Outnumbered Yes


I liked this saying that I heard:


“Outnumbered and outgunned, but not outsmarted.”


I think there is a lot of truth to this. 


Might does not make right. 


Right makes right. 


There is a G-d above who watches over us. 


Those with the big guns may just end up shooting themselves in the foot. 


G-d reigns supreme and he gives wisdom and courage to his faithful. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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They Really Think They Deserve It

Sometimes I come across people with enormous wealth and power. 


Many wield it like they own it and deserve it. 


I wonder sometimes with billions of other people in the world without adequate food, water, plumbing, medicine, or a solid roof over the heads, how the mighty can think they are above it all. 


Do they look around–do they see anyone else but themselves?


They seem drunk with themselves and what they have–and very overconfident.


Worshipping self and all the honor and materialistic success–they forget where it comes from and what they are supposed to be doing with it to help others. 


Yet, G-d and His angels can strike in but a split second. 


Those that are high and mighty can be brought low and those that are in the depths of despair can be uplifted. 


But at the will of G-d Almighty.


At the top, people may erroneously think and come to believe that they are smarter or more deserving–and so what’s theirs is theirs for the taking and keeping. 


They think “To hell” with everyone else–they are the little people. 


Perhaps, they even come to enjoy squashing them underfoot.


They really believe and savor the power and even think it’s forever. 


Yet the wheel of life turns and often abruptly–illness, accidents, misfortune…it comes seemingly from nowhere when G-d breaths justice. 


How silly of the powerful and wealthy to think they are the untouchable and the forever mighty. 


G-d sees the good and the bad in the people–and ultimately, there is no escape from the King of Kings. 


Wealth and power are earthly and fleeting, but the will of G-d is all that endures. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wrapped In Bubble Wrap

So I thought this was an interesting risk management strategy…


One colleague joked with me that:

“Everyone should just wrap themselves in bubble wrap!”

Reminded me of that game where people put on big wearable inflatable bumpers and then smash into each other for fun.


The problem though is that sometimes we put on the bubble wrap, bulletproof vest, or seat belt, but then we get stupidly overconfident. 


We think we are protected, but nothing human in impenetrable. 


So the person with the seat belt and air bag drives too fast and off a cliff and still gets him/herself killed. 


Or the person with the bulletproof vest gets shot with a high caliber armor piercing shell or in the back of the head.


Like on many cars, where the mirror says, “objects in mirror are closer than they appear,” we need not over rely on safety, protective, and risk measures and still do stupid things.


One guy told me, he backed up into the wall in the garage, because he thought there was more room and that’s not how things looked in the mirror. 


Let’s face it, there is no bubble wrap that can fully protect us from life. 


Everyday we face risks out there, and we need to manage them with common sense or else… 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Uber Overconfidence

Uber.jpg

As everyone knows, Uber is essentially–for now–a high-tech taxi company.


And high-tech tends to command high price.


But they are IMHO very overconfident of their position. 


And while I generally like taking Ubers, I would go so far to say that in many respects they are potential dead cab meat!


Why?


– Not because their leadership is in disarray and their founder and CEO was just forced to resign.


– Not because they have a disastrous corporate culture.


– Not because of their uber low or not profitable margins.


– Not because of the threat of autonomous driverless vehicles.


– Not because of the (alleged) stolen documents from Google.


– Not because Uber is (potentially) overvalued at nearly $70 billion (more than GM, Ford, or Honda)!


– Not because of its numerous competitors coming up from behind, including Lyft.


But a major reason is because:


They just gave you a not-so-hidden increase in price by tacking on a new tipping mechanism that will result in many people paying as much as a 20% hike to their overall fares.


Uber is now losing a sizable portion of their price point competitive advantage!


With the risks involved here, who could be so overconfident?

Perhaps, it’s time to take a cab or hovercraft somewhere else. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


(All represents my own opinions)

Wiping The Smug

smug-jpeg

How you ever seen someone with that unbelievable smug look on their face? 


They are almost glowing in hubris and elitism.


They have gotten away with something and they know it and think they are above earth and Heaven.


Feeling better, smarter, and mightier than everyone else around them. 


They have built a fortress of minions, money, and power. 


And nothing, they think, can bring them back to Earth. 


Through deals, cunning, intimidation, and even elimination of their rivals, they survive and thrive growing stronger with every kill. 


High and mighty, but G-d sees all. 


Arrogant and corrupt, but G-d forgets none. 


All humankind is connected and one.


As one sits in the dust of the feet of another. 


The wheel of life turns, and the roles reverse. 


The next person has the chance to act different and better.


To mend their soul and humbly influence others for the good. 


No one should be smug, because everyone serves. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Broken Arm, Broken Metro

Broken Arm

So I spoke to a lady on the D.C. Metro yesterday.


Not old, not young–she was sitting in a handicapped seat. 


What happened to her?


She told me how this last year as she was riding the train, it had suddenly and ferociously jerked forward, and then backwards.


The fierceness of jerking motion breaking the top of her arm–the humerus–vertically right down the middle in a horrible break. 


As she was talking her eyes glazed over remembering what happened.


She found herself on the floor of the train lying in excruciating pain.


One kind lady stayed with her as the paramedics were on their way.


She overheard others on the train actually complaining in earshot that they were being delayed “because of her!”


She was taken to the ER, and ended up spending 2 1/2 months in the hospital and rehabilitation center. 


As explained, they couldn’t cast this type of break, and she wasn’t allowed to sleep laying down–she had to sleep in a chair–again she said how the pain was so bad and unlike anything she ever experienced, incuding childbirth and bypass heart surgery. 


Professionally, she was a lawyer for the government, but ended up not suing Metro, shaking her head that it just wasn’t worth it. 


In her wallet, she showed me her Metro disability card that they gave her so she could sit in the special seats now and get a reduced rate riding the train.


Shaking her head, she exclaimed that even though she is mostly healed now, she never stands on a moving train anymore, always making sure she is sitting and nestled next to something.


I could see the emotional pain on her face as she told me her story, and she seemed generally afraid of ever going through anything like that again. 


At the same time that she was talking to me, in eyesight was a younger man hanging out by the center doors on the metro, overfident and not holding on–actually leaning way back on his backback against the doors, almost daydreaming. 


Not everyone heard this lady’s story…maybe they should. 


Overall, Metro seems chronically underfunded or mismanaged and in desperate need of major repairs and replacements–train, tracks, escalators, elevators, everything. 


The system is a mess and it needs urgent attention. 


Why does it always take a tragedy to finally get action? 


Coincidentally, I saw today that Metro (WMATA) is advertising in the Wall Street Journal for a new General Manager and Chief Executive Officer–yep, good luck to that person, they will definitely need it and a lot more!  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Christian).

Safeguarding D.C.

Gas Cylinders
I took this photo the other day of a truck loaded from front to back with compressed gas cylinders in downtown, Washington, D.C.



I understand that there are strict safety regulations for this. 



Although with this truck just sitting out on the street, appapently not moving or even attended as far as I could see, I was a little concerned. 



At the same time, coming to work today, there was someone marching down the street yelling “Allah”–again and again–sort of talking to themselves yet screaming something that wasn’t intelligible, at least to me. 



Not that there is anything wrong with freedom of expression, but it just seemed a little wild and scary on the darkened streets. 



I couldn’t help think about this gas truck with all these gas containers from the other day…and are we keeping things as safe as they need to be. 



We take a lot for granted in terms of our security, but are we perhaps getting a little overconfident so many years after 9/11 now. 



Hopefully, we’re all good, but we need to be careful, vigilant, and safe! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)