December 29, 2022

Woman, life and freedom: Iran protests and U.S. policy

Streets in dozens of Iran cities are filled with angry people in popular protests that have already gone on much longer—three months and counting—than those in 2009 and 2019. The unrest erupted when news broke on September 16 that a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, had died in the custody of the morality police after being accused of violating Iran’s mandatory head scarf law.

December 22, 2022

‘Red flag’ laws work, but they have to be used

When Colorado passed its Extreme Risk Protection Orders — also known as a “red flag” law — in 2019, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder announced his opposition: “I am exploring all legal options and am vigorously challenging the constitutionality of this law.”

December 8, 2022

Lula da Silva’s election in Brazil a victory for the world

On Oct. 30, Brazilians voted in a presidential runoff election that was won by Luiz ‘Lula’ Ignacio da Silva. It was a victory by the narrowest of margins, although in fairness, the president elect’s opponent had the clear support of the federal highway patrol, which reportedly set hundreds of roadblocks in areas of the country that had supported the former president in the first round of voting.

November 24, 2022
Dave Marston (Contributed photo courtesy of Dave Marston)

Public lands are a true blessing

At every Thanksgiving dinner, my family asks everyone around the table to say what they’re grateful for. It puts new guests on the spot, so sometimes they just thank the hosts — an easy out that makes it harder for anyone else struggling for a good answer. I’ve been in that position, but this year I know what I’m grateful for.

November 17, 2022

Seeking a vaccine against meanness and hate

When far right Canadian extremist David DePape smashed his hammer into a patio glass door to gain entrance into the San Francisco home Paul Pelosi shares with his wife, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it’s doubtful he had the famous protest song in mind. Rather than “hammering out love between my brothers and my sisters,” he hammered on Mr. Pelosi’s skull, sending him to a hospital ICU. His act was one of the most sinister examples of the epidemic of meanness and hate infecting the body politic not just in the US, but around the world.

November 10, 2022
Flocks of snow geese migrate near Ashland, Ore. in 2022. (Contributed photo courtesy of Pepper Trail)

The fading miracle of migration

For the past few weeks, dozens of turkey vultures have been circling on thermals over my house in Oregon, preparing to soar away south into California. Not long ago, I saw a late monarch butterfly passing high overhead, its orange wings incandescent against the blue sky.

November 10, 2022

Conservative rule impacts lifespan

Although, in recent decades, American conservatives have embraced what they call the “Right to Life,” they have certainly done a poor job of sustaining life in the United States. That’s the conclusion that can be drawn from a just-published scientific study, “U.S. state policy contexts and mortality of working-age adults.”

November 3, 2022

Hats off to a determined woman

Elouise Cobell Day will be celebrated on Nov. 5, in Montana, but many people in the West may not recognize her name.

October 27, 2022

Europe’s far-right lurch

The struggle to save democracy is proving even more difficult in Europe than here in the US. Virtually every European country is bedeviled by rising conflict between traditional political parties on one side and far-right, sometimes neo-fascist parties on the other.