Category Archives: Trump 2016

Stauber seconds Trump by…

by blaming the parents for breaking the newly criminalized immigration law:

“This policy is absolutely heartbreaking and an unfortunate consequence of when parents disregard the law.” The GOP endorsed 8th Congressional District candidate told Eyewitness News. “Congress needs to leave labels behind and come together to solve this problem and make sure nothing like this has to happen.”

Gun Control vs. the NRA

I first publicly registered my dissatisfaction with Second Amendment purists about thirty years ago with a letter to the editor. The Trib thought it provocative enough that they published it with the photo of a gun barrel pointed at the readers.

It generated some heat from critics and I’ll confess that looking back on it I regret one term I used. I criticized a “slavish” devotion to the Constitution. I had in mind the nit picky sort of cherry picking you might associate with Biblical literalists who like the Jehovah’s Witnesses make a fuss about a single passage like the line in the King James version of the Bible’s Old Testament that says the name of God is “Jehovah.” Never mind that this was a much later English word for a God who the original Hebrew writers tried to discourage their followers from even uttering out-loud. The point of the Constitution was that it could be amended and fitted to the desires of future Americans.

And for two hundred years the Supreme Court did not sever gun onwership from the notion of forming the Second Amendment’s militia’s. They were composed originally of a rag tag group of citizens with hunting rifles. It has only been in the years subsequent to my letter that a newly composed Supreme Court decided that militia’s were not part of the gun ownership right. This was the achievement of the NRA newly transformed from a rifle loving group of hunters to a handgun toting bunch of semi-vigilantes.

I trust the constitution’s fair application to citizens as far more vital to our protection than I do to some neighbor’s quick access to a gun. Like cars guns are tools that need regulation. Don’t run a red light. Keep your rifle in a leather holder. Big deal.

I have no sympathy for an NRA whose president spouts that any attempt to keep guns same is the action of “jackbooted thugs.”

I have a couple collector’s rifles handed down from Grandfathers that never used them. I’m not a paranoid like Wayne Lapiere.

I’ve just gotten my questionnaire from them which will be ignored as they will almost certainly endorse Pete Stauber who had a colleague on the Duluth Police force killed by a disturbed man with a gun.

I’ll simply send them this picture of me in the wake of Sandyhook to let them know how unsuitable I would be a Congressman.

Email – wishes I was a Republican

This is a message I just got from an old high school classmate whose family bought my family’s old Mankato, Minnesota Home:

I wrote about this a long time ago here.

06/12/18 11:07 AM
Dear Harry, I read your article about Trump the racist in the Duluth Reader. You are spot on about that guy–what a disgrace. The Free Press had an article today about him coming to Duluth, all he will do is talk about himself. It also mentioned that you are running for Congress. Good luck! (I still think you should run as a Democrat.) Be sure to come to our 50th reunion! Details will come later. Your old house is doing just fine. Harley and I ramble around in it but it does fill up with grandchildren and other visitors now and then. *****

This was my reply:

Hi *****,

That’s a great house to fill with grandchildren. We’ve got two. I’m sure I’ll try to make it to number 50.

I left the GOP a little before Obama. I enjoyed being a Democrat that year and miss him as our president. As for my running as a Democrat. Gee. I can’t forget what Will Rogers said. “I don’t belong to any organized party…….I’m a Democrat.” I fear they are about to reelect Trump and that thought gives me the heebie jeebies.

In the 50 years since I got to good old Mankato High the two parties political handlers winnowed and cleansed them of dissenters and orignial thinkers year by year until they became like the Skeksies and the Mystics in that movie by Henson “The Dark Crystal.”

We won’t be whole again as a nation until some liberal thinkers are Republicans and some conservative thinkers are Democrats or some other two party system develops that don’t act like opposites. We need the Dark Crystals missing shard to be replaced.

I can’t predict the future but I can take the party my family was long affiliated with and try to inject some humility, common sense and decency into it.

Harry

Donald Trump tries to Pardon Vladimir Putin…

…at the G 7 summit…..

…..Tries to grant Putin honorary American Citizenship.

Why not?

He can pardon anyone who might testify as to the collusion he keeps tweeting us about never having taken part in. Hint, Hint, Mueller indictees.

King me. Time Magazine covers over the past couple years centering on the biggest ego ever to threaten our Constitution.

http://time.com/5303844/donald-trump-king-cover/

Impeachment – Issues before Congress

I wrote one of my recent columns in the Duluth Reader pondering this tricky issue. I hope that an Impeachment does not become necessary. If it was put into effect despite the fierce opposition of large numbers of our population it could sow more discord than it would be worth. And, if it served to make a martyr out of the unworthy Donald Trump, I would be appalled. Donald Trump does not deserve the status of Martyr. I would prefer to see him stumble on humiliated and weakened until his term ended in 2020.

The removal would be the work of the United States Senate in a trial headed by the Supreme Court Chief Justice. The House of Representatives part is to “impeach” or indict the President (or other lesser officials) sending the case to the Senate. I would vote to impeach if I was convinced that “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” had taken place but only with great reluctance. I would need to see more compelling evidence than a semen stain on a blue dress.

Day 2 camp diary – O Captain, My Captain!

I got two points for composing a sentence in French just now on my Duolingo Ap. Its 2 in the morning and I crawled out of bed unable to sleep. All I could do was think about the column I had just sent into the Reader for Thursday’s issue. I’m quite pleased with it but its been hard to get the subject out of my head. So I got up to study french and change the subject. But damn Duolingo. It offered me two points to write a reply to the following question. I won’t tell you what either the Q or my A is but there is one huge clue in my reply. If you are curious you can copy it and put it in a French-to-English translator online.

Décris le métier de tes rêves.

J’ai rêvé d’être élu président des États-Unis pour que je puisse prendre ma retraite Donald Trump.

The column will likely be my last until after the primary election unless, of course, I catch lightning in a bottle. Part of Day 1 and 2 of the campaign has been spent trying to figure out the mechanics of accepting donations. I have an unorthodox idea but it needs some tweaking.

But most of campaign day 2 was spent contemplating my hero Abe Lincoln and writing about him in my final Reader column until after my campaign comes to an end. Lincoln was the soul of my Reader piece and that spirit extended to my duties as a Grandfather in the afternoon. My older Grandson had finished a 2-month long poetry unit and families were invited to hear his classmates at a poetry slam. For the occasion we were asked to bring poetry that we liked. Claudia used to read poetry in competition and picked out a famous Burke Poem about the eyes of a tiger burning bright. I printed out Oh Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman written in memoriam to the fallen President. Owing to my intense concentration on my column I found the Whitman poem far more compelling than I had expected. I teared up thinking about how broken up the poet, who had nursed broken soldiers back to health, was on learning of Abe’s assassination. I’m getting waaaay too sentimental in my dotage.

I’ll confess that as I wrote my column I had the huffy phrase “…blue-collar, common-sense conservative…” echoing in my head. It was part of the reply given by Pete Stauber’s spokesman when the News Tribune asked her about my criticisms of her candidate:

“Pete has been campaigning across the district for a year and we are seeing our blue-collar, common-sense conservative message resonating with voters in the 8th — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike,” said Stauber campaign spokesperson Caroline Tarwid.

My column doesn’t mention anything about our campaign but I hope it radiates the essence of what it means to be an American as our founders projected their dreams for the future in the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln lifted up that spirit high in his Gettysburg Address and turbo charged it for our nation’s better angles who, sad to say, seem to be in hiding these days.

Whatever else it accomplishes not writing my Reader columns every other week will free up a day to campaign or to blog or to study French. Que sera, sera.

What would Joseph McCarthy have said about this Republican sign?

Everyone knows that Donald Trump worshiped Tail Gunner Joe’s legal beagle Roy Cohn and hires mostly similarly named attorneys with the same rabid attack-dog legal skills. I can’t help but wonder what Roy and Joe would have thought of the sign I teased the Republicans about while in St. Paul as I was filing for congress. I just discovered where it came from: The Duluth Convention:

and that Jeff Johnson just below it…..the GOP Governor candidate I stood behind when he was filing at the Secretary of State’s offices.

Maybe its time to bring back the old anti-communist slogan “Better dead than red.”

Dreaming in French

For the last couple weeks I’ve been trying to write in French. Its not so hard with cell phone translators to clear up the grammar and vocabulary that is just beyond my reach. I even try to joke in the language. Given a question to answer in french asking what five items were in my refrigerator I wrote that it contained an “ongion,” (onion) some “lait,” (milk) a verre de lait (glass of milk) and “deux chats.” I couldn’t recall any other foodstuffs on the spot. I did however follow up by expressing regret “desole” about the chats. “Deux chats” means two cats.

Its a “tres” (very) modest accomplishment but I’m catching on bit by bit. I used to ask people who were learning English if they dreamt in English yet as I’ve heard that this is the true sign of having mastered a language. I’ve been dreaming about practicing French but not dreaming in French. I’ll take what I can get.

I should have even more time over the summer to intensify my studies. I have found a couple other cell phone apps that put me in touch with people who speak french and would be willing to reciprocate if I help them practice English.

I would not let another filing for Congress slow down my French lessons. Nothing but some disaster will keep me from my appointment with France this September. Filing for office is not the same as campaigning for it. I am not interested in campaigning. I am however against giving President Trump more allies in Congress. I would challenge Pete Stauber over his unqualified support for the closest thing to a wannabe dictator that our nation has ever sent to the Oval Office. Hearing Stauber tout Trumps successes turns my stomach. It only makes it worse that Pete is a good guy.

I was thrilled a few years ago when Pete took the place of a DFL hack on the County Board. Even before that I recall having Pete pull up in a squad car to shoot the breeze with me as I campaigned in the Lakeside neighborhood. That Donald Trump’s elbow rubbing with Pete might get him elected appalls me. Pete deserves me in the ring with him calling him to account for his guilt by association.

But I will likely ignore yesterday’s cutesy video threat about running because I don’t need the distraction even to help save our democracy from the likes of Trump. I only put it together while playing with a new feature that Microsoft sent me.

I also got a second video sent to me which I will share in a moment. Its from a year ago when I tried out for a part in a video meant to entice Hollywood money for a movie screenplay about Duluth’s infamous 1920 lynching. After the shooting was over I got caught up in Duluth School Board politics and almost forgot about it. Then on Friday at the Damiano Center while dishing out potatoes and gravy a fellow server mentioned that she had seen me in the video. Its author/producer, Dale Botten, was an old high school chum. One thing led to another and Dale sent it to me via email. I was not among those whose work ended up on the cutting room floor. I play the character “Mike.”

My acting career will no doubt go the same direction as my old dream of strolling the Longworth Building’s hallways as the Eighth District’s congressman.

That’s OK. I still have more Not Eudora columns to crank out……including one this afternoon.

Not writer’s block but writer’s glut

No doubt someone in your life told you that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. I’ve never taken that as an order not to speak either how I feel, or what I think, or the truth as best I know it.

That said, I am not particularly interested in filling up space when I have nothing much to say or just to keep readers peaking at the blog to see what’s on my mind. As I believe I’ve written before, I often have much on my mind when I don’t blog. That has been an ongoing experience for me since Donald Trump began running for President. My head is getting very heavy.

I often keep my cell phone by my bedside in case some idea for a post or a column pops in my head at night. If I jot it down quickly I might be able to fall back asleep……or not. This morning at 3:30 I jotted at least three promising kernals of something down. Then after an hour of not being able to stop thinking about them I got up and began practicing my French. I love Duolingo. Its all algorithm and does not suffer from sentiment. It is very patient with me and never tires of my mistakes.

The more I defer posting the more ideas fill up my cell phone’s notebook. There is one story I read from Wired yesterday that is worth sharing. Its about Trump’s nemesis Robert Mueller. I’m tempted to title my next Not Eudora Column “My Vietnam.” the story is about Meuller’s Vietnam experience. As the Wired story points out it quite different than Donald Trump’s Vietnam.

The article reiterates something I’ve heard that Trump said about himself, probably during one of his smarmy visits to Howard Stern’s radio booth. Its characteristic of the man we have saddled ourselves with:

“Donald Trump famously drew five draft deferments, including one for bone spurs in his feet. He would later joke, repeatedly, that his success at avoiding sexually transmitted diseases while dating numerous women in the 1980s was ‘my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.'”

You can read about a really brave soldier if you peruse the Wired Story. Some of it reminds me of my Grandfather.

White House correspondents, our new civility police

If you type “civility” into lincolndemocrat’s search function you will discover that I find it a desirable virtue that is too often used as a means of discouraging honest discourse…..like my constant fault finding with Duluth’s ruinous Red Plan. The editors of the Duluth News Tribune have never forgiven me for doing their job.

Over the weekend the Washington press corps has been doing it’s own nose pinching over Michelle Wolf’s wickedly honest, truth telling about our President.

Guess what? Michelle’s old colleagues have nothing nice to say about the press’s craven tsk, tsk, tisking.

Enjoy:

Michelle Wolf’s Old Late-Night Bosses Come to Her Defense https://nyti.ms/2HDsDBH

It was the best of Times

The beginning of one of the few dozen novels I’ve read begins:

“It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” That’s how I feel now. My blog’s recent quiescence reflects my intense involvement with, reading the news, studying history, learning French, thinking about it all, all the while making sure not to neglect my family. If I was less preoccupied I’d be blogging like mad. I don’t even feel sorry for depriving my eight loyal readers. I’m sure they have enjoyed the vacation. Even when I lie in bed knitting together the many strands of my thinking I don’t feel too badly about my zipped fingers.

The past couple of days I’ve I’ve progressed in my French studies teasing out the elusive eliasons of the spoken language and developing enough vocabulary and grammar to imagine myself muddling along splendidly when I get to France five months from now. I better start making reservations.

Just now I was thinking of Dicken’s first words in A Tale of Two Cities and I came up with a useful corollary.

It was the best of times but don’t forget about the distressed and it was the worst of times but don’t be jealous of those who are doing better.

Putting aside Trump’s empty blue collar rhetoric I loath him because he only cares about himself. Despite his riches he can’t hide his envy of even richer plutocrats. Running for President was just another scheme to get richer which was spoiled by actually getting elected and facing the legal roadblocks to his corruptly getting richer in the swamp he poured more alligators into. Poor baby. He may even end up losing his billionaire status.

I have been accumulating blog material that I may never get around to pontificating about. I’ll just paste in a dozen stories from the New York Times, Guardian and Washington Post from the past few days that beg for our attention:

In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America

Sworn to secrecy, Trump’s history of using nondisclosure agreements

How the Party of Lincoln Became the Party of Racial Backlash

Why I left Fox News

A Riposte to European Superiority

And finally a story about the death of Linda Brown, nine years older than me, whose father helped integrate the Topeka Schools I would soon begin attending a short time later.

Today or tomorrow I mean to write my next “Not Eudora” column. So much to choose from but I’m leaning on talking about the old Western “Magnificent Seven” which I saw with my Grandsons……… It reminded me of this Statler Brother’s Song, lyrics below:

Lyrics here”

Everybody knows when you go to the show
You can’t take the kids along
You’ve gotta read the paper and know the code
Of G, PG and are and X
You gotta know what the movie’s about
Before you even go
Tex Ritter’s gone and Disney’s dead
The screen is filled with sex.

Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
Ridin’ the range alone
Whatever happened to Gene and Tex
And Roy and Rex, the Durango Kid
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
His horse, plain as can be
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
Has happened to the best of me.

Everbody’s tryin’ to make a comment
About our doubts and fears
True Grit’s the only movie
I’ve really understood in years
You gotta take your analyst along
To see if it’s fit to see
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott
Has happened to the best of me. Continue reading

A Rose by any other name

For a couple of days I’ve gotten two comedian’s confused. But first let me interject a completely unnecessary digression about female comedians (since I’ve been studying French for the past several months) The two entertainers I’ve confused are both women. In french, and also English, they could be called “comédiennes.” My wife would object to this female designation and she got me to drop “mailman” for “letter carriers” years ago. French, however is riddled with gender. Nouns are all either male or female and I have yet to discern a memorable pattern that would allow me to know whether a cow or a horse is one or the other. I’m not alone.

In The Greater Journey David McCullough relates the story of a rich American expat during the German seige of Paris. He was doubly beseiged when a mob of radical Parisians stormed his house and demanded that he give them his horse and cow so that they could postpone eating rats a little longer. When the old gentleman came out to confront them all he had at his command was the impoverished French he had avoided learning for his decade or more, of residence in the City of Light. He told them he would let them have his cow “le vache” but not his horse “le cheval.” He did so with great dignity and this made his use of “le” before the “vache” so comical to them that they broke out in good-hearted laughter. That was because his “le” indicated a cow was a male and everyone knew cow was a female word.
The mob let him keep his horse.

“Rose” is also a “female” word in French. A speaker is required to precede it with a “la” rather than a “le.” It is French for the adjective pink. As in English it is also a girl’s name and my confusion had to do with two comedians – Roseanne Barr and Rosie O’Donnell.

In recent days I’ve heard Donald Trump praise Roseanne Barr for bring back her old television series “Roseanne” from the dead. She also brought her TV hubby, actor John Goodman, from the dead. His character suffered an apparently fatal heart attack so that he could go on to a more exalted career in Disney voiceovers. I was confused because I’d thought that Roseanne had been having a very public feud with Trump some years earlier and that Trump had even berated her during one of his debates with Hillary Clinton.

Nope. That was Rosie O’Donnell. Trump had been calling her ugly since she joined “The View” a collection of women who talked about politics on Network television. O’Donnell like Barr both had strong opinions and raise hackles. In the end O’Donnell’s outspokenness got her pushed off The View. But I had another memory to recover about one of the Roses, Roseanne Barr it turned out, that I wanted to review. By chance it was about “recovered memory.”

The Rose that supports Donald Trump once hopped on the then faddish “recovered memory” movement. During the fad a great many women began recalling what they argued were long suppressed memories of their having been sexually abused as children. I have no doubt that suppression like this happens. My two years teaching at Proctor were so humiliating for me that I tried not to think about them for years afterward. Even now they are particularly hazy for me much to my regret. But in my case I never forgot them completely.

When Roseanne Barr told her audience that her father had sexually abused her she got a lot of pushback from her family saying it just wasn’t so. In time Roseanne Barr walked back the allegations. The following comes from Barr’s Wikipedia Page:

On February 14, 2011, Barr and Geraldine appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where Barr admitted that the word “incest” could have been the wrong word to use and should have waited until her therapy was over before revealing the “darkest time” in her life.[105] She told Oprah Winfrey, “I was in a very unhappy relationship and I was prescribed numerous psychiatric drugs… to deal with the fact that I had some mental illness… I totally lost touch with reality… (and) I didn’t know what the truth was… I just wanted to drop a bomb on my family”.[105] She added that not everything was “made up”, saying, “Nobody accuses their parents of abusing them without justification”.[105] Geraldine said they did not speak for 12 years, but had recently reconciled.[105]

Barr, like so many other celebrities is a creature of the modern age in need of attention to maintain her career. Much as claiming to have been sexually abused her current “blue collar” support of Donald Trump is a smart move to revive her career. Take that Hollywood! Having given this some though I’m reminded of the adage, “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I’d add that the question of fragrance might depend on the definition of “sweet.” Which reminds me of a french term I learned yesterday. I read it in the travel book, Five Nights in Paris, that I began reading to Claudia. “l’odeur.”

As for Trump’s nemisis Rosie O, She got in dutch with the networks for saying the same thing that Donald Trump would say twenty years later and that would help get him elected President. I’ve clipped a couple paragraphs from O’Donnell’s Wikipedia page if you like irony as much as I do.

Continue reading