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Friday, July 14, 2017

Can You Hear Me Now? - Part 4 - Taking Judaism Back From The Con-Artists!



THE UOJ ARCHIVES - MARCH 2008

We all have been there; the defining moment. If we are honest with ourselves, which is difficult and painful, we feel intuitively, in our soul, when that moment arrives. Some act, most don't! It can be in our personal lives, in our community roles, in our business or profession; it's there for us to seize - if we are daring! It comes perhaps once or twice in a lifetime, in each area of our lives.

The moment should have come to you - in your lives as Jews - right after Yehuda Kolko got arrested - and right after the Agudath Israel Convention - where they boldly pounced on the opportunity - to declare - there is NO child-rape problem in the Orthodox Jewish Community! "One - perhaps slipped through our fingers - but we are dealing with the - NON-PROBLEM - according to the Torah!"

But --- you went back to work and about your lives - believing that if you wish it away - it will not be there in the morning! You missed the point - fellow Jewish travelers. The problem - besides the illness of child-rape that has permeated our ghettos - was at that moment - that very period in time - it should have been crystal clear that we are doomed as a viable community.

Mattisyahu Salomon is a liar - but more than that - he's a Fascist - part of the Fascist organization known as Agudath Israel. Besides the fact that Salomon lied to you - he went along with the scheme of the very dastardly evildoers - Perlow and Kaminetzky - that "we're going to continue covering it up at all costs - and ride out the storm!"

These are the same guys who spit fire about every thing secular - including a reasonable secular education - that would enable your children to have a shot at feeding their children --- without welfare programs. Since then - Eisemann, Leizerowitz- Colmer - and the big one (like the others are not) Avrohom Mondrowitz! Which should confirm to any sane human - that this has been going on for 40 plus years in all segments of the Orthodox Jewish community. But it meant nothing to you - WHY? Because you thought you would not be affected.

But you missed the other point! The big other point! YOUR LEADERS ARE GANGSTERS, LIARS, THIEVES AND ROTTEN SEWAGE! They will say ANYTHING and DO ANYTHING to keep you from realizing what low-lives they truly are!

So now you're out - $100 - $500 - on Lipa Shmeltzer tickets and you're outraged!--- BIG-TIME!--- We had it!!--- Right - sure you did! You idiots woke up because you lost a few dollars! Now - your Pesach entertainment may be affected - this is out of control! Now - this is crazy - we need to do something about this!

I laugh sadly! How crazy are you? Where was the outrage after Kolko got arrested? Why nothing other than --- well nothing! Where is the outrage today? Where is the rage at the shysters at the Agudah for lying to you for FOUR LONG DECADES!

What gedolim?

Implement these changes over the next two years and you may survive:

1-Stop supporting the Agudath Israel - call for a disbanding of that fraudulent - pitiful group of bozos! Put these idiots out of their misery!

2-Limit the Lakewood yeshiva to 1000 students including kollel - or stop their donations!

Install a lay board of heimeshe accountants to monitor every dollar in every yeshiva! You're more than entitled to know where the millions upon millions of dollars a year are going.--- Don't trust them - they're thieving.

3-Require yeshivas to give your children a first-rate secular education - or send your children to Rabbi Yitzchok Elchonon!

4- Keep your children - male and female at home - eliminate all Israeli seminaries! Not seeing what they're doing - is a cowardly act as parents. Most kids are not able to deal responsibly with their freedom. The rabbis and the morahs - do not consider your kids a priority - please believe me!

5-Limit wedding attendance to 200 people - PERIOD! In a year - it would be totally accepted.

6-Stop purchasing and eating all meat and poultry products - for one week - starting Sunday - the week of March 30 - until they drop their prices by 25% - and Yisroel Belsky is removed from the OU! You can survive on fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables for a week! Pigs! That's just before Pesach when the Jewish Cow Mafia jack up their prices by 25%! Tell them you will now take control of the "kosher" meat industry, by regulating prices and hashgochos!

7-The only children that would be exempt from college/trade schools must past a rigorous examination (farher) by a board of honest and intelligent rabbis. The ones that would pass the the UOJ smell (literally and figuratively) test!

8-Do not build new schools and shuls - expand and renovate the existing ones. Building funds - is when millions of dollars are siphoned off in kickbacks to the builders and yeshiva owners!

9-(from Steve) Insist that all yeshivos adopt the RCA resolutions regarding child sexual abuse. DO NOT PAY ONE CENT OF TUITION UNTIL YOUR YESHIVA AGREES TO THIS! Also, continue to lobby the NY State Assembly to pass these laws that protect our children from molesters: mandatory background checks, fingerprinting, sex offender registry and mandatory reporting.

Only you can save yourselves - from yourselves - do it!

This is the "defining moment" for the Orthodox Jewish community. If you leave things in place - the ugliness will keep compounding and feeding on itself. More children hurt physically and emotionally. More welfare - basket cases -- in our communities. More singles crisis, and more kashruth scandals, more of all kinds of scandals. More money stolen from you - as the "rabbis" build financial kingdoms for themselves and their families....

And you will have nobody to blame but yourselves!

329 comments:

1 – 200 of 329   Newer›   Newest»
Swept Away said...

The Lion, UOJ, has roared.

Ken Brechen said...

Tell them you will now take control of the "kosher" meat industry, by regulating prices and hashgochos!

UOJ, when have price regulations ever worked for anything? They didn't work under Nixon, they don't work for Chavez, and they won't work for kosher meat. I'm all for a boycott or other ways of using market pressure to lower prices, but price regulations only reduce supply, which isn't exactly going to push prices down.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO

SO FAR YOU ARE BATTING 1000%.


I think you can add 1 item. I.E not everyone is obligated to have a have such gigantic families.Those who cannot or will not be able to give quality time to each child can call it quits after the basic requirment of 1 of each gender Good luck on your "crusade"

Anonymous said...

Ok these are good suggestions for the most part. Now you need to document actual abuses and bring to the light of day the stark facts. If you need to employ investigators, then do it. You have the money. Infiltrate, investigate and expose. Your goals can not be achieved between now and Pesach, but with real investigation and publicity, you can make progresss over a period of months...maybe by next Pesach?

National Geographic Magazine said...

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0506/feature7/?fs=www3.nationalgeographic.com&fs=plasma.nationalgeographic.com

"Slaughtering an animal is a bloody business," says Sholom Rubashkin, a manager at AgriProcessors, one of the largest kosher meatpacking plants in the country. A video secretly filmed last year in Rubashkin's plant in Postville, Iowa, by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) demonstrates just how bloody.

Farmers of German and Norwegian descent, many of Postville's residents were appalled by the sudden arrival of the Hasidim, with their strange clothes and odd customs.

When they first arrived, the Hasidim didn't return the greetings of the townspeople. "They brought their New York habits with them," says one resident. Their lawns went unmowed. They drove erratically—a U-turn became known as a Jew-turn. "People accused them of being standoffish," says Ron Taylor, a city councilman.

Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison, NJ said...

His father Shmelka told us it would be easy to raise money for the yeshiva by sucking people dry with mortgage fraud.

http://rpry.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=45

Executive Director - Rabbi Zvi Pinter

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

but price regulations only reduce supply, which isn't exactly going to push prices down.
------------
Eat less meat and poultry - perhaps only on Shabbos! Watch those price keep tumbling down!

Sholom Rubashkin said...

80% of my production is officially treif and the other 20% usually is too, so you could say I hedged myself against UOJ's boycott.

My latest stats from Wikipedia:

Agriprocessors, the kosher meat plant, is the largest of its type in the world, which as of February 2008 employs about 900 people and purchases $100 million worth of livestock annually.

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

By JEFF DONN, MARTHA MENDOZA and JUSTIN PRITCHARD,

Associated Press Writers


A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.

In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky.

Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public "doesn't know how to interpret the information" and might be unduly alarmed.

How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

"We recognize it is a growing concern and we're taking it very seriously," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Members of the AP National Investigative Team reviewed hundreds of scientific reports, analyzed federal drinking water databases, visited environmental study sites and treatment plants and interviewed more than 230 officials, academics and scientists. They also surveyed the nation's 50 largest cities and a dozen other major water providers, as well as smaller community water providers in all 50 states.

Here are some of the key test results obtained by the AP:

_Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city's watersheds.

_Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California.

_Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.

_A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco's drinking water.

_The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals.

_Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking water supplied to Tucson, Ariz.

The situation is undoubtedly worse than suggested by the positive test results in the major population centers documented by the AP.

The federal government doesn't require any testing and hasn't set safety limits for drugs in water. Of the 62 major water providers contacted, the drinking water for only 28 was tested. Among the 34 that haven't: Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston and New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, which delivers water to 9 million people.

Some providers screen only for one or two pharmaceuticals, leaving open the possibility that others are present.

The AP's investigation also indicates that watersheds, the natural sources of most of the nation's water supply, also are contaminated. Tests were conducted in the watersheds of 35 of the 62 major providers surveyed by the AP, and pharmaceuticals were detected in 28.

Yet officials in six of those 28 metropolitan areas said they did not go on to test their drinking water — Fairfax, Va.; Montgomery County in Maryland; Omaha, Neb.; Oklahoma City; Santa Clara, Calif., and New York City.

The New York state health department and the USGS tested the source of the city's water, upstate. They found trace concentrations of heart medicine, infection fighters, estrogen, anti-convulsants, a mood stabilizer and a tranquilizer.

City water officials declined repeated requests for an interview. In a statement, they insisted that "New York City's drinking water continues to meet all federal and state regulations regarding drinking water quality in the watershed and the distribution system" — regulations that do not address trace pharmaceuticals.

In several cases, officials at municipal or regional water providers told the AP that pharmaceuticals had not been detected, but the AP obtained the results of tests conducted by independent researchers that showed otherwise. For example, water department officials in New Orleans said their water had not been tested for pharmaceuticals, but a Tulane University researcher and his students have published a study that found the pain reliever naproxen, the sex hormone estrone and the anti-cholesterol drug byproduct clofibric acid in treated drinking water.

Of the 28 major metropolitan areas where tests were performed on drinking water supplies, only Albuquerque; Austin, Texas; and Virginia Beach, Va.; said tests were negative. The drinking water in Dallas has been tested, but officials are awaiting results. Arlington, Texas, acknowledged that traces of a pharmaceutical were detected in its drinking water but cited post-9/11 security concerns in refusing to identify the drug.

The AP also contacted 52 small water providers — one in each state, and two each in Missouri and Texas — that serve communities with populations around 25,000. All but one said their drinking water had not been screened for pharmaceuticals; officials in Emporia, Kan., refused to answer AP's questions, also citing post-9/11 issues.

Rural consumers who draw water from their own wells aren't in the clear either, experts say.

The Stroud Water Research Center, in Avondale, Pa., has measured water samples from New York City's upstate watershed for caffeine, a common contaminant that scientists often look for as a possible signal for the presence of other pharmaceuticals. Though more caffeine was detected at suburban sites, researcher Anthony Aufdenkampe was struck by the relatively high levels even in less populated areas.

He suspects it escapes from failed septic tanks, maybe with other drugs. "Septic systems are essentially small treatment plants that are essentially unmanaged and therefore tend to fail," Aufdenkampe said.

Even users of bottled water and home filtration systems don't necessarily avoid exposure. Bottlers, some of which simply repackage tap water, do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to the industry's main trade group. The same goes for the makers of home filtration systems.

Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world. Studies have detected pharmaceuticals in waters throughout Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe — even in Swiss lakes and the North Sea.

For example, in Canada, a study of 20 Ontario drinking water treatment plants by a national research institute found nine different drugs in water samples. Japanese health officials in December called for human health impact studies after detecting prescription drugs in drinking water at seven different sites.

In the United States, the problem isn't confined to surface waters. Pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, source of 40 percent of the nation's water supply. Federal scientists who drew water in 24 states from aquifers near contaminant sources such as landfills and animal feed lots found minuscule levels of hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.

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

..............(AP)

Human waste isn't the only source of contamination. Cattle, for example, are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the animals.

Rubashkin's Treif Comes Home to Roost said...

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/tzemach/110488322248954865/

Here is this putz named Dov Wachmann who I am told lives in Lakewood. He spent a good part of 2005 attacking R' Yudel Shain on the internet and defending Rubashkin. Blogger Tzemach Atlas put up a valiant fight and defeated much of Wachmann's nonsense.

See how Wachmann's arguments have been eroding with what we know now.

He cites the OU assuring people that Rubashkin stopped ripping throats. The fact is that that was a false assurance that Genack gave to rabbonim. They were recently exposed as liars by secret video.

Try to keep a straight face when Wachmann says he emailed Avi Shafran who replied with a detailed defense of Rubashkin's shchite methods. The same Dunce who says he doesn't know the first thing about Kolko is all of a sudden an expert on gantz hilchos shchite.

Wachmann posits that financial gain may override the issur of tzaar baalei chaim.

Wachmann cites a defense of Rubashkin by alleged sex offender Yaakov Menken.

Wachmann says he was told by Yitzchok Adlerstein that the OU had a good PR strategy in defending Rubashkin.

HUH???

Yudi Kolko said...

The most exciting part of that study is the sex hormones in the San Francisco & New Orleans water supply.

Rubashkin Bolt Stun Guns said...

Rubashkin was caught using the gun for "kosher" production.

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/03/rubashkins-rav-hamachshir-says-you-can.html#c1341556055009576939

Anonymous said...
R' Yudel, a lot of people are arguing that they don't know how the recent scandal with bolt stun gun use at Rubashkin is a kashrus problem. I have to admit that I was an am haaretz on this topic myself so I looked up this information on the internet:

“Stunners,” as they’re sometimes called, are pneumatic devices for euthanizing large livestock. Big meat plants employ two basic kinds, penetrating and non-penetrating. The penetrating ones are more popular, especially in the U.S. The non-penetrating type, though less precise and harder to operate, is big in Europe, because no blood-and-brain spillage means no chance of mad-cow disease.

Here’s how a stunner works:

• The muzzle of the gun is placed against the forehead of the “subject”—cattle, goats or sheep.

• The trigger is pulled.

• Pressurized air—stored in an attached tank weighing some 20 pounds—pushes the pointed bolt, usually about 3 centimeters long and 1 in diameter, out of the muzzle and into the subject’s forehead.

• The bolt goes through the skull, damaging or destroying the cerebrum and part of the cerebellum while knocking the subject unconscious and/or dead.

• At the same time, the brain stem is left intact, which means the subject’s heart keeps beating for a while even as internal bleeding occurs, which is necessary to prevent meat spoilage.

• The bolt then retracts back into the barrel of the gun.

According to Temple Grandin, an animal-science professor at Colorado State University who also designs livestock-handling facilities, most U.S. plants have four stunners in operation at any given time. The technology, invented sometime in mid-20th-century Europe, caught on big in England and Germany before spreading to the U.S. Today’s versions are highly exacting, she says, with the best ones killing the subject 99 percent of the time on the first shot.

Nevertheless, animal-rights groups have cried foul and called these guns inhumane. Grandin scoffs. “That is just rubbish,” she says. “A captive bolt pistol works extremely well, provided it’s cleaned regularly. It’s a tool with precision machine parts, like a high-powered hunting rifle. And just like with a hunting rifle, if you don’t keep it clean, it won’t work. If you take care of it, it’ll work beautifully.”

Making a hole in the animal's moach is of course a classic treifa.

Anonymous said...

I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while
checking up on a woman I asked, "So how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste" the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly"

Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit

Hypocrite Belsky Protects Margo but Criticizes Enron said...

http://www.torah.org/learning/honesty/class63.html

RABBI BELSKY

In Enron there was a climate in which nothing was considered wrong. The fact that "everyone did it" - involving averas (wrong actions) being done by the entire executive culture - makes things much worse. Enron was stealing from their customers, they were giving false reports, they were covering up for themselves. They were auditing their own corrupt people and saying everything was fine (which is beyond belief -- that the government could allow people to audit themselves).

Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum said...

http://www.countryyossi.com/STAGE1/SEC-Mag/index.php?article=64&q=concert§ion=magazine

I said that we must fix things rather than ban everything. By the way, I just wonder if you ever go out of your house. New York streets and even the streets of Geulah, especially on a Friday, are far worse than any concert. Perhaps we should all lock ourselves up in the house and close the shades or wear a blindfold when we walk the streets. If anything needs to be banned let's start with the daily posters that deface the walls of Yerushalayim. However, I'm told that if they take them down, the walls may come tumbling down - so we'd better leave them in place. If you have any more brilliant ideas as to what we should ban next, please let me know and I'll pass them on to the proper authorities. They seem to be running out of ideas.
Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

Rubashkin Fresser said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postville%2C_Iowa

Agriprocessors, the kosher meat plant, is the largest of its type in the world, which as of February 2008 employs about 900 people and purchases $100 million worth of livestock annually.

Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum said...

http://www.countryyossi.com/STAGE1/SEC-Mag/index.php?article=80&q=concert§ion=magazine

From the Pen of Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

Many years ago, Pirchei Agudas Yisroel used to organize trips to Washington, Baltimore, and Toronto. Motzoei Shabbos there was learning along with game nights, and concerts. There was the famous Pirchei Choir that put out beautiful records and tapes that brought countless hours of delightful Jewish entertainment into thousands of homes. This was all done in order to keep children busy during their free time so they shouldn't have to go looking elsewhere. It was important to show children at a very early age that the Torah is not just restrictions, but that Shabbos as well as the rest of the week can be a time of constructive joy and pleasure. Happy laughter and family voices in the home will keep more kids off the streets at night than the strictest curfew.
I still remember when the Pirchei Agudas Yisrael put on a play and concert more than forty years ago in Montauk Junior High School. (The play was based on the book Family Aguilar.) There were some who tried to convince the rabbonim to put a ban on it. Since I was the president of Pirchei at the time, Rabbi Moshe Sherer z"l asked me to go down to the venerable gaon hador, Rabbi Moshe Fienstien zt"l, to get his halachic opinion. Not only did he not ban it, but he gave it his blessings. He understood only too well the importance of giving the boys a kosher alternative; otherwise they would soon find their pleasures elsewhere. One must be very careful before imposing restrictions. "Restrict everything, and everything becomes permitted," is what my father zt"l once said. When some tried to ban the Miami Boys Choir concert in N.Y. and tried to get Rabbi Pam zt"l's signature, as well as that of the Mirer Rosh Yeshiva, to ban it, they both refused to sign.
A number of years ago, Rabbi Motty Katz of JEP and I organized a Chanuka trip to Washington on the two days that yeshivas give off for Chanuka vacation. Thanks to Mr. Yisroel Lefkowitz and others who helped subsidize part of the trip, we were able to charge only $20, which included an overnight stay in a nice motel. We were only able to take along 100 boys, even though many more boys wanted to come along. I received a very nasty letter in the mail from a prominent rosh yeshiva accusing me of causing bitul Torah, and admonishing me for organizing the trip. I very respectfully replied that it wasn't I who was causing any bitul Torah, but rather the yeshivas that gave the kids off for two days without providing them with something positive to do. I told him that if he wanted, I would show him where some of his students are hanging out during this time. I never received a reply.
I give great credit to the Mirer Yeshivah in Yerushalayim that has realized the great problem of what happens when their bochurim have nothing to do during bein hazmanim. The yeshiva organizes trips at subsidized prices, which take their talmidim around Eretz Yisroel. If only other yeshivas would follow their example, many tragedies would be avoided.
When sports and concerts are forbidden, and all forms of kosher entertainment are off limits, we are asking for trouble. If our kids can't find a place to vent their energy within a kosher environment, then they will find it elsewhere. In a time of war, even the Torah itself permits one to marry a captive non-Jewish girl under certain conditions. Chazal explain the logic behind this law. The Torah understood that a person is only human and therefore in this instance, while fighting a war, it gave him some leeway. The Gemora tells us that for everything the Torah forbade, it gave us something similar that was permitted. Today's war with the Yetzer Horah is far greater than ever before.
But in every generation we have the likes of Doeg and Achitofel who misled great people such as Shaul and Avshalom with falsehoods and lies that caused them to try to kill Dovid. Doeg even succeeded in getting Shaul to kill all the Kohanim in the city of Nov. This shows how falsehoods can be spread, how easily they are believed, and the terrible damage that can result. Even the greatest of the great are vulnerable to such camouflaged slander and can be misled by advisors they trust. Just turn to Shmuel II chapter 16 and read the story of how Dovid, who knew better than anyone else of the great dangers of an evil tongue, was himself taken in by Tziva who fabricated a false story about Mefiboshes. If even the greatest of the great can be misled, then we'd all better be very careful and constantly on our guard lest we too fall into the same trap.
Things haven't changed much since ancient times. Today, too, we have self proclaimed agitators and charlatans who have nothing to do with their time but to go around to our leading Torah sages and try to convince them that separate-seating concerts are a threat to our Yiddishkeit - and to ban them. They falsely claim that there is pritzus in the hallways, plus other fabrications. Exaggeration is a blood relative to falsehood, and almost as bad. A gossip is one who can give you all the details without knowing all the facts. Unfortunately, they often succeed in their mission. All it took was one Korach to convince the 250 heads of Sanhedrin of the holiness and purity of his mission.
Some have organized special activities and places for these "at risk kids" to get together under proper supervision, but this is not the real solution. The problem must be addressed long before young people reach the "at risk" stage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If the money we spent on rehabilitation where to be spent on prevention, we'd get far more for our money, and fewer people who need intensive intervention.
It must be clearly noted that despite all that was said, one is required to follow the ruling of our sages even when they say "Right is left and left is right." Nowadays, when there is no Sanhedrin, one must seek a leading posek and follow his ruling on all matters and not go "posek hopping." This applies not only in the above case but in all other areas as well. There are some disagreements among our leading poskim in Hilchos Shabbos which can be an isur sekilah. One can't pick and choose stringencies from one or leniencies from another (Gemora). The Agudas Yisroel follows the ruling of the Moetzes Gedolai HaTorah. Others can decide on their posek, whom they wish to follow. But whoever it is, the p'sak must be followed even if it hurts.
Yes, there are legitimate concerns that must be addressed in order to make sure that concerts are conducted in a true Yiddish atmosphere and flavor. Performers should not be Jewish rock or rap singers, and the music should not imitate today's street hip-hop culture, as some performers unfortunately do. Sadly, I've gone to frum weddings where the music and dancing felt like one was in a discotheque with only the flashing lights missing. Roshei yeshivas and rabbonim danced in the middle of the circle, having no idea what type of music they were dancing to. I hope no one is going to ban music at weddings because of this, but rather the m'sada kidushin or rabbonim should meet with the band leaders as well as the mechutonim to rectify this outrage. Serious concerns must be discussed between the concert organizers and rabbonim beforehand. Instead of seeking to ban these concerts, we must make sure that they are a kiddush Shem Shomayim. Music has a powerful effect upon the listener, and we must ensure that it follows in the footsteps and style of Dovid Hamelech - the "n'im zemiros Yisroel," to whose words our music is often put.
We definitely need our gedolim to guide us, and if we come to them with sincere requests to teach us to run activities al pi Torah, they would respond wisely and constructively. We should no longer leave the field open to those few agitators and connivers who choose to deprive our young people of positive outlets. For if we close the doors to that which is permitted, they'll unfortunately soon find other places to fill the void!

Belsky Gets Around said...

http://www.nadr.co.uk/articles/published/ArbLawReports/Halpern%20v%20Halpern%202006.pdf

Looks like he's even profiting from sticking his nose into disputes in Manchester, England. Belsky is first mentioned on page 5.

One hilarious detail on page 13 is an allegation of fraud against one of the baalei davar that he forged a letter in the name of Shafran.

Very interesting said...

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Thou shall not pollute the Earth. Thou shall beware genetic manipulation. Modern times bring with them modern sins. So the Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of "new" sins such as causing environmental blight.

The guidance came at the weekend when Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the Vatican's number two man in the sometimes murky area of sins and penance, spoke of modern evils.

Asked what he believed were today's "new sins," he told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that the greatest danger zone for the modern soul was the largely uncharted world of bioethics.

"(Within bioethics) there are areas where we absolutely must denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose outcome is difficult to predict and control," he said.

The Vatican opposes stem cell research that involves destruction of embryos and has warned against the prospect of human cloning.

Girotti, in an interview headlined "New Forms of Social Sin," also listed "ecological" offences as modern evils.

In recent months, Pope Benedict has made several strong appeals for the protection of the environment, saying issues such as climate change had become gravely important for the entire human race.

Under Benedict and his predecessor John Paul, the Vatican has become progressively "green."

It has installed photovoltaic cells on buildings to produce electricity and hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming and climate change, widely blamed on human use of fossil fuels.

Girotti, who is number two in the Vatican "Apostolic Penitentiary," which deals with matter of conscience, also listed drug trafficking and social and economic injustices as modern sins.

But Girotti also bemoaned that fewer and fewer Catholics go to confession at all.

He pointed to a study by Milan's Catholic University that showed that up to 60 percent of Catholic faithful in Italy stopped going to confession.

In the sacrament of Penance, Catholics confess their sins to a priest who absolves them in God's name.

But the same study by the Catholic University showed that 30 percent of Italian Catholics believed that there was no need for a priest to be God's intermediary and 20 percent felt uncomfortable talking about their sins to another person.

(Editing by Keith Weir)

Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum said...

http://www.countryyossi.com/STAGE1/SEC-Mag/index.php?article=101§ion=magazine

From the Pen of Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

Ban Banning

“Derocheho Darchai Noam V’chol Nesivoseha Shalom” - The Torah’s ways are pleasant and lead to peace. Many a time, if one would carefully search and examine a situation, he would often find far better solutions than banning. Banning should only be used as a last resort. While banning may sometimes be necessary, it can often boomerang and cause more harm than good. Our Chachomim warned us not to issue a decree forbidding something that most of the people will not be able to adhere to. Neither are we to add bans to bans. (“Ein gozrin gezierah l’gzierah.”)
Often, parents and teachers are confronted with a troubled or difficult child. How tight do we pull the rope before it snaps and causes outright rebellion? We must do a careful balancing act between reward and punishment, between being too strict and being too lenient. Unbridled love or punishment is not always the answer, as shown by the story of Dovid’s great love for his son Avshalom.
With all the great advice given to us by even the best psychologists, rebellious children are not easy to deal with, and more love or punishment is not always the solution. Prohibitions are usually a poor educational tool and may work for some but have the opposite effect on others, and often we must choose between the lesser of the two evils.
Years ago, most yeshivas would never have taken their students snow-tubing on a regular school day. It was considered outright bittul Torah. Today, many of them realize that “Bitulo zehu kiyumo”- in the long run, what they may lose, they will eventually gain back with great interest. It’s not that they were wrong years ago. It’s that society has changed and children must often be dealt with differently.
A wise rebbi told me that he had a boy in his class who was totally into sports and wouldn’t learn a word. One day the rebbi took him aside and spoke to him privately, telling him that he would give him permission to take off from yeshiva for a day in order to attend an important basketball game, and even offered to give him the money to buy a ticket since his student couldn’t afford it. The student was jubilant and just couldn’t believe the offer. It made such a great impression on him that it changed his entire attitude toward his rebbi and the yeshiva. Eventually he became a real learner and ended up learning full time in Lakewood.
On the other hand, another yeshiva banned its students from participating in a choir, feeling it was a waste of time and would interfere with their studies. When a student who had a beautiful voice and loved music wanted to join a choir, his principal threatened to throw him out of the yeshiva. It left such a bad taste in his mouth that his learning began to suffer and to this day he hates the yeshiva and wants nothing to do with learning. Perhaps a holy soul was lost because of the inflexible refusal to bend the rules.
A friend of mine once came to see me about a problem he was having with his neighbor. He just couldn’t take it anymore. They were constantly getting into fights with one another. Sometimes he would block his driveway with his car. His kids ran around on the lawn and ruined his beautiful flowers. He kept his radio blasting so loud that half the block would hear it, so he was always forced to keep his windows shut. Every other day they would get into a screaming match - yet nothing seemed to help. His neighbor was as obstinate as can be. He was at his wits’ end, and so he came to ask my advice. Perhaps I could offer him some solution? He was even considering selling the house and moving elsewhere.
I told him that I had a very simple solution, but I would only give it to him if he promised to follow it fully. “Of course!” he replied. “I’m ready to do anything you say. I just can’t live like this anymore.”
I told him that my solution may sound very strange and I would only tell it to him if he signed a piece of paper promising to do as I said, even though it may seem outrageous and absurd. After he signed the paper, I told him to do as follows. Every Friday, he was to go to the flower shop, buy a bouquet of flowers, and deliver it to his neighbor just before Shabbos. “I guarantee you that within a short time all your problems will disappear!”
He looked at me with clenched fists and said with great anger, “Me, give that bum a bouquet of flowers? Never! The only present he deserves is a live rattlesnake. The only time I’ll send him any flowers will be at his gravesite!”
“But you just signed that you’d do whatever I say,” I replied. “Perhaps he doesn’t deserve them, but it’s the simplest and quickest way to solve your problems. Try it,” I pleaded with him. “I guarantee that it’ll work!”
I bumped into my friend five weeks later and asked him if he had taken my advice. His face shone with great joy as he told me that it had worked like a charm. They were the best of friends now, and everything was just fine. “Where did you get this brilliant idea?” he asked. I told him that I took it from the Gemara that says “gedola legima sh’mekareves,” which means that great is the drink that brings people close to one another. The Gemara bases it on a most interesting story found in Nach (Melachim 1:13). It is about a false novi who invites a true novi into his home and as a reward, Hashem turns him into a real novi. There is no better way to settle one’s arguments than over a bottle of wine and a piece of cake. In fact, this is the very advice that Shlomo Ha’melech gives us. “Im ra’av son’acha ha’cillehu lechem.” If your enemy is hungry, give him some bread. The best way to win over one’s enemy is to shower him with love.
One of Aesop’s fables tells of the wind and the sun arguing with each other as to who is stronger. They both see a person wearing a coat, and the wind begins to huff and puff in order to blow the coat off. The harder the wind blows, the tighter the man holds on to his coat so that it won’t fly away. Thereupon, the sun begins shining fiercely until it becomes so hot that the man not only removes his coat, but takes off his shirt as well. Kind words and a smile can disarm even one’s greatest foe.
Of course, there must be rules, and some things must be banned. However, if we can possibly avoid it and be flexible, we are usually far better off. As the Gemara in Taanis says “L’olam yehei adam rach k’kona v’al yieye kosheh k’erez” – A person should be as flexible as a reed and not as stiff as a cedar tree. When a strong wind comes, the reed is blown down but eventually stands back up. However, when the tall strong cedar tree is broken, it remains that way. This is why we write a Sefer Torah with a reed.
Dealing with our children or students can often be a very difficult task since what works with one does not necessarily work with the other. Even the best advice we get can often fall flat on its face. Even two identical twins can be as different as Yaakov and Esav. Often a parent, rebbi, or teacher’s attitude can make all the difference. In one class the student can be a serious behavior problem, while in another class, with a different teacher, he will be a top student and cause no trouble whatsoever. One may never know how a particular child’s brain ticks, what closes it and what opens it. While there are general rules, there are also exceptions to the rules, and often we must experiment and see what works best. But in all too many cases, banning things without providing for a proper alternative may boomerang. Therefore, before resorting to it, we must make sure we have tried all other options, and also make sure that it will make things better and not worse. Just because one may slip on a banana peel is no reason to ban the banana. So let’s remember “Derocheho darchai noam v’chol nesivoseha shalom.”
Actually, I’m considering banning my next tape - because they say that when you ban something, it sells much better. As the posuk says, “Mayim genuvim yimtaku.”

Congratulations Rabbi Teitelbaum said...

Everyone should email Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum at csci@bigfoot.com to thank him for standing up to the Taliban.

How dare the Agudah try to act more frum than R' Moishe, Rav Pam & R' Shmuel Berenbaum zichronam livrocho!

The new fangled Moetzes started sending up trial balloons (buffoons?) with 'Effin Wachsman blabbering at the Agudah Fresser Convention that we don't listen to the greatest of gedolim unless pishers like him give us permission.

Vicky Polin said...

http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2008/03/did-victim-of-rabbi-yisroel-shapiro.html

I've received a few e-mails from different people saying that one of those who was molested by Yisroel Shapiro confessed to molesting a minor. The letters continued to say, that for awhile the alleged new offender was leading a survivor group in the Baltimore community. The survivor group asked the alleged sexual predator to step down as the leader, yet is still involved with the survivor community.

If anyone has any more information on this new possible case, please post it in the comments.

Anonymous said...
Ask Rabbi Dinovitz. He knows the whole story.

Azoy vi shteit said...

"The Lion, UOJ, has roared."

Isn't that a posuk in Mishlei / Tehillim: "Aryeh shaag mi lo yireh?"

Question for UOJ & YTT talmidim said...

Did R' Eli Teitelbaum resign / "retire" from YTT because the presumption of guilt with Kolko / Margo / Applegrad became too great to bear?

Prime example of a Dope in Kollel said...

I can't believe my eyes sometimes.

http://www.countryyossi.com/STAGE1/SEC-Mag/index.php?article=98§ion=magazine

Dear Country Yossi,
I’m a newlywed kollel yungerman looking to make a couple of dollars with my chasuna money. I was thinking of investing in the stock market! Only problem is, I don’t understand exactly how it works. Is my money safe? Since you’re a pretty smart guy, could you please explain it to me? We value your opinion.

Joe Putz said...

That neophyte kollel investor calls for one of Boog's entertaining outbursts. He hasn't ranted in a long time about parasites with cholent and snot soiled paws.

Alexander Breiner J.D. said...

http://www.mbnllp.com/partner2.html

My friend Avrom Fruchthandler is very upset that UOJ picked a Don King sheytel for him. He actually prefers the Lenny Kravitz look.

Adam Sandler said...

http://www.lennykravitz.com/

UOJ & Lenny Kravitz are funky, bad ass Jews.

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

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Monday, March 10, 2008 -- 1:57 PM ET
-----

Our Leaders!
-------------------

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior
administration officials that he had been involved in a
prostitution ring, an administration official said this
morning.

salamon and co. said...

Wachmann posits that financial gain may override the issur of tzaar baalei chaim.
==================================
There is a Dov and elisheva listed with this #732-363-9175 Is this the lakewood putz you are talking about?

Fact Checker said...

By the looks of him, Lenny Kravitz's mother is NOT Jewish.

British Agudah Fresser said...

Dov Wachmann is originally from Manchester.

Holy Mackerel said...

The NY Times website is not working properly because so many people are trying to read the Spitzer story.

Spitzer is a Thug like Margulies & Belsky said...

Wall Street Journal

http://opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007713

Scary

"It's now a war between us," Eliot Spitzer told me. "I will be coming after you."

by JOHN C. WHITEHEAD
Thursday, December 22, 2005 12:45 p.m. EST

Last April, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece by me titled "Mr. Spitzer Has Gone Too Far." In it I expressed my belief that in America, everyone--including Hank Greenberg--is innocent until proven guilty. "Something has gone seriously awry," I wrote, "when a state attorney general can go on television and charge one of America's best CEOs and most generous philanthropists with fraud before any charges have been brought, before the possible defendant has even had a chance to know what he personally is alleged to have done, and while the investigation is still under way."

Since there have been rumors in the media as to what happened next, I feel I must now set the record straight. After reading my op-ed piece, Mr. Spitzer tried to phone me. I was traveling in Texas but he reached me early in the afternoon. After asking me one or two questions about where I got my facts, he came right to the point. I was so shocked that I wrote it all down right away so I would be sure to remember it exactly as he said it. This is what he said:

"Mr. Whitehead, it's now a war between us and you've fired the first shot. I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written that letter."

I tried to interrupt to say he was doing to me exactly what he'd been doing to others, but he wouldn't be interrupted. He went on in the same vein for several more sentences and then abruptly hung up. I was astounded. No one had ever talked to me like that before. It was a little scary.

It's up to others to make their own conclusions. I have only set out here what happened.

Mr. Whitehead, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, is chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

Israel Belsky said...

Spitzer is my kind of guy.

http://eliotspitzer.blogspot.com/2005/12/spitzer-thug.html

The threat is unmistakable: "I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written that letter."

It is something you would expect to hear from a law enforcement official in a third world dictatorship, not from the chief law enforcement official in the financial capital of the most free country in the world.

Make no mistake, Spitzer acted like a thug who is better suited to the Sopranos than for public office. Maybe as the campaign nears, New Yorkers will realize that having a Governor who uses his public office and citizens tax dollars to harass and threaten those who disagree with him would not only be bad for New York, but would make the great state of New York a national embarrassement.

Aron Twerski said...

Elliot Shpitzer is an honorable Governor.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/i-apologize-to-the-public/

Excerpts from Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s statement to the public, delivered at his Midtown Manhattan office shortly after on Monday afternoon.

… We vowed to bring real change to New York and that will continue. today, i want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violated the obligations to my family and that violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong. I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public whom I promised better. I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good and doing what is best for the State of New York. But I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard that I expect of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family. I will not be taking questions. Thank you very much.

Ombudsman said...

I would give Wachmann a break if he has since changed his way of thinking. Don't forget that 3 years ago, most of us had not even heard of UOJ and those of us who did thought he was a crackpot. Most of us blindly defended Rubashkin alongside the Agudah & Lubinsky because we didn't know the facts. We just assumed PETA are a bunch of Nazis who could not possibly be saying anything truthful. And Rubashkin treif? Not a word except for perhaps the first unclear suspicions from whistleblowers who contacted Yudel Shain. The general consensus years ago also held Yudel Shain to be a gadfly and nut who made stuff up as he went along against the establishment. History has proven otherwise.

Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman said...

I respectfully disagree with my colleague Israel Belsky. I believe that the issues at Enron could have been contained without going to the authorities as they were at YTT.

Don King said...

http://images.google.com/images?num=100&hl=en&q=%22don+king%22&um=1&ie=UTF-8

What's Fruchthandler's problem? Anyone's hair would stand on end if they read the scandals UOJ exposes.

Agudath Israel of America said...

Eli Shpitzer apparently only had one tryst / slip up.

Nisht azoy geferlach.

Marvin Schick has statistics that show he is still far better behaved than other governors.

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

Three years ago this month I took to the Internet - without any typing skills. - MAZEL TOV! Look at what the koach of emes and fierce determination can do! (I still can't type)

Chazak!

Boo Boo Bruno said...

I just got a call from Yehuda Levin. He says this is what Spitzer gets for pushing gay "marriage".

One hooker slipped through spitzer's fingers said...

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring

By DANNY HAKIM and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
Published: March 10, 2008

ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.

Blogrunner: Reactions From Around the WebAn affidavit in the federal investigation into a prostitution ring said that a wiretap recording captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Mr. Spitzer today made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his behavior, and described it as a “private matter.”

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong,” said Mr. Spitzer, who appeared with his wife Silda at his Manhattan office. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.”

“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”

Before speaking, Mr. Spitzer stood with his arm around his wife; the two nodded and then strode forward together to face more than 100 reporters. Both had glassy, tear-filled eyes, but they did not cry.

The governor spoke for perhaps a minute and did not address his political future.

He declined to take questions and promised to report back soon. As he went to leave, three reporters screamed out, "Are you resigning? Are you resigning?", and Mr. Spitzer charged out of the room, slamming the door.

The governor learned that he had been implicated in the prostitution inquiry when a federal official contacted his staff last Friday, according to the person briefed on the case.

The governor informed his top aides Sunday night and this morning of his involvement. He canceled his public events today and scheduled the announcement for this afternoon after inquiries from The Times.

The governor’s aides appeared shaken before he spoke, and one of them began to weep as they waited for him to make his statement at his Manhattan office.

The man described as Client 9 in court papers arranged to meet with a prostitute who was part of the ring, Emperors Club VIP, on the night of Feb. 13. Mr. Spitzer traveled to Washington that evening, according to a person told of his travel arrangements.

The affidavit says that Client 9 met with the woman in hotel room 871 but does not identify the hotel. Mr. Spitzer stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on Feb. 13, according to a source who was told of his travel arrangements. Room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel that evening was registered under another name.

Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, which are generally seen as state crimes. But the Mann Act, passed by Congress in 1910 to address prostitution, human trafficking and what was viewed at the time as immorality in general, makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution. The four defendants charged in the case unsealed last week were all charged with that crime, along with several others.

Mr. Spitzer had a difficult first year in office, rocked by a mix of scandal and legislative setbacks. In recent weeks, however, Mr. Spitzer seemed to have rebounded, with his Democratic party poised to perhaps gain control of the state Senate for the first time in four decades.

Mr. Spitzer gained national attention when he served as attorney general with his relentless pursuit of Wall Street wrongdoing. As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. “It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”

Albany for months has been roiled by bitter fighting and accusations of dirty tricks. The Albany County district attorney is set to issue in the coming days the results of his investigation into Mr. Spitzer’s first scandal, his aides’ involvement in an effort to tarnish Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, the state’s top Republican.

Rabbi Matt Salomon said...

We should treat Elli Spitzer mit kovod and human dignity.

Avi L. Shafran said...

Criticism of the Governor is pornographic.

Lawyer in Midtown said...

Spitzer, who didn't even have a bar mitzva, is married to the shiksa Silda Wall from North Carolina. She's a JD from Harvard Law who practiced at Skadden Arps.

Esav Harasha said...

My eyes also watered but did not shed tears.

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

Spitzer now qualifies to be an honorary governor on the board of governors at ArtScroll.

boog said...

I wonder if Shelly (I don't go to Cops Funerals) Silver will be going to "Bulldozer" Spitzers political funeral?

Say this about Shelly Tinaf. With a face like his where else can he put his putz but keep it in his pants.

And Boo Boo Bruno? Betcha he's kvelling big time.

But at least give the "Bulldozer" epes a bissel credit. He got caught with a high-class call girl. McGreevy OTOH, got caught with a faigelah, fooh-feh.

I nominate both Spitzer and McGreevy as this years Agudah Convention "Men of The Year".

Perlow says it's Muttar because it didn't happen nor were they caught in Boro Park.

Lipa and Shea M. for Governor!

Hillary Clinton said...

He'd better not resign!

Spitzer is a Democrat Superdelegate who is casting his vote for me.

Gawker.com said...

Spitzer's the man who went from famed crime-fighter Eliot Ness to “Eliot Mess.”

He’s finished.

Wonkette said...

Spitzer was a rising star in the Democratic Party and a potential presidential hopeful for 2012. Maybe he can become special assistant to David Mandel at Ohel.

Cheapskate said...

Spitzer's zoyna club charges up to $5,500 an hour. Not $500, but $5,500. For one hour. What kind of value-added services must be provided to justify that fee? I’m looking for actual answers here.

Here's why Spitzer is Completely Nuts said...

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0306082emperor6.html

Here are the transcripts from the Federal sting operation. Towards the end of this page it shows that Spitzer (Client #9) asked for unsafe action which presumably means no protection. This with a zona who is high risk for disease.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trading Pit Fresser said...

Spitzer was public enemy #1 on Wall St.

There is a G-d!!!

Rabbi Scheinberg said...

It's not clear that Spitzer violated any halochos.

Tendler Trinity Of Human Garbage said...

We never use protection.

Avi Shafran said...

Me and the boyz were gonna do a lap dance for Spitzer

John Carney's Blog said...

That a man so versed in the blackmail style of prosecution would so readily open himself up to that dark art is, at the very least, extraordinary. One would think that a man who deployed his aides to whisper about a corporate executive allegedly “banging” his assistant, would be wise enough to the ways of the world to avoid putting himself in a position where he could be blackmailed. That he lacked such wisdom—or ignored it—shows a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the high office to which the people of New York elected him.

That reckless disregard is coupled in Spitzer’s character with a steadfast self-regard. Even in his brief apology, he focused mostly on how he had violated his own standards of conduct rather than those of the public’s mores and statutes. It is as if, in the kingdom of Spitzer, there is no crime worse than violating the standards of Spitzer.

Where did this sense of self-regard come from? Spitzer is the scion of a family made wealthy by real estate investments. He went to Horace Mann High School, graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School. Like Barack Obama, he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Many others have emerged from similarly privileged backgrounds without experiencing the ego inflation that fueled Spitzer’s reckless self-regard. Even now, the origins of this deformation of characters remain illegible to the public.

If Spitzer were open to the standards set by those residing beyond the bounds of his own mind, he might take a page from one of the earliest targets of his crusade against Wall Street. In 2002, Spitzer went after Merrill Lynch's investment banking and research practices. After he described Merrill’s conduct as "a shocking betrayal of trust by one of Wall Street's most trusted names," Merrill Lynch stock sank, and the company lost $5 billion in market value in a few days. Reading the writing on the wall, Merrill recognized that the good of its shareholders lay in a quick settlement rather than a protracted defense.

The writing is all over the wall, Mr. Governor. If you really want to do what is best for New York State, it might be time to start reading it.

Matt Salomon said...

Was putting up this "rotten sewage" post late last night a coincidence?

Fox News said...

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is expected to submit his resignation to the New York General Assembly Monday night after allegations surfaced earlier in the day that he is "Client 9," named in a federal prostitution case.

NEW YORK TIMES said...

Affidavit: Client 9 and Room 871

By ALAN FEUER and IAN URBINA
Published: March 11, 2008
It was after 9 p.m. the night before Valentine’s Day when she arrived, a young brunette named Kristen. She was 5-foot-5, 105 pounds. Pretty and petite.

This was at the Mayflower, one of Washington’s finer hotels. Her client for the evening had booked Room 871. He was a return customer. The hundreds of dollars he had promised to pay would cover all expenses: the room, the minibar, room service should they order it, the train ticket that had brought her from New York and, naturally, Kristen’s time.

A 47-page federal affidavit from an F.B.I. agent investigating a prostitution ring lists the man at the hotel as “Client 9,” and includes considerable details about him, the prostitutes and his methods of paying for them. A law enforcement official and another person briefed on the prostitution case have identified Client 9 as Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York.

Kristen, having already passed through the lobby, with its wing chairs and its gilded half-clad cherubs, arrived in a small room in a quiet corner of the “Club Floor,” a special wing for V.I.P.’s. A king-size bed commanded the carpeted floor. Two photos — of the Capitol and the Washington Monument — hung on the walls.

As soon as she came in, Kristen called her boss, Temeka Lewis, who was the booking agent for the Emperor’s Club, an online prostitution ring, the affidavit said. Ms. Lewis told her that the client had arrived. He was headed for the room. An assignation of more than an hour ensued, according to the affidavit, which was unsealed Thursday morning in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Room 871 had been booked under the name George Fox, a pseudonym that Client 9 had been using, and one by which several people in the ring knew him, according to a law enforcement official. However, a few of the prostitutes had recently come to realize who the man really was, the official said.

The affidavit said Client 9 approached the Emperor’s Club last month, requesting an appointment on Feb. 13 at 9 or 10 p.m. The appointment was to be in Washington, and he sent along what appears to have been a deposit of cash by mail.

Apparently, it was not his first time using the service. The affidavit captures the almost mundane financial back-and-forth prior to the meeting, quoting Ms. Lewis as telling her boss, Mark Brener, the owner of the ring, that Client 9 had a $400 or $500 credit to his name and wished to use it toward his next appointment. When Ms. Lewis spoke to the client on Feb. 12, the affidavit said, she told him that his deposit had not yet arrived and asked if he had sent it to a business known as Qat.

“Yup, same as in the past,” the client said. “No question about it.”

After these initial matters were discussed, Ms. Lewis reached out to Kristen, the affidavit said, writing in a text message : “If D.C. appt. happens u will need 2 leave NYC @ 4:45 p.m.” The next day she sent along a possible itinerary: Amtrak’s Train No. 129 departed Pennsylvania Station at 5:39 p.m. and arrived in Washington at 9. The following evening, Train No. 84 departed Washington at 8:35 p.m. and pulled into New York at 11:57.

Minutes after sending this text message, Ms. Lewis took another call from Client 9 and told him that his “package” had arrived. In a prior conversation, Client 9 had already told her that he had booked a room and had paid for it in his own name and now asked who was coming. Ms. Lewis told him it would be Kristen and, according to the affidavit, he responded: “Great, O.K., wonderful.”

Still, there were some “payment issues” to discuss. Ms. Lewis asked if he could give Kristen “extra funds” at the appointment and the client said that he would see what he could do. The agency did not like models to handle money for future meetings, Ms. Lewis said, but this time they would make an exception so they wouldn’t have to go through it again.

The papers quote Kristen and the woman who sent her on the job talking about a man believed to be Client 9, who might make requests of prostitutes “you might not think were safe.” But Kristen, according to the papers, was prepared: “I have a way of dealing with that,” she is quoted as having told the woman. “I’d be like, ‘Listen, dude, you really want the sex?’... You know what I mean.”

Elliot Spitzer said...

Boog, Im gonna efin steamroll you!!

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

Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb'
Buffett and Gross warn: $516 trillion bubble is a disaster waiting to happen.

Dr. Bungalow Putz Neuhoff said...

I am against paying $5500 an hour of any kind.

Anonymous said...

Can we have a link for the derivatives article? Thanks

Andrew Cuomo said...

I heard that Shea Fishman spilled the beans on the identity of client 9.

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

PAUL B. FARRELL
Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb'
Buffett and Gross warn: $516 trillion bubble is a disaster waiting to happen

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:31 p.m. EDT March 10 ARROYO GRANDE, Calif.

(MarketWatch) -- "Charlie and I believe Berkshire should be a fortress of financial strength" wrote Warren Buffet. That was five years before the subprime-credit meltdown.

"We try to be alert to any sort of mega-catastrophe risk, and that posture may make us unduly appreciative about the burgeoning quantities of long-term derivatives contracts and the massive amount of uncollateralized receivables that are growing alongside. In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal."

That warning was in Buffett's 2002 letter to Berkshire shareholders. He saw a future that many others chose to ignore. The Iraq war build-up was at a fever-pitch. The imagery of WMDs and a mushroom cloud fresh in his mind.

Also fresh on Buffett's mind: His acquisition of General Re four years earlier, about the time the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund almost killed the global monetary system. How? This is crucial: LTCM nearly killed the system with a relatively small $5 billion trading loss. Peanuts compared with the hundreds of billions of dollars of subprime-credit write-offs now making Wall Street's big shots look like amateurs.

Buffett tried to sell off Gen Re's derivatives group. No buyers. Unwinding it was costly, but led to his warning that derivatives are a "financial weapon of mass destruction." That was 2002.
Derivatives bubble explodes five times bigger in five years
Wall Street didn't listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about $100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. The new derivatives bubble was fueled by five key economic and political trends:

Sarbanes-Oxley increased corporate disclosures and government oversight

Federal Reserve's cheap money policies created the subprime-housing boom

War budgets burdened the U.S. Treasury and future entitlements programs

Trade deficits with China and others destroyed the value of the U.S. dollar

Oil and commodity rich nations demanding equity payments rather than debt

In short, despite Buffett's clear warnings, a massive new derivatives bubble is driving the domestic and global economies, a bubble that continues growing today parallel with the subprime-credit meltdown triggering a bear-recession.

Data on the five-fold growth of derivatives to $516 trillion in five years comes from the most recent survey by the Bank of International Settlements, the world's clearinghouse for central banks in Basel, Switzerland. The BIS is like the cashier's window at a racetrack or casino, where you'd place a bet or cash in chips, except on a massive scale: BIS is where the U.S. settles trade imbalances with Saudi Arabia for all that oil we guzzle and gives China IOUs for the tainted drugs and lead-based toys we buy.
To grasp how significant this five-fold bubble increase is, let's put that $516 trillion in the context of some other domestic and international monetary data:
U.S. annual gross domestic product is about $15 trillion
U.S. money supply is also about $15 trillion
Current proposed U.S. federal budget is $3 trillion
U.S. government's maximum legal debt is $9 trillion
U.S. mutual fund companies manage about $12 trillion
World's GDPs for all nations is approximately $50 trillion
Unfunded Social Security and Medicare benefits $50 trillion to $65 trillion
Total value of the world's real estate is estimated at about $75 trillion
Total value of world's stock and bond markets is more than $100 trillion
BIS valuation of world's derivatives back in 2002 was about $100 trillion
BIS 2007 valuation of the world's derivatives is now a whopping $516 trillion
Moreover, the folks at BIS tell me their estimate of $516 trillion only includes "transactions in which a major private dealer (bank) is involved on at least one side of the transaction," but doesn't include private deals between two "non-reporting entities." They did, however, add that their reporting central banks estimate that the coverage of the survey is around 95% on average.
Also, keep in mind that while the $516 trillion "notional" value (maximum in case of a meltdown) of the deals is a good measure of the market's size, the 2007 BIS study notes that the $11 trillion "gross market values provides a more accurate measure of the scale of financial risk transfer taking place in derivatives markets."
Bubbles, domino effects and the 'bad 2%'
However, while that may be true as far as the parties to an individual deal, there are broader risks to the world's economies. Remember back in 1998 when LTCM's little $5 billion loss nearly brought down the world's banking system. That "domino effect" is now repeating many times over, straining the world's monetary, economic and political system as the subprime housing mess metastasizes, taking the U.S. stock market and the world economy down with it.

This cascading "domino effect" was brilliantly described in "The $300 Trillion Time Bomb: If Buffett can't figure out derivatives, can anybody?" published early last year in Portfolio magazine, a couple months before the subprime meltdown. Columnist Jesse Eisinger's $300 trillion figure came from an earlier study of the derivatives market as it was growing from $100 trillion to $516 trillion over five years. Eisinger concluded:

"There's nothing intrinsically scary about derivatives, except when the bad 2% blow up." Unfortunately, that "bad 2%" did blow up a few months afterwards, even as Bernanke and Paulson were assuring America that the subprime mess was "contained."
Bottom line: Little things leverage a heck of a big wallop. It only takes a little spark from a "bad 2% deal" to ignite this $516 trillion weapon of mass destruction. Think of this entire unregulated derivatives market like an unsecured, unpredictable nuclear bomb in a Pakistan stockpile. It's only a matter of time.

World's newest and biggest 'black market'

The fact is, derivatives have become the world's biggest "black market," exceeding the illicit traffic in stuff like arms, drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, stolen art and pirated movies. Why? Because like all black markets, derivatives are a perfect way of getting rich while avoiding taxes and government regulations. And in today's slowdown, plus a volatile global market, Wall Street knows derivatives remain a lucrative business.
Recently Pimco's bond fund king Bill Gross said "What we are witnessing is essentially the breakdown of our modern-day banking system, a complex of leveraged lending so hard to understand that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke required a face-to-face refresher course from hedge fund managers in mid-August." In short, not only Warren Buffett, but Bond King Bill Gross, our Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the rest of America's leaders can't "figure out" the world's $516 trillion derivatives.

Why? Gross says we are creating a new "shadow banking system." Derivatives are now not just risk management tools. As Gross and others see it, the real problem is that derivatives are now a new way of creating money outside the normal central bank liquidity rules. How? Because they're private contracts between two companies or institutions.
BIS is primarily a records-keeper, a toothless tiger that merely collects data giving a legitimacy and false sense of security to this chaotic "shadow banking system" that has become the world's biggest "black market."
That's crucial, folks. Why? Because central banks require reserves like stock brokers require margins, something backing up the transaction. Derivatives don't. They're not "real money." They're paper promises closer to "Monopoly" money than real U.S. dollars.

And it takes place outside normal business channels, out there in the "free market." That's the wonderful world of derivatives, and it's creating a massive bubble that could soon implode.
Comments? Yes, we want to hear your thoughts. Tell us what you think about derivatives: as "financial weapons of mass destruction;" as a "shadow banking system;" as a "black market;" as the next big bubble dangerously exposing us to that unpredictable "bad 2%."

Observant Jew said...

The article doesn't explain what happens if the derivatives market implodes. Presumably the banks will all go under but is the govt capable of propping them up by cancelling debt liability?

What's the scenario? Total breakdown of law & order, chalila? Greenback would become worthless. What would take over as the new currency? Swiss Franc? Precious metals? Food?

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

I'm alarmed that Buffet is alarmed. I don't know the answer - it sounds like economic armeggedon - I hope somebody knows the answer. Bernanke is turning out to be a lightweight. I'm concerned that nobody in a position to do something - saw this coming. Nobody!

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

BTW - The Government can't just decide to print more money or cancel bank liabilities - Our entire banking system would then become incapacitated.

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

My intuition also tells me that Bank Of America will back out of the Countrywide "acqusition" - which will leave some trillion dollars in mortgage debt in the hands of the Government!

Ahavah said...

The word on the grapevine is that the US government will, eventually, become the de-facto owner of all the foreclosed properties. It won't stop the 30-40% price correction of housing, it will just bail out the banks at taxpayer expense. Then the government will be required to maintain the properties, etc. They'll try and put them on the market, but the qualifications for mortgages are now so tight that few can qualify and this situation will not be remedied anytime soon. What you end up with is tons of "section 8" type properties that will be semi-neglected by the government and abused by the renters assigned to them and bring down all the neighbors property values even further.

As for the banks, their goal is to unload their unrecoverable debts onto the taxpayers as fast as possible, though some may not survive the process. Right now, their un-performing or under-performing loans have stripped them of the ability to raise capital, and a derivatives meltdown will make that worse.

What is boils down to is that banks have been loaning money they don't have to loan, and now that the *&"$^ is hitting the fan, they have to cough up capital to cover their obligations. Derivatives are part of that problem - it's just another slight of hand accounting gimmick to pretend that money appears out of thin blue air based on nothing of substantial actual real life value or real labour.

Though I saw an article today denying it, it is fractional reserve banking that has caused most of this. You put $10 in your checking account for a few days while your checks clear and they count that as a long term savings investment and loan out $100 based on it. The only way to completely solve the problem would be to require a 100% reserve for demand-deposit accounts (checking, debit) and only allow fractional banking loans to be made on actual long term savings, CDs, IRAs, etc. accounts and a bank's permanent capital reserves.

But since banks can't compete with the stock and bond markets for returns, people don't usually invest their savings with banks anymore...

You see the problem.

Machlokes R' Shimon Cohen & Belsky said...

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:3TUgZvJ4iNwJ:leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/700/Gurtman05.rtf+%22rabbi+belsky%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=116&gl=us

While P.E.T.A. advocates vegetarianism, it generally accepts shehitah as a relatively painless method of slaughter.174 P.E.T.A. spokesman, Bruce Friedrich, acknowledged that “done correctly, kosher slaughter is no less humane, and probably is better, than the conventional method” in commercial slaughterhouses. “We're not objecting to kosher slaughter in general,” Friedrich said, “We're objecting to the sloppy, unethical methods used at this particular plant, which many experts on slaughterhouse standards say is the worst cruelty they have ever seen.”175 As such, P.E.T.A.'s protests were not directly aimed at the practice of shehitah, but at the particular way it was being carried out at this plant, which they claim was both inhumane and contrary to accepted Jewish law. However, the plant's supervising rabbi said the tapes were “testimony that this is being done right,” and representatives of the Orthodox Union, the leading organization that certifies kosher products, said that the pictures were not necessarily indicative of violations of the Jewish laws of slaughter.176

An article in The New York Times described the video's contents as follows:

“On the 30-minute tape, each animal is placed in a rotating drum so it can be killed while upside down, as required by Orthodox rabbis in Israel. Immediately after the shochet, or ritual slaughterer, has slit the throat, another worker tears open each steer's neck with a hook and pulls out the trachea and esophagus. The drum rotates, and the steer is dumped on the floor. One after another, animals with dangling windpipes stand up or try to; in one case, death takes three minutes.”177

Whether this procedure is acceptable according to Jewish law has become a controversial issue among Jewish authorities. Because the shohet checked to ensure that both the trachea and esophagus had been severed, the slaughters appear to have been kosher. Rabbi Belsky, a chief expert for the Orthodox Union, said that scientific studies have found that an animal whose brain had lost blood pressure when its throat was slit felt nothing, and any motions it made were involuntary. However, Shimon Cohen, a spokesman for Shechita UK, a British lobbying group that defends ritual slaughter against the protests of animal-rights activists, told the Times that after watching the tape with a rabbi and a British shohet he “felt queasy,” and added, “I don't know what that is, but it's not shechita.” Cohen explained that in Britain an animal must be restrained for 30 seconds to bleed, and no second cut is allowed. According to Cohen, because shehitah must produce instantaneous unconsciousness, AgriProcessors' meat could not be considered kosher. Rabbi Kohn, of AgriProcessors, said the throat-tearing was done only to speed bleeding. Recent Federal rules for slaughterhouse inspectors recognize “the ritual cut and any additional cut to facilitate bleeding” as different from skinning or butchering, which is forbidden “until the animal is insensible.”178

Agudath Israel of America, one Orthodox Jewish group, called P.E.T.A.'s campaign a “vicious and unethical attack” on Judaism, which “introduced human society to the concept of humane treatment of animals.”181

In response to the uproar created by the P.E.T.A. video, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has told federal meat inspectors that they should immediately shut down any slaughterhouse where they observe acts of cruelty similar to those found on the videotape.183 The U.S.D.A.'s Food Safety Inspection Service sent a detailed advisory to federal meat inspectors on December 22, 2004. While the advisory does not mention either P.E.T.A.'s videotape or the Postville plant by name, it describes what inspectors should do in a scenario that corresponds closely to the situation shown on the tape.

“'You are the Public Health Veterinarian assigned to monitor a kosher slaughterhouse… Today the establishment is ritually slaughtering cattle. Seconds after the shochet, a rabbi trained as a kosher butcher, cuts a steer's throat, a plant employee steps forward to make a second cut and pull out the steer's trachea, or breathing tube, and its esophagus, or gullet.

“'The trachea and esophagus are dangling from the neck of the animal. . . . You are concerned as to whether the animal is sensible during this process…. But before you can call the District [supervisor] or adequately examine the animal . . . the steer begins to right itself, and then stands, and starts to stumble around in the bleeding area, flopping its head on adjacent equipment.'

“In such a situation, the document says, the federal inspector should immediately notify the slaughterhouse that it has a “conscious” animal “at a point in the process where it should be unconscious.” After waiting to verify that the animal has been put out of its misery, it says, the inspector should place a “U.S. Reject” tag on the device that restrains the cattle during slaughter and “inform the plant that the slaughter operation is suspended.

“'You take these actions because the plant personnel performed a dressing procedure on a conscious animal, and because they failed to react appropriately to address a suffering, conscious animal. In addition, you inform establishment management that they will be receiving an NR [Non-compliance Record] for this egregious violation.'”184

While the U.S.D.A. has not taken direct action against the plant, or shehitah, it is clear that the issue of the humaneness of the shehitah method is still a topic of controversy today.

Lakewood Talmid said...

"it sounds like economic armeggedon"

Hopefully the yeshuah will come first but it sounds like a possible haychee timtza of Gog uMagog.

"The Government can't just decide to print more money"

That was Germany's mistake that the Jews got scapegoated for

"or cancel bank liabilities"

Some banana republics in Latin America did that in the 1980s. They just "nationalized" the banks which means they stole everyone's deposits. Then they shnorred from Uncle Sam probably knowing they would never pay the "loans" back. Washington & the World Bank were "moychel" the debt which means you and I had to pay for it with higher taxes.

You know, that nut Sokolovsky who heads the Lubavitch Elokistim in Boston always says the Rebbe was matir tax evasion because even this medinah shel chesed figures out ways to rob us. Sometimes I wonder if he has a point.

Lakewood Talmid said...

"The only way to completely solve the problem would be to require a 100% reserve for demand-deposit accounts"

If the Swiss Franc is backed by gold I wonder if their banks are overextended with derivatives and fractional reserve. If yes, could that still render the Franc useless? After Black Friday in 1987, investors I know made a killing by buying hundreds of thousands of Swiss Francs.

Putz Spitzer could face 5 Years in Prison said...

Mr. Spitzer has not been charged with a crime. But one law enforcement official who has been briefed on the case said that Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers would probably meet soon with federal prosecutors to discuss any possible legal exposure. The official said the discussions were likely to focus not on prostitution, but on how it was paid for: Whether the payments from Mr. Spitzer to the service were made in a way to conceal their purpose and source. That could amount to a crime called structuring, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, declined to comment.

If Mr. Spitzer were to resign, Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson would serve out the remainder of his term. Mr. Paterson, who is legally blind, would become the first black governor of New York. State Senator Joseph L. Bruno, the state’s top Republican, would assume the duties of the lieutenant governor.

The governor learned that he had been implicated in the prostitution inquiry when a federal official contacted his office on Friday, according to the person briefed on the case. On Saturday night, he attended the Gridiron Club annual dinner, a political roast put on by Washington journalists, and appeared ebullient, according to people in attendance. (Arrogant Shmuck!)

Mr. Spitzer’s family and his top assistants debated Monday morning at Mr. Spitzer’s apartment about whether he should step down, a person who spoke to the governor said. Silda Wall Spitzer, who was among them, told her husband that he should not resign in haste; as did Lloyd Constantine, a senior adviser and a longtime friend of the governor. But most of his others saw no way for him to survive.

Among the open questions is where Mr. Spitzer’s security detail was while the prostitute was inside the hotel.

The affidavit says that he met with the woman in Room 871 but does not identify the hotel. Room 871 at the Mayflower that evening was registered under the name George Fox.

One of the law enforcement officials said that several people running the prostitution ring knew Mr. Spitzer by the name of George Fox, though a few of the prostitutes came to realize he was the governor of New York.

Mr. Fox is a friend and a donor to Mr. Spitzer. Asked in a telephone interview on Monday whether he accompanied Mr. Spitzer to Washington on Feb. 13 and 14, Mr. Fox responded: “Why would you think that? I did not.”

Told that Room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel had been registered in Mr. Fox’s name with Mr. Spitzer’s Fifth Avenue address, Mr. Fox said, “That is the first I have heard of it. Until I speak to the governor further, I have no comment.”

In a wiretapped conversation after the encounter, the prostitute, Kristen, called her booker to inform her that the session had gone well, and that she did not find the client “difficult,” as other prostitutes apparently had, according to the affidavit.

Paul Krugman said...

Op-Ed Columnist
The Face-Slap Theory
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: March 10, 2008
Friday’s employment report — which was so weak that it had many economists declaring that we’re already in a recession — was bad news. But it was actually less disturbing than what’s going on in the financial markets.


The scariest thing I’ve read recently is a speech given last week by Tim Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mr. Geithner came as close as a Fed official can to saying that we’re in the midst of a financial meltdown.

To understand the gravity of the situation, you have to know what the Fed did last summer, and again last fall.

As late as August the favorite buzzword of financial officials was “contained”: problems in subprime mortgages, we were assured, wouldn’t spread to other financial markets or to the economy as a whole.

Soon afterward, however, a full-fledged financial panic began. Investors pulled hundreds of billions of dollars out of asset-backed commercial paper, a little-known but important market that has taken over a lot of the work banks used to do. This de facto bank run sent shock waves through the financial system.

The Fed responded by rushing money to banks, and markets partially calmed down, for a little while. But by December the panic was back.

Again, the Fed responded by rushing money to banks, this time via a new arrangement called the Term Auction Facility. Again the markets calmed down, for a while.

But again, the respite was only temporary. Last month another market you’ve never heard of, the $300 billion market for auction-rate securities (don’t ask), suffered the equivalent of a bank run. Last week two big financial companies announced that they had been unable to raise the cash demanded by their lenders. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored mortgage agencies long regarded as safe places to put your money, are now having trouble attracting funds.

One consequence of the crisis is that while the Fed has been cutting the interest rate it controls — the so-called Fed funds rate — the rates that matter most directly to the economy, including rates on mortgages and corporate bonds, have been rising. And that’s sure to worsen the economic downturn.

What’s going on? Mr. Geithner described a vicious circle in which banks and other market players who took on too much risk are all trying to get out of unsafe investments at the same time, causing “significant collateral damage to market functioning.”

A report released last Friday by JPMorgan Chase was even blunter. It described what’s happening as a “systemic margin call,” in which the whole financial system is facing demands to come up with cash it doesn’t have. (A financial joke making the rounds, via the blog Calculated Risk: “Who is this guy Margin that keeps calling me?”)

The Fed’s latest plan to break this vicious circle is — as the financial Web site interfluidity.com cruelly but accurately describes it — to turn itself into Wall Street’s pawnbroker. Banks that might have raised cash by selling assets will be encouraged, instead, to borrow money from the Fed, using the assets as collateral. In a worst-case scenario, the Federal Reserve would find itself owning around $200 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities.

Some observers worry that the Fed is taking over the banks’ financial risk. But what worries me more is that the move seems trivial compared with the size of the problem: $200 billion may sound like a lot of money, but when you compare it with the size of the markets that are melting down — there are $11 trillion in U.S. mortgages outstanding — it’s a drop in the bucket.

The only way the Fed’s action could work is through the slap-in-the-face effect: by creating a pause in the selling frenzy, the Fed could give hysterical markets a chance to regain their sense of perspective. And to be fair, that has worked in the past.

But slap-in-the-face only works if the market’s problems are mainly a matter of psychology. And given that the Fed has already slapped the market in the face twice, only to see the financial crisis come roaring back, that’s hard to believe.

The third time could be the charm. But I doubt it. Soon, we’ll probably have to do something real about reducing the risks investors face.

A plan to restore the credibility of municipal bond insurance would be a start (how crazy is it that New York State, rather than the federal government, is taking the lead here?). I also suspect that the feds will have to get explicit about guaranteeing the debt of Fannie and Freddie, which really are too big to fail.

Nobody wants to put taxpayers on the hook for the financial industry’s follies; we can all hope that, in the end, a bailout won’t be necessary. But hope is not a plan.

UOJ Deputy on Wall St said...

Buffett has good reason to be scared but the more imminent thing to fear is how quickly credit is drying up. There are rumors on the Street that Carlyle Group and Bear Stearns are running out of cash.

Blackstone & KKR are finding it very difficult to get anyone to finance a deal these days too.

IRS tipped off the FBI & US Attorney said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/nyregion/11inquire.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

The rendezvous that established Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s involvement with high-priced prostitutes occurred last month in one of Washington’s grandest hotels, but the criminal investigation that discovered the tryst began last year in a nondescript office building opposite a Dunkin’ Donuts on Long Island, according to law enforcement officials.

There, in the Hauppauge offices of the Internal Revenue Service, investigators conducting a routine examination of suspicious financial transactions reported to them by banks found several unusual movements of cash involving the governor of New York, several officials said.

The investigators working out of the three-story office building, which faces Veterans Highway, typically review such reports, the officials said. But this was not typical: transactions by a governor who appeared to be trying to conceal the source, destination or purpose of the movement of thousands of dollars in cash, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The money ended up in the bank accounts of what appeared to be shell companies, corporations that essentially had no real business.

The transactions, officials said, suggested possible financial crimes — maybe bribery, political corruption, or something inappropriate involving campaign finance. Prostitution, they said, was the furthest thing from the minds of the investigators.

Soon, the I.R.S. agents, from the agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, were working with F.B.I. agents and federal prosecutors from Manhattan who specialize in political corruption.

The inquiry, like many such investigations, was a delicate one. Because the focus was a high-ranking government official, prosecutors were required to seek the approval of the United States attorney general to proceed. Once they secured that permission, the investigation moved forward.

At the outset, one official said, it seemed like a bread-and-butter inquiry into political corruption, the kind of case the F.B.I. squad, known internally by the designation C14, frequently pursues.

But before long, the investigators learned that the money was being moved to pay for sex and that the transactions were being manipulated to conceal Mr. Spitzer’s connection to payments for meetings with prostitutes, the official said.

Then, with the assistance of a confidential informant, a young woman who had worked previously as a prostitute for the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., the escort service that Mr. Spitzer was believed to be using, the investigators were able to get a judge to approve wiretaps on the cellphones of some of those suspected of involvement in the escort service.

The wiretaps, along with the records of bank accounts held in the names of the shell companies, revealed a world of prostitutes catering to wealthy men. At the center was the Emperor’s Club, which arranged “dates” with more than 50 beautiful young women in New York, Paris, London, Miami and Washington.

But its finances moved through the shell companies — the QAT Consulting Group, QAT International and Protech Consulting — which held bank accounts into which clients wired their payments, according to court papers in the case.

One of the booking agents, a woman named Temeka Rachelle Lewis, 32, told a client that wiring his payments to QAT Consulting was safe because it would show up “like as a business transaction,” according to an affidavit filed in federal court the case.

But the transactions proved to be anything but safe for Mr. Spitzer

The conversations, according to the affidavit, were among more than 5,000 telephone calls and text messages that the federal authorities intercepted during the course of the investigation into the prostitution ring, which began last October. Investigators also seized more than 6,000 e-mail messages, bank records, and travel and hotel records, and conducted physical surveillance.

Ahavah said...

I'm guessing the Swiss Franc is no longer gold-based. Right now, as of about 2 seconds ago, the exchange rate was 1.0183 to the dollar. That's pretty close - especially considering it now takes $1000 to buy an ounce of gold.

http://www.advfn.com/

Your best bet is just to buy gold coins and silver coins while you still can - anonymously.

Alpha Putz said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/nyregion/11fall.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

Spitzer cast himself, self-consciously, as the alpha male, with a belief in the clarifying power of confrontation. Long predawn runs, fierce basketball games: He did nothing at half-speed. “Listen, I’m a steamroller,” he told a State Assembly leader in his first days as governor, adding an unprintable adjective into the mix for emphasis.

Soon enough, his enemies and even admirers and friends came to affix another adjective to his name: reckless. So often the new governor seemed to accumulate enemies for sport, to threaten rivals with destruction when an artful compromise and a disingenuous slap on the back might do just as well.

“I am not naturally suited to this job,” he told a reporter recently, and perhaps he knew more than he was letting on.

The tawdry nature of his current troubles — to be caught on tape arranging a hotel-room liaison with a high-priced call girl, according to law enforcement officials — shocked even his harshest critics, though not all were surprised that he would risk so much.

“Here’s a guy who won an overwhelming electoral landslide and has inflicted fatal wounds on himself publicly and privately,” said Douglas A. Muzzio, a political scientist at Baruch College and a student of the state’s politics. “I’m not a psychologist, but this is just utterly, completely reckless.”

In fact, Mr. Spitzer’s path through public life has at times resembled a blindfolded dash along the political I-beam.

He was not the first politician to burn with a moral fervor; but he sometimes failed to recognize that his own footsteps could fall in ethically dodgy territory. In 1994, he denied — and later acknowledged — secretly borrowing millions of dollars from his father to finance an unsuccessful run in the Democratic primary for state attorney general. Mr. Spitzer the prosecutor might have pursued this sort of behavior as possibly illegal.

The Republicans complained, yet he sidestepped questions and won election to the office four years later.

As attorney general, his ambition, intelligence and energy were palpable. And his timing was impeccable. A gilded, stock-fed decade was winding down, and a torrent of too-easy cash had eroded the financial controls inside many investment banks, brokerages and insurance companies.

Spitzer cast himself as Wall Street’s new sheriff and took off at full gallop after his quarry. To his young lawyers, he offered his standard advice: “If you’ve got it, do it.” If they could turn old laws to new, even unintended purposes, so much the better.

His mastery of this style of justice was evident. Employing aggressive tactics, threatening to crush his opponents, his office extracted vast civil settlements from defendants eager to avoid criminal indictment.

But his style wed toughness to what looked to some like bullying. He hurled curses at the targets of his investigations, and sometimes at colleagues perceived as too slow or too questioning of his tactics.

During an argument at a conference, he nearly came to blows with the California attorney general, according to a magazine article. And Wall Street rank left him largely unimpressed.

Few on Wall Street expressed much sorrow at Mr. Spitzer’s predicament on Monday. In particular, friends of Richard A. Grasso, the former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and a favorite Spitzer piñata, recalled that Spitzer aides had circulated allegations, never substantiated, that Mr. Grasso had had an improper relationship with his secretary.

But in his own view, Mr. Spitzer was a warrior in wartime. He had come to symbolize public revulsion with Wall Street’s excesses, and most voters seemed willing to extend him the benefit of the doubt.

He also initiated popular attacks on subprime mortgage brokers and gun manufacturers, and issued a report concluding that the New York City police were twice as likely to stop blacks and Latinos as whites on suspicion of carrying weapons — a finding that enraged Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

And Mr. Spitzer was a careful custodian of his own image, cultivating editorial boards and magazine editors. He might be intense and sometimes profane, but he sold these traits as the necessary downside of his crusading style.

So great was his public acclaim that his path to the governor’s mansion already seemed clear when he launched his campaign in Buffalo to the sounds of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” The symbolism was clear and his language was characteristically unyielding.

He promised a cleaning of the governmental stables, vowing to sweep out “unqualified cronies,” stamp out “pay-to-play politics” and impose leadership on a leaderless statehouse.

His assurance never faded, even as he walked up the steps of the Capitol to be inaugurated on a frigid January morning in 2007.

“Like Rip Van Winkle,” he told his audience, “New York has slept through much of the past decade while the rest of the world has passed us by.”

Alas for Mr. Spitzer, his shiv-in-the-kidney style, which served him so well in facing down skittish bankers and mutual fund executives, met its match in Albany. He relied — too often, said some — on his tough-talking crew from the attorney general’s office, and tended to speak loudly when he might better have listened.

“He’s got such a fabulous mind,” said a strategist who had worked closely with the governor on past campaigns and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But he’s not a listener. His dramatic flaw is that he only wants to talk about his ideas.”

Time and again, Mr. Spitzer began as the hunter and finished as the hunted. He would curse at legislators, who would in turn leak damaging word to reporters or hold up crucial legislation.

The Republican leader of the State Senate, Boog's friend Joseph L. Boo Boo Bruno, a wily, white-haired 78-year-old former Army boxer, tossed jab after jab at the 48-year-old governor. Mr. Spitzer, opined Mr. Bruno, is a ”spoiled brat” prone to tantrums. And when it was revealed that just weeks into Mr. Spitzer’s term, the governor’s staff had used the state police to try to prove that Mr. Bruno misused a state helicopter for political trips, the Senate leader played the near-perfect victim.

Rubashkin Truck Driver said...

Sholom Rubashkin & Belsky are very distressed about this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/business/11diesel.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

March 11, 2008
Paying at the Pump, in a Big Way
By CHRISTOPHER MAAG
CLEVELAND — Ricardo Caraballo was having a familiar American experience at the filling station the other day, groaning as the pump clicked up, up, up. By the time he finished it read $505, and his tank was only half full.

A few years ago, “$500 would have kept me rolling for two weeks,” he said. “Now, I’ll be lucky to make it three days.”

Mr. Caraballo is a trucker, and instead of gasoline he was buying 143 gallons of diesel. While the price of gasoline may be on the verge of setting another record, diesel is already there.

According to AAA, the motor club, the average nationwide diesel price has set records on 18 of the past 19 days, including Monday, when it hit $3.83 a gallon.

In the nation’s tool and die plants, in the driver’s seats of farm tractors and in the cabs of the long-haul semis that ply America’s highways, people are feeling the pain.

“It’s killing us,” said Chad Beachler, co-owner of Beachler Trucking, which operates nine trucks in Loudonville, Ohio. “Every day, I come in here and wonder if I have enough money to buy fuel.”

Both diesel and gasoline prices had lagged behind the big increase in the price of oil, as slack wintertime demand helped to suppress increases at the pump. But now both fuels are rising rapidly. Gasoline was selling for a nationwide average of nearly $3.23 a gallon on Monday, a half-penny shy of the record set last May. Oil closed up sharply on Monday to hit a record, $107.90 a barrel, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Four states — New York, California, Pennsylvania and Vermont — reported average diesel prices above $4 a gallon on Monday. “That really is unprecedented,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, which compiles data for AAA.

Stunned by the high prices, businesses are trying to cut fuel consumption any way they can. Farmers are buying more fuel-efficient equipment. Truckers are putting off maintenance and packing lunches. Transport companies of all types are cutting what little fat remains in an industry that subsists on lean margins even when fuel is cheap.

“In this industry, if you’re making 4 percent profits, you’re held in high esteem,” said Jim O’Neal, chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association. “Now we’re looking at the dreaded stagflation: a soft economy and increasing prices on everything, especially fuel.”

Some causes of the run-up are seasonal, said Ron Planting, an economist at the American Petroleum Institute. For instance, home heating oil and diesel are close cousins, and when heating-oil demand goes up in the winter, the prices of both fuels often rise.

But other reasons are relatively new. The rising popularity of diesel vehicles in Europe increases demand for the fuel and decreases demand for gasoline, allowing European refiners to export their surplus to the United States, which helps stabilize gasoline prices here, Mr. Planting said. Diesel use is on the rise in fast-growing countries like India and China, Mr. Kloza said. And even in the United States, demand for diesel and heating oil grew 1.5 percent in 2007, compared with 0.4 percent for gasoline, Mr. Planting said.

Government data shows that Americans used 1.55 billion gallons of diesel last year, compared with 3.395 billion gallons of gasoline. Diesel is mostly burned by businesses to power machinery or haul freight, Mr. Planting said. Since few of the functions dependent on diesel are discretionary, companies must pay the higher prices to remain in business.

“In the U.S., gasoline is having its little run,” Mr. Kloza said. “But diesel is much more of a global market. All the signs say that the world’s appetite for diesel is only going up.”

Rising fuel costs come at a difficult time for America’s transport companies, already hit by slumps in new home construction and consumer spending. Truck tonnage fell 1.5 percent in 2007, to just under 11 billion tons, said Bob Costello, chief economist of the American Trucking Association. Rising diesel costs will almost certainly lead to higher consumer prices and more bankruptcies, he said.

“We’re already seeing more trucking companies fail, and it’s only going to get worse,” Mr. Costello said.

When Tony Jarachovic bought his white Kenworth semi in 1998, diesel cost 88 cents a gallon. Today the truck’s odometer reads 1.1 million miles. It needs new front tires, which together cost $900, and a major overhaul, which will cost $8,500.

Spending $1,500 a week on fuel has depleted his maintenance budget, however. Now he avoids driving from his home base in Lodi, Ohio, into Pennsylvania because the hills strain his motor. Mr. Jarachovic used to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts at truck stops, and treat his family to dinner at Applebee’s every Sunday. Now his wife cooks extra spaghetti so he can eat leftovers on the road.

“I have no expenses left to cut,” Mr. Jarachovic said.

Trucking companies are looking for efficiencies, as well. O & S Trucking of Springfield, Mo., recently installed electronic devices in each of its 350 trucks to kill the engines automatically after they idle for two minutes, said Jim Frieze, the equipment director. And all the company’s trucks have devices that limit roadway speeds; Mr. Frieze has dialed those down from 70 miles an hour to 65 to conserve fuel. He audits every truck’s computer every week, searching for wasteful habits.

“If a driver’s gear shifts take him over 8,000 r.p.m., he’s just blowing fuel out the stack,” Mr. Frieze said. “I take him aside and counsel him to shift faster.”

Long-haul truckers often sleep in their cabs at night, running their engines for heat or air-conditioning and burning a gallon of diesel every hour, said David Owen, president of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies. Many businesses are installing auxiliary power units, known in the industry as A.P.U.’s, in their trucks, which do the same work for a quarter of the fuel.

But it takes money to save money. The units cost $6,000 to $9,000, Mr. Owen said.

“We might have to lay off some drivers,” said Louise Harbert, office manager at Harvest Transport in Vancouver, Wash. “There’s no way we can afford A.P.U.’s right now.”

Wal-Mart is working with truck manufacturers to create hybrid diesel-electric truck engines and improve the aerodynamics of its trucks, according to a company statement. United Parcel Service has a fleet of 1,400 alternative-fuel vehicles, and will add hundreds more this year, partly to reduce diesel costs, said Heather Robinson, a spokeswoman. U.P.S. is selling software that helps other companies improve the efficiency of delivery routes.

“The days of drivers running five miles off-route to get their favorite pizza are over,” Ms. Robinson said.

Other industries are cutting diesel waste as well. Every month, the Union Pacific railroad rewards engineers who have helped it save the most fuel by giving them $100 gasoline cards for their personal vehicles, according to a company statement.

The Anacostia and Pacific Company, which owns five regional railroads, recently installed devices that shut locomotives after 20 minutes of idling, and it is considering other devices to keep fuel lines from freezing in cold weather. Together, the cost would be $50,000 per engine.

“It’s not cheap,” said Bruce Lieberman, the chief financial officer. “But I am recoiling in horror at how much we spend on fuel.”

Tugboat captains sailing to Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Fla., for Crowley Maritime Corporation once made the trip in 13 days. To save fuel, the company ordered them to slow down, adding a day to the voyage, said Rob Grune, Crowley’s vice president for Caribbean services.

Because boats move goods more efficiently than trains or trucks, barge shipping is one of the few diesel-burning industries that benefits from the high cost of fuel. Annual transportation revenue at American Commercial Lines, a tug-and-barge company in Jeffersonville, Ind., grew by $60 million in 2007, almost entirely from companies switching from trucks or rail to save money on fuel surcharges, said Michael P. Ryan, the company’s president and chief executive.

The nation’s farmers are also among those looking to save fuel. Bill Christison, 71, never had much of an erosion problem on his 2,000-acre farm near Chillicothe, Mo., so he never needed a no-till planter, which plants seeds without plowing up the soil. But plowing burns lots of fuel; last year Mr. Christison spent $17,207 on diesel. So this winter he paid $100,000 for his first no-till planter.

“I’m being as stingy with fuel as I can be,” Mr. Christison said. “But we just can’t get along without diesel.”

Boog For Boo Boo's Lt. Governor said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/nyregion/11albany.html?pagewanted=print

Spitzer’s political position is especially tenuous because he has so few friends right now among top Democrats in New York State and Washington, according to two New York Democratic congressmen and two senior aides to leaders of the state Congressional delegation, who discussed Mr. Spitzer in exchange for anonymity.

The Democrats said that many state lawmakers remain alienated from Mr. Spitzer over his bruising approach to business in Albany, starting in his first weeks in office with his war against the Democratic-led Assembly over the appointment of a new state comptroller.

They said they and other delegation members were stunned by the disclosures about Mr. Spitzer and, for the most part, expected him to resign in short order. They said there was no organized Democratic push on Monday afternoon to pressure him to leave office since they expected him to go on his own, but emphasized that may change if he hunkers down.

Legally, Mr. Spitzer may serve unless he is convicted of a felony, and it was unclear Monday whether he would face criminal charges.

Moreover, should Mr. Spitzer resign and Mr. Paterson were unwilling or unable to take his place, Boog's friend Boo Boo Bruno would become acting governor — a possibility lush with irony, given the vicious battles between Mr. Bruno and Mr. Spitzer over the last year.

In that case, a special election would be held in November to fill the remaining two years of Mr. Spitzer’s term.

Reported Sighting of UOJ in Albany said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/nyregion/11reax.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

A man driving by the governor’s mansion shook his finger, as if to scold Mr. Spitzer.

The governor was not there. He spent at least part of the day in Manhattan after canceling everything on his public schedule. He was in Midtown, far from Wall Street, where the animosity lingers. Traders remember that when he was the state attorney general, he cemented his reputation with the aggressive prosecution of high-powered executives for insider trading and other violations of the securities laws.

“He’s pulled a lot of people through the mud, and look what he’s done,” said Ben Clarke, who works for a technology company that counts Wall Street firms as clients. Sipping red wine at Harry’s Cafe on Hanover Square, Mr. Clarke added, “The hypocrisy is incredible.”

Dershowitz = Putz said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/nyregion/11reax.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

There were those who mentioned the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment or the arrest of Senator Larry Craig, the Idaho Republican who was convicted of soliciting sex in an airport men’s room last summer — but they went on to say, in effect, so what.

“As long as he’s doing his job, who cares?” said Laverne Lott, a retail consultant for Sprint who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “We’ve all got skeletons.”

And there were those who complained of too much information. “Unless he was using New York State money for the prostitute, it’s none of our business,” said Anthony Serrano, the manager of a shoe store in downtown Brooklyn.

Among those who know Mr. Spitzer, some made much the same point. Alan M. Dershowitz, a law professor at Harvard for whom Mr. Spitzer was once a research assistant, said he felt bad “even knowing about it.”

“Men go to prostitutes — big deal, that’s not a story in most parts of the world,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

But he also said he had been surprised when Mr. Spitzer prosecuted a prostitution ring in 2004.

“I always thought he was somebody who would come down on crimes with real victims,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “Prostitutes aren’t victims — they’re getting paid a thousand dollars an hour, and the johns aren’t victims. What upset me the most was that they wiretapped thousands of e-mails and phone calls. In an age when terrorism needs to be stopped, they’re devoting these kinds of resources to a prostitution ring?”

UOJ Drove from Albany down to Manhattan this morning said...

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/the-overnight-shift-on-fifth-avenue/

The Spitzer watch lasted all night.
On Monday evening, reporters, news vans and police cars coagulated outside the Upper East Side apartment of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York, nearly blocking traffic along Fifth Avenue.

The media crowd peaked shortly before 7 a.m., with some reporters anticipating that Mr. Spitzer might step out for his ritual morning run.
But as of 8 a.m. the Spitzers remained holed up in their apartment as downstairs a crowd of reporters waited by their door.

A driver moving south along Fifth Avenue saw the crowd and yelled out his window, “Resign!”

Albany Insider said...

Just one example of what a dangerous nut and gangster Spitzer is. A year ago, the Legislature defied his wishes and picked DiNapoli as State Comptroller. Spitzer flew into a rage and drove all the way to Syracuse the very next day to attack Assemblyman Magnarelli for his vote.

John Carney said...

Spitzer Was In Nation’s Capital To Call For (And Get Some) Action

Posted by John Carney, Mar 11, 2008, 8:45am

The day after his alleged tryst with a prostitute, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was on Capitol Hill calling for Congress to “take action” to avoid a “financial tsunami” from the collapse of bond insurers. Speaking to the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, Spitzer was in his familiar high moralistic mode, lambasting the Bush administration and calling for regulatory vigil.

“If we do not take action, this could be a financial tsunami that causes substantial damage throughout our economy,” Client 9 said. “The Bush Administration has looked the other way as this crisis moved from the financial markets into the entire American economy. This will affect the cost of college loans. It will affect museum budgets. It will affect state and local taxes. A collapse of bond insurers will adversely affect municipalities, investors and, if unchecked, many average Americans. ”

It was a typical Spitzer performance, marked by finger pointing and grabs for partisan political advantage. But Spitzer seems to have spent the hours before he played the part of crusading do-gooder in the arms of a prostitute for whom he paid thousands of dollars. He was regarded by the service as a “difficult” client, according to court documents. The girl they sent to him claimed to have special skills at dealing with his allegedly dangerous requests.

And believe us. We moved heaven and earth to try to get some on-the-record comments from the likes of Henry Blodget, Dick Grasoon and Hank Greenberg. These guys are staying quiet, perhaps afraid they'll jinx the best thing that has ever happened to them.

From Portfolio.com:

A handful of Spitzer's former adversaries declined to comment on the stunning turn of events, first reported on the New York Times website, or they did not return requests for comment.

"It would be totally inappropriate for me to comment," former New York Stock Exchange C.E.O. Grasso told Portfolio.com. Spitzer sued in 2004 to have Grasso return the bulk of his nearly $140 million pay package.

Former American International Group chairman and C.E.O. Hank Greenberg, who was forced to resign under pressure from Spitzer, was similarly tight-lipped.

"Mr. Greenberg will not be saying anything about this," his spokesperson said.

Former Wall Street analyst Blodget, whom Spitzer targeted for sending private emails that conflicted with his public stock analysis, did not return requests for comment.

Stop the Presses!!!! said...

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZVwb1FHyOE0C&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=%22rabbi+belsky%22&source=web&ots=awXid9W1sD&sig=qIWsAB8h7P1QsH9-dfgtt6EGpVE&hl=en

Does UOJ know anything about this? This book says that after Belsky's involvement in the mafia style beating of Avrom Rubin, the Satmar beis din said that any get with Belsky involved is possul.

Dr. Daniel Berman said...

http://noyravkadosh.blogspot.com/2006/07/doctor-from-ny-westchester-square.html

Here's Belsky's letter on metzitza bapeh.

Ha! Did UOJ give them the idea? said...

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6538929.html?industryid=47159

Fiction Reviews
-- Publishers Weekly, 3/10/2008

Mystery

Las Vegas Noir Edited by Jarret Keene and Todd James Pierce. Akashic, $15.95 paper (300p)

Akashic’s latest entry in its acclaimed noir series (Brooklyn Noir, etc.)

His antihero, mobster Sal Cuperine, has for years posed as Rabbi David Cohen, managing to handle the demands of the pulpit until the strain of his charade becomes too much to bear.

CBS News - Spitzer Conferring with Moetzes Rabbi said...

http://wcco.com/national/spitzer.prostitution.ring.2.674438.html

NEW YORK (CBS) ― Eliot Spitzer is not expected to continue as governor of New York and may resign in the coming days, sources told CBS station WCBS-TV in New York on Monday shortly after it was reported that he was linked to a prostitution ring.

Reliable sources initially told WCBS-TV's political reporter Marcia Kramer that Lt. Gov. David Paterson could've been handed the job as early as Monday night, though other sources say the process could take up to 48 hours.

State Assemblyman James Tedisco, a Republican, told WCBS-TV that he spoke with Paterson earlier Monday evening and that the two discussed Paterson taking on a new role of leadership, leading Tedisco to believe that action was "forthcoming."

Tedisco stopped short of saying the move would happen Monday night. He did, however, say if Spitzer does not resign according to a deadline that's been imposed, state Republican leadership will call for impeachment proceedings to begin.

Spitzer, though, was clearly examining his legal options Monday night; a spokesman said the governor had retained the Manhattan law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, one of the nation's biggest.

Despite the expectations of a resignation, some experts say Spitzer should take the time to weigh his options before stepping down.

"This is one of the most intelligent, brightest elected officials in the region. You don't change governors of New York lightly, and I think it would be a mistake to act precipitously," political consultant Joseph Mercurio told WCBS-TV.

"I think first things first, he has to resolve his relationship with his wife. He has to look to his rabbi and make personal decisions first," Mercurio said. "It's really initially up to him before the rest of us react."

Attorney General Michael Mukasey was made aware of the investigation because it involved a high-ranking political official.

The Feb. 13 tryst took place in the Mayflower hotel, where Spitzer rented a second room for the woman under another name. The law enforcement official said Spitzer had to sneak past his State Police detail to get to her room.

Charges against Spitzer have not been decided and it depends mostly on "how aggressive the U.S. attorney wants to be," the law enforcement official said. Charges could including anything from Mann act violations to banking violations to possibly wire fraud.

Talmid of Mordechai Tendler said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120517240415424747.html

His brother, Daniel Spitzer, a neurosurgeon, said: "If men never succumbed to the attractions of women, then the human species would have died out a long time ago."

Anonymous said...

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/aussieecho/1255234926982194643/?a=51182

Check this site. My brother lives in Melbourne. A satmar type school where the principal- A chassidic Rebbetzen molestered the girls. One girls tried suicide! The Rabbonim including the Wurzburgers (she is a Shwalb) ex Lakewood did a full cover-up making the victims and families feel guilty!

Anonymous said...

Reb Elya Svei did not say that Norman Lamm is a sonei Hashem (I cannot believe I am writing to someone who cannot translate it). He said that if Norman Lamm hates bnei Torah because they are serving Hashem better than him, then, according to Rabbeinu Yonah, he is a soneh Hashem. The same definition would apply to me, UOJ, or RYBS--its a classic definition from Rabbeinu Yonah. The fact of the matter is, that, whether you want to admit it or not, Norman Lamm said and did things which were very, very off in the past.

Now I understand that it would not be fair to hold him to the same standard as R' Elyah and other genuinely outstanding talmidei chachomim and creative lamdonim with practical sense, but, nevertheless, he made certain statements in public which were wrong, and extremely inappropriate. If he DOES hate bnei Torah, he is, at the minimum, a soneh yisroel.

I hope you get that.

Ronnie Schreiber Attacked with a Burnt out Circuit board said...

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080311/NEWS05/803110305/1007

Southfield police arrested three teenage boys last weekend in connection with attacks earlier this month on Orthodox Jews in Oak Park.

The attacks occurred as people walked in their neighborhoods during the Jewish Sabbath on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Free Press is withholding the identities of the boys because they are minors; one is 14 and two are 15. The 14-year-old and one 15-year-old are charged with attempted unarmed robbery and remain in Oakland County's Children's Village, a retention facility in Pontiac for juvenile offenders, said Southfield Police Chief Joseph E. Thomas Jr.

The other 15-year-old boy is charged with two counts of assault and battery and was released to his parents, Thomas said.

Detectives are investigating whether the boys are responsible for other attacks on Orthodox Jews in the past year.

On Monday, Jewish leaders throughout metro Detroit said they were relieved to learn of the arrests.

Lower East Side said...

Der Tatta, Bernie Spitzer, now in his 80s, grew up in a tenement with no hot water. He made a real-estate fortune that provided his kids with every advantage, but he put them to work early. He sent 7-year-old Eliot to his construction sites and had him scrape concrete from the foundations of high-rise apartments along Central Park South.

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

MOETZES RESIGN!
----------------------

N.Y. Times editorial in part...

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer could not have been more wrong in his brief public appearance after the world learned that he was suspected of patronizing a prostitution ring. He did not just betray his family in a private matter. He betrayed the public, and it is hard to see how he will recover from this mess and go on to lead the reformist agenda on which he was elected to office.

They Forgot about Artscroll said...

Paysach Krohn / Lipa Brenner and Leib Pinter

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/08/books/08fakes.html

March 8, 2008
A Family Tree of Literary Fakers
By MOTOKO RICH

Gei kack in yam said...

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23359061-2703,00.html

Spitzer's father, Bernard, a millionaire property developer, once bragged his son would become America's first Jewish president.

boog said...

Hey Elliot;

I saw you on TV. You are one arrogant pr--k. So arrogant that you wound up putting your shpitz into the wrong hole.

Time to pay the piper.

Get lost.

Kosher Gym is not the only rip off said...

http://www.webcpa.com/article.cfm?articleid=27008

By Bill Carlino, Editor-in-Chief, Accounting Today

I’ve also heard consumer horror stories of “bait and switch” tactics regarding membership plans, and others about club employees who were robbing guest lockers and later reselling such items as watches and jewelry.

Which is why it came as exactly no surprise to me last week when the SEC filed fraud charges against Bally Total Fitness charging the chain with years of accounting improprieties.

Bally's was a publicly traded company until May of 2007, when its trading was suspended. Two months later it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and later emerged as a private entity.

To be fair, Bally is certainly not the only chain of fitness centers that has come under scrutiny by lawmakers and officials. Because it was once a public company, it just put the problem in the regulatory spotlight.

The industry is so unregulated it makes professional wrestling look above board by comparison and is fairly far back in the line to be reformed.

Until then, the exercise that I’d most recommend is caution.

Shafran's Band-Aids are Expensive said...

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/03/07/2008-03-07_the_irs_spends_42m_just_to_notify_taxpap.html

The IRS spends $42M just to notify taxpapers that rebates are coming

UOJ Public Service Announcement said...

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2007/11/19/2007-11-19_list_of_new_york_names_for_unclaimed_tax.html

List of New York names for unclaimed tax refund checks

State Senator Saland said...

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02052008/news/regionalnews/gov_puts_kids_in_harms_way__pol_904750.htm

An influential state senator yesterday accused Gov. Spitzer of jeopardizing the safety of children by seeking to gut funding for an office that conducts criminal background checks on prospective teachers.

Spitzer has proposed slashing the $1.6 million budget for the state Education Department's Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability by almost a third. Education Commissioner Richard Mills warned the cut could lead to the hiring of individuals with criminal histories.

The office also investigates allegations of sexual misconduct between teachers and students.

During a hearing on the education portion of Spitzer's proposed budget, Senate Education Committee Chairman Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) said the proposed $500,000 cut "effectively declares that it's open season on children."

Besides investigating reports of misconduct, the office conducts fingerprint background checks on school employees, investigates criminal backgrounds, issues or denies clearances for employees in schools and manages the educator-discipline process.

The office, which does some background checks and investigations for the city, handled more than 13,000 investigative files statewide last year, including 5,300 complaints about educators, according to the Education Department.

The office had requested a $1.45 million increase in funding so investigators can better handle a big backlog of cases.

Saland called it "absolutely bizarre, appalling and beyond comprehension" that Spitzer not only rejected the Education Department's request for an increase, but cut the existing budget.

Marion Berry said...

What is it about those hotel rooms in Washington?

DovBear said...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
A response to the annual price gouging tradition

Each year, at this time, in this season, the markets and greengrocers raise their prices for Pesach. UOJ has a solution. Sounding every bit like a broadsider of old, he writes:
Stop eating all meat and poultry products -for one week - starting Sunday - the week of March 30 - until they drop their prices by 25% - You can survive on fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables for a week! Pigs!That's just before Pesach when the Jewish Cow Mafia jack up their prices by 25%! Tell them you will now take control of the "kosher" meat industry, by regulating prices and hashgochos!
*Note UOJ's original message mentioned someone by name. I don't know why this man was singled out; therefore his name isn't included here.

posted by DovBear @ Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Derivatives Putz said...

The Sage of Omaha does indeed have reason to worry. And it sounds a lot like the inflated nothingness of the Agudah.

Shmuel Bloom said...

"MOETZES RESIGN!"

I thought I heard someone shouting that from the street in front of 42 Broadway.

I hope it doesn't become a trend or Shafran might soil his hoyzen again.

Anonymous said...

Silly question for UOJ - say we don't buy meat for a week. The ones who lose out are the retailers, who have to throw out their inventory. So how does this affect Empire, Rubashkin, Vineland, etc.?

Shea Fishman said...

What's UOJ's next move if Spitzer doesn't resign quickly? I've been following all the weather patterns very closely.

Barney Fag said...

Not always, of course, are political careers ruined by sexual irregularities. Rep. Barney Frank continued to win re-election in Massachusetts even after it was disclosed in 1989 that he had hired a male prostitute who ran a brothel out of his apartment.

Joey said...

Did the Lakewood chadorim send out letters to all the parents today to not turn on the radio in the car or at home?

That's what they did when Clinton was aus gechappt mit Monica.

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

say we don't buy meat for a week..
--------------

1- It will demonstrate - people power!

2- They will no longer be able to go unchecked - in pricing and in quality of their hashgochos.

3- It's healthier to limit red meat consumption.

4- The revolution to take back Judaism - can happen in all areas of our lives.

5- Get rid of the "sheep to slaughter" mentality.

Flatbush Askan said...

See a recent edition of Rabbi Wikler's Kashrus Magazine for a historical throwback. There was a revealing write up on riots on the Lower East Side a hundred years ago over the price of meat.

There were other mafias around in those days. The OU & Rubashkin weren't the first.

And if you follow the above link to where UOJ notes Rabbi Shimon Cohen exposing Belsky over Rubashkin crimes, you will find examples in that Harvard study of kosher meat corruption in the 1700s & 1800s.

Son of Boog said...

"riots on the Lower East Side a hundred years ago over the price of meat."

Back in the day, our boys in NY had some beitzim. The Hungarians hadn't come to these shores yet.

Margo's head would be on a pike if the Lower East Side had a YTT with a molester in 1900.

Anonymous said...

Memorial for Victims of the Mercaz HaRav Massacre

Wednesday March 12th, 2008

8:00 pm.

Young Israel of Flatbush

1012 Avenue I (Coney Island Avenue)

Brooklyn, NY 11230

(Q Train to Ave J is closest subway)

Program:

Rabbi Kenneth Auman, Rabbi, Young Israel of Flatbush

Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, Rabbi, Khal Bais Yitzchok

Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union

Kel Malei Rachamim and Tehilim will be said.

For more information, call the shul at 718.377.4400, or the OU at 212.613.8226.

For those of you outside the tri-state area or unable to attend, as per Rabbi Weinreb's request, we encourage you to gather this Wednesday evening in your community to remember the victims and recite Tehillim.

Leib Tropper said...

Shucks this is bad timing! I was just about to make a move on Spitzer to try to be magayer his shiksa wife & kids.

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

MOETZES RESIGN!
----------------------------

Why Power and Prostitution Go TogetherBy Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer

11 March 2008 01:25 pm ET


New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's alleged involvement in a prostitution ring has sent some heads spinning. The possible acts of impropriety run counter to the politician's hard-line career commitment to fighting corruption. The obvious question on many minds: What was he thinking?

The short answer, researchers say: Power and corruption go together.

While no outsider can read the man's mind, psychologists suggest several reasons for Spitzer's seeming hypocrisy, including a feeling of invincibility and "no one can touch me" attitude. Plus, people in high positions have more opportunities to step out of line. However, humans inherently hold leaders to higher standards and elect those individuals whom they think can resist great temptations, experts say.

Spitzer, 48, allegedly paid $4,300 for a prostitute to commute from New York to Washington and meet him at a hotel there last month. News reports state Spitzer was tracked with court-ordered wiretaps. Spitzer was a repeat call-girl customer known as "Client 9," according to The New York Times.

In his prior position, as New York State's attorney general from 1998 to 2006, Spitzer garnered respect for his unrelenting pursuit to root out Wall Street corruption. He also prosecuted at least two prostitution rings during that time, according to The Times.

Power corrupts

Power has been and will forever be entangled with corruption for various reasons, said Daniel Kruger, a social and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

"Leaders have so much power and influence, there are so many more opportunities for corruption, and to exploit the system at the expense of the people," Kruger said. With more opportunities for lying-cheating-stealing behaviors, political leaders must be on their toes double-time.

Perhaps that's why power figures and sexual improprieties sometimes seem linked in the public mind. For instance, Sen. Larry Craig was arrested last year for lewd conduct in an airport men’s room. Also in 2007, Sen. David Vitter was linked with prostitutes when his telephone number showed up on phone records of "D.C. Madam," an alleged prostitution service. This list goes on to include Rep. Barney Frank, who in 1989 admitted a relationship with a male prostitute, according to news reports.

"[People] hold leaders to higher moral standards than they would their fellow women and men," Kruger told LiveScience. "They want leaders who are ideally beyond reproach, someone who is a good and moral person and will do the right thing even when bestowed with this tremendous power."

Mr. Invincible

If guilty, someone like Spitzer would likely be blown away that he or she was caught in an allegedly criminal act, because with so much professional success, failure is the furthest thing in his or her head, another expert says.

"I think what's more at play here is just the notion of invincibility," said Scott Reynolds, assistant professor of business ethics at the University of Washington in Seattle, "that sometimes when things go well for us and just again and again and again, we're successful, we start to believe that nothing can go wrong."

Reynolds added that in Spitzer's mind he may have consciously or unconsciously thought: "How could anything go wrong? This is me. I've been on the cover of magazines. I've won an election with the largest margin of victory in history. How could anything go wrong for me?"

(Spitzer won the gubernatorial election in a landslide victory with 69 percent of the vote, the largest margin of victory in a gubernatorial race in New York history.)

Even still, the false sense of invincibility can induce risk-taking behaviors that have colossal consequences. "We're willing to take more risks; we're willing to do more behaviors that are risky and we end up doing some things that aren’t very smart," Reynolds said of the idea that success can breed poor decisions.

Immediacy and repetition also play roles, Kruger said.

"People take risks often times because they're valuing the immediate rewards rather than something down the line," he said, and if Spitzer's alleged prostitute encounters were routine, they may have become just that – routine.

"If he's a regular client, he might not think anything of it because he's done it before and nothing has happened," Kruger said, "so it gets to be more of a routine and not something he's consciously thinking [about]."

Moral hypocrisy

Leader or not, do-gooders may be more smoke-and-mirrors than the real McCoy.

Research has shown people do the bare minimum in many respects, and so with morality, the appearance of taking the right action could be just as beneficial as actually taking that action.

"We've found far more evidence for moral hypocrisy than we have for moral integrity, at least among the samples of university students that we've looked at," said C. Daniel Batson, professor of social psychology at the University of Kansas, who studies the nature of moral motivation and moral hypocrisy. He noted he thinks his results apply to adults as well, including politicians and businessmen.

And since public opinion can make or break an elected politician, making moral charades can feel like a must, Batson noted in a telephone interview.

"Politicians are asking for the public trust and generally one would trust someone only if they thought they had, if not one’s own best interest, at least the interest of the community at heart," Batson said.

Mordechai Tendler said...

I happen to know that the dastardly troublemaker Rabbi Yosef Blau has framed Eliot Spitzer. Kristen walked into the Governor's hotel room by mistake while looking for another room. Rabbi Blau leaked word of the FBI sureveillance to the NY Times. Rabbi Blau knows Michael Mukasey from giving shiurim at the KJ shul.

UOJ Agent said...

We have to see if the other "clients" seem to correspond to anyone living at Aron Tendler's new address in Baltimore which is just a hopscotch away from the D.C. hotel.

Rubashkin Truck Driver said...

March 11, 2008
Oil and Gas Prices Hit Records
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 3:46 p.m. ET

On Tuesday, light sweet crude for April delivery surged to a new trading record of $109.72 on the New York Mercantile Exchange

Gas prices at the pump rose overnight to a record national average of $3.2272 a gallon

A year ago, rising demand and a string of refinery outages had raised concerns about supplies. Now, the record price of crude oil is the culprit, propelling gas higher although supplies are at 15-year highs.

Where gas and oil go from here is anybody's guess. Many analysts expect prices to moderate, while others predict oil could keep rising to $120 a barrel, or higher. And with demand for gas expected to rise as warm weather arrives, analysts say pump prices could spike as high as $3.75 a gallon, regardless of what happens with oil prices.

Carl Wilgus, executive director of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, said the number of skiers visiting the Pennsylvania ski region this winter was up because many people plan vacations closer to home when fuel is so expensive, he said, giving up a trip to Florida in favor of a ski vacation an hour away, he said.

The price of gassing a recreational vehicle may induce some to look for campgrounds closer to home this summer. At $3.50 a gallon, a 100-gallon Winnebago Destination RV will cost $350 to fill, $27 more than right now, and $96 more than a year ago.

In other Nymex trading Tuesday, April heating oil futures rose 2.23 cents to settle at $2.9957 a gallon

Wall St Fresser said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/business/12stox-web.html?hp

March 11, 2008
Dow Climbs 416.66 for Its Biggest Gain in Over 5 Years
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Wall Street enjoyed its best trading day in more than five years on Tuesday — complete with a 400-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average — after the Federal Reserve injected a burst of financial adrenaline into the ailing banking system.

The Dow finished up 416.66 points, near its high for the day, for a one-day gain of 3.6 percent, to 12,156.81, snapping a three-day losing streak. It was the biggest one-day point gain for the Dow since July 29, 2002. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was up 3.7 percent, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 4 percent.

For weeks, investors have been concerned about a freeze-up in the credit markets, as banks cowed by round after round of multibillion-dollar write-offs became increasingly panicky about lending to businesses and consumers.

On Tuesday, the Fed announced it would offer up to $200 billion in ultra-safe Treasury securities to the nation’s banks, including several major brokerage firms, in exchange for a variety of collateral options — including the very mortgage-backed securities that have caused the recent financial crisis.

Though the rally can be interpreted as a tentative vote of confidence in the Fed, some analysts cautioned that after several days of losses, the Dow climbed back only to where it was last Thursday.

UOJ Running out of Patience said...

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who has spent much of the day considering his options following allegations that he was linked to a high-priced prostitution ring, will not resign his office on Tuesday, according to a person involved in discussions with the governor.

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

IMPEACH THE MOETZES!

------------------

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer
1 minute ago

ALBANY, N.Y. - With pressure mounting to resign Tuesday over a call-girl scandal, Gov. Eliot Spitzer found himself with few friends and lots of powerful enemies, many of whom regard him as a sanctimonious bully who got what was coming to him.

Republicans began talking impeachment, and few if any fellow Democrats were willing to defend him. A death watch of sorts began at the state Capitol, where whispers of "What have you heard?" echoed through nearly every hallway of the ornate, 109-year-old building.

cafe press said...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Who really is "Client 9?"

The New York Times says it's the code name for New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer in court papers that link him to a prostitution ring, but now anyone can be "Client 9" with T-shirts available online just a day after the scandal broke.

From simply "Client 9" with a large lipstick smooch over the top to "Just Call Me CLIENT 9," designers on Web sites like www.cafepress.com and www.zazzle.com are cashing in on reports that Spitzer had hired a high-priced prostitute.

"Look like a governor in this stylish CLIENT 9 design," one designer advertises on www.cafepress.com.

The two online retail sites allow designers to upload their own graphics to print on products such as T-shirts and mugs.

sefer torah # 16 said...

The Misaskim organization will I”H be receiving another Sefer Torah this coming Motzei Shabbos - in a low key event. This Sefer Torah will be #16 for the Misaskim organization - which are all used in the homes of Aveilim. A spokesperson from Misaskim tells YWN: “Unfortunately, 16 is still not enough!

Anonymous said...

ALBANY, N.Y. - With pressure mounting on Gov. Eliot Spitzer to resign over a call-girl scandal, investigators said Tuesday he was clearly a repeat customer who spent tens of thousands of dollars — perhaps as much as $80,000 — with the high-priced prostitution service over an extended period of time.

shmarya said...

Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro Pleads Guilty; Baltimore Rabbis Coverup Mentioned In Press
The Baltimore bar mitzvah teacher pleaded guilty to……sexual child abuse. The Baltimore Sun reports:

A former bar mitzvah lessons teacher active in Baltimore's Orthodox Jewish community pleaded guilty yesterday to sexual child abuse and a third-degree sex offense after having been accused of abusing two boys more than a decade ago, according to city prosecutors.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge John P. Miller sentenced Israel Shapiro to a suspended five-year prison term and five years of probation. The judge ordered Shapiro to stay away from the victims, to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, pay $10,800 in restitution to one of the boys and perform 300 hours of community service.

The judge also ordered Shapiro to undergo sex offender screening and treatment, but he will not have to register as a sex offender with the state because the registry was not in existence when the crimes occurred.…

After explaining the nature of Shapiro's crimes, the Sun adds:

Accusations against Shapiro were known throughout Baltimore's Orthodox community for years when the victims circulated fliers with his name and picture. One of the posters was posted on the Web site of the Awareness Center Inc., an advocacy group on behalf of Jewish victims of sexual abuse in Baltimore.

Check out some of the many cases of Baltimore rabbi-on-child sexual abuse:

Case of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro
Case of Rabbi Matis Weinberg

Case of Rabbi Moshe Eisemann

Case of Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau

Ner Israel
Now, check out the response of Baltimore's haredi rabbis:

1
2
3
4
See the problem?

It isn't that people – including rabbis – sin. It's not that some people – including some rabbis – are criminals and child predators.

The problem is rabbis cover up the crimes to prevent "hillul hashem" (disgrace) and therefore allow these rabbi-pedophiles to continue to abuse children.

Got that, Avi Shafran?

Riverdale said...

Shmelliot was the little rich boy from around the corner who went to the exclusive Horace Mann school.

80k is chump change for him. Do you think that just any putz can afford to to transport a zona from another city and pay for a 2nd suite at a 5 star hotel to evade his police bodyguards?

Today's Wall St Journal interviewed a consulting group that has scientific data that a large percentage of private jet owners use prostitutes. The main reason is because they are afraid of being sued if they fool around with anyone else. This includes women who own their own jets.

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

Reality!
----------------

Why so much aid for the poor has made so little difference
By Mark Lange - CSM
Tue Mar 11, 4:00 AM ET

San Francisco - Is poverty a problem of policy or destiny? Experts tend to pull in one of two directions. Some focus on the social fundamentals for prosperity. Others, on the technical and financial requirements for sustainable growth.

It's cultural.

In this view, policy is beside the point. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam says that "social capital" – how closely people in a community are connected – supports the basis for trust essential to commerce. Economist Gregory Clark of the University of California argues that prosperous societies grow their economies through Industrial Revolution values such as patience, hard work, innovation, and education. Some cultures support such values, some don't, and they certainly can't be imported or master-planned. Implication: Some poverty is permanent.

It's technical......

Avi L. Shafran said...

I have no idea what Shmarya is talking about.

Next.

Politically Incorrect said...

"Why so much aid for the poor has made so little difference"

No mainstream newspaper except the WSJ has the balls to hint that people of a certain background are too lazy to work hard & pull out of their disadvantage.

Shmarya of course goes ape when you refer to them even indirectly.

Shmarya has also started this week to refer to right wing hawks on Israel as "Fascists". It's about time the putz crawled under the covers with Obama and called it a day.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Let's see if Shapiro continues to work at the deli under Rabbi Heinemann's Vaad.

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

....patience, hard work, innovation, and education. Some cultures support such values, some don't, and they certainly can't be imported or master-planned. Implication: Some poverty is permanent.....

-------------

I was referring to the kollel chevra -

jake said...

The rabbis are hurting themselves, because eventually the truth will come out eight will sully their reputations even further.

I don't know how people can trust the kashrut supervision of a rabbi or rabbis who willingly protect people who have committed crimes, and specifically crimes of a sexual nature.

I wouldn't eat in a pizza shop that receives a hechsher from a rabbi who protects criminals from prosecution.

I don't know why people would approach a rabbi about personal or halachic issues when they know that the rabbi is involved in covering up criminal activity. Especially activity that harms our most important and valuable assets, our children.

Harper's Magazine said...

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081908

The next bubble:

Priming the markets for tomorrow's big crash

Eat at Home said...

"I wouldn't eat in a pizza shop that receives a hechsher from a rabbi who protects criminals from prosecution."

Do you have any idea how many hashgochos are in this category?

Just a few examples:

OU
Star-K
RCC
Queens Vaad
Crown Heights Vaad
OK
Nitra Monsey
Skver

Charles Kushner said...

I hope no one accuses me of hiring the hooker to entrap Spitzer like what I did to my own brother in law.

Ahavah said...

That 400+ jump in the DOW today is nothing to be happy about. It reflects currency devaluation more than anything else - you know all those companies didn't increase in actual solvency or value since yesterday. The Fed pumping fiat funny money into the system by the truckload just makes already existing currency notes less valuable - hence it takes more of them to buy anything, even stocks.

UOJ Advance Scout in Albany said...

Albany seemed to hold its breath as both political parties speculated about the governor’s next move, and crowds of reporters flocked to the Capitol Building.

“It’s sort of a theater of the absurd,” said Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat of Manhattan. She described a moment in the Senate chamber in which electronic feedback from dozens of news crews overwhelmed the speaker system, leading the sergeant-at-arms to eject the offenders.

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

The 400 point spike in the market today concerns me more than if there would have been a 400 point drop.

John Carney's Blog said...

The baffling refusal of Eliot Spitzer to resign after his dealings with a high-priced prostitution ring were exposed by the New York Times has some experts worried that Spitzer might be destroying documents or other evidence of wrong-doing. On Wall Street, where Spitzer once posed as town Sheriff, fired employees or those under investigation by authorities are often escorted immediately from the office. One reason for this is to prevent them from destroying emails or other electronic paper trails.

"I'm deeply troubled. They should have the FBI there right now to prevent Spitzer from deleting his hard-drives," one private security expert told DealBreaker. (Perhaps in a display of the still-lingering fears of Spitzer's famous vengefulness, no one would speak on the record for this item.)

Another security expert employed by a major Wall Street firm said the situation reminded him of Watergate, when Nixon administration officials considered destroying tapes that Congress had sought.

"These guys are desperate and have nothing to lose. It's clear he needs to go and the only reason I can think of for delaying is to cover something up," he said.

Last night we were talking the Spitzer case with a former federal prosecutor who is now in private practice. First, he said that he was convinced the federal probe into the escort agency was an effort to get something on Spitzer. "There's no way they just happened to catch Spitzer on a wiretap. They were targeting him," the former prosecutor said.

Second, he wondered if this explained some of the mystery behind Spitzer's unyielding support for former aide Darren Dopp. Dopp was a long time member of Spitzer's inner-circle, spending much of his early career as the unofficial hit man for the then attorney general. When Spitzer wanted to smear targets of his investigations, allegedly Dopp was usually the man doing the whispering. Last year Dopp was discovered at the center of the dirty-tricks scandal but Spitzer surprised many by sticking by his aide. Even after he had been forced to step down from his official capacity, Spitzer said Dopp had done nothing wrong by taking a job with a major lobbying firm that seeks influence decisions in Albany. Why was Spitzer so loyal to Dopp?

Was Spitzer protecting Dopp because the aide was aware of his philandering and soliciting prostitution? It seems unlikely that Spitzer could have carried on a relationship with an escort service without at least some in his inner-circle learning of it. As we said, this is just speculation. But it's probably not too far-fetched for someone to start asking Dopp what he knew and when he knew it.

We're pretty sure the former prosecutor had a couple of other ideas about this case but it was our round and we missed the rest of the tale as we walked to the bar for a pair of fists full of whiskey. By the time we got back, the talk had turned back to Bunk

Congressman Peter King let loose on Eliot Spitzer today, warning that the governor of New York had left himself open to blackmail. It's a point we made here yesterday but it seems to be catching on.

"Spitzer himself was very severe going after prostitution rings that had to do with white collar crimes. He was very hard-nosed with his tactics," King told David Freddoso of National Review. "To leave himself open to blackmail — putting himself and the state in a compromised position like that — it's just awful."

King points out that prostitution rings are typically connected to organized crime, which makes the blackmail possibilities even more troubling. King adds that Spitzer will have to resign, and has some nice things to say about David Patterson, the lieutenant governor who would succeed Spitzer if he resigns.

Veteran Wall Street reporter Gary Weiss also stresses the blackmail angle.

That's because the key word here is not "hypocrisy" or "morality," it's "blackmail." If Spitzer has been patronizing prostitutes, he'd be leaving himself open to being shaken down, perhaps by the mob. The Russian mob is heavily involved in prostitution.

Anonymous said...

Five reasons why Spitzer's not done
Commentary: Many would benefit from keeping weakened governor in office

By Tom Bemis, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Pundits and opinion makers are busy writing Eliot Spitzer's political obituary.
But while the revelations that he availed himself of the services of a high-priced prostitute may have destroyed his image as a squeaky clean crime fighter, they need not, automatically destroy his political career.
And having gone through -- one hopes -- the worst of his personal crisis, the temptation to try to ride out the scandal must be powerful for several reasons.
One: There's no longer a strong precedent for dumping politicians involved in sexual scandals. The most notable example, of course, is Bill Clinton, whose litany of trysts and betrayals is now just a staple of late-night talk show jokes.
Then there's San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who survived a scandal in which he betrayed his best friend, a political aide, by sleeping with his wife. Then there's Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. He is hanging onto office even after having apparently lied under oath about his affair and then having overseen a city payment of $9 million to settle wrongful termination suits by police officers who knew about his dalliance.
True, former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey did resign after a homosexual affair came to light in 2004. He might have survived politically, but in that case -- because he not only had an affair, but also came out -- his wife was precluded from remaining the stoic-but-forgiving partner that the public could identify with and feel sorry for.
Two: The prostitution laws Spitzer allegedly violated are old, obscure and seldom enforced. Press reports indicate that the real reason Spitzer was caught was because the financial moves he made to cover up the payments to the "Emperor Club" looked like bribes to the Feds. A plea deal would take some hard bargaining, but that's obviously something Spitzer's got a lot of experience with.
Three: Spitzer is a superdelegate to the Democratic Convention, committed to Hillary Clinton. If he sticks around, and backs her, and she makes it to the White House, he's well on his way to executive clemency for any criminal charges he may get hit with.
Four: Voluntarily leaving office obviously doesn't do Spitzer any good. But it wouldn't help the people he betrayed either. As bad as it may be for his family, it would only be worse if the guy weren't governor. If his wife stands by him, then the pressure is on him to stay in office and somehow redeem himself.
Five: It may actually be politically beneficial to Spitzer's opponents to have him stay on as a severely weakened governor. After all, between the sex scandal and the earlier smear campaign against the Republican Senate leader, Spitzer wouldn't be able to utter a word of moral outrage about anything for the next three years.
What's true for Spitzer's political opponents, is doubly so for his enemies on Wall Street. What could be better than a former white collar prosecutor permanently tied up on an extremely short rope in Albany?
By contrast, if Lt. Gov. David Paterson were to become governor, he would have three years to build himself up as the man who brought stability to Albany and turn himself into an unstoppable political force.
Of course, all these arguments are moot if there are any more shoes to drop. But for as feisty and power hungry a guy as Spitzer has been, giving it all up without a fight just because of one little slip seems entirely out of "character."

ny times said...

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has now twice violated his obligations to the people of his state. He violated their trust when, according to law enforcement officials, he patronized a prostitution ring. He compounded that violation Tuesday by hiding in his Fifth Avenue apartment and refusing to explain his actions or his future plans.

To put it bluntly, Mr. Spitzer must either resign immediately or explain why he deserves to continue in office. It is almost impossible for us to imagine how he can survive this scandal and provide the credible leadership that New York needs.

New York’s government cannot afford to be paralyzed while Mr. Spitzer games his political prospects or, as many suspect, tries to work out a better legal deal with federal prosecutors.

Mr. Spitzer didn’t even bother to explain his plans to Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who would step in if Mr. Spitzer does resign. Mr. Paterson told reporters that he had talked briefly with the governor on Monday. But, he said: “no one has talked to me about his resignation, and no one has talked to me about a transition.”

Mr. Paterson should be readying himself to take over this powerful job and keep the state running.

He will have to move quickly to reassure New Yorkers that he is in charge and fully committed to reforming Albany’s broken political system. He could start by getting rid of most of those in Mr. Spitzer’s inner circle and replacing them with the best and most reputable staff he can find.

There will be those who argue — cynically — that Mr. Spitzer’s personal hypocrisy has discredited his calls for good government. They must be resisted. The need for reform now is just as pressing as it was before this sad and sordid spectacle began to unfold.

Mr. Paterson is a virtual unknown to many New Yorkers. He comes from Harlem’s powerful political network and has 20 years of experience in the State Senate. He is legally blind. He also has a sharp sense of the people and politics around him.

Those skills and Mr. Paterson’s easy eloquence should help him with the main and most immediate hurdle: passing next year’s state’s budget agreement that is due on midnight March 31. The budget fight is always fierce in Albany, but the worsening economy will make that even more extreme. What this means is that the affable Mr. Paterson will have to negotiate with — and manage — two of the strongest and wiliest political characters in New York: State Senator Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

That will take not only eloquence and empathy but a steel backbone and strong political advisers.

The Legislature also needs to move quickly on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. Without Albany’s O.K. by the end of March, the city and state could lose about $350 million in federal aid. Other issues that need to be quickly dealt with are Mr. Silver’s proposal for an increase on taxes for those earning more than $1 million a year and property tax relief that is urgently needed outside New York City.

There are many other problems that will require a strong and credible governor’s attention and backing, including rules on ethics and fair election redistricting and campaign finance reform.

All of this is on hold while Mr. Spitzer focuses on his personal plight. New York cannot wait any longer.

press secretary needs to change his name said...

Peter Pope, one of Mr. Spitzer’s point people on the bill, declined to comment through the governor’s press secretary, Errol Cockfield.

Bentzion Schiffenbauer said...

There is no reason for the YTT Vaad Hahorim to meet as I believe that Gov. Spitzer is innocent.

Yankel Applegrad said...

At no time did the Governor patronize prostitutes at hotels near the yeshiva.

Willy Wiesner said...

There is no cause for alarm among fathers of YTT talmidim. Rabbi Margulies and myself have the situation under control and steps have been taken under guidance from Aron Twerski and David Mandel to ensure that Eliot Spitzer will not be soliciting any of your wives.

Michelle Tendler said...

The NY Times is now reporting that Eliot's rebbitzen is insisting that the putz not resign. Gee, why does that sound familiar?

John Carney said...

We were worried that Governor Eliot Spitzer might step down too hastily, depriving us of the opportunity to mock the horny toad. But the Spitzer sex scandal is the gift that keeps on giving, and Spitzer's aides are now spreading the word that the guv's not going anywhere.

"He has not made up his mind," a senior adviser to Mr. Spitzer, Lloyd Constantine, said. "It is more correct to say that he is not resigning."

Another source close to the governor said Mr. Spitzer was refusing to resign until he clinches an agreement with federal authorities about charges that he could face. "I don't think anything happens for a couple of weeks," the source said.

Is Spitzer a sociopath? A meglomaniac? For a man who said he thinks politics should be about ideas and not individuals, he sure seems intent on keeping on individual named Spitzer in office. Meanwhile, Republican New York State Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco is threatening impeachment.

John Carney imitates UOJ said...

We hate to interrupt yet another rendition of the Wall Street chorus singing "Happy Days Are Here" again but today's rally could use a little sobriety. We're sure it is wonderful news that the Federal Reserve has convinced the central bankers of the world to cooperate with its plans to snatch, well, something or other from the jaws of recession. But no amount of coordination, no amount of monetary injections, no new levels of central bank creativity is likely to solve the underlying problem of mispriced assets.

The now popped real estate bubble unleashed a torrent of malinvestment so deep that it seems a new class of credit products freezes up (or melts downs) ever week. The newspapers read like a bowl of alphabet soup each morning. Some days we half-suspect that we're being put on, that the best and brightest of Wall Street cannot really have fallen for things such as auction rate securities.

Apparently the central bankers are convinced that what must be avoided at any cost (or at any inflation rate) is a reckoning of values. They believe they can control stock prices and prop up credits until, well, indefinitely it seems. When one bubble pops, start blowing another.

The Fed's moves today, following so closely on the Dow Jones falling to its lowest levels of the year, smacks of desperation. We avoid as best we can speculation about market movement. But as the euphoria of the moment wears off, we cannot help but expect the rally will fade as well.

But back to the chorus, lads and lasses. Pop that champagne. The central bankers are riding to the rescue, doling out the punch, and the grand Wall Street nemesis Eliot Spitzer has been laid low. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Geraldine Ferraro said...

Don't think for a second it wasn't planned out with Hillary for me to talk in public about Obama's Shvartzakeit.

Hillary is so desperate to regain ground that we had to get all the White folk to stop & pause that hey, Obama is takka Black!

So I put on all this drama of HOW DARE you call me a racist and Hillary refuses to ask me to leave her campaign. I might be a loser for running with Mondale and being beaten by Reagan in a landslide but this is a perfect strategy if I can say so myself.

Upper Crust Putz said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/nyregion/12silda.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

It's really disgusting how all the Elitist Putzes who are family friends of the Spitzers are encouraging the shmuck to dig in and NOT resign.

It's time for UOJ to take his gloves off and shake things up!

Federal Reserve Putz said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/business/12fed.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

Despite the staggering sums being offered by the Fed over the past week, some analysts warned that the new infusion of money might not be enough to fill the hole caused by the losses on ill-conceived mortgages during the housing bubble.

“They are essentially creating a $300 billion bank out of nothing,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, a financial research firm.

But while the Fed’s moves may relieve short-term cash problems, Mr. Crandall said, “it doesn’t solve the fundamental issue, which is the decline of capital in the banking system.”

Indeed, some analysts warned that the central bank might make things worse in the long run by postponing the repricing of mortgage assets that financial institutions are holding, or by further weakening the value of the dollar and aggravating inflation.

“The Fed is saying if you don’t want those mortgages, then give them to us,” said Peter D. Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, an investment firm in Darien, Conn. “The Fed thinks that inflation is the way to solve our problems, but all this does is create bigger problems.”

Despite the global show of force, the reaction of bond investors was more subdued than what was seen in the stock market.

The total volume of mortgage-backed securities is about $6.1 trillion, with almost $2 trillion in riskier nonagency securities that are not insured by the federal government or by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

“We still believe today’s action is not nearly a large enough step to make a big difference,” wrote David Rosenberg, chief United States economist at Merrill Lynch. “As with all the Fed’s steps to date, this move injects a bit more liquidity into the system, but does not cure the overall credit crunch or credit problems.”

Jules Polonetsky said...

Spitzer is a mega-putz.

In case anyone is wondering what happened to me, I became the Chief Privacy Officer of AOL.

John Carney said...

Shakedown artist Jesse Jackson is back at it. As Visa’s prepares its $17 billion initial public offering, s expected to be the largest ever in the United States, Jackson is bending ears and twisting arms in an attempt to cut minority-owned investment banks in for a greater share of the underwriting fees. He’s even threatening to have his allies on Capitol Hill launch a Congressional investigation if he isn’t shown the money. And he’s got a specific number in mind: he wants his favored banks to get 10% of the deal, according to DealBook’s report.

“There must be some sense of ‘equanomics’ in the I.P.O. deal — where the representation of minority investment banking firms compares favorably to our consumer use of credit cards,” Mr. Jackson wrote in letters he sent last Friday to Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive, Senator Christopher Dodd (the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) and Barney Frank (the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee).

Does that make any sense at all? Larry Ribstein doesn’t think so.

The fact that a bank is an issuer or an acquirer of card debt doesn't have much or anything to do with whether it will do a good job managing the underwriting or selling its securities, and therefore whether it should have a cut of the fees. Indeed, one might argue that bringing in an issuer or acquirer as an underwriter is a form of kickback, or perhaps more benignly a price cut. Visa should be nice to its users, including members of minority groups. But the way for Visa to be "nice" is through the price and quality of its services – not by paying kickbacks to banks.

Jackson also cried foul prior to the IPO of private equity giant Blackstone last year but reportedly didn't succeed in getting his Wall Street Project banks any more of the fees.

Winnipeg Vaad Hakashrus said...

Lawyer guilty of distributing child porn
By RHONDA SPIVAK, Special to The CJN
Canadian Jewish News
March 6, 2008


WINNIPEG — Lawyer Gary Dolovich has pleaded guilty in provincial court here to possessing and distributing child pornography.

When arrested in July 2006, Dolovich was charged with 17 counts of distributing child pornography over the Internet. The charges related to the distribution of hundreds of images.

He pleaded guilty to one count encompassing offences that occurred between February and October of 2005. He will be sentenced this spring and could face a jail term.

Dolovich’s lawyer, Josh Weinstein, said that in the upcoming sentencing hearing, he will be “asking the court that [Dolovich] not go to jail.”

Weinstein is awaiting a report from a forensic psychologist that he said will consider whether his client is a risk to the community and detail steps that Dolovich, who did not profit monetarily from distributing the child porn images, has taken toward rehabilitation.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Dolovich, an Orthodox Jew, was called to the Manitoba bar in 1991 and immigrated to Israel in 1998. In Israel, he worked as a lawyer and lived in the small settlement of Talmon in the West Bank, about 18 kilometres east of Modiin.

In 2001 Dolovich left Israel and returned to live in Winnipeg, where he worked as the executive director of a local kashrut organization.

When he was arrested, Dolovich was working as a legal researcher for the Manitoba Court of Appeal, where he had also worked prior to making aliyah.

Winnipeg Police began to investigate him after receiving a tip from a national police body that deals with child exploitation.

The extensive police investigation led to the search and seizure of several computers and hardware, including ones used by the province’s highest court.

Dolovich was arrested at Pearson International Airport in Toronto after police had issued a Canada-wide warrant for him.

He is divorced from his second wife and is the father of two children, who at the time of his arrest were aged seven and one. His second ex-wife and two children returned to live in Israel in 2007.

Det.-Sgt. Richard Lemire of the Manitoba Integrated Child Exploitation Unit said that his unit “will often be asked [by the Crown] to do a presentation to the judge at the sentencing hearing and will show the judge a representative sampling of the child pornography images found. This [part of the hearing ] will be closed to the public.”

He added: “These types of charges using the Internet have become very pervasive. It is a worldwide problem. It knows no demographics.”

He got on UOJ's nerves said...

Adm. William J. Fallon, the commander of American forces in the Middle East whose outspoken public statements on Iran and other issues had seemed to put him at odds with the Bush administration, is retiring early, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

Admiral Fallon had rankled UOJ and senior officials of the Bush administration in recent months with comments that emphasized diplomacy over conflict in dealing with Iran

Wall Street Journal said...

No resignation yet. It's still probably inevitable, but it sounds like he wants to use an offer to resign his post as a bargaining chip with prosecutors, should he come under attack from the law. Ah, the perks of being governor. Quitting your job can get you some extra leniency.

Bess Levin's Blog said...

Spitzer Planning To Step Down At 11? (Just In Time To Catch The 11:35 Acela To DC?)

Posted by Bess Levin, Mar 12, 2008, 9:26am

That’s what the NY Post says, and Charlie Gasparino’s sources are corroborating, though there’s always the chance Spitzer will back out of whatever deal’s being negotiated, if he’s not satisfied with the terms (apparently the Governor’s campaigning hard to be allowed to run for/hold office after a short rehabilitation period, and to honor all upcoming, previously scheduled appointments with the Club, which were paid for in full and would be unbecoming of an elected official who made his career judging others by a strict moral code to back out of at the last minute, not to mention just plain rude). And according to someone John Carney just spoke to, Big E was all set to step down on Monday until an aide (with an awesome sense of humor) convinced him to stay. So it’s possible he’ll change his mind again.

Our two cents? Either get the hell out of here or hold a press conference now and say “F all of you, I’m staying right where I am. And not that it’s any of your business, but since the cat’s more or less out of the bag, you should know that no, I don’t plan on easing up on the hookers. The only thing that’s going to change is that I won’t be burdened with trying to keep it a secret. Man, that feels good. Like a 105-pound weight off my chest.”

Frankly, people were already bored of this story yesterday. Wrap it up already, you indecisive idiot (full disclosure: I stole that line from prostitute Kristen).

Israel Belsky's Students On How To Lie said...

WASHINGTON - The head of the Southern California slaughterhouse at the center of the largest beef recall in U.S. history said Wednesday no unsafe beef was processed at his plant and a video showing ill cows being pushed with a forklift depicted animals headed for euthanasia — not the food supply.

"While these cows should be treated humanely and they were not, these cows were not harvested and they did not enter the food supply," Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. President Steve Mendell said in written testimony to a House panel. "They were not slaughtered, ground or sold. They were euthanized and removed."

It was his first public comment since undercover video of apparent abuses of crippled cattle at his plant led to its shutdown and last month's recall of 143 million pounds of beef. Mendell was appearing under subpoena before the House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee. He was a no-show at a committee hearing last month.

As Wednesday's hearing got under way Mendell ran into immediate criticism from committee members.

Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., said he hoped Mendell had learned that there is "an easy way and there is a hard way to answer our questions. Either way we will find out the truth."

"And the truth, today, that we want to know is how much money he made from illegally slaughtering so-called downer cows — cows so sick or injured that they could not walk or stand — cows universally viewed as potential carriers of mad cow disease," Dingell said.

Mendell contended that the cows shown unable to walk in the Humane Society of the United States video were not being sent to slaughter in violation of federal rules barring most "downer" cows from the food supply because they carry a higher risk of infection.

He said that the cows shown in the video being shocked and pushed with a forklift wouldn't have been able to make it up the chute to where the slaughter process begins. Instead they appear to be among the 10 to 15 cows that were euthanized at the slaughterhouse each day because they were non-ambulatory, he said.

Mendell noted that no illnesses have been reported from the recalled beef and the Agriculture Department has found no evidence of problems with it. Some 50 million pounds of the beef went to federal nutrition programs, mostly school lunches.

"I am not aware that there has ever before been a meat recall of this magnitude where there is no evidence of contaminated food and no evidence of any illness," he said.

Mendell said he's received death threats. He contended that his company has a long record of good safety procedures and was in the process of taking extensive corrective actions in response to the video when the Agriculture Department shut him down and called for a recall of product produced over the past two years.

"Our company is ruined. We cannot continue," Mendell said. Some 220 employees have lost or are about to lose their jobs, he said.

Two workers shown on the Humane Society video were fired and are facing animal cruelty charges from San Bernardino County prosecutors in an ongoing criminal investigation. Lawmakers have criticized Agriculture Department inspection procedures and called for reform.

"I also want to emphasize that it would be financial suicide for a company to harvest or process a cow that it believes to be sick," Mendell said. "The company does not pay suppliers for the cost of a cow deemed unfit for human consumption and there is therefore no financial incentive to bypass the regulations.

"A single sick cow that enters production also has the capacity to ruin an entire day's worth of production," he said.

Sholom Rubashkin said...

Steve Mendell had better get away with it for his sake because lying to Congress is a felony.

Menachem Lubinsky said...

Who said anything about lying? I think Mendell is being very nuanced and honest. There is no problem in wearing several hats, either as CEO or public defender. It's the media and blogs that have no credibility in my opinion. I'm sure Mayer Fertig is already all over Mendell in typical grouchy form.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

The Winnipeg Vaad Hakashrus has always been bad news apart from child porn. The useless OU mashgiach from the catfish gefilte was apparently one of their boys. A year or two ago they hired Global Kashrus Consultants from Passaic to teach them how to have kashrus standards. They also lured away Rabbi Mitch Cohen from the Ottawa Vaad to be their new administrator. Rabbi Cohen was fed up with all the roadblocks and sabotage from the old boys network at the Vaad who prevented the implementation of any real kashrus standards so he quit a month ago and moved to Chicago.

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

U.S. recession has already started, CFOs say-survey

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. recession has already started and the downturn is likely to last longer than in the recent past, with the economy recovering only late next year, according to a quarterly survey of corporate finance chiefs released on Wednesday.

Fifty-four percent of the CFOs said the United States is in recession, and another 24 percent said there is a high likelihood of one starting later this year, according to a Duke University/CFO Magazine survey completed on March 7.

Nearly three-quarters of the CFOs said they were more pessimistic this quarter than in the prior quarter about the U.S. economy, reflecting concerns about consumer spending, turmoil in credit and housing markets, and high energy prices.

An index of optimism, which rates the economy on a 1 to 100 scale, is at 52, the lowest in the seven-year history of the index, the survey found.

"The last two recessions lasted only eight months," said Duke professor Campbell Harvey, founding director of the survey. "In contrast, 90 percent of the CFOs do not believe the economy will turn the corner in 2008. Indeed, many of them believe it will be late 2009 before a recovery takes hold."

In response, companies are scaling back plans for capital spending and are not planning significant hiring, in part because of high labor costs, according to the survey, which has been conducted for 12 years.

Most CFOs said interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve have had no impact on their business, and more than a third said credit conditions have directly hurt their companies by making capital tougher to get and more expensive.

The survey included responses from 1,073 CFOs, including 475 based in the United States.

Those polled in Europe and Asia have also grown more pessimistic about economies in their regions, while two-thirds of Chinese CFOs said they are concerned about U.S. recession hurting their profit margins or demand for their exports.

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

MOETZES RESIGN!

---------------------
New York Gov. Spitzer resigns amid sex scandal By Daniel Trotta
22 minutes ago



NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned on Wednesday amid a scandal over a $1,000-an-hour prostitute, cutting short a career built on pugnacious investigations of Wall Street crimes.

Lt. Gov. David Paterson will replace him on Monday, Spitzer said.

"I am resigning from the office of governor. At Lt. Gov. Paterson's request, the resignation will be effective Monday, March 17," Spitzer announced.

Spitzer, a Democrat, had faced intense pressure to resign and impeachment threats from Republicans since the New York Times reported on Monday that he was caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a prostitute.

Spitzer, 48 and married with three children, is a former New York state chief prosecutor who rose to prominence by investigating financial crime with a vigor that earned him the nickname Sheriff of Wall Street.

He also broke up prostitution rings as attorney general.

Spitzer had apologized to his family and the public on Monday for what he called a "private matter," but gave no details of what he was apologizing for and then shuttered himself in his New York City apartment for two days.

Some 70 percent of New York voters wanted Spitzer to quit, according to a WNBC/Marist poll conducted on Tuesday.

Spitzer, who attracted wide publicity but also resentment on Wall Street with his pursuit of financial crimes while he was the state's attorney general, became governor with nearly 70 percent of the vote in November 2006 on pledges to clean up state politics.

The Times, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, reported on Monday that Spitzer was the man identified as "Client 9" in a federal affidavit revealing details from an investigation into a prostitution ring.

Client 9 arranged to meet with "Kristen," a prostitute who charged $1,000 an hour, on February 13 in a Washington hotel and paid her $4,300, the court document said.

The complaint unveiled last week charged four people with running a prostitution ring dubbed The Emperors Club.

It was not known if Spitzer would face any charges stemming from the case.

Jacob Perlow said...

Yankel Applegrad explains to me that Spitzer is not in effect resigning. The correct way of looking at it is that the Governor is taking a "leave of absence".

Agudah Fresser said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/nyregion/12cnd-resign.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

In one of the last and desperate rounds of the end game, a top Spitzer administration official joined Agudath Israel of America officials and reached out to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s staff on Tuesday to see if the governor could avoid an impeachment vote. But the prospects were grim.

Republicans had pledged to try to have Mr. Spitzer impeached and only 34 of the more than 100 Democrats in the Assembly would be needed for the matter to be referred to the Senate for an impeachment trial. It was clear during the discussions that 34 or more Democrats were almost certain to vote against the governor.

That outcome would have been a dire for the governor, because his top political rival, Senate majority leader, and friend of Boog, Boo Boo Bruno, leads the Senate, where a trial would have been held.

Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, said Tuesday that Mr. Spitzer should do “what’s best for his family,” but folded like a cheap camera and stopped short of calling on the governor to step down. “It is now up to the governor to make a determination that’s best for his family. I pray for his children.” When asked what Mr. Silver thought was best for the Spitzer family, he did not respond.

Close aides to the governor suggested on Tuesday that the mood in the Spitzer home was tense, with the governor’s wife, Silda Wall Spitzer and a team of advisers led by Aaron Twerski Esq, David Zweibel Esq, Nathan Lewin Esq, Menachem Lubinsky and David Mandel, recommending that he not step down

John Carney said...

Gone, Baby, Gone
Live blogging Eliot Spitzer's Resignation
Posted by John Carney, Mar 12, 2008, 11:48am

there again.
He’s said it’s a private failing.

It’s about his remorse. He’s “begun to atone.” Bess loves that. It’s a pop culture reference and a Jewish thing! This guy might have a future as a blogger. Or as Maureen Dowd.

My God this man is full of himself.

He apologizes for letting down those who believed in “what he tried to stand for.”

He’s bragging about his accomplishments.

And it's done. He has tendered his resignation.

It’s effective next week! Ten days after the news broke! Someone put a net over the Hudson to stop Spitzer from ditching his computer into the river!

Downside for citizens of New York: Another week of government paralysis. Chaos. Possible dark deeds.

Upside for DealBreaker: We get another week of Spitzer coverage!

Query: Is that Eliot’s best impression of contrition?

How The Press Enabled Loathesome Eliot's Slimy 'Crusades'

Well the soon to be former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s limousine brigade is stuck in traffic (and the networks are giving him the OJ Simpson treatment, with helicopters flying overhead showing his slow-motion progress through Manhattan traffic), so let’s take a few moments to reflect on the shabby legacy of the financial press when it comes to Spitzer.

This morning Kimberly Strassel points out on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal that Spitzer played the press like a Stradivarius. (Bess Levin would surely have come up with a much more apt and colorful description.) Many reporters built careers on the prosecutor's leaks intended to bully innocent people, Strassel explained.

Yet from the start, the press corps acted as an adjunct of Spitzer power, rather than a skeptic of it. Many journalists get into this business because they want to see wrongs righted. Mr. Spitzer portrayed himself as the moral avenger. He was the slayer of the big guy, the fat cat, the Wall Street titan -- all allegedly on behalf of the little guy. The press ate it up, and came back for more.
She details the instances of his bully-boy tactics, smearing opponents from behind the scenes with the financial press all to eager to repeat his attacks. The worst seems to be his attack on John Whitehead, a respected Wall Street figure who has never been publicly accused of wrong doing but who had the temerity to defend Spitzer target Ace Greenberg. Spitzer called him on the phone to threaten him, and when Whitehead publicized Spitzer’s threats, the press suddenly got calls hinting at corrupt connections between Whitehead and Greenberg.

We covered the press enabling Spitzer’s slimy tactics long ago. It’s nice to see this issue getting more attention.

There’s too much Spitzer news and commentary for anyone to follow. Fortunately, both Stephen Bainbridge and Radar Magazine has combed through the news so you don’t have to. Radar concentrates on the dirty facts, like the fact that Spitzer didn't like condoms, set the mood with classical music and apparently was getting some on his recent secret mission to Florida. Bainbridge is all over the legal questions, like what kind of crimes he may have committed and whether he will be disbarred.

John Podhoretz said...

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/jpodhoretz/2896

The thing is, Eliot Spitzer is a crook. I’m not referring to the current prostitution scandal. I’m not referring to the scandal last year involving his senior aides and the leaking of confidential police information to the Albany Times Union. I’m not referring to the threatening phone call he made to the august John Whitehead, retired head of Goldman Sachs, who had the temerity to question a case Spitzer was building against an old friend of Whitehead’s. I’m referring to his conduct dating back to 1994, when he designed a complex scheme involving loans and real estate and collateralized apartments to evade campaign-finance laws so that his own father, Bernard Spitzer, could pay for his campaign as attorney general of New York state. Millions of dollars. And then, in 1998, running for the same office, he did it again. It’s hard to explain, but basically, Spitzer’s father gave him a lot of real estate. He used it to secure loans totaling more than $8 million. Then his father paid back the loans. He was supposed to pay his father back. He said he did. Then he acknowledged he hadn’t. Then somehow it all went away. I’m not a big fan of campaign-finance laws, but they are laws, and they are supposed to apply to everybody.

The rules don’t apply to Eliot Spitzer, or at least, that’s how Eliot Spitzer has acted throughout his public life. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Anonymous said...

John Carney is a smart guy. Is that one of UOJ's alter egos?

R' Shmuel Kaminetzky said...

I assume Spitzer has done teshuva by now.

Ray Charles said...

I don't think David Paterson saw this coming.

David Dinkins said...

I'm standing by like an obedient men's room attendent with towels.

If you feel like barfing, watch that baal gayvah Spitzer give his resignation speech. The putz can't even go out gracefully.

Scott Tulman said...

Spitzer will be fine when he gets home for Shabbos.

Ben Hirsch said...

I'm hearing reports that Avi Kolko drove Spitzer home from the press conference.

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

It's so painful watching the world going down the toilet!
----------------------------

Sex Infections Found in Quarter of Teenage Girls

By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN -THE NEW YORK TIMES

Published: March 12, 2008

The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Nearly half the African-Americans in the study of teenagers ages 14 to 19 were infected with at least one of the diseases monitored in the study — human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis, a common parasite.

The 50 percent figure compared with 20 percent of white teenagers, health officials and researchers said at a news conference at a scientific meeting in Chicago.

The two most common sexually transmitted diseases, or S.T.D.’s, among all the participants tested were HPV, at 18 percent, and chlamydia, at 4 percent, according to the analysis, part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Each disease can be serious in its own way. HPV, for example, can cause cancer and genital warts.

Among the infected women, 15 percent had more than one of the diseases.

Women may be unaware they are infected. But the diseases, which are infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, can produce acute symptoms like irritating vaginal discharge, painful pelvic inflammatory disease and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. The infections can also lead to longterm ailments like infertility and cervical cancer.

The survey tested for specific HPV strains linked to genital warts and cervical cancer.

Officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the findings underscored the need to strengthen screening, vaccination and other prevention measures for the diseases, which are among the highest public health priorities.

About 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year among all age groups in the United States.

“High S.T.D. infection rates among young women, particularly young African-American women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk,” said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., who directs the centers’ division of S.T.D. prevention.

The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, said the new findings “emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.”

“The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”

Although earlier annual surveys have tested for a single sexually transmitted disease in a specified population, this is the first time the national study has collected data on all the most common sexual diseases in adolescent women at the same time. It is also the first time the study measured human papillomavirus.

Dr. Douglas said that because the new survey was based on direct testing, it was more reliable than analyses derived from data that doctors and clinics sent to the diseases center through state and local health departments.

“What we found is alarming,” said Dr. Sara Forhan, a researcher at the centers and the lead author of the study.

Dr. Forhan added that the study showed “how fast the S.T.D. prevalence appears.”

“Far too many young women are at risk for the serious health effects of untreated S.T.D.’s, ” she said.

The centers conducts the annual study, which asks a representative sample of the household population a wide range of health questions. The analysis was based on information collected in the 2003-4 survey.

Extrapolating from the findings, Dr. Forhan said 3.2 million teenage women were infected with at least one of the four diseases.

The 838 participants in the study were chosen at random with standard statistical techniques. Of the women asked, 96 percent agreed to submit vaginal swabs for testing.

The findings and specific treatment recommendations were available to the participants calling a password-protected telephone line. Three reminders were sent to participants who did not call.

Health officials recommend treatment for all sex partners of individuals diagnosed with curable sexually transmitted diseases. One promising approach to reach that goal is for doctors who treat infected women to provide or prescribe the same treatment for their partners, Dr. Douglas said. The goal is to encourage men who may not have a physician or who have no symptoms and may be reluctant to seek care to be treated without a doctor’s visit.

He also urged infected women to be retested three months after treatment to detect possible reinfection and to treat it.

Dr. Forhan said she did not know how many participants received their test results.

Federal health officials recommend annual screening tests to detect chlamydia for sexually active women younger than 25. The disease agency also recommends that women ages 11 to 26 be fully vaccinated against HPV.

The Food and Drug Administration has said in a report that latex condoms are “highly effective” at preventing infection by chlamydia, trichomoniasis, H.I.V., gonorrhea and hepatitis B.

The agency noted that condoms seemed less effective against genital herpes and syphilis. Protection against human papillomavirus “is partial at best,” the report said.

Wolf Sender from Flatbush (former Paterson aide) said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a4889/News/New_York.html

Spitzer’s ... investigations of two major Jewish organizations led to reforms at the World Jewish Congress and National Council of Young Israel.

Unlike some black leaders in the city who have had a rancorous relationship with the Jewish community, Paterson has consistently had a close and warm relationship.
“I consider him one of my closest friends,” said State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn). “He has come to my community many times and has helped groups in my community, including a program for kids at risk to which he gave money. He is one of the sweetest guys you ever could meet. He’ll get along with everybody.”

Paterson was born in Brooklyn, but the New York Observer reported in 2006 that Paterson’s official biography for years stated falsely that he was a lifelong Harlem resident and said he has “a complicated relationship with the truth and a difficulty in saying no.”

After graduating from Hofstra, Paterson worked at the Queens District Attorney’s office. Because he is legally blind, he was unable to take the bar exam. He worked for David Dinkins’ successful campaign for Manhattan borough president in 1985 and later that year he won a seat in the State Senate in a special election with strong backing from the Harlem political figures, including his father, Basil, who had previously held the seat. In 1993, he ran unsuccessfully for public advocate, and in 2002 was elected minority leader by his colleagues in the Senate, pledging to elect enough Democrats to take control of the upper house. Spitzer picked him for his running mate in January 2006.

In one of his last official acts as lieutenant governor, Paterson last Sunday attended the Bukharian Jewish community’s legislative breakfast in Forest Hills and received its state leadership award.

In his acceptance speech, Paterson revealed to the 200 guests that he recently had his DNA tested and that it revealed he had Jewish ancestors from Eastern Europe.
“He said we’re all connected, we’re relatives, and they all ate it up,” recalled Ezra Friedlander, a public relations executive who planned the event.

Steven I Weiss said...

"Spitzer’s ... investigations of two major Jewish organizations led to reforms at the World Jewish Congress"

None of this was done according to journalistic principles. I will be picking up Israel Singer & Richard Grasso a little later to head over to the New York Stock Exchange to pop some champagne corks and celebrate.

Anonymous said...

The F train was quite crowded, so a Redneck U. S. Marine walked the entire length looking for a seat, but the only seat left was taken by a poodle with a French bitch from Le Marais.

The war-weary Marine asked, Ma'am, may I have that seat? The French woman just sniffed and said to no one in particular 'Americans are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat.'

The Marine walked the entire train again, but the only seat left was under that dog.

'Please, ma'am. May I sit down? I'm very tired.'

She snorted, 'Not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!' This time the Marine didn't say a word; he just picked up the little dog, tossed it out the train window, and sat down.

The woman shrieked, 'Someone must defend my honor! this American should be put in his place!'

An British gentleman sitting nearby spoke up, 'Sir, you Americans often seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You hold the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out the window.

Asher Friedman said...

I just spoke to the Moetzes. The only solution to this crisis is to asser checking in to any hotel except for the Avenue Plaza in Boro Park. We don't know what kind of taaruvos can go on in any other hotels.

I also give you my word that Rav Elyashev has assered hotels in Eretz Yisroel, especially the Sheraton Plaza.

Boro Park Hatzolah Unit Putz 99 said...

Friedman, you'd better asser the Avenue Plaza too. Hatzolah had a call there a few years ago for some Chassidish putz who had a heart attack in the middle of committing adultery.

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

ANYONE LEFT TO TRUST?
-----------------------

Southwest grounds 41 jets By DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer
58 minutes ago

DALLAS - Southwest Airlines grounded 41 planes overnight — about 8 percent of its fleet — in the wake of its recent admission that it had missed required inspections of some planes for structural cracks.

Avremel Schorr said...

That's the reason why I wasn't able to go on "vacation" sof maaysa. We were muchroch to asser ALL hotels INCLUDING the Avenue Plaza in Boro Park.

Bess Levin's sarcasm is too funny! said...

Appearing on the NBC Today Show this morning was a visibly saddened, on the verge of tears Jim Cramer. He comes off as honestly distraught, and in desperate need of a hug. It’s almost too painful to watch, because that’s not the Jim Cramer want to see—we want our Jim Cramer sweating and screaming and diving off a chair into a pile of money on the floor of the CNBC set. Who knows if we’ll ever get that Jim Cramer back. And for that we say, you go to hell Eliot Spitzer. You go to hell and die!

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

The Myth of the Victimless Crime

But most women in prostitution, including those working for escort services, have been sexually abused as children, studies show.

MOETZES - RESIGN!

By MELISSA FARLEY and VICTOR MALAREK THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: March 12, 2008

WHAT do we know about the woman Gov. Eliot Spitzer allegedly hired as a prostitute? She was the one person he ignored in his apology. What is she going through now? Is she in danger from organized crime because of what she knows? Is anyone offering her legal counsel or alternatives to prostitution?

“I’m here for a purpose,” she said in a conversation with her booking agent after meeting with Governor Spitzer, according to the affidavit of the F.B.I agent who investigated the prostitution ring. “I know what my purpose is. I’m not a ... moron, you know what I mean.”

Her purpose, as a man who knew patiently explained, is “renting” out an organ for 10 minutes. Men rent women through the Internet or by cellphone as if they were renting a car. And now, in response to the news about Governor Spitzer, pundits are wading into the age-old debates over whether prostitution is a victimless crime or whether women are badly hurt in prostitution no matter what they’re paid.

Whose theory is it that prostitution is victimless? It’s the men who buy prostitutes who spew the myths that women choose prostitution, that they get rich, that it’s glamorous and that it turns women on.

But most women in prostitution, including those working for escort services, have been sexually abused as children, studies show.

Incest sets young women up for prostitution — by letting them know what they’re worth and what’s expected of them. Other forces that channel women into escort prostitution are economic hardship and racism.

The Emperor’s Club presented itself as an elite escort service. But aside from charging more, it worked like any other prostitution business. The pimps took their 50 percent cut. The Emperor’s Club often required that the women provide sex twice an hour. One woman who was wiretapped indicated that she couldn’t handle that pressure. The ring operated throughout the United States and Europe. The transport of women for prostitution was masked by its description as “travel dates.”

Telephone operators at the Emperor’s Club criticized one of the women for cutting sessions with buyers short so that she could pick up her children at school. “As a general rule,” one said, “girls with children tend to have a little more baggage going on.”

Whether the woman is in a hotel room or on a side street in someone’s car, whether she’s trafficked from New York to Washington or from Mexico to Florida or from the city to the suburbs, the experience of being prostituted causes her immense psychological and physical harm. And it all starts with the buyer.

Boy does he wish Hillary could pardon him said...

It remained unclear on Wednesday what legal implications, if any, Mr. Spitzer will face from his involvement with the ring. His lawyer, Michele Hirschman, reached out to federal prosecutors this week to strike a deal in hopes of avoiding charges. But the United States attorney investigating the case issued a statement shortly after the resignation saying that his office does not have any arrangement with the governor.

Mr. Spitzer becomes the first New York governor to be forced out since William Sulzer was impeached in 1913 over a campaign contribution fraud.

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

Thanks Ben Bernanke - Genius move yesterday -
------------------------

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar index tumbled to a record low on Wednesday as doubts grew about the long-term impact of recent Federal Reserve efforts to pump money into cash-starved credit markets.

The New York Board of Trade's U.S. dollar index fell to 72.457 before recovering slightly to trade at 72.509.

Son of Boog said...

David Paterson is no steamroller but it worries me that he has been friends his entire life with putzes like Charlie Rangel. Even their daddies were friends.

Shelly Silver, Boo Boo Bruno & Watch your Taxes said...

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/03/12/nyregion/20080313_SPITZERALBANY_GRAPHIC.html

How Spitzer’s Resignation Affects Albany

Spitzer appointed his onetime rival, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, to look into capping property taxes after school districts raised taxes in 2007 in spite of a huge state aid program. It was a departure from his stance during the campaign and angered the teachers union, but the governor gave the commission broad power. The fate of that commission under Mr. Paterson is unclear.

Sheldon Silver
The wily Democratic majority leader of the Assembly, who took a back seat on many issues to Mr. Spitzer, could fill a power vacuum left by the governor's departure, at least during Mr. Paterson's transition. "Silver knows when to play and when to lie low," said Alan Chartock, a University at Albany professor.

Joseph Bruno
The Senate majority leader gets along well with Mr. Paterson, the former Senate minority leader. The Republicans now hold 32 seats in the senate, to the Democrats' 30, so the loss of one seat will create a tie. But because the position of lieutenant governor will not be filled for the remainder of Mr. Paterson's term, and because the lieutenant governor casts tiebreaking votes in the Senate, the question of who controls the Senate may remain an open one, even if the Democrats pick up a seat.

UOJ GETS RESULTS said...

In weak economy, Americans swap steak for chicken By Emily Kaiser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At U.S. warehouse club stores, a growing number of shoppers are giving up steak for cheaper chicken. Coffee sales are soaring at McDonald's, while higher-priced Starbucks slows. Restaurants are serving fewer customers because more people are eating at home.

R' Elya Svei said...

Vos vet zein mit der hooker?

Italian Putzola said...

MILAN, March 11 (Reuters) - Pro-Palestinian graffiti written in Arabic has been found scrawled inside the cargo hold of an El Al plane during unloading at Milan's Malpensa airport, raising Israeli concerns about Italian airport security.

"It was something like 'Long Live Palestine'," written with a marker pen, Raffaele Veri of the Malpensa airport police told Reuters on Tuesday. "It has happened once before."

Israel's flag carrier, which normally uses round-the-clock security for its planes, said in a statement it had demanded an investigation into Monday's incident, without giving any further details of what had happened.

"Immediately upon receiving word of the incident, the company demanded that an investigation be launched into the circumstances surrounding it," El Al said.

Italian police said the security breach was unlikely to have happened at Malpensa, as the plane had only just landed when the graffiti was discovered.

The Israeli embassy in Rome said it does not comment on security matters.

Anonymous said...

That bozo at 3:30 applied the wrong headline. It's not "UOJ gets results". If UOJ was the Fed Chairman, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Sholom Rubashkin said...

Does anyone know if UOJ's planned boycott of meat is picking up in popularity? I'm scared shitless about my sales before Pesach.

John Carney said...

In a Village Voice article that will no doubt annoy orthodox leftists who cannot stand when a member of the creative class defects from their camp, David Mamet describes how he came to break with 'brain dead liberalism.':

"Aha," you will say, and you are right. I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism.

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