Friday, 16 February 2018

ET Wants to Come Home


“Beam me up Scotty - Stat!  ET wants to come home.”

I have often thought how absolutely nonsensical we earthlings would appear to an alien – any alien. Even if this were a scheduled follow up visit for them, they would surely be shaking their heads in dismay.

I could fill this space entirely with references to our southern neighbour's new administration and all that goes with it. However heads are already shaking around the globe over that. Enough said. To be fair, I could do that for a lot of countries and their governments.

Imagine some of the reports back to UFO H.Q. wherever that is. Consider the following a conversation … without the quotation marks.

****************

We are reporting this in one of their many languages. Our hope that they would develop and use a unilanguage failed. Sadly this is one of many disappointments we have to report.

They have really messed up that religion thing we counted on for their guidance. We left them some latitude but My God – oops, sorry. They got the “Different Gods for Different People - Just Choose One” concept but have used it to torture and butcher each other for centuries. Centuries that’s a miniscule unit of earth time. My bad. Oops again - my bad is modern earthling for acknowledging an error or mistake. It was not part of the language we left them.


It appears that we might have to utilize the Devil in Hell option soon - very soon. Sadly we don’t think many have earned enough merit points to be returning with us in the near future. Even many of their self-appointed religious leaders need to spend some time down under with The Horned One for their own good. What’s that? Yes we’ll get right on it.

Imagine this! None of them think that YOU could be a female. As expected, the men pretty well dominate this place and yes, the men have totally screwed it up - another earthly expression. They have an obsession with sex and sexual expressions.

As you recall, we chose this planet because of its abundant resources for everyone. Soon they will run out. Their water will be totally poisoned by their own doing and undrinkable. Their air will soon be killing them. Their land will be unfit to live on and the wildlife is already heading towards extinction. Go figure! Damn these colloquialisms! Just testing you. I don’t know where they got that one.

Remember when we used to argue among our sexes before we agreed there were eleven? We gave them only two which they are trying to expand to six or seven. They even kill each other over it. It’s a really big topic here. What’s that? No Way you say? Repeat please. OK I get it – now you’re pulling my leg. Way. I forgot you know their languages better than I do.

Here is a very strange habit. Again under the guise of religion, the males and females and now some of the expanded sexes undergo this formal union called marriage. They swear before one of their “Gods” and colleagues that they will forever be true to one another sexually and then they perform any sex act they desire with every other person they can. They just have not yet grasped truth, trust, commitment, and loyalty. Even their leaders are guilty. We think perhaps sexual pleasure was a mistake. We should undo it.

You know how we compete one-on-one or many-on-many in physical activities that require a strong fit body, strength, endurance, and skill? We do it for fun. Here it is a career, and often you don’t even have to go to school. The players are called athletes and they receive incentives which are often worth hundreds of times more than those who do educate themselves for years. Really! They have also totally abused the rudimentary chemistry we bestowed upon them and have developed performance enhancing substances to gain an unfair advantage while competing. They actually think such victories are valid.


They have made good progress on basic use of electronics and now communicate around their planet with it. Unfortunately rather than use it for spreading truth and good, here it is used to entertain and too often to spread lies, evil thoughts, and for personal control over less fortunate people and all they have worked to accomplish.


Now to the equal sharing of power, leadership and wealth between the sexes. Indeed they went through many of the phases we did but it appears that we learned and they have not. Remember when we last did a study on this here?


We found that there had been several examples of very competent leaders of countries here who were female. They were tough when they had to be and defended their charges against others - usually male counterparts - but only when necessary. Some of the names I recall were Thatcher; Meir; Bhutto; Gandhi; Gillard; Merkel and several Queens. What’s that? You should know better than to joke about Queens here. In contrast many of the most horrific eras in their history were attributable to males.


I fear that a rude awakening is needed for this civilization. Fear of annihilation by fire and rain has been ineffective. They are just not getting it the way we thought they would. We have to come up with a way to save the good - there are many of them, but destroy the selfish and wicked - there are too many of those.


There are people here with shelters large and luxurious enough to house a small city and they keep it all for their own small family. The water in their pools could keep a city from dying from thirst. They have become certifiably insane over the rudimentary form of transportation we relayed several visits ago - their cars. They hold competitions to race them. The wasted fuel consumed at these events alone could once again heat a city or plough enough fields to feed thousands. Instead it is totally wasted. These vehicles are getting even bigger.


Thankfully they are learning that use of these fuels is killing them. Progress is being made on electricity and power from their local star. It might be time to give them a small hint as to how we got here - for their own sake.


Upon our return we suggest a full conference of our most wise to discuss their fate. Should it be a nudge in the right direction or total destruction of the worst among them? If the latter, there will be much carnage. They even have a term for that. They call it collateral damage.


Nanu Nanu

Your daughter,


ET.




Stoop and Scoop


Bring Back the Pillory



I was a dog owner, and a pretty responsible one. Whenever I see fellow owners who fail to clean up after their pets, I'm fit to be tied. In my opinion, so are they. There is NO excuse. This makes my blood boil. It also stimulates my creative side - I invent new swear words and punishments.

I have categorized the violators, as follows:

THE MIDNIGHT SKULKER: These people operate under cover of darkness - the most cowardly of them all. They let it fall anywhere - your front lawn, the sidewalk - it matters not. My fondest wish is that two of them pass at night on a walkway, exchange greetings, and then step in each other’s mess before they reach home.

THE MOBILE MARAUDER: This is another cowardly type. They drive to another neighbourhood, (often at night making them MOBILE MIDNIGHT SKULKERS), let their dog out to do its thing, and then speed off upon its return. If they see you they turn out their car lights until they are far enough away that licence numbers can't be seen. My secret desire here is that I could be fast enough to pick up the offending pile on a stick and be able to fling it at the retreating vehicle scoring a direct hit. I envisage it remaining there to be baked by the sun until the next car wash. It would be like The Scarlet Letter - an indication that a true scum is driving the car.

THE MINDLESS MASTER: Mr. or Mrs. Forgetful, when challenged points out that he/she forgot their plastic bag or other form of scooper. I sympathize. It has happened to me. So I carry a spare for these pathetic beings. At that point, they usually mention a bad back. For repeat offenders I’d love to offer them a bag I have already used for my dog. They might continue to forget their own bag but once they put their hand inside they most definitely would remember the experience. 

THE DELIBERATELY FLAGRANT: These people delight in allowing their dog to do it right under the largest and most prominent signs intended to discourage same. If the dog hits the signpost itself I guess they give themselves extra points. Some do it with you and others watching. I am usually speechless when this happens, especially if their dog is bigger than me.

THE SIDEWALK SICKIE: You guessed it - right in the middle of the sidewalk. There is only one worse (see next category). If you are walking with someone else and not watching where you are stepping, your Hush Puppies become Mush Puppies! A person can’t be much more ignorant. One of these times I will quickly clean up their mess myself, and then follow them home. I can’t wait to empty the bag on their stairs - smearing it all over them. An alternative is an old one – light it aflame on their threshold and then ring the bell and run.

THE SCHOOLYARD SCATTERBRAIN: I can not imagine how anyone can be quite so stupid and selfish. To leave a dog's crap in the middle of a schoolyard where children walk and play should be punishable by prison. Time behind bars would be appropriate, but time performing community service would be more useful. I know just the chore - cleaning up after all the other low lives outlined herein.

THE OLDER COUPLE /  MOP DOG DUET: You all know this one - an elderly couple, talking right to you while their yappy little mutt drops one right under your nose. "Oh Cuddles, you BAD thing you". However, that's as far as it goes. Maybe they really DO have difficulty bending over. However there are several devices to spare the stooping and still do the scooping! I could tolerate these if we could eliminate all the rest. I wonder how many seniors are laughing together as they read this, realising that I'm on to them? My mother and father in their more senior years still managed to do the right thing. 

THE PLASTIC FACADE: It is near impossible to catch these types. Carrying plastic bags like me, they actually fill it while in your presence. They might even discuss the overall problem and how disgusting it is to them too. Then on the way home when no-one is watching, they ditch the bag - anywhere. If there is no convenient trash bin the right thing to do is to take it home and deal with it. They will never do this.

Last, but not least:

THE GREAT PRETENDER: Always at a distance, even in the rain, they make an inordinately visible effort to bend over and scoop, bag, brush or whatever. Upon closer inspection, however, you find that they left the poop right where it fell! They deserve Oscars if nothing else. I often think that I should likewise pretend not to notice, pick up the mess when they are not watching, and throw it at them as they walk away. I would steadfastly deny involvement if they pursued me, suggesting instead that a higher power might be punishing them for their crime.

How can we deter these lowlife creatures? What are appropriate and effective punishments for offenders? One idea has already been mentioned, and that is to have the person(s) do community service cleaning up doggy poop locally. They should also be made to wear a suitable form of identification while performing just like the chain gangs in the southern states. A sweat shirt with a big “I’M A POOP” on it front and back would be good. Repeat offenders could be tattooed in such a manner.

The publication of the names of prostitutes’ "Johns" has already been tried with some degree of success. This would be very effective in local newspapers. Compulsory “I’m a POOP” bumper-stickers are another possibility.

A final thought for the Sidewalk Sickie or the Schoolyard Scatterbrain - bring back the pillory. It is extreme but apparently necessary since signs and common sense are not working. Instead of tomatoes and the like however, guess what the general public would throw at them! An ample supply of ammunition would come from the other offenders, having completed their public clean-up service. Newspaper photos would provide a crowning touch.

If any of you have ever had the misfortune of stepping unknowingly into Pluto's plop, there are few experiences more disgusting. Well, maybe one. It happened to me as a child. I was barefooted and the dog was a cow.

Bring back the Pillory!


The Brewster


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Marijuana and Driving



MARIJUANA / CANNABIS and Driving

It is shocking whenever we read about how many innocent people are seriously injured or killed by another drunk driver. Often the penalties imposed - especially for repeat offenders -are seriously slack. We don’t yet know whether the same scenarios will be repeated for drivers who are high on pot. “Don’t smoke and drive” should be the rule just as much as “Don’t drink and drive”. I will have a drink but I don't happen to smoke.

Recent DUI charges for alcohol are reasonable as long as no other party is injured as a result – loss of driving privileges short term or long being common. For death or injury caused by someone under the influence, penalties are much more severe and so they should be. Shouldn't the same apply to pot?

If legislation and penalties are to be reasonable however, the consumer should be also. If you are stopped for running a red light or a faulty brake light, an officer should have every right while addressing you to test you if he or she suspects you are under ANY influence that might endanger others. It shouldn’t matter whether they suspected you in advance or not.

If in the process the officer sees a person tied and bound in your back seat and it proves to be a kidnapping, do you go free because there was no prior reason to believe you were a kidnapper? I hope the answer is a unanimous NO.

I can recall scenes in which my friends were higher than a kite on pot and they did some crazy and very irresponsible things which they would never have done otherwise. That was with older and less potent grass. There is no way I would have climbed into a car with them driving.

Just as with booze, there should be no allowance for one person’s self-perceived tolerance over another’s. Set limits – one for all - and apply them to everyone.

Something else to remember: People should do a little surfing to see how lucky we are. You are executed in some places for DUI offences. I imagine the same will apply to smoking up and driving.

Don’t want to take a roadside test for pot? Don’t smoke and drive. Get used to it.


The Brewster

Monday, 5 February 2018

President Trump - an Optimistic View


President Trump - OPTIMISM

One of the guiding principles which I often wish more people joined me in following is to always try to see another’s perspective. Before a knee-jerk reaction I ask myself: "Why did the person, group, company etc., do or say the something to which I feel a negative reaction?" I try to consider this before reacting myself.

A second is to attempt to be fair when I criticize a person and many of us have not hesitated to criticize President Trump. Welcome to democracy. However negative, destructive criticism is easy – especially with the advent of email and other forms of social media. Not only is it easy but it is often the focus of a lot of coverage and attention depending on your celebrity. Generally such criticism is worth little - neither is the celebrity in my case. I have none.

The only time tearing apart the words, thoughts, and ideas of another is of value is when the critic can offer constructive alternatives and suggestions. The world is full of critics and I include myself. Putting your own ideas out there as a target – now that takes more guts.

The President often refers to his superior education and schooling and brags about his IQ, despite frequently using incorrect grammar (“I did it proper” (not “properly.”)) and vocabulary. Still I must admit that anyone who rises to the top of any large organization must have something going for them, nepotism aside. Frequently it is assertiveness if not blatant aggression. That goes for skaters, dancers, actors etc. and is not always bad. When it turns into abuse, it is bad.

I would say that most successful people possess some of these characteristics. Many of the less successful are followers. So Mr. President manipulate - all politicians do. Just do it for OUR benefit and not yours.

Let us assume that the President at least has a certain cleverness and knows how to bully his way to the top. Winston Churchill was a master although I feel compelled to arrest the comparison there.

The President also brags about his wealth and perhaps some day if he releases his tax returns and pays any outstanding wages or other debts or claims against him or his company, we will believe him.  

We are told by President Trump that consumers' and business confidence are both high and so is business itself (I have sometimes wondered if the same adjective applied to the speaker in question. ) The President mentioned all of this in his State of the Union address. The shock would have been if he had not. Sometime after making these statements the market took its second big fall in a row - no mention of that yet.

During the campaign much was made of his business experience as the head of a large corporation. Did that really qualify him to lead a democracy any more than the legal experience of many other Presidents qualified them? A grade B actor turned out to be a pretty good leader. You just can’t tell until that chair in the Oval Office is occupied. Lots of people recognized this - you can't run a democratic government the way you can a corporation.

Having expressed all of the above and after publishing some negative sentiments about President Trump, it is only fair that I apply my own virtuous principles. Here goes. I admit to a feeling that this could be a challenge.

I have tried to apply the first - seeing his point of view – but I am simply not aware of one that does not focus on himself. Sorry.

On to the second. What can a bragging, aggressive, possibly clever, possibly wealthy, possibly well educated, bullying, extemporaneous prevaricator (Churchill again) do for his country and the world? A lot. He is POTUS. (I pray he doesn’t think that is something that people should not smoke and proceed to say that he intends to ban it.)

Here are some things The President should consider:
  • On a personal level, if he is so wealthy, he should follow the lead of someone like Bill Gates. Many people didn’t like Bill either as he rose to fame. He never denied it or try to brag the opposite. Check out the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Warren Buffet is also one of the top philanthropists and he could probably buy out the private Mr. Trump in an instant.
  • If The President does this he should make sure the undertakings are verifiable or better - don't tell anyone about them. The world will eventually become aware. Classy people attract class – they don’t have to solicit it (see "Barack Obama".)
  • As President, he could just make a sincere effort to make himself more likeable. He doesn’t have to advertise it. People will recognize it. If he doesn’t know how, take a course! Use that IQ. OK I accept that he should not have time for that as POTUS.
  • How about simply asking any true friends he has what is objectionable about him? He must not however, seek vengeance if he doesn’t like what they say. Thank them sincerely. Take their advice.
  • Again trying to be considerate, it is my impression that Donald’s father was hardly a Ward Cleaver / Jim Anderson / Ozzie Nelson kind of guy. The young Donald’s personality was cast in his formative years. Not his fault.
  • Here is the best advice of all. Ask his wife what he can do (if she will still speak to him.) She seems to be a good mother and a nice person. Respect her opinion. Play catch with Barron and take him to a game - preferably in private. Comments I have heard would indicate that people feel sorry for the boy.
  • And finally he could apologize. For what? The list is long. Again ask his friends and maybe his family.

Don’t like any of that Mr. President? You are adept at being childish. Try this. I doubt if you have.  Watch “A Christmas Carol” - listen to Scrooge at the end; “It’s a Wonderful Life”; “Miracle on 34th Street”; “Bambi”; “Old Yeller”; "Lion King". Just pick one. Cry if it feels good. Nobody has to know.


The Brewster












President TRUMP Election November 8th, 2016 (Verse)

ELECTION 2016

When some things occur, we know where we were.
And even the time of the day.
I’ll always remember that day in November.
Somebody shot JFK.

Who didn’t fear or shed a tear,
For Jaqueline and Nellie too.
Some evil plot saw two good men shot,
By the twisted minds of a few.

John said soon, they would land on the moon.
And they did while I was in France.
In a little campsite, on a radio that night,
Three men held the world in a trance.

Fast forward my friends through the milestones and trends
To November in twenty sixteen.
Clinton and Trump had been on the stump,
What a year - like none we have seen.

How could he intrude - this blowhard so rude?
He has to be soundly rejected!
But soon we would see in The Land of the Free
The Boor of the Year was elected.

Americans all, how far must you fall
In the eyes of your allies and friends?
Perhaps you don’t care or you just aren’t aware
For some things you can’t make amends.

Who will be next? We're really perplexed.
Rocky Balboa or Spock?
What about Kramer? Someone even lamer?
Might we suggest a Pet Rock?

Stop the free fall. Please heed our call
And give your heads a good shake.
Your man  with the frown is such a let down
It's time to right your mistake.

The Brewster

















Monday, 29 January 2018

World Peace - and Skunks!

How SKUNKS could lead to Word Peace


One of the most vivid childhood memories I have involves skunks. Come to think of it, several of the most vivid and emotional adult memories I have involve the same thing, but the two-legged variety. Am  I alone?   



There was a valley in our neighborhood - a ravine - through which we walked to school. Dead-end streets existed on either side which were eventually joined. For many years however, the path which lead through it was simply known as the "gully". As with most gullies, there was a creek in the bottom and a swamp where it widened. We skated there. The ravine itself was lush with bushes - great for playing, hiding, exploring and that sort of thing. Nightfall was a different matter. 

  

Because it was isolated, and because like many kids I was afraid of the dark, it was not a place to be caught after the sun went down. I remember having to walk through it on occasion at dusk and once or twice in total darkness. I waited for all sorts of bogeymen to jump out of the bushes to get me. But foremost on my mind was skunks. The mere thought of one of these little creatures made me run for my life. They were a real live representation of all that was to be feared at night.
 
There were times of course after seeing a horror movie when thoughts of werewolves, Frankenstein, robbers and murderers  also made me run at the slightest sound. Skunks however were the only real nocturnal creatures I would occasionally see. In such a case I was upon them or vice versa before realizing it due to their dark color. Most parents train their kids to run like hell at the sight of a skunk. More power to them, since I have had to bathe my dog more than once after such an encounter. I wish I had been able to train her in a similar manner.


Now to the CREATION part. I am a believer in Darwin, Natural Selection etc. Let us assume however that there is a supreme creator. Of all the creatures on earth, what in heavens name - if that is where such a creator resides - could have possibly incented the inclusion of this little four-legged animal which lifts its tail to fend off attackers by emitting a pungent odour? This reminds me of the squid which emits black ink to hide itself. Naturally I’ve never encountered that. Why ink anyway? What is a squid going to do if attacked - write about it?
  

Creatures have built-in armor, strength, speed, camouflage, poison, or just plain ugliness to defend themselves. Skunks take the cake. Much as I love cake, if one of the little darlings ever made off with mine, I'd be the first to say "let it eat cake" and find another desert. I couldn't have dreamt up this animal if I were on drugs!  



I read once that only one part of this chemical in several million parts is all it takes to be detectable by a human being. Now you know why it is so tough to wash away - it lingers in and on anything it touches. For your information, there are shampoos now which can be used to clean pets that get sprayed. I am happy to say they work. I kept a bottle on hand (about $8.00) when I had a dog and had occasion to use it.    


The white stripes are a touch of class. If it were totally black, more people would probably get skunked. As it is, there is kind of a visual warning. Nature is like that. Think about it. Rattlesnakes, bees, dogs, cats, scorpions, ground hogs (they click their teeth), even human beings usually give warning before an attack. It's a kind of "Back off or else". The baboon family - closely related to humans - use their behind as an insult. Human beings often do the same thing. We call it "mooning". We consider the terms "asshole" and "horse's ass" to be insulting.


Now to World Peace.  


How did the creator miss the mark? All the great wars of history could have been avoided if human beings had tails and stripes. Instead of shooting, stabbing, slashing, and exploding each other to bits, the armies of the world could simply have faced off. The only ammunition required would be the last couple of meals. On the count of three or whatever, troops would simply turn around, lift their tails, show their stripes, and let fly. The most offensive collective odor would win the day. The military cooks would be the heroes. No-one would be killed. They would just blow each other away. Turning tail would be the norm, not a cowardly act. Perhaps this is why Scottish soldiers wear kilts?. Maybe Mel Gibson in Brave Hearts knew more than he was letting on. 
  

Right about now you are probably thinking that this is one columnist who has inhaled a touch too much skunk odor. You could be right for here is another thought. I happen to believe that when war is declared we should send entirely female armies. They could simply talk non-stop until one side surrendered. No killing would be necessary here either. On the other hand they might never make it to the front. After all, on each side,  the entire army would be wearing the same outfit! YIKES. I shudder at the thought. They would kill their own peers. Maybe not such a good idea. 

The Brewster