In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 6, 2008 / 1 Adar I 5768

French prez' whirlwind romance reminds voters of his political recklessness

By Anne Applebaum

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Enfin, the rumors confirmed! Last weekend, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France married his singer/supermodel sweetheart, Carla Bruni, in a 20-minute civil ceremony at the Élysée Palace, the French White House. A city official performed the service. The bridal party consisted of family plus one or two fashionable friends. Apparently, the bride wore white.

Somehow, though, the first French presidential nuptials since 1931 were not an entirely joyous national event. Though a few people tried to say something nice about the wedding-"C'est formidable," declared Bernadette Chirac, a former first lady of France-the Sarkozy-Brunis woke up the following morning to news that the nation did not approve: Already on a downward trajectory, support for Sarkozy's presidency has plunged. From a high of 67 percent last July, the percentage of Sarkozy supporters in France had dropped to 54 percent in January. As of Feb. 3, this number had slipped to 41 percent, with more than three-quarters of the French pronouncing themselves annoyed by their head of state's very public private life in a poll taken both before and after the presidential nuptials. For a country that treated news of Sarkozy's divorce last year with a shrug of Gallic indifference, this is incredible.

True, this news did follow a flurry of new photographs of Bruni-sorry, madame la presidente-in various stages of undress (including some suspiciously recent pictures of the new first lady wearing nothing but black leather boots and a wedding ring). Nevertheless, I don't believe that a hitherto undiscovered French prudishness is driving the surge of popular annoyance. The fact is that the private peccadilloes of public figures loom largest when they seem to confirm his or her other character flaws. The Monica Lewinsky affair hurt Bill Clinton because it reminded everyone of the president's reputation for political slipperiness. Sarkozy's whirlwind romance is damaging because it reminds everyone that his public behavior is no less wacky and unpredictable than his private life.

Certainly, this is true on the international stage, and especially in Europe, where diplomacy normally moves at the sedate pace of a Viennese waltz, and where Sarkozy's penchant for whirling off in all directions at once is, shall we say, unsettling. Indeed, "controlling Sarko," as one Scandinavian politician put it to me, has now become a task for the entire European diplomatic corps. At times, this requires straightforward damage control. The French president seems, for example, to be obsessed by Turkey, whose accession to the European Union he wants to prevent at all costs. Allegedly, he reads his foreign ministry's Turkey dossiers personally and intervenes personally to prevent any language suggesting possible Turkish membership from appearing in any official document. Since barring Turkey isn't actually European Union policy yet, others are left to pick up the pieces.

His colleagues have enough work just keeping track of him. Since becoming president, Sarkozy has opened a new military base in the United Arab Emirates, conducted (unsuccessful) peace negotiations in Lebanon, invited Muammar Qaddafi to Paris (where the Libyan leader cheerfully told the press that he had not discussed any human rights issues with his French host), and promoted French nuclear energy technology while simultaneously pushing Iran to halt its own nuclear development. So far, he's visited 20 countries. One French newspaper gleefully quoted King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia declaring that "President Sarkozy resembles a dashing and high-spirited thoroughbred, but like all thoroughbreds, he should submit to be reined in to find his balance."

But Sarkozy's domestic policies reach in multiple directions, as well. One bemused British columnist records that the French president has, since coming to office, "decided to launch a 'Marshall plan' for the suburbs, to ban advertisements on state television, to found 10 universities, to reform the 35-hour week, to protect French banks from sovereign wealth funds … and to tax mobile phones." Sarkozy has also asked economist Amartya Sen to find a way of including "quality of life" in French statistics, philosopher Edgar Morin to outline a renaissance in the "politics of civilization," and socialist Jacques Attali to come up with "300 decisions for changing France."

Maybe this whirlwind of hyperactivity will eventually add up to something; certainly it makes a welcome change from the somnolence of the later Chirac years. But it definitely provides an uneasy context for a public romance. If Sarkozy were a staid and predictable politician, his tabloid love affair and abrupt marriage might be joyously embraced by a dewy-eyed nation. In present circumstances, it looks like one more madcap adventure to add to the growing list.

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Gulag: A History  

Nearly 30 million prisoners passed through the Soviet Union's labor camps in their more than 60 years of operation. This remarkable volume, the first fully documented history of the gulag, describes how, largely under Stalin's watch, a regulated, centralized system of prison labor-unprecedented in scope-gradually arose out of the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Fueled by waves of capricious arrests, this prison labor came to underpin the Soviet economy. JWR's Applebaum, a former Warsaw correspondent for the Economist and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, draws on newly accessible Soviet archives as well as scores of camp memoirs and interviews with survivors to trace the gulag's origins and expansion Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on JWR contributor Anne Applebaum's column by clicking here.

© 2008, Anne Applebaum