The Billings Outpost

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Support poultry bill

With all the divisive battles and partisan bickering in Washington, here is something positive that all the major stakeholders agree on: S. 820 will improve the treatment of egg-laying hens, and provide a stable and secure future for egg farmers. That’s why the bill is supported by animal welfare groups, the egg industry, veterinarians, and consumers.

Most egg-laying hens are currently crammed into such small cages that they can barely move an inch for their entire lives. This legislation will require larger enriched colony cages which provide each hen with about twice as much space, as well as nesting areas, perches and scratch pads so they can engage in more natural behaviors. It will also ban inhumane practices such as forced starvation molting, and require labels on egg cartons so consumers have more information about the conditions in which hens were raised.

Egg producers would have an ample phase-in period to transition to new housing systems, much of which can be done in the normal process of replacing aged equipment, and they would have a single national standard and a level playing field rather than the current patchwork of conflicting state laws.

And consumers will barely notice the difference in egg prices, since a recent economic study found that the changes would result in less than 2 cents more per dozen eggs, and only years into the future, much less than the normal fluctuations in the egg market due to energy, feed, and other costs.

This legislation is a win-win for all parties involved, and you don’t see that very often in Washington. Sen. Max Baucus serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and he should support this bill, which is good for the egg industry, good for the economy, good for jobs and good for animals.

Jennifer Gross


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:50

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What’s most important

“A Course in Miracles” says that an honest question is a learning tool that asks for something that we don’t know.

Therefore, to every man woman on this planet, I ask this question: “What is the reason for the media not informing the world about the most important event in the history of humanity — the coming of Maitreya, the World Teacher and Master of Wisdom?”

See and let the dialogue begin. Thank you very much.

Norman Sukin


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:50

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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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