I doubt that anyone, including its few hundred residents, ever expected that the national news media would cover anything -- anything -- at Northwood, North Dakota.  It is -- or was -- a peaceful untroubled little spot, half an hour or so from Grand Forks, mostly Norwegian-American in ethnicity.  North Dakota itself rarely makes the national news -- unless it's via ferocious weather [especially 40 below temps and 100 below windchills in the long winters], or the 1997 flood and fire that destroyed much of Grand Forks, or the shootout -- a generation ago -- between the Posse Comitatus followers of Gordon Kahl and U.S. Marshals near Medina.
But tiny Northwood has been on the news because it's been mostly destroyed by a vast tornado -- one that was apparently about a mile wide.  So far, there has been only one death and about twenty injuries reported.
There is a retirement home, joined by a hospital, at Northwood.  Beba [John] reports that that complex was not struck -- and that "all of the Old Lutherans are OK."
Well, that's a true miracle.  A very welcome one.
When we lived at Grand Forks, we got to Northwood with frequency to see Eldri's folks.  Eldri's father, a mainline Lutheran clergyman [ELCA], was chaplain at the Home and Hospital and also had several rural churches.  When Eldri's mother passed away at the end of the '80s, he remained --  valiantly doing his Work -- for years thereafter.  And he kept going, almost to the point when he died in 1997 -- at 95, the oldest Lutheran minister in the state.
Our memories of Northwood are consistently warm and pleasant:  Eldri's always gracious parents, nice and open people in the community, a sprinkling of spruce and fir trees.  Quiet ethos. Just a little town, surrounded by the wide open spaces, struggling hard to survive.
In some of my classes at the University of North Dakota, I used to mildly joke about little Northwood.  My pitch was focused on the matter of interpersonal alienation and degrees of cohesion in various types of communities with which I was familiar -- and human behavior if and when the electric power went off at night.  At Chicago, I'd say, you have to hunker down behind an alley trash can, or stay inside, until dawn comes -- along with troops and cops.
Then I'd shift to Tsaile [Say-Lee], Navajo Nation -- a small cohesive tribal town and the site of the main campus of Navajo Community College [now Dine' College.]  When the lights go out at Tsaile, I'd say, nothing untoward happens.  Up there, seven thousand feet above sea level, with high winds frequently, power goes out all the time. And most folks have Coleman white gas lanterns and comparable Coleman stoves.  And people are out and active, no big thing in any sense.
And then I'd talk about Northwood.  When the lights go out at Northwood, I'd grin, no one even notices.  Everyone hits the sack at 6 p.m.
And the class, many of whom knew Northwood and places like it, would grin very pleasantly with me.
But now something has happened at Northwood.  Something awful.  I shall not joke -- even innocuously -- about Northwood again.
But I know something else:  they will build back -- because they're tough, self-reliant.  They don't fight Nature but they know how to live with It.
Hunter [Hunter Bear]
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'



Powerful, poignant piece on Northwood. I'm not lying when I say it
choked me up.
The Herald's doing a pretty good job covering it. I have an e-mail
relationship with an assigning editor there (he's the one who asked
for permission to run my Biloxi thing) so I sent him something we did
a few years ago, when the small town of Hallam was leveled southwest
of here (a full-page map showing the timeline and trajectory of the

Storms hitting here -- tornados near Omaha -- but no real damage.

Later [Peter]



[Things Net-wise are a little languid in this Dog Day period -- so I toss
out these thoughts which I earlier posted on RBB.  Around this part of
Idaho, at least, things aren't languid.  Drought and heat have combined to
make for an increase in interpersonal violence,  growing West Nile disease
via mosquitos in the Snake and Portneuf river valleys can be lethal, brush
and timber fires abound, and "killer beetles" are threatening coniferous
trees [spruce, pine, fir].

While I know the setting in which the Utah coal disaster has occurred, I'm
not there now and can only draw media impressions from CNN and MSNBC whose
coverage has been pretty good. I know something of metal mining [hard-rock],
but little of coal. Whatever his other limitations -- including subjectivity
on the earthquake hypothesis -- Bob Murray has done a remarkably organized
and lucid job of presenting the situation from several dimensions of the
"inside". He comes on a hell of a lot better than the oft-found slick MBA pr
man-type from the Wharton School of Business.  We would fight over the union
issue, but I wouldn't mind having dinner with him at all. Reminds me a
little of my maternal grandfather -- who I loved despite our differences -- 
and who, at one stretch, as a highly [college and university] trained metal
mining engineer, worked for Bunker Hill & Sullivan in the Idaho Coeur
d'Alenes. Lived to be 98, an unabashed capitalist all the way through.

But, anyway, I do know that earthquakes, mostly in the 4 - 5 point range
occur quite often in this general Intermountain region -- western Montana,
Idaho, Utah, and environs. A few years ago, one in western Wyoming shook us
a bit here in Pocatello. There was once a big one right here at Poky, nearby
Scout Mountain has had several, Challis ID seems to have them frequently,
etc. So, they can and do happen -- and often in this general region. We'll
just have to see how this deal plays out.



Back in my youth, at least, it was held that the most dangerous occupation
in the United States was cowboying -- followed by coal mining.  With a
modification embracing uranium and nuclear work, I suspect that that
old-time adage is still pretty much on target.

Unions -- using direct and political action and litigation -- have gained
much good ground in securing safety conditions in all types of mining. [Of
course, there are always more miles to travel and rivers to cross.]  And
non-union mine operators have been directly affected by union-secured safety
legislation and indirectly by the always possibility of unionization.

But mining of any kind and "style" is inherently very dangerous.  Like, say,
in forest fire fighting, anyone who signs on to mining is aware of the
considerable risks.  In metal mining, the related milling and smelting and
refining dimensions carry their own hazards.  The unique dangers to uranium
workers in any facet of that -- and to surrounding communities, air, water,
and the earth in general -- are now obviously well known.

Recognizing the problems posed by capitalism, it also has to be recognized
that -- apropos of these inherent occupational dangers -- those countries
whose economic systems embrace whatever variant of socialism have often had
their own share of these disasters.


Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'




So you too have been taken in by this shyster. All of his oily spin and
prevarication isn't going to help a bit when the lawyers start parading
expert witnesses who will testify about the death trap he and Murray Energy
have been operating all these years. On the other hand, maybe he can
convince a jury that it was "God's Will" that the mine collapsed and that
these unfortunate souls were fully half a mile away from where he thought
they were. I doubt it, though.

Hunter, Scab-herders do not make proper dinner companions for

Louis Godena



While I appreciate your passion, Louis, I have no concerns at all about the
solidity of my "radical identity." I am quite certain it would withstand the
[hypothetical] "dinner with Murray." [And, of course, I shall always "have
dinner" with whomever I damn well wish.] One of the things I have learned
over the years involves a recognition of the great complexity of Humanity,
individually and collectively -- and the fact that some things worthwhile
and useful can be learned from just about anyone. [He does know his business.]
And I do happen to know the Real West very well indeed -- and I know something
about mining. [I'll defer to you and others when it comes to New York City.]  Actually,
Murray's operation is about average for smaller operations in that industry.

On the possibility -- whatever the degree of such -- re an earthquake as  causal
factor, it will be interesting to see the experts' opinions once the tragic
matter has begun to settle. A factor in the earthquake phenonmena generally
can involve not only the occurrence and impact of the moment but "delayed"
effects on earth and human-related structures. As I said, we'll just have to see how
the thing plays out.

In the meantime, we [our family] here has had earthquake insurance for the
past several years.

Hunter Bear

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'



Major health and safety violations are rampant in US coal mines right now
because of the fear that management instills about reporting violations. You
can say what you want about the UMWA, but their health and safety program is
top-notch, and in union mines they insist on putting miners' safety first.
Mine operators therefore use straightforward and crude threats that the
mines will close if the miners organize, or even if they report safety
violations to the MSHA.

These traditional scare tactics proved especially effective during the
lengthy period of the industry's downturn; with the introduction of
oil-from-coal, "clean coal" and similar technological innovations, coal's
share in power generation has increased and the industry has accordingly
expanded again. Most of the new mines are non-union, however, and so you
have a perfect storm: the pervasive culture of economic fear in the
coalfields, stoked now for over a generation, which prevents workers from
reporting safety problems; an influx of miners who have either never mined
before or who have no experience in the more safety-conscious world of the
union mines, and who consequently do not have much knowledge of the safety
issues involved; and then on top of it the ever-more-lax enforcement of
occupational safety regulations that is characteristic of the Bush regime,
and is especially deadly in the case of the operator-friendly MSHA.

A while back I talked to a UMWA safety expert who was in charge of
investigating the Sago disaster for the union. The resistance of the company
to anyone who wanted to find out the truth was predictably fierce. The
familes of the dead were pleased to have the UMWA there (even though it had
been a non-union mine), because they knew that the truth would have been
quickly swept under the rug, and the investigation would have been a
perfunctory whitewash, had the UMWA not been there to relentlessly seek out
what really happened.

The same thing is happening in Utah; in fact, the boss there tried to keep
UMWA rescue teams out of the rescue effort even though the UMWA-trained
teams (for the reasons I've just been discussing) are by far the best. See:,5143,695199423,00.html

It's no wonder the mine bosses behave this way, because they are quite
literally getting away with murder, and they want it to stay that way. I am
with Godena on this, Hunter. Murray may be a charming dinner companion in
the way Al Capone probably was, too.

- - - - - - - - - -
John Lacny

Tell no lies, claim no easy victories




I posted this on the generally laconic, but occasionally sparky and
sometimes insulting Marxist list, late yesterday -- before the new wave of
multi-faceted tragedy down in Utah. Speaks for itself and I post it on
RBB -- which is where this strange little colloquy began. As I see the
World, via television and my personal clairvoyance, I am inclined to believe
the Earth is in general rebellion against the secular gods of western world
"linear progress".

While I appreciate John Lacny's letter, I am surprised -- as I am with
Louis -- that the hypothetical dinner with Robert Murray served as a
significant lightning rod in discussion of a hideous situation of
complexity. But, both as organizer and sociologist, I'm interested in
people -- including [and sometimes especially so] those who hold adversarial
perspectives from which I can gain some helpful insights. However
antediluvian in nature he is [or perhaps because of that], Robert Murray's
approach is marked by candor. [I had a long and interesting dinner in 1970
with a man who had played a key, leading role in the White Knights of the
Mississippi Ku Klux Klan -- and who, with his father, had personally
prepared a few years before a literal death list which, along with a few
others, named me [accompanied by photos] -- and circulated this list en
masse all across the Deep South. Our meeting at Jackson was fascinating. I
have had other such experiences.]

An off-list note on this Utah discussion indicates that at least one reader
missed the second part of my message yesterday evening [two RBB posts on one
page, but not as closely connected as they should.] In case any others did
miss it, I give it now again simply for the record.

With respect to John's post, and quite aware of the years of Federal
monitoring and enforcement slippage in industrial safety and related
matters, it does seem to me that there are a number of ways in which those
situations could be, however cunningly, effectively brought into the open
and into appropriate "curative" processes -- and without jeopardizing the
workers involved. All of this, obviously, is much enhanced by viable
unionism. But, in any case, there are ways of doing these things -- and
often successfully.

Added note:  Working people, like all people, and whatever their
circumstances, possess initiative and the spirit of self-determination.
To presume otherwise is to fly in the face of human history.

Here is the second part of my "original" communication:

"Back in my youth, at least, it was held that the most dangerous occupation
in the United States was cowboying -- followed by coal mining. With a
modification embracing uranium and nuclear work, I suspect that that
old-time adage is still pretty much on target.

Unions -- using direct and political action and litigation -- have gained
much good ground in securing safety conditions in all types of mining. [Of
course, there are always more miles to travel and rivers to cross.] And
non-union mine operators have been directly affected by union-secured safety
legislation and indirectly by the always possibility of unionization.

But mining of any kind and "style" is inherently very dangerous. Like, say,
in forest fire fighting, anyone who signs on to mining is aware of the
considerable risks. In metal mining, the related milling and smelting and
refining dimensions carry their own hazards. The unique dangers to uranium
workers in any facet of that -- and to surrounding communities, air, water,
and the earth in general -- are now obviously well known.

Recognizing the problems posed by capitalism, it also has to be recognized
that -- apropos of these inherent occupational dangers -- those countries
whose economic systems embrace whatever variant of socialism have often had
their own share of these disasters.

[Added note, August 17, 2007:  We have just learned that 170 Chinese coal miners have just died
underground via a massive flood.]

Yours, Hunter

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Check out our Hunterbear social justice website:

[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:

Hunter Bear's Movement Life Interview [Lengthy]:



While Global Warming/Climate Change are obviously very substantive problems indeed, it's a little hard at the moment not to wonder where All of That has gone. It is presently 30 below zero [wind-chills much worse, of course] in North Dakota and not much better in its regional environs. Here in southeastern Idaho, after some moderately cold stuff, we are now facing nothing more than a week of temps at 40 above -- thus bearing out yet again the wisdom of the Mohawk fur hunters of yore [in the Teton and Snake River country] who viewed this setting as their preferred winter camp. We lived in North Dakota for sixteen years before returning to the Mountain West. Our first winter there was purely hideous -- by everyone's standards -- bearing out the tales of my maternal grandfather who had grown up on a horse ranch in Dakota Territory -- to which his father had come in 1870 from Canada [and gobbled up a very large land holding.] I gave that great grandfather's winter coat to the North Dakota Historical Museum at Bismarck -- a massive coat, long [since its person was well over six feet] and extremely heavy with a great muff, and several layers and much fur of various kinds [capped by his black Stetson]. A few years later, then [Democratic] Gov. George Sinner and I viewed it in its permanent exhibit at the museum. "We could use that right now, ourselves" several officials remarked. But Dakota folks are very philosophical.  -- H


Really sad -- that general region, once part of the Dust Bowl, is pretty hard-scrabble always. We have been thru there a few times over the years as we've traveled Highway 54 [which connects in eastern N.M. with 66 -- now Interstate.] Last time was in mid-August, 1978 when we all [and the pets] were pulling a big U-Haul from upstate New York back to the Southwest [to Tsaile, Navajo Nation.] Stopped in Greensburg about 3:30 am for a big to-go sack of burgers and coffee fillup and cokes. Ages ago, spending some hunting time in the Nebraska sandhill country, I encountered a really nice little town called Primrose. A few years later, it was totalled in the same fashion. Never could hear the [unrelated] song, Primrose Lane, without feeling great sadness. H.



This is a total resend of this post package to RBB and Sycamore Canyon. We have
been having, even for us, inordinate difficulty getting this out. Now, if I
were paranoid. . .But, in fact [and I think I have told this little piece of
things before], many years ago, a faculty colleague [in Literature] at
University of Iowa had Eldri and myself over for dinner. [I was based in the
Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning.] Our colleague's wife was a
well established Psychology prof. I was asked to tell something of my
organizing experiences in various settings. I gave an outline, taking some hard
shots at such things as COINTELPRO and other such foes. "I bet you think I'm
paranoid," I grinned at her. She grinned right back. "Not at all," said she.
"We call that earned paranoia." Best, H

[For whatever reasons, our website links did not come through on a couple of
lists with this initial post. I am now trying direct, fresh ones.]


Robert and Damian Belgarde, father and son and members of the Turtle Mountain
Ojibwe Nation, were shot to death in cold blood in rural Grand Forks [N.D.]
County in September 2001. No one has yet been arrested for these killings.
There has been no arrest, either, in the case of murdered 19 year old Russ
Turcotte, also a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, who disappeared in July 2002 -- and
whose naked brush-concealed body was found in November 2002 by a rancher several miles west of Devils Lake, North Dakota. For North Dakota and related details, see our website page:

Here in the Pocatello, Idaho setting, police at Chubbuck [a suburb of
Pocatello] shot and killed 22 year old Felipe Galloway, a Shoshone/Bannock, in
December, 2002. Police claimed they had "mistaken" an aerosol can held by the
young Indian in his home as a handgun. Two adjoining police departments --
Pocatello and Blackfoot -- who provided "peer investigations," white-washed the
whole thing. The FBI took the position that Felipe Galloway's civil rights had
not been violated. It was subsequently shown by private attorneys that the
ostensibly mistaken aerosol can contained no fingerprints whatsoever of the
slain young man [the only prints on the can being that of a cousin.] In a civil
proceeding which was recently settled, the Chubbuck police have agreed to pay
Felipe Galloway's family the sum of $90,000. For background details on this
killing and some other regional situations, see this website page of ours

Keeping on,

Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
Dear Hunter Gray,
Chilling to read about the killings and the obstruction and delay of proper investigation that you mentioned in that last post and on the webpages. "Peer investigation" by neighbouring police authorities -  that's like the old one about the doctors burying the patient.  It's a damn good thing that someone speaks up on the behalf of people suffering from the law enforcement authorities in their out-of-the-way fiefdoms. And obviously things like Court TV can transcend their entertainment role and have a positive influence on matters. I try to pass on these links and information about your pages to people I know, as well as quite a few whom I don't know. . . .
Hi Mr. Salter ,
I received both pieces of information on the death of Natives at the hands of lawmen/police.
Both were interesting and reminded me of life in Mississippi back in the day.
I was going to chat a bit but I was interrupted twice  and now everyone wants to talk with me on this snowy  Fri. afternoon.
Love and regards to the clan.
Mary Ann
I can understand Cornet's apparent cynicism. But I am very much an optimist.

The U.S. Constitution has gone through and effectively survived more crucibles
than one would find in three dozen Chemistry 101 labs. Recalling the broadly
repressive 1950s, USSC delivered Brown [deseg] in '54 and about three years
later began handing down several critically important civil libertarian rulings
-- e.g., Jencks. Things began to change for the better -- slowly, with many
politicos playing the road-block game -- but positive changes came and continued
for a good spell.

In the '60s, to cite the Dixie example where direct racism was pervasively
state-wide -- the Closed Magnolia Society -- every local, state and Federal
official was White and virtually all of them professed a fervent belief in
"States' Rights/Racial Integrity." Every kind of court from the J.P. level to
the Federal and anything in between was a stacked deck when it came to civil
rights. But the Constitution, joined most significantly -- indeed, crucially --
by the hard-driving Civil Rights Movement, ultimately prevailed.

Whatever its limitations, the Constitution does give us the right to try to make

And that's what we all have to do -- now, tomorrow, all the way through.

Yours, H

I don't think we are actually that awfully far apart in our inherent inclinations.  We differ in points of emphasis -- and perhaps in degrees of optimism. [But anyone, such as yourself, who posts opinions as zealously and thoughtfully as you, does have, in at least my opinion, an optimistically deep reservoir of optimism.]
The challenge in balancing the individual and the collective obviously remains enduring -- and eternal.
Some of my most enjoyable discussions in days gone by involved a fine and sturdy friend, the late Attorney Dixon Pyles of Jackson, [who Beba knew as well and of whom our good colleague Reber certainly is aware.]  Dixon, a very capable lawyer [to understate it], represented me most capably in several difficult cases growing out of the old civil rights movement.  We also had mutual discussional interests in adjoining realms:  Native American challenges, the unification/military expertise of Jenghiz Khan -- and the substantial problems posed by the Federal government.  A strong individualist and civil libertarian, his heart lay with the old Articles of Confederation to which he felt a return might be generally beneficial.  I cordially disagreed with him on that point, of course, since Native rights and civil rights and lots of other rights would certainly not be enhanced by a return to total state jurisdiction. [And, of course, there are other problems with the Articles.]  But Dixon and I certainly agreed on civil libertarian basics -- including the 2nd Amendment -- and I know he would join me in his profound sense of repugnance toward, say, a national drivers license/national ID. [Idaho, btw, has joined the good many other states in opposing that ridiculous and inherently dangerous proposal.]
The evidence that the framers of the Constitution were constructively influenced directly and indirectly by the example of the ancient -- and still very vitally alive Iroqouis [Haudenosaunee] Confederacy or League of the Six Nations, a thoughtful and extremely functional balance between overall coordination and the component rights of the member societies involved -- is quite clear.  The fact that the Confederacy has endured for centuries, often under the most difficult circumstances [Anglo European pressures -- directly explicit and cunningly subversive] should fuel our inherent optimism about the future of the basically democratic structural nature of what is called the United States.
Onen -- Hunter Bear
3]  FROM HUNTER MARCH 2 2007]:
The little colloquy involving Cornet, Reber and myself on RBB was good -- and encouraging. We all seem to be concerned about the same basic things and, despite differences in our individual physical placement and background, facing pretty much in the same direction. From the critical perspectives of the consistent necessity of a full measure of liberty and a full measure of bread-and-butter, the quality of life for Humanity generally will always ultimately depend primarily on what all of us -- individually and collectively -- are willing to stand for and fight to attain and preserve. Life has to be greatly more than the aimless freedom of wandering on a skid row -- or the pathetic security of sitting frightened in a small and darkened closet with one's only measure of control being the inside lock [if even that.] We all can -- and we will -- do far, far better than those dreary alternatives. I, and many of us indeed, continue [somehow] to be optimistic

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

This welcome letter came out of the blue. It is from Mr Charles Saunders who, I recall, came to Flagstaff in 1948 [when I was 14] as a radio announcer and soon thereafter launched his own KCLS radio station which broke extremely important regional ground on behalf of Native Americans and other minorities. This took real courage on his part and, several years ago, I posted on our website the critical role played by the station -- and also attached a related retrospective piece by the excellent Navajo commentator, "rustywire." Those, along with Mr Saunders' cordial letter, are herewith posted. I also give my website link to the late Ned Hatathli [founder of Navajo Community College -- now Dine' College -- and an old family friend and a key mentor of mine] and to the late Raymond Nakai, also an old family friend. Hunter Bear  [SEE



Dear Rustywire and Hunterbear,


I am Charles J. Saunders, Sr. who built radio station KCLS.  I put it on the air August 8, 1950 and operated it till 1984.  I enjoyed the article by Hunterbear, "Old Flagstaff, and KCLS Radio" --1/10/02; as well as Rustywire's article “Navajo Hour” and thought I should throw a little more information your way.


Former Chairman of the Navajo tribe, Raymond Nakai was on the air in the beginning until he became Tribal Chairman.  It was then that Danny Deschinny ran the program until he went to Washington, DC and studied to be a lawyer which he became and went back to the Navajo Reservation where he practiced his art.  Coming back one night from Gallop, Danny apparently suffered a heart attack in his pick up truck.  He was taken home where he apparently passed away.  I cared deeply for both of these men.  To me they were as fine as they come. 


Raymond Nakai’s son enjoys great popularity playing his flute.  Danny Deschinny’s sons are successfully employed in the electronic world.  Danny’s wife is noted for those beautiful colored charts.   


If you are ever in this area, I would enjoy taking you to lunch and talking over the old days. 




Charles J. Saunders, Sr.; Scottsdale (Arizona resident from 1948, former Mayor of Flagstaff 1958)






Dear Buzz Saunders:

I very much appreciate your kind letter.  I have taken the liberty of posting it on the appropriate place in our large website and also, along with the KCLS pieces, to several good friends.
It has always seemed to me -- and I have learned something about race/cultural relations generally -- that Flagstaff, without the active involvement of good and committed people like yourself and many others, could have gone, in the '40s and '50s, the turbulent way of some of the more "border south" type settings.  The fact that it went instead, however painfully at times, toward the Sun is, again, a tribute to your courage and that of Platt Cline, Raymond Nakai, Ned Hatathli, Wilson Riles, Cecil Richardson and others.  It, like everywhere, has a long trail still -- but people such as yourself were critical forces during a long and precarious era.
If I should get down Scottsdale way, I will be glad to touch base with you.  I live now on the far upper western edge of Pocatello, ID -- happily very close to BLM and USFS lands.  I am presently fighting a very profound case of systemic lupus [SLE] and my travels are circumscribed.  But, ever the optimist, I do plan to Win this medical struggle -- come Hell or high water.
The Snake River Valley has had a moderate winter.  We may have gotten only a little more snow than you -- well, somewhat more I guess.
If you should ever get up this way -- southeastern Idaho -- our door is always wide open.
Our very best to you and thanks much again for your fine letter -- and your visionary courage.
As Ever, Hunter [Hunter Bear]


Note by Hunter Bear:

If I hear the trite phrase, "At the end of the day," many more times I shall be tempted to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights and shoot our television set, dead center. I'm also getting damn tired of the frequent Net term, "conflicted."

I recall the at least generally appropriate words of the late J. Frank Dobie in his classic biography of the great lion and bear hunter of the Southwestern mountain and canyon country, Benjamin Vernon Lilly:

"He did not think much of the backwoods language -- manufactured in town -- that reporters made him speak. Trite, non-apprehending people often credited him with the vernacular that third-rate fictionists habitually put in the mouth of their rural characters. His mild protest recalled one made by Bigfoot Wallace to his biographer. "I know," Bigfoot said, "that my education is limited but do give me credit for the little I have. People are not such fools as to think a man cannot be a good hunter or ranger merely because he speaks his own language passably well." -- J. Frank Dobie, The Ben Lilly Legend, [Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1950.]

[I bought the book at Santa Fe in 1950 -- when I was sixteen. My feet, by the way, have now reached Size 17 -- five sizes larger than the case in 1989.]

Best, H
I'm getting a vision of you doing a social satire
commentary with "clown shoes." I haven't visualized
the rest of your attire, but the way your feet are
going...  Well, if the shoe fits, wear it.  Anyhow, it
would catch your critics offguard, for sure. Every now
and again I make it down to the American Indian Museum
and check you out on the Chicago video.  Sort of
"grounds" me. 
Regards to all and sundry,
Joan  [Joan Mulholland]
But Hunter, at the end of the day, what's the bottom line?

Speaking of linguistic shit, does it relate to the idea of a white
yankee presidential candidate grandstanding in Selma, pretending to talk
like a southern black person? Right in front of a whole church full of
actual southern black people? I was personally offended but that
candidate had already offended me with other positions, including war

- Reber Boult



Reber asks: But Hunter, at the end of the day, what's the bottom line?
As the sun set over the Rocky Mountains to the west, a rugged cowboy knew from the patterns of the clouds that a dark and stormy night lay ahead.

Then a shot rang out somewhere beyond the Pecos...

best sam





Awhile back, my youngest son, Peter [Mack], a key editor for Lee Enterprises, sent me a clipping about the soon-to-be unveiled Hualapai Skywalk -- jutting out from the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.  At that point, I had heard only a little about the mighty project but now, along with much of the planet, have heard more -- most of this on television news.  It's been accurately pointed out that the Hualapai are an economically poor tribe -- very, very much so.  [And that, I should add, is a sharp indictment of United States Federal Indian policy.]  And, as a sovereign Native nation, the Hualapai have every legal and moral right to build this on that part of their reservation which immediately adjoins the Canyon.

I note from this current article [Arizona Daily Star] -- and I have heard some things -- that some Native traditionalists, Hualapai and others, have misgivings about all of this.  I should say, frankly, that this isn't my cup of drink.  But I am not Hualapai and I am not dry-dirt poor.

I hope this is Hualapai Spring and I hope it can generate some other [and more conventional] commercial and fruitful endeavors for the Tribe.  Over the really long pull of time, I am not sure of the physical future of the Skywalk itself.  My home town of Flagstaff is about 90 miles from the South Rim and, when much younger, I made -- along with a few buddies -- about a dozen hiking trips all the way down into the Canyon itself.  [It usually took a day down and two days up and out.] Some of these junkets were on well established mule trails -- e.g., the Bright Angel -- but others were on very remote trails, formally closed by the US Park Service.  On one of these, the Hermit Trail, it took us a couple of hours -- tied to each other by a rope -- to cross the rocky mass engendered by a huge rockslide.  On that one, starting very early in the morning, we didn't reach the inner gorge and the Colorado River until evening.

So I've been there -- 'way down in -- on a number of occasions.  And I know something about geology.  The Skywalk seems very well engineered -- including quite well-rooted.  But, in its setting, things are not "hard-rock."  It will last a long time -- but it is not a permanent fixture.

My late father, a most gifted artist, always said that the Grand Canyon was far, far too vast and complex to ever capture on any painter's canvas.  Its vistas are infinite -- both from the South Rim and the less accessible North Rim.  You can walk along either rim and see new wonders, down and within and across, with every single step you take.

But, if you really want to catch the Spirit and Wonder of Grand Canyon, hike down -- preferably all the way down.  Be sure to take plenty of water -- and a snake bite kit [along with other basic supplies.]  Of course, on a very few trails, riding mules and guides are available.  You can also raft down the super-rough Colorado River.  I have never done that one.  A good college friend did and his body was never recovered.

And now there is the Skywalk.  I genuinely hope this is Hualapai Spring -- and a long one at that.

Hunter [Hunter Bear]


IMUS  [APRIL 13 2007]



Nothing like getting up in the morn at 1:30 am and seeing our RBB list awake and raising Hell.  Given the languid nature of some once lively Net discussion lists, and the developing "faculty chat" ethos of others, our local version of turbulence does add helpful fuel  to one's survival instincts and commitment.

I'm personally not comfortable with the way the Imus thing has been managed.  No, I don't like his racial/ethnic/gender slurs one damn bit -- but I hardly think he can be classed with the Limbaugh crowd. I am somewhat aware of the pervasive crudity of much of Rap.  I thought the two week suspension thing made sense, I think CBS and NBC basically buckled to corporate advertising -- and that can only raise many questions about other  media cave-ins -- very shadowy ones -- on far more substantive issues.
I haven't watched Imus all that much.  But a few years ago, when I got up early as usual, and sat in my living-room chair -- and, in those days had to sit there, more or less immobilized, for as long as three or four hours before others in our family arose and could help me get up and out of it -- I did now and then watch him.  And he certainly is a provocative entity:  interesting pundit mix of crank, liberal, reactionary -- and sometime humorist.  His attacks on the Bushies have been caustic for a long time now -- and I was intrigued and approving when he referred the other morning to a certain general as "a psychopath.'  Imus, as I understand it, partially grew up at Prescott [AZ], around the general time I was a Flagstaff boy  -- and that may explain his pleasant -- and unpleasant -- idiosyncrancies.  He does have, under all the quills, a social conscience, has launched many charities, supported many good causes.  I suppose one could say that "he runs in a herd by himself."
I have to say, too, that anyone who uses Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as their moral yardsticks -- or joins their sanctimonious lynch crusades -- is a  damn fool.  J. and S. have yet to even pretend to apologize to the Lacrosse kids who have been through one year of pure Hell -- much of it generated by those two worthies as they traveled recklessly and noisily through media. [And I remain intrigued, and always will, by the silence of all too many "liberals"  and a great deal of the Left on the Duke/Durham situation. I believe those types were called, in the Old Southern Days, "The Silent South" and "Killers of the Dream"  -- Dixie white people of conscience and good will who were frightened into silence.
 [Jackson's involvement in the old Southern civil rights movement was very negligible -- he came quite late -- and he's has always been a Daley man in the Windy City. Sharpton has been somewhat better on a few more contemporary issues [police abuses, etc] but continues to strike me as being, in his essence, a notable example of a self-server.]
No, I didn't and don't like the Imus slurs. Nor could I overlook them. The two-week layoff proposal made sense.  But, to use the term again, I see the Mess as sanctimonious -- sanctimonious -- Overkill.  And an interesting diversion away from the hideous challenges posed to everyone of us around the globe.
I certainly agree with John [Beba] when he says, as I consistently have, that there are always those folks in this country -- none, as far as I know, on our RBB -- who would dearly love to put our society and ourselves in a nice, neat green pasture with high fences.  In other words, reduce us to sheep.  And we all know what happens eventually to those.


The Rabbit Chokers -- never individually in a High Noon shoot-out but en masse and mostly from  shadowy stratospheric levels -- got Don Imus [at least for the time being.]  You have to be Native Indian to know what "rabbit choker" means -- but it ain't especially complimentary.  I never was an Imus fan in any sense -- but his consistently biting attacks on the Bushies and The War and frequently on both Clintons -- served as a fresh time-to-time respite from the "on the one hand this and, on the other hand that" bland grits ladeled out by much of the mainline media and its folks. His spotty but long, long pattern of muttered and scurrilous racial/ethnic epithets ["the bitter with the sweet" -- as rationalizing adults used to tell me when I was a child], and which could occasionally cover virtually all of the human species spectrum, finally caught up with him. The sanctimonious crusade tolerated no thought of simply telling the old witch to stop certain practices of his forthwith and seeing if he did.  The timing of this  raises some intriguing questions -- and I'm not known as a "conspiracy guy" -- but there has been little examination of Shadowy Movements.  MSNBC's fill-in on the old Imus slot is pallid from just about every perspective; Imus is tooling and fueling  himself with lawyers and planning Big War. [He doesn't, in any event, seem inclined to retreat to Prescott [AZ] and its still legendary Whiskey Row with the Palace Saloon and much more. ] The Rutgers Team handled its / their end admirably -- and their intrepid coach has not done badly in the material sense. [See below.]  Some Rabbit Chokers are talking of "cleaning up" Rap / Hip Hop but their ranks are suddenly -- in the face of monied interests of all kinds -- thinning.  And there are those good people who are always genuinely and honorably concerned about various kinds of state and corporate censorship.
And meanwhile, the poor remain poor and the wars go on. Anti-people prejudice and discrimination continue, especially at the institutionalized levels.  And the "market" survives handily [at least at this juncture.]  Not  really much genuine grassroots organizing from our Legions of the Sun at this point -- but lots of jaw-smithing and some internecine combat.
But Real Organizing -- day-to-day and visionary/systemic, forever linked -- is still Genesis.
In Solidarity, Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]
Stringer Receives Contract Extension as Rutgers Coach (Update1) [Bloomberg]

By Larry DiTore

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- C. Vivian Stringer received a seven-year extension
as Rutgers University's women's basketball coach weeks after leading the
Scarlet Knights to the national championship game and then defending them
after Don Imus made racially charged remarks about the team.

Stringer, who had one year remaining on her contract, gets a base salary of
$450,000 a year, with incentives that might boost the annual total to
$950,000. The base salary is equal to that of football coach Greg Schiano.

Stringer earned a base salary of $212,400 this past season, and a total of
$605,800 after team's success triggered bonuses.

The increase in Stringer's contract will be funded by the new Big East
television contract and higher corporate sponsorships and ticket sales, the
school said.

``There is no question this contract is well-deserved and reflects the
success of the program and its status among the nation's elite,'' Robert
Mulcahy, the school's athletic director, said in a news release.

Stringer, 59, has a 257-125 record in 12 seasons at Rutgers, highlighted by
two Final Four appearances.

The Scarlet Knights went 27-9 last season and won the school's first Big
East tournament championship before losing 59-46 to Tennessee in the
National Collegiate Athletic Association title game.

Third in Wins

Overall, Stringer has a 777-260 record in 36 seasons, and ranks third
all-time in Division I women's basketball victories.

Following Rutgers' trip to the Final Four, the team gained national
attention after syndicated radio host Don Imus called its members ``nappy
headed hos.'' The comment led to his firing by CBS Corp.'s radio division
and General Electric Co.'s MSNBC unit.

Stringer spoke for more than 20 minutes during a news conference arranged by
the team, saying she was angry and hurt by Imus's comments directed toward
her players.

``Before you are a valedictorian, future doctors, musical prodigies and yes,
even Girl Scouts,'' Stringer said. ``These young ladies are the best this
nation has to offer. These are young ladies of class and distinction. They
are articulate and brilliant.''

Stringer and the team later met with Imus and accepted his apology.

To contact the reporter on this story: Larry DiTore in New York at

Last Updated: April 25, 2007 13:57 EDT




Normally I don't cross post sans contextual dialogue -- but I think our good RBB [Redbadbear] crowd, always interested in animals and animal life, might find this of interest. It's to someone on the Marxist list -- a list generally not always noted for its humor and sometimes characterized by precious dogmatism. This dispute began when someone disagreed quite impolitely with my thoughts on the Imus situation. [You all have seen those posts.]

From Hunter:

Just a bit more from me, B.

I'd have to go back to the old ASDnet days to find the creative blend of ostensible piety laced with personal invective of which you seem so fond. [ASDnet included some genuinely good people but it seemed to have more than its share of dartsmen [dartspeople.] There used to be an old saying in the South -- and it's still probably said even into contemporary times: "A rabbit can't fight nothing but a rabbit." While I have known some admirable rabbits -- we have a pleasant and lively one downstairs in a hutch -- the reality which I must offer you is that I am not a Rabbit. I'm a Bear who, while relating reasonably well to many humans of kindred spirit, relates in especially congenial fashion to other bears -- as well as to felines and canines [many of them genuine wilderness entities of which we happily have many practically in our Idaho backyard.] So you will have to search elsewhere in your garden for a suitable protagonist.

[I keep a loaded Marlin lever action rifle handy -- not for any Furry Friends, but for a few genuinely hostile humans hereabouts.]

On a broader note -- this to our good List in the general sense:

Our Lair of Hunterbear website -- -- is now well into its eighth year of life. It presently draws about 2000 visitors or more [sometimes a little over 3000] per day. Among its large number of informational reservoirs regularly explored and mined, are a good number of those which relate to systematic grassroots -- grassroots -- activist organization with a focus on such matters as organizational longevity. Among the most consistently and heavily visited Links are these. [Many members of this List have already seen this stuff but I pass these along in any case.]

Semper Fi -- Hunter [Hunter Bear]




Nice comments on Imus and the Rabbit Chokers.
Hoping that your health continues to improve.
In Peace,
Jay [Weinstein] from the Bear Without Borders list
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR: [Back in our kitchen after two initial hours of sleep]

David McReynolds just sent this good missive and, since among its several recipients is RBB, I am passing it on. Best, H


I'm coming in very late on this, but my conscience tells me I ought to stick my neck out. (I'm about two weeks behind on email, due to a trip to California).

First, I have only seen the Imus show once - one morning when I went to bed so late that dawn had come, and with it the Imus show on NBC cable. I had vaguely heard bad things about him, found him sort of refreshing, not bad. I suspect that if I had watched it
regularly I might have heard many things I didn't like.

Second, his crack about the women was way off base, they were not public figures, just good kids playing basketball, and he owed them the apology he gave them. He certainly earned the two week suspension which he first got. What he said was cruel, hurtful, and can't be defended.

Third, I don't think Al Sharpton, who has had links with the New Alliance Party here in New York City, is in any position to act as the moral conscience either of Black America or of America as a whole. I appreciate that he has stuck his neck out, taken risks - he has also (as on the Tawana Brawley case) been way way off base. And your comment on Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton on the North Carolina case is right on. Those fraternity boys were like many others in the damn fraternity/sorority
system, preparing good kids to become cogs in the "American Machine". The idea of white kids hiring black women to put on a sex show was sick. But it wasn't a crime and the case stank from the beginning. And yes, it was a case where the conservative
media (including Fox News, God help us!) acted as a corrective to the automatic liberal assumptions of guilt.

Fourth, I think we may all regret the Imus case, as having a chilling effect. The man, for the most part, was not racist, not "bad", not nearly as deliberately vicious as Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, etc. There can be a chilling effect of this sudden discovery of "media morality" (and nothing was more sickening than the NBC claim that they acted after the workers at NBC protested - the only thing that moved NBC was the sponsors and their money).

Fifth, I'm waiting for Sharpton, Jackson, and the politically correct to take a hard look at gangsta rap. It is true that there is a certain difference between a black singer saying "Niga" and Imus or me saying it - but not that much of a difference. The racism, sexism, and violence of rap (including the glorification of killing witnesses who cooperate with the police) needs
more serious observation.

In short, thanks for your comments, they match so much my own feelings.

Fraternally and an early happy May Day
Davd McReynolds [from Bear Without Borders and the Sycamore Canyon lists]




Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
 and Ohkwari'
Check out our Hunterbear social justice website:
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunter Bear]