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 July 16, 2008 / 13 Tamuz 5768

America's satire-a-thon

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Damn you and the likes of you to the bowels of hell, you ignorant racist bastard!"

So wrote an outraged Muslim to political cartoonist Doug Marlette a few years ago after he drew a cartoon featuring the prophet Muhammad.

Tens of thousands of Muslims bellowed, blogged and clogged until servers collapsed with hate mail and death threats.

No cartoon — or cartoonist — would go unpunished.

Here we go again.

Similar passions are being expressed this week in response to another cartoon, this time on the cover of the liberal-leaning New Yorker magazine. And this time, those railing against an "offensive" image are not religious fundamentalists of the far right, but political secularists of the far left.

Without even a wink at satire, the same righteous literal-mindedness that we tend to associate with the unenlightened has found expression among those who regard themselves as the most enlightened.

The cartoon prompting this latest run on smelling salts features Barack and Michelle Obama in the Oval Office. The senator, dressed in Muslim garb, is fist-bumping his wife, who sports an Angela Davis afro and wears a rifle slung over her shoulder. An American flag burns in the fireplace, over which hangs a portrait of someone resembling Osama bin Laden.

Get it? The play on exaggerated stereotypes? The un-nuanced spoofing of Americanus Ignoramus? But no.

Oh, the outrage. It's racist! shouts the left. It's stereotyping! Well, duh, cartoons are like that. It's feeding the ignorant misperceptions of the loony right!

As Marlette would say: "Puh-leez."

The intent of the illustration should be clear to anyone attuned to current events. Cartoonist Barry Blitt was poking fun at all the rumors and fearsome phobias circulating about the Obamas among a certain contingent. We know who they are.

Viral e-mails claim, for instance, that Obama is a Muslim; that Obama was sworn into the Senate using a Koran instead of a Bible; that Obama isn't a patriot because he refuses to wear a flag pin or put his hand over his heart during the national anthem; that Michelle Obama is militantly anti-American. And so on.

All these claims have been clarified and/or refuted for anyone curious enough to seek the truth. Even so, a certain percentage of people will continue to believe what they choose no matter what.

In any case, those about whom the outraged presumably are most concerned are: (1) unlikely to pick up a New Yorker; (2) unlikely to be swayed or disabused of their preconceptions. So what exactly are they worried about?

That yahoos just passing by a newsstand will see those images and have their paranoid suspicions confirmed?

Such is elitism at its most self-destructive. Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and former New Yorker staffer, put it nicely to the San Francisco Chronicle: "The essence of what they're saying is, 'I get it, but I don't trust the people in Kansas to get it.'"

Sanitizing satire either to buffer the sensitivities of those who consider themselves more highly evolved — or to withhold kindling from those deemed less sophisticated — is all of a piece.

Ignorance is the common denominator.

While one strain of ignorance likely springs from misinformation or a lack of educated knowledge, the other is more virulent by virtue of its opposite circumstances.

For his part, Obama may be missing a Sister Souljah opportunity to demonstrate both his smarts and his common sense. His campaign has called The New Yorker cover "tasteless and offensive." John McCain chimed in with "totally inappropriate."

Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph.

Far more important than anyone's feelings — and Obama surely knows this — is freedom of expression. Yet those who are objecting to the cover apparently think that only certain ideas should be expressed. And that some portion of conservative America is too stupid to get it.

Marlette, who died prematurely a year ago in a freak accident that robbed the world of his necessary voice, would say that we don't need protection from offensive words and images. Instead, he would insist that we need protection from those who would censor ideas they find objectionable and whose literal minds make common cause with fascist fundamentalists everywhere.

In the final calculation, unsophisticated yahoos, to the extent they really are, pose a lesser threat to the nation than an elitist intelligentsia convinced it knows what's best for the rest.

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.

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