The DIVIDED States of America

Our nation is increasingly polarized with little to no tolerance of others wants, thinking, or actions. 


– First under Obama.


– Then with the election between Hillary and Trump.


– And now over Judge Kavanaugh.


The result has been some of the worst behaviors seen since the Civil War–with not only disrespect, restrictions on freedom of expression, but even threats and actual violence!


This nation is no longer the UNITED States, but much more like the DIVIDED States. 


And that just plays into our enemies hands and could lead us to eventually lose our very democracy to totalitarianism, dictatorship, and tyranny.  


So now may be a good time to review for yourself how many biases are driving your thought processes and behaviors and creating dangerous fundamentalists and extremists all around us instead of thoughtful dialogue, negotiation, and compromise. 


Here are 20 biases that may be affecting you more than you realize:


– Do you overestimate the importance of the information you have or feel good about (Anchoring,  Availability, and Choice-Supportive Biases)?


– Do you seek out and perceive information that simply validates your preconceptions (Information,

Confirmation, and Selective Perception Bias)? 


– Do you overemphasize information that is more recent or recognizable (Recency and Salience Biases)?


– Are you ignoring information that doesn’t “fit your script” (Ostrich Effect/Omission and Conservatism Bias)?


– Are you tied up in the groupthink of your peers (Bandwagon Effect)?


– Do you see patterns in random events or conspiracies that don’t exist (Clustering Illusion)?


– Are you overconfident in your thought process and conclusions (Overconfidence Bias)?


– Do you tend to overvalue the usefulness or success of something, but not recognize its limitations or failures (Pro-Innovation and Survivorship Bias)?


– Do you fail to take risks because you prefer certainty (Zero-Risk Bias)? 


– Does your thinking something will happen actually cause it to happen (Placebo Effect)? 


– Do you use the ends to justify the means (Outcome Bias)?


– Do you judge people by their race, class, gender, religion, sexual preferences, or national origin (Stereotyping)?


– Do you fail to recognize your own biases (Blind-Spot Bias)?


Perhaps if more people would open their minds to information and engage in genuine thinking and critical thinking, rather than a lot of fake news and hype, we would be a far better and stronger nation. 😉


(Source Graphic: Business Insider)

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We Have Become Our Own Worst Enemies

The politics have gotten worse than ever again.

Since 2008 and Obama’s left-wing tilt followed by Hillary’s election debacle and Donald Trump’s upset win, what have we seen:

– Resistance

– Violent Marches

– Extremism From Nazis And ANTIFA

– Photos Of Decapitation

– Threats To Blow Up The White House

– Chasing Politicians From Restaurants

– Stealing Questions From Debates

– Secret Dossiers

– Smear Campaigns

– Special Counsels

– Sanctuary Cities

– Lies and Obfuscation

– Endless Challenges and Lawsuits

– Pay Freezes

– Government Shutdowns

– Stalled Legislation For Healthcare, Immigration, And more

– Screams for Impeachment

– Possible Planning of a Coup

– Talk of states seceding or even of another Civil War

Folks, what are we doing?

You’re gonna justify the means with the ends?

However, what are the ends so far and in the foreseeable future.

Nothing productive can get done politically or otherwise this way.

One side wins and the other throws a temper tantrum and stonewalls and then in reverse.

There is world instability from Russia to China, North Korea, and Iran, as well as violence and refugees from Syria to Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Afghanistan

The economic boom may very well end up an economic bust when it comes time to pay the humongous national deficit bill.

We are eating each other alive instead of creating a better world order.

Extremism begets extremism.

Hate begets hate.

You can tell yourself that you are fighting for what is right — both sides do — but perhaps you are destroying much more than you are building.

Things have gone too far and this country is self-destructing with or without Russian intervention.

We have become our own worst enemies. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Evil That Is Child Trafficking

Please, please watch this short 4-minute video. 


It is very impactful!


EVEN…


– If you don’t know what’s going on with child sex abuse.


– If you are afraid to know.


– If you don’t want to believe it.


– If you busy and generally haven’t cared in the past. 


Here are some basic statistics:


💥There are at least 2 to 4 million cases of human trafficking annually!


💥It is estimated that 50% are children!


💥It’s a $32 billion dollar industry and growing! 


Maybe (hopefully) you believe in G-d


We are G-d’s children. 


Children are our children. 


We have a duty to protect children. 


How will you answer the call?


Here’s where you can place a call:


– National Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 4-A-CHILD (422-4453)


– National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE (4673)


Finally, may Almighty G-d do justice to all the pedophiles and abusers out there. 


May the Earth and Heavens swallow them up and spit them out. 


So that the children, the pure children, may grow up in a better world, a much better world. 😉

Part 4 – Riverdale Sexual Abuse

So this part 4 of my posts about the sexual misconduct inflicted on the children in Riverdale. 


This is a follow-on to my post of January 10 regarding a message from Salanter Akiba of Riverdale (SAR) Academy about the exploits of one of its former teachers and administrators who “pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree child molestation.”


I agreed to be interviewed by the SAR investigator about my experience as a 7th-grade child who had been lured for a Shabbat to this monsters home. 

Rabbi Rosenfeld was never my teacher, and I would have never ended up at his home for Shabbat if not for this person, who invited me there, drove me there, and listened to my cries in the next room. 


It was extremely painful to recount in detail the childhood memories of sexual assault as she asked me question after question about every detail, and without malice, but basically forced me to relive the events of so long ago.


What is incredible to me is that the enabler/facilitator of that Shabbat invitation and course of events, I have come to understand, MAY STILL WORK IN THAT SCHOOL!


How many other children were lured to Rabbi Rosenfeld’s home by this person–who was being paid and given benefits, as well as provided harbor and shelter, by this school (perhaps unknowingly) for decades and decades. 


But now if it is true, that this person is still there, the school has an ethical and I am certain, legal duty to protect the children that go there. 


No child should be abused sexually or otherwise or be part of such atrocities by former or current staff. 


I was one of the children who suffered in silence for too long. 


But now I understand that one of my purposes in this world is to help make things right. 


To the Riverdale community, to the board and leadership of SAR, I ask you, what is your role and responsibility?


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Light Drives Out Darkness

In the words of the great Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Darkness can’t drive out darkness.
Only Light can do that.”

There is so much darkness in certain people. 


So full of hate, violence, and corruption. 


They use and abuse others for their selfish aims. 


Only faith and giving can drive out selfishness!


The other day at work, I briefly stopped over to help a colleague with something (I thought it was pretty minor, honestly). 


The next thing I know, another colleague who observed me, leaves–literally–a gold star on my desk. 


I had to laugh to myself–isn’t this what we do with kids. 


And then I thought to myself–Wow! People at any age can be recognized for just being decent human beings with one another.


Rather than just recognize the latest work accomplishments, isn’t it truly something to recognize helping others. 


Being good people is the essence of what life is all about. 


I’m glad that there are still people in the world that know this. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Iron Maiden Torture

Check this out. 

This is called an Iron Maiden.

It is from Nuremberg, Germany. 

This one is from Medieval times, but they were apparently still around even in the 19th century!

It has 14 spikes on the inside that were designed to pierce the eyes, throat, and heart. 

People placed for torture and death in the Iron Maiden sarcophagus would be completely mutilated. 

Is this one of the reasons that so many people suffer from claustrophobia?  

I remember seeing in a movie where someone was placed in a dungeon cell, but this one was carved into the rock wall horizontally. 

The prisoner would be forced to lie down in it with iron bars caged over the side vertically. 

S/he could not sit up, roll over, or move. 

Can you imagine the sheer terror and torture?

How people could be so evil and inflict such suffering on others and often for crimes like heresy is extremely hard to understand. 

Why in G-d’s name does anyone call it the “good ‘ol days?” 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That Smug Face, Evil Haman

That Smug Face, Evil Haman.

Reclining back with legs crossed.

Know-it-all, interrupting others rudely.

Abusive, hurtful words.

Violent, loud, aggressive actions.

Narcissist, my way or the highway.

For their power and desires only.

They believe that might makes right.

In every generation, they rise to perpetuate suffering on others.

But G-d stands supreme.

He will evoke his judgment and rain His fiery wrath on the oppressive, evil, and haughty.

And He will restore good over evil in the world.

His faithful will praise His holy name forever.