The Long Arm Of The Law

This bird was hilarious running into and out of the ocean waves. 


Over and over again, it’s little puttering feet running toward and then just escaping the water rushing to the shore. 


In a way, I thought that I’d like to be as playful and happy as this little bird running and having fun in the water. 


But when I showed the video to my wife, she got a different message from it. 


She said, “you can’t outrun the long arm of the law!”


The (jail)bird runs towards trouble, but then running away, the waves of justice invariably catch up with it. 


I think with all the scandals in the news again lately from Hollywood to Washington D.C., we are all sort of stunned by the famous and hugely successful people who are now being caught up in inappropriate sex scandals and all sorts of abuse of women and men!


It’s wrong that these people use their wealth, fame, and power to hurt other people, period. 


There are no excuses, no lapses of judgement, especially when it seems to happen over and over again to the same people. 


Put your “package” back in your pants, and behave like upright human beings and not like a bunch of wild animals.


Yes, perhaps it’s one thing to be playful like the birds in the ocean waves, but it’s another to be part of the list of scumbags–if true as accused–like Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Al Franken, John Conyers, and more. 


You can pay off the women with jobs and settlements, but you can’t escape the rushing water of ultimate judgement for your unbridled play and tarnished souls. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fooling The Media And The American People

Lies.jpeg.JPG

So finally the truth got spilled about the true rationale for the Iran deal that lifted critical nuke weapon sanctions on the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses.  

The advisor to the President has admitted to essentially lying and manipulating the media to seal the deal

The narrative of a Nuke deal with a “moderate” Iranian President Rouhani at the expense of hardliners was “deliberately misleading.”

Mr. Rhodes brags about keeping Mr. Obama’s long-standing plan to elevate Iran over allies such as Israel and the Gulf States hidden from the public by manipulating liberal journalists and think tank analysts.

So what was once touted as a “good day” for America is now quite malevolent and disheartening, indeed. 

Moreover, rather than a “new political reality” with Iran, we have ongoing and increasingly hostile Iranian actions against the U.S., leading to the House Intelligence Committee opening an investigation into how Congress and the American public were misled by the administration on Iran. 

What happened to the promised transparency and truth espoused for the American people? What of Abraham Lincoln’s sacred and compelling vision of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Now instead of earnest dialogue, we get a blowharded retail[ing]” of a predefined manipulated narrative–a “far-reaching spin campaign“–for the simple media “echo chamber and hungry public consumption.

Iran has won a big round at the expense of Democracy and as we now know our National Security. 

Maybe the worst part is that no one even seems to care, because we’re now in a new election cycle for the next President (and possibly chief manipulator). 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Boardroom B.S.

Gavel

So I had the opportunity to attend a board meeting recently and to see firsthand why most decisions are so flawed. 


– No Diversity–The board members were all from a single age group and color, and this clearly impacted their thought processes and decisions. For example, when others attending the meeting asked about updating some technology, the board members blankly felt that was not important even after almost a decade of the same thing. 


– Self-Interest–The board only entertained issues that they were interested in for themselves. For example, when someone stood up to talk about issues they didn’t feel were important to them, the board members tuned out, interrupted the speakers, actually scrowled at them, or just shut them down altogether. 


– Getting Personal–Board members frequently changed the discussion from substantive discussion to personal attacks. When one person questioned a recent decision, a board member started yelling about being called names (which never happened that I saw) or telling the speakers that they didn’t know what they were talking about. 


– Information Poor–Board members made decisions or committees recommended decisions first, and then put it up for discussion later (like at a subsequent meeting). Moreover, the board members referred to decisions being made over and over based on anecdotes of people telling them this, that, or the other thing (none of which could be verified) and not on facts or surveys of those impacted by the decisions. 


– Transparency Lacking–Board members made decisions without explanation for the reason or justification, and even without necessarily evaluating all the alternatives. When questioned, the board wasn’t able to identify costs of alternatives or even fully explore the other viable options. 


– Intimidating The Opposition–The board members actually seemed to challenge and turn to intimidation to stem alternate views from their own. Some people that had supported other voices in the room where turned or told that they hadn’t understood the issues properly to begin with. 


Despite some nice people personally and one or two that didn’t seem to go along with the shinanigans, overall it was a very disppointing show of decision-making, governance, communication, and leadership. 


No wonder people get turned off by the process, don’t participate, and lose confidence in those at the top. Maybe time for people to be leaders with heart and not megalomaniacs with gavels. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to CJ Sorg)

Freedom Is Worth It

Respect.jpeg

This was a photo I took of a sign in my daughter’s old high school.


It says, “Respect for Self, Others, and the Environment.”


That is a great principle, which I was reminded of today in sitting for an IT certification exam–how lucky we are to live in a country that affords us respect to be ourselves…to speak, write, and practice as we believe. 


In this case, the certification exam was typically given on Saturday, but as a Sabbath observer, I was able to provide a request for an accommodation, and was able to take the exam this morning, Sunday.


What was absolutely amazing to me though going for the exam at this designated fancy facility, in Washington, D.C.–and with two proctors–was that I was the only one taking the exam today.


This was not just some lip-service tolerance for differences, but rather true respect for diversity, even when it’s not convenient and it is costly. 


I have got to say, how grateful I am to be part of a society where we are free to be who we are–what can be more amazing than that?


I feel this all the more when we are at a time in history when still so many in the world are battling dictatorships, demagogues, terrorist and corrupt regimes that impose harsh restrictions, censorship, monitoring, and severe punishments on those who don’t follow the dictates of the authority holding power. 


When we fight those restrictive regimes–from ISIS to Communism–that are looking not just to hold, but to spread their clutches on power and abuses of freedom–we are really fighting to be who we are and that is a serious fight worth having. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Answer Injustice With Justice

Justice

So what is amazing about government scandals is not that they happen, because of course, they do. 


But what is amazing is that the American public is frequently denied justice–whether committed under Democratic or Republican administrations.


Maybe this is because the Justice Department is headed by the Attorney General a political appointee of the President, rather than being independent.   


The President oversees all the government agencies in the Executive Branch of the government, including the Department of Justice (DOJ).


When any of the government agencies in the Executive Branch do something wrong, what should happen is that the Department of Justice (including the FBI) would investigate and bring the offenders to justice. 


But instead, a politically motivated President can direct a politicized Justice Department to stand down–and in a sense end up being the “Chief Obstructionist.”


Obviously every agency is headed by political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President and who further the administration’s vision, but Justice is unique. 


And if you follow the news, I am sure you can think of more than a few examples where Congress has gotten involved to investigate and even request action by DOJ, but yet nothing seems to happen. 


What is disappointing is that we would like to think that every leader is an icon of righteousness, integrity, and propriety, but instead partisan politics can get in the way, and the leader ends up protecting, whitewashing, or covering up the very wrongdoing that needs to be corrected.


The government system cannot work for the people and the country, if it cannot be accountable to them to do the right thing.


The President–no matter what political affiliation–must assure and be perceived as assuring that everyone under his/her watch is doing the right thing. 


And if and when they stray from serving the people of this country, it should be the President who leads the charge to make it right. 


We all would respect a leader that recognizes and course-corrects when things go astray and does it with integrity and justice–that makes a truly great Democracy.  😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)