Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the first “Caught My Eye” of March – I can almost see spring from my underground bunker!

NOTICE: Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, so make sure you get up at 2:00 a.m. to set your clocks ahead one hour. For the people in Iowa reading this, that means it will be 3:00 a.m.

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted 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 changes at the Great Falls Tribune & some suggestions, problems with the new guy at the Air Force Global Strike Command, Ryan Zinke and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Charter Communications, Jeannette Rankin, Lucky for Life, the Selma anniversary, Curt Schilling, and much more!

Changes at the GF Tribune:

Newspapers are having a tough go of it lately. The Great Falls Tribune, which is part of Gannett, is making some major changes. Read the story HERE.

I hate to see John Adams who was the Capital Bureau Chief depart. Photographer and photo editor Larry Beckner is leaving the paper after 17 years, too.  They were very good at their jobs. Ironically, Beckner’s photo of publisher and editor Jim Strauss accompanied the story about the changes at the paper.

Since they are making changes, here are a few ideas…

-Just as they needed “more cowbell” in the “Don’t Fear the Reaper” skit on Saturday Night Live, the Tribune should publish “more blogs” in their paper.
-The military coverage could be much better, but my commentary about that would be too long for this column, so that’s on hold for another day.
-Finally, “The Edge” column that appears on the Saturday opinion page has, sadly, lost its “edge.”

I know it’s hard to be cool…

Air Force Global Strike Command:

It’s nice to see that a 4-star general will be commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Several sources, including KRTV in Great Falls, reported, “General Robin Rand has been nominated to be the next commander of Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, which oversees all nuclear weapons operations in the U.S. Air Force.”

AFGSC also oversees our strategic bomber fleet (B-52s and B-2s).

KRTV reported that David Weissman, the chair of (the pay to be a member of) Montana Defense Alliance, said, “…it’s an incredibly good move.”

When someone is placed in charge of an organization I always look at their bio to see their experience. In regard to General Robin Rand, the Associated Press did the same thing and reported that Rand is “a career fighter pilot who has never served in the nuclear missile corps or the bomber force.”

Trust me – fighter pilots don’t particularly care for bomber crews or missile folks. It will take Rand two years to even gain a slight understanding of the job. For comparison, it’s kind of like having someone chair a group who has no experience with the military, or someone reporting about the military who never served.

Montana’s Congressional delegation should have raised concerns about this nomination.

So, in my book it was not even close to being “an incredibly good move.”

The “delusional” Element:

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle editorial board did not like U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke’s vote against funding the Department of Homeland Security. You can read their editorial HERE. Here is the key section:

It appears our newly elected U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke has cast his lot with the “delusional” element in the House of Representatives. That’s the word his fellow Republican Rep. Peter King of New York used to describe Zinke and others who voted against a vital measure that would fund the Department of Homeland Security.

I did not like Zinke voting “No” on funding for the Department of Homeland Security, either. I would encourage Zinke to stay away from the nutjobs from the far side of the Republican Party. Stay moderate and responsible.

I think as long as the Montana Republicans have open primaries, Zinke will survive a challenge from the nutjobs. If they go with a closed primary, he will be toast. As for the talk of Zinke taking on Senator Jon Tester down the road, don’t even go there.

Charter Communications:

It was good to see the Great Falls Tribune story about the problems area residents are having with Charter Communications – especially the phone service.

I don’t have Charter phone service, but I do have Charter cable and internet. Several channels fade in and out. The technicians have been to my house twice because I could not receive some channels that I was supposed to receive. Before they came out for a service call, I had to talk to a Charter automated computer several times. I finally spoke to a real person after answering every question from the computer with “Speak to a real person.”

While I’m complaining, I also don’t like the Charter 9-9-9 commercial. I am sick of it. If you have not seen it, the people in the commercial are Charter employees and they stop their work and move their desks out of the way so they can sing and dance. They also say 9-9-9 a lot. They should be doing their jobs instead of singing and dancing. Maybe then our phones, cable, and internet would work properly.

No wonder the computer always answers – everyone else is busy singing and dancing.

It would also be nice to be able to go to Charter’s website and enter my account number and see what channels I am supposed to be receiving.

The sad thing is that Montana is not high on Charter’s list. Companies like Charter buy the service, invest a little, and then sell it for a profit. This is just like Optimum, Bresnan, and AT&T did before them.

Jeannette Rankin:

I enjoy history and the following piece of history caught my eye this week. Way back in 1917 (March 4, 1917) Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman member of the United States House of Representatives. It was the 65th United States Congress. (Source)

Rankin was a Republican. If she were running for office today, she would probably be fighting off attacks from the extreme right-wing members of the GOP who would claim she is not pure enough. I can almost see an Americans for Prosperity commercial now…

Lucky For Life:

I thought it was interesting when I read about a Helena couple, Steve and Mary Ann Rice, who claimed a $25,000-a-year for life prize in the Lucky for Life lottery game. Congrats!

At the end of the Associated Press story, I read this line, “The prize is guaranteed to be paid out for at least 20 years.” I went to the “official” Lucky For Life website and found this information:

You don’t just win once with Lucky for Life, you win FOR LIFE. The top prize of $1,000 a day, FOR LIFE is paid weekly and the second prize is $25,000 a year, FOR LIFE paid yearly. These prizes stick around for a minimum of 20 years or even longer – as long as you’re around!

Maybe it should be called “Lucky For 20 Years” or maybe “Lucky For 20 Years If You’re Lucky.”

Selma Anniversary:

This weekend will mark the 50th Anniversary of the civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama. Very few people would have imaged back then that at the 50 year anniversary, the United States of America would have a black President.

President Barack Obama will attend the event and deliver remarks at the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge. I think that is pretty neat.

According to Politico, none of the top GOP leaders in the House will be attending the event.

There’s still more work that needs to be done.

Curt Schilling:

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling is active on social media and he runs a blog called “38 Pitches.”

Schilling proudly tweeted that his daughter was going to be pitching for a college team next year. There were congrats and tweets like that, but then the nasty tweets started.

Schilling wrote, “tweets with the word rape, bloody underwear and pretty much every other vulgar and defiling word you could likely fathom began to follow.”

So Schilling went after the haters. A few have been fired and hopefully more may be outed. You can read his post about it HERE.

I’m the parent of the teenage daughter, and I applaud Curt Schilling for taking a stand.

One More Thing:

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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3 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. As to your comments on our leadership voting against the PRTC, did it ever occur to you that it might just be because they have listened to those of us who live in the area that will be affected by this? If think it is bull that it will affect our economy. Tell that to the owner of our airport who’s 7000 flights a year (mostly from oil company jets) will be cut in more than half. Tell that to the emergency air flights of people needing to get to a bigger hospital in a hurry. Tell that to the rancher getting bucked off a horse while working his cattle or to the one calving out a cow spooked by the noise! Maybe before you blow your snot so hard you should check with the people living under this proposed area!

    • Sharon – Thanks for your comments. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
      There has been no votes on PRTC so “maybe before you blow your snot so hard you should check” the facts.
      Most of the information coming out that is anti-PRTC is false like the part about emergency air flights: “Just like in the current airspace, the FAA gives airspace priority to emergency responders. For these types of cases, military aircraft would be notified and directed to vacate any areas needed by emergency responders.”

      The even talk about calving season!

      The Air Force has provided information to several questions at these links:
      http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140407-015.pdf
      http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100915-014.pdf

      Freedom is not free, Sharon.

      Thanks for coming by.

      -JmB

  2. Here are a couple more tips for the Tribune: Hire a proofreader – Hire a fact checker (amazing how many “facts” are reported incorrectly).

    I too salute Schilling in this instance. I will probably never utter those words again.

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