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 January 4, 2008 / 26 Teves 5768

Crooked roads to democracy

By Charles Krauthammer

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "My mother always said, democracy is the best revenge."
— Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,
son of the late Benazir Bhutto

Of all the understandings of the democratic idea, none could be more wrong than this one. Democracy at its very core is an antidote to the kind of dynastic revenge young Bhutto was suggesting.

For the Bhuttos, elections are a means for the family to regain power. Benazir was always avenging the death of her father, the former prime minister hanged two years after a coup. Bilawal is now pledged to do the same for his mother's martyrdom. The Pakistan People's Party has always been a wholly owned family subsidiary. Hence the almost unseemly haste with which Bhutto's husband and son were given control upon her death.

Democracy was meant to be the antithesis of feudalism. Popular sovereignty was to supplant divine right; free elections to supplant dynastic succession (a progression Americans have not completely mastered either). It is clear that Bilawal meant to put the best gloss on his mother's dictum. He, like she, would avenge the political murder of a parent not with violence but through the ballot box. Nonetheless, his unmistakable assumption of aristocratic entitlement clangs against his professed fealty to democratic means.

His mother was the same. In more than one journalistic profile, she was characterized as "a democrat who appeals to feudal loyalties." Part of the reason for the precariousness of Pakistan's democracy is precisely that it remains a largely feudal society practicing democratic forms.

But Pakistan is hardly alone. The very same week Pakistan nearly imploded, a close and disputed election sent Kenya, heretofore one of the more stable democracies in Africa, into a convulsion of tribal violence. These bloody eruptions come against a background of less dramatic but equally important defeats for the democratic idea. Russia acquiesces cravenly as its nascent democracy is systematically dismantled in return for a bit of great-power posturing and a measure of oil-fueled pottage doled out by Czar Vladimir. China even more apathetically continues to concede stewardship of its market economy and modernizing society to a Leninist dictatorship. How many decades will it take before we acknowledge that the axiom that economic liberalization leads to political liberalization may not be axiomatic?

This comes after the Palestinians, in their first post-Arafat parliamentary election, give the mandate to a terrorist group. And as Lebanon, the leader of the Arab Spring of 2005, watches Syrian proxies systematically kill one member of parliament after another to deny the democrats the quorum they need to elect a like-minded president.

These defeats, marking the cresting of the 30-year democratic wave that had swept through Latin America, Eastern Europe, East Asia and even parts of Africa, raise more than theoretical questions. They challenge the core Bush notion that American foreign policy should be predicated on trying to spread democracy. Six years after Sept. 11 there still is no remotely plausible alternative to the Bush Doctrine for ultimately changing the culture from which jihadism arises. But while spreading democracy may be necessary, can it, in fact, be done?

We know that it can, of course, as demonstrated by our success in turning Germany, Japan and South Korea into important democratic allies. But there we had the rare advantage of the near total control that came with uncontested postwar occupation.

What is required in conditions of far less control? A healthy respect for the enduring power of local political primitivism and a willingness to adapt to it.

In Afghanistan, that means accepting radical decentralization and the power of warlords. In Iraq, that means letting centralized, top-down governance give way, at least temporarily, to provincial and tribal autonomy as the best means of producing effective representative institutions.

And in Pakistan, that means accepting both the enduring presence of feudal politics and the preeminent role of the military, Pakistan's one functioning national institution, as a guarantor of the state — even (as in another secular Islamic country, Turkey) at the cost of giving it extra-constitutional authority. It also means accepting the reality that Pervez Musharraf, however dubious his democratic credentials, is not to be abandoned because his fall would unleash the deluge.

These are hard days for democracy. That is not a reason for giving up on it. It is a reason for the prudent acceptance and nurturing of local variants, however imperfect.

The Roman Church learned that spreading the creed required tolerance for the incorporation of certain pre-Christian practices as a way of strengthening the new faith and giving it local roots. For the spread of democracy today, we need to practice our own brand of syncretism and learn not to abandon the field when forced to settle for regional adaptations that fall short of the Jeffersonian ideal.

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