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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 Oct. 26, 2009 / 8 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Thirty Republican senators have been unfairly smeared

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Picking one's battles has never been trickier, especially if you're a member of the benighted Republican Party.

So the question is this: Do you support rape?

And, of course, no one (except a rapist) does, right?

Yet, 30 Republican members of the U.S. Senate have been getting phone calls lately from people asking, "Why do you support rape?"

These callers most likely are familiar with the fake Web site RepublicansForRape.org, which recounts the recent skirmish over Sen. Al Franken's "anti-rape" amendment to the Senate defense appropriations bill.

For something so un-funny, the subject has become an exercise in the absurd.

The amendment, which passed Oct. 6 by a 68 to 30 vote, was intended to prevent the Pentagon from contracting with companies that require employees to resolve disputes over sexual assault and discrimination through arbitration rather than through the courts.

The impetus behind the amendment was the 2005 horror story of Jamie Leigh Jones, then a 20-year-old employee of Halliburton/KBR in Iraq, who alleged that she was drugged, gang-raped and held captive for 24 hours in a shipping container without food or water. When Jones sought legal recourse, the defense contractor argued that, under its employment contract, she had to pursue her complaint through arbitration rather than the courts.

No one hearing details of the alleged assault wants to be on the side of those who attacked her — or the company that refused to help her. If you're a remotely savvy politician, that's not a battle you want to join. One might assume, therefore, that there must be some reasonable explanation for 30 Republican senators taking a position that would invite vilification. It's true that Halliburton donates seven times more campaign money to Republicans than to Democrats, according to http://CampaignMoney.com. Then again, while we're crunching numbers, journalists donate disproportionately to Democrats — more than five times as much as they give to the GOP.

Politically, this couldn't be worse timing for Republicans, who can't seem to shake their white-male-patriarchal-oppressor image. Picture it: 30 Republicans, all men, all white, pitted against a young woman who says she was raped by a gang of Halliburton thugs. Voilą: Corporate evil incarnate vs. feminine innocence. Is there a better metaphor for the popular perception of how the parties differ? For the conspiracy-minded, the only things missing from this Halloween tableau are the Dick Cheney masks and the "W" branding irons.

A cynic might wonder whether the Franken amendment was engineered for such purposes. Republicans, alas, haven't been brilliant in explaining their position. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), in a statement cringingly ridiculed by "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, said that the Senate shouldn't be in the business of regulating contracts and that the amendment was a political attack on Halliburton.

In fact, the reason some Republicans objected is that the amendment was overbroad and might not be enforceable. The latter possibility was raised by the Defense Department in a letter to senators, saying that the Pentagon or its contractors "may not be in a position to know about such things. Enforcement would be problematic."

It would be easy enough to infer a conspiracy of denial, if not for the fact that the White House agrees. And, if not for what followed in the Defense Department letter:

"It may be more effective to seek a statutory prohibition of all such arrangements in any business transaction entered into within the jurisdiction of the United States, if these arrangements are deemed to pose an unacceptable method of recourse."

Apparently, the "Why do you support rape?" crowd overlooked that detail. It's far more entertaining to insist that Republicans, instead of objecting to a potentially bad law, don't mind if women get gang-raped. Legal wrangling is not for sissies in Twitter World.

The real goal, obviously, should be to ensure that no one is denied access to justice and that arbitration agreements are nonbinding in criminal acts. In fact, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled last month in Jones's favor, agreeing that the alleged gang rape wasn't related to her employment and that she, therefore, wasn't bound by the company's arbitration agreement.

Jones's painful ordeal is far from over, and her byzantine route to justice has been indefensibly arduous, but at least now she can have her day in court. Though it appears that there are plenty of bad guys in this story — may they get their due — the 30 Republican senators have been unfairly smeared for doing the harder thing, maybe even for the right reasons.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

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