1.29.2006

Railroading?

Notes from the Polejewski Persecution:

January 28, 2006, Pam Polejewski enters into plea agreement.
Animal abuse case ends in $3,000 fine
Thought this an interesting fact:
Polejewski bought land at 77 Wexford Lane in 1998 to create a no-kill animal refuge. But her good intentions clashed with neighbors who repeatedly asked the county to help control the noise from the barking dogs.

map to 77 Wexford Lane (click map)
overview of the area (click satelite)

Have to admit I'm a bit disappointed. Had hoped she'd take it to a jury and the truth would get out. Because I want to know what the truth is! Even if I have to go out and interview all these people to figure out what happened here. That smell from the westside ain't just the sewage treatment plant.

I've been wondering about these mysterious neighbors who started this ruckus. I did a property search for the area of Polejewski's property, but no neighbors show up....
(Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't there somewhere, with the goofy addressing that goes on in rural areas.)

A most intriguing result of googling either the county attorneys or Pam Polejewski, was that the first returns were action alert pages from
PETA and Pet-Abuse.com, with all their sanctimonious rot about Pam's 'compulsive hoarding', and urging 'activists' to contact
Steve Bolstad,
Deputy County AttorneyOffice
of the Cascade County Attorney
121 Fourth St. N., Ste. 1A
Great Falls, MT 59401
406-454-6949 (fax)

Hmmmmm, is it any wonder ol' Steve had this to say?:
Deputy County Attorney Steve Bolstad said that in the past five months, he's heard from people around the world concerned that Polejewski was an animal hoarder.

...cause PETA told them so. And so it is.

Nice to know the rest of the world decides the truth in our town.
Oh, and I'll be sure to watch the careers of the intrepid prosecutors who took down Pam Polejewski:
Steve Bolstad, Deputy County Attorney
Greg Bonilla, Deputy Civil Attorney

Heros of the day are they.

1.22.2006

The New Carpet-Baggers?

Re: A GF Trib front page feature titled, Disaster jobs emerging as a gold mine for Blackfeet

Despite beginning with a lead that should make ya cringe:
After making good money this summer as a wildland firefighter, Jeffrey Skunkcap expected to stay home this winter and collect unemployment.
...the article goes on to describe how the whole Reservation came together to supply and train workers for FEMA jobs. Laudable and encouraging. But it begs the question: why can't the reservation do anything similar in the way of jobs on its own Reservation? Oh, that's right. Because training and jobs must be provided by the feds, with taxpayer money.

Pardon me, but the sense of irony is overwhelming. We see weekly news articles decrying the disasters of Reservation life, usually including insistence that more state or federal government money is needed. Yet, if Miller's article is accurate, the Native Americans on the Rez have plenty of talent and energy, and tribal leaders are willing to divert funds to training when necessary.

Perhaps the stagnancy on the Reservation has more to do with this tunnel vision for tax dollars, or a culture of entitlement to other people's money, or maybe the tolerance of corruption (and
backlash against those who expose it)? Naaaww...it's those racist bastiches who question Native Americans' self-righteous dependency. And dare to believe Indians competent enough to follow the same rules as the rest of Americans.

Then again, the workers exported from Browning to the southern disaster areas may come back and realize they can change things for the better. They might demand a bit more accountability from their tribal leaders. One or two might get the entrepreneurial bug and open a consulting firm that trains, tracks, and supplies workers for future fire and disaster work...Disasters-R-Us, maybe?

Oh, my. These new-found opportunities could have dire consequences for the Democrats and their Native American mascots. Reservation residents who discover they are capable and competent--and in high demand for tough jobs--might even want to give up that so-called culture (welfare, chronic unemployment, government dependence) for the possibilities now available to them.

Now that would be a revolution worth watching.

Old news...

...but relevant in light of recent Schweitzer moves to establish a civil rights council and global warming panel. Did you notice how none of the news reports included information on whether these advisory groups are volunteer, and, if not, who pays for these meddlers?

The people may never know, because the old news is that Kaiser Schweitzer line-item vetoed the spending accountability requirements for the Governor's office in HB2, the Legislature's appropriations bill. In direct violation of Montana's Constitution, he used his line-item veto power, yet signed the bill into law.

In his
notice to the House (page 6, para. 2), he claimed authority for the line-item veto in Article VI, sec 10(5), dismissing the accountability requirements as unconstitutional. Unless the Montana Constitution was recently amended (like during the last Legislative Session), Schweitzer's statement is incorrect. As usual, the Kaiser makes it up as he goes along.

Yes, Article VI, sec 10(5) states "the procedure shall be the same as upon veto of an entire bill," which, according to Article VI, sec 10(3&4), is that the bill returns to the Legislature for approval or override. The Kaiser simply ignored this procedure and declared HB2 passed as edited.

Kaiser Schweitzer reasoned that he had no accountability to the Legislature for spending of funds appropriated to his office. If this is the case, then the people need to make it clear to the Legislature that all funding to the Executive branch should be cut until he can find the time to justify his needs to the people.

Of all our legislators, only John Cobb (R-Augusta) seems acquainted with our Constitution. He was the only member to cry foul over the line-item veto. His response--to take it to the courts--strikes me as lame, but the deafening silence from legislators across the board in this obvious power grab indicates no will in Helena to hold Schweitzer responsible.

Maybe you can find the loophole that the Kaiser thinks exists...
click here for full text:

Relevant sections of Article VI:
(3) If after receipt of a veto message, two-thirds of the members of each house present approve the bill, it shall become law.
(4) (a) If the legislature is not in session when the governor vetoes a bill approved by two-thirds of the members present, he shall return the bill with his reasons therefor to the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall poll the members of the legislature by mail and shall send each member a copy of the governor's veto message. If two-thirds or more of the members of each house vote to override the veto, the bill shall become law.
(b) The legislature may reconvene as provided by law to reconsider any bill vetoed by the governor when the legislature is not in session.
(5) The governor may veto items in appropriation bills, and in such instances the procedure shall be the same as upon veto of an entire bill

1.18.2006

Baucus-isms

In this story about how Baucus won't support Alito's confirmation, the elder statesman rather lamely regurgitates the Kennedy/Shumer/Biden smears. Max is ever the proud toady for the asses of the east.

On the plus side, Maxie inadvertently gave the Republicans a great bumper sticker for 2008:
"He's just not right for Montana, he's just not right for America."
Yup, that about sums up Baucus, even in flannel.

Also, it's amusing that Baucus, in India, calls outsourcing a ‘fact of life’--let your union friends know that Baucus's astute defense of outsourcing of American jobs is "...the world is flat...".

Oh, and I'm still waiting for the media investigation of Baucus' favors for tribes/Abramoff, or even a bit of indignation over Max's fundraisers at Abramoff's restaurant, as noted by the Western Word.
The silence is deafening.

I know I would...

Headline:
Face transplant patient uses new lips to smoke

1.12.2006

Of desks & despots?

So the Trib thinks John Lawton, dauntless City Manager, deserves a front page feature to defend the purchase of his new $5,500 desk. $5,500. That's just the desk. Think about that as you pay your property tax. Please.

GeeGuy
did a little research & had some spot-on comments to offer, plus "masked & anonymous" added some hilarious observations & a bit of history, readily available & completely ignored by Icky Ecke, toady journalist.

Once again, the important fact in this article, buried in paragraph 13, is that only one bid was received for the office furniture replacement. This isn't the first time we've seen a dearth of bids on city contracts (and, as in the case of the sewage treatment plant, often we hear complaints from bidders that the city staff stymied bids). If Ecke was a reporter worth a darn, you'd think he'd notice this trend in city purchases. He could be asking questions like: Why does the city have such a tough time getting bids? Or, How, exactly, does a business find out about opportunities to bid?

I'm sure many taxpayers are curious about the bidding process--especially after paying $7,000 for Lawton's spiffy new ensemble. I'm sure many businesses in town would love the opportunity to bid on a contract guaranteed by the taxpayer, if they just knew about them. Inquiring minds want to know.

Nope, Ecke ignores the real story & prefers to be 'information minister' for city staff. Yes, to his credit, he throws in a few dissenting comments, but note that he didn't even do the basic research that GeeGuy did.

I find it harder & harder to take the Trib seriously, especially when it's evident they're more than a bit lazy, as well as blithely oblivious to the values of this community. The editors & 'journalists' always seem so surprised to meet resistance to grand ideas (or disinterest in fabulous events) cooked up by the city's enterprising staff & its elitist cheerleaders.

Even when they do realize an issue is controversial, they tend to omit/redefine details that would explain citizen irritation. Worse, when they're called on it, the hackles come up & self-righteous denouncements follow...remind you of any politicians you know? But the Trib's most annoying habit is substituting quotes for facts; guess it's too much effort to do a little research, especially when you've got a rolodex full of spluttering liberal activists & know-it-alls--and an unhealthy attachment to your own self-importance.


Incompetence? Laziness? Or just clueless?
You decide


1.10.2006

Sanctimony

The case of Pamela Polejewski has really bothered me.
She's the lady who operated a refuge of sorts west of town for unwanted animals, only to be arrested & charged with animal abuse after neighbor complaints. (She's also charged with assault on a police officer who went after her own dogs.) Incidentally, I do not know Ms Polejewski, but news accounts didn't reveal any horrific, intentional abuse or neglect. It appears she struggled to care for the animals, but simply was overwhelmed.

I have one question for the folks clamoring to adopt one of her animals: where the hell were you before this became the Trib's Latest Great Crusade?

Also, I'd like to ask Ms Polejewski's charming neighbors: if you truly were concerned about the animals, what exactly did you do to help her handle the burden? Or were you merely focused on the nuisance, on nurturing resentment and anger toward your neighbor?

No one claims Ms Polejewski was some kind of crazy old coot who wasn't trying to deal with the problem--just that her efforts weren't acceptable. It seems to me that, if this were truly a community which cared--about people or about saving animals--someone could've helped Ms. Polejewski by organizing fundraisers or donating supplies. Instead, her neighbors joined together and...called the cops! So typical of this community.

I can't help but wonder what might have been, if only the media had turned its attention to championing Ms Polejewski's efforts and rallying the community to lend a hand. Instead, we got the usual peevishness and sanctimony, followed by a 'crisis' requiring government intervention.


Yep, Cascade County taxpayers now get to fork over $250K to pay for the animals' care, the media can run dog updates ad nauseum, PETA can denounce 'animal-hoarding,' and volunteers can demonstrate their compassion by rushing to care for the seized animals. And we all can feel so superior to Ms Polejewski.
NOT.

Made me laugh...

panhandlers:

1.03.2006

Re: Waaahndy Gray's parting shot

Ex-Mayor Randy Gray couldn't go quietly into that good night; he felt the need to blame & complain in a nearly full-page opinion piece in the (as usual) most accommodating Tribune. Of course, the Trib didn't post his screed online, but intrepid Alan posted it here.

GeeGuy had plenty to say. David also posted a few thoughts. Their posts and the comments are right on target, and I won't rehash too many of my comments here, except to reiterate my observation that he blamed his defeat on those eeevil gambling folks who supposedly put together a "coalition" to oppose him. Interesting to note that the groups he considers out to get him cross both partisan and economic lines. Ya gotta laugh at his clear understanding that so many people, all over town, were upset by Commission decisions, yet his conclusion is that we just don't appreciate great leadership. Nothing like a liberal visionary to be so stuck on stupid.

I do believe Gray's been quite an inspiration to the resistance in this town; folks who were apolitical are getting informed and involved. The winds of change might just be blowing.

Thank you, Alan!

1.01.2006

Some headlines this last week

from around the State...
1-1
*sigh* if only this were Great Falls' top story:
from Helena -
City’s exponential growth top 2005 story

12-31
Another businessman fights city obstinence:
Company sues city over soccer park bills

"A Billings contractor who worked on the Great Falls Youth Soccer Park is suing, claiming the city owes him more than $400,000."

Of course, the Trib avoids a couple of facts, like just why the work was delayed and how much more we're expected to fork over for this essential 'economic stimulus.' Can anybody give us the facts?

12-30
File under What Property Rights?:
Cabin builder learns access road is illegal

File under Why Businesses Bypass Montana:
Business groups, ranchers not pleased with MT tax rule change

Same old tired rhetoric from the same old stooges of the Democrat Party:
AFL-CIO criticizes votes by Burns, Rehberg

12-29
Brace yourself for the onslaught:
Senate Democrats target seven states in 2006

12-28
Heads up for property owners:
BLM begins review of split-estate issues around the Rockies

Not from our state, but an interesting photo:
click for full view
from the Art and Style Fashion show in Havana, Cuba.
begs the caption: The fashion that results when all you've got to work with are discarded beer cans


12-27
Proving there's a future in a 'dead-end job', she's living the dream:
After working a decade at McDonald's, Missoula woman now owns four

(in case you missed it)
Proof that the Montana media have done a woeful job of explaining this scheme:
62 percent favor public power

Propaganda works! $702 mil this year is just not enough:
State must do more for schools, poll says

12-26
Oh, my! What a radical concept!
opinion from Missoula -
Spending is a legislative decision


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