Timber & Dumb and Dumber

Yep the timber barons are closing up mills in Montana again and blaming it on the dirty rotten “gubmint” and those damn tree hugging hippies for choking off the timber supply. Really?!?! Or is Weyerhaeuser just consolidating its hold on the industry by ensuring that Montana timber gets processed in Washington mills.

Not according to Senator Daines and Congressman Zinke. Dumb and Dumber are all in for selling Montana’s public lands so they can once again bring back good paying jobs to Montana. Both ignore the fact that Senator Tester wrestled with a recalcitrant congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, in a futile attempt to get his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act passed and failed. Tester’s bill while not perfect presented the best opportunity to pump life into an industry that has been on life support since the 1980s.

Since a cold glass of water and an original thought could possibly kill him, Senator Daines “borrowed” Tester’s idea claiming in his 2014 election bid for former Senator Max Baucus’ seat that he was going to submit a jobs bill to boost the flagging timber industry of Montana. Two years later, how’s that going for the people of western Montana?!? Now the Weyerhaeuser bombshell lands on the community of Columbia Falls in a county known for electing rabid anti-government state legislators intent on dismantling a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Now Dumb and Dumber are both blaming the closure on misguided activists who are operating beyond the pale and government regulation. The sad thing is that their sound bytes along with the company line will sell well with the voters of northwest Montana who have felt like they have been on the losing end for the last thirty years. By now they are well trained and the voters in the surrounding area will go to the polls in November and vote for the very same political party that has held them enthralled for the last three decades.

Meanwhile, the smokescreen put up by the United States of Corporate America is functioning at an impressive level, while Senator Daines and Congressman Zinke earn their corporate sponsorship with empty promises and scripted words of outrage.

Rowan – “Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.” T-Bone Slim

A rising tide lifts all boats but what if you’re in a dinghy?

 This is a stock phrase that a number of labor unions use but not many say anything about the size of the boat.  While it’s true a rising tide lifts all boats what happens when the boat isn’t equipped to handle a bigger tide?  For a number of years beginning with the New Deal under Roosevelt through the Great Society of Johnson, the goal was to not only raise everyone but also provide a safe harbor for those who found themselves confined to a dinghy and in danger of being swamped.  Currently we seem to have lost our political way and as such surrendered the governance of our nation and state to those who are essentially one trick ponies who come with an agenda that has little if anything to do with actually running government for the benefit of the people.
Instead of simply adopting cookie-cutter legislation it’s time for each statehouse to take a long hard look at where their state is; its strengths and weaknesses; its goals and long term objectives.  This is something that the far-right has figured out after a fashion but they have also fallen victim to organizations like the Montana Family Foundation, American Tradition Partnerships, and ALEC who without regard to a state’s history and culture pass out boiler-plate legislation like Meth at a schoolyard spawning a generation of right-wing legislators waiting for their legislation fix.  In the meantime, the far left seems caught up with the minutia of social justice falling prey to the latest social issue trending on Facebook or Twitter such as the LGBTQ community and their right to take care of their bodily functions in the public restroom of their choice when quite frankly no one cares except those on the fringes.
Both sides have failed to grasp that while exciting the fringes of their respective parties’justice-louis-brandeis might spark an impressive orgasm, the hyper-sensitivity they create is unsustainable.    It’s time for the states to get back to the business of legislating for their constituents independent of the national political scene.  Justice Louis Brandeis took the oath for Supreme Court Justice 100 years ago firmly convinced that the best laws and therefor the best legislation started at the state level where legislatures could formulate laws, amend, or repeal legislation that best served the populace.  He was a staunch advocate for the intelligence of the people and their ability to find the best way to govern.  As such, he supported a number of the New Deal programs implemented during the Roosevelt administration but opposed those pieces that threatened the sovereignty of the people cautioning the president to send his acolytes to the states to do their work among the people because after all this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It’s time for the “people” to shake off the spectacle of fringe politics and work on building a better boat.
“Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.” T-Bone Slim