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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 July 30, 2013/ 23 Menachem-Av, 5773

Private and Public Character and the Endurance of the Republic

By David Limbaugh




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The sexting scandal of Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and current New York mayoral candidate, puts into focus the importance of character to public service.

Weiner's texts, tweets and photos show not just a tawdry person but a risk-taking, deceitful individual who continued his serial texting and lied about it even as he prepared to run again for office.

His wife, Huma Abedin, is standing by her man and expects the public to defer to her judgment as to his fitness for office.

It is Abedin's personal business as to whether she will forgive and support Weiner, but it is presumptuous and wrongheaded for her or Weiner's supporters to lecture voters about how they should exercise their prerogative in assessing his suitability.

This bizarre notion that we should separate our public officials' private behavior from their public lives gained alarming credibility during the Clinton years, when the president's enablers adamantly insisted that all of his improper behavior was private and of no concern to the public.

"It's a private matter involving sex," they chanted, attempting to immunize even Clinton's felonious perjury from investigation because the underlying facts about which he testified and lied "concerned a private matter about sex."

They used the same mantra to paint as private, irrelevant and innocuous his episodes of oral sex in the Oval Office with a young intern — a textbook example of sexual harassment because of the power disparities between those involved.

In this postmodern age, many — especially secular liberals and partisan Democrats — are all too eager to demand that private and public character be separated. All that should matter is whether a public official's policies, especially economic policies, are successful.

Common sense, experience and fundamental ethics tell us it's folly to believe we can separate a politician's private character from his public performance — that the success of an official's policies is all that should matter.

Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias observed: "We know that the premise of privatization is flawed because who we are in public is determined by what we have learned and cherished in private. ... One cannot help but wonder what would have happened to the United States if a man of Lincoln's character had not been president at her most painful time of internal strife as brother fought against brother. ... It is a mindless philosophy that assumes that one's private beliefs have nothing to do with public office. Does it make sense to entrust those who are immoral in private with the power to determine the nation's moral issues and, indeed, its destiny? One of the most dangerous and terrifying trends in America today is the disregard for character as a central necessity in a leader's credentials. The duplicitous soul of a leader can only make a nation more sophisticated in evil."


Indeed, the Framers understood the vital importance of our leaders' virtue and character to the success of the Constitution and the very endurance of the republic. John Adams famously said: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Author Joseph Ellis, in his book "Founding Brothers," makes the same point poignantly in discussing Alexander Hamilton's relationship with Aaron Burr: "The problem ... was that the putative barrier between personal and political criticism, or private and public behavior, kept getting overwhelmed by real choices. Personal character was essential in order to resist public temptations." And: "Character mattered because the fate of the American experiment with republican government still required virtuous leaders to survive. Eventually, the United States might develop into a nation of laws and established institutions capable of surviving corrupt or incompetent public officials. But it was not there yet. It still required honorable and virtuous leaders to endure."

Ellis' observations are profound, except that he seems to fail to understand what the Framers grasped: that no matter how brilliant the Constitution, no matter how developed we become as "a nation of laws and established institutions," we could not permanently survive a ruling class that is bereft of respect for its founding principles and the rule of law or is of consistently dubious character.

The private behavior of our public officials matters because it is a reflection of their character, and their character will strongly influence their public actions. And their obedience to the Constitution and rule of law matters; indeed, it is essential for the endurance of the republic.

Anthony Weiner aside, when we have a president of the United States who daily demonstrates his disrespect for our founding principles and routinely flouts the rule of law, it is devastating to our liberties.

When Barack Obama acts unilaterally outside the scope of his constitutional authority to issue executive orders to implement provisions of the DREAM Act or environmental rules over Congress' objection or to delay implementation of Obamacare and then scoffs dismissively when asked whether he consulted lawyers on his authority to do so, he is out of control.

If we care about the republic, we have to care about the character of its public officials.

Do not get lost in the sordid aspects of the Weiner affair and allow them to obscure your focus on the larger issues of character and respect threatening our republic today.

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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