Lock him up

Historians may conclude that Donald Trump’s four year reign of ego cost the Earth precious years to halt its pell mell race to destruction. Added to this I suspect most will conclude his presidency also will have set United States back precipitously. Among the things lost could be the confidence of the rest of the world that our founding fathers knew what they were doing in gambling on democracy.

Or, maybe America will realize its gamble on chaos demonstrated that we would be better off treating each other as the decent people most ardent Democrats and Republicans really are. If that happens… If the Rush Limbaughs and Fox talking heads are given the cold shoulder…. Just maybe America can come back stronger with Donald Trump and his clown car in our collective rear view mirrors. I just have one caveat. DONALD TRUMP, IF FOUND GUILTY, SHOULD BE LOCKED UP LIKE RUDOLF HESS IN HIS OWN PRIVATE PRISON.This would be both just and fair since he led the chants of locking up Hillary Clinton. Justice should be poetic.

I have always tread lightly on the subject of impeachment. Andrew Johnson a much more honest man was impeached. The Supreme Court and Historians generally concluded that his trial was bogus. I have come to think that just maybe his trial had merit but, nevertheless, I agree wiyh JFK’s assessment that the Republican Senators who voted not to remove him were brave and heroic.

Nixon would have been impeached but he left office to avoid it and the subsequent trial in the US Senate. Trump is said to be looking at stepping down too but, if so, it may be too late for that. Without the Presidency and the legal theory that argues that a President can’t be found guilty….at least by ordinary courts….private citizen Trump could be inundated with all manner of criminal trials. He would find it much harder to avoid losing post presidency notwithstanding his billions of dollars.

I was sorry that America held a grudge against President Ford for pardoning Nixon. I thought sending Nixon to prison would cause a terrible hatred to grow between Democrats and Republicans. I was wrong. Those divisions were sewn by the next generation of political mad men. Proof of that biliousness was just two decades off. It showed its ugly face when Republicans decided that lying to a jury about having sex with an intern was a “high crime and misdemeanor.” Compared to that travesty Donald Trump has wrapped himself in a web of deceit so tightly that he can no longer extricate himself.

Donald Trump should be tried honestly and if found guilty locked up. His crimes are so numerous and so onerous that no future candidate for the US Presidency should have any doubts that the Presidency would protect them from Donald Trump’s level of misbehavior.

Until now I was afraid impeachment might backfire on the impeachers. Now I would consider the Congress derelict if it failed to prosecute Trump even though the discovery phase of his trial/trials is barely out of the starting gate.

Rainy Day Racists

It’s raining when I should be putting up more of Alanna Oswald’s and my lawnsigns. Oh well. I guess I’ll chew up a few minutes talking about something equally drenching. Racism today.

I would like to post the picture that the Girls Power group at Denfeld posted on their Facebook page. But with America being plunged into dark times by a President calling out Storm troopers to defend his larceny I don’t think pretending not to be paranoid would do any favors for the five young black women that David Kirby and I posed with last week after the meeting to discuss issues of poverty. If you can locate it on Facebook you will also find the silly video of me attempting to “floss.”

I’ve had two long standing acquaintances with whom I’ve been friendly suddenly reveal themselves to be fully released from PC constraints. In finding this freedom both have used the “N” word with me in their communications. In both cases I’ve told them if they can’t hold their fingers they should stop writing to me. They can’t resist taunting me despite this. I’ve taken to the unhelpful resort of taunting them back.

Today one of them sent me the letter he sent to an Iron Range news paper half-heartedly defending Pete Stauber. If you check the link you can discover his name which to date I’ve always kept anonymous. He also sent the email to the Duluth News Tribune’s editor Chuck Frederick. I sent my old acquaintance a terse reply and sent it to Chuck too. I know Chuck is open and honest about the tenterhooks Black Americans live every day. We both had roles in a short video used to promote a movie about Duluth’s 1920 lynching. I got the bigger role in the video’s seven minutes. The movie was to be called “Hatestorm.”

Here’s our work: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nwIgkYzM_Ur0QkC5yfaFcWoYcWbcMhFx/view

Anyhoo.

Here’s the link to my acquaintance’s letter to the Hibbing paper lamely defending Pete Stauber:

https://www.hibbingmn.com/opinion/letters/stauber-voting-for-rural-way-of-life/article_37338eea-e645-11e9-a31c-67dacb170996.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share
And here’s my reply after considering my acquaintance’s defense of “big shot” lover, Pete Stauber:

*******,

Too bad that when you send me emails you can’t help but call Obama a “nigger” therefore sounding no more knowledgeable than this woman. As for Stauber being too arrogant to reply to letters from critics. I don’t think I agree with you. Stauber has all the franking privileges he needs to explain himself. I think ignoring his critics is simple cowardice.

Harry

Rough notes

I’m not fussy about perfection which explains my comfort with the last post’s state – unpolished. Its an attitude that I think is useful to show students who too often think mistakes are some sort of blemish. They are great teaching opportunities….the same way that, theoretically at least, there are no stupid questions. I suspect a lot of missing homework stems from kids fear of showing their mistakes. I hated to write thank you cards after Christmas for the same reason.

I’m sure a lot of my readers remember times when they felt humiliated being called on by a teacher and not knowing an answer or worse yet being called to a blackboard and flubbing a math problem. Feigned indifference is one method of hiding this embarrassment. I remember a classmate of mine passing around his all-F report card in homeroom as though it was some sort of prize. I found out later (from a truly awful teacher) that the kid had the second highest IQ among my 454 classmates. If our President was not such an arrogant ignoramus his tweet flubs could be endearing.

My eight loyal readers have grown accustomed to my sporadic proof reading, tolerating it like an unmowed lawn next door. I trust that the contents I offer makes it worthwhile for them to come back for more. This post is meant to be a heads up to the new readers who check out lincolndemocrat every time I run for office.

I didn’t stick up more lawnsigns yesterday because it was too damp for my taste. This morning its still gray outside but I spent an hour in my garage yesterday putting the signs on bent up old stands. I’ll try to put up a few more today.

Oh, and I finished all my paperwork for substitute teaching. Now I have to study some online classes on how to sub in the Duluth schools these days. I got some hints from Paul Sandholm at the KBJR studios yesterday before we taped a school board candidate session for Sunday’s morning line up. Paul also told me that the Tribune’s and the Chamber of Commerce’s taping went horribly awry last week and the video was unwatchable. That was true not only for the school board candidates but for the Mayoral and City council races too.

Like students everywhere the Trib and the Chamber are only human.

Yesterday was a good day…

…today is a good day.

In fact the whole week has been good. Monday I participated in my second rehearsal for the Duluth Superior Chorus. I had sung with the chorus for about five years a decade ago but set it aside when I got caught up in the Red Plan imbroglio and stayed away through four semi-lost years on the School Board. But I re-upped last spring and decided that I could manage it again this fall as I campaigned for a return to the School Board. Does this matter to taxpayers and parents who watch the Duluth School District like a hawk. Nope. But it matters to me. I hate any kind of myopia and I don’t think it serves anyone well. Focusing only on work or an obsession, like Trump focuses on his genius to the exclusion of all else, isn’t healthy. I know I’m not a genius. But I think I’m remarkably stable. Should I lose this election I will still have a long and productive twenty or more years ahead of me right up to and maybe even past age 90. In fact, I’ll be forced to devote more time to something that politics makes hard to focus on. Writing something longer than a blog post or a thousand.

I think that should be a selling point to my potential voters so I spend time sharing a category of info I call “Harry’s Diary.”

So I’ll start with Tuesday evening where I appeared with all sorts of city council, mayoral and school board candidates at nearby Myers Wilkins Elementary. It was put on by a consortium of folks who worry about poverty and who take the campaign season as an opportunity to share their concerns with candidates as well as grill them on the issues of the day. There were two of many nice things worth mentioning. I got introduced to a group of minority girl students from Denfeld and I chatted to some extent with the incumbent I’m trying to unseat Dr. David Kirby. The young women were looking for some affirmation…..to use an annoying PC term. When our session was over I caught them together in the hallway joking around. That led to my attempting to “floss” and their giddy response to an old fart making a happy fool of himself. They wanted all the SB candidates to pledge to come to their meetings once a month. I didn’t promise them quite that much attention but I will drop by frequently…..if I’m elected.

As for David Kirby. Mine is not a grudge match. David was a fair minded chairman I valued after the previous two years of a hideous school board experience. I just have an compulsion to use what I am confident is a tremendous skill and knowledge set to wrench our schools out of a rut. We had a cordial conversation about all sorts of things. Win, lose, or draw David and I will remain on friendly terms. That’s how politics ought to be.

TUESDAY

My alarm went off at 3;45 AM. I had to drive Claudia to the airport for her all day flight to visit her father in Florida to put his affairs in order. He’s in hospice at the present but in good spirits. I’ll be unsupervised until she returns on Tuesday. During the morning I used the graphic that my daughter sent out on Facebook to craft a critique of the Republican Party. To my great satisfaction by the end of the day it turned out to have driven a huge upsurge of interest which my more trenchant post sometimes generate. Instead of the usual 2,000 hits it generated 15,012 hits.

In the afternoon I steeled myself to start putting up lawnsigns. I started in my own backyard going up 21st Ave. East up to Woodland. I put up my signs and Alanna Oswald’s signs in about 20 yards. (I got them on all four corners of my intersection) I told everyone how she was my student and now my teacher as the smartest member of the Duluth School Board. I have another 100 plus of our signs to put up if the weather cooperates. Later in the day I went to one of our Wednesday church programs where we had invited Duluth firefighters and Duluth police to tell us of their work. We got a demonstration of how not to put out a kitchen grease fire:

This morning I woke up early and studied French when I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I’ve recently put more effort into it after an early summer of doing the bare minimum. In two months it will be my birthday and the two year mark of my studies. Two years is what I hoped would do the trick. I’m getting closer but I’ll still have a long ways to go after that date.

I devoured the news, like always when I woke up reading in the NYTimes about how our Secretary of State is having to eat all his words about sharing State Department Info after switching from the Benghazi Committee to covering up Donald Trump’s tracks. Then I listened to a very useful commentary on MPR’s Kerry Miller show about “learned helplessness.” To summarize: the same way rats who are never allowed to reach safety by scientists who put them in deep water eventually simply stop swimming because its no use – people will do the same thing – give up. In the instances Miller’s guests were highlighting, women in abusive relationships simply stop swimming and learn to take what is dealt them by their abusers.

I thought the idea of learned helplessness was very useful. I’ve often been discouraged but I’ve never allowed myself to be helpless. In fact I was about to take advantage of a tiny bit of initiative to do a couple things I’ve never done before, use my wife’s new mixer and bake some banana bread with three overripe bananas. Here’s the picture I texted her along with a little of the back and forth following:

Sorry can’t do that and I’ve got a KBJR interview to go to but here’s my banana bread:

Sorry no time to edit out the mistakes.

Black and White, good and evil, Democrat and Republican, America Divided

When I was born in the glow of the post WW II years there was a much smaller difference between our two political parties. Gone, but not forgotten, were the anti-Roosevelt, anti-New Deal Republicans. The war had taken Depression boys and girls and plunged them into a great and uniting war that would be remembered fondly ever after as the “Good War.” Everyone (who was white) was now an equal, political affiliation be damned.

The differences between the parties were subtle as I grew up. I took pride in not being a Democrat stuck with the solid South’s Keep the N’s down politics. Not that Republicans were that fanatical about sticking up for black citizen’s rights. They had already established a long record of diffidence about extending Lincoln’s magnanimity and fighting to enforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments that their radical forebears in Congress had passed. By the Gilded Age, (the 1890’s) a time not unlike our own, Republicans shrugged their shoulders and decided that nobody could do anything about the South anyway. What followed was a mostly cozy fifty years of going along to get along and get along without helping black America. Black America suffered terribly.

This very cool graphic begins in the 1950’s when America had two political parties ruling Congress with congressman who didn’t hate each other.

But the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s brought about big social changes. the Fifties saw the birth of a new Civil Rights Era ignited by African Americans and President Lyndon Johnson going turncoat on the South leading to black citizens finally being guaranteed the right to vote in the South. That prompted southerners to break away into a Dixiecrat Party that couldn’t go anywhere and, by the sixties through the eighties, a flood of southern democrats. They took over the GOP like parasites taking over an ant’s brain and forced it to rely on the Solid South’s old habit of suppressing black voters. The current Supreme Court is the realization of that long standing policy.

As the Republicans began to morph they pointed to the Democrats with their young anti-war converts and accused Democrats of being the party of single-interest issues. Pro woman, Pro black, Pro Gay, pro environment etc., meaning the party of division. What you can see in this graphic is that in the early years of 1980’s, the Reagan Years, the two parties began to drift farther and farther apart. The nation wasn’t yet at the point where a boy and girl with different political inclinations would find it impossible to marry but those day were coming.

The Republicans who had accused the Democrats of putting single interests above the nation helped expand new hot button separatists to promote gun ownership, fight abortion, curtail immigration and keep sexual “deviance” illegal.

After Reagan, in the 90’s, Republican Reagan worshipers conveniently forgot his exhortation to keep the GOP a party of the “Big Tent.” Instead the party’s hacks and purists found it convenient to whip up their single interest factions to go out and punish wishy-washy moderates like me (AKA RINO’s – Republicans in Name Only). It made no difference how many generations their families had been affiliated with the party. Treated now as apostates they had to defer to their new Republican masters who were descended from families that had hated Abraham Lincoln. And in one lamentable irony these new southern-led, ex-Democrat, Republicans would taunt Democrats for being the party of Slavery.

For a decade or two, even as these take-over artists demonized closeted, moderate congressman, Moderates remained until new blue-collar converts, who had lost jobs to the Republicans push for Free Trade, turned on them under Donald Trump. The Republican Party, once a champion of “the rule of law,” is now weighing whether to turn on the Constitution to save their tweeting President or act honorably which could cost them control of the elective branches of the Federal Government. (The Supreme Court is their’s until the Arctic melts)

This question was settled for me in Junior High when I read John Kennedy’s slim history “Profiles in Courage.” Sadly, courage has not been a big part of the Republican Party for a long time. It may have died with John McCain.

As President Trump hints that civil war is imminent to save his sorry arse…

… its worth paying attention to the man who put an end to the last one, General and President Ulysses S. Grant:

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.”

My 3rd Lincolndemocrat Post from March 8, 2006

I probably haven’t reread this old post … http://lincolndemocrat.com/?p=8 … for twelve years but its offers a fascinating window on my schizophrenic politics. I wrote it not long after claiming the lincolnDEMOCRAT domain name. I was through with the Republicans. Like a woman scorned I would hurl invective at them for turning my family’s long time party into a cult financed by the Kochs.

This post describes my first precinct caucus as a democrat. Its rather funny. I’d forgotten how keen Democrat true believers were. I was the lone voice of reason on a resolution to impeach……not a Donald Trump…….but George W. Bush. When the Fox talking heads describe Dems as being hell-bent on impeaching Trump it is a charge that has precedent.

I’ve once again stuck my toe into the GOP but only to wage a civilian equivalent of the battle that earned my Grandfather a Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty. I may not deserve it. I have little appetite for returning to a Republican precinct caucus that will be even more inhospitable than the ones I departed from in 2006. Trump and the NRA have replaced the Koch’s as cult leader.

Trump’s mistress Hannity gets highest ratings ever

I used to rib my now deceased “buddy,” Vic, that making Fox his go-to online news site was
Just begging to be brain washed by Roger Ailes. Today there is some hope for Fox’s news division.

As for Hannity’s all time high 4 million viewership? It reminds me of how when, during the passing of a hurricane’s eye, people in submerged houses escape to any higher ground they can.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/business/media/fox-news-sean-hannity.html

What I just sent to the Strib

1. A headshot in the highest photo resolution possible.

2. The link to your campaign website. Facebook Page: Harry Welty Givem Helty and WWW.Givemhellharry.org and WWW.lincolndemocrat.com

3. A short bio (roughly 50 words) – it could help to look at our 2018 guide linked above for examples.

Harry Welty, Age 67, history teacher, snow sculptor, blogger, frequent candidate for public office has served three terms on the Duluth School Board. Married to Claudia he has a son and daughter who graduated from Duluth’s schools. He has more opinions than you can shake a stick at and he can juggle.

4. Answers to the following three questions (using 50 or fewer words for each response):
…..1. Why should voters elect you?

So that voters can have the confidence that someone who understands school finance, the Red Plan, education law, the value of public education, the management role of a school board and the importance of teachers is sitting on what today is a pretty inexperienced Duluth School Board.

…..2. In order of priority, what are the top three issues facing Duluth Public Schools?

1st. That equity is not enough. Every child should be tended to carefully for twelve years of schooling no matter the shortcomings they bring to school. 2nd. That teachers should be given all the support they need. 3rd That the public is treated with openness and complete honesty.

…..3. What is your solution to that top issue?

In fifty words? Starting with a new Superintendent show respect to every employee of the district and expect the best from them and have them reciprocate this ethos to the students in their classrooms and to parents. Make every precious dollar in our budget work to maximum effect.

The Star Trib reaches out

I mentioned in my post about the last school board meeting that I met the new Minneapolis Star Trib reporter who will be covering education, or at least the Duluth School District, while living in Duluth. It turns out that there are four Strib reporters.

Katie just sent me this email as they start getting operations under way. I’ve filled out similar voter info forms for the Strib when I’ve run for Congress or the state legislature but not for the Duluth School Board. Here’s her note:

Hi Harry,

My name is Katie Galioto, and I am a reporter for the Star Tribune. I don’t think I’ve had the chance to introduce myself yet, but I am part of a new four-person team of journalists from our paper based in Duluth to cover local stories. I just moved to town this month.

I am reaching out because I am starting to compile information for an online Duluth Voting Guide we are working on putting together for this year’s municipal elections. We’re hoping it will be a good quick-stop resource for Duluthians looking to get caught up to speed ahead of Election Day with information on how to register, where to vote, etc.

We’re drawing some inspiration from the voting guide the Star Tribune produced ahead of the 2018 midterms, though our Duluth guide won’t be exactly the same. I’m attaching a link to that here in case it’s helpful to reference.

We plan on including a standard set of information about the candidates running in each race – so I am wondering if you would be willing to answer a few questions about yourself and your campaign. Here’s what we are asking for from each candidate:

1. A headshot in the highest photo resolution possible.
2. The link to your campaign website.
3. A short bio (roughly 50 words) – it could help to look at our 2018 guide linked above for examples.
4. Answers to the following three questions (using 50 or fewer words for each response):
…..1. Why should voters elect you?
…..2. In order of priority, what are the top three issues facing Duluth Public Schools?
…..3. What is your solution to that top issue?

We would need all this information by no later than Oct. 7 in order for our digital design team to produce the guide. Please let me know if this is something you’d be able to do.

Additionally, let me know if you have questions or anything needs further clarification.

Have a good weekend!

Katie Galioto
Star Tribune Reporter

My Reply:

From: harrywelty
Date: 9/27/19 5:54 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: “Galioto, Katie”
Subject: Re: Star Tribune Duluth Voting Guide

Thanks Katie,

I met you briefly at the last meeting. I will send you the info before the deadline.

Four of you? Whoa. The Stib is ambitious. If you get curious I have a free wheeling blog that has had a lot to say about the Duluth Schools over the last dozen years: Www.lincolndemocrat.com

I was on the board the 4 years leading up to the 2017 election when the Anti-Trump mania dumped me. I’ve had a nice two-year vacation but am ready to get back to work. If elected I’ll be starting my 13th year on the board.

All the best,

Harry

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphon

No! Pete Stauber. The impeachment inquiry isn’t “irresponsible.”

Once again, President 45 has delivered us another turd on the table. A President who has fired all the “adults-in-the-room” so that he can freely strong-arm our ally with a thinly veiled threat to throw the Ukraine to Vlad the Impailer Putin if he doesn’t get help taking down Joe Biden, crosses all sorts of lines in Article II of the Constitution.

I’ve expressed my considerable reservations about pushing impeachment in the Reader. But we have elected a pus filled boil and as the pus keeps leaking out I’ve become game for any inquiry. There are rumors that 30 Republican Senators would vote to remove him if they could vote secretly. That may be wishful thinking but at this point I’d be hard pressed to find fault with the House if its investigation led to a party-line Impeachment. (not to be confused with a Senate Trial and removal)

Our President is the punch line to the Question, “How do you know if he’s lying?” The answer: “He’s moving his lips”. A single lie got Bill Clinton impeached. “I didn’t sleep with that woman.” And like Trump’s many conquests the woman was above the age of consent. The difference? Trump didn’t deny it “under oath.” But Donald Trump did take an oath to preserve the union and he’s done his level best to divide America. That’s a couple factors worse than a perjured falsehood to save your marriage.

Congressman Pete Stauber is just one more pusillanimous Trump parasite. It’s Pete’s parasitism that is irresponsible.

The front cover of the latest New Yorker nails it:

Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie 77% fresh

Yes it did, but…

I went to the movies to escape the headlines and instead I got a comic downer with a bad, if all together believable, end. NOBODY DIED HOWEVER.

I probably wouldn’t have gone if I’d read a review simply because the trailer had such comic promise. I don’t wish to add a review but I will mention this. Claudia and I were the only people in the theater.

Hollywood Shalt Come

I need a good laugh. So does all of America and beyond that the world.

This is the first time in years that I’ve posted something under the “hoots” category. I hope it’s as funny as the trailer.

Hollywood is vilified, and has been for a hundred years, for destroying moral values. Thank God for that. At the same time it has undermined self righteous priggishness that is so easily offended. In a day and age where a moral troll with visions of grandeur propped up by the eloquence of a first grader that didn’t do his homework has been placed on the pedestal of King David by the moral elite…….I think this movie will get me out of my funk for at least two hours.

I told Claudia we ARE going to see it this afternoon.

And Sorry racists, Hollywood has given us far too many great black entertainers for the bulk of America to take the basis of your racism any more seriously than your visions of a rapture.

https://www.facebook.com/79924349932/posts/10157386791509933/?sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=e

The dilemma of a writer, The advantage of a blogger

The editors of the Duluth News Trib gave school board candidates a heads-up two weeks ago that we could send them a 500 word column for their paper for this year’s school board campaign. I sat on it for a while then woke up one night and cranked out a piece with lots of suggestions for the District. Last night I woke up with a rather different approach to a column and pounded a different one into my cell with my index finger. This morning I went over it a couple times not remembering that once formerly 700-word-columns had shrunk down by 200 words in these leaner and meaner days of journalism.

But I had written a 640 word essay. I had to cut 140 words from it. Such is the life of a writer. Well, before I trim my column down to size I’m going to share the original with my eight loyal readers. In a week or two you will be able to see whether I was able to preserve the sentiments in my column before I began whittling away at it.

This is a writer’s dilemma but its not one for a blogger. There is one risk. The Trib often warns people who submit something to them that they will not publish anything that was submitted to a rival publication. (That wasn’t expressed in my email invite however) I think they would be hard pressed to call my blog a rival publication. Its strictly not for profit and besides that, by the time I trim one fourth of this verbiage away the Trib will be hard pressed to claim that I made the original column public before they got hold of it. Stay tuned and see how well my message translates to newsprint after its blovia-ectomy.

Looking Back to Move Duluth’s Schools Forward 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."