New York Times

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Visiting angler pays tribute to Norman Maclean


I wasn’t sure the world needed yet another rapturous homage to Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It,” but I read this New York Times story anyway. It was written by Jon Gluck, a managing editor at Vogue magazine, who says he was a boy in Upstate New York when he fell under the sway of Robert Redford’s film version of the novella, and then went on to read the book itself. He was even more enraptured. “It wasn’t just the fishing,” he writes. “If there is a smarter, more affecting meditation on the themes of fathers and sons, brothers, the pleasures of the natural world, love, loss and the haunting power of water, I have yet to come across it.” Continue Reading →

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McCain makes subtle plea for return to an age of reason


Sen. John McCain has done something that reminds us of when this country was a bigger, better place. In a piece he wrote for The New York Times on Thursday, McCain praised Delmer Berg, who died late last month in California at the age of 100. McCain praised Berg for having fought selflessly as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 and 1938. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Scientific leap reminds us what’s important


Thanks to Albert Einstein, I think I finally understand what it is that I so much hate about presidential elections. It came to me last week when I was reading an op-ed piece in the New York Times, written by Lawrence M. Krauss, a theoretical physicist. His piece began like this: (more…) Continue Reading →

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World-class con man plied his trade in Montana, too


It turns out that the notorious serial impostor Jeremy Wilson—if by some chance that’s his real name—brought his rolling con show to Montana. The New York Times interviewed Wilson in jail, and even in cold type the man’s skills as a charmingly relentless fabricator are almost palpable. Here’s a pocket description of some of his activities:

“He has portrayed himself as a Scottish-born D.J., a Cambridge-trained thespian, a Special Forces officer and a professor at M.I.T. He has posed as executives from Microsoft, British Airways and Apple, always with a military background. He pretended to be a soldier seeking asylum in Canada to escape anti-Semitic attacks in the United States. He once maintained an Irish accent so well and for so long that his cellmate in an Indiana jail was convinced that he was an Irish mobster.” Continue Reading →

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Bad news for Lee Enterprises, common sense on Iran deal


More bad news for Lee Enterprises, the Iowa-based newspaper chain that owns the Billings Gazette and papers in Missoula, Butte, Helena and Hamilton. is reporting that Lee has sold a newspaper building in Napa, Calif., for $5 million, which it planned to use to pay down part of its enormous debt. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Billings native’s ‘Taliban’ book to be basis of Tina Fey movie


Billings native Kim Barker learned to fish and backpack in Montana, but she learned to sing karaoke, interview warlords, shoot Kalashnikovs and jump-start a car using a metal ladder in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Barker describes her antics, trials and triumphs working as a foreign correspondent in her 2011 memoir, “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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And a new way of looking at Butte

Butte mines

Ask and you shall receive. When I linked a few days ago to a New York Times graphic representation of the well bores underlying North Dakota, I said it would interesting to show “what all the underground mine shafts beneath Butte would look like if they were aboveground.” I also said: “In fact, if there is anyone out there who could help us with that, we’d love to hear from you.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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