Lots of stuff’s been happening, so let’s dig into it a bit and cut through all the nonsense.
That’s the hashtag that’s trending on anti-social media.
It’s smart – the only thing companies in this country understand are profits. With tons of Americans saying they’ll no longer do business with pro-NRA companies, those companies have in turn dropped their support for the NRA.
USA Today lists 11 companies that have dropped the NRA.
I’m sure more companies will follow suit, like Amazon and Google.
Personally, I’m baffled by the supposed strength of this gun group. They have just 5 million members, or 1% of the population.
Yet our spineless politicians quake in their boots at the mere mention of the NRA and its backlash if you so much as suggest that gun laws in this country could change.
As I mentioned yesterday, politicians are some of the weakest, low-self-esteem people this country produces. Spineless bastards would be a better name for ‘em.
Here in Montana the NRA has clout, and Daines and Gianforte will continue to take money from them. Tester will ignore the gun debate entirely. All three will easily win their next elections.
When I lived in China from 2008 to 2013, President Xi Jingping was very popular.
A big part of that was his response to the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, as well as his deft handling of both the Olympics that year and the 60th anniversary of the PRC in October 2009.
My older students always told me he was doing a good job. So I’m not real surprised that he’s instituted changes in the country’s laws so he can pretty much stay president for life.
I don’t think this is a good idea. Putin is president for life in Russia, and my wife – who’s from that country – knows a lot of people that are not happy with that guy and his policies.
China will become the same with their never-ending president. The days of 10% economic growth are long gone in that country, and you just can’t keep building empty cities that no one lives in.
The amount of poverty in that country is immense. Even in the big city of 13 million that I lived in, there’d be streets off the main street that were just pure shitholes, with tiny apartments, garbage everywhere, and people that were only making the monthly minimum wage of 1300 RMB, or about $150 a month.
I don’t see things changing for common people in that country, even though the rich, ruling class continues to pamper itself on the backs of the working man.
The Wily Lambros Clan
You gotta hand it to Pete Lambros and his boys – they sure know how to fuck over taxpayers so they can profit themselves.
One of my big campaign issues last year was that we can’t be giving the private mall developers $7 million in taxpayer money, especially when the city is already $250 million in debt.
Yet we went ahead and gave them that money so they could build their fancy eat-in movie theater and their trendy new supermarket.
Now the Lambros Family is selling that mall to an Ohio company for $58 million.
Boy, they did well for themselves. They’re smart – both in tricking Missoulians into giving them $7 million of our money with no strings attached, as well as getting out early before things go to shit.
For instance, I know this new theater is going to fail. There’s just no market for it. On top of it, prices are exorbitant. A burger costs $12.99, for example, and I read that the manager thinks this is comparable to other restaurants.
It’s not – burgers often go for less than $10.
Then there’s the trendy supermarket, which billed itself early-on as a place you could walk through the aisles while drinking a beer. Alas, local laws prohibit that, so it’s just another place to buy groceries…though much like the theater, at inflated rates.
No, I’m not confident about the mall’s future, mostly because I’m not confident about Missoula’s future. Most of us live the ‘poverty with a view’ lifestyle, and we don’t have much money. Our employers simply don’t pay us much, nor do they offer benefits. So we have to buy those benefits, like healthcare, with the meager savings we have left over at the end of the month when all the other bills – hopefully – are paid.
Doesn't leave much for dine-in movie theaters.
The Lambros Family won’t have that problem because they used their fellow citizens to enrich themselves.
The rich. They never change.
Lots of Bad Parents
We have a lot of bad parenting going on here in Western Montana, or perhaps just a lack of parenting in general.
I’m talking about all the fake school threats that we saw last week.
We had ‘em in at least three towns, with everything from graffiti to bomb threats to students threatening to do shootings, to an actual report that there was an active shooter and kids had barricaded themselves in classrooms.
We can blame the kids for this, but we should also blame the parents. Of course, the parents in question probably have no idea that their ‘little angel’ was the one that may have done those things.
So there’ll be no taking away of the car keys, no seizing the smart phone.
And the cost is immense. Besides the stress that people have to deal with when we get these fake threats, there’s also the cost to taxpayers of instituting increased patrols and having more of a police presence at schools. At Big Sky, for instance, they had a ton of police there on Friday just to make sure things went normally.
And all because some dumb-shit teenagers decide it’d be fun to act out.
That of course comes about because of the bad parenting, or simply lack of parenting, that those dumb-shit teenagers get at home.
One of the easiest ways to solve this issue is if stupid people just stop having kids, but we know that’ll never happen.
There’s a 60% chance that this will be my last spring and summer in Montana.
My wife and I were talking about our finances yesterday, and we’re just getting tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
She co-owns a small business, yet she’s making less than minimum wage even though she’s working more than 40 hours a week.
That’s how a lot of small businesses operate: the owner has to work a lot for little pay just to keep the place running.
So if things don’t turn around for her by fall, meaning the business becomes more profitable, she’ll probably let her partner buy her out and that’ll be that.
And should that happen, there’s a good chance we’ll probably leave the state for greener pastures, and jobs that actually pay more, offer benefits, and give you something for retirement.
Those jobs are awfully hard to come by here in Missoula, and I ain’t getting’ any younger.
But that’s 6 months from now, and who knows what’ll happen between now and then.
So until next time, have a good Monday.