There are two prominent state senators that should hang their heads in shame over this. One is Jim Peterson, who was Senate President last session, was chair of the Stockgrowers Association and, ironically, sponsored the bill to make the Code of the West law in Montana. The other senator is John Brendan of Scobey, who is well aware of the deal that was made and has no problems whatsoever breaking it.
So, just to call these hypocrites out, here's the Code of the West they were so hot about putting into statute but, obviously, aren't living by -- particularly numbers 3 and 6...which would be "when you make a promise, keep it."
"Although the Code of the West was unwritten, every cowboy knew what it was. The
Ten Principles are Jim Owen's distillation of the timeless, universal cowboy values
that are still relevant to our lives today. They are at the heart of cowboy ethics and of
Jim's book, Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.
1 Live each day with courage
2 Take pride in your work
3 Always finish what you start
4 Do what has to be done
5 Be tough, but fair
6 When you make a promise, keep it
7 Ride for the brand
8 Talk less and say more
9 Remember that some things aren't for sale
10 Know where to draw the line
J.O. -- Although it doesn't have anything to do with the topic of the column, the simple truth is that the "target" zone on a whitetail deer at 100 yards is about the size of a paper plate if you're talking about the junction of the head and neck. And quite frankly, if you can't hit that at 100 yds, you should either give up hunting or get to the range and practice till you can.
I'm sure there are plenty of others out there who take the time, energy and investment to dial in their rounds, rifles and scopes and can routinely group their 100-yd shots within 3 inches or less, let alone 8 inches. Most of my whitetail hunting (I haven't hunted mule deer in decades) is in river bottoms and, consequently, long shots (200-300 yds) are not required. Elk are a different deal, but luckily we have a great 300 yd range here, so I routinely practice at that distance with my "elk rifle," which is a .300 WinMag with a 3-12x Leupold scope, and have no difficulty whatsoever in holding tight groups at those distances.
It's no big deal to me where you or anyone else wants to shoot your game because you have to eat it. But I have to butcher and eat mine, too, and there's simply no denying that it's a lot cleaner, and usually a lot less waste, a lot less bloodshot, and zero suffering with a head shot. You also don't leave lead in the gut piles for eagles, fox, coyotes or other scavengers to ingest because you take the head with you when you leave the field and can dispose of it in the landfill.
Having only shot deer and elk in the head or neck for 27 years now, I find your characterization of that level of marksmanship as "amazingly stupid and unethical" to be totally unsubstantiated. I have never lost a deer or elk, and never blown off a jaw. I will agree that head/neck shots aren't for everyone and, as you undoubtedly know, a lot of hunters never even go to the range prior to heading into the field so they have no idea if their scope is on, where their rifle is shooting, or what difference there might be in the commercial ammo most hunters use. But judging everyone by that standard is simply reckless and inflammatory on your part since you have absolutely nothing to back it up except your unfortunate experiences with less capable shooters and less consistent ammunition.
Here ya' go industry apologists. From this week's news about 50 year old wells near Poplar continuing to destroy drinking water supplies. The pitiful settlement will never replace the lost water supplies, since they will be polluted in perpetuity by brine and volatile organic compounds. Go ahead -- read it and then what kind of excuse you can spew to the Indy's readers...but like I said, Montana has a long history of industrial pollution and corporate lies about "clean" resource extraction. And needless to say, the studies on fracking pollution are stacking up every day. Dream on about how harmless it is -- till your tapwater catches on fire.
EPA, oil companies reach deal over pollution in Poplar drinking water
ARTICLE: BILLINGS — Oil companies have agreed to pay $320,000 to the northeastern Montana city of Poplar to relocate water wells and take other steps to deal with a 40 million gallon plume of pollution seeping into drinking supplies. (con'td)
Thinker and Mr. Logic fall victims to the age-old excuse that their present is more important than the long-term health of the Bakken area, which is now being sacrificed for petro dollars. It's certainly no crime to want to take care of your family, but surely, there must be some balance in what is being done to other families -- and their futures.
Your comments are the perfect example of why we have the Butte Pit, the Anaconda Smelter, the E. Helena smelter, the Clark Fork, Milltown, Libby's asbestos tragedy and a thousand other unreclaimed toxic sites across the state. Some got rich, but many have and continue to suffer for the foreseeable future. In the case of the Golden Sunlight Mine, for instance, their cyanide groundwater pollution at the confluence of the Boulder and Jefferson Rivers will have to be treated "in perpetuity." How anyone can think one generation has the right to pass on that kind of burden to future generations is a mystery to me. Quite frankly, it's the polluters who should be worried about how they're sleeping, not those who point out the long-term costs associated with resource extraction techniques like fracking...especially in an area where groundwater is scarce already.
Easy to put the conscience in "park" while the greenbacks are rolling in, ehh Thinker and Mr. Logic? But in the end, the future will pay for whatever "benefits" you find in yet another boom and bust resource extraction debacle.
Maura - I was not and am not fooled. That's a quote from the Wall St. Journal article, not from me. I DO get it and "stronger regulation" is exactly the kind of dodge these psuedo-environmental groups use to keep the corporate foundation funds flowing into their coffers while they attempt to fool their members with their "do it right" baloney. There is no "doing it right" on injecting toxic fracking chemicals into our groundwater nationwide. We are poisoning future generations en masse right now and we know it. But Gang Green just keeps taking the bucks and nodding in unison while our lawmakers, also stuffed to the gills with corporate donations, look the other way.
Thanks for the comments and links, but read the columns with a little more care next time around.
Kevin - I was a lobbyist to the MONTANA legislature for 20 years...but our legislature only meets every other year, unlike the full-time lobbying of Congress and the federal government.
You can check the Indy archives where you'll see every column I wrote while I was lobbying had that noted in the attribution line at the bottom of the column. It's not exactly some kind of secret.
But as long as we're into 20 questions, what is it you do and have done for employment?
GPS - No, I am not a lobbyist. But I did donate a small amount of money to Tester's campaign in '06 when I thought he would fight to end the Bush wars, repeal the Patriot Act, and "restore integrity" to the political system as he promised to do. Given his emulation of the very acts for which he so soundly criticized Conrad Burns (being a tool of moneyed interests), I won't be making any donations to his campaign this time around.
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