• Community Issues

    Montana’s Race Problem: Facing our Past and Transforming our Future Together

    Racial divides and prejudices continue to plague not only the nation, but also closer to home in Montana. As we struggle to understand the how and why of our sordid history and current reality, Judith Heilman, Executive Director of Montana Racial Equity Project, sheds light on the issues facing historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed people’s in Montana, including Native Americans. Joining her will be Aspen Hougen, Montana Racial Equity Project instructor of the “Dismantling Hatred” workshop. Judith and Aspen lead a discussion on transformational change in the personal, social, systemic, and structural arenas. They also address the issue of media overload — both social media and advertising — and how that affects our collective views of race. (more…)

    MSU Faculty Senate Debates Koch-Funded Center

    The MSU Faculty Senate meeting on November 1, 2017 was devoted mostly to discussion of a proposed Center for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis (CRAEA) funded by the Charles Koch Foundation. Because of strong public interest, we provide a recording of the meeting despite the poor audio quality obtainable. Among many questions and comments, more extended contributions included the following:

    Senate discussion
    00:00 .  Abigail Richards and Michael Babcock (overview)
    13:50 .  Eric Belasco
    21:33, 23:37 .  Jessi Smith
    25:49   Kevin Repasky
    52:23   Eric Austin

    Public comments
    1:01:35 .  James Goetz
    1:11:54 .  Garrett Egnew
    1:23:22 .  Steve Kirchhoff

    A number of related documents are provided on the Faculty Senate web page:

    CRAEA Level II Proposal
    CRAEA Mission Values and Expectations
    Summary of CRAEA Activities and Institutional Controls
    CRAEA Proposal FAQ
    CRAEA FAQ Part 2


    Just Mercy – Montana: A Panel Discussion

    The Montana Racial Equity Project in partnership with the Bozeman Public Library presented an open forum to discuss issues featured in the work of Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. The issues are: Aiding the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, specifically – the elimination of excessive and unfair sentencing, the exoneration of innocent death row prisoners, elimination of the abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

    Judith Heilman – Executive Director, Montana Racial Equity Project
    Caitlin Borgmann – Executive Director, ACLU Montana
    Rabbi Ed Stafman – former Defense Attorney
    Larry Mansch – Legal and Clinic Director, The Montana Innocence Project

    Professor Franke Wilmer, Department Chair, Political Science, Montana State University

    Recorded at the Bozeman Public Library on August 30, 2017.

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  • Forthright Radio

    David Quammen – Spillover: Animal Infections & the Next Human Pandemic

    In this edition of Forthright Radio, originally broadcast on May 1, 2013, intrepid journalist, David Quammen, discusses his book, SPILLOVER: ANIMAL INFECTIONS& THE NEXT HUMAN PANDEMIC,  in which he tracks down the animal origins of such diseases we humans are now susceptible to, including viruses such as HIV-AIDS, SARS, EBOLA, HENDRA, MARBURG, and INFLUENZA, and bacteria such as LYME DISEASE and Q FEVER.

    Among the questions he investigates are: Why do new diseases emerge when they do, where they do, as they do, and not elsewhere, other ways, at other times? Is it happening more now than in the past? And perhaps the biggest question: What sort of deadly bug, with what unforeseen origins and what inexorable impacts, will emerge next?

    David Quammen is the author of four books of fiction, and seven acclaimed books of nonfiction, including THE RELUCTANT MR. DARWIN and THE SONG OF THE DODO. He served as the Wallace Stegner Chair of Western American Studies at Montana State University from 2007 – 2009. He is a contributing writer for National Geographic magazine. SPILLOVER: ANIMAL INFECTIONS AND THE NEXT HUMAN PANDEMIC is more than a page turner about how microbes cross from animal species into humans and evolve into infectious diseases, it is also a chronicle of the many far flung journeys David Quammen has taken to some of the most remote parts of the globe, to interview the scientists in the field, who search for the animal reservoirs from which they come. He spoke to us from his home in Bozeman, MT.

    Jon D. Michaels – CONSTITUTIONAL COUP: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic

    With news of Blackwater founder, Erik Prince, with the assistance from Oliver North, proposing a global, private spy network to circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, and counter a “Deep State” seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency, we take a look at the trend towards privatization and tensions with a “Pax Administrativa”.*

    Professor Jon D. Michaels’ scholarship includes constitutional law, administrative law, national security law, the separation of powers, presidential power, regulation, bureaucracy, and privatization. Before joing the UCLA Law School faculty, he clerked for Justice David Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    We discuss his book, CONSTITUTIONAL COUP: PRIVATIZATION’S THREAT TO THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC, which is both a history and an analysis of privatization, and the rise of what he calls ” Pax Administrativa.” It is published by Harvard University Press.

    * can_id=26389c9ba4e6ef1db60b08fdce8085f1&source=email-trumps-private-cia-and-an-idiotic-msnbc-decision&email_referrer=email_271486&email_subject=trumps-private-cia-and-an-idiotic-msnbc-decision

    Henry Giroux: America at War With Itself

    Henry Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest. He is the author of more than 65 books, has published more than 400 papers, in addition to hundreds of chapters in the books of others, as well as many essays and articles in such journals as Truthout, Truthdig, and CounterPunch. His works have been translated into numerous languages.
    He is particularly interested in what he calls the war on youth, the corporatization of higher education, the politics of neo-liberalism, the assault on civic literacy and the collapse of public memory, public pedagogy, the educative nature of politics, and the rise of various youth movements across the globe.

    His latest book is America at War With Itself, published by City Lights Books. His forthcoming book, The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism, is to be published in 2018 by Routledge.

    Learn more at

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  • My Community Issue

    The removal of ranger Alex Sienkiewicz and public access to Forest Service trails

    Alex Sienkiewicz, a ranger of the Livingston District of the United States Forest Service, was well known for his efforts to preserve public access in the Crazy Mountains. In June, he was reassigned from his position and slated for review. Rancher, photographer, conservationist (and bon vivant) Tim Crawford calls this a travesty and links the incident to broader political changes, including recent efforts to defund maintenance of public lands. (more…)

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  • Megaphone Listening Project

    Episode 1- Native Identity With Leo Davis

    On this episode Leo Davis, a community organizer, former college athlete, and a self-proclaimed Heinz 49 native, discusses his cultural roots and the history of the land we now call Montana to explain why he sees native identity as the biggest issue facing his community.

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  • Interchange

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  • Voices Old and New

    Why did you come? Why do you Stay?

    The first community conversation of was held before a live audience at the Bozeman Public Library. The topic for this event was local sense of community, as brought out by the questions, Why did you come, why do you stay? Not surprisingly, Bozeman’s growth and the planning decisions it entails was a major subject of discussion.

    Erica Brubaker
    Bruce Gourley
    Jonquil Nelson
    Marypat Zitzer

    Steve Kirchoff

    Recorded at the Bozeman Public Library on June 7, 2017.

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  • People and Ideas

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  • The Manic Gardener

    A Farmer’s story

    When they try to make a movie of Atina Diffley’s story, some producer is going to reject it as unbelievable. Losing one organic farm to development, okay; but nearly losing a big chunk of the second to an oil pipeline? A pipeline owned by one of the two largest companies in the United States? (more…)

    Turning the Tables, Again

    When this show first ran under the title Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto, in December of 2011, 83 organic farmers, seed farmers, and organizations that had sued Monsanto were waiting to hear whether the judge would rule for the seed giant’s motion to dismiss the case, or would allow it to advance to oral arguments.

    At stake in the suit is the question of whether Monsanto would be able to continue to sue individual farmers, both conventional and organic, whose crops were contaminated by pollen or seeds from fields growing Monsanto’s genetically modified crops. This group of organic farmers and organizations is suing to prevent Monsanto from suing them. (more…)

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