Category Archives: Trump 2016


I was quite taken with a couple of academics who were analyzing the reaction to the Trump Presidency. They in turn were taken with the many patriotic ads on the Superbowl which seemed to be challenging the “Nativism” so prominant in the new Donald Trump Presidency. They both were intrigued by a nascent partiotism they sensed that the Trump victory brought out in Americans who did not share his values. It was as though his critics vision of America had been rocked in a way that offended what they loved about America. It was something of a rebuke to the patriotism trumpeted by the new President’s loyalists but it was as genuniely pro-America as the Trumpster’s flag lapel pins.

I had already fished out my American flag when I heard this and it struck me as a very positive development.

I have always been drawn to silver linings and just maybe the election of an unpalatable Donald Trump has galvanized a lot of folks who will refuse to roll over and play dead. I hope so.

This discussion is not yet on the PBS Newshour webpage either.

Happy # 1 (In no particular order – except this one)

I will be raising our family’s American flag on our front porch tomorrow. How come? I’m thrilled that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the lower court decision which shut down President Trump’s executive order for a travel ban aimed largely at Muslims.

Trump’s hysteria over Muslims annoys me. The only person I ever new to be murdered for his religion was my high school roommate. He was a Muslim that I suspect was imprisoned and killed by a Christian regime.

Secretary Money bags

The the Huff Post reports how much our new Eduction Sectetary donated to Republican Senators, all but one of whom returned the favor by voting to maker her the Nation’s Secretary of Education.

My Brother asked me yesterday what I thought of DeVos. I told him that she was the Koch Brother against public education. He wrote back to tell me he’d just left an unhappy message about her with his representative in Washington D.C.

After she fights off the Grizzly Bears in Wyoming schools maybe she can tutor the President in reading. I highly recommend she employ the drill and kill method so rapturously favored by the Republicans.

She came by her money honestly. She married into it. The fortune came from a pyramid scheme that passed legal muster.

Which reminds me of a story.

In 1978 I tried a different tack to run against DFL Representative Mike Jaros. I decided to speak one-on-one to a hundred of Duluth’s top civic leaders. One of them was a realtor who had been active in the Jaycees. At his suggestion we met at Wings Restaurant in a booth with a very narrow table. It put us face-to-face with barely a foot and a half distance between us. This fellow proceeded to stare at me unblinkingly through our entire meeting. It is the only time I’ve been so unnerved that I began to speak haltingly. He never took his eyes off me. I left hugely embarrassed and well aware that he used my hat-in-hand position to enhance his own sense of self esteem.

I lost that election but managed to elevate myself enough in local political circles to become an up-and-comer. About this time the fellow jumped to a new big money scheme – Amway. Amway sales strategy was a lot like chain letters. The first person selling made a fortune based on everyone else to follow raking in all the commissions from everyone else. At the lowest levels of sales – folks who worked under the folks who worked under the folks who worked under the top level owners Commissions were earned only on sales they made often to friends and families or those they could talk into selling under them for which they could collect commissions. Once the market was saturated it became near impossible to make a living on Amway sales.

The fellow who had stared at me non-stop years earlier called me up to have lunch. He wouldn’t tell me what he wanted until we met and it turned out he wanted to pitch me on selling Amway under him. I began returning the favor. I began staring at him non-stop while he wanted something from me. Suddenly he began to stammer and fumble just as I had years before.

I didn’t have it in me to prolong his agony so I began giving him eye breaks by staring away and lowering my eyes. I didn’t give it up completely and when he regained confidence I would again return an intense gaze. I didn’t bring him to his knees but I was able to keep causing him subsequent hiccups with short bursts of a steady stare.

I don’t intend to give Donald Trump a similar rest but I don’t need to. There are millions of Americans returning his cocky 2016 gaze. Of course, he still has his finger on the nuclear button. Talk about a trump card.

Donald Trump is only in the 21 Percent

Only 21 percent of Americans read below the fifth grade level.

I don’t know how I missed this but a Google search demonstrates that Samantha Bee’s comedy show took this up.

I missed this but its now making the rounds on Facebook where I just found it.

Trump’s insistence that can’t read a document without glasses is a classic method employed by illiterates to hide their disability.

I responded to the person who uploaded this video with this reply:

“My Uncle told me a week ago about a friend whose son is an expert in illegal immigration. During the campaign he was introduced to Trump who found his take on the subject so useful that he asked him to fly [on the Trump campaign jet] to a city hours away so that the kid could talk to him non stop about the subject. Trump listened intently for hours but without asking questions leaving the kid puzzled about what the candidate was taking in. That seems like the behavior of a poor reader.”

All we are saying – is give Trump a chance

I read the majority of the 974 comments posted on my Jabba the Hutt picture at Reddit. One person commented that it got so many “up votes” because it had nothing to do with politics. I’m sure he/she was right. Of course, the reader hadn’t visited my blog to understand that I’ve been as merciless in my appraisal of our new President as Trump has been about everybody but Vladimir Putin. How about that O’Reilly interview before the Superbowl?

After squandering his post election months with a braggadocios self-congratulatory Victory tour he’s now woefully behind the eight ball starting up the Trump revolution he promised and the Apocalypse his seer David Bannon is so eager to consummate.

Now the true believers who shouted “Lock her up” at Trump rallies are beseeching Americans to give their man a chance. Here’s an example from the Duluth News Tribune:

“. . . A challenge to readers: In the next month, see how many articles — and not just letters to the editor — and political cartoons are published that disrespect our president.

Give our president a chance; quit tearing him down, as I believe he is doing the best job he can given the mess he got from President Barack Obama.

This hate and divisiveness will tear down our republic. . . “

(name withheld by me so as not to embarrass the author)

Sorry Charlie: The protests against Donald Trump are nothing less than the first spanking administered to this nasty man/child in his 72 years on Earth.

Click here to see the entire Violet Days cartoon)

I find myself being able to sleep better simply because Trump’s critics are beginning to kick up a fuss. Not to kick up a fuss is the most dangerous course Trump’s critics can take to his flurry of dim-witted executive orders. Silence would be confused with resignation, acceptance or approval of them. BTW -I am being euphemistic calling policies like the Islam ban and the building of the Wall dim-witted.

And as to why Trump keeps saying that O’Reilly’s “killer” is worthy of respect. Well, if Putin does have a copy of a “golden shower” video then he really has our President by the short hairs. I guess that’s the male equivalent of pussy grabbing.

life’s lessons

Yesterday morning my older grandson was giving his younger brother all sorts of grief. I reprimanded him and then showed him yesterday’s “Violet Days” cartoon by Duluth’s own Chris Monroe. It perfectly captured bullying in a way I thought my 9-year-old grandson could understand.

I then told my grandson about how my hero Abe Lincoln’s behaved in his childhood. In his backwoods home kids got their kicks by putting fires on the backs of pokey little wood turtles. Such fun to watch them race away in a futile panic to escape the torture. Abe Lincoln couldn’t bear it and always rescued the turtles.

P.S. Ms. Monroe probably ran out of room because she left out the story about little Donny punching his second grade teacher in the face.

NOTE: Ms. Monroe kindly gave me permission to put her work in my blog. Thanks a lot Chris. You are a peach.

Cyrillic messaging

I just found a reminder email to myself as I cleaned old emails out to unfreeze my mailing system. It reminded me to tell my eight loyal readers about the cleverest sign I saw when I marched down the Skywalk with Claudia and friends for Duluth’s Woman’s March. The march was a lot of fun and it was gratifying to know it was being replicated all accross the world. When I visited Denver I learned that my cousin marched through Denver the same day while she was visiting her Father, my Uncle Frank.

The email concerned the funniest sign being waved in the Duluth march by a friend of mine who keeps advocating for “civility” in the Community and who for long years has despaired over the Duluth School Board. The sign she held was in the Russian language’s cyrilic script.

Having collected lots of Russian stamps in my youth I asked my friend if it was a message for Russia. She told me that it was. What did it say? It said:

What does it mean?

It means: “Thanks for nothing.”

BTW – This was not my first foray into this demographic. I put this sign up in October but it was stolen from my yard the same night.

Then after Breitbart began spewing out fake news from Russia I put this one up. Continue reading

Divorcingest – My Buddy fires back

Original message ——–

From: “Your Buddy”
Date: 2/2/17 11:12 AM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: 3 AM again |


You said:

I do think that there is something admirable to be said for the virtue of loyalty which in marriage is generally referred to as fidelity. It is consonant with the traditional marriage vows of loving, honoring and obeying in sickness and in health.

From my quotations file:

Friedrich Wilhelm : One can promise actions, but not feelings, for the latter are involuntary. He who promises to love forever or hate forever or be forever faithful to someone is promising something that is not in his power.

Further, you had said:

Trump is infamous for never reading books.
Perhaps Kennedy and Clinton read much more than Trump reads, but they apparently still messed around.

“Your Buddy”

And I fire back:

Is your point that Neitzsche was right?

I think Freddy underestimated human will. That’s ironic because he was all about the superman. What kind of a superman has such a weak will?

As for Clinton’s and JFK’s shortcomings. It hardly exalts Trump for him to suffer from the same ones. Indeed, a part of my analysis was intended to point out that in addition to his being an unfaithful husband, Trump is, unlike those other two presidents, an intentionally ignorent, and even stupid president.

Any disagreement with this addendum?


I could add that Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, was an apostle of Neitzche’s and that her novel the Fountainhead reaked of its narcissism. Congressman Ryan kept her books on prominent display in his office until it was pointed out she thought Christianity and all its humility crap was a terrible influence on a good superman. Donald Trump comes to mind.

There is in fact a college that has become a shrine to Ayn Rand and her philosophy. Hillsdale College has become a sort of Lourdes for young conservatives. It has a sordid history that once begun is hard to turn away from.

Oh, and the young Republican who said folks like me were mass murderers……..He graduated from Hillsdale.

“The divorcingest President”

I got an email from “my Buddy” this morning. It contained a fair question and I tried to treat it with a rational analysis:

From: “Your Buddy”
To: “Harry Welty”
Sent: 02-Feb-2017 15:28:58 +0000
Subject: 3 AM again |


Trump is the divorcingest President in our nation’s history.
So? Divorce is generally legal, and perhaps not even immoral. How many extramarital sexual involvements did William J. Clinton and John F. Kennedy have, although they were never divorced?

“Your Buddy”

To which I replied:

That’s an interesting point Buddy,

Just to set a rational foundation for my reply let me be clear. That last line of mine was a dig and by itself only a superficial sting. Although, to be fair to me I can’t off hand think of any one I know personally who has been married three times. That excess seems to be the prerogative of the rich. But affairs……..that is a fair point. I’ve had family members who cheated or thought about it. Even so, I’d consider them human rather than bad people. But let me stick with Presidential timber here.

A lot of American presidents have been rumored or known to have had affairs, sometimes a great many of them. And yet for reasons that could be labeled hypocrisy or political expediency the first serious presidential candidate I can think of who ran after a divorce was New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. He was widely condemned in his own Republican party and got hammered at the 1964 RNC Convention as an unfaithful libertine.

I do think that there is something admirable to be said for the virtue of loyalty which in marriage is generally referred to as fidelity. It is consonant with the traditional marriage vows of loving, honoring and obeying in sickness and in health. And so, when I was thirteen during the Goldwater boom Rockefeller’s divorce was scandalous. America has loosened up a lot as new generations came to see marriage as wonderful but recognized its imperfections – staying in unhappy relationships because of the kids, or the silent acceptance of spousal abuse. Sixteen years after Goldwater Ronald Reagan was just fine with the Republicans. Besides that, anyone prying into his life understood that it was his ex, Jane Wyman, who left him. Ron was an innocent.

But as to Kennedy, FDR, Harding and LBJ…..How about them? Well, political expediency may be their best excuse. They were fellows who really loved their wives and their families and weren’t willing to break them up or set a bad example for the wider community. So they sneaked around and hid their infidelities often with a compliant press’s help, turning a blind eye. Boys will be boys! Or these guys sort of did. There is little doubt that Ladybird and Jackie knew full well what their husbands were up to. Ladybird bore her betrayal with dignity. Jackie is said to have retaliated in kind.

Hillary put up with it too. Perhaps she was calculating. Perhaps she was simply being pragmatic. And on that score she managed to damage the Democratic party inadvertently in the long run by making her sympathizers defend Bill when the GOP went after his scalp. The Clintonista feminists opened themselves to the charge of hypocrisy for defending a skirt chasing, intern groping, possible rapist. Look what Donald Trump did with that! Of course, in Trump’s case it was a case of the pot calling the poor oven’s kettle black.

So is there anything else in my analysis of Trump that you would like to quibble with me about?


I’ve been annoyed at the recent insult that my blog is not effective, “efficatious,” because I only have “eight loyal readers.” Well, a screen shot of the Imgur page that was recently sent to my wife by a friend suggests I can occasionally break the bonds of obscurity. Notice the views on this unassuming little picture.

3 AM again

Just like yesterday I woke up early and started thinking. Maybe like our President I should begin tweeting at whoever is the latest person to dis me. As I suggested in my early morning post yesterday its probably my fear for America’s future that gives me insomnia. In Trump’s case the smart ass in me wonders if its one of the medicines the 70-year old Trump takes – maybe the one that promotes hair growth for instance. But the part of me that’s not a smart ass thinks, No, Trump has always imagined himself to be the smartest man in the world despite never cracking a book. Hair growth medication is not the reason.

This blog’s namesake, Abe, was, in addition to being the most important President by keeping America from breaking apart, the opposite of Trump in two important ways. First: Lincon was humble, especially about his meager couple of years of elementary school education. He said of himself, “My life was but the short and simple annals of the poor.” But, unlike Trump, it wasn’t his poverty he was embarrassed about. It was his lack of education. And that leads to the second remarkable difference between the two Presidents. Trump is infamous for never reading books. His pronouncements are generally limited not even to 144 words but to 144 characters. “Sad.”

One of the most charming although apocryphal stories about Abe was how he walked miles to return a book he had read as a young man such was his thirst for knowledge. As a child he amused his little friends by imitating the itinerant, backwoods, hellfire and damnation preachers that hiked the dirt roads to their next hot meal. And yet Abe began reading the Bible early on, something I’ve only managed to complete, (the Old Testament anyway) this year at ten years older than Lincoln was when he was assassinated. Its worth remember that when Lincoln began his political career he couldn’t help poking fun at a political rival, a Methodist preacher, with anonymously written jibes about the man’s character. He still had the kid mocking the preacher in him. In fact, Lincoln was so free with his contempt that his friends begged him to shut up lest his district’s Christian voters put a quick end to his political ambitions. But by the time he needed to sew a divided nation together his deep understanding of the Bible led him to stirring prose: “with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,” and talk of our “better angels.”

Not that Lincoln was long winded. His nation altering Gettysburg address was memorized by school children for generations after the War and his Second Inaugural “With Malice toward none” speech was breath-takingly brief.

Yesterday I winced as my wife incredulously read Donald Trump’s pathetic recitation of black history in what, for Trump, may pass as an attempt to heal the nation he has helped divide. By contrast, Lincoln was a deep reader as attested by Fred Kaplan in this book I read back in 2010. As you can see in that last link I have kept track of my adult reading for the last 40 years. Like Lincoln I’m aware of the great gaps in my knowledge but I won’t hide my prejudice for the pursuit of knowledge and my contempt for people, like Trump, who revel in their ignorance. This makes the President not only ignorant. It makes him stupid. I suspect that every great president America has ever had was a serious reader. But this begs an important question. Will being a non-reader mean that Donald Trump will be a lousy President? Judging by his first ten days……

But the thought that got me out of bed at 3 AM was this. One of the most dangerous things about Donald Trump is that he isn’t Adolph Hitler. Heck, Trump has a Jewish son-in-law. How can he possibly be dangerous? He can be dangerous because Donald Trump is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Having a Jewish son-in-law makes it harder to point fingers at Trump’s dictatorial inclinations and his long dependence on “yes men” and women. And yet, like Hitler, a dozens of other tin pot wannabes Trump suffers from megalomania. We can take comfort, however, in the ways Trump differs from Hitler. At the top of the list, TruHe has no Brown Shirts. On the other hand, Trump does have his version of Goebbels the Nazi “big lie” Propaganda Minister. Trump has the Fake News disseminator, Steve Brannon, of Brietbart News, who Trump just elevated to one of the highest national security posts in the nation.

Trump also lacks other building blocks that Hitler had at his disposal. Unlike Hitler, President Trump leads the richest and most comfortable nation on Earth whereas Hitler began his rise in the ruined, post World War I Wiemar Republic where an ocean of unemployed ex soldiers seethed over their nation’s ruin and joining militant Communism, financed by Lenin, or nativist German jihadis like the Freikorps.

I’m an optimist about the future and my historical reading leads me to conclude that Trump won’t push THE BUTTON. But part of my optimism lies in knowing I, we, must be vigilant. Even Trump’s most avid supporters are right when they warn us: “Freedom isn’t free.”

I wish they would take their own counsel because their man, Donald Trump, is a threat to everything they elected him to “love and cherish.” But that doubtful hope offers another point of optimism for me. Trump is the divorcingest President in our nation’s history.

Burying the Hatchet – more than once if necessary

Just when I want to chuck my Buddy out the window he offers up a peace offering. I know it won’t last long but if I can’t get over my quarrels how can I expect anyone else to? Denmark’s is setting a good example for us here in North America.

To: “Harry Welty”
Sent: 01-Feb-2017 19:55:04 +0000
Subject: A little Harry’s Diary |

I woke up at 3AM yesterday and couldn’t go back to sleep because I was mulling over Trump nation. That happened often last year and the chaotic beginning of his new Administration isn’t offering any peace of mind.

And from
A slightly different version of the prayer has been widely adopted by Twelve-Step Groups:

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
the courage to change the things we can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

From: “Your Buddy”

My Reply:

I was confused about that because those were the first words to come to me when I started posting. Then I read the prayer and that’s not how St. Francis starts or finishes it. The Serenity Prayer offers good advice especially that last line. Of course, where change is concerned a lot can be accomplished by many people. It took more than one man to make the United States. It will take more than one to bust it up. In the meantime I can be a band-aid or squeaking hinge. If if I’m not sticky enough or the hinge comes loose I expect there will be others to take my place and be more useful.

My Buddy sent me three emails regarding my Massacres post

Here’s one that doesn’t refer to human ejaculate – such is the discourse our new President inspires. If you don’t want to read the link in it here’s my spoiler alert. Its boast is that so far the majority of Americans approve of Trump’s travel ban on Muslims.

From: “Your Buddy”
To: “Harry Welty”
Sent: 31-Jan-2017 20:55:21 +0000
Subject: Re: The Trump massacres begin |

And see

And here is my reply to my Buddy:

Yeah, and the majority of Americans, including me, were for the invasion of Iraq. Let’s see how Iowa feels about Trump when Mexico stops buying their corn and hogs.

The Trump massacres begin

Faced with an Attorney General who refused to enforce what she regarded as an illegal order Donald Trump fired her.

Funny but Trump’s AG nominee, Jeff Sessions, asked her two years ago if she would be willing to stand up to any illegal directives from then President Barack Obama and she said she would. I found this on Reddit where my Jabba showed up yesterday.

Coincidentally, as I was listening to NPR this morning I retrieved a document in my attic work room and glanced over at this old newspaper which I kept and pinned up to a bulletin board.

Its about the Saturday Night Massacre the last time a Republican President fired the AG for not following his orders.

My “Buddy” has been trash talking me today about my “pissing and moaning” on my blog. I guess if I had a big audience like Rush Limbaugh my Buddy might concede that my complaints might be considered “efficacious” if by that one means effective in terms of the number of people reached regardless of the accuracy of the information disseminated. Its true that the 403 people who visited my blog yesterday are a drop in the Limbaugh bucket. At least my drop is composed of water not Limbaugh’s “warm bucket” full.

Oh, and you might note the conclusion of the prayer of St. Francis covering part of the paper. Our church choir sings the John Rutter song using these lyrics regularly. I supposed you could argue about its efficacy too.

Sticks and Stones, Pt. 2 the cute pink hats

“Hair on fire.” That’s the subject of the morning talk show I woke up to. Trump supporters are up in defensive arms because they think Anti-Trump forces’ hair is on fire because of a half a dozen Executive Orders and gag orders issued by our new “not my” President. And of course, the “not my” is a state of mind not law. That too has the Trumpers fuming.

How the “Lock her up” crowd can, in good conscience, complain that their man isn’t being treated fairly is easy to understand. As my seven year old grandson told the congregation during Children’s time yesterday his Mom told him that sometimes life is not fair. Except that, I find it entirely understandable, “fair” if you will. Folks who saw Trump insist that Obama wasn’t born in America are now calling Trump a racist. In physics we’d say that “every action causes an equal and opposite reaction.”

I have gently panned the civility movement in Duluth on numerous occasions in the blog. Not that civility is a bad thing. It helped nurture American democracy. I have never complained about good manners but the civility movement can sometimes be seen to be motivated by the winners who want the losers to shut up. “How dare you complain about our beating you.”

Some of the Pro Red Planners who thought I was a spoil sport when the Red Plan got built were themselves deeply grieved by the US Supreme Court’s reversal of the Florida court decision to hand the state’s electoral votes to Al Gore. A similar cohort of people, which includes me, are not happy about the way Donald Trump won the Presidency. If his campaign wasn’t a “hair on fire” campaign I don’t know what else you’d call it.

Trump’s victory has already moved me to march in two protest marches for the first time in 45 years and I’m considering a third – the Scientist March in Washington DC. I think the least objectionable thing Trump critics could do considering his campaign rhetoric is march peacefully with critical placards. The challenge will be to corral those who want to throw ef bombs or worse.

Speaking of which, the Woman’s marchers were pretty well behaved events and the marchers were rightly proud of it. Locally 1,400 adult marchers paraded through the sky-walk with homemade signs. One of them made me wince a bit. It had the familiar diagram of a woman’s reproductive tract with a slogan borrowed from an M.C. Hammer song. One word was altered so that it became one of the objectionable words on the District’s power point slide. That’s not the same as blocking a highway but the word was not calculated to win people over to the cause.

In other cities some luminaries did throw ef bombs. One such was the Madonnald er Madonna. She also was widely accused of saying she wanted to bomb the White House. That’s not quite how she put it but it gives ammunition to the other side.

God Bless America

I just witnessed the storied peaceful transfer of power in our nation’s capitol. There were several thoughtful speeches and a recitation of the Beatitudes before Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” reprised his victory tour speech “I won. You lost.”

Commentators, somewhat taken aback, didn’t immediately know what to make of it but there is no doubt that his loyalist 30 percent were thrilled by his plain fourth grade speaking. For me, and a lot of other people, our new President’s speech was little like a forest of middle fingers.

God bless America.