Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cadbury Chocolates & The Broad Implications On All Food From China!


Cadbury Caramello Candy Bar (Dairy)
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Candy Bar (Dairy)
Cadbury Mini Eggs Sugar Coated Milk Chocolate Candy (Dairy)
Cadbury Roasted Almond Milk Chocolate Candy Bar (Dairy)
Heath Toffee Candy Bar (Dairy)

Cadbury pulls melamine-laced chocolate from China

By MIN LEE, Associated Press

HONG KONG - British candy maker Cadbury announced a recall Monday of chocolate made in its Beijing factory after it was found to contain melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened tens of thousands of Chinese children.

The 11 recalled items were sold in parts of Asia and the Pacific, the company said in a statement. Cadbury's chocolates sold in the United States were not affected, said a spokesman for Hershey's, Cadbury's sole U.S. distributor.

Meanwhile, Kraft Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies, and Mars, the maker of M&Ms and Snickers candy, questioned the findings of Indonesian tests that identified melamine in samples of their products made in China.

Both Kraft Foods and Mars said they would comply with an Indonesian recall but planned to conduct their own tests and look into the possibility the tainted products were counterfeits.

Melamine-laced baby formula and other dairy products in China have been blamed for sickening nearly 54,000 children and leading to four infant deaths. The industrial chemical, which is high in nitrogen, is believed to have been added to watered-down milk to mask the resulting protein deficiency and fool quality tests.

Preliminary tests showed melamine in Cadbury chocolates produced at the candy maker's Beijing factory, but it was too early to say how much of the chemical was in them, said a Cadbury spokesman who declined to be identified because of company policy.

Another official reached through the company's London office said there was no way the contaminated chocolate could find its way into other countries because the Chinese factory only supplies Australia, Taiwan, Nauru, Hong Kong and Christmas Island.

"That factory in Beijing only exports to those markets. It's only a small factory," said the official. He said Chinese production makes up only 0.5 percent of Cadbury's global sales, and the recalled items are "less than that because it's only chocolate."

The recalled products included Cadbury Dark Chocette, Cadbury Eclairs, Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut Chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk Cookies Chocolate and Cadbury Hazelnut Praline Chocolate.

In the United States, Hershey's spokesman Kirk Saville said the Cadbury distributor "has never purchased milk, including powdered milk, from China," and that he was "positive" no Hershey's suppliers receive milk products from the country.

Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency said tests last week found melamine in a dozen products distributed nationwide, including M&Ms, Snickers bars and Oreo wafers.

Manufacturers Kraft and Mars questioned the findings.

"We don't use any milk ingredients from China in any Oreo products, no matter where they are made or sold," said Kraft spokeswoman Claire Regan.

Tod Gimbel, Kraft's director of corporate affairs for the Asia Pacific, said the company "was trying to understand what methodology was used" in Indonesia's testing.

Mars, in a statement on its Web site, called the Indonesian results "completely inconsistent" with test findings from other government and independent labs in Asia and Europe.

"The vastly different results give Mars significant reason to question the validity of the Indonesian laboratory results," the company said.

So far, only a local agency has checked the products for melamine, but the levels found were considered very high.

No level of melamine deliberately added to a food product is legal in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

But the agency said it is conducting a health risk assessment to try to determine if there is a minimal amount that would be acceptable in cases where the chemical finds its way into a product through some other means. For example, melamine could be present in the meat or milk of an animal that was fed tainted feed or it could find its way into food processed in a factory.

Some experts in Asia say small amounts of melamine, which is used to make plastics, may be transferred during food processing.

Guidelines in Hong Kong and New Zealand say melamine in food products is considered safe at 2.5 parts per million or less, though Hong Kong has lowered the level for children under 3 and pregnant or lactating women to 1 part per million.

In China, the government continued its investigation into questionable milk sources.

Police raided dairy farms and milk purchasing stations in northern China, detaining 22 people accused of being involved in a network that manufactured, sold and added melamine to milk, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday. Police also seized more than 485 pounds of the chemical.

Chinese officials had previously arrested at least 18 people and detained more than two dozen suspects.

Asian countries continued to tighten controls on Chinese dairy products.

Myanmar's Commerce Ministry said all Chinese dairy imports had been barred since last week, according to the government affiliated weekly Myanmar Times — a significant move because China is the country's biggest trade partner. Chinese dairy products are widely sold in impoverished Myanmar, though there have been no reported cases of illnesses.


By Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer

Tainted milk scandal broadens as China accuses a dozen new companies of being violators

BEIJING (AP) -- Fifteen more Chinese dairy companies were identified Wednesday as producing milk products contaminated with an industrial chemical, further broadening a scandal affecting products ranging from baby formula to chocolate, authorities said.

The contamination has been blamed for the deaths of four children and kidney ailments among 54,000 others. More than 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 27 people arrested in connection with the tainting.

An additional 31 batches of Chinese milk powder were found tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, according to data seen on the food safety administration's Web site Wednesday. Out of the 20 companies on the list, 15 have not been named in previous tests.

The new batches being tested were mostly milk powder products for adults. A previous round of tests found melamine in 69 infant milk powder batches.

The new figure brings to at least 100 the number of tested batches of milk powder found to contain melamine. Dozens of brands sold by more than a score of dairy firms, including some of China's biggest names, have been among those tested.

Tests have also found melamine in 24 batches of liquid milk produced by three of the country's best known dairy firms.

It was a national holiday in China and product safety officials could not be reached for comment.

The Web site quoted the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine as saying it had tested 265 batches produced by 154 different companies prior to Sept. 14. China has a total of 290 companies making powdered milk, the administration said.

In the most recent tests, nine of the batches containing melamine were produced by the company at the center of the scandal, Sanlu, a 43 percent stake of which is owned by New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra. No date for the testing was given.

Melamine, which is high in nitrogen, is used to make plastics and fertilizers and experts say some amount of the chemical may be transferred from the environment during food processing. But in China's case, suppliers trying to boost output are believed to have diluted their milk, adding melamine because its nitrogen content can fool tests aimed at verifying protein content.

Melamine can cause kidney stones, leading to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.

The scandal was worsened by an apparent cover-up by companies involved and the ignoring by safety officials of tips and warnings from parents and doctors. Top Sanlu executives and government officials in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where the company is based, have been forced to resign.

Also on Wednesday, Hong Kong's food safety agency said its tests have found melamine in a Japanese brand's Chinese-made cheesecake. The agency said a sample of Lotte Cream Cheese Cake manufactured by Japan's Lotte China Foods Co. Ltd in mainland China was found to contain melamine.

Hong Kong and Macau authorities earlier detected excessive melamine in Lotte's popular Koala's March chocolate and strawberry cream cookies.

In Thailand, where food inspectors said they are testing nearly 100 imports from China for possible contamination, the country's public health minister, Chalerm Yoobamrung, said Wednesday that they should monitor the situation closely but should not "hype up (the issue) too much."

"I did not mean that I am afraid of China, but we have to be concerned about our trade ties because Thailand does a lot of business with China," he said.


China milk scandal firm asked for cover-up help -

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese company at the center of the scare over tainted milk powder had asked for government help to cover up the extent of the problem, state media said on Wednesday in the newest development in the widening scandal.

In the Communist Party newspaper the People's Daily, Shijiazhuang city government spokesman Wang Jianguo said they had been asked by the Sanlu Group for help in "managing" the media response to the case when first told of the issue on August 2, six days before the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

China's latest food safety problem, involving the addition of the industrial chemical melamine to milk to cheat in quality tests, has caused public outrage and put the spotlight back on deficiencies in industry oversight and weak regulatory bodies.

China has already said the city government in Shijiazhuang, home to the Sanlu Group whose contaminated milk sparked a recall now spread worldwide, sat on a report from the company about the tainting for more than a month, while Beijing hosted the Olympic Games.

"Please can the government increase control and coordination of the media, to create a good environment for the recall of the company's problem products," the People's Daily cited the letter from Sanlu as saying.

"This is to avoid whipping up the issue and creating a negative influence in society," it added.

This week, Reporters Without Borders said Beijing had ordered news of the scandal hushed up ahead of the Olympics.

"Several Chinese journalists have said that it is becoming more and more obvious that the authorities in July prevented an investigation into the toxic milk coming out so as not to tarnish China's image before the Olympics," it said in a statement.

Thousands of children fell ill after drinking the milk, and four died. But the rush of people taking their children to hospital for check-ups appears to be slowing, Xinhua news agency said.

"The work involved with offering free check-ups has turned from an emergency situation to normal," it quoted Wen Honghai, Shijiazhuang's top health official, as saying.


Countries around the world have banned Chinese dairy imports, or ordered them to be taken off shelves, as it became clear yoghurt and other products were also affected.

Scores of foreign companies have been forced to recall products made with Chinese dairy ingredients, or to reassure customers their goods are safe.

Dairy sales in China dropped too, though Commerce Minister Chen Deming told Xinhua in an interview that sales had begun to bounce back as consumer confidence returned.

"Generally speaking, the sales situation for dairy products around the country has taken a turn for the better," he said.

China has a poor record when it comes to ignoring or glossing over bad news. In 2003, it initially tried to cover up the spread of the respiratory disease SARS.

But Wang, who did not say whether the government complied with the media control request, defended the actions of his colleagues, who he said did send a team at once to probe Sanlu and to look for those suspected of adulterating the milk.

"Yet it was not until September 9 that it was reported to the Hebei provincial government," the newspaper said, referring to the province where Shijiazhuang is situated.

Beijing has already fired several Shijiazhuang officials, including the city's Communist Party chief, for the attempted cover-up.

Wang said the city government had not considered the consequences of their actions.

"We mistakenly thought that taking necessary measures and raising product quality could mitigate the effect and reduce losses," he said.

"The bungling of the best opportunity to report up the handling of the issue caused much harm to people's safety, and seriously affected the image of the Party and the government," Wang added.

He also expressed "deep guilt and pain" for the scandal.


Connecticut authorities find candy for sale containing chemical associated with tainted Chinese milk - October 1, 2008

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- An industrial chemical blamed for sickening thousands of infants in China was found in candy in four Connecticut stores this week, a state official said Wednesday.

Days after contaminated White Rabbit Creamy Candy was found in California, Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr. said tests found melamine in bags of the candy sold at two New Haven stores, a West Hartford market and an East Haven store.

"We're concerned, obviously, there may have been bags sold of these before we got to them," Farrell said.

Anyone who has the candy should destroy it, Farrell said.

The contamination has been blamed for the deaths of four children and kidney ailments among 54,000 others. More than 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 27 people arrested in connection with the tainting.

Melamine, which is high in nitrogen, is used to make plastics and fertilizers and experts say some amount of the chemical may be transferred from the environment during food processing. But in China's case, suppliers trying to boost output are believed to have diluted their milk, adding melamine because its nitrogen content can fool tests aimed at verifying protein content.

Melamine can cause kidney stones, leading to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.

Melamine has been associated with contaminated infant formula and other Chinese products containing milk protein.

On Wednesday, the Chinese government identified 15 more Chinese dairy companies as producing milk products contaminated with melamine, bringing the total to 20 companies. At least 100 batches of milk powder have been found to contain the chemical, according to data on the food safety administration's Web site.

Last week, California health officials announced it discovered traces of melamine in White Rabbit candy it tested. Queensway Foods Company Inc. of California distributed the candy and says it is recalling it.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with state and local governments to check for and test products that could possibly be contaminated with melamine. Last Friday, the FDA warned consumers not to consume White Rabbit Candy and Mr. Brown coffee products because of possible melamine contamination.

The vanilla-flavored candy has also been pulled from shelves in Hawaii, Asia and Britain, and tests in Singapore and New Zealand last week found White Rabbit sweets tainted with melamine. The Shanghai-based maker of the candy, Guan Sheng Yuan Co., said last week it was halting production of the sticky, taffy-like confection, an iconic brand beloved by generations of Chinese.

The candy is sold in more than 50 countries throughout Asia and the world, including most of the Chinatowns in the United States. Overseas sales have reached $160 million over the past five years.


The Hershey Company Has Never Purchased Milk from China
All Hershey Products are Safe to Consume

HERSHEY, PA., September 29, 2008 - Consumer safety and product quality are Hershey’s top priorities. The Hershey Company has never purchased any milk ingredients from China. All Hershey products use the highest-quality ingredients and are completely safe. This includes CADBURY products manufactured and distributed in the United States by The Hershey Company.

Consumers with any questions regarding this issue should call our Consumer Relations line at 1-800-468-1714.


Anonymous said...

By Lana Gersten
Thu. Oct 02, 2008

After years in which the issue of pedophilia has been quietly dealt with among ultra-Orthodox Jews, a number of leaders in the community are speaking out publicly on the topic, spurring anger and debate over this sensitive issue.

Sexual abuse of children has periodically arisen in the ultra-Orthodox community through high-profile cases like that of Yehuda Kolko and Avrohom Mondrowitz, a teacher and a youth counselor, respectively, who were accused of abusing their students. Leaders in the community told the Forward that they generally treated those cases as isolated incidents. But both the Kolko and Mondrowitz cases have bubbled back up, and in the past few months a number of community leaders have forcefully taken the issue to a new plane.

Perhaps the most influential voice has been of Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who over the past year — and, particularly, over the past two months — has started a somewhat personal campaign and argued that the ultra-Orthodox community has become a haven for child molesters. Agudath Israel of America, a national ultra-Orthodox umbrella organization, has entered the fray by publicly debating legislation on the topic.

"Until not terribly long ago, the issue was very much in the shadows," said David Zwiebel, director of government affairs and general counsel of Agudath Israel of America. "The fact that there were isolated reports here and there of cases arising in yeshiva settings, it was known, but they were very isolated."

"Sometimes they were dealt with correctly and sometimes incorrectly," Zwiebel added, "but the severity of the problem and the possible magnitude were really things that most people, including myself, just didn't understand."

The largely Brooklyn-based ultra-Orthodox community, which spans many different sects, has seen a handful of explosive cases, beginning with that of Mondrowitz, who was indicted in Brooklyn on five counts of sodomy and six counts of sexual abuse in 1985, but fled to Israel during the scrutiny.

In 2006 and 2007, Kolko was charged with several counts of sexual abuse. In this case, which went to court, prosecutors allegedly talked the families of the victims into not pursuing further action after a plea bargain was negotiated, The Jewish Week reported. While Kolko first faced felony child sex abuse charges, he eventually pleaded guilty only to child endangerment and received no jail time.

Religious communities of all sorts often attempt to deal with sex abuse behind closeed doors. In the ultra-Orthodox community there is also a scripturally motivated desire to deal with legal problems through religious courts rather than secular ones.

But in 2006, New York magazine published an in-depth look at the Kolko case and the larger issue of sexual abuse. In October 2007, Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes signed papers requesting the extradition of Mondrowitz to the United States.

Following suit, Hikind, an Orthodox man himself and one of the most vocal members of the community, has brought unusual publicity to the issue. He said he only recently came to the realization that sexual abuse in his community is not, in fact, restricted to isolated cases. He said that lately, an "avalanche of people" has come to his office to talk about cases of sexual abuse.

"I'm shocked, and I've been around a long time, and I'm pretty with it," Hikind told the Forward. "I've been absolutely shocked and flabbergasted by what I've witnessed in the last eight weeks."

In response, Hikind has taken up the fight this summer by creating a new task force in his office that he says will develop a protocol to address the problem of sexual abuse in a broad way. The task force's mission is to collect a list of suspected child molesters and make that list available to the public. In an interview with the independent community newspaper The Jewish Star, Hikind boldly described what he views as the extent of the problem.

"If you're a child molester, the best community to come to is Borough Park, Flatbush, Lakewood or Monroe," Hikind said, referring to areas that have large ultra-Orthodox populations. "Your chances of being arrested are much smaller because people don't press charges."

Amy Neustein, one of the most outspoken activists on child abuse, has noted the change.

Now, Neustein believes that the "groundswell of activism and discontent with the community has finally reached critical mass."

Zwiebel also believes that this issue is more on the radar now, but he traces the beginning of the interest to a time before Hikind's campaign. He believes that it goes back to the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. It was then, Zwiebel said, that his members started to hear their own stories of abuse.

In 2006, Agudath Israel supported a bill introduced in New York State to allow private schools to opt into a program that required fingerprinting for all new hires. That same year, Agudath Israel had "no opposition" to a bill that would have obligated these schools to report any cases of sexual abuse and child abuse in their school setting.

More recently, Agudath Israel has declined to take a position on a new fingerprinting bill that would mandate all private schools to opt into the system, though Zwiebel said that this was only because the rules and regulations of the system have not yet been published.

The movement in the community, though, has not gone unopposed. In August, Rabbi Benzion Twerski, a psychologist and respected member of the community, was tapped to head Hikind's task force. He resigned just days after his appointment, reportedly because of the overwhelming pressure and intimidation he received.

"That just goes to show you that we've got a long way to go," Hikind said.

Marvin Schick, who has written extensively about Jewish affairs in his position as president of four Orthodox Jewish day schools, one of which is ultra-Orthodox, believes that Orthodox Jews at large are following the trends of larger society. Because there is greater attention being paid to this problem in the secular world, the Orthodox community is just following suit, he said.

Asked whether more people are now realizing that sexual abuse is a real problem, Schick said: "I don't think [that's] fair. I've been president of four schools for 36 years, and there hasn't been a single situation."

He also warned against the possibility of false accusations, which could ruin the lives of those unjustly punished.

Despite the concern, cases of alleged sexual abuse keep coming up — most recently in August, when a former student sued Rabbi Avrohom Reichman, a teacher at a prominent Satmar school in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, accusing him of sexual assault and abuse. The suit from the student alleges that the school failed to protect students against sexual assault. Reichman has not yet responded to the suit.

According to Elliot Pasik, the attorney for the alleged victim in the Reichman case, Hikind has taken up the issue at the right time and is on the right track. He believes that the public recognition of the problem will lead to increased legislation with a greater sense of urgency.

"There's growing consensus, both in establishment quarters and in the synagogue pews, that some helpful governmental involvement in the life of our yeshivas is necessary," Pasik said.

Yaakov Yoel Weiss said...


Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the Rubashkins, how about a Rubashkin son-in-law arrested on Rosh Hashana for child molestation?

Anonymous said...

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. lost the most jobs in five years in September and earnings rose less than forecast as the credit crisis deepened the economic slowdown.

Payrolls fell by 159,000, more than anticipated, after a 73,000 decline in August, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Hours worked reached the lowest level since records began in 1964.

The world's largest economy may be headed for bigger job losses as the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression causes consumers and companies to retrench. A sinking labor market and rising borrowing costs raise the odds Federal Reserve policy makers will cut interest rates by their Oct. 29 meeting.

``The financial panic is a body blow to business confidence, and companies are now battening down the hatches,'' Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. ``We're in store for very sizable job losses across many industries. A rate cut by the Fed could come before the next meeting.''

Marriott Hotels on verge of bankruptcy said...

Marriott International Inc., the world's largest hotel chain, yesterday reported third-quarter profit fell 28 percent as U.S. companies and consumers cut back on travel.

``Without action, the resulting credit squeeze could threaten businesses,'' Chief Financial Officer Arne Sorenson said on a conference call. There are ``tens of thousands of jobs at stake in our company alone, and we are typical.''

Avi L. Shafran said...

This Senator obviously reads UOJ:

“This package is just a very costly Band-Aid for big banks that will do very little to help patients who need major surgery,” Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, said in his speech on the Senate floor.

Wall St Fresser said...

Marriott is on the verge of bankruptcy for 2 reasons.

- It nearly impossible to issue commercial paper these days so they had to pull $900 million from lines of credit which they are more fortunate than most to still have access to.

- Like many companies, they are sitting on very little cash and actually have to borrow to pay their employees.

Borrowing to make payroll is the reason why many huge & smaller companies will go under if credit lines freeze up.

Roza Hindy Rubashkin said...


My husband Yaakov Weiss is only charged with 3rd degree abuse which in New York State means there was no penetration. Rabbi Scheinberg expects him to be fully exonerated.

Conflict of Intere$t said...


The Chabad shaliach Yaakov Weiss is the son of Meshulom Weiss of Postville who gives hashgocho to stores in Los Angeles for Rubashkin brands that are not officially glatt. Rabbi Teichman & company don't feel comfortable with anything except Supreme or Aaron's Best, even though it's all the same thing. Meshulom Weiss got this arrangement by virtue of his being a Rubashkin mechuton. He also writes for a the OU's NCSY website and used to give a shiur at the California shul that threw out Aron Tendler.

According to an article that he wrote for a Chabad magazine, he is obviously a Meshichist.

Kolko's lawyer Schwartz said...

"My husband Yaakov Weiss is only charged with 3rd degree abuse which in New York State means there was no penetration. Rabbi Scheinberg expects him to be fully exonerated."

Yeah, that could mean anything, like he neglected to properly watch a kid at the park or something.

Kolko's lawyer Scott Tulman said...

Yaakov Yoel Weiss and the Rubashkins will be fine when he gets home before Shabbos Shuva.

Rubashkin Video Bloopers said...

Was Lubinsky the speechwriter of this hypocrisy?

See the video


Opening prayer for NYS Assembly by Chabad Shliach to Colonie, NY, Rabbi Yaakov Weiss

Shmuly Rubashkin wrote:
What guts! Shamelessly plugging the Rebbe's inyan! Im sure he is very proud.
Keep ut up!!

Private arrangement available in Kolko's beat up Plymouth said...


Rabbi Weiss of Colonie Chabad is chaperoning a chartered bus trip and tour of Jewish Brooklyn along with Rabbi Yitzchak Hecht of Kingston NY

Aron Twerski said...

Rubashkin's eydem Yanky Weiss is an honorable garbage collector.


Chabad of Colonie, NY has adopted Albany County Road 151, also know as Albany Shaker Rd. Three times a year Chabad volunteers will put on protective gear and clean up the side of the road. They have also adopted a mile of Rt. 9, other wise known as Loudon Rd. The move to adopt the road is Kiddush Hashem.

According to the Shliach Rabbi Yaakov Weiss, "Keeping our local environment clean and safe from hazards and litter is one small step in making the entire world a better place to live. When your surroundings are physically clean, then they are spiritually clean as well."

Yankel Applegrad said...

It's a good thing I only got YTT meat from my mechuten Moish Finkel. If we were buying Rubashkin meat, UOJ would tie in this molestation story.

To be clear, at no time were we aware of any Lubavitcher molestation in the Albany area.

OU and Agudah Fressers hanging out with Weiss said...

This article also features Shelly Silver running to Rubin's Chabad to fress on food.


... when thousands of concerned Jewish parents and educators motored up to Albany by the busload to show support for a tuition tax credit bill, Chabad of Colonie representative Rabbi Yaakov Weiss extended the Chabad welcome. From a truck stationed near the Capitol building, Rabbi Weiss distributed hot coffee, bottled water and snacks. Some rally goers, whose mass presence was organized by the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America, gathered near Rabbi Weiss’s truck to recite the afternoon prayers.

Yaakov Weiss said...


I can't help it if the shochtim & mashgichim won't get paid again, but blood is thicker than water and my shver Sholom Rubashkin needs to shell out Agri cash reserves for legal defense fees.

Misnagid said...

Let me guess ....

Arthur is going to protest that this has nothing to do with Lubavitch even though Weiss is a shaliach and molested a kid on Chabad property.

"Uncle Milty" Balkany said...

What kind of family did I marry into? I feel like every week I have to bail another Rubashkin out of jail.

Free Lunch - Asking for Seconds said...

$85 billion isn't enough


UPDATE: AIG CEO: May Need More Money From Government Credit Line

The Terminator said...

By Marc Lifsher and Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 3, 2008

SACRAMENTO -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks.

The warning comes as California is close to running out of cash to fund day-to-day government operations and is unable to access routine short-term loans that it typically relies on to remain solvent.

California finance experts say they know of no time in recent history when the state has sought an emergency loan of this magnitude from the federal government. The only other such rescue was in 1975, they said, when the federal government lent New York City money to avoid bankruptcy.

Frankel's Shul Putz said...

In Otisville it's schmaltz herring.


OCTOBER 2, 2008

Mackerel Economics in Prison Leads to Appreciation for Oily Fillets
Packs of Fish Catch On as Currency, Former Inmates Say; Officials Carp


When Larry Levine helped prepare divorce papers for a client a few years ago, he got paid in mackerel. Once the case ended, he says, "I had a stack of macks."

Mr. Levine and his client were prisoners in California's Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex. Like other federal inmates around the country, they found a can of mackerel -- the "mack" in prison lingo -- was the standard currency.

"It's the coin of the realm," says Mark Bailey, who paid Mr. Levine in fish. Mr. Bailey was serving a two-year tax-fraud sentence in connection with a chain of strip clubs he owned. Mr. Levine was serving a nine-year term for drug dealing. Mr. Levine says he used his macks to get his beard trimmed, his clothes pressed and his shoes shined by other prisoners. "A haircut is two macks," he says, as an expected tip for inmates who work in the prison barber shop.

There's been a mackerel economy in federal prisons since about 2004, former inmates and some prison consultants say. That's when federal prisons prohibited smoking and, by default, the cigarette pack, which was the earlier gold standard.

Prisoners need a proxy for the dollar because they're not allowed to possess cash. Money they get from prison jobs (which pay a maximum of 40 cents an hour, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons) or family members goes into commissary accounts that let them buy things such as food and toiletries. After the smokes disappeared, inmates turned to other items on the commissary menu to use as currency.

Books of stamps were one easy alternative. "It was like half a book for a piece of fruit," says Tony Serra, a well-known San Francisco criminal-defense attorney who last year finished nine months in Lompoc on tax charges. Elsewhere in the West, prisoners use PowerBars or cans of tuna, says Ed Bales, a consultant who advises people who are headed to prison. But in much of the federal prison system, he says, mackerel has become the currency of choice.

Mackerel supplier Global Source Marketing Inc. says demand from prisons has grown since 2004. In recent years, demand has switched from cans -- which wardens don't like because inmates can turn them into makeshift knives -- to plastic-and-foil pouches of mackerel fillets, says Jon Linder, a vice president at supplier Power Commissary Inc., in Bohemia, N.Y.

Mackerel is hot in prisons in the U.S., but not so much anywhere else, says Mark Muntz, president of Global Source, which imports fillets of the oily, dark-fleshed fish from Asian canneries. Mr. Muntz says he's tried marketing mackerel to discount retailers. "We've even tried 99-cent stores," he says. "It never has done very well at all, regardless of the retailer, but it's very popular in the prisons."

Outstripping the Tuna
Mr. Muntz says he sold more than $1 million of mackerel for federal prison commissaries last year. It accounted for about half his commissary sales, he says, outstripping the canned tuna, crab, chicken and oysters he offers.

Unlike those more expensive delicacies, former prisoners say, the mack is a good stand-in for the greenback because each can (or pouch) costs about $1 and few -- other than weight-lifters craving protein -- want to eat it.

So inmates stash macks in lockers provided by the prison and use them to buy goods, including illicit ones such as stolen food and home-brewed "prison hooch," as well as services, such as shoeshines and cell cleaning.

The Bureau of Prisons views any bartering among prisoners as fishy. "We are aware that inmates attempt to trade amongst themselves items that are purchased from the commissary," says bureau spokeswoman Felicia Ponce in an email. She says guards respond by limiting the amount of goods prisoners can stockpile. Those who are caught bartering can end up in the "Special Housing Unit" -- an isolation area also known as the "hole" -- and could lose credit they get for good behavior.

For that reason -- and since communications between inmates and nonprisoners are monitored by prison officials -- current inmates can't discuss mackerel transactions without risking discipline, say several lawyers and consultants who represent incarcerated clients.

Ethan Roberts knows about mackerel discipline first hand. Mr. Roberts, who was released in 2007 after serving eight years on a methamphetamine charge at prisons including the La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, says he got busted for various piscine transactions. "I paid gambling debts" with mackerel, he says. "One time I bought cigarettes for a friend who was in the hole."

Mr. Roberts and other ex-inmates say some prisoners make specially prepared food with items from the prison kitchen and sell it for mackerel.

"I knew a guy who would buy ingredients and use the microwaves to cook meals. Then people used mack to buy it from him," says Jonson Miller, an adjunct history professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia who spent two months in federal prison after being arrested at a protest on federal property.

Mr. Miller was released in 2003, when prisoners were getting ready for cigarettes to be phased out, and says inmates then were already moving to mackerel.

Since the Pensacola Federal Prison Camp commissary in Florida was only open one day a week, some inmates would run a "prison 7-Eleven" out of their lockers, reselling commissary items at a premium in exchange for mackerel, says Bill Bailey, who served three months last year on a computer-hacking charge. "I knew one guy who would actually pay rent to use half of another guy's locker because his locker wasn't large enough to store all his inventory," he says.

Big Haul
The Pensacola lockers, at about 4 feet high, could store plenty of macks, he says, a good thing for inmates who played poker, since a winning hand could result in a big haul. A spokeswoman for Pensacola said prison authorities discipline inmates who are caught bartering. At Lompoc, says spokeswoman Katie Shinn, guards "are not aware of such a problem with mackerel." When officials do catch inmates bartering, she says, punishments can include a loss of commissary privileges or moving to a less desirable cell.

There are other threats to the mackerel economy, says Mr. Linder, of Power Commissary. "There are shortages world-wide, in terms of the catch," he says. Combined with the weak dollar, that's led to a surging mack. Now, he says, a pouch of mackerel sells for more than $1 in most commissaries.

Another problem with mackerel is that once a prisoner's sentence is up, there's little to do with it -- the fish can't be redeemed for cash, and has little value on the outside. As a result, says Mr. Levine, prisoners approaching their release must either barter or give away their stockpiles.

That's what Mr. Levine did when he got out of prison last year. Since then, he's set up a consulting business offering advice to inmates and soon-to-be prisoners. He consults on various matters, such as how to request facility transfers and how to file grievances against wardens.

Anonymous said...

Dealing With Abuse: A Proposal
More Articles By Shlomo Z. Mostofsky
Shlomo Z. Mostofsky
Posted Oct 01 2008

Assemblyman Dov Hikind deserves credit for his attempt to deal with the issue of abuse in the Orthodox community - a community where people still refer to cancer as "yener machlah" (that disease); where mental illnesses (even those that are not genetic, such as postpartum depression) are rarely spoken of publicly; and where some parents are still afraid to have their sons and daughters tested and registered with Dor Yeshorim even though doing so might prevent a marriage resulting in children with genetic diseases.

And, of course, there are those who continue to deny that abuse exists in the community (though at the same time allegations of domestic abuse are used in many divorce cases to prevent fathers from seeing their children).

Given these circumstances, it's not hard to understand why Assemblyman Hikind has come up against significant opposition in his attempt to deal with this issue.

In 1984, not long after I was admitted to the bar, I was employed as a law assistant to a judge in Brooklyn Family Court. The court deals with visitation, child support, juvenile delinquency and domestic and child abuse, among other matters. During the six years I worked there it was rare to see an Orthodox litigant.

After leaving my position, I returned six years later as an attorney in private practice. In the intervening years the court's caseload had gown exponentially. The court calendars were clogged with child abuse and neglect cases against parents. Unfortunately, on any given day many of those cases involved Orthodox Jewish families.

Over the years I have written about the issues of domestic abuse and child neglect/abuse in the Orthodox community. I have spoken on these topics to audiences ranging from attendees at the Agudah's annual convention to a group of Kings County assistant district attorneys. And I find that our community still cannot entirely grasp the concept that it is possible for Orthodox parents and spouses to be guilty of abuse or neglect.

I also learned that abuse occurs at many yeshivas and camps as I fielded phone calls from teachers, school administrators, camp administrators and parents.

The molestation of children by teachers and clergy came to the fore a few years ago with reports of widespread abuse in the Catholic Church. The publicity actually made it easier for victims of abuse in the Orthodox community to come forward. The problem, however, is what happens after someone comes forward with an allegation of abuse.

Rape victims, knowing they will be subject to cross-examination and in some ways feel victimized all over again, are often reluctant to prosecute, even with laws in effect that protect their rights during criminal trials. Imagine, then, how difficult it is for children to come forward, especially if the accused is a respected member of the community.

A number of years ago I was approached about setting set up a bet din to deal with cases of abuse within the Orthodox school system. I was told that a major roadblock was the fear that the bet din would be sued by the accused.

Pointing out that teachers, school administrators and all mental health professionals are mandated reporters of abuse in New York, I noted that a bet din could operate in cases where the secular criminal or civil legal systems were not involved. I then suggested that a committee, designated by the institutions that wished to become part of this process, institute employment guidelines for all staff members at their institutions. The guidelines might be as simple as staff members not being permitted to be alone with any child in a classroom, or they could specifically prohibit certain physical contact between staff members and children.

Once the guidelines were set, each staff member, from administrators to custodians, as a condition of his or her employment would be presented with the guidelines and expected to read them and sign an agreement to abide by them. The committee would also develop a list of dispositions for infractions of the rules. These dispositions could include loss of a day's pay, suspension, simple dismissal, and dismissal with a recommendation that the person not be hired at any institution involving children.

A special bet din would be set up to deal with these cases and, to avoid lawsuits, I suggested that complaints be dealt with by the bet din in two stages. In stage one the bet din would determine only if there was an infraction of the employment guidelines signed by the employee. If a finding of a guideline violation was made, the bet din would then determine, in stage two, which of the dispositional options to apply.

The bet din would not list the guideline that was violated in its decision. Obviously, a short suspension or loss of pay would not necessarily become grist for the Orthodox rumor mill. If, however, the disposition was dismissal with the recommendation that the accused not be hired by any other Jewish institution, the name of the accused and the disposition would be made public.

Not listing the guideline(s) the accused violated would serve the following purpose: If the accused believed his rights were violated by the bet din, he would have to commence an action in the secular courts where he -- not the bet din -- would have to state in some manner what he was accused of and why the disposition was improper. I doubt most accused parties would put themselves in the position of having to make this information public.

In addition, the bet din, unburdened by rules of evidence or the constitutional right of an accused to confront an accuser, could conduct its hearings with much more sensitivity to both the victim and the accused than if the matter were handled in the civil courts. The bet din would not be a public forum where everyone's identity could be exposed.

There have been many recommendations about how to protect our children. I do not believe fingerprint checks of teachers and camp counselors are useful. If the problem is that the abusers have not been reported to the authorities by our community, it is highly doubtful that fingerprints would indicate there was anything in the person's background to make him suspect.

I also believe it is the duty of all parents, prior to and during the school year and at the beginning of the camp season, to have age-appropriate discussions with their children about the right to personal privacy and the difference between proper and improper touching.

I am not very confident that efforts to weed out abusers already in our system will be successful. Child victims who have not come forward will unlikely do so until they become adults, and I believe that in most cases parents of younger children who have come forward will in the end not permit them to be subjected to the criminal or civil justice system. I believe that if we wish to police ourselves in order to protect our children we can do so, but we must be honest about the realities of life in 21st-century America.

We are a holy nation and can remain so only if we take steps to protect our children from the predators who live and work among us.

Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, Esq., is president of the National Council of Young Israe

Nuch a Frankel's Shul Putz said...


September 30, 2008

Violations Reported at 94% of Nursing Homes

WASHINGTON — More than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards last year, and for-profit homes were more likely to have problems than other types of nursing homes, federal investigators say in a report issued on Monday.

About 17 percent of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to patients, said the report, by Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Problems included infected bedsores, medication mix-ups, poor nutrition, and abuse and neglect of patients.

Inspectors received 37,150 complaints about conditions in nursing homes last year, and they substantiated 39 percent of them, the report said. About one-fifth of the complaints verified by federal and state authorities involved the abuse or neglect of patients.

About two-thirds of nursing homes are owned by for-profit companies, while 27 percent are owned by nonprofit organizations and 6 percent by government entities, the report said.

The inspector general said 94 percent of for-profit nursing homes were cited for deficiencies last year, compared with 88 percent of nonprofit homes and 91 percent of government homes.

“For-profit nursing homes had a higher average number of deficiencies than the other types of nursing homes,” Mr. Levinson said. “In 2007, for-profit nursing homes averaged 7.6 deficiencies per home, while not-for-profit and government homes averaged 5.7 and 6.3, respectively.”

On Monday, Mr. Levinson issued a compliance guide for nursing homes that says some homes “have systematically failed to provide staff in sufficient numbers and with appropriate clinical expertise to serve their residents.”

Researchers have found that people receive better care at homes with a higher ratio of nursing staff members to patients.

The inspector general said he had found some cases in which nursing homes billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that “were not provided, or were so wholly deficient that they amounted to no care at all.”

Bruce A. Yarwood, president of the American Health Care Association, a trade group, said: “We know we have to do a better job. We have been doing a better job, in treating pressure sores, managing pain and reducing the use of physical restraints.”

Mr. Yarwood said that the inspection system was broken. “It does not reliably measure quality,” he said. “It does not create any positive incentives.”

More than 1.5 million people live in the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes. The homes are typically inspected once a year and must meet federal standards as a condition of participating in Medicaid and Medicare, which cover more than two-thirds of their residents, at a cost of more than $75 billion a year.

Deficiency rates varied widely among states. The proportion of nursing homes cited for deficiencies ranged from 76 percent in Rhode Island to 100 percent in Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

The average number of deficiencies also varied, from 2.5 deficiencies per nursing home in Rhode Island to 13.3 per home in Delaware.

Mr. Yarwood said: “Inspectors are subjective and inconsistent. They interpret federal standards in different ways.”

In December, the Bush administration plans to begin using a five-star system to describe the overall quality of care. The best homes will get five stars. The rankings will be published on a federal Web site.

Medicare pays a fixed daily amount for each nursing home resident, with higher payments for patients who are more severely ill. Mr. Levinson said some nursing homes had improperly classified patients or overstated the severity of their illnesses so the homes could claim larger Medicare payments.

Ombudsman said...

UOJ should delete that post from NCYI's Steve Mostofsky. Considering his track record of abuse cover ups as the one leading the charge of threats and intimidation, he is one of the predators that he pretends to warn against.

This is like Lipa Margulies and Belsky jointly penning an op-ed for the Jewish Observer that molesters must be stopped.

UOJ Gets Results said...


A majority of New York City voters (54 percent to 42 percent) now favor extending term limits to 12 years from 8 so they can elect Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to a third term

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Absolutely agree Ombudsman. Let's see how many clowns jump into the pool - after Amy Neustein & Michael Lesher set the stage for this day - 20 years ago!

Rabbi Herbie Bomzer said...

I'm glad that "Flaky Jake" Strauss is advertising that Dov Hikind and myself are the star attractions at Kutcher's Hotel this Sukkos. I will use the opportunity to convince Dov and the guests that molesters dogs are better left alone where they lay.

Cynthia McFadden from ABC News said...

Of course if Mondrowitz is extradited from Israel, Rabbi Bomzer has asked Flakey Jake to reserve the best room in the hotel for him and his US Marshall escorts.

Jerry "the Schmatta" Schmetterer said...

DA Charles Hynes would like to make clear that despite the 500 angry phone calls to our office in the last 2 minutes, he was not involved in securing a room for Mondrowitz at Kutcher's Hotel. We are referring all such queries to Sol Werdiger and Yankel Applegrad.

Rabbi Yosef Frankel said...

I don't know why the oylam would be so angry about accomodations for Mondrowitz at Kutcher's anyway. The place is so run down that it makes Otisville prison look like a 5 star resort.

US Marshall's Service said...

Eckstein from Yeshivaworld just called. After that near disaster with picking up Margo at the Trinity Church, he wants to know what the weight capacity of our helicopters is, considering that a high ranking delegation of fat fressers from Ger will be with Mondrowitz.

R' Henoch Paulson said...

Uncle Milty is pleading that the Treasury bail out Rubashkin because they're too big to fail.

I remember Rubashkin's son in law Yanky Weiss. When I was at Goldman Sachs, he came to give a guest shiur on morality.

Sholom Ber Drizin said...

I'm the Crown Hts macher who owns 1000s of apartments on the site of the old Ebbitts Field.

I don't know about the Treasury, but when an appeal was made in 770 to save Rubashkin's neck, I chipped in.


Rubashkin is Going Under - Borrowed 1.5 Million from Drizin and others

Rubashkin's meat is only at 40% of the capacity before the raid and the business is quickly going down, unable to recover from the ongoing Raids, Arrests and loss of workers.

As a result, Anash are being requested to to help lend money to Rubashkin as last ditch effort to perhaps avert Rubashkins total demise.

Sholom Ber Drizin reportedly lent Rubashkin approximately 1.5 Million dollars, recently and DaasHakohol knows of one other source who lent Rubashkin $50,000.00 and many other members of Anash who have been asked and have kindheartedly opened their hearts to have Rachmones on Rubashkin, who is now in the process of going under

CBS reporter Lara Logan said...


(Oct. 3) -- Federal agents are investigating star war correspondent and gossip magazine favorite Lara Logan's choice of interior decoration for her CBS News office in Washington, D.C, according to the New York Post.
Logan's workplace walls sport renderings of a munificent Saddam Hussein blessing angelic children and the former Iraqi leader looking relaxed in military uniform, as seen in video from television industry magazine Broadcasting and Cable.
Apparently the "art" was found in Iraq's wrecked Olympic Stadium, the magazine notes. The feds have successfully prosecuted at least one case against a journalist. Ben Johnson, a (now former) Fox News Channel satellite engineer, declared $20 in cigarettes to U.S. customs in 2003 - but not the dozen Iraqi paintings and 40 Iraqi bonds authorities confiscated, according to USA Today.

Johnson said he snagged some of the Iraqi items from palaces and bartered for others, USA Today said. Boston Herald reporter Jules Crittenden also had looted goods but wasn't charged because he cooperated with officials, the national newspaper reported.
Logan's portrait of Saddam with children had also rested in a shelled Baghdad palace, B&C said. As for the lone figure in uniform, Logan told B&C: "It was in pieces in the ruins of the Olympic Committee building after it was bombed."
The Post confirmed that the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement "is looking into it." Customs officials have previously said similar pictures could be considered smuggled loot, according to The Associated Press.
Logan, 37, rose to CBS' chief foreign affairs correspondent post after years as a war correspondent. Originally from South Africa, she made recent headlines for her off-camera love affairs, as well as her contributions to '60 Minutes.'

That's one way to get out of it said...


Fannie Mae said it will set aside the loan of a woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

The Supreme Court To AG Mukasey - GET LOST!
The U.S. Supreme Court says it won't reconsider its decision that imposing the death penalty on a child rapist is unconstitutional.

The high court came to that conclusion Thursday regarding its 5-4 decision announced last June after the state of Louisiana and the U.S. Justice Department had asked the court to reconsider. They said the justices weren't told that Congress had made child rape a capital offense under military law in 2006, The Washington Post said.

The court said Thursday that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito voted to reopen the case but Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia, who were also in dissent of the June decision, voted against reopening the case, saying the final outcome would be the same. The five justices who were in the majority in June voted against reconsideration.

The June decision overturned the death penalty for Patrick Kennedy, 43, who was convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter in Louisiana in 1998.

The Justice Department said it had erred in not advising the court of the 2006 law. Justices said the decision would be amended to add the existence of the military law but it offered no changes in the majority reasoning.

Publication date: 03 October 2008
Source: UPI-1-20081003-08351400-bc-us-childrape.xml

Steve Mostofsky wins the UOJ horse' said...


Jeff Jacoby is an Orthodox Jew said...


Barney Frank's talking points notwithstanding, mortgage lenders didn't wake up one fine day deciding to junk long-held standards of creditworthiness in order to make ill-advised loans to unqualified borrowers. It would be closer to the truth to say they woke up to find the government twisting their arms and demanding that they do so - or else.

The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites.

The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods." Lenders responded by loosening their underwriting standards and making increasingly shoddy loans. The two government-chartered mortgage finance firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged this "subprime" lending by authorizing ever more "flexible" criteria by which high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans, and then buying up the questionable mortgages that ensued.

All this was justified as a means of increasing homeownership among minorities and the poor. Affirmative-action policies trumped sound business practices. A manual issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston advised mortgage lenders to disregard financial common sense. "Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor," the Fed's guidelines instructed. Lenders were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as "valid income sources" to qualify for a mortgage. Failure to comply could mean a lawsuit.

As long as housing prices kept rising, the illusion that all this was good public policy could be sustained. But it didn't take a financial whiz to recognize that a day of reckoning would come. "What does it mean when Boston banks start making many more loans to minorities?" I asked in this space in 1995. "Most likely, that they are knowingly approving risky loans in order to get the feds and the activists off their backs . . . When the coming wave of foreclosures rolls through the inner city, which of today's self-congratulating bankers, politicians, and regulators plans to take the credit?"

Frank doesn't. But his fingerprints are all over this fiasco. Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape. Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that "these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis." When the White House warned of "systemic risk for our financial system" unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.

Now that the bubble has burst and the "systemic risk" is apparent to all, Frank blithely declares: "The private sector got us into this mess." Well, give the congressman points for gall. Wall Street and private lenders have plenty to answer for, but it was Washington and the political class that derailed this train. If Frank is looking for a culprit to blame, he can find one suspect in the nearest mirror.

Jeff Jacoby can be reached at jacoby@globe.com

Watermelon Fresser said...


A group of Hasidic Jews meted out swift street justice in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to a man they say threatened to shoot a neighborhood storekeeper.

At about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the man threw two watermelons to the ground at the Division Mini Mart on Clymer Street when he began cursing at the storekeeper, cops said.

"I hate Jews!" the store manager - who gave only his first name, Moses - quoted the man as yelling. "You should all die!"

Moses said he told the man - who other witnesses said might have been drunk - that he would have to pay for the watermelons but the man refused.

Several witnesses claim the man yelled, "I will shoot you!"

Moses said he would call police. That prompted the man to barge out of the store, and push a 13- or 14-year-old boy to the ground as he knocked the black fedora off his head - a grave insult to Orthodox Jews.

"It's absolutely an insult to be without the hat' . . . It's a tremendous violation of privacy against a person," said community leader Isaac Abraham.

The man then began running down Clymer Street while a group of about 25 neighborhood residents gave chase, catching up with him in front of Steinberg's Kosher Bakery two blocks away.

There, a Post photographer saw at least two men wrestle the man to the ground. A large crowd - including members of the Shomrim, a volunteer community patrol - gathered around him as he lay on the ground.

They held him at bay until police arrived from the 90th Precinct.

A woman who works at the bakery and gave only her first name, Judy, said the man seemed apologetic.

"I heard him tell [cops], 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean it,' " she said.

Abraham insisted no one roughed the man up.

"Nobody touched him while he was on the ground," he said. "There is no reason to overreact."

Officers patted the man down and found no weapons or other contraband on him. No one came forward to press charges, so he was let go.

Moses said 'the outcome of the incident "bothers me. I wanted to press charges."

The neighborhood has grown much safer compared to a decade ago, but has seen an uptick in crime in the past year.

According to police statistics, major crime is up over 13 percent compared to last year - with robberies up 11 percent, burglaries up 13 percent, grand larceny up 24 percent and the number of murders jumping from one to three.

Some "Bailout" said...

Several hurdles could trip up the plan. For starters, even when the Treasury starts buying bad assets, some banks may hoard the cash they receive in return until they see how the plan pans out. That has the potential to make the lending logjam worse, said Vincent R. Reinhart, former director of the Federal Reserve's monetary affairs division.
"They may sit on the sidelines and wait to see (the bailout) get some traction. The problem is if everybody sits on the sidelines, nobody gets in the game. It's a risk," he said.
It also creates a vicious cycle: No trust means no lending; tight credit means it's harder to buy a home; the more difficult it is to buy or sell a home, the further home prices will fall; and the further prices drop, the more foreclosures there will be.
U.S. home prices — down 20 percent from their peak in July 2006 — still have further to fall, and must hit bottom before demand picks up. The long-awaited bottom in prices could be a year or more away.

Jobs are another big concern. The stranglehold on credit has choked companies big and small that depend on regular inflows of borrowed money to pay employees and stay afloat.
The Labor Department said Friday that employers cut 159,000 jobs in September, the fastest pace of losses in more than five years. Experts say that number will grow as the effects of the credit gridlock course through the economy in coming days and weeks.
The nation's unemployment rate is now 6.1 percent, up from 4.7 percent a year ago. Over the last year, the number of unemployed people has risen by 2.2 million to 9.5 million.
The unemployment rate could rise to as high as 7.5 percent by late 2009, economists predict.

Consumers and businesses have retrenched so much that some analysts fear the economy stalled or shrank in the third quarter that ended last week. The Labor Department report Friday showed wage growth for workers is slowing, meaning they'll be more hard-pressed to spend, especially for something as expensive as a home.

Just add it to the taxpayer tab said...

WASHINGTON -Hurricane Ike's winds and massive waves destroyed oil platforms, tossed storage tanks and punctured pipelines. The environmental damage only now is becoming apparent: At least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas, according to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
In the days before and after the deadly storm, companies and residents reported at least 448 releases of oil, gasoline and dozens of other substances into the air and water and onto the ground in Louisiana and Texas. The hardest hit places were industrial centers near Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, as well as oil production facilities off Louisiana's coast, according to the AP's analysis.
"We are dealing with a multitude of different types of pollution here ... everything from diesel in the water to gasoline to things like household chemicals," said Larry Chambers, a petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Command Center in Pasadena, Texas.
The Coast Guard, with the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies, has responded to more than 3,000 pollution reports associated with the storm and its surge along the upper Texas coast. Most callers complain about abandoned propane tanks, paint cans and other hazardous materials containers turning up in marshes, backyards and other places.
No major oil spills or hazardous materials releases have been identified, but nearly 1,500 sites still need to be cleaned up.
The Coast Guard's National Response Center in Washington collects information on oil spills and chemical and biological releases and passes it to agencies working on the ground. The AP analyzed all reports received by the center from Sept. 11 through Sept. 18 for Louisiana and Texas, providing an early snapshot of Ike's environmental toll.
With the storm approaching, refineries and chemical plants shut down as a precaution, burning off hundreds of thousands of pounds of organic compounds and toxic chemicals. In other cases, power failures sent chemicals such as ammonia directly into the atmosphere. Such accidental releases probably will not result in penalties by regulators because the releases are being blamed on the storm.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also suspended all rules, including environmental ones, that would inhibit or prevent companies preparing for or responding to Ike.
Power outages also caused sewage pipes to stop flowing. Elsewhere, the storm's surge dredged up smelly and oxygen-deprived marsh mud, which killed fish and caused residents to complain of nausea and headaches from the odor.
At times, a new spill or release was reported to the Coast Guard every five minutes to 10 minutes. Some were extremely detailed, such as this report from Sept. 14: "Caller is making a report of a 6-by-4-foot container that was found floating in the Houston Ship Channel. Caller states the container was also labeled 'UM 3264,' which is a corrosive material." The caller most likely meant UN3264, an industrial coding that refers to a variety of different acids.
State and federal officials have collected thousands of abandoned drums, paint cans and other containers.

Anonymous said...

IDF Using Facebook to Catch Draft Dodgers

Israel's army is using Facebook to track down draft dodgers.

The army visited the Facebook account of a teenager who was dismissed from army service after declaring she was religious despite attending a secular school, and discovered that she did not lead a religious lifestyle, Ynet reported.

Pictures on her Facebook account showed that she did not dress in a style acceptable to the religious community and that she attended parties on Shabbat. The army has since drafted her.

The teen appealed the decision but was turned down.

Some 44 percent of Israeli teenage females do not enlist -- 53 percent on religious grounds, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Rabbi Chaim Boruch Rubin said...



Shaul Youdkevitch said...


When Shaul Youdkevitch and his wife left the Kabbalah Centre in February, after nearly three decades living and working at the now-celebrity-rich religious center, they didn’t want to give up the esoteric teachings of Jewish mysticism too. So they started their own kabbalah community, and because Youdkevitch had been a higher-up at the Kabbalah Centre, his organization quickly got the attention of his former employer.

Now he’s being sued for allegedly stealing trade secrets and leading people astray.

Details of the lawsuit, which I wrote about for this week’s Jewish Journal, are after the jump:

Who's the forger? said...


Chaimowitz involved in some kind of forgery case.

5 Towns Fresser said...


Check out this lawsuit at Gourmet Glatt

Hertz Frankel said...


I would like to express personal thanks to Yitzchok Cohen for
giving me his time in order to present a well-done interview in
honor of the yahrtzeit of the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l. I am grateful to him for the opportunity to break the ice and talk to the media, for the first time ever, about my close affiliation with this great tzaddik.

I would also like to raise a point about the article in the Parshas Shoftim/September 3 issue on Harav Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz, zt”l. While discussing the topic of how the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l, related to Zionism, it seemed to me that there was an implication that the Rebbe had a temper. I would like to clarify that nothing could be further from the truth. Quite the contrary — he had a calm, composed, and unruffled manner about him and was one of the most serene personalities I’ve ever come across. But when it came to the issue of Zionism, he assumed a zealous stance and burned with fiery kana’us.


Hamodia Magazine 24 Elul 5768

Professor Steven Katz said...

I'm otherwise known as Simcha, the guy who Genack brought on as OU Kashrus Chairman after I was caught selling treif at Central Glatt, ignored hazmonos from R' Moishe Feinstein and sued the Jewish Press for writing about it.

Does anyone have the newspaper article for UOJ to post or know how to find the court record at NY Southern district Federal court?


Katz, Steven
Department: Economics and Finance
Phone Number: 646 312-3510
Fax Number: 646 312-3451
E-mail Address: Steven_Katz@baruch.cuny.edu
Building: 55 LEX - Newman Vertical Campus
Room: 10-251
Mail Box: B10-225