The Billings Outpost

Event helped others

On March 24, Billings participated in the Walk for Water, our region’s only World Water Day event. Over 250 members of our community walked and approximately 100 volunteered to raise awareness of the world water crisis and to learn ways we can act locally to reduce global impacts. This year’s theme, The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry, focused on the impacts of agriculture on water usage.

On behalf of the World Water Day Event Committee, a special thank you to all of our amazing volunteers who have made this event possible! Thank you to our major event sponsors St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation, Energy Laboratories, HydroSolutions Inc., ECHO Geophysical Corporation and Spence Accounts.

To everyone who participated in this year’s event, you have made a difference! Awareness was great and the funds raised will benefit water projects in Uganda and Tanzania. To learn more about these projects, visit

Nadine Hart



Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 15:36

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Empty election promises

An empty promise is what Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is offering Montanans with her recycled election fraud website. It is a disservice to the people of Montana because it leads them to believe that there is redress of their grievances now available.

Currently, the secretary has neither the resources nor the authority to investigate or prosecute allegations of election fraud. The only action the secretary can take is to refer it to the appropriate county attorney.

Historically, referral has been pointless. Fifty complaints in the last election cycle resulted in no legal action being pursued. Hyping this “remedy” to election cheating creates two undesirable consequences. Law-abiding citizens are lulled into a false sense of security and those who would cheat the system realize they can do so with impunity.

The secretary bears no greater responsibility than to preserve the integrity of our elections. As secretary of state I requested the introduction of a bill that would have made willful election fraud a felony. Some argue that we do not currently have a crisis in our elections so we don’t need further vigilance. This mindset suggests that we don’t need to lock our houses because we’ve never been robbed.

Rather than recreating do-nothing web sites, the secretary should be working to put real teeth in our election laws. Good government in Montana depends on the preservation of fair elections. Instead of political posturing, we need tough enforcement and stiff penalties for those who violate our election laws. 

Brad Johnson

Former Secretary of State

East Helena


Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 15:35

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Caring about the sick

I heard a pretty good slogan recently. “Obamacare is a hell of a lot better than ‘I don’t care.’” That pretty much says it all.

Those who oppose Obamacare simply don’t care. They have no plan. They don’t care what happens to the 30 million people who don’t have and cannot obtain health insurance. Their solution is, “Don’t get sick and if you do, file bankruptcy.” What a heartless, cruel, compassionless attitude.

If this is the attitude of a majority of the people in this country, we are about to lose the greatness of this country and do not deserve to lead the world anymore.

The Affordable Health Care Act is not perfect. In fact, it was not the first choice of most Democrats. Any form of a single-payer system would be much better. Medicare works amazingly well and could easily be expanded.

But since nearly all Republicans and many independents would not accept a single-payer system, Democrats went to the Republican plan adopted in Massachusetts by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. But then Republicans disavowed their own plan and forced Mitt Romney to do the same if he wanted the Republican nomination for president.

If you don’t like the current system that gives everything to the insurance companies, let’s adopt a simple single-payer system. In any event you have got to be for something. The status quo that existed before the Affordable Health Care plan was enacted is unacceptable. If you don’t like Obamacare, what is your alternative?

Thomas E. Towe



Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 15:34

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Put cost where it belongs

I have been reading Art Wittich’s Referendum 122 which prohibits any state or federal health insurance purchase mandate. And I have been following the arguments for and against. However, these arguments ignore the Trillion Dollar elephant in the room.

Emergency rooms around the country are mandated to care for patients without regard to insurance. Hospitals are required to give care to patients in advanced stages or illness. These mandates cost the American health care consumer trillions of dollars over the years. Every family that carries insurance pays $1,000 to $2,000 extra each and every year to pay for these people who do not carry insurance of their own.

Even if we did not require these people to pay for their own insurance – if we paid it for them – it would cut the cost in half. If they had the medical care to prevent the end stage problems of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, it would cut the cost in half. If they were required to pay for it themselves, it would shift the cost to them – where it belongs. – and it would cut the cost in half.

Mike Thomas



Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 15:33

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Fighting Alzheimer’s

How can it be that almost four years have passed since my beloved mom Alice Stapleton died? After a decade-long descent into dementia, dependence and debilitation, my beautiful mother is free from Alzheimer’s, but the rest of us aren’t.

An estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease today, including as many as 21,000 in Montana. With these numbers growing every year, the time is now to change the trajectory of the disease. Alzheimer’s is not a Republican or Democratic issue – Congress recognized that when they passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) which spurred the creation of the country’s first National Alzheimer’s plan. This plan is the basis for the budget request of $100 million in new resources to fight Alzheimer’s disease. It is crucial that Congress provide these resources in the fiscal year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

Montana’s Congressman Dennis Rehberg is Chairman of the Labor Health and Human Services Subcommittee. Pease join me in urging Congressman Rehberg to support the marshaling of resources, expertise and innovation for the millions of Americans today living with Alzheimer’s and the millions more tomorrow who may face it.

The simple truth is Alzheimer’s can’t wait. Please contact Rep. Rehberg as soon as you possibly can and ask him to do everything in his power to provide the funding necessary to support the National Alzheimer’s Plan.

Joan Stapleton Tooley

Alzheimer’s Association



Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 11:12

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When life begins

Several weeks ago a gentleman wrote a letter indicating that the bill to declare that human life begins at conception was, as liberal convoluted thinking decided, a War on Women. It is difficult to understand why not agreeing with aborting a fetus is warring against women; seems like it is war against the fetus or those people not yet born.

In my first four years of college, my major was biological science including embryology. The scientific definition of life is incumbent upon growth and reproduction. When two gametes, incapable of sustaining life independently, but still very viable, come together and combine their  genetic material that ovum immediately begins to replicate itself and grow into a blastula. If it were not alive, that would not happen.

This fertilized ovum now has all of the genetic material to determine who and what that individual will be. It is a ridiculous argument to state that life begins in the second trimester or even the first, because if the embryo were not alive there would be no trimesters. 

In my first year attending Michigan University one of the instructors indicated that the theory of ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny explained the evolutionary process. That is to say that an individual in its development repeats  the history of the race.

So evolutionarily speaking, a human baby goes from a single cell (like an amoeba) to a multi-cell organism to a complex lower life form to reptile and so forth until finally, amazingly, out pops, after nine months of traversing all of the life forms, a human baby. Even though this silly doctrine has been discredited for many years, its concepts still color evolutionists and “family” planning circles and even in some residual colleges.

If our leaders are not smart enough (they are, but they have an agenda) they are not qualified to lead. If they pretend to  not know when human life  begins then the only ones they are fooling are themselves. A good dose of common sense needs to be injected.

Keith Babcock



Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 11:11

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