TWW: The Best of 2015

Thanks to you, 2015 was another great year here at The Western Word (TWW)!

Special thanks to the 209 subscribers to TWW. By the way, you can be notified of new columns by subscribing – and it’s FREE. You can do that by clicking on the +Follow tab in the bottom right corner and entering your e-mail address, or by going to the subscribe box on the right side of the page and entering your e-mail address there.

It is always fun to see which columns are viewed the most and from where the columns are viewed. This past year people from 98 countries visited TWW. A special “shout-out” to the four people in China who stopped by! Besides the United States, the other top countries for visitors to TWW are Brazil and Canada.

In 2015, there were 311 new posts which bring the total archive of this blog to 2,730 posts.

Top Five Columns for 2015:

5. MT Supreme Court: We Have a Race!

This May 2015 column looked at the upcoming Montana Supreme Court race which so far looks like will be between State District Court Judge Dirk Sandefur and Kristen Gustafson Juras.

4. OPM Breach: Suspicious Minds

This June 2015 column was a personal account about the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the federal employee data breach. I received an official-looking letter from a “Secure Processing Center” in Livonia, Michigan, informing me that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently became aware of the “cybersecurity incident” affecting its systems that may have exposed my personal information. I am a former federal employee.

I was amazed at how many people searched the internet for “Secure Processing Center” and “Livonia, Michigan” and visited TWW.

3. From Deep Inside My Bunker…

In this February 2015 column, I poked fun at the 41 wackos in the Montana legislature who supported an Agenda 21 bill. The Associated Press reported that some conservatives across the country see Agenda 21 as an indication of a United Nations takeover.

The Agenda 21 bill (HB 583) in the Montana legislature was sponsored by Republican Rep. Randy Pinocci of Sun River. At the end of the column I wrote, “Beam me up, Randy Pinocci…”

The bill failed to pass, but the embarrassment was already done.

2. Jade Helm 15: Beam Me Up…

OK, I use “Beam me up” too much sometimes. This is the March 2015 column about a military exercise called, “Jade Helm 15.” Some conspiracy theorists believe that Jade Helm 15 is not really an exercise, but an attempt by our own U.S. Army to declare modern-day martial law in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, California, and Nevada.

And the top column for 2015 was:

1. MT Politics 2016: Greg vs. Steve?

This was the April 2015 story about the 2016 Montana Governor’s race and about the National Journal reporting that Republican businessman Greg Gianforte is laying the groundwork to challenge Democratic Governor Steve Bullock in 2016.

It’s always good when writing a column to be able to use parts of one of my favorite movies to make a point: I wrote that the race is now leaning likely Democrat. Stranger things have happened, but the conversation between Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson (Dumb and Dumber) probably explains Gianforte’s chances better than I can:

If Gianforte stops exploring and decides to run, his chances may be better than they were back in April 2015.

Top Commentators:

It’s always good to hear what others think about my columns. Special thanks to Barry, Craig, Doug, and Rick for being the top commentators in 2015. It’s always good to have thoughtful discussions about the issues. I appreciate all the people who comment here at TWW.

Looking Forward:

The Western Word has been an active blog since January 10, 2005. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. See you in 2016!

One More Thing:

Don’t drink and drive.

## Happy New Year! ##

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6 thoughts on “TWW: The Best of 2015

  1. Gosh, I’m honored. I’d like to thank my parents, my agent, my cat for his inscrutable influences, my plow guy for keeping the driveway clear. Oh no, the music is playing me off. Thank you, Mike, for the forum at TWW.

    Best wishes for many years to come to you and yours.

  2. I read you everyday and, even though I do not always agree, think you do an amazing job. Congratulations. 2016 will be a feast for political junkies. I have thought for a long time that when only 10per cent of voters trust congress, and about same for legislature, there will be big changes. The Donald may be first step. Incumbents may be at disadvantage because of desire for new voices and ideas. Zinke may regret voting for budget. Tester may look like a genius for getting to the right of Zinke on deficit. I keep telling my adult grandchildren that I envy them for the changes they will see. I walk my 10,000 steps every day so I can be around long enough to witness some of what will come. I also read and studied Revelation this year. In case of rapture, this car will be driverless!

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