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 Nov. 30, 2007 / 20 Kislev 5768

Jock wisdom and political debate

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Anyone who plays sports knows to avoid playing with lesser mortals. They will bring down your game.

And so it goes, too, with political debate.

The sophomoric CNN/YouTube debate Wednesday night proved again that even serious veterans of government and war can be made to look silly when playing with silly.

Republicans can't say they weren't warned after their Democratic counterparts suffered through the same format and entertained questions from children and a snowman. Apparently fearful of offending the childish vote, GOP rivals gamely donned their dunce caps for their turn on the block.

Despite moderator Anderson Cooper's assurance that there would be no snowman or other goofy players, characters were not absent. Anyone who made it past the cringe-making, game-show "Come On Down!" introduction could not have missed a certain moronic quality to several of the YouTube-user questions.

One fellow asked the candidates' opinion on gun control, then noisily shifted a cartridge into his shotgun's chamber. Another menacingly thrust a Bible into the camera lens, demanding to know whether the GOP rivals believe what the Bible says. From his wild-eyed antics, we might infer that anyone who believes in the Bible must be a knuckle-dragging, wife-beating, child-spanking, snake-handling, Talibanesque, creationist wacko.

Of the three who answered him — Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee — the latter was the most graceful. Romney, whose Mormonism poses a nagging challenge, responded awkwardly, but finally asserted that the Bible is the word of G-d. Giuliani noted that though he consults the Good Book, he doesn't take every word literally.

Huckabee sounded like a smart Baptist preacher, saying that, obviously, no one believes when the Bible says, "Go and pluck out your eye," that we ought to go pluck out our eye. But the larger biblical messages, such as "Love your neighbor as yourself," aren't open to interpretation and are more important than debates about metaphor and allegory.

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The most controversial question came from retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr — an "openly gay man" — who got two shots at the candidates with his question about why they think that "American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians"?

Kerr, who announced that he was gay after leaving the military, first posed the question on tape and then materialized in the audience to ask it again. Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, serving as one of the post-debate commentators, raised the question of Kerr's affiliation with Hillary Clinton's campaign after e-mailers contacted him.

As it turned out, Kerr is a member of Clinton's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender steering committee, though the general has said he merely lends his name to the group. He is also a co-chair on Clinton's national military veterans group and worked for John Kerry's presidential campaign.

None of that matters, of course, unless Kerr was a deliberate "plant" by the Clinton campaign. (Yet to be determined.) Kerr's question would have been legitimate — if aimed at a deeper understanding of where the candidates stand on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

But that was clearly not where Kerr's sights were focused. The wording of the question — reminiscent of "Have you stopped beating your wife?" — implied that any who object to open homosexuality in the military for a range of reasons necessarily doubt our troops' professionalism.

Thus, the real aim was to frame the candidates as both homophobic and anti-troops. Nice try. Cooper, who played no part in selecting the questions, begged ignorance of Kerr's affiliation, as did CNN executives who apologized for the oversight.

Apologies notwithstanding, the question was clearly a favorite of those on the question-selection committee, as were several others that played to the bubba stereotype so beloved by cheap-shooters and cliche-mongers.

All together now: Republicans are only concerned about guns, gays and G-d. Oh, and race.

According to the Democratic playbook, forever emblazoned on the American psyche by Howard Dean back in his Confederate flag-waving days in the 2004 campaign, those are the issues that can get Republican hearts athumpin'. More to the point, those are the issues that get Democratic voters astumpin'.

To paraphrase the gun-totin' redneck, Democratic consultants will give up their "guns, gays and God" trope when someone pries their cold, puckered lips from the derrieres of those who must be pandered to.

Though there were some moments of substance and clarity sprinkled throughout the evening, the YouTube debates were beneath the dignity of the man or woman who would lead the free world.

One also wishes they were an insult to voters' intelligence.

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