Thursday, 24 November 2022

America's Second Amendment.

The sun came up today in America. More mass killings today in America.

If you are a writer and can't come up with a newsworthy item, America's gun sickness is always a fallback. I have resorted to it several times. People - except those who experienced the loss of loved ones - are now at the yawning, "what else is new?" stage. Imagine

It has always been tough to actually do something about guns in America. I want to say gun problem - so does virtually every other country on earth - but most who own guns don't see it that way. The odd time people who have lost family members join the hue and cry - but they still won't give up their own guns.

We have all heard the same old comebacks which owners try to push and will never change. Guns don't kill people - people kill people. I have never seen a robotic gun wander into a store, home, hall etc. on its own and then slaughter a bunch of people. It might come one day and I have no doubt the same proud owners will buy one. But right now it is always a person who is operating those killing machines. NRA loved to push stopping bad guys with guns with more good guys with guns. They would be delighted if clergymen and clergywomen hid guns under their garments in church while preaching, performing marriages, or funerals. We all know why - it sells more guns.

I live in Canada and 
apparently my country and every other one have it all wrong. We are lying about our statistics or misrepresenting them. The world would be more peaceful if everyone owned a gun. Many of America's leaders actually believe this crap.

As I have written here before, Google "Guns in Norway". Gun Ownership in Norway - Life in Norway They also love guns but are about 10th in the world per capita for ownership. With them however the only valid reason to apply for one is hunting and sports shooting. Weapons are limited to rifles and shotguns. The nation truly loves this and there are many competitions and other events. Compare this to the false claims in America that people want automatic weapons for hunting and target practice.

You will also find in your search lots of comments by Americans who will cite the very few mass shootings in Norway over a long period as justification for America's attitudes and gun laws. They would say the same thing about Canada where mass killings have also taken place - from time to time.

Even if you accept that American's want to be able to "protect" their family if someone breaks into their house, this does not justify assault weapons in the hands of the public. The problem with that attitude is that too many innocent people who were not intruders and had no harmful intent have still been shot 
in many states with few consequences.

I could carry on - so could you.

I will however, suggest a couple of approaches. The GLs (gun lovers - if that was not an acronym before I just made it one) will once again cry foul and wave the 2nd in our faces but that will always be true no matter what actions are taken.

The #2nd Amendment mentions "arms" without definition, but makes no mention of ammunition. Limiting ammunition sales and the size of magazines would violate nothing and it should be addressed federally. What good is an assault weapon without a cartridge or bullets you ask? Thanks. My very point.

Two other points I mentioned before:

1) Because the word "arms" is open to interpretation, GLs claim that any weapon is covered by it. In brief if something is not specifically prohibited it must be OK. To say that the 2nd did not specifically state that an eight year old kid could not obtain and carry "arms" of the day to shoot another kid who teased him/her. Why? Because common sense plays a part in a lot of legislation including the 2nd Amendment and indeed the Constitution. Interpretation was subjective then and is subjective now. When in doubt, legislators and judges interpret the subjective elements. Obviously kids must not carry guns. The same applies to non-military people carrying military weapons.

2) The second missing piece is any definition of how and when you are allowed to use these "arms". Common sense should also prevail. This is one area where most of the world differs with America. What is misuse of a weapon?

Point 2) above is where real effort should be concentrated. State laws that permit you to shoot someone just because you felt "threatened" really should be tightened. Very severe punishments have to become commonplace and strictly enforced. The Ahmaud Arbory case was a good example. Many were elated when the shooters and accomplice were found guilty and punished.

Cases like that and many more of them will deter at least some gun owners from shooting someone in their neighborhood just because they "don't belong."

This is an entirely separate debate but punishment CAN make people think twice before acting. We just need more examples. A lot of gun owners claim to be responsible. Prove it. Get after your leaders to clamp down on defining justifiable use of guns and encode strict and standard sentencing.

This will not stop all criminally minded, simply reckless, or mentally ill shooters. But if some people think twice before shooting me while I am on my long jog or when I knock on your door to ask directions it will be a giant leap forward. This does not address mass shootings but a huge portion of the over 600 fatal shootings in the USA this year were individual and domestic in nature.

#thebrewsterblock


Sunday, 20 November 2022

Freedom of the Press

Bang Bang Twitty Twitty Bang Bang!

The earth just shook, or was it the arrival of you know who back on Twitter. Now he has some competition in the form of its new owner. Is Elon trying to restore the internal workings of the Donald's fav. platform with a little Musk oil or is it really snake oil in disguise?

If you Google musk oil there is a lot to read. I digress - get used to it now that The Donald is back. This is a link that talks about the original oil from the glands of the Himalayan musk dear, a practice banned since 1979. However the more recent artificial varieties claim to cure as many things as good old snake oil did.
Musk Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses, and Precautions - Naturally Daily

For those who think that like musk, a man's sweat turns women on, read this one! Once it turns foul, and it does very quickly, it turns everybody off!
The Smell Report - Sexual Attraction. (sirc.org)

Many including me blame social media as a catalyst for today's rage. Without doubt this is true. But social media is just an instant version of slower media forms of the past like radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines. The constant throughout is that bad news sells better than good news. Tabloids often outsold more academic papers because they were all that the common working person could handle. These people had a need to become emotional about something - usually sex or bad news! Sad but true.

This claim is proven by the number of traditional newspapers that have shut their doors. The entire model is too slow including the advertising that was their lifeblood. It is sad but at least everybody is better off without the wasted paper - unless you were in the logging or pulp and paper business.

The Steve Bannons, Donald Trumps, and right winged extremist groups have known forever that bad new sells. If there is none just make up something. Media barons like the Hearsts and the Murdochs made their fortunes with the same insight. I would maintain that throughout history those who were permitted to learn how to write including priests, knew how to bamboozle the few with basic reading skills. It is still a fact of life today.

Social media takes advantage of individual laziness and apathy towards articles that make you think. People would rather be entertained.

So I have always wondered whether a newspaper or web company could make a profit by establishing a reputation for publishing or broadcasting only good news. That is naturally very subjective but its team of editors would have to agree that items published passed their internal standard. They had to be uplifting. They had to foster hope.

Again I Googled "Good News Media" and found that others did have the same ideas and beat me to it back in 1997! See About GNN - Good News Network. I shall have to read some of their materials to see if my mood changes for the better. Check it out for yourselves.

I don't know what their fact checking and editorial processes are but there is always a danger that fake news can creep into good news sites as well. That is ironic but sadly true. Congratulations to the founders. They have been around a long time.

I bet most of you had not heard of them or visited their website either. I'll let you know how I make out.

#thebrewsterblock

Saturday, 12 November 2022

Republican Wave just a Ripple

Trump Gives America an Early Christmas Present

Let's face it, these mid-term elections fooled everybody, including me. Some counts are still ongoing today (Nov. 12) but the big red sweep just didn't happen. Many blame Trump and the continuation of the Big Lie. I agree with that but hopefully it goes deeper.

We hear it daily now - that perhaps DJT is fast becoming just an image in a rear view mirror - you know the ones - that appear larger than they really are. We can only hope. The tantrums, name calling, and blaming of everybody else has ramped up once again but it appears that many American voters on both sides have had enough. He has lost too many times for his party and many of its members are recognizing it. His MEGA base never will. They really don't follow politics, policies, or platforms. They only follow Donald.

It has been written here more than once that I think the great American experiment with democracy is failing and might even crash with more clashes of violence like January 6th. That could still happen and those who claim to be religious or people of faith can only pray that it doesn't. 

Many of those people of faith are the same ones prepared to use their assault rifles against anyone they don't like. They have even threatened to torture individuals in lowly positions like school boards and election counters. But maybe - a great big MAYBE - the overall country has had enough of the school yard antics displayed by their elected and publicly funded leaders. 

A telling point will be when Steve Bannon gets back to stoking his hatred. For now though this election provides some optimism. Those who are trying to save face by saying that it is nuts for Democrats to celebrate losing anything  just don't get it. Actually they probably do - they are just loath to acknowledge reality.

You absolutely know that sore losers in normally red districts are going to holler that the fix is in again. It has already started. This time however, there were lots of observers of both parties in key counting stations. 

Gerrymandering is still alive and well - see The 12 Most Gerrymandered Districts In America (ranker.com). or These maps show how Republicans are blatantly rigging elections | US voting rights | The Guardian. Despite this voters smacked Trump's tactics down. What remains to be seen is whether certain states now try to overturn results by hook or by crook.

Hopefully Lady Liberty is wearing a slight smile way up there where we can't really see it. Biden certainly is and probably DeSantis. I am no fan of Ron but would take him over The Donald any day. We can only hope that many of the more traditionally minded Republicans feel the same.

C'mon Liz Cheney. Start that new party. You will surely do better than the Tea Party did. At least it will split the Red vote and once that happens many of the GOP's best will jump on board. The country needs it. 

A lot of Americans who still love their country feel that they just received an early present. Open it early and celebrate.

#thebrewsterblock

Friday, 4 November 2022

Will the American mid-terms be just aftershocks or a Tsunami?

Hate will win the mid-term U.S. Elections

It is tragic but American elections have degraded to the point that the party that generates the most hate will win - both these mid-terms and in 2024. Imagine that! This is supposedly the "model" of a true democracy. It was - as long as white Anglo-Saxons had all the money and power while visible minorities remained just that and kept their mouths shut.

I have always leaned towards small "c" conservative values but they seem to be disappearing - globally. As an outsider looking in along with the rest of the world I do think the Democrats have moved a little too far left but not to the degree that the Republicans - even the non-MAGA ones - have moved in droves to the extreme right.

I just saw a headline that made me shake my head. Apparently Laura Ingraham on FOX (sorry but I can't say "NEWS" - it is not. See LAURA INGRAHAM: Last night was 'embarrassing' for the president | Fox News). It contains this: "Bottom line, I can't think of anything more irresponsible than a president who tells the world that America is a democracy only if his party wins." Are you seeing where I am going yet?

There is more drivel but this is apparently her personal opinion which she is trying to get you to absorb. Welcome to free speech and a free press. Under Trump it will probably disappear. That's the first salient point. The main problem with her verbal meanderings is that the leader of the party she and her network love to love stated openly before hundreds of millions of people that the only way he could possibly lose is if the 2020 elections were rigged! And he started this rant long before the election.

Did the Yankees claim the series was rigged because they could not lose unless it was?

As most intelligent people now know, this was complete bullshit. Even its architect Steve Bannon admitted this. There is not much new that I have not already said but this is really pathetic: if these elections give the GOP a majority in the House and/or the Senate it will only be because many of those who make up that majority sold their souls to the Devil. They lied through their teeth and they are still doing so. Most of us know it. If Trump returns to power THAT will be the reason.

The REALLY sad part? The only office that The Donald should be occupying would be enclosed by concrete and iron bars. Paint it white if it will make him feel better. Much as I like Biden as a person, it is probably true that he is a little long in the tooth to fulfill another four years,

The best solution in my opinion? Trump should be locked up as much for his private dealings as his Presidential ones. One of the reasons? You couldn't tell them apart. Biden should go because another four years even if there isn't another January 6th will be four more years of infighting while world politics and wars carry on. His ideals deserve respect but the world has changed - radically.

Then what? The only thing that gives me some hope for the future is youth - not all of it but SOME. OUR issues in many cases are gone unless radical parents passed on their extreme views to their kids. Race is often transparent. Blacks are with whites; browns with blacks; browns with whites; yellow with red; red with olive - you get the picture, and they are OK with it!

We are leaving a horrible, horrible world to our kids and many of them know it. I hope they can reform political systems across the world when we are gone. They will have to or the planet will no longer be a special third rock from the sun - just another sphere of dust.

Whichever side you want to vote for, do yourselves a favour. If the representative is spewing hate, don't vote for them.

#thebrewsterblock



Friday, 28 October 2022

American Politics Compared to Lemmings

Are Too Many American Voters Becoming Lemmings?

Many people have heard about a small rodent known as a Lemming which is believed to hurl itself from cliffs in huge numbers. The jury is out on whether this is really true as you will see in the following references:
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/interviews/myth-truth-about-lemmings
https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/or-not-lemmings

If they do it is more in the form of a stampede - often looking for food. They can swim but are not great judges of aquatic distances. Many drown. With huge numbers behind them they could be pushed off the cliff or simply have no way back. In one of the above references there were accusations that in a Disney documentary the producers were actually pushing some of them off a precipice for the desired effect.

What is happening in America today is very similar. Many people who just can't seem to see the light about election lies are following the masses and not thinking for themselves. People like Steve Bannon and Donald Trump are doing the pushing. They have no plans to go over the edge themselves.

Today is the day we all heard about an attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband in their home. It was an intruder looking for Nancy who was not there. It is reported that her husband will recover fully. If police had not arrived promptly, what would have happened? If the attackers had gotten their hands on Mike Pence on January 6th with a gallows outside, what would have happened?

If the violence being seen and often encouraged in America today continues, every election will become a cliff. Humans are supposed to be intelligent enough not to jump. Apparently many are not.

Look what happened to Osama bin Laden. His pursuit spanned Presidential terms of both Republicans and Democrats and eventually it succeeded - because of cooperation for a greater good.

Surely the most renowned model of a democracy in the world is worth saving. The Liberty Bell now has many, many cracks but all of them can be repaired without melting down the bell itself. Violence is often a quick route to short term gains but in the end everybody pays.

The way things are going one day soon you will see in the media - if the extremists have not destroyed all forms but their own (sound familiar?) - the rest of the world will rightly decline to acknowledge election results in America and rightly so. The fix is in and just like the last time, it ain't colored blue.

#thebrewsterblock


Sunday, 23 October 2022

The 2020 Election Steal was Integrity, Honesty, and Truth. Not Votes.

Do you really want another Civil War in America?


It is safe to say that in any living person's lifetime there has never been as emotional an attitude towards elections in America as there is today. The key word here is ELECTIONS: which hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and even more in other countries died to protect. Think about that for a minute!

If you listen to and worse actually believe the likes of Steve Bannon, that is where you are headed again. In fact he is actually trying to spread his poison to other countries. This time it will involve the slaughter of each other - fellow Americans. Is that really what you want?

One of the elements of democracy at least in America is the separation of church and state. This is a big one. You can be a Christian or follow any other faith openly and without persecution or fear - in THEORY. So how can you call yourself a person of faith who prays to a God while simultaneously calling for the elimination of others with different beliefs - political ones in this case? Remember that those you might be listening to on TV and social media are calling for that change through violence - murder if necessary. Is that really you? That's what the Nazis believed.

Hang Mike Pence - seriously? Kill Nancy Pelosi? Then go to church an call yourself religious? Give your head a shake.

In case you missed it millions of people around the world have heard Steve Bannon say that it doesn't matter whether the Dems won or not. THE PLAN is to simply SAY that they didn't - to deny it even if it is not true. Those are not my words - you can find that for yourselves. Say it often enough and some people will believe it. Are you one of them?

As someone who has been watching all of this from outside America, all I would ask any American to do is a little of your own research. That does not mean listening to Bannon, Trump, or any other politician who just wants to get elected or re-elected and will say anything to accomplish it.

Here are things that we SAW. These were not mouthed by another liar on TV:

- People did break into the White house - witness the broken window incident. They have been identified and were not tourists or members of Antifa.
- People did come with gallows materials and did erect one.
- People did assault police officers or anyone who tried to restore peace.
- We saw leaders in the building actually running to a safe haven to avoid being killed.
- Trump - behind protective glass - did summon those executing the assault and said he would join them.
- People - some of you on camera - really did believe those who claimed that babies were being consumed by celebrities (and others), in a satanic ritual in the basement of a pizza house. Attackers actually went there with guns. It was all discovered to be pure bullshit.
- Lawyer Sidney Powell (imagine - A LAWYER!) claimed that voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems were rigged in order to help Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez who died in 2013! The company is naturally suing her. Even her own lawyers say the claim was "not based in fact". SEE Sidney Powell's legal defense: 'Reasonable people' wouldn't believe her election fraud claims (nbcnews.com)
- We all saw people inside voting stations moving containers of votes around. That happens everywhere. A table finishes a batch and somebody brings them more. The famous video was just that - not suitcases of thousands of fraudulent votes! Only Trump and co. falsely made that claim.
- As referenced above, The Plan of Bannon and followers is to lie and deny. This is openly admitted.
- Finally over 40 states have now passed laws allowing them to simply reject or overturn any state election result they don't like. Authoritarian states do this but America? Hardly democratic.

Republicans - even the new violent, radical, extreme variety - have some very valid points. Immigration policies do need to be changed. America can't be the safe haven or destination of choice for everyone. Good paying American jobs are needed if people - new Americans or existing - are to become self-sufficient and no longer dependent on public funds. America can't fight everyone else's wars for them. Abortion is a hot topic for both sides.

Who has the right answers to all of these problems and more? I don't and I doubt anyone else does either. But I do know that killing and destroying each other accomplishes nothing while those who instigated both sit safely on the sidelines.

If you allow yourselves to self-implode America you will destroy what has taken hundreds of years to build. There are other countries who would love to strike when you are weak to finish you off. Don't let it happen.

As a writer my problem is that those who passionately believe people who make ridiculous claims will not be reading this. They love conspiracies and bad news. So maybe some of you can cite this analogy to them. As examples if your favorite sports team starts claiming beforehand that the only way they can lose the Superbowl or World Series is if it is rigged, will sport ever be the same? Will you believe it?

Republicans under Trump tried to rig the election using Bannon's plan and failed. Noone should let it happen again but killing fellow citizens is the wrong solution. America has a sprained ankle or maybe bad headaches. Don't cut off the leg or the head to fix the problem.

#thebrewsterblock






Sunday, 16 October 2022

Incubators Instead of Abortions or Forced Pregnancies?

Is Incubation an Alternative to Abortions?

With all the controversy about banning abortions and forcing women to carry an unborn to term I began wondering something and apparently so have others. As with most new ideas more than one individual has had a similar thought.

My question was whether in the early stages of pregnancy an embryo could be successfully transferred to an external incubator for normal develop? Here is an article I found on the topic which is already being researched. China is doing experiments on the concept:
Scientists Have Created An Artificial Womb To Grow Babies From Conception To Birth | by Carlyn Beccia | Sexography | Medium

Since the technology is far beyond me I will leave it to others but the acceptability of the practice poses questions. It seems to me that if it is accepted that couples - who can't have their own child - turn to use of a surrogate mother or In Vitro Fertilization then this is simply another alternative.

Extremists will probably not agree with this as long as the natural mother could have carried the embryo/fetus to full term. Surely the idea represents a compromise. The child could be adapted by others unable to conceive or perhaps after even more research could be transplanted into a different woman for a normal birth. It seems better than a so-called abortion pill as well.

Government subsidies into such research could be provided to universities etc. for research on this side of the pond. The couple who did not want to be unplanned parents; victims of rape; the unborn embryo/fetus; and the receiving mother or couple all benefit.

Some will say that this is tampering with nature; some that super beings will result; some that eventually you will be able to buy such a product at Walmart or Costco. Yadda, Yadda. If we keep firing off spacecraft the sky will fall.

I have said this before and say it again. Men - whether clergyman, mate, judge, or legislator - should not be dictating mandatory births to women. I also said that any do gooders who claim any kind of moral high ground on the issue will quickly change their minds when they are involved in an unplanned pregnancy. Just observe the claims and counter claims of a certain ex-football player who is now running for office. There will be more.

Feel free to comment.

#thebrewsterblock


Saturday, 8 October 2022

Trans Gender Controversy

Get a Grip Folks. Where does it End?

Two days ago during a golf tournament dinner, a friend from Waterloo, Ontario informed us of a current and ongoing controversy in his city at the school board. We all thought he was joking. Sorry to those who will be offended by this post but I am just relaying the facts. FYI most of us in attendance were raised in the '50s.

I have since done some Googling and the "issue" has come up in other parts of the world as well. My search included the latest list of gender choices such as LGBTQ2 plus and it was not in the list. (Nobody ever mentions it but neither am I: M-Male nor my spouse F-Female. I am OK with that.)

This issue has to do with - there is a term for it - "Furries". These are apparently kids (in this case) who identify as CATS, as in feline. Some articles claim that the next part is just a scam but it is said that certain school boards are actually being pressured to supply kitty litter for these kids in school washrooms. Seriously! I can only assume why. Initially I thought this might be for support cats just like support dogs who accompany an adult or child. I was wrong. It was for the student.

Where will this end? I will admit up front that I am about to be facetious (there being no catetious). What about dogs? Do we need fire hydrants in the washrooms? Are there kids who think of themselves as Pandas? Bring on the bamboo. If you identify as a full scale lion or tiger, what next - raw meat for lunch? I hope there are no seals because the stench would be overwhelming.

I want to say that if you are a parent of such a child I am sure that everyone including me wishes all the best for you and your offspring. But somewhere a line or lines have to be drawn and it seems to me that Trans Species is one of them. If I had a child who thought they were some type of animal I would not try to place the responsibility on the school board. They have enough to do.

This requires a special kind of help in a special kind of place which is NOT a school. If your school taxes are actually being spent on kitty litter for the washroom you have a right to protest - loudly.

People have compared me to a puppy dog in the past. Newspaper will do for now and later on Depends apparently work just fine.

#thebrewsterblock


Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Trump's "Death Wish"

What Goes Around Comes Around 

This will be short.

Anyone who saw or heard The Donald's latest rant against Mitch McConnell can't mistake the intent. He might be speaking in some "code" to his followers and will likely say it was just sarcasm or a joke but the public knows better.

He has a history of settling scores and carrying a grudge. To his credit, McConnell spoke out about Trump being responsible for January 6th and acknowledged Biden as the legitimate new President. The Donald has just been waiting to pounce. He even resorted to the slime ball tactic of making a disparaging remark about McConnell's wife. Typical!

So if Trump's remark was just rhetoric then so is this. By making such a remark it is only logical to conclude that The Donald himself has his own death wish. I doubt that I will make front page news but DJT did because that is what he wanted.

As for the crack about Elaine Chao, she was born in Taiwan. Melania Trump was born is Yugoslavia. Since Chao has held several cabinet posts she has to be at least a naturalized citizen. I could find no specific dates. However even more controversial is Melania's path to citizenship. It is "accepted" that she must be but try to Google how and when she became a citizen. Good luck.

Given the sham that was Trump's claim that Obama was not a citizen, why is her history so controversial? Just show us proof - the way Barack did. Chao could do the same thing but I can't see her being in cabinet posts without citizenship. Melania would have been able to be First Lady of the country and Trump's 3rd lady without it.

More Trump hypocrisy?

#thebrewsterblock




Sunday, 25 September 2022

White Supremacy in America

Will History Compare America to Nazi Germany?

People have been castigated for referring to Trump and his supporters as Hitler and the Nazis. I am not about to do that. Will history? Will you? Is America going down that slippery and disgusting slope?

Recently CNN aired specials on The Holocaust. It was astonishing. One man managed to instil enough hatred in the citizens of his country to drive them into becoming a killing machine. He actually appointed to some of his highest positions officers whose sole purpose was to invent "efficient" ways to put millions of undesirables to death and dispose of their remains and belongings. Some specialized in torture - not just efficient means but painful, unspeakable ones.

The worst part was that some of the perpetrators actually relished what they were doing. Germany in both world wars but World War II in particular was only the most prominent example of what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings. Others happened in Russia (Stalin), Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Haiti, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia to name a few. Even America would qualify if you look at its treatments of natives and slaves.

The world invented a name - genocide - and various courts and tribunals to "deal" with it. It still happens. Will America be back on the black list in the future?

The majority of unbiased, normal everyday citizens of both parties know and saw what happened on January 6th, 2020. People tried to hang the Vice President and kill, using unknown means, The Speaker. Look again at that year - 2020. One man incented the mob to such violence and fever: Trump. For sure he used other people and other groups, but he knew exactly what would happen and has even said that perhaps Mike Pence deserved it!

That same majority of American citizens also know that there was no stolen election. Trump lost. He and his followers TRIED to steal the election but they failed just as he has failed so many times before.

The groups that support him have slogans, uniforms, and weapons. They protest violently and target certain groups including once again anyone who is Jewish or non-white. Trump loves it - so did that other guy in that other country in that other time.

Trump's entire existence appears to be based upon lies - tens of thousands of them. For somebody who is so keen on his own image of being a tough guy, he is a cry baby and a sore loser.

You can read any day about the negative effects Russia's war on Ukraine is having at home -  all sad. How long did Germany suffer after its leader, who lied to its  people, toppled? Some might say it is still suffering.

If America does lapse into extreme violence in the future you can call it Civil War or anything you want. The name won't matter. What will matter is seeing right there in the U.S.A. scenes of 9/11 and the Twin Towers all over the country. It will be sad indeed if we also see repeats of any of those horrors in other places right here under the watchful eyes of Lady Liberty - if she is still standing.

If America does look like post war Munich or London in the near future, who will come to her aide? There will be no Marshall Plan. What probably WILL happen is an attack militarily or economically from those who are just waiting for such a chance to crush her once and for all.

Think long and hard before you vote America. It might be your last time to do so.

#thebrewsterblock


Saturday, 17 September 2022

The Trump, DOJ, Special Master Shell Game

Deep State or Dire Straits?

If your lawyer or doctor took your most personal files home and then had a dinner party leaving them open in the party room or bathroom for any guest to read at their leisure, would you be irate? Would you sue? Naturally you would, and you would likely win. So how is it that Trump can get away with taking the most sensitive documents in the White House home in a similar manner? If you subsequently discovered that many of your papers were missing would you be fit to be tied? Should the lawyer be disbarred? Again the answer is yes. Ditto Trump.

January 6th showed one of the worst cracks in the Liberty Bell I have witnessed but this Mar-A-Lago debacle Trumps even that. One of the elements that Trump claimed he would fix was the "Deep State" of things in Washington. He failed - we all know that. He lost - we all know that. But one of the things that this entire mess with its completely biased judge and its "Special Master" show is just how dysfunctional the U.S. government can be. It really does need a shake-up but not violent and total destruction.

It is ironic that DJT and the boys by their gross conduct have dramatically demonstrated what he claimed he would fix! There have been many more examples. Think "lock her up!"

This case should be a slam dunk along with the 2 impeachments. Trump should never get into the White House again. Many prominent Republicans publicly sided with The Donald and swore the election was rigged. It WAS - by the GOP and Trump. Thankfully they failed. Now they are all standing on their heads to get re-elected. From "It was rigged and Trump is still President" to "Joe Biden is the legitimate President. There was no fix." Go figure. They too should never hold office again. They ARE the biggest problem with the system. They are the Deep State because they are in Dire Straits. Yes - people like this exist on both sides of the aisle.

We always need leaders who have the interests of the majority of the population at heart and who can get things done. In a democracy, they are politicians by definition. I often think that is a dirty word but it isn't. It is politics itself that has earned the dirty title and it has reached an all time high in America.

Trump's judge appointments have been working in a biased manner in his favour. They should not. There is something wrong with the system when this guy was caught red handed with his hand in the nation's security cookie jar in a personal space far away from where it belongs. Either you or I would be locked up. He should be also. He has no justification. Period.

Electing Donald J. Trump back into the White House would be like appointing Vito Corleone to replace The Pope.

If you are scoffing at this let me finish with one fact you can check for yourselves. Donald J. Trump is not invited to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. She was not amused with him and probably knew he would try to steal the show by pushing King Charles III out of his way.

#thebrewsterblock





Monday, 12 September 2022

Elizabeth II: A Royal Example to All

Elizabeth II. None Like Her Before, None After

I am not a big fan of royalty but it is as close as I get to watching celebrities and all the garbage they often represent. Taking in something educational about this remarkable lady is not a waste of time. Watching anything to do with other Hollywood types and the talk shows and gossip columnists who make their living from them - is.

I can't imagine filling the Queen's shoes for a day let alone some 75 years. If you have watched any of the excellent documentaries or movies about her life you will understand why. Following a close second for unfilled shoes would be the monarch's spouse - Phillip in this case - who has even less power. For a man of his pride and background he could not escape the image as the most famous henpecked husband in the world. Even his children could not take his name. America will experience this some day if there is ever a First Gentleman.

The Queen had no real "power" but her affect on peoples' lives is probably up there with the Pope. She was pulled in a dozen directions every day by "duty"; the Prime Minister; tradition; her relatives; her own natural wisdom with relatively little formal education; and the mysterious "courtiers" to mention a few .

Do a little research on a courtier. I Googled it and am still not clear who they really are or where they come from. It seems to include almost everyone in authority at the palace - all of the palaces - and you can apply for a job to work for the famous Windsor family any time you wish. If you spend your life devoted to them and are VERY organized and clever at manipulating people, you could some day influence the King or Queen yourself. Since all her residences are ancient, you'd better be able to deal with four legged vermin as well as the two lagged variety.

In no way can I justify the untold wealth the family possesses. Most of it comes from taxpayers and looting back in the colonial days. You can't really have a royal family living in a duplex across from a variety store which they frequent in their pre-owned Land Rover but their wealth is obscene.

Personally I admire the level of decorum, morality, and self-discipline she set. At the commoner level there are precious few of these left among us. The "F" bomb is dropped everywhere except perhaps in her presence. Kids' dress codes don't really exist anymore nor the parental ones from which they should have derived. Adults' dress codes are no better. What used to be considered "Blue" movies or porn are now commonplace. It appears that self discipline has gone the way of the dial phone. Violent behaviour has become a daily occurrence.

The Queen and family have shown us all that civility is still possible. I try to model some degree of all this for two reasons: 1) that is how I was brought up and 2) to prove to myself and others that I still can. The crass behaviour I see today still makes me shake my head.

Great empires and civilizations throughout history have fallen as these practices collapsed. Today many of our societies are headed in that direction. America in particular could use a model family like hers. As we have recently seen, the one in the White House is seldom a shining example.

Let her standards long reign over us even if her daily examples no longer can.

#thebrewsterblock 


Sunday, 4 September 2022

Second Amendment

Lock, Stock and Barrel

Once again today I had the pleasure of watching Fareed Zakaria's GPS on CNN. The man is intelligence personified. It was all about America's love for guns and compared this passion in the USA to the same in other countries. The point of it all was to show what other countries have managed to do successfully to either minimize the violence when citizens are permitted gun ownership or to severely limit their numbers. As always it was very well done.

The biggest surprise was Switzerland where people also love their weapons. There is one similarity. To complement the Swiss Army citizens proudly form militias and are trained just like regular armed forces in weapons use. They become expert shots and are allowed to take their weapons home but any ammunition must be stored and locked separately. I have suggested this for the USA since the 2nd Amendment says nothing about the right to bear ammunition. People scoff at this but it has merit if the production, distribution, and sale of ammo. is strictly regulated.

Swiss gun uses such as hunting are very limited However citizens of all ages including young kids are encouraged to participate in shooting contests at ranges all over the country where ammunition is available and subsidized by the government. It has become a passion like skiing and most participants are expert marksmen. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons are banned.

The big difference with the USA is one of culture. Citizens of Switzerland see guns solely as a means to defend the country, not themselves.

In another country - Australia - after their first horrible mass shooting the Prime Minister enacted severely restrictive laws and included a buy back of private weapons. Many thousands were collected and destroyed. He faced violent backlashed but the policies cut down on murders and suicides by gunfire tremendously.

New Zealand took very harsh measures as well after shocking events there.

Japan was also featured. It has some of the most strict laws on the planet. Apparently as pointed out on GPS, even their underworld - and they have a powerful one, avoids use of guns because they know how strongly the authorities will come after them if they are used. This was astonishing to me. Even the "Godfathers" come down heavily on their minions if the policy is violated.

The same old question comes up. If other countries can do it, why not America? People will give the militia argument but for a small country Switzerland is well respected for its ability to defend itself. The biggest problem in America is mentality and gun lobbies. Guns are huge business in America. The Dodge City Gunsmoke attitude is alive and well. Even major politicians love their guns.

Lastly the question of kids developing a love of shooting and killing through addiction to gaming in their formative years. I have always believed this to be a huge issue. Tech companies who make fortunes from this just like the gun companies disagree. Surprise, surprise! The almighty American dollar trumps all.

I never heard whether Trump owned guns. I doubt it only because by now he would surely have shot himself in somewhere other than the foot.

Fully automatic weapons have no place in the homes and hands of private citizens anywhere.

#thebrewsterblock


Sunday, 28 August 2022

Moon Shot Artemis: Goddess of a lot of things

" One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"

Who can forget those words or where they were in 1969 when uttered by Neil Armstrong on the moon? Given the state of the world today, I have to lean towards the small step aspect since it was over 50 years ago. We have been somewhat pathetic on the leaps for mankind front both at home and abroad. 

I happened to be on a post-university tour of Europe before deciding on a career. My girlfriend and I were in a campsite in France listening to the broadcast in French on a transistor radio which sat on a fellow camper's car roof. That was another small step - the transistor. (If you read this girlfriend, I'd love a copy of our pictures!)

Have we come a long way? Was that and the Challenger and all it cost in money and lives worth it? Some would say yes in the same vane as the War of Independence; the Civil War; and all World Wars were worth it. Lives are always lost in accomplishing greatness and historic change.

So in trying to decide what to write about today I glanced again at the headlines. The next moon shot was front and centre (British spelling folks. Chill out.)
Why "Artemis?" Who is this? In case you don't know (I didn't) she was a Greek goddess (Roman counterpart was Diana). Look her up: ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis; Artemis • Greek Goddess of the Hunt and Moon - Facts and Information (greekgodsandgoddesses.net). Apparently she is a goddess of the hunt , the wilderness, wild animals, nature, vegetation, childbirth, care of children, and chastity. As Diana, she was a virgin Goddess of wildlife (how did they know?) and patroness of hunting; She is twin sister to Apollo and daughter of Zeus, God of Gods!

No wonder religion is still in a mess and believers of one fight believers of another. No wonder women are better multi-taskers than men. Anyway NASA seem to have chosen a great name especially the sister of Apollo element and Goddess of the moon.

Now for the good stuff. Should we even be going there again? Some would say that all of those resources should be utilized here on Earth to help solve today's problems. There is one thing for certain. If this immense effort of time, resources, people, and money is necessary to send even a few people to the moon, God help (which one?) us all if we have to escape this planet because we have made it totally unlivable.

Only a very select and very rich few will be able to live on other planets. This is not often discussed but figure it out for yourselves. Most of us will be stuck below decks here on Earth just like the Titanic. And THAT is why it should not be done. How many people could all that money and technology solve here on Earth?

The other reason for focusing our attention here is that only international cooperation will solve Earth's problems. Once that is achieved it will be much easier to conquer space by combining our knowledge and brainpower.

Will this happen? Look at Russia and Ukraine. Look at China. Look at the USA tearing itself apart. It won't be in my lifetime but would you really want to live in some sort of capsule? Would you want to put on a complex space suit just to go "outside?" It won't be for fresh air - that's for sure.

Wise up people. If our leaders - and WE elect them - keep kicking the worst problems down the road for the next generation, VERY soon there won't be a next generation.

Who knows? Maybe deep down there beneath all of those dinosaur skeletons we keep discovering this has all happened before. Perhaps one rocket series should be named Atlantis.


#thebrewsterblock






Sunday, 21 August 2022

Why is America S-o-o-o Divided?

 WHY is Trump so Popular with his base?


U.S. politics has always been right vs. left - liberal vs. conservative; state power vs. individual power; socialist vs. capitalistic. We face many of the same megatrends here in Canada.

Both are lands of tremendous resources and splendour. They are magnets for people who are oppressed and want a better life as represented by the Statue of Liberty.

I have written a lot of anti-Trump posts in this blog. The reason to me is obvious. I can't stand the man, and he does not even impact me directly here in Canada. What is less obvious are the reasons so many of his "base" love him. Perhaps it is time to look outside the box as they say. "Box" is a very topical word with The Donald these days so why not.

I have seen and heard one thing frequently. The GOP might not like Trump and some of his ass kissing colleagues in both Houses, but they dislike even more the alternative - Biden and the Dems. Let's take a look at that. I still maintain one thing however that I have always said. You don't chop off a foot to treat an ingrown toenail. Electing Trump to change Washington is more like the amputation.

Immigration has always been a problem for those with the good life. As the years pass, others are often brought in through immigration policies or in some cases slavery to perform the tasks many of the established will not do. As long as the dominated accept the lesser and physically more demanding jobs involving labor and long hours, things go well. It is way better than they had back home. 

However immigration as a means of helping people escape their woes back home - at the American taxpayer's expanse, is an issue. Many well off Americans see Biden's approach to immigration as too slack. Trump's appeared to be very harsh but many preferred it. If there are not jobs for those already here, why bring in more unless they possess specific skills which are needed?

Trump scored when he said it was time for other nations to pay for American help and defence. It was popular. Biden got out of Afghanistan but in a very clumsy shotgun fashion. Trump signed the treaty but Biden is taking the blame. He is staying out of Ukraine directly, but this new stand off approach is still associated with Trump. Many see Biden as emulating this.

Biden appears to be one of the most honest Presidents but people no longer care about telling the truth. Many lie in their own lives if it is to their benefit and turn a blind eye to the practice.

There is no question that many new Democrats view their own leadership as old guard and not progressive enough. The newer vision of more liberalism is dividing the party but more extremist views of the Republicans seem to be uniting the GOP.

Biden won with a lot of black voter support but his inability to pass voters rights into law has disappointed a lot of those same people.

The world is full of more problems now than Trump faced: COVID pandemic; Monkey Pox; floods; extreme drought; inflation; lack of jobs although that is improving; high fuel coasts; high interest; kids staying at home; overworked medical staff; Ukraine; China. The current President is always blamed for such things and some including Biden acknowledge that the "Buck Stops Here". Trump did not. He won't accept responsibility for anything that is tough to accomplish.

Even though Biden is probably more fit than most his age, voters worry that he is too old and that image won't go away.

Finally there are not only more right winged extremists coming out of the woodwork than ever before, they are taking actions and calling for more. Some even made it into Washington's highest circles and might still be there.

The Wildfires throughout the world are metaphors for the problems America faces. Resources and willpower are thin. Trump loves creating problems and wants more. They are a diversion from his incompetence, inability, and illicit activities. I
f he is re-elected he will appoint many who are also longing for Authoritarianism.

God help America and the world if Trump becomes POTUS again. As I have said before, one day Lady Liberty will abandon her post and swim back to France if he gets back in.

#thebrewsterblock







Monday, 15 August 2022

Mar-a-Logo. Now I get it!

More Trump Scamming

Despite all the protests when elected, Trump still managed to milk the Presidency (which is to say the American public) for millions for him and his family. I just realized his latest caper.

He took many boxes of documents which he knew was wrong if not illegal, to Mar-a-Lago. But hey - illegal - he doesn't know the meaning of the word. What else is new? He figured that since he owns the resort (not sure if I can even believe that) then if some day somebody wants to create a Trump Presidential Library (why on earth would you?) then he could charge admission to see the records!

You have to wonder what else would be in there. Audio of him talking about grabbing women by the pussy? Some of Stormy Daniels' most artistic works? All of his war medals? One room devoted to each wife? How about international leaders laughing at him and the shot of him pushing one out of the way so he could be at the front of the photo shoot? A Bible displayed upside down? There would have to be a facility for booking time at any of his golf courses. There are endless possibilities, including his tax records (finally!)

Now he is claiming he declassified all the records he took. Why now? Because his lawyer told him to try this angle. There is no way he could think of that himself. I guess he also declassified the paperwork and records of said declassification! Where did he take those?

Still American leaders in both houses and perhaps some in the Supreme Court have abandoned all decency and conscience and kiss his butt every chance they get. Many of them seem to have functioning brains in their heads. Others don't. It doesn't matter.

He always said he could shoot somebody in Times Square and his supporters would still love him. Now we know he can get caught with his hand in the cookie jar(s) belonging to those very same people and they don't care.

Washington does need fixing. Trump can't do it. The only thing he can fix is his college entry exam and the number of attendees at his inauguration. Oh yes - probably his tax records if we ever see them as promised.

If Trump is returned to office, America is toast - burnt toast. He is a conman. He was already run out of town. Now he should become a convict.

#thebrewsterblock



Sunday, 7 August 2022

Hail the Alex Jones Decision

Alex Jones is like an Iceberg

I guess you can read that a couple of ways. There is a huge amount below the surface that you don't know about but have heard is looming there. Also we hope that he will eventually melt and disappear doing no more arm. He has already done enough.

I watched much of the CNN special last night but must admit I fell asleep. He is so over the top crazy it is boring after a while. You have to wonder how many hours he practiced his rage act in front of mirrors. It is like Trump with the downturned scowl. I think Jones must have studied Adolf Hitler as a kid (I don't think Trump studied anything) and has tried to look just as enraged. I would have expected him to have developed his own salute but perhaps that is yet to come.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans actually believe his every word. Can any sane person even believe that? I had no idea that he made his fortune by selling what is reported to be junk product - "snake oil" - on the web. If he endorses it, people buy it. 
How can so many Americans be that naive? Oh yes - they also voted Trump in and believe his every lie as well.

The Clintons are part of a satanic cult meeting at a pizza house abusing and sacrificing children? Sandy Hook was a hoax? The government controls the weather? They put additives in the water to make people gay so they won't reproduce? It is making frogs gay? Robert Mueller is a pedophile? These are but a few.

We can only hope there are many more convictions
 to come for him alone, driving him into abject poverty. He deserves it.

The bigger picture here is that finally one of these dingbats was prosecuted for lies he told and spread. It is great that America has free speech. I can stand on a soap box in a public park or on my own lawn and say anything I want. I won't be charged for standing there or speaking. But I CAN and SHOULD be charged for consequences of my words and lies.

One thing would improve all of this. The family hurting in this case, should not have to incur one cent of expense in having him silenced and even for receiving damages. They should not have had to prove that they were real; that their son was real and was indeed shot; or that hey are hurting.

That is another area of the infamous American justice system that needs to be improved.

Now focus on Trump. He makes Jones look like Mother Teresa.

#thebrewsterblock


Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Critical Race Theory. What's in a name?

One Clear Remnant of America's Racist Past: Lynching

To those of us who are not American, the effort by many of her politicians and citizens to hide their shameful racist past is in itself shameful. Along with its gun sickness, it is just another example that characterizes this country as a special needs country on the world scene. In modern schools there are special teachers for special needs children - not so on the international stage.

Other nations who have infamous and horrible racial pasts such as Germany and South Africa have long since acknowledged their sins. They have made a point of educating younger generations of same, in order to help prevent it from being repeated. They didn't do it with assault weapons or by trying to sweep it under the carpet. Great Britain has not gone quite as far but certainly teaches its past colonial policies to history students. 

The USA and Canada did horrible things to native people in their very distant pasts. That was an unfortunate element of all discoveries by explorers and conquerors when they settled new lands with abundant resources but were inhabited by other beings to whom those resources rightly belonged.

But there is a special place in hell for those who then travelled to foreign lands like Africa and southern islands to capture and force black people to be taken back to America (and Britain) and turned into personal property like common beasts of burden. 

It happened. Surely the way to redeem oneself is to own up to the deeds and make amends. America has indeed come a long way but at the heart of most of her problems today is the same old passion - racism. 

If you consider an alcoholic or other addict, many also fail to admit their problem and seek help. In many cases they don't think they have a problem. There is an urgent need for it to continue. They don't want it "fixed" especially if it means going public and admitting a weakness. It seems in America that racism is no different.

However there is at least one scar on America that will never go away whether they ban them all from the text books or not. That is lynching. I have just read that it took some 120 years to finally outlaw this practice, and then it is only a hate crime! Indeed!  How can anyone have hesitated for so long to make such an horrific practice illegal in every single state? Are there really people who plan to use it again? Were some of them the ones yelling "Hang Mike Pence" on January 6th, 2020? 

You can also charge a lynching perpetrator with murder but why was the practice itself not put on a parallel with murder deserving equal punishment? It is just a personal form of 1st degree murder driven by hatred. American law has always been based on the premise that no one person or group can be judge, jury, and executioner. Apparently lynching was an exception.

It seems like a "no brainer" to the world at large. Perhaps those two simple words provide the simple explanation for taking so long to do the right thing.

Trying to abolish critical race teachings is just Critical Race Tinkering. The cat is out of the bag. The world and history already know.

#thebrewsterblock




Monday, 4 July 2022

Are Democracy and American Independence Dead?

Is Democracy Bound to Fail?

Last Sunday I watched Fareed Zukaria's show GPS Fareed Zakaria GPS - Podcast on CNN Audio which provided a deep look into Saudi Arabia and its past and present leadership. You want scary? Watch it. GPS is a great show. Too bad that many won't watch it for two reasons: Fareed's level of intellect is beyond many who watch the idiot box and to them he will represent a visible minority.

To see men in Arab garb doling out "justice" to those they don't like or women who don't behave is sickening. They are forced to their knees while grabbing their hair with one hand and slicing off their heads with a sword in the other. It makes you shiver. Remember that this form of leadership is the extreme opposite to what we now enjoy and should never lose. This episode of GPS also covers the butchering of Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi embassy within the USA.

Unfortunately there have been many flaws with the American style of Democracy and they have eaten away at it like a cancer or rot. It is getting worse, not better.

It is supposed to be a form of government for the people and by the people. The problem is that you have to be the right kind of "people". Increasingly in North America, most are not.

Here are at least some of the things that should change but don't hold your breath (although some of you younger people who live on the coast should practice doing so. You will soon need it.)

Most democracies like other forms of leadership are controlled by the silent and secret super rich who will never let any of these things happen:

- Invoke once and for all true representation by population. This is the only fair way to make everyone's vote equal. Those at the top don't want this. In the USA it should be enshrined in their constitution, although Trump and company and SCOTUS don't give a rat's ass for that document anymore.

- bring back humane capital punishment for a strict list of the worst crimes against fellow men/women. It will never deter some but it will always deter the majority.

- Most countries which do not suffer from the sick American gun disease already know what follows but Americans are blinded to it. The Constitution might give the right to bear arms but to my knowledge it says nothing about how you are permitted to use them. A lot could be done here. Eliminate any idea that if somebody invades your "space" you can shoot them. Another is that if you feet "threatened" it is OK to shoot someone. These might vary by state but should not. Only extreme circumstances should justify one citizen shooting another - otherwise you pay a steep price. Guns are not like chain saws where owners feel they have to use it to justify its existence. No more cases like Kyle Rittenhouse please.

- Heads of countries must show their tax returns. It should be mandatory. That goes for provinces and states as well.

- Make the separation of church and state unequivocally clear and unalterable.

- Make sure every person and corporation pays taxes scaled to income level. Any deductions allowed as expenses for the rich and corporations should also be available to all taxpayers.

- Elect Supreme Court justices and limit their terms.

- Account for every dollar of campaign financing and audit their source and use. Impose the same limits on all candidates.

- Clamp down on phony and misleading advertising with severe financial penalties for violations. You should not consider something to be freedom of speech when blatant lies cause people to spend their hard earned money on a product or service. It makes everybody rich except the poor customer.

- More high profile cases are needed in which the rich and famous, police, and politicians to name a few face the same justice and punishment as others. In America some good examples are the prosecution of actors who used money to gain entry into colleges for which their kids were unqualified; armed white men tracking down and killing an unarmed black man while he was jogging; and police officer who choked a subdued captive to death.

Trump violated many norms. If leaders ignore the most sacred institutions then America and other countries like it are doomed. The middle / lower classes and visible minorities who are full citizens are becoming increasingly unhappy with the status quo. Violence erupts as a result.


If things don't improve there will be another big bang that is more than just theoretical.

#thebrewsterblock

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Irresponsible Car Ads KILL

Promoting Horsepower Wastes Precious Lives and Energy

In a world where we love to rant about energy crises, climate change, violence, and guns to name a few fav's., car company ads are completely vile.

For decades there have been debates about violent video games and programming causing kids to turn to violence in later years. We also have debated the role of fossil fuels in ruining our environment and dooming the future of the planet for our kids. Both are legitimate concerns and the campaigns should continue.

To expand upon this car companies and their advertising should occupy a special place in hell. What do you see on virtually all of them? Typically it is the promotion of overpowered speed machines with enough horsepower to pull a freight train! They are all guilty. It is one thing to argue which pickup truck can pull the heaviest load with its super horsepower and torque. It is quite another to show their cars roaring down the highway with both men and women playing the role of professional race and stunt drivers.

Examples:
BMW: Supercharged BMW M3 7:25 Nürburgring Sport Auto lap - YouTube
Ford: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Commercial/Advertisement - YouTube
Dodge: DODGE UNCAGE / 2021 Commercial - YouTube
GM: Corvette C8 Commercial || 2022 - YouTube
Mercedes: Mercedes-EQ 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS Commercial "Advisory" - YouTube

Mercedes is already coupling electric vehicles with speed.

Most adults respond to this just like the kids do with the video games. Muscle cars are apparently still king with car companies. Almost none of these influenced adults know how to drive fast - they have never been trained.  Despite all the lame duck arguments to the contrary, speed kills.

When are they likely to demonstrate their newly acquired rocket's power over others on the road? Unfortunately it is when they are also under the influence of two other things - substances like alcohol, and road rage both of which reduce their abilities ever further.

Apparently car companies don't care. They wimp out by saying that they are only producing what people want. That's the same argument cigarette companies used in addition to outright lying. The same can be said for gun manufacturers and drug labs. Car makers should be promoting responsible driving, not depicting public roads as drag strips, rally circuits or Daytona 500 speedways.

As to the second point in the title the claim about energy waste shouldn't even require justification. Nobody needs a high revving engine with several hundred horsepower to commute to work or go shopping. Car companies should be promoting low capacity and more efficient engines.

There is a role for governments here as well. They already tax the hell out of fuel. What about giving rebates and tax refunds for low capacity engines or higher mile per gallon vehicles AND taxing further the cars with lousy mileage? They could also limit the capacity of passenger vehicle engines and put heavy duties on cars that people try to import to skirt the limitations.

This is no longer about wealthy people arguing that they worked hard to create their lavish lifestyles, can afford big cars, and therefore should be able to drive them. That is like saying that with their wealth they should be able to hoard drinking water when thousands are dying of thirst. It is about limited, extremely necessary global resources that belong to all of the people.

Some car makers are indeed starting to advertise or promise future electric vehicles. Many engines are now available that are smaller and more efficient but that is not good enough. Pulling from the same analogy, tobacco companies offered small cigarettes and packages, and smaller and larger cigars, but took no initiatives until forced, to encourage smokers to quit.

One car company won't break from the pack and lose sales as a result. If governments force their hands, they will all have to conform.


Smaller engines alone won't stop the carnage due to speed. Stiffer penalties are also needed. Such engines will certainly help to lessen the energy crisis.

Instead of competing for fastest, they should push most efficient. With government incentives, it could make a big difference.

#thebrewsterblock 

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

LIV Proves Money can Buy Anything - or Anyone

Money Makes the World Go Round

If you have ever watched the movie Cabaret, you have to remember the number performed by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey with the above title. It is a classic. Treat yourself here if you have not seen it: Cabaret - Money makes the world go round - YouTube. The expression has been around for a long time. It has always been true and probably always will be.

Money has always driven wars and battles, or at least the riches and resources that belong to others, which selfish and ruthless people want for themselves. It is the foundation of dynasties, religion, dictators, and extremists.

It finds a home and flourishes under all forms of government. This includes central so-called democratic free enterprise systems; left leaning socialistic ones; and extreme right totalitarian regimes. It drives all corporations and small businesses. Money in various forms provides the basis for international business and trade.

You get the picture. What it brings out most in humans is greed - pure and simple greed. People with money - lots of it - always want more and are capable of doing horrible things to get it and keep it.

I have written before that I believe it is behind racism and white supremacists, which is still behind many of the world's problems, especially in America.

We seem to accept this when it comes to providing us with entertainment. Look at the obscene incomes doled out in sports events, movies/videos, and music.

Now to the topic of the day - this newly formed LIV Golf league. Here is a good summary of golf movements historically: The LIV Golf series: What we know, what we don’t, and the massive ramifications of the Saudi-backed league | Golf News and Tour Information | Golf Digest. More specifically, this one explains more the new undertaking: What is LIV Golf? A simple primer on the controversial new golf league.

Greg Norman is saying it his attempt to expand competitive golf throughout the world. Some of the players who have jumped ship are trying to justify their moves the same way. Mickelson is worse - he initially called out the backers of the league ("They're scary motherf—ers to get involved with"). This is Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund worth some $600 billion. Then he justified it as a way to pay off his gambling debts. Most of the winnings in the PGA Tour are provided by sponsors, not national leaders.

You might accept some pro golf foreign nationals not feeling as loyal to the PGA Tour because many of them already play in leagues all over the world. However for those who became famous and very wealthy through the PGA Tour, the motive is greed. Phil is reported to have been paid $200 million just to play there in the events. For DJ it is said to be $120 million. Winnings would be on top of that.

The PGA Tour and many of its stars like Arnold, Jack, and Tiger to name a few, have a proven record of paying back in the form of charitable and educational foundations, and hospitals. I doubt you will see the same from this Arab league.

I also predict that if it succeeds it is just the beginning. The effort has become known as Sportswashing. What will be next? How will America react when top athletes from baseball, football, basketball and others move to a more financially lucrative league elsewhere? Would they play in a new Russian League today if there were one - just for the money?

America has few friends in the Middle East. It is sad to see so many ignore their ethics for the almighty dollar. It is heartening to see others like Rory (who is not American), Tiger, and Justin demonstrate their loyalties.

#thebrewsterblock



Monday, 6 June 2022

Election Apathy

Canadian Problem Shared by other Democracies

A recent Canadian provincial election for the Premier of Ontario was pathetic. Although the existing Premier - Doug Ford - was re-elected in a landslide, the turnout for voters was a mere 40%. This says a lot, none of it good.

I suspect the same problem exists elsewhere but the one in which I just voted brought it home.

Those of us who live in a free society - even with what we are witnessing in Ukraine where Russia is trying to remove freedom, we are ignoring the very thing that keeps us free. Even in American elections the numbers should be much higher.

To me it is a reflection of just how spoiled we in the west have become. Fortunately my generation have never been forced to go off and fight, possibly never to return or to return a different person, mentally or physically. Apparently we take this freedom for granted.

I have heard the pathetic excuse for too long even from friends and family that one vote won't make a difference. Of course not but that is not why they don't vote. If thousands of these people got off their asses it would make a difference. The truth is that for most people the whole political process is boring. This is true but it is better than what Russia or China has.

People - especially with today's entertainment forms, would rather watch an event on TV. They claim that they don't understand issues or know the candidates. Again of course not if you ignore them deliberately every day.

With today's media this is no longer a valid excuse. You can see and hear about the issues, parties, leaders, and platforms in any number of ways - but not if you are watching football, hockey, or the Amazing Race.

This reminds me of people - usually men - who won't work in the garden because they don't know the weeds from the flowers. Some have even destroyed plants deliberately to remain a couch potato themselves. The same men could probably identify every player in a major league of their choice and quote tons of statistics as well. It is a matter of participation. If you planted the flowers enough times you would remember what they looked like.

I don't know the stats but I suspect most of those who did see active combat and survived DO vote in elections and are pissed at others who don't. They are why you can sit on that couch eating chips and drinking.

I am not suggesting that we all watch Parliamentary debates but ten or fifteen minutes of news or reading a day is all you need to make an informed decision. You will probably learn to hate certain politicians in which case you will have an added incentive to vote them out!

Vote at times when your favorite show is not on. You can vote online, by mail, or early if you don't want to stand in line. You owe it to those who did die for you.

#thebrewsterblock

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Uvalde. Another School Day in U.S.A

One more Flight over the Cuckoo's Nest called United States

Another day in the life of America. Nineteen children and two teachers are butchered. The world watches as the same old things are said about the American virus Loveofguns 22. It started right at home folks - you can't blame any other country.

What follows has all been said before - the claims and counter-claims and all of the logic and illogic associated with the crazy illness that is unique to America. Still I can't help it - I have to repeat them again. If it changes one high profile person's mind it will be worth it.

Let's first reiterate the usual bullshit and then ignore it again.

1. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Tell that to the parents. This dingbat kid didn't use poison darts, a crossbow, or any other weapon - he used a gun. So did Kyle Rittenhouse.
2. "The solution is more guns." Arm the teaching staff, janitor, gardener, bus driver, even the cooks if there are any. Not worthy of a reply.
3. "The second amendment gives him the right." Balls. Does it say a six year old can carry a weapon? No. Why not? Because the Constitution assumed a degree of common sense back when most Americans had some. That has all changed. It also says nothing about how those arms can be used, just that one can "bear" them and nothing about their nature, purpose, or ammunition.
4. "Any change to gun laws is an attack on my individual rights." So are men telling women they can't have an abortion whether stated in the Constitution or not. More bull.

The list goes on.

I have not heard one sensible argument put forward which justifies an individual citizen's ability to buy and possess assault weapons. Likewise what is the argument to permit gun merchants to sell them? What is next - tanks and/or a cruise missile in every driveway? Tow bars to pull your Howitzer behind your SUV for a picnic?

Some readers right now are probably reacting by saying that 70%-90% of Americans do want change. The other side probably have their own statistics. Who cares? If such percentages want change then they should get together and fire - vote out of office - their Representatives in either House who keep rebuffing any changes to gun laws. Most of them are paid by gun lobbyists.

For months now most of us have found Putin's actions in Ukraine repugnant especially when innocent citizens and children were murdered. How could he be so callous? How can your fellow citizens who are gun lovers be even more callous when children's bodies are torn apart by another American shooter?

The Red flag law of Florida does not prevent qualified people from purchasing and owning guns. red flag laws - Google Search. It does give police the right to seize existing weapons from those who pose a threat to themselves or others and has been used many times. Similar laws should be instituted and enforced in all states.

The other day someone said it was now easier to get an assault rifle than baby formula. What a powerful statement!

Some American leaders in both government and business apparently value their guns more than those poor kids' and their two teachers' bullet riddled bodies.

#thebrewsterblock