To the editor:

“Honeybee Democracy” is a great book. When a hive swarms, a hundred independent-minded worker bees, scouts, head out to inspect and consider new homes. The scouts return to the swarm to do their waggle dances. 

A democratic decision-making process ensues whereby the independent-minded scouts reach a quorum of “decided scouts” at the site of the new location. They return to the swarm with their quorum intelligence. They deliver the message through dancing, making special sounds, and bumping into the swarm to make sure everyone is up to temperature and speed in order for the swarm to take off almost instantaneously. 

These lessons speak to me of our community. We know where the Wyoming electoral college vote goes this year. The Wyoming hive is a Trump bastion. In contrast, I stand with the coalition of nearly 500 former and current national security leaders, including 22 retired four-star generals and admirals, in their recent endorsements of the Biden/Harris ticket. I see their growing movement as the leadership of the scouts, leading from partisanship toward the defense of democracy as our new common ground. 

Perhaps I’m part of the quorum of hive intelligence for 2020 as many conservatives evaluate the waggle dances and conclude, with The Lincoln Project and others, that the infrastructure of democracy is our first concern. 

I’m writing about the need for a peaceful transition of power, especially between election day and inauguration. Wyoming’s Representative Liz Cheney said the peaceful transition is “enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic” when Trump declined to say so. A quorum of conservatives is bumping into the swarm to confirm that it’s time to move forward together safely. Because we have independent-minded scouts, we will be stronger, and can avoid tragic violence. 

(s) Mary Keller

Cody

(26) comments

Sully53

For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone could vote for Biden. Then I realize the people voting for him are the same nevertrummpers that have been hating Trump long before Biden was even the democrat nominee. They would vote for Charles Manson/Leslie Van Houghton if they were on the ticket to get rid of Trump. How could anyone with 2 brain cells, especially in Wyoming, vote for a person that will end fracking, open borders, defund police, free health care to illegals, end the gas and oil industry along with many other far left progressive plans. How can anyone vote for a person that backs and supports BLM and antifa. The domestic terrorist groups that are destroying our country. Democrats are claiming Trump won't denounce white supremacy which I can show dozens of videos of him doing just that but if you type antifa dot com into your search engine it take you directly to the Joe Biden website. How can anyone vote for a person that has been in the government for 47 years and has 0 accomplishments to show for it. Besides the disasters ACA and the crime bill. Trump has accomplished more for this country in 47 months than Biden has in 47 year.

Disgusted taxpayer

And somehow it was different when Obama was POTUS? The hatred coming from the failed GOP was sickening ...and still is.

Freecitizen

Yes, it was different. We held our noses. We did not riot. We did not threaten to riot. We did not threaten to leave the country. And we certainly did not try a coup from before he was inaugurated. All of which was done by your pals, in the past four years to the sitting President. In fact he was impeached for encouraging a country to investigate potential corruption. Corruption which we now know was true, including the FBI having evidence to that very fact at the time; the target of the probe to be the same guy who bragged in public about using the pressure of his office to get a foreign prosecutor fired. Now, THERE'S a crime. Hatred indeed.

bayern53

I just noticed that someone posted that Mary possesses a PhD. If that is true, that explains a great deal of Mary’s perspective, her Sesame Street bee analogy/anthropomophisms as well as statistical citations. I spent most of my career in the criminal justice field at the city and county level. My education focused on the behavioral/social sciences. After retirement I was offered an opportunity to work at a large midwestern university as Principal Investigator for a large SAMHSA grant, which I accepted. It was an interesting opportunity as I had worked in liaison roles involving law enforcement and both rural and metropolitan areas. It also involved one-on-one interviews for both descriptive and clinical impressions. In other words, real people, not a literature search. The reason for this background is that my experiences in a real life career, not academia, did not prepare me for the rarified and la la land atmosphere of working in “higher education”. My colleagues overall were nice people but out of approximately 10 or so PhD faculty and staff research folks, only one had any real world experience at a real job prior to university employment. Everybody else acquired graduate, post-graduate degrees while publishing scholarly works along the way based on their research, not being able to reference impressions gained from living, interacting and experiencing the world that most Americans deal with every day. The world view of my colleagues was so out-of-touch with reality in terms of real working people, of any color or ethnicity as well as the impact political policies have on real live people. Needless to say, they did not handle the legitimate election of Mr. Trump very well. Much time was spent prosthetalizing the Democratic mantras and demonizing Mr. Trump , according to students assigned to my project as well as my observations. So, if Mary does indeed possess a PhD, than she knows, as do I, that statistical and narrative information, whether from scholarly journal or Newsweek, can be subject to bias, limitations or scope of sampling and other factors that distort the true nature of what is being measured. My contacts in the law enforcement community in 2 of the cities that were severely impacted by the BLM “peaceful” demonstrations that resulted in riots, arson, looting and murder. They reported that they were under great pressure to not only allow much of this activity to occur but also to modify their arrest and charging protocols to keep things from looking as bad as they really were. So, Mary, PhD or not, statistics can be subjective.

The cameras, body cams of police and business owners insurance claims don’t lie. Your statistics support the same narrative my former la-la-land colleagues are saying about the BLM social unrest and destruction. It represents a complete disassociation from reality. While is is unlikely that Mr. Trump will prevail, if he does, Mary better whip up a witches brew of statistics to explain the tidal wave of mayhem that BLM, Antifa and Democrats will unleash in “peaceful” protests. After all, they were so gracious in defeat in 2016. That is, not counting all the millions of dollars wasted on investigations, impeachment and temper tantrums by Democrats which came to naught. We shall see...

Mike J

I’m fascinated at how easily the media is able to create and manipulate public opinion. They tell people a story on Monday and ask them their “opinion” on Friday. The people then parrot back what that media said, but amplified with their own passion and zeal. It's kind of cute.

Media that constantly bombards us passively, never tells the whole tale. Omission is the biggest lie. Only those who proactively search for more pieces of truth ever find it. This additional truth is found by scouring dozens of other non-mainstream information sources on a daily basis. Few people ever do this.

Even then, none of us ever get the full story.

I’m amazed that so many, can say so much, with so little research, so loudly. It proves just how easy it is to manipulate the mass of mediocre men.

If you enjoyed “The Truman Show” you’ll enjoy this nicely-written analogy about your controlled information bubble: https://www.libertynation.com/trump-v-biden-the-truman-show-election/

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Mary Keller

Dear Lora, Thanks for your interest. I want to clarify that my point is not to use human thinking whereby we divide our fellow humans into D and R. My point is to think like bees, which is to recognize when the home needs to move. In this case, when communities need to adapt to crises, four of which are hitting us now. I'm looking at the transition happening among the scouts--in this case the military and security professionals whose independent focus on security has them endorsing the Harris/Biden ticket because it restores democracy. I don't give a hoot what their party affiliation is. I see their movements as significant. I'm hoping the next decade finds our county commissioners and mayors and state and national representatives partnering to promote complex decision making processes in communities so that we maximize our understanding of local knowledge, and integrate it with economic, ecological, and social models regarding future uncertainties. I think problem solving is one of the things we can do in Park County, and we have a beautiful model to contemplate in beehive democracy because the evidence shows, bees make the very best choice among a world of options.

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Booneyrat

Your liar-in-chief should get an Emmy award for telling more lies and whoppers than anyone in the history of the world.More kool aid?

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Booneyrat

And just what did the crybaby republicans do to block everything and anything Obama tried to get done....lead by no other than mcconnel?

Mary Keller

I want to thank Jim Jones for pointing out a problem in the letter. I was not claiming any kind of individual intelligence. Quorum intelligence is the intelligence that develops at a new hive site, after approximately 50 sister bees have done their individual inspections and determined what the best possible place is. They bring this quorum decision back to the swarm. Me--I'm just claiming to be part of this community, knowing that we need to move and waiting for the quorum intelligence to lead us. I'm a longtime fan of George Conway and the many Republicans who are bumping and pushing us toward restoring the norms and values of civil government. I am watching their waggle dance. I don't know what the election result will be, but I'm seeing a momentum among people whose service careers in and out of the military have led them to waggle away from Trump and toward a restored democracy. I appreciate your taking the time to point out something that sounded arrogant. As the other reader noted, it was not the intent of the sentence. Perhaps a cup of coffee sometime? I serve it with the honey from this year's harvest.

bayern53

Poor Mary, when I read this I am reminded of one of comedian Leanne Morgan’s signature lines; “Awww, bless her heart...”. Since Mary wishes to anthropomorphize Apis behavior, I’ll briefly go there so she might understand. My wife and I kept bees for a number of years before giving it up. I am familiar with Dr. Seeley’s book and it was an interesting read at the time. Yes, bees are very social and interesting insects as well as being a requisite link in the life of plants. As wonderful as Mary perceives a hive/colony to be, they are, as my wife and I found, susceptible to numerous natural & environmental threats. One of these, pesticides, can cause bees to become disoriented and unable to communicate and/or find their way home. To continue along Mary’s anthropomorphization, I see Biden/Harris ticket as well as the hate, violence and disintegration of any semblance of truthful discourse by Democrats and mainstream media as a fatal pesticide that has infected our “hive”, the United States. Mary may wish to see herself as a valiant “scout” or the center of “hive intelligence”, superior to the Great Unwashed who support President Trump. She is not, she and her alleged “500 + 22” are the “pesticide” being applied to our Constitutional Republic. The very foundations of our democracy are being poisoned by voter fraud (non citizens voting, no I.D. required, etc.), elimination of law enforcement, encouragement of civil unrest, politically correct sanitization of American history and the new foundation of Identity Politics. Mary used the term “partisanship” but does not reference the virulent, incessant, obstructionist actions by Ms. Pelosi, Mssrs. Schumer, Shiff, et al. have thrown at President Trump since late 2015 in their temper tantrum rejection of Trump’s legitimate election. The outcome of the election remains to be seen but I suggest that “Bless Her Heart Mary” rather than assume the a problematic transition would come from Mr. Trump, might look to the graciousness with which Dems accepted defeat in 2016. If, even though it might be problematic, if Mr. Trump is re-elected, I look for Mary’s little hive to suffer what is known in the apiary community as Colony Collapse Disorder. Look it up.

Mary Keller

Dear Bayern, Thanks for your interest in the topic. I share your concern with the impact of pesticides and some herbicides on the bees. I wanted to clarify a point. I am not anthropomorphizing bees. I am hoping that humans might get as effective in making the best decision as bees are. I am insectomorphizing humans since we regularly make tragic/comedic choices in contrast to bees, who consistently move entire hives to the best possible next home. Seeley's got decades of research that shows the bees come up with the best answer all the time. Given the current four major crises impacting Park County in our homes, I see a need for good decision making, and so I'd like to see us get as good as insects in knowing how to adapt toward a new home, which in our case will mean cultivating community preparedness. Where you continue to see a world divided into D and R, I see a future home in which we have restored country over party. Raised in Wyoming, I was taught to look for the best candidate, not the party. I'm trying to conserve the intelligent decision-making that preceded current partisanship. I'm hoping my people can restore their roots by becoming more like insects and less partisan.

Booneyrat

No matter who gets installed in the White House...the losing party will no doubt be madder than a wet hornet.America needs a lot of help right now before it sinks slowly beneath the waves.

SevenBlack

Completely agree.

Jim Jones

Help ain't coming from the Democrats.

Jim Jones

"Perhaps I’m part of the quorum of hive intelligence.." No Mary, you're not. Anybody who has to proclaim their intelligence isn't very bright.

SevenBlack

First of all, you're completely misunderstanding that sentence. Second of all, Mary LITERALLY has a PhD. What are your credentials, Jim? Besides weird online troll?

Devildog307

All a PHD stands for is Pile Higher and Deeper. I know plenty of “educated” people that lack any common sense.

Jim Jones

Seven Black,

What do you want, a graduate school throw down? I'll match my Bf.d with anyone's Ph.D. (Even Ph.ds in basket weaving!)

Vincent Vanata

Interesting letter. The author’s letter infers President Trump must agree to a peaceful transition. As if he is scheduled to lose re-election. Yes, a peaceful transition is necessary when the election results requires one. In 2017, under the auspices of a “women’s march”, those opposed to the new administration marched the streets of Washington DC. During that march, businesses were looted, vehicles burned, people assaulted, property destroyed. Flash forward to 2020, the nationwide violence has not stopped! Yet, groups, even locally, commemorate that dreadful day in 2017 each year by revisiting it.

Why would President Trump agree to a peaceful transition when he intends to win re-election?

yellowcat

You should probably check your facts about the Women's March. A quick Google search would help.

Vincent Vanata

First google is not a reliable source for factual news. Secondly, images of Madonna pointing to the White House and stating she wanted to blow it up, a private limousine burning, and store front windows were very indicative of a violent march. Don't try to gloss it over, it happened.

DeweyV

Vince is the same guy who swore ANTIFA was being bussed into Cody for the June Black Lives Matter peaceful assembly at the Cody City Park. Said out loud on the local conservative radio call in show he often squawks on that the ANTIFA bus(es) had stopped at a local convenience store to lock and load on carbs , soft drinks, and octane ... which was not the case at all. He is Way Wrong about 2017... the actual Women's March the day after Trump's vaccuous inauguration saw millions march all around the nation with no violence and zero arrests. The June peaceful uneventful rally in Cody with openly armed militia types , some on horseback, was a grand display of farcical rightwing paranoia which unfortunately continues to this day.

That you even have to ask if Trump would be peaceable if he intends to win is actionable paranoia personified, Vinnie....

Booneyrat

Dewey,no matter what any sane person in Wyoming does,or says,one will never convince any neo-con to stop drinking the fox news kool aid and listening to limbaugh.

Jim Jones

Dewey, who burned that immigrant Muslim chauffeur's limo to the ground in DC on Inauguration Day 2017? https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/limo-torched-in-dc-protests-belongs-to-muslim-immigrant-may-cost-70-000-in-damagesYou actually believe that the presence of 62 armed citizens at the Black Looters Murder rally had absolutely nothing to do with the protest being peaceful? When you have time, you might make the effort to introduce one of your synapses to one or more of your other synapses.

Mary Keller

Thanks for your interest in the letter. I am a big fan of "hive intelligence" where collectively humans are able to solve a lot of information problems. I wanted to clarify that while there were some arrests on the day of the inauguration, the Women's March in DC and in Cody were absolutely maintained as non-violent peaceful protest with no violence, damage, or arrests. As recorded here in People magazine: https://people.com/politics/womens-march-in-washington-no-arrest/. I could provide you with back up evidence from the Harvard Kennedy School by Prof. Erica Chenoweth, but I was trying for a source that you might find acceptable. And while I share your condemnation of violent protest, I also know that our eyes see and remember the violence (if it bleeds, it leads). Where you see nationwide violence, the evidence shows otherwise in terms of numbers of protests, where the protests are happening, and how much violence breaks out. With the help of multiple peer-reviewed sources, we see that the current moment is one of nonviolent, interracial protests. Here's USA Today's story on 93% of protests are nonviolent: Demonstrators did not engage in violence or destructive activity in more than 93% of the more than 7,750 demonstrations across thousands of locations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., between May 26 and late August, according to a report by the U.S. Crisis Monitor, a joint effort including Princeton University that collects and analyzes real-time data on demonstrations and political violence in the U.S.Here's National Geographic: But more than ever before, today’s demonstrations are markedly interracial—African American, Asian American, Latinx, and white faces, covered by masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, appear in city centers, blockaded across bridges and highways, and gathered in front of the White House. It suggests a new phase of opposition that is uniting groups who did not have much in common for most of American history. In cases where conflicts have erupted, those assaulted, tear-gassed, or shot with rubber bullets are of all races. As to why he would agree to a peaceful transition, that is because it is the right thing for a leader to say. It's not about him and his plans. It is about the precedence of the peaceful transition of power in democracy. Liz is not confused on this point, and I don't think you should be either. Your waggle dance appears to be misdirected. Luckily, when independent-minded people like you visit the place where all the other sisters are headed, and consider just why it is that other independent-minded people are pointing toward democracy over party, you might find the information valuable and reassuring. You and I are part of a strong hive and we will get there. And this year's honey harvest was a good one.

Freecitizen

Jim, I think you just waggled in the wrong hive. The problem with a hive-mind is that it is impossible to see past the confirmation bias that it produces and relies on lots of clueless drones to actually get the work done. The closest thing I've ever experienced to a hive-mind is when 6 guys in hard hats and shovels stare at a hole in the road for hours, each wondering when it's going to finally be filled in. Everyone thinking the same thing, but nothing getting done. I often wonder that somewhere there is a University somewhere, that is missing their staff.

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