In this issue

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 Sept. 18, 2008 / 18 Elul 5768

A clatter of editorial writers

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What's the collective noun for editorial writers? I need to know because a whole herd of us is coming together this week here in Little Rock. But to call us a herd gives us too much credit for organization. I know it's a coven of witches, a pride of lions, a murder of crows, but what do you call an agglomeration of editorial writers?

My nomination: a clatter. As in the sound made by those old Royals and Underwoods in the noisy, crowded, smoke-filled newsrooms of yesteryear.

There was something romantic, promising, alive about that sound. There still is, which may be why there's a market even now for manual typewriters among the sentimental, or just wistful.

We won't be a full-fledged clatter until the program gets under way with greetings from Mike Huckabee, formerly a governor and presidential candidate, and currently political commentator and bass guitarist with his rock 'n' roll ensemble, Capitol Offense.

There'll be some other Big Names on the program, like syndicated columnist Juan Williams and John Shelton Reed, the DeTocqueville of Dixie. He's rounded up a whole passel of eminent sociologists to talk about the latest incarnation of that curious ethnic/geographic/cultural group known as Southerners.

We'll talk about the Wal-Mart Effect and the impact of Hispanic immigration, too. The obligatory tour of the Central High Museum is to follow a discussion about the ever-evolving historical significance of the Little Rock Crisis of 1957. It'll all be in keeping with the convention's theme this year: "The Next South, the Next America."

Who knows, we may even get around to discussing editorial writing at some point.

All in all, this conclave should be quite a show. It could even prove an education if we pay attention.

Editorial writers should be trickling into the lobby of the Peabody Hotel here in Little Rock all during the day. One by one they'll set down their luggage and the obligatory laptops that have replaced the old Royal and Remington portables, and start looking around for old friends or, even better, old enemies. Some of us have feuded for so long we've started to like each other.

You grow fond of people you see Same Time Next Year — year after year. And I've reached the age where I not only see old friends but a ghost or two, editorial writers from the past who used to be at these conventions but have made their last deadline. Tony Snow, a lapsed editorial writer who wound up a presidential press secretary, had been invited to speak at our final dinner, but had a previous engagement. Dang, it'd be good to see him again at one of these things and renew the past, slightly rewritten to give ourselves much better lines.

And I still miss Ann Lloyd Merriman of the Richmond News-Leader and later Times-Dispatch, our historian and keeper of the flame, who left a hole the size of a continent in this outfit's institutional memory when she died a few years ago. How describe her? She was a combination of Virginia gentility and invincibility, of Lee and Jackson, only wrapped in a cloud of cigarette smoke and sipping a bottomless libation. In short, a helluva newspaperwoman.

As you would imagine, given newspapermen's talent for organization, the National Conference of Editorial Writers is a kind of anarchists' convention, a mix of class reunion and debating society. And I can hardly wait for it to pick up steam and get really rolling.

How describe our membership? H. L. Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore, and a man who could write a mean editorial in more than one sense of the word, attended one of the first of these editorial writers' conferences. His writings remain fruit for the mind—a mix of verbal razzmatazz and cold observation that still cuts uncomfortably close to the bone. For example, here's his summary description of the nation's editorial writers at that early conference of same:

"Copy readers promoted from the city room to get rid of them, alcoholic writers of local histories and forgotten novels, former managing editors who had come to grief on other papers, and a miscellany of decayed lawyers, college professors and clergymen with whispered pasts. Some of these botches of God were pleasant enough fellows, a few even showed a certain grasp of elementary English, but taking one with another they were held in disdain." Certainly they were by Mr. Mencken, who never mixed his talent with tact. In his case, that would have been a sad dilution.

We've grown considerably more respectable since Mr. Mencken's time, more's the pity. The modern, contemporary editorial writer, alas, has an abundance of tact and all too little talent. Like any patron saint, Henry Louis Mencken is much honored amongst us, but too little followed. Literal-minded, imagination-short, terribly solemn, dutiful to a fault, we now might find eloquence in bad taste, or at least a violation of the stylebook.

Year after year, these conventions grow more like a wake for the great editorial writers we've lost, and for the old, Menckenesque editorials page that took no prisoners. This year we'll be told, again, that editorial writing is a dead art, and we just don't know it — and had better learn to blog. But as Truman Capote said of the works of another author, that's not writing, it's typing. So we write on, the happy few of us who are left, and still think of our newspapers as personas with a history, character and opinion of their own to express — through us.

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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.

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