Thoughts About The Season By Michael Edelman, Sam Zherka, and Hezi Aris

eHezi Archives 16 Comments

Statue-liberty-main In this joyous holiday season with the New Year’s festivities only days away, it would seem to  behoove us to reflect on the greatness of our nation and what made it become a beacon of freedom throughout the world. In other words, although We may disagree with each other on various policies and ideologies, we all recognize that what makes Us the United States of America is an abiding respect for our differences. Unfortunately this last campaignseason saw a candidate nominated for a congressional seat in Westchester County whose writings and stated views contradict just about everything that brings us together.  After the Republican party’s first choice unexpectedly dropped out, Jim Russell offered to run against incumbent Congresswoman Nita Lowey. Having run and lost to her before, maybe it seemed like a good idea but it became immediately apparent that the choice was worse than a poor one. 

Russell was instantaneously rejected by his own party, both at the county and state levels, when Maggie Haberman, among others revealed in the September 10, 2010 issue of Politico, a highly respected political journal, that Russell had written an article for “ a right wing publication”  entitled “The Western Contribution to World History.” In that article, which appeared in the  Occidental Quarterly Journal, Russell expounded on what was purported to be a scholarly thesis.  Some of the excerpts included quotes from T.S. Elliot when Elliot advocated a “homogenous population and unity of religious background” stating that “reasons of race and culture combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews ‘Undesirable,’” Russell opined that contrary to the yammering about bringing us all together, the biological function of human language and culture is just the opposite.  For example,  “to keep discreet groups apart” Russell also wrote “there is now afoot a conscious effort to de-Europeanize and to re-Judaize Christianity through scriptural revision, internal treachery and external pressure,” etc  Ms Haberman pointed out as well that Russell praised Eugenics, a social movement that believes in racial separation. 

Is it a coincidence when he was extolling the virtues of western medicine he chose to name only Pasteur, Fleming, and Curie… leaving out Salk, Sabine, and Einstein?  Is it a coincidence that while praising advances in communication he cited Morse, Marconi,  Edison,  and Bell but admonished and accused Mayer, Thalberg, Warner, and Cohen? He accused the latter, all of them Jewish, of “hijacking” these inventions for their own “financial gain, or worse to “manipulate our opinions and behavior accusing David Sarnoff in the process of “sending a spy to steal from Farnsworth the patent for television.

We don’t believe in coincidences and neither should anyone else.

Clearly , Westchester County has not in recent memory  been subjected to a candidate for public office espousing Russell’s view of the world which David Duke liked so much that he posted it on his own web site. And so, once defrocked,  Russell’s candidacy was a non starter .The news media including RNN, News 12, Politico, Salon, and Raw Story all ran with the story, pointing out that Russell also writes highly of the book, "The Camp of the Saints," a tome held dear by many white supremacists.  It all led Salon to hands down declare that the candidate is now "exposed as racist."  

Now remember, Jim Russell wrote the essay himself , no one put words in his mouth, and as such he should have expected that those who discovered it could make whatever judgments they deemed appropriate. In the interviews following the discovery of his past writings, he avoided answering inquiries of him directly. Questions such as whether or not he still believed what he wrote. It would have certainly been easy for him to disavow those positions but clearly he did not. Consequently the entire New York State Republican establishment from the State Committee to the Westchester Republican Chair  were appalled and immediately withdrew their support in favor of a write in candidate.  Russell apparently was offended by this along with being grilled by various commentators on the tone, content, and subtext of his essay. In otherwords Jim Russell wanted it both ways. He wanted to be free to state his views butwanted a pass on what those views meant, when he wrote them, and whether he stillsubscribed to them.   Jim Russell who professes to be a conservative is now suing 16 defendants in Tort,  most of whom are newsmen and women as well as others who comment on politics like The Westchester Guardian and Yonkers Tribune. Russell’s attorney, who self describes himself as the “Confederate Lawyer,” alleges, among other things, that Russell’s reputation in the community was damaged as a “ professional scholar” which brings us to the point of this article.  

Dividing humanity by race, color, ethnicity, and religion fits into some people’s notion of how the world should be. Adolf Hitler believed that only white Aryan’s were pure enough to rule the world notwithstanding the fact that he was anything but. The Ku Klux Klan believed that only southern white Protestants should rule the day eliminating blacks, Catholics and Jews. And lest we not forget the Turner Diaries and present day white supremacists who have similar beliefs based on their notion of racial and religious purity.

We like argue a lot about different subjects in Westchester County. We argue about what to spend money on, whether to build affordable housing, whether our property taxes are too high, whether we like or dislike the Congress, or the State Legislature, and we argue our points forcefully, from both the left,the  right and the center. But what we have never argued for is that one group, one religion, or one race is inferior to and should be separated from the rest of us. That is not America. And what we have never believed, no matter what other political differences we may hold, is that discrimination of any kind is tolerable. We are a nation, a state, and a county of diversity. Diversity is what has made us strong and has kept us strong. Different people, from different backrounds, from different parts of the world, have come to this country with their talents for building, healing, and working hard.  The notion that only white Europeans are the anointed  Americans, or are the pure Americans, or are the ones who personify the greatest nation in the history of mankind,  are the sort of notions that the young men and woman of this nation spent fighting against  during that dark period we remember as World War II

People like Jim Russell are anathema to the very bedrock of this nation . Those who fail to understand that that our strength is in our diversity do a great disservice to all those who have come before them when they write, as Russell has written, words whose clear import we have heard and rejected before. Jim Russell and his Confederate attorney can sue all they want but any candidate for public office is fully accountable for the words they write or speak.  The words are his: those he chose to quote were selected by him; those he chose to praise were chosen by him, and by him alone. And those he chose to denigrate, were also of his choosing Taken together, they  give us a roadmap to his true beliefs, an insight to his true character and a preview to what kind of congressman he would have made had he been elected. It is those beliefs, that character, and the prospect of electing that kind of representative from Westchester County that are, and always will be unacceptable. 

It is for those of us who are involved in the public discourse to make clear and to stand firm against the kind of nonsense that Jim Russell has held out as “scholarly research.” If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…well you know the rest.

Michael R. Edelman, Esq.,  is a nationally respected political commentator heard weekly on Cable News 12 Westchester, Sam Zherka is the publisher of The Westchester Guardian, and Hezi Aris is the publisher of the Yonkers Tribune and editor of The Westchester Guardian.

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eHeziThoughts About The Season By Michael Edelman, Sam Zherka, and Hezi Aris

Comments 16

  1. you accuse a lawfirm that worked for 8 years in
    the face of a mayor who refused to recognize that
    the toxic air at 9/11 caused injury..a lawfirm that
    established the connection working with mt sinai hospital…a lawfirm that borrowed 27 million dollars
    because it believed in the case…a lawfirm without
    which there would be no recovery…you like jim russell
    because of his anti semitic views…thats just fine
    but don’t try and bootstrap that old crappy refrain
    into what the worby lawfirm did for all those who
    were injured…they put their careers and their financial position on the line when no other lawfirm
    would or could…they not only settled with the city
    who by the way paid their defense attorneys 200 million
    to stop the settlement. and they also settled with
    the port authority and the barge authority for an
    additional 100 million dollars…so unless you think
    that the first responders should not have sued..and
    unless you think that the first responders did not
    deserve to be taken care of along with their families
    then you are in no position to make a commment…and
    your anti semitic preferences are garbage to me and
    to everyone else..because for people like you who
    are into entitlements like your stuffed pensions which
    will be gone soon….its always about blaming someone
    else…and its always about how everyone else is
    greedy but you are the only one who deserves anything
    maybe you should take a good look at what the outgoing
    governor has to say about your pensions and about
    the state of the state..pretty piss poor if you ask
    me…so to answer your question what did my firm do.
    it did everything..including lobbying for zadroga
    my firm made the case..handled 10,000 claimants
    and spent almost 10 years of time and effort to get
    the responders whatthey deserve..apparently you are
    totally unfamiliar with any of it…get an education

  2. You are truly a disgusting human being Edelman! “if I have to take all the money I will get from 9/11″…. What did you do on 9/11 that you deserve a penny on the backs of the responders! Nothing! You did nothing!You are proud of the fact that you are profiting from the misfortunes of the cops/firemen that responded that day while begrudging these same cops/firemen a well deserved retirement! You are a vile, disgusting being (not even human) and I believe in karma and your day will come! People exactly like you are the reason we have people like Jim Russell. You are a disgrace!

  3. no what i would say is that you are totally willing
    to sacrifice your kids and your grandkids lifestyle
    so you can retire as multi millionaires on the taxpayers dime…you should be ashamed of yourself
    your pension deals were the product of back room
    political deals that no one could see …you work
    ot in the last year and you double your base pay in
    retirment for 30 must be kidding..and you
    think that you will get away with it..not going to happen….even if i have to take all the money i
    will get from 9/11 and work for nothing for the new
    governor..your pension deals are toast

  4. “thanks to you guys I will be getting a nice piece….” Exactly Mike. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
    Now crawl down to Florida and spend your “hard earned” taxpayer money. You deserve it, Mike. You have truly been an asset to our community.
    On a side note you still haven’t answered the question. Kind of a catch 22, wouldn’t you say????

  5. the deals struck between the unions and the politicians
    in return for their support both financial and otherwise are now weighing on the financial ability
    of states to meet their obligations..when you try to
    blame fiscal mismanagement you have to also include
    the fact that politicians of both parties didn’t care
    that they were giving the store away when they agreed
    to allow pensions to be based on one year of work
    including can’t justify it and neither
    can anyone else..cuomo will have the last word on
    this and you won’t .there is nothing wrong with overtime per se…but there is plenty wrong with allowing a union member to recieve overtime inhis
    last year of work for the sole purpose of enhancing
    his pension…now i will deal with the charge of overcharging.unlike your pensions…our charges will
    be reviewed by a judge…if there were overcharges they
    will be reversed…and if there were knowing the hard
    workingblue collar para legals and others that worked
    for 9 years to get the settlement those were not done
    intentionally…the legal fees are 140,million..thanks
    to you guys i will be getting a nice piece because
    i was pressed into action on this blog and others
    but that is beside the point…we didn’t need to
    overcharge to earn a legal fee…and i am sure that
    the judge and the independent auditing firm that has
    to sign off will find that is the for the
    lawfirm bringing the charge they did diddle to recover
    what was due the heroes of 9/11…so don’t try to
    conflate those who responded with those who continue
    to rip off the taxpayers…its not fair to those
    who are ill…and in fact your comments will be forwarded to the union presidents…who understand
    the difference

  6. Mike you would like the overbilling to be a non-issue wouldn’t you? It’s not. It’s theft. Whether the firm that brought suit represented 600 or 6 clients it’s still theft. Your firm overcharged its clients and regardless of the amount that they still collected it’s theft. Spin it any way you like counselor it’s still theft. Stealing from the heroes Mike? Theft.

  7. Your failure to realize that it’s not the unions that are crippling this state but the fiscal mismanagement and corruption on all levels of state government. Where did the money go Mike? There was nary a pension contribution made by the state during the boom years 1999-2003. Where did this money go? Everyday there is a new indictment of a politician for fraud, kickbacks, slush funds, tax evasion etc. They are stealing our money right in front of our eyes. The hard working union members of this state pay taxes! Yes, pay taxes. Taxes that afford others to live off the dole and contribute nothing! We should be looking at the entitlements that are given out so freely by the state. If you don’t contribute in some way, shape or form, you should not be entitled to collect. Too many generations of people have accepted the fact that the government should take care of them and that is wrong. We need to change this cycle of dependency. We are being overrun by those who take and give nothing back. That is why we are broke Edelman. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  8. What is stunning Mike is your inability to answer a direct question. You throw in 9/11 rhetoric to cloud the actual facts. What would you call a first responder who responds to a terrorist attack, who happens to be retiring, who is on OT? Is he a hero or a thief? Simple question. Two choices. Hero or thief?

  9. you guys are unfortunately not making any point just
    running your mouths…the first responders who were
    sickened at the pile sued the city of new york and
    others…they won…that has nothing whatever to do
    with padding a pension…a practice which is bankrupting cities and states…you can’t equate the
    two..they are not even in the same ballpark..and to
    those of you who think you are making a rationale argument i suggest you return to school …are you saying that everyone at the pile was getting overtime
    credited to their pension..hardly that only happens in
    the last year or three years of work…was everyone their in retirement mode..and how about all those that
    reponded like emt’ workers, and non
    union personnel ..your inability to understandthe
    difference is troubling and the failure of your union
    presidents to undertand that there may be no pensions
    down the road if you don’t modify the way they are
    computed is stunning in its lack of foresight

  10. Are these the same first responders you call thieves? So they are heroes when they make you money but bums when they make money for their family? So when the next terrorist attack does occur, should a first responder on OT, in his last year respond? What would you call him Mike? Thief or hero? Hypocrite!

  11. the billing issue is a non issue ..the judge will
    make the determination and that is fine with us
    the lawfirm that brought the suit represents less
    than 600 people…they didn;t get as much as they
    had hoped for …so they decided to bring a lawsuit
    it will be the meantime we settled for
    almost 800 million.on behalf of the 9/11 heroes
    no one else would take the case..we had to borrow
    25 million because we believed that the air was toxic
    would you have preferred that we not have taken the
    case/ if so tell it to the first responders

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