Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why did they choose him?

That was a question posed to me by my little 8 year old friend Maria who lives across the street and visits my dog almost every single day.  I always ask her how her day was when she visits and today she said, "I'm okay, I had a good day at school, how are you?"  I am not being grammatically incorrect here.  This is how she speaks.  In one long sentence with barely a breath in between words.  I replied, "I am tired.  I stayed up and watched the American election last night so I haven't slept much".  

Little did I know that an 8 year old girl from Canada would know anything about the American election. 

"How could they choose him?" she said.  She paused only slightly before she said with unmistakable shock, "Did you know he called women fat, and pigs!  Once he used the middle finger!  He's not very nice."  Another pause, for breathing I suppose, and she said sadly, "I can't believe they didn't choose her.  She seemed nicer".

This is not my child.  I am not her Mother.  I am not free to say whatever I want to another woman's child especially when I don't know their politics.  What I know is Maria's Mother is a Mexican American.  All her family live in the States but I believe Maria's Mom's parents or their parents were born in Mexico.  Maria's father is from Canada but lived in the US.  He owned a big software company there and sold it making a small fortune I am guessing from the size of their house.  He retained a board seat and consulting position so he works from home now travelling to the US for business regularly.  They live in one of the most beautiful homes in this area.  It's massive but so tastefully done that you long to live there, not just resent it's lavish size.  That's called taste, someone I know of should look that up.  

The conversation went something like this;

Me:  Honey, this isn't something you should worry about right now.

Maria:  I know.  I just don't understand what happened.  My Mom and Dad seemed really surprised he got picked.  I mean I don't really care, I am a kid and I don't have to live there.  I think my Dad is worried, he has money there.  It's where we keep a lot of our money.  

I chucked at that last sentence.  I am pretty sure the "she" of "we" doesn't keep any money there.  There is probably a ceramic pig with her name on it in her room.  I know she makes an allowance for her chore list, she told me so.   

Me:  Right now your job is to be a kid and not worry about this stuff.  Here's what I know but I am not sure it will help you.  There are basically two groups in the USA.  One that the man belongs too, and one that the lady belongs too.  The people of America chose his group honey.  That's it.  Fair and square.  They chose his group so he gets to be the leader now.  That's how it works, whether we like it or not.  It will be okay though.  

Maria:  I don't really understand.  Did you know he is going to build a wall around them?  

It needs to be noted here that her eyes were huge when she thought about a wall going around people.  It wasn't necessarily fear about someone she loved being walled in but the idea of a wall around people in general that bothered her.  

Me:  Honey, these groups I said they have in the US, they are really in charge.  They are called parties.  Doesn't that sound fun (I said with sarcasm only an adult would get).   Mr. Trump's party group is not going to spend the money to build a wall.  Walls are really really expensive and no one in his group is going to agree to the cost.  He said maybe he would have the other country pay for it.  Do you think your Mommy would pay to put a wall up around the country your Nana and Grandpa were born in?

Maria:  Gosh no.

Me:  Then I don't really think there will be a wall.  If no one will pay for it who will build it?

Maria:  Well that's good.  There was a girl at school today and.......(it was a long story, I will spare you the details but she ended it with).......she was sad and she cried.  I think people are sad today because of him.

I fell off my seat because I had no idea that a schoolyard story was going to loop back around to the election again.  She is 8 years old.  I really didn't know how much this was going to impact kids.  I mean I knew they heard things.  I had already spoken of what a poor example this man was setting for our kids, especially our girls but I didn't expect to hear about it from an 8 year old the day after the election.  Not an 8 year old with the attention span of a toddler aged fly.

Me:  I think people are sad today because they didn't think he would be chosen either.  I think you are right.  But it's done now, and now we hope for the best from him.  

Maria:  Okay.  

I could see her mind still trying to figure it out.  So I tried again.

Me:  Do you know who picked him?

Maria:  No.

Me:  White people.  People of our skin colour.  Men.  And women if you can believe it.  

Maria:  Really?

Me:  Yep.  Because they didn't know any better.  A lot of the people who chose him are not educated.

Maria:  So they aren't very smart?

*sigh*  Now I am struggling with whether or not to simplify this even more and call them all stupid or do I try to explain it further?

Me:  Do you know our mailman?  

Maria:  Yes.  I like mail.  


Me:  Every day the mailman walks around carrying all the mail for us.  Every day, Monday to Friday.  Day in day out. No matter how hot or cold it is outside his job is to bring us the mail.  He works hard.  Most postmen are honest, hard working people.  Now, do you know how here in Canada if we go to the doctor we don't have to pay for it?

Maria:  Yes, it's free!  She exclaimed excitedly.  

Me:  Right, it is.  Well in the States it isn't free, they have to pay for it.  Every single month they have to pay so if they get sick, they can go to a hospital.  That mailman, who works so hard, has to pay money just in case he has to go to the hospital.  Well, they asked him to pay more monthly in case someone he doesn't know has to go to the hospital.  There are people who cannot afford to pay in case they get sick so they asked the mailman to pay for that person.  He wasn't really happy about that.  And his monthly fee kept growing and growing, getting bigger and bigger.  So, the man the people voted for said he would stop that.  He said he wouldn't make the mailman pay anymore for anyone else.  People chose that man because he said he would change stuff like that.  

Maria:  Okay.  Do we pay for the other person?

Me:  Yes, kind of, in a round about way we do.  (I was not about to start explaining taxes to the child).  We look after the people who can't afford to.  When you can barely afford to eat we help you.  

Maria:  That's nice.  I have a troll and no matter what, his hair changes every time I drop him.

With that she pulled out a troll doll and threw it across the room, ran over to it, grabbed it and showed me its hair.  And the world kept revolving and I was still sad about their choice.  I can only hope that Maria changes the world one day.  Before she left I said to her, "Maria, you know what though about the election in the States?  She won the popular vote!"  

Maria:  But then why didn't she win.

Me:  There are regular votes and more important votes.  She won the regular votes, yours and mine.  The most popular votes.  But he won the special votes, the important ones that chose the leader.  He won those.  But the people, they like her best.  

Maria:  Oh good, I am going to tell people that okay?  When they are sad I am going to tell them that she was the most popular one.  


God bless the children. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Trump, Clinton, and the great American novel

The title of this post is appropriate only because I am not sure how to say what I want to say without it having a great many words.  My close family and friends often say, "did you write another novel" when I ask if they've read my latest post.  More often than not, you cannot simply say, "black" or "white" and not explain why, or at least explore the "grey".  This means, in short, I have a lot to say.  If you aren't into reading, I suggest you change channels now.

When this election first commenced I remember thinking at the time, "Donald Trump, you've got to be kidding me?"  To me, and this is just my opinion, he was just a cartoonish buffoon.  I never paid him much attention.  I never watched a beauty pageant or The Apprentice as neither show appealed to me.  I had seen Trump interviewed once, I think it was on the show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".  Other than on the show Narcos (Pablo Escobar), to date I have yet to see someone else with a gold plated toilet.  Apparently that's all the rage amongst the grossly wealthy.  Or conversely the wealthy who are gross.  Like I said, what I knew about Donald Trump wasn't much.  I knew what most people knew.  I remember him being in the news because he split with his wife due to an affair with a much younger woman.  It wasn't long after he split with that woman to marry another much younger woman.  He had kids with all of these wives.  And I could never figure out how or why coming from the woman's perspective.  Then I remembered how much money can truly buy.

Like most of you I had heard over the years how Trump had gone bankrupt.  I couldn't figure out how that happened and yet he remained wealthy as hell so I researched it.  I read that being the smart business man he was, he kept all his business interests as separate entities entirely so if one failed, the others were not affected.  I read that when one of those interests failed all the debts were absorbed by the banks and lenders, vendors and employees.  If you don't understand how that happens think Trump Casino, Trump Hotel, Trump Clothes, Trump Steak, and Trump University as stand alone companies, each completely separate from the next.  One has nothing but a name to do with the other.  While they are all part of his over all wealth, they are treated as separate.  If Trump Casino fails, which it did, only Trump Casino fails.  He doesn't have to pull money from the Trump Hotel part of his business to pay off any debt he has in the Casino business.  He just gets to walk away from it, and everything he owes in regards to it.  The banks don't get the money back that he borrowed to build the casino.  The guy making the carpets doesn't get paid.  The dealer just gets laid off, no severance.  It's genius really.  Trump just basically walks away and all his wealth in the other companies remains.  You the taxpayer get to eat part of his debt really.  Remember, each time a someone fails to pay a bank back the money they borrow that goes on the banks financials.  Those financials are then filed with the Federal Reserve who helps the government decide on what the borrowing rates will be for you, the little guy buying a house or a car.  If the banks are struggling with debt then the borrowing rates go up.  Obviously this is a simplified summation of the financial system but just think about that.

Recently we all heard about how Trump also files huge losses on his taxes when he did these bankruptcies, there have been several.  Not only does he get to walk away from unpaid debt but then he gets to file on his taxes that he personally lost all that money.  Even though he might not have invested more than a dollar to build this business, he gets to claim all the bank loans he walked away from as personal losses.  Now remember, all his wealth remains intact.  He's walked away from his debts and now claimed that as a personal loss.  These losses are allowed to be carried forward for a long time on his annual taxes.  Each year Donald files his personal taxes he gets to say, "I owe a million dollars in personal taxes to the United States of America.  But because I walked away from all my responsibilities ten years ago, I will continue to offset that loss against the income taxes I should pay and call it even".  He fucks you over again by not paying his fair share of taxes into the giant pool of money the IRS collects and uses to fund all kinds of government initiatives like infrastructure, education, health care, even the Federal Reserve Banks coffers that he took money from earlier.  Basically he double taps the Fed.

This doesn't make the man stupid at all.  Most wealthy people use all the loopholes they can to reduce what they show as personal income.  I haven't heard of many (including the Clintons) who take better advantage of the system than the Donald does.  The "system" he complains to you so emphatically about?  Well he loves it.  Loves using it to his advantage.  How do you think that will change if he becomes President?  I think he will continue to take full advantage of his position of authority and make changes supporting his future income and business dealings.  He's not going to work for you, there's no evidence to support that at all.  Not even a little bit.  In fact there is more evidence he is going to fuck the system as he has before.  But life is about hopes and dreams isn't it?

What else do I know about Trump?  His hair.  I know about his hair.  I think?  I mean who really knows what goes on under there, under the hive.  Many Trump supporters say, "it's hair, and to judge him for it is ridiculous and shows you are stupid and weak".  On that note, here's what I think.  I think you have to be in complete denial of reality to look in the mirror and think "yep, this is fantastic", when you look at that hair.  That concerns me.  It concerns me when someone cannot see something that blatantly obvious.  There is confidence and then there is a complete lack of self awareness.  Balding men who hide their baldness with comb overs, toupees or wigs that are cheap, ill fitting, or Trump like in any way, are so overtly insecure that it becomes dangerous.  I wouldn't rely on anyone who takes such great lengths to hide something they could as easily accept or with his money, do a proper job of altering (think Hair Club for Men).  I am not saying balding is bad, or I don't like how it looks (my husband is as bald as an eagle), but I think its cover up says a lot about a man.  Some men would rather hide it and try to ineffectually cover it up than admit the truth, that genetics has taken their hair.  I personally think he's bat shit crazy simply because he can leave the house with that hair.

I've known a lot of pigs in my life.  I've dated some, slept with others, and worked alongside many when I had a career on Bay Street, the Canadian version of Wall Street.  I helped run a hockey tournament and played softball annually with these guys.  Toss a few pro hockey players into the mix and you have quite the barnyard.  I spent 22 years around these men, in their "man's world".  When you try to imagine this don't think of the bank owned investment firms with solid Human Resource policies.  Think of the small firms where it was more important to make a buck and take all the risks necessary to make them.  Profit was more important than worrying about the types of personalities that were being hired.  Just as an example, one of the bosses at the firm I worked for apparently (I don't know this for a fact) got sued for sexual harassment multiple times before they bought him out of the company.  Yeah you read that right, "bought him out", paid him to leave.  Trust me when I say, I have seen pigs.  (It should be noted that not all men who work in the investment industry can be labelled pigs but deplorable wouldn't be far off the mark).

During this election a video of Donald Trump emerged from ten plus years ago where he was filmed saying that because he is famous and rich he can kiss any woman he wants, even grab their pussies.  His words, not mine.  In response to the release of this video Donald gave a telepromptered speech claiming he respects women and would never touch them in this manner.  He told the world that his words were just "locker room talk" and nothing more.  In response to that women from all over the world started telling stories of being manhandled, (or sexually assaulted as we prefer to say), by men who think the way Donald Trump does.  Men who think that a woman is just a sexual object.  Men who objectify woman as things, not equal humans, who were put on this earth for no other reason that to satisfy their sexual longings.  Sexual predators who believe they can act on any urge that overtakes them.  Democrats went to town calling Trump a sexual predator.  Republicans repeatedly defended Trump saying over and over that it was just, "locker room talk".  And then the women came.  One after the other, women started coming forward claiming that Trump had accosted them sexually in one manner or the other.  "Why now?", Republicans screamed.  These women only came forward because he publicly claimed to respect them.  He said his words didn't reflect who he was or his actions.  Trump supporters continued to defend him saying that his locker room chatter said nothing about the man and his policies.  Personally I think this type of shit says everything about the man and his policies.  For the life of me I cannot believe this topic has left the every day news headlines as the election draws to a close.  Don't you have daughters?  How can this subject be closed?  Taken over by Wikileaks?

There are a lot of things I cannot say for sure but one thing I can say is that the pigs I have known, (including the one who was sued), would never be stupid enough to say out loud, "I can do what I want with a woman, without asking".  I mean obviously the dude kicked out of the firm for sexual harassment thought he could do whatever he wanted to women.  Still I cannot recall his ever claiming he could do what he wanted to one because he was who he was.  Sure, I heard him drunkenly say to women, "Do you know who I am?" but I never heard him say to a buddy, "I am going to just grab her pussy because I am can".  He was too smart for that.  I can guarantee you in their actual "locker room" these boys talked about what they did with women.  They surely talked about what they wanted to do.  But I can almost guarantee you none of them actually bragged about being able to assault women because they were rich and famous.  Even these neanderthals knew that would be a stupid thing to say out loud.  They knew talking shit like that could get them in trouble especially if they were in the presence of someone they didn't know or barely knew.  If a microphone was anywhere near them, lord no, how stupid could one be?  While what Donald Trump said was horrific, his words actually didn't offend me as much as his entitlement and stupidity did.  (Yes of course his actions, any actions he took, offended me as his words did too).  Donald Trump is so entitled that he will say or do anything he wants.  He doesn't give a fuck about your opinion.  He cares little about public opinion.  "That's why we want him" you yell at me.  But that's your opinion he is not taking into consideration, you know that right???  Would you really be dumb enough to think you could say to someone you barley knew, while a mic was pinned on you, that you are free to sexually accost a stranger?  What will Trump be willing to say to the female leaders of the world just because he is socially inept?  He is entitled and more disconcerting  socially stupid, which is a dangerous combination.  DANGEROUS.  What he did was just plain old stupid.  That worries me most. 

Trump is a man child.  He throws tantrums.  You see that every time he speaks, every time there is a debate, every time someone challenges him.  When someone does something Trump doesn't like he whines and throws a hissy fit.  This is not the behaviour of a world leader.  Actually come to think of it, if you compare him to Kim Jon Un and Putin, he is perfectly suited for the role.  He is probably already wondering who he can have killed that he doesn't like.  Please note, both Un and Putin are DICTATORS.  They do not oversee democratic societies.  If they don't like what's on your email, they will simply take the internet away?  How are you going to Google my home address then?  That's what Trump wants to be, a dictator.  Remember this fact when you vote, he will do what he wants, when he wants irregardless of your wishes or any one else's.  Trump would rather claim that everything is rigged than just accept he might not win.  He would rather put doubts in your mind about the entire election process than just accept he might not win.  "The FBI is bad", because they didn't do what he wanted.  Oh, then they are good because they attempt it again.  Whoopsie, bad again because they didn't find anything.  The "media are crooks" because they simply do not like him and don't want him to be President.   "Celebrities shouldn't be allowed to be part of the campaigning process" because it makes him look bad.  Of course they should be on his show, the Apprentice, but not part of his election.  No celebrities of significance like Trump.  The D list, the unsuccessful ones do.  Even that says something to me.  But not to Trump, Trump thinks it's unfair to him, it's cheating, it's rigged.  Everything is someone else's problem, not his.  The fact the media and successful celebs don't like him means they are bad, "bigly bad"  Surely it doesn't mean that he is less likeable than the unlikeable Hillary.

Trump says things that are so profoundly wrong that I have found myself rethinking my own conservative positions on various topics because in no way shape or form do I want to share an opinion even remotely similar to Mr. Trump.  I have come to realize that if Donald Trump says something then it comes from a place of primal fear.  I guess in a way I need to thank him for broadening my narrow field of vision on some things.  Feeding our homeless before refugees, rethought.  Do both.  It's our responsibility as a first world country.  Our homeless are not being overlooked because of refugees.  They are being overlooked in spite of.  There is a Facebook post going around showing what appears to be a dead, frozen, homeless person.  The header reads, "House our homeless before refugees".  Research this.  It's not actually a picture from America.  Not many homeless actually die of freezing in first world countries with shelters and charities that check on those out in the cold.  Furthermore, most homeless people who do not go to shelters do not go out of choice.  They don't want to live by the rules and regulations that shelters have to have in place to try and keep people safe.  It took me just a few minutes to research this FB post and fact check it.  Only a few minutes for me to take an entirely new stance on the subject.  Why is it most Americans find themselves unable to do this?

Racism and anything else ending in "ism" or "phobia" originate from fear.  Fear is primal.  Fear tends to lack any intelligence.  It is based entirely on emotional responses and not logic.  In most instances if you look at something with logic, you can remove any fear because you are removing emotion.  Trump feeds Americans fear of almost everything.  Fear kicks in and primal urges abound.  Defend yourself!  Arm yourself!  Kick them out!  Don't let them in!  Basically he is the schoolyard bully that every kid wants as their friend because they are scared.  What no one realizes is schoolyard bullies are often psychologically damaged, of lesser intelligence, and act out solely based on insecurities.

Say what you want about Hillary Clinton.  Maybe she is dishonest, a through and through, true politician, where the truth is subjective depending on who she is talking to.  That might truly be who Hillary is.  I think she stood by her husband so many years ago because she looked him in the eye and said, "my turn is coming and you will sit in the corner and fucking behave".  I think like so many before her, (including President Bush for the record), she set up her own email server so that she could have private conversations with the people close to her.  "How long do I have to stay with this fucking asshole so I can be President?"  There has been no proof that she violated American security by emailing the nuclear codes to a friend.  I think Hillary Clinton is a political machine.  I think she knows how to get shit done.  She is the least insecure looking person I have seen since Mr. Data on Star Trek.  Clinton is not going to act on her insecurities.  She is not going to make decisions based in fear.  I think it's clear she will make decisions based on interest groups and if you are lucky, you might be one of those groups.  It can't be ignored that she has worked for the people in her past.  Has he?  Maybe she will try to work the system as she has for decades.  I like the idea of a President who knows how to work the WORLD's political system.  You cannot just shit all over the world and expect them to take it.  Other countries have nukes.  What I know for sure is that Hillary Clinton is not going to set America back hundreds of years simply because the population changes every single day.  But you've heard most of this already, I am not saying anything new.  

If Clinton wins, Trump has fed Americas fears so much that civil unrest may follow.  Imagine that, civil unrest in one of the greatest country on earth?!  Just like Syria or Iraq.  That's the thinking that Trump has been feeding, that you should mimic one of these countries and overthrow your government if he doesn't win the big prize in this competition.  I am confident the assassination attempts on Clinton will probably be the highest in history.  Killing, that's where Donald Trump takes American minds.  To killing their President as an option?  It's mind boggling to me to hear people say this is what they are thinking.  Granted the people saying that shit truly are the deplorable of the Trump supporters but you don't hear Trump saying, "okay come on now, that's enough of that".  Clinton will not destroy your country in 4 years, it's basically impossible.  You have Republicans in the Senate to prevent that, you have to know this deep down?  Maybe nothing will change, it will be the status quo for 4 more years.  Is that really so bad?  Will America really die in those 4 years or will you hold your chin up high as you always have and show the free world that you got this? 

It really doesn't matter what I think, I know you've heard this before but come on, wouldn't it be nice to have a fucking chick try to run this shit?  I mean she can't do any worse can she?   

No matter what, #vote.  This shit is real.

P.S.  Obviously #imwithher but I am Canadian so I don't really matter much.  I am just in the 2nd floor apartment hoping you don't bulldoze the place while I am out.