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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 Nov. 14, 2005 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Needed: Better BS

By Tom Purcell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's everywhere, and I can't take it anymore.

It's all over television, in magazines and in newspapers — particularly the serious papers, such as the New York Times. It is spouted at us by politicians and pitched at us by product spokesmen.

It is B.S., also known as bull (expletive), and modern life is manufacturing an unprecedented amount of it.

B.S. "is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about," writes Harry Frankfurt, philosopher emeritus at Princeton University, who authored "On Bull (expletive)."

And thanks to cable television there are numerous opportunities for people to yap about all kinds of things they know nothing about.

Nowadays, our news folks are just as bad. It used to be that the press existed to catch folks in the act of B.S.ing. But our press has been shoveling out plenty of its own.

The run-up to the last presidential election showed a fair number of "journalists" tripping over themselves to make Bush look bad. Dan Rather based one story on documents that were quickly shown to be fakes.

We're seeing more B.S. in politics, too. Many of the same Democrats in the Senate who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq are now criticizing Bush for using force in Iraq. They slammed Saddam Hussein when the war was popular, but now that it's unpopular they're slamming Bush while portraying Hussein as a Quaker.

Republicans are producing a lot of B.S. these days, too. They use words such as "fiscal responsibility" and "limited government" while they are wasting more dough and expanding government faster than Democrats ever dreamed.

Maybe it's not the B.S. that bothers me, but that the B.S. is being so practiced so badly.

The truth is B.S. has a long, proud history in America. During our early years, the "tall tale" was practiced broadly. Exaggeration gave more credence and color to stories, and yarn-spinning became a celebrated part of American culture.

From our beginning we've had our share of snake-oil salesmen and flimflam artists. These scoundrels weren't judged on the rightness or wrongness of their scams so much as the skill with which they practiced their craft.

The sorry truth is that we want to be lied to in America. Whereas the truth can be painful, costly and time consuming, a skillfully told yarn puts us at ease and helps us sleep better at night.

In America we want our tax cuts AND increased spending. We want our Republicans to limit spending AND build a new bridge in our backyard. We want prescription drugs and fatter Social Security checks, AND we want somebody else to pay for them.

But our politicians and the press are doing a horrible job these days spinning their mistruths. I think it is because they are lazy.

I remember the good old days when "news" shows, such as Dateline, went to elaborate lengths to pull one over on us. They didn't rely on a couple of lousy forged documents. They rigged up a truck with explosives, and then blew it up on screen.

Some time ago, cigarette companies said smoking wasn't bad for you and we believed them. Lyndon Baines Johnson said he was going to end poverty, and we believed that, too.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm really beginning to miss Bill Clinton. He could twist and contort any mistruth into the prettiest and most convincing words. We knew he wasn't telling the truth but we didn't care. We loved the way he didn't tell it.

But Bush? When Bush doesn't believe what he's saying — that he's going to get spending under control, for instance - the truth is written all over his face. What's worse is that these days it's likely to be spelled wrong.

I don't know who or what to believe anymore, and I sense millions of others feel just as I do. If our press and political leaders have any hope of restoring their credibility, there is but one thing for them to do.

Come up with a better line of B.S.

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.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


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