Category Archives: Harry Welty

41 RIP

I have never shaken the hand of a President of the United States. I did shake the hand of one Vice President. But the less said about that the better. I have, however, shaken the hand of one man who later became President – George Herbert Walker Bush.

Today the late President will get his due in stories all across the world. One reporter who covered him described him as a very nice man. Before he ran for the Presidency, in a bid that pitted him against the more telegenic Ronald Reagan, he had been described as the the best prepared person ever to run for President. Among them were his appointment to head the Republican National Committee during the Nixon Administration and ambassador to China. The latter position was during Nixon’s Trump-like struggle, to achieve something spectacular to help him escape a crisis enveloping his presidency.

George Bush got an early start on a political career by being THE youngest combat pilot of World War II. It actually began even earlier than that. His father, Prescott Bush, was a US Senator representing Connecticut. As such he was part of an all but extinct founding branch of the Republican Party – Northeasterners. In their heyday they championed Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller and a socially liberal point of view.

I trace the current crumbling of the GOP to George Bush and others who rather than stick up for their ideals put tape on their mouths as Ronald Reagan invited white southern politicians in to the Party of Lincoln after the Democratic Party’s championing of Civil Rights made them feel unwelcome in that party.

The evolution of the Party in my lifetime has led to the release of a new toxicity represented by the email I received which I put in my previous post with its casual use of the most forbidden word of my childhood, the “N” word.

George Bush was not temperamentally part of that transformation other than his deplorable Willie Horton ad. In fact, by temperament Bush was almost the antithesis of an egotistical politician. His mother taught him not to talk about himself. Christopher Buckley, the son of the conservative icon William Buckley, a speechwriter for Bush and clever novelist tells the charming story of being invited to Bush’s home while the President’s mother was present. When her son began telling some very interesting stories of his many remarkable experiences the mother interrupted him to scold that he was talking too much about himself.

Considering the occupant of today’s White House that anecdote, all by itself, suffices to show how far today’s America has driven off the rails.

But in 1980 I wanted a champion for common sense and moderate Republican values. At first I was a big supporter of George HW Bush. My first visit to the Kitchi Gammi Club was to meet with a group of Bush supporters for his Presidential campaign. That gathering place more than anything demonstrates just how out of touch my kind of Republicans of that era were.

When Reagan blew past Bush I set my sights on the Independent candidacy of the Illinois Republican Congressman John Anderson. But before Bush signed on to be Ronald Reagan’s Vice President and I wrote him off I drove to Minneapolis to get a look at Bush up close. I am no longer sure where I saw him but I think it was the U of M’s Northrup Hall. Claudia and I went over and I shook his hand.

I am about to out a former cheerleader of mine

A former fan of mine has become a bitter critic. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned his name before in the blog and I won’t do so in the next post. However, like other people I’ve interacted with and mentioned I leave a bread crumb trail that any enterprising person could use to track the person I’ve mentioned.

On a few occasions I gladly quoted Jim when he sent me salutory emails often beginning “Handsome Harry.” Over the last year of Trump, a man he apparently venerates now as much as he once honored me, Jim has been really pissed off with me. After he sent me an email calling Barack Obama a nigger I told him not to send me any more emails with that nefarious word in it. He ignored my request at least once. I had suggested that if he found my disdain for Donald Trump that objectionable he simply stop reading my blog.

He may have stopped reading it but today he couldn’t help himself but jab me with the unpleasant email I’ll place at the end of this post. He doesn’t use the “N” word but he calls the admirable candidate for governor of Georgia Stacy Abrams an Aunt Jemima. It would be a challenge to be much more offensive than that.

I find it ironic that Jim always conflates President Obama with Al Sharpton. That’s because his idol, Donald Trump, is a White Al Sharpton squared. At least Al is easy to ignore whereas Donald Trump’s objective for the past three years is to be on the front page of every newspaper in the world every day.

Here’s is seven minutes of an NPR interview of Stacey Abrams being so clear headed and rational that it puts most other politicians I’ve watched through the years to shame.

And here is my old ally as a reincarnation of the northern Minnesotans who once lynched three black men in Duluth (although the You Tube Christmas music he links to is nice……and the musicians are not responsible for the “stars and bars” someone else affixed to their country music carol):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cenz3cP3rjE

Long live the Stars and Bars! Aunt Jemima lost and even Uncle Ben couldn’t help her. Neither could the race-baiter in chief Obama, Sharpton, Jackson and Harry Welty.

And Stauber beat drug smoker and vagrant Radinovich! Doesn’t get any better than than that for lawful personal, private gun owners, pro-life Americans and anti-Sierra Club Americans like me.

WARNING: I just checked the video again and this time it began with Donald Trump asking for money.

My next two years

At choir on Sunday a friend mentioned that he’d read my letter to the editor. I told him that the really effective letter in the “Paid Political Letters” page was from Dan Russell. He agreed. At the end of our rehearsal a dear friend who had also read both letters made a bee line for me and said that the only thing my friend found objectionable about our letters was the implication that anyone who voted for Pete should not judge him guilty by his association with Donald Trump. I agreed but added that other nations had suffered when popular tyrants went unchallenged. Because I was a little taken aback I did not add that in today’s GOP no one dares stand up to the party’s first and only tyrant since its founding in 1856.

Pete Stauber is as both Dan Russell and I point out in our letters a good man. He is simply not a courageous politician at a time when the nation and his party need such people.

Here’s Mr. Russell’s letter which, because the DNT charged him to submit it, is also treated as “advertising” and thus, like mine it is not available online for readers.

I would have voted for you Pete Stauber
Dan Russell
Duluth

I would have voted for you Pete Stauber…
I appreciate your reputation as a Duluth Police Officer and I am thankful for your wife’s military service. I am also the father of a special needs child. I can feel you compassion. I would have voted for yo Pete Stauber…
But then you shared the stage…
With a man YOU would Not want as a neighbor, a son-in-law and certainly not as a patrol partner. A man who said the solution to last week’s tragedy in Pittsburgh was “they should have armed guards” At a Baby Naming Ceremony? I know you believe America is better than that.
And yet you stood next to him at the DECC and accepted an endorsement you should have refused and didn’t need.
I would have voted for you Pete Stauber…

The logo at the top of this post, which I’m still fussing with, gives some sense of how I expect to spend much of my time through the last two years of what I hope and pray will lead to the conclusion of the Donald Trump reign. I don’t want President Trump impeached even if solid grounds for such an action exist (and I suspect they do.) I wan’t to help defeat him at the polls and bury his administration’s stench. I just hope the Republicans are unable to steal America’s votes two years from now as they have been working overtime to do in this election. “Sic semper tyrannis.” (By ballot not bullet!)

From Lincoln to the Anti-Christ

Getting ready for Winter. Studying French. Contemplating a new school board race. A War in Opera. Bringing Lincoln back to the Republican Party. Science.

Its a little hard to take time to write my own book with so many fires burning inside my head. Yesterday I texted back and forth with a former fan who has been turning out to be one of Trump’s fans. Its hard not to be snarky in such texts and I’ve thought of copying and reproducing them in the blog but there is only so much time for me the blogger and my eight loyal readers. This fellow’s thoughts remind me of the new neighbor kid I met in 1963 when I moved to the all white North Mankato. He was fascinated to learn that I had gone to school with Negroes. He tried out a great new joke on me:

“Did you hear about the little Negro kid who was excited for Halloween? He was going to strip naked with a stick up his butt and go as a fudgescicle.”

It sounds like a Donald Trump joke.

And as of this writing I’m still not sure that the 2018 election joke won’t be on us “Never-Trumpers.” If it is then my work will be set for the remainder of my life. On the eve of becoming 68 that should give me 20 years to help turn America back around towards civic decency.

In looking forward I will continue to look to the past:

When I was about 15 my Mother was going back to college. She was busy earning the college Degree her father despaired of her ever finishing when she married two years into her first college experience and plunged into the baby boom years. This is a pen and ink she did of my gangling body at rest in my Grandfather’s “Lincoln Rocker.”

So, from the earliest age I was taught to revere the best President in our Nation’s history and then live to experience what I hope will come to seen as our nation’s closest brush with despotism.

We haven’t yet lived to see this become history but we will just as a once living secular saint was martyred to become a great historical argument.

I found this short extract on Lincoln’s biographers just now by the author of one of my two or three favorite books about Lincoln by Joshua Zeitz.

I’ve pulled it out of my Lincoln bookshelf along with my other favorites for this picture:

lunch….will finish later.

HOW ABOUT THAT!!!! Former Senator David Durenberger is on MPR talking about his book about Minnesota’s history of Progressive Republicanism. Here’s the link to the interview. His book is one my companion at my recent three and a half hour lunch sent me an email about. A jackass Republican leader called Durenberger a “quisling” a few years ago for putting his own values (and mine) over those of the new Jesse Helm’s inspired Republican Party that Donald Trump has taken hold of and further corrupted.

Ah, but back to my stream of thought. Here’s my Lincoln Library.

I began this post with a list of things going on in my head. I ain’t going to get there now. Evangelical Christians are championing the Anti-Christ and I’ve got twenty years to point that out.

Anyone wishing to restore the Lincoln legacy is encouraged to read a couple books about Lincoln whose quotes are legend including this favorite:

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side,” said the President, “my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

and presumably God is not a Republican!

Harry Welty’s Suicide, Censored?

NOTE: THIS POST SPECULATED THAT THE DULUTH READER MIGHT HAVE HAD ITS NOSE OUT OF JOINT OVER MY KARPING ABOUT ITS ENDORSEMENTS AND CENSORED ME. I’M RELIEVED TO SAY I WAS WRONG.

I’m kinda like an eager pet dog that bites his master just as happily as he bites guests. Republicans found that out about me long ago.

I have been waiting to link to my latest Not Eudora column in the Reader but when I checked out its latest contents online just now mine was not yet among them. I hope that its simply yet to be added and that it was not dropped because I made light of the five old white men that constituted its editorial board. (It included me)

If my contribution was dropped from the online Reader the slight was too late. My column about my exaggerated death had already been published into the far more widely read newsprint edition. I hope its only a matter of time before My Suicide hits the Reader’s online version but, just in case I’ve too greatly offended my fellow white editorialists, I am giving my “eight loyal readers” a chance to read it here in Lincolndemocrat: Continue reading

Boys will be jerks

Thirty days in France was a welcome relief from the continuing Trump news sepsis in the United States. Oh, I did peek at the news on my cell and occasionally on various French hotel televisions which carried one English speaking channel. It was always CNN. It was like peeking through my fingers at a horror show.

Toward the end of the trip and now, upon my return, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night hoping not to think about our nation’s politics. Sometimes I am able to get back to sleep. Typing out my thoughts on my blog helps. Yesterday I returned to my on-again, off-again column in the Duluth Reader. Over the day I cranked out a couple of attempts and was concerned that there was so much water flowing over Niagara that I couldn’t possibly stuff it all in a tiny, 800 word bucket. Although there is so so much more to say I was reasonably pleased with my final product. You can read it at the end of the week in the Reader. Its titled: “Frat Boy Justice.”

I begin by explaining that my first attempt to write a column was to expose my “guy” experience as a member of a fraternity from 1969 to 1973. But there were larger issues to dance around so I departed from that. However, the subject of boys behaving badly has made it to this blog before. I remembered writing about one particular episode about a friend of mine who spit on a stripper. I just discovered that I had blogged about this twice. You can read both posts to check to see whether the four year interval between tellings betrays any serious discrepancies. If you are only going to read just one I’d suggest the first post from 2013 because it preceded any thought of a Donald Trump Presidency or a Bret Kavanaugh justiceship.

If you read the shorter second retelling from 2017 (immediately after Trump’s election) you may intuit a premonition on my part of things to come.

Any fair minded person looking the Republican defenders of a likely attempted rapist for signs of moral sepsis have only to look at South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. His example is what my Mother feared could happen to me if I stuck it out in politics.

The long game of Harry Welty – Watch out Federalist Society

I know such a peculiar picture may seem an odd way of following such a heady blog headline but sometimes life is absurd.

The Congress of the United States just bent over backwards NOT to find out if an attempted rapist was about to be placed on the near sacrosanct United States Supreme Court. My owl and Nappy don’t even begin to compare.

The – at this moment – imminent bare minimum vote of approval for the aggressive dick is about to take place. So let me tell you about what I brought back from France.

To grace my office I bought a couple small items of memorabilia. First, an eyeglass holder from Dijon France whose symbol is a lucky little owl that is half worn away from centuries of people rubbing it for good luck. Second, a shot glass with the iconic image of Napoleon on it which I will use to hold toothpicks. I acquired this at his shrine and burial site at Paris’s Museum of the Armee. My wife and I are not big shoppers but we bought some fun items a few of which we share with our family (meaning mostly our two grandsons)

My acquisitions are book heavy with at least four for me. One is a deliciously smart and brief life of Napoleon. Its the third book I recall reading about the little dictator. Another is about the archaeology of digging up World War 1 battlefield sites. Two more are in French to help me with my french language studies should I decide to persevere. One of these is french translations of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons and the other is one of my grandson’s favorite Wimpy Kid books translated into French.

By the way, my attempts to use French were few and semi-futile. My greatest achievement came in the last few minutes of France when our taxi drive asked us which gate in the terminal two we would be flying out of. We had told him AY (2-A) which is how the French pronounce the letter E. I quickly corrected this to a as in at so we didn’t get taken to the wrong gate. I need another year of study to overcome the many English speaking service workers who found it much easier to use their Anglais than deciphering my mangled French. If I do continue studying I’ll probably replace the two hour daily sessions for 45 minutes a day. I have other priorities which the continuing discord in America has intensified but which my year’s study of France has helped given nuance.

I need to be more patient like the Republican Party, the Koch Brothers and the Federalist Society all of which have just gotten gotten their way. (Remember the old maxim “When the gods wish to punish us they grant us our prayers.” Undoing this by revolution will only do more damage in my estimation. That’s the moderate in me…..the moderate ridiculed and purged by the amoral ne’re-do-wells who have taken over the GOP.

I hope that my contribution to the battle will be some longer form writing than my short pithy blog posts. It remains to be seen if anything I write will be worthy of note or noticed. Wish me well but don’t turn your back on my blog just yet. It may have a few more surprises left in it. I fudged for the past month by reposting my Facebook entries but I hope these did not too badly disappoint my “eight loyal readers.” My heart is still in a good place……..And by the way. The Good Place is a superlative hoot. Watch it……from the beginning on Netflix. Its about one of my favorite ideas – redemption.

My Seven minutes on KBJR TV

From the KBJR Website, at last, my seven minutes (as well as Pete Stauber’s and Jason Metsa’s seven) with reporter Dan Wolfe:

DULUTH, MN –
The August Primary in Minnesota is just around the corner.

That means candidates vying for their preferred party’s nomination are hitting the campaign trail hard in the days leading up to August 14th.

Over the next three weeks we’re going to introduce you to each candidate in the 8th Congressional District race. That’s five Democrats, two Republicans, and an Independent all vying for the seat currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan, who is retiring in November.

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe sits down with Pete Stauber, Harry Welty, and Jason Metsa.

A ghost of a chance

The Ely Timberjay puts Duluth’s News Trib to shame in its coverage of my campaign. It pulls no punches and lets me call the Republican Party a spade. I have no complaints. I was notified that the story is up for one day only without the paywall hiding it. Its here. Because its about me I’m not too worried about violating the Jay’s copywrite so I’m putting the full text below. Continue reading

Beyond the Headlines, Steve Lindstom Cartoon

Steve Lindstrom, the Trib’s long time go to cartoonist puts Pete Stauber in the sights of Trump’s exhaust in today’s Sunday DNT. I imagine myself to be part of the debris falling from the cartoon.

And after an interview this week at KBJR TV I’ll show up with a bunch of the other candidates for seven minutes on today’s (Sunday) 10 AM program called “Beyond the Headlines.” I’ll be in church so I’ll miss it but I’ve been assured it will be put on KBJR’s website for a more leisurely review later in the week. Maybe here. I’ll check back and give my 12 (formerly 8) “loyal readers” a link when I run across it later.

KBJR questionnaire

I got the following set of questions from KBJR television today and sent these replies back. (Oh and I went in along with Pete Stauber and the other congressional candidates yesterday for a seven minute interview with Dan Wolff. Its supposed to show up early Sunday morning on television and pop up on their website later. I’ll link to it when its ready.

Here are the Q&A’s: Continue reading

Here you go media – Harry’s headshot

I’ve been remiss in contacting local papers to give them my picture for any stories they might write and publish about my Congressional campaign. In fact, I just finished a 45 minute phone interview with my favorite paper the Timberjay. I was asked to send them a head shot. Actually, I sent this particular shot to the the Duluth News Tribune a week ago because they keep using an older picture from two years ago when I was without a beard. (One of my grandsons asked me to grow it back)

Any of you other news outlets that may be peeking at this blog, feel free to lift this jpeg for use in the next three weeks unless….. Well, if I happen to defeat Pete Stauber in the primary you should feel free to use it right through to the General election in November. Sorry Pete, but my success in the primary would give the media a real human interest story of national interest and not one of yet another Trump lapdog running to inflict trade tariffs on the world’s economy.

Jennifer’s Question’s A, B and C

I’ll be working on this all night. Stay tuned.

You’re apparently planning a trip to France circa September. A fair portion of your time now seems to be taken up with preparing for that trip. Other so-called “outsider” candidates, like Skip Sandman and Soren Sorensen, are spending this time pounding the pavement. They’re in it to win it, even if they know that’s a long shot.

Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, take your candidacy seriously? Enough to donate to you?** Is your entire candidacy intended to make a point? And, if so, couldn’t that point have been made more directly? You had a weekly column in the Reader. You could have spent every column telling us why Pete Stauber is a Trumpster and the wrong candidate to support. But as a candidate, you had to give up your newspaper column—which seems like it was a very direct way to reach your audience if making a point was the idea.

Here are my ABC’s

A- Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, take your candidacy seriously? Enough to donate to you?

Dear Jane, I want your vote first in the primary especially if you 1. are an Independent or 2. a Democrat who wants to let Pete Stauber know that you are rooting for a change in Grand Old Party even if you are planning to vote for a Democrat in the General election or 3. a discouraged Republican fed up with the Donald Trump cess pool.

All of these Janes can vote in Minnesota’s Republican Primary. If they did and that’s a HUGE if, I’d beat Pete Stauber. As for the donation, it will likely make Jane feel better than me. I will, however, put it to good use……especially in the Primary.

B- Is your entire candidacy intended to make a point?

Yes, but more than that its a genuine attempt to turn the huge Edmund Fitzgerald called the Republican Party away from Whitefish Bay during the gales of November. For the sake of God, the whole Party is letting a diaper clad kindergartner turn the ship’s wheel to Vladivostok. I have a lifetime’s investment in preserving the Party of Lincoln. Abe famously fought a lot of losing battles himself so I’m in good company fighting this improbable campaign.

C- couldn’t that point have been made more directly? You had a weekly column in the Reader. You could have spent every column telling us why Pete Stauber is a Trumpster and the wrong candidate to support. But as a candidate, you had to give up your newspaper column—which seems like it was a very direct way to reach your audience if making a point was the idea.

Jane, Jane, Jane,

You give my bi-weekly column in the Reader waaay too much credit. I know I have my fans but the Readership only goes out to about 35% of the voters in the Eighth District.

Everybody in Duluth knows that when election season comes I’m like a dog who sees a bone. Until a week before filing I had given no thought to filing a protest campaign. But the continuing circus in the Oval Office and Pete’s shameless Trump support and the fear that Stauber would win in a District that gave Trump a %16 lead over Hillary was more than enough to convince me that by challenging Pete Stauber I could hobble at least one “Trumpkin.” For America’s sake that was a bone very much worth chasing – win, lose or draw.

And if I lose the Primary I suspect that the Reader’s publisher, Bob Boone, will let me pontificate again ahead of the General election. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Click here to go to Jennifer’s next question regarding my party affiliation.

Hard hitting questions from a journalist to yours truly…

…I will enjoy answering these. In the meantime dear voters read through them below. There isn’t one of them that I haven’t thought about sometimes going back twenty or thirty years.

I’m just back from three hot hours with my grandson searching a beautiful Park Point beach for agates. And here’s the beginning of an answer to one of Ms. Martin-Romme’s hard-hitting questions regarding my leisurely campaign – I assure you that hunting agates with my grandson is far more valuable to future possible constituents than a year running around like a chicken with my head cut off spouting talking points hither, thither and yon that I don’t know the least jot or tittle about.

And as for responsibilities…… Any voter worth his or her vote will learn far more about me by perusing my eleven-year old blog than they will even by listening to me at a forum like the one I recently attended in Hibbing.

Furthermore, my experiences on something dear to voters hearts, a local school board, are a better indicator of what I might attempt as a United States Congressman than standing at the side of a biliousaire like President Donald Trump at the DECC. In fact, the absence of this “genius’s” endorsement puts me head and shoulders over the little man peaking out over Mr. Trump’s breast pocket. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll be back with better answers in a day or two.

Here’s Jennifer’s interrogating Email: Continue reading