Corruptocrats

I heard this new term that I thought was worth sharing:

Corruptocrats


Refers to corrupt politicians. 


Couldn’t believe it’s actually in the dictionary. 


Not all of them are, obviously. 


Could it be a whole “political party” too? lol


If only everyone was pure of heart and intention. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal, and note that no disrespect intended to anyone)

Barking and Biting

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, “We Must Take Every Bark Seriously.”

Sometimes, when they bark, they don’t bite. But other times, the bark is the prelude to the bite. I don’t think you can judge intentions by the bark, and I am certain you need to always be ready for the bite. Dogs and people are not really that different. Over millennia of history, Jews have been threatened and persecuted–barked at and bitten, and they have not been mutually exclusive.


The Jewish people are few in number and with a small but miraculous and wonderful country–we know that rabid dogs that bark against us, also can bite ferociously, and we must take every threat seriously for our very survival. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shooting At You

As I heard recently in a movie:


“When someone is shooting at you, you know their intentions.”


Sounds simple right?


But often the person throwing shots your way may be couching their real intentions and telling you:


“Ah, it’s nothing.”


Some may try and rip you off, and tell you: 


“It’s just business!”


Others punching you like a punching bag tell you:


“You need to get a thicker skin!”


People f*cking with your head ask you:


“Aren’t you being a little paranoid?”


Yet others blame the victim calling you out for any sign of weakness”


“Why are you so pathetic? Crybaby!”


The truth of the matter is when people shoot you, take potshots at you, or otherwise physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse you, there is usually some evil sleight of hand and tongue at play.


People that are good people–don’t abuse you!


There is no guise or beguiling when people are being truthful and when they truly care about other people. 


When they shoot at you, yes you know their intentions.


Stop pretending they didn’t mean it. Stop accepting empty promises that they won’t do it again. Stop listening to hollow refrains of sorry. 


People can be selfish and evil beasts that rip others apart because they will benefit from it or simply because they can or want to.


– Pain and suffering of other human beings is what they relish and feed on like blood is to a vampire. 


Good people–do good to others. 


– They want to give to others and see others flourish–they know G-d and understand the real purpose of life. 


When they shoot you, you know their intentions. 


Sure you can shoot back and sometimes you have no choice, but the best way to win is to be that good person.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Boiling A Frog

So sometimes you don’t know that something is happening until it is too late. 


A colleague yesterday told me this great simile:


It’s like when you put a frog in a pot of water and turn up the heat, the frog doesn’t know what’s happening until it’s too late, and he ends up being boiled alive!


With better knowledge of the context, of course, you can have the foresight to act, to fight, to get out, whatever. 


Similarly with the frog, if you throw him into an already boiling pot of water, he immediately jumps out, and viola he’s saved. 


It’s really important to have good situational and political awareness. 


Not everyone out there is so innocent–even when they have a good act and pretend, “Who me?”


Many of them know how to work the system, so that the system works for them. 


G-d forbid, when you’re in the way, they’ll often turn up the heat. 


And if you don’t realize what going on, you’ll be the frog that’s a not so tasty dinner. 😉


(Source 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)

If G-d Is With Me

I love this photo and caption that I saw on Facebook. 


Basically it translates from Hebrew as:

“If G-d is with me
Who can stand against me.”


And it’s a picture of someone walking through the split sea like in the exodus from Egypt. 


G-d can truly make miracles. 


What G-d decrees no man can stand against it. 


We need to merit G-d’s standing with us. 


You have to do right, speak right, and have the right intentions. 


Only G-d can judge whether we are there!


But how amazing things can be for us if we look to the Heavens and merit G-d being with us.


Then no man can stand against us! 😉


(Source photo: Tali-Cohen Saban)

The Eyes Give It Away

Have you ever noticed that eye contact gives it away. 


Even for the best poker-faced folks out there–the eyes are the conduit to the soul. 


Here’s how it works:


– When someone is plotting to do you harm, they avoid looking you in the eye.


Why?


They are afraid, they are going to give themselves and their evil intentions away. 


And so they attempt to hide their evil intentions behind closed eyelids, turned heads, and avoided gazes. 


They think by avoiding eye contact, you won’t be able to read them–seeing into their eyes and their malevolent thinking and planning.

Probably also even the worst of them may actually feel a little guilty (somewhere in there is a soul even if it’s mucked up in dirt, corruption, and absolute sin). 


– Yet the opposite is true when someone is executing their evil plans–attacking you and wanting to severely hurt you or worse. 


Then, they look you straight in the face and in the eyes.  


They are staring intently and honing in for the kill. 


And in their wide open eyes, rage and evil burns, as they raise their voice and their clenched fists. 


Seeking to execute their plots, their eyes come at you, tracking you, targeting you, and attempting to shoot/hit you first and hard. 


When evil is there–the eyes are the giveaway–and the person’s soul burns dark and deep. 


But remember, G-d–the King of Kings–is forever light and He will chase the darkness away. 


The L-rd executes darkness.


The L-rd will blind the haughty.


The L-rd will render a mighty justice.


The L-rd will save his faithful. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Big Mouths Alert

Big MOuth.JPeG

So I took this photo in the Museum of Natural History. 


As you can see, this hippopotamus has quite a big mouth. 


He is also not alive and is behind a glass-enclosed case for viewing. 


To me this screams that those with big mouths often don’t end up well. 


I remember a relative of mine used to bluntly call it, “being full of sh*t.”


Whether these people are in politics, your neighborhood, bullies at work and school, or even those in the fake news media…they have become all to somewhat frequent.


Sure there are other animals with small mouths in the same situation, but the hippo truly is a decreasing and vulnerable species.


And like it’s neighbor in the museum, the dinosaur–another one who has a big mouth–that ended up extinct, the prospects for talking big, but accomplishing little is sort of part of the character. 


The hippopotamus is mostly a herbivore–it has a big mouth and some big sharp teeth, but it mainly eats humble plants and doesn’t pursue the hunt of the big game and eat lots of red meat. 


Listen, big mouths can still be highly dangerous–words are powerful and can do a lot of damage. 


But overall “talk is cheap,” especially when people focus on words and not good deeds and who don’t have the right intentions. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Kosher Trust Or Not

Matzo Man.JPEG

Here’s the big controversy in our synagogue this week. 


The Rabbi is having a Purim open house and he invited everyone to bring a pot luck.


Only home-made food, no purchased food please!”


In Jewish circles, this is the opposite of what you’d expect, where checking the kosher labels and symbols is critical to ensuring the food has followed the strict kosher dietary laws and can be eaten. 


Yet as pointed out, kashrut has been made into a whole commercial business these days…does it still reflect the intent?


The Rabbi explained in services today, in a very well received way, that we need to get back to respecting and trusting each other. 


That these values are essential to being truly religious people.


It was a wonderful speech in that it evoked unconditional acceptance and respect for everyone. 


As we know, no one is so perfect, even though the goal of course is to be as perfect as we can be. 


So two things:


1) I really like the notion of treating people well and putting that high on the priorities as we are all G-d’s creatures.


2) I myself am kosher, but not fanatically so, therefore, I personally appreciated the acceptance and love in the community. 


Yet, after I got home, and thinking about this some more, and despite my own failings religiously and otherwise, I asked myself, “Am I really comfortable eating from a parve and meat community pot luck?”


And even as I ask this question, I am sort of squirming at the idea of just eating anyone’s food–and not knowing anything about it. 


How am I doing due diligence in even trying to keep kosher like that?


While maybe I’m not the most kosher of everyone, it certainly is important to me to at least try (to some extent), but I ask myself can this be considered really even trying–when some people aren’t religious, may not have a strong religious education, and perhaps some may not even be (fully) Jewish?


Sure, someone can even have the best intentions and try to bring kosher food, yet it’s certainly possible that the food may not be kosher. 


Perhaps, in prior times, it was an issue of more or less kosher, but these days, it can be an issue of kosher or not kosher at all. 


This is a very difficult issue–because we can’t put people up against the law–we must by necessity respect both. 


So yes, I love the idea of respecting everyone and that’s a given assuming they are good, decent people, but trust is not something you just have, it’s something you earn, by…being trustful!


I’m not one to preach religion to anyone…I struggle myself with the laws and in trying to do what’s right in the commandments between man and G-d. 


And while I am ready to accept all good and loving people, I am perhaps not ready to just trust them without knowing that the trust is dutiful. 


Love thy neighbor as thyself is paramount, but also we have a duty to G-d to try to fulfill his commandments the best we can. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Democracy Built On More Than Hoya

There is a funny joke that is timely for election season, and it goes something like this…

“It was election time and the politician decided to go out to the local reservation and try to get the Native American vote.

They were all assembled in the Council Hall to hear the speech.

The politician had worked up to his finale, and the crowd was getting more and more excited.

‘I promise better education opportunities for Native Americans!’ The crowd went wild, shouting ‘Hoya! Hoya!’.

The  politician was a bit puzzled by the native word, but was encouraged by their enthusiasm. ‘I promise gambling reforms to allow a Casino on the Reservation!’  ‘Hoya! Hoya!’ cried the crowd, stomping their feet.

‘I promise more social reforms and job opportunities for Native Americans!’ The crowd reached a frenzied pitch shouting ‘Hoya!  Hoya!  Hoya!’

After the speech, the Politician was touring the Reservation, and saw a tremendous herd of cattle. Since he was raised on a ranch, and knew a bit about cattle, he asked the Chief if he could get closer to take a look at the cattle.

‘Sure,’ the Chief said, ‘but be careful not to step in the hoya.'”  🙂

So when candidates get on their soapboxes and promises are being made on the left and on the right, you can only but wonder what is a promise that is sincere and will be kept and what is a promise that is for garnering votes and will be ignored.

When the mic is unknowingly on and you hear something you weren’t meant to hear, it is hard not to wonder about true intentions.

The New York Times calls these “moments of political candor,” while the Wall Street Journal (30 March 2012) calls it “moment[s] of political contempt.”

The Journal asks why we would not be told the truth about intentions with the implication that it is something that the candidates do not want us to know or that we would not approve of.

Who are these candidates really? Does anyone really know when words are but bargaining chips for winning elections, rather than true commitments of the heart.

It is scary, when the truth is obscured by empty words that change with the audience, and then votes end up based on false promises, vagaries, and disappointments.

When it comes to elections–Is the truth out there? Does it exist?

People deserve candor, sincerity, and to know where candidates really stand on the issues, so they can vote for what and whom they really believe in.

Democracy is built on more than rolling hills and valleys filled with hoya–the truth is it’s foundation.

(Source Joke: here and Source Photo: here)