Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. No Still Needed, But Not As Much, Plus: New Mexico's Space Race; The Latest News And: A Letter From Gallup

Dr. No
Once he was the capitol chaperone, urging the revelers in Santa Fe to raise glasses with cheap grape juice not champagne. It was a message that echoed across the state as the Great Recession cast its shadow. But today, unlike the past two budget cutting sessions, the voice of State Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith is not quite as loud. The Deming lawmaker, who earned the moniker "Dr. No" from Governor Big Bill for his parsimonious ways, is still a major powerhouse when it comes to the budget, but that power is now being shared.

Unlike his relationship with Richardson, who fought Dr. No tooth and nail, Democrat Smith finds himself mainly in agreement with a Republican Governor whose party also takes joy in handling the budget scalpel. In that regard, the heyday of Dr. No is over. He has no foil on the Fourth Floor.

His economic perspective is now also looking dated to some Democrats. With a Republican Governor, they argue, it is best for their party to get on the opposite side of the budget argument and push back against Martinez. But Smith and the conservatives are not easily persuaded.

The public mood in New Mexico does appear to be shifting toward anxiety over budget cuts, not a push for more of them. That is an opportunity for the Democrats, but no Senate leadership has surfaced to become the face of a new era--a centrist Democrat.

Dr. No stands on shifting philosophical sands. When this legislative session ends, the state budget over three years will have been pared to $5.4 billion from its $6.2 billion peak. That's a 13 per cent cut. And the state work force has been trimmed by some 9 percent since the bull market crashed and burned.

There will always be room for fiscal conservatism, but for now it has run its course as Santa Fe's dominant political philosophy.

Governor Martinez has been somewhat ahead of the curve on this. During the campaign she said no further cuts to public education classrooms and Medicaid. She bent that promise by proposing cuts, but wee ones. How odd it is to see a Republican Governor argue against deeper budget cuts and with Dr. No going along.

We've often said that this life-changing recession was going to have us seeing things you never thought possible.

Well, how about that? Someone in the Martinez administration is finally saying out loud that they are excited about the economic potential of the Spaceport. It comes from Christine Anderson, the new executive director of the facility:

I am excited for the opportunity to lead a project that has such a high potential for success. I look forward to working with Governor Martinez and the Board of Directors to ensure that the Spaceport is developed into an economic engine that can drive development and job creation in New Mexico.

That's the most enthusiasm we've seen for the project from the new administration, but concern over Martinez's push to privatize the Spaceport still lurks. In announcing Anderson's appointment she said:

My administration is committed to working closely with Ms. Anderson and the Board of Directors to attract private investment and see the project through to its full potential...

We suppose she can keep wishing for "private investment" but this is a public works project. It is similar to how we funded ABQ International Airport--except this one is to be the airport for future space travel--suborbital and orbital as well as commercial and military. It's not only about putting rich tourists in suborbital space, although that will be the spark plug.


There is talk of having a Lockheed or Boeing manage the Spaceport similar to the way Lockheed manages Sandia Labs. But that's not owning it. The state would still control it, much the way the federal government does with Sandia. If that's what Susana means by privatization, then it addresses the darkest fears. That is a workable model.

It is the job and responsibility of the Governor to bring the Spaceport to its "full potential." We hired her to do that, not a private company. Maybe that happens down the road, but the administration will be putting the cart before the horse if it attempts to offload the Spaceport before we achieve the original mission--completing the project and putting tourists in suborbital space with Virgin Galactic.


Those hoping for the best with this deal can take some comfort in the credentials of Anderson, who is a retired Air Force civilian:

Anderson was the founding director of the Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland’s Air Force Research Laboratory. She served as director of the Space Technology Directorate at the Air Force Phillips Laboratory, also at Kirtland, and as director of the Military Satellite Communications Joint Program Office at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, where she oversaw management of a $50 billion portfolio of assets.

The previous executive director under Governor Big Bill was Rick Homans, who held a variety of posts under Bill and who was criticized for not having space experience. He is credited with getting the project up and running and nurturing a relationship with Virgin Galactic, the anchor Spaceport tenant.

Push will come to shove if and when the Spaceport needs additional dollars for final completion. Will Martinez support the funding, if needed? We suppose that's when we will truly see how "excited" Ms. Anderson is about the Spaceport.


If Santa Fe doesn't do this deal right, it could be taken from right under our noses. Monday's New York Times puts it right in front of everyone. We have competition:

Dr. Stern’s institute (Southwest Research Institute) announced that it has signed a contract and paid the deposit to send two of its scientists up in Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle (in New Mexico). Southwest also intends to buy six more seats — $1.6 million in tickets over all.

That follows an announcement on Thursday that Southwest is buying six seats from another suborbital company, XCOR Aerospace of Mojave, Calif., which has been charging $95,000 a seat for tourists. XCOR’s Lynx space plane carries just two people — the pilot and the paying passenger — so each flight will carry an experiment and an institute scientist...

Scientists, tourists, the military, private corporations. Again, the Spaceport is anything but just a playground for the rich--it represents one of the brightest hopes for the new century for New Mexico--a state whose people are so sorely in need of opportunity. Will we let it pass us by?


The Spaceport, movie making, the national labs, the military bases, tourism, the heathcare industry. All of these are present or future cornerstones of the New Mexican economy for the generations to come. Our political leadership needs to build them up, not inhibit them.


Northern state Senator Pete Campos is spreading the word that he will form an exploratory committee for a possible run at the 2012 Dem US Senate nomination. If he does, he could become one of the first candidates to start raising money. A legislator is allowed to raise money for a federal race while the Legislature is in session

State Auditor Hector Balderas, also from the north, says he is "95 percent" in, but he is not raising money yet. Former ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez is taking a serious look at the contest.

The most prominent Anglo possible candidate is ABQ Dem Congressman Martin Heinrich.


It's the battle of the secretaries of state and it's Mary's turn at bat after Dianna complained about missing documents, among other things:

Enough is enough. I did a good job. I have a reputation. She's now attacking me, and it's a defamation of character. I have the current Secretary of State accusing me of being a criminal?" I'm not going to tolerate that. It's in the law that the elected official and the deputy must have archives come in and transfer their hard drives into a hard drive to be archived....

TV news added: Herrera said Duran could easily track down those documents by going to the state archives and requesting them.


A reader writes of the sensational political antics in Gallup as voters prepare to elect a mayor:

Here is a dispatch from the wilds of western New Mexico: You will recall watching grainy security camera footage early last year of 70+ Gallup Mayor Harry Mendoza throwing haymaker punches as he chased 60+ Gallup Independent publisher Bob Zollinger around a bank parking lot. Mendoza pled no contest to a petty misdemeanor and issued a one sentence court ordered apology. He then hired attorney Sam Bregman to file a defamation and invasion of privacy suit against Zollinger who has run several new stories and over a dozen editorials accusing Mendoza of participating in a vicious gang rape in the late 1940s when Mendoza was a teenager.

Mendoza who faces stiff opposition in his campaign for re-election. He has adopted an innovative campaign strategy that may be a new contribution to the annals of La Politica. In his ads, Mendoza prominently features this quote which he attributes to Zollinger:

“If Harry Mendoza runs for Mayor again and wins I’ll sell my business and move out of Gallup.”

Mendoza’s ads claim that this “comment has been confirmed by several individuals.” To date, Zollinger has not commented publicly on Mendoza’s claim.

Election day in Gallup is March 8.

We're just thinking what a great movie this would make--a modern version of the old Western. See, those film incentives do come in handy.


Reader John Hooker writes:

A CEO, a Tea Partier and a Union worker are sitting at a table. There is a plate of a dozen cookies. The CEO proceeds to take 11 of the cookies and eats them. He looks at the Tea Partier and tells him, "Watch out! That union guy wants your cookie.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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The results are in!

Actually they've been in for a few days, but I didn't have the chance to address it yet. Last week I created a poll and asked readers if they felt I explained things properly in my posts. Realizing that some of my readers possess a great deal of technical knowledge, and others less, I want to strike the proper balance and make the blog enjoyable for all kinds of readers. At the same, I also don't want to wholly change the character of the blog.

After one week of polling, 74 people responded. Since stats are boring, I won't break them down specifically (although for a few days you can see the stats on the sidebar), but a little over 50% felt that things are fine as they are, about 20% feel that I should explain things more fully, and 30% feel that something in between would be fine.

These results made me happy. It isn't as if 95% said they have no idea what I'm talking about. If 50% already get it, and 30% would get it a little more if I made the effort, and 20% really could use much more explanation, but took the time to even respond, then I feel this is something I can do - maintain the present character, yet at the same time try to make a few changes which will hopefully inform readers better.

Before I disscuss that, I want to respond to a few specific comments:

Binyamin writes that he voted "yes," and as it stands my posts are too difficult. He gets maybe 25% of it. He believes that I can attract a broader audience and even help educate people if I did a better job. He also feels that most of my post would not be understood properly by 95% of the people who would be inclined to forward them to, so he doesn't.

He is exactly the kind of reader for whom it is worth doing better, and I will try my best. I think it might be a good idea to occasionally do some remedial Jewish history type posts, where I get into the background behind some persons, events or movements, and then I can link to the posts I've already done about these subjects. For example, instead of simply assuming knowledge about Christian Hebraism, I could do a general post about it. Then, a reader can reread the earlier posts, and hopefully get into it more, with newly acquired background.

Jordan suggests that I put in more links to Wikipedia and also translate key Hebrew passages more. Both of these are things I can do. The reason I often don't link to outside sources like Wikipedia - although sometimes I do - is sheer laziness - for me, links involved typing out the HTML. Today I posted about Johann Reuchlin. I don't think I linked to Wikipedia. I think my assumption is that people can just google the name if they want to know more. Yet Jordan is right, because knowing my own browsing habits I can confirm that I might might click a link, but if none is there I won't necessarily search myself. Probably most people are similar, so I will use more hot linking. As for Hebrew translation, that's a good idea as well. I don't like doing translations so much because of pride. The more I translate, the more likely I am to make a mistake and be called on it. Yet it's probably a good idea, good for me, and good for the readers.

Ezzie made a similar suggestion re links.

Aiwac made two suggestions that I am probably not going to adopt, but I would like to at least address them. The first is to reduce the size of pictures. I wonder what browsing platform he is using? To me things look okay, butI would like to hear if readers have problems. I guess I can see how some posts which might have like 10 images, 590 pixels by 1000 all in vertical order can be hard to browse. What do people think about Scribd, which enables embedding an entire document? I've used it from time to time. Do people like it or hate it? This might solve some of Aiwac's problem with regard to discontinuity in a post.

Incidentally, here's a good place to discuss why I love to show pictures of books (not to mention people and things) so much. It's a little quirk of mine. I love typography, I love the look of old books, archaic spellings, etc. I feel like something is added by seeing, even seeing text. I could quote such texts - many sources are easily available in plain text, and I wouldn't even have to type them. I just feel that seeing something as it looked in the original is a lot more charming than text, even though in terms of content it could be identical. Example: in this post I showed a text in English, from 1665, in which the Talmud was spoken of as the eternal law of the Jewish nation all over earth. I could have just typed this author, Clement Barksdale's, words. But as interesting as they are, seeing it as it looks in the book is that much more interesting (to me, maybe). So I'm probably going to take a pass on it. True, I could make thumbnails, but my worry is that many people won't click them.

Secondly, he correctly indicts me for being too wordy. Alas, but I don't know any other way. A few years ago I found some book reports from elementary school, and I had to laugh at my tendency to basically repeat the book. I have always struggled with the ability to summarize properly, and I envy those with this skill. At the same time, I also enjoy being thorough, and sometimes I like to just go all out and try to uncover as much as I can. I also have pride, and sometimes I sort of want to demonstrate that I already knew all the sources, so if I include very much information then it's less likely for someone to point out something I missed. Not a very admirable trait, but the truth is the truth. Secondly, many people have asked me why I don't publish. The reason is because I have this idea that if or when I publish anything it will have to be perfect. No source overlooked, no mistakes, no reference left out. Although I take my blog very seriously, I feel to some degree that it's only a blog. If I make a mistake, so what? If I wasn't comprehensive, so what?

DF says that the blog is a Beis Vaad Lachachamim (a scholar's circle) and that it ought to be too bad if it goes over people's head, including his own. I say that the problem for me is that not enough people comment. I really love comments, even if it's very basic stuff. But all too often I can see that x amount of people read a post, and only one or two, or even no one at all, comments. So I feel that in reality it could be a scholar's circle, but I need people to comment.

Dan Klein says he likes the digressions, and I say that I am not, in fact, as scatterbrained as my tangents and digressions suggest. I simply enjoy the way one thing can lead to another, and I enjoy the fact that sometimes a pearl can turn up in the 12th paragraph of my post on an entirely unrelated topic. So it's like a reward for sticking it out and reading to the end!

Another anon reader says that Wikipedia is not that great. I say that it is a mixed bag, but sometimes can be very good. He also suggest some occasional general topics, like on Italian Jewry, and I say that's a great idea. He also says that he found certain recent remarks of mine on searching beyond Google to be interesting, and I'm glad that he or she noticed. I intend to post more about how to do online research. Yitzy made a similar remark, and I suggest that he email me, as I forgot his email address!

LkwdGuy points out that I have an entire blog dedicated to Artscroll, to which I reply, that I haven't updated in years.

Thanks for participating.

A synopsis of Reuchlin's defense of the Talmud and condemnation of book-burning, with a special emphasis on his exegesis of the Birkhas Ha-minim.

In 1505 a Jew from Cologne named Pfefferkorn converted to Christianity along with his family. He, or according to some, others using his name, immediately began maligning Jews in pamphlets and books. In 1509 he obtained an order from the emperor Maximillian to confiscate and destroy all Hebrew books possessed by the Jews of Cologne and Frankfurt. Upon appeal from the Jews, the emperor agreed to stay the order until the issue could be examined, and in order to do this he solicited opinions from notable Christian scholars.

One of them, Johann Reuchlin, replied in a recommendation in which he concluded that only truly blasphemous Jewish books, such Toledot Yeshu, ought to be destroyed (and Reuchlin writes that even the Jews consider this book apocryphal; furthermore, to his knowledge only this book and one other Jewish book were really blasphemous). However, surely the vast majority of Jewish books contain no blasphemy, or if they do, only a tiny percentage.

What's more, argued Reuchlin, the fact is that no Christians in Germany were in a position to know if these books were actually blasphemous, since they cannot read them. Even Reuchlin, who was already a famous Hebrew scholar, acknowledged that he did not yet possess adequate knowledge of the Talmud. Thus far he had failed to procure a copy for himself, even though he was willing to pay a high price for one. Instead, he only possessed indirect knowledge of its contents based on Christian works written against it. He further argued that to his knowledge only one Jewish convert to Christianity actually possessed any Talmudic knowledge - excluding Pfefferkorn - and that particular convert, who was a rabbi, subsequently reverted to Judaism in Turkey. He points out that if someone wanted to write against mathematicians, but he himself didn't even know basic arithmetic, he would be laughed at.

To the objection that numerous Christian books against the Jews and the Talmud exist, some written by great Christian scholars, one might then argue that even if he personally doesn't know Jewish literature, since it is condemned by so many that he may rely on their negative judgment and adopt that position. Reuchlin responds that firstly, none of these books ever made an orderly case against it, and secondly, to blindly accept their judgment is to violate the common sense principle of listening to both sides of a story. In addition, it also violates canon law, which says that no one is obligated to accept the argument or opinion of any well known commentator, however pious a Christian, as if it were Holy Scripture or canon law itself. So at the very least, an impartial and fair inquiry is called for rather than wholesale comdemnation before the facts are known.

This line of argument, that it would be wrong to condemn a work that one did not understand, was only one of many that he lodged. Other arguments were legal ones, namely that the Jews are subjects of the Holy Roman Empire and entitled to legal protection. Furthermore, the law does not permit forsible confiscation of property. Reuchlin also poses an argument that might be familiar in a similar form from Jewish sources, namely that our ancestors did not ban or condemn these books to flames before, and surely we do not consider ourselves more pious than them.

Noting that besides Pfefferkorn himself, only one other writer had called for torching Jewish books directly, he applies Romans 10:2 to the both of them: they have a "zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." This is a nice bit of irony; the verse speaks of the Jews themselves.

Then, apparently not seriously believing that the attackers of the Talmud were really so pious in the first place, he explains why they never meant to consign the book to the flames: they are like hunters, who chase a deer as it runs through a wheat field, with only its antlers visible. The hunter knows that this isn't any contest. He will get his prey. But the fun is in the chase. He wouldn't be happy if someone were to throw a spear into the deer and kill it before he could hunt it. Similarly, the writers against the Talmud need the Talmud in order to attack it. Where would be their sport if it were burned and disappeared? He then audaciously writes that in reality the worse the Talmud is, all the more reason to preserve it, for it would greatly benefit students to hone their theology against it.

The Recommendation branches into many directions, directly refuting all manner of charges against Jewish literature, including that it is full of nonsense. Reuchlin writes that many ancient disciplines employed metaphor and allegory for quite reasonable concepts. For example, the ancients called wisdom "water." We ourselves call physical desire "harlot." In alchemy, metals are named for the planets. In fact, writes Reuchlin, reading books of alchemy would lead one who doesn't understand the terminology to think they were written by madmen, but these works are perfectly sensible to initiates. So why then isn't the Talmud accorded the same respect? It too is an ancient book and uses all manner of allegory and esoteric terms. In addition, have not the Christians preserved many ancient pre-Christian books that contain more absurdities and even more blaspemy, than the Talmud could possible have?

In any case, his Recommendation seems to have successfully staved off this attack on Jewish books, and the decree was rescinded. For his part, Reuchlin was accused of heresy and suffered a great deal personally for his position in a long controversy. Not surprisingly the 19th century Rabbi Yisrael Lipschutz of Danzig recalled him favorably for all time, in his commentary to Mishnah Avot 3:14 in a lengthy essay called אתם קרויין אדם. Here is his comment, followed by the title page of the 1845 publication:

One interesting digression in his pamphlet is his attempt to refute a calumny against Jewish liturgy on linguistic grounds. Pfefferkorn had written that the Birkhas Ha-minim prayer, which was then known by its initial word Ve-le-meshumadim, "Regarding the apostates," was a direct attack on Christians generally, and the Apostles specifically. Reuchlin considers such words an incendiary attack on the Jews, which could easily be used to incite ignorant people who don't know Hebrew. Here are his comments as they appear in his Augenspiegel, the work in which he published his Recommendation. What follows is the substance of his comments:

He writes that the prayer contains not one word relating to "Baptism" or "Apostles" or "Christians," or the "Roman Empire." The word in question, meshumad, means "to destroy," as in Proverbs 14:11 and Ezekiel 14:8. In this prayer the term means "those who destroy," and the meaning of the prayer is that the Jews are saying "Those who wish to destroy us, let him have no hope that his plot will succeed."

He then puts forth the following argument, which he may or may not have himself believed, which is that no one could possibly think this refers to Christians, since the Christians afford the Jews great freedom and no other people on earth welcomed the Jews as readily as the Christians. This is affirmed in canon and secular law. As I said, one wonders if he really believed this. He may well have, but if not then it is particularly ingenious, since he knew that no Christian leaders, secular or ecclesiastical, would have admitted or believed that they did not treat Jews well, and indeed that is what the law required. Reuchlin further points out that Jews all over the world recite the prayer, even if they live among Muslims or heathens. He writes that the Jews are hated and mistreated more by the heathens than by Christians, so how then could it really refer to Christians? The downfall of the Christians would not result in a happier situation for the Jews, and they know it.

He then analyzes other words in the prayer - "minim" means "all those who do not adhere to the true faith," i.e. Judaism. But, points out Reuchlin, on what basis can we say that this refers to us specifically and no one else? In other words, Reuchlin and all other Christians understand that the Jews believe their religion is the true faith, but that's not the point so long as they're not singling out Christians for attack. The third word, "oyev," or enemies, also cannot refer to us, Reuchlin writes, since as he mentioned earlier both Jews and Christians are fellow subjects of the same Emperor and enjoy the same rights and privileges. Finally, "malchut zedon" or "dominion of pride" does not refer to an earthly kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, but is a metaphorical term.

Then Reuchlin goes on the attack: saying that as not one word of this prayer can be proven to refer to the apostles or Christians, he says that it is in fact an outrage that Pfefferkorn's calumny was permitted to be printed. All that's left then may be the suspicion that Jews secretly hate Christians in their heart, but who knows what is in a man's heart but the Creator of hearts? Not only that, but even if one Jew were to step forward and confess that this is what he thinks, he can only speak for himself.

Since what immediately follows the passage is so interesting, I'll review it here. Pfefferkorn had related the following damning charge against the Jews. When the Jews are being friendly and say "Welcome to you!" to a Christian (Seid wilkommen) they are in reality making a Hebrew pun and mean "Welcome, you devil!" In other words, Pfefferkorn was suggesting that they are punning on the German word seid and are saying "שֵׁד," or "devil." Reuchlin notes that "seid" is simply not "sched," and any fool can tell that the two words don't sound alike. Such a stupid charge isn't even worthy of the attention already given to it.

Toward the end of his Recommendation he refutes other charges made against the Jews. For example, to the charge that they wrote their literature only to oppose Christianity, he replies that they wrote it for themselves, which I guess is sort of a variant on the Jewish argument that Judaism really doesn't have a lot to say about Christianity even thought in the Christian scheme of things Christianity ought to be very important to Jews. On the contrary, goes the argument. It was Christianity which made Judaism important to Christians, but it doesn't follow that the reverse is true.

Another argument that he refutes is the charge that the reason why Jews do not convert in great numbers is because they are blinded by their own literature. Without rabbinic literature, perhaps they would all convert. Reuchlin maintains that the opposite is the case. It is precisely because of their literature, that if the Christians had capable spokesmen, they would convert. This is, I think, a variant of Maimonides' argument that Christianity is a religious improvement over paganism, for it puts non-Jews under the influence of the Bible. Reuchlin points out that Paul was a student of the rabbis, and this did not prevent him from becoming Christian. Furthermore, some of the greatest Christian scholars (whom he names) were converted Jews, and their Talmudic knowledge served them well.

Finally, he conjectures what could be the result if the Jews' literature were actually destroyed:
1. They might claim that the Christians are afraid of them. He gives the analogy of a duke who challenges a shepherd to a duel, but the duke takes away the shepherd's weapons first, while retaining his own.

2. Perhaps the Jews would create an even stranger literature which is even worse. Essentially, they could recreate the Talmud and tell their children whatever they want to what was in the now-lamented Talmud.

3. They could claim that Christians falsely quoted and misninterpreted the meaning of their literature, and nothing could be shown to prove the Christian position.

4. Forbidden fruit is particularly desirable. This would make the Jews crave their literature all the more, and many would go to Turkey to learn Talmud, and simply return back home with their Talmudic knowledge.

5. Moods and needs change. If the feeling today is to burn the books, what if in the future a need for them were felt? He gives the analogy of a certain Church council which required the Koran, and an example from Roman history where a certain king required a book which he had burned all but for the last three copies, and the result was that he had to pay an exorbitant price for it.

6. If the Jews lacked books, then how can Christians dispute them except on the basis of the Bible which, Reuchlin acknowledged, can be stretched to mean anything? Right now the Jews are limited by the interpretations and arguments of their ancestors, to which the Christians already know how to respond. But lacking the restraint of their books, what will prevent the Jews from endlessly devising interpretations? This would make debate fruitless.

7. Then a very interesting projection: lacking Jews to wrestle with over the meaning of Scripture, we will just argue with ourselves, since the mind never rests. We will awaken old disputes, such as, Was St. Paul married? - which are nonsense.

8. There aren't so many Jews in Germany. So what will be accomplished? There are loads of Jews in Italy and Turkey, and they will still have their books.

9. The Jews will succeed in hiding many books. They will become much more fervent and willing to die as martyrs, which is the natural result of such a persecution. To take the example from Christian history, when Roman emperors persecuted the Christians it may well have resulted in even more Christians, not less. Another historical example: when these persecutions went after books, many heretics wrote new books with pseudepigraphal titles, and the result was the multiplication of heresy and literature confusing the faithful. In his view, all these evils could come of confiscating and destroying the Jews' books.

Incidentally, in case you are wondering if Reuchlin didn't know, or pretended not to know, that meshumad - which is from "to destroy," as he wrote, meant "Apostate" to Jews, here is a Hebrew letter to a Jew, in which he refers to Pfefferkorn as "זה המשמומד כמו שאתם קוראים בלשונכם," or "This meshumad (apostate) as you call him in your language." In case you were wondering, Reuchlin signs הקטון בגוים יוחנניס רוחילין מפורצעם דוקטור "The humblest among the Gentiles, Johannes Reuchlin of Pforzheim, Doctor."

Reuchlin sent this letter to the Pope's doctor, a Provençal Jew named Mazal Tov, known as Bonetto, and it recounts his perspective of the affair. Below is the Hebrew letter as it was published in Gottlieb Friedländer's 1837 Beiträge zur Reformationsgeschichte, followed by an English translation, published in L. Loewe's 1841 translation of Yitzchak Baer Levinsohn's Efes Dammim (A series of conversations at Jerusalem between a patriarch of the Greek Church and a chief rabbi of the Jews, concerning the malicious charge against the Jews of using Christian blood).

Couple of short notes: Reuchlin's Recommendation was published, as mentioned, in his Augenspiegel. This book appeared in 1511. As you recall, he mentioned that he had not been able to personally obtain a copy of the Talmud yet, so he didn't really know what was in it except secondhand. In Dikduke Soferim volume 8 (on Megillah) a Latin letter of Reuchlin is referred to, in which he mentions that in 1512 he succeeded in obtaining a manuscript of the Talmud Yerushalmi.

Secondly, Augenspiegel means ophthalmoscope. Reuchlin used the symbol of eyeglasses on the title page, I suppose, because he meant that he strives to see things clearly.

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A graphic depicting the shofar's notes in a Spanish siddur from 1552.

Here's an interesting page from Libro de Oracyones, the Ladino siddur published in Ferrara 1552 by Yom Tob Athias (the Spaniard formerly known as Jeronimo de Vargas).

As you can see, this page contains the order for Shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah. Most interesting is the graphic depiction of the three kinds of sounds, tekiah, which is one long note, shevarim, which is three shorter notes, and teruah, which is staccato.

H. P. Salomon points out that at this period in time, translators of Judeo-Spanish liturgy used the word "aublacion" for teruah (first word, third line from the bottom), which is a special Spanish word coined by Jews. The very first Jewish translation of the Bible into Castilian ("Spanish"), the 15th century Alba Bible, which was translated by Rabbi Mose Arragel, rendered teruah five separate ways, depending on the context, in five places in the Bible. These terms were aullamiento, aullar, aullaçion, jubilaçion and clamor. Salomon writes that Arragel explained jubilaçion in a glossary appended to the work - "It is a way of blowing trumpets or horns to express joy [and] by making certain sounds and notes." Apparently this term was a preferred Jewish translation for teruah at the time, probably because of its etymological connection with yovel, which was unfamiliar to Christians and therefore required an explanation (cf. Rashi on Lev. 25:10 - ומה שמה יובל שמה על שם תקיעת שופר).

In the 16th century, the translation technique that was prevalent among Spanish exiles was to be hyperliteral and to give one equivalent Spanish word for every shade of meaning a single Hebrew word could have, even if the Spanish word did not carry such meanings. The result was, of course, some very strange translation. In these new translations, aublaçion was used for teruah every time, as in our example. You will not find this word in a dictionary. Salomon says this word combines aullaçion (which comes from aullar, to howl) and jubilaçion whether through conscious or unconscious blending.

See "Meam Loez - The Language Corner" by H.P. Salomon, editor, in The American Sephardi 7-8 1975.




Source: The Blonde Salad

Fashion Week is more about getting noticed than anything else. And Chiara knows it. But this is the first look of hers I actually like though, her style has gotten kind of crazy.

Balloon Dresses

Recently, as you have seen, the balloon dresses are back in fashion It is interesting as fashion are cyclical and always repeats the above. In this case, are balloon dresses which again take to the delight of his followers?
When you know which balloon dresses selected will take into account various characteristics, since it will not get a dress the same balloon long sleeve a balloon sleeve dress cutting.

Beautiful Balloon Dresses With Cute Mode

Charming Balloon Dresses On Blue

Elegant Balloon Dresses With Gold Color

Depending on the season in that we decided to go with other colors. If you are in spring summer season it is best to choose colors yellow, white or orange. On the contrary, if we are in the season Autumn Winter colors we use blue, red or black.

Sweetly Balloon Dresses With Simple Ribbon Combination

Amazing Balloon Dresses

Simple Balloon Dresses With Cute Design

Sexy Gray Balloon Dresses

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where's The Fear? Licenses For Illegals Still On Books, Plus: No Oscar Party In Santa Fe; Film Money Trimmed, And: Is House Freshmen Class A Bust?

Martinez Vs. O'Neill
Has Governor Martinez overreached when it comes to the top wedge issue of Legislative Session 2011? Despite her personal persistence and the bombastic banter over the issuance of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, the move to repeal them has so far gone nowhere.

Martinez and her pollsters think they have a no-brainier here. They say over 70 percent of the public supports the repeal, but those numbers are not translating into Democrats cowering in fear (at least not yet).

If anyone should have cracked by now it would be Dem Rep. Bill O'Neill whose ABQ district is one of the few swing districts left in the 70 member House. But the Republican robocalls into his district urging his constituents to get on his case as well as radio ads in the metro area haven't moved him yet. He's voted to table three bills Martinez favors.

If there is a miscalculation by Martinez it is that this is going to be a defining issue in the 2012 election. That electorate will be more centrist and larger than the conservative electorate that dominated 2010. Also, the Dems have proposed other legislation to address the issue that they believe will give them cover.

On a scale of one to ten the bullying power of former Governor Big Bill during his first two legislative sessions was nearly 10. He campaigned on a variety of issues and received a mandate. Martinez did make driver's licenses a talking point in her campaign but it was not paramount and it was directed at an electorate seething with anger over Richardson and company. The anger has died down now that he is gone.

This Governor, like nearly all Republican Governors in the modern era, was elected to correct and prevent excesses by the Democratic majority. The public is not going to get off their seats and march on the capitol for her. She probably needs to be careful that they don't march against her and her Republican colleagues in a still very Democratic state.

Martinez's radio ads and robocalls are campaign tactics that might be more effective closer to an election, but in the end they may not be effective governing tools. The new Governor will have to develop a holistic agenda and master interpersonal skills if she hopes to leave a major legislative footprint. But that's usually what Democratic Governors do, not Republicans.

This chief executive and her small coterie of advisers seem most concerned with how they can use the emotional issues of the day in the next election, not whether there is any legislative resolutions. House Republicans are going along for the ride. They seem to think they have it own either way. If the licenses are repealed Martinez gets the credit and if they aren't, they can point their fingers at the Democrats.

Wedge issue warfare keeps the public entertained and maybe keeps them from focusing too much on high unemployment, economic opportunity and a generalized recessionary malaise. It works best in a four month political campaign. Sustaining that warfare over a four year gubernatorial term is an entirely different matter.


They weren't celebrating Oscar weekend in Santa Fe. In fact, film buffs were rebuffed which they said could mean fewer calls of "quiet on the set" heard in our enchanted land. A House committee capped the tax rebate for film productions shot here at a total of $45 million a year. That compromise is expected to be the final legislative product. TV news reports that, in 2010, the film subsides totaled around $65 million. Leading film advocates were not pleased. One called the new limit a "job killer."

Rural legislators whose towns don't see a lot of movie action were particularly moved to vote to edit Hollywood. Martinez, elected by a tidal wave of support in the hinterlands, egged them on.
But, according to an automatic phone poll commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of New Mexico and conducted last Wednesday, support for the 25% rebate is rock solid.

The MPANM says it will not support the compromise legislation, arguing it will cost jobs.

Fifty-nine percent of the some 738 likely voters agreed with the statement that "the 25% rebate to the film production industry has been successful in attracting film production business to the state of New Mexico. Only 23% disagreed. The margin of error is about 3.5 percent.

You can see why Martinez went soft on trimming the rebate to 15%. And you can also see why House Speaker Ben Lujan is taking some hits for giving up too much to get a budget deal. session?

With literally dozens of other tax deductions for other industries that could have just as easily been targeted to raise cash to balance the state budget and not put any jobs at risk, the zealousness of the administration was especially notable. The Governor called the measure which would raise a paltry $25 million in a $5.4 billion budget a deal breaker.

Still, we repeat that Martinez wanted to reduce the rebate from 25% of a film's cost to 15%. On that score she lost big time, with even the ABQ Chamber of Commerce opposing her. If film shooting falters in the state, Susana is going to have a problem explaining it to job hungry voters.

We've been hearing much about limits from the administration when it comes to economic development--limits on the Spaceport and limits on the film industry. But we are going to need expansive thinking to work our way out of our economic mess. We're waiting.


The film rebates have their most bang for the buck in the ABQ metro which is still suffering under an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly near a high for the post WWII period. GOP Mayor Richard Berry refused to weigh in on whether he agreed with Martinez's call to trim the film rebates. Going forward, if the film industry tanks here--for any reason--the mayor could easily be portrayed as a villain.

Why did Berry not break with Martinez to fight for ABQ and use for cover the Chamber of Commerce position in support of the industry?

Conspiracy theorists point out that political consultant Jay McCleskey has both Berry and Governor Martinez as clients. If that is among the reasons Berry stayed on the fence, he may want to look up the saying about "serving two masters." In this case that would be the political consultants versus the people of Albuquerque.


Comments coming from Martinez may bode well if they are part of the process of her shedding the deep emotional disdain the administration has shown for her predecessor and most things associated with him. Of his "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" media campaign, she says:

There's been so much investment and it seems to be something that people understand, and there's just no reason to change it because we have a new governor.

The template for the successful assault on DWI--changing the drinking culture and attitudes--may also work in the battle for educational reform. Perhaps that's why the administration's push to grade the public schools and end social promotion is being greeted with an open mind outside the confines of the education lobby.


No wonder Martinez's assault on "bureaucratic waste" resonates. They just keep giving her ammo to shoot:

UNM's lobbyists over the past year billed nearly $27,000 to university credit cards to cover meals with lawmakers, in addition to hotel stays for staff around the state and other Santa Fe conveniences

Like PIO's gone wild, the lobbyists for public institutions have been on a rampage to go along with the late Great Bull Market. But that market was a dream that's been over for years.

One of Martinez's lasting contributions could be to change the cushy culture exemplified by the UNM overspending.

She has the ammo to put this horse down. Someone give her the gun, while we all look the other way.


You would think the 11 new GOP state representatives in Santa Fe might be taking a page from the playbook of their counterparts in DC and be all over obvious examples of government waste, like the aforementioned PIO's and UNM lobbying. But there's been hardly a peep from this group since the beginning of the session when they opposed forming a coalition with Dems to make State Rep Joe Cervantes House speaker.

The new members tout themselves as conservatives but they are letting the big budget bill slide past them like it was on a souped up assembly line. Where are their questions? Where's the new energy? Where are their economic plans? Are they being kept on a short leash by the leadership? Or are they simply not what they were marketed to be? Wedge issues like voter ID are not what we are talking about, but jobs, taxes, spending and economic progress. Where's the beef?

For taking too long to find out where the bathrooms are and for being unwilling or unable to throw red meat across the Roundhouse Rotunda, the New Mexico state House freshman conservative class of 2011 gets a D.


Well, there were chuckles in the parlors of La Politica when they received the news that Robert Aragon was named by Governor Martinez as a member of the State Board of Finance. Robert's cousin, former Senate powerhouse Manny Aragon who is now serving time in federal prison on corruption charges, has been demonized for decades by Martinez allies and used as a foil to get their candidates elected.

So how could Manny's cousin end up on the prestigious board? Well, Robert, a longtime ABQ attorney and a member of the state House in the early 80's, was an early and ardent supporter of Martinez and ABQ GOP congressional candidate Jon Barela. He calls himself a Democrat, but he strayed so far that the party stripped him of his ward chairmanship.

Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows--no matter who is in power. Hey, maybe Robert and Susana can send Manny a copy of "Government Finance Today." He might have some ideas for them...


From one of our Senior Alligators making the rounds at the Roundhouse:

The new parking structure on the west side of the capital has 4 floors. Certain sections are reserved for the Governor's staff. Those sections are loaded with Texas, DC and out of state license plates....

The Governor resembles the change that Sarah Palin went through--from simple jackets to a designer look....

Democratic Legislators are being filmed in committee when discussing the Governor's legislative bills. Dems are not in an offensive or defensive mode. It could have a major impact on their political campaigns. Dems in Senate are leaderless....

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. Interested in advertising here? Drop us a line.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2011 Not for reproduction without permission of the author

Medium hair styles

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Sorry I was gone for so long, I was busy with all of my schoolwork and homework and projects. Now that is all cleared up, so i will post more often.
:) :( :0 :D =D (0)-(0)
oh yes, I forgot. Writers for my blog are being accepted. you can apply on blog news on the blog. thx :)

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Black & White








Source: Envy Splendour