Lil Market has opened in downtown Billings at 207 N. Broadway. The business of Larry Mathew, the store will provide the essentials of a grocery store that is lacking in the center of the city. Mathew is also owner of Mr. Thrifty.

A grand opening was held last week. Lil’ Market Groceries will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and closed Sundays.

From The Center Square

The Trump administration announced, last week, reforms to the Endangered Species Act that it says will “increase transparency and effectiveness” in the law’s implementation.

One of the reforms removes a blanket rule which treats protections for threatened species the same as endangered species. It will also require the same standards be used when officials consider delisting or reclassifying species.

Another change will require that “areas where threatened or endangered species are present at the time of listing be evaluated first before unoccupied areas are considered,” which the administration says will reduce the regulatory burden on land owners.

“The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal—recovery of our rarest species. The Act’s effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation,” U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. “An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation.”

The Environment Research Center (PERC), a Bozeman, Montana-based think tank, says that the ESA has been effective at preventing species from going extinct, but not as successful when it comes to species recovery.

The reforms will help in efforts to recover species, the organization, which uses market-based approaches to conservation and environmental issues, PERC said. “These essential tweaks to the Endangered Species Act promise to make the law more effective and results-driven in the 21st century,” said PERC Executive Director Brian Yablonski. “It represents a win for all of us devoted to recovering species and a win for states and landowners who now have an opportunity to be more innovative and creative in their role as habitat protectors.”

The groups say that lifting the regulations will help “encourage states and landowners to recover [threatened species] before they reach endangered status.”

Industry and farming groups also praised the changes.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said the changes will bring “long-awaited regulatory relief to American cattle farmers and ranchers.” Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, said the current regulations of the EAS “hinders landowners and companies from effectively protecting and recovering species.”

“For far too long, the Act has been weaponized to stop the production of food, fuel and fiber that Americans need every day while turning a blind eye to how red tape actually inhibits the recovery of species,” Sgamma said. “This Administration has the fortitude to move forward with common-sense rules that follow the law while improving species protection, despite the hyperbolic rhetoric.”

Other environmental groups roundly criticized the reforms as weakening the ESA.

The Sierra Club called it the “Trump Extinction Plan,” saying the reforms “would gut critical endangered species protections.”

“Undermining this popular and successful law is a major step in the wrong direction as we face the increasing challenges of climate change and its effects on wildlife,” said Lena Moffitt, senior director of the Our Wild America Campaign, Sierra Club. “The Endangered Species Act works; our communities— both natural and human — have reaped the benefits. This safety net must be preserved.”

“It is particularly egregious that the Trump Administration is steamrolling through unpopular rules issued by an Interior Secretary embroiled in at least 17 scandals,” Endangered Species Coalition Executive Director Leda Huta said in a statement. “Losing our biodiversity isn’t something that any American can afford. We don’t live in an enclosed man-made bubble — our health and safety, the health and safety of our children and grandchildren, our access to clean air and water, actually depends on biodiversity.”

Yablonski added: “Our interest is getting this landmark wildlife protection law to work better. That means fostering conditions so landowners become more enthusiastic in their role as stewards for species recovery, not worried if they find an endangered species on their land. States and landowners will respond better to carrots, not clubs, in our efforts to improve species recovery results.”

Offering up lots of fun and knowledge, the first annual Yellowstone Dig it Days will be held in Billings on Saturday, August 17, at the Johnson Lane Interchange, 10 am to 4 pm.

Kids can explore, inspect, take pictures and learn about all kinds of heavy equipment – and even operate a back hoe.

Kids of all ages, including parents and grandparents, will find this unique display of heavy equipment, as well as emergency service vehicles a wholesome, constructive family experience, which besides being fun and educational, will generate funds for three worthwhile youth-oriented organizations – the Yellowstone Boy and Girls Club, the YMCA and the Lockwood Optimists Club.

The first 500 kids will receive “Dig It” t-shirts and a plastic hard hat. Concrete and materials will be available for kids to make and decorate “stepping stones” to take home. Food and drink vendors will be on hand, as well as a kid tattoo booth, and best of all, a big sand mountain. Knife River, one of the event sponsors, will haul in 200 tons of sand for one of the biggest sand mountains ever seen in Yellowstone County, for the sole purpose of having fun in the sand.

Other sponsors of Dig It Days are RDO Equipment Co., Northwestern Energy and ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. The sponsors and the beneficiary organizations will be providing volunteers, who will be making safety, during the event, a priority.

The event is being produced by Yellowstone Family, a newly created non-profit dedicated to supporting the community.

The plan is officially underway to link Lockwood and the Heights via the Billings Bypass. This new road system will not only make traveling between the two areas of Billings much faster; it will also make it easier on truckers as they will no longer have to drive down Main Street to continue their truck routes on Roundup Rd. The plan will eventually connect the Johnson Ln. Exit in Lockwood to both Roundup Rd. at the northern end of the Heights as well as HWY 312.

The first section scheduled to begin construction this coming fall will build a new segment of 5 Mile Rd. from Dover Rd. to HWY 312, with a new roundabout positioned at that intersection, and reconstruction of the stretch of 5 Mile between Dover and Mary St. That intersection will also have a roundabout placed there. They hope to have this segment finished within the year so that they can begin construction of a new bridge, with a separate bike path, over the Yellowstone River in 2020. This $25 million bridge is the only stretch of the project projected to take two years, but it will be built to last. It will have eight pillars and nine spans. While this is larger than technically necessary, it will allow the bridge to hold up for much longer and able to fare fine against even a hundred-year flood.

After these two phases – hopefully by 2022 – serious work can begin at the Johnson Lane Exit on I-90. This will be Montana’s first diverging diamond interchange. While the interchange may be strange at first, this type of interchange is growing in popularity across the country because it creates less conflict points, provides better sight distance, and it is extremely difficult to enter a ramp going the wrong way. While the construction at that Exit may become frustrating, the end product should make it all worth it.

In 2023 work is tentatively scheduled to start on RR O’Pass, a stretch of road starting off from the end of the bridge over the Yellowstone and working its way southeast before crossing Coulson Rd. in Lockwood. There they plan on picking up work the following year to connect RR O’Pass to the new Johnson Lane Interchange, making it a straight shot from the Johnson Lane Exit to HWY 312. The final stage, tentatively set to begin in 2025, will see construction from the roundabout at the intersection of 5 Mile Rd., Mary St., and the new bridge over the Yellowstone and running perpendicular to Mary St. all the way to the intersection of Main St. and Roundup Rd.

This project is just the first of two major plans to better connect the city of Billings, making it easier to travel around the city. The other piece will be the Inner Belt Loop, which will eventually connect W. Wicks Ln. to the intersection of HWY 3 and Zimmerman Trail. This piece will cut the time it takes to travel between the Heights and the West End in half, removing the need to drive through Downtown and Midtown or going out of your way to jump on the Interstate.

More Information at

  • JCT Construction LLC,2150 East I Rd, Ballantine, 59006, 696-2772, Tim Broadbent, service
  • Goss Builders, 3933 Cambridge Dr, 59101, 200-1505, Lance Goss, general contractors
  • Avior Group LLC, 1736 N Chestnut Circle, Mesa, AZ 85213, 480-216-0330, Brian Boyette, service
  • GST Air Duct Cleaning,  1725 Avenue C, 59102, 794-2210, Gregory Scott Thorson, service
  • Dirt Hunter LLC, 6345 Pleasant Hollow Trail, Shepherd 59079, 690-5954, Mike Hunter, service
  • Casie & Chandler Cleaning, 3314 Broadwater Ave, 59102, 598-9842, Casie Spainhower/Chandler Carra, service
  • Z-Nith Racing, 1734 Columbine Dr, 59105, 606-2239, BenjaminTorppy, service
  • A&C Works, 4708 Cheyenne Trail, 59106, 591-5485, Casey Hafner, service
  • Omar’s Sharpening, 1507 Yellowstone Ave, 59102, 200-4574, Omar Taylor, service
  • Shilo Automatic Sprinkler Inc, 1224 11th Ave N, Nampa, ID 83687, 208-466-0006, Stanley Beus, service
  • Main Street Menswear LLC,  300 S 24th St W, 59102, N/A, Steve Johnson, retail sales
  • LJK Construction, 803 Wyoming Ave, 59101, 591-3356, Leo Pinnick/Kalib Slovarp/Justice Lofgren, general contractors
  • Sacred Haven, 1643 Lewis Ave Ste 2, 59102, 598-7528, Ashley Breit, service
  • Sue’s Mobile Massage, 1600 Ave E #45, 59102, 307-461-0529, Susan Vogel, service
  • Tex Jawort Photography, 2224 Hwy 87 E #43, 59101, 969-1646, service
  • Bella Spa, 300 S 24th St W, 59102, 850-5756, Raphael Corcos, retail sales
  • Builders of Billings, 703 N 17th St, 59101, 672-4912, Travis Thonney, general contractors
  • Konstruksie Inc, 3727 Colton Blvd, 59102, 208-4760, Megan & Daniel Boschert, service
  • Sophie’s Kitchen, 149 Shiloh Rd Ste 3, 59106, 206-434-1996, Dylan Brumwell, restaurants
  •  Fit 406 Bootcamp, 2135 Grand Ave, 59102, 690-7987, Brenda Hageman, service
  • The Lawn Dawgs Lawn Service, 2910 Miles Ave, 59102, 861-0329, Jordan Hart/Madeline Wright, service
  • GLF Inc, 2616 Prongorn Dr, Laurel 59044, 697-6578, Nathan Fjelstad, general contractors
  • Anderson Towing LLC, 706 Central Ave, 59102, 894-2566, Cameron Cochran, service
  • Anderson Towing II, 706 Central Ave, 59102, 894-2566, Cameron Cochran, service
  • Anderson Towing III, 706 Central Ave, 59102, 894-2566, Cameron Cochran, service
  • Anderson Towing IIII, 706 Central Ave, 59102, 894-2566, Cameron Cochran, service
  • Unalome Massage, 131 Moore Ln Ste F, 59101, 697-8538, Nikole Ellestad, service
  • Happy Acres General Contractor, 305 1/2 Calhoun Ln, 59101, 696-1794, James Halligan, general contractors
  • The Grass Guy Lawn Services, 427 Lordwith Dr Apt 1, 59102, 670-1827, Gregory Short, service
  • Honey, Bee Naturals, 2435 Custer Ave, 59102, 915-202-6961, Alexandra Myran, retail sales
  • Selah Clinical Services, 1629 Ave D Ste 4, 59102, Erin Rodriguez, service
  • Tzar Salon, 710 Grand Ave Ste 4, 59102, 694-1403, Evgenia Allison, cosmetology
  • Dedicated Construction Management LLC, 710 Larry Ct, Waukesha, WI 53186, 414-431-8555, Keith Turbin,  general contractors
  • Bullseye Electric LLC, 5800 Thunder Ridge Rd, 59101, 679-4442, Shawn & Brian McNeil, electrical contractors
  • 1537 Avenue D, LLC, 1537 Ave D, 59102, 256-2366, Taylor McCabe, service
  • Island Mountain Development Group, 1537 Ave D, 59102, 256-2366, Taylor McCabe, service
  • 406 Haylo, 3177 Sage Hollow Rd, 59101, 200-0024, Catina Keeley-Sanford, service
  • Briper Cleaning, 4540 San Fernando Dr, 59101, 598-1144, Jandi Farnsworth, service
  • Cha Cha Churro, 546 Oakmont Rd, 59105, 702-0644, Vernon Austin, restaurants
  • Wanda’s Brew, 11 Willow Bend Dr, 59102, 534-6265, Wanda Kalgren, retail sales
  • Olive Branch Services, 1719 Walter Rd, 59105, 861-9991, Laverne Higbee, general contractors
  • A1 Fitness repair, 5229 King Ave W, 59106, 371-1244, Ryan Strawbridge, service
  • Jt Radiance, 5639 Mountain front Ave, 59106, 396-2261, Jason Thompson, retail sales
  • Gratitude in Action Foundation, 10 S 30th St, 59101, 694-5401, Richard & Terri Todd, antique & second hand stores
  • Big Sky Building of Montana LLC, 3801 Chamberlain Dr, 59101, 290-4048, Dustin Pagitt, general contractors
  • Creative Mechanical Solutions, 3485 Stone Mountain Cir, 59106, 608-513-5900, Nicholas Chaffin, general contractors
  • IT&M Division Inc, 1101 Chestnut St, Helena, 59601, 495-1543, June Bricenco, service
  •  Arris inc, 5155 Bains Gap Rd, Anniston, AL 36205, 256-237-1601, Charles Kujala, service
  • Zasra Co, 517 Alderson Ave, 59101, 671-7567, Andria Wolf, retail sales
  • McClintock’s Guns, 3461 Masterson Cir, 59106, 208-6736, Edward McClintock Jr, retail sales
  • Vantage Construction LLC, 2251 Red Bridge Rd, Laurel, 59044, 939-4263, Adam Richter, general contractors
  • Kron Furniture, 144 Terry Ave, 661-2593, Karmen Kron, service
  • Warrior’s Services and Repair, 3283 Rosebud Dr C2, 59102, 855-7461, Barry Wattles, service
  • Superior Heating Cooling and Electrical LLC, 141 W Hilltop Dr, 59105, 670-5620, Allen Search, service
  • Malax Massage LLC, 6924 Kirby Rd, Shepherd 59079, 208-5140, Chantal Hale, service
  •  Lock Doctor, 1270 Lockwood Rd, 59101, 591-4744, Xzlmar Anderson, service
  • JMB Properties LLC, 4206 Woodgrove Dr, 59101, 670-3937, Jason Buehring, general contractors
  • Mia Yegen LLC, 306 N 30th St, 59101, 861-2836, Mia Yegen, retail sales
  • Lil’ Market, 207 N 28th St Ste 130, 59101, 534-2116, Larry Mathew, retail sales
  • Shaggy’s Yard Care, 315 Broadwater Ave, 59101, 208-4195, Kaiser Justin, service
  • Rocky Mountain Wellness LLC, 2108 Broadwater Ave STE 104, 59102, 839-4018, Jennifer Keeland, service
  • Rings & Things, 202 S 29th St, 59101, 876-4572, Paul Fletcher, service
  •  J and B Contracting Services Inc, 27 Whitebird Creek Rd, Columbus 59019, 390-1275, Brook Anderson, general contractors
  • RDH on Demand LLC, 5663 Yellowstone Trail, Huntley 59037, 425-0022, Tracy Enterline/Lynsee Openshaw, misc
  • Adama Cleaning and Home Services, 2810 Grelck Ln, 59105, 871-1341, Jennifer Taylor, service
  • J&K Drywall and Paint LLP, 134 Yellowstone Ave, 59101, 860-8035, John Keller, general contractors
  • Smith Musical Minutes, 4224 Chicago Rd, 59105, 860-5739, Nicole Smith, misc
  • Christina’s Chic Boutique, 376 Future Cir, 59102, 307-277-0267, Christina Taylor, retail sales
  • David Johnson Cleaning Service, 43 Prince of Wales Dr, 59105, 694-4900, David Johnson, service
  • Brown Brothers Waterproofing LLC, 15354 E Hinsdale Cir, Centennial, CO 80112, 720-496-2950, Lisa Williams, service
  • Rae Massage, 511 N 30th St, 59101, 633-0974, Delaney Rae Sharbono, service
  • Fortney & Weygandt Inc, 31269 Bradley Rd, North Olmsted, OH 44070, 440-716-4000, Mitchell Lapin, general contractors
  • Dreamland Construction, 610 Richard St, 59101, 200-0397, Tyrel Moore, general contractors
  • Karp’s  Carpentry, 2206 Alamo Dr, 59102, 671-8272, Rick Karp, general contractors
  • Guaranteed Auto Repair LLC, 3906 1st Ave S, 59101, 860-5312, Kristina Johnson/Joe Schlosser, service
  • Million Dollar Plaster, 2616 Old Hardin Rd #35, 59101, 224-3609, Donald Tripp, general contractors
  • Northwest Timber Products LLC, 1929 Bozeman Trail, 59715, 570-4898, Steven Schlegel, general contractors
  • Old Frontier Leather Works, 139 Lewis, 59101, 671-5015, Ronald Garritson, retail sales
  • Dream Fabrications, 11 Sombrero Dr, 59102, 561-6409, William Lenzen, service
  • Peterson & Sons, 3527 Tigard Ave, 59101, 696-5015, Jesse Peterson, service
  • Anchor Truck & Tractor Services LLC, 614 1st Ave unit 944, Laurel 59044, 281-3291, Brooks Murphy, service

Billings Clinic’s Simulation and Experiential Learning Lab (SELL) has earned full five-year accreditation for teaching and education by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).

Full SSH Accreditation requires a peer-reviewed, customized evaluation of the program’s core processes as well as documented outcomes in the category of teaching/education.

Accreditation is awarded to programs that demonstrate regular, recurring simulation educational activities with clearly stated objectives (knowledge, psychomotor skills and behaviors) and provide evidence of ongoing improvement of educational activities. This includes the four education standards of education design, qualified educators, educational activities, and evaluation and improvement.

The SELL program was created at Billings Clinic to improve patient safety by promoting health care education and practice of skills, high risk and low volume scenarios and teamwork interactions. Simulation imitates real world processes and is used to educate health care professionals to respond quickly and accurately to all kinds of health care scenarios. An increasing body of knowledge suggests that patient care providers using evidence-based simulation as part of their initial and ongoing training are able to demonstrate improvements in patient outcomes.


  • City Of Billings/Langlas & Assoc., Inc., 2801 3rd Ave N, Com Addition, $7,360,000
  • NA/Stock Construction Company, 223 Shiloh Rd, Com Remodel, $67,900
  • NA/Stock Construction Company, 223 Shiloh Rd, Com Remodel, $59,001
  • NA/Stock Construction Company, 223 Shiloh Rd, Com Remodel, $150,000
  • NA/Stock Construction Company, 223 Shiloh Rd, Com Remodel, $40,000
  • Smith, Charles Daniel/Jones, Tim O – General Contractor, 3420 Granger Ave S, Com Fence/Roof/Siding,  $18,500
  • City Of Billings/Themoos/Amestoy, Greg/Brian – Electrical Contractor, 1112 Black Otter Trl, Com New Other, $22,000
  • School District #2/Billings School District 2, – Electrical Contractor, 1812 19th St W, Com New Other,  $9,200
  • 2646 Grand Ave Llc/Williams, Courtney – General Contractor, 2646 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $46,500
  • Lynne J Zimmer Revocable Trust/Lennick Bros. Roofing & Sheetmetal, 5250 Midland Rd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $7,50
  • Douglass, Harlan D & Maxine H/Kujala, Charles Jason – Service, 2717 King Ave W, Com Remodel,  $72,870
  • Glynn Abbey Development Llc/Griffin, Max – Service, 2980 Glynn Abbey Way, Com New Other, $8,333
  • Glynn Abbey Development Llc/Griffin, Max – Service, 2980 Glynn Abbey Way, Com New Other, $8,333
  • Glynn Abbey Development Llc/Griffin, Max – Service, 2980 Glynn Abbey Way, Com New Other, $8,333
  • Glynn Abbey Development Llc/Griffin, Max – Service, 2980 Glynn Abbey Way, Com New Other, $8,333
  • Glynn Abbey Development Llc/Griffin, Max – Service, 2980 Glynn Abbey Way, Com New Other, $8,333
  • Glynn Abbey Development Llc/Griffin, Max – Service, 2980 Glynn Abbey Way, Com New Other, 50,000
  • RPS, Llc/Ferch, Timothy – General Contractor, 2505 Montana Ave, Com Remodel, $6,500
  • Tru 2005 Re I Llc/Langlas & Assoc., Inc.640 S 24th St W, Com Remodel – Change In Use, $1,000,000
  • Western Livestock Reporter/Cop Construction Llc – General Contractor, 112 S 18th St, Demolition Permit Commercial, $36,510
  • Phillips 66 Company/Cop Construction Llc – General Contractor, 1910 Minnesota Ave, Demolition Permit Commercial, $285,00


  • Clark, Nicholas R, 829 Cook Ave, Res New Garage, $34,944
  • Wentling, Gayle R& Margo L/mike’s Handyman Service, 1310 Cook Ave, Res New Garage, $33,000
  • Image Builders/Lantis Ty & Schmidt Greg – Service, 4647 Rangeview Dr, Res New Single Family, $446,429
  • Jake & Lindsey Wright/Dirk Arnold Construction, 1365 Tania Cir, Res New Single Family, $285,000
  • Mike Glennon/Britton, Matt – General Contractor, 1445 Topanga Ave, Res New Single Family, $226,008
  • Burke, Michael & Sherril F, 2101 Locust St, Res New Garage, $32,400
  • Sinhold, Nikolas, 1025 Cottonwood Blvd, Res New Garage, $43,776
  • J & J Boyer LLC/Design Builders, Inc., 2140 S Stone Creek Trl, Res New Single Family, $343,115
  • Haney, Bill D & Mitzie L/Cougar Construction, 330 Annandale Rd, Res New Single Family, $476,168

Wise Wonders’ Children’s Museum Executive Director, Kelli Toohill, announced that she is stepping down from her role as Executive Director of the Museum at the end of the summer due to her family relocating.

“It has been a thrill to start a non-profit from the ground up. I am excited about the adventure I am about to take with my family, but I am sad to leave the Museum,” says Toohill.

“We are fortunate to have had Kelli at the helm of this organization,” says Shawna Bonini, Board President. “She built a strong foundation at the Museum. We are sad to see her go, but feel confident that she is leaving us in a great position for a seamless transition.”

This news is coming on the heels of two other big changes at the museum. Wise Wonders recently announced their move to 3024 2nd Avenue North. This announcement was made at their annual gala, which also marked the first day for their new Assistant Director, Pete Bolenbaugh.

Wise Wonders’ Board of Directors have posted the Executive Director job description and have begun accepting applications. Learn more at or contact Shawna Bonini by email at

The mission of Wise Wonders Children’s Museum is to engage curious, creative, and scientific minds in a playful learning environment for all children and families. Central to this mission is supporting STEM education through fun and interactive exhibits that support learning through play. Wise Wonders envisions a connected community that inspires a passion for lifelong family learning.

Wise Wonders is currently located at 110 N 29th St. in downtown Billings. For more information, visit wise wonders children’s museum or

Alter Ego will be the headline entertainment at the Billings Clinic Foundation’s Street Party on Broadway Ave. for the 2019 Billings Clinic Classic, Saturday, Aug. 24.

The theme of this year is Urban Classic, playing on the street party setting and classic downtown Billings elements. Proceeds benefit the Sustainable Fund for the Psychiatric Services Residency Program at Billings Clinic, Montana’s first and only psychiatry residency program. Alter Ego, from Montreal, Canada, is North America’s top party band.  Kicking off the evening will be Arterial Drive, a six-member band from Billings, who will perform during a festive cocktail pre-party. The 2019 Classic will be held outside on Broadway Ave., between 3rd Avenue North and 4th Avenue North. Billings Clinic Classic tickets range in price from $100-$200.

The Montana Chamber Foundation’s 2019 Governors’ Cup Golf Tournament and Sandbaggers Reception will be held in the Flathead Valley on Aug. 1-3. The reception is on Aug. 1 at the Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell. On Aug. 2 and 3, the Chamber will host the tournament at Eagle Bend golf course in Big Fork, Meadow Lake in Columbia Falls, Whitefish Lake (south). Started as the Centennial Golf Classic during the 100th celebration of Montana’s statehood in 1989, the Montana Chamber Foundation annually hosts more than 400 business and government leaders, representing over 100 businesses from across Montana, the entire U.S., and even around the world through the Governors’ Cup Golf Tournament. The event is specifically organized for networking and to promote the state’s growing opportunities for business and investment, as well as a charitable fundraiser for our various programs. Register at www.

By Evelyn Pyburn

Why does the slogan “Make America Great Again” cause such angst for so many? Some say it is a threat!

I know the twisting of reason and words by those who supposedly feel threatened by it. So bizarre is the reasoning though, it’s hard to believe that they even believe what they say. That some might feel threatened there is no doubt – but, the reasons are not those given.

There is threat in the real meaning of the statement to anyone who wants power over others, who strive for the unearned, who (for whatever demented reasons) hates seeing people succeed, live life happily on their own terms, and stand independent of government.

“Make America Great Again” addresses the deeply entrenched, uniquely, American concept that the citizen is supreme to the state. The phrase boldly asserts that it has been that political philosophy that has allowed the emergence of the most productive, creative, wealthy, and happy of citizens, and in so doing, incidentally, built the most powerful and competitive nation that has ever existed. “Make America Great Again,” also recognizes that the decades- long trend toward socialism is the derailing of all those things, and declares the course must be changed.

“Make America Great Again” is indeed a powerful statement.

And, it gives statists – the world around — many reasons to feel threatened, because nothing could be more threatening to their goals, than such “ideas”. So, not only must they twist the meaning of the words, they must silence everyone who would attempt to explain otherwise, because even they understand that nothing is more potent than ideas, and in a free-wheeling discussion of ideas, they lose. So to advance socialism there can be no public discourse, no open debate, no unsanctioned speeches, no discussion of ideas. Even legislative processes that would craft public policies become too dangerous to pursue, because it would invoke the uncontrolled discussion of ideas.

The name calling – ever time it commences – is a concession by the antagonists that within the realm of ideas they are bankrupt, and the only chance they have of prevailing is through the name calling which is to shout “shut up.”

It must be the successful squelching of public debate and the discussion of ideas that has persuaded so many people – those who sincerely seek the wellbeing of the greatest number of people — to conclude that socialism is the means to do so, and that principles of freedom are not. It is otherwise incomprehensible to understand how so many people could otherwise reject what the very existence and status of this country has proven to be true – that no other system of government has ever done so much for so many.

As Dr. Milton Friedman stated, ““The record of history is absolutely crystal clear—that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activity that is unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

When you look around any American city. Glance up and down the street of any American neighborhood. Contemplate the scope and breadth of all that is accomplished in this country every single day by individuals living free lives and pursuing dreams of self-fulfillment and creative challenge. When you can daily see the miracle of it all, and not be awed by the mechanisms that induces it, it is so astounding as to leave one speechless – and yet, as erroneous as it is, that is the  pervailing perception throughout, not just this country, but the world.

It is understandable why power -mongers of any sort who have subjugated their own populations – it is understandable why they would be threatened by anything that directs attention to the reasons the US is the country it is. They should — and are — quaking in their boots, at the attention President Trump has brought to the “ideas” behind that citizen empowerment. Tyrants everywhere should be concerned because nothing stands in the way of any, or every other country, of pursuing the same path – nothing but their people deciding that it what they want – and nothing will invoke those “ideas” more so than widespread discussion about them. The likelihood is that the smallest and poorest country in the world could quickly become an economic powerhouse in the world, should they but grant its population the same freedoms and unleash the pent-up potential of its people.

“Make America Great Again,” is a throwing down of the gauntlet – a proclamation to the world that if anyone wants to do well, economically, they must do so on the merits of production and creativity and competitiveness. The vehemence against the statement speaks loudly as to its truth and unveils completely the deceit of all those who claim otherwise. How could they not be threatened?

“Make America Great Again” is no threat to the world – it is an invitation.