The Billings Outpost

More dirt needed?

Oh, the things we read or hear. In the Quarterly Medical Review, May 17 Outpost, it seems dirt may be good for you. We all know farmers and gardeners love playing in dirt and get some relaxation and health benefits from it.

In the early 1960s, several farmers had dairy cows, sold cream butter and sometimes milk to meet monthly expenses. Those who milked cows were immune to one of the poxes — either chicken or small — cannot remember which. They were exposed to cow pox in the hand milking process, producing an immunity. In the 1970s, “Organic Gardening” had articles against the processing of raw vegetables as they lose nutrients in cooking.

Heard on the radio recently, a study found children in Europe raised on farms had fewer allergies than their town neighbors. Another study found rice RNA in some Asian patients’ livers that attached itself to cancer cells.

Cows lick their noses to get bacteria that help the enzymes digest food in their stomach(s). In our sterile, germ-free environments, are we not creating more problems?

Babies need the bacteria in breast milk. We build up immunity by getting vaccinations or shots of virus, flu and all the childhood bugs. Yet, we can’t be exposed to nature’s enzymes, microbes, bacteria or germs.

I would love to get my hands on raw whole milk, real cream and raw fruits and vegetables.

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 23:14

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Obamacare working

I just received a rebate check in the mail. Why?

Because the 80/20 rule in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, requires that health insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on health care services. Since my insurance company spent only 77 percent in 2011, it must rebate 3 percent of its $26 million of collected premiums back to its customers. The headline for this pleasant surprise should be “Act Already Actually Acting!”

This 80/20 “Medical Loss Ratio” rule is one component of many in the health reform law that earns a high public approval rating. The more that people learn about this legislation, the higher the approval ratings go.  A friend just received a preventative care procedure at next to no cost. A neighbor’s daughter, a recent college graduate, can stay on her parents’ plan for a few more years. People with preexisting conditions cannot be turned away, and insurance companies cannot arbitrarily set upper limits on coverage. Millions of people are getting help with their prescription drug expenses. The list goes on.

Eight times as much money was spent demonizing the ACA than was spent promoting it. However, now that we are getting past “death panels,” “socialism,” and “unconstitutional” nonsense, the poll numbers are shifting dramatically. Dennis Rehberg’s claim that the ACA is a threat to Medicare is absurd! His claim is a ruse to deceive senior citizens. Indeed, if he and his ilk had their way, Medicare, Social Security, and every progressive advance of the past two centuries would be compromised – if not eliminated – along with the ACA.

The individual mandate aspect of the ACA was originally a conservative think-tank idea designed to promote personal responsibility. It is the centerpiece of Romneycare in Massachusetts. Now conservatives are railing against it as “a massive tax hike on the middle class.” What hypocrisy!

First of all, the tax is not massive. Second, it’s a payment for which people will receive decent health care coverage. Third, very few citizens will have to pay the so-called tax at all. Finally, tax credits and federal assistance will offset the cost of coverage for those who desperately need help.

The Republican slogan to “repeal and replace” is hollow. THE GOP has no replacement plan. Never did. Never will. Without the ACA, the costs to provide many millions of uninsured with medical treatment would just continue to trickle down to everyone else. So, I’ll toss this bone to the GOP: YOUR TRICKLE-DOWN THEORY DOES WORK – IN THIS CASE.

Dave Klarich



Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 23:13

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Thanks for support

Still fresh on everybody’s mind, I would like to extend a big thank you to the Billings community, the many volunteers we had, and the crew that helped us load, unload and assist our 97 veterans on the inaugural Big Sky Honor Flight.

It was a quick two-day trip, but the excitement and many stories I heard from the World War II veterans were priceless! This was truly a trip of a lifetime for these veterans who have waited so long to be thanked for a job well done in WWII. 

As I mentioned, our helpers, escorts and medical staff did so much to make the trip wonderful. From loading and unloading 60 wheelchairs at every stop, checking oxygen and taking care of all that was needed, the assistance was tremendous. Also, Tom Binford, airport staff and the Traffic Safety Administration did an exceptional job in seeing that everything went smoothly.

Last, but not least, I want to thank the board members who, since October of last year, have attended meeting after meeting to line up our first Big Sky Honor Flight, job well done!

But our job is not done yet. We still have two, three, four and possibly five flights to take all eligible WWII veterans and terminally ill veterans from all wars back to Washington, D.C., to see the WWII Memorial.

Once again I’m asking for your help. We have raised just over $100,000 for the second flight and will be able to make reservations for a plane, but still need help. If you would like to donate, have a fund-raiser, or help in any other way, please contact us at We would love to talk to your group and are doing everything we can to let people know how important this is to our veterans.

Feel free to contact me or members of the BSHF Board. Once again, thanks everyone for your prayers and support!

Bill Kennedy

Yellowstone County Commissioner


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 23:12

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Obamacare should be repealed

Now that the Supremes have decreed Obamacare legal, Nancy Pelosi’s words are never more relevant – “Pass the [2,900 page] bill so you can find out what’s in it.” So, what IS in it?

1. One of the largest tax increases in history – 21 separate tax increases and new taxes, 75 percent of which hit the middle class and $500 billion in total tax hikes. Examples: the individual mandate (2.5 percent times gross income); employer mandate ($3,000 per employee); investment income surtax (3.8 percent); Medicare payroll tax hike; medical device sales tax; tax on high-end health plans; insurance premiums tax.

These tax increases when the private sector is already struggling are reason alone for Americans to reject Obamacare. But the tax hikes are only one class of multiple problems with Obamacare.

2. Reduced choices in the variety of insurance coverage available. Leftwing, politically correct mandated coverages based on what D.C. bureaucrats feel must be included in YOUR insurance. Another bureaucrat panel tells doctors what types of care won’t be allowable.

3. Higher cost because of all the new coverages mandated into every policy. Slanted news coverage mentions only trivial objectionable mandates like birth control, but some estimates indicate all mandates combined could double insurance costs. How is this controlling health care costs?

4. Complete loss of economic freedom by forcing you to participate in this snake oil scam – you MUST buy this pork-laden insurance at a pork-laden price.

5. To pay for Obamacare, $500 billion stolen from a Medicare system that’s already broken. Many seniors will see Medicare premiums increase substantially to keep Medicare solvent.

6. A whole new class of serfs – co-dependents on the government dole; receiving government subsidies to help pay these monstrous insurance bills. With the phased-in cutoff at 400 percent of the poverty level ($92,200), most Montanans are now on the government dole. Government won’t pay all the cost of your health insurance – just enough to make you subservient, and quiet, and compliant.

7. One of the biggest government spending programs in history, $1.2 trillion, when we’re already on the verge of bankrupting our children’s future. Including all unfunded liabilities, total federal debt is now $135 trillion. that’s $1.2 million per taxpayer in the entire country.

8. As government-run, economically socialized countries continue to collapse and face financial crisis worldwide, D.C. geniuses have just converted one-sixth of the U.S. economy from the free market system (which produced the greatest medical advances in human history) over to government command-and-control, which punishes productive, healthy people to subsidize those who produce less and consume more on the government dole.

Result – less productivity. America will be one-sixth less productive than it was, and our children and grandchildren will be one-sixth poorer for our stupidity. To quote the genius-in-chief, “We live in the greatest nation in the history of the world … . I hope you’ll join with me, as we change it.”

How did we get here? Insurance companies cut a deal with the D.C. devil. They got government to guarantee them customers through compulsory insurance laws, and they traded off your freedom of choice.

You paid for all sides of this insurance company-big government windfall. Your politicians and new government healthcare provider have just committed political malpractice on a catastrophic scale.

Joe Balyeat



Last Updated on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:11

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Ignoring climate change

The U.S. is experiencing extreme weather and giant fires to the extent that in just one week of this summer, 2,500 weather-related records were broken. Still, the meteorologists hardly dare mention “climate change,” and certainly not “manmade climate change.”

The Heartland Institute’s 25-year mission, funded by the likes of ExxonMobil, has done its dirty work well. Seventy percent of Republicans now believe mankind’s excessive production of carbon has nothing to do with climate change. The Democrats simply don’t talk about it.  Broadcasting corporations invented “clean coal,” and they stand firmly with fossil fuel corporations.

In Montana, both of our senators support further development of fossil fuel and the Keystone XL pipeline. Even Obama quivers in the face of big energy. Our Yellowstone County commissioners don’t object to 60 trains a day through Billings; instead they pass a resolution in support of fossil fuel development “for jobs and American’s energy security,” they all say.

No one seems to notice that the energy produced will go directly into the world market, ending up mostly in China and India, where it will rapidly become part of our earth’s atmosphere, causing even more deadly weather. Do they really think that the oil giants would willingly give the U.S. some kind of a break?

This situation is the Montana Mistral, the cold wind from the north, bringing death. But it is not politically correct to talk about it.  Where has all the courage gone? Away with the melting glaciers.

Joan Hurdle



Last Updated on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:11

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Sad bunch of choices

In Valerie Harms’ July 5 letter to the editor, “Women’s Rights Slipping,” she cited several examples of repulsive Republican idiocy, which shouldn’t be excoriated or minimized any more or less than repulsive Democratic idiocy. She is justifiably upset that rules protecting women are being ignored.

What she is ignoring, however, is the social rebellion of the 1960s, which created a philosophy of “I can do what I want, I can say what I want and my responsibility and respect toward others are minimal.”

But that philosophy doesn’t work if applied to all forms of freedom. If someone shoots their mouth off, with no regard for anyone else, people rush to defend the freedom of expression, which of course they wouldn’t do if someone shot their gun off with no regard for anyone else.

But the entertainment industry, run mainly by men, reinforces this “1960s Rebellion Theory” (which doesn’t work) through lyrics and movies.  Entertainers glorify profanity, vulgarity and verbal abuse. They portray women as sexual objects, still.

The men who believe this “1960s Rebellion” philosophy respond only to threats.

They don’t want to infuriate the Muslim extremists because they themselves would become a target. They don’t appeal to a “raging bigot crowd” because they believe there would be a unified minority response.

They do, however, infuriate Christians. And they do appeal to a “raging hormone crowd” because they believe women won’t respond in a unified manner. And the courts aren’t a threat — they’re too slow.

So, one solution option is a cultural consciousness raising that injects more individual responsibility and respect into their philosophy, which probably won’t happen.

Or, we can arm women, encourage militancy and make them a threat to these boneheads.

Or, we can wait till the end of the next “Ice Age” and hope that the people who believe in this philosophy grow brain cells. What a sad bunch of choices!

Jack Mackenzie



Last Updated on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:10

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