Showing posts with label Saving Lives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saving Lives. Show all posts

April 14, 2019

The Mitzvah of Vaccination

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Mitzvah of Vaccination."
According to the CDC, "Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps, or rubella"...for yourself, your families, your community, and for all the other innocent people out there who want to be and stay healthy, please get vaccinated; do your part as a good citizen and Jew.

Getting vaccinated–it is a mitzvah and please G-d, for all, a L’Chaim!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 31, 2018

Two Brothers Survival From The Holocaust

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "It wasn't a Final Solution."
My Uncle Freddie reached high up to the tippy-top of a tall bookcase in his small, but cozy room, and pulled down an old book. It had accumulated years of dust, and we had to wipe it off. The book, published by the Germans themselves, was one that I was familiar with having seen my own mother with a similar one documenting what happened to her family in the Holocaust. It had lists and lists of Jews that had been deported by the Nazis from my uncle’s city as well as where they sent them for liquidation.
Hope you appreciate this true story of survival amidst the horrors and death of the Holocaust. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal) 
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February 7, 2018

Cross The Street

I like this saying by life coach Iyanla Vanzant"
"When you see crazy coming, cross the street!"

I remember learning similarly from experts that the first lesson in self defense is always:
"If you can run, run!"

That doesn't mean your not strong or courageous.

It's just common sense to try to avoid trouble if you can. 

When people seriously fight, both usually can end up with a black eye or worse. 

And there are truly a lot of crazies out there.

Peace is always desired.

But strength (and preparedness) is always required. 

This makes sense as well in the larger context of the USA upgrading it's nuke arsenal and other weapons systems and platforms to deter enemy aggression.

Thus, peace through strength and of course, prayer! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 29, 2017

Doctors In Houston

With the crisis of Hurricane Harvey and the rains still battering Houston...

It was so amazing to read this morning about the doctors who are going all out to help people in need there.

Doctors staying in the hospital for days to cover their patients stuck there and requiring care and treatment.

And others that are wading through the waters at there own risk to get there to treat the sick.

One doctor mentioned was Adi Diab M.D. who trekked 3 miles through a foot of water to get Anderson Cancer Center "to attend to a patient undergoing an experimental cancer treatment."

He did this so as not to interfere with the patients scheduled treatment for the re-engineering of immune cells to fight a tumor.

I'll tell you, there really are some truly amazing people out there--whether doctors and nurses, firefighters and emergency responders, law enforcement and military personnel.

They run into danger and disaster zones when everyone else is running out. 

Is it professionalism, dedication, duty, or an angelic calling to help people and the nation in need.

This is our nation at its best--united!!!--and helping our neighbors, saving lives, and putting others before self.

"Houston there is a problem", and as unbelievably horrible and unfortunate as it is, perhaps it is also a critical reminder of what's really important and a healing to our great nation.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 28, 2017

Thank You To The Rescuers

With all the devastation going on around Houston and the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Harvey...

I thought it would be nice to just take a moment to reflect.

First, the pain and suffering of the people affected. 

I couldn't believe last night when I saw this image of residents in a assisted nursing facility sitting up to the necks in flood waters.

Or this morning, when I saw a photo in the Wall Street Journal of a firefighter holding a mother with her baby daughter lying on her, rescuing them through the waters. 

With over 3,000 rescues performed for people stranded in attics, rooftops, in cars, and all over the city and surroundings, I also think it's important to recognize all the firefighters and other emergency workers who put their lives on the line to help others. 

The Houston area is expected to get 50 inches of rain in under a week, which is what their usual annual rainfall is. 

So there is massive flooding and damage from Harvey as well as 250,000 people without power. 

My prayers go out to the people impacted and gratitude to the people who help them. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Huffington Post)
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July 9, 2017

Hitler Is Kaput

So I was surprised when a great friend wrote to me the other day about Hitler. 

And he said that some people say that he won!

He wanted to destroy the Jews and he did manage to kill 6,000,000 of us!

He wanted to conquer Europe (and the world) and he sparked a world war that killed between 50 million and 80 million people, spread fascism, and Germany still today remains the economic powerhouse of Europe.

But killing people, spreading evil, and causing world war is not the sign of a winner by any means--quite the contrary! 

And I replied to my friend:

Hitler and the Nazis are gone, dead, and destroyed, and we are here--what a miracle that from the ashes and depths of the Holocaust, the Israelites were redeemed after 2,000 years of exile--and just as the prophecy foretold, Israel was reborn, lives and thrives!

The sick hatred, evil, and fascist values of Hitler and his Third Reich Germany are gone into the dustbin of history and moreover, their very mention or memory evokes disdain and contempt as being the antiChrist and archetype of evil in the world.

Over the weekend, I watched the movie, The Zookeepers Wife and it was terrific. 

While the Nazi's perpetrated every conceivable evil on mankind, the righteous among the nations still managed to stand up in the face of evil and save innocent lives, and even when it put their own lives and that of their loved ones in jeopardy--that is true goodness!

The movie showed not only the Zookeeper and his wife who saved over 300 Jews during the Holocaust, but their young son yelled out after the miserable Nazi and said, "Hitler is kaput" or Hitler is finished!

Yes, Hitler and his evil cohorts are destroyed, but in every generation, there are new threats of evil and hate that arise, and to those, we still must bravely and with steadfast determination and strength confront--and those must be made kaput as well. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 30, 2017

It's Like Saving The Whole World

I saw this sign hanging prominently in a large local Baltimore hospital here (and it comes from the Talmud): 

"He who saves one life...It is as if he saves a whole world."

For doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners, what greater purpose or joy in life than to save other human lives!

Each person is truly a whole world unto themselves...their thoughts, feelings, and their contributions!

Who knows what one single act of kindness or generosity from someone can have--what impacts down the line to one or even billions of others. 

Today, I have a friend that is undergoing a major operation in this hospital. 

My thoughts and prayers are with him. 

This is his third hospitalization in the last few weeks and it's time for the doctors--with G-d's help--to save his life.

I actually had something similar to this friend many years ago, but the technology wasn't there yet to diagnose it, and I had to have emergency surgery where they went in "exploratory" to find out what the heck was going on.

And thank G-d that they did--they literally saved my life at the time or I wouldn't be writing to you all today. 

I feel so grateful to G-d for his mercy to us and for giving us modern medicine and technology and all the wonderful people who work tirelessly to help all the sick people and to help save their very lives.

I am wishing the best of luck to my friend to come through this with a full and merciful healing.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 16, 2017

That's One Scary Shot

Wow, this is one scary photo. 

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

Looks like he's dead!

Would you freak out totally?

Call 911.

Get the emergency responders on the scene. 

Try to save his life. 

Thoughts race through your mind. 

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

Is he going to make it? 

Where is his family?

OMG, what if they lose him?

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

Life is so full of surprises. 

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

But you have to be prepared for anything, anytime. 

This is a crazy world we live in. 

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

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

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2016

A Matter Of Vigilance

Getting around town, I have noticed a stark and scary hands-off absence of security. 

So different than the immediate vigilance after the attacks of 9/11 is the sleepiness of our security establishment now. 

Recently, I noticed a security guard not on lookout, but rather on video games on his smartphone while standing post. 

And then again coming down the street today, another guard (no child that is) was putting up handprints on the fogged up glass instead of having their hands safely on (or off) their trigger. 

What was even more frightening was that the guard abruptly turns around while handprinting the windows, as if I did something wrong just walking by, and says to me, "You scared me!"

To which I promptly replied, "Really, you're the one with the gun!"

It's incredible how far we have fallen security-wise after the attacks from New York to Paris and Orlando to Kiryat Arba.

In the Wall Street Journal today, Bret Stephens writes, "It's depressing to think that the only way the world might understand the truth about terrorism is to have some experience of it." 

Why do we have to be lazy and lackadaisical, playing around with people's lives, instead of with it and ready to prevent the next one and the next one?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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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December 19, 2014

Amazing Advances In Prosthetics


Watch this video...

Where a man who lost both arms over 40 years ago is fitted with these amazing dual prosthetics that he is able to control with his mind and muscle movements. 

Made with financing from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).

John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab shows the possibilities for the future for helping everyone from Wounded Warriors to those disabled from accidents and disease. 

G-d creates and we imitate and together we make an incredible flourishing world. ;-)

(Note: My gratitude to Rebecca Blumenthal for sharing this video with me.)
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December 4, 2014

Fire Truck Pride

I love when I see the fire and rescue vehicles that proudly display the flag. 

Not only are the people that do these jobs heroes in putting their own lives on the line to rescue and save others, but they are patriots as well. 

It's not only about the individuals they save, but also the country they serve. 

In democracys, there is a value for freedom and human rights--where every individual matters.

That's a country to take pride in and something worth risking life and limb for. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 10, 2014

Cure Cancer B4 It Kills Again


Nice seeing these signs and slogans against cancer posted today in Washington, D.C.

Looking at the 2014 statistics, there were almost 1.7 million new cases and almost 687 thousand deaths in the U.S. alone for cancer including of the brain/nervous system, female breast, colon/rectum, Leukemia, liver, lung/bronchus, non-hodgkin lymphoma, ovary, pancreas, and prostate.

Way too much suffering and death from cancer...we must fight this killer. 

Whatever we can do to raise money, caring, and empathy...we should do. 

Run, walk, give, support, remember...even just hold someone's hand. 

Thank you American Cancer Society and everyone out there helping to find the cure. 

"14 million cancer survivors are celebrating birthdays this year."

Won't it be miraculous when everyone is a survivor in a world without cancer anymore. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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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September 30, 2014

Ebola Has Arrived

The Washington Post ran an article on August 1, "Why You Are Not Going To Get Ebola In The U.S."

As of about 10 minutes ago, they are now reporting, "As Ebola Confirmed In U.S. , CDC vows, 'We're Stopping It In Its Tracks.'"

What do you think we'll see in the news about Ebola within the next 6 months or year--completely eradicated, mostly contained, spreading slowly, or G-d forbid a global pandemic? 

G-d should help us to conquer this disease quickly and completely. 

(Source Photo: here with Attribution to European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)
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September 9, 2014

Ebola On The Move

Watching this video of an ebola patient escaping quarantine and the panic in Liberia, it is hard not to be concerned about it coming here. 

Additionally, with a third American infected with Ebola overseas coming back home for treatment, and the CDC retesting a Miami patient negative for Ebola after having shown some symptoms, the stakes seem to be going up with this deadly disease. 

Just last Friday, GovExec reported that Ebola has a 18% chance of reaching the U.S. in September.

Moreover, if the outbreak is not contained the risk of it coming here is said to "increase consistently."

My daughter asked me the other day why commercial flights to/from the infected countries (not including aid delvieries) have not been cut off for now to help prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.

Unfortunately, I did not have a good answer to this, except that certainly there are economic and social implications to those countries in the short-term, but what are the potential costs to countless other global citizens if we do not do everything we can to adequately contain this outbreak?  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 26, 2014

Antimissile System for Airlines


Elbit Systems has an antimissile system that can protect commercial airlines from short range, shoulder fired missiles (MANPADs).

The military air fleet of the U.S., U.K., and Australia already have installed such devices to protect them.

Another system by Northrop Grumman is installed for heads of state like on Air Force One and Germany has ordered it for their Chancellor's plane. 

But the Elbit C-Music is being used already on Israel's commercial airlines, El AL and Israir. 

The thermal targeting device of C-Music uses a precise laser to deflect the incoming heat seeking ground to air missiles and save the passengers and plane. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, a bill to mandate such devices for American commercial airlines would cost approximately $43 billion over 20 years. 

While this system would not work against the type of sophisticated multiple launch rocket systems that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, it would go along way to enhance our anti-terrorism measures and protect Americans and other travelers coming to/from the U.S. 

Please don't shoot down this idea...  ;-)
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July 15, 2014

Fighting With A Fear Of G-d


Amazing video from Al Jazeera Arabic that praises the Israeli and French militaries for respecting and protecting civilians.

This, in contrast--as Al Jazeera reports--to Hezbollah, Syria, and others extremist militants that deliberately target civilians and use them as human shields. 

We've heard in recent days again, how the IDF continues to go to great lengths to avoid hitting mosques, hospitals, and even trying to warn residents before an attack to save their lives. 

While mistakes happen in fighting and war, I must say how proud I am of the IDF for their efforts to act humanely under inhumane circumstances, while attacks are underway across the nation, and to always consider the moral implications of what they do. 

In the Wall Street Journal today, Bret Stephens states, that the weakness of the Israel is only through moral defeat, because the Jewish people "favors moral self-regard over normal self interest."

Similarly, Woody Allen's frequent humorous portrayal in the movies of Jewish introspection is funny, because it resonates so true for a people always trying to do and make right. 

Again today, we saw that Israel, not wanting to fight unless absolutely necessary, respected the ceasefire with Gaza, while Hamas outright rejected it and continued shooting off volleys of missiles indiscriminantly into Israel.

As Hamas has themselves stated about their waves of suicide bombers, rocket launches at population centers and critical infrastructure, and other dirty tactics, "We love death more than you love life."

The IDF is an inspiring example of fighting with ethics, dignity, and ultimately a fear of G-d more than any enemy could evoke. 
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September 15, 2013

Giving--Coming Right Back To You


I love this video!

It is about a giving man who helps a hungry child pay for food that the child had stolen. 

The man throughout his life cares and provides to those in need. 

Later in life the man gets deathly sick and needs an expensive operation.

The doctor in the hospital provides a bill to the man's daughter, but all the charges are zeroed out. 

It turns out that the doctor is the hungry boy from years ago and he recognizes the patient as the man that had saved him.

It is now his turn to pay it forward to the man who gave all his life. 

One act of giving can influence and spark countless other good deeds. 

Never underestimate the power of giving to others. 

It is the one thing that we can do universally to help. 
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February 1, 2012

App Provides Push-Button Emergency Help

Crimepush
An important new free iPhone/Android App called CrimePush hit the market today.

It allows you or a loved one at the push of a button to report a crime.  

Once you download the app, you can store your name, phone number, and address (so it's there in case something G-d forbid happens).

Further, you can set the App to report crimes with your information or anonymously and with or without your GPS location. 

Then you have a screen that provides you with 9 options for the various types of crime or emergency:

- Theft
- Threat
- Altercation
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical
- Accident
- Vandalism
- Drugs
- Harassment


Click on theft, as an example, the date and time are pre-populated for you, and you have a free text area to describe the incident, and the options to add a photo, video, or audio.

Then simply hit the "push" button to submit to the authorities. 

My understanding is that more enhancements to the CrimePush App are in the works such as the ability to shake your phone to activate CrimePush, so the police can find you quickly through GPS. 

CrimePush has the potential to help a lot of people and ultimately actually help to reduce crime by having people report instead of ignore, and provide information to the authorities faster, more accurately, and more comprehensively using the various multimedia options to capture the crime and the criminals.

(Source Photo: here)

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