Disability and Elderly Issues

On Thursday I went to the Emergency Room because I exceeded 9 on the pain meter



Disability and Elderly Issues

I do not have enough money to pay for pain medication

What is wrong with me

1. Spinal pain

2. Reduce pain so I can address the spinal disc and bone hitting nerve problems displayed on CAT scan this month.

3. Deal with the concern that enlarged lymph nodes under my shoulders indicate that Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the lymphatic system has returned.

4. Reduce anxiety that the small kidney cancer tumors will not get larger.

5. The kidney cancer operation on August 2013 followed by several periods of intense dental pain (I had another tooth pulled in November 2014) meant that I have not been exercising and am out of shape.

The brilliant physical therapist Alicia J. Spence at State College's Phoenix Rehab begins; it is time for me to return to her.
The brilliant physical therapist Alicia J. Spence at State College’s Phoenix Rehab who I see on Tuesday March 31st at 11;00 A.M. Alicia  literally will help me get back on my feet again. 

6. I require extensive physical therapy as well as incorporating exercise as part of my daily regime.

 If you have a PayPal account:

1. Open browser.


2.. Enter paypal.

3. From keyboard, press ENTER.

4. You will see the following screen:


5. Click on Log in.


5. Enter Email address and Password.

6.  Click on Log in button.


11. Click on Send Money.


12. Enter my email address: [email protected]

13. Please enter the amount. Please feel free to donate more than $25.

14. Click on I’m sending money to family or friends.

15. Click on Continue.

Thank you.

 If you do not have a PayPal account:

Please send a check made out to Joel Solkoff

Please mail the check to the following address: Joel Solkoff, 120 East Beaver Avenue, Apt 107, State College, PA 16801.

Thank you.

Thank you.


Note: I will be completing the two following sections:

How I plan to spend the donations


How much money I earn each month for Social Security, my only source of income.


How I plan to get back “on my feet” and earn enough income to pay for my health needs.






Disability and Elderly Issues

“For what it’s worth” by Buffalo Springfield

 Stephen Stills wrote and sang For What It’s Worth while a member of  Buffalo Springfield.

Stephen Stills, musician and multi-instrumentalist, is best known for his work with Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young).


“For What It’s Worth” is a song written by Stephen Stills. It was performed by Buffalo Springfield, recorded on December 5, 1966, and released as a single in January 1967; it was later added to the re-release of their first album, Buffalo Springfield. The single peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This song is currently ranked #63 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time as well as the eighth best song of 1967 by Acclaimed Music.


Buffalo Springfield, left to right: Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Richie Furay, Neil Young
Buffalo Springfield, left to right: Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Richie Furay, Neil Young


peacefuldisaster commented on Yahoo Music:

“The song has a very specific meaning. Stills wrote it about his observations from the protests of young club goers and their conflict with the police when the Paradox Box club in West Hollywood, CA was forced to close in 1966 because of a curfew the city was enforcing.

“The protests became known as the Sunset Strip riots. The song is NOT about Vietnam, unemployment, or any other general topic.”



For What It’s Worth Song by Buffalo Springfield

There’s something happening here

What it is ain’t exactly clear

There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step…

Buffalo Springfield

Wikipedia: The band was plagued by infighting, drug-related arrests, and line-up changes that led to its disbanding after two years. Three albums were released under its name, but many demos, studio outtakes, and live recordings remained and were issued in the decades that followed.They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.


How to write academic papers successfully. Let us start with a specific example. A chapter on renovating a bathroom for a mobility-disabled resident


How to write academic papers successfully

How to write academic papers successfully is the subject of today’s posting .

Today’s Volume 1, Number 1 inaugurates a series of step-by-step instructions for successfully defending a master’s or doctoral dissertation and having a peer-review publication accept your academic article.

Today, I focus on academic articles and technical reports. When writing a paper or report it is useful to understand the publisher’s editorial, reference, and style criteria. A good resource for the kind of criteria  required is available on the website of the peer-review publication: Journal of Architectural Engineering. 


Post-doctoral and  graduate students at the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State are the targeted audience for this series.

The series provides information on:

  • Narrowing down the focus of one’s research to a manageable topic
  • Significance of the following editorial advice from the definitive style manual for engineering publications: “Before preparing a manuscript, you should evaluate the research and judge that it is an important contribution to the field.”
  • Avoid the temptation to make macro-observations if your research cannot support it.
  • Be scrupulous about ensuring every factual statement is supported by a reputable reference.
  • Follow the ASCE Citation Style Guide in formatting references.
  • Helpful tip: Engineering guides are based on the authoritative Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition.


  • This 435 page manual provides in-depth explanations as well as the rules involved with citation of references as well as style.
  • Following the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition will ensure you have complied with the standards required by the Journal of the Association of Architectural Engineering.
  • As long as you are in compliance with American Psychological Association standards, your editor at ASCE or related publications will be delighted. There may be slight changes required by one or another “official” engineering related manual.
  • However, as long as you follow Psychological Association standards you are on firm footing. Minimal changes may be required, but they will be easy. The changes are so minor the editor may decide to make the changes herself or himself.
  • It you follow the Psychological Association manual, you will save a lot of time because the standards are explained so clearly in the manual.
  • Helpful tip II: Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.


Today, I will be focusing on the draft of a chapter I have produced (see below) on retrofitting the bathroom so it is safe for disabled residents. The report is scheduled for publication on the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC) website. It will be published here as a technical document:


The chapter requires revision. This posting explains what revisions I am required to make to comply with PHRC standards for utility, acceptable citation of sources, report appearance.


The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

“The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.”

The mission statement continues:

“We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.”

This is the staff of the PHRC which will be publishing the report. Featured here is Pressor Ali Mumari, PHRC Director. I will come back and tag the names of all individuals in this photo.
The PHRC STAFF. Professor Ali Memari, PHRC Director with PHRC staff. I will return here to tag the people in this  photo.


Early in the research process for my technical report, I studied technical reports PHRC has published, e.g.:

Thermal Performance Testing Facilities

The BCERL now also features a guarded hot box facility. The purpose of the guarded hot box is to test steady state thermal performance of building components and building systems according to ASTM standards such as ASTM C 1199, C 1363 and E 1424.

The Guarded Hot Box consists of three chambers: a metering chamber, a guard chamber and a climatic chamber. The metering chamber and climatic chamber are both used to contain airflow baffles, electric heating elements, cooling coils, an air circulation system, and sensing equipment.

The metering chamber is used to simulate indoor conditions and the climatic chamber is used to simulate outdoor conditions. The guard chamber encapsulates the metering chamber to ensure that the conditions being monitored in the metering chamber are unaffected by room conditions.

High accuracy thermocouples, RTDs, and thermopiles are used to monitor surface and air temperatures, and additional sensors are used to measure specimen deflection and other air conditions.

The insulated box is capable of testing specimens up to 6 ft. 6 in. by 3 ft. 8 in. with a maximum thickness of 9 in. BCERL facilities can also be configured to conduct thermal performance investigations in accordance with NFRC standard methodologies, e.g., NFRC 100, 101, 102, 200 and 201. Facilities are also available to facilitate thermographic inspections.

Testing Capabilities

  • Thermal insulation efficiency for a number of different types of building insulation
  • Heat conductance, transmittance or resistance of specimens
  • Determination of thermal properties of built-up or composite building panel components

Thermal Performance Testing Facilities


Editorial note

When writing a report, it is very important to examine closely a technical document the PHRC has already published. A published document regardless of subject can be very helpful (as it has been) in determining the tone of the writing.


I begin with a rough draft of a chapter four. The Bathroom. on how to renovate a bathroom so it is wheel-chair accessible.

The paper requires additional work. I will be returning to this posting to describe what work is required to make the chapter worthy of academic publication.

I am working with Colleen Nelson, past President of Wyoming AIA. Colleen recently completed a nursing home in Fairmont County, Wyoming. This is a photograph Colleen sent showing the view from her architectural office window.

Optimized-March2015WyomingColleen J. Nelson, AIA LEED-APNELSON ARCHITECTS, LLC [email protected]

214 North Broadway Riverton, WY 82501


Below is a draft chapter on making the bathroom safe for the disabled.

  • NOTE: My highly-detailed chapter on the bathroom attempts to specify renovations to ensure the client’s bathroom is safe. “For individuals with mobility problems, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house.”
  • Draft of bathroom chapter
  • Details on how to produce a chapter academically publishable ; specifically,a technical report  for the PHRC

An Aging-in Place Residence

Early draft chapter four THE BATHROOM from forthcoming Pu


Note: The bathroom and bedroom are clearly the areas in the residence where accommodations are required for safety and other purposes. The cost of retrofitting a bathroom especially can involve major budget considerations. Therefore, the order of the chapters in this report is provided not on a room-by-room basis. Rather, the weighted organization of the chapters is based on the authors’ views of priories. The report chapters also include discussion of issues as well as rooms, hallways, windows, and walls to present concepts useful in understanding the renovation project of the residence in its entirety. One example of an issue worthy of attention (rather than simply an evaluation of an area of the residence) concerns the use of mobility devices which are useful for getting from room to room or whose function may affect the ability to make individual rooms accessible. The issue of a sling which an individual can use without assistance to lift oneself up from wheelchair to toilet seat or from bed to wheelchair has a significant effect on the process of renovation itself.

For individuals with mobility problems, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. It can be wet leading to falls. Clients may be impatient to get in and out quickly thus lending to its danger. There may be inadequate rails. Depending upon when the residence was built, the entrance and exit may be uncomfortably narrow. This might be a good place to consider removing walls and widening the hallway.

Entrance and exit


Figure 4-1. Narrow bathroom entrance

In many older residences, the path leading to the bathroom is a narrow one.

Figure 4-2 shows the client coming from the bedroom [behind] in the direction of the refrigerator [ahead].


Figure 4-2. Hallway leading to the bathroom on the right

The width of the hallway with the bathroom door closed is 41 inches. ADA standards call for a width of 48 inches. The reader may not help but notice that because of a shortage of electrical outlets, the toaster is on the floor.


Figure 4-3. Conventional doors pose real problems

With the bathroom door open the width is only 38 ½ inches. Figure 4-4 shows what happens when a powerful power chair, driven by a client impatient to get to the bathroom, collides with the door. A door in a narrow hallway causes difficulties for an individual riding a mobility device including the problem of being able to close the door.

bathroom5Figure 4-4. Adapting a pocket door like the one shown here could make getting in the bathroom easier

One solution is a pocket-door once fashionable in the late 19th Century which is making a comeback especially for those modifying homes for greater mobility.


Figure 4-5.  A specially designed sink located on a bedroom shelf

  Bathroom sink


Figure 4-6. Bathroom sink photo taken from wheelchair

Clients using the bathroom sink above must go elsewhere, to the kitchen sink for example (or bring along their own mirror) to comb hair, apply makeup, shave, and perform other daily rituals.

A lower sink and mirror set are the most immediate solution. Two grab bars at the base of the sink would make it easier for the individual with a mobility disability to stand or maintain balance. A specially designed sink located elsewhere in the residence could save on remodeling costs. Figure 4-7 shows a sink installed at an appropriate height in a residence bedroom which can be modified for individual requirements.

Insertion of an additional sink (either in the bathroom or elsewhere in the residence) also is useful to minimize bathroom accidents can be cleaned up without becoming a major issue)

Other bathroom considerations include:

  • Where to put one’s cane, crutches, or park one’s mobility device
  • Storage of toiletries so they are accessible



Figure 4-8. Hand rails above and to right of toilet are well positioned

Going to the toilet requires more prudence than adults without disabilities require. A mobility disability, by its nature, means it takes more time to get from one place to another. Individuals used to going to the toilet on a schedule comfortable to them before they became disabled may be surprised at how much extra time they must factor.

If the individual does not allow enough time to position oneself at or on the toilet, accidents can occur just when they seemed most avoidable. Individuals who have not experienced an accident since childhood and who assumed such problems would not occur for decades find themselves discouraged when an accident occurs. For individuals who suddenly experience mobility problem, incontinence may be a temporary consequence and it is useful for the individual to understand that temporary means temporary.

The toilet shown in Figure 4-8 should be reassuring. The two grab bars are sturdy and well-positioned. However, it is always helpful to make sure that the toilet seat itself is securely fashioned and to check each time before using.

For individuals with transference issues, there are transfer boards for going from wheel chair to toilet:


Figure 4-9. Transfer board device for getting from wheel chair to toilet

Figure 4-9 shows a convenient way of transferring from a mobility device to the toilet. Less elaborate transfer boards are available. For those with more serious mobility problems, a sling attached to the ceiling is recommended or one might consider installing tracks on the ceiling so a device the individual can use by oneself can easily be moved from the bedroom where it lifted the individual from bed to wheelchair.


Figure 4-10. This is one of a wide variety of slings that an individual can use to get onto the toilet or into the bath 


NOTE Work-to-be-done:  Within the past five years, two developments have made it practical for individuals with severe mobility disabilities to live independently. The first is the development of a sling an individual can use oneself for transference. The above is not a good photograph and should be replaced with a better one. The second development is the use of the ceiling as a method for locomotion; namely, one puts oneself in a sling attached to the ceiling; tracks along the ceiling make it possible to move across the residence. and one can lower oneself to, for example, a bed or a wheelchair in the kitchen. The following photograph shows ceiling tracks:


Last year, I saw a trailer developed by Blueroof Technologies in McKeesport, PA for the use of veterans whose lower limbs had been amputated. The veteran was able to go by sling and ceiling device from bed to bathroom to kitchen for breakfast and then out into the world on a mobility device. Not all this information is relevant to the bathroom.


Figure 4-11. Absence of a hand rail above toilet roll may cause clients difficultly getting on to toilet, but most especially getting off

Roll-in shower


Figure 4-12. Roll-in shower head
14bathroomFigure 4-13. Roll-in shower with fixed seat
14bathroomFigure 4-14. Roll-in shower with separate chair


Figure 4-15. One of a number of shower seats available on the market.


Conventional bathtubs, such as the one below, provide problems involved with getting in and out. The market place, using slings and transfer boards, does make it possible for individuals with mobility difficulties to take baths. However, a roll-in shower, unless other considerations are involved (e.g. skin disorders, the requirement to soak limbs, and the like), the roll-in shower is probably the most cost effective.

16bathroomFigure 4-16. Bathtub. Notice the absence of rails. How do you get out?

Advanced safety procedures and imaging


Figure 4-17. Off-the shelf safety technology

Off the shelf technology gives residents an added level of protection. Figure 4-17 shows a motion detector in the bathroom. Motion detection makes it possible to alert caregivers (by a voice simulator automatically calling 911 or another number) if someone slips in the shower, for example, and does not get up according to a pre-programmed time schedule. The cost of this technology is relatively modest and has been falling steadily.


Figure 4-18. Virtual reality model helpful for the AEC community in designing accessible bathrooms

Imagine using this imaging technology displayed in Figure 4-19 for design and working out such issues as how to get from scooter to bath chair? One might:

  • Turn the scooter around so water does not fall on the controls
  • Back up to the shower chair
  • Swivel the scooter chair locking it into place.
  • A hand rail would be useful to go from scooter chair to shower chair.


–Joel Solkoff, Adjunct Research Assistant at Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineering


Disability and Elderly Issues

Woodstock August 1969: THE Music Festival attracting 400,000 fans to a dairy farm in upstate New York where concert producers had a staff of 85 to help concert goers who were having bad LSD trips




Channeling Jabotinsky [who died in 1940]: Covering the aftermath of Israel’s March 17th [2015] election

Coalition Updates posted religiously (always check the source for reliability):

Netanyahu endorsed by 61 MKs, set to assemble coalition

As President Reuven Rivlin enters second day of consultations with party representatives, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon recommends Netanyahu as PM • “We accept the people’s decision. The people want Netanyahu to assemble the government,” Kahlon says. Posted March 23, 2015.

N.B. Israel Hayom is published by Sheldon Adelson.  “As of July 2014, Adelson was listed by Forbes as having a fortune of $36.4 billion, and as the 8th richest person in the world. Adelson is also a major contributor to Republican Party candidates, which has resulted in his gaining significant influence within the party.”


President Obama’s post-Israeli elections game-changing interview (1)

“Obama Details His Disappointment With Netanyahu,” the Huffington Post wrote in describing  Obama’s  first interview after the Israeli elections.

This link takes you directly to President Obama’s video interview.

330px-Arianna_Huffington_2012_ShankboneForbes Magazine listed Arianna Huffington as the 52nd most powerful woman in the worldAOL acquired The Huffington Post for$315 million and  appointed Huffington President and Editor-in-Chief.

Huffington reported:

“President Barack Obama is operating under the assumption that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not support the creation of a Palestinian state, despite the Israeli leader’s post-election efforts to recast himself as amenable to a two-state solution.

“‘We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” the president said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday [March 20th].” (2)


How does the phrase “game changing” apply to this situation?

Macmillan Dictionary defines “game changing” as “completely changing the way that something is done, thought about, or made.” President Obama’s Friday interview made public his determination to completely change the nature of U.S. -Israeli-relations.

Doing so will have widespread implications. It is no exageration to say that what is at stake is whether Israel will be able to survive as an independent Jewish-controlled country. Period.

Given the nature of the Israeli parliamentary system it is unclear whether the March 2015 election will be significant. The purpose of this posting is to provide a comprehensive understanding not simply of one election and its results. ed himself into the Israeli election deliberatively trying to prevent  Benjamin Netanyahu from receiving the minimum of 61 votes in the Knesset required if Netanyahu continues to govern.

The U.S. provides Israel with three billion dollars annually for military and economic assistance.


1948 Behind the scenes friction within the Truman Administration regarding recognizing Israel

You can go directly to You Tube to view this rare footage of the Secretary of State George Marshall conferring with President Truman in 1948 regarding recognizing the State of Israel. Truman was eager to recognize, which he did. Marshall told Truman that if he recognized Israel, Marshall would not vote for Truman in the 1948 Presidential election. 

Zionist time line critical for obtaining a bird’s eye perspective to current events

  1. The Balfour declaration {2 November 1917}. / From the time I was eight, my father read out loud to me the Balfour Declaration (which was a letter). My friends’ fathers played catch—tossing the regulation softball back and forth. I read the Balfour Declaration aloud with my father. Reading the Balfour Declaration was a joyous experience because my father cared deeply about it and I loved my father.
  2. Significance of the Zion Mule Corps
  3. Profile of Ben Gurion
  4. Profile of Jabotinsky
  5. Arab riots in the 1920s
  6. Ben Gurion’s cooperation with the British to arrest or shoot to kill Menachem Begin, who later became prime minister of Israel
  7. 1948 War of Independence
  8. Altalena Incident
  9. 1967 Six Day War

Camp David accords

  1. Begin forcibly removes Jewish settlers in accordance with Israeli-Egyptian negotiation terms
  2. Assassination of Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin
  3. Netanyahu hosting a televised explicit video showing him committing adultery
  4. Demographic breakdown of Israeli citizens
  5. Maps of Israel including King David’s borders, Jabotinsky’s


,רק כּח

1948-1967, and 1967 to present


 Imagine my coming across a  letter in my late father’s files from Thomas Jefferson expressing gratitude for assistance in the American Revolution. This 1935 letter is the moral equivalent



Consider the obituary I wrote when my father Isadore Solkoff died

Obituary notice

ISADORE SOLKOFF, 1902-1989, Friend of Jabotinsky, Briscoe, and other early Zionist leaders




My father's obituary continues:

UNION, NEW JERSEY, January 15, 1989: Isadore Solkoff was buried at the Temple B’nai Abraham Cemetery.

In an Orthodox Jewish service officiated by Rabbi Phillip Goldberg of the United Hebrew Community of New York, the mourners were reminded of Solkoff ‘s work in introducing Vladimir Jabotinsky and Robert Briscoe to the Jewish Community of New York City.

Theodore Hertzl founder of The Zionist Movement

Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist Movement which created Israel ://
My father's obituary continues:

“Vladimir Jabotinksy (1880-1940)   was an early Zionist leader who is buried in Jerusalem next to the grave of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism.

“Jabotinsky was an extremely controversial figure. He was also a brilliant orator, capable of delivering his speeches in several languages, including English and Hebrew, which as an adult he learned to speak fluently because he believed that every Zionist should speak Hebrew.

“Although he died  in 1940, he predicted the Holocaust, advocating relief measures so Jews could be sent to Palestine . He also advocated strict military training for Jews and a series of summer camps for youth around the world were opened for that purpose. One of those camps was located in suburban New York.”

At the cemetery , in keeping with Jewish custom, I picked up a handful of dirt and threw it on my father’s casket. My elder daughter Joanna, who was five years old asked whether she could follow my example. I held her while she grabbed a handful from a pile nearby and threw it on the casket.

We returned from the cemetery to the home of my Uncle Lou, who had died eight years earlier. Uncle Lou , while the youngest of the siblings, had held the family together with the help of his wife Aunt Ida.

By the time I was born, my father was in a state of grief. For decades he had followed his beloved leader Jabotinsky in their attempts to warn of the coming Holocaust. Others did not believe the Holocaust was coming. My father believed. He spent much of his adult life working to avert the disaster he could not stop.

When I was born, he included me in the mourning. When Isadore died, I was 37 years old and had become a follower of Jabotinsky in the tradition my father taught me. I had found among his papers which were my papers an advertisement Ben Hecht published on February 16, 1943.  The ad, which appeared on the back cover of first section of The New York Times, read:

70,000 JEWS

Aunt Ida gave me a shot glass with schnapps. I said the appropriate blessing. Family and friends filled up their glasses, raised them high and said the blessing.

Then, I delivered a eulogy to my father. My eulogy consisted of my reading:

““Roumania is tired of killing Jews. It has killed one hundred thousand of them in two years. Roumania will now give Jews away practically for nothing.”

[See: See:}



J’accuse, Netanyahu. J’accuse

Boiled down to basics, Netanyahu is the leader of the political party Jabotinsky founded. When Jabotinsky died in 1940, Menachem Begin took over the leadership. A political gemological chart will chart the leadership to Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has failed to keep to the true Zionist path Jabotinsky founded. The party Netanyahu now leads should expel him from its midst. This posting is written from the perspective of a 67 year old man whose father taught him Jabotinsky from childhood.

Israel has reached the proverbial crossroads. Sometime soon, the future of Israel is arriving  at the point where either Israel will survive or it will be too late. Elections come and go. It is difficult to predict precisely when the point of no return arrives.

This posting, clearly a work in progress, provides details on the issues. Perhaps, Tzipi Livni (see below), whose ties to the movement Jabotinsky followed, could form a government this time around. Livni has the potential to be a great prime minister.

Whatever Israel’s future brings, Netanyahu should be ousted from public service. It should not be Obama who throws him out. It should be Netanyahu’s own party. Fortune smiled on the Zionist Movement when Jabotinsky was a Zionist leader in truly troubled times. Now the inspiration Jabotinsky still provides should be incorporated in new leadership.

So long, Bibi. Coming soon after I get some sleep,  reports on the status of the coalition building process. Clearly, I could produce a lot of words on the subject, but nothing much is actually happening.


The Altalena Affair


The Altalena Affair was a violent confrontation that took place in June 1948 between the newly created Israel Defense Forces and the Irgun (also known as IZL), one of the Jewish paramilitary groups that were in the process of merging to form the IDF. The confrontation involved a cargo ship, Altalena, captained by Monroe Fein and led by senior IZL commander Eliyahu Lankin, which had been loaded with weapons and fighters by the independent Irgun but arrived during the murky period of the Irgun’s absorption into the IDF.

This silent video tells the story of the “Altalena Incident”–the classification term for the event


Solkoff arranged for Jabotinsky to speak to a packed crowd at Town Hall in New York City and Solkoff produced a film of Jabotinsky observing military exercises of Jewish youth, later shown at Jewish synagogues in the New York City area.

Solkoff arranged a secret, private meeting between Jabotinsky and Lou is Brandeis (1856-1941) then a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Brandeis took pride in his influential role in the American Jewish community. The meeting did not go well. It took place at Brandeis’ Washington home. Jabotinsky gave Brandeis a warning about the American Jewish community’s ind ifference to the plight of Jewish European refugees. Later Jabotinsky reported to Solkoff the warning he gave Brandeis . “Your accomodationist stance with the British will result in millions of unnecessary Jewish deaths at the hands of the Nazis. ” Jabotinsky continued, “The blood of those Jews will be on your hands too and that of the rest of the American Jewish community. It will be on your hands even though you do not directly commit the murders .”

Jabotinsky was the founder of the Zionist political party now running the state of Israel. Yitzhak Shamir, the prime minister of Israel, was a follower of Jabotinsky. Former Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin had been an aide to Jabot insky. When Jabotinsky d ied in 1940, Begin inherited Jabotinsky’s movement. Solkoff supported Begin in his efforts to obtain arms into Palestine . Then in 1948 when the state of Israel was created and the War of Independence took place,

Who won the Israeli election?

No one won.

Isaac_Herzog_(12675983573) (2)

Did Isaac Herzog Leader,  Zionist Union Party really lose when he received 24 votes?


Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Leader of the LIKUD party really win when he received 30 votes?


The complexities of coalition building where a majority of 61 votes in the 120 vote Kennest is required to govern.

However, if the next candidate (the current presumed winner is Netanyahu) becomes prime minister with only 61 votes, the government will be a weak one.

All that would be required to pass a resolution expressing no confidence in the next prime minister then Israel would be back in the position it is today.

There would be another election with election results reported again just as they were  two days ago. Again there would be a frantic rush to find parties winning to be in coalition. At some point, one hopes because Israel requires stability as critical decisions are made which will determine ultimately whether can survive as an independent Jewish country,

Whatever happens in Israel’s Balkan-style politics, the real issue on the table is whether the country of Israel will continue to exist.

This posting is now evolving and will contain the following information:

  • Details about the process of securing a coalition
  • Description of each of the minor parties that are being wooed right now as I keyboard today’s post
  • Relevant history helpful in analyzing Israel’s political direction from the philosopher George Santayana’s perspective: One who neglects to learn the lessons of  history will be forced to repeat them. 
  • Relevant history will begin with the Dreyfus trial when anti-Semitism had taken over the government of France, Theodore Herzel’s formation of the Zionist, Movement, revival of the Hebrew language, the outcome of World War I where British victory meant the Britain would replace Turkey and turn Israel (at the time Palestine and not Israel was the name used for the land the British controlled), plus detailed descriptions of the many different maps of Israel from the Biblical Israel under King David when its territory was the largest ever including Jordan and Syria. Included would be the  map of a significantly smaller Israel in 1948 when the country became independent.
  • I will be comparing the 1948 Independence Day map with today’s map which includes land occupied as a result of the Six Day War of 1967.
  • In depth analysis of the relevance of the two fathers of modern Israel, David Ben Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky. The two men  served jointly as co-captains of the Zionist Mule Corps. Creation of the Corps was a significant event by itself. The distinct differences between the politics of each  founding father also brought decades of animosity between the two men.  Ben Gurion helped the British  in its efforts to arrest or shoot to kill on sight the leader of Jabotinsky’s party.


Meawhile, I will speculate on the chances of a “dark horse” female party leader emerging as the next prime minister.

A narrow 61 votes majority means any two members of the Knesset could become emotional about controversial policy. Israeli politics are my favorite brand of politics, far more intricate with cliff hangers appearing regularly and lasting indefinitely or just long enough to form another cliff hanger.

Could Tzipi Livni emerge (from weeks of coalition building failure) as Israel’s next Prime Minister or as prime minister in a government which follows the next vote of No Confidence?]

Tzipi Livni is the Previous Leader,  Zionist Union Party. From March 2013 to December 2014, Livni served as Israel’s Justice Minister.


Meanwhile, bitter fighting in Washington D.C. over whether Republicans or Israel loving  Democrats becomes more bizarre each passing day.

Plus, fighting among President Obama, Republican Congressional leaders, and Israel-loving Democrats are distracting. There are serious issues raised by this critical junction in Israel’s political crisis–critical issues such as whether can preserve its future as an independent self-governing country as the homeland of the Jewish people.

What is at stake here is whether Israel can continue to survive as an independent Jewish state.

If this election process goes south or if the coalition is so shaky it receives an early no confidence vote clarity…

What is taking place is a clear power struggle. .I find it unsettling Netanyahu may continue to rule.

I condemn Netanyahu’s passionate insistence the U.S. should not negotiate with Iran to find a solution to the nuclear missile crisis. Going from the specific to the general, I believe Bibi is a war monger.

 What is required to WIN?

Definition of win: Win means the candidate becomes Prime Minister. To become prime minister one must have at least a 61 vote majority in the 120 member Knesset.

Netanyahu has 30 votes.

To obtain the additional 31 votes candidates must ask leaders of Israeli’s insanely high number of political parties.

Leaders of some of the parties Netanyahu needed to govern are real slime bags.

Netanyahu has a history of tolerating virtually anything to win including having to work with slime bags on a regular basis. Speculation is that Netanyahu may take “the high road” and ask his opponent Herzog to become a member of his government.

Short term: There is currently and urgently taking place a hunt for Israeli’s minority parties to form a coalition government. These parties are referred to as “king makers.” Courting these parties is not an easy task. “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

Long term: Beyond the vote counting and the news reports on just how complex Israel’s democratic government really is, there is a critical issue regarding Israel’s future.

Theodor Herzl founder of The Zionist Movement

Will Israel as a Jewish state continue to survive?

Netanyahu’s answer is hard-line especially regarding territory. Netanyahu has successfully fought efforts to return land won during the 1967 Six Day War.

A large group in the significant but  becoming less powerful sector of the electorate is secular Jews.


Israel was created despite opposition from the Orthodox community.

Until 1948 creation of Israel, a large percentage of the orthodox community did not believe in Theodor Hertzel’s Zionist Movement to create a secular Jewish State under British-controlled until 1948.

Orthodox rabbis said Zionism was blasphemy and creation of a Jewish State should await return of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Especially since the 1973 War, the U.S.Orthodox community has become strong supporters of Israel. The are sending themselves, their children, and their grandchildren to defend Israeli territory with machine guns carried on a daily basis.

Given the large birthrate among the religious, the demographic makeup of Israel is changing.

Simply put: There are three equally large blocks of voters who determine Israel’s future:

  • One third Israeli citizens are Arab.
  • One third of Israeli citizens are militantly religious.
  • One third of Israeli citizens are secular and laid back about religious practice and who created and built the State of Israel. They have already lost the power to govern Israel.

The future of Israel as an independent state requires a peaceful solution to the terror, bus bombs, hard-line Palestinians who pose a serious threat.

Last night, Netanyahu announced he opposed a two state solution, namely creation of a Palestinian State on some of the land Israel currently occupies.

I support a two state solution. It is not simply Israel’s fault the Palestinian crisis exists. Arab states such as Saudia Arabia, where Palestinian workers are poorly treated, have used the Palestinian problem to obtain global sympathy for the Palestinian Cause.

Whoever is to blame, if Israel does not fix the problem, it will not exist. Peace is the only way Israel can survive. Talking about peace in the context of the violence currently taking place, including building of nuclear facilities in Iran, seems naive.

Nevertheless, there are a substantial number of Israeli citizens who are working intensely to give peace a chance. I believe peace is the only option available to secure Israel’s future. This blog is written with my  distinct bias. Bias of mine.


From Israeli’s oldest and highly respected newspaper Haeretz, which means “the land,” comes this ebulient prediction:

LIVE BLOG: Herzog congratulates Netanyahu, refuses to say whether he’ll join coalition

Final results: Netanyahu’s Likud scores decisive victory in Israeli election, set to win 30 Knesset seats, Zionist Union gets 24 • Netanyahu calls for ‘strong’ government to safeguard security, welfare • Meretz leader Zehava Galon resigns in wake of election results.

By | Mar. 18, 2015 | 11:15 AM |


From this morning’s White House briefing on President Barack Obama’s reaction to the Israeli elections,  the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest en route to Cleveland, OH, 3/18/15 aboard Air Force One  answered the following:

Did the President speak with Prime Minister Netanyahu after the election?


“The President at this point has not telephoned Prime Minister Netanyahu.  I can tell you that earlier today that Secretary of State John Kerry did telephone Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him on the Israeli elections.  The President, in the days ahead, in the coming days, I anticipate will also call Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same thing.

“Just as a relevant piece of recent historical context is that there have been two Israeli elections during the Obama administration.  In both situations, in the aftermath of both elections, the President did not telephone Prime Minister Netanyahu until he’d already been directed by the Israeli President to begin the process of forming a coalition government.

“So I’m not suggesting that the President will wait until that direction has been handed down this time.  I’m merely pointing out that in previous situations the President has not telephoned the Israeli Prime Minister on the day after the elections.  But I do anticipate that the President will call Prime Minister Netanyahu in the coming days.”


Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senators are criticizing President Obama for not calling Nitanyahu for winning the election.  Powerful Republican senators, such as Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), frequently mentioned as a likely candidate for winning the Republican nominationin2016, told Roll Call, a publication read by Washington insiders,

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is joining a slew of Republican lawmakers who criticized President Obama for not congratulating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his party’s victory in this week’s parliamentary elections.

“He’s showing more respect for Iran than he is for the prime minister of Israel, and that’s a terrible precedent that he’s set,” Rubio said late Wednesday on Fox News’s “Hannity,” while also slamming the White House’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.



Isaac Herzog, who received a few votes less than Netanyahu) is defiant.

Each candidate is now actively scrambling to assemble a collation from Israel’s many fractious and influential minor parties.

English: The Knesset building, Jerusalem, Israel, on Independence Day. Taken from the south, from The Israel Museum. עברית: הכנסת Date24 April 2007

The Knesset building, Jerusalem, Israel, on Independence Day. Taken from the south, from The Israel Museum.
עברית: הכנסת
Date 24 April 2007


Isaac Herzog Leader of the newly formed Zionist Union Party

Wikipedia on Issac Herzog:

Isaac Herzog (Hebrew: יצחק “בוז׳י” הרצוג‎).

Yitzhak Herzog; born 22 September 1960, nicknamed “Bougie”, is an Israeli politician and lawyer.

Since 2003, Herzog has been a member of the Knesset and has held various ministerial posts, including Minister of Welfare and Social Services (2007–11).

He is chairman of the Labor Party and has been the opposition leader in the outgoing 19th Knesset. He contested the 2015 legislative election as head of the Zionist Union joint electoral list of Labour and Hatnuah.


My conclusion:

Neither of the two leaders has the 61 votes required to form a government.

One tally showed  28 seats for Netanyahu, over 27 seats for Isaac Herzog.

To be Prime Minister you have to have a secure 61 vote majority in the 120 seat parliament known by its Hebrew word The Knesset.

28 votes is not 61 votes.

Right now, the choice over whether Netanyahu or Herzog will be Prime Minister depends on the ability of either man to form a coalition.


About Me

I shoveled manure during the Six Day War

It was 1967.

I was 19.

I had just arrived in Paris en route to Israel early on a Tuesday morning  Day 2 Six Day War.

My step father had connected me with the Paris Jewish Agency,  mobbed with volunteers.

My father, an ardent Zionist especially during the 1930s and 40s, hated the Jewish Agency because it had collaborated with the British to keep Jews out of Palestine.

At the Agency, I was told it would be a long war. I should be patient and wait in Paris. I booked a cheap hotel. Bought every English language newspaper I could find.

My experience with British-based newspapers was limited. An item said someone was forming a Lincoln brigade, similar to the Spanish Civil War, in Cyprus. I booked a ticket to Cyprus for the following day Wednesday.

Unable to sleep, I walked through the city of Paris from 10 PM until after dawn. I said Bon Jour to everyone I passed and everyone replied friendly happy at what they were doing.

By morning, well-breakfasted, I had the feeling I had seen everything. I boarded the plane Wednesday morning flying down the coast of Italy and over to Athens.

The plane circled the Parthenon several times. So clear was the water I could see fishing lines down to the bottom of the Mediterranean.

The plane landed in Athens where I awaited a connection to Cyprus.

It was Wednesday evening.

At the airline desk, I learned there was a flight scheduled to Lodde airport later that evening.

By then, I had made friends with a graduate student and his wife who told me in detail about the Greek coup.

When I left the Paris-Athens plane, I was holding a notebook with the word Columbia on the cover. The graduate student, hoping to meet someone else, instantly identified my college with his and he and his wife helped me with arrangements.

The airline clerk cashed in the Cyprus ticket. As it would turn out, there was no Lincoln Brigade in Cyprus.

For a few dollars more I was waitlisted on a plane to Israel. I had $20 left in my pocket.

My new friends took me to their apartment where I slept until the phone rang informing that I had a seat on the plane.

Saul Bellow, covering the War for Newsday, stood next to me and we talked. A glamorous Life photographer also boarded the plane. He was replacing a colleague killed in the Sinai when his half track hit a land mine.

The windows on the plane were sealed shut just before daylight. My fellow passengers and I heard the sound of aircraft, but did not know whether they were friendly or not.

Ours was the first commercial plane to land at the airport. The runway was full of army tents and mounted guns.

We were greeted like heroes. It was day four of the Six Day War.



 Kfar Warburg

Wikipedia on Kfar Warburg:

Kfar Warburg (Hebrew: כְּפַר וַרְבּוּרְג, lit. Warburg Village) is a large moshav in central Israel. Located near Kiryat Malakhi with 98 farms covering an area of 6,000 dunams, it falls under the jurisdiction of Be’er Tuvia Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 873.

The moshav was founded on 31 October 1939 by members of the “Menachem” organisation. It was named after Felix M. Warburg, one of the leaders of the Jewish community in the United States and a founder of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.[1]

Notable residents include Yigal Hurvitz, a former Minister of Finance who is buried in the moshav.

During Netanyahu’s lengthy time in office, Netanyahu maintained power with a coalition of small political parties . Some of these parties, especially their leaders, are slimy. Netanyahu has been able to stay so long in office because of his willingness to make allegiances with very unsavory characters.


Prime Minister Netanyahu


Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu ( בנימין “ביבי” נתניהו ); born 21 October 1949) is the current Prime Minister of Israel.

He also currently serves as a member of the Knesset, Chairman of the Likud party and Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.

Born in Tel Aviv to secular Jewish parents, Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the establishment of the state.

Netanyahu joined the Israel Defense Forces during the Six-Day War in 1967 and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. He took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder.

He fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory.

He was wounded in combat twice. He achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988, as a member of the Likud party, and was Prime Minister from June 1996 to July 1999. He moved from the political arena to the private sector after being defeated in the 1999 election for Prime Minister by Ehud Barak.

Netanyahu returned to politics in 2002 as Foreign Affairs Minister (2002–2003) and Finance Minister (2003–2005) in Ariel Sharon’s governments, but he departed the government over disagreements regarding the Gaza disengagement plan. He retook the Likud leadership in December 2005, after Sharon left to form a new party, Kadima.

In the 2006 election, Likud did poorly, winning 12 seats. In December 2006, Netanyahu became the official Leader of the Opposition in the Knesset and Chairman of Likud. In 2007, he retained the Likud leadership by beating Moshe Feiglin in party elections.

Following the 2009 parliamentary election, in which Likud placed second and right-wing parties won a majority, Netanyahu formed a coalition government. After the victory in the 2013 elections, he became the second person to be elected to the position of Prime Minister for a third term, after Israel’s founder David Ben-Gurion.

In 2012, Netanyahu was listed 23rd on the Forbes magazine’s list of “The World’s Most Powerful People.” In 2014, he was ranked third on the list of the “Most Influential Jews in the World” by The Jerusalem Post. He had been ranked first on the list in 2012 and 2010.


 More of my election results analysis

Right now, Netanyahu is thinking of a High Road coalition which would include his opponent Herzog in Netanyahu’s Government. This would bring such a coalition would come close to obtaining the remaining Knesset votes.

My current thinking about Netanyahu’s likelihood to survive as prime  minister is that he won’t. He has always been the kind of wily guy who would do anything to stay in power. During one particularly ugly leadership fight, Netanyahu’s opponent blackmailed Netanyahu.

The opponent had an explicit video of Netanyahu having sexual intercourse with a woman not his wife.

“Adultery” became a trendy word during that period.

Netanyahu reacted by appearing on television and displaying the video of his adultery while Netanyahu’s wife was photographed watching .

Netanyahu said he cared too much about Israel’s future to be blackmailed.

Netanyahu won the leadership fight. He will do anything to win.

“Fifteen years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu admitted in a dramatic television appearance to an extramarital affair. It was at the height of elections for the Likud leadership, and Netanyahu accused his opponents (alluding to David Levy) of intent to blackmail him by releasing footage of him and his lover. This strange spectacle became a fiasco that haunts the Likud leader to this day.”


Media Coverage

From Tuesday’s New York Times at 11:04 PM in State College PA–the same time as New York City: 

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief challenger, Isaac Herzog of the center-left Zionist Union, appeared to win about the same number of seats in Parliament on Tuesday, according to Israeli news media and exit polls.”

In Jerusalem  It was 6 hours ahead of New York, it was already tomorrow.

Tomorrow at 5:10 AM .


(CNN)Preliminary exit poll estimates released by Israel’s three major broadcasters late Tuesday show an election too close to call.

Millions of Israelis cast their votes to determine their country’s next Prime Minister and the makeup of its parliament.

Channel 2 Israel reports the Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has a slight lead over the Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog — 28 seats, over 27 seats. Channels 10 and 1 show the two tied with 27 seats each.

The incumbent claimed victory ahead of a final count.

“Against all odds, we achieved this huge victory,” Netanyahu told his cheering supporters. “Now we should form a strong and stable government that will be able to take care of the security, safety and welfare of each and every citizen of Israel.”

The Zionist Union responded by saying in a statement that the Likud party “keeps misleading.”

“The rightist bloc has shrunk. Everything is possible until the real results are in, when we can know which parties passed the electoral threshold and which government we can form. All the spins and statements are premature,” it read.

Official results are not expected to be published until next week, and the process of building coalitions could take much longer.

++++litical parties of the 120 remembers of The Knesset

Due to the low election threshold (currently 3.25%, but historically only 1%), a typical Knesset has a large number of factions represented;

  • five parties have at least 10 seats in the current Knesset.
  • Combined with the nationwide party-list system, it is all but impossible for one party to win a majority government.
  • No party has ever won a majority of seats in an election, the most being 56 won by the Alignment in the 1969 elections.
  • The Alignment had briefly held a majority of seats before the election after being formed by an alliance of two other parties.
  • As a result, all Israeli governments have been coalitions between two or more parties, though only three parties (or their antecedents) have ever led governments.

Parties with Knesset seats

The following parties are represented following the 2013 elections:

Party      Leader   Seats     Ideology

Likud      Binyamin Netanyahu       20           right-wing, nationalist

Yesh Atid             Yair Lapid            19           centrist, secular

Labor Party         Isaac Herzog       15           social democratic, Zionist

The Jewish Home             Naftali Bennett  12           right-wing, Orthodox, settler rights

Shas       Aryeh Deri           11           Sephardic Ultra-Orthodox

Yisrael Beiteinu  Avigdor Lieberman           11           right-wing, Zionist,[1] nationalist[2]

United Torah Judaism      Yaakov Litzman  7             Ashkenazi[2] ultra-Orthodox[1]

Hatnuah               Tzipi Livni             6             centrist[1]

Meretz  Zahava Gal-On   6             secular, left-wing,[1][2] environmentalist,[1]

advocates withdrawal from the West Bank[1]

United Arab List-Ta’al      Ibrahim Sarsur    4             Arab interests[1]

Hadash  Mohammad Barakeh       4             socialist, minority interests[1]

Balad     Jamal Zahalka     3             left-wing, Arab nationalist[1]

Kadima  Shaul Mofaz        2             centrist, Zionist[1]


Netanyahu’s party set to win 29 votes, Zionist Union gets 24; Netanyahu calls for ‘strong’ government to safeguard security, welfare • ‘Kingmaker’ Kahlon says doesn’t rule anyone out.Add Media

TO Uunderstand Israeli politics, you must know about the TWO Founding fathers of Israel David Ben Gurion and Vlademir Jabotinsky who served together in the Zion Mule Corps during World War I. They hated each other. My father’s single most important achievement in my father’s life was his relationship with Jabotinsky. My younger daughter is named after Jabotinsky in memory of my father.

David Ben Gurion the most famous of Israel’s two political fathers.


Edward R. Murrow interviewee Israel Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on Feb 3, 1956 at Sde Boker kibbutz as part of Murrow’s ‘I Can Hear It Now’ series.

All audio was taken from the Columbia Masterworks Label ML 5109, that featured the complete unabridged interview on the release. An edited version of the interview with Ben-Gurion appeared on CBS TV’s ‘See It Now’ on March 6, 1956.

This interview clearly had audio issues, and wind interference is noticeable. All attempts to remove vinyl crackles, and audio enhancement have been made to the recording.




  1. 1  The Huffington Post [“Posted: Updated: before lengthy background necessary for understating the issues involved:

Country Music Sweeps Corporate Detroit: With Martina Mcbride performing in Detroit

Wikipedia on Martina McBride

Martina’s father, who was a farmer and cabinetry shop owner, exposed Martina to country music at a young age. Listening to country music helped her acquire a love for singing. After school, she would spend hours singing along to the records of such popular artists as Reba McEntire, Linda Ronstadt, Juice Newton, Jeanne Pruett,Connie Smith and Patsy Cline.[3] Around the age of eight or nine, Martina began singing with a band her father fronted, “The Schiffters.” As Schiff grew older her role in the band progressively increased, from simply singing, to also playing keyboard with them. She enjoyed performing in her early years.[3]

She tried to pretend he wasn’t drinkin’ again
But daddy left the proof on her cheek
And I was only eight years old that summer
And I always seemed to be in the way
So I took myself down to the fair in town
On Independence Day


DETROIT'S Premier Country music station
DETROIT’S Premier Country music station

 The following two videos show a younger astonishingly sexy Mariana McBride as she was honing her skills as a staunch feminist.


Compare these two videos.

1968 Revolution at Columbia University

The Columbia Revolution in 1968

As soon as I wake up, regardless of the pain, for a moment I smile:  I am 19 again at Columbia’s 1968 demonstrations against the War in Vietnam.

See: Crippling on-going pain: Help me ‘get back on my feet’ (so to speak)

ColumbiaGreysonMy girlfriend and I were arrested together at Columbia’s Mathematics Hall. [This photograph shows Low Library where President Grayson Kirk had his office. Vicki and I started out by occupying the office of Columbia’s president. However, the faculty had a critical vote and I decided to lobby Professor John Mundy, head of Columbia’s History Department. I camped out on his doorstep and when it was late enough in the morning, I knocked on his door and he let me in wearing a bathrobe.

[Professor Mundy handed me a cup of wonderfully hot coffee. While I drank and he dressed, I urged him to vote in favor of amnesty–the key provision we demonstrators insisted upon if we were to leave the buildings. Upon returning, a line around Low Library blocked me from climbing in through the window. Vicki wanted to be with me. I could not secure entrance, but I negotiated for her release. We then went to Mathematics Hall, which had recently been occupied and that is where we were arrested.]


So many Columbia University students were arrested  that April  that at 2 A.M. there was no room for us in New York’s central prison/jail/courthouse “The Tombs.”


 Vicki and I held hands in the hallway of the Harlem police station for most of the night. Then the police took us to the Tombs, [we had already been formally booked, fingerprinted;  no handcuffs]

At the Tombs the judge asked us Guilty or Not-guilty. We said innocent and were immediately released without bail.

We won the demonstration. Columbia’s president, who had  been a principal in secret government research to kill the Vietnamese, retired from office in disgrace. His appointed successor Dean Truman was not appointed President.  An interim president served Columbia in time to sign my diploma.

Despite everything I still have a Columbia B.A. in Medieval European history. In fact, Columbia gave into the most controversial demand amnesty.

Columbia lawyers appeared in court to drop the criminal charges of the students it had ordered to be arrested and expunged  arrest records.

When the judge released me from criminal trespass misdemeanor charges, he said, “If this is what a college education is good for, who needs it.”

Years later, when I was appointed Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, I received a full security clearance. As a consequence, I was able to read secret CIA documents. When I wrote a speech to be delivered before Latin American secretaries of labor in Peru, the CIA documents were helpful. Profiles of  Latin American secretaries of labor showed they received their positions because they were especially effective at breaking strikes.

The U.S. secretary of labor, his deputy (my boss) and the assistant secretaries of labor, and I all received our jobs because of the U.S. labor movement. Specifically, President of the AFL-CIO George Meany made sure all U.S. Presidential appointments were acceptable to unions. Note well: Without George Meany’s help, Jimmy Carter would not have been elected president.

N.B. also: Despite my arrest at Columbia, the U.S. senate confirmed my appointment. Here is a link to one of the speeches I wrote for Deputy Secretary of Labor Robert J. Brown.


The Columbia Revolution today

A judge, who was arrested at Columbia, and other classmates and jail mates reflect on 40 years ago. They agree that the demonstrations had a lasting and positive effect on our lives. The demonstrations resulted in a significant change for the better in our society. The tendency to be grandiose about the significance of college days is strong.

None the less, books were written and songs sung about what we did and its significance. For example, New York Times reporter Mark Kurlansky published 1968 The Year that Rocked the World.

In reviewing the book for Amazon, Denis Benchimol Minev wrote:

“Movements n the US, especially at Berkeley and Columbia, have strong effects on the American psyche, as the war in Vietnam went on and civil rights movements were heating up and taking a turn towards violence (away from Martin Luther King and into the Black Panthers). ”

The About section of You Tube describes the above video:

“Forty Years After Historic Columbia Strike, Four Leaders of 1968 Student Uprising Reflect

“Forty years ago this week, hundreds of students at Columbia University started a revolt on campus. Students went on strike.

“They occupied five buildings, including the president’s office in Low Library, and barricaded themselves inside for days.

“The students were protesting Columbia’s ties to military research and plans to build a university gymnasium in a public park in Harlem.

“The 1968 Columbia uprising inspired student protests across the country. We spend the hour with four of the strike leaders: Gustin Reichbach is now a New York State Supreme Court Justice; William Sales is now a professor at Seton Hall University; Tom Hayden is a former California state senator; and Juan Gonzalez, our own Democracy Now! co-host.” Democracy Now! produced the video.


This post copyright © 2015 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.