The old roads are rapidly agin’

Today you can read my latest column for the Minnesota Reformer. Don’t tell anyone, but there’s a Bible verse etched above one of the entry doors to the Mesabi East High School in Aurora, Minnesota. It reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18). Though the biblical meaning is distinctly conformist and… Read More →

Range’s icy disposition toward Twin Cities pushes rightward swing

I know some readers might miss my election night liveblogs, but I was quite relieved to be free of that job this year. For one thing, St. Louis and Itasca county results didn’t really start coming in until midnight. Most races weren’t really known until 3. I slept through all of that, woke up Wednesday… Read More →

The spirit of Paul Wellstone, 20 years later

I think a person’s politics should be a journey, not a destination. While my politics have mostly stayed on one side of the mountain, they’ve made quite a few switchbacks along the incline. Am I a radical big time liberal or is it just that I like school? But I do recall the speech by… Read More →

Red October, no surprise

I’m still editing the big book, so most of my northern Minnesota political analysis has been confined to my columns in the Mesabi Tribune and Minnesota Reformer these days. Even there, I’ve avoided horse race politics this cycle, mostly out of disinterest. But sometimes the horses stick their heads through your front window. This week… Read More →

100 years of fascism, here and abroad

My latest essay for the Minnesota Reformer is out today: “Fascism from Italy to Hibbing and back again.” In recent years I’ve avoided the hyperbole and repetition of our national political debate. My thinking has been that you don’t really need another Trump/Biden screed that only reinforces what you already believe. I seek instead to… Read More →

The labor movement strikes back

Last week, my oldest son and I were camping in the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota. It was an important trip for us; a rite of passage. It’s his last year in Scouting and he’s starting college today. More on that trip later. While I was gone, my latest essay for the Minnesota… Read More →

Good vibes only? To be determined

What, pray tell, are “vibes?” People talk about them. They fill the zeitgeist. Vibes dictate how we feel about everything. And yet we have precious little understanding of the highly emotional sentiments that influence our purchases, name our next government, and shape our state of mind today and tomorrow.  My latest piece for the Minnesota… Read More →

The persistent appeal of boondoggles

boon·dog·gle/ˈbo͞onˌdäɡəl/(1) work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.(2) a public project of questionable merit that typically involves political patronage or graft.~ From the Oxford Languages dictionary When a debate boils down to “doing something useful” vs. “doing nothing,” politicians often reach compromise in “doing something useless.” This represents… Read More →

When profits pile costs on people

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer is out today, this one tackling the rising cost of housing and health care that most affects working class people. The piece is called “Cost of living is our harshest tax.” Here’s a taste: We’ve all experienced economic inflation this past year. Consumer costs rise along with commodity… Read More →

We are in the automated future

It started long ago. Big trucks and steam shovels replaced small hoppers filled by men with spades. Machines took over for pinsetters at the bowling alley. Before long we were pumping our own gas. Now we scan our own groceries, making sure to check the codes on the bananas before ringing up our purchase, paying,… Read More →