How Are These Unlivable “Living Conditions” Allowed To Persist?

Continued to be appalled at the unlivable “living conditions” of the homeless in the Capital. 


Makeshift tents line up and down under the train tracks to Union Station. 


Spikes overhead make this an extra frightening looking arrangement. 


People walking by and to/from work–after a while, is there a mixture of acceptance and indifference?


It’s freezing outside and this is NO WAY for any human being to have to live. 


Can we put partisan politics aside for any period of time to deal with the very harsh problems facing real people?  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Birds Dropping In For Lunch

These birds decided to swoop in for some lunch. 

It was funny to see the people go scrambling from the table.

The birds were completely unabashed and took their time over the chow. 

One couple in the corner had ordered this truly enormous meal (don’t worry, I was good and ate only the salad).

Each of them had a full lunch plate PLUS in the center of their table was “The Volcano” of nachos, cheese, chili, guacamole,  sour cream, and jalapenos. 

That was certainly no bird food with The Volcano punching in at 3,500 calories!

I have no idea how any two people could possibly eat that much food.

Probably good that the birds decided to drop in.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beyond Burger Good!

So my terrific, son-in-law Itzchak surprised us with some delicious Beyond Burgers before Shabbat. 


They are meatless burgers, and supposed to be pretty healthy, but they taste good too. 


Let’s just say these were very delicious and we gobbled them down. 


Cheesy with tomato, onion, bun, and all. 


As my father would say, “It tastes like more!” 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you again to Itzchak and Rebecca!)

Kosher Cheeseburger, Finally

So I’ve never had a cheeseburger. 


I keep kosher. 


And we don’t mix milk and meat together.


Tough watching all the fast food commercials from McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, and more. 


So lo’ and behold, my surprise when they introduced the kosher cheeseburger.


It uses the Impossible Burger made from plants–and it’s advertised as having more protein, less fat, no cholesterol, and fewer calories than meat. 


So we got two bags of food from Goldberg’s bagels. 


One bag had breakfast with bagels and egg salad. 


The other bag had the kosher cheeseburgers for lunch (after the morning’s activity)


We ate the egg salad bagels and they were good. 


But we were really looking forward to the cheeseburgers. 


Finally, after all these years of waiting…


But what happens, Dossy threw out the garbage from breakfast and…


She accidentally threw out the Impossible Burgers with it. 


So when we got back to the car, salivating for the cheeseburgers…


We look in the front, in the back, in the compartments–and nothing!


It’s gone!  It’s all gone!


No freakin cheeseburger for me. 


Not then, not now, and I’m afraid not ever.  😦


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Out of Control Ice Cream

I’m not sure how you control yourself around this Alpaca Ice Cream.


But somehow I managed not to get any…this time.  


I promise!  


LOL


These are made with fresh hot waffles wrapped around your choice of ice cream and toppings. 


As you can see these are pretty big and scrumptious!


Anyway, they have a store in Rockville and I absolutely must stay away from it. 


Oh, maybe I just go in once for a taste.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Green Eggs and Ham – דוקטור סוס

So who would’ve thought that Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” comes in Hebrew. 


I watched this video, and loved it!


It is amazing that this can translate over.


One critique that I have is that the book should’ve said that the main character didn’t want to eat the green eggs and ham, because he is kosher (instead of not being hungry or not loving the food).  


But then again, he would’ve had to stick to his guns and not have eaten it in the end.


One other thing that I learned from this video/book, is that even though I am loving learning Hebrew in Ulpan class, I still have the vocabulary of a 9 year old.  LOL


But I’m learning… 😉


(Thank you to my daughter, Rebecca for sharing this with me.)

Pennies From Heaven

So I ran into this lady in downtown Washington, D.C.


She posed for the picture and made sure to line up the top and the bottom posters to get it just right


It says:

“Not One Penny In Tax Cuts For The Rich”


Makes intuitive sense doesn’t it: the rich already are blessed with…riches!


Any more pennies in their war chest is sort of a drop in the billionaire bucket. 


With tax reform is on the table now…we need tax relief for the middle class and to grow the economy. 


The rich really do not need to get any richer.


Especially with a national debt over $20 trillion already–and not including future entitlement obligations that exceed projected revenue for social security and medicare, which bring the debt in excess of $70 trillion!). 


The gamble with this whole tax reform plan is that the $1.5 trillion or so in proposed tax cuts over 10 years translates into a much bigger economic expansion that makes up for that revenue loss to the government and more. 


If not, well then Uncle Sam bet wrong and our annual deficit gets bigger and bigger (already $666 billion in FY 2017).


Tax cuts for the rich today and estate tax cuts to pass wealth between generations–when they impact the top 1% are ridiculously targeted to those who really don’t need it, and many of the decent ones, like Warren Buffetdon’t even want it


Let’s have a heart and help the people that really need the help–let’s narrow the growing divide between the haves and the have nots, and move to eliminate the class system that elevates one child of G-d over another. 


– While some live in McMansions, others are homeless.


– While some eat steak and drink expensive bottles of wine every night, others go hungry and thirsty.


– While some wear fancy designer clothes, expensive jewelry, and different outfits every day, others don’t have a clean shirt on their back. 


It’s nice to think that some “deserve it” more than others, but we also have to think who really needs it more. 


And if the pennies do ultimately come from Heaven (as all blessings do), then let us distribute these with compassion and lovingkindness as we know our Creator would want us to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Gazillions Baby!

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So being a millionaire is no longer anything.


You’re still considered sort of a poor schlub!


Even a billionaire is not such a big deal anymore. 


It takes at least $2 billion to make it unto the Forbes 400 Richest Americans List


Further, a recent episode of CNBC Filthy Rich Guide asks who will become the world’s first trillionaire!


They say trillionaire as in a number with “4 commas”–never really thought of it that way.


…but it’s definitely a big,(1) big,(2) big,(3) big,(4) big number.


Jeff Bezos of Amazon with $90 billion currently in the bank and growing fast is forecasted to be the one who will make it. 


So no longer are we betting on which mega corporation–Apple (with a current value of almost $830 billion)–will become the first trillion dollar company.


We are talking individuals with that much moolah too. 


So with the median net worth of Americans a measly $69 thousand dollars, it’s no wonder that billionaires like Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank) calls more than one entreprenuer looking for an investment, a cockroach!


What’s a shame is not only the complete social inequity and class system that we have and that continues to grow with those in McMansions and others homeless, but also that so many can’t see that what’s really important is not the beautiful pocketbook full of money, but the decent soul filled with good deeds! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Is Man An Angel or Beast

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So is man an angel or a beast?


On one hand, we see small and great acts of love, kindness and generosity. 


People feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, donating clothes to the poverty-stricken, and standing up to defend those that are abused, discriminated against, and victimized.


Every day is an opportunity to be a gracious, heavenly angel!


At the same time, we are witness to horrible acts of hate, cruelty and inhumanity.


The strong preying off and committing gross acts of violence against the weak, the rich elitists taking from the poor lower-class, the powerful violating the human rights of the masses and ruling with a brutal iron fist. 


Every day is the possibility to act the vicious, lowly beast!


It’s a choice as we stand here teetering on the world we are injected into. 


The angel and the beast fight within us. 


Our souls yearn to emulate the spirit of our Holy Creator, while our bodies look for raw physical and material satisfaction. 


It is truly a battle that rages within us, and can tear any or all of us apart. 


Yet, our mission is for good to overcome evil–in everyday small and large ways.  


To fight the urges that torment us and to rise, rise, with the wings of an angel to reach our potential and fulfill our destiny. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Homeless and Hungry

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I took this photo in Washington, DC.


Two statues of back-to-back homeless people in the grit on the sidewalk.


They sit as everyone rushes on past them–many stone faced as well as too many stone hearted.


In this case, someone put the newspaper Street Sense on the lap of the statue. 


As many in DC, the homeless are trying to get back on their feet in this case by writing articles for and selling this newspaper about homelessness, poverty, and social issues. 


Impressive that they sell about 16,000 of the biweekly 16-page paper and that the homeless vendors make about $45 per day doing this. 


Like this picture of the homeless on the street, bracing back against each other and sort of huddled up among the masses of the fortunate around them, I imagine that they must really feel like these statues–odd, uncomfortable, lost, scared, and painted over by society that marks them as dirty, dangerous, and unwanted.


But these homeless and hungry are G-d’s children, no less than any of us!


I applaud Street Sense and other advocates and activists that see, hear, and feel beyond themselves and help the needy and downtrodden. 


Helping these people in desperate need is truly G-d’s work, and like recently sainted, Mother Teresa, is an act of unbelievable kindness and mercy that we can all learn from and should emulate. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)