Happy Friday – we made it! Here are the topics that caught my eye for this week’s column:
- TikTok in Montana
- Drag Show at Capitol
- Commissioner Rick Tryon
- One More Thing
TIKTOK IN MONTANA:
The 60 State House members who voted to ban TikTok in Montana must be some of the most gullible people around. Add those to the 30 who voted to ban it in the state senate, and it makes me wonder what else they will fall for.
The bill is SB 419. The 60-39 vote was for the second reading which means there will be one more vote (maybe today) and if it passes, it heads to Governor Greg Gianforte’s desk for his signature. He has given every indication he will sign it, then we let the lawsuits begin.
The Associated Press (AP) had a recent article about the ban in Montana. The headline read, “Montana close to becoming 1st state to completely ban TikTok.”
Here is one key part from the AP story that seems to fall on deaf ears regarding TikTok:
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, has been under intense scrutiny over concerns it could hand over user data to the Chinese government or push pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation on the platform. Leaders at the FBI, CIA and numerous lawmakers of both parties have raised those concerns but haven’t presented any evidence to prove it has happened.
In shorter terms, no evidence shows any user data has been handed over to the Chinese government.
I wonder if the gullible members who voted for the ban will now try to ban proms in schools, or rainbow flags. Maybe the next ban will be against blogs like this one.
The legislature is wasting valuable time going after TikTok, Drag Queens, and women’s health and not concentrating on important issues. Why not increase the penalties for driving drunk, trafficking, and drug possession? How about passing a Red Flag law? How about an assault rifle ban?
I have been using TikTok for about two years. I use it for learning and for entertainment. I follow about 300 people and about 60 people follow me. I follow the accounts of plumbers, electricians, mechanics, off-grid people, celebrities, etc. My account is @Bigsky1959.
I guess I should say to the 90 or so morons in the state legislature who actually believe TikTok is a threat, “I’ll give up my TikTok account when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”
You can read the AP article HERE.
DRAG SHOW AT CAPITOL:
Drag queens and their shows really seem to bother conservatives, especially the MAGA conservatives who make up most of Montana’s conservatives these days. People dressed in drag have been around for years and many prominent people dressed in drag.
Full disclosure: I was entertained by Corporal Klinger in MASH and Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies. Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie and Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire were great. I’ll bet Milton Berle and Bob Hope dressed in drag were quite funny, but of course, that was before we got offended by most everything.
I applaud the drag performers who showed up in Helena this week at the state capitol.
MTN News reports:
Thursday at the Montana State Capitol, advocates organized drag performances, as a protest against a bill moving forward in the state Legislature that would limit where those performances can be held.
Starting at 11 a.m., more than a dozen drag and transgender performers held a show on the front steps of the Capitol, dancing and lip-syncing to popular songs – despite heavy snow. In the afternoon, several performers gathered in the rotunda to hold a “Drag Story Hour,” reading picture books to children.
As I said in the above piece about TikTok, there are many more important things to work on in Montana.
Read the MTN report HERE.
COMMISSIONER RICK TRYON:
Great Falls City Commissioner Rick Tryon announced a few weeks ago that he was going to run for reelection as a city commissioner.
I won’t be voting for him.
Tryon is trying to have it several ways. In my opinion, he is a Trump MAGA man and patterned himself after Trump. In some of his Facebook posts, he now seems to want to distance himself from Trump just a little. (Source)
This is a typical politician going back to the middle to get votes.
He penned a piece for his blog, the E-City Beat, in which he talked about the budget for the city of Great Falls and gave us his thoughts and political spin on the budget. (Source)
In his second paragraph before I even had a sip of coffee he talked about raising taxes:
“The Great Falls City Commission is very limited by state law when it comes to raising taxes at the local level and in my opinion this is a good thing. But it does present challenges when it comes to funding city services every year.”
He talks about fees and permits which was ironic since he just voted to raise our sanitation fees. He voted to send a gigantic public safety levy to the voters. He also voted to give the City Manager a nice raise.
One thing he said that I think is important is for citizens to give their input. I think most of the decisions are already made, but it does not hurt.
He closes his “campaign” style piece by saying “in 2020 and 2021 I voted with my fellow commissioners against any tax raises or fee increases.”
I don’t know if that is true or false, but he kind of predicts he will be voting to raise our taxes with this closing sentence:
“I would like to be able to vote that same way every budget year so that Phyllis and I, and all of our fellow Great Fallsians, would never have to see our local taxes and fees go up while keeping the same level of City services, but unfortunately that isn’t reality and we all know it.”
Finally, in one of his Facebook posts (Source), he asks readers:
“So ask yourself today: What am I going to do to make a better life for all of us here in our hometown?”
Well, Great Falls is not my hometown, but I have lived here since 1989. I chose Great Falls. I will be voting for local candidates who won’t raise my taxes or fees because they hear a sad story from a department head.
ONE MORE THING:
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And stupid. We should be scared shitless of stupid. – @middleageriot
Terry, I looked up Cardi B’s “WAP” Life is passing. Thanks for the good laugh. Pretty humorous if you ask me. Yes our Republican friends are all about land use
If I were in charge, Tik Tok would never have seen the light of day. The authoritarian Chinese are very aware of our system and will do what they can to change it. I do not think the state legislature has any role in banning TikTok.
I remember before plug and play, I thought I was in control of my computer. Now, I am barely in control.
Who is in control of your mobile phone? Why are our platforms banned in China? Reciprocity should be the rule, period.
I do not know if the Chinese government has any influence or not. Take your precious bible to China and start waving it around and see what happens. Go there and exercise your free speech. The jails in Hong Kong are nice this time of year. I personally do not believe in censorship. It seems that banning Tik Tok is a form of censorship. When they do not censor us we do not censor them. All these data miners should be looked at. If it is a little inconvenient, too bad. Our system is more important.
My favorite thing from China besides TikTok is Kung Pao chicken. -JmB
Aha, the answer is clear. The adulterated peanuts have activated your C.T.E. from your football days. Do you have a secret C.T.E. desire to dress like a woman ? 🙂
You have figured me out. 😂
The TikTok ban would piss off an awful lot of voters, particularly young ones but not only young. Lots of people use it. And people who are making a living in part thanks to TikTok. Hopefully they will all remember what their Republican politicians did TO, not “for”, them when the next election comes along. But of course that’s why elections are always the year AFTER the politicians screw us, so hopefully people will forget.
IIRC there’s also some other Internet-related bill percolating designed to “protect” us all, because we’re incapable of protecting ourselves and the children on our own. (Except when it comes to facemasks or vaccines, then it is all about personal choice). That one is about age verification before viewing any potentially potentially adult content. Not just kids, everyone. We would all have to turn over government ID information to some faceless organization that would store it in the cloud ripe for hacking or who knows what else (like turn it over to Knudsen, maybe?), before we could for instance look at YouTube and maybe be exposed to videos like Cardi B’s “WAP”, and for sure no more casual visits to porn sites without giving up your identity.
The Montana legislature … busy as bees “protecting” people who never asked them for the legislature’s protection. By shoving their own “big brother, big government” far right & religious beliefs down our throats.
Nicely put. Thanks, JmB
The reps and senators also went all out to “protect” us from the no-actual-proof TikTok scourge, too, with $10,000 per day fines if the app is offered for download or available to access. Wow they really mean business!
But could they muster the votes the other day to raise even minimally the daily fine for the growing problem of illegally blocked public roads and the public lands those lead to? No, they could not.
The current fine is $10/day. So some landowner who feels like blocking a public road to annex thousands of acres of public land out behind his place, to make it a private playground for him and his out of state buddies, can get away with “leasing” all those thousands of formerly public acres for just $3,650 a year. Some punishment, $10/day.
From the GF area Sens McKamey and Trebas sided with the public, so thank you senators, but the shamefully reliable tool of big money and big business Steve Fitzpatrick and that enemy of public anything because it smacks of communism and probably godlessness too Daniel Emrich voted to keep it a low, low $10. They voted to support land thieves.
What’s the scariest thing in Montana for a MAGA? Nope, not a griz. Nor a rattlesnake. Not even a mountain lion. It’s a….
Don’t use it but do snooze any FB friends who post more than one stupid video a week.
Haha. Good idea!