On a positive note, our family would like to thank the employees and customers of Harvest Foods in Ronan and Safeway in Polson for aiding us when our son and brother, Jake, had an epileptic seizure in your respective establishments these past few weeks. Having the disability of Autism often accompanies many other medical issues that sometimes puzzle those around us, but not in these two occurrences. You make it a joy to live and visit these communities and I know Jake appreciates it, even though he cannot tell you himself.
Rich, Julie and Jenna Janssen
The Charlo Lions Club would like to extend their warmest thanks to Pat Kelley and Bill Webster of Ronan Telephone for their help in decorating the main street of Charlo for the Christmas Season. With the aid of the “cherry picker,” Charlo Lion members were able to put up and take down the festive lights in a timely and safe manner. It is this type of spirited assistance that we received from Ronan Telephone Company that makes us proud to be part of this community.
Pat Jamieson, Secretary
Charlo Lions Club
Compact’s double standard
“Only lay down true principles, and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid ... .” -Thomas Jefferson
In this age of political expediency and pragmatism, based on moral and ethical relativism, the above admonition for Jefferson is not so popular. The basis of relativism, after all, is the rejection of all absolutes. In a society that embraces evolutionary relativism, there can be no such thing as “true principles,” nor any reason to “adhere to them inflexibly.”
So it is with the current draft of the proposed water compact with the CSKT. In what Chris Tweeten, chairman of the state team on the compact commission, calls “The Grand Bargain,” the State of Montana agrees “to remove non-Indian rights on the reservation from the jurisdiction and control of the state and place them somewhere else ... .”
“Somewhere else,” of course, is the “Flathead Reservation Water Management Board” created by the current compact proposal, in spite of the clear language of Article IX of the Montana Constitution establishing that “The legislature shall provide for the administration, control, and regulation of water rights ... .”
At best, the creation of this board is diminished representation for private fee property owners within the boundaries of the reservation in regards to securing and administering their water rights; at worst, it is a negation of representation.
If the State of Montana adopts the compact as currently composed, it is embracing the notion that “no taxation without representation” is no longer a “true principle.” It is saying to owners of private fee property within the boundaries of the reservation that “you are full and equal citizens of the state for purposes of taxation and regulation; you are not full and equal citizens in regards to securing, protecting, and administering your water rights.”
“The double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
The gorilla in the room
There will be a ballot coming in the mail soon asking the irrigators to vote for or against the water use agreement. Get informed with factual information so you can understand the consequences of a yes or a no vote. The fate of the entire compact rides on this vote.
My family has been farming in the Mission Valley for 75 years. I spent many years as a member of the irrigation board. During my time on the board, I came to know the board members as full-time farmers and ranchers, and forward in their thinking. The board had worked on the project transfer for many years, but it wasn’t until we became serious about partnering with the CSKT that we were able to make progress. After seven years of negotiation, the project transferred to local control. By any measure, the transfer has been an outstanding success.
What is being proposed in the Water Use Agreement (WUA) and the compact has the same ingredients for success. It is a partnership of all the people of this area pulling together to create a good future for agriculture and all residents of the reservation. Don’t be deceived by the doomsdayers. The WUA and Compact provide a secure right for irrigation water, in many cases more than what has been available in the past. The doomsdayers are somehow trying to convince people that paying tens of millions in attorney fees is somehow better than receiving tens of millions from the state and federal government to rehabilitate the Flathead Irrigation Project. We don’t need to be paying attorneys. We need to be fixing the irrigation project.
There are a few things that I wish were a little different but I would vote to approve it to avoid the 1,500 lb. gorilla called litigation. Can anyone honestly believe litigation is the answer?
A few words of wisdom. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” “Life is not fair so you might as well get used to it.”
Guns: “The symbol of democracy”
Thank you, Mr. Drewry for your short and cogent Feb. 7 column regarding our Sheriff Jay Doyle and his support of the U.S. Constitution. It’s wonderful to read there are public officials that do not take their oath of office “with fingers crossed behind their back.” It is also rare to find members of the Fourth Estate that realize that it’s not just a part of the First Amendment that is “absolute” but that all the first 10 amendments are “absolute.”
The Second Amendment is the “lynch pin” for all the rest - and was designed that way. For without it, the sovereign citizen, the last “check and balance” embeded in the Constitution, has no defense against the coerecive power of the state. The government established by the U.S. Constitution has its powers given to it by the sovereign people - not rights given by the government. To re-interprete it anyother way, turns the sovereign into a subject of the government that was established as the servant of the sovereign. That’s at best, a soft tyranny and at its worst, despotism that completely enslaves its subjects.
Recently, USA Newspaper held an online survey regarding the 2nd Amendment. The wording of the “Quick Question” is disturbing. “Does the Second Amendment give Individuals the right to bear arms?” This is disturbing because it is presented by the Fourth Estate. In 1789, Pennsylavania delegate Tench Coxe wrote in the Federal Gazette (which contained the proposed 10 amendments) that “the proposed second amendment affirmed” (not given by the Constitution or the government)”the people’s ‘right to keep and bear their private arms’ against ‘civil rulers’ and ‘military forces’ that ‘might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens.’ James Madison warmly replied to Coxe, thanking him for the “cooperation of his pen.”
English philosopher John Locke, whose writings greatly influenced the content of the mission statement of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, put forth the proposition that an individual owns and “controls one’s body and may defend.”
Inherent in that document and the subsequent execution of the United States’ policy statement, is the attendant right to bear arms for “defending the body” and the “Creator’s unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
In 1941, British author George Orwell of 1984 fame, wrote: “The rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
The first 10 amendments - the Bill of Rights - isn’t a Bill of Needs.