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.
These days I’m not cranking out five or ten daily posts as I have in the past. I’m being very selective. Even my eight loyal readers eyes must be burning out from gazing at their cell phones this election cycle. But before I attend to this post’s headline I have to follow up the powerful video I posted last night from Fox News’s, Shep Smith, on the real threat of the Migrant caravan, still one thousand miles from the border. Even if it doesn’t crumble under withering 105 degree temperatures it won’t even reach America at its current pace for 44 days – a full month after the election!
As this morning’s NPR interview with an economist makes clear keeping migrants out impoverishes all Americans. Our public schools and colleges don’t spend much time training American students to clean motel rooms, bus tables, or pick vegetables.
My better half, once a critic of Keith Ellison, was happy to let me put this lawnsign in our yard today. I’ve spent several days tracking one down putting calls into two City Councilors and waiting for the DFL office to reopen after it closed for a multi-day training session. It was Claudia who alerted me to the latest New York Times story which makes pretty oclear how the revenge of a jilted girlfriend has run Ellison’s campaign nearly off the rails.
His accuser claims to have a video showing Ellison pulling her off a bed which she has not shown to anyone, her lawyer, the former boss of Ellison’s Republican opponent, or an eager news media. But the media has managed to unseal court records of Ellison’s divorce which however, revealed, ironically, that Ellison was a victim of some abuse not the other way around. If you rely on the Duluth News Tribune you have seen innumerable stories suggesting that Ellison had mistreated his divorced wife. They have all been put to rest.
I bristle at an unfair dogpile. I couldn’t sympathize with Kavanaugh because I saw little likelihood that the charges made against him were untrue and besides that, he now has a life-time job. Poor man.
Folks in Duluth know how outraged I was for two years as a poisonous school administration and School Board majority manufactured allegation after allegation against my colleague Art Johnston accusing him of being a dangerous, violent fellow to justify removing him from office and costing him $75,000 in attorney fees to preserve the election that put him on the school board.
I’d really like to see the Duluth News Tribune give Keith Ellison his due and tell its local readers what the New York Times told the world about an honorable Attorney General candidate for Minnesota. While they are at it I’d like them to tell us what his Republican challenger recently said – that he intended to fire every Democrat in the Attorney General’s office. Sounds like Trump’s pledge to eradicate democrats from the Federal judiciary.
For years I have held dear my family’s story of my very Republican Grandfather George Robb’s example which is quite different from Republican Wardlow. When he was appointed Auditor of the State of Kansas in the 1930’s by Governor Alf Landon he had it in his power to do what Wardlow promises. I described it in a portion of a letter I sent toMinnesota’s State Auditor, Rebecca Otto. Here it is:
“…my Grandfather was the State Auditor of Kansas. He never lost an election. A staunch Republican George Robb defied his Governor, Alf Landon, who had appointed him to fill the vacancy of a publicly disgraced Democrat, by refusing to fire all the Democrats in the office. He kept them on because, as he told Landon, they were good people and knew their jobs. My Mother told me this story when I was young …….and lest you think my Grandfather was a fan of Democrats he told me when I was twelve that the worst mistake he made in his life was the one vote he gave a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, who broke his promise to keep America out of War.”
I’ll be proud to cast my vote for Keith Ellison for Minnesota Attorney General.
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.
Congressional goody-two-shoes and “I’m my own man” candidate, Pete Stauber, will not give St. Louis County permission to release the 15 emails he exchanged with the National Republican Congressional Committee when he was making plans to honor our nation’s lawmaking by becoming a candidate for Congress. Here’s the latest story on that subject from the Duluth News Tribune, which just endorsed him.
If the Strib (Minneapolis Tribune) wanted to force the issue it would have to take St. Louis County to Court. Trust me. The Strib doesn’t have deep enough pockets to do anything more than huff and puff about Stauber’s closet hiding.
What would we read if it was released? Probably something like this:
NRCC – “Hi Pete, were looking for a candidate that doesn’t have hair down to his shoulders to run for Congress.”
Pete – “Well, I’ve got a crew cut. Will that do?”
The emails should be made public, of course. Good for the DN Tribune for reporting Pete’s foot dragging. I always knew that any of my Duluth School Board emails could be made public. In fact, I always assumed that it was possible that the Superintendent had someone looking at mine to check up on me. When I wanted to talk politics with parents I sent them replies from my personal email account. Pete should have done that too.
I can’t complain that the biggest case of purloined email has been ignored. To the contrary its the basis of the Meuller Investigation into possible collusion between Dictator Putin and wannabe Dictator Trump.
Pete and Hillary have something in common in trying to hide their abuse of power. And there is a Duluth connection to Hillary’s gaffe. I learned that at my three-and-a-half hour conversation with the old Duluth hand Tuesday. That connection was with a Tom Nides whose father had a finance business in Duluth. Tom emailed his suggestion to Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, that Clinton find a State Department drudge to delete all of her emails. Here’s his Wikileaked email.
In it he makes the observation that every public official used their government email accounts for personal business………just like Pete Stauber!
Here is the Statue of Albert Woolson the last living soldier to survive the Civil War parked in Gettysburg National Park. Its likely I heard that that the statue rested there but, if so, I’d long forgotten it. The statue came up in a three and half hour catch-up conversation I had yesterday with an old political sympathizer. We talked about our respective trips to France, Republican history, Duluth politics and Albert Woolson.
When John was a kid living near Mankato, Minnesota, my old haunting grounds, he found himself taken to Duluth in the 1950’s and some occasion honoring Mr. Woolson the last soldier and a resident of Duluth. The two of them shook hands. This honor was not unlike the several decade long mania at the turn of the 19th century to find someone who had shaken President Lincoln’s hand in order to shake hands with them. It must have been like passing some invisible torch of democracy through the generations. “I shook the hand of a man who shook the hand of President Lincoln.” I’ve googled the phrase for you. Long before our current Chief Executive became famous for firing people Americans wanted to touch a real piece of Americana if only by proxy.
Years later when John was taking a tour of Gettysburg he found his tour guide leading his group to this statue about to explain its significance. John was so excited that he blurted out that he had shaken the old soldier’s hand. The young tour guide and all the group looked at John as though he had claimed to have Roman flogging scars on his back and the stigmata on his palm. He was too flustered to say anything else as everyone in the crowd began edging away from him.
As we parted company John offered his hand so that I could claim to have shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of the last living Civil War soldier. Of course, the way things are coming unglued in America today I may end up someday shaking hands with all sorts of survivors of a new Civil War.
And here’s the Woolson statue in Duluth and a short KDAL TV STORY about the man.
Its a considerably happier honor for our dear city than the fact that Duluth hosted the the most northerly lynching of innocent black citizens in all of the United States. John also met a man who’s Dad took him there to see all three of the men swinging from a lamp post.
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.
In a couple hours at about 8 AM I’m going to let the doctors check to see if that polyp they found six years ago has got any company now. It’s up there in that special area where so many politicians stick their heads. I was supposed to go back a year ago but I almost skipped the third time because its so unpleasant. Not the oscopy part but the part that requires drinking a gallon of salt water beforehand to flush out anthing that will interfere with good visibility. I don’t even mind the purge that much. Sure that aspect of the flu is unpleasant but at least it doesn’t kick in the the gag reflex.
I’ve had a couple of anonymous people call me a liberal hack recently. I agree with the first half of that accusation. Hell, Abe Lincoln was a liberal by my definition. He was open and tolerant of Irish, Germans, Indians, Blacks, Catholics and everyone under the umbrella of the Declaration of Independence’s cry that “all men are created equal. Sure that phase seems to leave women out but I’ve always read it as all humans….. It just took a hundred 142 years for a majority of men to catch up with that thinking. There is still a lot of mental processing going on in both men’s and women’s heads about their respective roles in our still evolving democracy.
Its been a week of emptying myself out. On Thursday I donated my 99th pint of blood. I avoided work that day as per instructions but I helped set up four stages of scaffolding on my church Friday and on Saturday helped put up six oddly shaped protective storm windows to protect some fancy windows on the bell tower. I had helped make paper templates of them last spring for the window factory. I’ve been nervous all summer about whether I got them right. I did.
Since returning to Duluth from France I’ve resumed studying French. Now its more for the challenge than any plans to return to France. I heard a lot from Duluth’s students over the past four years about our language program cut backs while sitting on the School Board. I have to say that I think I’ve learned as much on my cell phone over the past nine months as most kids learn in their first two years. That seems to me to be a very good and inexpensive model to follow.
I’ve taken some stabs writing a book since I’ve gotten back. I still keep vacillating over just what to write. Al lot of it may depend on the outcome of the midterm elections. Will the Trump discredited Republican Party own all three branches of our government when the dust settles. I don’t think so. I hope not. The blue collar anti NAFTA voters who went for Trump may not realize that it was his Republican Party that treated their union jobs so cavalierly in the name of free trade. Or maybe they do. Their support of Trump has turned all the free trade Republicans into hypocrites who know they have to side with Trump or be run over in a primary.
This morning I confirmed what a few friends had told me. I won 10% of the Republican primary votes against Hockey Saint Stauber with virtually no campaigning. I’m not sure if Ballotopedia has the actual latest results or not but its good enough for me. The results weren’t available the day after the election so I forgot about them to turn my full attention on getting ready for my trip to France. Still, I am happy with myself for stating my objections to any Trump lap dog.
The latest New York Times survey shows Stauber pulling away from the democrat Radinovich. I’ve always said the race was Stauber’s to lose. The only issue will be who turns out to vote. In the primary all the DFL congressional candidates out polled both Stauber and me on the Republican side by 69,000 votes to 50,000 votes. That suggests to me that Radinovich isn’t out of the picture yet but all those Koch Brother ads I see ten of everyday on Facebook may be turning voters around to Stauber. If he’s elected I’m counting on his being in the minority….until I can take a crack at him again in the next primary. I haven’t ruled that out. If I do it will be a full court press not a rose garden campaign.
I’ll proof read this later. Gotta get to the clinic.
I discovered a critic at the end of my column on “Frat Boy Justice” in the Reader:
Thursday Oct. 11, 2018
Welty, You’re a liberal hack. Despite what you read on CNN, there’s no evidence Kavanaugh was ever black out drunk. It might come as a surprise to someone like you who’s apparently replaced his brain cells with bong resin that very few people ever achieve black out drunk. It’s a myth for people who need an excuse for their actions, people like you apparently, but not like Kavanough.
I couldn’t resist sending a reply:
Friday Oct. 12, 2018
I don’t know who you are. Apparently you wish to remain anonymous. I am Harry Welty. I am a liberal in many respects as was my hero Abe Lincoln. I did smoke some weed when I was in college. And yes, I was worried for a while that this might cloud my thinking. Despite that concern, which I’ve since realized was overblown, I do not hide who I am. I live at 2101 E 4th Street in Duluth Minnesota. I have written hundred’s of thousands of words in my blog and tens of thousands for the Reader. I put my name to them. I do not hide behind a pseudonym and send out snarky anonymous one liners at people I disagree with. I am not afraid of my opinions or of making them known to the general public.
When you are willing to come out from hiding I’ll will accord your views the respect honest open opinions deserve.
I remarked recently that the Trib in endorsing another candidate for County Auditor simply mentioned that Nancy Nilsen had been on the School Board to shepherd in the Red Plan. (I need barely add the disastrous Red Plan) She has been mentioned in Lincoln Democrat several times through the years.
Well, a Labor World was delivered to my house this morning. I was surprised to see that Nancy is using a high school album photo from twenty or thirty years ago in her ads. She sure doesn’t look like someone who has worked in the Auditor’s office for eleven years.
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.
Forty years ago male teachers started getting called for getting too touchy feely with female students. I remember older men telling me, then a young teacher, how paranoid people were getting and how they were glad they weren’t teachers.
I tried not to roll my eyes.
Here’s a young lady whose eyes sparkle while they roll over a new scarry time for men.
Park College in Parkville, MO which has named created a center for World War I after their distinguished alumni, and my Grandfather, George S. Robb is studying whether African American soldiers were denied the highest military honor because of race. (Your damn right they were.) Here’s a nice story announcing the beginning of this research.
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.
The new more fair and balanced Duluth Trib that has apparently been endorsing a bunch of Republicans did them all a big favor a few years ago by dropping Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury. If it hadn’t been for Facebook I would have missed this one. It gives me hope that despite my agnosticism the evangelical God will welcome me into heaven.
But not everything out of the Trib rings false. They did not endorse my 2013 school board opponent, Nancy Nilsen, for the County Auditor’s position. Instead they pointedly mentioned her role as a Duluth school board member helping give birth to the Red Plan.
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."