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 March 24, 2005 / 13 Adar II, 5765

Congressional heat melting free society

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recent developments — the Schiavo legislation, the steroids hearing — raise questions about the appropriate role for Congress in civil society.

The Schiavo case is obviously the most important, literally a question of life or death.

From afar, it would certainly seem that the most reasonable accommodation would have been for Terri Schiavo's husband to defer to the hopes and religious beliefs of her parents, and relinquish custodianship to them.

But in life, what seems reasonable from afar often doesn't happen. Social conservatives believe that Schiavo should live. They mobilized to get Congress to prolong that possibility by passing special legislation giving her parents access to the federal courts.

Social conservatives have put forward various analogies to justify this extraordinary congressional intervention. This is akin, they say, to federal court review of state action regarding habeas corpus or capital punishment.

But all such analogies fail.

Congress did not put in place a general process for federal court review of state actions about potentially terminal medical decisions. There are tens of thousands of Americans in a persistent vegetative state. Yet Congress enacted a law that gave federal court access in only one such case, Schiavo's.

Moreover, with respect to habeas and capital punishment, there are clearly federal constitutional issues at stake that can only be ultimately adjudicated in federal court. There are no such federal constitutional issues involved in the Schiavo case.

That social conservatives pushed so hard for Congress to act in this case and in this way is highly revealing in a couple of respects.

In the first place, it illustrates that social conservatives don't have the same sense of restraint about federal authority that has characterized traditional conservatism. Like liberals, social conservatives often judge political actions by their results, not their propriety. Terri Schiavo should live, therefore Congress should act.

Second, the alacrity with which Congress and President Bush acted — a special Sunday session of Congress, the president flying back from Crawford and being awakened at 1 a.m. to sign the bill — indicates that, within the Republican Party, social conservatives are clearly in the ascendancy. Republicans supported the special Schiavo legislation with nary a pause to consider whether their involvement was appropriate.

But by the light of day, the question lingers. The country is full of family tragedies, conflicts and difficult ethical decisions. Which of these private poignancies are Congress' business, and which are not? The steroids hearing was a more mundane example of Congress' expanding role as a public scold.

The Constitution makes no mention of investigative or oversight functions for Congress. They have been defended and upheld as necessary for the performance of Congress' primary constitutional function, which is to legislate.

But congressional hearings have long assumed a role largely independent of any lawmaking that might result from them. In fact, they have become Congress' main business.

They have also become a set piece of political theater: An elevated array of politicians taking turns lecturing or expressing outrage at whatever hapless slug happens to be in the dock.

These are not fact-finding hearings, as they are often called. To the extent questions are actually asked, there is rarely any true interest in the answers.

Supposedly, Congress has a legitimate interest in baseball's drug policy because Congress has given Major League Baseball an exemption to the nation's anti-trust laws. Whether the exemption, which in reality operates more like the grant of a monopoly franchise, is wise is a subject for another day. Eliminating such monopoly franchises in professional sports could go a long way toward reducing their oversized, and not always beneficial, role in American culture.

But how does granting an exemption to the antitrust laws logically make baseball's drug policy Congress' business? It's just as logical to say that it makes the designated hitter rule Congress' business.

In the Federalist Papers, James Madison warned that it was the tendency of the legislative branch to attempt to usurp the functions of the other branches.

The system of checks and balances the Constitution established has pretty well protected against that overreaching. Unfortunately, that has just deflected Congress' meddling eye toward the private affairs of the rest of us.

But the insight of the founders remains valid: A national legislature that believes everything is its business isn't compatible with a free society.

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JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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