Recent Posts

Prairie Lights: In the new news biz, truth is for suckers


There has been no lack of disappointing, discouraging news over the past few months, but I don’t think anything I read was as depressing as these two sentences:

“Six months ago, Wade and his business partner, Ben Goldman, were unemployed restaurant workers. Now they’re at the helm of a website that gained 300,000 Facebook followers in October alone and say they are making so much money that they feel uncomfortable talking about it because they don’t want people to start asking for loans.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Business owner’s Facebook comments ignite firestorm


The owner of a new downtown coffee shop, facing threats of a boycott over his hate-filled racist and sexist rants on Facebook, apologized Sunday, calling his comments “the biggest mistake I ever made in my life.” “I completely apologize,” Larry Heafner said. “It was the dumbest thing I ever did. … I’m not going to sit and try to excuse my derogatory or negative comments, because it was ridiculous. I do want to say, I’m not racist by no means, and I’m not a woman hater.” Continue Reading →

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David Crisp: Oxen gored, left and right


John Thune, our neighboring U.S. senator from South Dakota, is demanding answers from Facebook in response to allegations that Facebook slants its news trending feed to leave out conservative stories. “Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet,” Thune said in a statement. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: The dis-United States of Facebook

I saw on Facebook the other day that a Trump-loving tow-truck operator in North Carolina refused to help a disabled woman whose car was inoperable, saying it was the Bernie Sanders sign in her window that prompted his decision. This gentleman, who calls himself a Christian, told local reporters, “Something came over me, I think the Lord came to me, and he just said get in the truck and leave. And when I got in my truck, you know, I was so proud, because I felt like I finally drew a line in the sand and stood up for what I believed.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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David Crisp: Grammar gurus give Democrats higher marks


The 2016 presidential election is still very much up in the air, but when it comes to grammar, Democrats have a commanding lead. At least that’s the conclusion of a new study by Grammarly, an online grammar-checking website. Grammarly checked supportive comments on presidential candidates’ Facebook pages, and concluded that Republican supporters made twice as many errors as Democratic supporters. (more…) Continue Reading →

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At Your Service: Reflections, regrets at the end of a series

Holy card

It was with a pang of regret that I published the 24th and last chapter in my At Your Service series last Monday. I began thinking of such a series something like 20 years ago, figuring it would be fascinating to visit some of the many churches in Billings and hoping that my “reviews” of the services might be of interest to others. At the time, though, and for many years after, I couldn’t imagine where I might publish such a series. (more…) Continue Reading →

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At Your Service: A visit to a humble house of worship


Eagle Ministries Inc., 304 S. 32nd St. Service, 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Length of service: 1 hour, 20 minutes. Length of sermon: 46 minutes

I decided I needed a change of pace—something other than a Sunday morning and something other than a large West End church. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Misfired email forges Montana-France friendship


On Dec. 4, 2013, John Cech went snowshoeing in the Elkhorn Mountains near his home in Clancy, accompanied by his two golden retrievers. It was a beautiful day, so he snapped a few pictures on his iPhone, and when he got back home he thought he’d post a photo or two on Facebook. He sent the photos from his phone to his laptop via Gmail for easier posting. A few minutes later, he received an email response from another John Cech—Jean-Louis Cech in Orange, France—who said, “Gee, it looks cold out there. Continue Reading →

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This Veterans Day, save your thanks for the real heroes


Every year on Veterans Day, I cringe at the knowledge that well-meaning people are going to wallpaper Facebook and Twitter with heartfelt tributes to the heroes who have served our country. I cringe because as a veteran myself, I know the truth about the average military personnel. Most of the people I met in the military were good people. They showed up and did their job. They didn’t cause problems. They were generally a pleasure to work with. Continue Reading →

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