Donate to JWR

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 Dec. 5, 2008 / 8 Kislev 5769

Things are tough all over

By Greg Crosby

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article | The worldwide financial crisis is now officially underway. Make sure you do your holiday shopping early - while you still have money. Yes, Wall Street is broken, Main Street is broke, and Easy Street is getting harder all the time. But if you think you got it bad, check out these recent REAL stories that are happening all around the globe. Then you can file this column in the "things are tough all over" department.

So how bad is the global financial crisis? Reuters reports that it's so bad that Russians are cutting back on vodka. Stockpiles of Russia's national drink were six times higher at the start of the month than the same time a year ago because factories are producing vodka faster than they can sell it. And Russians are trying to save their money, including booze money, because of the financial crunch on people's disposable incomes.

Research conducted by the National Alcohol Association showed deaths from alcohol poisonings in September increased to 1,458 -- the result, it said, of some Russians turning to dangerous vodka substitutes as they try to find a cheaper way of getting bombed. Better hide the shaving lotion and rubbing alcohol, comrade. Better hide the varnish, tovarish …at least until the economy turns around.

It's said that Russians consume the equivalent of 15 liters of pure alcohol per head each year. Man that's a lot of Stoli. "The government has to do something for these people trying to afford the most basic essentials in life," a Russian spokesman said. WHAT? "The most basics essentials in life?" Are they kidding?

Well, it's time to run out to the market and pick up a few basic staples for the week - let's see, we'll need bread, milk, a couple of bottles of vodka… Seems hard to understand until you realize that the name "vodka" is the Russian diminutive of the word for "water." Maybe that's the problem right there - the Russians have been thinking they were drinking water all this time!

But if you think the Russians have it tough, listen to this. Germany is running out of qualified Santa Clauses and needs to recruit and train them fast, a leading job agency says. This year there is an acute shortage of Santas to entertain children at shopping centers, Christmas markets and private parties. Germans are trying to shut out the financial crisis by taking comfort in traditional festivities, and now there are not enough Santas to go around. Ach der lieber!

A job recruiting spokesman in Munich said that it isn't easy to find qualified Santas. The qualifications are pretty stringent. Among other things a person needs to be child-friendly, organized, reliable, and have a clean police record. I guess those things are rare commodities in Germany these days. Maybe they should think about outsourcing. If they do, they might try the North Pole for starters.

Did you hear what happened to the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama? Well, he was arrested by the FBI on a wide variety of federal charges including conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false income tax returns. "Hiz Honor's" name is Larry Langford, and he's named in a 101 count indictment that alleges criminal activity while he was a county commissioner. Merry Christmas, Your Honor! With any luck at all you'll be eating your plum pudding in an orange jump suit.

And now we come to the saddest story of the week. Rosie O'Donnell's new NBC variety show, "Rosie Live" had a total viewer ship of only 5 million for its premier broadcast. The show, needless to say, has been dropped from the network's schedule. The program learned a 1.2 preliminary rating among adults 18-49. I believe the only show in the history of broadcasting to have a lower rating was "Bowling for Walnuts with Dennis James" sometime around 1962.

Just what is our country coming to when a sweet, demure soft-spoken all American girl like Rosie O'Donnell can't get a hit show? It makes me want to cry. I think I will. Oh, boo hoo. Boo, hoo. Boo, hoo, HA,HA, HA! Oops, sorry. The HA,HA,HA part slipped out by mistake.

So there you are. And you thought YOU had it bad, eh? Be thankful you don't live in Russia or Germany, or Alabama, or with Rosie O'Donnell. Like I told you, things are tough all over - especially for Russians, Germans, crooked politicians and nasty little blowhards.

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

Greg Crosby Archives

© 2008, Greg Crosby