standing on Port Au Prince corner
eyeing painted buses
access to Haitian subconscious
standing on Port Au Prince corner
eyeing painted buses
access to Haitian subconscious
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.
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!
Colorado Democratic Party
firstname.lastname@example.org l (970) 729-8805COL
ALSO a continuation of Public Hearing at that time.
Haiku avalanche shoes
Hard to out run
By Don Weeden, Jack Miller and Camilo Rada
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.
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.
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.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN FRANCIS PETERS FOR THE NEW YORKER
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.”
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)
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.
soft autumn light
cool morning and evening,
hollyhocks spit seeds in unplanted garden
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.”
[along the Kamo riverbank
the moon is high
settling on my sleeves in the deep of night
the year’s first frost.
into a living fence
wet with morning dew –
I’d so enjoy a single chirp
from a little cuckoo.
Walking along Akashi bay
this moonlit evening
to tell of this beauty.
Ayahuasca, used for centuries in South American jungles, is booming in the U.S.
ILLUSTRATION BY BJØRN LIE
The day after Apollo 14 landed on the moon, Dennis and Terence McKenna began a trek through the Amazon with four friends who considered themselves, as Terence wrote in his book “True Hallucinations,” “refugees from a society that we thought was poisoned by its own self-hatred and inner contradictions.” They had come to South America, the land of yagé, also known as ayahuasca: an intensely hallucinogenic potion made from boiling woody Banisteriopsis caapi vines with the glossy leaves of the chacruna bush. The brothers, then in their early twenties, were grieving the recent death of their mother, and they were hungry for answers about the mysteries of the cosmos: “We had sorted through the ideological options, and we had decided to put all of our chips on the psychedelic experience.”
They started hiking near the border of Peru. As Dennis wrote, in his memoir “The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss,” they arrived four days later in La Chorrera, Colombia, “in our long hair, beards, bells, and beads,” accompanied by a “menagerie of sickly dogs, cats, monkeys, and birds” accumulated along the way. (The local Witoto people were cautiously amused.) There, on the banks of the Igara Paraná River, the travellers found themselves in a psychedelic paradise. There were cattle pastures dotted with Psilocybe cubensis—magic mushrooms—sprouting on dung piles; there were hammocks to lounge in while you tripped; there were Banisteriopsis caapi vines growing in the jungle. Taken together, the drugs produced hallucinations that the brothers called “vegetable television.” When they watched it, they felt they were receiving important information directly from the plants of the Amazon.
The McKennas were sure they were on to something revelatory, something that would change the course of human history. “I and my companions have been selected to understand and trigger the gestalt wave of understanding that will be the hyperspacial zeitgeist,” Dennis wrote in his journal. Their work was not always easy. During one session, the brothers experienced a flash of mutual telepathy, but then Dennis hurled his glasses and all his clothes into the jungle and, for several days, lost touch with “consensus reality.” It was a small price to pay. The “plant teachers” seemed to have given them “access to a vast database,” Dennis wrote, “the mystical library of all human and cosmic knowledge.”
If these sound like the joys and hazards of a bygone era, then you don’t know any ayahuasca users—yet. In the decades since the McKennas’ odyssey, the drug—or “medicine,” as many devotees insist that it be called—has become increasingly popular in the United States, to the point where it’s a “trendy thing right now,” as Marc Maron said recently to Susan Sarandon, on his “WTF” podcast, before they discussed what she’d learned from her latest ayahuasca experience. (“I kind of got, You should just keep your heart open all the time,” she said. “Because the whole point is to be open to the divine in every person in the world.”)
The self-help guru Tim Ferriss told me that the drug is everywhere in San Francisco, where he lives. “Ayahuasca is like having a cup of coffee here,” he said. “I have to avoid people at parties because I don’t want to listen to their latest three-hour saga of kaleidoscopic colors.”
Leanna Standish, a researcher at the University of Washington School of Medicine, estimated that “on any given night in Manhattan, there are a hundred ayahuasca ‘circles’ going on.” The main psychoactive substance in ayahuasca has been illegal since it was listed in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, but Standish, who is the medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center, recently applied for permission from the F.D.A. to do a Phase I clinical trial of the drug—which she believes could be used in treatments for cancer and Parkinson’s disease. “I am very interested in bringing this ancient medicine from the Amazon Basin into the light of science,” Standish said. She is convinced that “it’s going to change the face of Western medicine.” For now, though, she describes ayahuasca use as a “vast, unregulated global experiment.”
Most people who take ayahuasca in the United States do so in small “ceremonies,” led by an individual who may call himself a shaman, an ayahuasquero, a curandero, a vegetalista, or just a healer. This person may have come from generations of Shipibo or Quechua shamans in Peru, or he may just be someone with access to ayahuasca. (Under-qualified shamans are referred to as “yogahuascas.”) Ayahuasca was used for centuries by indigenous Amazonians, who believed that it enabled their holy men to treat physical and mental ailments and to receive messages from ancestors and gods. Jesse Jarnow, the author of “Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America,” told me, “It’s a bit less of a to-do in many of its traditional uses—more about healing specific maladies and illnesses than about addressing spiritual crises.” Now, though, ayahuasca is used as a sacrament in syncretic churches like the Santo Daime and the União do Vegetal (“union of the plant”), both of which have developed a presence in the United States. The entire flock partakes, and the group trip is a kind of congregational service.
The first American to study ayahuasca was the Harvard biologist Richard Evans Schultes, who pioneered the field of ethnobotany (and co-authored “Plants of the Gods,” with Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist who discovered LSD). In 1976, a graduate student of Schultes’s brought a collection of the plants back from his field research to a greenhouse at the University of Hawaii—where Dennis McKenna happened to be pursuing a master’s degree. Thanks to McKenna, some B. caapi cuttings “escaped captivity,” he told me. “I took them over to the Big Island, where my brother and his wife had purchased some land. They planted it in the forest, and it happened to like the forest—a lot. So now it’s all over the place.”
Terence McKenna died in 2000, after becoming a psychedelic folk hero for popularizing magic mushrooms in books, lectures, and instructional cassette tapes. Dennis McKenna went on to get a doctorate in botany and is now a professor at the University of Minnesota. When we spoke, he was on a book tour in Hawaii. He had been hearing about ayahuasca use in a town on the Big Island called Puna, where people call themselves “punatics.” “Everybody is making ayahuasca, taking ayahuasca,” he said. “It’s like the Wild West.”
If cocaine expressed and amplified the speedy, greedy ethos of the nineteen-eighties, ayahuasca reflects our present moment—what we might call the Age of Kale. It is a time characterized by wellness cravings, when many Americans are eager for things like mindfulness, detoxification, and organic produce, and we are willing to suffer for our soulfulness.
Thanks for the link, Jer. We used to light driftwood fires on the beach when the wind was onshore to smoke out Nixon’s S.S. boys in their suits behind the palm trees. P. Shelton
I first moved to San Clemente, Calif., in 2007, my last year of graduate school, renting a house in town about a mile up the coast from the so-called Western White House, the beachfront estate Richard Nixon bought in 1969 shortly after winning the presidency. The Nixons called it La Casa Pacifica and lived there through most of the 1970s. I surfed in front of it a lot that first summer, at a spot the locals called Cotton’s, after the original owner of the property, Hamilton H. Cotton, an F.D.R. man as it happened.
Cotton’s was a long, sloping wave that broke left to right over cobblestone. On a big summer swell, it was a serious wave, one of the best-looking I’ve ever seen, with a fast inside section — the stretch closer to shore. The best view of the old Nixon estate was from out on the water. If you turned shoreward on a big day, the swells would lift you up and hold you aloft for a moment, just long enough to catch a glimpse of the inner compound: a classic Spanish-style mansion with a red-tile roof and a pool, all encircled by tall palm trees. Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger spent time there. There is a priceless photograph of Nixon, apparently trying for a “Kennedys in Hyannis Port” vibe, strolling at the water’s edge … in dress shoes with black socks.
The first time I surfed Cotton’s, the waves were midsize by California standards: five to seven feet, not huge but big enough that the larger “outside” sets roared like jet engines when they broke. Thick, dark lines of swell were steaming in from the west, sufficiently tall that they seemed to alter the ambient light, though this was probably my mind playing tricks. Despite being a fairly experienced surfer, I was ill-equipped. My home break, far to the south in San Diego, was a mellower spot, well suited for a longboard, and even though I knew the intensity of Cotton’s required smaller gear, I’d arrogantly left my shortboard behind, thinking my experience would trump whatever conditions might arise. In truth, the source of my hubris ran deeper: I loathed Orange County, its ultraconservatism, its bland suburbs, its brainless surfers. I’d show them.
My first wave was a disaster. I got a solid start, building up enough speed to match that of the wave, but the wave somehow ran under me and then broke underfoot, and I pitch-poled down the face. It was a total beginner move. Paddling back out, undeterred, I noticed some of the locals were staring at me and my unwieldy board. Their expressions couldn’t have been more clear: What is up with this dude?
Similar expressions no doubt met Richard Nixon when he first set up at the Western White House. His immediate neighbor to the north, some 200 yards from my wipeout, was John Severson, a pioneer of modern surf culture who founded Surfer magazine in 1960. Severson, like most surfers, was deep into the counterculture by the time Nixon arrived in San Clemente. The Beach Boys (whom Severson had never liked), Gidget and beach parties had been replaced by Jimi Hendrix, Eastern mysticism and drugs. Everyone was talking about Vietnam.
“We’d moved on to new territory,” Severson would later recount in “Surf,” his 2014 memoir. “We had to take a stand. It just so happened that my stand was about 50 yards from Richard Nixon, who had become my next-door neighbor in San Clemente. Imagine! Hiya Dick!”
The real trouble at Cotton’s started when the Secret Service decided to outlaw surfing whenever Nixon was in town, nominally for security reasons. It was an odd betrayal by Nixon, who claimed to like surfers, and it incited a minor insurgency. Drew Kampion, an editor at Surfer at the time, tells of one occasion on which a Coast Guard boat was used to herd surfers to shore, where the M.P.s were waiting for them. On particularly bad days, the Marines, it was said, would fire warning shots into the air.
Southern California surf culture is rich with such tales from this period. Growing up in San Diego in the ’80s, I heard stories of Marines confiscating (and even destroying) the boards of surfers sneaking onto the beaches of Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base just south of the Nixon house. A famous Ron Stoner photograph from the ’60s shows a Marine M.P. wearing a sidearm, storming off the beach with a single-fin shortboard.
Severson soon found himself in hot water over a series of photographs he took of Nixon in La Casa Pacifica that he sold to Life magazine in 1969. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Life photos prompted Nixon to build a six-foot wall around his property. It wasn’t long before the Secret Service took a hard look at the Severson abode. Severson and his friends were convinced it had been bugged. “They knew everything that was going on at that house,” Steve Pezman, who ran Surfer magazine for two decades after Severson, recalls. ”Nixon knew what he had for dinner, how it came out and what he said to his wife in bed.”
David H. Koch spoke at a Defending the American Dream summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity last year. Credit Paul Vernon/Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Va. — The rise of Donald J. Trump, with his hostility toward free trade and vow to protect entitlements, is a sharp rebuke to the free-market principles long championed by the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.
But if the Koch brothers have lost the battle for conservative values in 2016, they are also quietly preparing for a long war.
Their secret weapon is the Grassroots Leadership Academy: a training program dreamed up by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the political education arm of the Koch network, and intended to groom the next generation of conservative activists to shape the future of the Republican Party.
Taking inspiration from icons of the left like Saul Alinsky, the Marxist-inspired Frankfurt School, and even President Obama’s Organizing for Action, the academy offers classes like “Messaging to the Middle” (about reaching not just the conservative base but also persuadable voters), community organizing and how to wage a successful public protest, complete with costumes.
The goal is not just to equip activists to compete with the left, but also to help rebuild the conservative movement in the wake of a Trump loss — or even a Trump victory.
The Kochs will be key figures in any discussion about what direction the party takes after 2016, and they are determined to steer it toward their free-market vision. A band of trained volunteers focused on elections further down the ballot could help raise their standing for 2018 and beyond.
The network hopes that these activists will learn how to make a compelling, personal pitch to win over new converts to the cause, and that if volunteers are grounded in a strong philosophical understanding of free-market principles, they will be better prepared not only to explain their beliefs but also to ward off candidates, like Mr. Trump, who do not espouse their vision.
“We want a cultural shift of people being able to know what they want and how to talk to the people in their communities, so that in the future, when there are political leaders that want to demagogue free-market issues, they do hit resistance,” said Levi Russell, the director of public affairs for Americans for Prosperity.
After Americans for Prosperity spent more than $100 million during the 2012 election yet failed to take back the White House or the Senate, the Koch network undertook a major self-assessment and overhaul. It is spending $3 million on the training initiative, which officially began in February 2015, and plans to expand it next year.
The effort has taken on newfound urgency because Mr. Trump has shown that Republican voters will support a candidate who denounces trade agreements and rejects the free-market doctrine the Kochs have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to push.
“This Republican nomination battle for president has demonstrated that no issue is ever fully won,” said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. “You must keep competing and explaining. For example, why free trade is better, why entitlement reform is necessary.”
The group has held training sessions in roughly three dozen states so far, and about 10,000 people have attended an academy program.