Montana West

13 Dec 18

So I haven’t wrote in a while, mostly because I was at a loss on what to write. The rest was pure laziness. How do I expect to get this blog off the ground? I mean it’s not gonna write it’s self. The big update in my life right now is I’m moving. That’s right […]

12 Dec 18
The Leadership Institute

Jody Wisternoff He may no longer be the “precocious” teen who cracked the music industry, but Jody Wisternoff is still not afraid to push the boundaries or test his own limits. His fearless attitude has seen him go from a 16-year-old playing his first club gig to controlling the crowd at the Universe rave, preaching […]

12 Dec 18
Saying the Unsaid in New York

Debt and infrastructure investment are supposed to go together.   State and local governments have operating budgets and capital budgets, and constitutions and charters that say that while money may be borrowed for capital improvements, the operating budget is supposed to be balanced. During the Generation Greed era, however, that isn’t what has happened. For the U.S. […]

12 Dec 18
CBS Philly

We may soon know if former Vice President Joe Biden is planning to run for president.

12 Dec 18
Archy news nety

(CNN) – What do scientists see when we compare our future climate with the past? In less than 200 years, people have reversed a cooling trend of millions of years, new research suggests. If global warming continues without control, the earth could appear on Earth 3 million years ago by 2030, according to a study […]

12 Dec 18
24/7 Wall St.

Pies may be filled with meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables, but when most people think of pie, they probably envision a pastry shell filled with cooked fruit or custard, sometimes with more pastry on top in either a latticework pattern or a solid sheet. That’s the kind of pie most pie shops and pie-making bakeries […]

12 Dec 18
There were a lot of significant events at the movies in 2018. Perhaps the main one being that people went to the movies. Went a lot, despite dire warnings of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other such streaming services taking computerized control of all good, 21st Century citizens’ moving picture viewing habits. Instead, folks flocked to cinemas, especially for anything with Marvel superheroes in it. Disney-owned Marvel Studios registered the third and fourth highest North American grosses of all time with “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” and its “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” as well as other studios’ Marvel Comics-based “Deadpool 2” and “Venom,” added up to half of 2018’s top 10 box-office titles. Heck, even the third highest-grossing film of the year, “The Incredibles 2” from sister Disney unit Pixar, played like a Marvel cartoon. And December release “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” will likely be as big a hit with the public as it has been with critics, who uniformly seem to consider it 2018’s finest animated feature. #gallery-1471607-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1471607-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1471607-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1471607-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ This image released by Netflix shows Yalitza Aparicio, center, in a scene from the film “Roma,” by filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron. On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best foreign language film. The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6. (Carlos Somonte/Netflix via AP) John Cho stars as David Kim in Screen Gems’ SEARCHING. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Kitchens; (l to r.) Teyonah Parris as Ernestine, KiKi Layne as Tish, and Regina King as Sharon star in Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, an Annapurna Pictures release. Iolanda Amato and Pio Amato in Jonas Carpignano’s A CIAMBRA. Courtesy of Sundance Selects. A Sundance Selects’ release. This image released by Magnolia Pictures shows a scene from “Shoplifters.” On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best foreign language film. The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6. (Magnolia Pictures via AP) Andrew Bleechington in “Life and Nothing More” (courtesy of CFI) mid90s Credit: Tobin Yelland In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, actor-director Ethan Hawke poses for a portrait in New York to promote his film “Blaze.” (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP) Cold War (courtesy of Amazon Studios) Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018 This image released by Netflix shows filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, left, and actress Yalitza Aparicio on the set of “Roma.” On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, Cuaron was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best director for the film. The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6. (Carlos Somonte/Netflix via AP) Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018 The Amato Family in Jonas Carpignano’s A CIAMBRA. Courtesy of Sundance Selects. A Sundance Selects’ release. A scene from “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Courtesy of Sony) Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018 A scene from Italian crime drama “A Ciambra.” Photo courtesy IFC Films. “Spider-Verse” introduces Miles Morales, the Latino/African-American incarnation of the webslinger, to cinema. That satisfyingly mirrors “Black Panther’s” early year critical and commercial triumph with the first almost all-African superhero spectacular. Beyond that, 2018 was another highly fruitful year of films by black auteurs: “Panther’s” Ryan Coogler, “A Wrinkle in Time’s” Ava DuVernay, “BlacKkKlansman’s” Spike Lee, “If Beale Street Could Talk’s” Barry Jenkins, “Widows’” Steve McQueen, “The Hate U Give’s” George Tillman Jr., “Sorry to Bother You’s” Boots Riley, “Creed II’s” Steven Cale Jr. Directors of other colors made insightful films about African-American culture (Antonio Mendez Esparza’s “Life & Nothing More,” Joseph Kahn’s “Bodied”). Of course, the big news in August was “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first all-Asian cast Hollywood production in 25 years and a monster hit. Just as noteworthy, though, was the clever computer screen thriller “Searching,” which featured a predominantly Asian-American ensemble while never once remarking on its central, highly compelling family’s ethnicity. Miles Morales aside, U.S. Latinos seemed underrepresented by comparison – again – in this year’s movies. Mexican filmmakers, however, extended their decade of artistic dominance with Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” the best theatrical experience of the year – and, defiantly enough, one that that new devil Netflix got roped into paying for. As for women, well, a lot of great roles for actresses this year – “The Favourite” appears to be emerging as the movie awards favorite, at least for this week – and some fine films by female directors. Last weekend alone saw the L.A. releases of “Ben Is Back,” “Vox Lux,” “Dumplin’,” “The Party’s Just Beginning” and “Mary Queen of Scots,” all fine female-forward stories and the latter three directed by women. But the first full year of #MeToo/Time’sUp awareness in Hollywood saw only one film by a woman, DuVernay’s, crack the nine-figure ceiling. And complaints are starting to pile up about female filmmakers’ lack of traction in the current awards season. So, all of that and a whole lot of musicals in this eventful year. But what you really want to know is, what are my top 10 movies of 2018, right? I’m approaching that a little differently this time, in a way that I rarely do. For these kinds of lists, I tend to think weighted rankings mean a lot, though I could not tell you why. But in 2018, I saw a number of great films that I more or less liked equally, and just one that transcended everything else. So yeah, I have a best movie of the year, but the rest of the top 10 (teased, inelegantly as usual, to a dozen or so) are listed alphabetically with a few add-on exceptions. Don’t call me a wimp. Or if you must, at least call me a wimp who saw a lot that he liked. Best film of 2018: Roma: Everything is just about perfectly realized in director/writer/ cinematographer Alfonso Cuaron’s memory film from his 1970s, Mexico City youth. The fascinating particularity of its incidents, the richly designed frames of its silky yet realistic, black-and-white images, the precisely edited length of time our eyes are given to savor each of those shots’ details and implications . . . and Yalitza Aparicio, the amateur actress who turns the selfless, loving nanny stereotype into a universe of inner conflicts and quietly churning mysteries. The other best films of 2018: Black Panther: Is it possible to separate “Black Panther’s” unprecedented cultural and commercial impact from its groundbreaking artistry? I don’t know, but I do know that Ryan Coogler not only made a superhero film like no other, but also made the most African film – informed by the continent’s aesthetics, traditions and politics – Hollywood has ever bankrolled. He didn’t avoid the crowd-pleasing elements that some (wrongly) say make all Marvel movies the same, but he made the humor and social anxiety entirely his own. As for the action, two words: battle rhinos. Blaze: There was only one authentic movie about a country artist’s substance abuse, busted romance, struggles with selling out and untimely death this year, and it didn’t involve Lady Gaga. Ethan Hawke’s biopic of mostly unknown Texas troubadour Blaze Foley featured a fully lived-in lead performance by actual musician Ben Dickey and an even better, spookily accurate supporting portrayal of Foley’s enabling frenemy Townes Van Zandt by another music pro, Charlie Sexton. It says something, too, that this was the 2018 music film that onetime “A Star Is Born” actor Kris Kristofferson chose to cameo in. Hawke wins the 2018 trifecta for directing this, starring in “First Reformed” (the year’s best performance) and expertly playing a burnt-out singer-songwriter himself in “Juliet, Naked.” A Ciambra: Though an American, filmmaker Jonas Carpignano brought an Italian Romany community to persuasive, pulsating and morally messed-up life in this story of criminality as multi-generational way of life (and not just for the Romani, but the Calabrian cops and African immigrants they interact with, too). I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many tight, handheld shots swirl around so jitter-free. Cold War: Like “Roma,” something of a speculative, black-and-white memory film, this one inspired by writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski’s parents’ stormy relationship with one another and as artists, in Communist Poland and beyond. The year’s swooniest mad love story. And oddly enough its best musical, which it’s not really even trying to be. If Beale Street Could Talk: Following his Oscar-winning “Moonlight” with this heart-holding adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel proves that Barry Jenkins understands love better than any other director working today. Wounded soul performances from KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Brian Tyree Henry and many others speak to institutionalized racism’s horrendous cost, sure, but it’s the commitment that they express and act on – that their characters live on – which so artfully warms this otherwise tragic story. Life and Nothing More: A single mom struggles with her teenaged son’s drift toward delinquency and a lot of other stuff she’s not equipped to handle, but does anyway. Somehow, Spanish director Antonio Mendez Esparza approaches this oft-told tale in vivid, convincing, thoroughly African-American detail. There was hardly any script, and the ad-libbing skills of nonpro (in resume only) actors Regina Williams, Andrew Bleechington and Robert Williams were clearly key to achieving that effect. It’s also the most artfully framed film about messy reality this side of “Roma.” Mid90s/Wildlife: Admired actors Jonah Hill and Paul Dano’s first feature directing efforts both turned out exceptionally well, capturing not only terrific performances but strong senses of their places and times (the delinquent L.A. skateboarding scene of 20 years ago in Hill’s, early ‘60s dead-end smalltown Montana in Dano’s). I guess we might legitimately squeeze YouTube star Bo Burnham’s astonishingly empathetic “Eighth Grade” into this grouping if we want to. Which we do. Searching: Rescuing the it’s-all-happening-on- computer-screens conceit from crappy horror movies, novice feature director Aneesh Chaganty tells the best mystery of the year while presenting the full measure of parental angst and the story of one family, the Silicon Valley Kims, with heartrending completeness. All props to “Vice’s” Christian Bale, but John Cho, as “Searching’s” widowed dad probing the internet and the maddening inconsistencies of human actions, had the toughest technical acting job of the year, got the full measure of a man across with, mainly, just a GoPro to play off of. Chaganty and his effects team also had a blast creating a Wild West Web that looks and acts much like the real one, but had to be entirely, and often wittily, fabricated for this movie. Shoplifters: For years now, Hirokazu Kore-eda has been compared to Japan’s (and the world’s) past master of family drama, Yasujiro Ozu. With “Shoplifters” Kore-eda not only fully blossoms into the position, but slyly subverts our very notions of what a family is or can be. The last half hour is among the most emotionally potent stretches of cinema you’ll ever see. Zama: The psychosis of colonialism fills the backgrounds of Lucrecia Martel’s eccentric and feverishly gorgeous study of an 18th Century Argentine functionary who just wants to get home to his family in Spain. If only the local ladies who keep distracting him, and the king, would permit it. Based on Antonio Di Benedetto’s novel, this thing is cruelly woke, yes. But more important, it’s distinctively nuts. #gallery-1471607-2 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1471607-2 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1471607-2 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1471607-2 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ Regina Williams as Regina in “Life and Nothing More.” (Courtesy of CFI) This image released by Annapurna Pictures shows Regina King in a scene from “If Beale Street Could Talk.” On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, King was nominated for a Golden Globe award for supporting actress in a motion picture for her role in the film. The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6. (Tatum Mangus/Annapurna Pictures via AP) DF-05926 – L-R: Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Amandla Stenberg, and Common in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE HATE U GIVE. Photo Credit: Erika Doss. Performers of the Year: We’ve already mentioned Ethan Hawke, right? So how about some love for Three Reginas: Regina Hall (“Support the Girls,” “The Hate U Give”), Regina King (“Beale Street”) and Regina Williams (“Life and Nothing More”)? Two veterans summoning all their powers and a first-timer who could not be more real, they made motherhood memorable and magnificent this year, whether as surrogate to a bevy of young women, concerned and conflicted but not necessarily compromised, unstoppable in defense of her unjustly treated son until she hits the wall of a stranger abused at least as badly, or justifiably just fed up but continuing on.
12 Dec 18
Professional Criminals of America -- REVISED

Charles Henry Marion (Abt. 1840-19??), aka Boston Charley, Charles Mason, Charles Marsh, Charles Merrion/Marrion, Charles Mortis/Martis, Charles Whiteman, Charles Lloyd — Swindler, Bunco Steerer, Pickpocket, Political Fixer From Byrnes’s text: DESCRIPTION. Forty-five years old in 1886. Heavy build. Height, 5 feet 11 inches. Weight, 200 pounds. Dark-brown hair, turning gray; brown eyes, fair complexion. Generally […]

12 Dec 18
“Your country is desolate,Your cities are burned with fire;Strangers devour your land in your presence;And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” —Isaiah 1:7 I grew up in the Central Valley of California, an enormous flat plain enclosed between the Coastal Range and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I moved from the verdant Sacramento Valley to the drier and more rural San Joaquin Valley to the south to study ecology in Merced. To a Northern Californian, forest fires are not uncommon, but they were something that happened “out there,” somewhere in the hills. Sometimes, the smoke would come and pass after an uncomfortable few days. But these days, especially since I moved into the San Joaquin Valley, where no hills or buildings stand between me and the fires, the experience has been sharpened. The day a fire breaks out, I wake up and ash is coating my window. I step outside of my front door and see a mountain of smoke rising up from behind the foothills just beneath Yosemite. The breadth of these clouds, especially when they haven’t yet had time to dissipate, is beyond measure. Against the enormous empty blue of the sky, they look like solid rocks hanging impossibly in the air. I get ready for work and leave my house. The DC-9 airplanes shuttle back and forth from the fire, containing the blaze to a manageable region. You don’t “fight” fires like these, not in the way you fight a house fire. You let them burn, contained to the wilderness, hopefully far away from any homes and structures. Weeks after one of these fires hit Yosemite in 2015, I drove to Mariposa, a tiny town on the road to the park. The horrifying Rim Fire, the largest to ever form in the Sierras, had ravaged this area just two years before. A trailer sitting on a patch of unburnt grass and stone was surrounded in all directions by black, twisted trees and the raw ashen earth. A hand-painted sign was propped up at the edge of the property: “Thank You CalFire.” The state now spends almost the entire year at risk for forest fires, which have slowly grown in size as record-setting fires occur year after year. The rural enclave of Paradise, in the mountains of the northern Central Valley, has been leveled. It’s a degree of cataclysmic destruction unmatched by fires in the modern era. Sacramento beat out Beijing and Mumbai for the worst air quality in the world. As clouds of ash descended on the Bay, socialists in San Francisco handed out more face masks to residents than the city did. The state continues to use prison labor in firefighting. At the national level, the fires quickly became a spectacle, upon which various factions could project their present obsessions and insecurities. While this latest set of fires burned on just north of us, rapidly becoming the most destructive in state history, I was back in Sacramento, visiting the family of a friend who had spent the weekend in Los Angeles. There, the Woolsey Fire had destroyed a great deal of Malibu and killed three people. Local media attention focused intensely on the victims of this blaze. At one point, during a discussion, a panelist learned for the first time that there was a second fire up north and mentioned this to the other hosts. The commentators began musing on how sad it was that “they will be competing for resources.” The ideology of the market, which at its root has always been the cause of these disasters, has infected our responses to them as well. Not that it’s surprising that this was their first utterance on learning of the two disasters. Viewing all acts and decisions as strategic moves in a competition for vanishing resources is, at its core, how capitalism encourages us to interact with the world around us. Those who conscript themselves to the pursuit of profit have been given more or less free reign to shape us as they please, producing both the disasters and the reflexive responses that follow. An honest assessment is elusive, but begins with a rejection of this moral disfigurement and discovering the murkier and more painful relationships between us and the land where we live, lying somewhere between the poetic and clinical view that my work as an ecologist straddles. I feel trapped between the knowledge of the causes and the impossibility of the results: over 80 dead; destructive mudslides poisoning what should have been the solace of rain; grey haze drifting across my hometown. A slew of sterile descriptors explain the cause of these horrors: parts per million CO2, rising mean temperatures, local climate velocities—each as real as the nightmare of the fire season, but incapable of telling the full story on their own. To tell that story for places like Malibu, we need to bring together the science that tells us what is happening with a study of the political economy that tells us why. Malibu is a beautiful landscape, scarred by a city whose very existence burdens the land and threatens its residents. With the structure of classic tragic plays, its first act, decades of development and expansion into the chaparral and along the ever-flammable wooded wilderness, establishes a grand collective hubris. The runaway housing market measures and encourages this pride, directing development to expand into places that should not be developed. In both Malibu and Paradise, markets have driven the expansion of the “wildland-urban interface,” or WUI. This is a region defined by the US Forest Service as the edges of human development, where houses and the wildlands meet and mingle, where the full fury of forest fires comes into contact with human beings most intensely. In the last three decades, the size of the WUI has grown enormously, as housing is built more and more aggressively at higher and higher cost for those who demand simulations of privacy and unspoilt wilderness. Aside from the immediate ecological concerns posed by large numbers of humans living in environments unaccustomed to their presence, there are long-term risks, like fires, that are rarely, if ever, incorporated into the logic of the market. As in every tragedy, there come countervailing voices from the chorus. For Malibu, that voice was Mike Davis’s. Decades before $1.6 billion in property went up in smoke, he wrote the landmark essay “The Case for Letting Malibu Burn.” Through historical and Marxist lenses, he describes the city of Malibu as a haven for primarily white expats fleeing dense cities to establish strongholds distant from the working classes. In insulating themselves from the working class, they could manifest the dream of the bourgeois: a beautiful, wealthy place full of beautiful, wealthy people. But these strongholds are condemned to destruction. The land is not able to carry a city upon it—and we have underwritten this risk by defending the indefensible idea of a city in a fire-prone region of the state. These pockets of development in the WUI are contradictions, and like all contradictions, they get resolved. We arrive at tragic catharsis. Paradise has been erased from the map and Malibu burned again and again in exactly the way that Davis predicted. Even so, it is beyond the ability of anyone to reasonably counter the impulse to repair and rebuild. These are people’s homes and their lives that are destroyed. It is a collective healing to take up the work of repair, but there is an agonizing futility in fighting against this impossible systemic collapse. My ecological research is inapplicable to the concerns of those mourning the dead. Any impact my work could have would be overwhelmed by two opposing impulses—the urgent need for change and the ritualized desire for normalcy, a return to home. Both are fundamentally impossible to manifest as an individual, alienating us further from the imagination of solutions. Rather than drawing on the very human desire to act, we become part of the turmoil. I become a part of it too, coughing out soot in the shower, thinking of places I’ve stood in the hills near Chico that are now twisted, scorched fragments of what I remember. I think about the past summer, and the clouds of smoke that reached from San Diego to Montana to Minnesota. We watched the Howe Ridge Fire on the pebble beach of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park as night fell. Cars flew down the roads and fan-boats made their way across the lake, carrying people to and from the blaze, as it slowly became the only light to see by on the shore. Stars were occluded by the rising smoke’s massive shape, replaced by tiny red cinders burning on the hills below, while the Perseid meteor shower glittered above the trees behind us. We chased down voyeurs flying drones into the blaze and dressed them down for potentially interfering with frequencies used by firefighters, thinking of our friend in a hotshot crew currently working another fire nearby. I began studying ecology before I studied Marx, but these two fields have grown together for me, informing and reinforcing each other. I loved and sought to understand systems—discovering the interaction between parts of a whole and drawing out the essence of the assemblage. Both these fields have given me a way to make sense of the place I was born and raised, its many systems, its multitude of components. California, and the Central Valley more so, feel self-contained, set apart from the systems that govern the rest of the West. Like the mythical Island of California that haunted colonial cartographers, the valley’s enclosing mountains carve away a space that does not belong to the rest of the country, that grows and dies back on a heartbeat of rain, development, and some of the world’s most advanced industrial agriculture. Each summer, tens of millions of acres and tens of thousands of workers’ bodies are beaten by the sun to produce the majority of our country’s food. We shuttle water from river to canal to pump to produce these fruits of this disfigured land. The system functions, allocating and reallocating capital and goods from place to place, depositing it in scenic vistas, in millionaire mansions, in overflowing cities. And then, the smoke comes into the valley, reminding us that all these allocations have produced consequences that we must live with. California was the land that long ago we took under the knife and plough and asphalt. Today we are in the midst of a new transition. California is descending into a new normal before our eyes, a steadily worsening bruise, the hemophiliac forests pulsing yearly with flames and destruction. A network of disasters inflicted on the state throws these systems I want to understand back in my face. Understanding is not enough. Popula is 100% ad-free, reader-supported journalism accountable only to you. Every dollar of your subscription goes straight to our work. Thank you for supporting Popula.
12 Dec 18
The Viking

| Environment | The Guardian On 5,000 hectares of unploughed prairie in north-eastern Montana, hundreds of wild bison roam once again. But this herd is not in a national park or a protected sanctuary – they are on tribal lands. Belonging to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Fort Peck Reservation, the 340 bison is […]

12 Dec 18
Be a Seed for Change

December 1 1640 – A nationalist revolution in Portugal led to independence from Spain as the Spanish garrisons were driven out of Portugal. 1822 – Dom Pedro, founder of the Brazilian Empire, was crowned as the first emperor of Brazil. , 1918 – Iceland was granted independence by the Danish parliament. 1919 – Lady Nancy […]

12 Dec 18

It’s now been a year since I left the university, diploma in hand, for the real world. I traveled away from my comfortable collegiate bubble to find my place. I’m still not sure why I was in such a hurry. Since then, I’ve learned a few things about life. But don’t get me wrong: I’m […]

12 Dec 18
Help Hornbrook Horses

:‎ These are the Artists who have so generously donated pieces of their work to help raise money for the Hornbrook Horses. Enjoy the browse and see what you’d like to bid on at the Dec 13, Hornbrook Benefit Concert.  Teri Coté – DRUM JEWELS – jewelry donated DRUM JEWELS  Jackson and Junge Gallery […]