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December 2, 2014

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 Aug. 4, 2014 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5774

Living in a time when kids' playtime lands parents in jail

By Mitch Albom




JewishWorldReview.com | I would like to offer a blood transfusion, free of charge, to every kid in America. Because clearly I have special plasma that allowed me to survive a traumatic childhood.

I walked to school, on my own, and survived. I walked to a park, on my own, and survived. I sat in a car, by myself, and survived.

Of course, I had one benefit. My parents were not arrested for any of the above. Today, growing up the way I did, I'd be visiting Mom and Dad behind bars.

Take the story of Nicole Gainey, the mother of a 7-year-old Florida boy. She had the audacity to recently let her son, Dominic, walk to a park on his own. For this, she was arrested, charged with child neglect and faces up to five years in prison.

Dominic, a beefy, healthy-looking kid, wore his cell phone around his neck on the 10- to 15-minute walk, which, according to his mother, he had made many times. But on this particular stroll to the park, he passed a public pool and — what a shock — someone started asking him where his mother was. Then more questions.

"I got scared, so I ran off ..." Dominic told a local TV station. "And they called the cops."

Never mind that he showed great sense running from strangers snooping into his business. Never mind that he called his mother from the park on his cell phone. The police came for him.

And then they came for Mom.

PUNISHMENT FOR WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

This is hardly the first time we've heard such a story. Just a few weeks ago, a South Carolina woman was arrested for letting her 9-year-old play in a nearby park while she was at work. She temporarily lost her job and custody of the child. She is awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, a mother in Arizona was charged with child abuse for leaving two kids in a car for an hour while she interviewed for a job. There's a huge stack of kids-left-in-cars stories. We hear them every summer.

It is why I offer my blood transfusion. I sat in the car all the time while my mother ran into jobs. But today's children are in mortal danger.

Maybe we should make the outdoors illegal.

Of course, when Gainey was arrested, she was taken to jail, and her child was left in the house with his 17-year-old sister and her boyfriend. Did anyone ask whether that was a safe move? Gainey had to come up with nearly $4,000 to post bond. Did anyone ask how that will affect family finances?

Is anyone concerned about the trauma of being placed in foster care, even temporarily, while your parent is in a cell — which can happen in these cases? Or what preparing for a trial does to a family just trying to raise kids?

No. We are more compelled to impose our fears onto other people's behavior and actually arrest parents for what might have happened, not for what did. Think about that. In theory, if you let your child play in the front lawn, and you dare to answer the phone in the house, you might be inviting a criminal to snatch the child away. So I guess we should arrest you for that.

A QUESTION FOR THE AGES

Now, I fully understand the horror of a missing child. And I know the world is dangerous for kids. But is it so much more dangerous than when we grew up? The knee-jerk answer is yes. Statistically, it's not so clear. U.S. crime rates are at their lowest levels since World War II. Sure, in the Gainey case, the police justified the arrest by stating "numerous sex offenders ... reside in the vicinity."

But reporting rules on sex offenders are much different today. Some of what gets you on that list in 2014 wouldn't merit a phone call 30 years ago. So who knows whether the same element in Gainey's small town of Port St. Lucie, Fla., wasn't living on your block as you walked to school or played in the park — minus your parents' hovering?



Meanwhile, some of these laws are insanely written. Florida statutes don't even specify age, so in theory, a 15-year-old on a basketball court could be considered endangered if a parent isn't around. Really?

If every suburban street is such a danger zone, then we need more cops. Have them on every block. But shouldn't arrests be focused on criminals? Locking mothers up may make the tongue-clucking "perfect parent" types satisfied with their superiority (until it happens to them), but it is traumatic, exhausting and expensive for the family involved. And it leaves kids like Dominic cooped up because he's "worried that I'll get in trouble if he goes outside," his mother told CNN.

I'm not telling parents they must leave kids unsupervised. I'm just saying parents who permit it shouldn't automatically be put in squad cars.

But if you're really worried, here. Take my blood — or that of other "survivors" from previous eras. It's clearly magically protective. It may even contain a rare and ancient element.

It's called common sense. .

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Mitch Albom Archives

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