Education Montana Politics

Ten Favorite Posts in The First Ten Years of Intelligent Discontent

It’s hard to imagine that I’ve run this blog since July of 2005, but here we are, at the tenth anniversary of the blog. In ten years, with more site makeovers than I care to remember, one semi-serious retirement, and a few dead spells,  we’ve thrown up just over 3,000 posts. In that time, we’ve annoyed our share of politicians and community leaders, offered the occasional dash of snark, periodically poked the mainstream media in Montana, and received one or two death threats. Gun posts: never a good idea.

While there have been many great contributors at the site over its decade-long run and I’m sure I’ve missed some posts, I thought I’d try to go back and take a look at some of the most memorable, entertaining, and even occasionally well-written posts I’ve thrown up in the past decade.

[Somewhat surprisingly, Neil Livingstone, James Knox, Derek Skees, Art Wittich, John Bohlinger,and the magical bills from the 2011 Legislative session didn’t managed to make the cut.]

10. The Sorry State of Politics Practiced by the Montana GOP and Its Surrogates: A Soccer Story (2008)

I’ve always enjoyed the spectacle of members of the Republican Party, many of whom imagine themselves to be the reincarnated John Wayne, flopping and crying every time they get stung in a political fight. I even like soccer a great deal more now than I did in 2008, too.

9. EXCLUSIVE! A Look at Lee’s Upcoming Political Coverage (2015)

I’d probably rather have you read my angrier critique of the Lee Newspapers decision to not retain Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, but, for impact, it’s hard to match this piece which mocked the future of print journalism in Montana’s largest cities, only to be plagiarized by the paper I was mocking.  Without a doubt, the saddest part of blogging has been watching the political coverage in the Lee papers and others wither away to nothing over the past ten years.

8. Why Does It Matter What the Montana Shooting Sports Association Thinks? (2008)

While Gary Marbut and his gun fantasies have been the subject of many posts here, one of the best came back in 2008, when I made the most sensible observation about Marbut, that he should just be ignored: “the ubiquitous coverage that Marbut receives gives the mistaken impression that he speaks for many Montanans. It turns out that he seems to really only speak for a few Washington lobbyists and members of the media. They might be easy to look up in the Rolodex when writing a story about gun rights, but Montana journalists would be much better served ignoring this unimportant partisan hack in the future.”

7. Jon Tester: The Best Choice on Tuesday (2006)

Shortly after we started the blog, the race to unseat Senator Conrad Burns took off in earnest, and this blog was one of a group of blogs, some since long gone, that enthusiastically supported the farmer from Big Sandy. While a great deal of blogging is necessarily critical, even cynical, I still look back fondly on our early, enthusiastic support of Senator Tester.

6. Should the Montana Meth Project Receive State Funding in Difficult Financial Times? (2009)

While I have written a great deal about my feelings about the Montana Meth Project, this relatively early post from 2009 was one of the first (and only) pieces to explore just how the Meth Project was spending taxpayer money.

5. A Sellout’s Manifesto Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Party (2011)

This post was certainly a hit with my friends at the 4and20blackbirds blog. In it, I tried to explain how a person who is more liberal than the Democratic Party tends to be would choose to still work within the party and support it. I’m not sure I convinced anyone, but it certainly helped me understand where I’ve gone.

4. Reject Charter Schools and the Knudsen-Laszloffy Agenda to Destroy Montana’s Public Schools (2015)

There were various incarnations of this post before 2015, but this one captures the reasons why Montana should not embrace the charter movement best. Despite excellent results from our public schools, Montana Republicans seem hellbent on bringing these unconstitutional engines of racial and economic segregation to Montana.

3. Common Instruction is Uncommonly Bad for Our Students (2014)

I haven’t written enough about education over the years, but one of my real passions is preserving academic freedom for teachers, and this piece explored the impact of policies designed to mandate “common” instruction: “To reduce that individualized instruction, that human connection, those occasionally transcendent heights, all for the sake of mandated conformity will be a tragedy for people who have committed their lives to being educators, and, far worse, even more tragic for the students who will lose so much.”

2. A Challenge to the Montana Media To Thunder Against Ryan Zinke’s “Serious,” “Reprehensible” “Act of Deception” (2012-2014)

Among the reasons I may never give up this blog is my quixotic belief that if I write often enough about how Ryan Zinke not only outed Navy SEAL Team Six following the bin Laden raid, but then had the unmitigated gall to condemn others for it, that someone might just cover it.

1. Montana Cannot Afford Senator Rehberg: 40 Reasons He’d Be A Disaster (2012)

While there were dozens of posts about the Senator for the Saginaw Chippewas, Conrad Burns, where would this site have been without the subdivision-ranching, Kazakh-insulting, Tune Inn-sleeping, firefighter-suing, Popeye’s Chicken-slinging, Pell-Grant hating, racist invective-spewing, lobbyist-loving Congressman from Billings,Dennis Rehberg?


While my horrible Photoshop/iMovie skills have occasionally been on display, these are some of my favorite quality works:


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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  • It’s gotta be kinda painful to have logic shove UP your “creation museum” repeatedly, RIGHT mr. giantfarte? But hey, maybe you kinda LIKE that sorta thing!

    • Good to see the Cow Turd site is finally saying what I’ve been saying for a long, loooong time now when no one else would. Better late than never. You see, the inbred bigoted racist arsehooles moving here have every right to try to re-make Montana into whatever kind of racist, bigoted, inbred homeland they want to. But WE have just as much right to say that you can take your racist, bigoted, inbred, ingnernt arses right back down south where they belong! For you see, we don’t cotton to racist arsehooles here much! I for one don’t see anything wrong with that! Their hate is NOT our heritage. And their vision for Montana is NOT our vision. The sooner they understand this the better. The Gen. Robert E. Skees and Pastord Chucky “cheesey” Bulbdims need to be run outta town, for they don’t belong here!
      p.s. Sad, so sad that the Cowturd site will not allow me to post any longer. The inbreds have gone unchallenged over there for FAR too long.

      • Don’t feel bad, Larry. In my apparently not-so-humble opinion, you’re in good company. I got banned for pointing out that a guest author was substituting Ad Hominems for actual reason. That was obviously argumentative (No duh!) and intemperate. Or so says the Justice of Mt. Temperance. But call someone a “retard”, and there’s not a peep from our good overlord or overlady.

        • You spent more years harassing LK than any other commenter on Cowgirl, and now you think you’re his good company? Gaffaw LOL, LMAO. I also love how you put words in my mouth and then started arguing with the moderator. MT Temperance? LOL GAffaw LMAO. of course you got banned.

          All I said was some things are too deep for you. I would never use the terms you said I did. I’d have found it demeaning to equate you, to my truly lovely mentally challenged friends and beneath their stature as caring human beings.

          Knowing you….You probably continued ranting after the ban?

  • You’ve heard of duck dynasty. Well, meet DARK Dynasty! Lynch me for the Lord! This is one crazy assed darky! He’s ready to take a rope for Jeezus rather than have some homo take one up the you know what! Put a rope on him bee FORE you put a ring on a homo! Why wait for the rapture when the inbreds from the south will rapture you with a rope???? What a noble, noble sentiment. Return to slavery and lynching to please Jeezus! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    Works for me!

  • Noooooooooo! Please don’t say that you’re from Montana?! Tell them where you’re REALLY from, inbreds! We’ve opened the floodgates for all the inbreds from around the country to move here! And they’re comin’! If you build it, a white, inbred homeland that is, they will come! We’re open for bidness, the INBRED bidness! We may even have to put a tiny little dixie swastika on our Montana flag AFTER all just outta respect for our large inbred population!

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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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