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 Dec. 2, 2011 / 6 Kislev, 5772

Stricken by an excess of excess

By Wesley Pruden

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Christmas season is hard upon us and it's time to be happy and gay. (Uh, better make that cheerful.) But it won't be easy. The culture has been poisoned by an excess of excess.

We suffer from too much of everything. The search for the new thing, for passion, thrills and excitement finally becomes what the French, who have a suggestive name for everything, call "ennui." In plain English, the excess of excess is ultimately boring.

The excess of entertainment swallows up all. You could watch trashy movies, mindless sit-coms and other television perversions 24/7, and a lot of people do. Sports is the national drug. There were sighs of relief at the prospect there might not be a professional basketball season this year, when the owners and players couldn't get together on how to co-ordinate their greed, and sighs of disappointment when a half-season was salvaged. Soon the college football bowl season will be here, with so many "classics" that only the worst teams can escape bowls celebrating pizza, home mortgages, auto mufflers, fried chicken and even hunger. (We ran out of fruits, flowers and vegetables to commemorate.)

Not so long ago, the election of a president invited long, thoughtful reflection, but that was before presidential campaigns became an excess of entertainment, too, with stand-up comics in search of sound bites posing as candidates for cable-TV "debates" that are anything but. This year the Republican "debates" enter the stretch toward the Iowa caucuses as a contest to see who's hiding the naughtiest past. Is it better to have a collection of long-suffering wives or a collection of money-grubbing mistresses? If only Busby Berkeley were still around to direct the Republican campaign as "Gold Diggers of 2011."

This was the campaign that was supposed to be a Republican slam dunk, and maybe it will be, but only because Anybody But Obama is still the favorite at 3-to-2. The sweet-talking golden prince of Chicago continues to wallow in the excess of excess, too. Herman Cain was derided as ignorant because he hadn't heard of the war in Libya, but President Obama, who earlier thought he had campaigned in "57 states," only this week denounced the sacking of "the English embassy" inTehran. Learning even the rudiments of geography and history are gone with the wind that long since blew through our schools, but you might think that someone at the White House could have told the president that British embassies replaced "English embassies" three hundred years ago (more or less).

Newt Gingrich, the history perfesser who knows how to count states and how to identify embassies, is at the moment soaring at the altitudes once enjoyed by Rick Perry and Herman Cain. He'd best enjoy it now. He got a reminder this week that old times are not necessarily forgotten. Richard Land, the ethics and religious liberty guru at the Southern Baptist Convention, said Christian conservatives, particularly in the crucial South, still haven't heard a convincing Gingrich mea culpa. "If you want to get large numbers of evangelicals, particularly women, to vote for you," he told the former speaker, "you must address the issue of your marital past in a way that allays the fears of evangelical women."

Newt thought he had put his checkered past aside, forswearing his old habits as a Baptist and adopting a new Roman Catholic faith, and even tried to explain what happened in his earlier marriages. "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country," he told the Christian Broadcasting Network, "that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." This was a cute argument, that patriotism is not only a refuge for a scoundrel but for the bounder as well. But it hasn't satisfied everyone.

Some voices, weary of the excess of excess, argue that the cure for what ails us is a return to the smoke-filled rooms that produced Abraham Lincoln, the two Presidents Roosevelt and Harry Truman, among others. "The vetting process," writes Robert Merry in National Interest magazine, "has been truncated to a point where it relies on happenstance to save the system from people nobody really knows and who may be hiding serious flaws." Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal agrees. Instead of rigorously vetted candidates, he says, "we get mysterious candidates who have wandered in from Nowhere Land or obscure state-senate offices." He wants to dismantle the campaign-finance laws, with all their bureaucratic bungling, that "are smothering good candidates in the crib."

So here's a wish for this season of excess: That one day soon we can say goodbye and good riddance to fluff, trivia and candidates whose only qualification for office is their good opinion of themselves.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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