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A lot of interesting revelations and happenings took place over this past week and because of my desire to write more I figured I would give a short summary and my personal conclusions as to the purpose and level of importance. In the future I will try to make time to write both English and French translations but will do simply English for now.

Alfie Evans: Alfie Evans was in the news quite a bit in the UK but not so much in the US. Evans was a couple years old child who developed a degenerative but undiagnosed brain disease which reduced his functionality down to 30%. The story made news because the UK health services ruled via courts that the boy ought to be taken off life support and denied nutrition in order to speed up the eventual death. Naturally his family were very much against this notion and fought the courts by taking their fight to the public. The Evans case brings a lot of questions up that unfortunately are not going to be answered. For one it calls into question who ought to have the final say on matters of a childs care: the parents or the state. Yes I am aware that the NHS isn’t technically part of the legislative area of the UK government but lets not get bogged down in semantics since the government enforced the court’s rulings. Another important question that the case raises is whether or not its better to go through life in pain or simply to go through life in comfort. Many started pushing forward a very quasi-euthanasia perspective with the phrase “die with dignity.” I have yet to see where the dignity is in simply giving up on life when for most people, especially religious believers, life is considered incredibly precious and worth fighting for. The problem was only exacerbated more by the attempts of the Italian and Vatican envoys to bring the child to their hospitals since the courts mandated the UK hospitals cease care of the boy. Overall this was a terrible look for state sponsored health programs and the over use of bureaucracy when common sense clearly points to a better alternative option. I could understand the state stepping in to advocate for the boy if the family was refusing care but it seems patently absurd for the state to be the ones to refuse care. If it was the family refusing care then the state would consider it criminal which is why its only right we hold the health care system and government to the same standards.

Kanye West: Kanye West was in the news but I didn’t follow this story too much. Essentially Kanye decided to bring out his inner Trump supporter much to the chagrin of the mainstream entertainment world who believe they have a monopoly on the discourse. If anything he served to show how ridiculous left leaning ideologues are when they expect to have your vote simply due to your position or skin colour. That being said I don’t particularly care what West has to say about anything and I am not a fan of his music. But by all means please shatter peoples’ bubbles.

North Korea: North Korea has decided to do a complete reversal of their policy or at least it would appear that way. The North Koreans have been conducting diplomatic talks with the US and South Korea as they seek to allegedly bring an end to the Korean War stalemate officially and to cease their nuclear program. I have never been a fan of the sunshine policy of the Moon government so I am incredibly skeptical of these talks given the North’s track record. Furthermore I am of the belief that the North Koreans have already gotten to the level of nuclear technology that they desire so testing isn’t important for them at this point. I will be monitoring this story as it develops.

Baseball: Baseball season is back but it has not been the greatest start for my Royals who are almost at 20 losses. Hopefully this tanking and transition from the World Series team happens sooner rather than later. But it is nice to be able to watch baseball games again.

Movie pass: Movie pass has decided to change their policy from unlimited movies to 4 essentially one free movie a weekend for $10 a month. I have been very pessimistic about this service for a while and still not sure how they will eventually monetize to make the investment worth it. A good concept but I am not a fan of the company.

Our new interactive graphic compares the generations today and in the years that each generation was young (ages 21 to 36) to demonstrate the sea change in young adults’ activities and experiences that has occurred over the past 50 years.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/16/how-millennials-compare-with-their-grandparents/

Although consumer optimism is currently high, according to Nielsen’s recent global Consumer Confidence Index reports, private label sales continue to grow. So why are shoppers spending less even when the economy is doing better? The report found that, when shoppers turn to low-cost products like private label to save money during times of economic depression, they adapt to and accept these new shopping patterns and don’t revert to their old ones even when the depression ends.

“When coming out of economic downturns, consumers will maintain a more cautious approach with regard to household expenses, having developed a habit of seeking and expecting value for their money,” according to the report. “Private-label is also a new opportunity in developing countries, faster-growing economies and countries recovering from economic decline or stagnation. Therefore, looking ahead, private-label brands have several avenues for future growth around the globe.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/aldi-traderjoes-lidl-retail-revolution-brand-names-2018-3

For some Americans, a trip to the ballpark isn’t complete without the bright-yellow squiggle of French’s mustard atop a hot dog. For the French, the slow burn of Dijon is a must-have complement to charcuterie. In the United Kingdom, Sunday’s roast beef is nothing without the punch of Colman’s. Yet few realize that this condiment has been equally essential—maybe more so—for the past 6,000 years. In fact, the first spice that we know prehistoric humans used to pep up their dinners is none other than mustard. But why is the sale of mustard oil for consumption banned in the United States, Europe, and Canada, despite the fact it’s used by millions of people around the world nearly every day? Listen in now for the answer to that mustard mystery and dozens more, including how mustard got its heat, and why we have caterpillars to thank for its particular taste profile.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/03/mustard/554567/