Friday, May 27, 2011

Flooding Everywhere all over the State – Except in the High Land Park School Play Ground

Vast amounts of flooding are occurring all over the state. Lewistown and Roundup seem to be one of the hardest hit areas and the KRTV website has tons of reader photos of the magnitude of this flooding from all over the state. Take a look here Before you head out this weekend be sure and check the road report at the Montana Department of Transportation Safe Travel Website to view up to date road closures and travel information.

Interestingly Havre has had a ton of rain this week and the following pictures were taken of the Highland Park School Play ground a little after lunch today during the rain. These pictures are of the area our school officials have just decided to spend this year’s Mill Levy Bonus installing an interior playground drainage system to alleviate flooding and drainage problems. Look close – you can see a couple of buckets of water standing in one of these photos. This water will be drained via a new drainage system as reported in the official Havre Daily “News” paper for a trifling $141,000.

I am no expert but wouldn’t a few buckfulls of dirt fill the low spot this water is standing in? That’s how I cured the low-spot problem in my yard but then again I don’t have the luxury or using other people’s money to cure my problems.

EUREKA !  There it is!  There it is!   The $141,000 “Problem” Area

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

School Shenanigans

The following post was put together by our sources in the school system and is published just as we received it. The Corrector has agreed to keep them anonymous so our readers can get a little insight into how the “Top-Secret” tax-funded entity we know as our school system operates. Everyone reading this blog has at least one aquaintance working in the school system who you can call to verify this information.

Just one question comes to mind for our school administrators – What would be so hard about dispelling some budget and school decisions on your school website so all tax payers know what is going on?

Information as recieved by the Corrector

Last week, all staff of the High School was ordered to a last minute meeting where Andy Carlson announced that Dennis Murphy would be the interim principal at the High School for the next school. Murphy would also be retaining his job as activities director. Carlson would take absolutely no questions about the decision and the meeting lasted a whole of 5 minutes or less. Sources say that there have been no qualified people applying for the job. Hmm, strange or is it that prospective principals are doing a little digging and finding out things about our school district that are turning them away from applying here.

Apparently Murphy is so well thought of that numerous teachers are scrambling to find jobs elsewhere, with the present count of 2 definitely leaving for greener pastures with 1 more a high probable. The next couple of months could be interesting if the ones that are thinking of leaving actually do.

3 highly thought of people were told last week at the high school that their jobs were be eliminated, no reason why this was happening was given. One of the people in question sent an email to every school board member out lining the great job and professionalism of one of the other people and got call on the carpet by the administration for going over their heads to the school board. Apparently informing the school board of things administration is doing against the secrecy policy and will be dealt with harshly.

In another questionable move by Carlson, one that defies logic, all the IT techs are going to be based at Robins and will have to travel back and forth to the school buildings. Paying up more for travel in these times of high gas prices ought to be well worth the extra time need to get to the problem and fix it.

Of course, no questions were allowed on this decision by any of the principals or teachers either.

With 2 principals retiring and word on the school grapevine that 2 other principals are not being renewed, looks like the school district has only 1 principal out of 5 still in service.

Now that the mill levy is out of the way with overwhelming support from the community, it has been decided at the highest levels to replace every ink jet printer (regardless of how old it is, 1 year or 6) in the district and place a laser printer on every teachers, para, principal, secretaries, para and janitors desk.

Word out of the high school is that at least they are going to go with more centralized printing and accept a little inconvience to save some taxpayer dollars. Kudos to Jerry Vandersloot and the High School teachers for that move.

The queen of secrecy has finally retired from Robins, Zella Witter, she will not be missed. With her gone, maybe, just maybe there will be a little more openness out of the administration, but probably not, Carlson trained under her and if the appointing of Murphy is any indication, secrecy reigns supreme still.

She is rumored to be the reason behind the ouster of Dave Mahon, she and him didn't see eye to eye on secrecy and the things she wanted done.

It has been decided to install a wireless system at the High School, for $7000, that will benefit the administrators only, since teachers and students will not have access to it.

If you ask any teacher or principal what the reason they are where they are, they will say "We are here for the students" and they will mean it.

If you ask any of the administration the same question, they will basically give the same answer, but they would be lying, otherwise the whole secrecy thing would not be what it is over at Robins.

It’s too bad it has to be that way, maybe someone should make a sign to hang over the door at Robins stating the students are their reason for having a job. Maybe the school board should actually get more involved and not just listen to only the reports that the crew at Robins wants them to see.

Hope for the future

Monday, May 23, 2011

More of our Foreign Military Aid Blown to Bits

We give millions in support to the Pakistani people and what did they do to help in our search for Osama bin Laden? That’s right – nothing or even worse they actually aided him while taking our money. Yesterday Pakistani Islamist terrorists attacked a naval base with what was termed “a large scale” attack although there were only 15 actual fighters in the raid. What is interesting is that they threw the whole operation into disarray and managed to use their rocket launchers to destroy at least two Lockheed aircraft estimated to be worth 36 million each and it is reported that the city of Karachi, home to 18 million people, was plunged into a panic.

All this by 15 terrorist commandos? This is yet another story of the U.S. funding of foreign military being a waste of our tax dollars. Why did we give the very people that had been hiding bin Laden 36 million dollar aircraft in the first place?

Read the whole story over at the Times

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Medical Marijuana Law “adjusted” by DPHS

On April 29th Governor Schweitzer said he was going to allow HB 423 to become law without receiving the mark of his Veto brand although he wasn’t comfortable enough with the bill to actually sign it with his seal of approval. HB 423 vastly restricted the Medical Marijuana operations in Montana by limiting the amount of plants to 4 per patient and it took the profit out of the grower’s operations. In short – July 1st they are out of business.

Not surprisingly DPHS officials has taken it upon themselves to decide that the law is not feasible so they will continue to issue medical marijuana cards even though the law went into effect on May 14th.  Ray Kemp who is in charge of the card issuing process said they will continue to issue new cards until June 20th.

This is not surprising as we have many tax funded state employees that basically do as they damn please regardless of what the intention of the law are. I am not speaking for or against the recent changes to the MM law in this post but I find it disheartening that we have an alleged “citizen” ran government that allows our tax-funded bureaucratic wonders to do as they damn please with no consequences.  MM law is not the only regulation we have found state department heads “adjusting” to their way of thinking once it hits the implementation stage.

For the complete story check the following links
Bozeman Chronicle
Independent Record

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It’s A Miracle

We are Broke            Can You Help?

 From Looming Budget Cuts to Operating in the Black

After listening to all the gloom and doom from the education folk this past session about having their funding cut imagine my surprise when I read this article in the Great Falls Tribune about building a new daycare facility at MSU-Great Falls. I am still scratching my head over how they went from “impending massive layoffs” to a position of being able to spend over a million dollars just a month or so later. I would love to take a business course from the genius that pulled off this financial miracle.

How did this miracle occur you ask? Well clear back in the 2009 legislative session the legislature appropriated money to construct a simulated hospital in the basement of the college. The people requesting the appropriation convinced the legislature they needed a million dollars and now it seems that the final cost of the project was only a mere $500,000 so they have all this additional money they can use towards a childcare facility. The College of Great Falls say they have a budget of $1.1 million to pay for this daycare center but will still be short $250,000 for furnishings.

It sure seems that people in the education systems around the state feign poverty and cry of budget cuts yet can always find ready cash for more and more projects.

What is wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Havre Council Ready to Ban Cell Phones while Driving

It seems the hot issue on the streets this morning is the Havre Councils attempt to ban the use of cell phones while driving. The issue with those we have spoke with this morning is not so much the ban on cell phones but the fact that the City wants to make this a primary offense which means that any patrolman suspecting you of cell phone use while driving has the legal right to pull you over to investigate. The contention of most of those we spoke with is that the patrolmen have plenty of reasons to pull people over already without providing them with yet another excuse.

Those that approve of this ban cite instances of near calamity they have personally experienced by people distracted by cell phone use. The driving force behind this push on the council has come from Val Murri, former publisher of the HDN, who has brought the matter up at every city council meeting he has attended.

Interestingly the council has suggested that this ban not include emergency personnel like the police and firemen. I find this exemption hard to justify as both the police and fire vehicle have radio communication with the dispatch center and really have no need for cell phone use other than for personal business. It is also ironic that in all this debate about restricting our use of cell phones I regularly see police cruising in their squad cars yakking on their cell phones.

If you have an opinion on the proposed cell phone ban you better hustle to make your opinion known as the final reading on this ordinance is to be held at the council meeting on June 7th.  (correction- the council meeting is June 6th - thanks Prof)   Read a related article on the HDN website here

Just as an afterthought – Should people that drive around town with little dogs in their laps also receive the same citation as the person distracted by using a cell phone while driving?

Happy Days are Here Again

What is up with the Havre school board? Prior to the mill levy election back on May 3rd we saw countless articles about all the layoffs and program cuts that would be made if by chance the mill levy should fail. Then Election Day rolls around and Havre voters vote to pass the levies by very narrow margins. The schools official press statements say thanks but we are still going to have to cut to make the budget for next year but they can make it work thanks to the generosity of the voters.

The timeline of all these stories confuse me. First we hear all the doom and gloom financial stories leading up to the May 3rd election. Then we vote yes on a building “reserve” levy on Tuesday, May 3rd for $185,000. School officials decide to certify election results on Wed, May 4th. Then on Thursday May 5th they award a contract to install a storm drain with dubious benefit into the Highland Park School playground with a cost in excess of $150,000 not to mention landscaping and other work to be done by the school system personnel to complete the project. This seems to be in direct conflict with all the news reports claiming to be broke. What appears to have happened is that within 48 hours of the passage of the building reserve mill levy the school administration raced to get the money spent so we can claim poverty for the next mill levy election. Pockets filled with green on Tuesday – pockets emptied on Thursday faster than a kid in a candy store.

Now move forward to the school board meeting of May 11th. The HDN reports that the board elected Darlene Bricker as the new chair and they talked a bit about cyber-bullying. Although HDN reporter Zack White was in attendance at this meeting there was no report of the board’s discussion to provide raises to school administration people. Why do you suppose Zack left that little tidbit out of the news? Also reported in the HDN was the fact that current school clerk Zella Witter is retiring and will be replaced by Mike Arnold. Arnold moved here some time back from Malta to train for the job under Witter with a salary in the mid 30’s. What wasn’t reported in the HDN was that Witter earned in the mid $80’s so former board chairman Christianson thought Arnold’s salary should be immediately boosted to $65,000 or so to be more comparable to what former clerk Witter was earning. Now just a minute here while I think this over. Arnold moves here with a promise of a salary of $35,000 or so and is perfectly happy to take the job and now less than a year latter our (so broke that they may have to cut programs and lay off teachers) school board sees fit to double his salary? What is wrong with this picture?

We have been told by our sources at the school that this move is why former chairman Lee Christianson is now the FORMER chair. Why didn’t the HDN report this interesting little fact? Hopefully new chairman Bricker will use a little more common sense and remember that the taxpayers are struggling and it really isn’t the time to be granting big raises to administration employees.

The Corrector will continue in our quest to publish the school budget on our blog as soon as we can find the top-secret hiding place in which the board hides it from the public. Anyone with information as to the operations at the school drop us an e-mail at

Monday, May 16, 2011


Check out this Youtube video of Senator Jon "No Earmarks Ever" Tester attempting to drive over the foot of his GOP pursuer!

While clearly not really in any danger, I do think it is funny Jon and Sharla jump in their pickup and then try to run over the poor kids foot for asking him about the money he received from Wall Street Banks for his debit card swipe fee legislation.

Hey Jon, you need to be more careful going after your pursuer, you wouldn't want to injure him! But we are wondering if injuries sustained while in pursuit of a U.S. Senator dodging reasonable questions from a constituent is covered under Obamacare? We'd ask you but we don't want to get run over! Oh and our guess is you probably didn't read the bill anyway!

Way to go Jon, keep running, eventually you will have to answer to the people of Montana!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Governor BS Says NO to Transparency in Government

It’s been a couple of weeks since the legislature adjourned and we have been watching the political rhetoric between the Democrats and Republicans including some sideshows by Governor BS with his veto branding iron. While it is apparent that our governor loves the limelight it is in his power to veto any bill that he thinks is harmful to Montana. While the necessity of some of these “new” bill is questionable and we can give a pass to the governor for whipping out his veto branding iron he went too far when he affixed his veto brand on House Bill 444. Here’s what Governor BS had to say about HB444

This veto is just plain WRONG FOR MONTANA taxpayers. The Governor claims the cost operating this website would be over $400,000 per year yet the Republicans counter that it should only realistically cost the state between $50,000 to $100,000. In this bloggers opinion the veto of this bill will continue to cost Montana taxpayers millions of dollars per year. What would drive down the exorbitant cost of government faster than 900,000 taxpayer eyes affixed on a budget laden with wasteful spending who are willing to start screaming for wasteful spending to stop as soon as it is exposed? What is the governor afraid that we are going to see?


We need this transparency in not only state government but also in local and school district budgets as well. Time to call the governor’s office at 406-444-3111 and tell Governor BS that this veto is just plain BS

Read the whole story over at the Montana Watchdog.
Read the full text of HB 444 here and see who else voted to keep you in the dark

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Editorial by Jerry Pyette

Corrector Editor's note;
The following information has been submitted to the Havre Daily Corrector as an editorial by Jerry Pyette - Montana Past State President and Agent of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles. The Havre Daily “News” refused to print Mr. Pyette’s letter to the editor he has asked that we publish it here.
Here it is exactly as submitted to the Corrector

I recently submitted a letter to the editor of the Havre Daily news that was not published. Although the primary purpose of the letter was to apologize to Kayce Groven, not only for the lack of action taken by the Eagles Aerie 166 in addressing the abuse she had suffered at the hands of its manager, but, by being the agent appointed to resolve the issue, not being able to help her as much or as quickly as I would have liked. I believed all along that the Grand Aerie would rectify a situation that was in complete disregard of the Organization’s constitution and that the Havre Chapter, Aerie 166, would do the right thing by terminating the employment of the manager. Fortunately, The Montana Department of Labor and Industry did do the right thing. After hearing the testimony of both Kayce Groven, the accused manager Thomas Farnham, and 15 other witnesses, the Hearings Officer, Gregory Hanchett found for Ms. Groven and awarded her over $193,000. Hanchett wrote that the testimony given by Ms. Groven was “entirely credible” and was supported by other witnesses. Farnham’s testimony, on the other hand, was found by Hanchett, to be not only “not credible” but “patently false”. He found the evidence of harassment “overwhelming” and stated that it would be “preposterous” for the Eagles Club to argue that Farnham did not create a sexually hostile environment for Groven in his repeated grabbing of her breasts, buttocks and crotch, his inappropriate sexual comments and in his unwelcome attempts to hug and kiss her. Hanchett found that Farnham’s actions included numerous sexual assaults.

In light of the very appropriate decision rendered by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the fact that Mr. Farnham pled guilty to sexually assaulting Ms. Groven in October 2009 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, the Havre Eagles Club needs to respect the decisions of the higher courts and do more than give Mr. Farnham a slap on the wrist. The Club is, in fact, rewarding him for his contemptible behavior by continuing his employment and allowing him to remain an active member of the Organization. The entirety of their discipline thus far has been to give him a written disciplinary warning in September 2009 and in March of 2010, when the National Eagles Organization became involved, to fire him but to turn around and rehire him in May of 2010 when the attention had died down. Ms. Groven repeatedly protested to officers and trustees of the Havre Club and they took no steps to control Mr. Farnham’s behavior other than the minor punishments stated above.

I have recently implored the Grand Tribunal to take action with the following letter:

April 14, 2011
Grand Tribunal
Tom Cartwright Justice
1623 Gateway Circle South
Grove City, Ohio 43123

Enclosed are articles that were printed in the newspapers. This is what happens when nothing is done by the Grand Aerie to rectify a complete disregard by Havre #166 of the constitution. Sections 39.4 (a,b,c) and 63.2 (c).

At the very least, the Grand Aerie needs to:
1. Reopen the case against Havre, MT Aerie #166
2. Suspend or revoke the charter of Aerie #166
3. Remove all present officers, with no exceptions.
4. Expel Thomas Farnham from the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of this case as there is also a civil case pending.

To Justice Schliske, my apologies for not letting you come to Havre. My mistake. I was informed that Havre people were going to make a circus show of it. I did not believe you, Sir, should be subjected to this kind of behavior. I also believed that this was an open and shut case, and I am sure you would have agreed. I had no idea that after a couple of months they would do exactly as they wanted, in disregard of the constitution.


Jerry Pyette

My unpublished letter to the Havre Daily News reads as follows:
Letter to the Editor-------------

April 12, 2011

For those of you who read the Great Falls Tribune dated April 12, 2011, there is a very interesting story in the Montana section of the newspaper. It reads “Havre Woman Awarded $193,000 After Sexual Harassment”.

Congratulations to Kayce Groven and her mom for their persistence in this matter. I wish I could have done more. I did explain that the wheels of justice turn very slowly whether in the legal system or the Eagles. In this case, the justice system wheels finally turned. It yet remains to be seen in the Eagles system, but do not lose faith in that system either, I haven’t. Again, congratulations and good luck.

Jerry Pyette
Montana Past State President and Agent of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles
Chinook, MT

In closing, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry has supported Kayce Groven and awarded her appropriately. I hope that her community will support her as well and not reward the Havre Eagles Club for their unethical decisions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Can't Believe it -- Only 8 Votes

That’s all the Building Reserve mill levy passed by. It appears that over 1428 people voted in the Havre District mill levy election and the Havre School board is taking the passage of these levies as a sign that most people support the way things are being done in our local school system. I hate to rain on their parade but there are over 300 people employed by the Havre Schools, an additional 250 or so at the University and when you add in the registered voters in their immediate families the 717 votes that passed the building reserve mill levy was a rather hollow victory if you are trying to portray that the Havre taxpayers are truly in support of our top-secret school board.

I hope school board members also take note of how many people simply “did not vote” for any of the choices for the board positions.

Better luck next time Tax-payers

Monday, May 2, 2011

Don't forget to vote on the Mill Levy Today

Today is the school mill levy election. Please don’t forget to vote.

Up again this year are requests for additional mill levy funding for the operation of the schools. The trustees are asking for $73,000 to “address anticipated shortfalls” in the elementary budget and $98,000 for the high school. In addition to this they are also asking for $370,000 to be assessed at $185,000 each of the next two years. This “reserve” money is to be added to the big pool of cash reserves already on account to pay for such things as the high school roof repair, remodeling of the high school locker rooms, upkeep of the streets and parking lot at the high school and other miscellaneous building repairs. The school’s official propaganda brochure can be viewed here One thing interestingly pointed out in the official propaganda brochure is that the building reserve fund will not affect the taxes you currently pay because – you guessed it – you have already been paying this amount every year for years and years. What they fail to mention is that a no vote on the reserve fund would actually decrease your property tax. How much is already in that reserve account you may ask? Well as near as we can find out the school district currently holds between 7 and 8 million dollars in reserve just in case there is an emergency sort of like if something were to happen like; say the roof would collapse at the high school for instance. The Great Falls school district is also running a mill levy request for upkeep while they hold over 35 million dollars now in their reserve account. You can read the details of their mill levy election over at the Electric City Weblog Does that sound like prudent use or just plain abuse of the already overtaxed property owner? From watching the school funding legislative process this last session it appears that this abuse of the taxpayer by the school system is systematic state wide. It is estimated that around 670 million dollars are held in school reserve accounts throughout the state. People! That is nearly a full year’s budget for every school in Montana. Also the final legislative budget for the schools INCREASED this session contrary to all the headlines you read decrying cuts. Nothing was cut although the wish list was drastically trimmed back to reflect our current economic condition.

The Havre Elementary and High School districts have fewer than 2,000 students and operate on a budget of around 18 million dollars. The High school district spends over $10,000 per student per year yet they continually come back to the taxpayer to nickel and dime us to death. Yes it is true it is only $30 more this year for that hypothetical $100,000 home but don’t forget this $30 is added onto what you are already paying which is in excess of $1,000 per year or $2,000 for those of you lucky enough to own a home valued at $200,000 as we reported a couple of weeks ago here on this blog. Failure of Havre’s mill levy request would deprive the Havre district of less than a dollar of increased spending per hundred dollars of current budget tax. Is that undoable? I would think not. It would appear that everyone in Montana is expected to shoulder the weight of our current economic recession EXCEPT the school district.

Is the school spending your money wisely?  It is hard to tell because everyone we have talked to that is connected with the school seems to be under some sort of “do not talk” order.  We get countless tips asking us to look into things such as replacing a nearly new $16,000 computer server still under warranty because it was “antiquated” when in fact it had never had proper maintenance.  Replacing all the administrators IPods with new HP units that weren’t compatible with the server.  Or the guy that bought around 1,000 Windows 7 licenses when the newer computers already had the license included and the older units didn’t meet the minimum requirements to even run Windows 7.  We get information such as this every week but don’t get me going on the IT people as that is a whole other blog.  We realize mistakes are made in every organization but some of these things should be looked to for savings before we come to the taxpayer pocket to just again get our coffers filled

Do your part and vote No, No, and No to today’s mill levy request. We personally don’t have these kinds of cash reserves -- Do you?

Super Wide Mega Loads: First Hand Report by R. Bennett

The Mega Load friendly Representative Champ Edmunds has been forwarding government officials and interested people a copy of a letter to the editor that ran in several state newspapers written by R. Bennett of Missoula.  Mr. Bennett spent four-weeks traveling through Montana following the controversial “monster mega-load” that has drawn all the environmental activists attention the last few months.  You can read Mr. Bennett’s letter below.

Read on:

'Evil' super wide monster mega loads welcome

I have just finished a four-week trip through Montana with the so-called monster mega loads, escorting them through our great state of Montana. In my opinion, the loads went flawlessly, without any accidents and without anyone getting hurt (except the feelings of a small minority of anti-work, anti-business, and anti-friendly group of protesters, which includes the Missoula City Council, Missoula County Commissioners, and Missoula district representatives).

Every town we stopped in, except Missoula, we were the talk of the town and the biggest thing since soft ice cream! We were welcomed with open arms, friendly handshakes, and "welcome to our community" comments. Town representatives from motels, restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, pizza parlors, laundry mats, auto service businesses, clothing stores, and the occasional taverns and pool halls, all with gracious employees, bent over backwards to do whatever they could to make our stay in their community comfortable.

I would like to take this time to personally apologize to any of the members of Adventure Cycling who may have been disrupted for a period of 10 minutes from riding their bikes on Upper Lolo Creek Drainage on a 21 degree, 30 mph windy cold March morning from 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. And the members of the Square Dancers of Lolo who chose to not let their skirts twirl at 4:15 a.m. on the same March morning (you party animals!). And, also, the university professors who were kept from their beauty sleep when the loads went down Reserve Street from 1:30-3:30 a.m. and parked safely at an Orange Street turnout.

If the journalist/reporters from the Missoulian would get out from behind their desks and their laptop computers and do some old-fashioned work and talk to the real people who represent the real working class people in Helena, Townsend, White Sulpher Springs, Harlowton, Lewistown, Grass Range, Roundup, and Billings, they would see that there are more than the environmentalists who speak for the rocks, trees, and earthworms who can't speak for themselves.

After only two days in Billings, I can see why they have industry growth and building expansion going on. They are not afraid of employment and getting people off of government-assisted programs and back to work where there is a trickle-down effect to the rest of the city, schools, businesses, and children of their town.

I would like to thank Conoco Phillips for employing me and letting myself and hundreds of other honest Montanans be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Also, thank you to the motel room maids, waitresses, and floor swampers who all benefitted from, and were positively affected by, this opportunity.

After returning home, I found out that our three Missoula County Commissioners, using county taxpayers' money and attorneys, have joined the law suit against the Montana Department of Transportation, preventing them from issuing the necessary permits that would allow me, and many others, employment and a fair wage (not nickels and dimes, as some say) to provide for my family, and taxes that pay the commissioners' wages.

To sum up what a Billings commissioner said: Missoula is a black eye on the rest of Montana, which is trying to bring in out-of-state business industry and a fair working wage for their citizens and future generations. What are they thinking? He said they have commissioner meetings each week, and Missoula commissioners never mentioned their plans.

Parents of Missoula, if you wonder why your children have to leave town to find work, look no further than the Missoula City Council, and Missoula County Commissioners.

To the city fathers and mothers of Missoula: After Stone Container is gone and forgotten, maybe you can put in a tye-dye T-shirt facility - but wait! That would take an environmental impact study taking up to five years to study the effects the color red would have on the mosquitoes buzzing up and down the Clark Fork. And, oh yeah, that would mean employment. Never mind!

R. Bennett,

Sunday, May 1, 2011


President Obama announced a few moments ago that the U.S. has carried out a mission which has resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden and his body is now in U.S. custody for verification purposes.

Stay tuned for more details.

HDC Team

The following is the transcript of President Obama's message given tonight at 11:35 P.M. EDT  You can find this transcript on the White House Press Office website here

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

May 02, 2011
Remarks by the President on Osama Bin Laden
East Room
11:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory -- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

END 11:44 P.M. EDT