May 22, 2017

Duck The Bullet

So I learned that there are at least 2 things to be mindful of when it comes to a firing squad:

1. Never get between a man and his firing squad -- sometimes, the judgment has already been passed, the victim blindfolded and tied, the trigger(s) already pulled and the victim is too far gone to save.  Don't step in front of the bullet!

2. When it is a circular firing squad, rise above it! -- when people are engaged in self-destructive, internal disputes, recriminations, and taking pot shots at each other,  you need to either duck or rise above the fray and be the bigger man/woman.

Shooting the messenger, the interventionist, or each other just leaves a lot of spilt blood.
  
Save yourself and stay focused and determined to fight for the issue, when others are simply determined to take someone out back and put the bullet through their head. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 21, 2017

Time Travel Is Real

Sure, we can travel space...from continent to continent, into the depths of the oceans, and to the far reaches of outer space.

But can we also travel time?

Yes, and we regularly do!

Whether individually, in our minds eye, we go back and forth in time--remembering poignantly the memories of the past with regret or with joy and thinking forward in time whether worrying what could happen or eagerly look forward and hope for a brighter future. 

Similarly, as a human collective, we can travel back and forth in time well past our individual recollections and remember, celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize what came before us through generations and millennia and even plan great innovations, feats, and civilizations well into the future. 

Time is but a shadow that is cast off us from the our great Heavenly Father who shines his grace upon us by his creation and is himself timeless. 

In the shadow of time, we can glimpse the externalism of what supersedes our mortality and the significance of us as a speck in time amidst the greatness that lies across the reaches of space and time--that is the soul of the matter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 20, 2017

Mine and Yours

In synagogue today, we read from Pirkei Avot ("Ethics of Our Fathers").

And I talked with my friends at lunch about one passage from this timeless wisdom.

There are 4 types of people:

1) "Average Joe"


What's mine is mine, and what's yours in yours. 

Someone described this as "his and her--separate--accounts."

2) Stupid


What's mine is yours, and what's yours in mine. 

Ah, this is just someone whose plain old confused.

3) Wicked


What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine.  

One guy described his ex-wife this way.

4) Righteous 

What's mine is yours, and what's yours is yours.  

We all agreed this is the meaning of life--to be kind and giving to others.

What type of person are you? And what type of person do you want to be?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 19, 2017

Going Bonkers For Pink




So is this the power of sexuality or branding?

1. Head first for the lingerie sale

2. Picking out pink for that special someone.

3. Forgetting to pay the meter.

All three of these made us laugh. 

People are a combination of spiritual and physical beings. 

Sometimes the physical takes over and that's when the problems start happening!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 18, 2017

Classified Nuts

Something about this advertisement seemed perfect for this week:

"I didn't realize these nuts were classified."

So said the chipmunk.

This was posted the same week that intelligence about ISIS was shared with the Russians from the oval office.

The Prez is entitled to share whatever he wants and maybe he didn't realize "these nuts were classified." 

My bet is this was all sort of innocent, but either way we don't want to jeopardize critical intel sources and methods in our fight against our enemies and terror. 

It's their nuts that should be on the line and not ours. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 17, 2017

Escalator Pile-Up

So this was really funny at the Metro escalator. 

There was a huge double line of people coming down the escalator heading to the trains.

Everything is moving swiftly like clockwork.

Decend, decend, decend...step off and move to the right or left track for the next train. 

But then...

One person, steps off and instead of moving left or right, they stop to try and figure out which side their train is coming from. 

So all the people behind them coming down and off the escalator are blocked by the one "bumbling idiot" and they start stumbling into him with no place to go, and more and more people coming down end up in the human pile. 

You could almost hear the people getting to the end of the escalator yelling: "Get out of the way!"

It was crazy and sort of hilarious--as no one was hurt, but the system isn't built to give a person pause at the bottom.

The people just keep coming and coming--where's the emergency break? :-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 16, 2017

Going Down B4 You Go Up

So a really special person that I know is going through some major life changes...

And they told me this interesting, wonderful, and faithful perspective.

"Sometimes you go down before you go up!"

Like the Wheel of Life (Gilgal Hachozer), what goes down, thank G-d can and does tend to go back up--it's a return to the mean and then some. 

When you realize that challenges and even hardships are part of the cycle, and that these test and grow you and your ability to overcome, then you can face them knowing that you can rise up and hopefully to another level of maturation and happiness. 

Yes, know that nothing is easy in life!

Often we take a step back to take two forward or a step down to boost ourselves further up. 

It's the nature of progress.

Don't be afraid to go down a little right before you're about to go way on up. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 15, 2017

Better A Mensch Than Money

Here is a lesson that I learned when it comes to love...

Better a mensch than all the money in the world.

Some people think that money is their Golden Calf.

They literally and practically worship it.

They are so greedy for it, hoard it, protect it, and believe in the power of it.

But what I say is you can choke on all the money!

Those who put the emphasis on money are sick and empty with materialism that means nothing in the end.

Better the love of a good, decent human being and best friend than all the money in China.

For money you can buy lots of meaningless things, but with a mensch you can have a potential for a life of real togetherness and even a chance at some soulful bliss.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 13, 2017

Love For Every Reason

So in synagogue, there was a bat-mitzvah today.

And the 12-year old girl spoke to the congregation. 

She quoted from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and said:


"If you can hate for no reason, 
then why not love for no reason."

This seemed like a very smart idea to me--we have a choice between hate and love, so why not choose love!

Later at the luncheon after services, I sat and made a new friend with this very nice person who happened to be an Evangelical Christian preacher. 

I asked about his faith and learned more about the Evangelical belief in the strict words of the Old Testament/Torah. 

This wonderful man had taught in a Jewish school in South America, been to the Holy Land, was friends with our Rabbi, and spoke so highly of the Jewish People, Israel, and his faith in G-d. 

I asked about the differences from his perspective between the different sects of Christianity, and he told me a bit of the history of the movements.

But what was also really interesting was that in contrast to the Evangelical's strong support for Israel, he explained that there still to this day was some anti-Semitic remnants in the Catholic Church, even though the Pope, himself, has called it "wrong and unjust"

I asked why some still then blame the Jews for the murder of Jesus (who was Jewish himself), when it was the Romans that actually tortured and killed him and also, why the historical animus to the Jews if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind and this was his divine mission?

He explained that it was wrong and unfair, and that it was misguided scapegoat thinking that "someone had to take the blame."

He then went on to tell me about this great shirt that he liked that had a chart of all the various nation empires of the world that had risen against the Jewish people (from the Egyptians to the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Nazi's) and next to each one it said, GONE!  And then it said, Iran with a TBD--Yep! 

And even Venezuela's, hateful Hugo Chavez, who in 2009 said, "I want to condemn from the bottom of my soul, from the bottom of my guts, damn you State of Israel," and then by 2013 he was dead from stomach (gut) cancer!

So from their day until ours, the One G-d of Hosts continues to looks after Israel and manages the destiny of man--and this is evident throughout the Bible and the prophecies. 

I was so impressed how he was emphatic about the strong Judeo-Christian shared values, beliefs, and faith and that this was the true future for Christianity.

It was understood from the conversation that in all religions, we share more in love of G-d and of each other, and in doing good then in hate, bias, bigotry, and discrimination...and together, we can make it a better world. 

Together, love can conquer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Twitter)
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May 12, 2017

Left-Handed Screwdriver

So I'm not so sure what is so funny about a left-handed screwdriver...

Except of course that there is no such thing!

The same screwdrivers work in both the left and rights hands. 

Duh!

But that's what it is with some people that like to call what they are doing innovation or out-of-the-box thinking.

When really, what's new to them is just regurgitation of "what's old is what's new!"

We can't just work harder, rather we need breakthrough thinking to work smarter. 

But how many times do you really see smarter happening versus just a different flavor of the month introduced to score points or mark some victory laps. 

Real innovation or transformation means making a new way to screw things together and not just screwing it with a different hand.


Yes, most innovation is really individual small steps that end up in aggregate, making a great leap for mankind. 

Occasionally, someone really does invent the smartphone--now that was smart!

Be careful buying that left-handed screwdriver or into that new methodology for accomplishing great things until you know that it really isn't more snake oil sold from someone's bullsh*t soapbox--and that it is from someone with a very big mouth and a very little brain. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2017

A Curse That Is Really A Blessing

So here is an amazing true story from this week.

My wife was in Israel. 

She went to the Kotel (Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem) to pray. 

On the way, an old, poor man stopped her and asked for food. 

My wife gave him her sandwich. 

Then after walking another block, he stopped her again and gestured for assistance. 

This time, my wife gave him some money too.

After this, she asked him if he would bless our family.

And he did and also gave a special blessing to my elder daughter who had just recently gotten engaged. 

My wife also went to the Kotel and prayed for us and her. 

That same evening back in the States here, my daughter and her fiancee ended their engagement. 

At first, the breakup seemed like a big disappointment and that a terrible thing had happened--almost like a curse--but G-d works in mysterious ways. 

When we saw the reasons for the breakup, we realized fully that G-d had indeed heard the blessings of the old, poor man (maybe an angel) and the prayers of my wife.

We wish the young man all the best in his future, but we just saw clearly that this was not the right match. 

So what at first can seem like a curse is really a blessing in disguise. 

Truly, when you give charity, you're not only helping others, but it's really a blessing for you too. 

Thank you to the old, poor man in Jerusalem and to Hashem who heard my wife's prayers at the Kotel. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 10, 2017

Fighting Domestic Abuse


I came across these excellent graphics used to educate and prevent against domestic dominance and abuse.

The first wheel shows how "power and control" are used to instill fear and dominate domestic partners as well as in an overall pattern of relationships with physical and sexual violence:

- Intimidation
- Emotional Abuse
- Isolation
- Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming
- Using Children
- Male Privilege
- Economic Abuse
- Coercion and Threats

In contrast, the second wheel displays positive patterns of "equality" in relationships and nonviolence and are marked by the following attributes:

- Non-threatening behavior
- Respect
- Trust and Support
- Honesty and Accountability
- Responsible Parenting
- Shared Responsibility
- Economic Partnership
- Negotiation and Fairness

Have you ever noticed a pattern of domestic abuse behaviors that include the following?

- Constantly lecturing on political views the other person should hold.
- Keeping them away from their family and friends.
- Controlling the major life decisions.
- Hiding money and accounts.
- Demanding the partner stay home with the kids indefinitely.
- Using emotional withdrawal and/or passive aggressiveness to control.
- Requiring the other person to be available whenever they want.

Spouses and partners should be your best friend and not your servant or dog to kick when you get home.

Watch out for those who exhibit the bad behaviors and patterns of abuse and violence...and stay safe in good and healthy relationships! ;-)

(Source Photo: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project - Duluth Model)
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May 9, 2017

The FBI Chief Goes Kerplunk

Who would've thunk it...the FBI chief goes kerplunk. 

James Comey--only 37% through his tenure as Director--is fired for the (mis)handling of the Hillary Clinton email fiasco. 

But Hillary never even saw justice.  

The politics in Washington is forever an ironic cliffhanger. 

The democrats who were supposedly aggrieved by Comey in the election are now screaming foul for his dismissal

And the republicans who supposedly benefited by Comey closing and opening of the case against Clinton are signing praises for his release.

Nothing is ever as it seems. 

Aliens could be falling from the sky and it would still be a political event. 

Washington conspiracy and counter-conspiracy theories...but the work of the people does it ever get done?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy  Blumenthal)
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May 8, 2017

Bad Boyz

Bad boyz, bad boyz what you gonna do?

When the bad boyz come to hurt the girls.

The bad boyz better watch out. 

Feminism is alive and well. 

Women are individuals full of rights and fights. 

No one will take away what is theirs by G-d given creation of their soul and body. 

Whoever tries to is destined to the dustbins of history. 

Bad boyz, bad boyz...better recognize that women are people too.

And they are smart, resourceful, powerful, and good. 

Sugar and spice and everything naughty and nice. 

911, 911, 911...take this bad boyz away.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 7, 2017

Sharing The Loaf

So I am continuing to learn so much about who is good and who is not so good. 

Some people are literally so amazing--giving and caring of others--if they literally have just a single loaf of bread, they will share that willingly with others.

- Their perspective in grounded in a faith that whatever they have, they see it as a gift from G-d and it is only given to them as an opportunity to do good with it. 

Then there are others that no matter how much they seem have--and it could be millions of $$$--yet they still can't stand to see others with even half a mouthful of bread.

- In their narcissistic view, what's theirs is exceedingly and deservingly theirs, and what's yours, they believe should also be theirs!

Yet sometimes we misjudge people out of fear or just not knowing enough about them.

We don't know which category they fall into. 

Will they give you the shirt off their back or would they rip the shirt off you blind?

These are some of the challenges we face when confronting others in this scary world of souls being perfected and those that are still all too sullied. 

But the righteous will inherit the earth and more importantly, the Heavens...because the truth becomes known and is always absolutely clear to The One Above--and the evil ones, they will wither and die. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 6, 2017

People Nutrition

This is an risque t-shirt this lady is wearing.

It's a big nutrition label. 

And she's wrapped in it!

I'm not sure if this is a gag or fashion statement or even a sexual thing.

Is she advertising that she's like the food?

What was really funny though is by her butt...it says 

"Moschino chocolate tastes good."

Maybe that should be a black box warning!

Uh, this is way too much information for me. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 5, 2017

From Cradle To Grave

It's funny how in organizations talk about the lifecycle of people. 

From a full lifecycle perspective, it's "cradle to grave!"

In terms of lifecycle on the job, it's "hire to retire (or to fire)."

Really the lifecycles are intertwined. 

It starts with the cradle...we are born and go through a maturation process that focuses on our education and preparation for life. 

Then we get hired into our (hopefully) dream jobs, where we spend our careers until we retire--or if you mess up badly and get fired or decide to change career course--you may have to go back to "go" and "do not collect $200" and you get hired again for another career round. 

Eventually you retire and start your 2nd life in retirement, where please G-d, you have the health and prosperity to enjoy the fruits of your labor and your families. 

Ultimately, our lifecycle ends at the grave with the death of our bodies--our souls go on to Heaven and live forever basking in the light of the Almighty. 

Thus, the human capital lifecycle. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 4, 2017

There's No Shield Against Loneliness

Loneliness is empty, hollow, a panicky void, and depression. 

It's like being in the ocean and feeling so small in its massive depths...almost like drowning. 

In the end, you are alone in the universe. 

No one can truly feel your pain or joy or experience all of you.

You're a world unto yourself. 

You connect and form relationships with others--there is learning and growth and love and caring in that. 

Talking and reaching out and being part of someone and something washes away parts of those scary feelings and creates a greater purpose of being and meaning. 

But there is also silence and solitude and the darkness of the night. 

And in that there is just the faith in G-d Almighty. 

He alone is what comforts us as we stare into the vastness out there as well as the evil and loss that we come face-to-face with and combat in life. 

The soldier girds his sword for battle and carries a shield to protect himself.

But there is no shield for the loneliness we experience in life and ultimately in death itself. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 3, 2017

Easy Solution to Axis of Evil

So there is an easy solution to the hellbent destruction of the Axis of Evil...

North Korea and Iran are sworn to the destruction of the U.S. and it's allies. 

Repeatedly, they sponsor global terrorism, abuse human rights, violate agreements against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conduct nuke tests, and missile launches. 

Instead of destroying the missiles immediately upon launch or on the launchpad, which is a nice start...

Let's just do this:

- When North Korea launches, let's redirect the guidance system on the missile to Tehran. 

- And when Iran launches their missiles, let's redirect it toward Pyongyang. 

We don't have to fire a single volley. 

Let the evil ones destroy each other and have a gangbusters time doing it. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Pixabay)
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May 2, 2017

Racism--From Our Campuses to the United Nations

So racism is so still alive and disgusting in the world today.

Just this week...

- Students at a major local university here in Washington, D.C. hang bananas from nooses targeting blacks on campus for the 2nd time this school year.  And today, students rally to plead for an investigation and intervention. 

- As every U.S. senator has agreed, the Unjust United Nations continues its institutionalized Anti-semitism and unfair targeting of democratic ally, Israel, labeling them an Apartheid state, pushing a grotesque boycott, divestment, and sanction regime, denying Israel's claim to it's ancient and modern day capital of Jerusalem, and falsely targeting them--truly one of the most progressive states in the entire world--as a human rights violator. 

Bias, bigotry, prejudice, racism, anti-semitism, hatred, and discrimination--it's all still around us.

Whether your Jewish or Black or Indian or Asian or LGBT or whatever--it's open season from lynching bananas with references to gorillas to targeting the Jewish State with everything from murder to economic terrorism and so on. 

Why people want to smash the living daylights out of others and call themselves righteous doing it is beyond a mystery and speaks more to the truth of what's genuinely evil in the hearts of mankind. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 1, 2017

Fake News CNN and Failing NYT

The Failing New York Times and Fake News CNN...

Have become virtually unwatchable. 

Aside from their relentless bias, they are so endlessly the negative Nellies and depressing!

How about reporting the news instead of trying to direct it?  

On the positive side of things, I heard that FOX news is turning even more mainstream.

And a new conservative network news channel is in the making to balance out the other news lineup already out there. 

Thank G-d, we have choices and they can be more truthful, more fair and balanced, and more spirited and enjoyable to read and watch. 

It doesn't matter what your political leaning is--we value them all as long as we respect everyone and have a honest debate of ideas--and not 24/7 mind control and a media brainwashing session over the masses. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 30, 2017

Strategy, Strategery, Stratego

Like the all knowing eye...

Strategy is our way of trying to forge a coherent path ahead. 

Of course, as humans, we are imperfect and don't know what we don't know. 

But whether we call it strategy, strategery, or stratego, the goal is to have a method to our madness. 

We can't just rely on luck, gut, intuition, or subjective whim to get us wherever. 

Having no strategy is brainless following or aimless wandering. 

Strategy means your thinking ahead what you want to achieve and then at least trying your best to accomplish something. 

Ample course corrections allowed and encouraged, as needed. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 29, 2017

Crosshair Planning And National Security

So I wanted to share this amazing crosshair diagram...

Not because we currently have North Korea in the crosshairs before they hit us with a nuclear-tipped ICBM.

But rather for how this diagram can be used in strategic planning and enterprise architecture. 

The way this is used is the following:

First, you put your goals in the inner quadrants (or other such division of the inner circle).  For example, perhaps you have a goal to reduce your weight which is now 215 lbs. 

Next you create concentric rings around your goals with each ring representing a time horizon. For example, the first ring could be 6 months, the 2nd ring 1 year, and so on. 

Then for each timeframe in the rings, you put what your target is for that related goal. For example, maybe in 6 months you want to reduce your weight to 210, and then by end of year 1 to 205.

In this way, you can easily show your goals as well your targets over various time frames into the future. 

You can similarly use the other quadrants (or other divisions of the circle) for other goals emanating from the center to the future targets. 

Of course, you can also use this for North Korea--to target above the 38th parallel for dropping a good deals MOABs to clear the enemy and their nukes and missiles from threatening the U.S. and our allies.  The same solution goes for Axis of Evil, Iran, and their endless spread of global terrorism and human rights abuses. 

Targets are for restoring the peace and for strategic planning and these two intersect when it's comes to national security. ;-)

(Source Diagram: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 28, 2017

Who's In Your Corner?

So as the saying goes...

It's not what you know, but who you know!

Relationships, connections, and networks are critical for all of us to work together and get things done. 

And sure, it's good to have some reliable people in your corner who know you and can speak good about who you are, what you represent, and what you're doing.

However, let's face it, there are some people out there that take advantage and don't just have advocates, but rather protectors, and it's a way for those who may be unqualified, unsavory, and incompetent--as individual--to sustain themselves.

Frankly, some of these people should never be in their jobs and should never be a leader over anything or anybody--but they are enabled, because of who and not what they know or are able to do. 

Whether it's the Peter Principle or bullies and those without a working moral compass or sometimes it seems even a conscience, it can be very scary at times for what suffices as leadership in many organizations. 

Yes, of course, Thank G-d for the many good, well-meaning, and hardworking folks that make getting up in the morning as well as going into the office, worthwhile.

But for those that hide behind the skirts of others, so that they can get away with things that they should never ever be getting away with...well those are not fruitful relationships being maintained, but rather caustic ones that radiate concentric circles of toxicity to organizations, people, and mission. 

People know it when they see it--because it stinks from the stench of bad apples, bullying, disengagement, lack of accountability and ultimately failure. 

We desperately need each person to perform and to band together as an A-Team. 

However, sink or swim--as individuals, each person in their own based on their conscience and contribution without a phony mask of a protectorate accomplice. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2017

I Love A Strong Woman, But...

Ok, admit it or not.

This is certainly something that every man fears: ~Castration Phobia~

Of course, I don't know what she's planning, but with that huge sickle-shaped knife and that big disarming smile, I definitely don't want to find out. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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April 26, 2017

BIG Difference Between Private and Public Sectors

So I thought this was very telling today about the difference between the public and private sectors...

I was teaching a class and gave the students a challenging scenario and problem and asked how they would solve it.

The class was a mix of leaders and managers from the public and private sectors--this time weighted mostly on the commercial side. 

Typically, the students from the government usually provide answers in terms of lengthy analysis processes, negotiations, vetting and getting buy-in and approvals through many layers of bureaucracy and red tape, as well as getting people to understand the what's in it for me (WIIFM) value proposition.

However, this time, one the students from the private sector said bluntly, the following:


We can either do it the easy way or the hard way!

So I asked, "What do you mean the easy and hard ways?"

And he answered:


The easy way is that we can try at first to appeal to people, but if that doesn't work then the hard way is we just do what needs get done.

Again with great interest and curiosity, I inquire, "And how do you that?"

This time someone else answers, and says:


We do "rip and replace"--we pull up the truck in the middle of the night and we rip out the things we don't like and replace it with what we do, period.

Then I ask innocently again, "So what happens the next morning?"

And the 2nd person answers again, and says:


Who cares, the job is done!

This reminded me a little of the old images of the mob gangster pulling up in the shadows of the night to someone's door that wasn't cooperating and applying the baseball bat to the knees!

Yes, it's a very different and extreme way of getting what you want and when you want it, done. 

Quite a BIG difference between the private and public sector approach to getting thing done!

One one hand, we have the speed and execution of the marketplace versus the more lengthly thoughtfulness and inherent compromises of government and politics. 

What's it gonna be--some bureaucracy, seemingly endless red tape, and horse-trading or the good ol' baseball bat to the knees? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 25, 2017

Check The Clock

So it should be so easy...

We manage time by the hours and minutes--and moments of life. 

This sign was hilarious though:
Breakfast 6 am - 10 am
Lunch 11 am - 2 pm
Dinner 4 pm - 7 pm
We are here to serve you any time.
Really, if you're here to serve us any time, then isn't that mean around the clock--24/7--and not just the total 10 hours listed?

What a ridiculous contradiction!

It reminded me of another crazy story of the person who when you ask what time it is, they tell you how to make the watch.

Yes, the point has definitely been missed by the other person.

Their explanation may be very detailed and even accurate on how to make a watch, but frankly they missed the point altogether, which was simply what time is it!

We need to pay attention to our communications and be honest and actually say what it is, and not beat around the 24-hour bush. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2017

Steak or Peanut Butter

Ok, so yes this is not the best looking steak and peanut butter...

But that's not the point here.

I was talking to a workman who has a seasonal business. 

"Business is doing well," he said.

During the busy time...they can work 80 days straight without a break. 

And also work until midnight.

But the flip side is that for many months in the year, they have very little work at all.

It's literally feast or famine. 

As we were talking about this, he says to me:


"We really have to make it during the busy season, because that determines whether we eat steak or peanut butter the rest of the year!"

It struck me how difficult this must be too depend on a few months for how you live all the year round. 

Sure, it must be nice to have a slower season and have some rest, relaxation, and maybe some fun. 

But if, G-d forbid, you're not earning enough to support yourself for the duration of the year and you're stuck eating peanut butter because you can't even afford a steak anymore, then that must be pretty darn tough. 

Just something to think about and be grateful for if you can eat what you want and when you want to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 23, 2017

Nice Chompers

So this was funny-weird at the dentist. 

The dental hygienist comes in and does the cleaning.

Ultrasonic cleaner, scraping, polishing, flossing, rinse--all sort of routine. 

Next the dentist comes in--looks this side, that side, bite, bite again, looks some more. 

Then sort of out of the blue, the dentist goes to me:

"You got some nice chompers!"

Ah, never quite heard anyone say that before or quite the way this dentist said it.

Uh, a little strange sounding and feeling a little uncomfortable. 

I go out and tell me wife about this weird thing. 


And I start laughing and going...

"Doctor, you got some nice chompers there too!"

Somehow the way I said it, we both cracked up laughing. 

I'll never think of going to get my teeth cleaned at the dentist quite the same way again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2017

Water Cross

This was so fun in the pool.

The water was on and it was almost like a really high-speed jet jacuzzi. 

The cool water was rushing at me and splashing in my face and it was a nice moment of relaxation and feeling of life. 

For those who have been to the mikvah, it felt refreshing and like a renewal of spirit. 

Just in jest...when I look at this, I can't help noticing that it almost looks like Jesus on the cross. 

Except, thank G-d no nails, torture, or Roman Legion involved in this. ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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April 21, 2017

Breaking The Bounds Of This World Thinking


Coming from the Metro, someone stopped me and gave me this card for meditation, and I thought it was really insightful. 

"Changing the human mind to infinite universe mind"

Our minds are constrained by our mortality, materialism, and physical limitations of space and time. 

But if we free ourselves even momentarily from these, we can enter into a sort of limitless universal mindset.

"Human is incomplete because human are living inside human mind world which is one's lived life and thoughts."

We are beset by a near endless barrage of life's fears and worries--like that we can't fully perceive the metaphysical and spiritual world that is the real and meaningful one for us. 

"One can live forever and [when] he has escaped pain, burden, stress, and the countless kinds of agonies; his old self has disappeared and so it is great freedom."
Through mindfulness, centered and balanced thinking, we can go above the "false world" and enter the "true world."

Doesn't this ring fundamental and true?

What an amazing approach to thinking that we can use elevate ourselves above what we live and see every day. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via Rockville Meditation)
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April 20, 2017

Nuttiest Duck In DC

Just when I thought I'd met all the nuts in this town (Washington, D.C.)...

I ran into this one in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the Mall. 

Check this out!

The duck is head first waddling away it's feet in the air like a lost puppy.

Reminds me of too many folks who don't want to deal with the many consequential problems that our nation faces (fortunately, there are also many good folks that do!).

From the imminent dangers of North Korea, Iran, and ISIS to our staggering national debt (all of which I wrote about yesterday) along with other critical issues such as healthcare, immigration, and jobs, jobs, jobs. 

Then there are the all too frequent projects that are out of control and funding that is flushed down the proverbial $4,000 toilet. 

A history of dysfunction, fraud, waste, abuse (along with an assortment of personality disorders) have ripened for the picking in the election famous "Swamp"--that we've been promised will be drained!

Maybe that's what this duck is wading into...and what do you think he will find? 

This nation can no longer afford to go head in the sand unless we are looking to be a good-for-nothing dead duck rather than a thriving democracy and beacon of freedom to the world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal
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April 19, 2017

Nation In Denial

We are a nation in utter denial over our problems.

Just to name a few...

Whether from the threat of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, who smiled while displaying a video yesterday of nuclear missiles destroying the USA.

To the shooting death of three in Fresno, CA yesterday by a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" that was deemed not a terrorist attack.

To our national debt of $20 trillion which quadrupled in just the last 15 years under the administration of both political parties.  

Unfortunately, denial is still alive and well, while smiling photos of the North Korean dictator adorn the light poles outside the capital of the USA.

We don't like to admit our problems be it from despots threatening us with WMD to global terrorism that gives us no peace, and a mammoth debt that is sinking our national economic sustainability.

Smile for the camera!

Don't worry about big problem-solving. 

What we don't admit can't hurt us or can it?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 18, 2017

The Nature of Good and Evil


Like in the Bible...

When our forefather Itzchak was about to bless his son Jacob and he said the words (are good) like Jacob, but the hands (deeds) feel like Esau.

Words are cheap, and actions speak volumes louder!

Good deeds mean something, but words are easily manipulated.

We can all spot good deeds, and that is what must guide our judgement of people and situations--that is where the truth rests.

Like my father and grandfather always taught me--some people are good and some are not so good.  ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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April 17, 2017

Lying Down and Looking Up



So yesterday, we did something that is really fun for me...

It was such a magnificent sunny day out. 


The air was slightly warm, but at the same time there was a refreshing cool breeze.

We went outside, and just laid down in the wide open grass and looked up into the sky. 

I put some music on for us from the iPhone and just let it all sort of be.

There was a father and son flying this beautiful kite that looked like a huge butterfly. 

There was other people riding bicycles and running.

It seemed so freeing to be in the open space under the big blue sky. 

And to have the blessing of time and the luxury to relax a little and enjoy it. 

Thank you G-d for your mercy and wonderful gifts that you bestow on your people. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 16, 2017

North Korea and Iran--No Time For Nuke Time

We are at a unbelievably critical moment in history. 

North Korea and Iran have nuclear weapons capability and are threatening and maniacal enough to use them. 

Negotiations, incentives, and phony deals have led to nothing but advancing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with our enemies and their continued vows to kill us. 

As Iran vows to annihilate Israel and chants:


"Death to America"

North Korea vows a nuclear attack saying Washington will be:

"Engulfed in a sea of fire."

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 72a) teaches the principle of self-defense:


"If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first."

Preemption is justifiable if the threat is real and imminent. 

North Korea and Iranian threats are very real and getting ever more imminent as their capabilities increase--and if anything, they have been underestimated and underreported.

They have continued to build and test nukes and the missiles to deliver them to the U.S. and our allies, despite pleas as well as carrots and sticks to cease their menacing actions.

The prior administration's position of "strategic patience" has meant nothing but indecision and a do nothing approach as things get worse and not better.

Now, we have the opportunity to destroy the deadly nuke sites before these despotic regimes hit us and our population of nearly 320 million people with a nuke first strategy!

We are a peaceful nation that believes deeply in freedom and human rights, but we cannot live under constant threat of nuclear attack on our cities and allies. 

A preemptive strike is a very, very serious decision, but we cannot wait indefinitely and let ourselves become victims of the most horrific weapons and their destructive capabilities and aftermath. 

What do we do if North Korea and Iran refuse their endless pursuit weapons of mass destruction and their threats to use them on us?

Perhaps, this is soon to be a rhetorical question if not the most dire of all decisions to make and the time to make them. 

May G-d have mercy  on us--if ever their was a time, now is the time to pray and mean it.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 15, 2017

Indian Wedding Rocks



Loved seeing this amazing Indian wedding.

The rocking music, the beautiful colorful outfits, the pageantry, and the adorned white horse.

While this looked like a relatively small and intimate wedding--perhaps quality balances out quantity. 

Although one of my good friends from India told me that he had 4,000!!! people at his wedding that was held in a stadium--I can barely even imagine how awesome that was. 

So happy...all life should be great times like this. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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