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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

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

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 Oct. 18, 2006 / 26 Tishrei, 5767

What ever happened to honor?

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Of course I bear responsibility. My Lord, I'm secretary of defense. Write it down." —Donald Rumsfeld at a news conference October 11, 2006


When did the phrase, "I take full responsibility," come to mean not taking any real responsibility at all?


Talk about a numerical tribute to American hypocrisy, Google up that phrase and you'll find some 212,000 references to it.


Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, is only the latest to accept full responsibility for some outrage but only verbally. Evidence mounts that other high-ranking Republicans in the House or their staffers were aware of a colleague's suspicious e-mails to House pages.


All over the country, police and sheriff's deputies are sitting in dark little rooms monitoring the Internet for just the kind of messages this congressman was sending young people. But in his case nobody thought to call the cops. Instead it was all kept in-house, or rather in-House.


So far Mark Foley, he of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, has been the only one to resign his office. But not without making excuses for his conduct — via his lawyer, of course. He's an alcoholic, he was molested as a child, etc. In their own way, his excuses are as repellent as his e-mails.


The Brits handle these things better, or at least used to. Remember John Profumo? He was the Cabinet minister who got caught in a sex scandal, and then did something really bad. He lied about it to his colleagues in the House of Commons. Not done, old boy. Bad form and all that. Especially for an officer and a gentleman, and John Profumo was an aristocrat to boot. Of Italian heritage, he was technically the 5th Baron Profumo of the Kingdom of Sardinia, though he never used the title.


Jack Profumo signed up for the Army on the outbreak of the war in 1939 (Northampton Yeomanry), and in 1940 became the youngest MP in the House of Commons when he was put up by the Tories in an unexpected by-election at Kettering. The 25-year-old Profumo would cast his first vote as one of the 30 Conservative members of the House who joined with Labor to bring down the Chamberlain government and open the way for Churchill and the British Empire's finest hour.


Mentioned in dispatches during the North African campaign, young Profumo landed in Normandy on D-Day with an armored brigade. Then, after serving on Field Marshal Alexander's staff in Italy, he was discharged as a brigadier and awarded an OBE (military). He would lose his seat in the Labor landslide of 1945, but return as MP for Stratford-on-Avon in 1951 and begin his smooth political rise. By 1960 he was secretary of state for war and member of the Privy Council.


Then came his fall, and it was a doozy.



In early 1963, he was accused of cavorting with Christine Keeler, tart extraordinaire. To add security risk to scandal, she also had a thing going with a Soviet naval attache, that is, spy.


At first MP Profumo tried to brazen his way out of it with a concocted story, the help of Tory colleagues, the full backing of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and a perfectly straight face. "There was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler," Mr. Profumo announced in a great display of righteous indignation. In its time, that line was repeated by lovers of political irony the way "I never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" is today.


With an investigation pending, the Rt. Hon. Mr. Profumo confessed the truth to his wife Valerie over lunch in Venice. Her reaction? "Oh, darling, we must go home as soon as we can and face up to it." They did. Not since Mrs. Alexander Hamilton supported her husband throughout that unfortunate business with Mrs. Reynolds has a loving spouse shown such grace under pressure.


Caught in his lie, John Profumo resigned his high office in disgrace, and the Macmillan government would fall soon thereafter. It was quite a crash.


The rising star had plummeted to earth. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Profumo showed up at Toynbee Hall, the London soup kitchen and settlement house, and volunteered for menial work. It took considerable persuasion, but he was finally talked into giving up his janitor's mop and heading a fund-raising drive for the charity. It was successful enough to keep Toynbee Hall afloat.


And for the next four decades, the 5th Baron Profumo would devote himself to helping the poor of London's East End.


Why would a man do such a thing, especially a man with a private fortune who could have gone off and lived a quiet life of luxury anywhere he chose?


It's as hard to imagine a political figure doing such a thing in these times as it is to explain why he would do it. Call it a sense of honor within — an understanding that there is no real acceptance of responsibility without making some personal sacrifice.


In 1975, John Profumo, OBE was advanced to CBE in recognition of his good works. As Valerie Profumo would later say of her husband, summing up in a few plain words what Sophocles was trying to tell us in all his Oedipus plays, "It isn't what happens to a man, it's what he does with it that matters."


John Profumo never complained, he never explained. He didn't write his memoirs to counter Christine Keeler's attempt to live the rest of her life off the Profumo Affair. He had nothing to say about the TV docudramas that, for dramatic effect, added a lot of fiction to the bad-enough facts. Through it all, the man just Went On.


At a dinner on her 70th birthday, Margaret Thatcher made a point of seating Mr. Profumo next to the Queen. "His has been a very good life," said Lady Thatcher, and who would dispute her? How strange: The Hon. Gentleman turned out to be an honorable gentleman.


On his death earlier this year, the Yorkshire Post would contrast "Mr. Profumo's 40-year silence with the nature of ministerial resignations witnessed in the modern era. Far from accepting responsibility, disgraced ministers, both Labor and Conservative, have sought to exploit their misjudgment for financial gain before, in some cases, resuming their political careers. This is why voters hold politicians in such low regard, and why there was much to commend in John Profumo's quiet dignity."


In this country, politicians may accept responsibility, too, but only in words. It's the political equivalent of confession without repentance. And certainly without atonement. That is, worthless.


Donald Rumsfeld is still secretary of defense long after Abu Ghraib and a whole tragic chain of miscalculations both strategic and tactical — even though by now nothing might honor his office so well as his leaving it.


Dennis Hastert is still speaker of the House after the Foley scandal and continuing disgrace. (More is surely to come.) At this point it's not clear which is worse — that the speaker knew what was happening on his watch or only should have known.


He's now offered to fire any staffers responsible for not blowing the whistle on the errant congressman when somebody should have, but he isn't about to give up the speakership himself.


There's a principle in the military: A commander is responsible for whatever his unit does or fails to do. It's a matter of honor. What a pity the principle has never caught on among politicians. Which helps explain why our military is generally more respected than our political class.


Amid all the claims — but only claims — of responsibility in this unfolding scandal, this much becomes clear: An American political party hasn't so richly deserved to lose control of the House of Representatives since, well, the Democrats in 1994.

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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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