In this issue
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 August 22, 2006 / 28 Menachem-Av, 5766

Don't practice legal terrorism

By Paul Johnson

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Eager as he is to keep America's free-enterprise economy healthy, President Bush should take a close look at what's going on at the Department of Justice. Is an antibusiness culture developing there? In the aftermath of the Enron scandal has America's law enforcement machinery begun to display a systematic animus toward big business and corporate bosses?

Looking at this from the outside, I've certainly gotten the impression that government lawyers are becoming too enthusiastic in bringing dodgy businessmen to justice — or at least in setting the legal process in motion. But the delays in bringing these cases to trial are in and of themselves becoming scandalous.

What's happened to the spirit of habeas corpus? Do big businessmen no longer enjoy its protection in the U.S.? Savvy legal friends in America tell me that these delays are not accidental. Government lawyers have a vested interest in exhausting the financial resources of defendants before they even get to trial.

Behind all this appears to be a suspicion, a hatred even, of the way big business operates and of the whole process of earning big profits and commanding large salaries. I get the feeling Justice officials think it is morally wrong to make a lot of money — unless, of course, the person making the money is a lawyer.

This attitude is something new in the philosophy of American government. One of the reasons America has been able to create the world's most successful economy, with its spectacular expansion for more than two centuries, is that its government — state and federal — has created a sympathetic climate for business.

Next to Alexander Hamilton's work in giving the U.S. a sound currency, the man who contributed most to making the country prosperous was Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall. The judgments he made and inspired during his long tenure [1801 — 35] formed a firm legal basis on which entrepreneurial capitalism could flourish mightily. There has been nothing to rival Marshall's creative work in the entire world history of jurisprudence — countless millions of ordinary Americans enjoy affluence today because Marshall gave capitalism the legal green light.

Because of this grounding Americans have never been made to feel ashamed of making vast sums of money through their enterprise and industry. And that in turn has led to a philanthropic generosity unique in the world, which has given America galleries and libraries, universities, parks and cultural institutions that have no parallel in number and quality elsewhere. Andrew Carnegie summed it up when he said that there was nothing wrong in becoming rich but that a "man who dies rich dies disgraced." Carnegie became one of the richest men of his time — and he gave the bulk of it away.

But philanthropy requires there to be accumulation in the first place. As Margaret Thatcher never tired of explaining, the Good Samaritan was able to look after the distressed traveler precisely because he was well-to-do. Pontius Pilate's Justice Department hadn't harassed him out of his wealth.

Modern business is infinitely complicated — and becoming more so by the hour. The opportunities for putting one's hand in the till and defrauding the public and shareholders remain ample, despite continual attempts to tighten the laws. Law enforcement must remain vigilant in scrutinizing the whole business of moneymaking and must bring the occasional villains to justice. But it mustn't develop attitudes of suspicion that imply that business itself is a fundamentally unethical activity and that the typical businessman is a person who operates close to illegality.

In fact, the complexities of modern business — especially the speed at which difficult financial decisions must be made — often create gray areas in which the law is unclear, and any legal advice may turn out to be wrong. In the end it is often a matter of opinion as to whether the law has been broken or not. That, of course, is precisely what a jury has to decide. But in complicated cases jury verdicts can be swayed by the aggressive tactics of law enforcement and by the weakening of the defense through long delays before the case is brought to trial.

Businessmen, of course, can always play it safe. But that is contrary to the spirit of capitalism, which, in the pursuit of success, depends on taking risks — often huge ones.

The future of free-market enterprise depends on the continued willingness of rank-and-file entrepreneurs and executives to take risks to launch and expand businesses, as well as to retain their businesses' competitiveness in increasingly crowded world markets.

If businessmen and -women become scared of breaking laws they imperfectly understand, or if they fear becoming victims of the Department of Justice's legal terrorism, they'll cease making the kinds of decisions that keep the U.S. economy energetic and pushing forward.

That would be tragic for the U.S. — and the world. So let's keep the legal bloodhounds active — but on a sensible leash.

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Eminent British historian and author Paul Johnson's latest book is "American Presidents Eminent Lives Boxed Set: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant". Comment by clicking here.


08/08/06: A summer rhapsody for a pedal-bike
08/03/06: Why is there no workable philosophy of music?
07/11/06: Historically speaking, energy crisis is America's opportunity
07/06/06: The misleading dimensions of persons and lives
06/06/06: First editions are not gold
05/23/06: A downright ugly man need never despair of attracting women, even pretty ones
04/25/06: Was Washington right about political parties?
04/12/06: Let's Have More Babies!
04/05/06: For the love of trains
03/29/06: Lincoln and the Compensation Culture
03/22/06: Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast
03/15/06: Europe's utopian hangover
03/08/06: Kindly write on only one side of the paper
02/28/06: Creators versus critics
02/21/06: The Rhino Principle

© 2006, Paul Johnson