That;s me in the middle

That;s me in the middle

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"The CIA is lying..."

“Director Brennan and the CIA today are continuing to willfully provide inaccurate information and misrepresent the efficacy of torture,
” Udall said.

“The CIA is lying. This is not an issue of the past, this is going on today.”

It is boggling that the media gives them so much time to lament their lack of due process, because they deserve it, but the innocent people they torture do not. Our poor widdle CIA agents sound like they all need a protein and a nap.

The torture program we did not have was extremely important

Bullet Makers Sue For Lead Exposure

I am speechless.

Our New Farming & Ranching Expert

Surprise- it's Scott Reichner! Although I have been to attended a number of water meetings over the years, I don't recall seeing Scott Reichner at any of them; definitely not at the informational meeting in September. Despite not showing up to listen to the people that have put a massive amount of time and money into the process had a very successful PR push for a small new non profit that is dead set to overturn and disrupt the carefully crafted agreements  that have already been reached.

 Rumor has it that Keith Regier is talking lawsuits -like 55 million dollars worth of lawsuits -to prevent the water compact from going through.

Reichner's new non-profit boasts hundreds of supporters and lists them by first name and last initial! New hires Eric Whitney and Steve Jess  at Montana Public Radio appear to believe that Reichner is the real deal. I recommend that you read the work of Laura Lundquist at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle instead.

 Unlike Reichner's group, Montana Water Stewards- a non partisan group- formed in 2013  for the express purpose of educating the public about the compact and they have earned credibility. Read the back story here.

The Dirtiest DealYou Never Heard Of

There does seem to be a media blackout on the nearly secret Trans Pacific Partnership,

Monday, December 8, 2014


A "Christian" group is spreading misinformation about doctor assisted suicide.

I can't believe that I didn't notice the story about the Nigerian posing as Attorney General Tim Fox to scam some lonely hearts earlier (like last month?)

Vaping your booze is the hot new thing to do. The FCC wants more time to do what it wants to do about Net Neutrality. Of course the telecoms are spending big bucks to confuse the issue. The usual suspects are urging the Federal Trade Commission to punt in favor of paid prioritization on the internet.

A new study finds a positive correlation between political donations and tax rates. Imagine that.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


I know that we lost some elections and some things look pretty sucky from a progressive point of view, but you must be grateful that your inbox has not been flooded with this for almost four weeks now.
terrible decision
about last night
humiliating loss
shocking defeat
crushing defeat
massive loss
agonizing defeat
painful loss
humiliating defeat
painful loss
debilitating defeat
it's too late
devastating loss
crippling blow
devastating defeat
I'm a little worried
dead in the water:
NEW REPORTS (doomed)
{first_name}: horrible loss
enormous loss
this could be the end:
too damn close:
devastating blow

Monday, November 24, 2014

Will Congress Bankrupt the Post Office?

Unless Congress takes action to dismantle the sabotage imposed upon the United States Postal Service by the the Congress, chances are good that our Post Office will face serious attempts to dismantle, downsize and privatize the institution we all depend on. . It does not have to happen, there are better ways, some that include banking.

Previous cuts to the Postal Service have already adversely affected Montana.

picture and the story are from Think Progress

Friday, October 31, 2014

Call to Action

This letter was written by the cutie standing next to me in the picture at the top of this blog, and she managed to get it published in almost every paper in the state!

On the 100th anniversary of Montana women’s right to vote, everyone’s right to vote is at stake in the 2014 election! Few Montanans can compete with $10,000 to $425,000 donations.

Daily, corporate fundraisers are the newest fad in Washington, D.C., thanks to fewer anti-corruption rules. Only 28% of Ryan Zinke’s donations and 33% of Steve Daine’s donations come from Montanans compared to 70% of John Lewis’s funds. Zinke’s recent fundraiser cost $10,000/couple with John Boehner who leads the most unpopular U.S. Congress ever, with only a 10% approval rating. Steve Daines collected $425,000 from a Wall Street billionaire and his vulture capitalists who profit from failure.

Your vote is extremely important in 2014!

In 2012, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices, many whom were nominated with a religious promise to strike down a woman's right to vote in her own reproduction, struck down Montana's 1912 Corrupt Practices Act, now diminishing all US citizens’ right to vote in elections.

As a result, in 2012, 75% of Montanans voted for a referendum directing Montana's two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Congressman to create a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to stop unlimited corporate money from buying elections, echoing our 1912 referendum. In September 2014, Republican U.S. Senators blocked this bill.

Can you afford to buy politicians?

To preserve the power of the vote, vote for intelligent, 35 year old, math teacher Amanda Curtis to be Montana’s first female U.S. Senator! Stop voting for the most unpopular U.S. Congress ever, vote for John Lewis for U.S. House!

Use this letter to get your community to vote Amanda Curtis and John Lewis starting October 6th at your county courthouse!

Judicial Hi-Jinx

If you have been following James and the Cowgirl concerning the hi-jinx surrounding the Van Dyke candidacy for the Montana Supreme Court, then you likely noticed the whole scheme is way off.  Senator Tester called Stanford and affiliates to the mat for meddling in our elections.

Looking outside of Montana, a C&L commentator's tip  eventually led me to learn that outside money is pouring into Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Missouri, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Then Tom Glover from the Bozeman Democrats tweeted this link about a politically disrupting conservative with strong ties to Coca Cola and Stanford University.

Coca Cola? Riverdaughter at the Confluence picked up on something unsavory about Coca Cola's  political spending .  The excessive and secretive political spending is unsettling to say the least. Returning to the topic of Van Dyke's candidacy, Rob Breeding notes that our Stream Access Law is simply one of the issues at stake in the Supreme Court election.

While Rob chose to focus exclusively on the potential threat to our Stream Access Law, I chose to look at Van Dykes campaign report with the understanding that it is just the tip of the iceberg. One item that stood out was the number of donations by members of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm. Notable clients include Wal Mart, Kraft, & Viacom, past cases include Bush V Gore. Ugly stuff, but somebody has to defend them, and lawyers do need to eat, just like the rest of us.

That said, I am disgusted with the way Chevron got off Scott free for all of the environmental and human damage their company caused. Here is a little more meat and background of the Chevron story. Let us not overlook the Dole Food Co. (DOLE), Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (FDP) and Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) were sued by more than 1,000 banana plantation workers from Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama in a new round of cases claiming injury from a pesticide.
The chemical, dibromochloropropane, has been linked tosterility, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer, eye problems,skin disorders and kidney damage, according to eight separate complaints filed since May 31 in federal court in Delaware.
The pesticide, banned in the U.S. in 1979, was sprayed on fields to eliminate microscopic nematode worms, and workers “wore no gloves, protective covering or respiratory equipment” and none of the defendants “ever informed them that they were in danger,” the plaintiffs said in court papers.

Factoring the Chamber of Commerce's renewed insistence of Tort Reform  into the equation and our entire existence has the potential to become a toxic wasteland. Speaking of wasteland, we are currently in protracted negotiations with our county officials about the way we manage our refuse. It does not seem as if they are responsive to our needs and wants at all.

Photo Credit  and Story about the business of collecting waste

. Remember, Jon Sonju did manage to squirm a tricky cookie cutter bill that restricts local governments from beginning their own garbage service removal if there is a private service available.

It is rather interesting to note the waste disposal companies donations to Mark Blasdel's campaign

What industries are funding your candidates?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 18 Trillion Dollar Talking Point

\> Notice How often it comes up when the discussion is about meeting human needs, not so much when it comes to weapons. Imagine the money spent on this Heavy Metal. The USA's spending on weapons is such an ingrained behavior that we have taken to simultaneously arming two or more sides of the same conflict. 18 Trillion Debt indeed.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Did Dis Daines Dirty His Britches?

I have come to think of him as "Dirty Water Daines" because he voted against the Clean Water Act during the grueling eight days that Congress worked in August, but the way he kept holding his breath and bearing down while Amanda spoke reminds me of a little kid in the act of dirtying his britches.

Shutdown Steve is obviously not happy when he does not get his way. Of course nothing is ever his responsibility. Little britches he whined about Nancy Pelosi or President Obama several (how many?) times, and he complained (a lot) about D.C. problems.   Then he claimed that it cost too much to provide coverage for the people who do the work we call home health care. It does cost big companies like Lantis and others money to pay their employees, and it cost them money to insure their employees as well.

 The post debate panel was far too apologetic of Dirty Water Daines to be anywhere near objective. The "18 trillion dollar national debt" talking point that keeps coming up- last night it was Zinke, tonight it was Bob Brown, who also chose to blame Obama although neither Brown, Daine,, or Zinke ever complains when the government blows millions or billions on war toys for their cronies. It seemed to me that Dirty Water Daines was also on the verge of holding his breath and stomping his little feet every time he did or did not get his way in D.C. Then again, the men in the studio seemed to think that Dirty Water Daines looked and acted normal. Imagine that.

Photo from the Button Valley Bugle-read it

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lakeside Community Garden News

This information is clipped from the West Shore Happenings, courtesy of Dan Benesch. 1) Fall Gleanings of local fruit. This Saturday, Noon – 1:30 PM. The community garden will again be hosting a fruit gleaning this Saturday the 11th, from noon to 1:30. Afterwards we will be making cider, and you can join in on that also. We anticipate harvesting several hundred pounds of apples, pears, plums, and perhaps some grapes. Keep what you pick. Meet at the garden at 11:50. (In front of the Baptist Church, just up the hill from the Homestead CafĂ©). We will furnish the harvesting tools, you should bring your own containers. You are heartily encouraged to join in on this family friendly activity. We head out promptly at noon, so don’t arrive late. 2) Cider Making Party. Every year in the fall the community garden gleaners take the excess apples and pears to Tom Carlson’s house and turn them into cider. The first pressing of the season is this Saturday at 2:00PM (Right after the gleaning.) We meet at the garden and go from there. Please bring jugs and bottles. 3) Community Garden Fall Work Day. 10 AM – Noon It is that time of the year again. Would you like to take part in a community service project for two hours, help make the community garden a better place, and meet some of your neighbors? Join us this Saturday from 10 AM to Noon as we winterize the garden. If you have some cordless tools, bring them and fresh batteries please. 4) Farmers Market / Honors Market for Lakeside Being Proposed. It is fall and there is a lot of surplus fruit on the trees. Preparations are underway to create a brief local Honors Market. (A Farmer’s Market based on the honor system.) The proposed market allows locals to set up a table by the side of the road with some of their excess produce and a hand lettered sign telling the price. They attach a coffee can or lock box to the table so customers can put the money in it and walk away for a few hours. It works because the fruit and money are rarely stolen, (and if someone needs the food and a few bucks so badly that they have to steal it from a roadside fruit stand, well, God love them and help them put it to good use.) This could be a fun and uplifting declaration of the kinds of values we strive to reinforce in our community. We encourage you to have your kids set up a table in your front yard or, when we have it set up, down at the “Honors Market”, at the storage yard in mid-town on Hwy 93. The Lakeside Community Garden will set it up for one or two Saturdays in October, but nothing prevents you from setting it up there on your own on other days. (Note: This is for produce only. If you want to have a yard sale there you need to get permission from the owner.)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Good Things

Cliff Bennett announced that Brody and Zeuss should be in Missoula in time for lunch less than eight hours after he sent an email asking someone to take them. We are lucky to have so many committed volunteers in the Flathead:) There is a medical fundraiser for James Papa Cow Fenn. Did you hear about the anonymous donor who paid the tax bills on 30-40 mobile homes, keeping those people housed. :) There is a gleaning at the Lakeside Community Garden this afternoon :) Our candidates. I am so proud of them- this is the best election ever:) You can still register voters for Montana Women Vote.:) The Daily Interlake has a great events page:) Once upon a time ago, a school librarian and a famed neurosurgeon went on their first date, a potluck Harvest Dinner at the fairgrounds. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

To Be Human

I credit Brian Kahn of Home Ground Radioadio for making it possible to hear Doug Chadwick speak about the genesis, the history and the wonder of the work he does as a biologist and a writer, not to mention that he is also the husband of Karen Reeves, generally understood to be a person who has always found some way to step up into the many roles that matter to progressives/ liberals/ great-grandparents wanting their descendents to survive... It seems that I fall in love with Doug every time I hear him on the radio, so I embraced the synchronicity of listening to Brian interview Doug this show when I was looking to name this project the day after I read Karen's human interest stories we do business with in the Think, Shop and Buy Local Summer 2014 Guide enough to name this blog after that interview. You can listen to it right here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Because Amanda Curtis is our new Democratic Senate Candidate, everyone should have easy access to her youtube videos   I do like this one about her mail from "non partisan non taxed entities" If you have ever run for office, you know about getting lots of "educational material" from those non profits like AIPAC and the Heartland Institute

At Day 86 you can learn that House Bill 282 raised taxes for most Montanan's while lowering them for the wealthiest amongst us(4:15),at five minutes in, you can learn about Mark Blasdel adding four pages of amendments to a 14 line Bill.

Three minutes in to day 85 Amanda destroys the heavily publicized claim that the Republicans were unable to bring tax relief to Montanan's, and the first two and a half minutes of Day 83 describes what happened to the last Insurance Bill

You may be starting to believe that I have no intention of letting the Insurance Issue go. I don't we all know too many people that need affordable access to preventative healthcare and cannot get it. I believe that Mark Blasdel's own employees fall into that category.

If you care about this, the way that I do, please get behind your local candidates, but ask them what they will do first! For instance, Kim Flemming in House District 11 does not support any Medicaid expansion. The two people MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR DENYING 70,000 working Montanan's access to affordable healthcare are Mark Blasdel and David Howard. It is my heartfelt desire that Mark Blasdel and David Howard get to spend this winter safely at home with their own families rather than working to deny resources to vulnerable Montana families.

This is our choice point, the place where we get to decide to accept that the rules of our lives are governed by individuals that do not give a blip about us and the well being of our families, or we can put some initiative into educating ourselves and our neighbors about the people like Blasdel and Howard. Please support their iopponents Diane Taylor and Elli Elliot in their work to send those dark money lovers home to their families where they belong.

Elli made it easy to share how you can contribute to her, so her information is below.
Checks to: Elli for SD 29
P. O. Box 2326
Red Lodge, MT 59068
The donation limit is $170 per individual. Please include your occupation and employer for reporting purposes.
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