In this issue
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 April 14, 2005 / 5 Nisan, 5765

Demonization of the Other Side Is the Sorry Stuff of Modern Politics

By James Lileks

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Senate confirmation process for Environmental Protection Agency nominee Stephen Johnson took a dramatic turn when California Democrat Barbara Boxer recently expressed her "shock and disappointment" at his refusal to criticize an EPA program that "tests pesticides on children." Working with Florida's Bill Nelson, Boxer put a hold on Johnson's job prospects, and made one of her usual moderate, well-informed pronouncements:

"If EPA can get away with testing babies, infants, then they can get away with anything when it comes to human testing of toxics," she said.

Those fiends! They not only like to drive over the bodies of orphans on their way to work, they want them pre-flattened so the ride's smoother. Testing pesticides on kids! What's next? Hiring a batch of fresh Mengeles to vivisect Cub Scouts?

Boxer makes it sound as if the feds chose some poor red-state town, rounded up the first-graders, stuck a funnel down each one's mouth and glugged in a quart of DDT to see what color the tots turned before they died. The truth was less evil, if you are willing to entertain such a possibility. The program studied children already exposed to legal pesticides, from the stuff that wafts off the fields to the trace amounts in your food to the bug bomb Dad sets off in the kitchen when the roaches get so thick they start dragging off the family dog.

This is what you expect from the opposition these days — not just arguments, but utter demonization with a tenuous connection to facts. Yes, yes, it's predictable; the side out of power hates the other side. Stop the presses.

But this nonsense hasn't moderated since the election. It has become the standard tone for modern politics, and this is not healthy for the Republic or other living things. Once we believe that the other side is motivated by the desire to grind the face of humanity under the corporate boot — or, conversely, herd everyone into IKEA-designed Euro-socialist pens — then everything it does isn't just suspect, but bald, plain proof of perfidy.

Examples? Sure. Just look at the Democratic camp:

  • Howard Dean recently described the battle between the parties as one of "good versus evil," which suggests the battle over judicial nominees is the sequel to the Book of Revelation.

  • A recent HBO documentary on Air America showed one of its founders calling right-wing talk radio "the forces of darkness," no doubt striking a chord with those who believe Sean Hannity drove a plane into the World Trade Center.

  • Rep. Charles Rangel, using the occasion of the pope's death to score those all-important political points on "Hardball," asserted that "the rich are going straight to hell," which must have made George Soros, assorted Kennedys and nearly everyone in the first 20 rows of an Oscar ceremony sit up and pay attention. He also insisted that Jesus endorsed food stamps and Social Security, and the pope wasn't on the Republican side.

  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking in Minneapolis recently, insisted that the GOP wants to "destroy the environment." She didn't say Republicans were wrong about the particulars of environmental protection, or motivated by misguided assumptions — no, they want to DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT. Apparently the Republicans have an entirely separate and private ecosystem in reserve somewhere, with a charcoal-filtered atmosphere of air so pure it would sear the lungs of the sickly hoi polloi.

What of the program to test pesticide levels on children? The EPA canceled it, citing the climate of misinformation that would have tainted reaction to the study's results. Expect a headline like "Bush administration cancels plan to study pesticide impact on children."

Damned if they do and damned if they don't — but as Rangel and Dean might note, damnation is what happens to those who oppose the forces of good and thwart the will of Jesus and the pope to keep rich men from hell.

Remind us again: Who are the theocrats?

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.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, James Lileks