Category Archives: justice

Presidential liar and deal breaker

“I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the SIGPR to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause,” part of Article II Section 3 of the Constitution that states a sitting president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This seems to suggest the administration believes it is the president’s duty and not that of an inspector general to ensure the funds are distributed as the law intends.

latest from Vox

What else in the law passed by Congress will Trump ignore – the spending limitations that prevent elected officials from sucking up these corona virus funds the way Trump properties inflate and suck up Secret Service rent?

Donald Trump runs the White House like he does his businesses. Ignore the law and fight and delay in court. Its the work of a Dictator. Its unlawful but he doesn’t give a damn about the law.

Republican Courts

Mitch McConnell’s getting worried about his losing his power to continue to making the Federal Courts a Republican ocean. He’s encouraging old Republican appointed judges to retire so that Trump can fill their offices with recent law school ideologues. https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/16/mitch-mcconnell-urging-judges-retire-ahead-2020-election/5060303002/

What follows is an open letter from a resigning attorney of the Supreme Court to Chief Justice Roberts. It reflects my thinking since 2000 when the Supreme Court stuck its nose into Florida’s election and stopped its courts from awarding Al Gore the votes he needed to become the next president.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/03/judge-james-dannenberg-supreme-court-bar-roberts-letter.html

Grievance Merchants

I’m always way behind on popular culture so I don’t recall hearing about the country western sounding band Drive-By Truckers.

This morning I caught the last half of an NPR story about them and when I heard their recording with the following lyrics I immediately began doing an internet search for them:

“They say his trouble with the ladies can’t be his fault / After all he’s what it’s natural they should want / That there’s just outside forces turning them against him / A conspiracy to water down his blood / A conspiracy to water down his blood / And it’s all the fault of it or them or they / Give a boy a target for his grievance / And he might get it in his head they need to pay”

Though Mike Cooley’s songwriting isn’t as prevalent on The Unraveling as on previous Drive-By Truckers albums, his contributions are felt more than ever before, especially on “Grievance Merchants,” a song that laments the cycle of gun violence in the United States. Cooley’s anger and frustration are all over the track, and every time these lyrics hit the speakers, it’s impossible not to join him in those feelings.

The person being interviewed Packer something got in trouble with his teacher as a third grader in Alabama writing a defense of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. Whoa!

Read More: Drive-By Truckers’ ‘The Unraveling’: 5 Powerful Lyrical Moments | https://theboot.com/drive-by-truckers-lyrics-the-unraveling/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

If God ordained Trump King…

…it was to humble the arrogance of today’s golden calf worshipers in the evangelical church.

This is one of many stray thoughts while shoveling out of “snowmegeddon” the closest to hell I ever expect to be after four years of Donald Trump proving that Americans are as prone to moneychanging at the Temple as any other people besotted with Satan’s snake oil.

Luke 12: 34

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Although I am a poor substitute for a professing Christian in our church choir I do like the weekly reminder of the call of Jesus of Nazareth. In Acts there is the story of one of his followers after the Resurection when his followers formed communes to share all their goods. One of them, Annanias, lied to Peter and to God about how much he was withholding from the community. Peter knew better and said: ” “Why is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?” Annanias died on the spot.

Donald Trump, who is famous for bragging about his wealth, cheating on his taxes, getting hold of his inheritance before his father Fred was willing to hand it over, failing to make charitable contributions he promised to make while cheating the contractors who built his empire and the students who attended his colleges, should remember that its reported the same St. Peter, who said that Annanias was filled with Satan, guards the entrance to heaven. What are Trump’s chances?

Elsewhere in the Bible Jesus tells the rich young man that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Of course, like so much in the Bible this is cherry picked out by the prosperity gospel preachers who believe great wealth is a sign of God’s favor. I tend to agree more with Balzac’s observation: “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.”

Back in the seventies a lot of TV preachers with their Lear Jets and mansions got tossed in prison for their misuse of church funds. That doesn’t happen so much any more and many of them are richer than ever. No wonder they have come to the conclusion that Donald Trump has the “mandate of heaven.” There’s not much more Jesus in their Churches than there is Lincoln in the Grand Old Party.

Wealth Taxes and :( sigh ): This

23 minutes – This comes from NPR’s . Its about the Ultra Rich wealth tax of Elizabeth Warren. Since my college days forty years ago I’ve been worried that an unfair system leads to pitchforks too. Look at Revolutionary France. Look at today’s Venezuela. Look at the Tea Party railing against the gentle treatment of bankers to gave us the mortgage crisis. https://www.npr.org/2019/07/24/744962126/episode-929-could-a-wealth-tax-work

It would take an amendment to the Constitution which would be a very high hurdle to leap over. I’d support it.

2 minutes – And then Donald Trump takes the one decent, laudable thing he said in the last four years and slits its throat: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/14/760683504/opinion-president-trump-claims-he-was-at-ground-zero-on-sept-11-but-was-he

An example of my cell phone memo pad

I bought a cell phone with a better camera before I left for China two years ago. I lost a year’s worth of notes I’d begun jotting down for blog posts, reminders, ideas for potential books etc. Since then I’ve created another 300 plus such posts but utterly failed to organize them so as to be easily accessible. While sorting through them just now I found this one which I’ll share with a few proof reading corrections. I don’t know how I’ll modify or use it but its has the seeds of a much longer discourse. Its a good example of the random thoughts I’d like to make sense of:

Tyranny of the Elite

In public high schools there has long been something of a tyranny of the elite. It is loosely composed of kids with money, the football or basketball team and the National Honor Society. Continue reading

An amendment to the Constitution I would like to propose

Since the adoption of the Constituion’s Bill of Rights this is how the Second Amendment has read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

If I were in Congress today I would put forward an amendment that altered this verbiage to wit:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, the same as or the equivalent of those available at the adoption of the Constitution, shall not be infringed.

I think this would dramatically change the debate over the Second Amendment. It wouldn’t get 3/4ths of the State’s approval today but perhaps it, or something along the same lines, would pass in the next generation.

For another sample of my thoughts about the Second Amendment read: The Wayning of America.

OR check out any of my posts linked under the category “gun control.”

Justice vs Politics – RE: The possible, imminent political crises

Five years ago I began but quickly shelved an argument with the attorney I was working with who helped Let Duluth Vote challenge the Red Plan in Duluth. I told him that the law was tempered with politics. He strongly denied this, so much so I thought it useless to argue. But its true. Judges bring their political thinking and loyalties into their job just like they bring their other experiences and family connections. Many of them have to run for their offices. As is said of politicians: those who do not get elected cannot legislate, so to with judges; those who can not get elected cannot judge.

It is wishful thinking to expect all or even most judges to be blindly blind to the world around them and simply rule on the basis of sometimes out-dated or ill-worded laws when the public can throw bombs at them for doing so. Judges in India and Pakistan probably get year round police protection when they make unpopular rulings like the recent Indian Court that opened an Indian Temple recently to women of an age to menstruate.

With this prologue let me introduce the first four paragraphs of an Atlantic article on our Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts. They contain almost exactly my thinking about him. I’ve read no further than this for now but here’s the article in full and here below are those first four paragraphs: (This article appears in the March 2019 issue.)

Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts gave the commencement address at the Cardigan Mountain School, in New Hampshire. The ninth-grade graduates of the all-boys school included his son, Jack. Parting with custom, Roberts declined to wish the boys luck. Instead he said that, from time to time, “I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.” He went on, “I hope you’ll be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others.” He urged the boys to “understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either.” And in the speech’s most topical passage, he reminded them that, while they were good boys, “you are also privileged young men. And if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you’re privileged now because you have been here. My advice is: Don’t act like it.”

As Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s maudlin screams fade with the other dramas of 2018, Roberts’s message reveals a contrast between the two jurists. Whatever their conservative affinities and matching pedigrees, they diverge in temperament. The lingering images from Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing are of an entitled frat boy howling as his inheritance seemed to slip away. By contrast, Roberts takes care to talk the talk of humility, admonishing the next generation of private-school lordlings not to smirk.

The chief justice also carries himself in a manner that reflects his advice. He chooses his words carefully. He speaks in a measured cadence that matches his neatly parted hair and handsome smile. He is deliberate and calm, not just in his public remarks but in his work as a judge—and as a partisan. Roberts declines to raise his voice or lose focus, because he understands politics as a complex game of strategy measured in generations rather than years. He also recognizes, but will never admit, that although politics is not the same thing as law, the two blend together like water and sand. More than 13 years into his tenure as chief justice, Roberts remains a serious man and a person of brilliance who struggles, under increasing criticism from all sides, to balance his loyalty to an institution with his commitment to an ideology.

The first biography of Roberts has arrived, Joan Biskupic’s The Chief. It will not be the last. A well-reported book, it sheds new light but is premature by decades. (Biskupic is a legal analyst for CNN.) As our attention spans dwindle to each frantic day’s headlines, we can forget that the position of chief justice is one of long-term consequence. Only 17 men have filled that role, and they have presided over moments of national crisis, shaping our government’s founding structure (John Marshall), hastening its civil war (Roger Taney), responding to the Great Depression (Charles Evans Hughes), and enabling the civil-rights revolution (Earl Warren).

Roberts seems ever likelier to face an equally daunting test: confronting a president over the value of the law itself. A staunch conservative, he has broken ranks with the right in a major way just once as chief justice, by casting the deciding vote to save the Affordable Care Act in 2012. What will Roberts do if the clerk calls some form of the case Mueller v. Trump, raising a grave matter of first principles, such as presidential indictment and self-pardon? He portrays himself as an institutionalist, but we do not yet know to what extent this is true. He must necessarily prove himself on a case-by-case basis, which injects a note of drama into his movements. Roberts is the most interesting judicial conservative in living memory because he is both ideologically outspoken and willing to break with ideology in a moment of great political consequence. His response to the constitutional crisis that awaits will define not just his legacy, but the Supreme Court’s as well.

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.”

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

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

Frat Boy Justice

My column made it to the Reader today:

It begins:

“My first stab at writing about our newest Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was from the perspective of my “frat boy” experience ten years before Brett allegedly made a habit of getting black out drunk in college. The crappy behavior I witnessed during the age of Aquarius was not unlike the self-entitled depredations Kavanaugh has been accused of in the Reagan Era. Experience leads me to believe that our newest justice was as guilty of attempted rape as OJ Simpson was of murdering his wife. If I’m right that’s a triumph for the “rule of law” which can be greatly diluted if one attends prestigious universities and/or has plenty of money.”

To read the rest click the link in the lead sentence.

For Hysterical Trumpmen

Forty years ago male teachers started getting called for getting too touchy feely with female students. I remember older men telling me, then a young teacher, how paranoid people were getting and how they were glad they weren’t teachers.

I tried not to roll my eyes.

Here’s a young lady whose eyes sparkle while they roll over a new scarry time for men.

Boys will be jerks

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

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

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

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

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

Abood today

I got a question from WDIO today on the case which guts public employee unions. I returned one email reaction. Then I returned a second email with additional comments.

Email from WDIO:

Hey, Harry!

Just checking if you want to weigh in with your thoughts on the Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME ruling. I’m trying to get all the CD08 candidates in our story on the Web.

Let me know if you can pass along a statement.

Thanks,

MY FIRST RESPONSE:

This decision threatens to eviscerate public employee unions by treating even legitimate negotiation expenses as speech. It violates fair play and past compromises and demonstrates that the Republican Party has succeeded in making the Supreme Court a partisan branch of the federal government. 

MY SECOND RESPONSE:

BTW my father was the president of the Mankato State college faculty union and taught contract negotiation in their business school. I wrote about it once in the Reader. It has a pretty accurate prediction in it.

http://snowbizz.com/Diogenes/NotEudora06/CollectiveBargain.htm

AND ONE MORE THING I FORGOT TO TELL WDIO:

My Dad was a life long Republican.