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 June 3, 2014 / 5 Sivan, 5774

Sentiment, politics and a bad bargain

By Wesley Pruden

JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama seems determined to empty the prison at Guantanamo Bay five Islamic heroes at a time, if only he can find enough American prisoners of war to make the swaps. If there aren't enough he might even use deserters. Flexibility is this president's mantra.

It's only prudent to withhold judgment of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl until he gets home to tell his side of the story. Until then we have the verdict of soldiers who served with him. Some of them regard him as a deserter, or worse. Withholding judgment would have been good advice for Susan Rice, the president's national security adviser, who insists that the sergeant "served the United States with honor and distinction," that he "wasn't simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield."

She might be right, of course. President Obama may give him a medal (we hope it isn't the Medal of Honor). The wrecking crew at the White House has its own definition of "honor" and "distinction," and it differs from how the soldiers who served with Sgt. Bergdahl in Afghanistan define the ultimate qualities expected of a soldier. We'll see.

Miss Rice has a gift for getting things wrong; that's why she has such prominence in the gang that can't shoot straight. She couldn't even identify the killers of the ambassador and three other Americans at the consulate in Benghazi as the true villains of the piece. She shares the president's impulse for the warped view of who American's friends and enemies are.

The White House doesn't want anyone to get the idea that the one-sided swap was about politics, of course, something to get the cascading scandal at the Veterans Administration off the front pages, something to divert attention from the president's long naps that he interrupts only for his golf game while the rest of the world pops and crackles with crisis and conflict. He wouldn't dream of taking refuge now in a warm and fuzzy story of a war hero's reunion with his family.

"He's going to be safely reunited with his family," Miss Rice says. "He served the United States with honor and distinction, and we'll have the opportunity to learn what has transpired the past years, but what's important now is his health and well being, that he have the opportunity to recover in peace and security and be reunited with his family, which is why this is such a joyous day." By the time the full story comes out the White House will ask, "what difference, at this point, does it make?"

Only a churl would deny the sergeant's parents a joyous day to celebrate the return of the prodigal son — if "prodigal" is the right word. They were not sure they would ever see him again. The ecstatic joy on his mother's face was a sight to warm a banker's heart. But for the president to indulge sentiment is a foolish way to make government policy, and an indulgence that no president can afford.

A pardon for the five hardened, toughened terrorists the president gave up for the sergeant (and it's nothing less than a pardon) not only sets an expensive and precedent, but it turns loose men who have killed Americans before and who will look for the earliest opportunity to kill Americans again. The reassurance that President Obama took from the government of Qatar, that it would watch and listen to make sure that the five terrorists would never do wicked things again, satisfies only someone who takes a mellow view of aggressive Islam and expects great things from Qatar.

Whatever story the sergeant has to tell, he comes with a considerable history. As a 20-year-old he tried to enlist in the French Foreign Legion, but the French recruiters apparently took a closer look at him than the Army recruiters at home. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and after he got to Afghanistan he wrote to his parents that he was "ashamed to be an American." He bitched about his barracks mates. The battalion commander was "a conceited a fool," and "the horror that is America is disgusting."

The right to bitch is a soldier's birthright, though a soldier holding the country he is expected to defend in such contempt begs to be watched closely. But the fool here may turn out to be the president. He has done what presidents before him said they could not and would not do, to indulge a trade in hostages. This invites the kidnapping of Americans, and not only soldiers, to be held for ransom by enemies everywhere. The incompetence and miserable judgment in this White House knows no bounds.

Wesley Pruden Archives

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.

© 2014 Wesley Pruden