Isn’t it great being young?
You love getting older.
I think that lasts until about the age of 21 and then it starts to fade. After that you don’t have any real birthday milestones to look forward to.
Well, I know a lot of older people – like my parents – that can’t wait to hit 65 so they can get Social Security and Medicare.
So 21 and 65…two ages Montanans really look forward to.
Anyways, let’s discuss a few things today that are a bit off-the-beaten-path.
There is a Helena Issues section on this blog, with 13 posts going back to March 2015.
Remember, I’m from Helena originally and my family has lived here since the 1880s.
Some of the Helena posts that stand out to me are:
- Tales from the Benton Avenue Cemetery
- The Gallery of Outstanding Montanans
- The Coolest Room in Montana
- Hiking Up the Sleeping Giant
I like that Gallery of Outstanding Montanans post.
I profiled that Capitol plaque about 2 years ago.
Just .003% of the state’s current population is on that list.
To me, that’s really something to aspire to – getting your name on that list.
It means you were a big help to the state.
An even smaller list is those that have had an Indian in full-headdress regalia attend their funeral.
Just two Montanans that I know of have had this honor: Senator Thomas Walsh and Helena’s John Quigley.
This gets back to the idea I was pushing in my post this month called If You Died Tomorrow.
What are you doing to get your name on that gallery list, or to get the state’s tribes to appreciate you?
Chances are you’re not doing anything in that department. And chances are good that when you’re gone, no one will much care and you’ll be forgotten.
So think about that.
We had 5% of Missoula turn out for the Bernie Sanders/Rob Quist rally yesterday, or 4,000 people.
8% of Butte showed up to see them, or 3,000 people.
Good for them.
Back in May 2016 we had 9,000 show up in Missoula to see Bernie, yet just 44% of the county turned out to vote that June.
Sure, Bernie won that primary, but come November just 74% of Montanans turned out to vote and we saw that Trump won the state with 57% of the vote.
So I’m a little skeptical on what these rallies can accomplish.
In about 108 hours we’ll start to see the special election results come in.
It’ll be a rough night for Democrats.
And hey – maybe I’m completely wrong.
Maybe Rob Quist will win this thing!
I just don’t see that happening, however.
Getting into some smaller news stories…
I see that the nuclear reactor site 400 miles to the west of us is now leaking radioactive material, some of which was found on a worker’s clothing.
Meanwhile, Montana is expected to have a 375% increase in wind energy jobs by 2020.
And that’s it, folks. I don’t have anything else to say.
(Which really means ‘get ready for several more paragraphs’).
We’ll get up to the 700th post on this Montana blog in just a few days.
That’s a good feeling.
I wonder if I thought I’d make it that far when I started this site back in 2013 in China.
Anyways, here we are…discussing politics and how we can make this state better.
A lot has changed since I started doing that.
- Back in 2013 Max Baucus was still our ranking senator, Daines was our sole U.S. House rep, and Bullock was just a few months into his first term.
- Ted Dick was still the executive director of the Montana Democratic Party and Jim Elliot still hadn’t lost his chairman position to Nancy Anderson.
- Back in May 2013 the Montana Democratic Party brought in $54,000 in donations. Fast forward to May 2017 and they’re brining in $223,000.
So lots of things have changed.
I think I’ve changed a lot too.
Back in 2014 when I got serious about running for office I still worried about sucking-up, saying the right things, and not offending people.
Today I could give a shit about that stuff.
I think I’ve offended most everyone, but nothing much has happened because of this.
For me, Deng Xiaoping is one to look up to.
The Chinaman was born in 1904, educated in France in the ‘20s, and took part in the Long March in 1934-35.
He rose up to the Communist Party’s Secretary General in the 1950s but was eventually purged from the Party in 1966 at the start of the Cultural Revolution as he was too capitalist for Mao Zedong.
After two high-level leaders died, however – Lin Biao and Zhou Enlai – Deng was one of the only ones left with experience and he was brought back.
That was in 1974, Mao’s power was slipping as his health declined, and the Gang of Four – which was led by Mao’s wife – began to chastise Deng, as they saw him as the ultimate threat to their power.
Deng was purged once again, but then in September 1976 Mao died, in October the Gang of Four was purged, and in 1977 Deng was brought back.
By 1980 he’d consolidated his power and became the leader of China until 1992 when he retired.
He died in 1997, and if he hadn’t lived it’s unlikely that China would be what it is today, a strong competitor and trade partner with the US.
Without outspoken and strong-willed people like Deng Xiaoping, China would still be an agricultural backwater that the rest of the world laughs at.
Seeing parallels between Montana?
Well, I hope so…but if not, oh well.
And hey – have yourself a super Sunday!