A Times dispatch from East Hampton about a surfing rabbi includes the following passage:
The passage is inaccurate in at least two respects. First, there's another Orthodox synagogue out there, Chabad Lubavitch of the Hamptons. Second, it doesn't say in the Torah that children must know how to swim. The passage that Ms. Milanaik is reaching for is almost certainly not from the Torah, but from the Talmud, Kiddushin 29a, which says that a father much teach his son Torah, teach him a craft or a trade, "and there are some who say he must also teach him how to swim." It's the Talmud not the Torah, and it's not "children must know how to swim," but just reporting an additional opinion: "there are some who say he must also teach him how to swim."
The Times Sunday metro section carries a left-wing column that goes unbalanced by any right-wing column. The latest column complains about helicopter noise in the Hamptons:
The president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Richard Block, has an article explaining why he canceled his Times subscription after 40 years:
In the category of vile anti-Israel articles, Antony Lerman's "The End of Liberal Zionism" deserves some kind of award. He writes:
No. It wasn't Mr. Netanyahu's decision — which in any event was a decision not made only by Mr. Netanyahu, but by Israel's security cabinet — to launch a military campaign that cost the Israeli lives. It was Hamas's decision to attack Israel from tunnels and with rockets.
The following paragraph appeared on the front page of Saturday's Times, in an article headlined, "Blood Industry Shrinks as Transfusions Decline":
It's not clear, to this reader, at least, what the sentence means. Is the Times trying to tell us that blood bank revenue has declined to $1.5 billion this year from $5 billion in 2008? Or is the Times trying to tell us that blood bank revenue declined $5 billion in 2008 from 2007, and will decline $1.5 billion this year from the year before? Or is the Times trying to tell us that blood bank revenue this year will be $3.5 billion, down from $5 billion in 2008?
A dispatch from Illinois about the Olmsted Locks and Dam on the Ohio River reports that it was "first authorized by Congress in 1988 at a cost of $775 million" and is "now scheduled to be completed in 2020 at a cost approaching $3 billion."
The U.S. government's consumer price index inflation calculator indicates that $775 million in 1988 dollars are about $1.56 billion in 2014 dollars. The calculator doesn't run to 2020, but by then even more of the story won't be typically scandalous government cost overruns, but the erosion of the value of the dollar.
A front-page news article in today's New York Times appears under the headline "Cities Rocked by Past Unrest Offer Lessons." It offers lessons for Ferguson, Mo. from "other cities that endured similar violence." It names "Cincinnati, Oakland, Los Angeles" and Miami and talks about responding to riots and restoring calm. Strangely — bizarrely, actually, the Times omits any mention of New York.
There was a race riot — a pogrom, actually — in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1991, which you'd think a newspaper based in New York City might, you know, think about maybe mentioning in a news article about how to respond to an urban riot. The efforts since then to improve relations between the black and Jewish communities in Crown Heights might actually have some lessons for Ferguson.
The "New York Times Store" is featuring "rarely seen" and "truly historic" photographs of a naked Marilyn Monroe for $3,000 and $1,500 (more if you want it framed). It's not clear how this fits with the Times Company's stated core mission of "creating, collecting, and distributing high-quality news and information." A front-of-the business section Times news article — "Risque Promotion Prompts Outcry From Land's End Customers" — this week went after Land's End for a marketing deal with GQ, which was featuring photographs of scantily clad women, but Land's End wasn't trying to sell the pictures for $3,000 or billing them as "truly historic."
Maureen Dowd's column today refers to Hillary Clinton's interview with "Jeffrey Goldberg, a hawk, of The Atlantic."
I guess by Ms. Dowd's standards a "hawk" is someone like Jeff, who wants to dismantle many of Israel's West Bank settlements and to ease U.S. sanctions on Castro's Cuba.
Reader-participant-watchdog-community member-content co-creator Colin G. writes:
In the midst of the front-page New York Times news article about the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams comes this:
From the you-can't-make-it-up department: A post in the Fashion and Style section reports:
I guess the Times figures that if it's losing Jewish readers over its Middle East coverage it might as well pick up some Muslims to make up for them. We're waiting for the equivalent feature on yarmulkes.
Dave Barry has a deft takedown of a New York Times essay about Miami.
From today's New York Times editorial, the latest in a series calling for the legalization of marijuana:
No wonder the Times favors marijuana legalization. It creates the opportunity to raise taxes, an opportunity that for the Times editorial writers trumps any other policy objective. To the sixteen other tax increases previously supported by the Times editorial column (one of the services we provide here is keeping track of them), now add a seventeenth: an inflation-indexed tax on marijuana potency.
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