Until fairly recently, we had a conventional sub to the New Yorker -- but,
although we continued for a time to give it as a gift to John [Beba] and
Peter [Mack], ours eventually lapsed.  Hence we missed the story, Brokeback
Mountain.  It was not until David McReynold's very well done and quite
favorable film review on one of the Socialist lists last month that I even heard
of it.  Beba had read the story, finding it extremely poignant and moving.
[He is, himself, a solid judge of fiction, has taught it at the university
level and, more to the point, writes very extensively in that genre.  A
novel of his will be appearing early next fall via a New York publisher.
More on that later.]  With these twin recommendations, I searched New Yorker
archives for the piece but could not get to it.  Now, Louis Proyect has
today given us his solid comment -- and, happily, has also provided the key
link to the story itself.

The film is  presently being well advertised on the TV dish thing to which we, with
mixed feeling, continue to sub.  The setting for the story and the film
could be lifted with precision from our region, right here -- and we are
indeed quite close to the Wyoming border.  In addition to cattle and some
mining, summer tourists and winter ski buffs, this area also abounds with
large scale sheep herding.  Commonly seen are covered wagons, herders and
their horses, various kinds of sheep dogs [Great Pyrenees via the Basques,
Australian Cattle Dogs, Border Collies.]  In addition to our Shelty, we have
an Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog right here in the next room.  Maria,
who is on the Cattle Dog Discussion List, reports that group is polarized on
the matter of Brokeback Mountain [the dogs of which are Cattle Dogs] and the
moderator is attempting to ban any further pro or con discussion on that

The issue on that list, obviously, is the "gay issue."

In the Native American cultures, homosexuality is almost generally accepted
without a ripple -- and in certain instances special roles of considerable
significance importance-wise are assigned to gays and transsexuals.  This
can include, in some tribal settings, the role of Shaman.

The major mainline Christian denomination in our region [70%], the LDS
[Mormon] Church, officially frowns much on homosexual practices  --  but no
more so than almost all other mainline Christian denominations. The reality
is that -- from what we have seen for many decades in Mormon country --
Mormon gays are usually part of close families, often conventionally attend
congenial ward church services and other gatherings and sometimes not [but
the attendance factor has nothing to do with their gayness.]  The killers of
the kid at Laramie [WY] were certainly not Mormon.  We all who are from the
Mountain West, who know it, and who often live here are certainly aware of
close and congenial Mormon families -- a member of whom happens to be gay.

So we do expect Brokeback Mountain to appear in movie houses here in
Idaho -- including Eastern Idaho.  Present in our setting, as in most other
places in this country, are noisy Christian fundamentalists who are
perennially worried [with little effect] about Halloween.  That keeps them
nicely occupied and many folks hereabouts, I am sure, will come to Brokeback

Hunter Bear




Dave McReynolds writes on January 8  2006:

Dear Hunter,

I hope this finds your health improving, as the days grow gradually longer
and we move toward spring.

How much I enjoyed your comments! Mainly because they were so funny,
something we all need. I admit that I often
go through the New Yorker just for the cartoons, but sometimes find
powerful articles there that don't make it into the
daily papers. (Think back of the "Silent Spring" which appeared in the New

I have to admit the uproar over Brokeback has caught me off guard. I'm
delighted that it has received a wide
audience - because it is a good film, not because it is a gay film. But
yes, also because it is a film about the tendency
of love to leap over the accepted borders.

What I thought funny was the conflict on the Cattle Dog Discussion list!
(The dog in the film was really fascinating
to watch - how smart, how fast!). The film, my brother wrote me, was done
in Canada, but yes, it could just as
easily have been done in your area.

Yes, I have known that homosexuality is treated differently in Native
American culture (though I assume this would
differ from one culture to another - since I don't assume there is "a"
Native American culture).

All best wishes,
Macdonald Stainsby writes on January 9, 2006:
David Mcreynolds wrote:
  known that homosexuality is treated differently in Native
> American culture (though I assume this would
> differ from one culture to another - since I don't assume there is "a"
> Native American culture).
> All best wishes,
> David
Yes I actually want to go into this a bit more-- I have found that
traditionalists who are not poisoned (my experiences are all in nations
colonized by Canada) by the Christian brainwashing efforts of
Residential schools speak of the power of the two spirited, but that
those communities where resistance to Christian brain washing has been
weaker tend to be VERY homophobic. The dichotomy is very stark indeed,
in my opinion.

cheers to all.
Macdonald Stainsby
Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear] writes on January 9 2006:
As always, we appreciate David McReynolds' warm and supportive words on a
range of quite worthwhile topics -- and his reasonable inquiry about my
health [a very, very brief word on that topic in a moment].  And the
burgeoning and consistently thoughtful discussions on Redbadbear and
elsewhere were and are certainly welcome fare to me -- as I turned in early
last night and was awakened as always at 4 a.m. by our good Cats who clearly
want my strong coffee drinking ritual in the pre-dawn darkness. [Now joined,
I should add, by my welcome resumption of pipe smoking -- my tobacco
purchased from the nearby tax free Shoshone Bannock reservation.]

In a few weeks, I'll turn 72 and, in those many accumulated decades, I do
have, if I say so myself, a great  deal of experience as being an Indian and
moving easily in the socio-cultural settings of a good number of tribal
nations as well as in several major and inter-tribal urban Indian
frameworks.  Through all of this, I have been consistently impressed by the
commendable -- and natural --  fundamentally pervasive Native commitment to
family/clan [or the equivalent of clan]/tribe and all of the basics of the
specific tribal culture involved. [I should add that there are many key
common socio-cultural dimensions across tribal lines.]  Only physical
genocide through European violence and disease -- and that has been true for
many tens of millions of Native people in the Americas since 1500 -- can
wipe out a tribe and its culture.  But through the blood-dimmed centuries,
thousands of inherently sovereign tribal nations and the tangible and
non-tangible dimension of their ways of life continue to survive throughout
the Western Hemisphere.

I agree with Macdonald's thoughtful comments about the frequently corrosive
effects of, say, rigid "Christian" residential schools on Native people --
and I would add [and I am sure he would agree], the negative effects of the
old Bureau of Indian Affairs educational "missions."  In both of those often
unhappy settings, matters have now significantly improved -- owing primarily
to pressure from our Native people and allies of good will.  And instances
of tribally-controlled and grass roots- controlled Native schools and other
service entities are now rapidly increasing.

But however problematic those negative effects from the wrong kind of
"Christians" and the Euro-American governments, I do see those as
comparatively superficial.

Decades ago, late 1940s, in his very moving novel, House Made of Dawn, the
Kiowa writer, N. Scott Momaday wrote broadly in scope:  "They [we] have
assumed the names and gestures of their enemies, but have held on to their
own secret souls; and in this there is a resistance and an overcoming, a
long outwaiting."

A brief health note:  Almost two weeks ago, physicians took and carefully
evaluated five major blood samples from me -- covering all the key combat
zones [e.g., kidneys].  Nothing unusually troubling was noted.  Even though
our primary medic said yet again, "There is no cure for this," our far-flung
family continues to hope that my natural, strong immunity will ultimately
prevail into long-term remission.  In any event, I feel almost "normal" now
in the mornings especially.

I am not fixing to fly away into Bliss.

As Ever, H

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



I was a high school kid at Flagstaff [Ariz.] when I saw my first uranium
rush underway throughout much of our general Colorado Plateau region [named
for the Colorado River] about 55 or so years ago -- and, in ensuing years,
we at Flag could frequently see in pre-dawn light the blasts of nuclear
testing at Desert Rock, Nevada, hundreds of miles to the northwest of us. I
have seen, too, several of the more recent incarnations of the uranium rush.

I've also seen first-hand over the many years, as an activist, the hideous
effects of uranium mining, milling and refining on Navajo and Laguna
workers -- and community people and livestock -- and on the general physical
environment in those settings. [Found, for example, long abandoned uranium
mines in the Lukachuckai Mountains just above Navajo Community College --
now called Dine' College -- that were  continually leaking spillings and
related waste.]  We were on the reservation during an epoch which saw, in
July 1979, a dam at Church Rock containing uranium wastes abruptly break --
releasing hundreds of tons of uranium mill wastes and a hundred million
gallons of ultra poisonous liquid contamination into the Rio Puerco with
pervasively lethal effects. This flow then reached Gallup, N.M. and moved
into Arizona.

The uranium disaster and death cases -- and those relating to the yellow
rock's nuclear offspring -- are almost infinite in number by now.  And it
involves a very wide range of victims indeed. [Our Lair of Hunterbear
website has material relating to all of this.]

No matter how you cut that Yellow/Nuclear pie, it all constitutes Pure

In those days of a quarter century or so ago, my oldest son, John [Beba] and
I, driving in our big yellow Chev pickup on the Interstate between Gallup
and Grants, N.M. [formerly the Highway 66 route] and on more rudimentary
roads, could often observe almost simultaneously uranium development
activities and also Anglo vehicles with bumper stickers that loudly
proclaimed, "Nuke The Towel-Heads" -- a reference to the then on-going
"Iranian hostage crisis."

And now, with the price of uranium rising rapidly, much of this is starting
up again.  But it won't be happening anymore in Navajoland:

"The Navajo Nation Council, working with the president and working with the
people, the grass roots, have put in place a law that bans the further
mining of uranium, and it is my responsibility to use my authority to
enforce that law. And putting forth that executive order is exactly what I've done,
that's exactly what I did is enforce the law." --  Navajo Nation President Joe
Shirley, Jr.


FIGHT ON -- FOREVER  1/06/06

Comment from J.L. -
you added me to your lists some time ago, though we've never met.  thanks
for the paragraph below.  it came at a much-needed moment.
stay strong,

j. l.

Some, not all by any means, of the various discussion lists appear for the
moment to be slow -- perhaps because many feel overwhelmed by the massive
challenges at every conceivable level of human society.  Natural enough
under the circumstances, but let's not get too jaded. Keep Fighting remains
the only really effective trail to blaze and take -- if necessary as a lone
traveler, hopefully in the context of solidarity.  In any case, we are on a
River of No Return.

The basic point of this is to indicate that we have a new web page that
endeavors to honor the full and productive lives of two impressive souls in
the Save the World Business -- each of whom has just traveled into the Fog
and Beyond.  Clinton Jencks, late of the Mine-Mill union and many other
worthwhile struggles, who passed recently at San Diego -- and James Vance
Henry, human rights worker and environmentalist, who died in relative
obscurity in Nevada County, California just before Christmas.  Both are
humans who kept fighting -- each in his own way -- and each exemplifies,
along with a great many others, the Spring Waters of Example to all of us
who remain.  The page is

A new page on various Native matters is:,%20NATIVE%20TIMES,%20NATIVE%20SURVIVAL.htm

A wide ranging, detailed, and full interview with me was recently done by
Bruce Hartford, intrepid webmaster of the fine site, Civil Rights Movement
Veterans -- a must visit [and extensively] and a very well organized setting
of complexity.  It is easily reachable via

Somewhat slightly older material of mine on community
organizing/organization has been, we are pleased to say, visited extensively
on a consistent basis.  I preface that very long page with these
comments by a former student and herself a noted activist all through the
years -- an assessment of which I am quite proud:

From Colia  Liddell Lafayette Clark to her list of colleagues:  9/14/05
Hi Everyone:
I received this note from Hunter Gray Bear (John Salter). Hunter Bear was my
professor at Tougaloo College and one of the sharpest organizers in both the
southern civil rights movement and labor movement in the USA. He agreed to
serve as advisor to a the newly organized Jackson, Ms NAACP North Jackson
Youth Council in 1961. This was no small decision. Under his tutorledge and
guidance and with the oversight of Medgar Wylie Evers, the North Jackson
NAACP Youth Council would produce a mass movement and the most successful
boycott of a downtown district in the deep south. Only, Ida B Wells boycott
of Memphis in the 19th century can compare. Jackson. Ms' downtown folded and
has never reopened with its string of shops and department stores. This was
no easy work and like Medgar and so many others Hunter Bear was targeted for
death. He was seriously wounded by the southern racists in a freak car
accident (point of death), beaten a number of times in demonstrations but
refused to yield even from pressure within the struggle. Those years are
detailed in a book by Hunter Bear (John R Salter) entitled: Jackson,
Mississippi: An American Chronicle of Struggle and Schism. The book is out
of print, but should be in most college libraries. Today, Hunter Bear has
returned to his native land in the West and to his Native roots to continue
organizing and building grass roots struggle and a new generation of
youthful organizers.
Hear him for he worthy to be heard.
Colia L. Clark

A section of that page, "What Makes a Damn Good Community Organizer," has
now been reprinted in a number of journals and will be used by me, with
other handouts, when I give this year's annual ecumenical Martin Luther King
Day address for Pocatello and the broad surrounding area.

We hear now from many fine friends -- some of many years and many new.  A
good number are former students from Tougaloo College [Mississippi], Navajo
Community College [now Dine' or Dineh College [Navajo Nation], and
University of North Dakota.  These and other settings were locations, each
in its own way, of worthy struggle on behalf of a full measure of
bread-and-butter and a full measure of liberty.  The other day -- in what I
suppose is a rather unusual marriage proposal -- I asked my dear companion
of 45 years, Eldri [Rock of our Family], if she will marry me yet again,
next time around.

"After all," said I, "It's much more than likely that we traveled together
to the Columbia and Snake River country in the early part of the 19th
Century for the Far Western fur trade -- and, this time, we got to the
Bloody South and a million other crucibles."

She remained a bit poker-faced, so I pushed gently, "What do you say?"

She promised an open mind but she's still thinking it over.

Anyway, from the mountains of Eastern Idaho -- and the contemporary Snake
River -- our very best to all of you.

Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]



I always believe in Planning, without making it a fetish. After all, I was
once a prof in the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning at Iowa
and Alice Azure [on this List], our fine friend for decades, was an
excellent Master's student of mine in a number of courses.  As a wayward
youth, exploring bars in tough settings like the old Seattle Skid Road, I
always made a practice of early on spotting the back door -- just in case
the cops pulled up.  It is in that spirit of Looking Ahead that I posted the
following a few days ago -- and I attach a few comments about this that have
come to the Redbadbear List.  I won't post excessively on this critical
matter but do wish to convey the current discussional flavor:

"The other day -- in what I
suppose is a rather unusual marriage proposal -- I asked my dear companion
of 45 years, Eldri [Rock of our Family], if she will marry me yet again,
next time around.

"After all," said I, "It's much more than likely that we traveled together
to the Columbia and Snake River country in the early part of the 19th
Century for the Far Western fur trade -- and, this time, we got to the
Bloody South and a million other crucibles."

She remained a bit poker-faced, so I pushed gently, "What do you say?"

She promised an open mind but she's still thinking it over.

Anyway, from the mountains of Eastern Idaho -- and the contemporary Snake
River -- our very best to all of you."

Hi, Eldri.  My suggestion is that you hang tough in these negotiations.
  Demand at least equal rights with Cloudy!  And  let him know there are
plenty of other suitors for someone as nice as you!

(But don't risk driving him away...he's a keeper)

sam [friedman]

As for Hunter's negotiations with Eldri on "the later time" I join you
in reminding Hunter to keep us up to date on his progress.  [Sam Friedman]


We can report continued meetings and exploration of issues in the context of
serious negotiation.  Best, Hunter Bear

[An added aside:  Christ, I hope I don't sound like a Phelps Dodge manager!


This is good news. Hopefully you'll remember that some of the best
negotiations always involve personal time away from the table.  [Ed

UPDATE -- January 9, 2006

Tentative agreement has been reached on some key issues.  Several others,
however, remain as we continue to talk [in good faith,of course.]  Hunter



J. writes, "You may be interested to know that my younger brother is involved in efforts
to posthumously exonerate 74 people -- mostly IWW, I am sure -- who were
convicted under the Montana sedition law during World War I:"


Thanks very much, J.,  for sending this..  And
thanks to your younger brother and his co-workers for their efforts
regarding the victims of Montana's old "sedition" law.

In addition to whatever state "sedition" acts  were attempted, and the
sweeping Federal "Espionage and Sedition Act," there was a barrage during
that period of particular state acts [mostly but not exclusively in the
Western states] that are known as the "criminal syndicalism" laws and were
aimed, with increasing frequency, against the IWW in the early and mid
1920s.  Montana's, enacted in 1918, is, as far as I know, still on the books
at this time, and a little less than a decade ago was used against
farm/ranch tax protesters in Miles City which is close to the North Dakota
border.  Idaho, which enacted its at about the same time as Montana, has the
most sweeping criminal syndicalism law of all -- and it's still at least
technically ready to go.  It was used against the noted IWW organizer, Sam
Embree [later the father-in-law of Mine Mill's Maurice Travis], and, in the
mid 1930s, its use was threatened by an Idaho governor during the
large-scale Wobbly lumber workers' strike in the Clearwater region where
company gunmen shot and killed a half dozen IWW pickets. [Other unions in
the Gem State prevented its use by the governor.]  Washington state repealed
its law in that genre only a few years back.  Most -- if not all -- of the
other states repealed such legislation generations ago.

"Criminal syndicalism" laws were notoriously sweeping in nature.
In many states, simple membership in the IWW or even possession of
its literature [e.g., The Little Red Songbook] was deemed sufficient for
quick arrest and conviction and prison terms of several years.  Highly
paid state finks were rife.

In the Mississippi of the early and mid-1960s, that state's legislature --
always on the hunt for repressive tools -- became interested in the
mysteries of criminal syndicalism and did enact some sort of law.  But by
that time, the Magnolia State was suffering heavy legal setbacks at the
Federal appellate and USSC levels and I don't believe anyone was thusly
arrested on that particular charge. [They went after me with a number of
charges -- at one time, "inciting to riot" -- and, of course, a great many
civil rights activists were targeted venomously by Mississippi and other
Southern states.]

The old-time Wobblies, with their oft-sardonic humor, used to refer to these
acts as "Comical Syndicalism."  But the laws, of course, have been deadly
and, where they are still extant, do indeed represent a potential threat to
militant labor and its allies and to free speech in general.

A very solid reference is Professor Eldridge Foster Dowell's detailed work,
A History of Criminal Syndicalism Legislation in the United States
[Baltimore:  The Johns Hopkins Press, 1939.]  In it, Professor Dowell makes
the explicit point that, in the three large and lengthy Federal trials
[Chicago, Wichita, Sacramento] of the IWW during the World War I epoch, not
one single act of violence by any IWW member was ever proven.

When we returned to the Mountain West in '97, my youngest son, Peter Salter,
who had been State Editor of the Bismarck Tribune in the westerly section of
N.D., was heading the Anaconda office of the Montana Standard which is
headquartered at Butte. [He is presently based at Lincoln, NE, with the
Journal Star -- a key editor for Lee Enterprises which embraces all of the
foregoing newspapers -- and many more including the Billings Gazette.  I am
sending a copy of this to him and to some other family members by Bcc.

When we came to Idaho close to a decade ago, we were greeted by several
years of harassment by an assortment of lawmen at various levels as well as
by a few self-appointed vigilante types.  I sort of hoped -- I must admit --
that I'd be arrested and charged under the Idaho Criminal Syndicalism act.
But no such luck -- and the harassment has very substantially faded.

Again, thanks to you and your younger brother et al.

Fraternally, Hunter



This came early this morning from Peter [Mack], our newspaper editor son who
is the Native scout who keeps up with all  wagon trains.  We have all heard
that Idaho and the Bush administration have agreed to let Idaho help
"manage" its wolf population -- but, until this, there has been no public
word to my knowledge about current near-genocidal schemes.  A recent
proposal by Idaho Congressman Butch Otter to privatize Bureau of Land
Management lands was met by commendably fast rising opposition around the
state and elsewhere and Otter hastily withdrew his plan [at least for now,]
This proposed attack on wolves is sinister.  Aside from the fact that, how
does one even determine when 75% of the wolves have been killed?, there is
no basic evidence that the wolves have been killing anything other than
their normal food.

I like wolves [and certainly coyotes as well.]  Canis Lupis or Lupus has
provided the name of my [sometimes ravaging] illness -- but I can hardly
blame wolves for that one.  I have seen only, at most, four wild wolves in
my life -- and I am glad they are making a come-back.  Three years ago, in
the pre dawn darkness 'way above and beyond the high hills that rise behind
our home, I heard a full wolf howl that filled an entire valley.  My dog,
like myself used to coyotes and an occasional lion following us in friendly
fashion on our then daily very early-morn treks, froze instantly.  After
that long and beautiful howl, there was absolute silence for a few
minutes --  even coyote howls and yaps briefly ceased.

I am sure this wolf-killing scheme will be blocked by court and related
action.  Personally, I haven't heard anything locally that fretted about
wolves or grizzlies.  One of my most challenging speaking engagements in
decades came the other night when I addressed a large [and, believe me, very
lively] Cub Scout group.  Since our oldest son, John [Beba] is coordinator
of the whole Cub Scout entourage in his Minnesota town -- helped by his good
spouse, Nancy -- I asked advice beforehand from that quarter.  Something of
the flavor of my presentation is indicated by this portion of a note that I
later sent my grandson, Bret [Quick Bear]:

" My talk with the Cub Scouts last night went well.  Eldri and Josie were
there.  It was held in a large LDS [Mormon] Church and I had, as exhibits,
the Mohawk beaded bag, Grizzly claw, Wolf claw, Wolf tooth, heavy stone axe
head, deer-bone knife, tomahawk, and peace pipe. And my Navajo bolo tie.
Your Dad was right, they like weapons.  Told my killing-the-bear story,
among other things."

But I put in a very good word for wolves -- the Cubs have a Wolf Badge,
among others -- and no one present, kids or adults, took issue with me.

Hunter Bear

From Peter [Mack]:

Have you heard -- or posted -- about Idaho's plan to thin wolves from the
north-central part of your state, now that state officials have taken over
management duties from the feds?

I found this on

Later [Peter]

"Not a Smooth Move, Idaho
By Bill Schneider, 1-19-06

We all know anything containing the word "wolf" is controversial, and
controversial is just another way of saying political. Knowing this, you'd
think public officials in Idaho would start slowly and carefully after
"making history" on January 5, 2006 when the state took over management of
Canis lupis from the dreaded federal government.

But no, only a week later, on January 12, the Idaho Department of Fish and
Game announces a plan to kill 75 percent of the wolves in one area in
north-central Idaho. The cover story was something about reducing predation
on elk, but more likely, it is, as usual, all politics-and not a smooth move
at that.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton jetted out from the Beltway to join Idaho
Governor Dirk Kempthorne in signing the historic document. The governor
obviously already had a wolf-killing plan in his back pocket before signing,
and you'd think he could wait for the ink to dry before pulling it out. . ."


Dear HunterBear,  [Poetry By Bob Gately - 1/20/06]
  When the last wolfs howl echos across the valley,
  When the bears of last fall fail to emerge from winter lair, no cubs, no pups are born in the mountains, who and what will be left to care ?
  When atomic ranchers and politicians nuke nature,
  as they are proud to do, who will be still in the mountains, still listening in the valleys, wondering why it all went so wrong, how now do the strong survive ?
  In  ti pis, kivas and wikieups the elders pass pipes and pray for answers and divine intervention,
  look to the heavens for inspiration and direction,
  beg the Creators forgiveness for the sins of the past.
  This too shall come to pass, world out of balance,
  this wickedness cannot last, the Earth speaks loud,
  clearly to the surviving clans who still follow His plan,
  live lightly with respect on this fragile planets lands.
  Somewhere a bitch wolf suckles her young far from mans grasp, a mother grizzly nudges her cubs into the stream and life goes on, whimpers and growls become howls and roars forevermore, and ever and ever more.
  Take heart Hunter, pray for the prey and continue to take action today....God bless us.
Thank you, Mr. Gately--for your words of hope about our four-legged relations.  Very nice.
Alice M. Azure
Mystic, CT 06355




I do have to say, without making it my life's work at the moment, that the
2nd Amendment is as much a statement of Individual Right -- as the First or
any other amendment in the Bill of Rights.  If that isn't enough, then take
a good look at the discussions in the Constitutional Convention on guns and
individuals and natural rights.  At any rate, I don't think the Federal
government has any substantive business in the realm of private gun

[I certainly do think, obviously, that individual socialists can certainly
be fervent gun owners! And many, of course, are.]

In 1992, the National Rifle Association declined to endorse either Bush I or
Bill Clinton.  At various levels in those days, NRA was supporting a good
many Democrats as well as Republicans.

To pursue his war against guns and gun owners, Billy Clinton abandoned any
effort to secure a meaningful national health program, ran away from other
social issues save to go after "welfare people" in the hypocritical name of
"reform", ran from his pledges on gay rights, labor law reform and
everything else with any positive meaning.  With pure demagogy, the Clinton
crowd pushed through several viciously anti-gun laws [which the Bushies have
made no meaningful effort to repeal], all the while shrilly depicting
American gun owners and gun rights groups as para-militarists and sometimes
as racists. In those days, ATF often raided gun owners with little or no
pretense of due process. The Clinton "Anti-Terrorism" Act ["Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996" ] was passed in a continuing wave
of anti-gun hysteria. The resultant network of almost 40 so-called " local
task forces" around the country made up of local, state and Federal lawmen
aimed against a very wide range of dissidents of all kinds -- spying,
opening mail, tapping phones, and much more -- came directly out of that Act
and the general atmosphere of  Federally-induced hyperbole and totalitarian
action. All of this was supported by much East Coast/West Coast news
media -- and certainly CNN -- and very little of this appeared to disturb,
say, the ACLU as long as it was done by pro-choice Democrats.

Gradually it became broadly clear that anti-gun laws are not especially
effective in "curbing crime" -- but do ignore the real causes of crime:
e.g., racism and economic poverty, urban congestion, interpersonal and value

The anti-gun laws much ignore the need for sensible, individual
self-defense: e.g., social justice organizers.

And then came the slowly dawning realization for many that Clinton et al.
were no friends of civil liberties.  What do you think the Bush
administration used in its sweeping round-up and cavalier incarceration of
people immediately following 9-11 and before it rammed through its so-called
Patriot Act?  It used the sorry legislative legacy of the Clinton
administration to the hilt.

In any event, in 1994, of course, the Demos lost Congress.  They lost the
Mountain West.  And they lost the presidency in 2000 and 2004 -- with the
gun issue much to the fore on a national basis.  [Howard Dean, btw, is a
Life Member of NRA and, of course, so am I.]

Warms my heart to see Democrats in Idaho and others in the Mountain
states -- gun owners in most cases and gun rights supporters in virtually
all cases -- beginning to come into their own again within the broader
Democratic party.  And we certainly don't hear much about gun control these
days -- anywhere in the USA.




Dear Ed: [Pickersgill - his post follows]

Thanks very much for your [as always] gracious resolution of this friendly little fuss. [I am sure Larry Sakin and I agree on many things.]  I returned to my computer following yet another viewing of the 1954 film, River of No Return, to find your welcome post.  Our gun issue at hand gave me a much needed boost about 3 a.m.  As you've surmised, I am sure, the gun culture is very deeply ingrained in our family -- back through the many generations, both Native and Western Anglo.  It, or a speaking invite, will always yank me back from the Sunset Trail.

And on socialists and guns:  Many of "our kind" today possess firearms, I am sure -- and that goes 'way back.  In my 1997 review/essay of Tony Lucas' massive work on the Haywood Trial at Boise [Big Trouble] -- done for the Butte-based Montana Standard's Sunday feature -- I point out that, following the patently illegal seizure of Haywood/Moyer/Pettibone in Denver and their transportation into Idaho via sealed railroad car to stand trial on obviously fabricated first degree murder charges --

"All hell broke loose.

The W.F.M. and its offspring – the I.W.W. – and the Socialist Party and others on the left charged kidnap and frameup. They were quickly joined by radical and labor people and then social reformers. The usually nonviolent head of the Socialist Party, Eugene Debs, warned that "if they attempt to murder Moyer, Haywood, and Pettibone and their brothers, a million revolutionaries will meet them with guns."

Montana Socialists, who were strong at Butte, offered to meet Debs at the Idaho border with 10,000 armed men on horseback to free the W.F.M. leaders."

In Solidarity - H.


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

----- Original Message -----
From: Edward Pickersgill
To: Hunter Gray ; Larry Sakin
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2006 9:39 AM
Subject: Introductions

In case the two of you have never tapped directly....
Hunter, your new column is connected to Larry's. I have linked both.

My Homepage:
New Site:

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

Check out our big page on the art and practice of Community Organizing

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]