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December 2, 2014

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

Being Vladimir Putin

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | “Once an agent, always an agent.”

This was the terse response of Nina Khrushcheva on New Year’s Eve 1999 when her mother commented favorably about the new president, Vladimir Putin, who was then speaking on TV.

Khrushcheva, great-granddaughter of former premier Nikita Khrushchev, was prescient then and feels no need to revise those comments now. Instead, her mother’s early reviews were symptomatic of what Khrushcheva calls the “gulag of the Russian mind,” part of the title of her just-published book, “The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind.”

This particular gulag refers to a mind-set that includes, as her mother’s optimism implied, the hope that the next czar will be better than the last. It also refers to the still-lingering sense among many Russians that Russia was better off before its post-Stalinist reforms. Putin has gone so far as to say the collapse of the Soviet Union was a catastrophe.

Speaking to the Federation Council on Tuesday, he more or less blamed Khrushchev for the current mess in Crimea, noting that Khrushchev initiated the Crimean transfer: “What stood behind this decision of his – a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass repressions of the 1930s in Ukraine — is for historians to figure out.”

“Really?” says Nina, her eyebrow an audible arch. “Mass repressions? And this from the man who has been trying to rehabilitate Stalin, the czar of mass repressions, since the moment he got into the Kremlin. Oh, the gulag of the Russian mind!”

Khrushcheva, an associate professor of international affairs at the New School in New York, is no fan of Putin, as one might have guessed. A woman who prefers simplicity, she is direct, blunt and, at times, wickedly funny. Would that President Obama had a foreign policy, she says, adding that she is a loyal Democrat. Would that Americans understood Putin for what he is — no mere bully, he is “an old KGB chinovnik ,” a petty clerk.

Although Putin enjoys the popular image of the terrifying KGB agent, Khrushcheva says he was really a clerk whose nickname was “Moth.” More Miss Moneypenny than James Bond.

In his own mind, Putin is “messianic, a uniter of lands and corrector of historic wrongs,” Khrushcheva says sarcastically. Which is to say, he is often delusional. Yet his delusion is buffeted by the wounded pride of his countrymen, many of whom also want to see the motherland restored to greatness.

While American observers try to predict Putin’s next moves, Khrushcheva has been on target thus far. Her prediction Feb. 20 that Putin would go into Ukraine — and six days later that Crimea would be taken over — was exact. Her (measured) prediction now is that Putin won’t pursue Ukraine if only because it is too expensive to invade another country.

It is possible, meanwhile, that Putin’s yawning response to Western penalties could mean that he doesn’t fully realize the effect sanctions could have because he doesn’t fully understand how free economies and markets work. As Khrushcheva says, “You can’t order [markets] not to panic.”

Although the recent rollout of sanctions on members of Putin’s inner circle, viewed as weak, were followed by a Russian market rally, stronger sanctions could be more damaging. Then again, it may be that Putin doesn’t really care. His interest isn’t in today’s markets but in tomorrow’s empire.

Crimeans, a reported 97 percent of whom voted to become part of Russia (against a backdrop of heavily armed Russian troops), may be deluding themselves in thinking that their home might become another Sochi — rebuilt in splendor in preparation for the Winter Olympics. Asks Khrushcheva, does Russia really have another $50 billion to create a new showpiece?

Meanwhile, the key to preventing tensions from further escalating is for the European Union and NATO to chart a firm course with Kiev — and they must mean it. “What Putin hates is idle talk.”

As for allowing Putin to save face, as many commentators have opined, never mind. As far as Putin is concerned, he’s in charge. He’s the leader who keeps his word. Putin said he’d take Crimea — and he did. If he doesn’t go further into Ukraine, it won’t be to save face but to allow others to relax. And for his beneficence, Crimea will be forgiven?

This is his calculation, in Khrushcheva’s analysis, and one can only hope that Putin the agent explores his inner magnanimity and feels good about himself at the end of the day.

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