Thursday, August 9, 2012 | return to: views, letters



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Much to smile about

Sue Barnett’s wonderful accounting of Toby Adelman’s magnificent gift to Marc Klein should be reprinted and distributed globally (“Gift of life,” July 27).

The piece needs to go on the wire service to every Jewish publication. Potential donors need to read about Toby’s uplifting, life-giving, selfless act. After successful cornea transplant surgery decades ago, I became a donor. In my opinion, organ/tissue donations are something everyone should consider.

Marc has much to smile about.

Richard Aptekar   |   Burlingame

Editor’s note: The JTA ( did indeed distribute the article to Jewish publications nationwide.


Grateful that bridge suicides aren’t forgotten

Thank you Jenni, Eve and Rabbi Angel for making possible the Yizkor service at Sha’ar Zahav (“For the fallen: Syn-agogue service remembers Golden Gate Bridge suicides,” Aug. 3).

I am very grateful that this service was held Aug. 7 to recognize the loss of life at this national landmark.  A major event such as this will help raise awareness to prevent suicides at the bridge.

The religious community came together in 1977 for the bridge’s 40th anniversary, and one speaker stated, “It is entirely fitting that on Memorial Day we are here on account of the hundreds of people who are … casualties of society. For in the final analysis, we have to bear collective responsibility for those individuals … who came to that place of total helplessness, … where they took their own lives here on the beautiful bridge, this Golden Gate Bridge, a symbol of human ingenuity, technological genius but social failure.”

It is time to come together again and make a reality of the original design of this bridge. Chief engineer Joseph Strauss stated in 1936 (as quoted in the San Francisco Call) that suicide would be improbable due to the design of the rails and other interventions. Unfortunately all of that changed, setting the stage for decades of tragedy.

Dayna Whitmer   |   Hercules

Editor’s note: Dayna Whitmer is the mother of Matthew Whitmer, who committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in 2007.


Obama is no friend of Israel

In “Is Obama or Romney a better friend of Israel?” (“Two views,” July 27), unfortunately neither Edgar Bronfman nor former Sen. Ron Coleman discussed the three-part policy toward Israel and the peace process that President Obama unveiled in May 2011. 

First, Israel must agree to the pre-’67 boundaries with land swaps. Second, Israel must agree to full withdrawal of its forces from the West Bank, placing full reliance on the Palestinian security services. President Obama represented this as assuring Israel’s security. Finally, Israel must agree to these two policies before negotiating the end-of-conflict issues of the final status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian right

of return. This last provision is the abandonment of land-for-peace. Israel cedes land and then discusses peace.

Though this policy has not been emphasized during the election period, Obama actually reiterated it at the United Nations last September: “Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year.”

Anyone who doubts my statements should Google the president’s speech of May 19, 2011 and read it. In casting our ballots in November, we should understand the policies we are choosing or rejecting. Elections do have consequences.

Steve Astrachan   |   Pleasant Hill


Where credit is due

Perhaps letter writer Scott Abramson should check his facts before casting aspersions on the president (“Gospel of Barack?” Aug. 3).

Overall aid to Israel was agreed to in previous administrations with the provision that it had to be renewed every year for the following 10 years by current presidents. The additional aid this time of $70 million dollars for further development of the Iron Dome defense system is purely by this administration.

In fact, the Bush administration did not approve any funds toward the development of the Iron Dome even though requests were made by Israel.

Jon S. Levinson   |   San Carlos


Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/09/2012  at  02:12 PM
Mr. Astrachan, Actions are More Important than The Politics of Words...

As former Israeli Prime Minister and now the country’s Minister of Israeli Defense said just a few days ago, “The Obama presidency has contributed more for Israel’s well-being than any other US presidential administration in history.

And the US record contribution annually to Israel for keeping its weaponry the most modern in the Middle East speaks volumes as to the Obama Administration’s emphasis upon Israel’s well-being

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/09/2012  at  06:21 PM
Clarification: Ehud Barak, Former Israeli PM and Now Minister of Defense...

said just a few days ago, “The Obama presidency has contributed more for Israel’s well-being than any other US presidential administration in history.”

Barak is now an integral part of the Netanyahu government and he clearly has no deceptive political agenda for his unmitigated praise for the presidency of Barack Obama and how it has helped protect the security of Israel.

Pro-Romney advocates are simply blowing smoke to say otherwise…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/11/2012  at  07:55 AM
Romney Just Gift-Wrapped Floridian Jews to Obama

Yes, from Rich Uncle Romney’s Temple of Dumb, our president was just given an early holiday present which will make certain the small percentage of Jews he might have otherwise lost to sort of loony righwing propaganda we have seen promulgated here by the likes of Frank and craven is now history.

Yes, once Jewish seniors in Florida and elsewhere learn that Romney has chosen as his Vice Presidential candidate a cretin whose economic plan would gut medicare and social security, their foolish notion that Obama has put Israel at risk will take a backseat to losing their hard-earned governmental benefits.

Moreover, seniors in other crucial battleground states such as Ohio and Virginia will also jump ship from a Republican vessel soon to sink from taking on too much bilge water. And those who favor a strong military will chafe at Ryan’s desire to significantly cut defense spending.

Finally, Ryan has clearly stated a desire for substantial cuts in foreign aid. And who has been the foremost recipient of such monies? Israel, of course.

So those concerned about Israel’s future and who understand the Israel cannot maintain the modern weaponry for its survival had better think more than twice about permitting someone whose policies are so adverse to Israel’s best interests a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Hurray! Romney has chosen the equivalent of Sara Palin. Like I said, he continues to expand his Tabernacle of Dumb…

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Posted by craven_maven
08/11/2012  at  06:53 PM
Antedote to Blitz of Spitzer Unreality

Man needs his own blog.

Reality check: Israelis do not trust Obama:

“Last week, the Jerusalem Post reported the news that only 4% of Israelis think that Barack Obama is pro-Israel, down from 6% in June. The poll, conducted by the Israeli public opinion outfit Smith Research, found that 51% think the Obama Administration is pro-Palestinian ...”

As for how American Jews vote, who cares? We’re less than 3% of the population. Our vote almost doesn’t count. Only anti-Semites, like Louis Farrakhan and Cornel West, are really convinced that as a group we excert a major influence on the world.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/12/2012  at  01:11 AM
craven, You Must be Under the Delusion that Israelis Vote in the US Election

But American Jews vote in the US and their vote is critical in the most important battleground state of Florida. With the nomination of Paul Ryan, a man openly opposed to Medicare and Social Security benefits as presently constituted to protect the elderly, Romney has given Florida to Obama on a platter as Floridian Jews will now vote overwhelmingly for Barack.

Also, craven, Jews do give money to electoral nominees and they give alot. When I last checked, the money Jews give to Obama far surpasses that which they give Romney.

Clearly, American Jews agree with Ehud Barack’s assessment that the Obama presidency is the administration more supportive of Israel than any presidency in the history of US/Israeli relations…

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Posted by craven_maven
08/12/2012  at  11:04 AM
Jewish Vote

So, Dan, you really believe a bunch of yentas in Bocca Raton are going to determine the US Presidential race?

Florida’s electoral votes will be determined by the Hispanic vote.

Obamacare not only cuts $500 billion from Medicare, but uses fraudulent accounting methods to count that cut twice in order to falsify the actual cost of Obamacare.

The only real issue in this election is economic; the elephant in the room is whether the US will default on its loans. The US is spending $454 billion a year to pay the interest on the loans Obama ran up. That’s ~$1.25 billion A DAY. Interest rates are now below 1%, at historic lows, kept artificially low by the Fed Reserve. If interest rates go up, as they inevitably will, by just one or two percent, the interest on US debt will be $1-2 trillion, which the US may not be able to pay.

Obama doesn’t care. In fact, he keeps moving the US toward the precipice of economic collapse by calling for more and more spending. Blaming Bush just doesn’t cut it.

Raising taxes without also cutting spending, which Obama and the Dems favor, will never work. The government ALWAYS just spends more, even before the taxes are collected – just look at Sacramento for an abject lesson in this, i.e., the recent approval of a $68 billion high-speed rail project in a state carrying a $17 billion debt.

Ryan, at least, a member of the House Tea Party caucus, has passed budgets to address the problem, all shot down by Senate Dems. Rather than work together to address the problem, Dem and establishment GOP politicians in Washington have done nothing but kick the can down the road. This is nothing less than a breakdown in representational democracy, with elected officials not only ignoring the best interests of the country, but acting against them.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/12/2012  at  02:29 PM
craven, Past Elections in Florida Presidential Campaigns Have been Quite Close

Or don’t you remember the “hanging chads” and the decision by our conservative Supreme Court to make sure the election was stolen from Gore.

So yes, Jewish seniors who understandably don’t wish to lose their hard-earned Medicare and Social Security benefits will NEVER vote for a candidate whose potential VP would abrogate said essential benefits. And the expected large turnout by them to keep their old age benefits should put Obama over the top in that well-characterized battleground state.

craven, what you understand about economics wouldn’t fill a thimble. Cutting education funding, medical research, the paltry sums serving as a safety net for the poor, ignoring environmental issues as well as climate change, giving corporations and the financial industry a carte blanche sans regulation, cutting defense funding (!), and the foreign aid w/o which Israel would be liquidated are all part of the ballyhooed Ryan budget which tea party imbeciles all advocate. Americans proved suckers when they voted twice for Dubya. But this choice of Ryan is so far over the top that Romney and the GOP have put themselves in the oven and now they are toast.

indeed, all those who don’t wish to see the disaster of a Romney presidency are thanking our lucky stars for his desperate decision to adopt a running mate whose budget idiocies are certain to alienate members of the electorate necessary to get Romney elected president: Jewish seniors and seniors everywhere, the middle class, the military, educational personnel, those who advocate a woman’s right to choose (Ryan, a “good Catholic,” opposes aid for birth control as will as the present right for women to have an abortion), and Hispanics among others.

In other words, deciding upon Ryan was a decision made by a presidential candidate who knew he was going to lose and he poured some sewage out of his hat hoping the smell would distract some of the electorate. Only the fools who fall within the retarded realm of the tea party minion will be drawn by tha odor.

Romney couldn’t have been more wrong in choosing Ryan and our country will reap the benefits with this near handing of the election to Obama…

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Posted by craven_maven
08/13/2012  at  01:28 PM
Obamacare Guts Medicare by $700 billion

Obama’s campaign is lying AGAIN. It’s Obamacare, not Ryan’s budget, which guts Medicare:

Obama Campaign Defends President’s $700 Billion Cuts to Medicare

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/13/2012  at  10:26 PM
craven's @ource for This Is Just as Laughable as Fox

The Weekly Standard is his source-kinda the political Mad Magazine of the rightwing lunatic fringe.

This has all the credibility as, well, the Romney campaign. Which means, less than zero…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/13/2012  at  10:31 PM
"Craven"=Truth in Advertising

Yes, Mr. craven certainly chose the right screen moniker as it truly fits his brand of rightwing screed.

From Webster’s dictionary:cra·ven adj \ˈkrā-vən\

Definition of CRAVEN

archaic : defeated, vanquished
2 : lacking the least bit of courage : contemptibly fainthearted.

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Posted by craven_maven
08/14/2012  at  09:53 AM
Spitzer Should be Banned

He chronically violates the Comments Policy. His comments are habitually full of vitriol, insult and personal attack. He makes these comments pages a distinctly unpleasant and hostile place.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/14/2012  at  11:02 PM
Poor Craven-He Spouts Propaganda...

I debunk him and call him on it, I provide a definition of his superb and appropriate screen moniker, and because I speak the truth, he wants me banned.

Yes, I’m certain tea party advocates would like to silence any semblance of truth so they could continue to distort reality to fit their political delusions. I suspect this is applicable to craven and I know those who are laughing at him, not with him…

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