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Kurt F. Stone
Hollywood, California
I am an ordained rabbi who spends most of his time as a writer and college lecturer, teaching courses in political science, American history and cinema. I have published two massive histories of the United States Congress which can be found in just about every library in America. For the past 20 years I have also worked as a medical ethicist; first for the Cleveland Clinic Florida and currently for Schulman Associates IRB.
Interests: dashiell hammett, antiques, silent movies, raymond chandler and the los angeles dodgers.
Recent Activity
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R.W. Emerson D.J. Trump Inconsistency and the Folly of Transcendentalism Audio Yes, I know, the title of this week's essay is a bit off-putting and cumbersome. But please, do read on; the essay is hopefully better than the title. Back... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Oh For the Life Of a Sardine! Audio Unbelievably, there was a time – and not so very long ago – when one could get through an hour or a day, not to mention a week or even a month... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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"What an arrant rascally beggarly lousy knave . . ." Audio Another day another disturbing headline; another week another heretofore unthinkable act. This past week began with the firing of FBI Director James Comey.' 45's initial explanation for this bizarre... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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LIFE Is a Pre-existing Condition Audio This past Thursday, '45 and a couple of dozen Republican House members gathered in the White House Rose Garden to celebrate passage (by a single vote) of their greedy, sadistic and dangerously sophomoric "American... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Statues Built Of Snow Audio There used to be a time when the term “gridlock” referred to an irksome traffic jam on a rush-hour roadway, not a systemic malignancy in the American body politic. Waxing nostalgically, I greatly prefer the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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"An Obsession (un)Worthy of Munchausen Griffith or Palissy" Audio This coming Saturday, April 29, 2017, marks a dubious historic milestone: '45's first One Hundred Days in office. And unlike the first One Hundred Days of FDR - or JFK, LBJ,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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"The Son-in-Law Also Rises" Audio Of the myriad of cretinous, contradictory, incomprehensible and downright prevaricating things #45 has said in his rather brief political career, there has been, believe it or not, one stellar statement of ultimate clarity and truth:... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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King Solomon and the Magic Coin Audio What a week! From Senator McConnell's "nuclear option" and the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to Bannon's banishment from the NSC and the missile attack on Shayrot Air force Base in Syria -... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Who Is Adam Schiff Audio Link (The widely publicized, contentious and almost Kafkaesque issue of Donald Trump, his campaign and administration's relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin has made instant celebrities out of the House Select Committee on Intelligence's chair... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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The Right to Bear Arts Audio Now that #45 and the Republican-led House have failed to deliver on their sacred oath to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care act, they can turn their politically weakened attention to other matters such... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio to The Codification of Cruelty There is an old Hollywood legend . . . perhaps apocryphal, perhaps not and known to virtually every Hollywood Brat (including yours truly) - that Groucho Marx was denied membership in the all-Jewish Hillcrest... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to You Break It You Buy It The Affordable Care Act - better known as Obamacare - was originally, in part, the brainchild of the conservative Heritage Foundation. That flawed, though game-changing legislation was passed without the support... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Honest Bullshit" In his remarkable 1864 novella Notes From the Underground, Feodor Dostoevsky, a writer not particularly known for humor or irony, puts into the mouth of his narrator a most memorably whimsical statement: "Twice two makes... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Heard the One About the Literate Rabbi and the Dipso Nobel Laureate?" History is replete with odd couples. Besides the eponymously obvious - Felix and Oscar, consider John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Visiting With G. Washington on Presidents' Day" An introductory note: Today is Presidents' Day, 24 hours which are supposed to be in celebration and remembrance of, and reverence for, our two finest Presidents, George Washington and Abraham... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to Avoiding Concussions Is Essential For Your Health - and the Nation's Future By now, it has become, at an absolute minimum, a thrice-daily commonplace: "45" or his press spokesman Sean Spicer or his advisor Kellyanne Conway or... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "TW3" Readers of a certain age will likely remember the early '60s TV show That Was the Week That Was - better known to cognoscenti as "TW3." Originally created by the late Sir David Frost for BBC... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to The Closing of Gates . . . The Opening of Doors This past Friday, January 27, was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Gatherings and services were held around the globe, perhaps most notably in Warsaw, Berlin and Tirana,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Can Knowledge Be More Dangerous Than Ignorance?" OK. Donald Trump has taken the oath of office, attended the inaugural balls, asked for God's Divine assistance at the National Cathedral and uttered his first presidential whoppers. (Among these... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to Lunacy - the New Normal - and What Together We Can Hopefully Do About Forty-seven years ago this month, President Richard M. Nixon reached what at the time was considered the height (or depth) of deranged presidential... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "What Have We Learned So Far?" For the record: It's been 62 days since Donald Trump was declared victor in last year's presidential election; Mr.Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th POTUS in a mere 11 days;... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to Not Even Siri Knows West Hills, CA. First things first. This past Friday, the U.N. Security Council by a vote of 14-0, passed a stinging resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction as lacking any legal validity. Where over... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Donald Trump, David Friedman and the Predictability of Unpredictability" From almost the first day he tossed his hat into the presidential ring, Donald Trump made it clear that he was going to be unpredictable about . .... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2016 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "I Strain" On April 29, 1962, President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy hosted a banquet honoring Nobel Laureates at the White House. Forty-nine laureates - or their representatives - attended. The guests included writer Pearl S. Buck,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2016 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Better Get Used to It Mr. Trump" Last week's essay, Amateur Hour, generated quite a few comments and responses. Many were both positive and helpful; they tended to agree that President-elect Trump's early staff appointments and Cabinet... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2016 at The K.F. Stone Weekly