. . . my first farewell to readers of Not Eudora in 2006. I’ll be writing another such column for next week’s Duluth Reader.
“. . . Always tell the truth like Mark Twain did.
“Twain, who was not always right, is nonetheless the most celebrated truth teller in American literature. Not just any author can, a hundred years after committing his words to paper, make a high school junior burst out laughing during study hall and earn the dirty look of his school’s most feared teacher. After this happened to me it’s no wonder that I’ve been a Twain fan for life.
“Culled from his voluminous writings are more witty and wise aphorisms than you can shake a dead cat at. I’ve contemplated two of them in particular for years. The first is undeniably true: “Always tell the truth. This will gratify most people and astonish the rest.” I have tried to follow this advice for years as it echoes another great moralist, Jesus of Nazareth, who said the same thing somewhat less flippantly: “the truth will set you free.”
“And like Jesus who used the shorthand fiction of parables to tell his truths so too did Twain use fiction to tell the truth. Those who doubted that black slaves were the equal of their white masters would certainly have been chagrined at the depiction of Miss Watson’s slave, Jim, risking his life to gather up the family that his kind masters had sold away from him. The readers who were annoyed with Twain’s depiction of Jim’s nobility were just like the Pharisees who could not see holiness in the much despised and heretical “good Samaritan.”
“But then there is this contradiction from Twain: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
“I’ll let the people who live in black and white and who war with the dangers of “relativism” wrestle with this advice but I adore it. Our best truth tellers often lie with their fiction to tell truths that ten truckloads of Fox News couldn’t convey
“I wrote a while back that I was taking another giant of the nineteenth century, Abe Lincoln, with me to an unexpected place. Let me add that I’m also planning to take Twain with me to the same destination. And here’s a little sample: I’m going to win this race for Congress.”
My artistry is modest but I had some fun today. I always like to find a fun picture to go with my text and as with today’s Trump cartoon I’ve got something put together for next week …. my last Not Eudora before the campaign is over in November. I haven’t filed for office yet. I’m in no hurry. I’ll send my column in after I file which still gives me the chance to reconsider. I’m not likely to change my plans….especially after reading Loren Martel’s column today.
It turns my stomach:
Six of seven members of the school board are DFL/union endorsed, including the current Chair, Rosie Loeffler-Kemp and former Chair, Dave Kirby.
Recently John Schwetman announced he is seeking DFL endorsement to make a run at dislodging Alanna Oswald from her at-large Board seat. Mr. Schwetman is a friend of Loeffler-Kemp, and both Loeffler-Kemp and Kirby are on his campaign committee. In effect, DFL-endorsed allies are ganging up to throw Oswald (who is DFL, but not endorsed by the machine,) off the school board.
Alanna Oswald missed only one meeting I can remember in four years, when she was out of town for an MDE meeting. For a while, suffering from an infected gall bladder, she sat uncomplainingly through several meetings, running a high fever. She has been amazingly dedicated to the school district-—a very intelligent and competent public representative who always does her homework, and is often out in the schools and always accessible to the public.
I’m not suggesting board member Oswald shouldn’t have to get out there and convince her constituents she is still representing their interests, or that Mr. Schwetman doesn’t have a right to challenge her. I am unequivocally stating, however, that the political party that dominates our town has no legitimate criticism of Alanna Oswald’s record, and that she does not deserve to lose her job.
Alanna will try to secure DFL endorsement in her bid for reelection, but Mr. Schwetman (a union man with a lot of connections, who plans on being in Europe during the endorsement convention) has a strong chance at coming out on top, meaning all the big money from the machine‘s apparatus would flow into his campaign.
I also was defeated for the DFL endorsement by a candidate who couldn’t bother appearing at the DFL endorsement convention two years ago. David Kirby served on that Endorsements Committee. It was a bit of a shock to me to find him when I went in for my interview. The local DFL channels Donald Trump and his gutless Republican Congress far too often.
Robert Sumner Mars May 21, 1926 – July 10, 2016
I’m the odd Republican on a largely Democrat Inspired Facebook page where I’ve been watching the intergenerational tug-o-war between Biden and Bernie supporters and everybody else. There’s nothing new in this. John Kennedy heralded a changing of the guard when he became the second youngest President in 1960 giving the parents of baby boomers their moon shot to remake America. Now in 2019 its the Baby Boomers turn to stand in the way.
I had my own tug-o-war with a representative of JFK’s generation. It came to an end when Bob Mars died in 2016.
“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.
Here’s today’s Not Eudora column in the Duluth Reader.
I have a grudging respect for Juan Percent. Unlike the majority of strangers who have anonymously faulted my writing Juan has taken part in an honest tit for tat with me. You can find several such chats on the Duluth Reader Pages of my Not Eudora columns.
My last column on Republican Socialists is one such example: Juan’s latest swipe at me was angry and heartfelt. I loved its candor:
JPFriday Apr. 5, 2019
Central planning for a war should be short term, and one would expect that money to be paid back. The central planning the USA has done since FDR has left us 20 Trillion in debt with no way to pay it back. I acknowledge that your generation doesn’t give a shit about leaving your children and grand children an impossible debt load and no way to pay it back (as long as you got yours!)
The boomers have been making terrible decisions since they crawled out. But then your generation has always had a terrible nihilist streak, maybe it’s been your intention to destroy the USA the entire time. As for the rest of us, we can’t afford more short sighted, feel good decisions that will leave us saddled with even more debt and have no guaranteed benefit. Let me ask you this. Why in God’s name should we listen to you?
Maybe we’ll find a technological solution to capture carbon that doesn’t involve the creation of more waste in the form if lithium batteries and whatever other high tech waste the “green” new deal spews out. Is it better to replace baggies with toxic waste?
As I said before, the green new deal has never been about controlling carbon, it’s always been about command and control of the economy. Maybe it’s time to step aside, and take Nancy and Chuck with you. Haven’t the boomers caused enough damage already?
I could ask you to go to the Reader link above to see my reply or the whole preceding dialogue. I’ll save your clicking finger.
This is my reply:
Thank you Juan,
That’s the most honest thing you have ever written. And I agree with you to a shocking degree. Continue reading
. . . is online and on the newsstands.
I spent the late afternoon finishing a Not Eudora column sharing the same title as this post.
Sorry, you will have to wait till the Reader is out before I share more than the title with you.
The devil tested Jesus as he fasted in the wilderness for 40 days. The devil told him that if he jumped from the highest pinnacle of Jerusalem’s temple the angels would catch him and bear him away to safety. That would certainly have been a lot more impressive for Israel than one more Roman crucifixion.
Read the rest.
The Reader took my latest submission Galaxies and Glaciers. Cool!
I don’t even mind that it (the Reader’s version) begins “ast week…”
. . . now on your website. Please put it in the next paper issue in its entirety.
I’m sure its an accident.
Without the reader is tossed into an ocean without a view to the coast. Normally I don’t publish them to this blog. Instead I link to the Reader’s online site. Today I’ve put the whole column together on the blog. You can read it in the post that proceeds this one.
I’ve asked them to print it whole next week. My eight loyal readers don’t have to wait. Just go back to the previous post.
You Have My Sympathy Ilhan
Ilhan Omar, Minnesota’s new Islamic Congresswoman, has offered her “unequivocal” apology for twitting the fiercely pro-Israel Political Action Committee AIPAC in a tweet. Some of her fellow Congressmen are not satisfied. Full abasement is called for and perhaps Congressional censure. Nevermind that traditional Republican condemnation of “Hollywood” for unraveling our moral fabric echoes similar calls from earlier politicians that paired amoral Hollywood with the slur “Jew controlled.”
Three years ago, I submitted the following column after accompanying a peace studies class to the Holy land. I suggested that it be the first of several to follow covering my two-week tour of Israel and Palestine. I’d grouse about how the reputedly corrupt Prime Minister Netanyahu insulted President Obama. I’d gasp about the belligerent drunk who hectored my liberal Jewish
guides. I’d describe how I wept at Yad Vashem as an archival movie showed two small shivering brothers sitting on curb in Warsaw, the little one listless and near death; both boys the age and image of my grandsons. The Reader didn’t get back to me back then so I resubmit the column today to register my own impatience with the one-sided debate allowed in today’s America over an issue almost as important as guns, gays and gynecology.
Harry Welty’s Holy Land Haj, Part 1 – Bookends Continue reading
The Reader didn’t print the Title I’d planned on but a caption I’d suggested for the following picture. I wanted it titled “Debating Society.” I wasn’t very clear when I rushed the column to them late Tuesday night!
Below is the first paragraph. Here it is in the Online Reader.
“For several days I’ve had heated discussions on Facebook over THE issue of the day (many days) President Trump. Passersby at my house know that I hold our President in low regard. And yet in discussing him pro and con I’ve tried to be lawyerly. An old college chum echoed Trump’s call to stop MS 13, drugs, rapists and sex traffickers at the border. A Bernie Sanders supporting shirttail relative lambasted Hillary Clinton for sabotaging Bernie Sanders in her campaign for the Democratic nomination. I begged to disagree with both. Searching for middle ground is an old habit of mine. . .”
After skipping a Not Eudora column for the past two weeks I am pleased to have cranked one out yesterday. It remains to be seen if it will show up in this week’s Reader. I was a little late sending it in last night and it was uncommonly long at about 300 words in excess of my typical 800. If it misses this week they can stuff it in the following week’s publication.
I won’t spill the beans and cut into the Reader’s circulation by giving the contents away just yet but here’s a visual teaser:
(NOTE- I just fixed the link to my column)
I hurried this column so as to make a Church Properties Meeting. Sadly, I can now see a couple mistakes that might have been fixed had I not rushed it to publication:
It’s coming! The biggest case of overdue Karma in America’s history. The only question will be whether Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office like Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy left his Senate soap box with 36 percent of American’s still approving of him. Or, will President Trump’s lock on 30% of America (80% of Republicans) evaporate? . . .
Just in case anyone reading my previous post skipped over the link to my latest column in the Duluth Reader I’m providing another chance to read it here.
I am always annoyed to discover that my proof reading missed something and, especially with something gone to print. In the case of this column I am missing an article……a darned “a.” That was after about seven rereadings sessions to edit it. Pshaw!!
For Thanksgiving, This week’s Not Eudora column in the Reader:
And I didn’t mention my matchbook collection that disappeared shortly after my parents found me in a closet or my photograph collection or bottle cap collection or picture postcards or the agates I began accumulating after moving to Duluth.