Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Rock and a Coffee Place

Tonight I'll put up a real post, with pictures and stories about Bexley's July 4, but for now, like many of y'all, I've got to deal with the second Monday of the week. My short post (with big fat pasted quotes) here is catching up from what I wanted to post on the third, but couldn't, because the Wi-Fi at Cup'O'Joe was so unreliable. While I was at Cup'O'Joe, and with the precious little bandwidth that was afforded to me, I looked up info on the Cup'O'Joe company.

You see, there are two coffee houses less than a block from each other, both within three blocks of my house. One is a Starbucks, the other a COJ. I had told people that I preferred to support the local business, to which some had replied that they believed COJ to be a national chain. I wanted to reaffirm that COJ was in fact local, so I did some Googling.

Yikes!!! Now I've got a dilemma. Starbucks is a corporate giant that has prospered in part by driving community based businesses out of business. Cup'O'Joe is a locally-based Central Ohio chain owned by Bexley resident Todd Appelbaum... That sounded right, but it also set of some alarm bells...

There was this from a Jewish political blogger at Haaretz right before the election last November:

In the 12th and 15th districts, most of Columbus and its suburbs, Republican representatives are fighting for another term. Deborah Pryce trails her opponent Mary Jo Kilroy, in the 12th, Pat Tiberi is a hair's breadth ahead of the contender for his seat: Bob Shamansky, Jewish and a Democrat.

Appelbaum's cell phone stores the names and addresses of thousands of voters, mostly Jews. A political wheeler-dealer, with enough get-up-and-go for twenty party activists, he supports both Pryce and Tiberi.

A matter of priorities

He also supports Senator Mike DeWine, and he understands his candidates are in danger of extinction.

Appelbaum says he has a better relationship with many Evangelical Christian voters - he's regularly in touch with a few such groups and their leaders who are enthusiastic supporters of Israel - than with Jewish voters. He understands why most of his community votes Democrat, but thinks their priorities are skewed.

That relationship with Evangelical Christians is well known. Todd gained notoriety through a Cleveland Jewish News article that described his cozying up to Rod Parsley:

Several months ago, Parsley's church hosted the third annual gathering of Christian pastors. Its goal: galvanize the Christian leadership to get involved in politics through the ORP. About 1,100 ministers from 80 of Ohio's 88 counties listened to Parsley and guest speaker Roy Moore, former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice ousted over his refusal to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse rotunda.

Todd Appelbaum, a 44-year-old native Clevelander who has lived in Columbus for the past 25 years, attended the event along with a number of Republican government officials, including Blackwell. Former chairman of Columbus's chapter of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Appelbaum is now active in a Jewish-Christian coalition that works to support Israel and other issues.

Evangelicals are loving patriots

Appelbaum, who brought three Orthodox rabbis to the pastors' gathering, attended in order to meet Parsley and to develop deeper relationships between the Jewish community and conservative evangelicals.

"Our freedoms are threatened, our Judeo-Christian beliefs are threatened by radical Islam," Appelbaum says. "If western civilization is going to be saved from these evil forces, who don't share our values, it has to be done through Christianity. There are only 14 million Jews throughout the world. There are two billion Christians. They are the only ones who can stand up to radical Islam."

So, as I stroll down Main Street, I can stop and buy an Americano from a corporate behemoth or a Neo-Conservative nutjob. Come to think about it, I've got wi-fi on the back deck. What in the world am I doing giving money to either one?

Well, in defense of coffee shops, it is highly unlikely that I would get into a discussion about the Wi-Fi quality on my deck with someone who turned out to be City Council Member Hans Wasserburger. But that's for tonight's post.


Anonymous said...

as it turns out, if you had patronized Starbucks you'd still be supporting someone who (Howard Schultz)whose politics are very pro-Israel.

Anonymous said...

i know that this is very old but todd applebaum has not owned the cup o joe coffee shops for several years....

Anonymous said...

Cup O Joe is a locally owned company but T. Applebaum is no longer the owner. The company was sold years ago and is owned by the same person that ownes Stauf's.

damion said...

COJ and Stauf's merged, then Applebaum sold the company to Andy Tang (the current owner).