Regional Covid Peak Continues

It Began During The Tourist Season

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  A PEAK in new covid-19 cases in the geographical circle around Crestone began in late September and continued into the last two weeks of October.  In just four days (10/15-10/19) both Chaffee and Alamosa Counties reported 14 new cases. For the first 15 days of October Chaffee reported 24 new cases, Alamosa reported 28, […]

Excoriation Nation

Let me blog a minute. . .

Dr. Myra Ellen Jenkins would be happy she is not alive now. There is such a thing as living too long. I wrote in the 1980’s about her involvement as New Mexico state historian in the first controversy over the historic obelisk in the center of the Santa Fe Plaza. It was all about a […]

A Thick Description Of A Deep Time

¡JUSTICIA! By Federico Antonio Reade (Albuquerque, 309 pages)

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A UNM UNDERGRADUATE  named Federico Antonio Reade called me in Santa Fe in the fall of 1980 asking to record  my recollections of the Rio Arriba County Court House Raid — a northern New Mexico rebellion that already was fading beneath a wash of scholarly interpretation. I had been the only journalist (and the only […]

Not Everything Trump Says Is A Lie

A Philospher Made Some Classical Distinctions

By Larry Joseph Calloway In place of what print journalists refer to as President Trump’s lies, cable commenters have a less formal term. Trevor Noah of the Comedy Channel and Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo of CNN just say “bullshit.”  If that sums up Trump’s usual performances, then press briefings and most interviews are bull […]

The Winning of the West and the Theft of Mt. Rushmore

How the Union army continued west after the Civil War. Reviews of "Lakota America" by Pekka Hamalainen and "West from Appomattox" by Heather Cox Richardson

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  Along T-shirt row in Deadwood, the gold-gulch town in South Dakota’s Black Hills, you can read silk-screened homages to bikers, gunfighters, gamblers, anti-immigrant soldiers (“If you are reading this in English, thank the U.S. military.”)  and the armed protection of private property. The town’s  history of lawless violence was the basic entertainment value of […]

MAY DAY MEDITATION

Keep Yer Distance, Pilgrim

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Experiencing extreme social distancing at home on May Day, I was reminded of something I wrote as a journalist that was never published because I could not figure out how to make it topical. It was about the first American Maypole. Thomas Morton, a relocated London barrister, planted it in 1627 on a hill aboveMassachusetts Bay. […]

SMALL TOWN, FEW PEOPLE

China Tells You How To Cope With Quarantine

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A Chinese classic, the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, offers a wise thought experiment for our pandemic times. Here is my literal translation of Verse 80 with updates in brackets: Little country, few people  [Small mountain town, closed to tourists] Devices that can do the work of 10-100    [Power tools] Go unused   [Construction […]

Politics and Potlatch

The anthropology of gifts: Warrior class of ancient India, First Nation people of British Columbia, Wine Cave dwellers of California

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By LARRY JOSEPH CALLOWAY (C) The Wine Cave War that livened up the Democrat presidential debate a week before Christmas 2019 was timely because it was the season of giving, and the issue was gifts by wealthy people to political campaigns.  News photos of the cool underground tasting room with its stone arches, crystal chandelier […]

The Word Power of Samantha

A Review of “The Education of an Idealist” by Samantha Power

    By LARRY JOSEPH CALLOWAY (C) Samantha Power’s new book, “The Education of an Idealist,” is an engaging personal memoir telling how she was formed by Ireland, acculturated by America and educated by a dangerous world. It begins with her love of her pub-dwelling father in Dublin and ends with her professional friendship with […]

A Tale Of Two Stairways

Past, Present, Faulkner

    By LARRY CALLOWAY (C) “My fellow citizens,” Abraham Lincoln said, addressing Congress in December 1863. “We cannot escape history.” The sentiment and, “The past never dies. It is not even past,”  a line from William Faulkner that has been elevated by quote pickers to the status of an aphorism about the South, hummed […]