May 24, 2013
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
August 10, 2009
/ 20 Menachem-Av 5769
Musings, random and otherwise
DEMOCRATS ARE OUTRAGED that conservatives have been showing up at town-hall meetings with members of Congress to noisily protest the health-care "reform" bills pending on Capitol Hill. In a statement last week, the Democratic National Committee spokesman slammed "Republicans and their allied groups," charging them with "inciting angry mobs of . . . rabid right-wing extremists . . . to disrupt thoughtful discussions about the future of health care in America." A new DNC video, meanwhile, blasts "the right wing extremist Republican base" and says that GOP leaders "called out the mob."
Now, there is no excuse for the ugly rhetoric and behavior of a few of these protesters, like the ones in Maryland who hanged Representative Frank Kratovil in effigy, or the Massachusetts voter who compared Representative James McGovern to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. It was disgusting when left-wingers spewed such venom during the Bush years. It is disgusting when right-wingers do so today.
Barack Obama, 2008: 'I want you to argue with them and get in their face.'
But surely Democrats don't object to energetic grassroots activism, not after they spent so much of 2008 extolling the virtues of "community organizing." And surely they aren't offended by citizens going toe to toe with those they disagree with politically, not after Barack Obama urged his followers last year to remonstrate with friends and neighbors "whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face," Obama said then.
Democrats may differ with their opponents on health care, but they can hardly fault them for taking a page from the Obama political playbook.
SONIA SOTOMAYOR is to be congratulated on her confirmation as a Supreme Court justice, but must we have the constant focus on her Hispanic ethnicity? In one story after another last week, the news media from The New York Times to Fox News to Bloomberg to CNN trumpeted the fact that Sotomayor will be the court's first Hispanic; President Obama hailed her elevation as "breaking yet another barrier and moving us yet another step closer to a more perfect union."
But the way to a more perfect union is not to treat ethnicity as profoundly significant, but as fundamentally insignificant. The confirmation of the nation's first Hispanic high court justice (if she is a case can be made for former Justice Benjamin Cardozo, a descendant of immigrants from Spain and Portugal) is understandably gratifying to Hispanic Americans. But it should be as irrelevant to most of us as the confirmation of the first Scandinavian or Slavic or Chinese justice would be.
In her confirmation hearings, Sotomayor repudiated her former claims about how a "wise Latina" would approach the law, and vowed never to let ethnic or racial considerations sway her judgment. All Americans should live by that standard. Ethnicity does not determine a person's character or values or politics. It is a biographical detail interesting, perhaps, but not of the essence. "Our Constitution is color-blind," Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote in 1896. We should all be.
ON THE REPUBLICAN FRINGE, a small but vocal group of cranks have been insisting, against all reason and evidence, that Obama wasn't born an American citizen and is therefore ineligible to be president. This is a crazy theory, and Republicans who flog it are an embarrassment to their party.
But no party is without its fever-swamp delusions. In 2007, a national survey found that 35 percent of Democrats believed that George W. Bush was tipped off to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance, and another 26 percent weren't sure. Even Howard Dean, running for president, praised that lunacy without irony as a "most interesting theory." And countless Democrats hailed Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," which accused the Bush family of being in cahoots with Osama bin Laden.
Equally deranged were the Sarah Palin-haters who maintained that Trig, Palin's baby boy, was not really her child, and circulated "evidence" to prove that 17-year-old Bristol Palin was the true mother. And there are those who believe to this day that Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980 conspired with the Khomeini regime in Iran to keep American hostages from being released until after the Nov. 4 election.
Crackpots can be found on both sides of the political divide. What should matter to voters is not whether nutty views exist, but whether party leaders firmly reject them or sustain them with deference and respect.
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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.
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