Archive for July 13th, 2009

by jhwygirl

Apparently, Jeannette Rankin isn’t held in as high esteem by some: The Helena IR reported today that newspaper artifacts dating back to 1916 were found in the dumpster by alert capitol custodian Tammy Moore.

Moore, making the usual rounds Thursday night through the Capitol building offices, was disposing of items marked trash by workers who had cleaned out an old storage room. An old, yellowing newspaper clip fell out of one, prompting the 13-year veteran to pause.

“I thought to myself ‘wait a minute, this has to be old,’” said Moore, 36. “I opened it up and there was Jeannette Rankin all over it.”

Moore took the original 1916 newspaper stories on the congresswoman-elect to the governor’s office, where it was immediately recognized as treasure — not trash.

Interesting factoid out of that story – one I don’t recall ever hearing before: Jeannette Rankin was a Republican.

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By JC

20 years ago I was the editor of a fledgling eco-rag, the Wild Rockies Review. As I was cleaning out some corners of one of my closets, I came across a pile of paste ups (that’s what we constructed back in the days, as we got used to our Mac Plusses and Pagemaker thingies). And an article struck me as having an odd resonance across the last two decades, covered with much dust collected as my life took varied turns and twists.

So I thought as an introduction, you all might like to have an insight as to where my thinking was as a starry-eyed budding radical, back during the time of Reagan and Bush I.

“Today we are witnessing the erosion of our fundamental constitutional rights, and our rights as inhabitants of this planet. It is an era wherein individuals engage in the role of protecting the inalienable rights of the non-human world against the philosophy of political freedom espoused by the likes of former Secretary of the Interior, James Watt. Freedom takes many a turn for those who involve themselves in the battle of natural vs political rights.

McCarthyism rears its ugly head once again as our political system silences those who attempt to uncover its dirty secrets. Unfortunately, our idealistic and naive sensibilities have left us vulnerable to those who have studied the arts of political and ideological suppression, and are putting them to use. We are but a small and vocal minority of individuals who dare speak from the heart and mind, not the pocketbook, in our defense of the planet and its inhabitants…

Many sit by and wring their hands as they struggle with their ingrained tendency to let things slide, believing in the false security of the status quo–the pablum that our elected officials, industry, and their paid dogs feed us in our advertiser supported and controlled (read exploitive) media….”

–excerpted from “Political Freedom: The Art of Selective Democracy, and the Fall of America,” Wild Rockies Review, Summer Solstice, 1989

…the more they stay the same.”

by jhwygirl

The Washington Post had an article in Sunday’s paper – More Families are Becoming Homeless – which included a statistic for Montana:

In Mississippi, the number of homeless increased 42 percent last year; in Wyoming, 40 percent; in Montana and Missouri, 23 percent; and in Iowa, 22 percent.

What to say? Supposedly, Montana is not suffering to the degree other states are with regards to the economic downturn – yet that statistic tells otherwise.

I don’t know how this number translates locally. Is Missoula seeing more families? More veterans? More homeless people?

Montana is always behind whatever it is going on economically in California…and if you haven’t heard, they’re sinking pretty low. They starting issuing IOU’s for payments, and now the largest banks quit cashing them (or threatened to) on Friday. Fitch cut the state’s bond rating from A-minus to BBB, which is just above junk status.

I’m no financial wizard, but that tells me that Montana will have more downhill to go before things start picking up. Hell – 50% of Montanans are from out of state – and our new home housing industry has long been driven by out-of-state buyers. On KPAX yesterday, I heard that our new housing starts are down 40% statewide.

2009 Legislative Session cuts to the Department of Public Health and Human Services leave this situation all the more troubling.

by jhywgirl

Anyone who peruses these pages or Left in the West is familiar with JC, one of the more frequent commenters at both sites. I know I’ve enjoyed his comments. Frankly, there are times when I’ve been unable to comment and seeing that JC was holdin’ down the floor, keeping things clear and concise, that I was grateful to know 4&20 was in good hands.

After some careful consideration on his part, JC has decided to take a jump into Montana’s blogsphere’s waters and take on the role as blogger here at 4&20 blackbirds.

I’m looking forward to his first post and all those thereafter. Please help me in welcoming him on board!

JC? Thanks!




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