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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 Nov. 23, 2012/ 9 Kislev, 5773

Ho, ho: a rally to Twinkie's defense

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ding, dong, the Ding Dong is dead. Well, maybe. But Twinkie, the Ho Ho and Sno Ball will surely live again, likely in a right-to-work state. It's hard to imagine a plate of barbecue without the embrace of two slices of Wonder Bread to soak up the sauce.

Twinkie, a true American icon, is much maligned by nutritionists, chefs, nannies, the likes of Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and especially parents catching their kids sneaking off to the corner grocery to wolf down the spongy imperishable, which is reckoned to survive a nuclear fallout. How bad for you can a concoction of white flour, corn syrup, oil and yellow No. 5 food coloring be? Pretty bad, probably, but some people devour anchovies and liver, and survive.

Twinkie, in fact, even has a special place in American jurisprudence, cited in proceedings of the U.S. Supreme Court. No lettuce leaf, carrot strip or stalk of celery can make that claim.

This being America, the near-death of Twinkie naturally becomes a matter of politics. Democrats blame the company, Republicans blame the unions. (Next slur up: Twinkie is racist, since it has a white filling.) Gov. Chris Christie, our stoutest national politician since William Howard Taft, is smart enough to keep his mouth shut for once. "I'm not answering questions on Twinkies," he told reporters, and was plainly irritated that someone asked the question. "It's bad that I even said the word 'Twinkies' from behind this microphone."

There's even a petition - perhaps not a serious one, but who can tell? - seeking support on the Internet to nationalize Twinkie: "We the undersigned hereby request Barack Obama to immediately nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet, creamy center." If a bailout is good for General Motors, Wall Street and banks too big to fail, why not? Twinkie may be no more entitled to survival than the Pontiac, but a Twinkie still weighs in at only 150 calories.

Hostess Brands, which practically invented the cupcake, was done in by both sad-sack management and a greedy union, the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. That's a mouthful as indigestible as a blob of soft, creamy, vanilla-flavored goo. A bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y., had challenged Hostess and the union to try one more time to save Twinkie the Kid, King Ding Dong, Captain Cup Cake and Happy Ho Ho for the sweet dreams of youth (and a considerable number of grown-ups as well), and this week gave up.

Hostess won final permission to close and liquidate 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers with 5,500 delivery routes, 570 bakery centers and 18,500 jobs. Forbes magazine observed earlier this year that Hostess "is saddled with 372 collective bargaining agreements, 80 different health and pension benefit plans and workers' compensation costs that last year hit $52 million, which works out to over $2,700 for each of its [18,500] employes."

Many Hostess employes, desperate to keep their jobs, had crossed picket lines to keep the bakeries humming. There were just not enough of them. Union officials, however, will not lose their jobs, which should console laid-off workers when baby needs a new pair of shoes.

When the assets of Hostess, believed to be worth up to $2.4 billion, are auctioned later, Twinkie is likely to survive. Recipes, like cash, are fungible. Bake it, and they will come.

Twinkie leaves an indelible mark on the law, having lent its name to the improbable legal defense of Dan White, a onetime cop who murdered the mayor of San Francisco and a gay city supervisor in 1979. A psychiatrist called in his defense testified that White suffered clinical depression, perhaps aggravated by eating junk food and indulging sugar highs. White's lawyers persuaded the jury that White thus suffered "diminished capacity" and was incapable of premeditated murder.

He was acquitted of murder and convicted of voluntary manslaughter, thus saved from the gas chamber. A columnist called it "the Twinkie defense." Twinkies had never been mentioned in the court room, but the label stuck.

A quarter of a century later, in an unrelated case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, citing a defendant's right to a lawyer of his own choosing, observed that defendants "want a lawyer who will invent the Twinkie defense." Mr. Justice Scalia, who appreciates a phrase with a warm, creamy center, thus dispatched a national icon to the archives. Yum, yum.

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

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