Monday, November 28, 2016

Trump: Worst of the worse, lowest of the low

The rotten deed has now been done and it's all over except for the disastrous consequences. You can't unvote. You can't unelect the declared winner of the just-past US election.

I'm not going to list all the descriptors that have been used about him during the campaign. . . oh, okay, I will: racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, cruel, mean. Shall I go on or is that enough?

Any one of those would have been a good enough reason for me — and probably for you — not to vote for him.

But consider this: Donald Trump pimped 14 and 15 year old girls to rich old men, telling the girls that having sex with the old men would help them in their modelling careers.

"The morals of Donald J. Trump, as a longtime model lover and then a modeling agency owner, were forged in another era, one in which young girls were used as a sort of currency between men doing business with one another." (Italics and emphasis mine.)

I have no intention of rating his behaviour — bad, worse, appalling, disgusting, criminal — and I know his taunts and threats and actions are much more frightening for some people than for others. But how can anyone who voted for Donald Trump face the fact that he trafficked in young girls, that he deliberately brought them to places where revolting old men were waiting to pay money to "have sex" with them?

Interviewing Donald Trump always had/has a pattern. I can imagine how frustrating it must be. First, you ask him about providing young girls for old men at parties in the Plaza Hotel. He casually dismisses it, says it's a bunch of lies. You tell him there are witnesses who are willing to be named. He says they're liars and he'll sue them. He'll change the subject, attack an opponent or the media, go on the offence. If you're interviewing him on live TV, you probably feel that you have to move on.

But trafficking teenage girls is more than just mean or threatening or sexist. It is clearly a criminal act. Why was he not investigated, arrested, charged during the campaign? Maybe the witnesses were not reliable. Maybe there was no evidence. But did law enforcement even look? This information was in the public domain and there's nothing vague about it. The writer is a credible reporter and understands the principles of proper sourcing.

Why isn't Trump in jail?

I sometimes try to imagine these people who voted for Trump. I know it's not an easy answer. I know there was a cross-section of the population and there were definitely people we'd prefer not to think about.

But I was thinking today about those evangelical fundamentalist fathers who take their daughters to a "Purity Ball" and have their little girls swear a pledge to remain virgins until marriage.

More than 60 per cent of evangelical "Christians" supported Donald Trump. Without a doubt, many of those supporters are fathers who tooks their own daughters to a Purity Ball. How can they justify their vote when they know that Trump pimped 14-year-olds to rich old men for his own disgusting ends?

In fact, did the evangelical dads ever give a thought to how Trump relates to his own daughter?

In an. . .interview from September 2004, [Howard] Stern asks Trump if he can call Ivanka "a piece of ass," to which Trump responds in the affirmative.

"My daughter is beautiful, Ivanka," says Trump.

"By the way, your daughter," says Stern.

"She's beautiful," responds Trump.

"Can I say this? A piece of ass," Stern responds.

"Yeah," says Trump.

So much has been spoken and written about Donald Trump that's there's nothing much left to say. I'm just having a hard time getting past those goddamn hypocrites who take their own precious daughters to Purity Balls and then vote for a misogynist jerk who doesn't mind using other people's daughters for his own perverted reasons.

And I don't care what reasons those fake-religious guys give for voting the way they did. The hell with them.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Move? I'd rather die. Or get a divorce

No, I've never heard anyone say that about moving even though death, divorce and moving are considered pretty much equal in all the lists of stress-producing life events.

And without doubt, moving can be very stressful. Which is why I'm going to give you two pieces of advice which you will almost certainly ignore. I'm going to give it anyway:

Starting today, don't buy anything you don't need. No kitchen gadgets, no pretty little picture frames just because they're on sale, no plastic toys for the kids/grandkids, no trendy tools that "might come in handy someday." I mean it. Don't buy stuff.

Furthermore, even if you have no intention of moving, get rid of stuff. Even if you plan to stay in the abode where you're living until the end of time, someone will, at some point, have to deal with the stuff. How much easier is it to deal with it now, little by little, a designated amount every week? And you'll feel so good about yourself.

We moved early in October. I told you a little bit about it right here. It's a little over a month-and-a-half and we're happily settled and enjoying our new place although we're still arranging everything, just the way we think things should be. I made a point of not duplicating arrangements as they were in our other place. There are still boxes to be unpacked.

Because the move is such a big topic and could cover so much, I've narrowed it down to three things (and please, click on the photos):

1. The View:

When you think of Halifax, maybe you think of the Public Gardens and the Citadel. There they are: the Gardens in the left foreground, Citadel Hill in the background. You can even catch a glimpse of the Macdonald Bridge — the "old" bridge — in the upper left hand corner.

In this one, you can see much more of the bridge. You can also see Citadel High School, the hospitals and a closer view of the Gardens where things are becoming more visible every day as the leaves come down.

This one looks straight down to the harbour and across to Dartmouth. You can see the magnificent Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College and I often see a container ship or a tugboat or the Woodside ferry making a crossing. I even occasionally see a Naval vessel on its way out of the harbour.

I make a point of spending time every day, honouring a vow I made to myself that I would never take the view for granted. I enjoy it so much.

2. The Sky

The street we moved away from is lined on both sides with 100-year-old trees. They're beautiful and the street is the very definition of a "leafy, shady, residential street."

This is how it looked from our verandah.

It couldn't be pleasanter but I'm enjoying all the drama that goes on in the sky when you can see so much of it. I like watching the weather roll in, not to mention the fog. I'm never up in time to watch the sunrise but I know it's there.

I enjoy seeing the moon, super or otherwise, and I'm looking forward to the next time I see a note in the media announcing meteor showers. The celestial spectacles are just a bit of a change.

3. The Sounds

Yes, I enjoy the sounds of the city. For some people, I suppose it's just noise but it gives me the feeling of being engaged, of being in the centre of something. I like the background hum — air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, whatever it is that happens on the tops of buildings. I like the sound of the traffic — the buses, the street cleaning truck, the garbage and recycling.

Halifax is a military town so we hear helicopters and the occasional drone of a heavy military plane as it comes in low for a landing at Shearwater across the harbour.

And we're next door to a school so we can hear the charming sound of children playing at recess and the always recognizable sound of a bouncing basketball.

Until recently, I could hear the Harbour Hopper as it made its regular rounds. The Harbour Hopper is an amphibious vehicle that schleps tourists around the streets of Halifax and then plunges into the water and takes a little spin around the harbour. It provides a running commentary. I've never taken the tour but I've heard some of the commentary from the sidewalk as it passed by and I managed to keep myself from leaping aboard and correcting the inaccuracies. Fortunately, from my apartment, I could hear the voices but couldn't really discern the words.

The sights and sounds of trade and commerce often remind me of one of the favourite children's books that we read when William was little. It was called Night Cars.

It is late at night in the city. From his father's shoulder, a sleepless baby watches the snow drift down from the sky onto the busy street below. What are all those noises? What are all those lights? His tired but patient father explains everything, from the bustle of taxis swishing through the slush to the grinding and slamming of the early-morning garbage trucks.

The book had a very moody quality and was lovely to read. It was written by Teddy Jam, the pen name of author Matt Cohen. I may have to get it out and read it again.