The Holidays with Eugène Delacroix

My eight loyal readers know that in the Holiday season of the late fall I put jigsaw puzzles together. When I go on trips I look for interesting puzzles to bring back to remember our travels. In the case of China last year I never found one in China so I ordered one through Amazon instead.

The first puzzle I started this year was purchased in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Because I’ve started getting puzzles from family for Christmas I’ll probably get three or four done by New Years. I prefer them to new neck ties.

Delacroix was a historical painter and a major obsession of his was to glorify the Republic of France. Here’s a picture I took of this famous painting while I was at the Louvre:

And here’s another of the entire setting for the painting. The Louvre is palatial because it was the residence, castle, for the King of France before an even grander palace was constructed at Versailles.

There was a long passage in the The Greater Journey about Samuel FB Morse who along with other great American painters traveled to France in the early decades of the 1800’s to learn how to paint from the French masters. We in America know him better for developing an idea he picked up in France – his invention of a working telegraph. That made him a millionaire or its 18th century equivalent but his original desire was to become a great “history” painter.

Before photography such painters were the great teachers of history to the common folk.

An uncomman man has just aquired such a painting for the White House. It is even more preposterous than the idea of a lady liberty urging the revolutionaries on and a little more mundane…..like those paintings of dogs playing poker. What do you think of it?

You could buy a print for $75.00. As for me I prefer the one the artist painted with Barack Obama.

No Irish need apply

Now that my three years of watching Donald Trump swallow the Republican Party whole has finally given way to a ray of hope in a Democratic controlled House of Representatives I can’t promise to blog with the enthusiasm I have shown up to know. If I am true to myself I will direct my fingers to typing up one of the dozens of books my decade old blog has regularly threatened that I will churn out.

Today for the third or fourth time in the last few years I’ve begun a history of my Grandfather George Robb (No stranger to this blog.) This attempt’s tentative title is How to be an American.

While looking for confirmation of some general historical facts I ran across this History Channel article about Irish Catholics in the United States. Reading it I couldn’t help but wince at the naked opportunistic, nativism of our jackass President. Every slander he slung at the pathetic people stumbling along a thousand miles south of our border was once thrown at Irish Catholics escaping Ireland in 1847 for America in some 5,000 “coffin ships.”

20,000 Irish Catholics died on their month-long voyage that year. Although of greater magnitude that’s not unlike the thousands of Mexican and Central Americans who have died crossing our desert border in recent years to enrich our economy if, however, illegally.

I did take some solace in looking at the election returns. The word was that the Iron Range was going to go for Pete Stauber big time. It didn’t happen. Democrat Radinovich got almost 20,000 more votes from St.Louis County than Pete Stauber. Leading up the election I couldn’t help but reflect on the disdain that the Trumpians of an earlier era directed at the Serbian and Croation miners who made the Iron Range hum and Minnesota prosperous. The thought that their grandchildren would hand Trump another vote in Congress turned my stomach.

All the Catholic Republicans ought to read this passage below from that article before they reaffirm their support for Donald Trump in 2020. There was good reason why the Kennedy Klan were Democrats.

A flotilla of 5,000 boats transported the pitiable castaways from the wasteland. Most of the refugees boarded minimally converted cargo ships—some had been used in the past to transport slaves from Africa—and the hungry, sick passengers, many of whom spent their last pennies for transit, were treated little better than freight on a 3,000-mile journey that lasted at least four weeks.

Herded like livestock in dark, cramped quarters, the Irish passengers lacked sufficient food and clean water. They choked on fetid air. They were showered by excrement and vomit. Each adult was apportioned just 18 inches of bed space—children half that. Disease and death clung to the rancid vessels like barnacles, and nearly a quarter of the 85,000 passengers who sailed to North America aboard the aptly nicknamed “coffin ships” in 1847 never reached their destinations. Their bodies were wrapped in cloths, weighed down with stones and tossed overboard to sleep forever on the bed of the ocean floor.

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

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

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

Here are a few of my takeaways: Continue reading

My next two years

At choir on Sunday a friend mentioned that he’d read my letter to the editor. I told him that the really effective letter in the “Paid Political Letters” page was from Dan Russell. He agreed. At the end of our rehearsal a dear friend who had also read both letters made a bee line for me and said that the only thing my friend found objectionable about our letters was the implication that anyone who voted for Pete should not judge him guilty by his association with Donald Trump. I agreed but added that other nations had suffered when popular tyrants went unchallenged. Because I was a little taken aback I did not add that in today’s GOP no one dares stand up to the party’s first and only tyrant since its founding in 1856.

Pete Stauber is as both Dan Russell and I point out in our letters a good man. He is simply not a courageous politician at a time when the nation and his party need such people.

Here’s Mr. Russell’s letter which, because the DNT charged him to submit it, is also treated as “advertising” and thus, like mine it is not available online for readers.

I would have voted for you Pete Stauber
Dan Russell
Duluth

I would have voted for you Pete Stauber…
I appreciate your reputation as a Duluth Police Officer and I am thankful for your wife’s military service. I am also the father of a special needs child. I can feel you compassion. I would have voted for yo Pete Stauber…
But then you shared the stage…
With a man YOU would Not want as a neighbor, a son-in-law and certainly not as a patrol partner. A man who said the solution to last week’s tragedy in Pittsburgh was “they should have armed guards” At a Baby Naming Ceremony? I know you believe America is better than that.
And yet you stood next to him at the DECC and accepted an endorsement you should have refused and didn’t need.
I would have voted for you Pete Stauber…

The logo at the top of this post, which I’m still fussing with, gives some sense of how I expect to spend much of my time through the last two years of what I hope and pray will lead to the conclusion of the Donald Trump reign. I don’t want President Trump impeached even if solid grounds for such an action exist (and I suspect they do.) I wan’t to help defeat him at the polls and bury his administration’s stench. I just hope the Republicans are unable to steal America’s votes two years from now as they have been working overtime to do in this election. “Sic semper tyrannis.” (By ballot not bullet!)

Dear Republican Party. Look who thought being liberal was virtuous.

At tonight’s touching remembrance for the recent victims of White nationalism which was held at Duluth’s Temple Israel our pastor gave a compelling description of Pittsburg’s Squirrel Hill where she grew up.

Then the Rabbi said he wanted to read the wonderful and thoughtful words of our President sent to the Jewish community. The words were those of the first President, George Washington, sent to the Jews of Rhode Island in 1790:

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

From Lincoln to the Anti-Christ

Getting ready for Winter. Studying French. Contemplating a new school board race. A War in Opera. Bringing Lincoln back to the Republican Party. Science.

Its a little hard to take time to write my own book with so many fires burning inside my head. Yesterday I texted back and forth with a former fan who has been turning out to be one of Trump’s fans. Its hard not to be snarky in such texts and I’ve thought of copying and reproducing them in the blog but there is only so much time for me the blogger and my eight loyal readers. This fellow’s thoughts remind me of the new neighbor kid I met in 1963 when I moved to the all white North Mankato. He was fascinated to learn that I had gone to school with Negroes. He tried out a great new joke on me:

“Did you hear about the little Negro kid who was excited for Halloween? He was going to strip naked with a stick up his butt and go as a fudgescicle.”

It sounds like a Donald Trump joke.

And as of this writing I’m still not sure that the 2018 election joke won’t be on us “Never-Trumpers.” If it is then my work will be set for the remainder of my life. On the eve of becoming 68 that should give me 20 years to help turn America back around towards civic decency.

In looking forward I will continue to look to the past:

When I was about 15 my Mother was going back to college. She was busy earning the college Degree her father despaired of her ever finishing when she married two years into her first college experience and plunged into the baby boom years. This is a pen and ink she did of my gangling body at rest in my Grandfather’s “Lincoln Rocker.”

So, from the earliest age I was taught to revere the best President in our Nation’s history and then live to experience what I hope will come to seen as our nation’s closest brush with despotism.

We haven’t yet lived to see this become history but we will just as a once living secular saint was martyred to become a great historical argument.

I found this short extract on Lincoln’s biographers just now by the author of one of my two or three favorite books about Lincoln by Joshua Zeitz.

I’ve pulled it out of my Lincoln bookshelf along with my other favorites for this picture:

lunch….will finish later.

HOW ABOUT THAT!!!! Former Senator David Durenberger is on MPR talking about his book about Minnesota’s history of Progressive Republicanism. Here’s the link to the interview. His book is one my companion at my recent three and a half hour lunch sent me an email about. A jackass Republican leader called Durenberger a “quisling” a few years ago for putting his own values (and mine) over those of the new Jesse Helm’s inspired Republican Party that Donald Trump has taken hold of and further corrupted.

Ah, but back to my stream of thought. Here’s my Lincoln Library.

I began this post with a list of things going on in my head. I ain’t going to get there now. Evangelical Christians are championing the Anti-Christ and I’ve got twenty years to point that out.

Anyone wishing to restore the Lincoln legacy is encouraged to read a couple books about Lincoln whose quotes are legend including this favorite:

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side,” said the President, “my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

and presumably God is not a Republican!

A little apology and a little mystery

Paranoia is rampant and I must confess that sometimes it gets the better of me too – though not usually for long. I speculated that my recent column was not added to the Duluth Reader website when I didn’t find it right away. It showed up as I expected it would. I’m sorry to have had any doubts.

And related to that – On Sunday my letter to the editor criticizing the Trib for three of its Republican endorsements will be in the paper too – as a “paid political” letter to the editor. I must confess I don’t see much difference in what I wrote and a lot of the content of other letters that avoided having to pay. Life has its mysteries.

Who was working to save the United States in 1860? Oh Nevermind! Have a few seconds of smiles

My friend from the 3-and-a-half hour lunch emailed me to tell me that one of his “spies” had reported to him that I was at yesterday’s Duluth remembrance for the murdered Pittsburgers. My posts for the month have been almost universally worrisome. At breakfast today Claudia asked me what I was mentally conspiring to do. It was a far away look in my mind. I told her that it has occurred to me that I’m about to commit the rest of my life to the cause Abraham Lincoln lost hold of on April 15th 1864.

But enough about that. Our era needs a Will Rogers. This my help until she is found. Here’s what I posted about on Facebook last Sunday:

“Our car trunk, one of 17, at Glen Avon Presbyterian, ate a succession of children this afternoon, tempted by treats on it’s tongue. Only the Joker escaped unscathed….”

null

A friend of mine suggested that we were the only car that had been decorated. I replied

“Oh no, all seventeen cars were decorated. Ours was the only one that bit back.”

Pete Stauber – the Alt Right’s candidate

As I returned home half an hour ago from Walgreens I saw these two lawnsigns paired together two houses below my home on 21st Ave. East. Today, at a funeral for a member of our church, we learned about the murder of eleven people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. It was six blocks away from where our pastor grew up. Her husband was so angry that he said he never wants to hear Donald Trump’s voice again. The President did imply that it was the congregants own fault for not having guards with guns at their house of worship.

I’m prepared to listen to our President for the next two years, unpleasant as that will be, because you never turn your back to a viper. That’s what I find so ironic about the this paring of signs. Pete Stauber is a cop who was shot in the line of duty. That’s just what happened to Ronald Reagan! But look at the difference between them. NRA darling Reagan got behind the Brady Bill and helped it pass in the early years of the Bill Clinton presidency.

If anyone should be in a position to suggest that compromise is due in the area of gun regulation its Pete. But Pete’s guilty of what I’ve found so detestable about politicians since my first campaign. Winning is Pete’s highest priority and far below winning is principle. Principle is down Pete’s “to do” list somewhere below buying paper plates and sporks for his election night party. Pete Stauber is a coward although if he becomes our next Congressman you can count on the Draft Dodger, Donald Trump, to call Pete a winner. To this President a “loser” is a fellow like Senator John McCain who risked his life for his nation, was captured, imprisoned, tortured and left a physical wreck but with his honor intact.

Because those worshipers in Pittsburgh made the mistake on not arming themselves to worship got they made Donald Trump the greatest victim of this tragedy. Where do they think they live?

Want to help me finance sending this to the Fargo Forum?

If so, send my old campaign donation button a little cash. I just spent $30 to “pay” for a “political ad” to the Fargo Forum’s flagship the Duluth News Tribune. Like obituaries, letters-to the-editor are now a cash generator.

I first sent my letter to the editor, Chuck Frederick. He sent me to a Forum website for “advertising.” Heck, there are a lot more Forum newspapers out there who are endorsing Trumpets and the “ad” I wrote could be put in each of them every day from now until the election. Its too much for me to cover by myself but if the money rolls in it might help keep more Trump supporters from the Congress. I’d like to think his possible voters are troubled by his lies and his pipe bombers.

Here’s what I sent in for Sunday’s Duluth News Tribune. You could help me send more: Continue reading

Harry Welty’s Suicide, Censored?

NOTE: THIS POST SPECULATED THAT THE DULUTH READER MIGHT HAVE HAD ITS NOSE OUT OF JOINT OVER MY KARPING ABOUT ITS ENDORSEMENTS AND CENSORED ME. I’M RELIEVED TO SAY I WAS WRONG.

I’m kinda like an eager pet dog that bites his master just as happily as he bites guests. Republicans found that out about me long ago.

I have been waiting to link to my latest Not Eudora column in the Reader but when I checked out its latest contents online just now mine was not yet among them. I hope that its simply yet to be added and that it was not dropped because I made light of the five old white men that constituted its editorial board. (It included me)

If my contribution was dropped from the online Reader the slight was too late. My column about my exaggerated death had already been published into the far more widely read newsprint edition. I hope its only a matter of time before My Suicide hits the Reader’s online version but, just in case I’ve too greatly offended my fellow white editorialists, I am giving my “eight loyal readers” a chance to read it here in Lincolndemocrat: Continue reading

“Now I know where [Karin Housely] gets [her] bad habits.”

US Senate candidate, Karen Housley, who the Duluth News Tribune endorsed “for a “bit of balance” has a bad habit. She compares black women to chimpanzees.

Maybe Karin was the co-star in the movie. If so, she’s aged well except for the Alzheimer’s and racism.

And to think I starred with Chuck Frederick in the movie preview for the story about the Duluth lynchings.

Oh, and I just learned that the Duluth School District has blocked my blog from its students. Maybe they should do the same for the Duluth News Tribune. There’s all sorts of stuff on their editorial page our children should probably not be reading.

A tale of two Editorial Boards

These days I’m not cranking out five or ten daily posts as I have in the past. I’m being very selective. Even my eight loyal readers eyes must be burning out from gazing at their cell phones this election cycle. But before I attend to this post’s headline I have to follow up the powerful video I posted last night from Fox News’s, Shep Smith, on the real threat of the Migrant caravan, still one thousand miles from the border. Even if it doesn’t crumble under withering 105 degree temperatures it won’t even reach America at its current pace for 44 days – a full month after the election!

As this morning’s NPR interview with an economist makes clear keeping migrants out impoverishes all Americans. Our public schools and colleges don’t spend much time training American students to clean motel rooms, bus tables, or pick vegetables.

Now to this post’s headline.

I was taken aback by the DNT’s Editorial headline this morning – “Yes,” “no,” “no,” on School Questions concerning the School District three part ask for tax revenues. Continue reading

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."