Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

A Jewish Divorce – New Jersey (Sopranos) Style

October 11, 2013

Enterprising rabbis – like enterprising scientists – are also subject to “normal” human behaviour. Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark planned coercion and torture to effect a divorce for simple financial gain. These rabbi’s probably watched too much of The Sopranos (or perhaps The Sopranos was inspired in part by these enterprising rabbis?). “They did it for money, They didn’t do it out of religious conviction.” 

If their price for facilitating a divorce was over $50,000, one wonders what their price would have been for a more “permanent settlement”?


Two New Jersey rabbis have been arrested and charged with plotting to kidnap and torture a man to force him to grant a traditional Jewish divorce.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark asked for more than $50,000 (£32,000) to hire “tough guys” to attack a recalcitrant husband with cattle prods, authorities said.

The men and eight other suspects appeared in federal court on Thursday.

Under Orthodox Jewish belief, a husband must grant permission for a divorce. The permission comes in the form of a document known as a get. In some Orthodox communities a woman who has not obtained a get may not marry again even if a civil divorce is finalised. She may sue in rabbinical court, but some men ignore an unfavourable ruling, even if it means being estranged from the religious community.

The FBI investigation took place in Ocean and Middlesex counties in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York, and involved raids in both states, according to agency officials.

Two undercover FBI agents posing as a woman seeking a divorce and her brother called Rabbi Wolmark for help, and he connected them to Rabbi Epstein, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New Jersey.

The undercover agents videotaped their meeting.

“Basically, what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get,” Rabbi Epstein is quoted as saying during the conversation, according to the complaint. He added that the “tough guys” would use electric cattle prods and handcuffs and place a plastic bag over the man’s head, according to the complaint. 

Rabbi Epstein also allegedly told the undercover agents that such instruments were unlikely to leave a mark, avoiding attention from authorities. “Basically the reaction of the police is, if the guy does not have a mark on him then, uh, is there some Jewish crazy affair here, they don’t want to get involved,” he said, according to the criminal complaint.

The FBI said the price was more than $50,000, including $10,000 for a rabbinical court to approve the action. They had wired $20,000 to the accused before the arrests.

“They did it for money,” Assistant US Attorney Joseph Gribko said during a hearing on Thursday.

“They didn’t do it out of religious conviction.”

“Boom and bust” for solar power in New Jersey

May 14, 2012

As distorting subsidy regimes are reduced or withdrawn and even with the collapse of prices for solar pv modules, solar power shows that it is still a long way from being commercially viable. This report is on the unhealthy and distorted situation in New Jersey where even more “artificial” legislation is planned to keep this non-viable industry alive. It would be far healthier to allow solar power plants to find their natural – unsubsidised – commercial niches. And there are commercially viable niches in industry and in domestic use for solar power  – albeit only as an auxiliary energy source (pv) or in support of domestic heating or of conventional thermal power plants (solar thermal).

Press of Atlantic City

The prices that power companies pay for solar power have all but collapsed, curtailing future development and leaving those who installed systems struggling to repay their loans. A glut of power has meant that prices have fallen by more than 80 percent in the span of a year.

In response, solar power advocates are pushing for state legislation that would limit the amount of solar power that can be produced by large companies, while mandating that power companies buy more solar power. …..


“The Irene show” bombs – media disappointment high

August 29, 2011

The much-hyped Hurricane Irene fizzled to a tropical storm and failed to deliver the massive devastation that the media was hoping for.

The wall-to-wall coverage of the expected destruction has now left the media desperately trying to show that apocalypse was only narrowly averted. But they cannot hide their terrible disappointment. Politicians are implying that “crying wolf” was not only the right thing to do but might actually have dampened the storm. Millions lost electricity as areas were shut down as a precaution against flooded sub-stations.  But the 20 – 30 foot storm surges expected only managed to reach some 2 or 3 feet.

But water and gas and batteries and candles all sold very well.

The muted headlines on the day after cannot hide the disappointment –

Telegraph – Perfect Storm of Hype: US politicians, the media and the Hurricane Irene apocalypse that never was 

New York Times – ‘Some Hurricane,’ New Yorkers Grumble as Danger Passes

Boston Globe – Tired Irene slaps N.E.

Washington Post – Hurricane Irene was not the powerhouse most expected 

According to my son – “Well it was windy and quite wet”. Oh well!

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