NJ Pollution–How Do You Ignore It?

This is the view along the New Jersey Turnpike. 


The pollution and stink coming out of these smokestacks running up and down the Turnpike is enough to make anyone sick. 


Personally, I had to cover my nose and mouth with my shirt just to try and filter this crap out. 


What do people tell themselves that live near these?

Oh, it’s okay because the government regulators wouldn’t let them be here otherwise!


For real???


If you can see it’s nasty, and you can smell that it’s nasty, and there is a lot of it, then you better wake up as to what you are breathing, drinking, and eating. 


How about these polluters put a cork in it once and for all! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nuttiest Duck In DC

Just when I thought I’d met all the nuts in this town (Washington, D.C.)…


I ran into this one in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the Mall. 


Check this out!


The duck is head first waddling away it’s feet in the air like a lost puppy.


Reminds me of too many folks who don’t want to deal with the many consequential problems that our nation faces (fortunately, there are also many good folks that do!).


From the imminent dangers of North Korea, Iran, and ISIS to our staggering national debt (all of which I wrote about yesterday) along with other critical issues such as healthcare, immigration, and jobs, jobs, jobs. 


Then there are the all too frequent projects that are out of control and funding that is flushed down the proverbial $4,000 toilet. 


A history of dysfunction, fraud, waste, abuse (along with an assortment of personality disorders) have ripened for the picking in the election famous “Swamp”–that we’ve been promised will be drained!


Maybe that’s what this duck is wading into…and what do you think he will find? 


This nation can no longer afford to go head in the sand unless we are looking to be a good-for-nothing dead duck rather than a thriving democracy and beacon of freedom to the world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal

Nation In Denial

NK.jpeg

We are a nation in utter denial over our problems.


Just to name a few…


Whether from the threat of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, who smiled while displaying a video yesterday of nuclear missiles destroying the USA.


To the shooting death of three in Fresno, CA yesterday by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” that was deemed not a terrorist attack.


To our national debt of $20 trillion which quadrupled in just the last 15 years under the administration of both political parties.  


Unfortunately, denial is still alive and well, while smiling photos of the North Korean dictator adorn the light poles outside the capital of the USA.


We don’t like to admit our problems be it from despots threatening us with WMD to global terrorism that gives us no peace, and a mammoth debt that is sinking our national economic sustainability.


Smile for the camera!


Don’t worry about big problem-solving. 


What we don’t admit can’t hurt us or can it?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Defeating Terrorism Not Optional

Military

So in today’s New York Times Sunday Review, David Rieff provides some insights on the state of terrorism that we are living with. 


Two very concerning points he makes:


1) A resignation that not much can be done: There are limited security resources, but infinite points for terrorists to strike. As he says, “Not all these attacks can be stopped….there is no way to police every subway station, cafe, and public square.”


2) Many of our leaders are in convenient denial or disengaged: They see the daily terrorist attacks and their response is a rote rejoinder to either join for a brief memorial, slough it off altogether, or even make a joke of it (as if murder is a laughing matter). Rieff repeats even a recent interview with President Obama where he makes light of the impact of terrorism in that doesn’t pose “an existential threat to the United States of the world order.” Unless of course, it escalates and involves weapons of mass destruction or potentially taking out significant portions of our nation’s critical infrastructure.


This just seems so different that how our nation has raised itself up in past conflicts and to win them: 


In World War II, the Allies were committed to defeat Nazi Germany, and they did, including through D-Day, one of largest and bloodiest invasions in history. 


President Reagan helped win the Cold War, by labeling the Soviets the “evil empire” and setting America on a major military buildup, one that the Soviet Union could not afford and eventually withdrew from. 


After 9/11, President Bush vowed that we would get Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive,” no matter how long it takes, and eventually we did!


Over and over, the odds were not great and the stakes were enormous, but a positive attitude and the commitment to win took us a long way. 


In contrast now a attitude of defeatism has set in with Rieff declaring that “the stark truth is that the number and lethality of terrorist attacks are far likelier to rise than to diminish in the near future,” and as he quotes the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as saying, “Times have changed, and we should learn to live with terrorism.”


How can anyone agree with that–should we really resign ourselves to learn to live with random acts of violence, murder, and terror? 


Rieff ends with that “the best we can hope for is to hold on to enough of our humanity to have a chance of clawing back the rest when the war ends, as all wars do.”


I do not believe that this is good enough!


Not identifying the enemy, disengaging from global events or leading from behind, appeasement of sworn enemies, removing sanctions and releasing terrorists from GITMO, getting soft on terror saying it’s not so bad out there that “the birds were [still] chirping and the sun was out,“, and giving up on defeating it…is a losing attitude and proposition and one that will only result in more heartbreaking and innocent deaths. 


Dismissing or belittling the issue, defeatism, and jokes will not defeat terrorism, but a commitment to do whatever it takes to save lives and protect our nation will, as has been the case from Hitler to Bin Laden, and so it will be again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Terror Attack?

Terror.jpeg

Haven’t we all heard it before…


Another terrorist attack, and there is an appeal for calm.


Radical Islam, no way…we can’t even say the words.


I’m sure we’ll hear the typical…that it was just a lone crazed gunman.


Forget that he avowed allegiance to ISIS.


And that he had previously been investigated by the FBI.


Also, that it is just 3 days since ISIS threatened to attack Florida.


We need the public to think there is stability and safety, especially right before the election.


DON’T ROCK THE POLITICAL BOAT!


The public is perceived as stupid.


Part of the echo chamber with the media. 


Feed them some crap about this being gun violence and attack the 2nd Amendment and call it a day.


The sheep will go back to their slumber and still vote for who the elites tell them to.


Over 50 DEAD.


Over another 50 wounded, many (or most) in CRITICAL CONDITION.


The WORST mass shooting in US history.


We’re tough on terrorism…keep repeating that.


Don’t flinch when the cameras are on you.


Make a remark that it’s because the enemy is angry about GITMO or Palestine or whatever.


In other words, it’s justified–we deserve it!


Close GITMO and resolve the Palestinian issue and all will be well in the world and there won’t be any more of this terrorist, murderous, violence against civilians, women, children, people at worship or at weddings or at funerals, or going to work in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, or on a bus or train, or sitting in a cafe or pizzeria or club.


Let’s stop more sanctions and release more money to Iran, the world #1 sponsor of terrorism.  


Let’s leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and more…all will be well.


Blood shed, treasure spent. 


Time to go home.


The enemy is not coming here.


Everyone rest assured. 


The unity rally after the attacks in Paris…we’re a no show. 


The attack in Tel Aviv last week…tell them to show some restraint. 


Orlando…forget about it, really–it’s over.


Let’s focus on the election now.


Tell them about glass ceilings and redistributing the wealth–they’ll eat that up.


Power, 4 years…maybe 8.


Citizens, sleep well…the Ambien is being carefully administered to each and every one.  Zzzzzz.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

Break-Fix After Breakfast

So I learned something new about being Mr. Fix It.

First of all, depending on how you look at things, you are either the guy who miraculously arrived on the scene and fixed what was so horribly broken and dysfunctional for way too long.

Or

You are the one who broke what was working so well before you came along and messed things up.

Second, just because you want to fix things, doesn’t mean that the system or actors want it fixed.  

Often, they are used to it that way and are comfortable in their managed chaos.  Objectively better is not necessarily better to those who like to fly below the radar and aren’t looking for change or perceived trouble.

Dealing with what’s wrong means not only admitting something is broken, but also committing to putting in the substantial effort to fix it. To some people, why even go there? 

You may be getting up after breakfast energized to take on the dysfunction, but the organization is frozen in it’s own sickness and the fever isn’t going down or away.

Be careful what you try to fix, because rather than kudos for a job well done, you may be walking into the blame game where after all, pretending that there is no problem to begin with is the greatest shenanigan to hide behind of them all. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Burning The Evidence

Transparency

This is a brillant funny advertisement that was displayed on the Metro in Washington, D.C.


“If I burn the evidence, those donuts never happened.”


This as astute marketing for a fitness facility.  


Burn baby, burn (calories that is)!


But in Washington, D.C. (and at times for fiduicary duty bound Wall Street), where transparency is supposed to rule the day–but often doesn’t as we know–this resonates in a whole other way for a class of political and wealthy elites as well as for a host of criminals. 


Bad things (fraud, waste, abuse, and stupid mistakes)–uh, they never happened if there is no evidence to prove it.  


Like the tree that falls in the woods that no one hears…it’s as if it never fell. 


Also, is there a habit of perhaps punishing the innocent in order to protect those that are really guilty? — That never happens too, right? 


But G-d knows what really happened, and often somehow, someway the truth does get exposed (whether by savy investigative journalists, Congressional or court inquiry, brave innocents that come forward, or some bad people getting caught up in their own jumble of lies and deceit).  


As Judge Judy says, “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s usually not true.” 


Or more in line with the ad, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)