MA2A – Making America 2 Again

As I was putting the final coats of gray, blue and orange on my sculpture a photo journalist from the Strib, Alex Korman, was chatting me up and taking some shots. I was pleased that my work was not tampered with last night. The Rebel Gray isn’t very easy to see and will disappear as the day warms but I’m quite proud of my message and pleased that there were some news folks in town who took notice of it. Alex was awarded the White House’s student photographer of the year award last year and the president himself signed the award winning photo for him. We had a lot to talk about…..meaning I wouldn’t shut up. BTW – you can see the photos for which he was honored here.

In the short time afterward that I scraped some dangerous ice off of my sidewalk a lot of folks stopped to shoot their own pictures. One gracious lady commented that it was a very nice message and not nasty at all. Another lady who thought it was pro – Trump was confused about the meaning of the Civil War soldiers. I explained that the Party of Lincoln is best known for preserving the union. I then said it was ironic that our current Republican president seemed to be working overtime to undo that stellar accomplishment. She grew a little concerned and asked if I was in favor of having Bernie Sanders in the White House. I replied that I liked Bernie but that I’d prefer that he not be our next President. Actually, I’d prefer that he not be the Democratic nominee.

There are waaaay too many oldster voters who never learned that communism and socialism are dramatically different and that America has been a partly socialist nation since Social Security which they all count on and adore and protect fiercely. To my knowledge none of these old socialists are either communists or totalitarians. They just don’t know that they are socialists.

I give it less than a fifty/fifty chance of lasting until tomorrow

I haven’t had the best of luck with snow sculptures that would bug Republicans. My Bill Clinton had his nose punched off back in 1992. It was fixable. Last year my Baby New Year had his head pushed off. That wasn’t worth fixing. Today a good Democrat walked past my house and asked me if I wasn’t worried that someone would vandalize my work. Naw I said. Lots of Americans have died for our country and I didn’t think having a snowman pushed over was that big a deal. Besides the sun will get it soon enough. My backyard thermometer read 48 degrees a few minutes ago.

Lest anyone think my sign makes too big a deal out of Donald Trump’s relish in dividing Americans the NPR story I heard as I picked up my shovels, before ending my day’s labors was about Oregonians who want their part of the state to be joined to Idaho.

Its ironic that the Party of Lincoln, who’s greatest claim to fame is saving the union, is now run by an angry todler upending a century and a half of national unity.

What the sun giveth . . .

It will also taketh away.

I expected clouds but the forecast let me down and gave me a beautiful sunny day. I can’t paint the snow before the sculpture is in the shaddows because the pigment will simply hasten the melt. Still, I’m making far more progress than I had hoped. I’ll probably have it all painted before my community ed French class at six tonight. If not I’ll finish it up in the morning. I took a picture of it with the shadows beginning to be cast on it. That’s the worst time of day for me to take a picture but still for those of you wondering about my progress take a look:

People don’t quite have it figured out yet. Maybe they never will. I restored Trump’s face and carved out much more of the civil war warriors than I expected to. I’ve had to reapply snow constantly through the day as it sluffs off in the sun.

I’ve been singing the civil war songs my Mom used to play on the piano and asked one person who stopped by if he’d ever seen a copy of President Trump’s birth certificate. He said he hadn’t and I suggested that maybe we all ought to get a look. He said he’d look into it.

The colors to come? Blue and gray of course. And Red, Yellow and orange. And if you are curious how closely this comes to my initial design here’s my model. I am quite pleased with myself so far.

Look at it today or tomorrow before Minnesota’s new milder winters…

. . . melts the heck out of this brief winter wonder in my front yard. I give it one or two days a most to look presentable. I’ll be putting this sign up in an hour so folks can get the drift of the message of my latest snow sculpture. It will take me the rest of the day to finish. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me today to repair, color and accessorize this tableau. But first I am going to practice French. I’m close to completing 500 days straight of French practice on Duolingo. Mange mon neige Monsieur Trump!

Deport the Murdochs

Since President Trump has gotten his worshipers whipped up about deporting our problems it occurs to me this may not be all that bad an idea. I’ve resented the Foreign Murdoch family’s efforts to make money by pissing off Americans and dividing us for years. I’ve mentioned them several times in the past in my blog. Forty years ago I was eager to see Rupert’s infamous page three when I visited England for the first time. Like Mr. Pinkers, who owns the National Enquirer that blackmails celebrities, the Murdochs are heroin dealers of fake news and opinion……except the opinions aren’t so much fake as addictive. I say deport the bastards back to Australia with that nation’s crumbling environment which their Aussie papers have done their damnedest to ruin for nature and the human population!

Behind the scenes of a snow sculpture

I like to look at my snow sculptures from my windows. I don’t build them to be seen from the back but I like looking at people slowing down to take pictures once they are near completion. And this effort is near completion. Like the see no evil elephants that melted a few days after their birth in December, this particular sculpture was ambitious and took nearly two weeks to build. Its not quite done yet.

Yesterday’s warm temps hint an yet another short life for this year’s second “call-to-arms” sculpture but they sure made it easy to get the work done fast. It should be finished by tomorrow, Monday, and well into the melting process by the end of the week. I’ll snap a picture when its finished and post it so long as no one mutilates it over night.

I’m feeling better at this point. The wonderful new knock off of American Pie I just watched on Facebook has cheered me immensely. After church I’ll find it and post it.

Cruisin

For five nights I’ve been on a Disney Cruise of the Caribbean during a Winter break. I was blissfully ignorant of our plans or what we might do or where we would go. I was too preoccupied watching Donald Trump and the Democrats dance around a deep pit I hoped would not become America’s grave. So, landing in Florida and being freed from the news and the Internet for a week was a blessing.

In fact I slept well, meaning six hours or more, every night of the cruise. I’m not sure whether the absence of Trump News or cellphone gazing late at night was the chief reason for this. I slept well again back in Duluth last night leaving it till this morning to do some catching up.

I was so detached from the planning that I only paid attention to the itinerary after we boarded Disney’s Magic. Its the sister ship of the Wonder that I think we sailed on for a Disney trip to Alaska with our grandsons five years ago. I didn’t even know until the day before we arrived that our first stop was the Cayman Islands. We snorkeled there, had a fine lunch and returned to our ship. I only knew that the Caymans were something of an off shore tax evasion site. Just now I googled it and discovered that it was a British possession.

We all got a little sun burned, ate too much, enjoyed family entertainment and forgot that Donald Trump is doing nothing to slow down the Caribbean heat sink which is fueling stronger hurricanes. I shared lots of pictures this morning on Facebook which I won’t share here because my family deserves a little anonymity even as I continue to streak nakedly across the internet.

I will however show you a string of pictures I took in Grand Cayman’s capitol, Georgetown, of a traffic cop who enjoyed entertaining the pedestrians he shepherded across the closest thing to a busy intersection in the city.

And here’s one more from the restaurant we dined at overlooking the spot where we snorkeled over the wreck of a ship that blew up when its cargo of dried rice got drenched in a storm and the rice puffed up.

Its about time we elected a Jewish President….But Which one?

I’ve been sparring with my ex brother-in-law over the merits of Sanders for a while now. The conversation has now migrated over into the merits of Mike Bloomberg. I’ll show you a sample of our tit for tat….showing more of mine than his. Its my blog and I’m used to stripping myself naked here.

I responded to a list of drawbacks my Bro-in-Law posted about all the candidates in a theoretical campaign against Trump mano a mano or femo, as the case could be. The last option labeled the “nuclear option” featured Mike Bloomberg as if in this case nuclear weapons (his billions) were perhaps an overreach.

I responded:

I’ m pushing the button. It’s better than drinking Trump acid for four more years. If its Bernie I will vote for him but by far most of the very thin wedge of independent voters have had years of warnings that socialism is toxic. Sure, Bernie is given credit for being a straight shooter but these voters will treat a vote for him as like shooting themselves in the foot.

To which with great patience and considerable frustration MY EX-B-I-L wrote back:

Harry I’m sure that when push comes to shove the Democrats will make sure Bernie loses and replace a fake billionaire with a real one, democracy for sale.

And my riposte which will no doubt be just one of many to come until the Democratic convention.

I was talking to a couple of French kids last night who assured me the people of France would never elect a president like Trump. I wished them well. Trump has changed all the rules and I sympathize with your disgust about that. Everyone in America a socialist. Too bad we don’t recognize it. If Bernie could win I’d cheer him on. As it is I may end up voting for him. If he does win the nomination it will be interesting to see if Bloomberg really does help him. I think he will. A capitalist Jew helping a Socialist Jew to rid us of a semi-fascist moron.

Duh! Correction

Anyone driving by my house may have noticed a couple piles of snow growing in my front lawn. I have been so preoccupied trying to finish a two week project in five days before we take our grandsons on a winter vacation that I barely got a hastily written column finished late last night for the Reader. Even now I’m not sure it made it into the edition that should show up on Thursday. SO I HAVE TO CORRECT THE DATE OF A MEETING I ANNOUNCED WOULD LIKELY TAKE PLACE THIS COMING SUNDAY.

It won’t take place then but Josh Sande who I should have confirmed the date with yesterday said he will have folks at the Bloomberg office at 1 on Sunday in case they mistakenly believe the FAKE time and place I put in my column. As for those of you reading this the time to show up is Saturday at 2PM.

Its half a block below City Hall on 4th Avenue West above the alley across from a small metered parking lot.

As for my snow sculptures……..too complicated. I’ll have to wait to finish them when I’m back in town.

Hint: The little fellow who keeps rolling down his window on the School Bus asked me if I was going to sculpt Trump again the other day. I told him time would tell. He drove by yesterday and saw my work and began smiling very broadly. He’s an optimist. The only thing is he has probably not yet heard the saying: Whom the gods wish to punish, they grant their wishes. You know, kind of like King Midas’s golden touch.


Ivanka as a young girl.

I went to the unofficial opening of the Trump HQ in Duluth…

It was very reassuring. It spurred me to attempt to finish a challenging snow sculpture in the four days I have before I head out of town. And it gave shape and substance to the column I mentioned earlier that has already been changed two times. You will have to wait to see what I think about Bloomberg now until my column is written and published in the Duluth Reader Thursday. If Iowa scared the bejesus out of you, then good for Iowa.

My wife winced today when I told her about IOWA’s new acronym. Its: Iowa Owes the World and Apology. I love Iowa. I go there for my wife’s family reunions all the time. But IOWA’s Dems gave the whole state a black eye. Fortunately with our current President he will give us reason to take our eyes off Iowa yesterday…..and he has. He now targeting the Hmong and Lao refugees in Minnesota from the Vietnam War who were foolish enough not to take US Citizenship. Goody Goody. More dark skinned people to cull from the Trump Nation. Who gives a damn if their family members died helping us in Vietnam. They shoulda claimed bone spurs.

I hope someone takes a movie of Tim O’Brien at the next Bloomberg Office opening he goes to. He spoke to thirty of us. We hung on his every word and had lots of questions for him afterward. Google his name along with Trump books or New York Times. The 800 words I always aim for in my columns will barely give you enough to savor everything he talked to us about.

It’s taken me two nights to sculpt clay models for my next sculpture/sculptures for my lawn. If it/they comes/comes out as I plan I’ll regret seeing the sun take it away.

Political Spin the Bottle

In our current atmosphere a day can spin you off in new directions. I have written two columns for next week’s Reader and now I’m about to shelve them and write a third. My Snowsculpture plans, however, haven’t changed but they may have sped up.

Anyhoo, this is my latest enthusiasm:

I read about Michael Bloomberg’s Duluth Office opening last night in the Strib and then looked for it in the DNT. Here’s the DNT version.

I sent a couple emails to DNT reporters asking for the contact info for the Bloomberg staff but it was late Friday night and they probably won’t see it till the new week begins on Monday. There is going to be a mini open house tomorrow, Sunday at one, according to the story. I wasn’t sure I could make that as Sunday is a family day for me. But I reasoned that Nicole would be fussing around in the new headquarters today so a little after noon I sauntered over. Sure enough two people trying to pry heavy duty vinyl signage off of their picture window overlooking 4th Ave W. I parked, hopped out and lent them a hand. After some strenuous effort we got the lower half off. That let some light into their headquarters. We chatted a bit and I left. But the work wasn’t done. I returned a short time later with a step ladder and razor to remove the upper half. I took over some paint supplies too because they will want to spruce up the office until Mayor Mike is out of the Democratic nomination or becomes their candidate in the Presidential Sweepstakes. I think our Billionaire class helped screw up America and I find it poetic justice that it might be a much bigger billionaire who cleans up the damage of a much tinier piranha.

Josh, the director, is a local boy and a 2008 graduate of East High. Nicole, another Minnesotan, is his assistant. She told me she came from reality television and when I asked if it was “The Apprentice.” It wasn’t but she knew some folks from that show. They told her they learned never go into any room alone with Trump.

I warned the pair that I’m something of an acquired taste in Duluth but said I’d be happy to offer them advice. I told them that one of the more refreshing things about Bloomberg was that he’s the only Democratic candidate training all his guns on the real menace, Trump, instead of looking over his shoulders worrying about the other Democrats. I explained that the minute I heard Bloomberg take a nasty shot at any of the others I was outta there. I’ll accord Mike a little more leash if he makes it to the debates. Goodness knows he’ll be a big target since he wields fortune that dwarfs Trump’s grifting.

My piss and vinegar button has been pushed

There is nothing like hearing a bully gloating to bring out my piss and vinegar. It may have skipped a generation because that wasn’t my Dad’s style but it was his father’s. At his death a close fried wrote a letter to the family explaining the kind of friend he was and describing a basket ball game where some thugs tormented one of my grandfather’s teammates. My namesake challenged them to meet outside. They were bigger and he got a pounding but that was the spirit my Welty grandfather’s friend so admired. And the other grandfather is the one who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I’ve written a lot more about him.

Stewing about our President has inspired my next column in the Reader and a snow sculpture that I am in no hurry to complete as the weather won’t cooperate until I leave town for a of couple weeks. But my snow isn’t going anywhere. I may pile more of it up for my return.

I still haven’t proof read the post from a couple days ago. I’m not in the mood. Yet. Its midnight. Time for bed.

Hints ahead

I’ve been working on the sculpture. This won’t help you much.

and this is apt for my column

I told you Iowa’s ten minutes would be forgotten quickly

To Democrats everywhere: (GOTTA GO TO CHURCH. I’M POSTING THIS NOW BUT I’LL PROOF READ IT LATER)

I only caught the Senate roll call vote on the first charge of impeachment I didn’t listen to it all but I was pleased that Mitt Romney vote for the impeachment. Its a very small sliver of decency but I’m glad Mitt was more concerned about his legacy than any short term popularity with the Trump Crowd.

I can’t predict the arc of history for the GOP. I hope my conviction that its centrists will flea to Democrats. As I explained in my recent Reader article no one can count on that. Honorable do not want to dishonor their past and the Republican party aura is still in people’s memories if not in current reality. There have been a lot of news stories recently about how those who find Trump somewhere between disagreeable and and abomination might be able to get his supporters to second guess their support or their incredulity. Taunting won’t do it. Has Trump’s taunting made any of you change your minds?

I think the stakes are too high. Self righteousness on the anti-Trump part could give Republicans enough control to further their slow steady progress towards improving their mal-reapportionment and setting it in stone. Justice Roberts will not save us and if someone palatable to the reachable center is not elected there will be four more years of Court appointees and another ten years of reapportionment disasters for Democrats. It will take a consititutional amendment to change the constitution’s imposition of electors to elect a president.

This can be stopped with the cool calculations, not unlike Mitch McConnell’s to build toward a government that will protect the Earth. But shooting for full on change the way a lot of twenty-somethings will like is probably doomed. Your potential friends scare easy when you start frothing at the mouth in desperation.

I am an unrepentant socialist. Though they wouldn’t admit it so have almost all the Republicans I’ve ever met. Unless they are willing to face the electoral consequences of ending Social Security they are all Socialists. Until Trump energized a lot of voters who would benefit from a single-player-plan with fears that Socialism a is Marxism and Dictatorship. We have to talk these voters down from the ledge but not with Trumps bragadoccio and false confidence. I believe his confidence is paper thin but well practices skirting financial disaster over the last fifty years. He’s a bully but he ain’t the biggest fish in the Presidential campaign. Any other candidate than can win the electoral vote is a bigger fish. And one of them who intrigues me is a billionaire 60 times over. And as he said in response to some tweet at least there is one billionaire in the campaign.

Few young people are familiar with New York state’s unorthodox political history going back 60 years or more. Both Trump and Bloomberg have been both Dems and Gops. That’s because for decades there was a serious third party in New York called the Conservative Party. It was in line with famed conservative columnist William Buckley. In a three way race in 1970 the party elected James Buckley, Bill’s older brother to the US Senate.

Bloomberg and Trump were both pragmatists about politics donating to candidate from each party. But there the comparisson ends. Bloomberg earned his billions. Trump inherited, squandered them, lied stole and cheated to preserve them, and will say whatever he has to to get people to sign on the dotted line. His supporters have no idea how empty his words are. They see a wall. They see a pro life savior, If lying gets them what they want its a small price to pay no matter what harm befalls them that you can be sure he will blame on Democrats.

Bloomberg like you and me abhors Trump but unlike you and me he lived in the same town as Trump and knows his vile past far better than anyone except perhaps the whole corpus of the New York Times.

This isn’t an ad for Bloomberg. I will vote for whoever the Democrats put up against Trump. I like them all. The issue for Democrats who become delegates to the national nominating convention is this. Which candidate will beat Trump with candor and honesty. I hope when the decision is made some of the players do what they did in 2016 – Decide that neither Trump and the other guy’s democratic candidate preference is worth voting for. God Damn you. My Grandchildren need an American President who doesn’t lie, understands the perils of climate change and who will do his/her best to bring Trumplicans back to their senses.

“God chose the weak things of the world . . .

. . . to shame the strong.”

Once again I came home with my Church bulletin cluttered with my notes from today’s message. This is but a remnant of a great many I checked in the fall to thin out old paperwork. I’ve spread them out for this picture to give you a sense how difficult it is for me to give up stray thoughts. Today’s sermon was no exception. Based on First Corinthians 18-31. Verse 27 stuck out at me. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

It wasn’t the beginning that stuck out but goodness knows I don’t mind to have people call me foolish, It was the second half about God calling on the weak to shame the strong. Perhaps that could mean the Trump supporters are weak and using Donald Trump to shame the economically well off who oppose him. Or (and my preference) it could mean that Trump is strong and that those rising in opposition to him have been made weak and are to challenge him. I take a Lincolnesque view of this. I have no idea which side God is on.

In my youth there is no question that the ten percent of our population that was black was almost universally black. They had a black champion too Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammed Ali. He defied white authority with an impunity not unlike Donald Trump. But he wasn’t handed millions of dollars as a kid he came from nowhere to needle white America. Trump is no Ali. I loved Ali like Trumplicans love Trump. At least Ali wasn’t laughing at his followers behind his back. He was one of them.

I made a follow-up video to the one I put up last night. the first addressed “Trump America.” The second was addressed to people wishing that Trump would a one-term-President. I’m debating whether to upload that video or shoot a new one. One of the other should show up here soon.