Women’s War

War.jpeg

Today was International Women’s Day. 


But this guy was protesting something else.


WAR.

“War is chaos, War is lawless
War ignores our civil rights
Land it poison and our rivers
War inspires both rape and murder
Death of children go uncounted
War betrays all Women’s Rights”

Not sure how he connects this all up with women’s rights at the end, but might as well try, right?


For women to have the rights that they should, they need to fight the good fight too.


That type of war does not betray them, but bolsters their cause. 


Everyone who has been abused, enslaved, and discriminated against needs to free themselves of the shackles of oppression.


What we do know is that “war is hell!”


And certainly war is an option of last resort. 


At the same time, war can restore the peace and right the wrongs of despots and tyranny and violence and persecution. 


War is something to be feared and avoided, until it can’t.


At which time, hell on earth is released, so hopefully peace can ultimately prevail once again. 


In war, everyone loses, but with the hope that at the end, good wins!


For woman, today is also the continuance of that war and fight for equality, respect, and proper treatment in every way they completely deserve.


That’s a war worth fighting for. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Divided States Of America

Divided States.JPEG

So the way the alt-left are fighting it out with President Trump…with violent protests, riots, marches, insults, beatings, fires, broken windows, and sheer contempt,  you’d think we were in a third world country under a brutal dictator, or worse.  


Gone is the respect, decency, compromise, and diplomacy among valid differences of opinion and points of view. 


Talking it out and working it out…forget about it. 


Aside from taking up arms, it’s almost like this country is in a second civil war


The United States has become the divided states. 


Hitler, Nazis, Stalin, Commies!


California wants to secede (like Texas wanted to previously). 


Lawsuits against the President.


Screams, posters and groups of “Not my President.”


Celebrities threatening to pack up and leave the country. 


Refusals to carry out the laws of the land. 


People joining the resistance and underground. 


Secret communications in agencies


Plotting and threats for a military overthrow of the Presidency


Calls for blowing up the White House.


Tweets calling for assassination and pics posted of what it would look like. 


Yet there are no death camps, no razor sharp wire, no attack dogs ripping the flesh off people, no forced labor, no death marches, no brutal beatings, no starvation of prisoners, no poison gas showers, no crematoria, no firing squads, no mass graves, no gruesome experiments on twins, no vicious assaults, no sexual abuse and rapes, no Star of David patches to be worn, no threats to exterminate. 


While of course, we need to ensure “Never Again” for all of us– even the slightest inkling of it–is there really a bona-fide “again” or “inkling” here in the first place? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Love The Flags

israel-flag

So while we were in Florida, we went into one of the many art galleries. 


And on the wall was this painting of the Israeli Flag with the Star of David and inside was a beautiful red heart. 


Out of curiosity, I inquired how much this was and the lady says, “Oh, that is $55,000!”


While we were impressed with the painting of the Israeli flag and what it represents as one of America’s greatest allies and friends, we must’ve looked really puzzled at the price, because the lady goes, “Well, of course it’s worth it!  It’s by Peter Max, the most famous artist in the world.”


My wife and I nodded and left the store, and immediately were asking each other why every gallery says with a straight face that the artist that they represent is the “most famous in the world.”


Anyway, at the same time this was going on we were following in the news about the controversy with people burning the American flag and the question of whether this is just an expression of free speech or something more that should be prohibited as disrespectful and unpatriotic or even traitorous to the country. 


In that respect, the flag that represents our values, beliefs, and patriotism is valuable beyond pure artistic sense or money, it is who we are and what we love. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

After The Election Hypocrisy

after-the-election

So after the election yesterday, once the results were in, the after shocks were apparent in downtown, Washington DC and across the nation.


– There were quiet spaces set up for people to “console” themselves and each other. 


– There were signs like this to change the rules and the system, and abolish the electoral college.


– There were more nasty grams between family, friends, colleagues, and strangers on Facebook and Twitter.


– There were protests and riots.


– There was American flag burning.


– There was yelling, cursing, and crying.


Of course, I understand that the election was an upset to half the population (actually, maybe over half of the popular vote).


And I certainly agree with people who are against bigotry and racism–these are things that should ALWAYS be condemned in no uncertain terms!


However, while trying to take the moral high ground, there is plenty of bigotry and hate to go around–such as branding other people as racists (even if they are not so), calling tens of millions of people “deplorables,” and stating that they are unequivocally “unredeemable.” 


Similarly, while attacking one candidate for his sexual banter and (possibly) conduct, the husband of the other candidate was himself impeached from the presidency for his infidelities.  


And no matter how big a feminist our beliefs, rather than falsely blaming an unjust “glass ceiling,” in her concession speech yesterday, the candidate should have done a mea culpa and acknowledged perhaps a very understandable “corruption ceilingthat put the brakes on her own trust, likability and electability.


Reminiscent to condemning the violence at the Trump rallies, the hypocrisy of it all, was when it become known that the operatives of the DCN themselves, in Project Veritas, were the ones actually sparking and doing the violence.


Further, one candidate was ruthlessly denigrated for even suggesting that there was election fraud going on, even while indeed town hall questions were being passed from the media by the DNC’s own chairperson to the other candidate and the prior chairperson was fired from the DNC’s actions in their rigging the primary against Bernie Sanders who would have had a decent chance at actually winning “the whole enchilada.”


But what happened to everyone committing to accepting the results of a free and fair election in a democracy–is that only if YOUR candidate wins?


Whether it’s with hate, name-calling, violence, and sore losing…maybe there is a lot of bad behavior along with “calling the tea kettle black” going on. 

While we call for the “orderly transitions” of power in Egypt, for Britain with Brexit, and elsewhere in the world, perhaps our leaders should hold ourselves to similar standards of conduct here. 


It’s time to STOP the HATE, BIGOTRY, AND VIOLENCE on all sides, and come together to do something positive for this country.


The national security and welfare of the country is at stake, but even more so, the soul of it is still mired in corruption and lies of a very ugly election. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Lives That Matter Not

Police Cycles

With the presumed racially bigoted killing of Black people, we got Black Lives Matter. 


Now with the sniper attack murdering 5 police officers, we have Blue Lives Matter. 


From the unfortunate political response to both, it seems that No Lives Matter. 


With all the violence, and revenge violence, and cycles thereof, it was amazingly sad to hear our President say last week, “I firmly believe that America is not as divided as some have suggested.”


Oh, really!


From Trayvon Martin to Freddie Gray to the five police officers killed last week–there sure seems to be a lot of bloodletting for a country that is not all that divided. 


The problem is that the serious racial divisions are only a part of it. 


Economic inequality is another big factor in the equation with the top 1% owning more than 50% of global wealth, and the gap continues to widen. 


And on top of that you have the political elites who perhaps are not only above the law, but are so much intertwined with the law of the land that they can be “100% confident” on doing what they want and not getting in any trouble.  


So does the 99% matter? Perhaps only as much as your vote and/or donation count for the 1% to get and keep their beloved and worshiped money and power. 


One thing that is amazingly clear across the spectrum from the likes of Donald Trump to that of Bernie Sanders is that the system is rigged.


Yet as disparities and inequalities exist in treatment from black to blue, the elites are most able to manipulate the “echo chamber” with loads of spin to give the perception of calm and stability and some breadcrumbs for all. 


Everyone has a chance to live and to prosper except when they don’t.  


Still we can gloss over the spilled blood and the ridiculous inequality with some promises, gestures, and maybe even a few handouts–and make you 100% confident that you do matter so very much. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Evil Cannot Be In Charge

Skeleton Street Art

So I am having to reconcile some interesting things in my mind. 


Hating and liking. 


For example Iran, led by dictators and extremists, is perhaps the epitome of the “Axis of Evil” and the arch enemy of America and Israel


Iran suppresses the freedom and human rights of its people, is the leading sponsor of world terrorism, denies the Holocaust, and threatens brutal attacks on America and to annihilate Israel. 


Yet, on a personal level I have had the opportunity to meet a number of Iranians that I really like and respect.


These include amazing colleagues at work, and wonderful members of my synagogue as well as neighbors. 


One Iranian family I met just this morning was simply amazing.


The father had a horrible stroke earlier in the year. 


Today, I saw the father wheeled to the swimming pool by his son. 


The son took his father lovingly into the water and worked with him therapeutically to help him on regaining as much mobility as possible. 


I stopped to speak with them, and the man’s wife told me that the son, who was a PhD in mechanical engineering from Texas came every week to Washington, D.C. to work with his stricken father. 


The son told me that although he was not a therapist worked hard with his father on physical and occupational therapy, and I even saw his father laugh a little with his son in the water. 


The son held the father by a safety belt and his father put his hand on his son’s shoulder as they walked forward and backwards in the water, and even did a little swim while his son held the belt tight. 


I was really impressed by this family and especially the love, caring, and devotion the son showed his father. 


Despite their troubles, the wife asked me how I was recuperating and smiled when I told her I was doing better. 


It’s amazing to me how hate truly is blind. 


On one hand, what Iran stands for today led by extremists who seek religious domination, suppression and destruction of others, and a return of the Caliphate is a danger to its people and the world.


On the other hand, many of the people from the streets of Iran are surely some very good people.


We need to see the bad apples and separate them from the good ones. 


As a country, we need to support the freedom of the Iranian people and help those that believe in peace and fellowship. 


When evil is in a leadership position, then good does not follow, but rather is smothered until it is set free. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Pepper Spray to Champagne

From Pepper Spray to Champagne

Shhh! This is the story of drones.

Drones continue to go from battlefield to backyard.

Initially, developed for advanced persistent surveillance and later weaponized for targeting terrorists, we heard the like of Jeff Bezos promise drones for Amazon delivery.

Once again, the double-edge of drones continues…

This week we saw the introduction of scary, “Riot Control Drones” developed by Desert Wolf (a military contractor) that can shoot 4,000 rounds of pepper spray, paint balls, and non-lethal plastic projectiles, employs bright strobe lights and blinding lasers, and issues commands and warnings through loud speakers, and monitors crowds of protesters by high-definition and thermal vision cameras.

At the same time, we saw drones being used as Flying Bel Hops in the luxury Casa Madrona hotel and spa in California for delivering champagne, treats, toys, and even sunglasses to their $10,000 a night guests on their guest deck or even to a boat out on the bay.

And we are still only at the beginning, with drones, and robotics in general, moving to revolutionize our world.

Robots will surveil, they will attack and kill, and they will serve people everywhere from restaurants and retail to hospitals and homes.

You can’t shush the robots, they are on the march and they will have the means to help and hurt people–it won’t be simple, but it definitely will be completely invasive. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)