Alarming Graffiti Message

I actually stopped to read and photograph this graffiti or should I all it a cry for help.

First of all the “artist” was considerate and put it on paper (that was taped up), and not directly on the street pole.

Second, there are some incredibly thoughtful, alarming, and prayer messages on this in both English (as well as in Asian, and Hebrew languages), such as:

– “Jewish prayer for no rape.”

–  “Abusive bee.” “Bee pose,” “Queen bee,” “Bee wisdom,” and “Bee Sting”

– “Abusive spiritual teachers being arrested”

– “We are angelic”

– “I pray for diversity in the bee colony”

– “I pray for a well taught dog”

– “Goddess may the dog be happy”

– “Hashem [G-d] causes the generations to realize they are one”

– “Temple of the animist”

– “Freedom of religion.”

– “Kosher U.S.A. Government”

– “Thanks MD/DC Service Dog.”

There is more, but I couldn’t make out all of it.

There is a also a drawing of a girl in a sitting position with her knees up and sort of smiling.

What strikes me most in this are the numerous references to some sort of abuse, likely sexual with the references to things like prayer for no rape, abusive bee, bee sting, bee pose, and abusive spiritual teachers being arrested.

I feel very unsettled by this, like someone is in trouble and this is a call for help from the community.

All the identification with religion, spirituality, and G-d make this even more significant in terms of the spiritual questioning and perhaps confusion from it all.

Also, is this person disabled/blind–note the reference to the service dog.

I hope that this person(s) are okay and that if they are in danger and need help: go immediately to your parents, the police, school authorities, or a social worker.

People in the community care, and especially G-d hears your prayers.

Whoever might be hurting you needs to be dealt with by the authorities, and please G-d, you will be alright. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Espionage, Social Media Style


You are being watched!

Good guys and bad guys are tracking your movements, rants and raves, photos, and more online.

For example, The Atlantic reported on 4 November 2011 in an article titled How the CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel that “analysts are tracking millions of tweets, blog posts, and Facebook updates around the world.”

Further, in January 2009, “DHS established a Social Networking Monitoring Center (SNMC) to monitor social networking sites for ‘items of interest.'”

And even more recently in August 2011, DARPA invited proposals for “memetracking” to identify themes and sentiments online and potentially use this for predictive analysis.

The thinking is that if you can use online information to predict stock market movements as some have attempted, why not criminal and terrorist activity?

Similarly, The Guardian reported on 16 March 2010 “FBI using Facebook in fight against crime” and cautions that “criminals dumb enough to brag about their exploits on social networking sites have now been warned: the next Facebook ‘friend’ who contacts you may be an FBI agent.”

This is reminescent of the work of private sector,Dateline NBC in using Internet chat rooms to catch sexual predators online by luring them to a house where the predators believed they were going to meet up with a underage girl for a tryst.

While these efforts are notable and even praiseworthy by the good guys–assuming you can get over the privacy implications in favor of the potential to have a safer society to live in–these activities should be carefully safeguarded, so as not to infringe on the rights and freedoms of those who behave legally and ethically.

But the good guys are not the only ones using the tools of the trade for monitoring and analyzing social networking activities–the bad guys too recognize the implicit information treasure trove available and have you in their crosshairs.

For example, in the last years Arab Spring, we have nation states tracking their citizens political activities and using their power over the Internet to shut off access and otherwise surpress democracy and human rights. Further, we have seen their use for cyberspyingand testing offensive cyber attack capabilities–only the most recent of which was the alleged infiltration of a SCADA system for a Illinois water plant.

Moreover, this past week, Forbes (21 November 2011) reported in The Spy Who Liked Me that “your social network friends might not be all that friendly.”

From corporate espionage to market intelligence, there are those online who “steadfastly follows competitors’ executives and employees on Twitter and LinkedIn.”

In fact, the notion of online monitoring is so strong now that the article openly states that “if you’re not monitoring your competitors activity on social media, you may be missing out on delicious tidbits” and warns that “it’s easy to forget that some may not have your best intersts at heart.

Additionally, while you may not think your posts online give that much away, when your information is aggregated with other peoples posts as well as public information, it’s possible to put together a pretty good sketch of what organizations and individuals are doing.

Forbes lists the following sites as examples of the “Web Spy Manual” with lots of information to pull from: Slideshare,, Quora, iSpionage, Youtube as well as job postings and customer support forums.

When you are on your computer in what you believe to be the privacy of your own home, office, or wherever,do not be deceived, when you are logged on, you are basically as open book for all the world to see–good guys and bad guys alike.

(Source Photo: here)

Weeding Out The Servant-Leader From The Psychopath

A number of weeks ago, I saw the movie Horrible Bosses, a dark comedy with Kevin Spacey who not only horribly mistreats his workers, but also ends up being a psychopathic killer. (Note: the film has already grossed over $170 million).
The UK Daily Mail (2 September 2011) reports that psychologists have found that “one in 25 bosses is a [real] psychopath‘ but hides it with charm and business-speak,” and that this is 4 times higher than the prevalence of psychopathology in the general population.
According to Oregon Counseling, a psychopath “lives a predatory lifestyle. They feel little or no regret…[and they] see people as obstacles to be overcome and eliminated.”
The position of a boss at work would seem like a comfortable perch for a psychopath to occupy, where they could feed off of vulnerabilities of their underlings.
Thank G-d, not all bosses are like this–I can vouch for some very good ones out there–who truly are devoted to the success of the enterprise and look out for their people.  As one of my good bosses told me, “we are going to set up together to succeed!”
At the same time, there are other bosses out there, who as one of my best friends would say, “the wheel is still turning, but the hamster is dead.” They are there purely for themselves–plain and simple. Their career, their success, their next promotion…everyone else is just part of the food chain.
If I had to guess, I would bet that narcissism is highly correlated with psychopathic behavior at work.  Note–to organizational behavior researchers out there, please verify!
So how do the psychopaths achieve the positions of power?
According to the research cited in Daily Mail, they actually cover up their poor performance and climb the social corporate ladder “by subtly charming supervisors and subordinates.”
In other words, boss psychopaths are chameleons–expert at hiding their true colors or as my father used to tell me if that person has two faces, why would they use that one? 🙂
Boss psychopaths are NOT real leaders–they lack empathy, are callous, deceitful, and use others for their own gain.
When we are fooled by psychopaths into putting them into positions of power, we are falling prey to their manipulations, and are putting our organizations and people at the ultimate risk for failure.
One Psychologist calls psychopaths: “people without a conscience”--this is the complete opposite of who we need to seek out as leaders for our organization–to raise them up to higher standards of conduct, performance, and genuine teamwork.
A REAL leader is a caretaker of the mission and people of the organization who strives to see both outperform and thrive–while bottom-feeding is for sharks and psychopaths only!
There is a religious (Jewish) saying that from one good deed comes another–for the organization and it’s people, focus on the demonstration of ethical and caring behavior and results.
When I see a truly great leader, I am am inspired and hopeful again.
(Source Photo: here)