Archive for May 5th, 2008

by Pete Talbot

In our previous meetings, I have noted that I am unwilling to vote against funding the occupation. The President has made it clear that if such funds were cut off, he would allocate resources from other defense projects like Malmstrom Air Force Base.”

Those awkwardly worded sentences come from a letter by Sen. Max Baucus to a peace activist in Butte. What Max is trying to say, I think, is that he will continue to funnel money to Iraq so an air force base in Great Falls gets it funding.

So, it’s all about the pork. We’ll stay in Iraq for, let’s say 100 years, so that military bases in places like the Electric City can continue to get their share of the pork pie. Can’t cut the Iraq occupation funding because we’d have to cut Malmstrom funding. Talk about fuzzy logic.

Malmstrom’s main mission, by the way, is to guard those nuclear missiles we have in holes in the ground all over Charlie Russell country.

I like Great Falls and certainly wouldn’t want it to suffer economically but as is pointed out in an email thread I received from peace groups around the state, Malmstrom isn’t that great a deal. This from a Great Falls resident:

“In short, it’s corporate welfare, and most of the money spent goes to a few out of state companies like Boeing. The Minuteman system (periodically upgraded at the same price it would cost to develop new systems, now) has cost the U.S. taxpayers some $50 billion in Montana alone over the life of the program, but not even 10% of that was actually spent in Montana.

(snip)

And the nuclear mission profoundly discourages local private business investment and other forms of real economic growth. Who wants to live in a nuclear garrison town? Yet, our Congressional delegation thoughtlessly supports this mission (with lobbying co-ordinated by Boeing and other major military contractors), just as though it were somehow to our advantage. It’s absolutely despicable.

(Most) every other city in Montana has grown and prospered over the past 40 years. Great Falls is much poorer and less developed now than it was in 1968, with almost exactly the same population. If Malmstrom was so good for our local economy, we’d be rich and the other Montana cities in decline.

Another email contained this gem:

” … dollar for dollar (Malmstrom is) one of the worst investments in Montana’s economy compared to investment in the immensely pressing Montana needs in affordable/decent housing, genuine economic development, health care, protection of the environment, education, children’s well-being and all issues that progressives care about.”

And this from a Great Falls resident:

“The idea that Bush would close Malmstrom if Congress refused to fund the Iraq occupation is insane. The correct policy would be to demand that Bush (it is actually Congress that decides, unfortunately) close Malmstrom as part of an overall military spending reduction focused on ending the war and occupation, as well as the nuclear arms race. Both are very positive and necessary steps to take.”

The logic in the above quotes is certainly stronger than Max’s.

We’re in year number five in Iraq and the violence there continues. Max is slated to go back to the U.S. Senate for six more years, barring some extremely bizarre twist of fate. When is Max going to give us the real reason he’s still supporting the Iraq occupation, or if he isn’t, what’s his strategy for getting us the hell out?

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by jhwygirl

A friend mentioned it, and I went looking. It’s real hard to prove that something doesn’t exist. After all – if it didn’t happen, how do you prove it didn’t happen?

And maybe that is the point of it all.

Two weeks ago I wrote that the Symbiotic Relationship of the Bush Administration and the Mainstream Media has No Boundary. That piece detailed the relationship between the mainstream medias so-called military analysts (retired Army General James Marks, retired Army Colonel John C. Garret, retired Air Force General Joseph W. Ralston, retired General Paul E. Vallely, retired Major General Bob Scales – hell, the list goes on…) and the Pentagon, which provided them with perks and inside scripted talking points. The Times article went on to expose the corporate connections these so-called analysts have, and the conflict of interest resulting from the inherent financial benefits they stood to gain from keeping the war machine moving along, irregardless of the dangers it posed for our troops. Irregardless of the truth it masked.

Has there been a mention of that extensive article by the New York Times on any of the television news outlets? No.

How many times has the New York Times article been mentioned since its publication two weeks ago? Twice. Two pieces, both being on the April 24th PBS NewsHour.News coverage in the week following the New York Times article

This illustrates, for me, why blogs are all the more important in today’s media. News sources – local and national – are failing us, folks. While blogs won’t replace traditional media, they can serve to keep important issues in the public’s eye, and they can serve to give attention to the issues that affect our everyday lives.

by Jason Wiener

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 6, is the school trustees election. Two seats for the Missoula city elementary district are up for election. I am posting to ask you to vote for Adam Duerk for one of those seats.

Some background on the election:
Only one name, incumbent Kelley Hirning is listed on the ballot. In addition, there are two registered write-in candidates for the election. The top two vote-getters, regardless of whether he or she is a write-in will be elected to the school board. In order to vote for Adam Duerk, you need to darken the oval next to a blank line on the ballot and write in his name and spell it correctly: Adam Duerk (note the spelling–D-U-E-R-K). Please take a moment to jot down the correct spelling as misspelled votes will not count.

What’s the school board do anyway?
Trustees of the Missoula City Elementary District make decisions on issues pertaining to elementary schools in the Missoula city district (excluding Target Range, Hellgate Elementary and several other regions) as well as voting on matters relevant to the high school district, in conjunction with members from the outlying elementary districts. The school board’s responsibilities include overseeing the superintendent, setting budget priorities, supervising curriculum and instruction and determining how property owned by the school district will be used or disposed.

One more time with the pitch:
Adam Duerk (Note the spelling: D-U-E-R-K) is intelligent, discerning and principled. His advocacy will serve students, teachers and the whole community well. I have included a message from Adam below. Please let me know if I can answer any questions.

Thanks for being involved.

*****************************************************************

A message from Adam Duerk:

Hi there,

I’ve thrown my hat in the ring for the Missoula County School Board.

If you haven’t committed to another candidate already, I’d appreciate your vote. Every vote helps, so if you feel comfortable forwarding my name to others, that would be great. An added challenge in this race is that my name will not be printed on the ballot (I was encouraged to run by several current board members after the deadline for filing). Write-in rules dictate my name must be written in on the ballot exactly as it appears below. (The little box next to my name must also be filled in). If you decide to let others know about me, please let them know how to spell my last name.

If anyone asks you about my experience, you can tell them that I taught in private schools for 9 years (3 years at a combined middle school/high school in Colorado and 6 years with the Outward Bound School). My job at Outward Bound involved working with students in the field and at the administrative level. I also taught for 1 year as a substitute teacher here in Missoula County at both the elementary and high school levels prior to enrolling in law school. This past year, I helped launch the Missoula Education Foundation – the fundraising arm for public school programs in Missoula. For more information on MEF, see http://www.mcps.k12.mt.us/portal/Default.aspx?tabid=1471

With your help, I think I can win this thing – despite the odds.
Thanks!
Adam Duerk
546-0881
aduerk@bigskylawyers.com




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