Silent Power

Here's why the very popular alliance commonly called "public-private partnerships," or why excessive control of business by government, are not good in terms of maintaining a level playing field in the market or preserving our economic liberty:

General Electric, Co. has been quietly informing gun shop owners that the company will no longer be providing lending services to them, the Wall Street Journal reports.... "GE is at least the second big financial firm to retreat from the gun business following the school shootings, which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six adults in December."

Read more: Silent Power

A Choice of Poisons

As everyone starts writing gun legislation with a vengeance and innocent citizens become the target of punishing restrictions, it should be pointed out that this is a country in which citizens were only meant to be punished for unlawful actions they actually commit. Such is the nature of a just and free society.

Most regulations, including gun controls, are "preventive laws" in contrast to "criminal laws." There's nothing fair about preventive laws; they impose punishments where no crime has been committed. They impose restraints and demands upon perfectly innocent citizens, doing perfectly legitimate, harmless and often productive things. From that stand point, such laws are not just unconstitutional, but immoral.

Read more: A Choice of Poisons

Editorial - Total Confusion

 Editorial - Total Confusion by Evelyn Pyburn

Strangely, there's been comments from people this past week or so, in regard to the outcome of the election, in which some observers who believe that socialism doesn't work, are seeking solace in the belief that at least now people can see it doesn't work, and they will come to change their minds.

I understand where they are coming from.

Read more: Editorial - Total Confusion

Told You So!

Montana newspapers report on March 29:

"The governor also signed a bill ...sought by gun advocates that would make the state's list of concealed weapon permit holders confidential."

No dah!

Just exactly as proclaimed in a previous editorial. Government will never miss an opportunity to cloak its activities.

Montana citizens are willingly forgoing public information laws, in order to protect their privacy. It's a sacrifice of a civil liberty that is only called for because government violated another liberty. The very people who would normally be demanding adherence to public information laws, are now the ones calling for the end of public information. It is happening because citizens accepted the faulty premise that it is necessary and constitutional for guns to be permitted. One violation of the Constitution most often leads to the next.

And, how incredibly delicious for government! ie. the power-grabbers prevail upon the good nature of innocent citizens in what appears to be common sense, to yield a part of a Constitutional liberty —supposedly to prevent bad things from happening. Realizing, too late, that in the process of trying to be nice guys, they have made themselves vulnerable on another front, the citizens are now trying to retain their privacy, which is supposed be protected through the use of all their Constitution rights.

There is no "right to privacy" except as it pertains to government interacting with its citizens. Government is not supposed to use the force of law to violate a citizens rights to privacy except through due process. Beyond that citizens were meant to use property rights, due process and all the other rights, including the right to bear arms, as a means of protecting their privacy from other citizens. Finding out something about a neighbor and reporting it to others is not a violation of any law.

How smug and satisfied statists must feel as they listen and watch citizens clamor for them to eliminate another right, and all they have to do is smile and acquiesce.

It doesn't get any better than this for those anxious to dismantle our Republic, and be assured there are plenty of reasons they like to see this precedence established.

What a bunch of fools we are. We are being duped into giving up both our privacy to government and our right to know what the government is doing, and we shouldn't have to relinquish either.

Editorial - Random thoughts....

Random thoughts....

Global Warming not about the Weather...

It is frustrating how readily people on both sides of the debate, about the reality of global warming, seem to implicitly accept the idea that no matter what the truth, government is a viable solution. Even disbelievers seem to want to disprove the possibility of global warming on the basis that that would eliminate the need of putting government in charge. They do not really question the wisdom of having government in charge, if there really is an environmental crisis. But the reality is, if global warming is happening then having government in charge would guarantee a disaster.

The only reason there is a debate about whether the earth is warming is because of the excuse it offers to shift more power into the hands of government. The adage of "Never let a crisis go to waste," could be extrapolated to "and, never hesitate to create a false crisis."

Read more: Editorial - Random thoughts....

Bright Horizon for Manufacturing

Look around. A new era is dawning in Montana. If we let it. If we embrace it.

Besides energy, manufacturing in Montana could explode into a rich and vibrant economic base, as well as a source of many new high-paying and challenging jobs.

The 3000 manufacturers in the state, throughout the recession, have held their own, although, it's been a struggle. In listening to the comments of people attending the Compete Smart Conference, in Missoula, produced by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, there were upbeat reports, and some down beat reports. But, overall , the big picture for manufacturing in Montana has the potential of reshaping the economic dynamics of the state.

Read more: Bright Horizon for Manufacturing

Living without Big Bird

Are we all so petty and spoiled that we can't deal with serious problems?

The White House ends public tours, and there is controversy.

Really?

Faced with a plummet over the financial cliff, are we really supposed to be outraged at this deprivation?

We might feel insulted to be treated so much like children, but then again maybe we are acting too much like children.

Yellowstone Park won't be able to plow the roads as much this spring because of sequestration.

Is this all we have to endure in order to save our children from future tax hikes of 48 and 86 percent, maybe, as soon as 2030?

If true, what a relief.

If all, we, as citizens, have to do to prevent our financial collapse, is to stand a bit longer in line at the airport, we should spend that time dancing a jig.

Sure, the antics of cutting as close to the services that people most want, is a petty, childish, political manipulation that advances personal ambition and political power, ahead of the well-being of the country, but maybe that too is simply the price we have to pay for past excesses and poor political choices at the polls.

We should only hope that this is the worst of it, because it probably isn't.

The sequestration drama, I suspect, is nothing but a staged performance by politicians to make citizens think they are doing something. It amounts to such a small amount of the deficit — hardly discernible compared to the national debt— that if this is all that the economists and media have been whaling about, as potential financial ruin, then they should be ashamed.

The sequestration cut is still not a reduction in the amount the government spends each year; it is but a cut in the proposed increase of spending for the next couple of years. The government will still spend more next year than it did last year.

Until we cut real spending, we cannot get out of the woods. With that reality staring at us, how can anyone take the "dog and pony" show of the past month seriously? How could any politician who is really concerned about the well-being of the country, change the subject so quickly after sequestration went into effect? The fact is we need several sequestrations to even begin to impact our financial problems.

What is truly amazing is the rhetoric of the national debate which makes it sound like we have a choice about reducing government spending. Whenever a politician stands up to heroically declare no changes will be made to such entitlements as Medicare or social security, does no one understand that without making some prudent changes, change will come of its own accord?

Who is concerned about the inevitability of wholesale sweeping changes, which give no opportunity to mitigate the worst? When a politician claims we have nothing to worry about, does anyone look at that politician and see a fool or scoundrel, rather than a heroic savior? Where will he be on the day that there is no more money to send to any of the elderly, who have been pulled into dependency upon the government? Will all those people still believe, on the day when checks arrive no more, that that politician was looking out for their interests in opposing reform?

In listening to all the whining, crying and gnashing of teeth over the trauma of having to forgo mail delivery on Saturdays, I am left scratching my head. Here, I was in fear that without cutting spending, we would be forgoing food, every day.

Of course, our politicians fear doing the right thing because they know there is no way to take the action necessary, without causing pain for almost everyone; and they fear it will probably be held against them, come election day. It's too bad we do not have statesmen, who are dedicated to simply doing the right thing, but it is also terribly embarrassing that we have become indolent, spoiled children, who stomp our feet and petulantly demand the impossible.

What makes anyone think that there is a way out of this mess without suffering some pain? Anyone who believes that that is possible, is beyond-words delusional.

Having said that – there are steps that could be taken to tighten the belt for government, and then to release the pent-up possibilities for production, wealth creation and jobs within the private sector, which would make the pain short-lived.

But that takes a confidence in free markets and in the production capabilities of the people that no one seems to have any more, despite the historic evidence of the miracles it can achieve. It takes understanding that we can live without Big Bird if necessary, but that in making some $40 million a year, Big Bird will probably do just fine without a government subsidy.

It also requires shifting power back from government to the people, which is something that no government has ever been willing to do, voluntarily. For that to happen, it will take an unprecedented demand from the grassroots – from responsible adults rather than dependent children.

Celebrate On by Evelyn Pyburn

While I know this is an editorial repeat, it says things that need to be repeated – apparently many times over – given the direction in which our country is headed. There are perhaps generations, now, who do not know how recently it was that people did not have the wealth which today makes Christmas the celebration it is. They do not realize how fragile is the structure that created all that is taken for granted, today. It is part of the thanksgiving and celebrating, to recognize what freedoms are necessary to make it possible—to recognize them before they slip from our grasp because we did not understand.

By Evelyn Pyburn

"There's too much materialism associated with Christmas" is a popular refrain. Another is that Christmas has become too commercial. Usually no one speaks to disagree with these views, although the actions of most people demonstrate, better than words, that they do not agree.

Read more: Celebrate On by Evelyn Pyburn

Family Business Awards - They Built It

Each year most Montanans deny themselves a wonderful treat.

Although the room is usually full, it's still but a few Montanans who are present to hear the wonderful stories of success that are told during the MSU College of Business State Farm Insurance Family Business Day Program, which honors a handful of family- owned businesses. The stories are each different and yet much the same, as they tell of a dream, of uncertainty, of discovery, of struggle, of happiness, of failures and of success.

They are heralded on this day as representatives of the thousands of Montana family businesses – because they DID build them – they built them, every one.

Read more: Family Business Awards - They Built It

Market Update

1 DOW 20,704.22
+44.90 (0.22%)    
2 S&P 2,364.48
+3.35 (0.14%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,902.12
+4.57 (0.08%)    
4 MDU 27.01
-0.15 (-0.55%)    
5 SWC 17.30
-0.05 (-0.29%)    
6 EBMT 19.95
-0.15 (-0.75%)    
7 FIBK 40.00
+1.05 (2.70%)    
8 GBCI 34.08
+1.35 (4.12%)