Economy

GUARDIAN’s State Of The Union

Green meadow near the Teton Mountains in Wyoming

After things opened up in Idaho a couple weeks ago the GUARDIAN decided it was time to make a road trip to Michigan. Idaho had about 80 reported COVID deaths and restaurants were opening on a limited basis.

WELL! It was nearly impossible to find a sit down food place anywhere in the upper West and Midwest. In Michigan (6,000 deaths) Minnesota (1400), and Wisconsin (700) folks are hunkered down in most spots. We had people confront us as we wore a mask and ask, “Do you really believe in this crap?” At other locations convenience stores were open only via a small window to pay for gas. We concluded the “belief” is based in liberal and conservative politics.

We drove nearly 6,000 miles and couldn’t help but marvel at the green beauty of the USA, the vastness of the farm land, and richness of the diverse culture.

Treeless agriculture land in central South Dakota


We drove two lane highways whenever possible and observed the small town cafes were closed and often up for sale. Many small towns did away with high school graduation, so they displayed senior photos on lamp posts like Christmas decorations (someone cashed in on that) to honor the grads.

Point Aux Barques Light on Lake Huron in the Michigan Thumb


At Curtis, Michigan the local Tally Ho pub served a limited menu to a house packed with camouflage-capped customers and not a mask was in sight among customer or staff. Just 40 miles north on the shore of Lake Superior the old hippies at Grand Marais were the poster children for COVID selling coffee and cinnamon rolls out of a VW Microbus, clad in masks and gloves.

Our Boise neighbor graduated from college in May and was hired by GM as an engineer. About the only corporate contact she has had is via a company-issued computer. Her final exams were all via computer and graduation was also a video event. We predict these things will be common in the future, even without a pandemic.

Gas was as low as $1.69 per gallon and never over $2.04. No surprise, but Boise had the highest gas price we experienced. Traffic in the rural areas was pleasantly light. We did notice a fair number of “family vacation” vehicles in the Bad Lands, Mount Rushmore, and Grand Teton national parks, but few hotels displayed “no vacancy” signs.

Local news and public radio stations repeatedly featured interviews with police chiefs, police union leaders, black lives matter advocates, and assorted social workers and psychologists. Thanks to body-cam and security videos, the public is able to see actual events. The actions of the rogue coppers and the destructive protesters will permanently change our society.

Comments & Discussion

11 comments for “GUARDIAN’s State Of The Union”

  1. Nice article… However, You don’t need to take a trip to get simular experiences right here at home. Some of the areas in Idaho are worse than others, but that is true everywhere.

    Working remotely: It is amazing how much gets done with a bit of trust and being judged by the work you do. I hope it becomes a long-lasting trend.

    The ones I feel sorry for are the businesses that permanently closed and those that permanently lost their jobs and have to start over. However, we will grow from this and come out better. We always do.

    Cops: We need laws and we need law enforcement. However, it needs to be equal for all and have accountability.
    You don’t have to watch TV to know that meaningful change is long past due.

  2. Enjoyed the virtual ride-along with you – thanks for sharing and welcome back!

  3. Glad you got to travel around and see the beauty of this nation.

    I can tell you that at one of my jobs (I have 3), I find that most people don’t and have never fallen for this Covid schtick. They are all rancher, farmer, blue collar types that know what works and every medical professional I have talked to also has shot down this Flu Show.

    And it seems that the “cure” for Covid is a protest. Of course, church goers and movie watchers have to wait in most of the country until the MSM says it’s okay.

    The protests are warranted for serious problems with police engagement policies, but I find it interesting that there was swift action taken as soon as the video was seen by Minneapolis DA’s office. Isn’t that what we wanted? No foot dragging? Not enough. It’s never enough, because reform is NOT what the Left wants. I know because the liturgy kept pushing the idea of FULL disbanding of police as far back as when I was reading their stuff in the 1990s. I still have ALL of this writing in my possession, for posterity. The toppling of statues is also a long held dream of theirs. Now, I wrote this stuff off as the musings of extremists that would never be taken seriously by the core of Left disciplines, but I got my awakening, as did we all.

    The CHAZ is a petri dish of the Occupy movement on steroids. As ugly as it is, I think it’s important for everyone to witness the performance of far Left “ideals” and judge the outcome. What kind of country do you want? How bad do you have it? What really needs to change? These are the questions of the day.

    Now, I did some research many years ago on why we always seem to have higher gas prices than most of the nation. What I discovered is that the whole nation is sectioned into what are called Petroleum Administrative for Defense Districts or PADDs. There are 10 of them. We reside in PADD 4. PADD 4 consists of ID, MT, WY, UT, and CO. The fuel flows from Salt Lake to Idaho in underground piping. Our pricing is all determined by the availability and production costs stemming from Chevrons’ operations in Utah/Wyoming. The study performed by the Idaho Attorney General’s office back in the 2008 revealed that Idaho has no proven petroleum reserves of its own, so we are 100% dependent on the other PADD 4 states for our fuel supplies. As of that writing, PADD 4 had used 85% of its historical reserve inventory to date and we are now relying on the balance of that inventory, except for any shale that has been added since, mostly from Wyoming. PADD 4 does import some resources from outside the PADD via Wyoming pipelines.

    We are an island that imports everything we need and that makes us susceptible to a higher price leverage in our regional market. Our low consumption rate compared to a mega city keeps us from paying the higher prices in the $4+ range, historically. The AG office keeps tabs (ostensibly) on the performance of PADD 4 to guard against gouging, if it erupts.

    I see where BLM in Idaho is demanding defunding of BPD. So, I wonder who THEY want the new police to be to fill the vacuum if it were to occur. In the CHAZ, a self styled Warlord, Raz Simone, took the job. I mean he TOOK the job, by his own decree. Think about this. This isn’t funny, even though it looks like a comedy sometimes. He’s beat a bunch of people up. A street preacher was choked out and dragged by his feet because he was talking Jesus stuff to the offended athiests playing Communism in Seattle.

    If we disband police, then I want ALL city/county government disbanded and NO MORE PROPERTY TAXES!

    EDITOR NOTE–F.A. please try to cut your comment length. We don’t want to be in the position of being accused of censuring you, but your comments are way longer than the original posts.

  4. As long as it was, I really enjoyed Forced Air’s comment. It was well written and informative. I had never heard about the PADDs, and that explains a lot about our gas prices.

  5. It is indeed therapeutic to get out of one’s “zone” from time to time! If the scenery changes, I believe it challenges us to see things from a wider perspective… or at least it forces us to acknowledge that there are viewpoints other than our own.

    Mrs. bikeboy and I went to eastern Idaho earlier this week, to celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss. (For me. She’s put up with me all that time.) We saw the Pandemic Rebels out in force… I think the only masks we saw were on Asian tourists, on our day trip to Yellowstone. (We wore ’em in public places. Wife overheard a mom comforting her daughter. “Don’t worry… they’re just extra concerned.”)

    Gas was 10 cents (or more) cheaper over there. It’s a little exasperating to fill up the tank at a little tourist-country roadside gas station, knowing that it’s cheaper there than back home.

    (Mr. Editor – encourage “Forced Air” to submit a guest column from time to time. I enjoyed that, too. And – if ANYTHING can help President Trump secure another 4 years, it’s the free advertising he’ll get from the behavior of the “loyal opposition” like the CHAZ. Whether it’s Trump or Biden, I’m thinkin’ we’re in for a bumpy ride!)

  6. I’m curious what the Guardians’ (Mr & Mrs) reply was to the “Do you really believe in this crap?”

    You know, as a wise 74-year-old white guy. 🙂

    As of Saturday, 6/20, Idaho is at 89 covid deaths- [83 as of 6/4] so 3 per week now? 89 total in 100 days. We can only speculate on the #s and the impact would have been otherwise..

    btw, Michigan has the 8th highest death rate/100k, among the states. Idaho has the 8th lowest rate.

  7. as for our fuel prices.
    [Outdated] garbage in, Garbage out.
    That pipeline is no longer owned by Chevron.
    Colorado is #5 (2019) in the states for oil production and Utah is not far behind CO.
    Utah refineries get MOST of their crude oil from Canada.
    PADD 4 pushes oil to other regions and receives oil from other regions. It is not a closed market dependent on the supply and demand of 5 states.

    In 2015, Idaho had the lowest price fuel- must have been magical. Remember those ‘good ol days’?
    https://magicvalley.com/news/local/in-a-state-without-crude-oil-or-refineries-idahoans-are/article_333f3e08-f283-5c44-bbdc-22b507aa3176.html

  8. “The actions of [destructive] coppers and [rogue] protesters will permanently change our society.”

    Do we have to wait for ‘Throwback Thursday’?

    Here’s the BEST ever brutality story from our own BOISE coppers back in 2009. It even includes, “I can’t breathe”:
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/290714

    More flashbacks of the 60s? Lynching of the 30s and 40s? Rodney King incident was 1993.
    How about a history lesson of a REAL manifesto- !!!The Southern Manifesto!!! Served up with a side dish of Police Union boss comments. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Manifesto

    Change us? Doubtful.
    Too many idiots- some in denial and some in acceptance.
    Sounds like the Tally Ho pub may be the the epicenter of them.

  9. Western guy
    Jun 22, 2020, 4:33 pm

    Virus a hoax? Hmmm, not in Ada County. Data does not lie.

    People, wake the F up!!

  10. I miss the days when this website was concerned with growth in Boise. Now, it seems, the primary function of this website is to replicate Fox News’ platform for outrageous comments about politics, name calling/labeling and blowhardery. Dave, what ever happened to constructive dialogue?

    EDITOR NOTE–We are not followers of nor advocates for Fox News. You must be talking about the commenters. We try to keep officialdom in line, but without any political agenda.

  11. Guardian, sorry, I thought I made it clear that I was primarily referring to the comments.

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