Tired of All The Whining About China

I don’t know about you, but I am so tired about all the whining about China. 


– They are stealing our intellectual property. 


– They are hacking into our systems. 


– They are unfairly forcing us to transfer technology to them.


– They aren’t opening up their market to us. 


OMG stop the complaining already!


If you don’t like what they are doing, then do something about it. 


Tariffs are a start, but just a small one. 


Seriously, if you can’t incentivize them to stop the harassment and unfair trade practices by adding them to the World Trade Organization, investing in them, and partnering with them, then you need to actually compete with China. 


– They steal our sh*t–you help yourself to a generous serving of theirs.  


– They break into our systems–you find your way into their systems.


– They try to unfairly take away our markets and jobs–you take away theirs big time.  


Everyone knows that to deal with bully, you must fight back!


The more we are scared into inaction, the worse it gets.


This doesn’t mean that we should get into a military exchange with China, but we do need to get into a confrontation over what economic and global partnership should mean and look like. 


China is an old and truly great nation and their people should be highly respected.


However, the USA should also be treated right, and if that means it’s time for a heart to heart and some evening up of the playing field then that is what has to happen. 


We have to restore respect to America, not by becoming bullies ourselves, but by standing up to them when we are being taken advantage of.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Weaponizing Your Privacy

So this was the funniest War of the Roses on the Kane Show that I ever heard. 


They use the Alexa personal assistant from Amazon (voiceover) to call the cheater. 


In this skit, we really see the potential power of these home computing devices. 


Alexa hears and knows everything that goes on in the house (including the cheating).


Alexa confronts the cheater and calls him a few descript names for his infidelity.


Alexa punishes the cheater by going online to purchase items with his credit card. 


Alexa betrays him by calling his girlfriend and telling her about the cheating. 


Cheating aside, maybe this is a great lesson how we should all be considering our privacy in our homes and on our persons before we install Alexa, Siri, Cortana, the Google Assistant or any other personal or home surveillance systems. 


With all the bad actors out there and people that want to steal everything from your money, identity, secrets, and maybe even your wife–these devices are a direct line into your personal life.


This is called weaponizing your privacy!


Tell me, do you really believe that no one is listening or watching you?  😉

Thou Shalt Not

10 Commandments.jpeg

Interesting speech by the Rabbi today in synagogue. 


What stood out to me was when he talked about the Ten Commandments, particularly the 2nd set of five. 


And how some people hear what they want to hear. 


All of the 2nd five start with “Thou shalt not,”  but there are those people that only hear the part that comes after those words. 


So for example: Thou shalt not kill…steal…commit adultery…lie…desire.


But not everyone listens to the “Thou shalt not” and instead they just hear–selectively:


– Kill

– Steal

– Commit adultery

– Lie

– Desire


If you take out the “Thou shalt nots,” you are left with a list of terrible and evil deeds.


How convenient for those who are looking for the upper hand and pleasures in life–get rich quick, get and maintain power, take whatever and whomever you want and when you want it–no matter who it belongs to or how they feel.


Like the good angel and bad angel sitting over our shoulders and one says don’t do the bad thing and the other encourages us to do!


Who you going to listen to? 


Not everyone seems to care–they live for today and forget about tomorrow. 


Yet every misdeed leaves a tarnish on our soul, while every good deed adds a merit. 


And if there is no justice in the end then who the hell wants to be in such a world anyway. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Love Is Like Cows

Cows

So had three funny instances today of the tales of woe when it comes to love.


The first was when someone was telling me that they are trying to meet women through online dating. 


But he goes, “No one gives anyone a chance anymore.”


It’s like if there is one thing wrong, it’s over.


He said, one lady wrote in her profile that if you are a fan of XYZ sports team, do not even bother contacting her.


Another was like if you’re of ABC political affiliation, forget about it!


He said people just don’t seem to want relationships anymore. 


Then I was talking coincidentally to someone else, who I knew was going out with someone already. 


I politely asked how things were going. 


He said, “Fine, but she is pressuring me to marry her.”


I said, “So if you love her, what’s wrong with that?”


And he responded, “Well then my whole life will change. I won’t be able to go to parties or on vacations anymore.”


Basically, he’s just happy being with her but on casual terms.


Then I told him (considerably younger than myself) how years ago mothers would warn their daughters about men’s thinking of “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.”


This guy was laughing like crazy when I said that. 


Finally, someone at the kiddush today told the joke about the Rabbi or Priest who lost his umbrella in the synagogue or church. 


His first thought was darn it, one of the congregants stole my umbrella. 


So he decided that for his sermon he would lecture the people about the Ten Commandments, one at a time from the beginning. 


But then when he got to the sin of adultery, he stops and says, “Oh forget it, I just remembered where I left my umbrella!”


Funny day for love and relationships–it’s something in the air, maybe cow patties.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Drones Neighbor Against Neighbor

Drones
Fascinating perspective in the New York Times today on the future diabolical use of drones.



Yes, drones can be used for defense, law enforcement, search and rescue, neighborhood watch, agriculture, and even Amazon or Pizza Hut deliveries. 



But what about the darker side of drones–used neighbor against neighbor, where anyone can buy a fairly sophisticated drone for merely hundreds of dollars and use it against others in the community.



– Want to use the (surveillance) camera to spy on your neighbor?



– Want to use its claws to pick up and steal something?



– Want to airlift and plant evidence or contraband and frame someone unjustly?



– Want to distract someone or cause an accident or fatality?



Ok, I am going a lot further than the NYT article…but really what prevents people from doing these things and more?



The article does mention new FAA policies “prohibiting drones from flying [over stadiums] near major sporting events.”



But think about a drone in the hands of a terrorist with a dirty bomb or G-d forbid, even a WMD, and the drone swooping into a densely populated area like a stadium or even Times Square…what would prevent this–perhaps, nothing?



Think about it…this is about to become a lot more dangerous world because drones are not just for the good guys anymore, and the bad guys may not care about FAA regulations and penalties. 



(Source Photo: here with attribution to outacontext)

Crooked x 2

Crooked x 2

First, some beautiful flowers from Washington, D.C.

Thought these were awesome, even though the gardner did a little bit of a crooked job here.

And when it comes to crooked, I overheard a funny story in the locker room the other day.

These school students were talking about getting caught stealing something in a local store.

One says that he got spotted on the surveillance cameras and that they even have facial recognition now, but he’s okay on that because he was wearing a cap.

Another kid in the group says “why didn’t you just tell them you didn’t know you couldn’t take it!”

Some very sophisticated crooks we got here. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hold That Smartphone!

Hold That Smartphone!

So coming home yesterday, there is this lady sprawled out, sleeping on the Metro.

Lots of people sleep on the train…especially after a long day and when the weather is the pits out there.

However, this lady falls asleep with her smartphone just lying out on her lap–no hands on–just plop sitting on her skirt.

A couple of guys to my right start laughing and then saying what’s that lady doing–someone is going to steal her phone.

They nudge another passenger standing in front of the lady to tap her and let her know.

The passenger begrudging does it and then the guys yell over from a couple of row away–“Hey lady! You better hold on to your phone or someone’s going to grab it and run!”

The lady opens her eyes sees the phone just sprawled out on her lap, fidgets with it for a moment, and then of all things–she just falls right back to sleep again with the phone laying there unattended.

These two guys on the train are roaring about it–one starts saying that he saw someone grab another person’s device on the train just the other day and run right out the train door with it.

At this point, the lady is sound asleep and now snoring away on top of it and her smartphone is rising and falling with her laborious breathing.

Hey folks, this lady may not have gotten enough sleep the night before, been drinking a little too much, or may not have been the brightest bulb to begin with–but we’ve all got to be careful out there–hold unto your valuables and your smartphones is quite that. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)