Caught My Eye…

Hello, friends and enemies – Common sense and independent commentary are back!

My last column was posted on November 21, but I have been watching the happenings, and here are a few things that Caught My Eye:

  • Great Falls Public Safety Levy Spin
  • Vaccines for Military Personnel
  • Brittney Griner
  • Football and Fútbol
  • Personal News


Back on November 18, The Electric reported about the proposals for the Great Falls Public Safety Levy. Three categories are being proposed: Good, Better, and Best.

The Electric reported that “The best package of additional public safety resources is an estimated $33 million $36 million annual levy…”

It was then reported by The Electric:

Melissa Kinzler, city finance director, said that if the commissioners ask for the $35 million public safety levy they’d be doubling the city budget and that would increase taxes to residential property owners by 191 percent.

A few weeks later, City Commissioner Rick Tryon posted a column on his local blog with the headline, “Debunking The Bunk: No, GF Taxes Aren’t Going Up 191%.”

In the blog, he writes, “If the “best” amount were to be put to voters via a public safety levy the increase to local property taxes could be as high as 191%.

So, they could go up 191% – just like was reported.

He then tries to put a political spin on it. He failed miserably.

Then Tryon closes with, “The “they’re raising our taxes 191%” is a false alarm. The City is not doing that, rest assured.”

I hope not. Any commissioner who votes for that much of a tax increase should be run out of town.

If you run into one of the commissioners or the mayor, ask them if they are for Good or Better or Best. Stand back when you do, or you may find your wallet or purse missing as this group seems to think we are made of money.


I am disappointed in Congress for trying to do away with the COVID vaccine mandate for service members.

I saw a note from U.S. Senator Steve Daines that, in part, said:

I’ve been working hard in the United States Senate to protect Montana servicemembers from overreaching COVID-19 vaccine mandates imposed by President Biden’s administration.
I’m glad to announce that this week, I secured a provision in the defense bill to repeal the mandate for servicemembers!

Several members of congress used the same type of statements as Daines did. He was not the chief architect of the repeal. He was along for the ride.

I was in the U.S. Air Force for about 12 years and took every vaccine they offered. I was tasked with being required to go anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, so I needed all the vaccines.

The military is not a country club or a sorority or fraternity. When you sign your name on the line, you may have to do things and go places you don’t want. This repeal is a slippery slope.


I happened to be up early when the news broke that WNBA star Brittney Griner was being released in a prisoner swap with Russia.

I am happy she was released.

Many on the right condemned this move citing the man she was swapped for, arms dealer Viktor Bout, and that the swap did not include former Marine Paul Whelan. Some on the right used Griner’s activism as grounds for not liking the swap.

Here’s the bottom line. Many on the right, especially the MAGA crowd, did not like the swap because Griner is a lesbian, and she is black.


For your viewing pleasure…

-The Montana State Bobcats (12-1) are in the FCS Playoff semifinals. This Saturday they play South Dakota State (12-1) in Brookings, South Dakota. The game is on ESPN2. It starts at 2:00 p.m. Montana time.

-There are three NFL games on Saturday, and all are on the NFL Network.

Colts v. Vikings at 11:00
Ravens v. Browns at 2:30
Dolphins v. Bills at 6:15
All times are Montana time.

-The final of the FIFA World Cup airs Sunday at 8:00 a.m. Montana time. It’s Argentina versus France. It airs on the Fox Network.

-The college football bowl season kicks off Friday (today). There are 43 bowl games! Click HERE for the schedule.


As I mentioned in my November 10, 2022, column, I will be posting columns intermittently. I had surgery on November 23 and was in the hospital for four days with six weeks of recovery at home. Yes, I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and enjoyed my liquid diet!

I am doing well. Thanks to everyone who sent me notes of encouragement and for the prayers.

For those wondering, the surgery was for “complicated diverticulitis.” The surgeon, with the help of a robot, removed about 12 inches of my colon and stitched the good parts back together. I have five incisions in my stomach that look like I was in a knife fight. I am healing nicely.

Chicks dig scars, right?

There was some *pain* involved – the tube they inserted in my abdomen to drain the fluid was very painful to remove. I said the F-word to the nurse when he pulled it out. The catheter removal was no treat, either. Probably the thing I hated most was in August when they inserted a hose down my nose into my stomach to drain it so I could have a quick colonoscopy. That freaking hurt.

*In no way am I saying this pain compares to childbirth…

I have been spending time watching football, and the World Cup, monitoring current events, and sleeping!

I am also waiting for the bills to roll in that the insurance did not cover. It’s pretty shitty to have insurance and still be stuck with enormous bills.

Is this a great country or what?



10 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. Glad to see you back and hope your recovery progresses quickly. For additional football TV don’t forget there’s also NCAA Div II and Div III championship games, this eve and tomorrow. ESPNU I believe.

    On the safety levy subject, the most amusing thing about Commissioner Tryon’s “rumor debunking” attempt at ECB was conveniently neglecting to note that he personally had enthusiastically supported that $36M “best” option. It’s on record in the commission’s work session of November 15.

    The enthusiasm for that big ask displayed by him and other commissioners is the primary reason “social media, information/news outlets, and ‘word on the street’” somehow got the idea “The City is going to try to raise our property taxes 191% in a safety levy!” Yes it is true taxes may not go up 191% when all is said and done, but Commissioner “tax and spend” Tryon himself is certainly in favor of trying to raise $36M and your property taxes by 191%. He represents “the City”.

    According to the most recent story in the Electric, Manager Doyon threw cold water on that “best” option, saying it was way too big an ask.the city has also posted an RFP

    What a 180 degree fiscal turnaround from the ancient days of early 2020 when Commissioner Tryon fought tooth and nail against a proposal to spend a whopping $12,500 on a City energy efficiency study.

    See Rick championing the $36M option here in the video of the 11/15 meeting, starting at the 45 minute mark:

    Note: In a subsequent meeting, Manager Doyon threw cold water on that “best” option, saying it was way too big an ask.

    • Terry – Thanks for the info about the games tonight. Thanks for the info about the safety levy. -JmB

  2. Hello Jackie,

    Glad to see you back blogging. I wish you well in your recovery. The procedure sounds pretty substantial. And you are correct, the pain will be back when the bills start rolling in.

    Thank you once again for calling out Steve Daines. As you so aptly describe, not having our military fully vaccinated is a threat to our ability to mobilize our troops. Daine’s grandstanding and essentially holding our economy hostage on this issue should be disqualifying for him. He is acting fully against the interests of Montana and the nation. This alone should be enoough to get him voted out of office but I am afraid the crazy right has their hooks into him too deeply. He must really love the adjulation he gets from the RWNJ faction.

    Heal quickly and well and keeping calling out the goofballs who seem to be in charge on every level.

  3. Tryon speaks perfect MAGA. Is it lying, is it gas lighting, is it purposeful obfuscation, or just plain stupidity? Knowing Rick the way I do, I choose the latter. Kinda scary when guys with Rick’s intellect make decisions regarding our future tax increases when he obviously doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about!

    “The learned commissioner is much too cunning to be understood.”
    Commissioner Dogberry

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