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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Oct. 22, 2013/ 18 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

Political speech --- dumb as a ham sandwich

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Forrest Gump

Gump never ran for public office — a smart move on his part. If he had, the opposing party would have put up a campaign ad insulting both his intelligence and yours. It probably would have gone something like this:

"Forrest Gump says the people of his district are nothing but lumps of congealed caramel and chocolate wrapped in cellophane. Who does Forrest Gump think he is? Call Gump now and tell him you're more than just a brainless confection in a cardboard box."

Gump was using a simile — something countless people do every day to illustrate a point. People used to understand how similes, analogies and other figures of speech work. Increasingly, however, they don't — or, sometimes, pretend they don't in order to whip up outrage.

This happened recently in Virginia, when liberals blasted Ken Cuccinelli for equating immigration policy with exterminating vermin — or even for equating immigrants with rats. Cuccinelli is an immigration hawk and a rhetorical rock-thrower, but did he actually say something that outrageous?

No. The Washington Post — a newspaper nobody would accuse of going soft on Republicans, let alone Cuccinelli — explained why not. A while back the GOP gubernatorial nominee awkwardly poked fun at a District of Columbia policy under which, he said, "pest control people . . . aren't allowed to kill . . . rats. They have to relocate the rats and not only that . . . they cannot break up the families of the rats. . . . It is worse than our immigration policy — you can't break up rat families. . . . It's unbelievable."



Cuccinelli is wrong on immigration policy (and wrong about the details of the D.C. rule, by the way), but his point should be clear: Government shows even more solicitude to rats than it does to undocumented immigrants, which is silly. Why is it silly? Because everyone knows rats are far inferior to humans. The comparison rests on that difference. To suggest Cuccinelli was drawing an equivalency, therefore, not only misses his point but gets it exactly backward.

Another example occurred at Virginia Commonwealth University last year, while the nation was debating Obamacare's contraception mandate. VCU held a panel discussion, during which one of the mandate's opponents said forcing Catholic institutions to provide birth control was like forcing a Jewish deli to serve ham sandwiches: It violated religious freedom unnecessarily, since the product in question is easily obtainable elsewhere.

You can argue the point, but another panelist (a professor, no less) chose not to. Instead, she accused the previous speaker of saying women were nothing but meat sandwiches. This not only misses the point entirely. It gets the analogy wrong not once, but twice: Nothing was being called a sandwich at all — and even if something had been, that something was contraception, not women.

The first speaker feebly objected that he had not called women sandwiches. "Yes you did!" bellowed a number of students in the audience. So much for higher education.

Analogies admittedly need some unpacking. Yet to those seeking an excuse for outrage, even simple comparisons are often too complex. Several days ago the conservative blogosphere erupted in fury because "Liberal Rep. Alan Grayson Compares Republicans to Dog Poop." Well, yes and no: In a floor speech, the Florida Democrat ran down a list of things that, according to a recent poll, were more popular than Congress — including witches, hemorrhoids and doggy doo-doo. Funny stuff — and nonpartisan to boot. Yet inside the right-wing echo chamber Grayson was calling everyone in the GOP a piece of dung.

On Fox News Insider, we are told that "Joe Biden Compares Republicans to 'Squealing Pigs.'" The vice president didn't say Republicans were pigs, though that was Fox's obvious implication; he said that's what their complaints about Wall Street regulation sounded like.

The conservative site The Blaze highlighted a clip in which "Former Bush Chief Strategist Compares Conservatives to the Flintstones." This, apparently, was supposed to elicit knee-jerk indignation. Others were furious that MSNBC's Rachel "Maddow Compares Republicans to Weasels on Angel Dust." She used that splendid image to depict how viciously party leaders were tearing one another apart.

Even light-hearted commentary becomes grist for the synthetic-outrage mill. When Rep. Jan Schakowsy fired up the Democratic troops by playing theme music from "Star Wars," this became: "Schakowsky Compares Republicans to Genocidal Stormtroopers!"

Democrats play the game, too. Last December, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho said Democrats "need more revenues. You know, Democrats are like bank robbers. You don't have the money in the 2 percent — the money is in the 100 percent. They want to raise taxes on everyone."

Labrador was alluding to the well-known story about bank robber Willie Sutton: When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton is supposed to have replied, "Because that's where the money is." Labrador was suggesting Democrats will not be content to tax the richest 2 percent of Americans, because they do not have enough money to fund everything Democrats want — so Democrats will go where the money is, and tax everybody. Within a picosecond, this became "Labrador Compares Democrats to Bank Robbers!" which really meant: "Watch This Republican Jerk says Democrats Like You Are Criminals. Grrr!"

Politics, wrote Orwell in "Politics and the English Language," is "a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia," and the decline of language "must ultimately have political . . . causes." It would be too much to say politics today is killing off the analogy. But the analogy lies bleeding on the ground, and politics is giving it another hard stomp.

Some day soon, an English professor will read an essay explaining that the Roman general Coriolanus must have been a farmer, because he is described as going forth to battle "like to a harvest-man that's task'd to mow." When the good professor flings himself out the window, as he almost surely will when that moment comes, he will know whom and what he has to thank.

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.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




10/15/13: Why College Costs Will Soon Plunge
09/19/13: Progressives Reap What They Sow
09/13/13: You are being watched
09/10/13: Sorry, your business isn't desirable enough
09/05/13: The least bad option: Kill Assad
08/27/13: GOPers wrong ones to take on ObamaCare
08/08/13: Gas prices: What can the president do?
08/02/13: Chris Christie pulls a Dowd
07/29/13: Should Click and Clack wind up in the clink?
07/08/13: Commit any felonies lately?
06/18/13: Citizens and the State: the problem is bigger than you think
06/06/13: Political derangement threatens basic rights
05/30/13: Should we fear ex-Marine --- or those who detained him?
05/23/13: Professor of Constitution goes to war against it
05/23/13: REVEALED: IRS letter to tea party groups
05/15/13: Today on NPR: The smothering tax burden
04/30/13: What does Boston say about diversity?
04/25/13: For some libs, 'courage' = agreeing with them
04/18/13: Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal
04/11/13: Cognitive dissonance on guns
04/04/13: Do unto others, but not unto us, say the media
04/01/13: Observations from the auto shop holding pen
03/14/13: The nation-building follies
03/12/13: Will the right come around on pot?
03/07/13: Another U.S. dupe falls for a dictator
02/28/13: How dare you say that here!
02/26/13: Eating Frito-Lay chips at gunpoint
02/20/13: Death Star petitions are just what we need
02/13/13: ObamaCare proves law correct --- deep down you knew it would
01/29/13: It's Time to Get Judgy About Incompetency
01/23/13: Look who's mocking fascist fear-mongering now
01/16/13: Only in Washington could you get away with referring to spending and tax increases as spending 'cuts'
01/09/13: Obama begins his second term, Bush's fourth
01/07/13: Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?
01/03/13: Why, historically, January is the perfect time to debate the filibuster
12/26/12: When libs devalue diversity
12/20/12: Mark Your Calendars
12/13/12: Gun control, ad infinitum
12/11/12: Fracking can help fix the CO2 problem
12/06/12: Let's open the door to lots more immigration
12/04/12: Who's watching the kids? Just about everyone
11/29/12: The Real Middle-Class Champion was Mocked and Opposed
11/26/12: It's time to cut a deal on the budget
11/20/12: The case for a carbon tax
11/15/12: Cue the hysterics. Reports of Democracy's Death Greatly Exaggerated
11/07/12: The $4,000 Trash Can: We need regulation, but not this much
10/23/12: The Ballad of Islamist Rage Boy
10/17/12: Undermining the values that enable people in poverty to escape it? Sadly, yes
10/11/12: How Much Is This Tax Cut Gonna Cost Me, Doc?
10/04/12: Warrantless spying skyrockets under Obama
08/20/12: The wrong side absolutely must not win
08/14/12: America was not built on dirt alone
08/02/12: Libs Discover Their Inner Cheney
07/30/12: Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not
07/23/12: Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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