The Billings Outpost

typewriter imageLetters to the Editor...

Toward cleaner air

The president’s decision to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution is a cause for celebration. More stringent limits on the amount of particulate matter allowed to enter the air we breathe will provide life-changing benefits, especially to those with lung disease.

Extremely harmful to the respiratory system, this pollutant can trigger severe asthma attacks and places a strain on our healthcare system by increasing the number of patients seeking emergency room care thereby leading to greater hospitalization rates. Those with lung disease are not the only ones who suffer. Breathing particle pollution can be lethal and cause serious illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes.

Every day in my clinical practice, I see the undeserved pain and suffering caused by respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD. It’s refreshing to have the president stand as an ally to those of us on the front lines of patient care. Despite tremendous advances in the field of pharmacology, there is no prescription that can completely conceal the ill effects of dirty air.

This critical move toward a healthy air future is a tremendous quality of life improvement for not only my patients, but for all of us who breathe.

Dr. Robert Merchant

Billings Clinic

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:25

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Angry about cable

I am an outraged cable customer for several reasons: The price has gone up three times, Bresnan/Optimum personnel have not solved my problems with cable boxes and Optimum blacked out the signal the night the show, “Big Sky, Big Money,” was presented on PBS.

That Optimum blacked out its signal reveals that the company may be accepting some of that dark money that so many Montanans despise for promoting corruption in the 2012 election. I will be pleased to see what comes out of those Frontline and PBS investigative shows, and I pray Optimum chooses to keep the signal (that I have overpaid for) up and going for the whole show, as soon as it comes on.

I understand what Robert McDermott is saying about Optimum cable prices: The price has gone up three times! Optimum says one thing and does another, just like when they blacked out their signal on “Big Sky, Big Money.”

Last January, my cable channels kept freezing up, so we visited Optimum down on Monad in their big fancy building. They said they would give us a “new box,” but refused to hook it up for us! So the cable guy came out, because I begged him, but said nothing was wrong, despite the continuing freezing up of my channels for which I overpay Optimum.

Optimum told me I could pay $89 and now the company has raised its price to $131! They also want to charge us extra for each TV we have (two downstairs). So, I calculate the price to be over $300.

When is this nonsense on unreasonable prices, blacking out the signal for “Big Sky, Big Money,” and useless cable personnel who cannot fix my channels going to stop? Where can I write a letter recommending their media and/or business licenses be revoked for deceptive practices, unreasonable prices and useless cable employees?

Susan Tate


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:22

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Israeli election a bullet

America may have a second bullet coming at us with the upcoming Israeli elections. We missed the first bullet when Barack Obama won re-election. We saw Republican primary candidates vying for the financial favors of Zionist sympathizer Sheldon Adelson, and Prime Minister Netanyahu at the United Nations drawing red lines not to cross.

He says Iran’s nuclear program is an existential threat to Israel. Since Israel started the Middle East nuclear arms race, can one really blame Iran for wanting nuclear weapons?

By far the greatest existential threat to Israel is not Iran, but Israel itself – especially its right wing government and Zionist goal of a Greater Israel. Israel’s policy of stealing Palestinian land to make room for illegal settlements, has long antagonized Palestinians and the entire Muslim world.

The General Assembly vote to recognize a Palestinian state was long delayed, but insufficient, justice to the Palestinian people. The rotten political relationship between Israel and the U.S. needs reexamination. President Obama has rightfully pushed back against Netanyahu’s call to attack Iran.

Most Americans don’t pay much attention to Israeli elections, but they would do well to pay attention to the one on Jan. 22, 2013, for if Netanyahu is re-elected, Israel will attack Iranian nuclear facilities, or do a big climb down. Israeli sympathizers in Congress, Republicans and Democrats, will goad the Obama administration to make it a joint operation. That could be a tragedy, for the war with Iraq was a cakewalk compared to a land war with Iran with all its repercussions.

Auzie Blevins


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:21

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Biased news coverage

Local television news presents biased and unbalanced reporting regarding the export of coal from eastern Montana and Wyoming. Coal is to be transported by train to the west coast to proposed re-developed ports in the Pacific Northwest, wherefrom it will be shipped on to Asian ports.

The Billings Chamber of Commerce freely presents its own view of this process, wildly exaggerating the number of jobs and the monetary boost they anticipate to the local economy. The number of anticipated coal trains blocking traffic and spreading coal dust in Billings and other Montana cities is understated, and there is little or no mention at all of the environmental impacts to our planet involved in mining, transporting, exporting and burning the huge amount of coal.

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council, a part of Northern Plains, could have been interviewed for balance of television news, and they would have presented a less narrow and provincial view. YVCC has put a great deal of work into this issue.

While one might expect this kind of bias from county commissioners; such brazen bias is disappointing from so-called television “news.” Sounds just like Slab Marble. And perhaps Lee Enterprises.

Joan Hurdle


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:20

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We’ll be OK

Since we’re talking about civil rights – we are, aren’t we? – let’s talk about “front loaded” commercial loans ... like your car and your house. How long before you own any part of what you buy?

The guy says you’re “upside down” on your vehicle. You’ve been making payments, but you have less than zero equity. You’ve been paying mostly interest. The same with your house.

The money guys get 80 percent of your house payment and you get $2 — TRUE!

There’s no equity (real value) in the housing market because the money guys took it all, and traded it all over the world. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that deal? Your $2 doesn’t count for much.

Maybe we can work out a fair and equitable trading agreement with American lenders. Let us spend some money and own a fair share of what we buy. Where is consumer protection?

On the money side: There are trillions of dollars out there and nowhere to spend it. America doesn’t look so good — no real payoff there. Europe is out — nothing’s worth anything and everyone’s out of work.

They’ve killed the goose that laid the golden egg. But we’re on the ground. I think we’ll be OK if we hang together.

Julie Kraenzel


Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:26

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Outpost OK

Sometimes the Billings Outpost has some good articles. Although there have been several articles written comparing the decline of the USA to the decline of the Roman Empire, Shari Pyke wrote a timely piece [Sept 16].

Also T.J. Gilles’ story about the newspapers’ demise [Nov. 7] caught me off guard — “The People’s Voice” — I didn’t think anyone had ever heard of that particular paper. My father read that paper faithfully along with The U.S. Farm News from Iowa.

Of course, the only reason I pick up the Outpost is because of [Roger] Clawson, maybe [David] Crisp or [Wilbur] Wood. We do not get TV reception and out dial-up internet only works sporadically. As for the events in town, I never cared much for the long drive there and the cost of gasoline.

The other reason I like the paper is sometimes I see my name in print in the Letters to the Editor section. Thank you.

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:46

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