Archive for the ‘American Politics’ Category

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?

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

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.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

 

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.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Whatever happened to Uncle Malcolm?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

It can be awkward when you have relatives who support Donald Trump. They think of him as a cross between God and the great leader. He can do no wrong. They are also born-again Christians and they are convinced that I am going to Hell anyway.

As long as I am destined to go to some place that does not accommodate people like Trump, I am sure I will be happy.

But you should see how these people skate when I ask them whatever happened to Uncle Malcolm. Malcolm died of covid-19 last month. I have not seen him for the past three years. Last time I saw him, he was California-bound for fame and fortune.

But these people have answers for everything. Malcolm’s death is a hoax as far as they are concerned. They think he is alive and well and living the good life in the Golden State. They actually believe that the deaths of a quarter-million Americans from the pandemic, to-date, are a hoax.

And, of course, they believe that their Mr. Trump won the November 3 election. They think the new president elect is also a hoax. They think the demon Joe Biden should be tried for treason.

You come away from a conversation with people like this deeply troubled. And the funny part is that they obviously consider you the nut who needs an intervention. It is the way their voices soften when speaking to you. They do not want to use their outdoor voices and scare you. I think they are convinced I am someone from the deep state.

It is disconcerting to be on the receiving end of their intervention.

I think when the pandemic is over, I am going to have to go to California and check on Malcolm’s grave site. I am sure he is toes up somewhere.

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(This is with apologies to family members who read this blog. No, Malcolm’s not your uncle. As the expression goes: Bob’s your uncle!)

 

Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Trump battles grief and the ocean tides.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

As though commanding the ocean tide, the imperial Donald Trump continues his petulant arguments about his electoral college defeat by Joe Biden. No doubt his efforts to nullify the election are just another step in a life of dishonesty and delusion.

But Trump is still in the denial stage. With two months to go before he must vacate the White House, there is little time for him seek revenge on the democrat replacing him. Firing faltering supporters might satisfy him briefly but there is little time left for any loyal replacements. Or, maybe the question is, are there many loyal ones left?

What is impossible to say is what the stages of grief are for a person such as Donald Trump. While he is still in the denial stage, the question is will he move on to a stage such as anger? Or does anger override all the symptoms of his loss?

Trump has certainly been on a high for the past four years. The loss of his position is not supposed to be as serious as a loss of someone close to him. There just does not seem to be anyone close to him that he would care as much about.

This guy is not going to settle for just being called ‘Mr. President’ for the rest of his life. He wants to keep the power. While he might attempt it, there is a bargaining stage to grief but this is a man who is above that. He does not bargain, not with the Devil nor God, nor any democrat.

And it is hardly likely that author Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was thinking of the same situation when she wrote about death, dying and grieving. We cannot be sure but it is highly unlikely that Mr. Trump concurs. He would deny he is grieving. He would most likely prefer to get even.

What he is left with at this time are the stages of depression and acceptance. Frankly, he already seems depressed. It is just that he would have no idea of how to reach the stage of acceptance.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The perplexed pollsters.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

How would you feel if the three times out of 20 you are wrong in your forecasts, and it all happened in the same election? That was the pollsters’ dilemma with last week’s election in the United States. They were just flat out wrong.

But you have got to have some sympathy for them.  Historical data did not mean much. They only experienced one other election such as this for president and they got it wrong then. In the largest turnout in American history, the republican voter turnout set records. Luckily, so did the democratic voters.

But some states that were expected to be won by democrats were often won by the republicans and visa-versa. The Senate ended in the hands of the republicans and the democrats kept the house majority by a slim margin. It all took four days of concern and counting.

What surprised us Canadian political watchers that the pollsters had no way of verifying their polls. I think I was studying polling before I ran my first political campaign. I enjoyed politics more than working for the news media but I had always been fascinated by the studies that told you what publication readers read some or most of advertisements and editorial content.

And then I met a federal politician who used telephone calls to determine how voters intended to vote. This was back in the day when he had to use a card index for each voter. He used those cards to tell his workers who to get to the polls on election day. What we are so routinely doing today with computer programs, he was doing the hard way almost 60 years ago.

But I think his card system relied on better input. Today’s smart phones do not always get answered with blocked numbers. Those automated Robocalls calls might be cheap but they are less and less effective. Political parties might just have to revive the science of knocking on doors with what we call the ground game.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

A note to a busy Joe Biden.

Monday, November 9th, 2020

It was an impressive speech the other night from Delaware. It was the right tone to take with the Trump supporters.  You offered them the olive branch and left it to them to accept. It was a class act.

No doubt, you have a lengthy ‘to-do’ list already but many Canadians want you to know that it will be okay with us if you want to put an end to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy. Yes, we are well aware that our government will be pressuring you to let the pipeline be completed but that is just an act. Our prime minister Justin Trudeau is just trying to mollify the schmuck who is premier of Alberta. The premier there is spending $1.5 billion of Alberta taxpayers’ money to get that pipeline to the U.S. border. From there it runs down to the Texas gulf ports for shipping that highly polluting, poor quality bitumen to Europe and Asia.

Your American refineries do not need Canadian bitumen from the tar sands. Refineries only take that stuff when it is discounted well below crude oil. Anybody with any concern for the environment refuses to have anything to do with the stuff.

Besides, with fracking, the Unites States is self sufficient in oil for many years to come. And the bitumen your refineries can get from Venezuela is of far better quality and cheaper to refine into ersatz crude, than the bitumen you can get from Canada.

We appreciate that you would like to do that nice prime minister of ours a favour but he really has a different problem. We have a lot of people out in Alberta who would rather keep polluting the environment than paying taxes like real Canadians. They are like Donald Trump supporters and they think that their premier is going to make life easier for them.

Think of it this way: you can help Justin Trudeau to be a better environmentalist by telling him where to stick his Keystone XL pipeline.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

It will never be the same America.

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Mother was born in Milwaukee, grew up in Chicago and then married a Canadian. It made Chicago a special place, as children, where we visited fun relatives. Two of my brothers now live in the United States. I have always felt at home in both countries.

But no longer. We have Donald Trump to thank for that. He polarized America. He divided the nation. He promoted hate. That compulsive liar built a layer of thousands of lies around the American presidency. More than a century of trust and friendly relations between our countries were blown away as with the wind. Not only Canada, but the entire world, has now seen the dark side of America.

Donald Trump is a traitor to America’s friends and succor to its enemies.

And the unguarded border between our countries stands empty and without tourists while the pandemic ravages virtually unchecked throughout America. Each state fights the pandemic battle in isolation.

We have had four years of president Trump and his friends. We know their greed. We know their disrespect for our environment. We know of their disregard for treaties and their selfishness in trade with nations.

Will and does America want to rebuild the honours it won in two world wars? Will it ever restore the respect for its fairness and willingness to help its friends? Can the white house be restored as a beacon to the world of democracy?

Four years of slurs, failures, unreasoned meanness and pettiness have been more than enough to leave the world wary and deeply concerned.

America does not dwell in this world in isolation. The rest of the world shares with the United States of America concern for the pollution of the polar regions, the melting of the ice, the deaths of animal, fish and bird species and the threats to the liveability of our planet.

We all share a growing concern for our existence as a species.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

“Waiting for the sunrise.”

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

There was a song going through my mind last night as we were waiting for early returns on the American election. (Yes, Canadians do get excited about American elections. And believe me, we have more than one pony in the race.) The song on my mind was the Les Paul/Mary Ford version of The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise.

It is an up-beat, breezy tune that seems to meet the mood of people who want the Trump Night to be over. It has been four years of darkness.

But we sit here, the morning after and we feel no better. Mr. Trump, in his usual gauche style, has claimed the prize of four more years in the white house. If you do not believe in wished-for turnarounds, you feel the bastard might have it right.

Sitting, watching the early returns with the wife, I found I was explaining the state-controlled voting and the importance of each state in the race for the president because of the archaic Electoral College system. We did not wait for Trump to claim a false victory, we knew the questions would still be there in the morning.

The wife’s last question was how come there were so many stupid Americans? The only answer was because there are also stupid Canadians. We slept on that.

And the morning is no brighter. Though, we awoke to a warming breeze in this part of North America.

Late in the night I was puzzling over the apparent Trump strength. I think it puzzles many, on both sides of the border how seemingly religious people could support the lies and human weaknesses of Mr. Trump. I think it is in the same way as they are often God-fearing, Born-Again Christians.

It is not that they believe every word of the Gospel thumpers but they accept the Word as more of a belief than a truth. Trump cannot tell the difference between right and wrong. People just believe in him and accept him, lies and all.

Well, I guess God is not going to help us either.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me