Jim Elliott

Recent Posts

Montana Viewpoint: A little poetic relief from Mr. Riley

JE

When I sat down to write today I became immediately depressed about the possible topics at hand, so I decided to share with you a poem by James Whitcomb Riley, a framed copy of which has graced a small room in my parents’ home and then my home for almost a century. Happy Valentine’s Day. The Passing of the Backhouse
When memory keeps me company and moves to smiles or tears,
A weather-beaten object looms up through the mist of years. Behind the house and barn it stood, a half a mile or more,
And hurrying feet a path had made straight to its swinging door. Its architecture was a type of simple classic art,
But in the tragedy of life it played a leading part;
And oft the passing traveler drove slow and heaved a sigh,
To see the modest hired girl slip out with glances shy. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Winner claims fraud—that’s a first

JE

Donald Trump has been legitimately elected president of the United States, and Democrats need to get over it and move on. But so does Donald Trump. Although Trump had a big victory it is apparently not big enough. He is now claiming that he should have gotten the majority of the popular vote as well as the Electoral College vote and is claiming that millions of people cast ballots illegally, and all for Clinton. This is the first time I have ever heard of a winning candidate claiming voter fraud. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Hidden spending needs review, too

Jim

Montana is experiencing a cash flow problem and the governor and legislators are looking at ways to balance the budget. To do this, the Republican-controlled Legislature is looking at cutting funding to services that benefit Montanans. Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is looking at cutting some of that funding as well, but he is also looking at raising revenue to prevent cuts by increasing taxes on incomes over $500,000, basically recovering a portion of a tax break enacted in 2003, discussed below. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Thoughts for the coming Legislature

Jim

The Montana Legislature will convene in a few days to conduct the business of the citizens of Montana. Legislators have some serious work to do, little time to do it, and less time to think about how their actions will affect their employers. Here are some issues they might want to think about as they begin the session: (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Bad roads and bad guys

Jim

What do bad roads and bad guys have in common? They are both results of America’s inability to fund preventive measures that would not only improve the country but also cost less than the current system of waiting to fix a problem, be it physical or social, until it has gone completely gunnybags. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: The simple virtues of Jess Nelson

Jim

Jess Nelson was a machinist in Thompson Falls for many years. He was good at it, but what he was really good at was standing up for honesty and justice. He was my friend, and I think of him often even though he died many years ago. He had been in a nursing home for a couple of years, and by coincidence I happened to be sitting in his living room when I heard that he had died earlier that day. It was my birthday. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Trumped—in spades

Jim

Well, the election is over, the dust has sort of settled, and the most obvious post-mortem on it is that political pundits didn’t have a clue as to how it would turn out. During the primaries Trump was dead meat. How could he win against all those qualified Republican candidates? OK, he won that primary, but if he continues to say outlandish things people will get wise to him and his support will plummet. OK, he won the nomination, but he can’t possibly win the election. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: ‘Everybody deserves a second chance’

JE

John Craighead died last month in Missoula. To most people he was known as a grizzly bear expert and an outstanding conservationist. To me, he was all of that, but he was also the guy who broke my Uncle John’s nose. I hasten to add that it happened under legitimate circumstances, during a boxing match at Penn State somewhere around 1938. This memory came to my mind like a gift from above as I was thinking about all the depressing current events I could write about today. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: When will bankers be held accountable?

J.E.

The recent Wells Fargo banking scandal wherein 5,300 employees were scapegoated and fired to cover up a company policy of setting up fraudulent bank and credit card accounts for existing Wells Fargo customers (on which the customers paid fees) reeks, and not just because of the illegal behavior of Wells Fargo. (more…) Continue Reading →

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