Here Lance Mannion destroys Tierney's column. Maybe a bit overzealously, but I did find Lance's thesis more pithy and intriguing than Tierney's, to wit:
The West was settled and civilized when the government came in and took everybody’s guns away -- sometimes literally, but usually by making it unnecessary to carry a gun.
Meanwhile, Russell J. Milne sent me a nice note highlighting his new biography, "Orphan Boy," in which his father gets on a train to Poplar, Montana, in 1915. Thanks, Russell, and good luck with the book.
Finally, buried in a standard story about hardworking mainstreet retailers in the Missoulian is this startling stat:
The U.S. Census reports that the most rural of rural Montana counties lose about 40 percent of their retail dollars to larger towns and cities.
The decimation wreaked by big-box stores on small-town retail is a well-known subject (which is how I can be a bit flippant in summarizing the Missoulian story -- I've read similar ones so many times before) -- but even I didn't know the numbers were that high.
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