Nature, Labor, and a Goat Named Alcibiades

As I cranked the lever I could watch the forest become pasture. I was using a come-along, a simple winch for tightening wire, to run a new fence.  As the fence slowly came into existence, this tiny parcel of the Colorado wilderness was tran...

Airports are Non-Places

As I write this, Edward Snowden is moping his way through exile in the Moscow airport. He can’t leave because crossing through passport control would mean legally entering Russia, and a diplomatic fracas would ensue. So he sits, amid ...

The Monster and the City

“I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man.” So says Frankenstein’s creature. After being animated, the beast fled from the laboratory and embarked on a painful jou...

John Taylor of Caroline and Energy Policy

When Odysseus visited Hades, he spoke with many of the greatest fallen Greeks: Achilles, Agamemnon, the prophet Tiresias. He sees many others, and considers seeking out Pirithous and Theseus. “But ere they met my view,” Odysseus says, “The ...

The Coiled Hose

I spent the last eight months working on a dairy farm, and every morning after finishing milking and cleaning the stanchions, I would coil up the hoses in the corner of the dairy barn. This was a simple task and a strangely pleasurable one....

The Country That Banned Milk

What would we think of a government that banned milk? Would we think it over-reaching, even oppressive? Would we condemn it for rejecting a great gift from God? Would we assume its policy-makers and many of its citizens were deeply out of t...

The Politics of the Clothesline

Yesterday I ambled towards my cottage, returning from putting the cattle out to pasture for the evening. The sun was sinking low in the Texas sky, turning the clouds to faint orange and brilliant pink. As I neared my humble abode, I saw my ...