Various & Sundry for the Weekend

by jhwygirl

Please consider this an open thread.

Wow. Didn’t know compliance with state laws was voluntary. Pretty convenient, huh?

Bitterroot foreclosures are skyrocketing.

I follow a number of foreign tweeters, including some chinese folk who continue to try and push stories out about the melamine-in-baby-food problem. One that I follow was arrested and then later released probably because he tweeted his own arrest. Now, that tweeter is tweeting that organizers for the families of the victims of the tainted milk have been arrested. There’s one guy who has posted pics of his tiny baby who is in kidney failure. It is heartbreaking. Their government is failing them, and the world needs to know.

Twitter is all very interesting. There is great potential there to influence and help promote democracy from what seems a silly tech site. When the Iranian guard cracked down recently most media and even those within Iran agreed that Twitter served as a tool to save lives from the harsh government crackdown. Another group that I’m aware of is trying to get 5 Cubans released, and wants the U.S. to intervene. Twitter makes the world larger for one of it’s most difficult issues: human rights.

Melinda Gopher, Democratic candidate for Montana’s lone House of Representative seat, has a website up. Ms. Gopher is OjibwekweOgemaw on twitter.

Forward Montana is hiring a managing director. No mail or phone calls, please. Deadline is December 7.

Facts are, apparently, a problem for former Republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin

If you aren’t reading the Indy’s blog every day, you are missing out.

The Montana Kaimin reports on the woefully sad story of how the Board of Regents is going to have to have to give King George a $75,000 raise, all because the hired a new president out an MSU. The Missoulian covered the same story about a week ago…and it, too, had interviews with persons who were more than happy to frame it as a “oh, poor us, we have to give him a $75,000 raise.” Sorry. Not buying it. No where else in Montana is an entity hiring new people based on competitive wages and then giving a raise to every single other person of the same job a raise.

In more irony, these people are framing this as some sort of search for excellence. Let’s be clear here, with regards to George Dennison. He’s there already. What has he done to increase his excellence rating to a tune of $75,000? And lately, he’s not really shown any excellence in leadership towards education. Football maybe. Beyond that – isn’t he due to recycle his let’s-bulldoze-the-golf-course-and-build-condos plan again? I say let him prove his excellence to someone else if he wants $280,000 a year…and then let’s promote from within the walls of UM. I’m sure there’s someone down there not only capable, but more than willing to take the job on at less than $280,000.

Well now – that’s enough, isn’t it? What say you?

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  1. King George manages a complex organisation. If he were in the private system and had this big a budget and this many people under him, he’d be making 10 times the puny amount that state government offers him.

    But, you make a good point about there not being any evaluation to justify his pay raise. How does staff and faculty have to document their performance in order to get a pay raise? I think they need to threaten to leave. And just maybe we would let King George leave!

    Rumor has it there is an internal candidate who would very much like his job, and is patiently waiting for George to announce his retirement. This fuss over pay might be just the excuse King G. needs to make that denouement.

    • The Kaimin piece goes into how staff and faculty has to justify raises. King George has assistants and vp’s out the wazoo that get everything done for him. His job does, truly, make him King, as he is more of a poltical schmoozer figurehead than anything like the guys in the trenches doing the real work of administrating the university. There’s the political side and the work side. George is on the political side.

      • One other thing: In both stories, the people that speak about this $75,000 bucks act like it is law or something that practically binds them to give him a raise.

        There are staff that are worried right now about losing hourly wage jobs and UM has a $3.2 million shortfall (or something like that) and they’re talking like they have to give him a raise?

        In the Missoulian story, George reacts like “yeah – it’s a shame, but that’s how it is.”

        Pleeeeezzzzzz.

        • goof houlihan

          I’ll do it for half that. It’s not that complex or challenging. It’s the entrenched academic bullshit that is so brightly typified by the “have to give a 75,000 raise and keep up with MSU” that costs so much.

          Hire someone in the private sector and watch her/him kick some ass. A forty one percent graduation rate is a firing offense. 75k raise for failure is pathetic. LOWER his salary to 75k.

  2. Richard Turner

    Melinda Gopher has a website all right, but the site doesn’t have contact information (except a PO box for contributions). I contacted the State Democratic office and tried to get her phone number or e-mail. They gave me three separate phone numbers. None was good. One was for Walgreens.

    Why is she being so coy?

    • I don’t know that it’s intentional. She’s just getting up and running.

      Your point does lead me to check – if she’s soliciting for campaign funds, she’s officially running – and so shouldn’t she have a disclaimer and address on there? “Paid for by Melinda Gopher for Congress, PO box blah blah blah, blah blah, blah 59somethingsomething”?

      Everyone has quirks to work out.

  3. Lizard

    people in the position to do so trying to enrich themselves?

    here’s an interesting piece from the raw story: Former US diplomat could make ‘hundreds of millions’ off Iraqi oil fields

    A former US ambassador who played an instrumental role in the drafting of Iraq’s constitution stands to make “hundreds of millions” of dollars from an oil deal he struck that was only possible because of a constitutional provision he helped push through, news reports say.

    now, i’m not trying to make a comparison here, but why would anyone be shocked that people try to make themselves as much money as possible?

    this is the way the world works, and if you’re not doing it yourself then someone else will to your detriment.

    • Unless merit is associated with the reward, Lizard, it’s really greed.

      Greed isn’t something I’m going to go around praising.

      • Lizard

        greed is intrinsic to classic economic theory; the impetus to grow trumps all, even the depletion of finite resources.

        that’s what they teach at institutions of higher learning.

  4. problembear

    the greed is good mantra of the late nineties and early century has swung the pendulum so far to the right that it threatens to kill the dream for most of america’s disenfranchised and cynical middle and poor class citizens.

    we have watched the greedy few steal and cheat themselves to the top and it is now time to curtail the rampant greed that has infested our culture. yes, america is ostensibly a market-based, freedom loving culture which is intended to allow us to better ourselves with competition and hard work.

    unfortunately, the privileged class has gamed the system so much it collapsed and now they have helped themselves to so much of our taxpayer dollars that it has essentially become socialism for the rich, while they tell the rest of us to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and deny us basics like health care.

    notice i made no mention of political parties here. the blame for this socialism of america for the rich is laid at the feet of both parties here, and i for one, am sick and tired of the whole crappy mess. i am sick of listening to hypocrisy from both parties while they find excuses to “work with” the corporate and bureaucratic excesses which poison the root of our country.




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