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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 26, 2013/ 18 Tammuz, 5773

Puritanical Government

By John Stossel




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | People say America is a free country. But what if you want to drink, have a cigarette or make a bet? Government often says "no" to protect us from ourselves.

It's as if the government is still run by the Puritans who settled this land four centuries ago. They said pleasure and luxury are sinful.

Today's government has a better argument when it seeks to restrict activities that might harm others, but I notice that even then, it often focuses more on things that upset modern-day Puritans.

Drinking and driving can be fatal. But government data show that sleeplessness and driving are just as deadly. Having kids in the back seat, looking at GPS map instructions, fiddling with the radio and eating while driving are often deadly, too.

But sleeplessness doesn't seem as decadent and irresponsible as drinking. Nor is there an easy way for police to test for such discretions — no breathalyzer test for excessive radio tuning.

Why is the DUI test all about alcohol level, rather than behavior? Government keeps lowering legal blood-alcohol levels — recently from .10 to .08 — and now they want to lower it to .05. But some people are good drivers even after a drink or two. It would be better to punish people for "reckless" driving.

Alcohol-related driving deaths are down. Groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) credit tougher DUI laws, but it's not clear that they are right.

Maybe people are simply more aware of the dangers, thanks to publicity from groups like MADD. Safer car designs helped, too. Non -alcohol-related driving deaths are also down.

Stats that some cite to claim alcohol is the cause of a third of highway accidents are misleading. That just means that a third of the people had alcohol in their systems; it doesn't necessarily mean alcohol caused the accident.

I don't suggest that drinking and driving is safe or smart. But the puritanical obsession with drinking distracts us from other ways we could make driving safer.

At least DUI laws seek to protect people from others. But government puritans go well beyond that, banning activities that harm only the individual engaged in them — like gambling.

Polls show 70 percent of you support the current ban on Internet gambling.

Why? It's true, for some people, gambling becomes addictive. Some wreck their lives. But for most people, gambling is entertainment, practice in using strategy and an excuse to socialize. A little risk is fun. And the laws don't stop the activity. They drive it underground, where it's run by criminals.

If we banned every activity that had the potential to become addictive, we'd have to ban fatty foods, sex, alcohol and investing in the stock market. Life means risk.

Sometimes puritans want to ban things without any evidence that the activity is harmful. After every mass shooting, someone wants to tax, or ban, violent video games.

Yet violent offenses by youth fell by more than half over the past two decades, while video game sales doubled. If there's a causal relationship, maybe playing video games prevents kids from behaving violently.

Japan spends much more on violent video games than the U.S., but its crime rate is much lower. Maybe the Japanese get it out of their system through make-believe? I don't know. But I do know that a lack of evidence rarely stops the puritans.

The puritanical panics of today may look silly someday. In the 1950s, a psychiatrist testified that Superman comic books inspire juvenile delinquency.

After hearing about those moral panics, you might feel like relaxing with a cold beer. But don't try buying one from a convenience store in Indiana. The state requires that the beer be sold warm.

In theory, warm beer will discourage drinking on the road.

I doubt that such laws help. Perhaps puritanical laws don't have to make sense. They just have to leave us feeling righteous because we've done something to crack down on bad behavior.

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© 2013, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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