Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts

May 8, 2021

Shabbat: Time Vs. Space

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Shabbat: Time Vs. Space."

When we choose to keep the Sabbath, we mark a day of the week in time, where we reject all the worldly pursuits of space and materialism in lieu of recognizing that there is a higher power, G-d Almighty, and that as Ahmari says 'everything else is ephemeral and passes away with time.'

What we do to make things holy in time rules over what we do purely physically in space, that nothing but G-d is timeless, and everything material reverts back to its origins and is gone from time as if it never even was. In the end, we need to live our lives with the forethought that the spirit goes to the everlasting afterlife, but the body goes to the physical grave.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2021

Motif For The U.S. Economy


This seems like it could be a major theme of the U.S. economy. 

"Buy Now, Pay Later!"

And then...

"Foreclosure"

You can't borrow infinitely.

It eventually has to be repaid. 

Where will the money come from?  

Print more.

Worth less!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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March 27, 2021

In The Hands of Heaven

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "In The Hands of Heaven."

From Passover, we learn the Egyptians didn’t earn the riches, but built their wealth on the backs of the starving people of the world and of course that includes their Israelite slaves. As the Egyptians gloated on their arrogance, power and wealth, eventually the Master of the World showed them who is really boss. All the money, materialism, fancy titles, and honors are all just fleeting. In Hashem resides the glory and He has the say over who gets what and when.
G-d can redeem 600,000 men, women and children, and a large mixed multitude of people with them and very many flocks and cattle in the Exodus and to Him, it’s just another day on the throne of Heaven. In our own times, we have experienced a miraculous redemption from the death camps of Europe, and have returned like the Israelites to the Promised Land of Israel. G-d decides then and now what the plan is and how it unfolds, and everything we have is by G-d’s grace, and these are Seder lessons worthy of celebrating.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 26, 2021

The Fallacy of Bitcoin

 


Bitcoin is a failure waiting to happen.

It is being sold as a hedge against not only inflation, but also doomsday!

However, Bitcoin is not gold which can be sold or bartered in a true doomsday scenario.

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency and as such it is dependent on technology.

In a doomsday scenario, there is a great chance for the interruption for extended periods of time of our technical infrastructure whether through terrorism, war, cyber attack, or an electromagnetic pulse. 

Even with Blockchain distributed ledger, there is a high probability that you will NOT be able to access or trade Bitcoin from any digital wallet if the infrastructure is severely or broadly damaged. 

Your gold watch, ring, or coins will still hold value as currency, but your Bitcoins will be useless!

If you think losing your password to access Bitcoin is a problem, what happens where you can't access the Internet.

A digital doomsday is not as far fetched as you may think and the vulnerability of Western Civilization, in particular high-tech countries like America have much at stake. 

If you think Bitcoin will be your hedge again a major disruption in our way of life you are caught in the greater fool theory.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Pixabay


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December 30, 2020

Destruction Site


If there's a construction site, then there can certainly be a destruction site. 

Most of the time, it seems like more destruction than construction really going on. 

It's amazing how a construction job on one corner can take more than a whole year, when they built the entire U.S. highway system in not such a long time. 

Now-a-days, money just goes down the sinkhole with the littlest jobs taking seemingly forever and the costs spiraling out of control. 

Hello, is anyone out there managing this stuff?  

Oh right, it's all funny money anyway.  

Let's just keep printing some more.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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November 26, 2020

The Cost Is The Cost

Brilliant quote by Sholem Aleichem:

The less you pay for something, the more it costs. 

You might think you're getting a bargain by paying less, but in the end, paying less ends up costing you more in troubles and headaches. 

The cost is really the cost. 

When you cut a penny in half, it still costs you the whole penny! 

You can't nickel and dime it to death. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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November 6, 2020

We Are The 99%!

This election demonstrated one thing...that we are the 99%!

The too often proverbial suckers under the heel of the power and money elite in society. 

Fed phony and biased information to try and turn us against each other and manipulate us to believe and act in ways beneficial to those who want to retain, and endlessly grow, their wealth and status. 

Like good soldiers, the underclasses are the pawns in the global games of Power Chess and Monopoly. 

The 99% are completely expendable. 

They are blind and will follow orders. 

The 1% likes them dumb and works hard to try and keep them that way!

Anything, if the rich can get richer and the powerful can get more power. 

The schnooks at the bottom looking up, with begging eyes, get the scraps thrown off the table and unto the floor where they fight for a morsel, while killing each other for it. 

The elite use the media, Hollywood, polls, and radicalism, so that they can sit up high and mighty and watch the rest of us with a wide smirk of disdain on their fat, arrogant faces, as we drink it all in. 

How long will the 99% be fooled and played?

Exploited and even thrown under the bus by the narcissist and greedy 1%. 

Where is the democracy in that?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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August 15, 2020

Holes In The Eyes

IDK who this bust is, and I don't care. 

What I do know is that there are some people (not all) in this world who are very bad people that are blind to truth and good. 

They see themselves not only first and foremost but only themselves--they are truly selfish pr*cks!

Next, they see their buddies from the "old boy's network" where one dirty hand washes the other even dirtier hand. 

They see everyone else as pawns to get what they want--power, money, prestige--and in turn others are for their abuse and as a punching bag.

People born and bred on immediate and self-gratification at the expense of doing what's right. 

Power used to intimidate, to harass, to bully, to step on, to shame, and to kick to the gutter. 

To them it's just what it takes "to make it" in this world. And for them they don't consider what they are giving up in the world to come.

It's an ancient war of good over evil where bad people seem very strong indeed. 

But where we can't cower from a fight for what we know in the end is right.

Where did their eyes go?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 2, 2020

Overpriced Desk Chairs





I went on this website for some deck chairs.

They had this nothing of a chair called the Harborside for almost $500. I was looking for 2 chairs, so that would've been a whooping $1,000 almost.


After a while on their web page, a chat box came up asking if I needed any help. 

It was funny because the guys name was Jake, as in the commercial, "Hi, this is Jake from State Farm!"

Anyway, I must've been annoyed at their ridiculous prices and I had this farce of a dialogue with Jake. 

Jake: Hello, We see you are checking out.  Can we help in any way?

Me: trying to download a 25% off coupon...can you assist?

Jake: We don't have any coupons or discount codes. 

Me: Just overpriced then.  {smiley}

Me: Why do you charge so much for such cheap merchandise?

Jake: It's grade A teak which is the highest quality grade you buy but go on.

Me: It's a tree! Why should I pay $1000 for 2 small desk chairs.  There is plenty of tweak in the forest for free!

Me:  Can you explain?

Jake: *Teak. You're more than welcome to grow your own forest and make these but you'll have to move to a warmer climate. You can educate yourself better with our guide here [and he attached a link]. 

Me: Hmmm. Would you pay $1000 for thee little wooden chairs. 

Me: Also, I'm pretty educated.  TY

Jake: Yes, I have 4 on [my grandmother's porch]

Me: You didn't pay $2000 for 4 chairs for your grandmother's porch.  NO WAY!  I bet you got a big employee discount. 

At which point, the chat box quickly bleeped off the screen!

Jake from State Farm...you didn't really buy 4 chairs for your grandmother for $2000 did you???  ;-)

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 25, 2020

Grass Not Always Greener

Sometimes the grass isn't (always) greener. 

Instead the grass grows in beautiful multi-colors. 

The grass art in this garden looks a lot better than the grass itself. 

The only real green is money and envy!

When comparing your lot with others, make sure you're comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. 

Even then you'll never know the person's real "package" (or basket) in life. 

Be sure that everyone has their share of good and bad, so never be jealous of anyone. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 18, 2020

Freedom But Disparity

America is a great country.

The freedom, rights, and opportunities we have is exceptional and enviable in the world and history.

But the disparity between rich and poor, majorities and minorities is grotesque.

On one side of the street are the mansions, and on the other are the slums.

One on side of the train station are those going off to work, and on the other side are the homeless lying in the gutter.

On one side of the scale are people fat with money and power, and on the other side are people hungry and decaying.

Wealth is overflowing for those that are the fortunate, but also corruption runs systematically deep.

This isn't an issue of political party, but one of the righteousness of men's hearts.

G-d watches and man disappoints, but the the future is still wide open.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2020

Reopening The Country WITHOUT Endangering The Masses

I understand the absolute need to reopen the country from this Coronavirus. 

We can't shelter in place forever and watch our economy go into the toilet and our national debt bankrupt us!

Therefore, once we have the mechanisms to control the deadly spread, we must open up offices and stores again gradually to get people working and our economy going again. 

At the same time, I am pissed by those corporate executives that actually have the chutzpah and are pushing for us to open up crowded theaters, stadiums, and other such entertainment or other venues that are NOT critical and pose a greater risk for contagion to masses of people. 

Instead of these CEOs understanding the need to hold off on this pending a vaccination or adequate disease control measures, these greedy corporate chieftain seem to care little to nothing about the health of their customers, and only about lining their fat pocketbooks with more ticket sales. 

I think it's criminal type behavior to push our government to open prematurely and irresponsibly those venues that are of greatest risk to potentially millions of people to get sick or dead in order for them to profit from it!  ;-)

Note: It's reported that COVID-19 compared to the flu in 22 fewer days infected 11x as many people and killed 60 times as many

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 6, 2020

Buy Right From The Start

This was a funny sign in an eatery:
Our tasting panel samples each item before we buy it.

And the picture is of the guy  ready to dig into the food. 

There was another saying that I heard that I liked:
If you buy on price, you buy twice. 

In other words, never just buy the lowest price item if you don't really like it, because in the end, you'll end up having to buy a replacement for the cheapo, crappo thing you really didn't like to begin with. 

Better to save up and get what you really want to begin with. 

A savvy shopper, indeed. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 22, 2020

We Just Magically Found $2,000,000,000,000

It's amazing how we can magically find $2 trillion for a Coronavirus "Rescue Plan."

This after we already wasted over $6.4 trillion (and thousands of our dead and wounded) through 2017 in unexplainable and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no known or lasting benefits to this country (while archenemy, Iran continues their pursuit of nukes unabated). 

And for decades, we haven't been able to find money for:

- Decent healthcare for all Americans.

- Ensuring our national security, including adequate planning and disaster preparedness for things like Coronavirus, cybersecurity, WMDs, EMPs, and for critical infrastructure protection. 

- Repairing our aging roads, bridges, and infrastructure

- Fixing our broken public education system.

- Helping our countless of homeless and needy lying the streets of our nation. 

- Restoring our space program to get a man on the moon again or put another shuttle into space. 

When politics are in play, there is plenty of money to go around. 

But when the nation needs proper care and feeding, there are no adults in the room. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 2, 2020

'Uncut Gems' Cuts Deep

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Uncut Gems Cuts Deep."
Yesterday, we went to see the new Adam Sandler movie, Uncut Gems....Ratner's life is full of shlemazel of his own making. While he has a good wife, kids, and extended family (maybe with the exception of his loan shark uncle), a fancy-schmancy home in the suburbs with a newly renovated pool, his own jewelry business that even caters to some big-league sports players, and a shiksa girlfriend on the side (who seems to love him), Ratner is never satisfied or happy and is always pushing for more!

In the movie, Howard Ratner was driven by greed and made bad life choices, and to me, it was a shame that the he was portrayed as a Jew, which can feed the vicious cycle of discrimination and hatred that has often been anchored around money. With the vicious machete attack on Chanukah at a Rabbi's house in Monsey this week (after a slew of other anti-Semitic incidents, including an attack on a student for wearing a yalmulke on the NYC Subway to beatings and tire slashings of Jews in Brooklyn), we are reminded that there is once again a resurgence of prejudice and hate against Jews, but also that it's the light of Chanukah that "drives out the darkness," and that money and materialism are a mere shabby substitute to finding true security and success whether you work in the dense NYC Diamond District or live in the sprawling suburbs of America.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 3, 2019

Key Federal Financial Management Terms

Below are some key Federal Financial Management Terms:
  • Authorization: Act of Congress that permits Federal programs or activities to exist and recommends funding levels.
  • Appropriation: Act of Congress to provide Federal agencies with budget authority to obligate government to future outlay of cash for a specific purposes and period of time. 
  • Commitment: An administrative reservation of funds by the financial controller or resource manager triggered by a procurement or purchase request.
  • Obligation: A legal reservation of funds that binds government to future expenditure and outlay of cash from the Treasury triggered by the signing of a contract, travel order, credit card transaction, etc. 
  • Expenditure: Issuance of a payment disbursement by electronic funds transfer, check, etc. 
  • Outlay: Payment of cash from Treasury to vendor to liquidate a financial obligation.
These should be helpful in understanding the Federal financial management processes. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 16, 2019

Searching For Gold

This guy had some getup on in Fort Lauderdale on the toasty beach. 

He's in the ocean dressed in a full wetsuit with a mask over his face, a hat on his head, and the headphones over his ears. 

He had a metal detector and wand looking for lost gold in the water right off the beach. 

But didn't see him find a dime the whole time we were there. 

I can't believe these guys can actually find enough jewelry on the beach to make this worth while. 

Back and forth with the wand...searching, searching.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 10, 2019

Cash Is King

This was a funny shirt this lady was wearing on the Metro. 

It mimics the Sweet 'N Low artificial sweetener logo and says:
Fund R' Low
Need a Sugar Daddy

This was one of those shirts that gets your attention. 

It's different.  It plays off a familiar brand.  It bright pink, red, and blue and stands out.  And it could certainly have a sexual connotation.  

Anyway, this was a pretty bold shirt to wear into conservative Washington, D.C. 

But I guess wherever you go, fashion, sexuality, and cash is king. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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July 27, 2019

What's It Worth To You?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "What's It Worth To You."
Certainly, passion for being your best, determination to succeed, and even some healthy competition are important factors in driving our own success as well as societal progress, but when keeping up with that scorecard against others becomes the essence of your own self-worth then things have gone too far and way off course.

We each have our mission, strengths, challenges, and so forth. It’s okay in life, if someone else has more of something (money, friends, honor, whatever). Everyone has their own “basket in life” as my father taught me, “and you wouldn’t want to change baskets with anyone else.”

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 1, 2019

Harassholes Y'all

Someone brought me a copy of this photo from their office. 

It says:
Stop Harassholes Y'all

Not bad. 

Harassment plus as*holes = Harassholes. 

Thank G-d, there are some very good people and managers out there.

But unfortunately not everyone is, and so there are also some real stinkin' abusers too. 

These types of people should never be in power, since they misuse it!

They do not use the power they have been entrusted with to advance progress, and do good for the organization and its people, but rather they clumsily wield power for their own selfish, personal pleasures and vendettas--bullying and harassing others--and simply because they can.

Belittling others, making them feel stupid and worthless, and then going after them for whatever they want. 

Through intimidation, they keep others from talking...shhh! hush!

Emotional, verbal, and even physical abuse can be common. 

I remember one colleague telling me how their boss would literally throw things at them in their office while they had to sit there "taking it."

Another has a boss that makes them do the stupidest, most trivial tasks--completely worthless stuff--just to prove a point...that they're in charge. 

Marginalization, threats, bullying, abuse, harassment...it goes on and it shouldn't!

In some cases, the harassholes are even protected from someone above.

Money, power, honor...more, more, more!

But G-d sees these people too and eventually cuts the bad ones down to size. 

My father used to say:
G-d does not let any tree grow into the heavens!

Eventually, I am pretty sure that harassholes end up getting some very BIG hemorrhoids or something from above that teaches them to use G-d's gifts for the good, and to properly love, care, and empathize for other human beings--G-d's children!

I never knew why hemorrhoids existed in this world, but there is a purpose to everything under the heavens. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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