The Billings Outpost

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IRS an easy target

Since the Citizens United decision, too many political organizations have been granted the tax status of social welfare organizations, in spite of the fact that they are funded by Carl Rove or the Koch brothers.

In trying to cope with that situation, the IRS may have resorted to improper identification methods, but that is hardly “criminal.”

The IRS’s budget is down. Their duties are increased. Most employees of that agency haven’t had a pay raise for three years. But the IRS is an easy target.

Joan Hurdle


Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 12:01

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Sequester hurts

The federal budget cuts that were put into effect this spring, aka the “Sequestration,” have affected many of us. Certain programs have fared better with the so called “Sequester Exemptions.” But to the Indians it has been devastating.

On reservations in America’s most deeply impoverished communities, where there is 85 percent unemployment, housing programs are being shut down. Despite the overwhelming problems with alcohol, meth, suicide, and crimes against women, the police force is being cut to the bone. (For example, at the Pine Ridge Reservation there are now only nine patrol cars on duty to cover an area the size of Connecticut.)

Health care is moving toward emergency-only medical services. Head Start funds are being slashed, the school budget is disappearing, and Meals on Wheels for the homebound elderly is being cut.

From birth to the grave, all native peoples are being afflicted.

As American Indians, we have had our lives, our land, and our culture taken from us. We thought it couldn’t possibly get worse, but it is.

Join with us to reverse this latest violation.

Lou Wright


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 12:00

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Sponsor omitted

We appreciate the coverage given to the presentation on militarism hosted by the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship last July 12. It was indeed sponsored by the Peace and Justice Forum, but the story neglected to mention a co-sponsor was the Billings Friends Meeting (Quakers).

Paul Whiting


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:59

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Good coverage

The July 11 edition had good, even-handed coverage of the new Affordable Care Act. My wife and I have read and sent summaries to friends, but you are right, not many folks really bothered to find out what it does and means. Your article was helpful.

Take care.

Carl E. Wolf


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:59

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Background checks

A letter from one of the prolific writers appeared in the July 4 issue of the Outpost, chanting the mantra regarding background checks.

They keep saying the same thing knowing that it is not factual, so here are some facts:

1. Criminals and sociopaths do not bother with background checks;

2. It is a myth that the government destroys the background checks after a given period. It is constructing a comprehensive data base on gun owners and these lists have historically, always, lead to confiscation;

3. No one can say what the Founders would or would not have thought, but it seems they wanted the people to have the same arms as did the Army and the government;

4. To say that the Second Amendment applies only to black powder is ridiculous beyond thinking comprehension; the people should have equivalent arms as do the terrorists, the criminals, sociopaths and other enemies of a free state; as has been shown in California where the criminals had more and more advanced arms than did the police; law enforcement learned that lesson hard and fast!

5. The idea that background checks and gun confiscation make the people safer is really mystical thinking. Check out Australia, where people cannot safely go out at night, and remember the young man who was chopped to death with a meat cleaver on the streets of London.

Also, in World War II the English came begging for firearms for the civilians to protect the country. The government later confiscated them all and destroyed them.  Don’t forget the 20th century gun confiscation program and the resultant gun deaths (and gas chambers) of hundreds of millions of people.

6. Those dumb criminals who filled out background checks were very, very few and those were hardly acted upon by the government, which could lead one to believe that catching malefactors is not the agenda of those pushing for expanded background checks.

The very premise is faulty because these checks do not deter criminals from getting guns illegally and do not make people safer. Having a means of self protection makes people safer.

Keith Babcock



Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:04

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Names incorrect

Hi, I’m writing regarding the article by Sharie Pyke, “New Arts Venue Here” [Outpost, July 11] about the play reading of “Among Beautiful Women” at Sacrifice Cliff Theatre Company. I organized the event and was one of the actors in the reading so first of all, thanks to Sharie for attending and for writing the article!

There were just a few misspellings (my name was spelled correctly, thank you) and I’m wondering if it’s possible to correct them. First, the playwright George Carroll is correct but the poetry is by Gerald Locklin, not George Lachlan. The actor who played Burl is Gustavo Belotta, and Kate was Amanda Megyesi-McCave.

Also there is a sentence about the play being “written to be performed anywhere without having to pay a royalty,” which might give the wrong impression. While it’s a play written for actors to be performed anywhere, rights and permissions are granted on an individual basis.

And I hope someday the playwright does receive some royalties for all the effort he’s put into the piece.

Donita Beeman



Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:40

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