Here are the topics that caught my attention for today’s column:
- Donald Trump is Guilty
- Transgender Lawsuit
- Montana State Prison
- NFL Schedule Release
- One More Thing
DONALD TRUMP IS GUILTY:
The Associated Press (AP) reported that a jury found Donald Trump liable Tuesday for sexually abusing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in 1996, awarding her $5 million in a judgment that could haunt the former president as he campaigns to regain the White House. Jurors also found Trump liable for defaming Carroll over her allegations.
There were a lot of reactions to the verdict, but I have yet to see a reaction from U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) who has already endorsed Trump for President in 2024. Daines is probably busy – I see that he is going after drag queens on military bases. (Source)
If someone sees a response from any of the Republican elected officials in Montana, please feel free to provide a link to it in the comments.
Read the AP report HERE.
It was only a matter of time…
The Daily Montanan and several other sources are reporting that two transgender Montana teenagers and their families, along with two medical providers of gender-affirming care in the state, are challenging Montana’s newly signed law that bans the treatments for minors and opens practitioners up to professional punishment and lawsuits.
According to the Daily Montanan, the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, the national ACLU, Lambda Legal and the Perkins Coie law firm filed a lawsuit in Missoula County District Court on Tuesday asking a judge to declare Senate Bill 99 unconstitutional on multiple grounds and to permanently enjoin the state from enforcing it.
I think this will be an interesting case. I think the law is more intrusion into privacy and it curtails freedom. This is something that should be between the teenager, their parent/guardian, and their healthcare provider.
Read the full report from the Daily Montanan HERE.
MONTANA STATE PRISON:
Some good news…
I happened to catch a story on KRTV/MTN News in Great Falls about Montana prison inmates graduating from Helena College:
In a partnership with the Montana Department of Corrections and Helena College, the prison graduated nine inmates from its eight-month-long automotive technology course. The course is designed to give inmates a skill so they can go to work once they’re released from prison.
These are the types of programs that prisons need to prepare inmates for the outside world when they are released.
MTN News says the program is funded through the federal Second Chance Pell Grant program that was started in Montana last fall.
Read the full story with the video HERE.
NFL SCHEDULE RELEASE:
Get ready football fans – the 2023 NFL schedules will be released on Thursday (tomorrow) at 6:00 p.m. Montana time. It will be televised on the NFL Network, NFL+, and ESPN2.
Some of the schedule has already been released. Check it out HERE.
ONE MORE THING:
Donald Trump was found liable for damages in a sexual abuse lawsuit, paid hush-money to a porn star to conceal an adulterous affair, used the power of the presidency to increase the wealth of himself and his family, and incited a violent insurrection.
Republicans: “Trump 2024!”
daines said he anticipates president trump to appeal – typical milquetoast daines response
funny how our the governor demonstrates his impressive knowledge of the Montana constitution when it comes to vetoing marijuana tax laws but can’t apply the same knowledge when it applies to personal privacy – something that very constituent goes to great lengths to protect.
in the delusional bullies own words:
in closing I think everyone should read this quote:
There’s no camaraderie or honor whatsoever at the end of this legislative session — just taillights heading out of Helena back to the places where most Montanans still follow the “live and let live” and respect for individual privacy traditions for which our state has long been known.
Perhaps, when they leave their vicious pack mentality, they’ll remember those traditions — and reflect back on how they betrayed them, the Constitution and Montanans for 90 long days.
Thanks for the information. – JmB
Americans are worried about what happens if the radical Republicans successfully crash the economy with their debt limit suicide wish, about their 401ks, Social Security, jobs, businesses, etc., and are hoping someone can come up with a deal to prevent default.
But that someone won’t be our senator Steve Daines. He is far too busy prosecuting a campaign to ensure that the young people on America’s military bases have no on-base entertainment options that he – the self-appointed be-all and end-all of moral authority in America – personally considers “prurient” *.
Let them find that entertainment off-base instead. The country will be ever so much more secure than if the exact same people had been so entertained on-base.
* I admit I may have different tastes and urges than right wingers and Republican politicians, but I find nothing at all prurient about guys dressed up in garish ladies’ duds with far too much makeup and wild wigs sitting on chairs reading books out loud.
Good points. The shows have been going on for quite awhile and if I remember correctly the DoD said no taxpayer funds were used.
There are much more important things to worry about. Thanks, JmB
Between the teenagers, parents & doctor you say.
Don’t forget the preteens. If you don’t block puberty before it starts then the , let’s just say, male hormones kick in creating male features. But waiting until the penis has grown will allow for a more simple conversion to a vagina.
I really must ask, why do you care? Is it because you don’t trust the entire medical establishment and parents to make the correct decisions for their own children? I don’t get it. The hate and harm generated by this bill far outweighs any potential benefit, because there is none. The only thing left is cruelty, and the testimony from the proponents of this bill exhibited gleeful cruelty as they refused to honor every request to tone down their hateful rhetoric. And they even knew it would probably be ruled unconstitutional. They did it for sport. And that’s about as sick as it gets. Consummate bullies and cowards.
What did I say?
I probably should of said “children” instead of teenagers.
I think the situation is tough, but those closest (parents/guardians, healthcare providers) are in much better position to understand the needs of the person, more so than a lawmaker going along with party politics in Helena. Thanks, JmB
Agreed, a much better position than these intellectual luminaries who are subjects of the lawsuit. Seriously, who would want any one of this group making medical decisions for your child?
A guy who thinks science taught in schools should be devoid of theories, and that Satanists in California believe aborting babies is commanded by their religion. (Emrich)
A woman who would not attempt stop her daughter from attempting suicide. (Seekins-Crowe)
A freedumb caucus founder and unabashed Christian nationalist and all round MAGA kook who introduced a bill to make Montana a constitutionalist state. (Manzella)
A seventy-one year old guy who worries that guys who identify as amputees might start having their legs cut off if his bill doesn’t pass. (Fuller)
I mean, this is a veritable freak show on the MAGA. It’s no wonder that medical people are scared to death to allow these kooks to bring their politics into the medical profession. It’s good that they’re called out in the lawsuit. Make them explain to the world why they should not be held accountable.
“The lawsuit further calls out by name several Republican lawmakers – including bill sponsor Sen. John Fuller, Sen. Daniel Emrich, Sen. Theresa Manzella, Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe, and Sen. Greg Hertz – for their comments they made about transgender people, gender-affirming care, and the bill during committee and floor discussions.”
This is from John Pavlovitz:
“I feel like I’m losing my mind.”
These words are a continual presence these days.
I hear them a couple hundred times a day in one form or another.
I read them in desperate social media outbursts.
I find them in my inbox from friends and from strangers.
I hear them in my own head.
They are the symptoms of a shared sickness we now find ourselves afflicted with: a sprawling homegrown mental health crisis, the genesis of which can be traced to a single Wednesday morning in November of 2016. They are part of a growing national neurosis brought on by a continual assault on decency, sanity, and goodness by those in power.
Mental health is a daily battle, even on our best days.
During any given year in America, one in five adults (nearly 44 million people) experiences mental illness—10 million of these people finding their lives fundamentally impacted by their internal, invisible maladies.
The personal toll of these diseases is almost incalculable: debilitating mood disorders, propensity toward addiction, susceptibility to physical illness, and regular feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
Nearly 45, 000 people die here by suicide each year, with 25 attempts for each of these deaths. Many of these premature passings are have direct or indirect lines to undiagnosed, or treated but ultimately insurmountable sickness. On any given moment, millions of people are fighting a battle in their own heads just to stay here.
This is all under normal circumstances—and these are not at all normal circumstances. These are days that tax people’s already burdened mental defense systems and emotional reserves by relentlessly targeting their places of vulnerability:
the real and manufactured emergencies designed by the former President and his current party,
the daily incessant legislative attacks on vulnerable people groups,
the collective cruelty
the normalized acts of violence the forty-fifth president not only tolerates but incites,
the untethered behavior regarding matters of national security, environmental stewardship, and human rights.
In other words, the GOP is unwell and lots of good, already hurting people see it clearly. They understand the gravity of these moments for our nation and they are rightly terrified by the lack of accountability, the absence of conscience, and the poverty of empathy.
Men and women already prone to depression and anxiety, those normally driven to despair without any discernible cause or reason—now also have objective data that makes that hopelessness quite sensible.
The MAGA movement is making otherwise mentally healthy people emotionally sick, and making ill people much worse. Like forcing a person suffering from Asthma into an enclosed space and making them exert themselves over and over without rest; surrounding them with every allergen and trigger their illness has—and with great joy, watching them gradually suffocate.
And a growing number of otherwise well people are developing a form of PTSD from continual exposure to a group of people in power whose malevolence and contempt for life are beyond comprehension. They too are finding the space within their own heads to be a dangerous one as they live within it all.
What worse, the GOP’s boundless assaults on human rights, their vicious crusades against science, their continual gaslighting of otherwise sensible people, and their reckless fake news conspiracy theories, aren’t just making those who oppose them prone to head sickness—they’re doing the same to his supporters.
Republican leaders are playing on their own rank-and file’s paranoia, instability, and fear; ratifying their latent or active neuroses, and justifying the ways they now act out in both emotional and physical violence.
We are seeing daily mass shootings in school, churches, subways, city streets, and grocery stores, by people whose own illnesses and frailties have been triggered by the incendiary language and calculated lies continually perpetuated from the top.
America is sickly—and half of its leaders are fine with that.
It’s no coincidence that the Trump Administration and his Republican surrogates drastically reduced funding for mental healthcare and removed barriers from ill people accessing firearms. This chaos is what it thrives upon, traffics in, and desires.
In an environment populated by emotionally fragile and mentally unhealthy people, it’s much easier to act without accountability and to continue to take away resources, personal liberties, and human rights without recompense.
Mental illness is rarely treated with the same urgency and seriousness as physical illness, and the dismissal is even more profound in days when people feeling deep sadness and great empathy for others are derided as “snowflakes.” The callousness of these days makes brain maladies nonexistent, or worse—worthy of ridicule.
The former President and those who support him in Congress are counting on sick people growing too tired from pushing back, too overwhelmed fighting their inner demons, and too hopeless at the story to go on.
We can’t allow that.
We need to keep our eyes and ears open to the pain of others right now: to hear the suffering in their words or that is buried in their silence—and to move toward it.
We need to linger long enough to see people who are hurting; to notice their withdrawal and absence, and to make sure they’re OK.
We need to use the resources currently available of therapists, doctors, and counselors who understand these invisible sicknesses and how very real they are.
We need to gather in community to bolster and encourage one another, and to remind people that they aren’t alone in the wars they wage to get better.
We need to reach out to people in our own despair, in our sadness, in our own fight to stay here.
And we all need to carry one another and care for one another, realizing that the GOP has no desire to, and in fact is doing willful damage.
We are not well, America.
Many of our leaders are really not well.
We need to oppose the ugliness that collectively threatens us.
We need to vote for our health and for our lives.
We need to get well together.
Good information. Thanks for sharing. -JmB
Nice letter Ruth. Well written. Some attribution for the figures you quoted would have helped me look up the numbers. Historically things were worse. Think Hitler, Stalin Mao. Your Here and Now seems very accurate to me. We live in the best country the world has known. We have problems, serious problems, caused by the people we elect.