Friday, August 5, 2005
Email Luke Essays Profiles ArchivesSearch LF.netLuke Ford Profile Dennis Prager Jul 19 Wonkette in L.A. Cathy Seipp On Wonkette Mickey Kaus Interviews Wonkette Emmanuelle's report Molestation Attorney The Jewish Girl and the Blowjob
The View From Iraq
At a party Wednesday night, I met 95-year old actress Gloria Stewart (she played the old lady in the James Cameron 1997 movie Titanic), and Kirk Brown, who has just returned from his second tour of duty as a "certified protection specialist" to American engineers in Iraq. "The first time I went (April 2004) was after four Blackwater security contractors were killed in Falluja. I was a security contractor on quick reaction forces to protect the power plants being built for the reconstruction of Iraq.
"I'm a former Marine. I did eight years. I was in an elite unit.
"I'm a bodyguard by trade. I had over 600 hours of training by the Secret Service.
"One of those four guys who was killed was a friend of mine (Scott Helvenston). I was the bodyguard to the Japanese president of Sony in Mexico but I left because I thought I could make a difference in Iraq.
"The first trip I was on a quick reaction force. If anything happened, we'd get a call, leave our compound, and suppress [the enemy].
"Then I worked for another company [in Iraq] in 2004. I protected the project management personnel. They'd get the contracts to rebuild Iraq. I did that for three months. Came back for a few months and then went back for seven months.
"We were stationed outside of Fallujah, a very hostile area. We took a lot of hits, a lot of rockets, firefights.
"When the engineers wanted to go somewhere, I would be in charge of the convoy.
"The first time [in Iraq], I was expecting a lot worse. The second time, in the last few months, it got really hot.
"The Iraqis can't shoot straight.
"The news media aren't showing the good parts, the reconstruction parts. The water that is reflowing, the electricity we put together, the buildings we rebuilt. All they're showing is the bombs and the people getting killed."
Do you think we're winning?
"I think we're winning."
My Dad Gives The Homily For Dr. Eric Magnusson's Wedding
I've known the Magnussons since I lived at Avondale College in Australia (1972-77). In 1992, I renewed my friendship via the mail with the middle of the three Magnusson boys - Roger. His dad Eric just got married on Australia's Gold Coast (his second). My dad gave the homily. Then there was a great vegetarian meal. Those Sevies know how to have a good time.
What Do You Do With People Who Ask You For Things They Can Easily Do For Themselves?
I get email like the following all the time:
Dear Mr. Ford: I'm looking for a transcript of a panel discussion that was held May 29, 2004. It was called "Hollywood Insiders Take On Hollywood." It was hosted by the American Cinema Foundation, held at the American Film Institute and moderated by Cathy Seipp. Cathy said you had the best transcript, and that you might have it in your archives. If you do, could you email it to me? Sure would appreciate it.
Hasn't anyone heard of Google? Has this person taken five seconds to check out the Search function on top of my site? Have they tried the Archives?
Just go here.
I go through life with people asking me to do things for them that they could easily and most properly do for themselves. Usually I ignore such requests. Sometimes I point out the easy way they can fulfill their own requests. Sometimes I berate people for being so stupid and selfish.
I rarely lose my temper but when people treat me like an idiot I get annoyed.
Dennis Prager Vs. Christopher Hitchens On Meaning Of The Word 'Secular'
Prager is a religious Jew and Hitchens is an atheist. Hitchens said the United States was a secular society and Europe was religious (because many of Europe's states fund and support a state religion such as the Church of England (Anglican) and Germany requires its citizens to pay a tithe to a religious institution). Prager said that was ridiculous. A far higher percentage of Americans go to a house of worship regularly than Europeans.
Prager said "secular" meant the absence of religion. Hitchens said it meant the separation of church and state, that the state did not fund or control or was influenced by religion. Hitchens said one could be secular and still personally religious.
Prager consulted two dictionaries. They both supported Prager's meaning of the word. Hitchens' meaning of the word wasn't even listed.
I've always despised Christopher Hitchens. I think he's a poser and an empty attention-seeker. He's dishonest and bombastic. And today was just another example of his lying ways.
Hitchens said that the argument from design for God's existence was a primitive one, because then who made God?
This is a moronic. If anyone created God, then God wouldn't be God. God by definition wasn't created.
Prager was born August 2, 1948. Each year, as a birthday present to himself, he devotes an hour to listeners telling him how he's influenced their life. Prager says that once a year he will be the center of attention. Otherwise, he says "that's not my style."
He's delusional on this point. Prager is constantly making himself the center of attention. One of his annoying interviewing traits is how much time he takes to ponderously lecture guests on what his owns views are and how do they react to his opinions.
Prager constantly praises himself on air. He constantly iterates his own virtues (clear-thinking, smart, Ivy-league educated, speaks numerous languages, widely traveled, happily married, religious) and how he doesn't have certain vices (drinking, gambling, TV-watching, etc).
David Scott writes: "He’s an ass. I never understood what anyone saw in him until I heard him on the radio. He’s got a good accent and it makes him sound smart. He’s the perfect example of the bad parts of post-modernism: dress up a weak argument with enough rhetoric and vitriol, and people everywhere will quote you and call you a genius. Not to mention that religion-haters support him and his rather ridiculous attacks on John Paul and Mother Theresa, etc."
David Shaw, Media Critic, Dead At 62
The LA Times, appropriately, devotes enormous space to the death of the most important media critic of the past 30 years.
Given by his superiors enormous time, independence and resources, Shaw published important essays on the news media's bungled coverage of abortion and of the bogus McMartin Pre-School sex scandals (no one was convicted despite years of hysterical charges).
But David Shaw was no saint (neither journalistically nor humanly).
Why are obituaries in American newspapers overwhelmingly eulogies?
About 95% of the LA Times obituary of Shaw is a hagiography. Why not evaluate someone in death the same way you'd evaluate someone in life?
David Shaw had as many flaws as virtues. For all his important work, he turned out a tremendous amount of junk (I'm unaware of anything ground-breaking he did in his last eight years). His series on The LA Times profit-sharing deal with the Staples Center didn't break ground and was decidedly soft on those in power (as was typical of his reporting on his own paper). His four-part series on Hollywood journalism (circa 1999) was a complete waste. His weekly media columns the past couple of years were similarly useless (they were easy targets for bloggers). He had no skill with his food and wine columns. Many of them were ludicrous.
I never met David Shaw. I exchanged some emails with him in late 2002. When I was friendly, he replied briefly. When I asked him tough questions, he didn't.
I've read a lot of nasty remarks about David Shaw over the past few years (Rick Barrs in New Times Los Angeles, and Matt Welch and Ken Layne on LAExaminer.com). I'm sure many people gave David an earful in person. To the best of my knowledge, he never returned the vitriol. He never attacked people personally, and always strove to keep dialogue on a high plane.
The Rabbi's Blowjob
From the blog The Beach of Yellow:
[Last night I met up with an old friend. I heard she had left Chareidiville too and I was curious why. To my horror, she told me that she, too, had been the victim of a sexually abusive rabbi. Our discussion sparked in me memories of this incident.]
The back of the minivan was cluttered with kiddie paraphernalia: carseats, a crumpled blanket, a rattle. Sticky crumbs and juice box straws littered the carpeted floor.
This was the first time she’d given a blowjob. The idea repulsed her; she’d been taught from childhood to watch what went into and out of her mouth, but he pleaded, “Please, baby, would you do this for me?” and after all he’d helped her, she felt obligated.
"Sweetheart, that was incredible," he said.
He tucked his tzitzit in and zipped up his black pants.
From a previous entry:
He is still there, in the same position. A rabbi, spreading the light of torah among the masses. A family man, with a big brick house and a minivan. Does he know what he did to me, and how it has affected my life so drastically? Does he even realize what he has done wrong? Somehow I doubt it. Until the very end, he insisted that he was helping me.
I pray that no other women experience that kind of "help" from him.
Chaim Amalek writes:
Keep speaking truth to power, Luke. Consider yourself a cowboy of Jewish souls, trying to lassoo those stiff-necked Jews back into the Torah corale where they can't harm the goyim. Would not the world be a better place if the Jews abandoned Hollywood and the Hamptons for yeshivas and shuls?
Why Do Jews Dress Up More For Synagogue Than Christians Do For Church?
Dennis Prager raised this on his show. He said you never see people coming to shul (in America anyway) in shorts as you do have Christians going to church.
I suspect that this reflects Judaism's focus on action while Christianity is more centered on the heart (and on faith). I've never heard a rabbi say, "It's what's in your heart that counts," and I heard that phrase all the time in my Christian upbringing.
I was raised a Seventh Day Adventists, and SDAs in America would never wear shorts to church. But SDAs, like Mormons, are more fervent than your average Christian. SDAs on average tithe ten percent of their incomes to the church while your average Protestant tithes 2% and average Catholic 1%.
A friend writes:
In my past life as a sociology-of-religion student, I read somewhere that what different immigrant religious groups in America wore to services was linked to larger issues of social status display, the general theory being that groups who were first or second or third generation immigrants tended to be more formal than religious groups/sects who had been here for longer, because they were less relaxed about their social status in America, and hence there is a mostly-unstated group impetus to put on a good show. I do notice that people in mostly white evangelical megachurches tend to be dressed business-casual, whereas most of the people I see going in and out of korean and hispanic churches in low-income LA neighborhoods tend to be wearing (cheap) suits.
Are Some Jews Screwing Up America?
Chaim Amalek writes: "Are they? And how! Thank God we have brave Jews like Luke Ford willing to set the record straight."
Rob Eshman writes in the Jewish Journal:
Jewish Americans are only 2 percent of the nation’s population, but they are 25 percent of its problem.
That’s according to Bernard Goldberg, whose new, bestselling nonfiction book is called, “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is No. 37).”
The book offers one- and two-page mini-attacks on people who, Goldberg writes, “are not only screwing things up in this country, but who often are wildly succeeding by screwing things up.”
The way I see it, if Goldberg could take the time and trouble to list these people, the least that I, the Jewish journalist, could do is count the Jews among them. I came up with 25.
So there are 25 American Jews who, in Goldberg’s words, produce “a slow poison running through the veins of this great country.”
Goldberg’s callings-out turn up quite frequently on the Web sites of white supremacists and anti-Semitic hate groups.
The Hebrew Bible's callings-out of Jews turn up quite frequently on the Web sites of white supremacists and anti-Semitic hate groups. I guess the prophet Isaiah should've flattered his audience instead of criticizing wrong-doers?
Is Eshman saying that one may onlye write positive things about Jews? Is it ok to attack people who are damaging America? Is it ok to attack Jews who are damaging America? Should one be restrained from attacking individual Jews who do bad things because this might fuel hatred of the Jewish people?
My answer is no. The greatest Jewish problems in America are not external anti-semitism but the internal failure to live up to the Jewish religion.
Jews in public life, like Gentiles, deserve to be called out for the good, bad and ugly things they do.
There are books on great Jewish athletes, and great Jewish scientists, and great Jewish this and that. There's nothing wrong with a book pointing out the damage that some Jews do.
Does anyone who subscribes to Judaism as his primary source of values have any doubt that America's entertainment industry, disproportionately dominated by secular Jews, is a far greater source of harm than good?
Jews, like every group, have good and bad members. Some Jews do terrible things. I don't see why they should get a pass. Eshman's column is nonsense. It is not pointing the finger at Jews doing bad things that is the problem. It is the Jews doing bad things.
The sacred texts of the Jewish tradition are filled with criticisms of Jews. I'm glad Eshman wasn't allowed to sanitize the Bible the way he sanitizes coverage of Jewish Los Angeles in the Jewish Journal (which overflows with relentless church-bulletin-style puff pieces on Jewish life).
I watched this hilarious film Eulogy Friday and asked my mate from shul if I could give his when he kicks the bucket in the not too distant future. He replies:
As long as this honor would not tick-off either the professor or Larry, it seems good to me!! Don't speak for more than an hour or so as the congregation tends to get pissy and hungry!!! You may have to condense all my shining attributes and achievements which will not be easy, but seeing as I will not be able to censure you, I trust you will not leave anything out!! Maybe [Mrs] could help (provided she is still alive!!). Hope to see you tomorrow with Hashem's and your blessing! Your humble servant, Uriah Heep
I've been taking books on wife-beating and sexual abuse to shul over the past few weeks and showing them to various wives, including Uriah's, letting them know help is available.
Some quotes from the movie:
Lucy Collins: You wouldn't know a sex toy if it left a battery in your vagina.
Alice Collins: My vagina, as you are so whimsically about to refer to it, has served as sacred passage, for three anatomically correct children, so...
Fred Collins: Bad image.
Ted Collins: [hits head twice] Erase, erase.
Bookworm Michael Silverblatt Is A Horrible Radio Host
I listened to the KCRW show for the first time today to hear Tom Wolfe interviewed. It was awful radio. Michael can take a minute or longer to pose an awkward, pause-ridden question. There's so much dead air. Michael is to talk radio what the Special Olympics are to the Olympics. Listening to Silverblatt, I'm filled with the same awkward compassion I feel for a heavily retarded kid trying to run down a track and repeatedly falling on his face.
Am I an idiot or is this Scott Martelle LA Times article on Silverblatt's show idiotic? There's nothing in it I can hold on to. It's empty words about an empty show. If you can figure out what this article means, please Email Luke.
In particular, could someone please explain this paragraph:
The series is an ambitious effort to engage some of the nation's leading writers — and a few emerging writers like Martínez and David Mitchell, author of "Cloud Atlas" — in a far-ranging discussion of the nature of self in literature, both as a catalyst for the author and as a motivation for the reader.
Then could you explain this: "The programs are vintage Silverblatt, whose low-key but intensely informed approach to interviewing often leads writers to on-air revelations about their own work."
What's low key about Silverblatt bloviating for over a minute trying to form a question? Why does Silverblatt have to lecture these authors about the meaning of their books? Why does The LAT puff up this nonsense?
Silverblatt named the series "Escaping the Cage: Identity, Multiculturalism and Writing," playing off Angelou's autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which, in turn, was named for her poem about the human desire to make one's voice heard even when shackled.
Anything titled after anything Maya Angelou has written is likely to be nonsense. There are some voices that should be shackled -- ok, that's too strong, and I don't really believe it, but my shackling tendency just overcame my better self.
Why must I get angry before I can blog?
Sheli writes: "You're quite right to point out that Michael Silverblatt is no Warren Olnay, who come to think of it is no Charlie Rose. If you can get past the dead air and your own impatience, though, you might find he asks some of the most thoughtful and informed, albeit baroque, literary questions you're likely to hear on radio or most other places (save, maybe, Darko Suvin's Marxist/deconstructionist scifi classes at McGill)."
Why must I be premature with Silverblatt? Because I'm a busy man with a world to save.
Mr. Satire writes me:
You are not the only one confused about the article.
1. It makes no sense. It has no purpose. Its a classic psychobabble.
2. The whole premise (I believe) is based that the authors should not be classified into certain groups (sex, race, ethnicity), when in fact M. Silverblatt invited the guests based on their sex/race/ethnicity. M. Angelou is no poet, for heaven's sake! The only reason she is promoted and "celebrated" is because she is a black female. If she is a poet, I don't know what to say about Shakespeare, Pushkin, Goethe, Byron, Lorca, etc.
3. Nina Marie Martinez purports to write about humanity as opposed to her Latino ethnicity. The article compares her and/or she compare herself to Gabriel Garcia Marquez - a real literary giant - who never purported to be an ethnic writer. Maybe that's the secret why Marquez is so influential.
David Scott writes me:
Well, having taken college-lit classes within the last two years, I think I know what they’re saying. Actually, it’s sort of—gasp!—right wing, in some sense or another. It’s all about authors becoming stuck in a niche because of their gender or race. As in, Nina Marie Martínez is a Hispanic author, but not a Hispanic Author. She doesn’t just want to write books especially for her own race. I know how that is because I’m a Christian that writes books that does not aim to be a Christian Author: I think of my stuff as being pretty R rated.
Anyway, it’s kind of a shot at deconstructionism and saying everyone writes their culture. So in that way it’s actually a good thing.
Deep Thinking about writing fiction says that you’re always writing yourself. So, your self is your catalyst to write, because you write through your self. It’s the whole postmodern ‘we are our worldviews’ worldview. As far as ebing the motivation for the reader I assume they mean the motivation to read and learn from your writing.
Anyway, I think you agree with the point they are trying to make—writers are more than their cultural background, and we can find a shared truth—even if the language is flowery. Or, maybe I’m completely wrong. I know most Conservative people are irritated by the thought that no one can escape their cultures.
Brad Schreiber writes:
1. Silverblatt is in fact a well-read but pompous guy who is botulism to radio except he can get the best of literary novelists on the air...
2. Charlie Rose is a good ol boy who interrupts his guests while they are replying or asks a question and then interrupts the beginning of the answer by realizing he has not overexplained his question enough. Both he and Silverblatt should be boiled alive in custard.
3. Your Life As Story is a book written by my pal Tristine Rainer, who is in fact responsible for me living in this nice duplex in Brentwood because she could not live here and still have her horse...
Rabbi resigns to lead nonprofit group
STAMFORD -- Rabbi Mark Dratch of Congregation Agudath Sholom will leave the synagogue and the pulpit for a new role as leader of his nonprofit organization, Jewish Institute Supporting An Abuse Free Environment.
Dratch, 47, started working on issues of sexual and physical abuse in the Jewish community 15 years ago. Noticing that the topic was rarely addressed in Jewish institutions, he created educational, counseling and advocacy programs.
After receiving his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University in 1982, Dratch joined Agudath Sholom as assistant rabbi. In 1984, he left to lead congregations in New York and Toronto before returning in 1997 to serve as head rabbi of Agudath Sholom, the largest Orthodox synagogue in New England.
Dratch said he plans to create a national certification program to address abuse in Jewish schools and synagogues. The program would require principals, teachers and administrators to complete a course confirming they are trained in detecting abuse and handling abusive relationships.
100 People Who Are Screwing Up America
Jeff [Jarvis] told Howard about how he was invited on this show to do an interview with Bernard Goldberg. Jeff siad that Goldberg went off on everyone and yelled at the other people who were being interviewed. The guy is selling his book ''100 People Who Are Screwing Up America: (and Al Franken Is #37)'' and all of the interviews he's doing are helping sales. Howard thought the interview was kind of boring but he was going to play it anyway. Howard is on the list of the 100 people who are screwing up the country. Howard is way down at number 62 while Michael Moore is up at number 1. Howard asked Jeff about some of the other people who are on that list of people who are screwing up the country. Jeff read off a bunch of names. Maurey Povich, Al Franken, Jerry Springer, Barbara Walters and a bunch of others are on that list. Howard said he had a tape of Barbara pleasuring a man but it was a porn clip mixed in with Barbara.
Alizee - Jen Ai Marre (Live)
The greatest singing sensation since Air Supply. She can also sing in English.
New York Update
Chaim writes: New York cops are now doing random searches of bags on the subways here. You should see it - guys in Alladin gowns and long flowing beards hauling huge boxes labeled "Jihad" unmolested, whereas old white women get searched. Insane.
I'm really smart, but I'm poor. And this is why...
Chaim Amalek: Uh oh. You and I must collectively have an mean IQ of about 80. Or maybe IQ does not really measure what counts in life. For your next bit on lf.net, you ought to explain your current economic circumstances in light of your intelligence. Or vice versa. And Miss Seipp doesn't seem independently wealthy, either. So whether his IQ be high or low, there is ample room for the American Negro to hope.
Really, the average wetback makes more per year and owns more stuff and has more sex and has more kids than you. Why is that? Does Professor Wilson have an explanation? That's the sort of blog entry that few have dared touch. "I'm really smart, but I'm poor. And this is why..."
My poverty has made a socialist of me. Just as it did Hitler. Only when my revolution comes, instead of going after the Jews, we are going to go after the celebrities. You can be my Josef Goebels. Cathy can be my Leni Reifenstahl. but for blogs, not movies. Heidi would make a good Eva Braun. Peppy might be my Albert Speer.
The Rise of Captain Marvel
Sheli Teitelbaum writes in The Jerusalem Report:
He served as a lowly grunt during the Six-Day War, attached to an infantry unit tasked with holding down hard-won positions in Jerusalem. Despite an army injury that resulted in a 15-month hospital stay, the real martial heroics - a battle with corporate raiders - came some 25 years later, after Avi Arad and his longtime business partner and fellow Israeli toymaker, Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, had parlayed a perpetual, no-fee licensing deal with the Marvel Entertainment Group in 1993 into a minority stake in the company.
The drama ensued four years later, when Marvel landed in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, sliced, diced and bled dry by its majority shareholder, billionaire Revlon owner Ronald O. Perelman. Smelling blood, corporate raider Carl C. Icahn launched a hostile takeover. Caught in the murderous crossfire and consequent implosion of Marvel's stock value, Arad and Perlmutter made an unsolicited $325-million bid for the company.
Black Rednecks And White Liberals
From Publishers Weekly:
One of America's foremost black conservative intellectuals returns with this provocative collection of contrarian essays. Hoover Institution Fellow Sowell, author of Ethnic America, argues that "internal" cultural habits of industriousness, thriftiness, family solidarity and reverence for education often play a greater role in the success of ethnic minorities than do civil-rights laws or majority prejudices. The title essay posits a "black redneck" culture inherited from the white redneck culture of the South and characterized by violent machismo, shiftlessness and disdain for schooling. White liberals, gangsta-rap aficionados and others who lionize its ghetto remnants as an authentic black identity, Sowell contends, have their history wrong and help perpetuate cultural pathologies that hold blacks back.
Dr. Sowell was Dennis Prager's guest Monday.
James Q. Wilson reviews Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything in the July/August issue of Commentary Magazine:
For just as this book’s discussion of abortion ignores race, so its chapter on the gap in educational achievement between blacks and whites soft-pedals some indisputably important facts.
The chapter begins by considering how little influence parents may exert over their child’s personality, given that half of the difference among personalities can be attributed to genes. This is quite correct. But genes also account for well over half (in some studies, as much as three-quarters) of differences in intellectual ability. If we are to explain the black-white gap in educational achievement, we cannot turn away from the fact that on average, African Americans have a lower IQ than white Americans.
There are, of course, many highly talented blacks and many really stupid whites. But these important individual differences are not relevant to explaining the average difference between black and white school achievement. That difference is not the product of racist innuendo; the matter has been measured for decades, often by means of tests that do not require the use of words.
It is true enough that black IQ scores have risen—owing, one suspects, to improvements in the social condition of blacks over the last several generations. But the black-white gap in educational attainment has not narrowed. In Freakonomics, the authors assert that this gap is the result of differences in incomes between blacks and whites. Such differences certainly exist. But income differences are themselves in large measure the result of differences in intelligence, so one cannot explain the gap in IQ-based school scores by “controlling” for income.
The best test of this was done by Sandra Scarr and Richard Weinberg. They looked for changes in the IQ scores of black children who had been adopted by white families, mostly middle-class and well-educated. Over a ten-year period, there was no significant gain in the IQ’s of the adopted black children. (Nor was there any gain in the IQ’s of adopted white children.) The data strongly suggest that parental environment, even in well-to-do families, has only a modest and probably short-lived effect on educational ability.
An Interview With Luke
My friend Chana asks me these questions:
1. Do you ever feel shame about things you've done in the past? Why?
LF: Yes. I often have flashbacks of stupid, venal, inept, ugly, mean, things I've done in the past and they make me wince. Many of my feelings of shame are triggered by my interactions with others. A good person makes me feel bad for not being good. An honest person makes me feel guilty for dissembling. A good journalist makes me feel guilty for my shoddy journalism. A good Jew makes me feel guilty for the ways I've failed my religion. Married people with kids make me feel guilty that I haven't achieved marriage and kids.
2. You say that publishing the truth is the most important thing to you. You've written that you've even lost friends in doing this. Why is this so important to you? What does it give you?
LF: It makes me feel that I am doing the right thing and that my life has meaning and purpose (that I ride a white horse in a noble cause).
3. Are you troubled by the fact that you're poor and live in a self-described hovel? Are you proud of this? Why?
LF: I'm troubled by it because it shows my lack of material success in life and does not bode well for me getting married and raising kids.
4. Are you troubled by the fact that you're not married? Why?
LF: Yes. Practicing Judaism seems pointless without your own family. Spending the Sabbath largely on your own sucks.
5. Do you want to have children? If yes, how do you plan to educate and protect them? ie, in regard to your work as a journalist.
LF: I'd like to give them an education in Orthodox Judaism and the best of the secular world.
6. What are your three most thumbed through books? Why?
* Your Life As Story
* Dictionary and Thesaurus
* Making A Good Script Great
* The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style
* A Bible my parents gave me in 1975.
Jewish Community Not Sorry To See Editor John Carroll Leave LA Times
Ken Reich writes:
My worst feeling about Carroll is that he was very cool to the Jewish community, an important aspect of Los Angeles life. Not since Otis Chandler became publisher in 1961, or even before, with his mother, the late Dorothy Chandler, has this been the case. Jewish community leaders will be glad to see Carroll go.
Somebody writes Ken:
It is Carroll's policy of "moral equivalency" that has cost the Times thousands of subscribers who are tired of suicide/homicide murderers being called "freedom fighters" and "insurgents." The[y] are terrorists, they are killers of innocent women, children and puppy dogs, and they are murderers. They are not freedom fighters.
Cocaine, Cross-Dressing And The Crumbling Of A Marriage
I've changed names in the following.
A wife (a former model, no, not Cathy Seipp) calls me. She found out from my website that her husband has a girlfriend. He is not seeking a reconciliation but a divorce.
She's ticked off.
Jane: "Frank is a cross-dresser. Every time he would do coke, he would dress up as a chick. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore. He kicked me out on a coke binge. Every time he was coming down, he would call me to come over and he would be dressed up as a bitch. I've gone to cross-dressing stores. I've bought lingerie for him. I've got one of his fake boobs sitting in my trunk.
"One time somebody posted something about me on the internet that was not true. That I was a coke whore. Frank didn't do anything to protect me. And he's my husband. So I posted: My husband is a cross-dresser. 'I left him because he has a fascination with transsexuals. He likes to wear my panties. He still has my brown dress. He's ripped so many of my clothes trying to fit into them.'
"I didn't know he was a cross-dresser when I married him. I found out five years into the marriage when he was on coke. I was trying to be cool, loving, understanding wife. 'I love you for who you are. Do what you need to do.'
"Part of the reason I was pissed was that he would never acknowledge any of my sexual needs. I got really annoyed that he wouldn't stop cross-dressing. Dude, stop already!
"We've been separated for months. I've moved into my own place. But we're still 'trying to work things out.' I filed for divorce against him. He convinced me to drop the lawsuit to work things out.
"I quit coke. I would come home from AA and he'd be high. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and got my own place. He would always call me when he was coming down and he wanted me to come over. Every time I came over, he'd be dressed as a chick.
"We were partying with a bunch of friends. Frank and I developed a bad coke habit. But I wanted to quit. We had some models over. He left his trunk of cross-dressing ---- out. My only rule was do not share this. Whatever goes in our bedroom stays in our bedroom. This is my private sex life too and I don't feel comfortable with you sharing anything let alone how good of a blowjob I gave you last night.
"This model found his trunk. The next thing I know they're running around f----- up holding one of my husband's fake boobs while I'm trying to party. Of course I get all upset. He's like, why should I be ashamed?
"We continued to party. No many times I'd ask him to not do it, the conversation would always turn there. He says he doesn't party anymore and do that anymore.
"Most of the cocaine was his idea. I was just trying to keep up with him. The cocaine numbed my feelings that my husband kept dressing up as a woman and stared at transsexuals on the internet. It made it so I didn't care. When I sobered up, I'd be disgusted."
Luke: "How much do you think being around the industry contributed to this?"
Jane: "I think the industry desensitized everything. When I come home from a shoot, I'm like, don't touch me. I've seen too much of this. Especially when I go to work (and I'm not having sex because I'm working things out with my husband), I'm not inspired. Everything looks like a bunch of lumps. They look like dogs to me. Like dogs humping.
"I know tons of male ---- stars. They all have whacked out fantasies. OK, because you overly expose yourself to naked women, it's no longer sexy to you.
"Once I settle down, I am going mainstream.
"Everything was perfect in our marriage for six months after my husband made me a business partner. Then the cocaine came along. We partied with Chris and Seka. They're crazy party animals. We'd go on double dates. Cocaine came into the picture and Frank turned into his asshole self. He became this person I didn't even know. It was so bad it made me quit.
"Chris is a jerk. He cheats on his wife all the time, which is why I quit being friends with him.
"I'm going to the bathroom in our house and there's a condom in the garbage. 'Oh, there was a dildo show here.' Another day, I found a condom on the floor. 'Oh, that's when Chris and Don had a hooker over.'
"You're inviting married men to come into my home and cheat on my friends with a hooker? That shows how much respect you have for marriage.
"I am so against drugs. I'm a pot smoker and an athlete. I've watched it destroy my husband and ruin our marriage."
Terrence Dashon Howard - My Black Brother
A friend called me after seeing Hustle & Flow. She says Howard looks like my black brother.
He calls me late Thursday night from his apartment in South-Central Los Angeles. "I was telling you about how I make my money on the side. By all means necessary, whether I sell crack, weed, or put a bitch on a track.
"You know what a track is? A track is like a major street. You feel me?
"If a nigger ain't got no job, a motherf----- is going to do what he has to do. If I hear the scoop on the street that Luke has a million dollars in his house and I ain't got no money, I'm going to try to get that. That's why a lot of motherf------ are coming up dead and s---."
Luke: "Is Tasty around?"
Tone: "No. She's at work. She works overnight doing phone sex."
I'm on A Current Affair tonight. You can watch the promo here and read more information here.
Yori Yanover's Sexual Position
He writes to the Editor of The Village in response to last week's article, which was prompted, in part, by postings of Yori such as this:
A while ago I wrote that the politicization of sexuality in our culture is chipping away at our intimacy, our ability to publicly display affection and the healthy eroticism which is such a crucial component of our psyches. I pointed a finger at several groups which are in the business of turning the personal into the political, churning out slogans to curb serious, deep discussion. As a result I was called a homophobe by your paper.
That the name-calling is ridiculous goes without saying. I’m on the record as supporting gay marriage and gay adoptions. The choice of The Villager to name-call me based on an anonymous e-mail attests to your quality as a news organization. But the insanity which drove this bizarre attack is pervasive in the culture, and we must be aware of the harm it’s causing.
The compulsion to define a man as “moderate” or “extremist,” “right” or “left,” etc., is born by a society too impatient to actually find out what he may think about any given subject. Reporters are the worst offenders. The reporter who interviewed me for The Villager actually thought she did a balanced job. And you know something? Compared to some other jobs I’ve experienced this was pretty balanced. Provided, of course, that you have the attention span of a 10-year-old.
Incidentally, the reason I support gay marriage has nothing to do with what I feel about homosexual behavior. My Jewish tradition has taught me that there’s no such thing as a homosexual person, only homosexual acts. All of us experience the full range of erotic feelings throughout our lives; our sexuality is a continuum, not a yes-no quiz.
My Jewish tradition also teaches me that there are some homosexual behaviors which are forbidden, some which are questionable and some which are no problem at all. In my own life I live under those rules. I don’t make it a habit to judge other people’s sexual preferences.
But there are two connected areas where I support wholeheartedly the “gay agenda:” When it comes to leading a monogamous life and adopting children.
Perhaps the only area where the general culture has been universally critical of the homosexual lifestyle is the sense of perpetual adolescence stereotypical gay culture is projecting: self-involved, rife with body-image anxiety.
Never mind that these are just cartoon stereotypes, but here come gay people who want to live in sane, caring, long-lasting relationships, pay taxes together, take out health insurance together, sign for each other’s medical treatment in an emergency, all the normal, needed and productive things married couples take for granted — and those things the culture wants to deny them? Are we crazy?
Next, when a gay couple or individual wants to shoulder the burden of bringing up the next generation, embrace unwanted children, turn tragedy into optimism — we’re going to prevent them? Are we so rich with parental resources that we can discard responsible grownups wishing to shoulder the load?
It’s difficult to pack this information into a phone interview, especially when you’ve just been sucker-punched by some anonymous enemy. But I did. And a lot of good it did me….
Yori Yanover is editor and publisher, The Grand Street News
I was recently sent a 2002 article from a Seattle web zine that referenced Yori (our friend is the most famous and ubiquituous Yori Yanover on the web):
World Tribune.com attempted to contact the owner of "theantidrug.org" via phone, but the telephone number is a fake and noticed that the address is possibly phony - located a hundred yards west of Seattle's Woodland Park. After some investigation, we found that the name "Yori Yanover" is well-known to many Internet users because the name belongs to a New York City-based journalist who authored the essay "Today I Saw Evil With My Own Eyes" on September 11th and is the editor of a website focusing on Jewish issues. World Tribune.com contacted the real Yori Yanover by phone in New York City last Tuesday who explained that he had no connections with or knowledge of "theantidrug.org."
Rabbi Gabriel Ohayon sued by assistant, claims groped, asked to go to strip clubs. He's a long time member of Rabbi Gafni/Winiarz/Winyarz's former Boca Raton Synagogue. Note, the Boca Raton Community Kollel have labored long hours to alter and change their website. Seems they're doing the same thing Yori Yanover did last week to his website in the face of adverse publicity.
Yori Yanover writes:
Just scrolled down your screen to see JWB's anguished protests about the fact that several articles on usajewish.com have undergone an edit last week. The poor sob is presenting this as if we tampered with national security. What we did, in fact, was react as effectively as possible to a vicious attack by him on a public event that took place on the Lower East Side. The event, planned for close to two months by the co-sponsors, which included one of my print publications, introduced several hundred local residents to the dozen or so men and women who are vying for a vacated city council seat.
JWB, masquerading under some bizarre secondary pseudonym (which, in his case is like wearing two prophylactics to a date) sent out an anonymous email (same mail server as his own, though, oops) to the local press, to the candidates and to any other unsuspecting New Yorker he could think of, citing usajewish.com articles out of context and calling for a boycott of the event.
Imagine, his hatred to me is so deep, he was prepared to destroy a community event many miles away, just so he could shame me.
The evening was a resounding success, if I say so myself. We had to work hard that Tuesday, calling up the candidates, speaking to the press. But you know, as soon as I told them about Vicki's Oprah appearance it worked like magic. Normal people have a way of understanding who's crazy in any dispute. It's the one eating the babies.
Anyway, JWB's email took items which had been published in one context, where everyone reading them knew the score, to a realm where nobody knew the score. It was dishonest, and could be very injurious. We decided to pull those articles down for the day-we told the press we wanted the debate and not my views to be the focus of attention-and the next day republished a more general- audiences version. It's what you do to make yourself understood. If the audience changes, you have to modify the communication.
In the end, instead of hurting us JWB actually increased interest in our publication. Following the Villager article our ad sales went up close to 20 percent (we're a freebee, so we measure sales, not circulation). The publicity brought us to the attention of advertisers who had wanted to access the up and coming Lower East Side, but didn't know the vehicle existed.
The point in our business is, do you get to define your public image or do you let your worst enemies do it. I believe in the former. With the letter to the editor in the Villager this week, I hope that we set the record straight.
JWB writes: "Yori has to blame someone. His group has never been about personal responsibility. They just pull down their websites, hide their posts and spin. Pick an enemy and smear them seems to be their mantra."
"I sued Luke Ford and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"
Helpful writes: "Can Luke surrender all future royalties of "The Producers" in lieu of a judgement? This could buy Mr Wald a nice dinner at Burger King and bygones could be bygones."
Inside info on LFP/Hustler
I sent this letter Wednesday night to Hustler magazine Editor Bruce David, Caroline S-nclair, and various sources at LFP as well as former employees of LFP. To the best of my knowledge, the substance of the below is accurate.
The Hustler Tattler writes:
I read with great interest Mark Cromer's interview with you. As someone who works at LFP currently, I would have to dispute his statement about Carolyn S-nclair being a "young and talented contributor" prior to her ascent to Features Editor.
Prior to assuming Cromer's position, Carolyn worked delivering Dominoes Pizzas in Ireland. Hardly a seasoned journalist by any stretch of the imagination, she contributed a few weak freelance articles to Hustler which were published because of Bruce David's insistence (Tim Keneally and Dan Kapelovitz opposed publishing her, with good reason) and his affection for a girl nearly 40 years his junior. There were several more qualified candidates for the features position, such as Ed Rampel, but Bruce isn't trying to get into Ed's pants.
Ironically, Carolyn S-nclair had dated Mark Cromer prior to stealing his job (she had also gone out with Ed Rampel for a short time). The dimunitive, flat-chested, deep-voiced, bowl-haircut brunette once bragged that she learned how to manipulate men from her days working as a waitress as at strip bar in Texas. Speaking of Texas, she has a shakey history at best, including time in a mental hospital.
As someone who sees her on a daily basis, I cannot tell you how insufferable she has become since becoming Features Editor. The 20-something know-it-all loves to lecture co-workers, especially those who are older than she is. We are routinely told how much better Europe is, how much better Europeans are, and how "having a career is wrong." Mother Superior gives this all-knowing lecture with a straight face as she smugly sits in her office (living out her career) in Beverly Hills.
Now married, she also spends a good deal of company time advising others on relationships, a frightening prospect indeed, as her own love life is rife with failed trans-atlantic trips to meet European loser-lotharios and abortions. Do we really need HER advice to fuck up our lives?
But she gives Bruce David what he demands, loyalty to the point of disregarding reality. Completely rewriting history, she actually stated recently that the mass firings at LFP that Mark Cromer described never took place. You might wonder where exactly she was when the firings took place? Spain, so there. She should know, not Cromer, who was at LFP.
She also has done Bruce's bidding in asking about LFP employees and trying to gather info. Fortunately, the staff was highly suspicious of her from day one. Copy Editor Valerie Valdez even quit because of the absurd appointment of S-nclair to Features Editor. She knew it was a sham as we all did.
However, as loyal as Carolyn appears to be, there are cracks in the armor as she has been seen with some enemies of Bruce and has been heard chatting about him. His fetish for bondage is a sore spot for her, pardon the pun. She was sickened by the Jan. 2005 issue that had pictures of women tied to cars, courtesy of performance artist Gord.
Mark Cromer responds:
I never "dated" Carolyn S-nclair, but I did indeed hang out with her pleasantly--and platonically--on a few occasions, including dinner one night on the patio at Cat & Fiddle and an afternoon jaunt through the LA County Fair in my home town of Pomona. I actually met Carolyn, as irony would have it, in Bruce David's backyard during a party he threw for Greg Palast in late 2003.
The irony is that Hustler Features Editor Dan Kapelovitz was also at that party. A few months later, Bruce fired Kapelovitz during a mass of retalitory terminations designed to wipeout what remained of Allan MacDonnell's old crew and anyone else who Bruce thought might be sympathetic to them. He then brought me in as Features Editor. A few months later, Bruce fired me after I filed a complaint against him with Human Resources. He then tapped Carolyn S-nclair to be Features Editor of Hustler.
So there we all were, three generations of Hustler Features Editors partying in Bruce's backyard. Now if he fires Carolyn and hires his pool boy, the circle will be complete.
But no, I never romantically dated Carolyn and I indeed stand by my assessment that she shows strong promise as a young writer honing her chops. As such, it was not pleasant to learn from a variety of credible sources that she--at Bruce David's encouragement--has disparaged me to other writers. It's poor form. A cheap shot apparently undertaken to impress her boss, not to mention an illegal act evidently sanctioned by Bruce and LFP. But we'll be sorting that out soon enough.
Also, I don't believe that Hustler Copy Editor Valerie Valdez's departure had anything to do with Carolyn S-nclair. I believe Val was leaving before Carolyn ever got there, so I don't think that is accurate.
As far as the comments about Carolyn being a "diminutive, flat-chested, deep-voiced, bowl-cut brunette," I completely disagree. I would describe her rather as a lithe chick with a Suzanne Pleshette voice radiating an occasional high-voltage wit that makes her very attractive. Which is why I enjoyed her company. But hey, like art and obscenity, it's all in the eye of the beholder.
If Carolyn actually has claimed that the mass firings that I described in my interview with you last month never took place, I can only assume that she is following some Maoist-like script issued from the Dear Leader on the Third Floor. I almost hope its true because it is such a lovely Orwellian touch, devoid of any troubling semblance of reality. I would love to know how she would explain the emails that I gave you--and you published in the interview--or perhaps she might suggest those incidents never really happened either, even though Bruce was commenting about them? Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
The assertion that Carolyn is opposed to the style of photo "art" that Bruce is fond of running, such as the Gord pieces depicting women being dragged behind trailers and tied like dried venison on the front of pickup trucks. That is true, as Carolyn and I discussed it over dinner and I recall telling her how I had made the case against running the set-to which Bruce responded by increasing the size of the layout.
I remember Carolyn pointedly noted "What the hell is he thinking?"
Now there's a question.
I hear from LFP employees that they are getting satirical emails almost daily (probably from ex-LFP employees).
My new friend Heidi writes me:
I have no problem with the Orthodox jewish society and I would encourage there influence as far as them not to be shy to be conservatives. I like one part of there culture where they keep woman and men separate until marrage and I think this is important, and I don't believe any man has the right or should expect to sleep with woman before marrage or even in dating situations, it is a waist of time and sustaining a lack in progress in building traditional family structures.
I believe if the man wants a woman he should take financial responsibilty for her by hiring her or by marrying her. BUt passing her around to his friends and making porn does not seem very responsible and it seems degrading even though it is a good way to make money. But it is the worst danger because even putting woman's pictures in sexual suggestions on the internet encourages sex preditors to attack them.
I think we need a honest analytical public discussion on the sex industry with out offending anyone because ... If you see there is a fight about the morality of a lot of different behavor and obviously God's way is the right way if we consider him as supreem authority and director of our lives..
For me to get out of the situation I need a real job in America and I don't see it offered. So that is why I go to the Middle East because they offer me real work. I made $600.00 a month origionally in Yemen and went up to $6000.00 without sex. BUt I found myself scared and financial instability and found I can make $600.00 in one day but it is still threatening my life due to the high risk of preditors. But without options you don't have a choice to change.
The option I am thinking of doing is writing a book and in Hollywood they want me to call it Sex Traps about all the trouble I get myself into because of sex and men who desire men and bring me into there wierd situation. If it is best seller then I will have money to have more choices.
My hosting service said I was under a DDOS (distributed denial of service, what I usually get at Friday Night Live) attack Wednesday, knocking my site off the air for 15 hours. LA Observed. Rodger Jacobs reports. The same type of thing happened to me in December of 1998.
I hate to think about the iniquity my readers committed while they were without my moral guidance all day.
The Luke Ford Story III
It's 2001 and Mr Ford has just sold his naughty website for $250,000. He has never had so much money before and predictably, albeit foolishly, he goes on a month long binge of smoking crack and banging hookers, at the end of which he has but $10,000 left of the nestegg he'd planned to use to break into legitimate journalism. Luke Ford is consumed with self-loathing.
One day at shul, Mr Ford overhears some of his "friends" talking excitedly about their upcoming six month spiritual retreat to Israel. "That's exactly what I need," Mr Ford says, contemplating his recent immoral descent into elicit drug use ... oh, and the hookers, can't forget the hookers!
Tone In The Ghetto
I call him Tuesday afternoon, July 5, at his apartment (he lives with Tiptoe and Dre) in South Central on Third St off the 110 Freeway.
Luke: "What are you doing?"
Tone: "I'm just at the house playing Madden [football on Playstation 2], you know what I'm saying, and chillin' with a couple of females and playing Madden for money. It ain't no fun if you ain't got no money down there. Me and my nigger Dre."
Luke: "Is your girlfriend (Tasty) still mad at you?"
Tone: "She's mad all the time. Her ass is always mad.
"You ought to bring your tape recorder down here. Bring your camera and bring an extra body with you. You might need some protection."
Luke: "What would happen?"
Tone: "They'd probably rob your ass."
Luke: "What do you do on a typical day?"
Tone: "I brush my teeth and wash my face at 6:30 in the morning and smoke a fat-ass blunt."
Tone says he does whatever work that pays, including selling crack. "Whatever it takes. If that means robbing you, I'm going to get it.
"My last job fired me for coming to work late.
"Do you figga deal me?"
Luke: "What does that mean?"
Tone: "That means, do you feel me? But over here we say, do you figga deal me. Slang. So get on it."
Luke: "I need some drama."
Tone: "No drama going on over here, dog. I've been staying low, dog. My birthday's coming up July 11. I'm trying to see that mother-----. I'll be 25."
Luke: "Are people getting shot around you?"
Tone: "Yeah, man, mother------ are getting shot up. I don't know if you've been watching the news about the Black and Mexican war. I think that s--- is going to start taking off, you know what I'm saying?
"Mexicans around here are saying 'F--- niggers' and throwing bottles and s---. I'm surrounded by nothing but Mexicans around this motherf-----. This is there 'hood but where I stay at there's nothing but niggers up in here. They [Mexicans] know that we're in here with something."
Luke: "Do you guys have weapons?"
Tone: "Come on, man, what you think, dog?"
Dre: "When we go down the street, they make slain Jay noises (imitating the cocking of a shotgun)."
Tone: "Me and my nigger Dre be jogging and they be hanging out and they're going cha cha."
Dre: "They could blow my head off."
Dre and Tone start coughing. "Do you hear this s---?" asks Tone.
Luke: "Are you guys smoking?"
Tone: "Yeah. How was the response to my interview?"
Luke: "People liked it."
Tone: "There are a lot of haters out there, you know what I'm saying? I don't give a f--- about nothing.
"You ought to come sit with us and we'll get your ass high as f---. Get your ass drunk as hell, you know what I'm saying?"
The Amalek Manifesto: Bringing Negroes, Jews, and WalMart Workers Together to Defend America
Chaim Amalek writes:
What I hear Mr. Tone saying is that the Negro is being extruded from American economic life by the now more numerous Mexican. This is the result of unstated Republican policy to import as many Mexicans as it takes by whatever means necessary to dilute the Black Man's relative numerical standing in America, combined with the Democrat's ideological inability to resist anything that acts to reduce the white majority. Think about it - back in the day (the sixties, seventies, even early eighties) when you talked about minorities, it was just assumed that you were talking about the plight of the Negro/Colored/Afro-American man and woman. But these days, nobody really gives a shit about them. Sure, the White Father in Washington throws the lucky few among them the bone of Affirmative Action, but economically, the Negro is becoming superfluous. America no longer depends on his labor to get the job done and, let's face it, America never looked to his mind to figure out what the job should be. Now we've got Mexicans and Chinese people now to do both for us, to the Black Man's present detriment and the White Man's future disposession.
The hour is late. The time is NOW for Black Men of the Street like your friend Tone, Jewish intellectuals like Cathy Se-pp, and working class white folk stuck in WalMart (the putative parents of many a player in your world, Luke) to get together and force a national debate on immigration. We need a rational immigration policy, the outlines of which are pretty obvious:
1. Severe restrictions on legal immigration. This country is full up and crowded, and we don't need any more mass immigration of nations into this land.
2. Deport ALL illegals from our land, even Mr. Bush's favored Mexicans.
3. Secure our borders against infiltration by terrorists, which necessarily means preventing the Mexicans from swarming in. This could easily be done by redeploying the tens of thousands of GIs we've got stationed in Korea to our borders for work as border patrols. (South Korea now has the world's 8th largest economy, and does not need our help in defending itself against impoverished North Korea.)
We are losing our nation to foreigners, just as the Indians lost theirs to us when our kind and Africans (albeit in chains) came over. Some weak, liberal, drama queen democrats may be fine with that, but real men like Tone and real women like Cathy Se-pp are not. Here is a coalition of the willing that a strong politician can bind into an unbeatable electoral force. It only remains for us to find some brave leaders willing to step forward and lead.
LAT Columnist David Shaw In Coma
He has a brain tumor and hasn't published in The Times for weeks. The paper has printed instead that Shaw is on medical leave. His prognosis is not good.
Reason magazine science correspondent Ronald Bailey has published a new book, Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution. In the following interview, Science Blog correspondent Luke Ford challenges Bailey on why biotechnology is a good thing, and whether there are some things man simply shouldn’t know.
Science Blog: "When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?"
Ronald: "An astronomer.
"I was inspired by a book from the Scholastic Book Service, The Great Astronomers.
"I grew up on a dairy farm in Virginia. I was expected to become a dairy farmer.
"In high school, I hung out with the band crowd. I played the saxophone and clarinet."
Bailey's parents never attended college, but Ronald got undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Virginia. "In high school, I thought I was going to become a science major in college, but I made a terrible mistake and joined the debate team. It turned out that I was a good debater. I made the mistake of thinking that this suggested I shouldn't become a biologist, which was what I had planned, but instead I'll become a lawyer.
"I stuck with that plan until I had gone to law school for a year-and-a-half (also at the University of Virginia), and after a while, I said to myself, 'If I keep doing this, I'm likely to become a lawyer. This is the most boring thing I've done in my life.' So I quit.
"I transitioned into journalism. My first love is reporting about science. That's centered on facts while in politics, you go to Senator A and ask him, 'What do you think about this?' He says, 'I hate it.' Then you go to Senator B and ask him, 'What do you think about this?' He says, 'I love it.' Then you have your story."
SB: "How have you found the transition between disinterested reporting and advocacy reporting you do with Reason?"
Ronald: "I've been evolving towards opinion journalism throughout my career, trying to get to the point where I'm not just a spectator but also to inject my analysis as well. I don't think I do anything different than a lot of other people at The New Republic, Commentary or National Review."
SB: "What are the moral foundations for the way you look at the world?"
Ronald: "I write for Reason. I'm very much in favor of individual liberty and the insights of the Enlightenment, particularly the Scottish Enlightenment. My basic commitment is that people should be allowed to do what they would like to do so long as they don't harm anyone else."
SB: "What is the basis for morality?"
About Reform Judaism
Jim Levy writes:
I have a question: Is a Reform Rabbi really a rabbi? Is Reform Judaism just some sort of half-assed shallow political philosophy? They seem to largely be unknowledgeable about Torah. The Talmud is as mysterious to them as it would be to a cow. They blather about "Social Justice" and Tikkun Olam, but then go ballistic if fat lesbians aren't allowed to wear tallises at the holy Wailing Wall. They hate Sharon's fence to protect Jewish lives. Every view they seem to have comes from a servility to liberalism. Right after 9/11, I even heard a Reform Rabbi start crying about the poor whales. Sometimes, I wonder if these people are Jewish at all, or just some flavor of Unitarian, with a theology compiled of faxes from the DNC.
Reform Judaism is just one of many ways religious people have responded to Modernity (see also mainstream Protestantism and post Vatican-II Catholicism). I agree with Orthodox rabbi Beryl Wein that Reform and Conservative Judaism will be around for hundreds of years. A Reform rabbi is as much of a rabbi as Reform Judaism is a part of Judaism.
JEFF WALD VS. LUKE FORD SC086263
Filing Date: 07/14/2005
Case Type: Defamation (Slander/Libel) (General Jurisdiction)
Future Hearings: 10/24/2005 at 08:30 am in department WEX at 9355 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv. (AND INITIAL STATUS CONFERENCE)
PAUKERT GEORGE J. LAW OFFICES OF - Attorney for Plaintiff
I guess Jeff didn't like it when I called pot-bellied.
My Inner Chaim writes: "Get a lawyer and countersue his ass for his death threats. He has much more to lose in this than you do. Play on his mental instability. Stress him. There could be a huge payday in this for you."
The judge in my case (Lisa Hart Cole) is the same one who presided over Marsha Plafkin's lawsuit against the UJ.
You need to give serious thought to cross-complaining against Wald (which you need to do at the time you answer his complaint), as well as doing whatever you can now to lay the groundwork for a possible future suit against him for malicious prosecution. If the pre-paid plan only obligates them to provide a defense to Wald's claims, that's probably all they'll do; you would need to get a separate attorney to represent you on your claims against Wald. Don't wait until the last minute to get on this. Work your showbiz contacts to try to find a contingency-fee lawyer for whom the prospect of going against Wald might be amusing enough or publicity-generating enough to justify getting involved despite the probably-not-real-high potential value of your case.
(If you even *think* about calling Gloria Allred, I will personally kill you and use your serial-killer van to transport your corpse to a remote location for disposal.)
Joseph Mailander from Martini Republic writes:
I simply want to wish you luck and even additional spiritual peace in your upcoming libel trial v. Jeff Wald. To my way of thinking, you're simply engagingly addled in a boho way, which will come out in the trial, and Wald will appear to be certifiably sociopathic in that Julia-Phillips-other-side-of-coke sort of way.
My feeling is this: when it's not mere publicity-seeking, a libel suit is almost always mere saber-rattling, a scream against some perceived indignity that sticks just enough that the plaintiff can't quite get over it. Internet law of course is still highly unclear, and I'm sure Wald must know that. The fact that he's suing you anyway likely simply means he's obsessive and a deeply wounded man in lots of ways and yet he doesn't have enough else to fret about.
Your own exposure I would imagine is marginal, but as you likely know, it's always a good idea to countersue someone if you deem any incoming suit completely capricious. As more people begin to write about it, it will look like Wald is merely seeking publicity, regardless of what his actual intentions are. Talk to an attorney, at least, and if the attorney tries to scare you, walk out on her and talk to another. It will cost you $450 and provide you at minimum with a legal roadmap for your next year.
My Inner Amalek gives me a pep talk:
Again, I have no idea who this Wald person is, but I do know an asshole when I see one, and this guy is begging you to go deep.... I'm certain that you could find yourself an attorney (say, through a first amendment- and internet-minded local law school) willing not only to answer this suit, but to hurl this Wald into the sea like a true Jihadist dreams of driving a Jew into the ocean. I know that this man's threats to you over the years have caused you mental anguish so intense that likely it has been the cause of the relapses you've experienced in your fight against CFS, as well as the occasional bout of impotence. Enough!
Do what you failed to do when you had your last run-in with an agent of the wealthy (it was Larry Flynt the last time, wasn't it?), and stand your ground. This is your chance to make this wealthy Wald person pay for all the misery and fear he has injected into your life, and to make him come crawling to you on your terms. And when that time comes, Chaim Amalek stands ready to be by your side, helping you dictate those terms to the pot-bellied Mr. Wald.