DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Donald Trump, Opinion, United States

Impeachment: too many politicians and not enough statesmen

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While working on my computer yesterday I put CNN on the television. I don’t usually do that, but I wanted to watch the impeachment shenanigans as they unfolded. As a Canadian, it really is none of my business, but I hope you will indulge me as I express my opinion.

In a word: Bullshit

… the process of determining whether a president has engaged in impeachable activities becomes null and void if elected officials are going to be toadies and vote along party lines

The whole process of determining whether a president has engaged in impeachable activities becomes null and void if elected officials are going to be toadies and vote along party lines. I was not there at the time, but I can’t believe the framers of the U.S. Constitution had that in mind. Having ‘control’ of congress should not translate into a license for the total disregard of the rule of law.

The current president, with his loose-cannon, bombastic rhetoric (verbal diarrhea) has instilled in his fellow Republicans a deep-seated fear. If you don’t support me, I’ll trash-talk you at every opportunity as you try to be reelected id his approach. Regardless of party affiliation; he’ll go after his own should they turn against him.

In this process, there are many losers but just one winner: the only victor is the president who will run victory laps for weeks to come. The American people lose because they still have to watch the once dignified Office of the President continue to be reduced to a sophomoric mere shadow of its former self. How can anyone not be ashamed at the image of the president at a Super Bowl dinner standing and pretending to conduct the music during the national anthem? No respect for the Office, now none for the national anthem.

No respect for the Office, now none for the national anthem

But perhaps the biggest losers in the impeachment fiasco, and they have only themselves to blame, are those Republicans, and I have to believe there are some, who voted for their political future rather than for what they know deep down is right. Cowards.

Politicians are thought of as people who will say or do anything to get elected or to gain power. A statesman is someone who does everything for the common good of the people he or she represents.

There are too many politicians and not enough statesmen. And that’s a shame.

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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Opinion, Politics, United States, US Election 2016, Wordpress

Mistakes: Surgical and Terrorist

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Mistakes, like accidents, happen. No amount of preparation, care and concentration can guarantee that mistakes will not occur so long as it is a human carrying out the task. When mistakes are made in very public instances it is not uncommon to hear someone state that ‘mistakes just can’t happen under these circumstances’. Well, they can, and they do.

A number of years ago I saw a news report about a patient in a hospital who had the wrong leg amputated. When the surgeon was supposed to remove the affected left leg, he or she erroneously lopped off the right leg. Mistakes happen. No amount of criticism is ever going to change that reality.

LegOnce this horrific mistake was made known, other patients awaiting amputations, or even less severe procedures, took to writing on their legs or arms with markers. Realizing that once they were anesthetized they would be unable to ensure which limb was to be removed, they would write NOT THIS LEG! OTHER ARM! DO NOT REMOVE! The state of unease that these patients must have felt is unimaginable.

I assume that the surgeons carrying out these amputations were well educated, sensible, smart people. Perhaps they were overworked and exhausted. Regardless mistakes happen.

With this in mind I have often pondered our situation vis a vis Canada’s proximity to The United States. The majority of Canadians live within a strip along the US/Canada border. Not on the border, but close enough.

Let me state unequivocally that I hope terrorist attacks against the US will never occur. But if they are to take place, I fear that the perpetrators will  make a mistake and hit the wrong country. This concern has been exacerbated by recent bellicose statements from Donald Trump. as there are those whose hatred of the US is so deep that I believe they take his comments as challenges. I know people personally, educated professionals, who believe that 9/11 was a matter of comeuppance. Not that, as some conspiracy theorists hold, the towers were detonated from within by government assailants. But that the US had it coming given what they perceive as an arrogance. 

I propose that we as a nation install a large notification to inform any would-be terrorists that they have the wrong target. I figure the best means of getting the message across is to use the crop circle approach of writing in summer, and snow in the winter.

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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DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, History, Humor, Media, News, Opinion, Television, United States, Wordpress

Government backed tax boycott would guarantee full coffers

As a casual observer of my neighbours to the south I am often taken aback by some of their ways. That the biggest, strongest, most economically and militarily powerful country in the world can screech to a halt over partisan political bickering is almost unfathomable! Yet there it is in living color and high-definition, giving those who design TV news graphics a field day – CNN proudly displays not one but two counters on its screen; one counting up the number of days since the government shutdown and the other counting down the hours and minutes until the debt ceiling catastrophe kicks in.

No doubt many Americans are understandably irate about this situation, especially those who are the first to feel the pinch in the pocketbooks. But I sense that many more are at least a wee bit pleased to see government failing because they have – and this never ceases to amaze me – an innate distrust, if not hatred, of government, all government. Does it go back to the second amendment that hinted at the possibility of government turning on the people and therefore guaranteeing them the right to bear arms?

“No government’s going to tell me not to pay my tax. Where’s my wallet?”

It’s as if anything government sanctioned should be eschewed on principle. As an example take the seat belt issue. There is no question seat belts save lives – as the State Trooper used to say in the old TV ads “I never had to unbuckle a dead man” – but once the government steps in and makes them mandatory people take offence; I suspect some stopped using seat belts just because they had been told to. There’s a dumb expression often used by people these days to explain their actions: “because I can”. You can poke a knitting needle in your eye, but it doesn’t mean you should; you can drive without wearing a seat belt, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Americans don’t like to be told what to do by government, even though they elected that government.

You can poke a knitting needle in your eye, but it doesn’t mean you should

Which brings me to my suggested solution to the current stalemate in Washington. There are few problems that can’t be solved by throwing money at them, with the obvious exception of some health issues. Congress should pass a tax increase, right across the board, that would have folks up in arms, marching in the streets. But then the government should begin a massive “Withhold your tax” campaign. Telling people the new tax passed by congress should be boycotted, it’s unjust and merely a tax grab. Get those ad agencies to work on it.

No doubt such a campaign would cause many Americans to run for their checkbooks and fill the federal coffers muttering while “No government’s going to tell me not to pay my tax. Where’s my wallet?”

MeDCMontreal 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 Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Crime, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Media, News, Politics, Syria, Wordpress

Syria’s chemical weapons create job openings

Now that the diplomats are close to an agreement that would see Syria turn over its chemical weapon stockpile, the hard part begins. Step one is finding someone to do it. I suggest the following advertisement.

Syria_Job

This bit of satire fits in well with today’s Daily Prompt.

Logo_3DCMontreal 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 Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Montreal, News, Wordpress

Lottery Winning Angst

Like many people, millions in fact, I am a regular lottery player. A couple of times a week I plunk down a few bucks for a chance to cash-in big. Nothing ridiculous, not a whole paycheck, just a bit of a flutter if you will. As they say, if you play the lotto your chances of winning are ridiculously slim, but if you don’t play your chances are nil.

In my worst nightmares I arrive at the lottery office on Tuesday morning in a state of sleep deprived lunacy

Here in Canada our 6/49 jackpots accumulate but never quite reach the astronomical amounts seen in some Power Ball draws in the US. But another, perhaps more important, difference is that whatever you win here, the whole shebang or any part thereof, there is no negotiating a lump sum or payments over time. You get what you win, and in Canada lottery winnings, like casino pay-outs are tax-free. That’s right, if you win $7.5 million you get a cheque for that amount. You will only be taxed on the subsequent interest.

If a group of people pool their money to buy a bunch of tickets and, lo and behold, win, before they collect they fill out a form indicating each person’s share to avoid taxation. If one person claimed the prize then divvied it up among the others, the recipients would be taxed – the tax-free aspect only applies to the original winnings.

Lotto_2I’ve never won anything worth bragging about, so I know I must be due. Fully believing I’m probably on the cusp of a big haul my ever fertile mind has developed a new anxiety. Let’s say I win a chunk of money on the Wednesday night draw. In defiance of most lawyers’ advice I’d be down at the lottery office with my face pressed up against the glass to claim my prize when the door opened on Thursday morning – no problem. The panic sets in when I think of winning on a Saturday night draw. That would mean waiting until the office opened on Monday morning to claim my fortune – God forbid it should be a long weekend!

… when they pry my fingers from the vise-like grip on the ticket they release a wad of crumpled paper from which all ink has long vanished into the pores of my hand

If I did win on a long weekend, say Labor Day, I’d find out on the Sunday morning when i got up and would have to sweat it out until Tuesday morning! Where would I put the ticket for forty-eight agonizingly long hours? It has now gone from being just a piece of paper to being worth millions of dollars; I can’t merely put it in my wallet, what if I was mugged?  In my worst nightmares I arrive at the lottery office on Tuesday morning in a state of sleep deprived lunacy and, when they pry my fingers from the vise-like grip on the ticket they release a wad of crumpled paper from which all ink has long vanished into the pores of my hand. All that remains of my dreams is a ball of papier-mâché created out of my winning ticket and my  sweat and tears.

So lottery gods if you do ever decide to shine down upon me, pease let me find out on a Thursday morning.

 

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Vacation Time

Memorial Day long weekend: US still a no-vacation nation

As May rolls into June and, hopefully, the weather improves, the school year comes to an end and people need a battery recharge.  Thoughts turn to vacations and general down-time. For some those thoughts have already become plans and itineraries that have been worked on all winter. Others prefer to do things off the cuff, an ad lib trip here and there. Still more like to stick around for a “stay-cation” and play tourist in their own city.

Regardless of your preference, all of these options require time off from work or school. There was a time when school vacations seemed to last forever – ah, youth, even if they were only ten weeks. But now they not only feel shorter, they are. I don’t believe I ever attended school before Labor Day, yet today’s students and teachers are often back in class in late August. Talk of going to a year-round curriculum is heard more and more.

… when you combine annual paid vacation and statutory holidays, Austria and Portugal lead with 35

VacationGraphWhen it comes to the labor force North Americans certainly don’t get the concept of vacation when compared to European countries. The United States has often been referred to as the “no-vacation nation” and Canada is not far behind. According to a US study conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, when you combine annual paid vacation and statutory holidays, Austria and Portugal lead with 35 each and Germany and Spain are close behind with 34.  Meanwhile in Canada ten days  (two weeks) is the norm while the US doesn’t guarantee any paid vacation.

… the US doesn’t guarantee any paid vacation

As the study was conducted in the US which may explain why no attention is paid to the detrimental health effects on workers caused by a lack of vacation time. In the U.S. the growing demand for more work hours and the corresponding loss of leisure time in the last two decades is a big crisis, says John Weaver, PsyD, a psychologist and owner of Psychology for Business, a workplace consulting firm based in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Many hardworking and vacation-deprived Americans experience burnout, reduced productivity, diminished creativity, failed relationships,stress, or stress-related ailments such as depression, heart disease, or stomach ulcers.

So enjoy the Memorial Day long weekend as it may be your last day off for some time.

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