Sorry I’ve been neglecting you.
Sunday was a busy family day and then yesterday I worked one of my jobs all day, went to a different job’s employee Christmas party at night.
Boy, I forgot how much fun service industry Christmas party’s can be! Drinking and bowling and shooting the shit – good times.
Times ain’t good everywhere, however.
Let’s get into it with some brief news first.
- The GOP has managed to increase graduation rates in Montana high schools 1% more than the Democrats were able to.
- Anonymous commenters have labeled Billings professor, and former Missoula legislator – Dave Wanzenried – as the anonymous author of Logicosity.
- “Millions of dollars” in needless state taxes could be returned to Montana citizens this year.
- 2.4% more Americans filed for disability in 2017 over the previous year. That’s 2.1 million people.
- 148,000 jobs were created in December 2017. 156,000 were added in December 2016. 292,000 were created in December 2015.
- The government is now $20.6 trillion in debt.
- American households have nearly $13 trillion in debt.
- $1.4 trillion of that is student loan debt.
- $1.2 trillion of that is car loan debt.
- $1 trillion of that is credit card debt.
- 33% of Americans are turned over to collections for not paying their debt.
- 13 million American kids go hungry at least once a year. In total, 49 million Americans deal with food insecurity, or 15% of the country.
- 90% of Americans believe God will solve their problems.
- 20% of Americans go to church.
- 9% of working families give to charity.
- 3% of Americans are millionaires.
Praises Be to Bodner!
The new UM president laid out his priorities on Monday.
- The first step is identifying what makes UM strong and trying to strengthen it further.
- Next, keep the budget under control…while paying lip-service to diversity.
- Finally, get enrollment up.
These are good points…but the local TV station here in Missoula seems to be missing the key points.
First, Bodner assumes UM is on the cutting edge…and he’s exactly right in 3 ways:
- First, the university and its top professors spend more time on research and grants than they do on the dwindling and under-appreciated undergraduate student body.
- Next, keeping a “tight ship” means jettisoning all the bullshit undergraduate programs, both so we can fire those professors (saving shit-tons on payroll and payroll taxes in the process), while diminishing the number of lackluster graduates that’ll never give to the alumni organizations…because they can’t get jobs that are worth a damn with the useless degrees they earned at UM.
- Finally, if we get enrollment up, we’ll have more suckers coming in the door, suckers that are all too keen on paying the salaries, healthcare, insurance, and retirement for old, gray-haired men that just know everything about the world and want to make sure you do too.
Boy, I’m disappointed in myself for ever having gone to UM.
Going there would have been one thing…I might have gotten out clean.
But I actually graduated, and with $31,000 in student loan debt.
I’ve had few employers over the past 10 years ask me for my degree. Most don’t care – jobs in Missoula don’t require it.
But keep going to UM. It’s not really about you and your education, it’s about ensuring those old, gray-haired men are able to have their golden years.
That’s what you pay for when you go to UM.
In a way, I’m glad I paid to go to UM. As you can tell, I got one hell of an education.
Over the past 7 years, internet providers have invested a paltry $35 million a year in Montana’s internet infrastructure.
Personally, I pay $65 a month for my internet access from Charter. That comes to $780 a year.
We know that 73% of the state uses the internet, and if we assume all of those are paying charter…that comes out to $47 million a month in revenue, or $565 million a year.
Multiply that by our 50 states and Charter would be making $28.2 billion a year.
And the internet companies want us to pay for their infrastructure.
And we put up with this.
We put up with the slow speeds, the high prices, and the new rules about net neutrality.
In fact, something that 73% of us use on a daily basis isn’t even an issue in our national, political discourse.
Honestly…when was the last time you heard the highly-paid analysts, newscasters, and reporters on cable TV talk about this?
Yep, most of the things that affect us on an everyday basis aren’t discussed.
Most of the things that don’t have one damn impact on our life our talked about all the time!
We talk about Russian meddling, Trump’s intellect, and illegal aliens that want to be legal.
We don’t talk about the prices you pay for things, the debt you have, or your lack of benefits in your stagnant-wage job.
Whether it’s the cost of cheese going up by 50 cents for 8 ounces, or generic tissues papers doing the same, inflation is something definitely ignore.
I’m sure we could throw a lot more into that mix – our taxes, our gas prices, clothes and housing – but why?
We all know – from the national media, of course – that what’s happening in North Korea, and with the $175,000+ congressional yahoos that we can’t seem to stop electing, is a lot more important than what happens in our daily lives.
Just watch the news…you’ll see it quite clearly – upper-class anchors and reporters telling you what you need to know.
And we eat this shit up…why, exactly?
Well…we continually put people in charge that actually went into debt to ensure the old, gray-haired Ivory-League class is still able to maintain their lifestyle in the hallowed halls of academia.
We both call this ‘getting an education’ and ‘moving up in the world.’
And we wonder why this country is so screwed up.
Ol’ MTPR Reports
I see the Mauk, Saldin and Johnson report is up again.
It’s a sporadic report, usually taking place during the legislature. I guess over the past week they felt there was enough to comment on to put another one up, however.
This one highlighted the various candidates running for congressional offices.
Surprise, surprise…I was not mentioned.
And that’s just fine.
Costs over $1,700 to run for federal office, and I sure as shit ain’t gonna have that. Thought I might with the ol’ federal tax return in February…but that’s just not going to be the case.
So I won’t be running, and I’ll be filing a termination report soon.
Oh…not as soon as Tom Woods. He had to get out early so he could get his name in there for the legislature.
I have no such dreams.
Yep, this’ll be the first time in 4 years that I’m not running for the legislature. What the hell’s the point?
There’s a long line of safe-in-the-city Dems here in Missoula that are chomping at the bit to run for the legislature.
I’m not sure what good it does ‘em…or the state.
Democrats are a non-issue in Montana. I guess I could go into the Party salaries and the last election and future prospects…but what’s the point?
Democrats aren’t going to be a factor in Montana politics this year or the next. They sure as shit weren’t a factor during the recent special session, I know that.
And you’ll never stop hearing them complain about this.