Don’t Cough On Granny

So these are the signs of the times of Coronavirus. 


Pictures telling us not to cough on Granny. 


Cover your germy mouth!


Don’t get the older and more vulnerable amongst us sick. 


I was in the elevator the other day, standing in the corner next to the elevator buttons. 


Someone else–an older person–gets on with a big (double size) shopping cart.


He’s standing in the opposite back corner (kitty corner from me) with this huge cart between us. 


Then he starts yelling at me, literally, to “get in the corner!”


Ah, I’m already in the opposite corner. 


He’s huffing and puffing angry that he wants me to literally get up against both walls. 


I was almost tempted to say something like maybe you should just get off and catch the next elevator Sir. 


But I held my tongue, in part out of sympathy for these elderly people who are obviously really scared (and maybe rightfully so) of the Coronavirus. 


Sometimes, I think to myself what if we were really hit at some point in the future with a very deadly bioweapon that was expressly designed to kill and to repulse any sort of countermeasures against it. 


What if the fatality rate was 1/3 to 2/3 of the population like in the Middle Ages Bubonic Plague or even higher like 100% of anyone that gets infected from a military-grade, genetically modified virus (similar to effects from Ebola). 


Maybe it’s not good to ask what ifs, but if we are really going to learn anything from this, then I think we need to extrapolate from the relatively minor now to the potential major down the road. 


If you think we have hysteria, deaths, and $2.2 trillion U.S. impact now, this is just a glimpse of what could actually happen. 


We need to seriously rethink our disaster preparedness and response–big time.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Vintage to Modern Threats

Just wanted to share this short video captured of vintage fighter planes flying over the Washington Monument in D.C. on Friday, May 8.



This was in commemoration of 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. 



My father (A’H) used to tell me about when he was in England during the war and the Nazi bombers would fly over and carpet bomb them in a blitzkrieg.



This happened night after night, and so adaptive as people are, they sort of got used to the bombardment, if that is possible to say. 



After a while, instead of taking safety behind closed doors at home, people returned to go to the movies and dancing at night, even while the buildings next door were still being blown up–to the right and the left of them. 



In the morning, those who survived would get up, and see what was knocked down and what still standing. 



Hard to imagine living that way!



Now with new more destructive weapons (WMD, ICBMs, EMPs, etc.), we can only imagine that the destructive aftermath of WW II would be nothing in comparison to what a round III would be like.



It is crucial that we maintain our innovativeness and military superiority and not only offensively to defeat the enemy, but defensively so that we can stop whatever is coming at us whether a dirty bomb in suitcase, an ebola-type virus in an infected person or food, a drone carrying anthrax, or malware over the network.



We have come a long way in the last 70 years technologically, but the risk and stakes have also never been higher. 😉



(Source Video: Minna Blumenthal)

2014 The Bad News Goes On

Bad News

What a 2014 it’s been as the world continues it’s descent into madness.  


If Ebola, the War with Hamas in Gaza, the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 killing 298 including 80 children and 15 crew, the intransigence of Iran on Nuclear Weapons, employment still near a 30-year low, the National Debt hitting over $18 trillion (and growing $2.43 billion a day!) and the suicide of comedian, Robin Williams wasn’t enough…


– Criminal Records: 1 in 3 adult Americans (i.e. 80 million people) now have a criminal record…hmm, if the average family has around 2.5 people then just about 1 person per household has a criminal record. Are you starting to look around you now?


– Economy: Uber, yes, it’s a online “ride-sharing” (i.e. taxi) service, but after it’s recent IPO, Uber is worth over $41 billion dollars (more than Delta, Charles Schwab, Salesforce.com, and Kraft Foods). Someone’s getting taken for a ride. Is this even surprising considering the S&P is priced over 27 times average 10-year earnings (while the historical average is only 16), the result of pumping the economy with short term easy money policies.  


– Cyber Attacks: After a blithering cyber attack by North Korea, Sony withdraws the release of the movie, The Interview, surrendering to cyber terror, and putting us all at greater risk in the future because cyber crime does pay!


– Islamic Terrorism: While ISIS advances in Syria and Iraq, 132 school children (mostly ages 6-18) plus 9 adults massacred by the Taliban this week in Peshawar, many shot in the head and others lit on fire with gasoline and burnt to death so they are unrecognizable. This only 9 months after the April kidnapping by Boko Haram of more than 280 schoolgirls in Nigeria, which was repeated this week with the kidnapping of another 185 woman and children.


– Russian Militarism: The Great Bear is back with a vengeance as Putin continues driving Russian nationalism and buildup of advanced weapons, including WMD (e.g. nukes), aircraft, submarines, and ICBMs to counter alleged “Western Aggression.” And despite, the rubbles’ massive decline, Putin promises an economic comeback within 2 years–he’ll wait out the West and hold Crimea hostage and spoil it for everything it’s worth


So where are we going next–more hell on Earth or at some point a turnaround towards heaven again?   


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Worry About It–Yeah Right!

Calm
Lately, with the Ebola outbreak, primarily in Africa, but unfortunately also spreading here into the U.S., we are hearing refrains from politicians and pundits, not to be afraid.



– It won’t come here.

– It’s hardly contagious.

– Out health care system is superior.

– It’s all under control.



But what we are finding is that the reassurances are mostly empty words to calm a growing restless public, who are justifiably afraid, and see little to no action from their leaders.



– Ebola has come here to Texas, Maryland, and New York.

– Experts now admit that you can even get Ebola from sweat on the bus, and they blame broken protocols (as yet to be identified) that inflected 2 nurses in Texas.

– Yes, our health system is superior, but we are mostly inexperienced with dealing with a true pandemic.

– Define, “It’s under control” as the CDC is now projecting 1.4M infected by January (and growing exponentially)!



This is like the old adage that we are always trying to fight the last war, and not preparing with an open mind for what the next one will look like.



Similarly, we fail again and again to predict the threats and risks that confront us…Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Depressions/ Severe Recessions, ISIS, and much more are evidence of this.



FDR said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” but this is dead wrong.



I am afraid that we are not fearing enough (or that even worse, we are afraid to fear)–when this is perhaps of as great, if not of greater importance to adequately preparing ourselves to the immense challenges ahead of us.



Fear can cause paralysis or even chaos, but fear can also drive intelligent preparation, innovation, and life-saving measures.



Lately, many have said to me that unhealthy eating or gun violence is what we should fear and act on, and I think this is truly narrow vision.



We can’t live with heads in the sand, because there are multiple issues that we must confront.



True, we don’t have unlimited resources to address everything 100%, but as I’ve been telling people, we can worry about multiple issues (and I certainly do), work to address them with common sense—in other words, walk and chew gum at the same time!



Everyone seems to have their pet peeve issue that they want politicians to address, but we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to those that big mouths, lobbyists or politicians elevate to fear factor status, and ignoring others that may pose real significant threats to us. 



Frankly, I would rather be a little needlessly afraid, but more thoughtful, prepared/protected, and ahead-of-the-curve in addressing issues, than fearless, foolhardy, not ready, and extremely sorry later. 



While Ebola may or may not be catastrophic to us, when you hear coldly, almost matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry about it,” while thousands are dying and many more horrific deaths are at hand, and we are told by the U.N. that there is no real plan if things continue to go south, then be afraid, be very afraid–and let that guide you to creative problem-solving, and not deer in the headlights inaction. 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Welcome Ebola To America!

Ambulance Patient
While our self-declared intelligentsia has decided to keep the commercial flights open to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, experts are predicting that new ebola cases will reach 10,000 per week by December!


Moreover, the United Nations has warned that if Ebola is not controlled within the next 60 days, “the world faces an ‘unprecedented situation’ for which there is no plan.”

But by the time, we get our political will and act together, who knows…


What isn’t helping are publications like Bloomberg Businessweek, with another classic asinine article this time by Charles Kenny who writes–get this–that “A Travel Ban Is a Terrible Idea.”


While Kenny acknowledges “Travel restrictions have a long history as a tool against spreading infection” dating back already to the Middle Ages, Kenny is concerned about the “trade-offs” of quarantining the source countries–“because the benefits of contact outweigh the risks”–i.e. “People want to travel to see family and friends, visits places, work, or invest.”


Well Mr. Kenny, how about that people want to live and not die because of the irresponsible spread of this deadly virus? Two-thirds of the public, as well as many in Congress, and the media have already called for a common sense temporary travel ban. 


Kenny then goes on to exaggerate and talk about how laughable it is that we would “completely seal off the U.S. from the rest of the world” even though what we are talking about are just the countries where this deadly infection is currently raging. 


Further, Kenny is concerned not about containing the disease and protecting the more than 300,000,000 people in this country, but about the possibility that a ban on commercial flights “will deter people from volunteering to work in the region”–here again, Kenny ignores that specialized, trained people from the military, World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and more are already being deployed–although too little too late. 


Incredibly, Kenny even compares Ebola to the common flu, and intimates that since we don’t quarantine for the seasonal flu, why should we do it for Ebola–uh, Mr. Kenny have you heard that Ebola has a 70% mortality rate!


Finally, Kenny says in his defeatist way, “We live in a global disease pool. In the end, once a disease begins to spread, there’s no escaping an infection.”


Hello Mr. Kenny, we have a responsibility to prevent and protect our people–there is no place for your throwing in the towel on all of us–what a shame that Bloomberg makes this dangerous rhetoric the Opening Remarks for their magazine. 


There is long established protocol of quarantine to stop the spread of infection–not that it would necessarily be 100% successful, but at least it would help contain and control the spread from getting worse, and we would learn to improve as we go along, and live to fight and save more lives now and in the future.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Light Of Heaven

The Florida Sky
What a gorgeous sky is South Florida.



The wondrous sun shining through the beautiful clouds floating overhead.



May the light be a healing light and may the power of the L-rd above reign over us in mercy.



From ebola and other illnesses to a sick economy, gruesome terrorism, and general inaction all around, we need G-d more than ever to show us the way.



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

This Is Our World

Change The World
This is some of the unbelievable crazy news just from today–check this out:



– Russia accuses U.S. that the rallies of masses of people seeking freedom and human rights in Hong Kong and Ukraine are really CIA plots.



Ebola enters the U.S. ten days ago by a man who arrived from known, striken Liberia.



– “The Earth lost half of its wildlife in the past four decades.”



– Oklahoma man, who recently tried to convert colleagues, beheads one of them at work. 



– Man who is armed felon (with “three felony convictions for assault and battery”) gets within feet of and potentially endangers President on elevator within days of another man with a knife, who climbs fence, enters White House and skips about and into the East Room.



– Report that if just a “100-meter wide asteroid hit Washington, D.C….’it could wipe out everything within the Beltway.'”



So in case you didn’t have enough to worry about..this is our world and what we are doing to it. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)