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Friday, May 02, 2003
(via Hit & Run)
BY THE WAY: Aside from the swastikas, this Coke robot seems to have what can best be identified as a hand on its crotch. Teaching children Nazism and genital fondling by third parties? "Coca-Cola: It's the real thing."
Eat 4 Israel. There was a similar venture a couple of years ago, I think, where you could ask and a certain percentage of your bill be donated at participating restaurants, though that was all year long, not just one day.
UPDATE: Stern College Observer story on the old program.
The latest developments in the latest trial of Yankel Rosenbaum's murderer, Lemrick Nelson, are pretty wacky. Lemrick Nelson admitted the murder, according to the above-linked article.
See, he was acquitted in his first trial, in state criminal court, of having murdered Yankel Rosenbaum in the Crown Heights race riots. Then Janet Reno tried him for having violated Yankel Rosenbaum's civil rights, saying he murdered Rosenbaum because he was a Jew. Reno won a conviction against Nelson, who was sentenced to 19 1/2 years; Nelson got his verdict vacated because the the trial judge made too great an effort to affect the racial composition of the jury.
So now, Nelson is on trial again -- except this time, unlike before, he is admitting the killing, but saying it was not committed because Rosenbaum was a Jew, but rather because Nelson was just drunk.
The issue of double jeopardy is what makes the case weird at this point, the arguments being:
1) That advancing the civil rights charges against him in federal court could/should possibly be a violation of Nelson's rights. He's essentially being tried twice for the same act of murder: once for having committed it in the first place, and a second time for having committed it in a hateful way.
2) That Nelson could potentially be retried because his defense withheld the evidence available at the time that Nelson knew he committed the murder. I have no clue as to whether I'm going anywhere with this, but given that (a) a guilty plea can be rejected by later statements protesting one's innocence, and (b) a verdict of guilty can be vacated by newly discovered exculpatory evidence, isn't there something that could allow contesting a not-guilty verdict? And, if so, wouldn't this be very thing?
I haven't seen any posting about this on lawyerly blogs like The Volokh Conspiracy and Instapundit. We'll see if any of them have anything to say. If our readers have comments, please send them over.
For those wondering, you can also get Making of a Godol from YU's Mendel Gottesman Library, where it occupies a prized location on the closed shelf - all the better for facilitating the twin sins of reading it and then being forced to return it so others can do the same.
[Between your post and mine, does this then make Yeshiva University a house of sin and JTS a palace of redemption? -- SIW]
Those seeking a copy of Nathan Kamenetsky's The Making of a Godol need look no further than the JTS library...of course, that'd only be for a temporary checkout -- though if the book were to somehow disappear (requiring payment of around $20-30), and then subsequently be auctioned off (for somewhere in the range of $500), a significant profit could be had.
What? A sin, you say? Not only is the hypothetical person in this theoretical situation not guilty of having read the book -- which would be a violation of sanction from some of the great gedolim of our time -- but he(she?) takes the book out of a public forum, keeping others from reading -- nu, it's a good thing.
It took a few months, but the Jewish Week did follow up on the Commentator piece on the exact allegations surrounding Derech Etz Chaim being dropped from YU's Israel program. Get the article here. Um, wow.
Health officials and genetic researchers here say there is no way to stop inbreeding in this deeply conservative Muslim society, where marrying within the family is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.
Today, when most unions are still arranged by parents, marrying into wealth and influence often means marrying a relative. Social lives are so restricted that it is virtually impossible for men and women to meet one another outside the umbrella of an extended family. Courtships without parental supervision are rare.
I plan on responding to Elder I's posts as soon as I get a chance to breath - my never-ending quest to graduate college continues. In the meantime, why do you think we've gotten about 900 hits so far this week? Something must have struck a real chord.
[We're getting tons of hits from search engine results - though, interestingly, our Google PageRank is less than half of what it previously was...weird -- SIW]
Star Spangled Ice Cream, a (pretty high-cost) set of flavors that includes "Iraqi Road," "Smaller Governmint," and "Nutty Environmentalist," and the producers "proudly donate 10 percent of our profits to charities that support the men and women of the US Armed Forces."
The mind wanders to potential flavors for other causes -- Israel, supporting your favorite kollelnik, etc. Any ideas?
Short Addendum to the post below...
1) Had a conversation with reader Yair, in which he expressed surprise that I was so on board with Steele's piece, given it's non-acknowledgement of the validity of white guilt. Yair is right, and I still have a lot more that I could say about the piece. It's also worth checking out Steele's piece in Harper's of this summer, which has the same attitude, but deals with different issues, and which I hated. The difference is that this piece doesn't have the space to deal with specific policies, and only briefly mentions the issue of white guilt -- it's only attitude, and that's what makes it a solid piece. Plus, he just so happens to be on the right side of the Washington/DuBois debate.
2) I'd like to expand on my declaration that DuBois appeared to me, as a childhood reader, as a "snob, prig, or what have you." While Steele asserts that DuBois' main contribution was of "double consciousness," the major point I always see emphasized is his ideas of the "Talented Tenth," the idea that there's ten percent of the population that produces ideas, art, etc. There's much to be said about double consciousness, especially, for our purposes, in regards to Levinasian conceptions of the face, etc. But regarding the Talented Tenth, one always got the idea that, firstly, DuBois necessarily thought of himself as belonging and, secondly, for everyone who found his writing meaningful, that they believed themselves to be of that Talented Tenth.
3) I left a message with Eli Stern -- we'll see if he lets me post his speech on the Web.
Today's Wall Street Journal Editorial & Op-Ed Pages were a tour de force. It's the best I've seen in the Journal. Of particular note for Shmiel is Shelby Steele's dissection of WEB DuBois(registration required, but it only takes 20 seconds). This is a fantastically interesting piece that deserves much discussion.
First, though, I'll present a synopsis of the speech given today by Friend of the Elders Rabbi Eliyahu E. Stern, in commemoration of Yom HaShoah(Holocaust Remembrance Day). Essentially, he describes the modern Jewish philosophers who lived through and responded to the Holocaust -- Fakkenheim, Arendt, Wiesel, etc. -- as engaging in a dialogue of rupture, in which a Genesis trope ("In the Beginning...") is needed to describe the Jewish journey since then. He compared this with what we know of the post-destruction-of-the-Second-Temple period, the leaders of which did not see the event that way as they resided in Yavneh. Stern proposed that Yavneh scholars held the Jewish community responsible for that destruction, and that post-Holocaust scholars explicitly rejected responsibility. There's much more to it than this, but he essentially argues from there that the current generation no longer views the Holocaust this way, that it is currently seen as one other event in the course of Jewish and World History, and that therefore we will be heading to a melding of the Yavneh and Modern traditions into an -- appropriately -- post-modern reality that recognizes both a responsibility for the past and for the future.
So now we bring this to bear on the African-American (and to what degree "black"?) experience of the past century. Having taken an African-American Lit class at City College where I was one of two "whites," and seen Booker T. Washington trashed in favor of DuBois, I have more invested in this than the other Elders, but maybe we'll get something going. I remember reading Washington as a kid and finding something to really connect with in his narrative -- that it presented such a universal message. My childhood response to DuBois was that he was a snob, prig, or what have you. When I received my copy of Encyclopedia Africana in the mail, one of the first things I did was look up how they treated DuBois and Washington. Sure enough, more space was given to DuBois' portrait than to the entire article about Washington.
I'll see if I can get a copy of Stern's speech to post, and if I can, hopefully we can have a more lively discussion. Nevertheless, I think there's enough fodder here for something.
Yeshiva University alum's calendar for counting the Omer. Reader Ephraim sent in the link, saying it's "for the masses," but there's no translation/transliteration.
NOT TO BE KEPT DOWN, Ephraim sends a transliterated version.
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