other about until reaching a "poirfect" head-conking epiphany. After tossing in a few nyuck-nyucks, she too showed a slight hint of amusement. Determining that she was not one of those "do not call me a chick" chicks, I felt an HDTV ray of hope towards her future enjoyment of being floored from hilarious whirling Curleys.

There have been volumes scribed about the convincing healing power of comedy. Grief-stricken folks who have lost a loved one —some who have not laughed for a year or more are sometimes gently brought back into a more bearable world with help from the good turpentine of Stooge-like slapstick. If more shows of this nature illuminated in world theatres, perhaps opposing parties could lay down their weary arms, relax their knuckles and share a few hardy chuckles. We might even learn that to lob unordered cream pies into each other's faces only makes for a horrifying mess to mop up.

Cartoonists and comedians sometimes jangle keys to powerful vehicles of peace without even realizing it. Just as the unique beacons of enlightenment that poets, artists and athletes valiantly race with, it will be a bumpy, jalopy ride down robotic frontiers before ethereally bolted lunkheads could ever match the true staying power of the original Stooges. If the Stooges could come back, how hard would they laugh at the Random Joke Generators of today? Would they guffaw with me for being silly enough to think that they would laugh at my antics?

Recently the Farrelly Brothers (of Dumb & Dumber fame) and 20th Century Fox held some positive negotiations, enabling a new Three Stooges film to come one step closer to eye-popping reality. Some of their script was refined a few summers ago here in the serious writing atmosphere of Sun Valley, including rehearsals of an operation on a nun using an electric toothbrush and vacuum cleaner in one of the Lodge rooms. A rib-tickling scene develops with the discovery of a wishbone inside the semi-conscious nun. This ensues in a wrassling match over the examination table to break off the largest piece for good luck.

This is not the first connection to Idaho in Stooges history. Their last actual film was "Kooks' Tour," made in the Montana and Idaho wilderness in 1970.

Local stores in Idaho that rent or sell CDs and DVDs can special order you hot towels full of Stooges episodes. I hope that this column has corralled potential converts, to sway back some horse sense for the French chickie-baby. When she travels back to Stooge-starved France, she can start encouraging her sphere of the world to stop, look and listen to the profundity from the simple-minded good words and deeds of these three wise guys. Perhaps even the authoritative judgie-wudgies that oversee Medecins sans Frontieres will start recommending, "Take three Stooge DVDs and call me in the morning."

Dedicated to Mattie 'Dudeges' Mckenzie -- Idaho's best Curley impersonator.

Something that is not being much mentioned about Flintstonian cell phone philosophies is that those who think differently / progressively are often still shunned in some small Idaho communities. When the miracle of cell service first came to Stanley, the word was to keep its availability mum. If a tourist asked, tell em it was not there, became the accepted wisdom. You can bet though that when two of those Canadian wolves came starkly chomping on a town elk that same Stanley summer, cell phones quickly replaced church bells as the emergency communiqué.

The first late autumn, after a small cell antenna was installed at Redfish Lake, a man and his son were helicopter-rescued from Thompson Peak, subsequent to its icing up during their adventure. The fact that they were saved; largely due to lifesaving cell phone technology was totally downplayed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A tear shed on account of racism, can be an intellectual gift

Racism and hidden personal prejudices are among our worst weapons of mass destruction. What better way for a fifth grader to learn about what racism feels like, than to be put into that subjected position? The kid cried - a tear is an intellectual thing -Should be a lesson well learned. It worked well enough for the past 16 years for the instructor without complaint.

Gaining better understandings is for what education should be meant. And this groundbreaking experiment, forty years after Jane Elliot’s, illustrates with piercing clarity that racism is harshly unfair, and will improve some of the children’s understanding for life

Unless, we want to become evermore like spiritual robots and continue tossing barrels of cash down this bottomless warpit, while seeking enhanced methods to dehumanize “them”

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Criminal Observation

Criminal observation
Q. Do you think the crime rate has increased in Custer County?
An incredible amount in the last year.
Gradually over the last ten years.
No, it is about the same as it has always been.
It is interesting that the Challis Messenger in their recent poll on the perception of crime in Custer County did not include an option for anyone to vote that they thought misdeeds had diminished. Have things really become so bad that citizens should no longer expect terror alerts to drop below yellow? Nevermore to match the serenity of the Lost River’s cerulean blue sky?
I briefly worked at a place that had a paper poll. One reader, who had no computer, came in to drop off her handwritten vote to one of our questions, and kindly asked us to include it in the online poll. It would be nice to see if there is one believer in Challis that would do the same, think outside the pollbox and physically drop off their write-in vote, for a perception that the general atmosphere in Custer County has actually improved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Yes, I was quoting an opinion piece about Suicide.

And it was a relevant letter of public interest, which I wrote after much soul-searching about this most troubling subject, which referred to SFGATE's seven-part exhaustively-researched Lethal Beauty series subtitled, SAVING A LIFE: THE COMMON ASSUMPTION THAT SUICIDE CAN'T BE PREVENTED IS WRONG.

AFTER RECEIVING POSITIVE FEEDBACK TO THE OPINION PIECE, FROM AN IDAHO TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT Public affairs specialist, I thought it pertinent, for unearthing again here for those desperately seeking answers, regarding this tragic event.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Simplot could make a little go a long way

Simplot could make a little go a long way
In the late 18th century, rags to riches trendsetter Benjamin Franklin bequeathed $100 to his native Boston. This money gained interest in a fund over 100 years, compounding to $40,000. By 1890, the endowment helped build Boston's Franklin Park.

In Idaho, another rags to riches innovator could create a similar earmark. J.R. Simplot has set prime examples of the high value of scrimping and saving, spinning gold from potato and computer chips, and is now worth more than $2.6 billion.

Imagine Mr. Simplot bequeathing a small chunk of his fortune to his beloved Idaho under the condition that it not be touched for 300 years. Let's say Mr. Simplot donates a mere $1,000, to gain compound interest at 6 percent over three centuries. In the year 2323, this money will have grown to $100 billion - or almost twice as much as Bill Gates merits today.–

From this pocket change of a $1,000 - which is like a 25-cent piece for Mr. Simplot, Idaho could start buying back for itself many of the public lands that the feds will have sold off by then. Research paid by this fund could fast forward plutonium decontaminating processes so simple plots of spud can return, alongside nutritious camas roots, for free-range buffalo (and future mastodon hybrid) grazing. The Idaho quarter could replace the penny. Mr. Simplot's holographic emblazoned smile on the front might complement Ben's enduring beam from the $100. On the reverse, the scales of justice could carry potatoes counterbalanced by active RFID chips dangling over Chinese characters signifying trust.

Poor boys like me of the 24th century would then become dazzled by the simple ingenuity of thrifty frugal futuristic living and be further inspired to do the same as the straightforward champion heads-up on the innovative quarter piece.

Perrine BASE jumping

invites more

I read about how our U.S. Security agents are now keeping an eye out for birdwatchers. Seems you will need a police escort in some aviary areas now, to enjoy this pastime every bit as popular as baseball, apple pie and mom.

I wonder how this will affect arrowhead hunting in Idaho. If you can’t glance up at a bird, you might as well stare at the ground looking for obsidian chips. But no, this subject looks like he’s studying the sand awful hard. Must be devising a method to dig under buildings and do something nefarious. Better refund Rat Patrol to guard all of Craters of the Moon’s perimeter. And what was he planning to do with that WMD arrowhead once he found it! Better medicate him. Maybe Cheney can hold the needle. Not having a human heart makes him less squeamish than other people who have been inoculated into normalcy.

So Mom, please bake a file into my next apple pie. Because when our Bill of Rights soon expires, thoughts like these could be deemed unpatriotic and land me in a slammer with no birds-eye view. Perhaps my opportunity will arise while the guards are watching a tight baseball game in late innings. Cheering fans will cover my filing and I’ll be saved by the purity of that last bastion of good old America: Baseball! (Except for the steroids)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Charlie Chaplin Speaks

About ten years back, as a friend was driving three of us stooges, along for a small desert adventure, I started playing an old audio tape from 1990 that (half-jokingly) claimed my lifelong dream was to go up in space in a lawn chair -tethered by hundreds of helium balloons and a B-B gun for ballast purposes. The friend driving, begin to laughing to the verge of tears. During his spasmodic breathing and convulsions, he could barely see the road and had to reach deep within to not wreck.

Five years later, when the next wave of amateur lawn chair balloonists came into vogue, he called me to tell me other people were achieving my lifelong dream, which started me laughing so hard, I immediately pulled over from driving as a joke-proof preemptive measure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Closing narration for Rod Serling's The Monsters are due on Maple Street:
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children; the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone!

Machinery disconnects us from nature

From The IDES of March, 2005
Friends used to laugh when my dog snapped at approaching vehicles while she perched in the back of my truck. As we traveled through Idaho, the rule of the road for Maddie was, the bigger the rig, the harsher the snap it was going to get.
In her sweet little heart she sensed that something was amiss with man's road design. After all, aren't we the crazy ones slowly becoming used to having tons of steel speed within inches of our faces every few seconds? We pretend that faint, painted line will keep us secure. Maddie never ignored this apparent impending doom, but to keep sane we do on a daily basis.
Becoming more engrossed in a mechanized society, mankind begins to lose touch with the natural world. Since the early industrial age, sons have less often learned secrets of the great outdoors from their fathers while growing up beside them in fields. Anymore, many dads disconnect while going off for long periods to mysterious work places that do not allow family visitors even one day a year---and come home strangers, too dispirited for quality family time. Prozac, so prevalent now that traces are now turning up in drinking water, attempts to heal the effects of this. But money and pills thrown in wrong places don't cure root problems.
One of these shrouded work places must be a steel building of the USGS. In a room sealed off to protect the latest instrumentation and scientists from fresh breezes, a government scribe discounted the possibility of animals predicting earthquakes. (See his words at )
By now most of us have heard how many animals and indigenous people survived the Indonesian tsunami in December by running to higher ground when they sensed that something bad was about to occur. When a huge avalanche comes bouncing down onto Warm Springs Road, I only hope that nobody will be home "in the zone" and that pets inside will be attuned enough to come darting out of their doggie doors in the nick of time.
As man increasingly praises the information-overloading machines he shackles himself to he starts to suffer from high definition hypnotism. Critically updating time saving devices increases the scrutiny artificially intelligent tracking systems gain over your every blessed keystroke or whisper. Buy a new automobile now and you'll likely get an event data recording device as standard equipment. (Can these measure the fierceness levels of onboard dog snaps?) The international distress signal set off by an Oregon man's new television last year should be heeded as a warning to us all.
Bedazzling marvelous monitors distract us from seeing simple beauties contained within the same room. Windows to the unlimited soul through a colleague's eyes could be waiting to be peered into—only five feet away.
Twenty years ago two equally physically fit men traveled the Appalachian Trail. Beginning simultaneously, one man walked while the other ran the whole distance. In his journal, the man who ran reported much pain and often had nightmares about how he was falling behind. The walker, on the other hand, enjoyed more satisfying days with quality time to stop, look and listen at what the trail had to offer. The walker even finished first—and in more ways than one! The man who ran alienated many of the same animals that the walker had spiritual encounters with. Some say that in his great rush to run over rocks from Georgia to Maine, the runner attempted to separate himself from nature by morphing his body into a machine.
Eighteen robotic machines are ready right now to rumble into the hell Iraq has become. While saving some lives, these droids will also be trampling underfoot some of Isaac Asimov's highly regarded "Laws of Robotics," in this battle which will fuel further machine madness.
If we sleep through the legal process, or are out distracted attending to other machines, fighting robots will soon gain rights to kill human beings in self-defense on war battlefields! What further powers will machines eventually develop over us—turning us into their puppets? Many are already insured for a higher monetary value than are humans. The steam shovel John Henry defeated just before he died was highly insured by robber barons while John Henry held no family health insurance plan!
As they become more sophisticated, will the chicken catching machine's some factory farms now employ be upgraded by some country for degrading people and follow those first robot "defenders," salvaging human parts for profit in unspeakable ways? Eerily, this reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode when Earthly cryptographers deciphered the Alien's book "To Serve Man" as the coded creed of a cookbook. In true Serlingesque style, perhaps the first robot will develop a sense of shock and awe, flipping its wig switch when it sees a hospital patient refuse a needed transplant because he suspects the organ to have come from the enemy he hates so much!
Take a breath of fresh air now. If you're only concerned about your own neighborhood, in the short term the worst thing likely to happen around here is somebody being tasered by a soda machine on their way to play Frisbee-Golf. Temper! Temper! From then on Wood River humanoids, if you're considering retaliation for being shortchanged, better to purchase a mellower blend of organic drink from the cashier whose register merely reminds him to smile. Returning his smile, you can show you're glad because your Frisbee doesn't kick up much "depleted" uranium dust in your new playing field—while your dog snaps at the earth for no apparent reason.

The Organ Detective: A Career Spent Uncovering a Hidden Global Market in Human Flesh - Pacific Standard

The SNRA consists of 756,000 acres. Since there are 43,560 square feet per acre, this means that the recreation area holds 32,931,360,000 square feet. Therefore, the 970 square feet about which Mr. Phillips complains, takes up a 1 / 41,166,350.5 portion.

If beetles burn off the region around the Galena Tower monopine, this means that area where young men have already suffocated to death while snowboarding, will become more prone to avalanches. Even more reason to have a cell tower installed, exactly at that pinnacle point for where it is planned!

Crashes of various sorts occur around Galena, almost every year. Here are a handful of recent examples:

Great jumping Jehoshaphat, we have waited amply enough for some potentially lifesaving towers in our SNRA. Let us quit quibbling about these technological enhancing gifts and allow, without further adieu, these beacons of safety to be installed, Godspeed, in this logical spot, by a company who is visibly sensitive to impacts this will bring, both good and bad.

Magical Piano notes

This story; written out of pure admiration for a man who was blacklisted from the NFL for loving a man, simply made my day. Brenda Thueson would do well to ignore naysayers who try twisting her one ambivalent phrase into a weapon. It would be as pointing out a perceived flaw, when Ray hit an erroneous piano key on those memorable evenings, when in fact, if he ever did miss a note, he probably flashed one of his eternal glistening smiles, laughed at the marvelous error, and brought even more light into the vibrant room. Clearly, to Brenda, basking in Ray McDonald’s delightful presence was as good as sitting on St. Nick’s lap on Christmas Eve.

Although, Brenda’s childhood memories of Ray, is one of the warmest pieces run by the Statesman this winter, up until now, the comment board has been, to some extent cold. Faithful readers would do well to ask themselves why that is.

While Sonny Jurgensen and the Washington Redskins declined to respond to Dan Popkey’s all-encompassing article, it’s likely that some of the old-gridironers have read it by now. It would be interesting to hear if any of them would like to comment on Brenda’s heartfelt story. If not, suffice it to say that Curly’s brown-eyed baby has written her account well enough, that some of us can still sense Mr. McDonald’s enchantment, emanating from her old upright piano, forty years on.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The SNRA consists of 756,000 acres. Since there are 43,560 square feet per acre, this means that the recreation area holds 32,931,360,000 square feet. Therefore, the 970 square feet about which Mr. Phillips complains, takes up a 1 / 41,166,350.5 portion.

If beetles burn off the region around the Galena Tower monopine, this means the area where young men have already been killed snowboarding, will become more prone to avalanches. Even more reason to have a cell tower installed, exactly at that pinnacle point for where it is planned!

Crashes of various sorts occur around Galena almost every year. Here are a handful of recent examples:

For goodness sakes, we have waited more than long enough for some potentially lifesaving towers in our SNRA. Let us stop quibbling and allow, without further adieu, these beacons of safety to be installed in this logical spot, by a company who is visibly sensitive to impacts this will bring, both good and bad.

Fish and Bird (Final)

TOM WAITS lyrics - Fish & Bird

(Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan)

They bought a round for the sailor
And they heard his tale
Of a world that was so far away
And a song that we'd never heard
A song of a little bird
That fell in love with a whale

He said, 'You cannot live in the ocean'
And she said to him
'You never can live in the sky'
But the ocean is filled with tears
And the sea turns into a mirror
There's a whale in the moon when it's clear
And a bird on the tide

Please don't cry
Let me dry your eyes

So tell me that you will wait for me
Hold me in your arms
I promise we never will part
I'll never sail back to the time
But I'll always pretend you're mine
Though I know that we both must part
You can live in my heart

Please don't cry
Let me dry your eyes

And tell me that you will wait for me
Hold me in your arms
I promise we never will part
I'll never sail back to the time
But I'll always pretend that you're mine
I know that we both must part
You can live in my heart

Monday, January 14, 2008


I remember reading how Hailey was preparing for those innovative light-emitting diodes imbedded in the crosswalks. It sounded like a sure thing at the time. I wondered what had gone wrong. It is nice to see Hailey’s improvements, like flags at crossing walks, the marked bike-path through Woodside Blvd., and improved traffic signals, amongst other things.

Too bad that Bruce and Demi haven’t built a pedestrian bridge between the Mint and the old Drug store. Actually, that’s exactly what more and more skyscrapers are projected to do, in the next decade or so, in the event of disaster, so that crowds can more safely evacuate to adjacent buildings across the street.

Just tonight, while the traffic was out in Hailey, I saw police officers at several intersections, doing an excellent job directing traffic, where the lights were out. Only thing is that most of them were donning dark suits and didn’t have wands of any sort. Seems that if they carried florescent orange pullover suits and lit wands of some sort, to help direct the traffic should be standard for these situations. When twilight approached, with some of the officers still directing, they became even less visible standing there in the middle of icy intersections.

Regarding the 25 mph speed limit in Bellevue, it certainly must be a headache to try to please everybody. Obviously some people are happier on both ends, since its safer to pull out. Young children and smaller less visible people and folks that wouldn’t ordinarily walk over to Atkinson’s Valley Market, because of the old 35 limit. On the other hand, it does seem a like a reach to have it at 25, on the far ends of town. The only reason to pull over on the north side would be to stop and read the upgraded ‘Wood River Mines’ sign, which includes a new tribute to Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider movie.

However, the State seriously ought to do something more about the 55mph stretch between Bellevue and Hailey. This is one of the most dangerous stretches of roads in our area, according to newspaper graphics written every year. It’s also surprising that there’s still a pull-off for slower cars, in the south lane, a Frisbee-toss away from the airport taxiway. Doesn’t the TSA see this as a more serious security loophole than old stinky shoes?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Flip-phone flip-floppers?

After gaining a good laugh from Wayne Kratochvil’s Blabbermouth Beetle letter, I drove north in a bug and read it to a friend who witnessed the same accident that shifted my thinking regarding the need for cell phone coverage in the SNRA.

My friend replied that Wayne must have not minded the Challis children who suffered collateral damage, due to a desire to remain in the telephonic Flintstones ages. He also wondered if Wayne might mature his mind even more, if -Providence-forbid - a similar dramatic incident occurred, involving beloved family members or friends of his own, which helplessly and needlessly suffered in a similar dark agonizing highway stretch.

A local architect has chirping against cell phones, too. She says that are phones available at Smiley Creek and Galena Lodge. For emergencies, when every second counts, this is preposterous. Besides the 20+ minutes drivers face (that is -if you’re not in a wrecked car) what if those phones are found inoperable? Wouldn’t you want a cell phone for an emergency backup?

Seems that our heroic Peace Officers and firefighters would be better equipped with useable cell phones as radio backups. Besides the dozens of previously mentioned emergencies, Galena is also where Ketchum’s drive-by-shooter dashed off to back in’90 and before that where the Ketchum Chief of Police was taken hostage and handcuffed to the steering wheel of his own car!

After laying out my personal story on a monopine limb, some accused me of being overdramatic. To them I say, don’t let Galena’s altitude or cell phone radiation affect your memory, because unfortunately, emergency events mentioned in these letters of public interest happen almost every year.

Jim Banholzer

PO Box 10039

Ketchum, Idaho


P.S. Not sure if The Messenger’s website is still in the Flintstone ages, but here’s a pertinent prehistoric link:

Friday, January 11, 2008


Campaigner (Neil Young cover) - Isis

Another diamond in the rough

I know that we have been asked to not scavenge, anymore up at the transfer station, but nowadays there is a special bundle of joy, which is causing every trucker to weigh in a little longer than usual.

Mainly, it’s a two-month old baby girl, belonging to a young woman, who weighs all the trucks before and after they dump their loads. It appears as though the County has gone out of their way to accommodate this young woman, allowing a crib and everything else a newborn might require, inside the tiny weigh station office.

Most truckers are treating this young woman and her newborn with the utmost respect, and seeing the baby really makes their day. If you inspect the drivers, as they slowly wind back down the icy Ohio Gulch road, some appear themselves to have gained refreshing newborn smiles.

It could be that the young woman does not desire any more publicity, than the open secret, which hundreds of drivers already know about. If this is the case, we certainly can respect that. However, my instinctual feeling says, that she would like to share her precious bundle of joy with the world.

It’s uplifting to see a miracle baby like this, suddenly appear in the unlikeliest of places. I wish that you, too, would share the unbridled joy this immaculate infant brings, by saying something nice about her.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Great letter in the Challis Messenger today:

Blabbermouth Beetles

Dear Editor,

Beware: there is a new type of beetle hatching out in the Sawtooth Mountains. They have already been seen in the Stanley and Redfish areas. No more quiet meals at the caf?. They gather around in parking lots, the aisles of grocery stores and ruin the peace in campgrounds. The beetles love the roads and think nothing of the solitude of high mountain lakes.

They have already taken over the Wood River Valley and are now migrating over Galena Pass. They are the Cellphone Blabbermouth Beetle. Nothing can stop them. A dead battery only slows them down. Things are already changing. We now have the "Headwaters of the Senseless Jibber Jabber River." When driving down the Motor Mouth Highway, just ignore the slow vehicle turnouts and just stick the phone in your ear and drive like the rest of the beetles. The beach at Speed Dial Lake is a great place to make a call; lots of people to annoy. Better yet, go on to Redial Lake and climb up to Yacker's Peak to call Aunt Bertha in New York. Talk real loud so the people at the lodge can hear you.

The Stanley Stomp is now The Cellphone Shuffle, music by Ringing Cellphones. How about the Mt. Mama's Blabber Throw Motor Mouths from everywhere will compete for loudest, longest and most annoying calls.

Instead of making more wilderness areas, we need to create Lockjaw Zones: no Cellphone Blabbermouth Beetles allowed.

Well, if you disagree with me please give me a call. My cellphone number is 1-STICKITINYOUREAR.

Wayne Kratochvil

P.S. Maybe some of us like living in the Flintstones Age.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Senator Craig's most recent conceptually confusing defense


Strangely, Senator Craig’s plural defense here seems to match the same feeble logic offered recently for a Mountain Home priest:
From a recent Statesman article :
“A church investigation determined last month that Covarrubias had engaged in "misconduct" but officials declined to discuss the specifics. The investigation - which included the diocese sexual misconduct review board, dominated by lay people - concluded that there was no sexual abuse of minors. Church officials said they did not notify authorities after a review of the case by an independent private investigator showed that no laws were

Einstein on the Beach

Albert Einstein's message,

Our time is rich in inventive minds, the inventions of which could facilitate our lives considerably. We are crossing the seas by power and utilise power also in order to relieve humanity from all tiring muscular work. We have learned to fly and we are able to send messages and news without any difficulty over the entire world through electric waves. However, the production and distribution of commodities is entirely unorganised so that everybody must live in fear of being eliminated from the economic cycle, in this way suffering for the want of everything. Further more, people living in different countries kill each other at irregular time intervals, so that also for this reason any one who thinks about the future must live in fear and terror. This is due to the fact that the intelligence and character of the masses are incomparably lower than the intelligence and character of the few who produce some thing valuable for the community. I trust that posterity will read these statements with a feeling of proud and justified superiority.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Icy makes it Dicey

A few storms ago, while walking along Highway 75, in front of the Hailey Post Office, the driver of a big rig, slid across the ice and into my intended path. Fortunately, I was heads up and quickly juked out the way, from where the truck sledded. His was an honest mistake, albeit a near injurious one.

My first instinct was to call the City or State – whoever it is that maintains that stretch of road. Then I flashed back to my own snowplowing days in Virginia. Inside the slippery Beltway, we had snowplows around one-third the size of Idaho’s. There the temperatures fluctuated around freezing, often resulting in treacherous roads.

After walking away unscathed from the Hwy 75 near-hit, I reminisced upon an incident, when the Falls Church mayor, poked outside for a second. Walking down icy Maple Street to Anthony’s Pizza, he radioed our Street Superintendent, about how the town core roads, were too slick.

We laborers prompted stepped to fetch our tools and migrated over to Maple Street, with a generous showering of sand, salt and flailing ice picks. Little did the mayor know that we had dropped our diligent snow removal efforts from various avenues of town to heed this new call of top precedence. In reality, his call impeded the city’s overall progress.

Cautiously sliding a few more blocks to Hailey’s Hitchrack, I could see it was slippery on virtually every street, this wintry day. Other signs made it clear that the dedicated workers had been burning the midnight oil, to churn out gallant snow removal efforts, throughout our great town. Therefore, I hesitated to make that same call the mayor made fifteen winters ago, which resulted in more delays than it did help.

Citizens have to understand that city workers (and contractors) are doing their utmost to keep up. Icy makes it dicey and not nicey everywhere you go. Use common sense and establish eye contact with drivers before crossing roads. Don’t let your brain freeze and remain aware of your surroundings while ambulating around monster rigs that spin along Slideway 75.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bumming around Richfield Canal

Last winter, on a rare earth warm day, a friend and I escaped some of technologies tentacles for a healthy bask, out in the desert sun. Bringing along the mandatory dog, we found a not-so-muddy trail - an uncommon February treat for these parts. We went below Magic. –Reservoir that is, chopping out tiny ice archipelagos for Lucas the dog, to bound in between, as we hurled pointed sticks for him to chase, to and fro, betwixt the slow channel’s miniature floating islands.

It felt rewarding, to gather these essential vitamin sunshine bits in the midst of winter. I hadn’t been out that way for a while. As we returned from our day in the sun, I suddenly recollected hearing a strange experience that another friend had talked about, ten years before. She was out in the same area, near where the river parallels the canal. It’s a great place to get away from it all, with always a few lava rocks or other objects of interest worth picking up to examine. As I remember it, my art-entranced friend, was walking along the dry creek bed, scrutinizing shimmering sun-patterned lava rock. Suddenly a saw-whet owl whooshed out from under the solid creek bed and smacked her clean in the forehead, with enough stunning force to spill her sharply into the glazed river rock.

My friend cut short her nature trek, due to this hard cuff to the forehead. Upon returning home, she received the message that her mother had passed on! It took me almost ten years to consider that perhaps the owl was in some mysterious way, a messenger connected with this omen. When I shared this message with another friend, she got the chills too, because, the day her mother passed on, an owl had been hanging around their doorsill, fluttering about for half the day, behaving in unusual ways.

This caused me to Google, Profound Supernatural Owl Meanings, which, upon further inspection, helped me to understand that there is a lot more out there, than what we’ve been led to believe.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Poisonous Pontifications

After reading two years ago, the A Pope to be ashamed of expose by Helen and Harry Highwater, especially the part where,
“In 2001, as the decades-long pattern of priests' abuse first started to be reported, Ratzinger wrote a letter to bishops reminding them that church policy since 1962 mandated that the church itself would investigate, bypassing worldly police authorities, and required victims of priestly abuse to take an oath of secrecy.”

-This to me raised some serious accountability issues. Why does the Catholic Church leadership want to be so blind to pedophilia concerns within their ranks, with the enormous epidemic of already proven cases? Denial of these incurable compulsions cannot be for what “Blind Faith” was meant. 

More questions abound with the recent Mountain Home case. Obviously, something out of the ordinary happened. Are we to presume that the person, which Rev. Raul Covarrubias, “misconducted” with, was an adult? Or, is the Catholic Church commanding definition of sexual abuse dissimilar from that of Idaho’s law? For example, is it possible that a church ruling of “consensual sex” is redefining a case between a minor and one of their authority figures that would be considered a slam-dunk statutory rape in Idaho courts? 

Are the church leaders, so out of touch with their congregations that they think these clouds of suspicions will simply dissipate? It’s only human nature for us to jump to worst-case scenario conclusions, when considering the churches ancient history of not being forthcoming -with thousands of cases sounding much like this one. 

I used to have faith that this is not the type of separation of Church and State, our forefathers envisioned; but with the Mountain Home Police being kept fully out of the investigation, now I’m not so sure. 

As difficult, an issue as this must be for the Idaho diocese, their continuing stagnation will only further poison the churches once sacred holy waters, if they are not soon more forthcoming.

Poisonous Pontifications

Here’s how this works from the top down

Extract from Unknown News:

Pedophile priests scandal:
Ratzinger's office was responsible for handling the ongoing sex scandal, involving hundreds of priests who molested children under the cover of their clerical collars. So what did Ratzinger do?
• In 2001, as the decades-long pattern of priests' abuse first started to be reported, he wrote a letter to bishops reminding them that church policy since 1962 mandated that the church itself would investigate, bypassing worldly police authorities, and required victims of priestly abuse to take an oath of secrecy.

In effect, Ratzinger ordered a cover-up.

• According to an article in Britain's Observer, the letter, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, "asserted the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood." What the hell would you call that, if not a plain and obvious obstruction of justice?
• In 2002, Ratzinger publicly stated that "less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type," which sounds curiously dismissive of the problem. More reliable sources indicate that about 4% of U.S. priests have been accused, but even that statistic begs the question of how many more cases might have been reported if the church had been cooperative in such investigations, instead of defensive.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Slow Elk Poacher,

Thanks again for your feedback.

I’m uncertain as to whether you slowed down well enough, to read all of the posts contained in this thread. Because if you had, you would see that I agree with you to a certain extent, concerning some cell phone misuses.

It seems it’s not so much the gift of the technology we are complaining about, but rather some of the ill-desired behavior patterns of some users.

I used to feel differently about modern technology infiltrating into our wilderness areas, until that defining day when my friends and I saw those two girls from Challis succumb to their injuries from that horrendous head-on crash, with help so long delayed, due to lack of a working phone.

I wonder if your thinking would also shift, if -God-forbid- a similar dramatic incident occurred, involving beloved family members or friends of your own, who helplessly and needlessly suffered in a similar dark agonizing stretch of highway.

I’m not sure why I should have to address my credibility, regarding spending time in the backcountry, so I’ll try to keep the defense brief: In the past 15 years, I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve spent a lot of time in Idaho’s wildlands. So far, I’ve hiked Borah Peak, dove into North Fork Lake, harvested a moose, helped a dozen weary travelers stranded with flats over Trail Creek, discovered an unknown balancing rock, and several

(still secret) hot springs not listed on the State Geothermal map, given a child a piggyback ‘round Born Lakes, been invited to break bread at a fire lookout tower, awakened by fresh meteor showers, discovered treasure near Carrietown, sipped moonshine whiskey at Hook Draw Saloon, smiled at bounding goats, shoe-flied Griz, scooped up a precious heart-rock at Heart Lake, read poetry aloud in the White Clouds, and lastly recognized the significance of Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider movie, filmed mostly in the SNRA and then convinced ITD to revise the mining sign north of Bellevue to include a tribute to it:

My hope is that if I can keep on this track, it will eventually qualify me as a valid spokesperson - even to my friend here, Slow Elk Poacher’s tired eyes.

Representative Sali,

I understand the nature of Washington D.C.’s difficult environment, because I tried living there for 33 years. I also understand that you personally had some difficulty with one of your colleagues, Rep. Keith Ellison regarding his sacred religious viewpoints, which resulted in an apology you e-mailed to the Minnesota Representative’s office.

Certainly by now, with the dozens of important congressional hearings you and Keith Ellison have both attended, the two of you must have crossed paths. Can you tell me, Mr. Bill Sali, if were able to rise to one of those occasions to offer a more heartfelt in-person apology to Mr. Ellison, doing your best as a People’s Representative to improve conditions for our challenged leaders in the hostile Washington D.C. environment?

Some in the Idaho community that you represent, say it’s doubtful that you have actually gone any further than extending an electronic-olive-branch and question your sincerity: - comment-47290

But I would like to give you the opportunity here to respond to those naysayers, by proving them wide of the mark and revealing to your constituents what kind of peaceful leading warrior you truly are.

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