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Commenting Policy

We love having people comment on the site. The authors who write here generally and genuinely believe that debate and argumentation are indispensable when it comes to discovering truth.

Disagreement doesn’t have to be unpleasant and it doesn’t have to be personal. The closer comments adhere to the idea that arguments are best focused on principles than people, the better off we’ll all be.

We reserve the right to delete or edit comments that are offensive, rude, attacking, personal, or just plain inappropriate. I’m also quite willing to delete comments that are off-topic, self-promoting, or just annoying. Lately, my tolerance for non-sequitur seems to be diminishing. Must be my age showing. If you are sock-puppeting, expect to have your comments removed and your IP banned.

Anonymous comments will be subject to more stringent moderation because those who comment under pseudonyms face none of the risks to reputation and credibility faced by those who post using their own names. Don’t expect a personal attack to stay up under a pseudonym if I see it.

That doesn’t mean anonymous comments aren’t welcome here. There are a lot of legitimate reasons for anonymity, but personal attacks aren’t a legitimate reason.

It’s quite likely that any moderation will seem arbitrary and inconsistent, especially if it’s your comment being moderated. We’ll do our best to be consistent and fair, but there are no guarantees.

We’re also not responsible for comments left by others. It’s quite possible that none of us will even see an offensive comment. If something some has written offends you, please use the “report” function or e-mail Don directly. Most weekdays between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. though, you’ll just have to wait. All comments are moderated by Akismet initially and it may decide your comment is spam. If it does, there’s little I can do until I review the spam queue after school. If a comment seems to be lost there, please let me know.

Please try to stay on topic. You can question the premise of a post, argue its merits, or contend that it’s false. A post, however, is not a platform from which you can write anything. Have something interesting to say that’s not related to the post/topic? Get your own blog. They’re free.

In the end, you may find our comment moderation inadequate or oppressive. That’s what’s wonderful about the Internet. There are literally dozens of other sites out there and we urge you to explore them.

Thanks for reading.

39 Comments

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  • I’ve never been to your website before.  As a conservative first, and a republican 2nd, I find it interesting that you take republican candidates to task for ‘supposed’ hidden agendas and flip flopping.  I understand that all of our opinions, political or otherwise evolve as our life experiences and knowledge increase with age.  Any candidate that changes opinions regularly for political convenience is just a politician and not worthy of our vote.  If you believe as it says above, that you value debate, I think it would only be fair that you state your political leanings and party affiliation on your home page so that readers might understand your articles are biased by left leaning opinions. 
         I see many hidden agendas with Democrat candidates, just like your assessment of Republican candidates. One of many examples would be:  Campaigning as pro-gun rights,    but becoming anti-gun after election day, by supporting all manner of restrictive legislation that effects limits on ammo, who can own guns, burdensome registration requirements, etc.  Since ‘Fairness’ seems to be a focal point for the left, it seems you could also run articles that are just as critical of Democrat candidates as Republicans. 
         I respect any Democrat/Liberal who is honest about their beliefs and agenda, and is willing to debate and defend their views on how things should be.  I am an unabashed conservative, and I don’t like stealth politics from the left OR the right.  I disagree with James Carville, but I like him a lot for how he represents himself and is upfront about his views and opinions.  Unfortunately the real world doesn’t work that way, and probably your articles will not be affected by my wish list.  However, I continue to evaluate EVERY candidate on whether or not he believes what he says, or is just saying what he needs to, to be elected. 
         God Bless America and the American Dream!      M. Peters,  Bozeman, MT

  • I just want to tell you that you’re a better man than I am, actually giving civil answers to total assholes who don’t deserve your time or energy. Thanks!
    Here’s a question I forgot to ask earlier:
    I signed up for two tickets a couple days ago. How do I get them?Thanks.
    Dan

  • Boy what a vicious little “bitch” you are. And all those ridiculous protestations of being fair and only wanting reasonable debate. You are deluding yourself and the people you smear.

    • I don’t understand the use of quotation marks in your comment. The rest represents the hate-filled mindset of contemporary conservatism, but get a handle on grammar and usage. That’s the least you can do.

      • Yeah, Don. You should probably cross it out with a red pen and write “NO” or “ALL BAD” next to it as you would to one of your students.

    • yu r completely rite Mr. Johnson. and Mr. Pogreba dosnt answr your main point but insults you gramr. and lumps all “contemporary conservatives” as “hate-filled”.

      golly Mr. Pogreba I am so surprised you are not adhering to your own policy above,

      “Disagreement doesn’t have to be unpleasant and it doesn’t have to be personal. The closer comments adhere to the idea that arguments are best focused on principles than people, the better off we’ll all be.”

      so where in your answer to Mr. Johnson that is it not personal? It is all personal. you are not a writer of any worth when the first thng u do is violate yur own policies. u r quite brilliant in ur own mind aren’t u. I enjoy ur last comment rules above,”In the end, you may find our comment moderation inadequate or oppressive.” this just exudes integrity of such an unbiased writer. lol

      and I feel so bad about my poor use of grmmr since I know it offends u soooooooo much.

  • I am a Montanan – left the state at 18 (like so many youngsters..). Found your site recently. Great liberal discussions. I turn to it daily. Glad to see that you and your contributors are alive and well…in this age of extreme political division.

    Montana is a state that is politically divided by geography: The Rockies – unions, hard hat workers, tourism, etc… and The Plains – people tied to the land, sunburned arms, battered Stetsons, poking cows past 70 years of age… raised conservative – will die conservative.

    I do respect both sides, and realize that panic and the shifting tectonics of the modern world have a lot to do with opinions and beliefs. Some people adapt; others don’t.

    Keep up the good work.

    Pat Lueck (from Deer Lodge – aeons ago – and Bozeman..).. now in Minneapolis.

  • What a mess! The Democratic National Committee helping Trump Win – with the help of Russian Hackers?
    July 25, 2016
    |by
    Jim Olsen

    Probably the best article after a short search from Washington Post.

    I won’t rehash what is already all over the news. I will just say that the lack of Professionalism is appalling and the focus on money is part of root of this evil. Ego is the other part.

    Look at this quote from the LA Times:

    Obama praised Wasserman Schultz in a statement, saying that for eight years she has had his back.

    “Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth,” the statement said. “And no one works harder for her constituents in Congress.”

    The first words stay it all: “Her fundraising…”

    How much of this gets down to the Montana State Party and local party should be our question. It needs to be seen as an object lesson, in my opinion:

    The party needs to be about ideas – not money.

    The party needs to figure out how to deal with critiques and outsiders.

    We used to run large proposals involving anywhere from a dozen to 200 people providing inputs at the same time. The defined process was to put whatever you wrote on a wall and let everyone put sticky notes critiquing it on the proposal team – then an outside “red team” would show up who would tell you where you went wrong as you stood in front of the panel.

    This process, when done well, actually leads to a winning proposals. But, pasted over the door of the proposal room was:

    “Leave your ego at the door.”

    I see in this story a lot of ego-driven comments. While it is “fun” at the time, I believe it is not useful.

    I would suggest a definition of Professionalism: Focus on the mission, obey the rules of fairness. Internal discussions and deeds not driven by emotion but by an honest, rational assessment, taking into account inputs from people you may not be fond of what is needed to accomplish the goals of the organization – even under pressure.

    My opinion of how the party should see Bernie Sanders:

    “Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.” Dhammapada Verse 76 – Attributed to the Buddha.

  • Just discovered your blog today. Looking for places to post that today Senator Daines joined with Mitch McConnell to shut down Elizabeth Warren during the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions.
    Daines is turning out to be as bad as McConnell. (Daines was chairing the hearing.)

  • I would like to help you become our next legislator. I would like to have signs for my neighborhood & brochures to hand out. Anything that can help us in Montana and the entire U.S.

  • I live in Massachusetts and I am appalled at the assault and battery on the reporter in you state. very sad day for America. I teach my four year old not to hit people. freedom of the press is protected in the constitution, and necessary to protect our democracy, what is going on out there?

  • You obviously do NOT encourage civil debate and discourse. You are an intellectual and ethically challenged fraud. You are also a coward. Now, that is the first (and last) *attack* I’ve hurled your way. Really tired of self-serving neoliberals trying desperately to uphold the status quo through lies. Why are you afraid of supporting your position using the truth?

  • I am responding to Ron Pogreba’s endorsement of Rob Ferris Olson for HD 81. The post confused me somewhat, as much of it focused on criticism of Mary Caferro’s sponsorship of a bill to close the Montana Developmental Center (MDC). Does that mean that Mr. Ferris Olson was opposed to that action? As a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities, that concerns me. I believe that Ms. Caferro’s is the progressive position as it is consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities – including unnecessary institutionalization. This protection was something that President Obama’s Justice Department vigorously enforced throughout the country, which resulted in reforms so people with disabilities could receive their services in communities like everyone else. And yes, this litigation resulted in the closure of institutions like MDC.

    I want to be clear, that I’ve been a lifelong supporter of unions. As a public employee in the 1970s (assistant city-county reference librarian), I went on strike as a union member of a city employees strike for 5 weeks concerning city wages, which was not easy as the sole-income for a young family.

    However, it’s hard for me to see the discussion of this issue focus solely on the staff that worked at MDC or the community that it resides in, as Mr. Pogreba’s does. The people with disabilities who lived at MDC and continue to live there should be our greatest concern. Serving them with dignity and respect is what I thought was a progressive value. And frankly, since our Governor signed the bill to close MDC after it passed the legislature, I believe that he thinks this is a progressive value too.

    The institution has long struggled with abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. The Centers for Medicaid Services found it in immediate jeopardy 6 times in 8 years. The reasons were always because of the abuse and neglect of the people there. After a resident was raped at the facility, Mary Caferro could not stand by and allow this to continue. She was mercilessly attacked for wanting to change and improve the way the state provided these services to people with developmental disabilities. Her position was consistent with federal anti- discrimination law and the Obama administration’s strong values and actions across the country. Mary was on the right side of the issue, and as a Helena resident of HD 81 I will be proudly voting for her.

    • As a direct care worker I find Josh’s post extremely offensive. The point is the people and somebody who is willing to fight like hell to support them. Thanks for all you do Mary. We love you.

    • I think there are a couple of issues here. First, the MDC issue was only a portion of my endorsement of Rob. I am concerned by the fact that Mary Caferro so often voted against the Democratic Party–even on some very important issues. She was the lowest scoring Dem on almost every progressive scorecard in the last session. And that matters.

      As for MDC, the decision to close it was rushed and not well-thought out. I encourage you to go back and listen to the debate on the House floor, for instance, where advocates and opponents both defended the interests of people at the facility.

      And it’s Don. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  • The bill that Knokey sponsored would not financially benefit the non-profit AWARE in any way. It would be a direct drop down of money to the direct care workers. Which you would know if you read the bill and were not spitting Dog Progreba the unions puppets rhetoric. For you to bash that and tie it to Mary Caferro’s true agenda should make people question your “progressiveness”. When people with disabilities have consistent care from employees who are stable and consistent themselves, they do better! Pretty disgusting that you would pinpoint that as a flaw and red flag. Clearly you don’t care about the equality of wages and even more so the level of care people with disabilities receive. Mary is a champion of the people! Renewable energy for the people who are often overlooked. Her ability to work across the isle is one of her many great qualities. Go Mary go!

    • Sarah,

      I appreciate your passion, but your anger is a bit misplaced here. And the personal attacks don’t change the truth.

      For one thing, it’s odd that you mention renewable energy. As I pointed out in my post. Ms. Caferro actually voted against it–and the Democratic caucus–twice that session.

      I think it’s great that you’re passionate for your candidate, but let’s try to be civil.

  • As a direct care worker I find Josh’s post extremely offensive. The point is the people and somebody who is willing to fight like hell to support them. Thanks for all you do Mary. We love you.

  • I am so glad I found your website! In the middle of all the crazy political BS that the current administration keeps lobbing around, I feel like my head is spinning much of the time. I am so angry at the spineless GOP, and I feel helpless to do anything about it except sign petitions and show up at rallies and write letters to the editor. So much of the time, I can’t collect my thoughts enough to be as coherent as I would like to be.
    I appreciate your articles, as you say what I think so much better than I can! Keep up the good work.

    A question – do you ever submit your letters to the newspapers? If not, you should.

  • The beliefs of David Howard, Matt Rosendale, et al, aren’t the problem I see. The problem I see is the Montanans who share their beliefs and vote for them.

  • One of the most serious of all felonies was high treason, or treason against the King of England in the eighteenth-century. King George the third’s realm encompassed the American colonies. The first law of high treason dealt with thought crime.

    1. “When a man doth compass or imagine the death of our lord the king, of our lady his queen, or of their eldest son and heir”

    Blackstone, Wm., Knight. Chase, George, ed. Chase’s Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books. New York: Baker, Voorhis & Co., 1936. p586.
    _____________________________________________

    Since High Treason was, and arguably remains, the most serious capital crime, testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act was required to convict. The punishment in the Eighteenth century was severe. Blackstone states that “the punishment of high treason in general is very solemn and terrible”:

    1. That the offender be drawn to the gallows, and not be carried or walk: though usually (by connivance length ripened by humanity into law) a sledge or hurdle is allowed, to preserve the offender from the extreme torment of being dragged on the ground or pavement.
    2. That he be hanged by the neck and then cut down alive
    3. That his entrails be taken out and burned, while he is yet alive
    4. That his head be cut off
    5. That his body be divided in four parts
    6. That his head and quarters be at the king’s disposal
    _____________________________________________

    The garnering of testimony of two reliable witnesses for an indictment against any of the King’s enemies and his subjects for a crime of thought or imagination was incredulously preposterous and became the prime reason for rebellion and our battle for independence and representive democracy .

    The madness of England’s Monarchy use of thought police required the use of telepathy, clairvoyance or manipulative precognition skills of inner vision to see through walls, and to witness events taking place in future time.

    Since psychics are never completely 100% accurate, it is totally insane and innapropriate legal malpractice that our nation’s law enforcement agencies AKA legal authorities still utilize expensive and anonymous psychic detective services. This is totally inappropriate unconstitutional behavior and protocol for maintaining and preserving our rights and liberty in a modern and civilized representative democracy, but par for the course for a republic that leans towards fascism and monarchy.

  • Hello, I would like to invite one of your journalists to cover a film premier and panel discussion at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman on Sept. 22nd. The panel will address the Madison Food “Park” proposed in Great Falls and includes professor of Sociology and Criminology from Windsor University in Canada, Amy Fitzgerald. Missouri Farmer and executive director of SRAP Terry Spence. Upper Missouri WaterKeepers Executive Director Guy Alsentzer and Professor Lisa Kemmerer.

  • Wake up Montana Post: Steve Daines’ “inescapable daughter’s wedding” is cover for abstention . . . either he’s certain of Kavanaugh’s confirmation (possible) or pressure from Montanans is telling.

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