May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Jan. 12, 2007
/ 22 Teves, 5767
My son the legislator
My son became a state legislator Monday and is soon to be graduated from law school. I thought of his mother as I climbed the long, long flight of marble steps at the Capitol up to the House chamber, then the little staircase to the crowded gallery for a bird's-eye view of the swearing-in ceremonies.
After her first unhappy marriage to an attorney it was nobody' s fault, these things happen my wife harbored a suspicion of lawyers in general for the rest of her life. Nor might she have considered becoming a politician a great step up. As a general class, they rank down there with newspapermen. And here her boy was about to become both a lawyer and a legislator. At least, I thought, the woman was spared this.
How embarrassing it must be for a legislator to have a father who retells family stories in the public prints for all to read. Hey, that's no more embarrassing than having a son who is a member of the Arkansas Legislature. Nothing has changed, really, except that the political disputes at the dinner table that so distressed his mother have moved to the public arena. Well, some things have changed. The food was better back then.
Approaching the top of the elegant staircase, I thought of what John Dean had said about rising to the inner sanctum of the Nixon administration: The higher he rose, the lower he sank.
I can no longer peer around our state Capitol's echoing marble halls without thinking of July 15, 1996, and the chaotic opera bouffe that took place here that day. One governor was about to be sworn in but the other refused to leave. It was a stand-off worthy of one of the smaller Latin American principalities, or maybe the sovereign state of Georgia. Didn't it once have two or maybe three contending governors for a couple of months circa 1946-47?
At least our game of Arkansas Bluff in '96 lasted only four hours until Jim Guy Tucker collected himself and his things and made way for his successor, Mike Huckabee. The new governor was a rock throughout that first and maybe biggest crisis of his long tenure, and was even gracious about it afterward. What a roller-coaster ride that was.
That kind of thing explains why the vista down Little Rock's Capitol Avenue from Main Street hasn't been quite the same since they moved Henry Moore's striking "Standing Figure, Knife Edge" over to the side of the street. The defenseless feminine figure used to face straight down the avenue directly at the Capitol; she seemed to be silently shrieking in well-grounded fear at what the Legislature might do next. Which may be how the whole state feels the day the Legislature convenes. Hide the women and children!
But this morning at the Capitol, on opening day of the 2007 the regular session, all the familiar features are in their accustomed place: the great pillars and columns, the tiled floors and vaulted ceilings, the tall Corinthian columns and good ol' Tim Massanelli in the parliamentarian's chair. Everything is as it should be.
Down on the floor, my son and his wife can be seen chatting amiably with other members of the 86th General Assembly of the State of Arkansas. There are smiles all around. I imagine that, just before the games began at the Coliseum, the gladiators probably exchanged pleasantries, too.
All the rituals are duly observed, including the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem sung by a past Miss Arkansas. I hadn't realized how eloquent the words to the "Star-Spangled Banner" were till I saw them translated by the interpreter for the deaf. Ordinarily much may be lost in translation; on this occasion, much was gained.
All 100 state representatives-elect are sworn in, and can now drop "elect" from their title. I see that the state rep who ranks 100th in seniority dead last is one Dan Greenberg of House District 31. He's also been named, last again, to a ceremonial committee dispatched to inform the state Senate on the other end of the Capitol that the House is now duly organized and ready to conduct business, G-d help the state of Arkansas.
I hurry down to shake the new state rep's hand and give him a congratulatory hug as he leaves the House chamber, heading over to the Senate with the rest of the committee. I see he's all aglow with his new job; he always did love politics. He doesn't have much time to chat right now. "I'm afraid I've got to go to the Senate," he explains as he strides off, and this moment, too, has entered the past.
Watching him go, I can't decide whether I'm Jack Burden, another newspaperman trying to keep up with all the king's men, or proud unidentified parent in background. Why not both? Hey, it's America. Here you can be anything you want to be.
You know, I think his mother would be pleased after all.
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.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
Paul Greenberg Archives
© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K