Our President didn’t want to get his hair wet so he was the only head of state to skip out on visiting one of the American Cemeteries of fallen American troops in France.
I believe he skipped out on the field at Belleau Woods where a lot of Marines died. He left for France after berating three African american reporters and then threatened to withhold federal aid for Californians beset with the most hideous fires yet.
This year I visited the small village where my Grandfather got shot up 100 years to the day he put his life on the line for his country. Afterwards, I visited an American Cemetery not far from Verdun where the battle of the Meuse Argonne was fought. 26,000 Americans died there; more than fell in any other battle in America’s history. The picture above is one I took while I was in France this September.
If you are new to my blog I wrote about it in this post. If you are interested the next two posts following that detail sights I saw on America’s battlefields near Verdun.
I will be putting up our Stars and Stripes tomorrow on the centenary of the Great War’s end – Veteran’s Day. I will honor my Grandfather’s fellow soldiers. I hope it makes up for the repellent human that soils our White House daily.
Pity the down trodden Central Americans who will be facing 5,000 well armed American soldiers in the next few weeks. There won’t be any Pancho Villa’s among them. Like the villagers in the Magnificent Seven they are escaping such people. In today’s America they are not likely to find any Yul Brynners or Steve McQueens. I hope someone warns them not to throw rocks. Our poor troops. President Trump really knows how to humiliate them.
This five minute interview on NPR with one of the original Watergate lawyers is instructive. For years after Watergate Republican Senators were given credit for telling President Richard Nixon that he needed to leave office.
The last such Republican worthy of the title Republican died with Senator John McCain.
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)
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?
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 →
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 →
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.
In the 70’s there were a number of very peculiar news stories that demonstrated how people could go off the rails like Jim Jones who left us with the ubiquitous about drinking purple kool aid (which may be an apt metaphor for a lot of Trump supporters) and Patty Hearst. Patty has given us another apt metaphor but it better suits GOP officialdom not the hoi poloi attending Trump rallies like Grateful Dead concerts.
Patty was a pretty nondescript, third generation, descendant of a Presidential wannabe William Randolph Hearst. The Grandfather was a titan of the News Business best remembered for the movie he inspired “Citizen Cane.” Hearst’s clout was such that at the time of its release he single-handedly prevented it from being seen in most of the US until after his death thirty years later in the age of television.
In the 1970’s Patty was minding her own beeswax when a group of nutters calling themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped her, raped her and put her in a closet until the seemingly impossible happened. She became a dedicated follower. Perplexed Americans were given the answer that she had been brainwashed and was suffering from a newly deduced ailment called “Stockholm Syndrome” which leads a captive to fall under the spell of her captor. A similar thing happened in the Wild West when white kids were captured and raised by Native Americans and joined the tribe turning their backs on civilization much the chagrin of the Americans who attempted to rescue them.
The SLA had already robbed some banks before Patty joined them and took part in robberies that got innocent people killed. The question asked at the time was, Is Patty responsible? The Stockholm Syndrome became her defense.
Donald Trump has been to the GOP establishment what the SLA was to Patty Hearst. Only in Donald Trump’s case its easy to see his appeal as he heaps scorn on America’s current gridlocked politics. In capturing the Republican pulpit he shoveded all its Republican leaders into little Patty Hearst sized closets with the sign, “I love Donald Trump,” hanging on the door knob. Every Free trading or immigrant friendly Republican has been forced to recant Republican orthodoxy lest the hoi-polloi primary them out of President Trump’s way. They are all Patty Hearsts, cowed by Donald Trump’s middle finger.
For those who think my politics are idiosyncratic I’ll not argue. I prefer that to conformity any day. So let me tell you who I have decided I want to run for President in two years. Firstly, Donald Trump. I surely don’t want him to win. I think he needs to be removed by the ballot box. Secondly, Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar. I know she’s not that well known outside Minnesota. Even the Internet doesn’t seem to know about her yet. I just now got a spellcheck suggestion “chalkboard” when I typed her name. Minnesota has had a number of serious presidential contenders over the last century and one, Hubert Humphrey, came withing a week of getting elected. His campaign just didn’t last long enough. Instead, the Skip Sandman supporters of his Era gave the election to Richard Nixon.
What has led me to Klobuchar is another perfectly respectable Democratic presidential possibility, Elizabeth Warren. Warren just took the President up on his offer to give her a million dollars to take a DNA test to prove that she has native american ancestry. He infamously calls her “Pocahontas.” She did and she has some…..most likely. Now the President is backing away from his million dollar braggadocio.
What occurred to me after this is not what a jackass Trump is. That’s so obvious that I’m pretty sure most of his supporters know it. He’s just their middle finger to the goody-two-shoes of America who are more interested in saving the whales than helping Americans who are hard against it. No. what occurred to me was that Elizabeth Warren, clearly a goody-two-shoes, doesn’t have a sense of humor about herself. Like Hillary Clinton she comes across like the sixth grade class president all full of herself and earnest as the glue you had to lick to affix old time postage stamps on a postcard.
Trump has very little humor either. Oh he laughs when he belittls other people but he can’t joke about himself. That makes him a perfect foil for Saturday Night Live.
My favorite politician had much to overcome. Lincoln famously lost a lot of elections. He had a first rate mind with a second rate career. Its hard not to see his election to the Presidency against all odds in 1860 as God’s intervening to keep America’s beacon shining across the Earth. I don’t believe that of course. I’m an agnostic after all but I’ll never find fault with anyone who comes to that conclusion.
He not only told jokes on himself but he didn’t mind a little roasting. One of my favorite jibes came from his politically ambitious wife who told everyone about the time she met Lincoln at a dance. He told Mary Todd that he wanted to dance with her in the worst way. Mary Todd Lincoln love telling her listeners…… that he did!
I was not impressed the first time I saw Amy Klobuchar on public television. She was a public prosecutor at the time. However Senator Klobuchar has eclipsed her now disgraced Minnesota colleague, the former SNL comedian, Al Franken.
Like Lincoln and the best politicians she can deftly mix humor and dead earnestness. I shouldn’t be surprised. Her father was a long time columnist for the Minneapolis Tribune whose ironic contributions were heavily imbued with his Iron Range political sensibilities. In this day of self-righteous vitriol I like the idea of a President with a sense of humor about themselves. Americans have so little good reason to fight among themselves at a time when the Earth is being paved over by the forces of human industry and development. I know that’s this is a point of disagreement but really. It shouldn’t be. I think a Klobuchar Presidency might help us cool our jets.
By the way, an ad by my friend, Dana Krivogorsky, has persuaded me to vote for her for the legislature. She will be the first Republican I’ll have been able to vote for in years. I like the ad because it has absolutely nothing political about it. If the Republican Party is to heal itself like the physician, it will need more folks with an honest sense of humor back in public office.
If you put Jimmy Kimmel in this blog’s search engine you will find four posts (now five) with the talk show host’s name in them. Its ironic given what prompted this post that in this one I said of Jimmy what I’ve said recently of the newest Supreme Court Justice that Jimmy’s show had the reputation of being “a bawdy frat show.”
The video below is a repeat of a wonderful, dead on, song I just posted. Jimmy Kimmel who has become anything but a male chauvinist saw it too. This time Lynzy Lab is accompanied by a chorus. I am a sucker for human decency and I teared up. So did Claudia when she saw it.
When my daughter was in college and started going to “raves” I worried for her. It wasn’t only frat boys and father figure Bill Cosby who slipped knock out drugs in women’s drinks. In the old days getting a girl drunk was supposed to an invitation for sex but that wasn’t good enough for some guys. Pro Choice hero, Senator Bob Packwood was exposed thirty years ago for giving woman a mysterious pink drink which clouded their memories. I can’t find a quick google reference to the drink but look at this old SNL cold opening from 1993.
Its always been a scary time for fathers of young women. But I bet a lot of them are the same fathers who are going to Trump rallies to preserve what made America great.
I told Claudia that the silver lining in the Trump Presidency is that it has pointed a Klieg light on men. She agreed and said that at a women’s book club yesterday everyone agreed that the Trump presidency was exposing racism and sexism as never before. Here’s the video from the Kimmel Show:
On the pretext of stopping “rampant” but, in fact, almost non-existent voting fraud all the deep south and many other Trump heavy states now require photo IDs. Its not like to good old days in the 1940’s when a rich Texas oil man could give a poor Mexican American five bucks to vote for anyone who was against the oil depletion allowance that kept them rich. Now those Mexicans might vote for a Democrat instead and have to be prevented from voting by any means necessary.
“My first stab at writing about our newest Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was from the perspective of my “frat boy” experience ten years before Brett allegedly made a habit of getting black out drunk in college. The crappy behavior I witnessed during the age of Aquarius was not unlike the self-entitled depredations Kavanaugh has been accused of in the Reagan Era. Experience leads me to believe that our newest justice was as guilty of attempted rape as OJ Simpson was of murdering his wife. If I’m right that’s a triumph for the “rule of law” which can be greatly diluted if one attends prestigious universities and/or has plenty of money.”
To read the rest click the link in the lead sentence.
Thirty days in France was a welcome relief from the continuing Trump news sepsis in the United States. Oh, I did peek at the news on my cell and occasionally on various French hotel televisions which carried one English speaking channel. It was always CNN. It was like peeking through my fingers at a horror show.
Toward the end of the trip and now, upon my return, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night hoping not to think about our nation’s politics. Sometimes I am able to get back to sleep. Typing out my thoughts on my blog helps. Yesterday I returned to my on-again, off-again column in the Duluth Reader. Over the day I cranked out a couple of attempts and was concerned that there was so much water flowing over Niagara that I couldn’t possibly stuff it all in a tiny, 800 word bucket. Although there is so so much more to say I was reasonably pleased with my final product. You can read it at the end of the week in the Reader. Its titled: “Frat Boy Justice.”
I begin by explaining that my first attempt to write a column was to expose my “guy” experience as a member of a fraternity from 1969 to 1973. But there were larger issues to dance around so I departed from that. However, the subject of boys behaving badly has made it to this blog before. I remembered writing about one particular episode about a friend of mine who spit on a stripper. I just discovered that I had blogged about this twice. You can read both posts to check to see whether the four year interval between tellings betrays any serious discrepancies. If you are only going to read just one I’d suggest the first post from 2013 because it preceded any thought of a Donald Trump Presidency or a Bret Kavanaugh justiceship.
If you read the shorter second retelling from 2017 (immediately after Trump’s election) you may intuit a premonition on my part of things to come.
Any fair minded person looking the Republican defenders of a likely attempted rapist for signs of moral sepsis have only to look at South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. His example is what my Mother feared could happen to me if I stuck it out in politics.
At the moment it is 4:30 am in France. I am only miles away from where another man – who was helping to make the America that really is great – fought and was awarded the nation’s highest military honor. My eight loyal readers know him as my grandfather – George Robb.
Whether I fall asleep again or not tomorrow – today- I will walk over some of the ground he trod as his friends and fellow soldiers were being blown to dust and blood all around him. And I can’t sleep because I woke up thinking about that smarmy little skunk Bret (pay no attention to that frat rat rapist in the closet) Kavanaugh is invading my pilgrimage to remind me what’s at stake back in the land my Grandfather helped make!
Well, I have a lot to say on that account but having mostly bit my tongue about Trump World to write about my pilgrimage I had to go find a quiet place in my latest hotel room to get that off my chest. I am going to try to get a little more shut eye before walking the path of heroes who’s blood once soaked into this land.
My last post suggested that we are not intensely interested in the fate of the United States. Nothing could be further than the truth. The New York Times is keeping us up-to-date. We watched PBS’s Washington Week in Review not long after it aired to hear the interview of Bob Woodward. We are not alone. His bookk “Fear” about the Trump catastrophe is the number one selling book in Europe right not. Claudia bought the audio version on line but I can’t imagine it helping her get a good night’s rest.
But tomorrow we board the TGV to Bordeaux after sampling several fine samples of the wine of the Loire and Tourine. Here is what I put into Facebook about our eleventh day with a couple of the pics. We’ve started the second third of our trip now.
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."