First off, it’s going to be a busy day here at Big Sky Words…I can tell.
Besides the continual attacks I receive from anonymous Twitter accounts, there’s a medical marijuana meeting tonight in Missoula.
I might be able to attend that, we’ll see.
This is where one of Meg O’Leary’s office staff headed over to Bullock’s office staff.
After that I got a fake Twitter account.
I like to add that some of the followers of this account are:
- Amanda Frickle, head of MDLCC
- Sanjay Talwani, media head for Monica Lindeen
- Jacquie Helt, vice-char of MT Dem Party
- Jason Pitt, Bullock’s campaign manager
- David Parker, MSU associate professor
- Jen Hensley, former MT COPP from Jan-May 2011
Personally, I find that interesting. I’m also saddened to see that Pat Noonan is one.
Damn, I gave that guy $25 last year.
Politics is a shifting game, where friends become enemies and enemies friends.
Besides that, what else is going on in Montana that might interest you?
Indians Embarrass Themselves Again
They have such a strong and proud history.
Alas, lately…and when I say lately I mean the past 200 years of white presence on their lands…things have not been going so well.
Nothing says that more than the high number of suicides we have among the native population.
There’s a bit of this in the news these days because of some row over the $250,000 that the legislature appropriated to the tribes to deal with suicide prevention.
Montana Public Radio has the story and I guess the tribes could not agree on what to do so now the legislators are deciding for them.
That’s sad, and I made a point to highlight that on Twitter last night:
Despite my poking fun at the Indians for not seeing to their own affairs, we know suicide is a serious issue.
Oh, and by the “again” in the title I’m referring to Browning’s problems.
Suicide in Montana
The national average is about 13 suicides per 100,000 people each year, but we have double that.
- 63% of Montanans kill themselves with a gun;
- 19% do so by suffocation;
- 13% poison themselves;
- 5% kill themselves via carbon monoxide, overdosing, car accidents or jumping from heights.
Another startling statistic is that 12% of 7th and 8th grades have tried to kill themselves.
For Indians that goes up to about 15%.
Suicide is actually the “number one cause of preventable death in Montana for children ages 10-14,” according to a 2015 legislative study on suicide in Montana (PDF).
I remember when I was in 6th grade at Helena Middle School there was a kid in my early morning advising class that killed himself, oh...around 1993 or so.
I remember that everyone thought it strange that he’d gone home, done his homework first, then used a hunting rifle to do it.
I guess he would have been around 11 or 12-years old.
I don’t know why these things happen but they do. Personally, I think it’s because our society is rotten, there’s not much meaning in the jobs we have, and kids realize this at a young age.
Seeing your parents come home each day, exhausted and just wanting to crash in front of the TV will do that.
And let’s not get into struggling to pay the bills, put food on the table…all symptoms of our decades-long stagnating economy.
Yes, it is depressing.
I encourage you to look at that PDF report to get more numbers from around the state.
Clearing Going-to-the-Sun Road
It’s about plowing the 52-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, something that takes 10 weeks.
I like the post because you get a great infographic at the end, one showing stats on the earliest date for opening the road and the latest.
It’s just a fun look, and a good example of a post that will work well on social media and get lots of shares.
Kicking the hell out of Lee Enterprises up there in the Flathead – keep it up!
Money-Grubbing Northwestern Energy Whores
Seems the bastards tried to pawn off some power failure onto us, though at least the GOP-controlled PSC stopped the hooligans.
No word on how much each of us is getting back, though they say they’ll know in May.
Hell, if we figure we have 150,000 customers in Montana then we’d each get a credit for $54 on our bill.
I doubt that’ll happen, however.
And of course it’ll come in the summer, when the bills are low anyways.
You just never can win with those tricky-dicks in the utility business.
I’m so glad I decided to send my bill in the mail again. I gives me an opportunity to write out a short letter, note really, telling them how I feel.
Last month I got a bunch of pamphlets in return.
I told them this wasn’t good enough – we want action, damn it!
Our power bills are too high – clearly, as the article says – and I want answers why and I want answers about what can be done.
If Northwestern doesn’t want to give answers then we need to look very hard at ways to cut them out of the loop and get our needs elsewhere.
I hear solar and wind are big in Montana.
Let’s start talkin’ about ‘em more.
The Art Wittich Trial
Oh hell…let’s talk about it.
My God, is there anything more boring?
So far it seems we have a lot of Right to Work, anti-union staffers saying they get paid a lot of money and send out a lot of mailers.
Is that legal?
I guess we’ll find out. Seems Dennison and John Adams are reporting on it.
And my, how dry-as-shit that reporting is.
I can’t really blame ‘em – this case is old and tired.
The allegations stem from 2010…yeah, six years ago!
That shows you the power of Motl’s office – it takes him six years to get someone to trial for something they did.
Hell, if he coulda got Wittich back then we’d have been free from his idiocy for the past three sessions.
I guess he’d need more funding for that and we know that ain’t gonna happen.
Once again, the Montana Democrats can only blame themselves.
If only, even ten years ago, they’d made the decision not to abandon the rural areas.
Shit, they could have kept momentum instead of keeping ground! They did not do that and now they can’t even propose legislation, they can only block it.
Without the legislature, your goals cannot become law.
Oh, you can argue that minority status bullshit, but I won’t. Democrats gave up the fight and have not had a chamber in 25 years.
Now they cling to their veto pen, no matter how incompetent the hand that holds it.
These are trying times, trying times indeed.