Matt Taibbi’s Take On “White Fragility”

by William Skink

With cancel culture on steroids, the book White Fragility is getting a new surge of attention. Matt Taibbi is mystified by this because he has read the book and clearly understands how blazingly racist anti-racists can be. Here are some excerpts:

DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory. White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category.

If your category is “white,” bad news: you have no identity apart from your participation in white supremacy (“Anti-blackness is foundational to our very identities… Whiteness has always been predicated on blackness”), which naturally means “a positive white identity is an impossible goal.”

DiAngelo instructs us there is nothing to be done here, except “strive to be less white.” To deny this theory, or to have the effrontery to sneak away from the tedium of DiAngelo’s lecturing – what she describes as “leaving the stress-inducing situation” – is to affirm her conception of white supremacy. This intellectual equivalent of the “ordeal by water” (if you float, you’re a witch) is orthodoxy across much of academia.

Yes, in three paragraphs Taibbi referenced both Hitler and anti-witch hysteria. Here’s more:

DiAngelo’s writing style is pure pain. The lexicon favored by intersectional theorists of this type is built around the same principles as Orwell’s Newspeak: it banishes ambiguity, nuance, and feeling and structures itself around sterile word pairs, like racist and antiracist, platform and deplatform, center and silence, that reduce all thinking to a series of binary choices. Ironically, Donald Trump does something similar, only with words like “AMAZING!” and “SAD!” that are simultaneously more childish and livelier.

With the Trump comparison Taibbi has hit the trifecta.

DiAngelo sounds just like the people lecturing City Council last week about how Missoula needs to decenter its whiteness. If readers recall, this effort is going to take taxpayer money and the growth of local government by creating a new job position.

Getting back to Taibbi’s piece, the most offensive example he cites is DiAngelo’s interpretation of how Jackie Robinson broke the race barrier in baseball. Here is DiAngelo’s take:

The story of Jackie Robinson is a classic example of how whiteness obscures racism by rendering whites, white privilege, and racist institutions invisible. Robinson is often celebrated as the first African American to break the color line…

While Robinson was certainly an amazing baseball player, this story line depicts him as racially special, a black man who broke the color line himself. The subtext is that Robinson finally had what it took to play with whites, as if no black athlete before him was strong enough to compete at that level. Imagine if instead, the story went something like this: “Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.”

And here is Taibbi’s takedown:

There is not a single baseball fan anywhere – literally not one, except perhaps Robin DiAngelo, I guess – who believes Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier because he “finally had what it took to play with whites.” Everyone familiar with this story understands that Robinson had to be exceptional, both as a player and as a human being, to confront the racist institution known as Major League Baseball. His story has always been understood as a complex, long-developing political tale about overcoming violent systemic oppression. For DiAngelo to suggest history should re-cast Robinson as “the first black man whites allowed to play major league baseball” is grotesque and profoundly belittling.

Robinson’s story moreover did not render “whites, white privilege, and racist institutions invisible.” It did the opposite. Robinson uncovered a generation of job inflation for mediocre white ballplayers in a dramatic example of “privilege” that was keenly understood by baseball fans of all races fifty years before White Fragility. Baseball statistics nerds have long been arguing about whether to put asterisks next to the records of white stars who never had to pitch to Josh Gibson, or hit against prime Satchel Paige or Webster McDonald. Robinson’s story, on every level, exposed and evangelized the truth about the very forces DiAngelo argues it rendered “invisible.”

It takes a special kind of ignorant for an author to choose an example that illustrates the mathematical opposite of one’s intended point, but this isn’t uncommon in White Fragility, which may be the dumbest book ever written. It makes The Art of the Deal read like Anna Karenina.

Read Taibbi’s whole article, it’s worth it.

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BREAKING: Missoula County Attorney’s Office Reviews Drug Dealer’s Right To Stab His Customer To Death

by William Skink

A drug deal gone bad; a stabbing that resulted in death; a murder? No, said the Missoula County Attorney’s office, we aren’t going to charge the killer with murder:

After an intensive investigation, the Missoula County Attorney’s Office has decided not to charge a Missoula man with homicide after a ‘drug rip’ went bad in the restroom of a local restaurant where a Hamilton area man was stabbed and eventually died of his wounds.

“Our responsibility is to get to the truth,” said Acting Chief Colyer.

Why not a murder charge? Because so many investigators responded and they worked really hard in the first 24 hours doing their job determining sometimes during a drug rip you just gotta stab the motherfucker:

“An initial perimeter was set by our patrol team and they used a police dog in an attempt to locate the suspect,” he said. “Really, within 20 minutes of the initial call we had activated an investigative team from our detective division. We sent four investigators, a supervisor and a crime scene technician to the scene and began what was a non-stop intensive investigation. We notified the county attorney’s office very early in the investigation. We had investigators working through the majority of January 2, and in about 15 hours we had identified and interviewed all the people involved. We made a lot of progress in the first 24 hours and felt we had a good grasp of the facts at that point.”

Colyer said their investigation determined whether or not a charge of homicide would be filed.

“We talked through the legal requirements with the county attorney and came to the decision that the suspect, Joshua Paniagua, was eventually charged with some other offenses but would not be charged with a homicide related offense, due to his right to use force to defend himself,” he said.

I’m sure peddlers of illegal substances are glad to know they have the right to lethally stab their customers when a meth for weed deals goes south.

Back in January, acting police chief Mike Colyer was pretty proud about how quickly his investigators determined the right of drug dealers to stab their customers. Here is how the Missoulian article concludes:

Colyer said he was proud Tuesday of the joint effort by police and prosecutors, whose early involvement in the investigation kept the case on track toward the appropriate charges.

“That helps keep this thing moving along,” Colyer said. “They’re right there, shoulder-to-shoulder, able to view the evidence with us. …From my perspective, we’re sorry that the Mousso family has lost someone, and we can’t bring that back. But what I am proud of and grateful for is all the work that went into this so quickly to get some answers.”

Doesn’t this sound nice? Cops and lawyers working so well with each other, shoulder-to-shoulder figuring out all the answers. Yet, for some strange reason, the Mousso family is unhappy with how authorities gave this drug dealer a license to kill, and today NBC Montana is reporting that top-dog County Attorney, Kirsten Pabst, is running to the AG for cover:

We’ve learned new information about a Missoula stabbing death.

18-year old Benjamin Mousso’s mom and close family friends launched their own investigation last January after prosecutors decided the man who killed him did it in self-defense.

They thought things didn’t add up and they came to us for help.

Now just days after we started asking questions, Missoula County’s prosecutor asked the state’s top attorney’s office to review the case.

In an email, Kirsten Pabst writes while her office conducted an “exhaustive review” of the investigative file and compared the case to state law, Mousso’s family is dissatisfied with the decision. She requested the Montana Attorney General’s office assign a review to its Prosecutorial Services Bureau.

This is big, and not just for the Mousso family. There are other people out there trying to understand how the County Attorney’s office perceives self defense and the justifiable use of force.

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Get The Hell Away From Me, Jane

by William Skink

Despite all my skepticism about what we’re being told about this pandemic I haven’t gone full hoax like some websites have.

My biggest worry from the beginning is that something is out there and that something got out of a lab. The phrase “gain of function” is a terrifying phrase.

I had Democracy Now! on in the background today and the woman who was being interviewed was discussing the alarming, potentially long-lasting effects of Covid-19. Kidney failure, strokes, neurological problems, blood clots, etc. Even people who don’t present with flu-like symptoms may be at risk of all this other stuff, including younger people. What the hell is going on here?

I’ve been fairly consistent wearing a mask when I go into stores, but today I was downtown, outside, so my mask was in my pocket when a mentally ill woman I know from my shelter work approached me. She started cheerfully telling me how she just got back from touring America on the bus and she visited almost all 50 states. Of course she had no mask on and she got really close to me (I think she has a TBI, traumatic brain injury).

I told her to get away from me. She just kind of looked at me blankly. I said why the hell would you be be traveling around during a pandemic like that? She said don’t worry, she has been back for like three weeks and she’s fine. I shook my head and put some quick distance between me and this clueless individual.

Today was not the day to tell me about your travels, Jane.

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Emily Brock Wants The County Fairgrounds To Become Missoula’s Next Fiscally Reckless Blackhole

by William Skink

There are two worlds existing in tense proximity to each other. One world is called NEW NORMAL where human contact is restricted, small businesses are shuttered, and we argue about masks on social media all day. This world is filled with fear, uncertainty, and anger.

The other world is called OLD NORMAL where the ripple effects of lockdowns and a looming economic depression are cheerfully ignored by people with secure government jobs in order to carry on business as usual. This world is filled with irrational optimism and people like Emily Brock who want Missoula voters to consider passing a 15 million dollar bond for County Fairground improvements.

Because what we need now amidst a global pandemic is more interest-laden debt and ice rinks!!! From the link:

Stakeholders are revealing new information about a possible second phase of improvements for the Missoula County Fairgrounds, partly funded by a bond.

Officials say their current plans would ask for $15 million through a bond in 2022. That money would go toward a new livestock and equestrian pavilion, as well as more green space.

Organizers are also looking to privately fund $4 million for a rodeo arena, and $6 million toward new ice rinks.

“The community has told us from their preferences that the values underpinning fairgrounds redevelopment are education and learning for our kids, making the fairgrounds safer and cleaner, and supporting families and community,” said Emily Brock, Director for the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

Only someone who is irrationally optimistic and still currently employed with a comfortable salary would have the audacity to panhandle taxpayers for fairground money at a time like this.

Brock’s audacity is apparently a limitless resource, as evidenced by this $20,000 ask to County Commissioners for stuff happening at the Fairgrounds that will be MOSTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC:

Fairgrounds organizers on Monday asked Missoula County commissioners to contribute $20,000 to cover expenses associated with this year’s limited events, most of which will be closed to the general public.

“Everything has been so up in the air for so long,” said fairgrounds director Emily Brock. “We’ve thrown everything we have at the wall to see what will stick. This is what we’re landing on in terms of what we think will really work this year.”

As proposed, 4H will go forward under new guidelines, including social distancing and no open class livestock. Parents won’t be permitted in the barn while students show their animals, and animals may not be washed on the grounds.

While Brock was obnoxious as a City Council member, the job she was given to upgrade the fairgrounds has amplified that obnoxiousness into an actual fiscal threat. We need people in these government positions who understand what’s coming, and act accordingly.

Emily Brock is not one of those people.

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The Origin Story Of Missoula Biotech Company, Inimmune

by William Skink

A little Missoula biotech startup by the name of Inimmune recently got a 2 million dollar grant for developing new ways to deliver vaccines. Two years ago this same startup, along with the University of Montana, received a 5.4 million dollar grant to develop vaccines against bacterial infections. From the link:

The University of Montana has received a $5.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help develop a vaccine against bacterial infection.

The principal investigator on the five-year award, titled “Immunization against filamentous bacteriophages to prevent bacterial infection,” is Patrick Secor, assistant professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at UM.

Other investigators on the award include Dr. Jay Evans from UM and Inimmune, a start-up located in UM’s business incubator, MonTEC; David Burkhart and Kendal Ryter from Inimmune; Paul Bollyky and Gina Suh from Stanford University; and Chandan Sen, Sashwati Roy and Valerie Bergdall from Ohio State University. The team’s goal is to develop a vaccine to prevent infections caused by the common bacteria pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

P. aeruginosa is a deadly pathogen and a major cause of infections in diabetic wounds, lungs and other settings. Due to extensive antibiotic resistance, it is increasingly difficult to treat infections once they are established. Although it is ideal to vaccinate at-risk patients against P. aeruginosa before they develop infections, there are no approved vaccines to prevent infection.

Yes, instead of dealing with the unhealthiness of our food supply, like the insane use of high fructose corn syrup, millions of dollars are directed to things like vaccinating people against side-effect infections from core illnesses like diabetes.

And now Inimmune will get millions more in grant funding to further develop a new way to deliver vaccines to us guinea pigs and to deliver profits to its co-founder, David Burkhart.

So where did Inimmune come from? I did a little digging and found this:

MISSOULA, Mont. – Eighteen months after GlaxoSmithKline shuttered its vaccine research and development facility in Hamilton, Mont. and laid off about two dozen people, some of those jobs have returned to The Treasure State thanks to a new biotech startup partnered with the University of Montana.

The new startup is called Inimmune Corp. and its employees have a deep history working on vaccines at the former GSK site. Inimmune currently employs 22, many of which are from the former GSK vaccine facility, including its leadership team . The company is helmed by Jay Evans, who spent 15 years working at GSK’s vaccine facility. While at the Hamilton facility, Evans held several positions, including North American Pre-Clinical Innovation Team Leader, Project Leader and Investigator. Along with Evans, the company’s leadership includes David Burkhart, who also spent eight years at GSK leading the formulation R&D team. Inimmune said it expects to expand the number of its employees to at least 25 by the end of the year.

Why Hamilton? Because it has a Biosafety Level 4 lab called Rocky Mountain Labs. Here is a brief history of how RML came to be:

Although the construction of the first building of The Rocky Mountain Labs was completed in 1928, RML evolved as a result of research on Rocky Mountain spotted fever that began around 1900, in the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana. Early settlers of the valley were plagued with a deadly disease of unknown origin that seemed to be concentrated on the west side of the Bitterroot River.

It was known locally as “black measles” because of its severe dark rash, and folk wisdom of the day suggested that infection occurred from drinking the melted snow water that gushed out of the west side canyons during spring runoff. Fatal in nearly 4 out of 5 adult cases, local residents appealed to the state governor for help.

Montana had been granted statehood in 1889, and in 1901, the Montana State Board of Health was created. Its first priority was to bring health scientists to the Bitterroot Valley to investigate the cause, treatment and prevention of spotted fever. During the next three decades a memorable cast of characters was engaged in a drama that provided an interesting chapter in the annals of medical history.

While this history is interesting, I’m more interested in learning more about the kind of people who work for a company like GlaxoSmithKline. I wonder what Jay Evans and David Burkhart would have to say about getting a paycheck from a company that does shady shit like this (Forbes, 2012):

This morning, GlaxoSmithKline announced a $3 billion criminal settlement with the Department of Justice to settle accusations that it didn’t tell regulators about safety problems with an infamous drug, marketed other medicines for uses for which they were not approved and might not have been safe, and took various steps that may have increased the amount of medicine it sold and the price of that medicine in ways that were not legal.

Is it possible to work for Big Pharma and retain one’s soul? I don’t know. Ask Jay Evans and David Burkhart, two guys who are going to make lots of money on this global pandemic.

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Biomilq, Brought To You By Benevolent Billionaires

by William Skink

We have a problem.

Some women can’t breastfeed their babies and because they can’t breastfeed their babies they use formula and making formula takes carbon and carbon is bad so…BIOMILQ!!!

What is BIOMILQ you ask? I’ll let The Science Times explain it:

A new and better breast milk alternative has arrived, and it claims to be helpful for the environment as well. The U.S. firm, BIOMILQ, is artificially producing human breast milk from cultured human mammary epithelial cells to be commercially available to consumers.

This is so exciting! And it’s getting the financial attention from some very wealthy and important people:

The start-up company has received $3.5 million from an investment fund that is co-founded by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg. The fund was established to help prevent the ill effects of climate change brought about by carbon emissions.

If you are suspicious of any of this you are a paranoid conspiracy theorist who will need a looooong time at the reeducation camps before the vaccines are ready.

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Roundup

by William Skink

Not much to write about today. The kids are going kayaking and I’m going target shooting in the woods.

I’m also working on finishing up some poems for my upcoming WELCOME TO THE COVAXICON. Here’s the latest, enjoy!

ROUNDUP

I’m a mower over clover
where wobbly bees explore
fucked up on Glyphosate
and unprepared for war

I’m narrative anesthesia
with a Super Hero dick
high on strokes of ego
want to take a lick?

I’m a made-up plastic world
bought with paper cash
fake on top of fake on top of
my real caucasian ass

which is privileged, to be sure
and I should say, well armed
with mower blades and rhymes to say
yet little food to farm

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Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy, Douglas Hartsell, Was A Loose Cannon For Years, His Superiors Knew It, But Nothing Happened Until He Almost Strangled A Prisoner To Death

by William Skink

Earlier this week I wrote about the Missoula County Attorney’s office and the very lenient criminal results of a felony charge against Sheriff Deputy Doug Hartsell for strangling Brandon Shea while he was handcuffed.

Today the Missoulian is reporting on this case after two years fighting a legal battle to get video and documents released. What emerges is a story of how our criminal justice system allows bad apples like Hartsell to remain in his position of power despite incident after incident of questionable behavior.

My only complaint on the article is that the Missoulian chose a Friday for it to hit the newspaper stands. Let’s start by taking a look at Hartsell’s early days at the Sheriffs office:

Disciplinary documents from 2005, during his first years on the job, show then-Sheriff Mike McMeekin was concerned about Hartsell’s place in the department. On May 2, 2005, Hartsell was suspended without pay for six weeks after he was arrested for a DUI in Ravalli County following a non-injury vehicle crash and alleged stop sign violation, according to the document. The DUI prompted the county attorney’s office to dismiss charges against the other man charged with DUI after Hartsell arrested him, and to review other cases with which Hartsell was associated. McMeekin notes Hartsell was forthcoming about his own DUI with his supervisors, but that this was Hartnell’s second suspension in a month.

This would have been a good time to tell Doug Hartsell that being a Sheriff’s Deputy isn’t a good fit for him, but that didn’t happen. Here’s more from the article:

The internal review into the Shea arrest was not the only incident within the year preceding the arrest that drew the scrutiny of Hartsell’s supervisors. The documents released to the Missoulian revealed Hartsell was the subject of at least four other incidents, two of them related to use of force, that spurred internal communications before the Shea arrest.

An April 12, 2017, investigative report by Undersheriff Rich Maricelli and Detectives Capt. David Conway found allegations that Hartsell had exhibited poor work judgement and was employing ineffective traffic stop procedures were substantiated. Another allegation against Hartsell, that he was too cozy with a “known criminal” whom Hartsell said he was trying to turn into an informant, was not substantiated, according to the report.

The emphasis is mine because I know some followers of this blog who will be particularly interested in that little tidbit of information.

So, this loose cannon of a Sheriff Deputy can’t even do traffic stops without generating complaints, but he was kept on the force where he could have killed Brandon Shea had his fellow deputies not pulled him off SEVERAL TIMES:

Three deputies were on the scene during Shea’s arrest. According to the internal review documents, one of the deputies on scene, the shift supervisor, twice “pulled Hartsell off” Shea but Hartsell repeatedly went back at Shea. After pulling Hartsell off Shea a third time, Hartsell told the deputy “Don’t you ever f—–g pull me off again,” according to the comments in the document.

While Hartsell WAS charged with a felony, the Lake County attorney handling the case quickly entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. One reason given for this was the uncooperativeness of Brandon Shea. While that might be part of the reason, Lake County has had its own serious problems with its Sheriff’s Department, as this 2012 lawsuit details:

Five current or former members of the department filed a lawsuit there against the current sheriff, undersheriff, a detective and a deputy.

Terry Leonard, Steve Kendley, Michael Gehl, Ben Woods and Levi Read say they have been reprimanded, suffered demotions, been denied promotions and subjected to a hostile work environment because of their efforts to expose what they say is law-breaking and corruption within the sheriff’s office.

“The plaintiffs, all of whom have sworn to uphold the laws of the state of Montana, did not want to file this suit,” their attorney, Richard Buley of Missoula, said in a news release announcing the action.

“They have done so only after attempting to bring an end to the illegal and corrupt practices of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department by bringing the issues to the Lake County Attorney’s Office and the Montana Attorney General,” the statement continued. “However, no law enforcement agency in Montana has shown any inclination to enforce the law against law enforcement officers in Lake County.”

For those who don’t remember, Steve Bullock was our Attorney General back then, running his first campaign to become Governor. I’m sure climbing his own career ladder didn’t enter into his calculation to NOT hold Lake County deputies accountable.

With the release of these documents and video, how is the Sheriff responding? Here is the response, as reported by the Missoulian:

“We take all allegations of excessive use of force very seriously. When a report or complaint is made, we conduct a thorough investigation. That is what took place with this incident,” McDermott and Maricelli said in an emailed statement to the Missoulian on Wednesday. “Missoula County Sheriff’s Office also referred the incident to the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for a review of our investigation and to further examine the incident.”

The Sheriff’s office noted in an email to the Missoulian its commitment to transparency, but declined an interview beyond the emailed statement.

While an incident that included the strangulation of a handcuffed prisoner is bad enough, the problems here go far beyond a single incident to the culture of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, and the larger problem of transparency and accountability in any review process.

This is where some kind of civilian oversight committee needs to come into play. What we have in place now allowed Douglas Hartsell to remain a Sheriff Deputy for far too long.

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Prepare To Decenter Your Whiteness, Missoula

by William Skink

Missoula needs to do something about its whiteness. If we were graded on our whiteness we’d get an A for ALMOST ALL WHITE. Seriously, census bureau quick facts puts our blazingly white whiteness at 91.2%. That is how white we are.

So what can we do about this problem? Can we DECENTER our whiteness? Social worker Laurelle Warner thinks that YES WE CAN. From the link:

Giving marginalized individuals a seat at the table and decentering whiteness as the majority culture in Missoula could help peck away at systemic racism, community advocates told city and county leaders on Wednesday.

Held over social media, elected officials from a newly formed committee joined members of the Community Research Project in exploring everything from police funding to racism and reforming the criminal justice system.

“I do understand the voices of marginalized individuals and how they’re moved away from the center,” said Laurelle Warner. “Right now there’s this hierarchy that always leverages the voices of those whose currency is white. If we’re going to truly begin to dismantle systematic racism, we need to understand that it comes as a direct byproduct of centering whiteness.”

I’m not sure what’s going on here with leveraged voices and white currency. The currency I’m familiar with, which determines things like how much food one can acquire for one’s family, is cash money currency. If you don’t have enough of that currency you can’t eat or live with walls and a roof over your head.

How does a community as blazingly white as Missoula decenter its whiteness? I know, let’s leverage white guilt to engage in symbolic tokenism and use taxpayer money to create a government position to disseminate race-centered propaganda:

“The focus needs to be decentering whiteness as the norm, decentering whiteness as the majority culture in Missoula,” she said. “How do we get to a place in our city where we have a sense of equity across the board, and not have one particular group that’s centered or put in a superior or higher position than all the others?”

Several City Council members expressed a desire to make sincere connections with Missoula’s Native American community, as well as other minority groups. They noted the lack of racial diversity on the City Council and asked several community leaders if they felt represented by officials who are predominately white.

“We don’t see ourselves reflected in this council,” said Jamar Galbreath. “That’s exactly what we’re talking about – the lack of representation of people of color who are in our governing bodies across the nation, and Missoula isn’t an exception to that. We’re also calling for a position to be implemented at the city and county level that will work to translate these stories and experiences. That connection can’t happen if we’re not present.”

Well ok then.

COMMENCE DECENTERING!

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A Frenzy In The Market…

by William Skink

A friend of mine took a day trip this week to Granite ghost town and he said the interstate was literally choked with out-of-state traffic.

Whether they are coming temporarily, as tourists, or looking to relocate permanently, Montana is quickly becoming a very desirable location to shelter in place from a global pandemic.

It was just a matter of time before someone wrote an article with the title Realtors report out-of-state rush on Montana real estate. From the link:

“There is a flood of people coming into the market,” said Crystal Ault, a Missoula-area real estate broker. “There is a frenzy in the market.”

Like Friedner, Ault said she has had a number of clients from other states looking to relocate to Montana. In one instance, she described a family from Oregon that is looking for property to relocate their entire family, including both sets of parents. Ault said she has seen people make offers anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 above the asking price. Last week, one of her clients made a cash offer $5,000 above the asking price and still lost out on the property because there were seven different buyers bidding on it.

Some would-be buyers are even resorting to apps like FaceTime to virtually tour as many homes as possible from afar. Both Friedner and Ault have had clients in recent weeks make offers on homes they’ve never stepped foot in. (Both note that the clients usually see the home during the inspection period and before the final paperwork is signed).

Isn’t this wonderful? The cost of housing will CONTINUE to skyrocket in places like Missoula because a global pandemic has motivated wealthy people to flee their elitist urban enclaves. Fantastic.

A few weeks ago I ran across a second-homer at one of my favorite outdoor spots. I was surprised she openly disclosed that she had a second home and it was in Alberton. Maybe she expected a quaint local like myself to excitedly welcome her to the beautiful, non-crowded state she had the financial means to flee to.

I wasn’t rude to this person, but I also didn’t roll out the rhetorical red carpet for her either. I simply made a mental note to prepare myself for more of these encounters.

Like rats jumping from a sinking ship, those with the means to do so are coming to Montana.

Maybe instead of looking like a quaint local I should add some hardware to my hip.

What caliber says WELCOME TO MONTANA most effectively?

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