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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 21, 2013/ 10 Shevat, 5773

Lance Armstrong's confession without contrition

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | To the world-weary, Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah Winfrey was just one more in a series.

The process of public contrition is by now yawningly familiar: Comfortably seated in front of cameras, the high priestess of the mea culpa faces the penitent. The accused agrees to terms of engagement, his reflexive grin/grimace a foreshadowing of the little deaths to come.

Remotes to the ready, America prepares to watch and judge.

This is familiar turf for Oprah, America’s First Interrogator — often having previously been First Endorser. She once sang the praises of James Frey, who fabricated most of his drug-abuse autobiography, “A Million Little Pieces,” and then had to call him back to the couch to hash out his deception.

Now, with Oprah having once been a champion of Armstrong, urging Americans to wear his yellow gel “Livestrong” bracelet in solidarity with the cancer survivor/champion, it is Armstrong’s turn to explain himself.

Did he dope? Yes. Did he boost his blood with EPO? Yes. Did he lie, betray and bully? Yes, all that.

Did he feel guilty? Not really.

Guilt without shame.

Did it feel wrong at the time? No. “Scary,” he says.

“Did you feel bad about it?” No.

“Even scarier.”

This is not sounding much like contrition because, well, it isn’t. Matter-of-factly, Armstrong tells Oprah that he was just leveling the playing field, doing what was necessary to compete in a sport where doping apparently was widespread. Indeed, some familiar with the field argue that, if all had cycled clean, Armstrong still would have won.

This is of no consolation to those who feel betrayed or who have been bullied by Armstrong through the years. Of all his sins, Armstrong’s persistent bullying toward any who questioned his drug use — often suing them, successfully — seems to be the most unforgivable.

The doping might shatter dreams and myths, but the lying breaks hearts.

In thinking through the events of the past several years, one would like to imagine that Armstrong accidentally fell into a hole from which he could not emerge. Protecting the myth to advance the greater good was perhaps the more compelling imperative. Toward this end, one could perhaps self-justify.

Finally caught, he had no recourse. Admission is not so noble or virtuous when the facts are unavoidable. There’s nothing left to do but say, yes, I did it. Confession — authentic confession — is something else, involving heartfelt remorse. And so we watch Armstrong in search of that thing we recognize as sincere contrition — and it doesn’t seem to be there.

During his interview with Oprah, Armstrong said the problem was his 2009 comeback. If he hadn’t come back, he probably wouldn’t have been caught.

“Do you regret now coming back?” Oprah asked.

“We wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t come back,” he said.

It isn’t necessary that Armstrong publicly weep, but this sounds an awful lot like “I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt,” instead of “I’m sorry I hurt you.” Rather than owning up, the perpetrator shifts blame to the person aggrieved. Armstrong isn’t sorry for what he did; he seems sorry he got caught.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps this is all the man has left. We spectators tend through these repetitions to honor a template for public cleansings, whether for grief or guilt. In the latter case, everyone must touch the stations of the cross on his road to redemption: Invoke one’s faith, shed a tear, bite the lower lip, enter rehab and so on.

Even when all this is properly executed, do we really trust the penitent? Or is it simply a requisite ritual?

Armstrong, though he accepted Oprah’s invitation, declined our kind invitation to fall to his knees. Nor did he ask for pity — or offer excuses or names. He refused to play snitch and, apparently, has no well-crafted strategy for redemption. He’s simply saying he did it.

Perhaps it is a mistake to judge a person’s sincerity by affect. We all grieve in different ways; perhaps, too, we experience guilt and shame in our own way.

Stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and his Olympic medal, ousted by the foundation he created and facing lawsuits, Armstrong has fallen just about as far as one can. It seems enough.

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