All lives matter. It is very disappointing that Mayor Engen openly tramples on our Constitution, and publicly shows his disdain towards taxpaying citizens just because they are exercising their right to bear arms along with their right to free speech. At least those who are “packing” have their history on record. Who are the demonstrators? Will those protesters happily pay each tax increase you levy on property owners at the snap of your fingers? We have not had any problems with our law enforcement, so why are the demonstrators here anyway? Thank God we have citizens who care enough about our community to be a protective force to aid our law enforcement!
Perhaps BLM supporters should demonstrate at the Blue Mountain Clinic, which has a process that was designed by Margaret Sanger to reduce or even eliminate the black population in America. I am part of a group that pickets this clinic, and I never see the mayor or any people from the university there to join us. If you value life, please join us.
The subject of Gary Marbut’s Letter to the Editor in the June 17, Missoulian is the recent peaceful demonstrations in Missoula and the right of anyone attending to bear firearms. He states: “If you cannot get into a tolerant comfort zone about this important constitutional right, perhaps Montana is not a good fit for you.” Baloney, Gary. This attitude ignores the First Amendment to the Constitution, “… the right of the people peaceably to assemble …” Persons who think of themselves in any role normally occupied by law enforcement and show up with their guns at a peaceful public assembly provoke nothing but intimidation, fear and anger. Though perhaps they are well-intentioned, they violate the constitutional right of citizens to peaceably assemble. Instead they detract from peace and productive public engagement by deepening the divides of misunderstanding and conflict that have weakened our free democracy over the past three years. It is increasingly important for all of us to do what we can to honestly participate in the search for truths in our society and recognize changes that will enhance “liberty and justice for all.” We have the freedom to enjoy our guns for hunting and sport shooting but have no role as self-appointed keepers of the peace.
If Senator Steve Daines had his way, protections for my husband's pre-existing conditions would be long gone. And I’m not alone.
My husband, a former firefighter and paramedic with diabetes and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, is one of more than 152,000 Montanans with a pre-existing condition. Without the Affordable Care Act, there is no guarantee that he could access even the most basic health care at a reasonable price. When Senator Daines voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he hung us out to dry.
Daines’ votes told me several things about him. He sided with party leaders in voting for the repeal bill despite opposition from and devastating effects on Montanans. He was unwilling to stand up to the special interests who would’ve been the only ones to benefit from repeal of the ACA (yes, the same special interests now donating to his campaign). And he didn’t vote with everyday Montanans like my husband in mind.
It’s time to replace Daines with a senator who has a proven record of fighting to protect my husband and the thousands of other Montanans with pre-existing conditions. Vote for Steve Bullock in November.
I was astounded by a recent letter where Donald Bergoust appreciated President Trump's leadership and compassionate way of life.
Compassionate? For over three years I have been closely following Trump's speeches and tweets, waiting in vain for even one shred of compassion. Did Mr. Bergoust see compassion when Trump allowed immigrant infants and children to be taken from their parents by force and put in cages like animals? How is that anyone's idea of compassion? Or when neo-Nazis saluted like Hitler while insulting Jews in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Trump called them fine people? Or a few months ago when he denied coronavirus existed, calling it a Democratic hoax? Or yesterday when he claimed the virus is dying out even though it is actually increasing in 12 states and has killed over 117,000 fellow Americans so far? I could give many more examples but I guess some readers will still refuse to acknowledge facts even when staring them in the face. The Trump I have watched over the years has shown compassion for very few things: possibly his current wife (he has already abandoned two others), his children, and his re-election. Nothing more.
I knew it … just when protesters can not be any dumber, recent events say otherwise. I read the news about defunding the cops in Portland, Oregon, which to me means Portland might as well hang a banner of "Hey criminals! Free stuff, come and get it!" up around the town, which may sound dumb, but if the cops have a lot less money to get things done or keep schools from having gunmen show up with an ax to grind, just watch as the people, once they get robbed, mugged and several other crimes on a more frequent basis, suddenly whine about not having police protection, when bad elements of the protesters decide it's time for a free-for-all downtown, etc, and then other police in other cities decide if their fellow officers are going to be hamstrung, by such reckless efforts, then they, too can "protest" by not going to work, etc. … ouch.
It's called a season now...Fire Season. Since the year 2000 every year we have had fires in Montana. No. matter how much rain or snow, or if the rivers are flooding, we can't have two days in a row of nice weather before the skies and valleys are filled with acrid smoke and the forests are blackened, homes burn, animals loose their habitat. The biggest draw for Montana are the wilderness and forests, streams for fishing, land for hunting. Yet the policy of let burn continues with mostly no attempt to put fires out at the start. Arizona is having a historic, devastating fire right now...out of control, little containment. Oddly, when things were shut down, we didn't have fires, the air was clear, wildlife could enjoy themselves. We can have natural fires, but as fire people will tell you 90 percent are human caused.
And the Forest Service is many times responsible for their "controlled burns" now called managed ignitions, which mostly get out of control. We will have no forests left, the charred remains will be logged and sold as pellets to other countries. The bleached ground will heat up and contribute to climate change. The trees that produced oxygen, will be burned to the roots.
Sen. Jennifer Fielder, who’s now running for a seat on the Public Service Commission, wants you to overlook the fact that she spread false rumors about an imminent Antifa invasion of Missoula. After all, she says, there were other people pushing out those rumors on social media; she’s no more to blame than they are.
Every schoolkid knows that that lame excuse won’t fly: The fact that other people are misbehaving doesn’t mean you can misbehave along with them, and get off scot free. And that goes double for public officials, who should lead by example rather than follow the crowd.
Fielder also says, bizarrely, that she wasn’t spreading false rumors because the misinformation she purveyed wasn’t cut and pasted from some other Facebook post. Rather, she talked to people she knew personally and believed to be credible, and repeated what those people said. Since no Antifa invasion actually ever happened, relying on those sources was a big mistake, but that’s apparently the way Fielder normally informs herself about important public issues.
Maybe these days it’s just too much to hope for political leaders who will unite us at a time of crisis, rather than dividing us with unfounded allegations.
In March, a reader took issue with an editorial comment "Toilet paper and guns … one designed for comfort in life, the other designed to take life away …" by trying to argue against guns are "designed to take life away." But what's to argue with? Guns are most assuredly designed to take life away — or put more graphically — to kill.
Why issue guns to U.S. soldiers? Most Americans will respond so U.S. armed forces can kill enemy combatants before they kill Americans.
Why do hunters carry guns? Here's what Mr. Ruger, of the gun-designing family, said, "It's the hunt that counts. Killing animals at the end is simply making the hunt complete." (Ruger & His Guns, p. 309). A successful hunt results in taking a life.
A dude who enjoys flaunting his AR-15 while strutting around at a peaceful, progressive rally doesn't carry a gun because the gun is designed only to intimidate, but because the gun is designed to kill; and the gun carrier is quite confident that some rally participants are unnerved by that fact. Man up and admit it; guns are designed to take life away — to kill. Any opposing argument defies logic.
Trump threw a rally and nobody came. The number counted by the Tulsa Fire Marshall was less than 6200 attendees. The Missoulian front page story made a small reference to a lighter than expected turn out, per the AP. As I recall, the liar in chief said millions were trying to obtain tickets but alas the lie was just that. At his little party, he whined, he lied and he fanned the flames of division and hatred, not a surprise when you are a useless despot.
I was pleased to read that Gary Marbut attended one of the Black Lives Matter protests at the courthouse. Now, as an “expert” on the Second Amendment, I hope he can educate Henry Fowler on the meaning of that amendment. In his June 8 letter to the Missoulian, Mr. Fowler emphasized that “Police killings of unarmed blacks accounted for approximately 0.6% of homicides of blacks.” Although he didn’t write this in his letter, this seems to suggest he is saying that is acceptable for police to kill armed Black people. I went back and reread the Second Amendment and it says, “ … the right of people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It doesn’t say it applies to certain people, it just says, “people.” If we start limiting that right it could lead down the slippery slope of Second Amendment rights being eroded for all of us. Maybe Mr. Fowler should listen to Mr. Marbut when he writes, “If you cannot get into a tolerant comfort zone about this important constitutional right, perhaps Montana is not a good fit for you.”
Hungry Horse News reported, “Two horsemen on a recent trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness said they found something they never expected: A couple fishing on a sandbar of the South Fork of the Flathead after allegedly landing a helicopter there.”
Sara and Sam Schwerin, owners of the helicopter, violated The Wilderness Act and recommended FAA regulations. When questioned by the horsemen Sam Schwerin stated, “We are below the high water line. It’s OK. Please move along ….” Did the Schwerins intend to challenge which law supersedes the other? The Wilderness Act, a federal law, or the Montana Stream Protection Act, a state law?
There have been illegal helicopter landings at Upper Rumble Lake on the Swan Front. It is “recommended” wilderness and managed as such until a final determination is made. The Forest Service subsequently issued a special order to prohibit future landings. The same should be done to cover illegal landings in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
The Forest Service could have confiscated the helicopter and if wilderness trespassers are found guilty, it goes up for public auction. There should be more serious consequences for this blatant, arrogant action. A minuscule $500 fine just gives them bragging rights.
The removal of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Be, and sweet old Mrs. Butterworth. Come on! Haven't we all seen famous Black athletes on Wheaties boxes? No complaints there. How about the segregated Asian, and Hispanic sections in grocery stores. They should probably become integrated with all of the other foods so as not to offend any tender-minded shoppers.
Now the names of two mountains in Yellowstone Park are causing one individual considerable dismay. Gee, don't forget Sheridan, Montana, and Sheridan, Wyoming. How about the stone faces of slave-holders Washington, and Jefferson, staring coldly down from Mt. Rushmore? Shouldn't they be chiseled away so as to not offend any tender-hearted passer-by?
Erasing history will not change history. It has already happened. Mistakes made in the past have been for the most part, and are being, corrected. Tearing down historical monuments, burning, looting, rioting, and bitch, bitch, bitching are idiotic ways to right old wrongs. We must work together, peacefully, and respectfully, and intelligent solutions can be reached.
This is a wonderful country that we are lucky to be living in, and as the late Merle Haggard once sang, "If you don't love it, leave it."
Today, my husband and I made our first foray into a retail store since the lockdown began. We were well inside Bob Ward’s before we noticed that none of the employees were wearing masks. Masks were for sale at the front of the store, but apparently Bob Wards didn’t feel the need to have their own employees wear them.
This is an upsetting breach of safety, both for the customers who come in and for the employees themselves. It shows that Bob Ward’s doesn’t care about anyone.
Costco has it right, however. Masks are required for everyone and are offered at the front of the store if you don’t have one. By protecting staff and customers, they show compassion and a sincere hope that everyone will stay well and keep coming in.
The June 16 commentary from the LA Times made an interesting point. They recommended that businesses be given a safety rating that’s available to the public.
I’d settle for a sign on the store’s door that reads: “Our employees are not required to wear masks.” Then I can go somewhere else to spend my money, a store that has respect for its employees and its customers.
Always great to see bipartisan legislation pass, especially to benefit America’s parks. (‘Great American Outdoors Act a win for bipartisanship’ in the Missoulian, June 21). Bipartisanship has been a key in support of global health initiatives like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. These and other initiatives will need funding to continue assisting countries to battle COVID-19, and to distribute a vaccine when it comes available. This global pandemic requires a global solution. I hope both Montana Senators will team up to make sure America continues to lead in this global effort that also protects us locally.
Lately, Washington is more focused on taking away health care and stripping down protections for people with pre-existing conditions than expanding access to affordable care.
I’m voting for Steve Bullock in the U.S. Senate race because he has a proven record of making quality health care accessible here in Montana, and I know he’ll do the same in Washington.
Steve Daines votes against the interests of folks with pre-existing conditions. He rubber-stamps attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the law that bans insurance companies from jacking up rates for the 152,000 Montanans with pre-existing conditions to heights we can’t afford.
My daughter almost died at age 17 when an undetected cerebral AVM ruptured. Before the ACA, she would have been denied health insurance. Thanks to the ACA, she was covered under our insurance until she turned 26, and is now covered under the Medicaid expansion legislation championed by Steve Bullock.
Governor Bullock’s strong leadership of our state has ensured that more Montanans have access to affordable health care. I know protecting our health care and expanding access to more Montanans will be a top priority of his in the Senate, as well. That’s why he has my vote.
In his letter of June 17, Gary Marbut states, “There are a lot of firearms in Montana.” This is true. And it is certainly true that according to the Second Amendment, individual Montanans have the right to keep and bear arms. Marbut then goes on to make the implausible suggestion that if you “fear” the presence of armed vigilantes at a peaceful protest in front of a municipal courthouse, that perhaps “Montana is not a good fit for you.” Not true! These organized, armed militias are showing up to intimidate people expressing their First Amendment rights to gather and speak their opinion. This show of force is not normal and fear is an appropriate response. We hear these armed groups saying they are there to provide protection. From what and for whom? We have local professionals; fire, police and court systems, to provide protection to people and property. These tactics of intimidation have no place in our friendly and safe Missoula community.
As a resident of Montana and in particular, Lake County, I challenge you to come and visit with the residents and County Commissioners well prior to the upcoming election. We’ve noticed your congressional voting over the past three congressional sessions has significantly changed. According to the Freedom Index, that is your record of voting on constitutional issues dropped from the 114th Congress 67%, to the 115th where you voted 65%, to this session the 116th where you voted 50% in favor of our Constitution. Why the change?
Next, your water compact bill which jeopardizes not only the future of our county and state but the counties and states around us. I believe you owe the residents and commissioners an explanation of your sudden changes in representing us, as well as answering our questions. We don’t need your lackeys, we need you.
You could actually be a first. Senator Tester and Governor Bullock regularly visit our area during election time. But not to meet with the people. They want to meet with local tribal leaders about 20% of our population. Come show us and all of Montana you are for all for of us.
Boy … it’s a good thing Don "K" the Montana Republican Party chair has had prior experience moving clunkers like the Vega, Chevette, Corvair and Camaro off his lot. Now he has to put lipstick on candidates representing Montana’s Grand Old White Folks Party (GOWFP). We’ve got our POTUS Trump at the top followed by sycophants Gianforte, Daines and Rosendale bringing up the rear, literally and figuratively.
C’Mon down folks, we’ve got more freedom defenders coming in all the time. And we don’t take socialist government handouts like those Deep State Demos … right? Now let’s see … where did I put my latest stimulus check?
This is in response to Engen's letter. Please learn our Constitution and Bill of Rights! I want to thank all of the armed citizens for helping law enforcement to keep the city free of out of state agitators and instigators! Thank you for your service and dedication, as these citizens are true Americans!
The Missoulian's recent article about the detainment of a young black teen in Missoula was sad to read. Jennifer Fielder's involvement is an old movie to the people in the district she claims to serve. Making false bombastic statements that inflame tensions, and then when called out on those statements, deny, deny, deny, has been a constant theme in her political career. This is the woman who spit in the face of all Montanans and their Constitution when she refused to comply with a law she took an oath to uphold, The Montana Open Records Act, by refusing to release her emails for public review. Jennifer Fielder is the Hillary Clinton of Sanders County; a carpetbagger who moved in for the sole purpose of attaining political power to enrich herself, and her paymasters in Utah. Her style of politics is a cancer on the body of American democracy.
I want to take issue with Gary Marbut's letter (June 17) where he says it's the same thing to show up for a demonstration in support of BLM and to appear armed with assault rifles. The latter action may be legal, but what is the point of it? It certainly is not good publicity for gun owners. Intimating others who weren't gathered to oppose gun rights makes the self-appointed armed "guards" look like vigilantes. We already lived that phase of Montana history.
If the point of the armed folks is to support their constitutional rights, I say they should organize their own demonstrations instead of hijacking other people's.
Please call or write Senator Tester and Daines and demand they change the federal law that only allows a maximum fine of $500 for landing your helicopter in the Bob Marshal Wilderness. This is probably barely more than what they pay to fuel it. Please call, write! Protect Bob.
The University of Montana is one of Missoula’s most important employers. The University of Montana is one of the major reasons that Missoula is such a pleasant place to live — think of music and theater … think of sports … MTPR … diversity in the community … stimulating programs like MOLLI and those offered by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center and many others. Given how important a resource the University of Montana is for Missoula, it is both puzzling and vexing that our local newspaper, the Missoulian, appears intent on bashing the university at every opportunity.
One would think that a local news organization would do all it can to promote local resources, especially those as important as the University of Montana. Yes, the university has been going through a tough time over the past several years, but it certainly has not been helped by having Missoula’s only newspaper constantly criticizing instead of supporting this unique resource for our community. Please rethink your approach, and help all to build up every positive aspect of the Missoula we all enjoy!
In response to Donald Bergoust's June 17, letter. Dear Donald, just wanted to thank you for the hilarious post about the POTUS birthday pics. I laughed so hard coffee blew out my nose. Please do enlighten us on your reasons for choosing “leadership and compassion” in describing the Liar In Chief. The possibilities are endless but I’ll bite. When the history is written about Trump’s presidency the two words least associated with this debacle will be “leadership and compassion”.
Many people appreciate the flag of the United States and what it symbolizes. I find that more conservative citizens are partial to it, often showing it on their social media profile. But what exactly does the U.S. flag represent to the flag wavers?
If Betsy Ross were to create a flag today, as legend had her do in 1776, and make it as today’s Republican, what would it look like? Obviously an GOP elephant would be in order. Would today’s Republicans include a star or stripe for any “blue state”?
Would the flag incorporate the Rebel Flag, perhaps in a way hidden to an untrained eye; Maybe the emblem for the National Rifle Association - or perhaps the icon for the National Petroleum Institute, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As Donald Trump changed the GOP platform to pro-Russian at the 2016 Republican Convention, perhaps incorporate Russia’s tricolor flag.
Would they be so bold as to incorporate a replica of a $100 dollar bill, as arguably this might seem appropriate. Perhaps they would include the flag of the Southern Baptist Church with the open Bible and cross. I would be extremely interested in what U.S. flag today’s Republican would create.
An armed presence at a protest inhibits freedom of speech. Allowing armed parties at a peaceful protest is keeping protesters away. This is suppression of free speech. No matter what the stated intention of those armed may be, just their presence is wrong. Our community should not put our police and sheriff departments into a predicament of deciding which to honor over the other, the First Amendment or the Second Amendment rights! Missoula City/County certainly should ban open-carry persons at all peaceful protests.
I shudder to think of the response if the roles were reversed. Had an assembly of armed black men and women in the guise of “keeping the peace” joined the periphery of a peaceful protest, what then would have been the response?
Everybody who uses the soccer fields at Fort Missoula knows that there is something wrong with the grass. The fields do not drain properly, are often waterlogged and full of weeds, and the goal areas are often covered in mud. For a new facility, this is, to put it mildly, disappointing and visitors are frankly baffled that Missoula has such a flawed newly built facility. As a Missoula city and county taxpayer, I am appalled that $40 million of our money has been so poorly used.
I hereby request that you appoint an independent inquiry to assess: the current state of the fields at Fort Missoula; how we got to where we are now; what options we have to rectify the situation and what maintenance should be undertaken by Parks and Recreation. Until we have the results of this inquiry and remedial action is undertaken, all future bond issues should be put on hold to ensure that taxpayers can be assured of achieving value for their money which has clearly not been achieved in this case.
With interest I read about the recent high school graduates and I admire those listed i the Missoulian with 4.0 GPAs ad their goals and the colleges and universities they will attend.
The low salaries of teachers tends to make teaching a labor of love. Teaching is a most important profession because teachers mold and guide young minds and they really ought to highly paid.
I advise you grads to follow your hearts. Don't be misled into a career path by parents or lust for high salaries. You are adults now and should make your own decision. Being shoved onto a career track you are not wild about is illegal. It's called coercion and you'll be miserable. Take your time selecting a school ad not waste your money. Trust in God, be good, and you'll succeed.
Acts 7:22 reads: "And Moses was learned in the ways of the Egyptians and was mighty in words an deeds."
Galatians 8:7 goes "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man soweth he shall also reap."
Matthew 11:35 quotes Jesus: "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your soul."
What’s up with our Health Department? We have the worst health crisis in over a century. Montanans are dying; the epidemic is spiking, the state is opening up to tourists from all over the country and beyond; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that folks wear masks when in public spaces but our own health department doesn’t think that masks should be required for folks shopping in local supermarkets.
We have lots of older Missoulians and folks recovering from cancer and other diseases which put them in high-risk categories. They have to shop for food at least once a week to survive. These individuals should count and shouldn’t be exposed to other people who may not be so responsible. This isn’t a political issue, it’s a health issue and your job is to protect us. Director Leahy, do your job or resign and let someone else make the tough decisions.
I am the child of immigrants from two British countries who met and married in the Port of Entry, New York City, where I grew up. For over 20 years, employment took me to live and work in five Confederate states, where I witnessed generationally taught animosity towards the rest of the United States. My New York accent prompted endless snarky comments about ‘Yankees’ and non-Confederate states.
I saw: 1) monuments to "our Confederate dead" on the grounds of numerous state, county and city buildings; 2) an old slave auction market being maintained at the heart of one city; 3) Confederate battle flags still being flown; 4) many statues to Confederate generals who fired on the flag of the United States and who caused the deaths of tens of thousands of American soldiers.
We must end tolerance of treason. It is complicity. Based on my personal experiences in Confederate states, I absolutely support removing the names of Confederate generals from all United States military bases and facilities.
Having no family ties to either side of that Civil War, I was appalled at the widespread glorification of treason 50 years ago, and still am. This must end.
From Saturday's (June 13) Missoulian, on the black Missoula resident detained by white thugs:
“The man, whom the Missoulian is not naming due to his concerns of safety, is black and said the narrative pushed by the armed individuals after the incident — that he was a threat to protesters and even had been carrying a gun — was twisted to make them look like legitimate protectors.”
So let's be clear. A group of white men act as if they have the right to open carry and detain people at their discretion … whim. A black man suspected of having a gun is open to detention in their world. Nope, no racism in these actions, just more self-proclaimed saviors protecting white property.
What if he had been carrying a gun? Would he have been any less within his rights than the white mob — let's call them what they were — who detained him? Well, no, and yet constitutional rights don't seem to matter. Do black Americans have the right to stand their ground whether they are armed or not? Ask Trayvon Martin's family; they know that walking unarmed can get you harassed and killed if someone white doesn't think you belong.
Allow me to reply to Ms. Mary Ann Lorette-Rust’s letter to the Missoulian tagged “Foolish to ignore Trump's failures” accusing me of having the “audacity” to challenge Bob Luceno in the press. I prefer to speak up to anyone who trashes the President or calls me a fool.
Scripture teaches us in Romans 13: 1-6; where verse one says: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Look up verses 2-6. I believe God will do the same in November despite what any of us says now.
Jesus submitted to the governing authorities and so should we. When brought before the authorities, Jesus “stood silent as a lamb being led to the slaughter” [Isaiah 53: 7] except to answer Pilot thus: “My kingdom is not of this world” [John 18: 36].
In Mathew 5:22 Jesus says: “—anyone who says ‘you fool’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” So, I would not label either Ms. Lorette-Rust or Luceno a fool but, if the shoe fits wear it.