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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 August 22, 2013/ 16 Elul, 5773

Two Americas

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two quite different 21st-century Americas are emerging. The nation is not so much divided by "wars" between the rich and poor, men and women, or white and non-white. Instead, there is the world of reality versus that of triviality.

In the vast plains of the Dakotas and the American West, thousands of men and women of all classes and colors are fracking oil and gas to create new energy for millions of homeowners and commuters -- while giving America a second chance at strategic energy independence.

Yet the beneficiaries mostly ignore these elemental efforts. They instead prefer to fixate on the alleged sexual creepiness of big-city political mediocrities like Bob Filner and Anthony Weiner.

As we sleep, 7,000 miles away there are still thousands of American soldiers of all races, ages, classes and genders in godforsaken conditions fighting the Taliban to allow millions in Afghanistan the chance for an alternative to medieval theocracy and to deter terrorists.

Meanwhile, back home, the nation is focused not on such existential struggles but transfixed by racial melodramas.

Was Oprah victimized by racial insensitively in a Swiss boutique when inquiring about purchasing a $38,000 crocodile purse? Were 10 black "American Idol" contestants really victims of "cruel and inhumane" treatment because their arrest records were brought up on the show? Should a rodeo clown -- whose stock and trade is humor -- be sent to "sensitivity training" for wearing an Obama mask?

At the end of two years of near-record drought in California, the fate of hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmlands, which feed millions of Americans and earn billions of dollars in critical foreign exchange, hinges on a snow-filled winter in the Sierra Nevada. You might never know of that razor's edge from the state legislature. Rather than discussing new dams and canals, it debated whether transgendered youth in public schools could use the bathrooms of their choice and whether residents should need a permit to buy ammunition.

The historic role of government is changing before our eyes. President Obama is making the argument that the executive branch by presidential fiat can pick and choose which laws should and should not be faithfully executed -- whether Obamacare, immigration amnesties or No Child Left Behind statutes.

The fate of the entire concept of voluntary tax compliance is currently endangered by the politicization of the Internal Revenue Service. Whether the government can monitor the communications of either reporters or average citizens depends on getting to the bottom of the National Security Agency and Justice Department/Associated Press scandals.

Instead, the media seem more interested in whether Obama is playing golf on Martha's Vineyard.



Why is the country consumed by the trivial while snoozing through the essential?

We have become a nation of instant electronic communications -- Twitter, Facebook, cell phones and the Internet -- even as reading and math scores plummet in our schools, and newspapers and magazines go broke. We can communicate information at the speed of light but have trouble finding anything meaningful to send back and forth.

In prior times, writers, directors and actors endeavored to present television drama characterized by good acting and engaging scripts. Now, it is more profitable and apparently more entertaining just to film pseudo-celebrities talking, eating and agonizing over the day's banalities, as with "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

Yet sometimes we get vicarious pleasure from watching oddballs do what most of us won't or can't do. Nineteenth-century-style men who cut timber, mine gold, drive big rigs and catch fish on the high seas are now big reality-television hits. Apparently, those who did not go to Ivy League schools or make a pile on Wall Street appear as more genuine Americans -- at least in our dreams and fantasies.

Yet part of America's confusion about what is important and petty begins at the top.

Reggie Love, the erstwhile presidential assistant and "body man" to President Obama recently reported on the critical moments of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. The president apparently was not glued to live video feeds, as the photos from his re-election campaign suggested.

"Most people were like down in the Situation Room," Love said, "and [the president] was like, 'I'm not going to be down there, I can't watch this entire thing.' So he, myself, Pete Souza, the White House photographer, Marvin [Nicholson], we must have played 15 games of spades."

The commander in chief was playing cards while Navy Seals risked their lives to kill America's No. 1 enemy -- only later to use photos of himself watching live feeds for his re-election sloganeering: "bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!"

That pretense sums up the growing void between real and trivial America.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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