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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 Jan. 20, 2010 / 5 Shevat 5770

Madness, Madness . . .

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Random notes on the continuing madness:

A country that can sneer at Sarah Palin but take Joe Biden seriously. That's how screwed-up we are.

God save us from our precious elite. They salivate on Pavlovian cue from NPR, the New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Review of Books or whatever is today's arbiter of intellectual fashion. No class is more easily guided than our conforming nonconformists.

The result is a mass elite (more mass than elite) about as exclusive as Facebook and as distinctive as a Starbucks latte. It's as if every lemming thought of himself as a freethinker.

Sarah Heath Palin's first qualification for president of the United States? She's not intellectually fashionable. How encouraging. Neither was Ronald Reagan. Some of us can remember when he was (a) a washed-up B-movie actor, (b) just a pretty face, (c) a mole for General Electric and a capitalist tool in general, (d) a right-winger warmonger who was going to blow up the world, and (d) all of the above.

Who knew he was going to end (a) the Cold War, (b) the nuclear arms race, and (c) the decline of the West? If this Sarah Palin is anything like the Gipper, some of us will be all for her.

Then again, there are troubling signs. It was as one thing when a brilliant, pagan, playful and general intellectual hottie like Camille Paglia showed up in Sarah Palin's corner; taking the unorthodox position is her orthodoxy.

But now Stanley Fish, that old post-mod deconstructionist and very model of a modern obscurantist, has given Miss Sarah's book, "Going Rogue," a rave review in the New York Times. This is too much. It's as if H.L. Mencken had come back to say a good word for William Jennings Bryan.

Hey, what a country. Its wonders never cease. Like Sarah Palin and who'll turn out to admire her next. That's just what worries me. How long before she'll be the subject of a sympathetic portrait in Vanity Fair, or on NPR?

I still (INSERT HEART SYMBOL) Sarah, but when the intellectual establishment begins to defend her, that's not a good sign. One of the reasons I always liked her was the people who despised her. If they start flocking around this little lady, I'm going to be awfully conflicted.

Somebody has done a word count on our president's Nobel Address, and it clocked in at some 4100 words, or roughly eight times as long as William Faulkner's imperishable 550 in 1950. ("I decline to accept the end of man. … I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.")

Will anyone be quoting Barack Obama's Nobel lecture half a century from now, the way we still quote Faulkner's? This president's words may be quoted when Faulkner's are forgotten — but not till then.

The comparison is unfair. Barack Obama is only a politician, Faulkner was an artist. One cannot, should not expect as much from someone whose trade is only power, that most fleeting of phenomena.

Let it be noted, too, that somewhere swaddled in all the time-bound, all-too-contemporary verbiage of this president's Nobel Address, along with the gratuitous attack on his predecessor that he seems to think is obligatory, at least when abroad, there was a new glimmer of understanding when it comes to the human condition:

"Evil does exist in the world," ergo "force is sometimes necessary" to combat it. And: "The United States of America has helped to underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms."

These are scarcely new insights, though they may be new to him. Our young president pronounced them with an air almost of discovery. But that he dared voice them at all in today's intellectual climate gives one hope.

Day by day, terrorist attack by terrorist attack, he learns. There is evil in the world and there is a need to combat it. But not just with words. Maybe one day he won't feel it necessary to use so many of them. ("An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows." —Dwight D. Eisenhower)


Old truths can be refreshing, especially when they come from a new source. But as welcome as these were from our ever-contemporary president, he can prove maddeningly slow. He now has told the country just how its counterterrorism system failed, unconnected dot after unconnected dot. But he didn't go to the root of the failure: his own preference for prosecuting terrorists, not waging war against them.

The latest enemy combatant captured in flagrante was being treated like any other defendant in criminal court, with all rights and privileges appertaining thereto, not promptly interrogated on a military base. The brig at Guantanamo, ideally located and designed for just such a purpose, is to be shut down. It seems our enemies object to it.

Letter from JWR publisher


There is talk of getting this suspect — and he is very suspect indeed — to cooperate with our intelligence people as part of a plea bargain. It has come to this: plea-bargaining with the enemy.

Is this war or some theater of the absurd? It is neither; it is the strange world of Barack Obama, Eric Holder et al. How it must amuse those who would destroy us. They know that a civilization that won't defend itself won't be a civilization long.


Every time our lawyer president expatiates on the advantages of indicting our enemies — rather than waging war against them — the final scene from an old David Lean movie runs through my mind. You may remember it: "The Bridge on the River Kwai."

In the film, Alec Guinness plays the correct British colonel and prisoner of war who's completely lost touch with the larger reality, i.e., the war he's supposed to be fighting. Instead, he has concentrated his mind and efforts on the fine railway bridge he and his troops have built for their Japanese captors in the middle of the jungle. A good engineer, he's been true to his profession to the last. His is a madness inside the greater madness that is war itself.

In the end, all a stunned observer can say as he watches the colonel's proud handiwork come tumbling down is:

Madness, madness….

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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