Commentary

What was Afghanistan for?

BY: - September 18, 2021

I can still taste the sand, feel the heat on my skin.  We were told to smell our water before we drank it, just in case something had been added to it. I remember the faces, including my own, when one of our brothers or sisters in arms lost their lives.  I remember the look […]

You reap what you sow

BY: - September 17, 2021

It’s that time of year in Montana when summer winds down, the nights get cooler, leaves begin to wear their fall colors and “harvest season” is in full bloom. Humans, not unlike the grizzly bears, are preparing for the Montana winter ahead, enjoying the fruits of their labors on the land while the hunters prepare […]

‘A Chill Wind’: Texas unleashes bounty hunters on women

BY: - September 16, 2021

Back in the 19th century, Texas was awash in vigilante groups. In those dark years, various self-appointed “law enforcers” modeled after the Texas Rangers embarked on a decades-long campaign of ethnic cleansing of Indigenous peoples in the western territory. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the state is now unleashing another wave of newly minted bounty hunters […]

If schools can send girls home for short skirts, they can enforce mask mandates

BY: - September 15, 2021

We’ve tried all sorts of things to make masks palatable for the extremely loud minority of parents and GOP politicians who keep taking over school board meetings across the country, throwing Nazi salutes and nonsensically screaming that safety measures are “child abuse.” Let’s be clear. The majority of our country is vaccinated against COVID-19 and […]

Why American Prairie Reserve plans are good for Montana

BY: - September 14, 2021

Lately, deliberate misrepresentations have been circulating regarding American Prairie’s proposal to graze bison on six federal allotments in Phillips County. While most Montanans who have commented thus far clearly welcome our proposal, some remain committed to a misinformation campaign based on rumors and misdirection. This only serves to perpetuate divisions and erode our civic fabric. […]

Consider the value of your public school in your Montana community

BY: - September 13, 2021

I pen this letter upon return from a 1700-mile journey to communities across the state and numerous hours of phone and online communications these past two weeks with administrators in Montana’s public schools.  The purpose of that travel and communications was to get a sense from our school leaders about the opening of the 2021-22 […]

Montana GOP: The anti-business party

BY: - September 12, 2021

Montanans Republican Party has distinguished itself once again with another anti-business law. House Bill 702 is by far one of the worst. House Bill 702 pushed by Republicans and signed by the Governor makes Montana the only state in the country to knowingly violate the property rights of business owners. The bill prohibits private business, […]

9/11 at 20: Two decades of missed opportunities

BY: - September 11, 2021

Twenty years have now passed since 9/11. The 20 years since those terrible attacks have been marked by endless wars, harsh immigration crackdowns, and expanded federal law enforcement powers that have cost us our privacy and targeted entire communities based on nothing more than race, religion, or ethnicity. Those policies have also come at a […]

It’s not freedom, but free dumb that is killing us

BY: - September 10, 2021

There’s no nice way to put it. Hundreds of Montanans are now getting sick and dying thanks to the anti-science, anti-mask, anti-vax messages propagated by the insane rhetoric of Republican politicians under the false rubric of “personal responsibility” and “freedom.” But as the costs to society continue to rise exponentially while the more lethal, more […]

Arntzen’s leadership at anti-mask rally earns her an ‘F’

BY: - September 9, 2021

When I was a freshman at Billings Senior High, John Miller, my typing instructor (yes, I learned keyboarding on a typewriter) booted me from the class for refusing to take off my Los Angeles Dodgers cap. It probably also won’t surprise you that I was challenging authority then, claiming earnestly that the Dodgers were a […]

For Montanans, privacy is power

BY: - September 8, 2021

Texas’ new anti-abortion law is one of the most restrictive in the developed world. But no surprise that the brouhaha over women’s right to abortion services has nothing to do with honoring their personal autonomy and little to do with fetal mortality. Rather, the fight is grounded in partisan politics. Historian Heather Cox Richardson provides […]

Everything we know about work is wrong and the pandemic proved it

BY: - September 7, 2021

So what can the plight of a little cafe tell you about the state of the American economy and the changing face of work? A lot, as it turns out. The other week, the bistro where my family and I have been grabbing brunch every Sunday since the start of the pandemic announced that it […]