Category Archives: Trump 2016

Not so fast Harry!

Before I break into some self defensive confession I must first say I’m delighted by my Baby New Year’s (aka Donald Trump) losing his head. Renee Passal from WDIO joined the Trib’s Brady Slater in giving giving my front yard and its headless snow sculpture some attention and since I’m no shrinking violet I didn’t mind the attention one bit.

Best of all, I was given a very sympathetic treatment by FOX News’s Nikki Davidson. She popped by with a sprained ankle and gamely clambered around my dangerously slippery, snow covered slope with camera and tripod in hand.

I chatted her up as I sawed Baby New Year’s head into manageable pieces and she took plenty of footage to edit down into a story for her station’s 9 PM News broadcast. Its a nice little story and I was charmed by News Anchor Dan Hanger’s banter with Nikki after the segment aired. Here’s the clip:

President Trump New Year’s Sculpture Decapitated

Admission to follow: Continue reading

The surgery has not gone well

I attempted an untested surgical procedure in order to return the New Year’s Baby’s dismembered head to its rightful place. Present to record, for posterity, this unusual procedure was crack Fox 21 News reporter Nicky Davidson. I hope she offers her viewers a warning that they look away during any airing if they were squeamish .

The procedure was a double crainiotomy in order to relieve pressure on the surgeon’s back. First the jaw was cleanly sawed off and replaced on the severed neck with freshly warmed surgical snow. There was some failure at the jawline but enough glue left over for the placement of the middle piece of skull including a recently deviated nasal septum. The scalp will have to wait until tomorrow after more fresh surgical snow is melted to a snowball consistency.

I chatted through the procedure with Nicky and observed that if I had discovered the miscreants who pushed the New Year’s Baby’s head off while living in a good Republican, “Stand your ground,” state and properly armed, I could have gotten away with plugging them for their trespass and damage to property.

This is the current state of the New Year’s Baby while it awaits a final operation followed by some cosmetic repair. It reminds me of the characters on the Simpson’s Itchy and Stratchy Show.

Harry Welty, “Provocateur”

Brady Slater’s piece about my Cheeto-in-Chief sculpture and its temporary decapitation was fine by me. However, as a diarrhetically, self analycal writer I would have written a different version of my work.

Had I noted the drubbing I got at the hands of the Eighth district’s Trump cult I would have emphasized that the extent of my protest campaign was a $300 filing fee, gas to Hibbing and back and a couple hours filling out candidate questionnaires. Under those circumstances getting ten percent of the vote was a triumph and proof that, like the Jews after the holocaust, not all moderate Republicans were dead.

But that’s a quibble.

I thoroughly enjoyed Brady’s description of me as a “political provocateur” even though, when I set out on a political career, that is the last thing I would have imagined I would become. I still regard myself as the most reasonable politician I’ve ever met. I would probably have been reluctant to sign on with the Declaration of Independence in the beginning. I might also have retreated from Abe Lincoln’s resolve to stop secession in its tracks. I would have wished for cooler heads to talk over grievances. In my most notable local crusade demanding a vote on the half billion dollar Duluth school construction plan I was too slow and reasonable for my side’s ultimate success. My Dad was an attorney but I am no eager litigator.

In my college years there were lots of long hairs my age eager to provoke “the establishment.” I had little use for them when their words were middle fingers. I winced when one of them wrote a popular how-to-manual found in bookstores everywhere titled, “Steal this book.” People did.

But while slow to anger and quick to cool my parents held the example of my Grandfather up to me from my toddling years on. He was not just a war hero. He had been awarded his nation’s highest military medal of honor for bravery in the face of the enemy. When the stakes are high I’m all in and will meet fire with water.

I first heard the verb “provoke” from my Grandmother Welty. “I’m so provoked.” That’s what she would say in her calm, teacherly voice. It was typically small irritations that would provoke her, flies in the house, a missing piece of silver, a leaky pipe. In the face of these “provocations.” I never saw her lose her composure. However, raising my Uncle Frank, might have raised her hackles higher. He once found a pack of his parent’s prophylactics, blew them up like balloons, tied them to his bicycle and rode it and their contraceptives around the block. One time she was so provoked that she ordered her husband to put the whole family in the car and drive to the nearest boy’s juvenile center to scare her son Frank into behaving himself.

As Lincoln, and the Founders he revered would have said, they were not the provocateurs. The real provocateurs were a distant government taxing colonists without consultation and southern politicians subverting the constitution to violate the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. Ditto for me when the Duluth School Board levied a half billion dollar tax without asking voters for their approval in a bonding referendum.

So, who is the true provocateur here? Could it be a Presidential candidate who rallied his supporter to lock up his opponent? or shamelessly lied his way to the White House or who hired legal bullies to enforce this theft from business partners? or who may have colluded with foreign agents to make himself richer and compromise the laws and security of the United States? or who didn’t just avoid taxes but illegally evaded them on a colossal scale? or who so threatened the Republican Party that he resembles the tin pot dictator of Venezuela who destroyed his nation’s once booming economy?

Me, a provocateur? I spent twenty hours building a snowman and painted it cheeto-orange. In the spring it will melt and drain into Lake Superior. In contrast the man who was its model has acted the demagogue, kleptocrat, and put nearly a quarter millennia of fragile democracy in jeopardy.

And as for MAGA. A better acronym would be Make Average a Great America.

Starry Starry Night

We just spent a couple hours watching the latest movie about the Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. I can’t recommend it exactly. It was slow, painterly, anguished. It depicts the famous painter’s last year or so. Years ago I saw the Kirk Douglas treatment Lust for Life but I skipped the movie Vincent and Theo about the painter and his brother Theo which never quite made it to the top of my must-watch list despite generous reviews.

The painting above was one of my Mother’s favorite paintings. She put a magazine reproduction of it on our walls.

A few years ago I read that a recent Van Gogh biography theorized that instead of dying by suicide Van Gogh was shot by a couple of stupid kids. That is how the makers of this movie kill him off.

But that’s sort of besides the point. This movie attempts to portray the greatly underappreciated Van Gogh, the real Van Gogh, whose paintings would a hundred years on sell for millions. I think Willem DeFoe’s portrayal in At Eternity’s Gate is believable and unsentimental. The famous ear episode was probably spot on.

On the other hand, Vincent the man comes across as a bit of a naif and I am not certain that was accurate. I read a snippet of a letter he wrote extolling his joy at sampling the wares at a brothel. The impression that this carnal anecdote offers runs counter to one of my favorite songs, Starry Starry Night by Don McLean. Like Van Gogh’s paintings the real story, no matter what it was, does not diminish my appreciation of McLean’s song.

But art is subjective.

When I was visiting my Mother during her dementia and singing to her I once sang the whole of McLean’s song to her because it was about one of her favorite artists. Afterwards, I asked her if she liked the song. She didn’t.

President Tinker Toy

Pull out of Syria against the advice of the military claiming we beat ISIS.

Border wall or Government shut down. Yes, No, Yes, No……stay tuned..

Federal Reserve turning a deaf ear to pleas for easy money.

SNL had it nailed in its parody of “Its a Wonderful Life.” I happened to watch the movie the night before the SNL Cold Opening.

Trump’s reaction? The Government should censor comics making fun of him.

I have church to go to. I’ll edit this later re: George Bush and other stuff

This Harry’s Diary post didn’t start out with a title drawing attention to my dawdling over posts. But its a good reminder to my eight loyal readers that I don’t always consider my posts finished even at first posting……and here’s a pic of the cookies we decorated for shut ins at Glen Avon Presbyterian last night.

I watched the funeral for President George H W Bush this afternoon. Last night I watched, for the first time, the two-hour American Experience program about George Bush. It is at least ten years old. I learned some new things most of which softened me up toward the man I wouldn’t vote for in 1992.

Although I voted for George and Ron in 1984 George lost my support initially when he joined the Reagan campaign as the VP candidate. In 1980 I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a Democrat so I voted for Independent candidate John Anderson.

My principle grievance is simple. As Reagan’s successors turned their back on Reagan’s “big tent,” George Bush could only succeed by being complicit in the new GOP regime’s marginalization of moderates like me and like George Bush had once been. Where has the party of Lincoln gone?

I was reminded of this during my ongoing process of reorganizing my office files today. In a folder labeled “Crazy Republicans” was this newspaper clipping: Reuter’s story. 30 percent of Republicans considered Obama a worse threat than Russia. Holy S’moley!!!!!!!

It has been reported that the Clintons and Trump did not shake hands when Donald made his sulky appearance at George Bush’s funeral. I don’t blame them. He led cheers of “Lock her up.” at his rallies. That’s close to the equivalent of saying “F*** America” considering that over half of the votes went for Hilary Clinton in 2016. Think of that – Trump’s “Republicans” wanted to jail the American that half of America voted for for President. Is it any wonder that Hillary’s supporters are licking their lips at the prospect that the President who led that cheer might himself face a life behind bars? Would Pence pardon him? I wonder. It cost Jerry Ford the Presidency in 1976.

Although winnowing my voluminous files has been my primary activity for the past few weeks I managed to crank out a new column for tomorrow’s Reader. Its called 100 pints of blood. I also applied to renew my substitute teaching license. Returning to the classroom, even as a sub, has intrigued me for the past twenty years. I chatted with 709’s Human Resource Director for a summary of how to go about doing it. It turned out to be pretty simple.

Among the items I reorganized yesterday were the documents from my legal challenge to the District in 2009 “Welty et al” vs. the Duluth School District and Johnson Controls. I rediscovered one of our attorney’s discoveries which greatly amused me.

The current School Board’s attorney, Kevin Rupp, had a hand in that case defending the Board against me and four other plaintiffs. In the Trib he claimed that a school district could not be sued for violating its own policies. Here’s what the plaintiffs attorney, Craig Hunter, discovered:

This only amplifies my frustration at not having been successful in severing our School board’s ties with Rupp’s firm when I served on the School Board. NOTE: Readers of this blog will find ample examples of my jaundiced view of Mr. Rupp’s legacy in this blog.

And while our lawsuit fell apart for reasons pinned to Mr. Hunter he had the District scared witless while single-handedly fighting off dozens of attorneys for three top legal firms. I found Craig a sensible and honorable man. I’d hire him in a flash if I needed legal help again.

I’ll give Jim the last word.

It’s the least I can do with him hanging on to my tail:

“As the old timers used to say in my day “Son, when you have a tiger (Harry Welty) by the tail, don’t let go.  Harry refuses to expose his heroes and soul mates race-baiters Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Jr. & III, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin of the federal racketeering charges against them.  Harry is probably too young in age and/or mind to remember that Martin Luther King fought for EQUALITY, not black supremacy.  He preached that he looked forward to the day that our children will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.  Which made sense to me then and it still does today.  Stacy Abrams (Aunt Jemima) lacks character, a strong moral compass and refuses to accept defeat by playing the race card that suits Harry just fine and has been labeled a “gadfly” for his immoral character.  There is a big difference between upstanding, respectable African-Americans and rabble-rousing race baiting niggers.  Harry prefers the latter, I prefer the foregoing.”

Honest Abe vs Dishonest Don

A couple times a year I notice that two cartoons on the Trib’s comics page share a similar theme. Today was such a day. From Non Sequitur:

And from Pearls before Swine:

I don’t enjoy being the optimist preoccupied with the empty half of the glass or (in this case) with the forty percent empty. The 40% is made up of Americans who still think Donald Trump is doing a good job while shrugging off his hourly lies and treating them as some sort of veiled truth. Yes, the 60% full side is the recently elected Democratic House of Representatives, but I also remember that all it took to elect Hitler in 1933 was just short of 40%. That feeble percentage is the kind of number that keeps deep-state Republicans in control after all their messing about with election laws and gerrymandering.

Its often asked what Trump supporters would have done had Obama done the sort of things Trump does daily. Unlike Trump Obama told only one truly epic lie when he insisted that Americans could keep their doctors if the Affordable Health Care Act was enacted. It was worse than just a white lie, but compared to Trump, its notable, even laudable in its singularity.

Abraham Lincoln famously asked Americans to remember their “better angles.” Trump only encourages our better demons.

My old ally turned critic sent me a couple more emails with no text but simply links to commentaries suggesting that black americans were attempting to make white Trump supporters paranoid by making our elections fraudulent. Then he sent me this Wikipedia entry on “Aunt Jemima” to school me on what he thought of Stacey Abrams who is at the forefront of calling out Republican electioneering scams.

I replied to Jim:

I guess you were being ironic calling Abrams a name that suggested she was obsequious when you seem to resent her for being just the opposite of obsequious.

If anything she has the stones you had when you rallied for Bob Short. You’re giving her short shrift….no pun intended.

A little more on the author of the “Handsome Harry” emails

Jim is worthy of my attention.

For starters he seems to be extremely pleased that the Iron Range has become Trump country. Too bad for Jim but that’s just not true. As the Reader’s Richard Thomas pointed out.

Nope the old DFL DNA kicked in this year. Although the rest of rural Northeastern Minnesota stuck with Stauber the Iron Rage was a pretty solid swath of blue. Ironically, I came up to Duluth 43 three years ago as what Jim calls a “packsacker.” (I think that’s a combination of metropolitan nature enthusiast and carpetbagger) to be an evangelist for moderate Republicanism. Nowadays I’m thrilled that the Iron Range hasn’t fully succumbed to Trumpism.

Jim sent me a couple more emails today that hint at his peaking at my annoying blog. One is worth noting before I launch into a longish piece about Jim’s and my long political histories. His email is a hoot but not perhaps for the reason he sent it to me:

Jim:

From: Jim
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 2:09 AM
To: Harry Welty
Subject: Fine upstanding African-Americans

Like my nationality Finnish-American, these Africa-Americans have assimulated into the American way of life. Maybe some “packsacker” from Kansas can learn (as an educator) from our journey?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_and_Silk

My reply:

According to the Wikipedia entry you sent me Diamond and Silk seem very happy to take money from the highest bidder including the white supremecist Paul Nehlen who paid them $7,000. for an endorsement when he ran against Congressman Paul Ryan.

Were you a fan of Stepin fetchit too?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Nehlen

Jim is profoundly ignorant of the history of black America. Today he probably counts Martin Luther King as a good “assimulated” black man. But MLK was not always destined for memorialization on the National Mall. My wife shocked when years later she told me what her mother said when she heard King had been assassinated. It was “Thank God!” Continue reading

I am about to out a former cheerleader of mine

A former fan of mine has become a bitter critic. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned his name before in the blog and I won’t do so in the next post. However, like other people I’ve interacted with and mentioned I leave a bread crumb trail that any enterprising person could use to track the person I’ve mentioned.

On a few occasions I gladly quoted Jim when he sent me salutory emails often beginning “Handsome Harry.” Over the last year of Trump, a man he apparently venerates now as much as he once honored me, Jim has been really pissed off with me. After he sent me an email calling Barack Obama a nigger I told him not to send me any more emails with that nefarious word in it. He ignored my request at least once. I had suggested that if he found my disdain for Donald Trump that objectionable he simply stop reading my blog.

He may have stopped reading it but today he couldn’t help himself but jab me with the unpleasant email I’ll place at the end of this post. He doesn’t use the “N” word but he calls the admirable candidate for governor of Georgia Stacy Abrams an Aunt Jemima. It would be a challenge to be much more offensive than that.

I find it ironic that Jim always conflates President Obama with Al Sharpton. That’s because his idol, Donald Trump, is a White Al Sharpton squared. At least Al is easy to ignore whereas Donald Trump’s objective for the past three years is to be on the front page of every newspaper in the world every day.

Here’s is seven minutes of an NPR interview of Stacey Abrams being so clear headed and rational that it puts most other politicians I’ve watched through the years to shame.

And here is my old ally as a reincarnation of the northern Minnesotans who once lynched three black men in Duluth (although the You Tube Christmas music he links to is nice……and the musicians are not responsible for the “stars and bars” someone else affixed to their country music carol):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cenz3cP3rjE

Long live the Stars and Bars! Aunt Jemima lost and even Uncle Ben couldn’t help her. Neither could the race-baiter in chief Obama, Sharpton, Jackson and Harry Welty.

And Stauber beat drug smoker and vagrant Radinovich! Doesn’t get any better than than that for lawful personal, private gun owners, pro-life Americans and anti-Sierra Club Americans like me.

WARNING: I just checked the video again and this time it began with Donald Trump asking for money.

Desecrating Consecrated Soil

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.

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

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?