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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 Feb 28, 2014 / 28 Adar I, 5774

A flag and 15 yards for a slur

By Wesley Pruden




JewishWorldReview.com | Sticks and stones might break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Or so we once thought.

America's schoolyards were tough places to play in the old days, where kids settled their arguments with skinned knuckles, bloody noses and a minimum of grown-up interference. But that was when the well-prepared scholar arrived for the first day of school with a Big Chief tablet, a clutch of Eberhard Faber No. 2 yellow pencils, a brown bag lunch (if he could avoid the lunchroom), and an apple for the teacher. Now it's against the law to bribe a teacher, an iPad mini has replaced the Big Chief and most important of all, every kid has a lawyer on call.

If the kids can work out their differences, you might think that grown men — professionals all — who are paid in multiples of millions of dollars could do that, too. But the National Football League, and maybe the National Basketball Association, apparently think not.

The NFL wants to punish insult and vulgarity in locker rooms and on the field, particularly in that no-man's land between the defensive and offensive lines, where trash talk is as important as a well-placed elbow or a surreptitious slap upside the head. This is an admirable goal, and good luck to one and all. They'll need it.

This crusade started as a way to eliminate what is carefully called "the n-word" in pointed and polite discussions of the ugly word "nigger," but has quickly morphed into a crusade against "the f-word" as well, and it's not "the f-word" you may think. People of culture, kindness and refinement never use "the n-word," and if it can be stamped out popular rappers like Kanye West will be out of work. The rest of us will be better for it.

"The f-word," on the other hand, does not refer to vigorous and romantic attention, as you might think, but to "fag" or "faggot." The NFL is all aflutter just now, presenting its first "openly gay" player with all the pride and ceremony of a father offering his daughter to society at the debutante ball. Gays want to elevate (or lower) the words "fag" and "faggot" to the nether regions along with the n-word. Good riddance, we say, to both. The n-word is understood as ugly and an insult everywhere English (and American) is spoken.



"Fag" and "faggot," not so much. Fags are cigarettes in many places, as indeed they were not so long ago here on the fruited plain, and even "faggot" has several respectable meanings in the old country whence came our glorious language.

In Scotland, "faggot" can be merely an innocent sausage, and one of the memorable advertising sheets in the London Underground once pushed a certain brand of "faggots, hot and juicy.

" A "fag" was originally a woman, sayeth the authoritative Dictionary of Slang and Euphemism (with oaths, curses, insults, racial slurs, homosexual lingo and related matters), a fascinating book by the New American Library. Now usage mostly doesn't sayeth that. Visitors to the auld sod with good will reserve the use of "fag" and "faggot" to ordering breakfast in the likes of Aberdeen, Inverness and the Orkneys.

But there's usually not a lot of good will on the defensive line during tense moments on Sundayafternoons in autumn in America. "I think it's going to be really tough to legislate this rule, to find a way to penalize everyone who uses this rule," says Ryan Clark, a black 12-year veteran at free safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. "And it's not going to be white players using it toward black players. Most of the time when you hear it, it's black players using it."

Seventy percent of the players in the NFL are black, and by the math, most of the 15-yard-penalties assessed for violation of the dirty-speech rule will be black. Beyond that, say some black players, the use of the n-word is cultural, and in friendly conversations between black players it isn't always meant as a slur spoken in anger. In the NBA, where nearly all the players are black, there's even greater skepticism of how such a rule could be applied.

Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat thinks all slurs should be banned, though he concedes enforcing such a ban would be difficult. Spic, honky, greaser, kike, yazzihamper, cracker, peckerwood and hundreds of other terms of contempt would keep all the zebras busy. "Officials have a hard enough time now with pass interference and head slaps," says one NFL coach, who pleads anonymity lest he, too, draw a 15-yard penalty.

The law can do a lot to regulate behavior, but the playing fields enforce their own rules. That's where decency good sportsmanship begins.

Wesley Pruden Archives

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