Archive for the ‘American Politics’ Category

Is Trump just a tool of QAnon?

Monday, March 1st, 2021

I love conspiracy theories. I delight in challenging them. Some of the stories you hear from the United States these days are not being spread to generate amusement but many are quite funny.

I am puzzled by the the basic tenet of QAnon. They say that the world is really managed by a bunch of Satanists, who abuse children. How these devil worshipers manage to have time to abuse children while trying to run the world is an unanswered question. Mind you with the shape of the world these days, it is easier to blame others than take any responsibility yourself.

But over the past four years that we have been hearing all this false news, I thought that Donald Trump was their hero and leader? Is he not their leader? Are they trading the Donald in on a newer model? I am sure he was counting on all those people to get him a second term. Nobody stole that election from him but himself.

Watching that awful scene in Washington on January  6,  did not make for a pleasant afternoon. It was certainly not something you see everyday. If I had been a Capital policeman, I would have shot that guy with the horns. I think his head, complete with horns, needed to be mounted over the speaker’s chair in the senate chamber. It would serve as notice to fools everywhere not to disrupt the senators’ afternoon naps.

I think the Donald left the white house in a snit. Actually, it was a Marine helicopter. I guess that was a final perc of office.

But it is not. He is on the payroll for life. He even gets money for a library. The true need for his library would be a professional collection of every lie he told Americans over his four years in the white house.

There is also the possibility that his library could do some good. If he could just gather together in readable form every entry he ever made in social media on the Internet, it would be of service to mankind. There are many of us who would never want to waste our time plowing through that morass of egotism and ignorance. After all, Mr. Trump now has nothing but time on his hands.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Biden is ahead of Trudeau on climate.

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Hey Joe, what did you think of the hypocrisy you got from Trudeau during your virtual summit on Tuesday? One of the first items of business when you became U.S. president was ending that Keystone XL pipeline that was designed to take Canadian bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the Texas gulf coast tanker ports. Did the Canadian prime minister mention to you he is still twinning the TransMountain pipeline to take bitumen to the tanker access in the Burrard Inlet at Vancouver?

If you were really congratulating each other on your being environmentalists, Trudeau is letting the side down. Many of us in Canada are annoyed with him about that. He not only spent C$4 billion buying the 67-year-old pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Vancouver but cost estimates for the twinning of the line are now running at an additional C$12.6 billion. The government is hoping that they can get 20 years at least out of the dual pipeline with revenues of C$1.5 billion per year. (The company has signed contracts for this much.)

While everyone involved is proud of the performance of this old pipeline for so long, they are really stretching the envelope. The difference when you are pushing diluted bitumen through the pipes is that you are heating the bitumen and pushing it at considerably higher pressure.

But Canadians are not just concerned about the possibility of a pipeline leak and fouling of the fresh waters for the people of British Columbia and northern Washington State. The heavy traffic of ocean tankers through the Georgia Straits is an extreme concern for the orcas and other whales that summer in the area.

All we know is that the supreme court in Ottawa does not want any more appeals to stop the twinning of the pipeline. The appeals have failed us. The construction is in process. Short of laying our bodies in front of the construction equipment, there is little we can do.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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While the World Watches.

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

It was hardly just Americans watching the fiasco of an impeachment in their senate last week. Canadians were only a small part of the international community watching the events. You can easily imagine the hourly reports arriving on the desks of Xi Jinping in Beijing and Vladimir Putin in Moscow. You can just see the smiles on their faces as the impeachment trial of Donald Trump proves to the world that American democracy does not work.

The Trump presidency showed the world that American democracy is reserved for the rich and privileged. It proves that the American president can lie about anything. It shows that he can foment insurrection, send mobs to murder his vice-president and his republican party will still back him.

It leaves president Joe Biden with an almost impossible task. Biden has just two years of a slim majority in the U.S. congress to help restore democracy in America. In two years, Trump will be behind the drive for the republicans to take back the congress. The former president and his rich friends will once again buy back the congress. They will leave Biden as the abandoned democrat.

Biden can hardly use the Trump tactics of presidential decree to remove all of the harm that Trump has done. All that would do is prove that Trump was right. Biden needs to demonstrate that even a divided congress can back him. He has to get congress to support his American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion attempt to fast track the American economy as the country, hopefully, emerges from the pandemic.

It would have helped if the republicans in the senate had been revolted by Trump planning and executing the attack on congress. Those men and women were under attack by Trump’s mob, the same as the vice-president, and yet they still chose to support him. They might as well hang a sign on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour: Democracy is Dead in America.


Something to celebrate: It is Hazel McCallion’s birthday today. The former mayor of Mississauga, Ontario is 100 years old.

Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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In the cause of Canada.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

It was an interesting program on Steve Paikin’s Agenda last week that was co-sponsored by TVOntario and the Toronto Star. It was on Canada’s prospects in sustaining its democracy. The thought was that the same pressures that affect American democracy eventually get to Canada.

Well, that thought is likely to be wrong. And when you start with an invalid premise, your conclusions are likely to be slipshod as well.

The United States has already suffered its Incompetent-in-Chief and, in our own way, we are suffering from the same problem. Four years ago, the United States, rejected the old politics and brought in the irresponsible Donald Trump.

At least, the Americans knew they made a mistake. Canadians had opted for the unknown Justin Trudeau, at that time, assuming he might have some of the wisdom of his father. Instead, we got his mother.

But Trudeau’s liberal party was not the only one struggling to find good leadership. Neither the conservatives nor the new democratic parties were coughing up competent leaders.

The American system of government has a way of breeding competent leaders. They have more swimmers in that pool.

The Trump aberration was simply that. It was an aberration created by Americans’ frustration with racial strife, unfettered capitalism, and class differentials. The American melting pot had finally melted. And they quickly found out that Trump was no solution for their democracy.

I wish I could say that Canadian democracy has also found some answers but we seem to have a way to go.

The first thing our parliamentarians need to do is find a way to bring the unfettered prime minister’s office to heel. We have too many unelected people in power in this country. Provincial premiers also have too much power.

Americans can, at least, amend their constitution. So should we.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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On the right with U.S. Catholics?

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

And we thought Donald Trump was a problem. What gives with those politically right-wing Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S? It turns out that those guys are criticizing their own Pope and, at the same time, their country’s new president. Is Pope Francis the last line of defense for Joe Biden? Is the Catholic church that far to the right in the U.S?

It was an embarrassment to many in our family in both the U.S. and Canada that one of my brothers, a retired adjunct professor at a Catholic university in Ohio, voted for Trump in 2016. In 2020, he let me know that he would not vote for Trump a second time.

It should have been very embarrassing for any person of a religious persuasion to have supported that hypocrite. His actions of clearing peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square in Washington so that he could have a photo op, with a bible, in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, should have been enough.

What those right-wing Catholic bishops in the U.S. need to understand is that. Americans voted for Joe Biden because he could rid them of Donald Trump—not because his religion was Roman Catholic.

I think the bishops are wasting their time criticizing Biden for his stance on abortion and same-sex marriage. Biden promised to be president for all Americans. He is not going to pay attention to extremists who want others to go to the same church as they. Even their Pope can be more accommodating.

Never, in all the material that I read and media discussions I watched ahead of the election, did I ever notice any discussion of Joe Biden’s religion. It was never an issue. The bishops should not try to make it one now.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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America, we hardly knew ya!

Monday, January 18th, 2021

While some desperate Canadians still manage to flee south to escape our bitter winters, we have not been seeing Americans breaching our locked-down borders in any large numbers. American tourists used to come in droves for the pageantry in Toronto of our Caribbean festival and our gay days and maybe just a Blue Jays game. And you can be sure they always appreciated the savings on their greenbacks.

But our festivals of summer are but a vague memory these days. We have to watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island while Americans are having insurrections in Washington. Or should we refer to it as Fortress Washington?

The question du jour though is would we recognize an American? How can we tell them from Canadian conservatives wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) chapeaus? And what is this we hear about some 40 per cent of Canadian conservatives being fans of Donald Trump. Do these people really believe Trump was cheated out of the U.S. presidency?

Are these conservatives prepared to go to bat for their guy if U.S. lawmen and prosecutors decide to get even with the former president? Will they want to offer him sanctuary in Canada? Would many Canadians want to support that?

What is even more concerning is the question: Have Americans changed while we have been concentrating on the pandemic? Who is this guy Joe Biden and is he just another Donald Trump wearing long pants? We had a visit from him some years ago when he was Obama’s vice president. He knew which forks to use when at dinner.

And Biden has promised us that he will stop the Keystone XL pipeline. That might piss-off the hypocrites among our politicians. Tough beans! Those of us who care about the environment will raise a small cheer if Biden does it.

I guess we can wait and see if he wants to slap tariffs on Canadian imports to support his ‘Buy America’ ideas.  Maybe Canadians will get to know Americans all over again.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Black’s pal Trump.

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

If Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star had not raised it, I never would have noticed. It has been about ten years since Conrad Black was released from prison in the United States and deported to Canada. Obviously, he is more comfortable holing up in Toronto’s Bridal Path area in a $20 million plus mansion. I am of the opinion that Canada should have deported him to England a long time ago.

Since president Trump pardoned Black and has more recently pardoned some of Black’s co-conspirators, I guess we are not supposed to call Black a felon and jailbird anymore. And after all, he never was convicted of anything in Canada.

I assume Black has been doing Zoom appearances on the American right-wing talk shows or something in support of his friend Donald Trump. It was no surprise when Hepburn reported on this feature in Conrad’s life—competing with Rudy Guiliani as to who is Trump’s BFF.

Hepburn tells us that Black is appalled at the way Americans are treating his friend.  I guess news of the second impeachment of Donald Trump is not included in Black’s daily read of the National Post.

But then we gather that Black does not believe Trump incited all those deplorables to riot in Washington last week. He considers the rioters as something other than Trump supporters. He also believes that is disgraceful for the republican party leadership to be deserting Trump in this time of Trump’s greatest need.

After all, Black seems to believe that the democrats stole the election and that Trump’s tales of voter fraud last November had merit.

It is obvious that at 76, Black should retire the spotlight and try to eke out a reasonable style of living with his wife Barbara and his last $100 million. It is tougher and tougher for us seniors these days. Have you seen the price of caviar lately?


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Exit President Trump.

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

It has been America’s shame. The past four years of the American presidency has shown the world a failure of democracy in the strongest country in the world. When you do not pay attention, when you do not care, you can get a president like Donald Trump.

It needs to be said that Donald Trump incited the vandals who attacked the Washington Capitol the other day. He did not lead them. They were but a leaderless rabble, revelling in the destruction and chaos they could cause. Only their hapless leader, hiding in the White House, knew to fear them. We should all be thankful that Donald Trump is no leader. Yes, he was the primary instigator but he has never shown the ability to lead.

Look at the pandemic as it cuts a broad swath through the heartland of the United States of America. Trump does not know what to do. He did not know to listen to the available experts. He did less than nothing. He led Americans in the direction of disease and death. He led in ignorance. He did not know that the best thing to do when you do not know what to do is to shut up.

It was his ability to understand what frustrated and annoyed his voters four years ago that we did not comprehend. He was surprised as the rest of us when his followers managed to win him the College of Electors and the presidency.

Trump feeds on ignorance. His rallies with his followers are lessons in demagoguery. His followers today will tell you that he helped expand the United States economy. Yes, he did, but only if you want to ignore the cost to the environment. You can knock down mountains in Appalachia for cheap and highly polluting coal. You can foolishly approve pipelines for pollution creating routes for bitumen to get where this tar sands product can do the most environmental damage. And you can only think you are making America great when all you are doing is pissing off your neighbours, your allies, your friends.

We will not miss Mr. Trump. We will not miss his bigotry. We will not miss a man who mistreats children. We will not miss a man who builds walls against his neighbours. We will not miss a man who treats his country’s enemies as friends and its friends as enemies.

I think there will be a collective sigh of relief when he leaves the Washington White House. He will no longer be able to abuse the power of the presidency.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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How many did Trump kill today?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

That is not a light at the end of the tunnel on January 20. It is the funeral pyre at the crematorium for all the people that Mr. Trump has killed. He has been pushing for the return of the death penalty for federal crimes and has already had eight executions.

But it is his negligence in doing something to help in controlling the spread of covid-19 that has led to his record number of deaths. The toll will likely exceed 300,000 dead Americans from the pandemic by the time he leaves the White House in January. And how many of them are because of his lack of interest and support in controlling the spread of the disease?

It was obvious from the time he put his vice president in charge of the pandemic task force that we knew he did not care. The task force had few experts and did not appear to listen to them in any event. Trump took great delight in staging his failed re-election events with thousands of supporters to be mask-optional. He actually caused many of his supporters who wanted him to make America great to catch covid-19.

The president hosted events at the White House where nobody was encouraged to wear masks or maintain social distance. And that probably helped spread the disease even faster. Trump has no concern for family or staff at the White House or at his golf resorts. It did not seem to concern him that he might(?) have had a brief brush with the disease himself.

Did we even know ahead of his presidency that he was so blood-thirsty? Would he have been happier if he could have started a war during his presidency? Will he be among the first to be inoculated with one of the new vaccines? He will still have us wondering as he disappears into the January night.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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We are going to miss Mr. Trump

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Don’t get me wrong here. I know full well what a horror it has been with Donald Trump at loose in the White House. I am really not sure if the building will have to be tented and fumigated or just needs deep cleaning? The Trump smell will hang over the place for some time.

But can you imagine when it comes to the hanging of the Trump picture?  The Biden’s will have to have an outdoor privy built on the back lawn to provide a suitable place to hang it.

To be fair though, you can appreciate some of the effort Trump has made on behalf of Americans. I strongly believe he has done more to point out the failures of the American political system than any other president.

Donald Trump never corrupted the system. He used the existing corrupt system to show everyone how really bad it is. His political appointments were some of the worst and, luckily, in a few cases, some of the briefest in American history. He set back the country’s foreign relations at least three generations. He frustrated and outraged America’s close friends and embraced some of the country’s enemies.

He showed Americans that their Electoral College system of electing their president is undemocratic and susceptible to corruption.

Trump proved that the three-part federal government system can stifle getting anything done. He showed that states’ rights left the country, as a whole, ungovernable. He has showed all of us what happens when an incompetent is allowed to control the Administration.

Trump has left the incoming administration tied in knots with his judicial appointments. The American voters have left Biden with a potentially implacable Senate. And the coronavirus has left the country sick and in need of healing in so many ways.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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