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InFullBloom Archives

Categories

Speaking Engagements

UPCOMING
Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

PAST BUT AVAILABLE FOR REPLAY
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

PAST BUT NO REPLAY AVAILABLE
Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

We Cannot Be Paralyzed By Our Fears!

I cried myself to sleep last night, more discouraged about America than I could ever remember.  We worked so hard to get to an enviable place in our pursuit of that more perfect union, to a level of human and civil rights, of social justice and the rule of law, which was the envy of the world.  Seeing the smugness of Mitch McConnell as he declared a rapid confirmation for whoever Trump nominates to replace Kennedy on the Supreme Court, after denying Merrick Garland’s nomination any due process, made me physically ill..

There’s been so much awfulness over the last couple of years that many of us are feeling the whiplash that is Trumpism.  Where do you even begin to deal with the vast wave of science denial, unpunished or even acknowledged lies and corruption by holders of high office, every flavor of hate speech coming from the mouths of elected officials and their minions, Trump’s truly lewd language and behavior ignored by evangelical voters, and the growing threats of officially sanctioned or simply ignored racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, gun violence and so much more.  But, like so many, I truly believed that the awfulness could go only so far because the Judiciary would save us.  Well, so much for that.

If we’re going to save ourselves from becoming just another tin-pot dictatorship, if we’re going to ensure that both conservative and progressive voices, voices whose disagreements are over the interpretation of facts and not about the facts themselves, can be heard above the din, if we’re going to protect the rights of everyone and preserve our secular, multi-cultural democracy, then we’d better learn a thing or two — and quickly — from the “greatest generation.”  What’s happening in America is not a fight between the left and right over policy solutions to agreed problems.  It’s a fight between truth and lies, between patriotism and treason, between the rule of law applied equally and the rule of law applied selectively, between a government betraying the science and/or facts behind public policy in the interests of backing up the lies of a little man whose election benefitted from decades of gerrymandering and Russian meddling in our election.  It’s a fight for the very soul of the country to which my grandmother, my Bubbi Bloom of blessed memory, and so many others fled when the world around them was going up in flames, being overrun by murderous thugs, and/or being decimated by starvation.

No one has been trying to immigrate to Russian or North Korean or even China; they’ve been trying to immigrate to America — and for good reason.  We have been, for most of my long life, a beacon of hope to the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”  When my Bubbi Bloom of blessed memory told me about her first sight of our Statue of Liberty, there were always tears in her eyes, and she spoke in the Yiddish to which she reverted when English didn’t provide just the right words.  To her and the thousands of other Jewish immigrants who brought so much energy and intellect to America, and but for whose courage I would not be writing this, they were risking their lives to reach “die goldene Medina.”

Yes, I cried myself to sleep last night, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time before we retake America, but I woke up this morning more determined than ever that America is worth saving.  And I remembered Kent State, the assassinations of my 60’s heroes, the horrible beatings that so many endured, including some of my classmates with whom I was arrested during a protest march, the endless stream of body bags returning from Viet Nam, and so much more.  Yes, things are pretty dark right now in America, but they’ve been dark before.

There are two phrases that I keep coming back to, phrases that keep rattling around in my brain.  The first is from Dr. King: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”  The second is from my Bubbi Bloom of blessed memory.  I would ask her, as a child, how did you ever walk from your shtetl (in the Russian Pale) to France (where the Jewish Agency provided help in reaching America)?  And she would answer in the Yiddish I can barely remember: the same way you walk to school, by putting one foot in front of the other until you get there.

We cannot be paralyzed by the disasters befalling our democracy nor by the evil walking the halls of government wearing the Trump badge of dishonor.  Instead, we must be energized to support balanced, honest, candidates not yet sullied by the stink of corruption.  I’m definitely from the progressive side of the political spectrum, but I lean more conservative on matters of financial management and defense and more liberal on matters of social justice and individual freedom.  Your political views may be quite different from mine, but once corruption, lies, and injustice rule, no one is safe no matter how much you may agree with a current leader on any specific policy.

Nothing teaches us the dangers of being blind to the advance of evil and silent in the defense of others than the famous poem by someone who spoke out, at great peril, against the rise of Hitler, Pastor Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I know I’ll cry again, and so may you.  But we must keep putting one foot in front of the other — running for office, working for the candidates we support, registering to vote and helping others to register, voting and helping others to vote, volunteering to monitor the vote, doing everything possible to elect leaders who will be answerable to we the people rather than to the tin-pot dictator of the moment — until we see a glimmer of light on the other side of this horrible, horrible chapter in American history.

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