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View from Central Park

Martin Grossman, executed in Florida

NOTHING brought back the vividness and pain of the moral conflict in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men like this week’s capital punishment case in Florida of Martin Grossman. Like Lenny in Steinbeck’s story, Martin Grossman was a man of impulsive and compulsive behavior due to his mental disability. For each of them, respectively, in fiction and in real life, their worst and most uncontrollable behavior turned to to be murder itself.

By now Grossman has been executed. But up until the very last minute of his life, some Jewish groups were lobbying for the capital punishment decision to be reversed. Many Jews were praying for a last minute miracle.

I feel very conflicted about this.

First of all, I guess I should tell you I am conflicted about the death penalty, in general. On the one hand, I feel like no human being has the right to take another human beings life. No matter what.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 March 2010 13:20 )

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Conservative Lens

The Doritos ad was not funny

BY far, the most popular ad shown during the latest Super Bowl (trademarked name “Super Bowl” not used with the expressed written consent of the National Football League) was the Doritos “House Rules” ad. Tens of millions of Americans saw it as hilarious. That is unfortunate. Anyone aware of the manifold social pathologies the ad depicted did not find much to laugh about. Here is the ad:
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View from Central Park

When the Saints go marching in

UNTIL Hurricane Katrina I never really knew much about New Orleans. Sure, I knew about the French term Mardi Gras. I knew that Fat Tuesday in New Orleans was a wild blast of carnivals, balls, parades and other merrymaking, but also that it had nothing on Purim in Boro Park, Brooklyn. But that was pretty much it. Oh, also, when I was in the ninth grade one of my classmates hailed from The Big Easy, and I heard the Nawlins lilt and dialect for the first time. Well, it hasn’t been that easy in ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 March 2010 13:19 )

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Reflections

Finding redemption in the rubble of a quake

BRIGITTE came to America from Haiti six years ago, a bright and hard-working woman seeking refuge from a life of poverty and suffering. The mother of four, she took whatever job she could get to support her family. Today, she earns minimum wage emptying bedpans and cleaning up “other people’s messes.” And until this week, she moved through the halls with an angry look, the kind that made you feel that even the slightest request, for a pitcher of water or fresh towel, would cause her to bl...
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View from Central Park

Chicken soup

AH, comfort foods. Which one is your absolute favorite? Me? I can’t decide. There is always chocolate, of course. The nuanced, beguiling and voluptuous yet whimsical quality of chocolate, satisfying in so many different permutations, solid or liquid, cold or hot chocaltiness. Indeed . . . that darkness, that chocolate, sure is comforting. But then there is macaroni and cheese with its slow warm creamy yellow melty soft pasta and butter heaviness. Mmm. That weighty dish with gravitas indeed i...

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 February 2010 08:49 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

An artist reclaims Jewish sites in Kosovo

Ron Kampeas In a performance attended by Kosovo’s president, artist Elana Katz scatters powder around a ‘forgotten Jewish past.’ ... [Link]

Polish Jews split over plan to exhume massacre victims

Cnaan Liphshiz A planned Polish investigation of the 1941 massacre in Wasosz is pitting the religious imperative of protecting the dignity of the dead against the desire for historic justice. ... [Link]

Leading Likudnik Gideon Saar stepping away from politics

Marcy Oster Interior Minister Gideon Saar, touted as the favorite to succeed Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, said he will “take a break” from politics. ... [Link]

Lone soldiers’ parents being brought to Israel for holiday visits

Marcy Oster The parents of 77 lone soldiers in Israel who fought in the recent Gaza operation are being brought to Israel to spend the High Holidays with their children. ... [Link]

At 2014 U.N. General Assembly, ISIS likely to dominate discourse

Uriel Heilman Gadhafi and Chavez are gone, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be theatrics at this year’s U.N. General Assembly. ... [Link]

‘With Jews we lose,’ reads one Senate candidate’s slogan in Ky.

Uriel Heilman Robert Ransdell, a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate from Kentucky, is campaigning with the slogan “With Jews we lose.” ... [Link]

Joel Levy named president and CEO of Center for Jewish History

Marcy Oster Joel Levy is the new president and CEO of the Center for Jewish History in New York City. ... [Link]

Cool Bries: Trailblazing cheese whiz prepping special holiday fare

mbrodsky A self-dubbed “Cheese Guy” in suburban New York City has earned praise for his dairy creations. And he has something special planned for the High Holidays. ... [Link]

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