Commentary

Wait, I thought we wanted government out of our lives

BY: - May 5, 2022

Much of what probably needed to be said or could be said about abortion was done in our ninth-grade persuasive speaking class. Even by 1990, the topic of abortion seemed radically overdone, with few minds ever being changed. Even as the number of abortions fell with better contraception and fewer providers, it was the one […]

The pragmatic consequentialism of Justice Stephen Breyer

BY: - May 4, 2022

Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement of his intention to retire at the end of the Supreme Court’s current term provides occasion to contrast his approach to judging with the very different approach of the court majority he leaves behind. The contrast is frequently explained in partisan terms: Justice Breyer is a “liberal” who was appointed by […]

Congress needs to protect ‘Dreamers’

BY: - May 4, 2022

As the chaplain of St. Peter’s Medical Center in Helena, I work to preach humility, support those in need and promote togetherness. That is why I support expanding protections for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who contribute tremendously to our country. Undocumented immigrants and their families live in limbo because they lack permanent legal documentation. […]

State hospital’s funding termination could affect every community in the state

BY: - May 3, 2022

Las month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a letter to Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs announcing the termination of their provider agreement due to the failure of the Hospital to meet health and safety standards, after four patients died in what investigators said were “preventable” deaths. This means that the State Hospital […]

Montana’s Constitutional Declaration of Rights: For the Ages

BY: - May 2, 2022

Fifty years ago, I was unbelievably blessed to be the research staff for the Declaration of Rights Committee of the Montana Constitutional Convention. As we approach the 50th Anniversary, I must give a solemn nod to the recent passing of two giants:  Bill of Rights Committee Chairman Wade Dahood and Committee member Bob Campbell, primary reasons […]

How to really protect old growth forests

BY: - May 1, 2022

On Earth Day, President Joe Biden announced a new policy to protect mature and old growth trees which store the most carbon. Unfortunately, the president’s order will not ban logging of mature and old-growth forests or even protect the trees.  Instead, the President’s order is the latest version of a long bipartisan, Orwellian plan to subsidize the destruction […]

The unhoused: America’s refugees

BY: - April 30, 2022

Who are unhoused people? We all have various ideas of who is an unhoused person and how they became unhoused. These are based on what we see in the media, stories from friends and family, or what we see in the street. There simply is no such thing as the “typical” unhoused person. No one […]

Hypocrites on the left, right

BY: - April 29, 2022

In San Francisco and other cities there is a big homeless issue. It is due to many factors both economic and drug related, but in this most liberal city solutions such as building high density housing are rejected because those neighborhoods fear that the projects would (take your pick): Increase crime, lower property values, ruin […]

Why is climate change a partisan issue?

BY: - April 29, 2022

These days, protecting the very systems that enable life on Earth has inexplicably become a partisan issue. But why would that be? We all need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, clean soil in which to grow food and a functioning, life-supporting climate. Without those essentials, life as we know it is imperiled […]

Hungry children just too much bother for the state of Montana

BY: - April 28, 2022

“For I was naked and you clothed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. And  I was hungry, and you decided against feeding me because of the administrative burdens.” Jesus’ words don’t quite have the same ring to them when translated for today’s political environment, I guess. Of course, I adapted his famous […]

The BLM should protect Fort Belknap Indian Community from more pollution

BY: - April 27, 2022

Imagine living in a rural community and watching your waterways run red with contamination from a nearby, poorly planned, now-closed gold mine. This scene is a reality for the Fort Belknap Indian Community which watched in horror as their once pristine mountain waters became no longer safe to drink, let alone touch. That is why […]

City of Billings targeting legal massage therapists instead of going after criminals

BY: - April 27, 2022

In the April 20 article concerning the massage therapy lawsuit against the City of Billings, Mayor Bill Cole remarked that, “They (massage therapists) didn’t seem to want to compromise in any way.” He implied that we didn’t want to be inconvenienced. I disagree. I’ve been involved in writing, supporting or opposing massage therapy laws on […]