Barrick Gold Corp. is in the process of closing the Golden Sunlight Mine near Whitehall (shown here) but it has announced plans to seek a permit to open a new gold mine less than a mile away in 2019. (Montana Standard)
MANY LIBERALS enjoy goading conservatives by arguing that they think more with their emotions than with their intellect. It is not unusual to see them claim, as British left-wing journalist George Monbiot did a few years ago that "the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own."
But now University of Montana researchers are saying, essentially, that's not so. In a study just published in "Political Psychology," the researchers acknowledge that some prior research has indicated that liberals are more complex in their thinking than conservatives. "However, it may be that liberals are not more complex in general, but rather only more complex on certain topic domains (while conservatives are more complex in other domains)," the UM researchers said.
The UM research was based on surveys of 2,500 participants. One part of the study determined that, when it comes to environmental issues, liberals have a pronounced tendency to use very simplistic arguments and refuse to grant legitimacy to any opposing viewpoints. They “think less” about the environment and act emotionally, the researchers said.
Now there's something to chew over with family members around the Thanksgiving table.
Or not, if you like peaceful holidays.
SINGER/SONGWRITER James Taylor has been around since guitars were invented, it seems, but he's never had a No. 1 album, believe it or not. He didn't that is, until releasing "Before the World" this year. One of the songs on the album that's drawing the most attention is "Montana." You can hear and see his performance of the song on the Late Show with Steven Colbert here.
Taylor said in an interview that he wrote the song while staying at a friend's cabin near Big Sky when there was "like twelve feet of snow outside." He added:
"After a couple of days, I started writing about the place I was in. It’s a song about longing for a simpler existence; the tug between wanderlust and wanting to be on the road and in the world, and at the same time, the appeal of being at home and staying in one place. Once the song started to appear and manifest, it was quickly clear that it was going to be about where I was in Montana. It’s a song that’s kind of rooted in the landscape, if it was a painting it would be a landscape painting."
THINK it doesn't cost much to raise a child in Montana? Think again.
At least, that's the claim made by a financial website, GOBankingRates.com, which says Montana ranks 4th in the country when it comes to the cost of raising a child. The only states with higher costs are Hawaii, New York and New Mexico.
The study takes a look at such costs as food, housing and day care in each state. So why does Montana rate so high when those costs are sometimes lower here than they are in other parts of the country? The reason is that the study also took into account median family income. Montana, it said, has the USA's 9th lowest average annual income: $43,924.
"Yet the state's costs are closer to the middle of the pack than the low end, meaning Montana families are often paying more for food and housing than they can afford," the study said. "Child care rates are also well above average, costing families $8,858 a year for an infant and $7,805 for a 4-year-old. With no parental leave policies helping parents out, Montana's low incomes and higher costs cause it to rank No. 4 among the most expensive places to raise a family in the U.S."
A MSU student and hockey player who had a role in the 2004 movie "Miracle" died in a one-car crash Sunday south of Ennis.
Joe Cure, 32, died of head injuries when the car he was driving lost control and rolled several times. The passenger who was with him, fellow MSU student Hannah Wolf, 21, is in critical condition at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, where she also works.
Cure played hockey as a youth growing up in Minnesota, and it helped him land the role in "Miracle," the movie about Team USA's unlikely win over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. After his actor career ended, Cure came to MSU as a graduate student in neuroscience.
FOR MANY Montanans, the state is synonymous with the number "406." And now it's going to stay that way for a little while longer.
406, of course, is the phone area code for the entire state. Montana is one of only a dozen states that has just one area code.
The Federal Communications Commission has projecting that, because the state has been getting so many additional phones, it would need two new area codes by 2019.
But Montana's Public Service Commission says it has taken steps to delay the "exhaustion forecast," allowing the state to put off getting new area codes until 2022. Good news for those of us who have trouble keeping straight the phone numbers we now need to remember.
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Dec. 1, 2015