Saturday 31 October 2020

2020 Elections - Heard it all Before

Make America's Presidency and Elections Great Again

Is this election really so different? You could say and I would agree that the current President is the most divisive, unethical, deceitful ever but that is like saying one case of childhood measles is worse than another when both kids are sick in bed. Ask the kid which is worse. There have always been bad Presidents.

Trying to make a virus, or the economy or health care or Trump himself the real issue this time is only scratching the surface. Extending the analogy you don't get severely sick or die from red spots if you have red measles. They are only one symptom. The real problem is what happens to your health overall. The same applies to the country and the election.

I have said this before and it is worth repeating. What is behind the emotion of most elections but in the USA in particular is the great divide between the have and the have nots.

I am not a historian but most of us have some recollection of the topic in school. From the beginning of time there have been conflicts between peoples - internal to a nation or region and between them. It seems to me there are only a few causes. 1) Greedy men - it is usually men - want land, resources, and people outside their jurisdiction so they take them by brutal force. 2) The people they have ruled finally rise up and eliminate the rulers. 3) The rulers begin to suppress and eliminate their own people before 2) can happen. There is a fourth when another nation decides to conquer you, but that is really just the reverse of 1).

Ultimately violence is almost always involved.

In Russia, China, the Philippines, Iran etc. they have experienced 3) above. It is still happening. There have been occurrences of 2) but not many successes. 1) is still happening all over the globe.

What about America - number 2) or number 3)? Since it's founding the gap between American haves and have nots has become extreme. A very few people are obscenely wealthy but they don't see it that way. Perhaps they also think that their wealth will also preserve the status quo for their kids and grandkids. Some of these people and their corporations also control those in power. That is common to most other wealthy countries. The pressure is building and the cork will blow. What flows will not be champagne. 

What is more complex in the USA is the racial aspect. Like it or not it is still there. Those few at the top but especially the "red" ones have always resented the "browning" of what they see as THEIR country. Everybody else is in the Land of the Free only as a concession and only as long as they keep their place as second class citizens and are grateful - or else!

This is what is behind the entire immigration hullabaloo. It is behind Black Lives Matter and White Supremacy. From Adam and Eve this has been inevitable with the population explosion, especially in have not countries. They will seek better lives if only food, water, and shelter elsewhere.

Can Joe Biden fix that? I doubt it - not all of it - but John Kennedy made a good start followed up by Lyndon Johnson. Trump and his cronies make the claim but look at the makeup of his staff both in and out of office. Listen to the stories those who used to work with him have to tell. Fake news? No.

I don't have a solution either but ignoring the problem won't make it go away. If the tensions don't subside America in the worst case will self destruct without enemies firing a shot. In the meantime those same enemies will become the dominant forces in the world replacing America.

If that does not fire up the American spirit I don't know what will.


Friday 30 October 2020

Kudos to CNN Donkey and Elephant Animations!

Elephant and Donkey Commercials are Great!

Hearty congratulations to whomever is behind those commercials on CNN with the elephant and the donkey. They are great.

It is good to see that even though CNN spends virtually all of its time bashing Trump (deservedly most of the time), these cartoons look to be impartial. The message behind all of them is working together or at least that the two mascots should be doing so. They always end up failing.

The last one with a half elephant / half donkey character asks if there is any room in the middle between the other two on a park bench. They both quickly deny it space. So real.

In the past I have named these two Jack Ass and Dumbo. They act the parts most of the time. In the case of the two contenders I think either name is slightly more appropriate for the incumbent.

Thanks CNN.


Monday 26 October 2020

Trump Clearing the Swamp but Still Surrounded by Snakes

If Trump is not Political I am the Pope!

To be clear I am far from papal. Recently on the last debate Trump went on about Biden and others being too political. That is one of the reasons he ran - to "clear the swamp." Choke me with a spoon! This has to be the irony of the century. Donald loves to claim he is the best whatever since time began. We know he gets the blue ribbon for lying but we need a new award for this irony extraordinaire. We need a new word. How about "Trumpwhack?"

If the current POTUS is so apolitical then why :

Were some of the first words out of his mouth (don't remember which face it was) after inauguration like those of a twelve year old? His attendees constituted the largest such gathering ever - far bigger than Obama's! The politics begin..

Has he never said like previous Presidents who understood their role, "The Buck Stops Here"? He is too political.

Does he immediately blame for every single problem he faces, Obama (after almost four years) and anyone else he can invent? He is supposed to be the nation's First Problem Solver. He is its number 1 political figure.

Did he make the simple act of wearing a mask something only weak people and Democrats do? Politics.

Does he keep throwing steak to the rich and bones to the poor? Political consideration. 

Does he deny climate change and sucking up to the oil, coal, car, and other industries when the entire world knows we have to transition away from all of that? Politics - the oily vote.

Does he openly favour red states and denigrate blue ones? That's what political people do.

Could he not answer that question in the last debate about what he would say, if elected, to those who did not vote for him? Biden gave the right answer immediately.  Either of them is indeed the President for ALL Americans. Both political but Biden is right.

So perhaps he has convinced his base that he is clearing the swamp but can't they see the everglade that is replacing it? Donald will be in the Presidential swamp boat making a quick escape while everyone else including his base is still fighting snakes and alligators.


Saturday 24 October 2020

First Gentleman Does Not Sound Cool

What If Kamala Becomes President?

A bit premature but what if Kamala is President some day? It is entirely possible. Many Trump voters claimed they just wanted to shake up the establishment - clear the swamp. They got Donald J. Trump as a result. America also elected its first black President. Why not black AND female? That would surely shake the branches. I think America needs this.

That is not really today's topic. The question has been asked what her husband would be called since this situation would be unique. The usual response is "First Gentleman". Really? Does that even sound American? Would he want that? When it was possible for Bill Clinton to return to the White House in this capacity there were jokes about "First Dude!" I liked it.

Here are some other suggestions:
  • The Man About The (White) House
  • First House Spouse
  • The First Daddy (as in who's my …)
  • The First Partner (then any same sex couple could be in the White House)
  • The Pants in the Family
  • Adam (The First Man)
  • The President's Squeeze
  • SPOTUS (Spouse of The President of The United States)
  • The First Lay Person (Insulted? Get a life. Chill out.)
  • TPOH (The President's Other Half)
  • The First ----y Whipped
  • The First ... What's His Name
  • Kamala's … you know … hubby
  • The Duke of Washington!
  • How about The First Guy. Simple

Now there is the another aspect. Every First Lady has a cause she supports. There is also a tradition of re-doing the White House - furnishings; portraits; drapery; china etc. What is this First Guy supposed to do?

Will the White House look like a Hooters bar? Any other roadhouse or sports bar? Will there be a large screen TV in every room? How about beer coolers? Will the walls be panelled in wood with recliner chairs everywhere? What about BBQs for the mandatory steak grilling and a workshop and tools? The transformation could be dramatic. Expect a lot of leather! Better have an armour plated Porsche ready or maybe a pickup truck. Forget a cutsie lap dog - Rottweiler or bigger.

As far as causes go who knows? Helping older generation golfers improve their score sounds good - to me anyway. I don't see gardening or museums in the picture. Furthering the health and fitness of Americans would be a good one - from a soft couch. Reduce cushions everywhere? American men against bed making? Beer stamps OR food stamps - your choice. On a serious note reducing the number of men who renege on alimony or child support would get kudos. How about "Forever Standing" devoted to eradicate erectile dysfunction everywhere? 

The possibilities are endless.

One thing for sure. When The President enters the White House bedroom after a long day and gets touchy feely, there will be far fewer "Sorry dear - I have a headache" responses.


Friday 23 October 2020

Debate: Not exactly Frazier / Ali

Enough with the Debates. How about these ideas?

We all saw it. We can debate among ourselves who won and who lost but what does it prove?

Next time try something different. How about a mini SURVIVOR format. After all, the citizens surely want the best possible person as President who can lead the country. First and foremost is solving problems. Even protecting the nation is a form of problem solving.

I suggest an event in which the moderator reads out carefully crafted scenarios one at a time - fictitious but entirely possible. Naturally these would have to be totally secret beforehand. Each party would be given a minute to think about it. Then they get to describe in a fixed amount of time what they would do to solve the problem. The microphones will once again be controlled.

If they want to spend their time bragging or criticizing that is their choice but they will not impress the audience - the electorate. Is this not why they get paid the big bucks? In reality they would have staff and advisors (if they listen) but this would give us an impression of how the top person thinks and what kind of people they would choose.

Other topics could include things in which we expect our leaders to excel: world events; history; current affairs; problems of the day for the country and the average citizen; vocabulary; math; what lessons they would teach their kids. You get the picture. It would almost be a mini college entry exam, only there is no way you could pay somebody to take it for you.

Most of the great Presidents would have done well here - some not. Not many think that Trump is a great President (excluding Trump,) but let's face it he would fail with honours. Biden would do well.

This is not just about Trump. America should have at least one of these for each election.

Give it a try. It is no more radical than electing Donald Trump as President. If such a contest had been tried Hillary would now be president. Some think that would be bad. I disagree.


Saturday 17 October 2020

Why is Trump not Calling a Foul Here?

Early Thanksgiving Stuffing. Get Yours Here

American Thanksgiving is coming soon. Here in Canada we already celebrated ours. If we wanted stuffing, we had to make it or buy it at the store. It looks like the Republican Party of California is already making theirs - and yours.

There are lots of headlines about this but here is one from the New York Times: "California Republican Party Admits It Place Misleading Ballot Boxes Around State" (see (1) below). If you research this you will find that apparently they are not breaking any laws (which they blame on the Democrats who wrote them) but they were ordered to cease and desist and refused!

The Donald has said that Democrats are responsible for millions of fraudulent votes and rigging the election. What do you expect? Look at the speaker. Any credible sources say there is no evidence of this in any large numbers.

But in this case those responsible for placing unofficial boxes around the state which look very much like official ones are freely admitting it! Those responsible or at least accountable are members of the Californian Republican Party!

United States, Canada, and other "legitimate" democracies (increasingly doubtful in the case of the USA) are frequently called upon to witness elections in other countries. This is exactly the kind of activity they report in dictatorships and countries with rigged elections.

Do you really believe that those honest people who placed the boxes are going to submit all of the votes regardless of which candidate they represent? If you do perhaps you need to be tested for COVID 19.

So why is The President not calling on these Republicans to stop and to remove the boxes? Apparently it is OK when his side does it and even admits doing so. I would call it a double standard but there are no standards with this man and this administration.

In closing I heard today that Donald talked about leaving the country. Is it any wonder? Could this be an extension of why he left New York? Maybe he fears what will happen to him after the armour of The Presidency can no longer be worn.

All American citizens have to do is remember to change the locks after he leaves.

(1) from

Monday 5 October 2020

COVID Pandemic and Creeping Charlie!

I have a pandemic in my own yard.

It is time for something a little bit lighter and not involving Trump or Biden - almost.

For some time now I have been researching (aka Googling) a major scourge for most yards and gardens - Creeping Charlie. There are some chemicals which are known to be effective in killing it but here in Ontario there are many restrictions on their use. Some say Borax; vinegar; smothering it; picking it out; raking it out etc. Anyone who has a bad infestation will know how futile non-herbicidal approaches are. Leave one root and it will come back.

It occurred to me how much this is like Covid-19.
  • Once your lawn is infested it is VERY hard to remove.
  • It spreads like mad.
  • You can kill it in your own yard but it will re-appear from a neighbour's yard just like city to city spread of Covid. Flatten the curve and it will spike again because neighbours ignored it just like some idiots refuse to wear masks.
  • If you miss one little bit (still symptomatic) it will re-appear a couple of weeks later
  • I could use bleach asTrump recommended (sorry) but it will kill my lawn also. Not sure about Lysol!
  • It came from a foreign country.
  • You can remove it by diligently pulling it up when first spotted - you can't do that with the virus.
  • It invades unhealthy areas of your yard - i.e. with pre-existing conditions.
  • You probably won't see it until it has taken hold.
  • A healthy lawn will suppress it by crowding it out just like healthy anti-bodies will try to surround a new virus.
  • It survives all four seasons.
  • It can be eaten intentionally like mint. Covid is consumed unintentionally.

I'm not sure which method I will use but one thing is for sure. I will follow the advice of the experts. OK I can't resist a final word. I'm sure if I could contact the American President, he would inform me that he is the only person who can solve my problem and that even without any qualifications he knows more than any horticulturalist. Some things never change.

I wonder if Biden could help me? At least if I reach him he will return my call an probably discuss how he once had it and dealt with it.