America’s Got Belly Dancing

(Credit Videos: Andy Blumenthal)

Can’t Sit, Can’t Stand

So I’ve been having this excruciating lower back pain for about a week. 


I literally cannot sit or stand without shooting pain. 


When I sit, it hurts the lower back so much to get up. 


And when I stand, all I want to do is relieve the pressure and sit down. 


I feel like the warning from G-d in the Torah where He says (Deuteronomy 28:67):

In the morning you will say ‘”If only it were evening!” and in the evening “If only it were morning!”

The only real relief so far is lying down or going in the pool. 


Planning to see the doctor to check it out and hopefully with G-d’s mercy it will be better very soon.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Face Vase

Thought this was a pretty cool Face Vase. 


If you add a digital home assistant to this (like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant) and make the lips move on this vase, it would be quite the futuristic home assistant!


I don’t think I’d feel comfortable living in my own house anymore. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Reform The Movement

Hamas_Children

So was very glad to read this week about a top Sunni cleric who called for educational reform to combat “extremist violence.”


Sheik Ahmend al-Tayeb, a grand imam in Cairo said “corrupt interpretations” of the Koran and of Muhammad was leading to a rise of Middle East-based terrorism. 


This to hopefully stem the flow of what is now being reported as 20,000 foreign fighters flocking to join ISIS


What is amazing here is that good Muslim people are recognizing the problem with radicalization, extremism, and violence and are speaking out. 


Yet, many of our own leaders in the Western world still refuse to say the dirty words “Islamic terrorism.”


The President saying instead: “No religion is responsible for terrorism–people are responsible for violence and terrorism.


So perhaps, according to this “logic,” no movement is responsible for what their people do–only the individuals are?


And therefore, accordingly, the Nazis would not be responsible for the Holocaust, nor America for Slavery, nor Communism for political purges, oppression, and violation of human rights, etc. etc. 


…in which case, there would be no apologies, no regrets, no reparations, no museums, no memorials, nothing–because this was just some individuals doing some bad things and those individuals are may no longer even be here with us. 


Doesn’t this ignore the very basic and fundamental fact that when the masses follow a movements’ (genuine or distorted) ideological teachings of hatred, racism, and discrimination, and the people act nefariously on this, then does not the movement itself hold some responsibility for the murderous and evil actions committed based on their doctrine?


The Sheik who denounced terror and called for changes to the education in the Muslim community is recognizing what apparently many of our own leaders refuse to, which is that they–and we–are responsible for what is taught and tolerated in our communities. 


As Peggy Noonan recently wrote, “The reality is that the Islamic State is…very Islamic.


Currently, we are fighting a war on radical Islamic terrorism…whether that terror is committed on Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish grocery store, or the World Trade Centers. 


That does not mean that tomorrow, we are not fighting against some other movement’s treachery. 


This is why good people everywhere must stand up and speak out when they see religions, governments, institutions, or other movements preach and teach lies, hatred, and terror. 


Bad (or hijacked good) movements drive bad actors…so we must not only go after the bad guys, but also hold the movements themselves to account.


We must demand that the lies and distortions be called out for what they are and that truth and virtue be held up in its place. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Front Page Magazine)

Touch Free, Just Use Your Head

Israel Innovation News is reporting a very simple but cool new technology for the disabled.

It enables them to “read, play games, search the web, and make calls without the need for touch.”

Sesame Reader, from the Google App Store, “tracks your face and allows you to turn [eReader] pages with the movement of your head.”

You can also dial a number or type of a keyboard by using movement of the head to control the cursor movement and by hovering over a button to “click it.”

This helps people to function in a digital world, when otherwise they couldn’t.

Hence, the name Sesame from Ali Baba’s magic phrase “Open Sesame.”

Now people can read, write, and interact with others online–even when they don’t have use of their limbs because of neurological, muscular, and other structural defect, or if they simply want hands-free use.

Touchscreens, keyboards, and keypads are now accessible to anyone with the simple turn of the head–up, down, left, and right is all all it takes to navigate, touchless. 😉

Question Without Losing Faith

This is a disturbing 2-hour documentary called Zeitgeist (2007) by filmmaker Peter Joseph.

The first few minutes are a little weird so give it a chance or skip forward to the harsh crux of the movie that starts at around 8:45.

This films makes you question your assumptions on religion, politics, and economics.

According to the New York Times, Mr. Joseph has since “moved away from” his outlandish conspiratorial allegations that 9/11 was an “inside job.”

But if even a tiny percentage of this movie has any merit, it gives us pause to reflect on what is real, perceived, and just some very good marketing perhaps.

Putting aside their wild conspiracy claims, The Zeitgeist Movement, according to The Huffington Post, advocates for a society that is moneyless and stateless, and with apparently disarmament not far behind.

Instead, their group sees the world run by a great global computer that monitors resources for preservation, sustainability and I would assume allocation, and maximizes efficiencies through “labor automation.”

It seems as if their ideology is modeled not only on “social values” but on socialism.

The most important things that I think I took away from the movie can be summarized in the following:

1) G-d is unquestionable and that’s what faith is all about.

2) Critical thinking is incredibly important–don’t just take everything, or maybe anything, for granted.

3) Power must be a means to an end and not an end itself and like American Singer-Songwriter, Jimi Hendrix said: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”