January 15, 2021

Biden vs. Trump: It’s A Greg Fogle Campaign Moment

BENZONIA — With less than a month from Election Day, we’ve come to the Greg Fogle moment of the 2020 presidential election campaign. Fogle was a big, bullying energy industry executive who unwittingly served as an ally in a grassroots campaign I helped organize in Michigan in the mid-1990s. Donald Trump is now playing the same role in the 2020 campaign. Let me explain. Back in the mid-1990s, when the natural gas industry was clearing …

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Donald Trump and George Armstrong Custer: Lessons in History

BILLINGS, Montana – About 1,000 people a day make their way off Interstate 90 and head a few miles north to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, a national monument in eastern Montana. Established in 1878 , the memorial’s mission has evolved. Initially it was meant to honor the 210 American cavalry troopers, including their commander George Armstrong Custer, who died on June 25, 1876 in a “last stand” against a much larger mounted war party of …

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Where Is Trump’s Silent Majority?

Here’s a question for Trump’s silent majority, that self-described swarm of acolytes poised to storm out of hiding to re-elect the president. Why does Donald Trump look like such a loser?  He tried scaring the suburbs. It was a weak, ill-informed, poorly-timed message that did not work. Especially with the women it was intended to impress. He tried attacking Biden as a tool of the ‘socialist, radical left intent on wrecking America.’ That did not …

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Biden Will Win; America Will Reject Lies and Hate

Seven weeks to the election. The choice for the country is ever more clear. Will Donald Trump’s dishonesty, malice, and incompetence become the reigning constructs of American governance? Or will the country trust Joe Biden to manage crises, restore order, and respond effectively to the century’s rapidly evolving ecological, social, and economic conditions?  The 2020 election is a test of the character of our country. The winner, as I’ve said for weeks, is obvious.  Americans will …

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Benzie County Roads Bridge Political Fractures

In Benzie County, there are 180 miles of primary roads—those with the signature signs that designate route numbers, like County Road 669. There are 138 additional miles of paved local roads, which are the two-lane thoroughfares outside the county’s seven towns that wind by lakes, over hills, past orchards, and through forests.  It is easy to describe nearly every mile of these roads as scenic. They also are the county’s signature public asset.  Aside from …

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Violence Ahead Of The Election Won’t Lead to Trump Second Term

Supporters of the president convened by the hundreds in a parking lot outside Portland, Oregon on Saturday. At dusk they formed a convoy and drove into the city to confront Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Before the rolling protest concluded clashes occurred in several parts of the cities. One Trump supporter was shot and killed. The death in Portland followed just five days after Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators confronted each other in Kenosha, …

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Voter Suppression, Racism, Conspiracy Theories, Stolen Elections – We’ve Seen It All Before

BENZONIA — Earlier in my life, I lived in Charleston, S.C. and spent almost four years roaming the South as a journalist. Later I did the same thing as a national correspondent for the New York Times. In the 1980s and 1990s, the South was emerging from the dangerous era of segregation that had allowed — by state authority — white people to abuse black people in virtually any way that whites thought was necessary …

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Idaho’s Silver Valley: A Story of Wealth, Tragedy, and Transformation

KELLOGG, Idaho — Completed at a cost of $30 million and opened in 2004, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes cuts a paved path across Northern Idaho, from Mullan to Plummer, following the course of a long-abandoned Union Pacific line. One of the country’s magnificent rails-to-trails, it’s ordained by natural flourishes that exist in abundance in this part of the Mountain West — tall peaks, forests of fir and spruce, big farm fields, wetlands, clear …

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From The Global Garden of Embryonic Hope, Safeguarding Oceans

Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, once called oceans “the real world bank.” She cautioned that people were making many more withdrawals than deposits. On June 10, National Geographic and several more prominent science and conservation organizations convened EarthX Ocean to elaborate on that point. During the two-day virtual conference experts from around the world described the urgent and deteriorating conditions of the oceans and spotlighted a number of useful responses. I was asked …

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Benzie County — Jumpy About Virus and Summer Visitors

BENZONIA, MI – Tucked away on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the residents of Benzie County spent the final days of winter and the early weeks of spring confident they were safe, but agitated about what was coming. A scenic region of thick forests, clean lakes, and tiny villages, Benzie County lies 30 miles southwest of Traverse City, the nearest sizable city, 80 miles distant from the closest thruway, and 220 miles northwest of …

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