Category Archives: 2018 Congress

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.

An Open Letter to MCCL (and why even the Supreme Court will not end abortions)

A short note before I share the letter.

I was alive when “back alley” abortions took the lives of women. I formed my opinions on the subject of abortion in 1960’s and 70’s as a then liberal Republican. my thinking aligned with the Republican Supreme Court justices who ruled on Roe vs. Wade. My opinion hasn’t changed nearly as much as our society has where sex is concerned. I always wanted to make contraceptives available rather than rely on abortions. I was appalled that “pro lifers” of that era were more anti premarital sex than they were anti fetus killing. As you will see in my letter to the MCCL I haven’t changed my mind.

I have always felt that abortions, like guns and traffic and food production was a legitimate area for sensible regulation. I have always sympathized with the folks who felt that human life, even before birth, was sacred. But I’ve grown impatient with such people when they fail to act as though the life that follows birth is also sacred and have cemented themselves to a political party that makes a virtue of the poor being forced to “fend for themselves.”

The Pro-Life movement is woefully ignorant about what will result should Roe vs. Wade be overturned. They think that it will be the end of all abortions in America. That’s obviously wrong. If Roe is struck down it will take the passage of a pro life amendment with by a 3/4ths majority of states to make it illegal in all fifty states. That will not happen in my lifetime. Abortions will always be available to the well-to-do even in states that would outlaw it. All they will have to do is travel to a state where its legal. When I was in high school such folks had to have the money to fly to Sweden.

Here’s that letter I sent to the MCCL

MCCL stands for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life: Continue reading

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 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.

http://time.com/5303844/donald-trump-king-cover/

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.

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.