Showing posts from April, 2017

Some very basic stuff about building a good relationship with your customers.

Building a good customer-brand relationship is astonishingly simple. It’s doing the work consistently over time that can be a challenge.
Keep your promise: Deliver quality products and services, on time and just as requested.Be responsive: You probably spend a lot of time and money getting your name out there, but are you ready when people express interest? When they have a problem with what you’ve sold? Delays, poor communication and failing to solve the problem really irritate people and can eliminate business you’ve worked extremely hard to get.Set limits: Many people think that customer service means you have to give people everything they want. Not true. You can tell people “I will be able to do this much, for this amount” and they will be fine with that. Problems arise mainly when you overpromise (or are unclear about the promise) and underdeliver. __________

Originally posted to Quora by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Also posted to my other blog, All Things Brand. All opinions are…

Yom HaShoah (Poem)

In memory of my Zayde, Rabbi Valentine Stroli, may he rest in peace.

I keep seeing his face, over and over
Smiling, beatific
In his midnight black caftan,
With smooth, wide satin lapels
A luxury that only surviving Chasidim would recognize.

Combat gear.

I see him in my dreams,
Sitting there so serenely on Shabbat
King of the heavy, polished wood table
With an indestructible table protector
Three inches worth of plastic
Carefully placed above the ivory embroidered tablecloth.

"Yes Zayde," I said

{Troubled, crying}

"Yes Zayde."

Hands to eye, I wiped away the tears.
It wasn't Shabbat anymore, but Sunday.

"I am listening."

"Devarim Sheyotzim Min Halev Nichnasim El Halev.
Do you still know what that means?"

"Words that come from the heart, go straight into the heart."

Feeling dumb, numb,
Confused and disorganized,
Aimless, constantly aimless.

"Yes, Zayde, I understand," I said, wanting to …

The Jewish Perspective On "Slut-Shaming"

When the Romans tried to crush the Jews they did three things. First torture us into denying our faith. Second enslave the men. Third, sell the women for sex. See below.
<<After Rome crushed Judaea in the Jewish-Roman wars, many thousands of civilians were publicly tortured to death in failed attempts to make them deny their faith, many men were taken into slavery for use in forced labour (e.g. the Corinth canal), and many young women were taken into slavery and placed in brothels.>>
Why these 3 specifically? To deny any possibility of spirituality. 
Where there is no God except a man posing as one; and there is no work except what a master tells you to do; and there is no personal privacy, the soul is crushed like a flower cut off from its roots. Maybe from the outside it looks functional, but inside it is vacant.
Therefore, from a Jewish point of view, liberal feminist rants about "slut shaming" are misguided. They say that women should feel free to let it all hang…

Human Trafficking Campaign Wrapup

It's been 6 months since I started campaigning on social media against #humantrafficking along with many other citizens. My goal was to help bring awareness of this plague to the mainstream. 
Thank God, this has happened, and so my personal campaign is over, although I will plan to share important news regularly. 
Five metrics of success: 
1) President Donald Trump made it a high priority of his administration from day one. The First Lady and Ivanka Trump are also actively involved.
2) Arrests are *way up* and they're getting high profile individuals in politics & law enforcement. 
3) The federal government is all over it, specifically DHS/ICE & the FBI. (USAID, State & HHS should also be mentioned).
4) The mainstream media is covering it heavily. Daily I see news on the major networks, not just blogs and independent media.
5) A major celebrity, Ashton Kutcher, testified before Congress about his foundation, which fights human trafficking through technology. And Kim Karda…

The Only Brand You'll Ever Need

If I've learned anything over the years, it is that people -- given a choice -- will only work with other people they trust.

The same goes for buying things. I will visit the dollar store weekly. I will buy markers there, shampoo and foil pans and party supplies. I will not buy vitamins, hair dye or "what-a-bargain" iPhone AC adapters.

Speaking of the dollar store, my daughter and I watched a couple shoplift there the other day. It wasn't clear if they were poor, or if they just didn't have the patience to wait.

It may be that the store, being as it was in a "nice area," simply trusted its customers.

Trust is a hard thing to earn, and it's very easily lost. The funny thing is, you can't buy it the way you can buy a good designer.

Have I mentioned that my favorite new brand is water, only because of the package design?

Let's talk about the water for a second: I buy it expecting that there is no special quality about the stuff, despite what they w…

After Ten Years Of Beating His Wife, This Silicon Valley CEO Gets Less Than One Month In Jail.

This case is especially chilling because we are looking at an outwardly successful couple, in the land of high-tech startups, and there is an audio recording of one of the beatings, and he's talking about fixing a website very calmly while calling her a bitch and proceeding to hit her over and over again as she begs him to stop. (Warning: very upsetting.)

As outlined by career blogger Penelope Trunk in her article on this story, here are 4 risk factors for abuse (bullets are quoted):
Socioeconomic pressuresLow self-esteemUntreated mental health issuesA lack of appropriate coping skills Read Neha Rastogi's Victim Impact Statement here.

How does a wife-beater get only 30 days in jail?

To help other victims, potential and actual, please share this information widely.

By Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author's own; this blog is posted in the author's personal capacity. Available for reuse under Creative Commons 3.0 License. For more information,…

The Crazy Lady

I had a friend who told me how to not get attacked in New York.

She was walking down the street once, at night, and a man started to follow her.
"I started hugging myself like I was crazy," she said.
"You did what?"
"Just hugging myself," she repeated. "Kind of like --" and with this she motioned with her hands "-- just bobbing, and swaying all over, talking to myself real loud, laughing."
"And did it work?"
"Of course it worked," she laughed. "Men are terrified of crazy women."
Don't know if that's true or not. But I do know that I hear the phrase "crazy woman" a lot, as in: "crazy woman boss," "crazy woman driver," "crazy mother," "crazy old lady," and so on. Pop culture is filled with stories of women being told "you're crazy" whether they're confronting a cheating boyfriend or standing up against systemic corruption and abuse.

5 Significant Findings On Child Abuse From The U.S. Federal Government

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families has been publishing "Child Maltreatment" annually since 1992. The new edition, "Child Maltreatment 2015," is available in PDF, along with raw data tables by state. You can also access the older versions going back to 1995.

All of the following information is taken from this report and can be sourced back to it. (Note: Fiscal year 2015 means October 2014-September 2015.)
5 Significant FindingsThe number of reports to Child Protective Services is trending upward. Yet, looking only at reports to CPS as a baseline, the actual percentage of victimized children is miniscule. This could mean that child abuse isn't happening all that much, or it could mean that it's underreported. More research is clearly needed.People unrelated to the child who come into professional contact with the child are far more likely to report abuse than their relatives. Awareness campaigns should b…

The Federal Government Could Spend More Effectively On Communication

Last year the Government Accountability Office issued “Public Relations Spending” (GAO-16-877R) in response to a request from the United States Senate Committee on the Budget. The purpose of the report was to "determine how much the federal government spends on public relations activities, including contracts and internal agency support, and identify the highest-spending agencies."

"Public relations internal agency support" is defined in the report as employees classified as "public affairs specialists" (GS-1035s). Right away we have a contradiction in terms, because a public affairs specialist, as opposed to a PR professional, gives you data, not "spin." The report offers this definition of a public affairs specialist: “Public Affairs occupational series are responsible for administering, supervising, or performing work involved in establishing and maintaining communication between federal agencies and the public. Among other things, their work…

Sex Trafficking In San Diego: What Can We Learn?

"Measuring the Nature & Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego," authored by authored by Ami Carpenter and Jamie Gates and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, was released October 26, 2016. 
Here are some of their key findings:
80% of sex trafficking "facilitators" (coercive or non-coercive) were gang-affiliated. (Note the limitations of a small sample size: 139 individuals in custody were interviewed; 46 were sex trafficking facilitators; 37 of those were gang-affiliated.)Law enforcement were aware of only 15-20% of the approximately 9-12,000 victims of sex trafficking annuallySex trafficking there generates an estimated $.8 billion annually, second only to drugs ($4.76 billion) On average, victims enter the sex trafficking system at age 15 and are frequently recruited out of schoolDemand is widespread, and there is no specific “type” of client  Interestingly, most facilitators said were more like partners than the stereotypical contro…

F--- Hitler

Many of us, me included, are triggered by Shabbos and holidays like Passover; for whatever reason it brings back bad memories and we can't or won't go back there.

What exactly happened to me? I just don't know, and was trying to figure this out last night after watching an episode of the Israeli show "Prisoners of War." That (fictional) show, upon which "Homeland" is based, somehow gets me very upset every time.

The show portrays 2 Israeli soldiers who return from 17 years of captivity in Syria. The men try to get back to life, but at every step their minds are flooded by memories of the most extreme physical and psychological torture.

Nobody tortured me. Nobody did anything to me. And yet, things happened. And they weren't normal. I know this not from my own memory, which is largely blank, but from the very specific attitudes of very specific people. In fact I would go so far as to say that it is a generation of us, walking around, haunted.

Well be…

We Need Better Data On Child Sex Trafficking

Here's a 10 minute Periscope on a matter which concerns me very much: we need better data on child sex trafficking.

Without good data, the public can easily become either hysterical or cynical about the nature and scope of this problem.

We don't want disinformation or misinformation. Witch hunts only hurt, they do not help.

Here's an example of a video that states there is no proven connection between Hasidic Jews and organized child sex trafficking, but visually makes the association nevertheless -- using a renowned Hasidic Jewish whistleblower's actions from about 5 years ago as an example.

In contrast, there is an excellent video by Paul Joseph Watson which shows the involvement of those at the highest levels of power in horrific child sex trafficking rings. Always a coverup, always an attempt to silence those who want to talk about it.

There is a protest against the lack of transparency about Anthony Weiner's hard drive, and the alleged evidence it contains, on…

A Critical Review of Alex Jones' April 4 Interview With Mike Cernovich

Here is the video; key points are below. The video is long (about 20 minutes) and somewhat rambling and repetitive at times, but there is some significant new information here.

Bottom line, if you read nothing else, is that both claim "pizzagate" is a "false flag" (distraction). The real story, they allege, is that the "Deep State" (rogue elements in the intelligence community) set people up to obtain seeming evidence of pedophilia, blackmail them and thus control their behavior.

Cernovich says broke the Susan Rice story so that he could share information he has about how elements in the intelligence community (the "Deep State") are using blackmail over supposed pedophilia to stop President Trump from governing."Security clearances are being jammed up," says Cernovich. "Trump can't get his people in" because "the people who are doing the security clearances don't want Trump supporters in because (they're) not …

Whoa, North Korea

So I was doing the food shopping as usual yesterday and checked Twitter, also as usual and "North Korea" is the #1 story, as in "President Trump says he will handle them on his own, if necessary."

The reactions were pretty predictable and mirrored mine: "He's going to get us all killed."

Around the same time someone shared a clip from the Bill Maher show where Maher basically tells Hillary to "stay in the woods" instead of running for political office again - e.g., you screwed it up and now it's somebody else's turn. What I loved about this clip was the diversity of views, in civil if spirited conversation with one another. I haven't seen such refreshing honesty on TV in some time.

Also this weekend, Mark Cuban also shared his views about President Trump and Russia on Twitter. And again, refreshingly honest, as he basically said - I don't think Trump did anything, on purpose, but as a businessman he isn't going to alienate t…

Revelations of Horrific Abuse Are Part Of The Redemption

This morning I watched a powerful video about the near death experience of a devout Christian man. He was told that the people would not listen, and that we are almost out of time.
Some people are caught up in religion. But according to Jewish prophecy, all will experience the Redemption together in the end, regardless of what faith label they wear.

The only requirement is faith. As it says in Isaiah 26:
"Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (Isaiah 26:2-4) Those with faith will be spared in the time of the Redemption, but God will destroy the evildoers who deny His name -- utterly.  "He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust." (Isaiah 26:5) In that time, those who were abused, exploited, mistreated and shamed by the wealthy, powerful and arrogant will …

Interview With A Child Sex Trafficker

We hear much about child sex trafficking in the news, for example that it is "the fastest-growing organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world" (FBI, 2011, citing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, accessed July 19, 2010), but for obvious reasons we rarely hear from confessed child sex traffickers themselves.

British investigative journalist Ross Kemp traveled to India in 2013, where he interviewed a human trafficker for his television show Extreme World. Kemp was tormented by the experience; called it one of his "most hellish moments." 
Here is a transcript of the segment: Kemp (narrating): "After keeping us waiting for an hour, Mr. Khan emerges from the forest, and hee isn't quite what I was expecting. He started his career as the bait in a honeytrap, convincing young girls that he would marry them, and then quickly selling them off once he'd gotten them into the cities. He now has over 75 traffickers working for h…