Takes on Citizens United Montana
Last month, in a 5-to-2 vote, the Montana Supreme Court rejected that misguided reasoning and upheld a part of a state anticorruption law banning corporations from making political expenditures from general treasuries. The court’s dissenters argued that
The court’s majority in Western Tradition Partnership v.
In Citizens United, the conservative majority turned itself into a copper kings’ court. The Montana Supreme Court, faced with tangible effects of corporate electioneering, shows how that decision undermines the fight against political corruption — and can make it far worse.
Dozens of Stranded Dolphins on Perplex Rescuers Cape Cod Shores
By JESS BIDGOOD
But eight days later, 81 more had been found stranded on this craggy coastline, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, bringing the weekly count unusually close to the 120 animals the group typically responds to in high stranding season, which typically runs from January to April. By Jan. 23, the count was 85.
“It’s just about as intense as I’ve ever experienced,” said Katie Moore, the manager of the mammal rescue and research team at the nonprofit fund, which employs six scientists to rescue dolphins and whales that find themselves the unwitting occupants of Cape Cod’s empty winter beaches.
It is common for dolphins to be corralled by the cape’s U-shape and flummoxed by its shallow inlets and extreme tides. In fact, Cape Cod is, like parts of
But so many dolphins washing up in less than two weeks — 61 of which were dead, killed by stress or injuries from the stranding — has baffled researchers, who have been working relentlessly with volunteers to rescue as many as possible.
Six of those dolphins turned up on Thursday in “The Gut” of the
“These animals seem to be coming from one large group,” Ms. Moore said as she drove to Wellfleet on Friday to monitor the harbor for more animals. “They’re all of the same species, and aerial views have seen large groups of 400 animals just off the cape.”
The question they cannot answer, Ms. Moore said, is why they are all here in the first place. “It’s driving us crazy that we don’t know,” Ms. Moore said.
Some believe it is simply a question of feeding, although Ms. Moore said that the empty stomachs found in the dolphins scientists have dissected suggest otherwise. The International Fund for Animal Welfare researchers are excited about new work recently presented at a conference by C. T. Harry, the assistant stranding coordinator, that suggests there may be a correlation between dolphin strandings and weather oscillations.
In some cases, a sick dolphin can lead its pod off course. But many of the dolphins, Ms. Moore said, have so far seemed healthy when they strand (apart from the stress they experience caused by the stranding itself).
That appeared to be the case for the dolphins in The Gut on Thursday. With the sky spitting snowflakes, rescuers quickly began working to take the animals, covered in blankets and looking every part like the mammals that schoolchildren love, back to safe waters.
But it is slow, backbreaking work. Each animal must be rolled onto a stretcher and then carried by up to nine people to a vehicle.
“Can we make it to the reeds? Are you going to be all right?” Mr. Harry said to the volunteers who helped him carry one dolphin, its tail dragging blood through reeds sprouting out of the mud, to an old truck.
The group hoisted the dolphin onto a pad inside, struggling to get the animal, which could weigh hundreds of pounds, high off the ground.
“Like you’re a Patriot linebacker!” said Larry Bessenger, a retired banking executive from
Later, when a stressed dolphin’s thrashing tail appeared to endanger one of the scientists, Mr. Bessenger, who was kitted out in a dry suit designed for kayaking, dived on top of it. “It’s more fun than wrestling seals!” he said of the job he used to help with at the New England Aquarium.
Dedicated volunteers come out in droves to deal with strandings; the animal welfare fund says it has about 350 on its rosters. And they are needed: by the time each dolphin was driven over the sand dunes and up the road to a medical trailer, where they were given blood tests, hearing tests, ultrasounds and more, the fund scientists were exhausted. Their work would not be finished until they released the dolphins later that night.
“It’s a lot of work, it’s long days,” said Kat Rose, the stranding technician for the fund. “A lot of people, I think, are ready for a break.”
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs