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 Oct. 30, 2007 / 18 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

A herd of Irish bulls

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's a harmless enough hobby. I collect flights of rhetoric that suddenly crash. They exert the same fascination for me that toy train wrecks do for little boys.

My current favorite is a gem from Paul Krugman, the verbicidal columnist of the New York Times, who writes like the economist he is. Warning against the Bush tax cuts, he prophesied: "And when the chickens that didn't hatch come home to roost, we will rue the day when, misled by sloppy accounting and rosy scenarios, we gave away the national nest egg."

Try to picture it. I can't. Not without laughing. (That was George Orwell's acid test for all metaphors: Picture them before using. It is a useful caveat for any writer to keep in mind.)

My old friend Father John O'Donnell has sent me a batch of similar sentences, all collected in one article by a connoisseur of the art, Francis Griffith. The genre turns out to have a name: Irish bulls. This herd arrived in time for last Saint Patrick's Day, and I've been laughing ever since.

An Irish bull, I learned, is not a branch of the Hereford family. It is "a verbal blunder which seems to make sense but after a moment's reflection is seen to be wildly illogical."

The genre is supposed to have been inspired by one Sir Boyle Roche, a member of the 18th-century Irish parliament who was given to earnest inanities. For example, there was his response to another member's appeal for some measure because it would benefit posterity. "Why, Mr. Speaker, should we do anything for posterity?" Sir Boyle asked. "What has posterity done for us?"

Sir Boyle was a dual patriot, deeply attached to both England and Ireland. Indeed, he wanted "the two sisters to embrace like one brother." But he feared that Irish grievances would never be addressed. Or as he put it: "So long as Ireland is silent on this question, England will be deaf to our entreaties."

This master of the Irish bull was moved to tears by Ireland's troubles. "The country is overflowing with absentee landlords," he complained, and, what's more, "The cup of Ireland's misfortunes has been overflowing for centuries, and is not full yet."

It's not easy to distinguish between an Irish bull and a metaphor that's been run through a Mixmaster. Consider this poetic passage from one of Sir Boyle's orations: "All along the untrodden path of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand."

Irish bulls are certainly not limited to the Irish, though the Irish may have a special talent for them. Mayor Richard Daley the First of the grand city of Chicago, where the river still runs green every St. Patrick's Day, produced Irish bulls in profusion, the way he did dead voters every election day.

During the Democrats' riotous convention in Chicago back in 1968, he assured the press that the police weren't there to create disorder, they were there to preserve disorder! Which cleared that up.

To be really satisfying, an Irish bull must offer more than low comedy; it must have an air of pretension and sophistication, as in Paul Krugman's contribution to my collection. For example, it's hard to beat a classic formulation by Clarence Manion, a law school dean and minor ideologue in the 1950s who earned a place among the immortals with this towering piece of bloviation:

"There is every reason to believe that Republican forms of government, every branch of which is constitutionally committed to the protection of unalienable individual rights, could and would permanently solve the political aches and pains of the whole world. But there, as here and everywhere, mere form without substance must collapse of its own weight."

But if you like your Irish bulls short and snappy, consider the collected works of the late great Sam Goldwyn, who infamously observed that a verbal contract wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.

The Hollywood mogul could scarcely open his mouth without putting his foot in it. Among his finer productions: "Anybody who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined," and "I'm living beyond my means, but I can afford it."

Tastes vary, and some will prefer Yogi Berra's (convoluted) way with words. As in: "Nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded."

The genuine Irish bull, says Francis Griffith, must be unintentional, spoken rather than written, and not be altogether absurd. It must be an accident of language, not mere gibberish.

The great charm of any Yogi Berra-ism is that we all know what the speaker meant. As when Al Gore, in his otherwise undistinguished - and unending - presidential campaign of 2000, attacked his opponent's record by warning that "a zebra cannot change its spots."

I could go on forever but, to commit a final Irish Bull, I think I'll just commence right here.

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