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 13, 2014 / 11 Adar II, 5774

Annoying people: There ought to be a law

By John Kass

John Kass

JewishWorldReview.com | It's clear that Americans are irritated by some of our annoying, stupid, idiotic laws.

Like the law in Galesburg, Ill., that makes it illegal to burn bird feathers within city limits. And one in Fort Thomas, Ky., that prohibits house pets from "molesting" passing cars. There are laws for this and laws for that, but the problem is that what's annoying to you might not be annoying to your neighbor.

That's why I was so thrilled to hear about the so-called Annoying Law of Grand Rapids, Mich.

If there's one thing this country needs, it's a law against people who are annoying. And jail time, to give the annoying people something to think about as they cool their heels in a cell.

Sadly, the town of Grand Rapids has decided to get rid of its Annoying Law.

The culprit is one Catherine Mish, the city attorney, who has been on a crusade since last summer to clean the city code of what she considers to be antiquated, unworkable and annoying laws. She combed through the more than 5,000-page city code and found them.

Like the one that makes it illegal for anyone other than a police officer to "molest" a bird's nest (again with the molesting). They also threw out the one that sent habitually late library book borrowers to the pokey. OK, let's throw that one out and be merciful.

But they're annoying the heck out of me by getting rid of the Annoying Law. Enacted 38 years ago, it included a jail sentence of up to 90 days.

"I don't believe the court would ever have allowed us to try and enforce this," Mish said in a telephone interview. "If there's an ordinance that you know isn't enforceable, we should just take it off the books."

The reason the law was unworkable is that the town fathers of Grand Rapids forgot to specify just what constitutes annoying behavior.

On Tuesday, city officials struck the Annoying Law from the books. They're also preparing to erase the ban on molesting birds' nests.

"Bad things can happen when you leave antiquated things on the books because they can be used against people," Mish said. "We hate to leave any tool for selective enforcement in the code. If we can weed them out, we certainly try to be proactive about this sort of thing."

Well, I certainly hope you're happy, Catherine Mish. You and your whole dern posse of proactive lawgivers up in Michigan should take a bow.

But when America is overwhelmed by wave after wave of annoying behavior and some sociologist asks me why, I'll just say, "It's Grand Rapids' fault. Blame Catherine Mish."

Mish and others opposed to the Annoying Law keep referencing some 200-year-old document with a Bill of Rights and other stuff. Apparently, it's a pamphlet that annoys many Washington politicians, so they ignore it while insisting they're not taking away our liberties as much as they're trying to protect us.

"We really can't jail someone for being annoying," said City Manager Gregory Sundstrom.

You can't? What an outrage!

Clearly, Grand Rapids doesn't have the guts to decide what is annoying. The problem is, if we open this question up to public debate, the lawyers will stick their noses in, and politicians, and nothing will get done.

So I've decided, in my wisdom, to define what's annoying in America. And anyone who violates this new law will spend 90 days in the pokey, subsisting solely on bologna sandwiches or, if religious issues are involved, sardines and crackers. Maybe fruit wraps too.

Henceforth, anyone who repeatedly cracks his or her knuckles within earshot of another human being (especially if he's your father and you're my son) will be dubbed "Annoying" and spend 90 days in jail.

Also defined as annoying are:

  • People who make "air quotes" with their fingers in conversation.

  • The guy in front of you at a red light looking at his smartphone, and when the light changes to green, he's still sitting transfixed by his screen, and when you beep, he flips you off. Ninety days.

  • Movie talkers. Obviously annoying, and that goes for anyone flashing a cellphone in a theater. That's 180 days because it ruins the movie.

  • That waiter you have to all but beg for a second cup of coffee.

  • Those tourists who stand in the middle of a bridge to take a photo.

  • Snort laughers -- don't forget them. Is there anything more annoying than those who snort while they're laughing? No. Ninety days.

  • Same goes for fast-food-order takers who roll their eyes when a portly columnist says "easy on the mayo."

But what about elected officials?

Any politician who says the words "much-needed revenue" rather than "we're taxing the heck outta you 'cause we can" gets 90 days. Minimum. Likewise if they say "we must invest in the future" rather than "I'm buying votes with your money."

There ought to be a law.


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.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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