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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 18, 2011 12 Adar II, 5771

Japan's Drama Plays Out on the Small Screen

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I watch the catastrophe play out on television. In Japan, a baby is lifted from the rubble and swathed in a blanket. A young woman is bleeding. An unconscious man is strapped to a stretcher.

The streamer at the bottom of the screen says: "Victoria Beckham expecting a girl ... Aerosmith, J-Lo both slated to appear on 'Idol' ... Tiger Woods to appear on 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.'"

There is footage of the tsunami ravaging the shoreline. Though it is traveling at enormous speed, it is so vast it appears to be oozing. It looks alive, like an enormous gray slug consuming a car here, a ship there, a house on that street, an apartment building on another.

Nothing is spared. Not schools, or hospitals, or places of worship. The monster wave seems the embodiment of evil, though rationally we know that nature is neither good nor bad. It is indifferent.

The stories from Japan all say the same thing about the Japanese people in the face of calamity: They are stoic, they are orderly, they are polite.

It is only in America where disorder is erupting.

I read on FishbowlDC that Greta Van Susteren of Fox News is furious at CNN for pushing the story that CNN's ratings have taken a significant jump during the crisis in Japan.

"There are times when it is indecent and tasteless to brag," Van Susteren sniffs. "This is one of them."

Van Susteren is also offended by CNN's promotion of its coverage on its own airwaves. "I was told that the other day CNN promoted a show about Japan calling it 'Countdown to Meltdown,' as if it were a sporting event," Van Susteren blogs. "If true, I just don't get it."

I do. Van Susteren may not have noticed, but all tragedy is promoted on television as if it were entertainment: the trial of O.J. Simpson for a grisly murder, the car-crash death of Princess Diana, Chilean miners trapped below ground and, yes, even the combination earthquake-tsunami-nuclear calamity in Japan. It is the nature of TV that everything is promoted the same way, no matter how ghastly the event.

There are rewards for doing so. According to FishbowlDC, "The Japan tragedy sets a new record for CNN.com with more than 60 million viewers watching."

Sixty million viewers is just shy of one out of every five Americans. If one out of every five Americans read my column, I think I'd brag, too.

In Japan, with cities and towns shattered, with houses reduced to the proverbial "matchsticks," and everyone waiting for the next radioactive cloud to pass by, Japanese citizens still dutifully put out their garbage in different bins for recycling.

According to The Washington Post, which has put together a terrific package of stories on Japan, "There has been virtually no evidence of looting or rising crime levels, and the Japanese have been showing stoicism while waiting in long lines."

Traffic is a nightmare, with huge backups, but "with no honking."

No honking? In many American cities, people honk as soon as the light changes. In New York, people honk before the light changes.

At a Japanese convenience store that was open only because the manager had a private generator, people lined up at the cash register with their food items. But when the power went out and the register stopped working, "customers in line returned items to the shelves."

My father was a combat veteran of World War II, fought in the Pacific and came home with a strong dislike of the Japanese. He eventually overcame this prejudice (just as many Japanese people overcame their prejudice against Americans for bombing them not just relentlessly but atomically), and he would teach his children it was wrong to hate in the plural.

I realize that being stoic and well-mannered in times of crisis may not paint a complete picture of the Japanese mindset and culture, but I cannot help but be impressed.

I think if my house were reduced to rubble and I were struggling to find food and water each day, I might not bother separating paper from plastic.

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