I was struck when I heard the news that campus is essentially shutting down because of the Griz game Friday. Not only will the parking lots for almost the entirety of campus be blocked off to students, but the bus systems will not be running their routes to campus that day and the tailgating starts at noon. To quote a campus professor of mine, students will essentially be asked to choose between “going to class and drinking and eating meat.”
Students who do choose to go to class will have to find some other means of transportation to get themselves to and from campus in the middle of a Montana winter. This whole scenario leaves me asking, What is the message our administration is sending to students? That football is more important than our education?
For those of you out there who don’t know, also happening on our lovely campus this Friday will be an arts and crafts showcase in the University Center; one of the biggest dance shows of the year, Dance Up Close in the Masquer Theatre; a showing of the play You Can’t Take It With You in the Montana Theater; the 26th annual sale of University of Montana art students’ works in the Art Annex; a Concerto Aria competition in the music recital hall; and a large number of very important, regularly scheduled classes as well—all of which are being upstaged by a Griz playoff game that will be on ESPN2.
I am a Grizzly football fan myself and am very proud of what they have accomplished this year, but more importantly I am a student at the University of Montana. Surely, with all the brains we have here on campus, we could have found a better way of supplying football fans, students and concert and theatergoers with the means to attend the events of their choice without interfering with each other. I am shocked and angered at the choices our administration has made and the messages they are sending to all of the students, and really, to all Missoulians.
I recently attended a meeting of the Shining Mountains Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association. The subject was the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act (see “Half a loaf,” Nov. 3, 2011). It was interesting to learn that this piece of legislation has been several years in the making. The work of the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front dates back to 2003, and it began work on this particular project five years ago.
When people start from the ground up, develop mutual understanding and attempt to work out their differences to produce an agreement, it is critical that our lawmakers recognize and act on those efforts Otherwise, good work can lead to nothing.
In this case, the good work of the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front has led to a piece of legislation that would protect almost 300,000 acres of the Front and maintain existing uses in the process. It is encouraging to me that Sen. Max Baucus is rewarding these efforts by sponsoring the legislation. When the system works, this is what it looks like.
I’d like to offer my two cents about what each and every one of us can do to improve life on Mother Earth.
Our Western culture has taught us that thoughts don’t matter. If each one of us goes around each day carrying anger and resentment, the Western belief is that it has no direct effect on the world. As long as we refrain from overtly violent actions, the belief is that no harm will be done to others. But in view of the present evidence, this can no longer be maintained. We are truly tied to one another and even our thoughts affect one another.
James Twyman has led several worldwide synchronized group prayers for peace. Those prayers had measurable effects and even altered the physics of the quantum background and the level of chaos worldwide for a time, as was discovered in the Global Consciousness Project.
Twyman says that conflict in the world today is the result of conflict within us. Wars have raged in the world since the beginning of time because we are not ready to deal with the conflict where it really is.
Rather than waiting for someone else, like the government, to fix our problems, here’s something we can all do—and it’s free!
Turn off your TV and stop buying into the fear. Think about what kind of future you want and get busy creating it.
It is a sad day when we see Montana ranchers being displaced from their land in the Bull Mountains, in an area that is not only historically rich in agricultural productivity but is also superb hunting grounds for wild turkey, deer and elk. Adding insult to the injury are ill-considered special tax holidays pushed forward by state Sens. Alan Olson and Jason Priest during the 2011 legislature. All of these subsidies will now be for the benefit of a Russian multi-national trading company planning to export coal from the Signal Peak mine south of Roundup to fuel developing economies on the Pacific Rim.
The ranchers who have sustained our communities for decades will be left with the cave-ins and loss of good water and springs. The surface subsidence from long-wall mining makes it risky to run livestock on the land.
In this current budget crisis, it is inconceivable that the state of Montana would give a handout to foreign companies in the form of tax breaks while our local ranchers and hunters lose productivity.
It is fundamentally wrong.
It’s time we moved away from coal as a dirty energy source. We need to use homegrown, renewable energy to keep our land, air and water safe.