Earth Day in Montana – Day of the Wolves

wolf

My wife stepped out of the front door of our central Montana mountain home, and something moving to her right caught her eye.  She froze in her tracks.

It was a large Canadian gray wolf, ambling across our driveway, on its way to its next meal – probably one of the many whitetail deer that bedded down on our property every night.  Or maybe one of the neighbor’s new calves.

“That is one scary animal,” she said.  “I couldn’t believe how big he was.”  We had been worried about letting our small and admittedly wimpy dachshund, Stretch, out of the house without watching him.  With so many eagles and mountain lions in the area he could easily end up as somebody’s evening snack.  Now we had wolves to worry about, too.

In 1995 the Clinton administration, under cover of the Endangered Species Act, set out to “reintroduce” wolves to the Yellowstone Basin of Montana.  It was not a true reintroduction, because the wolves that were relocated to the Yellowstone were Mackenzie Valley wolves, also known as the Canadian gray wolf.   These wolves had never populated the Yellowstone.   The only wolves indigenous to the area were Northern Rocky Mountain wolves, a smaller and less aggressive species.  Northerns were eradicated from this part of Montana back in the 1920s by cattle ranchers protecting their herds, but are thriving in other areas.

Neither species is endangered.   Far from it, in fact.   They exist in great abundance throughout the northern US and Canada.  Wolves are prolific hunters and reproduce rapidly, causing many to question why this expensive and destructive program was ever even considered.

Government planners claim to have originally intended a population of 300 wolves in the Yellowstone area.  Within a few years the population exploded by the thousands and their hunting ranges had expanded to include the entire Rocky Mountain front, with migration as far as the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Wasatch range in Utah.   Southwestern Montana’s world-class elk herd was decimated, along with a significant portion of the moose population.  Hunting in southern Montana died, taking many hunting-dependent towns and small businesses with it.

Meanwhile, environmentalists embraced and encouraged the pro-wolf agenda.   After all, the wolves were not on their property, dining on their livestock and hamstringing defenseless newborn elk and moose calves in their back yards.  Taxpayer-funded programs were implemented to compensate ranchers for the loss of livestock to wolves, but in most cases it was totally insufficient.

Wolves don’t kill for food only.  Mass killings of animals, especially during birthing season, have been observed, as reported by LewistownLivestock.com:

“We raise both cattle and sheep.  During the past year we have witnessed more “joy” killing by wolves – animals that were alive with their guts hanging out or torn up so badly in the hind quarters they had to be euthanized. We’ve lost two yearling steers weighing over 600 pounds. We’ve lost several ewes and over 25 lambs. These brutal attacks have brought lots of tears. I had to look at my ewes that had their guts torn out and lying on the ground still alive and tell them there was nothing I could do. We live only 100 yards off Highway 1.  These attacks occurred within 1/4 mile of our house. We have elk on our property, and the wolves passed right through them to come down and kill our livestock; so NO, wolves don’t just prey on wild game.” – Leslie Boomer, Boomer Ranch, Drummond

In the absence of any justifiable reason for the reintroduction of wolves to the Yellowstone Basin, critics of the program suspect ulterior motives, ranging from gun control and the elimination of the hunting pastime and industry to the unambiguous Agenda 21 objective of returning the Mountain West to its aboriginal state, unscathed by human influence.

The Endangered Species Act is one of many government initiatives that started with pure motives, but was co-opted for unrelated purposes and resulted in horrific unintended consequences.   Is it right to sacrifice thousands of elk, moose, and other wild game – not to mention privately owned livestock, the very livelihood of ranchers – in exchange for packs of predators that are not endangered in any way?

This article is available in its entirety at Watchdog Arena.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

In touch with the ground,
I’m on the hunt down I’m after you,
Smell like I sound, I’m lost in a crowd.
And I’m hungry like the wolf.
Straddle the line, in discord and rhyme
I’m on the hunt down I’m after you.
Mouth is alive with juices like wine,
And I’m hungry like the wolf!

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

Montana Employees ‘Most Engaged’ In the Nation

Gallup US Map Employee EngagementA Gallup poll was released this week with the headline:  Montana Ranks Highest in Employee Engagement in 2013 and 2014.

That Montana appears in a national news headline is, in itself, newsworthy.  The nation’s fourth-largest state geographically ranks only 44th in population, having just broken the 1 million mark.   With only seven people per square mile, this beautiful “fly over country” is generally pretty inconsequential to the national news media.

So when my beloved Big Sky State is granted a few inches of bold type, it gets my attention.  And as a retired business owner and manager – and an unabashed free-market capitalist – any discussion related to getting, keeping, and motivating employees is compelling to me.

Gallup’s poll asks employers to what extent their people are engaged and enthused about their work and workplace.  Are they passionate about their jobs?  Do they feel a “profound connection” to their company?

In Montana, apparently they do.  In New York, not so much.  What accounts for the difference?

The Gallup article concludes that employees in smaller businesses are more engaged than those lost in a sea of cubicles or a huge factory full of machines.  There are very few large businesses in Montana, so most employees work directly with the owners and managers of their companies.  They see and feel the connection between their own performance and the success of the business.  They rely more closely on each other and know that the success of the individual employee and the company are interwoven.

Another factor is geographic isolation.   Cattle outnumber people almost three to one in the Big Sky State.  My hometown, Lewistown, is the 16th largest city in Montana, with a population of almost 6,000.  Most Montanans live in or near very small communities, and the distance to most services that the rest of the country takes for granted is considerable.  It creates an uncommon level of self-sufficiency.  Montanans learn to weld so they can repair their own equipment.  They plow their own snow or else they would be stranded.  They voluntarily man the fire trucks and ambulances.   Waiting for government services is often just not an option.

And that just might be the difference between Montana and New York.

A few months ago when two feet of snow was predicted in New York, the government told residents to stay home.  And they did.  Two feet of snow in Montana just makes for better elk hunting.  Try telling Montana hunters to stay home after a fresh snow!  And a little snow certainly doesn’t keep those engaged Montana employees from going to work.

History teaches that dependence on government throttles personal ambition and motivation.   And excessive regulation and government control restricts economic growth and standards of living.  Montanans are currently waging what they consider to be an existential battle against federal encroachment, defending their water rights, their natural resources, and their land from a variety of federal programs that threaten seizure, severe regulation, or endless environmental litigation.   30% of Montana land is already “owned” by the federal government.

Montanans are engaged in preserving the sovereignty of their state and the ownership rights of their own property.  They are engaged in the safety, well-being and economic success of their families and communities.   Rather than wait for the federal government to determine their needs and provide for them, Montanans would just as soon the feds butt out.

It’s not hard to see why Montanans are more engaged in their employment than most other Americans.

see this article in its entirety at Watchdog Arena

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Together we’ll stand, divided we’ll fall
Come on now, people let’s get on the ball
And work together.
Come on, come on let’s work together
Because together we will stand
Every boy, every girl and man

K-12 Spending: more, More, MORE!

Education spending.  More is better, right?

For years we have heard reports that teachers are forced to buy paper and supplies out of their own pockets, that some teachers qualify for food stamps, and that there have been “draconian cuts” to K-12 education budgets for decades.  Stories of the heartless underfunding of education are delivered with emotion and indignation, but seldom with statistical validation.

As student scores, college readiness and employability of graduates continue to decline across the U.S., the mantra of educators and progressives increases in volume and pitch.  “More money.  Just give us more money.  All we need is MORE MONEY!”

Seattle Times Headline Ed Spending

At a recent conference on school choice presented by the Franklin Center, Dr. Ben Scafidi shredded many of the myths about American taxpayers short-shrifting students.

Scafidi, director of the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College and State University, said spending per student continues to increase sharply, studies prove that student achievement does not rise as a result of more spending, and there is no evidence that students are any harder to teach than they ever were due to non-school influences.

The most compelling finding of Scafidi’s 2012 study titled “The School Staffing Surge – Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools is this:

From 1950 to 2009 the number of students increased by 98%.  The number of teachers in public schools increased by 252%.  Meanwhile the number of administrators and other school staff increased by 702%.

Scafidi said, “If from 1992 to 2012 our public schools had increased non-teacher staff at the same rate that it increased teaching staff, it would have freed up $26.5 billion per year in education funds.  That could translate to an $8500 raise for every teacher, or a huge reduction in taxes, or scholarships that would allow many students to attend the schools of their choice.”

Opponents of school choice contend that students who remain in traditional public schools are harmed when budget dollars follow students to private or charter schools.  But Scafidi points out that charter and private schools operate so much more efficiently than the traditional public schools that fixed costs for the existing schools (about 36%) can still be covered by available funds and the remaining students in those schools benefit by the reduced variable costs.

Clearly there is no direct equivalency between dollars spent per student and results.  Test scores, graduation rates, and college matriculation at the private and charter schools I visited in Washington, DC were nothing short of miraculous compared to those of the traditional DC public schools, despite spending less than half the amount per student.

In previous posts I have reported school budgets in rural Montana schools of $22,000 per student per year.  While many of these students are getting a great education, by no means are they twice as smart as their city-school peers.  The cost is merely a function of declining numbers of students versus increasing costs, largely spending required by federal and state regulations and not the local school board.

I have personally seen many aggregious examples of non-academic school spending.  One Montana school district with 350 high school students keeps a stable of five cruiser buses, most equipped with personal video players, for their athletic and extracurricular teams.  Schools so small they can only play six-man football travel 350 miles to games.  My local school district in South Carolina just spent $6 million on artificial turf.  That’s got to affect the cost per student, without really improving student outcomes, wouldn’t you say?

Voters and taxpayers: next time you hear educators and progressives hollering for “more, more, more money!” you might ask how the extra dollars will be spent and how will students benefit.  Better yet, demand that the dollars coming from your hard earned pay can go with each student to the school of his or her choice.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”, y’all
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one!

Marketplace Fairness Act – Just Another New Tax

tax key on keyboard

image by ConservativeActionAlerts.com

Internet-based companies are always looking for a new revenue stream on the web.  Unfortunately, so are federal and state governments.

One way the government could profit from internet traffic would be to charge a tax for internet access.  A moratorium currently prevents taxation of internet access, but that will expire on December 11 if it isn’t extended.

Another way would be to collect more sales taxes on internet sales.  Currently only businesses who have a physical presence in a state are required to charge sales taxes for orders from customers in that state.

A bill called the “Marketplace Fairness Act” passed the Senate last spring.  It would enable a state to collect sales taxes on all internet purchases shipped to its citizens and companies from other states.  Fortunately, the House chose to ignore the Senate bill, but the Senate hasn’t given up yet.

Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) wrote a bill that would implement the Internet Sales Tax, and in exchange would outlaw internet access taxes for ten years.  (See why I was so excited that Liz Cheney was going to run against Enzi?)  The Senate hopes to pass the bill during the upcoming “lame duck” session.  If the bill doesn’t pass, internet users well might find new tax charges on their monthly web access and smart phone invoices.  It’s the perfect crime – if you don’t let us raise this tax, we will raise the other tax!

A true free market is eminently fair, where anyone can compete on an even playing field.  Some say it is unfair that brick-and-mortar businesses have to collect sales tax from their customers while internet sellers can ship the same products to the same customers tax-free.  It would clearly be unfair to require one business in a state to charge sales tax and exempt another business in the same state.  But is it fair to impose one state’s tax laws on people and businesses in a different state?

I owned and operated a small retail business in Montana for ten years when the web was really taking off, and I heard a lot of whining by store owners about competition from internet dealers.  “Not fair,” they howled.  “We can’t compete with the internet companies.  They don’t have to provide advice or service to the customers so their prices are lower.  They can run a business out of a basement in their pajamas.”  Sales tax didn’t enter into the conversation in my state, because Montana has no sales tax, but I’m sure it was a whining point in other states.

I heard the complaints, but it all seemed perfectly fair to me.  The internet dealer offers customers an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar store.  The web seller has lower prices, broader selection, and unlimited shopping hours.  But the store down the street offers immediate availability, personal service and advice, and you get to see and touch the merchandise before you buy it.  Plus your local store is a citizen of the community who supports charities and schools and pays local taxes.

Some weaker small businesses just folded up.  The smarter ones built their own web presences, found new revenue opportunities online, and trumpeted the advantages their stores offered over web competitors.  It’s a tough game, but fair.

This issue is being played as if it were about fairness and leveling the playing field.  Horse hockey.  It’s about raising taxes.

Instead of laying awake nights trying to figure out how to raise more taxes, why don’t you guys inside the beltway think about reducing the size of government and cutting back on all the crazy spending?

Note to self:  call my representatives and senators, and strongly suggest that they support permanently extending the internet access tax moratorium and KILLING the internet sales tax.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

I feel so good come payday
I think of all the things I’m gonna buy when I pick up my pay

Don’t you know, but then they hand me
That little brown envelope
I peep inside, Lord I lose all hope

‘Cause from those total wages earned
Down to that net amount that’s due
I feel the painful sense of loss between the two

Johnny Cash – After Taxes

What’s That Smell Coming From the RNC?

So you went to the Lincoln-Reagan dinner and you wrote a check to the Republican Party.  You thought your money would be spent to defeat liberal Democrats, right?

Well, maybe not . . .

It seems the establishment GOP feels more threatened by the Tea Party and other conservative Republicans than by the liberal Democrats.

I first experienced this in the 2012 Montana governor’s campaign when our local Republican committee threw a wing-ding to endorse and support one of the seven Republican primary candidates – a year before the primary election!  I was stunned.   I thought the party is supposed to remain neutral while its candidates compete for the right to represent their party in the general election.  My conservative candidate, a straight-shooting Tea Party favorite and long-time loyal Montana Republican, started the primary race with his own party working against him.

This practice (using funds from Republican donors to defeat conservative Republican candidates) has accelerated this year across the country.  But the recent episode in Mississippi goes way over the top.

Senator Thad Cochran, an aging (some say senile) and ineffective member of the DC permanent ruling class, was about to be knocked out of the Mississippi GOP primary race by a young, aggressive Tea Party candidate, state senator Chris McDaniel.  Cochran had made almost no effort to campaign, assuming that his seat was safe from any challenge, as it had always been in the past.  After all, he had been “bringing home the bacon” for 36 years, right?

The Republican insiders realized that their boy was in trouble, and there was no time to waste.  GOP operative Henry Barbour (nephew of Haley Barbour, former RNC chairman) was sent on a scorched-earth mission to take out McDaniel in the last few weeks before the primary.  He shuffled funds between some PACs under his control and hired DEMOCRATS to convince black voters to cross over in the primary and vote for Cochran.

Here is where it gets really sickening.  Barbour used money from Republican donors to print posters, broadcast radio ads, and make telephone robo-calls all claiming that Republican candidate McDaniel and the Tea Party are racists who are trying to prevent black citizens from voting!  Cochran_Race_BaitingBarbour’s propaganda campaign further claimed that McDaniel and the Tea Party would do away with food stamps and other benefit programs and cut funding for education, especially black colleges.

One radio ad said, “A victory by tea party candidate Chris McDaniel is a loss for the state of Mississippi. It is a loss for public education. … It is a loss for the citizens of this state in a time of natural disaster, for our public universities and particularly our historically black universities. A victory for Chris McDaniel is a loss for the reputation of this state for race, for race relationships between blacks and whites and other ethnic groups. Mississippi can’t afford Chris McDaniel.”

It is unthinkable that Republican donor funds would be used to smear loyal conservative Republicans (and the Tea Party) as racists – to convince gullible Democrats to cross over and vote against a Republican primary candidate.  But it worked, and Cochran won the runoff election by a few thousand votes.  The election results are under scrutiny, with numerous complaints of illegal votes.

The Tea Party Patriots demanded the Republican National Committee censure Henry Barbour.  Their “white paper” study detailed the many illegal and immoral activities of the establishment Republicans.

At its summer conference in Chicago this week the RNC not only refused to read a censure resolution brought by the Missouri state committee, RNC chairman Reince Preibus doubled down, threatening Missouri GOP chairman Ed Martin with his position for even raising the issue.

Apparently the insider Republicans have no fear of losing conservative voters – they assume we will continue to spend our money, our effort, and our votes to elect anybody who does not have a “D” after his or her name.

So next time you pull out your checkbook to contribute to the battle against the ongoing Democrat decay of our nation, think twice.  You may be supporting Republicans without principles who will do or say anything to hold on to their gravy train.  Even race-baiting.

It’s time to do some serious disinfecting in the leadership of the Republican party.  It’s really starting to smell in there.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Ooh, that smell!
Can’t you smell that smell?
Ooh, that smell!
The smell of death surrounds you.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – That Smell

 

 

Guitar Heaven! – Skynrd’s “That Smell” live in Nashville 2003

 

 

 

 

They’re Coming to America

photo courtesy 21stCenturySchools.com

photo courtesy 21stCenturySchools.com

Standing in the checkout line at Costco, I watched and listened to the family in front of me chattering in a language that I couldn’t identify.  Was it Flemish?  Behind me a mother and her daughter spoke what I think was Hindi.  Another group of Indians near us was speaking English in their distinctive clipped dialect, and then a passel of giggling little Chinese kids ran by, with Mom and Dad sternly attempting discipline in their home language.  Then the pretty young Caribbean woman began checking out our groceries as two young Hispanic men worked the merchandise and carts and shared a joke in Spanish.

And it hit me like a brick.  The United States I had known all my life is no more.

I know, it sounds cliched, but I (conservative, Tea Party, mature white male) am not a racist.  I have no ill will or condescension toward any kind of people.  I have said I am an “economic bigot” – I expect capable people to work, and don’t particularly care for those who won’t, regardless of ethnicity.  But I enjoy the uniqueness of people from different places and cultures, especially the flavors of family interactions that are so universal – devoted parents raising their fun-loving kids.

No, I’m not a racist, but I couldn’t help but notice that American-born, English-speaking whites and blacks were outnumbered on that Saturday afternoon in that Costco store in a relatively affluent Charlotte neighborhood.

I was flooded with questions and emotions.  Do these foreigners also speak English?  Where do they work?  They seem to have plenty of money – were they wealthy in their native countries?  Are there here legally?  How did they get drivers licenses?  Do they vote?  Are their kids in the neighborhood schools, and how the heck do the schools deal with so many languages and customs?

Of course, no broad-brush answers apply.  Some speak English, some don’t.  Some have jobs, others are on government benefits.  Some are legal.  Some have drivers licenses.  Some vote.  One thing is for sure, suddenly there are a lot of them, as both legal and illegal immigration rates are exploding, compared to our earlier history.  Many states are importing more people than are being born to natives.

The United States will never again look and sound like it did during our lifetimes.  It is a done deal.

But we, as a nation, are still at a tipping point:  Will the values, social structure, and laws that made this country the most prosperous and powerful in the world survive?  Will our new immigrants become Americans who share the love of Mom, baseball, apple pie and Chevrolets, like earlier generations of immigrants?  Or will our great nation be split into hundreds of tribes, each clinging to their native habits, and suspicious of all the others?

It is a time in our history when leadership is critical.   Now, more than ever, we need leaders who care about the well-being of the nation, not just their own or their party’s political success.  We need honest men and women with an understanding of the importance of time-tested rules and practices.  America was built on laws that we could all agree upon, and that were proven to work.  And America was once a “melting pot”, where newcomers assimilated into our culture while preserving their own heritages.  Now is not the time to get fuzzy about our American laws, Constitution, or values.  Our immigrants need order and stability, too – in fact that’s what many seek by moving here.

My wife often complained that our home state of Montana changed radically as more and more people moved there from the west coast.  “They move to Montana because it’s better than California, and then they try to change it into California!”

In addition to accelerating legal immigration rates, our government has decided to erase our southern border and pretty much accept all comers.  They claim their motivations are humanitarian; some of us believe they are political.  But even if the border could be sealed like a Tupperware bowl tomorrow, the United States will never be the same as it was.  So now what?

Many of the newcomers don’t really know what made America great.  They and their families weren’t here.  It’s up to us remaining native Americans (by that I mean those of us born here) to stand up for American traditions. values, and laws.  We must make sure that our history is accurately and broadly taught, and expect our leaders to proudly defend our national identity and solidarity.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Neil Diamond – Coming to America

 

 

 

Inequality – It’s What Made Us Great!

Boys_playing_footballNovember, 1964 – another crisp, sunny afternoon in Great Falls, Montana.  We got out of McKinley Elementary at 3:15 and like most other days headed over to the Willetts’ house to see if the other neighborhood kids were up for some football.

The Willetts’ house was set back quite a ways off the street, and had a big front yard of thick, green grass littered with fat orange, yellow and red leaves from the huge maple trees that graced our older middle-class street.  It was irresistible to a bunch of grade school boys with lots of energy and no homework.

By 3:30 a dozen or so kids had arrived, and the captains picked their teams.  The team captains were the biggest, toughest, or oldest kids – the alpha males of the bunch.  You were proud if you were one of the first boys picked, and kind of embarrassed if you were the last.  But everybody got to play.

Seems like the captains always got to play quarterback, too.  Like it or not, they were the natural leaders.  There might be an occasional challenge – “Hey I want to be captain!”  – but usually it was pretty evident who was going to be in charge.  The captain had to be smart enough to call a play that actually might work.  He was usually the best athlete.  And he had to have the respect, or at least the obedience, of his teammates.

Bobby was fast as the wind, a natural running back.  Randy could catch anything.  He always got to be a receiver.

Roger, the fat kid, always had to play center or guard.  I mean let’s face it, he just couldn’t run fast enough to catch a pass or defend one.  Plus he had no idea how to call plays.  But Roger didn’t mind, he knew his place.  And heck, he could block two or three of us at a time.

Our neighborhood was very mixed, from one end of the socioeconomic scale to the other.  Some of us were scruffy kids from poor families.  We were the ones with no dads at home.  The middle-class boys had real families and belonged to the cub scouts.  They had to be home at 6:00 for supper.  Some of the gang were actually upper-crust; in fact, Mr. Willetts ran for mayor.

But on a blue-sky late autumn afternoon in the sixties it didn’t matter what your dad did for a living, or if you had one.  It was all about run, throw, catch, score, and WIN.  Nobody cared what you looked like or how worn-out your shoes were.  You succeeded or failed on your own, and you weren’t going to get any respect for free.

We learned about leadership.  About the joy of competition.  About how to fit in and contribute to a team effort, and to share in the rewards.  About getting knocked on your butt, and getting back up.  Some kids learned that they just weren’t cut out for football.  They found something else they could do well.  Or not.

And all of this happened without worried parents hovering over us, coaches having tantrums, or lawyers and TV news crews waiting for somebody to get hurt.  No rules committees, safety equipment, or umpires.  No government programs to shelter us and tell us what to do.

There was never any mention of “inequality”.  Everybody got to play, and the boys who had the most skill, experience or drive had the most success, and the most fun.  But we all wanted to compete, and to win.

That bunch of boys became men, and our generation did pretty well with what we learned on our own in those front yards and vacant lots.  Now, sadly, the notion of kids being able to – and allowed to – organize their own rough-and-tumble football games is unthinkable.  That level of freedom and opportunity for kids is long gone.

In today’s “fairer” progressive social structure, everybody will get to play quarterback.  We will all have new shoes, but they will be low-quality, made in China.  We won’t pick teams or keep score because that is just too damaging to self-esteem.  There will be no losers, and no winners – just shared mediocrity.

I don’t know about you, but if Roger is going to be the quarterback, I don’t even want to play.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side
Ooh, it takes every kind of people
To make what life’s about, yeah
Every kind of people
To make the world go ’round

Every Kind of People – Robert Palmer

 

 

 

Pickles

Question About the Tea Party? So Call Me, Maybe?!

HatePhoneMontana Headlines: 

Huffington Post:  “Tea Party Candidate Gets Turned Away By the (Montana) GOP For Spreading Racist Views”

Great Falls Tribune:  “Tea Party Candidates Challenging Democrats In Eight (Montana) Legislative Primaries”

the Raw Story:  “Muppet-Hater Leads Wave of Tea Party ‘Extremists’ Running As Democrats in Montana”

One minute we hear “the Tea Party is Dead”.  The next minute, every other hopeful in the upcoming primaries is labeled a “Tea Party Candidate”.  Which is accurate?

In Montana, it’s neither.  The Montana Tea Party Coalition is an active and politically robust group made up of local Tea Party leaders from across the state.  And it does not endorse candidates or parties.  What’s more, neither the Montana Tea Party Coalition nor any of its affiliate members have ever heard, seen, or met these so-called “Tea Party Candidates”.

Last week Montana newspapers reported two stories with the words “Tea Party Candidate” in the headline.

The Great Falls Tribune broke the news, on a tip from an anonymous flame-throwing far-left blogger, that a number of “apparent Tea Party conservatives filed to run against bona fide Democrats in the June 3 primary.”  Who determined that these people are “Tea Party” candidates? The candidates themselves did not claim to belong to any Tea Party.  According to the Montana Tea Party Coalition, none of the eight candidates identified in the article are members of a coalition affiliate.

And regardless whether they are actual Tea Party members, what makes them less “bona fide” than the other candidates?  The Tea Party believes in smaller governments, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional freedoms.  We only want to preserve the American Dream – more good jobs, no crushing debt, and rising standards of living – for our children and grandchildren.  Do “bona fide” Democrats oppose these principles?

Why didn’t the Great Falls Tribune talk to any of the easily-accessible Tea Party organizations in Montana – perhaps the very visible and active Great Falls Tea Party Patriots right in their hometown?

Then the Billings Gazette and other state and national media gloated, “GOP congressional candidate Drew Turiano has been branded a racist by the Yellowstone County Republican Party and turned away from the group’s key political event.”  Most of the headlines called Turiano the “Tea Party Candidate”.  Again, the Montana Tea Party Coalition maintains that nobody in their ranks has ever had contact with Turiano.

I called Drew Turiano today and asked him if he is a member of any Tea Party affiliate.  “Well, no,” he said.  “I just believe in most of the Tea Party principles.”  Does that qualify him to be called the “Tea Party Candidate” in the race for the critically important, and only, US House seat from Montana?  I looked at Turiano’s website today and found no mention of Tea Party other than the headlines of the linked news stories.  Chuck Johnson, Capitol Bureau Chief for Lee Newspapers, told me that he recalled Turiano identifying with the Tea Party in an earlier interview.   But again, no one in the media took the initiative to check in with the real Tea Party.

Meanwhile, the extreme left-wing blogs and the mainstream media can’t wait to find something – anything – about these candidates that they can use to vilify the Tea Party.  Especially tasty are charges of racism in the Tea Party, a flat-out fabrication.  Turiano was called a racist because he believes illegal immigrants are illegal and should be returned to their home countries.  He made the mistake of referring to the Eisenhower-era deportation program called “Operation Wetback”  – named by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, not Turiano.   And the Tea Party is guilty of racism by association.  Both charges – racism and association with Turiano – are false, but that doesn’t stop the left or the media.  The Montana GOP didn’t exactly hit this one out of the park either.

So, to set the record straight – there are ZERO “Tea Party Candidates” in Montana.  And please guys, next time you have an issue or a question about the Tea Party, would you just call us and ask?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy
But here’s my number, so call me, maybe
It’s hard to look right at you baby
But here’s my number, so call me, maybe!

MT Senate Candidate Confuses Tea Party with Taliban

Tea-Party-TalibanJohn Bohlinger was once lieutenant governor of Montana – a Republican who shared quarters with Democrat governor Brian Schweitzer.  Strange bedfellows?

Maybe not so much.

Bohlinger is running for Montana’s US Senate seat – as a Democrat.  And his first official act as a member of the progressive party is to bash the Tea Party.   Despicable, but true to form.

My knuckles were white as I wrote our response:

On Tuesday, former Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger announced his candidacy for the Montana US Senate seat in next year’s election.  Today Bohlinger told Chuck Johnson, Lee Newspaper Capital Bureau Chief, that his decision to run was driven by last month’s federal government shutdown, which he blamed on the “Tea Party Taliban”.  He said the Tea Party thought the shutdown was “clever” and “cute”.

It appears that Mr. Bohlinger’s campaign will consist of the same kind of inflamed rhetoric that currently paralyzes our capital.  His alarming lack of understanding of both the Taliban and the Tea Party does little to qualify him as a candidate for such an important office, and insults Montanans who actually fought the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Taliban is a violent terrorist organization of religious extremists who routinely torture and murder innocent men, women and children.  Women, gays, and anyone who opposes their oppressive Sharia laws have no rights under Taliban rule.

The Tea Party is made up of concerned American citizens who support the US Constitution, including its carefully designed citizens’ rights and limits on the scope of government.  We are opposed to government fraud, corruption and waste, and seek fiscal accountability.  We are concerned about profligate government spending, our unsustainable $17 trillion debt, and the mismanagement of our national economy, recently epitomized by the disastrous Affordable Health Care Act.  We want our children and grandchildren to enjoy a standard of living at least somewhat commensurate with our own.

If asked, Mr. Bohlinger would say he supports the Constitution.  He would most likely claim to oppose government waste and fraud.  And he may have good intentions for his children and grandchildren.

The Montana Tea Party Coalition asks Mr. Bohlinger if that makes him a member of the Taliban, too.

Yeah, kinda makes me so mad I want to just go out and behead some women and kids.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Now it cuts like a knife
But it feels so right
It cuts like a knife
But it feels so right

Cuts Like A Knife – Bryan Adams

 

ObamaCare Navigators – Just Another Political Payback

obamacare[Update 10/14/13 – it gets uglier by the minute]

[Update 10/13/13 – new related post here, by I-4 Activist Watch]

Lost in all the ObamaCare kerfuffle is the fact that President Obama gave the contracts for “navigators”, those in charge of educating the public about enrollment, to crony left-wing organizations instead of insurance professionals.

This is just one more slap in the face to the taxpayer public, as more and more public funds find their way to the people who campaigned for the president (and still do).

A report in the Missoulian illustrates how Planned Parenthood of Montana received $300,000 from Obama to act as navigators.  So far the services rendered are two meetings – one had seven attendees and the other had “less than a half dozen”.  But Planned Parenthood is getting a ton of PR in addition to the money, and both will go a long ways toward killing more babies.

The navigators were apparently chosen strictly on the basis of political payback – only Obama community organizer types need apply.  In addition to Planned Parenthood, the paybacks also extend to the SEIU and Acorn (yes, the group that was convicted of vote fraud , misappropriating HUD funds, and a host of other ugly crimes.)   There are no background checks for navigators – an alarming invitation to identity theft and invasion of privacy as citizens divulge their social security numbers, personal and financial information, and medical details to total strangers, some from groups who are notorious bad actors.

I used to think that blatant, corrupt, under-the-table paybacks from elected officials only happened in banana republic third-world countries.  It couldn’t happen here.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Too many people need me
I’ve got so much, So much to do
But when my travelling is over
I’ll pay you back with interest
I’ll pay you back with interest

Pay You Back With Interest – the Hollies

Obamacare ‘navigator’ in Kansas has outstanding arrest warrant (UPDATED)