Left and Right Unite

Eagle.jpeg

So I saw on Facebook, an image of an old, wise, Native American Indian.


And over the image, it reads:

“The left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird.”


That is pretty darn smart–and one of the best things I heard all week!


To many extremist people out there, they seem to have been forgetting this lately.


Also, the agitators don’t seem to let up–does it matter if it’s conspiracy theories or fake news–if it gets the bird in the net for clip-clip.


In an effort to “resist”–or perhaps utterly destroy the opposition–we have put politics above the National interest. 


Yes, politics matter–issues matter–people matter. 


But can the bird fly with only one wing?


Sure, we need to speak up when we see something wrong or that we don’t agree with.

But we also need to discuss, negotiate, and compromise–for Pete’s sake, work together to make the bird stronger and fly further and faster–rather than kill the bird itself. 


Our competitors and enemies have arrows pointed at and are shooting them at our American Eagle.


Will we give them the advantage as we self-destruct with loathing for one another? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Doth Fear

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Innocent Shakespeare in the Park or violent assassination incitement of the President of the United States? 


Kathy Griffin holding up a severed head of the President.


Stephen Colbert’s tirade and obscenities.


And the list goes on and on…


Is this resistance or are things perhaps going too far for political discourse? 


Whatever your views, does the rhetoric need to get any hotter or more violent in this country. 


Cooler heads and compromise need to prevail for anything positive to come from all this.


Is it not still possible to unite under the shared values of freedom, human rights, and democracy that we all presumably hold dear and use these to advance our common cause? 


At least twice now protesters have stormed the Shakespearean stage calling the incitement as an evil portrayal reminiscent of those like Nazi Propaganda Minister, Goebbels (may his name and memory be erased).


The other side pretends nothing is going on and says, but it’s only Shakespeare. 


Demonstrating against the actors’ nightly violent portraying (and perhaps undisguised wishing for) the killing of the President, the plays’ protesters are themselves summarily dragged off by security.


Nothing seems to stop the shrill words, calls for violence, and violence itself. 


Just last week, we had the unreal and gross shooting of Congressman Whip, Steve Scalise, at an early morning baseball practice with his colleagues. 


For those who care to glimpse down the road, what happens from here as we seem to forget who we are as people and as a nation, and we let extremists take over the agenda.


I doth fear (a little Shakespeare myself here) that the problem with extremism and violence is that it can too easily beget more extremism and violence.


Incessant name-calling, an avalanche of punches by the media, hostility on college campuses towards free speech, SNL just poking fun (is this really so funny anymore), an inciting Shakespearean play, plus marches, protests, and then taking things too far.


Like the closing in a classic Shakespearean tragedy…should we all not fear how this will end? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Is Our Democracy Failing Us?

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The latest was Kathy Griffin grotesquely holding up a decapitated and bloodied head of the President of the United States, Donald Trump.


Before that was Stephen Colbert uncool, profanity-laced barrage against the President.


Even Madonna lost her sh*t and threatened to blow up the White House at the mass women’s march earlier this year. 


But all this is still only the tip of the iceberg, as liberals “resist” him and extremists even riot and commit acts of violence; the investigators look to impeach him; the mass media lynches him daily; witches try to cast a mass spell on him; and even late night comedians make him into the butt of every joke and asses wisecrack. 


No respect anymore.


No genuine dialogue.


No negotiation.


No compromise.


No problem-solving.


No putting the nation first. 


The glove are off as tempers and politics are boiling over in Washington, D.C. and all across the nation.


As liberals and conservatives battle it out for the direction of our country.


Some may say that this is what democracy is supposed to do…


But at this extreme, this is how nations self-destruct, not govern!


Who is laughing?


Certainly those that would threaten our way of life:  Russia. China. North Korea. Iran. ISIS and Al-Qaeda. 


Only sane Americans are crying out for leadership to stop killing each other and instead coalesce–irrespective of right and left–and to move this nation forward stronger in the world–militarily, economically, and socially.


As we continue to beat each other senseless with new revelations of debauchery and corruption every 5 minutes on TV, our politicians are black and blue, their agendas are dead on arrival, their proposals are torn to shreds, their votes are filibustered, the parties are deadlocked, the government nearly shutdown again, and progress is nowhere to be found.


As some states talk of succession, some nutty people out there are advocating for violence to our elected leaders, and others are even calling for civil war, should it come to it. 


As many have commented, civility is gone from political discourse, and instead angry and violent discord rules!


This is not a healthy democracy, but a political system being torn apart by extremists and haters.


How do we get the destructive abnormal new normal back to a fruitful normal is normal again?


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Taking It Back

Taking It Back.jpeg

So I was watching Baahubali, the highest grossing movie in India, ever. 


Enjoyed the Bollywood action and pageantry and am looking forward to the sequel coming out this week.


There was one line in the movie, spoken between swordsmen that stood out to me:


“Spoken words and spilled blood can never be taken back.”


Mean and harsh word can cut like a knife and hurting someone with words or deeds, can never really be taken back. 


Sure, we can ask for forgiveness and try to make amends.


But it’s like once you let the genie out the bottle, you can never really put her and keep her back in. 


A veteran recently fought to have a VA hospital in Florida put the picture of the President up instead of the blank frame on the wall they had (some nonsensical notion of resistance indicating “not my president”)–the veteran said about trying to right this wrong:

“It’s like trying to put 5 pounds of baloney back in a bag that only holds 2 pounds.”


People are doing bad things and saying bad these things these days that can’t be just taken back. 


Family, friends, and colleagues–are fighting it out and splitting up.


Each side tells themselves and the other that their cause is right and noble.  


But how much of it is really just brainwashing, hyperbole, and politicking?


While our values as individuals and as a nation should never be put at stake, maybe we could get more done and better by working together than spilling blood–friend and friend, neighbor and neighbor. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Nation Conquered By Politics

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So Obamacare is failing with rates spiraling up out of control and choices narrowing for people that need good affordable healthcare. 


And the Ryancare replacement plan failed to garner enough votes and has been questioned by the alt-right as not going further enough to change things for the better. 


Blame the parliamentarian, blame each other, blame the Russians. 


Between the two sides of the aisle, there aren’t enough centrists, and the parties won’t work together on a solution to this or anything else apparently–hence the utter catastrophic deadlock and lack of progress in Washington going on for years now!


The democrats passed Obamacare along party lines without a single Republican.


And now Ryancare similarly had not a single Democrat. 


Resistance.  Resistance.  Resistance!


This is how polarized and ineffective our system of governing has become, when the two sides love their position and power more than they love the people of this great nation!


The Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, and Iranians didn’t have to fire a single shot…they just continued to shame our ineffectiveness with bogus deals and aggressive posturing, fed us boatloads  of misinformation (“fake news”) to agitate our already divided country, and then they left us to split asunder under of our democracy’s own weight. 


As the Republicans point fingers and the Democrats gloat–there is a great refrain of La La La Koosh Koosh going on–and the Superpower U.S. is looking not only asleep, but also fat, stupid and sprawled out pathetic with no where to go but up from here. 😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

The Divided States Of America

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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)

Running With Parachute

Running Parachute

So I took this photo at the athletic field. 


This guy was running.


But he had a parachute tied to his buttocks. 


A little extra resistance to get into shape. 


While a parachute can be helpful (in fact lifesaving) if you’re jumping from an airplane.


It can also be a hinderance if your trying to run across a big open field as fast as you can. 


Parachute + Air = Resistance. 


I asked the guy how much this running parachute cost and he told me it was about $30.


Not bad to vary up the workout a little and pull not just yourself, but an entire airstream with you. 


It’s interesting how people wanting to excel look for ways to improve their game by challenging themselves.


As if running lightening fast in the hot sun wasn’t hard enough.


Let’s add a parachute or maybe a bag of heavy rocks to the mix.


The problem is that while the training can be good now, we may pay a physical price for it later in life. 


He/she-man can take a lot of physical abuse, but maybe there is also long term wear and tear on the body. 


I think perhaps, the best outcome from challenging your body and soul is the inner strength you get from determination and exercise of your will to succeed. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Break-Fix After Breakfast

So I learned something new about being Mr. Fix It.

First of all, depending on how you look at things, you are either the guy who miraculously arrived on the scene and fixed what was so horribly broken and dysfunctional for way too long.

Or

You are the one who broke what was working so well before you came along and messed things up.

Second, just because you want to fix things, doesn’t mean that the system or actors want it fixed.  

Often, they are used to it that way and are comfortable in their managed chaos.  Objectively better is not necessarily better to those who like to fly below the radar and aren’t looking for change or perceived trouble.

Dealing with what’s wrong means not only admitting something is broken, but also committing to putting in the substantial effort to fix it. To some people, why even go there? 

You may be getting up after breakfast energized to take on the dysfunction, but the organization is frozen in it’s own sickness and the fever isn’t going down or away.

Be careful what you try to fix, because rather than kudos for a job well done, you may be walking into the blame game where after all, pretending that there is no problem to begin with is the greatest shenanigan to hide behind of them all. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Victorian Penny Car

Victorian Penny Car Victorian Penny Car 2 Victorian Pennies
I took these photos in Classic Motors of Washington, D.C. 



This car is made of Victorian Pennies from the U.K. 



The pennies are special (1837-1901) with an intricate design of British Queen Victoria. 



This car is one of only 9 in the entire world. 



The sign in the back window says, “This vehicle is not for sale.”



It’s got to be some job to get all those old pennies on this car. 



I remember when we were kids my sister had this long green plastic container for collecting pennies.  



Pennies already back in those days were worthless, and it was just a hobby to throw them in and see how many we could collect. 



After some years, the thing was so heavy, I could use it for my exercise routine.



So why do we still make stupid pennies…for classic collector vehicles?  



Old habits die hard, and the government is a big bureaucratic ship that doesn’t turn on a penny or dime or whatever–I think that’s the real reason we still do so many nonsensical things. 😉



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

The Way Things Were

Old Fashioned
So here’s the word of the day–Troglodyte.



How many of you know this word?



It usually refers to someone from prehistoric times, like a cave-dweller. 



But it is used to refer to people who are basically just old fashioned. 



A near relative of the Troglodyte is the Luddite who opposes new technologies. 



Today, a colleague said to me that he misses the old organization phone books we used to have with organization charts and readily available contacts everywhere. 



It didn’t matter that we have this electronically now, he likes the hardcopy ones that he could keep on his desk and flip through…to heck with technology. 



Then he goes that someone called him (jokingly, I think) a troglodyte for feeling this way. 



Well there is something to be said for the good ‘ol days and I understand people that appreciate “the way things were”, but in many ways, those days weren’t all that good–think poverty, illness, corruption, racism, and more. 



So I feel quite blessed to be living now, rather than say at almost any other time in history. 



In looking out towards the near future, I am prepping myself for the new smartwatch coming out from Apple later this month, and while I have my doubts about it (having gotten so attached to my smartphone especially the large screen–6 plus, Yes!), I realize…



That the next technology tidal wave is coming with wearables (and then embeddables), and if you don’t get on board and adopt early…you might as well be riding an old Timey Bike around town with a big sign on your back that says, “Troglodyte…A Stick In The Mud and Stuck In The Past!” 😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Marie-ll)