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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 Sept. 1, 2009/ 11 Elul 5769

Some better BS is necessary

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's not that Americans mind being BS-ed. It's that we get agitated if sufficient effort is not put into the spinning of the yarn.


BS-ing has a long history in America. In our earlier years, the tall tale became an American art form. The colorful characters who tamed the frontier loved to sit around campfires swapping wildly exaggerated stories about America and American heroes.


They told tales about lands so fertile they produced watermelons as big as houses. They talked about people, such as John Henry, Daniel Boone and Johnny Appleseed, who achieved super-human feats.


We've had our share of snake-oil salesmen and flimflam artists over the years. These scoundrels weren't judged on the rightness or wrongness of their scams so much as the skill with which they practiced their craft. We often went along with their BS because it made us feel good to hope their BS was true.


I was first introduced to the art of BS-ing as a kid growing up in the '70s. On the weekends, after a day of working hard in the yard, our fathers would sit on the back porch together enjoying a couple of Pabst Blue Ribbons. They'd swap stories of every kind.


"That catfish was as big as a VW bug and I was just getting it into the boat when …"


Cable television kicked BS into high gear in America. With so many channels competing for our attention, the news shows have gotten ever more sensationalistic. They'll air most anything that causes us to tune in.


A few summers back, there were several news reports about shark attacks at popular beach spots. It would turn out that that particular summer had fewer attacks than a normal summer.


Which brings us to politics.


BS-ing and politics have always been close cousins in America. The politicians have always told us yarns and we've always hoped they were telling the truth.


We love to vote for the guy who promises us lots more government goodies and lower taxes — even though we know we'll end up with lots more government debt and higher taxes.


Most Americans were on board when LBJ told us he was going to spend tax dough to eradicate poverty in America. We ended up spending billions only to get more poverty.


Now President Obama is telling us he can expand health insurance to cover everyone and improve quality for everyone and produce efficiencies that will reduce costs for everyone.


But we're not biting on this tall tale. We are suffering BS fatigue.


It's true that if anyone can spin a yarn, Obama can. He enthralled millions during the campaign. He convinced many he was a centrist who would reach across the aisle — that he was a nimble thinker who was going to bring a fresh problem-solving approach to Washington.


It took him only a couple of weeks to reveal that he was nothing like the wonderful candidate he portrayed himself to be — that he is, in fact, an old-style, big-spending Democrat who is trying to ram through old ideas that America rejected 30 or more years ago.


Though Obama's greater sin is this: His health-care yarn isn't very good.


His story is all over the place. His plot is weak and lazy. Nobody can figure out what the story is about or where it is headed.


Sure, he's got some crowd-pleasing items in there — that the rich will pay for everything and everyone else will remain unaffected — but mostly, his yarn is so weak that we see right through it.


We sense Obama is just telling us what he thinks we want to hear. We worry that what he really hopes to do is plant a seed that will one day blossom into a single-payer, government-run system.


As I said, it's not that Americans mind being BS-ed. It's that we get agitated if sufficient effort is not put into the spinning of the yarn.

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