Last night, Donald Trump took his travelling Muslim-bashing, racist-baiting, headline-grabbing roadshow to a place that few probably expected it would go: the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont. The Burlington Free Press has a rather thorough report on all the turmoil and protest the event caused and screening tactics at the door.

What it didn’t touch on, though, is why Trump made the trip in the first place. Why would a Republican front-runner, still trying to get the party’s nomination, spend a Thursday evening campaigning in a state that has voted Democrat in presidential elections since 1992? In Burlington, of all places. A city so much to the political left that local power is split between the Democrats and the farther left Vermont Progressive Party.

Does he want to show GOP voters that he is the candidate who can, finally, flip those three Electoral College votes Vermont has? Doubtful. Most likely, he is thinking beyond the primaries to the General Election and trying to prove to Republicans that he can have an impact in the hometown and home state of his future opponent Bernie Sanders.

But wait, I thought Hillary Clinton was a lock for the Democratic nomination. That’s what all mainstream and even some of the larger internet media sources have been telling us for months, after all.

I have been skeptical of those assurances as thousands of people across the US have been flocking to Sanders rallies in several states. Meanwhile Bernie has been showing up on mainstream talk shows, maintaining support from his base of unions, and getting endorsements from the likes of Seth MacFarlaine.

While those controlling the Democratic Party and their well-placed media friends want everyone to think it will be a Hillary landslide, people on the ground probably know better. The Trump Campaign may have figured out just who the opponent will most likely be and have sent their candidate into the lion’s den rather early in the game.

Yes, Donald Trump is an idiot, but his strategists know a thing or two about politics. They know how to grab headlines and they probably know who Republicans think the Democratic nominee will be.

Now, to play Devil’s Advocate, maybe this move was an attempt by the Trump Campaign to help make Bernie his opponent. That doesn’t make sense if you look at the polls that say Sanders would clearly beat Trump in a general election. Also, the media hardly touched this event, the same media that loves to report on anything the Donald does.

If you need proof that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic candidate to beat in the primaries, you have it. Donald Trump just campaigned in Vermont.

Irene versus the St-Laurent Street Fair in Montreal

As the remnants of Tropical Storm Irene pounded Montreal this past Sunday, I hunkered down in my apartment. Listening to the winds blow and the rain fall, I thought to myself: “I should really close the living room window, my roommate’s XBox is getting wet.”

If you were expecting my rainy day thoughts to be something more profound or at the very least profound-ish sounding and dealing with the nature of nature and its relationship to our very unnatural culture, well, that’s not the case here. And why should it be?

Yeah, I had been outside earlier in the day. I had felt slightly stronger-than-usual winds press up against me as I ran some errands. I witnessed the closest thing my neighbourhood got to destruction: near desolation at the St-Laurent Street Fair which had been buzzing with people the day earlier. I had my interesting and relevant pic to post to Facebook (of the aforementioned desolate street fair) and I heard the   complaints from people as they entered my apartment. I had had my fill of Irene.

Apparently, New York City had had their fill as well, and it wasn’t anything close to the catastrophe the media had been predicting. Just a smattering of downed trees, power outages and a bit of flooding. When I turned on the news, I discovered that there were some downed trees and power outages in Montreal as well. That sucked, but I was fine and I fell asleep.

The next morning, I learned on Democracy Now that things weren’t so pretty in Vermont, a state known for its natural beauty almost as much as it’s known for progressive politics. There was massive flooding. There were power outages everywhere. Historic covered bridges that had survived the previous great storm of 1927 simply got swept away by the waters.

This wasn’t a story on the larger corporate media outlets until Monday evening. In fact, coverage of the aftermath of the storm’s very real and still lasting effects seems to have dwindled. Instead we get stories about Michele Bachmann saying that Irene was God’s way of telling the US congress to get the economy in order.

Now I’m all for stories that expose some of the Republican contenders for president as the nutjobs that they are (she later claimed her statement was a joke, kind of like her campaign for president), but I think a better thing to cover would be the ongoing mass protest in front of the White House against the Keystone XL pipeline that’s supposed to transport tar sands oil from Alberta to the US.

Don’t get me wrong, the media has mentioned the protest, celebrities going to the slammer will do that. But pretty much all of the coverage has dealt with the close to 600 arrests and not the issue at hand. It is also not being linked at all to coverage of Irene. As far as I can tell, only independent media like the aforementioned Democracy Now mentioned the two in the same breath.

While there have been huge storms and hurricanes before, this one seems a little different. The destruction in northern areas seems considerably more rough and widespread to the point that it’s easy to wonder just how much affect a changing climate had on it.

While it may be easy to wonder and speculate a link between climate change and Irene, I don’t think many will. Just as the storm’s destruction is happening, for many of us, myself included, elsewhere. Very close to home in some cases, but still elsewhere.

Climate change is also happening elsewhere and unless something affects us directly and in a major way, there’s a strong chance that we may ignore it and go about what we’re doing. If it was like that for me last Sunday, it can be like that for you, too, not to mention for politicians and those in a position to directly do something about the situation.

Unless we start realizing that elsewhere could be here very soon and thinking about what we can do right now, things will get worse outside. Until then, we’ll just close the window. At least the Xbox won’t get wet.