Political Shenanigans

First, something to make you smile. There will be some humor from Slim Randles at the end of this blog post, but a bit of a rant starts it off, so perhaps you’d like a bit of a chuckle to start off, although maybe this is more of a groaner. My father would’ve loved it.

Yesterday, I debated quite a long time about whether to address some current events in my blog post for today. Part of me just wanted to avoid saying anything at all. Just ignore them. Maybe they will go away. But then I remembered that ignoring injustices makes it possible for bad things to continue to happen, allowing people to take advantage of others for their own gains.

That is exactly what the Florida governor, the Texas governor, and even the Arizona governor have been doing in recent weeks, transporting immigrants to major cities in the northeast. The politicians claim it’s an effort to help the people find homes and jobs and assistance in those other cities, but, oops, the pols don’t notify the cities in advance, which is what happened September 14th with the Venezuelan men, women, and children who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard.

Some of the details of that fiasco were so absurd, I almost had to laugh. The Florida governor didn’t have enough people in his state to create enough buzz for a good press conference, so he sent someone to San Antonio, Texas, to pick up a few folks there. You can read the whole sordid story here, if you want.

“We have the governor of Florida … hatching a secret plot to send immigrant families like cattle on an airplane,” said state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard. “Ship them women and children to a place they weren’t told where they were going and never alerted local officials and people on the ground here that they were coming. It is an incredibly inhumane and depraved thing to do.”

Fallout from that particular stunt has come swiftly, as a criminal investigation of the Florida governor are now pending in San Antonio, as well as civil cases being filed on behalf of the Immigrants who say they were duped.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar says these migrants were “Lured, hoodwinked and exploited” for political purposes and that’s why he’s opening an investigation.

In addition to the basic human-rights injustice, these maneuvers, transporting immigrants to points north, are all being done for political gain. The Florida governor has his eye on the White house, and heaven helped us if he ever gets there, and the Texas governor is battling contender Beto O’Rourke for another term in Austin.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, federal money given to the states for COVID relief is being used to pay for transportation costs. I don’t think that was the intent of the relief packages.

 Every time there is something else in the news about these shenanigans, the politicians get air time, creating more name-recognition, which is why I have not named any of them in this blog post. I’m also so discouraged with many politicians in both parties, I’m not going to designate party affiliation in future posts about politics. We need to focus on issues and the qualifications of the women and men running for office.


Now here’s Slim with this fun piece about bull elks and the way they communicate. If you’re ever been elk hunting, you know the sounds.

It’s the music of the Western mountains, and this is the only time we get to hear it. It has a hollow sound, as though someone was playing a flute a foot thick and twelve-feet long – the lonely call of the bull elk.

It starts in early September and by October becomes more of a war chant. When winter shuts down the breeding season, the bulls go quiet once again, and pal up with other bulls to face winter together.

But now, the call is there. Veteran elk hunters call it “the locate call.” It isn’t meant to be intimidating to other elk, either. The spirit ghost of the mountains dictates that the bull send this high, hollow note out to the world.

If I may be permitted to translate, the locate call is just a reminder, not a threat.

“Anybody oooooo-ut there?”

That was Pete, sitting on top of a ridge near the Continental Divide. From the bottom of the canyon to the west, maybe four miles away, we hear an answer.

“This is She-r-r-r-r-rm. Remember me from last winter? Goin’ girlin’-n-n-n-n soon, Pete?”

“Thought I mi-i-i-i-ight, Sherm. Luck to you.”

“And you-u-u-u-u-u too-o-o-o-!”

In a month, they’ll be gathering cows and Pete will threaten to dismember ol’ Sherm with a single antler, but that’s during the rut, and that has more grunting sounds in it.

If you should go out there and try to call one in close enough for a picture, or a conversation, they would like me to remind you they are both twelve-feet tall, weigh more than a ton each, and could whip a freight train.

And they’re good-looking guys, too. Pass the word to any cows you see.


Brought to you by The Backpocket Guide to Hunting Elk by Slim Randles.


Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy, and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

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