not in Kansas anymore

By Jim Stanford on May 17, 2012

Comments: 38 Comments

Legitimate three-hour parking spots on the Square.

What if you traveled 1,000 miles to stage a gruesome abortion protest and no one could see it?

Props to the ranchers and moving truck owners for heading downtown on business this morning.

(Via Jackson Hole United)

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Posted under Politics, Religion, Wyoming

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abortion crazies met with humor, love

By Jim Stanford on May 9, 2012

Comments: 9 Comments

Counter protester last year.

Now that Jackson has become a destination resort for anti-abortion protesters, residents are responding in creative ways.

First Brad Watsabaugh started a Facebook campaign called Protecting ElkFest with Love. Then an even bigger group formed, Jackson Hole United, that sought to deflect and defuse the first round of protests earlier this week.

The town’s decision to restrict free speech last summer backfired horribly, giving the zealots what they seek most: conflict. Having raised considerable publicity and cash following their organizers’ arrest, the crazies announced their intention to return to the Boy Scout antler auction and ElkFest on May 19. And even crazier crazies joined the fray this week.

Before Brad and Jackson Hole United took action, several of us had discussed exercising our right to free speech in concert with the protests. Send a message using the contact tab above if you want in. It ought to be amusing.

“Rather than feeding the hatred and ugliness that the abortion protestors thrive on, we will surround and drown them in love and compassion!” reads the purpose of Protecting Elkfest with Love. Add humor to the mix.

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Posted under Politics, Religion, Republican Party, Town Government

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rest of America gets to know Foster Friess

By Jim Stanford on February 17, 2012

Comments: 18 Comments

Move over, Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and the rest of the cast of the tragicomic reality show that has been the Republican primary.

Rick Santorum’s come-from-behind resurgence has thrust Jackson Hole’s own Foster Friess into the limelight. The financier and philanthropist, Santorum’s main financial backer, has burst onto the national stage, giving interviews to the networks nearly every day.

With his 100-watt smile, ardent faith and forthright honesty about his beliefs, Friess has become a star, outshining perhaps the candidate he supports. Talking bluntly and enthusiastically, the Teton County resident has endeared himself even to the so-called “liberal” media, winning kudos from Chris Matthews and a positive profile on the front page of the New York Times.

Anyone who knows Foster or has been to one of his annual “Robust Rooster” luncheons knows he loves to tell corny jokes. He even told a pretty funny one about Mitt Romney at last week’s conservative convention.

But yesterday, he bombed, as he often does (he is the first to laugh at himself). Only this time the entire country has been listening. On a day when a tone-deaf California congressman convened an all-male hearing on birth control, women especially didn’t find Friess’ remarks funny.

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Posted under Entertainment, Media, Politics, Religion, Republican Party

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Santorum’s right-hand man

By Jim Stanford on January 4, 2012

Comments: 14 Comments

Rick Santorum celebrates Iowa showing, backed by Foster Friess.

Here’s Rick Santorum celebrating last night his victory in the Iowa GOP caucus (later revised as an eight-vote win for Mitt Romney).

And who’s that standing behind Santorum on the stage but Jackson Hole financier Foster Friess.

Friess, he of the recent Income Inequality is Good for Everyone blog post, has been a longtime supporter of Santorum, the evangelical former Pennsylvania senator much derided for his remarks about gay sex. Friess organized a fund-raiser for Santorum at Tucker Ranch in 2004 that netted more than $500,000 for his failed re-election bid and charitable foundation.

Friess’ cameo was first noted last night by Joe Milczewski and re-Tweeted by Wyoming Public Radio’s Butter Bob.

Milczewski has held some sad-sack jobs for the Wyoming GOP, including press secretary for Barbara Cubin, but his analysis of the Iowa caucus has been astute. “Iowa is meaningless. Watching Family Guy reruns for the next week will give you just as much insight into who the nominee will be,” he wrote.

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free speech for everyone, even religious crazies

By Jim Stanford on May 21, 2011

Comments: 25 Comments

A counter protester along Broadway.

It’s a shame to learn in today’s Daily that a member of our community was arrested for clipping the sign of an abortion protester with his car.

Fortunately, I have not had the slightest contact with the group of religious wack jobs who invaded Jackson this week, even though I visited Whole Grocer, next to their protest site, several times. Perhaps it’s fortuitous that I had to spend a few days in Moose for work. I certainly would have had a few choice words for them had they showed up on my doorstep.

But I support their right to be here and speak their minds, no matter how tasteless and offensive their signs may be. I was disappointed to see friends posting on Facebook along the lines of “I’m for free speech and all, but …”

No buts. This week’s protest is no different than anti-war activists going to Teton Pines and holding up photos of dead soldiers or Iraqis, outside Dick Cheney‘s home. (Come to think of it, too bad the supposedly “pro-life” movement barely raised a peep about the Iraq War.)

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