Monday 25 November 2019

Is USA Still a Democracy?

What is Democracy Today?

When people think about modern democratic counties one of the first on the list is America. My understanding of their system is that each branch of government (legislative, executive, judicial) is equal as outlined in Articles 1, 2, and 3 of their constitution respectively.

I am not a political science graduate or student but the situation in the good old U.S. of A. makes me pose some profound questions.

- What happens when one of the three like the executive (Trump) ignores this?
- If he refuses to comply with subpoenas or "forbids" his associates from doing so, what courses of action are there?
- I have heard that it can go to the Supreme Court for a decision but what if THAT is ignored? It seems to me that they are already at such a divide. Donald Trump sees himself as a dictator and acts accordingly.
- If a General tries to have him physically removed, since Trump is the Supreme Commander is that not a Coup d'Etat?
- Would such a General then be charged?
- If the VP takes over can he pardon such a General?
- Is there anyone who can be relied upon to tell the truth anymore come what may?
- Is it really true that lies mean nothing to anyone these days?
- Do high ranking Republicans really think their man has done nothing wrong or have they simply sold their souls for a job and a pension?
- Do they really want such a disgusting individual to represent their beloved country?

I suppose many other states have gone through similar turmoil but once a strongman takes over by force, it is very hard to remove him. The people eventually accept this as a new norm and rarely revolt.

America once helped with these efforts if it was in their best interest. Who will help them?

The Brewster

Thursday 14 November 2019

Impeachment: Who is Winning, the Christians or the Lions?

They're at the Post - THEY'RE OFF!

I am almost ashamed to admit it but here I am in Canada and I watched all of the impeachment hearing yesterday and many hours of analysis thereafter. I found it very entertaining.

In my judgement the Dem's took the day - the two witnesses actually - but only by a hair. The other side put up a good fight but I am not sure they have anything left. Will the President's supporters just be repeating the same old stale arguments from here on? No Quid Pro Quo? All second hand heresay. Identify the whistle blower. Yatta; Yatta; Yatta.

I said this at the beginning: give this man enough rope and he will hang himself. He almost has. I think the noose has yet to be tightened but it will be - by his own hand.

The really sad thing to me is that the world is seeing what this great nation has now become. This is like two siblings fighting and when the parents intervene, all they can say is "He (She) started it!" Who cares? If Democrats win the next election you can be sure the petty bickering will continue.

Republicans are bitching about a single focus - trying to take down the President - but is it really any different than the stonewalling they were guilty of in Congress under Obama?

I suppose there is one thing different this time. If Trump goes, via this process or by losing the election, there will be an audible sigh of relief on both sides, even by some in his party who are afraid to be honest at present. There has never been a Presdent like him. Thankfully.

History has shown that great nations always destroy themselves - usually through greed and aggression. Let's hope America can still deliver a black eye to history. The world will be better off. I have serious doubts it will happen under the current leader. If he is still in the ring, he will go down like Sonny Liston.

"Make the Presidency Great Again"

The Brewster

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Democratic Candidates – First Impressions

First Impressions are Often the Lasting Ones

Once again I speak as a Canadian looking on from another country. I am starting to get those all important first impressions of some of the candidates. Here are my top picks. I should confess however that I thought Trump had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning in 2016 and that Clinton would demolish him and be a great President.

If you wish to stop reading at this point I will take no offense.

I will also say that I think it is time that America had a strong female President. Some of history’s great leaders were female. It’s generally the men who screw things up and kill people by the millions.

Biden: I saw him alone on CNN last night (Nov. 1) and was impressed. I always thought he would be good. Sharing his personal tragedies was one of his strongest features.

If he could keep his temper, I am sure he could devastate Trump in a debate. There will always be the age factor. Could he keep his strengths for eight years? Look how Obama aged – or for that matter Trump already.

He still has a tendency to get tripped up on words and thoughts which make him look like he is losing it. Trump will play on that. He also has a tendency to start a sentence and thought and then switches to another before finishing - very frustrating. He has great and ample experience and would restore dignity to the office which is badly needed.

I consider him to be the best centrist for the party. Let us not forget however that status quo is what people wanted changed in 2016. If enough people now realize that the same status quo was better than what they now have, he could win provided that the younger voters don’t reject him.

Warren: I have always been impressed by her speeches and quickness on her feet. She can stand up for herself. I am not convinced that when faced with the worst boorish and vulgar thoughts and statements Trump will throw, she won’t crumble.

In 2016 the day after the election I was in the States. Someone told me that the average American was still not ready for a female President. Has that changed? She does come across as a folksy, “aw shucks”, school teacher, down homey gal who still likes to bake her own muffins. That won’t wash against world leaders who are brutal and misogynistic.

She also has to stop being evasive. It does not befit her image. Finally use of oil DOES have to be curtailed but not overnight.

Buttigieg: This guy is smart as hell. He always has impressive and honest answers to questions and novel ideas.

I think he would be great, but being mayor of a city is a LOT less than being President. If he does not win this time, his time will come. Maybe he needs a Governorship first.

What was said about the electorate not being ready for the first female President is probably valid in spades for the first openly gay President and First Husband? It should not be a factor but I suspect it will be. This guy has the moxie to stand up to it.

I am more impressed every time I hear him.

Sanders: What can you say about Bernie? You have to like him. He is devoted, committed, and honest. But he still talks like a lecturing professor. He remains too far left. I don’t think based on that alone he has a chance this time either.

I agree with all his rants about the wealthy vs. the middle class and poor. The American dream has indeed become a nightmare. He should definitely be in the White House in some meaningful capacity with any Democratic winner.

People will still worry about age and health.

Harris: In her first few showings I was impressed. She speaks well and enthusiastically but when she took a cheap shot at Biden I was no longer impressed. Once again I think she should be in someone’s inner circle but I believe she is now out of the race.

Klobuchar: A very accomplished leader and good debater. She has sharp answers and good ideas. Like Harris, I don’t think she can catch up.

Her voice and tone are unfortunately a bit hard to listen to for long and tends to support rumours of a personality that creates bad relationships with staff due to aggressive treatment. Just look at Trump. You must rely on your advisors and berating them will drive them away. Maybe she will learn from this and polish up for next time.

Perhaps an element of this is a plus on the international stage with other male heads of state but it requires tact and a certain charisma she needs to work on. Other female leaders like Thatcher, Golda Meir, and the current leader of New Zealand - Jacinda Ardern possess(ed) the characteritics in question.


Steyer: I am impressed. I heard him on his own with students the other night and he makes a lot of sense. It is too bad he is trying to jump in on his own.

I think he has a far better chance of shaking things up in a helpful and productive manner than Trump ever will. It sounds like he and his wife have great attitudes and abilities to organize. She would be a good First Lady. He appears to have more business acumen in one finger than Trump has in his entire body.

In particular I like the idea of limiting the terms of more elected officials than just the President. That results in new blood and ideas, and attitudes that change with the times.

I don’t know if he has any experience on the world scene dealing with other heads of state. If not, neither did Trump. I do think he would bring great people into the office and would actually listen to them unlike the current President. Think Kennedy, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.

I would vote for him from what I have seen so far. Maybe next time.

I also believe it is time for the USA to have an official 3rd party - right in the middle.

The Brewster

Saturday 9 November 2019

Imagine! Thanks to John Lennon

Time to Imagine

This is the time of year when the famous song by John - "Imagine" - comes to mind for me.
If you listen carefully to the lyrics, it is all about a utopia that we will probably never reach. Would that we could. However with Remembrance Day looming, I always end up imagining other things - things that DID happen and were a long way from utopia. Things I hope I will never experience and by sheer luck so far have not. As a senior well north of 55, I don't imagine I ever will.

Imagine living your life as a young man or woman and looking forward to your future for which you might have worked so hard and of which you dreamt so often. Suddenly you are on a ship or plane bound for destinations unknown but duty bound to kill other people who threaten that future any way you can, or to sacrifice your own life and that future trying.

Imagine being terrified beyond description but having to maintain a brave face with your peers while knowing that you might very well not return. You might end up buried under a simple cross as an unknown soldier because when you died you were no longer recognizable.

Imagine having to shoot someone with the same aspirations as you or slice their throat or gut them or blow them up with a grenade because you are duty bound to do so. There is also this - if you don't they will.

Imagine making friends with another frightened soul and charging into battle facing bullets and explosions only to see them blown to bits and wondering why them and not you? Or wondering if your time is only seconds away. Will it be sudden and merciful or slow and agonizing?

Imagine thinking that you might never see your loved ones again and that, if defeated, the sacrifice would be for nought.

Imagine living in the ground in filthy freezing conditions knowing that if you raise your head too high you might lose it. You stink. You are covered in lice. The "food" if you have any, is terrible. Nature calling? There is only that pit at the end of the trench. To find it just follow your nose.

Imagine spending months learning how to fly so you can deliver weapons that will devastate hundreds of people who are totally innocent and structures that are historic.  Or training as a sailor so you can sink another ship and know that hundreds of people will drown in horror as a result.

Imagine such training going to waste because your plane is fishtailing at full speed towards the ground and these are your last seconds alive. Or you are the sailor whose ship is headed for the bottom with you in it.

Imagine the joy of just returning alive. Let us remember those who did.

Let us imagine it never happening again.

Thank you, John Lennon

The Brewster