Is Chris Christie Really That Desperate to be Veep?

From Fort Worth Star – Telegram/Getty Images.

Just when I thought I was getting a grip on the Republican Party presidential candidate selection circus they added another ring. Former GOP hopeful, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has endorsed front runner Donald Trump. I suspect in return for his kind words, Christie has wangled a Vice Presidential role should Trump win.

I first noticed Chris Christie during television coverage of Hurricane Sandy when he cozied up to President Barack Obama while seeking federal assistance for the devastated New Jersey coast. He came across as a genuine, down to earth guy who was concerned for his constituents well being and rose above petty party politics. He was criticized by fellow Republicans for being too palsy with the president, but claimed he was just looking after his people.

(Palin) was all over cable news channels for a day or two, screeching on and on about Trump, sending chills – think fingernails on a blackboard – up the spines of anyone with an appreciation of the English language.

I admired him for his approach, evidently putting partisan politics aside at a time of disaster. Then some of his luster was tarnished when he annoyed motorists and endangered lives by having aides arrange sham construction work that caused five days of traffic standstills on the George Washington bridge to Manhattan. It is assumed he was attempting to punish Fort Lee’s Democrat mayor, Mark Sokolich, who had opted not to endorse Christie’s re-election bid. It was a very tacky, dangerous and unpresidential tactic.

One of Trump’s first ‘star’ endorsements was former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin. She was all over cable news channels for a day or two, screeching on and on about Trump, sending chills – think fingernails on a blackboard – up the spines of anyone with an appreciation of the English language. But lately she has disappeared, no doubt with a sizable cheque in hand. I think Trump made it clear that no ‘running mate’ clause was included in their agreement.

On the other hand Christie has hitched himself to the Trump wagon, he has gone all in. For a man who has political aspirations that exceed his governorship, he has shot himself in the foot. If he thinks his presence on a ticket with Trump will lend credibility to their White House run I think he vastly underestimates the American electorate, not to mention Trump’s penchant for asininity.

Once out of the friendly confines of the GOP, I think a rude awakening awaits Trump and those associated with him.

Trump is currently the cat’s pajamas with the Republican rank and file, if not with the establishment. But should he, as it looks now, win the party’s nomination, he will have to convince voters of all stripes that he is the best choice. Enter Christie, a seasoned politician with proven skills. Will he balance out Trump’s bombastic character? Can he sell the idea that a Trump and Christie ticket features both moxy and administrative acumen?

I think not. Rather, I believe governor Christie has made a huge mistake with his endorsement of Trump. Once out of the friendly confines of the GOP, I think a rude awakening awaits Trump and those associated with him. While I would love to see Bernie Sanders win the Democratic nomination, I am not gullible enough to think there are sufficient voters within the party to elect a man who admits to being a socialist. So we are looking at Trump vs Hillary for the Oval Office. In one of life’s odd moments I find myself in complete agreement with the establishment of the Republican Party; I think Hillary will chew up Donald Trump and spit him out. Does Governor Christie really want to be part of that?

Among the numerous comic portrayals of the pair, reference to the sophomoric movie Dumb and Dumber is very popular. I hope it does not come back to haunt Governor Christie. 

DD

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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It is Called Chicken Wire for a Reason

Say what you will about pigeons, their determination is admirable. I thought the pigeons and the smaller birds who visit my feeder had reached an agreement. But I was wrong.

For the better part of a year I did not see one single pigeon at my feeder while numerous sparrows, finches and chickadees enjoyed having a snack. Then, out of nowhere, much like having a group home for delinquent teens open next door, the pigeons were everywhere. Not happy to scare off the little guys and eat all the seeds, these troublesome birds set about breaking the feeder. They stood on it and reduced it to splinters.

Finally one of them walked over and, bold as brass, stretched his oil-slicked neck far enough to reach the lowest seed hole. Bastard.

I did a little research online and purchased a hanging tube feeder that is designed for small birds. After removing the pieces of the original feeder, I installed the new one outside my window. Within minutes the pigeons were back examining the possibilities of getting their beaks on the seeds. Finally one of them walked over and, bold as brass, stretched his oil-slicked neck far enough to reach the lowest seed hole. Bastard. No big deal I thought, I will just put duct tape over that one hole. Well, you would think he read my mind because before I knew it  he had hopped up and taken a position on one of the perches. Given his size, he could not get at the seed hole immediately in front of the perch, but once again stretching his neck was able to gobble seeds from a higher opening. Bastard.

Undaunted I did even more research and made my way to the local hardware store to purchase a roll of chicken wire. I concocted a mesh bubble with the wire and placed it over the feeder. It was very windy here last night so this morning I was pleased to see that the feeder was still in place within its protective sheath and not lodged in a windshield below.

He looked at me through the window and I believe he said ‘bastard’.

During the night the wet surface of my windowsill froze, making it much like a skating rink. Before long the pigeons were back, but at least this time I had a chuckle as they landed on the ice only to slide off again. Once they caught on to the problem of the icy surface, they returned and made their way to the now enclosed feeder. Sure enough one of them strolled over and tried to access the seeds but was met with a beak full of wire. He looked at me through the window and I believe he said ‘bastard’.

But like Navy Seals pouring out of rafts and scaling the side of a ship, the pigeons used the chicken wire to climb up the feeder and fill themselves with seed intended for smaller birds. I have no idea how to handle this. Maybe I need pigeon wire. Bastards.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Trumped by a Pigeon

Capture_Bird

I put my bird feeder out early last spring. Since that time I have had countless visits from sparrows and finches. Small birds dropping by to pass the time of day and have a few seeds. Polite little fellows, if terribly nervous, who need only sense the smallest movement through the window to fly off to safety, only to return moments later.

All was going swimmingly until I, by chance, looked up at the feeder while walking down the street last Friday to find a large pigeon helping himself to beaks-full of seeds. Not that I have anything against pigeons, but I was concerned for the smaller birds chances of getting a fair shake at the feeder. Why it took the pigeons so long to discover the free chow is a mystery to me.

Capture_Bird_2My first attempt to maintain the sparrows’ place was to post the signs that you see here. This prompted the appearance of a plump gray older looking pigeon on my windowsill. Wearing a waistcoat and spats, he tapped on the glass with his beak to get my attention.

“Excuse me, Friend,” he said gruffly but courteously.

“Yes,” I replied.

“It’s just that we pigeons have a bit of a problem with the signs you have posted on your lovely feeder. Essentially we find them to be discriminatory, not to mention insulting. May I ask why you would have us banned from the feeder?”.

I explained that my intention was to preserve a place for little birds at the feeder, not to discriminate against any one species of large bird.

”Is that so?” he replied in a snippy manner. “Why then did you not portray a crow, grackle or seagull on your sign? No sir, you have singled out pigeons with your warnings.”

I had to admit he had me there. All of those birds can be found in my area yet I had focused on pigeons. Just as I was about to confess my failing, he had another go at me.

“Friend, or should I say Mr. Trump, will you be building a wall around your feeder to keep us out as you seem to consider us to be illegals (no, not ailing symbols of the USA, but birdsona non grata)? No doubt you will inexplicably assume we pigeons will pay for said wall.”

Well that hit home. My visitor had me pegged as the Donald Trump of the bird world, and he was right. As I was in the process of removing the offensive signs he pointed out the difference between birds and humans. Sure enough there they were, small birds munching away on one side of the feeder while several pigeons ate from the other side. They had achieved a harmonious solution to a problem that never existed.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Tweets From History

Capture

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

What’s a Little Snow … ?

The weather in Montreal today is such a mixed bag of miserable, from significant snow then warming to top things off with freezing rain, that last weekend’s uninvited visitor, the Polar Vortex, left town!

However, undaunted, we Montrealers push on.

 

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Polar Vortex: An Unwanted Weekend Guest

It arrived sometime early Saturday morning. Totally uninvited and certainly unwelcome, it  bullied its way into the north east of North America and made it clear it will spend the weekend. I don’t mean an annoying relative,  I’m referring to the phenomenon known as the Polar Vortex. So far we have been spared our usual winter conditions thanks to El Niňo, but one of the prices to be paid for a mild December and January is the occasional touch of extreme cold.

… it bullied its way into the north east of North America and made it clear it will spend the weekend. I don’t mean an annoying relative …

As I write this I can hear the wind howling down my street, a street lacking the usual Sunday  morning pedestrian traffic. The man on the radio told me that the temperature is -25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit) . That’s pretty nippy, but nothing compared to the  -37C (-34.6 F) degrees that is felt when the wind blows. One report yesterday stated that the windchill may hit – 50C (-58 F) before our guest departs.

If you are in the affected area you are only too aware of the sensation of extreme cold. But for those who are more familiar with prickly heat than frostbite, let me explain. The snow that was on the ground when the temperature dropped took on a styrofoam-like consistently, including the squeaky sound when it is walked or driven on. Driving became even trickier as road salt is not effective at these temperatures, and the glare of the sun low in the sky is nothing short of blinding.

Speaking of the sun, one of the cruelest characteristics of a good old cold snap is the beautiful clear blue sky. In July that same sky would be inviting, but don’t be fooled by the fluffy white clouds out there today, it’s just a ruse to get you to go outside.

Warning

I got into my car yesterday and it was like sitting on a park bench; everything was frozen. On went the seat warmer, a feature that seems dumb in August, but is oh so grand in February, rear window defroster, heater at the highest level and windshield defogger. I remembered not to give in to the temptation to spritz the windshield; like road salt, that blue or yellow liquid is useless in these temperatures until the car and windshield warm up.

I waited a moment or two then, with gloves on as the steering wheel was way too cold to handle without, I pulled out. Of course after several hours parked in the cold the tires had gone square. Well, not exactly square, but the bottom of the tire, having supported the weight of the car, has been pressed flat and frozen. As the wheels turn this works its way out, but those first few blocks make you wonder if all four tires have deflated.

Yesterday when I did that I was immediately reminded of the extreme cold as, even after a drive and wait, the key started to adhere to my tongue!

The grocery store I was headed for is about a six minute drive. It took another few minutes to be directed to a parking spot by the guy doing a most unenviable job, that of organizing the lot. I think he had on every item of clothing he owns, perhaps saving him from frostbite, but putting him at risk should he fall as I’m sure he’d never be able to get up. I parked and turn off the car. For some reason, habit I assume, I always put the key in my mouth while I undo the seatbelt. Yesterday when I did that I was immediately reminded of the extreme cold as, even after a drive and wait, the key started to adhere to my tongue! Fortunately I was able to remove the key before it ripped off my taste buds.

But all of this hardship gives us a greater appreciation of the summer when a one-hundred degree difference can be felt during a humid hot spell.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Emergency Medicine and Inside Information

As I have written, I am all for single-payer, socialized medicine, and while the recent sad news of the passing of Mr. Mark Blandford before he could receive proper medical attention shone a light on emergency medicine in Montreal, some important quirks still remain unknown to the public. Recently I experienced a similar, albeit significantly less dire, emergency situation.

(…)  some important quirks still remain unknown to the public.

On a school ski trip north of Montreal on January 29th my fiancée, a teacher, broke her arm while attempting to slow a child on a sliding ‘magic carpet’ plastic sheet thereby preventing him from hitting a wall of snow. She succeeded, but fractured her humerus in the ensuing collision.

Paramedics on site immobilized her arm as well as possible and a parent with the school group offered to drive her south to Montreal as an ambulance would have entailed a prolonged wait.

Take a number triage

I met her at the Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency entrance where, alas, there was no one to direct us; no security guard, no triage nurse, just a screen with a message to take a number, much like a bank. With number in hand we took our place among many others in the waiting room. One key element of the ‘take a number’ system is to provide some indication of what number is being ‘served’. This is a delicatessen or bakery shop basic, yet no such information was posted in the hospital.

Although in much pain, thank God she was not bleeding.

Ten minutes passed, then twenty and thirty without even a preliminary assessment; worse, no numbers were being called. What if it had been a heart attack? Although in much pain, thank God she was not bleeding. I tried to ask a couple of people wearing hospital identity cards if we were at least in the right place, but they both pointed out that they did not work in triage,  From what I could see no one did.

Forty minutes without any human contact

After almost forty minutes with absolutely no human attention we opted to drive to the Montreal General Hospital. I was told by a family member, a retired nurse, not to go to the new MUHC Glen Campus as they do not handle trauma there and would in fact only refer us to the General. I found this odd given the alleged state-of-the-art multi-billion dollar hospital complex at the Glen, but at that point I was more concerned with getting treatment than with discussing the inner workings of emergency medicine. Once at the General the process began with a triage nurse assessing the situation within seconds of our arrival. That’s seconds not minutes.

Once at the General the process began with a triage nurse assessing the situation within seconds of our arrival. That’s seconds not minutes.

After a series of x-rays, as the doctor was applying a cast to my fiancée’s arm, he reiterated the now recurring theme that we had come to the right place, telling us that had we gone to the MUHC we would have been sent to the General.

It seems odd to me that hospital emergency rooms don’t all provide essential emergency services. This was a broken bone, not a rare neurological condition or a tropical disease. Moreover, it is downright dangerous that these inner divisions of labour are not made known to the general public.

Inside ‘trade secrets’ not known to public

I have since talked about this with several friends and acquaintances. Interestingly those who are involved in or are familiar with the healthcare system were not at all surprised, however not one of the ‘non-insiders’ was aware of the situation, and several required convincing it exists. So if you think you may have a  broken bone, don’t go to the MUHC, even if it is the closest hospital to you, rather make your way directly to the General.

It would appear that the days of rushing to the nearest hospital should you find yourself in need of emergency attention are gone. If patients are required to research which hospital emergency room provides the service they need, I believe it is incumbent upon those who run our healthcare system to make that information well known, and not a trade secret.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+