Montana Politics

Republicans Aren’t Sold on Rehberg

Aside from the still-undecided Supreme Court and Democratic Attorney General races, the6437358163_5082a5de9a_m most interesting result from this evening has to be the Republican Senate race, in which Dennis Rehberg could only convince three out of four Republicans to vote for him against an unknown, unfunded candidate none of them had ever heard of.

It can’t be a good sign. Other than Governor Schweitzer and Senator Baucus, Rehberg should enjoy the highest name recognition of any politician in the state and he barely cracked 75% of the vote in an energized Republican primary.

The answer seems fairly obvious: small-government Republicans aren’t sold on Rehberg’s recent transformation, given his record and his current positions.

I think it shows a real vulnerability Rehberg faces in the general: his votes to cede operational control of Montana’s Northern border to the federal government, for the Patriot Act, for massive, irresponsible spending, and for REAL ID make him a tough sell for the growing Libertarian wing of the Republican Party.

Perhaps Republican voters are more sophisticated than I have given them credit for being. They’ve spotted the same hypocrisy from Mr. Rehberg that progressives have noted for years. The only question will be whether those same voters can overlook it in November.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • There’s a whole lot of projection in your words. You are presuming that most Montanans, like you, are paying close attention to the races and the surrounding issues and are aware of candidate behavior while in office. You are a part of the small part of the population that is tuned in. Most are not, and will get the baseline data used to make their voting decision from party affiliation first, name recognition second, and 30 second ads third. Name recognition, and not performance in office, is why incumbents usually win. The “undecideds” are generally clueless, so that advertising aimed at them is emotional and easily memorable three or four word slogans that has to hit them perhaps seven times to make an impression.

    Most voters, on entering the voting booth, have only name recognition and advertising impressions handy, and are hardly aware of issues or down-ballot candidates, voting for them based on party affiliation. That makes it really tough for non-partisan races, as voters look at the names and draw a blank. Those races always draw fewer votes unless there has been a kerfluffle that drew some TV coverage.

    Candidates know all of this – it is the common currency of American politics. Publicly they treat voters as informed but know they are mostly clueless, and advertise accordingly.

  • Interesting election numbers at the Montana Sec of State website. Missoula County’s voter turnout was 30.1%, Gallatin Co’s an even worst 27.6%. Statewide voter turnout was about 37%.

    RE: US Senate race: Here are the vote totals…..

    Jon Tester: 87,583 votes

    Denny Rehberg: 103,968 votes
    Dennis Teske: 32,669 votes
    Total Votes GOP US Senate primary: 136,637

    I’m not sure those in the Rehberg camp woke up this morning saying: “I think it shows a real vulnerability Rehberg faces in the general.” GOP’ers are real good at banding together come general election time. While certainly not all the Teske votes will go to Rehberg, will increased voter turnout really help Tester close that nearly 50,000 vote gap?

    • I think there might be two mistakes in that analysis.

      1. Republicans had a reason to turn out yesterday. There was a high profile race for governor at the top of their ticket. Moderately engaged Democrats had no reason to turn out.

      2. What makes a person who voted for Teske vote for Rehberg? I’m certainly not saying that all or even most won’t, but Rehberg should certainly get 90+% in a GOP primary.

      • Pogie; I think it’s putting lipstick on the pig, but if you think that’s the way to go, well, more power to you. i hope it works but I don’t think it will.

        1. The numbers speak for themselves and they aren’t good. The Democrats had a seven way Congressional race with candidate forums all across the state in the major population areas. I went to the one here in MSLA, and it was well attended. I know I was involved. I was calling neighbors to support my state senate candidate because there were three contestants in that particular Democratic Primary. I also followed the US House race and had a favorite candidate, as did those who voted I would assume. I mean there was a reason we voted, right?

        Apparently there were an awful lot of people who saw no reason in it, and I doubt it’s Tokarski’s fault.

        To claim that the numbers are insignificant is to be either purposely or ignorantly naive. If it’s purposely, which I suspect, then you are assuming your readers are naive.

        2. Why should Rehberg get 90% in a primary for an open seat? Are you saying that the Republicans should vote monolithic as a bloc in a primary and if they don’t that somehow bodes well for Tester? I don’t know anything about Teske but I generally don’t vote Republican so that’s not too surprising. But maybe he was a good candidate and people liked him. Also I suspect that there are a lot of people who aren’t too happy with the status quo in either party, and if given an opportunity to protest will do so.

        Anyway, I think Mathew’s analysis makes more sense over all than does yours.

        • Why should Rehberg get 90% in a primary for an open seat?

          Uh…because he has been in Congress for a decade and was running against someone who didn’t campaign or raise any money. Certainly no one supported him because he “was a good candidate” because he wasn’t. His name recognition had to be 2-3%.

    • Food for thought. This Dem primary did not have a contested Dem presidential race like in 2008. The Dem primary in 2008, Obama received 107,000 votes, Hillary 75,000. That equals 182,000 Dems voting in the last presidential primary, about 50,000 more than Republicans voting this year. In contrast, about 94,000 Republicans voted in their presidential primary in 2008. If there had been a fiercely contested Dem presidential primary, way more Dems would’ve voted. That seems to be then only thing to get them up off of their butts.

  • How many democrats/independents/libertarians voted the GOP ticket to try to help their races? Count me with those voters, as most races in which I am interested were uncontested or where I knew that candidate would win handily w/o my vote.

  • Seriously, man, confront yourself. I understand why you lash out at people like the League of Conservation Voters. It’s to excuse your culpability.

    Good luck.

    • I’ve been around the block. Democrats are expected to offer an alternative to Republican anti-conservation types, so groups are needed to tout the environmental credentials of Democrats. That’s why LCV and MCV exist.

      I’ve written about this ad nauseum – Baucus has been a darling of The CV’s and is an environmental nightmare. But they cherry-pick the voting record to put lipstick on him.

      I don’t know why this all seems so opaque to you, why you think it’s deep and dark and mysterious thinking. This is how politics works in the country. It’s 90% for show. It’s so easy to see.

  • Stop blaming other people for your failings. It’s the only way forward. Put down that iPad, get rid of that car.

    You’re never going to achieve your aims as long as you blame others. It’s you.

    • You make no sense. I speak of the human condition. It doesn’t mean I don’t like humans. But we are what we are, born to follow and easily manipulated. It’s how we survived as a species. We’re more like dogs than cats.

      And again your notion that I need to give up living a civilized existence to care a out conservation issues is just aim unfathomable, worst argument or debate tactic I’ve seen.

      You’re very angry. That speaks volumes. I don’t feel that in me. I may cynical but that’s part of realism. So back off jack. I’ve got a better grip.

      • Mark, your “understanding” of the Human Condition is flawed at best (personally, I prefer the work delusional”. You are far more easily manipulated than Pogie is – Rob and I do it to you all the time and you are too stupid to even realise you are being manipulated. Your second paragraph is simply unintellegable – like most of what you post. Your third paragraph is complete projection. You are either very angry or delusional to the point of no hope. I find it interesting that you would order the owner and writer of the blog to “back off”. Arrogant much?

        The truly sad part about it is that Pogie is right. You demand others follow the path you want them to follow without being willing to follow it yourself. You are a moron.

        • You and Rod manipulate me? That means that you work in concert and are very, very smart, as Rod keeps telling me. Sorry, but I have to rely on my own judgment, and I just don’t see it. Neither of you seem to grasp politics even as you write about it at such length. You don’t see a big picture. Your strings are constantly pulled by professional politicians – are you jacking with them too? In concert? What am I missing?

          “And again your notion that I need to give up living a civilized existence to care about conservation issues is just unfathomable, worst argument or debate tactic I’ve seen.” is what that should have read. I typed it not on the IPad, but a mobile phone, and it’s even harder there. But I don’t call you up for your many typos and misuses of words, contractions and the like, so, you know, back off, jack. (Actually, I rarely read anything by you.)

          Don accused me of “blaming other people” … for being people, I presume. We all, or should now, that people are smart individually, mostly, and at the group level are like children. If you don’t know that, fine. Politicians do know this, and you should know that about politicians. If you know it and are afraid to say as much, fine. But back off me for simply saying what is true, jack.

          And Don – don’t kid me. You are angry, you come across angry at every turn, almost resentful. That comes through. On my end, I don’t suffer much anger, though as Lisa Simpson said, knowledge is a great burden.

      • I absolutely guarantee I’m not angry. For future reference, the person who writes “so back off jack” is generally presumed to be the one with anger management issues.

        I’m excited that you’re angry. That’s an excellent next step after denial. You’re going to get there. You’re going to see your culpability, how your “civilized existence” is ravaging the environment.

        Good luck. Keep going!

        • Don, I drive a car, use and IPad, eat meat, live in a wood house and read paper products. I also recycle, drive a small car wear the same clothes year in and out, eat organic food* (only because I wish to be kinder to the land and animals and … because with kids grown now we can afford it). I also advocate for preservation of wild lands, which is compatible with a civilized existence.

          Not black/white enough for you? Too much gray?

          *I could easily be on a garden path there, and know that is a risk, that I’m being snookered by Whole Foods.

          • Wow. Meat. That *devastates* the environment–and ensures that millions of people can’t afford enough food to eat.

            You change that. Keep working through this anger. You can do a part to save the world instead of externalizing your guilt.

            I believe you can do it.

      • “I need to give up living a civilized existence”

        An existence that precludes its being shared by others is hardly civilized.

        • I can’t believe you wrote that! Who does not share the benefits of undeveloped lands? I’m 62 now and am done backpacking, but it was never about me or my being able to go there. I want those lands preserved for future generations. I can’t imagine that you really think that everything need be developed!

          Also Leopold and Ed Abbey did credible work in justifying the existence of wilderness for the sake of wilderness – it needs to be not for our sake, but for all of our sake too, our connection with nature, a place for wildlife and plants. I need to go back and read them again, just to feel better about fighting for natural settings again.

          man, I’m a little nonplussed that you even wrote that. Scratching my head here.

          • Tokarski: “Who does not share the benefits of undeveloped lands?”

            Canada, for one. Our consistent consumerism and weak fascination with ‘wildlands’ has left us in a position where it is vastly more easy, and somehow morally palatable, to exploit the resources of others than it is to live within our own means of production. See also Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, China …

            • So everything should be used up, but at different intervals? Yes, as a powerful country we can exploit other counties first.

              Stay on topic. Is wild land worth preserving anywhere? If so, why demonize we who fight for it here? If I lived in Ecuador, I’d fight for it there too.

              • Tokarski, I didn’t demonize anyone. I answered your ridiculously open-ended question. There are vast numbers of people who never benefit from “undeveloped lands”. I think it would be incumbent on you to explain how the people relocated to San Paolo, Rio De Janeiro or Brasilia benefit from ‘wildlands’ when McDonalds pays good money for Brazilian beef, and Americans pay for exotic hardwood floors. How do the folks paid to log the crap out of BC benefit from ‘undeveloped lands’ when they are paid to log those lands to build homes in Colorado? How does someone who has never left Minneapolis (I met two of them last year) benefit from ‘undeveloped lands’? You claimed the case. Please support it, without Straw Men if you’re able.

                • Your posture is empty, your claim to having some solidarity with Brazilians and Minneapolisians as empty as your head. It’s a front, nothing more. This is Kaileyism, by the way – notice how he hasn’t addressed the issue at hand, a simple one, preservation of some wild lands. Instead he deflects – “answer my question,” in an authoritarian manner.

                  Kailey, you’re useless. If not, address the issue at hand: are wild lands important anywhere? If not, say so. If so, answer why you suddenly decided to bring up Brazil and Minneapolis in the same sentence. Makes some sense, fer chrissakes.

                • I bring an actual issue, and you wail Ad Hominem. Typical of you, Monty. You never asked or claimed that wildlands are “important anywhere”. Your quote:

                  “Who does not share the benefits of undeveloped lands?”

                  Your obvious statement is that undeveloped lands are important everywhere, to everyone. Clearly, they are not. You simply can’t abide being so obviously wrong that you have a tantrum because someone you don’t like happened to notice how wrong you clearly are.

                • Typical avoidance. The value of your response was indeed black/white, true or untrue. I simply pointed out that it was untrue. The issue you keep avoiding, however, is much more complex than you wish to deal with.

                  You’ve built a nice mythology for yourself, Tokarski. ‘Undeveloped lands’ (a fiction as you see them) are of value for their own sake. Everyone shares the benefits of such lands, again a fiction. You even incorporate the mythical appeal, ‘we must think of the children’ into your beliefs. That’s a nice bit of religion, shared by many. And be clear here, I don’t give one crap whether you are a green minded Gaia worshipper. That’s your affair.

                  But when you overlay your religious values onto others, as if policy, those who make it and those who support it, are beholden to your values, well then we have a bit of an issue, don’t we? Separation of church and state and all that nonsense. You don’t come off any different than those who judge others while wearing pointy hats or magic underwear.

                  Montana’s wild lands, America’s ‘undeveloped lands’, are of no value to those who never leave the cities. They are of no value to those whose own homes have been exploited to feed American consumerism, like building the stupid iPad you keep ridiculously claiming I can’t afford. In truth, environments are destroyed and people are already dying just in the mining of the precious minerals so that you can clutter the Intertubes with your misspellings from the touch of your iPad. People who are paid to exploit their own resources (Canada) so that you can buy comfort while acting haughty about the protection of ‘wild lands’? Yeah, those folk don’t give a crap about the Montana Rocky Mountain front, the Gallatin watershed or the Yaak. Yet here you are, arrogantly segregating people into good and bad (black/white) based on a religion you can’t even recognize for what it is.

                  That’s the issue at hand, Tokarski. As indicated by myself and others, the people who set policy, and the people who vote for them, do not share your religion. When you judge those others, they will judge your values and your disdain for them. What you claim to fear losing will be martyred, and won’t that make you feel invigorated for championing a cause you lost many moves back?

                  Before you tell someone else to go to bed, you might want to grow up first. The adults are supposed to tell the fairy tails, not believe them.

                • There are lands that are set aside and protected from logging, drilling, mining and roading. That is what we are talking about so that 7/8ths of your stupid rant can be ignored. Going to bed was nothing more than good advice, which you did not follow.

                  You are the one that sets this idea on a pedestal, claiming it’s a religion. It’s an ideal, to merely leave something alone. We can consume everything before us, and if we don’t self-discipline, will do just that. Wiser people have simply said that some areas have such intrinsic value of exceptional nature that we should leave them be so that others may be ay enjoy them as we do down the road. It’s an irreversible decision. If we elect to develop these lands they are gone forever for us and our descendants. Development and wilderness cannot coexist

                  No one is harmed except those groups, usually organized as corporations, that have separated the pursuit of profit and access ro the commons against all other activities, and who have purchased our public representatives, including Jon Tester. (He went low.)

                  My wife and I today had an interesting conversation – I asked her if, we’re she to say I was sophisticated, whether it was a compliment or insult. After all, wthe word also has the same roots as sophomore and sophistry. It’s is both insult and compliment, and sophistication can denote both the accomplished intellectual and the sophist. The wonders of our language!

                  You are a weak and stupid sophist. It has it’s allure, as you can engage in deceptive logic and fool some people, mostly Democrats, but not me.

                  Oh, don’t stop aspiring. You too young book shelver, and your brother, the submarine captain – both of you can some day own an IPad. I might upgrade, and you can have a hand-me-down.

                • So it is a false religion you follow. No one has claimed that ‘people are harmed’ by protecting wilderness. You claim that wilderness is harmed by those who don’t think you correct on all points. Do I really need to quote you?

                  You claim that lack of protection of wilderness is “irreversible”. Given that wilderness has been designated over areas that were previously exploited, you are clearly and simply full of it. Jon Tester has proposed that more of those previously exploited areas are to be put under wilderness protections, and areas not under those protections be managed. Those are the facts of the case, Tokarski. Your religious preachings can’t change what is factual to meet your needs. Sorry.

                • What I find interesting about this discussion is that Mark is completely unaware of the stupidity and false logic of asserting that there is anything even approximating “wild lands” in the US or in Montana. This is a false position on it’s face. Nothing in Montana is truly “wild” and to assert that it is, can only be seen as complete denial of reality. We have some protected lands in Montana, but they hardly qualify as “wild” as they are not only effected by the lands around them, they are directly effected by their use. Each time a backpacker, biologist, forest service worker, etc tramps through those lands, they stop being “wild” in the truest sense of the word. Each time a “wild” forest is decimated by the pine beetle, it stops being “wild”.

                  It is our job to utilize, protect and manage these forests if we want them to survive till our grandkids are old enough to enjoy them. You certainly can’t do that if you start from a scientifically and logically unsupportable position.

          • Sorry Mark, that’s not what I meant at all. I totally agree that we all enjoy wilderness – there’s nothing uncivilized about that. What I actually objected to was the characterization of a life of moderate consumption as uncivilized. Don’t get me wrong, you’re with the majority in that – most people in the developed world would agree that living without a car is uncivilized, and many in the developing world feel they will be more civilized when they can afford cars and iPads. But the fact is that the environment can’t sustain that level of consumption for everybody, so it at least as civilized of a decision, from an ethical standpoint, to choose to limit ones own consumption.

            Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t quote extensively enough to be clear. You were right to be scratching your head.

            • I mentioned many times in my MWA days that it felt weird to drive across the state to meetings, using cars and duel in the extreme. These are not easy questions, not in a general sense, but rather in that they force me to confront internal contradictions, in which I abound. But if they serve as mere rhetorical devices and as a jumping off point for destruction of what we have left, then it’s disingenuous and misleading.

              Do we preserve these lands or develop them? Once developed, they are forever changed, and will no longer serve their current purpose. Are you content with that? You know where I stand, you know I have internal contradictions I must confront. You?

              • “But if they serve as mere rhetorical devices and as a jumping off point for destruction of what we have left, then it’s disingenuous and misleading. ”

                Indeed, but I think what they are saying is that there is a bigger picture. We may defend our own pristine wilderness, but if the demand still exists, it will just mean destruction somewhere else. It’s a legitimate question, therefore. If th world is going to demand oil, we may want to reduce that demand, sure, but in the short term, while that demand is there, is it better to source that oil from the US, where we can be relatively confident that it will be exploited in the cleanest way practical, or in Nigeria, where we are almost sure the oil is being gained at the price of millions of barrels of spillage and an unthinkable amount of natural gas flaring? By reducing oil exploitation here here, we are protecting our environment, but we are indirectly causing much greater damage to Nigeria.

                It’s like the discussion I attempted to have with Matther Koehler about immigration. To what extent does protecting our own environment end up protecting the quality of life of wealthy white people at the expense of those poorer than ours? There’s no easy answers – what annoys Don and I is that you have a habit of acting as though there are, and that your brand of conservationism has them.

                “You know where I stand, you know I have internal contradictions I must confront. You?”

                Yeah, I have a hard time cutting out meat. My wife is a vegetarian, so at home I generally am to, but I still have meat for lunch because there’s not many good vegetarian options in school lunches (yes, I should just pack a lunch. It’s a poor excuse, I know. Maybe I’ll improve over the summer.

                • I don’t struggle with meat-eating. I attribute my general good health to eating meat and avoiding of sugars and processed flour and rice. The diabetes epidemic we face has to do with efficiency in our makeup, our body storing fat when food was short. Carbohydrates were rare in the diets of ancestors, and the abundance today the underlying cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and, as many theorize, many cancers. Vegetarianism as an ideology has no appeal to me, but I do like green vegetables. So I eat them too.

                  Exportation of pollution and importation of cheap labor are hallmarks of imperialism. In the larger scheme I would impose tariffs and enact laws to preserve undeveloped land everywhere and introduce mass transit along the lines of our European and Asian brothers and sisters. But my inability to change our system, which is exploitative in the extreme, does not mean that I cannot fight for preservation of land here, where I have at least a modicum of influence as a citizen.

                  My influence as a citizen as we affect the rest of the planet can only be exerted by buying American products when they are available, voting for good candidates if they come along. Two years ago I made it a point to buy an American toy for my grandson for Christmas. Try it some time.

                • “In the larger scheme I would impose tariffs and enact laws to preserve undeveloped land everywhere and introduce mass transit along the lines of our European and Asian brothers and sisters. ”

                  In the larger scheme, I would too. But we don’t control the larger scheme. Sometimes you have to adjust your strategy according to what you ultimately can and can’t do.

                  You can’t stop US imports from China, though maybe you’d like to. Then you’re stuck with a dilemma. You can slow down down coal production in the US and you can fight the infrastructure to export it to China. You get a prettier environment, less noisy trains, maybe protect some habitat here. But all that destruction is instead visited upon China, where the landscape, I presume, is equally worthy of protection. But its worse than that, because the Chinese end up mining coal in China, where far more miner die than do in the US. They also end up burning Chinese coal, which has more impurities and contributes to high rates of respiratory illness. So, it’s trading people’s lives for for environmental protection. That’s a hard defense to make in the first place, but even harder when you realize that you haven’t saved anything, net – you have just moved the destruction from here to there.

                  “Try it some time.”

                  Try what? Avoiding Chinese products? I do so, though more for geo-political reasons than environmental ones. I’m not interested in getting in a fight over who has the greener lifestyle (though Moorcat, apparently, is, if that’s what you’re looking for). I don’t expect you to live like me. We’re in far different places in our lives, so I’m not going to tell you how you ought to live.

                  But it’s a little insulting to characterize a lifestyle that emphasizes moderated consumption as backwoods or uncivilized, and it wouldn’t kill you to be a little humble about this black and white, you’re with us or you’re with the Nazis attitude. There are multiple ways to try to preserve the environment, and to pretend your given choice is the only or most indisputably most effective one is rather foolish.

                • So we converse. Problem with that?

                  “try it some time” meant that it was damned near impossible ‘i got him a choo-choo with no locomotion from somewhere in the Flathead. Never used, not that it matters.
                  Your answer, to work with the opposition is guaranteed defeat. Step in that door, you lose. My one contribution of note with MWA was, at a meeting where Gatchell was absent, to pull MWA out of Racicot’s consensus councils, or Kabuki Theaters. I did not know at that time that was that, or that Gatchell
                  is, a collaberator. It’s easy to be on the other side and pretend to join opposition. It’s SOP. Trojan horses are all around you, some smart enough, most clueless. Open your eyes, thinks Gillan – she’s too clueless to know, but she is where she is because she’s so damned dense.

                • “meant that it was damned near impossible”

                  It is – I’ve had to break down and buy Chinese products more often than I’d like.

                  “Your answer, to work with the opposition is guaranteed defeat. ”

                  Nope – you suffer as soon as you define defeat and victory as two simplistic possibilities. Moving a coal mining operation to China is a victory for you, but a defeat for the planet, for global equality, etc.

                  You’re stuck in the dialectic, however, for the same reason the US can’t admit that things in the Middle East are more complicated than terrorists vs good guys – because as soon as they admit complexity, they can no longer justify their impractical dogmatism. Same goes for you.

                • So, we can no longer have a Bob because it’s an affectation? We have to give that up because of outsourcing? If we give it up, it’s gone. Never again, and “insatiable” means just that.

                  You are a Democrat. You want to cut a deal with insatiable. Count me out. I want what we have. Consensus is defeat when it means that we negotiate with bears about who gets to wear the fur coat.

                • Mark –

                  You’re a purist – we see it. You cannot admit to the possibility of working with those who want to utilize public lands. But you’re speaking in absolutes. You can keep believing that, or you can keep believing that you’re a realist, but not both. There’s nothing wrong with Romantically protecting the wilderness, and passionately refusing to compromise, but stop trying to pass it off as wisdom. It’s only seems wise if you keep your perspective focused one one part of the situation.

                • There has been plenty of compromise over time – the whole of the wilderness system was a series of compromises that left a large amount of land intact, and everyone walked away somewhat satisfied. Now you’ve come back for more. Never enough. You won’t be satisfied until it is all gone until we have “compromised” by giving in to your every demand for more. It is not we who refuse to compromise. We are sitting atop the results of compromise, and you keep coming back to take more.

                  The whole of the public lands system is rationally constructed for the sake of conservation. We have National Parks, lands with exceptional features set aside for human enjoyment. We have wilderness, lands with exceptional features set aside to preserve for its own sake. We have national forests, lands set aside for multiple purposes including resource extraction and human enjoyment. We have BLM lands, generally low quality and managed by the government because the private sector didn’t want them. Inside BLM lands are acquired lands, or private lands that went public after failing to be productive. We have National Monuments, set aside under the Antiquties Act, a law passed for emergency preservation of treasures and perverted by Bill Clinton to give his sorry ass presidency some green tint.

                  There is lots of land, many uses, and a constant pressure by developers to take more and more that had been set aside through compromise and put it in the resource chain for private profit. We have enough forest in the resource stream, enough BLM land, and a mining law that guarantees that whenever a resource is discovered on non-park non-wilderness lands, it is freely exploited. We allow grazing on all National Forest and BLM land, some to the extent that the land is essentially privatized for free.

                  Never enough on your end. Never enough, you want more, step aside you say, “compromise” is the euphemism you use to justify your insatiable demand to rape every last piece of land we have. You are the problem, not us. It is you who will not compromise, not us.

                  You have, by the way, made one thing abundantly clear: Environmentalists have no cause to truck with Democrats. You sound not faintly like, but EXACTLY like Republicans. It’s no surprise either, as the same concentrated wealth controls both parties.

                  I’ve learned here all I need to know now. Enough. Democrats are the problem, as always. You are not a choice. You’re an echo.

                • There’s that purist Ad Hominem again.

                  Let me offer an example of a clear case in which environmentalists are the problem, and not the two party system. It was determined over 7 years ago that the greatest threat to the city of Bozeman’s water supply was a large wildfire in the Hyalite and Bozeman creek drainages. The Forest Service proposed a series of small controlled burns and clearing of existing (closed) access corridors to thin the growing fire load and ease fire-fighting efforts. As if by reflex, in came the NEC and the AWR with lawsuits to protect these precious lands from ‘development’. The legal wrangling has been going on for well over 5 years, now. Pending even further appeal, the project is moving ahead as of March of this year. However, due to an unusually dry winter and budgeting constraints little work has been done and the area faces a potentially awful fire season.

                  Notice, none of your favorite boogie-men were involved. This wasn’t a rapacious ploy of industry or the awesomely powerful 4-wheeler lobby. The quisling Democrats didn’t call to open the Gallatin wild areas for fund-rasing keggers or sale of land to GE executives. The Forest Service was attempting to protect the water supply for 80+% of the city of Bozeman. When you (in the most specific sense) accuse others of ‘siding with the enemy’ because we might want some compromise in environmental actions, you are placing your counter-factual fantasy of ‘undeveloped lands’ over the very real needs of people. You’re telling me, again very specifically, that I am somehow to blame for you not getting your fantasy because I want clean water delivered to my house. Yeah, that’s a sure-fire way to win friends and influence people to support your cause, Tokarski.

                  Referring to your beliefs as religious is not at all a Straw Man. You are holding tightly to an apostolic writ of history as handed to you by the prophets Thoreau, Abbey and Leopold. You embrace ideas of ‘truth’ that don’t hold up to any skeptical scrutiny, and define good and evil based on those ‘beliefs’ that have little or no foundation. The final tell is that you define for yourself the saved and the damned based on whether or not they ‘work with the opposition’. In short, you have once again encapsulated very complex issues of life, value and policy in a manner that suits you, regardless of repercussions to those around you, save that you can judge them for supporting your dogmas or questioning them. You are religious, but not strictly about the environment. You are religious about your own importance in the world. Any who don’t support that idea of yours must certainly be a Sophist, just like the people of Bozeman who want drinking water.

                  For the record, Mark, if I ever need advice on how to be a man, you would be the last person I would seek it from. I’ve met you, remember?

                • Rob: Might I suggest that you do a little more reading up about the Bozeman Watershed Project before you simply attempt to portray it here like this:

                  “The Forest Service proposed a series of small controlled burns and clearing of existing (closed) access corridors to thin the growing fire load and ease fire-fighting efforts.”

                  The truth of the matter is that the Bozeman Municipal Watershed (BMW) timber sale is a 10-year logging project which authorizes more than 3,000 acres of logging, including 200 acres within the Gallatin Fringe Inventoried Roadless Area, 1,575 acres of prescribed burning, and 7.1 to 8.2 miles of NEW road construction. Some of this logging would occur in lynx critical habitat and core grizzly bear habitat.


                  At the link above you can find more detailed information about the Bozeman Watershed Project, including pictures, the actual legal complaint and some internal Forest Service documents. Thanks.

                • Koehler, I’m well aware of all that. Many people in Bozeman are. I’ve read the complaint. That doesn’t change my exposition, nor my attitude towards the project at all. I also notice that you don’t argue why it should, save that a comment at a blog didn’t carry the heavy weight of what you think significant. In the Gallatin watershed, 3000 acres over ten years logging is a drop in the bucket. There’s a ranch in the north Gallatiin valley that’s bigger than that. 8 miles of roadway, some of it what is over pre-existing trail and track (“new” because it was turned ‘roadless’ thirty years ago) is a small price to pay for Bozeman’s drinking water. You proceed from the assumption that I don’t know what’s going on, and if only I did I would think more of the Lynx, and less about whether I can get tap-water. Fortunately, the Forest Service and the courts have their priorities a bit more in order. As for Grizzly habitat, you might want to run that plea by the folks in the Cottenwood, considering that habitat now includes their backyards.
                  That’s your problem, Koehler, and I do mean yours. You want to have a high-minded debate proceeding from the assumption that your concerns have primacy from the get-go. That’s not very high-minded to be factual. It assumes that people have to share your concerns when many don’t at all; yet if only they weren’t so ignorant, they would. If, and it is an if, there is only a choice between protecting Bozeman’s water supply and lynx habitat, which do you think people are going to choose? The kicker is that the Forest Service didn’t force that bipolar dilemma. Groups including the AWR did.

                • Rob: My post was intended to show that you portrayed the project this way:

                  “The Forest Service proposed a series of small controlled burns and clearing of existing (closed) access corridors to thin the growing fire load and ease fire-fighting efforts.”

                  When the project specifically would involve:

                  • 3,000 acres of logging, including 200 acres within the Gallatin Fringe Inventoried Roadless Area,

                  • 1,575 acres of prescribed burning

                  • 7.1 to 8.2 miles of NEW road construction.

                  • Some of this logging would occur in lynx critical habitat and core grizzly bear habitat.

                  My basic contention is that you have not accurately portrayed the project. You’ll counter that you have and I haven’t. That’s fine and I’ll leave it up to others to make up their own mind.

                  Also, one of the main folks opposing the project lives up Cottonwood, you’d notice that if you actually checked out all the info at the link I provided. That link will also take you to some internal Forest Service documents, including an interesting one from the Forest Service’s own hydrologist clearly stating that the Forest Service has over-stated the impact of the project in regards to protecting Bozeman’s watershed. Finally, I’m pretty sure that some people who made a decision to live up Cottonwood also like grizzly bears. Thanks.

                • No Koehler. My contention is not that I’m right and you’re wrong. My contention is that we aren’t saying anything different at all; we’re just looking at it differently. How you see a thing depends on where you stand. You are the one puffing with the claim “my way or the highway”. I’m pointing out that we see the same thing, but judge its value differently from where we stand. That understanding, or misunderstanding on your part, is why you almost always fail in your efforts, costing many of the rest of us what we are concerned with as well. It’s all or nothing for you.

                  Many people in the Cottonwood area and lower Little Bear are not at all happy with a large and unpredictably aggressive predator moving into the areas of their homes. This is a new development, Koehler. It undercuts the consistent claims from your favored organizations that ‘Grizzlies will die, DIE, because we intrude on their habitat!’. That doesn’t ring true at all when Grizzlies are intruding on our habitat. More to the point, it removes your concern about protecting other Grizzly habitat completely. That’s kinda what happened with wolves. But certainly you knew better about that, didn’t you? After all, you have support of a dude in the Cottenwood.

                • You know, it’s an interesting dynamic. Here we have the federal government (Forest Service) ruling against itself 4 times during the public administrative appeals process because this Bozman Watershed Project wasn’t up to snuff.

                  Of course, it’s largely not “up to snuff” – in no small part – because of institutional failures within agencies of the federal government , pressures from the resource extraction industry and pressures from politicians.

                  Citizens and local watchdog organizations follow every step of the public process, attempting to hold the federal government responsible and accountable. Again, 4 times the federal government (FS) halted the project during the public appeals process (which is sort of an internal review process) because the concerns brought up by citizens and watchdog organizations were legit.

                  So it’s just odd that your big beef, Kailey, is with these citizens and local watchdog organizations who fully participate in the entire NEPA process and want to ensure that the federal government follows the best science and the law.

                  Why in the world are you not upset with the federal government in this case? Or those entities that put pressure on the FS to do projects that may be on shakey scientific or legal ground? I’m sorry, but your blame is totally mis-placed. Again, it’s odd that when the federal government (or the US Judicial system) finds that a government agency didn’t follow the law or best science when managing our public lands that you blame the citizens and watchdog organizations.

                • See, that’s your problem, Koehler. You’re not that damned important. The Federal Government (Duhn Da DAH) hasn’t come to the blogs and told me how stupid I am. You do that. YOU, Koehler. No agent of the dreaded empire has come here to inform me of my ignorance, yet you think that’s your job. I’m not that ignorant; many people aren’t. Some of us just don’t agree with you, and in a completely unrelated side-step you think we should disagree with the dread Gubmint. It’s not “Either or”, Matthew. It never has been. That was the root of my point that environmentalists put people into a bi-pole dilemma.

                  My “big beef” has never been with ‘citizen watchdog’ organizations. My “big beef’ is with those who think that *right* is empirically verifiable with no conscience effort to verify such. Political will is based on what is seen as personal need. The Gubmint follows such things with tenacity. The ‘citizen watchdogs’ … not so much.

                • Rob: Part of your charm is that you’re actually quite difficult to debate in these forums because you keep making stuff up that other people supposedly said about you and then use that made up stuff to bolster your case.

                  For example, you’re latest comment claims, “You accused me of stating “I’m right, you’re wrong” and here you are doing that very thing.”

                  A review of the actual comment record here, Rob, will reveal that I never did accuse you of stating, “I’m right, you’re wrong.”

                  The closest I think I came to making any statement remotely close to that was this:

                  “My basic contention is that you have not accurately portrayed the project. You’ll counter that you have and I haven’t. That’s fine and I’ll leave it up to others to make up their own mind.”

                  If you want to huff….and puff over such a statement, go right ahead, but please don’t put quotes around things I never said, ok?

                  Along the same lines, you also have claimed here that I said you were stupid, yet I never said any such thing. I agree with you’re statement, “we’ll see how it plays out.”

                  However, I disagree with your statement that my “comments have no efficacy in the real world.” You know why? Because my comments here have been focused on the specific actions that would be carried out as part of the BMW, as well as some of the administrative appeal issues and legal aspects of the project, including internal FS documents obtained via FOIA and the actual legal complaint….and I’m pretty that the federal US District Court judge will include these types of specifics in their “real world” judicial review of the BMW. Thanks.

                • Rob: It’s clear I’ve kept my comments focused on the specific actions that would be carried out as part of the BWM, as well as some of the administrative appeal issues and legal aspects of the project. I’ve pointed everyone to links where they can see lots of additional information about the BWM, including look at pictures, read internal FS documents obtained via FOIA, read the actual legal complaint, etc.

                  As I already stated to you my basic contention is that you have not accurately portrayed the project. That’s all. I also said that I’ll leave it up to others to make up their own mind. Hopefully other people will check out some of the info I provided, and compare that info with some of your thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

                • Matthew, we’ll see how it plays out. You accused me of stating “I’m right, you’re wrong” and here you are doing that very thing. So far, your comments have no efficacy in the real world. I doubt it will play out better for you in the future. But I’m sure that we’ll see.

                • There is no “pristine” wilderness. Asserting that there is fails to address the issue. Management is possible. Preservation of something that quite frankly doesn’t exist isn’t. This is where the eco idiots like Mark lose me and most of the voting public.

                • Please consult your brother on this one, as there appears to be a logical fallacy at work here. He four pointed all of that stuff, and so will set you straight. From my view down below, it appears as though you have constructed a strawman, but what the hell do I know.

                • Oh yeah, wilderness as religion is a strawman. I can’t imagine you don’t know this! It’s your forte’.

                • Claim victory and slink away, aka Kaileyism. You’re beneath contempt. Go to bed. Dream of being a man. Might happen sometime. Yet to see it.

                • MatthewD/PolishWolf: Can you please remind me of the discussion you attempted to have with me about immigration? Do you have a link to it? If I remember correctly you posted a comment to this opinion piece from Howie Wolke at LiTW:

                  And then I seem to recall that at another blog site you brought up the issue but you seemed to want to hold me accountable for Howie’s opinions about Wilderness and Immigration, opinions that I don’t really share. Anyway, not the end of the world if you can’t find a link, but I was sort of curious when I saw you bring up my name in this conversation. Thanks.

                • My comment is still posed there if you follow the link.

                  “I’m not sure I can support the idea that we in the US have the right to determine that people a shade or two darker than ourselves ought to be confined to their proper places so that we can continue to enjoy the wilderness. In fact, I’m sure I can’t. Overpopulation is a global problem, and keeping poor people where they are isn’t going to solve it. ”

                  I don’t recall ever getting an answer – do you share the opinion stated there that immigration restriction is a part of wilderness protection, or were you simply posting to start a conversation?

                • Thanks for digging that up MD/PW. I’ve often spoken about overpopulation being a huge environmental problem. It’s one of the reasons I got “fixed” 12 years ago and that we have no kids of our own. Anyway, I personally don’t believe that immigration restriction should be part of US Wilderness policy and I pretty much agree with your statement above, especially the part at the end where you say, “Overpopulation is a global problem, and keeping poor people where they are isn’t going to solve it.”

                  On a side note, before we became the WildWest Institute in 2006, our organization was called the Native Forest Network. NFN was founded in 1992 in Tasmania, Australia as global, autonomous collective of forest activists, indigenous peoples, conservation biologists and non-governmental organizations. Our original mission was to protect the world’s remaining native forest be they temperate or otherwise, to ensure they can survive, flourish and maintain their evolutionary potential.

                  When I had the opportunity to meet with forest activists or indigenous peoples from places like Russia, Argentina, Poland, Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Sarawak, etc the thing we heard time and time again from these folks from other parts of the world was how important it was for the US to “lead by example” by protecting our own national forests, wilderness and parks. They didn’t put nearly as much stock in the “Shifting the burden” agreement (at least that’s what we called it in the 90s) we see being portrayed here in the comments.

                  Back in the early to mid-90s the NFN was one of the pioneering groups anywhere focusing not just on the logging side of this equation, but also focusing very heavily on the consumer and corporate side of the logging issue, as well as how these policies impact indigenous peoples. We had a very active paper campaign and numerous boycott campaigns against some of the world’s largest resource extraction corporations. One of our very successful boycott campaigns was against the practice of woodchipping, where native forests in the southern US, or in New Zealand, Chile, Australia were simply cut down, chipped up and then put on huge ships in places like Mobile, Alabama or the northshore of Tasmania and shipped to Japan to satisfy their over-consumption of paper products. NFN was also one of the first groups raising awarness about the IMF/World Bank and how the policies of the IMF/World Bank result in loss of forests, loss of habitat and loss of indigenous cultures. It’s well known in our movement that NFN’s early work in the 90s helped spawn groups like the Dogwood Alliance and the Rainforest Action Network, which continue to work on these issues to this day. Thanks.

  • Anyway, sorry this is about me. Your original post was constructed in such a manner that it appears you imagine people mulling over issues and candidates when you know, and candidates know, that it’s all about the money and the ads. I merely pointed out that fact, and note as well that once the election is over, and people are tuned out, candidates go back to serving moneyed interests, as they cannot long survive in office without answering to paymasters. People are as people do.

    • I know that you’re sorry that this is all about you. That’s my point. You don’t want to confront that. It is about all of us as individuals. Once you see that, the next step is easy: just change your ways.

      • I wasn’t sure you had a point. It’s not about us as individuals. That’s really weird. You’re making no sense. You seem to be saying that I have to stop driving my car to have standing. You’re a teacher. Get your goddam point across somehow. So far, I ain’t getting it.

        • It is about us as individuals. Our choices destroy the environment. You want to blame the Democratic Party and the League of Conservation Voters, but it’s you. Your car, your ipad, your meat consumption. To excuse the guilt you certainly must be feeling, you externalize blame–which makes you feel better but does nothing to improve your behavior.

          I understand why you’re angry. It’s hard to see that it is you to bears responsibility, and I don’t mind that you’re lashing out at me. You’ll get it.

          Professor Curtis White explains it really well:

          The lessons of our idols come to this: you cannot defeat something that you imagine to be an external threat to you when it is in fact internal to you, when its life is your life. And even if it were external to you, you cannot defeat an enemy by thinking in the terms it chooses, and by doing only those things that not only don’t harm it but with which it is perfectly comfortable. The truth is, our idols are actually a great convenience to us. It is convenient that we can imagine a power beyond us because that means we don’t have to spend much time examining our own lives. And it is very convenient that we can hand the hard work of resistance over to scientists, our designated national problem solvers.

          • I call it projection. Saves words. I also engage in confirmation bias and other reasoning deficiencies, but I’m not angry, I don’t think you’re evil or ill-intentioned. I think that the Democratic Party serves as a device by which good intentions are waylaid, like that marching band at the end of Animal House. I think good people and intentions go there to die.

            I have internal contradictions, and make mistakes. I confront them now and then but it’s very unpleasant. I do wish that you’d explain to me why being a Democrat solves any problems or has any redemptory value, any more than voting for Nader. So far I’m not a believer.

  • Pogie, no matter if Denny isn’t conservative enough for some Republicans, the GOP as a whole is going to pull the lever for Denny. There is a lot more enthusiasm from the GOP right now than there is from the Dems.

    Plus, going back through Denny’s statewide races, he is very popular. He’s actually won statewide races by large margins. Tester didn’t even win his home county in 2006.

    If you believe that there are lots of Democrats who voted for Denny two years ago, instead of McDonald, and that they are going to switch their votes to Tester this time, I’d like to know who they are –

    • “If you believe that there are lots of Democrats who voted for Denny two years ago, instead of McDonald, and that they are going to switch their votes to Tester this time, I’d like to know who they are”

      Perhaps some of the 60,000 people who voted for Jon Tester in 2006 but didn’t vote for MacDonald in 201o will vote for Tester this time. Seems logical, doesn’t it? Especially given that 40,000 more votes were cast in the 2006 election than the 2010 one, though the republican candidate in both cases won about the same number of votes. See how turnout can make a difference?

    • First off, any veteran or active military person actually aware of what Tester has done for them will be pulling the lever for Tester. He has done more for veterans and active duty military people than any other Senator in Montana History. Moreover, you can probably expect a large number of people in Great Falls will be pulling the lever for him given that he was able to get the flight of C-140’s into Malstrom.

      Moreover, anyone with half a brain can see that Denny will be out of his depth. Denny won the legislative races because he never had to engage his opponents. He was able to run a stealth campaign and sit on his “laurals” (read – his incumbancy). This time, he will be forced to actually engage Sen Tester and to his extreme disadvanage, all he can do is talk about what Tester did or didn’t do. He has nothing to brag about (given his do-nothing tenure as legislator) so all he can do is talk Tester, Tester, and more Tester. Tester will win if the public is made aware of the things Sen Tester has done for the people of Montana (especially vets) and likewise, the public is also made aware of the less than complimentary antics of Rehberg, like his drunken stunts and his suit against the firefighters of Billings. Turnout will make a huge difference, but it is potentially less of an issue in the Tester/Rehberg race due to the records of both men. This race has a clear answer, unlike some of the other races.

    • Eric writes, “Plus, going back through Denny’s statewide races, he is very popular. He’s actually won statewide races by large margins.”

      Rehberg lost to Baucus in the 1996 U.S. Senate race by five points.

  • So Polish Wolf, are you ready to predict a Tester victory ?

    Politics is actually a simple thing – Jon Tester is simply going to be an addition to the long list of Dems who lost their seats because of blindly following Obama/Reid.

    • I will not predict a winner because I never bet on the mentality of Humans in large groups. The obvious answer is Sen Tester, but whether the average person will be able to see it that way is another question. Given the money that is already flowing into this state to defeat Sen Tester, anything could happen. People are easy to manipulate in large groups and the media will make a difference. Turnout will also be a large factor. Anyone willing to bet on this race at this point is either a clarvoyent or an idiot.

      • As I read it at open secrets, there is more money flowing in in support of Tester than against. But what are facts worth when you’re being persecuted! Money is both out to reelect Tester and unseat him. Laugh about it shout about it when you’ve got to choose, anyway you look at it you lose.

        • “As I read it at open secrets, there is more money flowing in in support of Tester than against. But what are facts worth when you’re being persecuted! Money is both out to reelect Tester and unseat him. Laugh about it shout about it when you’ve got to choose, anyway you look at it you lose.”

          Now Mark, I know you’re not a fan of the league of conservation voters. But are they really worse than actual mineral extraction companies? Four of Denny’s top five donors are oil and gas companies. Sure, money is on both sides, but that money has very different goals.

          • Are you sure about that? Have you ever heard the expression “political cover?” That, in my view, is the role of LCV and MCV. They give political cover, and for that reason are more dangerous than those who openly proclaim their objectives.

            Politics, as Max reminds us, is nothing more than perceptions. If LCV instead called themselves “a cover group to make Democrats seem like environmentalists” would you be talking about them?

            • You’re losing focus here. Stop blaming other people and institutions.

              Question your own behavior. Your own wastefulness. Only individual action can solve the problems that plague the environment.

                • No, I’m trying to help you.

                  Haven’t you been the one for years reminding us about the futility of partisan politics? I’m just hoping you’ll see the next step.

                  Individual action. Stop driving. Stop eating meat. Stop using electronics.

                  Tolstoy, of course, said it brilliantly when he wrote “everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

                • So then, your blog is not about partisan politics?

                  I get deep environmentalism, think it useless. In the real world we are consumers, but hopefully more. Jefferson’s shopkeepers were dependent on consumers, and the whole idea that we exist in a web and produce and consume is not ideolgical. It is us. That some Chicago types took it and reconstructed it as a new road to fascism … I’m in the headlights. You offer no help.

                  I produce, consume. I want wild lands.,Tester does not. That is the issue. We can produce and consume and have wild lands. If Tester had not been bought, he’d see that too. But instead he calls us extremists. It reflects the attitude of paymasters. He crossed over, or he never lived n this side.

                • “We can produce and consume and have wild lands.”

                  As long as we get foreigners to exploit their wild lands for our sakes.

            • If the LCV and MCV are proxies for resource extraction companies, why would those companies spend thousands trying to defeat their candidate?

              I know you fear compromise more than anything, but it’s not dangerous for the reason you think it is. Compromise is dangerous for purists like you for a very simple reason – compromise acknowledges the complexity of development issues, whereas you and your colleagues are lost in a world that isn’t black and white.

              • Not hardly. You’re mixing politics, which is a hall of mirrors, with activism, where all is real. It seems to befuddle you that the proscription that also applies in international relations applies here: Your enemies are your friends. Divide and conquer works. It’s why we argue.

                The other side of the coin, that your friends are your enemies, is not politics 101, 201 or 401. It is a graduate course. You don’t gain entry until you realize that a friend is lying to you.

                You’re smart. I’ll wait it out. When it happens, you’ll not be chastised or ridiculed. All of us over here had to learn that way. Only the smart ones make the shift. You’re a graduate candidate. I’m no genius. I’m just lucky. You’re smart. You’ll see it some day but it takes a lie. It’ll happen.

                • “Not hardly. You’re mixing politics, which is a hall of mirrors, with activism, where all is real. ”

                  No, that’s you who is doing that. We vote Democrat, but we realize that is not activism. We do vote for the lesser of two evils in many cases. But when the world has as many shades of gray as it does, the lesser of two evils is the best option. That’s how it goes in life.

                  Activism is another thing entirely, and I don’t think anyone here disparages your activism. Go ahead, be uncompromising, be romantic, passionate in your activism. But that bringing that attitude into politics is generally unhelpful. It can achieve one goal, but really only that – the destabilization of the entire system. That’s what happens when Bush gets elected because too many liberals vote for Nader, that’s what happens when substantial portions of the population are politically active but fail to vote.

                  Again, I understand the allure – if you believe elections are a sham, the parties betrayed you, why not undermine them? But when the liberal wing of the Democratic Party abandons elections for activism, you get one of two results. You get consistent rightist majorities (and if you’re going to repeat that nonsense about Dems being more dangerous, look at Britain – the center-left party loses the election and you get full-blown austerity. Your other option is that the population gives up on mainstream politics, and you get a situation like Greece, where radical right and radical left are well represented, but the center has lost its power. Then you get fistfights between politicians and policy being made in street protests. Not a sustainable way to run a country, especially not one as big as ours.

  • Pogie is absolutely right when he points out that conservation and stewardship of our world and environment starts at the individual level. While I have been called an “earth hater” by people like Mark T and Larry, the fact is, I know I do more to steward my personal footprint than his does and I would be willing to stack up my creds against Larry…

    I don’t own an Ipod/Ipad – I have no use for one and can’t see paying the money for one. The only reason I own a cellphone is that my wife wanted me to have a way to contact help if I get hurt while working in my shop. It is a simple (though armor plated) phone without data capability. If I need a computer, I will use my computer. My lightbulbs are all low wattage, long life bulbs, my house is naturally cooled by airflow, as soon as I can get the permits (and money…) to replace my secondary gas heater with an effecient wood stove, I will be putting one of those in. Beetle kill wood is easy and cheap to procure in this area and I figure I can save not only hundreds of dollars on fuel and electricity by using the stove, it will give me a heat source and cooking platform if we lose electricity.

    I have balanced food production and decorative plants around my house in such a way that I can produce about 18% of our food here. If I had a couple of acres instead of just a double city lot, I could raise that to probably 60%. Each year, I increase our capacity to produce food as well as increasing the value of the property. This year, we added a rasberry bed and we are planting four fruit trees. Next year, the plan is to increase the effeciency our of garden area, add three hotboxes for tomatos and melons, remove a decorative bush to be replaced by six blueberry/serviceberry bushes, and build a 10′ X 4′ hothouse in our front yard to extend our growning season.

    I am currently working on the plumbing of the house to make it more effecient and when I rebuild the back deck into a mudroom/studio/hotroom, I will be adding a rain cistern system to the back of the house.

    I do not drive at all. My wife drives a 20 year old, gas effecient van that has served us well for the 11 years we have been married. We usually manage to go two – three weeks on a tank of gas and we coordinate our trips to Bozeman/Butte/Missoula in such a way as to get what we need there in batches – reducing the number of times we have to make those trips. Moreover, we usually go to Bozeman so I can see my brother more often – almost everything we need we can get there.

    All of these things were/are done to reduce our expenses, live a simpler/happier life and to make ourselves more self sufficient. This is how you manage your life to reduce your footprint. It isn’t the end-all/be-all of our existance, but it is our choice to live this way.

      • Mark, your reply not only confirms you are an idiot, it also shows that you are incapable of reading comprehension. Your snark aside, the whole point of my comment is that it is NOT amazing.

        There are basically two types of Americans – those that talk a game, and those that act. I like to believe that I am the latter. You are obviously the former. The point of my comment was that ANYONE can make a difference if they decide to do so. Nothing about what my wife and I have done here is “amazing”. Yes, it was a lot of work and the work is ongoing. Fact is, though, that it cost me less to put in the raised box garden in the back of our house than you paid for your Ipad. Replacing the lights in the house with low wattage, long life bulbs has already paid for itself in the years we have been using them. Making small changes to our house to allow for decent airflow to cool the house in the summer was far cheaper than buying an air conditioner and paying for the electricity to run it.

        The bottom line here (that you completely missed in your insanity) is that if more people actually did a little work to reduce their footprint (and their monthly bills…), the problem wouldn’t be as large as it is. You are a poser (not that it is news to anyone), I am not. The really funny part of the whole thing is that I am the “activist” or “environmentalist”. I am just a guy that thinks I can make a difference in my life by a little hard work.

        • Sorry, that should have read “I am not the “activist” or “environmentalist”. I am just a guy that thinks I can make a difference in my life by a little hard work.

    • The really sad part is that while the argument continues above about environmental purism, no one (save Mark’s snarky answer) has responded at all the the more realistic and doable methods we could be pursuing to better both our pocketbooks and our environment. Pseudo intellectuals posing impossible and illogical arguments about “pristine” wilderness disgust me because not one of them recognises the reality we are faced with everyday. They would rather pound their chests and scream at the sky about the “inhumanity” of it all rather than find real life solutions. Pogie, I wish you had been a teacher at my school. I would have really loved to take your classes.

  • Ken: It’s interesting to me that simply because someone hasn’t bothered to respond to everything you’ve said that you feel entitled to make these sort of wild, broad-brushed, absolutest statements against all kinds of different people.

    I can’t think of any environmental or wilderness activists I know anywhere in this country (especially at the grassroots and volunteer level) who doesn’t understand the importance of reduced consumption, demand reduction, etc and try to incorporate these values into their everyday lives through their actions. Therefore, I have a hard time understanding where this notion of yours, which you seem so absolutely certain about, comes from.

    • Because, Matt, you assume too much. Take Mark T for example. While he screams to the wind about environmental issues, do you think for one second that he practices what he preaches? I would be willing to bet I consume less than you do for that matter. I don’t buy into your hurt and agreived comment because I don’t believe you walk the talk anymore than Mark does. You are way too self centered for that.

      As far as being absolutely certain about reducing consumption… I am. We not only see it in our monthly bank statement, it is reasonable to assume that reducing consumption of electricity, water, purchased food, and fuel that we are reducing the load on the environment. You are welcome to disagree with it but I would have to see some pretty convincing proof to buy into your argument. Attempting to lead by example is not a “notion”. It is a proven way to effect change. Try it sometime, you might even like it.

      • Your focus on me is appreciated – no, wait …creepy. I think it has to do with having an IPad. Otherwise, you know nothing about me.

        Full speed ahead, captain.

        • It more likely has to do with you being in Colorado, and trying to tell Montanans what to do with their state – acting as though you alone have the eco-wisdom to save us from ourselves.

          • MatthewD/PW: I do believe that all Americans are equal owners of our federal public lands, even those Americans who are currently living in Colorado.

  • Ken: So what I think you’ve said here is that I’m too self-centered to walk the talk in terms of reducing my consumption of electricity, water, purchased food and fuel? Are you really being serious dude? What does that even mean?

    I’m not to going to sit here and list all the many ways I go about reducing my carbon footprint by the personal choices I make – starting with the decision to not pro-create and add more Americans to the planet – recognizing full well that many people make personal choices to reduce consumption and also recognizing that we all have inconsistencies in such an approach.

    I’m glad as hell that you make personal choices that lessen your personal impact on the environment. I just remain very confused as to why you apparently think nobody who’s an environmental activist or a wilderness activist – including people you’ve never met or observed how they live day-to-day – is smart enough or committed enough to make these same exact personal choices, perhaps even taking steps to reduce their footprints more than you even have. Thanks.

    • If you say so, Matt. I find most of you to be like the Christians that preach about Jesus and God on the weekend and then fill my inbox with invective about black being “evil” and gays going to hell. Most of them are hypocrits and if you are an exception, fine. I see little to lead me to believe it, though.

      You did acknowledge one point that (it happens to be the main point of my comment)… it is a personal choice. Most people find it easy to “take a stand” when they are sitting comfortably at home in front of their computer (or standing in front a microphone in front of Journalists) but few actually make the commitment to do so in their own lives.

      • Ken: Just curious, but where is your proof that almost all environmental activists and wilderness activists (especially at the grassroots and volunteer level) are such supposed hypocrits and actually don’t take steps to reduce their personal consumption, grow/eat local food, drive less, bike more, recycle, live in smaller houses, etc?

        Honestly, this is a serious questions. Because like I already stated, I can’t think of environmental or wilderness activists who don’t understand the importance of this. I’m hardly an exception, as my observations over the years of the actual homes and day-to-day lives of hundreds and hundreds of environmental/wilderness activists confirms that yes, environmental and wilderness activists take personal steps to reduce their consumption and help the environment, while recognizing that we all have inconsistencies in such an approach. Thanks.

        • I never said that all environmentalists were hypocrits. I said that in my experience the majority are. That statement is somewhat self explanitory. Sorry it was too hard for you to parse.

          I won’t claim what your experience is. I can only go by what I see. You haven’t even convinced me that you are not a hypocrit because you chose not to. That is your lookout, not mine. You don’t have to convince me. I recognise that fact. What I will say is that, given my experience, I will more likely believe someone like Mark and any other ubber rapid “environmentalist” is a hypocrit until proven otherwise. Further, I never claimed to be an environmentalist or a preservationist. In fact, my desire to reduce my footprint and live a simpler life was made for much different reasons. I simply get a chuckle when I read the rantings of those that do claim to be so given that most of them I have seen are not walking the walk – especially when it involves making any kind of sacrifice for themselves.

        • I will say that your decision not to have children is a valid life choice. Many have made that choice. In fact, I am old enough to remember the “zero population growth movement” (and remember how quickly it died). I chose to have kids – primarily because, in my generation, it was what you were suppose to do. You were suppose to get a job (I was in the Navy and had both rank and position), you get married, and you have 2.5 kids, a dog and buy a house. I had two kids that I am happy to say are both wonderful. Later, I had a third child that, again, I am happy to say is doing well. I married a woman that had had two children in a previous marraige. So, yes, I have had children. More importantly, I do not regret it.

  • I happen to agree with the analysis in the article – just a gut feeling. Driving around and observing yard signs I noticed a couple of things.

    Yards full of giant signs for most of the generally front-runner Republican candidates – and in the midst of this thicket – a small sign (that’s all his campaign could afford) for Dennis Teske. So obviously the person who lived in that house was making a big statement – they really really liked all the other Republican front-runner candidates. But definitely not Rehberg.

    I saw this several places, not just once.

    As far as the difference in turnout between Dems and Reps – the battle for the governor’s race explains that easily. The Rep governor’s race has been quite a slugfest between the top two or three candidates, while the Dem candidate is a shoo-in for the nomination.

    For the US House race, the open seat for the Reps, again was more of a contest, on the Dem side while there were a bunch of candidates – one of them out-campaigned and out-raised funds by a fairly wide margin (and won handily).

    When you have those kinds of situations in the top tier races, people tend to stay home because the outcomes are foregone conclusions. Or because we have open primary – they vote in the other party’s primary so the figures for “turnout” can be very deceiving. Republicans would do well not to count on all those “Republican” voters who turned out for them in the primaries since they may not all be theirs – having learned well from Republican dirty tricks in the past.

    • Don’t mistake public “slugfests” with the process by which we get public policy. Things that are said in campaigns are generally said only for immediate effect, and have no substance.

  • Anyone see this article in the today’s Missoulian and care to comment?

    It’s worth pointing out that just a short 16 months ago the Missoulian ran this article about this very same Tricon Timber, an article about Tricon finding a growing demand for metric lumber order in China.

    Yet today, this same Tricon Timber claims it would cease to exist if the federal government doesn’t bail it out by re-negotiating a 2003 timber sale contract? Does that seem a tad strange?

    Here’s something else that should be clearly highlighted. According to today’s article in the Missoulian:

    “[T]he 2008 farm bill provided two options for relief for mills with onerous timber contracts. One is to grant contract extensions in 30-day increments to “hopefully spread the length of the contract over a longer period of time and lessen the impact they might have from a declining market.” The other is a rate re-determination, to adjust for reduced market values and increased costs to contractors in these hard economic times. Since then, the Northern Region has granted 45 contracts and reduced the values of 40 contracts by 40 percent to 70 percent.”

    So, what this means is that while some people are going around Montana claiming that we need to start having politicians mandate more logging on Montana’s National Forests, the very simple fact is that the Forest Service in Montana and northern Idaho has reduced the values of 40 different (already signed) timber sale contracts by 40% to 70%.

    In other words, if the timber industry signed a contract with the federal government 3 or 5 or 9 years ago to log X amount of trees for, let’s say $10,000, now the timber industry gets to log that same amount of trees for $3,000 to $6,000. Wow! If only the federal government and politicians were this generous with “Bail outs” for homeowners facing foreclosure, eh?

    Finally, it should be noted that Tricon Timber was one of the timber mills who last month took part in $30,000 in Ads attacking the Alliance for Wild Rockies and calling for an end to the public appeals process and exempting many Montana national forest timber sales from judicial review.

    • Apropos of nothing, I find it interesting that there have been several Letters to Ed in the Bozeman Comical wondering why the Federal Gubmint was willing to bail out the auto-industry and no bill to bail out timber workers. I’m certainly not arguing that there should be, but I do find that an interesting question for Montana.

      • Requires some thought. Give it a go. Saying it’s interesting is a front, implying you have thoughts to answer your questions, for now withholdinfg answering, of course. Give it a go, oh deep one.

        • Tokarski, I like to be polite here in deference to the hosts, but frankly your asshat act has worn way too thin. They weren’t my questions. I’m not employed in timber, and haven’t been for decades. I didn’t write the letters. I raise the question so that purists such as yourself might have to think beyond your own desires, which of course you won’t do. So, if you don’t have a response to the issue, don’t demand one from me. I won’t comply and you’ll just look even more like an asshole.

          • I think it’s safe to say that the Montana timber industry has actually gotten a number of tax-payer funded ‘bail-outs’ over the past few years, both on the state and federal level.

            There have been a number of taxpayer funded loan programs on the state and federal level. I would also think an examination of the MT State Leg in 2011 and 2009 would reveal a number of very pro-timber industry legislation that could be classified a “bail-out” of sorts. And even things like eliminating the business equipment tax are obviously things the timber industry lobbies for, and gets.

            And now it appears as if the USFS is making it a practice of reducing values of existing timber sale contracts 40% to 70% to benefit the logging industry, at least in our neck of the woods. At the comments section, people in Alaska and WA and OR report the same thing. See:

            And don’t forget about the $6.5 billion given to the pulp and paper industry a few years back. Fact is, resource extraction industries get ‘bail-outs’ all the timber, sometimes during bad economic times and the rest of the time just largely because that’s the way the system is set up.


            Black Liquor Scorecard: Pulp & Paper Companies Take $6.5 Billion from US Taxpayers in 2009: Posted on March 17, 2010

            Smurfit-Stone Container Corp took home $654 million from US Taxpayers, while their net income was only $8 million in 2009



            More on Pulp Industry’s Billion Dollar Taxpayer Boondoggle. Posted on July 8, 2009

          • Mathew did your thinking for you down below, but thanks for asking the question, oh deep one.

            BTW, I’m not a purist. That’s a debating tactic used by the timber industry and the Republicans, Baucus, and now Tester. The object is to paint opposition as irrational, which allows collaberators like MWA and TU, and you, appear to be the rational ones. At upper levels it’s a conscious tactic, down on yours just received wisdom.

            and it’s not so much that we’re right and you’re wrong. It’s more thatuu haven’t the moral courage to devaie within your group, so that even if you agreed with us,you’d be afraid of saying so.

            • Matthew didn’t ‘do my thinking’. Neither of you have any idea what I think, quite obviously.

              I will say this, though. If Matthew’s facts were well known, then why aren’t people flocking to the environmental banner, given that governmental support of Montana jobs is so dependent on the same effort that saved GM?

              I’ve written before, and have no reason to disbelieve, that ‘progressives’ don’t care about unions unless unions share their other concerns. Yes, the Gubmint has supported timber industry with our money, and failed to actually support jobs. I see no evidence that purists like yourself, Tokarski, actually care one bit about the people who are put through the meat-grinder of ‘re-education’ or ‘Voc-rehab’. You don’t care one smidgen, and you’ve made that quite clear. Those people grow in their spite against environmentalists. Missoula is the best example. And stupidly, you think I’m your enemy?

              “thatuu” “devaie”. You’re using iPad language again, aren’t you?

              • Rob: I’d put forth that the facts as outlined above aren’t very well known. The environmental movement at one time (mid-80s to about 2000) was much better about making it a point to educate the general public about the economic and environmental impacts of the federal timber sale program.

                Now, at least with some conservation groups in Montana, that public education effort has largely been replaced by well-funded PR campaigns about “collaboration” and “gettin’ people workin’ in the woods,” where any discussion or debate about the economic and environmental impacts of the federal timber sale program is considered being “off-message” and even a threat.

                Finally, RE: Rob’s claim about us supposedly not caring “one smidgen” about workers, unions etc….

                I’d encourage people to check out “A Citizen’s Call for Ecological Forest Restoration: Forest Restoration Principles and Criteria” which was developed by our organization and others in cooperation with restoration practitioners (workers). These Restoration Principles were also supported by over 120 conservation organizations from around the country, but ironically, not by the Montana Wilderness Association and some of the other Tester mandated logging bill collaborators. The Principles are available here:

                Below I’ve snipped out the section on the Communities and Work Force section of the Restoration Principles. As I hope Rob can see, we’ve given more than “one smidgen” of thought to workers, unions, etc. It’s all here below and all in writing. Next time, Rob, please do a little more research and fact-checking about what we’re really all about before attempting to bring us down. Once again Rob, your clear hatred of myself and others is blinding you to the realities of what we advocate for. Thanks.

                III. Communities and Work Force—Make use of or train a highly skilled, well-compensated work force to conduct restoration

                7. Community/Work Force Sustainability Principle—Effective restoration depends on strong, healthy, and diverse communities and a skilled, committed work force

                Sustainability Criteria Restoration and economic development must prioritize the long-term interests of communities over short-term and nonlocal economic interests.

                Government, interest groups, and communities should cooperate to promote policies and programs that build community capacity for ecologically sound restoration, including work force and small business development that:

                1. Are based on landscape-scale assessments of restoration needs, and are scaled appropriately within the carrying capacity of the land and regional economy.
                2. Have the flexibility to adapt over time to new information.
                3. Directly and proactively address barriers to equal access, such as differences based on class, culture, language, and religion.
                4. Provide for intergenerational exchange and other proactive strategies to engage and empower youth and elders.
                5. Are designed to add maximum value to restoration byproducts at the community level.

                Quality Jobs Criteria

                • Restoration contracts should recognize and foster a multidisciplinary, high-skilled work force of trained, certified restoration technicians and applied ecologists, and provide stable, full-season employment.

                • Restoration workers should be compensated with a family living wage at levels commensurate with their knowledge and skills, set as a functional minimum.

                • Restoration must be supported by regional training and skill certification systems (for example, apprenticeship programs), with stable funding, that provide for multidisciplinary skill development to broaden career opportunities.

                • Employment and training systems must be equally accessible to the existing diverse work force. Restoration contracts and regional training systems must be linked by recognized skill standards and associated wage and benefit standards.

                • Contracting, employment, and training systems must promote the efficient and fair utilization of local, regional, and mobile workers in a way that most effectively meets ecological integrity as well as social goals.

                • Restoration workers at all wage and skill levels must be guaranteed the right to organize and bargain collectively.

                • Matthew, as usual you are personalizing my response to another way too much. I don’t find that surprising, just very tiring at this point. I don’t hate you; I just find you impotent, defensive and pointless.

                  Still, I like your response. It hardly seems worth mentioning that less people know of this manifesto or yours than actually know about government spending on timber support, which you admit is very few. Funny, I’d say that’s a failing on your part. It is worth mentioning that you don’t discuss dollars at all, and the part about allowing unions to form in your environmentally friendly work force reads as a pandering afterthought. Hmmm. I used to write fantasy when I was a kid too.

                  Though I and others have asked politely, rudely, snidely, curiously for you to address ‘political will’, you remain reluctant to do so. Personally, my opinion, I think you completely incapable of doing so. You’re welcome to call that “hate”, but you’d likely just miss the laughter behind it.

                • BTW Rob: Here’s the list of the other conservation groups that endorsed the restoration principles (or manifesto, as you called it) and helped spread the word about them….just in case you wanted to also send them your critique. Thanks.

                  20/20 Vision, DC
                  Appalachian Voices, NC
                  Alabama Environmental Council, AL
                  Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, OR
                  Allegheny Defense Project, PA
                  Alliance for the Wild Rockies, MT
                  Ambience Project, MT
                  American Lands Alliance, DC
                  American Wildlands, MT
                  Aspen Wilderness Workshop, CO
                  Audubon Minnesota, MN
                  Beausoleil Mediation Service, OR
                  Bradford Environmental Research Institute
                  Buckeye Forest Council, OH
                  California Wilderness Coalition, CA
                  Cascadia Fire Ecology Education Project, OR
                  Cascadia Wildlands Project, OR
                  Center for Biological Diversity, AZ
                  Center for Environmental Economic Development, CA
                  Center for Native Ecosystems, CO
                  Cherokee Forest Voices, TN
                  Chiricahua-Dragoon Conservation Alliance, AZ
                  CLEAN (Citizens of Lee Environmental Action Network), VA
                  Coalition for Jobs and the Environment, VA
                  Colorado Wild, CO
                  Committee for the High Desert, ID
                  Defenders of Wildlife, DC
                  Devil’s Fork Trail Club, VA
                  Dogwood Alliance, NC
                  Environmental Protection Information Center, CA
                  Environment Council of Rhode Island, RI
                  The Empty Bell, MA
                  Forest Conservation Council, NM
                  Forest Ecology Network, ME
                  Forest Guardians, NM
                  Forest Stewards Guild, NM
                  Forest Trust, NM
                  Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, MN
                  Friends of the Clearwater, ID
                  Friends of Wild River, NM
                  Georgia Forest Watch, GA
                  Gifford Pinchot Task Force, WA
                  Gila Regional Information Project, NM
                  GilaWoodNet, NM
                  Grass Lakes West Consulting, WA
                  Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society, PA
                  Great Basin Mine Watch, NV
                  Habitat Education Center, WI
                  Headwaters, OR
                  Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, VA
                  Heartwood, IN
                  Hells Canyon Preservation Council, OR
                  High Country Citizens’ Alliance, CO
                  High Uintas Preservation Council, UT
                  Idaho Conservation League, ID
                  Indiana Forest Alliance, IN
                  John Muir Project, CA
                  Kentucky Heartwood, KY
                  Kettle Range Conservation Group, WA
                  Klamath Forest Alliance, OR
                  Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, OR
                  Kalmiopsis Audubon Society, OR
                  League Of Wilderness Defenders-Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, OR
                  Massachusetts Audubon Society, MA
                  Missouri Forest Alliance, MO
                  National Catholic Rural Life Conference, IA
                  National Forest Protection Alliance, MT
                  Native Forest Network, MT
                  New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, NM
                  North Coast Restoration Jobs Initiative, CA
                  Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, WA
                  Olympic Forest Coalition, WA
                  Oregon Natural Resources Council, OR
                  Pacific Rivers Council, OR
                  Patrick Environmental Awareness Group
                  Pennsylvania Wildlands Recovery Project, PA
                  Prescott National Forest Friends, AZ
                  Quiet Use Coalition, CO
                  Rainforest Action Network, CA
                  Resource Stewardship Council, IN
                  RESTORE: The North Woods, ME
                  San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, CO
                  Santa Fe Forest Watch, NM
                  Selkirk Conservation Alliance, ID
                  Serpentine Art and Nature Commons, Inc., NY
                  Sinapu, CO
                  Sisters Forest Planning Committee, OR
                  Sky Island Alliance, AZ
                  Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, OR
                  South Carolina Forest Watch, SC
                  Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, NC
                  Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, NC
                  Superior Wilderness Action Network, MN
                  Swan View Coalition, MT
                  Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment, VA
                  Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, TN
                  The Clinch Coalition, VA
                  The Ecology Center, MT
                  The Four Corners Institute, NM
                  The Lands Council, WA
                  The Larch Company, OR
                  The Northern Appalachian Restoration Project/The Northern Forest Forum, NH
                  Umpqua Watersheds, OR
                  Dr. Peter Stacey, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, NM
                  Upper Gila Watershed Alliance, NM
                  Vermont Natural Resources Council, VT
                  Vermont Forest Watch, VT
                  Virginia Forest Watch, VA
                  Western Colorado Congress, CO
                  Western North Carolina Alliance, NC
                  West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, WV
                  Wild Alabama, AL
                  Wildlands Project, AZ
                  WildLaw, AL
                  Wildlands CPR, MT
                  Wild Watershed, NM
                  White Mountains Conservation League, NM
                  The Wilderness Society, DC
                  World Wildlife Fund, DC

                • Apologies ‘Mattie’. I didn’t see this reply until today.

                  Wow. I mean wow. That’s some kinda impressive list or organizations, isn’t it?

                  Of course, I could post a list a list twice that big of organizations that are dedicated to protecting domestic dog breed rescue. Hell, I could post a list twice that big (or far bigger) of organizations devoted to Second Amendment rights. I’d bet I could post a list vastly bigger than that of American quilters organizations. You still miss my point completely, Kohler.

                  If you want to show some political will, then tell us all, how many people are members of these organizations? Who are these people? How much money do they generate for support of whom? How many have had their agendas, the manifesto, fulfilled? What laws have they lobbied and which have they affected/changed? What elections have they influenced and for whom? Who have they ‘gotten elected’ to support their causes? What political will have any of those organizations actually influenced? How much money have they contributed to actually causing change, and how successful have they been?

                  I’m not going to even sarcastically pretend you can answer any of those questions. You can’t. Let’s just admit it and move on, shall we?

                  Mattie, backed into a corner, brings up a meaningless list of next to nothing.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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