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 6, 2005 / 29 Sivan, 5765

Senator Biden's words

By Tony Blankley

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.' 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.' 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.' . 'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'"

Mindful of the foregoing, Sen. Joseph Biden must have written a particularly handsome check to the account of the word "ideology," because in his July 4 op-ed he has the word ideology jumping through hoops and making one and a half gainers neatly into the public debate.

For Sen. Biden, "The most important criteria a president should use in exercising his or her constitutional duty to appoint justices to the Supreme Court should be the independence and impartiality of the nominee." I admired the way [Sandra Day O'Connor] approached her job: with open-mindedness, without ideological preconceptions." I would hope the president looks to these traits in selecting a nominee. When other factors, however, such as ideology, become preeminent in a president's selection, the Senate itself must engage in stricter scrutiny and take a closer look at a nominee's constitutional philosophy."

The word ideology is one of the most loaded terms in politics. It was invented by 18th-century French philosopher Claude Destutt de Tracy to mean the science of ideas, but came to mean the set of ideas themselves.

The mid-twentieth-century Harvard academic Daniel Bell called ideology "an action-oriented system of beliefs [whose] role is not to render reality transparent, but to motivate people to do or not do certain things."

But the word's deepest villainy was given it by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels for whom, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "it is the exploitative and alienating features of capitalist economic relations that prompt ideas they dub 'ideology.' Ideology only arises where there are social conditions such as those produced by private property that are vulnerable to criticism and protest; ideology exists to inure these social conditions from attack by those who are disadvantaged by them."

Interestingly, in the 1970s, the Marxist offshoot Critical Legal Studies Movement argued that the law itself was little more than an ideology, with the impression of the law's certainty and legitimacy being a mere capitalist ideology used to deter "The People" from seeing that the law need not be a tool of the capitalists.

In other words, for them, the law may be anything those with power wish to make it. There is no objective law, only an opportunity to deconstruct it to one's own likings. First get power; then re-make the law.

Now I am not suggesting that Sen. Biden is even aware of the Marxist intonations to the word ideology. Those origins don't really matter — except to etymology enthusiasts. But most of us have at least a partially negative reaction to the word ideology — which is why, one suspects, Sen. Biden and other Democrats use, and will continue to use, it to describe principled conservative judges. If he didn't mean to be disparaging, he might use phrases like jurisprudential philosophy, or principled jurist, etc.

The reason Sen. Biden speaks well of Sandra O'Conner is precisely because she was merely "open-minded" and never developed a higher structure to her thought.

Yet most serious people, whatever their area of study, by middle age have developed some structured understanding of their discipline.

The great liberal jurist Benjamin Cardozo was known in his time as "a spokesman on sociological jurisprudence." Justice Felix Frankfurter was called an "articulate and persuasive advocate of judicial abnegation." Justice Hugo Black earned the title of "strict constructionist" and "first amendment champion."

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They were not necessarily "mainstream" when they first started making their philosophical cases. Sometimes they never became mainstream. But historically, American politics has admired and found room for serious jurists with considered judicial philosophies. Sometimes they formed a new mainstream. Sometimes they left the bench known as a "great dissenter." And usually, presidents nominated such jurists in the hope of moving our jurisprudence in the favored direction.

But not until recently have serious judicial thinkers been meanly smeared as ideologues just because they have a judicial philosophy with which a senator disagrees.

If I am mistaken, and Sen. Biden did not mean to use the word ideology in a disparaging, name-calling way, then he is guilty of anti-intellectualism — because if he only meant structured philosophical thought, well, that is the hallmark of intellectual activity.

We are just at the beginning of a long and ugly fight. The public is not going to like the specter of yet another Washington partisan fight — but it is a fight worth having. It is worthwhile both because the future of American jurisprudence hangs in the balance, and because while Humpty Dumpty may choose the meaning of words, the rest of us will be judged by how we misuse them.

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.

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Creators Syndicate