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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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Audio Link to "Sister Joan Explains It All in 85 Words" Here we go again. Texas Senator -- and presidential hopeful -- Ted Cruz and a band of House Republicans are threatening to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Lenart, Doctorow and Bikel" Lenart, Doctorow & Bikel: sounds like a law firm, doesn't it? But of course, it is not. Far from it. Lenart (as in Lou), Doctorow (as in E.L.) and Bikel (as in Theo)... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to Go Set a Watchman Over the past decade or more, it has become the tradition that within minutes of the president delivering his State of the Union Address, a hand-picked member of the opposition will deliver his... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to Trump . . . Harrumph! This is the first -- and so help me God, the last -- piece that I will ever devote to Donald Trump. Goodness knows there are more than enough newscasters, journalists, columnists,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Celebrating the 4th of July With Jefferson Monroe Levy" Today is the 4th of July, America's 239th birthday. Where once this national holiday was filled with picnics, baseball doubleheaders, fireworks, the sounds of Sousa marches and the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to The Week That Was . . . and The Week to Come Yes indeed: by anyone's reckoning, last week will long be remembered -- depending on one's point of view -- as one of the most significant... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "A Nation Sits Shiva" During the 35 years I've been a practicing rabbi, I have officiated at something like 3,000 funerals. While many of the deceased succumbed to what one might call "terminal longevity," there were also... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "The Fertile Cresent (Hardy)" (A note before we begin: For those who, upon reading the title of this week's essay say "Hey Kurt, you misspelled "crescent" . . . it's got a "c" before the "s," rest... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Ted Cruz and Larry Pratt: You Can Tell a Man Who Boozes By the Company He Chooses" From almost the instant that then-Senator Barack Obama first appeared on the national scene as a credible -- though largely... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Rick Santorum: Doin' the Wingnut Walk" He's baaaack! Yes indeed, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has once again thrown his papal tiara into the presidential ring. And just as in 2012, he's as crazy as a loon... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Can You Say Cognitive Dissonance"? The late social psychologist Leon Festinger (1918-1989) has never been what you'd call a household name. From where I sit, he really should be, for he was responsible for a truly important... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "A Memo to His Holiness, Pope Francis" To: His Holiness, Pope Francis From: Rabbi Kurt F. Stone Re: Poverty and Peace, Climate and Capitalism, Misery and Miracles Your Holiness: I am a bit hesitant to compose and... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "What Some People Won't Believe" It is a fact -- a maddeningly, stupifyingly, frightening fact -- that for every off-the-wall paranoid conspiracy, there are thousands upon thousands if not millions, of "true believers," who are being spoon... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "All 'Bout Bernie" In a recent online essay, Esquire Magazine's Charles Pierce correctly noted that over the past generation or so, " . . . every time a Democratic senator runs for president, the National Journal .... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to A Memo to Gov. Jerry Brown To: Governor Jerry Brown From: Kurt F. Stone Re: California's Latest Drought While reading articles on the current 3-year long California drought and immersing myself in the latest United States Drought... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "The Endangered Super Majority" There's an old Yiddish expression which goes, שווער צו זייַן אַ איד (pronounced shvair tzu zein a yid), which means "It's hard to be a Jew," and for generations of Eastern European Yiddish-speaking... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Silly Season is Upon Us" Back in 1855, the British Tory Sir Alexander Beresford Hope (1820-1887) founded The Saturday Review of politics, literature, science and art. During its estimable 83-year run, Review contributors included such literary, artistic... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Three Cheers For Nancy Detert" Florida State Senator Nancy Detert is hardly a political superstar -- let alone a household name. Indeed, none but the geekiest of political wonks have likely ever heard of her . .... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Everyone Hates Obamacare: Just Ask Ted Cruz and Cathy Rogers" Its now been more two years since the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) got off to a less than stellar start. One will recall that during its first... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to :Edna Ferber: The Triumph of Archetype Over Stereotype" Over the past year, I've put together a lecture series entitled Short Story Writers and Their Art. I'm happy to report that so far, the lectures have elicited some... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Old Doc Logan Must Be Spinning in His Grave" In one of the most stunningly, unfathomably, incomprehensibly chuckleheaded moves in all American political history, 47 Senate Republicans (including Majority Leader McConnell, and potential 2016 presidential candidates Marco... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "I'm Not a Scientist, But . . ." Down here in Florida, our governor, Rick Scott, is well-known for a couple of things. First, he is the fellow who, as CEO of Columbia/HCA oversaw what was until... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to "Congressional Republicans Are All a Bunch of Marxists" By now, it seems like the 2014 midterm elections were a hundred years ago. One has a vague memory of Republican candidates from Maine to Arizona promising voters in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to"A Memo to All Those Contemplating Throwing Their Hat Into the Ring" TO: All Those Contemplating Throwing Their Hat into the Ring FROM: KFS RE: Reality Check Now that we are already in what one might call "spring... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly
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Audio Link to The Punter "England and America," the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw supposedly quipped, "are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker two countries separated by the same language." Note the qualification supposedly; some attribute the bon mot to Winston Churchill,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at The K.F. Stone Weekly