Friday, December 15, 2017

trump in my backyard

Here's my most recent piece on Donald Trump and the state of higher education: The University in Trumpland

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

on the joy reid show, last weekend

Here's a link to a conversation I had with Joy Reid on MSNBC last weekend.  It comes about 57 minutes in: Mattson on Joy Reid Show

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My latest -- baboom!

More thinking about the 1980s and contemporary politics: Trump and Nukes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The State of Contemporary Conservatism

This was written around the time that Republicans fumbled around with health care "reform."  There's something there...  For now, see Conservatism in the Age of Trump

Monday, July 17, 2017


and the living is easy.  Sort of.  This summer I found myself the lone pioneer, having to set track for the west by myself.  Vicky has a job she needed to attend to (though she joined me for a wonderful part of my summer travels) and my son Jay is now working full-time for the Wayne National Forest, which is closeby to Athens.  So alone...

Some of this became a bucket list of places I've wanted to visit for a long time.

First off, and perhaps most interestingly, there was one of Obama's most recent national monuments -- Bears Ears NM.  Particularly Dark Canyon, which Vicky and I have wanted to hike for some time now.  I had seen the entry to Dark Canyon  from the Colorado when I rafted Cataract Canyon (and hiked the Maze).  It was dark and watery.  Not the upper canyon, as I found on a three day backpack down Woodenshoe Trail, to Dark Canyon, and then Peavine back up.  Almost lost it due to dehydration and a poorly marked map that shows a spring about half way.  I got disoriented for a bit and ran into a fine young couple who helped me figure out where I had made a wrong turn.  All in all, a marvelous hike, beautiful and colorful and a little under 50 miles.  (And to the hike, you drive through the Bears Ears, literally).

Then to the Uncompaghre National Forest for a mountain bike ride.  About fifty downed trees on the trail, due to recent wind storms that had hit...

From there it was time to pick up Vicky in Rock Springs, Wyoming.  Drove through Flaming Gorge, picked her up, and then we went back to Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam where I did a twelve mile packraft trip...  It was supposed to be six miles, but I stupidly missed the pull-out and had to hitch a ride back.  Then we drove down to Vernal, Utah to meet up for our trip down the Yampa with OARS.  Marvelous five day trip, with gorgeous sidehikes, wonderful rapids, and even some fishing in a side canyon that I've fished before.

It was time to take Vicky back and take off to complete some unfinished trips.  First and most of all was the upper part of the Colorado River, below I-70.  I managed Ruby/Horsethief (with great side hikes up Mee and Knowles Canyons) and the "Moab Daily" on my own in my packraft (with the daily I also managed a ride back with my bike).  Then took a wonderful commercial trip down Westwtater -- rapids yahoo and a beautiful campsite in the canyon with its dark walls and red ceilings...

Also managed a marvelous trip in the Escalante Dominguez Wilderness area, with a fifteen mile float down the Gunnison, a six mile hike up Dominguez (Big) Canyon, and a challenging bike ride back to the Escalante put-in (fifteen or so miles).  Then drove to upper section of Dominguez Canyon, camped one evening and hiked down -- marvelously diffferent characteristic from lower canyon, more pine trees and less desert-feel.

From there is was time to complete the first part of the Kokopelli Mtn. Bike trail that I had traveled on last year after doing the Dolores River.  That was a tough bike ride, and so was this one, about thirty miles down some of the toughest bike trails I've ever been on.  Had a nice campsite after carrying my bike up for about two miles...

And that's about all folks.  My head cleared...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

the nixon parallel again...

Here' s an interesting story that I was interviewed for...  Bet you can guess: Trump and Nixon.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

imagine my surprise

when I found out that Steve Bannon cited my grad school adviser, Christopher ("Kit") Lasch, as an important thinker for the evolution of Trumpism.  Well, here's a longish response to such peril: Oracle For Trump?

Monday, February 13, 2017


My latest for Democracy JournalExplaining Trumpism

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My latest amidst an avalanche -- the dreadful term "political correctness"

In Colorado, skiing deep powder at Wolf Creek (ah, yes).  Now my latest on the dreadful term "political correctness"....PC indeed.