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The Ruttle Report - It's a minefield out there

We're certainly living in some interesting times, aren't we? A wispy-haired business mogul with a flair for the dramatic and a penchant for degrading women (sorry, I meant "locker room talk") is the President of the United States.

We're certainly living in some interesting times, aren't we?

A wispy-haired business mogul with a flair for the dramatic and a penchant for degrading women (sorry, I meant "locker room talk") is the President of the United States.  Meanwhile, a former substitute teacher with a flair for taking great selfies and a penchant for saying "Uh" and "Um" a lot is our Prime Minister here in Canada.  (but nice hair, though)

Folks, it's a political minefield no matter where you seem to step, the likes of which we've never seen before and will probably never see again.

I should probably get this out of the way right now before anyone reading this thinks I'm a card-carrying member of this party or that one; I have no political affiliation whatsoever.  I hate ALL politicians equally.

Just kidding.

But I suppose I've always been wired this way.  I've simply never seen the need to devote my support to one particular group when *everyone* involved in the political game wants the same things; jobs for Canadians, a vibrant economy, a strong health sector, yada yada yada.  The only real difference between political parties is precisely *how* we go about achieving those things, and that's where we see the public become divided and people pledging their support for one party or another.  Sorry, but participating in politics just isn't my jam.

That divide has really shown itself in the last couple of years, particularly since it was a back-to-back-to-back election election season when it comes to the federal stage, followed six months later by the provincial one, and then the American election near the end of last year.  And the views on the issues from any number of politicians (or at least what the more sensationalist media types in both Canada and the US would have you believe are their views) seem to split people down the middle, particularly evidenced on social media.  I swear, Facebook needs a button you can click where anything remotely political gets filtered out.  Because my oh my, if you happen to share an opposing view or stance against what the "popular opinion" is, you're the bad guy.  Why?  Because it's 2017, and this growing digital generation of millennials seems to have the thought process of "I'm the one who's right, any other views are just part of the problem!"  Well, sorry to burst your protective bubble, Junior, but that just isn't the case.

What entertains me is the fact that some people fail to see the level of hypocrisy that is built in with their own views.  A great example of this would be the recent Trump move of signing off on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects.  Well, really anything related to the environment.  Recently, Hollywood actress Jane Fonda visited Alberta to voice her displeasure with the oilsands region, and fellow thespian Leonardo DiCaprio has also been very outspoken about Canadian oil and resource development projects.  In short, oil is bad.

But I don't get it.  How can projects like Keystone and Dakota moving forward be bad?  Don't these modern-day heroes and not at all hypocrites like Jane and Leo realize that their giant yachts and private jets need fuel, the kind of fuel that comes from......oil?  And can't supporters see that these celebrities need to keep traveling around the world, stamping down a nice-sized carbon footprint, while they spread their message about "scaling back" and "living with less"?  C'mon, people.  They have private islands that those yachts and jets have to take them to!  Those things don't run on happy thoughts or unicorn farts.

I'm not opposed or in favor of any pipeline or oil projects per se, but I am opposed to multi-millionaires getting on a soapbox and telling us "normal folk" how we should live our lives or how others - who are already struggling - should be making a living, while they return to their extravagant lifestyles of the rich and pretentious.

Those last couple of statements were something I wrote on Facebook this week, and it caused one person to hit the 'unfriend' button.  I simply laughed and shook my head.  Darn me for having an opposing view or highlighting the hypocrisy of celebrities!  Why can't I just go along with what this one side over *here* wants?

Because I know how to look at things from a balanced state of mind.  And these days, I'm starting to feel really sorry for those who can't, or perhaps those who simply won't.

By the way, something's really been nagging at me since Trump's inauguration.  If someone decides to try and assassinate him, are his Secret Service guys gonna yell "GET DOWN!" or "DONALD, DUCK!"?

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.