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We love having people comment on the site. The authors who write here generally and genuinely believe that debate and argumentation are indispensible when it comes to discovering truth.

Disagreement doesn’t have to be unpleasant and it doesn’t have to be personal. The closer comments adhere to the idea that arguments are best focused on principles than people, the better off we’ll all be.

We reserve the right to delete or edit comments that are offensive, rude, attacking, personal, or just plain inappropriate. I’m also quite willing to delete comments that are off-topic, self-promoting, or just annoying. Lately, my tolerance for non-sequitur seems to be diminishing. Must be my age showing. If you are sock-puppeting, expect to have your comments removed and your IP banned.

Anonymous comments will be subject to more stringent moderation because those who comment under pseudonyms face none of the risks to reputation and credibility faced by those who post using their own names. Don’t expect a personal attack to stay up under a pseudonym if I see it. 

That doesn’t mean anonymous comments aren’t welcome here. There are a lot of legitimate reasons for anonymity, but personal attacks aren’t a legitimate reason.

It’s quite likely that any moderation will seem arbitrary and inconsistent, especially if it’s your comment being moderated. We’ll do our best to be consistent and fair, but there are no guarantees.

We’re also not responsible for comments left by others. It’s quite possible that none of us will even see an offensive comment. If something some has written offends you, please use the “report” function or e-mail Don directly. Most weekdays between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. though, you’ll just have to wait. All comments are moderated by Akismet initially and it may decide your comment is spam. If it does, there’s little I can do until I review the spam queue after school. If a comment seems to be lost there, please let me know.

Please try to stay on topic. You can question the premise of a post, argue its merits, or contend that it’s false. A post, however, is not a platform from which you can write anything. Have something interesting to say that’s not related to the post/topic? Get your own blog. They’re free.

In the end, you may find our comment moderation inadequate or oppressive. That’s what’s wonderful about the Internet. There are literally dozens of other sites out there and we urge you to explore them.

Thanks for reading.

15 Comments

  • I’ve never been to your website before.  As a conservative first, and a republican 2nd, I find it interesting that you take republican candidates to task for ‘supposed’ hidden agendas and flip flopping.  I understand that all of our opinions, political or otherwise evolve as our life experiences and knowledge increase with age.  Any candidate that changes opinions regularly for political convenience is just a politician and not worthy of our vote.  If you believe as it says above, that you value debate, I think it would only be fair that you state your political leanings and party affiliation on your home page so that readers might understand your articles are biased by left leaning opinions. 
         I see many hidden agendas with Democrat candidates, just like your assessment of Republican candidates. One of many examples would be:  Campaigning as pro-gun rights,    but becoming anti-gun after election day, by supporting all manner of restrictive legislation that effects limits on ammo, who can own guns, burdensome registration requirements, etc.  Since ‘Fairness’ seems to be a focal point for the left, it seems you could also run articles that are just as critical of Democrat candidates as Republicans. 
         I respect any Democrat/Liberal who is honest about their beliefs and agenda, and is willing to debate and defend their views on how things should be.  I am an unabashed conservative, and I don’t like stealth politics from the left OR the right.  I disagree with James Carville, but I like him a lot for how he represents himself and is upfront about his views and opinions.  Unfortunately the real world doesn’t work that way, and probably your articles will not be affected by my wish list.  However, I continue to evaluate EVERY candidate on whether or not he believes what he says, or is just saying what he needs to, to be elected. 
         God Bless America and the American Dream!      M. Peters,  Bozeman, MT

  • I just want to tell you that you’re a better man than I am, actually giving civil answers to total assholes who don’t deserve your time or energy. Thanks!
    Here’s a question I forgot to ask earlier:
    I signed up for two tickets a couple days ago. How do I get them?Thanks.
    Dan

  • Boy what a vicious little “bitch” you are. And all those ridiculous protestations of being fair and only wanting reasonable debate. You are deluding yourself and the people you smear.

    • I don’t understand the use of quotation marks in your comment. The rest represents the hate-filled mindset of contemporary conservatism, but get a handle on grammar and usage. That’s the least you can do.

  • I am a Montanan – left the state at 18 (like so many youngsters..). Found your site recently. Great liberal discussions. I turn to it daily. Glad to see that you and your contributors are alive and well…in this age of extreme political division.

    Montana is a state that is politically divided by geography: The Rockies – unions, hard hat workers, tourism, etc… and The Plains – people tied to the land, sunburned arms, battered Stetsons, poking cows past 70 years of age… raised conservative – will die conservative.

    I do respect both sides, and realize that panic and the shifting tectonics of the modern world have a lot to do with opinions and beliefs. Some people adapt; others don’t.

    Keep up the good work.

    Pat Lueck (from Deer Lodge – aeons ago – and Bozeman..).. now in Minneapolis.

  • What a mess! The Democratic National Committee helping Trump Win – with the help of Russian Hackers?
    July 25, 2016
    |by
    Jim Olsen

    Probably the best article after a short search from Washington Post.

    I won’t rehash what is already all over the news. I will just say that the lack of Professionalism is appalling and the focus on money is part of root of this evil. Ego is the other part.

    Look at this quote from the LA Times:

    Obama praised Wasserman Schultz in a statement, saying that for eight years she has had his back.

    “Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth,” the statement said. “And no one works harder for her constituents in Congress.”

    The first words stay it all: “Her fundraising…”

    How much of this gets down to the Montana State Party and local party should be our question. It needs to be seen as an object lesson, in my opinion:

    The party needs to be about ideas – not money.

    The party needs to figure out how to deal with critiques and outsiders.

    We used to run large proposals involving anywhere from a dozen to 200 people providing inputs at the same time. The defined process was to put whatever you wrote on a wall and let everyone put sticky notes critiquing it on the proposal team – then an outside “red team” would show up who would tell you where you went wrong as you stood in front of the panel.

    This process, when done well, actually leads to a winning proposals. But, pasted over the door of the proposal room was:

    “Leave your ego at the door.”

    I see in this story a lot of ego-driven comments. While it is “fun” at the time, I believe it is not useful.

    I would suggest a definition of Professionalism: Focus on the mission, obey the rules of fairness. Internal discussions and deeds not driven by emotion but by an honest, rational assessment, taking into account inputs from people you may not be fond of what is needed to accomplish the goals of the organization – even under pressure.

    My opinion of how the party should see Bernie Sanders:

    “Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.” Dhammapada Verse 76 – Attributed to the Buddha.

  • Just discovered your blog today. Looking for places to post that today Senator Daines joined with Mitch McConnell to shut down Elizabeth Warren during the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions.
    Daines is turning out to be as bad as McConnell. (Daines was chairing the hearing.)

  • I would like to help you become our next legislator. I would like to have signs for my neighborhood & brochures to hand out. Anything that can help us in Montana and the entire U.S.

  • I live in Massachusetts and I am appalled at the assault and battery on the reporter in you state. very sad day for America. I teach my four year old not to hit people. freedom of the press is protected in the constitution, and necessary to protect our democracy, what is going on out there?

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