February 19, 2017

Fake Media

So it's not supposed to be this way. 

While of course, there is a media bent, it's not supposed to be a downright bias--the media's job is to report the news, not take absolute sides. 


Yet these days, the alt-left media seems most hell bent on incessantly attacking the President and working to delegitimize him.

And the President is calling the news media, "the enemy of the American people."

Russ Limbaugh commented: "The media did not make Donald Trump and they can't destroy him."

It started with the election when biased media outlets "ordered employees to destroy Trump"and tried to convince Americans that he absolutely couldn't win

And only 4 weeks into the now Trump presidency, they are calling that "Congress should impeach Donald Trump."

What type of Democracy is this?

For eight years, Obama ruled and the media glowed bright with near endless praise--even when things went very wrong, the media played the Secret Service and took the bullet shielding Obama's every move.

Now with the Trump, the media is no longer the Praetorian Guard, but the the assassin in waiting--plotting and maneuvering for their chance to fire the fatal shot. 

Will it be Flynn, the Russians, the Islamic Terrorist immigration ban or something entirely else. 

The media has the people's ears...they can spread the news or seed gross and even malicious propaganda. 


While Trump wants to put America First, many media outlets are instead looking to put Trump out to his final pasture. 

When they are targeting the President in such a merciless and endless barrage of negativity and hate, can even President Trump survive? 

While the alt-left media--with funding by billionaire George Soros--kicks and punches away with every article and news segment, it's our democracy that is surely taking the power beating and dying the death of bias and overthrow. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 18, 2017

Sleepy Education USA

Education is fundamental to learning, development and preparation for career and life. 

We've always believed that if you invest in anything, invest in education!

However, despite initiatives like No Child Left Behind and Every Child Succeeds Act, scores in the fundamentals like reading, math, and science all lag behind other advanced industrialized nations.



However, the comparison is flawed because university rankings are based not on student academic performance, but rather on research performance, including things like journal articles published and Noble Prize winners. 

When academic proficiency is tested for American adults, the rankings again lag and are at best mediocre. 

While there are many dedicated and good teachers, still too many teachers and unions continue to fight testing and reform so that progress of our education system continues to fail our children and our nation.

We need to end education by memorization, and focus instead on hands-on learning (by doing), critical thinking and problem-solving.

Sleeping through a lecture may not mean a student is missing squat in the current failed education system. 

(Source Photo: The Blumenthals)

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February 17, 2017

The Success Iceberg

Thought this was really so true.

Under the tip of the iceberg of success lay all the factors that most people don't see.

The vast mass of persistence, failures, sacrifices, disappointments, good habits, hard work, and dedication. 

Success really is an iceberg!

Don't be jealous of the success at the tip of the iceberg of others unless you put in all the ingredients beneath--plus a prayer to the Almighty Above for his blessings.

Have a Shabbat Shalom!

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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February 16, 2017

That's One Scary Shot

Wow, this is one scary photo. 

Imagine coming downstairs and seeing this kids body laying on the floor like that. 

Looks like he's dead!

Would you freak out totally?

Call 911.

Get the emergency responders on the scene. 

Try to save his life. 

Thoughts race through your mind. 

Is he sick?  Was it an accident?  A crime scene?  Terrorism?  Is there an active shooter? 

Is he going to make it? 

Where is his family?

OMG, what if they lose him?

Well, it turns out this kids was just acting out and scaring his parents--and everyone else passing by.

Life is so full of surprises. 

You never know if it's the real thing or not.

But you have to be prepared for anything, anytime. 

This is a crazy world we live in. 

Thank G-d when it's just a false alarm and everything is okay. 

Unfortunately not every time is it all well that ends well. ;-)

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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February 15, 2017

Compromise Preferred


Sometimes we may feel that we are right and that's it.

Our inclination is perhaps to just do what we think and hold the line. 

But if we can take a step back and listen to the concerns of others then we can be the bigger for it. 

That sweet spot of compromise is where we keep both our integrity intact and still find a middle ground that's acceptable to the many. 

Compromise is better than just giving someone the proverbial finger and telling them where to go and how to get there. 

Strength is peace...and peace is strength.

When that doesn't work, then there still always the alternative for good to overcome evil in this world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2017

Not 4 Valentines Day

Valentines Day is the holiday of love. 

And this photo is not the message you want to see or expect today--of all days!

Anyway, they were selling this sleep mask at the mall.

One one side, it says "Ready"--yeah, a little forward, but problem welcome by most partners.

On the other side, it reads, "Not 2Nite"--gasps and disappointment for sure. 

What type of Valentines Day are you going to have?

Love is in the air, enjoy!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 13, 2017

Off The Charts

We all know people that seem to be conflict prone--they seem to have a tendency to get into it with others at work, socially, in the family, or wherever. 

Is it that they are abnormal or bad people?

Certainly many, if not most people, want to stand out in some fashion or form.

As the shirt says:
"Being normal is boring."
We all want to be a little different or special.

If we're the same as the other 7.5 billion people out there, it's hard to feel that our lives are truly meaningful. 

Yet, being different or abnormal can be a good thing or a bad thing. 

Usually, you can be distinct in your combination of attributes within 1-3 standard deviations around the mean (average) and still be in the range of normal. 

1, 2, and 3 standard deviations equate to 68%, 95%, and 99.7% of the values in a normal bell shaped curve. 

So you can be different and still be considered normal.

The problem usually arises when you are off the charts deviant--and then you become "abnormal." 

Is abnormal a bad thing?

Not necessarily, but generally extremes of anything can tend to become problems. 

For example, you can fall somewhere in between very generous and very thrifty, but when you go to the extremes of giving it all away or being a miser then that's usually considered problematic. 

Similarly, you can be curious or indifferent and either of those may be okay, but at the extremes, if you become intrusive or apathetic then that's a problem. 

So most of the people we deal with are normal in most senses of the word, although they may have traits that take them to the extreme and which can cause conflict or harm. 

Others may have many traits that are extreme and they have severe difficulty functioning at all with other people--they are seriously off the charts. 

Perhaps, that's where healthcare professionals come in to assist with things like psychotherapy and behavioral modification (or even medications) to help people.

Being completely average is boring, but being off the charts can be dangerous to others who try to be themselves yet also constructively and humanely go along and get along. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 12, 2017

Tznius Police

So there is an important concept in Judaism as well as other religions of modesty for the sexes. 

This means appropriately covering up in dress and acting modestly. 

In Hebrew, we call it Tznius!

As kids, I remember the kids used to sing, "Tznius, don't show you knee-ius."

It seems like these days, "everything goes," where extreme sexuality in public and showing off is the rage. 

But as I remember the older generation saying, "Maybe some things are better left to the imagination."

That doesn't mean we need to be a bunch of prudes--inhibit or prohibit people from being who they are. 

Freedom means everyone is allowed and has a fundamental right to self-expression. 

But also, people that want to show more restraint and modesty can do that too. 

Perhaps, sometimes things in our society can get a little too superficial, where like and love is only skin deep. 

We forget the inner person and the soul in lieu of momentary pleasures of the flesh. 

I don't think we need the tznius police to come out and tell us what to do, but rather that we need to be consider people inside and out for what and who they really are. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 11, 2017

Media Is Becoming The Biggest Loser

So this is an interesting poll from Emerson College:
"49% of U.S. voters believe that the Trump administration is truthful, while only 39% feel that way about the news media."

Growing up, I never thought or felt the media was biasing the news.

Frankly, it never would have occurred to me. 

Maybe, I was too innocent or naive. 

But I always thought the media's job was to "tell it the way it is."

The media's job, I understood was to be a honest broker, investigate, report, and tell all sides of the issues to help inform and educate. 

What people then did with that information was up to them. 

They would be free in a democracy to form their own opinions and see things that were presented to them through their experiences and sense of identity and justice.
But now, the world is upside down, and bias, bigotry, and prejudice is embedded in the media news itself. 

The same story on a deportation case today can be told by CNN as one of racism and cruelty to immigrants for deporting a mother of two who was "a threat to nobody" or by FOX news as one of enforcing the laws and security against an undocumented immigrant with a felony conviction for social security fraud. 

It depends what colored glasses your looking through and how you want to influence or control what the masses think and do about it. 

No wonder, people don't trust the media!

Not only were the projections based on garbage polling completely wrong in terms of who would win the election, but the reporting out of daily events is done through one-sided reporting, "alternative facts," and "fake news."

The Democrats and Republicans are duking it out, but it's the media that it getting the biggest black eye on honesty and credibility, and losing the fight for influence over the American people. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 10, 2017

Overcoming Resistance To Change

So have you heard of the 20-50-30 Rule when it comes to change management?

20% of the people are open and friendly to change--they are your early adopters.

50% are fence sitters--and they hold a wait and see attitude. 

30% are resisters--these are the people that will be the roadblocks to change. 

_____

Total 100%

Some will resist openly and loudly.  Other will disguise their resistance in a politically correct way.  And finally some may work subversively to block change. 

The keys to overcoming the resistance is by working through the head, heart, and hands model, helping people to understand the following:

Head (Intellectual) - What is changing. 

Heart (Emotional) - Why it's changing (and what's in it for me--WIIFM).

Hands (Behavioral) - How is it changing.

This means changing the mindset, motivating people, and shaping behavior to effect change. 

Change and resistance to change are facts of life, but how we approach it can either mean failure or amazing transformation. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 9, 2017

Drumbeats Of War

My bet is that we are looking at a semi-major international confrontation over the next few years. 

The bend over backwards for our enemies is over. 

Terrible and unenforceable deals are shameful history.

Cyberattacks and hacking will not be treated as the cost of doing business in the 21st century. 

Buzzing of our ships and planes won't be tolerated anymore.

Letting other nations take what they want in Georgia, Crimea, Syria, and the South China Sea is finished. 

Watching helplessly the nuclear proliferation and buildup of the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction by Iran and North Korea won't go unanswered.

Radical Islamic terrorism is not a dirty word anymore and we will bring the fight to the enemy in a bigger and more serious way. 

Our defense and that of our allies won't be treated lightly and we will not retreat in the face of evil. 

No one wants war, everyone wants peace, but unless we stop the aggression against us once and for all, the drumbeats of war will only get louder and more ominous. 

Set the boundaries and enforce them before the all the red lines are crossed and a real and highly dangerous confrontation becomes inevitable. 

Peace through strength is far preferable than war because of disengagement, weakness, and leadership from behind. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 8, 2017

Wardrobe Malfunction Or Stylish

So I got to personally witness a spectacular wardrobe malfunction today. 

It's not often in Washington, D.C. that we get to see someone in a bright blue suit jacket with flowers. 

Obviously, this is a pretty conservative dress town. 

Some might call it rather style boring or even nerdy. 

However, this brave guy went out on a limb and stood out like a sore DC thumbnail. 

Actually, I believe it's nice to add some color, flair, and style and light up the room and the faces. 

Too much gloominess and depression here at times. 

I was so excited when someone actually called me "Happy Tie!"

Then everyone took a turn showing off their colorful socks to each other.

It takes so little to turn a room of people joyful and laughing.

Honestly, we need more of this, and why not be a contributor to people's happiness and smiling?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 7, 2017

Emperor Has No Clothes

What happens when the emperor has no clothes?

That's when we get fake news and alternative facts. 

These days we don't know what to believe anymore because institutions and media have lost so much credibility with bias, prejudice, and trying to influence based on overtly selfish motives. 

The gloves have come off in the fight for supreme earthly might. 

Apparently, a lot of other clothes have come off too.

Now the influencers stand naked before us and we must judge for ourselves the truth of the matter. 

It funny-sad that in their utter nakedness, they bear no shame. 

They scream, and hissy fit, protest, rage, demean, threaten and commit violence.

Ear lobes are dangling as are the other parts and still there is no listening, negotiating, or compromise. 

Advancement is limited to obstruction, and progress is dead like a heap of dung.

The nation suffers the marks in the flesh of bitter fighting, while our competitive advantages are eroded. 


United we used to stand, and divided for a decade we are falling. 

We can dive into the pile of clothes and swim among them, but still we are sinking naked and stinking the lot like selfish bastards, indeed. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 6, 2017

Smell The Roses

I am a big proponent of stopping to smell the roses. 

These purple, yellow, red, and pink flowers were sitting on the counter in Whole Foods, and I had to stop, back up, and take this amazing photo.

They were absolutely gorgeous!

Sometimes, I can't believe the beautiful things and people that G-d has made. 

We're part of a most-amazing and perfect world. 

Of course, there are also hardships and suffering in this world - illness, disability, hunger, homelessness, violence, loneliness, and loss. 

Perhaps, these are the most difficult of things for us as human beings to reconcile with the beautiful world that G-d has set us in. 

While surrounded by beauty, people are also beset by life's many challenges. 

Maybe all the more reason to stop and smell the roses even for just a moment--to enjoy the spirit of life and of our amazing Creator, and the opportunity to make the most of it all. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 5, 2017

Kiss One Another Day

So with all the divisiveness and hate in this country (and the world) lately...

I thought we need a day to celebrate, accept, and love each other.

Let's call it: 
National Kiss Day!

Liberals and Democrats - give each other a kiss.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims - give each other a kiss. 

Men and women - give each other a kiss. 

Straight and LGBTQ - give each other a kiss.

Old, middle age, and young - give each other a kiss. 

White, black, yellow, and brown - give each other a kiss. 

Races and nationalities of all kinds - give each other a kiss.

Those with and without illnesses and disabilities - give each other a kiss. 

We are all G-d's children, so it's time to stop the crazy hate and fighting.

Love each other, work together to advance the world for everyone, and give each other a big, fat, heartfelt kiss - and maybe we can make the day into a lifetime!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 4, 2017

Depends On Who You Ban


So the alt-left and media are all aghast at President Trump placing a temporary travel ban from 7 muslim-majority nations for national security reasons!

That's out of more than 50 majority Muslim nations in the world or less than 14%.

And these were the countries identified by the former President Obama as the "countries of concern" because of terrorism!

See the 7 nations (out of 50+) highlighted below:

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Brunei
Burkina Faso
Chad
Comoros
Djibouti
Egypt
Guinea
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq

Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lebanon
Libya
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Mauritania
Mayotte
Morocco
Niger
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Palestine
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Sudan
Syria

Tajikistan
The Gambia
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Western Sahara
Yemen

What is also unbelievably amazing is that 6 of these 7 Muslim nations with a temporary ban from President Trump, plus 10 more countries, for a total of 16 Muslim countries have a permanent ban placed on Israeli Jews!

Where is the alt-left and media outrage about this travel ban on Jews?

Oh, apparently for the alt-left, compassion, dignity, equality, and human rights don't apply to Jews today any more than they did during the Holocaust where 6,000,000 were left to die in a genocide at the brutal hands of the Nazi's.

To them, a permanent ban on Jews is apparently fine and national security of the United States who cares--that's what talking out of both sides of the mouth is all about.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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The Miraculous Mezuzah

So there is a Jewish commandment to put a mezuzah on your doorposts. 

Reminiscent of ancient times when Jews were slaves in Egypt and G-d told the Israelites to put the blood of the Paschal lamb on the doorpost.

When they did this and the Angel of Death killed the firstborn in each home of the taskmaster Egyptians--he passed over the doorposts of the Israelites that had the blood on it as commanded by G-d.

So too these days, the Mezuzah has the holy prayer of the Shema Yisrael on it:
"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One".
And it is believed to be a symbol of G-d's divine protection for the home. 

This week in Synagogue, Rabbi Haim Ovadia told some miraculous stories about the Mezuzah from when he was the Rabbi in Bogota, Columbia.

He told of how the cartels would raid the buildings where the people in the community lived.  The cops would be told not to respond to the calls for help for at least an hour.  But what was a miracle was that apartments with the mezuzahs were not harmed. Later, the people found out that the cartels, thank G-d left them alone, because they didn't know what a mezuzah was and thought it was some sort of fancy alarm system!

Another story, was the boss who put mezuzahs on the offices at work, and what happened? The profitability of the business went up.  When they looked at why this happened, they realized that the boss would stop at the mezuzah to recite the Shema, and the workers thought the boss was there paying more attention to them and so productivity went way up. 

Finally, the last one was really funny.  They couldn't easily get mezuzahs in Bogota, so when they heard someone was coming from a trip to Israel, they asked him to bring 5 mezuzahs for the home. When it arrived, they opened it up, but lo and behold, the parchment with the prayer inside was missing from them.  When they asked what happened to it--the person said, I already know how to put up a mezuzah on the doorpost with 2 nails and a hammer, so what do I need the instructions inside it for!

G-d is glorious and the holiness that he bestows on us with his commandments is amazing. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 3, 2017

The Divided States Of America

So the way the alt-left are fighting it out with President Trump...with violent protests, riots, marches, insults, beatings, fires, broken windows, and sheer contempt,  you'd think we were in a third world country under a brutal dictator, or worse.  

Gone is the respect, decency, compromise, and diplomacy among valid differences of opinion and points of view. 

Talking it out and working it out...forget about it. 

Aside from taking up arms, it's almost like this country is in a second civil war

The United States has become the divided states. 

Hitler, Nazis, Stalin, Commies!

California wants to secede (like Texas wanted to previously). 

Lawsuits against the President.

Screams, posters and groups of "Not my President."

Celebrities threatening to pack up and leave the country. 

Refusals to carry out the laws of the land. 

People joining the resistance and underground. 

Secret communications in agencies

Plotting and threats for a military overthrow of the Presidency

Calls for blowing up the White House.

Tweets calling for assassination and pics posted of what it would look like. 

Yet there are no death camps, no razor sharp wire, no attack dogs ripping the flesh off people, no forced labor, no death marches, no brutal beatings, no starvation of prisoners, no poison gas showers, no crematoria, no firing squads, no mass graves, no gruesome experiments on twins, no vicious assaults, no sexual abuse and rapes, no Star of David patches to be worn, no threats to exterminate. 

While of course, we need to ensure "Never Again" for all of us-- even the slightest inkling of it--is there really a bona-fide "again" or "inkling" here in the first place? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 2, 2017

Communicate And Do Good In This World

This is a really good quote by Jay Danzie:
"Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark."

I heard someone else say it another way:
"The only way to read your audience is with eye contact and smiles."

Basically, it comes down to leaving people with a positive feeling through your interactions, and influencing others for the good. 

We have one chance to make a first impression--so yes, wow people with your smile, personality, integrity, and inspire them to do and speak good. 

If we all just say or do just one more good thing everyday, imagine that multiplied by 7.5 billion people. 

Now, multiply that by 365 days a years and you have 2.7 trillion more good things said and done in just a single year.

Imagine our Heavenly Father looking down at us with so much good in our souls' bank.

We can all be an influence for good--just think about it and go out and do it! ;-)

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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February 1, 2017

Sushi Socks Dating

So this is a novel way to sell socks.

Roll them up and package them like a sushi roll. 

Socks are the colors and textures of various fish.

Not sure why anyone would want socks that mimic sushi...

Unless of course, you feet stink like raw fish!

My wife knows this true story about this one girl that I dated before I met her, and she came over to my parents house and was waiting for me. 

When I got there, she was sitting on the couch and her shoes were off. 

It was after a long day at work apparently, and her feet smelled worse than any fish I could imagine. 

Literally, I think I could've passed out right there on the floor. 

Date was over and quick, and I never forget those sushi feet. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 31, 2017

Born Or Forged To Lead

So are we born to lead or are we forged to greatness through adversity and lots of hard work?

Some people definitely seem to have innate leadership characteristics:

- Charisma

- Integrity

- Decisiveness

- Passion

- Determination

- Agility

- Intelligence

- Inspirational

- Confident

- Articulate

Other people maybe weren't born with it, but they learn to become great leaders through:

- Hard Work

- Willingness to learn

- Continuous improvement 

- Motivation to advance

- Finding a meaningful mission 

- Belief that they can make a difference

- Faith that G-d is guiding them

Like with most things in our life, it's a combination of nature and nurture. 

Good raw material starts us off on the right track and then forging it with fire and a hammer and polishing it off into a great sword with hardness, strength, flexibility, and balance. 

As Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst Magazine says:
"I'm an overnight sensation 30 years in the making."

Birth is just the beginning... ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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January 30, 2017

Seeing Your Life Flash B4 Your Eyes

So in near death experiences, it is common to see your life flash before your eyes. 

Researchers believe that what you see isn't necessarily in chronological order, rather there is no time or space, and people report that "it all happened at once."

Additionally, people feel the experiences and pain from others' points of view. 

It's like a melding of time and space in a single continuum. 

This so-called life review experience (LRE) is eye-opening. 

It's almost like a G-d's eye view of your life in the world. 

In the worst case scenario, what we see at the end is what we failed to see during life--how far wrong we went and how much we hurt others. 

If we wait until the end to open our eyes and see what's right in front of us all along, then frankly, it's too late to do anything positive about it. 

Maybe you have to come back (reincarnated) for another try to do things better and make things right. 

Hopefully, you learned something from this go around so that you are building incrementally and purifying your heart and your soul. 

If though life experience, it's ups and downs, and pains and suffering, you still learn nothing...then what you see in the end is your own blindness to the eternal lessons of the omniscient creator--all in 20-20 extra clear hindsight. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 29, 2017

Why People End Up On The Sh*t List

This was a funny sign...the old "sh*t list!"

When people do cr*p to you and they do it maliciously and with intent, and as repeat offenders enjoying their evil ways hurting others. 

Invariably, they can end up on the sh*t list. 

However, I've never actually seen such a list until this. 

You have your:

- Offender
- Violation
- Was it a friend, stranger, lover, family, other?
- When did it occur?
- Severity level

It even has a line for your "plan of attack"--whether you confront, ignore, stew, avenge, talk sh*t, or other. 

And finally whether the terrible offender is still on or off the list. 

While not every offense is a mortal blow and we need to have compassion for people and try to love everyone...sometimes, people can behave so badly and don't stop no matter how much you try and beg and offer to help them that they just force themselves onto the bad boys/girls list. 

We don't want to have ill feelings to anyone--we are all G-d's creatures--but what do you do when people go so far astray or have problems so big that they hurt others so bad and so often.

Surely, we need to have understanding and compassion first for people and try to do everything to help them and bring peace to the world, but when your dealing with the true worst of what people have to offer and they lack basic human self-control and decency, perhaps that's why victims revert as a last resort to their sh*t list. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 28, 2017

I'm Pro-Life and Pro-Choice

People who know me know that I am a real feminist.

Lots of wonderful women in my life have been incredibly awesome and inspired me, starting with my beautiful mother, wonderful Oma (grandmother), my wife, and my lovely daughters. 

As I learned early on, girls can truly be "sugar and spice and everything nice."

How society could have for millennia and in many places in the world still do today subjugate and abuse women is beyond comprehension.

- Women are not property!

- Women are not servants!

- Women are not to be used or abused!
Like all human beings, women are to be respected, treated in every way as equals, and loved and cared for as all G-d creations fully deserve. 

What about though the issue of the right to choose whether to have or abort a baby?
While I feel we need to fully respect women's rights, I think we also need to consider the baby's rights. 

Of course, where rape or incest is involved, or there are known serious birth defects that would make the child's life painful or miserable, or when there is serious risk to the life of the mother or child, then by all means, the mother and father need to make a very difficult choice. 

Otherwise, we are duty bound to protect the child just as we protect the mother--these are G-d's creations and not just for the choosing and taking. 

Life is life!  

Murder is murder!

It's common sense to be pro-choice to minimize danger, pain, and suffering to baby and mother. 

It's justice to be pro-life when baby and mother are blessed and well. 

Really, it's no different than how we treat anyone else--for example, we need to allow physician-assisted suicide when the pain and suffering dictates this to be merciful, and we need to do everything to protect and save life when their is still ample hope. 

There is a time when a mother and father must choose and a time when the choice ultimately belongs to G-d. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 27, 2017

A Little Wear and Tear

Despite a generally longer life expectancy...people still have lots of aches and pains already by midlife. 

Danielle Ofri in the New York Times points out:
"Our bodies evolved to live about 40 years and then be finished off by a mammoth or a microbe. [However,] thanks to a century of staggering medical progress, now now live past 80, but evolution hasn't caught up; the cartilage in our joints still wears down in our 40s and we are more obese and more sedentary that we used to be, which doesn't help."
I hear from so many people in their 40s that they are already getting knee and hip replacements; they have high blood pressure, diabetes, and are having heart attacks, and many even are seeing their first bouts of cancer.

So in many ways, the 40s really sucks!  

Many of us would be dead many times over already, if not for G-d's grace and the miracles of medical science and technology these days. 

So life is prolonged, and we even often get pain relief, while we are able to continue forward with our families, communities, and careers.

As we read in Psalms 39:4
"Show me, LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."
Perhaps that's what illness is...G-d showing us that we are just mortal and that life is short and we need to make the most of every minute. 

When everything is going just swell, how easy it is to become arrogant and forget how mortal we really are. 

My father used to say:
"G-d doesn't let any tree grow into the heavens."
By our 40s, when most of us are growing our families, careers, wealth, and stature--unfortunately, maybe we sort of need that kick in the pants from Above. 

G-d is our maker and our teacher, and he guides us to the end of our days, and hopefully they are reached with wisdom, meaningful contributions, piety, and love. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 26, 2017

Camera Of Life

So this open-door market has no workers there.

Someone comes in to stock the shelves periodically, and that's it!

It's completely automated of workers, and only has this automated kiosk for check-out. 

As you shop, there are cameras watching you, so you don't steal anything. 

Then you go to the checkout and like in other stores, you scan you items and pay with your credit card, but the difference is that it's without anyone else around at all.

Can you imagine someone would leave there business and there is no one watching you, except the cameras.

You're on your honor system. 

Just think how much money the owner saves by not having to stand there or hire someone to stand there all day. 

He can have 10 or 100 or 1,000 of these stores and no daily labor to pay for. 

Talk about people losing their jobs to automation and robotics!

So even if someone does steal 1 or 2 things, it's a minor loss to the owner compared to paying someone to stand there and check people out all day (salary, benefits, payroll taxes, workers comp insurance, and more). 

What if the camera isn't even real and it's just a dark cone, so you are just left to think that you're being surveilled...another savings for the owner. 

Now imagine if we all internalized this thought in life that we were under the watchful eye of our Maker, and everyone would do the right thing even when no one else was there watching. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 25, 2017

The Great Trump Wall

So today, President Trump signed the executive order to start the process of putting up the border wall with Mexico. 

Generally, I don't think anyone with a heart seriously questions the need to continue robust immigration for those in need that are seeking asylum or refuge from all sorts of persecution as well as for humanitarian reasons...of course, we must continue to have empathy and be kind and compassionate to people, period. 

However, the Great Trump Wall needs to go up to secure our borders.

We have over 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and roughly 400,000 crossing the border and settling here illegally on an annual basis. 


With human trafficking, illegal drugs and weapons, criminals and terrorists, and others just coming on over willy nilly, this is not the way to secure a nation's border or run a country. 


We have the right and responsibility to create safety and security for people. 

Running across the border, catch and release, or just illegally staying is not a policy, but rather immigration chaos. 

We and our families all came to this country seeking a better life and are so fortunate to be here, and we should and must pay it forward.

Immigration should be based on well-thought and sound policy that genuinely helps people in need and advances the interests of the nation.


In terms of freedom, equality, and human rights, we definitely want to tear down the walls the separate us!


However, for border security, catch me if you can is not a strategy or policy--just plain neglect and chaos. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal--funny pic because I was actually pretending to tear it down.)
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January 24, 2017

Don't Push The Button

Thought this was a really funny quote about getting your buttons pushed: 

"Don't push my buttons without reading the manual."


- Gadgetmobile, Inspector Gadget


In terms of not pushing other people's buttons:


"Remember, you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity."


- Dale Carnegie

 (Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 23, 2017

Guns Are American

So we can argue who exactly should be allowed to have guns in America.

But we can't argue that the 2nd Amendment generally guarantees people the right "to keep and bear arms."

Sure background checks are an important safety and security check to ensure we aren't putting guns in the hands of criminals, terrorists, abusers, or mentally incompetent individuals. 

At the same time, people should be able to responsibly own and use them for hobby or self-defense. 

Some guns are even a work of art and not just a killing machine. 

Pictured here is an American Joe with etchings of USA and wings representing freedom and of course, the painting of the American flag for strength and patriotism. 

Not quite the golden AK-47 that Saddam Hussein sported, but nevertheless a beautiful and deadly .45 caliber one. 

With over 300 million guns in the USA, there is just about one for everyone. 

In America, there is a grand tradition of the Old West, but it's also important to balance that with responsibility and safety. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 22, 2017

Not A Newspaper, But Rather A Hatepaper

Many are raising concerns about media bias and censorship in this most polarizing of times for our nation. 

Media like the New York Times that many used to look up to is endlessly going after the President of the United States and has become a hateful disgrace for its bias, hyperbole, and rancor. 

No longer a respectful investigative and informative newspaper, it's now become a bona fide one-sided, bigoted, hatepaper.

Sure, media is going to represent the views of its owners, but today's New York Times is what happens when hate and party politics become it's sole purpose for being. 

When people and media are balanced, fair, and rational, they present good and bad--both sides of the argument. 

When they are biased and hateful and simply a tool for power elite propaganda and mind control then this is what you get...the New York Times Sunday Review Section--here's a list of their articles today:
- The Commander in Chief Who Buried Humility
- How to Listen to Donald Trump Every Day for Years
- Why Would We Need To March?
- Racial Progress, Then Racist Progress
- Under The Big Top (Apparently the circus [Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey] couldn't compete against a Trump presidency)
- Sheer Dispair
- The America We Lost When Trump Won
- Placing a Bet on the New President (I've Been hearing he's surrounding himself with swampy people)
- The Tempting of the Media (The traps for the press in the Trump era)
- Why I Cannot Fall in Line Behind Trump
Yes, our freedom and democracy is under attack by bias and bigotry, but perhaps you need to look closer at the supposedly mainstream newspapers that you are reading for the true hateful filled columns that they have come to represent.  

May G-d save this republic from not only corrupt politicians, but also a media that is in some cases no better, and perhaps as in this case, maybe even worse. 

Who are the deplorables when the windows of innocents are being smashed, the cars being burnt, threats of bombing the White House are broadcast, and the hate-mongering media keeps bashing and bashing and bashing.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

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Ambassador of Redemption and Peace

Thought this was so cool...

One of my friends from synagogue has an amazing replica of the letter From President Harry S. Truman recognizing the the State of Israel (with the President's last-minute hand-written edits on it):

It reads: 
"This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.  
The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel." 
Harry Truman 
Approved May 14, 1948"
 And hence the Jewish people went from almost 2,000 years in exile and persecution--culminating in the genocidal Holocaust that wiped out 6,000,000 Jews--to be followed by the founding of the State of Israel and the keeping of G-d's promise in the Bible:
Genesis 15:18: 
"On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates."
Deuteronomy 30:3 
"Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you."
We are living through historic times!

Now the Headquarters of the State Department is named the Harry S. Truman building...how fitting for all our diplomacy to be called for the President that recognized the State of Israel, as the Bible said. 

Then this weekend, I was truly surprised and humbled when another friend from synagogue said that he thinks with all my passion and caring for the United States, Israel and G-d that I could be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel...I couldn't have be more moved by these lovely sentiments.

As a child of Holocaust survivors and a person of faith who believes deeply that we are witnessing the prophecies of the Bible literally being fulfilled and that we are in the time of the great redemption, I have a vision that we are ushering in the coming of the Messiah and that there will be peace in our lands and enlightenment of G-d upon the Earth. 

I hope and pray every day for it to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 21, 2017

Mystical 613 - Inauguration




So we are continuing to see the mystical, holy 613--the number of commandments in the Torah (Bible). 

- From the number of views on my LinkedIn Profile, 613, in the last 90 days.

 - To the tag the laundromat put on my dry cleaning, 60013.

- And to the caption, Day 61 - 1:31 PM, on the latest episode of the tv show, Alone, on the History channel. 

For those of you of faith...there are no coincidences--every leaf that falls from the tree is only at the will of the One Above. 

As I watched the inauguration of President Trump yesterday, it was inspiring that he featured the most number of religious leaders (6) at any inauguration.

And Trump, the President and billionaire himself, said that the military protects us, and law enforcement protects us, but the greatest protection is from G-d!

Further, I was amazed that one of the clergy that spoke at the inauguration was Rabbi Marvin Hier--the head of LA's Simon Wiesenthal Center (that memorializes the Holocaust/Jewish Genocide that occurred just more than 70 years ago). 

It was a true moment of awe, when Rabbi Marvin Hier said joyfully in front of the whole world (including the anti-Semitic United Nations and former President Obama with their evil resolutions against the Holy Land):

"Bless all of our allies around the world who share our beliefs...[and] by the rivers of Babylon we wept as we remembered Zion. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill."

Perhaps, just perhaps...we are really entering the time of the redemption--when G-d will shine his light on his people and there will be peace, health, and prosperity for all the righteous of the world. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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