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Sidney , Montana
December 1, 2010     Sidney Herald
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December 1, 2010

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8__d WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1, 2010 SIDNEY HERALD Editorial rt t As we hit the holiday season, we must remember that it's better to give than receive. What better way to give than donating to the Gifts from the Heart this year? The Christmas Coalition is once GiF. again asking resi- o m dents to consider onatm sso d, every child in the area will have a good Christmas. Last year, a record number of 141 families and 358 children used Gifts from the Heart to brighten their holidays, Shopping for parents takes place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Masonic Temple. The only requirements are that the child or children (0-18 years) live with the shopper and also in Rlchland CounW. If you wish to help,you can de- liver unwrapped new gifts to one Of the three Edward Jones offices. Gifts will be sorted at the Masonic Temple, located across from the Richland County Cour- thouse, from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 10. You can also make financial do- nations at Stockman Bank. So many of US have more than enough this Christmas. Please consider do- nating to increase the enjoy- ment of others this holiday sea- son. r'~...z i j "AI D TO TIAIN_K, JU l" TIlE OFFER DAY I WAs OR IFD ABoOT ' --'TKAR6EE ToOcIAl G MY JUNK AT AtRPoRT, Been keeping tabs on the North Korea-South Korea tension? Well, I have, and it's been interesting. Following one of the most heated exchanges of fLre be- tween the two countries since the Korean War that lead to the death of two South Korean marines and a number of civil- ian injuries, the USS George Washington arrived in the Yel- low Sea just before the weekend began to do its usual training exercises with the South Korean military- and maybe exercise a show of power and force at the same time. The arrival of the aircraft car- rier is said to have been a signal to the Chinese government to use its influence and put the reins on North Korea, or other- wise aggravate diplomatic rela- tions with the United States. China's been riding the fence, so to speak, as it continues ties to both Koreas. Surprisingly, China's been pretty quiet. Just a few months ago, it had protested angrily over the U.S. sending a carrier to the Yellow Sea for military ex- ercises, claiming it would threaten national security. This time around, with tensions high over North Korea's shelling, there's not much being said. North Korea's statement on the military exercise was a bit more rash, saying it pushes the peninsula to the "brink of war." Shooting the breeze Lou Barber So here's my question: What will happen in the future? Since the Kore- as have techni. cally been at war for decades (a treaty was never signed), are we seeing the start of are: newed shell-fir- ing war? For now, itap- pears North Korea's just throw- ing its usual tantrum for nation- al attention- a potentially dan- gerous one at that. The United States should ex- ercise more force not only on North Korea but China, which sits back just enough to ease tensions on both sides of the field to continue what's always done: trade with South Korea and supply its northern neigh- bar with the essentials. Who knows? Maybe President Barack Obama will make head. way with China when its presi- dent, Hu Jintao, visits Was "bLng: ton, D.C., in January hosted by Obama and complete with a state dinner and other formal trappings. Don't think so? Yeah, neither do I. louisa Barber is a reporter for lfle Sid. ney Herald. She can be reached at 406- 433-2403 I Contact your state legislators Donald Steinbeisser (R) Information Office: 406-444-4800 * Senate PO Box 200500, Helena, MT 596200500 Send an Online Message to ttp:// legwebmessage.asp Home Address: 11918 County Road 348, Sidney, MT 59270-9620 * 406- 482-2187 Walter L bk:Nult (R) Information Office: 406-4444800 House of Representatives PO Box 200400, Helena, MT 59620-0400 Send an Online Message Io / legwebmessage.asp Home Address: 1 10 121tl Ave SW, Sidney, MT 59270-3614 * 406-488- 4966 Write to us ~nllFI!l II The Sidney Herald welcomes let- letter per month unless in response ters to the editor. Whether politi- to another letter. cal, a problem in the cily or neigh- The Herald will not publish letters borhoocl, or to pat someone on critical of individuals or businesses the back, let us know what s on unless such lelters deal wilh issues your mind. All letters must include involving taxpayers funds, the writer s signature, address and Letters submiffecl to the Sidney daytime telephone number. We do Herald may be published or dis- not publish anonymous letters, tributed in print or eleclronic forms. Letters should be 300 words or less; all are subject to editing for Write to: r spelling, clarity or length. Be sure to lfle Editor of your facts. It is impossible for Sidney Herald the newspaper to verify informa- 310:2nd Ave. N.L tion in every letter. Sidney, biT $ 70 We reserve the right to select |'nmih ed ne which letters are published. One Faro 406-433-7802 SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 19011 Ubby Berndt Publisher Bill Vender Weele Managing Editor policy and foreign policy, on the economy and Iraq, on Katrina and the War on Terror, engenders much heated debate. That said, George W. Bush was our best pro-life president, hands down. To citejust a few examples: Bush's confirmed picks to the Supreme Court, from a pro-life standpoint, were superb. His actual policy changes, from bans on partial birth:abortion to stopping taxpayer funding of the deliberate destruction of human embryos, were wonderful. His first day in office, Bush author- ized a ban on U.S. taxpayer funding of international "abortion rights" groups like International Planned Parenthood, which seek abortion im- George W. Bush is an interesting man with a complicated presi- dency that most Americans - going into Bush's fmal year of office ,deemed a failure. At one point, Bush had the worst approval/disap- proval rating since Gallup began measuring. His record on domestic something personal? With the release of Bush's new book, De- cision Points, we learn that, yes, there was something deeply personal. As someone who wrote a biography of Bush, Vision I had known only and values half the story. It was the mid- 1960s. With his father Dr. Paul Kengor out of town on busi- ness, a teenage George W. Bush, the oldest child in the family, and the first with a dri- ver's license, quickly drove his moth- er to the hospital. She had just had a miscarriage. When Barbara Bush worried she would not be able to walk out of the car, George told her he would carry her into the emer- gency room. She spent the night in the hospital. George W. Bush has told that much before. In his new book, however, he plementation wo ldwid j continues tl _co vers ion, albeit In 6on-tr t ,]h:e' iden B ac k - verY rieflyYH a [fl tli t h thug ma immediately restored that fund': ing his first week in office, specifical- ly, Jan. 23, 2009, the day after the an- nual March for Life. In August 2002, Bush signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which requires med- ical attention to a child that acciden- tally survives an abortion. Barack Obanm, as a state senator in Illinois, repeatedly blocked or voted against such legislation. This is a short list of Bush's pro- life actions. Yet, unappreciated is the full story behind George W. Bush's pro-life con- victions. At its crux is a basic belief that every human life, from the mo- ment of conception, is unique, pre- cious, blessed by God, and deserving of protection by a compassionate so- cie But is there more to it, maybe he didn't expect to see during this or- deal was the remains of the fetus. Bush writes: "I remember thinking: There was a human life, a little brother or sister." A decade earlier, Bush had lost a little sister, Robin, who he adored, to childhood cancer. It was deeply painful; the Bushes still haven't got- ten over it. Here was another loss of a sibling, at an even earlier stage of development. When asked about this incident in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, and explicitly if it spawned his pro- life commitment, Bush merely said he related the story as an example of the bond he has with his mother. No doubt, though, it was a poignant encounter. Think about the significance: This was pre-Roe v. Wade. It was also long before the blessed advent of ultrasound ma- chines, which have been the single greatest techriological factor in con- vincing women considering abor- tions to proceed with their pregnan- cy. The percentage of women per- suaded by ultrasound images is up- wards of 75-90 percent (studies vary). That's no surprise. These images of- fer a window into the womb, confir- mation that the fetus is not a mere "blob of tissue." It's likewise no sur- prise that groups like Planned Par- enthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League are ferocious in opposing legislation requiring or funding ultrasounds. Clearly, this suggests that their goal is not to in- form a woman's "choice," as they claim, but to advance abortion. If abortions, overnight, were cut by 75- 90 percent, Planned Parenthood would be out of business. To bring this back to the person of George W. Bush, what he glimpsed after his mother's miscarriage was a vivid, early substitute to an ultra- sound image. It portrayed the other end of life. He saw not a brother Or sister sucking a thumb or graspifl~ a toe in the womb but someone who never made it. Either way, he saw a human life. He saw a brother or sis- ter- another potential Robin. Clear- ly, he or she was not a blab of tissue. For countless other Americans who experienced such a trial, that's a searing image that affected them in untold ways. For George W. Bush, however, it no doubt set him on a road to becoming America's best pro- life president. Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political sci- ence and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His books include "God and George W. Bush" and the newly released "Dupes: How Ameri- ca's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progres- sives for a Century." For a century, Montana's voters and Lewis and ClarkRepublicans to the U.S. House and turned out in record high elec- counties as well asSenate. tion-day numbers. Throughout~ on the Native Ameri- We seem uncertain and vacillat- the 1900s Montanans streamed to can reservations, ing; a voting public searching in the polling places; our percentage Why was Republi- vain for the magic savior. Perhaps of voters was always among the top can turnout so muchtwo reasons account for our elec- tive states in the nation, with Mass- higher than that oftion-day scrambling. For 30 years, :: achusetts and Minnesota usually the Democrats? Of Americans have been encouraged, : leading the way. course, the bad econ- by some, to believe that the two po- Eleven times Montanans broke amy was part of it,litical parties are peas in a pod - no above 80 percent turnout with the Montana but the Republican difference between them. We have highest occurring in 1952, 1960 and p0[ificS voter turnout appa-also been told that elected officials 1964. Those were the presidential ratus was also far are not to be trusted. We all seem to election years of Eisenhower, better funded and be affected by the "Tiger Woods Kennedy and Johnson, with Pat Williams considerably more syndrome:" who and what can we turnout reaching toward an aston- sophisticated. Re- trust? Too many of our priests and ishing 90 percent, publicans hired a Colorado direct ministers, our banks and other That has changed. In four of our mail and marketing company, once trusted institutions have dis- most recent seven general elec- Wilard Direct, which scoured the appointed us. tions, Montana turnout has plum- personal data of Montanans in a The only place where we can di- rected below 60 percent, and this successful effort to identify "per- rectly express our outrage is in the year voter turnout reached a near- suadable" conservative voters. The voting booth. Thus, it is the candi- record low of only 56 percent,company sorted through individual dates who disproportionally feel Results of low turnouts are al- hunting licenses, magazine sub- our wrath. most always the same: candidates scriptions, and voting records of Is it any wonder that following 30 on the political fringe win. This many thousands of Montanans years of incessant anti-government year victories went to the most con- and, the company claims, got 75 rhetoric from many Democrats and servative of the Republican candi- percent of them to the polls, virtually every Republican, the dates.The most recent post-elec- Despite that effort, one wonders if American people have either tion research found that this year the recent low overall turnout phe- stopped going to the polls on elec- 203;429 Montanans cast their votes nomenon is responsible for not on- tion day or, once there, have cast a for Republican candidates to the ly minority rule in Montana but al- too often thoughtless ballot to sim- Montana House of Representatives. so our seemingly schizophrenic na- ply "throw the rascals out." Thus, only 31 percent of Man- tional voting patterns. Neither political party nor our tana's registered voters determined America's voters have been lurch- government are well served by this 68 percent of Montana House seats, ing from landslide to landslide, cabal. Low voter turnouts and lack That represents a record for minor- During this decade we have wit- of reasonable stability in our polit- it,] control of our state Legislature. nessed two back-to-back presiden- ical choices are dangerous for Montana witnessed an incredible tial election sweeps, one by George America both here at home and cer- 26 percent drop in voter turnout. In W. Bush in 2004 and the other by tainly abroad. Missoula and Great Falls the de- Barack Obama in 2008. Voters have cline was almost 40 percent, voted in landslide proportions for Pat Williams served nine terms as o U.S. Throughout the state most of those congressional Republicans in 1992 Representative from Montana. After his retire- who stayed home were Democrats. and for Democrats in both 2006 and ment, he returned to Montana and is teaching :That made all the difference in ra- 2008. This year, voters switched at The University of Montana. zor-thin margins in Lake, Flathead again and overwhelmingly elected