Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Let Go In Order To Fly

Sometimes you have to let go in order to fly. Shed the branding stuff to spend more of my personal time on citizen research. WHOO!

Transcript of Jacob Wohl/Laura Loomer Periscope (February 24, 2019) - Rush Transcript: Attributions Need To Be Validated

Transcript of Jacob Wohl/Laura Loomer Periscope
(Rush Transcript; Attributions Need To Be Validated)
February 24, 2019

JW: All right. For some reason Periscope cut out on us.Yeah, should we just pick up where we left off, because everybody always just—

LL: Watch the previous Periscope before and you can get the update but essentially we were talking about Ilhan Omar and how we're here on the ground in Minnesota.

LL: Ilhan tonight is in Tampa, Florida speaking at the fundraiser for the Islamic Relief, which has been designated as a terrorist organization, they had their accounts shut down by HSBC because of terror financing. She was speaking side by side next to one of the officials for the Islamic Relief, the largest Islamic charity in America, who has called for the killing of Jews and posted threats about Jews, so you know this woman is not sorry for being a Jew-hater.

JW: You know one of the things that I -- that I learned today is I went into the community and I was interviewing human sources that had inside knowledge about Ilhan Omar's sham marriage, and actually people from the community that were legally here, of, they're actual refugees from Ethiopia who were Christians, were thanking me, were actually walking up and thanking me on camera for pursuing this against Ilhan Omar. And so you know that's one of the things that struck me about about this operation is that there's people within her district that are bullied by these Somali thugs, and we saw them firsthand.

JW: You know later in the day Laura, you, you visited a mosque. You visited a mosque and tell everyone what happened when you visited the mosque and and how welcoming and diverse and just how inclusive these people were.

LL: Yeah so it's actually kind of funny how this whole thing played out and I laugh about it because I just can't believe this is happening here in America, but believe it or not I went to one of the Islamic centers here on the ground today.

LL: And you know we're, we are continuing the investigation you know I told you seven months ago when I was here on the ground that Ilhan had ties to terrorist organizations and individuals who are radicalized, right? She wrote a letter advocating for decreased sentences for individual Somali men in the community here who tried to join ISIS.

LL: And there was a report that recently came out that showed that Minneapolis, Minnesota is now the terrorist recruitment center in the United States of America, and more Somali men according to the FBI, have tried to join ISIS overseas from Minnesota than any other place in the country. And so I thought, wow, where are these, you know, Somali Muslim men learning, these, or becoming radicalized so that they want to join ISIS, what is happening? And I thought what better way than to go ask, you know, a local Imam, or you know a director of an Islamic Center, and so that's what I did and I went to the Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Minneapolis.

LL: I was very nice and I thought that I was very respectful and it was very non-confrontational, and I simply walked in and I just asked if I could speak with the director because I was interested in knowing what the director of this majority Somali Islamic center was doing.

JW: Well these places are minting, you know, terrorists, quicker than the U.S. Mint mints coins.

LL: Right, so let me tell you what happened. So then I walk in and I say hi can I please speak to Mohamed Omar. Mohamed Omar is the name, was the director of the Islamic Center, the Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. And what happened was the guy who was there was very aggressive, right? He was very standoffish, he was not very friendly to me one bit whatsoever, he just started raising his voice.
JW: You walked up nicely.

LL: I walked up nicely. I said hi my name's Laura Loomer, I'm an investigative journalist, I was just wondering if I could speak to Mohamed Omar, the director of this Islamic center, I have a couple questions, I'm doing a report on Ilhan Omar and the rise of Islamic Jihad here in Minnesota.

LL: And he refused to shake my hand. And he said I don't shake hands with women. And this is all on video, you'll be able to see it, but he did say that, he said I don't shake hands with women, and then he became very very aggressive. Um, I tried, um, you know explaining why I was there, he was being very disrespectful to the guy who was filming, being very dismissive of me because I was a woman, I think also because I wear Judaic jewelry, I have a Chai (ring), and I also had a necklace on earlier today that matches this, he was very hostile.

LL: And then a woman wearing a burka walked in, and she asked what we were doing there, and I explained oh you know I'm a journalist I'm here to do a report, I was hoping I could set up an appointment or speak with Mohammed Omar. And she said yeah sure just leave your information. So I tried to leave my email address for them, and then this guy gets on the the phone, this Somali man, and he starts speaking, I guess he was speaking Arabic or something, and he became very confrontational, and I guess they called the police, because I was actually –
JW: So you got the heck out of there because you don't know if there's gonna be an awesome Minneapolis PD officer there shows up and we've dealt with a lot of them, or whether it's gonna be somebody who's bad. So you got out of there.
LL: Well I mean I left too, when they asked me to leave I was just like I said I was simply just trying to set up an appointment it was not confrontational. But then he started to become very aggressive and walk towards me and started putting his hands and you know his pocket area and the guy who was filming became very uncomfortable and feared for his safety and so we left and I said all right well just um you know here's my email address.
JW: And so - and while this is going on Laura's with the security guy, a camera guy, and
everyone else, while that's going on I'm on the other side of town in little Mogadishu, and what do we find, none other than ISIS propaganda everywhere. These people have the walls painted with ISIS flags, and they're trying to raise a miniature Caliphate in Minneapolis. That's why I called it Minneapolistan. Most of the city is pretty nice, but you have these areas that are completely taken over, and it's unbelievable.

LL: And so then what ended up happening right is they were acting -- the Somali man lied, he told the police that they that we were there for an hour, obviously we weren't, we filmed the entire thing, and the police officers here are really nice, they told us yes, we're really aware that this is a you know, Jihadi- type mosque, we're aware of the numbers we know we know that you know the guy wasn't telling the truth because he wasn't, we have it all on camera and we were there for five minutes, and he became very aggressive and really was being hateful towards me because I'm a woman, he expressed that, and I think also because I'm Jewish. And so then the police were talking to us, and ultimately-- There was no incident-- There was no incident whatsoever, it's just the Islamic Center decided they wanted to make a show out of it and so they essentially trespassed me, simply because I wanted to ask a question. It's all on video, you can see it.

JW: It's all on video, you're gonna see it soon. I was downtown, actually, just south of downtown in the Somali housing projects basically collecting information about Ilhan Omar's sham marriage, and, you know, like I said, there were people there in the community that were very nice. We had lunch at a Somali restaurant, and the waiter happened to be a Trump supporter. Was a big fan of what we were doing, we got him on camera and interviewed him. He was a Somali, right? Yeah, young guy, must have been 16, 17 years old. Loves President Trump. So it's not all bad, but what you have is you have these cells that are inculcated within the community that are determined to destroy America, determined to launch jihad.

So then what happened next is Laura says to us you know, very, in a very banal way, I'd like to take you guys to a mall. Let's go check out a mall, you gotta see it, you just have to see with your own eyes. And I said ah, what do we need to go to a mall for, but we shlepped over to the mall in our convoy.

LL: The reason why I said they gotta go to a mall is because they didn't believe me that there were entire shopping centers in Minneapolis—

JW: I didn't. LL: Which are taken over. Like you can walk in and there's not a single white person, there's not a single person that's not wearing Muslim garb.

JW: So she took us into this place, and I say where is the mall, I see a couple of run-down buildings here. It's called Karmel Mall, I tweeted out a picture. By the way everyone, go to retweet, I see we have 500 viewers, if all of you retweet, this will go viral, it will get trending so go and retweet. Go. So OK. So we go into this mall and I say where the hell is a mall, this looks like something in Mogadishu, it was a rundown building. There was I think I saw a few women but they were the exception. Most of the women who were there were wearing full burkas slit on the eyes. And some of them even had mesh over the eyes.

LL: Minnesota, you guys. We're in Minnesota and this is happening. And the entire mall if you look on Jacob's - I'm gonna post the picture on my Instagram. Instagram you can follow me on Instagram. It says Karmel Mall, a Somali mall. It doesn't say an American mall or everyone is welcome here, it says a Somali mall. And so when we walked inside, you know, there were -- most of the shops were selling like, Islamic texts and you know like burkas, and  

JW: Some rugs and burkas.

LL: Rugs, and a lot of prayer rugs, and a lot of women were selling like—little trinkets, and knickknacks and like hijabs and burkas, and so then I was just, you know, just walking around inside Karmel Mall, mall and I was looking at some of the the books. And I saw this table that said Islamic Teachings for Children, and so I just -- you know it sparked my curiosity,and I was like hmm, what are they teaching little kids, and so I went over there and I started flipping through books, and just flipping through random pages, and then I started like going through the  bookshelves and seeing what I could find and I just I I told one of the guys who is filming I said, You know I'd be really interesting to see like randomly, if we started flipping through some pages, what we would see we just flipped to a random page. And so that's what I did, and one of the books, whoops knocked the table a little, one of the books that um I found, well, I was looking in the um, you know Islamic children's book section, An Approach to Islamic Education First Level, you can see here, Hold that up closer to the camera so that everyone can see.  That's one of the books, I ended up buying the book because I thought that if I told you guys this, you may not believe it unless you saw it. But by the way, way thanks to you guys donating at we have the funds to do all this, I might add, and keep donating and double up if you can, we're not done with this yet. And so then I was looking through the book and I was like, alright, this is interesting, and the book that was laying right next to the Approach to the Islamic Education First Level was this book. Lawful Earnings. Lawful Earnings. Daroo(f) Islam Research Section. So –

JW: Let's cut to the chase, what does the book say?

LL: Essentially, you know, you you flip through the pages, and the page that I flipped to, here, you can see for yourself, we're flipping to page 56 and it says-- May Allah curse the Jews. So this is a book that's being sold in one of these Somali malls in Minnesota, we're not in Somalia, right? It feels like we're in Somalia. right it feels like we're in Somali yeah. It truly honestly does when I walk down the street and I'm the only woman who gets eyeballed because I'm not wearing a niqab or a burka. niqab or a burqa but we are in the But we are in the Midwest, we are in Minnesota, and it's really crazy to me that in a child's book section—

JW: One of our camera guys took a wrong turn, he was walking through getting b-roll, getting footage, he took a wrong turn and he got basically ambushed by two goons who said You got to get out of here. Gave him no reason at all. Snatched the phone out of his hand. Deleted footage off of his phone and basically kicked him out of there. He had to walk into a Walgreens just to shake him and get back to this -- one of our security guys who was waiting in the cars.

LL: I mean this is unbelievable that Americans cannot walk through a so-called shopping mall in the United States if they have white skin, if they're not wearing Islamic garb.

JW: Exactly. And this is what's happening in Minnesota.

LL: And it's really interesting too and then after a while, you know, I was scrolling through a lot of these books and the guy came up to me, and he goes, Excuse me miss, are you a Muslim or are you interested in becoming a Muslim? And I said, oh no I'm just looking. And you know I didn't feel uncomfortable, it doesn't really -- I don't really get scared easily, um you know, but I understand if other people are uncomfortable and I guess it made some of the people in the group a little bit uncomfortable to have that many eyes on them. But I was just very interested in how -- you know it's very sad, you think of a first grader, how old are first graders, like five, six years old?

JW: Five, six years old, and they get started on this crap

LL: Five, six years old when they get started getting you know, An Approach to Islamic Education, First Level, curse the Jews, may Allah curse the Jews, so-- this is not -- we're not living in Gaza, right? We're not living in Somalia. This is not Saudi Arabia. We are not in the Middle East, we are not in Africa right?

JW: Let me ask you a question Laura. How would you like to get into an Uber down by that mall? How do you think that would go for you?

LL: Well I'll tell you one thing. Well I can't, I'm banned, so.

JW: You're banned. But I tell you what, I wouldn't want my little sisters getting in an Uber down on that side of town.  Believe me, and you wouldn't want your daughters or sisters or wives doing it either, and it's just, it's really unbelievable. The hope here is that there are members of the community, like I said, we had lunch at a Somali restaurant though the waiter was a big-time Trump supporter, we interviewed him, he loves what we're doing to try to expose the radical elements within the community.

LL: I don't want anyone thinking that we're making this up so I'm just gonna go very close and you can take a screenshot of this, and you can see for yourself on page 56 it clearly says May Allah curse the Jews. So you see that guys? Do you see that? You're reading that here in Arabic. This is being sold here in the Somali mall, it says may Allah curse the Jews. Right. Right. And it's frankly it's unbelievable. Crazy stuff.

JW: At this same time, we have people threatening us, people trying to expose our location, we had to move locations, because people you know basically tried to dox us and tried to say go and harm these people. We had people threaten to behead us. You name it, we had to go to the police station tonight and make a report. And you're gonna get an update on that later, I don't want to get too much into it but they were very helpful, they were very professional, I'm very happy with Minneapolis PD, it was great, everyone go and retweet, donate at The other thing that I did today is I went to the State Capitol. I had to go to the State Capitol, we stopped over there, there was a big-time pro-gun rally going on, that whole place was filled up to the rafters and immediately people recognized me, they said Jacob thank you for what you're doing, I don't want to be on camera, I'm afraid of the radical elements in my own community but thank you for what you're doing. And so what we did is we went into the event, I basically walked up to a state senator there, a Republican state senator, and said Wwat do you think that at the same time that they're bringing in all of these radical elements and turning your city into the number one ISIS recruitment center in the United States, they're trying to take your guns away? And so I had a really good couple of questions with him that you're gonna see coming soon. And like I said, tonight, Ilhan Omar is next to somebody who called for the extermination of the Jews and she's speaking alongside him and we've got activists down there as well.

LL: I think too you guys, you may want to contact the Hilton in in Tampa where this event was being held because I got this on video today, I called the Hilton which was hosting this event apparently, according to the Islamic Relief invite where Ilhan was speaking this jihadi fundraiser, and I asked the Hilton I said, excuse me, um, you know, why are you guys hosting a terrorist fundraiser for an organization that had its account shut down because they were financing terrorism and why are you hosting these jihadists who have called for the killing of Jews and Christians and are very anti-American in our advocating on behalf of ISIS? And it sounded like they were instructed to pretend like they didn't know what we were talking about, because I asked to speak to a manager or be connected to somebody you know in the in executive branch and um, you know I was told, I don't know what you're talking about, and they hung up. So you know we need to hold these people accountable and tell them, and let them know.

JW: These people can run but they can't hide. Yeah. Wherever they are, we are, because you've donated to, you've put the capital behind us and you continue to put the capital behind us which is really what we need along with prayers, and they can try to chase us out of their jihadist recruitment centers and they can chase us out of their shopping malls and they can try to browbeat us and they can try to threaten us and dox us and do whatever they want, but the bottom line is we're on the right side of history here, we're doing the right thing and you know if you look around and you're on the same side as the people who are recruiting ISIS members and you're on the same side as the people who are throwing Molotov cocktails at conservatives and staging fake hate crimes you're probably on the wrong side. You're probably on the wrong side.

LL: It's insanity. I can't help but laugh at the insanity because this is happening in America, right? This is happening in America where you could be in Minneapolis and then you could just go down the street to the Somali mall, they actually have Somali malls now, and you can pick up a book that calls for cursing the Jews, killing the Jews, and it's like this is insanity, why is this happening in America, I mean who allowed for this to happen? Oh yeah that's right thanks a lot Obama, you know, thanks a lot Obama because when you look at these policies right a lot of this happened under the Obama administration and for those of you who live in Minnesota, you know you know I tried to warn you all about this when I came here, and I was reporting on Keith Ellison who is now the Attorney General, you know,  Keith Ellison is trying to challenge President Trump's immigration policies by suing the Administration so that they can import another 110,000 Somali refugees. How do you think that's gonna happen, you know? What do you think that's gonna do to Minnesota? Go read my article today and I have all the facts there, all the statistics listed for you, all right? It's voter fraud. You're gonna see a lot of voter fraud. And you should be very concerned going into the 2020 election.

JW: They're so deadlocked on this that they're willing to vote twice to do it they're so deadlocked on it that they're willing to triple and quadruple their crime rates in their cities to do it. It's unbelievable so retweet this (broad)cast, get it out there, we're going to put a stop to this stuff, and we're going to put a stop to this ISIS propaganda and ISIS graffiti on the streets all over the place, it's unbelievable it's not happening in my country, and I'm not going to allow a Congresswoman to facilitate all this while cursing the Jews, while telling us that you know, we can't have our culture and telling us that we need to take another hundred and ten thousand refugees and we need to stop supporting Israel and basically dump two hundred years of American heritage, American history, American foreign policy and by the way, receive classified briefings on the House Foreign Affairs Committee while she does it. It's just not gonna happen. It's just really out of control, you know?

LL: And another thing too that I was going to write about today is you know, Ilhan Omar is also going to be speaking to CAIR as one of their keynote speakers in March, I believe March 23rd, or March 23rd I think it is, in California, and one of the guys who she's going to be speaking next to who's invited is a guy who works for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, another designated Islamic terrorist organization and United Arab Emirates. And this guy named Hassan Shipley, who's the director of CAIR Florida, is currently, you know helping out this ISIS bride, this ISIS bride that's trying to come in. Hold on a sec. And this ISIS bride is getting representation and guidance from members of CAIR, and so why is Ilhan Omar going to be speaking and delivering a keynote, one, for an Islamic terrorist organization that you know was found to be supporting Hamas, another Islamic terrorist organization that outlines in its charter its mission to kill Jews, and secondly why is she trying to give a keynote speech next to a guy who's trying to help an ISIS bride. I mean sorry, if you go overseas to help fight for ISIS and kill Americans—

JW: And she wasn't an American

LL: You are not welcome here. She wasn't an American. Bye-bye, enjoy your refugee camp, enjoy your ISIS husband Enjoy Guantanamo Bay, in a perfect world, yeah exactly and give you welfare so that we can you know take care of you and the spawn of a terrorist. I'm sorry, you know, goodbye.

JW: Exactly, you know, and by the way she's not a U.S. citizen, she's not a U.S. resident, she's a foreign national, foreign to Yemenis diplomats, who happens to be in a refugee camp. She doesn't have any right to representation in the United States. So CAIR is just providing material support—

LL: It's treasonous.

JW: They're providing lobbying services. They're providing unlicensed, unregistered lobbying services to an ISIS bride.

LL: Exactly. And that's what they did for Omar Mateen's wife. Remember Omar Mateen, the ISIS terrorist, he killed 49 people in Orlando. The San Bernardino shooter's family, same thing. He killed 49 people in Orlando. And CAIR, of course, because you know CAIR, essentially that's what they do, they love helping terrorists, CAIR rushed to the defense of Noor Salman, and they were on the ground at the hearings, you know, trying to help this woman and the jury foreman even though they found the woman not guilty they said that she was guilty and the only reason they didn't find this woman guilty is because the FBI withheld evidence. They withheld the fact that Omar Mateen's father was an FBI informant who told the FBI that his son was no longer radicalized. So just let that sink in, you know the jury foreman said that this woman, the wife of this terrorist was guilty. They had to say she was not guilty because the FBI you know screwed everything up.

JW: As usual.

LL: And then CAIR, knowing that this woman is guilty, is rushing to her defense all right. And these people you know the Council on American-Islamic Relations, guess where their main office is, in Washington DC. Take a guess. One block away from the White House, all right. So the infiltrators are here, all right? The subversion is already here. So wake up you guys, wake up.

JW: And what you have to do, you need lightning teams like we have, you need activists like us to get on the ground, to make things happen, to go into dangerous neighborhoods in Somali housing projects to interview sources and put them on the record, and put the screws to these people to get the information. And that's what we're doing. The only way we can do it is with your funding. You have to go to, the link is in my twitter bio, and you have to stay tuned for what we have coming next, because if you think you've seen something so far, these are just the update periscopes. Wait until you see the video. It's unbelievable.

LL: Right. And if you want to see my article today which outlines the evidence that Ilhan Omar and Keith Ellison are advocating for voter fraud here and aiding the Somali community in these efforts, go to I am currently banned on Twitter ironically right? Because CAIR came out in the Wall Street Journal, CAIR was lobbying with Twitter to ban me. So Twitter is actually working with a designated Islamic terrorist organization, you know, and co-conspirators as outlined to the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial to ban Jewish conservative journalists. So you've got to subscribe,, you get my emails, you can follow me you know on my website and read the articles in the post.

JW: The FBI is not going to do this work, they're too busy chasing down phony Russian collusion.

LL: They're too busy covering this stuff up, you know? They're too busy covering up the fact that the family members of the ISIS terrorists are actually on the FBI payroll, right? FBI informants.

JW: Paid informants.

LL: Informants, right? The FBI is compromised.

JW: So go to, donate to the cause, send us your prayers, send us your money, and we will get started. Thank you for your support. We're continuing the fight and we're not going to back down.  


Posted by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal 2/27/2019. Public domain. Opinions are the authors’ own.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Federal Communication Is National Security

was thinking about this idea that “federal communication is national security” today (that in a way, it is similar to cybersecurity) and developed the below logical flow as a way of thinking about it. 

Clearly, the post raises more questions than it answers. That's okay with me. 

1. Disinformation is a tool of war.

“There can be a continuing struggle to define the national and international debate/discussion on terms favorable to one side, causing a clash between the competing narratives of the actors involved. This is often what is referred to as the ‘battle of the narrative.’” - Commander’s Communication Synchronization Joint Doctrine Note (JDN 2-13), pp. ix-x

 “Insurgents are not constrained by truth; they create propaganda that furthers their aims. Insurgent propaganda may include lying, deception, and creating false causes…. point out the insurgency’s propaganda and lies.” - U.S. Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 3-24), p. 5-8

2. The threats posted by disinformation are current, intentional and real. Our enemies are actively attacking us using this tactic. 

“Hostile forces, employing automated bots, leverage the blind spots and biases of unwitting Americans to help them send falsehoods flying to spread division and demoralization….Figuring out how to fight back, in a free society of open communication, is the most urgent national security challenge we face.” - D. Von Drehle, “The Disinformation Factory Threatening National Security,” The Washington Post, February 18, 2018

3. Federal communicators can defend the country against insurgents by taking an evidence-based approach to effective communication.

“We argue for a scientific approach to online misinformation and disinformation. Such an approach must be grounded in empirically validated theory, and is necessarily interdisciplinary, requiring insights from the social sciences, decision science, computer science, and systems integration.” - D. Broniatowski, 2017. “Combating Misinformation and Disinformation Online: The ‘Battle of the Narrative.’” Workshop on Culture, Language, and Behavior October 11, 2017, at George Washington University. 

4. As part of this evidence-based approach, we need to accept and understand that “dominating the airwaves” with a “flood of data” is not the answer. Rather, we need to engage different stakeholders in a broad national conversation aimed at facts.

“Co-creation is the most adequate method for achieving the right equilibrium between actors and types of solutions against misinformation. By promoting this method governments have the possibility to promote the interaction between researchers, journalists, private sector, non-profit sector and citizens with minimal intervention.” – V. Koulolias, et al., 2018. Combating Misinformation: An Ecosystem in Co-creation. A report by CA, eGovlab of Stockholm University, the Open University in UK and the OECD.

5. Because we have failed to leverage known methods of effective communication, and because we aren’t working proactively or as a united front, we have failed to counter disinformation.

Our messages and actions are typically disunified,’ said Matthew Armstrong, an associate fellow at the center for strategic communications at King’s College London. ‘Our response to adversarial propaganda is almost invariably reactionary.’” 

- M. Chalfant, “U.S. falling short in countering propaganda from other nations, experts tell Congress,”, March 5, 2017.

6. As federal communicators working on a day-to-day level, one of our major struggles has to do with navigating the gray area between providing information and employing appropriate methods of persuasion. 

 “Civil servants navigate gray areas. At one end of the spectrum is the provision of factual information in dry government reports. At the opposite end is ‘PR to gain public support.’ In the middle are programs to persuade the public to do something, such as give up smoking or use government servicesMessages such as these implicitly carry endorsements for government policy. - J. M. Hamilton and K. R. Kosar, “Government Information and Propaganda: How To Draw A Line?” R Street Policy Study No. 73, October 2016, p. 5.

7. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the two apart.

 “The line between advocacy and manipulation is hard to define, nearly impossible to enforce and arguably must be drawn differently for different classes of government workers.” - J. M. Hamilton and K. R. Kosar, “Government Information and Propaganda: How To Draw A Line?” R Street Policy Study No. 73, October 2016, p. 4.

8. However, the actual apparatus of government will stop working if federal communicators are not empowered to communicate on the level of fact. 

“The useful functioning of government requires that the public receive information to make sound independent judgments.” - J. M. Hamilton and K. R. Kosar, “Government Information and Propaganda: How To Draw A Line?” R Street Policy Study No. 73, October 2016, p. 5.

9. Yet data alone is not enough. If we are going to fight back against our enemies effectively, we have to explain to the public what’s going on and what a solution to the hostilities looks like. 

 “A key component of the narrative is establishing the reasons for and desired outcomes of the conflict, in terms understandable to relevant publics.” - Commander’s Communication Synchronization Joint Doctrine Note (JDN 2-13), pp. ix-x

10. As we embark on this path, it is important to remain sensitive to the distinction between the Federal communicator and the political appointee. (Both are bound by the Hatch Act). 

“Ideally, the two can work together in a complementary way to support the free flow of information about government plans, policies and programmes between the elected politicians and the public.” – OECD (1996), “Effective Communications Between the Public Service and the Media,”SIGMA Papers, No. 9, OECD Publishing, Paris. 


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. Public domain. Photo by MasterTux via Pixabay (free; no attribution required).

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

First They Came For The Muslims

We tend to look at things from our own little corner of the world and I suppose I am no exception.

Over the past few years, hate crimes against Jews have spiked, and my focus as a Jew has been on my own community. "You feel the hate rising," said one Jewish person in France, where hate incidents increased by 74% in 2018.

Here in the States, earlier this month a yeshiva in Monsey, New York was torched, with swastikas spray-painted outside. And last Friday night, Jewish residents of Bushwick (Brooklyn), New York were sitting down to Sabbath dinner at a local synagogue when somebody smashed the windows.

This of course is not a laundry list of crimes. I could go on and on about the kids who threw pennies at my daughter's friend in school. The catcalls when we went on vacation in Florida. The sinister, not friendly "Shalom" aimed at my husband more than once.

I could talk to you about the synagogues that are sending their members out on patrol, every weekend. The security guards. The hushed discussions of Pittsburgh and the Tree of Life massacre. The rush to get guns and learn self-defense, in case there is another active shooter situation.

"The rabbeim (rabbis) are specifically authorizing this," someone told me recently. "They never would have allowed it in the past."

Yes, it's always been scary to be an open Jew. And now it's becoming terrifying.

In recent years, I've also become aware that other groups are both targeted and scared. Just like Jewish people have a volunteer patrol in New York called the "Shomrim" (guards), the Muslim community has its own community watch. They are victims of horrifying hate crimes, from decapitated pig's heads to terrifying social media posts to violent assaults and worse. Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 15% in the U.S. in 2017 and hit a record high in the UK in 2017.

In general, hate is on the rise. According to the FBI, there were 7,175 hate crimes in 2017, up from 6,121 the year before. The number-one target group: African-Americans, followed by Jews.

Christians do not talk about it as much, but they are victims of hate crimes just as Jews and Muslims. According to one recent poll, "half of white Protestants say there is a fair amount or a great deal of discrimination against Christians."

Why is it important for us to focus on the problem of hate crime, particularly if we are not part of the group that was targeted in the attack?

The answer, in my view, has to do with censorship. As we know when it comes to the Middle East, in an environment where free speech is constantly blocked, fanatics rule. Wajahat Ali, a Pakistani-American writer who visited the Middle East to better understand the conflict there, is preoccupied with learning more about extremists' "zealous conviction, unclouded by doubt, anchored by an arrogant righteousness, unwilling to tolerate dissent."

In an environment where thought itself is dangerous, insane people step in to regulate the lives of everybody else -- and peace, which has to be based on truth, justice and reconciliation -- becomes impossible to achieve.

In fact, I remember working for USAID, and an offhand comment someone made about Muslims getting harassed if they so much as hinted at the desire to work with Israel toward peace. Their normal desire for a normal life, for themselves and their children, was brutally repressed and distorted. They could not speak the truth of what they saw or felt; peacemakers were not wanted; peacemakers were "collaborators with the occupation."

It is popular to blame hate crimes on conspiracy theories; the impulse is quite naturally to silence anyone who seems to be rousing the public toward anger, even if the corruption they are pointing to is real.

But I would argue that the greater danger is our innate desire to assume the Orwellian posture of "thought police," even if our motives are noble.

As a parent I am troubled to see that my children fear speaking out publicly, even in a thoughtful way, about any controversial but important topic.

As a teacher I am troubled to see my students far too willing to provide the answers they think I want to hear.

And as an employee, I have always been troubled by the Darwinian tendency of many a colleague to figuratively "step over the bodies," just go along to get along -- because they've seen too many people stick their heads out only to find their necks chopped off.

Social media platforms, and now even banks, now routinely regulate speech in just this misguided way. They target all sorts of people, for reasons that are hard to know, with messages that simply offer some variation of "you are no longer online."

We have the opportunity to unite against hate, by supporting one another as members of the human race. Human beings must think, they must express themselves, they must learn, and they must debate in order to arrive at higher truth -- in this we are no different than scientists doing hard experiments.

Let us commit to protect each other's right to say unpopular things, things that make the rest of us uncomfortable, things that may turn out to be flat-out wrong. Let us trust the human race to crowdsource the truth, and correct those among us who are simply misleading or inaccurate.

Miscommunication is dangerous enough.

Repression is the genesis of war.


Public domain. Opinions are the author's own.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Horrible Managers Do These 5 Things

"First, Let's Fire All The Managers," cried Gary Hamel in 2011. Soon, endorsed by no less than the Harvard Business Review, the idea of "de-layering" caught on, and "cutting the fat" often means shedding highly paid executives, from Starbucks to Coca-Cola

However, as Hamel pointed out, the role of the manager is not the problem. Rather, issue has to do with the faulty, hierarchical system that produces them, "a top-heavy management model that is both cumbersome and costly."

Why are so many managers so horrible that Hollywood loves to poke fun at them? (Office SpaceHorrible Bosses)? Typically, it's because there is a role conflict inherent in their jobs: Their true customer base, the people who hire and fire them, consists of organizational leadership. As such, the needs of their employees -- the human beings they are supposed to manage to productivity -- are instantly superseded by anyone higher than themselves.

This reality, which one might call the "manager's paradox," leads many a potentially good manager to engage in 5 horrible, productivity-killing behaviors that utterly destroy the people who slave away day and night to make the manager look good. As follows:

  • Treating everyone exactly the same: Human beings are not sugar cookies. Each person has a different way of listening, of learning, and of communicating. Managers who expect a group of adults to sit there like robots, listening to instructions and "spitting back" a result, are extraordinarily low on emotional intelligence and should not be in charge of productivity.
  • Expecting the employee to read your mind. "I'll know good work when I see it" may be your preferred mode of evaluating work, but it is also narcissistic and a significant waste of time for the person who simply wants and needs to know the performance standard that is wanted. Further, it's abusive to a hardworking, talented and experienced employee to expect them to be a "mini-me" rather than the best version of themselves, in the service of the organization. 
  • Expecting too much or too little. Employees who are under-challenged are bored out of their minds, and you're wasting money on paying them. Conversely, employees who are continually forced to operate beyond their level -- typically because of some institutional refusal to hire and pay a cadre of people what they're worth -- wind up burned out and frustrated. Imagine being a paralegal who is asked to become a prosecutor without ever attending law school: This is how many horrible managers try to wring out every last drop of value from their vulnerable staff. 
  • Failing to provide training. One of the most frequent gaps in employer-employee communication has to do with the failure of the employer to immerse the employee in the history, culture, mission, vision, values and operational guidelines of the organization they work for. It is unfortunate that many people in my generation (Generation X) were raised on a model of "just figure it out," and they assume that their employees will somehow "magically" do the same thing, absorbing the implicit knowledge of the organization by some form of osmosis. This is insanity, not good management, and it leads not only to errors but an even longer learning curve than necessary. 
  • Extremes of no feedback or micromanaging. Management is a "people" job. You have to get in there and tell people what is wanted, tell them when they're doing a good job, and tell them when they're failing. The horrible manager who is conflict averse tells themselves that they're "empowering" people by "letting them figuring things out," but only because they shy away from providing necessary guidance. On the other hand, the horrible manager who is an evil, arrogant, egotistical pig takes sadistic delight in torturing the employee at every turn, telling them how their work falls short, and then "showing" them how their own efforts are in fact, far superior. 

What is the opposite of being a horrible manager? Understand your employees as people first. Establish clear performance standards. Make sure the standards are appropriate to the job level. Train them to deliver excellence. And finally, provide regular feedback, without micromanaging, to let them know when their efforts are on target.

Many people claim to want to be good managers -- and as such, read books about good management, pay lots of (corporate) money for management seminars, take certificates and degrees and post nice things on LinkedIn.

But in the real world, being a good manager has to do with none of these things.

It's about having the integrity to do the right thing by the people who work for you. 

Which is, in the end, is not just good business, but simple common sense.


Public domain. Opinions are the author's own. Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.