Truth hurts

I need someone to explain this to me (“Sinclair Broadcast Group got Grinched,” Jan. 4). We understand by demographics that it is mostly older and elderly people who get their news from these outmoded sources.

The reason Fox is “number one” isn’t because almost everyone in the country is watching it; it’s because only older people watch television news, and a larger percentage (older, white people) of an increasingly shrinking demographic watch Fox.

This sure seems like pointless hand-wringing to me.

The vast majority of Americans who pay attention to the news at all (not too many, sad to say) get their news online.

Basically, what this boils down to is that a bunch of rich people are investing in a dying industry. They have short-term goals. But the long-term trajectory is that cable, newspapers, radio, etc. are on their way out.

Louise McMillin

Who to trust?

I stopped watching these stations thinking they were now Sinclair. Trust is fragile when news morphs to propaganda.

Jay Sinnott

Um, giggles?

Having been born in this state, I can say you use whatever you want to stay warm in the cold (“Etc: Why is Justin Timberlake running around Montana in a blanket?” Jan. 4). Coats and blankets being the go-to. So a famous dude vacations in a beautiful state and wears a blanket, on vacation no less. What do representatives of Missoula get out of roasting a musician?

Ryan Michael James Dugan

Pity poor JT

I’m gonna go with, “Hey we should be cool to him, so what if he used a blanket?” Why not try to be a retreat for famous people, not hound them for their dress.

Richard Alden

Sounds like a deal

Nice predictions, but you’re a little off on one (“People, get ready! It’s the Indy’s Bold Predictions for 2018,” Jan. 4). Leo DiCaprio won’t be doing another Mountain Man movie, as his last was too rigorous. What he will do is produce my Montana Mountain Man series for HBO, with his friend Tobey Maguire starring in a lead role. You’ll remember that both were here a summer ago for Tobey’s birthday at Paws Up.

Greg Strandberg

Someone call science!

Primary greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, CFCs and HFCs. Of these, which is the most significant? You may be surprised to learn that it is not carbon dioxide, but rather water vapor! Just how significant is water vapor? Water vapor accounts for roughly 95 percent of Mother Earth’s greenhouse effect.

This means all the other greenhouse gases account for only 5 percent of the effect. Of this 5 percent, carbon dioxide is about 3.6 percent, with the remaining greenhouse gases supplying the balance. Now the question becomes, what percentage of each of these is anthropogenic?

Water vapor (as you recall, accounting for 95 percent of the greenhouse effect) is almost 100 percent naturally occurring. Carbon dioxide is roughly 97 percent naturally occurring with the remaining 3 percent being anthropogenic. This implies, when correctly considering the full spectrum of greenhouse gases, that anthropogenic carbon dioxide accounts for only about one tenth of one percent of the greenhouse effect.

This knowledge sheds a different light on the cry for a carbon tax. Even if a carbon tax were to completely mitigate (and it will not) our one tenth of one percent contribution, there would be absolutely no significant change to our climate.

A positive to this misinformation is that it has accelerated the renewables industry (albeit at our expense). However, to perpetuate one industry on a lie, and at the expense of another, must be stopped. Simply, it is time take a stand. Please write Attorney General Tim Fox and ask him to stand with us.

T.J. Smith


A grateful corrective

Thank you for your service, Montana Department of Corrections professionals. I appreciate the work you do.

I have had the opportunity to serve alongside corrections professionals for the last several years and I am proud to have represented them. The work that Montana’s corrections professionals do daily is difficult and underappreciated.

Officers, licensed professionals and all the varied support staff in the field and at headquarters work to make lives better and to keep Montanans safe. They are human service professionals, balancing accountability and enforcement with community support and life-coaching. They work daily with some of the most challenging and dangerous individuals among us. And because of that, they often find themselves in harm’s way.

In an era when times are challenging financially, governments are not adequately funded. Criminal justice reform in Montana looks promising as an opportunity to create some financial efficiencies in the state’s correctional system, while modernizing the system and making services more effective. However, Montana’s correctional infrastructure is aging and needs serious attention. As more offenders are supervised in our communities, the workload for our officers becomes unsustainable and less effective. And yet Montanans value living in safe communities, so investing in our state’s correctional system is imperative and worthwhile.

It is challenging to work as a public servant in today’s environment. Somehow, public servants have become lesser individuals in some people’s eyes. Some are so quick to devalue the work that public employees perform and constantly criticize the way in which correctional employees perform their jobs.

As a fellow employee who has had the opportunity to spend time in our state’s correctional facilities and to job-shadow probation officers in the field, I am impressed. While I cannot change the perception of the naysayers, I can publicly express my appreciation for your work.

As a citizen and taxpayer, my thanks to all Montana’s public employees.

Loraine Wodnik

Former Deputy Director (retired)

Montana Department of Corrections

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