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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 June 12, 2013/ 4 Tammuz, 5773

Secrecy scandal? Not so much

By Clarence Page

Clarence Page


JewishWorldReview.com | When is a scandal not really a scandal? Many are shocked to hear that the government, in its pursuit of terrorists as relentlessly as Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner, is massively snooping into our phone records and popular social networks without search warrants.

But is anybody really surprised to hear that the National Security Agency -- an agency so secret that its nickname is "No Such Agency" -- is taking more than a casual look at people who, for example, frequent jihadi websites and price one-way tickets to Yemen?

Revelations that the NSA is conducting massive surveillance of cellphone calls and Internet traffic have divided the country into two camps, those who are outraged that the government has been gathering phone records and those who are greatly relieved.

Oh, yes, there's a third group that doesn't know what to think because they don't know the difference between a wiretap and "metadata collection," your new vocabulary words for the day, children.

Metadata is information about your phone calls but not their content. It includes the numbers, time of day and duration and perhaps even the locations of calls you made, but not audio of what was said during the call.

"Metadata" is the subject of Scandal No. 1. A document obtained by the British Guardian's shows a court order issued by a secret federal court (Called a FISA court because it was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) sought "metadata."

You don't need a warrant, courts have ruled, because of the "third-party doctrine." When you dial a phone number, this doctrine says, you voluntarily provide information to a third party, the phone company, right? And the phone company is then free to share it with the government.

As one of my favorite experts, David Simon, creator of the HBO police drama "The Wire," points out in his blog, there's nothing new in the government's capture, retention and analysis of raw telephone or Internet metadata that police reporters haven't been doing since the birth of wiretaps.

"The only thing new here, from a legal standpoint, is the scale on which the FBI and NSA are apparently attempting to cull anti-terrorism leads from that data," says Simon, a former police reporter for the Baltimore Sun. "But the legal and moral principles? Same old stuff."

As a former police reporter for the Chicago Tribune, I agree. The NSA phone sweeps are a large-scale version of police tracking the calls -- but not content -- on pay phones (Remember those?) that were frequented by drug dealers. As a character on "The Wire" used to say, "Things change but the game stays the same."

Those who fear constitutional breeches should first read the Constitution. It is not biblical scripture. It is often conditional, as in the Fourth Amendment's protections against "unreasonable searches." The Ten Commandments, by contrast, do not permit "reasonable adultery."

Then there's Scandal No. 2. According to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post, the NSA and FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.

There, the Post said, the agencies are extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets.

That last part is important because tracking foreign targets usually doesn't require a warrant, either.

Further, James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence, has disputed what he called "significant misimpressions" in the Post and Guardian stories. He stressed that the government doesn't "unilaterally obtain information" from the computer servers of the companies and that "Prism" is a new technology for old well-known missions.

In other words, nothing to see here, folks. Please move along.

Still, we ask, is Edward J. Snowden, who leaked secret NSA surveillance documents to spark a public civil liberties debate, a hero or a traitor? Where you stand depends on which secrets you think are worth keeping -- and what kind of searches are quite reasonable when balanced against looming threats to public safety.

Part of the problem is the massive growth of the intelligence community and its classified documents. A headcount ordered by Congress two years ago of how many government workers and contractors have "secret" level clearance came up with the jaw-dropping figure of more than 4 million, including more than a million awarded "top secret" clearance.

We might take the alarm sounded by lawmakers and our intelligence establishment a bit more seriously if they were a bit less secret.

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.

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