Thursday Thoughts

Here are a few topics that caught my attention:

  • HB 361
  • Montana Indoor Clean Air Act
  • Pairs Well With…

HB 361:

Republican Montana State Representative Brandon Ler is the main sponsor of a bill with the short title, “Provide that use of a name and sex by a student is not discrimination.”

That’s a weird title and does not tell what the bill would really do.

They should call it, “We hate people who are different.”

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting about the bill, so Montana is again being embarrassed across the country by the right-wing wackos in the state legislature.

The AP reports that Montana schools would not be able to punish students who purposely misgender or deadname their transgender peers under a Republican-backed legislative proposal that opponents argue will increase bullying of children who are already struggling for acceptance.

Here are the House members who have sponsored this bill:


Just about every day of the 2023 Legislative session has given me something to shake my head about in disbelief.

Read the AP story HERE. You can find the bill HERE.


According to the Legislative News Service, Montana State Senator Jeremy Trebas, R-Great Falls, is sponsoring Senate Bill 205, which would revise the Clean Indoor Air Act and allow private establishments to obtain smoking licenses that would allow individuals to smoke inside.

The bill was tabled in committee by a 9-0 vote.

Back in 2015, I wrote that I thought the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act was a little far-reaching. As a non-smoker going into bars and restaurants where smoke filled the room, it bothered me. I would not frequent those places.

I’ve also written that the authors of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act could have saved a lot of time and money if they would have left the decision to the consumers and the owners. A cheap $5 sign placed at every entrance telling customers that “Smoking is Allowed in this Establishment” or “Smoking is NOT Allowed in this Establishment” would have allowed the consumer to make the decision to use the business or not. Owners could determine if they wanted to be a smoking establishment or not. Children under a certain age would not be permitted to enter a business that allowed smoking. Making employees who don’t smoke work in the area would have to be addressed.

Here we are in 2023 and I like the way things have worked out. I know if I am going out to eat in Montana I won’t have to breathe the smoke from others.

I am happy the bill was tabled.

Read the Legislative News Service report HERE. You can view the bill HERE.


People contact me and ask me how I have continued to blog all these years. The Western Word was created in January 2005. It has been a great journey, but to be truthful, I have help.

It is the wine. Yes, the wine.

This wine “pairs well” with blogging….

See for yourself HERE.

## THE END ##


12 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts

  1. Why afraid to comment?
    “UnAmerican” – that’s me maybe.
    For instance I actually spent time trying to find someone on Twitter with whom I could discuss opinions. Someone who had completely different ones.
    But I truly wanted a polite conversation. I gave up looking.

  2. This particular legislature and its supermajority is drunk on power and blasting far far to the right of “conservatism” into authoritarianism. Bills like HB 361 and others targeting the LGBTQ population (and women) are just one facet of that.

    The far right legislators are off and running with numerous new “one-size-fits-all big government from Helena” dictates on the cities and towns of Montana. They’re even proposing bills to spay and neuter their fellow conservatives in local government, conservatives like GF commissioner Tryon, as he wrote about recently on ECB. (To his example of SB 245 one could also add HB 337 re: home lot sizes which is literally – literally – one size fits all. These bills purport to address “the housing crisis” but smell a lot more like “bigger profits for developers”.) Montana’s local conservative authorities who don’t think their cities and towns should look like crowded Chicago neighborhoods of multi-family homes on postage stamp lots with bumper-to-bumper street parking are now apparently no more than RINOs standing in the way of the true conservative utopia.

    There are also numerous one size fits all bills for businesses in Montana. For all the work Gov. Gianforte may have done trying to reduce red tape in Montana, this legislature is busy attempting to load it back on in spades.

    Then there’s their legislative power grab. Not content with their efforts to subjugate the judiciary into ruling according to the Republican party line, they’ve also taken aim at Gov. Gianforte and the executive branch with the likes of SB 73.

    And on and on it goes. This legislature is proof of the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • The truly remarkable thing is that many of these races that the MAGA trumpers won were by very close margins. Thus, you would think that they’d be concerned about representing all of their constituents, not just the extreme christofascist crowd to be better positioned for future races. In other words, from the center. Hard to tell for sure, but it seems to me that regardless of what they believe, we are not yet Arkansas.

      They seem to be alienating a lot of folks, and motivating even more to make sure that they’re never in Helena again. Their brand of blatant cruelty and egregious hatred seems to be turning off a lot of former allies. Hard to call yourself a Christian and traditional conservative and endorse the obviously anti-Christian bills emanating from their twisted brains. They hardly represent the “Montana values” of old they so endlessly tout. At least I hope Montana hasn’t changed that much.

      Barry Usher was quoted as saying their party’s assault on trans kids and their rights was the most important issue his constituents were concerned about. I find this very hard to believe. What scared these little minds overnight into thinking that a minute segment of harmless innocent children could somehow be a threat to them and their way of life? Usher rose to the challenge, girded his loins, mounted up and with great fanfare, rode off to immediately become their champion, sir Barry of the little minds! Heck, some day like St. Patrick, Barry might have his own holiday for heroically ridding Montana of a non-existent threat! I call it St. Barry’s Day!

    • For another example of the Republican Helena crowd wanting to impose one-size-fits-all top-down control on Montana towns and cities, check out HB 324 that Americans for Prosperity just sent me a postcard about today. It proposes to set strict spending growth limits on local governments based on what they’re currently spending and inflation.

      Boy oh boy that would put a dagger through the heart of Commissioner Tryon’s big fat public safety levy. And if the State cuts out some sort of funding for something local people really want, well, too bad so sad, your community leaders can’t try to make that up.

      Apparently the Montana voters who were wise enough to put all those Republicans in the legislature are on the other hand too dumb and incompetent to give local officials the boot if they run wild with spending. So thank God we have extremist state legislators like Regier, Manzella, Phalen etc. who hail from totally different communities to look out for us all over Montana, because obviously we’re not capable of making our own local decisions. So big of them.

      • I received the same postcard tonight. I scanned the code and I liked “It’s time to rein in out of control local governments” because it seems this is what is happening in Cascade County and Great Falls.

      • If the voters of Cascade County and Great Falls think their governments are out of control, they can vote the rascals out. We don’t need the likes of Manzella and Regier looking out for us. For anything at all. We didn’t vote for them.

        From the Great Falls/Cascade County area Reps. Galloway, Kerns, Gist, and Trebas all sit on the Local Government committee where this bill is getting a hearing today. If anyone reading this is in their district I’m sure they would be more than happy to hear from you, one way or the other. And promptly ignore you.

  3. do you have a method to record how many visitors your blog has each day? The choir seems pretty consistent. Can’t even get a good argument going since I generally agree most of the time 🙂 I just wish more people would listen to your established voice. You are all wet about C.T.E. and football, however 🙂

    • I do know how many views and visitors I have each day. The last two years have been record-breaking. I don’t publicize that info.
      Anyone is able to comment. I know those who disagree with me read the blog, but are afraid to comment.
      Thanks, JmB

      • Hi Jackie,
        I think I have been commenting occasionally on your blog for about a year. Nothing has happened to me. Why would people be afraid to comment? I think it probably has more to do with cognitive dissonance when they see the rationlity of your posts in contraast to their RWNJ opinions.
        Keep up the good work.

Comments are closed.