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Re: [CDT-L] Politics and the list

Earl - and others - 
I understand your aversion to "politics".  I left Pennsylvania over 40
years ago because I got too close to the politics at the state level and
burned out.  And I was 20 at the time.  But I finally realized that what
my grandfather had taught me was almost universally true - and that
whether I like it or not, I have to live with "politics".  What he taught
me was that if you have two people together - you have "politics".   

The bad news here is that there *will* be politics on this list
regardless of whether any of us like it or not.  Talking about the CDT
makes that inevitable.  Let's take a short look at this - gear
discussions on this list are likely to be *really* short.  Those on this
list are generally too experienced to be playing the "gear game" that's
played on some of the other lists.  Newbies worry about gear - because
it's about the only thing that they *think* thay can control.   Many, if
not most, of the people on this list have already thruhiked one trail or
another.  The CDT may be a challenge for them, but they know it's
possible and they know that with the right attitude and a little luck
they can do it.  And most of them know that it ain't the gear that gets
you there.  So there's not a lot of point in talking about it.  

So - maybe we'd all like to talk about the trail.  Cool - if I can get it
together I can tell everyone what the water sources were between Cuba and
Grants - or through the Great Basin -- for the route we took.  I can tell
you details about the route we took, and what we saw and what we felt
about what we saw (the journal's coming - before we leave for Cal).  And
others can tell you about  their routes and water sources and
experiences.  But then what do we talk about.  Kinda like sex - what do
you talk about for the *other* 23 1/2 hours of the day.  :-)

And then there's the "trail", but if you talk about the trail (as in
where it goes and why) - then you're automatically talking politics.  
How could it NOT be - when you have people determining the routing for
the trail who haven't the faintest idea about long distance hiking?  How
could they - they have not and most likely will never do a long distance
hike nor are they even interested in long distance hiking - or hikers. 
So what criteria do you think they use for "trail design"?  It's kinda
like asking a psychologist to design a spacecraft - the end product ---
well, lets just say it's not the best possible design.  

I don't know if  "politics" with respect to the upcoming "election" is a
legitimate subject for the list.  Maybe.  All I can say about that is
that I'm glad we'll be on the trail this summer - I'd just as soon miss
all the campaign cr*p.  My problem in that respect is deciding which ones
I could vote for and still live with myself.  At the moment, none of them
represent anything I could vote FOR.  Hmmm - maybe Lyndon Larouche?  Not
bloody likely.  

Walk softly,

On Sat, 26 Feb 2000 00:18:04 -0700 Earl Needham <KD5XB@amsat.org> writes:
> At 08:46 PM 2/25/00 -0700, Michael Bleakley wrote:
> >Hi Kelly and Earl,
> >
> >Well I absolutely disagree.
> ><snip>
>          I agree that political candidates can affect every part of 
> our >lives, how the Trail is managed over the years, and possibly even 
> who is  allowed to hike the trail.  That's not my objection.  I pushed
> for  CDT-L (some people say "founded") because I wanted to know more 
> about the  TRAIL. 
>          I hate "politics" with a passion!  "Politics" can have 
> otherwise  friendly people ready to kill each other in a minute.  I
don't like 
> that,  and I don't think that has any place on CDT-L.

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Message from the Continental Divide Trail Mailing List

To:            <cdt-l@backcountry.net>, "Earl Needham" <KD5XB@amsat.org>