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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 Sept. 8, 2005 / 4 Elul, 5765

Our perfect storms

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "In peace and prosperity states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes."

So the historian Thucydides explained, some 2,400 years ago, the grotesque rampages during a revolution on the island of Corfu.

Arson, looting, shooting at helicopters, random murder, gang rape and stampede supposedly only occur elsewhere —in Baghdad or Rwanda, as if Americans are exempt from the frailty of culture simply because we live in the United States.

We are not, as we saw in New Orleans. And when the protocols of American civilization vanished through storm and flood, the devolution to our instinctual savagery proved only minutes away.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina and the breaching of the Lake Pontchartrain levees above New Orleans ushered in not one, but successive storms of human and natural brutality.

First, we pressed nature one too many times. America forgot that there are very few cities extant on the planet that are below sea level. And to add to that, New Orleans is positioned on a gale-prone coast, aside the delta of one of the largest rivers in the world, and at the mercy of a huge lake damned right above the city.

That New Orleans heretofore had not experienced ruin in the manner of a swampy Venice or Naples beneath Mt. Vesuvius was the real miracle.

But besides topographical peril, New Orleans suffers from an ossified Louisianan political culture that has not evolved all that much from the crass demagoguery of Huey Long of the 1930s. The party machine's reason to be is providing exemptions for the very wealthy and subsidies for the dependent poor. We saw the dividends of this old "every man a king" politics in the scapegoating by paralyzed public officials.

The clueless mayor of New Orleans, who initially hesitated over federal requests to evacuate the entire city, was reduced to expletive-filled rants as hundreds of empty public buses sat idle. The teary governor of Louisiana whined mostly about the federal government. Meanwhile Sen. Mary Landrieu railed at the president: "I might likely have to punch him —literally."

This sad trio proved how fortunate New York was to have a Rudy Giuliani on Sept. 11, or Los Angeles a Richard Riordan in time of earthquake.

Although millions of others in nearby ravaged Mississippi rebounded without much violence, many in a densely populated, unassimilated and poor urban African-American population —one largely ignored by whites and manipulated by racial demagogues — chose to stay or were left behind in a submerged New Orleans.

Yet the stranded somehow assumed that government services could provide instant succor at ground zero of a biblical catastrophe. When such agencies could not, looters stole appliances (despite having no electricity). With little food, some filched liquor. In the midst of water everywhere, arsonists managed to ignite a mall. With roads impassable, others still roamed the city widely to rape women and shoot at police.

In response, Jesse Jackson jetted in not to organize self-help brigades but only to inflame by calling the mayhem "the hull of a slave ship." Civil Rights activist Randall Robinson, without a shred of evidence, immediately alleged — and later retracted — charges of cannibalism: "(B)lack hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive."

We are also in a controversial war. So there were more political storms to come —one of cynically manipulating human misery to tar George Bush.

Assorted experts have assured the public that there were plenty of National Guardsmen available in the area, that hurricanes in recent years in fact have not been as frequent as earlier in the century and that upkeep of recently reinforced dikes was adequately funded.

No matter. Partisans from Robert Kennedy Jr. to Sidney Blumenthal charged that global warming or the Iraq war or inadequate environmental legislation or the president himself was the cause of the thousands of deaths. Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan, of course, screamed as well to reclaim their lost media attention.

It did not end even there. A few abroad could not resist expressing delight at the misery of the world's hyperpower. A Kuwaiti official Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, director of a state research center, also cited superhuman retribution. Now safe from Saddam and with oil sky high, he assured his former American saviors that Allah was rendering retribution to us infidels.

Jurgen Trittin, Germany's environmental minister —without memory of Americans eliminating German Nazism, saving Berlin from starvation, keeping the Red Army out of Western Europe and lobbying for German unification —preened that the ruination of New Orleans was duly earned for our neglect of the global atmosphere. This was from a government that counts on exporting thousands of its luxury gas-guzzling Mercedes, Audis and BMWs to the United States.

We could have weathered one storm, but four or five natural and human tempests all at once reduced us to abject calamity over New Orleans —bringing "men's characters to a level with their fortunes."

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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