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 May 5, 2005 / 26 Nisan, 5765

When the Guys on Your Side Make You Cringe

By James Lileks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Conservatives often get slagged for speaking to religious organizations, as if they've thrown church and state in the blender and hit puree. Dominionist smoothies for all! Liberal politicians who speak in churches are presumably slathered with some sort of secular gel that insulates them from influence. (And criticism.)

It's an ancient double standard. Nevertheless, those who defend the right of the religiously minded to join the political debate are not heartened when guys from their side cram all their feet in their mouths, shoes included, right past the ankles.

Exhibit No. 1: Pat Robertson. He recently declared on ABC's "This Week" that federal judges are "probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings."

Said the New York Daily News: "Confronted ... on his claims that an out-of-control liberal judiciary is the worst threat America has faced in 400 years — worse than Nazi Germany, Japan and the Civil War — Robertson didn't back down. `Yes, I really believe that,' he said. `I think they are destroying the fabric that holds our nation together."'

Well, then let's issue an all-points bulletin for judges in flight schools who are learning only how to take off. Keep an eye peeled for robed Solons taking pictures of key bridges, wondering where they would plant the rulings to bring them down. And if any of your relatives fought in World War II, ask them about Hitler's feared legal division, which turned back the entire spring '44 offensive by ruling that the Allied tanks had no standing in the European theater.

Yes, judges who see the Constitution as something that's living, breathing, singing, dancing, etc., will carry out al-Qaida's agenda on their own initiative. Any day now the Ninth Circuit will allow gay marriage, but only if the couple is stoned to death during the reception.

It's nonsense and twaddle, and detracts from the real problems of an overactive judiciary. But what's missing? Endorsement of Robertson's notion from any Republican politician with so much as a pinky-toe hold in the mainstream.

Now, our second example. Alabama state legislator Gerald Allen wanted to ban public school libraries from buying anything written by a gay author, regardless of content. They all have agendas, you see, and it contaminates every word of their work, even if they're writing about parakeets.

If you ban something simply just because the author was gay, then you not only deprive the children of exceptional art, you assert that there is something intrinsically corrupting about the author's sexual identity that perverts his or her work at the molecular level. Would it be permitted to study DaVinci's sublime religious art? Guess not. Read a biography? Well, maybe — depends on the author. What if he's single and has cats? What if he's married and likes show tunes?

Oh, and no computers in the classroom; computer pioneer Alan Turing fancied the lads, you know. Back to the abacuses. If exposure to gay artists is inherently corrupting, then "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings" — both of which had gay actors among their heroes — should have made millions of teen geeks switch teams.

No one in the GOP will take up the Alabamian's cause, on account of its terminal boneheadedness. No one on the national scale is criticizing him either, but you can't expect them to respond to every loose flake in a state legislature, any more than you could hold Bill Clinton responsible for every city councilman who wanted to make his town's air space free of orbiting space weapons. You can start to worry about the imminent theocracy when Pat Robertson sits next to George W. Bush at the next convention.

But it might behoove the national party to call these guys out from time to time. Note to Karl Rove: The next time someone asks the prez what's on his iPod, mention the Pet Shop Boys. Can't hurt.

In any case, thanks for sounding off, guys! Puts the supposedly scary theocrats like Bush and Bill Frist in perspective. We now return you to your previous career path. Irrelevance, with a tangy soupcon of obscurity. Bon appetit.

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