2010 Great Conversations


A Night at the Round Table

1. A Tempest in a tPOT
Join Tom Daubert and Dave Lewis in an assuredly dynamic  discussion of where Montana is since the passage of medical marijuana legislation. These two gentlemen have been in the vanguard of each side of the issue. Dave speaks as a legislator advocating increased controls through licensing and Tom speaks as founder and director of Patients and Families United and was involved in the final phase of drafting the Medical Marijuana Act. This is a rare GC opportunity to enjoy two leaders on one hot topic.

Tom Daubert is a writer and strategic communications consultant who has published frequently in Range Magazine, and whose past essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Western Wildlands, the Journal of Soil & Water Conservation and Playboy Magazine.
Daubert has over 30 years of experience in the field of media and public relations, campaign and grassroots organizing, and government lobbying – the vast majority of it Montana-based, mostly relating to controversial and technically complex environmental and public health issues. In 2004, he managed strategy and communications for the campaign in favor of an initiative he helped write, Initiative 148, which set a national record in its margin of public support for a compassionate statewide medical marijuana policy. Daubert later founded and now directs Patients & Families United, a non-profit public education and support group for Montana medical marijuana and pain patients.

Dave Lewis is a thirty year state employee who ran for the Legislature when he retired and will be term limited in 2014. His legislative terms include service in both the House and the Senate. His current committee assignments are Finance and Claims, Legislative Administration, Public Health, Welfare and Safety, Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and Energy and Telecommunications.
Dave and his wife Karen have three children, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.

2. Choosing Justice
Is it time for a change? Many people are concerned about money and politics in judicial elections and feel that they do not have enough pertinent information to cast informed votes for judges. The push for reform has a powerful advocate in retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who is lending her reputation and energy—and her name—to a new project aimed at assisting state-level efforts to have judges named by merit-based selection systems, not elections. Discuss this alternative with Karla Gray, former Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. Karla Gray is the former Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. She served on the Court for nearly 18 years, 8 as Chief Justice. She was both the first woman to be elected as a Supreme Court Justice and the first woman to be elected as Montana’s Chief Justice.

3. E Pluribus Unum: The Challenges of Multicultural Democracy
Issues of multiculturalism and inclusiveness are currently being played out in various ways in our democratic society. How far have we really come in promoting equal rights for all? Mike Jetty, enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, will share how Montana has become a leader in promoting accurate teaching and learning about American Indians. Can other states learn anything from our experience?

Mike Jetty is an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation. Mike is currently working at the Montana Office of Public Instruction as an Indian Education Specialist. He has been working with Indian Education issues for the past 19 years and has teaching experience at both the K-12 and University level. He has a B.S. in History Education, a Master’s in School Administration and an Education Specialist degree.

4. Creativity Counts

According to Edward de Bono, “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” Richard Notkin, Helena artist, agrees. As education theory moves from the 3R’s to the importance of the 4C’s, (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration), explore with Richard the innate nature of the human creative spirit and how and why we should nurture and preserve it.

Richard Notkin is a full-time studio artist, whose works in ceramic sculpture have been exhibited for more than four decades in over 750 exhibitions around the world. His works are in over 60 public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). Among his honors are three Individual Artist Fellowships from the NEA, and additional fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation, United States Artists, and others. He was recently a featured artist in the PBS documentary, “Craft in America”, and was named a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2008.

5. Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World

Our world is changing and perhaps we should reconsider how we are raising our children to meet its challenges. From immediate access to information to a digital world at their fingertips, the “ virtual neighborhood” of our children is almost impossible for us to grasp. Anne Perkins, psychology professor at Carroll College and a parent herself, is passionate about education and kids; she looks forward to hearing your insights and sharing hers.

Dr. Anne Perkins, Ph. D., is a Professor of Psychology at Carroll College, where she has been employed since 1990. She received her Ph.D. in animal behavior in 1992 from the University of California- Davis. Concurrent with her faculty career at Carroll, Dr. Perkins held an appointment as a cooperative research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for eight years. Her work in this capacity has resulted in several papers, a book chapter, and a patented drug protocol. Perkins has been featured in the London Times, Science News, New Scientist, and Annuals of Biopsychology. She has been an invited speaker at the International Symposium on Human Development, the International Ethological Society, and the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity. She has been awarded with the Carroll College Distinguished Scholar Award.

Arts, Popular Culture & Cutting Edge

6. Notes from Benny’s Kitchen
This conversation will range from cooking and eating seasonally in Montana—to what exactly is local—to “how to eat a cow.” Margaret Corcoran began her food career as a French baker and pastry chef and now focuses on showcasing local foods at her restaurant, Benny’s Bistro. Come discuss food and the pros and cons of this business model. Bon appétit!

A Montana native, Margaret received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Montana before launching her food career. Crisscrossing the country from Boston to Seattle, with a stint in France Margaret honed her skills as a French baker and pastry chef. She helped establish Park Avenue Bakery before changing careers and entering the restaurant world. She has been focusing on show casing local foods at Benny’s Bistro for the last several years. Come discuss food and the pros and cons of this business model.

7. Where is Human Nature so Weak as in the Book Store?
Henry Ward Beecher’s quote inspired Joe Furshong to engage in an evening of lively discussion on one of his favorite topics: reading. From the time Joe was granted special dispensation to obtain his own library card in the first grade to now finding himself craning his neck in airports to see what others are reading, Joe considers himself a picky, but very happy reader. If you often follow a hello to a friend with “what are you reading?”, this conversation is for you.

Joe Furshong is a soon to be retired school district administrator who really was granted special dispensation to obtain his own library card in the first grade. He is a picky but happy reader; everything from Stieg Larsson to Dickens.
“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” – Mortimer Adler

8. From Bloodlust to Bloodless: Evolution of the Literary Vampire
It has been more than 100 years since Bram Stoker introduced Dracula, but the vampire motif has never quite “gone to sleep.” Is this vampire craze a phase or a sign of something deeper in American hearts? Nikolas Griffith’s background in English literature and gender studies will take this discussion from books, to vampires, to the impacts of popular media phases on youth identities. Fangs not required.

Nikolas Griffith graduated from Carroll in May of 2010 with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Gender Studies, with thesis work on the importance of violence in creation of an American male identity. I’ve sold, read, commented on, discussed publicly, made furniture out of, and even have forgone paying rent in the pursuit of books. At the moment, I am an assistant speech coach for Carroll’s Talking Saints, an employee of the Painted Pot, a receptionist at the Governor’s office, and living in a house of pre-graduate school students whose conversations range from the impacts of popular media phases on youth identities to whether or not the four of them can replicate something from MythBusters without violating their rental agreement.

9. A Taste of Scotland – Whisky or ‘The Water of Life’
Angus Maciver will lead this spirited discussion (and tasting) about whisky—the whats and wheres. Malts? Blends? Water? No water? Ice? No ice? There are so many questions and so little time. Angus was raised in Edinburgh, Scotland and has lived in Montana for 8 years. Be advised, if this table breaks into Highland song, we may have to intervene.

Angus Maciver was born and brought up in Edinburgh, Scotland. He moved to Montana eight years ago to marry his wife Lynn and has been living in Helena ever since. They have two children, boys, ages 1 and 3.

10. Let There Be Beer
“Good beer needs no passport” and you couldn’t ask a for a better tour guide than Brad Robinson, one of three original founders of Missoula’s Big Sky Brewing Company. He will select local beers to compliment the dinner menu, provide a few dessert beers and offer a smattering of different examples of a single style. So, “Cheers!”

Brad is one of the three founders of Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula, began homebrewing in 1988, and enjoys exploring the beer aisle whenever he travels. His favorite beer changes with the season. Brad and his family live in Helena.

11. Notes from a Tenderfoot
By the time of the 2010 Great Conversations, the new Executive Director of The Holter Museum of Art, Christopher Taylor, will have been in Helena for 100 days. What is it about Helena’s cultural community that pulls someone away from Chicago? What impressions (and realities) does Helena give to someone who has traveled to more than 80 cities in 9 countries? What advice would you give to a newcomer? Participate in a conversation that is sure to inspire your local pride!
Christopher Taylor is the newly appointed Executive Director of The Holter Museum of Art. He comes to Helena after spending a year traveling the globe talking with arts professionals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. He has his Masters of Arts Administration & Policy from the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in Sculpture and a BA in Religious Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He recently joined Leadership Helena to gain further insight into his new community.

12. Drawing Some Conclusions
What does your handwriting say about you? Every time we write, we are drawing a picture. Find out what that picture can tell us by joining handwriting analyst Ralph Zackheim for a look at graphology; is it science, psychology, or quackery? Bring your best penmanship.

Ralph Zackheim hails from Oakland, California but has longstanding family connections in Helena. His career spans several decades in social services, counseling, employment services, planning and administration in the non-profit and government worlds. Since the late 1980s he has studied and practiced handwriting analysis and is founder of Handwriting Interpreters which provides handwriting analysis and consulting services for a variety of clients. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (BA) and California State University East Bay (MA).

Environment and Nature

13. Murder Mysteries of the Garden

Why would the United States Army be joining up with UM’s Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk to smash bees in a coffee grinder? Well, it works better than a mortar and pestle. Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the U.S. alone have suffered “colony collapse,” and a unique partnership of military scientists and entomologists appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two. Join Dr. Bromenshenk to learn the latest and find out what is next for his team at Bee Alert Technology.

Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk is a research professor at the University of Montana’s Division of Biological Sciences and CEO and co-owner of Bee Alert Technology, Inc. in Missoula.His research interests encompass the fields of ecotoxicology, population dynamics, and environmental chemistry. Current projects include real-time monitoring of the effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors using hives fitted with electronic sensors and chemical sampling probes, developing methods and facilities for assessing the risks to bees of genetically altered microbial pesticides, and modeling the population dynamics of mites in honey bee colonies. All of these projects are aimed at using bees to evaluate environmental impacts as part of an ecological risk assessment.

14. You Are What You Drink!
More people are calling the Helena Valley home and relying on groundwater as their primary drinking water source. What are we learning from recent water quality data and trends? Join geological engineer Mark Brooke in divining solutions to the conversion from rural agriculture uses to suburban living as it pertains to one of our most important resources: water and one of our most important issues: development.

Mark Brooke has been an engineer with Morrison-Maierle, Inc. for nine years and has worked on groundwater and water quality issues in the Helena Valley and throughout the West. He has a master’s degree in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a bachelors of science from the University of Notre Dame. He is also a Fulbright Scholar.

15. The Big Spill: Environmental Implications of the Gulf Oil Spill
The oil spill in the Gulf opened up a well of questions about the effects of such a massive spill on the environment, the short-term and long-term ramifications to the ecosystem, and the human risks posed by an oil spill. With the recent lifting of the moratorium on deep-water oil drilling, new questions arise. Marietta Canty, an environmental engineer, has been a consultant on environmental remediation for 20 years and has managed projects in numerous locations throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. Mine for more information with an expert.

Marietta Canty has a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and 20 years experience in environmental consulting focusing on environmental remediation. She specializes in assessment of human health risks posed by exposures to environmental contaminants, as well as the development of remedial options to achieve acceptable levels of human health risks. Ms. Canty has managed environmental remediation projects in numerous locations throughout the United States, as well as in international locations.

16. Which Animals Have Rights?
Is it hypocritical to eat meat or wear leather while professing a concern for animal welfare? Can a hunter say he or she loves deer and then shoot one each fall? Anyone interested in the politics, morality and practicality of animal rights and animal welfare will want to join Tom Dickson, editor of Montana Outdoors, for a fascinating discussion about the ways humans relate to wild and domestic animals.

Tom Dickson, editor of Montana Outdoors, is an open-minded pet owner, hunter, meat eater, and animal welfare sympathizer who has read widely about hunting, trapping, meat-based cuisine, livestock treatment, and other ways humans relate to wild and domestic animals.

17. Nineteenth Century Adventures in Yellowstone Park
Imagine cooking bread in hot springs, dyeing geysers with red flannel “long johns,” and cooking fish right on the hook. In the 1870s Yellowstone tourists risked Indian attacks, bear maulings and geyser burns to experience the Park’s wonders. Bozeman author M. Mark Miller is a fifth-generation Montanan whose ancestors first visited Yellowstone Park in 1882 and will share his adventures in collecting hundreds of first-person accounts of travel to Yellowstone including journals, letters, books, reminiscences and articles for his book, Adventures in Yellowstone.

M. Mark Miller is a fifth-generation Montanan whose ancestors first visited Yellowstone Park in 1882. His book, Adventures in Yellowstone was published in 2009 and his articles on Yellowstone and Montana History have appeared in the Big Sky Journal and the Pioneer Museum Quarterly. He is a member of the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau.

18. What If Little Red Riding Hood Was Right?
Wolves themselves might be boring, but people are fascinating. Mix the two and it’s a great recipe for mythology, political intrigue, heated public debate and ecological restoration and conflict. As the Gray Wolf Program Coordinator for Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks, Carolyn Sime works at the interface of science, natural resource policy and law, and a diverse public. She will share her expertise and welcome your thoughts on balancing our values and perceptions toward wilderness, wildness and wolves.

Carolyn Sime has been the Gray Wolf Program Coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks since 2000. She works at the interface of science, natural resource policy and law, and a diverse public. She started with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in 1991 after completing her Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Fish and Wildlife Management at Montana State University.

19. Is There Intelligent Life Out There?
Enter a universe where other intelligent life exists and has arrived on our shores, interacting with the human race. Explore the unknown with Richard O’Connor, M.D., Executive Director of the Crop Circles Research Foundation, whose mission is to prove, using the scientific method, that some crop circles are produced by a non-human intelligence.

Dr. Richard O’Connor, M.D., is Executive Director of the Crop Circles Research Foundation. The CCRF is a nonprofit organization with a mission to prove, using the scientific method, that some crop circles are produced by a non-human intelligence engaging the human race.

Health, Sciences & Technology

20. Drug Pushers: Pros and Cons of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Love them or hate them—everyone has an opinion about the interaction of pharmaceutical companies and medicine. Are they too visible and is the advertising too much? Are they greedy corporations or are they paving the way to research breakthroughs? Dr. Nicole Clark, Neurologist and Neuromuscular Medicine specialist at St. Peter’s hospital, has a perspective she’d like to share. What do you think?

Nicole Clark, MD moved to Helena from Salt Lake City where she completed a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology/Neuromuscular Medicine at the University of Utah in 2009. She earned both her Medical Degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry with honors at the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed both an internship and neurology residency at the University of Utah. Dr. Clark is a member of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Neurologist Association, and American Medical Association.





21. Marvel or Mistake? 
Genetically modified foods have become a hot topic in our culture. There are over 40 genetically modified plant varieties that have met FDA requirements and may be in supermarkets already. Toby Day, the Extension Horticulture Specialist and state-wide Master Gardener Coordinator will lead this discussion on the advantages and disadvantages to GMO’s, not to mention how we can buy locally, but feed globally.

Toby Day is the Extension Horticulture Associate Specialist and state-wide Master Gardner Coordinator through Montana State University Extension. He earned both his degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and Master of Science in Plant Sciences from MSU.

22. The Dead Do Tell Tales
Among the women with whom University of Montana professor of anthropology Garry Kerr has worked are Lucy (the australopithicene) and Jane Goodall. Ok, the two span more than 3 million years, and Lucy wasn’t exactly alive when Dr. Kerr helped cast her to produce replicas for museums around the world, but he has tales to tell nonetheless. His experience as a forensic anthropologist will also take you from the world of Jane Goodall and her famous chimpanzees, to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania which is referred to as the Cradle of Mankind. Whether you are intrigued because of recent articles about King Tut and his family or a fan of the forensics offered on CSI, Dr. Kerr has wide experience and is widely travelled. Join him for…tales.

Garry Kerr is a professor at the University of Montana in the Anthropology Department. His research interests include: Casting Techniques, Facial Reconstruction, Introduction to Anthropology, Food and Culture, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, Osteology, Human Sexuality, Forensic Zooarchaeology.

23. The Neuroscience of Choice

Can neuroscience and free will coexist? Non-conscious process plays a role in our behavior, but where do those intersect with free will? How much of our day-to-day decision making is dictated by biology? Buying a house? Deciding what to buy at the grocery store? What is happening to your brain as you choose? Dr. Tom Mulgrew, a Great Conversations favorite, has decided to help you find out how you decide.

Dr. Tom Mulgrew is a neurologist at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena and is board certified in sleep medicine. He attended medical school at the University of Minnesota and completed his residency in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Mulgrew is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as the American Board of Pain Management and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Prior to Helena, Dr. Mulgrew was in private practice in Ontario, Oregon. His clinical experience includes General Neurology, EEG, EMG, Sleep Medicine, Pain Management and Epidural Steroid Injections.

24. The Teflon Mind
Are some people born with more resilience than others? Does resilience decrease with negative life experiences? Can we teach people to improve their resilience? Test your own resilience with adult psychiatrist Connie O’Connor, M.D. who lives and works here in Helena.

Connie O’Connor, M.D., is an adult psychiatrist in private practice in Helena, Montana. She completed her residency in psychiatry at the University of Washington in June of 2008.

25. iTouches, iPads, iNeed?
What are the digital gadgets that every house needs? Steffen Rasile spends a great deal of his time working and playing on the Internet, and his lifelong love of gadgets and technology keeps him on the cutting edge. He can enlighten you on creating a “smart house” without breaking the bank, keeping up with new Smart Phones and choosing from the best tablet computing options.

Steffen Rasile spends a great deal of his time working and playing on the Internet. As owner of SRA Design Studios ( sraDesignStudios.com ), Steffen develops websites for Best Selling Authors, Businesses, and Publishers across the country. His life long love of gadgets and technology keeps him on the cutting edge.

History, World Cultures and Travel

26. Shifting Ground in American Evangelicalism

Evangelicals represent roughly 30% of America’s citizens and their numbers worldwide are equally impressive. Ever wonder who they are, from where they have come, and where they are going? Brian Matz is Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at Carroll College and will take you on a journey from the days of political activism in American evangelicalism to the present.

Brian Matz is Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at Carroll College. He earned his first Ph.D. in early Christian history and a second Ph.D. in social ethics. He teaches courses on Greco-Roman religious history, medieval Christianity, and Reformation/Protestant theology. His most recent publications are concerned with the social ethics of Christians in late antiquity.

27. Knowing a Little about a Lot of Cool Places


It is amazing the similarities between kindergarteners on their first day of school and travelers in a foreign country where they don’t speak the language. Explore exotic and adventurous places in the world with Helena native Brian Cummings and learn the travel tips, tales and tribulations he has acquired in Greece, India, Egypt and multiple European countries. Imagine immersing yourself in a different culture as Brian inspires you to plan your own once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Born and raised in small town Helena, Brian Cummings is now a world traveling elementary school principal. He has taken his beautiful wife and children to places where many of today’s travelers are not adventurous enough to explore. His enthusiasm for immersing himself in different cultures has positively impacted his life, his family, and his career.

28. Tales from Nunavut and the High Arctic
Delve into the unique culture of the Eskimo. Denny DesRosier, HEF board member, world traveler and raconteur, whose passion for anything Arctic has led him on two excursions to see what lies above the 66th parallel, where the Stone Age past meets an amazing future. The place names alone will lure you to the table— Iqaluit, Qaanaaq, Siorapaluk. Once you’re seated, be sure to ask Denny about the polar bears.

A thirty year arm-chair passion for anything Arctic, has led to countless books, articles and two trips to see what is really there. Denny also serves on the board of directors of the Helena Education Foundation.

29. Introducing Islam
Wael Salah Elkhateeb is an English teacher from Cairo who comes to Missoula via the U.S. State Department’s Teachers of Critical Languages Program, which places Arabic and Chinese teachers in the United States for one-year assignments. His mission includes promoting more accurate understanding of Arab and Islamic cultures. Wael would like this opportunity to further his message that ignorance of another culture leads to misunderstanding; he welcomes this opportunity to learn more from us, as we learn from him and together perhaps we can avoid the trap of judging any nation’s citizens on the actions of a few of its countrymen.

An English teacher from Cairo, Wael Salah Elkhateeb comes to Missoula via the U.S. State Department’s Teachers of Critical Languages Program, which places Arabic and Chinese teachers in the United States for one-year assignments. For the next year, Wael will teach the Arabic language, culture and traditions to Missoula students at Hellgate and anywhere else he is asked to visit. A devout Muslim and “ambassador for my culture,” his message is simple: Ignorance of another culture leads to misunderstanding and even hatred, and that works both ways across the Arabic-Western divide.

30. Really? I had no Idea!

Spend the evening with Harry Fritz, professor emeritus and 2 time Teacher of the Year at the University of Montana, reveling in the miscellany of American history. Do you know which American president paid for his first Congressional campaign with poker winnings? We didn’t either, but Dr. Fritz does. He has much to share with you, and maybe before the evening is over, he’ll provide some additional perspective on the “history” we’re living right now.

Dr. Harry Fritz is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Montana in Missoula. His field of study includes Early American History; The Civil War; Military History; Montana History. Dr. Fritz is also a Great Conversations favorite.

31. Borderlands
Borders—these sometimes arbitrary “lines in the sand” have shaped civilizations, divided families and fomented wars. This discussion will wind its way from Aboriginal American sense of territory, through the border as a construct of European-American nation building, and beyond. Nicholas Vrooman will weave his doctorate in the History of the American West with his experience as State Folklorist into an engaging discussion of Montana’s history, international disputes and world circumstance.

Nicholas Vrooman was State Folklorist for both Montana and North Dakota, worked for Montana's Commissioner of Higher Education, taught at The University of Montana, served as Executive Director of the Helena Indian Alliance, and curated the National Folk Festival in Butte this past summer. He currently is working for Montana's Little Shell Tribe and the Native American Rights Fund, Boulder, CO, seeking to overturn the federal government's negative final determination of the Tribe's petition for recognition. He holds a master's degree in History Museum Studies and American Folk Culture from the SUNY Cooperstown Graduate Program, and a doctorate in the History of the American West from The University of Montana.

Political Science & Economics

32. Fin Reg, Fin ~ What?
Bill Beaman has a fascination with the financial workings of our society and has spent nearly 40 years studying the vagaries of our American economy. So what is our financial condition today and have we actually survived the crisis? Will the new financial regulations help or hinder us? Discuss these questions with Bill and share your own insights on the state of the American economy.

Bill Beaman spent 28 years with D. A. Davidson and has been a consultant and day trader for the past 10 years. He has a fascination and curiosity about the financial workings of our society.

33. For the Soul of the Nation
God and religion have always been part of American politics, but something profound has changed in recent decades. Today, U.S. politics are defined by a calculated, deliberate and partisan use of faith that is unprecedented in the modern history of the nation. Meet University of Washington professor, David Domke, the author of The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America, to discuss what this might mean for our democracy.

David Domke is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. He is the author of two books. The first was published in 2004 and examines the religious rhetoric of the Bush administration and its influence on news coverage and public opinion, God Willing?: Political Fundamentalism in the White House, the “War on Terror,” and the Echoing Press (Pluto Press). His second book, The God Strategy: How Religion Became A Political Weapon in America, was published in 2008 by Oxford University Press, with an updated edition in autumn 2010. Domke regularly speaks about politics and communication with academic, political, media, and public audiences around the country, and he has worked closely with several organizations and on a number of campaigns.

34. Is There a Plan of Attack for Peace?
Freshly returned from an academic fellowship in Israel, Carroll professor Jeanette Fregulia is ready to explore motivations behind suicide bombers and others who commit acts of terrorism. Her insights from interviews with convicted terrorists currently incarcerated in Israel provide first-hand perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Why the continued violence and is there a solution?

Jeanette Fregulia is an Assistant Professor of History at Carroll College, and holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance History. Her research interests include mercantile activities of women in late Renaissance Italy, women and gender in European history, the intersection between Renaissance Italy/Europe and Islam, and the history of the Middle East and Islam.

35. Reading the Tea Leaves – The 2010 Elections
How did the national election trends affect election results in Montana? Did the activities of the Tea Party groups in Montana alter the outcomes? What do the election results mean for the Montana Legislature and the state budget? Discuss these questions with chief of the Lee Newspapers State Bureau, Chuck Johnson, and take an in-depth look at the results of the 2010 mid-terms.

Chuck Johnson, chief of the Lee Newspapers State Bureau, has covered Montana government and politics since the early 1970s. Raised in Helena, he has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in history from the University of Montana. He studied politics and economics for a year at Oxford University in England on a Rotary Foundation fellowship.

36. War…What Is It Good For?
Mankind has made all kinds of progress and yet, we still resort to war for issues that seem to have no resolution. Scott Johnston, whom you may have seen featured in the New York Times, runs the Montana Radio Café. His interest in this subject stems from experience as a Vietnam combat veteran who later studied for the ministry. Perhaps together you can bring about world peace.

Scott Johnston is a Vietnam Veteran with combat experience with the Airborne Rangers, Navy river boats and CIA. He studied for the ministry at a Christian College, and has spent most of his working life with dual careers, one in radio and one in the church. He now runs an independent radio station in Kalispell off his front porch called the Montana Radio Café and has been written up in the New York Times. He’s currently on sabbatical from the church he helped found 11 years ago, is an active musician, and teaches martial arts. Scott has a wife, six grown children, and almost eight grandchildren.

37. The Politics of Terror

Neil Livingstone, Chairman and CEO of ExecutiveAction, LLC was described by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw as “one of this nation’s preeminent authorities on terrorism.” A familiar face on the nation’s newscasts as a commentator on terrorism, intelligence and national security issues, he predicted the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center on CNBC six months before they occurred, said the terrorists would drop both towers, and that Osama bin Laden would be behind the attacks. Join him for an evening with a true expert on global issues pertaining to terrorism and international relations.

Neil C. Livingstone is the Founder and CEO of ExecutiveAction, LLC, a premier business solutions and international risk management company headquartered in Washington, D.C. Livingstone received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. For more than a decade he was a member of the adjunct faculty of Georgetown's National Security Studies program, teaching what is believed to have been the first academic course in the U.S. on terrorism. He also was a visiting instructor at the Foreign Service Institute at the Federal Emergency Management Training Center. He has advised top government officials and testified before Congress.
Livingstone was described by NBC's Tom Brokaw as, "one of this nation's preeminent authorities on terrorism." A veteran of nearly 1,500 television appearances, he also served as an on-air commentator for NBC News during the Atlanta Olympics and in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City and 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has also appeared on more than 1000 radio programs, is the author of nine books, and has written more than 200 articles on national security issues.


38. China: Building Walls or Building Bridges?
China has become the second largest economy in the world, which brings with it increased strategic and military influence, but State Department insiders report something akin to arrogance in China’s conversations with the U.S. What does all of this imply? Will China become expansionist or serve as a “responsible stakeholder” on the world stage? Leading this conversation is Terry Weidner, who is currently the Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM. Dr. Weidner has previously worked as a government China analyst and served a stint as a political officer at the Beijing Embassy during the Tiananmen crisis.

Terry Weidner is the Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana, where he also teaching Chinese history and political economy. Weidner previously worked as a government China analyst, including a stint as a political officer at the Beijing Embassy during the Tiananmen crisis.