The way of the dodo

We should be rebuilding and funding rail travel, like all other Western countries, rather than de-funding the system which remains ("Albert Maysle's Empire Builder and the end of Amtrak in Montana?" Aug. 24). All transportation systems depend on public subsidies, above all highways and airports. All rural service will disappear if anti-government trends continue.

Jay Sinnott

They knew

As someone who lobbied extensively this last session, let's be very clear about our legislature ("Mental health care providers struggle with cuts," Aug. 24), especially the Republican majority that put us in this dreadful situation. They knew damn well what they were doing when they pushed this budget through.

Megan Bailey

No glory

It is absolutely important that we never forget our history, even the dark, ugly corners of it, like the era that saw an entire race of people enslaved and treated worse than animals, and their owners start a war against their nation under the guise of "states rights" simply so they could continue their way of life ("Everywhere a sign: Helena removes a reminder of slavery," Aug. 24). But remembering our history doesn't include glorifying those dark, ugly corners of it with memorials and statuary.

Sarah Reynolds Johnson

Read up

The Daughters of the Confederacy explain what [the Helena memorial] symbolizes on their website. I believe hearing/reading a point of view different from your own may enlighten you on what the fountain they erected means. If you have the guts to do it. Or the sycophants can continue blindly following the hysteria.

Chuck Haynes

No two ways

Oh, a bunch of women who want to memorialize their families and glorify them want us to listen to how they don't mean it in "that way" as they name themselves "Daughters of the Confederacy." *Eye roll*

Naomi Odermann

You got it

All those prospecting ex-Confederate soldiers would have most assuredly bought slaves and brought them to live here in Montana if they could have. If they had struck it rich. They were nothing like the folks who hired people to work the mines for pathetic wages who we seem to name streets after. The difference they seem to demonstrate is they did not have money or power. So we make monuments to reward people who seem to have money and power and say to hell with the rest. What a wonderful country, what a great history! I hope we all remember this crap, there could be a quiz.

Dan Hutchinson

Afeared of flakes

Snowflakes is a pretty inaccurate description—it's more like hailstones. I did notice in the news that a few inebriated conservatives tried to prevent the removal. One, a middle aged woman, was arrested. A lot of big talk from those who defend the ill-begotten monument to Jim Crow, but only about a dozen of them had the balls to show up and protest, and the majority were drunken women! So keep calling the liberals names from your keyboards, at least you're not out mowing down pedestrians with your cars.

Willow Bumpus

Don't resist

I am all for free speech, but I found Andrea Grimes over-the-top offensive ("Resistance Kitchen: How scared are you right now pickles," Aug. 17). Crude, not funny, and the recipe wasn't even her own. Blech! I'd can her and leave the pickles alone!

Pattie Fialcowitz


Blame game

Facts are out of style, I know. That is not new regarding forest fires. Smokey Bear started saying "only you can prevent forest fires" more than 50 years ago, and it's always been a lie. Also, the enduring, widely marketed, taxpayer-funded Smokey ad campaign incites the misdirected finger-pointing blame game.

So, when Montana-made politicos Steve Daines, Greg Gianforte and Ryan Zinke stood in front of the Lolo Peak fire pointing their finger of blame outwards at appeals and litigation of timber sales, they were just twisting a long campaign to their own purposes.

The Lolo Peak fire was lightning-caused, and neither "you" or anyone else could have prevented that, but the lie still works.

The fact that there have been no appeals or litigation of timber sales in the burned area is irrelevant to their purposes. They did not leave the Beltway to help brave firefighters fight fires. The incendiary purpose of the cowardly lyin' politicos is to fire up their voter base by fanning flames of hate. This shameless behavior serves to polarize, not unite or uplift Montana.

The fake news contagion is endemic with feckless politicos from the D.C. swamp, but is not limited to the national arena. It corrupts informed public debate locally as well. And it distracts from real issues, like the role of climate change on increasingly long fire seasons and fire intensity.

Even Daines, Zinke and Gianforte cannot prevent forest fires, but there is much real work they could be doing, like tackling the climate change challenge, which could help with forest fires, agriculture, fish and wildlife, as well as other economic and quality-of-life issues we all face.

Larry Campbell


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