Netanyahu’s Moment

Netanyahu’s Moment

Benjamin Netanyahu will soon address Congress in a polarizing Polaroid moment. He’s a lightning rod for US internal politics highlighting tension between the three branches of Government and the US population.  Crossroads MediumThe Executive Branch is livid, and overreacting.  The Legislative Branch is divided, but pulling strongly against the President. The Judicial Branch may become embroiled in challenges to Executive Branch actions. The Red / Blue state divide is mixing and morphing to purple as issues collide and alignments slide.

In short, the US, Israel and the world stand at a major crossroad.

Where do you stand?

This Article might provoke some thought in that regard.

My 6 year old daughter pulled Mindfulness as the Virtues Card for me to reflect upon. It is “living reflectively, with conscious awareness of our actions, words and thoughts – attentive to others needs. Living mindfully lightens our lives by helping us to detach from our emotions. We transform anger to justice. We cultivate our inner vision, aware of life’s lessons as they unfold.”

Wow.Netanyahu's Moment

On the back of the card “Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see nothing but the light?… Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?”

Tao Te Ching

“Mindfulness brings us serenity.”


Honor Meltdown

Honor Meltdown

My wife and I spent last weekend in a Virtues workshop, learning how these “internal treasures” can transform us, our family, and the world.  In honor of The Virtues Project, my blogs, going forward will feature a Virtue, pulled at random from a stack of 50, as a lens through which to view the topic at hand.

medal of honor

U.S. Army Medal of Honor

Today I drew Honor, with the following affirmation: I am honorable, I keep my agreements and treat others with respect. I live by the virtues. I care about doing the right thing.

The Topic? The U.S. led negotiations with Iran on Nuclear armaments. What does honor have to do with nuclear discussions?

Apparently not a whole lot…

For starters, the headlines are starting to call out that there is no honor to be found anywhere near these negotiations.  I could pick any number of articles but Iran Cheats, Obama Whitewashes caught my eye.  In this Wall street Journal Opinion piece Bret Stephens maintains that “Iran came to the table cheating on its nuclear commitments. It continued to cheat on them throughout the interim agreement it agreed to last year. And it will cheat on any undertakings it signs.”

What’s perhaps worse, is that the article makes the case that this cheating is common knowledge, and key named officials, including the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in particular know it.  The same John Kerry who said, in 2012 “We’re not going to pass another treaty in the U.S. Senate if our colleagues [in the administration] are sitting up there knowing somebody is cheating.”

In the Virtues Workshop one of the facilitators, from Virtues Village, stated “Virtues are the golden thread that unites Humanity.”  Given the above quote, and the appalling vacuum of virtuous leadership today, it is a small wonder that the world is in such disunity.

Hassan_Rouhani_and_Vladimir_Putin_(1)Honor is indeed a virtue, but there is virtually none in evidence on the global scene today.  The 1994 agreement on Ukraine is a compelling reference point: “On December 5, 1994 the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed a memorandum to remove nuclear weapons in Ukraine. They all signed six agreements for Ukraine, the first two of which are reproduced here:

1) The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;
2) The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations