King Kong Puzzle

King Kong

I took this photo in the local hobby store. 


It’s a 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building and at the top, King Kong holding onto the antenna!


Looks like a few pieces fell out of the building about 3/4 of the way up.


Or is that where ISIS terrorists blow their next hole in our skyscrapers again (G-d Forbid). 


With our retrenchment from the front lines all over the world–with the exception of some targeted drone strikes (actually very well done)–we are again at risk of letting the terrorists get the upper hand. 


We need strength and resolve–not lifting of sanctions, closing of Guantanamo, and withdrawal from the fight. 


Take them down, before they come to our shores–this is a fight that is multigenerational and there is no retreat from the top of the world when fighting for freedom and human rights. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

“Chickenshit”?

Chicken
Wow, what type of politician calls the Prime Minister of Israel, our “Major Strategic Partner,” with an “unshakable bond,” a “Chickensh*t”?



Yes, it’s in the Washington Examiner today. 



Forget about being completely rude and disrespectful–how utterly impolitic!



Sinking to new political lows globally with our friends and allies–while the ratings sink (and sink) to new lows for these politicians. 



Imagine, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu defends his nation by putting real boots on the ground in Hamas-run Gaza for the 50-days of fighting rocket barrages and terror tunnels, and builds apartments in Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel–Sorry, that is not Chickensh*t.



While domestically, we have been seen as in full global retreat abandoning our bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, carpet bombing from the air in Syria and not punishing chemical weapons use (remember the “red line“), leaving key portions of Ukraine in the hands of Russia, seeking to forge WMD-losing deals with the devils in Iran, and watching the situation deteriorate as we “Pivot East” to Asia, and as we all know, much more. 



– Finanically–we can’t balance a budget,

– Ebola Epidemic–we can’t put together a sensible quarantine policy (while the States fill the void)

Imigration–we can’t muster a realistic bill

Veterans–the scandal of not caring for our veterans is still scathing.



And the list goes on, virtually without end. 



Horrible name-calling and snubbing leaders on the world stage, let alone of our best allies and friends, is not only politically immature, but morally disgraceful–but psychological projection is a very real possibility.



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

U.S. To Give Up U.S.?

U.S. To GIVE UP U.S.

This is just ridiculous already…I mean why do we even bother to try, if as a nation we are just resigned to give up.

1. Russia takes Crimea and the U.S. has “no options,” instead of considering a variety of meaningful options–will Putin stop with Crimea, Georgia, Chechnya if there is virtually nothing standing in his way?

2. Syrian civil war goes on for almost 3 years and takes 150,000 lives and the U.S. has “few options,” while Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia seem to have and be exploiting lots of options.

3. “U.S. to give up Web oversight” since other governments have complained over our “unique influence”–well darn it, we invented the Internet, why shouldn’t we capitalize on it?

4. Serious “deficit reduction is dead” even though the national deficit continues to grow and threaten the national security of this country, but there are few acknowledged options for politicians that want to get re/elected, except to continue the runaway gravy train.

5. Space exploration to other planets–NASA shelves it–“Space, the final frontier…to boldly go where no man has gone before,” but we’re not really going!

6. Defense cuts threaten U.S. military as the “U.S. faces a more volatile, more unpredictable world,” and even as China ramps up its military budget by 12.2%.

7. Despite the potentially catastrophic impact that a serious cyber attack would have on the U.S. national security and economy, “the U.S. military is not prepared for cyber warfare“-why are we waiting for the proverbial lights to go out?

8. Outsourcing jobs outside the U.S. has already become cliche–with top U.S. Corporations sending more than 2.4 million American jobs overseas between 2002-2011–as our own labor force participation is now at a 30-year low!

I don’t understand what has happened to our national resolve to succeed, to lead, to be a good example in the world.

Why are we in global retreat–instead of steadfastly protecting and growing our national strategic interests in every domain?

We are innovators, entrepreneurs, skilled in every worldly affair, and lovers of freedom and human rights for all, yet we have become gun shy, afraid, and reticent to be ourselves and do what we do best–which is to do what’s right, what needs to be done, and to be global leaders in progress toward the future.

If we can’t do this, if we have just given up, if we have become ostriches with our heads in the sand–then we haven’t just given up on this or that or the other thing–but we have given up on being the U.S. of A.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Balancing The National Books

Balancing The National Books

Bret Stephens had an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal (28 May 2013) called “The Retreat Doctrine.”

He argues that America’s retreat militarily from Iraq and Afghanistan may not mean revitalization for us by refocusing on domestic issues, but rather decline by prematurely ending a war with enemies that may not have ended their hatred and hostilities to us.

Interestingly enough, it is not just on the battlefield that we are retrenching, but on many other fronts as well, for example: economically, we are cutting federal budgets; monetarily, we are anticipating cutting the $85 billion per month bond buying by the Federal Reserve; social entitlements like Social Security and Medicare are on the butcher block, defense cuts are imperiling military programs, and employment cuts have resulted in a labor force participation the lowest in 30 years.

While many cuts are beneficial in terms of beginning to get our arms around the over $16 trillion deficit we’ve accumulated and in forestalling another rating downgrade by the big three credit rating firms, it is as Stephens implies, perhaps not a sign of health and renewal, but of national illness and a retrenchment of a global power.

I remember in Yeshiva learning (Exodus 34:7) about the sins of the fathers being visited on the children and grandchildren–3 and 4 generations–and I always wondered how could a just G-d hold future generations responsible, accountable for what the prior generations did?

But perhaps, the answer is evident here, where we cannot blame G-d for our own actions, where we live big, beyond our means, and cause future generations to pay the piper.

When the stock market is rallying–up almost 17% year to date and about 27% over the last year, while our GDP growth is only about 2.4% annually, something is very off-Kilter.

You can argue that retreat is renewal or you can see retrenchment as leading to decline, but either way we will be paying the national bill coming due and all our children will be on the hook for cleaning up after the party is over. 😉

What Are You Thinking?

What Are You Thinking?

This was a funny painting on the window of this eatery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The woman is thinking romance, but the man is thinking about his delicious sandwich.

This fits in very well with John Gray’s bestseller, Men Are Mars, Women Are From Venus–where one theme is that men tend to retreat to think about or distance themselves from problems (in this case with a sandwich) and women seek to grow emotionally close.

See that happening here?

In a relationship according to Gray, you are either going to have balance in giving and receiving or you will have resentment.

Life’s little lessons…better take heed.

My guess is that if this guy in picture doesn’t start paying better attention to the love and attention needs of the women, he is likely to get a sandwich right over his clueless head! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)