Sunday, March 31, 2019

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's relentless drive to be given credit


President Donald Trump's relentless drive to be given credit for all manner of things suffused his speech to Michigan supporters this past week.
These efforts are largely familiar by now: He counts job gains from the Obama era as his own, rebrands his predecessor's veterans health care initiative as a Trump achievement, attributes auto factory expansion long in the making to his leadership, and hails a Republican rescue of health care that has not materialized.
But there was a new one on Thursday night. "We have some breaking news!" he said. "Can you handle it? I don't think you can handle it."
He then declared that after decades of failure by lawmakers to get money to clean up the Great Lakes, he was coming ahead with $300 million for that effort. The crowd roared.
But the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was getting that money already . Trump had proposed slashing it.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Rockland declares state of emergency over measles outbreak, bars unvaccinated from public places

New York (WABC) -- Rockland County has declared a state of emergency over the ongoing measles outbreak, with Executive Ed Day announcing that non-vaccinated minors are now barred from public places. 

Now in effect, anyone who is under 18 years of age and is not vaccinated against the measles is prohibited from public places until the declaration expires in 30 days or until they receive the MMR vaccination. 

Officials said law enforcement will not be patrolling the streets or asking for vaccination records, but if someone is found in violation of the declaration, their case will be referred to the district attorney's office. 

Parents will also be held accountable for their children if they are found in violation of the state of emergency, and could face fines and possible jail time. 

Yona Weinberg

Yona Weinberg Slander Trial Continues Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 28, the next hearing of registered sex offender Yona Weinberg's slander trial against me will take place via teleconference from New York City. The hearing centers on one of Weinberg’s claims, namely that I ruined his reputation by falsely accusing him of being a fugitive from the United States, having posted on Twitter that he fled from Brooklyn to Israel fearing arrest for allegedly harming yet another child. 

For the record, this claim could or should have been rejected outright since a major media outlet had previously published this information The Daily News -- Convicted Sex Offender Flees on January 15, 2015, before my first tweet about Weinberg.   

The Israeli judge hearing this case declared NYPD Detective Fehrenbach’s letter inadmissible, because his written testimony was not subject to cross-examination. Therefore, tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. N.Y. Time, I will be with Detective Fehrenbach when he testifies in Israeli court via teleconference from New York so he can be cross examined and his testimony accepted.  

I am deeply committed to protecting the right of child safety advocates to warn Israeli parents of the life-threatening danger child abusers like Yona Weinberg present to their children, and will fight this lawsuit to the very end – and beyond if needed.



Dear Readers,

At the Weinberg slander trial teleconference hearing today, the NYC Detective who was in charge of the Weinberg case in 2014, clearly stated that there is an active charge against Yona Weinberg and that Weinberg would be arrested as soon as he steps on American soil.

Equally important, or perhaps even more so, when the judge asked Weinberg’s American lawyer to share his understanding of Weinberg’s status, the lawyer responded thatWeinberg is, in fact, facing charges in New York and may be arrested upon his return.

So; while is it never wise to predict the outcome of a court case, it can be stated with certainty that we are in a far better position now than we were before the hearing, as Weinberg’s claim that I slandered him by calling him a "fugitive" seems to have disintegrated. 

Moving forward, sometime after Pesach,

  • Weinberg will submit his final statement to the judge.
  • We will be given time to review it, and then submit our final statement.
  • Once the judge receives and reviews both our statements, she will issue her ruling.

Thank you for your support and emails of encouragement.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Scientists rise up against statistical significance


Let’s be clear about what must stop: we should never conclude there is ‘no difference’ or ‘no association’ just because a P value is larger than a threshold such as 0.05 or, equivalently, because a confidence interval includes zero. Neither should we conclude that two studies conflict because one had a statistically significant result and the other did not. These errors waste research efforts and misinform policy decisions.

Guest Post Short and Sweet, Hold the Gloat

Donald Trump told the truth when he said there was no collusion. He did not obstruct justice by opposing those who maintained the possibility he colluded.

Those who were overly suspicious that he colluded, were deluded into making his alleged collusion their reality, who became obsessed with prosecuting him for collusion, and who maintained he was narcissic and insane, and who made power grabs to dislodge him from the Oval Office, they are the crazy ones.

From the losing Presidential candidate to much of the media, to some Democratic elected officials, to Deep State bureaucrats, they pinned their hopes on something that existed only in their minds.

No winners here. Honest men and women were wounded; the scurrilous and devious are defeated.


Hamas officials have said that the rocket which struck a home in central Israel injuring seven civilians was fired from the Gaza Strip by mistake, Israeli media reported Monday morning.

According to the reports after the long-range J-80 rocket was fired by Hamas operatives by mistake, the group evacuated positions across the coastal enclave in anticipation for an Israeli retaliation.

Trump's Golan Heights decision: It's all about Iran, stupid!

Since President Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, political pundits of both parties claim to understand the rationale of the POTUS for his announcement. They are all wrong! To paraphrase James Carville’s famous line, “It’s All About Iran Stupid.” The reason for the president’s announcement was to protect American interests in the Middle East.
Iran has deployed several thousand Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps troops Syria to help Assad. Additionally, Iran has brought in its buddy Hezbollah to join in on the war. To put the icing on the Iranian cake, Iran’s bought in thousands of Shiite fighters, paid by Tehran and following Iran’s orders.
But don’t think that Iran is trying to help their buddy Assad out of the goodness of their collective hearts. Its presence in Syria helps the rogue regime fulfill two interrelated strategic objectives.

A Secret Database of Child Abuse

In March 1997, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses, sent a letter to each of its 10,883 U.S. congregations, and to many more congregations worldwide. The organization was concerned about the legal risk posed by possible child molesters within its ranks. The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator: Write a detailed report answering 12 questions—Was this a onetime occurrence, or did the accused have a history of child molestation? How is the accused viewed within the community? Does anyone else know about the abuse?—and mail it to Watchtower’s headquarters in a special blue envelope. Keep a copy of the report in your congregation’s confidential file, the instructions continued, and do not share it with anyone.

Thus did the Jehovah’s Witnesses build what might be the world’s largest database of undocumented child molesters: at least two decades’ worth of names and addresses—likely numbering in the tens of thousands—and detailed acts of alleged abuse, most of which have never been shared with law enforcement, all scanned and searchable in a Microsoft SharePoint file. In recent decades, much of the world’s attention to allegations of abuse has focused on the Catholic Church and other religious groups. Less notice has been paid to the abuse among the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian sect with more than 8.5 million members. Yet all this time, rather than comply with multiple court orders to release the information contained in its database, Watchtower has paid millions of dollars to keep it secret, even from the survivors whose stories are contained within.

That effort has been remarkably successful—until recently.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Schwarzenegger Steps In to Defend John McCain’s Legacy

Arnold Schwarzenegger and John McCain saw in each other a willingness to buck the Republican Party and became fast friends and political allies. Mindful of McCain’s legacy, the former California governor said on Wednesday that he couldn’t stay silent in the face of President Donald Trump’s recent spate of attacks on the late senator.
He told me that Trump’s swipes at McCain are both disgraceful and destructive. “He was just an unbelievable person,” Schwarzenegger said. “So an attack on him is absolutely unacceptable if he’s alive or dead—but even twice as unacceptable since he passed away a few months ago. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to do that. I just think it’s a shame that the president lets himself down to that kind of level. We will be lucky if everyone in Washington followed McCain’s example, because he represented courage.”
Trump, Schwarzenegger suggested, should shift his focus from tweeting to governing.“The president should lift people up, should lift the nation up rather than always tearing people down,” he said.
Trump, he said, should consult the first lady, who has made online bullying a cause: “Why don’t you go and sit down with your wife for just a few minutes, Mr. President, and listen to the first lady when she’s talking about stopping online bullying. That is a really great message. Which way do we go? Your way, or her way? That’s really the question here.”

Trump: Time to recognise Golan Heights as Israeli territory

President Donald Trump says it is time the US recognises Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967.
Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.
There was no immediate response from Syria, which has sought to regain control of the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has warned about the military "entrenchment" of his country's arch-enemy Iran in the Syria conflict, tweeted his thanks to Mr Trump on Thursday.

Assisted dying: Doctors' group adopts neutral position


Following a poll of its members, the Royal College of Physicians has now adopted a neutral stance on the issue of assisted dying.
Some groups have spoken out against the change, saying a respected medical body's reputation has been damaged. Others called the decision "absurd".
Under UK law, it is illegal to encourage or assist a suicide.
Nearly 7,000 doctors voted in the online poll:
  • 43% thought the college should oppose a change in the law
  • 32% wanted the college to support a change
  • 25% were neutral
And the college has shifted to a neutral stance because neither side achieved a majority of 60%.

Top Maryland lawmaker: Medical aid in dying bill could pass

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller told reporters he believes there will be "a lot of amendments" offered to a bill now before a Senate committee. Then, he said, he thinks there will be a majority of 24 votes needed in the Senate, "but there won't be many more than that."
"I think it's going to be a close vote," Miller, a Democrat, said, adding that he believes he will "probably" vote against it, but he believes "it's going to pass."
Miller said there are concerns about sick people who are poor and decide to end their lives because they can't afford the medical care they need.
"We've got to make sure that that is not the case — that it's a very informed decision, and I anticipate a very, very close vote on the floor of the Senate," Miller said.

Response to R. Shmuel Kamenetzky on the Methodology of Resolving Cases of Iggun Shalom C. Spira 13 Adar II, 5779 (third edition, revised)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Denial, brainwashing, Alex Jones, etc.


Ira tells the story of a guy, Lenny Pozner, who strikes up a conversation with a stranger in a bar, only to learn the guy already knows who Lenny is. And the stranger is furious with him. (5 minutes)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

trump and purim


t’s a typical morning segment on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, late in 2016. The controversial Access Hollywood tapes, on which then-candidate Donald Trump can be heard boasting about grabbing women by the genitals, have just been released.
Standing on a sunny street, reporter Chris Mitchell says, “Christians are divided about what to do on Donald Trump.”
Some want to abandon him, he says. Others want to stand with him. But others, he says, are wondering: Does Trump have a “biblical mandate” to become president?
Mitchell runs swiftly through the first two options, citing both a condemnation of Trump and an endorsement by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson. But it’s the third option — that God himself has chosen Trump to be president — that Mitchell focuses on.
Evangelical thinker Lance Wallnau then gives Mitchell his take: Trump is a “modern-day Cyrus,” an ancient Persian king chosen by God to “navigate in chaos.”
Mitchell notes that some evangelicals disagree but does not name or cite them. Instead, he cites the growing threat of China, Russia, and Iran, before Wallnau concludes, “America’s going to have a challenge either way. With Trump, I believe we have a Cyrus to navigate through the storm.”
The comparison comes up frequently in the evangelical world. Many evangelical speakers and media outlets compare Trump to Cyrus, a historical Persian king who, in the sixth century BCE, conquered Babylon and ended the Babylonian captivity, a period during which Israelites had been forcibly resettled in exile. This allowed Jews to return to the area now known as Israel and build a temple in Jerusalem. Cyrus is referenced most prominently in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, in which he appears as a figure of deliverance.
That comparison has become more and more explicit in the wake of Trump’s presidency. Last week, an Israeli organization, the Mikdash Educational Center, minted a commemorative “Temple Coin” depicting Trump and Cyrus side by side, in honor of Trump’s decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It was among the most brazen, public links between Trump and Cyrus; one that takes the years of subtext running through outlets like Christian Broadcasting Network and, quite literally, sealed the comparison.
Monday, however, an even higher-profile figure linked Trump and Cyrus. During his visit to Washington, DC, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu heavily implied Trump was Cyrus’s spiritual heir. Thanking Trump for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “We remember the proclamation of the great King Cyrus the Great — Persian King. Twenty-five hundred years ago, he proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon can come back and rebuild our temple in Jerusalem...And we remember how a few weeks ago, President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people throughout the ages.”
While Cyrus is not Jewish and does not worship the God of Israel, he is nevertheless portrayed in Isaiah as an instrument of God — an unwitting conduit through which God effects his divine plan for history. Cyrus is, therefore, the archetype of the unlikely “vessel”: someone God has chosen for an important historical purpose, despite not looking like — or having the religious character of — an obvious man of God.
For believers who subscribe to this account, Cyrus is a perfect historical antecedent to explain Trump’s presidency: a nonbeliever who nevertheless served as a vessel for divine interest.
For these leaders, the biblical account of Cyrus allows them to develop a “vessel theology” around Donald Trump, one that allows them to reconcile his personal history of womanizing and alleged sexual assault with what they see as his divinely ordained purpose to restore a Christian America.
“I think in some ways this is a kind of baptism of Donald Trump,” says John Fea, a professor of evangelical history at Messiah College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “It’s the theopolitical version of money laundering, taking Scripture to … clean [up] your candidate.”
This framing allows for the creation of Trump as a viable evangelical candidate regardless of his personal beliefs or actions. It allows evangelical leaders, and to a lesser extent ordinary evangelicals, to provide a compelling narrative for their support for him that transcends the mere pragmatic fact that he is a Republican. Instead of having to justify their views of Trump’s controversial past, including reports of sexual misconduct and adultery, the evangelical establishment can say Trump’s presidency was arranged by God, and thus legitimize their support for him — a support that has begun to divide ordinary evangelicals and create a kind of “schism.”

Rabbi Meir Kahane Speaks in Minnesota Part 9/1

VERY RARE- Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D vs. Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Z.Y. Kook On Rabbi Meir Kahane in the Knesset

The President Thinks He Runs Fox News

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pediatrician gets at least 79 years for sexually assaulting patients

A former Pennsylvania pediatrician was sentenced to at least 79 years in prison on Monday for the sexual assault of 31 children, most of them patients, in a case that state medical regulators failed to act on nearly two decades ago. 

Dr. Johnnie Barto of Johnstown was sentenced on dozens of counts, including aggravated indecent assault and child endangerment. Prosecutors say he spent decades abusing boys and girls in the exam room at his pediatric practice in western Pennsylvania and at local hospitals, with his victims typically ranging in age from 8 to 12. One was an infant. 

How Donald Trump Played the (White) Race Card and Reshaped the Democratic Party

Today, we started a big, beautiful wall.” It was mid-February, and President Donald Trump was crowing at his first MAGA rally of 2019. There was no new wall, of course, and everyone in the border town of El Paso, Texas, could see that. But in the sea of red hats at the County Coliseum, the line was met with roars of approval. What mattered was that the president was owning the libs, undeterred several weeks after provoking, then caving over, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Before Trump rolled into town, El Paso’s sheriff was telling anyone who would listen that El Paso “was a safe city long before any wall was built.” Republican Mayor Dee Margo similarly denounced Trump’s claims during his State of the Union address that El Paso was riddled with crime until it put a barrier in place. Media outlets like the Associated Press published stats: El Paso’s murder rate was already less than half the national average in 2005, a year before the city’s border fence with Mexico went up, and for almost a dec­ade before, El Paso was rated one of the three safest major cities.

But the crowd was there to hear Trump’s version. “Murders! Murders! Murders! Killings! Murders!” the president shouted, before turning on El Paso’s leaders. “They’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference,” the president told the crowd. “Thanks to a powerful border wall in El Paso, Texas, it’s one of America’s safest cities now.”

White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots

Robert bowers wanted everyone to know why he did it.
I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” he posted on the social-media network Gab shortly before allegedly entering the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27 and gunning down 11 worshippers. He “wanted all Jews to die,” he declared while he was being treated for his wounds. Invoking the specter of white Americans facing “genocide,” he singled out HIAS, a Jewish American refugee-support group, and accused it of bringing “invaders in that kill our people.” Then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announcing that Bowers would face federal charges, was unequivocal in his condemnation: “These alleged crimes are incomprehensibly evil and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation.”

Kahane Won


In the past month or so, the Jewish world has been stunned by an internal Israeli political decision that arguably has ramifications far beyond the Israeli electorate. On Feb. 20, 2019, the rightist Jewish Home Party (Ha-Bayit ha-Yehudi) announced it was merging forces with the far-right Jewish Power Party (Otzma Yehudit), enabling certain members of Otzma Yedudit to be elected to the Knesset. This is so troubling because some of Otzma Yehudit’s list includes individuals with strong affiliations to the radical militant Meir Kahane (1932-1990). Kahane was elected to the Knesset in 1984 under his Kach Party, then removed from the Knesset in 1987 under a “racism law,” aimed at both his racism and his anti-democratic statements. While his radical and militant followers remain a part of Israeli society, it has long been thought they occupy a small and marginal fringe with no political power. With the prospect of Kahanists once again being part of the Israeli government, this assumption is now being questioned, and the figure of Kahane has once again become a focus of interest and inquiry.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Trump supporter's claim stuns Erin Burnett

Senate Votes to End President Trump's National Emergency at U.S.-Mexico Border

In a stunning rebuke, a dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats Thursday to block the national emergency that President Donald Trump declared so he could build his border wall with Mexico. The rejection capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways.
The 59-41 tally, following the Senate’s vote a day earlier to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, promised to force Trump into the first vetoes of his presidency. Trump had warned against both actions. Moments after Thursday’s vote, the president tweeted a single word of warning: “VETO!”
Two years into the Trump era, a defecting dozen Republicans, pushed along by Democrats, showed a willingness to take that political risk. Twelve GOP senators, including the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney of Utah, joined the dissent over the emergency declaration order that would enable the president to seize for the wall billions of dollars Congress intended elsewhere.
“The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who said the chamber had become “a little lazy” as an equal branch of government. “I think the value of these last few weeks is to remind the Senate of our constitutional place.”

What We Know So Far About the New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Israel launches airstrikes on 'terror sites in Gaza' after attack on Tel Aviv, military says


Pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iran regime media and social media accounts lit up on Thursday night, after two rockets were fred at Tel Aviv from Gaza. It indicates the close attention paid to tensions in Israel between Israel and terrorist groups in Gaza.

Lebanon’s satellite TV station Al-Mayadeen, which is generally supportive of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah, wrote a story within minutes of the reports of Iron Dome being activated. “Occupation admits that Palestinians bomb ‘Tel Aviv,’” the headline read. Relying on Israel’s Channel 12, the article noted that booms were heard in central Israel and that bomb shelters might be opened.


The Israeli military early Friday announced it had launched airstrikes on “terror sites in Gaza,” a retaliatory move after rockets blamed on the militant group Hamas were fired on Tel Aviv.
"We have just started striking terror sites in Gaza. Details to follow," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Physicists Just Reversed Time on The Smallest Scale by Using a Quantum Computer

It's easy to take time's arrow for granted - but the gears of physics actually work just as smoothly in reverse. Maybe that time machine is possible after all?
A recent experiment shows just how much wiggle room we can expect when it comes to distinguishing the past from the future, at least on a quantum scale. It might not allow us to relive the 1960s, but it could help us better understand why not.
Researchers from Russia and the US teamed up to find a way to break, or at least bend, one of physics' most fundamental laws on energy.
The second law of thermodynamics is less a hard rule and more of a guiding principle for the Universe. It says hot things get colder over time as energy transforms and spreads out from areas where it's most intense.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Cardinal George Pell sentenced to 6 years in prison

Cardinal George Pell, once a top adviser to Pope Francis, was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison. Pell had been found guilty of five counts related to sexually abusing two boys. Pell is the highest-ranking member of the Catholic Church to be found guilty of abuse. Network 10's Emma O'Sullivan joins CBSN with the latest.

Jewish Press (Mar. 15) Dispatch column re Rinat bas Chedva, Prohibition of military service for women

B"H Adar II, 5779 / March 11,'19

 Unlike the vast majority of modern nations, Israel not only has women serve in its military, it forces it's own 18 year-old girls to enlist in IDF military service. This, in clear violation of Halacha, Jewish Law, as articulated since the earliest days of State. Rabbis from across the spectrum, including leading Rabbis of the National Religious camp, have consistently declared women serving in the military as absolutely prohibited. Many leading Rabbis have signed public statements emphasizing that this prohibition extends to the obligation to give up one's life rather than submit to military service. Many Rabbis have declared that merely entering the IDF draft offices to try to avoid conscription as similarly yai'horeig v'al ya'avor, because of the specter (increasingly confirmed in recent years) of IDF officials convincing, intimidating, or deceiving girls to relinquish their legal rights and enlist. In theory, by Israeli law, "religious" girls are, until recently, to be automatically exempt from military service. Again, Jewish Law makes no such distinction, and requires us to that ensure no girls or women serve in the military, religious or otherwise. The Brisker Rov ZT"L is quoted by Rav Aharon Soloveichik ZT"L as being opposing the drafting of non-religious girls even more vociferously than he opposed the drafting of religious girls. An Oct.'15 Supreme Court pronouncement shifted the burden of proof of religiosity onto the girls, allowing the government to challenge her claim, and try to discredit her. Thus, many reported cases of religious girls being forced into the pervasively immoral environment of military service just because they were intentionally tripped up by trick questions, thrown at them by (often antireligious) IDF officials, or otherwise denied the religious exemption to which they were entitled, even according to Israel's own laws. Another alarming development is that, increasingly, Israeli girls are even being forced into combat units, and even mixed-units with men. Predictably, immoral misconduct and assault is a major problem (e.g. see Jerusalem Post, Nov.20,'18) a phenomenon highlighted by the ongoing plight of an Orthodox Jewish girl of Sefardi background, Rinat bat Chedva, 19 years old. Rinat had enlisted in the IDF in Dec. '17, after being persuaded by an official IDF headhunter, operating under the impression that doing so would not prevent her from Torah observance. Reportedly, while in the IDF, in mid-2018, she experienced repeated incidents of immoral assault, including assault perpetrated by at least one superior. She reporting it to IDF authorities. Allegedly, they ignored her complaints, and even covered it up. Traumatized, she had no recourse, and, on Aug. 29, '19, Rinat heeded her parents' pleas to flee the abusive IDF environment. She hid at home for almost five months. Then, on Jan. 22, '19, at 2:30AM, Rinat was arrested, and cruelly punished with abusive incarceration. She was sentenced to 41 days in military prison for "abandoning" the IDF. Additionally, in an earlier military court proceeding, her attorney's attempt to obtain a religious exemption was rebuffed. The Israeli court proceeded as if being repeatedly abused in the IDF had as little impact on her religious rights as it did on her human rights (which she apparently "ceeded" to the Israeli government on her enlistment). Worse, in the wake of her refusal to return to the IDF under ANY circumstances, starting Feb.11, the military justice system escalated their re-victimizing of their own abuse victim, subjecting Rinat to ongoing solitary confinement. This persecution all resulted from her refusal to buckle to all of the pressure and manipulation employed by the government, to compel Rinat to return to the very military system that abused her. Her appeal for an exemption based on her very obvious inability to serve for reasons of emotional incompatibility with IDF service, under the circumstances, was inexplicably denied on Feb. 21. Although freed from prison on Friday March 1, she has not yet been given the exemption to which she is clearly entitled. Therefore, Rinat now lives in constant trepidation of arrest and further abuse at the hands of the military courts. Various people in the Orthodox Jewish community internationally have been working to help Rinat, to assist her in obtaining the full exemption she's entitled to, and to save others in the IDF from Rinat's plight. Although the increasing IDF persecution of religious girls seeking religious exemptions brought this issue to the fore initially, it's important to emphasize that as Jews, as per our timeless Torah principles, we absolutely oppose any girls or women being drafted or mistreated, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, national origin, level of religious observance, or faith, and are obligated to do whatever we can to help them avoid military service. We ought keep Rinat bat Chedva in our tefillos daily until she's freed from all service demands. And we must raise the alarm, and oppose the drafting and mistreatment of all girls and women in the IDF, again, regardless of religious observance. ###

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Measles, once eradicated from the US, reported in 12 states. Outbreak spreads among Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn and Queens

Measles cases have cropped up across 12 states over the last ten weeks — nearly two decades since the highly contagious disease was said to be eradicated in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some 228 measles cases were reported to the CDC in the U.S. between Jan. 1 and March 7, more than half of the 372 cases that were reported during all of 2018. Outbreaks, defined as three or more cases, have been reported in six areas: Washington, New York City, New York's Rockland County, Texas, Illinois and California.
There's been a resurgence in the disease in the U.S. and other developed countries amid increasing resistance from parents to vaccinate their children. Measles is highly contagious, infecting up to 90 percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed to an infected person, the CDC said.
Measles may be best known for the rash it produces.The virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the airspace where the infected person coughed and sneezed for up to two hours, according to the CDC. People can be infected for days before symptoms appear.
The CDC says the outbreaks in the U.S. are linked to people traveling internationally to countries like Israel and Ukraine that are experiencing large outbreaks. The New York City Health department has confirmed 133 cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens since October, most of which have isolated to the Orthodox Jewish community and were traced back to recent visits to Israel.

A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality

technology review

Back in 1961, the Nobel Prize–winning physicist Eugene Wigner outlined a thought experiment that demonstrated one of the lesser-known paradoxes of quantum mechanics. The experiment shows how the strange nature of the universe allows two observers—say, Wigner and Wigner’s friend—to experience different realities.
That’s provided some entertaining fodder for after-dinner conversation, but Wigner’s thought experiment has never been more than that—just a thought experiment.  Since then, physicists have used the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment to explore the nature of measurement and to argue over whether objective facts can exist. That’s important because scientists carry out experiments to establish objective facts. But if they experience different realities, the argument goes, how can they agree on what these facts might be?

Anti-Semitism and Orthodoxy in the Age of Trump

In response to the Pittsburgh massacre, in which Robert Gregory Bowers gunned down 11 Jews praying in the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, all major Orthodox organizations condemned the attack in the clearest possible terms, but none was prepared to denounce the stated cause for the violence: white nationalism and the demonization of Jews as avatars for progressive and left-wing politics.

Why would the very group that was most noticeably targeted by white nationalism in the 20th century be the most reluctant to condemn it today? Some point to President Donald Trump and his allies’ support for Israel’s right-wing government, which itself has made common cause with some European anti-Semitic nationalist movements. Others such as the historian David Henkin claim that many of Trump’s Orthodox supporters “are the descendants (literally, in many cases) of Jews to whom the white nationalism of the post-1965 Republican Party was already resonating 30 or 40 years ago in debates about affirmative action, segregation, colonialism, and law enforcement.” Both theories, however, overlook Orthodoxy’s own position on anti-Semitism and the crucible in which it was formed.

Anderson Cooper: Here's where Sanders left the factual world

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Making of the Fox News White House


In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade through Hidalgo County, Texas, eventually stopping on a grassy bluff overlooking the Rio Grande. The White House wanted to dramatize what Trump was portraying as a national emergency: the need to build a wall along the Mexican border. The presence of armored vehicles, bales of confiscated marijuana, and federal agents in flak jackets underscored the message.
But the photo op dramatized something else about the Administration. After members of the press pool got out of vans and headed over to where the President was about to speak, they noticed that Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, was already on location. Unlike them, he hadn’t been confined by the Secret Service, and was mingling with Administration officials, at one point hugging Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security. The pool report noted that Hannity was seen “huddling” with the White House communications director, Bill Shine. After the photo op, Hannity had anexclusive on-air interview with Trump. Politico later reported that it was Hannity’s seventh interview with the President, and Fox’s forty-second. Since then, Trump has given Fox two more. He has granted only ten to the three other main television networks combined, and none to CNN, which he denounces as “fake news.”

Hannity was treated in Texas like a member of the Administration because he virtually is one. The same can be said of Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch. Fox has long been a bane of liberals, but in the past two years many people who watch the network closely, including some Fox alumni, say that it has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of “Messengers of the Right,” a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.”

Will the Masses Finally

See Fox News for What It Is?

The unholy union between 

the president and

 Rupert Murdoch’s 

propaganda network 

is under fresh scrutiny

Less than one week after New Yorker
staff writer
 Jane Mayer publishe
President Trump’s communications chief
and his deputy chief of staff,;

top viewer elected to a second term. One wonders, then, why he isn’t just going back to his old job. They certainly could use the help. With ratings reportedly suffering since the Democrats housed the GOP in the midterms last November, Mayer’s report broke three key pieces of bad news for fans of Fox:

Trump questions in August of 2015 before his infamous debate
exchange with Megyn Kelly; allegedly buried the
Stormy Daniels story before the 2016 presidential election because
the network’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, wanted Trump to win
and during his presidency, Trump reportedly pressured the Department of Justice to block the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner as a slight to CNN (and a boon to Fox)The first two incidents describe blatant hypocrisies an
journalistic improprieties. The third item sounds like an
impeachable offense on the part of the president.