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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 Sept. 16, 2005 / 12 Elul, 5765

Blame gets a bad name

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is a feat of linguistic magic to deflect criticism as playing the "blame game," and White House press secretary Scott McClellan is Katrina's David Copperfield.

To repeated questions about the delayed federal response to Hurricane Katrina, during a recent press briefing McClellan demurred by saying he wasn't going to play the blame game.

Fine. Let's call it something else. Let's call it "getting to the bottom of things," "trying to discover the truth," "looking for answers." We can have a contest for a pithy title, but meanwhile, ignoring legitimate questions about national security at a time of cataclysmic disaster is playing some other kind of game.

Defenders of the Bush administration, some of whom seem pathologically unable to see mistakes no matter what the evidence, have winced at the notion that the federal government should have done more in Katrina's aftermath. (I recognize the irony of these words tumbling from my fingertips, given my support of Bush throughout the Iraq war, so please do not feel compelled to congratulate me on my belated epiphany. The levees of my e-mailbox already have been breached, and I'm sitting on the roof of my building as I type.)

But the war is an apple and this is an orange. Or an orangutan, if you prefer. A big hairy ape of a problem that Americans have a right to wish solved. It's not so much a question of blame being posed as it is a quest for assurance in one scary world.

To his credit, President George W. Bush has accepted responsibility for the federal government's slow response and was expected to elaborate during an address to the nation Thursday night. The buck does stop with the presidency in a national disaster, and Bush gets points for that recognition.

By contrast, many Bush supporters have been doggedly resistant to assigning any responsibility to the feds for the suffering that followed Katrina. Their main arguments, which I embrace with qualification, are that people need to be self-sufficient, that local and state governments have first-responder responsibility in crisis, and that our welfare state is responsible for nurturing a helpless mindset among victims that doomed them to their fates.

No one would argue against self-sufficiency as a human goal or contradict established protocol for crisis management, though such pre-arrangements are subject to human error and poor judgment that may require, as here, spontaneous intervention. The welfare argument is also defensible to a point. I'm not one to spend much time on the weeping couch. If not for cold season, a box of tissues would last me a decade.

But it is beyond unseemly to justify consequences befalling the unfortunate on the basis that they should have known better or done more. The implication wears a sneer and ignores the larger issue, the one that transcends blame and begs redress: What about national security?

We can hash out issues of poverty, race and class and state's rights and federalism and all those other luxuries of our overfilled bellies as the weeks go by. Of more immediate concern is how we protect ourselves against terrorists when the federal government has proved itself unreliable at our first dress rehearsal.

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush defined his administration in terms of national security, building the colossal Department of Homeland Security and creating a Cabinet position for its director. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency that coordinates federal response to catastrophes, including hurricanes, was absorbed by the new department, while Bush cronies replaced the organization's most experienced staffers.

One of those was recently resigned Michael D. Brown, an attorney and former horse-show administrator whose official title in retrospect sends shivers: Under Secretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response. When FEMA was slow to respond to Katrina — and Brown seemed to be a day behind headlines familiar to anyone with a TV — Americans were justified in wondering who was watching the mothership.

And in asking what, heaven forbid, might have happened had the levees been targeted by terrorists instead of Mother Nature? It was fair to conclude that if Brown was head of FEMA, and FEMA was part of Homeland Security, then homeland security might be in trouble. That's why many Americans are outraged and point to Bush in the blame game.

Whatever sense of security Americans may have felt before Katrina hit has been washed away with the fetid waters that washed over New Orleans. It will take more than a linguistic trick to get it back.

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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