May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Jan. 29, 2013/ 18 Shevat, 5773
Not to call names, but . . .
Somewhere in our president's short inaugural address last week (it only seemed long), our newly re-elected chief executive paused to deliver a pious little sermon on the evils of name-calling -- and for good measure, the evils of delay, spectacle and absolutism, too.
The Rev. Obama crammed all those sins into a couple of sentences that might have passed for a mini-homily from some less-gifted televangelist:
"For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."
Well said, at least for an absolutist who would like his own program approved without delay. And for the country's No. 1 political celebrity -- someone who's no slouch himself at staging spectacles like a presidential inauguration. Complete with ruffles and flourishes and high school bands from all over playing fanfares.
As for name-calling, this president's rhetoric has not been devoid of that political staple. As when, shortly before his re-inauguration, he held a press conference at which he accused the opposition of just about every conceivable sin but putting innocent children at risk. (He saved that one for his press conference a couple of days later about his gun-control proposals.) He did say, among other hostile things, that the GOP was "crashing the American economy" and holding it for "ransom" in order to get its way in budget negotiations, and is "consumed with partisan brinkmanship."
Nothing partisan about Mr. Obama and the Democrats, of course. It's the Republicans who are "holding a gun at the head of the American people" because they don't like "government's commitments ... to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older." Those mean Republicans aren't crazy about kids, either, or at least poor ones: "They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat," and, when they aren't snatching those free lunches out of children's mouths, they're not sure whether government "should be spending money on medical research...."
For someone who's opposed to name-calling, he's pretty good at it. He somehow manages to preach against name-calling while practicing it. No doubt he's absolutely opposed to absolutism, too.
Another of the Rev. Obama's specialties is doubting the motives of anyone who takes issue with him. Plugging his gun-control program a few days before his inauguration, our president didn't just go after Republicans but anyone who might express doubts about any part of it, and it's got lots of parts. And lots of critics. But he lumps them all together as people not to be trusted.
Fine distinctions have never appealed to the demagogue; they just get in the way of his high-powered rhetoric, which has all the precision of any other scattershot blast. As in this attack on any and all who won't rubber-stamp his gun-control agenda: "There will be pundits and politicians and special-interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty, not because that's true but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves." In contrast no doubt to his own motives, which are always pure. Even as he campaigns against name-calling by calling names.
Let this be said about our president: He always sounds sincere. If he ever tires of his day job, he might try acting. Which reminds me that the Greek word for actor is the root of an English one: hypocrite.
Paul Greenberg Archives
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