Commentary

Commentary - July 16th, 2014
10:47 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Genes And Politics

Why do people vote the way they do?  If we are supposedly rational, self-interested beings, why, for example, do so many people dependent on government programs vote for Republican politicians so bent on eliminating their benefits?

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Commentary - July 11th, 2014
12:13 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Dear SCOTUS: Women Are People, Too

This week the Supreme Court ruled, again, that corporations are people – and essentially that women are not. In an impressive misuse of legal theory, a fundamental misunderstanding of science and anatomy, and a blatant disregard for the rights of women, the Supreme Court decided in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that “closely held” for-profit corporations have religious rights and can use them to prevent employees from getting the health care they need.

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Commentary - July 10th, 2014
12:10 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Wind, Wildlife and Weeds

Montanans have tremendous, untapped opportunity to produce clean and valuable wind energy from the windswept, wide-open spaces of eastern Montana. At the same time, growing concern about the long-term survival of sage grouse in Montana and across the West raises the potential for conflict between energy development and habitat protection.

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Commentary - July 13th, 2014
11:57 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Stream Access Primer

Fly Fisherman on the Yellowstone River.
Credit Flikr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

Now that the rivers have fallen, summer is heating up and recreationists are hitting the state’s streams and rivers in force, it’s not a bad time to review exactly what is legal and what isn’t regarding recreational access to the state’s waters. When the public hews to the law it better ensures that inevitable and tiresome attacks on Montana’s stream access laws by legislators, non-resident landowners and so-called free-market think tanks will continue to fail miserably.

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Commentary - July 3rd, 2014
2:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

The Honorable John Q. Corporation

Happy 4th of July – Independence Day – tomorrow.

But the old red, white and blue looks a little more tattered this year compared to the past.

For today, thanks in great part to the US Supreme Court, John Q. Citizen, the human being citizen who is the bedrock our unique experiment in self-governance, is being replaced by John Q. Corporation.

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Commentary - July 2nd, 2014
1:03 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Corporate Religion

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term yesterday with a bang, again. We've just seen the Hobby Lobby case that grants some corporate entities the right to religious freedom under the First Amendment. I'm not sure the many people who decried the Court's granting personhood rights to corporate entities for political campaign spending in Citizens United saw this one coming – you could kind of understand a corporation speaking through its wallet, but a corporation gaining personhood to express a religious tenet based on the beliefs of its majority owners?

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Commentary - June 26th, 2014
2:45 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Energy Resources are the Future of Montana’s Economy

Hello, I’m Don Sterhan with the Montana Business Leadership Council, a non-profit organization aimed at educating Montanans about the importance of a healthy climate for business and industry to create more jobs, higher wages, and new opportunities.

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Commentary - June 25, 2014
3:27 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Cambodia Connections and Internationalizing Montana Youth

Last week, my family hosted a gathering at our home for friends both old and new.  I hadn’t seen our friend Joe in a while, and he asked how things were at the Mansfield Center.  Ironically, on that day, we were welcoming home two Missoula professionals returning from working with youth in Cambodia, and sending off 20 Montana high school students and two teachers for a program in Cambodia.  Things could not be better, on a day when we had such tangible expressions of our work to promote global understanding.

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Commentary - June 24th, 2014
3:22 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Lessons from Cambodia

I recently returned from a trip to Cambodia through an economic empowerment program hosted by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at The University of Montana.   Congress created this international exchange in 1961, the same year the Berlin Wall was built.  The Cold War was entering the deep freeze and the Vietnam conflict was ramping up.  Montana’s great statesman Mike Mansfield hoped that an economic and cultural exchange program would build bridges between the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

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Commentary - June 23rd, 2014
3:18 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Art Ortenberg

This past winter, Art Ortenberg passed away at the age of 87, some 7 years after his longtime partner, wife and friend Liz Claiborne passed.  Although they were very wealthy New Yorkers and could live anywhere in total seclusion, they chose a far more visible path-engaged and active in their communities.  They loved Montana and the folks that live, work and play here.

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