Category Archives: History

Dear Denmark,

Dear Denmark,

Please reconsider your hasty refusal to sell Greenland to the United States. Remember, our President is a genius, a very smart businessman and leader of the free world. But expect him to dicker with you (and no that is not a sexual reference. Dicker means to bargain.)

You should make a counter offer. Offer to trade Greenland for the Blue States. It's probably about the same land mass and the Blue States are not covered with ice. Sure, when Trump melts Greenland you will lose Maralago along with a third of your purchase but this North American land has lots of productive people who are a lot like the Danes. Not so many guns. They are from blue states after all. Most of them would really prefer your Prime Minister to our President.

When you've sealed the deal consider trading Faroe island with Lesser Britain for Scotland. I hear Boris Johnson is a clone of Trump. He'll be eager to off-load the Scots now that Brexit is breathing down his neck. I think they would like you better too.

Have no doubt. A lot of us would take the deal in a heartbeat. And Minnesota (a blue state if ever there was one) has bragging rights for being discovered by your Viking ancestors. We even named our football team after them.

Sincerely

Harry Welty
Duluth, Minnesota, USA (for now but it could be.......)
Duluth, Minnesota, DENMARK (Sounds pretty good doesn't it?)

And here's a shameless plug to all you Danes who speak better English than we Americans.
I'm selling a book...

Good Riddance to Lake Calhoun

Minneapolitians were divided about the renaming of long-standing Lake Calhoun into Bde Maka Ska. I doubt that many Minnesotans even knew who John C. Calhoun was or why anyone would object to his name being affixed to one of Minneapolis’s many pretty lakes. The answer is spelled out in one one of the New York Times marvelous histories concerning 2019’s 400 anniversary of the beginning of slavery in the United States. When they are finished I hope they publish the collection as a book.

Here’s the villain himself:

I’m intrigued that he looks every bit as grim as his polar political opposite John Brown whose Kansas State Capitol Mural I googled yesterday. That link is to a Christian Science Monitor story about the painter John Steurt Curry.

2019-08-19_08-48-06

When my Mother was a girl the mural was being painted in the capitol building. Brown was “reaping the whirlwind” that John C. Calhoun had sown in poisoning the call to equality in the Declaration of Independence. Or to loosely paraphrase George Orwell. “All animals are equal but slaveholders are more equal than others.”

There is a reason this blog is called Lincolndemocrat. When I named it I was about to throw in the towel to the quasi-fascists that had taken over the GOP to fashion a new Jim Crow run by rural white Americans. The spirit of the Republican Party had been stripped from Abe Lincoln and handed to the architect of the anti-democratic South, John C. Calhoun.

I highly recommend this installment of the New York Times coverage of the 400th Anniversary of oppression against funny colored people by pink people:

What the Reactionary Politics of 2019 Owe to the Politics of Slavery https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/republicans-racism-african-americans.html

Today’s version of Helter Skelter?

I never read Helter Skelter although I recall Mother Jones News or Rolling Stone running a shortened version of it back in the day. I read enough of that to supplement the coverage in the news. Many years later I read something from somebody who interviewed Manson in prison. The story from the interviewer showed some skepticism of the prosecutors who put all the blame on Charlie. The skepticism seemed warranted but in hindsight I suspect that Manson was simply pulling the wool over yet one more person’s eyes. Still, I haven’t revisited the Manson story other than to catch news stories of parole hearings for his imprisoned followers though the years with all the swastikas self carved onto their foreheads. Do I still think there is a partical of truth to the prison story Manson was pedaling that he was simply a small part of the Manson commune and that there was someone else who was the real brains behind all the killing? Naw.

I just bumped into this story about Manson’s youngest groupie who thought she had escaped the story only to be pulled back into it forty years later. Manson was guilty as sin.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/nation/4606945-How-Charles-Manson-cast-his-spell-on-homecoming-queens-honor-students-and-dropouts

Charlie’s “magnetism” was part of the acid dropping era. Luckily, his pull was confined to some small parcels of California’s back woods. Its worth remembering that entire nations can get caught up in the delusions of someone with a good sales pitch. Charlie isn’t the only Messiah to have inspired the ignorant with his visions of a race war. But that megaphone has been placed in the tiny hands of our nation’s Chief of State. And he has fans as addled as the Manson Girls. Ex Congresswomen Bachmann says we will never see a more Godly President than Donald Trump.

Forty years from now Michele may be remembered as our Era’s version of a Manson girl. There is one difference however. Michele isn’t a teenager from a broken family.

Magnificient Bastard 2 – the bare beginning of a pushback

I posted the whole wretched screed in the previous post. It took an hour and a half of research to just start poking holes in this clap trap. I may keep working on it or I may not. Its a labor of loathing. My responses are italicized

Fight on, Trump —
“You magnificent bastard”
A description of politics in the US since the 1960’s

Evan Douglas Sayet is a comedian and an in-demand conservative speaker.
Sayet is the author of “The Kinder Garden Of Eden:
How The Modern Liberal Thinks And Why He’s Convinced That Ignorance Is Bliss.”

The kinder Garden. I haven’t read this but the Title is interesting. It suggests that the origin of the story in Genesis is misunderstood by someone and from the subtitle that would be liberals. So the Garden of Eden wasn’t a kinder place. I’d have to read Sayet’s book to find out whether he thinks God made it mean, or the Serpent made it mean or my choice, blind human short term stupidity made it mean.

The “He” of the title is Donald Trump. Certainly Donald Trump fights. He has fought to keep black people out of his buildings. He has fought the people he’s screwed over in court. He’s waged a war on anyone who gets in his way in imitation of the way his mentor Roy Cohen did by smearing them with lies and never backing down. I guess it was nasty liberals who sent Roy Cohen to the woodshed after he attacked the Army for being run by commies all so he could get his gay lover out of the military. Then Roy spent the rest of his life denying that he was gay while he goaded the New York legal community into trying to strip him of his law license. Just the kind of lawyer to help Donald cheat Uncle Sam out of Trump’s taxes.

He Fights.
by Evan Sayet

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #Never Trumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum.

They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.” Here’s my answer:

We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

George W. Bush was treated as a wuss by Reagan loving Republicans. This was an idea that Democrats loved so Bush had two political camps to suffer through. Google “Newsweek The Wimp Factor.”

Check out this old Newsweek cover.

We tried propriety:
has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?
And the results were always the same. This is because, while we on the Right were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety,

Ronald Reagan was famous for his soothing “morning again in America” theme. However, I haven’t forgotten how he launched his Presidential campaign in Neshoba, Mississippi where the KKK murdered three young liberal white civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner for registering black Mississippians to vote. I guess Reagan was inviting people into the Republican Party who had not played by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety for the 120 previous years using the excuse that white southerners had the power because of “State’s Rights.” Reagan
Speech was called his “States Rights” Speech and he said:

“I still believe the answer to any problem lies with the people. I believe in states’ rights. I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level, and I believe we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the Constitution to that federal establishment.”

Here is what the people of Mississippi had done seven miles away doing for themselves what they could to prevent black Mississippians from getting the right to vote.

After Reagan white southerners became Republicans.

In 2011, years eight years ago a poll of Mississippi Republicans discovered that almost half of them wanted black white marriages banned. That was thirty years after Reagan’s speech calling for “balance” in government. Now his party is going back to suppressing black votes again only without all the bombing and murder. How civil of them.

the Left has been, for the past 50+ years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

Knife fight? Saul Alinsky was a social worker. The Chicago Mob began with Al Capone thirty years before. In checking out this claim I discovered through Snopes.com that Obama haters have been circulating a list of Saul Alinsky’s rules including such things and banning guns and controlling health care. Alinsky may have had thoughts about these subjects but they were not part of his famous or infamous rules for radicals. Here’s the list of his recommendations for making change and BTW some of them sound like they came out of the mouth of Donald Trump:

-Always remember the first rule of power tactics: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
-The second rule is: Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
-The third rule is: Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
-The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.
-The fourth rule carries within it the fifth rule: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
-The sixth rule is: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
-The seventh rule: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday mornings.
-The eighth rule: Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
-The ninth rule: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
-The tenth rule: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
-The eleventh rule is: If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative.
-The twelfth rule: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying “You’re right — we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.”
-The thirteenth rule: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatred because racial hatred serves the Democratic Party.

Bullshite, Bullshite, Bullshite, My Brother and son lived next to Ferguson when the “racial hatred” blew up. A black kid was killed by a policeman. Saying President Obama lied about it is stupid. And it was Donald Trump who said Mexican’s were rapists. Why doesn’t this comic hold Trump to the same standards he expects of Obama.

What we’ve learned is that in some states tax poor communities pay for services by fining the hell out of their poorest residents. Cops are too quick to pull their guns. And black people don’t like being pushed around. Saying otherwise as this comedian is doing is not “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.” It sure looks to me like anti-Ferguson hatred serves the interest of the Republican Party or at least Mr. Sayac.

I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks.

I have a life. I don’t know if I’ll come back to Sayac’s Bullshite on Benghazi or not. Fighting this BS is like fighting Russian Internet Trolls.

Bullshit about a “Magnificient Bastard” (Trump)

I just got a screed. Its from a former fan of mine now besotted by Donald Trump. I told him to stop sending me stuff after he called Barack Obama a “nigger” in a couple of emails. Evidently he still wants to convert me. His email screed is copied in full below. In my next post I start poking holes through this screed. I don’t get very far: Here is what I initially wrote back.

***,

Your “magnificent bastard” has built his political reputation on a lot of pussies and opportunists. The Wobblies were bastards too of the left. No one ever accused them about not caring for the working stiffs they stuck up for and the families that their bosses didn’t care whether they starved or not.

You and I see history through opposite sides of the looking glass. What you sent me is great for ginning up pissed off people through myths that have been twisted to wring out the truth like it was just so much dirty water.

Harry

And here is the screed I was sent by my old pal. In the original its full of yellow markings to show me the really important stuff. I’m sorry it doesn’t show up here in the blog:

A description of politics in the US since the 1960’s

Evan Douglas Sayet is a comedian and an in-demand conservative speaker. Sayet is the author of “The Kinder Garden Of Eden: How The Modern Liberal Thinks And Why He’s Convinced That Ignorance Is Bliss.”

He Fights.
by Evan Sayet

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #Never Trumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Here’s my answer: We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

We tried propriety: has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?

And the results were always the same. This is because, while we on the Right were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 50+ years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

IN THE NEXT POST I GET THIS FAR UNMASKING SOME OF MR. SAYAC’S MYTHMAKING. I DON’T KNOW IF I’LL BOTHER GOING ANY FARTHER BUT I SURE HATE IT WHEN IGNORAMUSES LIKE DONALD TRUMP SCREW UP THE HISTORY THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO READ.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatred because racial hatred serves the Democratic Party. I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks. I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent.

Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”

The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ’60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one until the takeover of the universities today.

The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

With Donald Trump, all of this has come to an end.

Donald Trump is America ‘s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors.

Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming a soldier, let alone an officer.

Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant,

the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today.

Lincoln rightly recognized that “I cannot spare this man. He fights. …”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking son-of-a-bitch.

In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of his rank.

But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum then, Hitler and his Socialists might be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.

Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastard, I read your book!”.

That is just the icing on the cake. It’s wonderful to see that, not only is Trump fighting,

he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics ……. and that’s what they really hate.

That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it was the playbook for the entire Obama administration as well as the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis.

Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do.

First, instead of going after “the fake media”

(and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 50+ years not just wrong but diametrically opposed to the truth — from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri …),

Trump isolated CNN, et.al..

Then, just as Alinsky suggests,

he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all”.

Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN, et.al. in an untenable and unwinnable position.

They need to respond. This leaves them with only two choices.

They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news

or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery.

The problem with the former for CNN (et. al.) is that, if they were to start reporting the news honestly , that would be the end of the Democratic Party they so dutifully serve.

It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.

Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorist (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorist (William Ayers), the mafia (Tony Rezko) and the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s church.

Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or

his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or

the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.

So, to my friends on the Left and to the #Never Trumpers as well,

Do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”?

Of course, I do. But these aren’t those times.

This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50+ years.

So, say anything you want about this president — I get it — he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times.

I don’t care. We can’t spare this warrior. He fights for America!

Fight on, you magnificent bastard!

Our Better Angels need some Clorox

2 AM. I blame the three brownies I ate during the last night’s Democratic Presidential debate for waking me up at this hour. I blame Donald Trump for not letting me get back to sleep. So, a post with many days rumination is in the making starting with these two books I’ve nibbled at this year.

Since returning from France last year I’ve pretty much given up reading history books. Too much history is being made at the moment and I’ve been preparing for my school board race and just maybe aim at restoring something Lincolnesque to the cesspool that has become the Grand Old Party. One of the candidates said it best last night when asked what she would do if elected President. “Clorox the Oval Office,” she said. Brevity may or may not be the soul of wit but I haven’t thought of a better four words. I do, however, have a pretty good post brewing with seven words: “Donald Trump is White America’s Al Sharpton”. Of course Trump is much more than Sharpton. He’s Sharpton with a reputed billion dollars, the Oval Office and millions of twitter heads. And he’s so good for modern Israel. “Jews will not replace us!” He can’t even find fault with his supporters who march like Nazis through Nuremberg bearing torches while defaming the religion of Ivanka and Jared.

Trump has stolen a page from George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Lester “Axe handle” Maddox and Theodore G. “America’s most notorious merchant of hatred” Bilbo and done his best to release the toxic worst of America. He’s had a lot of help from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the generation of amoral political hacks who called old fart Republicans like me RINO’s and primaried us out of the Party in thirty year purge. Its not just the Presidency that could use a good dose of clorox. Evangelical Christianity could use a good swabbing too.

After I crank out my book on education I plan to turn to what happened in the GOP. The two books above are part of my continuing education. The book above Freedom’s Detective caught my eye in a bookstore. It covers the years after the Civil War and a dashing spy who got a first hand view of how the Ku Klux Klan terrorized the South. I’m not far into it but I got a new appreciation for the Red spread across America’s rural areas. Like rural areas of many modernizing nations the rural areas lag behind and look inward with a chip on the shoulder about urban elites. “Liberalism” an idealistic term suggesting tolerance toward others was treated as a commie conspiracy. Black Americans never ventured far into this vast rural terrain north of the Mason-Dixon line after the Civil War. There were exceptions up north. I once read about a black musician who moved into Windom, Minnesota. He became a beloved and exotic band director. Had he come up with others the community might have grown suspicious. One was enough. When my wife’s family was selling their house in Des Moines, Iowa, in the early sixties the neighborhood panicked when a black realtor showed up.

In the South there was nowhere safe to be black. It was even worse in rural areas where they outnumbered whites. Lynchings could go unnoticed there by all except church goers whose members stopped showing up. Reading about the spy who was working to protect freedman as white supporters were murdered reminded me of how the Serbs in Kosovo purged their Muslim neighbors of the last 400 years. War is a ground game. You may control the skies but if you can’t control events on the ground you’ve lost. Today’s Republicans control the countryside and rural electoral votes. The Civil War’s sepsis has spread over the farmlands of the North in a Red Republican wave. Thank you Moscow Mitch.

The other book is about the year 1919. That was the year after my Grandfather returned from France a shot up hero. Its about the wave of white riots throughout the nation where murdering blacks was rampant. Duluth’s lynching the following year was an after shock. Back then the Republican Party had a conscience about the mayhem. Lincoln was dead but not forgotten as he is today to the Grand Old Party.

I’m sitting between fury and puckishness an hour after I began this post. I don’t feel like editing it yet but I will share the link to my campaign Facebook Page I assembled from pictures I’ve gathered together this year. I hope they are each worth a thousand words because at the moment I just want to go back to bed.

Long before the Pledge of Allegiance

The United States Mint first used E Pluribus Unum on coins in 1795, (on the Half Eagle $5.00 gold piece)

In Latin it means “Out of many one.”

I’m not sure what the Latin is for President Trump’s apparent slogan:

One man to rule them all and anyone who doesn’t like it can leave the country.

Give’m Harry

I read the following wonderful summary of Harry Truman on Facebook today. Then I looked at the apparently pro-Trump author’s Facebook Page. He didn’t write it so I searched for the actual author. It seems no one has taken credit for it. The description of the man who was President when I was born accords with everything I’ve previously read although I can’t entirely vouch for its full accuracy.

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 32 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence , Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me.. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today , too many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!

We ought to have cloned him for telling it like it is and being frugal with our tax dollars!

That a pro–Trumper would circulate something that so diametrically contradicts Donald Trump and which I find so compelling suggests to me that our mutual admiration for Harry offers hope to America. And by the way. Truman’s order to integrate the US Armed Forces began the stampede of Southern Democrats out of the Democratic Party and eventually into the once hated Party of Lincoln……where they promptly forgot about the sixteenth President.

I’m reestablishing my old domain Givemhellharry.org to advertise my 2019 school board campaign. I’ll be taking book orders from there as well.

READERS WHO CAN’T STOP THEMSELVES FROM VISITING LINCOLNDEMOCRAT…IF YOU LIKED THIS CONSIDER BUYING THE BOOK THAT WILL HELP ME FINANCE MY SCHOOL BOARD CAMPAIGN. $15 will cover printing for 500 books. A little extra will help with other campaign costs.





Avoiding Rabbit Holes on the Solstice

After six hard fought hours dreaming leading up to today’s solstice I woke up stewing about a young woman who entered my last dream just as the day broke. I was involved in some sort of anti-authoritarian attempt to put up blockades between nations. At first I thought she was a ragamuffin on my side but as I woke up she was telling me how she had had some liberal write her to praise what she was doing. She laughed that she had met the fellow and that they had gotten along famously. Then she told me the next day she put the man’s name and address on a website where it would be spread around in circles where he might find himself targeted by her kind of Manson-like anarchists who might stalk and kill him.

And as I woke up I thought about my old neighbor Jim Fetzer. Years ago I read that he had been asked to debate a creationist who made a living infuriating Darwinists at huge public rallies in front of fundamentalists Christians and Republicans who needed assurance that science was bunk. I knew Jim lived a couple doors down from my place so I went over to wish him well. We chatted amiably and I lent him my anti-Darwin reference book. I went to the performance and was appalled how badly he let the pro-evolution side. It then took me a year’s prodding to get him to give me back my book. Later he took to the circuit of cultists who insist that JFK was assassinated by the CIA just like Dr. Kohl of the Reader. Dr. Kohl also takes pains to assure his readers that modern drugs are more than just financially crippling but flat-out poisonous and murderous just like vaccinations. I only realized who whacked out he was when he wrote a column about how the destruction of the World Trade Towers was a CIA plot too. Sheesh!

I’ve written about Fetzer a couple times. Here’s one of the columns: Avast! Right Wing Conspiracy. Fetzer kind of liked it.

Maybe that dream was about Fetzer’s latest turd. The Trib reported that, along with Alex Jones, Fetzer has been preaching that there never was a massacre of children at Sandy Hook. I had no idea Fetzer was quite this addled. Yesterday it was reported that Fetzer lost a court case brought against him by this abomination.

I spend a lot of time annoying ill-informed people who have positions of power that exceed their gray matter. But God save me from delusions like these.

Here’s my reply to all the Fetzers out there:

More on Grant, my Grandfather the Republican Party and me

I mentioned in the last post that generations of Southerners and Democrats libeled US Grant as a butcher. I found a 2013 post about how my Grandfather corrected my Fifth grade teacher who made that assertion to our class in the integrated Topeka, Kansas, elementary school I attended. That post also contains some more historical tidbits from the Civil War era. The post has the catchy Title GOP = GHASTLY ORGANIZED PUTRESCENCE PT 2

After my last Reader column “Juan Percent” challenged me on the Reader site asking:

JP Jun. 17, 2019

“Wasn’t Bush president in 2002? Harry, if you haven’t been a republican in 20 years, can you still call yourself a republican? BTW, the last time I checked, we weren’t in a depression… so maybe timing is important when you use tariffs? Harry, If now is NOT the time to play hardball with other countries who are cheating, when is?

You too may wonder how I could possible want to be part of a Ghastly Putrescent party. Here’s my Reply to JP Jun. 17, 2019 Continue reading

General Grant

At the Quora site on the Internet in which people ask questions and experts show up out of nowhere to answer them I read this quote attributed to Ulysses S Grant about his Confederate opposite General Lee:

What did Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee think of each other?

Answered May 29 by Jim Hopkins

Grant on Lee: “I never ranked Lee as highly as some others of the army — that is to say, I never had as much anxiety when he was in my front as when Joe Johnston was in my front. Lee was a good man, who had everything in his favor. He was a man who needed sunshine. He was supported by the unanimous voice of the South, he was supported by a large party in the North. He had the support and sympathy of the outside world. All this is of immense advantage to a general. Lee had this in a remarkable degree. Everything he did was right. He was treated like a demi-god. Our generals had a hostile press, lukewarm friends, and a public opinion outside. The cry was in the air that the North only won by brute force, that the generalship and valor were with the South. This has gone into history with so many illusions that are historical. Lee was of a slow, conservative, cautious nature, without imagination or humor, always the same with grave dignity. I could never see in his achievements what justifies his reputation. The illusion that nothing but heavy odds beat him will not stand the ultimate light of history. I know it is not true. Lee was a good deal of a headquarters general, a desk general, from what I hear, and from what his officers say. He was almost too old for active service — the best service in the field. At the time of the surrender he was fifty-eight or fifty-nine, and I was forty-three. His officers used to say he posed himself, that he was retiring and exclusive, and that his headquarters were difficult of access.”

I grew up hearing that Grant was a bloody general and a crooked President. I no longer regard that appraisal as anything other than sour grapes. The quote above probably comes from his famous memoirs written hastily just before his death so that there would be something for the impoverished President to leave his family. First comment. This appraisal is well written, concise and insightful.

Secondly My Mother left her grandfather’s volumnes to my son who has yet to pick them up. I looked at them just now and found the note my Mother composed to her grandson. The note was touching and my eyes watered remembering that she too once was a woman with remarkable insight later lost to dementia. In the note I discovered that I had been telling an old family story wrong for the last couple decades. I put a picture of the set up above:

75 years ago

This is one of the pictures I took of the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha beach last September.

Seventy-five years ago, on another June 6th, allied soldiers in the tens of thousands returned to France to finish Part B of the war my Grandfather had fought in 1918. This day in 1944 would be remembered more honestly than the vainglory reported back home from the First World War. A 42-year-old Indiana man wrote 700,000 words from the front and sent them to 400 newspapers back home. His name was Ernie Pyle. D-Day, however, called for a different kind of reporting. Pyle’s story is a fitting way to remember the men who died that day and every day of that war. Ernie would have understood the french woman who spoke on NPR this morning. A Normandy native she survived the invasion and walked along the beach after the battle just like Pyle did. Though she still lives within sight of the beach her memories of Normandy’s aftermath have made it impossible for her to bear walking along it for the last seventy-five years.

Here’s the first paragraph from today’s New York Times remembrance:

Most of the men in the first wave never stood a chance. In the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, thousands of American soldiers crawled down swaying cargo nets and thudded into steel landing craft bound for the Normandy coast. Their senses were soon choked with the smells of wet canvas gear, seawater and acrid clouds of powder from the huge naval guns firing just over their heads. As the landing craft drew close to shore, the deafening roar stopped, quickly replaced by German artillery rounds crashing into the water all around them. The flesh under the men’s sea-soaked uniforms prickled. They waited, like trapped mice, barely daring to breathe.

Read it all: The Man Who Told America the Truth About D-Day

Memorial Day Remembrance

At noon I put up our US flag for Memorial Day. I’m not a fanatic about following the rules or it would have gone up at daybreak. I hope my Grandfather would forgive me. I don’t know if he put up a flag every patriotic occasion or not but there is no doubt he was a patriot. I lived in his shadow as a child. I haven’t read through these five posts to confirm it but it appears I might have told this story on the blog five previous times. When I was little and scraped a knee and came looking for my Mother’s solace she would tell me “Don’t cry Harry. Your Grandfather was shot in war and he didn’t cry.”

BTW – That’s such a tough love piece of advice that as an adult I took great delight in quoting it back to my Mother to embarrass her. And she was embarrassed. I’m chuckling at the remembrance now.

But I’ve only come to more deeply respect my grandfather, George Seanor Robb, as the years have passed. This blog has ample evidence of that and this post is just the latest. I’ve been thinking all through the Trump years that writing a book about him would be a good antidote to the Trump contagion. Damn me for my tardiness. I hope to start writing it after the Fall School Board election. Before that I’m hoping to publish another book.

George Robb used his prestige as a Medal of Honor Winner for good. As a big shot Kansas State Auditor he was asked by his Alma Mater for their advice on whether to admit a Japanese student during the Second World War when all Japanese-Americans in the continental United States were being put in internment camps. Here’s the post about the letter he wrote Park College.

In recent years little Park College has honored my Grandfather by setting up the George S. Robb Center for the Study of the Great War. If you follow that link you will see pictured African American men who served with my Grandfather in the trenches of World War I. Following that war my Grandfather was generous in his praise of his fellow comrades at arms. After the war racist Americans bent over backward to besmirch their reputations as fighting men.

Today the GSR Center is spearheading a long overdue evaluation of warriors who were denied the nation’s thanks for their valor and service.

Eudora’s latest – Family Heirlooms

It begins:

“I spent last night polishing a family heirloom to send to my son. It’s was set aside for him years ago before college. Back then it wasn’t the sort of artifact he had any use for. It still isn’t. But one hundred and forty-five years ago, filled with ice chopped from a frozen Smokey Hill River, it kept the Robb family’s butter cold on the supper table.”

Read it all on the Duluth Reader website.

Thank you Mary KifFMEYER for saving us from the Indians

I got her last name spelled wrong so before I go any farther with this post I’m just putting this much in to remind myself to kick Minnesota’s former Secretary of State in the butt before it escapes my kick.

Mary wants to teach the State Historical Society a hard lesson by taking away its state revenue. After starving the Sioux and forcing them into a war they could not win we beat them, hung them, put them in concentration camps and then sent them to be ruled over by North and South Dakota farmers. God forbid we talk about their history in Minnesota and use (gasp) Indian words to tell it.

Here’s one news story outlining Representative Kiffmeyer’s objections. It comes from City Pages so it will have a liberal slant. Of course, City Pages has managed to write about real news that even my Duluth News Tribune declined to cover. Besides. I’m happy to take the honest historians of the Minnesota Historical Society over today’s crop of Republicans any day.

Republicans have done immeasurable damage to our nation’s history for decades. To cozy up with southern converts in the Post-Reagan era they began teaching that slavery wasn’t the reason for the Civil War. They don’t understand that socialism has deep roots in our government. And led by the Lone Star state’s influence they have managed to get textbooks all across the nation to insert REPUBLICAN preferred historical slants in all our school text books. I was so incensed by this that when I ran for the legislature one of my campaign promises was to make sure no Minnesota School District accepted any history textbooks approved by the State of Texas.

Political correctness is a two-way street but Republicans try to drive the same directions in both lanes.

The Hippy National Anthem

I enjoyed this NPR story about the musical group, The Youngbloods” contribution to the “Summer of Love.” Get Together came out in my junior or senior year of high school when America seemed ripe for an explosion. This reminiscence about the song’s history brought a tear to my eye for that lost summer fifty years ago. I am scheduled for a big high school reunion this fall. We might get together again.

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/10/711545679/get-together-youngbloods-summer-of-love-american-anthem

A young woman who graduated a year ahead of me made me a felt covered burlap wall hanging with the song’s lyrics. I’ve kept it for sentimental reasons all these dust collecting years afterward. Here’s a slightly belated thank you for my former, Sioux City Sue:

Maybe I’ll write more later today

Three hours since rolling out of bed before I got to the blog. That was an hour of morning miscellaney and two hours of pouring over the DNT listening to NPR and doing a quick perusal of the NY Times. Those final two hours have me interested as of this second with blogging about a couple subjects among them Toxic Masculinity. I am struck at how virulent the reaction is to true toxicity that it has ensnared Joe Biden who sniffed a woman’s hair. The story, from the Times, that I took the trouble to read, it wasn’t long, was about a series in production about the Choreographer Bob Fosse which grew to include his “muse” dancer, Gwen Verdon.

I have been lobbying my family to watch Damn Yankees for several months. I saw it at a drive in in Estes Park when I was in fourth or fifth grade. It made an impression on me but so did the scene described in the story about Sweet Charity, another Fosse musical where bar girls are singing to “Big Spenders” in which their souls are dead. That stuck with me when I saw the movie years ago. So too did the male lead who proved to be a male neutered by the social pressures of an earlier era.

I am keen to write more about my witness of and in the world of toxic masculinity. Whats the difference between Trump, Fosse who ruthlessly bedded every chorus girl he could nail and the Isis fighters who raped, sold and impregnated thousands of Yazidi women in Syria now being forced by social stigma to abandon their children. That is in this NPR Story. But God save us from Joe Biden.

And then I want to write about the news business. Oh how I want to. Three weeks ago I spent a day researching a column in the Reader about the Duluth News Tribune in the larger scheme of things but the subject was far to big for me to encapsulate in a mere 800 word column. Since then I’ve started five other columns and each fell victim to my expansive thougths. I sent my regrets in at the deadline instead of a column.

So many thoughts. Today I need to organize those thoughts. In the last year I’ve mostly abandoned writing suggestions for blog posts on the nearest slip of scrap paper. They always built up to an impossible clutter and so many of them were barely readable in my dash to hand write something. I’ve taken to typing them into a “notebook” on my cellphone. I’ve begun putting these random thoughts into categories but I just noticed that I have 123 “unorganized” notes.

If I get around to writing anything today other than this excuse for a post it will be after I’ve read the mother load of info that the NY Times has in today’s paper. Its an investigation, long overdue, of Rupert Murdoch who I intended to add to my now abandoned column on newspapers. I have “Page Three” particularly in my sights. Sleaze coated news. Rupert’s name has come up in the blog on 18 previous occasions.

This is the story and its just the beginning of a multi part series. It may be the most important story in the Times after all the Time’s work exposing Donald Trump for the man he is not and the man he is.