Obama, Kerry, and the UN’s 6 Principles of Ultimate Hypocrisy

Two State Solution.jpeg

So how do we know that Obama, Kerry, and the UN’s position and resolutions against Israel is biased, hateful, and Anti-Semitic? 


Let’s briefly look at the 6 ludicrous principles–as applied to the United States and it’s settling the land of the Native American Indians. 


Principle 1: Recognized International Borders for 2 People  


– For the United States that would be recognized international borders for the Native American Indians and for the the United States agreed to by both sides.


Principle 2: Two States for Two Peoples


– That would be a West America for Native American Indians and an East America for the United States (see graphic above).


Principle 3: Realistic Solution for Refugees


– The realistic solution would not involve a return of the Native American Indians to East America, but would involve compensation. 


Hmm, how much do we realistically owe the Native American Indians for half the country? 


Principle 4: Washington DC as Capital for 2 States


– That would look something like this with a West Washington D.C. as capital for Native American Indians and an East Washington D.C. as capital for the United States. 

DC Capital of 2 States.jpeg

Principle 5: Satisfy U.S. Security Needs

– This would involve “innovative approaches to creating unprecedented, multi-layered border security.”  

Uh, what does that mean, especially with our estimated 11.4 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. already???

Principle 6: Normalized Relations

– For the U.S., “this must bring broader peace” with South American neighbors (including Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.) and would allow “groundbreaking” security partnerships with others like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. 

Wonder how that would all work out, huh???

The main difference between the U.S. and Israel is that actually Jews were promised the land of Israel by G-d him/herself and the Jews have actually lived and worshipped there for 4,000 years!

If Obama, Kerry, and the United Nations want to lecture on a Two State Only Solution, perhaps they need to start by contacting the Native American Indians and getting out their drawing boards. 😉

(Source Graphics: By Andy Blumenthal adapted from here and here)

Getting A Leadership Washing

Getting It WashedGetting It Washed 2

So I am reading this book called, “What Your Boss NEVER Told You.”


In terms of leadership, a key principle is stated very well here: 

“‘What’ flows down

And

‘How’ flows up.”

Meaning that as the leader, you set the goal, but you don’t tell people how to achieve it.

Micromanagement “stomp[s] out 

creativity, ownership, and commitment.”

To give your people the breathing room to innovate and solve problems and feel good about their work, here’s the ideal manager:

“Hands-off whenever possible, 

and 

hands-on whenever needed.”

And finally the 3 “H’s” of leadership:

1. Honor — doing the right thing (i.e. integrity)

2. Humility — “give away the credit,” but own the responsibility 100%!

3. Humor — “take their work seriously, but themselves lightly.”

Overall, good book to get a clean bill of leadership health. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

For The Love Of America

Flag
Tomorrow is Veterans Day and we remember and honor the sacrifices of so many in securing our freedom and democracy.



Yet, recent events seem to indicate that we are straying from our principles and values as a nation.

  • November 6, 2014: Aside from trying to cut what many are calling a “bad deal” with Iran over their dangerous nuclear WMD program, there are now “private letters” being written to partner with arch enemy Iran against ISIS.
  • November 8-9, 2014: Just 2-3 days later, we once again see the tyrannical and genocidal intentions of Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei calling for the annihilation of one of our closest allies, the State of Israel. 



Hmm…Israel is designated the U.S.’s “Major Strategic Parter,” while Iran is a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism.



Short memories? Iran took more than 60 American Hostages for 444 days in the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979 and they have an ongoing “Horrific Human-Rights Record.” 



Was all the sacrifice just for naught–for the love of America, what are we doing?



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fair Trade Principles Are Cool

Fair Trade Principles Are Cool

So I was up in Harpers Ferry and discovered this cool boutique store called Tenfold.

The store carries a collection of creative “fair trade,” eco-friendly products from around the world.

They had a cool variety of clothing and accessories–that was different and special.

We all found something there to come back with and had to choose what we liked best.

I ended up getting a couple of handmade ties from a company called Global Mamas in Ghana and the girls got some skirts (and necklaces) made by Unique Batik in Thailand.

I liked the quality and design of the merchandise.

But more than that, I was truly impressed by the principles these companies adhere to under fair trade:

– Alleviate poverty and social injustice
– Support open, fair, and respectful relationships between producers and customers
– Develop producers’ skills, and foster access to markets, application of best practices, and independence,
– Promote economic justice by improving living standards, health, education, and the distribution of power
– Pay promptly and fairly
– Support safe working conditions
– Protect children’s rights
– Cultivate sustainable practices
– Respect cultural diversity

Note: Fair trade is not to be confused with free trade–the later being where government does not interfere with imports or exports by applying tariffs, subsidies, or quotas.

Truly, if we give people a chance to be productive under fair trade working conditions, they can make the world a little better one product at a time. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

First Stop Saying First

First

First came “Cloud First” in the 25 Point Implementation Plan To Reform Federal IT Management (9 December 2010).

Then came “Sharing First” and “Future First” in the “vision for information technology” (25 October 2011).

According to Federal Times (31 October 2011), there are many more ‘firsts’ to come– with a “set of principles like ‘XML First,’ ‘Web Services First’ ‘Virtualize First,’ and other ‘firsts’ that will inform how we develop our government’s systems.
At this point in this blog, I can’t even remember all the ‘firsts’ I just jotted down, so my question is at what point does assigning ‘firsts’ become ‘second’ to managing our tremendous IT asset base for the government?”
Some more firsts just to be first in starting this “list of firsts”:
“G-d First”
“Country First”
“Democracy First”
“Freedom First”
“Human Rights First”
“Capitalism First”
“Equality First”
“Justice First”
“Fairness First”
“Family First”
“Charity First”
“Caring First”
“Giving First”
“Love First”
“Health First”
“Mission First”
“People First”
“Insource First”
“Outsource First”
“Integrity First”
“Ethics First”
“Truth First”
“Communication First”
“Leadership First”
“Innovation First”
“Passion First”
“Security First”
“Safety First”
“Reliability First”
“Agility First”
“Adaptability First”
“Sustainability First”
“Planning First”
“Governance First”
“Execution First
“Project Management First”
“Performance Measurement First”
“Best Practices First”
“Learning and Growth First”
“Sharing First”
“Collaboration First”
“Transparency First”
“Interoperability First”
“Reusability First”
“Reputation First”
“Simplicity First”
“Requirements First”
“Effectiveness First”
“Efficiency First”
“Data First”
“Quality First”
“Customer First”
“Service First”
“Standards First”
“Cost-savings First”
“Business Process Reengineering First”
“Critical Thinking First”
“Jobs First”
“Women and Children First”
Essentially, there are a lot of ‘firsts’ in life and the challenge is in prioritizing and deconflicting these.
So with all due respect first, now let’s get back to the business of government and technology. 😉
(Source Photo: here)

>Know What’s Right, Do What’s Right

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In a conversation with a good friend recently, we got to talking about integrity–the meaning and of course, the importance.

And at one point, he says straight-out, integrity takes two things:

1) Know what’s right

2) Do what’s right

And I’m loving it!

Straight-forward and simple–know and do what’s right.

Then he tells me about Gus Lee, a nationally recognized ethicist (and Chair of Character Development at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point) who wrote this book Courage: The Backbone of Leadership.

I was inspired by what I heard and since went back to learn more about his philosophy on the subject.

Lee believes that “leadership is grounded in high character” and that “we think we are looking for managers, but in fact, we need principled leaders.”

To drive our “moral courage”, Lee says we have 3 powerful resources:

1) Conscience–“that moral, inner voice.”

2) Discernment–this is where you work to discern “the higher right” getting past “fear, feelings, and wishful thinking” and of course, our own self interests.

3) Discerning Advisors–we seek the counsel of “the most courageous, high integrity, high character, and principled person or people” you know.

And I would add a fourth important resource, which is religious teachings that can be a steadfast guidepost (especially when coupled with the others as a personal litmus test of whether you are applying them correctly).

Finally, I like Lee’s observation that there are three type of individuals when it comes to issues of integrity:

1) Egotists–those who are self-serving.

2) Pragmatists–those who “serve results” or what I would call serving a specified cause.

3) People of Courage–those who “act in the right regardless.”

Doing the right thing is not easy (it means putting aside your own interests)!

That’s why it takes tremendous courage to be the type of moral person that we all ultimately admire and respect.

Those leaders who act with moral rectitude, these to me are the few and the amazing!

>Happiness Is Not The End

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I was outraged to read the opening article in the May 9-15, 2011 issue of BusinessWeek (
which I usually greatly respect): “Why Bin Laden Lost.”
Here are some of the “highlights” from Businessweek:
“The United States has no purpose. That is perhaps its greatest achievement…the United States was not founded for the greater glory of anything.”
– “The most successful organizing principle the world has ever known is a simple guarantee that we can buy and do things that have no point greater than the satisfaction of our own happiness.”
– “We human follow base and pedestrian needs…Freedom. Self-determination. Democracy. All of which are means to an end. For us humans, the end is almost always just a house.”
– “You might consider embracing what defeated him. Do something private and ridiculous, something that answers no creed. Pursue happiness.”
Yes, we won the battle against Osama Bin Laden this week, but the war is not over.

Bin Laden’s henchmen are already forswearing that they will turn our joy to sorrow.
Why?
Because the clash of ideas and principles remain.
One one hand, we have belief in mandated, restrictive religious sharia law and the return to a 7th century caliphate (i.e. government of the people–the state is supreme) and on the other we have principles of freedom to choose–how to worship, what to say, what to publish, when to gather etc. (government for the people–the people are supreme).
With the Spring Uprising in the Middle East, it seems that the people are leaning toward the latter, although there is much work to be done to transition from the former.
Bloomberg Businessweek’s article misses the whole point of our great democracy and the freedoms it provides.
Rather than being a society whose end and purpose is simply to “shop until we drop” and that is free to orgy itself on prosperity, physical pleasures, and materialism, we are about so much more.
The United States and its partners do have a purpose.
No, we are not a society that mandates a certain religion or in fact any religion, we leave that to for the individual to choose. But we are a society of laws, principles, and belief in freedom to choose one’s destiny.
Not everyone chooses well, but that is part of the freedom to learn from our mistakes and grow.
The end, for most good and upstanding citizens of this country and others, is to be driven by principles and righteousnesssuch as human rights, curing the ill, feeding the hungry, rescuing the downtrodden, innovating and creating opportunity, and building stronger personal protections and cultural institutions.
I think it is sad that Bloomberg endorsed exactly the view that the terrorists hold of us — a view that is shallow and wrong.
We do not focus exclusively on the “pursuit of happiness,” rather that happiness is a means to a higher end. Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which begins with physical survival and proceeds to self-actualization through connection with others and giving back.