Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Cliven Bundy, Rats and Tear-Gas Flavored Ice Cream
The Hailey Cemetery was ablaze with American flags on Memorial Day.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Memorial Day, a boisterous affair last year, was quiet and somber this year because of the coronavirus.

But Hailey Mayor Martha Burke rang the bells of Emmanuel Episcopal Church at noon, while bells also rang at St. Charles Catholic Church and other churches.

Paul Ries notes that Blaine County’s coronavirus count held steady for the third day in a row over the weekend, while the state gained 31 new cases on Saturday for a total of 2,626.

American flags, provided by the cemetery and Higher Ground Sun Valley, flapped in the afternoon breeze.

Geegee Lowe said the Hailey cemetery was busy with families coming up from Jerome, Twin Falls and elsewhere to pay their respects. Some families even picnicked on the cemetery lawn in traditions stretching back years.


While the Community Library opens to the public today, it has yet to resume live lectures because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But it will offer a virtual conversation with Bozeman author Betsy Gaines Quammen about her book on Cliven Bundy tonight.

Quammen will discuss “American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West” at 5:30 tonight—Tuesday, May 26. She’ll be in conversation with the library’s programs and education manager Martha Williams.

The chat will examine what happens when members of an American religion built in the 19th century on personal prophecy and land proprietorship assert possession over western federal lands, armed with guns and a certainty that God wants them to go to war.

That’s what unfolded when the Bundys, a Mormon ranching family began feuding with the federal government and the American public.

Cliven Bundy led a standoff in 2014 in Nevada over defaulted grazing fees. He was arrested two years later by the FBI on his way to support the standoff at Malheur Wildlife Refugee, which was led by his son Ammon Bundy who lives in western Idaho and has complained bitterly about Idaho’s stay-at-home orders.

Cliven Bundy’s trial was declared a mistrial and his charges dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Quammen, whose husband David is also an author, examines in her books the roots of these confrontations and how history has shaped an often-dangerous mindset which feeds today’s militia movement and threatens public lands, wild species and American heritage.

Quammen, a historian and conservation, received a doctorate in Environmental History from Montana State University in 2017, focusing her dissertation on Mormon settlement and public land conflicts.

She also has studied how various religions tradition and cultures view landscape and wildlife, from the pastoral communities of northern Mongolia to the grasslands of East Africa.

The program will be livestreamed from the library’s lecture hall and can be watched on its Livestream page. The conversation will also be recorded for later viewing.

Audience members can ask questions through the Livestream chat if they have a free Livestream account. Or, they can email advance questions to mwilliams@comlib.org.


The CDC has a warning of a different ilk than what we’ve been hearing for the past eight weeks.

Rats, which rely on a banquet of scraps and waste in restaurant dumpsters, are going hungry. And they’re not only spiking in some areas like New York City and New Orleans but they’re getting increasingly aggressive, even resorting to cannibalism and infanticide.


Could nasal irrigation help in the battle against the coronavirus?

Studies are underway at Stanford, the University of Kentucky, NYU Langone, University of Pittsburg, Vanderbilt and elsewhere to see if regular flushing of one’s sinuses could keep the contagion from building up and entering your lungs.

Dr. Amy Baxter of Pain Care Labs points to Thailand, which has had few cases of the coronavirus. The southeast Asian country has just over 3,000 reported cases and 56 deaths among its 70 million individuals.

In addition to wearing masks and refraining from hand shaking, more than 80 percent of its people practice nasal irrigation with Neti pots, according to Best Life.

Baxter’s prescription: A nasal irrigation with a half teaspoon of povidone-iodine in the morning and evening with 8 ounces of boiled lukewarm tap water, a half teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt per cup of water.

Or, you could just pick up a package of Neti pot solution at local pharmacies.


Protestors who took to the streets of Hong Kong on Monday in the first protest since the pandemic started have something new to fortify themselves.

A Hong Kong ice cream shop is offering tear gas-flavored ice cream, a reminder of the 16,000 pungent peppery rounds fired by police during last year’s demonstrations. Its main ingredient? Black peppercorns.

One taker told the Associated Press that the ice cream with its throat-irritating effects tastes like tear gas: “It feels difficult to breathe at first and it’s really pungent and irritating. I think it’s a flashback that reminds me of how painful I felt in the movement, and that I shouldn’t forget.”

It makes you wonder what that shop’s version of COVID ice cream might taste like.


~  Today's Topics ~

Bike Sales, Rentals Surge with Pandemic

The Spot Showcases Performances as it Conducts Virtual Fundraiser

Health Officials To Say Buck Up and Get Serious About COVID








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