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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 June 18, 2012/ 28 Sivan, 5772

Bradbury's lessons for today

By Jay Ambrose




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ray Bradbury, an American author whose books were astounding, who saw into our travails and failings with an insight that could make you shudder, is dead at 91. His works aren't. They live, and one of them, "Fahrenheit 451," will live as long as people bother to visit with uncomfortable truths.

It is a story of a forlorn future in which firemen do not put out fires. They start them. They burn books because books make you ready "to blow up the world" and "destroy authority," cause people to think more than they should and can offend "cat lovers," "Texans" and countless other minorities.

The hero of this short, 1953 novel is Guy Montag, one of the firemen whose first reported adventure is meeting 17-year-old Clarisse, who is really strange. She likes "to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise." She knew something he didn't. "There's dew on the grass in the morning." She did not like riding in the jet cars because then the grass was just a "green blur." Guy walked away from her in a "kind of clenching and uncomfortable silence."

He gets home to find his wife unconscious from overdosing on sleeping pills. People do this all the time, and after she is revived, she doesn't remember what happened. Her around-the-clock life is watching her "parlor walls," which are wall-sized, three-dimensional, full-color televisions that entertain with such images as clowns chopping off each others' limbs and that suck you up like a "gigantic vacuum."

Our society is clearly not at these extremes, but does any of this summation make you at all edgy about tipping points?

TV, when this book was written, was black and white, small-screened, bad enough, but not the full-color, big screen splash of emptiness we get in today's reality shows.

And in the 1950s, we had not yet heard the term "political correctness." It refers to the fear of offensiveness that was one of the reasons for book burning in the novel. While we do not have book burning, we do have campus speech codes intolerant of candid discussion, and that is truly offensive.

Much worse, of course, are the hate-speech trials abroad.

Clarice was killed by one of those fast cars she did not care for, and today's world is forever smashing wonderment. Thinking about her made me think about Richard Dawkins, the British science writer busily promoting atheism. He recounts in one of his works how he asked his 6-year old daughter the purpose of wildflowers. "To make the world pretty and to help the bees make honey for us," he says she replied before he explained to her that it wasn't so, that they were there to copy their DNA.

It occurred to me that his crusade is not just against religion as such. It is against the brash recognitions of the non-literal, the poetic, of an astonished imagination.

Dawkins has a god, you know. It is science as the final and only answer to everything, and while science is a marvelous avenue to an ever-expanding awareness, it has limits. Life and the universe are larger than science, and there are other ways of knowing.

Guy Montag ultimately turns to books. He finds a famous poem, "Dover Beach," that he reads to others. Without faith, it says, there is "neither joy, nor love nor light, / Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain."

Words like these awaken him but breed trouble every which way he turns. As a mechanical hound pursues him, he flees to wilderness to read and think with other fugitives. In the end, their city across the river is destroyed in a flash by bombs, and they return to rebuild it.

We today are still free to read books, including those by Bradbury, and we can use them to help rebuild what's been broken.

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

Comment by clicking here.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.


Previously:


06/13/12: Should this leaking administration sink?
06/11/12: Simpson bashes back on reform
06/05/12: Legalize sugary drinks, ban dangerous drugs
06/04/12: Keep America from going Greek
06/01/12: Don't believe in Obama's fairy tales
05/30/12: Writing a book? Beats prison
05/23/12: Student loans fail students
05/21/12: Europeanizing America into crisis
05/16/12: Obama a bully, too
05/15/12: Walker recall vote could swing national pension policy
05/07/12: Bumbling, fumbling, benighted, old Washington near tipping point where freedom is done for
05/02/12: The Communists cannot be happy
04/30/12: There's no objective truth, least of all concerning behavior
04/25/12: Forgive the extremist?
04/23/12: Educational excellence is a game
04/18/12: Obama's interventions help a few by the most autocratic, complicated, ineffective means possible, yet hurt many more
04/16/12: Overregulation strikes again: The nanny state threatens to turn us into children
04/11/12: Obama is not bonkers
04/04/12: Will America vote against authoritarianism?
04/02/12: 'Tipping point' on federal restraint approaches
03/28/12: Obama truth from an open mike
03/21/12: The progressive campaign for voter fraud
03/19/12: Public pensions will get us if we don't watch out
03/14/12: Politics needs reporting, not speculation
03/12/12: Home of the free, the brave, the endangered
03/07/12: Obama used Limbaugh as scapegoat
03/05/12: Campaign substance lost in media melodrama
03/01/12: When Big Brother drowns
02/24/12: Obama goes gaseous on gas
02/22/12: Political tears for trust in personal empowerment --- except in the bedroom
02/17/12: Of cut-off ears and silenced mouths
02/15/12: Obama is a joke whose antics aren't funny
02/10/12: An energy boom looms, despite Obama
02/08/12: Obama's assault on faith
02/03/12: Can Romney get serious?
01/27/12: Obama is like an Italian ship captain
01/25/12: Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
01/20/12: Obama's Keystone pipeline lies
01/18/12: Critics worse than urinating Marines
01/13/12: Ron Paul is a cartoonish character
01/11/12: Newt Gingrich upset by Mitt Romney's brilliance
01/09/12: How about regulating presidents, too?
01/04/12: How America smothers itself
12/30/11: A tax break that helps break the nation
12/28/11: Watch out for the banana peel, Newt
12/21/11: A tale of two men
12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest —- or at least shouldn't be
10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
08/03/11: The people who may save America
07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery



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