Published in the Boston Globe 4/15/07:


Executive's pay puzzles shareholder

April 15, 2007

Hiawatha Bray's opinions and sources seem weighted toward defending EMC's stock performance ("EMC chief got $20m pay deal," March 27). In fact, aside from a bland, objective observation by Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at Corporate Library of Portland, Maine, I don't see one condemnation of the huge gap between chief executive Joseph Tucci's gargantuan salary, bonus, and stock benefits and the continually flat stock value. Bray, however, quotes Tucci's EMC colleagues as well as corporate compensation expert Erik Beucler, who says that "disgruntled shareholders aren't always the best judges of executive performance," and states that share price is not always the best indicator in the short run.

Well, as someone who never invested before and foolishly listened to her brother's advice following the receipt of some of our father's estate, I don't see what other vantage point I, or other shareholders, have. I bought too many shares in 2000 at $89 per share. Following its subsequent plummet, EMC stock, according to Morningstar, has hovered under $20 since July 2001, and under $15 since February 2002.

Granted, I knew nothing much about the company, market trends, or, for that matter, the right-wing politics of founder Richard Egan when I invested, but I trusted my brother (yes, we are still speaking).

Perhaps it is the non savvy, unpretentious, and trusting shareholder who might be the most qualified to question the puzzling chasm between Tucci's deal and that of average investors.

Susie Davidson


Published in the Boston Globe 2/3/01:

Bush Detractors Out in Force at Inauguration

I was disappointed in your coverage of the very valiant and numerous inauguration Day protesters, buried on page A29 amid sections full of glory and praise to this President, who was elected among some very valid, indeed unresolved to many, controversy. As you state, protesters seemed to outnumber supporters all along Pennsylvania Ave. I was one of those who braved the weather in DC to protest at the inauguration, and can attest to the truth of this.

I especially take offense to your comments in "150 rally near subway station" (A29, the Nation) that "at several points during the demonstration, protesters appeared to have a tough time deciding what to chant. One group started to yell, "Reelect Gore in 2000," but someone stepped in to tell them that the chant didn’t actually make sense." The next paragraph begins with "Confusion aside,…."

This may have been an attempt at replicating a common chant "Re-Elect Gore in ‘04". In DC, "Re-Elect Gore (and Lieberman, often) in ’04" signs were omnipresent. Obviously, this slogan is a reference to the fact that the nearly 600,000 who voted Gore, and those in Florida who had their votes discredited, do feel that their man was in fact elected. While Bush was having lunch at the Capitol from 2-3, leaving both minions and detractors freezing and wet in the sleet waiting for his scheduled 2:00 parade, these Re-Elect Gore signs flashed everywhere.

In fact, when I arrived at South Station, this was the first sign I saw held by a ticketed protester, a delightful woman dressed in Puritan garb who claimed to have the same ancestor as Bush. "Shame on you, Grandson George!" she chanted.

Susie Davidson




Published in Boston Globe, 7/14/01:

Poor Menu for Heart Makers

Your article on the congratulatory meeting of Abiomed employees following the implementation of the company's artificial heart in a patient ("Abiomed puts soul into heart," Page C1, July 11) filled me with a sense of irony at the choice of menu.

Call me a party-pooper, but employees "feasting on egg rolls, fried wontons, and boneless spare ribs" is, to me, like affordable housing advocates meeting at the new Ritz downtown condos.

One would think, or perhaps dare to hope, that the group might have wished to promote a responsible and exemplary image by ordering food from a restaurant serving heart-healthier fare such as, say, fish, salads, fruit, and frozen yogurt.

The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is apropos, given the prohibitive cost of the AbioCor heart for most candidates.

Susie Davidson



Published in Boston Globe, 7/30/01:

Questions for Intelligent Humans

I beg to differ with Charles Jacob in his letter "Questions for intelligent designer" (Letters, July 23) in response to Steven Hatch's on evidence for intelligent design.

An argument can be made that many of the biochemical and medical afflictions cited by Jacob are indeed man-made and due to neither evolution, as he implies, nor creation.

For example, lung, skin and other forms of cancer, diabetes II, hypertension and heart disease (the number one killer in the U.S.) are often caused by smoking and poor lifestyle practices.

In our reluctance to implement positive personal changes, we often reach for the quick fix pill (which, as in the case of antibiotics, wind up directly wreaking the biochemical havoc Jacob relegates to "haphazard evolution"), or ambiguous explanatory theory.

After all, the divine designer rejected by Jacob also purportedly bestowed free will, and inherent individual responsiblity, upon man.

It is an unfortunate reflection upon humanity when personal responsibility is forsaken for a conveniently inconquerable and inexplicable target upon which to lay easy blame.

I'd contend that Jacob's "Questions" are for the createes, not the elusive Creator.

Susan Davidson



Published on Thurs., 8/16/01:

Decency By Whose Standards?

"More personal decency?" Gag me with a spoon, please.

Is Scott LeHigh (Clinton's roguery is money in the bank", Opinion, 8/10) talking about the same adulterous, thrice arrested, no-show for the National Guard, ex-cocaine and alcohol abusing, failed businessman utilizing family funds made from Nazi collaboration (Prescott's Union Banking Corp., forcibly liquidated in 1951 following a U.S. treason conviction, netted he and Sam Bush $1.5 million each), most frequent executor of any governor in history, braggart of "C" grades George W. Bush? The one who, with his legitimacy in serious question and a half a million popular vote loss, plowed forward with an arrogant, globally-alienating right wing agenda as if he had a mandate?

Perhaps the difference is that Clinton did not have a coalition of media and conservative allies covering up his every past or present foul-up, or powerful spokesmen to hide behind.

"So much promise, to no great purpose" indeed - spoken by someone who has neither.

Susie Davidson




I was very concerned about the results you posted from your election poll. While I understand that 391 respondents is hardly a truly representative sample (although the results were trumpeted as a headline on the cover), I was dismayed, to say the least. Living in the Boston area and working at Harvard, I am surrounded by enlightened, successful folks who care deeply about social and planetary issues. So perhaps I'm spoiled. Yet, when I read that 123 ranked the economy first, while a mere 42 listed the environment and 55 education as their primary concerns, I understood why I have never made much of my Mensan status. What good is intelligence when basic common sense, in this case the realization that without clean air and water, the preservation of natural resources, strict emissions and deforestation regulation and the promotion of equal educational opportunity, we have nothing, and financial matters are thus moot, is missing? Is it apropos that the headline underneath the Results plug on your cover was "Money"?

Susie Davidson Brookline, MA 02446



Not published, but went to the writers:


While Michael Kranish touches upon the Bush family-Nazi involvement ("An American Dynasty", April 22 and 23), I was dismayed that he did not finish the story. In my April 13 article for the Jewish Advocate, "The Bush Family - Third Reich Connection", I did.

As Kranish relates, Prescott and Sam Bush each received 1.5 million following the forced dissolution of Union Banking Corp. in 1942. William Stamps Farish III, who inherited the Auschwitz millions from his grandfather Will Farish (convicted for treason by Harry Truman's Senate)'s Standard Oil Co., set George W. Bush up in the oil business and served as his money manager (he even gave the Bushes their dog Millie). Neil Bush, of BCCI fame, was named after Neil Dresser, a business asosociate of Standard.

U.S. Justice Department's Nazi War Crimes Prosecutor and author of "The Secret War Against the Jews" and other books on that era, has said "That's where the Bush family fortune came from : It came from the Third Reich."

Don't blame the descendants on the sins of their elders? In 1988, a mere 13 years ago, 8 of George Bush Sr.'s campaign cabinet's inner circle resigned under pressure of major Jewish organizations, because of their public, active anti Semitic involvements.

And for all his "compassion" and Yom Hashoah speeches, even George W. is not so unintelligent that he fails to realize where his money came from.

Susie Davidson




In "Invoking Jesus at the inauguration (2/1/01)", Jeff Jacoby's pandering to his conservative bias is pitiful. There is a big difference between citing one's personal views of Christ during campaigning and invoking them during official, national ceremonies as if they are the only option for all.

In the first debate, Bush's choice of Jesus as his most identifiable thinker was snickered at because it was hoped that, while not acknowledged to be excesssively erudite, he could nonetheless have come up with some sort of admired literary or historical figure. Gore's asking "what would Jesus do" is not an affront to non-Christians, as Christ is universally regarded as a noble human being whose imagined perceptions are worthy of consideration if not emulation. Despite the fact that this is largely a Christian country, it is safe to assume that Democrats, Greens, even Libertarians would respect varying religious practices.

At an Al Gore inaugural ceremony, you can bet that inclusiveness (rather than invocation of the President-elect's persuasion), in a welcoming ceremony reaching out to all Americans, would have been the order of the day.

Jeff Jacoby should be ashamed of his wimpy reticence in light of his oft- and fiercely expressed pride in his own, non-Christian race.

Susie Davidson




To: 1/11/01:


"Weight Watchers Confidential" (Sheryl Julian, 1/10), while including some sound advice (low fat, high fiber, water, exercise) was all too reflective of our modern tendency to hand our troubles over to structured authorities instead of doing our own research and individually altering our lifestyles.

While the psychological benefits of weight-loss groups are undeniable, recidivism rates are dismal - over 90% on average (Weight Watchers included). Why? Aside from what I view as dietary shortcomings (emphasis on meat, cheese, potatoes and white (i.e. French) bread, chemical-laden, low fiber, overpriced frozen foods and reliance on dubious fake foods such as Cool-Whip, diet margarine, sodas, puddings and hard candies), a tedious and impractical point-counting regimen combined with about 12-1400 calories a day will just not work in the long run.

I checked out Weight Watchers myself in the past, with little success. I wound up keeping my money and doing some research (Andrew Weil, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Prevention Magazine, Dean Ornish etc.) I learned that by making intelligent choices, one needn't fall into the diet/binge continuum but rather can adopt an active, well-fed permanent lifestyle.

I found that 2000 daily calories of low-(especially saturated) fat, high fiber fare (including whole grains, 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables and 64 ounces of water), at least an hour walk and yes, regular moderate indulgences of low fat sweets and snacks took 20 pounds away 15 years ago and has effortlessly kept it off since.

Susie Davidson


(freelance health and wellness writer, area publications) 1/23/01:


I nearly gagged while reading Brian McGrory's glowing praise of our new President (1/23/01, B1). The fact that he truly believes this selected, inexperienced, lifelong failure of a man has dignity, class and the power to restore efficacy to the government has destroyed any respect I ever had for him as a well-reasoned writer.

I guess McGrory approves of coke addiction, adultery and driving drunk? Not showing up for National Guard duty? Failing at every business begun and being rescued by his connections? Working five hours a day? Being arrested three times and withholding this vital information during a campaign run? Swearing off-camera at a journalist? Executing mentally retarded people and a grandmother while proudly waving a compassion banner?

These characteristics of an extremely flawed public figure are questionable at the very least, as is the manner by which he achieved his post. By ignoring these well known issues as well as the fact that he lost the popular vote by half a million votes, McGrory should be ashamed of his simplistic, childishly optimistic self.

(I attach my chronicle of the Inauguration, which I proudly attended as a protester this past weekend.)

Susie Davidson




I read this week's blurb on the Jacoby-Kilborn issue. I have been wondering about the following and thought I'd better send this in so if it's true, you can have first crack at exposing it. I'm Jewish, but a Jewish Republican is repugnant to me.

You tell me, but do the following email I got last week from facts4peeace that went over the net and Jacoby's Jerusalem columns in the Globe have some too-identical commonalities???

Susie Davidson 19 Winchester St. #806 Brookline, MA 2446 617-566-7557

From: ~Crash Course in Middle East History

>Subject: Crash Course > > > > Everyone,

Here are some conveniently overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation. These were compiled by a Christian university professor. HERE'S THE BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY...(Takes just 1.5 minutes to read!!!!) It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew it doesn't matter. Thank You. 1. Nationhood and Jerusalem Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. 3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years. 5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish Refugees In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict; The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians.There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were

denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths. 16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs

Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel. 17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel. 18. The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians. 19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference? Jew and non-Jew it doesn't really matter. The truth and the cause of peace are universal values we all share, and everyone must know.

~Crash Course in Middle East History

Slice up Jerusalem? Unthinkable By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist, 1/4/2001

First of two parts

PRESIDENT CLINTON proposed last week that Israel surrender the eastern half of Jerusalem, including most of the Old City and the Temple Mount, as part of a final peace plan with the Palestinians. To the dismay of Israel's friends, Prime Minister Ehud Barak agreed to accept Clinton's scheme as the basis for new talks. Barak has spent his brief tenure as prime minister trying to appease Israel's enemies, but even for him, this was a shocking departure. ''Only one who does not understand the depth of the total emotional bond between the Jewish nation and Jerusalem,'' he avowed just seven months ago on the 33d anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification, ''only one who is totally estranged from the legacy of Jewish history ... could possibly entertain the thought that Israel would concede even a part of Jerusalem. Only one who does not understand that Jerusalem has been intertwined with the souls of our ancestors for 3,000 years ... could demand that we turn our backs on it.'' Perhaps Barak has truly had a change of heart; perhaps this is just a cynical political ploy. No matter. Israel's parliament will never agree to carve out the heart of Jerusalem and hand it to Yasser Arafat. Polls show Israelis rejecting the Clinton proposal by a margin of nearly 20 points. And if the rest of the world's Jews, in whose name Barak spoke so emphatically last May, could be surveyed, the results would be even more lopsided. To whom should Jerusalem belong? Arafat speaks of al-Quds, as it is called in Arabic, as if the Islamic attachment to the city is ancient, overwhelming, and self-evident. ''Al-Quds is in the innermost of our feeling, the feeling of ... all Arabs, Muslims, and Christians in the world,'' he said in August. ''It is the essence of the Palestinian issue.'' Journalists routinely describe Jerusalem as Islam's ''third holiest city,'' and identify the Temple Mount as ''sacred to both Jews and Muslims.'' But the Jewish and Muslim claims to Jerusalem are not remotely comparable. The bonds of loyalty and love that bind the Jews to Jerusalem are without parallel. For three millennia, Jerusalem has been central to Jewish self-awareness. Since the time of King Solomon, Jews have turned toward Jerusalem in prayer - and Jewish prayer is replete with remembrances of the holy city. ''And to Jerusalem Your city,'' religious Jews have implored the Almighty three times daily for the past 20 centuries, ''may You return with compassion.'' Jerusalem is remembered in the grace after every meal, at the conclusion of every Passover seder, at the end of the Yom Kippur fast. The saddest date on the Jewish calendar is the 9th of Av, the day when both the First and Second Temples were destroyed and on which observant Jews mourn to this day. Jerusalem is mentioned by name 657 times in the Hebrew Bible, nowhere more hauntingly, perhaps, than in the 137th Psalm: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand wither, Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.Jews have always lived in Jerusalem, except when they have been massacred or driven out. There has been a nearly unbroken Jewish presence in the city for the past 1,600 years, and at least since the early 1800s, the population of Jerusalem has been predominantly Jewish. To Muslims, by contrast, Jerusalem is far less important. Mohammed never walked its streets, for the Arabs didn't conquer Jerusalem until six years after his death. Over the centuries, various Islamic dynasties controlled the city, but none ever made Jerusalem its capital or treated it as a vital cultural center. Often they neglected it outright, allowing it to sink into stagnation and decay. From 1948 to 1967, when East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were under Muslim rule, they were ignored by the Arab world: No foreign Arab leader ever paid a visit, not even to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians placed so low a priority on Jerusalem that the PLO's founding charter, the Palestinian National Covenant of 1964, makes no reference to it. Only when the Jews returned after the Six Day War did the Arabs grow passionate about Jerusalem.

Nowhere in the Koran is there anything like the 137th Psalm with its aching love of Jerusalem. Indeed, nowhere in the Koran is Jerusalem even mentioned. For it is Mecca, not Jerusalem, that Islam venerates above all other places; Mecca, not Jerusalem, to which Muslims turn in prayer. Not for all the world would Muslims agree to divide Mecca - least of all with their enemies. To demand that the Jews sacrifice part of their eternal city is no less outrageous, and should be just as unthinkable. Next: When Jerusalem was divided Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is This story ran on page A11 of the Boston Globe on 1/4/2001. © Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

Not to be incendiary, but for the sake of completion here is Jacoby's Part II. No comments!

When Jerusalem was divided By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Staff, 1/8/2001 Second of two parts

IN PROPOSING that eastern Jerusalem become part of a sovereign Arab state, President Clinton is urging not just a bad idea, but one that has already been tried - with disastrous results.

Jerusalem was always one city before May of 1948, the month British rule in Palestine came to an end. It was supposed to remain one. Under the terms of a UN resolution, Palestine was to be partitioned into two states - one Jewish, one Arab - with Jerusalem belonging to neither. ''The City of Jerusalem,'' Resolution 181 had ordained, ''shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations.''

The Jews of Palestine accepted the partition plan, but the Arabs flatly rejected it. There would be no Jewish state, they said, and no UN supervision of Jerusalem. To keep Resolution 181 from taking effect, they vowed to fight the Jews. ''This will be,'' said the secretary-general of the Arab League, ''a war of extermination and a momentous massacre.''

By May 15, the day Israel was born, Jerusalem was a battleground. Within days, the Jordanian Arab Legion was bombarding the Old City's Jewish quarter. Badly outnumbered, poorly armed, the Jews of East Jerusalem didn't have a prayer. When the United Nations called for a cease-fire, writes the renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert, Jordan, ''poised to overrun the Jewish Quarter,'' ignored it. ''That day an Arab-language broadcast from Ramallah described in lurid detail the first stage of the long-drawn out destruction of the Hurva Synagogue.''

The Hurva, first built in 1705, had been one of Jerusalem's great landmarks. Its destruction was a grim taste of what lay in store for the Jewish holy sites of the Old City.

By May 28, the conquest of Jewish East Jerusalem was complete. The remaining Jews - some from families that had lived there for centuries - were expelled. ''As they left,'' Martin writes, ''they could see columns of smoke rising from the quarter behind them. The Hadassah welfare station had been set on fire and despite [a] curfew, the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing.''

For the next 19 years, Jerusalem was divided. West Jerusalem became Israel's capital. East Jerusalem, its Jewish Quarter now judenrein, was annexed by Jordan, which proceeded to erase the evidence that Jews had ever been there. In an orgy of desecration, 58 synagogues - some dating to the 13th century - were ravaged. Those that weren't razed were ransacked, turned into stables and chicken coops, used as garbage dumps. The city's foremost Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum.

The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was devastated. Some 38,000 tombstones were ripped out and used to build military bunkers and pave latrines. An asphalt road was cut through the cemetery; a hotel was constructed at the top. When the Jews returned in 1967, they found graves gaping open and bones strewn on the ground.

Under Article VIII of the armistice agreement signed by Israel and Jordan in 1949, the Arabs guaranteed ''free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives.'' It was a lie. For 19 years, no Jew was allowed to visit the Western Wall, the cemetery, or any other site in East Jerusalem.

Of course today's Palestinian Authority is not to blame for outrages committed during the Jordanian occupation. But reasonable people must wonder what would happen to the Jews' holy places if the Old City were placed under Arab rule again. For the Palestinians have a record, too.

Time and again Yasser Arafat and his aides have insisted that the Western Wall and Temple Mount are purely Muslim shrines with no Jewish significance. Time and again they have claimed, as the Palestinian Ministry of Information puts it, that ''the archeology of Jerusalem'' reveals ''nothing Jewish ... no tangible evidence of any Jewish traces or remains.'' When Palestinian officials assert, ''Jerusalem is not a Jewish city, despite the biblical myth implanted in some minds,'' it is hard not to worry about how they would treat Jewish sites if they ruled East Jerusalem, or whether they would permit Jews to visit them.

Nor is that all.

When the Palestinians signed the Oslo II agreement in 1995, they promised to ''ensure free access to, respect the ways of worship in, and not make any changes to, the Jewish holy sites'' on land given up by Israel. Among the listed sites: the venerable ''Shalom al Yisrael'' synagogue in Jericho and the yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.

Today, neither exists. In October, Palestinians burned down the synagogue. They smashed Joseph's Tomb to rubble and trampled its holy books. If this is how Israel's peace partners act in Jericho and Nablus, how would they behave in Jerusalem?

The sacred places of Jerusalem have never been safer or more accessible than in the 33 years since it was reunified. There is no reason to redivide it, and every reason not to.

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is This story ran on page A11 of the Boston Globe on 1/8/2001. © Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.