Life Equated With Hate

Does anyone get this sign from the Pro-Life rally last week?

Pro-Life is Pro-Hate

But equating Pro-Life with hate doesn’t add up.

It actually seems the opposite that if you want to sanctify and protect life that you are loving people, not hating. 

Sometimes to make a point, people will just say anything. 

It’s related to “gaslighting” where they want to manipulate you into questioning your own beliefs, values, and sanity.

Perhaps, throwing around terms like hate just dilutes the real meaning of it similar to making other false accusations against people. 

We need to argue the issues, and not attack each other. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stone Faces Hide The Heart

Some people are so cold and emotionally distant.


They go around with a stone face.  


No emotion seems to seep in or out. 


The face doesn’t betray the heart in any way. 


You say something or do something, and they just sort of stare at you. 


No words, no outward response. 


Just a stone face like a poker face. 


You don’t know what’s behind it. 


But worse yet is a heart of stone–nothing impacts the inside just like the outside. 


Are some people this way because they have been so hurt in the past that they become hardened like a turtle’s shell to protect from the outside world. 


…Ain’t gonna let nothing hurt me again. 


Or are they great at using their poker face to fool, manipulate, and get what they are after. 


Perhaps the worst possibility is that they are simply a real psychopath–someone without conscience or empathy. 


Yes, that is scary because the unthinkable becomes thinkable. 


For most of us, reading verbal and non-verbal cues is critical to understanding other people. 


Hiding those cues can mean that the stone face is going to shatter someone’s world and that won’t be a pretty face at all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Got The Call

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I got the call!


But not the one that I always wanted, which is to serve at the very highest echelons of government or/and industry for those values and things which I so hold dear. 


No, instead I got the call that my professor in college warned me about. 


He said:

“You will get a call one day from someone asking for a lot of cash–no questions asked! At that time, you will know who you’re real friends are.”


So I actually got this call (for real) and in the middle of my work day.


This person who contacts me is considered quite affluent and with an extensive network, and I know him/her for only a relatively short time


Person:

“You know you’re like family to me Andy…I need $2,000–in cash–by 7 pm. I’ll pay you back $500 on Friday and the rest by Monday.”


Me (Stunned):

“What–is this a joke or something?”


Person:

{Repeats again the request}


Me:

“OMG. What’s wrong–is everyone okay? Are you in any trouble?”


Person:

Uh, everyone’s fine…don’t ask me any questions–there’s no time for this now.”


Me {Reaching for some humor in this bizarre situation}:

“Oh, only $2,000–I thought maybe you needed $2 million–that’s no problem, of course.”


Person:

“Please don’t make jokes now Andy–this isn’t funny!”


Me {Trying once again to get some more–any–information}:

“Can you just explain to me what’s going on–I really want to understand, so I can help you.”


Person:

“Do you have the cash or not?”


Me: 

“To be frank no. I don’t keep any cash around. {Inquiring to learn more…} Could you take a check or something else?”


Person:

“No. Listen, can you go to the ATM now?”


Me {frustrated by the abruptness, lack of sensical communication, and pushiness, as well as more than a little suspicious at how this is all going down}:

“Well the ATMs have a cash limit. Also, I would really need to check with my {lovely} wife first,”


Person {seeing they weren’t getting what they wanted when they wanted it}:

“Okay, well if you can’t help, I’ll just call someone else–thanks {hanging up on me}!” 


WOW!


Despite having trusted this person and feeling very hurt by all this, I still called the person back later that evening to follow up and because I truly cared, and they were still not any more forthcoming with me, and in fact, were quite attacking that they were sorry to have called me.


But I wasn’t sorry…my college professor was right on, thank G-d–I do know who my friends are!


Whether its a lunch date, LinkedIn/Facebook contact, or social invitation, be discerning about the motives of people–outside of any sane and normal context–that are seeking to “friend” you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hope vs. Change

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So we were promised hope and change, but what’s the difference?


Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal says, “Hope is the helium -filled ballon of politics. Governing in office is the gravity that pulls it back down to earth.”


Many politicians are giving the false impression that “giving people the rhetoric of hope, lifting them with words, is more important than delivering results, which some might call change.”


Despair is when we are told that there is hope and promise, but we don’t get meaningful, impactful, and lasting positive change.


The hard work of leadership is not just providing a beautiful Garden of Eden vision for people to salivate over and to get their votes, but rather it is making something REAL happen that makes people’s lives and the world better. 


As they say is plain english, “Words are cheap!”


We don’t need any more fancy oratory skills–Hitler had those too and it led to the murderous genocidal Holocaust and disaster of World War II. 


Time for some elbow grease and some results that aren’t fake like the news we’ve been getting. 


We’ve heard too many lies, too much spin, and been subjected to language control of the “media echo chamber.”


Just one prominent example has been regarding terrorism and radical Islam which is not and never has been “workplace violence” and traffic accidents. 


Who is the President of the U.S. fooling when he says that theres been “no foreign-planned terror attacks in 8 years.”


Gee, ISIS and their numerous terror supporters seem to violently disagree about the many terrorist attacks we indeed did have on U.S. soil in the last 8-years, including Orlando, Garland, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, MinnesotaOhio University, and many more.  


It’s time that we stop being fed a bunch of false hope and political malarkey and instead we get some genuine change, improvement, and progress in our lives and the nation. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who You Gonna Trust

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We start out life as innocent children with inherent trust in those that care for us. 

It is nice to feel safe, loved, and cared for by people who dote over your every gurgle, smirk, fart, and spaghetti sauce smear on the face. 

As people grow older and have negative experiences however, they become more guarded and jaded by what they learn about other people’s motives and agendas and how vulnerable and hurt they can get. 

Unfortunately, these days kids have to fear from pedophiles, parents that are addicts and wildly abusive, and teachers that let out their emotional problems on children that look up to them for guidance and education. 

As we get older, there are bullies in school and thugs on the street. 

And even in the office, there are those that abuse their positions of power and can make life miserable for the regular hard-working Joes not looking for any problems.

In relationships, spouses that cheat on one another and the resulting breakups have heart-wrenching effects on families. 

But perhaps, what is even worse than individual people that can hurt us are when the very institutions that are the bedrock of our society become corrupt and abusive of their authority and result in our loss of trust in them.

Already in 2010, trust in government was reaching new lows of 19%.

By 2014, trust in corporate America had eroded to just 36%.

Similarly, in 2016, trust in the news media fell to all time lows of 32%.

Reading about the clutching unto power of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship for half a century in Cuba did not seem that far a stretch after seeing the powerful and dangerous political machine here in our own U.S.A. working to keep people in the seat of power almost at any cost to the country and the people. 

What was good for people was clearly last place to what was good for the ruling elites not just in Cuba anymore!

Similarly, the notion of a fair and balanced media went out the window with this last election, where investigative journalism became an oxymoronic term and idea. 

As for corporate America, outsourcing, shoddy goods, inflated advertising, short-term profiteering, rigged governance, and oversized pay packages to the C-suite left a handful of socially-conscious corporations stranded on a desert island of greed and raw capitalism.

Neither children nor adults are victims or sheep to be bullied or manipulated by abusers and manipulators in society. 

A free press so needed to keep corruption in check in the rest of public and private sector society has itself been infected by the bug of bias, bigotry, and personal agendas. 

Who can we trust when evil can overtake good temporarily to break bodies and souls of it’s victims?

Ultimately, the people have the final say in keeping the wrongs in society from taking deep root and not letting nasty “big brothers” do the really bad things and take us down the wrong paths.

There are good people with integrity that we can trust, maybe just not everyone we’d like to. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

14 Lessons Learned from the Political Process

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So here are some things that I learned from this awful, drawn out election:


1) Keep it positive – Negativity, divisiveness, and hate hurt you more than it does anyone else.


2) Don’t play the *ism card – Using racism, religion, gender, and sexual orientation to divide people and get what you want from them is dirty politics and empty promises for votes; stick to the facts and the issues. 


3) Focus on service to others – “Public service” is about service to others, not self service; it is more important to give than to receive any of the fame, fortune, and favors. 


4) No one is above the law – Corruption, collusion, and cover-ups are a boomerang that eventually come back to hit you in the proverbial head.


5) Action speaks louder than words — What you actually did, accomplished, and how you behaved is the much louder message than what you say you did or claim you will do. 


6) People are not sheep – Regardless of how strong and biased a position the media and others take, hammering and hammering away, in the end people are not sheep and can and do think for themselves. 


7) Polls, statistics, position papers, conventions, and debates – There are many tools for manipulating the masses and they, like the people who prepare and administer them, have biases and lie. 


8) Branding yourself and others – Creating an image for yourself and others by weaving a tall tale narrative only goes so far unless the words and deeds are consistent and ring truth. 


9) Speak from the heart – Preparation and practice make perfect, but a perfect what?  Prepared lines and zingers are great sound bites, but speaking from the heart goes to the heart. 


10) Moral high ground – Just saying you are taking the moral high ground does not make it so; you actually have to have integrity to stand that ground. 


11) The political machinePolitics and the money and operatives behind it, are very strong and dangerous, and those that wield it can and will do anything to gain and stay in the much coveted positions of power. 


12) Don’t think you’re so deserving – Be humble and compassionate on others, instead of believing you are so great and the world owes it to; the more you run after something, the more it tends to elude you.


13) Listen to your gut – There are great orators, writers and influencers out there, but you’ve got to listen more to your gut and moral compass than to anyone else trying to bend your mind and will. 

14) Star power – Bringing out the big gun superstars to speak, sing, and endorse you is some nice added glitz, but the real superpower is the one Almighty who ultimately decides who wins and loses. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing All Political Perspective

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So here we go again into our politicians pants to uncover every locker-room lewd remark they have made. 


Yes, it’s abhorrent and criminal for our politicians, religious leaders, coaches or anyone for that matter to rape or inappropriately sexually touch someone else against their will. 


The problem is that we are losing all common sense and perspective. 


When we are focusing almost exclusively at this point on getting that next verbal sexual gotcha on a hot mic from people running for office, instead of on what they’ve actually done (good and bad) in their lives, then we are being lead astray by powerful elites fighting for and to keep the power they most greedily worship.


Words do have meaning, don’t get me wrong, especially when we hurt someone with them or when they demonstrate true moral lapses in the person.


But when words are taken out of context, exaggerated, or dug up from decades ago just to sling dirt then we have a powerful political machine that is working to hurt and not help our political process. 


What’s even worse is that we are becoming the laughing stock in the world in the process of the mud fest. 


An article yesterday in China mocks the chaotic U.S. political system as a highly flawed “political show.”


If we and the media remain gripped in people’s political pants here, then the real and potentially catastrophic issues will continue to not be on the table or our lips. 


The effect is that rather than being able to effect positive change at home and in the world, we are heads down in the sand, as for example:


– Russia deploys nuclear-capable missiles on Poland’s (and NATO’s) doorstep


– ISIS continues it’s global reign of terror and remains strong and determined


– War crimes are being committed and “red lines” crossed daily in Syria


Iran and North Korea continue their nuclear hated-filled march on the U.S. and western allies


Bioterrorism is an increasingly dangerous threat as agents are “relatively inexpensive, easy to produce, conceal and transport” 


Cyberwarfare is now being considered an existential threat, even as our democratic elections themselves are under attack by the latests hacks from Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks. 


– Our national debt has increased $9 trillion (almost doubled) in the last 8 years and is threatening key pillars of our social entitlement system, including social security and medicare. 

– The global economy is on the rocks as the impact from easy credit sputters and future growth is stunted.


As these and other risks increase to the U.S., our leadership remains in a narcissistic fugue with their desire for power and sham legacies, and politics have become grotesquely about killing off the opposition by actual death or by a thousand cuts of verbal mutilation.  


Sex sells and has us mesmerized, but we are missing out on all the real world drama, danger, and any meaningful dialogue. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)