Category Archives: Media

WHAT I’VE BEEN READING TODAY WED. 6/16/2019

How humankind is transforming the face of Earth. I remembered St. Louis Bay at the height of Minnesota’s lumbering after seeing this picture of a similar site of massive deforestation.

Perhaps the most hopeful news I’ve read in some time. The overweening reach of the new Chinese dictator has been dealt a huge setback by millions of angry residents of Hong Kong who are fighting China’s attempt to extradite and punish them at will.
https://www.npr.org/2019/06/15/732993237/hong-kong-leader-suspends-controversial-extradition-bill

British Petroleum analysis warns of unsustainable future for burning fossil fuels. http://flip.it/PNkk5R

(CNN) — President Donald Trump’s campaign fired several pollsters after internal polling numbers that showed the President lagging behind Democratic presidential candidates in key states were made public, according to multiple sources. CNN and other … http://flip.it/DnPY46

Cretins, Deplorables and Cartoonists

Placeholder for when I have time. I have time.

The New York Times has apologized over this cartoon which was in their International edition printed out overseas. A Jewish caratoonist from Europe agreed in an NPR interview today that it shouldn’t have run. Yeah. Anti-Semitism is raging across Europe and Trump’s crowd has marched with tiki torches shouting “Jews will not replace us.” But I am not so appalled at this cartoon. Seeing eye dogs are venerated in America even if generic dogs are sneered at in portions of the middle east. Showing Bibi Netanyahu leading a blind Trump is accurate symbolism. Its ironic that Trump who has a daughter converted to Judaism would say of the Tiki torch bearers that they included “good people.” Our President is a cretin.

The cartoonist on NPR mentioned that America’s cartoonists are a vanishing breed compared to a couple decades ago. He also commented that he sympathized with the pressures on cartoonists not to offend people. He mentioned Jewish cartoonists who took on Hitler and their persecution. I wrote about this myself last year………….. Continue reading

What I’ve been reading today Wed. 6/13/2019

Day two of this. For a year I have been saving news stories to my email to comment on them in the blog. For a while I’m going to post them immediately with very little commentary on my part. Then over the next few days I’m going to go back and delete all the news links I never alerted my eight loyal readers to.

The Polymet Mine which I’ve mentioned in recent posts is getting tough scrutiny by a newspaper I greatly admire the Timberjay. I will add that I have been close to persuaded that the mine will not be a threat to Minnesota’s water. That said I don’t like the strings that seem to have been pulled to free the mine from scrutiny. http://timberjay.com/stories/epa-releases-long-sought-comments-on-polymet-permit,15156?fbclid=IwAR2YlAhvBOtxq1usaG0OKSuK06AZydgYdI8U2tneCVwiIJt7ARktroQk2uU Continue reading

What I’ve been reading today Wed. 6/12/2019

For the last year I’ve been emailing important stories to myself to alert my eight loyal readers. I rarely link to them because I thought I should elaborate on them myself. No more. Most come from the New York Times and those following my links will no doubt discover that the Times will limit the number they can read each month without a subscription.

Here are important news stories from today:

Americans report that they are most interested in reading news about Health Care, Climate Change, Education and Economics but due to Facebook and Google spend most of their time reading divisive stories about National Security Politics, Immigration and Sportshttps://www.axios.com/news-consumption-read-topics-56467fe6-81bd-4ae5-9173-cdff9865deda.html?sfns=mo

Diane Hendricks is not one of America’s better-known billionaires. But she is, according to Forbes, the richest self-made woman in the country, with a fortune estimated at around $7.2 billion. Her wealth swamps that of better-known billionaires like eBay veteran Meg Whitman, Oprah Winfrey, Facebo… http://flip.it/tTxA-k

Some dying American coral reefs are being treated with anti-biotics http://flip.it/m4YpJM

Having gutted Russia’s democracy Putin is using other democracy’s legal systems to undermine them. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/12/731578176/report-russia-exploits-western-legal-systems-institutions-to-its-advantage

What does 10,538 pageviews yesterday mean?

For those new readers joining my “eight loyal readers”……

I’m no Mark Twain. I’m no David Brooks. I’m not Sam Cook. (Duluth News Trib readers will know who he is…..although we’ve been confused for each other on occasion and we were both born in Kansas)

I’m a fellow who is addicted to knowledge (In high school I learned about Faust and his bargain with the devil to become omnipotent) At about the same time I clasped Socrates’s maxim to heart – “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I’m a politician, a teacher, and a writer and I won’t shut up in any of these endeavors. And furthermore, in all of these endeavors I’m guided by my addiction to knowledge and my daily fight against ignorance……especially willful ignorance….such as…..“I know you may be right but I find you so annoying that I’ll be damned if I’ll admit it” ignorance.

Its this last kind of ignorance that particularly troubles me. Its the sort of ignorance that leads to war and its bounty of death and destruction. Ironically, like a good fight sometimes war cleans the deck. But in today’s age on the verge of a Sixth Extinction or worse backing away from this kind of ignorance is particularly important.

In this I am right behind the next generation of young people abandoning the Republican Party. I have far more faith in them to protect my grandson’s future than the Alzheimers Network’s (Fox News) voters. The GOP’s favorite media lives by the same dim witted mantra as Donald Trump. “If Black Lung is good enough for West Virginia its good enough for America.”

Before I return to my message to new readers just let me mention one more Trump Era excrescence (that’s a fifty cent word for shit) Australia which is being hit harder by Global Warming than any other part of the Earth than the poles and killing off the extraordinary Great Barrier Reef just elected a Trumpian who wants to ignore the enviorment and sell more coal to China. How is China going to use this bounty. Its about to build 145 coal burning electrical generators in African and Asian nations even while China is shuttering its own coal-fired plants that made its capital the smog capitol of the world for the last twenty years. There are no words for such folly.

I write to be noticed. I write to win elections. I write to win hearts. I write to make people think and just maybe to show off 68 years of accumulated wisdom and knowledge. I try to write with some with and good cheer. The topics, being all to tangled with human ego, are not necessarily funny…….certainly not planetary extinction.

So, yesterday I had over 10,000 pageviews. I presume that’s largely because I put lots of links to previously well read posts. I’m adding more. The Trump ignoring editors of the Duluth News Tribune are a little sensitive about my criticism. I don’t know if they will be willing to endorse me. I don’t think its much of a problem if they don’t. BUT…..I have my work cut out for me this year. Two years ago I was not reelected to the Duluth School Board by a ton of anguished voters who thought by voting me off they were rescuing Duluth from Donald Trump. Ignorance is such a bummer. Curing it takes daily, hourly work.

And my beef isn’t with the Reporters of the Trib. Heck a couple days ago one of the reporters who covered me on the Duluth School Board gave me the friendliest call out as she drove by my front lawn. Nope. Its the poor editors under the thumb of a Koch-like media operation. They find me prickly.

10,538 pageviews means I’m not dependent upon the editors of the Duluth News Tribune to explain how crazy I am. I can do that myself just fine…..thank you very much!

A press release not published…

… By the Duluth News Tribune

Because press releases fill up space and require no actual work on the part of reporters, Duluth media outlets love them. They’ll parrot press releases from anybody–except for one person. So far, no Duluth media outlet has managed to parrot mine. Oh well. They’ll be crying when the Monitor’s kicking their butts around the block. T minus thirteen days to launch.

PRESS RELEASE–Launch of the Duluth Monitor

The Duluth Monitor, an online news publication, will launch on June 19, 2019.

John Ramos, publisher of the Monitor, says, “Duluth is badly in need of quality journalism. Over the last couple of decades, the news business in the city has been greatly diminished. The newspapers don’t have enough reporters left to cover basic governmental meetings, let alone undertake serious investigations. The TV stations offer great weather forecasts and bantering on-air personalities, but little else. We sense that people in Duluth and the surrounding region are hungry for meaningful news. We intend to supply that demand.”

Ramos is also the Monitor’s lead investigative reporter. He promises a big story for the launch.

Contact information:

John Ramos
218-391-8791
ramosjohn100@gmail.com

duluthmonitor.com

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

Profits and Pollution

Just as environmentalists ought to be concerned about the drive for profit in mining advocates for the free press ought to be concerned about a similar emphasis by those presenting the news under governmental licence.

The moderate Murdoch son said this a few years back in Great Britain as he badmouthed BBC News.

“Years earlier, when James was fighting in Britain for the first failed Sky deal, he expressed contempt for government meddling in the media’s affairs and impugned the nationally esteemed BBC as a “chilling” media monolith. “The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence,” he said in a lecture at the annual Edinburgh International Television Festival, “is profit.” “

Quote taken from today’s NY Time’s story on the Murdochs Part II.

SOME HOPEFUL REPORTING

Rupert Murdoch sold the biggest part of his media empire a recently acquired 21st Century Fox a movie making goliath. Check the italicized words in this portion of the Times Story:

“Lachlan was furious. His father was talking about dismantling the empire not even three years after coaxing him back from Australia to run it, an empire that had taken a lifetime to build. He argued that 21st Century Fox was big enough to compete as it as was. The smaller piece of the empire that he would be left with — a network with an aging audience in the increasingly anachronistic business of cable television — was hardly a growth business. As the talks with Iger progressed, Lachlan’s opposition hardened. “Why the [expletive] would I want to run this company?” he told people close to him. Lachlan’s anger at his father boiled over during a dinner in Manhattan in the fall of 2017, three people who were familiar with the incident told us. “If you take one more call on this deal, you will not have a son!” he threatened. “I will never talk to you again.” (Representatives for Murdoch and Lachlan denied that he made these threats.)”

The NY Times Murdoch story

Part Two

I’ve mentioned before that I truly enjoyed Australia’s original version of the TV series The Rake. In its later seasons a corrupt political blowhard is set up as a television shock show host. Now I know where that came from. Lachlan Murdoch…I just spell checked that first name and came up with “Charlatan.”

Henry Louis Gates

My eyes are too big for my stomach for history books!

These are my library’s selection of books about African-American history and part of my collection related to the Civil War which arguably is pretty much the same history.

I haven’t read them all. I describe the books I buy but don’t read immediately as being like planes circling an airport waiting for clearance to land. Another plane is close to being added to those circling my bibliographic airport. Its The Stony Road by Henry Louis Gates known to the PBS viewers for his series on family history.

I didn’t know he was about to launch a book let alone on Reconstruction. A week ago, however, I bumped into an old NY Times story about Gates in which an interviewer asked him for the books he had been most moved by. He mentions three or four including one that was sitting behind my computer Reconstruction by Columbia University historian Eric Foner.

All my life I’ve tried to find the Cliff Notes version of everything so that I would have time to become knowledgeable about all things. It has not really worked. There’s just too many books. But I did buy Foner’s book thirty years ago only to discover that he had an abridged book by the same author. I once wrote to Foner asking him (stupidly I admit) what I would find in the full version vs. his Cliffs Notes version. He was kindly un-sarcastic in his reply to me.

So I was surprised to see that Gates has written his own history of Reconstruction taking it through Jim Crow. I am strongly inclined to read it which means buying it too.

BTW – Gates is the fellow that another cranky white lady called the police on when she saw him entering his home in Boston. He was arrested by a white cop and that led to the first proof for Murdoch oriented white nationalists that Barack Obama was a raging black monster when he said the cop over reacted. That led to the obviously raging Obama to hold a beer summit between Professor Gates and the policeman in the Rose Garden. Heavens!!!

Thank God we have the sensible Murdoch-approved Donald Trump presiding over America today.

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.

Honest Abe vs Dishonest Don

A couple times a year I notice that two cartoons on the Trib’s comics page share a similar theme. Today was such a day. From Non Sequitur:

And from Pearls before Swine:

I don’t enjoy being the optimist preoccupied with the empty half of the glass or (in this case) with the forty percent empty. The 40% is made up of Americans who still think Donald Trump is doing a good job while shrugging off his hourly lies and treating them as some sort of veiled truth. Yes, the 60% full side is the recently elected Democratic House of Representatives, but I also remember that all it took to elect Hitler in 1933 was just short of 40%. That feeble percentage is the kind of number that keeps deep-state Republicans in control after all their messing about with election laws and gerrymandering.

Its often asked what Trump supporters would have done had Obama done the sort of things Trump does daily. Unlike Trump Obama told only one truly epic lie when he insisted that Americans could keep their doctors if the Affordable Health Care Act was enacted. It was worse than just a white lie, but compared to Trump, its notable, even laudable in its singularity.

Abraham Lincoln famously asked Americans to remember their “better angles.” Trump only encourages our better demons.

My old ally turned critic sent me a couple more emails with no text but simply links to commentaries suggesting that black americans were attempting to make white Trump supporters paranoid by making our elections fraudulent. Then he sent me this Wikipedia entry on “Aunt Jemima” to school me on what he thought of Stacey Abrams who is at the forefront of calling out Republican electioneering scams.

I replied to Jim:

I guess you were being ironic calling Abrams a name that suggested she was obsequious when you seem to resent her for being just the opposite of obsequious.

If anything she has the stones you had when you rallied for Bob Short. You’re giving her short shrift….no pun intended.

Trolling the Trolls

After six months of writing columns for the Reader I finally got some reaction in the online comment box. After my Frat Boy column a “Juan Percent” snarked at me. After this week’s column about my Presidential candidacy I got snarked at by a “Fed Troll.”

In both cases I bit like a fish and replied. It was only yesterday that I realized that Juan Percent had replied to me a couple days after I commented on his post. That was a month ago. I’ll give Juan credit. While I am not impressed with anonymous posts to communicate in our Democracy (I can forgive them in nations where state security will hunt down and imprison complainers) Juan offered a serious reply to me. I then attempted to catch his attention to see that I had offered additional thoughts.

At this one of my Reader contacts sent me an email recommending that I not reply to “trolls” like Mr. Percent. I joked back that I was simply trolling the trolls. What I meant was that by replying to them I was paying them in kind. But that was mostly a joke. I believe in conversation as much as I believe in compromise. If Minnesota’s moderate Republicans in the 1970’s had kept going to precinct caucuses and had conversations with pro lifers the party would be a different place today. Instead they avoided precinct caucuses and left them open to one side of an issue they felt uncomfortable discussing every two years.

While I soldiered on as a Republican for another twenty years even I decided it was pointless to be a lone voice arguing the pro-choice point of view. But its not like I’m afraid of facing those who disagree with me. For years I’d be the only Republican to go to Union endorsement interviews knowing I stood a snowball’s chance in the hellish union furnace. At my first such encounter in 1974 I chided the union members for putting all their apples in the basket with the half dozen DFL legislators who showed up to get their automatic endorsement. One of the legislators, Tom Berkleman, even scolded me for chiding the unions. Well, the Unions reliance on Democrats has not turned out so well since my scolding. As for Berklemen? He was arrested for stealing cigars from a smoke shop a few years later.

I’ll share the last couple thoughts that Mr. Percent and I exchanged to show that at least some trolls have given thought to the issues they pan on the Internet. I say that as a hopeless “libtard”: Continue reading

A little apology and a little mystery

Paranoia is rampant and I must confess that sometimes it gets the better of me too – though not usually for long. I speculated that my recent column was not added to the Duluth Reader website when I didn’t find it right away. It showed up as I expected it would. I’m sorry to have had any doubts.

And related to that – On Sunday my letter to the editor criticizing the Trib for three of its Republican endorsements will be in the paper too – as a “paid political” letter to the editor. I must confess I don’t see much difference in what I wrote and a lot of the content of other letters that avoided having to pay. Life has its mysteries.

A tale of two Editorial Boards

These days I’m not cranking out five or ten daily posts as I have in the past. I’m being very selective. Even my eight loyal readers eyes must be burning out from gazing at their cell phones this election cycle. But before I attend to this post’s headline I have to follow up the powerful video I posted last night from Fox News’s, Shep Smith, on the real threat of the Migrant caravan, still one thousand miles from the border. Even if it doesn’t crumble under withering 105 degree temperatures it won’t even reach America at its current pace for 44 days – a full month after the election!

As this morning’s NPR interview with an economist makes clear keeping migrants out impoverishes all Americans. Our public schools and colleges don’t spend much time training American students to clean motel rooms, bus tables, or pick vegetables.

Now to this post’s headline.

I was taken aback by the DNT’s Editorial headline this morning – “Yes,” “no,” “no,” on School Questions concerning the School District three part ask for tax revenues. Continue reading

Come on News Tribune. Treat Ellison fairly in your coverage of his campaign.

My better half, once a critic of Keith Ellison, was happy to let me put this lawnsign in our yard today. I’ve spent several days tracking one down putting calls into two City Councilors and waiting for the DFL office to reopen after it closed for a multi-day training session. It was Claudia who alerted me to the latest New York Times story which makes pretty oclear how the revenge of a jilted girlfriend has run Ellison’s campaign nearly off the rails.

His accuser claims to have a video showing Ellison pulling her off a bed which she has not shown to anyone, her lawyer, the former boss of Ellison’s Republican opponent, or an eager news media. But the media has managed to unseal court records of Ellison’s divorce which however, revealed, ironically, that Ellison was a victim of some abuse not the other way around. If you rely on the Duluth News Tribune you have seen innumerable stories suggesting that Ellison had mistreated his divorced wife. They have all been put to rest.

I bristle at an unfair dogpile. I couldn’t sympathize with Kavanaugh because I saw little likelihood that the charges made against him were untrue and besides that, he now has a life-time job. Poor man.

Folks in Duluth know how outraged I was for two years as a poisonous school administration and School Board majority manufactured allegation after allegation against my colleague Art Johnston accusing him of being a dangerous, violent fellow to justify removing him from office and costing him $75,000 in attorney fees to preserve the election that put him on the school board.

I’d really like to see the Duluth News Tribune give Keith Ellison his due and tell its local readers what the New York Times told the world about an honorable Attorney General candidate for Minnesota. While they are at it I’d like them to tell us what his Republican challenger recently said – that he intended to fire every Democrat in the Attorney General’s office. Sounds like Trump’s pledge to eradicate democrats from the Federal judiciary.

For years I have held dear my family’s story of my very Republican Grandfather George Robb’s example which is quite different from Republican Wardlow. When he was appointed Auditor of the State of Kansas in the 1930’s by Governor Alf Landon he had it in his power to do what Wardlow promises. I described it in a portion of a letter I sent toMinnesota’s State Auditor, Rebecca Otto. Here it is:

“…my Grandfather was the State Auditor of Kansas. He never lost an election. A staunch Republican George Robb defied his Governor, Alf Landon, who had appointed him to fill the vacancy of a publicly disgraced Democrat, by refusing to fire all the Democrats in the office. He kept them on because, as he told Landon, they were good people and knew their jobs. My Mother told me this story when I was young …….and lest you think my Grandfather was a fan of Democrats he told me when I was twelve that the worst mistake he made in his life was the one vote he gave a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, who broke his promise to keep America out of War.”

I’ll be proud to cast my vote for Keith Ellison for Minnesota Attorney General.

An anonymous critic

I discovered a critic at the end of my column on “Frat Boy Justice” in the Reader:

Juan Percent
Thursday Oct. 11, 2018

Welty, You’re a liberal hack. Despite what you read on CNN, there’s no evidence Kavanaugh was ever black out drunk. It might come as a surprise to someone like you who’s apparently replaced his brain cells with bong resin that very few people ever achieve black out drunk. It’s a myth for people who need an excuse for their actions, people like you apparently, but not like Kavanough.

I couldn’t resist sending a reply:

Harry Welty
Friday Oct. 12, 2018

Juan.

I don’t know who you are. Apparently you wish to remain anonymous. I am Harry Welty. I am a liberal in many respects as was my hero Abe Lincoln. I did smoke some weed when I was in college. And yes, I was worried for a while that this might cloud my thinking. Despite that concern, which I’ve since realized was overblown, I do not hide who I am. I live at 2101 E 4th Street in Duluth Minnesota. I have written hundred’s of thousands of words in my blog and tens of thousands for the Reader. I put my name to them. I do not hide behind a pseudonym and send out snarky anonymous one liners at people I disagree with. I am not afraid of my opinions or of making them known to the general public.

When you are willing to come out from hiding I’ll will accord your views the respect honest open opinions deserve.

Yours, with grudging respect,

Harry Welty

Here’s a cheap picture to keep you reading to the end of the post.

The DNT editors endorsed the candidate that strikes me as being the toughest challenger to Pete Stauber on the DFL side today. That’s Joe Radinovich. I can’t argue with their reasoning although its likely to make the supporters of the other four DFLer’s apoplectic. Let’s hope they don’t surrender to Pete Stauber in their disgust.

I discovered that an old acquaintance of mine, Tom West, who used to edit the DNT’s former Budgeteer has offered a brief analysis of all the Minnesota Congressional campaigns for the ECM newspapers. (East Central Minnesota papers) Tom called me a “gadfly” and I gratefully agree. Tom once offered me a job writing for the Budgeteer after reading my work in the Duluth Reader. I declined out of loyalty to Duluth’s now twenty year old tabloid.

With two weeks of campaign left before August 14th’s primary I have been shifting away from a campaign intended mostly as a symbolic stab at Donald Trump clones. My original thought that I might catch lightning in a bottle has not panned out and with two weeks left that is an all but impossible hope. Even Donald needed about half a year to dismantle the GOP Presidential contenders he faced. I am not one for irrational optimism. Back in 1982 I was a campaign manager for, Marnie Luce, a pro choice republican candidate running against the very Pro-life, Jim Oberstar, for Congress. I got in dutch with Marnie’s supporters when I told a reporter that I thought Marnie regarded the campaign as a “lark.” Sometimes one doesn’t need to tread all that heavily on the obvious.

I’ve been planting trees at our church and painting the bell tower recently. I have a second coat to apply today. Then I’ve got a weekend trip to Chicago with my family to see the musical Hamilton. My Grandson’s have come close to memorizing the lyrics and that, by itself, is worthy of a post sometime after we return. My oldest readers have noticed that for the last month or two I’ve held back writing about many of my usual subjects to focus on my “campaign” for Congress. That’s been part of my attempt to attract a lightning strike. The Duluth School Board doesn’t fit well into national politics or Donald Trump’s tweets.

But sometimes I have no choice. Today’s DNT put Art Johnston on the front page again. After eight frustrating years of trying to get the School District’s Red Plan addled administration to hand over public information about the Duluth Schools the state agency in charge of public data came down on Art’s side. Superintendent Bill Gronseth has been as stingy with this public data as Donald Trump has been of his tax records. I wonder why?

For the four years I’ve been on the school board and in my subsequent year of retirement I’ve been thinking about writing a book about how America got so dysfunctional these days. Of course, that implies some kind of Trumpian golden age. Well, there has never been such a thing. Donald Trump who dissed the loser John McCain for getting captured by the Vietnamese and who said that his personal Vietnam was avoiding venereal disease in the 1970’s might like to go back to this forgotten episode of America’s Twentieth Century history. Back in these golden days America knew which sex to put behind bars and it wasn’t the one with big hands.

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.