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
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
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
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
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Dec 21, 2011
/ 25 Kislev, 5772
A tale of two men
Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong Il died within a day of each other, but that's where the similarities end. The lives of the two summed up a chief conflict of our era, with Havel on one side and Kim on the other. The contrast goes further. Havel was a stalwart of good, Kim a servant of evil, and relativistic sermons to the contrary can go hang.
Let's start with Havel, a brilliant Czechoslovakian playwright who helped script the real-life, earth-shattering fall of crippling, endlessly cruel communism in Eastern Europe. Unlike so many who scamper at the slightest threat, he held to principle despite constant harassment, work prohibitions and prison sentences.
With the Soviet Union willing to crush the opposition with tanks and Czech officials happy to use other tools as necessary, it would have been easy to give up hope. He didn't. He stuck to non-violent tactics and spread his message of truth and love. When the Soviet Union fell and hopes materialized into realities, this humble man became the Czechoslovakian president and continued in high office after Slovakia seceded and the Czech Republic was established.
His accomplishments were major, but former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright writes in a Washington Post opinion piece that he "never became fully comfortable with the exercise of political power." He helped give his country freedom, but his "preoccupation," she says, was "use of liberty for the right purposes." According to her, he was "steadfast in pursuing a moral universe."
Peaceful warriors like Havel were crucial in the collapse of wholly socialist, totalitarian dictatorships, though one example of such a place hangs on as a foremost symbol that we are a long, long way from the moral universe he wanted. Its most recent master was Kim, surely one of the most vicious clowns in human history.
Pot-bellied, 5-foot-3-inches tall, something less than the movie-star type he apparently wanted to be, he compensated with oversized sunglasses, elevator shoes, long hair teased sufficiently to add two inches to the top of his physique and slanted press reports of his athletic prowess. The publicity was that he got 11 holes-in-one the first time he went golfing. Unslanted reports further remind us that he liked the movie world so much that he had a South Korean actress kidnapped, along with a director.
In public, he was promoted as a kind of god. In private, some accounts say, he was Don Juan, a playboy with the benefit of exceptional coercive powers. He loved expensive cognac and expensive food, though none of this even hints at what was most wrong with him.
He held a nation captive in a slave state that did not work. Famines killed millions while he was in power, and a primary way of preserving a population to serve him was intimidating free-market states with his nuclear arsenal.
Feed us or face the music, he as much as said, and few thought he was kidding. Although details are unknown, it seems certain North Korea supplied the means for Syrians to start building a nuke bomb plant later taken out by the Israelis in 2007. Kim was himself a terrorist leader. In 1987, his henchmen bombed a South Korean airliner, killing 104 passengers and 11 crew members.
Few are now supposing Kim's death spells reform, and few suppose, either, that evil ends at North Korean borders or that it cannot reemerge in some places where it was previously conquered. Here's where hope resides: people like Vaclav Havel. We should thank him for the inspiration as we also remember Kim as an example of what threatens us.
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 by clicking here.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
• 12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
• 12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
• 12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
• 12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
• 12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
• 11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
• 11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
• 11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
• 11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
• 11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
• 11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
• 11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
• 11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
• 10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
• 10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest - or at least shouldn't be
• 10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
• 10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
• 09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
• 09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
• 09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
• 09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
• 09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
• 09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
• 09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
• 09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
• 08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
• 08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
• 08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
• 08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
• 08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
• 08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
• 08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
• 08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
• 08/03/11: The people who may save America
• 07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
• 07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
• 07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
• 07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
• 07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
• 07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
• 07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
• 07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE