Home
In this issue
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 July 28, 2014 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5774

Holiday Memories You'll Cherish Forever

By Mark Steyn



JewishWorldReview.com | One of the reasons why so many Americans oppose amnesty and a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens is because, even if one buys it in utilitarian terms, to accept that an honorable American identity can be born from an illegal act seems to mock the very essence of citizenship and allegiance.

Yet, putting aside the soon to be amnestied millions, it seems to me the deformation of law necessary to accommodate the armies of the undocumented is having a broader corrupting effect on the federal bureaucracy. For example, can you think of anything more risible than working for something called "US Customs & Border Protection"? There is no "border" to "protect". On the Rio Grande, President Obama, the Coyote-in-Chief, has simply erased said border.

So one sympathizes with the psychological burdens of being an employee of "Customs & Border Protection". Perhaps that explains why, as they abandon "border protection" on the southern frontier, they seem to be compensating by obstructing and terrorizing law-abiding persons on the northern frontier. The latest glimpse of America's security-where-you-need-it-least security-state comes courtesy of Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111, who were on a road trip from Iowa to Alaska.

As you might have deduced, to drive from Iowa to Alaska involves passing through Canada, so on the last leg of the journey the scouts were approaching a US immigration post on the Yukon/Alaska border. These days, the kids all have cellphones and on an exciting adventure holiday they take snaps of everything. And so, returning to America via one of its remotest frontier posts, one boy took a photograph:

[Scout leader Jim] Fox said one of the Scouts took a picture of a border official, which spurred agents to detain everyone in that van and search them and their belongings.

"The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison," Fox said.

Fox said he was told it is a federal offense to take a picture of a federal agent.

Not wanting things to escalate, Fox said he did not complain.

Au contraire, by this stage, "complaining" is the only way to prevent things escalating.

RECEIVE LIBERTY LOVING COLUMNISTS IN YOUR INBOX … FOR FREE!

Receive Steyn and many, many more. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

For a start, if Mr Fox's account is correct, nothing that Agent Bozo threatened is actually true. "Federal agents" routinely tell people they're not allowed to take photographs, but there seems to be no - oh, what's the word? - laws that actually support this, and courts have consistently ruled that government employees have no expectation of privacy when conducting public business in public. There is a federal "regulation" governing photography on federal property for "news, advertising or commercial purposes" but that doesn't cover a boy scout in a van taking vacation souvenirs.

Is there a $10,000 fine and ten years in prison for taking a holiday snap? No. Even for taking photographs of "certain vital military and naval installations", the guilty party shall be "imprisoned not more than one year".

So this agent is either extremely ill-informed, or simply bullying a kid because he knows he can. Nevertheless, because one boy took a photo, the CBP thugs detained the scouts for four hours and went through everything.

This is the evil of a dying republic - waving through gangbangers at the southern border, but at the northern border detaining boy scouts for four hours. No novelist or movie director would attempt that contrast - it's too pat, too neat. But it's somehow become American reality in the 21st century.

Just to be clear: that boy scout did nothing wrong. When the CBP officer demanded he hand over the camera, Mr Fox should have refused and asked to see the agent's supervisor.

But it gets better:

Another of the Scouts was taking luggage from the top of a van to be searched when something startling happened.

"He hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here's this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man's head," Fox explained.

Fox said that had them all in fear.

Ultimately no one was hurt or arrested, and after about four hours they were allowed to continue their trip into Alaska.

"No one was hurt or arrested": Two and a third centuries after a great revolution for the right to live in liberty, law-abiding Americans are apparently now grateful not to be shot or incarcerated after interactions with their government. If you're wondering what the short-trousered national-security threat did wrong, he apparently reached for his suitcase "without authorization".

Oh, my. As I always say round about this point in the story, if you need to level a gun at a boy scout's head, you're doing it wrong.

Also of note is the reaction of the folks back home:

Charles Vonderheid with the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America said Troop 11 learned a valuable lesson. "We want to make sure they follow the rules. A Scout is a good citizen. It would be a great lesson in civics for that young man and that troop," he said.

Yeah, 'cause nothing says "civics" like having a minor bureaucratic functionary pointing a gun at your head. Mr Vonderheid has been backpedaling furiously since his original response. He's now revised his position:

He told me that he made the comment after getting blindsided by reporters before learning any details about the encounter. He assured me, though, that he and the Boy Scouts are concerned about scouts' safety and support them.



For its part, CBP is denying the boy scouts' version of events, but has passed their video of the incident (because, whether or not you're allowed to photograph CBP, CBP is allowed to photograph you) along to "internal affairs" for review. Todd Starnes of Fox News concludes:

So, what we have here is an old-fashioned case of he said, he said - or to be more accurate - the Boy Scouts said, the feds said.

In cases like this, the quickest way to determine who is being truthful is to look at the video. So I emailed U.S. Customs and Border Protection and officially requested a copy of the video.

My request was denied.

I'm not so sure it's fair to call it "he said, he said". None of the three other volunteers have disputed Mr Fox's version of events, and everyone seems to agree that the boy scouts were there for over four hours - and for a "crime" a CBP agent pulled out of his butt.

And that's why I describe what is alleged to have happened as "evil". There are still people like Mr Vonderheid, who think that if they're putting you through the wringer for four hours that just goes to show how seriously they take this "national security" stuff. But in fact the opposite is true. Every four hours that the incompetent Homeland Security bureaucracy is spending on Iowa boy scouts is four hours they're not spending on someone who merits the scrutiny. And considering that the most lavishly funded government on the planet has let in everyone from Mohammed Atta and Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the man who attacked and raped a 93-year old Omaha woman unto death, a serious people who were truly the "good citizens" Mr Vonderheid wants would demand that these bullying twerps learn to prioritize.

Instead, an insecure, ineffectual CBP agent stopped a troop of boy scouts for four hours for no other reason than to punish them. That's an abuse of power. And a very serious one - because a man who has no compunction about doing that has such a defective understanding of his position that one would be foolish to presume any limits to his abusiveness.

That's why, as I said above, Mr Fox should have complained, and early on. My advice, whenever a routine border crossing goes beyond the standard three or four questions and shows signs of turning into an "incident", is to ask for a supervisor. The reason is simple: You have an advantage over your interrogator; you know you're not an illegal alien, a terrorist or a smuggler. If the CBP can't tell that in under four hours, that's a reflection on them, not on you.

I confess, though, that I worry about the craven and compliant likes of Mr Vonderheid. American life is bifurcating into the undocumented and the overdocumented. On the southern border, the bazillions of US laws are meaningless - proof of identity, medical tests, none of it matters. And the less it matters on the Rio Grande the more the zealots on the 49th Parallel will take apart your car if they think you've got a Kinder egg in there. Anyone who thinks that attitude can be confined to the border and not work its way deep into the rest of American life is deluded.


ARCHIVES

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.

JWR contributor Mark Steyn is a syndicated columnist. Comment by clicking here.

© 2014, Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast