Monday, March 20, 2006

Facts: PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Providing Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act

The PATRIOT Act closes dangerous law enforcement and intelligence gaps . The PATRIOT Act has accomplished exactly what it was designed to do - it has helped us detect terrorist cells, disrupt terrorist plots, and save American lives.

The PATRIOT Act has helped law enforcement break up terror cells in Ohio, New York, Oregon, and Virginia, and has helped in the prosecution of terrorist operatives and supporters in California, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, and North Carolina.

The PATRIOT act authorizes vital information sharing to help law enforcement and intelligence officials connect the dots before terrorists strike. The PATRIOT act breaks down legal and bureaucratic walls separating criminal investigators from intelligence officers to ensure critical information sharing.

The PATRIOT act eliminates double standards by allowing agents to pursue terrorists with the same tools they use against other criminals. Before the PATRIOT act, it was easier to track a drug dealer's phone contacts than a terrorist's phone contacts, and it was easier to obtain a tax cheat's credit card receipts than to trace the financial support of an al-qaida fundraiser.

The PATRIOT act adapts the law to modern technology. The PATRIOT act allows emergency disclosure of internet service providers’ customer and permits victims of hacking crimes to request law enforcement assistance in monitoring trespassers on their computers.

The PATRIOT act preserves our freedoms and upholds the rule of law. The legislation signed today adds over 30 new significant civil liberties provisions.

The PATRIOT act reauthorization safeguards our nation. The PATRIOT act reauthorization creates a new assistant attorney general for national security, as recommended by the WMD commission. The Justice Department now has national security, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and foreign intelligence surveillance operations under a single authority.

The PATRIOT act reauthorization tackles terrorism financing. This bill enhances penalties for terrorism financing and closes a loophole concerning terrorist financing through "hawalas" (informal money transfer networks) rather than traditional financial institutions.

The PATRIOT act reauthorization protects mass transportation. This bill provides clear standards and tough penalties for attacks on our land- and water-based mass transportation systems, as well as commercial aviation.

The PATRIOT act reauthorization combats methamphetamine abuse. The PATRIOT act reauthorization includes the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.

Find out more:

The above facts and more information may be found at:

The full text of the PATRIOT Act (HR 3199) may be found at:

Department of Justice PATRIOT Act information center:

FACT SHEET__civil liberties safeguards in the USA PATRIOT Act:

View the PowerPoint:

(if needed, click here to download a PowerPoint Viewer)

National Note: Dole weighs in on Morrision

Senator Elizabeth Dole’s Statement On John Morrison’s Campaign Kick-Off

Washington, D.C. – Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), issued the following statement on Democrat Candidate John Morrison’s campaign kick-off focusing on his healthcare plan:

“I have worked alongside Conrad Burns to pass meaningful medical liability reform that will lower the cost of healthcare in Montana and across the country. Unfortunately, the trial lawyer special interests have relied on their Democrat allies to block these reforms, and lawyers have already pumped in over $175, 000 into John Morrison’s campaign. When it comes to lowering the cost of healthcare, the last thing the United States Senate needs is another trial lawyer.”

A/E: Got a story? Get into the Lion's Den!

Have you ever had an experience you wanted to write down for your grandchildren? Or a tattered box of family recipes you'd love to organize as a book for your siblings? Or maybe a collection of letters or photos you think would be the perfect gift for someone special? Author Kelly Cyr wants to help you share your story.

Founded on the belief that every life has meaning, every life has a message--and no one's life should be forgotten--Cyr has founded Lion's Den Publishing in Great Falls to offer ordinary people the chance to share their stories with loved ones, friends and family, or even the world. Only one person in 10,000 writes an autobiography, but Cyr believes all 10,000 have wisdom and love to share. Lion's Den Publishing is dedicated to finding ways to give voice to every one of those people.

Kelly Cyr formed Lion's Den Publishing after writing her own memoir, Supreme Love, which will be released in October in conjunction with Domestic Violence Month. She gained so much insight into her own life when she wrote this memoir and was able to explain the TRUTH, that she realized being able to pass on our own life story is more valuable than anything we can give our loved ones. It might even save a life.

Cyr's publishing experience, which cost her thousands of dollars and six years to write, spurred her to find an easier, alternative way to help others pen their own life stories. This is a unique book publishing company that provides people the means to have their stories preserved in book-form, from start to finish. No longer do you have to hunt around to find a writer, a printer and a book binder to capture your memories, because Lion's Den Publishing can do it all for you.

A member of the Association of Personal Historians, Cyr developed a way to make personal memoirs affordable and timely for others. She's discovered the format is easy to adapt to other histories, such as
Business histories: Narratives of your company's history, in order to share the evolution and successes with employees and families.
Special books: Family heirlooms featuring your children, career, vacations, love letters or even cookbooks filled with family recipes.
Life Milestone: Special gifts to honor and celebrate weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and retirements.
Commemorative: Collections of comments and photographs by family members and friends.
Ethical Will: A spiritual love letter consisting of expressions of love and gratitude to your loved ones. Most lawyers now recommend this with your will.

A Personal History is more than genealogy, it is a documentation of a person's life, their challenges, joys, talents, life decisions and philosophies. Lion's Den Publishing enables people to leave behind a biography of their life, as well as preserve family stories and memories for family members and their descendents. A book--your book--that becomes a legacy and priceless heirloom for all.

For more information, please contact
Kelly Cyr
OFFICE PHONE: 453-4296

A/E: Kutless' Hearts of the Innocent Tour

click on pic for full-size view I'm not much of a concert reviewer, but I need to rave about the rock fest on Monday, March 20, in Great Falls.

Metal band Kutless brought the Hearts of the Innocent Tour to the Exhibition Hall at ExpoPark and wowed a huge, enthusiastic crowd of young people--and their parents. Yep, parents...because all of the bands are Christian rockers, therefore suitable for Mom & Dad.

The line-up:
Kutless - metal
Falling Up - emo-screamo
Disciple - metal
Stellar Kart - pop-punk

These are serious, hardcore rockers and punks, infusing their music with the energy that kids are yearning for (only to find cheap, angry imitations in the current rock world). I haven't seen a concert like this since the heyday of X107.3. And this was far & away better, because the energy and music were overwhelmingly positive. And Kutless's light show rocked!

The bands made sincere efforts to connect with their audiences, and focused on delivering specific messages: that everyone is valued; someone knows your heart, your pain, your joy, your talents & gifts; everyone has a purpose in something bigger than the daily struggles; you have something to give to help others. This is a stark contrast to the self-promotion of some bands at past concerts (especially the prosyletizers for nihilism, like Society 1).

Though I noticed folks my age took to the bleachers, kids from ages eight to early twenties crammed the floor, bouncing, pumping fists and screaming for more. The box office reported more than 1500 eager fans over the course of the four hour show, and I observed that the crowd included skate punks, goths, packs of gawky teens, and military folks, as well as ever-present moms and dads.

Concertgoers got the chance to browse well-stocked band booths for each band. These booths had the coolest paraphenalia I've seen, including Falling Up's 'finger lights,' which let anyone in the crowd be part of the light show for just $2 per! I bought two, so I'm ready for the next big concert.
click for full-size view

One final note: maybe it's a sign of age, but I sure was tickled to see so many families, and that no deputies were patrolling the parking lot.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


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This site is home to news, information and rabble-rousing in the Great Falls area.
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National Notes

National and world issues that impact Montanans

Peace Activist Hostages Freed in Iraq
"Coalition troops freed three Western aid workers early Thursday in a military raid carried out two weeks after kidnappers tortured and killed the American in the group and dumped his body on a Baghdad street."

Statement By Christian Peacemaker Teams
Ingratitude and arrogance are the hallmarks of 'activists'.

Democrats Say Bush Violated Constitution
Senate errs, therefore it's President Bush's fault.

Dole weighs in on Morrision
Senator Elizabeth Dole’s Statement On John Morrison’s Campaign Kick-Off.

Long awaited Operation Iraqi Freedom documents now online
Translations of documents seized after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Kindergarten: Crayons, snacks ... & HIV
“Along with the ABC's, kindergartners will now learn about HIV."

'Operation Swarmer' Air Assault Launched in Iraq
“According to the Coalition Press Information Center, initial reports indicate that a number of enemy weapons caches have been captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-making materials, and military uniforms. Troops also captured several people, according to CPIC."

dateline - Mar.15.06
Researcher Will Face Charges in Steele Case
'dumpster diving?'
“Federal prosecutors have decided to bring charges against a Democratic researcher accused of fraudulently obtaining a credit report on Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, now a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate."

Bush: Iraqi Unity Defies Insurgents
“Immediately after the attack, I said that Iraq faced a moment of choosing. And in the days that followed, the Iraqi people made their choice. They looked into the abyss and did not like what they saw."

dateline - Mar.13.06
Tax Revolters Demand End to Spending Madness
“We are in a major revolt right now," said Mary Adams, head of the petition drive to get a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) on the November ballot in Maine."

book review:
National Review Online review of
Whatever It Takes
by J.D. Hayworth
After 9/11, do we really want to take the chance that no terrorists will try to take advantage of our porous borders? Congressman J.D. Hayworth says no. In Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security and the War on Terror, he explains just how serious the problem has become, what the stakes are, and what we must do now to protect our republic from what is nothing less than an invasion.


Some of the most frequently asked questions. Okay, maybe no one's asked them yet, but we like to be ahead of the curve.

* under construction *

Who was this man of great vision?

Great Falls' founder, Paris Gibson, of course.
Though he is forgotten by the powers that be, the truth is Montana needs more like him...

Missing Links

On March 19, 2006, the usual suspects gathered in a blizzard for a 'Peace Chain,' ostensibly between the Great Falls offices of Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns. About two dozen peacenix stationed themselves on the corner of 3rd St N and 1st Ave N, which is down the street from Mr Baucus's office.
click on pic for full-size view

Most of the 'crowd' were aging boomers, though a pair of teen girls proudly held a 'No blood for oil' sign, and one local activist brought her young daughter for the spectacle. Interestingly, only one passing driver, in a full-size SUV, honked in appreciation. One can be sure this is all the encouragement Starshine and Ray need to continue their crusade.

Gitmo Girl marched the line with her 'I pray for your healing' sign, and received puzzled thanks from some protestors, though one codger did ask, "What does Gitmo have to do with healing?"

And what sort of peace rally would it be without the agitator for revolution? As one of the graybeards explained to another, "You know, our country's founders took up arms against their government, so it's time we did the same."

Media showed up to do their part, of course. A MontanaNewsNetwork reporter, driving an SUV with Butte plates, positioned his camera in the street to get shots of the 'crowd,' then moved around for close-up interviews, carefully avoiding Gitmo Girl. He stayed about a half-hour, then drove off with a toot and a wave.

A second cameraman arrived just before 12:30pm. Since the peace chain still stretched no farther than just around the corner, about half of the 'crowd' straggled down the avenue to reposition themselves in front of Burns's office for the photo op.
click on pic for full-size view
click on pic for full-size view

All in all, another soul-stirring display of mindless petulance.


Talking to community movers & shakers.


Opinion and analysis

worth repeating:
Monumental Betrayal: How Bruce Babbitt engineered the Clinton land-grab
Range Magazine
“The people of Chicago and their children are going to live in a big city but know that there is open space forever that belongs to them whether they come and visit or not,” Babbitt proclaimed.

worth repeating:
Preservation Means NEGLECT
Private Trust
“Common sense and the advice of those who have lived with the land for a hundred years are sneered at by the self-annointed. These know-it-alls, boasting more expertise in lawsuits and propaganda than in science, blatantly disregard the U. S. Constitution and dismiss the idea of private property rights as an archaic, even barbaric concept.

dateline - Mar.15.06
CBS Does Denmark, Doesn't Get The Story Right
Weekly Standard
“Among the participants in the 60 Minutes trashing of Denmark was Ahmed Abu-Laban, a Palestinian refugee and self-appointed spokesman of Danish Muslims, who instigated the tour of the Middle East and whose name has been linked to some very unpleasant groups and individuals in the Middle East. But rather than explore Laban's background and grill him in depth on the question of the added cartoons, CBS treated him with kid gloves as an aggrieved individual.

Arts & Entertainment

News & reports on local events, as well as reviews of concerts and entertainment venues.

dateline - Mar.21.06
Got a story? Get into the Lion's Den!
Founded on the belief that every life has meaning, every life has a message--and no one's life should be forgotten--Cyr has founded Lion's Den Publishing in Great Falls to offer ordinary people the chance to share their stories with loved ones, friends and family, or even the world.

dateline - Mar.14.06
Havre native learns to answer in form of a question
She's always been a competitor. She's always been a whiz kid. I guess all those things add up to ‘Jeopardy.

dateline - Mar.13.06
Billings refinery honored for wildlife site

“What started with osprey trying to nest in a smokestack in 1998 led to a commitment by the Billings ExxonMobil Refinery to maintain a good share of its property as wildlife habitat."

dateline - Mar.21.06
Kutless' Hearts of the Innocent Tour
I noticed folks my age took to the bleachers, while kids from ages eight to early twenties crammed the floor, bouncing, pumping fists and screaming for more. The box office reported more than 1500 eager fans over the course of the four hour show...

Regional News

News & information from around the region
dateline - Mar.23.06
Man accused of strangling girlfriend backs out of plea deal
"A jury trial is scheduled for June 19."

dateline - Mar.17.06
Burns, Rehberg announce Malmstrom study to evaluate new missions
Burns called Malmstrom a first-class facility with no land encroachment issues, outstanding housing funded over the years by defense appropriations, and a high quality of life for service men and women stationed there.

Ranchers, recreationists spar over Breaks monument plan
from the mouths of babes?
“This draft is 500 pages of solutions looking for problems that don’t exist,” said Julie Isackson, a Lewistown teenager

Abused Billings boy regains some sight, hearing
Preston Littlemouth is expected to return to Billings this week from a hospital in Denver where he has been treated for a serious head injury, broken bones and numerous burns...

Sierra Club petitioners oppose grizzly delisting
of course!
“We should not gamble with the progress that we've made,” said Heidi Godwin, grizzly bear project coordinator for the group.

dateline - Mar.16.06
NW cutting energy rates again as spring draws near
lowest rates in a year
For the third month in a row, NorthWestern Energy is reducing its electric and natural gas rates in Montana on April 1, in response to a continuing decline in market prices.

dateline - Mar.15.06
Trial date set in NorthWestern lawsuit
“The suit by the Employees' Retirement System of Livonia, Mich., is now tentatively set to begin April 25."

Morrison kicks off campaign with issue stops in 3 cities
“Morrison said that over the next few weeks he would outline his health care plan so that doctors and patients would have a level playing field. He said the discussion will be about affordable health care for all Americans, reducing costs and keeping choice in the health care system."

SMog Alert

Tracking energy pollution in the region.

Missing Links
On March 19, 2006, the usual suspects gathered in a blizzard for a 'Peace Chain,' ostensibly between the Great Falls offices of Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns. About two dozen peacenix stationed themselves on the corner of 3rd St N and 1st Ave N, which is down the street from Mr Baucus's office.
click on pic for full-size view

Election 2006 Candidate question: Taxes

Past legislatures have been lobbied by cities to authorize the allowance of a city-imposed sales tax. Would you favor such legislation, and why?

Election 2006 Candidate question: Energy

Do you favor the cities' attempts to buy NorthWestern Energy power lines? Why?

Election 2006 Candidate question: Economy

The economy is a chronic concern for Montanans. What sort of business would you work to bring to (or expand in) Montana?

Election 2006: Candidate Issues

What do you believe is the most important issue facing HD/SD#?
What would your solution be?

What do you believe is the most contentious issue facing HD/SD#?
What would your solution be?

Overall, what do you believe is the most critical issue facing Montana?
What would your solution be?

Election 2006: Candidate background

What is your background and experience?

What do you consider your most important achievement?

Why do you identify yourself as a Democrat or Republican?

Election 2006: Candidate ID

Web address:

Are you a resident of your district?

If you are a non-resident, why do you believe you can represent your district's interests?

Election 2006