The Return of Stuff Happens, week 36: Trudeau vs. Trump

Donald Trump, the increasingly, dangerously irrational U.S. president, addressed the UN General Assembly this week. So, too, did Justin Trudeau, the poster boy for all that is liberal in the world. Their addresses could not be more different, which is to be expected. And thank God for that.

Trump was terrible, as expected. He gave the kind of speech that would, delivered by any other president or any other sane person, would have caused a billion jaws to drop. But for Trump, it was business as unusual. This week, he tore strips off the floundering former democracy Venezuela (“The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch, he said.), resulting in the Venezuelan president calling Trump “the new Hitler”. He had charming things to say about Iran (“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”), resulting in the Iranian president calling his comments “ignorant and absurd”. He saved his best shots for North Korea. “No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Trump said, referring to the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he has decided to call Rocket Man, which is actually pretty cool. (Wouldn’t Rocket Boy have been better?) “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” A North Korea spokesman likened Trump to a “barking dog”, which, as insults go, is pretty toothless. Bile, hatred and threats. Yep, pretty much par for the course.

Justin Trudeau, too, had a lot of bad things to say in his speech on Thursday. The difference was that all the bad stuff was about Canada.

Trudeau didn’t mention any of Trump’s whipping boys, concentrating his remarks on what a shitty country Canada has been in relation to its Indigenous people.

“For First Nations, Metis Nation and Inuit peoples in Canada, those early colonial relationships were not about strength through diversity, or a celebration of differences. For Indigenous peoples in Canada, the experience was mostly one of humiliation, neglect, and abuse.”

Trudeau spoke about the lack of safe drinking and bathing water in Indigenous communities across Canada, and about the youth suicide epidemics on some reserves.

“There are Indigenous parents in Canada who say goodnight to their children, and have to cross their fingers in the hopes that their kids won’t run away, or take their own lives in the night.”

Canada, he said, is a work in progress.

I don’t know about you, but this Canada place sounds like a hell hole. Good thing that nobody outside of Canada was listening.

Thanks, Kim

How bad is Donald Trump in the insult department? This week, he was burned  by a country that doesn’t speak English, and apparently only has access to dictionaries from the 1800s. This week, the Korean government issued a statement, calling Trump “a mentally deranged US dotard”.

Dotard?

Yep, it’s a word. It refers to an old person who has become weak and senile. It is not often used, to put it mildly. The New York Times reported that ‘dotard’ had only been used 10 times in its pages since 1980. (It’s apparently pronounced DO-terd, by the way.) I don’t know if anyone will remember dotard by this time next week, but for now, score one for North Korea.

On Sunday, the Dotard in Chief fired off a new salvo in America’s never-ending race war. Speaking to a rabid rally in Alabama, Trump called out NFL owners who refuse to discipline players who take a knee during the national anthem as a protest against the treatments of blacks in America.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

And he spouted off with a few opinions about the state of the league.

“The NFL ratings are down massively,” Trump said. “Now the No. 1 reason happens to be they like watching what’s happening … with yours truly. They like what’s happening. Because you know today if you hit too hard: 15 yards! Throw him out of the game!

“They’re ruining the game! That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”

Amazing how nobody even bats an eye anymore at vulgar language from the U.S. President, isn’t it? This set off an angry response from NFL players and the league itself. You never know with Trump whether he says something deliberately, or if it’s just an idiot spouting off like a drunk at a cocktail party.

Toys R In Trouble

Toys ‘Backwards R’ Us filed for creditor protection in the U.S. this week, usually the first foot in the fiscal grave. It seems the company has piled up debt like an Alberta government, upwards of $5 billion US. But before you rub your hands together at the prospect of picking up toys and games at close-out prices, hold the phone.

It seems while the U.S. parent company is floundering, the 84 Canadian outlets are doing very well, thank you, posting improved sales and actual honest-to-goodness profits. And the store is preparing to do its annual Christmas season hiring spree in October. But if the parent company shuts down, the Canadian arm will likely whither and die as well.

Conservatives are so-o-o-o stupid

Gerry Ritz, a Saskatchewan MP and registered idiot, issued a tweet this week, calling Environment Minister Catherine McKenna a “climate Barbie”, which is apparently a term coined by the creepy right wing website The Rebel. The outrage was swift and predictable, allowing the government to turn the tables on the Conservatives for a change. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Even dumber, however, was a Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak who issued a letter this month calling for First Nations people to give up their status cards in exchange for a one-time cash payment, and said they could then practice their culture “on their own dime”. She somehow keeps her job as a senator (there is no firing senators for some reason) but she has been expelled from all committees. As someone who had to attend committee meetings in my past life, I can tell you this is not a punishment.

RIP

Jake LaMotta, 95, former boxer immortalized by Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull … Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, 72, former WWE wrestler, manager and commentator … Lilian Bettencourt, 94, French cosmetics businesswoman (L’Oreal), and the world’s richest woman.

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