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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 March 21, 2008 / 14 Adar II 5768

Throwing grandma over the side

By Mona Charen


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's a mistake to try to pigeonhole Barack Obama. He is too smart and too agile to succumb to easy categorization. But the candidate's eloquence is often more of a curtain than a window to his soul — and one is left to wonder where his heart truly lies. As George Burns said of acting, "Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you've got it made."


Discussing his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who asked God to "damn" America, who called this country the "No. 1 killer in the world," Obama's defense was subtle. Oh yes, he agreed, the rhetoric is "divisive at a time when we need unity" and reflects "profoundly distorted views of this country" that "rightly offend both white and black." But there's so much more to the man. He serves his community, housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, serving those with HIV/AIDS, and so forth. He brought Obama to Christianity. And Obama can no more "disown him than he can disown the black community" and no more disown him than he can disown his own white grandmother.


Obama's white grandmother, according to the account in "Dreams from My Father," had once flinched before a black man on a public bus — hoping that her husband would drive her to work the following day so that she could avoid him. On other occasions, he recounts, she had uttered "racial or ethnic stereotypes" that made Obama "cringe."


This is a false equivalence. In the first place, what pastor or congregational leader does not minister to the poor and unfortunate? Pastoral work in the community is the norm, not the exception. One can say the same of Louis Farrakhan and Hamas for that matter. It doesn't begin to excuse or justify stoking the flames of hatred and bitterness that Wright so flagrantly fired.


And wasn't it a bit of a cheap shot to take public aim at grandmother, who sacrificed so much for Obama, who served as his surrogate mother during his high school years? If she used racial and ethnic stereotypes, that was wrong. But the episode about the bus, as related in his book, is hardly a damning indictment of a secret racist. After Obama's grandmother confessed to having been harassed by an aggressive panhandler, Obama writes:


"He (Obama's grandfather) turned around and I saw now that he was shaking. 'It is a big deal. It's a big deal to me. She's been bothered by men before. You know why she's so scared this time? I'll tell you why. Before you came in she told me the fella was black.' He whispered the word. 'That's the real reason she's bothered. And I just don't think that's right.'


"It was like a fist to my stomach, and I wobbled to maintain my composure."


I don't claim to know Obama's grandmother and am in no position to judge her racial sentiments. But it does seem to an outsider that Obama's judgment upon his grandmother is as harsh as his tolerance of Wright is benign. It isn't as if he was raised in Trinity Baptist Church. He chose it as an adult. He chose those sermons he now calls "incendiary" and "inexcusable." He says now that Wright misses the dynamism of American society, yet when it came time to decide where his daughters would attend church, he chose Trinity, where they would "learn" that the U.S. government concocted the AIDS virus to wipe out the African-American population, that the U.S. would "plant" WMDs in Iraq, and that blacks harming other blacks are "fighting the wrong enemy." A beautifully delivered speech cannot overcome that history.


The solution, Obama asserts, to racial divisiveness, is to come together and say "Not this time." This time "we want to talk about "the crumbling schools ... to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem." This time, in other words, we can demonstrate our racial bona fides by, you guessed it, voting for Obama for president.


Barack is the new kid on the block, but surely he can recall the campaign of 2000. One of the candidates that year made education reform a keystone of his effort, more or less explicitly aiming at minority kids. He called his package No Child Left Behind and denounced the "soft bigotry of low expectations." One doesn't expect Obama, a very liberal Democrat, to endorse George W. Bush's programs. But it would be nice if he were not suggesting that by voting for something very similar, we are taking a bold step toward racial reconciliation and universal love.

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