Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – New Year’s Trumped By Stupidity

Welcome 2018 – or more precisely glad to see you go 2017

Like many other folk one of my human foibles is the ability to easily fall into silly rituals and flawed fantasies. Logic dictates that the mere flip of a calendar page does not change our fortunes in life, however reality aside I openly admit to happily waving goodbye to 2017.

In my myopic mirror the past year sucked.

The nightmare began the final day of 2016 when our house experienced lost power for two days during sub zero weather, followed by electrical issues, a flood in the basement, then more electrical problems including a whopping bill for repairing the heater. All within 10 days.

Meanwhile an abscess tooth on January 4 turned into a life threatening battle that consumed the rest of the year – four oral surgeries resulting in removal of all my teeth but four, two separate major operations involving the insertion of two separate titanium plates in my jaw, removal of nearly five inches of bone in my leg then grafted into my new jaw, a tracheotomy, approximately more than 350 stitches, 90 staples and 17 screws in either my jaw, face or leg.

On the positive side I now look a lot like a pro hockey player (albeit a little skinny), am no longer confused in public with a young Richard Dreyfuss or Robert Redford, only have two tubes sticking out of my body instead of six, and have an excuse to go to bed early or sleep in whenever I want. Milkshakes and sundaes loaded with strawberries or hot fudge are now mandatory eating.

In addition I am still alive and, short of death, 2018 can only promise better luck. So… as silly as being excited about the start of a new year promising a change in luck or fortune is – I am gleefully embracing the concept.

I’m thrilled to be here, honoured to be on City Council, and thankful for all the simple yet wonderful things that each day brings.

Who says that old dogs cannot learn?

While I am over the top with the start of a new year I must admit that it has been kicked off with some serious trepidation from comments by the madman south of the border. In yet another childish, moronic and dangerous verbal diarrhea session New Year’s eve President Donald stoked the heated fires between the U.S. and North Korea texting about Kim Jong-Un, ”Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my Button works.”

Trumps silly threat came after Jong-Un’s annual speech cautioned that, “The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table.”

Ironically the childish ‘my bomb is bigger than your bomb’ berating followed an announcement that North Korea has ‘reopened the hotline’ with South Korea (cut by the North in 2015) to discuss among other things, attending the Winter Olympics. Seoul has proposed high-level talks in response to the olive branch from the North’s leader ahead of next month’s Pyeongchang Games.

Such a stance marks an unusual softening in tone, as tensions over North Korea’s banned weapons programme have surged in recent months following a flurry of missile launches and nuclear tests. While some political pundits eye the olive branch with suspicion others suggest it is inspired more because of Japan’s influence in the Asian dispute than Yankee threats.

Regardless, Trump’s idiotic diatribe once again sheds light on his profound lack of maturity, comprehension, and ability to be President and once again suggests the man is not playing with a full deck. Sadly he is playing poker with world peace.

On a positive note – there is no button on Donald’s desk.

It doesn’t exist.

‘Pushing the button’ for a nuclear attack is much more complex than pushing one button and involves the use of a nuclear ‘football,’ which is apparently carried by a rotating group of military officers everywhere the president goes. If the Donald ordered a strike he would have to transmit the launch order to the Pentagon and Strategic Command before anything happened.

Thin as that filter is it is better than no filter at all.

The absurdity of the situation, and genuine concern of Trump’s unstable command of the ship, continues to mystify many Canadians and other folks around the world who ponder just how long such insanity will be allowed to continue.

What will it actually take for the current corrupt and clearly incompetent leader and his close entourage of nefarious supporters to be dethroned? Why has Trump not already been impeached?

How can Trump’s attempts to block or stall legal and proper investigations into his actions continue to be tolerated?

The majority of United States media seem to now recognize the man is a mindless menace. Apparently so do many within various levels of government, so it is boggling what the holdup is in shutting down this reckless tyrant.

As I look into 2018 I see a number of potential positive predictable possibilities, which I shall babble about next column, however suffice to say I am convinced Mr. Trump will no longer be running the zoo by the end of this new year. One can only hope.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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