The Billings Outpost

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Disappointed in Legislature

We are extremely disappointed with our state legislators’ rejection of family planning funding (Title X) for 25 Montana health clinics. Sen. Jason Priest of Red Lodge has singled out Planned Parenthood of Montana, which operates five of these clinics, as the reason he and his fellow legislators will not support family planning funding. To make a political point they are prepared to punish all 26,000 Montanans who receive family planning and preventative health care services at these clinics.

Their allegation that federal family planning funds could possibly be used to lobby and to provide abortions is patently false. As members of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Montana, it is our fiduciary duty to make sure that all funds are audited and that none are misused.

Sen. Priest knows this; we have met with him to discuss our auditing process and have offered to go through our audits with him. Yet he and his partners in Helena continue to play politics with healthcare and family planning for Montana citizens. It’s not just disappointing; it’s tragic.

Susan Bury

and Mitzi Vorachek

Red Lodge

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 17:08

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Founders on guns

Of late there has been much discussion regarding the reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment. Some are even saying it was to maintain slavery only. To clarify one needs to hear from these very men. A caution must be offered as there are a number of groups who are attributing erroneous quotes to the Founding Fathers.

Samuel Adams: “And that the said Constitution be never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

Patrick Henry: “The great object is that every man be armed and “Everyone who is able may have a gun.” And “are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress?”

The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution” and “Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not.” And, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit if resistance. Let them take arms.” This statement was attributed to Thomas Jefferson but was apparently false. Whoever wrote it is right on, I believe.

Adolph Hitler is given credit for the gun control/confiscation aimed at the Jewish population. He encouraged arms possession by his “loyal” associates and the armed forces, which were later used against the Jewish people and against his political opponents. It is true that Sen. [Thomas] Dodd went to Germany and studied Hitler’s gun laws and returned and presented his Gun Control Act of 1968.

The society that Hitler made was anything but safe, and what he said sounds so familiar in the debate toward more gun control. The opposite is true: gun confiscation leads to mayhem on the streets by any number of groups from the government through the criminal gangs and will bring in the enemies of the United States and of liberty and individual freedoms.

In the formation of the Second Amendment there was much debate regarding the “well formed militia” and the “rights of the people.” History has taught that the defense of freedom rests in the hands of the people and the people make up the militia.

There is an excellent treatise, “The Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights” that can be found at and that originated with the University of Virginia’s Journal of Law and Politics.

Keith Babcock


Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 17:07

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Legislators wrong on Medicaid

As someone who was in Helena on Monday for the rally for Medicaid expansion and spoke for the bill, I am highly disgusted that House Bill 590 was shot down on party lines. HB 590 would have affected my life in four good ways. I would have had insurance, my husband and son still would have had Medicaid, my husband’s spend down would have disappeared, and I could have gone back to work. Idiots killed the bill based on the thought that somebody making $15,000 should be able to make $700 a month insurance payments. That would leave us with $552 to live on a year. I was very upset last night. I had hopes of returning to work. It is just not possible.

I can’t afford the 20 percent Medicare doesn’t cover. I wouldn’t be able to afford $52,580, which is 20 percent of the kidney transplant, and they would want that in advance. If I went back to work without Medicaid expansion everything I made and more would go to my husband’s medical.

There would be nothing left to go to basic living needs for a family of three. And of course I wouldn’t qualify for any extra help with any of this due to my working income. So somebody else tell me to get a job; yeah, that’ll help.

Jenn Caves


Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 17:06

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Smooth transition

Kudos to Gov. [Steve] Bullock for a smooth transition. In the weeks leading up to his official inauguration, I watched his appointments for a sign of what kind of governor we’ve elected. His choices? By and large smart, professional, down-to-earth folks. My guess is this will be an administration that gets things accomplished.
Thanks and best regards,
Blaine Jensen

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:13

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Better road safety

The recent death of a young man along Becraft Lane in Lockwood is tragic. Unfortunately though, the real tragedy is that this isn’t the first and, most likely, won’t be the last senseless and preventable death along the busy thoroughfares in the Lockwood community. There will be continued and accelerated growth and increased traffic volume along the narrow and dangerous arterials of Becraft, Old Hardin Road, Johnson Lane, U.S. 87 and Piccolo Lane.

A few years ago a young man on a bicycle was killed on Old Hardin Road. People contributed money to do something about the widely recognized and long neglected issues of inadequate Lockwood roads. This money was used by the Lockwood Urban Transportation District to commission a professional study and the development of a comprehensive transportation plan for Lockwood. The tragedy with this has been that the Yellowstone County Commissioners have largely ignored the plan.

Walkways/bike trails are desperately needed. Widened and resurfaced roads are necessary to safely handle the variety of heavy traffic that uses the roads daily. Reasonable speed limits and traffic control measures need to be established and enforced. Also, adequate lighting must be provided. Lockwood citizens have been voicing concerns about these issues for years but, tragically, the people in authority have done very little in response.

Instead of relentlessly working against those of us who have tried to bring improvements to our community of Lockwood, the Yellowstone County commissioners should collaborate with us. We would all be the better for it.

Don Reed

Lockwood Steering Committee

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:02

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Chavez championed poor

Hugo Chavez is dead. One CNN apologist, at least trying to be courteous, said, “We don’t agree with their socialist ideas.”

“Why did he go to Cuba?” asked another, forgetting that Cuban medicine was subsidized for years by the Soviet Union and the plentiful Cuban doctors are still widely respected.

During the ’50s the Cubans had the healthiest children in the hemisphere.

One Republican American congressional leader commented on the death, “good riddance.” That kind of crassness is embarrassing and discourteous in any death.

In spite of American attitudes, Chavez was a champion of the poor. Poverty in Venezuela declined by more than 50 percent during his rule. Chavez encouraged participatory democracy by starting 30,000 communal councils in various communities. He used Venezuelan oil for social and regional redevelopment, rather than selling it only to Standard Oil. He pushed for participatory democracy, opening many new polling places in poor neighborhoods, in contrast to Yellowstone County’s closure of polling places in all Billings neighborhoods.

Joan Hurdle


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:01

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