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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 Jan 18, 2012/ 23 Teves, 5772

Over-scrutinizing Michelle Obama

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My recent column about Michelle Obama, which I wrote to counter the negative responses to Jodi Kantor’s new book, “The Obamas” apparently has been misinterpreted by some. I did not intend to indict Kantor, who, in fact, wrote a mostly complimentary portrait of the first couple. Nor did I intend to cast doubt on her reporting. Kantor is a thorough reporter, and she has provided a provocative, insightful peek behind the draperies at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The purpose of reporting, after all, is to tell what you have learned.

But of course the negative details are what get the most attention, and those are what compelled Mrs. Obama to speak up in her own defense, thus prompting me to rally to her aid. It isn’t what Kantor wrote that concerned me as much as the reactions it was causing among a particular segment of the population. These would be the Obama haters, as distinguished from legitimate critics, and especially those who despise the first lady and express these feelings in often-racist, certainly sexist terms. I’ve read hundreds of these comments on Web and blog threads and won’t repeat them here. Anyone with one eye half-cracked knows what I’m talking about.

Thus, I wrote: “The recent discussion about Mrs. Obama’s manner and temperament, thanks to Jodi Kantor’s new book, ‘The Obamas,’ is maddening. Yet again, the first lady is being characterized as the thing women can never be — angry.”

Kantor’s book provided fodder, but my own emphasis was on “the recent discussion,” which was widespread at the time and focused on the perceived angry aspect of Mrs. Obama’s personality. Kantor never spoke of the first lady as an angry person, though she mentions occasional bouts of unhappiness and/or pique, neither unique to this first lady. Otherwise, Kantor’s portrait is of a strong, strategic-minded, fiercely independent woman who came to the White House determined to succeed. Did she stub her toe a few times? Certainly, but nothing to invite the invective aimed her way.

In part, Mrs. Obama helped advance the angry narrative by her own objections during a recent interview with CBS’s Gayle King. She said that her critics have been trying to characterize her as an “angry black woman” since her husband began running for office.

I do not disagree.

Alas, my passionate defense of the first lady, who does suffer a surplus of scrutiny far greater than any other by virtue of her First-Ness, has helped mobilize new legions of disgruntled Americans. Poor Kantor has been besieged with angry mail from Obama defenders and, worse, valentines from Obama haters. I’ve received quite a bit of mail myself, though mostly from appreciative readers and not only from women. Some of those who wrote to object to my perspective succeeded only in allowing me to rest my case.

It should come as no surprise that the White House doesn’t like Kantor’s book. And though Mrs. Obama says she hasn’t and won’t read it, she’s surely been informed of those sections that aren’t especially complimentary.

We can all imagine how painful it is to feel mischaracterized or to see inferences drawn from what amounts to a sliver of a slice of a piece of a moment in one’s own life. Or, as here, having one’s marriage and family life examined under the klieg lights while trying to perform the toughest job on the planet. Anyone who has ever been written about knows this particular insult. And, really, everyone should have a turn at such inspection, especially journalists.

Kantor is getting hers. But then again, you don’t go after the big game and expect to be greeted with flowers and dancing in the streets. Didn’t we learn that somewhere rather recently? It is also fair to ask, who, really, can judge or interpret another’s feelings or experience based on third-party recollections by, perhaps, a disgruntled staffer? A political outcast? The housekeeper, the librarian, Miss Scarlet or Colonel Mustard?

Few thoughts are more horrifying than that of having a writer observing and interpreting your personal life. For better or worse, presidents and their spouses will have to suffer these intrusions and potential indignities. It is the world in which we live. This is a shame for the nation, ultimately. When Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor of The Washington Post, asked this week in a column why the Republican field is so weak, my immediate thought was, It’s not so weak, followed by: Why would anyone submit to such torture?

In the end, this query may provide the moral of our story. The fittest nation may not survive because our strongest leaders won’t bother to run.

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