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Opinion

Like I Was Saying

Checks Well Spent

Detractors of Pres. Bush’s stimulus plan were forced to momentarily mute their criticism last week when retail sales posted a bigger-than-expected gain. It turns out that the 57 million Americans who have so far received their checks chose to spend them wildly. Some economists had predicted the opposite; that the majority of Americans would opt […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

A New Day Dawning in Montana Politics

It’s not supposed to happen this way. Challengers are not supposed to defeat entrenched incumbents in primaries. Yet on June 3rd, three little-known conservatives did just that, and Montana politics may never be the same. Running energetic, issue-driven campaigns, Mike Miller, Joel Boniek and Lee Randall defeated three heavily favored veteran legislators. Their basic message: […]

By Roger Koopman
Opinion

Get up Early, and Other Lessons Learned

I was recently invited to Squaw Valley California to give a speech to the American Association of Professional Ski Patrollers. These are the men and women who keep ski resorts running. I talked to them about some of the things I had learned since I taught skiing at Squaw during the winter of 1948-49 when […]

By Warren Miller
Like I Was Saying

The Upsets are Over

One is a perennial political loser who has run at least 16 times prior for various offices, winning just once, and whom the GOP establishment is loath to support. The other is a politically aloof afterthought who filed for office at the last minute, is reluctant to campaign or raise any kind of money and […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Speaker Pelosi Plays Political Games with Our Troops

I recently read the series of newspaper articles regarding several new polls by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. One of the numbers that stood out for me was that only 11 percent of Montanans approve of the job Congress is doing. Montanans are tired of political games. They want Washington to change the way it […]

By Rep. Denny Rehberg
Closing Range

Our Forest Legacy

Well, did you buy Plum Creek stock on my suggestion last month? A few weeks ago, Congress passed HR 2419, the “Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008,” aka the Farm Bill. Deep within this 682-page pig were two impressive, and impressively stupid, pork slabs for corporate America: $182 million in tax breaks for Weyerhaeuser; […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

NRA, Schweitzer Embrace Awkwardly

The National Rifle Association endorsed incumbent Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer last week, which forced him, for a day anyway, to wobble on his previous stated position that the organization is nothing more than a “fully-owned division of the Republican Party.” That’s what happens when the swirling political winds change direction. Not long ago, on April […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Art and Commerce: the Economic Cornerstone

Empty storefronts. Housing foreclosures. Skyrocketing gas prices. We are living with the constant reminder of economic uncertainty on a daily basis. Couple this with a geographic area that has yet to reach the critical mass needed to effectively sustain itself economically independent of transient consumers, and the following question must be raised, “What is driving […]

By Luke Walrath
Like I Was Saying

The Beacon, One Year In …

About three months after we began printing the Flathead Beacon, a grizzled man gripping a copy of our latest edition entered our Main Street office. Calmly, but directly, he asked me, “Are you ignorant or something?” I replied as best I could that I wasn’t, which then began a long conversation about the lack of […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Reading the Bills

“What Makes You Think We Read the Bills?” was the tongue-in-cheek title of a book written about 30 years ago by long-time California lawmaker H.L. Richardson. The book is a chronicle of slip-ups, snafus and shenanigans from our national and state capitols. The stories are amusing but also outrageous. They amply illustrate the shortcomings and […]

By Bob Brown
Closing Range

Wilderness 101: Multiple Use

Welcome back, students. My esteemed colleague, Professor Schneider’s recent lecture (May 21 Beacon: “Wilderness is Multiple Use”) redefining wilderness as the fullest form of multiple use has changed our lesson plan. Today, we’ll backtrack a bit in our study of wilderness politics and take a fuller look at the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

A Potbellied Farm Bill

When a piece of major legislation championed by Montana’s U.S. delegation is passed, the e-mails are inevitable. Such was the case when the House and Senate signed off on the recent Farm Bill with a veto-proof majority. The inboxes filled up in a hurry. “This is a good solid bill for farmers and ranchers in […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Primary at a Tipping Point

The presidential primary campaign is at a “tipping point.” This reference is not to the virtual inevitability of the few remaining delegates toppling into the Obama column, thus making him the Democratic nominee. Rather, I believe that both Democratic candidates have reached an historic opportunity to tip this contest into an irreversible general election victory. […]

By Pat Williams
Like I Was Saying

Assuming the Worst

When one is intentionally left out of a debate, or worse, told they can’t participate at all, it’s human nature to assume what’s hidden is fraught with bad intentions. Such is the case with two recent federal land management plans that have been discussed behind closed doors – one involving Plum Creek Timber Co. and […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Metzmaker’s View Divisive

I am aware that others have written eloquently on this subject, most particularly, Richard Atkinson. However, I feel compelled to add my own voice to what has become an unfortunately divisive issue. I am one of those terrible “doughnut” people described by Jan Metzmaker. Seven years ago, after spending a week skiing on the mountain […]

By Virginia Weldon

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