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Friday, June 16, 2023

Happy birthday geronimo was a heroic Apache leader and medicine man who was born near present-day Cliftonn, Arizona his tribe's lands and freedom and joined with other groups of native people's to resist Mexican and US military forces he is remembered for having bulletproof skin as a legend has it even when he was shot at again and again Geronimo would continue to advance against his enemies

As a young 13-year-old boy in St Paul jeremiah Geronimo's reputation influenced my very own life let me explain that great warrior and man of courage we wanted to emulate. Bravery and courage aren't quite as simple as they used to be for meSuch as flag fishing in grizzly bear country in Montana in the days before pepper spray and now I have vertical because of my one ear that doesn't work and I hardly dared to climb up on a ladder or go outside in the winter when there's ice everywhereAnd I don't care to risk falling and spend the rest of my lifeIn a nursing home with a broken hipI guess I'd probablya potenial girlfriendIf I asked her for a date and a ride to take her out to a nice restaurant Geronimo i could yell

Friday, September 2, 2022

Lone Wolf

 The book I just finished is Lone Wolf.     Lone wolf Luke Warren studies wolf behavior and he leaves his already dysfunctional family for two years to join a pack in the Canadian wilderness and live with them.  Yes, that’s the premise upon which the tale rests. And to add personal drama he returns to civilization to end up in a car crash with his daughter. He suffers a head trauma and ends up in a near brain dead coma. His past is revealed in alternating chapters from his published memoir about living with wolves.

Should Luke be kept alive by artificial means? Is that what he would want?  Luke’s tween daughter and older runaway son disagree fiercely about the answers to these wrenching life or death questions.  This is the deadlock that is at the novel’s center. Ms. Picoult is not afraid to speculate into the future in  her novels.   All this make we wonder about where to draw the line. 
Do fiction writers have an obligation to ensure that the science they put into their novels is credible? Or does the creative license that writers enjoy mean that there's no such responsibility? What happens when a novelist explicitly notes that the work in question is based on trusted science, but scientists insist is it not? In this case it's a zoo, and Picoults “research” is based on a     wolf setting in England with human habituated animals.
Yes its fiction and writers can write what they want but wolves are often judged in our world by myths and legends rather than facts and reality. Little Red Riding hood still lives on as well as  The Big Bad Wolf….
Wolves are magnificent animals whose true-life behaviors are described in a series of books by scientist David Mech. If you want to learbr />
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n about wolves try him.  If you want a interesting novel try
 Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult….

Monday, July 25, 2022

Madison's gift five partnerships that built America by David O. Stuart

Madison’s gift  -five partnerships that built America by David O Stewart

This one is a gem folks. Published in 2015 Ifyou put the title and author on your search enginem get the book for  five bucks. I found mine for two bucks at the goodwill in Rochester Minnesota also if you have a big enough local library they might have it still for free.

In a popularity and awareness ranking of the well-known names of the founding fathers of our Republic James Madison would likely be at the bottom of the list. He was quite short bald and certainly not the tall Studley athletic military man that George Washington was. Nor a powerful orator and debater Like Hamilton . It was Jefferson  the brilliant, writer politician and who wrote the Declaration of Independence. The fourth partner was another military man, friend and sometime opponent James Monroe who had Madison’s back when a defenseless, broke &  not very united group of states  took on the mighty English  Monarchy for a second time. Madison was president and when the English  destroyed the new American capital city including White House and burned the new capital building down to the ground  in the war of 1812.  In the history texts on that war Madison gets much of the blame for all the defeats as he was not much of a military leader but instead it was his late to marry widowed Dolly Todd who gets the positive notice. Nor amazing persona like his wife Dolly lit up everyone came into her presence and could influence crowds of people . IA beautiful talented and amazing woman the author gives Dolly Madison In an  extra chapter His account of her partnership and support of James

 In a nutshell what made this small modest not very visible man so important?  It was his brain and his ability to pair with the more Outgoing men and one woman aforementioned To   discuss advise suggest and help them use their skills and his insights and organize a bunch of bickering former colonies/states into the only Republic I. E. Democracy existing at that time in a world run by kings and queens. To Find A Republic one would have to go back to that of Rome and for democracy to the ancient Greeks in Athens.

As I write this introduction and review I wondered to myself what it was that brought me to pluck this particular history book off the  shelves at the goodwill. The books aren’t categorized there particularly but there’s usually a lot of my favorite escape reading which would be fiction specifically mystery detectives stories. The author of the Madison’s gift David Stewart was unknown to me. Of course a former history teacher I knew the names of Many of the good Historians. The American Revolution and the founding of our Republic is a fascinating subject to say the least Republic, democracy destroying our national capital all of the above are in the news these days and under threat. It was then that I wondered what James Madison had to say about these issues as he debated what form a stronger more viable American system would require to survive and prosper. The pros and cons were debated at the convention in Philadelphia, Just as they are now.  the Constitution was developed and sent to the various states be approved or turned down Washington presided to keep order . Each state had a choice to makeAnd the approval of a strong constitution became a fierce political debate. Lincoln's words before the Civil War were appropriate here a nation a house divided cannot stand

each chapter in the book is based upon one of the five partnerships that Madison made with the leaders that built America. Which is to say the Constitution that is under attack by next president and await extremist groups that lead the charge I can’t stress this enough that reading this book would be well worth your timeTwo of the founding fathers wrote a serious of editorials called the Federalist papers whichAdvocated ratification of the new Constitution they were Madison and Hamilton. The host stood and still does the oil slaveowner Madison predicted that a crisis in the future would eventually them merge as political parties did and sectional differences over the issue of slaveryThere are a number of quotes from Madison's speeches and letters in this fascinating book. I think many of them are relevant to today's political divisions in crisis for those reasons this excellent history is well worth your time make the efffort tto find it in your public library and on the Internet

Thursday, June 23, 2022


Wednesday, June 29, 2022



I    AM   NOT OK

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

At first I didn’t think I would like it. The father is a uncaring zealot from the word go. On the outside  the mother is a wimp  who loyally follows her idiot of a husband to the entire families near destruction. On the inside she is naturally full of  anger which finally leads to a dangerous choice. .  The daughters are a seeming strange lot at first, very confusing and hard to follow.  Then their role as victims and narrators brings the whole story into focus.
The book follows the family as they try to bring their way of life, and their religion, to the village of Kilanga. They come carrying all the wrong things - seeds that cannot grow in the jungle, packages of birthday cake mix that will never become cakes, and a religion that puzzles and scares the villagers. Words have many meanings there, depending on how you say them. When Nathan talks about baptism, he is also saying ‘to terrify.’ To say ‘Tata Jesus is Bangala’ may mean ‘Jesus is poisonwood’, or he is divine. The villagers are also afraid of baptism as they don’t go into the river; too many of their children have been killed by crocodiles.
The arrogance of Western missionaries is hardly news, but Price's blinding pride makes for a story that's often comic despite its tragedy. After months of incomprehensible sermons, the minister fails to lure even one soul down to the river for baptism. The natives have no interest in rushing toward salvation in the next life by bathing with crocodiles in this one.

The history of the Belgian Congo’s unprepared lurch to independence is particularly tragic. The new “nation” becomes entangled thru no doing of its own in Cold War politics.  The net result is a murdered freely elected leader  and a Western propped up military dictator who ruled and robbed the country for over thirty years.  I can see why this book has been a popular course selection in many colleges and discussion instigator in book clubs.  If you  have a strong heart and stomach I’d definitely recommend it…I use the word stomach in the previous sentence very carefully based  on personal experience for example  both my wonderful grandchildren from Africa's survival was mad possible  by the Catholic nuns whos orphanage fed and cared for the till my son and his wife adopted them and brought them to t America where the are now thriving as students and Americans. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,

 And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

 It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.

 I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

 William Ernest Henley

Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) survives 27 years of imprisonment. His guide is the Victorian age poem Invictus. He emerges to lead a reconciliation of blacks and whites into a new South Africa. Matt Damon plays the captain of the countries white dominated and beloved rugby team. The team is also a symbol of white racism and despised by the nations blacks. Clint Eastwood finds just the right touch, avoiding an over the top sports movie and a deep psychological analyses of character motivations. The result is exciting action in a sport that most American wouldn't have a clue about, and a truly dramatic portrayal of real political leadership. It was also something that I found downright inspiring. I recall teaching world history to my senior high students and feeling that the apartheid state in South Africa was as intractible a problem as the issue of Palestine, the Arabs and the Jewish state. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.
The poem and the movie are both oldies but goodies.
I highly recommend them both.....

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


In Theodore Roosevelt's day bigger wasn't always considered . Buying up the competition led to monopolies and price-fixing. More than a century later time will tell if Amazon and Google will rule the world. This dip in the history means I'm consolidating my two blogs. I can't guarantee it will be better but for me it will be more efficient. TroutbirderII is joining Troutbirder which means I'll be less likely to put my book reviews into my nature blog or vice versa


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