Columbus Day Is Here To Stay, And So Is E-City Beat✓

Editors note – Today, October 9, 2023 is Columbus Day. Here is a re-post of a piece I wrote last year which contains my commentary on Columbus Day from 2021. E-City Beat✓ will neither cease nor desist from exercising our First Amendment rights no matter how hard the clowns at WTF406 (Democrat Jasmine Taylor and Cascade County Democratic Central Committee Chair Helena Lovick) try to squash freedom of speech.

‘Below is a re-post of an article I wrote last year for Columbus Day.

First, though, I want to comment on a recent post from the ‘Jasmine Taylor For Montana’ Facebook page.

Taylor is an current/former official with the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee, a current/former precinct captain and former failed Democrat candidate for state legislature and Great Falls city commission.

She is also a divisive, racist, extremist who is largely responsible for turning the local Democrat party into the laughingstock it has become. Why local Democrats would allow a loser like Taylor to represent their ideas and values is a baffling question indeed.

What is the purpose of a public Facebook post like this from a Democrat official (“…for Montana”, really?) other than to demonstrate to a tiny minority of kooky extremists how ‘woke’ she is?

One might as well insert “Great Falls voters” in place of “Christopher Columbus” on the picture below because that seems to be Taylor’s attitude towards this community.

Taylor and others like her think they’re edgy and oh so hip by posting garbage like this, but really they’re just dumb and totally out of touch with this community.’ – ECB 2022

Here’s the article from last year.

“Like many Italian Americans I recognize Columbus Day as a way to take pride in my Italian heritage.

Unfortunately, once again this year there are those would like to take Montana in the direction of other states like Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota, in the elimination of Columbus Day.

Those voices, including the usual state legislators and apparently everyone who works for the Great Falls Tribune, seem willfully ignorant of a couple of important facts.

First, Columbus never set one foot in what we now call America.

Secondly, history is replete with examples of indigenous peoples in America conquering and taking neighboring tribes as slaves, stealing their land, brutalizing and raping women, engaging in human sacrifice and torture as well as committing atrocities including acts of cannibalism.

All of this before any Europeans even knew the New World existed. So, as Zachary Mettler points out is his excellent article, “The Left Hates Christopher Columbus. Here are Five Reasons Why We Should Still Celebrate Columbus Day”, if Columbus is off limits to celebrate, so are indigenous peoples.

No racial or ethnic group is pure and innocent when it comes to treating fellow human beings badly. Those who constantly single out white Europeans as monsters while ignoring the atrocities committed by other groups and individuals do so mostly for selfish political reasons.

Their hypocrisy is clear to anyone interested in the facts.

So I would ask the local Great Falls finger pointers and virtue signalers, like those at the Great Falls Tribune who make money on the Lewis and Clark advertising brand, how they feel about the fact that Clark himself held slaves and the Corps of Discovery helped open up the West to American expansion and the “exploitation” of indigenous peoples?

Where are the calls to eliminate the statues of Lewis and Clark in and around Great Falls?

Where are the demands to get rid of any mention of Lewis and Clark in our local celebrations or in the naming of local restaurants and other businesses and tourist sites?

Please, be consistent or be quiet.

Philip Faccenda – Proud First Generation Italian American


Christopher Columbus wrote in his Lettera Rarissima, “Let those who are fond of blaming and finding fault, while they sit safely at home, ask, ‘Why did you not do thus and so?” “I wish they were on this voyage; I well believe that another voyage of a different kind awaits them, or our faith is naught.”

To quote a piece by John Hirschauer, Contrary to the simplistic picture painted by academics, the indigenous cultures Columbus encountered were as assorted as those of any other peoples in history. While it might be true that some such cultures fit the nomadic, tranquil image pushed by the revisionists, not even close to all of them did. Which leads to an inevitable follow-up to those who would eliminate Columbus Day in favor of “Indigenous People’s Day. Which “indigenous people” do you have in mind? Is it the Kalinago people, who ate roasted human flesh, with a particular affinity for the remains of babies and fetuses? Is it the Aztecs, who killed an estimated 84,000 people in four days in their consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan?

As historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in his book The Great Explorers noted, Columbus “had his flaws and his defects, but they were largely the defects of the qualities that made him great – his indomitable will, his superb faith in God and in his own mission. That will and faith make him a man worthy of this, the day on which we honor him.

E-City Beat Responds


This week E-City Beat received an article submitted by a writer named Janice Penberthy. After reading the piece, as editor and publisher, I found the article to be well written, entertaining, interesting and relevant so we published it.

The article was not written or conceived by anyone at E-City Beat or by any of our regular contributing writers. Period.

I leave any judgments as to the author and the content of the piece to our readers who have expressed a wide variety of opinions on it. Good. I’m very glad so many people are reading and engaging.

We want everyone to read, learn from, and enjoy E-City Beat. But if our blog gives you heartburn may I suggest having some Tums or Rolaids close at hand. We will continue to publish the content we think our readers are interested in and enjoy.

We have absolutely no obligation or intention to explain, apologize for, or provide anyone with justification for the content on the E-City Beat blog.

Stay tuned and thank you for reading E-City Beat.

Phil Faccenda, Editor & Publisher



Free Speech Threatened

In a recent E-City Beat piece, ‘Rapping Voters’, we reported that one of Great Falls Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Lacey’s condescending excuses for last Tuesday’s operational levy failure was some amorphous confused “Opposition Group”.

“And having an opposition group that has their local school district and local educational opportunities confused with their dislike of government doesn’t help”. – GF Tribune 5/08/2018

The truth is that no “confused” opposition group exists and even if it did it would be a remarkable accomplishment to organize the over 9,600 voters who voted NO on the Levy.

If Superintendent Lacey is talking about a media outlet, such as E-City Beat, that provided a forum and disseminated opposing views to the GFPS District demand for more money, then that is “attacking the messenger” and is an extremely defenseless proposition.

E-City Beat gets it – some folks were disappointed by the voters disapproval of the school districts management performance and expressed that disapproval by voting NO to the levy.

We have recently been advised that one frequent commenter who repeatedly voiced unconditional support for the current District operation, Lynette Scriver-Colburn, has taken upon it herself to contact one of our advertisers and condemn him for advertising on our blog.


I see you are now advertising on E City Beat. I wonder why you would want to associate your business with a blog that has spread so much vitriol and division in our community on important community matters.


Lynette Scriver-Colburn is employed by United Way of Cascade County and also works closely with the GFPS District. We sincerely hope that her actions are not condoned by United Way and the school district.

The time on the email, 11:18 AM, is during regular business hours when employees are supposedly working for their employer, so I can’t help but wonder whether United Way of Cascade County knows that Scriver-Colburn is possibly using work time to attempt to intimidate local business owners and discourage them from advertising with another local business.

“…I can’t help but wonder whether United Way of Cascade County knows that Scriver-Colburn is possibly using work time to attempt to intimidate local business owners and discourage them from advertising with another local business.”

Harassing a Great Falls car dealership in the hopes of suppressing the free speech rights of local citizens doesn’t seem like time well spent by United Way employees, especially since that time is paid for by United Way contributors.

Perhaps I should start making a list of local United Way volunteers and contributors and email them all with claims of “vitriol” coming from UW employees and asking why they would consider giving time and money to an organization that employs folks who think so little of free speech and the opinions of others. Nah.

But I do think that what Scriver-Colburn did is pure chicken poop. The advertiser, K’s Auto Sales owner Greg Nickol, who she tried to intimidate thinks so too, here’s his reply:

“We believe our right to free thought, speech and deliberate inclusion constitutional.  When did disagreement, in thoughtful and gentle tones, become vitriol and divisive?

The word vitriol means “caustic, cruel or bitter criticism…scathing, withering, abusive, sarcastic, sardonic speech or writing.”  I’ve read and re-read every E City post but don’t view any of them according to the definition of vitriol or vitriolic.  Certainly, many of these articles disagree with the status-quo of several local conditions, but then, so do, in some cases, a majority of Great Falls voters.  The division in our community hasn’t been caused by E City beat, only noticed by them and reported accordingly.

To answer Lynette Scriver-Colburn, and anyone else who asks, I advertise on E City Beat because their readers also buy vehicles… Some of their views are unpopular, for sure; other views are proving to be more popular than those of their opposition, particularly those regarding the Great Falls Public School System, City of Great Falls law enforcement and city leadership, and the intended area slaughter-house. 

I’m surprised at you, Lynette…..I would never suggest to anyone else what he or she should or should not believe or agree with, so who is it that spreads vitriol and sows division?  Apparently you read the E City Beat, and you saw my advertisement.  Should you pry a little deeper, you’ll learn that E City Beat has a subscriber list much larger than most folks imagine.

  Sincerely, Greg Nickol”

Oh the Humanities…

One of my biggest concerns about the SJW craziness on college campuses is the current trend to conflate speech, even offensive speech, with violence. Mahler Mali does a great job describing this trend and its sources in this piece. He argues that the humanities, and especially the English majors, lack academic rigor and instead spend (waste?) their time inculcating anti-freedom ideals in their students:

Activist professors incapable of surviving in the more arduous disciplines (see: Autoethnography) are the most vociferous in limiting academic freedom of others. Given all of this, it is no surprise that Baer holds the views that he does. Neither is it surprising that we have professors of English publishing op-eds which ask for limiting speech, such as Aaron R. Hanlon a professor of English at Colby College in New Republic or John Patrick Leary a professor of English at Wayne State University in Inside Higher Education. 

Mali points out that one of the great accomplishments of the Enlightenment was the freeing of speech in order to avoid actual violence:

Words are not violence. We brought Western civilization through a crucible of ideological warfare to establish the norms of differentiating speech from physically harmful actions. Now some operators in the humanities want to drag us back there. What the “snowflakes” and Baer get right about free speech is absolutely nothing.

I recommend you read the whole thing.

And, lest someone want to defend limitations on “hate speech,” please be reminded that such a thing does not exist, at least not in constitutional jurisprudence.

We might want to put our heads under the pillows or, better yet, just laugh at these people. But remember that these students who claim “harm” and “violence” from speech, and who claim there is no such thing as objective truth (tell that to an airplane), will soon be lawyers, leaders and, gulp, federal judges.