Aug 152017

Well finally we have some tolerable weather here in Metro Vancouver.  It is currently 22 C (72 F) with 53% humidity, bright sunshine and winds at 9 km/hour.  This is good and the furbabes are loving it too!  This is a busy week for me with lots of paperwork and appointments.  At the end of next week, my little girl will have her 9th birthday.  I plan for a fresh roasted chick breast for the 3 of them to share.  I will be more popular than ever!

CBC — U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out at the growing number of corporate executives who are distancing themselves from his administration after his response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that led to the death of one counter-protester last weekend.

A day after a number of high-profile CEOs started to resign from his business advisory council, the U.S. president lashed out.

“For every CEO that drops out of the manufacturing council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”


Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier’s

Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO,  Kenneth Frazier, Merck CEO, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. And in February, Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick left the president’s side over his executive order curtailing immigration. Kalanick said the order was “hurting people in communities all across America.”

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

Click through and listen to the video with Ed Rensi, the former CEO of McDonald’s USA.  He has some direct and sound advice for Trump and it is well worth the eight minutes.  We may not all agree with everything these executives do in their businesses, but they all are taking principled stands and no doubt there will be more.  As for Trump, Rensi said “It was childish, unprofessional and below the dignity of the guy holding that office. … shame on him …”  And on politics, he went on to say “In my opinion today, there is a ruling, imperial elite.  They make rules to keep themselves entrenched in government and now they’re going to pay the price because they have a president who is a wild card now.”  

AlterNet — Go home; leave the state; you’re not welcome.

That was Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s message to white supremacists who came to Charlottesville to show America that white rage is real and is coming out of the shadows.

But wait a second. Where are these domestic terrorists supposed to go back to? One of the first four people arrested was from Virginia. The others were from Ohio, Florida and Tennessee. Each of these states has been dominated by white Republicans this decade, who have methodically implemented racist election laws that gave them majority rule in state legislatures and their U.S. House delegations.

Election data geeks have looked at the results of 2016 and found it was one of the most anti-democratic elections in a century. As David Wasserman, U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report, recently wrote, “In 2016, Trump lost the national popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, but Republicans won the median House seat by 3.4 points and median Senate seat by 3.6 points—that’s the widest Senate gap in at least a century.”  …

The white mobs rampaging in Charlottesville may want more privilege, segregation and wealth, but whether they know it or not—most probably they don’t—their Republican allies have been rewriting the rules of politics and elections to favor them for years.

Really, I don’t think that this will surprise anyone here.  Progressives need to get in at the ground floor and sweep it clean.  That means progressives from dog catcher on up; repealing discriminatory voting regulations, and redrawing voting districts so that they are fair.  No gerrymandered districts that slant the vote.  If the US wants to continue to be “the land of the free” then it must ensure that all its citizens can vote without undue restrictions like onerous voter ID.

YouTube — Stephen Colbert’s Monologue — Trump denounces white supremacists

I don’t think I have ever seen Colbert quite so serious.  Although there are a few lighter moments, clearly Trump has angered many, many people.  It is always a clear sign of anger when even comedians and political comics can’t make light.  Please do not misunderstand me, Trump’s behaviour over the past week is deplorable and well beneath the dignity of the office he inhabits.

 John Oliver — Charlottesville

I won’t repeat myself.  What I said about Colbert’s monologue applies to John Oliver’s piece.

Maclean’s — The escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea over the past two weeks have left many quite anxious, including those of us in Canada. President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” warning to Pyongyang, in particular, epitomized how quickly tensions could escalate in a matter of hours. It had an eerie doomsday-like tone commonly found in the propaganda materials of Pyongyang, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis rushed to downplay the severity of Trump’s message. Some began to wonder: Will Canada be within the target range of the ICBMs? If the United States was attacked, would Canada be called upon to help as a NATO member?

And of course, there has been an exchange of hostile rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, sparked by North Korea’s second test launch of Hwasong-14 on Jul. 28, its most potent Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed to date. In a rare moment of unity, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Aug. 5 to impose toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea. In return, Pyongyang promised to retaliate by a “thousand fold.” Trump and Kim then traded threats over nuclear warheads, a potential attack in Guam, and even a pre-emptive strike by the United States. Just earlier on Monday, South Korea’s recently installed president Moon Jae-In told Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, that “our top priority is the national interest … and our national interest lies in peace.”

As a Pacific nation, Canada also has an interest in peace on the Korean peninsula. Canada’s free trade agreement with South Korea, which came into force in 2015, is our first in the Asia-Pacific region. South Korea is Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner, and the two-way trade is valued at more than $12 billion. More than a million people travel between Canada and South Korea every year. We have an active and thriving community of Korean-Canadians across Canada. What happens on the Korean peninsula matters to Canadians, and there is a role that Canada can play to alleviate tensions: Canadian diplomatic work in Seoul, Pyongyang, Washington, Moscow, and Tokyo would give genuine substance to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s proclamation in 2015 that “Canada is back.”

It’s clear that other voices beyond America are needed. Part of what has made the latest crisis so confusing was the lack of any coherent American policy on North Korea, aside from Trump’s tweets. Those mixed signals from Washington, however, reflect a broader underlying problem which began long before the Trump era: the United States has failed in devising a consistent policy for dealing with North Korea, a failure that only gave the Kim regime more time to improve its military capabilities.  …

Having a constructive and independent Canadian foreign policy means standing up for our values and using our resources to fight for what’s right. Louis St. Laurent did it with NATO and Canada in Europe; Lester B. Pearson did it on Suez; John Diefenbaker did it on South Africa; Brian Mulroney did it on free trade and the “Open Skies” initiative; Paul Martin did it on the establishment of the G20.

Click through for the rest of the article.  One of the things that I am very proud of as a Canadian is Canada’s oft repeated role of peacekeeper.  We would rather use diplomatic channels first.  When the US invaded Iraq, PM Jean Chrétien declined to join the fight because the evidence of WMD just wasn’t there.  The UK joined the fight however.  In Afghanistan, Canada sent troops in but certainly towards the end of our involvement, Canadians were building roads, schools and helping with local housing.  Having spoken with Afghani acquaintances that now live in Canada, they confirmed that they very much appreciated what the Canadians did for and in partnership with them.  But while that is our preferred method of contribution, we can fight as well.  During WWI, Canadian troops proved their mettle at the second Battle of Ypres and then again at Passchendaele (third Battle of Ypres) but at a high cost.  During WWII, we were at Dunkirk among other places.  We served in Korea 1950-53, but we refused to go to war in Vietnam.  We were in Cyprus as peacekeepers and again in Rwanda as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.  While Australian PM Turnbull has said that Australia will go to war against North Korea if the US declares war,  I hope Canada will take up her traditional diplomatic role before that happens.  However, with a loose cannon like Trump in the US and Kim Jong-un in the Hermit Kingdom, who knows.

My Universe — Every time I sneeze or blow my nose, my three furbabes run away fast and furiously!  Seems the sound is distressing to them but it usually helps me!




  10 Responses to “Squatch’s Open Thread 15 August 2017”

  1. CBC: EVEN a Disney guy left??  That’s amazing!  Rumpy is alienating everyone but Bannon and Huckabee!
    Rumpy’s rhetoric is crazed,and his defense of the Nazis may just cost him everybody other than the total loonies!
    Poor Simon’s cat…and Simon.

  2. I really can’t say much else before getting it off my chest that the Lincoln Memorial has been vandalized. 

    CBC – Yes, well, racism is bad for business.  I have my doubts about some CEOs, but clearly these particular ones are smart enough to see it.  And gutsy enough to act.  I thank them.

    AlterNet – Oh, I was sure a bunch of them were hometown boys (and girls).  Certainly the one who was doxxed as having beat up the young man of color was from Ohio.  On the other hand, there was at least one ringleader from Washington State.  One was from Nevada – which has a legislature that’s not too bad NOW – but they are facing recall elections under what I would call very suspicious circumstances if I were naive enough to suspect instead of being sure of foul play.  The recalls are targeting Democratic women in the State Senate.  There will be NO early voting.  IF the Repubs can find candidates to run against them, those names will be on the ballot.  If not, it will be a straight up or down vote with no replacement.  The names of candidates will not be known until three weeks before the election.  But Republicans can run expensive attack ads starting immediately.

    YT – Trump has, of course, backtracked again, and is now saying the the alt-right and the alt-left are equally to blame.  Alt left?  You’re making things up again, Donald.

    John Oliver – Yes, John also nails it. I do object to John’s “Nazis are like cats,” and you will hear about it from TC.  So here are a couple of pictures to hopefully mitigate that.

    The world is a cat –

    Except for Australia, which is a dog AND a cat –

    MacLean’s – In probably no other area does Murphy’s Law operate with such strength as in the area of nuclear weapons.  You are right to be afraid.  Unfortunately.  And the best advice I can give you is not to let it get in the way of rational discussion of what to do. 

    Universe – Interesting.  Of course, a cat WOULD steal all the Kleenex.  A kitten would also then get into the box.  This is well known.

  3. CBC: The quitting CEO’s all are taking principled stands? It doesn’t feel like that to me, Lynn. It feels more like rats leaving the sinking ship. They know that staying associated with a president that is sinking away in a cesspool of his own making is bad for business, and as it now turns out he can’t deliver on anything he’s promised them, they’re dumping him.

    Alternet: Your comment on this article is spot on, Lynn; progressives should follow your directives. No irony here. Only one problem: how are progressives going to get in at the ground floor when they’re locked in the basement by a rigged system?

    Steven Colbert & John Oliver: Both have a have a very hard time getting past their disgust by what happened but above all by Drumpf’s failure to react followed by a fundamentally wrong reaction. True disgust and anger isn’t a good basis for humor but I congratulate both gentlemen on keeping their cool, not letting their disgust an anger get the better of them and not lowering themselves to a more Drumpfian level.

    Maclean’s: Kudos to Canada, and any other nation that is trying to mediate in this dangerous animosity between two madmen who are both trying to look like strong leaders to their own citizens whom they have failed miserably. Unlike Australian PM Turnbull who fanned the flames by as soon as threats got ugly by saying Australia would support America in a war if North Korea attacked the US. We need calm, clarity and diplomatic negotiation in this matter, not more war rhetoric and taunting.

    My Universe: One of my cats runs for cover as soon as one of us coughs or sneezes, but she also does that when we yawn, only she doesn’t run as fast, so it’s the exhalation that seems to do the trick. The other cat couldn’t care less. Fortunately I’ve never had cats that were so inconsiderate as Simon’s cat; usually quite the opposite as if the sensed I didn’t feel well.

    Glad the temperatures are back to normal, i.e. pleasant, again around Vancouver, Lynn and also that the bushfires are now under control. Congratulate your little girl by stroking her under her chin for a while for me. I hope she likes that as much as mine does.

  4. CBC: Kudos to those who left. Just signed a petition for Michael Dell to do the same. I’ll sign for others to leave as well.

    YT: Spot on!! John and Stephen! Love them both for their shows!

    MacLeans: I too, feel your fear over this. Good article too.

    Universe: Cute! Mine (cat) likes to lay on my pillow. She fusses with my hair, and curls up. The dog however, sleeps on the other side with her pillow, it gets crowded, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    *Today is Heather Heyer’s public Memorial Service @11 a.m. in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Heyer’s family is asking people who attend the service to wear something purple. The marquee of the Paramount Theater, where the service will begin at 11 a.m., reads: “Lives lost but not forgotten Heather, Jay, Berke,” including the first names of the state troopers who were killed in a helicopter crash later Saturday.

    Joanne, I too am saddened by the Lincoln Memorial’s vandalized by graffiti. The NPS also found indecipherable graffiti in silver spray-painted over a map of the Smithsonian museums in another area of the National Mall too, reports said. Very troubling, and I hope the cameras show who did this vile act.

  5. Unfortunately virtually all those CEOs would jump right back in the saddle, if Pence became Fuhrer.  If they objected to the hate, they would never have partnered with Trump, but Trump has made is so extreme that they fear losing money over association with him.

    Very well said!

    There so little humer here that comics are at a loss!


    Kudos to Canada!

    I had aq cat that did that!

    Good one, Squatch! 29

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