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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 24, 2005 / 19 Av, 5765

John Roberts' attitude

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You have to figure John Roberts is a shoo-in for the Supreme Court when detractors resort to criticizing his attitude. When he was 17.

Imagine a 17-year-old with attitude. Can't have any of that nonsense on the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally, critics have examined his often-humorous commentary written in the margins of reports and opinions during his more grown-up years while working in the Reagan White House and found them to be insensitive.

Of particular concern is his playful attitude toward the delicate sex. It has even been suggested that Roberts has been a bit of a smart aleck. All together now: full pout and arms akimbo.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that my own name occasionally appears in the same sentence with the words "smart aleck." Thus, I may not be the best judge of these things, but I find Roberts to be delightfully honest, refreshingly funny, and pleasantly impervious to the mind-numbing dictates of our politically correct, be-nice culture of coercive caring.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

What I have a problem with are literal-minded members of the victim class who can't take a joke. Or who can't appreciate nuance except when it shines a favorable light their way.

So here's Roberts at age 17 writing in defense of single-sex schools while attending an all-boys, Catholic prep school. I'm a fan of single-sex education, by the way, as are many feminists as long as the school is all-girls. Feminists seem to understand that girls often perform better in an all-female environment without the pressures of boys, who tend to be more aggressive in class.

Ditto for boys, who often perform better away from the distractions of girls and from teachers' understandable, if nonetheless discriminatory, preference for girl behavior. That's an adult mother of boys speaking, not what you'd expect from a 17-year-old kid writing for his school paper. Here's what Roberts wrote in 1972:

" The presence of the opposite sex in the classroom will be confining rather than catholicizing. I would prefer to discuss Shakespeare's double entendre and the latus rectum of conic sections without a (b)londe giggling and blushing behind me."

Such blasphemy has caused a tiny tempest among some who see sinister applications in today's Supreme Court. Bruce Reed, writing last week for the online magazine Slate, managed to infer from Roberts' brief flirtation with adolescent journalism that whatever his views on Roe v. Wade today, "he would never have voted for it in the first place."

"Anyone who dismissed all women as giggling blondes in 1972 certainly wouldn't have found a right to privacy in the Constitution in 1973."

Perhaps Reed is joking and I'm being too literal. But then Reed's colleague at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick, praised Reed for picking up on Roberts' apparent "contempt for all things female."

As further evidence, she points to Roberts' now-familiar remark in a 1985 memo about whether a (female) government lawyer could be nominated for an award that recognizes women who change professions after age 30. Roberts approved the nomination, but added a comment:

"Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide." Ba-da-boom!

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It's a lawyer joke, of course, which ranks in popularity with "dumb blonde" jokes. As in, "Do we really need any more lawyers?" Not, "Is it really in the public interest to let women out of the kitchen?"

I don't know any lawyers who can't take a crack about the profession everyone loves to hate, except perhaps lawyers who aren't very good. The insecurity that leads to disproportionate outrage is often justified. Nor do I know any blondes who get their tresses in a tangle over dumb blonde jokes. As the platinum-haired Dolly Parton once quipped: "I'm not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know that I'm not dumb. I also know that I'm not blonde."

Lithwick grudgingly acknowledges "the joke," but doesn't find the "humorless-feminist tack" a worthy defense of what to her is clearly a good-ol'-boy attitude toward gender equity. Lithwick concludes:

"The problem isn't with his desperate housewives (or hideous lawyers) crack, but with his relentless 'Gidget sucks' tone. Roberts honestly seemed to think that humor or disdain were the only appropriate ways to think about gender. It's not that feminists can't take a joke. It's that Roberts can't seem to take feminists seriously."

To which the sane, if smart-alecky, respond: Is it any wonder?

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