In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 July 11, 2011 / 9 Tamuz, 5771

Has America Stopped Reaching for the Stars?

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I built one model as a kid. It wasn't a boat. It wasn't a car. It was a spaceship.

In those days, nothing could fascinate a boy like a long, tall rocket. Mine was the Apollo 11, with its huge thrusters at the bottom and, at the top, the hidden lunar module -- the bug-like vehicle that would land on the moon.

I lined up all the pieces. Used ample glue. It took hours. At the very end, as the instructions indicated, I peeled back the American flag decal and stuck it on the side.

I thought about that flag and that model this weekend, as the space shuttle Atlantis, after three decades and more than 130 shuttle flights, made its final launch. After this, the U.S. space program will sit on the bench for a while, giving way to private industry or -- impossible as this may sound -- sharing rides with the Russians.

"Does it bother me?" shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson told the media. "I think the transition could have taken place more gradually....

"I do think we are kind of hanging it out a little bit. But ... we have our Russian partners. They'll get us up and down. We're paying customers."

Well, yes. As with so many other things the government once did, our space program is moving more to the private sector. You can buy a trip to the stars now. Richard Branson, the British billionaire behind Virgin Atlantic Airlines, has formed Virgin Galactic, which will charge $200,000 a seat to shoot into the heavens and experience weightlessness.

Or you can pay the Russians. That's what our government is doing. Instead of launching a rocket from Florida, we'll pay about $60 million a seat for our astronauts to hitch a ride to the International Space Station aboard -- and I am not making this up -- the Russian Soyuz.

President George W. Bush put the first nail in the space shuttle coffin; President Barrack Obama hammered in another -- deciding Bush's proposed alternative to the shuttle, the Constellation moon program, was too expensive. Obama has suggested a "flexible path" approach which, when you listen to it, sounds flexible enough to include going nowhere for a long time.

In short, for space fans, the fun's over for a while.

Does this sadden you? It does me. I'm not saying every dollar we spent over the years with NASA was a great investment. But to see an American dream go the way of the highest bidder is depressing. I know private industry often does things more efficiently than government, but it also does them for one reason: profit. If there were enough money in a disco on Mars, you'd see that on the surface before a research station.

There was once a national pride in how far we Americans could go in space. We are the best dreamers on the planet, and the Gemini and Apollo programs reflected that. Over the years, the cries of "Take care of life down here!" grew louder. We became jaded toward space, as movies and video games made it seem like something we could go to anytime, in HD.

But computer graphics are one thing. Launching a real rocket hundreds of miles into the sky is something else. It's OK for a nation to take pride in that and yes, to fund it, the way governments once funded the exploration of this planet -- Magellan, Christopher Columbus, etc.

Instead, an American kid today can build a model rocket and then proudly stick a Virgin decal on the side. Or a Russian flag. The common phrase is "reach for the stars." But with the end of the space shuttle, it's more like "hail a cab."

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.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives