Category Archives: Reader Columns

Juan Percent

My Column on Brooks v. Rogers got a very quick kick in the shin

A long time critic of my columns under the sobriquet of “Juan Percent” had this to say in two back to back posts on the Duluth Reader’s page:

JPThursday Jan. 30, 2020

How dare you use ’eminently reasonable’ to describe the war monger neocon David Brooks. BTW, the word Elitist Democrats haven’t learned a thing. Trump 2020.

Juan Percent Thursday Jan. 30, 2020

Times have passed you by Harry, you’re head’s not in the right game. Today the fight is not between democrats and republicans, as much as it’s between national sovereignty (populism) and globalism. The GOP has been remade. The Democrat rush away from Sanders is not as much away from socialism as it is toward globalism. Sanders is a populist. Watch THIS. It will help you reframe modern politics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIgmfpHBiDw

Of course I had to do a little reframing myself. I did so, to wit:

HI JP.

This is the first time I’ve checked comments in a long time. Glad you are still following me and offering critiques.

I like Brooks well enough but even he is a little too beholden to establishment Republicans for my taste. Its an establishment I’m none too impressed with myself. They caved to a pretty hideous mouth because despite their eagerness wage war they have proven spineless in the face of Trump’s outrages.

As you noted times may have passed me by. But I stand by the kind of Republicans my parents and grand parents were. Ironically, after my grandfather’s rush to fight in what he later came to regard as Wilson’s War (in his view Democrats could always be counted on to drag us into one) he too turned to isolationism. Or, in your terms “non globalism” although that would be a term for the future.

The Republican party you disparage has become Woodrow Wilson’s party sticking its nose into other people’s wars and making them ours. My Grandfather would agree with you. We’ve screwed up way too many times from Vietnam to damn near everything involved with the Middle East. But my Grandfather was part of the problem. During Vietnam he still stuck by the mantra of standing by his country……He was mystified by war protesters. And LBJ and Nixon both lived in fear that they would be accused of losing the first war in America’s history if they didn’t stick Vietnam out.

Sanders is not being beaten up by Trump for being a globalist. Trump will treat him as a boogeyman for socialism in large part because Bernie is a populist and Trump’s supporters are inclined to like Bernie. As for moderate Democrats they worry that Sanders socialism, not his populism, is what will get him beat by Trump. I think they are right to worry about that. At least when Bernie tells it like it is – its true! The same can’t be said of Donald.

I am glad you directed me to Farage’s little departure speech to the EU Parliament. It was quite good and even, despite the flag waving, cordial in victory. He is a smug bastard though. And I think the British will come to see that the EU with all its bureaucracy was a good place to hang out.

I don’t need to re-frame my view of modern politics so much as most people need to read a little more history. The context of today isn’t just a decade in the making. It goes back stone axes.

Nixonite not Kryptonite, Either one is deadly to supermen

After skipping a Not Eudora column for the past two weeks I am pleased to have cranked one out yesterday. It remains to be seen if it will show up in this week’s Reader. I was a little late sending it in last night and it was uncommonly long at about 300 words in excess of my typical 800. If it misses this week they can stuff it in the following week’s publication.

I won’t spill the beans and cut into the Reader’s circulation by giving the contents away just yet but here’s a visual teaser:

“Beware the Jackboot” – my latest Reader Column

The Readers are still being placed in their bins across town but my column is already on their website. I don’t want to discourage anyone from picking up the newsprint so here’s the first paragraph:

“I had a friend who talked me into taking an NRA gun safety class with him. I don’t remember anything more important than what I had already known. Never point a gun at anybody.”

Damn it. I repeated the word “recent” in one of the sentences and another “sentence” seems to be a clause short of full sentence-hood. Ah, but I’m up to seven columns in my latest Reader run. That’s far short of the 100 I’d written in my first engagement but a nice start.

From hundred’s to thousands of readers

My eight loyal readers no doubt enjoyed my cheeky riposte to the School District’s attorneys as they attempted to silence me. One of my readers pointed out my blog post to the Reader Weekly which much to my surprise posted both the letter from attorney Torgerson to me and my reply to her.

The poor old School Board doesn’t have a microphone they can cut off before I post something critical about them. They do, however, have lawyers. My taxes help pay for them.

A dialogue

Jason wrote back in defense of Ford Bell to say:

“Except it’s not a ‘cold heart’ (as you imply that Bell has) for calling for a Vietnam-style hasty retreat“ it’s cold reality. The civil war there is going to get only worse, our very presence there is making it worse, and even the most grateful Iraqis will inevitably grow weary of us.

You ask if it’s just American soldiers’ lives Bell wants to save. I’d reckon not, but those are the lives we CAN save.”

If, as you believe, the war will get worse the longer we stay then you are right that we should leave.

If, as I believe, our short-term presence might help prevent (and that’s the best I can hope for) a civil war then we should stay.

Perhaps it was unfair of me to say that Ford Bell has a cold heart. However, to suggest that the only lives that we can save at this point are American lives is. I hope you are wrong.

Million Dollar Man

The Million Dollar Man  Published May 11, 2006  “Last November I had great fun writing about the dirty business which may have helped launch Jim Obertstar’s career as one of Washington DC’s preeminent pork chasers. My column casually mentioned, Don Boyd, a man who was endlessly described by the press during the scandal as the principal suspect behind the embezzlement of a million Federal dollars…”My latest Reader Column.

Will Democratic Demons sabotage Democratic Hopes?

Thomas Lifson editor of “The American Thinker” writes this short piece on the anger of the Democratic Party’s “secularist fundamentalists.”

Over the weekend I met a former State GOP Poobah at my brother’s home. I told her husband that I had changed parties; that I had once been a bad Republican and was now a bad Democrat. Lifson’s article helps explain why I’ll be a bad Democrat.

I’ve always narrowed my eyes and looked with suspicion on usism and fringe politics. (of course that was before moderates and centrists were pushed to the fringe of American politics) Here’s an old column of mine which tries to get that point across: “Limbaugh’s Bastard Child.”

Blood on our hands

As America was winding down in Vietman and “peace” activists demanded we withdraw I was very troubled about what would happen to our South Vietnamese allies who remained. I don’t recall any of the peace activists ever expressing remorse for the consequences of our departure so eager were they to “give peace a chance.”

I can say the same thing now about the peace activists who demand our withdrawl from Iraq. Oh yes, as in the case of Vietnam the peace activists were quick to point out how the war had done terrible things to the Iraqies just as the former war did terrible things to the Vietnamese. My recollection is that almost three million Vietmanese died in the war while we were engaged there. I can only conclude that today’s peace activists are so eager to have peace at any price that they have simply written off the Iraqies.

Anyone who thinks that we should abandon Iraq should read this article which is as horrible as the preceeding one about the Congo.

Even before George Bush did a switch and bait on Iraq from finding WMD’s to saving benighted Iraqies from Saddam I would have agreed that saving them was a worthy cause. In fact I was making the same argument before George’s bait and switch. Saddly we started something we were not prepared to deal with Iraq in the way that might have assured the Iraqies peace.

Breakfast with a convict

Last year I wrote a column about an ancient local political scandal involving Jim Oberstar’s questionable funding sources for his 1974 campaign. I mentioned Don Boyd, a fellow who was accused of, but never found guilty of, embezzling a million dollars from the government. A few days after my column hit the stands I got an email from Don suggesting that we meet over a cup of coffee. He’d written a book. He did spend time in prison but not for stealing a million bucks. (There’s always something a fellow can be found guilty if you’ve got the help of a willing perjurer)

Sitting in prison and having his family’s honor tarred gave Don a lot to reflect on. If Don was innocent, as I rather suspect he was there could be a good book in it.

Unfortunately, Don hasn’t written it. His head is too full of details and at six or seven hundred pages no one but a crank like me would ever read or publish it. So I’ve decided to give him a hand. I’ll have more to say about this in my next Northland Reader column. Let the chips fall where they may.

The Aborted Girl

My Reader column for this week begins:

“In 1990 I was ecstatic when the popular Republican, State Auditor, Arne Carlson replaced the opportunistic, “pro-life,” political hack who had defeated him in the gubernatorial primary with the help of naive religious conservatives. When John Grunseth was outed for having chased his daughter’s friend around the family pool in a drunken attempt to rip off her bikini top he became instant poison. The pro-life Republicans had no face-saving choice other than to relinquish their death grip on the nomination in favor of Carlson. It would not be the last time that a false friend of religious conservatives would betray them. . .”

Reading the Story of El Salvador’s draconian pro-life ideal spurred me to get this off my chest.