A Solution Without a Problem: Vet Tech Licensing in Montana

When my wife and I moved to Montana several years ago, I was gainfully employed and she traveled our area to find work in her field of choice, as a Veterinary Technician.

Doing so for her was no easy task. We live in a county the size of Rhode Island, with less than a tenth of that state’s population. She branched out an hour in every direction, sometimes more, and eventually secured a position that put her commute on rural back roads summer and winter alike. And she loves her job.

After gaining seven years experience, her boss calls her the best tech he’s ever worked with. That may just be motivational hyperbole, but I doubt it. I can tell you for sure she is the hardest working woman in Montana. Then again, I am her husband.

So when a local professional association began touting a potential Vet Tech licensing effort heading to the legislature, we both got a little nervous. I’ve worked in human resources for nearly two decades, and she’s often heard me preach about occupational licensing and its negative effects.

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Leave No Trace
★ ★ ★ ★

“It’s important for you to follow through so you guys can remain independent.”

Leave No Trace is inarguably the best film of 2018. The story of a father and daughter committed to a lifestyle of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, the film shows how at every step of the way, a collectivist culture has undermined these values. Where community truly exists, only then can people thrive.

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★ ★ ★ ★

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
★ ★ ★ ★

Anyone who has developed a bond with an animal knows that this relationship transcends the word ‘pet’. Though the ‘fur baby’ term has been in vogue of late, there is a far better and simpler way to describe the association.

Friend.

More than any other series, the How to Train Your Dragon films have illustrated the depth to which such a friendship can go. They show how it can define a person’s character and set them free from expectation, how one can see the animal as an extension of themselves (almost literally in this case), and in this final entry of the franchise, how people must make decisions that put the needs of a friend ahead of their own desires.

The Hidden World revives the spirit and wonder of the first movie without becoming mired in overwrought exposition like the second, and delivers absolutely awe-inspiring animation along the way. I’m not exaggerating when I say this was a breathtaking film to watch.

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★ ★ ★ ★

Searching
★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Hollywood’s legacy of fine thrillers is rife with films that string you along, leaving you subtle clues that lead you down dead ends and dropping red herrings to frustrate you, only to confront you with a most impossible – but also completely logical – denouement. Hitchcock was the master of this, and many have pretended to his throne.

Searching, from first time director Aneesh Chaganty, is not at all in keeping with that legacy – though it likes to pretend it is. Not only is it not a fine thriller, it isn’t even a good film. Narrow plotting and mediocre performances (both on-screen and voice-only), along with overt clues that completely give away the ending, torpedo a film that seems reliant on a gimmick for any hope of success.

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★ ☆ ☆ ☆

A guy who has a passion for movies, music, politics, and the great outdoors… not necessarily in that order.

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