"May be"?

Dan Brooks may be handsome, and commitment averse for all I know, and I enjoy reading his columns, but I think he doesn't realize how 20th century he reveals himself to be ("Renters asunder," March 23). Doesn't he get it that government is no longer meant to protect the people, but to ensure a profitable margin for government, and those involved in buying it, just like any other free market entity in our country? Government for the people is so yesterday.

Today, they have figured out how to privatize government and still be popular with the people whose life blood they sell out. Who knew?!

Anyway, thanks for the insightful, relevant, tongue-in-cheek remarks. Unfortunately, it takes more than a fourth-grade education to understand his meaning, so his audience may not be as large as is needed to take back our country, our state and our dignity. But please do keep up the entertaining commentary for the rest of us.

Carolyn Beecher


Plight of the landlords

Perhaps the author should look into how utterly helpless a landlord is when having to deal with the "tenant from hell," and how complicated it has become recently for a landlord to evict someone. It may take months, all while the landlord is not receiving income from his investment. If both tenant and landlord would do the right thing, there would be no need for legislation, but, alas, someone is always getting screwed. So bring on the laws and penalties. After all, they have been earned.

Paul Middleton

posted at missoulanews.com

That escalated slowly...

Recently it was discovered that Rob Quist had tax liens filed against him by the state of Montana and it was turned into political fodder. I am not going to condemn Mr. Quist. Like many working Montanans, not everything has gone as planned in his life. Sometimes, no matter how you plan, the world just doesn't cooperate. Unexpected bills can happen at any time and expected payments usually are farther away than anticipated. Welcome to the real world, folks. This is where most working Montana families live all the time.

It also makes me think of all the people that lost everything in 2008. I spent last winter driving BNSF rail crews up and down the Hi-Line. Most of them had worked a good job before BNSF, and many lost those jobs in the recession. They had nice homes and all the things Montana families like to buy, and they lost it all in the housing collapse. These weren't people that spent their money foolishly. They expected to go to work and then one day they didn't have a job anymore, or a home soon after. These are the people that to this day have black marks on their credit scores because they didn't know the economy was going to kick them in the teeth.

Rural families have different problems with the same result. Farm and ranch families are often caught in the crosshairs of bills that they can't pay. They have such irregular income that sometimes bills have to be put on hold until a crop can be sold. Just this fall I was scrambling. My entire mustard crop was wiped out in a hail storm, and calf prices were so low I wanted to wait until January to sell, hoping maybe the market would recover, but Joyce Fuel and Feed in Fort Benton had sold me a Wheatheart post pounder on credit in a handshake deal and I intended to make good on my word and pay them off. I managed, but it was a lean Christmas for the kids.

They say most families are one paycheck away from disaster at any time. I believe that. So I'm not going to beat on Mr. Quist for something that could have happened to anyone of modest income. But what I do think separates Mr. Quist and myself is our view of fiscal responsibility. I believe we need to balance the budget and not steal from the next generation. We have to get our financial house in order so we can pay for all the programs the government provides. We are already $20 trillion in the hole, but when I looked at Mr. Quist's website, balancing the budget didn't make the top 19 issues! We don't need any more tax-and-spend politicians in Congress, and we don't need politicians that can't remember what it is like to struggle to pay a bill.

So remember, Montana, when it's time to vote, it's just like the three bears story—one bear is too far left and one bear is too far right, but one bear is just perfect for Montana. I'm that bear! Vote for Mark L. Wicks for Congress.

Mark L. Wicks


Pipeline placement

I think we should go over rivers, instead of under rivers. Over rivers on bridges, with an inspector's walkway on both sides of the pipe. It might cost more, but it will produce more jobs. It will be safer and less invasive to water and to riverbeds. It will be more healthy. An oil pipeline broke under the frozen Yellowstone river a few years ago. It was hard to clean up under the ice. Some of the oil went into farmers' fields and ruined the grass and hay. It took a long time to clean it up. All the wildlife suffered. Oil in the ocean, oil in the creeks, oil in the rivers—we must be more careful.

Gary LeDeau


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