Happy Thanksgiving!

turkey

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+

Hey VP-Elect Pence: Lighten Up, Happy!

hamilton

The kerfuffle over the statement – see below – read to VP-Elect Mike Pence at the end of Friday night’s performance of Hamilton: An American Musical is lost on me. No matter how often I read it or listen to it I can’t for the life of me find anything offensive or harassing.

Well, it seems to me that since you become the VP-Elect your days of going to the theatre like an average citizen are gone

As has been reported the Trump people are outraged at the gall of the performers to single out Pence while he was out for an evening at the theatre. Well, it seems to me that since you become the VP-Elect your days of going to the theatre like an average citizen are gone. You are not a school commissioner, you are going to be the VP of the United States of America, get used to it. If you want to do ‘normal’ things you should never have accepted the invitation to run, and you should call it quits now.

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening. And Vice President-elect Pence, I see you’re walking out but I hope you will hear us just a few more moments. There’s nothing to boo here ladies and gentlemen. There’s nothing to boo here, we’re all here sharing a story of love.

We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out. And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post because this message needs to be spread far and wide, OK?

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical, we really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.

Again, we truly thank you for sharing this show. This wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men [and] women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.

I have more time for the argument that while the statement was fairly benign, the platform was incorrect. But even that falls short in my opinion. Had the cast chastised Pence for any of his past then I might agree, but the statement was positive. Lighten up, Happy

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+

“All we are saying, is give Trump a chance.” Good Idea? I Think Not

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

I understand the whole concept of party unity after a divisive leadership campaign. The tradition is for the losers in a leadership race to endorse the winner thereby making the election unanimous. All warm and fuzzy, rah-rah, all for one and one for all, let’s beat the other party in the general election.

The usual US election campaign is a battle for votes between two parties who hold different positions on the right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democratic continuum. Variations on a theme if you will.

I can even grasp a country rallying behind a president-elect in an effort at unity. No matter how many candidates may have run for top spot, when one wins we all come together under his or her umbrella. All things being equal.

But that camaraderie only rings true when the campaign has been normal. Clashes between candidates about policies, leadership styles, and backgrounds can be smoothed over for the betterment of the country. The usual US election campaign is a battle for votes between two parties who hold different positions on the right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democratic continuum. Variations on a theme if you will. But the most recent US election was anything but normal. I am finding it difficult to process the ‘I’ll give him a chance” approach this time round.

continuum

While I understand the concept, I find that some of the things Donald Trump said and did during his campaign and before he ran are so egregious that the usual rally around the president-elect attempts ring hollow. The fact that his first few appointments have fuelled the polarization of the country rather than make inroads and attempts at healing only serves to make giving him a chance even more difficult.

Perhaps right-wing wack job Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon could bed-down in one of Trump’s hotels. Call it a bed-in for a chance. “All we are saying, is give Trump a chance.”

But of course there remains the fact that the election is over, done and dusted, no amount of protesting, no calls to do away with the Electoral College will have any effect other than perhaps as an outlet for frustration. But to me accepting the outcome does not equate with getting behind Trump. I think I’d be more likely to find myself protesting in the streets and hoping for an early impeachable gaffe from him than giving him a chance.

Perhaps right-wing wack job Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon could bed-down in one of Trump’s hotels. Call it a bed-in for a chance. “All we are saying, is give Trump a chance.”

One interesting note is that Professor Allan Lichtman who has correctly predicted the last nine US presidential elections, including the most recent, also predicts that President Trump will be impeached. Food for thought.

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+

Trump Victory: FBI 1 – Democracy 0

fbi

In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 US election heads around the world are shaking. If not spinning. How could this have happened? How could so many pollsters get it so wrong? What happens next?

It seems to me, sitting north of the United States, that a mere ten days ago Hillary Clinton was cruising to a substantial victory. Analysts and pollsters were illustrating just how difficult it would be for Donald Trump to get the 270 required Electoral College votes. Well, what caused the wheels to fall off?

And there’s some little jerk in the FBI
A keepin’ papers on me six feet high
– Rolling Stones, Fingerprint Files

Evidently a late campaign, October surprise, Hail Mary attempt proved successful when FBI Director James Comey issued a letter to Congress regarding more emails having been found. That’s it, no details, no explanation of what the emails contained, just that there were more. As irresponsible as a pilot stating over the intercom mid-flight that there is no need to panic, thereby essentially guaranteeing panic, the mysterious emails were spun by the Trump team. The letter to Congress came as a surprise to all but the Trump campaign who, I believe, were integral in its release.

From the moment the letter was made public and elaborated upon by Trump, Hillary’s numbers went into free-fall and never recovered. Even with a subsequent ‘all clear’ letter from Comey with a few days left, the damage was done and there was no time to drive home the truth.

Unfortunately dirty pool won the day: FBI 1 – Democracy 0.

See also: Did the FBI’s James Comey really win the election for Donald Trump?

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+

Trump Wins: Sun Does Not Rise

cnn_banner

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+

Interview With a Montreal Pit Bull

pitbull

Support for Montreal’s proposed ban on pit bulls has dropped significantly since it was first introduced. In the immediate aftermath of the deadly attack on a woman by a dog last June support was strong. Perhaps a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the sad and tragic incident, without waiting to see how things panned out. As time passes fewer people are in favour of the breed specific ban.

But one opinion has been omitted from the discourse, so your intrepid blogger took it upon himself to go to the horse … er …. dog’s mouth and interview an actual pit bull.

Many have weighed in on the controversial law that, if enacted, would call for pit bulls to be sterilised, to wear muzzles in public, to have microchips inserted and ban future pit bull breeding. Dog owners, non-dog owners, veterinarians, lawyers and many more have expressed opinions, most of them against the law. But one opinion has been omitted from the discourse, so your intrepid blogger took it upon himself to go to the horse … er …. dog’s mouth and interview an actual pit bull.

Arriving at the prearranged secret location my subject, who insisted on anonymity, immediately sprang at me, standing on his hind legs with his forelegs on my chest. “Don’t maul me” I shouted.

“Don’t be a fool,” he replied. “I’m not going to maul you, I’m just patting you down to make sure you’re not wired.”

It’s bad enough you treat other humans based on looks and colour, please don’t bring that trend to the animal world.

Once he was confident I was not representing the government, and my heart rate returned to somewhat normal. I was ready to get going but as I was about to ask my first question he put up a big paw to stop me then tapped on the table with his claw.

“What?” I asked.

“Where are they?”

“Oh yes, here.”

I reached into my pocket and placed a handful of dog treats on the table. He took one, expertly bit off a small piece, like a sommelier with wine he gave it much consideration, crunched it and swallowed it.

“Milkbone, fresh, good quality. Got all I asked for?”

I assured him I had a half box of them packed away in various pockets, just as he had requested. Only then did he agree to commence with the interview; here’s some of our conversation.

DCMontreal: Is it fair to have a breed specific ban?

Pit Bull: Of course not. How are they going to determine the breed? What about mixed breeds? If a dog bites someone and it turns out to be 48% pit bull it’s no big deal, but 51% and it’s off to the knackers yard? The only thing this has done is fuel a black market for false papers. I know purebreds who have papers stating they are only one quarter pit bull. And what if a Doberman rips out someone’s throat? Is that somehow less egregious?

DCM: What about the idea of sterilisation?

PB: Oh, sure, isn’t that a wonderful idea. They lop off our manhood then they’re all surprised when we’re cranky and bite people. C’mon, give me a break, if I can’t be a big shot with the bitches, what’s left? I’ll tell you: biting. And tell me something, isn’t it ironic that the world’s biggest spaying and neutering activist is a guy named Bob BARKER? No part of that guy is dog.

At this point, he again tapped the table and I put down another handful of treats, as he had been snacking while talking.

DCM: And those muzzles. How are you with that idea?

PB: Muzzles are great; on politicians, but not on dogs. Look at that guy in the States Donald Trump. If ever there was an argument for a muzzle it’s him. No, muzzles are way too constricting. Let’s say I’m walking down the street and I see something I want to pick up in my mouth and shake ..

DCM: You mean a child?

PB: No I don’t mean a child. I mean a stick. We love to pick up sticks in our mouths and shake them. But with a muzzle that little bit of enjoyment is gone.

DCM: What about the insertion of a microchip?

PB: That’s no problem. But the anesthetic can be dangerous.

DCM: I don’t believe they use anesthetic. I think they insert it just under the skin with a needle.

PB: (Chortling) I’d like to see the vet who is going to try to put a microchip ‘just under my skin’.

At this point I was out of dog treats and so the interview came to an end. But before we parted he gave me one last statement.

PB: Have you ever seen a Bouvier?

DCM: I’m afraid I don’t move in those social circles. I’ve never even been to the Hamptons.

PB: No no, stupid not those Bouviers I mean the breed Bouvier des Flandres, those dogs that look like big lovable poodles. They are adorable, but given an opportunity they will tear your arm off. Do I hear of a Bouvier ban? Nope. But a mean looking dog such as myself and my fellow pit bulls are another thing. It’s bad enough you treat other humans based on looks and colour, please don’t bring that trend to the animal world.

I had to admit, he had me there.

 

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+

Bob Dylan and the US Election

maggies_farm

Ah, like a breath of fresh air a little sanity crept into the news last week with word from Oslo that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In a world gone mad, a man who did, and does, what he can to at least slow the process of encroaching insanity was recognised for his efforts. Bravo!

When Dylan wrote that the times were changing I wonder if he ever thought they would change as they have. Religious terrorism, global warming, environmental concerns and democracy in the US being given a sharp kick to the nether regions to list but a few recent changes. He told us we’d better start swimmin or we’d sink like a stone; I imagine there are those who, having taken Bob’s advice now wish they’d sunk!

Although I think Bob may have had Donald Trump and his treatment of employees in mind when he penned Maggie’s Farm:

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks

As for Hillary Clinton, with the Wikileaks documents shining a light (a light he never knowed) on her less than presidential dealings, perhaps Bob would have said:

I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

With 21 days to the US election, the campaign revolves around one candidate’s lewd comments, unacceptable behaviour toward women, and bombastic claims that the process is rigged, Trump may well be ” …a man who was wounded with hatred”. The other main party candidate, Clinton, who is often referred to as snobbish and above the dirt of politics may soon have to admit “ … that she’s like all the rest” must deal with documents that were stolen and leaked online. Yep, stolen, hacked, not for public consumption.

There is not a thing about this election that is above board, nothing. That is a shame.

 

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+

Trump: Uncharted Not Unchartered

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As I write this the 24-hour news channels are in raptures over the latest Donald Trump gaffe. Wall-to-wall coverage of his gutter-mouth chat with someone called Billy Bush in 2005 has kept the news mills grinding overtime, unearthing numerous other examples of Trump’s misogynist tendencies as illustrated on the Howard Stern radio show.

The way I see it there are two people who come out of this looking at least as bad as Donald Trump. The first is Billy Bush who is heard on the recording gleefully sucking-up to Trump, and the second is Rudy Giuliani.

Countless references have already been made to the unique nature of this year’s election campaign, but this news of the Republican Party on the verge of imploding has, dare I say it, trumped them all. The way I see it there are two people who come out of this looking at least as bad as Donald Trump. The first is Billy Bush who is heard on the recording gleefully sucking-up to Trump, and the second is Rudy Giuliani.

In 2001 after the terrorist attacks on New York then mayor Rudy Giuliani became an overnight sensation. He was calm yet angry, serious, strong and in control. Now as one of Trump’s top advisers he has gone from being America’s Mayor to being a clown. He has steadfastly backed Trump even in this most recent affair.I suspect he has been promised a significant position in a Trump administration, much like Chris Christie. Sadly for these coattail riders their futures are tied to Trump’s and that is not looking like a good career choice right now.

Illustrating the uniqueness of the in-fighting in the Republican Party on two occasions that I heard the word ‘unchartered’ was used instead of uncharted.

But of all the terrible things that one could hear on CNN today, the most egregious was not uttered by Trump, but by others, including the usually bang-on Wolf Blitzer. Illustrating the uniqueness of the in-fighting in the Republican Party on two occasions that I heard the word ‘unchartered’ was used instead of uncharted.

Uncharted is a word that indicates a new experience, from the old days when a body of water would be discovered and therefore no ‘charts’ existed. (Think Gilligan’s Island theme song – The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle. Yep, you’ll be humming that all day now, sorry.) This is the word that should be use to denote a new set of circumstances. Unchartered would indicate that whatever was being referred to has no constitution or had not been rented. Perhaps all those cars on the AVIS parking lot are unchartered. Certainly Gilligan and the Skipper’s vessel was not unchartered.

C’mon Wolf.

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+

Intensity of Candidate Vetting Will Only Increase

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Donald Trump is dragging his feet when it comes to making public his tax returns. A document  leaked to the New York Times indicates he may not have paid any tax for decades after claiming almost a billion dollar loss which he was able to use to his benefit for some twenty years. All perfectly legal.

Is a man or woman who has been unfaithful to their spouse ipso facto really unsuitable to be elected to public office?

I believe it is incumbent upon Trump to furnish his full tax papers if only because it has become the tradition in the US. All presidential candidates for many years have done so. However I do not agree with the  tradition. I don’t think a person’s dealings with the tax people are anyone’s business but their own. In Canada candidates do not routinely provide copies of their tax returns.

I see this income tax reveal as yet another deterrent to potentially good candidates entering the race. In the US the vetting of candidates has long been a slippery slope. Is a man or woman who has been unfaithful to their spouse ipso facto really unsuitable to be elected to public office? If your dentist cheats on her husband is she somehow a poorer dentist for it?

So if you are considering a run for office be sure to wipe out any dodgy searches, like that time you sought information on varicose veins by Googling images of “men in stockings”

The scrutiny applied to candidates seems to intensify each year. I figure that by 2020 candidates will be subjected to harsh examination not only of their tax returns, but of their search engine record. The media will press Google to release the last ten years of search requests for each candidate. So if you are considering a run for office be sure to wipe out any dodgy searches, like that time you sought information on varicose veins by Googling images of “men in stockings”. Or that time you looked up “girls gone wild” when what you were actually seeking were details of a Girl Guides camping trip.

Make sure that your Netflix record is copacetic as well. Not too many foreign films. “And how, Mr. Moderator, can a man possibly be considered a suitable candidate for president when his Netflix history clearly indicates that a mere 36% of the films he watched were made in America?”

Are you supporting illegal immigration by downloading salsa and Reggaetón files?

AccuRadio, Spotify and I Heart Radio accounts will also be raked over. Have you been listening to an equal number of male and female artists? If not why? Do you prefer Latino music? Are all those recordings made by legal immigrants? Are you supporting illegal immigration by downloading salsa and Reggaetón files?

I think that if the current trend continues, and potential candidates are subjected to such severe inspection, many will decide not to run, some of whom would have made excellent leaders.  

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+

My Guilty Pleasure: A Trump Presidency

I have a confession. With the first presidential candidate debate in the books, and Donald Trump acting odder and odder, I have found myself indulging in a bit of a guilty pleasure.  With the prospect of a Trump presidency looking very iffy at best, and Hillary Clinton starting to look presidential, I have come to the realisation that should The Donald lose, observers will be denied countless gaffes and exhibits of asininity. I apologise to my US friends but I think it is best I open up about this.

“We’re going to build a dome, and those aliens are going to pay for it.”

Don’t get me wrong, Clinton is clearly the better candidate and would make a much better president, but Trump provides an entertainment aspect that, frankly I would miss. So I’ll come clean, my guilty pleasure is indulging in the possibility of a Trump presidency.

Professional observers, editorial writers, political cartoonists and armchair sociologists like myself the world over will be denied an almost manna-like gift should Trump be defeated. With a Clinton administration, gone will be the possibility of Trump looking straight at facts and refuting them, claiming victory when absolutely no independent sources concur, and sending nonsensical Tweets at all hours of the night and day.

A Clinton presidency will rob us of the potential of a president who will demand that someone knock the crap out of a filibustering opponent.

When I allow my guilty pleasure to run wild I imagine President Trump threatening to invade Chicago to clear up the violence problem. Then perhaps he’d expound on the problem of illegal aliens, suggesting a severe tariff be placed on their UFOs and refusing outright any possibility of these space creatures ever becoming US citizens. “We’re going to build a dome, and those aliens are going to pay for it.”

What a missed opportunity it will be should Clinton win. I can picture Trump being sworn in at his inauguration and lightning bolts raining down upon the dais as he places his liar’s hand on the Bible while taking the oath. No President Trump going off teleprompter while addressing the United Nations, as an army of speechwriters cringes in fear.

No, it cannot be denied that a Clinton victory, while potentially providing good government, will strip the world of countless Trumpisms.

A Clinton presidency will rob us of the potential of a president who will demand that someone knock the crap out of a filibustering opponent. (Although I suspect this has been said before, but within the confines of the Oval Office.) A leader who will refuse to meet with another world leader who is a woman, because … well, she’s a woman. Resorting instead to Tweeting about her appearance.

No, it cannot be denied that a Clinton victory, while potentially providing good government, will strip the world of countless Trumpisms. Pity, enjoy it while we can.

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+