Commentary

Commentary - July 23rd, 2014
3:07 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

The Voice Of The Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative 2014

Hello everyone! We five participants represent the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, which is usually called YSEALI. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and hosted by the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana.  It is an undergraduate program for student leaders from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, held over five weeks in Montana, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C.

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Commentary - July 24th, 2014
1:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Rural Call Completion Problems Persist

Have family and friends told you that they cannot get ahold of you on your phone? Did they say the phone rang and rang and rang, and no one answered?  Or maybe they said they heard a series of beeps or just dead air.  Yet you know you were home all evening and the telephone never rang.

Maybe you are a business owner experiencing an unusual drop in the number of incoming long distance calls. Perhaps you notice odd numbers on your caller ID or a pattern of malfunctioning faxes.

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Commentary - July 21st, 2014
1:23 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

A National Water Quality Program Will Only Muddy The Waters

Well, it looks like the Forest Service has done it to themselves again.  By this I mean the recent Federal Register notice announcing the agency is undertaking the writing of national Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Water Quality Protection on National Forest System lands.

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Commentary - July 22nd, 2014
11:38 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Kids Count – And They Need Our Help

It’s summer in Montana – that means so much to celebrate about living in beautiful Big Sky country:  our lakes and rivers, mountains and trails; glorious national parks, a festival a week to enjoy.  Montana is a great place to live.  So I feel almost guilty in dropping a wet-blanket fact:  Montana is a great place to live, depending on who you are.

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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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