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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 3, 2012/ 13 Tamuz, 5772

Flushing away our freedom

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My toilets are turning me into my father.

When I was a kid in the 1970s, there were few greater worries than the plumbing. This was mostly because plumbers were expensive and many families had only one income.

My father, always looking for a bargain, purchased the cheapest toilet he could find for the powder room he finished in the basement. It never did work right.

For starters, it was absurdly small — as though it had been designed for miniature people. It didn't take more than a few pieces of tissue to clog it. My father was soon spending much of his spare time unplugging it — and pleading with us not to use it.

Inevitably, however, somebody would use it, it would clog, my mother would rush to shut off the valve, and my father would grumble to her, "For godssakes, Betty, why can't they use the upstairs commodes?"

Still, that old toilet was lots better than the new toilets I have installed in a couple of rental units I own — and now, like my father before me, the plumbing is one of my greatest sources of worry.

That worry is caused by federal action taken in the early 1990s.

Back then, each state had its own toilet standards, which made toilet manufacturing more costly. So a toilet association lobbied Congress to create one national toilet standard, an idea that made sense.

But the move to standardize was seized upon by bureaucrats and environmentalists. They saw an opportunity to craft a federal law that would conserve the nation's water supply. Somebody arbitrarily decided that a 1.6-gallon toilet, rather than the 3.5- to 5-gallon toilets most Americans were then using, would do the trick, and some legislator slipped the requirement into the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992.

For nearly 20 years now, the government has mandated that new U.S. toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush, down from the robust 3.5 gallons per flush Americans had enjoyed since we perfected the art of indoor plumbing.

Scientifically speaking, 1.6 gallons of conventional gravity flushing isn't very powerful. It's barely powerful enough to flush a few errant strands of tissue — which is great for singer Sheryl Crow, who recommends that that is all we use.

Here's the kicker: Unless you get a top model at top dollar, which can be somewhat functional, the new toilets aren't necessarily conserving much water at all. A plumbing expert I talked with told me that to prevent clogs, people are flushing two or three times to get the job done.

And so I worry. I've warned my tenants about the problem. I've urged them to embrace the Sheryl Crow philosophy, but clogs are common and a massive overflow into the rental units below me is just a matter of time.

It's no wonder, then, that such federal laws are turning law-abiding Americans into criminals. It is now illegal to "procure" a 3.5-gallon toilet, but that hasn't stopped desperate fathers and landlords from driving to Canada, where the larger-flow toilets are still available.

If you get caught with one, though, the feds will slap you with a $2,500 fine and prosecute you for transporting porcelain over federal lines for illegal flushes.

This infringement on our freedoms is an outrage, yet the ACLU is nowhere to be found. Hey, ACLU, government bureaucrats have no right butting into our bathrooms!

What will they take away next? Our Reader's Digests?

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