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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 March 9, 2006 / 9 Adar, 5766

The lost art of the apology

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Americans have lost the art of saying "I am sorry."


Take outgoing Harvard President Larry Summers, who in the past year has apologized repeatedly. His crime? Saying that institutionalized bias might not completely explain the dearth of female scientists and mathematicians on university faculties.


Despite trying to placate campus feminist groups by pledging $50 million "to bring about a set of very important cultural changes," he still lost his job. But now after his resignation, I wonder whether Summers will offer yet another apology to his critics. And if not, why not?


Former President Bill Clinton fine-tuned the art of today's approach to public remorse. His apologies   —   to Guatemalans, Iranians, Okinawans, Rwandans and dozens of others   —   were often cosmic in nature; they offered contrition for almost everything America has done or not done, from slavery and the ill treatment of American Indians to the rampages of Gen. Sherman.


Recently in Saudi Arabia, former Vice President Al Gore offered regrets of sorts for the "terrible abuses" of Arabs in the United States. He narrated to nodding sheiks how their brethren in the U.S. had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and "held in conditions that were just unforgivable."


His Saudi hosts, who have a lamentable record on human rights, heard not a word from the humanitarian Gore about the excesses of their own sharia law. There was no mention that 15 Saudis, imbued with Wahhabi extremism, had blown up the World Trade Center and a portion of the Pentagon.


Former President Jimmy Carter lately has become another international scold. While not offering so many literal apologies, he has made it clear to the world that he regrets deeply the transgressions of other Americans   —   whether for wiretaps or setting up detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay. He rarely mentions the Iranian hostage crisis, double-digit inflation and interest rates, Soviet expansionism, or any of the other lapses on his own watch.


With all this public contrition, we risk debasing the once-noble protocols of apology.


First, there is no reason to apologize repeatedly   —   especially when one has done nothing wrong. Campuses exist for the free exchange of ideas. So what was so terrible with President Summers opening up debate about why one gender excels or does not in a particular discipline? Summers' serial apologies came off not as contrite, but as obsequious   —   as desperation to keep his job and mollify bullying critics.


Second, don't apologize for the sins of others long past. Clinton in a few words can hardly himself atone for centuries of the tragedy that was slavery. He'd be better off apologizing for things he could have controlled   —   such as forbidding vulnerable American forces in Somalia to use tanks or ordering missile strikes against a probable pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.


Third, money or personal enhancement should not factor into public acts of contrition. Pat Robertson said he was sorry for claiming Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli pullouts from Gaza   —   but only after furious Israel officials threatened the reverend's role in a $50 million Christian tourist center in Israel.


Fourth, it is a bad idea to apologize for one's country while overseas. In today's globally connected media, there is really no need   —   unless apologizers wish to ingratiate themselves with hosts or find easy resonance with anti-American foreigners.


So if Clinton really wished to apologize for America's past support for the Shah of Iran, he could just as easily have done so at a veterans' convention in Memphis or Salt Lake City. But when proclaimed at the World Economic Forum in chic Davos, Switzerland, Clinton's regret seemed cost-free and aimed at wining applause at the expense of his countrymen back home. And like Gore's one-sided confessional, Clinton's remorse did not mention that the Islamic fascism that followed the Shah was at least as odious   —   and wholly indigenous.


Fifth, war is the wrong time to start apologizing. Gen. George Marshall did not tell the Germans in 1943 that we were sorry for previously harassing German Americans in 1917. Nor during the Cuban missile crisis did President Kennedy offer Nikita Khrushchev remorse that we tried to subvert the Russian revolution in 1918-20. There is a proper occasion for voicing collective regret, and wartime is not it.


In the old days, apologies   —   said once, without an agenda and involving one's own sins   —   revealed character. Now too often they reflect just the opposite.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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