Big Mouths Alert

Big MOuth.JPeG

So I took this photo in the Museum of Natural History. 


As you can see, this hippopotamus has quite a big mouth. 


He is also not alive and is behind a glass-enclosed case for viewing. 


To me this screams that those with big mouths often don’t end up well. 


I remember a relative of mine used to bluntly call it, “being full of sh*t.”


Whether these people are in politics, your neighborhood, bullies at work and school, or even those in the fake news media…they have become all to somewhat frequent.


Sure there are other animals with small mouths in the same situation, but the hippo truly is a decreasing and vulnerable species.


And like it’s neighbor in the museum, the dinosaur–another one who has a big mouth–that ended up extinct, the prospects for talking big, but accomplishing little is sort of part of the character. 


The hippopotamus is mostly a herbivore–it has a big mouth and some big sharp teeth, but it mainly eats humble plants and doesn’t pursue the hunt of the big game and eat lots of red meat. 


Listen, big mouths can still be highly dangerous–words are powerful and can do a lot of damage. 


But overall “talk is cheap,” especially when people focus on words and not good deeds and who don’t have the right intentions. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Nature of Good and Evil

Like in the Bible…


When our forefather Itzchak was about to bless his son Jacob and he said the words (are good) like Jacob, but the hands (deeds) feel like Esau.


Words are cheap, and actions speak volumes louder!


Good deeds mean something, but words are easily manipulated.


We can all spot good deeds, and that is what must guide our judgement of people and situations–that is where the truth rests.


Like my father and grandfather always taught me–some people are good and some are not so good.  😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Time For The Cruise Missiles

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It is high time to stop being bystanders while our military is forced to stand mostly idle in the face of the heinous crimes against humanity occurring in Syria over the last 6 years and half a million dead! 


Today, at least 70 people, including 10 children were killed in a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.


In 2013, Syria killed at least 1,500 in what was the unbelievable fiasco of Obama’s disappearing red line on the use of such weapons of mass destruction. 


Unfortunately, we can ill afford to tolerate the irresponsible use of these dangerous weapons–chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.


President Trump needs to show strength where Obama showed only weakness. 


It is high time to light up the cruise missiles into the heart of Damascus–goodbye Presidential Palace and then some. 


Aside from redrawing the solid red line against WMD and punish the Assad regime’s criminal activity, we will also put Iran and North Korea on notice not to underestimate or mess with us. 


We must act, before the nuclear ICBMs and suitcases rain into American cities. 


Now is the time to correct the mistakes of the past and reset our national security for the future by restoring the peace through strength. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Best Diplomacy Shirt

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I took this photo in the Metro, so I apologize for the poor lighting. 


But never-the-less, to me, this wins for best diplomacy shirt. 

“Respect All

Fear None”

In dealing with others at home and abroad, we must respect everyone. 


And this is not just paying lip service to others while really giving a tacit nod to derision and divisiveness.


Rather we need to have genuine respect for all people, cultures, religions, freedom and human rights. 


At the same time, we must fear no one. 


We need to carry a big stick, as my grandfather used to say.


That along with plenty of carrots (but used strategically and not wastefully) to positively influence the good in others. 


The point is that disengagement, appeasement, and weakness benefits no one. 


Rather, it encourages violence, destruction, and refugees, and global disorder. 


It’s time to stop fearing and running, and to make a firm stand for good and meaningful things that we really believe in.


We are not the police of the world, but we are smart, and good, and powerful, and will project and use that power wisely to ensure that good prevails over evil, always. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Broken Mirror Reflections D.C.

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So I took this photo of a smashed mirror hanging out of a corner trash can in downtown D.C.

Half is reflecting the garbage in the can and half is reflecting the buildings and trees outside. 

Such a metaphor for the society we live in these days. 

Where we are broken, and society is broken, and certainly lots of government is broken. 

And the shards of glass reflect on the both the garbage of what has piled up inside us and the system, but also the possibilities on the outside for development, growth, and change. 

The broken mirror with the sharp glass shards is dangerous, but perhaps by seeing the mess we are in, we can finally step up and do something to fix it. 

No more circling the wagons, infighting or deflecting from the issues; no more blaming the past or demonizing the opposition; no more excuses for stagnation, incompetence, or impotence; no more whitewashing and red tape; no more firefighting, shoddy quick fixes or waiting for another break/fix; no more whirlwind spin around the dazed and confused; no more sugar-coating, backpedaling, or dressing up or down the facts; no more playing politics or deceiving ourselves and others–is that even possible any longer?

Instead, we change to a model of acknowledging that which is broken and teaming together to fix it–doing something positive, and constructive for ourselves and the world–oh, fix it Dear Henry, please fix it.  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

How-To Book Craze

How To Take Photos

I took this photo of a person reading a how to take great photos book.


Sort of ironic, funny, no?


You can read about it or do it. 


I’m one of those people who learn more by actually doing. 


Ok, I’m not the greatest photographer in the world (by a really long shot).


But for me it’s more about the idea I’m trying to convey than the pure artistic value per se. 


Anyway, in the vein of words being cheap, “Reading is fundamental,” but doing is absolutely fundamental. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Do Red Lines Mean Anyway?

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Whether with chemical weapons or nuclear capable ballistic missiles, we set red lines with Syria and Iran and what happens?


These are weapons of mass destruction we are talking about!


What message do we send our dangerous adversaries, when we say we are going to do something and then we hesitate or don’t follow through?


Respect is earned and without that we are as good as roadkill. 


When we say something is crossing our red lines we ought to “say what we mean and mean what we say.”


Our national security is important, and so are our red lines and follow through actions. 😉 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from here with attribution to hobvias sudoneighm)

Can You Say Coalition?

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So count up the number of times the word coalition was thrown around last night in the DNC Presidential Debate. 


Every last sentence to every question asked was like: 


We need a coalition to defeat ISIS.


We need a coalition outside the U.S. to defeat terrorists grabbing land, and inside the U.S. to defeat the lone attackers. 


We need a coalition for climate change. 


We need a coalition to get our economy back on track.


We need a coalition to better regulate guns. 


We need a coalition on immigration reform. 


Of course, as the superpower, we can’t seem to do anything for ourselves anymore. 


We are disengaged, leading from behind, and have no real answers to any of the big problems we face. 


No matter that we have been using a coalition to fight ISIS these last number of years, and success has been marginal at best as they keep recruiting on social media. 


No matter that we can’t get binding agreements with Iran as they shoot off new ballistic missiles capable of carrying nukes into the ether, or on global warming because each country in the end will do what they want in their own best interests. 


No matter that ISIS, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea does what they want and don’t need permission, forgiveness, or anything from anybody–they pursue what is good for them and they are relentless in getting it. 


No matter that we constantly show fear and weariness and helplessness in the face of our enemies that have the resolve, patience, and determination to fight as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to win. 


One candidate spurted something about, “Do you know how many coalitions I’ve put together” or “I’ve been putting together coalitions for years” (like that has achieved what exactly)?”


Terrorism is on the rise from Paris to California, ISIS is on the move grabbing up territory from Iraq and Syria and now even in Libya, the world is an unstable powder keg from Taiwan to Sudan, and our problems at home are growing worse (national debt, racial discord, etc.)


Oh, we need to get Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Iraq to step up to the plate, so said another one of the candidates last night. 


But we spend billions and billions training them, and they are happy to take the American dollars, but when the first shot is fired, the troops head for the hills…why should they get killed fighting a war that we care about and against their own brothers.


You can’t relegate your problems to others or ask others to pick up your slack, while you sit back and drop some bombs from the air–la la la la. 


Are we in a complete and utter leadership void and stupor?


Coalitions are only effective when there is leadership and resolve.


Coalitions are a cop-out when we are stymied to fight for ourselves, to stand up for our beliefs and values, to demonstrate we are committed, and to lead the charge. 


Cowardice will lose the war and much else…if we don’t get off the coalition’s dime. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Counter Terrorism Response Level: DYSFUNCTIONAL

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OMG, this is completely dysfunctional and embarrassing. 


Can we stop the fighting among ourselves–Democrats and Republicans, Judeo-Christians and Muslims, CNN and FOX, NRA and gun control advocates, immigration pros and foes, etc.)


AND


Instead focus and go after the real murderous culprits–the radical Islamist terrorists who are killing, imprisoning, torturing, raping, enslaving, and taking over vast lands to build a shariah-rule caliphate and take our freedoms and lives away?


We are losing the war on terror, because we can’t get our collective act together! 😉


(Source Photo: adapted from here with attribution for original to Elliott Brown)

Wishy Washy, Pishy Poshy

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In school, we had one teacher who always used to say, “You’ve got to call a spade a spade.”


Another used to tell us, “Never hesitate, act decisively, do what you need to do.”


These people were inspirational!


But these days when it comes to national and homeland security, what’s the world looking like:


– WISHY WASHY–We can’t speak directly and say who the enemy even is.


AND


– PISHY POSHY–We won’t act decisively in defending the nation and moreover, we acknowledge that there isn’t even a strategy.


It’s like what happened? 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)