Showing posts from 2016

The Muslim Who Ran To Save A Jew

This week a young Muslim man, Ahmed Khalifa, witnessed a man assault a Jewish woman while she was praying. In his words:
"I was on the Q train siting across from the victim. And the perp just came out of nowhere and hit the poor Jewish lady in the face hard enough that she was bleeding." The attack happened on a New York subway train at the Newkirk Avenue station in Brooklyn.

Ahmed chased the man all the way from Newkirk Avenue to Coney Island, a distance of nearly five miles. has a fuller account of the incident, including an interview.

This isn't Ahmed's first act of heroism; he previously saved a homeless man from jumping to his death on the train tracks. What is so amazing, so awesome about this young man is that he translates his belief into a total focus on doing the right thing. He says: "I just want people to know that no matter what race, religion, belief, etc. you are I think of everyone as equal and I’ll do anything to make sure peopl…

Why Be Happy In The Rain

Yesterday I went to New York and was so happy to be there I didn't mind walking blocks and blocks in the rain just to see Times Square.

It was as though my feet were as light as air, and I didn't have a care in the world. All the troubles and the worries on my mind virtually melted away, as I visited this place I have always loved and enjoyed so much.

Thinking about it on the way home, I realized that it doesn't do any good to be depressed, anxious and worried--about anything. While it's true that negative emotions can be useful in signaling that something is wrong, there also comes a point where you can lean on the emotion as a substitute for action.

In other words, your mind engages in the cognitive fallacy of telling itself that feeling upset about a thing is your duty as a concerned individual and even acts as a means of changing whatever in the world is wrong.

But the reality is, that's just not true. The only way to actually influence a negative reality is t…

I'm Gonna Get That Armrest

They created a new executive position and my colleague got the position.

"Work for me, it will be fun," she said of the new department. (It was called Strategic Communications.) "You're strategic."

"I don't know." I had a sinking feeling.

But I did it, because I'm stupid. Left the one boss, who headed up the original department, to go and work for the second.

Why was I stupid?

Because the first boss knew how to fight for territory.

The second one was honest, and she liked to share.

"Here, please take my information," she used to say enthusiastically. "How will we succeed if we don't collaborate?"

It wasn't three months, of course, before I had to get information from the old boss.

"What do you want?" She eyed me warily from the corner of her eye. "Don't look at those papers over there."

"Uh, uh, uh," I stammered.

"Hurry up!"

"Uh, I was just wondering, do you have…

"Because the son of a bitch that can stop Israel has not been born."

I saw how many they went

Too many of them did not return

Friends separated, houses broken,

Tears of families spilled

Buds of people flowers that didn't flower

The hope in our heads, the love in our hearts, the dream in our spirits so we continue in our path.

The silence has disappeared for it, again sounds of war

Another soldier returns, wrapped in what? In the flag of the country

Blood and tears absorbed by the land

And another shocked mother is left with just a picture

The hope is locked in the heart, the strong nation will not fold over

Because the son of a bitch that can stop Israel has not been born.

Give me the hope to accept what there isn't

The strength to change what there is.

Come let's continue, our life is in front of us

It's not late because tomorrow is a new day

The dream will perish if we lose the hope

So reach out to love.

You promised a dove, in the sky there's a hawk

Brother, poisonous twig pricks, this is not an olive branch

Living in a dre…

Crowdsourcing The End Of Human Trafficking

Child sex traffickers advertise their victims by taking photographs of the kids in hotel rooms. You can help rescue them.
Here are some fast facts: We don't know exactly how many children are trafficked in the United States each year. A Department of Homeland Security fact sheet, citing the Department of Justice, estimates 100,000-300,000.A 2015 survey of survivors of child sex trafficking found that 63% were advertised or sold using the Internet. (It was conducted by Dr. Vanessa Bouche, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University, for Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's nonprofit, Thorn.)The survey also found that the survivors were initially trafficked as young as age 5. The average age was 16.Backpage was the most commonly used site for web-based trafficking of victims, followed by Craigslist and Facebook.50% of child victims are boys, according to research conducted by John Jay College (2008) and cited …

The Mouth of the Serpent

Genesis 7:1-5 introduces us to Satanism.

God has told Adam and Eve not to eat from a certain tree, and the serpent approaches her to dispute Him.

"Did God really say that?" says the serpent.
"He said not to eat from it or to touch it, or we'll die," says Eve.
"He's just afraid," answers the serpent. "He doesn't want you to know as much as him. You won't die."
It is after this, of course, that Eve eats from the tree and gets Adam to do the same.
And the two of them are expelled from the Garden of Eden, after which humanity suffers mortality together with so much pain.
All of this could have been avoided if Eve hadn't listened to the tempting words of the snake. He promised her more power than God...and look at how women ended up. 
The word "Satanism" sounds completely crazy, like something out of a church sermon or that old Saturday night skit, but the voice of that serpent is still so tempting.
We human beings are t…

The Parable About The Truth And The Lie (Vladimir Vysotsky)

Excerpted from Russian Poetry in English. Cynical but wise.
- Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal
The Parable about the Truth and the Lie

The gorgeous, delicate Truth was beautifully dressed,
Bringing joy to the cripples and orphans in stride.
The flagrant Lie had invited this Truth as a guest,
Telling her, why don't you stay over here for the night?

....With a mug of a bulldog, the Lie was crooked and sly, -
- The Truth's just a tramp, so, why all this ado?
There's no difference at all between the Truth and the Lie, -
Strip them both naked, you'll never know who is who.

The careful Lie weaved the ribbons out of her tresses,
Grabbed the beautiful outfits that the Truth often wore,
Took her money, her watch and her documents out of the dresser,
Spat on the floor, cursed aloud, and went for the door.

Not until morning did the Truth realize what transpired,
And when she looked at herself, she was taken aback, -
Someone already got hold of some soot and had mired
The untain…

A Very Moving Moment On Last Night's Episode Of "Shark Tank"

I don't know if you caught the show, but in the last segment they had a guy whose invention was an add-on for trucks.

Until he stepped into the tank the episode was somewhat painful to watch, especially as an arrogant salesman got a dressing down and a magician overvalued his act by millions.

But the last "audition" was so moving it left several of the sharks, and me, in tears.

The man said that his hometown of Sparta, North Carolina had been devastated by the economic downturn in recent years. He took no credit for his idea, just said that God had given it to him. He needed to earn a living, of course, but his bigger goal was to help Sparta and our Nation to rebuild ourselves and grow economically.

[Warning: spoiler ahead.] One by one, each of the sharks tried to convince him to go overseas for manufacturing. He steadfastly refused, giving reason after reason for keeping all the work here at home. It was obvious he had something else in mind beyond the excuses about quality…

PR Has To Pass The Smell Test

Previously I argued that propaganda is not a good use of organizational resources. In fact it is counterproductive, because today's information consumer is savvy enough to seek alternative versions to any manipulated version of the truth.
But public relations remains useful. The profession can broadly be understood as "portraying the organization in its best possible light," balancing truthfulness with a commitment to advocating their particular point of view. (See the values statement of the Public Relations Society of America.)
Sadly however I frequently find that PR efforts don't live up to the values they should. And this isn't because its practitioners lack expertise, although of course some do. Rather, nine times out of ten the fault lies squarely in the lap of the client.
Let me explain. Most of us, as consumers of information, can readily tell when something "smells." In particular, the vicious U.S. presidential campaign of 2016 forced all of u…

Why Propaganda Doesn't Work