What The Pope Knows That Our Leadership Doesn’t

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In response to the deluge of terrorist attacks across Europe, but also all around the world, culminating this week in the murder of an 85-year old Christian priest in France (his throat was slit in church by ISIS), the pope said the following:

The world is at war, because we have lost the peace.”

But at the same time, our leader is self-congratulating himself, declaring his next in line for the Pennsylvania Avenue throne, and mocking the daily terror threats we face, calling ISIS the “JV [junior varsity] team” declaring them “not an existential threat, and insisting “no boots on the ground.” 

From the attacks on 9/11 to Orlando and Fort Hood, from the attacks on Charlie Hebdo to Paris and Nice, from the multiple attacks on Germany this past week to those in Belgium in March, from the Madrid train bombing in 2004 to the London bombing in 2005, to the daily terrorist attacks throughout the Holy Land of Israel, and the non-stop violent killing of  millions around the Arab countries of the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and beyond, I ask:

Why is the Pope better informed than our leadership, and who will fight for us? 😉

(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)

The Voter Psychology Behind A Trump

Boxing

Over and over again the left AND the right try to get a knockout on Donald Trump. 


But what happens?


He’s not knocked out.


He’s not even knocked down.


To the contrary, he is still standing and seems to become stronger!


What is going on with this phenomenon?


Some would like to call it perhaps a psychosis of the masses


Other like to belittle those that like him by dissing their intellectual status and calling them stupid


Many even seem to go to every extreme to to make him out as crazy, fascist, bigoted, hateful, and a con man


Yet, for the most part it’s doesn’t seem to be working–people are still flocking to him


It’s like the more they try to gang up on him, torment him, bash him, and zing him–and rather than buckle, he is still there standing and remains strong–perhaps, the more “proof” it is for people that he can and will stand up for America!


With dismal ratings for the President, Congress, and government overall, the outsider, the business man, the billionaire, the dealmaker, the one who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and to say to the people the non-politically correct thing is coming across refreshing to many who are seeking change from the the last 7 years, 15 years, or further. 


With many seeing the current politics of the U.S. as leading from behind, appeasement, weak, divisive, and disengaged, it is not surprising to see bands across America yearning for something more. 


Is Donald Trump strong and anti-establishment or truly bad and dangerous?


This is for America to seek the truth on and wisely decide. 


What’s riding on this?


Whether Trump OR another candidate to be determined –(someone/anyone) — can potentially get things positively and constructively done in our large and complex political machine that has in many ways become increasingly stymied by bureaucracy, obstructionism, defeatism, game-playing, selfishness, pork barrel politics, (corruption,) sequestration, government closures, and political fighting across the aisle/behind the aisle/and in the aisle.


Let’s hope for America and the world’s sake the voters get it right.


But keep bashing Trump and you are keeping his message of superior strength and hope very much alive. 😉


(Note: This is not an endorsement for any candidate or political party)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

You’re Wealthy Nuts

Wealthy

So Bloomberg Businessweek has a really funny article about all the wealthy people that need to go see shrinks. 

Get this–overall wealthy people are cursed with “Affluenza” (not influenza silly) and have “elevated levels of depression, anxiety, psychosomatic issues (physical symptoms from stress), and self-mutilation.”

Some specific reasons they go for mental health help:

Why Me–A trying issue to deal with is their guilt feelings about being so darn rich, while others are starving, homeless, and can’t make ends meet. 

Feeling A Little Lonely (And Hated)–They can’t help thinking that perhaps people only like them for their money.

Aimless In Life–What’s the purpose of their lives if they are living on easy street, don’t have to work, and can buy their way out of trouble. 

Money To Mess You Up–Some people have so much money, they can squander it on bad investments, but also on alcohol, drugs, sex, and so on.  

Fear Of Losing It All–Terrible thing about having so much money is you have to worry about losing so much money.  

So next time you are thinking about protesting against the top .1% who have as much as the bottom 90%, have a heart because the wealthy have a lot of problems too. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Chris Goldberg)

Heading Askew

Head

I thought I’d end the year with this photo that I took yesterday at the Hair Cuttery. 


There is this mannequin’s head just laying on top of the washing machine. 


Is that what happens to customers’ heads who don’t cooperate with their haircuts or perhaps if they don’t tip enough? 


More seriously though…


Maybe this is a good picture to summarize 2015–heads are down and the hair is all messed up, but it won’t stop us from trying to wash the darn clothes going out there. 😉


(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)

Unwillingness To Face Inconvient Facts

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The Wall Street Journal today has a poignant editorial by Daniel Henninger on the fractured nation we have become. 

Henninger describes the feeling of a country ranging from fury to depression when an underlying vibrant free nation is overcome by a political fantasy of global disengagement and a doctrine of leadership from behind.

And it’s not just the continued downtrodden state domestically–see photo above from this morning’s homeless and hungry on Washington, D.C.’s streets. 

But blinded by a fearful political undertone that can’t even utter the words radical Islamists, we have taken it yet another wayward step further unable to utter the words terrorism.

With respect to the mass murder of at least 14 in California yesterday by–multiple Islamist attackers blasting off AR-15 assault rifles–the FBI in Los Angeles says this, terrorism “is a possibility, but we don’t know that yet, and we’re not willing to go down the road yet.”

There is not even anymore a facade of objectivity where we say perhaps something like: it certainly look’s like terrorism, but we need to investigate and verify–instead what we get is an unwillingness to face down our enemies and the terror of our times or even to openly consider the possibility. 

Ha, it COULD BE that these are 2 completely non-radicalized folks, who happen to have terrorist ties and communications, just found the guns and pipe bombs on the side of the road, got abducted by aliens who brainwashed them to commit mass murder, and just coincidentally after ISIS threatened attacks in the U.S.–anything is possible.

But terrorism–that’s RIDICULOUS!

From the disgraceful suffering of the downtrodden and needy individuals on our streets across America to the global disorder that we are seeing daily, we are continuing to lose ground, respect, and time. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Top 30 Legacy Of Hope And Change

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Over 7 long years, the promise of “hope and change” has given way instead to the disappointment of chaos and dysfunction.


Just some 30 examples off the top of my head…


1) Nuclear IRAN


2) Civil War SYRIA


3) Fragmented IRAQ


4) Taliban resurgent AFGHANISTAN


5) Militarization of SOUTH CHINA SEA


6) Nuclear missile NORTH KOREA


7) Terrorist State ISIS


8) Resurgent aggressive RUSSIA


9) Weaponization of SPACE


10) Streaming crisis of REFUGEES

11) Broken system for IMMIGRATION

12)
Sharply rising MURDER RATES


13) Growing and largest PRISON POPULATION


14) Rising RACISM


15) Increasing INEQUALITY


16) Worsening polarization in POLITICS


17) Poor TRANSPARENCY


18) Dysfunction in GOVERNMENT


19) Rising NATIONAL DEBT


20) Crisis in HEALTHCARE


21) Failing system of EDUCATION


22) Stalling INNOVATION


23) Growing insecurity of CYBER 


24) Infringement on PERSONAL PRIVACY


25) Falling participation in LABOR FORCE


26) Slowing ECONOMY


27) Worsening CLIMATE CHANGE


28) Shrinking affiliation with RELIGION


29) Epidemic of SUICIDE AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE


30) Declining HAPPINESS


Now, one of our main hopes has to be genuine change for the better. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Volcano Of Our Own Making

Volcano Erupting

So I saw this cool volcano making kit in the store. 

Kids typically do this cool experiment where they make a mock volcano erupt and the hot lava spills out in all directions and makes a big stinkin’ mess. 

But when I saw this volcano game kit, I couldn’t help connect this with all the real-world mess going on today with the endless and increasingly savage terrorism we are witnessing from brutal acts of terror to full blown religious civil wars, Arab Spring, and building of Caliphates across the region. 

Now we have religiously-inspired murders and maimings of millions of people with countless more displaced and refugees streaming across Europe.

The problem here though is that this is caused by crazy adults, and not playful and learning children. 

Most recently today, I watched a video of ISIS killing a bound prisoner (see starting in video link at 1:55) by rolling over him with a tank {extremely brutal and gory}.

The unbelievable savagery taking place with knifings, shootings, stonings, suicide bombings, beheadings, burnings, crucifixions, abductions, enslavement, gang rape, and more.

This is the Middle East today erupting and the adults are playing politics, personal and religious biases, and sick gamesmanship with millions of people’s lives.

Unfortunately, what happens over there tends to come here in the West…and this eruption is a doing of our own head-in-the-sand making. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Times and Events Of Gog And Magog

Danger Hot

So I have never ever heard so much talk about doomsday as I am these days. 


Earlier in the year (January 2015) the Doomsday Clock moved up to 3 minutes to midnight–that was a full 2 minute move or 40% advance to the end of times. 


The cited reasons by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:


– “Unchecked climate change”


– “Nuclear arms race”


Essentially, these “pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.”


But on a daily level now–


Islamic extremism showing through post 9/11 mounting turmoil and unbelievable terror in the Middle East, including seeming non-ending ISIS brutality, Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons and advanced ballistic missiles, the Sunni vs. Shiite war for dominion centering (lately) in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen but with much larger geopolitcal overtones towards a return of a powerful caliphate to challenge the West, fighting between Muslims and Christians in countries like Nigeria, ongoing terror threats to the democratic State of Israel, and a rising tide death, casualties, and refugees.


Russian aggression in multiple countries and regions including Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, air and naval military incursions and encroachment towards Turkey, the countries in the Baltic Sea region, the Arctic, and even a Russian military satellite parking itself between 2 U.S. satellites yesterday. 


China’s militarization including greater military spending on advanced weapons, Island/posts building in the South China Sea, and ongoing threatening overtures toward Taiwan and other neighbors, and cyber warfare conducted against the U.S.government and the private sector. 


Frightening new military capabilities are coming online with advances in weapons of mass destruction–nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological–colonization and militarization of space, laser weapons, satellite killers, swarms of drones, armies of robots, and cyberwar.


The drumbeat of climate change and environmental deterioration (unsustainable practices of deforestation, overfishing, pollution, and the extinction of countless species) is being felt in changing weather patterns, global warming, glacier meltdown, alternating threats of flooding and drought in various part of the world, major storms and lightening patterns, and an uptick in natural disasters (tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes), and an overall trend towards shortage and conflict. 


An ailing global economy after 2 major recessions in the 21st century so far, booming national debts, stalling economies, slowing innovation, and scarcity of stable, good paying, full time jobs in an outsourcing, short-term, freelance, contractor culture, and automaton and robotization advances. 


Dysfunctional political systems that are bogged down with endless indecision, infighting, bickering, finger-pointing, stalemates, shutdowns, pork barrel spending, catering to special interest groups, short-term wins at the expense of long-term goals, corruption, and a lack of strong capable leadership at the helm. 


An article I read recently from Russian Times, I believe, said how the U.S. teeters just steps from potential collapse by just relatively easy societal interruptions (presumably that they could facilitate) and that with farms/food production far from major metropolitan areas, people hooked on drugs that they could not get supplies for, and other severe disruptions in our critical care needs, we would be in big trouble–the message was clearly watch out, you are extremely vulnerable. 


That these tactic threats and overtures are already being made explicit is not a good sign. Just politicians and countries throwing around their weight or jockeying for position on the world stage–who knows?


But people are frail, countries are vulnerable, budgets are limited, and bad things can and do happen if we are not careful in a world ticking closer to very dangerous times and events.


The coming realization of the prophecy of a devastating world war–of Gog and Magog–is what people are saying to me.  


In conversation about deteriorating world events, my wife innocently asked someone this week–“Can we avoid a major world war?” Their unequivocal response, “No, it’s inevitable!” 😉 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)