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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 July 12, 2005 / 5 Tamuz, 5765

Optimism

By Pat Sajak


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I've recently returned from an extended European vacation which included a virtually total information blackout. I carried no computer and no cell phone, I made a concerted effort to stay away from television and newspapers, and there were no political discussions, even in France. (The people there were so nice, I had almost forgotten a friend's advice upon my departure: "Be sure to drive on the left side in England. Do that in France, too, because you'll run over more French.")

I'm afraid I had lost sight of what a real vacation was supposed to be and how much tougher the Information Age has made it to really experience one. Most of us have succumbed to the notion we simply cannot afford to be away from phones and emails even for a few hours. One of the insidious results of creeping technology has been to convince us because something is possible, it is necessary. We have grown these electronic appendages and can't seem to live without them. It'll be a while before I forget the sight of Venetian gondoliers on cell phones!

However, this strange juxtaposition of my information cut-off while being surrounded by growing signs of a connected world resulted in a long-absent feeling upon my return: optimism. It's something I hadn't felt in years. Optimism about the world and my kids and their futures. It's something 9/11 had knocked out of me. It's something the daily drumbeat of 24-hour news channels had kept me from feeling. How could we survive in this world where everyone hates us and everyone is out to get us?

Well, it turns out everyone doesn't hate us. Most people are too busy taking care of their families or working or shopping to care much one way or the other. Without the prisms of CNN and "The Twin Times" of New York and Los Angeles to remind me of how terrible a country we live in and how despised we are, I had to rely on real people and actual events to show me the world, and it seemed to be a much more hospitable place.

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As for the "wired" gondoliers, even they fueled the optimism. It's becoming more and more difficult to keep a society in darkness. As that tool of dictatorships and despots and thugs is taken away, it will become impossible to hold the next generation in check. As people-to-people communication seeps into places like North Korea, goofballs such as Kim Jong Il will find it harder to convince people they are world-class athletes or brilliant scholars. It will be harder for terrorists to justify their means.

And, yes, it will be harder to portray America as Satan incarnate.

There will be very tough times in the short-term future, as the wounded beasts of terror and tyranny strike to try to hold back the tide. But, if we can get over that hump, and continue to champion freedom and democracy in the world, the word will spread. It will find its way into all the shadowy corners of the earth, and the forces of light will prevail over the forces of darkness.

Optimism. It feels good.

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JWR contributor Pat Sajak is the recipient of three Emmys, a Peoplesí Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He's currently the host of Wheel of Fortune. To visit his website, please click here.



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