Sunday 29 March 2020

Beyond the Reach of the Human Mind

The World Within; Our World; The Great Beyond 

Let's take a moment since we now have lots of them, to put #COVID-19 into perspective. Those of you who tune out from anything that is purely academic can go back to your muffins and morning TV shows. I have no idea where this is going and no, there is no stimulant in my coffee! It is early; I just got up; and a virus is still out there ravaging humans. That is my starting point or launch pad. Amateur philosophy 101 perhaps.

There have always been attempts to categorize "things" or "existence" generally driven by our human limited powers of perception. In high school we heard the term "matter" in physics. Reaction? What is "matter"? Apparently this is anything that has "mass" and a volume that takes up space. Now ask "what is mass" and you will see a reference to "matter" at which point many tune out from physics. The definition references something that "accelerates" under the influence of "gravity". Gravity itself is something we experience here on Earth. On and on it goes. I enjoy it, especially when the moon landing verified theories of gravitational pull being less on the moon.

One can also divide things into animal, vegetable, or mineral; perhaps also animate and inanimate.

Here is another I am making up as I write! I am not a scientist:

1) The inner makeup of all that our eyes alone can not see in species and other items
2) Those things we can and do see every day including fellow humans
3) The cosmos or universe and everything in it. Some we can see and some not.

1) Some time ago at a book sale I purchased a publication called "The Human Body Close-up" by John Clancy, Firefly Books. The pictures alone are worth the purchase price. They are all taken with an electron microscope, thus being in category 1) above. What we can now see was not possible with human eyes or conventional microscopes. Here lies COVID-19.

2) In this category I mainly include ourselves and all animate and inanimate things we can sense using sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. We have made huge strides here with the help of technology, but we are still guessing when it comes to really understanding ourselves and our fellow beings. This is where psychology was born.

3) The universe is so vast we need telescopes and spacecraft to enhance our limited perception. There are lots of theories about what is out there including ET and his relatives and how it all came to be . We have not scratched the surface. None of us know for sure.

So let's return to 1). A single human cell and all its content uncover a whole new world. The components of a cell are amazing and the technical terms beyond my limited intelligence. You have to remember that for most the "cell" - trillions of them in our body - is defined as the smallest unit capable of performing the body's basic needs (from the above book, page 18).

Within it there are a lot more things than the "nucleus", and even more within that. The cell picture (page 19) looks more complex than a jet engine. Many items are defined and they each have a role to play in our bodies. Somehow they are programmed to fulfill it. How? They have no "brain" as we know it. They are just tiny molecules of protein and other substances but they can either sustain our life or, if they go rogue, can snuff it out. In this book as well are references to genes and chromosomes and the infamous DNA. It is  fascinating.

This virus and so many others are the types of "rogues" I mentioned. They are themselves "programmed" to destroy some of our intricate makeup, starting with our cells.

How do you develop a vaccine against such an enemy? We can't really "see" it, touch it, or get inside it. How can that microscopic little thing we picture as a sponge ball with red golf tee like structures attached, get into our cells - our own building blocks - and what drives it?

So there you go. A little inconvenience in your daily routines is not much to ask. The enemy is invisible. Scientists are facing an immense task. It took centuries to be able to identify and define a "virus". It might take as many to overpower them.

Cut some slack folks and try helping however you can. Ignoring stay at home advice falls into category 2) above - solving our own human problems. Stop being so selfish. Don't hoard and don't go out when you don't have to do so.

Just hope that when we get the huge surprise from category 3) - and we will - we can survive it as well. Will it be living; energy; collision with another heavenly body? The list goes on. Focus on 2) and leave 1) and 3) to the best brains on the planet.

Thanks if you got this far. Now ET want to go home!


Thursday 19 March 2020

Tissue the New Issue

Toilet Paper - Soon Worth More Than Oil, Gold, or Printer Ink

There used to be a joke about virginity - "A big issue over a small tissue!" That still applies today but the tissue in question is toilet paper. It is now more rare than the former!

A present for Biden:

Caesar ruled the land.
With a sword and a very strong hand.
In senate charade he was felled by the blade
Of a friend and his traitorous band

When normally sleeping in bed,
Abe Lincoln one evening instead,
Took in a play - John Booth spoiled his day.
Shot Abe in the back of the head.

John F.K. lost his life,
Leading a world full of strife.
A fatal cascade in a Dallas parade
Left him dying in the arms of his wife.

Killing your leader is wrong
In America so grand and strong.
Biden's new caper - hoard all toilet paper.
No POTUS will last very long.

Today I found a 12-pack - better than beer!


Wednesday 18 March 2020

Slumlord Millionaire Starring Jared Kushner

Watch This Before You Vote For Trump

I just watched the Netflix "Dirty Money" series season 2 episode 3 ("Slumlord Millionaire") all about Kushner's company and its practices towards its tenants. It was totally disgusting.

I guess rich people all over the world do these kinds of things especially when they are landlords but that doesn't justify it. Nor do the millions he made from it.

If you are in doubt at all about Donald Trump just watch this. Kushner is one of his chief advisors. If you or I did some of the things shown in this documentary to our fellow human beings, we would be behind bars where we belonged.

If he is guilty he should be also. Crime does pay. Maybe he learned such horrid things at Trump University. Apparently he thinks he did nothing wrong. That is really the point.


Tuesday 17 March 2020

Andrew Cuomo for POTUS

Cuomo, Trump, and CNN

Recently on CNN I have seen Chris Cuomo interview his brother Andrew, the Governor of New York a couple of times. I was impressed with both people and interviews. I always admired Chris - he is one American media person who can actually speak English (not American, but English) very well - grammar and vocabulary in particular and is admirably eloquent. But this is not about Chris.

His brother is apparently of the same ilk - perhaps not quite so eloquent but he would nail crowds if on the stump for President. He must have already been successful to be in his present position. This guy would make a great President. That would be about four years overdue. I hope he runs some day.

His talk last night, March 16, was even more impressive. He knows how to relate to the average person which the current President has never and will never learn. He even gave credit to Trump and his team for their recent activity against the virus (I am assuming by now everybody knows which one!). It was a very well organized talk ending in some effective personal family anecdotes. If Trump had made this speech earlier himself, the country would be feeling a lot better. So would Trump since I already said Andrew complimented him and we all know he is very keen on praising himself.

When you see Anthony you have to look twice to see if it is Chris or not. He is obviously the older but if an "older twin" were possible this would be as close as you could get.

Imagine team Cuomo - Andrew for President and Chris for V.P.  - a brotherly team just like the Kennedys.

Now to CNN. I like and watch the network. But just like they have for over three years with Trump, they are overdoing the Corona virus. Yes we need to be regularly informed but there is other news out there. All the harping about Trump was not very effective in dislodging him. They just went on, and on, and on. Now here we go again.

With the virus they are beginning to sound like the old Buffalo Evening News I used to hear in early TV days. It was all fires, shootings, and accidents because for some morbid reason bad news sells better than good.

Tell us a few times a day the facts and what is happening with the spread and the defence. That's it. Give us a break. The worst example was last night with Don Lemon. Unfortunately for him, by the time he airs most of the day's news is old. But he started by quoting a number. Then there was a big dramatic pause - a stunt he pulls all too often. Finally he quotes a second number and of course it is a new statistic and the point is to show how there has been such a huge increase in numbers from point A to point B. More pause.

Come on guys. Is there a separate Oscar for news reporting? Your job is not to SELL the news, it is to TELL the news and that is all.

We might be less up tight if you would just do that.



Monday 16 March 2020

Yesterday and COVID-19

Yet Another Cover of a Beatles Classic

Try singing this to the tune of "YESTERDAY":

Yesterday, all our viruses seemed far away,
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay,
Co-vid-19 please go away!

Suddenly, our disease centers can’t protect me,
And that’s not the way it’s meant to be
What happened to the CDC?

Why, it, was so slow I don’t know they just won’t say,
I sense something wrong since the last election day-ay-ay-ay.

Yesterday, our  immune system was very strong,
Now for all of us there’s something wrong,
Pray some vaccine will come along.

Please-be-kind, help another not your own behind,
That’s the way to win I think you’ll find,
We have the strength within our mind.

There, are, those who will need-a-hand to see this through,
And, the one in need well it might be me or you-ou-ou-ou.

Yesterday …. 

#the brewsterblock

Sunday 15 March 2020

Time to Implement Rationing During Corona Fever

It Was Necessary in Previous Wars. How About This One?

People are going nuts. Supermarket shelves are more empty than I have ever seen due to panic and selfish buying. So much for all of us pulling together.

My parents used to tell me about rationing during the war. Metals and certain food basics were simply not available. They all went to soldiers and the war machine. I don't know for sure but if there were black markets, those caught were no doubt punished and treated with disgust.

That is what I now feel when I see people at the cashier with an entire cart full of something like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, bread or even meat - every man and woman for themselves apparently. Children be damned. Meanwhile ten people behind them have nothing. It is not quite at the Boxing Day level with fighting yet but I expect it soon will be.

Perhaps now the governments should quickly legislate against this and direct the stores to support and enforce the rules. Place a limit on these vital items like 2 packages each or even one in some cases. Cashiers should be instructed not to cash out any more than that. Today, POS devices (electronic cash registers) could be programmed to enforce this. Some will try to come back for more or send family members but it would be an improvement over the current situation.

Sometimes when people act like children that is how you have to treat them. Logic, reason, and sharing are not working.

Sad but true.


Friday 13 March 2020

Wise Advice for Corona or Any Other Crisis

Did You Listen to Your Financial Advisor?

I know it might be a bit late for this current crisis in your life but when the #COVID-19 subsides I strongly advise everyone to look at this as just another unforeseen happening. Then think about and do something about the advice that banks and advisors have been giving for decades. Create an emergency fund for the possibility of six months or better with no income.

This was usually a guard against potential job loss but it applies equally here. With all the shutdowns yet to occur, you might be laid off. If not then for sure you must have seen people stocking up on - in some cases hoarding - certain things from the supermarket. Stocking up means buying extra - with what? If you immediately thought about your credit card you are in trouble.

Many years ago I was a financial advisor and for sure gave the same advice. Most people ignored it. Thank goodness I followed it myself. As just mentioned, this does not mean increasing your credit or credit card debt. That way lays disaster. You are adding to the first crisis or problem with a second one - throwing fat onto the fire.

The usual excuse was that nobody could afford it. I once wrote an article pointing out places most people could find extra cash if they had the willpower, not the means.

There are lots of lists out there of what things to stock up on for an emergency - essentially the basics of life so I won't repeat them here. Cash or available funds however are also one of them.

So here are some of those items I once wrote about. Just remember your #CORONA experience when you ask yourself if any of the following are VITAL and CRITICAL to your life. 

Can you at least cut down on (and put into your emergency fund):

1. Beer, wine, or other beverage?
2. Your monthly TV or entertainment package?
3. The need to have the newest, biggest TV to watch nightly?
4. Meat - one of the most costly forms of food. Buy cheaper cuts and learn how to cook them.
5. Going to movies?
6. The latest and greatest phones for both you and your kids?
7. New clothes or fashions?
8. A new car? Buy smaller and pre-owned for a couple of years. I always do this.
9. Vacations? Do a staycation once or twice and add a bundle to your fund.
10. Reno's and furnishings. This is very rarely vital. The same applies to the size of your home.

While you are at it, involve your kids in the discussions. It will be a great life lesson and a good test for your parenting ability.


Wednesday 11 March 2020

Best Corona Article by Colin Berkshire

Read This COVID-19 Article People. Then Get Some Sleep

This is by far the best article I have read on the #COVID-19 virus. Read ALL of it:

Thank you Colin Berkshire. If people would read this and follow it the Markets and general health of people would be a lot better off. Take note of the advice about masks. I have been saying this myself. A virus will pass right through a mask and some will collect in it.

If posting this helps just a few of my readers feel better then I have accomplished something. Thank you again W.R. for posting it on Facebook.


Monday 9 March 2020

More Snake Oil for Corona COVID-19 From Jim Bakker

This Guy Did Not Learn His Lesson

Have a look at this: Scroll to the end.

Many won't recognize this character but more probably will. He was sent to prison for fraud years ago after bilking millions from innocent believers and now look what he is up to. He even cried when they took him away years ago - not crying now.

The AG of New York has apparently sent a cease and desist order to Jim Bakker ordering him to stop promoting “Silver Solution” as a remedy for the coronavirus. Google Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker if you want to know more about him. She passed away.

Next he will be offering stays in (now defunct) Heritage USA to be cleansed and sanitised in luxury. You might even enjoy Tammy Faye's sprit singing to you. It would not surprise me.

Some people will demonstrate the worst of our human character when others are desperate. This is another example. 

As a suggestion if a corporation really wants to be a good citizen then any who manufacture masks and sanitizers should make efforts to get people to stop hoarding them. How about REDUCING the price and asking retailers to limit quantities to each customer? 

Unfortunately on the mask topic there is a mixed message here. Some authorities were saying that they don't really work when you walk around breathing through them. They are meant more for those already infected so that their breath, sneezes, and coughs don't go directly into the air. Also if you wear them too long they can possibly collect the virus as it is being filtered making the person wearing the mask sick.

The problem here is that in the next sentence they will ask that the masks be left for care givers who need them. I assume the caregivers are not sick and hence not spewing out the virus. On the other hand how can they protect care givers against intake by wearing them but not citizens on the street? 

This needs clarification.

Let me close by observing once again that most people are still sneezing and coughing into the air. They are also not washing hands properly, holding or rubbing them very briefly under the tap with no soap.

Jimmy boy is not the only one who has not learned a lesson yet.


Saturday 7 March 2020

God Bless America (New Found Verses)

Please Forgive Me Irving Berlin

God help America
Land that we loved
Whisper to her
To show her
You still care
With a light from above.

From the right wing
To the left wing
Those who tarnish her good name
God help America
Remove their shame.

God help America
Seeking a way
To caring
And sharing
To the soul you gave her every day.

From the east coast
To the west coast
North and south please, help us all
God help America
Once more stand tall


Friday 6 March 2020

Schumer: Another Mess You've Gotten Us Into

Thanks for Nothing Chuck Schumer

You can tell a lot about a person by image and first impression alone. Take JFK or Obama or George H. W. Bush for example. You know they were first class and highly intelligent. They had charisma. Take Trump - please. He has none of that.

During the impeachment hearings I admired the way both Pelosi and Schiff handled themselves even though they were not victorious. They were well spoken and passionate.

Then there was Schumer and Nadler. It is hard to imagine JFK and Nadler on the same stage for example. He has all the enthusiasm and charm of Newman in Seinfeld.

But this is about Chuck. He certainly did not do any Democrat any favour by attacking Judges of the Supreme Court. If the Democrats were ready to climb the last stretch of Everest and place their flag at the summit, he just kicked them back to their last camp and maybe into a crevasse.

Just look at the eyes peering over the glasses. He is acting - performing for the crowd. He reminded me of Bob Hope. Loved by many, he had a certain annoying delivery. He would tell a joke and the punch line and then get a smirk on his face and wait to see the crowd's reception of it. Chuck does the same thing by looking over his glasses. It is like "How was THAT one - really good right? I'm really clever right?"

Wrong. You played right into Trump's hand and his people's. Criticism of a Court decision or expressing an opinion on a pending one is OK, but naming judges and threatening them is absolutely wrong. And that is what you did Chuck. Dance 'till the cows come home. Sorry, that's an image I don't want to see, especially if he is peering over the specs.

Watch the re-run and observe your eyes. Don't ever run for President. You will lose on your first speech.


Monday 2 March 2020

Tip My Hat to Steyer, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar

I Was Wrong And Glad Of It!

In recent posts I have to admit I wrote about the unlikelihood of any of the Democratic candidates dropping out for the good of the party. I thought they would fight until the last of them was standing. I wish more professional politicians could make similar admissions.

Now that Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg have already done so I eat my words in a most humble pie. It is indeed good for the party. FLASH! I just heard that Amy Klobuchar has joined them.

Tonight is another evening of CNN town halls with the remainders. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. We shall see if any more follow after Tuesday. I suspect so. It has been a long road since the peak of 20 plus announced. I guess this is democracy at its best - certainly better than the Republican race was in 2016. But then only one really dragged them down into the mud.

I admire the three who packed it in. Besides money it also takes a special kind of person to handle that pressure and be able to speak on their feet never knowing what will be thrown at them next. I think all of them could serve the country well as part of another's team, especially at the White House.

Congratulations on great campaigns and a tough decision. I'm sure we will be hearing from you again.