RICH BULEY: Give thanks for gun culture

Since it is the week of Thanksgiving, I thought it might be time to give thanks to the National Rifle Association for all the work they have done to protect our freedom to have a well regulated militia, and to make sure that our gun culture is such a vibrant one.

Because of our gun culture, in just the past week we have had the following expressions of freedom. A 12 year old boy was shot and killed by Cleveland police. He had a realistic looking fake pistol in his pants, and the police, fearing that guns are everywhere, shot first and asked questions later. Of course, this follows another incident in Ohio where police rushed into a Wal Mart and killed a man holding a toy gun.

Meanwhile, over in Missouri, a woman who bought a pistol to protect herself from expected violence from Ferguson, MO., accidentally shot herself in the head and died. The news is hardly surprising since gun sales in the area were up 700%.

In Washington state a 3 year old boy was shot in the mouth by a 4 year old. The boy’s father is a gun enthusiast and dealer who has a sign on his front door which reads “We don’t call 911″ with a cut out of a Colt 45. He probably made an exception.

No discussion of freedom is complete without a trip to Florida, otherwise known as the wild, wild west. At Florida State University a week ago, a freedom fighter with a gun decided to express himself by shooting 3 people in the library. Also going down in Tallahassee, a law enforcement officer was ambushed and killed by an anti-government nut who set fire to his own house to lure the police there. Coincidentally, the trial of the Tampa ex police captain who shot a guy in a movie theater for texting was postponed.

Finally, what the heck is going on in Utah? According to Salt Lake City Tribune, a citizen is more likely to be killed by police, than by gang members, drug dealers, or by child abuse. Just this past Saturday, police in Jordan, UT shot and killed a man who was trespassing in a horse corral. 2 months ago, Utah police shot and killed a man who was carrying a fake Samurai sword. The police claimed that the man charged at them. However, he was shot four times in the back.

Whenever I read these stories I’m reminded of the famous quote from Thomas Jefferson that was co-opted by the present day Tea Party, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The N.R.A.’s website proudly proclaims, “We’re proud defender’s of history’s patriots and diligent protectors of the Second Amendment.” Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the people who died in the above cases thought they were being patriots by refreshing the Tree of Liberty with their blood.

RICH BULEY: We don’t want to be like ND

During the election campaigning, we heard a lot about the need to decrease regulations, seek more carbon based extraction and get more good paying jobs. What wasn’t mentioned, though, was the cost of decreasing regulations. North Dakota is a perfect case study.

North Dakota is now second only to Texas in oil production. But, as reported by the New York Times, The state’s eagerness to be friendly to oil producers has come at a great cost. Oil spills occur at one in every six wells. More than 18 million gallons of oil and toxic chemicals have leaked or spilled in just the last eight years.But, it actually could be a lot worse. You see, the State of North Dakota has such lax regulations, they don’t even keep track of the spills.

Please go read the whole story, it is shocking. Then, remember that this is what the Republicans in Montana’s Legislature want for us.

RICH BULEY: The RIGHT kind of tax reform

Tax reform always seems to be a hot topic in congress, but, it seems that Congress never gets around to the right kind of reform. I have a suggestion for Montana’s  delegation: how about doing something about this, 7 huge corporations having a negative tax rate despite reporting $74 billion in profits?

Or, how about this, 29 of the 100 largest American corporations paid their CEOs more than they paid in taxes? I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.

RICH BULEY: Pipeline spill waiting to happen

I just wrote about the 50 job Keystone XL Pipeline being a disaster in waiting. I thought I would expound on that a little. The proposed pipeline would be built and maintained by the Canadian corporation, TransCanada. So, how well have Canadians done in constructing and maintaining their pipelines?

Well, in Alberta in just the past 4 months there have been over 90 pipeline spills. Whats to worry about? That’s not even one every day! I guess that is where all the jobs Steve Daines promised will come from, cleaning up all the goo.

RICH BULEY: Jobs from Keystone XL are a lie

Back before the election, I wrote a post contending that the promise of 5000 Montana jobs resulting from the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was a lie. I said that there would only 5000 temporary construction jobs in the entire United states and maybe only 35 permanent jobs in all of Montana. I was wrong. The CEO of TransCanada admitted that only 50 permanent jobs would be created in the entire United States!

Remember, this entire boondoggle and disaster in waiting is being sold as a jobs, jobs, jobs creator.

RICH BULEY: Hyping up the fear for elections

Do you remember those crazy days before the election when every Republican and most news outlets were in a panic about the threat of ebola and how it was coming across every border? And do you remember the scientists and the Obama administration telling everyone to calm down, that there was no chance of an epidemic in the United States? And do you remember Republicans screaming that the CDC didn’t know what it was talking about, and that Obama didn’t care about Americans, and to be afraid, very afraid?

Gee, it turns out that the scientists and the Obama administration were right since there are exactly ZERO ebola patients in the United States. And yet, not a word from Rand Paul, Jodi Ernst, Bill O’Reilly, or Sean Hannity thanking them for keeping us safe. You know, its almost like they cynically hyped up the fear just to win an election.