Harry’s Diary 8-7-2019

Its August and I am in something of a holding pattern. This morning, like five previous mornings over the past week I spent hours working on the 96 replacement storm windows for my church. Today’s work was a relatively short four and a half hours. I’ll be climbing the scaffolding on Saturday and Monday through Wednesday. Its hard enough work that its not easy to work up enthusiasm for writing a book which has been my principal preoccupation for the past three months.

On the other hand, yesterday I put an astounding 6,000 words down. It wasn’t hard just time consuming. I think I’ve found the groove that will get me a book before the election. If I manage it I have another book ready to work on. It too has a likely name just as this one does.

I’m not quite ready to announce the Title yet but I hope by Friday to have begun the process of “marketing” the book. A fundraising letter is being mailed out to about 1,500 voters in my precinct. If one percent of them order a book I’ll be able to keep up the mailing and marketing until all seven of my precincts are covered.

Think of this book as my “The Art of the Deal.” I remember my salesman brother, Andy, telling me the book, ghost-written for Trump, was a great motivator for him in sales. I love my brother and every time we get on the phone lately I marvel at how a former admirer of Trump’s book can can share as much disdain for the man today as I feel.

Unlike Trump my book title will be self deprecatory.

Its late and I just wanted to add something to my blog after a little inactivity. The blog will provide a lot of content for my Facebook Page. I was embarrassed by the one I had two years ago for that year’s election. This time I plan to take the time to make it interesting.

Facebookers tend to avoid politics and long winded content like that which I’ve cram into Lincoln Democrat. Still, I’d like to think I can entice some folks from Facebook over here in the blogosphere. Time will tell.

And Time for bed.

I am feeling a little peevish…

… about the Teacher’s Union right now. Let me tell you why.

Its not because after an extensive several hour grilling they didn’t endorse me. I didn’t expect one. I had a lovely time talking to them. I met with six groups of two to three teachers and at each stop I loved explaining my ideas to them in very engaging conversations. The last of them was with a couple of fellows who had to ask me why I wanted to DFT (Duluth Federation of Teachers) endorsement. I told them I’d never gotten it before, didn’t expect it this time, but that I’d love to have it as it would signal that teachers were willing to bury the hatchet somewhere else than in my head.

I did think that would be a wonderful message. But I know I’ve taken stands they didn’t like. I’ve been a tough contract negotiator. I’ve taken on two former DFT Presidents. So, of course they preferred a Second District school board member who would represent teachers rather than management. That’s David Kirby not me.

I haven’t asked Loren Martell if he got the endorsement because facing a very nice retired Duluth teacher he wouldn’t get it either. Especially after Loren keeps pointing an accusing finger at an equally Labor oriented School Administration. The DFT also got Jill Lofald elected two years ago and four years before that they elected teacher-friendly “management” in Bill Westholm and Mike Miernicki.

I understand this. I don’t bear any grudges. I’ve gotten elected three times to the School Board without Union endorsement. Its not necessary. I don’t even think the majority of teachers will feel compelled to vote for David Kirby because he got their union’s endorsement. Hell, whether David or I are elected the teachers will still have the same pot of money to draw their future salaries from. David can’t raise any more than I can. In fact, I’d argue I’d be much better for them because if anybody has the credibility as being fiscally trustworthy and believable when advocating for additional levy spending its me not David. I hope to talk our voters into giving our district more money to protect the massive investment in new buildings that Keith Dixon and his besties on the school board forced down Duluth’s throats. At most, David Kirby and the other Union submissive school board members will only jointly write a column encouraging voters to pass new levy referendums in a Duluth News Tribune that fewer and fewer voters subscribe to.

As for me? I’m a one-person, pro levy juggernaut. I’ve helped pass other levies before.

I might be expected to be frustrated that the DFT is blind but I’m used to human blindness. It’s a failing not a sin.
But what I am exceedingly disgusted with is Continue reading

Some recent reading leading up to August

Michelle Bachman says Donald Trump is the most biblican president she has ever seen. Oh yes. He puts Jesus to shame: https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/bachmann-trump-most-biblical-president-i-have-ever-seen

The rats are jumping ship: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/31/gop-retirements-1442783 Better watch out. It may be full of blood thirsty Michelle Bachman’s.

‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Examines What Led To Ferguson And Baltimore Protests : NPR https://www.npr.org/2019/08/01/745484653/hands-up-don-t-shoot A story that echos the history in the two books I mentioned in the last post.

Our Better Angels need some Clorox

2 AM. I blame the three brownies I ate during the last night’s Democratic Presidential debate for waking me up at this hour. I blame Donald Trump for not letting me get back to sleep. So, a post with many days rumination is in the making starting with these two books I’ve nibbled at this year.

Since returning from France last year I’ve pretty much given up reading history books. Too much history is being made at the moment and I’ve been preparing for my school board race and just maybe aim at restoring something Lincolnesque to the cesspool that has become the Grand Old Party. One of the candidates said it best last night when asked what she would do if elected President. “Clorox the Oval Office,” she said. Brevity may or may not be the soul of wit but I haven’t thought of a better four words. I do, however, have a pretty good post brewing with seven words: “Donald Trump is White America’s Al Sharpton”. Of course Trump is much more than Sharpton. He’s Sharpton with a reputed billion dollars, the Oval Office and millions of twitter heads. And he’s so good for modern Israel. “Jews will not replace us!” He can’t even find fault with his supporters who march like Nazis through Nuremberg bearing torches while defaming the religion of Ivanka and Jared.

Trump has stolen a page from George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Lester “Axe handle” Maddox and Theodore G. “America’s most notorious merchant of hatred” Bilbo and done his best to release the toxic worst of America. He’s had a lot of help from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the generation of amoral political hacks who called old fart Republicans like me RINO’s and primaried us out of the Party in thirty year purge. Its not just the Presidency that could use a good dose of clorox. Evangelical Christianity could use a good swabbing too.

After I crank out my book on education I plan to turn to what happened in the GOP. The two books above are part of my continuing education. The book above Freedom’s Detective caught my eye in a bookstore. It covers the years after the Civil War and a dashing spy who got a first hand view of how the Ku Klux Klan terrorized the South. I’m not far into it but I got a new appreciation for the Red spread across America’s rural areas. Like rural areas of many modernizing nations the rural areas lag behind and look inward with a chip on the shoulder about urban elites. “Liberalism” an idealistic term suggesting tolerance toward others was treated as a commie conspiracy. Black Americans never ventured far into this vast rural terrain north of the Mason-Dixon line after the Civil War. There were exceptions up north. I once read about a black musician who moved into Windom, Minnesota. He became a beloved and exotic band director. Had he come up with others the community might have grown suspicious. One was enough. When my wife’s family was selling their house in Des Moines, Iowa, in the early sixties the neighborhood panicked when a black realtor showed up.

In the South there was nowhere safe to be black. It was even worse in rural areas where they outnumbered whites. Lynchings could go unnoticed there by all except church goers whose members stopped showing up. Reading about the spy who was working to protect freedman as white supporters were murdered reminded me of how the Serbs in Kosovo purged their Muslim neighbors of the last 400 years. War is a ground game. You may control the skies but if you can’t control events on the ground you’ve lost. Today’s Republicans control the countryside and rural electoral votes. The Civil War’s sepsis has spread over the farmlands of the North in a Red Republican wave. Thank you Moscow Mitch.

The other book is about the year 1919. That was the year after my Grandfather returned from France a shot up hero. Its about the wave of white riots throughout the nation where murdering blacks was rampant. Duluth’s lynching the following year was an after shock. Back then the Republican Party had a conscience about the mayhem. Lincoln was dead but not forgotten as he is today to the Grand Old Party.

I’m sitting between fury and puckishness an hour after I began this post. I don’t feel like editing it yet but I will share the link to my campaign Facebook Page I assembled from pictures I’ve gathered together this year. I hope they are each worth a thousand words because at the moment I just want to go back to bed.

“Modern Republicans” & “Conservatives” – definitions

I have been mining my old Not Eudora columns for the book I’m writing. One pseudonymous writer has been honoring me by throwing questions at my columns. I just discovered one such question that I missed. I missed it because I can only find my critics if I go back a few days later to the website of the Duluth Reader where, after my posts are uploaded, people are given a chance to comment. If I don’t go back I miss the questions and don’t answer them and I never saw this one. Having just found this one I want to answer it because my return to “modern” Republicanism to burn it down will make a lot of people scratch their heads over my intention to turn it into a Phoenix. The Party was pretty awful before Donald Trump. Under Trumplicanism its hair is on fire and I didn’t start that.

Here is Juan Percent’s question:

Harry – there is a major philosophical difference that separates you from modern republicans. The government is not the answer to your problems. You have that responsibility. How can you even consider yourself to be conservative?

I did not answer this in December of 2018. I will answer it here later today:

HERE’S MY ANSWER:

I’m a Presbyterian by upbringing if not a current member (although I’ve sung in our church’s choir for a quarter century) A Presbyterian lives in a church with its own set of rules not unlike those of the American Constitution. In the same way Americans codify seperate but equal branches of government to preserve us from a tyrant the Presbyterians insure that they can preserve the Presbyterian church for Presbyterian ideals that can only be modified with the consent of the majority of church members. How can this play out?

A few years back in Grand Rapids Minnesota a swarm of evangelical folks were swept into a Presbyterian church and drove the old timers out. They then attempted to take over the church building. My wife was one of the larger community of Presbyterians that let them know that under our church’s polity the church building belonged to the greater church not the take-over artists.

No such guarantees preserve old timers in political parties other than preserving their majority. In the case of both parties events have swept new majorities in and changed the platforms over the last 200 years. One party, Lincoln’s Whigs, simply disappeared.

I am not a modern Republican. That would be a Trumplican. I was not really much of a Republican before Trump when bloodless Ayn Rand aficionados, like Paul Ryan, ruled supreme. You really have to go back to Dwight David Eisenhower or Nelson Rockefeller to find my kind of Republicans who were also my Dad’s kind of Republicans. Farther back in my Grandfather’s day Teddy Roosevelt held sway. Those were days when the party proudly traced its lineage to Abraham Lincoln. Today’s Republicans are very much “Lincoln who?” I was shocked and pleased in my brief foray into the Democratic Party to discover that they held Abe Lincoln in high esteem.

Hitler was once modern. So much for mere modernity. Although my Grandfather would have cast a disapproving eye at “socialism” in his day, he didn’t want to take advantage of Medicare until my Dad convinced him he had paid for it, he would have understood that America’s NATO allies were all far more heavily invested in socialism than the United States. Judging by how miserable so many Americans are I think its long overdue to follow our allies lead because they do not have such wells of poverty, despair and ignorance in their nations as we Americans do.

As for “conservativism” that generally means holding fast to what has worked and will continue to work. I see little in the modern Republican Party but despoliation of the planet. That doesn’t work for me.

No, it wasn’t the Russians

After fussing around with old posts behind the scenes of my blog I discovered some text that mysteriously got stuck where I didn’t want it. I could see it on the blog but not in the actual post it was in as I uploaded it. I removed it from behind the scenes and VOILA! the missing posts miraculously reappeared. Hallelejah!

Fake Crises! Unlike the current Presidency.

Are Russians messing with my blog?

I don’t know but my blog gets more hits from Russia than any other nation besides the United States. At least six different posts have dissapeared from the blog today. I see them all on my internal data. I can even link to them. So, here they are. These links will work but I have no idea why they aren’t showing up in the order I uploaded them to the blog. Darned Ruskies. They must think I’m a Hillary Clinton fan. I did vote for her. The other guy was nuts.

HARRY’S DIARY 7-25-19

The Foreword to Harry’s proposed book on his experiences with Education

Sad Sack with a beard and a bit about the Superintendent Search

Blood letting, bug eating and bludgeoning in general

Stuff Harry’s been reading lately

8 Reasons you want to buy Harry’s book

My Secret Weapon

As I was out front mowing the weeds (the grass hasn’t budged since last week) a car with a couple teenaged girls drove by. The rolled down the window as I paused to wave back at them and they shouted “We love your snowsculptures) It being a beautiful summer day I shouted back. “Thank you. I’m not in any hurry to make another one.” The young lady closest to the window gave me a thumbs up and a smile as she drove off.

Its not my sculptures that are a secret weapon. Its my Mother’s constant admonition that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. As, I hope the video about me hawking my book suggests I have a pretty good sense of humor about myself and my ridiculous attempt to capture people’s interest. I much prefer honey. But as we’ve seen from our gold plated commode in the Oval Office sometimes we get Honey Wagons instead.

What I’m reading 7-25-19

A short time ago I linked to a story that explained how generations of black American families had their family’s wealth stripped away from them leaving them with little to pass on to the next generation. Today NPR had an excellent short summary about why it is that the vast majority of Black Americans have substandard schools for their children. Its built upon their being channeled into the smallest possible urban footprints with hundreds of thousands crammed into a few blocks and then red lined out of an opportunity to leave the ghettos as their European predecessors did every generation by people like Donald Trump.

Harry’s Diary 7-25-19

The non political first:

Its so nice out I decided to take my computer to our sundeck to fuss around with my campaign. This is the first time in a decade that an eggplant has grown on our deck despite many failed attempts. We’re getting some tomatoes too. Its been warm and our potted plants wilt very quickly unless they are watered daily. I’ve been by myself all week as Claudia is in Iowa with our grandsons at a church camp. I dasn’t let the plants die in her absence.

I haven’t been as consistent washing the dishes. I try to avoid eating much because our Kitchen remodeling is on hiatus with the long planned vacation by our contractor. He raced to get everything lined up before he left but a three day hunt for a broken electrical wire necessitated the removal of most of the cabinets he had just installed. We have a sink and appliances now but they are all in our garage. Claudia has been washing the dishes in the bathtub but when I got around to them there were too many for my taste. I Took them to the basement this morning and washed them in the washing machine’s tub. It will be well into August before we are back to normal.

In 2006 when I visited Springfield, MO and the new Abraham lincoln Museum I found this t-shirt. Continue reading

The Foreword to Harry’s proposed book on his experiences with Education

My long quest for public office probably began in my first week of second grade in Topeka, Kansas’s newly integrated schools. Sent to the playground I climbed to the top of the jungle gym where I saw the black children from the segregated Buchanan Elementary School led into my school Loman Hill.

Yesterday I was the last of 25 candidates for local office in Duluth to give a speech to the 710 Club. This, is what said in my 3 allotted minutes. (You can listen to the speech in the preceding post)

“I have lived in Duluth for forty-five years. Or as I tell newcomers, I’m still a new kid too, here in Duluth because of that spider web that Alanna just talked about. School here. But I did come up here to teach and teaching and children is a major focus of my life. I’ve been on the school board, off and on, for twelve years. I got bumped off two years ago I’m, I’m not finished. I’m ready to go back again.

“One of your Mayoral candidates was up here and mentioned a horrific number that I’ve heard before. 246 of our 8000 children are homeless. I grew up in the Baby Boom. We didn’t have homeless kids in Topeka, Kansas, when I went to school. But we do now. And those sorts of children need people because that’s what a school is. It’s a People business. You have teachers and counselors who are looking out for the interest of these children.

“But our school board about ten years ago took a great leap of faith and they decided that buildings were particularly important. You heard Mr. Martell, my dear friend, who keeps track of the School Board and our finances, talk about that. But when I was first on the School Board about twenty years ago, we were taking about 20 million of the local levy and it was going into the classroom. Today its ten million. The other thirty million goes to pay off our wonderful new schools. But ten million dollars every year – that’s a hundred teachers, that we don’t have to deal with our homeless children, our children out west and the increasingly segregated school system out there. And it’s a terrible, terrible, change for this District that was doing quite well when I was on the School Board for the first time.

“Sigh. It’s not going to be easy to solve. You can imagine how a school board is going to want to have the public help it out but they didn’t give, they didn’t give us a choice when they decided to impose the Red Plan that diverted twenty million dollars (correction), or ten million dollars from the classrooms to buildings. Anytime I have a chance to uh, to come to you for money its going to be asking you to vote for it. I don’t want to impose it. You can imagine how much we need it with ten million being taken out every year until the Red Plan is paid off. My priority will continue to be those 246 homeless kids and all the other kids that need teachers.”

I posted this speech on my blog the same night I gave it. It reflects my fear that a war has been declared on public education in America at the very time that the rest of the world discovered how good America had it because of our universal public schools. We may have the biggest GNP for another decade but we won’t keep it without educated workers, voters and citizens.

At about the same time that I began my long stalled political career I began to experiment with writing. Today these two vocations are wedded together from the seed planted in me back in second grade surveying the world from that jungle gym. I have stories to tell.

NOTE: Usually its only presidential candidates who get a biography ghost written to impress people. I’m just a small town school board candidate. I don’t need to “sell” books to raise campaign funds which is how I started this campaign. From now on I’ll simply send a book to anyone who donates at least $15 dollars to my campaign. You can do it online. If you don’t want the book give it to a friend, or an enemy, or use it as a doorstop.





Sad Sack with a beard and a bit about the Superintendent Search

I discovered a sad sack with a beard in Alanna Oswald’s Alanna Oswald for School Board Facebook Page. (Its in the photo section) Its worth noting that even thirty some years ago he recognized that Alanna was too smart for him.

I also noticed that Alanna commented about one of her colleagues on the School Board who seems to think that she is angling to be the new Superintendent going so far as to tell a reporter, apparently in all seriousness, that this was the case. Here’s what Alanna wrote:

I received a message from a reporter today. It seems one of my school board colleague’s informed the reporter that I desired to be the next Superintendent of Duluth Public Schools. I can unequivocally say NO—That is completely untrue! I do not want to be Superintendent of ANY school district, nor am I qualified or licensed to have such a position. #weirdthingsyoudealwithinanelection

Harry Welty wrote in reply:

Heck, I know one of your colleagues who loves to be the Super’s sidekick. If you were Super you too could have a sidekick.

I went to the Superintendent Search Session myself last night. I had a pleasant chat with the presenter from the Minnesota School Board Association, Sandy Gundlach. I got to know her from many gatherings over the recent four years I served on the School Board. I’ve been through one Superintendent Search myself and watched three others from the sidelines so I’m pretty familiar with the drill. Still, it was a good refresher.

The Duluth News Trib’s new education reporter, Adelle Whitefoot, did a creditable job spelling out the process in her story today.

Rosie Loeffler Kemp who shot me a dirty look when I passed a question to Board member Nora Sandstad during the presentation was intent on getting as much media attention as she could. This was despite the fact that she is not a candidate herself this year…….however, her former Campaign Chair, Professor Schwetman, is a school board candidate. At the recent AFL CIO Labor interview the Professor was quick to explain that he had also been Board member David Kirby’s campaign chairman. Cozy little group.

At the start of the meeting Rosie was standing four square in front of a television camera and at the end she parked herself in front of Reporter Whitefoot to make sure she could get her two-cents and name in today’s Tribune. She succeeded. I’m sorry I missed the news on KBJR last night.

Blood letting, bug eating and bludgeoning in general

I’m just back from donating my 13th gallon of blood. Its four draws past one hundred gallons which I celebrated in the Reader last December. Too bad i mowed the lawn yesterday because this would give me an excuse to put if off a day being so empty and all. I chose a bright green bandage and you can see my 13 gallon pin. I don’t know if that’s bad luck or not. It doesn’t seem so. I just deposited five more donations which I think brought me over the $1000 figure which is a third of the way to being able to afford to print my book.

I’m working hard on the book and feeling confident that I will come close to making my self imposed October 24th deadline for having it ready for the printers.

I sent my grandsons off with Claudia and their mother for a five-day family church camp. I forgot to show them that their Venus Fly trap can take care of itself. It’s many little clampers sat empty inside our house but when the warm weather hit I put them out by our garden. four biters are filled two of them with what I think are daddy-long-legs. At least it looks like a bunch of long legs are sticking out of the “mouths” all akimbo.

In the absence of my family I’m hauling posterior to work on my campaign. I’m setting up Welty Press again after a hiatus that has lasted since 1992 when I published a book to sell for my Congressional Race against Jim Oberstar as an independent candidate. This time I do not plan to print 5000 copies but a tenth of that…..unless the sales pick up considerably. I can always print a second edition if there is enough demand. And I’ve got it figured I only need two hundred sales to roughly break even.

I’ve added another five sales to the thermometer. Its a small improvement but every little bit helps.

I’ll keep thinking of lame ways to bludgeon folks into dispensing with $15 (or more) bucks to finance my campaign….like my 8 great reasons to buy the book.

8 Reasons you want to buy Harry’s book

1. You don’t want to buy it! You want to contribute to Harry’s campaign.

2. You wanted to buy his book about the Red Plan but he didn’t write it. This will be the next best thing.

3. You like eccentric snow sculptors and would like to encourage them.

4. You like non traditional politicians and want to encourage them.

5. You like thoughtful, sober, passionate people on the Duluth School Board who have a good grip on reality.

6. Your’e curious as the dickens about what Harry is going to write.

7. You want a conversation piece on your coffee table at your next party.

8. You are in a book club and don’t know any better.

9. Got other motivations. Send Harry an alternative explanation at harrywelty@charter.net

NOTE: The book cover above was designed for Harry’s never completed Red Plan Book. A title has yet to be chosen for this book.





Harry Welty Hawks his Book

This is a late night experiment in salesmanship. The video begins with me taping my cell phone to my desk aimed at me in selfie video mode. Its not easy to hear me as I begin:

Yesterday I had over 20,000 pageviews. My actual readership was still a modest sub 800 readers so they were reading something on my blog.

I promise you if you keep coming back to my blog (Ahem, Eight loyal readers) You will enjoy my book. I guess technically your “purchase” is really a donation to the Welty Campaign which will send donors of $15 or more one of my books. Next week I will be all by myself and will bend myself to meet my deadline of Sept 29 to send it to the printers.

Here is the donation button my video mentions:





Militant Moderate here Resisting the Bloody Obvious but not in Denial

I circulated this pessimistic Op Ed by the NY Time’s Tom Friedman on Facebook. ‘Trump’s Going to Get Re-elected, Isn’t He?https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/opinion/trump-2020.html

Tom is a Minnesota boy who has jumped from covering Israel and Middle East stories to big picture world economic stories. I read his optimistic book From Beirut to Jerusalem a long time ago. His optimism was premature. Now his pessimism is on full display as he listed all the off putting posturing by the 20 plus Democratic candidates…..posturing to keep the younger crowd from doing to America what it did when they stayed home in 2016 instead of electing a sane, if tedious, Hillary Clinton.

One of them quickly reacted to this post by noting that America could afford all the health care spending for both veterans and illegal aliens. She went on to say she would be voting for the pretty woman crystal gazer who made the stage in the Democratic debate. “Crystal gazer” is my description.

When I was a pretty sophisticated thirty year old I was sure that America would never elect a Hollywood Actor who starred with a Chimpanzee. I’ve been chastened ever since Ronald Reagan’s election.

Anyone who watches Late Night comic take downs of Donald Trump can’t believe America would let him skate into another four years. Reason simply would not permit this. Well folks, for some people Reason, as I understand it, is very fluid. And their lack of it in no way impedes their right to vote.

The official source for all the blather of the eccentric Harry Welty – Duluth School Board member, off and on, since 1995. He does his best to live up to Mark Twain's assessment: "First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then he invented the School Board."