Woman In Gold, Gold, and More Gold

What an amazing painting featured in the movie, Woman In Gold.


The painting is called the Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I and was commissioned by her adoring husband. 


That face! And surrounded by everything in gold yet you can still clearly make out her stunning dress. 


I’ve never seen anything like this: the vividness and the majesty of it. 

Honestly, I think there is a resemblance to my beautiful mother, Gerda Blumenthal who was also from Germany. 


The interesting history on this is that it was stolen by the Nazis from the Jewish owners in the Holocaust, but was finally returned to their family in America that succeeded in suing Austria for it back.


This is truly one of the greats! 😉


(Credit Photo: Gustav Klimt [Public domain])

The Divided States Of America

Divided States.JPEG

So the way the alt-left are fighting it out with President Trump…with violent protests, riots, marches, insults, beatings, fires, broken windows, and sheer contempt,  you’d think we were in a third world country under a brutal dictator, or worse.  


Gone is the respect, decency, compromise, and diplomacy among valid differences of opinion and points of view. 


Talking it out and working it out…forget about it. 


Aside from taking up arms, it’s almost like this country is in a second civil war


The United States has become the divided states. 


Hitler, Nazis, Stalin, Commies!


California wants to secede (like Texas wanted to previously). 


Lawsuits against the President.


Screams, posters and groups of “Not my President.”


Celebrities threatening to pack up and leave the country. 


Refusals to carry out the laws of the land. 


People joining the resistance and underground. 


Secret communications in agencies


Plotting and threats for a military overthrow of the Presidency


Calls for blowing up the White House.


Tweets calling for assassination and pics posted of what it would look like. 


Yet there are no death camps, no razor sharp wire, no attack dogs ripping the flesh off people, no forced labor, no death marches, no brutal beatings, no starvation of prisoners, no poison gas showers, no crematoria, no firing squads, no mass graves, no gruesome experiments on twins, no vicious assaults, no sexual abuse and rapes, no Star of David patches to be worn, no threats to exterminate. 


While of course, we need to ensure “Never Again” for all of us– even the slightest inkling of it–is there really a bona-fide “again” or “inkling” here in the first place? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>You Can Slow Them Down, But You Can’t Stop Them

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What happens when someone does something and you don’t like it—I mean you really don’t like it (and that something is painful—physically, emotionally, or even financially)—you try to get them to stop.

You see it all starts when we are little and growing up and big brother Johnny pulls our hair or takes our toy and we go running to mommy, yelling to make Johnny stop. Mommy comes out standing straight and tall and pointing her sharpened finger at Johnny, and looking Johnny straight in the eyes says stop bothering you’re little sister. Johnny looks down, sulks, and says okay (maybe even expressing a barely audible, and hollow, sorry). But then what happens when mommy leaves the room for a few minutes, Johnny’s at it again.

And that’s what happens when Johnny is doing something wrong…imagine if he believes he is doing the right thing all along, of course, he continues on his merry way doing what he was doing.

Organizations, like people, seek to stop the pain as well and if they can’t compete in the markets, they take it elsewhere.

The Wall Street Journal, 2-3 October 2010, reports “Microsoft Lawsuit Seeks To Slow Google.”

Like Johnny, Google (although technically smaller than Microsoft revenue-wise) is doing something that Microsoft really doesn’t like; Google is walloping Microsoft in smartphones: “Microsoft’s share of the worldwide smartphone market this year is expected to fall to 6.8% from 13% in 2008, while Google is forecast to jump to 16% from less than 1% two years ago, according to IDC.”

Microsoft like the kid, who wants the hair pulling to stop, and they can’t make it stop themselves through a competitive product at this time, is running to “Mommy,” in this case the courts, and seeking relief by suing Motorola, the handset maker for the Android.

As one patent lawyer put it: “My gut feeling is Microsoft is losing the hand-held wars and they’re using their patent portfolio to get some of it back.”

Certainly, Microsoft isn’t alone is using this slowing tactic, for example, recently HP filed to sue Oracle for hiring their ex-CEO Mark Hurd, even though as 24-7 press release notes California tends to favor the free movement of employees and do not enforce non-competition agreements.

While Microsoft believes their new Windows Phone 7 (i.e. the Windows Mobile replacement) is the answer to their smartphone operating system prayers, and will help them to compete against the Google Android (and the Apple iPhone), the market results remain to be seen.

If Microsoft continues with an inferior product, then like a Johnny in the right, Google will continue to go right on beating Microsoft at their own game (unless of course, the courts say otherwise).