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 May 20, 2009 / 26 Iyar 5769

Obama skips thorny abortion details

By Clarence Page

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As I considered the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's commencement speech at Notre Dame University, I recalled a late Irish Catholic friend whose civil rights activism I admired, even if we didn't agree on everything.

One day a word in my column disturbed him so much that he had to call me on it. I had decried the "yahoos" who wanted to ban the right of women to choose abortion. Calmly but firmly, he let me know that he happened to oppose abortion and he didn't think of himself as a yahoo.

I agreed that he was not, by any means. I apologized for any offense he might have taken and promised to avoid such sweeping generalities. We agreed to disagree on abortion and didn't let it get in the way of the many issues on which we agreed.

In today's media age of talk show ideologues poking one another as "socialists," "fascists," "pinheads" or "world's worst persons," talk of civility and comity — the ability of adversaries to work together on mutual interests — sounds downright quaint.

Yet that was the theme Obama promoted, appropriately, in his commencement speech — which had itself drawn controversy at the major Catholic university because of his pro-choice views on abortion.

He set up his theme with an episode like my own, drawn from his second book, "The Audacity of Hope." During his U.S. Senate campaign, a self-described "pro-life" Christian doctor e-mailed Obama to say him because of an entry posted on Obama's website. It said Obama would fight "right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman's right to choose."

"I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion," the doctor wrote, "only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words."

Obama wrote back, he said, and thanked the doctor. "I didn't change my underlying position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my Web site," he said. He also vowed to extend the same presumption of good faith to others, regardless of their agreement with him, "because … that's when we discover at least the possibility of common ground."

The speech was classic Obama the pragmatist: Look past ideology, try to ignore disagreements and work together on mutual interests.

"So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions," he said, sparking rolling applause. "Let's reduce unintended pregnancies. Let's make adoption more available. Let's provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women."

Each of those points acknowledged the moral tragedy of abortion and was greeted with enthusiastic applause. This, too, was classic Obama. His eloquent come-together oratory enabled him to leave like a hero, even though he glossed over the thorny specifics that drive wedges between people of good will when words are hammered into law.

For example, Obama's call for a "sensible conscience clause" rankles "pro-life" and "pro-choice" advocates who have very different definitions of "sensible." The current federal law permits doctors, pharmacists and other health care workers to refuse to provide medical services for reasons of religion or conscience. Obama's administration has taken steps to replace provisions added under President George W. Bush, charging that the Bush rules unfairly reduce access to abortions for women in rural or otherwise underserved areas.

Also unmentioned in Obama's speech were late-term (also known as "partial-birth") abortions, parental notification of abortions for teen-aged girls and the proposed Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion legalization decision. That law would be "the first thing I'd do as president," he promised Planned Parenthood in 2007. But in a recent news conference he said the bill is "not my highest legislative priority."

As Obama said of the abortion issue, "at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable." That's because Americans hold no values more dear than "life" and "choice." In the abortion debate, those values clash head-on.

Obama also plans to convene a series of discussions with people on both sides of the debate and draft a set of policy recommendations by late summer.

For now, by focusing on civility, the president apparently hopes to defuse the abortion powder keg long enough to address his higher priorities. The economy, national security and health care are going to be tough fights. But they're probably not as "irreconcilable" as today's culture war between "life" and "choice."

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© 2009, TMS