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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 31, 2014 / 29 Adar II, 5774

'Shrimp Boy' Chow, Yee, FBI -- Your Tax Dollars at Work

By Debra J. Saunders




JewishWorldReview.com | Observers have likened the federal case against state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and 25 others to the film "American Hustle," about an FBI Abscam-like sting that used a small-time con man to win corruption convictions against public officials.

I hope it is not like another Hollywood film, "The Departed," about a well-connected FBI informant who was also a homicidal crime boss fashioned after Boston's politically wired gangster Whitey Bulger.

The 137-page criminal complaint against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, Yee and company on firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire and fraud charges starts with Chow pleading guilty in 2000 to federal racketeering charges involving murder-for-hire, conspiracy to distribute heroin and arson. Chow also had prior state felony firearms convictions.

His 160-month sentence was reduced after he testified against a confederate. Chow, 54, was released in 2003. So why didn't the feds deport Chow, a Chinese citizen, then? Instead, the government supported his application for a resident visa.

If they had thought Chow was an asset in 2003, surely they reconsidered in 2006 when, according to the complaint, the San Francisco Police Department and FBI surveilled Chow's swearing in as "dragon head" of the Ghee Kung Tong, following the unsolved murder of predecessor Allen Leung. In 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle's Phil Matier and Andy Ross reported that federal officials tried to deport Chow after 2006, but he's still here.

Let me make this clear: The government has yet to prove its case against Chow, who otherwise must be presumed not guilty. But as he awaits approval of an S visa as a government informant — wags call it the "snitch visa" — it's hard not to think that a government action could have separated Chow from San Francisco years ago.

So here are the big unanswered questions about Chow's last decade:

—Were the feds snowed, just as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Mayor Ed Lee and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano were snowed when they hailed Chow for leaving a life of crime and turning himself around?

—Or did they know their one-time asset was a liability but, for some dubious reason, thought they could control him? Were the feds uninterested in pursuing Chow unless an investigation — in this case, a five-year undercover operation — netted a high-profile arrest?

Enter, Yee, with his hand out. On Thursday, facing charges of scheming to defraud citizens of his honest services, Yee announced he was ending his campaign for secretary of state. Even if the federal government fails to tie the lawmaker to an international arms dealer, as I suspect will happen, the complaint does document Yee boasting of his Philippines connection. "People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things," said Yee, according to the complaint. So much for the nanny state laws he embraced.

As two fellow senators faced criminal charges, and one was already convicted, "Uncle Leland" talked about being more careful in his pay-to-play world. Though he couldn't help but go for the money.

I wonder if Yee's exit from the secretary of state race led to gnashing of teeth at the local Society of Professional Journalists chapter that so recently hailed Yee for his support of good government. I'm sure there was much glee from gun owners, who bristled at Yee's support for gun control.

This story should evoke much soul-searching. No one looks good.


Friday, the Senate voted to suspend Yee, in a move that allows him to collect his $95,291 salary. Yee joins what was an existing paid-leave team of two, state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood (Los Angeles County), who remains on the state payroll after a jury convicted him of felony perjury and other counts, and Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello (Los Angeles County), who has pleaded not guilty to 24 federal corruption counts.

Like Calderon, Yee enjoys the presumption of innocence. Still, it doesn't look good when more than 10 percent of the Senate Democratic caucus is looking at prison time. The next time you hear a California Democrat extol "public service," hold onto your wallet.

Journalists should ask themselves whether we could have done a better job reporting on Sacramento and Chinatown.

The only question left for law enforcement is how much authorities got used — a little or a lot? How long has Chow been wearing an ankle bracelet? Which agency applied for his S visa and when? FBI spokesman Peter D. Lee would not answer those questions.

In 2012, Chow unburdened himself to an undercover FBI agent. Chow philosophized that San Francisco looked clean, but the city was dirtier because of public corruption. "I'm dirty, too, you know," Chow reportedly said, "but I'm not dirty to my people."

But if the FBI complaint is true, Chow was dirtiest to his people more than others. He held himself out as a reformed ex-felon, as he snickered that he didn't want to know why a host of now-defendants slipped him envelopes padded with cash. He trumpeted Ghee Kung Tong as a civic organization that served Chinatown, as he apparently used the tong as a front for criminal activities.

At one point, his partners in crime asked Chow if they thought their New Jersey mob friend - now known as undercover employee 4599 - was a "snitch." If he is, Chow answered, he was a very good one. But good for whom? Why did the feds need an undercover operative to build a case against their own one-time asset?

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Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2014, Creators Syndicate.

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