All posts by harrywelty

Email – wishes I was a Republican

This is a message I just got from an old high school classmate whose family bought my family’s old Mankato, Minnesota Home:

I wrote about this a long time ago here.

06/12/18 11:07 AM
Dear Harry, I read your article about Trump the racist in the Duluth Reader. You are spot on about that guy–what a disgrace. The Free Press had an article today about him coming to Duluth, all he will do is talk about himself. It also mentioned that you are running for Congress. Good luck! (I still think you should run as a Democrat.) Be sure to come to our 50th reunion! Details will come later. Your old house is doing just fine. Harley and I ramble around in it but it does fill up with grandchildren and other visitors now and then. *****

This was my reply:

Hi *****,

That’s a great house to fill with grandchildren. We’ve got two. I’m sure I’ll try to make it to number 50.

I left the GOP a little before Obama. I enjoyed being a Democrat that year and miss him as our president. As for my running as a Democrat. Gee. I can’t forget what Will Rogers said. “I don’t belong to any organized party…….I’m a Democrat.” I fear they are about to reelect Trump and that thought gives me the heebie jeebies.

In the 50 years since I got to good old Mankato High the two parties political handlers winnowed and cleansed them of dissenters and orignial thinkers year by year until they became like the Skeksies and the Mystics in that movie by Henson “The Dark Crystal.”

We won’t be whole again as a nation until some liberal thinkers are Republicans and some conservative thinkers are Democrats or some other two party system develops that don’t act like opposites. We need the Dark Crystals missing shard to be replaced.

I can’t predict the future but I can take the party my family was long affiliated with and try to inject some humility, common sense and decency into it.


I made a more upbeat video asking for money

If it seems too silly you can watch the speech I gave the Democrats last year when I sought their endorsement for a school board race. I recorded that speech in my attic office too because the Democrat’s sound system went out when I got up to speak and nobody heard me. So I recorded it for my campaign website. It has to do about education and segregation in the Duluth Schools. I got fewer votes from the Democrats than I will likely get from Republicans on August 14th’s primary. Of course, in Minnesota we can choose which party’s primary we vote in on election day. Independents, Democrats, satanists and atheists are all welcome to join the Republicans to cast their votes in the Republican Primary

Harry’s thinking about China

My wife and I visited China last year for about 12 days. Before our trip we both read extensively about the nation. Here’s their bookshelf:

When I was a child parent guilted their children into eating vegetables by saying the should be glad they weren’t starving like the children of China. In junior high mysterious news reports made it out of China about a “Culutural Revolution” that had everyone turning against each other. What has happened in China in the last three decades is little short of miraculous…….if you know nothing about the potential of Commerce unleashed.

I wrote 17 posts about China that you may find interesting and insightful. Here they are.

and by the way my wife and I have been planning a September trip to France for the past year to honor my Grandfather’s service one hundred years ago in World War I. He was quite a guy. I’m determined to write a book about him……next year when I’m in Congress during my down times.

Donald Trump tries to Pardon Vladimir Putin…

…at the G 7 summit…..

…..Tries to grant Putin honorary American Citizenship.

Why not?

He can pardon anyone who might testify as to the collusion he keeps tweeting us about never having taken part in. Hint, Hint, Mueller indictees.

King me. Time Magazine covers over the past couple years centering on the biggest ego ever to threaten our Constitution.

Pete Stauber for Motherhood and Apple Pie

I just checked out Pete Stauber’s campaign issue page. Typical Republican tripe but I’ll admit I haven’t read beyond the headlines yet. I will comment on the various issues when I’ve got the time. They are:

Holy crap! I just looked at it again. His page is truly light in the loafers. Each issue has just one lousy sentence explaining what it means. They are all shorter than a Trump tweet. Sad! Check it out. You can plumb Pete Stauber’s mind in about 20 seconds. Continue reading

Impeachment – Issues before Congress

I wrote one of my recent columns in the Duluth Reader pondering this tricky issue. I hope that an Impeachment does not become necessary. If it was put into effect despite the fierce opposition of large numbers of our population it could sow more discord than it would be worth. And, if it served to make a martyr out of the unworthy Donald Trump, I would be appalled. Donald Trump does not deserve the status of Martyr. I would prefer to see him stumble on humiliated and weakened until his term ended in 2020.

The removal would be the work of the United States Senate in a trial headed by the Supreme Court Chief Justice. The House of Representatives part is to “impeach” or indict the President (or other lesser officials) sending the case to the Senate. I would vote to impeach if I was convinced that “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” had taken place but only with great reluctance. I would need to see more compelling evidence than a semen stain on a blue dress.

Education – Issues before Congress

The Federal Government only funds about 7 percent of the cost of public schools. Most of this money is meant for school lunch programs and special education. The latter is a particular bugaboo for schools across the nation because originally the Congress had promised to fully funding it. But the full funding idea disappeared into a dark corner leaving a mostly unfunded mandate that is forced on local taxpayers to fund from property taxes.

I’ve written millions of words about education in the twelve years I’ve served on the Duluth School Board. In Duluth I’m best known for two things. Old time teachers have not forgotten that my school board invited a charter school into Duluth 20 years ago to bring in a school that might better address the needs of some of our lost kids. While some teachers have not forgiven me the community has generally been pleased with our Charters.

The other issue is the massive building plan authorized by the Board after my initial retirement from the Board in 2004. The So called Red Plan was put into place without a public vote and I raised hell about that. I saw “too-good-to-be-true” promises made in its behalf and scanty back up information supporting the promises. I took the School District to Court. There are two history books worth of day-by-day musing on that fight in this blog. I’ll just sum up by saying I was right and the School Board and the Unions and the Chamber of Commerce and the Duluth News Tribune have been proven wrong. The latter has never forgiven me for being proven right. Their editors love to call me a “perennial candidate” as a rebuke. No one likes an “I told you so.”

The buildings cost half a billion dollars. To pay for them the District laid off over a hundred teachers. Today almost all our local school taxes are going to pay off building bonds with very little left over for teachers. When I was on the Board we spent about 10 million more on teachers than we do today even though today’s school taxes are much higher. Now class sizes routinely hit 40 students per class.

Donald Trump has no monopoly on standing up for the voters. Sadly he is all hat and no cattle in the brain’s department.

Here’s one of several thousand posts on education. Its nothing special but it does express my deep reservations about Trump’s astoundingly rich Secretary of Education Betsy De Vos.

Israel – issues before Congress

Under Donald Trump America has tilted to Israel to shore up a government that is a democracy for only half of the population. That’s not fair and it does not promote trust or stability. Bibi Netanyahu can confront his international enemies knowing that they are looking at the United States backing him. I happened to have dinner with him a little over a year ago on a trip with my wife took to Israel and Palestine to see who was trying to find peace. Not Bibi. I wrote about it in the blog.

Day 2 camp diary – O Captain, My Captain!

I got two points for composing a sentence in French just now on my Duolingo Ap. Its 2 in the morning and I crawled out of bed unable to sleep. All I could do was think about the column I had just sent into the Reader for Thursday’s issue. I’m quite pleased with it but its been hard to get the subject out of my head. So I got up to study french and change the subject. But damn Duolingo. It offered me two points to write a reply to the following question. I won’t tell you what either the Q or my A is but there is one huge clue in my reply. If you are curious you can copy it and put it in a French-to-English translator online.

Décris le métier de tes rêves.

J’ai rêvé d’être élu président des États-Unis pour que je puisse prendre ma retraite Donald Trump.

The column will likely be my last until after the primary election unless, of course, I catch lightning in a bottle. Part of Day 1 and 2 of the campaign has been spent trying to figure out the mechanics of accepting donations. I have an unorthodox idea but it needs some tweaking.

But most of campaign day 2 was spent contemplating my hero Abe Lincoln and writing about him in my final Reader column until after my campaign comes to an end. Lincoln was the soul of my Reader piece and that spirit extended to my duties as a Grandfather in the afternoon. My older Grandson had finished a 2-month long poetry unit and families were invited to hear his classmates at a poetry slam. For the occasion we were asked to bring poetry that we liked. Claudia used to read poetry in competition and picked out a famous Burke Poem about the eyes of a tiger burning bright. I printed out Oh Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman written in memoriam to the fallen President. Owing to my intense concentration on my column I found the Whitman poem far more compelling than I had expected. I teared up thinking about how broken up the poet, who had nursed broken soldiers back to health, was on learning of Abe’s assassination. I’m getting waaaay too sentimental in my dotage.

I’ll confess that as I wrote my column I had the huffy phrase “…blue-collar, common-sense conservative…” echoing in my head. It was part of the reply given by Pete Stauber’s spokesman when the News Tribune asked her about my criticisms of her candidate:

“Pete has been campaigning across the district for a year and we are seeing our blue-collar, common-sense conservative message resonating with voters in the 8th — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike,” said Stauber campaign spokesperson Caroline Tarwid.

My column doesn’t mention anything about our campaign but I hope it radiates the essence of what it means to be an American as our founders projected their dreams for the future in the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln lifted up that spirit high in his Gettysburg Address and turbo charged it for our nation’s better angles who, sad to say, seem to be in hiding these days.

Whatever else it accomplishes not writing my Reader columns every other week will free up a day to campaign or to blog or to study French. Que sera, sera.

Camp Diary Day 1 – Loathsomeness – That felt good to say

In the jumbled story about my entry into the Congressional Race it appears at first that I’m going head to head with KBJR’s former newscaster, Michelle Lee. You will find the story in all the Fargo Forum papers. The link in the first sentence is to their Virginia paper. In fact we will only face each other if I defeat Pete Stauber and Michelle defeats a cluster of candidates who vied for the DFL endorsement most of them sore losers like me……..except that in my case my last defeat was for last years school board race. Ironically the biggest factor in that race was Donald Trump. All the activist women in Duluth were in high dudgeon and looking for someone to prove their votes counted and I spent a year doing everything I could think of to continue on including going to a DFL convention asking for their endorsement. To say I got the cold shoulder at the convention is an understatement.

Pete Stauber’s spokesman makes a big deal about his spending they year going all around the District. Good to know he has a head start on me.

My day ended wonderfully. Claudia got home after a visit to her father in Florida and I had a bottle of wine waiting for her and a Pizza Luce garlic potato pizza. My trip to the Cities to file gave me a chance to buy a summer’s worth of wine at one of my favorite stores and I spent more on that than the $300 filing fee. I got some French bordeaux’s to get in the mood for our visit to France in September. Should I win the primary no worries, I’ll have October to campaign.

As I mentioned in a post a week or two ago Claudia told me she knew she couldn’t talk me out of filing if I had made up my mind. To say she has never liked my 16 or 17 campaigns, any of them, is putting it mildly. I promised her that I had no intention of campaigning to the point of crippling myself like I did last year. I plan to keep studying French. And no. I don’t parle Francais. Not really but I’ll keep working on it.

But what made my day was Claudia listening to me on Fox News and hearing her laugh delightedly when I said that our President was loathsome. I told her that alone was worth the $300 filing fee. I could ignore the campaign from now on and die content.

But I told all the reporters yesterday that I’ve always dreamed of catching lightning in a bottle. This blog will serve as my kite.

I’m figuring out how to take online contributions. This won’t be a Kickstarter campaign and I have an unorthodox plan that will require a measure of trust on the part of contributors because, until I get back from France I may not have the patience to spend hours at night filling out campaign forms. At this point I am only in Phase 1 of the campaign. I’ve already stated the obvious. Winning the primary for phase two is highly unlikely. But if that lightening should strike……… out. I will make a splash in Washington. A Republican in Congress willing and even eager to state the obvious! The King is naked……..and ignorant……and threatening a ruinous world trade war and that’s not the half of it!

Do you disagree Pete Stauber? Tell us about it.

What would Joseph McCarthy have said about this Republican sign?

Everyone knows that Donald Trump worshiped Tail Gunner Joe’s legal beagle Roy Cohn and hires mostly similarly named attorneys with the same rabid attack-dog legal skills. I can’t help but wonder what Roy and Joe would have thought of the sign I teased the Republicans about while in St. Paul as I was filing for congress. I just discovered where it came from: The Duluth Convention:

and that Jeff Johnson just below it…..the GOP Governor candidate I stood behind when he was filing at the Secretary of State’s offices.

Maybe its time to bring back the old anti-communist slogan “Better dead than red.”

I just came back from filing.

I wore my Lincoln T Shirt to file. Jeff Johnson the newly nominated Republican Governor candidate came in to file just after I filled out my form. I turned toward the cameras while I stood behind him so that my Lincoln would be there in the background. I had just walked in to the office building as two young men were carefully carting a huge Minnesota cut of plywood and painted red. It read “Make Minnesota Red Again.” I hollered over to them “Make Minnesota Communist Again?” with my question hanging in the air.

I feel good. Almost too satisfied to study French……..I’ll get over it. Bootlicker’s beware! .BTW I got a call from Brady Slater of the Trib and he asked if I wasn’t a little tough on Pete in my last blog post. I’d already thought about that at length yesterday before I included that description in the post. These are the things I recall telling Brady in answer to that question. In no particular order.

A. As a candidate’s he’s already counting on the support of the President’s blindest supporters and has made no secret of his approval of Trump. (If Pete thinks that we are supposed to read his mind about how much he disapproves of Trump’s theatrics he damn well better make that plain to the voting public!)

B. His President has lowered the bar for words like “bootlick” far below the level of that word.

C. I’ve seen moderates in the Party primaried out through the same kind of rhetoric on the other side. Bootlick pales to “Baby Killer” which I have been called. Hell, I was called “a worse mass murderer” than Stalin, Mao and Hitler put together. Such a thoughtful analysis by members of a party that have so neglected new born babies in America that we have the highest infant and new mother mortality in the Industrialized world.

and finally D. while I don’t remember telling Brady this my calling Pete out is the best assurance decent people in the Eighth District have that he won’t become one. If he’s elected everybody will be waiting to see if my fear was justified. Why should I expect Pete to have any more guts than the useless, decent Republican men and women that we currently have representing us in the Congress?