The next one ‘they’ come for may be you

BY: - November 28, 2023

I attended an event sponsored by the Mansfield Center recently. Former Governor Marc Racicot and author Marc Johnson spoke on the legacy of the late Mike Mansfield.  Both men spoke eloquently on the virtues of the U.S. and Montana Constitutions and democracy, especially as practiced by Sen. Mansfield.  They acknowledged the woeful state of our […]

History repeats itself and Montana’s leaders should know better

BY: - November 27, 2023

When armed conflict erupts, the urge to scapegoat runs high. The current Israel-Hamas war has increased both Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents in the United States, most notably the brutal murder of six-year-old Illinois resident Wadea al-Fayoume.  Enough already. As the adage goes, an eye for an eye leaves the world blind. Sadly, Montana’s Sen. Steve […]

Close Beattie Gulch before someone gets killed

BY: - November 26, 2023

Pointing to the danger to residents, landowners, other hunters and the public during the bison hunt/cull this year, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Roam Free Nation, Gallatin Wildlife Association and Council on Wildlife and Fish recently sent a letter to Mary Erickson, Supervisor of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, asking her to close Beattie […]

Taylor didn’t tell the entire story on Montana’s property taxes

BY: - November 25, 2023

In the Daily Montanan, Dennis Taylor recently opined about our property tax bills and the huge increases that we all saw in them this fall.  He summed it up by finding fault with one sole source. Well, actually two. He closed, “It was not caused by our local governments, it was Gov. Gianforte and his […]

Giving thanks for Montana’s visionary conservationists

BY: - November 24, 2023

It’s that time of year to be grateful for the good things, people and places in our lives. And given how quickly our state is changing in these days of endless promotion and development, Montanans might want to give thanks for those visionary conservationists who saw what was coming, broke with those who claimed the […]

Giving thanks for the bipartisan way the Legislature stopped a dangerous child vaccination rule

BY: - November 23, 2023

Chris Friedel summed up the situation perfectly in an interim committee meeting recently. “Go look at what an iron lung looks like, what Polio does to people,” said Sen. Friedel, R-Billings. “That alone will make you reconsider when you have a conversation about religious exemptions.” Among my earliest memories, I recall the shocking, hard-to-comprehend reality […]

Kennedy, Mansfield and what real leadership looked like

BY: - November 22, 2023

Nov. 22 is the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the 35th American president, John F. Kennedy, a “cruel and shocking act of violence,” as the Warren Commission called it, “directed against a man, a family, a nation, and against all mankind.”  Montana Sen. Mike Mansfield, a close friend of the murdered president – they […]

A plea for balance

BY: - November 21, 2023

A friend of mine who is a former Democratic legislator attended a recent event hosted by the Mansfield Center, and one of his former colleagues, a Republican, stood up and told the crowd of more than 100 people that he was embarrassed about the direction his party is taking, and wondered whether anyone had any […]

It’s time to broaden our conversation about guns

BY: and - November 20, 2023

There is a familiar pattern after the mass shootings that have become a well-known feature of American life. The initial shock and grief gives way to demands for greater regulation of gun ownership by Democrats, while Republicans dismiss such measures and blame mental illness instead. But if we actually want to do something about it, […]

We need excellence, not chaos for Montana’s libraries

BY: - November 19, 2023

Good libraries are not just a convenience; they are fundamentally American, reflecting a commitment to knowledge, community service and progress. In Montana, where self-reliance and community values are cherished, our public libraries have long been beacons, designed to serve all Montanans. Unfortunately, recent proposals to alter the Public Library Standards, influenced by years of mismanagement […]

The truth about your home’s property tax increase

BY: - November 18, 2023

By now we all have seen our actual property tax increases.  We know how high our property taxes have gone up–not like the mystery when we got our confusing reappraisal notice.  Many of us are angry.  As we prepare to write an actual check for our home property taxes, we are livid. The state reappraisal […]

Clown-car Freedom Caucus tries crashing the federal government again

BY: - November 17, 2023

What do you get when you put a bunch of people who hate government in office to run government? The antics of the so-called Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives answers that question with their latest nutty attempt to shut down the federal government — and they’re trying their best to do just that. Rational […]