We smell #sarcasm

I applaud the journalists at Missoula’s Independent for their accurate coverage on the Mike Adams event (“Etc: Mike Adams, Maria Cole and the mouths of privilege,” Feb. 15). As a woman, I am appalled at the university’s acceptance of such an openly bigoted, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, uhm … racist, white male.

Having no privilege or power (remember: I’m a woman), I hopelessly fear that Mike Adams’ words will have an irreversibly negative impact on the children enrolled at the University of Montana. Recently, I’ve petitioned for the university to include more wheelchair ramps exclusively for women — able-bodied and otherwise — campaigning under the header “Ramp Up Women, Step Off Men” in an attempt to equalize the gender power imbalance on fervent display on the UM campus. After witnessing the positive reception to Mike Adams’ toxic speech, I fear my Woman Ramps will never see the light of day.

“No journalism school in its right mind would have sponsored Tuesday’s event, which began and ended with Christian prayer.” This is exactly right. UM was not in its right mind to accept Mike Adams. How can we correct this? What tools are available for us to correct the wrong minds on UM campus? So as not to repeat the liberal acceptance of wrong-mind-thinking individuals? Required diversity, equity and compassion courses? Perhaps we could religiously chant anti-hate rhymes?

Every day I see men bounding up the library steps two, sometimes three steps at a time, and I’m reminded of my short, stubby, cottage-cheesy lady legs. Where is King Tester when we need him the most?

Edna Welthorpe


Yet no one laughed

Among the many bad-faith arguments associated with this speech, Mike Adams lied to his fans and readers in his Oct. 19 column on townhall.net. He claimed he was physically banned from the UM campus after Maria Cole announced his lecture. He’s done nothing in the months since to correct the record. There are book sales and speaking fees to think about. The likes of Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte (unbelievably, the journalist-beater also recorded a finger-wagging defense of First Amendment rights) aren’t going to pass up a chance to monetize a manufactured controversy. This entire event was a joke.

Rebecca Schmitz


Surviving cuts

It is easy to dismiss the budget cuts being considered by the Department of Public Health and Human Services as an easy way to save money (“The budget hits keep coming for Missoula Health Care,” Feb. 15). However, the latest round of proposed cuts to home-support services and therapeutic foster care create a potentially serious situation when coupled with the drastic rate reduction for case-management services. If the proposed cuts are finalized, it is questionable whether any organization will be able to provide these essential services. These cuts will negatively impact the health of our citizens for years to come.

Community services like therapeutic foster care and home support keep families together and help children overcome trauma. Eliminating these intermediate levels of care will lead to an increase in youth being unnecessarily referred to more expensive options, such as emergency rooms, hospitals and long-term residential treatment.

We understand that the Department of Public Health and Human Services needs to make immediate budget cuts. However, the intended funding changes affecting therapeutic foster care and home-support services will result in cuts to community mental health that are far deeper than intended and will place our most vulnerable Montanans at risk.

The proposed cuts to community mental health services have not been finalized, but providers have already been forced to make difficult decisions so that they can continue to provide desperately needed support to Montanans. Youth Dynamics has made difficult internal changes to limit expenditures, but we have not laid off employees, cut services or closed offices because we do not believe it is necessary at this time. Changes have not been finalized and we have too many staff, children and families who are counting on us. We are searching for solutions so that we can continue to support Montana’s most vulnerable youth and families with these essential services.

As chief executive officer of Youth Dynamics, I am still confident that we can work with the Department of Public Health and Human Services to build a budget that is fiscally responsible, and is not balanced at the expense of Montana’s most vulnerable.

Peter Degel


So many quotations

The shameless self-promoter P.T. Barnum adopted the slogan, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” to become the best marketer of his day. Now the proverbial circus is back in town. Only this time the carnival barker, Donald Trump, is trying to manage all three rings of the circus, and one-third of his performers are gone. Mark Twain said it best: “It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak out and confirm the fact.” So the performance is not going well. And only the faithful are calling it something besides a s---hole. He really needs you faithful to pull off this act, so stay engaged. Look for the military parade with a golf cart in the lead. One of my favorite sayings come to mind: “If you are getting run out of town, get in front and act like it is a parade.” I never imagined it would apply to a president.

Doug Kikkert


Bought and paid for

Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte: We awake to headlines of yet another school massacre, committed once again with a Republican-protected assault weapon, this time the AR-15. Please spare us your “thoughts and prayers” for the families of the victims. Instead, stand up to your NRA sponsors. Work with citizens groups working to end gun violence such as Moms Demand Action (momsdemandaction.org) and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (bradycampaign.org) to enact common-sense legislation to bring this epidemic to an end. Our children’s lives are too precious to continue to be used as political pawns by NRA-beholden politicians.

Dan Spencer


Give ’em a hand

We read with interest the Uptown owner’s statement that he really valued his customers (“Downtown’s Uptown Diner takes a bow,” Feb. 15). It was the friendly waitresses and waiters who kept us coming back.

Charles Milo McLeod


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