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 Feb. 2, 2006 / 4 Shevat, 5766

If it's okay with them, it's fine by me

By Garrison Keillor

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If the National Security Administration is monitoring my phone calls for quality assurance (and why shouldn't they be?) they're no doubt puzzled over conversations that go like this:

ME: Hi. Just me.

HER: Where are you?

ME: On my way home.

HER: You're calling from the car?

ME: Right.

HER: You coming straight home?

ME: Be there in five minutes.

HER: Okay. Bye now.

ME: Bye now.

"Bye now" is a common sign-off in Minnesota, short for "Goodbye for now," but to an intelligence officer, it might sound like "Final," the code name of the al-Qaida operative in Upper Hotdogistan, which might be enough to get me stuffed into an unmarked plane to Syria, where men with pantyhose over their heads will take turns bouncing on me until I tell what I know about Project Cantaloupe, which is nothing, nada, zero. And three years later I'd return home, unable to remember my own Social Security number or the lineup of the 1987 Minnesota Twins.

But I am not going to worry about this now. Conservatives are supposed to worry about government running roughshod over individuals. That's their job. If conservatives don't give a rip about warrantless wiretaps or torture or imprisonment without trial, then why should you or I?

Fear of the NSA isn't inhibiting anybody, that's for sure. I got on a plane in Indianapolis last Sunday and half the passengers had little silver phones stuck to their ears, checking in with headquarters, reporting their position and ETA. There were two or three seamy conversations about money, and one man breathing hard into his phone, but harmlessly, I'm sure.

To me, young people, the cell phone is an innovation out of the funny papers, Dick Tracy's wrist radio now in everyone's pocket. Everyone except my stepdaughter, who believes it causes brain cancer. I saw a homeless man camped in a sleeping bag on the steps of a church, his shopping cart parked nearby, and he was mumbling into a cell phone. Which is perfectly reasonable, homeless people having no way to hook up a regular phone, but what about Trappist monks? What about cowpokes and deckhands and poets and all the classic lonely guys? The hobo highballing through Utah: Does he sit in his boxcar and talk to his mom in Peoria? Is Holden Caulfield sending text messages to Phoebe from Central Park? Maybe the little kids running through the rye toward the cliff need a catcher even more if they're yakking on phones.

I remember, young people, a time in our nation's history when people walked down the street quietly thinking their own thoughts. They didn't stop at every corner to put a quarter in a pay phone and let HQ know which way the wind was blowing. Persons of that era — an era that produced Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," J.F. Powers' "Morte D'Urban," and "Searchin'" by Leiber & Stoller and recorded by the Coasters — were able to live in their own heads a good deal of the time.

I don't say that's a good thing necessarily. I'm not saying that men with those weird bat-wing devices clipped onto their ears are not decent, hard-working people. If I have stared at you as I might stare at a gibbon grooming his hindquarters, gentlemen, I apologize. I only raise a question.

Soon we'll have 14-digit telephone numbers, and then 20- and 25-digit. You can't remember 25 digits, so if you lose your cell phone on the plane, you'll be in big trouble. You'll need to locate a surviving pay phone, perhaps in a dusty alcove under the stairs, and get some coins by breaking a twenty at Starbucks, purchasing the venti latte with 2 percent and a shot of rhubarb flavoring. You dial Information. You get an operator with a Bengali accent and you ask for a number in Minnesota and she asks you to spell it. And then an electronic lady's voice spiels out the 25 digits as you balance the latte in the arm that your laptop bag is slung over and you write seven digits on the palm of your left hand before the ballpoint runs out of ink and a big hand clamps on your shoulder. A bullet-headed man in a black jumpsuit takes you away in an SUV. Those seven digits correspond to Arabic letters that spell "Tuesday," and for the next three days interrogators sit on you and ask what heinous things you're cooking up.

I'd rather not go there, young people. You go. I'll stay here.

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© 2006 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.