Thursday, March 2, 2006
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Broken Windows, Broken Man
Tom Teicholz writes in the February 17, 2006 Jewish Journal about Michael Levine's new book, “Broken Windows, Broken Business”:
“Broken Windows” applies to business the theories on controlling crime that were put forth by professors James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling and applied, most notably, in New York by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton, who is now L.A.’s police chief. Levine paints a convincing picture that businesses need to pay attention to those areas where they intersect with their consumers — first impressions matter, as do all the details that make up that first impression: the business representatives the consumer interfaces with, their attitude, the environment where that intersection takes place (store, Web site, phone conversation). All the small details contribute to whether the consumer will conclude a sale and continue to do business with one vendor over another. The book is about “how the smallest remedies reap the biggest rewards.”
Kenny writes in the Jewish Journal forum (where all posts are approved before publication):
On your article on Michael Levine, you left out his most obvious trait -- plagiarist. Everything he's ever written has been stolen from another source. As an example, here is an article from today from his "E-Lert" newsletter:
MEDIA EXPERT DECLARES OLYMPICS NO MEDAL WINNER FOR NBC RATINGS: NBC's Winter Olympics coverage is far from over, but advertisers are already grumbling about the less-than-stellar ratings according to media expert and author Michael Levine. The numbers are disappointing enough that advertisers and their agencies are starting to mouth "makegoods." These are calls for additional commercial spots to cover ratings shortfalls. Levine noted there is still some possibility for ratings redemption because "one of the most popular events -- women's figure skating, albeit absent media-darling Michelle Kwan -- doesn't start until next week."
And this is from today's New York Post:
OLYMPICS NO MEDAL WINNER FOR NBC RATINGS NBC's Winter Olympics coverage is far from over, but advertisers are already grumbling about the less-than-stellar ratings. The numbers are disappointing enough that advertisers and their agencies are starting to mouth "makegoods." These are calls for additional commercial spots to cover ratings shortfalls. NBC insists it's too early for advertisers to have their hands so greatly outstretched, as the 17-day sports extravaganza only began last Friday. And one of the most popular events — women's figure skating, albeit absent media-darling Michelle Kwan — doesn't start until next week.
Mr. Levine has never written or spoken an original thought -- or even original word -- in his life. Check to see how many times he's been sued for it... Please do more research before you promote people as examples of Jews to be proud of.
Today's Michael Levine E-lert Newslatter:
*LBN-QUOTE: Emotions often influence why people choose their political affiliations, and that partisans stubbornly discount any information that challenges their preexisting beliefs. When presented with negative information about the candidates they liked, partisans of all stripes found ways to discount it.-----Michael Levine
And from The Washington Post:
Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases
By Shankar Vedantam Washington Post Staff Writer
...Studies presented at the conference, for example, produced evidence that emotions and implicit assumptions often influence why people choose their political affiliations, and that partisans stubbornly discount any information that challenges their preexisting beliefs. When presented with negative information about the candidates they liked, partisans of all stripes found ways to discount it, [Emory University psychologist Drew] Westen said.
Brylboy writes on the Jewish Journal forum:
I am not Jewish, but I did used to work for Levine in his office several years ago, and I can attest to everything Kenny said in his post - Michael Levine is a low life plaigirist who goes online every morning, cuts and pastes articles from major publications (i.e. NY Post, NY Times, Variety.com, Hollywood Reporter.com, LA Times, the list goes on...) and sends them to his 'assistant' telling him or her to post these thoughts as his own and replace the original author's name with 'Media Expert and Best-Selling Author Michael Levine'. Media Expert???? If he knew even ONE THING about media, he would know that people actually get their news from more than one source...so if one of the millions who has read the above publications on a daily basis ever came across Levine's "E-Lert", would recognize instantly that Levine was not the original author.
The revolving door at Levine's office has been in heavy rotation of young people who have come and gone after seeing what a thief this man is....he attempts to liken his shoddy organization to an agency "mail room" where young people come in and are shocked to see how appalling his "work" is, only to be told 'if you want to work in the entertainment business, then you have to play the game...'. Unbelievable.
Levine is an embarassment, not only to the Jewish community, but to the entire world of entertainment and media. Sure it's a tricky business and there are some phonies out there, but Levine is the lowest of the low...I happen to work at an upscale boutique hotel where Levine meets potential clients so as to keep them away from his office which is probably a disgrace and a half...one of our restaurant managers was telling me that he once refused to pay a $4.50 tab (Big Spender, I know), citing "all I have is a $100 bill, can't I just pay you later?" It took her almost a month to track him down just to pay up his tab...the staff also plays 'rock/paper/scissors' everytime he comes in to see who gets stuck waiting on him while he sits there for hours and only orders tap water...
Cathy Seipp writes:
Michael Levine, who used to be needled monthly in the old Spy magazine as the quintessential Hollywood flack, got mad at me a couple of years ago for describing him on this blog as the Sidney Falco-like Michael Levine.
...Tall, with silvery blond hair, the stepson of gossip columnist Marilyn Beck, Levine cultivates the slick demeanor of a Hollywood man-about-town. He's generally seen at social events with a different babelike young actress. Once one of these girls got a little overexcited and started prattling loudly in my direction about "Generation X articles" and how "we should have coffee some time!"
"I must apologize for my date," Levine said later. "I was going for the visual."
...[H]e was thinking of volunteering to be a Jewish Big Brother.
"That's really nice!" I said.
"But the thing is," he added, "I'd rather be a Big Brother to a girl."
Women who've known Michael have described him as a freak, stalker and worse.
Village Voice Screws Up
This week’s Voice had a cover story by hotshot young Nick Sylvester reporting that men around New York are using Neil Strauss’s The Game, about pickup artists and their techniques, and that woman are increasingly aware of this and outsmarting their would-be seducers. We know said cover story has been removed from the Voice website. We know that the Voice’s acting editor-in-chief Doug Simmons, to whom we were referred when we called because the paper’s PR director has left the company, hasn’t returned our message. And we’re reliably informed that the newsroom — such as it is anymore — knows some sort of big shit is going down but isn’t being told what.
Here’s what we hear/speculate/gather: People quoted in the story claim they never spoke to the reporter. Editors at the paper now believe Sylvester likely fabricated material. Writers at the paper believe this is because young Sylvester — a former Harvard Lampoon kid who writes criticism for the Voice and indie-music reviews for Pitchfork — didn’t quite get the whole big-reported-cover-story thing, which he wasn’t really ready for and which Simmons was pushing him to do. Simmons, merely the acting editor, is trying to make a splash so he can get the job permanently. This is not the sort of splash he had in mind. Sylvester may or may not have fainted in Simmons’s office while being berated. And everything in the usually boisterous office is being kept very need-to-know.
A female former YULA student of Aron Tendler's emails me for publication: "To ALL victims of Aron...Don’t talk to The Jewish Journal, they will out your name to other victims and discuss you with other sources. This is a fact. They waste your time and do nothing about it. When the story breaks in the papers, and they are FINALLY ready to report on it, tell them nothing."
Jewish Journal Editor Rob Eshman responds to my inquiry on this: "We don’t reveal confidential sources. We do report on stories of sexual abuse. Amy Klein and Julie Fax are working on one right now, and both are sensitive, highly-regarded Jewish journalists of great integrity. They have proven track records at The Jewish Week, The Jerusalem Post, The Forward and The Jewish Journal, and in six years I have never received a single complaint from anybody they’ve interviewed about their lack of discretion or insensitivity. Amy’s e-mail is email@example.com and Julie’s is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to respond, Luke."
Julie Fax, who is Orthodox, was a student at YULA while Aron was principal. She must know the girls who made the first accusations against Aron to Bruce Powell, the principal of secular studies.
Aron's accusers were on the less religious side of the spectrum while Julie has long been viewed as the archetype Orthodox good girl (on the liberal side) and intellectual.
I had the impression that Julie, who is now on the education beat, had begged off reporting on rabbi-predator stories. She's known of the story for 19 years and wanted nothing to do with it. All of a sudden, when other people start reporting on it, she's eager for the story.
"If Julie Fax reports on this story," says a former YULA student from her time, "that's like assigning Robert Fisk to write about Osama Bin Laden or Mary Mapes to do a hit piece on John Kerry. As a former student, she should recuse herself. She's a homer. It's impossible that she'll write anything negative about the Orthodox community."
I Give Love A Bad Name
Luke: The...is coming up, it will be our one year anniversary
Jane: do I get flowers?
Luke: if you buy them yourself
Jane: you give love a bad name
Jane: you could buy me a single rose
Luke: Nope. I only do that for women I sleep with, and I have not even done that for the past few women I've slept with.
Jane: why not?
Luke: I only do it if I love someone and my love is reciprocated. And we're boyfriend-girl in a committed relationship.
Jane: gee.. you're not much for token gestures
Luke: depends on the context of the relationship
Luke: why cast pearls before swine
Luke: Last time I bought a girl flowers was three years ago, on the day after we first had sex, I spent $80. She dissed me in an offhanded way because i had the card signed "Love, Luke." Never bought flowers for a girl since.
Jane: Don't let one ungrateful skank ruin it for other girls
Luke: She was no skank. She was a sweet girl. We were together a year.
Luke: Most American women love to diss their man, try to emasculate him.
Luke: They are afraid to face how much they want a man, so they keep 'em at a distance by emasculating them.
Allegedly Self-Appointed Synagogue Board Summoned To Din Torah By Rabbi Mordecai Tendler
By: Editorial Board of The Jewish Press:
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
In any event, as The Jewish Press has been reporting, the Jerusalem Bet Din of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has several times characterized the various claims circulating against Rabbi Tendler as simple loshon harah and enjoined any action against him unless and until those charges are brought to a din Torah and determined to be valid.
The Agudath Harabbanim summons is directed at the violation of these rulings. In a dramatic development, the bet din of the Agudath Harabbanim of the United States and Canada has summoned several individuals claiming to comprise the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler's synagogue to a din Torah.
The individuals have circulated a letter asserting that Rabbi Tendler has been suspended by them from his duties as spiritual leader of his congregation in connection with unproven charges against him of improper conduct. However, according to several members of the congregation, the individuals are self-anointed and self-appointed. They say that the members of the purported board have never been elected by the synagogue membership. The members also note that recent attendance at the various Shabbos and weekday minyanim, as well as at various shiurim given at the synagogue, has been overflowing and that Rabbi Tendler enjoys the overwhelming support of the membership of his congregation.
In a related development, the great Gaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky recently stated that the Tendler case must be submitted to a bet din.
We continue to hope that those who believe there is merit to the charges against Rabbi Tendler will follow the course of fairness and common decency and bring those charges to a bet din and eschew one-sided, incendiary, and above all untested declarations. Frankly, what has bewildered us from the outset of the Tendler case has been the refusal of those who make claims against Rabbi Mordecai Tendler to bring those claims to an impartial body fro adjudication.
Perhaps with the issuance of the summons by the Agudath Harabbanim to the members of the purported board, an adjudicative process will finally get under way.
Rabbi Tendler Suspended From Monsey Synagogue
The Jewish Week reports:
The board of trustees member said synagogue membership has declined from about 200 families to about 35, and Shabbat attendance has fallen dramatically. Rabbi Tendler continued to attend services this week, and members said they do not know what will happen on Shabbat when he usually offers a sermon.
Rabbi Tendler’s brother, Ahron Tendler, recently announced that he would soon step down as spiritual leader of his large Orthodox congregation in Los Angeles. That community has been shaken by allegations that Rabbi Ahron Tendler acted improperly with young women in his charge as a teacher in a local yeshiva in years past.
So the New York Post and The Jewish Week (of New York) report on allegations that Aron Tendler left his position at YULA because of improper conduct with students, but the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles and The Los Angeles Times have yet to report anything? This is not surprising. Neither The Times nor the Journal like to report bad news (unless there's been a lawsuit filed or criminal charges brought) or it's just a big fat story dropped in their lap and they can't think of a way to avoid it.
Rabbi Mordecai Tendler Files Libel Suit in Rabbinical Court
Press release from the Committee for Rabbinic Integrity (Mordecai Tendler and friends) (hat tip to Yeshiva World):
NEW HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., March 1, 2006 -- Rabbi Mordecai Tendler filed a Rabbinical Court complaint on February 27, 2006, seeking unspecified damages against several individuals associated with Kehillat New Hempstead.
The suit alleges malicious interference with his contractual relations, violation of rabbinical rulings and libel. The suit names Shlomo Pomerantz, attorney David Graubard, attorney Bruce Minsky, attorney Nathan Losman and Shelly Karben, mother of local assemblyman Ryan Karben, and others. It alleges in part that the defendants conspired to interfere with existing rabbinical rulings and illegally interfered with Rabbi Tendler's contractual relations. The suit further charges that the defendants, with the intent of libeling Rabbi Tendler, conspired in, and contacted the New York Post and, upon information and belief, provided reporters with information as part of a conspiracy to destroy Rabbi Tendler's career, embarrass his family and injure the continued viability of Kehillat New Hempstead. The suit will seek to prove that the group has acted in concert so as to force the congregation into bankruptcy with the intent of voiding Rabbi Tendler's contract.
Rabbi Tendler was advised by members of his congregation that the New York Post was going to publish a three-part article, based upon the information provided in part by the defendants, later this week. The congregation has been strongly supportive of Rabbi Tendler and the defendant group could find no traction in their previous attempt at ousting Rabbi Tendler thus resorting to the use of the press.
He was further advised that a blog, New Hempstead News, carried a story on February 26, 2006, four days before the New York Post story appeared in print, that two reporters from the New York Post visited Rabbi Tendler on Friday February 24, 2006.
Rabbi Tendler stated that in the event the group failed to appear before the Rabbinical Court within the time provided by the Court, he intended to seek immediate and emergency authorization to file suit in New York State Supreme Court seeking damages and other relief. For further information please see http://www.ravtendlerdocuments.com.
Mordecai Tendler Suspended By His Shul
By JEANE MacINTOSH and DAVID HAFETZ Of The New York Post
A prominent New York rabbi has been booted from his shul in the wake of a scandalous sex suit, The Post has learned.
Disgraced Rabbi Mordechai Tendler — scion of one of the world's most prominent Modern Orthodox families — was suspended late Sunday by the board of Kehillat New Hempstead, the Rockland County synagogue he founded.
Tendler, claiming a conspiracy to wreck his career and embarrass his family, refuses to acknowledge the suspension and has summoned 10 "insurgent" opponents to a special rabbinical court with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis.
The KNH board has reportedly also frozen Tendler out of a shul bank account — a charge that Tendler also denies.
The stunning blow comes after a December lawsuit, first reported in The Post, by a former KNH member who alleges Tendler claimed to be the "Messiah" and gave her "sex therapy" to help her find a husband during counseling.
Last year, Tendler was expelled from the highly respected Rabbinical Council of America amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct by several women in the community.
The rabbi's suspension comes just weeks after his brother, Rabbi Aron Tendler, announced he would step down from his Los Angeles synagogue amid speculation — reported on Internet sites — that he had been moved from a teaching position at a girls school because of misconduct.
Announcing Mordechai Tendler's suspension, the KNH board, in a letter yesterday to members, noted it had previously asked Tendler to take a leave of absence and recommended "rehabilitation" — neither of which the rabbi would pursue.
"Since the inception of the controversies, the Rabbi has failed to acknowledge or resolve the breadth of these issues," the board wrote.
The board cited the lawsuit, declining membership, falling finances, Tendler's "continuing lack of responsibility" and the board's own inability to determine the "accuracy" of some of his statements.
Tendler, who has publicly denounced the rabbinical council's ruling and has moved to dismiss the "scurrilous" lawsuit, continues to lead the shul, said his brother, Hillel Tendler.
"This is not a legal board . . . they're nothing," Hillel Tendler said, adding that the suspension letter "is void. It has no effect."
Hillel Tendler also rejected the suggestion that KNH attendance is down, saying that Sabbath services are drawing more congregants and that a majority of the shul has signed a petition backing his brother.
Tendler opponents said at least a dozen people have left KNH.
On Monday morning, Tendler — son of leading Yeshiva University Professor Rabbi Moshe Tendler and grandson of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the Modern Orthodox world's leading religious authority — turned up for morning prayers at the synagogue. Tendler has declined to speak to reporters.
Approached last week for comment about the growing tension in town, the rabbi's wife, Michelle Tendler, insisted, "Nobody has left!" and added, "You're not welcome here!"
On Monday, February 27, attorney Daniel Schwartz sent out this email to the Forward and other places on behalf of the KNH board of directors:
It is with a heavy heart that we are compelled to write this correspondence. As you are all aware of the controversy and issues surrounding our Rabbi, Rav Mordecai Tendler, and the resulting harms on our community and Kehillah, the Board of Directors (”Board”) in accordance with its fiduciary responsibilities, has undertaken the necessary due diligence to determine the source, accuracy, extent and affect of those issues.
After months of extensive investigation and outreach, the Board pursued the input of many persons with knowledge of the underlying issues, as well as attempting to engage the Rabbi, and his representatives, in the appropriate dialogue to achieve a resolution of remedial and rehabilitative cures.
These issues concerned the following: (i) the accuracy of certain explanatory statements made by the Rabbi; (ii) a continuing spiritual deficiency in KNH; (iii) a related loss of membership; (iv) an associated overall decline of community support for KNH; (v) the lawsuit commenced by Adina Mermelstein; (vi) the failure to adequately apprise the Board of the Rabbi’s defensive efforts; and, (vii) a corresponding loss of financial funds and support for KNH.
To date, and since the inception of the controversies, the Rabbi has failed to acknowledge or resolve the breadth of these issues. This failure has been consistent and now affects the very manner in which the Kehillat needs to function.
Being unable to confirm and verify the Rabbi’s defensive positions, the Rabbi’s continuing lack of responsibility, aware of the worsening negative ramifications affecting the Kehillah, the growing chorus of controversies and issues, and being further convinced that a resolution of the above issues are highly unlikely, the Board has voted to suspend the Rabbi from his rabbinical duties, compensation and responsibilities, the suspension to commence on February 28, 2006 and remain until a final determination from either a court of competent jurisdiction or agreed beis din, or a final negotiated resolution. The decision comes on the heels of a prior recent request that asked that the Rabbi take a leave of absence, that being subsequent to many months of recommending remediation and rehabilitation, acts which were not pursued by the Rabbi.
Our decision to suspend, of course, took into consideration the Rabbi’s active participation in the birth and growth of our Kehillah, his long-standing commitment to our Kehillah and community and the extent of his outreach efforts.
While we are mindful of the range of anticipated member reactions, we believe that the Board’s decision is in the best interest of the Kehillah. To correctly communicate this stance, we are attempting to coordinate a forum to discuss the Board’s efforts, the Board’s decision herein, as well as our healing and rebuilding intentions.
Lastly, decisions that concern the very essence of our personal and spiritual relationships are never easy. Being exposed, though, to the harms which emanate from our awareness of the realm and breadth of the existing controversies, we are committed to providing the necessary contributions to ensure for the successful implementation of our rebirth. We are hopeful we will continue our community efforts in this regard.
May Hashem bless us to direct the correctness of our actions, bless our Kehillah in its spiritual growth and rejuvenation, and bless us with Shalom.
When My Time Comes
At 39, I'm older than many of my readers, who tend to be hot young chicks.
One day you will have to visit my grave. Instead of saying tehillim (Psalms), which I could never get into, please instead recite the funniest passages from Portnoy's Complaint. Then leave a stone.
Jane writes: "You got AIDS?"
"No, just HIV," I joke.
Jane writes: "Then you have time. Just be careful. Bundle up when it's cold. Drink lots of orange juice. You don't want to end up like the Angels in America guy."
Rub Me Tendler
This was just emailed to Aron and the president of his shul Shaarey Zedek:
So Aron... After all these years of you talking against us to each other, destroying friendships by asking people to lie on your behalf, trying to have sex with us and actually having oral sex with some of us...even when we were just 16, your time has finally come. You never thought we would be able to do it, did you? You always thought because we came from broken families that you could get away with it...well finally your getting what you deserve.
I hope you'll leave sooner because this is about to hit every major paper and your only going to embarrass the shul and your wife who was evil to us as well over the years. I guess she couldn't accept that we were telling her the truth...you kept telling her how horrible we were and how crazy we were, when in actuality you were trying to take us all to bed and having phone sex with some of us.
We all kept your secrets for so long but we all finally woke up. You bragging to us about Kathy and the married women you were seeing. Your anecdotes about the shiksa on the beach with the tattoo...you are a sick sick man. You told one of your victims you were molested, perhaps you should just admit that your sick and get help. Stop lying and talking about "lashon harrah" every week in shul...just leave, go to Israel and let everyone move on with their lives. Haven't you hurt enough people in your lifetime? JUST GO AWAY.
Jeffrey Hart Interview
Jeffrey Hart calls me Tuesday 7:30 am, February 28, after I emailed him for an interview about his new book The Making Of The American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times.
Jeffrey: "I got your email of course.
"This thing is off. What should we do? What are you telling me?"
Luke: "If any of these questions interest you, I'd like to get your answers."
Jeffrey: "OK. Go ahead."
Luke: "What did you think of George Will's review Sunday?"
Jeffrey: "It was OK as far as it went, but his main thesis was that Mr. Bartlett and other conservatives disagree with Bush on one thing or another. I suppose that if he wanted to list mine, his column space would not be long enough."
Luke: "What did you love and what did you hate about writing this book?"
Jeffrey: "I liked what I learned. I decided to organize it on the sequence of [presidential] administrations from the time the magazine started in November of 1955.
"To establish the different administrations, I tried to get the best of current historian's account of them. For example, Fred I. Greenstein's book, The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader... I learned that rather than the kindly Eisenhower, he was actually ruthless and highly organized, as one might expect from someone who pulled off D-day and chased the Wehrmacht across the Rhine. To end the fighting in Korea, he sent a message through New Delhi threatening the Chinese with nuclear warfare. The fighting stopped.
"As an administrator, he made tough decisions. He didn't support the French in Indochina/Vietnam. He did not support the British and French empires in the  Suez crisis. When he heard wrong intelligence that Kruschev was planning to send 100,000 volunteers to the Mid-East, he said, amusingly, out loud 'I guess we'll have to drop a whole bucket [of nuclear weapons] on them.'
"He did nothing about the Hungary crisis because the Russians had complete air and land superiority. Hungary was landlocked.
"He was a successful president. He had three years of budget surplus. He started the interstate highway system. He was strong on national defense. There were the U2 spy flights over the Soviet Union and the Polaris missile which could be fired from the bottom of the ocean, the nuclear navy.
"The great presidents of the 20th Century were Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagen.
"Reagen kicked the rotten barrel of the Soviet Union and saw it collapse without firing a shot, as Margaret Thatcher said.
"National Review was interesting as it commented week-by-week as things developed. It wasn't easy to do that as they haven't read the books I've read. Hell for a periodical journalist might be to read editorials a year later. I found it an engaging magazine from the beginning, full of interesting and colorful characters who collided on various issues."
Luke: "Was there a golden age for the magazine?"
Jeffrey: "As long as James Burnham was there. He became sick about 1980. Eventually he developed cancer. He was a big loss. The disappearance of Frank Meyer, Willmoore Kendall..."
Luke: "What did you think of Ann Coulter's falling out with National Review?"
Jeffrey: "I'm not sure what Ann Coulter did."
Luke: "She submitted a column that said we should invade Islamic countries, kill their leaders, and convert the populations to Christianity [at the point of a sword]."
Jeffrey: "I didn't know that. No wonder there was a falling out. That's not desirable at all. Where does she write?"
Luke: "She's written a bunch of best seller such as Slander."
Jeffrey: "I look at Drudge once in a while on the internet and there's a bunch of columnists listed and she's one of them."
Luke: "How active are you with National Review today?"
Jeffrey: "I'm still a senior editor. I'm mostly at home on the computer. I disagree with the magazine on a number of important points."
Luke: "What are your most important disagreements with National Review?"
Jeffrey: "Iraq, stem cell research. I don't believe it is wise to try to ban abortion. In general, the Wilsonian policy [trying to remake the world] of the Bush administration and the evangelical base that keeps him in power. Many of the evangelicals are often wrong, even about the Bible. They have no biblical scholarship. Some even think the universe was created in six days. On most social issues, they are wrong. They are against birth control.
"Bill Buckley wrote a column [Feb 24] saying that [the Iraq invasion] did not work. He says that the animosities between the different groups in Iraq are too strong for us to bridge them. That is why Saddam ruled with an iron fist. That's the way you keep a country like that together. Saddam was corrupt.
"I thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Then I supported [the American-led invasion]. Now I find that many of those claims were not only incorrect, but possibly fabricated."
Luke: "What grade would you give the Bush administration?"
Jeffrey: "He's the worst president in American history. I've been reading about James Buchanan. He wasn't bad. He was just trapped in a situation where civil war was inevitable."
Luke: "Where do you come from religiously?"
Jeffrey: "I became a Catholic in 1968. I accept the Catholic metaphysics. The creed. They have struck out since the early Renaissance on too many issues of ethics in this world starting from taking interest on money, on cadaver disections, smallpox vacinations, the syllabus of errors, just war theory. The Church has no theory of social change or the interaction of science with human behavior. I see that [Pope] Benedict came out this morning against invitro-fertilization because too many fertilized cells, what he calls embryos, are wasted. That's true, but in natural fertilization, a lot of cells are wasted."
Luke: "What is your position in brief on stem cell research?"
Jeffrey: "I'm all for it."
Luke: "Anything that will enhance human life?"
Jeffrey: "Sure. I don't think a dozen cells are the equivalent of a child with diabetes or an adult with parkinson's."
Luke: "Are there any prominent religious Muslim intellectuals in the American conservative movement?"
Jeffrey: "I can't name any."
Luke: "How well do you get along with your peers?"
Jeffrey: "There's been some friction but not about my views, but about the independent student newspaper The Dartmouth Review, which has been aggressive. I think it's OK if it's aggressive. They're students. If they do something sophomoric, well, they're sophomores. The college financially supports papers that are much more aggressive than The Dartmouth Review. There's The Women's Review, which keeps changing the spelling of 'women.' There's Black Praxis, The Dartmouth Free Press. The Dartmouth Review raises its own money."
Luke: "What's your position on legalizing drugs?"
Jeffrey: "Libertarian except that experts tell me that crack cocaine causes people to be violent. I don't see why anybody should worry about marijuana."
Luke: "What's your position on legalizing prostitution?"
Jeffrey: "I don't think it should be done. I've had [conversational] debates about that with Milton Friedman. He says that if you catch a disease from a prostitute, you can sue. I can't see Teddy Kennedy suing Suzy Q in court."
Luke: "Does society have an interest in promoting heterosexual marriage and stigmatizing other forms of sexual expression?"
Jeffrey: "Certainly government doesn't. There are tax exemptions for couples who have kids, which is OK."
Luke: "Do you think gay marriage is cool?"
Jeffrey: "I don't think the term 'marriage' should be applied but I support civil unions."
Luke: "What about if a brother and sister of adult age wanted to have a civil union?"
Jeffrey: "I haven't thought about that. Is this really an issue?"
Luke: "It illuminates greater issues."
Jeffrey: "I'm probably against it on traditional grounds -- that it has never been approved of and probably shouldn't be."
Luke: "Do you think John Lennon was a poet?"
Jeffrey: "I've never read anything he wrote. A couple of serious people have said that Bob Dylan was a good poet. I haven't gotten into it."
Luke: "What do you think of the Fox News channel?"
Jeffrey: "Of what?"
Luke: "Fox News. It's a conservative counterpart to CNN.
"Have you heard of the book Southpark Conservatives or the idea behind it?"
Luke: "Would you say that Joseph Sobran and Patrick Buchanan are antisemitic?"
Jeffrey: "No. But some of the things they said could be taken that way. Pat's a good friend of mine. Of course I don't think he's anti-semitic.
"In his newspaper column, Joseph Sobran recommended a far-out magazine called [Insaturation], which was definitely anti-Semitic and anti-black. That was strange that he found some insight in that. It might've been true insight. But collectively the magazine was far beyond acceptability. And a few other things like that.
"I know that Joe has plenty of Jewish friends. I don't know what is going on there."
Sobran, who spent 21 years at the National Review, lectures to the Institute for Historical Review, which is obsessed with denying the Holocaust.
[Jeffrey writes me later about Sobran lecturing to the IHR: "This would really be a Rake's Progress."]
Luke: "Has he been marginalized from the conservative movement?"
Joseph: "I'm not aware of him much. The National Review kept a file of his columns. I'm not sure it still exists."
Luke: "Have there been any antisemites in prominent positions at National Review?"
Luke: "Is the publication good for the Jews?"
Jeffrey: "I think so. Good for anybody. It presents its view literately and I don't think it is hostile to any group on ethnic or religious grounds."
Luke: "How do people at National Review and how do you view the chapter on race in the book The Bell Curve?"
Jeffrey: "The National Review had a symposium on that when the book came out. Psychometrically it's a commonplace that blacks score 15 [IQ points behind (on the mean average) whites who are about 15 IQ points behind asians].
"No one is saying that this is immensely important in any sense. It's a fact. If you lack five IQ points on somebody, it does not mean you will accomplish less."
Luke: "Have you noticed that the public and private positions of people in the National Review crowd differ on race? With ordinary people, the things we say privately about race are very different from what we'd like to see quoted in The New York Times."
Jeffrey: "No. I've been around the place for years and I've never heard anybody... Frank Meyer was Jewish. He had a deathbed conversion to Catholicism. The religion editor for years was Will Herberg (Jewish theologian)."
Luke: "Are we able to have a honest public discourse on race today in America?"
Jeffrey: "I'm not sure. It depends on who's doing the discourse."
Luke: "Do you feel comfortable publishing your thoughts on race?"
Jeffrey: "I don't have any trouble. I think people of different races are all American."
Luke: "Do you notice any differences in behavior between conservative and liberal intellectuals?"
Jeffrey: "No. Behavior in America is basically a matter of class."
Luke: "Are most of your friends conservative?"
Jeffrey: "Not most of my faculty friends."
Luke: "Bill Buckley..."
Jeffrey: "He's fascinated by people with a different point of view. He has the impulse of an impresario presenting a lot of people he doesn't entirely agree with. Most conservatives internalize a lot of these things -- they're a little bit individualist, a little bit libertarian, some are traditionalists. So they can sympathize with various points of view."
Luke: "What do you think of the magazine today?"
Jeffrey: "It has less internal controversy and is less interesting for that reason. Without the internal controversy, it can go wrong, as it has gone badly wrong on Iraq. There should've been someone around saying, 'Wait a minute. This place has three mutually antagonistic elements. It's full of religious fanatics.'
"I can imagine a tough authoritarian like Kemal Ataturk smashing the whole structure and reconstructing it on another basis. I don't think we're prepared as a nation to do that."
Luke: "What do you think of the string of conservative pundits who've been found taking payola?"
Jeffrey: "It's bad."
Luke: "What do you think of the influence of rap on our culture?"
Jeffrey: "Probably bad but I am not well acquainted with it. The stuff where they talk about hos and whores and violence, it is not only a reflection but an encouragement to a culture of violence."
Luke: "How would you gauge the internet's affect on political and philosophical discourse?"
Jeffrey: "Up to a certain extent, excellent, but it can be time-consuming if you get trapped by it.
"I've got to get going towards a lunch date."
I'm Totally Gonna Get Laid On This Humanitarian Mission To Uganda
In less than 72 hours, I'll be touching down in Kampala, on my way to the shores of Lake Victoria, aka poontang heaven...
The best part is, these ladies don't expect commitment. They know that this brief sojourn into a nightmarish hellhole will soon be nothing more than a romantic memory, a passionate encounter set against the backdrop of a U.N. Food Programme truck ambushed and set aflame in the middle of the night. In the morning, they'll take up their rucksacks and proceed to the next good-samaritan adventure.
But they'll never forget me. The catatonic faces of the motherless 11-year-old Ugandan sex slaves who constantly begged them for food will fade away, but mine will stay with them forever. Each girl will kiss me on the cheek, thank me for the unbelievable orgasms I rocked them with, and maybe even start crying.
Dolly Does Dinner
Dolly: i'm having one hell of a time trying to figure out what to make
Luke: I thought i was easy
Dolly: well pasta seems the easiest route but i never make pasta so i'm afraid i'll overcook it
Luke: I have never refused anything you've offered me
Luke: beans, lentils or salad and desert
Dolly: but you don't even like salad dressing
Luke: I don't usually like cunnilingus but I'm still down with sex.
Luke: cunnilingus = salad dressing
Dolly: what about a butternut squash soup?
Luke: i wrote you i dont like squash
Luke: why don't you write my mom or dad and ask them what food I like?
Dolly: YOU don't know what food you like?
Luke: I do and I thought it was very simple but I've obviously failed to communicate it to you.
Dolly: i could do lasagna
Luke: ask my dad, he was the cook, you guys have so much in common, he'll give you good recipes
Dolly: anything in there you won't eat?
Luke: no pumpkin and eggplant
Luke: are you mad at me?
Dolly: what? no, i'm just scared of your dad
Luke: aww, hit him up, he'll be tickled
Luke: or my mom or sis
Luke: it'll be cute
Dolly: your dad would never approve of me
Luke: this problem has come up before but i've never used this solution
Luke: I don't recommend you tell my dad everything about yourself, just ask for a recipe
Luke: take it easy on your sexual history
Dolly: what's his name?
Luke: Dr Ford
Dolly: or should i call him Mr. Ford?
Luke: he might not be around, so CC my mom
Luke: Tell them I sent you.
Dolly: ok i emailed them
Hello! This may seem a little odd but I'm a good friend of Luke's and I was going to make him dinner tomorrow night. The thing is, he's a really picky eater (as I imagine you are both well aware of) and every dish I've offered to cook there's something in it he doesn't like. So he suggested I email you two for suggestions as to what I can make him that he'll actually eat. The only thing I've been successful at feeding him is tomato basil soup, and I can't make that every single time! Any suggestions/recipies you could possibly give me?
My mom replies:
1 and 1/2 cups of red lentils 3 cups of water 1 bay leaf 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 onions, sliced 25 gm. butter (5 mg is about 1 tsp) 2 eggs 2 cups grated cheese 1 cup chopped tomatoes 3 slices wholemeal bread, crumbled 2 tp salt 1/2 tsp curry powder 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Simmer lentils gently with water, bay leaf and garlic until they are tender and the water is absorbed. Meanwhile, saute the onions in the butter until transparent. Remove from the heat and add the eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and parsley. Remove the bay leaf from the cooked lentils and drain off any remaining water. Stir the lentils into the rest of the loaf mixture, then spoon into a well-greased or baking-paper-lined loaf tin (alternatively, pour into a casserole dish and serve from this, without unmoulding). Bake, uncovered at 180°c for about 45 minutes, or until firm in the middle.
This is from an Aussie recipe book called Meatless Meals. Good for nonvegetarians too. Even I can cook it.
If you mash potatoes and add a salad and give him wholemeal bread, etc., he should be happy. If not, I suggest you wait till it cools down and turn it upside down on his head or make him take you out to dinner.
Bush Policies Deformed By Christian Extremism
Jeffrey Hart writes:
During the 2004 presidential election perhaps the most scandalous of these arose as an issue in the campaign, stem-cell research. In August 2001, Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for such research involving fertilized cells created after 2001. This severely inhibited research which had indeed proved promising. Bush claimed to have issued his order for "moral reasons," but all the moral reasons seem to support the research.
The fertilized cells in question are left over and frozen in fertility clinics, in fact doubly doomed because frozen and with a finite shelf-life, and also because a fertilized cell will not develop unless implanted in a woman. Instead of wasting them, why not use them to, it seems possible, treat an entire array of dreadful diseases? One opponent of the research put the objection crisply: such cells "must not be destroyed no matter how noble the cause." It seemed clear that Bush's objection to the research was driven by his Evangelical base, indefensible as his position was.
Other Bush-inspired policies with severe implications for public health began to form a list as long as your arm. In fact, despite their potentiality for real harm, they possess a comical sort of zaniness. As reported in The Washington Post, they include:
* Information about safe sex was removed from the Centers for Disease Control Web site.
* The scandal that the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research prohibited over-the-counter sale of a "morning after" contraceptive as encouraging promiscuity and thus spreading disease -- clearly outside the mandate of the FDA. The New England Journal of Medicine described this as a political decision, which of course it was.
* The fact that the Bush administration has devoted millions to faith-based organizations promoting abstinence, but in doing so telling flagrant lies: that condoms fail to prevent HIV 31 percent of the time during heterosexual intercourse (3 percent is accurate); that abortion leads to sterility (elective abortion does not); that touching a person's genitals can cause pregnancy; that HIV can be spread through sweat and tears; that a 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person"; and that half of gay teenagers have AIDS. Some grants for faith-based programs stipulate that condoms be discussed only in connection with their failure.
You would think that such Halloween science would be impossible in federally funded programs. Isn't bearing false witness prohibited by the Ten Commandments? But, as we see, Evangelicals make up their own scripture. And this is the Bush administration.
* Then there was that book the federal bookstore at the Grand Canyon was obliged to carry, maintaining that the Grand Canyon was caused by Noah's Flood. Geology shows that the canyon took millions of years to form by erosion. No problem. Geology is wrong.
The saints, they are marchin' in. H.L. Mencken, where are you when we need you? But some of that represents the comic side of the Bush administration. No one should be laughing about its stem-cell policy. Welcome to Evangelical Land. Today, it's us.
Questions For A Conservative Intellectual
I sent these to Jeffrey Hart, a professor emeritus of English at Darmouth, who has just published the book, The Making Of The American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times:
* Who are the most prominent Islamic (I mean religious, not secular Muslims) thinkers in the conservative movement?
* Ann Coulter's falling out with National Review? Reflects more poorly on her or on them? Are there many girly-men at National Review?
* Which elite university is most friendly to conservatives?
* Do you think John Lennon was a poet? On par with Keats?
* Do poets get to live by a different moral code than ordinary mortals?
* What's your position on legalizing drugs, pornography and prostitution?
* What did you think of George Will's review of your book? Do you think Mr. Will should be more circumspect about making public moral pronouncements given his widely-reported marital problems of a few years ago?
* What do you think of the Fox News Channel? Do you have a favorite newscaster on there? Are there too many blondes reading the news? If so, how should we thin them out?
* Southpark Conservatives. Good for the conservative movement or bad?
* Has National Review been good for the Jews? How so? Would you say Joseph Sobran and Pat Buchanan are antisemitic? Have there been antisemites in prominent positions at National Review?
* Are there many people in positions of influence at National Review who would largely agree with the chapter on race in THE BELL CURVE?
* Should a man be allowed to marry his sister or his dog if they truly love each other?
* Should we get rid of child labor laws so the free market can do its thing?
* Who have been the most physically beautiful intellectuals in the conservative movement during the past 40 years? How does beauty in a male or female intellectual influence how their ideas are received? Is there any one you most wish you could've had an affair with?
* Are conservative intellectuals more moral than their liberal counterparts? Say, less likely to sleep with their students?
* Are you able to converse in rap lingo when that is to your advantage? If you felt like answering any or all of my questions as a rapper that would be great, and it would significantly advance your street cred.
Jane writes: "Did he answer the last question, the one about rap? Or does he try to keep that side of his self on the down low -- in case his English department homies try to get all up in his grill, and force him out his hood?"
The Paradox Of Pornography
By Robert Jensen
Pornography's business has always been the exposure of women's bodies for the pleasure of men, and that was readily evident at the annual Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas last month.
But also exposed at the sex-industry gathering was the paradox of the pornography business at this particular moment: At the same time that the pornography industry and its products are more normalized than ever in the United States, the images they produce are more brutal and degrading toward women than ever. How can it be that a once-underground industry that lived at the margins of society has become mainstream, at precisely the same time that its sexual cruelty toward women is most pronounced?
Surreptitiously Changing Her Man: Moral or Not?
Barb writes Luke:
"Luke, I might, just might, be in love, and this time with a man! (Yes, my parents are very happy, although it has had repercussions in other quarters of my social life.) My man Matt and I get along well and care for one another a great deal, but there are a few habits of his that trouble me, and that I'd like to change.
"To begin with, there's his odd diet. He won't eat any animal flesh. None. His parents were members of a strange cult (the one L. Ron Hubbard founded before he hit upon Scientology, I think) that imagined humanity to be made up of cows or other ungulates or some such thing, and denied him high protein foods even when he was in the womb. To me, this is a form of child abuse, and I'd never put up with that, especially when pregnant (I've got plans - days 12/17 are fast approaching). He says he would more than "tolerate" my omnivorous nature, but I want him to be an active participant in that lifestyle. And even as a vegan, his palate is very limited. So I've been thinking of weaning him off the pure vegan (is that the term?) diet he's on by surreptitiously feeding him animal products in the meals he's asked me to prepare for him. I know I could slip some ground beef or chicken into the lentil soup he favors by presenting it as a Mexican or Peruvian dish, with him none the wiser. Then if he likes it, I can increase the amount of meat until he's basically eating a bowl of chili.
"He'd be mad, but I'd be doing him a favor. I know some people swear by their bovine diets, but Matt is not a robust man. He often find himself in extended episodes of weakness and lassitude that I suspect are caused by an insufficiency of protein in his diet, so really, I'd be doing him a favor (like the parent who slips necessary medicine into his child's diet). Please tell me that what I'm doing is moral."
Barb, as a orthodox-aspiring Jewish man, I perform many mitzvot, some of which are known to the general public, and some of which are not. Among those that fall into the latter category is the good deed of visiting prisoners in the California Correctional System. Some of these men are evil, but many just found themselves just starting out on the path of wickedness when they got caught (included in this group are many crystal meth users). I visit these men (and women) in prison to offer moral guidance so that when they are returned to society, they can embark upon a path of righteous that will help glorify God above.
But I am not a fool. When I visit them in prison, I always reject the food that I am offered. I have read that the men who work in the prison kitchens do what you propose doing, by adding a certain milky white "secret sauce" of animal origin to the vegan dishes I would order, so I don't ever share a meal with my prison flock. Respect Matt's wishes, keep two sets of dishes (one for your food, one for his), and let total honesty be your guide in dealing with Matt.
Do you have a problem or question? I've got an answer. email@example.com.
It All Begins With A Date
Fischel is one of my dearest friends in life, a man I've known ever since we were study partners at Lakewood Yeshiva. I have always known him to be a pious man and a pillar of the orthodox community. Somehow he reached his fortieth birthday without getting married. Time moves on, and while the rest of us were marrying Jewish girls, he sort of got left behind. I assumed that he was one of "those people" who just didn't need a woman and let it go at that. (In Yeshiva, he'd do certain sorts of experimentation that led me to believe this.)
A week ago I went out with my wife and six kids to have a nice meal at a kosher restaurant, and what do I see? Fischel with a woman, but not just any woman, a tall goyishe looking blond. But I know that Jews can be blond, so my heart said "Finally, he's found his behsert" and I introduced myself. Long story short, it turns out that she is a shiksa, and he's thinking of marrying her!
Our "circle" from Lakewood days is divided on how to respond. Some want to write him off, but I and a few others are thinking of staging an intervention to break this up. After all, it really cannot work. A Jewish neshama and a shiksa cannot cohabiti happily in the same house, so if we intervene now, we will be saving both many years of misery. My wife says not to do this sort of thing, and urges me to seek broader counsel, lest I do something harmful to the Kehilla.
Luke, I know you've been there and done that. You are a man of the world. What should I do?
Dear Reb X: You are right, it all begins with a date. But to answer you fully, I will need to do some research of my own and talk to some of the gedolim within my community. And appeal to the learned of my readers to opine as well. Dear readers, what should this man do? Either comment below or, if desirous of more privacy, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amalek writes me: "You are getting more goyishe every day. People who meet you these days cannot possibly think you are Jewish. Where's the angst, the hunger for money, the yiddishe punim, the hairy palms and hunched shoulders? Dolly has reclaimed you for Christ, even though she isn't even a believer! As per what you just posted on relationship blog, it may be too late for an intervention, and besides, who would intervene?"
Seeking Alexander Proctor
I'm an actor who co-starred with Alexander Proctor in a production of a play called "Tunnel Rats" at the Marines Memorial Theatre in San Francisco, February of 1990. In getting to know him he revealed to me that he had a criminal record he was not proud of and that he was determined to build a new life for himself. While he was obviously a tough guy he also came across as a genuinely solicitous and caring individual, respectful of the work we were doing and gracious with my family. We kept in touch sporadically over the next few years and then lost contact. I've been following the Pellicano case as it has unfolded over the past couple of years with more than a casual interest since I had acquaintance with the person (Proctor) who set the whole thing in motion.
I found your profile of Proctor on the web and note that the last entry is from 2003 at which time Proctor was incarcerated. A recent search for inmate information at the LA Sheriff's Dept. web-site yields no info on an Alexander Proctor being in custody. With all the turmoil at the jails these days and big breaks in the Pellicano story I've been curious as to just what has happened with Proctor. Is he safe in jail? Is he out on bail? Is he in a witness protection program? If you have any new information of his whereabouts or well-being I would be grateful to hear it.
Seeking Mordecai Gafni
Trudi Sponder Heifetz writes me: "I read the 45 pages on Winiarz/Gafni on the internet. I just recently found out about his name change. I would like to be able to contact him since the owes me money since 1988 his time in Boca Raton. Since it is a considerable amount I have decided to try to collect it."
Mordecai Gafni: Learning To Be Good
Much of western society feels human beings are born 'good.' This is dangerous.
Shopping For A Wife/Husband
Fred passes this along:
A store that sells new husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch: you may choose any man from a particular floor or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs. The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids. The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking. "Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework. "Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!" Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads: Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.
FOR THE MEN A new wives store opened across the street. The first floor has wives that love sex. The second floor has wives that love sex and have money. The third through sixth floors have never been visited.
The Making Of The American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times
George Will writes in The NYT Book Review:
For more than three decades, [Jeffrey Peter] Hart, an emeritus professor of English at Dartmouth, has been a senior editor of National Review. There he has seen, and helped to referee, conservatism's struggles of self-definition. His book is a gossipy memoir leavened by a quick skimming of 50 years of political history. "I confess," he says, "to a fondness for gossip, which, indeed, is a conservative genre. Gossips do not want to change the world; they want to enjoy it."
Shaarey Zedek Update
"The antennae at the shul is up on the Aron's scandals," says a member. "A month ago, people were buying the cover story that Aron was resigning because he was tired. But now people are looking at your site and mentioning your name. People are asking what is going on. They're asking the powers that be, who respond that there are rumors. People are talking. The consensus is that Aron is through. If a reputable newspaper reports on this, then there will be recriminations.
"When Aron resigned a month ago, most members had no idea about the accusations against him.
"Do the accusers even know who Judah Hertz is? He'll have them killed. He's one step away from the Israeli Mafia. Publish his home phone number and he'll have someone killed."
A concerned Jew writes: “I'm happy Aron is on his way out but it would have been done two years ago had Joni and Robert not protected him and sold out one of their friends in the process.”
A member of the community writes:
People are so afraid of Hertz. It’s kind of funny actually because upfront and talking to him, he is quite dorky. And no one has his phone number anyways...nor wants to post it. Truthfully he would probably laugh the whole thing off as all he wants is to get blown everyday.
I think you should call him at work on Monday and ask for a statement about Shalom Tendler.
Orthodox Tourists Led By Aron Tendler Claim Police Prejudice
From The Jerusalem Post 2/26/06:
A group of Orthodox Jews visiting Israel from Los Angeles said Israeli police discriminated against them on religious grounds by preventing them from entering the Temple Mount Sunday.
But police said the group failed to produce identification and were, therefore, not authorized to enter the Temple Mount area until they produced it.
A group of eight, all congregants of the Sha'arey Zedek Synagogue, San Fernando Valley's largest orthodox synagogue, who were in Israel for a Bar Mitzva, blamed the police for discrimination.
"About 30 seconds after we were detained a group of about 50 non-Jews were allowed to enter without ID," said Rabbi Aron Tendler, the rabbi of the synagogue.
Tendler, grandson of the famous halachic authority Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, said that he and his congregants did not bring ID or other valuables with them because they had been at the mikveh [ritual bath] and were afraid that while they were immersing themselves their valuables would be left unguarded.
So why leave the ID behind? Maybe this. Rabbi Tendler is under a cloud of suspicion, He has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse and harassment. He resigned from his rabbinical post (effective later this year), in part, it is all edged, because of these allegations. Becoming a hero of sorts to his congregation's base by being 'persecuted' by Israeli security services weeks after Amona may help him regain his post.
For those of you uncertain about the actions of the security service, what they did is called Profiling. It is in large part why Israel is as safe as it is.
A woman writes Canonist.com: "Just got off the phone with Jerusalem Post in Israel. He will be fact checking (as this is the first he has heard) the story and hopefully will cover a story. I informed him and he agreed that if it is true (which it is) Aron should not be able to harm women in Israel when he moves there."
Jewish Whistleblower writes Canonist.com:
Apparently, this is further evidence of the Tendler hypocricy. On one hand, they claim we have to follow the Chief Rabbanite’s rulings EVEN when they are based on Tendler lies and IGNORE the findings of dayanim in Monsey. On the other hand THEY VIOLATE PUBLICLY and CALL ON OTHERS TO VIOLATE PUBLICLY the rulings of the Chief Rabbanite:
January 18, 2005 from Haaretz by Nadav Shragai: Chief rabbis Yonah Metzger and Shlomo Moshe Amar, and a number of important rabbinical figures associated with the national religious world, have issued a halakhic ruling reiterating that it is forbidden for Jews to enter any part of the Temple Mount in our times.
A Fax To Shalom Tendler's Shul
To: Young Israel of North Beverly Hills
RE: Aron Tendler and Shalom Tendler
We are writing to you to let you know that Shalom Tendler has been aware of his nephew’s disgusting acts with minors since 1987 and did nothing. He was responsible for the cover up in 87 when Aron was moved to the boys school and he also spoke to one of Aron’s 16 year-old victims 2 years ago, who tried to commit suicide once the history of what Aron did to her caught up with her.
If Shalom Tendler is not removed from the bima we will go to the mainstream media and make it publicly known that your shul keeps a man on staff who enables a child molester.
Shalom Tendler is Aron's uncle and has been influential in keeping Aron in positions of religious authority (such as teaching at YULA's boys school) despite evidence that Aron molested underage girls at YULA.
The New York Post is aggressively working on a series of articles on Aron and Mordecai Tendler. The Jewish Journal and The Los Angeles Times are also looking into Aron.
One of the founder of Young Israel of North Beverly Hills is Judah Hertz.
Nevada Denies L.A. Developer Gaming License.
Real estate: Regulators turn down Judah Hertz's application, citing alleged dealings with reputed mob figures. He denies wrongdoing.
From The Los Angeles Times Staff and Wire Reports (12/22/00)
Judah Hertz, owner of the California Mart and several other major downtown Los Angeles properties, lost a bid Wednesday for a Nevada gaming license as a result of alleged ties to reputed mobsters involved in drug dealing and prostitution.
Hertz "obviously is unsuitable for licensure with the state of Nevada and has no business here," said state Gaming Commission Chairman Brian Sandoval as the commission voted 4 to 0 against Hertz's application.
Hertz denies any wrongdoing. In an interview with The Times, he said he has sold the Comstock hotel-casino in Reno and withdrew offers to buy two other Reno properties, the Flamingo Hilton and a 50% stake in Sands Regent. Hertz Investment Group and an affiliate, Sapphire Gaming, began acquiring the three Reno casinos in 1999, starting with a $5-million deal for the Comstock.
The New York native had asked to withdraw an outdated application for a gaming license, but regulators rejected the request and voted unanimously to deny him. Nevada officials said Hertz failed to show up to a hearing of the state's Gaming Control Board and a meeting of the gaming commission.
"I knew what the ruling was," said Hertz, who owns about 3 million square feet of office space in central Los Angeles. "There was no point in going."
The Nevada gaming control board said Hertz had dealings with reputed organized crime figures including Jacob Orgad, an Israeli immigrant and accused international drug smuggler. The board said Orgad allegedly distributed cocaine for the Gambino and Escobar crime families, supplied cocaine and recruited women for notorious Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and has been linked to the illegal distribution of methylene dioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, also called Ecstasy.
Control Board documents also state Hertz got some of the money for his Reno ventures from an uncle of Hai Waknine and Assaf Waknine, alleged enforcers for Orgad and members of the Bachsihan crime organization involved in ecstasy dealing.
Hertz said his only connection with Orgad was during the purchase of a downtown building on Hill Street. He said he paid Orgad a brokerage commission as part of the purchase and has had no further dealings with him.
The real estate investor has also been a mentor and a business associate of Hai Waknine, according to John Forbess, an attorney for Hertz. Waknine might have had a troubled past, but "he's been completely straight and has been a respectable businessperson," Forbess said. "It's not like Judah has been hanging around with unsavory characters."
Hertz, who had sought licensing approval for himself and several families, got the only denial from Nevada gaming regulators. The other applications were referred to staff. Though they could come up again, it's unlikely given the concern about Hertz.
Judah Hertz had office space next door to Heidi Fleiss.
Divorced for several years, Hertz lives in Marina Del Rey (rarely goes to YINBL) and dates a twentiesh shiksa. He's a notorious womanizer.
When YINBL started, Hertz was paying for almost everything, including Shalom Tendler's salary.
Hertz stands to make fortune from the reconstruction of New Orleans.
Most Interesting People In LA
I got profiled about a month ago by a publication compiling a list of the most interesting people in LA (it has not been published yet).
For the first time, I mentioned this to Cathy Seipp Saturday night, Feb 25. She got upset. "Why would they want to profile you and not me? Did you at least tell them about me?" she demanded. "How I am constantly putting you out there? That I make you interesting? That you are nothing without me?"
Taken aback by her vehemence, I invited her to be in my picture. "No," she said. "It might be unflattering. But I'm no Nikki [Finke, who won't be photographed]."
"I'll email the reporter about you," I offered tongue-in-cheek.
"You do that," she said. "Set the record straight."
One thing I like about Cathy is that she's not afraid to take credit.
Feb 26. Cathy got mad at me for making her look bad in this blog entry.
Search Keyphrases That Bring People To Lukeford.net (Through February 24)
anthony pellicano 1549 4.8 %
aron tendler 1109 3.4 %
luke ford 558 1.7 %
pellicano 530 1.6 %
rabbi aron tendler 440 1.3 %
hyapatia lee 379 1.1 %
nikki finke 341 1 %
aaron tendler 319 0.9 %
steve bing 295 0.9 %
leon wieseltier 232 0.7 %
Most Viewed Pages: Visits
What Type Of Songs Do I Like?
I like songs that tell a story (with a beginning, middle and end) or make a point. I like a hummable melody. I want lyrics that touch my heart.
The Seamy Underside Of Reality
By Tobi Elkin of MediaPost.com, Friday, Feb 24, 2006
THE ROAD TO MAKING A reality TV show is paved with more than a few bumps, dyspepsia, and plenty of mind-numbing ironies. So too, it turns out, is making a film about the underside of reality TV. "American Cannibal: The Road to Reality," a searing new documentary film premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, goes behind the scenes of an ill-fated reality TV production and raises provocative questions for a media industry and advertisers that have seemingly insatiable appetites for the reality genre.
The film, directed by Perry Grebin and Michael Nigro, who've worked in TV news and for VH1, offers a compelling glimpse into the American mindset and the white-hot obsession with manufacturing fame and celebrity, especially that of the C-list variety.
The story is told from the perspective of writing partners Gil S. Ripley and Dave Roberts, who realize after rounds of fruitless pitching to cable network execs, that reality TV concepts are the only currency that matters.
Grebin and Nigro's documentary examines the innards of a reality TV production to probe the media industry and America's fascination with the genre, ultimately pointing out the insidious manipulations of reality TV, and how it has co-opted truth, and surely, scripted programming.
The directors chronicle Ripley and Roberts' travails and struggle to get work over the course of 18 months. The duo eventually score a writing opportunity, if you can call it that: they become involved in "American Cannibal," a "Survivor"-esque reality TV show backed by Kevin Blatt, best known for peddling the Paris Hilton sex tape that turned the heiress into a cottage industry.
The audacious Blatt, whose production company is mainly involved in adult entertainment projects in So-Cal's San Fernando Valley, is by turns hysterically funny, pathetic, but always shrewd. He offers some of the film's most unforgettable moments. This viewer was left wondering whether Blatt realized he was bordering on self-parody. One particularly surreal moment occurs as Ripley and Roberts are invited to a party with Blatt and his people. Nubile young women shake their enormous breasts at the bewildered writers, who can't quite process the madness. At one point, one of the women appears sans panties, white tampon string dangling before the camera. Hyper-reality sets in.
Blatt's production company held nationwide auditions last spring for the show, which was then dubbed "The Ultimate, Ultimate Challenge." The casting call sought strong, able-bodied people ages 18 and up. The directors introduce viewers to a gaggle of would-be contestants--clowning and ebullient, heady in their voracious desire to make it, or at least break through via a reality TV show. They want attention so badly, they appear ready for anything.
The production, touted as "Survivor" meets "Fear Factor" via "Eco-Challenge," commenced shooting last August on an island off Puerto Rico. What follows is a sweaty, nausea-inducing sequence of events as the cast and crew, Ripley and Roberts, host George Gray of ESPN's "I'll Do Anything," and the film's producers and directors try to keep up with the chaotic shoot.
After six days of shooting, there is a calamity: a young woman is injured in a fall during an extreme challenge. She falls into a coma and is transported to a hospital in Puerto Rico. Production is halted, the crew is confused, and few details are released. The aftermath of the accident is documented on camera--the young woman writhing in pain on the beach. The production becomes shrouded in secrecy and its backers sort of back away.
Viewers and the directors are left with nagging questions: What happened to the injured woman? Will she be okay? Is a lawsuit pending? Will the footage be repackaged as part of another show? What happens to Ripley and Roberts? (The film shows the stressful effects on their relationship).
Lengthy post-scripts are likely to be written right up until the final print is made. In the end, the viewer empathizes with the writers and production crew whose livelihoods depend on keeping production going, but also with the woman who gets hurt on the shoot.
We also feel badly for our pathetic reality-lovin' selves. Grebin and Nigro's biting and often painful commentary on the TV industry's shift to all reality, all the time (okay, okay, so we now have the bubbly and feel-good "Dancing with the Stars and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") is a thoroughly absorbing meditation on the substitution of reality for truth.
A phalanx of TV executives, producers, agents, writers, and the always camera-ready Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse's Center for the Study of Popular Television, turn up to comment on America's preoccupation with reality TV. Their harshly ironic comments are pure entertainment.
The filmmakers attempt to show people on all sides of the reality equation--producers, agents, networks, writers, crew, contestants--in order to cast a light on the human cost of accepting reality (TV) for truth.
"There's a spiritual, creative, and cultural cost to this form of programming," says Nigro in a recent interview. "What is America willing to accept as entertainment?" Enlightening, engaging, and thought-provoking, "American Cannibal: The Road to Reality" is charged with human pathos that makes it a critical must-see work of nonfiction cinema.
The film is bound to send viewers, the TV/media industrial complex, and advertisers into a relentless round of questioning--or at least a debate, the directors hope. "We're not trying to take a polemic stance, but there are a lot of issues we'd like to talk about," says Grebin.
"The Amazing Race," "Big Brother," and "Survivor," three of the best-known and most popular CBS reality shows, exemplify America's fascination with and addiction to reality TV. These shows got us hooked. Fox's megahit "American Idol," NBC's "Apprentice," and ABC's catfight drama "The Bachelor" have just as surely reeled us in. The voyeur in us wants more, more, more. We like to watch others struggle for a shot at minor celebrity. But what is it that makes most of America, including this writer, want to tune in to watch suffocating banality? Is it the escape from reality to what? Hyper-reality? Why do we buy the artifice reality show producers promote? Why don't we actively process the fact that they are packing as much drama into the challenges as possible and editing aggressively to build the maximum suspense?
After several seasons of both "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," there's a whole new crop of reality shows being sprung from production obscurity to living rooms, including a new FX reality show, "Black.White," in which makeup artists enable a black family and a white family to swap skin colors for six weeks. Ick. More aspirational properties like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Dancing With the Stars" have also made their way onto the scene. There are still plenty of wannabe models, actors, and musicians angling for a break on "Idol," while struggling single moms, financial analysts, and truck drivers make a pitch to be on "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race."
The film doesn't really strike at the heart of the economic rationale for the forcefeeding. It subtly implies that reality TV productions have lower production costs and overhead for the Hollywood/media/TV industrial complex. But it doesn't actually discuss the fact that the productions are easy for advertisers to support--and perhaps this is because advertisers don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Reality programming is less expensive to produce than scripted dramas, but these days only marginally.
According to Wayne Friedman, MediaPost's "TV Watch" columnist and West Coast editor, production costs for reality shows are now as high as $1.5 million per hour--not that much lower than the $2 million an hour minimum for scripted dramas like ABC hit "Grey's Anatomy." Location costs for reality shows are also skyrocketing. It costs a small fortune to keep the cast and crew in a mud hole in Africa. The flip side? Ratings gold for shows like "Idol" and "Dancing With the Stars." There is tremendous viewer interest in shows with participatory components where viewers weigh in with their votes via text messaging and online actions. For "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race," the exotic locales and nifty sets are big draws.
Reality shows are also perceived as advertiser-friendly, Friedman notes, with decent opportunities for product placement. Reality continues its relentless pace: an ad for a casting call for "Survivor" 13 recently appeared in a Southern California newspaper. Wanted: "Strong willed, outgoing, adventurous, excellent mental and physical health." The ad fails to mention the lengthy psychological exam and the necessity of signing a liability waiver within an inch of your life.
"American Cannibal: The Road to Reality" is produced by Grebin and Nigro's Acme Pictures, along with Denis Jensen, and Gill Holland of LasalleHolland. The Pacificap Entertainment Holdings-backed film is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival April 25-May 7. To access the film's production blog, go to: www.acme-pictures.com.
Dinner For Luke
Dolly: so if i make dinner
Dolly: which i probably won't because i'll be so damn tired
Luke: i'll drop dead
Dolly: how do you feel about eggplant?
Dolly: ok moving on
Luke: how 'bout some...
Dolly: don't be disgusting
Dolly: you have the intelligence of a gentleman, at least attempt to act like one
Dolly: pasta with creamy tomato sauce?
Luke: that's ok, i prefer mexican stuff, salad or something
Dolly: but more of a creamy sauce with a taste of tomato than a tomato sauce
Dolly: christ you are impossible
Dolly: ever thought of broadening your horizons?
Luke: i'll eat pasta, it's just not a favorite, it makes me sleepy
Dolly: you really should
Luke: lentils or some soup is great
Dolly: how do you feel about tarts?
Dolly: i mean the food
Luke: fine with me
Dolly: squash and basil tart?
Dolly: mushroom-leek tart?
Luke: i thought tarts were sweet
Luke: both of those options sound horrible
Dolly: tomato-feta tart?
Dolly: no it's like a meat pie, but veggie
Luke: Darling, anything you prepare, I'll be glad to eat.
Luke: I believe in you.
Dolly: well i probably won't anyhow
Dolly: i'd have to buy everything and prepare after work
Dolly: i can't play career woman and housewife, as much as i'd like
Marrying Men In Prison
Ex-porn star Tony Stearns (his real name, his stage name is Earl Slate) is not scheduled to get out of prison until 2011 (there'll be no good behavior time off for the guy who's turning 43, he was convicted of armed robbery) but he's already got a fiance -- a 52yo grandmother.
I talk to her by phone Tuesday afternoon 2/21/06.
Crissy: "You sound like you need somebody to cheer you up.
"You're pretty confused."
Luke: "Have you had a relationship with a man in prison before?"
Crissy: "No. This is not the best. This is hard."
Luke: "Why do it?"
Crissy: "Because I care about him."
Luke: "There are a lot of people you could care about."
Crissy: "He doesn't have a lot of people."
Luke: "But what's in it for you?"
Crissy: "Practically nothing. I'm just a giving person. It's always been that way. Maybe I give too much of myself."
I keep cracking up.
Luke: "Women who develop relationships with men in jail, it's fascinating."
Crissy: "It would be different if he were serving a life sentence. Those women are really stupid."
I'm overwhelmed by my laughter.
Crissy: "It's not a funny situation. I've seen all those 20/20 things. Geez, they go after the ones in for murder. Do they think that's going to be a fun life? It's not.
"It's not only demeaning to the person in there, it's demeaning to the person who comes to see them too."
Luke: "How did you fall in love with him?"
Crissy: "He's gorgeous and he's funny."
Luke: "And you haven't had sex with him yet?"
Crissy: "No. We're not allowed to do that. You have to be married. Then you have to sign up for family visits. They're supposed to be every 90 days."
Luke: "When are you getting married?"
Crissy: "We're not sure. We set our sights on July . Then January . I keep moving it back."
Crissy: "Is that bad? I want to make sure that this is something I want to do."
Luke: "How do your friends and family feel about this?"
Crissy: "They're fine with it. Whatever makes me happy. If he can make me happy... Obviously he can only make me so happy being where he's at."
Luke: "They're just fine with you marrying a guy who will be in jail for the next five years."
Luke: "How do your parents feel?"
Crissy: "They're not thrilled about it."
Luke: "'We've always dreamed you would marry someone in prison.'"
Crissy: "They think I need somebody who is actually here with me. They're from the old school. They're 79 years old and in July they'll celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary."
Luke: "Do you have a weakness for bad boys?"
Crissy: "Ohmigod, you read it, didn't you? Yes, I do."
Luke: "What kind of bad boys have you been with? Men who beat you?"
Crissy: "I had one of those. Or alcoholics. Or drug addicts. You think you can help people. You think you can save people. I've learned you can't change anybody."
Luke: "Have you ever been to Alanon?"
Crissy: "I've never had anybody who's had enough guts to try to straighten up their life to go to AA or NA. It's not going to help me to go to try to understand them. I understood them perfectly fine. That's the problem. And they didn't want to correct it.
"I'm not attracted to bad boys anymore. I've been on my own for six years. I'm not going to have a guy tell me what I can and can not do or who I can see or where I can go.
"Tony and I come from two different worlds. He was the bad boy growing up. I was the good girl growing up. I've been married. I've had kids. He's never had any of that. You've never had any of that.
"He's accepted the kids. She's started playing the guitar. They have that in common.
"You've been around the people in porn. They're out for themselves. That's all they want to care about. That's all they want to think about. It's what's good for me, me, me."
Luke: "So why would you want to get yourself caught up in that?"
Crissy: "Why did you?"
I give a pained laugh.
Crissy: "You got more benefits out of it than I am going to get."
Luke: "I just write about them. I'm like a scientist who pokes insects in a cage and sees how they react. The people I write about are not in my real life."
Crissy: "But some of them are. I never knew they were arrogant and self-centered."
Luke: "You have to be screwed up to be in porn. It's a requirement. It's so self-destructive."
Crissy: "Tony practically raised himself. I had strict parents."
Luke: "You guys have so much in common."
Crissy: "It's like night and day.
"No, we don't have a whole lot in common. He said that on our last visit. I said, 'That's right. That's why we're not jumping in to something that's not good for the both of us."
Luke: "What about dating men in the regular world?"
Crissy sighs. "Oh God, dating is hell.
"They've been ready for me than I was ready for. They would fall in love faster."
Luke: "Men fall in love quicker because they are more superficial."
Crissy: "I would've have guessed that."
Luke: "You should read, Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness."
78% of YOU would prefer Jennifer Aniston over...
According to a Cosmo poll, at least 80 % of you would prefer Jennifer Aniston as girlfriend material over Angelina Jolie. As one spaz put it,"Jen would make the perfect girlfriend. She'd fix snacks while you and your friends watch the Super Bowl."--Rob, 29'
Give me a f*&*ing break ! Tell me there is more to enjoying the opposite sex than serving some chump and his chimps some banana peels while they watch other men on T.V play with their balls. Holy French fries, now I know why I am single. I don't want a boring man who smokes and overeats and watches sports games on beautiful days. It does not matter how wealthy he is, not interested. Yes, I am assertive, adventurous, sexual, very independent, athletic and I've had men try to pick me up 4 times this past week on the street. One I actually dated for a while but it had to end once I realized how inept he was in the bedroom.
I do not play that damsel in distress card too well. I can use power tools and have re-grouted my own bathroom floor, carry my own groceries and laundry up 5 flights. I have my own life and enjoy it to the point where I sometimes find myself skipping down the street just because I am that happy. I've walked 30 city blocks in my black patent leather stilettos just because I could, and comfortably. I'll give my male and female friends flowers just because I appreciate them that much. My ex still sends me christmas cards and I don't drink beer or do ANY drugs. My highs are from jogging several miles, going down snowy slopes or sitting next to the ocean and feeling the dropplets sprinkle on my skin. I love fine art,I travel. The last book I bought was a retrospective of Helmut Newton photographs. I usually win in scrabble.
Do I intimidate you yet ? Only the brave need to reply.
Does the Calendar Betray a Woman's Heart?
My correspondent Shmuly in Williamsburg writes:
"Dear Luke - I've been intimate with this young woman (her name is Chava) now for four months, and when we are together, the coitus is wonderful. I think she sees me as more than a dildo with flesh, as she insists on cuddling with me before, during, and after our marathon coital sessions. Oh, and that sheet with the hole in it? We have sex without anything coming between us, and I do mean ANYTHING - be it made of cotton or of latex.
"The problem is my friend Izzy Hora. Izzy is always looking at the downside of everything, and I'm afraid he's found it here. You see, Izzy tells me that I can judge this woman's true intentions by using a calendar. 'Here's what you do. Get yourself a special calendar, just for this purpose, one that can be hidden from others (especially the goyim). Figure out when Chava begins to have her period, and mark that day with a big fat red "X" on the calendar, and mark the rest of those days in red as well. Then with that first red letter day counting as day one, count off days 12 to 17, and mark those with a green pen - these are her "green days," when she is ovulating and at the peak of her fertility. Finally note every day you have sex with Chava on this same calendar. If she is timing things so that her green days overlap the sex days (with you), then she is interested in you for real. But if she is avoiding having sex with you on those days, then she's just using you for hot sex, for the feeling of your huge enormous shvanz, pulsing between her young milky white thighs. So which is it, Chaver [that's yiddish for 'Dude]?'
"Luke, I'm ashamed to say that Chava and I NEVER have sex on days 12 - 17. On those days she's been making herself scarce, and it seems quite often my coital efforts are rewarded with the onset of her period, when she is at her least fertile stage. Is Izzy right? Might my woman be two-timing me, and giving her best to some Greenhorn while dumping her red letter days on me?"
Dear Shmuly. I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but Izzy might well be on to something - calendars do not lie. The finest compliment a woman can pay to a man is to expose her ova to his sperm, and it sounds like that's exactly what she's NOT doing for you. Instead, you are getting something else entirely, and the calendar proves it. It is long past time that you and she had a long, hard talk about this matter, and cleared the air.
Do you have a problem? I have a solution. email@example.com
Rabbi Baruch Lanner AKA Rabbi Aron Tendler
I get this email:
My name is Allen Sragow (firstname.lastname@example.org). I was involved in a group of people who had a somewhat public hand in bringing a sexual abuser to the attention of the OU, and prompting the OU to examine itself, force the resignation of those who enabled the abuser, etc.
I live in Long Beach, CA, and have recently become aware of the allegations against Rabbi Aron Tendler. I understand the concerns of those who wish to remain anonymous. So many refused to speak against the abuser in question in NJ as well, for a long time. But once the ball got rolling, not only did the OU assemble an inquiry, take testimony, and make findings against itself, people spoke up.
In a way, the more important result of this effort is that the Jewish leadership adopted rules and standards for investigating allegations of abuse.
Would such a grass-roots effort work in Los Angeles? Is there enough popular frustration to demand proper inquiries? I do not know. I think you know the neighborhood better than I do, so I pose the question to you. Perhaps if people knew more about what prompted the OU to act, they would be more willing to stand up.
Making Love Out Of Nothing At All - Explained
Kristy writes: "I saw your blog on Air Supply hoping you could help. What does making love out of nothing at all mean? Not the whole song just that actual lyric?"
Where there was no love in the male protagonist's life, she created love.
In Amnon's Fall, We Sinned All
A source who was at the University of Judaism at the time of the scandal replies to me:
I do not know what happened that night (because I was not there), but I can attest to his injuries, the handling of the situation by the UJ, and also some of the information your other contact mentioned about the women involved. Amnon did terrific work for the University and increased both its student body and profile within the higher education sector. I cannot address anything about his dating habits as I knew him only as a terrific boss who supported his team and a neighbor who lived within walking distance from our apartment. I will add too that my father passed away after Amnon and I were no longer at the UJ and he came to my mother's house every night for the Shiva service....
I don't think that we will ever know what happened that night. Amnon told me he was going to an end-of-semester party to which other faculty and administrators had supposedly been invited and your other contact said it was a birthday party. Who knows the pretext? I have heard that the other woman landed on Amnon and that it is a miracle that he survived. We also cannot assign culpability because the police never accused any party of wrongdoing, so to paint one person as the evil party is unfair and probably inaccurate. To me, the more interesting story is what goes on at the UJ, simply because they have the potential to be such a positive force within our community but seem to do things that are counterproductive to that goal. Once such example is the presence there of those who are anti-Israel.
A former UJ employee writes: "Luke, I agree that the more interesting story about the UJ is the cold shoulder towards Israel by some and the explicit anti-Israeli sentiment by others. In fact, I know that Amnon sent Zofia Yalovsky and Mark Bookman a memo regarding this issue with details and documents. He also wrote Bob Wexler regarding the refusal of some faculty members to stand while the Israeli national anthem was playing."