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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 7, 2013/ 25 Adar, 5773

The California 'Mordida'

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | California now works on the principle of the mordida, or "bite." Its government assumes that it can take something extra from residents for the privilege of living in their special state.

Gov. Jerry Brown made that assumption explicit in his latest back-and-forth with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who keeps luring Californians to lower-tax, higher-employment Texas. Recently, Brown said of Texas, "Who would want to spend summers there in 110-degree heat inside some kind of fossil fuel air conditioner?"

Translated, Brown's retort meant that despite California's sluggish economy, high taxes and poor services, it's still worth staying there to enjoy its beautiful climate -- especially along the 1,000-mile-long coast, where most of the state's elites live comfortably without a need for high-priced air conditioning.

In November, California approved a measure to raise its sales tax and its income tax rates on the wealthy. According to the California Taxpayers Association, the state now has the highest sales tax and the highest top income tax rate in the nation. The state also just upped its gasoline taxes by nearly 10 percent to make them the costliest in the United States -- about 70 cents a gallon in combined federal, state and local taxes. The state already has among the most expensive refinery regulations in America. That means California pump prices, at well over $4 per gallon, are second only to Hawaii's.

Yet, unlike Hawaii, California's wells still produce more than 500,000 barrels of crude oil each day -- behind only Texas and Alaska. Its newly discovered Monterey Shale Formation may hold some 30 billion barrels of oil and gas. Perhaps no state has so much recoverable petroleum and yet such high fuel taxes and pump prices.

California's record taxes are not reflections of the costs incurred ensuring superior California public education. In fact, its public schools, in some surveys of national performance tests in math and English, rank near the nation's very bottom.

Nor do record gas taxes equate to wonderful freeways. The federal government concluded that only half of California's roads rate as acceptable. Private rankings put California's roads near dead last.

The problem is that California has exorbitant built-in costs unlike any other state and, in politically correct fashion, usually tries to keep mum about them. As the home to about a quarter of the nation's illegal immigrants, most from poorer areas of Latin America, California has public schools that enroll millions whose first language is not English. Someday, the infusion of young, motivated new Californians may prove a fiscal plus, but for the foreseeable future, illegal immigration translates into years of soaring health-care, housing, transportation, education and law-enforcement costs -- and billions of much-needed dollars lost from the state economy each year in remittances to Latin America.

California public unions are among the highest-paid in the nation. While Brown may have balanced next year's budget through higher taxes, he cannot do much about the more than $300 billion in unfunded pension fund liabilities and municipal bonds that were incurred, in part, to ensure the state and its localities could afford their public workforces.

Elite environmentalists -- who feel that to extend the conditions of their own affluent coastal enclaves to millions of others would tax the ecosystem -- have blocked new housing developments, cut off irrigation water to farmland, and opposed new energy production.

Yet if California has self-induced crises, it also has innate advantages. Aside from the best climate in North America, it has the richest farming area in the nation, along with huge natural endowments of gas, oil, minerals and timber.

California also enjoys an extravagant inheritance. Universities such as Stanford, Caltech and UC Berkeley continually rate among the best in the world. For decades, Silicon Valley, Napa Valley, Hollywood and Central Valley agriculture have earned hundreds of billions of dollars in the global marketplace.

In short, California is a wonderful place to live for Bay Area, 30-something Google executives; young, rich Stanford students; and Malibu celebrities -- or recent indigents fleeing the abject misery of Latin America and needing generous public help. But it is not such an accommodating a landscape if you are in the shrinking middle class and seeking a good-paying job in energy, construction or manufacturing; a safe daily commute on good roads; reasonable taxes; an affordable house; or a good public school.

The governor and the legislature believe that higher taxes, higher prices and more regulations are worth the pleasures of California's weather, natural beauty and chic culture. Who would leave all that for low-tax but scorching Texas or Nevada?

They may be right. I am still here, writing this column in 70-degree March weather, gazing out at the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, amid blooming almond orchards on the small farm of my ancestors -- while computing my soaring taxes and picking up the daily litter tossed by the roadside, after another near-death experience on an archaic California freeway.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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