A Protest Vote Decades in the Making

“White people elected Trump.” Over these last 10 days, these words are showing up everywhere. Mostly because they’re true. And white progressives actually helped. Among most white people I know who think of themselves as social progressives and who, like I, have had loads of access to privilege – aka education, careers, financial literacy, problems of identity that way outnumber problems of monetary survival – reactions to the election of Donald Trump… Read More

Heeding Lessons from a Small Business

Last week I sat with the staff and management of a mountain town cafe – a group I’ve had the chance to work with as they have moved into the big center of transition. Without knowing it, this small organization and the people who sustain it are inspiring models of what showing up to change looks like. For 14 years, the Cafe Regis has served the community of Red Lodge, Montana as… Read More

A Mandan-Hidatsa Elder and Civilian Warrior Speaks of Fracking

Today is Veteran’s Day.  Today we honor people who have placed their lives on the line to recover peace. Per Capita, more Native Americans serve in the U.S. military than any other ethnic group.  In recent data out of the Department of Defense (2010) the contrast shows up in the fact that while Native Americans make up 1.4% of the total U.S. population, they compose 1.7% of the country’s military.  Over 20%… Read More

Fracking — Any Hope of Listening Here?

NOTE:  Here’s a brief statement by a conservation writer and a response from a person with another opinion.  Both are residents of the same area of Montana.  My question to myself – to all of us – is how can these two people listen to one another?  How can they be in conversation toward some level of understanding – even action?  Is it possible? And before I leave you to read their… Read More

Montana Reprise — the Renewal of Uncertainty Easter and Beyond

It is Easter morning.  A black cat walks across a bright green stretch of lawn each step a caress as silken and clear as the the early morning air that holds it all. I’ve driven 1800 miles in the past week.  Even though that’s a thing I’m known to do, the particular kind of presence demanded by the road continues to offer surprises that, upon my return, make the miracles like cat… Read More

Listening to Rivers

Last week I had the chance to catch up with a friend, Antone Minthorn (Cayuse), former Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR).  He told me a story of the Umatilla River.  The focus of the story was Salmon – the fact that Salmon were not able to make it up the Columbia as far as the Umatilla River for more than 70 years while the combination of… Read More

A Tough Guy’s Good Things List

This morning I had a conversation with a man named Gordon.  Gordon is in his 70’s.  He’s a big burly man who spent working life among the towering conifers of the Pacific Northwest.  To this day he still wears plaids, jeans, suspenders and heavy work boots.  His face and hands are sculpted by decades outdoors and his eyes are gray – brown like chips of smoky quartz. We sat at a sidewalk… Read More

Gearing up for the Last Leg – 100 VOICES 2012 Road Trip

I’ve been on a rest stop 9000 miles down the road since March 3.  Whitewater, Wisconsin – a rural community between Milwaukee and Madison where the Sweet Spot Coffee Shoppe greets the morning; farms, families, schools, businesses (conventional and cyber) and a university fill the day; and the newly opened Black Sheep Restaurant brings culinary art to the evening.    In the two turns of winter to spring that I’ve spent here (last… Read More

Civil Rights Remembered in Wisconsin

A year ago, I spoke with Susan Stout (Voice 075), a PhD forester with primary oversight of significant research in the forests of the Allegheny of western Pennsylvania.  Then, yesterday I marched with a small group of people who gathered in the small downtown area of Whitewater, WI.  These things fit together. Almost 9000 miles down the road, I’m taking a break to visit here in Whitewater for the month.  This is… Read More

March 4th has it all over Super Tuesday

I drove into Cincinnati from Manhattan.  How many times will I be able to say that?  Not many. And it was no minor feat.  I’m guessing this is not the least bit surprising to any of you.  Still, we say these things out loud to one another – partly as a request for validation – a “wow” that fits with the relative enormity of the accomplishment.  The vast majority of Americans don’t… Read More