All The Things That Interfere With An Investigation

Let’s start by diagramming knowledge.

This circle represents all the things you could potentially know — if you knew everything.

But there’s a catch.

For many reasons, what we think we know is usually fairly limited as compared with the potential evidence.

The truth is, only God truly knows everything.

To be concise about it, here is a list of reasons why certain kinds of knowledge will forever be obscured from our view: 
  • Our brains can’t comprehend everything. 
  • Our emotions give us blinders. 
  • Our spiritual level is debased. 
  • We don’t have direct experience. 
  • Someone is lying to us.
  • Information is omitted from our view.
In a world of limited knowledge, ethnomethodology is the study of how people try to normalize abnormal situations. 

For it is a fact that people try very hard to “go on as normal” even in insanely abnormal situations. Not only that, but people violently resist (emotional or physical violence) if you force them to confront the fact that things aren’t normal at all.

Ethnomethodology helps us understand things like why are we supposed to say “fine” when people say “how are you” or “great” when they ask “how was your weekend.”

Ethnomethodology is the social production of order from complete chaos. For people need to think everything is okay--and that limits their knowledge, too.

A sociologist named Harold Garfinkel pioneered the concept that we force everyday life to be normal, even when it’s not. He used something called “breaching experiments.”

Husbands and wives will relate. Quoting:
Case 3: “On Friday night my husband and I were watching television. My husband remarked that he was tired. I asked, ‘How are you tired? Physically, mentally, or just bored?’”
S: I don’t know, I guess physically, mainly.
E: You mean that your muscles ache or your bones?
S: I guess so. Don’t be so technical.
(After more watching)
S: All these old movies have the same kind of old iron bedstead in them.
E: What do you mean? Do you mean all old movies, or some of them, or just the ones you have seen?
S: What’s the matter with you? You know what I mean.
E: I wish you would be more specific.
S: You know what I mean! Drop dead!”
In this experiment one romantic partner intentionally “breached” the other person’s expectations of reality and the result was violence.

I sort of dragged out that example to make a point about the political climate in which the 2016 campaign took place. Because it was totally and completely abnormal, by any measure:
  • Insanely, egregiously biased coverage.
  • A political candidate who literally had everybody in power “in the bag.” Nationally and internationally.
  • Her opponent a total outsider to politics, and on top of it hostile to the Establishment.
  • Both of the candidates known or suspected to have a personal knowledge of the underworld.
  • Both of them suspected of mistreating people sexually.
  • One of them known to have misused classified information.
It was a campaign that was not supposed to be a competition. Even though we live in a democracy. 

More, it was a campaign where the mere mention of the non-favored candidate could get you punched in the face. And did.

No — it was not a normal situation at all. And I know this from direct experience because I was vilified for supporting Donald Trump. In fact, we all (meaning all of us who supported him) knew that to say anything in his favor meant a deluge of hateful, hateful attacks.

There was an insane phenomenon where people had to secretly support him, meaning they voted for him but would never tell a soul.

I lived through this and I still live through it. And I observed how the media went insane over any issue that seemed to benefit him and hurt her. 

That’s how I know that #Russiagate is a total joke and a horrible waste of money.

Even the way Bernie Sanders folded to Hillary when she stole the primary was insane.

But no matter what happened, it was CNN’s job to pretend everything was normal; generally the media’s job was to wring its hands at “the rise of the alt-right movement.”

Thank God, He put me in a sociology program (scholarship out of nowhere) and gave me experience in marketing and government. So I can tell you all of this with confidence: much of what has passed for "knowledge" production in the public sphere over these past two years is total bullshit.

Obama, a great marketer but also a very evil man, fooled many of us very well. Like Bill Clinton did.

The collusion was not between Trump and Russia. It was between these presidents, and earlier ones, and the machines that propped them up and sold us soda and candy for breakfast.
  • This is the machine that gave us war after war after war, when all we want is peace.
  • This is the machine that sends Black people to jail en masse, when White people are the ones committing the crimes.
  • This is the machine that tells me I am a heartless pig for wanting a safe and secure border. And just like Hamas, they hold up children as human shields. (If you don’t want to be separated from your children at the border, don’t try to cross here illegally!)
  • This is the machine that flooded America with MS-13 to the point where they rape an eighth grader and nobody is willing to follow up on that aggressively because guess why.
  • This is the machine that gives us a gang that stabs a man more times than anyone can count and then they rip his heart out of his body.
  • This is the machine that looks away as children are placed into foster care group homes where they are groomed by other children to be trafficked.
But in the machine’s production of “normal” we don’t talk about all this. And we don’t talk about a Hollywood that bastardizes its own entertainment events to insert messages promoting violent hate of the President combined with wanton murder and sex with anything that moves.

In the production of “normal” nobody from the Today show is doing a segment on the many, many, many indications of occult worship, pedophilia and mind control in “the industry.” Noooooooooooo.

And so now we can talk about the Department of Justice Inspector General's Report about the investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails, a.k.a. the "Midyear" investigation (section-by-section Word export here), because now we understand that many things interfere with the production of knowledge.

It goes without saying that many things also interfere with the conduct of an investigation.
  • Most broadly, and invisibly, institutions have a survival instinct just like people do. So there is bias to avoid any activity that will put the agency in danger of being dismantled.
  • There is the bias that the agency is a good place and its culture and rules make sense. That the governing laws are sufficient. Those matters are supposed to be accepted without question.
  • There is the bias that an agent is there to simply do their job which pays the mortgage. And the agent naturally does not want to see their finances or their family suffer because of something they did on the job in the name of keeping an investigation pure.
So they are biased toward picking investigatory tactics that can be defended later on, but which also don’t create headaches in the short term.

Or — and this is frequently discounted — they simply do what they are told.
In the federal government your job is assessed on performance, meaning how well you do your job. But you can get in trouble for conduct, meaning how you do your job — your behavior. And you’re expected to avoid conflicts of interest, and to keep politics totally out.

The central question of the report is not what happened in this specific investigation. It is whether the institutions called “DOJ” and its subsidiary “FBI” are set up to do the job right.

A prime example of the reality, which is that they are not set up properly (either functionally or from an accountability standpoint) is that there was no public information shared about any images found on Anthony Weiner's computer.

The Department of Justice and the FBI are who we look to when it comes to prosecuting such matters, and in the IG report the reference to “crimes against children” is limited to mention of an agent’s notes on p. 294. Subsequently, pages 295-331 of the report are essentially a series of excuses as to why the laptop was not properly reviewed.

This is an absurd and evil omission and it is not normal.

This is not about politics, it’s not about garden variety trash talk, it’s not about text messages between lovers. It’s none of that.

The people who care about the contents of that laptop do not care about how its discovery compromises the reputation of an adult. They (we) aren’t reducible to a stereotype from an elitist trope about “deplorables.”

The people who care about the contents of that laptop are everybody. They are grandmothers and grandfathers. They are Black and White and every color on the spectrum. They are believers in God and atheists.

That’s the truth.

If our current government setup is ultimately failed and corrupt when it comes to protecting kids, its partner is most certainly the media, which aids and abets this.

It is disgusting. It is wrong.

And everyone with a functioning mind and heart and soul knows it.


Copyright 2018 by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. This post is hereby released by the author into the public domain. Coffee photo and black-and-white drawings, by the author, are also released into the public domain. Cover photo by Counselling via Pixabay (Creative Commons).

The IG Report & QAnon: A Theory

1) More thoughts on the #IGReport and the role #QAnon plays. (Insert generic ☕️ image here.)
2) The inspector general of an agency makes recommendations to which management responds. It is an accountability mechanism but not a totally third party method of evaluation because both work for the same agency and Gov. Not typically an avenue of prosecution.
3) In an environment where everything is not only politicized, but weaponized, the IG becomes a topic of partisan discussion. It shouldn’t be.
4) @POTUS is a complete outsider to Washington but he is an insider when it comes to power. He has an uncanny ability to understand where power lies and how to work the game to his advantage. 

The Art of the Deal.
5) Meanwhile DC was for 8 years stymied by all the schemes Obama pulled, starting with Fast and Furious.
6) @SharylAttkisson spied on by Obama who politicized DOJ 4 gun control, interfering with ATF, defying lawmakers (Grassley and Chaffetz) to hide documents, and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered b/c Obama’s DHS made him use fake bullets in self defense.
7) The list of scandals for which Obama went unaccountable grew and grew. Gang members and refugees flooded the country. The debt piled up. There was this constant odd extreme agenda around transgender rights.
8) I don’t believe @POTUS wanted to get into the race. I remember watching him on TV totally frustrated about Obama’s “junior varsity” ISIS. “I wouldn’t tell you how they’d be gone, but they’d be gone.”
9) I believe @POTUS entered the race with a plan and a set of partners, namely military intelligence. @StevePieczenik had a number of videos on this.
10) From the beginning I believe the plan was to use the military to take back control from a shadowy network of powerful people who had an anti-American agenda to enrich themselves.
11) Ever the master communicator, @POTUSknew he would need someone to bring the people along.
12) During the campaign a white paper leaked from Joel Benenson that outlined D communication strategy around a supposed alien event. I don’t know if it was real but even if it wasn’t, that plus other docs suggested knowledge of 8Chan and Reddit as useful places to be.
13) Also during the campaign an “FBI anon” sprang up who told us what was going on (supposedly) and it was bad. It was never proven whether the person was authentic.
14) There were other anons who gave “interviews” to alternative media and their info frequently sounded like it could be credible.
15) Meanwhile Reddit became controversial over pizzagate, so clearly the use of anons freaked out *someone.*
16) @realDonaldTrump walks into this situation which included people on the D side who clearly were out there trolling for her. (To be fair we have to assume that all sides had their trolls.)
17) He knew that popular opinion was and is the key to his success and enlisted the only people he could trust to communicate - military intelligence.
18) Thus was born #QAnon. Who never tells us anything truly new or classified. Who doesn’t want any money. Who continuously shows how the President endorsed his/her work (through @POTUS signals. Who also talks in military code.
19) Nobody understands this code because we aren’t military.
20) The campaign begins by telling us how it is going to end: military tribunals.
21) Websites like and QAnon.puband spring up and it’s not clear who made them.
22) Because this strategy is fundamentally about partnering with the anons who deeply influence public opinion.
23) @POTUS speaks to them and they scream for more. They do all the work by deciphering the puzzle for the rest of us, who follow as if we were watching a secret soap opera.
24) Not only is the President a master of communication, he fundamentally understands the most undervalued properties of social media - Twitter and the boards. Twitter had no value before he made it interesting.
25) This is the reality. A strategy of desperation. A strategy that works.

If I were the bad guys, I wouldn’t waste my time trashing Q.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. The author hereby releases this post into the public domain. All opinions are the author’s own.

About That IG Report

This is a good moment to talk about what a customer-centric government report should look like.

In 2010 then-President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act (not sure if this is the exact title) into law. It mandated federal agencies do exactly what that sounds like.

Before that the government issued best practice guidelines for the management of agencies which included quality communication for accountability.

The problem is that bureaucrats are punished for coloring outside the lines, and Presidents want to say what they want to say, and so nobody has really pushed hard for optimal communication with citizens.

Although there has been significant forward movement on the customer service front - both President Trump and President Obama have championed this.

As a federal communicator (all opinions my own) I helped write a white paper for the Federal Communicators Network arguing for standards in gov comm similar to what the UK has.

A good first start would be to assess which topics people want to know more about. Prioritize and deliver.

A good first start would be to assess which topics people want to know more about. Prioritize and deliver.

A 538 page IG report on a topic of significant public interests needs to be broken down into sections and subsections. In printable searchable HTML. With tags. And tables and charts and pull quotes.

A report like this needs to be offered with not just an executive summary but also a list of noteworthy stories for coverage and links to other information that can be used as a reference. Noteworthy means that the FBI IG thinks they will inform and educate.

Photos should be offered along with any report. Where are the images of the mountains of evidence, the agents at work, the debates and discussions? This is how government works - it is an optimal opportunity to educate people.

Why not have a “myth vs. fact” pullout? How about an FAQ?

Why not have a section of the website where the public can ask and answer questions? And official answers are marked with a star?

Please don’t tell me that the government can’t afford to communicate well about a subject they’ve spent so much time and money on.

Consider the unbelievable and unacceptable cost of poor government communication — anger, fear, confusion, distortion, manipulation, and hatred.

If you don’t want people relying on #QAnon, then do a better job communicating.

A Very Nice Girl

Ever since my encounter with a creepy rabbi in fifth grade, I always had bad self-esteem and especially as a Jew.

I remember that I felt so guilty for my encounter with this rabbi that I literally wore black for most of my life.

You may be thinking what could have happened to her that she had such a strong reaction and the truth is I cannot remember it well, even when I close my eyes and try.

The furthest I can get is that I'm standing in a dark basement, and this man is hugging me.

But regardless of what happened there, it left me with a tremendous sense of guilt.

No matter how angry my mother got on my behalf, it didn't matter.

One time I ran into this rabbi in Monsey, in a pizza store. I had gone there with my father and he was just standing there.

I remember he turned around, and he looked at me with the creepiest, creepiest smile.

Setting me back yet again.

I have family in Monsey and it was around this time that I visited them, and someone I looked up to told me that I looked somewhat heavy.

Well that was all I needed: Now I could focus squarely on losing the offensive weight.

But I never forgot that feeling that the rabbi gave me, that feeling that I was subhuman.

It followed me, and it followed me for a long time.

As you can imagine I became a somewhat angry person.

Even now, when I ask my husband what he thinks my "brand" is, he answers with just one word: "angry."

And it's funny because if you know me in real life, you don't see the anger come out at all.

Except if I see somebody bullying somebody else.

Then my anger really comes out. I can feel it. It's like a cauldron of hot rage boiling and boiling inside of me.

God is merciful and He has blessed me to be surrounded by people who understand me. Not everyone does, but enough.

One of these people, who unfortunately is no longer with us, is my Zayde olov hashalom (may he rest in peace).

We used to visit him and my Bubbie up in Canada.

And you know how it is, the family is all caught up in itself, because there are parental dynamics, and parental with the grandparent dynamics, and Holocaust dynamics, and Chasidish dynamics, and the dynamics of a Chosid marrying someone who is not Chasidish, and then there's sibling dynamics, and the dynamics of me with each parent.

The dynamics of Shabbos, the dynamics of that long car ride up to Toronto.

The only consolation amid all these dynamics was the way my Zayde talked to me.

"Nice girl," he used to say, in that Hungarian accent. "You are a very nice girl."

He didn't have to say very much.

In those few words, my Zayde said everything.

Copyright 2018 by Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Photo by Shai Barzilay (Creative Commons/Flickr).

"Those Who Know, Don't Tell. And Those Who Tell, Don't Know."

In yeshiva there was this one teacher, Mrs. Kaisman, who really shaped my hashkafa, meaning my framework of thinking as a Jew. (Check out some of her lectures, online.)

You have to know that in Bruriah I was a smart-mouth and delighted in asking smart-mouth questions. Mainly because I was bored, but also because I was just, generally angry at having to sit in class for so many hours a day, when I didn't feel like I was really learning anything.

Yes, a typical kid.

I remember saying to Mrs. Kaisman something like, "How do we know the Torah is valid?" Which is of course an impossible question, it's one of those questions where you ask it and the teacher has license to smack you across the face for your impunity.

And she smiled at me, with that Lakewood-teacher-smile she had (and I mean this in a good way - there was no question she wouldn't field) and said:
"Look, Dossy. It's a 50-50 chance. You can keep the Torah and you'll go up there (at this she motioned to heaven, meaning she was referring to what happens after you die) and everything will be fine for you with HaShem. Or (and here she gestured broadly) you can do the opposite, and see what happens. See how HaShem takes His hands off the steering wheel."
What a brilliant way to keep me in line. It's up to you if you want to go to hell, Dossy.

Over the more than 30 years since my high school graduation, I've thought of Mrs. Kaisman a lot. I know that in somebody else's mouth, those words would have been manipulative, mindf--ing, brain control. But in hers -- and I've always known this -- the words were only intended to help a rebellious teenager step back from the rebellion and really think about the deeper consequences of her words.

Mrs. Kaisman taught me other things, too. It may have been her who said this, but it really doesn't matter, because the words are so true:
"Those who know, don't tell. And those who tell, don't know."
After fifteen years of working in government, I can attest to that.

The public has all kinds of ideas about what is going on in "the swamp." And what they don't know, pundits are only too happy to tell them on TV.

But the truth is, you can only understand the civil service by...actually being a civil servant, or spending a significant amount of time among us.

And as far as I know, most civil servants take it for granted that what happens at work, really stays there.

In much the same way, some people seem to think they know a lot about Jews and Judaism. And the funny thing is, they not only aren't Jewish, but they don't even know any Jews! The evidence of that is that they will bring a lot of "proofs" of Jewish bad behavior from newspaper articles, or extremist types of books, or the one scholar who says X while everybody else says Y, or even -- God help us -- the omnipresent picture of Neturai Karta chasidim rallying against Israel.

And then if pressed, they will say: "Well that isn't anti-Semitic. I had a boss once who was Jewish and he was very nice."

As a Jew myself, raised among Jews, fully immersed in the world of Jews, I can confidently say we have enough genuine problems without people making stuff up that they don't know anything about. And how I wish we would hear more from religious Jews who do know something about yiddishkeit, and can speak to both the good and the bad things that happen among us. (Fortunately, this does seem to be happening.)

Sometimes I hear people say things like: "Am I the only person who goes through this type of thing?"

And each time I have to smile. I am getting older and each smile adds three wrinkles to my face.

Each time, I think to myself: "No, you're not the only one at all. Not at all."

For every single thing you're going through, a million other people have been through some variation of the same. It's just that as a rule, people who go through stuff choose not to talk about it.

Take everything you hear with a large grain of salt.

Copyright 2017 by Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.

How Technical Jargon Creates Panic

Today’s Drudge Report has this (somewhat frightening) headline: Pentagon Seeks to Store Data in Human DNA...

Clicking on the link takes you to a story at NextGov about how the government is exploring putting massive amounts of data on DNA.

The story links to FedBizOpps (I don’t see a direct announcement linked there) and to a “proposer’s day” PowerPoint in which IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, part of the Director of National Intelligence) “outlined its vision” for what this is. (This is an unclassified briefing.)

Trying to find out what this means, I went to Slide 17 to find an “Overview” of “MIST,” for Molecular Information Storage, that said:
“The program seeks to develop deployable storage technologies that can eventually scale into the exabyte regime and beyond with reduced physical footprint, power and cost requirements relative to conventional storage technologies. MIST seeks to accomplish this by using sequence-controlled polymers as a data storage medium, and by building the necessary devices and information systems to interface with this medium.”
Wanting to know more about this new technology I searched briefly and found a 2013 article in USA Today which clarified that the DNA we're talking about here is synthetic. Not what the headline implied. Helpfully, the article also clarifies that we are not talking about "consider storing information in a living creature, because the error rate would be too high and the storage less secure."

And yet the mind cannot help to wander. Is there the possibility that human DNA could be used to store data? And if so, how might that technology be harnessed, by anyone?

The answer, says tech entrepreneur Nova Spivack, is, yes it can. A review of the various possibilities includes: eyes, teeth, hair, skin, nails, and even the blood. As long-term solutions, most of these methods are not practical. But it is theoretically possible to store memory in "junk DNA regions which presumably are less involved in critical functions of the DNA" (still problematic); under the skin, in a device; and even in a "benign virus" engineered to be harmless to the body.

Now how frightening is that?

Encoding information on DNA, synthetic or human, is just one example of the kind of complex, sensitive, potentially controversial topics that all organizations must face every single day. The challenge is to talk about it directly, without being overly simplistic or overly technical, as proponents of both strategies are essentially trying to avoid having to confront legitimate and serious stakeholder concerns.

We are no longer entering the brave new world of technology, we're fully enveloped within it, and the Internet has empowered people to do a great deal of meaningful research on their own.

Therefore, when you generate a document for public consumption, consider the multiple audiences who may be interested in it.

You may have intended it narrowly, for a technical audience, but sharing it absent a clear and comprehensive explanation, and optimally an FAQ, can also raise alarm bells for the general public.

This article is released into the public domain by its author, Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. Opinions are the author's own. Image by Guillaume Duchenne via Wikipedia (public domain).

#MeToo and its Puppet Masters

The #MeToo movement is a manipulation of women’s suffering by political activists who are literally waging war on men.

There, I said it. 

I am a feminist and I broke rank with the ruling clique.

Just yesterday I had a different opinion, writing in response to social commentator Candace Owens, who had posted the following comment to Twitter:
"The entire premise of #metoo is that women are stupid, weak & inconsequential. Too stupid to know what men might want if you come to their hotel room late at night. Too weak to turn around and tell someone not to touch your ass again. Too inconsequential to realize this."
Just yesterday, I wrote
"No. #MeToo is about the fact that so many women and girls suffer sexual abuse without telling." 
 Because I thought that her comment was cruel and cutting to women.

But Candace Owens understands the manipulations of the sick radical Leftist communist Marxist anti-Americans who create political campaigns much better than I do.

To get a sense of the power of this woman’s mind, and the reason why the leftists hate her, check out this brief clip “Off the Plantation” if you haven’t already. In it, a young Black man talks about realizing how White liberals care absolutely nothing for him or Black families at all.

And somewhere here Owens talks about how good they (liberals) are at manipulating you with words, like: How could anyone disagree that Black Lives Matter?

It’s funny, if you think about it, because haven’t there been a few “movements” that sounded good but which somehow arose and disappeared sort of artificially?

Remember Occupy Wall Street?

Come to think of it, how about those pink hats at the "Women's March?"
How about how I feared going to the inauguration (which they said didn't have any people) because of those black-robed Antifa activists, who were going to, I feared, smash heads and smash windows. 

I remember that around DC, not long ago, there used to be these fliers, like “Smash the Fash” (saying to commit violence against fascists which the President and his supporters supposedly are).

It’s like, I’m not a rocket scientist but this is all so faked and faked up. But when you’re in it, in the moment, you can’t necessarily see it.

Back to #MeToo.

This one is very close to my emotional triggers, as I am sure it is for many people. How long has abuse gone on and been covered up? 

A movement like this seems timely, and strong, and empowering.

But ha-ha, as usual the joke is on me. Because I let my emotional blinders stop me from reviewing all the evidence.

Because the #1 characteristic of this movement seems to be stopping men, not stopping abuse.

Abuse is perpetrated by women and men alike. It happens to boys and girls alike. Yet from the perspective of this movement, everything seems to be about how men are bad, and how we must stop them.

Here I am referring to 3 interrelated political aims: 
  • Eliminating gender polarity and substitute gender fluidity (turn boys into girls and girls into boys.) 
  • Criminalizing male sexuality and stigmatize testosterone. 
  • Criminalizing gun ownership.
By “stopping men” I am referring to the substitution of female dictators for men. Like here is Oprah explicitly saying we are entering the age of matriarchy. Not the good, nurturing, loving and cooperative kind but simply controlling of human freedom in a different way. 

And if you watch the kind of stuff that passes for entertainment right now you see the entire agenda at work -- the television series The Handmaid’s Tale for example.

What was actor Robert DeNiro saying at the Tony Awards when he said “f— Trump?” Essentially, from a certain vantage point, he was giving voice to  #MeToo activists who see things in gender terms only, and from the perspective of women in particular. Who are furious that a "man’s man" is actually more successful or effective than they are, because they literally hate men, and are enraged at even the remotest concept that men could possess power legitimately.

This is reverse sexism to the core.

I think about abuse and it boils my blood. The emotion blinds me sometimes to what is actually happening. But this video about Rose McGowan and Asia Argento really woke me up. This medium-length analysis (about 15 minutes) by Paul Romano is worth watching, because it pulls together three social institutions at once (feminism, the entertainment industry, and religion or anti-religion) and shows how they work in concert. 

Romano points out that the two most prominent faces associated with #MeToo are Hollywood stars Rose McGowan and Asia Argento. And that both are associated with witchcraft in some way. (I am not going to pretend to know how much of it is real versus symbolic.)
  • For example, Rose McGowan has said: "I am a witch and I will hunt wrongdoers."
  • Asia Argento has said: "I miss this holy whore and white witch."
  • On the recent death of Argento's boyfriend Anthony Bourdain, fellow actress Amber Tamblyn said: “Witches: please prepare the strongest protection spell you have for our sister Asia Argento today. Please lift her up with all the love and light your conjuring is capable of casting. #AnthonyBourdain."
Thinking more deeply about witchcraft: The thing about it is, on the one hand you have this kind of New-Agey version which is a mishmash of ideas about women’s empowerment.

But in Judaism we learn that they should be put to death. In Exodus 22:17, the Torah says: "You shall not allow a sorceress to live." 

The Jewish concern of course is not whether witchcraft offers women a "safe space" to be "bitches." We care about worshiping God and not misdirecting people to draw on demonic energies.

The Bible in fact is soaked in references to witches, sorcerers, child sacrifice, and specifically passing infants through the fire of Moloch—all ways of defying God and seeking power elsewhere.

And the Bible does in fact acknowledge that occult ceremonies do have power by harnessing the forces of evil. For example, in Genesis Rebecca stole her father Laban's idols because he used them to practice divination, and she feared that he would use this power to chase down her family and harm them. 

That the dark arts "work" is not because God lacks power of course. It is because God gives us free will. And as such there are angels of light and angels of darkness. He gives power to the dark side so that we will choose light.

From the perspective of #MeToo, the point is that I believe Rose McGowan and Asia Argento have effectively tricked people into following the powers of darkness. Because they stand there and they give speeches and they make some sort of weird power sign ("power fist") intended to rile people up. They carry the mantle of victim. And as such, nobody can question them.

If you watch Romano’s video, it contains a segment about modern day witches and how they seriously view today’s politics as an opportunity. (Hillary Clinton of course recently was inducted into a witches’ group, The Wing, but of course they are elite-looking so it doesn't count.)

Romano points out that all religions have a bad controlling element to them and that simply having an alternative way of life is not the issue. It is the deliberate misdirection of people to worship the anti-God, or Satan that is the problem. 

To misdirect people, of course, you wouldn't directly say “Let’s go worship Satan.” 

You would say, “Men are pigs and they have always been pigs. Trust women.”

Romano draws our attention to a movie that Asia Argento co-wrote and starred in (it’s based on someone else’s book) called The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. In this movie (trigger warning), Argento’s young son is not only sodomized by her boyfriend — but the son is also dressed up as a girl, complete with makeup, and “seduces” another adult male.

Based on her choice to not only star in but actually create a movie like this, I think that Argento is disturbed. Maybe it’s because of what happened to her. Maybe it’s because she made a choice to cross over into the dark side. Or both.
The point is, we should be very suspicious of the dynamics at play here. Suspicious of who is invested in promoting the #MeToo narrative. Suspicious of what is presented to us as “real,” such as the McGowan vs. Alyssa Milano catfight

On Twitter, @OpenThePrimary points out that #MeToo is also a distraction tactic: "The #MeToo movement is sucking all the oxygen in Hollywood away from systemic sexual abuse of children." 

It's sort of like saying: "Pay attention the adult women getting raped...not at the children getting trafficked by guess who...Hollywood." 

And when it comes to sexual misconduct, Hollywood will not talk at all about pedophilia, a point that Corey Feldman has made repeatedly but which there is so much anonymous discussion about that it's reached the level of a deafening roar. Former music journalist Thomas Wictor describes it thus:

Regarding Hollywood's abuse of adults, the industry has all sorts of defenses for itself, including, shockingly, two that have come up in relation to Harvey Weinstein. One is the notion that it wasn't trafficking because "no one was paid." The other is the idea that the casting couch is an old and well-known system that should not be considered criminal.

Look: At the end of the day I am just a simple person thinking simple things. I don’t pretend to understand everything. But I know enough to know that much craftier people take advantage of people like me. 

I know that crafty propagandists don’t want simple people — the “dummies,” the ones they think they can easily manipulate — asking questions.

The answer to this one is simple. 

Ask - ask a lot - and speak your mind.

There is no shame in being a simple person with a brain.

Copyright 2017 by Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Photo Credit: susanlee828 / Flickr (Creative Commons)

On The Day Of The McDonald's Emergency

I will never forget that day.

We were living in Lakewood back then (this is before it became ultra-Orthodox), and I was five years old and my uncle Chaim was visiting.

This is a time in my life I remember with great fondness. I loved living there. I loved feeding the birds with my father on the back stoop. I loved going to dance class in my blue leotard with glitter and feathers. I loved having a birthday party with all my friends there.

I loved learning to ride a bike with my Zayde. I remember turning around to look back at him, in his Eastern European outfit, brown hat, brown vest, white shirt with short sleeves and a collar, and suit pants.

"Let go, Dossy, let go!"

And I loved, loved, loved, the salty seaside air.

Anyway, that day someone was frantic.

"We have to get to McDonald's -- RIGHT AWAY!"

"We do? Okay," I said, not really knowing what the emergency was.

Quickly I ran outside to the car.

We sped off so fast the car tires were smoking.

And we pulled into McDonald's and got lots of fish sandwiches, complete with those little red packs of french fries, the ones that taste so incredibly, incredibly good.

For many years I did not know what the emergency had been.

I only knew that it was urgent.

Until finally, one day, I realized that someone simply wanted a McDonald's fish sandwich and french fries.

That, and that alone, was the emergency!

It's funny because the desire for McDonald's seems like a kind of litmus test of Orthodox observance.

You're not supposed to admit just how bad you would love to sink your teeth into the ultimate trafe-itude -- you know -- a big and gloppy cheeseburger.

As I recall, we had so many of those litmus tests way back when.

Would you eat Doritos?


Fast forward and the discussion became about lobster.

"It looks good to me," I said once.

"Oh, ewwww, disgusting!" was the reply. "I would NEVER ever eat that, even if it was kosher!"

You see how all this works?

It's not enough to just be honest and keep the halacha -- we don't eat it even though it seems good -- you actually have to pretend that you don't want to sin in the first place!

Listen, folks, that is a very high bar somebody set.

It has no basis in anything the Torah says.

And do you know what?

There is no human being who does not, at their core, have a McDonald's emergency every now and again.


Copyright 2017 by Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Creative Commons image via Pixabay.

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