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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 August 19, 2008 / 18 Menachem-Av 5768

Going for brass in Beijing 2008

By Wesley Pruden


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | All that glitters is not gold, as China continues to teach the world this week in Beijing. Sometimes the shiny stuff is neither gold nor silver, or even bronze. Only brass.


The XXIX Olympiad was the Middle Kingdom's big chance to show everyone that the party hacks and hooligans running the world's largest capitalist enterprise are cleaned up and housebroken, finally ready to be embraced as model citizens who would never cheat, steal or bear false witness. They might cheat the Tibetans out of their country and millions of Chinese out of their basic freedoms, even steal their rivals' military secrets, but would never cheat with ball, bat or bar.


On display is a remarkably modern capital, unrecognizable to anyone who visited China even a decade ago. The skyline rivals that of Chicago or Los Angeles. The streets are smooth, the sidewalks clean, the parks manicured, the Olympics venues spectacular, the children well behaved and the hospitality of the Chinese people warm and friendly.


But the glitter of brass deceives. The hand of brutal government lies heavy on ordinary Chinese. The usual suspects are hounded and harassed; the lucky ones are just ordered out of town. Chao Chanqing, a Chinese journalist in exile whose blog is widely read in China on the days the government doesn't block it, accuses Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening-night spectacular that wowed the world, of trying to eclipse Leni Riefenstahl's documentary of the Berlin Olympics of 1936 celebrating Herr Hitler and the Nazis.


Everything about the Beijing Olympics, except the athletic events, is mercilessly sanitized, often counterfeited and sometimes faked, from the opening-night fireworks by software, to sold-out arenas half-emptied to avoid assemblies of ordinary Chinese who might get ideas, to the cruelty to the little girl with the sweet voice and bad teeth, deemed too plain to show to the public, and required to step aside for a cherub's face while she sang unseen somewhere offstage. This could be a useful precedent for sparing the public the sight of fat, wrinkled party hacks, waiting for their funerals, who hog the cameras on state occasions.


China leads the race to accumulate the most gold medals in the XXIX Olympiad, but this might not be enough. Many of these gold medals were won in the "girlie" sports, gymnastics and diving and such. The "manly" prizes are in soccer, basketball, baseball and above all, track and field. When Liu Xiang, China's sports superstar whose face is familiar on television screens and billboards across the country, was disqualified after a false start in the 110-meter hurdles, his coach blamed "excessive pressure and training."


"I am saddened by Liu Xiang's exit," the coach said. "I think it is because of the intense training. I have experienced in the past the great pressure that government officials exert on the athletes as well as the coach, that they demand a gold medal; otherwise, it is meaningless. Liu Xiang has been put under a bit too much expectation."


"Too much expectation" has blemished nearly every Olympics since the games were revived in 1896 in Athens, where the Olympics began as a tribute to Zeus 700 years before the birth of Christ. Politics often has intruded on the games, marked by boycotts (Moscow in 1980, Los Angeles in 1984) and mass murder (at Munich in 1972).


Once upon a time, the emphasis was on individual achievement - the traditional motto is "Swifter, higher, stronger" - but the individual winners eagerly wrap themselves, usually literally, in their nations' flags. This occasionally startles pretenders to sophistication. When Kobe Bryant, the basketball superstar, told NBC's Cris Collinsworth that he got "goose bumps" when he first saw his Olympics uniform, it reminded him that "our country is the best."


Mr. Collinsworth chided him: "Is that a cool thing to say in this day and age?"


Mr. Bryant chided back: "It's a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I'm not ashamed to say it."


Zeus would salute.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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