TA MUG iconThis LEDE is a new feature on THE Ave.  The lede in a newspaper is the paragraph that initially draws readers into a story. On THE-Ave.US, stories can be spread across  many posts so we will use ledes to draw your attention to stories about specific topics or to authors who write here on TA.

    For example, you can click here for stories about the UW or here for timely stories about the presidency under Mitt Romney.


    ST PAUL ICONEvery Sunday, THE Ave begins with a story about religion. Sometimes these are quotes from one of the bibles, other times they stories about how religious and anti religious people behave. Hopefully there is enough balance to please, offend, or stimulate folks who care about what is done in the name or names of deities. READMORE HERE.


    Some months BBQ SC ago I started writing about South Carolina.  In part I started because of the fight between that state and Washington state about jobs for Boeing.  What I have found is almost unbelievable.  The cradle of the confederacy, remains almost incredibly foreign to any place I have lived.  Teen births, gun abuse, anti union laws, racism, … I have relatives who chose to live there but I doubt I would ever want to visit their home. CLICK the BBQ guy to readmore.

  • UW

    mR sMITH GOES TO THE uwThe UW was and is the soil from which THE Ave developed.  This lede will take you to stories about the UW … the athletic department’s budget, the lack of free speech on campus, the achievements of the UW that do not get heralded, relations with the city and state, and more. Recent stories have dealt wit a very strange fight over the UW logo.



    Roger RabbitRoger is our resident Chief Justice of the cabbage patch.  A former judge and a former journalist, this furry creature is cynical about most things, legalistic about law, and even .. at times … good at making fun.


    legal thuggeryLegal thugs …. they are a pestilence.  I found the lady here watching at the edge of a labor meeting in Seattle.  Who was she?  From her clothing, manicured nails and skeptical posture I took her for some corporate type, perhaps a corporate lawyer looking for an edge.   Lawyers working for corporations seem to be pretty good at that and pretty bad at any sense of ethics.  Indeed, I believe Law 101 teaches them that the first principle of the law is that “it is OK if you can get away with it.” This may be a caricature but I have been collecting stories about lawyers who use perjury as a device, extort money from targets afraid of the costs of law suits, hold forth while hiding under fictions that they are not acting as lawyers, and much more.   Read about this under the tag for legal thuggery.

July 30th, 2014 - 4:12 am § in American Diversity, Religion

Anniversary of the Negris leaving Spain

My family name, when we lived in Spain, was Negri .. a word meaning that we were dark folks like the moors.  In March 1492 King Ferdinand, under pressure from Torquemada, issued a decree of expulsion against the Negri.

Four months later, two days before Christopher Columbus set sail, my family left Spain led by Isaac Abravanel, Bible commentator and philosopher. He was the last of the long line of great Jewish leaders and heroes of the Spanish Golden Age.

This picture shows rav Abravanel carrying a Torah scroll, on the 9th of Av, 5252 (July 30, 1492), followed by the last Jews out of Spain.

The boats sailed to Livorno, the port of entry for most Jews fleeing to the more tolerant Italy but were rejected because plague had broken out aboard.  The small fleet of plague ridden boats sailed on to  Naples where they set up a community under the tolerance of its King, ironically another “King Ferdinand.”

When Ferdinand of Spain learned that the Jews found a haven in Naples, he requested the king of Naples to expel the Jews. The young king of Naples invited Abravanel to the royal house and appointed him as his adviser.  Abravanel served both him and his son Alfonso II who succeeded to the throne in 1494.

Unfortunately the Inquisition came to Naples and the city was captured by King Charles of France.  King Alfonso II fled to Sicily accompanied by Abravanel. Rav Abravanel continued to serve Alfonso until the exiled king died.  Then Abravanel left for the island of Corfu in the Mediterranean.  He moved to Monopoli, a town in the Kingdom of Naples, and 8 years later finally settled in Venice.  Here it was not long before the rulers of Venice invited him to the council of state, and Abravanel became one of the leading statesmen of that Venetian Republic. Italy, he again rose in position to advise the Neapolitan King. Seven years later he moved to Venice, where other than negotiating a spice trade agreement between Italy and Portugal, he dedicated the rest of his life to studying Torah and writing commentaries – including The Prophets, The Book of Daniel, The Haggadah, Ethics of the Fathers and Rambam’s Guide to the Perplexed. Abravanel died in the year 5269, at the age of 71, deeply mourned by the Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of Venice. The leading rulers of Venice attended his funeral, and he was laid to rest in Padua.

Sometime during all this my family migrated to Milan where they lived until Franz Joseph liberated the Jews of northern Italy. From Milan they moved to Stanislaus in Galicia. My grandfather, Schmoel Schwartz, brought scrolls and books with him to the USA. Sadly, after his death these were given to a schul in Cambridge and eventually buried as successor schuls closed. The family feud has blocked my efforts to see if other sources, perhaps the Jewish Historical Society could help me learn more about this heritage.

July 29th, 2014 - 4:52 am § in Misc.

A VERY Objective View of the Gaza War

Israel weatherSPIEGEL: Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: ‘All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion’ Truce disintegrates in Gaza, fighting persists Hama s seems determined to fight to the last child caught in its cross fire.  Last night, Eid ul Fitr began,  Hamas’ fighters slipped into [...]

July 28th, 2014 - 10:30 pm § in Misc.

Israel will wipe out Hamas’ military resources

Reuters: Israel digs in for long fight By Nidal Al- Mughrabi and Ori Lewis  GAZA/JERUSALEM – Israel’s military pounded targets in the Gaza Strip after Prime Minister Netanyahu said his country needed to be prepared for a long conflict in the Palestinian enclave.  Full Article Video[...]

July 24th, 2014 - 9:12 am § in Politics, politics, Propaganda, USA, world

A Cogent Arguement AGAINST Israel

AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America’s Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy    Stephen M. Walt  Professor of International Affairs, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (NOTE: I have edited the text to focus on Walt’s impressive argument that Netanyahu has an irredentist on[...]

July 30th, 2014 - 10:50 pm § in Misc.

Bolivia Declares Israel a Terrorist State

La Paz, Bolivia – Bolivia To Require Visas For Israeli Travelers La Paz, Bolivia – Bolivia’s leftist president has declared Israel a “terrorist state” because of its offensive in the Gaza Strip, and his government… Read More »[...]

July 30th, 2014 - 10:15 am § in Bad States, Politics, world


Putin says noWhat Will Ptin do as Ukraine claims key town near Donetsk? The Ukrainian army says it has seized the town of Avdiivka, near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, amid intense fighting in the area around the downed MH17 flight.[...]

July 30th, 2014 - 3:38 am § in Bigots, Humor, Hypocrisy

Rememberin Reagan Stephen, 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush were re-elected to the White House. Some of our country’s best years followed that moment. I remember watching with optimism as Reagan and Bush honorably protected my freedoms and defended my conservative va[...]

July 29th, 2014 - 11:50 pm § in Misc.

Hamas Continues Its Self Crucifiction


July 29th, 2014 - 9:56 am § in Misc.

Charlie Posts: The Lady in Black

The ‘Woman in Black’ Is a Social Media Mystery An anonymous black woman dressed all in black is currently walking the streets of America with just a suitcase and Bible in tow. No one knows who this woman in black is, but she’s gone viral because folks on various social media are posting…[...]

July 29th, 2014 - 8:42 am § in Misc.

BREAKING NEWS: Hamas … rejects PLO Cease Fire

READMORE about “ceasefire roulette”[...]