Showing posts with label Fighting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fighting. Show all posts

February 20, 2021

The Power of Love

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Power of Love."

When we act up and fight with each other, then in the end, we will really only end up hurting ourselves.
Tomorrow can be better than today and yesterday, if we learn to live in peace and brotherhood with each other, and understand that hurting another is really only hurting ourselves in the end. G-d’s holiness dwells among us only when we stop the silly bickering and infighting, and love each other, and Him, with all our heart and soul.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 14, 2021

High Kicks Not City Riots


This is when on the Washington D.C. Mall there were high kicks and not riots. 

It was a carefree spot and not a war zone. 

The city wasn't filled with anger but with hope. 

Politicians weren't giving each other a kick in the ass every day, but rather reaching across the aisle to try and get something done. 

The country was trying to go forward, but now it's having trouble keeping up with the problems caused by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. 

Then we stood tall and wore our colors proud, today we wonder about the crisis of the day and what tomorrow will bring.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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January 7, 2021

Prescription Coffee, A Washington Necessity


A regular coffee just won't do it, especially with what's going on in Washington, D.C. after the most recent chaotic events of yesterday. 

Thus, this prescription coffee is a great idea to wake the masses out of their disbelieving stupor of what's going down in this insane town. 

Of course, the supposed Russian way of dealing with their opponents is said to involve perhaps more of a poison approach to handle affairs (reference Navalny), which is way scary!

And with talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office or of impeachment (again) less than 2 weeks from the inauguration, I'll definitely take me some prescription coffee by the barrel.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Minna)


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March 1, 2020

Toys Non-Digital

Interesting set off toys found in a silver pan tray. 

A couple of dogs, some Play-Doh, a crayon, and a fighter plane. 

Off to the side (not pictured) are the Legos. 

Interesting with what competes with video games and phone apps these days. 

(Note: 85% of the world's toys are now made in China!)

Frankly, there is still a lot to be said for the creative play of yesteryear. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 31, 2020

Hope You Had A Good "Veek"

So I was asked do you spell week with a "W" or a "V."

I guess sometimes it does sound like we say veek.

Someone else told me that they are divorced and that person is still a "dark force" in their life.

They said they have to pay child support but can't afford it. 
It's not like I still earn $55,000 like I used to.

But if they don't pay...
Well my ex will just refuse to let me see my son!

People have tough lives. 

So when you think about your week, hopefully in context, you can resolutely say that you had a good veek. 

Shabbat Shalom! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 26, 2019

A Song of Saul and David


Great song: David and Shaul from Ehud Banay's third album, ”The Third/Hashlishi”

The song is about the "bipolar" feelings of King Saul toward David (then the next king of Israel). 

Here are the lyrics:

כולם מזמן הלכו לישון

רק שאול ער, קודר
מרים לדוד טלפון

A late-night hour
Everyone is long gone to sleep
Only Shaul is awake, cheerless
He calls David up over the phone

אולי תקפוץ אלי, יא דוד
נפשי אגם שחור
תביא איתך את הגיטרה
כי באצבעותיך אור

Maybe you should stop by, Ya David
My soul is a black lake
Bring the guitar with you
For you have light in your fingers

דוד בא מיד רגוע,
מתיישב ומכוון
את המלאכה היטב יודע
עוצם עיניים, מנגן

David comes right away and he is calm
Sit down and tunes (the guitar)
The job he well knows
Closes his eyes, he plays

עשר אצבעות לדוד
קצה כל אצבע - קרן אור
כשהוא פורט על המיתר
הזמן זורם לו לאחור

Ten fingers David has
The tip of each one - a ray of light 
When he port on the string
The time is flowing backwards

שאול מבפנים קרוע
קרבות בתוך בטנו
אוהב-שונא, ומקנא
מכור לחברו

Shaul is torn inside
Battles in his stomach he has
Love-hate, and jealous he is
Addicted to his friend

דבר מה אפל נופל
השד חוזר להשתולל
סכין נזרקת באוויר
פתאום יש בין השנים קיר

Something dark falls
The demon is back to a rage
A knife is thrown in the air
Suddenly there is a wall between the two

דוד מתחמק משאול
אבל שאול לא מוותר
דוד שוכח וסולח
כששאול מתקשר
David is avoiding Shaul
But Shaul is not giving up
David forget and forgives
When Shaul call up
בוא שוב לנגן לי דוד
קח אותי לכוכבים
בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים
Come again to play to me David
Take me to the stars
Come again to play tonight
A song of longing

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה...

Come again and play tonight..

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים...
Come again and play tonight..
A song of longing..

(Kudos to my Ulpan teacher, Rivka D. for sending me the video and to Izchak, my wonderful son-in-law, for providing the Hebrew/English lyrics)

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October 29, 2019

Robot Warriors Kick Human A*s


This is one incredible parody video of what robotic warriors of the future will be able to do. 

The robot takes an incredible beating and never misses a shot!

They even hit him numerous times with a battering ram for Pete's sake. 

Also, amazed that none of the actors in this video ended up taking a bullet or two. 

Wow, the future is going to be amazing. ;-)

(Thank you to my wonderful son-in-law for sending this to me)
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October 27, 2019

You're Driving Me Nuts

There is just something so crazy funny about this Simpsons' painting. 

Homer is mad as h*ll and has Bart by throat!

Bart is screaming for help.

It so funny how art imitates life. 

Where people drive others $%#&^*)* crazy. 

And the other person just wants to wring their freakin' neck. 

Yeah, this never really happens. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 13, 2019

Dragon Power


In honor of the amazing (2nd to last) episode last night of Game of Thrones...

I am posting this artistic Dragon. 

That dragon last night sure was able to do a lot of damage. 

It was a very dramatic and sad episode. 

I won't give it away. 

But an air force of dragons can certainly do quite well. 

Dropping some serious firepower is what they do.  ;-)

(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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July 9, 2018

Know Before Whom You Are Standing

So many synagogues have this important saying at the top of the Holy Ark where the Torahs are kept in front of the shul.

It says, translated into English:

"Know before who you are standing (i.e. G-d)."

The idea is to remember when you are in the holy place of worship that you are standing and praying before G-d and should conduct yourself appropriately and with respect and reverence. 

While certainly there are times when people forget themselves in the synagogue and say or do something not completely appropriate (e.g. socializing, talking, or even telling jokes to their neighbors during the service), usually it is not intended to be disrespectful, but rather to be friendly with their neighbors and community. 

However, this past Shabbat I witnessed behavior in the synagogue (name withheld)  that was truly a chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d). 

Out of respect for the Rabbi (and Rabbabite), I will neither mention their names or go into the details about what happened except to say that it involved the politics surrounding the end of the Rabbi's 3-year term and the inability for him and the board to come to terms on a new agreement (even though one had  apparently been signed and reneged on). 

This did not belong in the synagogue on the holy Shabbat, period. 

Those embracing and kissing the Rabbi in his support and going against the President and the board that is elected to represent the congregation was disgraceful. 

Further, while I support the Rabbi saying his farewells, demanding to speak without the permission of the President and the board, and even before the President gave his regular announcements was inexcusable. 

And when the fighting between the Rabbi and President brought yelling and fighting to the congregants, this should have been a sign for that behavior to immediately cease. 

The desecration of the "peace" of the Shabbat with the politics, money, and contract issues and the ensuing fighting (almost civil war between those supporting the Rabbi and those the President and the board) before the Holy Ark filled with the Torahs was reprehensible. 

For the spiritual leadership to behave in such a crude and disrespectful fashion was a mark of utter disgrace in the synagogue before G-d. 

I have never seen anything like this before and hope never to have to witness anything so irreverent again. 

This was a most traumatic event for the community and I hope we will recover in time and have a complete healing. 

Moreover, I pray that G-d forgives the behavior that happened and has mercy on this congregation because things got out of control and I think they forgot before whom they were standing.  ;-)

(Source Photo and not of the synagogue under discussion: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 9, 2017

Couple Arguing Loudly About Sex and Pregnancy On The DC Metro {Funny}



This couple is arguing loudly in front of everyone on the Metro in Washington, D.C. 

She claims the coming baby is his, and that he needs to take a paternity test. 

He says it's impossible that it's his because she's 3 months pregnant and they haven't had sex in 5 months!

This goes on and on in a most hilarious and boisterous way, and they even try and involve some of the innocent bystanders on the train. 

Always a show in this crazy town and it's not just the politics! ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 20, 2017

The Easy Way or The Hard Way

So I like this quote by Carl von Clausewitz:
"War is an extension of politics by other means."

There is diplomacy and then there is war!

- Diplomacy is soft power--talking, persuading, negotiating, and compromise. 

- War is hard power--fighting/combat using kinetic or cyber-based means.

When diplomacy fails, then war is what's left to compel the enemy to come around to your way of thinking and do your will. 

As they say, there's the easy way or the hard way--that's the dual before the duel.

Either way it gets to resolution. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 13, 2017

Folks Hating Folks

It's sad how everyone is always fighting about everything.

And hating on each other...

Someone told a funny story the other day about this:
"She don't like her.
He don't like him.
And the supervisor says, I don't like none of y'all, now get back to work!"

At the end of the day, we're all different, and we're all sort of the same. 

Maybe we have to look past the petty stuff, and learn to get along and get things done! 

At the end of the day, we're all better off loving and getting it reciprocated--and so on and so on. ;-)

(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 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 7, 2017

Emperor Has No Clothes

What happens when the emperor has no clothes?

That's when we get fake news and alternative facts. 

These days we don't know what to believe anymore because institutions and media have lost so much credibility with bias, prejudice, and trying to influence based on overtly selfish motives. 

The gloves have come off in the fight for supreme earthly might. 

Apparently, a lot of other clothes have come off too.

Now the influencers stand naked before us and we must judge for ourselves the truth of the matter. 

It funny-sad that in their utter nakedness, they bear no shame. 

They scream, and hissy fit, protest, rage, demean, threaten and commit violence.

Ear lobes are dangling as are the other parts and still there is no listening, negotiating, or compromise. 

Advancement is limited to obstruction, and progress is dead like a heap of dung.

The nation suffers the marks in the flesh of bitter fighting, while our competitive advantages are eroded. 


United we used to stand, and divided for a decade we are falling. 

We can dive into the pile of clothes and swim among them, but still we are sinking naked and stinking the lot like selfish bastards, indeed. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 17, 2016

Robots, They Are Coming

I was so excited by this photo in the Wall Street Journal today.

YuMi, an industrial robot by ABB, is adroitly writing Chinese calligraphy. 

If you look at the photo and think for a moment, the notion of the robot doing and the person watching is truly prophetic of how we are evolving technologically and as a species. 

Yumi is made by ABB, a leading robotics company headquartered in Switzerland, that on one hand has over 300,000 robots installed worldwide, but on the other hand needs only 4,600 employees in 53 countries to produce all these fantastic and productive droids.  

This robot is a work of not just incredible science and engineering, but of art and beauty. 

It's sleek black and white build with two incredibly agile arms and hands plus a viewing camera, enables it to do small parts assembly or even fine calligraphic work. 

YuMi stands for "You and Me" working together, collaboratively. 

While we surely will work together, the flip side is that with robotics, some people (who don't make the transition to STEM) may not be working much at all. 

But of course, the positive side is that we are looking at an incredible capacity to do more and better with less! 

Leaving the innovation to humans, and the assembly and service to the bots, the bar will be raised on everything--both good and bad.

We will build greater things, travel and explore further, and discover ever new depths of understanding and opportunities to exploit.

But we will also edge people out of work and comfort zones, and be able to engage in new forms of conflict and war that only the power and skill of (semi-) autonomous machines could inflict. 

The robots are here, however, they are coming in much greater numbers, capabilities, and impact then we can currently fully comprehend. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via WSJ)
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August 16, 2016

From Fractured to ONE

I really liked this T-shirt.

It says volunteer, but in three rows like this:

vOl
uNt
eEr

So in the center is ONE!

When we give of ourselves, we shed our billions of individual selfish natures to be one--with humanity and with G-d.

These days, seeing from how shattered and fractured this nation and world is, it is just a dream again for unity.

- The fighting between different races and castes of people

- The fighting between rich and poor

- The fighting between communities or family members

- The fighting between unarmed (and armed) civilians and police

- The fighting between republicans and democrats

- The fighting between proponents and opponents of X, Y, or Z policy, person, place, or thing

- The fighting between governed and those who govern

- The fighting between terrorists and terrorized

- The fighting between religions and within religions

- The fighting between East and West

- The fighting between good and evil

This reminds me learning in yeshiva from Zechariah 14:9 (when the destroyers of Jerusalem will themselves be destroyed)"
"And the L-rd will be king over all the Earth. On that day, the L-rd will be one and his name one."
Oneness--unity--peace is a vision and a goal. 

With unity we recognize our ONE true maker and guider of all creation.

And with unity we seek and find solutions to the world's big problems (global poverty, disease, war and so on).

Fractured and fighting among ourselves, we are small, petty, selfish, and weak. 

But together, we can unite with Heaven and conquer all that ails humanity. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 24, 2016

To Little Jonah

So swimming in the pool, I meet little 7-year old Jonah. 

He sort of made himself known to me when he decided he wanted to race me on the swim board.

I was going just a little faster--and I reminded him that I had a key competitive advantage, fins. 

He said, "Darn I should have brought mine!'

He asked how old I was, and I said a little older than you. 

Not satisfied, he pressed the question, saying "I can tell you are an adult."

So I had to cave and admit that, and pointing to my heart, added that "I am young at heart."

Jonah's in 1st grade, and wanted to know what grade I was in. 

His guess was 4th grade, and I said "That's about right."

Jonah is from New Orleans visiting his grandmother for Passover. 

She was watching him in the pool and smiling with grandmotherly nachas, ear-to-ear.

I told Jonah to make sure to treat his grandmother nicely. 

But Jonah at this point had jumped into my swim lane and was in mock superhero fighting mode, and said "I want to punch you."

I thought to myself, hmm it's not only my wife that feels that way (LOL).

Anyway, it was clear that I had made a new friend with Jonah, who was off bobbing up and down in the water well over his head. 

Bye Jonah--have a good time visiting for Passover. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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