Archive for February 14th, 2009


by problembear

let’s just make it a date for around may 2010, shall we?  

since it’s valentine’s day i want to be sure and let you know that we want to get close to your business with our signs and talk to a few folks….hope you won’t mind….i will try and stay upwind….so you get the full effect.

he’s stinky, he’s wide, he’s a problem….and he’s coming to a sidewalk near you….also a great big problembear shout out to all those montana legislators who voted in this legislative session to allow predatory payday and vehicle title loan businesses to continue to charge montana’s working poor 650% interest. we won’t forget you either. i promise…..we will visit your legislative districts to give a great big bear hug to all who join montana’s citizens; republicans, democrats, progressives and independents who demand regulation of this industry, and to stump for your more fair-minded opponents.

as of this writing there is still a slim chance that the republican members of the montana legislature will come to their senses and allow senate bill 397 to move forward but if not we would like to assure them that there will be a citizen based ballot initiative addressing this issue available for all of us to vote for payday/vehicle title regulation in 2010. watch for it…you can just smell it coming already can’t you?

by Pete Talbot

4&20 offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Lt. Col. Garnet “Gary” Derby. He was from Whitehall but listed Missoula as his home. He was killed in Iraq on Monday, along with three other soldiers and an interpreter, in a roadside bombing.

Lt. Col. Derby is the 21st Montana serviceman to die in Iraq (ranking Montana fourth per capita in residents 18-54). Only Vermont, North Dakota and South Dakota lead Montana in number of deaths as a percentage of population.

He is the 4243rd American killed. There have been 31,035 injured. Estimates range from 90,670-98,992 in the number of Iraqis killed as a result of direct military or paramilitary action.

The war enters it’s sixth year next month. Sectarian violence continues. American deaths since George W. Bush proclaimed “mission accomplished”: 4105.

(Update — In the comments below, jhwygirl corrects the number of Montanans killed in Iraq: 29. My fault for working off an incomplete list.)

by Ana J. Beard 

After receiving a vague e-mail today from a reporter from the Independent, about the school board meeting I attended and spoke at on Feb. 10, I called him, as he had requested.

Call me naive but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that I was about to get interviewed.

First off, let me say that this reporter was nothing but polite and supportive. He told me that I did a good job at the meeting and that he thought I was doing the right thing. 

His questions, though, were what threw me off. After being complimented, I was asked about how I’d met with Forward Montana. Did they contact me, did I contact them, how did they contact me? Well, I contacted Matt Singer from Forward Montana. It only got more… accusatory? from there. Maybe accusatory isn’t the right word. It isn’t. It’s the only word that comes to mind though.

The whole conversation, all I could think about was the wording of his questions. As I said before, he was very respectful but it didn’t take me too long to realise what was so “off” about it all.

All of his questions had to do with: who had me do this, who told me to do that? Forward Montana helped me write me piece for the school board, right? What else am I doing about the school board? Who told me to do that?

It made me think of all of the letters to the editors I’ve seen in the Missoulian in the last few days and the comment threads online, written by people that agree with the school board’s decision with “The Story of Stuff”. Obviously even the Independent doubts teenagers’ abilities to think freely and self-motivate. The Independent questions today’s youths’ ability to think independently? Ironic…
Sad, actually. I’m sorry to disappoint whoever wanted to know–I wrote all of my own material, I attended the meeting on my own free will, and I am not a product of someone’s brainwashing ways. Yes, I had people who offered their support, there were people who wanted to teach me the different resources I had to “make noise” and there were people who answered my random little questions I had about addressing the school board (“Madam chair and members of the board…”) and how public comment at a meeting works.

Like I said before, I had no idea I was being interviewed until the end of the conversation when the reporter said “Well that’s all the questions I have for now…” Immediately I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. I should have known it was an interview. His questions were too leading to be casual conversation, off the record, between two journalists. I felt a little sketched out being on the other side of the notebook.

I was at a loss for words, so I just thanked him when he, once again, offered his support and said to keep up the good work and to “keep pitching story ideas to the Indy” (I had previously asked to cover the school board story but it had already been assigned and it was a conflict of interests, which I completely understand. The Lance runs the same way).

I don’t know if it was the reporter, himself, who doubts teenagers, or if it was somebody else’s angle but why is it so hard to believe that we (well, most of us) have fully functional brains? We aren’t blank slates for our “liberal” teachers, “conservative” parents, or violent/overtly sexual media (or wherever the blame is being placed) to mark up.

by jhwygirl

Please consider this an open thread.

Plenty of people getting into the legislative spirit this week. Great to see! There’s Wulfgar!’s takedown of Sen. Dan McGee’s SB46; there’s Roscoe, over at Left in the West giving some progressive “love” to SB318; and Supermontanareporter John S. Adams’ attempts to answer an interesting question from a reader regarding SB34 and the state senate’s vote to move the bill forward: Isn’t challenging the Constitution a violation of the oath of office?

Adams, btw, is soliciting questions that his readers have about the legislature. Got one? Send it to him.

The Montana Meth Project got quite a bit of attention this week – Pogie at Intelligent Discontent got this which questions the exorbitant $100,000+ salary of the projects executive director and this one which analyzes the money spent and the efficiency of the project’s successes. Bunk the West then went at the same topic, questing what Montanans are likely to see in the near future from the MMP.

I’m peeking in on The Button Valley Bugle a lot lately, and they’ve been obliging with a post nearly every day this week. My favorite? Bushed all over again, which includes an apology to our friends up north.

My second favorite? The legislative update for the upcoming week.

The Flathead Democrats are getting into the legislative watch too. LOVE IT!

All ya’all keep that legislative stuff coming!

Moving on, moving on…..

Time has a piece in this weeks past issue How to Save Your Newspaper.

On that note – The Flathead Memo lamented the financial situation of a number of larger papers…but he also mused over the shrinking Perspective section of the Daily Interlake. See February 12th’s post for that.

Helen, of Margaret and Helen, has been saving her friend Margaret (saving us all, really) from having to read Ann Coulter’s new book. She’s up to a total of 5 posts now…but really, head on over and just read ’em all yourself. Fabulous bloggers, those women.

Daily Kos’ feature writers start moving out of anonymity

Joanne Wilke, a Writer on the Range, has an exquisite piece of writing in this weeks The Missoula Independent.

I have to admit – I knew Elk Bull No. 6, and it sure was an ignoble way to go for such famous and fabulous animal. I had watched him battle countless times over the years – watched him charge vehicles and ignorant tourists. And I got bummed when game officials cut his antlers. Twice.

At least he got a “Breaking Headline” in the Montana Standard. Way to go, Gerry O’brien.

The Jackson Hole Daily only gave him a regular headline and story. But they did have the pic, though. Park spokesperson Al Nash said that they wouldn’t normally issue a news release on a dead elk, but Number 6 and his sparring partner, “Number 10,” have gained a reputation with the public throughout the years.

Even the Seattle Times got into the action

At least No. 6 is memorialized in video by the NPS.

This story has me remembering Boris the Bison, who I also knew.

Just wanted to let you all know – Big Ben played the Superbowl with 2 broken ribs

Superbowl fever never dies for Steeler fans.

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