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Today's Features

  • They are characterized by their distinct mode of dress and ultra-conservative approach to Judaism. They are often the brunt of prejudice and scorn but their influence extends even to pop culture. They are the Hasidim and their story is a fascinating one.

    Hasidism (from the Hebrew word meaning “pious ones”) was born in the late 1700s. It was founded in Poland by Israel ben Eliezar, more commonly known as the Baal Shem Tov or Master of the Good Name.

  • Paul Harvey, the radio icon, is quoted as saying, “In times like these, it’s helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.”

    Who doesn’t want to forget 2008? By all measures, it was a really rotten year for the economy, credit markets and the stock market.

  • On this day in 1920, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages, went into effect. During Prohibition the manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale of alcoholic beverages were restricted or illegal.

  • An incident happened this past week in which I am still scratching my head. Have you ever known you had something but for the life of you could not find it? I will accede to the fact that occasionally, I do have a streak of absentmindedness running through me. At times, I wish it would just walk.

    I was fairly certain I had an extra $20 in one of my pants’ pockets. It was what I affectionately refer to as my "mad money." My wife would be mad if she knew I had it. I do not remember where it came from but my real problem was, I could not find those pants.

  • The timing of this book is remarkable in that it concerns a 25-year-old man who is fat, broke, and in debt after a decade of binging – bringing to mind unregulated financial binging that has Americans today reeling in shock.

    Sam MacDonald’s memoir is clear about the motivation for his drastic changes. It comes not from a sense of shame but rather from a threatening IRS letter and a bad transmission he couldn’t afford to fix.

  • Members of the Ocala Big Sun Chorus are off to a brand “New Year” with much to look forward to and so much to be grateful for.

    Stella and Peter (that’s me) Musella are happy to be home in sunny Ocala after “dashing through the snow” and slush – in four-part harmony – celebrating Christmas with our children and grandchildren (9). We even tolerated the gloomy cold weather in New York, New Jersey, Long Island, and Brooklyn to be with family during the Christmas holidays.

  • So far the New Year and I have gotten along quite famously. If the rest of the year goes as well as the first week it will be a wonderful year. I love it when a plan comes together – especially when it’s mine.

    Then the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage disrupted my amicable muse. She emerged from my office and said most defiantly, "You need to be more organized. I don’t know how you find anything in that office?"

  • Although never a real fan of Sue Grafton, I have over the years picked up one or two of her novels which I often found underwhelming. But her latest, T Is for Trespass, has to be tops in the alphabet series because in Solana Rojas she has created evil incarnate.

  • Your retirement lifestyle will depend not only on your assets and investment choices but also on how quickly you draw down your retirement portfolio. The annual percentage that you take out of your portfolio, whether from returns or the principal itself, is known as your withdrawal rate. Figuring out an appropriate withdrawal rate is a key issue in retirement planning and pre-sents many challenges.

  • Primitive tribes throughout the world have great reverence for the Earth and a deep connection to the Source of All Life. We, on the other hand, are so sophisticated that we have forgotten who we are.

    We’re so caught up with our ego-self and getting and spending; greed has consumed us and no one is ever satisfied. We criticize and judge and create disharmony within and around us. This impacts our immune system.