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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 Nov. 1, 2007 / 20 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

A lesson in personal responsibility

By Larry Elder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two weeks ago I arrived at San Francisco airport. The young, attractive, personable black woman at the rental car desk wore a badge that said "Trainee." I smiled and said, "That's an odd name." She laughed. I asked whether she was from San Francisco. She replied, "No, I'm not from here. I'm from Atlanta."


"Why are you here?" I asked.


"Well, I moved back with my parents here in town."


"I thought you said you were not from here."


"Well," she said, "I'm from here, but I went to school in Atlanta, and I prefer it there. So I consider it my home."


"What were you doing in Atlanta?" I asked.


"I attended Clark University, but after a couple of years I got pregnant, so I came home."


"Are you in school now?"


"No, because the money's too good."


"Too good to remain in school?"


"For now," she answered.


"What is it you don't like about San Francisco?"


"It's just so racist," she said.


"Racist? Isn't this one of the most liberal cities in the country?" I asked. She rolled her eyes.


"Sign here," she said. "You know, I should have finished my training program some time ago, but because I'm black, they're making me stay longer."


"How do you know it's because you're black?" Another roll of the eyes.


As I was leaving, I said, "You know, given your people skills and your drive, whatever obstacles others place in your way, you'll be able to overcome them."


"Wait, what do you mean?"


I turned around. "I mean that given your charm and your apparent drive, I'm sure you'll be able to deal with — and maybe even turn around — anybody who gets in your way."


"You think so?" she asked.


"I know so."


Which brings us to Stanley O'Neal, the recently ousted black CEO of Merrill Lynch.


Who is Stanley O'Neal? Born in segregated Alabama in 1951, O'Neal spent his early childhood delivering newspapers, picking corn and cotton on the family farm, and being educated in a one-room school built by his grandfather. He landed a job on General Motors' assembly line, and won a place studying engineering and industrial administration at the General Motors Institute. O'Neal later secured a Harvard scholarship, where he earned an MBA. "I really didn't have an understanding of the world or any role models, but I had a strong desire to learn, and I think that is what pulled me through," said O'Neal.


He left General Motors for Merrill Lynch in 1986, beginning a meteoric rise to CFO in 1998, president in 2000 and CEO in 2002. In July 2002, when Fortune magazine named O'Neal the most powerful black executive in the country, O'Neal refused to comment for the story. Most interviewers found O'Neal disinclined to talk about his race and background, as Fortune later wrote: "[O'Neal] is even reluctant to discuss what it's like to be the first African American to run a major Wall Street firm."


Last year business pundits praised O'Neal, and his firm rewarded him for their record $7.5 billion net income by paying O'Neal $48 million, one of Wall Street's richest packages.


Back in 2002, when O'Neal was picked for ascension to CEO, Fortune published a fairly glowing, lengthy story on O'Neal titled, "Can Stan O'Neal Save Merrill?" mentioning his race only once. And a BusinessWeek story, "Merrill: Is Stan the Man?" never mentioned his race. Aside from noting that O'Neal was the first black CEO of a big investment firm, most stories at the time focused on O'Neal's accomplishments, his leadership style and the obstacles facing Merrill Lynch — but did not focus on his race.


But O'Neal, as did many CEOs in financial services, placed bad bets in the mortgage market. The sub-prime meltdown resulted in a $7.9 billion write-off in mortgage-related assets for Merrill Lynch's third quarter. His rivals — Citigroup Inc. and others — also lost huge sums of money. After his five-year tenure — average for an American CEO — the board fired him.


As for the termination, only a handful of papers bothered to mention that O'Neal is black — and usually deep into the story. A front-page Wall Street Journal article said, "Mr. O'Neal . . . is widely credited with boosting Merrill's profitability and transforming it . . . . " Then halfway through the story, it says, "No one on Wall Street embodied the Horatio Alger story better than Mr. O'Neal, who became the highest-ranking African-American on Wall Street." The New York Times story, "At Merrill, a Risk-Taker's Rise Ends With a Messy Undoing," makes no mention of race.


O'Neal's race played no role in either his hiring or firing. So Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will likely remain silent — for a change.


As to the trainee at the rental car agency, I doubt whether she ever heard of O'Neal. But she certainly could benefit from something the former Merrill Lynch CEO once told Newsweek: "It's maybe the only country in the world that could have somebody like me start out where I did and wind up doing what I'm doing."

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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