May 21, 2018

@Wiener Museum Of Decorative Arts


















(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 20, 2018

Repeal The Statute of Limitations On Child Sex Abuse

We will never be a "civilized society " or a true "country of laws" as long as we don't repeal the statute of limitations on child sexual offenses.

Recently, South Africa and the state of Illinois repealed this outrageous law. 

Children can't be held accountable for coming forward on things they don't understand, are told didn't actually happen, they feel too ashamed of and have repressed, or haven't come to terms with. 

It is a travesty of justice that the animals who commit sexual crimes against children are given a get out of jail free card.

Not only that but by allowing these predators of children to escape justice, we are actually enabling and encouraging their violence against innocent children. 

A child cannot consent!

A child cannot fight off the grown-up!

A child is the absolute victim of the adults who traffick, abuse, molest, rape, and pimp them out. 

Often the children are unaware and from disadvantaged families or communities--they are sold or taken, used, abused, and often murdered and thrown in a ditch or some river. 

And why is there a statute of limitations on these crimes???

So I'll tell you one reason is that the people who are in power are often the same sick abusers, pedophiles, and sexual deviants. 

They carry child porn on their computers, they sext compromising images of their genitals, they visit the dark web to lure children to their lairs, and they buddy up with other creeps to move and f*ck up these poor kids. 

Sex is one of those areas where people are able to make every excuse in the book for what they do--it's an urge; it's a fetish; it's biological; it's a preference; maybe they're mad at their mommies or women in general--but never that they are sick f*cks who are abusing little children who cannot defend themselves!

Any politician that isn't standing up and working to immediately repeal the statute of limitation on sexual abuse against children--please ask them uncompromisingly why!  

Remember, you were once a child, you likely have children, and if you are a moral and upright person you have a duty to protect the innocent children who cannot protect themselves. 

G-d is watching and hearing them--are you?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)  

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May 19, 2018

Not So Indispensable

So I heard a story from a friend and colleague that I thought was important. 

It was about someone in their organization that was being fired. 

The person who was going to be let go went up the chain to complain and said "if I am fired then everything in my subject area is going to fall apart and it will be disastrous to the organization.

The person in charge responded and said, "Listen, even if I were fired, things wouldn't fall apart; within 2 weeks no one would even remember that I worked here!"

Wow, that is a powerful lesson said that way. 

No one is so indispensable.

Everyone is replaceable.

Even the very top people!

The other important thing they said was:

"Don't think all people are in it to advance the organization; many are in it to help themselves first! Everyone is talking about their salary!  Their stock options!  Their bonuses!"

I guess it's not completely surprising right.  People do have to look after themselves and their families. But I suppose when you hear it so matter of factly, it sort of really makes you think about the functioning of our companies, agencies, and society.

How much are we getting from people for our organizations and missions vs. how much are people trying to "milk" the system for their benefit?

In the end, (almost) no one is irreplaceable on the job--except maybe a Steve Jobs-type--someone who is truly a one in a million leader. 

And if we see people aren't contributing their fair share and are taking more than they are giving or they are real jerks and hurting others--then why the heck are they still in place? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Absolutely The Times Of Mashiach

So I love going to the Chabad synagogue down in Fort Lauderdale

The Downtown Jewish Center Chabad.

They are so welcoming and genuine.

Rabbi Kaplan and his wife Devorah are absolutely charming, wonderful people.

The davening is traditional and I love singing all the prayers exactly as I remember them as a child.

The speech is always relevant bringing the Torah's message to what's going now.

For example, tonight is Shavuot and the celebration of the getting of the Torah and our obligation to live up to the mission we've been given.

This is similar to the big story this week with Meghan Markle marrying into British Royalty with Prince Harry--thereby she becomes royalty.  So too the Israelites entered into a marriage contract with G-d Almighty at Sinai, and they became royalty to G-d entrusted to keep his commandments and as a "light unto the nations" to always do the right thing. 

The Rabbi is a true inspiration and today, we talked with him about living in the amazing times of Mashiach.

There is so much polarization and confusion in the world.

From people to countries looking for a guidepost--whether individuals, corrupt organizations, extremist politicians, or fascist and warring countries.

I so agree with the Rabbi that we are living in miraculous times and redemption is right around the corner.

Everything we do is an opportunity to make a kiddush Hashem and turn the tides in the war of good over evil.

Married to G-d, but in humility, we serve him and do good and help bring the world to love, peace, and Tikkun Ola m. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 18, 2018

@Art Museum Fort Lauderdale















(Source Photos: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)
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Dear SAR Academy




To help the children... Religion is not just “teaching” Torah; it is also doing the right thing!


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

A few references:

Letter from SAR (January 2018)

Investigation Launches 40 Years Late(r) (January 2018)

Enabler/Facilitator Believed to be Still at the School (April 2018)

The Rabbi In The Bath House and More (June 2015)

Parole Violation Hearing (July 2009)

His Preferred Prey was Adolescent Boys (May 2006)


Case of Cantor Stanley Rosenfeld (August 2000)




(Source Video: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)

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May 17, 2018

Gucci Shoes WOW!

So we're down in Florida.

It's pouring today, so we decide to go to Sawgrass Mills.

When the rain let's up, we decide to go outside to this one row of stores that is like designer row.

We went into Robert Graham, Ralph Lauren (the purple label), Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Gucci, and more.

We saw this nice Chasidic couple in Gucci.

He looked at me and me and him--he was buying his wife a gift and I was "window shopping" and taking some cool photos.

We gave each other the thumbs up.

The shoe here was from the Gucci store.

Pretty incredible, no?

It's definitely a brand standout!

Nice job Gucci designers. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 16, 2018

Braving Trust and Credibility

So I thought this was really good from a colleague this week. 

How to build trust and credibility in the workplace:

Credibility is about being "convincing and believable" and results from "expertise and experience."

Trust is believing strongly in the honesty, reliability, character, and effectiveness of a person."


BRAVING

Boundaries - Have good boundaries--respecting yours and having my own; show others respect in words and deeds. 

Reliability - Be someone who is both reliable (can be counted on)  and is authentic.

Accountability - Hold others and yourself accountable; we all own our mistakes, apologize and make amends. 

Vault - Keep information in confidence.

Integrity - Hold courage over comfort; choose what's right over what's fun, easy or fast; practice and not just profess values. 

Non-judgmental - Believe the best in people even when they occasionally disappoint you. 

Generosity - Offer and ask for help from others, and give generously of yourself in time and effort. 

No offense to anyone...the last thing they said was a little spicy for the workplace (but I know it was meant well):  "Good conversation with others should be like a miniskirt--short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the topic." ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 15, 2018

The Embassy Arrives In Jerusalem

Please see my new article in Times of Israel today

Never Homeless Again

The U.S. Embassy has moved to Jerusalem, but unfortunately, our enemies still attack us. 

Hope you enjoy the article. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 14, 2018

Happy Just The Way We Are


Great speaker today at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Mike Reiss, producer and writer for the hugely successful Simpson show--the longest-running series on primetime TV with 30 seasons and over 600 episodes!

The topic was "The Science Behind The Simpsons."

Whether the guest was Stephen Hawkings or Leonard Nimoy--there was no shortage of scientists and science in this animated, comedy show that taught us much about life.  

The video clip above was a short capture of the Simpsons singing "We are happy just the way we are."

Incremental change and continuous improvement is so important to our growth and maturation in life.

Yet, there is also a lot to be said for being happy with what you have and who you are. 

There is so much to be grateful for and plenty to enjoy at the moment. 

Many people are on the proverbial roller coaster to nowhere.  

It's nice to get off the roller coaster and finally be somewhere that makes you happy and fulfilled. 

Mary Poppins get hit by the airplane at the end of the skit, and you know what, she's not even missed. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 13, 2018

Ship+ In A Bottle

You ever wonder how they build that big ship in that little bottle. 

Someone needs very dexterous hands and a lot of patience to put the pieces through the opening of the bottle and assemble the ship inside. 

But this second grader, Dylan Yasseri, upped the game on this whole concept and imagined a whole beach in the bottle. 

The sand, ocean, sky, birds, crabs, fish, umbrella, and even the shack (snack?) bar!

This is one reason that kids are so awesome--their purity of heart and their endless imaginations make almost anything possible.

The fantasy becomes the reality. 

The colors are magical too here. 

If adults could maintain even half the heart and creativity of our children--oh what a world it could be. ;-)

(Source: Andy Blumenthal Photo of Dylan's beautiful painting).
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May 12, 2018

Beautiful Virus, Huh?

So this is an image of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus.

Yeah, I never heard of it either. 

It is a virus that attacks and destroys tobacco and other plants. 

Viruses are ugly and evil in that they hurt and kill other living things

Yet in looking at this molecular image, I seriously hate to say it, but it is also beautiful in a way. 

The shape, color, complexity--the design and wisdom embedded in it--what can I say, but even this too is a miracle. 

Sure, it would be better in a mortal sense if there were no viruses to make us suffer and literally eat away at us. 

Yet, surely G-d has a plan even for these nasty virus molecules.  

Do they help us gain immunity to even worse diseases?

Do they help us to use ingenuity to discover, fight, and evolve to withstand their attacks and progress our society in larger ways?

Do they help us learn however horribly to turn to G-d, strengthen ourselves, and somehow try to cope with suffering and loss in life and death.

All sickness is unbelievably horrible and the suffering it causes is truly impossible to understand, and G-d should please, please have mercy on us. 

Yet, looking at this molecular image of even this virus, there is something comforting in the supreme intelligent design and creation of it all.  ;-)

(Source Andy's photo of image by Visual Molecular Dynamics)
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May 11, 2018

Kanban Visual Task Boards

Just wanted to share this best practice for Kanban or Visual Task Boards

This is a way to layout work/workflow and track and communicate progress. 

Previously, many professionals use colored sticky notes on a wall or whiteboard.

Today, tools like ServiceNow have the capability built right in. 

This was an example that I created in just a few minutes. 

Visualize your team's work and focus on what needs to get done, who the tasks are assigned to, the status, and keep driving continuous improvement in the workflow and project. 

Color coding can be used for different tasks and you can see the legend at the top.  

Tasks can be easily dragged and dropped from one column (status) to another. 

Create transparency and collaboration on your projects--try Kanban Visual Task Boards. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 10, 2018

The Essence of Time Management

So here are some quickies on the essence of time management.

1. Urgency vs Importance:

Don't sacrifice the important items for the urgent ones!

- Focus on the items that are important on the right side of the matrix--if they are urgent (upper-right), you need to do now; if they aren't urgent, but they are important (lower-right), you need to make time for them. 

- Deemphasize the items that aren't important on the left side of the matrix--if they are urgent and not important (upper-left), limit them or delegate them; if they aren't urgent or important (lower-left), delete them. 

There are two potential areas of dissonance that can cause you tension, stress, and anxiety.

- When the urgent top row items and the lower-left life necessities get in the way of your focusing on the quality life items that are of long-term importance to you (the lower-left).  For example, work and errands can crowd out your personal, family, community, and spiritual time. 

- When you have too many items in the lower-right quality time area and these are in competition with each other for your time and attention, and you don't know how to prioritize them and get it all done.  It's like there is never enough time. For example, we ignore our spouse, the kids, or closeness with G-d, because we just can't get to it all.

This is where our personal values and conscience come into play to drive what we do and how we spend our precious time in this world. 

We all only have 24 hours in a day, so our actions need to be purposeful and driven by our values!

2. Tasks vs Relationships

Imagine another matrix with focus on tasks on the vertical access and focus on relationships on the horizontal access. 

Again here, we want to ensure a healthy balance of focus on both task and relationships (upper-right corner). 

If we focus on tasks at the expense of relationships or relationships at the expense of tasks, we are going to have a problem.  Moreover, it makes no sense to focus on items that are neither task- nor relationship-focused (lower-left).  

We need to collaborate with others to accomplish great, complex tasks (we can only accomplish so much alone). 

Again, dissonance (tension, stress, anxiety) is caused when we are pulled off-balance to focus on work or people to the exclusion of the other.  

As they say,

"Mission first, people always!"

We've got to build meaningful relationships and work together to get the mission done and the mission can be helping people and building a better society in a variety of ways. 

In a sense, it's people helping people. Love thy neighbor to help thy neighbor.  

Time is of the essence--we have so little of it--it is precious--we can't get it back--it goes so fast--we need to manage it like gold. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 9, 2018

Two Beautiful Hearts

So a very nice elderly lady we know from synagogue took a bad fall and broke her leg really badly...like in half.

She put up on Facebook that she had undergone surgery, had a metal rod and plate inserted in her leg, and was recovering in the hospital--and she wanted visitors. 

My wife saw the message on Facebook, and we ran over to the hospital to see how she was and spend some time with her to try and cheer her up. 

Considering how badly she had been hurt, she was actually in amazingly good spirits. 

A couple of her neighbors were there in the hospital visiting her as well. 

One of them had actually heard her screams from the backyard where she had fallen by her pond and had helped keep her from going into shock, cradled her head in her lap, and called for rescue services.

When I commented how amazing she was and that she was a real hero pointing to the heart--she said it was really nothing, and went on to say"
I have two hearts!

And she pointed to one on the left and one on the right. 

I thought to myself that really we should all have two hearts like that to care and to give to others. 

One heart is us alone. 

Two hearts are when we join with others. 

"Two hearts that beat as one"--one for caring and one for giving. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 8, 2018

Don't / Can't - Turn Back Now

My father used to say a very wise thing:
You can only go forward.
You can't go back.

Often in life, I reflect on how wise this is and he was. 

Sometimes, we are hesitant or afraid of what lies ahead, and we turn our heads back and reinvent history and creatively fantasize how wonderful things were before and maybe we should go back.

Like the Israelites thousands of years ago, who G-d redeemed from the servitude of Egypt, but with hundreds of years of a slave mentality, they were in a sense paralyzed with fear of going into the foreboding expanse of the desert. 
"If only we had died by the L-rd's hand in Egypt. There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted. But You have brought us out to this dessert to starve this entire assembly to death." (Exodus 16:3)

But we know that going forward is the only way to learn, grow, and progress. 

Just like the Israelites that went forward through the depths of the Red Sea on dry land and to receive the Torah on Sinai and for forty years in the desert to ultimately get to the amazing promised land of Israel. 

Thank G-d, they didn't turn back--there really was no turning back.

Back is death.  

Forward is life. 

We have a journey that we need to complete. 

The destination is wherever G-d takes us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 7, 2018

Weaponizing Your Privacy


So this was the funniest War of the Roses on the Kane Show that I ever heard. 

They use the Alexa personal assistant from Amazon (voiceover) to call the cheater. 

In this skit, we really see the potential power of these home computing devices. 

Alexa hears and knows everything that goes on in the house (including the cheating).

Alexa confronts the cheater and calls him a few descript names for his infidelity.

Alexa punishes the cheater by going online to purchase items with his credit card. 

Alexa betrays him by calling his girlfriend and telling her about the cheating. 

Cheating aside, maybe this is a great lesson how we should all be considering our privacy in our homes and on our persons before we install Alexa, Siri, Cortana, the Google Assistant or any other personal or home surveillance systems. 

With all the bad actors out there and people that want to steal everything from your money, identity, secrets, and maybe even your wife--these devices are a direct line into your personal life.

This is called weaponizing your privacy!

Tell me, do you really believe that no one is listening or watching you?  ;-)
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May 6, 2018

@Harpers Ferry


















(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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