Spoonfed And Spoiled


Without competition, we can become complacent and sure of ourselves. News broadcasting is an excellent example, the MSM who took it upon themselves to bestow the title, The Fourth Estate, upon their vocation, became overly confident that they would never be challenged from their assumed official position. Thus they were free to engage in propaganda for the Progressive Socialists with nary a challenge for decades.

I purchased a mare from my neighbor, an old bachelor who lived down the road about seven miles. He had a huge ranch and lived in a house that was like one of my trap cabins. Oh well, a single man doesn’t need a lot of room or fancy furniture. The mare was a decent mare for work, she drove, packed, and rode; but didn’t really socialize with other horses all that well.

The best part about her was that she produced my once in a life time mountain horse Dallas. I loved Dallas, but she was a bit of a character that scared a lot of men; oh, she was perfect with children, I could line up four or five on her back and she would walk around all day for them and if one of them started to fall off, she would stop until the others pulled the wayward child back on. With adults and me it was another matter indeed. She would give you all the buck you could handle for the first 30 seconds of everyday, but then she would be an excellent horse the rest of the day. She was quite dramatic and would often buck towards people standing around a cookfire or other riders on horses to add to the excitement; consequently, no one else wanted to ride her, it was just as well, the whole situation kind of developed a mystique about me and my wild and crazy horse.

I never developed that bucking horse riding style that wins the big money in rodeos; as a matter of fact, my riding style on a bucking horse was not an image of beauty: I just grabbed hold of leather and hair and made the best of it. There was a little secret I never told anyone back then- if I started to come off, she would slow down until I was back in the center of the saddle. So everyone considered me a wild bucking horse rider or buckaroo; so why should I have felt obliged to tell them the truth, besides no one ever asked.

Dallas saved me from injury or death on three occasions. The most memorable was on an elk hunting trip Northeast of Tumbler Ridge back before they put a gravel road in with bridges, changing the country forever: there are some of us who hate to see the country opened up with a road, it changes everything. For twenty thousand years or more, only the most hardy bush apes could make it in there; after a road is punched in, any damn fool with a four wheel drive truck can drive in like going through the drive-thru at Starbucks.

It was about a sixty mile ride from Lone Prairie, I left my truck there at a friend’s ranch and continued south to get to to an area I thought might be good for elk and Grizzly with Dallas and two pack horses.

Sixty miles doesn’t sound like much of a ride, but it was new country to me with seismic trails and game trails to follow and several fast rivers and fairly desolate mountains to cross. I remember walking along a mountain ridge with a raging cross wind. The wind was so strong that I had to walk on the downwind side of Dallas to keep from being blown off the eighteen inch trail along the top of the steep ridge. Rocks were being picked up from down below and thrown overhead at such a terrific speed that they sounded like artillery rounds flying overhead. I was happy to get off that mountain, the horses were stoic about the situation as they picked their way through the broken rocks of the narrow trail or else they had no idea how dangerous those cannon ball size rocks were that were flying overhead. The worst part was the loss of my lucky eagle feather that blew away from my western hat; I had a stampede string to keep the hat screwed on to my head, but it was a sad thing to lose that particular feather.

Rocks And More Rocks

Once we were off that ridge we were out of the fiercest winds and looking for a place to camp before dark. It is the responsibility of the horses to pack me and my gear over the mountains safely; it is my responsibility to find feed and water for the night. A human can go hungry and without water for days, but a horse needs that daily intake of feed and water. Each horse will need at least thirty pounds of feed and five gallons of water while they are working: they will still lose weight, but they become lean working machines after a week in the mountains.

The prospects for that night were not looking good. No grass and no water, I was beginning to feel guilty for taking advantage of my horses; just then about a half hour after dark we came to a large bowl approximately 300 yards across. There was grass in the bowl so there must be water down there, I knew that because this area had no snow when most of the mountains we had walked over had 2 to 3 feet of snow. It was a micro climate of high alpine desert, not all that unusual, but I can’t explain the specifics as to why. We walked around the perimeter peering through the dark to find a way into the little valley of milk and honey. The walls were too steep and high to even consider jumping off of, for that is what you would need to do to get into the valley, but then I found a small stand of twenty foot poplars growing out of a gravel slide that offered a small game trail to the bottom of the valley, it was steep, but it looked doable. I asked Dallas to start down the gravel and hoped she didn’t mess up: I leaned back as we started down to keep a semblance of balance, her steps were short and careful, my shoulder blades were on her hips and I brought my moccasins up and rested them on her withers. Each step threw me one way and then the other. I held on to the lead pack horse’s lead shank ant the second one was tied to that one’s tail. They weren’t nearly as graceful as Dallas, their pack boxes got caught up in the Poplar branches and they bumped into Dallas and each other on the way down. It was tense there for a few minutes, but I had complete faith in Dallas to get us to the bottom safely. That is the beauty of a good mountain horse, it is a partnership like no other, the horse trusts you completely and you must let them take control when their abilities can handle the situation better than yours.

When I sat upright in the saddle, the horses trotted over to the four inch rivulet of water to drink their daily ration of five gallons, I quickly unloaded the gear and stripped the tack and let the horses eat their fill the rest of the night in my natural corral. I was worried about climbing out in the morning, but like Scarlet O’Hara, I figured tomorrow is another day that will take care of itself. In the mean time, I could make a nice meal, drink all the water I wanted from my own artesian spring, and have a few sips of whiskey, while listening to the odd wolf singing to the stars. What a way to spend the evening.

Hopefully the horses wouldn’t get spooked and run over me while I was sleeping. Dallas wouldn’t make a mistake like that, but the pack horses I had on that trip weren’t all that smart.

I woke up to a beautiful morning; although, it was a bit brisk. The horses seemed to now we had a serious climb and they were all business as I tacked them up and laced on the packs. The uphill climb was too steep to ride out, so I would lead dallas with the horses all tied to each other’s tails. If one of the pack horses fell down, I was sure she could pull them both up the hill without hesitation. She was at least half Clyde and her strength was never questioned. She was also the least likely to slip and fall, she was just too sure footed.

I was leading Dallas and made it halfway up the gravel slide, when I lost my footing and fell flat on my face. As soon as I landed, I realized the danger I was in. If Dallas plowed over the top of me, the pack horses would have no choice but to follw and after three horses walking over the top of me, I probably wouldn’t be able to ever get up off that gravel. Before I could roll to the side, I felt the big knees of Dallas land on each side of my left thigh. She had dropped to her knees while scrambling up that hilside like a dog to keep from running over the top of me. The first pack horse plowed into her hind quarters and her big head slammed into my back, a second later the second pack horse plowed into the first and her head hit my back once again. The three horses were jammed up on the gravel and I was holding up the show. I reached over ad grabbed the trunk of a Poplar sapling, rolled out of the way, and threw her lead shank over the saddle and watched tose horses scramble up that hillside with pride.

Now you could say I am spoiled when it comes to a mountain horse, but then again, I will probably never have another one like Dallas. We have had a situation where politicians and news agencies were spoiled by controlling the news for decades.

There was never anything to challenge their message; however, radio began to gather up a large listening audience with personalities that challenged the subtle and covert Progressive message. It has been a strong and loyal following, but radio has a limited market because of people, their lifestyles, and their schedules. Then the Fox News Channel started on cable, suddenly there was another segment of the US population that was no longer swallowing the Progressive message and now with the internet and an attack force of Conservative blog sites offering challenging and informative Conservative messaging, the once sacred Main Stream Media is no longer considered sacrosanct. The standbys of yesteryear that controlled so much of the news with their bias and prejudice is now becoming nothing more than a filling station for talking points for the least innovative of Liberals.

The desperation becomes obvious, when we have a tragedy committed by a schizophrenic and the Progressive Socialist propaganda machine hits the ground running trying to blame this random violence on the emerging Conservative media message. Citing vague and dubious sentences that have almost no relevancy, they complain that the Conservative message elicits violence and mayhem; unfortunately, the president of our country, the leader of the Progressive Socialist movement in this country if not the world, has promoted violent confrontation amongst his followers. Their argument looks weak and without substance, but with President Obama encouraging his people to bring a gun, punish their enemies, and get in their faces; their argument loses all credibility. The world is fast realizing the absurdity of the desperation and classless antics of a failed Propaganda bureau with its impotent calls for a Fairness Doctrine to stop the dynamo called Conservatism that is gaining momentum with each day. To the Progressive Socialist, this challenge is like an omen that portends their demise and like a drowning man trying to grasp anything to keep from slipping into the abyss, they want the conservative message muzzled, for in the arena of ideas, they don’t have the ability to compete.

They can only feebly try to repackage Marxism and wreck the American economy; however, people are realizing the advantages of sound fiscal policy rather than profligate spending and bizarre taxing schemes in an effort to play a never ending game of catch up with the economy. Their efforts to limit free speech because of the weakness of their ideas, the failure of their policies, and the intellectual vacuity of their leadership will not work in our society: it is too late, we know what freedom is and we will never relinquish our freedom; especially, to facilitate the Progressive Socialist message.

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Another great one man-how in the world have you packed so many adventures like this into just one life time?

Tough riding for tough riders in the tough foothills. Always wanted to do it but, we were flown into that part of the world. Tumbler Ridge is a town filled with Newfie miners always digging for that coal. Some logging out of Chetwynd and natural gas drilling to really spur the economy. Tough world where you come from Skookum.

Skookum, you are 100% correct about the gold mining that I forgot about, and how could I forget about the Klondike. I guess when they talked mining, we always thought of the coal miners.

Now you got me started. Gonna talk to my Army buddies- 2 Lord Strathconas, 2 PPCLI, and 2 other sappers. Out of the 6, 2 would go up there for the riding and fishing. If I sell it right, I bet on the Straths because, one of them was with the ceremonial troupe( similar to the RCMP Musical Ride). The other is an avid cowboy type. As for fishing I’m not much of an angler. Had more luck with hand grenades. Don’t think they like that too much. Who gave a hell in Bosnia?

You’ve really got me interested now.

You’re correct about the gold mining location. We were east of the hard rock mining areas, mostly along the Chetwynd- Tumbler Ridge road. Always had to make deals for access with the loggers. Whoever had the biggest loads would get right of way, or so it seemed.

I love your stories. Keep up the good work.

For many years I have wondered how the media became the propaganda media that it is today, and why the wealthy conservatives didn’t buy or start any news media and tell all sides of the news. I see a huge market for a media that will report the news and not add to it or take away from it. Fox News is the closest we have to this, but I would like to see a media that has the news stories go through republicans and democrats on their staff and then finalized by independents that don’t belong to any party. I have a dream.

on any given night during the prime time news Fox News gets about 10% of the viewers. ABC,CBS, NBC they are the big boys and play in the major league. Americans have a wide variety of news media to choose from, they overwhelmingly CHOOSE MSM. Cable news is like a minor league. Any billionaire that wanted to get into the News business can, but if from the right wing would probably just split Fox’s 10%

Fox News Numbers.
More like 20% of NBC, 25% of ABC and 33% of CBS……and growing, JR.
BUT, wait!
See the addition at the bottom!

Numbers for the week of Jan. 3:
*Network: … NBC … ABC …. CBS
* Total Viewers: 9,910,000 8,420,000 6,330,000


* Fox News 2,024,000

That total for the Networks is for a WHOLE week!
The total for Fox News is for a NIGHT!
Times it by 5.

Fox wins!

@Nan G: #9

Times it by 5.

For those of you who went to public school, the answer is 10,120,000.

I would like to know what the numbers were before Obama told us not to listen to Fox and what they were shortly after.

Should Obama get the blame for the ”Together We Thrive” t-shirts in conjunction with his speech tonight?
President Obama used to preach that there was no “Red America” and no “Blue America,” just one America.

But tonight at the memorial for the Tucson massacre victims, it will be a sea of blue as the White House unveils the “Together We Thrive” logo and slogan.

Yes, the Tucson massacre is being branded.

Attendees at the memorial tonight report that they are being handed out the blue and white t-shirts as they enter the venue.

Isn’t the churning of the instant messaging machine a bit, well, unseemly?

Can’t the Democrat political stage managers give it a break just once?

See these t-shirts here.

And here.http://i.azcentral.com/commphotos/view/442818.jpg

@Nan G: #11

The blue color reminds me of something, but I can’t think of what it is. I know it is supposed to represent something, but I ain’t got the best memory. Now I remember! No, that isn’t it. This is bugging me. I know it reminds me of something but I can’t quite bring it to the front of my mind.

While I am trying to remember what the blue color reminds me of, I will say that I bet the shirts were made in China.

@Nan G:

Absolutely surreal….

Themed t-shirts for a memorial event?

What the HELL are they thinking?

Just as one thinks that this White House cannot descend further into the depths….they surprise us by descending into depths previously unimagined.

Wellstone Memorial 2.0


Eagerly….EAGERLY anticipating the resident Leftists trying to ‘splain this one away….

Hey Greg! Tom! B-Rob! get your azzes over here….

I wanna hear you three clowns tell me how it’s perfectly normal and a-OK to have themed t-shirts for a memorial service for six people.

The cameras have not panned away from the speakers often enough or closely enough to see if many people put them on or not.
But I thought I saw a few people in brand-new blue t-shirts.
And, blue, yes………
Why blue?
Why any shirts?

I must say, I am learning more about the victims from Obama’s speech than any one newspaper article.

Skook, . . . glad I stopped in for a read, you just don’t miss. Keep banging them out of the park.

This is a great Continent that we are so privileged to enjoy. Like you, I move across the 49th rather constantly and easily, always appreciating as much of both sides of it as I can. I’m sure it requires effort for you to step away from “earning” or “paying” tasks to delve into your writing, but you always solicit positive energy from it, and receive such supportive response, it is obvious your perspectives and your sharing are having impact.

You have evidently travelled far off the trodden path, to where few have hiked, and fewer still will walk as more time passes. Those glimpses you provide into the literally rarefied air of alpine meadows, or confrontations with grizzlies, or the youthful lunacy of confronting wolf packs, stimulate broad visions and panoplies into which minds escape the sometimes too grey concrete and pavement realities just beyond the window. You provide your family with important and profound insights into who you are and why, and you indulge your readers with more than entertainment. You provide us reminders of the footings which our society’s foundation rests on, . . . the raw roots of hard work, struggling against the elements, expecting, but not assuming, results from the stooped shoulder, straining, as it pulls that too heavy sled. We have done much to complicate our lives with “things.” Though it may not be your intent, it’s good to be subtly reminded that healthy survival doesn’t depend on acquiring the most of the latest or biggest models of anything. Life can remain simple and good. . . . Thanks.

Have you decided on an image for the cover yet? 🙂

@Aye: #13

I admit that I am biased in the since that I don’t like Obama, but I try to be neutral on things that come up. I was expecting a very quiet and somber ceremony. Instead, the liberals in the audience seemed to think that it was a political rally: Applauding almost everything he said, and even shouting. I am guessing no republicans did any shouting. I couldn’t help but wonder how the family members of those who died felt with all of the cheering. I felt very uncomfortable just watching it.

How can a president tell the story of a Medal of Honor winner, and give a speech at a memorial service for six people who died and those who were wounded, but have no problem holding back his emotions? George Bush had to stop for a while when he was telling the story of the MOH winner he was telling about. I am guessing he would have had to stop several times if he were the speaker at this memorial. What would it take for this president to show emotions?

@Aye: #13

I’m guessing that the liberals tried to figure out a way that they could have charged admission for the event but decided against it.

@Aye: #13

Now I remember what the blue color reminds me of: Democrats.

This reminded me of the propaganda media choosing red and blue for the political parties. There was a lot of controversy about why they chose those colors. This made me think of something else that is either red or blue: Our blood.

Those two colors are a perfect example of our bodies compared to the two parties. The blood goes through our liver and other organs and gets filtered of all of the impurities that the body can filter out, then it goes to the lungs and picks up all of the oxygen it can hold. As it comes out of the lungs it is the purest it can be and has all of the oxygen it can hold.

As the red blood is circulating throughout the body it looses some of the oxygen along the way and picks up the waste products the body has created. The further it goes through the body the less oxygen it has and the more waste it picks up.

Is this starting to sound familiar? Without realizing it, the propaganda media couldn’t have picked two better colors to represent the INTENT of the two parties.

Keep the economy growing. Reduce the size of government and spending.

Drain the treasury. Add more government. Increase taxes.

The above applies to the OLD republican party. The new one has merged so many of the democrat’s agenda into their own that I now call them republicrats. The same republicrats who promised to end earmarks if elected are now saying it isn’t a good idea to end ALL earmarks. Did you actually expect a politician to keep a promise?

You can understand why I go along with GOOOH when they say to throw all of the politicians out and start over. I have said this for years. If can’t be any worse than what it is now.


I thoroughly enjoy and value the wit and wisdom you share through your the recollections.
They never fail to well illustrate the central moral truth you wish to leave with the reader.
Many of your recollections, those detailing the Peace River Valley district in particular, have a resonance with me as I lived in Beaverlodge for several years and then one in Grande Prairie.

Twenty years ago now.

From Pine Pass to Slave Lake and Peace River to Grand Cache was, for a short time, my backyard.

Thank you

Davyd Bowen

Smorg #13 You like crying men you’re gonna love Boehner.
#19 How bout Blue The sky and ocean Red The Devil. Maybe that’s what they were thinking of.Who knew?

@rich wheeler: #22

I’ll take a crying Boehner over an unemotional Obama any time.

The first time I heard the song, “The Ballad Of The Green Berets” was on a cassette while I was driving down the highway in my semi. I don’t know how many times I had listened to it at different times before I didn’t cry as it was being played, but it was several. The same goes for the song, “More Than A Name On The Wall.” Sometimes I still cry when I play them.

I say again: I’ll take a crying Boehner over an unemotional Obama any time. How does ANYONE go through a Medal Of Honor ceremony, read the events that the MOH winner went through, but not show any emotion at all? In my opinion, only someone who feels they are giving the medal to the enemy.

Why didn’t the propaganda media just ask each party to pick a color to represent them? If they both would have picked the same color, have them chose another. Who knows. Maybe those are the colors each party would have chosen. With all of the other things to complain about the propaganda media, I never did get too concerned about the colors.