Friday, June 22, 2018

These are the times that try men's souls

"These are the times that try men's souls."
~ Thomas Paine

Updates on Montana Gravis Polling Report, Farm Bill, Zinke's real-estate deal, Downing's trial date, Gianforte information request and Crazy Mountains below.
Note: I am finally getting back on track from before the TBI, getting my podcast station set up and am conducting interviews (if you are interested in sharing a subject, science, etc., let me know), because we need to fight back, now more than ever.

What is patriotism?

When Troy Downing made his senate candidate ad with the fighter jet knocking a Tester stand in off his tractor, citing he was a war vet, pilot, “the warrior who will fight for Montana and America”, I cringed (Especially since I had already contacted his San Diego County voter registrar. He was on the Inactive list, not having voted since 2009, registering to vote, here in Montana, in 2016, voting in the General Election). He was trying to imply he was more patriotic than a farmer or a music teacher. With all the accusations of who is patriotic and who is not, including the support of President Trump as a sign of patriotism, I was curious to the etymological origins of the word “patriot”.

Patriot derives from the Greek, patrios, "of one's fathers,". “Liddell & Scott write that patriotes was applied to barbarians who had only a common [patris], while [politai] being used of Greeks who had a common [polis] (or free-state)." While up to the 1600's it was used as a loyal supporter of one's country, it became a derogatory term by the 1800's in England.

In the New Zealand Parlimentary Debates, Vol. 203, they relate that England's Horace Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford had not exaggerated when he said, “ those times the most popular declaration which a candidate could make on the hustings was that he had never been and never would be a patriot.” The Debates go on to express, “If patriotism is to be made the football of party politics, if individuals are going to charge every one who disagrees with them with a lack of patriotism on each occasion of their disagreement, the time will come here in New Zealand, just as it arrived at that juncture in British history, when honest men seeking the suffrages of the people will be compelled to stand on the platform and preface their remarks with the statement, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I am not a patriot.' That is the position we will reach here if patriotism is to become the football of party politics as it became in England during that period.” 

In our young country of the United States, our 1st President George Washington warned, “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” Later, President Theodore Roosevelt would add, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.” These thoughts were echoed by presidential candidate Ron Paul, “Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it's wrong."

I feel this aspect of patriotism goes beyond the association of military, a willingness to die for your country. Peter F. Drucker wrote a book, Post-Capitalist Society. In it he described the difference between citizenship and patriotism. “ 'Patriotism is not enough.' There has to be citizenship as well. Citizenship is the willingness to contribute to one's country. It is the willingness to live for one's country… Patriotism, the willingness to die for one's country, has been universal. But citizenship is distinctly Western invention.” 

Drucker continues, “As a legal term, citizenship is a term of identification rather than of action. As a political term citizenship means active commitment. It mean responsibility. It means making a difference in one's community, one's society, one's country.”

I feel, as this country is being torn apart by “pretended patriotism”, immigration issues, children heartbreakingly torn from parent's as bargaining chips placed in detention camps (I am from Texas, I know a thing or two about illegals, including the hiring of them by people for cheap labor, housed in shacks with no running water or electricity; or when I was 13/14, a child myself, tending to the raped illegal woman that ran naked, cut, bleeding with cactus thorns, in the dead of night to our house through fields of cactus and mesquite bushes for help), that we can and should be far better than what this country has sunk to of late. 

On the 19th, Steve Schmidt, a major GOP strategist went on Twitter and announced in a long thread his concerns for our country, stating that he renounced his membership in the Republican party, that it had become a danger to our democracy and values. “Season of renewal in our land is the absolute and utter repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers in the 2018 election by electing Democratic majorities. I do not say this as an advocate of a progressive agenda. I say it as someone who retains belief in DEMOCRACY and decency.”
We, as active verb citizens, need to make a difference ourselves, especially in voting for representatives that will uphold democracy and decency, so that we do succumb to the horrors that Germany and Europe experienced and still bear the scars from.

Montana Gravis Poll Report June 2018
PDF of full report

S. 3042 - Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
An article came out recently, Daines adds slate of forest amendments to Farm Bill, stating Daines filed 20 amendments, including one to limit Forest Service citizen litigation, "One of Daines’ amendments would let Forest Service Region 1 pilot an arbitration process to resolve project objections without going to court."

S. 3042 passed out of committee with a roll call vote of 20-1 on June 13th, only had 2 of Daines 20 amendments. Thankfully, missing was his litigation limiting amendment, but I wanted to make sure so I called the Sen. Ag. Committee in D.C, they were pretty sure it didn't make the cut (wording can get very tricky at times).
But to make sure, I called one of Daines' offices today and was told it did not, but  Daines might bring it up during the floor debate. He also mentioned that they were in discussions with Gianforte to get it added to the House version. Mike Garrity wrote an oped on why this needs to be rejected - Reject Daines’ position that the Forest Service is above the law.

Gianforte Confidential Criminal Justice Information Request Update
In April I placed my CCJI request with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department, as directed, on the Gianforte assault of reporter Ben Jacobs case; even though the information had already been requested by the Washington Post, Associated Press, the Great Falls Tribune and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. None of those sources posted all the information publicly. I felt the public has a right to know what all was taking place by an elected official. My request was placed on the Motions Calendar, and on the deadline date of May 31st, it was presented to Judge Holly Brown for a ruling. I have called weekly, there still has not been a ruling on it yet, hopefully releasing the information.

Zinke's Possible Conflict of Interest with Halliburton and Our Public Lands
Zinke linked to real estate deal with Halliburton chairman
"Montana foundation established by Ryan Zinke playing key role in real-estate deal backed by Halliburton chairman, oil-services giant that stands to benefit from the Interior decisions to open public lands for oil exploration."
Zinke's Halliburton mess deepens
"The new details raise further questions about Zinke's involvement in the project, and whether his conversations with the developers — especially in Interior's office — violated federal conflict of interest laws given Halliburton’s extensive business before this department."

Troy Downing FWP Citations Trial
Now that the Republican Primary is over, which Downing cited as an excuse to further delay his trial, I called the Gallatin County Court today. His Justice Court pretrial conference is set for July 18th at 4:00pm. His jury trial begins on July 25th, 8:30am and runs for 3 days.

Crazy Mountains Update
I am still receiving information I requested from the Forest Service on the Crazy Mountains and working on another set of detailed legal binders for the attorneys. This is a lot of time intensive research to fight back for our public access to our Public Lands. I don't think I am going to be able to eat on my large dinging table anytime soon.

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Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu
Helena, MT

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