Quote for the Day…
If you’re willing to walk among us unvaccinated, you are an enemy. – Gene Simmons
Welcome to Caught My Eye (CME)!
CME is the once-a-week column that is posted every Friday morning. This is when I look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week.
Here are some of the things that “Caught My Eye” this week:
- The Western Word Poll
- Mask On, Mr. Mayor
- One More Thing
THE WESTERN WORD POLL:
This week’s poll question asked, “Time Change – which do you favor?”
Here are the results:
USE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ALL YEAR: 35.14%
SWITCH BACK AND FORTH: 32.43%
USE STANDARD TIME ALL YEAR: 21.62%
I DON’T CARE/UNDECIDED: 10.81%
It was very close between “Use Daylight Saving Time All Year” and “Switch Back and Forth.”
Thanks for participating!
I doubt we hear any corrections from the Republicans, but a few days ago the Daily Montanan reported that an Afghan evacuee recently charged with rape in Missoula had no prior criminal history and completed a “rigorous and multi-layered” vetting process before entering the country, according to the U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
It does not excuse the terrible crime for which he was charged. The Afghan evacuee will have his day in court. In case you were wondering, he has pleaded not guilty.
The over-the-top statements from some Republicans before they knew the whole story was ridiculous.
U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale had issued a statement saying, “For months I have warned of the consequences of admitting and resettling unvetted Afghan nationals throughout our country. These unvetted Afghans do not share our culture and our values, and as this horrific incident shows they represent a serious risk to our communities.” (Source)
U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Governor Greg Gianforte along with Rosendale called on the Biden Administration to stop Afghan resettlements in Montana. (Source)
A lot of Montanans wish we had a better “vetting process” to stop millionaires like Gianforte and Rosendale from settling in our state.
You can read the full story from the Daily Montanan HERE.
MASK ON, MR. MAYOR:
Several times per week at the end of my columns I post this line:
## WEAR A MASK INDOORS IN PUBLIC PLACES ##
I am fully vaccinated (two shots) for COVID and just received my annual flu shot. I plan on getting the booster shot for COVID when I qualify. I wear a mask indoors in public all the time. I’m not someone you want to argue with when it comes to doing all I can to help prevent the spread of COVID.
The other day a conservative blog in Great Falls was provided a video showing Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly at an indoor event not wearing a mask. While they were probably still hurting from Kelly beating their choice for Mayor of Great Falls earlier this month, they made some valid points. The mayor had organized a vote where the city commission decided not to hold in-person meetings because of COVID concerns.
Now he is attending an event that probably had more people attend it than several commission meetings combined, while apparently maskless.
Although I voted for Kelly, I’m not afraid to say I smell some bullshit here. If I were a commissioner, I’d call for a vote to allow in-person meetings as soon as possible. I’d ask the mayor to explain himself. You can’t have it both ways. Leaders lead.
They should still wear masks indoors in public, though.
The bottom line is we should all listen to healthcare experts. I do. I don’t pay any attention to an elected County Commissioner doing a weak local commercial about COVID or what our silly Governor says.
The Cascade County City-County Health Department lists the following on their website:
In areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission rates, the CDC is recommending that everyone wear a mask indoors in public places. This includes fully vaccinated persons. Cascade County is currently classified as having the highest level of community transmission – this can be monitored here. Accordingly, CCHD strongly recommends that all persons age two or older wear a mask indoors in public places, even if you are fully vaccinated. (Source)
The CDC says, “Everyone in Cascade County, Montana should wear a mask in public, indoor settings.” (Source)
We should be following what the experts say.
ONE MORE THING:
Another Veterans Day has come and gone. I take the day off. I fly my flag. I think about my time in the military and the friendships I made. I don’t post very much on social media.
There’s still some confusion out there about Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Armed Forces Day. Here’s some help:
- Veterans Day is the 11th Day of each November – to honor those who served.
- Memorial Day is the last Monday of each May – to remember those who died while serving.
- Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday of each May – to honor those who are currently serving.
This is absolutely a must read. Knudesen should know better as a law school grad, but I think Arntzen, like all typical MAGAs, is too stupid to understand. In any event, Lohof nails it.
Regarding live vs. online Commission meetings, it might be easier to accept the view that they should return to live if the great unwashed public and all commissioners would agree to observe best practices, such as masking, for the two hours they are forced to sit there in close proximity to each other. However at the last live meeting on 8/17, when the subject came up, the very sparse public that appeared on camera was entirely maskless. In addition our favorite very loud talking commissioner, the one who sits just to the left of Kelly and to the right of Moe, made a defiant statement after sitting there unmasked 1.5 hours breathing all over these other two that he’s done with masks, not going to wear any mask to Commission meetings, and will protest vigorously if such is mandated. Apparently “done with masks” trumps any consideration whatsoever for the health of other commissioners or City staff or the citizenry for whom he supposedly looks out.
Should also be noted that Manager Doyon had apparently approached the Commission about the format of future meetings in light of spiking Covid cases, for whatever reason, perhaps the health of himself and his staff that also has to sit there. Commissioner Moe voiced serious concerns about the live meetings for a legal reason, namely that by holding public in-person meetings the City was saying this is safe but meanwhile exposed the public to danger. The vote they took sometime later after 8/17 was 4-1 in favor of going virtual. So contrary to the ongoing anti-Kelly campaign at the local far right blog, the virtual meeting decision wasn’t just Kelly’s.
I believe that in Montana at least Missoula and Stevensville are also currently holding their meetings virtually, and life seems to go on there. It’s also going on here. There’s nothing anyone can say in person that they can’t on Zoom or on the phone.
Many of the people complaining publicly about the GF virtual meetings are simply involved in a contest of wills and are not so much interested in actually attending meetings themselves. They are simply pushing the right wing dogma that minimizes the dangers of Covid and opposes any “liberal” efforts to keep people safe. Some callously use the issue as an excuse to pursue their personal beef with City officials.
But perhaps to mollify those who claim to be terribly inconvenienced by the virtual meetings, and in light of slightly declining positivity rates, the Commission could set a target for return to “normal” based on the transmission rate in the county, like was used earlier on to end the business restrictions. Unfortunately we are still sitting at a “high” positivity rate of 13.1% with an average of almost 79 new infections per day.
Terry – Great points. If everyone would agree to wear masks at the indoor meetings that would be great. As I said, web should listen to the experts. Thanks, JmB
I agree with you about Kelly and read the former Mayor’s comments on the conservative blog. Does anyone else remember him being caught by a citizen violating his own cell phone ban? Was in the Tribune,
Bill – Thanks. I know an elected official was busted driving while talking on cell phone, but I don’t remember who it was. I did a quick check of the Google and did not find anything. Readers?
Food for thought regarding why some people refuse vaccinations. I believe it has merit.