Kentucky Jones and the Temple of Doom

The RPette and I made a detour on our visit to Israel to check out the Jewish State’s most friendly neighbor, Jordan.  We checked out Petra, one of the seven modern wonders of the world, and the hype was no exaggeration.

Our first visit was to the Treasury, Petra’s most elaborate ruin, which is hewn into the sandstone cliff.  Harrison Ford and Sean Connery filmed Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade here, so I tried to bring some Kentucky blue to the Hoosier mentality.

The majestic work, which was probably constructed between 100 BCE and 200 CE ,was named for the rumor that pirates often hid their loot in it.  My attempt to throw around the fact that I ran the Kentucky Treasury for eight years was met by confused shrugs and offers to ride a camel.


We moved on to Petra’s famed amphitheater, which was built by the Nabataeans  out of the rock around 1 CE. It originally had 11 rows with 300 seats.  Later, after the Romans conquered Petra in 106 CE, they increased the seating capacity to between 3000-4000 people.

I delivered what I thought was a very powerful speech about financial literacy and Texas hold ’em poker, but unfortunately the historic address met upon deaf ears, except of course for one very embarrassed teenage girl.


Finally, after the Jordanians got wind that I was an inveterate gambler — and after one two many awful “Air Jordan” and “Crossing Jordan” jokes — we were thrown out of the country to return to our Zionist roots.

The picture at left was snapped by a Jordanian security official upon the condition that should the RPette ever return, it would be with her mother instead.


The RP’s Weekly Web Gems – The Politics of the States

It’s a bit unusual for this blog, but we’re going to start off with some (relatively) good news. This past Tuesday, the state of Colorado’s congressional delegation jointly introduced a resolution to honor the victims of last week’s shooting in Aurora, Colo. In response, the House of Representatives held a moment of silence for the victims. H. Con. Res. 134, “condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the heinous atrocities that occurred in Aurora, Colorado,” was introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who represents Aurora, and cosponsored by Colorado’s 6 other Representatives. [The Denver Post]

Read the rest of…
The RP’s Weekly Web Gems – The Politics of the States

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Faith

Monsignor William Lynn, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison for covering up sex claims against Roman Catholic priests. [NYT]

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the West is “asleep” to the narrative of Islamist extremism. He discussed his Christian faith with The Daily Telegraph. [Telegraph]

Mike Huckabee announced ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day’ in the wake of the company’s founder’s public denouncement of gay marriage. [The Washington Post]

An appeals court ruled against a Wisconsin school system that held its graduations in a church. The Court said the district unlawfully endorsed a religion. [The Christian Post]

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: iPhone — Week 2

Week two with the iPhone.
I like it.
If this were The Bachelor, the iPhone would get another rose. And proceed to week 3.
But not before showing some highlight clips from the prior week. And not flattering ones.
The time I was alone with my iPhone and asked if it had ever stayed charged long enough to see what dusk looked like.
The time I typed “i” inadvertently instead of “o” 5 times, said s…omething really loud. Just a single word, really. And then substituted another word that didn’t have an “i” or “o.”
And, finally, sarcastically joking with a friend about several mishaps —in front of the iPhone.
But then we rounded out the week with a sweet highlight where I called tech services and later took it into a local Verizon store complaining about the ringer sign being frozen on screen. Then the Verizon person showed me I had put the case on upside down.
We all had a nice laugh.
But I’m giving a rose because there’s something about this iPhone. It did not have me at hello. Or even at Siri’s first clever response. Just seems like the kind of phone you can be with for long periods of time and not need to say anything. And even though I get frustrated with it sometimes, I can’t stay mad at the iPhone. I just can’t!
And it helps that it’s kinda cool. I need that. We compliment each other well. I can’t decide if we are more like Claire and Phil Dunphy or Jay and Gloria from Modern Family.
Hard to say. The important thing, though, is that it just works.

RP Evan Bayh: It All Comes Down to the Economy

Last Sunday, Recovering Politician Evan Byah spoke to Chris Wallace about the state of the American economy, debates, and the presidential race.

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Liberty

Politics of Liberty

Few would deny that Rupert Murdoch and his papers’ dirty tactics went too far, but now London is seeing hesitation by news outlets to track down any of these “unsavory” stories. [NY Times]

Awaiting the day they will return home, Syrian refugees in Turkey have found some peace and normalcy for now. [NY Times]

A motley crew marched on the White House yesterday, demanding more government support for the fight against AIDS. [WSJ] 

Greg Coker: Prevailing in the End

In my book, keynote speech and leadership workshops, all under the title “Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose,” I introduce a powerful metaphor of a “Fire” to describe personal and organizational setbacks we’ve all experienced. The metaphor originates from the great fire of 1666 that leveled London. Pre 1666, London was a very medieval town. 10,000 people annually dying of the plague. The major cause of the plague was diseased carrying rats and fleas. After the fire, the rats and fleas were gone. The leaders of London were determined and succeeded in rebuilding and making London a great city. We too, like London, can come out of our personal “fires” great.

I’m sure optimism played a big part in the leaders of London as they began to rebuild. Optimism has played a significant role in my transition from 20 plus years in corporate America to now an independent business owner, realizing that while I would experience months without making any money whatsoever, I would eventually be successful.  In fact my co-author, Skip Wirth, lists seven characteristics of those who come out of “fires,” with number seven being “optimism.”  And while I still believe more than ever the power of being optimistic, I also realize the challenge of never confusing faith that we will prevail in the end—which we cannot afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of our current reality (our “fires”), whatever they might be.

Admiral Stockdale

This lesson is best explained in an interview with Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking United States military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over 20 times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war with without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date and no certainty as to whether he would ever see his family again. He shouldered the burden of command; doing everything he could to create conditions that would increase the number of prisoners who would survive unbroken, while fighting an internal war against his captors.

During an interview, Admiral Stockdale was asked what helped him and the other survivors endure the torture and isolation. He described elaborate communications systems, strategies to reduce the sense of isolation and even coping mechanisms while being tortured. Reluctantly, the interviewer finally asked the question, “Who didn’t make it out?”

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Greg Coker: Prevailing in the End

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Laughter

The Politics of Laughter

The Future of Hipsters [comic]

Brilliant. [picture]

Doctor’s strike [comic]

What would you do when handed the most dangerous weapon in the galaxy? [picture]

Time well spent. [picture]

Roomba vs. Vacuum [Kids are Dumb]

The RP interviewed by Israeli publications

While traveling through the Jewish State, The RP was interviewed about his new book, The Liberal Case for Israel by The Times of Israel.  Here’s a clip:

Q: Your book debunks “eight crazy lies” about the Jewish State. Are they actually lies, or possibly misunderstandings?

A: There are many misunderstanding, but I identify untruths that really do rise to the level of crazy lies. This includes the libel that Israel is an Apartheid state and the ridiculous notion that Israel promotes gay tourism as a way to “pinkwash” its faults.

Q: One of the lies you debunk in the book is the use of the word “apartheid” when referring to Israel. In brief, what is your argument against this lie?

A: Arab citizens of Israel have all of the same rights and responsibilities as their Jewish neighbors (with one exception — military conscription which is now being debated.) This thoroughly refutes the notion that there is apartheid. Even in the disputed territories, Palestinian engage in self-government — a completely opposite approach of the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

Click here for the full article, and click here to purchase The Liberal Case for Israel.

The RP was also interviewed by Israel’s Titan Poker Blog for his exploits in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  Click here to read the entertaining interview.


John Y’s Musings from the Middle: “Know That”

“I know it is going to be a good day when….(fill in the blank with what the tip odf is for you).
It’s when driving to work I nail lip-synching Mos Def’s “Know That” from the album Black on Both Sides. And when I nail both Mos Def’s AND Talib Kweli’s part –like I did this morning….well, step aside son.
Anything is possible for me.
There  is nothing I can’t lip-sync.
That is until I get …to the office and  am waiting at the elevator. Then I start to question the correlation between my illest hip-hop impersonations and having a successful day at work. But I smile to myself because I know deep down if free styling hip-hop is required, I won’t have any trouble taking down the other 4 guys on the elevator with brief cases.
I  “Know That!” It’s going to be a good day!

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