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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 May 4, 2005 / 25 Nisan, 5765

Laura the Entertainer

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | WASHINGTON — First lady Laura Bush's show-stealing debut as a comedienne at Saturday night's annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner had the audience hooting with laughter.'

I was right there with them, grateful for the humor and appreciative as ever for Mrs. Bush's humanizing effect on the presidency and our nation. But beyond the jokes, my personal mirth was closely tied to another punch line — the one nobody said but that I kept thinking as she delivered one-liners: Good thing she ain't in Saudi Arabia.

Or the Taliban's Afghanistan. Or prewar Iraq. Or northern Nigeria today. Or any number of Islamic theocracies where women who disobey their husbands — or walk down the street uncovered or unaccompanied by a male family member — are flogged, beheaded or stoned to death, depending on the whims of the ruling fathers.

Laura Bush, who declared herself a "desperate housewife," who said she recently went to a Chippendales male striptease show, who made fun of her husband's early bedtime and compared her mother-in-law to Don Corleone, would not have lasted long among some of our friends and foes in foreign lands. Yet here, she was free to drop bunker busters on her husband's dinner plate to laughter and applause.

President George W. Bush was, of course, part of the staged interruption in which Mrs. Bush cut him off midway through a joke and commandeered the podium, but he didn't know what she was going to say. No one laughed harder than he when his wife described them as opposites: "I'm quiet, he's talkative; I'm introverted, he's extroverted; I can pronounce 'nuclear.' "

Or when she described the Bush-family getaway in Kennebunkport, Maine, as like Crawford, Texas, but without the nightlife. "People ask me what it's like to be up there with the whole Bush clan. Let me put it this way: First prize — three-day vacation with the Bush family. Second prize — 10 days."

Or when she noted that Bush the Rancher was a relatively new incarnation given that his alma maters, Andover and Yale, weren't known for their strong ranching programs. "He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse."

Mrs. Bush also managed to poke fun at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, (Bush adviser) Karen Hughes and Lynne Cheney, who she said accompanied her to a Chippendales performance, as well as the female Supreme Court justices. "I wouldn't even mention it except Ruth Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor saw us there."

Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got a turn as well. Noting her husband's penchant for taking a chainsaw to any problem on the ranch, she said that's why "he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well."

Not to be excessively grateful for small favors, or to overstate the privilege of free speech — which inarguably should be anyone's birthright regardless of race, gender, creed or beverage of choice. But it is a privilege unrealized in much of the world, especially for women, and one we daily take for granted. While we're sweating the small stuff, it is helpful to keep that in mind.

Americans have long enjoyed that tradition of poking fun at our leaders, in whom we require an ability to laugh at oneself. We consider self-deprecation a necessary virtue. In black tie by evening, we roast the people we've elevated either through votes or applause; in jeans and suits by day, we're back to rhetorical fencing that sometimes stops just short of a duel.

You can't beat that with a scimitar, nor can you translate it easily to those still mucking around in the 12th century. If we think it's tricky teaching recently freed peoples how to run a democratic election, try explaining how the president of the United States can laugh while his wife berates him publicly. It's simple if you've had a few centuries of European enlightenment and about 225 years midwifing democracy.

The ability to laugh at oneself ultimately is a sign of maturity, self-confidence, strength and humility. Men do that well in this country as in few others. Laura Bush's quips — even those that raised a few eyebrows — reflected well on her, as many have noted. But more to the point, they reflected well on the men we like to bash and the intact state of American manhood.

About those who would have preferred her beheaded, we reasonably might infer something else.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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