Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Here, lifted from Tobacconist, (the official publication of the IPCPR since 1990), is an article explaining what happened to McClelland Tobacco Company earlier this year, and why they no longer exist.

Begin cite:


By Larry Wagner
May 1, 2018

Pipe smokers around the world are in mourning after McClelland Tobacco announced in February that it would cease production of its world-class Virginia and Oriental pipe tobacco blends, effectively ending 40 years of creating some of the finest smoking tobaccos ever produced.

McClelland was founded in 1977 by Carl and Mary Ehwa and their partner Bob Benish. At the time, Carl and Bob had been working for Diebel’s, a well-known tobacconist in Kansas City, Missouri. “Carl had developed blends for Diebel, and Fred Diebel had purchased factory equipment,” recalls Mary. “I think that was in 1969. By 1977, Carl wanted to create more blends than Diebel was interested in. So there was a friendly parting, and McClelland began.”

The new brand was initially introduced in 10 blends: five Oriental mixtures and five matured Virginias. The concept was very much in the style of the vaunted Scottish brand Rattray’s, which utilized matured Virginia, as opposed to the bright Virginia typically used in English mixtures. For many American pipe smokers, McClelland picked up the mantle of Scottish-style tobaccos when Rattray’s was purchased and moved to Germany. While following in the footsteps of Rattray’s may not have been the impetus for launching the McClelland brand, Mary recalls, “We thought the blends had changed. The Rattray’s blends were very popular at Diebel’s because Carl and Bob liked them so much. I’m not sure we realized Rattray’s had been moved to Germany at that time.”

The McClelland brand was immediately recognized for its distinctive embossed labeling—brown for Virginias and green for Orientals—as well as for its painstakingly crafted aged tobaccos. McClelland quickly set a new standard for rich, complex tobacco blends, which imparted the unique tang and natural sweetness only matured Virginia can offer. Pipe smokers noticed.
Within a few years, McClelland Tobacco could be found on the shelves of most serious tobacconists nationwide. Mike McNiel, who had also worked for Diebel’s, joined the team in 1980, when Bob left to pursue other options. The three partners worked side by side, perfecting the art of blending and aging fine tobaccos. Then, tragically, in 1982, Carl suffered an aneurysm and did not return to the business. He later passed away at age 50.

Throughout that difficult period, the company continued to grow at a gradual, methodical pace. Eventually, Mary and longtime colleague Mike were married, creating a personal and professional partnership that was able to move forward the vision of the boutique manufacturer and to expand on the initial offerings. Owing to their devotion to quality and quest for perfection, the company was in no hurry to bring new blends to the market. As Mary stated emphatically, “It has to be excellent.” They began to produce a full line of bulk tobaccos, initially Virginias and Oriental mixtures, then adding premium-grade aromatics, allowing tobacconists to offer McClelland-quality private-label tobaccos to their customers.

In time, as the right tobaccos were presented to them, the McNiels introduced a new series. In 1992, McClelland brought out its first new tinned blends: Dominican Glory, a matured Virginia incorporating aged cigar leaf, and Christmas Cheer, a perennial favorite that changed each season. The early 1990s also saw private-label tinning, initially for Nat Sherman and Barry Levin. Levin Pipes closed after Levin’s passing in 1994, and a year later McClelland released the Personal Reserve series, making widely available the blends that had been created exclusively for Levin Pipes International.

My husband Mike is the heart of McClelland. And he goes to such extreme lengths to make sure that everything is just right. And we’re a small company. There’s no way a larger company would go to the same lengths to do this, to produce this type of product. They wouldn’t have our level of obsession.”

McClelland then launched an ambitious project to produce innovative proprietary blends with its Craftsbury series. Most notable among them was Frog Morton, a moist, soft-smoking Latakia mixture that managed to combine its subtle smokiness with an alluring fragrant quality. Frog Morton became the go-to mixture for introducing smokers of aromatic tobacco to the more sophisticated Latakia mixtures. Later releases would include Blakeney’s Best, Grand Orientals, Syrian Latakia blends, Master Penman and others too numerous to list here. In all, by the end of its tenure, McClelland’s tobacco blends included more than 240 varieties.

With such a long history of excellence and universal acclaim, one might wonder what could have persuaded the McNiels to discontinue the brand and cease production.

In our view, it’s kind of a perfect storm, what happened in the tobacco business,” says Mary. “The FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] is always in the background. Even now, the effects of the FDA are considerable. They don’t want you to make any new products. If you do make a new product, it has to go through the premarket authorization, which I do not believe anyone has passed. And it’s considerably expensive. We’re told the cost is $2,000 to $2,300 per test. If you’re a small company with 240 products, say at $2,000 per test for each, that’s $480,000 a year. That’s a lot of money! They also said they don’t want anymore seasonal or limited-edition products [because] it encourages people to smoke, and they don’t like that. And there’s the great unknown of how are they going to test pipe tobacco? They only know how to test cigarettes. They want the industry to develop the tests, and then they want us to pay for the tests they’re going to use to put us out of business!

Simultaneous with the FDA’s regulatory oversight came the government’s decision to no longer support the cultivation of tobacco as an agricultural product.

For 40 years we had the benefit of government and the support of the Department of Agriculture [USDA],” says Mary. “They ran the auctions. They established the grading system. They supported us just like any other agricultural product. We had what they called ‘the government pool.’

Let’s say the season was a bad one and crops weren’t bringing the best price because the quality wasn’t high. The government would buy up what wasn’t being sold, and that money was put into the government pool. And that gave the farmers enough money so they could plant again. The land that produced tobacco was considered an asset. The government would take care of the farmers with regard to whether or not they could plant. About 12 years ago, the government voted to buy them out [and] buy up those assets so that they wouldn’t have to be supportive of tobacco anymore. They had what they called ‘the farmer buyout,’ and the industry had to pay for it. For 10 years we paid the USDA so that the farmers would be paid off. As a result, about 68 percent of the farmers retired about 2016, and that ended about the same time the FDA came in and wanted to charge us user fees. After the farmer buyout, the USDA said, ‘That’s it for us. We’re not running auctions anymore. We’re not involved with tobacco anymore.’

The McNiels have always been adamant in their insistence of using only the finest-quality leaf for their blends. Their agents who represented them at tobacco auctions were instructed only to bid on the very best lots of tobacco available. As Mary tells it, the government’s exit from subsidizing and partnering in the cultivation of tobacco, in addition to its obvious agenda to discourage smoking, led to such a reduction of quality leaf tobacco they simply could no longer produce the level of product they would put their name on.

[My leaf buyers said that] the way things are handled today, the way it’s processed today is 180 degrees from what McClelland needs,” she says. “The leaf we’ve always depended on has to be picked when it’s ripe. The whole process was very labor-intensive. They used to go through the fields to pick leaves five different times, progressively going up the plant. Now what they’re doing is mechanical harvesting, and that pulls the green along with the ripe. Then when that leaf is put through the flue-curing process, which is intended to seal in the sugars; that unripe leaf has no sugar to seal in!

A manufacturer like McClelland, which uses only high-grade leaf, simply cannot produce the same level of quality tobaccos from the caliber of Virginia tobacco now available to them. “We can still get Perique, we can still get Latakia, we can still get burley. But we never based our business on burley, so when you add up all the products that we have had, if you take away all the ones that require matured Virginia, it’s down to so few that we can’t make a living from it.”

So why not sell the McClelland brand to an existing tobacco manufacturer? The response: “We’re a company that is obsessed,” says Mary. “My husband Mike is the heart of McClelland. And he goes to such extreme lengths to make sure that everything is just right. And we’re a small company. There’s no way a larger company would go to the same lengths to do this, to produce this type of product. They wouldn’t have our level of obsession.

With the potential for remaining in the industry remote, Mary reflected on the couple’s tenure in this amiable business, as well as her feelings about leaving it. “You know, it’s kind of bittersweet,” she says. “The parts that have been difficult to deal with, the negative things, we’re happy to leave those. But having the pr">oducts that we’ve had, it’s been great fun. It’s been a joy developing new products and having people like them as much as we like them.

The McNiels’ commitment to excellence and their determination to create and produce only the finest of products was perfectly summed up in a 2000 interview with Tobacconist’s sister publication Pipes and tobaccos, in which Mike gave this eerily prescient quote: “If the quality of available leaf ever went down to the point where we didn’t like our own product, we would shut the doors. We would shut the doors immediately and end it all because our name is on that can, and I’d rather find something else to do than put out something that isn’t right. I would rather go out of business. That way we could say, ‘Well, at least we went out with a great name.’ So McClelland will always be high-quality. We’ll never change.

With the closure of McClelland Tobacco, the industry has lost not only one of its great manufacturers but also people of the highest caliber, the type of people who make the tobacco business such a wonderful community. We wish them the best.

[End cite.]

This article placed here for reference purposes, in case Tobacconist magazine ever shuts down.

The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is the oldest, largest and most active trade association representing and assisting retail tobacconists. IPCPR members include retail stores throughout the world selling tobacco products and accessories (premium cigars, tobacco pipes, loose tobacco, cigar and pipe accessories and gift items) as well as manufacturers, distributors and service providers of high quality merchandise.

Please enjoy your smokes.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017



[Addendum in this post: A Fading fragrance

Uncle's on Waverly and Clay, in their final iteration closed three years ago. For a long time it had been a lunch counter and bakery with good pies, and endless coffee. It's now a Szechuan something-or-other.
Sun Wah Kue Restaurant, on the corner of Washington Street and Ross Alley, had an orange chiffon pie which no one else does and many people fondly remember, as well as chops, ox tail, and the best waffles. Many old timers fondly remember the waffles. Booth seating, and a side door. Baked goods, daily lunch specials. A great place to dawdle over coffee and pastry on a rainy afternoon. The interior was formica, and plain white paint over wood, yellowed a bit and softened by the years.
New King Tin further down closed after a run of half a century, the restaurant that went in was a chachanteng which is now also gone.
Golden Dragon Barbecue on the upper corner of Washington Street and Waverly became a shop selling tacky souvenirs, and is now a discounter of large porcelain whatchamacallits.
Sun Hung Heung below Grant Avenue became a restaurant which in big bold characters (川味) tells the local people that they should not go there, Szechuan Taste! It caters entirely to gullible tourists and visiting provincials, and from what I hear the food and service are frighteningly awful.
Once upon a time there was delicious suckling pig.
Silver Restaurant changed hands and name, the food is decent, nice people work there, and they are open till ten.
Nam Yuen has been an empty building for over two decades.

Tao Tao Restaurant (陶陶茶樓), named after a famous dining spot in Hangchow (杭州), had existed since the very early thirties; the exterior recalled an elegant multistoried mansion in the Chinese style. It shut down a generation ago, and the paint-peeling building housed a bookstore and pop-music emporium for a while. It is now a general services centre, offering translation, tax prep, marriage introduction, job placement, immigration help, official forms, etcetera, while Woey Loy Goey (會來居) next door in the basement changed ownership and Chinese name, and hasn't served prime rib or beefsteak for an exceedingly long time.

New Moon Restaurant: changed hands at the beginning of the year, the Chinese name is different now, the roast ducks, barbecued pork, and hanging chickens are a glorious memory. The duck was that good.
It was delicious. I should have gone more often.
I wonder what happened to the people.
Empress of China Restaurant: closed in 2014.
New Lotus Garden: long time gone.

That place where I got a monumental MSG headache is also past tense.

Ping Yuen Bakery on Jackson closed very many years ago, and is sorely missed. Endless coffee, open til nine, a very long counter at which a single man could sit after work doing crossword puzzles before going to the Great Star Theater a few doors down for a gangster movie. The Shanghainese noodle place is gone. The DPD is gone. You can't get those lovely pastries and dumplings at Yong Kee Rice Noodle Co. up the street anymore, they finally quit after three generations. Preserved egg in a flaky puff-crust, chicken buns, and Toishan daai bau.

Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the place which served 'rice paddy chicken'. They brought them out for us to choose, and one them hopped out of the basket, then sat staring at us with big placid eyes.


All of the movie theatres are gone, of course.

Friday, May 10, 2013


For references purposes, the following text is lifted entire from the internet page of the Halal Food Authority (HFA) in Great Britain.

Slaughter Procedures

The slaughterer must be an adult Muslim, and holder of a current slaughtering license accorded by Meat Hygiene Service.

Zibah is the method or the act of slaughter also known as zibah-al-Ikhtiyaariy by which an animal or a bird is slaughtered by a Muslim by saying shahada or tasmiya, Bismillah Allahu Akbar. If the slaughter is not done by zibah method, any meat or derivatives from such carcasses cannot be deemed to be halal or permissible for Muslims to consume.

Requirements for zibah are:
1.The knife to be used must be razor sharp; the blade must be straight and smooth, and free from any serration, pits, notches or damage. The length of the blade must be at least four times the width of the neck of the animal to be slaughtered. The blade must not flex noticeably whence in use.
2.The animal must not be anaesthetised, stunned to be killed or otherwise rendered wholly insensible prior to slaughter. It must be conscious and alive when it is slaughtered.
3.Poultry and other birds must be restrained either in an upright or prone position for slaughter.
4.Lamb, sheep, goats, calves (of less than 60kg dead weight) and other similar sized animals must be placed on a cradle for slaughter and if hung on shackles all efforts are made that they do not injure or bruise themselves.
5.Larger bovines, equines, deer and similar sized animals must be restrained in a standing position for slaughter.
6.The act of slaughter (Zibah-al-Ikhtiyaariy) must be done with a simple swipe across the neck. The cut should not be any deeper than necessary to sever the carotid artery, jugular vein and windpipe and must not sever the spinal cord. The slaughterer must pronounce aloud or under lip the Arabic words, Bismillah, AllahuAkbar (in the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest) in a reverential tone (if possible), when slaughtering. The Jugular vein, windpipe and carotid artery should be cut by a single swipe of a sharp knife, without damage to the spinal cord.
7.After being slaughtered, lambs, sheep, goats and other similar sized animals must be restrained in situ for at least 20 seconds. Bovine and other similarly sized animals must be restrained in situ for 60 seconds. Poultry and other birds must not be subjected to any further processing for at least 20 seconds. During the aforementioned period they must not be further injured, nor subjected to unnecessary stress or pain. Indeed it is desirable that efforts are made to calm them during this period.
8.The slaughterer must clean the knife after slaughter of every animal or bird and must check that the knife still conforms to above rules. If damaged, the knife must be replaced. If it is no longer razor sharp, it must be sharpened, say, on a flat stone and approved by an HFA inspector before further use. Note that the knife must not be sharpened in sight of animals awaiting slaughter.
9.The slaughterer or supervisor must ensure that all the flowing blood has been drained from the chicken or ovine or bovine carcass.
10.The water used during the poultry de-feathering process must be at the lowest practical temperature in vogue.
11.No dorsal cut is allowed, since this method would slice or sever the spinal cord and the bird or the animal is rendered incapacitated to convulse to drain the flowing blood out of the carcass.
12.At the abattoir, slaughterhouse, distribution centre and retail outlets, DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Meat Hygiene Services (MHS), European Union (EU) and local hygiene laws and regulations should always be adhered to, and strictly followed at every stage of the process.


[Halal Food Authority (HFA) is an independent, voluntary, non-profit, organisation operating as a commercial wing of a registered charity. The objective of the HFA is to facilitate the Muslim Ummah to be partial to genuinely manufactured halal food in compliance of the HFA Halal Standards, Islamic Jurisprudence and relevant EU regulations in vogue. Simultaneously, the HFA creates awareness of halal principles and axioms for halal production within food industry, consumers and various national and international forums. ]

Readers will kindly note the similarity with elements of kashrus, though the rules set above are not as strict or as detailed. In recent years fanatics in Europe and elsewhere have called for a ban on both Halal and Kashrus, in an attempt to undermine the stability of the polyfaceted societies of the modern world.  Neither Halal nor Kashrus can be construed as unusual traditions or cruelty to the animals meant for food, and scandals in England and on the continent within the past few months prove that the meat industries that sell to the general public have, in the main, engaged in questionable practises and contaminated their product with substances that were not divulged on the label, including diseased flesh and animals that are neither kosher nor halal.

This blogger believes that food standards and methods of slaughter should be left to the relevant communities provided there are no health or hygiene issues, and that authorities should enforce proper adherence to the regulations concerning health, hygiene, and content.

In short, it would be well if the non-kosher and non-halal concerned 'majority' got its own house in order before it casts a jaundiced eye at traditions which have ever stressed cleanliness and honesty.

NOTE: in posting this, I have no particular axe to grind, other than an abiding dislike of people such as Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller, Debbie Schlussel, and many other throwbacks to a more vile era.
I am not a Muslim, nor a Christian. My personal hashkofo veers rather strongely to the Talmudic spectrum, though my ancestry is in the main Dutch Calvinist and Anglican. This is mentioned only in the interests of establishing clarity regarding my angle of view.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Readers of some of the other blogs associated with my profile have noticed a term of opprobrium used not infrequently to appell a repulsive and typically Californian type of pustule.
Others have wondered at the venom with which I regard the type.
They have failed to understand the association.

It is for their benefit that I post the definition below.

Berkeleyite: a clench-jawed intolerant ideologue, in whose priggish presence all thought and creativity become nearly impossible. Most Berkeleyites are so utterly convinced of their own rightness and worth that their mere presence guarantees a lack of anything and everything good in the universe. Vegans, anti-Semites and Israel-haters, pot activists, puritans, and the frigidly uber-bourgeois. All in all quite horrid, quite ignorant, and quite terrifyingly narrow-minded. But the epitome of politically correct smarm. Often, but not always, products of a once top notch but now mediocre educational institution centred there. Berkeley is Tehran with wasps.
Berkeleyites are the ring-leaders and trend-setters of darkness. The term 'Berkelyite' on this blog stands in for all that is repellent.

Berkeley, you will readily understand, is the most pretentious and self-satisfied place on the planet. It is home to Humpty Dumpty as well as Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

I used to live in Berkeley. It was a more rational place at the time. Since then it has become worse. Far worse.
I no longer set foot in the place if I can help it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


The post below is part of a long screed written three years ago, posted originally on November 30, 2009. It is place here for reference purposes.
Please note that I no longer patronize the bar in question, as I've had enough exposure to bad karaoke and worse social norms to last me a lifetime.
I used to live in Holland, now I live in San Francisco.
Exposure. Boy howdy.



The Dutch combine the worst of both English and German characteristics, being simultaneously phenomenal alcoholics and completely amoral sexually.

Last week two lads from Drenthe spent three hours at one of the local bars trying to get into the panties of one of the other people there, who was drinking by herself. The process was quite 'interesting' - their remarks to each other in Dutch were so vile and repulsive that I regretted ever having learned their language. American women, in their world, were nothing more than creatures to be exploited and discarded. Their sole disappointment was that this was hard to do - they had expected American girls to be looser than Dutch teenagers, and it had been a difficult three weeks for them.

They were not unusual.
This past year Dutch tourists have been in the bar several times.
Tim, who takes keen delight in my discomfiture around my distant kin, makes sure to let them know that I speak Dutch. Then walks away smiling in anticipation of my ranting furiously after the poxy bastards finally leave.

Once the Dutch tourists tell me that they cannot understand how I can stand to live in this horrible place - implying that I am a liar and that I must be severely defective or a wanted criminal for not returning to civilization - conversations invariably revolve around the same rhetorical points: terrible coffee, bad beer, stupid American sports, and women who won't jump at the opportunity to get banged by a European why not how are the girls in San Francisco they're effing desperate and do I know any sluts?

Well now.
The coffee suits the locals fine, most Americans like mild beer, if you don't know how football or baseball are played you really should shut your trap about those games, and seeing as you lot are arrogant, crude, uncircumcised, and don't wash nearly often enough, why would the women get anywhere near you?

Yes, we know about your coffee and beer - you just won't shut up about them.
As for soccer, we realize that you are incredibly proud of the game and the attendant violence, we've seen videos of the riots.
Regarding your animalistic urges, it's a pity that you are such sexual predators that you can't keep your gropy hands to yourselves, you swine.

Of course, I never say any of this - unlike Europeans, we do not consider it polite to rile-up people we don't know. Especially if they are visiting.
We aren't like them, thank God.

One the whole, it would be a good thing if we let far fewer Europeans into our country. I won't miss them. Neither will you.



Not a week goes by without a news report of a Dutch childmolester or drug-rapist being arrested overseas, scarcely a month in which several suspects aren't apprehended for producing and distributing child-pornography or snuff films.
As is well-known, Rotterdam is the epicenter of human-trafficking, and many Dutch youth are accustomed to cap off their weekend of binge-drinking by sexually brutalizing the young foreign women who have been sold into Dutch brothels.

Lest you think, however, that the Dutch are bigots who regard foreign females as throw-away objects, I hasten to add that this is not so.

As another article in DeTelegraaf makes clear:,2
Kwart jonge vrouwen slachtoffer seksueel geweld - Bijna een kwart van de meisjes en vrouwen tussen de 15 en 25 jaar heeft ooit te maken gehad met seksueel geweld.
[Translation: Quarter of young women victim of sexual violence - nearly a quarter of the girls and women between fifteen and twenty five years of age has been subjected to sexual violence.]
The Dutch sexual violence detailed in the article, which quotes a government report, includes rape, forced disrobing, groping, and forcible oral sex.

The Dutch do not regard foreign women as throw-away objects, they regard ALL women as such. It's normal over there.

Drugs, rape, and bestiality are almost national passions.

Banning the Dutch permanently from entering the United States would be of great benefit to the United States.
I for one would wholeheartedly support such an idea.



This article (in Dutch) casts light on the unpleasant sexual subculture in Den Helder:,1
In short: fourteen and fifteen year-old Dutch girls enthusiastically seek out abusive ethnic boyfriends, and consider being beaten up, raped, and getting pregnant at a young age, absolutely normal.
Which, in Den Helder, it probably is.

Here's a news item about a Dutch pervert who photographed thousands of little girls while employed as a swimming instructor in Den Bosch:,1
He is suspected of having committed indecent acts with a few dozen victims, but as yet there is no conclusive proof, according to his lawyer.
The case came to light last year.

This piece discusses a dangerous Dutch 'pedosexual' whom the city of Utrecht wishes to keep out:,1
Sytze van der Velde was convicted three times of unlawful sex with young boys. He is well-known to authorities and among fellow-paedophiles in the Netherlands, and has been active in his chosen perversion for well over three decades.

NOTE: All three articles cited are from today's edition of 'De Telegraaf'. It seems like every day there are juicy bits about rapists, pedophiles, and practitioners of bestiality in the Netherlands. Either they're very bored over there, or the heat and humidity are getting to them. It has a bad effect on the temperament.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Friday, June 22, 2012


This video shows what happens when Europeans support any regime as long as it's anti-American for several decades.

Piles of corpses.
In Syria.
Which is loved by Anja Meulenbelt, the poisonous widow Duisenberg, Dries van Agt, and the Dutch 'socialistische Partij' (rebranded Stalinists).
Among many others.
As well as the French, Italian, and English far left.



Just a drop in the bucket, compared to the victims of the Assad regime.
Which for years enjoyed the support of many "reasonable" Europeans.
Because it was anti-American.

The Shabiha are mostly Alawites employed by the Assad regime as murderers, rapists, extortionists, kidnappers, and political operatives.
I would suggest that once this is all over, they should demand asylum in Europe. Where they will be welcome.
And where they have friends.
Very many friends.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Eulogy for Ami Isseroff written by his brother Hadar and read aloud by his son at the levaya:

Obituary, quoting largely from someone else's kind words about Ami:

Snoopy the Goon's rememberance (from which the kind words mentioned above were quoted):

Ami Isseroff was one of the few writers whose passion and eloquence precisely matched his meaning. Frequently he would bring reason and common-sense back into the discourse, making his points rationally and without inflammatory verbosity.
As such, on too many comment-strings and mailinglists to mention, he kept the discussion on track, and prevented it from degenerating into a free-for-all of accusations and "you're-anothers" so common when people with convictions voice deeply-held opinions.

My first discussion with him was on a local list.
I didn't know who he was at the time, or where he lived. Had, in fact, no clue what I was dealing with.
A statement of mine raised his ire and he sharply called me to task.
I wasn't pleased at the reprimand and resolved never to discuss anything with him ever again. Subsequent reactions and missives on that list, however, convinced me that those people with whom I initially had agreed were tightly wedged between stark-raving batshit and utter idiocy, and that in fact Ami was the only intelligent person in that conversation. The only sane one too.
He made his points with brevity, and with scant regard for the emotional investment of others in their own rhetoric.
A remarkable talent, which reflected a remarkable mind.

For the next few years we were often a tag-team on that list. And frequently corresponded outside the channel, in order to keep the morons which must infest any acivist coterie from sabotaging the work or hijacking the discourse.

Other than that he was one of most remarkable minds I have ever encountered, I do not know much about the man.
College level scholar. Zionist. Computer geek.
Political thinker. Historian. Rationalist.
A liberal with very solid foundations.
Husband, father, brother.
Renaissance man.

Intellectually stimulating, with few if any equals.

Damn I'm going to miss him.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.