‘The Wild Mississippi’ starts close to home

“But I never saw the good side of a city, ‘til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen.” “Proud Mary,” by John Fogerty John Fogerty wrote “Proud Mary,” arguably the definitive song about the Mississippi River, for Creedence Clearwater Revival. But Fogerty isn’t from anywhere near the river. Rather, he was born and… Read More →

Hopeful future combines STEM and humanities

Have you talked to a teenager lately? I see teenagers at work and home, so I talk to them plenty. It seems harder to choose a path in life than I remember at the same age. For one thing, careers have changed. Automation and new technology created enormous specialization across the economy these last 20… Read More →

De’myth’tifying Minnesota

A couple weeks ago I reviewed a new novel reframing the Paul Bunyan myth that still prevails in Minnesota tourism and culture. Today, I share a new essay for the Minnesota Reformer entitled “Paul Bunyan and the weight of myth.” This piece digs deeper into the Bunyan story and how it shaped the cultural perception… Read More →

New book reimagines America’s folk history

What causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall? If you didn’t know, you might worry that these life-giving events could suddenly stop. That’s why many ancient myths formed, and why humans keep making myths in modern times. The amount we don’t know only grows as we open new realms of knowledge. Myths… Read More →

Competitive legislative races slated across Northland

NOTE: This post appears in today’s Hibbing Daily Tribune as part of a news sharing arrangement. Generational change. A historically contentious presidential race. Not one, but two major parties devoted to legalizing marijuana. These factors and more will influence several interesting northern Minnesota legislative races that formed after last Tuesday’s filing deadline. Though the presidential… Read More →

Story of Minnesota Ojibwe chief Hole in the Day headed to Hollywood

This land we call Minnesota rests on layers of stories. Dig and you find more. Dig and the stories grow deeper and more complex. Some of these fantastic tales seem suited for the movies, and soon enough that may be true. Such is the story of a Northern Minnesota leader that most local schools still… Read More →

Refugee debate strays from reality

I recently spoke with a Northern Minnesota military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In casual conversation he described his efforts to help an Iraqi translator and his family get to America. This Iraqi man took enormous personal risk to work alongside U.S. forces. Now, he and his loved ones face even greater threats… Read More →

2020 race for MN legislature will pivot on northern SD5

When Republicans took control of both houses of the Minnesota legislature in 2016 they made hay off the massive swing that took place in the fifth state senate district. This northern district, which includes parts of Itasca, Cass, Hubbard and Beltrami counties, was previously represented by a DFL senator and two DFL representatives. After 2016,… Read More →

Tune in for Dig Deep live call-in show

The Northern Community Radio political podcast “Dig Deep” will hold a live broadcast call in show Monday morning at 8:10. The podcast features Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns and myself. Heidi Holtan produces the show. Chuck represents the conservative perspective while I represent the liberal point of view. That said, our show is less about… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show returns to Bemidji April 13

Spring slowly seeps into Northern Minnesota. Celebrate with the April 13 broadcast of my Great Northern Radio Show at the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota. Get your tickets here. I always tell you these things are good and that you should come. I suppose by now you either believe me or you don’t. The Latelys… Read More →