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Kurt Stone is a rabbi, writer, lecturer, political activist, professor, actor, and medical ethicist. A true "Hollywood brat" (born and raised in the film industry), Kurt was educated at the University of California, the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and the Hebrew Union College, Stone holds a B.A. in American Political History, a Master of Hebrew Letters, and a Doctor of Divinity. A resident of South Florida for nearly 30 years, he is currently spiritual leader of the North Broward Havurah in Coral Springs.
Kurt has published 2 major works in the field of American political history: the 2001 best-selling "The Congressional Minyan: The Jews of Capitol Hill," (KTAV) and most recently, "The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Members of Congress" (Scarecrow Press.) This latter work investigates the lives, careers, and accomplishments of the 200 Jewish men and women who have served in Congress throughout American history. Kurt contributed nearly 40 essays to the Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture (2009, Greenwood Press), and has written extensively for the new Encyclopaedia Judaica.
From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, Kurt served on the staffs of various office holders including Alaska Senator Mike Gravel and California Governor Jerry Brown. In this latter position, working in conjunction with Bill Press, he published "As Their Land Is: A Theology of Ecology."
Stone teaches courses in American Political History, Biography and Cinema at both Florida Atlantic and Florida International University. He received Florida Atlantic University's "Lecturer of Excellence" Award in April 2005.
A widely sought-after lecturer, Stone gives more than 175 lectures a year. Anyone wishing to book Kurt should contact his agent, Art Galietti at One Take Productions, 954-493-7889
The Rechanneling of Will Rogers
Will Rogers -- the John Stuart of 1920s-30s America -- once quipped that he belonged to no organized political party . . . that he was a Democrat. Seems like today's Republicans have rechanneled Rogers. Boy, are they ever disorganized!
Sunday, November 3, 2013(1 comments)
What do Boston's victory in the World Series and Charlie Crist's running for governor have in common? Read on . . .
Sunday, October 20, 2013(1 comments)
Los Teaparty Berrincheros
In colloquial Spanish Tea Party folks on Capitol Hill would be referred to as "los berrincheros" -- spoiled brats who throw tantrums in order to get their way. Question is, what do we do about 'em? Read on . . .
When is a Terrorist Attack Not a Terrorist Attack?
After yesterday's massacre at the Washington Navy Yard, there will no doubt be calls for greater gun controls which in turn, will be blunted by the NRA. At the same time, they support any and all measures to thwart acts of terror. Question is, when is a terrorist attack not a terrorist attack?
Sunday, August 25, 2013(1 comments)
Vin Scully: Shakespeare Wtih a Mic
The Dodgers just announced that Vin Scully will return to the radio booth for a 65th season in 2014. Vin is to radio what Shakespeare was to literature: simply the best there ever has been.
Sunday, August 18, 2013(2 comments)
A Tennessee Magistrate says a woman can't name her kid "Messiah." What about Jesus Alou?
Thursday, August 15, 2013(2 comments)
Ground Your Stand
As an essay title "Ground Your Stand" is a bit too kitschy and obvious. Nonetheless, this piece deals with a serious topic: that too many people are getting their "news and views" from people and sources who really don't know what they're talking about.
Sunday, July 28, 2013(2 comments)
Where is the Outrage?
Every time Kobe Bryant sinks a free throw he earns more than $14K. Every time the 113th Congress enacts a law, it costs we, the taxpayers more than $141 MILLION. So where is the outrage?
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Follow the Bees
With political uncertainty in Egypt, civil war in Syria and utter chaos in Washington, who should care about the plight of bees? Everyone that's who. And here's why . . .
The 9th Century Comes 'a Calling
The Shiites are pouring into Syria in order to fight against the Sunnis. In other words, the 9th Century has come 'a calling. But what is it that has divided them for so long? Read on and learn . . .
Thursday, June 13, 2013
One Fella's Fact is Another Fool's Fable
Some people deny that the Holocaust ever happened. We call them crazy, hateful, deluded . . . and worse. Some deny the reality of man-made global warming; we call them members of Congress. Indeed, "One Fella's Fact is Another Fool's Fable."
Sanford & Sin
William F. Buckley once noted "The only two sins which should disqualify a person for public office are pederasty and virginity." I wonder whether the sins of Sanford, Weiner, Vitter, Ensign et al would have changed his mind . . .
Sunday, May 19, 2013(8 comments)
Health Insurance in America: Legalized Extortion
Just got a letter informing me that our health insurance premium is going up 25%. We will now be paying $34,934.88 per year . . . more than we pay for our mortgage, two cars and tuition for graduate school. HELP!!
If Lifeb Begins at Fertilization . . .
Kansas just enacted aaw which declares that life begins at fertilization. Am I the only one who suspects that for many pro-lifers, life begins at conception (or fertilization), but ends with birth?
Tuesday, December 25, 2012(3 comments)
What's In a Name?
First there was "gerrymander," named after an American vice president; then there was "borking," named for a ailed Supreme Court nominee; the lastest -- and perhaps worst -- verb is . . . guess what?
Monday, December 3, 2012
A Time to Run and a Time to Stand
IN America, politicians spend so much time campaigning that they've forgetten a salient truth: eventually you have to stop running for office and start standing for something. It's called governance.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Warren Rudman: Blunt, Egotistical, Unflappable and Tenacious"
Word has just come in that former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman passed away. In many ways, he was the least typical Washington "insider" I ever met; plain-spoken, independent and guided by what always struck me as an unerring moral compass. What follows is adapted from my pages 350-355 of my 2011 book The Jews of Capitol Hill
The Closest Thing to Immortality
A sobering fact: of the 193 judges FDR appointed to the federal bench, eight were still wielding a gavel in the late 1980s. Talk about immortality! Let Mitt achieve immortality through his church, not the court . . .
Thursday, October 18, 2012(4 comments)
Arlen Specter: "One Tough Hombre"
Former Senator Arlen Specter passed away this week. Love him or hate him, he was, in the words of Barack Obama, "One tough Hombre." Adapted from Kurt F. Stone's 2010 book, "The Jews of Capitol Hill"
Sunday, October 14, 2012(4 comments)
Quick Quick, Tell Us What to Think
The more I hear people discuss the upcoming election, the debates, the issues, etc., the more I wonder how many people still are capable of thinking for themselves . . .
Monday, October 8, 2012(16 comments)
Which is Worse?
Almost as soon as the new jobs numbers were made public, the conspiracy theorists went to work, proclaiming that the figures were all a lie. So many conspiracies . . . Sure, there are people who actually buy into them. The question is, do those who promulgate and publicize conspiracies really believe what they are saying?
Monday, October 1, 2012(1 comments)
Mitt Romney's Faustian Bargain
In order to secure the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney had to make a pact with the devil -- on a host of issues abortion, healthcare, immigration, and gun control to name but a few. The worst, by far, is global warming . . .
Recycling Wood Allen
Now that the conventions are over, a few random thoughts demographics, rastacaps, Romney and Obama, Eastwood and Woody Allen . . . Woody Allen?
Sunday, September 2, 2012(1 comments)
The Slings and Arrows of Obnoxious Fabrications
Political lies, fabrications and half-truths are as American as apple pie. The problem is that today, when the facts prove you've lied, all you have to do is attack the fact-checker. Result? No one believes anything anyone says . . .
Monday, August 27, 2012(2 comments)
Romney, Ryan and the Republicans are giving a tribute to Ron Paul in Tampa and still claiming that they are better for Israel than Obama. It simply does not pass the smell test.
Monday, August 20, 2012(2 comments)
Wieder . . . Shon GENUG!
The use of Holocaust rhetoric -- of likening people you don't agree with to Hitler and government agencies you don't like to the Gestapo, is not just bloodless, cruel and beyond the pale; it is growing by leaps and bounds. As they say in German, "Wieder . . . shon genug!" (Again, enough already!)
Monday, August 13, 2012
The Ryan Factor
Paul Ryan's ascension gives both conservatives and progressives something to crow about . . . and also makes one wonder if perhaps Mitt Romney's advisors aren't really working for the reelection of Barack Obama.
Sunday, August 5, 2012(4 comments)
Next Year in Tel Aviv
Ever presidential candidate promises that once elected, they will move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. No one has -- or will -- do it . . . and for good reason.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Want a definition of counterintuitive? How about the lack of any intelligent discussion concerning gun control in the days and weeks following the Aurora massacre? Or claiming -- as many NRA-niks do -- that the proof that Barack Obama is going to confiscate everyone's weapons is the fact that he hasn't done so up till now? It's more than counterintuitive; it's just plain nuts . . .
If At First You Don't Succeed
If insanity is defined as "Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, what is the definition of doing something over and over, failing each time, and then doing it yet again, hoping and praying to fail once again? The definition, in two words is "Congressional Republicans."
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
What Ever Happened to Shame?
On June 29th Breitbart.com ran a piece stating that President Obama was going to be fundraising in Paris on the 4th of July. Despite the fact that it was quickly proven untrue, the right wing continued on with their shameless attack. While it is obvious that they have no shame, it could very well be that the blame rests as much with we the public as with they, the progenitors . . .
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Buzz Windrip is Alive and Well
The various responses to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision has me thinking about Buzz Windrip, the folksy tyrant from Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here." Hmmm . . .
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Chiaroscuro: The Art of Rembrandt . . . and Romney?
Chiaroscuro is a technique by which shadow and darkness blend to give a hint of substance and light. In the world of art, as practiced by say, Rembrandt, it can add up to works of genius. In the world of political rhetoric, as practiced by Mitt Romney, it spells disingenuous disaster. Especially when it comes to Israel . . .
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Even if NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call for a ban on the sale of sugary drinks never becomes law in the Big Apple, his proposal does shine a mega watt spotlight on an extremely crucial issue: the ever-increasing level of obesity in America. Let's face it: we are a nation of indolent couch potatoes, and that's bad for our health bad for the national economy and bad for our national security.
Saturday, June 9, 2012(3 comments)
Have Sum, Will Cavil
"Have Sum, Will Cavil" deals with one of the most deeply troubling aspects of modern political discourse -- it's utter lack of civility. In recent weeks, we have seen speakers associated with President Barack Obama hooted down, disinvited and even have the microphone ripped from their hands. In several cases, it was a case of "Gold's Law" -- namely, the guy with the gold made the law.
Saturday, June 2, 2012(3 comments)
Beware of R.A.T.S.
There is one area in which presidents can -- and do -- continue exercising tremendous influence long after they leave office -- appointments to the federal bench. Which brings us to R.A.T.S. -- namely, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia . . .
Tuesday, May 15, 2012(1 comments)
Of Bullies and Banks
While President Obama's "coming out" in favor of gay marriage and revelations about Mitt Romney's having bullied a gay student 48 years ago have captured much public attention, it is the mess surrounding J.P. Morgan/Chase that is going to matter come November . . . Talk about bullies!
Monday, May 7, 2012
Amendment 8: Beware of Creeps Bearing Gifts
Come November, Floridians will be voting on a change in the state constitution. Although it is being pushed as a measure to further religious freedom, it is precisely the opposite -- a Trojan Horse meant to divert taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, especially parochial schools. Beware!
Monday, April 30, 2012
What do Mitt Romney and Thurston Howell III have in common? They are both clueless.
Sunday, April 22, 2012(3 comments)
The Sky is Not Falling -- The Horizon is Rising
When Nancy Pelosi mentioned her support of the DISCLOSE Act -- calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the court's the Citizens United decision, conservatives went nuts, proclaiming that "The sky is falling!" Actually, the sky is NOT falling; rather, the horizon is rising. Just ask legislators in Hawaii, Vermont and New Mexico . . .
Sunday, April 15, 2012(5 comments)
A Whale of Two Pities
So you tell me: who's more dangerous, divisive and delusional -- CNN contributor Hilary Rosen or U.S. Representative Allen West? Based on their past declarations and history -- plus a judicious Google search -- I'd have to say Allen West by about twelve thousand furlongs.
Monday, April 9, 2012(2 comments)
If a Tree Falls in the Forest . . .
According to physicists, even if there is no one to hear it, a tree falling in the forest does make a sound. Question: if the president speaks a great truth which few understand (like characterizing the Ryan budget as "social Darwinism") does it matter? Can anyone hear -- let alone understand -- it?
Monday, April 2, 2012
The Oil of Politics
The Oil of Politics deals with what is likely to be the central issue of the 2012 presidential campaign: the price of gasoline. It poses 5 questions (two multiple choice, three true-or-false) as a means of preparing us for the inevitable onslaught of simple-minded solutions to a highly complex problem. Of all the possible answers as to what we must do to bring down the price of oil, "Vote for ME!" surely isn't one.
Sunday, March 25, 2012(1 comments)
"The Destination, Not the Arrival Matters"
The one argument people use to "prove" that Obama is bad for Israel is that he has yet to go there. Well, George W. Bush didn't make it to Israel until near the end of his second term -- and without so much as a peep. Then Mitt Romney claims that he will make Israel his first stop once elected. it might sound great in a political campaign; as practical policy, it is utterly sophomoric.
Monday, March 19, 2012
"Trash Talk?" is partly memoir, partly a call to arms. Is all society demands of us that we be good complacent consumers, or is there more? One small area where we can re-empower ourselves is in the matter of all those tens of billions of bottles of "spring water" we buy each year. In the words of John Lennon, "Say 'ya want a revolution?"
Saturday, March 3, 2012
To Believe or Not To Believe
Who is more dangerous? The politician or shaper of public opinion who will do or say anthing to get elected or improve their ratings, or the true believer?
Sunday, February 19, 2012(2 comments)
Is Rick Santorum Running for POTUS or POTMA?
Now that he's become the flavor of the month, Rick Santorum is being vetted six ways to Sunday. Question is: is he running for POTUS (President of the United States) or POTMA (Pope of the Middle Ages)?
When Good News is No News
Last week the Dept. of Labor announced the addition of 243,000 new non-government jobs and a jobless rate of 8.3%. It's pretty good news -- unless you're a Republican. They are in the position -- once again -- of having to deny reality.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Coupon Clippers of the World Unite!
As a society of voyeurs, we are addicted to the so-called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." As citizens, however, we must resist the impulse. Mitt Romney is a great example of why. We need leaders despite how much wealth they have earned -- or not -- can identify with real people, living real lives, facing real challenges. And this is NOT Mitt Romney . . .