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 October 5, 2009 / 17 Tishrei 5770

Decline of Roman's empire

By Kathryn Lopez

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "We demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski."

About 110 Hollywood luminaries, including Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen, signed a petition in immediate reaction to the long-overdue arrest of director Roman Polanski for drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski, who directed "Rosemary's Baby," among other movies, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1978 and then fled the country. He has not been back to the United States since, not even to accept an Academy Award for "The Pianist" in 2003.

"Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision," the petition read. The moviemakers who signed it were miffed by the fact that "an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers," was used by police as an opportunity to capture the honoree.

What nerve! After all, Polanski committed a crime. But an artist is a precocious type. He is encouraged to break rules, push boundaries. One concludes this may be the art community's view of the matter, based on the mad rush to the director's defense. As actress Debra Winger explained, "the whole art world suffers" with his arrest.

"Medium" star Patricia Arquette called the situation "complicated" during a red-carpet moment with CNN about Polanski's arrest. "I have very mixed personal feelings," former "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow said. "Who are we to say?" "Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels asked. After all, Polanski's victim has forgiven him. Shouldn't the law?

It's a lot less complicated than the Hollywood "community" lets on. He pleaded guilty. And even if he hadn't, a 43-year-old authority figure can't really have consensual sex with a 13-year-old, anyway. Hollywood would have agreed with the above idea if the perpetrator were a Catholic priest and the minor a 17-year-old. But morality is relative. When Bill Clinton was president, he lied under oath and abused his power to satisfy his sexual urges; it was said, time and time again, that people should be more sophisticated about the whole matter. We troglodytes who cared about law and accountability were told that lies about sex — even when they amount to perjury, even when there are crimes committed — don't really matter. Despite the president being impeached by the House of Representatives, that view was rampant among American elites. You see continuing fallout in the fall of Roman.

During those Clinton years, former Democrat Bill Bennett wrote in "The Death of Outrage," about these calls for concerned Americans to be more "European." He said at the time: "If these arguments take root in American soil — if they become the coin of the public realm — we will have validated them, and we will come to rue the day we did. These arguments define us down; they assume a lower common denominator of behavior and leadership than we Americans ought to accept." The former secretary of education and author of "The Book of Virtues" warned: "If we do accept it, we will have committed an unthinking act of moral and intellectual disarmament. In the realm of American ideals and the great tradition of public debate, the high ground will have been lost."

Given the breadth and depth of some of the prominent defenses of Polanski, an admitted rapist, there is something similar going on here. We're staring at a moral abyss and choosing whether to jump in it. With every "it's complicated" we're being challenged. Polanski explained in a profanity-filled 1979 interview why what he did was not such a big deal: "If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But (having sex), you see, and the young girls. Judges want to (have sex with) young girls. Juries want to (have sex with) young girls. Everyone wants to (have sex with) young girls!"

How's that for lowest common denominator?

I'm a Catholic who was grateful to the Boston Globe and others for forcing Catholics to confront the moral rot within the Church during those infamous molestation scandals almost a decade ago. Thank you, Woody Allen and co. for forcing a similar confrontation. The question now is: Will our consciences remain steadfast? Will Polanski finally face our justice system? Or will we surrender basic morality to the high priests of Hollywood? s

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