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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 May 21, 2012/ 29 Iyar, 5772

FTC vs. Skechers: Overhyped Meets Overkill

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that Skechers USA Inc. will pay $40 million to settle charges that the shoe company made "unfounded claims" about its Shape-ups.

"Shape up while you walk," one ad proclaimed. And: "Get in Shape Without Setting Foot in a Gym." Kim Kardashian endorsed the rocker-bottom sneaks. She said they worked so well she got rid of her personal trainer. The FTC found Skechers' weight-loss and tone-up claims to be overhyped.

Overhyped? It's a good thing Washington politicians never overpromise; otherwise, one might think the FTC should go after politicians who mislead voters before it targets private-sector employers that overhype their products.

In the rush for headlines, politicians know no shame. Attorneys general from more than 40 states got in the act. California Attorney General Kamala Harris put out a press release to toot her role in the settlement. "Consumers shouldn't be duped into paying more for products with false promises of weight loss and other benefits," quoth Harris. "The FTC's message for Skechers and other national advertisers is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims," the FTC's David Vladeck said in a statement.

You can sleep soundly tonight, America. In the land of the press release, there is no such thing as an insignificant problem.

Confession time: I bought a pair of Skechers. (I bought the shoes because a similar brand helped my husband alleviate knee problems.) I didn't expect to lose weight. I certainly didn't expect to look like Kim Kardashian. I also did not expect to moon-dance as deftly as Mr. Quiggly, the French bulldog who replaced Kardashian as Skechers' shill.

"It's one thing if you sell someone a washing machine and it breaks," Cato Institute senior fellow Walter Olson observed, or if a product promises a medical advancement that it cannot deliver. But the Skechers ads, to Olson, are like beer ads that show "pretty women swimming around the beer drinker, which seldom happens in real life."

FTC attorney Larissa Bungo disagrees. She explained, "We're dealing with a national advertiser that made explicit performance claims," which it couldn't back up. The FTC made much of the fact that endorser Steven Gautreau, a chiropractor, is married to a Skechers marketing executive.

I could see the FTC engaging in a legal settlement to stop Skechers from false advertising — if that happened. A disclaimer at the end of the FTC's statement notes that the settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt on Skechers' part.

But I do not see it as prudent use of government funds and resources to set up a bureaucracy that gives money to consumers to compensate them for not getting a benefit that no reasonable consumer would expect.

And it's not as if consumers can't return sneakers.

"The government is looking for easy targets," Cato's Olson opined, "which is not the same as being the worst players in the marketplace. If you have a successful product, in some ways you can be an easier target."

In a statement released Wednesday, Skechers chief financial officer David Weinberg denied the allegations of "unfounded claims" but did say the "exorbitant cost and endless distraction" of multiple class action suits presented an "unreasonable burden" on the company, regardless of outcome.

That's why the government always wins. It's like paying protection money. In the end, it's easier to pay up and move on.

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© 2012, Creators Syndicate

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