Saturday, December 31, 2022


 Ms Compton, a fellow national news reporter knew her well and on CNN this AM gave a good tribute to one of America's pioneer female journalists. Walter's accuracy, efforts to make and retain friendly connections with everyone she met, and her clear visions of society and new were legendary. Barbara Walters, who died December 30, 2022 was the first woman to take a network anchor chair for a national news program. She filled that role with panache, accuracy, and success.

Friday, December 30, 2022


 Since my days in 1955 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, at KTCA-TV and onward, I have been a viewer and a supporter of what is now the PBS Newshour. I watched and encouraged local viewing when Robin McNeill and Jim Lehrer began the program many years ago. And I watched with interest and encouragement as Judy Woodruff, correspondent and occasional anchor became a regular and then permanently took the anchor desk. Her thoughtful, even-handed and careful journalism epitomized the approach and ethics of honest, even-handed journalism. You never saw her opinions. She brought on people like David Brooks who promoted their thoughtful attitudes about the issues of the time. Judy Woodruff promoted, embodied and practiced the highest form of journalism, the kind that’ taught in the fine schools of journalism around the nation. The PBS Newshour will go on and the program will continue to engage audiences, but we will all miss one of this nation’s finest most even-handed and talented journalist/anchors.

Thursday, December 29, 2022


 I find it vastly disturbing that so many elected politicians all over the country are still silent on the Nassau County (NY) issue. I'm referring to the Representative-elect  who has apparently totally lied about his history, his family, his work background and his financial situation. Why was his information not thoroughly vetted by the state party BEFORE he was awarded part status? Why is there no reaol push-back? His continued presence in the party and as a member-elect of the House of Representatives is yet more proof to those looking that our government, Congress and all associated departments and agencies, as well as all the people  in them are corrupt, criminal and evil people. We live in sad times and I wish someone would step forward with the guts of a Liz Cheney and start a real clean-up campaign that is bi-partisan and real. Our democracy is is serious peril.

Thursday, December 22, 2022



What follows is my holiday story.

I recently finished an intriguing crime story with roots in Minnesota lake country history. It involves a fox. Human inter-relationships with the natural world, especially animals, is a long and varied story.  Mine is much shorter. Years ago I used to walk early in the mornings of spring and summer and early fall. I walked in a nearby park, quiet, thinking about the coming workday. Once morning a silhouette on the hill caught my eye.

I stopped, noticed a grey fox hunting in the tall grass about fifty yards away. She stopped and looked at me, then went back to hunting. I saw her a few more times that spring and then she was absent. Weeks later she’d given birth and the kits became ambulatory.

I saw her with them and she watched me carefully while she gathered and led them away. But almost a month later, she introduced herself. She came to the edge of the path and watched for me. Carefully, slowly, always aware of where she could run. I stopped in the path and looked at her. She looked back.

The next morning, she again sat at the edge of the path. When I approached within about ten feet she stood and preceded me along the path on my twenty-minute walk until I turned back to return to our house. The relationship lasted almost daily for a few more weeks until late fall. The next spring, there she was again, waiting beside the path. I knew it was the same fox because of a scar I saw on her left haunch. Our relationship lasted for another spring and summer.

Another winter passed and one spring day I walked that path. There on the hillside was a grey fox. The grass was already thick. I stopped and turned slightly toward the hillside. The fox stood up and just looked at me for a moment. Then it turned and loped away. I’ve never seen a fox near that path again, though I’ve walked it many times. That last time was more than twenty years ago.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022


 Today is the tenth anniversary of the awful massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Sad remembrance. It is also sad that so little progress has been made improving protections against gun violence in America.

Monday, December 12, 2022


 It is a sad fact that we've always had criminal and loony legislators in Washington, scurrying about the halls of the legislature, wasting our money on hearings about nothing, lying about the opposition government. The difference today is that with TV and social media platforms, we the voters are much more aware of the dreck on an instantaneous basis. Hopefully, we, the PEOPLE, the voters, will begin to elect thoughtful, useful citizens to represent us who have less interest in serving political forces and more interest serving the people of the nation.

Sunday, December 11, 2022



American Resistance

By David Rothkopf

ISBN: 9781541700635

A 2022 release from

Public Affairs of Hatchette


David Rothkopf, author of this important book, has a varied and extensive background in foreign and domestic policy, writing and working. His qualifications are unquestionable. His reputation lends a needed and important level of credibility to this work.

Authentic feelings rise strongly from the get-go. That is in part because so much of the book is enclosed in quote marks. The author uses extensive quotes from his interviews of members of the Trump government. These people are not outsiders, they are within view of the top of the political ladder and many have been inside the daily workings of our government for years. They form a true “deep state.”

This is the story of a deep state dedicated to first working with President Donald Trump, as we expect of all government employees. But then, as readers will see, they gradually shifted to strenuous efforts to protect the nation from ill-advised and often ignorant decisions by an executive who frequently refused to be prepped or advised on important people and policy situations.

That was the true deep state, an ever-shifting group of talented and dedicated bureaucrats who came to see themselves, accurately, as preservers of and protectors of American Democracy. This is a careful, sometimes uncomfortable but valuable work every citizen interested in preservation of our Republic should read.

“American Resistance,” also should be required reading for every candidate for the office of President of the United States of America.

Representative Adam Schiff on Face The Nation

 He presented a calm, calming, thoughtful view of the hostage situation,  the war in Ukraine and other world and local circumstances. Questioning by Margret Brenner was thoughtful and illuminating. One hopes a lot of yellign squabbling politicians in DC were watching. They could talk a page from Schiff's playbook.

Earlier, Bernie Sanders made great strides in our understanding of today's Senate. His implied chastising of Congressional wingnuts was excellent. We can use more Independents like Bernie, Murkowski and now Senema in government. The two major political parties are gradually destroying the nation with their partisan uncooperative attitudes.

Thursday, December 08, 2022


 The current North Carolina elections case at SCOTUS is worrying. There's a movement to allow state legislatures almost total control over all elections in their states. That includes federal representatives and senators. It's a blatant attempt at a power grab. We can already see how absolute control of electors and final results can be controlled, regardless of how residents vote, because of corrupt design of voting districts. Gerrymandering.

One citizen, one vote is in serious peril if nothing is done. I believe there needs to be federal law controlling how voting is organized and controlled, at least for Congressional offices and for the President. Over the years, political parties and their leaders have conclusively demonstrated that power and control is more important than fair representation. A neutral election committee for each state under judicial rather than legislative control would help. Ranked Choice voting for all federal offices is another way more equitable representation could be achieved. 

We are in danger of losing our democracy to the power brokers if we do not place some basic barriers to illegal manipulation of voting results, into all the states.


 A lot of people are celebrating Brittney Griner, release from a Russian prison camp. Just know there are currently 58 (!) Americans still illegally held by various nations and rogue groups around the world. Their relatives are not celebrating quite as loudly.


 I remember that day in 1941 when the news broke on the radio. I remember a lot of neighbors running out of their houses to stand in the cold street staring at each other and at the blue sky overhead. Stunned, is what we were.


 First, know I am NOT a liberal or member of any political party. I have rejected the personal power maneuvering of both Left and Right. I support specific candidates who appear to have the intelligence and the will to struggle for what's good and right.

Now, when are the Republicans of our current Congress and legislatures going to understand why they are losing so many elections? The answers are fairly simple: first a party has to nominate good, honest candidates who are interested in serving the voters first. Second, candidates and the political organizations need to develop thoughtful, practical and positive platforms of ideas that will begin to solve our national and world problems. Third, we need to insist that foaming at the mouth insulting campaigning is just the way out the door. Fourth, we voters need to insist that candidates pledge to cooperate and support good ideas, wherever they arise.

The other major party also needs to refine its language, stop attacking and develop better candidates and platform planks that directly address issues like climate and poverty.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022


 Today is December 7. On this day, in 1941, more than 2,000 died in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaii Islands.


 Watching CNN story about the man who fell off the cruise ship and was rescued after 15 hours. Great! Bunt not unique. During WWII in the SE Pacific scores of sailors and airmen, alone and in small groups, were rescued from downed aircraft and sunken ships. So, great that the guy made it home, but, not so unique as news media like to portray.


 Automatic headlight sensors on vehicles are one of the worst and most dangerous ideas from automobile designers ever. Snowing here in central Minnesota. Roads getting slick. Poor visibility yet most vehicles I encountered had no lights on. White and light-colored cars almost invisible, front or rear. People just don't realize how vulnerable they are! More than half the vehicles I passed on the slick highways this AM were hard to see and could have easily been struck by other drivers. The law in Minnesota says in snow, and rain, lights on, day or night. Sensors don't detect light rain and snow. States could reduce or eliminate debts by stopping drivers who are breaking the law by driving without headlights/taillights.


Tuesday, December 06, 2022

 A few years ago I was visiting relatives in Sand Point, Idaho. On a  pleasant Saturday morning, I stood on the sidewalk of the main drag, waiting for my wife to finish shopping. Looking along the street at the crowds of shoppers and tourists, I noticed how many of the folks looked similar to me--they had developed white hair. There is a growing contingent of folks in or nation who are getting older! No big revelation but it lead me to consider writing a novel about an older detective couple.

Thus came retired Army Intelligence officer, Alan Lockem. He met and joined a former exotic dancer named Louise Kane, who's stage name became "Kandy." She headlined in revues around the world as Kandy Kane. She and Alan hookup to become puzzle solvers for people; people for whom the regular police and other law enforcement agencies are not sufficient. Thus came GRAND LAC, then TRACES and SINS OF EDOM, three crime novels in mty senior Sleuth series. More about the stories is available on my web site, www.carlbrookins,com. The books are available in libraries and good bookstores around the nation and of course at the best mystery and crime bookstore in the nation, "Once Upon a Crime. They'll ship you copies to almost anywhere.

Contact changes

 Due to a new requirement by FaceBook which I cannot accede to without an over-budget expense, my FB account has been terminated. I will continue to review fiction and make my random political and social comments here on wwwblogger. Hope some of you will follow and continue what I consider to be very useful and illuminating posts. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

SINS OF EDOM My latest crime novel


When the beloved Pastor of a local church is murdered,

members of the congregation ask Marjorie Kane, retired

exotic dancer Kandy Kane, for help. She turns immediately

to her partner in puzzle-solving, retired army intelligence

officer, Alan Lockem. Together the pair of retired citizens

have formed a special bond that allows them to interact

adeptly with multiple agencies of law enforcement across

the world, and dip into sometime grungy elements of the

real world.

Art thieves, traces of Edomite copper mining, and a local biker

gang all add to the puzzle, along with envy, jealousy and

marital discord.

Using experience, keen observation and persistence, Lockem

and Kane are able to avoid being killed and identify the


SINS OF EDOM is available from Once Upon A Crime,, and other fine bookstores

Wednesday, November 02, 2022


I’m against the Death Penalty. It’s too easy a solution. I understand, to a degree, the anger, the frustration Florida families have that the Parkland killer will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. The parents want retribution for the deaths of their children. I understand. So would I.

But I’ve worked in prisons. They are not pleasant places to spend time. Even modern prisons are collection places for people with evil in their souls. One associates prison modernization with reform. But however progressive prison administration may be, prisoners are denied far more than they receive through the persistence of life. The list of missing advantages is lengthy and adds to a sense of aggressive loss. Latent aggression pervades prison atmosphere. Prisons are dangerous places.

I approach a narrow passageway between cell blocks. Two inmates stand in our way. My escort cautions in a near whisper not to look either man in the eyes and not to hesitate. We walk up to the inmates; invade their space and they slowly yield so we can pass. I hear murmurs behind us. There is a growing sense of suppressed violence. A man I taught confided that even at night he was never able to relax fully into restful sleep.

Reading materials, for those who wanted it, was carefully vetted. Novels involving murders or prison breaks were censored or not allowed. Permanent incarceration in prison for life is not a vacation, not an easier sentence than the death penalty. I waited one day in a small room for my teaching companion. She’d forgotten the rule and had to remove her underwired bra before going inside. The guard looked at our assignment and handed me a soiled Sam Browne belt with a large red button on the belt that rested under my left elbow.

“Press the button and guards will show up in fifteen seconds,” he said.

“What If it take longer?” I asked.

“You won’t care, anymore,” he said.

Life in prison without parole is not a humane alternative to death. Death is a kind of permanent black peace.