Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"They are the true heroes of the human race, but for whom we should still be living in caves......"

"Psychoanalysis has demonstrated the ambiguous nature of our thinking processes. Indeed, the power of rationalization, this counterfeit of reason, is one of the most puzzling human phenomena. If we were not accustomed to it, man's rationalizing effort would clearly appear to us as similar to a paranoid system. The paranoid person can be very intelligent, make excellent use of his reason in all areas of life except in that isolated part where his paranoid system is involved. The rationalizing person does exactly the same. We talk to an intelligent Stalinist who exhibits a great capacity to make use of his reason in many areas of thought. When we come to discuss Stalinism with him, however, we are suddenly confronted with a closed system of thought, the only function of which is to prove that his allegiance to Stalinism is in line with and not contradictory to reason.

He will deny certain obvious facts, distort others, or, inasmuch as he agrees to certain facts and statements, he will explain his attitude as logical and consistent.

He will at the same time declare that the fascist cult of the leader is one of the most obnoxious features of authoritarianism and claim that the Stalinist cult of the leader is something entirely different, that it is the genuine expression of the people's love for Stalin. When you tell him that is what the Nazis claimed too, he will smile tolerantly about your want of perception or accuse you of being the lackey of capitalism. He will find a thousand and one reasons why Russian nationalism is not nationalism, why authoritarianism is democracy, why slave labor is designed to educate and improve anti-social elements. The arguments which are used to defend or explain the deeds of the Inquisition or those used to explain racial or sex prejudices are illustrations of the same rationalizing capacity.

The degree to which man uses his thinking to rationalize irrational passions and to justify the actions of his group, shows how great the distance which man has still to travel in order to become Homo Sapiens. But we must go beyond such an awareness. We must try to understand the reasons for this phenomenon lest we fall into the error of believing that man's readiness for rationalization is a part of "human nature" which nothing can change.

Man by origin is a herd animal.

His actions are determined by an instinctive impulse to follow the leader and to have close contact with the other animals around him. Inasmuch as we are sheep, there is no greater threat to our existence than to lose this contact with the herd and to be isolated. Right and wrong, true and false are determined by the herd. But we are not only sheep. We are also human; we are endowed with awareness of ourselves, endowed with reason which by its very nature is independent of the herd. Our actions can be determined by the results of our thinking regardless of whether or not the truth is shared by others.

The split between our sheep nature and our human nature is the basis for two kinds of orientations: the orientation by proximity to the herd and the orientation by reason. Rationalization is a compromise between our sheep nature and our human capacity to think. The latter forces us to make believe that everything we do can stand the test of reason, and that is why we tend to make it appear that our irrational opinions and decisions are reasonable. But inasmuch as we are sheep, reason is not our real guide; we are guided by an entirely different principle, that of herd allegiance.

The ambiguity of thinking, the dichotomy between reason and a rationalizing intellect, is the expression of a basic dichotomy of man, the coextensive need for bondage and freedom. The unfolding and full emergence of reason is dependent on the attainment of full freedom and independence.

Until this is accomplished, man will tend to accept for truth that which the majority of the group wants to be true; his judgment is determined by the need for contact with the herd and by fear of being isolated from it.

A few individuals can stand this isolation and say the truth in spite of the danger of losing touch. They are the true heroes of the human race, but for whom we should still be living in caves......"

Psychoanalysis and Religion
1950, Erich Fromm
Chapter III, An Analysis of Some Types of Religious Experience


Ivankala Trump-Kushner said...


Even though the gedolei Eretz Yisrael aimed this at Chaim Amsalem of Shas (and former Sefardic Chief Rabbi of Geneva) who wants to convert Russian goyim in Israel with limited kabolas mitzvos, what does this mean for me & Haskell the Rascal?

Moetzes Gedolei Torah of Agudas Yisroel of America said...

How could some of the greatest Torah leaders at the time turn into the Meraglim?

The Zohar Hakadosh answers that these leaders were only human. They knew that they were only going to be leaders until they arrive in Eretz Yisroel. At that point they won't be considered leaders anymore.

This is why they spoke against Eretz Yisroel to the nation. By sowing discontent and anger they knew that Hashem will make the trip to Eretz Yisroel longer. As a result they would be able to hold on to their power for longer.

Karl Marx said...

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a rare foray into domestic politics today, offering her view that wealthy Americans don't pay enough taxes," reports Politico's Ben Smith:

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does]--whether it's individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms," Clinton told an audience at the Brookings Institution, where she was discussing the Administration's new National Security Strategy.

Quack Quack Menachem Genack said...


I get Marxist brownie points for raising money for Hillary's presidential campaign before she was defeated by the Moshiach, Obama.

I have a very busy schedule at the OU, but I know my priorities like sitting on Jon Corzine's panel to abolish the death penalty for murderers and other Left Wing agendas.

Yasser Margulies / Lipa Arafat said...


The fallout from Israel’s attack on a flotilla trying to breach the blockade of Gaza widened Tuesday amid growing criticism of the raid, which left nine activists dead. Egypt reopened its border with Gaza to allow humanitarian aid to flow through, and activists said they had sent another ship to the area.

More than 600 activists arrested after Monday’s raid in international waters remained in custody in southern Israel, although an Israeli police spokesman said that about 45 people were being deported.

As international pressure mounted for Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, fresh reports of violence between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants underscored the fraught security situation along the border. The Israeli military said two militants who infiltrated from Gaza had been killed in a clash with troops, and news reports said three other militants had been killed in an airstrike after a rocket attack from Gaza.

And Turkish animosity seemed to deepen as Israel announced that four of the nine killed in the military operation aboard the Turkish vessel were Turkish citizens, the Anatolian News Agency reported. In a speech, Turkey’s prime minister called on Israel to be punished for the raid. In New York, after protracted wrangling, the United Nations Security Council condemned “acts” leading to the loss of life in the operation by Israeli commandos in international waters on Monday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, meanwhile, was flying home after canceling a Tuesday meeting with President Obama.

Mr. Netanyahu has defended the Israeli military’s actions, saying the commandos, enforcing what Israel says is a legal blockade, were set upon by passengers on the Turkish ship they boarded and fired only in self-defense. The military released a video of the early moments of the raid to support that claim.

Israel said the violence was instigated by pro-Palestinian activists who presented themselves as humanitarians but had come ready for a fight. Organizers of the flotilla accused the Israeli forces of opening fire as soon as they landed on the deck, and released videos to support their case.

On Tuesday, activists promised more confrontation. Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the flotilla, said that another cargo boat was heading to Gaza from the coast of Italy, but said the vessel would be picking up additional activists and journalists, and was not expected to reach Gaza until Monday.

About 4 a.m. Monday, naval commandos came aboard the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, having been lowered by ropes from helicopters onto the decks.

At that point, the operation seems to have gone badly wrong.

Israeli officials say that the soldiers were dropped into an ambush and were attacked with clubs, metal rods and knives.

The BIG Tent Event said...

How do you think Lakewood CEO Aron Kotler would look in a crisp orange jumpsuit?

CEO Kotler is the poster boy of what is wrong with kollel. For the sake of supporting a person in kollel EVERY law can be trampled on. By acting like a mafia crime boss he is instilling fear in his general community.

The failure of tonights Tent Event should herald in the downfall of the rule of CEO Kotler. Don't trust the driveby media (Yated, Hamodia, Matzav, Al Jazeira, etc.) inflated PR numbers.

With AGRI all it took was one incident to unravel the entire company which ultimately led to an orange jumpsuit. Tonight will be CEO Kotler's Big Event. Only this Big Event is endorsed by the BMG roshei yeshiva.

Both versions of the story are correct said...


The fallout from UOJ’s attack on a phony YTT conference on child molestation widened Tuesday amid growing criticism of the raid, which left nine molesters beaten by victims.

YOB reopened its border with YTT to allow Yudi Kolko to proctor tests, and activists said they had sent another pedophile to Shlomo Mandel's yeshiva.

More than 600 molesters arrested after Monday’s raid remained in custody in the downtown Brooklyn lockup.

As heimishe pressure mounted for UOJ to end his blockade of YTT, fresh reports of violence between UOJ agents and Hungarian militants underscored the fraught security situation along Ocean Pkwy. The UOJ security service said two molesters who infiltrated from Gur on 16th Ave had been beaten in a clash with R' Nuchem Rosenberg, and news reports said three other molesters had been exposed in a blog posting.

And Torah Umesorah animosity seemed to deepen as UOJ announced that four of the nine beaten in the operation were TU affiliated. In a speech, Shea Fishman called on UOJ to be punished for the raid. In New York, after protracted wrangling, the Agudas Yisroel condemned “acts” in the operation by UOJ commandos on Monday.

Rav Yosef Blau of RIETS, meanwhile, was driving home after canceling a Tuesday meeting with Chaim Dovid Zweibel.

Rav Blau has defended UOJ’s actions, saying the commandos, enforcing a legal blockade, were set upon by lowlives who refuse to remove their sons from YTT and punched back only in self-defense. UOJ released a video of the early moments of the raid to support that claim.

UOJ said the violence was instigated by pro-YTT activists who presented themselves as humanitarians but had come ready for a fight. Organizers of the Twersky-Mandel conference accused the UOJ forces of attacking as soon as they set foot on the sidewalk in front of 555 Ocean Pkwy.

On Tuesday, activists promised more confrontation. Avremel Schorr, who organized the mayhem, said that another Twersky-Mandel conference was being planned.

About 4 a.m. Monday, UOJ commandos surrounded YTT, having been lowered by ropes from helicopters.

At that point, the operation seems to have gone badly wrong.

JBAC officials say that the UOJ agents were dropped into an ambush and were attacked with clubs, metal rods, knives and boiling hot pots of goulash thrown from windows of YTT's upper floors.

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

R' Both Versions Shlita,

You must have had a geshmake BBQ yesterday! :-))

Anonymous said...

go tree freelakewood.blogspot.com to raise awareness of what having harold herskowitz in power really would entail

Shmarya groupie said...


"Gaydar," that innate ability gay people supposedly have to zero in on other gays even in a crowd, may really exist.

Wall Street Journal said...


When 'Peace Activists' Attack

A flotilla organized by a Turkish Islamist group has failed in its attempt to break the naval blockade Israel and Egypt have imposed on the Gaza Strip. Styling themselves "peace activists" carrying humanitarian aid, the Turks, joined by members of other anti-Israel groups, were invited by the Israelis to dock at Ashdod, an Israeli port, and unload their goods there for delivery to Gaza. When they refused, Israeli sailors boarded the boats.

According to YnetNews.com, the Israelis made a tactical error in assuming that "peace activists" would behave peacefully:

To their misfortune, [the Israeli commandos] were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other "don't shoot, don't shoot," even though they sustained numerous blows.

The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.

Such circumstances having materialized, the Israelis did open fire, and nine of the so-called activists were killed.

Palestinian Media Watch notes that a day earlier, al-Jazeera had reported that the "peace activists" were chanting: "Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!" Explanation:

Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad's army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor to future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.

Al-Jazeera also interviewed a woman who said that the flotilla participants' goal was "one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza."

As the Washington Post reports, "Israel delivers about 15,000 tons of supplies and aid to Gaza every week." Breaking the blockade was unnecessary to get humanitarian aid to Gaza--but it is necessary if the terror group Hamas, which dominates the strip, is to be rearmed. These "peace activists" seek peace only in the Orwellian sense: "War is peace."

Most Rabbonim today are Cowards said...

I have information that the OU has defrauded the public by covering up a source of food that is not permitted according to any normative opinion in halacha. As a matter of fact, the OU lies through their teeth that they don't allow it.

In this case, even Belsky tried to put his foot down but was overruled by Genack.

I regret that I cannot elaborate at this time because there are rabbonim and others who would be severely retaliated against by the OU for leaking this.

I agree in this instance that they are not required to put themselves at risk of what the OU will no doubt do to them.

It seems to have come to the point of not being able to trust the OU for anything unless there is a 2nd hashgocho on the item.

Justin Kurtz deserves a UOJ cap! said...


After a towing company hauled Justin Kurtz’s car from his apartment complex parking lot, despite his permit to park there, Mr. Kurtz, 21, a college student in Kalamazoo, Mich., went to the Internet for revenge.

Outraged at having to pay $118 to get his car back, Mr. Kurtz created a Facebook page called “Kalamazoo Residents against T&J Towing.” Within two days, 800 people had joined the group, some posting comments about their own maddening experiences with the company.

T&J filed a defamation suit against Mr. Kurtz, claiming the site was hurting business and seeking $750,000 in damages.

Web sites like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp have given individuals a global platform on which to air their grievances with companies. But legal experts say the soaring popularity of such sites has also given rise to more cases like Mr. Kurtz’s, in which a business sues an individual for posting critical comments online.

The towing company’s lawyer said that it was justified in removing Mr. Kurtz’s car because the permit was not visible, and that the Facebook page was costing it business and had unfairly damaged its reputation.

Some First Amendment lawyers see the case differently. They consider the lawsuit an example of the latest incarnation of a decades-old legal maneuver known as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or Slapp.

The label has traditionally referred to meritless defamation suits filed by businesses or government officials against citizens who speak out against them. The plaintiffs are not necessarily expecting to succeed — most do not — but rather to intimidate critics who are inclined to back down when faced with the prospect of a long, expensive court battle.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Mr. Kurtz, who recently finished his junior year at Western Michigan University. “The only thing I posted is what happened to me.”

Many states have anti-Slapp laws, and Congress is considering legislation to make it harder to file such a suit. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Charlie Gonzalez of Texas, both Democrats, would create a federal anti-Slapp law, modeled largely on California’s statute.

In Michigan, which does not have an anti-Slapp measure, Mr. Kurtz’s legal battle has made him a local celebrity. His Facebook page has now grown to more than 12,000 members.

Mr. Kurtz and his lawyers asked a judge to dismiss the suit by T&J, which has received a failing grade from the local Better Business Bureau for complaints over towing legally parked cars. Mr. Kurtz is also countersuing, claiming that T&J is abusing the legal process.

“There’s no reason I should have to shut up because some guy doesn’t want his dirty laundry out,” Mr. Kurtz said. “It’s the power of the Internet, man.”

Sleeper cell in the oval office? said...

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s inspector general has concluded that the department is not fully prepared to respond to a terrorist attack involving a weapon of mass destruction.

In a report issued on Tuesday, the inspector general said that none of the law enforcement agencies within the department, other than the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had operational response plans in place to deal with such an attack.

Other than F.B.I. specialists, the department’s staff receives little training on how to respond to a biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological attack; there is no central oversight plan in place for such a crisis; and the management of the department’s plan is “uncoordinated and fragmented,” the report determined.

“The Department as a whole does not have policies or plans for responding to a W.M.D. incident,” the 61-page report concluded.

For example, the department designated the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to coordinate the response of federal law enforcement agencies if an unconventional attack overwhelms state and local authorities.

But the department and the firearms bureau have not assigned specific people to manage those activities, and the bureau has not prepared a list of people who could be deployed or equipment that could be used if such an incident took place, the report found.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone can confirm that Aron Tendler is still living in Baltmore? I was promised by the Rabbonim that he finally left. I have not heard that anyone has seen him lately. If in fact he is still in Baltimore, i will raise bloody hell!


Archie Bunker said...

Regarding shechita being banned in New Zealand, Shmarya is talking about a "heter" for stunning before shechita.

Trying to use a supposed shita from the Seridei Aish is a ploy by the Failed apikores blogger to lower halacha standards.

Someone named "Pulpit rabbi" wrote this to dispute him:

"R' Weinberg did write in favor of allowing the meat of stunned animals, but he also affirmed his dependency on the agreement by many other halakhists. That agreement didn't come, for whatever reason, the others weren't convinced. Hence, to mention R' Weinberg's writings in this context as something that can practically be relied upon is misleading. All one could say is that a major halakhist did toy with the idea and argued the case, and lost."

The blogger Garnel Ironheart also jumps in to dispute the mushchoss:

"Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg produced a teshuva that showed how it could be theoretically permitted but when he asked his mentor, Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, he was told af al pi ken it isn't. So he himself never did allow it.

I am willing to bet that if Muslim halal forbid the animal to be stunned before slaughter there is no way this law would ever have been passed.

NZ therefore joins a very distinguished group of countries that have banned kosher slaughter. We know what some of them wound up doing to human beings what they outlawed for animals."

"Reader" adds this interesting comment:

"Even in bolshevik Russia frum Jews managed to have kosher meat. You buy live chicken and take it to the shoychet (without announcing it to all and sundry). The housewives in New Zealand will have to learn how to pluck chickens (oy!)

Stunning infects the meat with Mad Cow disease (when present) which is concentrated in the brain."

Malach HaMovies said...

We need another YTV post !!

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

We want Moshiach now!

Aza nudnik:-)

B'korov mamash!

Ho Ho Holder said...

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Tuesday that federal authorities have opened criminal and civil investigations into the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

“If laws were broken, leading to death and destruction,” Mr. Obama said, “my solemn pledge is, we will bring those responsible to justice.”

Mr. Obama’s heightened rhetoric reflected deepening frustration within the administration at the inability of BP to stop the spill, along with wide concern that the government and Mr. Obama are appearing increasingly impotent as oil laps at the Louisiana shoreline with no end in near sight.

Anonymous said...

Both versions:

G-d bless you!

Elliot Pasik

Pessie Gelb said...

I was arrested in my apartment in williamsburg on the first day of shaviois. The police took me to Woodhull Hospital psychiatric ward where the psychiatrist on duty told the police that I am not mentally ill. Afterwards the police took me to the 90th precinct and beat me up, mugshotted me and took my fingerprints and made me spend the night in a holding cell at the police station. The next day after not finding any crime that they could charge me with they realeased me but wouldnt let me walk home and insisted that they drive me home on the 2nd day of yomtov.

The only crimes that I have commited are making a mesira on my husband for molesting my daughter and trying to get my husband to stop refusing to give me a get. I am on the internet trying to get people to help me because I dont know what else to do. none of the jewish organizations that help oppressed women want to help me because they are scared of my abusive husband and his very rich family.

Great Neck said...


The New York State Education Dept confirms in a letter to Elliot Pasik that the only Jewish school to fingerprint employees is the modern orthodox North Shore Hebrew Academy.

Malach HaMovies said...

Aza nudnik:-)

B'korov mamash

Better to be a Nudnick then allow Artscroll and Agudah to re-write history. Which they most definitely will do.

Anonymous said...


As it investigates a suspected kickback scheme in New York’s pension system, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been pushing to bar Steven L. Rattner, a prominent financier and former adviser to the Obama administration on the auto industry, from working in the securities industry for up to three years, according to three people told of the discussions.

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

To the fishy guy who refuses to hold his breath, good idea, but there will be a response.

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


Agreed; hectic in UOJ country baruch Hashem. But I'm committed to telling the entire story as ugly as it is.

Anonymous said...

I try to avoid eating in any place owned by Yishmoelim or where they work as waiters and a lot of places in NY under hashgocho have this issue. In one restaurant in Israel, an Arab was caught poisoning the food.


Al-Qaida's mother of all spy manuals

Matiri covers a variety of topics in the 42 pages of his instruction manual, among them advice on how the religious spy can get out of uncomfortable situations. He suggests that "Jewish meals" be ordered on airline flights - kosher meals that do not contain pork. They are marked with the letters U or K.

... he writes about the Moscow theater siege in 2002, in which about 50 Chechen fighters held about 850 hostages. Before the siege, the Chechen commander had his people established a catering company; they even took the trouble of obtaining the franchise to open a cafeteria in the theater. They were thus able to bring in bombs and explosives and become familiar with its halls and corridors.

But to gather intelligence that is not aimed at a specific attack, the agent must also to create a fictional persona.

"When one of us sets out for an espionage action in Israel, it is important that his first step be to create a background story under commercial or cultural cover among the Jewish diaspora in Morocco, Egypt or the United States. In that way he will be able to obtain 'roots' for the new persona However, creating a background is not enough. The good spy must know how to dress, speak and adapt himself to the environment in which he is operating," Matiri writes.

"A businessman is not going to live in a poor neighborhood and a student cannot own a luxurious villa and a fleet of cars. Student dormitories are more appropriate for him. In general, it is desirable that spies not live in poor neighborhoods because the inhabitants usually sit outside on the sidewalks and see who is coming and going. They spot new people immediately. But in wealthy neighborhoods, the neighbors do not know one another, and this is what is needed in intelligence work."

Sleeper cell in the oval office? said...

Obama seems to have no problem with the flotilla organizers who are enemies of the State for sending fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan.


A 2006 report by the Danish Institute for International Studies written by counter-terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann described the IHH as a front for funding terrorist organizations and sending fighters to countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya.

Moetzes Resign! said...


Japan’s Premier Will Quit as Approval Plummets


UOJ gets results said...

Responding to concerns that sexual assault complaints have been mishandled by the police in New York, a task force appointed by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has recommended new training protocols for officers dealing with sex crime victims.

Archie Bunker said...

Shmarya & his comrade in arms David Kelsey are going ape that billionaire Michael Steinhardt is giving money to an orgnaization with a very weak link to a kiruv organization.

Besides their all-consuming hatred of Torah Judaism, would they also prefer the money be redirected to their mother's basements to fund their unemployed loser selves?

The readers give Shmarya heck:

I actually have been to numerous JEC events. I also have been to numerous Aish events & other Haredi institutions. I know what kiruv is.

I can assure you Birthright Israel NEXT is in no way a "Haredi" institution. Most of the events are more about Jewish culture, and frankly, those that are religious are pluralistic. I also do not know anyone (not ONE PERSON) who, after going to JEC, became Haredi. And I know probably over 150 people who have gone to JEC.

You are simply wrong here, Shmayra. Just because JEC might have ties to Ohr Somayach doesn't mean it's a branch. The work at JEC is positive - teaching Jews basic information about Judaism, and giving them a connection & community.

Why would you take issue with this?

Posted by: Red Tulips | June 01, 2010 at 10:45 AM

What should JEC do? Listen to 'Rabbi' Eric Yoffie, who regularly 'dialogues' with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which is linked with the Muslim Brotherhood, and who also agrees that Jews should not build in their holiest city, Jerusalem, whereas Arabs can build anywhere?

As an agnostic (leaning atheist) Jew, I would renounce my Judaism altogether, if it reflected the 'moral teachings' of 'Rabbi' Eric Yoffie.

I feel perfectly at home at JEC, so I feel I am living proof that Shmyra is simply wrong.

Posted by: Red Tulips | June 01, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I was at an event in DC where the host of the Birthright Next shabbat event had his NON-JEWISH girlfriend as a guest. he himself is destined for Charedidom, trucks around with his tzitzit out & is a social butterfly - it means nothing. what matters to the community is that he'll draw Jews to "Judaism", whatever it means, as long as it means dating Jewish.

Posted by: pierre | June 01, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Shmarya: Michael Steinhardt is one of those rare billionaires whose phone number is in the book. As is the number for the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life. (They put out a very well-written quarterly publication.) So you can get the answers you're looking for straight from the horse's mouth.

However, since you prefer to rely on third-hand sources rather than do any legwork a true journalist does, I guess you won't bother.

Let me ask you one question: If you were 25 years younger, would you turn down a free Birthright trip?

Posted by: Mr. Apikoros | June 01, 2010 at 01:18 PM

So let me get this straight: the "story" here is that a Jewish philanthropist gives money to a Jewish organization that runs social & educational programming staffed by Rabbis, which, based on the descriptions above (& the personal experience of a still-Conservadox friend), results in the vast majority of participants become more connected to, and knowlegable about Judaism, and a small number becoming Orthodox, and an even smaller number becoming Charedi & this is somehow scandalous, all because the Rabbis would prefer more participants become Orthodox or Charedi?

Posted by: Izzy | June 01, 2010 at 07:44 PM

Shmarya! This story is sooo boring already! The Forward told us everything, and YOU are just rehashing it! Face it, whoever these JEC people are, they must be doing a GREAT job, because they are still being funded after all these years...

BTW, your next scandal awaits - Why every city in the US that has a birthright FOLLOWUP program is exclusively reform/conservative!!!! Call the Forward ASAP, maybe birthright has been fooled into the funding the reform in LA, Florida, Canada & elsewhere.

Posted by: Jew Lover | June 01, 2010 at 09:41 PM

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

Having first hand knowledge of the very bleak statistics of Birthright and other "kiruv" organizations, secular or otherwise, hundreds of millions of dollars is being spent with a "stick rate" of less than 1/2 of 1%.

What does that mean?

The Birthright crowd comes for a FREE good time, they come back to their college campuses, for the most part, and take part in anti-Israel protests. The amount of intermarriage among that age group is greater than the 50% quoted for the rest of the American Jewish population.

Donors to the major kiruv organizations are convinced by the fundraisers that they can repurchase their birthright by donating money to them.

Except for Birthright, some 85% of all donations to these kiruv organizations are to cover "administrative expenses".

What to do? It's a tough one!

Bim Bam identity said...

Wall St Journal

The Sounds of Silence

Van Chester Thompkins murdered Samuel Morris by shooting him in Southfield, Mich. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his conviction, turning aside his claim that police had violated his Miranda rights. As CNN reports:

In a 5-4 ruling, the court said a suspect must explicitly tell officers he or she is asserting that right, known as Miranda rights. . . .

"A suspect who has received and understood the Miranda warnings, and has not invoked his Miranda rights, waives the right to remain silent by making an uncoerced statement to police," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court.

Obama appointee Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by three other justices (if you guess who they are, you will be correct), wrote a vigorous dissent from the court's ruling in Berghuis v. Thompkins:

Today's decision turns Miranda upside down. Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent--which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak. At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so.

There's something screwy about Sotomayor's logic. The court did not hold that Thompkins could be compelled to speak, only that he had to speak up in order to exercise his right to end the interrogation, which is a corollary to the right to remain silent. Having failed to do so, he still had every right to remain silent--a right he could easily have exercised by remaining silent.

Yisroel Perry said...

He was born in the Krakow ghetto in 1942


A disgraced Israeli lawyer has launched a unique legal bid to block a Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) investigation into his alleged multi-million pound assets in the UK. Israel Perry was jailed for 12 years in October 2007 for aggravated fraud, embezzlement, obstruction of justice and violation of insurance laws following a six-year trial in Israel. His sentence was later cut to 10 years.

Mr Perry's scheme was established in 1983 and gave Israelis the opportunity to receive pensions from West Germany. About 30,000 Israelis signed up and were asked to make payments to an insurance company registered in the Cayman Islands. It was that part of the scheme that triggered the criminal charges.

Margo's neurologist said...

Oh brother!


Will brain scans that purport to show whether a person is lying someday be as common in courtrooms as eyewitness testimony?

Anonymous said...


Kenneth Starr(!) Charged in Alleged Fraud Scheme

By Amir Efrati

No, not that Kenneth Starr. Sorry for the tease. But we promise you, it’s worth reading on.

On Thursday the feds in New York announced criminal charges against Starr, who according to Reuters is a money manager for celebrities such as director Martin Scorsese, actress Uma Thurman and photographer Annie Leibovitz. Starr had more than $700 million in assets under management, the feds claimed.

No word yet on whether any big names are victims, but in a criminal complaint federal prosecutors said they included an unnamed hedge-fund manager and well-known philanthropist; an actress; a former executive of a talent agency; an elderly heiress; and a jeweler who is a convicted felon. Here’s the complaint.

Prosecutors also charged an “associate” of Starr, Andrew Stein, a former New York State assemblyman and president of the New York City council, with various tax fraud charges.

The feds alleged Starr, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, carried out a fraud scheme involving $30 million, either by soliciting investments and pocketing the funds himself or controlling personal bank accounts of clients and diverting money to himself. The government said his alleged conduct “was characteristic of a ‘Ponzi’ scheme.”

Among other things, Starr allegedly purchased a phat Upper East Side condo for $7.5 million, using client funds.

Bim Bam identity said...


In the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla fiasco, the air is thick with nonsense. Chief among the instant myths is that Israel has created a dilemma for President Obama.

Actually, it's the other way around.

The president's appeasement policies helped to create the incident. Israel took the bait, but the trap was set in Washington.

Weakness always begets aggression, and, like clockwork, Obama's repeated signals that he is weakening America's commitment to Israel are emboldening the Jewish state's enemies. From Syria to Iran to Lebanon, from Hezbollah to Hamas and the PLO, the wolves smell blood and are trying to gauge whether they can get close enough for the kill.

And whether the United States will stop them. That they even dare hope we won't reflects the danger of Obama's demented decisions.

The huge flotilla is the latest example of the open-season mania, with the result that Israel is under international siege -- for defending itself. And, not incidentally, for defending an embargo on Gaza that Washington supports.

Obama says he wants the facts of the incident, but let's hope he also wants the truth, even if it is inconvenient to his worldview.

Avi L. Shafran(ovitch) said...


UOJ must be the troublemaker who lampooned this tayere Yid.

Anonymous said...


Former Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer was arrested today for charges stemming from an investigation into how he spent committee funds during his tenure.

While the arrest presents obvious problems for Greer, it could also hurt his former close ally, Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party in April to mount an independent bid for the Senate.

During his tenure as party chairman, even up until they day he resigned in February, Crist supported Greer.

Anonymous said...


The IRS, which has charged Starr with wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and money laundering, claims that Starr's clients, which include Hollywood actors Uma Thurman, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Goldie Hawn, Hollywood directors Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard, celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, 99-year old heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon (widow of the Mellon family scion Paul Mellon), Jacob "Jacob the Jeweler" Arabov, illusionist David Blaine and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, entrusted about $700 million of assets at one time to him, which Starr used to splurge on himself or invest in risky projects in which he or his close associates, including his wife, a former pole dancer named Diane Passage, and his son, had an interest.

And, if you're wondering how he pulled it off, the case of Arabov, in particular, serves to explain his modus operandi. According to court documents, Starr met Arabov, who has a following among hip-hop stars, at a charity event in May 2006 and the following day he visited Arabov's flagship store in Manhattan and purchased a $77,000 watch. Later, he bought more baubles from Arabov's store, including a $70,000 diamond bracelet and a $32,000 wedding band, thereby gaining his confidence before confiding in Arabov that "he had many investments but he only permitted his close friends to invest in them" and promised returns of five and even ten times of the invested amount.

Not surprisingly, Arabov took the bait and eventually invested nearly $14 million. Unfortunately that was the last Arabov saw of his money, some of which was diverted to a shell company called Wind River connected to one of Starr's "associates" – Andrew Stein, a former Manhattan Borough president, who's being accused of lying to the IRS, withholding information about his ties with Wind River and tax evasion to the tune of over $2 million.

Starr also routed investor funds to Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, which represents music artists and employed Starr's wife; Sundown Hills LLC, whose bankruptcy filing was signed by a "retired prominent basketball player" in January; Bregman Productions Inc., a movie production company; and Universal Identification Solutions LLC, a company Starr partially owns.

Like Arabov, Rachel Mellon invested over $6 million, falling for Starr's persuasions, most of which was splurged on a sprawling $7.5 million Upper East Side township condominium complete with five bedrooms, 6 1/2 bathrooms, a 32-foot indoor granite lap pool and a 1,500-square-foot garden.

Money invested by other clients were used for buying expensive jewelries for himself and his wife, that included a diamond wedding ring, an emerald necklace, a diamond bracelet, diamond chandelier earrings and a $77,490 five-time-zone watch, court papers said.

So how did Starr manage to hoodwink them all?

According to one client, who insisted on anonymity, nobody suspected foul play as Starr was a suave talker and was always eager to play up connections, whether they were from the world of Hollywood, athletics or finance. For instance, he kept a copy of Daily Variety prominently displayed at the entry to his offices at 850 Third Avenue, and a signed photo of Magic Johnson in his office.

References to an acquaintance, Peter G. Peterson, a founder of the Blackstone Group private equity fund also served to enhance Starr's credentials as a reliable Wall Street financial adviser.

Starr also gave away tens of thousands of dollars to elected officials over the years, including New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, earning their political clout.

Anonymous said...

The Fall

Starr, however, pushed his luck too far and couldn't keep up the "mirage" too long.

For instance, in Arabov's case, after the jeweler was arrested for money laundering in a narcotics case in Michigan and later pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and went to prison, Arabov's wife asked Starr for information about and repayment of the money. But when Starr came up with a stream of excuses to avoid repayment, she suspected foul play and began recording their conversations with him, the court documents said.

And, it was from the recordings and bank records that the Feds learned that Starr directed some funds from the jeweler's wife to Wind River to pay for Stein's "extravagant personal expenses," including hundreds of thousands of dollars of credit card bills.

Besides Arabov, Starr also faced heat from "Rocky" star Stallone, who sued him in 2002, claiming that Starr's financial advise caused him to lose $10 million on the stock of Planet Hollywood International Inc., a theme-restaurant chain.

According to Stallone, Starr advised him to keep his investment in Planet Hollywood restaurants even though Starr told others the chain was headed for bankruptcy. The actor said Starr was biased because he also advised Keith Barish, a Planet Hollywood board member and a large shareholder. The suit was eventually settled.

Joan Stanton, the voice of Lois Lane in the 1940s "The Adventures of Superman" radio program, had also sued Starr in 2008, before her death, in state court in Manhattan, alleging she lost tens of millions of dollars as a result of misconduct by Starr and his companies.

According to the suit, Starr used Stanton's money, including $70 million her late husband Arthur Stanton left her when he died in 1987, for personal projects that he or his friends controlled instead of the investments she asked, allegedly declaring that the investments failed when his own projects did not return the money.

And, Starr counted on his stars too much when in another case, he diverted $1 million invested by "Kill Bill" star Uma Thurman to business run by his family and associates. Later when Thurman began to feel that something was not right, she confronted Starr with a battery of lawyers and demanded her money back. And, when Starr allegedly gave her "shifting and inconsistent" explanations about the whereabouts of her money, she threatened to sue him and expose him. However, Starr managed to save himself by the skin of his neck by refunding Thurman her money - which he withdrew from the accounts of his other clients, including former William Morris chief Jim Wiatt.

However, it was Thurman's confrontation that triggered a rush of celebrity clients demanding their money back - and also helped spark the investigation that led to Starr's arrest on Thursday.

Some of those who got all or some part of their money out in time include Graduate director Mike Nichols, When Harry Met Sally director Nora Ephron, director Martin Scorsese and playwright Neil Simon.

Anonymous said...

However, according to those close to Starr, his "entire life was turned upside down by his infatuation for a stripper" - Diane Passage.

Starr's friends said he was a level-headed, intelligent and ambitious person till he spotted the raven-haired stunner, who used the stage name "Chase," during a night at Scores, a popular strip club in New York. Seduced by her looks and figure (Diane was half Starr's age), Starr showered Diane with expensive gifts - jewelry, designer dresses and furs - and soon after his second divorce was finalized, Starr and Passage tied the knot.

However, Starr was still insecure about her loyalty and love and driven by his desperation to please his beautiful wife, he "bought her all the latest designer fashion, and really expensive jewelry...Alexander McQueen dresses, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes . . . and furs," a source told Daily News.

For one of her birthdays, Starr rented out a Manhattan club and hired the rock band Everclear. He funded her charity for unwed moms, which raised money through pole-dancing competitions.

"She wanted to be someone in the music business, so he started a record label for her," the insider continued. "It was a complete farce...It just frittered money away."

"Ken was totally out of control...totally infatuated by Diane, and totally insecure," the insider said, adding that Starr did everything to win her love and loyalty and, to support her extravagant lifestyle and her ambitions, he did not think twice before stealing others' millions.

However, ironically, it was Diane who let the Feds into their house, Thursday, and gave Starr away, telling them that "he's upstairs" and forcing Starr, whose social life revolved around buying tables at charity functions, attending glittery parties hosted by songwriter and political fund-raiser Denise Rich and others, and schmoozing well-heeled attendees while bragging of his financial wizardry, to be dragged out of a closet where he was found cowering, thus marking an ignoble end to his stellar career.

Currently, Starr is held without bail as the judge, in a bail hearing, Thursday, ruled that he was a flight risk. If convicted, Starr faces up to 45 years in prison.


ALBANY - Governor David Paterson is submitting legislation that will require everyone convicted of a penal law crime to provide a DNA sample. Due to a flaw in New York's current law, criminals who would otherwise be incarcerated based on a DNA match are free to commit additional crimes.

"DNA is the most powerful tool ever discovered to solve crimes, prevent crimes and exonerate the innocent, but remarkably in New York State we are still collecting DNA from only 46 percent of the criminals convicted of penal law crimes," Governor Paterson said. "Today, I call on the Legislature to enact my all-crimes DNA bill, which would require everyone convicted of a penal law offense, as well as youthful offenders and sex offenders, to submit a DNA sample."

Governor Paterson cited the case of Raymon McGill in Albany as just one example of why this legislation is so important. Twice, McGill was convicted of minor crimes that did not require collection of DNA. When he was finally convicted of a DNA qualifying offense, he was linked to the rape of an 85-year-old woman, the murder of a 50-year-old woman, and the murder of a 68-year-old man. Had McGill's DNA been collected as a result of a petit larceny conviction, his connection to the rape could have been discovered and chances are he would not have been free to commit the two murders.

Governor Paterson said that his proposal, which would result in an expense of $400,000 this year and about $1.57 million annually, "is a small investment in dollars, and a huge investment in the security and safety of New York State."

Baltimore, the City that breeds said...

Member of Beth El Conservative temple on Park Heights Ave


U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg, Jr. sentenced Brian I. Satisky, age 56, of Pikesville, Maryland, today to three years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for bank fraud in connection with a check kiting scheme in which his check cashing service business withdrew money based upon inflated balances in its business accounts. Judge Legg also ordered Satisky to pay restitution totaling $12.4 million to the victim banks.

“Mr. Satisky did not use a weapon, but his specialty was stealing money from banks,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This was essentially a bank robbery scheme carried out by con artists who caused one of the largest fraud losses ever prosecuted in Maryland, resulting in actual losses of more than $12 million to local banks.”

Brian Satisky became the President of the Maryland Association of Financial Service Centers, Inc., a trade group. He served on the board of directors of Financial Service Centers of America (FiSCA) which is a national trade group representing more than 5,000 money service businesses. In June 2003, Satisky testified before Congress on behalf of FiSCA.

Brian Satisky and his brother Alec owned and operated Colleen, Inc., which their parents began as a family shoe store in the Hollingswood Shopping Center. The shoe store became their secondary business and their primary business became A&B Check Cashing, a money services company operating from 21 locations in the Baltimore metropolitan area. For a fee, A&B Check Cashing: cashed checks; sold money orders, transit passes, prepaid phone and calling card products and lottery tickets; transferred money; and provided bill payer services for Verizon and BGE.

In 2001, the business was sued in a class action law suit alleging that one of its products constituted a payday loan in violation of Maryland law. Brian Satisky and his brother settled the law suit in 2003, agreeing that they would not collect some $1.6 million in customers’ checks which had been received to repay the alleged payday loans.

In an effort to stay ahead of the business’s debt, the brothers began to “kite” checks between two of the business’s bank accounts. Each day, checks were drawn on two of the business’s bank accounts when the brothers knew A&B Check Cashing had insufficient funds to cover the checks. The checks, when cross-deposited into the two bank accounts, artificially inflated the balances of the accounts and enabled the brothers to write checks to the operating account and to third party vendors and creditors in excess of the amounts of cash their business actually had.

The scheme required that either Alec or Brian write fraudulently inflated checks every day to cross deposit into the business’s bank accounts. Whomever was to write the checks that day calculated the amount needed for the kited checks by examining the day’s legitimate deposits, the online bank balance and outstanding checks for the account at Carrollton Bank. A telephone call would then be made to the Baltimore County Savings Bank (BCSB) to obtain a telephonic message of the bank balance and outstanding checks there. Eighty percent of the checks were written by Alec, with Brian writing checks on days when Alec had his regularly scheduled day off or was on vacation. While Alec was on vacation from October 18 - 26, 2005, Brian wrote in excess of $10 million of kited checks daily to keep the kite going. The kited amounts gradually increased as A&B Check Cashing used kited funds to cover business expenses, including paying their own salaries and the costs of opening new locations.

The kite continued until it collapsed in June 2006. At that time, Alec Satisky committed suicide. BCSB lost $10.6 million and Carrollton Bank lost $1.8 million.

Anonymous said...

Chof K certified



Helmer Toro, Owner of H & H Bagels, Pleads Guilty

Chicago putz said...

The owner of a Chicago-based residential property development company was charged yesterday with defrauding the State Bank of Countryside of approximately $3.7 million in connection with loans for the development of property in the West Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. Seth M. Harris, 38, of Chicago, was charged in a single-count information filed in U.S. District Court, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Chicago, announced.

Harris was the owner of SMH Development, LLC, of Chicago, a residential property development company which specialized in the construction of single-family homes, primarily in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

According to the information, from approximately December 2007 to January 2009, Harris schemed to fraudulently obtain land and construction loans from the State Bank of Countryside, located in Countryside, Illinois. Harris allegedly sought and obtained loans totaling approximately $1,979,068 to acquire properties at 1701 and 1703 N. Dayton Street, Chicago, Illinois in part by making misrepresentations concerning Harris’s and SMH Development’s equity in real properties and their amount of debt. Specifically, Harris provided a personal financial statement to State Bank of Countryside in which he falsely represented that he and SMH Development held an ownership interest in a Deerfield, Illinois, property and were beginning construction on the Deerfield property as well as at the Dayton properties. Harris further made false verbal representations to a representative of State Bank of Countryside concerning SMH Development’s ownership of the Deerfield property as well as the amount of monthly rental income received from another property.

According to the information, Harris later sought and obtained construction loans, totaling approximately $3,746,000, to build single-family residences on the Dayton properties. In order to obtain the construction loans, Harris falsely represented to the State Bank of Countryside that the residence to be built at 1703 N. Dayton was already under contract, forging a signature on a false contract purporting to memorialize the sale of that property. Harris allegedly provided the State Bank of Countryside with the forged contract and a copy of a $500,000 escrow check that falsely purported to show a deposit for the purchaser of the 1703 N. Dayton home.

The information further alleges that, in order to draw funds from the construction loans, Harris submitted to the State Bank of Countryside forged waiver of lien forms, which contained false notarized subcontractors’ signatures and which falsely purported to show that Harris had already made payments to these subcontractors.

Harris allegedly used proceeds of the scheme for his personal benefit and caused the State Bank of Countryside to incur a loss of approximately $3,693,738.

If convicted, a bank fraud conviction is a felony and carries maximum penalties of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000

Dr. Bungalow Vantz Neuhoff said...


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing pest control company Orkin of discriminatory hiring practices in denying jobs to older workers and favoring Church of J-esus C-hrist of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) (Mormon) applicants, particularly returned missionaries. The EEOC also charged that Orkin retaliated against an applicant who complained to the company’s corporate headquarters about the alleged discrimination.

Ezri Namvar said...

An Iranian-Jewish businessman accused in a Ponzi scheme resigned from his synagogue's board.

Ezri Namvar, who was forced into involuntary bankruptcy two years ago and accused of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that lost as much as $500 million, resigned in March from his Beverly Hills synagogue board, the L.A. Jewish Journal reported. Namvar’s resignation follows a Feb. 26 report filed by the court-appointed trustees investigating Namvar’s assets and liabilities that alleged that Namvar and his family members used most of the money investors entrusted to him for risky investments and personal use.

According to the newspaper, Namvar is not facing criminal charges, but various civil suits allege that he has stopped paying dividends to investors.

Dr. Bungalow Vulff Neuhoff said...


Gray Wolves Rebound, To Neighbors' Unease

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...


Leaving the house with clean underwear is harder than you think if you own a washing machine. That's because millions of bacteria lurking in washers wind up on your clothes and then on you, according to a report from ABC News.

"If you wash a load of just underwear, there will be about 100 million E. coli in the wash water, and they can be transmitted to the next load of laundry," University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba told ABC News. "There's about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear."

Anonymous said...

Does Shafran take the ferry from Staten Island at this time?

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A Queens man was arrested this morning for allegedly making an inappropriate overture toward a teen in a men’s room aboard the Staten Island Ferry.

The 14-year-old victim was in a bathroom stall aboard the ferry when Francisco Andrade, 31, reached under the stall and touched his leg, said Detective Joseph Cavitolo, a police department spokesman.

The victim left the bathroom and told his father what had happened, and the two then informed police officers stationed on the boat.
Police Officer Gabrielle Soloway of the 120th Precinct’s ferry unit made the arrest just before 7:30 a.m.

UOJ gets results said...

June 2, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A dozen U.S. lawmakers called for a hearing that would allow litigants to make Holocaust-era insurance claims in federal courts.

"This bill would help Holocaust survivors and heirs recover on policies sold by insurance companies to their families before World War II, but where benefits have never been paid," says the letter seeking the hearing sent to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Nine Jewish members of the U.S. House of Representatives were among the bipartisan slate to sign on to the letter, which was initiated by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.).

Arthur Samberg said...


A tangled and protracted insider trading case that brought embarrassment to the Securities and Exchange Commission came to a close on Thursday when Arthur J. Samberg, a hedge fund industry giant, and Pequot Capital Management, the firm he founded, agreed to pay $28 million to settle fraud allegations.

In settling with the S.E.C., Mr. Samberg, who is 69, also agreed to be barred from working as an investment adviser. He is winding down Pequot’s operations, a process that he began last year after the S.E.C. started its second investigation into the firm’s trading.

Anonymous said...


The Securities and Exchange Commission is pursuing fraud charges against three former executives of Diebold, a maker of A.T.M.’s, after reaching a $25 million settlement with the company on Wednesday.

The agency filed civil charges against Gregory Geswein, Kevin Krakora and Sandra Miller, saying that they had manipulated the company’s books to meet earnings forecasts from 2002 through 2007. Mr. Geswein was a chief financial officer, Mr. Krakora was a controller and finance chief, and Ms. Miller was director of corporate accounting. Through their lawyers, the three disputed the S.E.C.’s charges.

Diebold’s former chief executive, Walden O’Dell, agreed to pay back about $470,000 in cash, plus stock and options.

You can run but you can't hide said...


A fugitive conman who ran a bogus hedge fund has been arrested in Poland.

A U.S. Embassy Web site announcement said Polish National Police arrested Alexsander Efrosman, also known as Alexander Besser, in Krakow Saturday.

Efrosman is a convicted white collar criminal whose hedge fund scam twice ran afoul of the CFTC—and twice earned Efrosman a federal court conviction, first in 1998 and later in 2005.

But Efrosman, a Staten Island, N.Y., resident, has proven unwilling to face up to his wrongdoing.

His latest flight from justice dated back to 2005, when he lammed it after a federal court ruled his AJR Capital and Maxim Fund bilked $5 million in investor capital.

Efrosman had returned to criminal behavior just after his release from prison, where he had been sent in 2000. Earlier, in 1998, Efrosman, before he could be sentenced to prison for running a similar hedge fund scheme, fled to France, where he was later arrested and extradited. His subsequent prison sentence lasted from 2000 to 2003.

The FBI had been heading the hunt for Efrosman, the U.S. Embassy said.

Anonymous said...


Kew Gardens said...


Look at these arrogant Bocharian putzes smiling for their mug shots.

They built that huge mansion across the street from Rav Ashkenazy's shul with the stolen money.

Abner Louima said...

The lawyers who accused cops of tampering with the underwear of a Brooklyn man who insists cops sodomized him with a baton may be in deep doo-doo.

City lawyers Wednesday asked a federal judge to sanction Michael Mineo's legal team, saying their claims last week that the hole in the plaintiff's undershorts was altered is a farce. Mineo's lawyers cited photos they say shows a mystery flap of material present in some pix and missing in others.

Mineo is suing cops involved in the alleged assault in 2008 in a subway station. Three officers were acquitted of criminal charges. Jury selection in the civil trial is scheduled for next week.

Villiamsburg said...


By Raanan Geberer
Managing Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

I myself have a fairly strong, although non-Orthodox, Jewish background, probably go to synagogue more often than most other Conservative-affiliated Jews, and have taken quite a few adult classes about Judaism and Jewish culture.

When I was working as an assistant manager for the Section 8 program in the early 1980s and one of my territories was Williamsburg, so many Williamsburg Hasidim came in and, with a straight face, told me that they were supporting a family of six on an income of $8,000 a year that the higher-ups (mainly Jewish, I might add) held a special meeting about “what to do about the Hasidim in Williamsburg.” Interestingly, you didn’t see this behavior with those Section 8 clients who were Hasidim from Crown Heights. Whether this had to do the influence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who lived in Crown Heights and stressed ethical behavior, I don’t know, but it seems likely.

Talmidei Tendler said...


The owner of a Route 17 sports rehabilitation clinic was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually assaulting a client and telling her that the alleged improper contact was part of her therapy, authorities said.

Dr. Bungalow Hundt said...


Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other?

Shmarya groupie said...


Attention, homosexuals of France: McDonald's wants you to know you are welcome at its many locations. The fast food conglomerate's French division has released a commercial, entitled "Come as you are," that depicts a pretty young man gazing mistily at an all-male class photo and talking on the phone to his paramour.

The young man's father then sits down at the table, bearing a tray laden with burgers and fries, and glances at the photograph. "Too bad your class is all boys," he says. "You could get all the girls!" The youth says nothing but smiles knowingly, and the campaign's slogan, "venez comme vous êtes," pops up onto the screen.

McDonald's may be claiming to promote equality -- if equality means having the right to eat the same crap as everyone else -- but given that the teenager in the commercial apparently can't come out to his father -- despite the fact they eat at McDonald's together! -- the message here is actually a bit sad.

Joseph Dwek said...


Four years ago, after their nephew was arrested in a massive bank fraud, Joseph and Terry Dwek went to court alleging their signatures had been forged on a $1.5 million mortgage.

They claimed Solomon Dwek — who secretly became a federal informant after his arrest in the largest federal corruption sting in New Jersey history — had taken out the loan on their Ocean Township home without their knowledge.

Their case seemed buttressed by Solomon Dwek’s open acknowledgment he had cheated his uncle out of more than $60 million in fraudulent real estate deals.

But a federal bankruptcy judge found today that Joseph Dwek decided to keep the issue of the loan "in the family," and never tried to repudiate it until he was on the hook for the money after his nephew’s arrest.

Attorneys who represented Sun National Bank in the long-running lawsuit said it was clear Solomon had acted with the authority of his uncle. "As long as the Dweks were profitable, all was good," said Joseph Blum of Philadelphia, one of the attorneys. "But when the arrangement turned not profitable, they tried to argue it wasn’t their loan; it’s a forgery, and we’re not obligated to pay."

Lubavitch goes Liberal said...


A Cathedral City church that mostly serves the gay community recently got some unlikely support in its hour of need.

During three burglaries in the course of two weeks, a laptop, netbook, camcorder and six Bibles the Rev. David Pelletier had since he was in seminary were taken from Metropolitan Community Church at 32-150 Candlewood Drive.

Then he got a call from a fellow faith leader he'd only met a couple of times — Rabbi Shimon Posner, leader of the Chabad of Rancho Mirage synagogue, a Hasidic Jewish group at 72-295 Via Marta.

Posner told Pelletier he could take anything the church needed from the Chabad's Nu4U thrift store, 69-550 Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage.

Posner said the fact the other congregation was Christian, let alone catered to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, wasn't a factor in whether to offer help

Bim Bam identity said...

The Federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability is expected to consider whether to lift a lifetime ban on gay men donating blood when it meets this month.

Gay and bisexual men of all races account for the majority of those living with HIV.

In 2006, about 1.1 million adults and adolescents lived with HIV/AIDS in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in five are unaware they're infected.

“Although today's blood supply is screened using highly sensitive tests, screening tests can be falsely negative during the ‘window period,' defined as the interval between the time when an infected individual may transmit the disease and the time when screening tests become positive,” a federal register notice reads on the committee's Web site.

Shmarya groupie said...


Sex sting draws complaints of targeting gays

Bim Bam identity said...

The Associated Press

President Barack Obama ordered government agencies Wednesday to extend additional benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, including child care services and expanded family leave.

The moves come a year after Obama signed a memorandum giving federal workers' same-sex partners a first round of benefits including visitation and dependent-care rights. At the same time he asked federal agencies to determine what other benefits could be given to domestic partners without Congress acting, and those he announced Wednesday were the results of that review.

They include child-care services and subsidies; more flexibility to use family leave to attend to the needs of domestic partners and their children; relocation benefits; giving domestic partners the same status as “family members” when federal appointments are made; and access to credit union and other memberships when those are provided to federal workers

Staten Island said...


From a quiet block on Staten Island, a marijuana kingpin ran an international pot-smuggling operation - bringing 100,000 kilos across the Canadian border, the feds say.

The feds raided the modest Buchanan Ave. house where Jonathan Braun, 27, lived with his Orthodox Jewish parents while consorting with biker gangs, court papers say.

"He's the real deal," a law enforcement source said of Braun, who has a bail hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court today. "He's huge."

Braun employed a small army of boatmen and drivers who used vehicles with hidden compartments to transport pot from Canada through the Akwesasne Native American reservations to New York, court papers say.

Proceeds from street-level dealers went back across the border - to Braun's Canadian bosses, sources said.

Braun, who has ties to the Hells Angels and Canada's West End gangs, was in charge of the organization's U.S. operation, sources said.

His weed is peddled throughout New York City and Long Island and he virtually locked up the marijuana market on Staten Island, sources said.

Before Braun was charged last week, nearly 60 members of the organization were arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

Inside his home, agents seized $30,000 in cash, at least 16 cell phones and BlackBerry devices, packaging materials and drug records that reference "hundreds of separate marijuana shipments totaling tens of thousands of kilograms," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Tiscione said in court papers.

Braun allegedly fled to Israel last year after DEA agents raided one of his stash houses in Staten Island.

"While abroad, Braun continued to direct the operations of his drug organization by using encrypted BlackBerry devices to communicate with his underlings and drug customers," Tiscione said.

After $100,000 in marijuana was stolen from a stash house in California, Braun allegedly flew out to the West Coast and whipped a worker with a belt for failing to watch the location.

The feds also intercepted text messages indicating Braun had made enemies.

"You deserve to get locked in a cage like the animal you are...[your] family will be proud of [their] son...your money is not going to be worth d---," a criminal associate warned Braun.

Neighbors on tree-lined Buchanan Ave. were floored by the allegations.

"His father is a very hard worker," said Thomas Eapen, 65. "He [Jonathan] seemed like a nice young man. I would have never imagined."

Braun's high-powered defense lawyer Gerald Shargel declined comment last night.

Shea Fishman said...


New supercomputer studies suggest it is "very likely" ocean currents will carry oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico around the tip of Florida and thousands of miles up the U.S. East Coast this summer, researchers announced Thursday.

Rahm-Bo Emmanuel said...


Rahm Emanuel Pays Property Taxes After Inquiry

Rubashkin truck driver said...

In closing arguments, the prosecution produced all kinds of evidence & paper trails about 13 year olds working overtime with dangerous machinery & chemicals for Rubashkin. This despite the denials from a bunch of Chabadniks, employees of Hershey Friedman and Rabbi Weissmandl himself.

One interesting bit of evidence introduced was a 13 year old who worked 7 DAYS A WEEK inside Agri.

I thought Rabbi Weissmandl was only turning a blind eye to chilul Shabbos with the outside trucks.

CleanerLakewood.blogspot.com said...


Bim Bam identity said...


Barack Obama’s half-brother was denied entry to the UK after being accused of a serious crime on an earlier visit, the Home Office has confirmed.

Samson Obama, who lives in Kenya, was on his way to the US presidential inauguration in January when he was stopped at East Midlands Airport.

According to the News of the World, fingerprint tests linked him to an alleged “attack” on a British woman.

A Home Office spokesman said Samson Obama was denied a visa after immigration officers noticed one of his documents was false. That led them to further inquiries.

Samson Obama, who runs a mobile phone shop outside Nairobi, had been planning to make a short break in the UK on his way to Washington.

He eventually took a connecting flight to the US without formally entering the UK.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said in general, Britain would oppose the entry of individuals where their presence was “not conducive to the public good”.

Samson Obama is one of several half-siblings of the US president.

Barack Obama Sr left his son when he was two years old and lived most of his life in Kenya, where he fathered a number of other sons and a daughter with three other wives. He died in a car crash in 1982.

Wall Street Journal said...

Return to Sender

That Gaza-bound "humanitarian aid flotilla" turns out to have been a charade, the Jerusalem Post reports. Shocking, we know:

Hamas refused on Wednesday to allow the aid equipment that was captured by the IDF aboard the flotilla ships earlier this week to enter the Gaza Strip.

"We refuse to receive the humanitarian aid until all those who were detained aboard the ships are released," said Ahmed Kurd, Minister for Social Welfare in the Hamas government said.

CNN reports that "an Irish-owned aid ship headed for Gaza is delaying its voyage for a while":

The MV Rachel Corrie, named for an American activist killed in Gaza several years ago, was expected to arrive late Friday or early Saturday off the coast of Gaza. Israel was offering to unload it in its Ashdod port, screen the material and then deliver it to Gaza, but fears of another high-seas confrontation were in the offing.

Corrie, of course, was the terror advocate who caused her own accidental death when she stood in front of an Israeli bulldozer that was filling a tunnel used to smuggle weapons in from Egypt.

Politico, meanwhile, reports that Vice President Biden has weighed in on the Monday incident in which several violent peace activists were killed:

"I think Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest. I put all this back on two things: one, Hamas, and, two, Israel's need to be more generous relative to the Palestinian people who are in trouble in Gaza," Biden said, according to a transcript of the interview, in which he went on to discuss Hamas's control of Gaza:
"[The Israelis have] said, 'Here you go. You're in the Mediterranean. This ship--if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we'll get the stuff into Gaza.' So what's the big deal here? What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it's legitimate for Israel to say, 'I don't know what's on that ship. These guys are dropping eight--3,000 rockets on my people,' " Biden said.

We don't say this often, but Joe Biden makes a lot of sense.

Shmarya gets results said...

Rep. Artur Davis was hoping to become the first black governor of Alabama, CNN reports:

Had the four-term congressman come out on top, he could have become Alabama's first black governor and only the third elected black governor in United States history.
The historical implications of a Davis victory were not lost on the Deep South. A black man could have taken the oath of office near where Gov. George Wallace declared "Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!" in his 1963 inaugural address and where Jefferson Davis took the oath of office as president of the Confederate States of America in 1861.

But it was not to be. Although Davis had led in the polls, the final results had Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks "stomping Davis with more than 60 percent of the vote." Sadly, much of the opposition to Davis was expressly racial:

Davis opted against soliciting the endorsements of the major black political organizations in the state, all of which went to Sparks.

The move highlighted the chasm between Davis, 42, and black establishment groups, headed by civil rights leaders like Democratic activist Joe Reed and former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington.

They felt that Davis had shunned his own race, personally insulted them with his campaign and stood no chance against a Republican candidate in November, Browder said.

There was a time, not so long ago, when white race-consciousness would have kept a black man from the governor's mansion in Montgomery. So we suppose Davis's loss reflects progress of a sort.

Letoyeles harabim said...


For Very Young, Peril Lurks in Lithium Cell Batteries


13-month-old Aidan Truett of Hamilton, Ohio, developed what seemed like an upper respiratory infection. He lost interest in food & vomited, but doctors attributed it to a virus. After 9 days of severe symptoms & doctor visits, the hospital ordered an X-ray to look for pneumonia.

What they found was totally unexpected. The child had ingested a button battery, one of those flat silver discs used to power remote controls, toys, musical greeting cards, bathroom scales & other electronics.

The battery was surgically removed. But what neither doctors nor his parents realized was that the damage had been done. The battery’s current set off a chemical reaction in the child’s esophagus, burning through the esophageal wall & attacking the aorta. Aidan began coughing blood & soon died.

To this day, Aidan’s parents don’t know where the battery came from. “This is something I would never want another parent to live with,” said Aidan’s mother.

Such deaths are extremely rare. There were fewer than 10 documented during the last 6 years. But ingestion of lithium cell batteries, which children may mistake for candy & elderly adults for medication, is surprisingly common, documented this week in 2 reports in the journal Pediatrics.

3,500 cases of button cell ingestion are reported annually to poison control. But while swallowing batteries has occurred for years, the development of stronger lithium cells has increased severe complications.

Among serious complications, the chemical reaction triggered by batteries can damage vocal cords, leaving children with a lifelong whisper. Damage to the gastrointestinal tract means some children require feeding tubes & multiple surgeries. “The injuries are so serious,” said Dr. Toby Litovitz, director of Pediatrics. “It’s like drain opener. It’s not something you want in your child.”

The batteries that pose the greatest risk are those that begin with the # 20, for 20 millimeters. They are larger & stronger than older models. Batteries numbered 2032, 2025 & 2016 are responsible for 90% of serious injuries.

Federal rules require toys to have battery compartments that are locked with screws. But devices intended for adults — like bathroom scales & remote controls — often hold batteries with a simple cover that can fall off or be removed easily.

That’s what happened when 13-month-old Kaiden Vasquez of Bristow, Va., picked up the remote control to his parent’s iPod dock. Somehow, he dislodged the battery and swallowed it. But his parents didn't notice the missing battery when he began crying hysterically. Emergency room doctors diagnosed flu, but later the pediatrician took an X-ray & saw what he thought was a quarter. When the item was removed, doctors discovered the battery. The battery burned a hole in his esophagus & trachea & he required a feeding tube & 2 months of home nursing.

Kaiden has recovered, although severe reflux damaged his teeth. “I don’t allow any disc batteries in my home,” said Kaiden’s mother. “I never thought a remote would do so much damage to my child.”

In 60% of cases involving children under 6, the child removed the battery from the device. The problem is most parents are not even aware, yet the battery begins to cause severe damage within just 2 hours of ingestion.

Dr. Litovitz said the problem needs to be addressed by manufacturers to secure battery compartments in all devices.

“Children have access to remotes, watches, garage openers,” she said. “Our major pitch is to get the industry to do something, but parents also need to be dealing with batteries with a lot more vigilance.”

Yerachmiel Lopin, frumfollies blogger said...

Dascalowitz Attempted to Molest Another Boy While Out on Bail
by Yerachmiel Lopin on 06/04/2010

Nuchem Rosenberg’s blog alleges that Meir Dascolowitz attempted to sexually assault a boy in a mikvah in Williamsburg this morning. Readers of the Frum Follies may remember Dascolowitz was arrested on May 11, arraigned on May 12 when cash bail was set at $75,000, and met his bail with the proceeds of pidyon shvuyim fundraising. He has also since claimed he himself was molested by Baruch Lebovits who is now serving a 10-32 year sentence for molesting a teen boy.

Three weeks ago I said:

I am told that there is a collection being made to secure bail for the recently arrested molester, Meir Dascalowitz. If so, I wonder; are they also collecting for a mashgiach temimi to make sure he does not molest any additional kids while he is out on bail. If not we may end up having aveirah haboh b’mitzvah.

Alas, we do indeed have an aveirah haboh b’mitzvah.

Yerachmiel Lopin, frumfollies blogger said...

nuchem Rosenberg has a tidy blog. Much more navigable than his old klafkosher website which needs some maintenance.


Maimonides Hospital Horror Show said...


About one in five women are obese when they become pregnant according to researchers with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And medical evidence suggests that obesity might be contributing to record-high rates of Caesarean sections and leading to more birth defects and deaths for mothers and babies.

At Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, where 38 percent of women giving birth are obese ...

(It costs $200,000 for premature birth complications when the mother is obese as opposed to $13,000 for a normal delivery)

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