The Good Eggs

So I’ve learned it’s not all about the money and the title. 


What is the most important is being around good, decent people.


I’ve always heard that your relationships are most important.


But it’s not just relationships, it’s also who you are relating to. 


There are good eggs, and there are not such good eggs. 


Don’t get fooled by what’s on the eggshell–that is certainly no yolk. 


Most of eggs know who and what they are. 


Some eggs like to scramble the others. 


Some eggs like to poach on the others. 


Some eggs like to crack the others’ shells. 


But then there are other eggs that like it over easy with the other eggs. 


They all want to get the meal cooked and have it tasty and nutritious, but some eggs just don’t know how to treat others eggs with decency, respect, and integrity.


It’s best to be around those eggcelent eggs, and that is where the best happens and the good eggs gravitate to. 


Be careful what eggs you associate with, because there is nothing that smells worse than a rotten egg. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Sadistic SOBs

So the scariest people in the world are the sadistic ones. 


They are the ones without empathy.


They get pleasure from hurting others. 


Yes, we all hurt other people sometimes.


But it’s different when we do it by accident or when we feel bad about our wrongful actions.


Sadistic people don’t just not feel bad or regret…


Instead, they actually savor watching others suffer and squirm. 


Other people’s pain and misfortune are what gives them their energy and happiness. 


Rather than working on themselves, they rather put down others. 

“I’m better, because your worse or because I kick your a*s!”


What types of people are these? 


They are not really human. 


They are lacking genes for empathy. 


They are lacking a holy soul. 


They are cold, calculated, and hateful. 


While it wonderful to see some people seek love and peace. 


It is disturbing to see those that run after hate and harm. 


Your loss is their gain. 


Your pain is their pleasure. 


Your tears are their springs.


Your cries are their laughter. 


Why did G-d put these sub-humans in this world?


Perhaps to test us humans. 


Can we maintain dignity, integrity, and humanity among the beasts of hell? 


We can, but like others that have gone before us, we bear the mark of fighting with the devil. 


The devils live among us, but we must still strive to be angels before man and G-d. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Only Our History Is Colored

Roots

Last night, my daughter and I watched the premier of the new miniseries, Roots (on the History Channel). 


The story of American Slavery like all tales of racism, oppression, terrorism, and genocide is completely appalling. 


It represents the worst of human nature whether for motives of profiteering, power, or plain unadulterated hatred. 


We watched, my youngest daughter (in college), literally in tears.


And frankly, we watched until we literally couldn’t watch the suffering on the screen any more (but to be continued another evening). 


What people can do to other people…beyond words, comprehension. 


Is it people doing these things or is it a vicious animal or evil within?


Either way, humankind has a lot to be sorry for…whether for slavery or the Holocaust. 


I can’t imagine what G-d must think or how we can in any rational sort of way explain these things to our children. 


The stain is marked on the souls of the aggressors, and the only thing colored is our history. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Even Tolerance Has Limits

Tolerance

This torn down sign in Washington, D.C. caught my eye.

 

It’s about ending bullying and teaching tolerance.

 

This poster specifically has to do with LGBT, but the universal message of acceptance is more broad.

 

While each of us has our own beliefs, we should allow others to have theirs as well.

 

My father used to tell me basically (that within G-d’s law), “You can do whatever you want in life as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.”

 

However, I am reminded this week that not everyone lives by the same common sense and decency.

 

I read in the Jerusalem Post about Palestinian Media Watch posting a Hamas video yesterday threatening “stabbing attacks [in Israel] everywhere…[and] suicide attacks on every bus, cafe, and street.”

 

Moreover, Arutz Sheva tells how a female Egyptian lawyer “recommended that Arab men begin sexually harassing Jewish women” as a mean of fighting Israel.

 

Then watching the news and seeing Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza shooting missiles and intentionally aiming to try to hit major Israeli cities and population centers, airplanes, ports, and other critical infrastructure like the nuclear facility in Dimona that could potentially spread radiation and kill untold numbers of people–I am reminded morality is not universal.

 

While Israel calls the residents in Gaza to vacate before an attack on then empty buildings–the terrorists that Israel is fighting try to kill as many civilians as possible–at which time, they would presumably sing, dance, and hand out candy to the kids to celebrate as is their custom.

 

Like the sign calling for tolerance that was essentially torn from the pole, we have to remember tolerance for others is one thing, but there are limits when they actively seek to harm (themselves or) others.

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When The Solution Is Worse Than The Problem

When The Solution Is Worse Than The Problem

Not to be crude, but we had some clogged plumbing over the weekend.

We tried everything to get it working again–plunger, snake, and even some septic tank treatment.

Nothing seemed to work, so at one point, my wife looked up on the Internet what to do, and it said to unwind a hanger and try that.

Well this turned out to be a huge mistake and I must’ve gotten too close to the chemical fumes–my eyes were burning.

I ended up in the ER with my eyes being flushed for close to 2 hours.

Afterwards, being very supportive and sitting with me in the hospital with my eyeballs hooked to suction cups and saline solution, my wife says to me, “This is a case when the solution (i.e. the results of our trying to fix the plumbing ourselves) is worse then the problem (the clog).”

I thought to myself boy was she right, and while it is good to be self-sufficient and try to fix and improve things ourselves, it is also good to know when to leave it to the experts.

How many times do we foolishly try to do something where “we are out of our league,” and actually can end up doing more harm then good.

In this case, I could have seriously damaged my eyes–permanently–and am so grateful to G-d that everything turned out okay.

Knowing our limits and accurately assessing risks can help us to know when to proceed ourselves and when to ask for some expert assistance.

It’s good do things for yourself and to try your best, but also value and know when to leverage other people’s strengths.

With my eyes irritated and burning and being flushed out for what seemed like an eternity, I had some serious time to ponder what can happen when things go wrong.

Years ago, I learned to “Hope (and pray) for the best, but prepare for the worst,” and I want to continue to work and improve on both these. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When Free Speech Goes Afoul

Fire_theater

Freedom of speech is one of our most precious rights. 

However, there are limits – times when the right to speak and publish comes up against the principle that one should not cause harm to others
The famous example is that you cannot falsely cry, “Fire!” in a crowded theater
Free speech–yes; harm to others–no. 
This week (11-17, July 2011), a BusinessWeek article called “Set Them Free”  exemplifies what can happen when free speech goes too far.
The article is an argument in favor of illegal immigration.  
The author’s thesis is stated in the form of a rhetorical question: “Laws against illegal immigration make little economic or moral sense. So why punish the brave citizen who break them?”
Certainly, I am sympathetic to newcomers to our land. I come from a family of immigrants, like so many American citizens, and I value the opportunities and freedom this country has provided to me and my family. 
However, in this article, the author openly promotes breaking the law. He supports “illegal” immigration and calls for others to facilitate it.
One can argue about economics and morality of immigration policy, but from my perspective, obviously, no country can have fully open borders. Logically, this helps to ensure safety, security, and social order. Coming up on the 10-year “anniversary” of the events of 9/11, this is a no-brainer.
I therefore have trouble believing that Bloomberg would publish an article essentially calling for an end to border security. Any arguments regarding economic benefit do not detract from the clear negative implications for national security. (Note: all opinions my own.)
Not only does the article ignore this point, but it brazenly calls the laws against illegal immigration “immoral.” 
The author stretches the limits of free speech beyond the breaking point in my view when he recklessly states“When a law itself prohibits doing the right thing, when it is immoral rather than just annoying or inconvenient, and when breaking the law does no great harm to any others, it is justifiable for people of conscience to chose to break that law.”
He literally states that illegal immigration is “the right thing (!)”
How can a mainstream media source publish such extremist rhetoric, even going so far as to compare the U.S. laws to apartheid: “Current, U.S. immigration laws have all the moral standing of pass laws in apartheid South Africa.”
In addition to teaching us that free speech can be misused to spread extremism, hatred, lies, promote civil disobedience, and enable chaos, there are some other unfortunate lessons here.
The first is that one must think critically about what one reads, even if it is in a supposedly “mass media” publication. For immigration is a blessing and a privilege, but not an entitlement. Nobody has the right to enter another country’s borders at will, without restriction.
Second, and more troubling, extremist thinking clearly continues to flourish not only outside our borders, but from fanatics within.
While I agree that we should always be moral, help those in need, and make good economic decisions, this does not negate the importance of maintaining security and social order. Further, it is irresponsible at the very least to promote breaking the law, and offensive to compare illegal immigration as an issue of economic exploitation to the drastic human rights abuses of apartheid South Africa.
(Source Photo: here)