Archive for March 13th, 2009

we shall overcome


by problembear

only those who have been there can truly appreciate how it feels to be homeless. and homeless with kids must be a terrifying experience indeed. one reporter who covers this issue tells the story of people caught somewhere in the middle. living in motels in cities and towns accross this nation. people who are living week to week and hanging on by their finger nails survive another night with heat and a roof. meals may be on hot plates and neighbors might be scary but still the kids have to go to school and you have to keep the only job left in the family….

on another note i am heartened when i read stories about american factory workers who when they are laid off go enmasse to volunteer at local homeless shelters and food banks. americans who are scared and discouraged are reaching out and helping other americans who are worse off. hospital workers who when faced with lay-offs of their fellow workers opt instead to sacrifice parts of their salaries and benefits to enable the staff to remain intact.  when i read these stories in the middle of the bush-crash now enveloping the country i am reminded….we shall overcome.

and i wonder sometimes at the old predictions of survivalists who when predicting the collapse of the economy of the united states said to arm ourselves against roving bands of armed bandits who would certainly appear at our doors to  try and steal our family’s food, water, shelter and heat…..what must they be thinking now when they see roving bands of volunteers roaming the streets to share what they have with the less fortunate.  

let’s all get to our local homeless shelters and food banks and give what we can in time and resources. let us join the americans who are leading by example every day in depressed regions accross the country….together we shall overcome. if you are as inspired as i am by the generosity of americans helping americans call or email the poverello and ask them what you can do to make a difference in some families lives today.

by jhwygirl

At a mid-morning news conference today, and only after a District Court had reviewed the findings of the investigation into the cause of the explosion, the City of Bozeman announced the cause of the explosion as having sourced from a Northwestern Energy gas utility line – not a line feeding directly to any one of the buildings that blew up.

This is an important discovery, as a fault or leak in the line after it leaves the gas meter is the responsibility of the property owner, whereas it is the utility’s responsibility to get it to the meter.

Here is the city’s press release – and here is the District Court order, which the city requested prior to releasing their findings.

The Bozeman Chronicle is seeking a copy of the investigation, but that is going to take a while – this is now a criminal matter.

A later story reported that the investigation into the cause of the explosion turned up a number of people who smelled gas at least a half-hour before the explosion. No one called 911.

by Ana J. Beard

Quick catch-up: In the University of Montana’s newspaper, The Montana Kaimin, a student journalist Bess Davis has been writing a column revolving around sex and relationships called “The Bess Sex Column”. Law professor Kristen Juras has brought up a complaint to the publication of this column and said in the Missoulian, “Freedom of speech is not absolute.”  Juras questions the educational value of the column. You can read more about it in the news story published in the March 12, 2009 issue of the Missoulian.

Rob Natelson blogged on Electric City Weblog saying, “The Kaimin is now running a regular series promoting sex among students…” I’ve read of few of Davis’ columns, and yes, she give sexual positions, yes, she talks about the actual act of having sex, but she doesn’t “promote” it. In one column she gives a 19 year-old advice about “cashing in the V-card”, telling her to wait and do it with the right person (someone they like and care about, make sure losing it is for the right reasons, and skip the alcoholic beverages). Sounds educational to me. She’s not telling people to go get drunk and do it, or even to go sleep around, she’s writing about the “street smarts” to dating and sex.

As for Davis’ columns being called “state-funded pornography” by Natelson, I think not. So it describes a position or two – look at all of the stuff on tv and the thousands of easily accessible sex-related websites. What she is writing about is something that any curious person can hop on the Internet and look up. The Kaimin is a newspaper for college students. College meaning typically 18+. These people can legally buy porn if they want to, so what if they’re reading an entertainment peice in a newspaper? It is clearly about sex, if someone is uncomfortable about the topic, then they can choose to skip the story.

Thanks to Juras and Natelson, I will be picking up a copy of the Kaimin to read Davis’ column and share it with friends. Also I want to thank Juras, Natelson and the other people challenging this column, actually. They are giving Davis an important experience. They are helping her grow a tough skin to opposition and to know and defend her First Amendment rights, and her rights as a journalist. I hope she’s learning a lot from this, and I hope it helps her stay strong and keep writing the thing that’s on nearly every college student’s mind.

by Pete Talbot

Where does the UM Law School get these folks?

When I first saw the Missoulian headline, I figured law professor Rob Natelson was at it again. But it turns out there’s another law professor who has issues with the First Amendment.

Adjunct professor Kristen Juras believes that the sex and relationship column in the student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, written by student Bess Davis, is “inappropriate.”

Natelson weighed in earlier on the Electric City Blog calling the column “state-funded porn” and was concerned about the impact on UM students or as he called them, “post-pubescents.” Natelson teaches constitutional law at UM.

Then Juras chimed in:

“Freedom of speech is not absolute,” she said Wednesday in a telephone interview with the Missoulian. Try that “not absolute” argument on the Second Amendment here in Montana and see how far it gets you.

It’s bad enough the Missoula School Board is censoring environmental films for high schoolers. Now college students must be shielded from “sex” talk.

I’m not sure I’m familiar with Davis’ column and I read the Kaimin from time-to-time. I’ll start looking for that column now, for sure. Bess should thank Kristen and Rob. This is as good as marketing gets.

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