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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. 9, 2011 / 5 Adar I, 5771

Barbarism the new national norm?

By Marybeth Hicks





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Civility is making the headlines lately, but if you dig a bit deeper, barbarism is the real story.

To wit: Last month, MSNBC.com carried this story from Reno, NV: "Six girls arrested for Facebook 'Attack a Teacher Day' invite." One middle school girl was arrested for inviting 100 fellow middle schoolers on the social networking site to participate in something she called "attack a teacher day," while five other girls were arrested for responding to the invitation with threats against specific teachers.

Another story, this time from CBSNews.com on January 31, is titled, "6 Pa. Students Arrested in Bullying Attack." This incident involved a half-dozen 13 to 17-year-old high schoolers who assaulted a fellow 13-year-old student, kidnapping him and hanging him from a fence post. He was not seriously hurt. Not physically, anyway.

Then there's the MiamiHerald.com story entitled: "Teens Arrested After Facebook Threats Revealed." This episode exposed a group of loyal middle school gal pals — all ages 13 and 14 — who posted credible death threats against a student they believed had "snitched" on the boyfriend of one of the girls by telling school administrators he was in possession of a firearm.

Posts included gang-style verbiage including, "Ima help kill him. That punk ruined our lives!! Hes soo Dead!!!" and my personal favorite, "Oh that little b---- is dead. Just u have to show me who he is first then he is dead."

Who cares whether you know the kid? Dead is dead.

Which brings us to…President Obama. In his address at the memorial service for those killed in the Tucson, AZ shooting, the president said, ""let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation."

Ok, I'll bite. I'll civilly and honestly point out that no amount of political posturing about the issue of civility will make a dime's worth of difference when we're bringing up a generation of barbarians.

Civility is based on the notion that there are certain social mores to which pretty much everyone subscribes. Not just rich people or well-educated people, not just the people from intact families or who are raised "in the church."

Not long ago in American culture there were rules of common decency, etiquette, and public behavior, including the notion that there are things you just don't say or do — like, oh say…cuss in mixed company, talk publically about sex or money, condemn someone's religion or politics, and issue public death threats to your teachers and fellow students.

Yes, there were bullies and thugs a generation ago when social mores were well defined and most everyone grew up knowing the rules, if not practicing them, but they were the exception, not the rule. Their unwillingness to follow social norms is what made them bullies and thugs.

I hate to be the one to burst our national bubble about the potential for greater civility, but we're rearing a generation that seems to have no concept that there are things you just don't do or say.

Why would they believe otherwise? The media they consume only feeds the belief that they are free to say or do any barbaric thing that springs to mind. And worse, their parents either don't themselves know what it means to be civil or won't do the difficult work of taming their otherwise loutish, uncultured offspring.

We want civility in political discourse? That's a big dream for a nation that doesn't even have civility in the school cafeteria.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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© 2009, Marybeth Hicks