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Son of ICYMI

Lots of meth news in the last few days. Use of this nastiest of drugs is on the increase despite an anti-meth campaign costing millions of dollars.

The Billings Gazette quotes Police Chief Rich St. John on the near record number of murders in the Magic City, “There’s a common denominator, and it’s usually methamphetamine.” Meth-related crime is up in Missoula, too, according to KECI-TV.

Last Best News, Reptile Dysfunction and the Missoula Independent are asking the question, could the Montana Meth Project money be better spent?

Speaking of Last Best News, and drugs, former Great Falls Tribune reporter John Adams has a post up about a doctor facing drug charges who used to work at the Montana State Hospital. Mark Jay Catalanello was also, at one time, the medical director at Montana Chemical Dependency Center. Adams’ story chronicles a history of suspended licenses and brushes with the law. It’s an interesting story but equally interesting, to me anyway, is Adams’ byline at LBN. I’m not sure what the arrangement is because he has his own news blog, Montana Free Press, but between Adams, founder Ed Kemmick and recent addition David Crisp, Last Best News could be making the traditional Montana dailies a little nervous.

And speaking of journalism, Moyers and Company has a rather depressing article on veteran journalists. The subhead gives a brief description: “As newsrooms disappear, veteran older reporters are being forced from the profession. That’s bad for journalism — and democracy.” Through interviews and observations, Dale Maharidge writes about the “seismic shift” in that profession.

Colstrip workers are in the midst of a seismic shift, too, if stories out of Oregon and Washington are any indication. Legislatures in both states are passing bills designed to take coal out of their respective energy portfolios, reports MTN news. Oregon and Washington get much of their coal fired electricity from Colstrip Units 1,2,3 and 4. Union, business and government leaders are playing ostrich instead of moving forward on a plan to mitigate the loss of jobs and tax base at Colstrip. This reality does not bode well for the workers or the community.

Candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte, is also having some reality issues. State senator and former economics professor, Dick Barrett, writes that Gianforte is having difficulty grasping how the state budget, and Montana’s Constitution, actually work. Barrett concludes with:

Gianforte’s taxing and spending plans don’t pencil out, but you shouldn’t let that worry you too much. Because even though Gianforte doesn’t seem to know it, the state constitution requires the budget to be balanced. So his plan is simply unworkable. There’s some comfort in that, although it’s alarming to think that there is a candidate out there who doesn’t seem to know or care that he is pitching a plan that can never get off the ground.



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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  • Last Best News. Yup. I know all three of them guys, Ed, David, and Adams. Great journalists all. And you’re right. They’re are the BEST online newspaper in the state right now. Bar none! They’ve paid their dues, and now, they’re gonna pay back to a state they love! I mean, what the hell do they have to lose, right? They AIN’T out to please the corporate fascists!

    But they need a few bucks to keep going. I’ll do what I can, but I sincerely hope that every thinking person in the state does the same. I plan to take the money I give the GF Spitoon and send it to Billings. These guys are truly the best, the best HOPE we have for real news! I would encourage others to do the same! Did I mention that they’re also fearless? The LOVE mixing it up with the bad guys. And I kinda like that!

    p.s. Read them. And then, drop them an e-mail and let them know you appreciate them. I just did. And they were even happy to hear from a curmudgeonly old fart like myself.

    Larry Kralj

  • I am not surprised that meth use has increased, especially in Billings. It is the closest big city to the oilfields which have experienced a bust after a boom.

    Pain is pain, and where there is economic pain there is psychological pain. And when there is pain there will be the desire diminish it. Nothing compares to the rush of dopamine from meth, especially if ones (dopamine et. al.) reserves are depressingly low.


  • DAMN you, O’Bama! It’s your fault again! I TOLD you that Fat Toni was in the saddle when he departed this old world. But what I DIDN’T know was that O’Bama put Fat Toni UP to it! Yes, the prez hired a special hooker to do the dirty deed, and whilst ridin’ the Fat Toni baloney, well, it was just too much for his 79 yr. old heart! And it gave out! I mean, how devious can you get?!

    And the ReePubes are right. I mean, how can Fat Toni ever be replaced? Just how many 79 yr. old horndog judges with the right skill and experience ARE there out there?! My respect for Fat Toni just went up immensely. He died with his boot on!………….and not much else!

  • Wow, limp lizard. Was there a point in all that? But hey, grand wizard lizard, what is YOUR solution to the meth problem? Ya got one, right, one that is just waiting to be implemented by doo doo gooders! With money!

    The collapse of society in general is multi-faceted, and I contend irreversible! Meth is simply a symptom. That’s all. Inbreds having inbreds begets even MORE inbreds! Until we’re overwhelmed! And for society to attempt to deal with it all is impossible! Couple that with all the problem folks with lots of problems and their inbred problem kids moving to Montana, and it seems pretty hopeless. Where would YOU begin, oh mighty whizzer lizzer?! Ain’t enough social services ANY where to handle all this stuff.

    Race to the bottom. Only answer there is. Sounds cruel, the unfortunately, that’s the hard TRVTH!

    • to deal with a problem the first step is to acknowledge you have one. the media is reporting that Montana has a meth problem, which is a good first step. the point you seem to have missed is my concern that a political campaign running on the claim Montana is doing great because we have a rainy day fund and low unemployment won’t readily admit that communities across the state are dealing with terrible consequences from meth specifically and addiction generally, especially when a failed effort to reduce meth abuse has direct ties to the Governor’s office.

      as for solutions, yes, there are solutions, but increasing access to treatment won’t just magically happen. that’s why Missoula officials are looking east, to what Billings is doing, and west, to what Spokane is doing.

      I hope you read this comment early enough in the day before the booze sets in and you fire off another dozen worthless comments.

      • OK, I get it. One looked east, and one looked west, and we flew over the CUCKOO’S nest! (probably my favorite movie and book)

        Problem is, lizard, there is NO cure for meth! I’ve known personally lots of folks on meth, and they just don’t want to get off! I’ve only known one guy who seems to have been successful. Meth is bad, bad stuff. First, you’ve got to want to get off it, and second, they don’t Apparently it’s a fantastic high from what I’m told. All the treatment in the world ain’t gonna change that.

        And at SOME point in this society, the responsibility has to rest with the individual and the choices they make. Hell, I’ve seen terrible results from meth. Many fine, decent, upstanding people I know have kids who either got into meth or their spouses did. Now, they all have tons of screwed up grandkids whom society will somehow have to pay for for the rest of their lives. THAT is why I say that there is no end to it. And I’m dead serious.

        The problem grows exponentially. Think I’m kidding? Ask anyone in education. It’s ugly out there. I foresee a day when NO ONE will want to work with these meth kids, for it’s simply not worth it.

        And anthropologists will readily tell you that we are actually creating a sub species of human beings. And that is NOT a good thing! Take a look at Calcutta if you want to see what America will be in fifty years. Kids so malnourished from lack of protein when young that they are basically retarded. Scientists refer to them as brain wipes, for their intellects never fully develop.

        Now, have many meth kids are we willing to support? I know one girl that already has six! Ready to pony up, Liz?

        • Oops. Should be “how” many meth kids you willing to support? And how many are you obligated to support? Every taxpayer needs to ask themselves that. I say after one or two, you’re on your OWN, meth mama! And I a hater for that?

        • I might be cynical, but I’m not an aging defeatist like you appear to be Larry. I shudder to think what your generation is going to be like in a few more years, as you really get old. there is hell waiting for you in a Goodman group nursing home to be sure. us younger folks would like to help you out, but that mountain of debt and service industry job just doesn’t leave one with a lot of money and energy to deal with grumpy old timers yammering incoherently about the good ol’ days.

          • I truly wish I were simply a defeatist, Whizzer, I truly do. But sadly, I think I’m a realist. And yet you ask me why I drink! Seriously? You don’t know? Of course not. How could you?

            “You’re still young, that’s your fault, you’ve so much yet to go through.”

            You fault the pain of having watched your country turn to sh*t! When they murdered the Kennedy’s and committed a coup, it was all over for America. Our hope died. Been downhill ever since. Unless your my age, you can’t really comprehend. (fully that is)

            And the amazing thing is that the criminals who did it are still around! Bush family, Kockh brothers, and their accomplices, etc. Try looking at these people on a daily basis! (without drinking!)

            And the evil they committed in the name of our country will some day have to be atoned for! Here, here’s a poem idea for you. Where does all that suffering go? Gotta go somewhere, right?

            It didn’t have to be this way.


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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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