The Billings Outpost

Swear allegiance to people

Just curious. Is Ms. [Kathy] Galbraith (letter to the editor, May 10) aware that not one of our “founding fathers” ever pledged allegiance to the flag? The Constitution was ratified in 1788. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, 104 years later, by the Christian socialist (that’s right, “socialist”) Francis Bellamy, primarily for the purpose of selling American flags to public schools. (An envious marketing success, by the way.) “Under God” was added in 1954.

Also, worthy of note: Of the seven “founding fathers,” six were Deists, not Christians (sorry, different God). Only John Jay claimed to be a Christian, while Jefferson amused himself revising the Bible to his own liking.

Also, has it ever occurred to Ms. Galbraith that, as a Christian, she is commanded by the Bible to swear no oaths? Consider James 5:12 and Matthew 5:34.

When one pledges allegiance to anything, person or institution or ideology, one submits to that authority and relinquishes his/her freedom to that authority. Can you truly value freedom, and willingly submit to authority at the same time? And, when one swears allegiance to two or more authorities, which one takes precedence when there are discrepancies? And there will be discrepancies.

Finally, please consider this novel notion: In a TRULY FREE NATION, logic would dictate that the government swear its allegiance to the people, not the other way around. The first essential element of fascism is that the interests of the state take precedence over the interests of the citizen. 

Elliot Smith



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:06

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Vote for Democrats

If you are a veteran, senior citizen, a college student, a middle class citizen, on Medicare or Medicaid and are concerned about the economy, you had better be thinking about the party who is going to help you out, starting with President Obama, Sen. [Jon] Tester, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, all the state and county offices, the state Senate and state House of Representatives.

The Republican Party hasn’t done anything for the veterans, senior citizens, college students, the middle class American. They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and student loans.

The Republicans are trying to break up the unions and make this state a right-to-work state. You can see what happened in Wisconsin after the last election.

We have three classes of citizens now: the real rich class, the middle class and the poor. If the Republicans get in office, there will be only two classes of citizens: the real rich and the real poor.

I know a few rich Democrats, but I don’t know any poor Republicans. I hope all you Democratic and Independent voters will join me and vote for all the Democratic candidates.

Ron Kuneff



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:05

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Vote for Tooley

I had the great honor and privilege of serving Montanans as a commissioner on the Montana Public Service Commission for three terms 1977-84 and 2003-2006. Serving Montana and its people on the PSC was the most fulfilling experience of my professional career.

Serving on the commission provides a unique opportunity to have a significant, positive impact on the well being of Montana people and on Montana itself. The decisions, reputation and influence of the Montana PSC (positive and negative) extend far beyond its borders - so it is critical that the Montana PSC perform at a high level.

Chuck Tooley has the professional expertise, savvy and leadership to represent Montana with integrity and effectiveness on the Montana PSC.  Montanans deserve a leader of Chuck’s experience and stature to deal effectively with complex utility regulation issues that impact people’s lives, economy and environment so dramatically. Chuck Tooley is the right leader for the Montana PSC – right now!

As a former District 2 commissioner on the Montana PSC, I wholeheartedly support Chuck Tooley to serve as the next commissioner for District 2.

Tom Schneider

Vancouver, Wash.


Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:03

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A political game

For nearly 250 years the right to vote has been America’s ultimate check and balance. For some Montanans, this right has been diminished by the current Montana secretary of state.

Primary elections allow for qualified political parties to decide among themselves the best candidate to put forward in a general election for elected office. Ms. [Linda] McCulloch’s directive to forgo a Libertarian Primary is a slap in the face to voters across Montana who identify with that party and effectively dilutes their constitutionally guaranteed vote.

This type of political game has been played time and time again in Montana’s history with those in power using their office to help out their friends and political allies. Apparently the partisan incumbent is no different. The secretary of state needs to be a facilitator for fair elections, not judge and jury for politically charged dilemmas. Make no mistake; Ms. McCulloch had a choice to allow a Libertarian Primary to take place. Instead she chose to ignore the votes of thousands of Montanans in choosing our crucial vote in the United States Senate; this is inexcusable.

Scott Aspenlieder

Republican Candidate

Secretary of State



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:02

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Preparing students

Referencing the April 19 article about School District 2 levies and bonds, Interim Superintendent Jack Copps said the most attractive feature of the bonds is that the federal government will pay the interest. The federal government also subsidized the 2010 SD2 levies by paying the interest on those bonds as well.

These subsidizes are a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/School Infrastructure Bond Programs passed by Congress through the urging of President Obama in February 2009. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester voted for the Act while Rep. Dennis Rehberg voted against it.

Colleen Jensen



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:01

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Thanks for show

Some friends and I had dinner downtown, walked to the Babcock Theater and attended the last concert of the Montana Logging and Ballet Company on Friday evening, April 27. True to form, the quartet of Montana musicians, comedians, political satirists and humanitarians pleased and warmed the hearts of the sold-out crowd.

After performing for 38 years, the group still has its magic. It was a wonderful night of spice, song, silliness and soul that lit up the Babcock Theater.

The members are still best friends. They can still make us laugh at ourselves. They can pick up The Billings Gazette and read the titles of the newspaper’s major articles and make us realize our human foibles. They still are connected to Rocky Mountain College where they met each other back in 1967. In fact, the proceeds from the concert will go towards establishing the Montana Logging and Ballet Company Arts Scholarship at Rocky Mountain College. That kind of generosity has been a hallmark of their work, i.e., in 1991 when they brought Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Helena and raised a million dollars in one night to fund college scholarships for South Africans and Native Americans.

It was Bob Fitzgerald in the final moments of the concert who said goodbye for the group. Bob had brought them back to his hometown for their swan song. Our families were next-door neighbors back in the 1950s on Spruce Street and he made me laugh way back then. Poignantly, he said to the audience, “It isn’t the next leader who will make things better. It isn’t a new political group that can change things. It is only us, each of us, individually who can.”

And so it is, four humble, talented Montanans can make all the difference in the world.

Thanks, Montana Logging and Ballet Company.

Sally McIntosh



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:01

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