In this issue
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. 8, 2006 / 10 Shevat, 5766

They've gotten their hands on America's children, and they have no intention of letting go

By John Stossel

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When Mark and Jenny Sanford moved from Charleston to Columbia, S.C., they had a big concern: Where would their kids go to school? They wanted to send their kids to public school, but the middle school near their new home was not particularly good. But it turned out that this wouldn't have been a problem for the Sanfords because the reason they had moved to Columbia was Mark had just been elected governor. While students are normally assigned to schools based on where their house is located, Gov. Sanford's family was offered special options: People from better school districts invited them to send their kids to those schools.

"And I said, well, that's not fair," first lady Jenny Sanford told me. She asked one school official whether her neighbors were stuck with their local school, and he said they were. "But we're going to waive that requirement because you're the governor."

Caught between taking advantage of that special privilege and denying their sons a good education, the Sanfords escaped to private school, an option that many other Americans, once the taxman has taken his cut, cannot afford. It was an option Gov. Sanford, especially after this experience, didn't think should be reserved for the rich or the powerful. He said state tax credits should help parents pay for private schools.

From the uproar the governor's plan generated, you would think that South Carolina had a great school system in place and that the governor wanted to demolish it. But it doesn't, and he didn't. South Carolina has a school system where half the students who enter high school fail to graduate in four years, a system so bad that the state's first lady thought that sending her sons to their zoned school would "sacrifice their education." And the governor didn't propose to abolish the public schools. He just tried to introduce competition. Public schools that could convince families they were providing a quality education would still have had plenty of students.

Living in America, we have plenty of examples of how competition improves lives. The phone company was once a government-supported monopoly. All the phones were black and all the calls expensive. It was illegal to plug in an answering machine. (Installing a foreign device, the monopoly called it.) But once AT&T lost monopoly status — poof! — suddenly customers mattered. Now, thanks to competition, you get a number of calling plans to choose from, and phone calls are much more affordable — whether you choose AT&T or not.

Competition is, in general, better than monopoly — and in this case, the monopoly was already failing. Even if you're not a big fan of the free market, why would you want to preserve a monopoly that's obviously doing a bad job? How could allowing choice possibly have been worse than keeping students trapped in failing public schools?

The governor announced his plan last year. Thousands of parents cheered the idea. But most public educators and politicians didn't.

School boards and teachers unions objected. PTAs even sent kids home with a letter saying, "Contact your legislator. How can we spend state money on something that hasn't been proven?"

(Apparently, it was better to spend state money on something that had been proven not to work.)

The governor's plan "would decimate public education in South Carolina, and it's just not good for us," said State Representative Todd Rutherford.

The teachers union paid for ads that argued schools were getting better. Legislators obediently voted down the governor's plan, 60-53.

The state superintendent of schools, Inez Tenenbaum, was relieved. "It was an unproven, unaffordable, and unaccountable plan," she told me.

It may have been unaccountable in the bureaucratic sense — lacking the arbitrary supervision of some appointed head honcho — but it would have been the essence of accountability in a much more meaningful way: Schools would have had to satisfy students and parents, or they would have lost their customers.

And unproven? Yes. It was unproven because the bureaucrats, the teachers' unions and their legislative allies are vigilant in their efforts to prevent anyone from trying it. They've gotten their hands on America's children, and they have no intention of letting go.

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Give Me a Break  

Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists -- and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research -- he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


© 2006, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.