Showing posts with label Extremism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Extremism. Show all posts

February 16, 2019

Getting Rid Of The "Farting Cows"

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Getting Rid of the Farting Cows:
When politicians are extremists (Alt-left or -right) and want to get rid of "farting cows" and airplanes, then who knows what or who is next on their genocidal list (and with the elimination of cows being all too reminiscent of the notion of Jews going “like sheep to the slaughter.”)

Bigotry, hate and extremism is unbecoming of a Congressional Representative like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and they should be resolutely rejected-- it hurts an important environmental cause and needs to be rejected for the cows and for us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Pixabay)
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November 10, 2018

Democrats and Democracy

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Democrats and Democracy--Could It Be Again?"
The polarization, opposition, racism, and hatred is despicable and seems to only be getting worse. Two more people came to me today after synagogue to tell me they are “resigning” from the democratic party. We all used to love the Democratic Party and what it stood for, especially as Jews, who know the endless and murderous barbs of discrimination and anti-Semitism. What has happened? What once stood for freedom, respect, and dignity for all has turned upside down and inside out. All I hear now is hate, hate, and more hate.

Whichever political party and leadership can do what's right for the nation and adhere to civil rights, human rights, and doing what's right--that's the one for me. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 6, 2018

The DIVIDED States of America

Our nation is increasingly polarized with little to no tolerance of others wants, thinking, or actions. 

- First under Obama.

- Then with the election between Hillary and Trump.

- And now over Judge Kavanaugh.

The result has been some of the worst behaviors seen since the Civil War--with not only disrespect, restrictions on freedom of expression, but even threats and actual violence!

This nation is no longer the UNITED States, but much more like the DIVIDED States. 

And that just plays into our enemies hands and could lead us to eventually lose our very democracy to totalitarianism, dictatorship, and tyranny.  

So now may be a good time to review for yourself how many biases are driving your thought processes and behaviors and creating dangerous fundamentalists and extremists all around us instead of thoughtful dialogue, negotiation, and compromise. 

Here are 20 biases that may be affecting you more than you realize:

- Do you overestimate the importance of the information you have or feel good about (Anchoring,  Availability, and Choice-Supportive Biases)?

- Do you seek out and perceive information that simply validates your preconceptions (Information,
Confirmation, and Selective Perception Bias)? 

- Do you overemphasize information that is more recent or recognizable (Recency and Salience Biases)?

- Are you ignoring information that doesn't "fit your script" (Ostrich Effect/Omission and Conservatism Bias)?

- Are you tied up in the groupthink of your peers (Bandwagon Effect)?

- Do you see patterns in random events or conspiracies that don't exist (Clustering Illusion)?

- Are you overconfident in your thought process and conclusions (Overconfidence Bias)?

- Do you tend to overvalue the usefulness or success of something, but not recognize its limitations or failures (Pro-Innovation and Survivorship Bias)?

- Do you fail to take risks because you prefer certainty (Zero-Risk Bias)? 

- Does your thinking something will happen actually cause it to happen (Placebo Effect)? 

- Do you use the ends to justify the means (Outcome Bias)?

- Do you judge people by their race, class, gender, religion, sexual preferences, or national origin (Stereotyping)?

- Do you fail to recognize your own biases (Blind-Spot Bias)?

Perhaps if more people would open their minds to information and engage in genuine thinking and critical thinking, rather than a lot of fake news and hype, we would be a far better and stronger nation. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Business Insider)
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September 24, 2018

We Have Become Our Own Worst Enemies

The politics have gotten worse than ever again.

Since 2008 and Obama's left-wing tilt followed by Hillary's election debacle and Donald Trump's upset win, what have we seen:

- Resistance

- Violent Marches

- Extremism From Nazis And ANTIFA

- Photos Of Decapitation

- Threats To Blow Up The White House

- Chasing Politicians From Restaurants

- Stealing Questions From Debates

- Secret Dossiers

- Smear Campaigns

- Special Counsels

- Sanctuary Cities


- Lies and Obfuscation

- Endless Challenges and Lawsuits

- Pay Freezes

- Government Shutdowns

- Stalled Legislation For Healthcare, Immigration, And more


- Screams for Impeachment

- Possible Planning of a Coup

- Talk of states seceding or even of another Civil War 

Folks, what are we doing?

You're gonna justify the means with the ends? 

However, what are the ends so far and in the foreseeable future. 

Nothing productive can get done politically or otherwise this way. 

One side wins and the other throws a temper tantrum and stonewalls and then in reverse. 

There is world instability from Russia to China, North Korea, and Iran, as well as violence and refugees from Syria to Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Afghanistan

The economic boom may very well end up an economic bust when it comes time to pay the humongous national deficit bill. 

We are eating each other alive instead of creating a better world order. 

Extremism begets extremism.

Hate begets hate. 

You can tell yourself that you are fighting for what is right--both sides do--but perhaps you are destroying much more than you are building. 

Things have gone too far and this country is self-destructing with or without Russian intervention. 

We have become our own worst enemies. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 6, 2018

A Three-Party System

Yeah, these signs say a lot about our two-party system of government. 
"Republican: Because everyone can't be on welfare."

"Democrat: Because everyone can't be greedy."

Sort of the age old story of competing interests. 

Certainly also a good dose of Fear vs. Greed. 

And where the rich get richer and the poor get welfare.

It's good to have the 2 extremes of the political thinking spectrum, because it shows us perhaps where the middle is. 

Neither extreme is good, but rather it's a balancing act. 

We can't have more than 50% of the wealth owned by the top 1% of the people. 

And we can't have everyone on entitlements where no one is working, innovating, and producing. 

Yes of course, some people will have more than others and some people will need help. 

There needs to be motivation to "get ahead" and there must be a social safety net for when bad things happen. 

This is life.

But the to extent that we can have the most people in respectable jobs earning a reasonable (true living) wage and that there is equitable prosperity to go around for everyone--this is ideal.

Really 2-parties is not enough, because extremes tend to get more extreme--this is the momentum of polarization and politicization until the extremes tear us apart. 

Instead we need a strong centrist party (or parties)--that can not only play to, but also execute the middle of the road approach. 

It's not all or nothing, but rather compromise to a logical and reasonable solution on every issue. 

No, we don't want to get rid of ICE, and we don't want open borders. 

No we don't want entitlements that bankrupt the nation, and we don't want people down on their luck going needy. 

No, we don't want women who have been raped or incested or otherwise can't raise their children being forced to have them, and we don't want babies being murdered in the late stages of pregnancy. 

No we don't want to blow up the planet, and we don't want our enemies besting us. 

We don't want pollution in our air, water, and streets, and we don't want to strangle the economy with endless and mindless regulation. 

And on and on. 

It's high time to move to the center where common sense reigns.

It overdue to have a legitimate 3+ party system that talks real solutions to the people. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 30, 2018

Iran--and Obama--Lied



The Iranian Nuclear Deal has been definitively proven to be based on lies and deception. 

G-d has once again helped Israel achieve a miraculous intelligence coup against Axis of Evil, Iran!

The real proof is in the archive (not the fake news echo chamber).

Iran has a clear path to nukes, and they have been working feverishly towards this maniacal end for decades!

This has put Western Civilization at grave risk at the hands of the fanatical Mullahs who endlessly call for death to America, Israel, and even Sunni civilization. 

The only thing the Iranian deal was good for was as a deceptive political ploy by Obama to gain a fake win and to support dangerous Iranian global terrorism, extremism, human rights violations, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

Now we know the real reason certain people couldn't say the words "Islamic Terrorism."

Iran lied, but so did Obama. 

I can hear our bombers revving their engines and see the smart bombs being loaded into their bays.

It's well past time to make things right and conduct the necessary preemptive strike to foil their evil plans and destroy their wicked weapons of mass destruction before they can use them on you know who. ;-)
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June 21, 2017

Diversity Necessitates Respect

So this was an interesting photo taken of a sticker hung in front/near the Capitol reflecting pool in Washington, D.C. 

It is one of the faces of the resistance, and while it's not Linda Sarsour, it reminds me of her--she is the one who garnered wide attention at the 2017 Women's March not long ago. 

Remember her rant of "Sisters and Brothers!"--whose sister is she anyway?

With her polarizing politics, support for Sharia Law and anti-Zionist rants and support for the BDS movement, she certainly is not mine. 

Note: An Israeli official even came out yesterday with like concerns about her. 

Here are some of Sarsour's alleged sayings about Sharia Law--or is this more of a complete embrace? 




While I greatly believe in diversity and strongly adhere to valuing and respecting all good people out there... 

There is something that feels wrong here. 

Generic images like the top photo with the traditional Muslim hair covering--again, I respect this.

It is overlaid with the American Flag--again nothing wrong with that--Jews wear yarmulkes with the flag too.

But look further now...underneath it states: 
"We The People  
are greater than fear"

Hmm...We the people--who is the "we" here?

Is this a group photo of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc.--so where is the inclusivity?

With Sarsour's insertion of a Sharia ideology into American politics, perhaps, there is a subtle--or not so subtle--attack on our greater American freedom and democracy going on here.

Sharia law is being spread around the globe by:

- Decree (think of the Mullahs in Iran)

- Terror (think ISIS and Al-Qaeda)

- Sympathy (think of the Palestinians)

- Mass immigration (think of the changing cultural face of Europe), and 

- Expropriating other people's causes (such as Democracy and freedom and so called justice with Linda Sarsour).

Everyone is entitled to their peaceful beliefs, especially when there is a ethos of  mutual respect and a truthful recognition and acceptance for everyone of "Live and let live!"

But when the bounds are trampled by those who want to see only "their way or the highway"...then we need to seriously fear--who are "We the people"--and what do they really want? ;-)

(Source top Photo: Andy Blumenthal and memes from Internet search)
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Left and Right Unite

So I saw on Facebook, an image of an old, wise, Native American Indian.

And over the image, it reads:


"The left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird."

That is pretty darn smart--and one of the best things I heard all week!

To many extremist people out there, they seem to have been forgetting this lately.

Also, the agitators don't seem to let up--does it matter if it's conspiracy theories or fake news--if it gets the bird in the net for clip-clip.

In an effort to "resist"--or perhaps utterly destroy the opposition--we have put politics above the National interest. 

Yes, politics matter--issues matter--people matter. 

But can the bird fly with only one wing?

Sure, we need to speak up when we see something wrong or that we don't agree with.

But we also need to discuss, negotiate, and compromise--for Pete's sake, work together to make the bird stronger and fly further and faster--rather than kill the bird itself. 

Our competitors and enemies have arrows pointed at and are shooting them at our American Eagle.

Will we give them the advantage as we self-destruct with loathing for one another? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 19, 2017

I Doth Fear

Innocent Shakespeare in the Park or violent assassination incitement of the President of the United States? 

Kathy Griffin holding up a severed head of the President.

Stephen Colbert's tirade and obscenities.

And the list goes on and on...

Is this resistance or are things perhaps going too far for political discourse? 

Whatever your views, does the rhetoric need to get any hotter or more violent in this country. 

Cooler heads and compromise need to prevail for anything positive to come from all this.

Is it not still possible to unite under the shared values of freedom, human rights, and democracy that we all presumably hold dear and use these to advance our common cause? 

At least twice now protesters have stormed the Shakespearean stage calling the incitement as an evil portrayal reminiscent of those like Nazi Propaganda Minister, Goebbels (may his name and memory be erased).

The other side pretends nothing is going on and says, but it's only Shakespeare. 

Demonstrating against the actors' nightly violent portraying (and perhaps undisguised wishing for) the killing of the President, the plays' protesters are themselves summarily dragged off by security.

Nothing seems to stop the shrill words, calls for violence, and violence itself. 

Just last week, we had the unreal and gross shooting of Congressman Whip, Steve Scalise, at an early morning baseball practice with his colleagues. 

For those who care to glimpse down the road, what happens from here as we seem to forget who we are as people and as a nation, and we let extremists take over the agenda.

I doth fear (a little Shakespeare myself here) that the problem with extremism and violence is that it can too easily beget more extremism and violence.

Incessant name-calling, an avalanche of punches by the media, hostility on college campuses towards free speech, SNL just poking fun (is this really so funny anymore), an inciting Shakespearean play, plus marches, protests, and then taking things too far.

Like the closing in a classic Shakespearean tragedy...should we all not fear how this will end? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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March 25, 2017

A Nation Conquered By Politics

So Obamacare is failing with rates spiraling up out of control and choices narrowing for people that need good affordable healthcare. 

And the Ryancare replacement plan failed to garner enough votes and has been questioned by the alt-right as not going further enough to change things for the better. 

Blame the parliamentarian, blame each other, blame the Russians. 

Between the two sides of the aisle, there aren't enough centrists, and the parties won't work together on a solution to this or anything else apparently--hence the utter catastrophic deadlock and lack of progress in Washington going on for years now!

The democrats passed Obamacare along party lines without a single Republican.

And now Ryancare similarly had not a single Democrat. 

Resistance.  Resistance.  Resistance!

This is how polarized and ineffective our system of governing has become, when the two sides love their position and power more than they love the people of this great nation!

The Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, and Iranians didn't have to fire a single shot...they just continued to shame our ineffectiveness with bogus deals and aggressive posturing, fed us boatloads  of misinformation ("fake news") to agitate our already divided country, and then they left us to split asunder under of our democracy's own weight. 

As the Republicans point fingers and the Democrats gloat--there is a great refrain of La La La Koosh Koosh going on--and the Superpower U.S. is looking not only asleep, but also fat, stupid and sprawled out pathetic with no where to go but up from here. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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March 5, 2017

Polarized and Not Going To Take It Anymore

So they say about Washington politics, "if you're not on offense, then you're on defense."

In the polarized mood of the nation, this has never been more true. 

The alt-left and alt-right are stronger than ever and pointing fingers and fists at one another. 

Each side, the ultra -liberals and -conservatives are duking it out over who is is going on the offensive today.

Only to be outmaneuvered the very next day and be placed back on the defensive. 

Who communicated with the Russians today?

Who used their private email today?

Who committed perjury and lied under oath today?

Who was offensive and even violent at rallies and protests today? 

And on and on...

You're either on offense or your stuck on defense!

And the more polarized and hateful of each other this nation has become, including in the media, the more the outrageous the accusations and the more alternate facts and fake news. 

But what I learned today is that this doesn't just apply to politics.

Religion is another prime source for discrimination and hate of your fellow man. 

I remember learning that over history, more people have died in wars in the name of religion than for any other reason.

So too today, the "crazy-hard line" ultra religious and the "throw-it-all away" irreligious are just as polarized. 

The religious mock the irreligious as self-haters and atheists and the irreligious make fun of the rightwing religious as abusive and robotic.

Moreover, any disagreement results in insults and loathing over who is morally superior.

Of course, everyone cites sources and authorities to show why their position is the correct one and everyone else is wrong about religion and G-d. 

Attack, defend, attack, defend. 

No wonder nothing is getting constructively done.

No wonder children are confused. 

No wonder those around us laugh at our seeming inability to come together, all as G-d's wonderful creatures. 

Who will be on the attack today and who will be on defense. 

If only we could have a panini instead of all this anger, hate, extremism, and rejectionist bias toward our fellow man. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 28, 2017

U.S. National Demise From Political and Media Extremism


When politics

When media becomes propaganda, this country is in serious trouble.

We are so busy telling each other what "the truth" is that nothing is getting done. 

While Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and radical Islamist terrorists increase in strength and bravado, we are fighting one another here at home.

As more people in the U.S. gravitate to the extremes--alt-left and alt-right--lines in sand are drawn between us, while the red lines defending our common interests are eviscerated. 

Self-destructing from within, while we outwardly spend $600 billion on defense--34% of that of the entire world!

No strategy or weapons can defend us, when fake news and alternate facts and hatred of one another is at our present-day core. 

Tearing us apart, the endless hateful calls of:

- "Not my President"

- "Resistance and persistence"

- "Love Trumps Hate"

- "Deplorables, Nazis, Communists!"

The political extremists and their media henchmen are leading the charge to America's downfall and possible doomsday. 

Unless we, the American people, can moderate and unify and love each other again.

We must before our enemies take advantage of our inner divisiveness and weakness.

If we don't come to our common senses, then we may very well pay a most heavy price in our persons, property, and freedom that we all so cherish and value. ;-)
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November 14, 2015

BDS Just Another Terrorist Attack

There over 200 land disputes around the globe, but on Wednesday, the European Union singled out the one Jewish State of Israel and targeted them over the dispute with the Palestinians.

The EU insists that goods produced in Israel--on land seized from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in The Third Arab-Israeli War of 1967--be labeled as "Made In Settlements"--thereby supporting the anti-Semitic movement of Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) against the democratic State of Israel.


Just two days later, the EU got their sincere thank you from extremist Islamic terrorists who mercilessly struck Paris with attacks at the concerts halls, restaurants, and sports stadiums brutally killing at least 129 people and wounding over 350 others.

All loss of life is terrible, and especially innocent victims of terror, and my heart goes out to the victims of these evil attacks in Paris. 

Unfortunately, Europe is getting just a taste of what Israel has been living with for 67 years surrounded by hordes of violent extremists willing to inculcate generational hatred and wage unending terror and war--from missiles and suicide bombs, rocks and molotov cocktails, guns and knives to BDS, they are more than happy to use whatever it takes to kill all Jews and Zionists and throw every last one into the sea.


So perhaps Europe may finally awake from its deep slumber and long Anti-Semitic history, and instead of targeting Israel with BDS just 70 years after the Holocaust where six million Jews were murdered in Europe, the EU will recognize who is attacking them and is the true enemy of western civilization, democracy, and their very national identities.

High time for Europe to embrace Israel as their brothers in faith and allies in the battle against terrorism, hate, and extremism.


BDS is just another terror tactic by the extremists who want to terrorize and murder Jews and other "infidels." And labeling products from Israel like labeling Jews in the Holocaust with the Star of David is anti-Semitism and evil. 


It's time to reject BDS for the terrorism it is and instead Buy, Invest, and Promote (BIP) the Holy Land...and those that bless Israel will be blessed. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to zeevveez)

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October 21, 2015

The Times and Events Of Gog And Magog

So I have never ever heard so much talk about doomsday as I am these days. 

Earlier in the year (January 2015) the Doomsday Clock moved up to 3 minutes to midnight--that was a full 2 minute move or 40% advance to the end of times. 

The cited reasons by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

- "Unchecked climate change"

- "Nuclear arms race"

Essentially, these "pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity."

But on a daily level now--

Islamic extremism showing through post 9/11 mounting turmoil and unbelievable terror in the Middle East, including seeming non-ending ISIS brutality, Iran's march towards nuclear weapons and advanced ballistic missiles, the Sunni vs. Shiite war for dominion centering (lately) in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen but with much larger geopolitcal overtones towards a return of a powerful caliphate to challenge the West, fighting between Muslims and Christians in countries like Nigeria, ongoing terror threats to the democratic State of Israel, and a rising tide death, casualties, and refugees.

Russian aggression in multiple countries and regions including Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, air and naval military incursions and encroachment towards Turkey, the countries in the Baltic Sea region, the Arctic, and even a Russian military satellite parking itself between 2 U.S. satellites yesterday. 

China's militarization including greater military spending on advanced weapons, Island/posts building in the South China Sea, and ongoing threatening overtures toward Taiwan and other neighbors, and cyber warfare conducted against the U.S.government and the private sector. 

Frightening new military capabilities are coming online with advances in weapons of mass destruction--nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological--colonization and militarization of space, laser weapons, satellite killers, swarms of drones, armies of robots, and cyberwar.

The drumbeat of climate change and environmental deterioration (unsustainable practices of deforestation, overfishing, pollution, and the extinction of countless species) is being felt in changing weather patterns, global warming, glacier meltdown, alternating threats of flooding and drought in various part of the world, major storms and lightening patterns, and an uptick in natural disasters (tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes), and an overall trend towards shortage and conflict. 

An ailing global economy after 2 major recessions in the 21st century so far, booming national debts, stalling economies, slowing innovation, and scarcity of stable, good paying, full time jobs in an outsourcing, short-term, freelance, contractor culture, and automaton and robotization advances. 

Dysfunctional political systems that are bogged down with endless indecision, infighting, bickering, finger-pointing, stalemates, shutdowns, pork barrel spending, catering to special interest groups, short-term wins at the expense of long-term goals, corruption, and a lack of strong capable leadership at the helm. 

An article I read recently from Russian Times, I believe, said how the U.S. teeters just steps from potential collapse by just relatively easy societal interruptions (presumably that they could facilitate) and that with farms/food production far from major metropolitan areas, people hooked on drugs that they could not get supplies for, and other severe disruptions in our critical care needs, we would be in big trouble--the message was clearly watch out, you are extremely vulnerable. 

That these tactic threats and overtures are already being made explicit is not a good sign. Just politicians and countries throwing around their weight or jockeying for position on the world stage--who knows?

But people are frail, countries are vulnerable, budgets are limited, and bad things can and do happen if we are not careful in a world ticking closer to very dangerous times and events.

The coming realization of the prophecy of a devastating world war--of Gog and Magog--is what people are saying to me.  

In conversation about deteriorating world events, my wife innocently asked someone this week--"Can we avoid a major world war?" Their unequivocal response, "No, it's inevitable!" ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 9, 2015

Where Is Europe?

So we are reading every day about the Europe border crisis.

With hundreds of thousands streaming to its shores, and either an inability or lack of desire to absorb the migrants. 

As the Middle East and North Africa burn with the Arab Spring, Caliphate enthusiasts, civil war mongers, religious extremists, terrorists, and anarchists, innocent people caught in the crossfire are seeking immigration to Europe as refugees or for a better future.

But significant entities in Europe, perhaps better known historically for their ultranationalism, deportations, expulsions, and the Holocaust are left gropping with what to do with a seemingly endless wave of Muslim immigrants. 

As Europe tries to figure it out, thousands are dying in capsized boats, sufficated truck cargo holds, and at the mercilessness of their handlers. 

So what will be of a future Europe that either heartlessly turns away needy migrants or potentially becomes more a Muslim enclave than the predominantly westernized and Christian continent they have been?

At least for now, Europe is facing a major humanitarian and identity crisis. In the longer term, they run the risk of their culture fading or disappearing altogether as the demographics shift beneath their techtonic feet. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 19, 2014

Panic, Technology To Rescue

Who us panic?

- ISIS is threatening the West with "dangerous new extremism"

- Syria's death toll tops 170,000 with more than 10,000 believed tortured to death. 
- Boko Haram is still abducting young girls (and boys).
- Iran says no deal on nukes
- Ebola is "out of control."
- China is emergent as the U.S. pivots east and space becomes militarized with anti-satellite weapons. 
- Russia is resurgent (Crimea is history to Ukraine).
- The national deficit only hints at the true extent of our unfunded liabilities from entitelements.
- The economy is bubbling over the top again, warns Robert Shiller.
- Racial and income inequality continues to divide America (case in point, Ferguson MO).
- Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has an arrest record.
- Almost half the world--3 billion people--live in poverty on less then $2.50 a day. 

Ah, if only technology could solve all our global problems--and this is a big list and not by any means comprehensive.


It's a race of the "world is exploding all over" with technology trying to make it better with more and better information, innovation, productivity, security, and cures.


Almost like the war of good over evil--we may lose the battle, but hopefully (let's pray) in the end, we will win the war. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 19, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut


It is the first and foremost duty of every nation to protect its people and safeguard the values upon which it stands.

Therefore, as I watch the news unfold every day, I am left incredulous at some of our actions that seem to defy this basic notion.

Maybe, I am not seeing the bigger picture, but…

A dozen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks by “fundamentalists,” “extremists,” and our declared “War on Terrorism,” we, by our actions, seem to be supporting (tacitly and at times more overtly) those very same extremists that seek our destruction.

Here are some examples:

1) IRAN – Relations thaw and we begin reconciliation with arch enemy Iran (the #1 world sponsor of terrorism) and consider removing sanctions and even considering to allow nuclear capability to remain Iran leaving long time allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE scratching their heads, and Iranians still shouting “Death to America!”

2) SYRIA – We ostensibly support and arms rebels in Syria, yet these rebels fighting Assad (who is no great character himself and allegedly uses chemical weapons on his own people) are aligned with large elements of extremists to include designated terror organization Hezbollah fighting in the thousands in Syria, as well as arch-enemy Al Qaeda!

3) EGYPT - The Egyptian military overthrows Morsi and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood (aligned with designated terrorist organization Hamas) and the military resumes protection of non-Muslims, including the Christian community, yet we penalize Egypt and withhold military aid to those who just reestablished secular government.

4) IRAQ – We overthrow the Sunni-government of Saddam Hussein, a counterweight (albeit a ruthless dictator) to Iran’s fundamentalist Shiite leadership, and thereby create a virtual greater Shiite Kingdom in the Middle East, and then we pull out our military abandoning gains that were hard fought with the blood of our military men and women and gold from our national treasury.

5) LIBYA – We provide scant support for the overthrow of terrorist dictator Gaddafi, and when fundamentalists attack and kill our Ambassador and others in Benghazi, our military response is muted and the attackers continue to roam free, rather than be speedily tracked down “dead or alive.”

We are a principled nation based on democracy, diversity, and human rights, and we have led the world in greatness towards those ideals.

We can win the peace through the righteousness of our cause, but as with Hitler, there is no placating avowed enemies of the ideals of freedom.

Why abandon longtime friends and allies, and coddle terrorists and those that seek the destruction of our nation and way of life?

"All that is needed for the forces of evil to Triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Eneas De Troya)

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September 23, 2011

A Single Candle

!
This video is an excerpt from the speech today by Israeli PM Netanyahu at the U.N. General Assembly.
Some highlights from this:
While Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle-East, it has been singled out for condemnation by the U.N. (in 21 out of 27 U.N. resolutions) more all than all other nations of the world combined.
And while "it doesn't only cast Israel as the villain, it casts real villains in leading roles:"
- Khadafi-led Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
- Saddam's Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.
- Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council.
Netanyahu recalls in his speech--that despite all the many capable and decent people at the U.N., when in 1984 he was appointed Israel's Ambassador to the U.N., that the Lubavitcher Rebbe foretold to him that he would be serving in a "house of many lies," but that even in the darkest place, a single candle can be seen far and wide.
I was proud to see the candle alight and hopeful that from it, intolerance, extremism, terror, and anarchy will be defeated.
All people have a right to dignity and respect--may G-d grant us a path forward to find a genuine peace--one where we not only learn to live with each other, but perhaps where one day, we can learn to love each other, as we are all children of the one G-d in heaven--Oh, what a peace that would be!

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July 10, 2011

When Free Speech Goes Afoul

Fire_theater

Freedom of speech is one of our most precious rights.

However, there are limits - times when the right to speak and publish comes up against the principle that one should not cause harm to others.

The famous example is that you cannot falsely cry, "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Free speech--yes; harm to others--no.

This week (11-17, July 2011), a BusinessWeek article called "Set Them Free" exemplifies what can happen when free speech goes too far.

The article is an argument in favor of illegal immigration.

The author's thesis is stated in the form of a rhetorical question: "Laws against illegal immigration make little economic or moral sense. So why punish the brave citizen who break them?"

Certainly, I am sympathetic to newcomers to our land. I come from a family of immigrants, like so many American citizens, and I value the opportunities and freedom this country has provided to me and my family.

However, in this article, the author openly promotes breaking the law. He supports "illegal" immigration and calls for others to facilitate it.

One can argue about economics and morality of immigration policy, but from my perspective, obviously, no country can have fully open borders. Logically, this helps to ensure safety, security, and social order. Coming up on the 10-year "anniversary" of the events of 9/11, this is a no-brainer.

I therefore have trouble believing that Bloomberg would publish an article essentially calling for an end to border security. Any arguments regarding economic benefit do not detract from the clear negative implications for national security. (Note: all opinions my own.)

Not only does the article ignore this point, but it brazenly calls the laws against illegal immigration "immoral."

The author stretches the limits of free speech beyond the breaking point in my view, when he recklessly states: "When a law itself prohibits doing the right thing, when it is immoral rather than just annoying or inconvenient, and when breaking the law does no great harm to any others, it is justifiable for people of conscience to chose to break that law."

He literally states that illegal immigration is "the right thing (!)"

How can a mainstream media source publish such extremist rhetoric, even going so far as to compare the U.S. laws to apartheid: "Current, U.S. immigration laws have all the moral standing of pass laws in apartheid South Africa."

In addition to teaching us that free speech can be misused to spread extremism, hatred, lies, promote civil disobedience, and enable chaos, there are some other unfortunate lessons here.

The first is that one must think critically about what one reads, even if it is in a supposedly "mass media" publication. For immigration is a blessing and a privilege, but not an entitlement. Nobody has the right to enter another country's borders at will, without restriction.

Second, and more troubling, extremist thinking clearly continues to flourish not only outside our borders, but from fanatics within.

While I agree that we should always be moral, help those in need, and make good economic decisions, this does not negate the importance of maintaining security and social order. Further, it is irresponsible at the very least to promote breaking the law, and offensive to compare illegal immigration as an issue of economic exploitation to the drastic human rights abuses of apartheid South Africa.

(Source Photo: here)

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July 9, 2011

How Far Will You Go?

This week we watched with horror as a Texas baseball fan and firefighter fell to his death attempting to catch a ball hurtling into the stands.

This man overreached in this case, and went to his death in order to try and catch a baseball!

He did an ordinary thing and it cost him his life--right in front of his son.

It is tragic--unbelievable.

Ironically, the same day, the Wall Street Journal (8 July 2011) has an article called "The Taming of The Fans," about what they call "rowdy fan bases" and efforts to control the craziness.

In response, a "fan code of conduct" is being adopted by some.

"Among the no-no's:"

- Fighting
- Illegal drugs
- Laser pens
- Drinking underage
- And so on.

About a month ago, there was the riots in Vancouver after the Stanley cup was lost and from the chaos came the now famous photo of the kissing couple, the girl having been injured and on the ground in the mayhem.

We live in an unpredictable world--where things can get out of control.

When rationality, morality, and a sense of moderation get away from us, thenterrible things happen--death, destruction, chaos.

And of course, this is not limited to fans of sporting events and rock-and-roll concerts.

This week, we watched with mouths agape as people like Casey Anthony and Dominique Strauss-Kahn basically walk away from some very serious and terrible charges. While no one can say what really happened, we were all really shocked at the outcomes.

For months now, we have been watching with indignation as various Middle-East dictators shoot, kill, besiege, and round up their own people in order to maintain power in the Arab Spring.

Lara Logan, the CBS reporter, who was sexually attacked and brutally beaten by a mob in Egypt's Tahir Square during the riots in February, is another recent horror tale that speaks volumes about people going to non-sensical extremes and committing atrocities.

The images and sound bites are there basically everyday of people, organizations, and societies going to the extremes and doing unthinkables--really these are burned into consciousness (for others it's in their subconscious).

People are willing to go to all sorts of extremes to get what they want, do what they believe, or just to go sheer crazy.

Sometimes, those efforts are rewarded and others get their due--in the end, I believe justice prevails in this life or the after.

Our world sits on a fine line between sanity and insanity--life and death.

People are tempted "to go for it" to get what they want all the time.

But the challenge is to weigh the cost and benefits and chose our actions carefully.

There is a domino effect to our choices--and we own the consequences.

Will we pull ourselves back from the edge--when the ball is coming our way in life?

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