Morning Commute in DC

I took this photo a while back on the Metro to/from Washington, D.C. 


It combines the seemingly normal person on the way to/from work listening to music and reading the newspaper with wearing a pretty scare face mask. 


It reminds me of the horror movie, “The Purge,” where people are permitted one night a year to commit crimes and murder others “legally” as a venting mechanism for social unrest and to help eliminate crime and criminals. 


Sitting across from this guy, you’re not really sure if he’s gonna finish reading the paper and walk off the train all nice or get up and start wiping people out left and right. 


Big cities in the U.S. can be scary places, and the mass transportation systems are one of those places where you don’t always feel safe. 


Maybe a mask is just a mask until G-d forbid, one day, it isn’t.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

We’re A Bunch of Chemicals+

So it’s pretty well known that we are a combination of nature and nurture. 


Nature is our genetics and our hormones–it’s sort of the innate material that make up who we are. 


Nurture, of course, is all those external influencers, like parents, friends, teachers, religious figures, experiences, etc.–that shape us. 


In a way, it’s hard to think of ourselves as a product of nature and nature, because that sort of removes our conscious free choice in the whole matter of who we are and what we do. 


For example, if someone is a raging lunatic, sociopath, serial killer, because they have a brain or hormonal defect and grew up in a broken and abusive home(s), then the question is, well how can you really or fully blame them for their actions–is it really their actions? 


Don’t we have to ask ourselves how much control does a person have over themselves if they are physically and environmentally predisposed to be a certain way–even a very socially unacceptable and hurtful way?


This is where the courts and justice system come into play in looking at things such as whether the person is even competent to stand trial (e.g. the insanity defense) or are there mitigating circumstances to reduce the person’s culpability.


I would imagine it is quite difficult to exactly judge the level of self control that a person is or should be able to exert given their individual set of nature and nurture.  


And even if the person isn’t fully in control of themselves, does that help the victim or their families who are still left reeling from the harm and/or loss caused to them by the perpetrator?


Yet it is uncontested that people are driven by nature and nurture, and just in today’s Wall Street Journal, there was a discussion of the influence of a person’s hormone levels on their personality and behavior.


– Generally, more testosterone makes a person aggressive, while more estrogen makes them sensitive. 


– Similarly, dopamine makes people more energetic, while serotonin makes them more sociable. 


So there is nothing inherently “wrong” with you for being a certain way…that’s your makeup, but you are responsible for how you manage yourself given what you’ve got.   


In other words, where you have lemons, you’ve got to make lemonade!


In a nutshell, we are truly a combination of our genetic makeup, a bunch of chemicals, some environmental molding, and the exertion of our willpower, faith, and belief in what’s right and wrong. 


What happens when you mix these altogether, you get you and only you! 😉


(Source photo: here with attribution to skeeze)

Building An Appropriate Wall

Border

Ok, let’s be honest, Trump is right about the border.  

And no, I do not believe that he is fascist and evil like the social engineers in politics would like you to believe for their own motives. 

Let’s face it, the border needs to be appropriately secured once and for all from illegal immigration. 

We need to support our law enforcement agents such as the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in protecting this great country. 

Why all the argument about “illegal” Immigration…it’s illegal!

By all means, provide amble and robust ways for peaceful-loving people to come to this country legally, especially for family, refuge, asylum, and to escape violence, persecution, and war.  

But if someone is here illegally, then Trump is right, we need to see that valid moral law and order is reestablished and not permit violence, crime, and chaos to continue by edict, closing our eyes to it, or even tacit permission. 

Whoever calls this fascism is either a liar or possibly some sort of anarchist and dangerous to a civilized way of life, plain and simple. 

How do any of our politicians who take the oath of office and swear to uphold our constitution try to get around this?

Here are some statistics relevant to the issue of secure borders:

Human Trafficking: There are 29.8 people in the world trapped in modern slavery or 1 out of every 236!  And there are 60,000 victims reported in the United States of America.  

Drug Trafficking: Drug trafficking in Mexico is a $50 billion business, and as of 2009, 23.5 million people in the U.S. age 12 and over needed treatment for illicit drug or alcohol abuse. 

Deadly Terrorism: The deadly toll of Terrorism has increased 800% since 2010 with an average of 30,000 people killed annually. “More attacks are happening and they tend to be deadlier than ever.”

Violent Crime and Murders:  In the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and New York, illegal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions, equating to over 7,000 of the murders. 

Economic Effects:  While undocumented workers do obviously help perform work particularly in some important lower wage jobs for us, there are also many negative economic effects of illegal aliens to consider such as undercutting wages or taking jobs from other who are legally entitled to the work. Additionally, the cost for their healthcare and education that is covered by the American people contributes to the overall staggering national debt. 

Overall, while “who we are” and want to be is a compassionate and generous people, there is no reason to circumvent the law and to let people into the country who have not duly applied and been permitted entry and stay.  

Shenanigans of “catch and release” or not to deport illegal immigrants “who don’t have a criminal record”–is completely nonsensical since being illegal is criminal!

We need to secure our country from human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, murders, as well as the negative economic effects of illegal immigration, while at the same time opening our hearts and the process for vetted legal immigrants to make their way here and become productive citizens. 

We are and should be good people, but that doesn’t mean we need to be stupid and irresponsible and put at risk our nation’s security through unnecessarily reckless open and porous borders. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bystanders Standing By

Skirt

So I was on the Metro train coming home from the office. 


I was sitting on the left side of the car (riding backwards–which I hate) 


And a lady was sitting on the right side of the train (also riding backwards)


She was stylishly dressed, but also honestly a little seductive in a short skirt, knee-high boots, and bare legs. 


There was a older man sitting across from her (facing forward and facing her). 


At one point then some really weird stuff started to go down. 


This guy gets up and starts staring at this lady–but not just the lady, specifically at her legs.


But it get worse, he turns his head sideway–this way and that–very obviously trying to look under her skirt. 


These were not kids mind-you, but grown adults–and this behavior was not only unexpected, but completely shocking.


There are lots of other people around, and it seems like no one knows what to make of this guy or even cares.


Then he inches closer, as if to get a better look, and get this–100% true–he starts to sniff at her.


It was so scary to see this guy on the train acting all perverted–obviously some sort of serious sexual predator. 


My mind starts racing into whether I should get up and be prepared to confront him, so he doesn’t hurt this women, or if there is enough time, can I call for the cops.


But before anything else could unfold, the train pulls into the next station, the double doors open, and he quickly hops off. 


I turn my head to look at the women to make sure she is okay, and I see her breath out a deep-sigh of relief. 


This could’ve been really bad–he could’ve tried to attack her in broad daylight or even follow her off the train. 


The funny thing was that I didn’t see anyone say or do anything about it or even pay attention to the potentially dangerous situation unfolding that was obvious. 


The people were all around, but the bystanders were just that “standing (idly) by” and in no way seemed to pay any notice or they just didn’t want to get involved–it was like complete apathy. 


I hope for everyone’s sake–that people really do care and pay attention when there is danger about–and that it’s not just everyone for themselves.  


We are much stronger together, than when everyone is apathetic or just looking out for themselves. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Turn, Press, Pull — Gonna Get Ya

Controls.jpeg

So as I go around town, I see more and more of these industrial-type control panels. 

The problem is that they are stupidly in the open and unprotected or otherwise easily defeated.  

While probably not a serious threat of any sort, this one apparently is a unit to control some fans in an underground garage open to the public. 

You see the knobs you can just turn.

And one with a yellow warning sticker above it.

As if that will keep someone with bad intentions from messing with it. 

You also see the red and yellow lights…hey. let’s see if we can make those flash on, off, on.

Panel 13, nicely numbered for us–let’s look for 1 to 12 and maybe 14+.

It just continues to amaze me that in the age of 9/11 and all the terrorism (and crime) out there that many people still seem so lackadaisical when it comes to basic security. 

Anyone in the habit of leaving doors and gates open, windows unlocked, grounds unmonitored, computers and smart phones without password protection, data unencrypted and not backed up, even borders relatively wide open, and so on. 

Of course, we love our freedom and conveniences.

We want to forget bad experiences.

Could we be too trusting at times?

Maybe we don’t even believe anymore that the threats out there are impactful or real.

But for our adversaries it could just be as simple as finding the right open “opportunity” and that’s our bad. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

DC Is Not NYC

Not NYC.jpeg

This is a funny sticker on the streets of Washington, D.C.


It says, “This is not New York.”


And it advertises a website called StuckInDC.com.


“Formed by a few friends who’ve probably lived in the capital long enough, but lack the wherewithal to move elsewhere.”


Having come from NYC, I can empathize in many ways. 


The DC metro area is great if you are interested in working in some very cool jobs for the Federal government, and it has a fairly nice lifestyle for families here (clean and green). 


While not as exciting as NYC (it doesn’t have the vibe), it’s also not as dirty, congested, or generally dangerous (in DC, there are lots of gun-totting federal agents everywhere).


If you yearn for someplace nicer to live, maybe Florida for the Caribbean climate, beautiful nature, slower lifestyle, and fun atmosphere or then again, there is always the awesome Holy Land!


For now stuck in DC, after retirement who knows. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Good Can (And Will) Overcome Evil

Beautiful video showing that good can overcome evil. 



Next video is where the woman (empowered) takes down the would be attackers herself–with a big time, well-deserved smackdown!



Where on the right track. 😉