Caught My Eye…

Congratulations on making it to Friday! It’s just not any Friday – it’s the last Friday before Christmas!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or maybe both.

Today I write about the Montana House dress code, the Markus Kaarma trial, Cuba, The Interview movie, Honesty & Ethical Standards poll, obesity & binge drinking, The Western Word Christmas Party, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud.

MT House Dress Code:

Maybe this Montana embarrassment is ending? Lee Newspapers boldly reported, “The controversy over a dress code for the Montana House of Representatives is over.”

Lee Newspapers reported that the new dress code is this one paragraph:

We ask that members of the House and other professionals working on the floor dress in professional business attire that is befitting the honor of the institution of the Montana House of Representatives.

It really can be explained in two words: Dress professionally.

The Montana Legislature circus begins next month – so get your popcorn ready. Many legislators will act like clowns without the suit…

Markus Kaarma Trial:

Like many I was glued to Twitter on Wednesday waiting for the jury to return a verdict in the Markus Kaarma homicide trial. Thanks to all those who covered the trial on Twitter – especially the Missoulian. Good job.

For those not familiar with the case, Kaarma shot and killed 17-year-old Diren Dede, who was a German high school exchange student. Dede had entered his garage. The garage was attached to the home and had been burglarized before.

Kaarma was found guilty of deliberate homicide. His sentencing is in February and he could face up to 100 years in prison. He will appeal.

I was a little surprised by the verdict as the prosecution went for a home run with a charge of deliberate homicide. They would have been run out of Missoula if they did not win the high-profile case. Kaarma probably hurt himself as he and his partner, Janelle Pflager, had talked openly to others about catching the burglars by setting traps. The trial might have had a different outcome if they would have kept quiet about their plans.

It’s very sad anytime a young person dies a senseless death – and this was a senseless murder. Our laws did work in this situation, justice was served, and that is a good thing.


Looks like several folks will be adding a vacation in Cuba to their bucket lists! Sounds like fun.

President Obama did the right thing. The sanctions against Cuba have been going on all my life and they just did not work.

At the end of her column about Cuba, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan probably says it best:

A closing note: I always thought, life often being unfair, that Fidel Castro would die the death of a happy monster, old, in bed, a cigar jutting out from the pillows, a brandy on the bedside table. My dream the past few years was that this tranquil end would be disturbed by this scene: American tourists jumping up and down outside his window, snapping pictures on their smartphones. American tourists flooding the island, befriending his people, doing business with them, showing in their attitude and through a million conversations which system is, actually, preferable. Castro sees them through the window. He grits his teeth so hard the cigar snaps off. Money and sentiment defeat his life’s work. He leaves the world knowing that in history’s great game, he lost.

Open the doors, let America flood the zone and snap those pictures. “Fidel! Look this way!” Snap. Flash. Gone.

The Interview Movie:

I don’t agree with the decision made by Sony Pictures to pull “The Interview,” which is an action/comedy movie. The movie stars James Franco and Seth Rogen. Their characters are invited to interview North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Then they are recruited by the CIA to assassinate the dictator. The trailer for the movie is pretty funny. Watch it HERE.

There are several reports of terror threats made against any theaters that planned on showing the movie.

Do we really want to start down the slippery slope of letting groups dictate what is shown in our theaters? I don’t think so.

Honesty & Ethical Standards:

A new Gallup poll found that “Americans say nurses have the highest honesty and ethical standards. Members of Congress and car salespeople were given the worst ratings among the 11 professions included in this year’s poll.” (Source)

Maybe Montana’s delegation – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Senator-elect Steve Daines, and U.S. Representative-elect Ryan Zinke will work hard in 2015 to improve on these ratings.

Montana – low obesity, high binge drinking:

Today’s Great Falls Tribune has a report about health rankings for states. The rankings were recently released by the United Health Foundation. The Tribune reported:

Montana has a low relative prevalence of obesity and diabetes and good air quality, while lagging behind other states in regard to the rate of binge drinking, immunization coverage among teens and availability of primary care physicians.

Since I am kind of fat, I may spend this weekend binge drinking to forget about it…

TWW Christmas Party:

Like many businesses and organizations, here at The Western Word (TWW) we will be holding our annual Christmas Party this afternoon.

It’s gonna be pretty wild! For the festive occasion I purchased a box of wine, microwave popcorn, two cans of Vienna sausages, and some saltines.

I may set up a Spotify playlist just for the event! Party!

As for a gift exchange, that won’t happen. I am the only employee, so it would be awkward.

Making Montana Proud:

This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.

-From the Great Falls Tribune: Austin T. Hodgins, 20, was charged with felony robbery for threatening the cashier at the Loaf and Jug on Smelter Ave. NE and taking approximately $100 in cash and an 18 pack of beer.

The best part of the story – Hodgins’ getaway vehicle was a taxi. A TAXI!



3 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If we don’t have a problem with drinking we’ve got a problem with eating or something.

    Why is it so bad for people to have a problem or two? What would happen if no one had a problem? I think everyone’s head would explode.

    So we’ve got places like Mississippi where they’re as fat as hell and have monstrous medical costs, oh, and they just happen to be really poor too so that means Uncle Sam can pay. Or we’ve got Montana, where people drink to much.

    What’s worse, and how do you measure that?

    Perhaps a more appropriate question would be, how many studies do we need to feel good about ourselves, or even better, what else could those conducting studies do…if they actually had to do some real work?

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