Hate Proliferates

Supremists.jpeg

I was really surprised to see this sign for White Supremacists right in front of our nation’s Capitol like this. 


Identity Evropa is yet another hate group–this one focuses on people of European ancestry and their website claims, “We are the future.”


But whether you come from Europe or Asia, the Middle East or Africa, America or the moon, aren’t we all just people at the end of the day.


Who cares whether your black or white or yellow or brown, or what religion you practice, or your gender, or sexual orientation, or whether you lean left or right. 


At the end of the day, are we all not flesh, do we all not bleed, have we all not hopes and fears, do we all not answer to the one G-d Above. 


Hate proliferates from our farm belts to our inner cities, from our universities to our board rooms, from the gazillionaire to the guy who has to shovel shit for a living, from our nasty national politics to the United Nations, there is plenty of hate and bias and bigotry to go around. 


Look to the Heavens, cry a bitter tear, your hatred is your self-destruction. 


You will pray with an evil and hate-filled heart and none will answer you. 


The living G-d of Hosts who created us and loves all his children will not stand idly as hate and supremacy of one over another presides. 


The chains of our affliction, the bullet to the back of the head, the noose and the death camps, the whip, the gas, and the ovens, the hunger, the sick experiments, and the slave labor.


Only G-d is supreme over all and those that seek an advantage on the backs of their brethren will find themselves a fiery hell to contend with. 


From just a little gnat to a growing tumor–that is all that it takes to bring justice and re-level the supremacy playing field and teach who is the King of Kings and there is no other. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Memorial Day Stars and Stripes

 

Flag.jpeg

Loved this lady’s sweater of the American Flag.


So cool with the stars on the sleeve like that. 


I thought this was especially nice for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.


As we remember those that have sacrificed so much, and the many that have fallen making the ultimate sacrifice, so that all we could be free. 


“In the olden days,” they used to say America was the “goldene medina”–the golden country–the land of opportunity!


But really, the gold itself is just fools gold, the real greatness of being here is the freedom to be who you are and to have the human rights and protections to pursue whatever your dreams are. 


Maybe that’s what the stars on the flag are really all about–we can all reach for the stars–whatever stars we want–and many will actually be able to achieve the impossible. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Some People Got Money

rolls-roycesticker

So we’re in the mall, and right when you walk through the doors is a car in the entrance hall. 


This one is a lovely two-tone 2016 Rolls Royce. 


At just a measly $384,025!


Honestly, the car looked awesome. 


This was no Hyundai or Yugo.


The thing looked like a tank of art on wheels. 


What is amazing is that such an expensive car is on display in the mall…I mean who is the demographic they are trying to appeal to for this?


Well maybe it’s not that bad, since another sign advertises a lease option for just $3,469 per month plus tax for 48 months with $30,000 due at signing…so that still runs you over $50K per year to drive this thing. 


Well I guess if you earnings millions, what’s the big deal anyway!


And out of curiosity, as of 2009, almost a quarter million IRS filings (people and households) show earning of that much or more…nice for them, huh. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Your Score Is Your Life

social-behavior-score-2

Absolutely fascinating article in the Washington Post

China is working on a plan to use big data to score people on their social behavior. 

Every interaction you make in life either increments or decrements your social score. 

You social score determines how trustworthy you are. 

The social score would vacuum up data from the “courts, police, banking, tax, and employment records.”

People in service professions like teacher, doctors, and business could be scored for their professionalism. 

Doing positive social actions like caring for the elderly earn you added points and doing negative social actions like DUI or running a red light subtracts points from your score. 

As the score includes more and more data feeds over time, you could eventually be scored for doing your homework, chores in the home, how you treat your wife and children, the community service you do, how hard you perform at work, how you treat people socially and on dates, whether you are fair in your business dealings and treat others well, whether you do your religious duties, and so on. 

People can get rated for just about everything they do.

And these rating get aggregated into your social score. 

The score is immediately available to everyone and so they know how good or bad you are on the scale of 1 to a 1,000.

If you think people are stressed out now, can you imagine having to worry about everything you do and how you will be rated for it and how it can affect your score and your future. 

If you have a bad score, say goodbye to opportunities for education, employment, loans, friends, and marriage prospects. 

Imagine people held hostage by others threatening to give you a bad score because they don’t like you, are racist, or for blackmail. 

What about society abusing this power to get you to not only follow positive social norms, but to enforce on you certain political leanings, religious followings, or policy endorsements. 

Social scores could end up meaning the ultimate in social control. 

Personal scores can manipulate your behavior by being rewarding or punitive and rehabilitative to whatever end the scoring authorities dictate. 

Moreover, hackers or the people who control the big data machinery could destroy your life in a matter of milliseconds. 

So this is what it comes down to: You are your score!

Play along and do what you are told to do…you are the Borg and you will follow. 

Conform or you are dead by number!

Transparency is everywhere. 

Pluses and minuses every day. 

What is my score today? 

Today, I am desirable and successful, and tomorrow, I am disregarded and a loser. 

Please don’t kill my score.

Please don’t destroy me. 

Please, I will be socially good. 

Please, I will not resist. 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Big Government Turnaround

Big Gov.JPEG

So I took this photo of a handout being distributed at a major local university here in Washington, DC.


Sort of ironic for this sign that says:

“Big Government Sucks”


…to be handed out in the capital of the United States of America!


It would make sense that this negative notion of big government is connected to the low approval ratings of Congress (17%) and government services (64.4) provided.


People are seeing and sensing that big government is bad government when it is:


– Dictatorial, corrupt, and discriminatory. 


– Mired in fraud, waste, abuse, and coverups. 


– Self-serving for the politicians that are elected to serve the people. 


– When it is bureaucratic and ineffective. 


– When it is confused and without vision or plan for the country. 


– When it’s indecisive, makes bad decisions, or can’t successfully execute short- and long-term on it’s mission. 


– When it is lacking in basic values of democracy, freedom, and human rights for all. 


At the same time, big government can be great government, when it is a beacon of light for its citizens and for the nations of the earth. 


– When it protects us from dictators, demagogues, terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, criminals, and all sorts of disasters.


– When it holds strong and cutting-edge the economy, prosperity, innovation, education, and competitive advantage of the nation. 


– When it safeguards and keeps sustainable the environment for future generations. 


– When it preserves and fortifies freedom, human rights, social equity, equality, and justice. 


– When it looks after the needy and less fortunate.


– When it lead the world in exploration, discovery, partnerships, and ultimately doing good for the people, the planet, and our future. 


Big government sucks when it goes wrong and then they start handing out these sad signs on our nation’s premier college campuses. 


This is a big problem to turnaround?  


But with smart, committed, and moral leadership it can be done! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Cool Is Being Oppressed

Eyes

So we were having this discussion with this lady in synagogue who prides herself as an activist and participates in numerous groups for social justice.


What was most striking to learn is how these days everyone is vying for the title of most oppressed. 


It’s no longer “cool” or “in” to be part of the elite privileged rich, strong, and powerful.


If you are any of these, you are part of the corrupt 1%–that have more wealth now than the other 99% of society combined–and you are leeches that feed off of the legitimate working, middle class society. 


The privileged are the bullies, the racists, the occupiers, the unjust, the thieves, and the liars. 


Today, people and groups are arguing to be put on the pedestal for who is underprivileged:


The poorest in society


– The ones with the greatest inequality


– The most discriminated against and oppressed


– The smallest of the minorities


The prize for those that attain the marks of distinction for worst status can hope to achieve:


– Sympathy (protests, petitions, and actions for boycotts, divestitures, and sanctions)


– Economic Assistance (donations, grants, loans, scholarships, and advanced technology)


– Preferential treatment (college placement, training programs, hiring, promotion, business awards, and board seats)


– Votes (elections, laws, resolutions, decisions, and court awards)


The super underdog has it way up over the superpower. 


Discontent by the masses, supercharged by social media, is leading to an overturning of society from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street.  


Socialism even for presidential candidates is no longer a dirty word in Democratic America and terrorists around the world are now “freedom fighters.” 


Regimes such as Iran that sponsor terrorism, abuse human rights, and build weapons of mass destruction now just need to be “opened up” to the outside world and sanctions and non-proliferation is just more western bullying and infidel occupation.  


Other countries like Syria that are ruled by tyrannical leaders that besiege their own cities, starve and torture their people, drop barrel bombs indiscriminately, and use chemical weapons are no longer crossing a “red line”, but are simply in need of a political settlement and even can enjoy two or more years of continued rule. 


Small but flourishing Democratic countries like Israel–the size of New Jersey and the only Jewish state in a world of 50 majority Muslim countries–is demonized as Apartheid oppressors of the Palestinians–those very people who are sworn to their destruction and to throwing them into the Sea–just 70 years after the Jewish Holocaust. 


Back in the United States and in Europe, waves of mass immigration across borders is perfectly fine and perhaps even desired to file the ranks of needed employees, obtain desired future voters, and alleviate the aggrieved hearts of those that committed past atrocities or closed their doors to refugees in the past, while those that speak of vetting, border control, and homeland security are Nazi fascists.


Moreover increases in taxes and spending is in vogue, while general fiscal disciple, paring the national deficit and debt, and sequestration are lunatic concepts by those seeking to suppress the middle class and destroy America. 


Don’t get me wrong, we as a country can and should go a long way to decreasing inequality and improving the lives of everyone with a living wage, universal healthcare, paid maternity/paternity leave, free or reasonably-priced advanced education, and decent retirement benefits.


However, when we call everything and anything discrimination, racism, and inequality, take away individual accountability, make every grievance into a revolution and opportunity for a lynching or guillotine, things have gone from one insanity to just another. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My Alter Fighting Ego

Rocky

“His who life was a million to one shot.”

He fought, he survived, and he triumphed.  

Go Rocky, Rambo, Sylvester Stallone. 

Human rights, social justice, good over evil. 

And never again! 🙂

(Source Photo: here via Facebook)

Happy 4th From Washington DC

fourth of july

Go Independence Day!


But what does it mean?


We are independent from British rule since 1776.  


That made us a free nation.


We are free to be…but be what? 


1) Safe and Secure – Have a strong military, intelligence, and homeland security to keep the peace or compromise on national security and make bad deals for political expediency and face the consequences by a host of crazed terrorist threats, a nuclear Iran, a belligerent North Korea, a bellicose Russia, or a rising confrontational China. 


2) Prosperous And Self-Sufficient – Strengthen education, encourage innovation, invest in research and development and advanced manufacturing, cultivate a motivated and capable workforce, and manage a fiscally responsible economy or spend recklessly and indiscriminately driven by pork-barrel politics and special interests and eventually bankrupt our richly-endowed nation.


3) Equal And With Fundamental Human Rights – Ensure equality and opportunity for everyone under the law, where everyone has respect and dignity and the protection of basic human rights or discriminate in large and small ways perpetuating the have and have nots in every fiber of our society, where the rich get sickeningly richer and for everyone else you’re sh*t out of luck. 


4) Socially Just – Provide for a just and fair society ensuring that people are duly protected and crime does not pay or irresponsibly live in managed chaos and let violent criminals back out on the streets in a revolving door of recidivism rather than rehabilitation. 


5) Environmentally Responsible – Safeguard our environment and natural resources, invest in renewable energy resources and sustainability, reduce, reuse, and recycle, and give a hoot and don’t pollute or just pig out now and leave an inhospitable gutted world for later. 


6) Democratically Governed – Rule with righteousness and integrity, give back to the people, be open and honest, listen to all sides and ensure a balanced fair approach or perpetuate lies, deceit, corruption, conspiracy, fraud, waste, and abuse. 


Not everyone in the world is so lucky to be free.


Maybe this Independence Day, we think not just about the new Terminator movie, shopping at the mall, and feasting at the BBQ, but also what we want this treasured freedom to mean, what our “leaders” are leading us to, and are we getting the freedom we all, as human beings under G-d, innately deserve.


We can definitely raise the bar and we should. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

In Every World, The Haves And Have Nots

Haves And Have Nots

So no matter the time nor the society and their particular philosophical, economical, and social creed, there are ALWAYS the haves and the have nots. 


You have your upper caste and lower caste, your rich and poor, your religious elites and laypersons, your Harvard-educated and community college grads, your executive suite and your day laborers, you masters and your slaves, your ruling elite and your plebeians, your hunter and hunted, your VIPs and your Joe Shmoes.


In India, you still have an extensive caste system even today.  In Russia, you have the KGB, the Politburo, and the Oligarchs. In China, you have the Communist Party, the Military elite, and the venture capitalists/billionaires. In Europe, you still have The Queen and vestiges of the old guard monarchies, although gone are the Feudal lords and serfs, instead replaced by the Church and successful business and political elite. In America, ah…money and political power make the country go round. 


Last evening, I watched the movie, Elysium, taking place in a dsytopian future where the Earth has become overpopulated, polluted, and sick, but the elite are riding high on a large circling space habitat called Elysium, where everyone lives in a mansion with pool and lush grounds, eats exquisitely, and has the finest healthcare in machines that can cure everything from lymphoma to do full facial reconstruction in a matter of seconds. 


Whether in the future or the past, the only difference between the haves and have nots is how much the haves have, and how little have nots have not.


Is this societal makeup preordained or is their a way that we can raise the standard of living for everyone AND make it more equitable (unless you consider it necessary for Bill Gates to have $80,000,0000,000 and the homeless person on the street not a dime in his pocket)?


Over and over again, I read how the disparity between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, becomes ever more pronounced:  

– Now for example, CEOs generally earn 331 times (yeah last year it was 354) the amount average workers do and 774 times as much as minimum wage earners!

– Studies that show that Presidential and executive powers continue to expand with eleven reasons why.

– And the richest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world.


In Elysium, after a lot of sci-fi thriller action and fighting, the protagonist manages to make EVERYONE a citizen of Elysium, so they can all partake of the largess, and at the end the med ships arrive to cure all the sick. 


That’s the movies, but in real life, maybe we will see this only when the Messiah comes or there is a complete shift in the way we think and treat each other. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Homeless At Foggy Bottom

Homeless
The homeless situation in Washington D.C. (as in other big cities in the U.S.) is horrible and tragic. 

 
The homeless person here is wrapped in a blanket trying to stay warm on her wheelchair. 
 
Further, her bucket, at her feet, for people to give is empty. 
 
The Thanksgiving holiday is this week, but where is the thanks and where is the giving?
 
Interesting…halfway down the block is GW Hospital and across the street behind this lady is a gorgeous, modern, brand new GW University engineering and science building (almost completed now). 
 
The haves, the have mores, and the have nots. 
 
Where are all the trillions of dollars of spending going..,that we can’t feed, clothe, shelter, and educate our people. 
 
We need to do better as a society for providing care for the truly needy.
 
G-d is watching what we do and what we don’t do.
 
Our test, and the test of our elected officials/leadership–will we/they stand up for those that can’t? 
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)