Folks Hating Folks

Love.jpeg

It’s sad how everyone is always fighting about everything.


And hating on each other…


Someone told a funny story the other day about this:

“She don’t like her.
He don’t like him.
And the supervisor says, I don’t like none of y’all, now get back to work!”


At the end of the day, we’re all different, and we’re all sort of the same. 


Maybe we have to look past the petty stuff, and learn to get along and get things done! 


At the end of the day, we’re all better off loving and getting it reciprocated–and so on and so on. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Doth Fear

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Innocent Shakespeare in the Park or violent assassination incitement of the President of the United States? 


Kathy Griffin holding up a severed head of the President.


Stephen Colbert’s tirade and obscenities.


And the list goes on and on…


Is this resistance or are things perhaps going too far for political discourse? 


Whatever your views, does the rhetoric need to get any hotter or more violent in this country. 


Cooler heads and compromise need to prevail for anything positive to come from all this.


Is it not still possible to unite under the shared values of freedom, human rights, and democracy that we all presumably hold dear and use these to advance our common cause? 


At least twice now protesters have stormed the Shakespearean stage calling the incitement as an evil portrayal reminiscent of those like Nazi Propaganda Minister, Goebbels (may his name and memory be erased).


The other side pretends nothing is going on and says, but it’s only Shakespeare. 


Demonstrating against the actors’ nightly violent portraying (and perhaps undisguised wishing for) the killing of the President, the plays’ protesters are themselves summarily dragged off by security.


Nothing seems to stop the shrill words, calls for violence, and violence itself. 


Just last week, we had the unreal and gross shooting of Congressman Whip, Steve Scalise, at an early morning baseball practice with his colleagues. 


For those who care to glimpse down the road, what happens from here as we seem to forget who we are as people and as a nation, and we let extremists take over the agenda.


I doth fear (a little Shakespeare myself here) that the problem with extremism and violence is that it can too easily beget more extremism and violence.


Incessant name-calling, an avalanche of punches by the media, hostility on college campuses towards free speech, SNL just poking fun (is this really so funny anymore), an inciting Shakespearean play, plus marches, protests, and then taking things too far.


Like the closing in a classic Shakespearean tragedy…should we all not fear how this will end? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Why We Fight?

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Well first of all, let me say that I really liked this image on Google the other day. 


Beautiful to see the diversity and brotherhood (and including those with disabilities)!


I had a an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day about why people often don’t get along. 


She said something that I thought was really astute:


“If there were unlimited resources, then no one would have a reason to fight!”


Think about that a moment…


Everyone feels they don’t have enough or someone else has more then them or they are afraid they won’t get their share, and so what happens?


Like jealous little children, we fight for the pail and shovel in the sandbox. 


Only as adults, our sandbox is a lot bigger and it involves hate, bigotry, racism and deadly weapons including guns, knives, and even nukes!


So this isn’t the Garden of Eden where everyone prances around free and with plenty and nothing to worry about. 


Instead, everyone has to work “by the sweat of your brow,” and there are limits to what we have, and there is fighting over who has what.


Yes, truly “greed is the root of all evil.”


What we need to learn and internalize is that it’s more important how we act towards each other than what we have and that the real gold in life is the good we do and not the plenty we amass. 


Sure we each need enough to be able to survive and excel as human beings, but it’s fool’s gold that prevents us from seeing each other as the real brothers and sisters we all are. 


If only we had enough–in both perception and reality–then peace could reign among mankind. 😉


(Source Photo: Google)

Polarized and Not Going To Take It Anymore

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So they say about Washington politics, “if you’re not on offense, then you’re on defense.”


In the polarized mood of the nation, this has never been more true. 


The alt-left and alt-right are stronger than ever and pointing fingers and fists at one another. 


Each side, the ultra -liberals and -conservatives are duking it out over who is is going on the offensive today.


Only to be outmaneuvered the very next day and be placed back on the defensive. 


Who communicated with the Russians today?


Who used their private email today?


Who committed perjury and lied under oath today?


Who was offensive and even violent at rallies and protests today? 


And on and on…


You’re either on offense or your stuck on defense!


And the more polarized and hateful of each other this nation has become, including in the media, the more the outrageous the accusations and the more alternate facts and fake news. 


But what I learned today is that this doesn’t just apply to politics.


Religion is another prime source for discrimination and hate of your fellow man. 


I remember learning that over history, more people have died in wars in the name of religion than for any other reason.


So too today, the “crazy-hard line” ultra religious and the “throw-it-all away” irreligious are just as polarized. 


The religious mock the irreligious as self-haters and atheists and the irreligious make fun of the rightwing religious as abusive and robotic.


Moreover, any disagreement results in insults and loathing over who is morally superior.


Of course, everyone cites sources and authorities to show why their position is the correct one and everyone else is wrong about religion and G-d. 


Attack, defend, attack, defend. 


No wonder nothing is getting constructively done.


No wonder children are confused. 


No wonder those around us laugh at our seeming inability to come together, all as G-d’s wonderful creatures. 


Who will be on the attack today and who will be on defense. 


If only we could have a panini instead of all this anger, hate, extremism, and rejectionist bias toward our fellow man. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Emperor Has No Clothes

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What happens when the emperor has no clothes?


That’s when we get fake news and alternative facts. 


These days we don’t know what to believe anymore because institutions and media have lost so much credibility with bias, prejudice, and trying to influence based on overtly selfish motives. 


The gloves have come off in the fight for supreme earthly might. 


Apparently, a lot of other clothes have come off too.


Now the influencers stand naked before us and we must judge for ourselves the truth of the matter. 


It funny-sad that in their utter nakedness, they bear no shame. 


They scream, and hissy fit, protest, rage, demean, threaten and commit violence.


Ear lobes are dangling as are the other parts and still there is no listening, negotiating, or compromise. 


Advancement is limited to obstruction, and progress is dead like a heap of dung.


The nation suffers the marks in the flesh of bitter fighting, while our competitive advantages are eroded. 


United we used to stand, and divided for a decade we are falling. 


We can dive into the pile of clothes and swim among them, but still we are sinking naked and stinking the lot like selfish bastards, indeed. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Robots, They Are Coming

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I was so excited by this photo in the Wall Street Journal today.


YuMi, an industrial robot by ABB, is adroitly writing Chinese calligraphy. 


If you look at the photo and think for a moment, the notion of the robot doing and the person watching is truly prophetic of how we are evolving technologically and as a species. 


Yumi is made by ABB, a leading robotics company headquartered in Switzerland, that on one hand has over 300,000 robots installed worldwide, but on the other hand needs only 4,600 employees in 53 countries to produce all these fantastic and productive droids.  

This robot is a work of not just incredible science and engineering, but of art and beauty. 


It’s sleek black and white build with two incredibly agile arms and hands plus a viewing camera, enables it to do small parts assembly or even fine calligraphic work. 


YuMi stands for “You and Me” working together, collaboratively. 


While we surely will work together, the flip side is that with robotics, some people (who don’t make the transition to STEM) may not be working much at all. 


But of course, the positive side is that we are looking at an incredible capacity to do more and better with less! 


Leaving the innovation to humans, and the assembly and service to the bots, the bar will be raised on everything–both good and bad.


We will build greater things, travel and explore further, and discover ever new depths of understanding and opportunities to exploit.


But we will also edge people out of work and comfort zones, and be able to engage in new forms of conflict and war that only the power and skill of (semi-) autonomous machines could inflict. 


The robots are here, however, they are coming in much greater numbers, capabilities, and impact then we can currently fully comprehend. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via WSJ)

From Fractured To ONE

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I really liked this T-shirt.

It says volunteer, but in three rows like this:

vOl

uNt

eEr

So in the center is ONE!

When we give of ourselves, we shed our billions of individual selfish natures to be one–with humanity and with G-d.

These days, seeing from how shattered and fractured this nation and world is, it is just a dream again for unity.

– The fighting between different races and castes of people

– The fighting between rich and poor

– The fighting between communities or family members

– The fighting between unarmed (and armed) civilians and police

– The fighting between republicans and democrats

– The fighting between proponents and opponents of X, Y, or Z policy, person, place, or thing

– The fighting between governed and those who govern

– The fighting between terrorists and terrorized

– The fighting between religions and within religions

– The fighting between East and West

– The fighting between good and evil

This reminds me learning in yeshiva from Zechariah 14:9 (when the destroyers of Jerusalem will themselves be destroyed)”

And the L-rd will be king over all the Earth. On that day, the L-rd will be one and his name one.”

Oneness–unity–peace is a vision and a goal. 

With unity we recognize our ONE true maker and guider of all creation.

And with unity we seek and find solutions to the world’s big problems (global poverty, disease, war and so on).

Fractured and fighting among ourselves, we are small, petty, selfish, and weak. 

But together, we can unite with Heaven and conquer all that ails humanity. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

To Little Jonah

Butterfly

So swimming in the pool, I meet little 7-year old Jonah. 


He sort of made himself known to me when he decided he wanted to race me on the swim board.


I was going just a little faster–and I reminded him that I had a key competitive advantage, fins. 


He said, “Darn I should have brought mine!’


He asked how old I was, and I said a little older than you. 


Not satisfied, he pressed the question, saying “I can tell you are an adult.”


So I had to cave and admit that, and pointing to my heart, added that “I am young at heart.”


Jonah’s in 1st grade, and wanted to know what grade I was in. 


His guess was 4th grade, and I said “That’s about right.”


Jonah is from New Orleans visiting his grandmother for Passover. 


She was watching him in the pool and smiling with grandmotherly nachos, ear-to-ear.


I told Jonah to make sure to treat his grandmother nicely. 


But Jonah at this point had jumped into my swim lane and was in mock superhero fighting mode, and said “I want to punch you.”


I thought to myself, hmm it’s not only my wife that feels that way (LOL).


Anyway, it was clear that I had made a new friend with Jonah, who was off bobbing up and down in the water well over his head. 


Bye Jonah–have a good time visiting for Passover. 


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Who’s Gonna Pay For That Wall

Border Fence

So presidential candidate, Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico to control immigration for homeland security and the economy. 


But more than that, he thinks Mexico should pay for it.


Today, on CNN was a response from Mexico’s ex president, who said, we’re “not gonna pay for that f****** wall!”


I was walking around laughing to myself for about 10 minutes–the zany and (un)predictable action-reaction in politics and diplomacy. 


You can’t make this stuff up. 


Just an aside, but wouldn’t you say Ex-President [of] Mexico instead of the Ex-Mexico President –Oops, who was working the captions at CNN today. 


What will be surreal and hilarious after this is if the “f****** wall” would really happen, and if Mexico would seriously end up paying for it. 😉


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


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hate, Discrimination, and Violence…But We’re One

Unity

As we live day-to-day in near endless and escalating cycles of hate, discrimination and violence along national, religious, racial, gender and other divides…

It is nice and refreshing to see someone wearing a t-shirt this morning that says:

“One World, One Dream”

I don’t know what the Asian characters above it say…but hopefully, it’s more hopefullness!

Unfortunately, without a common enemy–whether disasters, plague or alien invasion–what divides us normally seems stronger than what holds us together.

Hence, routine murders, maimings, abductions, rapes, enslavement, and harrassment of one neighbor against the other. 

We behave like little children fighting for the toys in the sandbox except with consequences that can elevate all the way to genocide or WMD. 

As we squabble with each other, perhaps there are moments when we can have the self-awareness and strength of character to actually look in the mirror with some shame for how low we’ll stoop to get our share in a world of divine comedy. 

Wouldn’t it be nice for humanity to change ways and instead have compassion on each other (children of G-d), share the toys, and end the miserable hate. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)