Utrecht and Amsterdam

kirilson photography

Venue: Central Amsterdam and central Utrecht

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4

Music: Guus Meeuwis – Het is een nacht (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOy76zw0TrQ)

A few weeks ago I promised you an extended post from the Netherlands with plenty of bikes and canals, and here it comes! I had the opportunity to visit shortly Amsterdam and Utrecht and take some of the usual touristy photos, but the number of different bikes, boats, and canals I shot is so big that I am only going to show you a small fraction of my photos while still risking getting you bored.  So you’re warned of the coming typical Dutch scenery, which I myself find quite charming and slightly nostalgic (I used to live in Utrecht in my youth).

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Spring special: sakura in Japan

kirilson photography

Photography and retouch: Valya

Venue: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara

Camera: Nikon Coolpix P7000 & iPhone 6

Music: Inuyasha’s lullaby (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eqVlxjbUpY)

Spring is the famous cherry blossom (sakura) season in Japan and every year millions of tourists travel to the land of the rising sun to witness it. This year my sister was fortunate to be there for a short vacation and her friend’s wedding, and she visited the old and the new Japanese capitals – Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo. So I asked her to share a few of her photos here as her previous set of photos from Manhattan (https://kirilson.com/2016/12/25/christmas-special-over-manhattan/) were greatly appreciated. I hope you enjoy the cherry blossoms and the random collection of Japanese things I decided to select and comment on (you should blame me for any inaccuracies).

IMG_1083 We start chronologically with Tokyo and some cherry blossoms in front of one of the numerous Shinto or Buddhist temples.

IMG_1239 But the sakura blossoms can also be found…

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Both Of The White House’s ‘Business Boards’ Dump Trump Because Of His Racist Views

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Trump’s business advisory councils disband as chief executives repudiate president over Charlottesville views

 August 16 at 1:24 PM

President Trump, with Senior Advisor Jared Kurshner, left, and Kenneth Frazier, Merck & Co., right, meets with manufacturing CEOs at the White House in February. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

President Trump’s relationship with the American business community suffered a major setback on Wednesday as the president was forced to shut down his major business advisory councils after corporate leaders repudiated his comments on the violence in Charlottesville this weekend.

Trump announced the disbanding of the two councils — the Strategy & Policy Forum and the Manufacturing Council, which hosted many of the top corporate leaders in America — amid a growing uproar by chief executives furious over Trump’s decision to equate the actions of white supremacists and protesters in remarks Tuesday at Trump Tower.

But those groups had already decided to dissolve on their own earlier in the day, a person familiar with the process said. JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, a member of the “Strategy & Policy Forum,” told employees in a note on Wednesday that his group decided to disband following Trump’s bizarre press conference on Tuesday, in which he appeared to show sympathy for some of the people who marched alongside the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

“Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country,” Dimon wrote his employees. ”It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart.

Earlier Wednesday, the CEOs of Campbell Soup and the conglomerate 3M resigned from the manufacturing council. “Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville,” Campbell Soup chief executive Denise Morrison said. “I believe the president should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point.”

 Play Video 3:10
6 CEOs who have distanced themselves from Trump
Kenneth C. Frazier, chief executive of Merck, is the latest CEO to resign from one of the president’s advisory councils. Here are six CEOs who have distanced themselves from the president. (Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

General Electric chairman Jeff Immelt, who was also on the manufacturing advisory group, made a similar argument, saying in a statement that he had decided to resign after finding Trump’s comments on Tuesday “deeply troubling.”

“The Committee I joined had the intention to foster policies that promote American manufacturing and growth,” he said. “However, given the ongoing tone of the discussion, I no longer feel that this Council can accomplish these goals.”

As the number of resignations swelled, Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he’d shut down the councils. “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum. I am ending both,” he wrote.

The dissolution of the councils was a remarkable moment for Trump, who has made his corporate experience and ability to leverage America’s business potential as one of his chief credentials. It also marks a rapid descent for a president who has alternatively praised and attacked the decisions of corporate leaders, sometimes making unverified or false claims, and whose policy choices on issues like immigration and climate change have been criticized as anti-business.

Many corporate leaders have still stayed close to the White House, in hopes that having a voice at the table was better than none at all, and with an eye toward winning favor as Washington eyed changes to the tax code and infrastructure spending that could be worth trillions.

But Trump’s insistence that blame fell on “many sides” for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend, which included the alleged killing of a woman by a white supremacist driving a car into a crowd of protesters, seemed to push many chief executives to reconsider their relationship.

Merck chief executive Ken Frazier, one of the few African Americans represented among the business leaders advising Trump, was the first to resign from the manufacturing council. Trump lashed out at the decision, alleging that Merck was boosting drug prices and therefore a bad corporate actor.

The decision to disband the councils offered the companies a chance to sever ties as one and not leave any firm isolated by an individual decision. Some appeared willing to wait it out on Monday and earlier Tuesday as the White House was in clean-up mode, but his press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon proved to be a breaking point.

Johnson & Johnson chief executive Alex Gorsky, who had previously said he would remain on the manufacturing council in order to have a voice at the table, announced Trump’s latest remarks were not sustainable. “The President’s most recent statements equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred is unacceptable and has changed our decision to participate in the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council,” Gorsky said.

 

SpaceX Dragon Delivers Supplies (and Science) to Space Station

Source: SpaceX Dragon Delivers Supplies (and Science) to Space Station

(Philosophy/Religious/Poem) Darkness The Thunder And The Light

Darkness The Thunder And The Light

 

Deep in the night as we quietly slumber in our bed

Lying peacefully in the darkness, minds filled with dreams

To a loud clap of thunder our subconscious now awakens

In the darkness we hear the thunder then see the lightning flash

From sleep, or eyes wide open, does the sound of the thunder frighten

Rumblings deep and dark we hear it in all the corners of our mind

 

 

The sounds can slap our souls like the clapping of God’s mighty hands

A loud crack, then the awesome lights from the Heavens come flashing in

Does the lightning bring peace to your soul, or melt your heart within

Do we try to live our lives quietly in the dark, ignoring the signs of the times

Are we at peace within ourselves, with the Maker of the thunder and the light

Thunder can draw one’s attention, lightning a mighty sting, this I know first hand

 

 

August 83 evening storm moving in, bivouac in the Army, living in ignorant bliss

A finger of God reached out and touched me, my body and mind will never let me forget

Each day we open our eyes, we think life is up to us, foolish, it’s up to the Keeper of time

Yes, we can all decide to live our lives in the slumber of Spiritual darkness and denial

When this life that we now live is over, we all have a Soul, and forever somewhere it will live

Where it resides is determined by the life we now live, are we strong, or just chafe in the wind

Thunder, is it the clapping of God’s hands and lightning a sign of His power, friends, He don’t miss

(Truth/Treason/Poem) Protecting A Dirty Oil Company

Protecting A Dirty Oil Company

 

Once upon a time not so long ago (and this is no fairy tale)

I was working executive security just trying to earn that dime

Stationed in South East Texas in the town of Enron’s fame

One Friday eve on the maintenance elevator I chose to ride

43 rd floor my goal, it’s the home of Presidential fame ya know

Quietly checking offices to see if all workers were weekend bound

 

 

Two male voices I hear, coming down the hall so very clear

Having a conversation that no one was ever suppose to hear

There was a former Governor very well known as “our boy” round there

His Presidential bid going slow, gave “our boy 3 million more today”

These the words of my boss as he was bragging to his callous friend

At this time gas sold about 70 cents, way to low for the likes of them

Boss bragging to his buddy how Our Boy was Oval Office bound

 

 

Having one of these puppets on a string, is every oil mans dream

Bragging how that soon the whole Country they would be shagging

To the other suit this Oil company’s President was boasting and bragging

That within 8 months of taking office, Our Boy would have gas $2 a gallon

Three times the current rate, for the Oil Companies, no doubt that’s great

Not caring that the whole world’s infrastructure would be drowning

To me these type of acts toward our country is nothing short of treason

To bad these good ole boys, to realize their dream, had to wait until 2000

(Religious Philosophy/Poem) Prophet

Prophet

 

What is a Prophet, is there really such a thing in these days that we live

Is it something from our past that mankind in our wisdom has out lived

Who is it that would dare say they are such a thing as a speaker of God

Do we believe things the Scriptures have told us for thousands of years

Today if a person says they are a Prophet do they say this hoping for profit

 

 

Are we living in Spiritual darkness, are these the last days of mankind

Are we living in a time that our ears cannot hear nor can our eyes see

If one stands up and speaks only God’s truth, would anyone of us listen

If we are living in the last days in darkness of which the Scriptures speak

What shall we do, will we know a chosen vessel of God, or will our hearts be cold

Friends, Prophets will be both men and women that God for Himself has chosen

Will our sarcasm, our ignorance and ego’s lead us to live in Hell’s fiery pit below

(Humor/Poem) Mister W. (My Salute To George W Bush)

Mister W.

 

Since you were a child it was only evil that ever bent your ear

You learned to dance around the truth, yet never speak it

You were taught that you were born of privilege, and how to use it

In your mind this gives you the right to do whatever pleases you

Curfews and even your parents wishes meant nothing to you

Your someday is now for you are a fully grown excuse of a man

 

 

Now your eyes are set upon the Throne where your daddy once sat

Your dreams now complete, you walk the halls of this House of White

The Scriptures speak the truth about Dark portraying to be Light

Who is it now that once again takes claim to this seat in the Oval Room

Now your butt hits the cushion Throne where your daddy once reigned

You now have the right to choose right and wrong, but which will it be

For awhile the Throne is now yours here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Thankful Purrsday Poetry

(THIS POEM IS COURTESY OF ‘HOME SWEET HOME WYOMING’)

 

Source: Thankful Purrsday Poetry

“All You Need Is Love” – Zoodles, Part 1.

koolkosherkitchen

According to the Hebrew calendar, today is the holiday of love. The date is Tu b’Av (15th of the month of Av), which is a minor, yet the most mysterious of all Jewish holidays. There are no special observances, other than certain sad portions omitted from the prayer service, although in modern Israel it is considered a sort of Jewish Valentine Day.

Most importantly, it is truly the day when “all you need is love”! And because of that, the Gemorrah calls it “the greatest festival of the year” (with Yom Kippur a second greatest). On this day, in the ancient times,  “daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards”, and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to seek a prospective bride (Ta’anis). That was the original annual singles event!

img_0590

To fully appreciate the significance of love in Jewish culture, all you have to do…

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Yasmin Terkmani

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