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IOA WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6,201 3 IN S SIDNEY HERALD Editorial ~ opefnlly, the two state legislators from our area actually have the great lators should listen to the gen- eral public, it's also important to remember that no matter how many times they stay at a Holiday Inn the average people are not experts on all subjects. The Herald commits a good deal of time of covering educa- tion matters through school board meetings and other avenues. But we don't pretend to know nearly as much about education matters as local superintendents of schools or long- time school board members or other school officials. We admire how these people dedicated their time working on this bill with knowledge and understanding that they seem to believe they possess. Interested individuals attend- ed the town hall meeting Friday to receive an update from legislators Sen. Matt Rosendale, R-Glendive, and Rep. David Halvorson, R-Sidney, regarding the current session. It was tough not to come We admire how these away from the meeting a little people dedicated their disappointed. School officials time to working on this from the area were there to express their bill with other school support for , .,. other school lead- Senate Bill leaders and legislators.., ers and legislators 175, which was --~>~~ ~ that would ben- passed by the efit our area and Senate despite could actually be Rosendale's no vote. Sidney approved. School Board trustee Dexter It's a shame that our legisla- Thiel pointed out that all school tors can't even come out in districts in the area, except for support of the bill when our one, support the proposal, area school leaders have given Yet, two of our legislators so much time working to help - Rosendale and Sen. John our local schools. Brenden - R. Scobey, voted no We hope that in the second on the legislation. That's disap- half of the session, our legis- pointing, lators care more about what Later in the meeting, Halvor- benefits eastern Montana than son made comments that some- what the party line says. times the beliefs of the leaders Please listen to local experts of organizations aren't "what rather than sticking to what the people at home think." party's game plan states. Although we agree that legis- I ~ don't really know too much about foreign diplomacy. I don't really know too much about Dennis Rodman either. Put the two together, though, I know enough to roll my eyes and raise an eyebrow. If you haven't heard about this, it's really quite the bizarre story that briefly eclipsed the sequestration-end- of-the-world deadline. Rodman, the eccentric NBA hall of famer, joined the Har- lem Globe Trotters on a trip to North Korea for a documenta- ry. He was photographed win- ing and dining with the most secretive dictator, Kim Jong Un, even sitting courtside with him at an exhibition game. Kim, like his father, is sup- posedly a huge 1990s fan of basketball, the era of Dennis Rodman's three champion titles with the Chicago Bulls. Then there's Kim. No one really knows much about him, much like the country he runs. Rodman appears to be the first American to meet with him since he took power. The two were seen laughing it up, Rod- man drinking a Coke (illegal product because of the U.S. trade sanctions in place). "He wants Obama to do one thing," Rodman told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "Call him." Then he suggested to the dictator he and Obama likebasketball, so "Let's start there." Rodman ~reportedly declared at one point in the trip, "You have a friend for life." An unlikely diplomatic Shooting leader? Not the breezereally. A lot of people find him an embarrass- Louisa Barber ment. A lot are asking North him. Korea to keep Rodman's kind of an odd per- son, wearing eccentric clothes and sporting neon-colored hair. That's all I remember of him, being in elementary school when his fame hit the roof. Then he disappeared and a couple years ago appeared on VHI's Celebrity Rehab. So no one really takes him seriously. It doesn't appear the president nor his administra- tion are either. No one except Rodman himself. North Korea has threatened the United States, saying the nuclear mis- siles it's building are aimed straight for Rodman's home country. "What I saw in that country ... I saw people respect him and his family. That's what I mean about that," Rodman said on "This Week." They're probably all scared for their lives. Just strange all around. to US The Sidney Herald welcomes letters to the editor. Whether political, a problem in the city or neighborhood, or to pat someone on the back, let us know what's on your mind. All letters must include the writer's signature, address and daytime telephone number. We do not publish anonymous letters. Letters should be 300 words or less; all are subject to editing for spelling, clarity or length. Be sure of your facts. It is impossible for the newspa- per to verify information in every letter. We reserve the right to select which let- ters are published. One letter per month unless in response to another letter. The Herald will not publish letters critical of individuals or businesses unless such letters deal with issues involving taxpay- ers funds. Letters submilted to the Sidney Herald may be published or distributed in print or electronic forms. Write to: Letters to the Editor Sidney Herald 310 2nd Ave. N.E. Sidney, MT 59270 E-maih editor@sidneyherald.com Fax: 406-433-7802 I ~ ere s a thought: Maybe, just .~: :~:N maybe, Barack Obama ]sn t N~ N a socialist. I know, if you ve "But the message we've been ~ who was making big bucks on Wall Street at the height of the hearing from the mainstream tuned into even a little bit of right- financial meltdown. wing talk radio, or watched some His nominee to head media - that Obamais pushing Fox News shows over the past four up the Securities & years, this might come as a sur- Exchange Commis- prise, sion spent the past a renewed brand of liberalism Obama, in the imagination of so Coverage decade as a lawyer is II- ii.. false many of his right-wing opponents, defending the banks -- ,,agran.y is a debt-loving, big-spending, she'll now be keep- Wall Street-bashing enemy of the Peter Hart ing an eye on. in many ways.' free market. A popular far-right If Obama is intent documentary spun out a theory on carrying out that Obama's second term would his secret socialist Peter Hart finally reveal his plan to undermine agenda - or even a muscular liberal American power. It treated this one - he has a funny way of show- Columnist plot as a tragedy, but it's actually a ing it. ~ ~' comedy. But what about all that big gov- ally 50 cents lower than the proposal After all, what's the reality of ernment spending? If you listenhe made 5 years ago. Obama's political agenda? The far to the White House, they're often So why all the media mispercep- right believes it's socialism, sure. proudest of the spending cuts tions? One explanation is that But the message we've been hearing they've embraced. Yes, govern- ultra-conservatives have whipped from the mainstream media - that merit spending spiked due to the their powerful media machine into Obama is pushing a renewed brand economic catastrophe that began in a frenzy over Obama's supposed of liberalism - is flagrantly false in 2008, but since then it's been falling~ radica~sm. That message spills many ways. as a share of the economy and rela- over into the larger media discus- Right after his second inaugural tive to the size of the population, sion, where "Obama is some kind address, conservatives fumed that Federal government spending is of socialist" gets to be one side of a we were seeing the "real" Obama- rising at the slowest pace since the falsely "balanced" two-sided debate. a radical left-wing ideologue. The Eisenhower administration. Another explanation: A truly message from the "objective" media To many of Obama's critics on progressive agenda to address the was not as strident, of course, but the left, the government should be problems America faces right now sounded similar notes. "Obama Of- spending more to help boost em-- such as taxing Wall Street specula- fers Liberal Vision," said The New ployment because cutting govern- tion, embracing a serious climate York Times. He declared an "ambi- ment spending just makes thingspolicy, and supporting vigorous tious liberal agenda," said CBS. worse. (This is precisely what is jobs programs- would threaten the After Obama's State of the Union happening across Europe.) upper-crust interests that corpo- address, one veteran CNN pundit what's Obama's bold liberal vi-rate media and the political system called it an "audacious speech," one sion we hear about in the papers? serve to protect. that saw Obama touting "old-fash- It's not as daring as the papers and Casting Obama's mostly middle- ioned liberalism" and big govern- the pundits would have you think, of-the-road vision as unusually ment. There's a middle-of-the-road pro- progressive helps to narrow the But let's consider reality for a posal on immigration. His rhetoric political debate. It's keeping many moment. The highest-profile clash on climate change is overshadowed truly progressive ideas off the table. raging in Washington is over by the way he cheers for natural gas Obama's selection of a Republican fracking. Yes, Obama is proposing Peter Hart is the activism director of Fair- senator as his Pentagon chief. He's a modest increase in the minimum ness & Accuracy in Reporting. v~vw.fair.org nominated a Treasury secretary wage to $9 per hour. But that's actu- postal service says it s go- ing to stop delivering mail on ~ Saturdays. This won't happen ~ ::~:~ :,~> ~,~-.: Liberal view of their appointed rounds," to, "Will deliver mail for campaign contribu- tions." The postal system today is under siege from the Internet. The volume of mail handled by the postal service dropped 22 percent between 2007 and 2011. People c0m- 'The Postal Service is a strange, hybrid creature. It's until August, but the overseers of our postal workers in Congress are already swooning, not quite private, but not "Outrageous" is the cry rolling |le either." through the halls of the capitol, complerely punnc Can't help it, responds Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. Our postal service is hemorrhaging Donald Kaul money, he says, and we have to cut Donald Kuul Columnist back. Cutting Saturday delivery would save $2.7 billion a year. I don't know about you, but my plain about the postal service all A first class stamp in Canada mail consists mainly of bills, circu- the time. But that's largely because costs 63 cents. In the United King- lars and requests for money. I can people these days complain about dom, it's the equivalent of 94 cents. get by with five days of that instead almost everything all the time.Here, it's 46 cents. And we complain of six. My own experience with the postabout that, naturally. Apparently Congress can't. Many office has been excellent. The clerks The postal service is running of our lawmakers are fuming. Sen- at the office I frequent are polite and about a $16 billion-a-year deficit ate Majority Leader Harry Reid helpful. The mail I send gets where these days. It has some ideas to called it "short-sighted" and a "crip- it's going in a reasonable time. And close the gap, beyond getting rid of pling blow." my postman knows my name. the pre-funding of retirement ben- whoa! Am I hearing right? The postal service is a strange, hy- efits and dropping Saturday deliv- Listen, if the postal service was brid creature. It's not quite private, ery. It would like to reduce door-to run like Congress, postal workers but not completely public either. It door service in favor of centralized would only show up on Tuesdays, doesn't get any money from Con-neighborhood mailboxes, and run Wednesdays and Thursdays - except gress, but Congress gets to decide its own health care system. But it when they were on vacation, which how it runs its business, can't do all of that without Con- would be a lot. It's saddled by our lawmakers, for gress's cooperation, which seems to Postal workers would repeatedly example, with the obligation of set- have gone on permanent vacation. go overseas on fact-finding mis- ting aside $5.5 billion every year for Sometimes I think we'd be better sions and come back empty-handed, future retirees, an obligation that off if we let Congress run the mail Empty-headed too, for that matter, no other entity, public or private, system and let postal workers run They'd have to change their motto endures, the country. from, "Neither snow nor rain nor Meanwhile, we have the cheap- At least they'd show up for work. heat nor gloom of night stays these est first class rates in the English- couriers from the swift completion speaking world. Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Mich. SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 1908 Contact your governor's office Libby Berndt Publisher .... .............. " ....... Gov. Steve Bullock Lt. Gov. John Walsh Office of the Governor, PO Box 200801, State Capitol, Helena, MT Office: Room 207, PO Box 201091, State Capitol, Helena, MT 59620- Bill Vander Weele Managing Editor 59620-0801 406-444.3111 governor@mt.gov 1901 * 406-444-3111 jwalsh@mt.gov .......................... ........................ ~, ~ ~ , ,~, ............... ,,: ....... ~ ::: :::::::::::::::::::::: ......... ~:~ .......................... .... | I