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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Feb. 12, 2007 / 24 Shevat, 5767

I'm in denial, you're in denial

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Nothing corrupts intellectual power like the abuse of the language. Free speech becomes an endangered species when powerful words, misused, become shortcuts for specious argument and repetitious cliches trivialize noble ideas.


Nothing stops someone in a foot-in-the-mouth defense of himself like being told "you're in denial," meaning that he's avoiding the truth of experience. If you don't acknowledge an accurate diagnosis of a terminal disease, recognize the philandering of a mate or see the approaching death that awaits us all, "you're in denial." The truth-seeker in wolf's clothing demands that everyone look at the world through his lens, as though through a glass, lightly. Denial is based not on facts, but emotion.


All deniers aren't equal opportunity deniers, and an all-purpose stigma inhibits rational argument. We see this illustrated on Page One every morning. Skeptics of global warming are compared to Holocaust deniers. The ecologically correct become eco-heresy hunters determined to silence anyone who questions their evidence, flimsy and questionable or not. Any human destruction of nature is described as "ecocide" (like genocide.) When David Irving was sentenced to prison in Austria as a "Holocaust denier," an Australian journalist suggested making climate-change denial a similar offense. An Internet commentator wants global-warming deniers to be tried like Nazi war criminals.


"Denial" came out of the therapyspeak prevalent in the middle of the 20th century, especially as it was applied to confronting the reality of mortality. It was popularized as the first stage of grief, but was quickly expanded to include refusal to confront any bad news or disturbing ideas. Like the broken clock that's correct twice a day, denial is sometimes an accurate label for certain behavior, but as a consuming mythology in our culture it becomes the all-purpose description to deny independent thinking.


On a personal level it's used to accuse others of cowardice in refusing to face up to what is regarded as in their own best interest. It elevates a kind of psychological groupthink over independent interpretations and casts a critical eye at those who face their problems in their own way. This attitude wreaks enormous havoc when it is applied to public issues.


When denial is used against those who question the evidence of conventional wisdom it acts as a secular Inquisition creating a free-floating metaphor for post-modern blasphemy. "This targeting of denial has little to do with the specifics of the highly charged emotional issues involved in discussions of the Holocaust or AIDS or pollution," writes sociologist Frank Furedi in Spiked Online. "Rather it is driven by a wider mood of intolerance towards free thinking." It becomes an informal but dangerous form of collective censorship, limiting free speech and demanding social or civil punishment, or both. (Free speech defenders have no problem defending their own dearly held beliefs, but often when called on to defend something they consider dangerous find all manner of exceptions.)


For all of the creepiness of "Holocaust denial," making it against the law not only restricts free speech, perniciously wrong-headed as that is, but forces those who perpetuate it to go underground. When President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran held his Holocaust denial conference in Tehran, he exposed his irrational hatred to the rest of the world, making his threat to "wipe Israel off the map" and his determination to develop nuclear weapons suddenly visible as a genuine threat to everyone.


His hyperventilated rhetoric, as outrageous as it is, requires counter arguments of reason and cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman, a mistake many critics of Hitler made. The Tehran conference drew wide rebuke, inspiring hundreds of articles refuting speaker after speaker. Such refutations won't dissuade the anti-Semites who ply their trade in the Middle East, but will establish a contemporary historical record and heighten the alert for those in the Western democracies who understand that words can be deadly weapons of mass destruction.


No word has been so trivialized as "Holocaust." It's attached to issues that bear no relation to the crimes of the Nazis of the Third Reich. The triumph of bad taste and perversion of moral meaning is exhibited by animal rights protesters who compare the slaughter of animals to the slaughter of Jews. In one of their campaigns, called "Holocaust on Your Plate," images of animals locked in pens are superimposed on photographs of emaciated prisoners behind the barbed wire of a concentration camp.


The human talent for devising destruction is boundless, and humans of goodwill must demand the careful use of words to make reasonable distinctions. If we don't, we are truly in denial.

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