Archive | June 2012

Great Beer from a Great State

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
June 8, 2012

Beer is one of the most culturally important aspects of growing up, perhaps at no time more so than in college. While finding someone to buy a 30-rack seems to be the most pressing need for some freshmen, beer’s importance in Montana transcends those concerns in a number of important ways.

Unlike wine, beer suffers from often unfair stereotypes. While some beer drinkers earn their frat boy reputations, many others simply enjoy partaking in one of mankind’s most ancient rituals. Oftentimes, the ingredients — water, barley, yeast and hops — are cultivated very differently just one valley over, which makes beer from every small brewery unique.

Montana is one of the best places in the world for beer lovers, with a variety as big as our sky. Per capita, Montana has the second most breweries in the nation — ahead of Oregon and just barely behind Vermont. Moreover, Montanans consume the third most beer per person in the country.

“Montana is one of the best places in the world for beer lovers, with a variety as big as our sky.” Read More…
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Financial Aid Office Helps First Student in 39 Years

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
June 8, 2012

Note: This column originally appeared as part of the Exponent’s Sugarbeet page, a satirical biweekly feature that attempts to stimulate discussion of critical community issues.

In a stunning turn of events last month, the MSU Office of Financial Aid successfully helped a student for the first time in 39 years. According to a Financial Aid informant who spoke on condition of anonymity, the assisted incoming freshman, Brian Naeve, is likely ruined for the rest of his college career.

“He’ll expect perfectly reasonable things from Financial Aid now. For instance, he’ll likely assume our office will correctly account for all of his scholarships, treat him politely during the majority of our interactions and just generally attempt not to make his life a living hell,” the insider explained.

“Unfortunately, none of that will ever happen again.” Read More…

Montana Challenges Citizens United

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
June 8, 2012

It’s an exciting time to be a Montanan. Across the country, experts and average citizens alike claim that Montana poses the biggest challenge to the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision, a 2010 case widely credited with redefining the conception of corporate personhood and equating money with speech.

In 2011, the Montana Supreme Court heard Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General of Montana. Western Tradition Partnership, now known as American Tradition Partnership (ATP), is a rabidly anti-environmental conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.

The group, which has broken numerous state campaign finance laws, challenged Montana’s 1912 Corrupt Practices Act, a law enacted by popular vote that prohibits corporations from making direct contributions to political campaigns.

“The greatest living issue that confronts us today is whether the corporations shall control the people, or the people shall control the corporations.” —1906 Montana newspaper

The Montana Supreme Court ruled 5 – 2 against ATP, upholding a century of reasonable restrictions that ensure the integrity of our state’s elections. Read More…