Sunday, 1 October 2023

Another Debt Crisis Averted - for Now.

Cash Tree in the Garden at the White House

The game continues. Just like the World Series, Superbowl, or Word Cup, the American government's big game has just been played. In this case instead of a winner or loser until the next season, the game ended in a draw - until the next crisis 45 days from now!

We witness this spectacle annually in the USA and most democracies across the globe. We don't know about dictatorships because we are not allowed to see inside them. Keep this in mind if you intend to vote for Donald Trump again.

If you or I go to a bank for a loan we have to prove: the reason for the loan is sound; we have the ability to make payments - the longer the better for the lender; and we have a good track record for doing so, among many factors. If we fail there are plenty of secondary lenders who are happy to charge an arm and a leg for another loan. There are also sharks who will indeed take that arm or leg if you renege on your payments to them. 

Then there are credit card companies who are more than happy to give you more credit even if you have to declare personal bankruptcy. Again lots of debt resolution firms will bail you out for huge fees over a very long time and a vastly reduced lifestyle.

Now let's turn to democratic governments. The choices are similar but the solutions are more severe. They have 4 main choices: printing more money which is always bad; borrowing more money which is easy but also bad; reducing expenses - painful for all of us; or increasing taxes which they often have to do. Too bad the last option always targets the middle class and the poor avoiding the super rich to keep their own government incomes.

This spectacle pulls me in two directions. I am a Conservative at heart and believe in balanced budgets. Governments can only live on endless credit until the next war. 
So far this has not happened to America. Most of the USA's is with China. Go figure. So when the GOP says it wants to move to more responsible spending and reduction of the debt, they have been just as guilty as their counterparts on kicking the problem down the road when they were in power.

By the same token as a senior retiree I do have a need for government assistance on things like Medicare and pensions, which I paid for during my employment years. If push came to shove I am willing to work for anything extra, especially if funded by the government.

The common factor for both the private sector and governments is that there is no money tree in the back yard. Both have to stop pretending that it exists and that it bears fruit whenever they need it.

Such fruit will turn rotten very quickly. In the USA the fruit is already falling to the ground and they are running out of trees!


Tuesday, 26 September 2023

UFOs or if you prefer UAPs

Anomalous phenomena indeed!

Apparently UFOs are no more. Don't think for an instant that they don't exist - it's just that some bureaucrat decided to change their name - twice! They went from Unidentified Aerial Phenomena to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena. Too bad. UFO had a nice ring to it. I reserve the right to continue to think of the new term "UAP" as "UFO": Unbelievably F--king Objectionable! Regardless I still believe they exist whatever you call them.

My reasoning is simple. With a number of heavenly bodies so large we can't even absorb its immensity, there has to be a planet with a type of life which has itself evolved to the point of entering space for greater distances than we have. It's in the numbers. I might be an alien, or you, or powerful religious leaders. We all know politicians come from a different place but that's another story.

There is some rationale to the new name. Alien phenomena might not necessarily be something that flies. They could be a form of energy. "Beam me up Scottie" might be a reality. Perhaps something has come up from the ocean depths or the centre of Mother Earth.

If these flashes or spots of light reported by military fighters are from afar, it represents a problem - an anomaly in fact. We have a big challenge in our own space program breaking free from Earth's gravitational field. To do so requires huge rockets with enormous amounts of fuel. How can these tiny objects travel similar or greater distances with tiny forms of life inside? A totally different form of energy and possibly dematerializing "life" or the craft themselves and then rematerializing them have to be considered.

The fact that many of these things are supposed to be so small and intent on racing away from our jet craft lends more credence to them being created right here on Earth. Perhaps they are from an enemy or even our own test objects which once again our governments and military have decided to suppress.

Another issue is why or whether a "Roswell" extraterrestrial creature really exists. If so why would our leaders keep it from us? It would be a propaganda bonanza. They could argue that these visitors chose America over other places or that only America had the capability to track and capture them. That would be typical American thinking. I think it is just as likely that they have indeed visited other nations but those nations managed to keep a lid on it. They might even have benefitted more than America from the relationship.

Look at the discovery of dinosaurs or ancient man. Did we have a panic attack over that? Perhaps there is or could be a Jurassic Park somewhere. Are you worried?

All of this sure beats watching foolish stuff on social media , "reality" shows, spending your time idolizing the Kardashians or Taylor Swift! Strange things happen when something travels at the speed of light or (greater).

Perhaps we are starting to experience them in small doses. It is beyond me. It is beyond all of us! One of these days before my current life is over I intend to write about my own Close Encounter and joy ride with aliens. I lived to tell about it but I still can't get rid of my red fingertip!


Sunday, 10 September 2023

U.S. Election 2024

Shake Hands, go to your corners, and come out fighting!

It looks like this is what we will witness in the next American election, 2024. Shaking hands is very hard to imagine. Staring each other down perhaps - Trump is already practicing the stare. There won't be a bell but if there were it should be from the Gong Show, not a boxing ring. U.S. politics and this election is about to out-do anything even Saturday Night Live could conceive. What a shame.

The contrast is sad. Biden is well liked around the world and has decades of experience. Unfortunately that also means he is old by any standard. This cuts both ways. Age brings wisdom and experience but experience also brings age! He would normally be a trusted leader and ally but because of Trump's inexperience, neither Biden nor America can really be trusted anymore.

Trump is a neophyte to politics and leading a country. It showed. It still does. He too is well known around the world but has done more harm to America's reputation than any POTUS in recent history. As a result, Biden is saddled with the fact that Trump has already backed out of agreements. The division between the parties also means that any new GOP President is likely to reverse anything Biden accomplishes more for political reasons than anything else. World leaders can no longer rely on America and they have been observed literally laughing about Trump.

Today at the G20 in India I saw Biden at the right hand end of the row for pictures. He was diplomatic enough to accept this. In the past we have seen Trump literally pushing other leaders out of the way so he could be central in the photo op, narcissist that he is.

In a democracy based on the rule of law, the next POTUS could possibly be a man with outstanding criminal charges who could do time behind bars. Even Nixon was smart enough to resign when he realized the case against him was strong and that his actions had already done much harm to the country.

Biden might not be squeaky clean although no charges have yet been laid against him but his image and reputation are entirely above board. Trump on the other
hand has more lawsuits against him or his companies than anyone I know. He is reputed to be one of the biggest liars on the planet.

Biden cares deeply about people and America and it shows. Trump cares about one person only - Trump, He only considers the country if he can lead it and rule it forever with his rich friends while continuing 
to rape the country for both.

Here is the rub: those rich friends know he is lying but they also just want to preserve their wealthy lifestyle at any cost. The Trump "base" - those actually vote for the man and do his dirty work - have been totally bamboozled and really do believe him. Just listen to some of them. Hello - the earth is round, not flat, or have you noticed?

Thomas Gray (don't know him either!) once said "Ignorance is bliss". It certainly is in most elections. We can only hope Trump devotees don't manage to make him "great" again. It would be as far from bliss as you could imagine.


Saturday, 2 September 2023

Mug Shot The Sequel!

Magic Mirror on the Wall

Can't help myself. This is worth a second post. As observed already Donald must have practiced his renowned "tough" look for years. It was not there when he was only known for buildings, his dad, marriages, and divorces. But this mugshot is a double frown - both eyes and mouth. It's a double double like a coffee! Definitely no sugar in this one. I did a poem a few years ago about Donald and the Magic mirror (Nov. 2018. Take a minute to read it before or after this one.) Hope there are no repeats.

Magic mirror on the wall,
Is this my fiercest look of all?
This is all a load of trash
But it will bring a load of cash!
Donald John - not YOU again?
You've become a total pain.
As I told you once before
Biden won - don't be so sore!
I know that but please don't tell
Or they might lock me in a cell.
Without your mirror on the wall
This just could be my final call.
OK I'm here. What's with the frown?
It makes you look more like a clown!
But since you asked - it's your best mean.
The fiercest sneer on you I've seen.
That's good - I hope it's not in vain,
This justice thing drives me insane.
The truth is that I'm scared as hell
I just can't do truth very well.

Our clever plan and all those lies
Just fell apart before my eyes.
Bannon's gone and Kellyanne too
If you don't help me now I'm through!
That's understatement at its best
Skip the crap, I know the rest.
My middle name is Truth you see
Made for a Trump because it's free.

You've thrived on lies and lawsuits too.
Why should I waste my powers on you?
You're in trouble - don't be a jerk.
Deceit and double speak won't work.
The rule of law has me in shock.
POTUS in a courtroom dock!
For once I don't know what to do
So one last time I turn to you.
The common folk have had enough
Of lies and "Rigged" and all that stuff.
The message for your redneck crowd
And you is clear and it is loud.

The Nation stood against you bunch.
Your claims of fraud are out to lunch.
The swamp needs draining this is true
Of snakes and gators and of you!

I doubt that you will go to jail.
They will try but they will fail.
Just go back to your hotel
Your real jailtime will be in Hell.

I know I speak these words in vain
So never summon me again.

Friday, 25 August 2023

Mug Shot of Mug Shots!

Donald is the New Grinch! 

I just realized where The Donald gets all his inspiration: The Grinch that Stole Christmas! Look at that mug shot! That's a grinch if I ever saw one! I guess the real title is "How The Grinch stole Christmas." That makes it even better. It took an entire movie for Hollywood to to tell the story of the Grinch. Since the election of 2020, it has taken almost three years to figure out how Donald and his crew attempted to steal the Presidency from Biden.

There are other parallels. The Grinch was a grouch with a heart that was too small. Some wonder if DJT has one. The Grinch lived on a mountain in a cave by himself. Donald spends most of his time in one of his towers. He might not be alone although since the Stormy blow up, you have to wonder. The Grinch dressed as Santa - can't even imagine DJT doing that. The Grinch flew on a sleigh - Donald in his own plane (I have often wondered if the manufacturer ever got paid. Hopefully the pilots do - he isn't THAT stupid.)

When the Grinch enters the first house to steal presents he is interruped by a young girl. He concocts a lie on the spot to get rid of her. Sound familiar? Grinch takes presents to an abyss to get rid of them. Where are those classified presidential records now?

The parallel ends where The Grinch finally realizes that Christmas is a lot more than presents and in the end returns them. He even warms up to those he was about to screw over, and they invite him to join in on the feast. Sounds a lot like Scrooge - another story from which I could draw more parallels to Trump. If he has been visited by ghosts, there is no sign of any turnaround in personality. Perhaps that will be another post.

The Grinch has a dog - Max. I ask you: Does The Donald strike you as a dog person? Can you even imagine one in any of his residences including the White House? Good thing. They are not permitted when you are incarcerated either!

There has been a lot of media footage about that mug shot - that it was envisaged and even rehearsed. Not true. It actually came from a candid shot of one of the many occasions when Donald was presented with one of his countless lawyers' invoices! You know - the ones he never pays. Somebody had their camera ready.

There is one big flaw in my hypothesis. It assumes that the subject has actually read the original Grinch story. He certainly didn't read it to his kids before bed. As most of us have heard - he never reads anything longer that a Tweet or whatever they call it now. Is he capable of such a read?

I guess there remains one question in my mind - has always been there. Who is "Dumber than Donald?" One possible answer would be his lawyers. They had better get one hell of a retainer up front or they are indeed dumb. The second has to be those 
in congress and Governors of states who know Trump is lying but still support him. Sadly they are also cowards - some might be intelligent cowards but cowards just the same.

Both The Grinch and Scrooge experienced an Epiphany which changed their lives forever. It will take an orange jumpsuit for Donald to experience this.

The sad fact is this will never happen despite deserving it. The White House and POTUS are not Hollywood or a book for children - despite being childish at times. Right now they ARE a glimpse of Hell - and the world can only hope that sane Americans will pull back from the abyss.


Sunday, 20 August 2023

Technology now Displacing Entertainment Writers. Who is next?

Another Case of the Rich Getting Richer

I was just catching up on some of the details behind the writer's strike in an article by Todd Holmes. See below if you are interested ++.

Quite honestly I really don't have a lot of sympathy for the business side of Hollywood. In my opinion actors, producers / directors, studios, and celebrities in general have always been overpaid for what they do. Some so-called celebrities have essentially done nothing but indulge in porn, get "caught" on video, and then make millions from it. Others became celebrities merely spreading gossip about other celebrities.

However none of it would happen without the creativity of writers. I suspect their future is dim. The same thing happened in the music industry. Studios made fortunes on the talent behind the music - writers, vocalists, and instrumentalists - for decades. In the end, just as they are doing with movies and TV, studios turned to streaming content. Royalties began to plummet.

I interpret this as just another example of owners trying to make more profit through technology, automation, and now A. I. Welcome to free enterprise. It should be called "unbridled exploitation." The rich have always gotten richer on the backs of the poor whose poverty then increases.

We have been exploited by: the oil industry; the pharmaceutical industry; the gun industry; the real estate industry; the fashion industry; or the food industry to name a few? Notice the consistent use of the word "industry." As an adjective, industrious means hard working. Hard work is supposed to result in reward - for the hard workers. Too often it does not.

You would expect people at the top to be clever enough to realize that the energy which keeps enterprises and obscene incomes thriving is jobs and workers. If these continue to disappear who will buy the goods and services? Who will fill the stadiums and theatres or purchase new vehicles?

My immediate conclusion has to be that those at the highest levels - the "haves" - just don't care. Bigger profits mean bigger executive salaries, They have enough money to live wonderful lives until they die and then it is no longer their problem.

Average people do not push back enough - myself included. We take the increases and the job losses. There are things we can do about prices (not so sure about job loss). After all if a company can make something cheaper they can sell it cheaper. They just don't. Shareholder and executive incomes increase instead.

Over and over we keep watching the movies. We keep attending the sports events. We keep idolizing the celebrities on screens, fields, and rinks. We keep buying the clothes, the fuel, the phones, the large TVs etc. We are guilty of APATHY.

For one or two weeks we could car pool and take public transit - however inconvenient that is. Then watch the drop in gas prices. We could refuse to go to any live sports event. Then watch the ticket prices fall. We could keep our current phones, TVs, and cars that are still perfectly functional. Then watch the new item prices fall. We could vacation at home; put alcohol consumption on hold; put meat consumption on hold etc.

But we don't and corporations know it.

History is the great teacher. Nations and societies have been destroyed when the masses were forced to take matters into their own hands just to live. We are headed there. Smash and grabs and other forms of violence are one small indication that it is already happening. People are living in the street. Food banks have become the norm. Very few can afford a home or even rent.

Are there any avenues of hope? Perhaps a few.

1. Many should forget general college or university degrees unless they are targeting a particular profession. There will always be a lot of high income jobs in the trades. What is more important, status or a job? The wealthy will always need you to fix or renovate their homes. Natural disasters mean thousands of homes and infrastructures must be re-built.

2. With the environment becoming so destructive, there should be a ton of jobs as we fight it by electrifying the economy, in particular the car industry. Obsolete industries will require years of effort to be shut down cleanly and permanently.

3. Nurses and teachers are in very short supply. The pay is good.

4. Think about history. Gas engines virtually obsoleted steam engines and the horse and carriage trade but the new industry employed millions of people. FM radio replaced AM and thrived. Jetliners replaced most propeller commercial aircraft and created a new industry. Cell phones have almost totally replaced land lines. Somehow society managed to continue.

As a final thought, necessity is the mother of invention. People should consider a business themselves. Find something you enjoy doing and do it. There are very few employers upon whom to rely. They will use you and dispose of you.

You could always write a blog but I haven't made a dime.


Saturday, 5 August 2023

Draining the Swamp

Beware of Gators and Snakes

If you are ever going to drain the swamps - especially in the southern USA like Florida - a host of monsters await you. Most notable are the gators and snakes. Then there is also the chance of getting totally lost.

So many people find it very ironic - those with some semblance of honesty and integrity - when they know that the guy who promised to drain it turned out to be the biggest gator of them all. Perhaps biggest snake is more appropriate. His party is also totally lost.

As all of the charges unfold against a former American President, we will find out with proof, who really tried to weaponize the White House and all of its resources. It was not Biden or anyone else since Nixon. It was Trump - hands down. He is still trying to do it.

Being addressed as "Mr." by the judge sent a very important message. I was overjoyed to hear that Donald was upset. He has thumbed his nose at any form of rules or laws for most of his life and loves disrespecting others with childish (and not very clever) nicknames. He really did and still does think he is above all of this - too smart. NOT! Although there are many to choose from, his big mouth is the dumbest body part he owns.

There is only one thing that would be as satisfying as Trump being found guilty on any or all of these charges and even wearing prison gear (which is unlikely although it shouldn't be.) That would be to see a majority of Republican Congress members in both houses, summon up the guts to admit that the charges are true and that Biden won and Trump lost - twice.

The attempt to steal the last election was perpetrated entirely by Trump people and the GOP - not Biden and the Dems. Trump followers DID try to kill the VP and the Speaker. Others DID lose their lives. Anyone who even tries to claim that January 6th was just another day of free speech and protest in Washington should not be in office. That includes DJT.

If Trump is the GOP nominee you can bet your last dollar the 2024 will indeed be rigged - again - by the Trump team and their chicken hearted followers in the GOP. These people have no interest in making America great again. Like Trump, they only want to make their own bank accounts and lifestyles great again, or keep the ones they have.

Oh yes - if Trump wins, America will be toast - a sad chapter in the history books.

I would love to see Trump serve time but regardless he should never ever hold the office of President of the United States again. Electing him just because you don't like Biden is like amputating your foot because you have a sore toe. Americans - in particular Republican Americans - have a choice to make. There are several candidates who could make America great again if you don't think Biden has. Pick one of them. Some would pardon The Donald but at least there would be another four years without him. 

By 2028 who knows where he will be? One thing is for sure: Wherever that is he will still be spreading lies about losing in 2020. If most of his neighbours are wearing orange suits like his, they won't care and they hate cry babies.

Even I will concede that it would make America at least a little greater again.


Sunday, 30 July 2023

Bird Brains Could Teach Us A Lot

The Ultimate Empty Nester

While sitting on my back deck enjoying a morning coffee and writing this, I was watching a pair of robins who have nested under our gazebo. My wife and I follow this performance every year. This time after building the nest, the female seemed to disappear which is common after laying eggs. To confirm, I used one of those small mirrors on an extension handle to view the inside of the nest. I saw three beautiful blue eggs. Then I was promptly buzzed by the male who is always close - standing guard. So far, so good.

There followed however a period of hot temperatures and lots of rain so my observations were less frequent. After a couple of days I heard a real confrontation in the next yard involving what was clearly a robin's distressed tweeting. For a week or more, I didn't see the female, assuming she was injured or fell prey to a cat.

The male continued to stand guard, dive bombing me if I got too close. He often perched on the side of the nest and peered inside seeming to be in great distress. After a few days I once again viewed the nest via the mirror - it appeared to be totally empty. For many days she has remained missing. I am never sure because we have a large yard with many trees and there are several pairs of nesting and competing robins close by.

This made me realize just how miraculous Mother Nature is. We humans could learn a lot from the animal kingdom in general. How many times have you known of a case in which a female becomes pregnant - not even a birth yet - and the male disappears, never to be heard from again? If there IS a birth and subsequently a divorce or split, the mother is still left to fight in court for any kind of support whatsoever! The female robin is even smart enough to cast out any defective eggs or chicks who don't make it. In some places this is not permitted with female humans.

We really started to feel sorry for the poor guy thinking perhaps that he was young and inexperienced. The last two days we have both seen him bringing worms to the nest. I have read that even if he tries to look after hatchlings he can't do it alone. As humans this is not true although many males claim that it is. There are many successful single male parents.

So much for the sad news. Today as I enjoy my coffee, I have seen both of them bringing worms to the nest! He is not a mentally challenged male after all! She even sat on the nest for a short period. I believe that recent very hot weather meant that keeping eggs warm was not a priority and the nest is totally out of direct sunlight. So we will be able to see little mouths reaching up to be fed in a few more days, assuming that other birds or racoons don't get them first. OMG! I see two now! Will be interesting to see if there are three.

From all of this i can draw a couple of conclusions - both of them involving Mother Nature:

1. He was not at all inexperienced but a real STUD. Maybe he found a new mate. If there were no hatchlings the first time the nest would be clean enough use again. Or perhaps I could conclude that she was always on the scene, is super fertile, and laid a new clutch of eggs. It is good news either way.

2. I am definitely seeing two very hungry young robins poking their heads up looking for food! That again is M.N. at work because now I am hungry! However I have to get off my butt to go and prepare some food! At least I will have a choice.

3. Yours truly is so far gone I can no longer even operate a mirror!

Have a great day!


Monday, 24 July 2023

Biden and Trump - Both TOAST?

Let the School Yard Scrapping Begin!


There once was a POTUS named Biden,
Whose age they couldn't keep hide'n,
When he went for a dance without any pants
The pole numbers kept right on slidin'!

"Just WATCH me!" was his reply,
He needs help from The Man in the sky.
He's still very clever, so never say "never,"
But is this his final Good Bye?


Donald was soundly defeated,
Despite all the lies that he Tweeted,
Not even a "Maybe" - he's such a cry baby,
Since he was born he has cheated.

The world is tired of his gripes.
He's worse than the bloody bagpipes!
West, north, east, south puts his foot on his mouth,
Can't wait to see him in stripes!


Too bad this once model nation,
That created a world wide sensation,
Will implode from within, sheer greed as it's sin,
I pity the next generation.

Imagine a person who leads
By addressing their own nation's needs.
No promises met by increasing the debt,
A legacy known for good deeds.


If the world can't get it together,
To stop this pollution and weather,
Our common abode will soon self-implode,
The question is when and not whether.

So Xi Jinping, Putin, and Biden,
Stop pointing fingers and chidin'.
Get together and try before we all die,
Doomsday is near and you're hidin'


Monday, 3 July 2023

Nicknames for Donald J. Trump

Sticks and Stones... You Know

Well it won't be long now before the debates for the nomination of who will represent Republicans in the 2024 U.S. Presidential election. That means it won't be long now before the world sees the likely nominee - DJT - calling people names like a kid in a schoolyard - a primary school yard. Unfortunately it lowered the dignity of what used to be the most highly regarded political position on the planet - no more. Thanks DJ.

We saw and heard it last time in 2016 but this time he is even more desperate and he will lower the station to total depravity - a shame really. But what else do you expect? The man knows not the meaning of true class. I doubt he has the IQ to devise most of the childish handles but he seems to have enough scriptwriters to compensate.

Maybe it is time that he tastes a little of what he doles out, Already some of the charges against him give us some optimism. I suggested done this before but perhaps the responses will increase this time.

Please comment with a few suggestions of names that other candidates could label The Donald. Who knows? Maybe some will make it to the debate podium. Please use the comment section below.

Here are a few to get you going:
  1. Pinocchio. This is a natural. He has the lying thing down - enough for an army of Pinocchio's. His personality and I.Q. are that of a wooden puppet The only thing missing is the nose - make that knows - it is more appropriate since he knows very little for a world leader.
  2. Donald Duck. These first two would violate some kind of intellectual property rights but don't worry - he wouldn't. He also sounds a lot like the Disney duck especially when on a rant. He is a natural cartoon character. Disney could have had a blast with him.
  3. Goofy. Funny - another cartoon character! Is any further explanation needed?
  4. Don the Con. This has double meaning - he has been conning people his entire life but soon he might be wearing a real con striped suit of a different design. Will they let him wear his trademark red tie? No. Somebody might strangle him.
  5. Forrest Gump Trump. "Gump" can be a compliment but what do you think? Will that be the first thing that comes to most minds?
  6. Welcher Donald. A history of examples.
  7. Humpty Dumpty. He also fell from his lofty perch. But at least Humpty HAD a wall to sit on! We are still waiting for DJ's and for the first peso to pay for it. All the King's horses and all the King's men are still laughing.
  8. Titanic Donald. It was supposed to be unsinkable as well.
  9. Don the Wiz! Just like the Wizard of Oz, once you pull back the curtain and expose all the trickery, there's really nothing there. The real Wiz was a dream. This one is a nightmare.
  10. Joker Don. The Joker is also one of a kind and a real card. He can be anything you want him to be. The appearance is usually that of a clown or jester. Typically, it was supposed to be have introduced by Americans who wanted to change the rules. Trump is also a card term but in that case it usually helps you win.
So there you go. Let's hear from you. Many of the other candidates are too dignified to call him names but we can! Give him a name and preferably why it applies.

If any of them stick it will drive him crazy! OK crazier!


Saturday, 1 July 2023

My Conch Shell Moments

Put Down the Phone and Listen. Top Ten life lessons.

I am definitely north of the equator of life - very much a senior. That's all you need to know. If you are reading this then I possess the Conch Shell however briefly. Metaphorically that means I speak, you listen. Google Lord of the Flies if you are still puzzled - after you read this.

There are many pieces of advice I would love to pass on to a younger generation with the faint hope that some might actually listen. I could write a book but hundreds have 
already done that. As well, here, you won't see any silly costumes, dance steps, or adults only content.

Perhaps this is best directed to younger generations who are actually parents - yet another generation after me.

1. Although getting good marks in school is important, it pales to the value of making friends - REAL ones, not the social media type. By doing that they will learn soft skills about people - how to deal with all the good and bad people they will encounter in life's journey. THAT is what will make them successful.

2. Find something you are good at and enjoy doing. Become good at it and make THAT your life goal. The rest will follow. 
Forget what others tell you to pursue. OK some common sense is required here. You do have to pay the bills and not rely on society to bail you out.

3. Unless what you identify in 2. requires a special degree like a doctor, lawyer, architect etc., enter a trade. Most of the people whom I know - that are still with us - and who have all the money they need for retirement were NOT university degree people. The biggest advantage was being their own boss - no corporate politics and other bullshit to cause stress, misery, and likely your demise.

4. The true measure of success in life is not how much money you make. That is a symptom of success for many people. Real success is loving the job you perform every day and not waiting impatiently for Friday and then regretting that Monday is only 2 days away!

5. In keeping with all of this, FORGET what other people are doing. Do not measure yourself against them. That is like being a golfer and measuring yourself against the best professionals. "If THEY can do it so can I" simply does not apply.

6. TALK to your kids. Make it mandatory for some quality family time with no phones allowed. That sacrifice applies to parents as well - the latest sporting event or fav. TV show can not be a priority. The kids might be resentful but once they realize they are not getting their phones back then they might as well participate. One incentive would be to share with them some of your own adult and family decisions you have to make. Let them feel that their input matters.

7. Teach your kids about money management and if you don't have a dollar to spare, learn it together. If a kid starts setting aside some of everything they earn and investing it conservatively, it will grow to a huge sum There is no catching up later, you have to start NOW. Above all pay off your credit debt, and keep it at zero. If you can't pay for an item by the end of the month, don't buy it. Second or third generation items are sufficient if they still work. Not only will they thank you for this after you are gone, they can pass it on to their own kids.

8. Banks, car companies, and social media are NOT your friends. Treat them accordingly.

9. Pay somebody a sincere compliment every day. Do it every time you have a conversation - live or text. Your true friendships will grow.

10. A personal fav. Get off you lazy, apathetic asses and VOTE in every election. Your ancestors died so you could. Don't know enough about the issues? Whose fault is that? Watch and read something meaningful for a change - not an excuse. If you don't vote you are part of the problem.

How do I know any of this? I did not follow most of the above myself. My life and what little remains of it reflects this.

I hope you saw some value here but if you are not yet convinced, Google something similar - senior advice etc. There are tons of others saying similar things. Think about that. People have lived their lives and are going to die soon. If they make the effort to pass on advice to you, why would you ignore it?

Which piece of advice will you invoke today?


Saturday, 24 June 2023

The Donkey and the Tiger

We all know some of these people

Do yourselves a favour and Google "The Donkey and the Tiger" - it's a very short read. Apparently the author is unknown. Skip to the end because that is our subject today: "When ignorance screams, intelligence shuts up. Your peace and tranquility are worth more."

As you will have seen if you researched this there are very appropriate interpretations for you to consider. The objective here is to inspire you to create your own. Think of all the people you know. Everybody has met and has to tolerate someone like this.

Are you one? I suspect to some degree that I am - especially after reading and pondering this little gem. These people really annoy me and probably you too. Now have a close look in the mirror. Is Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. Righty staring back?

The most notorious person I can think of that fits this characterization is of course Donald J. Trump. The most notorious group would be his MAGA followers. But let's drop down a level to our own social spheres.

I can think of 2-3 right now. They must always have the last word and won't stop even when you try to be diplomatic. Some are used to getting their own way by virtue of being high up in a structured organization. Others like teachers, cops, and military people are used to subordinates having to listen and obey. I remember teachers who were like that but my favorites were the opposite. They had the knack of making you feel just a little more relevant. If you were totally wrong they had a tactful way of letting you know but welcomed the engagement. Some parents lack the skill - the poorer ones.

On the other hand can you remember your school experiences - primary, secondary, college in which you were socializing face to face? Who were the natural "leaders" you wanted to hang with? I remember some who just stood out and NONE of them had to be right all the time. When a group of you walked down the street, these were almost always in the centre with wannabes on either side. The girls or guys were attracted to members of the opposite sex with this charisma like a magnet. This was before other gender groups were even recognized.

These people took an interest in you and others around them. They listened when you spoke and commented on your contributions to the conversation. They laughed at your jokes even if they really were not funny. Today they might even manage to tolerate the subjects of this blog.

In terms of celebrities a few that come to mind are: Johnny Carson; Jay Leno; Dolly Parton; Diane Sawyer; and maybe Joe Biden. With celebs you never know what they are like off camera but I suspect these would still be very likeable people. My current fav above all is CNN's #Alisyn Camerota. Her personality just grows on you.

So back to the beginning. Don't waste time on these people. They will never change. They probably lack confidence and have nothing else with which to impress you. Don't sweat the small stuff - and these are the small stuff. Be the intelligent one - just let them have their petty victory.

One thing to give you solace - there isn't one person like this who isn't already held in disregard by others. There is no need to point it out.

So one more time: "When ignorance screams, intelligence shuts up. Your peace and tranquility are worth more." I'm going to try to be more "intelligent" from now on. I have learned in many ways that I am indeed often critical of what others say and do.

Maybe it's not too late.



Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Titanic Unites the World Again

Second Titanic Disaster Looming

It is hard to believe but in the next 24 hours the world will learn whether a second Titanic disaster will occur off the coast of Newfoundland. Ironically the vessel involved - the Titan - from OceanGate Expeditions was in the process of descending to view the original Titanic.

How many times in your life has the entire population of the globe united as one to hope and pray for a miraculous outcome? I recall many. There have been pets and babies who have fallen into narrow wells; many mining accidents; Apollo 13; the kids trapped in a cave flooded by the tides; the "Sully" Sullenberger piloted Airbus that had to put down in the Hudson river; and other aircraft that ran out of fuel but managed to glide to a safe landing. These all turned out well.

In the year 2000, the Russian submarine Kursk sank to the bottom of the ocean and all were lost. This was indeed a disaster. So were countless train and plane crashes. But in all of these and more, countries from around the world who are often traditional enemies sometimes offer help and expertise to save the lives of the unfortunate.

This is what is happening as I write. The chances of success are slim. Oxygen will run out in about 10-12 hours and the craft with 5 people on board has not even been located.

As the world waits, hopes, and prays for the victims, several things come to mind:
  1. To those praying we all thank you. But if the outcome is indeed miraculous, after you rejoice and claim your prayers were heard, don't forget to ask the same God why the event occurred in the first place.
  2. Why is it that nations who might be conducting a war killing millions of people with seldom a thought will offer to help in situations like this?
  3. The fare for this is some 250 million dollars. At least one passenger is a billionaire who also paid for a ride into space. Why do people who worked so hard to accumulate their wealth risk it all on a thrill? They could do so much more with their wealth while still alive.
  4. Do these high end thrill seekers ever think about all the expensive resource and skill that might have to be employed if things go wrong? Not only are other valuable people risking their lives and our tax dollars, others who were not seeking a thrill might die because their would be rescuers are busy attending to the thrill seeker. It is like people who go ice fishing on thin ice after being told not to.
 If an exceptional person dies having a thrill, the world will probably not be what it could be if they lived. What about their family? Perhaps they have indeed made great contributions to society but they could make a few more.

Some say that people become great BECAUSE they take risks - probably true. However that usually refers to money or thrills that might result in injury but a continued life. How can you enjoy life to the fullest when you are dead? Stay off the mountains. Stop swimming with the sharks.

The entire world is overdue for a miracle and I certainly HOPE this event becomes one. Time is running out.

So are miracles.


Sunday, 4 June 2023

2023 Cuban Missile Crisis

1962 Kennedy / Khruchchev rematch

How many were alive in 1962 to see and hear the standoff between John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev which came close to nuclear war? It was a defining moment for both. The good news is that both men backed away while still saving some face. America blocked Russian ships bound for Cuba in exchange for removal of certain missiles from Europe.

This has been burning away inside people like Putin ever since. Are we at that point again? Cuba is weak and needs help. Russia wants to provide it but at a severe cost. Sergey Lavrov is already hinting at missiles in Cuba again.

Some big differences exist. Kennedy was a young and very smart President. Biden is smart but old. Premier Khrushchev was old and full of bluster. Putin is young and means business. In 1962 both leaders remembered the recent effects of atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Neither wanted a repeat. Both have proven nuclear weaponry today. Castro is gone. Russia has nuclear subs that can strike America and transport missiles to Cuba. Trump is still a reckless and untrustworthy possible future President. If Putin is overthrown, any number of ambitious extreme military men might replace him. The nuclear option would be very real. Several other powerful countries also have them and would take sides.

The biggest contrast is that NATO has done exactly what Kennedy feared but in reverse. Now it is Russia that fears missiles on their borders in NATO countries. It would be difficult for America to take the same stance as Kennedy if Putin tried again to set up bases and missiles in Cuba as Khrushchev attempted to do. It would be hypocrisy at its worst. Putin would feel entirely justified. We hope that Cuba still wants its independence enough to draw a line at that, especially seeing what is happening in Ukraine. Who would help Cuba?

I don't look forward to the largest fireworks display the world would ever see. It would be the last.

Final point I have raised before. Would female world leaders have brought us to this point? I suspect not.


Sunday, 21 May 2023

Self-destruction of Free Enterprise

 How long will Capitalism last?

If you read the title or heading of this post and then Google any similar phrase you will find how difficult it is for a blog like this to compete for readers. The search engine(s) discover hundreds of millions and sometimes billions of hits on similar topics.

It seems safe to conclude however that there is a clear divide here. You are either a pure unfettered Capitalist who exists to attain as much wealth as possible with zero regard for consequences, or you are a "Socialist" - especially in America. 

Later I will reference an interesting and eye opening article by John Horgan in Scientific American on the same topic. Although it and the documentary it features are frightening, they also require some reading. That is a big problem which I continually face. Today's average citizen no longer wants to read more than a Tweet. They want funny entertaining platforms like TikTok or Instagram. This topic is too big for a Tweet. Most will probably leave this post before the end but I hope you read on.

Trends are indicating that Free Enterprise Capitalism as we know it will self-destruct. It will happen right under our noses because those who are most negatively affected are too apathetic to take action. As well the very wealthy who control politicians will use all of their wealth to preserve the status quo. They will be long dead when any apocalypse occurs. Remember the phrase "History repeats itself!"

There have been many great revolutions depending upon how you define them:
Russia 1917 - 1923; French 1789 - 1799; American 1785 - 1783; Mexican 1910 - 1920; Spanish 1936 - 1939; Chinese 1949 - present day; Greek 1821 - 1829; Cuba 1953 - 1959. Some empires like the Roman and Greek and many dynasties lasted for centuries. Look at those dates - this has been happening for a very long time, not one or two generations.

One thing to notice with all of these is that the common people - the workers and have nots finally had enough. Death became a risk worth taking for their descendants and to finally punish those who had all the wealth and kept it for themselves. Another thing to note is that none of this happened overnight - it took many years of battle and carnage. T
oday I fear that those years are not far away .

I could cite the Industrial Revolution as the worst of all. Despite the comforts it has given many modern societies, others still struggle to merely survive. Once more, a few at the top have learned how to use industrialization to become obscenely rich, despite what it has done to our physical world and its environment. Also remember that after the environment declines to the point that most of us will not survive - and it will - the rich will prevail. They can afford to move and to buy or simply take the necessities of life from the rest of us.

So is there any hope? We have two choices.

1) Some will attempt to repeat history through a violent revolution. In America, why do you think so many want to keep their assault rifles - to shoot ducks?

2) The rest of us have to get off our asses, do the research, and vote. Start watching and reading something meaningful for a change. TikTok and Instagram are not going to fix this. YOU have to vote out the bad guys and vote in the good ones. This is the one thing missing in most of those eras mentioned above - the people didn't HAVE a vote.

Stop wasting yours.


PS: Here is a link to that article, It mentions a documentary on Netflix that I will certainly watch. You should as well. 

Friday, 5 May 2023

Fascination with Other Peoples' Problems

Cameras in Courtrooms and Dr. Phil.

Why do we have such a fascination with the lives of others? Celebrities; Judge Judy and clones; Dr. Phil? If we spent an equal amount of time on bettering our own lives we wouldn't have time to bother with other people. Maybe that is the key. Being entertained is much easier than spending time improving oneself. I have no time whatsoever for celebrity gossip, Hollywood's latest, Kardashians, or who's zoomin who. Obviously I am in the minority or maybe I AM the minority.

In this post I highlight two outstanding examples of this obsession. The first is courtroom drama. The second is doctors airing their patients' problems - most notably Dr. Phil.

As stated in previous posts, I am against cameras in a courtroom. Here in Canada it is not permitted which I strongly support. With soap operas like Judge Judy (is she still on?) and Hot Bench, courtroom officials end up performing for the camera. Why? Because it is a TV show and they have to compete for ratings. More drama - higher ratings.

In more serious cases Like OJ, George Floyd's killers, Ahmaud Arbery, the same thing applies. How can a judge focus on the intricacies of the law, the case, the evidence, the jury, (if there is one), the testimony etc. knowing full well his/her every word is being heard by millions? It is like singing in the shower vs. singing at Carnegie Hall. Americans love the cameras and think this is true democracy and transparency. I think it would be like preaching from a pulpit knowing that the Pope and every Cardinal are just out of site listening to every word you say. Observation is the job of the jury, not the public and social media.

But in America the almighty dollar (maybe not so almighty anymore) still rules and boy does it generate jobs and employment! Is that really what true justice should be about? Should the trial of the century be motivated by book sales and the big chance to be a star?

I think not but please comment below.

The second focus is on shows which feature airing one's most intimate and profound problems in front of hundreds of millions of people. I am using Dr. Phil as an example because I just don't like that show or quite frankly its stars.

Obviously the show, the good doctor and his wife, the network, and the whole gang are covered legally upside down an backwards. I assume guests must sign something akin to the Magna Carta to be on the show. That also begs the question "Why do they do it?" Is the driving force financial? To me it is fundamentally wrong to have people - who might or might not be the host's patients - baring their souls to the world. How can this be medically ethical? Almost every type of doctor with which I am familiar, who has met rigorous standards to earn his/her certificate to practice, swears to keep their patients' conditions and problems confidential. Period.

I am sure those profiting from the show (note that word - show) will argue that transparency is good. It helps people to relate to symptoms and situations from which they might suffer themselves. Surely this can be done anonymously using actors rather than real people. Why not? Because the old advertising slogan "Tiny Tears cries REAL Tears" is still alive and well. Just as journalists want to get real tears in a tragic situation (the public has a "right to know") these shows make millions on other peoples' misery.

Shame on them all.

Disagree? Please comment below.


Monday, 1 May 2023

Gun Target Practice in your Yard

Letting off Steam by Firing Guns?

This will be brief. No-brainers usually are.

After a recent killing of family members by a man who is now being sought by hundreds of police, a startling statement was made by people being interviewed. The incident occurred after neighbour 1 asked neighbour 2 to move his target practice to the opposite side of his yard. The noise was upsetting babies in the house 1. Result? Take one of your weapons to house 1 and slaughter the complainants.

Only in America. I don't even bother ending that phrase with an explanation mark any more.

The statement that was startling to me was that it is quite common to hear people firing weapons including automatic ones in their back yard. This often happens Friday evening after a week of work. Here is the kicker - frequently they are drinking and "Just letting off steam!" Now THAT deserved and exclamation.

Let's get this straight. In America if you are drunk and drive a vehicle I presume you can be charged. But apparently you can fire off your automatic weapon in your yard while drinking. Are there ANY restrictions? Does it require a shooting range that meets some basic codes? Are there any time restrictions? Was he drinking in this case?

How about Federal laws that prohibit use of any firearm with the same amount of alcohol in your system that would be illegal while driving? Certainly enforcement might be difficult but it would be one more restriction that might save lives. I would go so far as to say that the guns should be confiscated just like cars can be and repeat offenders should suffer consequences including the forfeit and prohibition of guns

Take it one step at a time. No guns while drunk. No guns for mentally disturbed. No guns for minors. No firing after dark.

Please comment below. This should be good!


Thursday, 27 April 2023

What's in a Gender?

America is behind the 8 ball, AGAIN!

This post is about gender - at least I think it is but I fully expect that somebody will tell me I just don't GET gender. I think I do. On the other hand, gender "preference" - that is new to me.

So let me just lay down my cards. I am, always have been, and always will be a male heterosexual. I like, love, and make love to females - full stop. As I grew up there were only 3 sexual preference terms: hetero for male/female (and female/male - don't want to upset anyone), and homo meaning male/male or female/female relationships. At some point the term "gay" became an alternative. 

When I was a teen, the term "homosexual" was commonly used. It is unacceptable today because the short form "homo" became a slur or slander. I think it was long overdue that people were able to "come out" and be, associate with, love, and marry a person of their choice. Great - why should it matter? The negative attitudes came from parental stereotyping and conditioning.

My generation, those before, and one or two after found these to be profound and difficult changes but acceptance and transparency are becoming the norm. Good on that.

History reveals that people with feelings which were different than mine have always existed. Tragically being something other than traditional male/female could have gotten you tortured and/or killed in the past. We hope that will disappear but it still exists in some societies.

Now "preference". I believe the practice of deciding who or what you want to be in terms of gender and openly discussing this is relatively new. Again - this was long overdue. During my lifetime it took years to get society to accept  that whatever your feelings of gender you were BORN that way. With that recognition came the acceptance that this is NORMAL. Thus red hair, no hair, tallness, shortness, different gender feelings etc. might be statistically less common but have always been normal - one more progressive milestone.
It might be later in a person's life that they recognize their feelings are different but possessing and experiencing them is not a choice.

So the rationale behind the heading is that many American politicians still don't get any of this. They are still trying to stereotype, condition, and "fix".

Now let me hypothesize. If I were to choose to become a transgender woman, there is no way that the public should foot the bill whether in prison, in the military, or anywhere else. However this is because I happen to know as stated above that I was born without ambivalent feelings about myself. I was male and happy being so. Changing gender would be MY choice and I should foot the bill.

So that leaves preference. If you were born with ambivalent feelings or clear feelings but inappropriate body parts, should society and its medical programs pay for a change? 
 Anyone can experience an involuntary broken arm or defective heart and medical plans (maybe not all of them - again wake up America) pay for them. Can we expect them to cover a person who decides to change their gender?

Many will argue yes, others no.

Feel free to comment below - you can do so anonymously if you wish.



Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Military Assault Rifles

Justify Civilian Assault Rifles

I am beating my head against a wall but what the hell - I have lots of walls - only one head however. Same with Americans. So why can't they use theirs? I believe I am using mine while writing this post. I believe every other country in the world have citizens like me. That's billions of walls and sore heads - good for the medical industry! Are American walls all padded?

During the many times I have written about this; thought about this; and discussed this at coffee with others, I have never heard an honest or even logical answer to this question:

Why do American private citizens need military style assault rifles - the kind that have been used so long now to butcher real live people including young children?

I know the answer exists - so do all Americans. They are just not honest enough to give the true answer.

Any time this question is asked the immediate response is some reference to the #2ndAmendment. That's not an answer and the speaker knows it. Some try to squirm around the answer by saying they use them for target practice or hunting! You always get the "Guns don't kill people - people kill people". All of it is bullshit and again we all know it.

All citizens of age (AND who are mentally sound) have the right to own a car or even a tractor trailer. Dos that mean they all own one somewhere when a buss or bicycle will do? No!

In the past I have pointed out that the loose interpretation of the 2nd Amendment most gun lovers prefer would allow bazookas; rocket launchers; flame throwers; and some day shoulder launched mini-nukes to be carried by private citizens. The Constitution never envisaged this. The "arms" were intended to be for militias to defend the country from attack. Full stop.

Why then are AR15 style rifles in such great demand? The owners don't really anticipate being called to arms to fight off Britain again, Canada to the north or Mexico to the south. They want them to some day topple a government or any organization that they don't like. This means that if police, military, and National or State Guards have assault weapons, so should individuals. They simply don't want to be out-gunned.

And what are the things that might incite such rebellion? Rich white establishment citizens losing their iron grip on everyone else. The second elephant in the room or the country is the "everyone else" - NON WHITES and NON CHRISTIANS. These gun lovers want to go back to the '50s and '60's. They have a Dodge city showdown with the town Marshall mentality where the fastest draw wins. Look at me the wrong way and you are dead - self protection.

Today it is the fastest firing automatic gun. that wins

That's it in a nutshell or should I say an AR15 shell? Full, body-piercing, stop.


Tuesday, 11 April 2023

How to make Lots of Money

Snake Oil Sales on Social Media

The notion of somebody selling a bottle of snake oil to remedy all of your ailments has been around for many decades. There are stories of men (usually) who travelled the country making a fortune selling potions to unwary suckers. When found out many were then chased out of town or hung from the nearest tree.

Modern day versions of this include Ponzi schemes, #TrumpUniversity, and Elizabeth Holmes' Theranos company to name a few.

In my youth which was long before personal smart devices or even PCs and their ancestral monster computers, there were only a few forms of media and little of it was "social". For personal entertainment you listened to radio programs, watched basic TV with limited channels and programming choice, and read real newspapers, magazines, comics, and books. Failing that you played board games and cards.

But here is the thing: even then the snake oil salespeople were alive and well!
In the back of nearly all newspapers and magazines were "want" adds - similar to today's Kijiji, Amazon, and Craig's list. There were countless ads which told you that this or that person had made a fortune. Just send $19.99 to receive the secret. Then you too would become a millionaire - a LOT of money back then.

Although I never subscribed, the "secret" was usually along the lines of this: place an ad in a magazine or paper promising to tell your secret for only "X" dollars to be sent (snail mail) in a self-addressed, stamped envelope - just like I did! It was not a lie since thousands of suckers complied and the advertiser did make money. There was no product or service. That's what made it similar to the snake oil scheme.

Today there are blogs and videos by the thousands all doing something similar. In the last week I must have been interrupted five times by ads for 5 different people all claiming to tell me a secret (some secret!) They had made $3,000 in the first week or $10,000 in a month. It was now a full time job from home and one pulled in $4 million the first year. Every one claimed to have found a loop hole or exposure in YouTube that allowed you to make this money using videos produced by others! My fist thought was that things never change. Only the medium.

One common element - these were all younger people apparently too lazy to get a real job.

It doesn't stop there. Thousands of others are going to reveal the secrets of Search Engine Optimization and how to be a "content" creator in demand by all the big companies. I guess there are still enough snakes to perpetuate this market - and suckers to fall for it.

Again these are young people who apparently appointed themselves as experts in their fields. They often look like they are still in high school. If there are some who can prove that they have big name companies as clients - more power to them. However most of their websites are constructed to keep you clicking. "Subscribe to my channel." "Sign up for my newsletter". "Buy my book or merchandise." If they are rich it is probably from all the Google ads and others constantly interrupting you if you DO click further.

At least it is not illegal; they are not pushing drugs or stealing cars; and nobody is forcing you to fork out the cash. To get a feel for what I am talking about just try to find out what "content provider" means. Be prepared to do a lot of surfing. I was going to finish by saying "Just don't get caught by the tide".

There is a good example. How long has Tide been running essentially the same commercial? How many new improved versions can they invent? Despite all the changes and pushback about the stereotyped role for females in society - there she is. The amazed and smiling home maker showing off her clean laundry.

At least Tide has real products. Now excuse me. My washer just completed the last rinse cycle using - you guessed it!


Monday, 3 April 2023

Job Description: President of the U.S.A.

So you think your job is tough?

Be honest. Do you think you have a tough job? Does it deserve more compensation? Most people would probably say "yes." All of us often go home feeling drained and wondering if another calling would be a solution.

Consider this: You are the leader of a country - the bigger and more powerful the country, the tougher the job. You could be Prime Minister, President, Premier, King, Queen, or even dictator anywhere. Do your typical days involve any of these events?
  • Disasters: Some 50 tornadoes destroyed vast swaths of land, property, and lives in many states. Every community wants you to visit, sympathize, and promise federal aid. Some were bad mouthing you politically yesterday.
  • Two days later an entire town is destroyed in a fire or completely submerged in several feet of water. More funds and labour are required.
  • A Chinese balloon is slowly tracking across the country. Should you give the order to shoot it down?
  • Every reporter you can name wants you to comment on Trump's indictment. You want to but resist.
  • Similarly the same reporters want to know if you are concerned about your own health holding out for another term.
  • Putin has just committed more atrocities in Ukraine and you need more funding approved to give Ukraine weapons.
  • The Senate is threatening to get your son and prove you did him favors while you were V.P.
  • You wake up to discover that secure documents have been found in your remote offices and residences. You know nothing about it. Please comment.
  • China is threatening to invade Taiwan. What are you going to do Mr. President? What is your plan?
  • North Korea is launching more rockets capable of carrying nuclear weapons to America. Should you strike first Sir?
  • The Republicans are threatening to shut down the country over debt limit increases. You swear you won't let them.
  • The military is planning a top secret mission like the one to take out Bin Laden. You have to be on top of it in case the order to GO is required.
  • The State of the Nation speech is coming up fast.
  • Your grandkids are having birthdays, graduations etc. or just want you to visit.
  • Your wife and First Lady wants to talk to you one on one about something serious going on in her life.
  • One wrong decision in your four or eight years could destroy the entire world. It could come in the middle of the night.
Think you could handle it and a lot more? I know I couldn't. If you have a job smile and be grateful for it!


Sunday, 26 March 2023

Digital Blackface: the Modern Minstrel Show

Are you Guilty of Digital Blackface?

Try them - you won't have to read the entire pieces although they are good reads. These describe a term which is new to me: #DIGITAL BLACKFACE. Many white people will scoff at the term claiming that people of colour are being too sensitive.

I am white and I think I understand the term better... for now. I guarantee you the list of inclusions will expand. The best description I have seen is that this is the modern version of the old minstrel shows. Google "Al Jolson" if you don't know what they were - popular way back in the 19th century. They were wrong then and would cause riots today.

If I address a black guy (can I use that word?) as Bro or I say 'Sup is that Blackspeak? If he addresses me the same way and I respond in kind - same question.

For years many white writers and journalists made fun of Yogi Berra for his famous "It ain't over 'till it's over" and "Pair up in threes!". There is even an expression now which is Yogi-isms. President George W. Bush probably generated a similar list. 

If we quote them is this "Whiteface?" My wife often watches the Kelly Clarkson show and almost every day Kelly addresses the audience as "Y'all". I think she has recently introduced the term. To Canadians like me it grates on the ears but to millions of people in the south it is everyday "speak". Is Kelly using Southern Face?

Sometimes on certain talk shows a panelist is of colour and speaks in a very expressive manner. They appear to be acting - the emotion sounds artificial. I often wonder if I woke the same person in the middle of the night would they really speak the same way? Yet I see other shows where no panelist is of colour and I want to say the same thing! People express emotion in different ways.

Language and expression are results of many factors - culture; parental influence; religion; peer pressure; and for sure education.

That last one stands out for me. People - in particular white people - have looked down their noses at almost everyone else for centuries. Entire societies have perpetuated classes and castes to guarantee that the privileged few at the top stay there. South African Apartheid was a blatant example - so was established North America. One of the paths to the top if you are not born there is education. If those in control deny it to the masses precisely to preserve the status quo the problem will always exist. If you have never experienced this - I have not - don't mock Blackface.

Controversial perhaps but education also reflects the way we express ourselves  regardless of colour, age, or race. Many young kids including white ones choose to leave school early. They don't like it and want to be free as soon as they can. Lots find trades or other jobs and live great lives - good for them. Others sell drugs and enter the criminal world - not so good for them or the rest of us.

I have become aware of my own language and grammar because I actually enjoyed it in primary school. 
Some have called me arrogant or conceited because of the way I express myself. Others have accused me of showing no emotion or passion. Both hurt. I would like people to accept me as I am the same way we should accept others the way they are. No Blackface or ridicule please.

Because I am white I can only say I think I understand this phenomenon. I will never experience the feelings and realities of discrimination that others still live every day.

You are reading this digitally. I hope it is not full of Digital Whiteface. If so please comment below. No names necessary.


Thursday, 23 March 2023

Contaminated Water and Camp Lejeune

What is more Contaminated - the Water or the Lawyers?

How long has it been since you saw the first Lawyer commercial about tainted or #contaminated water at Camp Lejeune? At least a couple of years for me. The last one was today. There will be more.

As lawyers so often do, once the first one recognized a big opportunity to make a mint on fees everybody else jumped into the ring. Each week there was another Law Partner claiming to be the first and most knowledgeable on the subject.

To set the record straight this is a serious issue for America's heroes. Their military brass and the politicians should have had their backs once a problem was identified. Instead? Deny, deny, deny! None of them should be suffering from drinking or even being around a camp that caused them chronic health issues. Nobody should. Everyone should support them.

However this post is about lawyers, not marines. The phrase "Ambulance Chasers" is very appropriate when it comes to certain lawyers and their firms and has been around a long time. You can extend it to include their pursuit of other victim groups affected by: asbestos or other hazardous materials; employment terminations; drugs - legal or illicit; governments at all levels; insurance claims; sexual harassment and many more. It is a very ugly image for individuals who are supposed to represent the penultimate professionals.

Apparently these guys have no shame. What is even less professional is when they try to save a few bucks by doing their own commercials. Stop being so cheap and hire another group of professionals counsellors - models and actors. At least they could sound sincere.

Soon we will be hearing that if you have ever: driven by Camp Lejeune on a windy day; made a delivery or pickup there; shaken hands with a former resident; allowed a pet to run free on the grounds; or flown over it in a jetliner you should contact Makeabundle, Makeabundle, and Makeabundle, right away.

Remember! You won't have to pay a dime unless they recover money for you. That one started a long time ago too and then they all jumped in.

The only prominent client I have not seen them chasing is Donald J. Trump. Surely even lawyers are too smart for that. HUGE cash retainer or certified cheque up front please. No exceptions.

Don't you miss Perry Mason Perry Mason (TV Series 1957–1966) - IMDb; Denny Crane Boston Legal (TV Series 2004–2008) - IMDb, Ben Matlock Matlock (TV Series 1986–1995) - IMDb and the lot?


Saturday, 11 March 2023

Orwell's 1984 Forty Years Later

The Next Nuclear Button Push will be the Last

Whatever your religion,
Or how you think and pray,
Some might find this offensive,
But there are things to say.

Wherever is the Heaven
Or Hell that you might fear,
Our Earth is in grave danger.
Armageddon's near.

Some of you are yawning,
"Old news" I hear you say.
Y2K would self implode
Yet here we are today.

Butchery and genocide
Fill history books galore.
But sadly men have never learned
These lessons from before.

Never through those wicked times
And genocides that linger,
Could man annihilate this Earth
With one touch of a finger.

There won't be any Marshall Plan
No cities to remake.
The greatest minds know when to blink
For all of mankind's sake.

Is Heaven watching as its flocks
Approach the great abyss?
Surely there's a better way
To test our Faith than this.


Saturday, 4 March 2023

Alex Murdaugh Shoots Himself in the Foot

Murdaugh and American Justice System

YIPIKAYE. I am one of the many who think Big Alex got exactly what he deserved! And it certainly wasn't an Oscar.

After the verdict some of the speakers talked about the American Justice System. One borrowed from Churchill in calling the system terrible but better than anyone else's. Can't agree with that but it certainly came through this time. Cameras in courtrooms turn them and all their officials into the Jerry Springer show or Tiny Talent Time. Everyone is performing for the camera during and after the trial. Just recall the OJ trial. What a joke. Then everyone makes a fortune writing books and doing the talk show route - even jurists.

Having watched specials about the Murdaugh family, it reminded me of the Trumps; Joseph Kennedy and his sons; and even TV series like Dallas and Dynasty. The wealthy generally own the politicians and get what they want - when they want it. The poor only manage to scream this at protests.

At least three generations of his family owned their town and surroundings. They really did think they could get away with anything. They didn't. So The Christians finally managed to slay one of the Lions in the public coliseum called American justice.

I didn't watch all of it but enough to form an opinion. Ironically that is the main reason I don't like cameras in trials. It becomes another form of social media - everyone is an armchair judge, jurist, prosecutor, or defence lawyer. This time even I was and I distrusted the guy from the start without really knowing any of the facts. 

Another reason I don't like trial specials is that it almost teaches the public how to bamboozle a court if they ever do end up in one. When you don't witness this, courts and trials are intimidating as they should be. You hope you never have to face one and just maybe this affects your behaviour.

Having confessed however, here are a couple of my armchair thoughts. 

Worst of all I thought he looked and acted guilty. It's OK for the jury to conclude that but not the viewing public who don't hear all testimony and instructions from the judge. My bad.

For sure a big one was that Alex said he was nowhere near the murder scene when it happened and then had to stand on his head. He also stated that the dogs were quiet. These were hunting dogs. If anyone other than family was anywhere near that kennel they would have been going nuts unless they had been silenced. Thirdly the defence tried to maintain that there were at least two shooters. This was because there were 2 types of guns and two angles of attack or bullet trajectories. To me that was just another case of Alex deliberately carrying out shootings in such a manner so as to lead to such a false conclusion. The guy was a lawyer - not a very good one apparently - but very clever. The drug angle did nothing for me. I am not even sure they proved his consumption and addiction was as abnormal as he stated.

Lastly ballistics told exactly what kinds of weapons and ammo were used. The family had such weapons but guess what - they had magically disappeared - both of them!

Other than this monster rotting in a cell somewhere and facing prison justice, there are a couple of other positive outcomes. Firstly I think the dogs will get a good home somewhere. They are celebrities after all! The remaining son is probably no saint either but all this will have such a horrible effect on him that he will never follow in his father's footsteps. Instead, maybe he will become another reborn man like Ebenezer Scrooge. Also there might ultimately be some financial benefit to the hundreds of families and individuals from whom Alex stole money, even if his land and properties have to be sold. That will be a different trial so stay tuned.

We can all hope that somewhere other individuals who think they have conceived of the perfect murder(s) will think twice. 

Now let's bet on the date of first book, mini-series, or movie to hit the market. Only in America!