Stuff Happens, week 48: Schools are run by idiots … and speaking of idiots, it’s Trump again

The Edmonton Catholic School District is run by idiots.

A little harsh? Not at all. Too kind, if anything.

Let me explain. This week, Edmonton Catholic (and Calgary Catholic) banned all international travel by its students. Why? Well, what with the events in Paris and San Bernardino, Ca. recently, the world is just too danged dangerous to venture outside the confines of safe, secure Edmonton, Ab.

Idiots. Freaking idiots.

Never mind that the odds of a student from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, might be in a country where a terrorist event occurs — and that they might actually become a victim — are infinitely smaller than their odds of being hit by a car on their way to school. Never mind that the blanket, Big Brother decision (aided, no doubt, by insurance firms) supersedes the rights of the parents or the students to make their own decisions. Never mind that the simple solution (if indeed a solution is needed for this ‘problem’) would be for all parents to sign waivers absolving the Catholic system of financial responsibility if something were to happen. No, the best solution, according to the insurance-fetishists at the Catholic board, is to just ban everyone from going anywhere. Screw the planning, screw the maybe one-in-a-lifetime trip, screw the educational value. The message they’ve sent to Edmonton school kids is to be afraid of the world. Hide under your desks, children! Cower in fear!

Idiots. Absolute, cowardly idiots.

Speaking of idiots, Donald Trump trumped everything he’s said before with his pronouncement that if he were president, he would ban all Muslims for entering the United States until the government could “figure out what the hell is going on”.

At last, Trump has gone too far, everyone seems to think. Surely, this xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-common sense statement would be the one that causes his support to crater. Every other Republican candidate — and basically every politician in the U.S. — reacted with righteous indignation. That’s not what American stands for, they thundered.

And the public, or at least the public that responds to public opinion polls? Trump is still leading. His supporters seem unmovable.

But as pollster-pundit Nate Silver writes in FiveThirtyEightPolitics.com Trump’s poll numbers right now really mean nothing. Every story about Trump is based on polling results, and the polls reflect only a snapshot of the opinions of a very, very small selection of potential Republican voters. As Silver points out, no candidate as radical as Trump has ever won a major party nomination in the modern era. And I’m convinced that it won’t happen in 2016. This is still the silly season in American politics, like exhibition baseball. There is a saying (wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill) about Americans that applies here. Americans, the saying goes, can always be trusted to do the right thing — after exhausting all other possibilities. I’m convinced they’ll do the right thing and finish off Trump, in favour of … hmmm, I dunno. Mitt Romney doesn’t look so bad now, does he?

Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau got the full treatment in Vogue this month. Now that Vogue has weighed in, we can confidently say that we have the most handsome leader in the world, and the most beautiful wife of the most handsome leader in the world. Makes you proud to be a Canadian, doesn’t it? And if that doesn’t (and it shouldn’t) you can be justly proud to be a Canadian by the response Syrian refugees have received. While many Americans continue to fight the idea of any Syrian refugees coming into the country (the governors of 31 states have said they don’t Syrian refugees), Canadians are our usual welcoming selves. And if you want a little tearjerking Canadianism, check out this World Vision Canada video. Have a Kleenex nearby. And here’s the New York Times weighing in.

RIP: Douglas Tompkins, 72, American businessman and conservationist who co-founded The North Face and Esprit … Chuck Williams, 100, co-founder of the Williams-Sonoma chain of high-priced kitchen gadget stores … Mack Herron, 67, a former CFL running back for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and later the NFL. Known as ‘mini-Mac’ thanks to his 5’5″ stature, Herron had a thrilling two years in the CFL, leading the league in all-purpose yards in 1971-72

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s