Home
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 May 5, 2010 / 21 Iyar 5770

Boot the Boot Metaphor

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the opening hours and days of an unanticipated event — such as the current off-shore oil leak, usually not much can be reliably learned about the details of the intruding event — but much can reliably be learned about the humans responding to it.


For example, on April 29, the ninth day of the crisis, and the first day that the White House — in the person of the president — publicly responded to the growing mess, key players made revealing comments. We don't yet know whether the administration is culpable of the charge that they were asleep at the switch for a week — as The New York Times has already editorially charged (just as President Bush was seen to be in the first two to three days of the Katrina crisis).


But it was clear by the 29th that the administration was sensitive to that political danger and was starting to point accusatory fingers at British Petroleum. ABC news reported:


"Asked about the relationship between the U.S. government and British Petroleum, (Coast Guard) Admiral O'Hara referred to 'the professionalism of our partner, BP' and then corrected her use of the term 'partner.' 'Yeah,' said (the ever eloquent presidential spokesman Robert) Gibbs. 'They are not a partner,' said (Secretary of Homeland Security Janet) Napolitano. 'Bad choice of words,' said O'Hara, changing her description of BP to 'a responsible party.'


Note that the admiral is a career professional doubtlessly experienced with ocean currents, but obviously not alert to the ever-shifting political currents in which she found herself. From a professional, problem-solving point of view, BP was a partner with the Coast Guard in trying to fix the mess.


But while Gibbs and Napolitano may not be able to navigate a dingy across a yacht basin, as class-A politicians, they can see which way the political currents are moving, and quickly go with the flow — or even try to make the wave that changes the flow.

Letter from JWR publisher

A few days later on CNN's Sunday "State of the Union" show, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar didn't have to be told the new political facts of life. He jumped right in with this little gem: "Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum to carry out the responsibilities they have both under the law and contractually to move forward and stop this spill."


Within three days, British Petroleum's status had shifted from being a partner with the government to having its neck pinned to the ground by a federal government boot.


In the first edition of this column (filed Monday morning), assuming that Salazar's poorly chosen phrase would be corrected, I wrote:


"Salazar has not yet come out to rephrase his indelicate words. But I can't imagine that the PR boys and girls in the White House backroom like the image of their administration placing its boot on anyone's neck. (At least I hope they don't like that image.)"


But on Monday afternoon, presidential spokesman Gibbs repeated and endorsed the phrase — even after being questioned whether he really wanted to use that phrase.


I surely hope that the president — who, with all his responsibilities, can't be expected to pay attention to everything his press secretary says — now that the phrase has made the headlines, will come out and withdraw that noxious phrase uttered by both his Interior secretary and his official spokesman.


Because not only is the image of a boot on a neck inherently repulsive, but the special history of a government's boot so situated has a particularly vile history.


The most famous image is, of course, George Orwell's:


"But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling forever on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." ("1984," Part III, Chapter III)


But it doesn't require an Orwell to understand the brutalizing, sadistic nature of the image of a boot on the neck or throat. Well, for better or worse, these opening days of the oil leak crisis are revealing the temperament of the administration — which is to publicly brutalize the company that, whether they like it or not, they are going to have to work with to mitigate the environmental harm.


Doubtlessly, there will be blame enough to go around when all the facts are known. But what we already have learned is that the administration is willing to undermine a needed good working relationship between itself and BP, as a price worth paying to try to gain an early political advantage.


Worse, it shows their attitude toward a respected member of the corporate community.


And worst of all, it shows an unhealthy disposition toward the exercise of governmental power.

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

Archives


Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles