My Buddy is a little sensitive

On Sat, Dec 31, 2011 at 3:38 PM, my [Buddy] wrote:


I am “after you”? Paranoia? I circulated the related link to about 50 people. But, then, perhaps partisans and ideologues are understandably defensive.

[your Buddy]

To which I replied:


My grandmother often said she was “provoked.” It was a rather Victorian thing for her to say but then again she was born during the Queen’s reign.

Its an innocent word but its married to the somewhat more sinsister term “provateur.” I should know because I’m one with regard to the Red Plan and the GOP. If you merely thought the Powerline comment was interesting I’m disappointed. The nugget – that Kenyes was an antisemite was interesting. That Powerline would take an interesting nugget and indict liberalism was worthy of my contempt. I heaped it on Powerline not you. You were simply the messenger…..or were you being provocative yourself?

I guess my saying that you were “after me” suggests that you were provoking me whether you intended to or not. You just roled someone else’s grenade under my nose.

I didn’t mind really. It gave me a chance to flex my liberality in front of my humongous readership and potential constituents. It was much more fun than sending them half a dozen emails reminding them they could give last minute donations to my campaign before the year was out.

Thanks and Happy New Year!


“The operative word seems to be…


That is how I replied to this email today:

The former employee of the district was courageous to write a letter that probably many felt but couldn’t say out loud.

The “former” employee’s letter-to-the-editor began:

According to the News Tribune, our current school superintendent is under investigation and on paid leave because he doesn’t have a Minnesota license; he had an Illinois license. Apparently, to get a Minnesota superintendent’s license you apply, pay a fee and send transcripts to show you’ve completed necessary coursework. Clearly it’s not the biggest deal for anyone who has taken the classes and has the skills to do the job. Luckily, this scandal can be resolved.

Meanwhile the secretive persecutor of Dr. Foster is giddily having the expensive PR person for the District churn out more happy talk only with the Board Chair’s name getting credit rather than Dr. Dixon.

One line of the piece I couldn’t help but take as a dig at me, Judy’s top persecutor: “Sometimes the adults act like teenagers and teenagers act like adults.”

Oh yes, I’ll admit to my guilt. Will Judy admit to voting for a new Superintendent only to secretly stab him in the back five months later thereby plunging the District once again into the headlines and chaos?

We teenage wannabes are something aren’t we?

My Buddy is after me again

After months of ignoring my Buddy so that I can spend my time on something useful I’ve started emailing back and fourth with him again. That has led to new emails twitting “liberalism” of one sort or another. No. Its not my Buddy twitting liberals. Its the posts of Righty pundits and bloggers. I suppose I deserve it because I love beating up the Grand Old Party that threw me over for flat Earth types but really. I need something better than Powerline’s snit over John Maynard Kenyes

Here’s what my Buddy sent me:

On Sat, Dec 31, 2011 at 8:19 AM, Victor D. Ulmer wrote:
Beware the authorities that you cite for your arguments?

If I’m going to use up half an hour writing my Buddy a riposte then I’ll go back to offering it to my blog readers as well. This was my reply to my Buddy:

[Buddy], Can you give me any evidence that this statement of Powerline’s is correct?

“…anti-Semitism has become almost wholly the province of the Left today.”

Keynes was arrogant. From what I’ve read of him he was an elitest. During his time there were lots of British upper crust types who disdained the Jews. It seems to be much more a condition of their milieu than partisanship. Some like Keynes were lefties. Many of them gravitated toward Lord Haw Haw. If, as I suspect, Powerline wants to discredit something persuasive like Keynes’ economic theories by pointing out that his racism was crude Powerline might also consider panning Democracy because Thomas Jefferson was a slave owning hypocrite. Do you think Jefferson’s lefty fans of Democracy have tried to sweep Sally Hemmings under the rug of history? Maybe I should be grateful that Powerline didn’t try discrediting Kenysian economic policies because John Maynard was a homosexual.

I think that economic truths lie midway between Hayak and Kenyes. How about you? Do you think that everyone should give up the Keynes part because of John Maynard’s 100 year old racial views? I’m not sure he even meant that as anything other than the kind of snide put down you hear from dishy high school girls.

Powerline is treating this historical tidbit like a great gotcha proving that liberals are all dipshits. Other than his economic theories what does Keynes mean today? I’d suggest that anything other than his economic theories are only footnotes, interesting though they may be.

As for Right wingers being champions of the Jews isn’t there a distinction between being unhappy with Israel and Jew baiting? I know the Right would like to conflate the two. But its worth remembering that the backbone of the GOP today are the Christian right which believes Jews must control all of King David’s Biblical lands to make the prophesy of the rapture come about. Unrepentant Jews would all die and go to hell when that happens. With friends like that …



I did not add any new pages to the book today but I did proof read and polish up the now eight pages from yesterday. They constitute what would be a prospective chapter 60. That took three or four hours. Combined with yesterday’s rough draft that means I spent about an hour and a half per page. That included stopping to consult other records and placing five foot/endnotes in the pages. Add an hour interviewing a witness and fifteen minutes typing up some correction/amendments and it was a pretty good day. Continue reading

Bookin it 8

A week ago I ran into Christmas and the book project went to sleep. Whenever I put it on hold I’m always fearful that it will be hard to pick up again. Today although I only had about five hours, two in the early morning and three just now, that proved not to be a problem. I’ve cranked out seven very rough new pages.

My Herculean efforts to organize my many files paid off today as I was able to go to several of them to work on one chapter stuck in the middle of the book. (I will not be writing this from start to finish but filling in material as I find the inspiration wherever it occurs in the timeline:

Here’s today’s snippit with the usual caveat:

In an April 9th letter to the Secretary of Commerc, John Tabor, Humphrey makes a preposterous claim, “It is my feeling that Anoka County, Minnesota, is clearly an area which should be a part of this region . . . Economically, it is more akin to those areas which are part of the Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission than it is to the more urban areas of Minnesota.”

The Zenith and the Nadir

Once again if you want to know why the Duluth School District is spiraling into a black hole you must read the alternative paper the Zenith instead of the Duluth Nadir Tribune.

Richard Thomas who has carefully documented past dim wittedness that the Nadir won’t cover until its too late interviewed Gary Glass for his last thoughts as a school board member. Don’t expect any major revelations. The District is spending money with a clueless School Board and faces a clamity when its reserve is depleted. Statutory Operating Debt is just a year or two away unless the District makes additional millions of cuts to its annual budget.

Not covered in the story is the real power behind the Board. Its not Bill Hanson. He just passes along spending decisions delivered to him by the Hanft Friede law firm. Its never been Superintendent Foster who is currently in hiding. Its not the PR woman who has no justification for a job now that Dr. Dixon is gone. Its not the interim Superintendent. Its probably not Chair Seliga-Punkyko who simply doesn’t understand what’s happening but is doing her best to get rid of Foster. Its certainly not me. I actually thought Mary Cameron might be in favor of protecting Foster. I have since picked up what appears to be her determintion to dump Foster. He does seem pretty hapless. I suspect his failure to get his Minnesota superintendent licensure squared away in October when the Personnel Dept warned him he was naked will be all the District needs to be rid of him without any financial repercussions. So much for Affirmative Action Success stories. He can always go back to playing a musical instrument even if he probably can’t go back to the Marine’s twenty mile hikes.

The Nadir has been the champion for the District and the Red Plan for six years. Look for their editors to deny this as the District plummets in free fall. The Nadir will be busy pointing fingers elsewhere.

My “my buddy” is not “a Republican Sympathizer”

My Buddy and I have had a great many words over my continual abuse of the GOP. My Buddy is not affiliated with either party. He has regularly chided me for my one-sided criticism of Republicans and noted the there are plenty of Democratic hacks and doofi (that’s the plural).

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

When Democrats get rid of Governor Walker, the Republican Congress, Obama wins relection and Goldman Sachs goes back to giving the Democrats the big bucks this little worm will turn. Until then I caucus with the Democrats and act like the same kind of maverick I was all the years I was a Republican.

PS. I had a close call. A friend at church asked if anyone had spilled the beans about my threat (fantasy) to run for Congress to Claudia. My friend kept her mouth closed. Claudia is still blissfully unaware of my threat.

When someone does unkindly spill the beans I’ll just claim I’m doing it to sell my book. For you my dear readers……don’t be so sure I’m not lying about that. I am a politician.

Beware of Smart people…

…who aren’t so smart except that they make their biggest donations to the GOP.

After my Baby Boom generation petered out marching against the War in Vietnam a new Republican Breed of College students got their MBA’s at Harvaard to study finance. The Result was the elimination of the Glass Steagal Act and the World Wide financial panic.

Thanks again to my Republican sympathizing buddy for this interview with Jon Stewart.

“..and because the House in now Republican the main goal of the Republicans who are going to run the finance Committees and so on is going to be to make sure those regulations do as little as possible.” Joe Nocera, co-Author of All the Devils are Here

Nocera’s Co-Author Beverly McClean is a Hibbing Girl and she wrote the last word on the Enron Scandal in her book, The Smartest Guys in the Room. Here’s an extended interview on C-Span with her.

Panic Attack

I’ve had a couple people send me emails asking me what the heck is happening in the Duluth Schools relative to Dr. Foster’s being frozen out of his office. I’ve had to tell them I have no idea. I’ve never met Foster. I’ve had plenty of food for thought for him should he bother to read my blog but I’ll bet he’s been warned that reading it will contaminate him should he choose to consume any of it. I’ve read the Trib’s story and the Trib’s Editorial and lately I was pointed to the short squib in the Reader Weekly. I’ll have more thoughts on this as time goes by but I’ll hazzard a couple ill informed observations.

First, only a fool would blame Foster for the problems that Dixon left behind. Unfortunately we have some on the School Board.

Second, I suspect Foster came into town blithely unaware how quickly the District would start spiraling out of control.

Third, I’ll bet those minions of Dr. Dixon who have been left behind have bent over backward to cover their arses so that Foster wouldn’t realized their complicity in the Red Plan’s growing debacle.

Fourth, I’ll bet those minions would much rather have Dr. Gronseth as their go-to guy because he was Dixon’s hand picked successor and he’d probably shield them if for no other reason than his own survival in perilous times. They are a team. It probably came as an unpleasant surprise to them that Mary Cameron would tip the balance away from Gronseth when a suitable minority candidate would surface.

Fifth, This is not a big surprise. Mary did the same thing to her old allies when the Hispanic Dr. Almanza became a candidate and voted for him over the white male candidate her allies preferred and with her rivals on the Board.

Sixth, Mary has a Doctorate and a lot of experience in Human Resources. If this is a putsch to get rid of Foster the mutineers better make sure they have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s or it will get very ugly. He could easily force the District to pay the rest of his three years’s salary if they don’t have cause to fire him. That would cost the District another half million dollars.

Seventh, Dixon’s old minions have friends on the Board. Just after Foster was closed to being selected Ann Wasson desperately tried to get Gronseth the job.

Eighth, If Foster is removed, and even if he isn’t, look for a loud series of accusations to pin the blame for the District’s mess on him and to obfuscate Dr. Dixon’s role.

Ninth, A whisper campaign has been started to undermine Foster. I was told from a source that began with one of the Board members who hired Dixon that Foster had not been to work about 35 days in his first sixth months. If true that would be troubling without a very good explanation. I’ll bet its greatly exaggerated. Furthermore the person who told me this wondered if Foster might be an alcoholic. I don’t know if this is also part of the rumor mongering or just a happy addition to an initial smear.

Tenth. Two of Foster’s early critics have been in effect Dr. Dixon’s dupes.They are Chamber of Commerce CEO David Ross and Union Prez. Frank Wanner. Neither have seemed to have the remotest interest in the District’s unsustainable finances relative to the Red Plan.

Eleventh, I have no idea why the Mayor who is belatedly commenting on the destruction of the central schools has weighed in against Foster. That was Dixon’s doing. Foster is simply picking up the pieces. Besides, Don Ness never says anything critical about anyone. Why is he starting to choose sides now? I haven’t the foggiest reason why.

Twelfth, Apparently the “investigation” of Foster began in secret, like so many Dixon inspired actions of the past. All the better to make an end run on those board members being kept in the dark.

Thirteenth, Judy Seliga-Punyko who began the witch hunt is no doubt a little inflated with her success in the recent election. This is not the first time she has ridden such a high horse. Just after she was elected to the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) presidency, she circulated a list of administrative jobs to be eliminated in the face of that era’s financial difficulties. She did not clear them with the rest of the PTSA council.

Fortheenth, The success or failure of making Foster a scapegoat for the mistakes of Dr. Dixon and his minions will not in any way resolve the Death Spiral that will occur when we spend another six million dollars we can’t raise in taxes.

Fiftheenth, I often say that voters get the representation they deserve. I don’t really believe that. They do however choose their elected officials.

Sixteenth, There isn’t an obviously good excuse for Foster taking his time to get a Minnesota Superintendent’s licence. On the other hand, other than the delay, its not that big a deal.

Bookin it 7 (again not so much)

I’ve not lifted a finger for six days to type my threatened book to bankroll a Congressional race. That doesn’t mean that the book has been set aside. I’ve actually put about five hours a day into a final reorganization of the research materials in my office. Don’t tell the Fire Marshall about it or he’ll condemn my house. Actually I found a fair amount of duplicate material to move back up the attic. My office is now nearly spic-n-span.

Christmas is coming the goose it getting fat so I’ll not likely write much for the next couple days. I’ve also begun a thosuand piece puzzle from my visit to Australia. We work on one each Christmas. Its become a tradition.

I suspect that once I begin writing again I’ll crank out a lot of text. I hope to entertain you through most of January with little excerpts of unedited prose until I leave town for a brief trip to southern climes. Oh and if we get any snow I might take a break to play in it for a couple days. My recovery from the hernia operation is just a couple weeks from being complete. The snow gods stinginess is probably just a matter of their looking out for one of their most devout worshipers, me.

North Korea

If there is a living hell it is North Korea. I’m rather sorry I ran that video of the Koreans weeping for the death of the Dear Leader and made the crack about Rush Limbaugh fans. If I were in Korea I’d do the same if for no other reason to spare my family members going to a North Korean prison.

When millions died from starvtion some years ago I thought it the result of paranoid, Misplaced priorities. That’s only an excuse. The truth is Korea is evil. All you have to do to realize the evil of the place is watch any of the video’s on this Youtube page. I watched three on the North Korean “Killing fields.” The cruelty is mind numbing.

A great ad…

…and a big middle finger aimed at the neocons.

This ad is an indictment of Obama as well and well deserved. I’ll have to admit, however, that Obama has acted the way he did in part because the Neocons were on his back and in part to avoid a collapse in Iraq like the shameful collapse in Vietnam in 1974.

I remember Republicans like my Grandfather and Bob Dole (both war heroes) who once criticized Democrats for their eagerness to jump into foreign wars. Those voices in the GOP are almost extinct. They live on in the 78 year old Ron Paul.

More pro Paul items from Sullivan’s Daily Dish here and here.