Archive for November 18th, 2013

by lizard

I’ve lived in Missoula for 13 years and in that time I’ve become familiar with a handful of Missoula characters who, while I don’t know them personally, I recognize because I always see them around. Some of these characters are no longer around, like Red, the old man who sat in a chair on Main Street and shouted at people as they walked by, and Tommy the Leprechaun. Others are still around, like the couple who seem to be at every Caras Park event, dancing all herky-jerky to whatever music is playing, like they’re having a slow-motion seizure.

One of these characters I’ve known as simply Malamute Guy. I always see him downtown or along the river trail with his dogs.

Malamute Guy’s real name is Layne Spence. I know that because there is an article in today’s paper about an asshole hunter who shot and killed Layne’s youngest dog, Little Dave, yesterday afternoon near Lolo pass:

Layne Spence was skiing with his three dogs on a quiet logging road in Lee Creek when, according to Spence, a rifle shot echoed through the air.

Then, Spence saw his 2-year-old brown and white dog, “Little Dave,” fall down with a shot to a leg.

About 15 yards away from him and his dogs, Spence saw a man in camouflage holding an assault weapon.

“I started screaming ‘Stop, stop,’ and the man kept shooting,” said Spence, 48, and who is often seen walking his dogs around Missoula’s river front. “And he kept shooting.”

“My dog is lying there, dead and I shouted ‘What are you doing?’ and the guy said, ‘I thought it was a wolf.’ ”

After the man allegedly shot Spence’s dog six times, he took off without another word, leaving Spence to deal with the tragedy of his dead dog.

If you have any information about this despicable “hunter”, please call crimestoppers: 721-4444.

At the very least, this person should never be allowed to “hunt” again. He should also have his guns taken away from him, for life.

Layne, I’m so sorry for your loss.

by lizard

Thanks to Netflix, I’ve been on quite the documentary kick lately, providing handy material for posts about how to survive a plague of transients and Kubrick moon-landing conspiracies.

Well, tonight I finally watched We Steal Secrets, and despite being exposed to the damage-control attacks from the Wikileaks camp via platforms like Twitter, I found the documentary to be quite credible, and compelling.

One of the big takeaways I got from the film is how destructive the cult of personality can be to worthy causes/ideas/movements, especially when moral righteousness is your main public currency.

Maybe this is just my own biased perceptions, but I seem to remember, in regards to the early reporting of the OWS protests, a palpable desire by the media to find personalities to stand-in for the discontent that was being expressed. Not providing those characters seemed to confuse and upset the establishment media.

Despite all the difficult groundwork a non-hiearchal structure takes to maintain, in hindsight it was a smart move, because to this day it’s the idea of OWS that persists, and not the face of some blond-haired Aussie who relished the fame he finally caught.

When it comes to the cult of personality, I’m concerned supporters of Brian Schweitzer are making a similar mistake as the burned supporters of Julian Assange.

Bob Brigham, for example, cites Schweitzer’s stunt of bussing old people to Canada as evidence of a substantive commitment to a single payer health care system in a post at DownWithTyranny!:

For the last decade, Brian Schweitzer has butted heads with Max Baucus over health care. Schweitzer made a name for himself pioneering the bold campaign tactic of taking busloads of seniors to Canada to get their prescriptions filled cheaper. Baucus on the other hand, is PhRMA’s top guy in the senate. Brian Schweitzer has been one of the country’s leading voices for single payer. Max Baucus took out the Public Option and replaced it with the Individual Mandate. And in this senate primary, Baucus’s hand picked successor is sticking with Baucus while John Bohlinger is changing the dialogue to health care as a right and trumpeting the success of the Schweitzer state health clinics for public workers.

When you tie your rope to the mast of personality, it’s a fickle wind that blows your sails.

The primary battle of Johns is not “a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party” it’s a personal grudge match.

Good luck with that, MT politicos.

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