Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

A note from a neighbour.

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

“The depths of winter are about over and it will soon be time for spring clean-up and to lean on our rakes as we catch up on the neighbourhood gossip. I see that there has been little progress on that southern wall you have been promising. You would not need the wall if your Uncle Donald would stop frightening the neighbourhood children. While you are at it, please get him to shut down the Air B&B he is running in your White House.

“Mind you, if this is going to be another summer of your Uncle Donald exposing himself in the Rose Garden, there will be trouble in Paradise. And that boy band with which he practices heavy metal music (steel and aluminum) is annoying and you better do something about it sooner than later. We have a new North American Free Trade Agreement to sign off and breeches in the agreement such as tariffs are a no-no.

“Sure, we can be sympathetic to the problems of looking after a septuagenarian such as Donald but he does Tweet some awful nonsense. Has this child-man ever had to deal with the truth? It seems to be something of a foreign language to him.

“Does your Uncle Donald think he is a fascist? The only people he seems to want to help are his rich friends and dictators. I hardly know what he would ever possibly say to a poor person.

“And, as much as I hate to tell you this. Your Uncle Donald is a bigot, and a braggart, and a bully. I do not think there was ever a more heart-wrenching exodus of people from troubled countries than we saw heading north last year for the promised land of America.

“But there was no promised land, because Donald Trump thinks he is the Pharaoh. The only way those people are ever going to make it to America is to hide their children in bushels of Mexican produce and the adults in the trunks of those expensive American automobiles that are made in Mexico.

“But your Canadian neighbours have their own problems. They have discovered that politicians lie. I bet you knew that already.

“We are already driving north from Florida after a winter of golf with your Uncle Donald. See you soon.”

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Empty handed in Hanoi.

Monday, March 4th, 2019

That came as a shock. We had no idea that the sawed-off little runt of a dictator from North Korea was smarter than American president Donald Trump. He left Trump standing alone in Hanoi at Air Force One with his trousers (figuratively) open. While we would never recommend Donald Trump to Mensa, we have obviously been absorbing American propaganda for too long about North Korea.

I was always under the impression that the ugly little troglodyte from Pyongyang was a dupe for the North Korean generals. Now we need to rethink it as an unholy alliance.

What remains puzzling was understanding why Kim Jong Un would spend 70 hours on a train coming to Hanoi through China when he had no intention to dispose of any of his nuclear arsenal. His one offer of shutting down a major nuclear research centre still left him with that large nuclear arsenal.

The joke is that it is Trump who is supposed to be the gamer, the con man and the closer. He is even credited with a book called The Art of the Deal. Obviously, the book was ghosted. It was certainly not worth the bother of reading.

And it is also obvious that the Korean cretin has been playing Trump for the fool he is. All he was doing was making the American lose face. The Americans would be best to keep Trump away from him and let the South Koreans handle their own rapprochement.

It might be fun to be a fly on the wall in Beijing and hear how China’s Xi Jinping likes the idea of a nuclear-equipped and industrialized Korean Peninsula, nose to nose with Manchuria.

Mind you, it is still likely that Trump could do better than Brit prime minister Theresa May in solving the Brexit problem with the European Union. He can be had cheap. Nobody in the U.S. would complain if he was kept busy fixing things for the Brits. Think of the money to be made if he also swings a deal to convert Buckingham palace into a Trump Hotel.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The ties of Trump and Toad.

Monday, February 18th, 2019

It is doubtful that American president Donald Trump, has ever bothered to read Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. Published in 1908 in the United Kingdom, it is a book that has delighted children everywhere for more than a century. What would surprise Mr. Trump today is how much he is like Mr. Toad of Toad Hall.

Take this one line from the Wikipedia description of the character: “Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful; however, he is also narcissistic, self-centred almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense.”

Now, change the name to Trump. Can you tell the difference? Now I know why I often think of Mr. Trump as a big orange toad.

It is not that I particularly care about Mr. Toad or Mr. Trump. In fact, my favourite character in the book was called Mole. I saw him as the more thoughtful of the characters created by Mr. Grahame.

But Mr. Trump really needs a Mole to help him get over the hissy-fit he is having over his damn wall. He has to have someone explain to him that there is no national emergency to be perceived.

You would swear that the damn fool is proud that he shut down the U.S. government for the amount of time he did. He had no concern nor care for the people he hurt in the process. He seems to think he made the point and his claque of clowns approves.

Now that he has declared his emergency, only Trump would create the story that the barbarians are at the southern border of the United States of America plotting to assail the United States to rape and plunder. That statue lighting the way into the New York harbour with her lamp must be weeping while Mr. Trump affronts the entire world.

It can be expected that 100 years from now, American mothers will call on the spectre of a big orange toad to get their children to behave.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The Pathetic Pretenders.

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

Gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protestors are a particularly French phenomenon, as French law requires all automobiles be equipped one of those fluorescent vests in case of emergency. It made for a rather colourful, beehive-like mob scenes across France, when the emergency was determined to be the increase in taxes on gasoline and other real or imagined errors of the Macron government. The French do tend to take to the barricades when annoyed with their government.

But that does not suggest that they would want to franchise their form of protest to North Americans. Attempts to emulate the French passion for protest in Canada, have, so far, proved pathetic and immaterial.

The main difference is that the French right and left on the political spectrum can find themselves fending off ‘les flics’ (cops) together. In Canada, the fight would be between the right and left, and the cops would be trying to keep them apart.

Canadians might be better at picking up American themes when looking for a cause. The least successful in this regard were the wannabes in Toronto who picked up the American “Black Lives Matter” name but not the cause and tried to use it on this side of the border. They managed to dishonour what the name means in the U.S.

All they really managed to do here was annoy the local black community and then, ultimately, piss off the police and the Pride parade organizers. They were annoying, self-serving, trouble-makers who needed to find something useful to do.

And while you would expect that the Trump name would not travel well north of the U.S. border, he does have support here. There are the occasional covens that worship him, but so far, they have wisely kept their admiration to themselves.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Trump and Trudeau fail Venezuela.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Venezuela’s oil-based economy continues to collapse. The Americans are helping it collapse. And what the Canadian interest is, defies imagination. The corrupt and destructive Nicolás Maduro regime in the country, after the incompetence of the Hugo Chavez era, has created economic chaos. The world watches as China and the Russians pay lip service to supporting the Maduro regime.

One in ten of Venezuelans has already fled from their once stable country to neighbouring countries. The Americans keep imposing more sanctions that are causing increased suffering for the people. Millions are starving. Medicines are scarce or non-existent. The streets are full of hungry and angry people. The country is a powder keg ready to explode. And what the hell is Canada doing to really help?

Frankly the American interest in Venezuela is easier to understand. Venezuela has the world’s largest reserve of bitumen-based heavy crude oil that is far less polluting to refine into synthetic crude oil than Canada’s dirty tar sands bitumen. And the Venezuelan product is readily available to the Americans, being conveniently located on the south side of the Gulf of Mexico. The Americans would be crazy not to ensure their easy access to that cheap oil. Many of their Texas gulf coast refineries are set up to handle the Venezuelan bitumen. So, what do they use as sanctions? They refuse to buy or pay for the Venezuelan heavy crude!

While Maduro might have been busy stealing billions from the country, he has obviously been generous with his generals. Their continued loyalty to his regime is making new elections or a reasonable transition to the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó more difficult as the turmoil continues. You can hardly solve problems caused by undemocratic actions by encouraging undemocratic actions on your behalf. The people appear to be more and more desperate and it would likely take some very small events in Venezuela to light the tinder of civil war.

If it comes to an armed conflict, neither Canada nor the United States have a role to play beyond providing humanitarian aid. The two northern countries would not be welcomed by either side.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

A nation in a state of stasis.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

A nation in stasis is a state that can neither move forward nor back as the forces in play remain equal and opposed. And this is the State of the Union as reported by American president Donald Trump. His report of exaggerations and lies and threats was of a quarreling nation, going nowhere.

In a nation two years from possible resolution in another election, the report should have been on the efforts to conciliate, to seek compromise, and to ensure nobody suffers. Mr. trump is too self-centred for simple solutions.

But he was ominously quiet in preparing for his speech. He is treating it as important. While others were setting odds on the number of lies, he would tell, he was seriously working on what lies to tell.

Whatever that intent was, it failed.

It was a fatuous address by a petty person. It was hyperbole, built on careless claims. It was racism doubled down. It was the same-old, same-old introductions of exaggerations of small people in the audience clawing to claim their 30-seconds of fame.

It was your typical routine of meaningless standing ovations. Yet, who counts? When the Vestal Virgins in white of the democratic party disagreed, they remained seated.

A pained Speaker Pelosi and a pensive Vice President Pense formed a backdrop of a divided nation.

The military chiefs of staff sat together as witches brewing the pot of the Kool-Aid of war.

The man stood before a nation divided and told them they were fools. He told them he would again shame the nation with a government shutdown if he does not get the blackmail needed for his wall.

He disgraced his nation with his intemperate remarks. A racist, a bully, a narcissist of note, Mr. Trump brings no honour to his nation.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Lies, hyperbole and alt truths.

Monday, February 4th, 2019

What has happened to politics? And what has happened to the decency that it used to have? We all know that U.S. president Donald Trump creates his own truths but we also know that he is not really a politician. He does not know any better.

Justin Trudeau knows better. He was raised in politics. His father was quite good about telling the truth—and, sometimes, regretted it.

But that did not stop Justin Trudeau from using some hyperbole (exaggeration for emphasis) last week in the House of Commons. He claimed that his government has “helped more than a million Canadians find affordable housing.”

Defending the prime minister’s exaggeration, Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of social development, explained that while the actual results created housing for less than a million Canadians, some double counting was involved. He stated that this was necessary to provide “rhetorical advantage.”

What it sounds like, is Vaughan is saying that Justin Trudeau, who used to be a school teacher, could stand up in front of a class and tell the children that it is alright to lie, to make your point. This is a frequently used rationale for telling lies.

But reality is that there is no need to lie. There is a long journey from truth to the way station of hyperbole and on to the alt truth. We see the alt (alternative) truth everyday in television commercials such as the current heavy saturation of ads for what Alberta calls an “oil” pipeline. What they do not want you to know is that it is to carry the highly-polluting bitumen from the tar sands. They want the public to think of it as just crude oil.

In this election year, we are going to hear many more alt truths. My favourite Alt truth last year was Ontario conservative Doug Ford’s slogan, ‘For the People.’ We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what people Ford meant. I am waiting for this year’s campaign when Andrew Scheer’s conservatives try to convince us that we should not be concerned about the environment. I bet the Tories will have a slogan for that.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Politics in anxious times.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

If prime minister Justin Trudeau had his druthers, he would not want an election this year. It is simply bad timing. Canadians are anxious. It is not any one thing. The world is just not behaving as it should. Not even the weather is acting as normal. People are concerned. There is that clown in the White House in Washington. You can hardly blame everything on him, even if you would like to.

And what can you count on? The stock market is just perverse. The Brits are stupidly leaving the European Union and do not admit why. The rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer. And have you seen the price of bread recently?

People are pissed. They are looking for scapegoats. They hardly need another stupid politician to get in their way. Justin Trudeau and his little friends have worked their hearts out for our approval. Sure, they blew a few promises. Yes, you will be using first-past-the-post voting in October. Maybe they did save the North American trade agreement from that terror Trump. Who knows?

But do not ask for the right to die in a frivolous manner. There is more than one way to default on a promise.

The liberals are going to spend the election telling us how well the economy is doing and how much they love the middle class. The opposition are going to tell us, it can be better. The liberals will tell us what a great job they are doing for the environment. The opposition will tell us the environment is just fine, thank you. The liberals want a price on carbon. The opposition will tell you it is just a tax grab.

But why did the liberals buy the Trans Mountain pipeline to ship highly polluting bitumen from Alberta to countries that do not care about pollution?

The liberal cabinet spent an expensive weekend retreat in Quebec recently planning their messaging for the campaign. The message is ‘vote for us and take another selfie with Justin.’

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

John McCallum is no diplomat.

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Canada’s ambassador to China never was a diplomat. He is a politician. Maybe he has always been too much of a neoliberal to my taste but he finally did what Justin Trudeau could not. He told the truth about the situation of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou of Huawei. And he made it public.

As much as it might have been an error to appoint the Markham, Ontario, politician to the ambassadorial post, it certainly paid off when Justin Trudeau and his staff did not seem to understand the political implications of the Huawei executive’s detention and possible extradition to the U.S.

Trudeau was wrong to simply use the argument that Canada is a country of law, conflicting with the Chinese oligarchical system of governance. U.S. president Donald Trump opened a door by saying that the U.S. could use the charge against Weng as leverage in the current China-U.S. trade dispute. For the U.S. to use the case as leverage in a trade dispute could be grounds for a Canadian judge to deny the extradition.

Also, ambassador McCallum mentioned the extraterritorial factors, without elaborating. It is assumed that he was referring to the U.S. lawmakers’ penchant for creating laws that pertain to actions in countries other than the U.S. These are rarely recognized in Canada.

And that is the third factor the ambassador mentioned. He noted that the Iran sanctions on which the case against Huawei is based are not recognized in Canada. John McCallum is not a lawyer but it sounds like he had some good advice from some lawyers before he made his comments.

McCallum can even say he was out of line, later. He is unlikely to want to put that genie back in the bottle.

And when the prime minister goes out of his way to not criticize his former cabinet colleague for going off the approved (?) talking points, one wonders if the entire scenario was not planned carefully? It is certainly possible but I do not think the denizens of the Prime Minister’s Office are that smart.

Bravo John McCallum.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Wishy-washy on the Wall.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

It is beginning to look like there is some daylight between president Donald Trump and a faction of his Republican followers. It happened last Saturday during Trump’s speech to save his wall. He was using people already in the U.S. to trade for the $5.7 billion he needs for the initial parts of his wall. He was offering a stay of deportation for the DACA people (Dreamers) who know no other home than in America.

And, as expected, the Democratic leadership in Congress told Trump to ‘Get stuffed.’ Not that anyone can be proud of their stance while hundreds of thousands of American government employees continue to be unpaid. Mr. Trump continues to hold these people up as hostages.

But that is Mr. Trump’s choice. He has chosen to make the government employees suffer while he petulantly demands that the American taxpayers pay for his ill-considered wall. He promised that wall to his claque of followers in the 2016 election. He even promised them that it would be at no cost to Americans. He, somewhat stupidly, promised those people that the Mexicans would want to pay for the wall. Since then, the Mexican government has made it very clear that they do not pay for obscenities such as walls.

In this current Trump fiasco, he is going tit-for-tat with a very experienced politician in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has even disinvited him to make the customary State of the Union address to congress at the end of the month. His only response, so far, is to cancel the Air Force jet that was going to take Pelosi and a House of Representatives delegation to the Middle East.

And so, it continues: Mr. Trump would rather play childish games. He would rather have close to a million government workers and their dependants angry with him for keeping their paychecks from them. At one time, he had almost 63 million Americans vote for him. He keeps finding ways to cut down that number of supporters.

And, even worse for Trump, he is angering his extremist supporters who want him to start deporting the DACA people right away. They think he is going soft on them.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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