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 25, 2008 / 18 Shevat 5768

Truth Squads and Robo-Politics

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let's hope aspiring democracies everywhere are paying close attention as Americans select the next leader of the free world.

Especially instructive will be South Carolina's recent spawn: The Truth Squad.

At least two squads formed recently around the need to counter false attacks intended to smear candidates. John McCain's supporters formed one leading up to last week's Republican primary; Barack Obama's minions created one in the days preceding Saturday's Democratic primary.

So many lies, so little time.

The beauty and bane of our multimedia world is that anyone can say anything about anyone and create an impression nearly impossible to correct. As an English Baptist preacher (but not Mark Twain) once perfectly said: "A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on."

And that was long before the Internet. Today, lies are on their third lap around the globe before truth can hit the snooze button.

Thanks to technology, a single individual with a laptop can organize what seems to be a groundswell, a grass-roots movement, an outcry. One such individual is Robert Morrow, a self-employed securities trader in Austin, Texas, who isn't fond of Hillary.

I got a call from ol' Robert Thursday as I was writing this column at my home in South Carolina. He — or rather his recorded voice — reminded me of Bill Clinton's well-known history and Hillary's supporting role. The point of the message was to question: Can you trust her?

That's a legitimate question about any candidate, but Morrow's complaint consists in part of claims that can't be proved or (ever) adequately denied. Sow seeds of doubt and the plant takes root, no matter what a candidate — or a truth squad — says. Some lies, moreover, are so palatable, justifying some preconceived notion or ratifying a personal bias, that they're just too good to disbelieve.

Obama has been the target of one of the more sustained smear campaigns, alleging that he's a Muslim operative who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, that he was sworn into office using a Koran, and that he attends a racist, anti-white church in Chicago.

"Proof" is provided through whisper e-mails — "Read this and pass it on" — a high-tech rumor mill where ruining a person's reputation is as simple as hitting "send." In Obama's case, the e-mail often features a photograph of him standing on a raised platform with other Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson, in front of an oversized American flag.

All but Obama have their hands over their hearts. Proof that Obama's unpatriotic mind is wandering around Mecca, right? Except that the photograph, taken last September during a "steak-fry" for Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, captured a moment during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," not the Pledge.

Nowhere is it written that one has to place hand over heart during the national anthem. Some do, some don't.

These and other smears against Obama have been thoroughly vetted by the fact-checking arm of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (factcheck.org).

Fact: Obama put his hand on the Holy Bible, not the Koran, when Vice President Dick Cheney swore him into the U.S. Senate. Annenberg has the photo.

Fact: Obama pledges allegiance to the flag. Annenberg has the videos.

Fact: Obama attends Trinity United Church of Christ, which declares itself "Unashamedly black and Unapologetically Christian." The church's magazine recently gave a lifetime achievement award to that beacon of racial harmony, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Nevertheless, though Annenberg's researchers indeed found evidence that Obama's church indeed is pro-black, they said, "Calling it 'racist' is, in our judgment, a falsehood.''

Space prevents dissecting all the allegations made in this campaign, but suffice it to say that no candidate suffers Pinocchio envy.

Voters, meanwhile, are left to wonder who, if anyone, is ever telling the truth? What about the truth squads? Even those are composed of partisans, many of them active politicians themselves.

Will the presidential nominee be the one who tells the fewest lies?

With so many versions of truth in circulation — and so many sources of mis- and dis-information — disillusioned voters would be justified in wishing a pox on all their houses. In the midst of this darkness, however, at least there's one thing of which we can be certain: John Edwards' father worked in a mill.

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