Another new start on a book

Trying to figure out just what to write bookwise has been a preocupation of mine for ten years. It keeps getting more urgent. Donald Trump only ratcheted up that desire. It was sidetracked by a book about education in my failed run for the School Board last year but as we head to November 2020 I’m back on my original track. This blog contains perhaps ten millions words. Many of them are about my Grandfather. I intend to mine lincolndemocrat and a raft of other sources I’ve collected over the years.

Checking out the search words “bank house” in my blog’s search engine here’s a sample I just found about my grandfather’s family and other pioneers compared to today’s illegals. Take a look. The link to the Story in Forbes magazine still works.

I cranked out a short prologue and am starting on my latest Chapter One.

A little Happy for you

I heard this fun little communally produced poem about New Year’s resolutions on NPR this morning. Its compiler just was awarded a Caldecott Medal for children’s literature:


And I’ve just added a category called television. I am besotted with so many wonderful television programming now that is no longer beholden to the standards of standard fare for everyone. Claudia and I just watched the last four episodes of the Good Place. It has been such a wonderful four years and fifty episodes. Its hard to believe it was a product of network television. I was surprised I got a little teary but I was not alone. Ted Danson is part of a superb cast. In the 80’s when we had a little girl we wanted to get to bed and not be contaminated by the sexy zeitgeist of Cheers he was pretty irresistible too. Nice to have him back.

Eight loyal readers plus

I’m not running for anything. I’m not harping about the Duluth Schools. I’m rarely mentioned by the News Tribune. And this month my readership is about as high as it has ever been. This month over 5000 visits to Lincolndemocrat have lasted fifteen minutes or more. 1000 such visits lasted longer than an hour. That’s despite the fact, or maybe because of the fact, that I’m not killing myself to write blog posts daily. Not that I couldn’t. In the last two days I’ve forwarded a dozen news stories to my email account to add to the links I began adding a couple days ago. They are evidence of the Earth’s destruction; Trump’s destruction etc. all of which offer insights on how to get past our world’s current myopia.

I’ve just spent my morning, as per usual, reading news from all sorts of rational and a few irrational sources. I still have my French practice ahead and then, if I can stay focused more puttering around with my book/books.

A bientot.

The Real Game

Mr. Percent said today’s “real game” isn’t between Democrats and Republicans but between national sovereignty and globalism.

I beg to disagree. America’s Democrat vs. Republican war is a terrible distraction. In my column I called myself an “alarmist.” I think that makes me a realist. I have had an environment change category for ages and just added a more specific Climate Change category as well. Any Global Warming stuff ended up there. Lately its been heating up just like the earth which suffers five atom bombs worth of new energy added to its oceans every second of every day.

We could use a lot more globalism to fight it as many sovereign nations have too much short term gain to lose if the world’s black market is curbed by international police. I hope we can unite the world to use our brain power to put an end to the coming end times. Saving the Earth doesn’t require the United Nations. But if we allow Donald Trump’s head-up-his-tush populism destroy America I’ll curse the naive Juan Percents from my grave. Or maybe my corpse will just off gas a little methane.

That will be nothing compared to the planned building by China of 150 coal burning power plants all across the third world. That ought to add a few more atom bombs per day to the oceans.

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:

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


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.

Today in the Reader- David Brooks is Wrong…

…Will Rogers Had it Right

It begins:

Last week I began sleeping well for the first time since Donald Trump became a Presidential contender. The powerful summation by Congressman Schiff, “Shifty” to the “Lock-her-up-crowd,” comforted me. Then David Brooks the eminently reasonable PBS News Hour pundit wrote off a second Trump victory. Brooks said too many Americans don’t want a Trump Presidency for four more years, never mind a hot economy.

I know better.

Three visions of Satan

One of my favorite stories is The Devil and Daniel Webster. Our great old debater got the best of Old Scratch as I recall. But there are many takes on Satan. Of the three I offer here the first is the most eye popping.

Paula White “Trump’s personal religious advisor” and now advocate for aborting Satan’s babies: Click this link to cringe”
A …..

Here’s SNL’s Satan treatment as a fan boy of the President’s lawyers:

And finally, one of my favorite scenes as a kid in the musical Damn Yankees. I just watched it for the first time in thirty years on Youtube. VIEWER WARNING: One scene now makes my flesh crawl extolling the delight with Indians scalping people on wagon trains. Other than being played a joke about how Old Scratch likes to inflict hell on innocents its not unlike the depiction of the “savages” in our Declaration of Independence. Wish I could clip it out.

“Those Were The Good Old Days” Ray Walston singing the Devils song in the musical Damn Yankees

Note the Capitol dome behind the curtains in this scene. Times never change.

News links on current politics 1

This is a place I’ll start putting links to news stories I’ve been emailing myself for the past year or more. I want a place to organize them for later use. Feel free to read them if you’d like.

From Bloomberg which has supposedly broken ties to its owner, candidate Bloomberg. Democrats concerned that presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is avoiding scrutiny by not participating in televised debates with other candidates pushing the party to allow the billionaire on … View the article.

Some members of President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team are campaign donors to jurors in the Senate. Former independent counsels Ken Starr and Robert Ray, who investigated then-President … View the article.

A quote from General James Mattis helping to explain his ousting by Donald Trump.

John Roberts comes face to face with the political world he created:

News links on the end of the Earth 1

Just a little overstatement in the headline. No human tech for a thousand or maybe a million years will be sufficient to stop the Earth’s rotation. Kill 90% of all like like that meteor off the Yucatan Penninsula. No problem. We’re half way there already. So, this is a place I’ll start putting links to news stories I’ve been emailing myself for the past year or more. I want a place to organize them for later use. You will be welcome to read them if you’d like.

This is but one category of such stories. There will be another about Republicans or Trump or something along those lines.


Monarch Butterflies, Mayflies, Bees. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Last year, a global review published in the journal Biological Conservation spawned headlines heralding an “insect apocalypse,” “Armageddon” and “collapse of nature” when it found 40% of insect … View the article.

Two researchers present evidence today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the accelerating melt of Arctic sea ice is linked to weather patterns near the equator in the … View the article.

Sea-level is rising, causing susceptible coastal cities to experience more extreme floods. These are the cities where people are likely to migrate to from increasingly flooded coastal cities. Hurricane Harvey was a perfect example of the migration impacts a major storm and flooding has on people…. View the article.

CFCs, which caused the hole in the ozone layer, also caused half of Arctic warming and sea ice loss from 1955 to 2005. The chemicals that caused the hole in the ozone layer were also responsible for … View the article.

The recent catastrophic bush fires in Australia were so immensely destructive that they could be seen from space. Now, a new animation from NASA shows the impact of those fires and other extreme … View the article.

A joule is a measurement of heat. Currently the Earth is heating up at 28 zeta joules each day. I heard this figure on MPR’s climate cast and it stuck with me because forty years ago I recall a factoid in a column by Sydney Harris. Harris said that every fall day Lake Superior released the heat energy equivelent of five Hiroshima atomic bombs into the atmosphere. Of course in the summer it was absorbing that much energy from the sun each day.

I’ll see if I have a link to the climate cast broadcast but the figure that suck with me is this: At this time the Earth as a whole is absorbing 28 zeta joules of energy every day. In times past it stayed steady gaining and losing heat just like Lake Superior. No more: I think a Zeta Joule is a figure with 28 zeros behind it. It is the equivalent of Earth absorbing five Hiroshima bombs every second of every day 365 days a week, year in and year out. No more steady state.

Judy Sill

I can’t recall ever hearing of this young woman who is the latest in a parade of belated obituaries of women who’s lives the Times didn’t cover at their deaths. She was a promising artist who died early like so many other artists of my youth. She played the organ at her reform school’s church services. She sounds a lot like Joni Mitchel. No telling what else she might have written had she lived a longer life.

I read this obit just after this NPR story about the killing of another in a long line of women in Warez Mexico. These murders are fueled by the vicious fight over the riches of America’s drug addiction. Such a waste. Both women died of drugs, just by different means.

Here is Joni Sill’s song The Pearl which I found in the obit is brief but haunting.

I will link to it after church.

David Brooks is wrong

A fretful sleepless me awoke in a drier version of night sweats. I got up and wrote my next Reader Column. You will only get to peak at its still unedited beginning.

I told Claudia tonight that I thought the reason I’ve been sleeping well for the first time since God knows when, the beginning of my fight for a vote on the Red Plan maybe or, more likely, the emergence of Donald Trump a year before his election, and I thought it was because the Impeachment process had begun and now there was not just hope but the likelihood that America would come of of this new national nightmare with just some scratches and bruises. Or words to that affect.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I have been studying French copiously, and with some success, because its my sophisticate’s version of hiding my head in the sand. Maybe, just like Trump’s first emergence when I sculpted him in his finger pointing fury, I sense that he’s about to pull off a second win. Its a win that the eminently reasonable pundit David Brooks said recently we had little to fear from. Too many Americans don’t want him to be president for four more years despite the economy which a majority of Americans give him credit for. In fact, ………………….

Sorry, no more for now.

God Bless Adam “Shifty” Schiff

I heard that fair and balanced Fox News let Hannity mute Adam Schiff’s eloquent and damningly persuasive closing argument yesterday. Talk about hacks sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA. . . .

In case you were getting your Impeachment coverage from Fox and got Hannity’s NANA’s in your ears. You can hear Schiff’s closing arguments here:

After four years of fretfulness over Donald Trump I’ve had almost a week of near regular sleep. I don’t think it is a coincidence.

Harry’s Diary 1/23/2020

I returned money yesterday…..that’s the next post.

Today I signed up for two more French apps on my cell phone. One allows me to chat with people who will check my French as I check their English. The other is called “slow French News.” My determination to learn French just grows stronger. It is almost purely an academic challenge.

I read about the 400 people, some of whom were quite vocal, at last night’s boundary change meeting. Not only do I have hundreds of posts relating to the issues that were discussed, boundaries, Red Plan, race, neighborhoods, I have experienced even more heated meetings as a school board member about these issues. The most heated was ironically at the same locale when Ordean was a middle school. It had 800 angry parents, double last night’s attendance. My superintendent showcased all nine of the school board members behind tables on a stage in front of all the angry parents. And he deprived us of microphones. I’ve written about that too If you go to his link please click my comment about how much I detest demagogues. Its an anecdote about the best compliment I’ve ever gotten.

I listened to the surprisingly stirring history given by Congressman Nadler. Trump should be removed. He’s lucky his party created conditions requiring their Senators to be eunuchs. Later I was impressed by the President’s worst enemy Congressman Shifty Schiff. In Trump’s case it takes one to know know one. In Schiff’s case it takes a prosecutor to unveil one.

After it got repetitive I went out and shoveled snow. When I came back in I asked my wife if there was anything new. She said the description of that Trump’s goons did to the Ukraine Ambassador was shameful.

Mt. Rushmore is weeping.

“Stauber is facing off against . . . Harry Welty.”

So says Fox 21 News:

While picking up a glazed-raised doughnut for my cold-suffering sweetie at Mt. Royal Foods this morning one of the check outers told me she’d seen me on Fox News last night. I was practicing French then and didn’t catch their report. So I just checked and found out I’m running for Congress. Hmmmmmmm?

Well, here is the email exchange between Fox’s Dan Wolfe and me:

Jan. 20/20
Hi Harry,
Dan Wolfe with KBJR here. Just wanted to check in and see if you’re planning to challenge Rep. Stauber again in his 8th District run. As you’ve probably seen, he launched his re-election bid today.
Hope all is well with you!


Hi Dan,
I haven’t ruled out filing against Pete. Filing and campaigning are two very different things.
I just sent an email proposal to UMD’s College Republicans asking them to consider meeting me in a public forum to challenge each others views on Donald Trump. I just sent it. Its unlikely they will agree and I did tell them such a forum might not help Congressman Stauber.
I think the future of the Republican Party is in question.
Thanks for asking.

And here’s the email I sent to UMD’s College Republicans which I told Dan I didn’t expect them to reply to:

Jan 16, 20
Subject: I’d like to propose a debate. Would anyone meet me for coffee

…..We live in perilous times. I suspect the members of UMD’S CR’s would agree with me about this even if they disagree with my take on our times.
…..Almost 50 years ago when CRs were under assault during the Vietnam War our Mankato chapter was issued a challenge to defend Richard Nixon in a debate on a campus that had thousands of kids marching against the war. I disliked Nixon but felt it was important to give voice to his side. I did. I survived.
…..I would like to hold a debate with a Trump supporter at UMD. I am intensely dissatisfied with any form of debate I have seen over a lifetime of watching political debates. I’d like to talk with the UMD CR’s about my proposal and ways to vastly improve future public forums.
…..For years, in my first quarter of a century in Duluth, I got CR’s to work on various GOP campaigns I was involved with. I am not interested in embarassing them or their views. I am interested in my views of which I am very confident but the discourse is more important.
…..In a debate or discussion I would be formidable. I know a lot. I have long years in politics and public service. I look cool as a cucumber. I am not, however, smug. If you would be willing to let me come to a meeting to introduce myself and lay out and negotiate my offer I would appreciate it.
…..I am a celebrity of sorts in Duluth with fans and critics. Your entire club could not read and digest all the stuff I have blogged about or published in the Duluth Reader. But you could get a sense of what anyone debating/having a discussion with me would face. I did file to run against Congressman Pete Stauber in 2017’s GOP primary. I didn’t campaign. I got 5 percent of the Republican vote. I might do it again and if I did this debate could promote my side. As good Republicans you would have to balance the threat of knocking the Stauber campaign off balance with the publicity for UMD’s CR’s and honest public discourse.
…..I will note that even if I ran and even if I improbably won the GOP primary my wife and I will spend the 45 days just before the election in France so that I can study French. Under no circumstances do I intend to cancel this travel commitment.
…..Please have someone call me. My cell number is ________-.
…..All the best,
…..Harry Welty

This email was followed by my general proposal for a debate format although I hate to call it a “debate.” As I explained in my emails to the CR’s I have never seen a satisfying debate.

I thought I would give you my initial outline for a debate format. This is it:

.No mediator. Only an emcee to introduce the “debate” and debaters.

.The representative of the College Republicans will begin with up to 15 minutes to defend President Trump. I will have up to 15 minutes to make my case in criticism.

.The CR rep will have 5 minutes to rebut

.I will not rebut the rebuttal.

.From this point on only audience members will be allowed to ask questions and the questions will be directed to both sides for replies limited to 5 minutes.

.I am open to a couple minutes of informal questions and challenges between the debaters at this point but I would like them to be both informal and brief.

.Time in total. I don’t care.

From Ken Star – GOP expert

The Constitution is unconstitutional.

And this is the second time he’s been involved in one. I am tempted to think he’s a tad hypocritical on this point.

In his first one he gave the Meuller treatment to the high crime of Bill Clinton’s spilling his seed on a grown up women’s dress. …that of course was not the high crime he hangs his hat on. Neither is it the string of Cosby/Epstein-like lies denying having done it. No, like Trump Clinton got into trouble trying to reaffirm the lie UNDER OATH. None of the other lies threatened our Democracy. Just the one under oath.

This is just a quick thought I wanted to unload before I undertake today’s big project. I will be busy today building a maze for my grandson’s first double digit birthday party.

I used to build huge mazes for the Chester Park Elementary School’s school carnival.

My big read today –

This is very long but, for those interested in the Middle East, very worth the reading.

Mohammed bin Zayed’s Dark Vision of the Middle East’s Future

It took half hour to finish. Trump would want a quick 30 second summary so his eyes wouldn’t glaze over. (I’m snarking about the startling Pearl Harbor anecdote in the previous post about Emperors and Tsars.)

I just sent this Times Story to a high school classmate who lives in Oman to the south of the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula. There is so much more to Arabia than Mecca.

I just saw my friend at my 50th high school reunion. I mentioned that she greeted two surprised and delighted Somali girls at a pep fest by greeting them with a traditional Islamic salutation. She is an educator in Oman is a very different Arabic paradise that has tried to stay out of the area’s politics but is nonetheless in the cross-hairs of history. I asked my friend for her thoughts on the Time’s story. While I was at it I mentioned another high school classmate that was stationed in both Peshawar, Pakistan and Kabul, Afghanistan by the State Department. Those are two red hot assignments that you don’t find Presidential Contributors, like Trump’s Mr. Quid Pro Quo Sondland, being assigned to.

Emperor Xi, Tsar Putin, King Trump and George Washington

Perhas the most unsurprising but appalling news yesterday came from Russia. In one way I miss the Soviet Union. Other than its delusional infatuation with ownershiplessness the idea of Monarchialism didn’t seem to match its communist rhetoric. Of Course Papa Joe had to die in office while his timid heirs kept rescuers at bay until they were sure he was dead. But he wasn’t a king. He was simply a despot who only gave up his scepter when it was pried from his cold dead fingers.

Sorry I got carried away. Yes. The news. The Ruskies have proposed a new law which extends Putin’s rule which he already had extend once. He’s a tsar now. Not long ago “reformist” Xi Jinping was handed a guarantee of never ending Chinese leadership. As for Trump. Here’s his tweet for a forever Presidency.

Trump is besotted/envious of dictators who have no restraints placed on them. How different George Washington was a man who could lay claim to being one of the wealthiest Americans of his day. He would have been closer to Bloomberg than Trump.

Washington was reluctant to become President. Began a precedent that was followed without any laws requiring of stepping down after a second term which continued until FDR ran for a third term as America braced itself for the Second World War.

Not that Donald Trump knows anything about that war. As he flew into Hawaii for a ceremony at Pearl Harbor he apparently asked his astonished chief-of-staff John Kelly what the deal was with the Pearl Harbor stuff. Just the man to lead us into a war if he manages to pull it off with Iran.

BTW – this book review covers the growth of unnamed witness in covering Trump. That makes sense in a day when not a single Republican congressman was left to vote for the impeachment of the President because the GOP has stacked the deck in all of their districts so that any dissent will bring about their defeat by a party they have tailored into group think.

At least Washington knew something about war. No bone spurs, just real ones.