From Vietnam, Watergate, and Irangate, through Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, we read daily about the poor judgment of our elected officials. Barbara Tuchman, in her book, “The March of Folly,” poses the question well: “Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests? Why does intelligent mental process seem so often not to function?”

I found the answer, not in the confines of some Washington think tank, but on the edge of a wilderness river in northern Idaho while fishing with my old trapper friend whom I fondly called Guru Charlie. I was haranguing him with all the international and domestic corruption just as he cast a grasshopper fly upstream. Looking back at me, he yelled, “Scandal to the jaybirds! The world ain’t round, it’s crooked!”

Rex Amos

Cannon Beach