Commentary

Commentary - July 3, 2013
12:47 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Revolutionary Women

In his book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen levels a scathing criticism at the subject of American history as it was taught back when most of us were in high school.  Christopher Columbus was not the first explorer to discover America, and his treatment of the New World’s indigenous people is pretty hard to condone.  The Pilgrims were not benefactors to the Indian tribes in Massachusetts; the reverse was the case.   Manifest destiny, slavery, war … all were sugar-coated beyond recognition and peopled by a monolithic parade of white male heroes.

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Commentary - July 2, 2013
10:47 am
Wed July 3, 2013

US Supreme Court's Fireworks

With so many things happening in Montana and across the country affecting the civil justice system, I had a hard time picking a topic for tonight. The U.S. Supreme Court ended it's term in June with a bang. There was the Windsor case striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and the Perry case that the Court sidestepped but in effect allowed the nullification of California's Propisition.

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Commentary - July 1, 2013
9:57 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Obama’s Climate Change Impact Test for the Keystone Pipeline

Both the proponents and opponents of the Keystone Pipeline were encouraged by President Obama’s recent statement that he would approve that pipeline as long as it did not “exacerbate” greenhouse gas emissions.

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Commentary - June 21, 2013
2:29 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

My Mom’s Birthday

Today is my mom’s birthday.  She has been going around her house singing 76 Trombones.  That should give you a clue as to how old she is. My mom and I are lucky to have a close relationship and a very strong friendship.  She and I were together for my first four years of life and then she married my step-dad.  By everyone’s admission, including hers, that was a big mistake.  She was single, 24 years old with a 4 year old child living in Hot Springs Montana and not too many prospects. 

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Commentary - June 25th, 2013
10:59 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Fostering Engagement with Laos While Promoting Human Rights

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center of The University of Montana pursues a dual mission:  to foster mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Asia, as well as to foster ethics in public affairs.  Over the past thirty years, we have developed a number of programs in support of this vision -- always with the spirit of Mike Mansfield as the driving force in our carefully designed programming. 

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Commentary - June 24th, 2013
9:19 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Nothing is quite as loud as the silence of a sawmill not running

Nothing is quite as loud as the silence of a sawmill not running.  Unfortunately, the sound of the closure of 28 sawmills in Montana since 1990, and the loss of over 3,200 direct, good paying, mill manufacturing jobs has been deafening.  These closures and job losses are the direct result of the increase in federal timber harvest litigation during that same time.

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Commentary - June 19th, 2013
2:46 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Finding Wildness at Home

Could it be that the simple act of planting a native snowberry shrub or quaking aspen in your back yard is more than an expression of decorative taste?  I’m willing to say that it’s actually a simple but highly significant act of conservation that fosters a way of relating to nature that we, and the natural world, could sorely use.  The ecological problems we face now require solutions on a mammoth scale—a paralyzing thought for those who care.  But perhaps before we can achieve the elusive political will to take on these problems, a more personal, psychological change must be nurtured.

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Commentary - June 20th, 2013
12:16 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Millennials Making Change

We all hear it, all the time: “The trouble with kids these days is… ” This line is often followed by a string of complaints that detail the sense of entitlement and addiction to Facebook and other social media we often associate with the Millennial Generation.  But what if that’s just not true?  I’ve had the opportunity to work with young people from across Montana and I’m here to tell you:  not only are many of them motivated, intelligent, and selfless— they’re here to make change.

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Commentary
8:46 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Citizen Gun Ownership as a Way of Protecting Ourselves from an Authoritarian Government

          One important justification for having an armed citizenry is to keep the government from having a monopoly on the means of violence. If the government has that advantage over its citizens, so the logic goes, there is nothing to keep the government from using its armed advantage to displace democracy with authoritarian rule.

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Commentary - June 12, 2013
1:56 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Elder Abuse Awareness

Good evening.  I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services, the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli counties.  Tonight I want to raise the unpleasant but important topic of elder abuse.  By defining what it is and giving examples, I hope to increase your awareness of this growing “silent epidemic” and suggest ways we can all help stop its spread.

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