Letters published on October 4, 2017

Print Article

Special session needed to fix GOP mistakes

Montana is broke, and it’s the majority party’s fault. The governor proposed a balanced two-year budget, knowing that oil and coal revenues would be down. The majority party in the Legislature, many of whom are supposed to be fiscal conservatives and experienced business people, rejected that budget and voted to increase it by $21 million, saying the money would somehow be there. But the money didn’t come and the state is burned up by wildfires. Now the governor is bound by their laws to slash programs for Montana families when they need them most.

On Sept. 6 the Daily Inter Lake reported that Montana Health and Human Services will have to cut its budget by $105 million. Then on Sept. 12 the Inter Lake reported that HHS will cut $8.6 million for services to the elderly, such as long-term care. That will cause Montana to lose an additional $17 million in matching funds. The total loss of matching funds across all HHS programs is $56 million.

Losing all that money will inflict tremendous suffering on people who worked hard all their lives to raise families, didn’t become rich and now are too old to defend themselves. Do you want to see your friend at work have to quit her job and stay home to care for her mother because the majority party won’t listen to the people? Is that the Montana we want?

The legislators who did this now say they see no need for a special session. Tell that to an elderly person living alone who is losing assisted living care. I’ve told my legislators to go back to Helena and fix the mess they made. I hope you’ll demand the same. —Michael Merchant, Kalispell

‘Life After Hate’ offers new hope

Last week I was feeling very low. Hurricanes and politics were dragging me down. All of sudden I perked up, saw real hope, and it changed my day and still has me feeling more free and hopeful. Here’s what happened: While surfing the channels, I hit on “Democracy Now” with Amy Goodman. She was interviewing a man telling a detailed and inspiring story. He is part of a movement called “Life After Hate.” This is a 501 (C) (3) U.S. nonprofit created in 2011. Members are all former white supremacists, racists, skin heads and purveyors of hate, bigotry, violence and all manner of far-right extremist activities.

This man’s story was compelling, true, powerful and filled with many other examples, besides his own, of personal awakenings and transformation. Their “Life After Hate” movement has designed an “exit program aimed at disillusioned white supremacist radicals in the U.S. and is picking up steam.”

This program involves meaningful interactions which heal hate and misunderstandings. Their subjects are people with low self-esteem, self doubts, and very unstable lives. They listen with compassion and “look for the pot-holes that are pointed out and addressed.”

They say this: “Disenfranchised, lonely, self-loathing people join these extremist groups doing horrible things. There is something missing from their lives, something they did not get, whether it was as a child or maybe they were abused or maybe they came from a broken home. Something was missing. And even if they came from a relatively normal household, something still was missing.”

“Life After Hate” is a powerful movement, aimed at a particular group, helping to provide the “something that was missing,” and it is working.

Does this speak something to each of us about discovering our own “missing links”? Mine, last week, was allowing outer turmoil to turn on my inner turmoil. This is not wise nor necessary, for sure. —Bob McClellan, Polson

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters, published on Oct. 18, 2017

October 18, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Red Ribbons are a way to let kids know about how to live healthy lives All across the Flathead Valley students will be receiving Red Ribbons to commemorate and celebrate Red Ribbon Week — the natio...


Read More

Fuel and fire — A case for federal forest management and reforms

October 18, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake For most Montanans, the summer of 2017 was not just another fire season. The 2017 season started early and continued in much of the state until October. Unfortunately for the thousands of people ev...


Read More

Letters, published on Oct. 17, 2017

October 17, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake History, community, and paying it forward I have heard many reasons to vote yes or no to the Somers School Building Bond. One common theme has unexpectedly emerged as a source of pride and inspirati...


Read More

Time to focus on cause of climate change, not effect

October 15, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Let’s say you are in a hurry to get to work for an important client meeting. You go outside and your car won’t start, Because of this you will miss your meeting and might even lose your job. This i...


Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2017 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy