Showing posts with label Capital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Capital. Show all posts

October 15, 2020

Artsy Bike

This is an artistic bike in Washington, D.C. 

Like a newspaper, it's black and white and "read" or actually rode all over. 

How much time do you give a bike like this before it gets stolen on the streets downtown?

D.C. seems to be getting even worse than before, now with Coronavirus and the riots. 

Doesn't feel safe, and it's in definite need of an urban makeover from all the horrible poverty and homelessness.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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January 22, 2020

How Are These Unlivable "Living Conditions" Allowed To Persist?

Continued to be appalled at the unlivable "living conditions" of the homeless in the Capital. 

Makeshift tents line up and down under the train tracks to Union Station. 

Spikes overhead make this an extra frightening looking arrangement. 

People walking by and to/from work--after a while, is there a mixture of acceptance and indifference?

It's freezing outside and this is NO WAY for any human being to have to live. 

Can we put partisan politics aside for any period of time to deal with the very harsh problems facing real people?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 13, 2020

Roosters or Homelessness?

So I had to drive into downtown Washington D.C. 

Along the way, I saw this colorful artistic rooster. 

I appreciate this quick pick-me-up from this. 

Yet, all around the streets were homeless people. 

One was literally collapsed on a narrow island between the opposing lanes of traffic.

Some horrible-looking food, rags of clothes, and two bottles of liquor lay next to him and one of his arm hang almost into the moving traffic. 

This was just one of many that I saw in abject poverty and desperation. 

So I really feel conflicted looking at this colorful rooster. 

What good is it when the people are homeless, sick, and starving? ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 12, 2019

Spider Man D.C.

This so reminded me of...
Spider Man, Spider Man, Does Whatever A Spider Can.

Veterans Day must be a great day to get your windows washed. 

Or to spin a web of intricate proportions in D.C. politics. 

Either way aside from the windows, what of significance is actually getting resolved in our partisan capital?

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 22, 2018

Monopoly Yerushalmi

I am so excited to play this edition of Monopoly Jerusalem edition. 

The properties of obviously from famous places in the Holy City of Jerusalem, such as The Kenneset, Mount Olives, Mount Herzl, Hebrew University, Montefiore Windmill, Mahane Yehuda Market, The Biblical Zoo, The Israel Museum, Tower of David, and of course, The Western Wall, and more. 

The cards are in both Hebrew and English so I can continue to improve my Hebrew language skills. 

I think this is a perfect topic to be thinking about today, which is  Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av).

This is a perfect Shabbat game for after Shul and Kiddish, and I am looking forward to the family sitting down to play Monopoly Jerusalem style. 

I want to also note that Jerusalem along with the Holy Temple (may it be rebuilt speedily in our day) is a perfect topic to be thinking about today, because this is the day on the Hebrew calendar when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in both 586 BCE by the Babylonians as well as in 70 CE by the Romans after they had laid siege to the city--the exact same day of the calendar year over 650 years apart--and so this is a day of commemoration, mourning, and introspection for the Jewish people. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 6, 2017

Mazel Tov On Jerusalem

Today, Jerusalem has been recognized as the capital of Israel--Mazel tov!

- 70 years after President Truman instructed the State Department to support the U.N. partition plan.

- 50 years since the Six Day War in which Jerusalem was reunified.

- 22 years after the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed for relocating the U.S. Embassy to the capital, Jerusalem.

Everyone has been patient and waited a long time for this.

As President Trump stated, we are recognizing the reality, the obvious, and "it is the right thing to do!"

Yes, Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine their own capital as every nation does. 

And Jerusalem is that capital today as it has been historically from the times of the Bible. 

We are blessed to be witnessing in our time the miraculous fulfillment of G-d's promise for the quintessential return of the Israelites to the Promised Land, and toward the ultimate redemption.

From the ashes of the Holocaust, G-d has resurrected and brought us alive again.

Many that I have spoken with today express genuine fear about the ramifications of this announcement of recognition. 

But as President Trump displayed today, we must all go forward together courageously and in celebration. 

The State of Israel is blooming from its agricultural fields to the incredible medical and technological innovations that are helping people throughout the world.

We must never forget that it is only with G-d's blessing and under his watchful eye.

May we all pray for peace and security, and let their not be war or terrorism anymore! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via WhiteHouse.gov)
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October 15, 2017

World Of Amazing Times and People


Took this video at the World of Montgomery Festival today. 

The dancers, singers, drummers, and costumes were all great.

The weather today an unseasonably warm 76 degrees and being out and about was fun. 

Plus it was an extra special treat to meet up with my pal Congressman Jamie Raskin. 



Thank you G-d for all the amazing times and good people. 

(Source Video and Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 9, 2017

Nuke Fear Turning To Action?

What sane person would not be afraid of the incredibly destructive power of nukes (and other weapons of mass destruction)?

Currently, there are about 15,000 nukes either stockpiled or poised to strike around the world. 

Enough deadly weapons to kill the entire planet!

After a frightening series of 5 nukes tests since 2006 plus 18 technologically progressive ballistic missiles tests over the last 6 months, things are escalating after new sanctions imposed to try to contain the threat--with North Korea rattling it's nuclear arsenal with a shrill threat of attack moving to "physical action" and the U.S. shooting back "fire and fury,


As to further North Korean mad progress, it was reported that they are developing a powerful new H-bomb with immense destructive power, especially towards our density killing fields:

- If such a weapon would strike, G-d forbid, Washington D.C., it could mean 500,000 dead and another 900,000 injured--let alone what this would mean in terms of a destructive decapitation to the very functioning and continuity of our government and country. 

- Even worse fatalities would occur should it strike our financial capital, New York City, with estimates of 1.7 million dead. 

Hence, the news that this is no joking matter anymore (as if it really ever was). 

Fears typically first get expressed in rhetoric, but then with greater and ever potent means for them to become reality, the risks increase for them to actually make the horrific leap. 

What happens next with the ever menacing dangers from rogue Axis of Evil nations, North Korea and Iran--and will we ever feel and be safe again, absent any meaningful social progress while they continue to absolutely and speedily advance their ever more deadly weapons programs and the means to deliver them, first class. ;-0

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 14, 2017

I Met The Swamp And It Is Us

So with the election came promises (and hope to some) to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. and beyond. 

That means redefining the size, scope, and purpose of federal government.

It also means reducing regulations that stifle American business and competitive advantage, placing restrictions on lobbying, and imposing term limits on Congress.

Presumably, it also means addressing mounds of fraud, waste and abuse in the system (many examples of each are out there).  

So here is a funny true story from when I was traveling recently...

A gentleman is riding with me in the elevator and he turns to me to make chit-chat. 

He says, "Good morning. Where you from?"

I smile and respond, "Washington, D.C.," and add proudly, "the nation's capital!"

He then asks, "What do you do there?"

Feeling a little perky that morning and with the elevator ride about to come to a stop at the lobby, I quickly blurt out, "Oh, cleaning up the swamp."

To which, the man responds with the sarcasm galore and probably a good dose of disdain, "Yeah right!" 

There was something so comical about this scene in which I sort of baited this guy and at the same time found the reaction that is all too likely throughout America.

Do people believe and are they committed that we really do the following:

- Change the status quo of big stumbling government

- Right the wrongs done by those who take advantage of the system, its power and big money

- Restrain the ginormous national debt that threatens to consume all of us

- Fairly and compassionately address the nation's priorities including those for national security, prosperity, and well-being

- Drain the swamp from the horrendous creatures that dwell and thrive therein

And the capital is not built on a preexisting swamp, but it did come and grow, man-made, dark and deep, as a result of the greed and fear that drives too many, far too far. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 29, 2016

Obama, Kerry, and the UN's 6 Principles of Ultimate Hypocrisy

So how do we know that Obama, Kerry, and the UN's position and resolutions against Israel is biased, hateful, and Anti-Semitic? 

Let's briefly look at the 6 ludicrous principles--as applied to the United States and it's settling the land of the Native American Indians. 

Principle 1: Recognized International Borders for 2 People  

- For the United States that would be recognized international borders for the Native American Indians and for the the United States agreed to by both sides.

Principle 2: Two States for Two Peoples

- That would be a West America for Native American Indians and an East America for the United States (see graphic above).

Principle 3: Realistic Solution for Refugees

- The realistic solution would not involve a return of the Native American Indians to East America, but would involve compensation. 

Hmm, how much do we realistically owe the Native American Indians for half the country? 

Principle 4: Washington DC as Capital for 2 States

- That would look something like this with a West Washington D.C. as capital for Native American Indians and an East Washington D.C. as capital for the United States. 

Principle 5: Satisfy U.S. Security Needs

- This would involve "innovative approaches to creating unprecedented, multi-layered border security."  

Uh, what does that mean, especially with our estimated 11.4 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. already???

Principle 6: Normalized Relations

- For the U.S., "this must bring broader peace" with South American neighbors (including Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.) and would allow "groundbreaking" security partnerships with others like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. 

Wonder how that would all work out, huh???

The main difference between the U.S. and Israel is that actually Jews were promised the land of Israel by G-d him/herself and the Jews have actually lived and worshipped there for 4,000 years!

If Obama, Kerry, and the United Nations want to lecture on a Two State Only Solution, perhaps they need to start by contacting the Native American Indians and getting out their drawing boards. ;-)

(Source Graphics: By Andy Blumenthal adapted from here and here)

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March 16, 2016

Metro Doesn't Always Get You There

So today the Washington D.C. Metro has a full suspension of service for at least 24 hours over the entire system

Metro says it is to check safety after a fire on the system on Monday, but the hastiness and extremeness of the action has many scratching their heads and asking "Terror Threat?"

Either way, better safe than sorry!

It's funny because just on the way home yesterday, I took this photo of what I believe is a advertisement for taking Metro (instead of driving) or for some reason I took it as that. 

Metro is supposed to get you there, but doesn't always. 

Still better than sitting in traffic or getting tickets downtown. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 19, 2015

Washington Like The Powerful Great Falls

We went to Great Falls on the Virginia side yesterday. 

It started to rain a little as we got off the highway, and so we started to turn back disappointed. 

But before we got back on the highway, the rain stopped and we continued our "Sunday Funday" trip. 

With 3 beautiful overlooks of the Potomac River--even on a cloudy, chilly Fall day--it was marvelous. 

Because of the changing weather, it wasn't too crowded and we were able to get right up on the overlooks for some spectacular views and photos. 

At one point a (rescue?) helicopter suddenly pulled up from nowhere beneath the cliffs and was like right there up close in our faces, but we had already started to pull back to the trail and I missed a cool photo that I would've like to capture. 

The current of the water is really strong at Great Falls and an average of 7 people die a year there. 

Also, sometimes there is such enormous flooding that the water crests above the high overlooks--75 feet up!--and overflows onto the park's grounds. 

We watched some climbers scampering along down on the rocks by the water (on the left) as they got close, but not too close to the water's edge. 

As I think about it, living in Washington, D.C., the capital and superpower political hotbed of the world, the symbolism of being on the edge is not lost. 

Some people wade too far and get overcome by the rising water and powerful currents, and others may be too apathetic or fearful to even get close enough to dip their toe in the muddle. 

Even for those that sincerely care and want to try to make a difference in the direction and future of where we are going--technologically and success-wise--it's water, water everywhere.

Like Great Falls, DC runs with a powerful current--a lot of it simply running nowhere, much is hidden beneath the surface, but overall with enough force to shape our country's destiny for better or for worse. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 8, 2015

What's The Capital Of The United States Again?

So this is what the state of education in the United States has come to.

We were having dinner last night with another couple. 


They asked my daughter, "Do they still teach geography in school? They don't teach that anymore do they?"


My daughter said, "Yeah, we learned a lot of geography" and gave some good examples both modern and ancient. 


So the guy says, "Well I don't think a lot of other schools are teaching geography anymore, like they used to with us."


Then he tells us a story how someone they know was asked what the capital of China was.


And he goes to me, "You know, you know [he emphasizes again], what the guy said?"


I looked at him a little puzzled by this question, like what could someone possibly answer to such a simple question, so I said, "Well I hope they said Beijing."


He nods his head back and forth no, eyes closed, lips pursed, like we won't believe what he was about to say.


Then, he says, "The guy said that the capital of China is...JAPAN!"


I looked at him my eyes squinting in disbelief, like that can't be a for real answer, right?


"No," he says, "That was what this guy thought, can you believe it?"


I said sort of laughing out loud, "Well maybe if World War II had ended differently that would be correct."


It sort of reminds me of the famous goof when Clinton gave the Russians the now famous "Reset Button."


It was supposed to indicate a thawing and renewal of peaceful relations, only the word printed on the button was "Peregruzka" meaning a more hostile "Overcharge."


Oops! 


Maybe the overcharge referred to was prophetic of the West's losing the strategic Crimea to the Russian blitzkrieg in 2014. How much did that mistake cost us?


I guess it's not only STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) suffering in our educational system. 


How's that standards based education reform "No Child Left Behind" (2001) working out? 


It definitely seems like some folks are most definitely being left behind if not completely lost in the system.


At this rate, I fear the capital of the United States is now Iran. ;-)

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April 24, 2015

DC, The Cleanest City In The World

Check out what we have in Washington, DC...

Gum Busters--"chewing gum removal specialists"!

If we can get the gummies out of politics, imagine what we can accomplish. 

Man, DC has got to be one of the cleanest cities in the world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 16, 2015

Lying Around D.C.

I took this picture in downtown Washington, D.C.

Not sure what this guy (is it a guy?) is doing lying around on the street. 

Is he abandoned, homeless, a little tipsy, or just taking a break out of a busy day?

Funny that he looks like he's giving passerbys the thumbs up. 

Also, he seems to have a funny smile on his face--like he knows something, hmm.

What do you think he's doing in the Capital? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 2, 2015

Metro Wide Open

I took this photo in the Washington, D.C. Metro today. 

What do you think it is?

Lots of electronics, wires, lights--and in front of it and holding the door open is a "caution" pylon. 

This is one of the faregates to get into the metro system for the Capital region. 

Now how "smart" is it to leave the door wide open to this contraption. 

Usually the basics of physical security is gates, guards, and guns--in this case, the gates part is broken. 

The Department of Homeland Security was provided another week of funding to work out the immigration mess pitting Congress against the President...

But even with DHS still up and running, security is looking a little too wide open again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 3, 2014

Not The Ad You Want To See In DC

No explanation needed as to why you wouldn't want to see this walking down the street in the Capital. 

Ban this advertisement from Washington D.C. please. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 20, 2014

Bittersweet Green

So lately, passing by Sweet Greens in the morning has not been so sweet.

The tables outside are being used by those unfortunately with no place to sleep. 

When I see the homeless people under the Sweet Green awning lying on the tables wrapped in ripped clothes and blankets trying to get some much needed sleep, it is completely heart breaking. 

At the same time, I wonder about the health and safety for people who come later to eat on those tables that only hours earlier were somebody's bed for the night.

Not a good situation all around...and can never understand why a wealthy society such as ours can't feed, cloth, and shelter ALL its citizens--so they don't have to sleep at Sweet Greens anymore. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 20, 2014

Winning Respect Of The People

Please see my new article here in Public CIO Magazine on how we can learn from the technology industry to improve our nation's government. 

"We can solve technological problems beyond our forefathers' wildest dreams, but we're challenged to break political gridlock. compromise, make difficult decisions, and forge a balanced, reasoned path forward."

Hope you enjoy!

Andy

(Source Photo: the talented Michelle Blumenthal)
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January 7, 2014

In The Capital, Scary Cold

So it was 3 degrees in Washington, D.C. today (and that's before wind chill). 

I don't ever remember it being this cold, ever!

Getting on the Metro this evening, this big guy came on wearing this scary hat.

But what was really unusual was that even while we were on the train for a while, he didn't take the scary hat off. 

I didn't know whether this guy was just still cold or whether we was a murderer or terrorist in waiting. 

After a while, I said to the guy, I have a blog and does he mind if I take a photo--and he was nice enough and said, "Go ahead."

So this is how he rode the Metro all the way home. 

Today was a scary cold day--because of the temperature for sure, but also because of this unbelievable hat. 

I was literally right in front of this guy--how do you think that felt? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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