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Aline Kominsky-Crumb, who transformed comics first as a muse and then as a feminist artist, dies at 74

(JTA) — Robert Crumb put the “x” in comix by setting to paper his basest sexual longings, including strong-legged Jewish women who were cowgirls and who went by the name Honeybunch Kaminski.

So when an actual strong-legged Jewish cowgirl named Aline Kominsky walked into his life, it was love at first sight, and never wavered.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb, who died Wednesday at 74 in France of pancreatic cancer, was late to the revolution her husband launched in comics a few years before they met, with his Zap Comix. The “x” was a signifier of what was then known as “underground” comics and referred to the unfiltered treatment of humanity that censorious publishers, politicians and public figures had all but washed out of the art.

She soon fully embraced the art form and then helped transform it.

Working with her husband and then on her own, Kominsky-Crumb brought to comics raw self-lacerating accountability and subverted crude stereotypes about Jewish women — including those peddled by her husband — by taking possession of them.

She started out as a self-acknowledged sex object reviled by second-wave feminists and became a hero of younger feminists for modeling unfettered sexual expression. She was the brassy Jewish stereotype who became the muse who guided her husband to a deeper consideration of Judaism.

Kominsky-Crumb, born Aline Ricky Goldsmith in 1948 in the Five Towns, a Jewish enclave on Long Island, had a Jewish upbringing that was in many ways conventional, horrifying and both at the same time. She wrote about the warmth of her grandparents’ home and how she sought in it succor and about the pressures her materialistic parents placed on her. She said she was named for a Five Towns clothing store, Aline Ricky, that sold French fashion knockoffs. She resisted her mother’s pressure to get a nose job.

In one autobiographical comic, she recalls seeing one Jewish girl after another coming into school after plastic surgery. “Me ‘n’ my friends developed a ‘big nose pride,’” she writes, and one of the characters says, “I could not stand to look like a carbon copy!”

She told fellow Jewish cartoonist Sarah Lightman about the ordeal. “Like, I kept my nose, but it was really a close call, because my mother had me in Doctor Diamond’s office and he measured my nose. I remember that. They took an instrument and measured your nose. And then he took a piece of paper and he said,’ look, we can make it look like this.’ And I said, ‘Oh my God.’ My mother said, ‘Oh, it’s gorgeous, gorgeous.’”

In her teens, Kominsky-Crumb fled the suburbs for Manhattan. She studied at Cooper Union, an art school, and lived on the Lower East Side, earning plaudits from her instructors for her painting, but getting bored. She had a baby and gave it up for adoption to a Jewish agency, an experience that scarred her, and later led her to become outspoken in advocating for abortion rights.

After she married Carl Kominsky, they moved to Tucson, Arizona, which she called “hippie heaven.” There, she left her husband for a cowboy who lived with two brothers and his father in what she said was “the middle of nowhere” where she helped out on horseback, albeit under the influence of hallucinogens. (She said her beau was killed in a shootout with a romantic rival after she left.)

In Tucson, she met two pioneers of underground comics, Kim Deitch and Spain Rodriguez. They encouraged her to move to San Francisco, which was the scene of the burgeoning movement.

She did and met Crumb at a party in 1971, within three years of his having created “Honeybunch Kaminski, the drug-crazed runaway” (1968) and “Dale Steinberger, the Jewish Cowgirl.” Kominsky-Crumb, who had kept her first husband’s last name because it sounded more “ethnic” than Goldsmith, was so taken with the her husband’s lustful Jewish imaginings, and how closely she physically resembled them, that when she started creating her own, she named her avatar “Bunch,” a shortened version of the character whose name most closely matched her own.

It was kismet, except it wasn’t at first. Crumb and Kominsky-Crumb got together, but maintained open relationships. Crumb endured Kominsky-Crumb’s dalliances with other men for decades, but Kominsky-Crumb was not as able (or willing) to reciprocate. When one of Crumb’s exes arrived at their commune in Mendocino, she told The Comics Journal in 1990, she was furious. “I had a total s— fit,” she said, “I was wearing these giant platform shoes. I ran out the door and I fell and broke my foot in six places.”

Crumb sent the ex on her way and entertained the recovering Kominsky with a pastime he and his brother worked out as children: They would co-create a comic.

That process drew the couple closer, and also became a decades-long unflinching chronicle of a relationship. A culmination, “Drawn Together,” was critically acclaimed when it came out in 2012.

In one passage in the 2012 book, she gently chides her husband for resorting to antisemitic tropes — although it was tropes about loud, slightly unhinged, sexually voracious Jewish women that drew them together.

One page depicts the couple in bed. Crumb is stung by an accusation of antisemitism from Art Spiegelman. (Spiegelman joined with Crumb to launch the underground comics scene in the 1960s, but they grew apart as Spiegelman, who would author the Holocaust chronicle “Maus,” sought to attach an overarching philosophy to the genre, while Crumb continued to crave crude authenticity.)

Crumb says that Spiegelman “seems to be taking my ruminations about the Jews as antisemitism … I certainly didn’t mean it as such.” Kominsky-Crumb draws herself into the panel, listening to her husband, as a little girl wearing tefillin, a T-shirt with “kosher” in Hebrew and a Star of David pendant. In the next panel, once again appearing as a grown woman in a negligee, she makes clear to Crumb why she feels vulnerable as a Jew in the marriage.

“Dahling, you do call the Jewish religion ‘Brand X’,” she says.. “Now I might even think that’s true in some ways … and I’m one o’ them … I’m allowed to say that!”

Crumb draws himself as wounded but also awakened. “Oh, I see … ulp.” Crumb dedicated his masterwork, “The Book of Genesis,” a searing illustrated narrative of the Bible’s first book, to Aline.

The Crumbs’ collaborative work was celebrated among aficionados, but it wasn’t until 1994’s “Crumb,” a documentary directed by Crumb’s close Jewish friend, Terry Zwigoff, that she emerged into the broader culture. A vibrant, peripatetic Kominsky-Crumb cares for their daughter, Sophie, and revels in their life in a small French village, where they had moved a few years earlier, while Crumb continues to hold back, playing the wounded, misunderstood artist.

It was an arrival of sorts for Kominsky-Crumb. She had for a time been marginalized even on the underground scene, her deceptively simple art derided as sloppy. She helped found the Wimmen’s Comix collective in 1972, and wrote about her Jewish upbringing in the first issue, a piece entitled “Goldie: A Neurotic Woman.” But she was soon frozen out because some of her colleagues thought her musings about longing to be dominated (and her tendency to dress that way to please Crumb) were denigrating to women. “The Yoko Ono of Comics,” is how the New York Times described her early years.

She left the collective and joined another Jewish woman artist, Diane Noomin, in launching “Twisted Sisters” in 1976. Its cover depicts hers seated on a toilet wondering “How many calories in a cheese enchilada.” The message to her erstwhile colleagues, who depicted women heroically, was clear: Kominsky-Crumb would indulge her full unvarnished self.

It would take decades, but a later generation of feminists would come to understand her autobiographical “Bunch” not as a self-loathing caricature but as a means of understanding ones whole self. In 2020, Lightman launched an interview with Kominsky-Crumb by reviewing a 1975 cartoon, “Bunch plays with herself” that shocked even the underground scene at the time with its graphic depictions of a woman exploring every corner of her body.

“I didn’t do it to be disgusting but it’s, like, about every horrible and fun thing you can do with your body,” Kominsky-Crumb told Lightman. “I think it’s an amazing piece of feminist art,” Lightman said in the interview, “because women are drawn to be gazed at, and [here we see] their bodily juices, and everything. … The last panel is the best. ‘My body is an endless source of entertainment’.”

In 2007, she and Crumb created a cover for the Jewish counterculture magazine Heeb, where she is cradling him in her arms. “”I feel so safe in the arms of this powerful Jewish woman!” Crumb says.

By 2018, she was scrolling through her phone to show a New York Times reporter pictures of Crumb cavorting with the grandkids. (Daughter Sophie in adulthood also is a comics artist.) The photos then transition to photos of women’s behinds, taken in Miami.

“I’m enabling his big butt fixation,” she said. “Well I don’t have a big butt anymore so I have to offer him something.”

“It was her energy that transformed the American Crumb family into a Southern French one, with her daughter Sophie living, marrying and having three French children there,” the official Crumb website said in announcing her death. “She will be dearly missed within that family, by the international cartooning community, but especially by Robert, who shared the last 50 years of his life with her.”

The post Aline Kominsky-Crumb, who transformed comics first as a muse and then as a feminist artist, dies at 74 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Comparing European, American, and French Roulette at Canadian online casinos

Roulette is the most popular table game at online and land-based casinos alike. You can easily find a seat at the table, place your bets, and hope that the wheel turns in your favour. But you have surely noticed that the roulette section is quite rich, featuring at least a dozen different tables. Most of them come with a different design and different rules. The most popular roulette variants are American Roulette, European, and French Roulette. In this article, we will try to explain the main differences between each one.

French VS European Roulette

We’ll first compare the French versus the European version of roulette since they are the most similar. The layout of the bets and the wheel is basically the same. Even the table layout is pretty much the same at most online casinos. Depending on the provider some differences can be found, like the layout of the table or the order of the numbers of the wheel. But as far as the odds and gameplay are concerned, European and French Roulette are basically the same. 

Both roulette variants have a single 0 on the board and the same number of slots on the wheel and numbers on the table. There are 36 additional numbers you can bet on, along with the standard Red or Black and Odd or Even bets. This means both games come with a house edge of 2.7%. So, the only difference comes from the introduction of two basic rules in French Roulette. 

  • La Partage
  • En Prison

La Partage

This rule applies to even money bets, and in case the ball lands on the 0 slot. The term comes from the French word which means to divide. All even money bets are divided into half, and the player gets one half, while the other half goes to the house. This rule works greatly in your favour, especially if you’re playing on higher bets. 

En Prison

The En Prison bet is also applied to even money bets and only when the ball lands on 0. Instead of counting as a loss, the bets are held on the table for the following spin, and if you win, you get your bet back. Even though you don’t actually win anything extra, the En Prison rule gives you a chance to get your money back without a loss. 

The introduction of these rules lowers the house edge on French Roulette down to 1.35%. This is why many players prefer the French version, as the odds are better for the player. 

French VS American Roulette

The main and pretty much only crucial difference between American and French roulette is the 00 and the layout of the slots on the wheel. The added 00 on the American version means that the house edge is higher. It climbs up to 5.26%, which is almost double the house edge on European Roulette and a massive difference from the 1.35% on the French version. 

Since there is an added 00 number, the layout of the slots on the wheel is different. On the table, the 00 is next to the 0, so it doesn’t make a big difference to the layout of the table. But the rules in American roulette are quite simple. If your number doesn’t come up, you lose the bet. There are no extra rules like in the French version. 


If you go by the odds alone, it turns out that the best roulette variant to play at Canadian online casinos is French roulette. But this doesn’t mean you will lose more when you play American or European Roulette. Many players prefer to play the American wheel as it’s faster and more exciting. With the right strategy and some luck on your side, you can easily make a profit on any type of roulette game. 

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Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism

niversity of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram

University of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram – “Never would I have imagined that I’d need to fight for my right to exist on campus,” laments Shabbos Kestenbaum, a student at Harvard University who is suing the school because “antisemitism is out of control.”

Jewish students have suffered an unrelenting explosion of hate on American higher education campuses—so far with little relief. They have endured antisemitic rhetoric, intimidation, cancellation and violence. But those charged with keeping campuses safe—whether administrators who govern student and faculty behavior or federal agencies responsible for ensuring that schools adhere to civil rights protections—are failing in their jobs.

Many Jewish students have complained to their colleges’ administrators about the injustices. But instead of responding with measures to ensure Jewish students’ safety—like stopping pro-Hamas protestors from hijacking campuses or expelling militants who incite Jew-hatred— administrators have largely shown indifference. In some cases, college authorities have made things worse for Jewish students by appeasing the riotous, pro-Hamas mobs who have been primary perpetrators of Jew-hatred on campus.

Snubbed by college administrators, Jewish students and their supporters have appealed for federal protection, filing Title VI complaints with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the body tasked with enforcing protections under the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, the OCR, which has the power to levy severe financial punishments against colleges that neglect students’ Title VI rights, has so far rewarded negligent universities with little more than slaps on the wrist.

Until college and university boards of trustees begin hiring administrators committed to Jewish students’ safety—and until the OCR begins seriously punishing antisemitic perpetrators—we can expect no respite. Safe to say, colleges and universities run by arrogant, apathetic administrators will not change until their jobs and schools’ survival are threatened.

College/university administrators don’t take antisemitism seriously. Their reactions to Jewish students raising concerns about Jew-hatred range from indifference to outright hostility. For example, when Mohammed Al-Kurd, who the Anti-Defamation League says has a record of “unvarnished, vicious antisemitism,” came to speak at Harvard, Shabbos Kestenbaum and other Jewish students complained to administrators.

Rather than cancel Al-Kurd’s appearance, which would have been the appropriate action, the administrators ignored the students’ complaints. “Harvard’s silence was deafening,” Kestenbaum wrote in Newsweek. Kestenbaum said he “repeatedly” expressed concerns to administrators about the antisemitism he experienced, but as his lawsuit alleges, “evidence of uncontrolled discrimination and harassment fell on deaf ears.”

Administrators at Columbia University reacted to Jewish students’ complaints about antisemitism even more cynically. In fact, during an alumni event, several administrators exchanged text messages mocking Jewish students, calling them “privileged” and “difficult to listen to.”

When Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania if calling for genocide against Jews violated their schools’ codes of conduct, none could say “yes.” The presidents of Harvard and UPenn have since resigned. Good riddance.

Some college/university administrators have outrageously granted concessions to pro-Hamas students. For instance, Northwestern University agreed to contact potential employers of students who caused campus disruptions to insist they be hired, create a segregated dormitory hall exclusively for Middle Eastern, North African and Muslim students, and form a new investment committee in which anti-Zionists could wield undue influence. Brown University agreed to hold a referendum on divestment from Israel in October.

Similar appeasements were announced at other colleges and universities, including Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, the University of Minnesota and the University of California Riverside.

So far, OCR has failed to take concrete action against antisemitism on campus. This is evident in recent decisions involving the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Michigan. CUNY was ordered to conduct more investigations into Title VI complaints and report further developments to Washington, provide more employee and campus security officer training, and issue “climate surveys” to students.

The University of Michigan also committed to a “climate survey,” as well as to reviewing its case files for each report of discrimination covered by Title VI during the 2023-2024 school year and reporting to the OCR on its responses to reports of discrimination for the next two school years.

Neither institution was penalized financially, even though the Department of Education has the power to withhold federal funds, which most colleges and universities depend on. There are now 149 pending investigations into campus antisemitism at OCR. If these investigations yield toothless results similar to those of CUNY and Michigan, it is highly unlikely that colleges and universities will improve how they deal with antisemitism.

Putting an end to skyrocketing antisemitism on campus involves three things.

First, donors and governments at every level should withhold funds from colleges that fail to hire administrators who will take antisemitism as seriously as they take pronoun offenses or racism directed at people of color.

Second, the OCR must mete out serious consequences to Title VI violators in the form of funding cuts. This may require legislation that specifically mandates withdrawing funding from offending parties. A bill recently introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)—the University Accountability Act—may be ideal, as it is designed to financially penalize institutions that don’t crack down on antisemitism.

Third, if OCR won’t act, Jewish students and their supporters should turn to the courts. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the legal director of the Deborah Project, a public-interest Jewish law firm, argues that the CUNY settlement demonstrates the futility of going to OCR and that going to court is more likely to produce “a clearly delineated and productive result,” such as punitive and compensatory fines. As of late May, at least 14 colleges and universities are facing lawsuits over their handling of antisemitism on campus since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

As long as college administrators are allowed to ignore antisemitism on campus and as long as OCR and other government institutions fall short in punishing Jew-hatred, antisemitism will continue to plague Jewish students.

The post Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism first appeared on

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Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK

Candace Owens speaks at CPAC on March 2, 2023. Photo: Lev Radin via Reuters Connect

Political commentator Candace Owens claimed on Friday that the US is being held “hostage” by Israel and suggested that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, was behind the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy.
“It seems like our country is being held hostage by Israel,” Owens, a right-wing provocateur, said during the opening segment of her YouTube show, where she interviewed far-left commentator Briahna Joy Gray.
“I’m going to get in so much trouble for that. I don’t care,” Owens lamented.
Gray, who was the guest for this episode, was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, Rising, after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women. Gray, who claimed her firing was politically motivated, had repeatedly cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught.
However, Owens said that part of the reasons she was addressing the subject was that people were being fired because they were “not happy … when an innocent Palestinian kid dies” or for “critiquing a foreign nation.”
Also on Friday’s show, Owens claimed US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was “wading into some dangerous waters” when, during an interview with host Tucker Carlson, he spoke about how effective the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is at lobbying members of Congress and suggested the group should have to register as a foreign agent that is acting on behalf of Israel.
The reason it was dangerous, Owens said, was because “we know there was once a president that wanted to make AIPAC register, and he ended up shot … so Thomas Massie better be careful.”
Owens was referencing the fact that Kennedy wanted the American Zionist Council, a lobby group, to register as a foreign agent. However, there is no evidence the group had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination.
Owens and The Daily Wire, which was co-founded by conservative and Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, parted ways after Owens flirted with antisemitic conspiracy theories for a number of months, especially following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
“In all communities there are gangs. In the black community we’ve got the Bloods, we’ve got the Crips. Well, imagine if the Bloods and the Crips were doing horrific things, murdering people, controlling people with blackmail, and then every time a person spoke out about it, the Bloods and the Crips would call those people racist,” Owens said while still at The Daily Wire. “What if that is what is happening right now in Hollywood if there is just a very small ring of specific people who are using the fact that they are Jewish to shield themselves from any criticism. It’s food for thought, right? … this appears to be something that is quite sinister.”
Additionally, after getting into a spat with an outspoken and controversial rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, she said, “Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you, and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi?’”
“You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you,” Owens continued.
The list of controversial incidents involving Owens continued to grow longer with time. In one case, she “liked” an X/Twitter post that promoted the antisemitic “blood libel.” The post read, in response to Boteach, “Rabbi, are you drunk on Christian blood again?”
The “blood libel” is a medieval anti-Jewish slur which falsely claims that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children in their religious rituals.

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