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Mountaineer Schmitz killed in car accident ~ Friends remember climber as a ‘kind and loving soul.’


Kim Schmitz, California, 1968 ~ Edgar Boyles



Former Exum Mountain Guide and longtime Jackson resident Kim Schmitz was killed in a single-vehicle car accident Monday. Jackson Hole News&Guide

By Melissa Cassutt


Kim Schmitz spent the final days of his life paddling down the Salmon River in Idaho, meditating in the sunshine and soaking up the wilderness he had longed to be in for months.

Schmitz died Monday night in a single-vehicle car crash. He was 70.

The mountains were a place that was hard for Schmitz to get to anymore, a place he had been sequestered from for too long. For most of the summer, he was cooped up at St. John’s Living Center, battling a MRSA infection that left his right leg swollen and throbbing. He spent his days reading and meditating, his afternoons in physical therapy, learning to walk again.

The battle was just the latest on a long list of ailments and traumas the iconic, legendary mountaineer battled during his prolific climbing career.

“He really couldn’t walk anymore,” said Dr. Bruce Hayse. “It was basically the only way we could get into the mountains, into the wilderness, was on river trips.

“He just loved going on those river trips,” Hayse said quietly.

Hayse was his doctor and landlord. For the past several years Schmitz had rented a room in Hayse’s home. But more importantly he was “a very good friend” who was with him on the river trip this past weekend, he said.

The group pulled off the river Monday evening, and Schmitz took off on a solo road trip toward Spokane, Washington.

“We pulled off the river at sunset, packed up the boats and gave a round of hugs in celebration of a perfect day,” Brian Whitlock, who was also on the trip, wrote on his

Facebook page. “It was the last time we would ever see him.”

His friends were later notified Schmitz was killed in a car accident. His vehicle ran off the road and smashed into a boulder, according to Lemhi, Idaho, County Coroner Mike Ernest.
In his Facebook post, Whitlock recalled Schmitz being at peace on the river.

“When it rained, Kim raised his face to the drops,” Whitlock wrote, “when the sun shines, he raised his face to the rays. On Kim’s final Sunday, he was in a sacred place.

“It was kind of a beautiful last weekend of his life,” Whitlock said in an interview with the News&Guide. “In retrospect you realize it was almost like he was saying goodbye.”

Mark Newcomb, who met Schmitz as a teen when he was on his first ascent of the Grand Teton, called his passing “such a big loss.”

“He’s a towering figure in mountaineering and, for a considerable amount of time, set the standard for high mountain alpine climbing,” Newcomb said. “He also had an intense drive and a really kind heart.”

Schmitz was the first to scale some of the biggest walls in Yosemite, where he also set a few speed records. He was the first to ascend the Great Trango Tower in 1977 and Uli Biaho two years later, both located in Asia’s massive Karakoram mountains. He spent nearly 50 days traversing the same range on skis, a 300-mile trek. He logged climbs in Asia, South America, Canada and throughout the western United States, exploring the mountains with other climbing giants such as Jim Bridwell and Yvon Chouinard.

But his passion for scaling some of the highest and most difficult terrain in the world almost killed him — twice.

While on a 1980 expedition up Mount Gongga in China, an avalanche pulled Schmitz from the mountain, dropping him 1,500 feet and breaking his back. One of his climbing partners was killed.

Three years later, while guiding a trip up Symmetry Spire in Grand Teton National Park, he fell again, this time dropping 80 feet and breaking both his wrists and legs. He was put back together, but was never quite the same.

He battled addiction through his recoveries, finally choosing pain over taking pills.
“It was a constant struggle,” Hayse said. “He was in pain all the time and he couldn’t take pain medicine because he knew what it did to him. It was a very tough situation for him. We did a lot of meditating. He was very spiritual.”

Despite his suffering, friends say his spirit always shined.

“Kim was a real power of nature in many ways, an indomitable strength,” said Wesley Bunch, who met Schmitz in the early ’90s when they were Exum mountain guides. “He lived through so many hardships during his time. Despite all the hardships he went through — extensive surgeries, health issues — he always had an upbeat and Buddhist mentality. And a smile.”

Jim Williams, founder of Exploradus and one of Schmitz’s closest friends, echoed the sentiment.

“He has one of the most positive attitudes of anybody I’ve ever known,” Williams said.
Williams met Schmitz nearly 50 years ago, when he took a Royal Robbins climbing class. Schmitz was one of the instructors.

The two stayed in touch after the course, and eventually met back up when Williams became a guide at Exum. Eventually they became family, sharing nearly every Sunday dinner together for the past five years, Williams said.

“He was a kind and loving soul who had room for everybody in his life,” Williams said.

“I’m proud to have been part of it.

“He will be missed,” he said.

It’s Leonard Cohen’s Birthday. The Present Is Dark ~ September 21, 2016

For the past 25 years I’ve had this notion that on every successive Leonard Cohen record his voice would get deeper and deeper until one day he’d put out an album so subsonic that you’d just feel it, not hear it. Well, we’re close. On this day, Leonard Cohen’s 82nd birthday, he’s given us a gift: It’s dark, it’s beautiful and it’s deep. “You Want It Darker” is the title track to his soon-to-be-released album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. The album of nine songs, out Oct. 21, is produced by his son, musician Adam Cohen. As I hear it, the song speaks of a world without hope.

“A million candles burning
for the love that never came.
You want it darker
we kill the flame.”

Despite the depth of his voice and the strength and wisdom of his writing, I discern a frailness. What I hear are multiple takes on just this one track and a few edits within a verse. Listen at 2:06 — you can hear an edit right in mid-breath just after the line “middle-class and tame.” And shortly after, Cohen says, “I’m ready my Lord,” and the choir sullenly and eerily keeps the tone dark.


Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
Courtesy of Columbia Records

It’s sad and difficult, but as good as this is, I can imagine this forthcoming album as Cohen’s last statement, especially thinking of the losses on our recent calendar. It’s hard not to think of the moment early this year when a much younger hero of mine, David Bowie, gave us Blackstar on the day of his 69th birthday. He knew it was his last work, even if, at the time, we didn’t.

We’ve been fortunate to have gotten so much from Leonard in the recent past. The elder statesman of poetry and prudence, whose music has touched me since I was a kid in the ’60s, has done what no one from those days has done: been active, creative and stronger in many ways with age. In a year when we’ve lost so many it feels good and comforting to have this old soul with us, lending us his voice, each day a blessing.


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Leonard Cohen celebrated his 82nd birthday Wednesday with the announcement that his upcoming LP, You Want It Darker, will arrive on October 21st. The veteran musician released the mesmerizing title track, which, according to a press release, “delves into an unflinching exploration of the religious mind.”

Leonard Cohen Pens Letter to ‘So Long, Marianne’ Muse Before Her Death
“Well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon,” poet writes
Cohen’s sparse, spoken-word delivery is paired with Montreal’s Cantor Gideon Zelermyer and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir with chilling effect. “They’re lining up the prisoners and the guards are taking aim,” Cohen says. “I struggled with some demons/They were middle class and tame/I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim/You want it darker/I’m ready my lord.”
It’s unclear if You Want It Darker – produced by Cohen’s 44-year-old son Adam Cohen – will be supported with a tour. After a two-decade absence from the stage, Cohen played over 370 shows between 2008 and 2013. He hasn’t performed in public since a show at Auckland, New Zealand’s Vector Arena on December 21st, 2013 and didn’t support 2014’s Popular Problems with any live work.
He’s rarely seen in public these days, though his farewell letter to muse Marianne Ihlen did become public last month. “We are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon,” he wrote. “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”
A press release announcing the release date of You Want It Darker provides a description of each song on the album.

1. “You Want It Darker”
Hypnotic groove. The surprise of a great synagogue choir. An unflinching exploration of the religious mind.
“Didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim.”
2. “Treaty”
One of Cohen’s signature melodies. A confession of the selfishness of love and the hope of a correction.
“Only one of us was real—and that was me.”
3. “On the Level”
An old man’s take on desire.
“I was fighting with temptation, but I didn’t want to win”
4. “Leaving the Table”
A slow, relentless, and somehow joyous ballad of letting it all go by. A guitar solo you will remember.
“I’m leaving the table, I’m out of the game.”
5. “If I Didn’t Have Your Love”
A classic Cohen love song: the deep gratitude felt by one heart opening to another.
“That’s how broken it would be,
what the world would seem to me,
if I didn’t have your love to make it real.”
6. “Traveling Light”
A seeker hits the road and finds the joys of solitude.
“I’m traveling light
It’s au revoir
My once so bright
My fallen star”
7. “It Seemed the Better Way”
The feeling of a prayer that’s been there forever, but the spiritual comforts of the past no longer available.
“Lift this glass of blood, try to say the grace.”
8. “Steer Your Way”
A song of courage as the heart moves into the darkness.
“Steer your heart past the pain that is far more real than you.”
9. String Reprise/Treaty
A brilliant reimagining of “Treaty” as a string quartet; a truly glorious moment ending with a few words from Leonard himself.
“I wish there was a treaty we could sign.”

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~~~  WATCH  ~~~

The Success of the Voter Fraud Myth




How does a lie come to be widely taken as the truth?

The answer is disturbingly simple: Repeat it over and over again. When faced with facts that contradict the lie, repeat it louder.

This, in a nutshell, is the story of claims of voting fraud in America — and particularly of voter impersonation fraud, the only kind that voter ID laws can possibly prevent.

Last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that nearly half of registered American voters believe that voter fraud occurs “somewhat” or “very” often. That astonishing number includes two-thirds of people who say they’re voting for Donald Trump and a little more than one-quarter of Hillary Clinton supporters. Another 26 percent of American voters said that fraud “rarely” occurs, but even that characterization is off the mark. Just 1 percent of respondents gave the answer that comes closest to reflecting reality: “Never.”

As study after study has shown, there is virtually no voter fraud anywhere in the country. The most comprehensive investigation to date found that out of one billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were 31 possible cases of impersonation fraud. Other violations — like absentee ballot fraud, multiple voting and registration fraud — are also exceedingly rare. So why do so many people continue to believe this falsehood?

Credit for this mass deception goes to Republican lawmakers, who have for years pushed a fake story about voter fraud, and thus the necessity of voter ID laws, in an effort to reduce voting among specific groups of Democratic-leaning voters. Those groups — mainly minorities, the poor and students — are less likely to have the required forms of identification.

Behind closed doors, some Republicans freely admit that stoking false fears of electoral fraud is part of their political strategy. In a recently disclosed email from 2011, a Republican lobbyist in Wisconsin wrote to colleagues about a very close election for a seat on the State Supreme Court. “Do we need to start messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number?” he wrote. “I obviously think we should.”

Sometimes they acknowledge it publicly. In 2012, a former Florida Republican Party chairman, Jim Greer, told The Palm Beach Post that voter ID laws and cutbacks in early voting are “done for one reason and one reason only” — to suppress Democratic turnout. Consultants, Mr. Greer said, “never came in to see me and tell me we had a fraud issue. It’s all a marketing ploy.”

The ploy works. During the 2012 election, voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee reduced turnout by about 2 percent, or about 122,000 votes, according to a 2014 analysis by the Government Accountability Office. Turnout fell the most among young people, African-Americans and newly registered voters. Another study analyzing elections from 2006 through 2014 found that voting by eligible minority citizens decreased significantly in states with voter ID laws and “that the racial turnout gap doubles or triples in states” with those laws.

There are plenty of shortcomings in the American voting system, but most are a result of outdated machines, insufficient resources or human error — not intentional fraud. All of these are made only worse by shutting down polling places or eliminating early voting hours, measures frequently supported by Republican legislators.

Those efforts are especially galling in a nation where, on a good day, only 60 percent of eligible voters show up to the polls. The truth is that those who created the specter of voter fraud don’t care about the integrity of the voting system; they want to undermine the rights of legitimate voters because that helps them win elections.

The scary thing is how many Americans have bought into this charade. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Republican Party’s standard-bearer, Donald Trump, has elevated the lie about voting fraud and “rigged elections” to a centerpiece of his campaign.


The Brit with his one month old sons


Port Au Prince

standing on Port Au Prince corner

eyeing painted buses

access to Haitian subconscious





Keep OURay Alpine Wild


Last week at the BOCC hearing on the high alpine building regulations, there were 100 people in attendance. Of the 46 people who spoke, 42 spoke in favor of either a 35 acre minimum parcel size(as per current zoning in the area) or advocated no building at all. Only 4 people were opposed to the proposed regulations. Thank you to everyone who testified! This was an inspiring display of democracy but, unfortunately, our work is not done.

The deliberative phase of the hearing, where decisions are actually made, has been continued until September 22, 5:00pm at the 4H Center.

The County Attorney’s legal opinion is that the regulations that we want are justifiable. However, the inevitable threat of legal action may temper the BOCCs willingness to honor the overwhelmingly expressed wishes of the community. Public testimony is closed, but, a huge show of support may help empower the BOCC to stand strong, knowing that the community has their back.

Please plan to attend the continued deliberation phase of the hearing on Thursday, September 22 at 5:00 at the 4H Center.


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Hello Ouray County Democratic Supporters!

The Colorado Democratic Party has an upcoming volunteer event near you. All are welcome to join us Thursday, September 22nd from 5-8pm at the Ridgway Town Hall to spread the word about Democrats running on the Federal ticket this year.

At the event we will be making calls and canvassing homes in the area to gauge other Democrat’s support for candidates Hillary Clinton for US President, Michael Bennet for US Senate and Gail Schwartz for US Congress. If you are a quick learner and/or skilled with technology, bring your laptop to help input the data collected.

As the event will be held over dinner time, feel free to bring a snack or beverage to share with the group.

RSVP for the event using this Google form: https://goo.gl/forms/TNa4yb8jqVz1n92O2

Again, all supporters are welcome, so please invite your friends and family to join in! Let me know if you have any questions!


Rosy Brummette
Field Organizer
Colorado Democratic Party
rbrummette@covictory.com l (970) 729-8805COL


ALSO a continuation of Public Hearing at that time.

Another Autumn is upon us !

Burnie Arndt


Tricycle ~ Burnham Arndt

Haiku avalanche shoes
Hard to out run
Pay attention
Be aware


Time to protect the Futaleufu and Cordillera Sarmiento by long time San Juan adventurer, gentleman and ladies man, Jack Miller

By Don Weeden, Jack Miller and Camilo Rada

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We don’t need to tell the readers of Patagon Journal that Chile is blessed with an abundance of extraordinary natural places. Fortunately, many such places are protected as national parks, or as nature sanctuaries (Pumalin Park is the best known example).

But nature lovers must remember that such places can be lost if they lack protection. Perhaps Chile’s worst loss was the spectacular Biobio River which was plugged by two massive dams since the 1990s, essentially reduced to a massive construction site interspersed by stagnant reservoirs.

As outdoorsmen who have explored many parts of Chile, spanning five decades, we are particularly concerned about two places of such special beauty that it is inconceivable that nature lovers would allow them to be compromised. They would surely be protected as national parks in other developed countries.

The first place is well known to Patagon Journal readers and river enthusiasts globally: the Futaleufú River. We have been hearing for years that there are eminent threats of big dams and mining projects, but in fact, of perhaps equal threat is the more mundane activities of road building, hotel/residential development, and small-scale logging. Because virtually all land within this river corridor is privately owned, maintaining the wilderness character of the river’s gorges has relied on the good will of landowners. But slowly the river corridor is being compromised.

Over the past few years, a few lodges and hotels have sprouted up along the river’s banks, the most famous of which is a box-like French hotel high on the cliffs above the entrance of Infierno Gorge. Downriver, a newly proposed road would cut deep into the corridor (below El Trono rapid), opening up the river’s mostly roadless south side to development. Unprotected, the river corridor is vulnerable to being built up and fragmented. In other words: nicked and cut to death.

The second place of special beauty is the Cordillera Sarmiento and the adjoining Fiordo de las Montañas in the Magallanes Region, west of Puerto Natales. The Cordillera Sarmiento is a mountainous peninsula about 65 km long and 15 km wide, and is the southernmost extension of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. It has been described as a “Lost World” of rare wildlife, impenetrable beech forests, jagged peaks, and massive icefields that spill several tidewater glaciers into the Fiordo de las Montañas, itself a narrow finger that stretches 65 kilometers. It is a breathtaking wild landscape.


20 Year David and Goliath Fist Fight Saves Patagonia’s Futaleufu

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Endesa sought to build two dams on the Futaleufu that would capture its water for energy generation while inundating the river’s spectacular landscapes—the 800-megawatt La Cuesta facility nine miles from the village of Puerto Ramirez and the 400-megawatt Los Coihues dam across Inferno Canyon at the gateway to the river’s prime whitewater.

The picturesque farming communities above that dam would have drowned beneath 75 feet of water; mountainous rapids below the dam would survive only in the memories of those lucky enough to have experienced the unbridled river. The Spanish company hoped to sell the power from these installations to Argentina, or otherwise up north through Chile using a massive transmission line that was never built.

In a statement to the Chilean government, Endesa tabulated the factors behind its decision as:

“the high annual cost for the company to maintain water rights without using them”
the technical and economic difficulties facing the damming project
and, most notably, the lack of “sufficient support from local communities”
Fierce local opposition caused Endesa, two years ago, to suspend immediate plans to dam the Futaleufu, which has one dam near its headwaters in Argentina but flows free for 65 miles through Chile. Trapped between unyielding popular resistance and the escalating costs of its water rights, Endesa abandoned the project altogether. Endesa said its decision represents a $52-million haircut for its shareholders.

“This is an extraordinary triumph for Patagonia,” said Patrick Lynch, staff attorney and international director at Futaleufu Riverkeeper. “The victory belongs to a half dozen activist groups composed of local farmers, river guides, fishermen and outfitters, and to the thousands of river lovers around the world and the international environmental groups who supported the community fighting the dam.”

Reflecting on the long battle, Lynch told me, “It was always such an unlikely coalition. And yet this community won a bruising 20 year David and Goliath fist fight. We beat back an all-powerful international utility company that owned this river for more than 20 years. Now we need legal reforms to put an end to a corrupt system that still reward damming rivers for profit.”

The Futaleufu played a symbolic role in Chile’s struggles to restore her democracy, still reeling from two decades of dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet. “Pinochet’s regime was old school European corporatism,” the Chilean environmental and human rights activist, Juan Pablo Orrego, explained to me in 1993 soon after Pinochet left power. “He followed Mussolini’s scheme to merge state and corporate power and that meant handing Chile’s publicly owned natural resources—including our rivers—over to private corporations.”

Every tyranny includes efforts by powerful interests to privatize the public commons, but Pinochet’s regime turned the ideology of privatization into a religion. In what is now regarded as a cataclysmically failed social experiment in voodoo economics, Pinochet turned Chile over to a group of right wing theoretical economists from the University of Chicago, entrusting them with authoritarian control over virtually every aspect of economic life in Chile.

These acolytes of “free market” guru Milton Friedman, the so called “Chicago Boys,” used their unlimited power to impose a barbaric austerity on Chile’s poor and middle classes. They slashed taxes on the rich and corporations, discarded vital subsidies for fuel, school milk and other food staples, eviscerated labor unions, cut education and healthcare, and repealed environmental, financial and trade regulations. In an orgy of privatization, they auctioned off Chile’s public assets—including her roads, airports, airlines, telephone and electric utilities, her waterways and forests to multinational corporations at fire sale prices. “They literally liquidated our commonwealth for cash,” Orrego observed. “They obliterated Chile’s public spaces.” Pinochet’s henchmen gave away every Chilean river to private companies for damming.

These anti-democratic reforms were naturally unpopular with many Chileans, and Pinochet jailed, tortured and killed his program’s critics, murdering 3,000 dissenters, imprisoning 20,000 and forcing another 200,000 into exile.

My family has had a long history of friendship with Chile. In the early 1960s, Chile’s leftist democratic president, Eduardo Frei Montalva, became the closest Latin American ally of my uncle, President John Kennedy. Frei helped craft the blueprint for JFK’s Alliance for Progress. Both men hoped the “Alianza” would break the strangle hold of Latin America’s oligarchies who presided over feudal economies characterized by vast gulfs between rich and poor.

The oligarchs protected their wealth and privilege through seamless relationships with the military caudillos who ruled their nations with brutal dictatorship. That ruling coalition fortified itself in symbiotic relationships with all-powerful U.S. multinationals like Anaconda Copper, United Fruit, IT&T and Standard Oil, to whom the local oligarchs ceded their nations’ natural resources in exchange for a share of the profits. These colonial style arrangements gave the oligarchs unimaginable wealth and power, kept their people in desperate poverty and gave rise to a new derisive sobriquet for these countries, the “Banana Republic.”

Prior to JFK, U.S. foreign policy was to nurture these powerful oligarchies which unctuously served the mercantile interests of American corporations. But these policies, for JFK, represented a stark departure from American values—including our national anti-colonial heritage—and caused appalling injustice and poverty that was easily exploited by communist revolutionaries. Frei and Kennedy designed the alliance as a suite of reforms to rebuild Latin America as a collection of just, democratic, middle class societies. Chile, the continent’s beacon of middle class stability, democracy and freedom would be the template.

My father’s first public break with President Lyndon Johnson following JFK’s assassination was over Johnson’s subversion of the alliance. My father believed that the new U.S. president had abandoned the alliance’s idealistic goals and returned U.S. policy to its historical role of supporting the oligarchs and fostering corporate colonialism.

In 1964, my father infuriated Johnson by visiting Chile and advising its intellectuals and government officials to nationalize the U.S. oil and mining interests that were robbing the nation’s natural wealth. My father engaged in a heated debate with communist students at the University of Concepcion who showered him with spit, eggs and other missiles. He then made a harrowing trip headfirst into the depths of an Atacama copper mine on a tiny sled to meet with beleaguered miners. He returned to the surface to chastise the dismayed mine owner for mistreating his workers.

Just after dawn on the morning of June 29, 1973, I found myself with four others, including New York Times reporter Blake Fleetwood, on a remote Andean ridge near Chile’s frontier with Argentina earnestly digging in the deep snow to escape a hail of gunfire from half a dozen carabineros crouched in the valley 100 meters below us. The squadron had pursued us from the nearby military base as we climbed on sealskins for a day of backcountry skiing. Believing we were trying to escape across the border, they soon captured and detained us. The nation was on high alert. Unbeknownst to us, a tank battalion, that morning, had launched a coup against the regime of Chile’s socialist president, Salvador Allende.

~~~  MAS  ~~~

PATAGONIA’S PHILOSOPHER-KING ~ How Yvon Chouinard turned his eco-conscious, anti-corporate ideals into the credo of a successful clothing company.


Yvon Chouinard showing Crow children how to fish in Montana. He has frequently disappeared for months, sometimes for half the year, to fish, climb, kayak, surf, ski—and preserve—the planet’s untamed precincts.


When Yvon Chouinard, the climber and environmentalist and the co-founder of the outdoor-apparel company Patagonia, spends days by himself at a house he owns in Moose, Wyoming, his wife, Malinda, the other co-founder, often sends mass e-mails to their friends, with the number of the landline there. “He likes phone calls and will be alone,” she’ll write. Chouinard, who is seventy-seven, has a cell phone but hardly ever turns it on. He does not use e-mail and disdains the proliferation of devices. He considers Apple to be a manufacturer of toys. “I’m getting more and more marginalized,” he told me. “My friends are constantly e-mailing with each other, and I’m excluded.” To the suggestion that he take it up, he says, “It’s too late.” On his own in Moose, he fly-fishes, reads, ties flies—and fly-fishes some more. He can fish all day. He does not require an audience, although he likes to have someone around to outfish. Taciturn as he may be, he still prizes company. He has a lifelong habit of collecting garrulous friends and yet a tendency to induce some measure of taciturnity in all but the most voluble of them. His style of reticence is contagious.

Chouinard spent the heart of this past summer as he often does, wandering around the northern Rockies, visiting old friends, and fishing the prime trout streams of the greater Yellowstone region. He did so with one good arm (rotator-cuff surgery, in June), a scarred cheek (basal-cell removal, in July), and a heavy reliance on his tenkara fly rig—a simple pole with no reel, the latest implement in his long-running crusade for simplicity and thrift. Now and then, he checks in with the office—Patagonia headquarters and his primary home are in Ventura, California—but for days at a time no one really knows where he is. Malinda sends e-mails to the people he is supposed to be with, in case there are things he should hear or do. He’s less involved in the management of the company than he used to be, but since he got into the gear business, more than fifty years ago, he has frequently disappeared for months, sometimes for half the year, to climb, kayak, surf, ski, fish, and ramble around the planet’s wilder precincts, whose preservation he has dedicated the better part of his life to. He comes off, these days, as deeply disheartened, perhaps even defeated, and yet Patagonia is bigger, and more active in environmental and labor advocacy, than it has ever been.

On a Thursday night in late July, Chouinard sat in an easy chair by the window of the Moose house, ice pack on his cheek, glass of red wine in hand, left leg up on the arm of the chair. He had on flip-flops, tan fishing pants, and a green Salmonid Restoration Federation T-shirt, which a young busboy at a café had complimented an hour before, to no reply from Chouinard. A high-country twilight had him half in shadow. The window faced west, out onto a sage-and-wildflower meadow of several acres, and, beyond that, a phalanx of cottonwoods and spruce, and, beyond those, the Tetons, with the sun now sunk behind the dusky silhouette of the Grand. Chelsea Clinton was on the radio, introducing her mother at the Democratic National Convention, in Philadelphia.

The property is just north of the Jackson Hole airport, on the east side of the Snake River, up by the entrance to Grand Teton National Park. He and some friends built the house in 1976, out of beetle-kill lodgepole pine. It was one of the first log houses in the valley, on six acres he’d bought for fifteen thousand dollars an acre. It’s simple and small, a relic of a different idea of mountain living. (“Now everyone builds these huge trophy log houses,” he said.) The house was strewn outside with gear and inside with bric-a-brac: nature books, binoculars, the sheet music to “Don’t Fence Me In,” which the family sings at weddings. The only neighbor, in the early days, was Malcolm Forbes. Now there are seldom-used vacation houses on all sides. “They got me surrounded, the fuckers,” Chouinard said.

Jackson has boomed as a skiing and recreation town, as a national-park gateway, and as a tax haven for rich people attracted by Wyoming’s absence of a state income tax. Though probably eligible for residence, Chouinard would never consider such a thing. “Oh, God, no,” he says. “I happily pay my taxes.” The northern Rockies aren’t Clinton country. “I was at a rodeo in Livingston, and they burned Hillary in effigy on the rodeo grounds,” he said. He first met the Clintons in 1992, when Bill was running for President. A banker had a dinner for them in Jackson. “I guess we were the only Democrats in the county, so they invited us,” Chouinard said. “Chelsea was twelve at the time, same age as my daughter, Claire.” (He also has a son, Fletcher, who’s a few years older.) “The day before, Claire had dyed her hair orange with Kool-Aid. Claire and Chelsea got along great. Other than that, I don’t remember much.”


Tomita Keisen (1879-1936) Orichid Pavilion Gathering

Famous Drinking Party

In China the annual Spring Purification Festival was held on the third day of the third month. In 353 Wang Xishi (Jap.: Ou Gishi, 321-379) invited forty-one scholar-poets to engage in poetry and drinking while seated along the bank of a winding brook. Wang arranged for servants to float cups of wine down the stream, and those guests who had not yet written a poem before a cup had passed by were required to drink a penalty cup. From this event Wang assembled the poems of his friends and wrote his famous “Preface to the Orchid Pavilion Compilation” (Jap.: Ranteishuujo), a melancholy discourse on the meaning of life. The theme was very popular in Chinese painting, and became revered by the Japanese. According to both the Nihonshoki and archaeological remains, a meandering stream built of stones was constructed in the southeast corner of the 8th century Heijoukyuu, probably so that aristocrats could re-enact the meandering stream party kyokusui-no-en. Such re-enactments continue today at various locations. For sinophile Japanese painters the theme was symbolic of refined scholarly pleasure. Paintings of rantei kyokusui typically feature a number of scholars seated beside a twisting stream. Notable paintings include works by Kanou Sansetsu (1589/90-1651), Nakayama Kouyou (1717-80) and Yosa Buson (1716-84)


Reconsidering the Black Panthers Through Photos


Two women with bags of food at the People’s Free Food Program, one of the Black Panther survival programs. Palo Alto, Calif. 1972.Credit Stephen Shames/Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery

A black man helps an older African-American woman as she shops in an Oakland, Calif., supermarket. The image from 1972, by Stephen Shames, documents an initiative to protect the elderly in a crime-ridden neighborhood. It doesn’t just show community activism, it also challenges lurid media stereotypes about the organization responsible for the initiative: the Black Panther Party.

This is one of many photographs in an important new book by Mr. Shames and Bobby Seale, “Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers” (Abrams), that help us to better understand one of the most innovative, if controversial, American movements for racial equality and justice. An accompanying exhibition of Mr. Shames’s Panther photographs opens this month at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York.

Published on the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding, “Power to the People” constitutes an impressionistic visual and oral history of the Panthers. It combines in-depth commentary by Mr. Seale, a major figure within the Panthers; the photographs and observations of Mr. Shames, the group’s principal visual chronicler; excerpts of interviews Mr. Shames conducted with party leaders — including Kathleen Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Elbert (Big Man) Howard, Ericka Huggins, Billy X Jennings and Jamal Joseph — as well as the words of Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver.

Mr. Shames was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, when he became active in politics. He met Mr. Seale and Mr. Newton in San Francisco during the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam six months after they founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966.

“I started hanging out with the Panthers, attending their rallies,” Mr. Shames recalled in the text. “Bobby Seale became my mentor and friend. … I was granted incredible access. Over the next seven years, culminating in Bobby Seale’s 1973 campaign for mayor of Oakland, I documented this group of young men and women, who were at the forefront of the Black Power movement and who became the vanguard of the revolution that was sweeping America.”

The aims of the Black Panther Party were diverse and complex. On one level, the group advocated armed resistance against police misconduct and abuse, as well as a revolution to achieve the racial equality and justice that it felt the nonviolent civil rights movement had failed to achieve. As the party gained momentum, J. Edgar Hoover, director of the F.B.I., deemed it “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” Vowing that 1969 would be the last year of the Panthers’ existence, Hoover made it a principal target of the bureau’s Cointelpro initiative, established in the 1950s to monitor, infiltrate and discredit radical political organizations.

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unplanted garden

soft autumn light

cool morning and evening,

hollyhocks spit seeds in unplanted garden




Aspen Ski Co Unveils New Chairlift ~ Burnham Arndt

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Public Hearing ~ Alpine development ~ Ouray County


The Public Hearing on high alpine residential and commercial development on mining claims will take place on Sept 13, Tuesday, at 6 pm a the Ouray Community Center.

There is a legal opinion from Paul Kosnik, an attorney from Durango. He is an expert in land use law and used to be the legal council for La Plata County. Attached is his legal opinion on the”takings issue” that he has submitted to the BOCC on behalf of ROCC. Overall his opinion is that no takings argument exists because all mining claim parcels will still have economic value. Mining rights are being preserved in the proposed county code for residential building in the high country. So all parcels will still have “economic value”.

It’s crucial that supporters from the community speak on behalf of preserving the high country from dense residential development. Your voice is needed at this hearing. Please plan to attend and testify.

Here are some key parts of the proposal that you may wish to address in your comment:

.  Outright banning of building in the tundra ecosystem is the most important provision to support.

.  The section on Purpose and Intent of these regulations is well thought out and appropriate. However, the proposed minimum parcel size of 5 acres is not representative of this purpose and intent. Previous BOCCs decided that high alpine zoning should be one dwelling per 35 acres, thus wisely choosing to preserve the most precious commodity that this county has. The kind of density that could result from 5 acre parcel sizes would seriously and permanently scar this legacy. We don’t get do-overs once things are built.

.  Structures as large as 2500 sq ft also conflict with the stated purpose and intent since they will certainly not resemble rustic cabins that have historically been part of our mining history in this area.

Your presence and testimony are essential to a favorable outcome, but, if you cannot make it in person please email your thoughts to the BOCC by Monday ~ TODAY!: Hannah Hollenbeck at hhollenbeck@ouraycountyco.gov

Oceans Are Absorbing Almost All of the Globe’s Excess Heat


Ocean temperatures have been consistently rising for at least three decades. Scientists believe that global sea surface temperatures will continue to increase over the next decade as greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere.

According to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature released last week, the Southern Hemisphere has experienced intense warming over the past decade, with strong heat accumulation in the midlatitude regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Natural patterns such as El Niño and La Niña can have year-to-year effects on temperatures. Individual storms can also influence ocean temperatures for months or longer. But the overall temperature trends by decade reveal a backdrop of human-caused warming.

Record High Annual Mean Surface Temperatures, 2015


Last year, nearly all observed ocean surface temperatures registered above average because naturally occurring conditions caused by El Niño combined with human-induced warming. About a quarter of those observations broke record highs.

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The Paranoid Style in American Politics Is Back ~ Thomas B. Edsall SEPT. 8, 2016


Trump supporters at a campaign event in Texas. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times


Most prediction models, including the one put together by The Times, foresee a Hillary Clinton win, but recent polls show her lead diminishing. As Nate Silver wrote on the 538 website on Sept. 6:

The clearest pattern is simply that Trump has regained ground since Clinton’s post-convention peak.

With the odds now favoring a narrow Clinton victory, what would the ramifications be after Nov. 8 if she beats Trump by three or fewer percentage points?

First and foremost, the anticipation of such a defeat has released in the Trump camp what the historian Richard Hofstadter famously described in 1964 as “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”:

In fact, the idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with profoundly disturbed minds. It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.

The paranoia of the Trump campaign has found expression in the accusation that the Republican establishment in the primaries and now Hillary Clinton and her allies in the general election are committed to rigging the vote to prevent Trump’s rightful accession to the White House.

This has been on Trump’s mind for quite a while. On April 11, in the midst of the primary battle, Trump told “Fox and Friends”:

I won South Carolina. I won it by a landslide, like a massive landslide, and now they’re trying to pick off those delegates one by one. That’s not the way democracy is supposed to work. And you know, they offer them trips. They offer them all sorts of things. And you’re allowed to do that. And you’re allowed to offer trips and you can buy all these votes. What kind of a system is this? Now, I’m an outsider and I came into the system. And I’m winning the votes by millions of votes. But the system is rigged. It’s crooked.

With the nomination in hand, Trump declared in his convention acceptance speech:

Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place. They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does. She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.

I am hardly alone in recognizing Hofstadter’s relevance today. Conor Lynch returned to Hofstadter this summer in Salon, for example.

It’s easy to see why. Hofstadter describes the paranoid style as 

made up of certain preoccupations and fantasies: the megalomaniac view of oneself as the Elect, wholly good, abominably persecuted, yet assured of ultimate triumph; the attribution of gigantic and demonic powers to the adversary.

Trump’s strongest supporters do in fact feel abominably persecuted. They are unlikely to fade away gracefully.

Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver, emailed me his thoughts:

A narrow Trump loss could be problematic in that some significant percentage of Republican activists would believe Trump’s claims that the electoral system was rigged against him.

“This is a potentially dangerous outcome for the country,” Masket added.

Masket is not the only one worrying that the legitimacy of the election — and potentially of future elections — could be compromised.

Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute warned that if the outcome is a close win for Hillary Clinton:

It will reinforce the view among Trump populists that the election was stolen and he was stabbed in the back, which will make the task of party leaders that much harder, while creating further delegitimization of the process.

At a rally in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 1, Trump told the crowd, “I’m afraid the election’s gonna be rigged, I have to be honest.” Roger Stone, a Trump confidant, shared his own thinking with Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News on July 29:

I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly.

Stone’s advice was that Trump should say,

I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.

The Trump-Stone message is resonating.

In early August, a Bloomberg poll asked voters, “When it comes to the presidential election, is it your sense the election will or will not be rigged?” The poll found that 56 percent of Trump supporters believed the election would be rigged. Among all voters, 34 percent predicted a rigged election; 60 percent rejected the notion.

Further complicating the situation, The Washington Post reported on Sept. 5 that

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are probing what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions.

Masket believes that a spreading suspicion among Trump supporters that the election outcome was fixed could have severe repercussions after Nov. 8:

Part of the reason that our nation has been relatively free of political violence is that losers of contests have nearly always accepted their loss and opposed the victor through legitimate means, such as challenging them in future elections or working against their agenda in Congress. The 2000 election was very close and obviously very controversial, but Al Gore nonetheless conceded after the Supreme Court’s ruling. Were Trump and his supporters to continue to argue that the election had been stolen from them, it would mean that they reject nonviolent solutions to political differences. It could jeopardize future elections, undermine the legitimacy of the federal government, and create an environment in which political violence becomes more likely.

While clearly on the fringes of politics, the so called alt-right — white nationalists and hard-line opponents of immigration who oppose multiculturalism and defend a particular vision of Western values — has become an influential force in politics.

Since the start of the Trump campaign, alt-right groups have been attracting members and they have strengthened their ties to the Republican Party.

Trump “has sparked an insurgency, and I don’t think it’s going to go away,” Don Black, a founder of the white nationalist website Stormfront, told Politico in December:

He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point.

Hans Noel, a political scientist at Georgetown and a co-author of “The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform,” points to the problems a narrow Trump loss could pose for the Republican Party:

If Trump continues to be a focal point for alt-right ideas, those voters will demand a voice, either in the Republican Party or outside it. Can the conservative and mainstream Republicans unite effectively and keep the alt-right from steering the party?

The conviction that Democrats and the Washington establishment will rig the election in Clinton’s favor is by no means limited to the alt-right. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, have both promoted the idea.

“There’s a long tradition on the part of Democratic machines of trying to steal elections,” Gingrich told Sean Hannity on “Fox News” on Aug. 2:

I mean, if you assume that she is a crook, as he says, if you assume that she lies, as he says, why would you expect her to have an honest election?

“This is a rigged system,” Giuliani declared on July 24 on the Fox show “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo,” “and Hillary and Kaine are right in the middle of the Washington insider rigged system.”

On Aug. 26, Ann Coulter, the conservative firebrand, told Politico “Any close election will be stolen by the Democrats.”

Before he was fired, Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, warned that federal officials could not be trusted to prevent voter fraud:

Frankly, we think that the situation in the country — just like with the Democratic National Committee’s primaries — is a situation where if you’re relying on the Justice Department to ensure the security of the elections, we have to be worried.

In an exhaustive 2007 study of voter fraud, the Brennan Center at N.Y.U. Law School concluded that individual attempts to cast multiple votes, to register using a false name or other methods to vote more than once are so rare as to be inconsequential.

In the New Jersey election in 2004, 3,611,691 votes were cast and there were “eight substantiated cases of individuals knowingly casting invalid votes,” Justin Levitt, the study’s author, who is now deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, wrote. He calculated that illegal votes amounted to 0.0004 percent of the total.

As could be expected, the Brennan study has done little or nothing to tamp down accusations of election fraud from the alt-right, and indeed from Trump himself.

Fifty-two years ago, writing in the year of the Johnson-Goldwater election, Hofstadter proved remarkably prescient: The right wing, he argued,

feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.

Should Trump fail to eke out a victory, his already deeply suspicious supporters are likely to double down on allegations that they have been cheated out of what is rightfully theirs. As Hofstadter put it:

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

In American experience ethnic and religious conflict have plainly been a major focus for militant and suspicious minds of this sort, but class conflicts also can mobilize such energies. Perhaps the central situation conducive to the diffusion of the paranoid tendency is a confrontation of opposed interests which are (or are felt to be) totally irreconcilable, and thus by nature not susceptible to the normal political processes of bargain and compromise.

Hofstadter wrote that at a time when polarization was a minor factor in politics. The confrontation of irreconcilably opposed interests is far more hostile today, which Hofstadter foresaw with such focused intensity that it is worth quoting him at length:

The situation becomes worse when the representatives of a particular social interest — perhaps because of the very unrealistic and unrealizable nature of its demands — are shut out of the political process. Having no access to political bargaining or the making of decisions, they find their original conception that the world of power is sinister and malicious fully confirmed. They see only the consequences of power — and this through distorting lenses — and have no chance to observe its actual machinery. A distinguished historian has said that one of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen. It is precisely this kind of awareness that the paranoid fails to develop. He has a special resistance of his own, of course, to developing such awareness, but circumstances often deprive him of exposure to events that might enlighten him — and in any case he resists enlightenment.

More Than A Year After Spill, Colorado’s Gold King Mine Named Superfund Site


Water flows through a series of sediment retention ponds in August 2015 that were built to contain heavy metal and chemical contaminants from the Gold King Mine wastewater accident in Colorado. That site, and 47 others in southwest Colorado, were declared Superfund sites on Wednesday.
Brennan Linsley/AP


Thirteen months after an Environmental Protection Agency mistake sent millions of gallons of bright orange wastewater into a Colorado river, the agency has declared the Gold King Mine and 47 other locations in the region Superfund sites, Colorado Public Radio reports.

“The Environmental Protection Agency accidentally spilled 3 million gallons of orange wastewater when studying the mine in August 2015. Many mines in the area drain thousands of gallons of water laced with heavy metals every day. Clean-up in the area is highly complex, and expensive.”
Sites in California, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas and West Virginia also were added to the Superfund list Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

Officials told CPR that the cleanup will cost millions of dollars and take years or even decades.

The 2015 spill into the Animas River, which was laced with mercury and arsenic, had already cost the EPA $29 million for response and water-quality monitoring, CPR’s Grace Hood reported in August. That spill is ongoing, she noted — at the time sending 500 gallons of water a minute into the river.

The state of New Mexico, where the water wound up, “has enough unresolved questions that it filed suit against both the EPA and Colorado.” The Navajo Nation also has sued, the AP reports, and the state of Utah is likely to file as well.

The problem isn’t limited to these newly-declared Superfund sites, Hood reported:

“The country hasn’t made much progress on fixing abandoned mines across the West.
” ‘There are still tens of thousands of those throughout the country that still need attention,’ says Doug Young, a senior analyst at the Denver-based Keystone Center, which focuses on science and public policy.”

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