Crazy times, a follow-up

I have on the wall a few feet away from me here the above photo taken in the 1980s, the subject of the encircled part a man I will call Clem. The main photo was taken in Yellowstone National Park on the Blacktail Deer “trail”. He and I spent the whole day breaking trail, and as I worked to keep up with him I saw this: A lone man by a lone tree. I thought it apropos of Clem, as he lived alone, had no girl friend, but many men in his life, his city buddies. (Clem was not gay, by the way.) The lower left photo I keep there to remind me of Clem at his best, the two of us in the mountains. He would leave his smokes and liquor behind. As one mutual friend described him, Clem was a “mountain gem and a city slut.” He drank too much. Way too much.

I gave this enlarged photo to Clem, and he hung it on his wall. People went through his belongings after he committed suicide in 1998, and the photo was returned to me. The reason I bring this up is that while grieving over his loss, I took the photo apart and wrote on it every trip we made, every hike and incident I could remember. In so doing I realized that I had been many places and done many things in the wild. Three years before Clem’s suicide, I had met my future wife, and the journeys would continue. She and I hiked and backpacked the mountains of Montana and Wyoming. Eventually, beginning in 2010, we would add Alaska, the Alps of France, Switzerland, Italy, Patagonia, the Galápagos, New Zealand, the Andes and Himalayas. Though our backpacking days are over, we ain’t done yet.

We just lost the northern half of the Crazy Mountains. They have been enclosed, effectively turned into private property. I am grieving. To steal them required advance planning, strategy, and two judges who appear to be bought. The ruling goes against Common Law and 100 years of landowner-outdoors people cooperation. Judge Timothy Cavan, a federal magistrate, recommended that an upper court judge rule that all tradition and history of cooperation be set aside. In record short time, District Court Judge Susan Watters agreed in total. Outdoor groups and individuals lost everything. It is a travesty of justice. Honestly, the odor of money and power and influence lingers in those court rooms.

“The Crazy Mountains are screwed because in Big Timber and in Billings and in Livingston, only a handful of people care a wit. Then they play the local card — jobs, economy; rural reprobates who like being colonial slaves. Jump? How high? Where there are billionaires there will be “crumbs” for the peasants.” (Steve Kelly, comment.)

I am one who gives a wit, always have. But I sense that my generation, the Boomers, may be the last generation that gives a wit, and we are dwindling. Most, like me, are limited now to day hikes, as we cannot just strap a pack on and go anymore. There is a long trail in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana commonly known as “The Beaten Path.” It extends 26 miles from one side of the wilderness to another. The first time I did the journey, at Rainbow Lake, maybe a third of the way, I was forced a half mile off the trail to find a camping spot. It was that busy. The last time I did it, with my wife and son, we saw one other person over the entire 26 miles, and that was a forest ranger on a horse.

Steve is right. We lost the Crazies because not enough people care, not enough people leave behind their electronics and motorbikes and boats, and just get out in nature, suck it up, relax, get very tired, and sleep on the ground. It does not sound like fun, but that is the whole point of having great outdoor places, to go there, to experience them.

I learned a lesson and then relearned it with the Cravan/Watters disaster. This was in the 2000s while we still lived in Bozeman. That is a town surrounded by mountains and  trails, and at that time those trails were under assault by mountain bikers, motorcyclists, snowmobiles-and dirt bikes. Not to be too disrespectful, but the object of those machines is to allow out-of-shape and overweight people the “wilderness” experience. That wilderness experience ceases to exist once you introduce exhaust and noise. It is no longer quiet.

The Forest Service called for a meeting of the various groups, including horseback riders, to sit down and discuss things, maybe reach an accord. They asked a local hiking group, the Bozeman Women’s Activity Group (BWAGS) to represent the hikers. Prior to participation, all were required to sign an agreement that if a consensus could not be reached, the local Chief of the Forest Service would make the final decision.

Are you seeing where this went? The other four groups ganged up on the BWAGS, even calling them obstinate and unreasonable. They were not. They were only doing what the others were doing, defending their turf. There was no consensus, and after it was turned over the the head ranger, he found in favor of motorbikes, dirt bikes, bicycles and snowmobiles (himself an avid snowmobiler, I was told). The BWAGS maybe ended up with one quiet trail, but memory does not serve me well.

It was a trap. Psychopaths and sociopaths love to set and spring traps. The mistake that the BWAGS made (wisdom after the fact for me) was to join the process. Once they were in, they lost. During that time outdoor enthusiasts were being seduced statewide into “Consensus Councils,” aka traps. The organization I worked with,  Montana Wilderness Association, was part of one. I managed single-handedly  to get them out by reporting at an Excom meeting (I was a member) that Governor Racicot was screwing people over, putting words in their mouths, making it appear that they had conceded ground. The reason that I was able to prevail that day was that a certain ExCom member, JG, was absent. He was livid! (I am still suspicious that he is controlled opposition.) But we got it done.

I forgot the lesson. When I first wrote about the Crazies, I did not see a trap. But then it became apparent. I woke up one morning realizing that the landowner harassment of hikers, fishermen and hunters; that the Forest Service pulling out and refusing to honor standing public/private agreements, even suspending a ranger who was taking down barricades, was designed to induce a lawsuit. When the conservation groups sued, they initiated a process. and of course lost. It was a trap, ducks were in a row, and it was understood that the two judges, Cravan and Watters would seal the deal.

Steve wrote a remarkable comment which I will link, as this piece is already too long. He takes things in stride, as he has been at it so long. He has a long view. I do not. These losses sting, even the quiet trails loss fifteen years ago. I hate people who set traps. They usually win because honest people do not think like that, do not set out to fool people.

Stephers closed out her response to Steve with the following:

Popeye: Bluto. Even though you’re bigger than me, you can’t win, ’cause you’re bad, and the good always wins over the bad.

If only it were so. I am more inclined to think of it in the manner of Dark Helmet, from the movie Spaceballs:

I miss Clem, the quiet trails around Bozeman, and am grieving over loss of the Crazies, about which I gave a wit.

43 thoughts on “Crazy times, a follow-up

  1. You guys love Miles, right? He said something that I had not heard (in “public”) before. If I remember correctly, the gist was that the ignorant shouldn’t be allowed vote (not that I think that voting accomplishes anything anyway). The ignorant should be denied a great many things, in my opinion. Structuring and ENFORCING those restrictions would be a a real bitch though. Where do you find the informed that actually care? Maybe they are too busy simply trying to survive? How do you remove the almighty power of bribery and coercion in its many forms? We have NO RULE OF LAW anymore – if we ever actually did.

    Where does the complacency of the public originate? Maybe they are too busy simply trying to survive, or have been “educated” in this purposefully retarded country? What a shitshow. I have no answers. This place is about to move completely into the shitter. Maybe that is necessary.

    You are not dealing with humans as we would commonly define them.


        1. Because I allowed a former writer to run a hit piece on him, details of which I will not go into. I finally took the piece down and contacted him to say that while I could not uncross the line, that I regretted doing it. Of course I am not all on board with him, but so what.


          1. I see. Thanks for the reply. Personally I think it’s important to question and seriously critique all those who present themselves as thought leaders and ‘influencers’. In the classroom I insisted on being challenged and found it really sad when students felt they couldn’t, which happened most often with Asian students. The truth fears no investigation, as the saying goes.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I agree, but my position is weakened by the article, which amounted to a personal attack. It tends to discredit any criticism, by me anyway. Commenters, other writers, are free to do as they please.

              By the way, your Texas front yard comment reminded me of an old joke:
              Texan, speaking to Montanan: “Why, I get in my truck in the morning and I start driving, and at the end of the day, I am still on my own land.”
              Montanan: “Yeah, I had a truck like that one time.”

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I agree Kensho, Personal attacks are indeed tedious, And such choices must be made when you are in such waters. Well, I think we’re all in such waters right now and we’re swimming for our lives. Sometimes it’s those “political waters” that are trying to drown all of us. Even though this may be off topic; it’s still at the top of those tedious choices to make personal attacks on those who put us all in those same waters. Today we have Biden blaming our inflation crisis on putin, Called the, “Putin Price Hike”…”That’s a Joke”. Biden can’t get out of his own way. He’s draining Americans bank accounts. He’s so deep in his own shit, he’s entrenched in the swamp spinning his wheels with his own shit flying back in his face. He stands as an empty suit with his left wing Looney Tune Squad at his side saluting the next “Big Empty Deal”, while sinking in Quicksand and playing the star spangled Banner. Now that’s what I call important to question and critique “all those” who present themselves as “Thought leaders and influencers “….”in” or “out”.. of the classroom.


                    1. I think you made a typo, Mark. at first I didn’t know what the “iff TV” meant. But I figured out that it meant “off TV”… “The TV is off” I get Streaming News all the time like “we all do”. I don’t believe everything I see, hear, and read; But somethings unfold before my very eyes, as they do yours. I suppose if “we all” Turned off the TV; computers and Phones, We’d all be back in the dark age, With nothing to say, And we’d all be Blind.


      1. I don’t usually do that… I can only italicize if I cut and paste the text from elsewhere; as it stands: a poor choice of words.


    1. Crazy Times follow up, is an absolute Beautiful yet sad story, Mark. I can feel the passion for your grave loss for it in every word. You paint a clear picture of it’s beauty and it’s so easy to see why you and Steve have fought so hard to hold onto the past. Dirt Bikes, Snowmobiles, And theft of the court have taken away…”The Sound Of Silence.


    2. Do “the people” even know that they are being screwed left and right by both “the government” and “the rich”? Sometimes I wonder just what the fuck people actually care about – if anything. What will it take to remedy the situation?

      Many times, it seems, that if a compromised piece-of-shit is removed, another is put in its place. We are many, yes? Eventually those pieces-of-shit would notice the removal – and the methods employed. Perhaps the promise of such displeasure would become sufficient warning, no?


      1. I used to think the complacency and apathy was entirely negative and destructive and felt the job of ‘waking up’ folks to be a necessary thing. Now I wonder if there isn’t a kind of ‘necrophiliacs’ impulse that’s actually working in ‘our’ favor. These folks, who cannot or refuse to hear the ‘sound of silence’ are joining in their mutual destruction, and I wonder if this isn’t a kind of divine intervention that is subconscious like a rotting corpse that stinks to high heaven for a while, but then is eventually ‘consumed’ by beneficial bacteria! Maybe that’s just Easter talking?! 🙂


    1. RICHEART,

      Uh-oh. Speaking of TRAPS . . . I was literally going to offer a cautionary warning about Frank Jacob ( and the “Guardians of the Looking Glass” ( on my recent post referencing Looking Glass – and here you are dropping it (curiously) in this thread.

      For the record, I do not take Project Looking Glass at face value. I suggest that intense discernment and scrutiny is necessary surrounding its mythos (which is being promulgated once again).

      Regarding the link you offered above . . . I was notified about this “Inspired” guy (Jean Nolan) today by a close friend ( and I had never heard of him. I spent some time today looking through his YT channel (, and delving into this newest psyop (with which he is associated and promoting). I consider it to be QAnon 2.0 (or perhaps even 3.0). Nonetheless, it seems to be the newest conspiracy theory breadcrumb being seeded amongst the fake awake community (AKA “The Great Awakening” à la “Patriot” and New Age framing). It seems the bait has been set . . . This low hanging fruit may grow over the coming weeks . . . As it is, the You Tube version of their discussion (there have been multiple talks posted) has had nearly 170,000 views:

      May I ask how you were led to the link you provided? Were you already familiar with Jean Nolan and/or Frank Jacob?

      I can expound more on what I have discovered thus far, but this is not my post; and I think it would be best discussed (if interest) in the thread under my post (where it is more relevant – to time/timelines/Looking Glass/foresight): Incidentally, this specific conspiracy theory was germinated shortly after my post (despite its historical basis, to which I had hyperlinked). The timing (pun intended) is intriguing, to say the least.


      1. Stephers – Greatly appreciate you taking the time and focus to provide history and context to this group, the “Guardians…” that I had no metric to compare with. Will follow up as you suggest on your relevant post – much gratitude to you!


    2. Quite honestly, I think we all do that. Just that, in some cases self-preservation doesn’t mean victimizing and truly ‘trapping’ the other, it just means we are testing the waters, in order to know if that other is truly trustworthy, or not.


    1. Kenneth T,
      re: private or public (land).
      Option A: Most land ownership in the U.S. is “fee simple, ” or ownership with government-imposed limits. Fee simple ownership represents absolute ownership of real property, however it is limited by the four basic government powers of taxation, eminent domain, police power, and escheat.

      Option B: Allodial title — title with no conditions or superiors — is a rare exception, and typically as in the U.S., reserved for governments.

      “Before 1774, all land in the American colonies could also be traced to royal grants, either a single enormous grant creating each proprietary colony (e.g. Pennsylvania and Maryland), or smaller direct grants within crown colonies (e.g. Virginia). The original grantee (recipient of the land) then sold or granted parcels of land within his grant to private citizens and other legal entities. The Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended formal hostilities and recognized American independence, also had the effect of ending any residual rights held by the original grantees or the Crown. This recognized that no person holding land in the new United States owed any allegiance or duty to the Crown.”

      “Apart from land that was formally owned at the time of the Revolutionary War, most American landholders can trace their title back to grants by the federal or state governments of land obtained by purchase (Louisiana Purchase, Florida, Alaska), treaty (the Ohio Valley, New Mexico, Arizona, and California), or annexation (Texas, Hawaii). However, in reality, previous grants prior to those territories becoming U.S. possessions were recognized; ownership under French and Spanish crown grants in the Louisiana Purchase and Guadalupe-Hidalgo/Gadsden territories remained valid.”


      So, the lines of clear land ownership are blurry, and often not what the “owner” believes. Native American reservation land is the closest thing I can find to “allodial title” land in this so-called country. I’m no expert, by any means, but “fee title” could also be construed as a usufructuary title: A usufruct is a legal right accorded to a person or party that confers the temporary right to use and derive income or benefit from someone else’s property.

      “On November 10th, 2016, Danish MP Ida Auken published[1][4] an essay “Welcome To 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better,” for World Economic Forum. In the essay, Auken makes a prediction for year 2030, writing that in 2030 one doesn’t own a house, a car, appliances or clothes, instead renting everything. The essay also predicts mass surveillance and a society split in two. As of 2022, the essay is no longer available on the World Economic Forum’s website.”

      Bottom line: I do not know if there is any public land as perceived to be “owned” by “the people,” whoever that is. “The People” is undefined/undefinable, IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, under certain conditions, land can be privately owned – under “mans” law.

        The one I worry most about is the one concerning property taxes. One day, I’ll actually own my 2 acres -but only as long as I continue to pay their “tribute”.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is interesting indeed, something I have long been curious about, those ships that came from England, and the following land grants, one whole gigantic tract to William Penn. Historians tell us that people were fleeing religious persecution. If so, they would end up as indentured servants, not land holders. What I think was happening was seeding, the third and fourth sons of pedigreed Englishmen sent off to take ownership of the land. England was establishing ownership of North America, and that ownership stands to this day.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I have often considered this as well. Not from a factual perspective, but an attitudinal one. My ancestors did not ‘act’ like servants, they did not have such skills as would be necessary for the peasantry to survive, or cultivated crafts or manual labor at all. This is not something we lost over the years, it’s something we never had.


      2. Does not a Land Patent originate from a government grant? FREE of ALL encumbrances. As far as I know , so long as the Patent has been properly passed on, it remains intact. Last time I looked (the dox are public) there were a great many still intact.


  2. Beautiful, tragic story, thank you for sharing it. I think such personal stories are so important. ‘They’ are doing something similar here and it is so sneaky, so hard to call out and inform folks b/c they have no clue, no doubts, that anyone is working generationally and in a very organized fashion to steal their land. We have lots of small landowners around here still, with just fifty or a hundred acres or so, which is considered very small in these parts. The joke goes, ‘In Texas that’ll buy you a front yard!’ I’m sure there are many such places ‘out West’ as well. But they are getting well meaning land owners here to sign over their land under the premise of conservation for future generations, making it sound very appealing and the right thing to do as an ‘old man’ who now has his great-grandchildren to consider and who might divide it up among them and turn it into a subdivision or something. But they don’t take it to a lawyer (like, a good one who is not in on the con) to understand the fine print which is all about micro-managing the land for some global ‘conservation cooperative’. It’s so sad, really well-meaning folk getting scammed out of their own property, and the rest of us, their neighbors, who will be powerless once everything around us is owned by GloboCap.


  3. I’m sure that you’ve considered this, but I’ll post it up for commentary anyway… pool your resources, buy one of those perimeter parcels, and the gate is now open. Gentle coercion may be required.


    1. You would think that a group like Wild Montana, which claims one of its objectives is to “Enhance Public Land Access” (right there on their website in bold letters) would use some of their vast resources (they get tons of foundation money) to fight for the Crazies, but no, it’s crickets. I just emailed them urging them to “…get in there and start compromising and collaborating! Isn’t that what industry front groups do?”


      1. PS: Why the word “enhance”? WTF? Why not “fight for”? “Enhance” sounds like a scented candle. How do you “enhance” something? You lay back, smoke pot, and maybe nurture up your vibes to register mild opposition. That is all I can make of it. “Enhance” was a compromise, the result of a committee meeting of these paid losers.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Have you seen the documentary “Planet of the Humans”? It’s not great, definitely doesn’t go far enough imo and plays with the usual players, but it did give some insight on how these groups function and the level of corruption/compromise.


      2. Enhance implies that a workable man-made plan exists to improve Nature. On its face a foolish (as understood by the Greek Stoics, foolishness, not sin or criminality causes man’s downfall; wisdom is the antidote) notion, with no foundation, no reasonable rationale, or evidence to support it. It is pure propaganda with the primary purpose of increasing the institution’s budget and grow staff numbers. MWA, like so many other phony environmental outfits, is grant-dependent. If you want to receive grants, loyalty to the status quo must be demonstrated day in , and day out for years, even decades. In the environmental dog-eat-dog world of too many organizations and not enough grant money the most slavishly loyal NGOs are rewarded, not for protecting the environment or defending wilderness, but for working outside the IRS, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt legal guidelines to get Democrats elected.

        For me elections in the current duopolistic system is just more foolishness. More sucking up to the status quo with different optics for the hive minded who want to signal their virtue on election day with that “I voted” sticker. It’s like announcing to your family in the morning that you had cleared your bowels, only a bit less meaningful.

        There are a few Montanans still out there who are not satisfied with the same-old, same-old. Jim Hunt is not afraid to express his dissatisfaction publicly. Enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This reminds me of one of the Constitutionalist-types that The Quash always goes on about. Clinging to a document that has never worked in practice but in theory sounds really good. What we tolerate we get more of and we know the laws are written by the perpetrators and we have known this for a very long time, long before I was born, it’s just ‘history’ on repeat and if the Constitution has been broken for a century plus, what’s the point really of still harping on about it?


            1. “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”

              ― Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Above comment on a “thistle” was @Mark for the constitution and Bill of rights to wipe their bottoms during covid. That was nicely put,Mark.


  4. Tried and true Rand Corp. powerful Delphi Technique likely used.
    Very successful in steering disputes, to the “right” results.
    Had occasion to tip off taxpayers in school district issues,
    as, like MT mentioned, the good people wouldn’t imagine
    such treachery. Once they saw the consensus traps and challenged the
    proceedings, had some wins… back in the 90’s


    1. Thanks, B1. Rand is one to follow to gain understanding of how the opposition operates. I am heartened by the recent expansion of pressure on federal agencies to “put up, or shut up” in federal court. When litigation spreads to states like Indiana, you can be pretty certain that the top industry and government strategists are sensing that something is seriously wrong with their framing and narrative — and that’s all they’ve got in the final analysis.

      I know some of these activists in the Midwest, and happy they’ve taken the bit and running hard outside the paddock. Can’t let a bunch of Montana yahoos have all the fun.

      100th banana, good earth people.


  5. Here’s the roll. Another ‘hit’ piece.
    The Paint of Regret
    Here’s my ‘hit piece’ on the character scheme currently called Miles Mathis.
    Math is Miles, the hidden guru, who knows we hate math. 
What a dear to us. Cares to spare us. Sparrows on the vine.
Sorry souls still barely, dutifully, confusingly, somehow, still, buying their pack of lies. He will pave the way, to the past of no future.
    You don’t enter from logic. You enter knowing you will regret, everything. Truth or falsity, good or evil, a face or a frame. A farce in a name. Terror and/or bliss. With one hand he’ll show you how you’ve been tricked. With the other an impossible escape, impossible to miss.
    But not in any way to truly inform. Only in a masked ball of trickery old born. Not thanks to true care. But because of boredom too ancient to bare.
    A hero thwarted by arrogance, embittered by a life poorly spent, the sorry stone that’s gathered no moss, yet tries to lay claims to a wisdom never lost.


    1. You could call it the “paint of regret” or the “pain of regret” and either way it’d fit. Your “Hit Piece” was interesting ,Kensho. And it was written with some Talent. Did you write that ? I don’t follow Miles Mathis enough to judge the man either way. I’ve read some of his stuff, Somethings I agree with; Somethings I don’t. But I do know a lot of people here have different opinions of him. Sometimes it’s best to write a piece and keep the persons real name cryptic. it makes things more interesting and keeps people guessing who you’re really talking about. That way nobody gets hurt or insulted over petty opinions, you know what I Mean ? Other than that… it was a Great Hit Piece.My Friend.


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