Recent Posts

Opinion: A new modest proposal—build those walls!


I’ve been paying attention to what many governors in our United States have been saying about not allowing Syrian refugees into the states they govern. I’ve also heard with interest the plans to build a taller and longer fence along the Mexican border to protect us from the infiltration of illegal immigrants. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: On the question of refugees, don’t kick the cat


Late last month, 55 Montana legislators insisted that Gov. Steve Bullock “use all legal means to block or resist the placement of Syrian refugees in our great state at this time.”

They are in good company. Well, in some sort of company: at last count 31 state governors, a majority of U.S. presidential aspirants and the U.S. House of Representatives have agreed. They have all reminded me of the do-it-yourselfer who, while hanging a picture on the wall, misses the nail but hits his thumb. In his pain—and rage—he kicks the cat that is snoozing beneath the ladder. We smile at his irrational response but we understand the outburst. Continue Reading →

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For Syrians, the terrible prospect of Billings

There isn’t anything remotely funny about this country’s shameful attitude towards Syrian refugees. Well, there wasn’t until the Onion weighed in. In a piece headlined “How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.,” the Onion listed 13 steps Syrian refugees must undergo before being admitted. Here’s step 10: “Accept grim but very real possibility of life in Billings, MT.” That’s very, very cruel, right? Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Still a nation of immigrants


We are a nation of immigrants who despise immigrants. Syrians and Middle East refugees are just the most recent of the indigestible bits in the melting pot that we are so fond of claiming as our great distinction among nations. And Hispanics, like the poor, we will always have with us and will probably disparage them for another few decades in addition to the disparagement of the past 150 years, give or take. (more…) Continue Reading →

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