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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 6, 2011 / 4 Sivan, 5771

Glenn Beck, Norway, Hitler and Me

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Glenn Beck said the Summer camp in Norway were the children were shot, "sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing." The answer, Mr. Beck, as to who would do such a thing, in the United States of America is… The American Legion. The American Legion hosts state Boys' State and Girls' State conferences and national conferences where high school students from throughout America converge for mock elections, etc.. Now Beck fans will defend him, and attack me, as happened when I told Glenn to "put a sock in it" after his rant that G-d is punishing the sinners with a tsunami in Japan. Beck has more power, money and for that matter hair, than I do; so he's no underdog worried about censorship. Having attended Boys' State I can report on it for you, the parts I remember. My Boy's State story is a bit different…

An idealistic high school student, I went in for interviews at the American Legion Post many decades ago competing for an opportunity to represent the local Post at Boy's State. It was an honor, it was a valuable credential for applying to college and I really wanted to go. Of the many disappointments I faced in high school, losing the Boy's State competition was one of my most bitter. It was one of the few areas where I could compete, and I lost. I was named an Alternate to Boy's State, but try putting that on your resume. Fate has a sense of humor.

Carl, one of the two high school students select to go to Boy's State, was later picked as a foreign exchange student. Given the choice of a year in Sweden with beautiful blonde vixens or a week in Tallahassee, Florida in August with a bunch of other teenage boys Carl chose Sweden. When I called the American Legion Commander to "report for duty" he gingerly explained that there was "a problem." The Commander (back in those less politically correct days) of the American Legion Post explained to me that they were originally going to appointment me to Boy's State. But he pointed out, "Tallahassee is very hilly, it is hot in the Summer, there is a lot of walking during the Boy's State week and… you are a cripple." "Cripple" came before "handicapped" which came before "disabled," which came before "physically challenged." Among other things, Jerry Lewis's telethon each year helped make "cripple" a household term and was not my favorite time of year. Since I had polio as a kid, and used a leg brace and crutches there was arguing that point with the Commander. He said that to spare everyone embarrassment, they decided to name me as an "alternate." But now Carl had "upset the apple cart." I further upset the apple cart by insisting on going to Boys' State.

When I arrived at Boys' State everything the Commander had feared turned out to be true. It was hot, hilly and there were long walks between dorms, meetings, and events. I was determined to keep up, but always ended up trailing behind the line of marching teenage boys who were always move faster than me. After a few days of this, the State Troopers offered to drive me around. I appreciated their offer but I was determined not to show weakness. All those Readers Digest stories and inspirational tales convinced me not to accept any help.

I hung in there and was elected to a couple of offices in Boy's State. But after a few days I slowed down and arrived a minute of two late for events. And I was so exhausted that I started falling asleep. But I was proud and wanted prove I would do without any help. During the mock Bar Exam I feel asleep. For many years afterwards that worried me, until I took the real bar exam and passed it. I came home humbled, exhausted and bewildered from Boys' State. It wasn't a victory, but I had proved my point. I was grateful to the American Legion for letting me go, for allowing me to be tardy and to nod off through much of Boys' State. There are times when failing at something is far better than not trying, or being left out. This was one of them.

It was all politics, all the time but Boys' State, but it was nothing like a Hitler youth camp. I can live with, and support camps where kids play with civic activities, and yes, politics. Saying Glenn Beck is just grabbing headlines is not an excuse. With Beck's power, comes responsibility. I am not na´ve. The American Legion is far from perfect. They opposed sheltering Jewish children from the Holocaust in the United States. But the American Legion has done many good things. We should express our grief for the murder of the children and bombing victims in Norway. It should not be about a political message, headline grabbing, personal agendas or politics. As for Glenn Beck, he should ask his wife about how best to apologize.

The other lessons to be learned from my experience are these: Next time you urge on that recovering vet, person who had a stroke or someone who is physically challenged, do so in a way that encourages them to succeed, to accept help and to work around failure. For those of us who have experienced life's challenges the lesson to learn is the difference between kindness and weakness. I did at Boys' State.

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.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

D Day: The Ripple Effect
What are you paying for?
Law, Etiquette and 5 Rules
Inspiration
Confusing Kindness with Weakness
When Katie Couric Got Pulled Off the Air…
Don't second guess the deceased
Pain and legacies
Being in the No
The Sixth Sense
Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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