Opinion

Commentary from a variety of Montana citizens expressing a range of viewpoints.

Views expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of this station.

The Great Society Meets Fiscal Reality

Sep 6, 2013

The Great Society Meets Fiscal Reality

Someone wise in matters of politics once said that programs for the poor are poor programs.  It remains true today – initiatives aimed at helping the most vulnerable in our society, be they privately or publicly funded, seem to be perpetually starved for funds.  And so the genius of those who created the Social Security system – originally aimed at older Americans whose assets were devastated by the Great Depression in 1935 – was to make the program available to all, regardless of income.

Falling is dangerous - and preventable

Sep 5, 2013

Good evening.  I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services, the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli counties.  Because September is fall prevention month, tonight I’d like to talk about why preventing falls is so important as we get older, and suggest some ways that can help you do this.

In Montana, We Don’t Let Our Neighbors Go Hungry

Sep 3, 2013

This week, children across the state headed back to school after another beautiful Montana summer. And while there are many kids who wished summer would last forever, there are also kids in every community in the state, who are excited to get back to the classroom - because back to school means getting enough to eat.

As we approach Labor Day, Montana and American workers are plugging away at their jobs, producing products and profits for their employers while Congress goes out of session for 5 weeks, leaving Washington having produced little or nothing.

There is a great disconnect between Washington, DC and the rest of the nation.  Is it no wonder that less than 10% of folks give Congress a positive rating?

Let’s take a minute to compare the jobs, job quality and productivity of workers in Montana and the nation with the wages, working conditions and productivity in Congress.

Dream Deferred

Aug 28, 2013

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech as the March on Washington drew to a close.  The nation was wowed.   But as good as the speech is, to appreciate the full range of King’s gifts, you must read the letter from Birmingham jail he wrote five months earlier.  As an example of persuasive writing, it’s top-drawer.   It matches the “I Have a Dream” speech in imagery and musicality, but surpasses it in rhetorical genius.

Work Comp on Right Road? Not for Workers

Aug 28, 2013

Last week, the Missoulian Editorial Board proclaimed, “State on right road with workers’ comp.” As an attorney who represents injured workers, I could not disagree more. From my perspective, if you are injured on the job in Montana, and relegated to the “meat grinder” of the workers’ compensation system, you are often on the Road to Ruin.

Health Care Marketplace provides competitive rates

Aug 27, 2013

Health Care Marketplace provides competitive rates

Many of us already know that there will be new ways to obtain health insurance starting in 2014.  After a long process following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which included a Supreme Court decision and a Presidential election, we are now approaching the time when health insurance will be within reach for most Americans.  Many call this Obamacare, but few really understand what it’s all about.

     Young people graduating from high school face a conundrum: Going to college has gotten more and more expensive while the economic payoff from having a college degree has increased in value. College tuition and fees have continued to grow much faster than most other costs in the economy. At the same time, state legislatures have become increasingly reluctant to subsidize college operations.

American Youth Leadership Program

Aug 21, 2013

Montana summers are filled with great things for teenagers – sports camps, swimming, family reunions, sleeping – but for 20 Montana high school students, a month of their summer was spent on an educational exchange in Cambodia. Through the State Department’s American Youth Leadership Program, or AYLP, the Maureen & Mike Mansfield Center selected 20 talented young leaders and two innovative high school teachers to participate in an intensive environmental studies and cultural exchange program in Cambodia.

Drugs and Prisons Dominate the Week’s News Cycle

Aug 19, 2013

Drugs and prisons hit the news cycle this week with the force of a coordinated campaign. New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy was found unconstitutional and we learned that the NSA shares intercepted information with the DEA to use against American citizens. It is the DEA’s policy, then, to makes up stories to cover up how they got their leads.

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