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The Mobster

Mobster Meyer Lansky (Meier Suchowlański), a co-founder of Murder, Inc., died on this day in 1983, age 80, without ever being convicted for a crime worse than illegal gambling. He was a lifelong friend with Bugsy Siegel (they ran a violent Prohibition-era gang and launched Murder, Inc. together) until he agreed to Siegel’s execution in 1947 […]

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Bopping through the Biennale

by Lawrence Bush   I’VE NOW BEEN demoted from the consort of a cherished dance educator in Slovenia to a tourist in Venice. (To read about my explorations in charming Slovenia, search “Bopping” in the search engine at right.) But everyone is a tourist in Venice, which is the most visually fantastic city this side of Mars, […]

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Another Jewish Pirate

Moses Cohen Henriques, a Sephardic Portuguese pirate, helped the Dutch West India Company capture a Spanish treasure fleet in the Battle of Matanzas on this date in 1628. The capture took place in Cuba’s Bay of Matanzas, with sixteen Spanish ships intercepted, four fleeing galleons trapped in the bay, and numerous other ships forced to surrender. The Dutch took an […]

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December 14: A Rabbi of the Resistance

David Feuerwerker, a rabbi who helped liberate Lyons from fascist rule and then reestablished the Jewish community in that city after World War II, was awarded the Gold Medal of the City of Paris on this date in 1957. Feuerwerker was “an eminent scholar and spiritual leader of French-speaking Jews in North America,” said the […]

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May 17: Carlos Roloff, Cuban Patriot

Carlos Roloff (Akiva Mialofsky or Akiva Rolland, according to different sources), an immigrant soldier-of-fortune from Warsaw who became a Cuban military general and fought against Spanish colonial domination in the Ten Years’ War and the Spanish–American War, died at 65 on this date in 1907. His family moved to the U.S. in 1862 and Roloff […]

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Socialism in Cuba?

by Allan Lichtenstein I RECENTLY RETURNED from a visit to Cuba more confused, although more knowledgeable, than before I set out. Cuba presents itself not only as enduring constant pressure from an illegitimate and self-defeating American embargo (or blockade, as they call it), but also as an alternative economic and social model to the United […]

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OpEdge: Reevaluating the Obama Presidency

by Marc Jampole A FEW YEARS BACK, I rated Barack Obama as the sixth best president of the twelve we have had since World War II, behind Johnson, Clinton, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter, in descending order. At the time, I wrote, “Obama is basically a pro-business, anti-union liberal who shares the consensus view that the […]

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