Showing posts with label Current Affairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Current Affairs. Show all posts

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


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, 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






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 

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

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Russian People in Democratic Countries, Please Speak Out!

Let's Hear some Russian Free Speech!

Years ago I worked with many Russian people who had immigrated to Canada. I don't recall which international crisis was happening but it involved Russia. A female colleague's strong nationalism showed when she declared that the West only likes Russia when they think she is weak. True. She wanted her motherland to regain its former glory and standing as a world force to equal America. She got quite heated about it.

I didn't ask her why she remained here and did not return to Russia but her feelings were understandable. We on this side of the ocean forget that Russia and many other countries overseas have histories of rising and falling, conquering and expanding, rebelling against and recreating their leadership hundreds of years before anyone even knew about our far off lands. We are mere babes in arms or perhaps babes with arms in the military sense.

However since many people have immigrated to more democratic countries and presumably enjoy their ability to speak and write freely, let's hear from some of them.

Surely those who live here now and have seen the horror of Ukraine through the lens of western media and not the fake news of the motherland, they must have seen some kind of light. For sure you can refer to many American transgressions in other lands but I don't think it was ever to wipe out an entire people.

When has Ukraine ever attacked Russia or the Soviet Union? This is somewhat like American forces attacking native North American tribes again as they once did when settling the new west. It was wrong then and would be unspeakable now.

In addition surely they would be the best means of getting the truth to relatives at home. Unfortunately we have heard of some family ties being broken when those back in Russia refuse to believe their own families who now live in the USA

Western media would love to give you a platform or soap box from which to repeat what Putin and his forces are doing. Why are you so silent?

Do you also believe that Ukraine is not and never was a nation? If nothing else you should now understand why so many believe that Ukraine should indeed be part of NATO.
Ditto for Finland and Sweden.

Please make use of the freedom to speak which you now enjoy.

#thebewsterblock

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Press Corps Dinner

Again Biden turns Trump into a Chump    

Anyone who watched President Joe Biden and Trevor Noah last night had to be impressed. Trump could never have pulled it off.

Once again however it was Noah - who stems from another part of the world - who made everyone watching and everyone present appreciate how important it is to enjoy free speech with no consequences. Trevor opened by making the point and closed by reiterating it. Then we all enjoyed and had a laugh because of it in between.

Imagine indeed what would happen to any Russian who pulled the same punches on Russian media. He or she would instantly transform from stage stand-up comedian to prison
sit-down comedian somewhere in Siberia, never to be heard from again.

In all of the major wars including this one in Ukraine, how did the rest of the world really know what was going on? Where would we be now if those early warning systems had not triggered potential and real victims to band together against the aggressor? Thankfully we appear to be doing it again.

Except in one place in particular - the aggressor nation itself, where there is no freedom of speech. There are probably a few others as well, all authoritarian regimes.

The scary part for me was that Trump and his cronies at Fox were attempting to move America into a similar system. I have no doubt if Trump should ever get back in, that he and his puppets will try to change the law to allow a President to stay as long as he/she wants. The other branches of government would be ignored, just as Putin is ignoring established norms.

Every day we are finding out more about how the Republicans and the right tried to fix the last election in their own favour. It was never the Democrats, and the world knows it.

How do they know this? If I have to explain I have failed dismally to make my point in this post.

#thebrewsterblock


Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Will Smith has to Pay the Price

The Slapshot that "Rocked" the World!



Will Smith needs to learn a hard lesson from his stupid act. So far none has been administered.

People are now echoing the fact that the whole world saw it live. Replay the video but watch it from the beginning. The first thing we all heard was Chris Rock aiming jokes at individuals in the audience during a presentation. In the past there have been several cases of Oscar hosts being criticized for their poor taste. Because it is supposed to be funny, they often receive a "get out of jail" pass.

Sometimes the target of the misplaced humor grins and bears it - sometimes not. This was one of the "nots." We all saw the look on Jaga's face - she was not amused. There was an awkward moment as people made the connection with "G.I. Jane" and I for one, felt sorry for her just from the look on her face. I had no idea about her illness. In that same moment, Will Smith was laughing openly along with many other people. Then he saw the stunned look on his wife.

Not much has been said about this. Had he started expressing his disgust with Rock immediately without the laughter, he might have garnered more sympathy. His violent reaction would still be wrong but slightly more sincere. He could have dealt with Chris later, off camera. Instead once his wife gave him the stare, he did a 180 degree about face.

His next action was just grandstanding. Imagine someone during a televised session of the U.N. walking to the stage and mooning the world or slapping someone just like Smith. If you walk up to a very busy police station and throw a rock through the window, what do you think is going to happen? What if this happened in any public sporting event? 

Smith knew that world camera was on his back as he paced off the short distance to the stage and Chris Rock. He knew it would be a slap that "Rocked" the world, pun intended.

You might think "What do you expect? It's The Oscars." Lots of crazy things and political statements have been dramatized on this, the most infamous drama stage of all. It is still wrong. What next - a gun? Hopefully everyone is scanned for this including handbags upon entry - but I doubt it.

What message did this send to everyone, especially with Putin's slapping down Ukraine? If there is not severe punishment it means that violence is acceptable - if you are mad enough. You shoot someone and your excuse is "Yes but I was just mad - I lost my temper." Please. If you are thinking this, give yourselves a slap.

As for his tears during his own acceptance speech, if they were phony, he deserved the award. They were real but only because the gravity of his situation was starting to sink in. As for his ramblings about the Williams family, that was over the top - an attempt to deflect and somehow justify his actions.

His public persona is a jovial, likeable guy. It is now shattered in what should have been a rational moment that went horribly irrational.

Other celebrities have done and said things in their private lives that spoiled their Hollywood image and paid the price for a long time. Eventually they are forgiven. This was not during Smith's private life but during ours.

A slap on the wrist is not enough.

#thebrewsterblock

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Is Putin Copying Hitler?


Is
Ukraine a Prelude to World War III?

Fortunately neither I nor most of you lived through World Wars I or II - the lead up; the horror itself; and the aftermath. I hope we never see the likes of them again. My hope is becoming more faint.

History is not my strong point but I seem to recall that:

A very clever, selfish, and ruthless Hitler worked his way into a leadership position in Germany between the two Great Wars. He pandered to and fired up the spirit and fervor of the German population. Ditto Putin and the Russian people.

He reminded them of their former glory and inspired extreme nationalism predicting such glory again in the future. The people were suffering economically. They still felt resentment from their defeat in World War I. They believed in and backed this leader. Those who opposed him suffered. Ditto Putin and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He sought allies such as Italy. He sweet talked, lied to, and called the bluff of would be enemies. He then started his attacks, one at a time. Russia has a strong ally – China. Putin says anything Britain/America want to hear. He is attacking Ukraine.

Other countries huffed and puffed but did not want to pay the price of arming themselves up front so as to be able to ultimately defeat Hitler if it became necessary. Ditto America and its allies today. America even said it would not do battle with Putin over the Ukraine. Sound familiar? Germany signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Russia and then attacked Poland. Ultimately Hitler betrayed Russia and invaded her also.

It took years of talks between Britain and America and an attack by a rogue nation - Japan - before America realized she had to help defeat Hitler before she herself was attacked, after most of Europe was defeated. Japan once again was driven by national pride and felt it was her time to rise to her rightful place over other nations. Will a rogue nation - Korea? China? - attack America today for the same reasons? In the end Russia gained more territory through the spoils of World War II. Will that happen again with Putin?

Of course there are some huge differences between then and now. More countries have an immense military. Some of the biggest differences ironically resulted from World War II. Rocket power resulted in missiles, and satellites provide guidance and surveillance. Lasers are used to precisely guide bombs and those missiles. Nuclear powered vessels can stay at sea and under the sea longer.

The biggest of all has to be the former atomic and now nuclear bomb. The major players all have them. Their destructive power eclipses that of other weapons. The entire world could be destroyed or made uninhabitable for years.

In the time of Kennedy, fear of mutual destruction was a dual deterrent when only the USA and Russia were the main players. The league has expanded since. I doubt that America has the military power or the will to defeat Russia conventionally anymore. Her track record since World War II - Viet Nam in particular - has not been impressive. Is Putin still counting on America’s unwillingness to press the button?

How ironic since America is the only power to have dropped the bomb offensively, wreaking immense horror on Japan. Today’s H-bombs could destroy a country and every building and form of life in it.

We can only hope - some of you should pray - that hitting Putin and his cronies in the pocketbook will work. Doing so will hit our pocketbooks as well.

Are we willing to pay?

#thebrewsterblock


Friday, 18 February 2022

Violent behavior on Aircraft

The New Five Mile High Club. Lock 'em Up!

Once again another wild (probably drunk) passenger had to be bodily subdued on an airplane. These assholes threaten hundreds of lives.

Such people should be arrested upon arrival. If it is in a foreign land they should be immediately returned to their homeland and arrested again. Forget the luggage. Maybe it arrives some day, maybe not. They also pay for the return trip.

This is totally unacceptable behavior.

Punishment at home should be severe. Since they disrupted the peaceful travel of others, they should lose their right to drive for a long period. If they don't drive they pay a big financial burden.

I feel for the airline staff but not the airline. My guess is that many of these passengers have been into the booze. Airlines could reduce a lot of this by simply not selling booze on board and forbidding the consumption of any personal alcohol.

It would be a shame since most people including me enjoy relaxing with a drink on a long flight but this is too dangerous to allow it to continue. Another approach is rationing drinks to one or two per passenger. How this is enforced is their problem. Solve it.

Finally the no fly status of such a person should be automatic, international, and it should be long in duration.

Welcome to the new Five Mile "High" club!

#thebrewsterblock


Monday, 31 January 2022

The No Government Society

No Government? Think About I!

We have all heard protestors yelling "Down with Government"; "You can't trust government" etc. Really?

Let's depict what might be a typical day in the life of Joe/Suzy Citizen. The bracketed numbers represent services provided by taxes. Taxes are collected and spent by whatever level of government. Who or what will take their place?

Here is the list of services we encounter:

1. Electricity                               13. Education Standards
2. Water                                     14. Court System
3. Sewage                                 15. Justice System
4. Gas                                        16. Traffic Laws
5. Oil                                          17. Issuing of various Licenses
6. Roads                                    18. Local, State, Federal Laws 
7. Airports                                  19. Police and Law Enforcement
8. Ports                                      20. Parks and Recreation
9. Infrastructure Maintenance   21. Social Benefits
10. WEB, Broadband, Internet  22. Rights of citizens  
11. Education                            23. The Military
12. Teachers College

The alarm goes off (1). You reach out to flip on the lights (1). Then you plod off down the hall or into the ensuite to turn on more lights (1). You use the toilet (2) and then flush it (2,3). Moving over to the sink, you wash your hands (2,3). The house is too cold/hot so you crank up the heat or air (1,4,5). You use these services several more times while cooking before you head out the door. What did you eat? Every item came from a store or market, including the stove and fridge. How? (6,7,8). This only happened after all of these were cleared of ice and snow (9). You get dressed into clothes. Where did they come from? Stores (6,7,8,9). Ah but you bought these online (10).

Now you are out the door. You drive the kids to school (6,11) in your purchased/leased vehicle (6,7,8). There, they are taught by teachers, who were educated at colleges often assisted or provided by government (12) to attain qualifications that are set by regulators (13).

During that brief commute, you are hit by an unlicensed driver and vehicle. You are properly licensed (17) and have to take them to court (14,15) to be tried by a judge and jury (14,15). You are both represented by lawyers who must be properly educated and licensed (13,15,17) so as to be able to enforce the law and your rights (18).

When you return home (and we haven't even covered your typical day at work) you find your house has been burglarized, so you call the police (19). Now you have to go to pick up the kids at soccer (20) and day care which you could only afford because of child benefits (21). Finally you sit down to read a newspaper and watch a ball game on TV which you can enjoy because of free speech (22). Most of it is about war and conflict (23).

I could carry on but you get the picture. Who provides any of this without government? If you say other non-democratic countries have similar things you are wrong at least in scope. But in those societies, good luck changing or increasing such facilities. Do you think private enterprise and entrepreneurs will fill the void? They might fill their pockets, but not the void. Who will manage and enforce all the private contracts with your best interests in mind? To whom will you complain when something is wrong?

Too much government might be bad but none is just a pipe dream. in another society if you smoke the wrong thing in that pipe you might be shot.

#thebrewsterblock

Monday, 24 January 2022

The New CNN and Who Replaces Cuomo

Will CNN Become the FOX of the left?


There has been much debate about who will replace Chris Cuomo on CNN at a time when the network is about to have new owners again. Discovery - owned primarily by media mogul John Malone, is taking over from AT&T. The new company will be headed by CEO David Zaslav another career media savvy entrepreneur. I know little about these men but they face many challenges

Chris was one of the top guys at the network and will be hard to replace. He was brash - some might say aggressively so, opinionated and well spoken. This is ideal for his type of show. I am enjoying the current strategy of slating a variety of talented guest spokespeople in the cherished 9:00 pm slot. I have been impressed by Michael Smerconish; Laura Coates; and Brianna Keilar to date.

Articles I read pointed out that morning audiences are a lot different than evening ones. Perhaps their states of mind change throughout the day - lighter stuff in the morning. Brianna for example was not doing well in the morning slot but she has been refreshing as a stand-in for Cuomo. CNN has a large cast of talented personalities who could do the job including their regular guest speakers and analysts.

Apparently the decision will be on hold until the new owners weigh in. This makes good sense. Some big picture decisions remain.

Should they give the nod to a woman? Almost any of the existing prominent CNN females could do a great job. Should there be another person of colour in the slot or both - like Laura Coates. So far the indications are that the new owners want to preserve the CNN image of high integrity news - not the entertaining but often blatantly false and fake diatribes posing as news on FOX among others.

I watch CNN a lot throughout the day and evening and have criticized some of the following areas in the past. How about changing:

- Cutting guests off for giving views that are too right and not what the CNN bosses or sponsors want to hear. Most CNN people are guilty of this - Chris was notorious for it. If you invited them let them finish their point.
- Repetition of the same old stuff over and over. Different viewers won't be able to watch until later in the day but knock off the continual "Breaking News". It might be breaking when it is first broadcast but after that it is just today's news. Things happen 24/7 so there are lots of opportunities for each time slot to "break" some news.
- Not giving credit to the Republicans and other networks if they are correct about something. Keep your leftist views but report rightist views as well without making out anyone who supports them to be crazy. Your own viewers know where you stand overall. Give them credit for having the grey matter we know some FOX fans lack!
- Don't choose Don Lemon to replace Cuomo. He is better where he is - then we can choose to retire or listen to his often maudlin melodrama. Personally I am tired of it.  Lemon is in my opinion over-rated and very predictable. His show has become a soap opera.

All networks face the same big problem as politicians the world over. The majority of TV viewers don't want to have to think - they just want entertainment. For example this is what drives the huge advertising dollars for sport. When they vote - same thing. They vote on last minute emotion and a candidate's charisma and appearance. It is sad but true.

So CNN and other legitimate media companies can still serve a useful purpose. For a democracy to work, the truth must be available to the people who actually think before they vote. There will always be liar networks and liar leaders. People who don't want to think or are incapable of it will occasionally elect liars and cheaters from both sides of the aisle. My hope is that when a thinking electorate gets the facts and elects a thinking leader, the chances of them making good decisions which benefit everyone are better than the alternative. In the long run the average person will experience these benefits.

In summary to Donald and co.: "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

If I'm wrong, America is toast.

#thebrewsterblock
 


Thursday, 20 January 2022

Ukraine and Russia

Could the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict Start World War III?

I can't answer this question - it is well beyond my grasp of history and peoples' patriotism. Try to Google the history of the Ukraine even since the start of World War II and your brain will feel like it is watching a Wimbledon final. What I read was full of back and forth, separation, unification, corruption, conflicts, death etc.

What it does make clear to me is that we in North America are mere babes in arms, barely weaned from mother Britain. Almost any European country has a history as long as your arm which only historians could detail. So understanding the emotions involved in the potential invasion of the Ukraine by Russia is difficult.

If Great Britain attacked either Canada or America with a view to taking them back under her reign, you would have a small taste of what citizens over the pond have experienced for centuries.

Here is my attempt to place this in perspective:

Let us assume - and this is not entirely unrealistic - that Texas declared its independence from America. I don't know if that is possible legally but if they wanted it badly enough the law would not matter. Let us also assume that they succeeded without war erupting between Texas and the other 49 states. Soon Texas might want to join NATO as a full member, expecting support if America crossed its northern border.

It is likely that America would try to get Texas to re-join the union. Now let us say that Russia, or China, or North Korea for example then sent massive forces to the northern border of Mexico in support of Texas, even though there was no Texan / American state of war.

America would have a 100% butt out attitude. This seems to be what Russia is saying. There are those in the Ukraine who want to re-join Russia and those who do not.

Not long ago America would have sent massive military forces to take on Russian troupes. Would that happen today? I doubt it. There would be economic sanctions but Russia would never give back territory it overtook. Also many European countries need Russian oil and other resources.

In this one area Trump had it right. Most Americans no longer want thousands of their sons and daughters losing their lives on behalf of yet another country. America would finance most of it. As usual many other nations would fail to contribute their share. 

Although there have been Ukrainian referendums before on whether to join Russia or not, perhaps another under international control is needed. Then whatever action others took to support Ukraine, it would be tougher for Putin to justify his actions.

He will likely be happy to follow the old policy of taking one small territory at a time calculating that none of the small actions is worth total war. Eventually he or his heirs will succeed

There again Biden could promise help on condition that Zelensky give up some dirt on Trump!

#thebrewsterblock


Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Ghislaine Maxwell Verdict the Right One

There's Hope for American Justice Yet!

There have been a few crucial trials in America this year that seem to have gone the right way. The trial of Jeffrey Epstein's girlfriend / spouse / ally was one of them. Most of their major trials turn into the Jerry Springer show and I think they are a joke. O.J. was a prime example.

I didn't really follow it but have to admit I felt she was guilty of something for sure. How could she possibly been as close to Epstein and part of his inner circle without knowing that something very, very wrong was going on? If she did then she had a duty to report it to someone at a minimum.

Try Googling "Prominent American Sex Offenders". Then try "Prominent American Political Sex Offenders" - the list is long on both sides of the aisle. Many have to do with children. You can insert "Global", "Celebrity", "Religious", "Coaches" and other filters but you will still find lots of offenders.

You tend to think of ancient societies and empires when it comes to depravity - British Kings and Queens; the Roman Orgies; Chinese Dynasties, and even the
Church to name a few. It turns out you don't have to look very far to see that sex, pornography, and child abuse are still with us. Unfortunately they always will be.
Apparently it is always there just below the surface.

So much for moral codes and religious dogma. Many of these people - especially the politicians and leaders, cultivate a public image of being good churchgoing people. You have to wonder if any such offenders have children of their own. Are they abusing their own children?

There is some speculation that Epstein was murdered in prison. Isn't it ironic that it takes some of the most hard core criminals to finally administer true punishment when it comes to men who abuse children and often women?

Perhaps Maxwell will suffer the same fate.

#thebrewsterblock

Saturday, 4 December 2021

#CNN Chris Cuomo. School of Hard Knocks

Blood is Thicker than Ratings!

I have written about CNN, Chris Cuomo, and a few others like Lemon on the network before. Long ago with several others I also suggested at the beginning of COVID-19 that Andrew should run for President. That was long before any of his harassment woes. I was often critical of Chris but only because of his tendency to interrupt his guests. This was a phenomenon of most CNN anchors - as though they had to do it on command.

That being said I totally respect the network, even more now and Chris himself. I didn't realize he was their top anchor but I am not surprised. He is very articulate and obviously intelligent possessing a knowledge of grammar and vocabulary lacking in many of his co-patriots.

It must have been tough for the brass to cut loose one of their top attractions but to do so demonstrates integrity. Right wingers and FOX could have had a field day with their ridicule if he was permitted to stay. We all wish FOX would cut loose more people. Chris also goes up a notch for his loyalty to his brother and family. This has come through many times on his show. I guess it is part of the Italian personae. He must have known that it could get tepid for him. He shied away from any coverage of his big bro which was proper but I think it was a given that he would have tried to help Andrew however he could and vice versa.

He always said "I love you" to Don Lemon but this was the real deal. If you dare to badmouth Andrew in his presence then, lawyer or not, you'd better duck or run.

There is no doubt in my mind that he will land squarely on his feet. How about Andrew and he starting a new slightly more right Democratic Party? With any luck there will be a slightly more left Republican party. Imagine four parties in America from which to choose.

That just might calm the waters. Politicians would finally have to work for your vote, not just tell lies for it.

#thebrewsterblock

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Ahmaud #Arbery Trial

What About the Victim's RIght to Defend?


In this prominent case a lot has been said about whether the accused had a right to defend himself. The Prosecutor explained in detail that there was no citizen's arrest taking place and therefore since the accused had a weapon his right to self defence did not exist.

It was also pointed out that the victim was being chased by the three accused who used trucks in their pursuit. One even referred to trapping Mr. Arbery "like a rat."

I do not recall hearing anything about Mr. Arbery having a right to defend HIMSELF. Why not? It might be a foolish strategy to pit your own fists against a man pointing a loaded shotgun at you but with his retreat route cut off what else could he do if he feared being shot in the back as he fled? His defence strategy is not on trial here. He is dead so can not express his fears and feelings at that moment.

Put yourself in his position. Do you not have a right to try to push the gun away or even to grab it out of your attacker's hands?

This is like going in to rob a bank with a loaded gun; encountering an armed guard; killing that guard with your gun; and then claiming it was self defense.

Welcome to the U.S.A.

#thebrewsterblock




Saturday, 20 November 2021

#Rittenhouse Verdict

#Rittenhouse Should be Behind Bars


So the kid gets off on all charges. What a joke. However after the O.J. trial we knew the American court system is sometimes like the Jerry Springer show on which the Rittenhouse judge would have been an excellent guest. There should be another annual awards show for lawyers, judges, and prosecutors. Rittenhouse carrying his assault rifle should have made his guilt a slam dunk from the beginning. Thank you Judge - one who seemed to be incapable of completing an entire sentence on his own.

Look out America. Now any bullied kid in a schoolyard can just pull out a gun - however young he or she might be - and blow the bully away if they feel that their lives are "endangered." Rittenhouse deserved to be found guilty on at least one of the charges and should be serving some serious time.

This reminds me of the Trayvon Martin case in which George Zimmerman who also considered himself to be a neighbourhood watchman walked away a free man after shooting Martin, an unarmed black youth. As I write, the Ahmaud Arbery case is in progress in which once again some white men took it upon themselves to be vigilantes and proceeded to kill an innocent unarmed black man.

There is no question in the minds of most non-Americans that the American system is stacked against non-white minorities. Many Americans - white ones - claim that this is not true. Many others know that it is.

My point today was not to get dragged down the racial rabbit hole. It was to lambaste the American justice system. Here in Canada we do not allow cameras into the courtroom. How can you receive the best from court officials who are performing for an audience? When the entire world saw O.J. hold up that glove the prosecution's case was dead. It could have been managed much better off camera.

I have two suggestions from all of this. Firstly, go ahead and record proceedings visually but NOT live. Do not stream them in real time. The recordings should only be available for appeals so that the public can then form an opinion as to the merits of the appeal and the reasons for it.

These trials are not sporting events. Top athletes might do a victory dance or throw a temper tantrum for the viewing audience, but when they are actually competing their mind is on only one thing - winning by utilizing the best of their abilities. There is no time for drama. In a live courtroom lawyers, prosecutors, and even judges are also using their best skills but they do play to their world audience as part of their performance.

Remove the audience.

Secondly this jury should definitely have been sequestered. Do you really think none of them watched the news, social media, or discussed the case at home? Give your heads a shake.

#thebrewsterblock






Monday, 15 November 2021

Judge Bruce Schroeder

What planet does this judge come from?


His court reminds me of Night Court or The Gong Show! At least those were deliberately funny! This is not. While composing the instructions to the jury he sounded "distant" - not all there. He is supposed to interpret the law for jurors. Who interprets this Judge for us - journalists and their guests it would appear.

I lost count of how many times he was - LOST! He lost his place. He lost his train of thought. He lost his temper. I did not notice if his robe was on backwards or his glasses were upside down.

I hope there is an appeal and more sound minds call him out. They also need to throw him out. The courtroom should have had those yellow triangular warning signs prominently displayed with an image just like those for deer crossings or falling rock.

These would contain an image of a Kangaroo!

#thebrewsterblock