Tag Archives: Justin Trudeau

U.S. back in the game

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Justin Trudeau has welcomed the United States back to the role of international leader.

Thank you, Mr. Canadian Prime Minister. I am one American who is glad to see our country embraced as the world’s most indispensable nation. That it comes from our longstanding North American ally and partner, which shares the world’s longest unfortified border with us, is especially welcome.

President Biden and Trudeau met for the first time as fellow heads of government. Trudeau, of course, had what one could call a strained relationship with Donald John Trump, given that Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian goods exported to the United States. Oh, and he also questioned whether the Canadians were spending enough on defense given our nations’ membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Trudeau seems to expect, with justification, a return to a more normal U.S.-Canada alliance with Joe Biden being elected president of the United States. Indeed, President Biden declared recently at the G7 virtual summit that “America is back” on the world stage.

Now, I totally understand the political popularity of Trump’s “make America first” policy. It helped elect him president in 2016. After four years of bitching, moaning and chaos brought about Trump’s petulance and unpredictability, American voters said “enough of that,” and turned toward Biden, a man with decades of foreign policy moxie and experience.

Is the new president going to conduct a hiccup-free foreign policy? Heavens no! However, if we are to accept Justin Trudeau’s assessment about the return of U.S. leadership, then we should hail the restoration of our nation’s role as the world’s leading military and economic power.

Canadian PM acts decisively on guns; no 2nd Amendment to block him

What has just occurred in Canada cannot happen in the United States of America, but I have to tell you that I wish somehow that we could follow the Canadian model on how to stem gun violence.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an immediate ban on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in the wake of a Nova Scotia shooting that killed 22 victims in April.

That means you can’t own an AR-15, or an M-16 or an AK-47. Period.

As The Associated Press reported: “Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers,” he said, rejecting the reaction of many politicians after mass shootings.

Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including the rampage that killed 22 in Nova Scotia April 18 and 19. He announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including two guns used by the gunman as well as the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States.

I am left to say, merely, “Wow!”

The Canadians don’t have a constitution that contains an amendment that guarantees that the “right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” That gives the prime minister a clear path to take unilateral action.

Spare me the dogma associated with gun-owner rights. I do not want to move to Canada. I am a proud American patriot who believes in the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment that guarantees gun ownership.

However, I remain baffled, bamboozled and blown away (no pun intended) by our inability to legislate any kind of modest gun reform that could prevent the sort of carnage through which we suffer with alarming frequency.

The AP reports: Trudeau said the weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

“Today we are closing the market for military-grade assault weapons in Canada,” he said.

Owners of these weapons use them for that purpose here, as well, yet our political structure is hamstrung by fealty to the Second Amendment and the inability or unwillingness of politicians to buck the gun lobby.

But here we are with two nations of comparable physical size, but with huge differences in population. They also are governed by vastly different documents and precepts.

We need not be held hostage in this country by gun lobbyists. I continue to believe there exists a legislative solution to gun violence that keeps faith with what the founders wrote when they drafted the Second Amendment to our beloved Constitution.

Trump vs. NATO colleagues: Oh, the irony of it all

Donald Trump continues to exhibit an astonishing lack of self-awareness. Indeed, the irony of his sudden bolting from an international meeting with military allies reveals that point.

There he was at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in London. He trashed French President Emmanuel Macron, called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” and then became the subject of a hot-mic exchange among NATO leaders who were poking fun at the president.

He left the NATO conference and jetted back to the United States.

What is astonishing in the extreme is that Trump seemed to get mad at the leaders’ laughing at his expense. He has no awareness of the kind of treatment he has leveled on his political foes and, indeed, even at his allies.

He has tossed out insults and epithets at will. He hangs goofy nicknames on those with whom he disagrees. He dishes out innuendo as rapidly as a blackjack dealer.

So he gets chided by his colleagues at a NATO meeting and then flies out of there? What gives with this guy?

He vowed while campaigning for the presidency to get rid of the laughingstock label he said was being hung on the United States. Well, maybe he has done that … by giving other world leaders reason to laugh at him.

Trump makes a hash of another NATO gathering

Well now, that didn’t go too well.

Donald Trump was one of several heads of state and government attending a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Then he decided he had enough of the treatment he was getting from his fellow world leaders gathered in London. So he left early, canceling an anticipated press conference.

Oh, my.

He started out by having a testy press availability with French President Emanuel Macron, who snapped back at Trump’s assertion that many Islamic State fighters come from France.

He called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced.”

Trump said France needs NATO more than the United States and chided the French for not paying more for their defense against potential enemies in Europe.

Other world leaders were heard on a “hot microphone” poking fun at the U.S. president … which I guess was too much for Trump to handle.

He left the meeting early and headed for home.

Goodness, gracious.

Is this how the president of the United States represents us on the world stage? Must we tolerate this kind of petulance? Must this nation be held up as an international laughingstock only because its president doesn’t know how to behave and act like the head of state of the world’s most indispensable nation?

He talks about impeachment constantly during his press sessions. He blasts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly while he’s overseas. Trump ridicules the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, hurling a variety of epithets at the man who is performing his constitutionally prescribed duties.

So, another foreign visit has gone badly.

Get to work, Mr. President, on whatever it is you do.

Trudeau flap a symptom of left-leaning sensitivity

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba — I have given some additional thought to a story that has threatened to swallow Canada whole. It involves Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s posing in blackface a couple decades ago.

He has apologized. He sounds sincere to me. He has owned what he did, calling it wrong, insensitive and offensive.

However, the story won’t go away. Trudeau is running for re-election.

My take on it has crystallized a bit since I wrote an earlier blog post on this matter. I am beginning now to believe — as one of my dearest friends has posited already on social media — that Trudeau has become a victim of an oversensitive reaction of the liberal/progressive wing of the broad political spectrum.

Yes, we are now more sensitive to how blackface is perceived. It is wrong. Trudeau made a serious mistake when he went to a costume party slathered in black makeup, posing as “Aladdin.”

I do believe, though, that a sincere apology ought to be enough. He has vowed to say he is sorry to political leaders of color in Canada. Trudeau is a chastened young man.

The international reaction from some quarters has been fierce, too. Surprisingly — and to be honest, I am pleased to report this — a muted reaction has come from the White House where Donald “Pu*** Grabber in Chief” has said only that he is “surprised” by Trudeau’s predicament. He has made — so far — no substantial comment on the specifics of what Trudeau has admitted to doing. That’s fine, Mr. President. Do not even go there.

I hope this matter can be put away. Prime Minister Trudeau has sought to make amends. He turned a campaign rally into a town hall event in Saskatoon the other evening, fielding questions from constituents about the matter. I believe that’s an act of political courage.

I’m done with this story. On to the next thing … whatever it is.

Hunt for Trump supporter comes up empty

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba — I am waving the white flag, throwing in the towel, calling a halt.

My search for a Donald Trump supporter appears to have come up short, as in I cannot find anyone.

We’re spending our final night in this beautiful country full of beautiful people. We head back to the United States of America in the morning, where I am quite sure I could find a Trump supporter as we make our way toward The House.

My search has revealed zero fruit. Damn!

We have made no secret of our place of residence. We have told countless Canadians that we live near Dallas, Texas. No one has come forward with a statement of support of our president.

I will be candid in admitting I haven’t spent a lot of time searching for those folks.

Our journey through Canada, which began as we crossed the border at Bellingham, Wash., and will end when we cross just south of Winnipeg has been magnificent. We’ve crossed the Canadian Cascades and the Rockies. We have traveled across rolling plains and vast expanses of flat prairie. We have met some wonderful fellow travelers, most of whom call Canada home.

I have heard a smattering of complaints and jokes about Donald Trump. Nothing in support has been forthcoming.

Well, that’s to be expected. Canadians have their hands full with their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, fending off questions about the blackface scandal that threatens to derail his re-election chances. I might have more to say on that later.

For now, I am anxious to be back home. We’ll head for The House and get back to our domesticated lives.

This country’s Trump supporters will have to remain undiscovered.

Are some offenses beyond forgiving?

REGINA, Saskatchewan — The word in Canada is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blew it when he appeared in what has been called “brownface” back when he was a much younger man.

You’ve seen the pictures. He is posing with others while wearing what looks like some sort of Arabic costume. He is slathered in dark skin makeup. He’s got a big ol’ grin on his face. The picture just surfaced, but it has taken Canada by storm.

This story is giving me fits as I watch it unfold.

Trudeau, who is facing a tough re-election fight, has offered a full-throated apology. There was none of that “if I offended anyone” non-apology crap you hear from politicians on occasion. The man said he is sorry. He is ashamed of himself. He is ashamed of his conduct. He said he meant no racist intent when he did it.

Has the public accepted the apology? Hardly. I have watched the news and heard from Canadians — particularly those of color — say, in effect, that what Trudeau did in the 1980s is unforgivable. No apology is good enough. No expression of contrition is sufficient.

Is it fair to condemn someone for appearing at a party dressed in such a manner? Is it fair to hold a 47-year-old accountable for his actions as a much younger individual? I truly am torn by this.

Is this different than a similar scandal involving Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who had a picture taken of himself in black face standing alongside someone wearing what looks like a Ku Klux Klan outfit? Yes. It is. Moreover, Northam’s apology did not seem to go quite as far in its sincerity that Trudeau’s has gone.

You may spare me any epithets you might hurl at me for being sympathetic to a racist politician. I do not believe Prime Minister Trudeau fits that bill. I do believe the young man made a serious mistake that has seen the light of day.

He also has delivered what sounds to my ears like a sincere apology.

The issue now lies in the hands of Canada’s voters.

Good luck, neighbors. I’m glad I do not have to make that decision. We’ve got our own political weirdness.

Looking for what I believe is a rarity: Canadian supporter of Trump

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — I am on a mission.

Somewhere out there in the vast nation that borders the United States of America are likely to be folks who believe Donald J. Trump is the greatest thing to American politics since pockets on shirts.

I want to find at least one of them.

My intention is to look for Canadians who will answer this simple question: Do you think the president of the United States is doing a good job for his country and for yours?

That’s a reasonably neutral query. When I announced my plans to seek out Canadians’ opinion on a man I detest, I sought to make it clear that I didn’t intend to skewer the questions in search of particular answers. I do intend to remain faithful to that pledge.

And if I find a Trumpster among our Canadian hosts I intend to ask them for specifics about why they think he’s such a darn noble statesman.

They might be hard to find. I keep hearing anecdotal stuff about the president’s low opinion ratings in Canada, where — to be candid — Canadians aren’t too keen on their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, either.

Maybe they’re all a bunch of soreheads. Eh?

I’ll do my best. Wish me luck.

Heading north in search of ‘international’ view of POTUS

Very soon, we’re going to pack up our RV and head north. We’ll cross into Canada near Vancouver, British Columbia, and begin a trek across that equally vast country.

Along the way I intend to ask lots of questions of our continental neighbors. I want to find out what they think of Donald John Trump and whether his vow to “put America first” and to “make America great again” is playing well with rank-and-file Canadians.

Our initial plan was to travel the length of Canada west to east. Then we thought differently. We have decided to do the western half first; we’ll visit the eastern half at a later date.

There’s been a lot of chatter in the U.S. media about U.S.-Canada relations. Some of it has suggested that the nations, two of the world’s closest allies, have grown apart in the Age of Trump. The president has disparaged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on occasion; Trudeau has returned a volley or two himself, although I must say the young PM’s retorts have been much more dignified and restrained.

Trump has slapped tariffs on Canadian goods shipped into this country. He has sought to craft a new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has called a “total disaster … probably the worst deal” in human history.

Does the “put America first” mantra go down well with our neighbors, with whom we share the largest unprotected border on Earth? Just how do Canadians feel about the way Trump has talked to and about Trudeau? The Canadians also are a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which aims to protect Europe against aggressors. What is their take on Trump’s belief that NATO nations need to spend more on their own defense or else possibly losing American participation altogether?

My much better half and I will get the chance to visit our neighbors up close for several weeks as we travel through the western provinces. We’ll likely get as far as Winnipeg, Manitoba, before turning south and headin’ for the house.

I look forward to sharing what we learn along the way.

Build that wall … up north!

Leave it to Fox News’s Shepard Smith to add a peculiar twist to the burgeoning war of words between Donald J. Trump and Justin Trudeau.

The news anchor wondered out loud whether we need to build a wall along our northern border with Canada, to complement the wall Trump wants to build along our southern border with Mexico.

Trump left the G-7 summit in Quebec after leveling threats against our major trading partners. He and the Canadian prime minister got into a particularly angry exchange, with Trump accusing Trudeau of double-crossing him after he left the summit.

Trudeau responded with threats of retaliation against the United States over the tariffs Trump has leveled against Canadian steel and aluminum. A Trump economic adviser, Peter Navarro, said there is a “special place in hell” for anyone who stabs the president “in the back.”

As the Daily Beast reported: “Our biggest trading partner in all the world, our best friend from way back in World War II and every time in between, Canada” Smith added, laughing for a moment before dropping this suggestion: “Maybe we need a Northern wall.”

Do you get my drift here?

Trump announced his presidential campaign by declaring that Mexico is “sending rapists, murderers and drug dealers” into our country. He said he would wall off the country from Mexico and make the Mexican government pay for it.

Is there another such threat awaiting the Canadians now if Trump and Trudeau keep exchanging heated insults across the world’s longest unsecured border?