• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous supporter has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Merry Montana Christmas

It’s times like these that make one realize just how lucky we are to be living in Montana — and not in Washington, D.C. As utter chaos engulfs the White House and Congress, Montanans can look out their winter windows at dark green forests, snow-capped mountains, ribbons of clean rivers winding through broad valleys and endless rolling plains. And we can enjoy what is supposed to be the season of peace and good cheer toward all with our fellow Montanans far from the madding crowd and the dark black cloud hanging over our nation’s capital.

The last week has seen an almost unbelievable breakdown in what should be a joyful time for the nation’s citizens. The stock market, that overblown indicator of economic health, came crashing down in a stunning death spiral that not only erased any gains for the past year, but plummeted with huge losses not seen since the Great Depression. Given that much of Donald Trump’s chest-pounding has been in direct relation to the “great economy” for which he claims credit, it’s safe to say we’re likely to get a break from that particular braggadocio for a while — perhaps a long while.

Nor will Montanans lose much sleep over whether or not a wall gets built on the border with Mexico. The caravan of Central American migrants fleeing extremely dangerous and precarious living conditions won’t find a manger this Christmas Eve, where the current Trump border policies would toss Joseph in jail and Mary in detention after pulling her baby from her arms. Surely those who profess their Christianity so long and loud cannot and should not tolerate such treatment of fellow humans in distress, let alone at Christmas.

For Montanans, it’s quite the opposite on our northern border where, despite the best efforts by some to drum up paranoia and militarize it, our great Canadian friends continue to come have fun here and we do the same there. If one needed a good example of excellent cross-border relationships, you couldn’t find a much better and long-standing one than between Montanans and our Canadian neighbors.

Many Montanans will also have reason to be joyful this season with the departure of Ryan Zinke from his post as secretary of the Interior. It was embarrassing to see time and again the references to Zinke as “a Montanan” while the list of ethics investigations and violations and environmentally destructive policies spewed from his office. Most Montanans are not scammers, are not ethically challenged, and do not find destruction of the environment, historic sites and artifacts on public lands acceptable. It will be good to see the dumb flag that Zinke commanded to be flown over Interior’s headquarters whenever “the commander” was in the building come down for the last time as he heads out of Washington.

It will also be good to see Montana’s congressional Trump puppets, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, reassess the changing situation as the indictments, arrests and incarceration of Trump’s business and campaign associates increases in the coming months. Perhaps they can give thinking for themselves a try — and putting the real interests of Montanans ahead of the destructive hyper-partisan “loyalty tests” required by Trump’s arcane presidency.

The times they are a-changing — and despite the current political chaos at the highest levels, there’s a brighter day ahead when, once again, the checks and balances upon which our government relies will be restored to functionality. It’s a great reason to be thankful this Christmas — and to celebrate our good lives here with our fellow Montanans.

More articles by:

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
John Feffer
Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency
Dean Baker
The Economics and Politics of Financial Transactions Taxes and Wealth Taxes
Jonah Raskin
What Evil Empire?
Nino Pagliccia
The Apotheosis of Emperors
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A Passion for Writing
Basav Sen
The Oil Despots
Brett Wilkins
‘No Friend But the Mountains’: A History of US Betrayal of the Kurds
John Kendall Hawkins
Assange: Enema of the State
Scott Owen
Truth, Justice and Life
Thomas Knapp
“The Grid” is the Problem, Not the Solution
Rob Kall
Republicans Are Going to Remove Trump Soon
Cesar Chelala
Lebanon, Dreamland
Weekend Edition
October 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
CounterPunch in Peril?
Anthony DiMaggio
Fake News in Trump’s America
Andrew Levine
Trump’s End Days
Jeffrey St. Clair
High Plains Grifter: the Life and Crimes of George W. Bush
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Fighters Always Feared Trump Would be a Treacherous Ally
Paul Street
On the TrumpenLeft and False Equivalence
Dave Lindorff
Sure Trump is ‘Betraying the Kurds!’ But What’s New about That?
Rob Urie
Democrats Impeach Joe Biden, Fiddle as the Planet Burns
Sam Pizzigati
Inequality is Literally Killing Us
Jill Richardson
What Life on the Margins Feels Like
Mitchell Zimmerman
IMPOTUS: Droit de seigneur at Mar-a-Lago
Robert Hunziker
Methane SOS
Lawrence Davidson
Donald Trump, the Christian Warrior
William Hartung – Mandy Smithburger
The Pentagon is Pledging to Reform Itself, Again. It Won’t.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail