Archive for the ‘American Politics’ Category

Division in the Land of Lincoln.

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves:

Donald Trump freed the truth.

America is a nation divided as never before. It is increasingly vulnerable to its enemies. It has heaped scorn on its friends. Its inner anger is spilling over its borders to the north and south.

Those betrayed are its own people. They have been used. They been told egregious lies. They have brought a spoiled man-child into the White House and he has betrayed all of what America once stood for.

Donald Trump has turned the welcome of Miss Liberty in New York Harbor into hatred. He authorizes the destruction of the mountains of Appalachia for the coal to choke an uncaring nation. He builds walls that discriminate. He cheats the disadvantaged of health care. He robs the poor to please the rich.

He is a willing tool of the wealthy, a foil of America’s enemies, golfs while the gullible go to Mass, postures and preens for his followers and twits confusion.

In a time of #MeToo, he grabs women by their privates and displays his trophy wife and in vanity uses his progeny.

Trump’s triumph is power. Would that he knew how to use it.

Trump trails trouble wherever he goes. He confounds other world leaders with his combination of confusion and lack of concern or knowledge. He says one thing and tweets another. He is busy destroying the Internet tools that could have meant much to the world and to understanding.

Donald Trump fails the great leaders of America who came before. He is without the intellect of a Coolidge or the energy of a Teddy Roosevelt, he besmirches the honours earned by an FDR, JFK or LBJ. He stands so insignificant in comparison to a giant of an advocate such as Abraham Lincoln or a statesman such as James Monroe.

And an economist, he is not. His arguments on trade are based on lies and false premises. He hurts America more each day he remains at the helm of state. He continues to tear down the belief in America that others before him gave their all to build.

We know that Mr. Trump can never make America great again. While posing as a builder, we find he is a destroyer.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Trump versus Trump-Lite.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

It seems that we have spent enough time by now to have taken off our sackcloth over Doug Ford and the conservatives winning the Ontario election in June. Yes, I pooh-poohed the outrageous idea that Doug Ford could lead anybody anywhere. And we have certainly had enough recriminations about Kathleen Wynne handing the conservatives the election on a platter.

But the hardest part of this has been the realization that we had learned so little from the Trump fiasco in the United States. We were still in denial when Doug Ford won the Surprise Follies—otherwise known as the unexpected Ontario conservative leadership race of 2018. In denying Ford his due as Trump-Lite, we were whistling past the graveyard.

I admit that we were terrified that Doug Ford was likely to win. And he really is Trump-Lite, despite our earlier denials.

There is no longer any reason to deny it: Canadian voters can be just as stupid as American voters. The same frustrations and anger that fueled the Trump win in the United States were present in Ontario.

Our boy Ford might not be as rich as Trump but you do not buy Canadian elections the same way you buy elections in America. And you can be sure that there was no way that Trump intended to spend much of his own money. People who manage to accumulate a lot of money are usually very reluctant to part with any of it. It is after they die that the money starts to flow back into the economy.

Donald Trump’s real skill is in typing with his little thumbs. He is best when twitting. This all started by dumbing down what you want to say to less than 140 characters and then convincing people to read what you said. The most effective way to do this is to say more outrageous things about people than the next guy. Donald Trump is the winner. Trump-Lite still has to learn how to do that.

But other than that, our pony in Ontario is just as incompetent as the horse in the White House. Both are busy tearing down the accomplishments of their predecessors. Both are embarrassing us over their ignorance about global warming. Both recharge themselves with the adoration of their acolytes. Both tell us outrageous lies. Both are accumulating anger against them.

Damn, we really do live in interesting times.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

The Trumps do Europe this summer.

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Donald Trump and his lovely wife Melania are doing Europe this summer. Distaining the very pedestrian bus tours, the Trumps are using Air Force One and helicopters to speed their European journey. God forbid that they should have to meet and communicate with any of the lower classes.

It was bad enough in Brussels when Donald got into it with the Germans. In his typical ignorance of anything economic, he accused the Germans of supporting Russian natural gas sales. He could not understand the Germans buying natural gas from Russia. Maybe he can get his friend Vladimir Putin to explain it when they meet in Helsinki. The gas sales to Germany are the main source of hard currency to Russia. It would be crazy for the Europeans to cut off this critical trade with Russia.

Back aboard Air Force One, the Trump’s rested during their 30-minute trip to London. Nobody else would come to the airport to meet them in London so they were met by the American Ambassador. The London streets were already crowded with protestors, so they helicoptered to the American Embassy. The Trumps missed the fun in the streets. You really must admit that the Brits do good protests.

The Trump baby balloon was a big hit with the news media in London but they were throwing a party for the Trumps at Blenheim Palace out in Oxfordshire. It was a chance for the Brits to show that they also do good ceremony. Donald was not allowed to hold hands with PM Theresa May.

He held her hand the next day when he tried to explain an American reporter had got it wrong about what he said. He had complained that there would be no deal with the U.S. because May was trying to negotiate a soft Brexit instead of a clear cut off.

Later in the day, he was met formally by the Queen and 400 red-coated Grenadier Guards—complete with brass bands and pomp and ceremony. And if he could not get it right that, as a commoner, he was to walk behind the queen, they were going to load those Grenadiers’ rifles.

But before he got into any more trouble, the Trumps left for a weekend in Scotland playing at Trump golf courses. Donald would feel at home there.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

The threats of Trump’s thugs.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

You would think you had heard it all. It is as though President Trump and his followers in the United States are proud of their ignorance. The other day, it was reliably reported that Trump appointees were threatening other countries over mothers’ milk. It seems they went to the World Health Assembly in Geneva and voted against a resolution supporting the use of mothers’ milk over the use of manufactured substitutes.

It seems that over the past 40 years, the assembly has stood firmly in favour of the qualities of mothers’ milk for initial feeding of infants. It seems some American substitute powder manufacturers disagree with the rest of the world. They have products to sell.

We have known for a long time that powdered substitutes were a very bad idea in third world countries where clean water is hard for the mothers to acquire. Infants in third world countries really need the immunities that can be fed to them in their mother’s milk. For supplement manufacturers to promote their products in the third world is ludicrous.

But the stupidity did not end with a single vote in Geneva. The American delegation at first tried to amend the resolution. This was annoying. And then they started to threaten other delegations if they did not support the American position. This made more delegates angry.

But it also meant that some delegations caved into the U.S. demands. Their countries could not afford to lose support programs from America. The assembly in Geneva, makes the rules for the World Health Organization (WHO) and for the past 40 years, it has recommended the use of mothers’ milk as the safest and healthiest for babies. Why the American delegates had suddenly embraced the stand of American infant formula manufacturers was not clear.

But it certainly serves to show us how far President Trump and his troops will go in pursuit of lobbyist supporters. They are available at a reasonable price to any and all with the money to pay them.

All we can say further to this is that the Trump troops were not successful. It was actually Russia that carried the flag for mothers’ milk and presented the resolution. We have no doubt that the Canadian delegation was among those who were pleased to support it.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

 

Trump, America’s problem.

Friday, July 6th, 2018

The rest of the world is just annoyed. Canadians are thoroughly pissed. If Donald Trump is America’s problem, why are the rest of us having to deal with it? We never wanted Trump, we never asked for Trump. Why is he spending so much time telling us alternately that he loves us and then that he hates us?

It is simply not fair. Pierre Trudeau once explained that living next to America is like sleeping with an elephant. He explained that no matter how friendly and even-tempered the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt. While Mr. Trump might not be a beast, he is definitely not always friendly nor is he even tempered.

In fact, Trump is erratic. His mood swings are down-right dangerous.

Over my lifetime to-date, I have spent a great deal of time in the United States. I have relatives in the U.S.A. and have worked with American companies and clients and government agencies. I have even enjoyed driving holidays through many states. I mention this not to ingratiate myself but to explain that it has not been just a few times that I have heard that particular American mantra: It’s not my problem.

I have heard that said in many ways and in different accents from the Black Hills to the Bayou, from Independence Hall to the Hollywood Hills. Sure, I have heard it in many other countries but it is endemic in America.

Well, Trump bloody well is America’s problem. And they had better do something about it. At one point the silly ass was going to sling intercontinental missiles across the Pacific with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He was poking a strange snake with a stick to see if it was dangerous.

And I do not care if he does not like Mexicans or Muslims. If he cannot be civil to people, cut off his tweeting privileges. We teach children not to bully. How did dumb Donald get missed? Despite his wife’s stupid coat, people do care. Not all Americans are the ignorant trash that travel the Trump trail.

Americans can vote this November for a new House of Representatives and a third of the Senate. Get rid of the gun-loving yahoos and holy hypocrites and you might have a chance to control the idiot in the White House.

You cannot continue to let Trump trash the reputation of America around the world.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

“A Little Child Shall Lead Them.”

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Yes, that quote from Isaiah in the Christian bible is out of context. It still seems appropriate. It is used in Isaiah to set the scene of the beasts of the forest lying with farmers’ domesticated animals—and a little child shall lead them. In this case it sets the scene of a two-year old Honduran child crying as her refugee mother is arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol. It is images such as this one, that has gone around the world, that can bring about change.

It is ongoing agony to the caring of America that no matter how many older children are killed each year by the country’s love for guns, a picture of one two-year old can matter. Like the picture of a dead child on a beach in Lebanon could change the attitude of Europe on the crushing waves of illegal migration, the image of one crying child in Texas could be what brings down an American president.

And the man with the golden hair has to be brought down. This hypocrite, this disgusting person is using his crimes against children to try to force Congress to build his wall of fear.

President Trump has brought America into disrepute around the world. He has replaced caring with bigotry, compassion with racism, truth with falsehoods and the wealth of knowledge available to him with impulsiveness. His selection of advisors and cabinet appointees rides a slippery downhill slope into ignorance and apostacy.

The inexcusable ignorance of attorney general Jeff Sessions the other day, inadvertently calling up images of Nazi Germany to explain Donald Trump’s actions, explained a great deal to Americans—at least those who could bring themselves to listen. This man who claims to be a servant of God, only serves the Anti-Christ.

Even former first lady Laura Bush who has rarely given an opinion on anything, wrote for the Washington Post that president Trump’s separating of parents and children is immoral and heartbreaking.

And yet when Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz said the other day that Congress must meet to stop this practice. No such legislation is needed. Mr. Trump could end the practice with one more swipe at writing his signature. It appears that many federal border patrol officers know the practice of using children as pawns is not covered by any law—and that is why we are finding out about it.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Chrystia’s Cassandra Complex?

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, might not be a fortune teller but she had more than a few truths for the Americans last week. Our only concern might be with her timing, discretion and diplomacy. As the expression goes: Rome was not built in a day—and it took a few more centuries to strip it of power. It survived for many years after the unruly rule of Emperor Nero. And, like Nero, Donald Trump will just be another blot on the copybook of history.

But it was not a diplomatic speech Freeland gave to the foreign policy forum in Washington. She was challenging the pre-eminence of America.

Maybe that is a necessary message to which Americans should listen. It would just be treated with more respect if it came from within.

Think of the message that prime minister Lester Pearson delivered to Temple University in Philadelphia in 1965 about the Vietnam war. It led to the famous scene of president Lyndon Johnson grabbing Pearson by the lapels and shouting at him about pissing on the presidential rug. The message is that Canadians can visit Washington but need to be seen, not heard.

While her call for adherence to the rules that the Americans insisted on as part of the North American trade agreement might be logical, it falls on deaf ears on the Trump administration. Nobody in that maladministration cares about her claims.

And giving Americans history lessons is also, in itself, a waste of time. They can write their own self-aggrandizing history books in Hollywood, thank you very much.

Freeland might be pint-sized but she is entitled to walk tall in the corridors of Washington. She represents a country that has always batted above its numbers among the world’s nations. It is not a nation easily gulled.

Canada’s foreign minister would have an easier time of it if her boss was not a pretty boy running around the world posturing with platitudes and posing for selfies. He makes a farce of his promises in Paris when he then ridicules the process of saving the environment by promoting Alberta tar sands pollution for the third world. It makes him a hypocrite and an embarrassment for Canadians.

Freeland’s speech in Washington drew some applause from outside the White House but is unlikely to mean much as NAFTA comes to its inevitable end. It will die as part of  Trump’s efforts to make America great at something again.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

The risk of being Trump.

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

It is always play time at the fun house on the Potomac River. This is Mr. Trump’s domain these days and he takes great delight at pushing the buttons of power. In his childlike way, he abuses the powers of his office. Friend or foe alike, he cares not for rules or truth or the future.

It is why I do not like to write as much about him anymore. It is that he is not a politician. He is a clown. He surrounds himself in the White House with a pratfall of clowns.

The only problem that Americans will have to face is that it will take many years to restore the respect, the trust and the nation to nation friendships that the American Empire has had in the past. The world is learning from Mr. Trump that America’s word can no longer be trusted.

Mr. Trump is facing is the same problem a little boy encounters when first he pisses into the wind. He gets wet. He will get worse than wet in a world that turns on America. He is defiant. He is costing America acceptance, influence, power, respect and trade.

He has no understanding that nobody wins when you kick your neighbour’s dog. You can only get payback. And when you screw around with integrated manufacturing systems across borders, you drive up costs. Could nobody explain to him that the three of the largest aluminum smelters in Quebec, producing a million metric tons of aluminum per year, are mainly owned by ALCOA. Who does he think he is hurting with his tariff?

Who does a 25 per cent tariff on steel harm when Canada is a major source of supply of rolled steel for automobile and truck bodies? The American steel makers could hardly duplicate those rolling mills overnight.

Just wait until the Trump loyalists find out what their new Chevy pickup will cost them next year. And why have Canadians stopped buying their produce? And why can they not get casual help bringing in their crops?

Trade wars are ugly. Memories of trade wars are bitter. And those memories last. They leave bad tastes and lasting distrust. In a world taking the path to freer and open trading relationships Mr. Trump is the spoiled child using tantrums to try to get his way.

Mr. Trump promised his claque that he would make America great again. Does he have to destroy it first?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Conrad loves Donald.

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

It is hard to think of two people more deserving of their mutual admiration. Both Conrad Black and Donald Trump think the American President is a wonderful guy. And Lord Cross-the-Pond Black has written another coffee table tome to hopefully prove it.

As book number 47 (or so) by friends and foes of the Trump legend, this one will have to be considered friendly. You should find it in the fiction section, rather than biographies. It will be remaindered soon. The only question with Conrad Black is whether he has the hots for Melania Trump or would he just like to cuckhold his friend Donald. And would Donald care?

What gives us the best laugh is Conrad’s opening question: he implies that Donald Trump epitomizes America. That is the cruelest, deepest insult to America I have ever read. Like most good insults, it borders on the truth. Trump’s vulgar braggadocio can hardly be denied. Yet Trump has never understood his connection with the Eisenhower highways to America. It is the hoi polloi of the red states that restore him.

But when Conrad suggests that Trump shows a common touch, you should try not to choke on your mint julep. Conrad would not know a common touch, even if it grabbed his ass.

And you should not be fooled by Conrad waving his prisoner number. His sojourn in an American prison was not among the common drug dealers and rapists but among the elite in what Americans call ‘Club Fed.’ These are casual lock-ups for accountants who get greedy. It was a prison such as that where Al Capone was incarcerated and still able to run his criminal empire.

Conrad’s greatest hypocrisy is in regards to Donald’s treatment of the news media. The claim that the media are ‘flaccid’ is no thanks to Conrad’s career in helping destroy the qualities of journalism, dictated by the North American model. By turning the previously locally owned media into centrally printed copies of major city values, Conrad helped destroy trusted communications in rural America. Good communications is based on understanding your audience.

As Lord Cross-the-pond enjoys his retirement here in Canada as a visitor in Toronto’s palatial Post Road enclave, he continues to show that he can still put a few words together in a literate style. What his opinion is worth, is another question.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Looking south; looking askance.

Friday, May 25th, 2018

While cheerfully ignoring the Trump presidency as much as possible these days, I am sure most of my readers do not mind. I find that he can be boring. He is as awful and as dangerous to world peace as ever but it feels good to ignore the bastard for at least a while.

But you cannot ignore America’s Congress. The situation there is going from worse to bad. I got a wonderful dissertation on neoliberalism the other day from one of our favourite readers on the left coast. My vote is to give him his doctorate for that alone. He even invoked my favourite speech by Theodore Roosevelt. I thought it was long forgotten.

I also seem to have forgotten that the best example of neoliberalism is the American congress. It would do wonders for democracy in the United States of America if the anger about the lack of gun control could be used to  rid America of lots of those bought-and-paid-for senators and representatives in November. Only in America could the Vice President be a bought-and-paid-for representative of those foul Koch brothers of New York.

And only in America can the corrupt of industry and the National Rifle Association fund the re-election of their Quislings. It hardly makes you wonder if it was the system itself that lead to the election of Donald Trump?

But we still seem to be in the dark about the involvement of the Russians in electing Trump. Hell, the Russians do not understand democracy. How can they be the people to defeat it?

The only good thing about it is that Trump is so busy fighting with the American Department of Justice, he is forgetting to screw up the negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement. Every once in a while, he stops to take a poke at the Chinese but they are learning how to handle him. They are playing at being inscrutable.

I was watching TV news of the supposed leader of the free world and his son-in-law in Jerusalem the other day and all I could see was that damn fool Netanyahu grinning like the cat that swallowed the canary. If someone smarter does not get between Benny and the Iranians, there is going to be another bloody holy war in the Middle East.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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