Impact of Hyperwork on Family

I am seeing this all the time now… 

Parents of little children, or even older children, who are too busy working to pay much, if any, attention to their families.

Call it a disease of the industrial revolution + information technology. 

Whether people worked on the assembly line making widgets or nowadays on the computer and smartphone answering their bosses and colleagues compulsively–it’s become a global obsession. 

On one hand, with the impending robot and AI revolution taking over jobs, people need to be grateful to even have a job to earn a living for the families.

On the other hand, with the connections to each other and our work 24/7, the depression-era saying of:

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Has morphed into:

Brother, can you spare some time?

Yes, we all need to be responsible adults, earn a decent living and pay our bills. 

But in the end, it’s not money or things that we give to our families that is the most important.  

I would argue money and things are the least important, and what is truly most precious is the love, time, and attention you give to yours. 

As the old saying goes:

Money can’t buy love.

But time and attention given to your loved ones can build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and beyond. 

Yes, of course, people need to work to earn a living and productively contribute something to society, but it is also true that work is used as an excuse to run away from parental and familial responsibilities. 

It’s easier to give an Amazon gift certificate or a Gameboy then to actually spend the afternoon with the kids. 

These days, people say ridiculous things like:

I love going into the office to get away from home. 

But you can’t run away from your problems at home–you need to work on them and solve them.

The diabolical murderous Nazis used work as a tool to enslave, torture, and exterminate their victims as the sign over the gate of the Auschwitz (and many other) concentration camps read:

Arbeit Macht Frei  (or Work Sets You Free)

But as we all know inside, true freedom is being able to give generously from your time and effort to your loved ones, and slavery is not being able to let go of your work. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Watch A Terrorist In His Evil Action

This is an incredible disturbing video from today’s terror attack in Israel.


A Palestinian terrorist is caught on surveillance camera committing his vile deed. 


The terrorist in the brown t-shirt comes down the grocery store aisle.


But he is not there shopping for groceries. 


Rather, the terrorist is stalking his prey–an innocent Jewish man working in the store stocking shelves for customers. 


The terrorist at first takes a pass by the man checking things out. 


Then he suddenly circles back pulling a deadly knife from his waist and starts viciously stabbing and beating the Jewish worker. 


The mortally wounded victim desperately tries to fend off the terrorist attacker as he comes again and again at him.


Fortunately, others nearby chased the terrorist who was apprehended by police, while the victim remains in critical condition in the hospital fighting for his life. 


Unfortunately, this is daily life in the Holy Land, where bombings, shootings, stabbings, vehicular rammings, Molotov cocktails and rocks are used to kill Jews in their one homeland, Israel.


From Paris and London to New York, Orlando, Jerusalem, and all over the world, terrorists continue to plot and murder innocents. 


Yet, how often do we make excuses for them–it’s not their fault, it’s just a minority, they’re brainwashed, if only we gave in to their demands, etc. etc. etc. 


But does anything really seem to make a difference–more people, more land, more palaces and oil wealth, more respect, more morally corrupt votes at the UN, more, more, more…and still the global radical terrorism and human rights abuses continue.


What happens when one day the terrorist attack becomes one employing true weapons of mass destruction–will anyone really be surprised? 


We pray to G-d for peace and security for your people and for evil to be utterly destroyed. 


Oh L-rd, how long will you let these murderous, vile terrorists attack your children…how long before justice is done. 😉

The Excuses We Make

Poverty.jpeg

So on the way to the airport, I am talking with the Uber driver. 


“There is such a discrepancy between the rich and the poor here,” I say.


“Yeah,” she says, “When I drive and stop at the lights, there are many poor people that come up to the car looking for a handout.”


She continues, “I usually have a few dollars here” pointing to the little cubby hole under the parking break. 


“But my friends make fun of me saying, they [the panhandlers] are just going to go out and buy a beer!”


Excuse #1 not to give poor people–they’ll misuse our charity and buy alcohol, drugs, or prostitutes. 


The driver says, “But so what…if I were in their shoes, I’d buy a beer too.”


I’m thinking, hey this is nice…she’s fighting the bad inclination and her friends pressure and still wants to give–this is great!


Sure enough, we stop at a red light, and a really poor man starts walking up to the window to ask for help.


This person is dressed in dirty battered rags of an undershirt, and has sores on their arms and body.


The driver says, “Yeah, if I gave him, he’d probably just switch his shirt inside out later [as if the other side would be magically less dirty and ripped] and go home to his Rolls Royce!”


Wow, when excuse #1 doesn’t hold…


Excuse #2–the poor people are just faking it…really they aren’t poor, but rather they are fantastically rich and trying to pocket some more money for free.


It’s like the evil inclination sitting on one shoulder telling us “don’t give,”  even as the good inclination is sitting over our other shoulder beseeching us to have mercy and “give, give, give.”


In this case, the evil inclination won out. 


I reached for my wallet and wanted to open my window, but honestly this person looked scary–dirty and maybe sick–I was afraid of this person. 


I hope G-d forgives me, because I feel it wasn’t my evil inclination making excuses, but this time it was genuine for me. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I’m Telling You They’re Really New

Swim Fins

So I ordered a pair of swim fins to replace a pair that recently ripped in the pool. 


I went online and ordered a brand NEW pair. 


A few days later, the fins arrive in an envelope (no box). 


Already sort of terrified at what I will find in this strange bag, I slowly open it up, and find a completely disgusting dirty, scuffed, USED pair of fins with no tags or packaging


Ew…I am so grossed out and contact the vendor right away to return these, but instead of customer service, I got a boat load of b.s. and chutzpah.


They made a million excuses, tried to make me feel bad, and basically refused to provide for a return, saying that the product is not really used, that it just got dirty in the mail and on the trucks and all, and I just have to clean them off a little!


When I question them about why there was no box or packaging, they say, “Oh that, well we take it out of the box, so we can ship it more cheaply for you


I said, “What right do you have to take it out of the packaging when I ordered it new–maybe I want the packaging or need to give the item as a gift?”


Then they go on to give me an ear-full about about the high cost of shipping and that I should thank them for removing the packaging to the keep costs down (but the problem is that they were trying to keep costs down in more ways than one here). 


They continue to berate me as well about how I should be more understanding as to the dirt and scuff marks, since it’s no big deal, because when I put it in the pool, the water and the chlorine will wash it off and kill all the germs anyway!


After patiently taking this abuse for a while, I went online and saw that others had the same experience with this merchant–getting sent used goods in the mail that had been advertised and paid for as new.  


Now I had had it up to HERE, and I promptly did my duty and went online to give them an appropriate customer review to help others from getting cheated like this in the future. 


Guess what happens next? 


They email me to tell me that they took note of my feedback and not that they are sorry about what happened and want to fix it, but that “We will never ship to you again.” 


My wife explodes laughing…mwahahahahaha–like who would ever want to go back and do more business with these crooks. 


People are absolutely crazy out there.


Caveat emptor (buyer beware) a million times.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Broken Mirror Reflections D.C.

Smashed Mirror.jpeg.jpg

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)

Not Your B*tch

Dog Carriage

Another story from a friend of a friend in the office.


A person has someone working for them who hasn’t been working out all that well. 


Basically, the staff person is having challenges simply getting their job done. 


The boss asks what the problem is and if there is anything they can do to help the person be successful. 


The staff person blurts out to their boss that “Nothing is wrong–I just don’t want anyone to say I’m your b*tch!”


For all the possible reasons for not doing your job this one was quite a shocking one. 


Sure people have challenges–not everyone is good at everything and it’s not always a right fit, but being worried about what other people think about your doing your job…uh, not a very good excuse. 


Seems like something the boss is not going to be able to really fix…maybe a shrink. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Conventional “Wisdom” On Terrorism

Conventional Wisdom.jpeg


Define “Terrorism”.


If a Jew/Israeli defends themselves or their ancestral homeland, it’s illegal, deplorable, and will utterly be condemned by the United Nations and in the media. 


If a radical Islamist attacks innocent civilians and commits extreme violent acts, they’re freedom fighters, resisting occupation, or maybe it’s just workplace violence. 


(Source Comic: Andy Blumenthal)