The Billings Outpost

We’ll be OK

Since we’re talking about civil rights – we are, aren’t we? – let’s talk about “front loaded” commercial loans ... like your car and your house. How long before you own any part of what you buy?

The guy says you’re “upside down” on your vehicle. You’ve been making payments, but you have less than zero equity. You’ve been paying mostly interest. The same with your house.

The money guys get 80 percent of your house payment and you get $2 — TRUE!

There’s no equity (real value) in the housing market because the money guys took it all, and traded it all over the world. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that deal? Your $2 doesn’t count for much.

Maybe we can work out a fair and equitable trading agreement with American lenders. Let us spend some money and own a fair share of what we buy. Where is consumer protection?

On the money side: There are trillions of dollars out there and nowhere to spend it. America doesn’t look so good — no real payoff there. Europe is out — nothing’s worth anything and everyone’s out of work.

They’ve killed the goose that laid the golden egg. But we’re on the ground. I think we’ll be OK if we hang together.

Julie Kraenzel

Billings

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:26

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Outpost OK

Sometimes the Billings Outpost has some good articles. Although there have been several articles written comparing the decline of the USA to the decline of the Roman Empire, Shari Pyke wrote a timely piece [Sept 16].

Also T.J. Gilles’ story about the newspapers’ demise [Nov. 7] caught me off guard — “The People’s Voice” — I didn’t think anyone had ever heard of that particular paper. My father read that paper faithfully along with The U.S. Farm News from Iowa.

Of course, the only reason I pick up the Outpost is because of [Roger] Clawson, maybe [David] Crisp or [Wilbur] Wood. We do not get TV reception and out dial-up internet only works sporadically. As for the events in town, I never cared much for the long drive there and the cost of gasoline.

The other reason I like the paper is sometimes I see my name in print in the Letters to the Editor section. Thank you.

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:46

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Politics gone bad

What has gone wrong with America’s politics?

Campaign ads are replete with lies. An example (from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee): “Denny Rehberg has five times voted himself a raise in pay.”

Any voter who has paid attention for the past decades would know Congress created a budget mechanism that prevents those in Congress from ever voting themselves a raise.

Beyond this, both the D’s and the R’s ads in the Tester vs. Rehberg race were bitterly personal and often not true. Tactics of Obama and Bullock were outright bullying. We have had enough of that with Schweitzer.

Perhaps the clearinghouse against such trash in the newspapers and on TV should rest with the media. The media are those who reaped the cash benefits and impugned the integrity and intelligence of the electorate.

Alan D. Evans

Roundup

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:44

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Donations welcomed

“In this season of thanks and giving and love, let’s remember those whose presence is missed, love those who are still among us, and be thankful for happy memories past, present and future.” It is in this spirit that more than 100 people attended the RiverStone Health Hospice Tree of Lights celebration on Dec. 4 on RiverStone Health’s campus. And it is in this spirit that hundreds of people from our community and all over the country have donated and continue to donate in support of RiverStone Health Hospice’s compassionate care.

As the community’s first and only accredited Hospice program, RiverStone Health Hospice Services does not turn anyone away because of an inability to pay. Patient-centered care is provided to anyone who needs it, within an individual’s home, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities or in two of RSHHS’ inpatient community-based homes. Last year alone RSHHS served 409 patients, 70 of whom received financial assistance through RiverStone Health’s sliding fee discounts. While RSHHS receives funding from several sources (Medicare, Medicaid, third party insurance, and fees paid by patients), donations are critical to meet the continued need for high quality end-of-life care.

Thank you to each and every person who continues to support RiverStone Health Hospice. Your gifts mean a great deal to our patients, their families, friends and caregivers.

Tree of Lights Committee

RiverStone Health Foundation

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:44

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To another level

The Big Sky Honor Flight was an awesome experience! From every small detail to the actual sightseeing, all was done with professional guidance and wisdom. The war memorials, and those who designed them, were an inspiration to me. If only we could all visit them as families to plant the seeds of freedom in our younger generation, and make them aware of the sacrifices of their ancestors.

Montana can be very proud of the many people who worked tirelessly to make the trip an enjoyable and memorable experience for us veterans. It could not be possible without the generous donations of cash and facilities by so many people.

The average World War II veteran wanted nothing in return except to keep our country free. However, the Big Sky Honor Flight gave us an unexpected “thank you” for our service. Everywhere we went we were thanked for our efforts in the service. We, in turn, want to thank you all for making the trip possible.

We were between 80 to 100-plus years old, and expectations of good things to come have all but passed us by — until the Big Sky Honor Flight took us to another level. Thank you, Montana.

Durl Gibbs

Buffalo

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:43

Hits: 1872

Pro-coal propaganda

Propaganda apparently works. The Helena Independent Record recently published an article entitled “Majority favors death penalty, less regulation to develop fossil fuels.” It reported a poll indicating a majority of Montanans favor removing environmental protections in order to spur strip-mining and fracking across the state.

Reading this article, I couldn’t help but think that it shows the success of an apparently deliberate campaign by Lee Newspapers to influence public opinion to favor expanded strip-mining in Montana. The evidence: 1. Numerous reports that the IR has refused without explanation to publish letters to the editor (including one from a city commissioner) questioning the wisdom of increased strip-mining and shipping coal to Asia.

2. a recent IR editorial strongly advocating increased coal exports to Asia while ignoring the negative impacts of such coal exports.

The motive (and further evidence): a clear conflict of interest, which the IR failed to disclose with its coal-export editorial. That is, the editorial board never reported that Berkshire Hathaway — which stands to directly profit from increased coal exports due to its ownership of BNSF

Railway — also owns (by recent purchase, which it sought to hide) a significant stake in the IR’s parent corporation — Lee Enterprises.

Given that Lee Enterprises owns not only the IR, but four other major Montana newspapers, the extent of its statewide influence is considerable. So, in this respect, the poll results are not entirely surprising.

And if you glimpse the ghost of the Anaconda Copper Co., that wouldn’t be entirely surprising either.

Shiloh Hernandez

Helena

Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:34

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