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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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. 11, 2007 / 29 Tishrei 5768

Pinning down patriotism

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It would never have occurred to me to ask Barack Obama why he doesn't wear an American flag pin on his lapel, let alone to draw any inference from such a seemingly trivial fact — perhaps because I don't wear one either. But it did occur to a journalist in Iowa City, Iowa, to ask that question last week, and the answer it elicited wasn't trivial at all.


Wrapping up an interview on "kind of a lighter note," a KCRG-TV reporter observed that Obama wasn't wearing a flag pin and inquired: "Is this a fashion statement? Those have been on politicians since Sept. 12, 2001."


Obama could have lightly waved off the query — "Nope, no fashion statement; I'm just not a lapel-pin kind of guy" — and nobody would have given the matter a second thought. Instead he went out of his way to politicize it.


"The truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin," he said. But "that became a substitute for . . . true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security." And so, he declared, "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."


Obama brought up the subject again a day later. "I probably haven't worn a flag pin in a very long time," he told a campaign crowd in Independence, Iowa. "My attitude is that I'm less concerned about what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart. You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who serve. You show your patriotism by being true to our values and ideals." As for Americans who do wear a flag pin, Obama was scornful: "I noticed people wearing a lapel pin and not acting very patriotic."


This, surely, is something new under the sun: a candidate for president disparaging the sincerity of voters who wear the American flag, and loftily insisting that he "won't wear that pin." Of course Obama is free to believe that "speaking out on issues" is the best way to show "true patriotism." But does he really imagine that the many Americans who do "wear that pin" do so as a "substitute" for true patriotism — as a hypocritical affectation, in other words — rather than as a symbol of it?


Perhaps Obama, reflecting the post-1960s culture in which he came of age, simply doesn't recognize the power and significance of such symbols in sustaining a nation's identity and values. Many contemporary Americans, raised on the dogma that what they feel in their hearts matters more than how they conduct themselves in public, have little appreciation for traditions, manners, and emblems that earlier generations were taught to honor. We live in an era, after all, when worshippers attend church in shorts and flip-flops; when the civic inspiration of Washington's Birthday has been replaced with the antiseptic nullity of Presidents Day; when smoking is taboo but foul language is ubiquitous; when countless couples disdain a marriage license as "just a piece of paper." So why should the American flag pin on someone's lapel be entitled to deference or respect?


And yet it's hard to imagine Obama being quite so dismissive about other kinds of symbols. As UPI's editor-in-chief John O'Sullivan asked, would the senator also refuse to wear an AIDS ribbon on the grounds that it's a mere "substitute" for true charity?


Some critics have interpreted Obama's comments as a genuflection toward his party's hard-left base — the nearly one-fifth of Democrats, according to a new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, who "think the world would be better off if the United States loses the war in Iraq." Whether true or not, Obama certainly isn't alone in finding something distasteful about personal displays of the flag. At the National Press Club recently, CBS news anchor Katie Couric lamented the public patriotism that was so widespread after Sept. 11, 2001, complaining about, among other things, "the whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying 'we' when referring to the United States."


But Obama isn't a television anchor, he is a presidential candidate. And candidates don't get elected to the White House by curling their lip at dignified expressions of patriotic feeling. Sure, there are some phonies in every crowd, but my guess is that most Americans who wear a flag pin are citizens who genuinely love their country. My guess is that most of them vote, too — and probably not for the candidate who questions their patriotism.

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.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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