Category Archives: Trump 2016

Trump distractions via Internet

My Brother, a businessman, sent me this link today. It was on Politico and will no doubt be all over lots of other web pages before the week is out. It will probably be on the Olympics before its over as have several other Clinton ads.

I clicked an image on politico site thinking it might be a link to the ad before the real video showed up a few seconds late and was surprised to see the most unflattering of picture of Hillary on it photo-shopped to look like she was in prison with an accompanying link to more Hillary dirt. I laughed at how clever the Trumpsters were to sabotage a site that would do so much damage to Trump.

In the world of magicians this kind of diversion is critical to fooling the audience. Its a little like the last few weeks news. The Donald smears his reputation with little crappola hints suggesting that the Obama team recruited for ISIS or gun rights supporters might pull off a Lee Harvey Oswald on Hillary in front of enthusiastic audiences that olfactory challenged. I think its a losing strategy but he’s already laid out his excuse for the pummeling it looks like he’s about to take in November. “The system is rigged.”

If he means that he himself has laid IED-like trip wires all over his own campaign I can’t help but agree. Like others it leads me to suspect he only wanted free press when he began this project last year. For more and more people, including lots of black Americans who once had positive feelings about him, he’s replaced the T at the beginning of his last name with a CH.

Email fencing over 2016 politics – Round 4

Once more from my Buddy:

From “Your Buddy”
Sent: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 13:06:06 -0500
Subject: Donald Trump, postmodern candidate – Victor Davis Hanson


I submit this to you for your consideration, although I get the impression that you are not a fan of Victor Davis Hanson.

Your Buddy

The bible for modern politicians is political correctness. They must defer to every imaginable hyphenated group and “community,” employing euphemisms or self-imposed censorship while sidestepping race, class and gender land mines as much as possible.

Again, not Trump. He says what he pleases. If he blows himself up with a politically incorrect outburst, what is left simply flows back together, as if Trump were some sort of political version of the Terminator.

Trump was supposed to fade last summer. His crudity was said to guarantee that he would lose Republican primaries.

Then, pundits said Trump’s vulgar style of primary campaigning would not translate well to the general election.

Now, even seasoned politicos confess there are no rules that apply to Donald Trump. He just keeps shouting that things are getting worse and no one will admit it.

and I return the volley:

I am not a fan of Davis Hanson although I enjoyed the first half of his history of the wars between Sparta and Athens.

Without reading the full essay I can’t help but agree with this portion. But to my thinking Trump’s candor reflects the paucity of dissent in the Party until he tossed his hat in the ring. My Grandfather used to bemoan the Democrat’s penchant for getting us into foreign wars. I’ve been amused that Trump has been given kudos for that kind of talk. His whole “America First” shtick is torn from the pages of the Republicans of the 1920’s and 30’s.

To suggest that the Republicans didn’t have their own version of “political correctness” is baloney. I was pushed to the margins because my Rockefeller Republican ways were verboten. Hell, even Barry Goldwater became a joke when he suggested that the GOP ought to live and let live where gay’s were concerned. No dissent has survived the PC onslaught of the GOP take over artists.

I’ve enjoyed watching Trump make a hash of the Party by being the first politically incorrect “Republican” in a generation. That said, I’m not willing to let him make hash of the good old US of A. Victor Davis Hanson is being far too sympathetic with the Devil. He must have listened to Rolling Stones albums too much for his own good when he was a teenager.


Email fencing over 2016 politics – Round 3

And my Buddy again:

From “your Buddy”
Sent: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 12:50:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Althouse: Have you watched last night’s Libertarian town hall?


I wouldn’t bet any money that Hillary will be the next president of the United States. See

What could happen between now and November? For example, who knows who has copies of Hillary’s e-mails; who knows which of them will be released; and who knows how damaging to her some of the contents might be? If Hillary had nothing to hide, why was she apparently bent on hiding something? You and Warren Buffett might trust her. I don’t.

Was a challenge to Rush Limbaugh and his imitators, the sole responsibility of the Republican Party and its pundits? If there was meritorious challenge to be made, where the f*** was the Democratic Party and its pundits?

I choose to not be a member of any political tribe (cult?). Animal Farm?

If Roger Ailes was a pig with women, I don’t condone that. However, we are fortunate to have had Fox News, as an antidote to the general “liberal” bias of the “mainstream” media.

Your Buddy

and back from me:


I agree. Trump could win. Then again, so could Gary Johnson.

It will be interesting to see how many of Hillary’s secrets get swept into the open or whether she ultimately turns off her current supporters. How ironic that she failed to learn the key lesson of the man she helped investigate out of the White House, Richard Nixon, that its the cover-up that will kill you not the crime. Of course, she didn’t learn that from Bill’s impeachment either.

The leaders of the GOP hid from Rush and his ilk the more the ilk killed off the Weld’s of the Party. Pretty soon no one with any stones was left. Main Street Republicans were content to have their business interests represented even if they held their nose at the social agenda of the leaders of the putsch.

No cause is worth much if it tolerates no internal dissent. The Democrats could only carp about the new GOP from the sidelines which is as far their responsibility over Republicans go and complain they did. Both parties had flourishing dissenters for a hundred years and more until Rush emerged from the mire.

As for FOX news, it could have been a good antidote to the liberal media but its always put its thumb on the scale far more shamelessly than the Networks ever did. Cutting away from Mr. Khan who held the Constitution up to Trump was classic Fox. As for Aisles. I had no idea he was a cad only that he populated the news desk with pretty girls as eye candy. Then again that wasn’t much of a surprise. The Station’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, made Page 3 standard fair in the Sun. Fox was just the place to play Hollywood casting director.

Perhaps because you disdained Party politics you did not feel the injury I felt being marginalized by the GOP’s Stepford Wive’s mentality. Say what you will about the Democrats they have always had a rump of rabble-rousers. The biggest group of them defected to the GOP with Strom Thurmond and succeeded over thirty years in crushing social moderates and calling us RINO’s even when, like me, we had been part of the party for generations before the South’s conversion. That’s been a pretty bitter pill to swallow.


Email fencing over 2016 politics – Round 2

And my Buddy back to me:

From: “Your Buddy”
Sent: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 11:36:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Althouse: Have you watched last night’s Libertarian town hall?


I got the same impression. However, I got the impression that Althouse is positive about Johnson at Weld. At, she said:
And I just want to say that Weld is an elegant guy. Weld is great. I’m loving Weld.
I have been depressed by the bullshit from Hillary and The Donald, but that depression was appreciably reduced after I watched the CNN interview of Johnson and Weld. I felt that I could comfortably vote for those guys, and let other persons choose between Hillary and The Donald.

Your Buddy

And my reply:


I will be one of those “other persons” but I don’t blame you for voting for Weld. He’s one of my heroes. I loved it when he went after Teddy for the Senate. Weld scared the hell out of the Mass. Dems when he did.

Sadly, the ideologues who took over the GOP and insisted on purity , meaning turning their back on practical, middle-of-the-road governing, turned primaries into purges of moderates even at the cost of electing Democrats in their place. They have made Hillary the next President of the United States. Talk about making your own worst fears come true. Weld was one of their victims. Now they’ve crippled the GOP for a generation. They may become the next Whig Party.

I have no sympathy for the Party. They and their pundits were all afraid to challenge Rush and his imitators. There was no room for dissent and randy Roger Ailes helped make that possible. There is not an Abe Lincoln anywhere in their midst although, to his credit, Mitt Romney has taken a stab at it. Too little. Too late.


Email fencing over 2016 politics – Round 1

In in a healthy email argument with “My Buddy” over the Presidential race. We’ve had a pretty heated series of emails that like this election threatened to lead to civil war but these have been useful.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts on this election that haven’t made it into posts. I think this series of tit for tat goes along way to explaining my thoughts. Here’s my Buddy’s first salvo:

A lot of her readers don’t…..seem to appreciate them.


From: “Your Buddy”

Sent: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 07:32:35 -0500
Subject: Althouse: Have you watched last night’s Libertarian town hall?

If the two major party presidential candidates have got you down, maybe you will appreciate Johnson and Weld.

and my succinct reply:

A lot of her readers don’t…..seem to appreciate them.

Will 709 still be able to refinance our Bonds and get a 3% savings?

Loren Martell’s column written before yesterday’s stunning Brexit vote noted that our Bond Advisers warned us that the economy was fickle. Today the stock markets are about to take a steep plunge. What will this mean for the municipal bond market? It couldn’t get much lower than it currently is which makes a reduction in interest rates possible. If it begins to rise I think ISD 709 will find refinancing our bonds untenable. If stocks become less attractive investors may want to hedge their bets by moving to municipal bonds or avoid them all together. The switch could be almost immediate and I can’t predict the consequences.

In addition to soiling our own community the World is busy turning upside down while Donald Trump cheers it on from his Scottish Castle. (Vultures always live it up when an elephant dies) My Buddy sent me this cheering email:

For those of you who are looking for a tall building from which to jump.

While the majority of forecasters see less impact in the U.S. than in Europe, the consequences for American investors could be severe, as Brexit’s passage joins a host of other threats that have weighed on equities. Profits are falling, valuations are the highest in a decade and the U.S. just reported the worst hiring since September 2010.

Seismic waves

I got another email “letter” from Donald Trump telling me that if he’s elected there will never be another mass shooting in the US again by a conflicted, self loathing, gay Muslim, who supports both Isis and their bitter enemies Hamas unlike the traitor and non-American infiltrator Barack Obama. (OK, OK, I’ve taken some liberties with his wording. He wants more money anyway since he’s reneging on his promise to self fund………Yeah, yeah, yeah, he didn’t say that either.)

Its the first time I’ve read one of his emails but I was struck by his signature at the end. It looks like a seismograph’s reading of an earthquake. How apropos.

Donald J. Trump:

The real thing:

I’m not a fan of spoilers but it will hard for me not to vote Libertarian this year

Hillary Clinton needs my vote. I’m not sure she will get it after the Libertarians added William Weld to their ticket as a VP candidate to go along with New Mexico’s Gary Johnson. Donald Trump is the only thing holding me back at the moment. I’m thinking through a letter (only to be published here) to be sent to her metaphorically that explains what she needs to do to win my vote.

I have a lot of other posts in mind as well but its a beautiful Memorial day. I woke up late after two hours of sleeplessness which I put to rest by reading several chapters of First Kings. Boy! Israel wasn’t a great place after David’s reign. Sounds more like Sodom and Gomorrah. God wasn’t happy.

When I woke up I put up our Stars and Stripes. Now I have to mow the lawn. Then I have all day to think about whether I want to run for the legislature this summer. Will I have the time, energy and motivation? I do have some eves and windows to paint. On the other hand, being in a minority on the school board for the last two years of my school board term holds scant allure………especially with helpful critics like Bruce who have logs in their eyes about small potatoes like huge class sizes.

A message to be proud of

“The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child. That is a future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”

My Buddy, not a fan of Obama, also sent me the text of his brief speech at Hiroshima. I believe my Buddy recognizes the eloquence that stands in stark contrast to the hideous message preceding this post that he also sent me.

I’ve only read two books by John Hersey. I enthused about a Bell for Adano which I read for the first time this April here on the blog. The other book I’ve read twice is Hiroshima.

Today NPR had a story about its writing:

“John Hersey didn’t try to second-guess the American decision to drop the atom bomb, a year after it ended the deadliest war in history. Simply and plainly, he described the stories of six people who survived in a city where so many thousands died:”

The Bell for Adano was followed two years later by Mr. Hersey’s Hiroshima. I think the President captures the humanity that both books share in his speech.


My Buddy sent me Andrew Sullivan’s long piece in the New York Magazine which mentioned this fascist libel on General Pershing which I found in a British newspaper’s webpage on You Tube.

I grew up with close family friends from the Philippines. I had a Muslim roommate in High School. Having seen this video I can state unequivocally that anyone who sees this and votes for Donald Trump for President of the United States is a traitor to everything the nation’s founders hoped for the United States.

If that means you………YOUR FIRED! Emigrate to Russia where you can have a leader who joins you in your admiration of this pig blood drenched huckster.

I had a few choice thoughts on Trump in a temporary blog I set up in January when this one went Kaflooey including my snow sculpture tribute to Ms. South Carolina.

My [Buddy] just won’t cut me any slack

From: “Your Buddy”
Sent: Mon, 23 May 2016 10:23:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Andrew Sullivan thinks Donald Trump may defeat Hillary Clinton.

Jeez, Harry:

“what Kennedy et al did re: Vietnam at least they didn’t have contempt for the system.” That isn’t even a half-assed attempted rationalization. The lives of more than 50,000 American military persons squandered in Vietnam, but the honchos “didn’t have contempt for the system”? Fuck the system. The venture was a disaster.

[Your Buddy

My Buddy thinks I’m prissy about language because I usually xxx out Fxxx or turn it into an “ef” or “effing.” I began cleaning up my act in fifth grade after I copied my Dad and spewed out lots of &#%@xx#()xx$%&. He told me no one would pay attention to me if I always cut loose and then added that swearing was a good way to get people’s attention if it was doled out in miserly portions. I think my Buddy’s “fuck” up there meets that test. Please excuse me if it exceeds your tolerance.

Here’s my reply to him:


I think you have a point and a pretty good one. Lots of wars are started by folks who are simply following the conventional path which leads them to go to war. Barbara Tuchman made that point about World War 1 in her book Guns of August that JFK was reading at the outset of the Cuban Missile Crises. And yet despite bringing that powder keg to a sane solution he kept sending advisers to Vietnam. We had to stop the dominoes you know.

We will never know what Kennedy would have done. We only know that Johnson let himself be drawn down the primrose path to disaster for the 57,000 troops who died. My Grandfather felt the same way about Woodrow Wilson.

So, the question I should ask myself is will Donald Trump spare us another Vietnam? His ego gives me no comfort on that point even if Hillary has copied the Neo Cons to triangulate her way to the center.

Obama has done a pretty good job of trying to extricate us from the Bush Wars and he gets no credit for it. In fact, it may be true that Syria and Iraq and the US might all have been better off if Obama had been a little less passive.

I don’t have any love for Hillary and her pandering to the conventional so that she could keep her options open for future political advancement. On the other hand I am in awe of her success. Of course, that success is due in large part to the Republican Party and its self fulfilling prophecy that she could become President. Had they ignored her she would have likely faded into obscurity.

To me the most remarkable irony was the Limbaugh gambit in 2008 of telling the nation to vote for Barack Obama. [NOTE: in my email I originally told my Buddy that Rush was calling Obama a “fantastic candidate:” Not quite] Limbaugh was parroted by all sorts of Limbaugh wannabes. At the time I saw their endorsement as a crass way to saddle Democrats with a black candidate who according to convention would get slaughtered in the Presidential Race. Too bad for the Limbaughites that Bush had soured the public on his wars and was blamed with the mortgage mess and that the public actually took to heart all the supportive words for Obama from the Republican pundits. Combined with the desire of American voters to get over the Civil Rights Era in a single election America found itself with President Obama.

The GOP’s next job was to backpedal and discover that Obama was the most “ultra” liberal President of all time (not if you ask my son who thinks he’s a neocon) and a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer and a desecrator of the Constitution and generally the most incompetent President of all time. Hell from the moment he took office he was to blame for the damned oil leak in the Gulf, his State of the Union speech was interrupted by a Republican Congressman shouting that he was a liar and Mitch McConnell telling America from Day one that the Republican’s first job was to see that Obama wasn’t reelected. I meet otherwise perfectly rational people who believe all this garbage.

And now I’m supposed to fall in line with these nimrods behind Donald Trump? Hell Putin supports him too. What a class act cheering section.

No, I’ll stick with a conventional candidate and hope that the Norwegians don’t saddle her with one of their damned Nobel Peace Prizes so that she feels the need to kick sand over it like a cat hiding its doodie in a litter box.



The email that preceded the email in the last post and my reply to it:

My Reply:


My impression certainly could have been wrong. What I remember with more confidence was that you would not be voting for Hillary. Of course that could mean a write-in or a vote for a third party candidate or not casting a vote at all. But my recollection was that the way you put it meant that if Hillary was the Democrat’s candidate she wouldn’t get your vote and I may have presumed you would cast it for Trump if that was the candidate.

What can I say. Sometimes I’m presumptuous.

Whether you liked what Kennedy et al did re: Vietnam at least they didn’t have contempt for the system. Sure they gamed the system. That’s almost inevitable in politics. Trump is both contemptuous of the system and is gaming it spectacularly.

Today I heard him telling some audience that Hill doesn’t just want gun control she wants to remove the Second Amendment. That’s coming from someone who stands in the past are the spitting image of Hill’s gun control stands.

I don’t mind politicians changing their minds. I don’t like them speaking with forked tongues.

Earth will continue to orbit the sun if he wins. It didn’t stop doing so when that meteor impact killed the dinosaurs. But as a believer in the old notion that the US is a beacon lighting the path for other nations I’m not looking forward to having a man I regard as an arrogant, lying, horse’s-ass sitting in the White House.

If that’s what today’s voters consider speaking “truth-to-power” then shame on both the Republican and Democratic parties for setting such a low bar.


The email I was responding to:

From: [My Buddy]
Sent: Sun, 22 May 2016 17:04:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Andrew Sullivan thinks Donald Trump may defeat Hillary Clinton.


I don’t remember telling anyone that I plan to vote for Trump. I have told several persons that I might vote for Trump.

What the hell, Harry. We were in Vietnam with Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Would Trump be worse?

I agree with Sullivan, that Trump could win.

[Your Buddy]

“Herd up”

From my Buddy:

See, which includes this interesting language:
For all the talk of Republicans who won’t vote for Trump, it’s quite likely that more than 90 percent will herd up.


The identification with political parties is a psychological attachment that often forms in childhood. We are not handcuffed to our party but the tie is tight and has become more so.
A Stanford research team studied the reaction of Republicans and Democrats to the prospect that their child might marry someone from the other political party. In 1960 — no problem. Only 5 percent (or less) reported being upset by the idea. Our new hyperpartisan world has introduced a very different reaction by 2010. Nearly a third of Democrats were irked and almost half of Republicans were unhappy.

“herd up”? We are ostensibly farther out of the jungle since 1960, but we are increasingly tribal?

It was funny when I was a kid in the 60″s watching Candid Camera. Its not so funny now:

Unto the fifth generation – Not!

My children are as allergic to today’s GOP as though it was a toxic substance. If it had not become the party of God and the vulgarian, double talker, Donald Trump, they might have become fifth generation Republicans.

Using the best examples from my family’s history I’d like to talk about the preceding four generations.

The Grand Old Party began its life a few years before my Great Grandfather entered New York harbor from Ireland in 1860 one month after Lincoln’s election and two months before his inauguration. “What’s the news?” called a passenger on his ship as they passed an outward bound vessel. “South Carolina has seceded from the Union,” was the reply. Thomas Robb was twelve years old. It would be four years of war plus seven years of Reconstruction before he could cast his first vote as a naturalized citizen.

Thomas was the son of a protestant land manager who had threats made against his life by Irish Nationalists. The men who left that threat attached to a prize bull they killed were largely Catholics in Ireland and Democrats in America. It’s not surprising then that Thomas would vote Republican.

If he had any doubts about his party’s virtues one incident sealed his thinking. Continue reading

Today’s Dogpile

Its been almost a month since the School Board voted 4 – 3 not to enter into negotiations with the Tischer Creek Building Corporation. If I had had my way the community discussion would have been over with last Tuesday at our School Board meeting. Instead it continues after the slam dunk the board majority engineered 4 days after taking public feedback at Lincoln Middle School to stop the conversation before it really began. In this we are not unlike the Egyptians who yesterday protested the nation’s latest elected dictator accusing him of, well, dictatorial rule.

I just linked to NRP for that story but another NPR story was more interesting to me. It is about the connection between spending money and successful schools. It goes back to Massachusetts under one of my favorite Republicans of that era, William Weld. Weld was one of many moderate or liberal Republicans purged by the Limbaughites of the current GOP who only kept the zipped lip moderates who let Donald Trump loose with their sheep-like, Bourgeois complacency. They used to have their own champions and Weld was one of the last of them. Anyway, according to the story, Weld’s education reforms did wonders for Massachusetts’ poor kids. Today’s Minnesota Republicans are more hold the line on public school funding.

The Duluth School Board took it on the chin again today in the Trib. Another front page story about Woodland Hills considering a Charter School demonstrates that a badly discredited ISD 709 fighting the Edison Charters was the best publicity Charter Schools could have hoped for. Woodland Hills is a remarkable school for troubled kids. Bill Westholm and my wife, Claudia, were both on its Board of Directors back when I was first on the Duluth School Board. Local kids end up in its day treatment schooling and juvenile courts all across Minnesota send troubled kids to WH for 9 month stays. Like yesterday’s story about the Arch Diocese contemplating a high school this is one more indication that an all too insular ISD 709 is not meeting expectations. DFT President Burnham may lose another dozen teachers if the Charter goes through.

But it was the Editorial Page that really stung. Its top op ed piece came from an Edison parent who echoed so many 1950’s musicals wishing that the public school systems in Duluth could get along instead of fighting like Bernstein’s Sharks and Jets. Or from Roger’s and Hammerstein, if I can paraphrase, Oh the Charters and the Indies should be friends. In Oklahoma its Farmers and Cowboys but you get my point.

Another Op Ed talked about “little Sally” a student that the teacher’s unions and school boards had all but forgotten about in their war to control the schools.

“See, there’s the problem. This shouldn’t have been about the School Board. It was about Sally. It wasn’t even about what the School Board thinks is best for the children. That’s up to the parents, guardians or protective service. In that order.”

The author went on to praise vouchers but I don’t have it in me to take that up in this post. My Buddy and I have argued over vouchers for a decade or more.

But again its the letters that just won’t stop. This time one heaped shame on some of my colleagues.

Heck the School board censured me a little over a year ago and I didn’t catch nearly as much hell. Not that I’m crowing. My Mom always told me it takes two to have a fight.