Tuesday, January 25, 2005

First, a happy Tu B'Shevat to all!

Here are today's top stories:

U.N. Marks Liberation of Nazi Camps 60 Years Ago
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 24 - The General Assembly commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps on Monday with pledges of "never again" and expressions of concern over whether genocide could still occur.

"I am convinced if the world had listened to those of us who tried to speak, we may have prevented Darfur, Cambodia, Bosnia and naturally Rwanda," said Elie Weisel, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, author and Auschwitz survivor.

He ended his remarks saying, "The question I have is, 'Will the world ever learn?' "

The daylong session, which began and ended with a minute of silence, was the first such commemoration at the General Assembly, where frequent denunciations of Israeli policy have stirred accusations of anti-Semitism. In 2003, a resolution condemning anti-Semitism was withdrawn when it ran into opposition from Arab and Muslim nations.
"On occasions like this, rhetoric comes easily," Secretary General Kofi Annan said.

Yes, he would know about how easy rhetoric is...

"We rightly say, 'Never again.' But action is much harder. Since the Holocaust the world has, to its shame, failed more that once to prevent or halt genocide."
Yup, on your watch no less!

Here's the text of Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's speech to the GA, at which he said:

"For six million Jews, the establishment of the State of Israel and of the United Nations occurred too late...The remaining 'dry bones' of those who survived came to life through the establishment of the State of Israel... We are here to ensure that such a terrible thing never happens again."

President Bush is sending a delegation to Auschwitz, led by Vice President Cheney. (He also sent a delegation to the UN though there were rumors that Sec. Rumsfeld was going to lead it, not Wolfowitz.)

Mossad: Iran to Reach Point of No Return on Nukes This Year

Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that by the end of this year, Iran will have reached the point of no return in its technology for manufacturing nuclear bombs.
Three to four years later, the Iranians will be able to build a nuclear bomb.
Dagan said there are hints of nuclear programs underway in other Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Dagan said Iran was almost finished building a facility for manufacturing nuclear fuel and had reached industrial-scale production of enriched uranium.
He said Syrian calls for peace talks were only meant to please the Americans, and that fundamentally there is no difference between Bashar Assad's positions and those of his late father, Hafez Assad.
Here's some proof that Arafat did, in fact, control the Oslo War:

Relative quiet in Gaza Strip, as PA policemen do their job

On Monday there were only a few cases of isolated gunfire in the Gaza Strip. The PA will deploy forces in the southern Gaza Strip near Rafah and Khan Yunis on Tuesday, Israel Radio reported. The Popular Front and the Democratic Front, Abu Rish's breakaway Fatah faction, and the Popular Resistance Committees are apparently moving into areas where Hamas and Islamic Jihad have ceased activity, and the shooting incidents are being interpreted as attempts to raise the price the PA will have to pay for them to cease their fire.
Overnight Monday, Palestinians opened fire on Israeli cars traveling on the Kissufim route. A large explosion was heard near Gaza City and IDF officials said it was caused when Palestinians tried to fire a rocket. (Ha'aretz)
However, Arutz Sheva disagrees:

"The ceasefire exists only in the media," says longtime Gaza resident Datia Yitzchaki. The Gush Katif entrance was closed for three hours last night after terrorists fired at and hit an army truck.
The truck was hit at the Kisufim Junction into Gush Katif, and the army closed the road while soldiers combed the area. On Sunday, a mortar shell was fired at the community of Kfar Yam, and an explosive device was activated near Ganei Tal. No one was hurt, but Yitzchaki, who once served as the region's official spokesperson, says, "The Palestinian terrorists continue doing what they know how to do: try to murder Jews."

"The gestures and restriction-easings that the government plans to give Abu Mazen," Yitzchaki told Arutz-7 last night, "will simply enable them to better prepare for their next attack upon us."

A Gush Katif neighborhood committee called upon the regional IDF Commander, Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kokhavi, to take genuine remedial steps in response to last night's shooting, and not merely to "provide aspirin for a terminally ill patient."

Natural-born givers
Some people may be genetically programmed to do good, Israeli researchers believe.

According to a study conducted by a team of psychologists from Herzog Memorial Hospital and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a link exists between selfless behavior and a gene variant on chromosome No. 11. The chief researcher, professor Richard Ebstein, said surveys indicate that people with this gene variant get a good feeling from doing good.

“While risk-takers receive some kind of thrill or rush — a benefit to themselves — people who are altruistic receive no discernable benefit from their philanthropy, and in extreme cases, like running into a fire to save a stranger, put themselves at risk,” Ebstein told the Web site Israel21c.org. “People with the altruism gene may do good works because they get more of a thrill.” The study is described in the current edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

Isn't this next piece halacha? Why the big deal all of the sudden?
Lawmakers see red
An Israeli rabbi stirred feminist ire by likening women who wear red to prostitutes.

Word of the ban on women’s red clothing issued by Eliyahu Abergil, chief religious judge of Beersheba, reached Jerusalem on Monday. In response, several women lawmakers arrived in the Knesset decked out in — red. “It’s not up to a rabbi to tell us whether to wear black or red or any other color,” said Erela Golan of the secular Shinui Party. “Just because we wear red does not make us prostitutes.”

Arutz Sheva reports that chareidi units of the IDF will be dismantled beginning in March. The "logic" provided here is unconvincing.
A new storm is brewing in the religious-Zionist public, with the decision by IDF Personnel Corps Commander Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern to disband the special yeshivat hesder units in the army.
Beginning with the upcoming recruitment in March, the hesder yeshiva students – who combine army service with yeshiva study in a five-year combined program – will not serve in special hesder companies. Instead, they will be dispersed in smaller groups throughout larger battalions.
"We have no interest in ideological units in the army," said Stern, himself an observant Jew, to Army Radio today. "The IDF is an army of the people, and people should get to know each other, and not think that the other side has horns." He implied that even the Nachal Hareidi - special units that enabled many hareidi-religious soldiers to serve in the army because of their nearly-total separate nature - might be dismantled as well.
The special hesder units were established to enable the observant soldiers to pray together and otherwise their religious way of life.
Stern denied that the new decision's timing is connected with the scheduled disengagement and a fear that entire units might refuse expulsion orders.
"There is no phenomenon of refusal in the army," said Stern, "though we are taking preventive measures so that it will not sprout in the future."
MK Effie Eitam, a Brig.-Gen. in the reserves, is up in arms at the attempt to destroy the hesder units. "I commanded these units very often during my 30 years in the army... No one ever considered them to be ideological units; they are combat units for all intents and purposes. The timing of this decision is clearly political, and the army has allowed itself to become embroiled in the public political controversy."
Eitam said he plans to fight the decision: "I will submit a Knesset query to the Defense Minister, I will bring it up for debate in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and I will speak with the Chief of Staff as well."
Rabbi David Stav, head of the Petach Tikvah hesder yeshiva, accused Gen. Stern of acting "without integrity" in making such a unilateral decision: "He asked us what we think, we told him we object - and then he suddenly makes this extreme decision," Rabbi Stav said. "This is the first time such a thing has been done, without consultation and without trying to reach agreement." He said that it is not true that the yeshiva soldiers do not mix with the regular army: "After ten months in the army, in any event, they are dispersed in different units."
Another concern is the increasing number of young female soldiers serving in combat and other units in the army – a situation with which the yeshivot hesder wish to avoid coming in contact. One former hesder student told Arutz-7 that this will apparently not be the main problem: "The battalions [gdudim] will remain the same [all-male in most cases – ed.], and the new change will affect mainly the companies [made up of approximately 30 soldiers each]. Until now, in many cases, one of the three companies in a battalion was made up of hesder soldiers; now, according to what we understand, the hesder students will be spread out among each of the companies. For soldiers coming straight out of yeshiva, this will be a very difficult beginning of their army service."
One non-religious former commander of hesder students speaking on Army Radio about the new move was asked to grade their professional performance. "On a scale of one to ten," he said, "I give them eleven."
Rabbi Stav said this morning that the yeshiva heads will convene and decide on their next steps, "which may include a petition to the Supreme Court, and possibly more extreme steps."
Later in the day, MK Zevulun Orlev of the NRP said that both Gen. Stern and yeshiva heads had expressed willingness to meet and discuss the matter. "The decision's timing obligates both sides to separate it from the disengagement issue," Orlev said, "and to find the right combination that will both manifest the unique nature of the hesder students' service and allow the army to integrate them in a way that will help all the battalions."
MK Orlev called upon politicians to stay out of the issue and to allow the sides to solve the problem themselves.
36 TV complaints rejected by FCC
The Federal Communications Commission denied 36 indecency complaints yesterday, a move that is expected to further confuse broadcasters about what is permitted on the public airwaves.
All 36 complaints were generated by the Parents Television Council, the conservative watchdog group that has criticized the FCC's yearlong crackdown on indecency, saying it has not been tough enough on broadcasters.
The complaints stem from episodes of TV programs that aired between Oct. 29, 2001, and Feb. 11, 2004. Several of the episodes cited were from shows such as "NYPD Blue," "Dawson's Creek" and "Boston Public" in which characters use a term that can be interpreted as another word for "jerk."
Other complaints focused on episodes of "Friends," "Will & Grace," "Scrubs" and other programs that featured characters discussing sexual matters.
"The commission concluded that, in context, none of the segments were patently offensive under contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, and thus not indecent. The commission also found that the material was not profane, in context," according to a statement issued from the agency.
Lara Mahaney, a Parents Television Council spokeswoman, said it is "outrageous that the FCC has deemed it appropriate for children to hear words at 8 o'clock or 7 o'clock at night that most newspapers aren't going to print when they write this story."
Having been home on vacation for the past two weeks and, unfortunately, having seen some of the drivel that passes as "entertainment" on the tube these days, I must admit that while I'm not sure the lack of modesty and discussion of risque topics is "patently offensive" especially in this day and age, it is quite inappropriate and I surely would not sit my child down in front of the television to watch copious amounts of it for hours on end. It certainly does contribute to the slippery slope we're going down as a society and does not set a good example for today's youth. I'll stop with the righteous indignation right here. I don't think the FCC needs to get involved here but I think there should be some mechanism for expressing our opinion that this stuff is just poison and not worthy of being broadcast.

But at least we'll have a record of the shows as:

Goggle to Release TV Search Service
Google Inc. plans to unveil today a test version of a way for computer users to search the content of television programs, the next step in the company's efforts to make information available to computer users from a growing number of sources.
Dubbed Google Video, the new TV service is limited, since it provides only still shots and texts of certain programs broadcast since December on the Public Broadcasting Service, C-SPAN, Fox News and certain other stations. The company's long-term strategy is to enable computer users not only to search for still shots and text from television programs but also to provide them with a way to replay TV programs on their computers, although it is unclear how long that might take to become available.

Administration To Request $80 Billion Supplemental For Wars.
In their lead stories, NBC and CBS last night reported on the Administration’s expected request of an $80 billion supplemental spending package for Iraq and Afghanistan. ABC World News Tonight did not report the story. NBC Nightly News (1/24, lead story, 4:15, Miklaszewski), which dedicated the lead story to the Pentagon request and military intelligence, noted that, “added to the $25 billion already spent in emergency funding this fiscal year, that brings the total to $105 billion. By comparison, that’s 13 times the budget for the entire Environmental Protection Agency.” CBS Evening News (1/24, lead story, 2:30, Roberts) reported the story, saying, “As the election clock ticks down, the intensity of the struggle for Iraq’s future deepens, and it grows ever more costly for US taxpayers.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/25, Faffe, Karp) mentions the Administration’s expected request, while USA Today (1/25, Wold) and some wire services devote stories to it this morning. USA Today reports the Administration “plans to announce” the request this morning, according to a “top Congressional budget aide with direct knowledge of the White House plan.” Meanwhile, “White House officials refused to comment on the spending package.” USA Today adds, “The forthcoming request for this year’s funding underscored how the war spending has exceeded initial White House estimates. Early on, then-presidential economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey placed Iraq costs at as much as $200 billion.”
The AP (1/25) says the package “will not formally be sent to Congress until after President Bush introduces his 2006 budget on Feb. 7.” But “aides, speaking on condition of anonymity,” said White House budget chief Joshua Bolten or “other administration officials would describe the spending request publicly Tuesday.” Knight Ridder (1/25, Landay) reports “the request for the additional money, first reported Monday afternoon by Reuters, is among the latest signals that the administration expects the bloodshed in Iraq to continue well beyond Sunday’s election for an interim Iraqi assembly.”
CBS Radio adds that this brings the total tab for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up to one quarter of a billion dollars.

Iraqi Security Forces Accused Of Torturing Detainees.
The Financial Times (1/25, Khalaf, Negus) reports, “Iraqi security forces stand accused by a leading international human rights organisation of committing systematic torture against detainees, raising alarm over the conduct of Iraq’s post-war interim government less than a week before the country’s first democratic elections.” In a report issued on Tuesday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch “calls on the Iraqi government to investigate widespread abuses and urges the US to increase the number of advisers at detention centres run by the Iraqi ministry of the interior.” [So now they want more US soldiers in the prisons though they wanted them out just a few months ago...] In an analysis piece, the Financial Times (1/25, Rasan, Negus) reports “many police and others involved” in the Iraqi justice system “think that torture is justified, given that the rule of law has virtually collapsed, and guerrillas and criminal gangs are often better armed than the police.”
The Washington Post (1/25, A10, Struck) headlines its story “Torture in Iraq Still Routine, Report Says,” and says, “Twenty months after Saddam Hussein’s government was toppled and its torture chambers unlocked, Iraqis are again being routinely beaten, hung by their wrists and shocked with electrical wires, according to a report by a human rights organization.” The Post “contacted several people whose cases were included in the report. They declined to speak to a reporter, saying they feared retaliation by police.”
First the Yanks, then the Brits, followed by the Danes, and now the Iraqis are actually torturing their own citizens. Maybe it's retribution for the Mukhabarat but it's very telling. It's scary to see what happens to people when they put army uniforms (and with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz I'm reminded of the study done regarding following orders from authority figures...power is a scary thing sometimes.).


Army Documents Reveal Hundreds Of Abuse Allegations Against US Troops.
USA Today (1/25, Locy, Johnson, Frank) reports, “Hundreds of abuse allegations have been made against US troops and other government workers in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to
Army documents.” The documents, which “detail Army investigations into such allegations,” were made public yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU “has obtained thousands of documents in response to a lawsuit it filed seeking government records of abuse
allegations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba.” USA Today adds, “In many cases, investigators did not find enough evidence to support the allegations.”
The Baltimore Sun (1/25, Gibson) reports that the documents “further refute government claims last year that photographs from Abu Ghraib showed isolated pranks of a few low-ranking soldiers.”
Alleged Abuses Described.
The Los Angeles Times (1/25, Hendren) reports, “Pentagon documents released today disclosed a series of alleged abuses of Iraqi detainees at a little-known converted palace used as a prison north of Baghdad, including the sodomy of a handicapped man and the death of his brother, whose body was tossed atop his imprisoned sister.”
The Baltimore Sun (1/25, Gibson) reports, “The records include new allegations of forced sodomy, the use of dogs to frighten detainees and severe beatings of hooded and handcuffed prisoners. In one case, investigators determined that a commander and three members of an Army Special Forces unit -- none of whom was publicly identified -- had committed murder by luring an Afghan civilian to a roadblock before detaining him and shooting him.”
The New York Times (1/25, Lewis) says the report also alleges “the use of cigarettes to burn prisoners.” The Times also reports that, in the documents, “it is not always clear whether every case described is a new incident; many details, including the names of victims and of the accused, were blacked out before the documents were provided to the ACLU as part of its litigation.”
After Asa Hutchinson was passed over not once but twice to be the second DHS Sec. he resigned yesterday. The Administration was quick to find a replacement:

Bush Nominates Engineering Executive To Be Deputy DHS Secretary.
The Washington Post (1/25, A13, Mintz) reports, “President Bush yesterday nominated an executive with a leading engineering company to be the second-in-command at the Department of Homeland Security. The executive, Michael P. Jackson, also served as the deputy secretary at the Transportation Department from 2001 to 2003.” The Post says Jackson “has a reputation as an effective manager” and adds that White House officials and members of Congress want the new DHS secretary, Michael Chertoff, “to make management of the 180,000- employee department…more rigorous and businesslike.” (In similar reports, The AP and Reuters also note Jackson’s nomination, while the New York Times (1/25) publishes a 4 portion of the Reuters piece in its “National Briefings” section.)
Senate leaders unveiled their agenda for the coming session yesterday:
Senate Republican and Democrats yesterday unveiled their diverging agendas for the upcoming session of Congress. In announcing their plans for the top ten bills, the AP (1/25) reports Senate Republicans “say the revamping of Social Security is their top legislative goal of 2005, with further tax cuts, energy independence and lawsuit limits listed as other issues that will get their attention in the coming months.” Democrats revealed “a list that emphasizes health, education and jobs. It omits many of the issues, including Social Security, that President Bush and his GOP allies want this Congress to enact.” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist “said at a news conference that S.1, the designation of the first Senate bill to be introduced in the new session, ‘has been reserved for what is probably the most important 6 domestic legislation we will address in this Congress, and that is modernizing and strengthening the Social Security program.’”
USA Today (1/25, Welch) reports Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist “said Monday that shoring up social security is the Senate's top legislative priority in 2005 and that any proposal will include personal investment accounts.” Frist said, “It's going to require some bold action.”
The Washington Post (1/25, Babington) reports Senate Republican leaders made “two notable omissions -- changes to immigration laws and a ban on same-sex marriage” which “underscored tensions with their conservative wing.” Senate Democrats’ priorities included “increases in military personnel, the minimum wage and education spending.”
The Washington Times (1/25, Dinan) reports both Democrats and Republicans “included bills to expand access to health care, and though both parties target education, Republicans want to advance the No Child Left Behind education law Mr. Bush pushed through in 2001, while Democrats are calling for more education funding and a reexamination of the measure.”
And, only seven days late:
Vote On Rice Nomination Expected Wednesday.
The AP (1/25) reports, “Condoleezza Rice is no longer on a fast track to Senate confirmation as secretary of state, but the slowdown appears to be temporary as Democratic foes of the war in Iraq line up to have their say.” Nine hours “have been set aside Tuesday for debate, divided equally between Democrats and Republicans.”
Can't you think of a better way to spend nine hours of Congress' time cuz I surely can. Then:
On Wednesday, “a brief series of statements is expected -- and then the vote to put her in charge of U.S. diplomacy.”
The word "obstructionist" to mind more than anything. I'm not deep enough into the judicial nominations to weigh in on that yet (perhaps later this year if things go as planned) but considering the fact that they don't really want to block her confirmation, merely play politics for a little longer, it's a slap in her face, a slap in her boss' face, and they're tarnishing the image of the woman who will be sent abroad to represent us in foreign capitals. If she doesn't even have the support of the legislature of the government she's representing, why should anyone take her seriously elsewhere? Anyway, (contrary to this blog) Barbara Boxer doesn't have much of a political future...unless Hillary appoints her to some agency if hell freezes over and she wins the election. That's a scary thought, let's move on.

Here's some juicy stuff. Way back during the campaign season it was reported that some 25 vehicles of GOP GOTV vehicles had their tires slashed and it seemed obvious it was done by the Dems. Well, here's your answer: the culprits actually include the son of a House Rep!

Five Kerry-Edwards Campaign Staffers Charged In GOP Tire Slashings.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1/25, Nunnally) reports, “Five Kerry- Edwards campaign staffers, including the sons of two prominent Milwaukee Democrats, were charged Monday with the election day tire slashings of 25 get-out-the-vote vehicles rented by Republicans. Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann announced the felony charges – each of which could result in a 3 1/2-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.” The Journal Sentinel notes that the men charged “include Michael Pratt, 32, the son of former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, and Sowande A. Omokunde, 25, the son of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee).” The Washington Post/AP (1/25, A2) notes, “Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Seth Boffeli said the five were paid employees of the presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) but were not acting on behalf of the campaign or party.”
Of course they weren't acting on behalf of the campaign or party...riiiight.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall for this one:

Bush, Chirac To Meet Next Month In Brussels.
The Washington Times (1/25, Lakely) reports, “President Bush will host a ‘working dinner’ with French President Jacques Chirac, who opposed the war in Iraq, when he visits European leaders in Brussels next month, the first face-toface meeting between the two men since Mr. Bush was reelected. Mr. Bush's Feb. 21 meeting with Mr. Chirac conforms to his promise to reach out to European leaders in his second term and will kick off a three-nation trip to Belgium, Germany and Slovakia.
Hmm, I wonder if freedom fries will be on the menu that evening.

Wow, I guess he's got guts for this one, right?

Annan Urges UN To Prosecute Darfur War Criminals.
The Washington Post (1/25, A8, Lynch) reports, “The U.N. General Assembly on Monday held its first commemoration of the liberation of Nazi death camps at the end of World War II, as Secretary General Kofi Annan urged key U.N. members to prosecute war criminals in Darfur, Sudan.” Annan “did not provide a detailed plan to halt the killing in Darfur. Instead, he urged Security Council members to ensure that ‘the perpetrators are held accountable’ for their crimes.”
What a joke...DUH!

After denying the Washington Post story on Sunday and the NYTimes article on Monday, the Pentagon has finally come clean-ahead of the inevitable Congressional hearings.

Spy teams confirmed
The Pentagon yesterday confirmed plans to field new military spy teams to assist battlefield commanders with tasks traditionally carried out by the CIA but denied the move would encroach onto the intelligence agency's turf.

Two senior Pentagon officials said the military already has forces in Iraq and Afghanistan doing similar work - citing a defense linguist's efforts in the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003 - but now wants to formalize what has been a largely ad-hoc operation.

"We were fighting a long-term war with basically a pickup team," said one of the Defense officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. None of the teams, formally authorized in this year's budget, have been deployed yet.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon sent its top intelligence official, Stephen Cambone, to Capitol Hill yesterday to explain the new teams which some lawmakers suggested may have skirted congressional oversight and not been fully coordinated with the CIA. Republicans, however, showed little appetite for congressional hearings on the topic.

At the Pentagon, the officials said the roughly 10-person teams would include linguists, interrogators and case officers focused on gathering "human intelligence." That is information gathered by spies and other human sources, not through electronic eavesdropping or other technical means.

Such foreign spying traditionally has been under CIA purview, but the officials insisted that the military efforts were designed to augment, not replace, CIA efforts. One official noted that the teams' funding is controlled by the CIA chief in the foreign intelligence budget.

Still, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has moved aggressively to expand the Pentagon's own intelligence-gathering activities since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks - moves some in the intelligence community view as an effort to wrest greater control of the effort from the CIA.

Rumsfeld, for instance, had expressed strong reservations about the idea of the national intelligence director overseeing all CIA and Defense Department initiatives, as recommended by the 9/11 commission. And in late 2003, Rumsfeld created a new position of undersecretary of defense for intelligence and named one of his top deputies, Cambone.

But the Defense officials yesterday insisted that the "Strategic Support Teams" would merely provide senior commanders with exactly the kind of on-the-ground information they need to fight the war on terror.

Exactly how these teams will operate remained unclear yesterday, as the senior officials declined to say, for instance, even how many would exist. They will operate in a "clandestine" manner - meaning that their efforts are meant to go undetected - but not as "covert" operators, which would mean that the U.S. government would disavow responsibility for their operation.

The units were first reported Sunday by the Washington Post, but the Pentagon denied a contention in the article that Rumsfeld had sought to reinterpret or "bend" the law to cover these new units. The officials yesterday said the activities of the units can be carried under existing authorities.

Here's an article from today's NYTimes about unhealthy food in the poor 'hoods of NYC. The style of the article makes it enjoyable and it's an article that I'm sure we'll be seeing more of in the future.

Lastly, here's an article regarding the disengagement plan from the OU's current "Jewish Action." Thoughts on it are appreciated.


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