I have more than accomplished what I set out to do when I filed for Congress seven weeks ago… Continue reading
My computer just died so I am composing this on my cell phone. I hate doing this.
I attended a fascinating debate in Hibbing last night at which all the congressional candidates sans one appeared. Trump’s toadie.
From what people told me afterward I made an impression…a good one.
Two people caught my attention. One was a former union man who spent 3 years taking his corrupt union to court in a court system weighted heavily Democrat and pro union. We both patted each other on the back for our valiant if fruitless battles.
The other was a Hibbing teacher who had taken my father’s contract law class and who told me my Dad was beloved in the business school. If it wasn’t for my dead computer I would write more. HOWEVER. Check out my next post. It’s about Abood…….
Minnesota’s Republicans are gathering this weekend in our fair city by Lake Superior. Welcome to you all and thank you for contributing to our tourist sales taxes.
I remember the 1994 State Republican Convention I attended as a delegate to support our Governor, Arne Carlson, for re-nomination. I remember seeing Tim Pawlenty at the Convention supporting his former Republican leader in the House of Representatives fight off a challenge from a Anti-abortion zealot Allen Quist. Quist won the endorsement over the seated Governor Carlson who then won in the primary because lots of Democrats were scared wittless about Quist voted in the Republican primary, not to screw up the Republicans, but to insure that Carlson would be on the ballot for the General election. They gladly helped reelect our sensible, fiscally conservative, but moderate Republican candidate. 1994 was my best year as a Republican narrowly edging out the Republican’s “Minnesota Massacre” election of 1978.
This weekend it is Tim Pawlenty who is giving the Party the cold shoulder. Like Donald Trump who called for Korean Talks and then pulled out of them, Pawlenty is sending the world a message……one that harks back to the 1994 State Republican Convention.
By the way, I recently reread one of my columns on abortion from the Duluth Reader published back in 2004. Where have all the Fetuses Gone? Its still a pretty concise explanation of my thinking.
As for my relations with the folks who took my old party away from me. I’m still smarting from the time they told me that I was a worse mass murderer than Mao tse-tung, Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler put together.
Yesterday I completed my 67th orbit of the Sun. We took our grandsons to hunt down a suitable Christmas tree outside of town along the Homestead Road. We found one that was unable to elude our hand saw. Its a very pretty and prickly blue spruce. Ornaments will have to be put on with gloves.
Other than the last post from six days ago I’ve ignored the blog even while watching hallucinogenic headlines flash by my face every time I look at New York Times in my cell phone. I’ve spent my time decorating for Christmas and putting jigsaw puzzles together. Why should I post about the lotus eaters in Alabama who are telling Judge Moore that they “do believe in fairies,” they “do believe in fairies”? Which reminds me of a more uplifting fable told to me at church two Sunday’s ago as though it was true.
You can read it here. It turns out not to be true. Its about the famed pianist Paderewski sitting at the side of a small child in the concert hall to support him as a haughty crowd harasses the child. The virtuoso gives the audience a well deserved reproof. If there is anything I can take from the story’s fiction it is this: Even if the story is not true – it should be.
Then there is the story of 2016 which has bled into 2017 and is about to leak over into 2018. It is all too true and of course that means “fake.”
I just heard NPR interviewing a woman who began talking about the dismemberment of babies as she was challenged on the candidacy of Judge Roy Moore.
Penny Young Nance is the President of Concern Women for America. I was busy writing this so I missed most of her interview during which she challenged the interviewer as much as he challenged her. If I have to choose my truth I’ll stick with Paderewski playing chopsticks in preference to abortion TRUMPING sexual predation. For my news I’ll stick with the New York Tabloids:
Mother nature woke me at 4AM. The “Deep State” prevented me from going back into a deep sleep. Before I launch into my thoughts about national paranoia I’ll start with local paranoia.
I often mentioned the slogan I jokingly suggest should be our school board’s operating principle: “Just because you’re paranoid DOESN’T mean that someone isn’t out to get you!”
Just this morning I sent out an email containing this sentiment:
“The only antidote I know for this paranoia is sunshine. Put things out in the open where you can see them and you can shrug them off. If you can’t see them they become like that poisonous creature hiding in a tree stump in the Star trek movie about the castoffs marooned on a dying plant. They had to put their hands in the stump and risk a painful death.”
The “Deep State” strikes me as an invention of the real “Deep State.” The so called Deep State is not the bureaucrats and press foisting socialized medicine on a hardy, uncorrupted people. It’s the folks who don’t want to pay for socialized medicine or other civic obligations like pollution control.
The chief obstacle to getting this accomplished is our Constitution which guarantees a free press the much hated irritant of the power hungry except when they themselves use it. In Russia or China the author of “Dark Money”, Jane Mayer, would have been shot or disappeared by now. In America her biggest worry would be disinterest not death.
Before the School Board campaign and researching China got in the way I managed to get about half way through the book. It details the remnants of the John Birch Society which have rekindled into a much more potent semi-secret cabal led by the deep pockets of two of the Koch brothers. Their tentacles are everywhere – Congress, the Federal Courts, all state legislatures through ALEC, reapportionment, voter suppression, freedom to work laws, campaign finance, undermining of Federal regulation, the Trump Administration, the Tea Party and Fox News. You can’t fault Charles Koch for not putting his money where his heart is – corporate supremacy through regulatory inaction. You might argue that most of the billions he’s spent on this re engineering the American polity came from putting the public at risk by skimping on public spiritedness.
My take on the Republicans hysterics about a liberal Deep State is to think of it as Fake mongering. It has all the resonance of the grade school taunt: “I know you are but what am I?”
Maybe the real problem is overpopulation and its unruly offspring disappointed expectations of the young but the Free Press is under assault all over the world – Russia, Turkey, China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and now the United States. Our all-too-real President lies daily about “Fake News” until its obvious truth emerges. Then his lackey’s call it a “nothing burger.”
I’ll take my nothing burger with plenty of ketchup and pickle relish, thank you.
I highly recommend a thoughtful NYT column about the Republican Party’s devolution from William F. Buckley, a man I worked very hard to understand fifty years ago when he was a conservative Sisyfus climbing America’s liberal mountain, to the “idiot” Sean Hannity. Buckley’s vocabulary was intentionally intimidating. For example, I still remember looking up the meaning of the word “avuncular” from one of his columns. That was back when I kept a pocket sized notepad chock full of fifty-cent words that were new to me.
Looking back on Buckley its hard not to appreciate a man who wrote this appraisal of our current President almost twenty years ago – the text taken from the NYT column:
“In March 2000, he trained his sights on ‘the narcissist’ and ‘demagogue’ Donald Trump. ‘When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized By its reflection,’ he wrote in a prophetic short essay in Cigar Aficionado. ‘The resistance to corrupting demagogy’ he warned, ‘should take first priority’ for Americans.”
This was intended as a “confidential” email but I am quite content to let the general public see it:
To me from Chuck Frederick, Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune:
Hey Harry. I was told you posted on your blog that you were against political parties endorsing in nonpartisan races like those for School Board. Yet you were begrudgingly planning to seek the DFL endorsement this Saturday. First, why do you feel that parties should stay out of nonpartisan races? And if you feel they should why are you pursuing the party nod this Saturday? I’d appreciate your comments. Please feel free to reply. I’d appreciate it. And don’t worry, not planning on being critical of you in an editorial if we choose to do one.
And my reply:
To: Chuck Frederick
Subject: RE: party endorsement comment
At the DFL screening I told them I wasn’t a fan of partisan endorsements for a non-partisan race. That’s true enough.
But I can’t deny the practical side. This is a traditional tool of Democrats to recruit candidates who can then have a jumping off pad for higher office. The Republicans who sniff at this in Duluth can be sure that Republicans do the same thing in Republican areas. Look at the damned races for judges.
I said I begrudgingly did something but that was at our special school board meeting. That was about spending money on fixing up Rockridge or spending general fund money on bonds. About the DFL I am being pragmatic.
I have a couple overlapping motives. The first I tell you in confidence. I don’t want a couple of my DFL board adversaries to get the 60 percent votes for endorsement that will assure them tons of Party help in the late fall. 2nd, I would like an easy election for a change. I have never had any good endorsements other than the Trib’s in 1999 and 2013.
Finally, I have had it up to here with no nothings. I have never reviled democrats. I like the idea of wrapping a perfectly respectable party around myself at this time of foolish, ignorant, hyper-partisanship. I detest Trump and blame the GOP for his destructive success. I want the Democrats to bring the blue collar voters back for a healthier nation.
And there is something else I would rather do this summer than knock on doors. I want to begin writing a book about my Grandfather. He was a rock-ribbed, Kansas Republican who wasn’t paranoid about Democrats. An easy campaign will give me freedom to pursue this.
For the record I don’t think publishing this before Saturday will make it any easier for me to win the nomination but I don’t care. If I have to campaign like hell I’ll do it. We have some extremely myopic school board members and we need some fresh blood. I don’t think mine is past the sell by date.
I’ve mentioned to others that Hillary Clinton’s “deporables” comment was a catastrophic mistake.
The great irony of the Trump election is that blue collar workers who once voted in a mighty Democratic bloc now vote for the Republicans who are trying to tamp down Social Security, National Health Insurance and a dozen other protections that make the Koch Brothers think America is becoming socialist.
I was a Republican and a socialism supporter for years when my Mr. Russ, my high school social studies teacher told me in 1968 that America has a mixed economy – a little socialism and little free enterprise.
Back to the “deplorables.”
Here’s an important NY Times think piece that explains what Democrats must do, and do fast, before the Republicans use their former voters to cement in the Koch ideal.
And here in Duluth I’ve seen plenty of condescension from Red Plan supporters who ignored the uneven financial burden it placed on poorer voters who shouldered an unfair share of our shiny new schools. Many local elitists can’t wait to get rid of Art Johnston who keeps reminding them of the bone-headed financial planning that went into the plan which has hollowed out the teachers we need to teach our children.
Many of them stood on the sidelines cheering as he was called a racist, a bully, with a conflict of interest. All lies by my reckoning and made by folks some of whom were everything that they accused Art of being.
I don’t particularly want to conflate national politics with local politics but if the shoe fits…………..
I gave up trying to fall back asleep at 3 and padded downstairs to read the third chapter of Dark Money. The first two chapters gave me the background of the 800 pound gorillas of the big money movement to turn us back to the Middle Ages. They covered the Kochs and Richard Mellon Scaife. The third covered both the Olin Foundation and Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation. This book is reminding me of forty years worth of sporadic reports and tying them into a comprehensible bow. I certainly believed there was something behind Hillary Clinton’s “vast right wing conspiracy” and this book lifts the veil. The “conspiracy” is all perfectly legal or at least legalish and court rulings like Citizens’s United have vastly if I dare use that adverb, enhanced the power of the big spenders.
I dimly recalled a news story about about some rich guy, (it was Richard Mellon Scaife) putting up a sign in his neighborhood announcing the loss of his dog and wife and offering a reward for the dog. But now I know more about this bonvivant. His rich and conservative Grandfather, Andrew Mellon, was the Secretary of the Treasury for all three Republican Presidents of the 1920’s. He also was a prolific tax cheat and his grandson took up his motto, “Give tax breaks to large corporations, so that money can trickle down to the general public, in the form of extra jobs.”
This philosophy makes for an interesting contrast to last night’s fundraiser for Life House which takes care of discarded young people. Scaife and his silky ilk generally decry coddling the weak putting a much higher premium on protecting the assets of America’s aristocrats. The hundred’s of million Scaife donated to “charity” largely went to maintain his and other rich folks wealth not to the needy.
Claudia and I sat down with some of the people she has been working with at the CHUM homeless Center. Spending the last few months checking people in has been eye opening for her. Seeing someone released from a hospital near death’s door looking for a place to sleep on the floor has a way of impressing itself on the imagination. A young couple sitting next to us volunteer at Life House as I did three years ago. We were a jolly crowd. Our speaker Famous Dave of Rib fame gave a rousing talk and I learned he was half Choctaw, a much larger percentage of that tribe’s heritage than my grandson has but enough for me to some kinship with the Rib Master.
I suspect the billionaires club would consider the Rib magnate an exception to their rule. Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation financed the infamous 1994 book the “Bell Curve” which posited that blacks were intellectually inferior to white folk. Indians probably didn’t fare much better in the analysis.
There is no end to the unpleasantness emanating from Milwaukee. Its not just my old nemesis Johnson Controls, its Governor Tommy Thompson’s call to make poor people work for their welfare while Republicans happily outsourced decent factory jobs overseas. (Bill “Triangulation” Clinton latched onto both of these planks for his Presidency.) Its also the Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker, union buster extraordinaire and Koch Brother favorite. Its also a dreamscape for Secretary of Education Besty DeVos’s world of public education vouchers. I wonder where Billionaires fit on the Bell curve?
Famous Dave, who is a generous contributor to the needy, showed us pictures of his vast and messy library. He told us he reads for hours every day and gives his faithful reading credit for the half-billion-a-year enterprise he built off of a $10,000 business loan. That’s quite a contrast with our current President who can barely squeak through a teleprompter but then again, Trump inherited his start in life. I’m afraid Trump gives billionaires a bad name but the Koch’s are stoked. It was reported today that they are following up their $800 million investment in the 2016 election with a $300 million push to pass Trump’s tax decreases on the wealthy and ending the estate tax before Trump’s impeachment after which the GOP might be hard pressed to help the filthy rich.
From Chapter 14 of Destiny of the Republic: A tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President:
“Not only did many American doctors not believe in germs, they took pride in the particular brand of filth that defined their profession. They spoke fondly of the “good old surgical stink” that pervaded their hospitals and operating rooms, and they resisted making too many concessions even to basic hygiene. Many surgeons walked directly from the street to the operating room without bothering to change their clothes. Those who did shrug on a laboratory coat, however, were an even greater danger to their patients. They looped strands of silk sutures through their button holes for easy access during surgery, and they refused to change or even wash their coats. They believed that the thicker the layers of dried blood and pus, black and crumbling as they bent over their patients, the greater the tribute to their years of experience.”
Just as many politicians ridiculed Darwin in the Era of the Scopes Monkey Trial and today’s Republican party has concluded that 97% of environmental scientists are ignorant to believe that Carbon is causing Global Warming, there was a time when germs did not exist – at least not in America.
In Chapter 14 poor President Garfield’s medical care has just been commandeered by a self confident Doctor who has already stuck his unwashed finger and two long unsanitized probes into the President’s back. In the next fifty pages I will be reading more about how Dr. Bliss turns a wound that left untreated the President would have survived into a pus filled killer of the President.
Ignorance is Bliss takes on new meaning in this book. It killed Garfield in 1880 just as it threatens to kill the earth as we know it today.
There is one other possibility regarding Trump’s ultimatum to House Republicans that I ruled out a little too quickly. I thought that the Tea Partier’s testosterone wouldn’t let the ersatz Republican President, Donald Trump, steam roll them. As I washed dishes some suds cleared from my head. The tea partiers may cave. Thumbing their nose at Trump may do them more damage than going along with him…..with their voters.
Of course, crippling health care would distress a lot of voters and drive them to the Democrats in 2018. I just hope Ruth Bader Ginsburg can hang in there until 2020.
Loren has a beef with “the DFL-endorsed Board majority.” Whew! Where to begin?
I have had some beefs with the majority of the Board, some of them quite vehement. I don’t however, look at them as the DFL Board. Yeah, they got DFL endorsements. No, I don’t approve and never have of party endorsements for “non Partisan” civic elected positions. Meh! That’s what I think of DFL endorsements. A lot of the endorsements are handed out like party favors to insiders but a good candidate can win without endorsements. I’ve rarely been a “good” candidate but I’ve been a regular candidate and a hard working candidate and I’ve gotten elected three of the 8 times I filed for the school board. I would almost certainly have won re-election to a third term in 2003 had I not changed my mind and told everyone the other guy was OK and stopped campaigning. That would have been four out of eight.
I might have won in 2007 without party endorsement except that a horrid man blackened my reputation three days before the election by circulating a highly inflamatory portrait of me to every front door in the School District. That would have been five out of eight.
I don’t have anything against Democrats. In fact, that word is half of the title of this Blog. I filed for Congress when I created the blog with the initial idea of running as a Democrat in 2006. At the last minute I filed independently as a “Unity Party” candidate after the name of the blog was set. I was the Unity Party. Subsequently, I attended three or four DFL precinct caucuses including the best one I ever attended in 2008 as an enthusiastic Obama supporter. I can’t tell you how much it warmed my heart when the DFL party machine gave a tribute to the Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, at one meeting I attended. Lincoln has become an embarrassment to his own party.
My Buddy likes to criticize me for being a bigot towards all things Republican. He’s wrong, of course. I’m bigoted about the purging of Lincoln lovers from the Republican Party. As a result I’ve heaped abuse on the Republicans non stop for the last decade. Checking my search engine I have categorized 674 of my posts under the biting title “God’s Own Party.” A little math tells me that this is about 3.5% of my total postings so its not exactly obsessive. And under the category of “Good Republicans” I found 147 posts. There is a little balance there. And I’ve stopped attending DFL precinct caucuses. I’m a creature of habit – the habit of being mostly honest about what I think. I think we did pretty well with two middle of the road parties for most of my first century on Earth. Sadly that has not been true during any of my second century except for a couple years after 9/11. My blog is my personal, pathetic attempt to find common ground again. I’d like to be nice to Republicans but God Dammit! Their obsession with strangling unions and Obama and Roe v Wade and indifference to poor people stuck us with Donald Trump. Its not easy to forgive all of that.
I don’t blame the DFL for mucking up the Duluth Schools like Loren does. True, they gave the vast majority of boneheads who have brutally ruled the School Board over the past decade their endorsement……… hmmmmm.
I guess I’d suggest that Duluth’s DFL inner circle owes it to the voters, our children and itself to be a little more thoughtful in the future……..just as the DFL would certainly wish Republicans everywhere do the same.
By the By – I’ve heard from one person who chills with young DFLers that they think I’m a jerk. He asked them if they’d ever met me. They admitted they hadn’t. I’ve got a reelection campaign coming up this summer and fall. I hope I get to have a beer with one or two of them so that they can size me up and dispel some of that negativity I seem to be saddled with. In the privacy of the voting booth they don’t have to limit their votes to DFL endorsees.
Oh and this just popped up on Facebook from my sister in Ecuador. It seems appropriate to share it.
My daughter Facebooked me to tell me that she (young as she is) knows what the Manchurian Candidate is. For those who haven’t heard of it it was a movie based on a book. The plot was about how communists North Koreans had brainwashed an American POW to assasinate an American politician. Its appearance in theaters ironically and infamously coincided with the assassination of JFK.
I haven’t seen the recent remake. Sinatra’s version was good enough for me.
Coincidentally, PBS aired a two-hour American Experience tonight on the fighting at Korea’s Chosin Reservoir and the perilous, frozen escape of American soldiers surrounded by tens of thousands of Chinese troops. Some of the first American POWs came from that fighting.
My Uncle, Frank, was in a MASH unit during the war. I know virtually nothing about his actions but I know he helped a Korean from his camp immigrate to the US after the war. I wrote about Frank once for the Reader in an anecdote about Grandfather. Its one of my favorite family stories.
Frank must be about 88 now. I had originally intended to travel on to Colorado after visiting Topeka, Kansas, next week and ask him about my Dad’s side of the family in much the same way that I’m researching my Mother’s side now. I decided against it because he lives at 8,000 feet and winter is coming. I’ll come back for the next school board meeting instead. Maybe I’ll try Colorado next spring.
After watching the program I ordered the third book in a trilogy. I collected the first two of the books better than a decade ago but never read them. Maybe its about time I do. Its about the “Forgotten War.”
After my post on the Manchurian Candidate I got an email from my Buddy and we proceeded to have a testy exchange. My characterization of FBI Director James Comey as worse than a “communist dupe” struck my Buddy as “unhinged.” Nevermind that Presidential candidate Trump – the butt of my exageration, has said far worse about a great many other people on television over and over for the last year. Nevermind that he leads his audiences in inflamatory chants of “lock her up. lock her up.” No, its me that’s unhinged.
I could have confessed to being a tad excessive to my Buddy but I didn’t feel like it. He had just sent me a story about how the lastest polls show Trump up over Clinton by a point and I’d just been stewing about Comey and the part he may have played in this last rough week for my preferred candidate Clinton. I thought he was trying to goad me so I let myself be goaded. It never pays off.
As a bit of a concession I sent him a commentary that was anything but unhinged in finding fault with Comey. My Buddy made no reference to it when he sent me another snappish email.
What is indisputable is that Vladimir Putin would love to see American politics lose its lustre for the rest of the world even if it means that an unpredictable narcisist takes the reigns of power perhaps as disasterously as when Trump plunged his Atlantic City Casinos into bankruptcy. Putin would have the office once presided over by Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, the Roosevelts and Ronald Reagan handed to a man who flushed Reagan’s “eleventh commandment” down the commode. In other words, Putin wants a lying, uninformed, lucky, idiot billionaire to be America’s next president. My Buddy reminds me incessantly that standard issue Presidents, like he’s sure Hillary will be, got us into the Vietnam War. How could Trump be any worse? he asks. I only write back to him out of sheer cussedness.
Hemingway said that courage is “grace under pressure.” Perhaps mine failed me. Ironically, Comey’s dubious last-minute, non revelation has been defended by none other than President Obama. I doubt that my Buddy will give him credit for being more rational than me even though Obama is busting a gut to get Hillary Clinton elected. My Buddy twitted me a few years back about how Obama was treated as the “Messiah” by his early adoring fans and how he let them down by not providing them utopia. I keep reminding by Buddy that from a minute Obama was elected Republicans made it clear their only real priority was to make sure he was a one-term president. They didn’t dare let America be run well for the next four years if they hoped to depose him. The result eight years later a is Donald Trump now the titular head of the Party of Lincoln. And who can forget his constant threats and taunts to his fellow Republicans. That’s what six years of Republican gridlock got America. If Trump is not a Manchurian candidate I don’t know what the hell he is.
By the way, an hour ago I had to run to Wallgreens and get a fresh 9 cell to stop a fire alarm from shreeking at me every twenty seconds. My Manchurian Candidate sign was still standing. I give it fifty/fifty odds of making it through the night.
The email that preceded the email in the last post and my reply to it:
My impression certainly could have been wrong. What I remember with more confidence was that you would not be voting for Hillary. Of course that could mean a write-in or a vote for a third party candidate or not casting a vote at all. But my recollection was that the way you put it meant that if Hillary was the Democrat’s candidate she wouldn’t get your vote and I may have presumed you would cast it for Trump if that was the candidate.
What can I say. Sometimes I’m presumptuous.
Whether you liked what Kennedy et al did re: Vietnam at least they didn’t have contempt for the system. Sure they gamed the system. That’s almost inevitable in politics. Trump is both contemptuous of the system and is gaming it spectacularly.
Today I heard him telling some audience that Hill doesn’t just want gun control she wants to remove the Second Amendment. That’s coming from someone who stands in the past are the spitting image of Hill’s gun control stands.
I don’t mind politicians changing their minds. I don’t like them speaking with forked tongues.
Earth will continue to orbit the sun if he wins. It didn’t stop doing so when that meteor impact killed the dinosaurs. But as a believer in the old notion that the US is a beacon lighting the path for other nations I’m not looking forward to having a man I regard as an arrogant, lying, horse’s-ass sitting in the White House.
If that’s what today’s voters consider speaking “truth-to-power” then shame on both the Republican and Democratic parties for setting such a low bar.
The email I was responding to:
From: [My Buddy]
Sent: Sun, 22 May 2016 17:04:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Andrew Sullivan thinks Donald Trump may defeat Hillary Clinton.
I don’t remember telling anyone that I plan to vote for Trump. I have told several persons that I might vote for Trump.
What the hell, Harry. We were in Vietnam with Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Would Trump be worse?
I agree with Sullivan, that Trump could win.
More Un-Vetted Refugees Coming to Minnesota?
After ISIS terrorists killed 130 people and injured 352 more in Paris in coordinated attacks just this month, serious questions are being asked about Syrian refugees now being welcomed to the United States. One of the organizers of the Paris attacks entered the European Union under refugee status and another had fought with ISIS in Syria according to The London Telegraph.
President Obama has committed to resettle 10,000 more Syrian refugees in the United States, despite serious concerns about the vetting process of those being relocated.
FBI Director James Comey has said that it’s “impossible to vet every single Syrian Refugee.”
While 27 state governors have so-far voiced objection to resettling un-vetted (or poorly vetted) Syrian refugees in their home states, Governor Mark Dayton calls that “grandstanding” and appears prepared to welcome them to Minnesota with open arms. US Senators from Minnesota, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar agree.
At a recent NAACP event, Governor Dayton said to those attending who questioned bringing more Syrian Refugees to Minnesota at this time, “If you are that intolerant, that much of a racist and a bigot, then find another state, [you] really should go somewhere else.”
And Senator Franken said that we must “do part of our job like the rest of the international community to take in refugees.
Senator Klobuchar said, “I will say these are legally vetted, screened refugees that would come in. And they can actually fill some of the jobs that we have available in states like mine, where we have lower unemployment rates.”
Help us continue to keep you informed and provide easy tools to weigh in on important issues my making a contribution, today.
I can’t head into the Christmas season without thinking about the challenges to peace on Earth. I have avoided pleas to blog about the Duluth Schools in hopes of the dawning of a new Era but my mind is always roving over the news events of the day beyond Duluth’s borders. Sometimes, as with this unwelcome email request for me to donate to a Republican cause it comes right into my computer inbox.
My Buddy recently “twitted” me about politicians (which would also include elected school board members) being “crapweasels.” The comment was pulled from one of the legion of “conservative” pundits, Michelle Malkin, who said 99% of all politicians are “crapweasels.” I replied by asking if a pundit like Michelle, who bent over backward not to offend her readers by avoiding the whole truth, couldn’t be considered a crapweasel too. My Buddy agreed that a pundit, even one coining such an expressive pejorative, could be a crapweasel. I thanked my Buddy for his agreement and said we crapweasels wore Michelle’s designation with pride. (not unlike lawyers who like to tell lawyer jokes) Didja hear the one about why Lawyers never sue sharks? Professional courtesy.
I certainly think the Republicans grubbing for money to protect us from Syrian refugee/jihadists have earned Michelle’s appelation. Why, it was only a few weeks ago that Republican congressman were waving the picture of a drowned child, Aylan Kurdi, in front of television cameras to condemn President Obama. Now they want to turn their backs on the Syrians during the Christmas Season.
I googled for some of the pictures of the crapweasels who recently waved pictures of the drowned Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, in front of television cameras. I found this short note from the Albany Times Union showing how pols of both parties spoke out of both sides of their crapweasely mouths regarding Syrian refugees.
Here’s a Democratic politician being a crapweasel. I could have posted a picture of a Republican waving little Aylan Kurdi’s picture around but my Buddy might have accused me of being bigoted toward my old political party.
I am a cat. If there is a closed door I keep hanging around it waiting for someone to open it. There are so many closed doors.
This post is a flight of fancy before the one I must write today which is coming up next. But, before I could steel myself to write the next one I tarried to listen to NPR’s morning edition. There are three news segments I will mention but I’ll save the one that has pushed me to the blog today for last. First up…..
I listened to Obama’s continuing interview with Steve Inskeep. He gave a subdued argument for the nuclear arms agreement that’s been fashioned with Iran. I’m in the minority that supports it. I tend to discount every criticism of it emanating from Republicans because from the beginning of his Presidency they have howled like wolves that he is the Antichrist. What he’s aiming at is what is so needed; some rapprochement between Sunni (Arab) and Shia (Persian) Islam.
I’ve mentioned a fantastic book that I’m 97% finished reading to Claudia, My Promised Land. (Kindle keeps track of where you are in a book by percents not pages). I selected it to read to Claudia in anticipation of our pilgrimage to Israel while taking a course on peace keeping.
The last chapter is a disappointment. Its far too much like some of my long winded rants in Lincolndemocrat. I did check to see what its’ author, who frets about a nuclear Iran, thought about Obama’s negotiations with Iran. Apparently he’s deeply skeptical of anyone’s being able to wrestle good sense out of the Ayatollahs. I disagree. I think a new generation of young people will change Iran for the better.
The next piece that heartened me was this remarkable story about North (yes I said North) Korean entrepreneurs. The millenial generation may change that Kafkaesque land. An old public service ad formed the basis for my continuing hopefullness:
When I was in grade school I saw this Voice of America Ad over and over on television. I had faith at a tender age that this ads’ contention that leaking western music and news behind the Iron Curtain would lead to the end of the Cold War. And that is almost exactly what happened. I believe that the same thing is now happening in North Korea. BTW I still love this song.
I suppose that this ad helps explain my confidence in free enterprise over the Cold War era closed economies. My Dad was always convinced that communism would fall of its own accord. I think more broadly that given the siren song of freedom most autocracies will fall as new generations tired of the same old – same old strike out to escape the mental fence imposed on them. I’ve always been sorry that the Berlin Wall fell just after my Dad died because his faith predicted it.
And that leads me to the final story about the book written by Elizabeth Alexander in memory of her husband a refugee from Ethopia’s Eritrea. Her husband of 16 years survived the war that my high school roommate Bedru Beshir most likely did not live to see. It was actually part of a succession of wars the first described in the book Surrender or Starve. It led eventually to the liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopia and then to a never ending war between the two nations which still sputters on.
The thing about the story that caught my ear was Alexander’s description of her husband who had endured years of hell. He was light hearted, cheerful and optimistic. We were told before Bedru arrived at our home in 1968 that Ethiopians were taciturn severe and no nonsense. In some respects this was true of Bedru but I have to wonder now if that wasn’t more a result of growing up in a repressive society which would exact terrible penalties on those who would not conform to its strictures. I suspect Bedru died in prison.
When he arrived I took what I knew of Ethiopia and projected it onto him enthusing about his Emperor, Haile Selasie. Bedru reacted to my enthusiasm rather awkwardly. I’d learned that the Emperor was regarded as a hero by the West for his brave, futile defense of Ethiopia in the 1930’s when Hitler’s ally Mussolini invaded it. Little did I know that Selassie’s regime got hold of Italy’s old province Eritrea after World War II and ruled it as gently as Mussolini had ruled them. Eritrea was largely Muslim while Ethiopia was largely Coptic Christian. Bedru was a Muslim. His treatment upon his return has always been a powerful lesson to me about how the world should not work.
When Bedru came to the US he was proud to show us pictures of Eritrea’s great city Asmara. Ms. Alexander’s husband was a resident of Asmara.
Bedru could speak five languages Trigianian, His native language with something like a 275 letter alphabet, Amharic, Arabic, English and Italian. Its a pity that so many nations waste talented people just to hang on to power.
This was just the front of the envelope.
I haven’t opened it yet but I suspect there will be no return address. Well, anonymous says we are in a fascist state. He’s just lucky the Post Office’s letter carriers didn’t turn him in to Obama’s Gestapo.
Ah, an enclosure has a quote from George Orwell:
“The further a society drifts from the Truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”
Well the anonymous letter writer certainly hates Obama. Hmmmmm!
He/she sent me three pages of “Obamascare” tax hikes that a John Kartch posted on the Internet.
…we will keep voting for Republicans who will do nothing to stop him.
That’s my shorthand take of the unsurprising poll of Americans by Newsweek that says 40 percent of us think the world will soon come to an end. And many of these people would vote against any do-gooder environmentalist to tried to stop the oceans from rising to cover the billions of us who live on the coast.
These Christians are a menace to the world. Their God is a menace to the world. Their savior is the lone horseman of the apocalypse.
I find it hard to disagree with this appraisal:
According to a Newsweek poll, 40 percent of people in the United States believe the world will end with a battle between Jesus Christ and the Antichrist. And overwhelmingly, those people also believe that natural disasters and violence are signs of the approach of the glorious battle, so much so that 22 percent of Americans believe the world will end in their lifetime. This would logically mean that concern for the world of their great-great-grandchildren makes no sense at all and should be dismissed from their minds. In fact, a recent study found that belief in the “second coming” reduces support for strong governmental action on climate change by 20 percent.
Apart from the corruption of money, whenever you have 40 percent of Americans believing something stupid, combined with the forces of gerrymandering in the House, disproportionate representation of small states in the Senate, the Senate filibuster, the winner-take-all two-party system that shuts many voices out of the media, out of debates, and off of ballots, and a communications system that mainstreams Republican beliefs, it’s almost guaranteed that the 40-percent view will control the government.
On the other hand I just did a search for the poll to link to and discovered its
over a decade old and was done just before the year 2000 when all sorts of minneniallists thought the Y2K virus or a rapture was imminent.
Still, the GOP’s leaders don’t have the ca-hones to call their rapture prone to account for their fatalism and fanaticism. Not if it would cost them votes. Perhaps that will change as young evangelical voters fall away from their blisteringly self righteous, anti-intellectual, and anti-gay churches.
Its not just that today’s GOP is willing to make America worse off in order to hurt President Obama’s reputation. Its that they are willing to see the world end rather than try to save it that drives me nuts.
There are 20 more graphs here that compare other medical costs. They are all just as bad or worse.