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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 Nov. 24, 2006 / 3 Kislev 5767

Class Warfare in the Aisles of Wal-Mart

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While ordinary working-class people across America were queuing for the new PlayStation 3, one fellow had a bright idea — dropping his boss's name at Wal-Mart to get the next-gen console sent over on the QT for the boss's family.


Unfortunately, the boss was former Sen. John Edwards, John Kerry's would-be veep and famous nemesis of Wal-Mart's evil dominion over the Earth. The hypocrisy was delicious: It was on the same day Edwards was talking to union activists about Wal-Mart's labor policies. But it didn't work. The staffer was lucky Wal-Mart didn't send an empty box weighted with rocks. Merry Christmas!


Edwards is a historical footnote with admirable hair, and it's doubtful he has a political future as long as the Good Ship Hillary's wake swamps all other boats.


If he wishes to be his party's point man for their anti-Wal-Mart agenda, fine. He'll impress the sophisticates who think the place is full of morbidly obese people in scooters buying 96-pound slabs of fudge and VHS copies of "Left Behind" movies. It will strike a genuine chord with rural shoppers who hate Wal-Mart so intensely they go there only three times a week, and can never forgive the company for offering a plasma TV at the same price as the 64-roll pack of Charmin. Who could decide? It's cruel. Yes, there's a great seething hatred of Wal-Mart out there, and one of these days some candidate will ride it straight to the White House, where he — or she — can finally do something about low prices, employment contracts freely entered into by adults, aggressive business practices, and that whole downmarket Cletus-goes-to-Branson ethos the company has. Can't trust the market to do anything about it. Sure, the market had its way with Woolworth's, Kresge, Kress, Ames and dang near every department store not named Macy's or Nordstrom, but Wal-Mart? It'll stand a thousand years. We need laws, stat.


But that's not the interesting part of the story. Nor is the fact that the person who made the call was a volunteer — you mean Edwards doesn't pay his staffers a living wage with full medical/dental and a $200 deductible for eyeglasses? Must have been a hangup in the paperwork. No, the telling part was in Edwards' conference call statement to the union activists. Said the AP story:


"Edwards ... repeated a story about his son Jack disapproving of a classmate buying sneakers at Wal-Mart.

"`If a 6-year-old can figure it out, America can definitely figure this out,' Edwards said."


If you Google around, you'll find the full details of the Parable of the Ethically Challenged Footwear. From an anti-Wal-Mart Web site:


"The best story of the speech was when Edwards talked about his son Jack. When Jack learned someone had bought something at Wal-Mart, Jack politely reminded the person that Wal-Mart doesn't treat its workers fairly."


Young Master Jack needs better manners. It's possible the kid didn't have access to a Bruno Magli outlet store, and his folks shopped at Wal-Mart because it fit their budget — in which case being lectured by the scion of a millionaire trial lawyer is a little like scolding classmates for drinking Tang instead of having Alfred hand-squeeze a dozen Valencias.


But never mind that. What the story reveals, in the end, is the tiresome fashion in which our betters insist on politicizing not just every aspect of adult life, but every detail of their children's world.


Everything is fraught with fashionable morality. Reasonable stewardship of the world turns into solemn denunciations of people who don't recycle; reasonable lessons on staying healthy end up stigmatizing people who enjoy a puff or a snoot as ethical degenerates. Daddy, look! That lady is SMOKING! She's causing an undue burden on an already strained health care system! Avert your eyes, my child. G-d will punish her.


You could say that if a 6-year-old can figure it out, then the concept has been presented so simplistically it lacks a real-world application. But that doesn't matter; what counts is the satisfied glow of a right-thinking parent when the Young Pioneer chants back the party line.


At least we know that factory conditions in Sony's Asian plants must be top-notch. If Master Jack wanted one, it must have passed moral muster.

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.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006, James Lileks

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