Ballistic Missile Attack A Sham

I think that the Iranian ballistic missile attack on the American bases in Iraq was basically a sham and done in such a way, thank G-d, as to inflict minimal damage and causalities.

  • The Iranians needed to make a show that they were getting revenge on the United States to appease their radical terrorist base for the killing of arch terrorist, General Soleimani.
  • President Trump had already threatened 52 Iranian sites if they retaliated.
  • Iran choose a very limited response hitting 2 military bases in Iraq — 10 missiles striking one base, 1 missile striking another, and 4 missiles (26%) that failed!
  • There were no American causalities!
  • Iran immediately stated that the country had taken “and concluded proportionate measures” — they are not looking for further escalation!

The Iranians are smart not to provoke the U.S. any further.

They may just have dodged a VERY BIG hit on their military.

The matter of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the Ayatollahs remains an outstanding issue that MUST BE resolved once and for all even as we hope and pray for peace and security to prevail for the long term. 😉

Nature Boy

When I was a kid and I went to the supermarket with my mom, I remember always seeing the “Andy Boy Broccoli” in the produce aisle. 


Of course, I was always curious why Broccoli was called Andy Boy–what boy or any kid for that matter likes to eat broccoli???


And like most things in life, there really wasn’t a good answer except that this company, “Andy Boy” grows and distributes it. 


Anyway, I was always a nature boy feeling most at home and at peace in the countryside. 


I love being in nature, surrounded by G-d’s amazing beauty, and at one with the universe and with G-d.  


In building all our great cities, buildings, and structures, aside from the crowding, pollution, crime and traffic that we have consequently, we have also lost something elementary to our lives with the absence of real nature. 


A park is not a forest.  A pond is not a river.  A plant is a not a lush valley.  A garden is not a farm.  A hill is not a mountain range.  A pet is not a teeming ecosystem of diverse life.  


The city is man made and fake, but nature is from G-d and real. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Facing Facts on Rosh Hashanah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Facing Facts on Rosh Hashanah.”

In a sense, we all live at least two lives–represented by the two faces we wear: The first is the happy face, where we portray ourselves as if everything is going so well, almost near-perfect in our lives (our vacations, accomplishments, celebrations, and so on), and this is the face that we routinely show to the world. Then, there is the second face, which is essentially where everything is not (always) quite so rosy, where life’s challenges, troubles, and hardships take their tangible toll, and this is the face that we learn to keep private and regularly hide from the world. Usually, it comes down to a rationale that goes something like this: just imagine what would people think of us if they really knew us for who we are and what we were actually going through? Yet the funny thing is that everyone is going through something–that’s life!

In a couple of weeks, when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we come knowing that there is no mask to be worn in front of our Maker, and truly, we are naked before Him in all our thoughts and deeds. We can’t pretend anymore that our lives or ourselves are perfect, but rather this is the time for true and earnest reflection, repentance, as well as judgment for the New Year based on what each of us is really all about. May each of us have the courage and conviction to face our real selves, to learn, grow, improve, and ultimately to self-actualize, and may we receive G-d’s mercy and blessings for a happy and healthy New Year!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cheesecake Heaven

So I never met a piece of cheesecake that I didn’t like. 


This was an awesome display of the varieties of it at the Cheesecake Factory.


I remember my mom used to make a pretty darn great cheesecake (and a lot of other good food)!


I still can see the graham cracker crust with the sweet hot creamy cheese filling coming out of the oven. 


Unfortunately one of the conundrum of life is that all the good tasting things are so darn fattening and bad for us. 


I think though if they can make fake burgers like Beyond that taste like the real thing, then surely at some point they will figure out how to make a skinny cheesecake that tastes good. 


There are still some mysteries left in this universe for us to unravel. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Not A Kiss

 

So I learned a lesson recently.


Sometimes, a kiss is not a kiss. 


It could be a phony show. 


Like a snake. 


It slithers and fools people into complacency. 


Kiss kiss!


Hug hug!


But around the back is a hand holding a dangerous dagger. 


It stands ready to swing and plunge into your soft unsuspecting tissue. 


The more kisses, perhaps the more hiding of their true intentions. 


People are complex and sometimes malevolent. 


They want what they want, and when they want it. 


When the time comes, a kiss can turn into a sharp knife. 


You wonder how is it that person has no more kisses.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

The Kool-Aid Overfloweth

Drinking The Kool-Aid

So I am a little concerned with this election.


As the promises are made…


As glass ceilings are broken for gender and outsiders…


As the endorsements are coming in…


As legacies are made and lost…


Everybody seems to be drinking a lot of Kool-Aid.


Somehow, the (social) media doesn’t seem as discerning as it should or could be. 


Maybe it’s more about brands, what outrageous, who’s insulted, ratings and advertising dollars.


Many (or almost all unless they have personal skin in the game) seem resigned to just vote for the candidate they deem least worst.


Accountability for actions and words–scripted and blurted out–don’t seem to be taken with the seriousness they deserve. 


Just say or do whatever it takes…shake hands, kiss babies, promise more of everything for everybody.


Wash it all away with the insincerity of the moment for the prize of the ultimate power grab awaits. 


The new leader of the free world will be sitting in the Oval Office in just a little more than half a year.


Kool-Aid is filling our screens, our newspapers, our conversations, and our minds.


What’s real and what’s bullsh*t about what we’re being fed?


Transparency, ha…feeding time is almost over. 


But where’s the real vetting, critical thinking, and values informing the process?


It’s not about what to think, but how to think!


Bellies are almost full…the herd is almost ready to vote.


The new King of the Jungle is almost ready to take their place at the head of it all.


Four years, maybe eight years…


How will the wild world be then? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)