Category Archives: elections

I’ll give Jim the last word.

It’s the least I can do with him hanging on to my tail:

“As the old timers used to say in my day “Son, when you have a tiger (Harry Welty) by the tail, don’t let go.  Harry refuses to expose his heroes and soul mates race-baiters Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Jr. & III, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin of the federal racketeering charges against them.  Harry is probably too young in age and/or mind to remember that Martin Luther King fought for EQUALITY, not black supremacy.  He preached that he looked forward to the day that our children will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.  Which made sense to me then and it still does today.  Stacy Abrams (Aunt Jemima) lacks character, a strong moral compass and refuses to accept defeat by playing the race card that suits Harry just fine and has been labeled a “gadfly” for his immoral character.  There is a big difference between upstanding, respectable African-Americans and rabble-rousing race baiting niggers.  Harry prefers the latter, I prefer the foregoing.”

Glad that’s over with…..OMG, there’s another election coming!!!!!

I’m too fatigued from worry to think much about the 2020 election but I’m sure it will be another doozy. I simply feel relief. A Reagan Era Republican and columnist Max Boot said it was a “rebuke” but not the “repudiation” he had hoped for. I am disappointed but not dissatisfied. I have one ultimate objective. I want the restoration of the Party of Lincoln. I don’t see how that can happen anytime soon if ever.

Under the best circumstances it will take a decade for voters to forget what Donald Trump said and did to shore up his base. As Republicans voters age and die and Democrats undo state-by-state the election law mischief of the last ten years they will deserve the Congressional level ignominy that they endured in the post world War II years. I was going to add “but didn’t deserve” but then I remembered Joe McCarthy, the Red Scare and the HUAC Investigations. But that all happened before I hit First grade. After that “Cloth coat” Republicans suffered a couple decades out of power. (It was forty-six years in the House of Representatives! From 1948 to 1994)

Here are a few of my takeaways: Continue reading

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.

I want to dance with you in the worst way

For those who think my politics are idiosyncratic I’ll not argue. I prefer that to conformity any day. So let me tell you who I have decided I want to run for President in two years. Firstly, Donald Trump. I surely don’t want him to win. I think he needs to be removed by the ballot box. Secondly, Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar. I know she’s not that well known outside Minnesota. Even the Internet doesn’t seem to know about her yet. I just now got a spellcheck suggestion “chalkboard” when I typed her name. Minnesota has had a number of serious presidential contenders over the last century and one, Hubert Humphrey, came withing a week of getting elected. His campaign just didn’t last long enough. Instead, the Skip Sandman supporters of his Era gave the election to Richard Nixon.

What has led me to Klobuchar is another perfectly respectable Democratic presidential possibility, Elizabeth Warren. Warren just took the President up on his offer to give her a million dollars to take a DNA test to prove that she has native american ancestry. He infamously calls her “Pocahontas.” She did and she has some…..most likely. Now the President is backing away from his million dollar braggadocio.

What occurred to me after this is not what a jackass Trump is. That’s so obvious that I’m pretty sure most of his supporters know it. He’s just their middle finger to the goody-two-shoes of America who are more interested in saving the whales than helping Americans who are hard against it. No. what occurred to me was that Elizabeth Warren, clearly a goody-two-shoes, doesn’t have a sense of humor about herself. Like Hillary Clinton she comes across like the sixth grade class president all full of herself and earnest as the glue you had to lick to affix old time postage stamps on a postcard.

Trump has very little humor either. Oh he laughs when he belittls other people but he can’t joke about himself. That makes him a perfect foil for Saturday Night Live.

My favorite politician had much to overcome. Lincoln famously lost a lot of elections. He had a first rate mind with a second rate career. Its hard not to see his election to the Presidency against all odds in 1860 as God’s intervening to keep America’s beacon shining across the Earth. I don’t believe that of course. I’m an agnostic after all but I’ll never find fault with anyone who comes to that conclusion.

He not only told jokes on himself but he didn’t mind a little roasting. One of my favorite jibes came from his politically ambitious wife who told everyone about the time she met Lincoln at a dance. He told Mary Todd that he wanted to dance with her in the worst way. Mary Todd Lincoln love telling her listeners…… that he did!

I was not impressed the first time I saw Amy Klobuchar on public television. She was a public prosecutor at the time. However Senator Klobuchar has eclipsed her now disgraced Minnesota colleague, the former SNL comedian, Al Franken.

Like Lincoln and the best politicians she can deftly mix humor and dead earnestness. I shouldn’t be surprised. Her father was a long time columnist for the Minneapolis Tribune whose ironic contributions were heavily imbued with his Iron Range political sensibilities. In this day of self-righteous vitriol I like the idea of a President with a sense of humor about themselves. Americans have so little good reason to fight among themselves at a time when the Earth is being paved over by the forces of human industry and development. I know that’s this is a point of disagreement but really. It shouldn’t be. I think a Klobuchar Presidency might help us cool our jets.

By the way, an ad by my friend, Dana Krivogorsky, has persuaded me to vote for her for the legislature. She will be the first Republican I’ll have been able to vote for in years. I like the ad because it has absolutely nothing political about it. If the Republican Party is to heal itself like the physician, it will need more folks with an honest sense of humor back in public office.

Here’s Dana’s ad:

Truth in Advertising?

I remarked recently that the Trib in endorsing another candidate for County Auditor simply mentioned that Nancy Nilsen had been on the School Board to shepherd in the Red Plan. (I need barely add the disastrous Red Plan) She has been mentioned in Lincoln Democrat several times through the years.

Well, a Labor World was delivered to my house this morning. I was surprised to see that Nancy is using a high school album photo from twenty or thirty years ago in her ads. She sure doesn’t look like someone who has worked in the Auditor’s office for eleven years.

I really like Jimmy Kimmel

If you put Jimmy Kimmel in this blog’s search engine you will find four posts (now five) with the talk show host’s name in them. Its ironic given what prompted this post that in this one I said of Jimmy what I’ve said recently of the newest Supreme Court Justice that Jimmy’s show had the reputation of being “a bawdy frat show.”

The video below is a repeat of a wonderful, dead on, song I just posted. Jimmy Kimmel who has become anything but a male chauvinist saw it too. This time Lynzy Lab is accompanied by a chorus. I am a sucker for human decency and I teared up. So did Claudia when she saw it.

When my daughter was in college and started going to “raves” I worried for her. It wasn’t only frat boys and father figure Bill Cosby who slipped knock out drugs in women’s drinks. In the old days getting a girl drunk was supposed to an invitation for sex but that wasn’t good enough for some guys. Pro Choice hero, Senator Bob Packwood was exposed thirty years ago for giving woman a mysterious pink drink which clouded their memories. I can’t find a quick google reference to the drink but look at this old SNL cold opening from 1993.

Its always been a scary time for fathers of young women. But I bet a lot of them are the same fathers who are going to Trump rallies to preserve what made America great.

I told Claudia that the silver lining in the Trump Presidency is that it has pointed a Klieg light on men. She agreed and said that at a women’s book club yesterday everyone agreed that the Trump presidency was exposing racism and sexism as never before. Here’s the video from the Kimmel Show:

How are the Republicans attempting to save themselves? Through duplicity, cheating and the theft of votes. That the worst of this is happening in the Republican south is testament to how wrong the Robert’s Court was to shelve the monitoring of the South’s notoriously racist election laws.

But don’t worry. Our President loves black folks. Why as Florida was being pummeled to smithereens by hurricane Michael he chose to have a press conference with his most loyal black supporter:

On the pretext of stopping “rampant” but, in fact, almost non-existent voting fraud all the deep south and many other Trump heavy states now require photo IDs. Its not like to good old days in the 1940’s when a rich Texas oil man could give a poor Mexican American five bucks to vote for anyone who was against the oil depletion allowance that kept them rich. Now those Mexicans might vote for a Democrat instead and have to be prevented from voting by any means necessary.

Politics at the DNT

The new more fair and balanced Duluth Trib that has apparently been endorsing a bunch of Republicans did them all a big favor a few years ago by dropping Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury. If it hadn’t been for Facebook I would have missed this one. It gives me hope that despite my agnosticism the evangelical God will welcome me into heaven.

https://www.facebook.com/619396493/posts/10156841988991494/

But not everything out of the Trib rings false. They did not endorse my 2013 school board opponent, Nancy Nilsen, for the County Auditor’s position. Instead they pointedly mentioned her role as a Duluth school board member helping give birth to the Red Plan.

The $5,000 filing floor for filing with the FEC

A couple days ago the Trib’s Brady Slater called to ask me about my FEC filing statement a couple days before the candidate’s campaigns were required to disclose how much money they had raised to date. I told Brady I hadn’t filed one because I only had been given one donation for $40.00.

Claudia told me that I would have to deal with the rigmarole for filing for Congress. (She has helped me keep my reports straight in recent years) However, I only to keep from chewing my fingernails up to my wrist as Donald Trump merrily makes a mockery of 230 years of hallowed American experience. I sort of figured that I would not have to fuss around with Federal filing and it turns out that this will probably be the case. I didn’t bother finding out because I figured that the Federal Elections Commission would at least send me a packet after I filed in the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office.

Its been a month and no one’s contacted me. Well its 2 AM on July 4th and after hearing how our new NATO allies are behaving in Poland I couldn’t sleep so I crawled out of bed and decided to take a peak at the FEC’s website. Sure enough I (or my committee of one) only have to file after I’ve raised $5,000. If my donation button starts getting pushed I’m prepared to file but I’m not breaking a sweat to raise money. Oh I raised $5,000 easily to run for the Duluth School Board last year but I did that to keep a clear conscience. I’ve made the school board my life for the past twenty-five years. During a time of crisis with an incompetent Superintendent I felt a responsibility to campaign my heart out. I knew that because of the forces Donald Trump had awakened I would have to work like a dog. I even tried to win the DFL nomination. Sadly, the folks who overran the DFL convention knew nothing about the School Board and the old timey DFLer’s had it in for me. A lot of old school board members I’ve found fault with in the past were at the convention getting neck rubs from our Superintendent. (That’s not a joke)

I’ve always campaigned with my quick wits and considerable research more than money. I had earlier told Mr. Slater that I was looking for lightning in a bottle. So far there are lots of clouds but no strikes.

Here is the plot of a television show I saw back when I was a boy scout in Topeka, Kansas, that has stuck with me.

In an old western town a young man has been told by his sweetheart that her father won’t let her marry him because he has no money and no prospects in life. That sets the young man on a mission. He takes off all his clothes and wraps a blanket around himself in his hotel room. Then he calls for his hoped for father-in-law to talk with him. The ardent suitor tells the Father that he will make a small fortune in 24 hours to prove that he has prospects AND he will do it starting as naked as a jay bird. The father scoffs, of course, and asks how he could possibly accomplish this. The young man tells the father to stake him with a tidy sum to by a respectable suit. When the Father starts to laugh that idea off the suitor explains that he means business. If the father doesn’t give him this stake the suitor will simply walk out naked humiliating the father since everyone in town already knows that the suitor aims to marry his daughter. The threat works and the Father buys him a respectable change of clothes so that he can start raising his small fortune.

I don’t recall how he got the rest of the fortune but I haven’t forgotten his chutzpah. I wish my congressional campaign could work like that. But that would require local Republicans to be horrified that a toady for President Trump was about to give our spoiled seven-year-old of a Commander and Chief one more vote from his cowed Congressional prostitutes. Talk about a far fetched plot line!

A penny for your thoughts

After I put in my hour studying French I am going to heap abuse on the Duluth Trib for this chintzy policy. It’s worse than charging grieving families to publish an obituary.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/opinion/4456875-editors-note-reminder-about-paid-political-content

Now the editors at the Trib are mind readers and can tell when readers are being politically craven. They will still print such letters but they will be charging letter writers for it. How noble.

Rank Choice

I listened to an interview on MPR today that raised my hackles. It was not this story from two days ago. Instead it was an interview with Forest Lake Republican, Mark Koran, pushing a law to forbid any ranked choice voting in Minnesota even where the local voters have put it into affect. In other words local control is good but only when Republicans agree with it.

When Koran was interviewed by the Star Tribune he told them that ranked choice confuses people. On his interview today he added more thought but first pointed out that while he lives outside the Twin Cities he’s really not against the big city since he grew up in the Metro area. Yeah sure.

I don’t have much sympathy for ranked choice as evidenced by my previous posts on the subject. But I do have some thoughts about “local control.” However, awkward I find it some voters have put it into effect. The tyrant Koran wishes to take it away from them rather than let them change their own system.

He squawked that some voters felt “disenfranchised” because some of the ballots cast didn’t get people elected. Hell. That’s like my saying I was disenfranchised every time my candidate lost because my vote didn’t count. Its like complaining when your teacher gives you a multiple choice test because you prefer true/false questions.

Koran, as a Republican, has a lot of nerve talking about disenfranchisement because his party has taken the old Dixiecrat talent for preventing black people from voting and found dozens of new methods to discourage people likely to vote Democratic from casting ballots. That has been a common complaint of many of my posts about God’s Own Party over the past decade. Now, suddenly, Koran wants to protect people who didn’t bother to vote in the Ranked Choice referendum or who aren’t smart enough to understand how the damned method works.

I’m particularly bitter about his ignoring the Republican’s old faithful talking point – “local control.” When Duluth voters were deprived of the right to vote on the ruinous Red Plan our then Governor, Tim Pawlenty, explained his reluctance to let Duluth have a referendum on it based on the big shots from Duluth and Johnson Control’s lobbyists guaranteeing him that everybody in Duluth wanted to skip a “wasteful” election. As a result, today Duluth’s Public Schools are in tatters.

Ironically, I see no advantage for Republicans in ending St. Paul’s experiment with Ranked Choice Voting. Republicans have always had a hard time getting elected to the City Council in either of the Twin Cities or, for that matter, in Duluth. Killing Ranked Choice won’t end that. Naw! I think its just the same sort of “nanny state” crap that Republicans complain Democrats are guilty of. Thank you Rep. Koran. Your a good Big Brother.

Irony watch

I am a connoisseur of all things ironic and recent stories, that have been a surprise to me and everyone I know, may have an incredibly ironic connection.

I blame one administration suck up for bringing down a ton of bricks on my colleague Art Johnston three years ago. Long time readers may know to whom I’m referring although I’ve never quite been enough of a “provocateur” to use such incendiary language before to describe her. I can’t help but wonder if the recent news about Art’s challenger wasn’t brought about by the very same person, thirteen unlucky years ago, sowing time bombs and mayhem wherever she went.

I highlighted the word provocateur because I described myself as such to Jana Hollingsworth for today’s story about the At-large school board candidates.

I was thinking historically. More examples of my kind of provocateur: Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, Martin Luther, Frederick Douglas, Jesus of Nazareth.

Can Duluth voters take an endorsement seriously from editors who did not notice that Donald Trump was an ignorant demagogue,…

…a liar and a seven-year-old sexoholic?

Well maybe, but I’m still profoundly disappointed in their at-large school board endorsements. They only grudgingly endorsed me four years ago and they have badly confused my principled fight to protect Art Johnston as something ugly when in fact, the only thing ugly about it was the Tribune’s siding with the School Board members who pushed lies to remove Art. As I wrote a couple year”s ago:

Art and I did have a chance to voice our displeasure with the attorney for the District Kevin Rupp. The allegation I leveled against Rupp for pushing the Board to throw Racism on the barn wall last June to see if it would stick comes from an unimpeachable source. I would be amazed if any Board member denied it. This was only the most disagreeable reason I cited for replacing Rupp.

It was chair Mike Miernicki who was sickened by our attorney Kevin Rupp’s recommendation to charge Art Johnston with saying racist things. But Miernicki took the vile advice and it was the Duluth News Tribune who trumpeted the baseless allegation over and over for a year. The Presidential candidate that the editors did not oppose calls this Fake News. Now he wants to undermine the First Amendment. Good work Editors!

In fact, for ten years the editorial board has played the prostitute to school administrations of dubious character. They jumped on board with Keith Dixon, who I’ve always suspected was a charming sociopath. When Gary Glass correctly pointed out that Johnston Controls would earn $30 million from the Red Plan the newspaper quickly countered Glass with Dixon’s lie that the program managers would only earn $4.5 million. After that their columnist at the Budgeteer used this gross misinformation to write a column calling Gary Glass the liar.

Time and again the Trib backed the wrong end of the horse. The Red Plan would not segregate Duluth. The Red Plan would only cost half of its real cost. The new buildings would save a great deal of energy. The old buildings were far too large for Duluth’s needs. The old buildings would be sold and help retire the bonding debt. Interest payments were not part of the cost of the Red Plan. Now the editor’s mantra is “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” The real crime of the incumbent, Harry Welty, is that he is one of the few people who spoke up as the disaster unfolded. That merits the Trib’s dismissal: “Voters can thank Welty for his service — and then jump at the chance for the change that’s needed to finally solve those problems…” The problems the Trib’s editors were to blind to anticipate and too vain to acknowledge

One of the candidates the Trib heartily endorsed showed up for only the second school board meeting tonight since she announced her candidacy five months ago.
I’ve never seen a candidate campaign so little in all the years I’ve been watching the school board. I guess the Trib finds her ignorance as blissful as their own.

Meanwhile the hardest working new candidate Dana Krivogorsky got the Trib’s try-again-at-the-next-election schtick. Alanna Oswald offered a far more cogent testimonial. I wonder if the editors can relate to anyone who understands our schools and takes the time to study them. Krivogorsky’s only crime is guilt by association – with me.

And there may be another reason the Trib acts as it does. Thin skin. I have twitted the Trib time and time again on the blog in posts like this one where I engaged the Editor. And there was the time the editor accused me of defaming the Trib which resulted in this post on his “big boy pants.”

I’ve been to 10,000 doors all across Duluth this summer. I am not sure who the editors think their audience is but I doubt that they understand them very well. The Trib is in an echo chamber populated with poobahs who don’t want to be reminded how wrong they were about the Red Plan.
Now the Trib’s editors are promoting the Superintendent’s “dream team” so we will never have to worry about him jumping ship again.

I write this not in anger but with resignation. The last “fresh face” the Trib endorsed over me in 2007 prevented Duluth from reevaluating the Red Plan before Duluth took the plunge. Had the Trib endorsed me instead of helping elect a pretty young pet of Dr. Dixon’s our schools would not have been ripped asunder. There are solutions to our problems, painful solutions, but I’ll guarantee the fresh faces the Trib is endorsing this election are no improvement on the Fresh Face who cemented the Red Plan into place with the Trib’s help.

Lawnsign Maintenance

One of my least favorite political chores is picking up and replacing damaged and lost lawn signs. But at five bucks a pop and with a limited supply I knew I had to put some back up on 21st Ave east when I saw them badly abused along with their lawnsign partners, the Dana Krivogorsky signs. At the bottom of the hill I discovered that one midnight author had decided to amend my sign to, I guess, humiliate me.

I am indebted to the anonymous vandal who thinks a man should not stoop to “woman’s work.” I’ve put it in my front yard and from now on will put any other signs of mine which are defaced right next to it. As for being a dreaded house husband, its true that baby boom boys were raised to be “bread winners” but a couple bad breaks put me in the position to test whether I could walk the talk. The “talk” was my 45-year conviction that women and men are equals. Being an equal meant valuing the work of women with the respect it deserved and not looking down on traditional roles. I was at home most of the time that our children grew up and they didn’t turn out so badly – a daughter with a masters in Education and a son a year away from completing a Chemistry/Physics doctorate at one of the nation’s top 20 universities in the field of science.

Besides, had I not been a “house husband” I would never have begun the hobby that makes all Duluth smile every winter- snow sculpting. While I have not bragged about being a house husband I’ve not shied away from the label. The following admission is taken from a post last year.

“Hillary’s sins were often petty as for instance when she told reporters that she wanted to do more than bake cookies. As a house husband myself when she said this I was mortally wounded but I got over it.”

I owe a debt of gratitude to the anti-feminist ridicule bestowed on me. That sign will help me win a much larger share of the house husband vote and, with the shaky economy of recent years, its probably enough to assure my reelection.

I’ve now relocated the sign to my front yard. 40,000 drivers and passengers who pass by will see it every day until the election on November 7th.

I just can’t help myself

This was intended as a “confidential” email but I am quite content to let the general public see it:

To me from Chuck Frederick, Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune:

Hey Harry. I was told you posted on your blog that you were against political parties endorsing in nonpartisan races like those for School Board. Yet you were begrudgingly planning to seek the DFL endorsement this Saturday. First, why do you feel that parties should stay out of nonpartisan races? And if you feel they should why are you pursuing the party nod this Saturday? I’d appreciate your comments. Please feel free to reply. I’d appreciate it. And don’t worry, not planning on being critical of you in an editorial if we choose to do one.

thanks,
Chuck

And my reply:

To: Chuck Frederick
Subject: RE: party endorsement comment

Hi Chuck,

At the DFL screening I told them I wasn’t a fan of partisan endorsements for a non-partisan race. That’s true enough.

But I can’t deny the practical side. This is a traditional tool of Democrats to recruit candidates who can then have a jumping off pad for higher office. The Republicans who sniff at this in Duluth can be sure that Republicans do the same thing in Republican areas. Look at the damned races for judges.

I said I begrudgingly did something but that was at our special school board meeting. That was about spending money on fixing up Rockridge or spending general fund money on bonds. About the DFL I am being pragmatic.

I have a couple overlapping motives. The first I tell you in confidence. I don’t want a couple of my DFL board adversaries to get the 60 percent votes for endorsement that will assure them tons of Party help in the late fall. 2nd, I would like an easy election for a change. I have never had any good endorsements other than the Trib’s in 1999 and 2013.

Finally, I have had it up to here with no nothings. I have never reviled democrats. I like the idea of wrapping a perfectly respectable party around myself at this time of foolish, ignorant, hyper-partisanship. I detest Trump and blame the GOP for his destructive success. I want the Democrats to bring the blue collar voters back for a healthier nation.

And there is something else I would rather do this summer than knock on doors. I want to begin writing a book about my Grandfather. He was a rock-ribbed, Kansas Republican who wasn’t paranoid about Democrats. An easy campaign will give me freedom to pursue this.

Harry

For the record I don’t think publishing this before Saturday will make it any easier for me to win the nomination but I don’t care. If I have to campaign like hell I’ll do it. We have some extremely myopic school board members and we need some fresh blood. I don’t think mine is past the sell by date.

Patience and Impatience

I have yet to go through the four paper copies of the Tribunes that were delivered to my door while I was away in Florida. I believe only one of them, last week’s Thursday edition mentioned the Duluth Schools and that only to inform the public which of the incumbents were planning on running for reelection. The news must have been in the Friday paper copy because I my quote was given to reporter Hollingsworth Thursday morning while Airport announcements were being made in the background.

I had to repeat myself to Jana because I whipped my answer out pretty fast. I said,

“I don’t think there is anybody better prepared to deal with the challenges of the Duluth school district than somebody with my long experience, my patience and my impatience.”

Jana, didn’t add the bolding to that last bit about my impatience but I think she chuckled a bit under her breath when I repeated it. Its been a long three plus years with two of them wasted on a futile and destructive attempt to undue the 2013 election. Four of the board members who brought that about are now off or soon to retire leaving only Rosie Loeffler-Kemp to defend her pro-removal record and Art Johnston and me on the other side of that catastrophe to seek public vindication. Its that waste of two years which prompted my reference to both patience and impatience. It could hardly be otherwise.

The last year has seen some recovery from the first two dark years which imitated in microcosm the trials and tribulations of Washington D.C. Let’s hope that the tweet machine, Donald Trump, isn’t elected to the Duluth School Board this fall to fix everything.

My visit to Florida over the weekend brought home the division across the land as I listened to FOX News and visited with in-laws with very different opinions on the state of America. Hand me the sutures, Nurse, and some cotton for a little mopping up.

Oh, and this New York Times piece over the weekend on the same set of issues caught my attention: How the Left learned to Hate like the Right.

Keeping one’s perspective while confronting local and national crisis

Tonight I plan to attend a fun event at Denfeld, its annual Speech “Concert.” This will be easier for me because Claudia will be home late tonight after returning from her Seminary classes in the Twin Cities. I figure this will help remind me that I have some responsibilities here in Duluth and can’t spend all my time dismayed by National events. Likewise on Saturday I plan to attend the second annual Bringthesing event up at St. Scholastica. I had a great time singing there last year.

Its not as though I can escape, or want to escape, my concerns as a school board member. Yesterday I had two long conversations regarding the District’s future, upcoming elections, and the issue I raised at the end of the last school Board meeting – how we might face the possibility of searching out new leadership should that be our lot. Its just that I feel at times like a soldier in a trench with an oncoming tank to the front and an airplane strafing the trench coming from the side. Somehow I have to prepare for both simultaneously.

(please excuse this pause – my hungry yellow cat Moloch just jumped on my desk to let me know he’s hungry. I’ll have to give him false hope that I will feed him by rushing downstairs and then shutting the door on him when he follows me out. Otherwise he’ll bop my hand for the next hour until I’m ready to oblige him)

Sorry Moloch.

I’d like to pontificate about this NY Times column by Nicholas Kristoff: “There is a Smell of Treason in the Air”

In one of my conversations an old timer said the times we are living in are just like the 1960’s. Well, my truncated Paranoia series had that idea in mind and raised that thought but compared today’s headlines with the 1920’s. Or maybe we are revising the 1940’s movie Casablanca . Remember when Rick (Humphrey Bogart) said: “…I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”? Well, my hill of beans is the Duluth Schools and it does count.

BTW I found the quote in this site devoted to the best lines of dialogue in the movie. This is one of Hollywood’s greatest movies. I recently read that during the Movie’s flashback scene of the Germans marching into Paris one of the cast members, who was there when it really happened, burst out in uncontrollable sobs at the memory during the shoot. Also, evil Major Strasser in the movie was Conrad Veidt who in real life had escaped Nazi Germany before taking on the role. There were many other refugees from Europe on the set as actors and extras adding gravitas to the movie’s completion.

As for the nefarious treason that columnist Kristof writes about; he take his readers back to 1968 when friends of the Nixon campaign lobbied to delay a peace settlement in Vietnam. Kristof notes that it has been confirmed in the last month that Richard Nixon ordered the attempt. There have been no smoking guns until now. I agree that this was far more heinous than the Watergate Break-in that cost Nixon the Presidency. I feel obligated to pursue the Trump/Putin inquiries with a vengeance and thank God for Trump’s “loser” Senator John McCain for arguing that Congress isn’t fit/suited to conduct such an inquiry. To paraphrase Heraclitus, “the only thing that doesn’t change is change.”

Oh my head is full….ouch, ouch, ouch.

Time for me to go back to 1920 where a crowded field of Republican Presidential candidates (Just as in 2016) is about to give way to a second rater, albeit a “kind” man – Warren G. Harding.

Oh, and there’s this from the Trib today on Denfeld High School. Its an initiative I support but without the additional financing that I want the school to have. I’m still working on that.

And I just remembered one more item that has me thinking. Its one more bit of evidence that helps explain the Trump vote. Its about the reversal of the long time trend toward longer lives. White people seem to be dying of despair. They aren’t dying in socialized Europe. Maybe we can thank the Republican nanny state fighters.

Americapocalypse

I love my blog’s search function. It always surprises me what it can reveal in and about my ten years of blogging. Apparently, not counting this post I have mentioned “paranoia” in 47 previous posts. Its easy to count as the search function shows me 20 posts per page and there were three pages with 20 + 20 + 7 such posts. A couple even had the word “Paranoia” in the Title. Now that’s a small fraction of my total 19442 posts (not counting this one). I think that shows some restraint on my part as it means I’ve only mentioned it in .0049724926 percent of my total posts. (You gotta love calculators)

It’s on my mind now despite living a pretty mundane life. Last night my very interesting evening with the School Board (beginning with our hush hush closed meeting to discuss……….) Shhhhhh!

As I was saying – after my night of school board meetings I had eight minutes to drive up to my heart-dappled Glen Avon Presbyterian Church to practice with our choir. This will be difficult for me to continue thru June because Claudia is now working Wednesday evenings helping register homeless folks in at CHUM. Until June I’ll be skipping choir practice to take care of our grandsons. I’m looking forward to these evenings but since I can’t really read music I’ll be missing my only chance to practice our music by ear. I don’t mind looking foolish at a School Board meeting (that’s a lie) but I hate the thought of coughing out an unplanned solo or hitting a false note in church.

Ah, but a sick grandchild and my rare Wednesday board meeting left me free for the night and I hurriedly parked on the south side of Lewis street as I have for twenty years. Thank goodness I got the music. It is tricky and syncopated. When I left the practice feeling relieved I opened my car door and saw a parking ticket fall to the street. Twenty-four bucks! I guess I should thank my lucky stars I got away with that for the past two decades. It was bound to catch up with me sometime.

So this morning I awoke in our guest room bed alone. I moved there after waking up and fretting for a couple hours that would have been better spent sleeping. I have all day to fret. Last night however, I decided the deep well that I have put in my mattress may explain the sore shoulder muscles I’ve endured for the past week after shoveling snow. If so, maybe its not simply the Americapocolypse that has me up at nights. I’m going to lobby for a new mattress.

Claudia, it turns out, had to leave early for her Twin Cities Seminary classes this morning. She left me a pot of coffee and two sleeping cats which she had fed. Nice. Then, I read the 25th day straight of unsettling news about our new Command-her and Chief. Then, I thought about the likely imminent departure of our Superintendent. Then, I thought about how unless we can find alternative funding the School District may have to pull money out of the classroom to pay for replacement of tire mulch. Then, I thought about how to lobby the Minnesota Dept of Education to take money out of our Capital funds instead. Then, I saw my parking ticket on the dining room table. Phooey!

The ticket explained that I could pay easily over the phone and easy sounded, well, easy. But when a cheery voice announced I could do it easily for an extra $3 charge for phone processing I hung up and wrote a check instead. I’ll pay 54 cents for Post Office processing instead, thank you very much.

And behind all this personal minutiae lies a fearful political collapse of the Republic. The press won’t cut Trump any slack as he blunders his way proving that he can make the national political transition of government as chaotic as last year’s election. He has read his political mandate about as well as he can read. The saving grace is that in a pinch the Republican’s in Congress will likely not give him authoritarian powers lest he do to the Republicans what Kim Jong-un did to his half brother a couple days ago. They still need a powerful enough justification to impeach Trump so as to shield themselves from their fire-breathing Limbaugh and Rapture-ridden Christian base.

I take little comfort when I read an old testament Christian’s explanation that God chose lots of evil men to work his will in Old Testament times and that’s why they voted for Trump. Trump is our Nebuchadnezzar. An illiterate, pussy grabber is God’s judgement on America. Maybe that explains Trumps stunning retreat from his last thank you to the RNC convention for cutting Gays some slack. Then he backed off and threw a bone to the fundamentalists scrapping the Johnson Amendment.

I’ve often joked that “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you.” Looking at my Facebook feed which keeps growing exponentially as I add new friends I see how the folks on my side of the political divide are rallying. I only get short glimpses of the pro-Trump side as they typically eschew the Fake News I rely on. They probably feel paranoid about my jokes about the impeachment of Trump. That may be cause for alarm. At choir practice last night a friend told me of a retired school superintendent he knows (and that I know too) who is out buying all the ammunition he can.

I really need a good mattress.