Category Archives: Harry’s Diary

They wouldn’t take my blood today . . .

. . . (My iron count was low) so I have an hour to put up a post. Here goes:

I’ve managed to continue my daily habit of French study today. I put in an hour early this morning for the 141st straight day. I have almost two months before I depart for France but while I will not be able to wander around a cocktail party gossiping in French I will be able to use the French language at some primitive level. I have learned just shy of 3,000 words since I began this unplanned course of study the day I turned 67 a little over seven months ago.

If voters take note of anything in this seemingly non political information it could be that I am a dogged student just like I’ve been a dogged candidate. Or it could be that beginning a course of language study at age 67 I still have the youthful mental dexterity needed by a successful leader. Or it could be that I’m not a slave to political campaigning (notwithstanding my 40-year history of running for public office.)

The point I mean to make is this. Just because my prospects of “catching lightning in a bottle” and getting elected to Congress in 2018 are vanishingly small I have not ruled out catching it. If Pete Stauber isn’t looking over his shoulder he is a fool. I know that he is timid man. That’s evident in his milquetoast response to our lying Commander and Chief:

“While no one knows the specific conversations that took place in private, the summit appears to have been a missed opportunity for the U.S. to hold Russia accountable,” said Stauber. “Russia is not our ally. We must continue to uphold the integrity of U.S. elections without any interference, and take swift action in response to any attacks on our democracy.”

Bart Simpson has the perfect response for twaddle like this “Well Duh!”

Had Barack Obama groveled at Putin’s feet like Donald Trump the Senate Republicans would have atomized themselves in a nuclear detonation. The New York Daily News got it right. (See the previous post) Pete Stauber didn’t.

I set out on this campaign with one small objective. I wanted to hit Commissioner Stauber’s naive, cheer-leading for an ignorant, unAmerican demogauge in the head with a two-by-four. So far so good, but what I’ve done pales compared to the damage Donald Trump has inflicted on every Republican this year.

My forty dollar contribution (as yet unspent) and my blog and the interviews I’m accorded as a candidate more than make up for the $800,000 of “dark money” given to Pete Stauber in the name of “free speech.” And Trump’s IRS just made it easier for billionaires and corporations to hide even more of their free speech. I wonder when Republicans will give conspirators the right of free (and secret) speech too? Second Amendment fanatics are taking advantage of the First Amendment big time.

Trump has just bent over backward to make America a sleazier, swampier more dangerous place. He’s become a gun pusher making it possible for terrorists to get free internet plans to 3D print automatic weapons. And its all being done in the name of “free speech”. Pretty soon we will be allowed to shout “fire” in a dark, crowded theater. I hope retired cop Pete Stauber is paying attention. And I wonder. Does candidate Stauber carry a concealed weapon?

“Send it back to those SOBs”

Today I’ve spent the day studying French and reading about my Grandfather’s battle at the Meuse-Argonne. I also put some time into reacting to the latest crisis for the School District. Those kind of days make for a great campaign. Having no illusions about my prospects is just the kind of gravy to make running for Congress all easier to swallow.

But the campaign intrudes unbidden. Over the past month I’ve gotten a number of questionnaires especially from the God, Guns and Kill-the-Unions sorts. Especially the Kill-the-Unions sorts. I’ve ignored the emails and letters to date but the Right to Work Committee is hell bent to make sure no one sympathetic to down on their luck workers gets past their Koch fueled scrutiny. I was minding my own business as General Pershing was facing down General Foch over whether the Americans got to be an independent Armyh or more like collection of Trump Congressman suckling on the Presidents teat. That’s when my letter carrier popped into our patio. She had a Certified mail item in her hands and handed it to me. I took a quick look and saw that it was from the Right-of-workers-to-starve committee. They weren’t about to let me skip their survey.

I asked my carrier if I had to accept the mail and she told me that so-siree-bob I didn’t have to. I told her “Send it back the SOB’s” I mean really. These Republican SOB’s have helped to insure that voters who have been losing their union jobs voted for Republican Donald Trump because they sure-as-hell didn’t want to vote for a Democrat who might be in favor of some social insurance for the unemployed.

I’ve never used that kind of language in front of my letter carrier before but she told me that she would put “refused” on the envelope. Then she told me she would put it in “BIG LETTERS”. She must belong to the letter carrier’s union.

I hope I keep a little of my piss and vinegar for tonight’s Almanac North at 8PM

I got a text about that this morning asking: “Are you at least gonna “come across” as sane and reasonable tonight? Just in case voters might be watching…

I replied: “I will come across as myself. How the WDSE audience sees me in beyond my control.”

My friend replied: “Uh oh!”

The $5,000 filing floor for filing with the FEC

A couple days ago the Trib’s Brady Slater called to ask me about my FEC filing statement a couple days before the candidate’s campaigns were required to disclose how much money they had raised to date. I told Brady I hadn’t filed one because I only had been given one donation for $40.00.

Claudia told me that I would have to deal with the rigmarole for filing for Congress. (She has helped me keep my reports straight in recent years) However, I only to keep from chewing my fingernails up to my wrist as Donald Trump merrily makes a mockery of 230 years of hallowed American experience. I sort of figured that I would not have to fuss around with Federal filing and it turns out that this will probably be the case. I didn’t bother finding out because I figured that the Federal Elections Commission would at least send me a packet after I filed in the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office.

Its been a month and no one’s contacted me. Well its 2 AM on July 4th and after hearing how our new NATO allies are behaving in Poland I couldn’t sleep so I crawled out of bed and decided to take a peak at the FEC’s website. Sure enough I (or my committee of one) only have to file after I’ve raised $5,000. If my donation button starts getting pushed I’m prepared to file but I’m not breaking a sweat to raise money. Oh I raised $5,000 easily to run for the Duluth School Board last year but I did that to keep a clear conscience. I’ve made the school board my life for the past twenty-five years. During a time of crisis with an incompetent Superintendent I felt a responsibility to campaign my heart out. I knew that because of the forces Donald Trump had awakened I would have to work like a dog. I even tried to win the DFL nomination. Sadly, the folks who overran the DFL convention knew nothing about the School Board and the old timey DFLer’s had it in for me. A lot of old school board members I’ve found fault with in the past were at the convention getting neck rubs from our Superintendent. (That’s not a joke)

I’ve always campaigned with my quick wits and considerable research more than money. I had earlier told Mr. Slater that I was looking for lightning in a bottle. So far there are lots of clouds but no strikes.

Here is the plot of a television show I saw back when I was a boy scout in Topeka, Kansas, that has stuck with me.

In an old western town a young man has been told by his sweetheart that her father won’t let her marry him because he has no money and no prospects in life. That sets the young man on a mission. He takes off all his clothes and wraps a blanket around himself in his hotel room. Then he calls for his hoped for father-in-law to talk with him. The ardent suitor tells the Father that he will make a small fortune in 24 hours to prove that he has prospects AND he will do it starting as naked as a jay bird. The father scoffs, of course, and asks how he could possibly accomplish this. The young man tells the father to stake him with a tidy sum to by a respectable suit. When the Father starts to laugh that idea off the suitor explains that he means business. If the father doesn’t give him this stake the suitor will simply walk out naked humiliating the father since everyone in town already knows that the suitor aims to marry his daughter. The threat works and the Father buys him a respectable change of clothes so that he can start raising his small fortune.

I don’t recall how he got the rest of the fortune but I haven’t forgotten his chutzpah. I wish my congressional campaign could work like that. But that would require local Republicans to be horrified that a toady for President Trump was about to give our spoiled seven-year-old of a Commander and Chief one more vote from his cowed Congressional prostitutes. Talk about a far fetched plot line!

Abood today

I got a question from WDIO today on the case which guts public employee unions. I returned one email reaction. Then I returned a second email with additional comments.

Email from WDIO:

Hey, Harry!

Just checking if you want to weigh in with your thoughts on the Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME ruling. I’m trying to get all the CD08 candidates in our story on the Web.

Let me know if you can pass along a statement.

Thanks,

MY FIRST RESPONSE:

This decision threatens to eviscerate public employee unions by treating even legitimate negotiation expenses as speech. It violates fair play and past compromises and demonstrates that the Republican Party has succeeded in making the Supreme Court a partisan branch of the federal government. 

MY SECOND RESPONSE:

BTW my father was the president of the Mankato State college faculty union and taught contract negotiation in their business school. I wrote about it once in the Reader. It has a pretty accurate prediction in it.

http://snowbizz.com/Diogenes/NotEudora06/CollectiveBargain.htm

AND ONE MORE THING I FORGOT TO TELL WDIO:

My Dad was a life long Republican.

At Hibbing last night

My computer just died so I am composing this on my cell phone. I hate doing this.

I attended a fascinating debate in Hibbing last night at which all the congressional candidates sans one appeared. Trump’s toadie.

From what people told me afterward I made an impression…a good one.

Two people caught my attention. One was a former union man who spent 3 years taking his corrupt union to court in a court system weighted heavily Democrat and pro union. We both patted each other on the back for our valiant if fruitless battles.

The other was a Hibbing teacher who had taken my father’s contract law class and who told me my Dad was beloved in the business school. If it wasn’t for my dead computer I would write more. HOWEVER. Check out my next post. It’s about Abood…….

Tomorrow’s video

My Dad, Daniel Marsh Welty, died shortly after we moved to our snow sculptor’s palace thirty-one years ago. He never got a chance to see it although I shot a VHS tape of it to show him where we had moved to. His Vietnam was the “Good War” and for years afterwards he read the memoirs and histories written by men who had fought in it. I kept a bunch of his paperbacks after his death and today I’ve got them arranged in a modest glass case with other mementos of his life. As you can see they include a sketch that my Mother made of him when he was in his late twenties. In life he never looked that fierce.

I plucked one of the books from the shelf a couple days ago to begin reading to Claudia in anticipation of our September trip to France and more specifically to the hallowed coast of Normandy. Its Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day.” After beginning its chapter ten in the first section I had to put the book down and shoot a 6 minute video of me reading and commenting on a passage that talked about the modesty of my fellow Kansan, Dwight David Eisenhower. The depths that we have sunk to politically with the Trump Presidency led me to shoot another video to share my thoughts with my blog’s treasured but minuscule audience. I’ll upload it tomorrow.

A little of my Dad’s influence bookwise

My Dad, Daniel Marsh Welty, died shortly after we moved to our snow sculptor’s palace thirty-one years ago. He never got a chance to see it although I shot a VHS tape of it to show him where we had moved to. His Vietnam was the Good War and for years after he read the memoirs and histories written by men who had fought in it. I kept a bunch of the paperbacks after his death and today I’ve got them arranged in a modest glass case with other mementos of his life which as you can see includes a sketch my Mother made of him when he was in his late twenties. In life he never looked that fierce.

I plucked one of the books from the shelf a couple days ago to begin reading to Claudia in anticipation of our trip to France and more specifically to the hallowed coast of Normandy. Its Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day.” After beginning its chapter ten in the first section I had to put the book down and shoot a 6 minute video of me reading and commenting on a passage that talked about the modesty of my fellow Kansan Dwight David Eisenhower. The depths that we have sunk to politically with the Trump Presidency led me to shoot another video to share my thoughts with my blogs treasured but tiny audience. I’ll upload it tomorrow.

Stauber seconds Trump by…

by blaming the parents for breaking the newly criminalized immigration law:

“This policy is absolutely heartbreaking and an unfortunate consequence of when parents disregard the law.” The GOP endorsed 8th Congressional District candidate told Eyewitness News. “Congress needs to leave labels behind and come together to solve this problem and make sure nothing like this has to happen.”

Gun Control vs. the NRA

I first publicly registered my dissatisfaction with Second Amendment purists about thirty years ago with a letter to the editor. The Trib thought it provocative enough that they published it with the photo of a gun barrel pointed at the readers.

It generated some heat from critics and I’ll confess that looking back on it I regret one term I used. I criticized a “slavish” devotion to the Constitution. I had in mind the nit picky sort of cherry picking you might associate with Biblical literalists who like the Jehovah’s Witnesses make a fuss about a single passage like the line in the King James version of the Bible’s Old Testament that says the name of God is “Jehovah.” Never mind that this was a much later English word for a God who the original Hebrew writers tried to discourage their followers from even uttering out-loud. The point of the Constitution was that it could be amended and fitted to the desires of future Americans.

And for two hundred years the Supreme Court did not sever gun onwership from the notion of forming the Second Amendment’s militia’s. They were composed originally of a rag tag group of citizens with hunting rifles. It has only been in the years subsequent to my letter that a newly composed Supreme Court decided that militia’s were not part of the gun ownership right. This was the achievement of the NRA newly transformed from a rifle loving group of hunters to a handgun toting bunch of semi-vigilantes.

I trust the constitution’s fair application to citizens as far more vital to our protection than I do to some neighbor’s quick access to a gun. Like cars guns are tools that need regulation. Don’t run a red light. Keep your rifle in a leather holder. Big deal.

I have no sympathy for an NRA whose president spouts that any attempt to keep guns same is the action of “jackbooted thugs.”

I have a couple collector’s rifles handed down from Grandfathers that never used them. I’m not a paranoid like Wayne Lapiere.

I’ve just gotten my questionnaire from them which will be ignored as they will almost certainly endorse Pete Stauber who had a colleague on the Duluth Police force killed by a disturbed man with a gun.

I’ll simply send them this picture of me in the wake of Sandyhook to let them know how unsuitable I would be a Congressman.

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.

Harry

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?

Digging up Roots and Rocks and Cat Care

I just roughed out my next blog post. That one will be significant enough that I’d like it to be a little more polished before I share it with my “eight loyal readers”. (I’m so fond of you eight that I’ve mentioned you over 100 times in my posts.) Being loyal readers you know where my next post will take you. (On screen they call that “breaking the fourth wall”) So, this is a little filler to bridge my last diary entry over into what’s coming.

Whatever I do on Monday ON OR ABOUT NOON IN ST. PAUL I do not intend to deviate from my primary preoccupation since I turned 67 last December. I will continue studying French and reading French history. In a text I sent to one of my new French speaking text pals I’m going to try to make up for my Grandfather. He went to France in 1917. Even though he fought for the French 4th Army he never learned to parlez-vous much beyond “Mademoiselles from Armentières” who hadn’t been kissed for forty years.

I have had a couple distractions from France this week. One of our cats got a kidney infection which has required our attention. I gave her two days worth of fluids from a bag to keep her hydrated. I had to use a needle to do it and I hate needles. Claudia gave her antibiotics in pill form until she left to visit her father on Thursday. Her absence has required me to take over cat care and I’ve not been great at it. I forgot to take our cat to the vet for a follow up appointment on Thursday. I was engrossed in French. If you see Claudia don’t tell her. She never reads my blog so if she finds out I’ll know that one of you ratted me out. Besides, I made a new appointment for the next day and I didn’t forget that one.

As for today, I had to help dig a trench at my church to lay new wiring for the sign out front. I got almost two hours of digging and wheelbarrowing in before a heavy rain washed us out. I didn’t mind. More time to study French.