Showing posts with label Responsibility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Responsibility. Show all posts

October 6, 2019

Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier’s Eyes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier's Eyes."
He said, just think about it: “You have the chance to say I’m sorry, I regret what I did, and I won’t do it again, and be forgiven — what a tremendous opportunity that is!” I had never really thought of repentance in this particular way…as an opportunity. Usually, it’s more of something that is uncomfortable, difficult, and that we really don’t want to have to do.

So with a few more days to go before Yom Kippur, let us thank G-d for the chance to make amends and do better in life, because this is an incredible opportunity and a true blessing, and one that we do not know will ever come again.


(Credit Photo: Gil Kremer, Israel Defense Forces)
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June 10, 2019

We Can't Look Away



(Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)
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May 22, 2019

Take Responsibility

I thought it was an interesting sign in the office.

Responsibility: At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start to be successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren't where you want to be, you will always be a failure.  - Erin Cummins


While I agree that we have to take responsibility for our lives and do the work hard to achieve success, at the same time, we obviously aren't in control of everything. 

We have to play the hand we're dealt in life and make the very best of it.  Whatever challenges that we have, they are there for us to learn from, grow from, and become better human beings from. 

Also, success means different things to different people--for some it's money, power and honer; for others it's physical fitness and dashing good looks; still some care more about travel, experiences, partying, and having a good time; and yet for others it's about G-d, family, country, and good deeds.

Whatever we want to achieve requires dedication and hard work from our end, but also a generous dose of prayer and good fortune for "the stars to align."  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 14, 2018

Missed The Shot But Someone Else Got It

So check out this sleek garbage for bottles and cans. 

Like many of these, it has a small opening hole at the top to convey that only bottles and cans (like it says on the side) should be put in for recycling--no garbage. 

When I was walking by quickly, I took the shot, attempting to throw in my bottle.

But it bounced off the rim and landed on the floor. 

Before I could even turn around to pick it up, I saw another gentleman behind me swoop in and pick up the garbage and put it in the can for me. 

I tell you that I was really quite amazed. 

He could have easily said, I missed the can and so I should just pick up my own trash off the floor and throw it out--that's only right!

Instead, it was in his mind nothing to do this random act of kindness and he picked up my trash. 

I know it sounds like a nothing burger, but to me, it represented just a real decency from another human being. 

Not standing on ceremony.

Not being too hoity-toity to pick up the garbage.

Rather just saw something that needed to get done and doing it. 

I tell you that as much as some people disappoint me with their arrogance and evilness, others are genuinely good people. 

This is what it's all about--the good people showing the bad people what kindness, generosity, and humanity is all about. 

To the evil f*ckers out there--who are arrogant, materialistic takers, haters, bullies, aggressors, and abusers--to h*ll with you!

To the good people--keep doing good and let the good win over the evil every single time. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 21, 2017

We're A Bunch Of Chemicals+

So it's pretty well known that we are a combination of nature and nurture. 

Nature is our genetics and our hormones--it's sort of the innate material that make up who we are. 

Nurture, of course, is all those external influencers, like parents, friends, teachers, religious figures, experiences, etc.--that shape us. 

In a way, it's hard to think of ourselves as a product of nature and nature, because that sort of removes our conscious free choice in the whole matter of who we are and what we do. 

For example, if someone is a raging lunatic, sociopath, serial killer, because they have a brain or hormonal defect and grew up in a broken and abusive home(s), then the question is, well how can you really or fully blame them for their actions--is it really their actions? 

Don't we have to ask ourselves how much control does a person have over themselves if they are physically and environmentally predisposed to be a certain way--even a very socially unacceptable and hurtful way?

This is where the courts and justice system come into play in looking at things such as whether the person is even competent to stand trial (e.g. the insanity defense) or are there mitigating circumstances to reduce the person's culpability.

I would imagine it is quite difficult to exactly judge the level of self control that a person is or should be able to exert given their individual set of nature and nurture.  

And even if the person isn't fully in control of themselves, does that help the victim or their families who are still left reeling from the harm and/or loss caused to them by the perpetrator?

Yet it is uncontested that people are driven by nature and nurture, and just in today's Wall Street Journal, there was a discussion of the influence of a person's hormone levels on their personality and behavior.

- Generally, more testosterone makes a person aggressive, while more estrogen makes them sensitive. 

- Similarly, dopamine makes people more energetic, while serotonin makes them more sociable. 

So there is nothing inherently "wrong" with you for being a certain way...that's your makeup, but you are responsible for how you manage yourself given what you've got.   

In other words, where you have lemons, you've got to make lemonade!

In a nutshell, we are truly a combination of our genetic makeup, a bunch of chemicals, some environmental molding, and the exertion of our willpower, faith, and belief in what's right and wrong. 

What happens when you mix these altogether, you get you and only you! ;-)

(Source photo: here with attribution to skeeze)
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September 17, 2017

What Is Wisdom?

Some thoughts today on what is wisdom:

- Knowing you know nothing--and you can prove it (ah, humility)!

- Knowing when to ask--like the infamous directions when you're lost or how to use the latest new technology.

- Learning from all others (everyone has something they can teach us).

- Wisdom = Knowledge + Experience (you've gotten an inkling about some truth out there, and you've had a chance to test it out). 

- Seeing that people's outer bodies are just the superficial, material cover for their inner souls. 

- Realizing that doing for others is so much more rewarding than doing for ourselves. 

- Following the great truths of morality and responsibility.

- Keen awareness that we are not alone in the universe--G-d is everywhere.

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 23, 2017

Guns Are American

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 10, 2017

Whose Throat Do You Choke

So this was an interesting term that I heard about getting people to take responsibility for their actions.

"Whose throat do I choke for this?"

Sounds a little severe, no?

I think this is partially an adverse reaction to "analysis paralysis" and "death by committee" -- where no decisions can ever get made. 

And organizations where lack of accountability runs rampant and it's more about finger pointing at each other, rather than owning up to your responsibilities, decisions, and actions.

So with dysfunctional  organizations, the pendulum swings aimlessly being no accountability and the ultimate chopping block. 

But choking off the life blood of our human capital certainly isn't conducive to innovation, exploration, and discovery or to productivity, employee morale and retention.

So when it's simple human error with our best effort and no bad intentions, how about we say a simple "Who done it this time," do a post-action, figure out the valuable lessons learned, and resolve how we do better going forward. 

No throats or heads necessary (most of time). :-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 3, 2016

Dysfunction Is The Starting Point

A very smart speech today in synagogue by Rabbi Haim Ovadia. 

He connected to this week's reading from Genesis in the Torah.

It was a commentary about our forefathers and mothers and what the stories in the Bible teach us. 

As we know, these people while righteous and holy, were not perfect people or families. 

Thinking about these, some examples that come to mind about the many tests, challenges, and tragedies in their lives:

- Adam and Eve eating the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden

- Noah getting drunk and his son, Ham, seeing his nakedness and telling his brothers

- Abraham and Sarah's doubting (i.e. laughing) that G-d would give them a child

- Isaac lying to Avimelech about Rivkah being his sister (similar to what Abraham said about Sarah)

 - Jacob buying the birthright and stealing the blessing from Esau

- Shimon and Levi killing the people of Shechem for Hamor raping their sister

- Joseph's brothers being jealous of him and throwing him in the pit and selling him into slavery

- Judah sleeping with Tamer, the wife of his firstborn 

And so on. 

Rabbi Ovadia said we should keep 4 things in mind about the Biblical figures and families to learn for our own:

1) Context - There is a context to what we do. We all have histories that involve difficulties, challenges, illness, abuse, PTSD, and so on.  The things we do and how we react later in life are anchored in this context. 

2) Dysfunction - Every family (and I would add person, organization, and institution) is dysfunctional.  There is no perfection out there (except G-d). Functional would mean like a computer, we input-process-output towards a certain function.  However, as people, we are not automatons, but instead work out our dysfunction through our striving to love, have relationships, learn and grow. 

3) Responsibility - Whatever our challenges and dysfunctions, we are responsible for what we do--our actions.  We can't just blame history or others.  Our role is to face up to our lot in life and take responsibility for what we do.  It our life and circumstances to make or break us. 

4) Communication - In dealing with life and it's challenges, communication is key to dealing with things. I would argue that communication is just a part of many critical success factors like trust, determination, hard work, emotional intelligence, being giving, integrity, etc.  But certainly, communication is a key aspect in how we work out our issues with others and try to build function from inherent dysfunction. 

The honestly of the Bible in telling us the flaws of it's heroes and heroines--our ancestors--is one of the things that make it such a source of wisdom for us as well as demonstrating the truthfulness of it being G-d given to us.

The bible doesn't sugarcoat who we are and what we have to deal with--it is the Book of G-d that is a roadmap for us to learn from and do good with in our own lives. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 17, 2016

Getting Past The Political Blame Game

Really liked this Japanese bowl and cup set--so cute. 

The head is the bowl, and the cup which holds all the water and has the handle is the body. 


The head is much bigger than the body, like people's egos are bigger than their sense of responsibility. 

Today, I read again about some leaders blaming others for the world problems:

"Obama said Trump's election and the U.K.'s vote to leave the EU were spawned by world leaders' mishandling of globalization."

Note, he blames these unspecified "world leaders," with no attribution or responsibility to himself

To be clear, he is resolute that his policies and way of governing had no impact on the rise of President-elect Trump, his diametric opposite!

This is similar to Hillary Clinton blaming her election loss on the FBI Director investigating her, and not taking responsibility for her own lengthy history of scandals.

Again on Sunday, the New York Times blamed the gender-based, glass ceiling on Hillary's defeat, rather than acknowledging the impact of the "corruption ceiling" that may have prevented her winning. 

And there is a long pattern of this blaming in politics whether for gridlock, the deficit, healthcare, divisiveness, violence in inner cities, terrorism, improprieties, distrust of government, and more. 

In the extreme, some leaders even blamed the U.S. people themselves for the suffering caused by radical Islamic terrorism!

Even in the recent election, some blamed their own constituents for insulting and ruining their legacy if they don't go out and vote for his DNC hand-picked successor. 

Yet despite the endless blame game, Obama attacked Trump for whining and blaming rigged elections, saying that this demonstrated a lack of leadership or toughness to be president. 

But at the same time, he takes credit for everything good that happens: for ending Iraq war, for killing Bin Laden, for saving the world economy, for reforming our schools, for "stamping out" Ebola, for $2 gas, and even for the success of Fox news!

How wonderful (NOT) is this philosophy and practice of leadership:

If something good happens, you take the credit; If something bad happens, you blame someone else. 

That's a very big head on top of that very narrow body. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 30, 2016

(Not) Too Hard!

So there is someone that I think the world of. 

They are what we call "good people."

But like all of us, have challenges and difficulties in life. 

Maybe their load is heavier and more taxing. 

But it is what G-d has given them to bear and to work with. 

In talking with this person, at one point, they said, "It's too hard!"

And I think we all feel that way sometimes.

Bret Stephens quoted Bernard Lewis in the Wall Street Journal today, that in trying times, some ask, "Who did this to us?" While others ask, "What did we do wrong?"

Maybe the question should be, "What can we do now?"

While some throw in the towel and can't go on or go on in a bad way, others may get angry and bitter at their lot in life.

But yet like my inspiration, Rocky, some get up and fight for what they want. 

The down is only a temporary down, but not a knockout. 

The pain stings and hurts and leaves us blurry-eyed and dizzy, but our desire to succeed pushes the adrenaline through our coursing veins, and we get up again with even a greater determination. 

"The eye of the tiger, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenges of our rivals..."

I take responsibility. I take accountability. I want to overcome. 

I shall prevail in life and even ultimately in death, my life will mean something to somebody. 

The end is the beginning again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 15, 2016

Aging Yet (Hopefully) Always Helping Each Other

I just love this drawing of the parents and child. 

My daughter found it on Instagram and sent it to me. 

As a little kid, my wife and I used to hold her hands and swing her between us when walking (like in the above illustration)--she loved that!

Now as we get older, we still try to be good, helpful parents (not too intrusive or helicopter-like--well maybe a little), but we can certainly see a day down the line when the cycle of life goes full circle. 

My daughter used to joke (I think) about putting me in an old age home--she knew that after seeing what my mom went through there with Parkinson's, that is truly the last place I would want to end up. 

Of course, sometimes there really is no choice when a person just needs so much care that it is beyond what the family can do any longer. 

Frankly, what I have learned is that the most important and precious thing that parents and children can give each other is...time!

So is that child in the bottom illustration helping his aging parents along or is he dragging them off to the nursing home?  Perhaps, we'll never know until it's too late. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal from Instagram Unlimited Knowledge)
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May 29, 2016

Getting A Leadership Washing


So I am reading this book called, "What Your Boss NEVER Told You."

In terms of leadership, a key principle is stated very well here: 


"'What' flows down

And

'How' flows up."

Meaning that as the leader, you set the goal, but you don't tell people how to achieve it.

Micromanagement "stomp[s] out 

creativity, ownership, and commitment."

To give your people the breathing room to innovate and solve problems and feel good about their work, here's the ideal manager:

"Hands-off whenever possible, 

and 

hands-on whenever needed."

And finally the 3 "H's" of leadership:

1. Honor -- doing the right thing (i.e. integrity)


2. Humility -- "give away the credit," but own the responsibility 100%!


3. Humor -- "take their work seriously, but themselves lightly."



Overall, good book to get a clean bill of leadership health. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 13, 2016

Is Blame A Leadership Quality

One of the most important qualities of a leader is responsibility and accountability--as they typically say, "the buck stops here."

So why do we have so much of this:

1. "Blames his guards [the U.S. Secret Service] for closing White House Tours"

2. "Blames [former U.K. prime minister] David Cameron for Libya Descending into a 'Sh** Show'"

3. "Says GOP is to Blame for Rise of Donald Trump"

4. "Blames [former House Speaker] Boehner for Ongoing Government Shutdown"

5. "Blames Democrats for Midterm Losses"

6. "Shifting Blame for Bergdahl Trade to [former Defense Secretary] Hagel"

7. Blames "Detaining Terrorists at GITMO Helps ISIS [recruit terrorists]"

8. "Blames media for losing war against ISIS"

9. "Blames U.S. for Gun Violence in Mexico"

10. "Blaming [former HHS Secretary] Sebelius" for botched Obamacare rollout

11. "Blames 'bad apple' insurers for cancelled [Obamacare] coverage"

12. "Blames his Low Approval Numbers on Racism"

13. "Blames China...for not playing fair [as competitors]"

14. "[Russian President] Putin largely to blame for Syrian crisis

15. "Blame Middle East Turmoil on [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu"

16. "Blames Christians from Holding Back America from Doing 'Big Things'"

17. "Blames Founding Fathers' 'structural' design of Congress for gridlock"

18. "Blames the rich--big banks, big oil, big hedge funds...[and] recklessness of Wall Street" for economic crisis

19. "Blames [former President] Bush for Economy While Standing Next To Him"

20. "Blames the Messenger" for "legitimate criticism"

21. "Blames Everyone but Himself for Failed Economic Policies"

Do you think that there is probably a lot more blame to go around? ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Wild Trees)
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January 15, 2016

It's Not About The Regrets

So a teacher recently gave her students a scenario with the following moral dilemma:

An important and talented surgeon who has saved many lives in the past and will surely save many more in the future runs across an old man who has slipped and fallen under the cracking ice into a lake after trying unsuccessfully to save his puppy from drowning.  

The old man is trapped and will freeze to death in short order.

Should the surgeon walk across the breaking ice and risk his own life to try and save the old man?

The vast majority of students' responded...that the surgeon should try and save the old man.

When asked why they thought that, most said because otherwise he would feel guilty afterwards. 

Thinking about that it seems like a funny reason to do something dangerous, heroic, and maybe utterly stupid...so as not to feel guilty. 

I guess that I would've thought people who would advocate for trying to save the old man would say something like

- Every life is valuable!
- Saving one person is like saving the world.
- Helping people even at our own risk or peril is what we do for our fellow human beings.
- We would want others to help us if we were in trouble, so we should do that for them. 

While we can't judge someone else for how they react in situations of genuine moral conflict, we can teach the younger generation that doing something good for others is about more than just not feeling bad or guilty afterwards (for being lazy, selfish, or making the wrong call in the situation).

Making moral judgements is about choosing in every situation to try your best to do what's right, help people, be a good influence, take responsibility, and generally act selflessly, but not recklessly. 

Regret stinks (and can be truly painful), but missing opportunities to live a good, meaningful life is much worse. ;-)

(Source Photo: The Blumenthals)
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September 8, 2015

Smelt It Dealt It

As kids, there always used to be someone who would run around holding their nose, and yelling at the smallest sign of someone's flatulence...Eew!

In turn, the other kids would all chime in: "The person who smelt it, dealt it!"

Might as well push the responsibility where it rightfully belongs--uh, maybe. 

This is what kids do--they are not politically correct in the slightest!

Are adults any better really?

I've seen grown men and women start holding their noses and waving their hands in front of their faces when someone is stinking up the local air.

In particular, this happens quite a bit on places like the crowded Metro and elevators...going down. 

People are unforgiving when the air is foul. 

Personally, I am very sensitive to bad smells and hot air--my A/C is running full blast all around the year...even in Winter, seriously!

When I saw this sign in a storefront window that said, "Free Smells," I thought to myself, gee we got enough smells to last a lifetime, and that's why fresh air and nature is so appealing to the good 'ol olfactory senses. 

Free smells...unless it's fresh flowers or some savory dish to eat--you can have it--free or not, I frankly don't give a damn.  

My personal belief is that an odor is far more likely to cause you a gag sensation than put a refreshing smile on your ugly face. 

Good etiquette, keep your smells to yourself. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 27, 2015

Reform The Movement

So was very glad to read this week about a top Sunni cleric who called for educational reform to combat "extremist violence."

Sheik Ahmend al-Tayeb, a grand imam in Cairo said "corrupt interpretations" of the Koran and of Muhammad was leading to a rise of Middle East-based terrorism. 


This to hopefully stem the flow of what is now being reported as 20,000 foreign fighters flocking to join ISIS


What is amazing here is that good Muslim people are recognizing the problem with radicalization, extremism, and violence and are speaking out. 


Yet, many of our own leaders in the Western world still refuse to say the dirty words "Islamic terrorism."


The President saying instead: "No religion is responsible for terrorism--people are responsible for violence and terrorism."


So perhaps, according to this "logic," no movement is responsible for what their people do--only the individuals are?


And therefore, accordingly, the Nazis would not be responsible for the Holocaust, nor America for Slavery, nor Communism for political purges, oppression, and violation of human rights, etc. etc. 


...in which case, there would be no apologies, no regrets, no reparations, no museums, no memorials, nothing--because this was just some individuals doing some bad things and those individuals are may no longer even be here with us. 


Doesn't this ignore the very basic and fundamental fact that when the masses follow a movement's (genuine or distorted) ideological teachings of hatred, racism, and discrimination, and the people act act nefariously on this, then does not the movement itself hold some responsibility for the murderous and evil actions committed based on their doctrine?


The Sheik who denounced terror and called for changes to the education in the Muslim community is recognizing what apparently many of our own leaders refuse to, which is that they--and we--are responsible for what is taught and tolerated in our communities. 


As Peggy Noonan recently wrote, "The reality is that the Islamic State is...very Islamic.


Currently, we are fighting a war on radical Islamic terrorism...whether that terror is committed on Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish grocery store, or the World Trade Centers. 


That does not mean that tomorrow, we are not fighting against some other movement's treachery.


This is why good people everywhere must stand up and speak out when they see religions, governments, institutions, or other movements preach and teach lies, hatred, and terror. 


Bad (or hijacked good) movements drive bad actors...so we must not only go after the bad guys, but also hold the movements themselves to account.


We must demand that the lies and distortions be called out for what they are and that truth and virtue be held up in its place. ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Front Page Magazine)

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October 18, 2014

Welcome Ebola To America!

While our self-declared intelligentsia has decided to keep the commercial flights open to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, experts are predicting that new ebola cases will reach 10,000 per week by December!

Moreover, the United Nations has warned that if Ebola is not controlled within the next 60 days, "the world faces an 'unprecedented situation' for which there is no plan."


But by the time, we get our political will and act together, who knows...


What isn't helping are publications like Bloomberg Businessweek, with another classic asinine article this time by Charles Kenny who writes--get this--that "A Travel Ban Is a Terrible Idea."


While Kenny acknowledges "Travel restrictions have a long history as a tool against spreading infection" dating back already to the Middle Ages, Kenny is concerned about the "trade-offs" of quarantining the source countries--"because the benefits of contact outweigh the risks"--i.e. "People want to travel to see family and friends, visits places, work, or invest."


Well Mr. Kenny, how about that people want to live and not die because of the irresponsible spread of this deadly virus? Two-thirds of the public, as well as many in Congress, and the media have already called for a common sense temporary travel ban. 


Kenny then goes on to exaggerate and talk about how laughable it is that we would "completely seal off the U.S. from the rest of the world" even though what we are talking about are just the countries where this deadly infection is currently raging. 


Further, Kenny is concerned not about containing the disease and protecting the more than 300,000,000 people in this country, but about the possibility that a ban on commercial flights "will deter people from volunteering to work in the region"--here again, Kenny ignores that specialized, trained people from the military, World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and more are already being deployed--although too little too late. 


Incredibly, Kenny even compares Ebola to the common flu, and intimates that since we don't quarantine for the seasonal flu, why should we do it for Ebola--uh, Mr. Kenny have you heard that Ebola has a 70% mortality rate!

Finally, Kenny says in his defeatist way, "We live in a global disease pool. In the end, once a disease begins to spread, there's no escaping an infection."


Hello Mr. Kenny, we have a responsibility to prevent and protect our people--there is no place for your throwing in the towel on all of us--what a shame that Bloomberg makes this dangerous rhetoric the Opening Remarks for their magazine. 


There is long established protocol of quarantine to stop the spread of infection--not that it would necessarily be 100% successful, but at least it would help contain and control the spread from getting worse, and we would learn to improve as we go along, and live to fight and save more lives now and in the future.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 31, 2013

Unjust Justice

The Wall Street Journal quotes U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf who offered advice to young judges, as follows: 

"It's not your job to save the world. Do law, leave justice to Clint Eastwood."

What a notion he has--that it is not a judges job to mete out justice--how (oxy)moronic!

Instead, the judge says that is for vigilantes like Clint Eastwood's role in Dirty Harry (or perhaps Charles Bronson in Death Wish).

While I understand that the law is the law, you would think that a judge's role is to not only ensure that it is applied evenly, but also that it is meted out fairly.

As it says in the Torah/Bible (Deuteronomy 16:20), "Justice, Justice shall you pursue."

It is not enough for the "justice system" to enforce laws brainlessly, but the role of the judicial branch is to interrupt the law so that justice results.

What a contrast to even the bumbling inspector, Clouseau, in the movie, The Pink Panther, who knows "Yuri, the trainer who trains," but some of our judges don't seem to know that they are judges who sit in judgement. 

So much for "jurisprudence"--but without any prudence!

Doing law, without pursuing justice is like dehydrated water in this picture--empty and good for nothing. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 13, 2013

Shortsighted Government Is Selfish Politics


So I am at the pool today in Maryland. 

This old man--looks about 100, yes really!--comes up to me and starts a conversation. 

He says, you know what--my friend in California is 99-years old and he just got his driver's license renewed--for 5 years!

Imagine that--can the State of California with confidence really issue a 5-year driver's license to someone at that age and believe that both the drivers' safety and public safety is provided for?

Yes, the problems at the Federal government level are ginormous--the national debt, the level of social entitlements, the "true" unemployment rate, the poverty level, our failing healthcare system, and more. 

Still we cannot forget that some of the most important services that citizens get are at the State and Local levels of government--police, fire & rescue, transportation, community development, family planning, and more. 

For government to function effectively--we need all levels to act rationally, responsibly, and with care for the people in mind--both short-term and long-term. 

Issuing 5-year driver's license to 99-year old individuals can have a devastating impact on someone family if that person loses control of their vehicle due to their physical or mental condition.

Similarly, issuing social entitlements (and they may indeed be needed) without a realistic plan for funding the system is irresponsible and can have a catastrophic impact to families around the nation when the system comes up short.

Government has to run with common sense--and stop setting up rules that are shortsighted and blind to the bigger picture. 

Yes, people deserve to drive and to have medical care and so forth, but politicians should set up these systems, so that the people are really served, and not just their political agendas. ;-)

(Source Video: Michelle Blumenthal)
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