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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 April 13, 2012/ 21 Nissan, 5772

Pomp and circumstance

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It'll be quite a ceremony -- you could even call it a spectacle -- at Fayetteville, Ark., come Sunday. It seems Bill Clinton is due back at the University of Arkansas, where he once taught law, to deliver the first in a new lecture series named after Dale Bumpers and his wife Betty.

It's a perfect pairing when you think about it. For it was Dale Bumpers who represented the former law professor, attorney general of Arkansas, and president of the United States at his impeachment trial and, even more impressive, got him off.

Now the duo share billing again. It'll be like the old days. Only this time recollected in tranquility. It's as if the actors were to stage a reunion long after the curtain had fallen on a farce.

Of course, Dale Bumpers would want Bill Clinton there, and of course Slick Willie -- now Slick William in his dignified older years -- would accept the invitation.

To put it as plain as only folk wisdom can, one hand washes the other -- as sure as night follows day, celebration acquittal, and academic honors high office.

There'll be no need to go into any inconvenient details on this auspicious occasion. They say a good memory is a great asset, but it's nothing compared to the advantages of a good forgettery.

O Mencken! Thou shouldst be living at this hour! The mutual flattery should be hip deep, and the speechifying grandiloquent -- a many-splendored thing. Also, a grand exercise in historical amnesia, political discretion and general vapidity of the highest order.

What is said may not be memorable -- the speaker, after all, will be Bill Clinton -- but what goes unsaid will surely resound. At least among those with memories that resist later editing.

There is a kind of genius in knowing just what not to say on such occasions. Both honorees showed a real talent for it in the course of their long and distinguished political careers. See the former president's testimony under oath, and his able counsel's folksy defense of it.

Dale Bumpers may have begun his involvement with this case by defending only one lie in a sordid little matter, but he was soon playing games with the historical record, too. So does one falsification lead to another. It happened like this:

Sen. Bumpers chose to close out his distinguished 24-year career in the United States Senate with an eloquent farewell address (all of his addresses are eloquent) in which he used a great quote from Harry S. Truman. It was his warning about the danger that the country courts when it has a president who can't be trusted to tell the truth:

"The only time this country ever gets into trouble is when there is some so-and-so in the White House lying to the American people."

The quote turned out to be an unfortunate choice, and the senator's timing even more so. For that was just before Mr. Bumpers would return to the Senate to defend his presidential client by saying, among other dubious things, that some lies on the part of a president really shouldn't be taken all that seriously.

The big problem with that selective approach to truth is that, once truth has been declared expendable where one subject is concerned, the truth about anything else becomes contingent on whether it suits our political purposes, too. And we are left unmoored. Bill Clinton only practiced moral relativism; in defense of his client, Dale Bumpers raised it to a philosophy.

The quotation from Harry Truman about the dangers of presidential dissimulation remains a jewel, if a kind of diamond in the rough. For when Mr. Truman told it with the bark off, the result was a kind of folk art.

Dale Bumpers said hearing Harry Truman talk about the importance of telling the truth was a Defining Moment in his own life, but he would soon enough forget it. At least officially. For when his valedictory address appeared in the Congressional Record, the quote from Mr. Truman had disappeared. Vanished. Gone. Down the memory hole. The official record had been "corrected."

When the omission in the official record was noted, it was blamed on somebody else. Some unidentified underling on the senator's staff must have dunnit.

Could it have been the senator himself who'd erased the quote from his speech? Oh, no, it had gone missing when "some staff member was cleaning it up," explained the Honorable Dale Bumpers.

The senator's loyal staff backed him up: He'd had no role in the deletion, they claimed. The senator hadn't even known about the omission. Case closed. The usual anonymous suspect had been rounded up. All was in order.

Ten years passed in the usual blur. The body had been buried, the questions interred. Any doubts lay a-molderin' in the grave. But somewhere deep, conscience must have stirred. Because that's when Dale Bumpers fessed up, or came close to it. "Whatever the staff did," he said, "I probably instructed them to do." Because when things were edited out of the official record, he admitted, "I did most of it myself."

Some of us had suspected as much, though I for one wasn't about to say so -- not without a confession. Or at least a semi-confession like this one. Call it a hang-up from a brief, inglorious stint as a court reporter for the estimable Columbia Missourian in Harry Truman's home state.

All of us journalism students at Mizzou were assigned beats on the local paper so we could learn the trade under the watchful eyes of veteran editors. They taught us not to leap to conclusions -- and that you never, ever fiddle with a direct quote. It was a useful lesson. Dale Bumpers might have profited by it.

Some of us still miss Harry Truman. His candor could be embarrassing -- just ask Bess -- but he was no moral relativist. His aye was aye, his nay nay.

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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