Legislative ‘bluff and bunk’ no different after 100 years

Just when did politics get so … weird? When did politicians become sociopathic performance artists, huffing their own vapors long past the point of inebriation? Of course, we begin by blaming the other party, whoever they may be. But then, upon sober analysis, we might conclude that it’s the internet’s fault. The answer, however, is… Read More →

Power in the Wilderness project nearing completion

Longtime readers know that I’ve eased up production here at MinnesotaBrown while I toil on several big projects. Here’s how it’s going. I’ve been working on a book for the University of Minnesota Press about Victor Power, called “Power in the Wilderness,” with a first draft due early this summer. I’m past 2/3 done now,… Read More →

Future of Hibbing mine tied to rapidly changing steel industry

Today, the Minnesota Reformer published my new column, “The clash of two big steel companies will help shape the future of the Iron Range.” The piece explores the issues behind Hibbing Taconite’s need for a new iron ore supply. I’ve written before about Cleveland-Cliffs’ new position in North American iron and steel. Now we’ll see… Read More →

Community police challenges not just a metro issue

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer, “Law and Order starts with peace,” weaves stories from my Iron Range grandpa’s time as Keewatin town cop with the unsettling trends in community policing today. This is a problem for all of us to face, not just the metro area. This piece refers to the killing of a… Read More →

Live broadcast ‘Celebrity Chef’ challenge to raise funds for Second Harvest

Well, folks. I might be rusty a year after the Great Northern Radio Show went on hiatus, but I’m getting back in the saddle for one night only. It’s time for some fancy live broadcast witty banter … for a good cause. This past year presented an enormous challenge for many of us, but none… Read More →

Legislature, mining & police

This year I’ll be offering occasional news analysis on WDSE’s Almanac North as part of the station’s “Voices of the Region” segment. My first segment was Jan. 8. If you missed it, here it is: I reviewed three topics. First, the legislature is in session now. Northeastern Minnesota lawmakers of both parties find themselves in… Read More →

MinnesotaBrown’s Top Posts of 2020

It’s time once again to share my most read posts from MinnesotaBrown for the previous year. 2020 may not have been a great year for many, but it was a memorable year, one that will become part the stories we tell for a long time. This year I’ve been working on my book “Power in… Read More →

On economic class, urbanization, and chickens

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer is up today. “Just Like a Century ago, there’s a class war in rural America, and the wrong side is winning.” This was quite the creative exercise for me. I had a few things on my mind when I wrote it. First, we seem mired in a hopeless… Read More →

FARGO, Season 4: “Storia Americana”

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. Episode 11,… Read More →

FARGO, Season 4: “Happy”

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. Episode 10:… Read More →