August 28, 2016

Preppers Preparing

A very interesting article in the Washington Post on the prepper movement.

People are concerned about the inaction, misdirection, and chaos of where things are going, and they are preparing for a potential post-apocalyptic America and world.


Grave worries seem to be coming from a multitude of concerns whether about an eventual bursting of the bubble of our national debt and the downfall of our economy and associated good jobs, an outbreak of ebola or a deadly influenza, a dirty bomb by Iran or North Korea, a cyber attack or EMP that takes out our critical infrastructure including electricity and anything with computer circuits, or a devastating natural disaster, many of which are considered "overdue."


The preppers are moving to the American Redoubt (pacific northwest--Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.


They are buying and building defensible homes (bunkers and "fortresses"), stockpiling food, weapons, and ammunition, and preparing for life off the grid with water sources, solar farms, and secure storage.


While survivalists have always existed, the numbers of concerned, disaffected, and generally disgruntled citizens seems be growing exponentially along with prepper network shows, books, blogs, websites, and sales of survival gear.


Many people seem to either feel insecure, fearful, uncertain, or that we are simply going in the wrong direction, and that it is only a matter of time until there is some sort of major earth shattering, society destabilizing disaster, and not everyone will survive.


So from home shelters to luxury underground bunkers, preppers are putting their money and efforts where their mouths are, and are preparing for potentially the worst.


If as all agree that an important part of the government's job is to ensure the national security of the country, and protect life, liberty, and property, then something seems to be going very wrong that many people are feeling so insecure and unprotected physically and in terms of their human rights.


From corruption to divisiveness, dependency, and dirty dealing, communication and trust between government and the governed is being needlessly undermined.


Why can't we get some decent leaders with a solid moral compass, and a real plan to bring us back from forever walking the brink to a nation of strength and unity, prosperity and health, and a superpower not only today, but for the future, once again. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 27, 2016

Coupling, The Beauty Of

So just a couple of birds, right?

Not to me!

There were a number of reminders to me today about how special and fortunate it is for any of us to be with someone we love.

It's not just that two heads are better than one. 

Pretty much, everything is better with a partner who looks back at us and smiles. 

We magnify the joy and we share the sorrow, together.

What my dad used to call my mom, his "better half!"

What we are lacking in, often our soulmate can fill in the blank. 

And planning and executing is as a team, rather than flying solo. 

There is someone who keeps our lofty ideas in check and at the same time challenges us when it's time to think bigger. 

We learn from the other person, at the same time that we teach them maybe a little thing or two from our repertoire. 

Strategically, divide and conquer makes everything from routine tasks to complex projects easier to achieve, especially when we agree on the goal and the approach. 

Even the "occasional" disagreements and fights helps us to learn to control our temperament and to work things out or when to take a break and think things through afresh. 

Someone to reach out to.

Someone to hold unto. 

Someone to caress.

Someone to buttress. 

Someone who makes us a better person than the one we see in the mirror naked and mortal. 

Like 2 by 2 in Noah's Ark or in the birds and the bees, we are committed to that special someone. 

The Bat Kol calls out "so and so shall be married to so and so" like only the L-rd in heaven can decree from the rib of man to the flesh of a women. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 26, 2016

Corruption On Fire

(Click Graphic to Enlarge)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Keith Ellwood and quote from here)
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August 25, 2016

Modesty And Privacy Of Body and Information

So modesty and privacy is very important in terms of propriety and security.

Both are intimately connected. 

Already as children, we learn not to show or talk about our "privates" to others. 

And as adults, we understand that there are certain things about ourselves that we don't just talk about or divulge to others indiscriminately. 

Not being discrete with these and showing either your private parts or your personal information can get you in a load of trouble by giving others the opportunity to take undue advantage of you. 

Both open you up to be ridiculed or even raped of your person or information identity. 

That which is yours to use with others in propriety is instead disclosed for taking out from your control and for use against you. 

Security demands modesty of body and of information, and if not taken seriously, then no amount of lame covering will keep that which is private from public consumption. ;-)
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August 24, 2016

Crazy World Of Work

This was a funny sign. 

"You don't have to be crazy to work here.
We'll train you."

Isn't that the truth too often. 

Work can frequently be like "Crazy World!" 

This is a place where there is a convergence of dysfunctional organizational culture, poor leadership, a lack of solid processes and sound planning, and plenty of wacky naysayers and obstructionists who together can bring the workplace to a virtual standstill or even a bitter downfall. 

Yeah, we will train you to do what?

- Follow some dusty and archaic, nonsensical policies that haven't been updated in 20 years.

- Force you into a mold of robotic groupthinkers who have abandoned any notion of exploration, discovery, innovation, and constructive change. 

- Do the minimum to get their paychecks, while staying off the grid and out of trouble, rather than satisfy in serving the mission and delighting their customers. 

This is perhaps why leaders frequently tout their credentials in transforming organizations, yet we still see endless legacies mired in status quo and a lack of any real results and progress. 

Lots of people talk the talk, but very few walk the walk, and that's because we've trained them so well to work here. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 22, 2016

Antisocial Social Club

This guy was hilarious.

Pink hat.

Big round white sunglasses.

And a shirt that says:

"Antisocial Social Club"

Truly, if he was anymore antagonistic to the norms of society, he'd probably be unloading an AK47 into an unsuspecting innocent crowd somewhere.

Okay, maybe that's a little extreme, then again not really in this day and age of global terrorism where beheadings, suicide bombers, burning and stoning people alive, and child abductions and sex slaves are now the norms in certain outrageous societies. 

And if those are the norms in certain places, what in the world would be considered antisocial behavior there???

So a pink hat, big sunglasses, and an antisocial t-shirt in free America--that ain't nothing anymore.

Antisocial with a big "Anti" now means death and apocalyptic destruction and global disorder.  

As to our weak politicians who can't can stomach calling a mass phenomenon of psychotic antisocial personality disorder, antisocial--well you can judge what's wrong with them for yourself. 

Why does it matter?

It matters only to those of you who have a moral compass to live by and who care about what normal even is--too bad our political elite are missing the substance of this. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 21, 2016

Why Are We So Unconfident?

So I took this photo today at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. 


"We are strong!
We are positive!
We will survive!" 

Does someone who says these things sound like they really believe it or far more likely, it is that they need to tell themselves these things, because they are really not feeling so confident after all?

What's the unfortunate message behind these words?  

- We spend $610 billion on defense--more than the next 8 super nations combined--yet somehow we feel vulnerable and weak, especially with terrorism and a resurgent Russia and China

- We are so fortunate to live in freedom, democracy, seeming prosperity, and have everything to be positive and thankful about--yet 80% are dissatisfied and think we are heading in the wrong direction. 

- We are the world's superpower of nations--with wealth, armaments, a seat on the UN security council, and more than 800 bases around 80 countries in the world--"more than any other people, nation, or empire in history," yet most Americans think we're faring poorly and that their children will be worse off than themselves!

How can so much security result in so much insecurity?  

The answer should be obvious.

When people don't believe in the wisdom of their leaders, then no matter what they have or spend or where they are coming from, they are at risk of losing it all.

Poor leadership means corruption, fraud, waste, abuse, and absolute bad decision-making for this nation. 

We don't believe we are strong, because we see other nations spending less on their defense, yet getting more in terms of security for the people.

People don't feel positive, because they don't see good decisions being made, progress toward a better future, and confidence in the future being shaped. 

Questions about our very survival are surfacing because:

- We have seen millions of jobs disappear to our competitors overseas

- Our national debt balloon to near catastrophic levels (and with no tangible benefit to average Joe citizen as everything from our education system to our roads and bridges are falling apart)

- Bankruptcy to the critical entitlement pillars of Social Security and Medicare are being regularly forewarned. 

- Corrupt politicians who are supposed to be looking after us and effectively governing us are instead doing terrible wrongs, yet they are endlessly allowed to be above the law. 

- There is non-stop global terrorism and a reluctance to even call it what it is let alone truly fight to win. 

- We face out of control proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and yet remove sanction and release hundreds of billions of dollar to the largest state sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses. 

- Openly hostility to the U.S. is present as nations are doing what they want whether it terms of nuclear and ballistic missile development and testing in Iran and North Korea, using chemical weapons on civilians in Syria, annexing Crimea, buzzing U.S. planes and ships and conducting cyber war by Russia, and orchestrating a vast military build up in the South China Sea--and all without meaningful consequences.

So everyone repeat after me: 


"We are strong!
We are positive!
We will survive!" 

If you say it enough, you may actually start to believe it. 

Then again, if you start listening to your true inner feelings, you may start to see the vast political gimmickry being played out on you. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 20, 2016

A Terrorism Wake-Up Call To Western Civilization



"On her way to work one morning
Down the path alongside the lake
A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
"Oh well," she cried, "I'll take you in and I'll take care of you"
"Take me in oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk
And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk 
Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived 
She found that pretty snake she'd taken in had been revived
"Take me in, oh tender woman 
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

Now she clutched him to her bosom, "You're so beautiful," she cried
"But if I hadn't brought you in by now you might have died"
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight 
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite
"Take me in, oh tender woman 
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

"I saved you," cried that woman
"And you've bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die"
"Oh shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin 
"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in 
"Take me in, oh tender woman 
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake"

(Source Lyrics The Vicious Snake by Oscar Brown Jr. and the Reading By Donald Trump)
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Russia's Iron Fist

Russia is enormously resurgent (as is China), and they are modernizing their military, while we are "busy" and distracted with ridiculous dysfunctional political infighting here in the U.S.

- Between Republicans and Democrats. 

- Between Trump and Hillary.

- Between running mouths and utter corruption. 

- Between what our values are and aren't.

- Between racism and cop killings. 

- Between sequestrations, filibusters, and government shutdowns. 

- Between fighting terrorism and not even being able to say it's name and origin. 

- Between support for NATO and our allies and abandoning them. 

- Between invading Iraq and Afghanistan and then hasty and wasty retreats. 

- Between capturing terrorists and locking them away in Gitmo and then throwing them back out on the streets to plot and attack again. 

- Between calls for a strong military, policing the world, and keeping the peace and that being replaced by leadership from behind, disengagement, appeasement, and weakness.

- Between a healthy, vibrant economy and a shallow recession, failing Obamacare, slowing innovation, and ballooning national debt and welfare state. 

In the meantime, the Russians, if no one has noticed is moving critically forward in the world. 

- Ukraine's Crimea has been gone since 2014, separatists are fighting in the east, and tens of thousands of troops are massing on the border. 

- Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia was  occupied by Russia in the war in 2008

- Chechnya was taken by Russia in 1999 and Grozny, the capital, was completely leveled. 

- Bases around Damascus and in Iran have been built up and are in active use in the civil war in Syria going on today, and Aleppo, the largest city in Syria is becoming apocalyptic. 

- The Baltics are under threat by encroaching Russian forces. 

- U.S. military ships and planes and being regularly "buzzed" and Russia is flying mock nuclear bombing runs on the U.S.A. and Europe. 

Russia is proposing a counter-alliance to NATO by them, China, India, and arch enemy, Iran

So while the U.S. spends more on military than the next 8 nations combined, with the U.S. at $610 billion to Russia's much more modest $85 billion, nevertheless, we are falling over our own feet, while Russia is clearly on a determined march.

We can't afford to play politics and suck our thumbs here at home, while Russia is determined and strategic in their moves geopolitically advancing their interests.

We are playing a losing hand and wasting valuable blood and treasure unless we get our democratic house in much needed order, focus, and resolve. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 19, 2016

Some Nice Hats For Shabbat

Just some fashion festive before Shabbat.

Suggestions for some nice hats for Jewish ladies who cover their hair in synagogue or out. 

I don't think these were designed for that purpose, but it just made me think that it does the trick.

Modesty before G-d and for the sanctification of marriage. 

It's a nice Jewish custom that seems holy and beautiful. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 18, 2016

Reflection, Summer Don't Go

Starting to feel Summer slipping away, again. 

Kids are getting ready to go back to school.

Weather is starting to feel a little cooler. 

But got to love the beautiful nature we have this time of year. 

When the flowers are in bloom and the days are long. 

Appreciate every moment of every day.

It's a gift from the One Above. 

Some people have a bucket list of where they want to go or what they want do, extravagantly, before they die. 

For others, it's about material possessions: finding the precious gems of "things" out there, and collecting, hoarding, and showing them off. 

Really though, it's not the places you visit, the outrageous things you get to do, or the possessions you accumulate, but rather what positive influence you can have--even on a single life or the more the better.

That good lasts a lot longer and has much more wide-ranging impact than the momentary high of simple and selfish--my places, events, and things.

We all need to enjoy life--it's wondrous and beautiful--but perhaps not live for the empty revelry alone.

Smell the roses and enjoy G-d's gifts of life, and then get back out there and do some good stuff, won't you. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 17, 2016

Robots, They Are Coming

I was so excited by this photo in the Wall Street Journal today.

YuMi, an industrial robot by ABB, is adroitly writing Chinese calligraphy. 

If you look at the photo and think for a moment, the notion of the robot doing and the person watching is truly prophetic of how we are evolving technologically and as a species. 

Yumi is made by ABB, a leading robotics company headquartered in Switzerland, that on one hand has over 300,000 robots installed worldwide, but on the other hand needs only 4,600 employees in 53 countries to produce all these fantastic and productive droids.  

This robot is a work of not just incredible science and engineering, but of art and beauty. 

It's sleek black and white build with two incredibly agile arms and hands plus a viewing camera, enables it to do small parts assembly or even fine calligraphic work. 

YuMi stands for "You and Me" working together, collaboratively. 

While we surely will work together, the flip side is that with robotics, some people (who don't make the transition to STEM) may not be working much at all. 

But of course, the positive side is that we are looking at an incredible capacity to do more and better with less! 

Leaving the innovation to humans, and the assembly and service to the bots, the bar will be raised on everything--both good and bad.

We will build greater things, travel and explore further, and discover ever new depths of understanding and opportunities to exploit.

But we will also edge people out of work and comfort zones, and be able to engage in new forms of conflict and war that only the power and skill of (semi-) autonomous machines could inflict. 

The robots are here, however, they are coming in much greater numbers, capabilities, and impact then we can currently fully comprehend. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via WSJ)
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August 16, 2016

From Fractured to ONE

I really liked this T-shirt.

It says volunteer, but in three rows like this:

vOl
uNt
eEr

So in the center is ONE!

When we give of ourselves, we shed our billions of individual selfish natures to be one--with humanity and with G-d.

These days, seeing from how shattered and fractured this nation and world is, it is just a dream again for unity.

- The fighting between different races and castes of people

- The fighting between rich and poor

- The fighting between communities or family members

- The fighting between unarmed (and armed) civilians and police

- The fighting between republicans and democrats

- The fighting between proponents and opponents of X, Y, or Z policy, person, place, or thing

- The fighting between governed and those who govern

- The fighting between terrorists and terrorized

- The fighting between religions and within religions

- The fighting between East and West

- The fighting between good and evil

This reminds me learning in yeshiva from Zechariah 14:9 (when the destroyers of Jerusalem will themselves be destroyed)"
"And the L-rd will be king over all the Earth. On that day, the L-rd will be one and his name one."
Oneness--unity--peace is a vision and a goal. 

With unity we recognize our ONE true maker and guider of all creation.

And with unity we seek and find solutions to the world's big problems (global poverty, disease, war and so on).

Fractured and fighting among ourselves, we are small, petty, selfish, and weak. 

But together, we can unite with Heaven and conquer all that ails humanity. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 15, 2016

Mean WORDS Over Crooked DEEDS

Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times Sunday Review that "Donald Trump is Making America Meaner."

And yes, anything that a Presidential candidate does that is bigoted or racist is wrong and should be utterly condemned. 

But what is concerning about Kristof and the liberal media's coverage of the election has been it's wholly one-sided nature and what that means in terms of election rigging. 

In fact, CNN recently admitted on the air that "We [CNN] could not help her [Hillary] any more than we have...we're the biggest ones promoting her campaign"

Similarly, in this case, Kristof hammers Trump's "harsh rhetoric" for things like wanting to build a border wall for Homeland Security, having a big loose mouth (too often), and not distancing himself from toxic advisers or followers. 

But interestingly enough, Kristof is silent about Clinton's numerous acts of (alleged) debauchery, corruption, and scandal and what that means in terms of that candidate's meanness! 

Some examples:

- Getting child rapists off the hook and laughing about it is not mean. 

- Protecting husband Bill in the face of 17 allegations of rape and affairs is not mean. 

- Endangering national security with secret email servers and the habitual lies to cover it up with a rating of "Four Pinocchios" is not mean.

- (Soft) Intimidation of the Attorney General and telling the Director of the FBI that he is full of "bull" is not mean. 

- DNC Collusion to rig the election against Bernie Sanders is not mean. 

- Money laundering, "pay to play" and cronyism through the Clinton Foundation is not mean. 

- Enabling racial divisiveness in America and the killing of civilians and police officers is not mean. 

- Not protecting those Americans murdered in Benghazi and making up a phony story about it being because of a video that is not mean. 

- 47 people associated with the Clintons involved in murder-suicides that is not mean. 

- Allowing Chemical Weapons use against civilians in Syria and not enforcing the "red line" is not mean.

- Making dangerous nuke deals with Axis of Evil, Iran, the #1 state sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses is not mean. 

- Sowing terrorism, war, refugees, and crises around the globe that is not mean. 

I suppose what is most amazing is that while Trump has sharp words with and for people, Hillary stands accused of actually doing many absolutely horrible ("mean") deeds affecting all of America and much of the world. 

Interestingly, someone posted on Facebook yesterday the following:
"I'm voting for the candidate who got people killed, covered sexual assaults, and threatened national security, because the other one said mean things."

Yes the liberal media are themselves so biased and mean by not holding wrongdoers like the Clintons accountable and not treating the candidates equally and the election in a fair and balanced manner...we should all be very concerned by this mind-numbing brainwashing and absolute treachery by those that are supposed to be looking out for us. 

Maybe Kristof and others in the liberal media need to look at themselves in the mirror at what meanness and corruption they are creating and how dangerous that is to America. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 14, 2016

Justice and The Queen Of Corruption

I took this photo this morning of this guy in a shirt that says, "Good deeds eventually are rewarded."


My question is whether the corollary is true, and are bad deeds eventually punished?


Watching this horrible election play out, this shirt helped me to figure out what was bothering me about "Crooked Hillary."

And it's not just that she's the queen of corruption, because there are a lot of bad people out there that have done really terrible things.


Rather in Hillary's case, no matter what horrible things she does, she doesn't seem to get punished for it, but rather basks in more money, more fame, more honor, and now potentially the highest office of the land, the very President of the United States itself. 


Does someone like this who is allegedly involved in all of the following (and more) deserve to win the election (and rule over almost 320 million Americans)???
  • Rigs the election and voter fraud against Bernie Sanders
  • Colludes and conspires with the DNC 
  • Money launders billions of dollars through the Clinton Foundation
  • Uses her political office for personal benefit and ethical violations with "pay to play" donors and cronyism between the public and private sectors
  • Manipulates the media "echo chamber" 
  • Gets off child rapists and laughs about it
  • Keeps secret servers and destroys email
  • Lies and commits perjury
  • Recklessly handles and endangers national security
  • Doesn't enforce "red lines" against regimes using weapons of mass destruction
  • Embraces and makes bogus deals with our sworn enemy, Iran (the #1 state sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses worldwide)
  • Leads from behind in world events in the face of dangerous regimes
  • Wastes our nations previous blood and treasure in the premature retreat from Iraq
  • Sows rapid violence, refugees, and crises worldwide
  • Oversees the weakest U.S. economic recovery in history and a doubling our national debt to $20 trillion
  • Takes this nation in the wrong direction with an 80% dissatisfaction rate
  • Enables racial divisiveness and the shooting of police officers in the U.S. 
  • Has dozens of her opposition show up in murder-suicides? 

If G-d ultimately rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked, then should Hillary Clinton be promoted to the leader of the free world?

Here's what Hillary and Bill Clinton have to say about those seeking truth and justice in their cases:

1) On the 17 allegations of rape and affairs, Hillary issued the following threat to Bill's accusers: 

"I think we are going to find out some other things. And I think when all of this is put into context, and we really look at the people involved here, look at their motivations and look at their backgrounds, look at their past behavior, some folks are going to have a lot to answer for."

And on top of it she called the impeachment of Bill for his affairs with Monica Lewinsky and the others:

"Politically motivated...[and] "a vast right wing conspiracy."

2) On the the enormous email and national security scandal, Bill Clinton returned the favor to Hillary and said in utter contempt of the law about Director Comey of the FBI (and after Comey decided not to even recommend indictment):

He is serving up "the biggest bull I have ever heard."

And the Clinton campaign maliciously went after the very Inspector General who is charged with oversight for protecting against fraud, waste, and abuse, and who referred Hillary's case to the Department of Justice, accusing him of get this: 

Secretly conspiring with Republicans to attack the Democratic presidential candidate.

In terms of Bill's impromptu tarmac meeting with the Attorney General right before Hillary was let off the hook, retired Secret Service agent who used to stand guard outside the Oval Office, said:

"I know all too well how the Clinton's use soft intimidation - it is often soft intimidation and other times not so soft - to get their way."

When soft intimidation doesn't work, it seems like a lot of people can end up dead.

Most recently, a DNC staffer was murdered in DC on top of at least another 46 in the body count already. 

It certainly seems that the Hillary Clinton corruption machine is very strong and takes out her critics both right and left. 

Are you with her and will you be helping Clinton to become President and in effect reward her evil misdeeds or do you believe that earthly and divine justice demands that another person be the next President of the United States of America? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 13, 2016

Shut Up In Shul

So today, I went to synagogue for Shabbat. 

I sat by one of my friends and in between some prayers was catching up with him from the week. 

Okay, I know that I shouldn't be talking (so much) in shule, but it is an important way for me to connect with other Jewish people and community. 

Then all of a sudden, another person says to me without any warning, "Shut up!"

At first, I thought it was a joke, then he says it again with a serious face, and I was so embarrassed. 

And only partially for me, but maybe even more for him.

What type of person uses that type of language to someone and in synagogue. 

He didn't say, can you keep it down or let's focus on our prayers or something human and kind. 

Instead, he talked to me like an animal and I couldn't believe it and tonight is Tisha B'Av, when Hashem twice destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (in part it is said because of hatred of Jew against Jew). 

It reminded me of how I saw some horrible videos on Facebook this week of Chasidim from Neturei Karta and Satmar protesting against Israel and their fellow Jewish people...what a complete sickness to wish evil and destruction against your own brothers and sisters, rather than helping them to build and grow a beautiful state in service to G-d and a light unto nations. 

In synagogue today, while I was silent before this person's horrible words of rebuke, my friend said to him, "This is how you talk?  You say shut up [and in shul]!"

I appreciated that he said something, and the other guy actually apologized then.

I hope Hashem can forgive me for talking in shule and the people who treat each other badly. 

I am sad at how twisted religion has gotten to some, and know this is not the way it is supposed to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 12, 2016

Anti-Semitism From Obama To The World


This is what happens when President Obama sets a blatantly anti-semitic tone to his presidency by for example, snubbing at the White House the outreached hand of our ally and friend, Israel. 

Subsequently, at the Rio Olympics this week, Egypt (right) snubs Israel (left) in the very same way.

Racism and hatred is a contagious disease of the heart, mind, and soul. 

And this is especially the case, when racism and hatred emanate from the very top--the leader of the free world--the diametric opposite of true leadership by example and with integrity. 

In this case, President Obama has numerous times displayed his outrageous anti-Semitic leanings making the Prime Minister of Israel exit out the back door of the White House, refusing to host him for dinner, to meet with him, or even shake his hand, and condones his administration calling him disgusting vile names.

Nations and people can disagree and they can still be the best of friends and allies, but Obama has chosen to display his very tangible anti-Semitism throughout his administration, and then culminated it with his dangerous nuclear deal and love affair with the Iranian regime, the #1 state sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses worldwide. 

Racism and hatred begets more racism and hatred in the world. It is an unleashing of evil between different peoples, instead of a bonding and brotherhood of all people. 

Just look at the unfortunate effects in terms of racial divisiveness, global terrorism, civil war and coups, resurgent Russian and Chinese militaries, and the horrific impacts of violence, destruction, and refugees around the world today. 

When the esteemed President declares it's okay to hate--less than 70 years after the genocidal Holocaust that murdered 6 million Jews--then unfortunately it's open season once again. 

From The White House to the Olympics...President Obama has set a shameful, hate-filled anti-Semitic tone for his 8-year presidency.

Let us hope and pray that the next President is one that is not only a genuine solid leader, but also a good, decent, and loving human being. ;-)

(Source Photos: Here with attribution to Al-Monitor and The Israel Project via Facebook)

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August 11, 2016

7 Mind-F*cking Arguments

So my daughter took a training class in critical thinking at work. 

And she brought home an excellent handout from the instructor, Haywood Spangler, about how people try to get you to their point of view, but without any real solid reasoning behind it.

My mother-in-law calls this concept in blunt terms, mind-f*cking!

Here are some examples:

1) Genetic Fallacy - Rejecting an idea based on where or who it comes from, rather than the merits of the idea itself.  I call this one, you're an idiot, so your ideas are idiotic. 

2) Circular Reasoning - Restating the conclusion, rather than proving it. I call this hammering or going no where fast. 

3) Red Herring - Diverting from the real issue as a distraction. I call this the shell game. 

4) Ad Hoc Reasoning - Coming up with a reason to simply reject your every objection. I call this just say it isn't so. 

5) False Dichotomy - Oversimplifying a complex situation and making it into only black and white. I call this my way or the highway.

6) Slippery Slope - Supposing that if one thing happens then something else terrible must necessarily follow. I call this following the false causality. 

7) Band Wagon - Everyone is doing it, so you need to also.  I call this classic groupthink or be careful not to stand in front of a moving train. 

Basically, when someone is not taking with you, but at you and trying to make you just do what they want, period, then watch out, you are probably being gloriously mind-f*cked. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Transitioning To Virtual Ease and Triviality

I took this photo a few weeks ago on the streets in Washington, D.C.

This was a huge box from eBay coming to someone.

In my building, they recently built an extra storeroom for all the deliveries that are coming everyday--there is no where to put all of them.


While today in the Wall Street Journal, even the revered retailer of Herald Square, Macy's, had their stock price shed half it's value in the last year, and other big box retailers are hurting just as bad. 

eCommerce is threatening the very survival of brick and mortal retailers, as they are seriously eating their lunch--and breakfast and dinner too!

But this is part of a much larger transition occurring from our physical to virtual worlds...

As we abandon department stores and the Mall for online shopping, 
movie theaters and playhouses for home theaters and video streaming, 
physical activities for gaming and virtual reality, 
and even factories and office work for telework and robots,  
soon we will have no real place to go and nothing to physically do. 

From the bed and couch to the computer and gym, like hamsters on the wheel of triviality, we might as well package ourselves up in the big eBay box and send ourselves to outer space--but only as long as we can get Internet access there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

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August 10, 2016

Superman Leadership

This guy's socks were very cool.

If you can say that socks make the man then perhaps this is it.

Superman that is!

No special shirt, underwear, or cape required--the socks communicate it all. 

For the man of steel or one in the making (if worn at workout time).  

Then again, I was trying to imagine someone actually having the guts or nuttiness to wear these to the office.  

If they would, it probably be with the following in mind: 

I can do anything helpful to get the job done--

1) Rolling out cutting-edge systems and business process improvements faster than a speeding bullet

2) Creating positive change more powerful than a locomotive

3) Able to leap with integrity over organizational obstacles, red tape, and naysayers in a single bound

It's a change consultant. It's a corner office bureaucrat.  It's a "superleader!"

Up up and away...it can be done (even without the socks). ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 9, 2016

With Creation, The Intelligence Of Even A Worm



Some of you may think at first glance, oh how lame.

Did Andy just take a video of a worm?

But there is something more amazing here than initially meets the eye.

Look carefully at what this simple little worm is doing.

It is inching forward with its sprawling body over the dirt, and it is dragging with it...a feather!

Watch how it moves its body and then see at the top, the sudden pull of the feather behind it--and again and again. 

Clearly, this is not an accident, but this worm wants this feather.

Who would think that a worm has the brains to identify, claim, and take with it, a feather. 

There are probably a lot bigger brains out there that can't even do half that much.  ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 8, 2016

When You Gotta Go

We went hiking the trails yesterday in Maryland along Rock Creek.

And we came across this makeshift toilet in the woods. 

Surprised at all by what you see? 

Apparently, the hole in the tree wasn't enough for someone.

They took the liberty of literally hauling a toilet seat out to the middle of the woods here and adding it to nature's wonders. 

I suppose they must've really wanted that homey feeling when they take care of their business. 

Who says America's has lost it's creative talent?

From the big cities to the wooded suburbs, we are a nation that does our business and does it extremely well. 

Especially during election time when some politicians can be so very full of it and of themselves. 

Can anyone see why we need to reestablish leadership and competitive advantage in this country? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 7, 2016

Reflections On A Broken Soul


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Playing The Work Game Can End In More Ways Than One


This game takes working to a whole new level of absurdity. 

It's called "Don't Get Fired!

And it's by a 29-year old South Korean programmer who found a way to vent his own frustration with the crazy working world by making it into a mobile game. 

The goal is to "rise through the ranks of a nameless corporation by performing an endless string of mind-numbing tasks, while avoiding  a long list of fireable offenses."

I did a screenshot here after I passed the interview and did the tasks that the various levels of management told me to by yelling at me with exclamation marks. 

The more exclamation marks means the more yelling and critical the tasks are from the seniors in the organization. 

Here the added stressor is everyone is in "fever mode," because the president is in town, so now you are getting work from everyone and have to manage all the competing priorities. 

See me, the intern in the lower right corner with the work piled up on my desk.

You have to tap furiously on each task to turn them green and eventually make them disappear as completed.

In the game, you basically "get fired again and again in a cycle of humiliation and false hope." 

There are no less than "29 ways to get fired, including opening a box of donuts that doesn't belong to you,...addressing colleagues with the wrong level of formality, or failing to laugh hard enough at the jokes of a company vice president."

One game player said, "sometimes you just have to laugh at the futility of life" or in this case I think he is referring to meaningless work tasks. 

Mind-numbing tasks and yelling in the office are not what decent work life is about.  

It's no wonder that doing meaningful work, being treated with dignity and respect, and having the opportunity to learn and grow are some of the most important aspects of a satisfying job.

Then why get fired, when instead you can get promoted. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 6, 2016

Seaweed Success Diet

Ok, I am going to let you in on a little secret. 

Part of the success of my diet. 

This is us checking out at register. 

The cashier is tallying up dozens of Wasabi Roasted Seaweeds.

The stuff is a great healthy snack. 

I had read for years now how the healthy Japanese diet includes plenty of seaweed and fish. 

And I have been imitating their knowledgable ways. 

And it is working, thank G-d.

Of course, the wasabi flavor gives it a little kick too. 

Do yourselves a favor and get rid of all the disgusting carbohydrates in your life. 

They are poison from an industry that wants you addicted to their garbage foods. 

Get back to basics like fish, meat, vegetables, and that includes plenty of seaweed. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 5, 2016

How The Election Makes Me Feel

Ok, this picture sums up my feelings about this election pretty well.

Wait is that the candidates or the way I feel? 

Like the Three Stooges, the pathetic behavior of the candidates is completely crazy and outrageous. 

And who's worse--corrupt  and scandalous or big mouth and offensive? 

We all have have our opinion, but maybe both types leave us dumbfounded and scratching our heads, and even not wanting to vote for either, at all. 

At this point, I think we are all probably somewhat embarrassed that this is the best our country has to offer.

With everyone hating on both candidates, but desperate to save their slice of the American pie, the put-downs, fights, and contempt have gotten completely out of hand. 

There is ZERO problem-solving going on, and we are in ridiculous mode, while the rest of the world spins out of control in the hands of terrorists, demagogues, as well as our global competition out there capitalizing on our incredible stupidity. 

I can only imagine the rest of the world watching our election play out--watching us--and thinking how did we ever get to be the superpower of this world? 

This is the tipping point for our country.

We brought so much greatness to the world, but what is left when we get to the point of candidates that no one can trust, let alone stomach. 

I think all we can do is pray that G-d sends an Independent candidate with true integrity and promise that everyone can really respect and rally around, and not have to settle for either bad or worse. 

A country that is 80% negative about its direction is called imploding and obviously that does not bode well for us or upcoming world events. 

Folks, this is going to take a miracle! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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