In this issue

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 Nov. 1, 2012/ 15 Tishrei, 5773

Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney: May the best greenfro win

By John Kass

John Kass

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The campaign for president is so close, so mean and nasty, what with Democrats and Republicans each denigrating the other guy's poll numbers, that there is only one thing Americans can do.

Let's decide this once and for all.

With Chia Heads.

We put a President Barack Obama Chia and Mitt Romney Chia on a windowsill and locked them in immortal combat. Now we'll see which fake terra-cotta head grows a better greenfro before the November election. The lushest greenfro wins. It's got to be cheaper than polls, and more accurate too. So check on chicagotribune.com periodically to see who's ahead.

I can hear you now, my fellow taxpaying chumbolones, a nation torn but yearning to unite with common purpose, cheering the growing heads, chanting rhythmically, lustily, like ancient Romans in some arena, the two heads facing off:

"Two heads enter, one head leaves! Two heads enter! One head leaves! Two heads enter ..."

On the left is the head of Obama, he of the determined features and the big ears from whose head is grown Hopium, the pungent leaf that liberals and most American journalists trim, roll, then smoke to feel better about the lousy economy and that $16 trillion debt.

On the right (actually, more like the tepid middle) is the head of Romney, he of the wide forehead. For years, the Republican hallucinogen of choice has been Dopium, allowing Republicans to talk like conservatives and promote foreign military adventures while fighting cuts in the defense budget. But I've changed the name to Gropium, since the Romney is groping for answers to defeat Obama.

Joe Pedott, 80, born and raised in the Wicker Park area of Chicago and now the world-renowned owner of the Chia Pet empire with heads too numerous to count, was thrilled about the contest.

"Great," Pedott said. "That'll be fun."

And educational for the kids. But whose head will sprout first? And whose head will be thickest with vegetation?

"They should grow about the same," Pedott insisted.

After Obama was elected, Pedott personally gave the president an Obama Chia at a gathering in Indianapolis. He recalled Obama said he liked it, though the president noted the green hair. Odd, perhaps. But that's not as odd as a Romney with curly green hair. Romney with a greenfro is just plain weird.

Shooter, who helps me with the column, opened the boxes, soaked the heads in water as per the instructions, then placed them on my desk. They were ice cold — too cold, it seemed, to sprout seeds.

So I rubbed them to warm them, but, no, they were still cold. Then I breathed on them, but they remained chilly. Finally, I embraced them under my armpits and cuddled them — we've got video to prove it. I tried to warm them the way you might warm some strange creature you found frozen in the snow, if you were a farmer in a fairy tale. And later, as the farmer sleeps, the creatures awaken. The eyes open. They slowly turn their heads. The nightmare begins.

"Wait," said an editor around here. "I think I saw that in a scary sci-fi movie."

And what happened?

"Don't the creatures wake up when you're sleeping and cut your guts out?"

That's almost as scary as electing a president based on style and likability.

Pedott said he created Chia Pets roughly 35 years ago. His current list of political heads includes those of Obama and Romney and of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and immortal Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, as well as the Statue of Liberty.

"How much more patriotic can you be?" Pedott said.

Well, there isn't a Nancy Pelosi head, although the Chia Pelosi's expression would be much more flexible and lifelike than her actual face. And wasn't it Gingrich's patriotic love of country that got him in trouble with two of his wives? If only Gingrich had soaked his Chia in a bucket of cold water every day, he might be the one facing Obama with seeds on his scalp.

The clay heads possess slight differences. Obama's head is stamped with his slogan, "Yes we can!" Romney's head has no slogan, although "I sure as heck did build that!" would be nice.

Then there's the issue of Hopium and Gropium. We asked Pedott: What is the difference between the properties of the two?

"The seeds are the same," Pedott said.

He meant it literally. But Shooter considered Pedott's answer in a philosophical context.

"Isn't that so true?" she said. "'The seeds are the same.' It was kind of a 'Being There' moment."

As Chance the Gardener said decades ago in "Being There," as long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well, in the garden. I thought of Chance fondly and smiled while spreading the Chia seeds in their grooves.

Does the shape of the head matter? Romney has that flat brow, and Obama's ears are huge. Will these hinder growth?

"No," Pedott said. "The seeds are just on the head."

Come on, Joe. No advantage? No Chia partisanship, giving an edge?

"Nothing. The same," Pedott insisted. "No preference. No favoritism. They should grow at the same speed. But who knows?"

We'll see.

Two heads enter. One head leaves.

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

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.


09/25/12 : With bitter campaign in full swing, you need to watch some movies
08/02/12 : Toasting culture's absurdities
04/24/12: Why do you have to sell your privacy to win?
10/13/11: Stupid things men say to pregnant women
09/26/11: Desk zero: ‘Contagion’ lurks just outside office bathroom
09/08/11: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
08/31/11: It was only a paper moon , but a legendary hoax
05/27/11: For 2012, it's Obama vs. the smoothies
05/05/11: Is it time to de-friend Pakistan?
04/12/11: China stretches the bounds of decency with cow-human-breast milk
03/23/11: No you're not in control; get over it
02/28/11: Chicago wanted a strongman, and it got one
01/26/11: Oh, c'mon, c'mon, Rahm-bo a victim? That's a stretch
12/13/10: WikiLeaks and Assange pretend there are no consequences
12/09/10: Trendy toys don't stand up to playthings of yore
10/11/10: Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
09/14/10: Obama gets a little bossy with tacit endorsement of Emanuel
08/18/10: Dead Meat walking, but heat to be applied again
07/28/10: No verdict, but Blagojevich trial still has its winners, losers
07/26/10: Obama's fall guy in Shirley Sherrod case is Vilsack the Pooh
07/21/10: Loathing of Steinbrenner softens after his death
07/19/10: Summertime, and the race cards are easy
06/28/10: Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no
12/17/09: Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam
09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2011, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.