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Comment Archives: stories: News: Opinion

Re: “The pardon of Joe Arpaio triggers memories of an immigrant

Jeez, what a contemptible framework this story is. The whole argument is, "Look at the poor miserable wretch, and how cruel the evil Americans are!" I've little reason to doubt the stories of foreign barbarism in the world, nor would I blame an individual from trying to illegally enter a country in search of somewhere better. But in the same token my own people are my concern, not strangers. I will not give up my community, my home, my bed to someone just because I might pity their situation. Such reckless generosity is dangerous and unsustainable aside from being the absolute height of foolishness. Call my cruel or harsh, but it is unjust nonetheless to let someone who doesn't belong in this country to stay here illegally and sap resources from my true countrymen. I'd rather be called names than live in a country I no longer recognize surrounded by strangers. I will reserve my compassion and energies towards my own first and foremost, and I would recommend everyone do the same.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Garret Morrill on 10/12/2017 at 11:15 PM

Re: “The pardon of Joe Arpaio triggers memories of an immigrant

The information in this article is all "fake news."

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gloria Roark 1 on 10/12/2017 at 2:02 PM

Re: “Expense-ive error: Would Ryan Zinke make the same mistake twice?

I don't agree with private travel being used, but that being said, why didn't the Liberals cry foul when the Democrats were doing it in excess under Obama time and time again?? Examples - Nancy Pelosi spending hundreds of thousands on private air travel instead of commercial, Or Michelle Obama and her girls costing the taxpayers 10's of millions for their private vacations. I realize Michelle couldn't travel commercial, but her excess in expensive vacations paid for by taxpayers was mind blowing. More one sided reporting and outrage.

3 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Jay Banks on 10/05/2017 at 12:40 PM

Re: “Racism hasn't gone anywhere. It's everywhere.

Do you also have a list of unexpected kindness from strangers? That too would be interesting to peruse.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Caro K on 09/28/2017 at 11:24 AM

Re: “Buffalo battle

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Posted by Scott Paul on 09/25/2017 at 6:42 PM

Re: “Cutting teachers for dummies: How to maximize pain and minimize profit at UM

Allow the faculty to consider the problem of the budget and to make a considered decision on the budget.

ThE University of Montana is it's facilty. The University is a great institution and it's greatness must be conserved.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gil Moss on 09/24/2017 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Cutting teachers for dummies: How to maximize pain and minimize profit at UM

While I agree with much of what you have written regarding the administration's approach to lecturers and budget cuts, I think it would have been better to avoid the cheap and ill-informed shot at Dr. Engstrom. He is actually teaching two courses this semester, and will teach more next semester. The course in Chemistry is 4 credits, has an enrollment of 50+ students, and includes 3 additional contact hours per week in recitations (meaning that contact hours are equivalent to two 3-credit lecture courses). Dr. Engstrom is teaching this course for the first time and putting a great deal of effort into developing it such that it will give students a greater chance of success in introductory science courses and advanced courses in science. So he his helping UM to address real challenges.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Christopher Palmer on 09/24/2017 at 8:10 PM

Re: “The real history lesson behind Helena's Confederate monument

The City is to be commended. The perfect opportunity to erect a monument which recognizes racism and promotes equality.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jay Sinnott on 09/24/2017 at 10:31 AM

Re: “The real history lesson behind Helena's Confederate monument

This reminds me of the big push back in the 1990s to erase the word 'squaw' from the English lexicon. The word police in Minnesota said 'squaw' had become offensive, so to protect the presumed delicate nature of Indian women, it was to be expunged.

Even if it had become offensive, censorship was the worse response. They could have started a campaign to reclaim this marvelous word meaning 'woman,' to rise up and take back one of the oldest Algonquin words in the Oxford English dictionary, dating from the circa 1660s. Instead, the name was changed, of one of the most beautiful lakes in the land of lakes. Squaw Lake, Itasca State Park, headwaters of the Mississippi, is now called Lake Oziwindib, the male Native American who guided the 1830s search for the headwaters.

In a stroke of a pen the presence of an Indian woman in this much visited park has disappeared. Instead of wondering, who was she? And how did she merit an exquisite body of water named after her, and her baby? For on the southeast side of the lake is a tiny island, called Papoose Island.

Whomever controls language, and what we see, such as statues, eventually controls how we think. We are too easily conceding to cultural gatekeepers what and how we should think.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Caro K on 09/23/2017 at 1:48 PM

Re: “Cutting teachers for dummies: How to maximize pain and minimize profit at UM

Penny wise, pound foolish : the corporate model. You expected more ?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by alf on 09/23/2017 at 11:18 AM

Re: “The real history lesson behind Helena's Confederate monument

The removal of Montana's Confederate monument is nothing more than political opportunism. For the tribe or anyone else to claim offense to this monument is total nonsense. Its opportunism, victimology at its finest. And the City Council violated all consideration of as they say today, transparency. What do you tell your kids about things you have to do under cover of darkness. They should be ashamed. Quit rewriting history, Montana!

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Ed Kugler on 09/22/2017 at 4:53 PM

Re: “The real history lesson behind Helena's Confederate monument

I'm concerned at the profound ignorance of our history amongst the next generation of Montanans. History is supposed to be factual but in reality it's anything but. College graduates have no idea who Joseph Stalin was. Or Audie Murphy, Pol Pot, Benito Mousollini,HoChiMin and a host of history makers. A second grader can quote you chapter and verse about RevDrMartinLutherKingJr but has no clue who Albert Einstein was.
I submit that educators are rewriting our history by ignoring what did happen with what should have happened. Opposition to anything Conferate is a perfect illustration. America has bee apologizing for the institution of slavery for all the seventy years I've been alive. I think it's time to move on. 1864 was a long time ago.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by smedley on 09/21/2017 at 10:55 AM

Re: “Are we punishing the poor hard enough?

Finally, someone actually addresses my arguments without resorting to pointless adhominem attacks.

I did not assume anything of the middle-class sort with this case, nor does the imposition of hypothetical situations that maybe, could, possibly, somewhat cause a difference in priority have any bearing on this case. One can still work without a vehicle - there is plenty of public transportation and self-employed work one can do to scrap together money for such a fine. Even if you are effectively orphaned from parents this is more than possible if someone wishes to seek it. And you seem to assume too that I am middle-class given my point of view, which is funny considering I consider cottage cheese a luxury I often cannot afford.

See, your point about fees as deterrents is far more interesting. What is the purpose of a fine? It certainly has an element of deterrence to it, though that isn't the only factor involved. Another aspect of fines is the rebalancing of the scales for a violation of the society's laws. Instead of taking your tooth when you take my tooth and other simplistic tit-for-tat solutions, our judicial thought process will often substitute a commensurate resource amount to 'pay for' a wrong. Now this is not based on the individual but the crime committed, which is to say if I punch you as a poor person it is no different in the eyes of the law than if a wealthy person punches you. The crime is the same, and thus carries the same punishment that cannot be determined by 'how much money ya got?' so the state can take it away even more away from you as they please.

Obviously in an organic system where all kinds of factors can differ, this rebalancing process is tricky and will result in different outcomes for different unique situations. Some people are dumb enough not to take legal council that is freely offered to them, which contributes to the higher incarceration rates for certain groups. Further, a major problem in our society is that lawyers worth their salt are hired on mercenary-style by individuals rather than provided at taxpayer expense to everyone which will result in wealthy people getting better lawyers to help them, but that's a different issue than here.

What is the point in this case is that the teen was most assuredly guilty of his crime which, if left unpunished, could damage himself and his fellows. His punishment of a moderate fine was unpleasant but manageable to pay by any citizen who wished to work for it (and could be even more so manageable had the court allowed him to make up for it with community service), and his spiral into insolvent fines and jail time is a direct result of his further actions shirking the law. It would be better if in prison he would be taught not to be such a fool and offered the chance to not be a burden on society, but if he continues to choose to be such he will be punished as such. Seems harsh, but I would wish for the same to be applied to anyone guilty, rich or poor, for the betterment of my society.

Posted by Garret Morrill on 09/16/2017 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Are we punishing the poor hard enough?

Garret, you're thinking about this problem from a myopic, middle-to-upper class point of view. You are assuming that a teenager's material needs are completely taken care of by the parents, and that any money earned by the teenager is free money that can be applied to a court fee. For the poor, that can be far from the truth. A teen might decide that bailing a parent out of jail is more important than paying a court fee, or putting gas in the sole family car, or preventing ones siblings from starving.

"And charging people rich or poor the same amount for the same crime is completely fair." If the purpose of a fee is as a deterrent, and a rich person can easily afford a fee that a poor person can't, then it is only acting as a deterrent for the poor person and is failing its purpose. This is not fair, and that makes you wrong. Maybe there's some way you can be right. Perhaps the actual purpose of the fee is to fund a bloated juridical bureaucracy. Because of the snowball effect from not paying an initial fee, a poor person will end up paying more in the end from the same infraction performed by a more well-to-do person. The support of the bureaucracy is still weighted unfairly on poor shoulders, and you're still wrong.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barak Nelson on 09/15/2017 at 7:27 PM

Re: “Are we punishing the poor hard enough?

Whoa there snowflakes. Not all of us can be as perfect as you and have gone through life never making a single mistake.

Man I get your frustration, nobody defends the rich anymore and it really does hurt my feelings when someone writes a post about wealthy people having more privileges. I mean really who has it worse? The dumb poor teenager that did something stupid when they have not developed mentally and probably have not had the parental guidance not to do something wrong or the poor rich guy who did have the mental maturity to know to not do something wrong? You gotta side with the rich white guy every time. I mean they earned the right to not be punished for wrong doings and we need to remember that.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Cosgrave on 09/15/2017 at 9:09 AM

Re: “Are we punishing the poor hard enough?

Don't ever stop the glorious satire. Book 'em Danno.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nathan Kosted on 09/15/2017 at 1:45 AM

Re: “Are we punishing the poor hard enough?

Two wrongs don't make a right. The time you wasted writing this could have been used doing something useful on this topic. The time I wasted reading it is lost to me forever and makes me unhappy. Maybe if you get serious about the platform you have, I will continue reading your columns. I'm confident you can do much better.

4 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Fenwoody on 09/14/2017 at 7:38 PM

Re: “Are we punishing the poor hard enough?

Cute satire, though I bet you'll get people confused by your switching back and forth between it and your lame points. Still, your scoffing doesn't solve your self-stated issues with the case: What 14-year old has enough money for drugs but not enough for a court fee? Why, one that doesn't respect the law. Lawnmowing, car-washing, hell even simple begging can accrue you enough money within a few short days (or hours even) to pay a court fee, and that is assuming you start at nothing.

Responsible citizens are not those with enough money to cover up their crimes either - they simply do not commit crimes and if they do they make up for them as best they can. And charging people rich or poor the same amount for the same crime is completely fair. The crime itself is what determines the punishment, not how cooshy your job is. Hell, you'd bitch forever about the $1,000 parking fine you got for being in your journalist ivory tower compared to the $5 one a serial panhandler gets (thanks to those no-tax 'donations' you see). But as long as you personally don't have to suffer the effects of your moralizing, you will continue to virtue signal to gild your vacuous ethical code in everything holier-than-thou.

Here's a solution: If the court sets a fine that one cannot simply pay, the court should be able to offer them commensurate community service to pay for said fine. This would solve the problem immediately and still serve the interests of the community. But oh, will the poor have to offer up commensurate value just like the rich? How terrible and unfair! Only the wealthy should have to pay for their crimes, right Dan?

3 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Garret Morrill on 09/14/2017 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Keep a promise? Hasn't Greg Gianforte suffered enough?

Another Koch brothers plant all these so called Christians have little moral compass. He is a dues paying member of AFP and all they want is a no federal government and rewrite the Constitution.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Raymond Bradley on 09/09/2017 at 8:28 PM

Re: “Keep a promise? Hasn't Greg Gianforte suffered enough?

Gloria, I have no idea how Gianforte and truth can be used in the same paragraph. Don't blame the reporters, blame the liar! He was caught red handed, but some how you find a lack of moral fortitude to be a political plus for our state. It makes me sick to think that is what people are teaching now.Montana has lost it's moral compass.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kathy Hackman Hutchison on 09/09/2017 at 2:12 PM

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