Archive for Montana

The Book Booth: Mid-May Musings Edition



Image: John Green via AP

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Mid-May Musings Edition

Here we are at mid-Spring and the flowers are just bursting. Our rhodies are amazing at this time and looking out our kitchen window is a visual pleasure. My hopes that you are enjoying this time of year as well.

The world of books is not without its share of controversy this time of year, as Jon Krakauer discovered when he gave a talk on his new book Missoula: Rape and Justice in a College Town. He doesn't usually do the author book tour thing, but thought the issues in the book important enough to address them at the University of Montana. He was heckled for his efforts as The Big Story reports.
Krakauer Hecklers in Montana

Mark Harvkey's novel In the Course of Human Events examines the life of a man who becomes mesmerized by a right-wing cult and its leader. Most of us don't meet these wackos on an every day basis. But their literature is out there and pretty scary. Harvkey looked at some of their books for Publishers Weekly.
Controversial Books in Print Today

Most of those tomes are obscure and known only to its fans or detractors. There are other books, maybe good ones, that have disappeared. MPR recently discussed three such lost works by Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Hardy and Sylvia Plath.
Lost Works by Major Authors

Most writers hope that their work will in some way make a difference in our world, in some way enhance our enjoyment at being on this planet. Jane Hirshfield recently talked about her new book Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World with the Washington Post. She has also authored a new book of poems, The Beauty.
Jane Hirschfield

We've just passed Mothers Day, but this story by Nick Bilton for the New York Times Style magazine poignantly talks about his shared love of books and reading with his mother. Mothers can and do make a big difference for us.
Mothers and Books

Language is such a fascinating phenomenon. We speak words and we can read words. And yet, it seems the ability to do both come from different parts of our brains, as the LA Times tells us.
Language and Our Brains

Words certainly mattered to William Zinsser whose book On Writing Well can usually be found on the bookshelf next to Elements of Style. He recently passed away at the age of 92. The New York Times had this remembrance.
William Zinsser Has Left Us

This week marks the "friendeversary" of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien who met in 1926. Remarkably, the story of their friendship will soon be a motion picture. I guess it will be along the lines of Shadowlands, the movie about Lewis's marriage to Joy Davidman. Sarah Seltzer examines the friendship of Tolkien and Lewis here at Flavorwire.

And speaking of film adaptations, Hilary Mantel is no stranger to having her work appearing on the screen, with the big success of her Wolf Hall series. Now she will have her novel of the French Revolution, A Place of Greater Safety, (and a very good book, if you have not read it), adapted by the BBC as The Bookseller reports.
Hilary Mantel

Have a great weekend, filled with the joy of words. And let us know what books you happen to be devouring.


Montana Rape Judge Does It Again


rape Judge Todd Baugh

You might not recognize this jurist's face, or even his name, but you will most surely remember why he made the news about three months back. Take a good look. Need a hint? The punishment he meted out for a rapist? Remember now?  The assailant was a teacher. The victim was his 14 year old student and after the attack, she killed herself.

Okay, final clue:

The judge sentenced the teacher to one month in jail, arguing that the girl shared responsibility for her rape because she appeared “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher.

Sure, now you got it. And he sentenced the rapist to what ended up being less than a month in jail.

Well, seems justice by this justice hasn't really become any saner since that debacle of jurisprudence. Judge Baugh recently heard a case of vandalism. Evidently shooting out windows with a BB gun is far more significant and heinous than rape.

Raw Story:

District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced 21-year-old Brandon Turell to 10 years in prison, with five of those years suspended, and ordered him to pay about $13,600 in restitution, reported the Billings Gazette.

What happens next though puts the frosting on the cake. The judge gives the vandalism perp 10 years, suspends five of them, and caps it with a large fine.  Then he lectures the convicted fast food service worker on how he should get a better (higher paying)  job so he can pay back the victims quickly.

Wait, how's he going to pay back the victims quickly if he's doing 5 years in jail? If he can suspend the rapist's sentence down to a month, and he's so concerned about the victims getting restitution, then why not let this man free to work to pay off the victims?

And it gets a cherry on top of the frosting on this delicious cake.

Burger King Whopper

The judge asked Turell, who bonded out of jail about 18 months ago, what he had done to pay back his victims, and Turell said he had been working at Burger King.

“Why can’t you get a real job?” Baugh asked.

Turell said he made $9.50 an hour working at the fast food restaurant, and Baugh again suggested he get a “real job” that paid better.

A real job? Is this judge serious? $9.50/hr is two bucks above minimum wage. If he doesn't think making that kind of money is real money, then what does that say about the minimum wage?

This jurist is totally out of whack with the real world. Justice in this judge's hands is a dangerous thing. Rapists go free. Rape victims are disposable (the girl victim is dead). But vandalism victims are sacrosanct.

Oh, and how stupid is it to order someone to pay for the damages they caused, then take away their only way to pay the victims back by jailing the criminal for 5 years? I don't know how much they pay prisoners in Montana, but I gotta believe they pay a lot less for punching out license plates than they do for serving a Whopper with fries at the King.

Pity the fools who live in Montana if this is their version of justice.


Sunday Links



Note: This is why the evangelicals are worried: From the article: "Just 57 percent of Brazil's 200 million people now call themselves Catholic, a dramatic plunge from 92 percent in 1970."
Hundreds Of Thousands Of Evangelicals March In Rio

Alex Jones Says Army Training Center Is Part Of ‘Giant Buildup For War With The American People’

The Senior Problem in Montana (Guest post on The Montana Cowgirl Blog)

One More Crack In The Keystone XL Pipeline

Undue Influence: BP Has A Friend In Scalia


GOP candidate wants immigration moratorium because they "support the Democrat party"


immigration moratorium

A Montana Republican who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representative is calling for a "moratorium on all immigration." Why? Because, according to Drew Turiano, if we let those lefty liberal commie pinko Marxist Kenyan gay French Mexican immigrants cross the borders, they'll all vote for Democrats. And if that happens, you know what comes next, right?

*Ominous music, deep echoing voice* The End of the Republican Party!

So clearly, the best remedy is to full on stop anyone from entering our territory. Gotta keep this country white and conservative, dammit!

Via the Montana Standard:

I believe in a moratorium on all immigration to America,” he said. “The reason I believe in that, it will be the end of conservatism in this country. The majority of immigrants who come to America are big government people. They’re going to mostly support the party of big government, the Democrat Party. They will not support the party of small government, the Republican Party.

“Because this is a fact of life, it will mean that the Republican Party will never win another national election again in about 10-15 years time. … I’m hoping that we can do something to immigration and put a stop to it, so the Republican Party doesn’t go the way of the Whigs.”

Drew Turiano's pitch to voters? "I will do only what’s in the best interests of the people of Montana and the people of my country.”

Best interests? He must have forgotten about all those pesky little benefits of immigration like being good for the economy, driving innovation and retaining the best global talent, keeping us less isolated, enhancing multilingualism, spurring job growth, reducing the deficit, stuff like that.

Instead, he believes that by preventing diversity, we can suppress Democratic votes and postpone the demise of the GOP. Drew must have also forgotten that they've already written their own autopsy.

It must have slipped what's left of his mind that the Party of No has managed to further exacerbate its outreach problem (scroll) and alienate voters all on its own without resorting to a complete immigration ban. Wake up, Drew, your party is already well on its way to a self-imposed obsolescence.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive