Thursday, August 23, 2018

This week's quick hits.

Maxime Bernier quits the Conservatives in fire and fury, vowing to start his own party.

And somewhere, Justin Trudeau is laughing his ass off.

Who would have guessed the "unite the right" movement would barely outlast Stephen Harper?

Maxime has shall we put this...varied policy positions. He wants to end supply management in the Canadian dairy industry, which will result in a flood of BGH-riddled American milk (something I, as a consumer, wish to avoid at all costs). He's also against the retaliatory tariffs that the Liberals have instituted against the United States, with his former party's support--I guess we're just supposed to bend over and let Trump have his way with us?
But he's against corporate welfare, and he's brave (or stupid) enough to want to talk about immigration.

My views on this latter are well known. I would give preference to legal immigrants, no matter their origin; but I also move we accept as many refugees (properly vetted, of course) as we can. Speaking as a human being, I believe we are morally obligated to do more than our part. It's not as if we don't have the space. And on a more practical level, our tax base is going to need whatever help it can get in a few decades. It's not as if our birthrate will do the trick.

But my views don't matter. What matters is you can't get the "imm" in immigration out of your mouth before somebody's in your face calling you names. Bernier's not afraid of that, and I respect him for it.

I also respect him, immensely, for this, referring to the platform and policies of the Conservative Party of Canada:

Every public declaration is tested with polls and focus groups. The result is a bunch of platitudes that don’t offend anybody, but also don’t mean anything and don’t motivate anyone. 

Politics done properly is SUPPOSED to offend SOMEBODY. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

I wish Bernier well. But I think he just haded the next election to Trudeau.


L'affaire Trump.

It just gets gaudier and gaudier by the day, doesn't it? Pity it's all so meaningless.

I mean both parts of that last sentence. It's more than a pity, it's a travesty...and it's all so utterly utterly meaningless.

Trump said, memorably, that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue at high noon and not lose any votes. As much as it pains me to admit it, he's right. Cohen's pleas and Manafort's convictions won't dent Trump in any way that matters. Nobody cares

Even if Mueller comes back with a smoking gun tying Trump to Russia -- I'm convinced there are at least a dozen smoking guns laying around out there somewhere -- it will only be reported in places Trump supporters don't deign to read or watch. 

I'm even more convinced now that Trump's going to win the next election. His support among African-Americans stands at 36%...that's more four times what it was on election night. How can this be? Simple: the economy is roaring. 

This was predictable. and the long term consequences of shortsightedness so famous among Conservatives and Republicans have yet to set in. And the Democrats are doing nothing useful . Hell, one of Hillary's campaign slogans was "Love Trumps Hate".

Who thought that one up, I wonder. Naming your opponent in your own campaign slogan is...can we say counterproductive? Can you imagine a Coke commercial that puts the words "love" and "Pepsi" right next to each other?  And gee, an awful lot of people really do some to "love Trump's hate". 

If you want to fight something, empower its opposite.

I will repeat that.


Shouting your hatred only locks the object of your hatred into place. When it comes to Trump, he and his supporters feed on the hatred that's spewed at them. It makes them laugh. You want that laughter to die in their throats? Start standing for something all on your own, without reference to Mr. Cheeto. Make that something appeal to the working class you've lost by calling half of them 'deplorables", by supporting policies like free trade and the offshoring of jobs that have contributed to the immiseration of millions.  Only once you do that, and convince voters you are sincere, do you have a snowball's chance in hell.


On a lighter note.

I see that The Big Bang Theory is slated to end after its twelfth season. All good things....

I never understood the hatred for this show. To me it's one of the funniest and warmest things on television,. Maybe I'm saying that because I have a little of every male character in me (yes, including Sheldon Cooper).

That said, I've only seen three or four seasons, I'm not even sure.

This is one of the things they don't tell you, one of the trade-offs you have to make if you're going to cut the cable cord. Sure, you save hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars a year. But even if you sign up for Amazon, Netflix and Crave TV, you're only going to get access to certain seasons of certain shows. It's frustrating. Nowhere near as frustrating as paying hundreds or thousands more a year, but frustrating. Alas, first world problem.

But I'll miss this show.

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