11.27.2016 12:09 PM

Trudeau, Castro, condolences and memory


  1. The Canadian Prime Minister praised Castro in a statement a twenty-something wrote and no one  really looked at before it went out
  2. The (mainly conservative and Conservative) Internet went totally apeshit
  3. The Canadian Prime Minister walked it back, a bit, and the conservative types said the original sin would live in infamy forever 

It won’t. Nothing does, anymore. We tender as evidence: Donald J. Trump. 

Trump is a racist, sexist crook with fascist inclinations. But he also understands the popular consciousness better than anyone who has ever lived. 

He knows we have a national memory of five minutes, and he knows that every new outrage – no matter how outrageous – will be forgotten by tomorrow. 

Gone. Poof. It’s a memory. Overtaken by Kanye being led away to a padded room, or a video of a kitten sitting on a Roomba. Gone. 

He also knows that people have a really low opinion of politicians. So, when a politician does something stupid – like, say, praising a dictator who murdered and repressed his own people (Trudeau on Castro, Thatcher/Reagan on Botha) – well, no one cares nearly as much as the chattering classes do. 

Regular folks already think politicians are stupid and/or corrupt, and they aren’t therefore surprised when a politician says or does something that is stupid and/or corrupt. 

Welcome to the new era. Every chord has been played before, everyone knows it, and no one will stop humming the tune. 


  1. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    “when a politician says or does something that is stupid and/or corrupt”

    Trudeau’s outburst reflects something more than just stupid and/or corrupt – admiration of dictatorship is EVIL.

  2. Dick Clark says:

    So, Donald Trump, Putin, Duterte, Modi, et al. will be jamming Louie Louie ad infinitum and the lotus eaters are too spaced out to even know?

    • redraven says:

      Oh please.
      Donald Trump is the movie being there writ large. A sad pathetic song and dance flim flam man who fell into the job of President by accident because of the arrogance and hubris of the other side.
      This is like Napster but far more serious. In one fell swoop Napster destroyed the music business forever but in it’s wake we now have Spotify. The old music business is never coming back and neither is the American political system. The Donald like it or not had destroyed it. It’s never going to be the same. I don’t know how much damage he’s going to cause before he’s done but I can almost guarantee he won’t see out his term. America has a violent history of settling scores but it’s already too late. Something new for better or worse will arise. maybe the country will split in two. who knows or maybe it’s just nature’s way of forcing change upon the unwilling. If I were the Donald I wouldn’t ride around in any open topped limos or drive by any grassy knolls.

      I for one am overjoyed. From what I can see the only people truly pissed off are the parasites who’ve been sucking off the American body politic forever. In one fell swoop a moron just moved their cheese and they don’t have a clue what to do about it.
      Maybe the Stones serenade Donald to sleep every night with this line from Sympathy
      “pleased to meet you have you guessed my name.”

  3. André says:

    And, in the advertising industry, if a tv commercial is not understood by a 12 y.o. it will not be understood by 95% of the viewing audience — a.k.a. K.I.S.S. (not the rock group).

  4. Bill Templeman says:

    Then there is the exploding presence of fake news. Anyone, left or right, can play this game. Not only are we into the era of the 5 minutes memory. We are in the post-fact era. No time for research? No budget for investigative reporting? No problem. Make it up:


    “That day, as they travelled, Obama and Simas talked almost obsessively about an article in BuzzFeed that described how the Macedonian town of Veles had experienced a “digital gold rush” when a small group of young people there published more than a hundred pro-Trump Web sites, with hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers. The sites had names like TrumpVision365.com and WorldPoliticus.com, and most of the posts were wildly sensationalist, recycled from American alt-right sites. If you read such sites, you learned that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump and that Clinton had actually encouraged Trump to run, because he “can’t be bought.”

    • dave constable says:

      A couple of interesting reads (although, a tad long) are histories of the British foreign intelligence MI6, and its origins in the early20th Century. A British writer named Jeffry covers the 1st half aof the 20th Century, and another Brit, Dorril writes about WWII and on. Both refer tho incidents in which Brit intelligence planted news stories in European newspapers during the 1st part of the 20th Century, knowing that those stories would be picked up by other news media. An interesting part is when MI6 was planting stories in American media in 1940 and 1941 as they tried to turn the American public to support a war with Germany.
      Today, we see lots of news sites on the internet, but the models of ‘fake news’ have been with us for a long time.
      Methinks there have been a number fo times that we have hated someone or other, and made war on people, because of ‘fake news.’

      I think this ‘fake news’ controversy is being promulgated to justify restrictions on internet info .

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Remember when Trump said he would let us know, at the time, whether he would accept the election results? (If rigged.) That was followed by Hillary Rodham Clinton blasting him for it. And when she lost, she conceded, both publicly and privately.

    Project forward to Jill Stein and the Greens asking for a voting recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Then Hillary decides to join the recount effort — that will not in the end likely change the results in the Electoral College.

    I think the recount is a good idea to lessen dissent and promote eventual broad-based acceptance by Americans. But IMHO, it was a strategic mistake for the Clinton campaign to endorse that request.

  6. pat says:

    All about entertainment with no emphasis on information. Fake news, confirmation bias, constitutional violations run amuck – pseudo-science, cherry picking this to rationalize that – always a narrative wagging the god –

    A culture that in everyday life uses random accusations, and abuses suspicion without event. Nazis did that to rationalize themselves – we’re having too much fun these days destroying ourselves.

  7. pat says:

    Modern communication has created an atmosphere of electronic tribes; it has awakened the barbarian in us.

  8. Kevin says:

    So I saw two things in his statement: condolences on someone’s death, and trying to find something nice to say about the deceased.

    Now he’s an evil, barbarian, Nazi-rationalizing, wilfully ignorant lotus-eater? Sorry – not buying it.

  9. PJ says:

    I do think it was an ill thought out statement by JT. Stephan Dion’s statement was more appropriate.
    While I am no communist and I do not support any type of human rights abuses it is important to remember that the Cuban revolution was the overthrow of a fascist totalitarian regime that had its own history of human rights abuses. Something the US media seems to have conveniently forgotten.

    Given that the US has just elected the most misogynistic and bigoted President in modern American history I am not so sure they are in a position to lecture anyone about human rights. Afterall the US President – elect is an admirer of Vladimir Putin who is no champion of human rights and supports Bashir Assad in the Syrian civil war.

    The US government was responsible for the overthrow of the democratically elected socialist government of Iran in the 1950’s and replaced with the Shah who was guilty of human rights abuses.
    The US government was also responsible for the overthrow of the democratically elected socialist government of Chile in 1971 and the installation of a military dictatorship.

  10. Doug Brown says:

    Yeah written by a trustafarian PM with the experience and maturity of a twentysomesomething.

  11. Russ says:

    Oh the horror and indignation. Our PM misspoke. Get over it. His statement could / should have been phrased differently but it is not going to start WWIII or the zombie apocalypse (betcha Warren’s glad about that !!) 2 weeks from now it will be forgotten. At the end of the day most people didn’t hear or see it and most people, to be frank, don’t care

  12. Charlie says:

    2: You don’t say?! c/Conservatives losing their shit over something utterly inconsequential and frivolous — it couldn’t be!!

    Jesus H. Christ.

    Trudeau broke his promise on deficit spending, is waffling on pipeline construction and isn’t improving the economy as fast as expected, but c/Conservatives find the time to have an epileptic seizure over a remark Trudeau made about the passing of a foreign nation’s leader with whom he has a personal relationship?

    This is why the CPC is making the Opposition benches their permanent home; they have an utter inability to focus on things that matter and lose their minds over shit nobody cares about.

    Here is the reality of the matter: People have differing opinions on Castro.

    That may be a surprise to some, but its true. There are people who think he’s a ruthless dictator, there are others who think he’s a revolutionary. Comparing him to Hitler is not only despicable but degrading to those who suffered under Nazi rule. I can’t believe I’m reading comments equating Trudeau’s praise for Cuba’s education and healthcare to praising Hitler ethno-nationalism.

    This is not an issue; its not even a goddamn story. There are so many other things to criticize Trudeau on as of this moment. Conservatives need to get their shit straight and learn how to focus, because these bitch-fits are coming off extremely petty.

    Note: Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have been pushing for more business with China and Saudi Arabia for the past 2 decades, so don’t fucking tell me about human rights.

    • G. McRae says:

      The part you are missing is that Trudeau said “On behalf of all Canadians…”. I am sure that there are some Cuban Canadians who escaped over the years that were quite happy to see “el Comandante” kick the bucket.

      BTW, it is not a “c/Conservatives” thing… News agencies around the world have picked up on #trudeaueulogies.

  13. dave constable says:

    I think I mentioned on another thread here that, to me, JT’s original statement combined personal and prime minister’s response to Castro’s passing. After browsing a bit all the ‘fake news’ sites from outside North America’s mainstream media, JT’s comments echo a lot fo comment from around the planet

    An important point for me that seems too easily forgotten is that for 5 and a 1/2 decades, Castro’s land of 10 million or so has been under very real threat by the USA, which has often shown it will attack and destroy nations it wants to bring freedom to. That has to be pressure that strengthens (as it always does) centralization of power, and urgent measures against opposition.

  14. Armand says:

    It’s not just conservatives. This from Macleans is pretty scathing: http://www.macleans.ca/news/trudeaus-turn-from-cool-to-laughing-stock/

    Will this gaff stick? I think it will knock some points off his popularity when the next EKOS poll comes out. Beyond that time will tell (cheesy, I know).

  15. John B says:

    Pierre Trudeau used his ‘friendship’ with Castro mostly as a means of poking Americans in general, and American Presidents and politicians in particular, in the eye.

    In return Castro used his ‘friendship’ with PET to legitimize his evil, murderous communist dictatorship.

    It is a terrible shame, but I am not at all surprised that the young and terribly naive Justin Trudeau doesn’t understand that.

    I guess when you elect a part time drama teacher as the most powerful politician in your country (just because of his last name) you probably get what you deserve.

    I was a federal liberal party supporter for 40 years. I no longer support them.

    • Barbara says:

      Agree. I also believe that Canadians remember more than Mr Kinsella believes. Remember “Beer and Popcorn”? Trudeau is who what many of us already have figured out. He is shallow and rather stupid. He wants happy days and refuses to face the ugly reality of the world. Has he faced just one crowd of unemployed?
      Separately, I hope to see him with the troops this Christmas, and not on safe soil. It’s about time he showed some leadership and joined the troops overseas or aboard a deployed ship. Bets are – he won’t do it.

  16. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    The point I would make here in connection with this controversy is that we in the West do not truly know what are the heartfelt desires of the Cuban people. We know how those people feel who are connected with the regime — and have absolute clarity as to how the exiles feel about Fidel in Little Havana in Miami.

    But do the ordinary Cuban people want a multi-party system, democracy and fair elections as constituted in a liberal democracy? I don’t have the answer and I doubt any of us in Canada do either.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Because hey, maybe they *prefer* being trapped in an oppressive dictatorship instead of having all the scary freedom they’d have in a democracy.


  17. Jim Keegan says:

    Warren, I really don’t get your statement in No. 1. I don’t doubt that Trudeau’s comments were in fact written by a “twenty something” but does that mean that our Prime Minister blindly reads everything that is put in front of him without any review, input or pushback from himself? If this is the case, then we should all be seriously concerned. Also, wouldn’t *any* prepared public statement have to be vettted by a senior official in the PMO before even being presented to the PM? I really have a hard time blaming this latest Trudeau gaffe on an anonymous junior staffer.

    • Warren says:

      I’m not. My point is that Chretien,Harper, Trudeau et al. never author or generally even see such statements. Blame lies here with the person who is supposed to be making sure these things do not happen.

      • Mark says:

        In the specific case of Castro, given the close family connections, I’d find it hard that Trudeau would not have seen and approved this first.

        That said, I do agree that this will be quickly forgotten for the most part. The only danger is if you have enough of these minor controversies – from the public’s perspective – like his comments about China’s “basic dictatorship”, or military sales to the Saudis etc, that they might feed into some larger narrative about not walking the walk on human rights.

        But maybe the most worrying thing for Trudeau should be that this culminated not just with criticism of him, but with ridicule. He doesn’t handle the latter nearly as well.

  18. Al in Cranbrook says:

    This incident of indiscretion is merely a reflection…tragically…of the product of two generations, including Justin’s, whom have been taught basically SFA regarding 20th century history. They don’t know squat about communism, or Stalin and Mao and their reign of terror and murder. They don’t have a clue about Canada’s role in fighting for freedom against tyranny in a world war. And most of all, they don’t know shite about the value of freedom, liberty, democracy, and how they came by a way of life they now take so much for granted.

    Frankly, our education system is a bloody disgrace and a GD shame.

    F’rinstance: I worked for a while in a store where hunting licenses are sold. In BC, youths from the age of 10, with parental or guardian supervision until they’re 18, can obtain one. Far more the rule than the exception, when turned over to junior for his/her signature, was to watch kids who could barely print their own names…and too often didn’t understand that meant both their first and last names. I’m talking struggling that one might reasonably expect from pre-schoolers. It was one of the most discouraging, if not heart breaking, things I’ve ever had to witness in all my years of employment.

    To be clear, it’s not their fault, they only know what they’ve been taught…which clearly is too damn little of the most basic essentials!

    …and now it only gets worse when they get to university, where increasing ranks of quasi-Marxist profs are waiting to fill their minds with their morally bereft, but ever so properly politically correct and written in stone incontestable, ideologically ism soaked bullshit.

    And people wonder why history tends to repeat itself.

    • Bill Templeman says:

      Al, thoroughly agree with you about the lack of history being taught in public schools. Kids just don’t know the basics of how we got to here. But whose history should be taught? Yours or mine? Would you also teach them about Batista, Franco, Peron, and Adolf Hitler (who was missing from your list above)? Right wingers all. Or do History’s bad guys only play on the left wing?

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        Just picked the two worst, Bill, didn’t want to get into a big list. Diabolical tyranny is evil incarnate; right or left makes no difference when tallying victims.

        At the end of the day, ideology is foremost about fitting square pegs into round holes…square pegs being idealism with all its contrivances, and round holes equating to people who carry the inconvenient attribute of human nature.

        Extreme ideologues, communist or fascist, generally get around, sooner or later, to measuring people for square pegs, and killing off those who don’t fit the bill.

        But then it’s all a matter of degrees, isn’t it? How can you tell for sure that climate change/global warming has become an ideology unto itself? It’s self evident: Practitioners busy themselves with their little inquisitions to sort out the heretics to the faith, accuse and condemn them without a hearing, and then have them promptly burned at the stake of public opinion…facilitated, if not cheered on, by the usual suspects of the MSM.

  19. Peter Mumford says:

    It’s inspiring that a small but proud island nation can persevere in the face of decades’ worth of hostility and saber-rattling by the relentless hyper-power just a short distance away on the mainland. Solidarity with Taiwan!

  20. Glen says:

    I do tire of the “but Batista” excuses.

    I read a quote from a Cuban exile that said it well: “Batista would kill you if he didn’t like you, but Castro would kill you, imprison your family and seize your assets”

  21. Darren H says:

    #trudeaueulogies are priceless! We are enjoying them in the office today. Social Media giveth, and Social Media taketh away.

  22. Al Zwikker says:

    It’s called condolences. It’s what you do when someone dies. That is all….

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