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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 Dec. 30, 2010/ 23 Teves, 5771

Getting Our Moral Mojo Back

By Arnold Ahlert




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down." — Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, regarding the NFL's cancellation of Sunday's scheduled football game between the Eagles and the Vikings due to the blizzard.

Ed Rendell is taking a lot of heat (sorry) for the above statement, and maybe he should be, with respect to the subject matter. But as I read stories on the web, most specifically about New York City's apparently dysfunctional response to the same blizzard, I get the impression that Rendell is spot on in his assessment. That New York's massive, lumbering, unionized bureaucracy, led by the Nanniest of Nanny State Mayors, Michael Bloomberg, is inept is hardly surprising. What's surprising is how many New Yorkers are sitting around on their duffs waiting for that bureaucracy to "rescue" them. The prevailing "rationale?" I pay taxes, why should I have to do anything for myself?

It doesn't get any "wussier" than that.

It's amazing to think that we are the descendants of Americans like George Washington and his Continental Army, who braved frigid conditions, bad food and inadequate clothing, even as they staged a surprise attack at Valley Forge which turned the tide of the American Revolution. It's amazing to think there are people still alive who lived through the Great Depression, in which every aspect of one's life was affected by the specter of hopelessness and despair — but who, in the space of a few years, rose up and defeated the greatest threat to freedom in the history of man. What happened?

We swapped character for material comfort, that's what.

Don't get me wrong. I'm neither an ascetic, nor particularly spartan, and I love free-market capitalism when it's not corrupted by crony capitalists. But much like Mr. Rendell, I am struck by the sense that we have become a nation where any sort of unpleasantry or discomfort must be avoided at all costs. Think about such an idea as it relates to nearly fourteen trillion dollars of national debt — a substantial portion of which has been run up precisely to avoid unpleasantry and discomfort. Think about the current recession, which has gone on longer than it should have, precisely because government is determined to provide a "soft landing" for a nation that really deserves a good smack on the back of the head.

An article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal reports that twenty-five percent of America's children and teenagers are on prescription medication. G0d only knows how many of them genuinely need medication, and how many are just "too much trouble" for parents to endure. How many of those same parents are themselves popping little "helpers" to get through the day? When did life in the most affluent society in the history of man become such an intolerable burden?

All year I write about politics, and it's no secret that I consider the overwhelming portion of progressivism to be nothing more than an attempt to instill an unseemly level dependency in as many Americans as possible. But if we're being honest, progressivism's appeal lies in the fact that so many Americans are more than willing to sacrifice their dignity, self-respect and their freedom for comfort and safety. If I went back thirty years and told Americans then that someday, most of the country would submit to being groped by a government stranger at an airport, that people could collect a government unemployment check for almost three years, or that government could ban certain cooking oils, sodas and Happy Meals, is there any doubt I would have been laughed out of the room?

Who's laughing now?

People familiar with my writing know the I try to inject some aspect of morality into my columns whenever possible. This is by design. No system of government can succeed, even one as thoughtfully constructed as ours, if the majority of people are morally confused. This is the most pernicious aspect of progressivism: its effort to create people who are all-tolerant, all-inclusive, multicultural and non-judgmental has given us hordes of Americans who are at best morally confused, and at worst thoughtless, self-absorbed egocentrics who can rationalize virtually anything. How many of us have either thought, or said aloud, something along the lines of "up is down" or "black is white" in recent years?

What is that, if not an expression of moral confusion?

There are those who theorize that such a decline is inevitable, that the rise — and fall — of great nations is hard-wired into human DNA. Baloney. All of us have free will. All of us are capable of making choices. And I suspect the overwhelming majority of us still know the difference between right and wrong, even when we fight tooth and nail to obscure it. People can rationalize anything, but that doesn't mean the growl in the stomach, or the little voice whispering inside one's head goes away.

"I shot and killed someone 17 years ago," hip-hopper Trevell Coleman told a police officer at a Queens station house, admitting to what would have remained an unsolved murder. Coleman literally traded his freedom for a long, possibly lifetime, prison stretch — and his peace of mind. Many people, including the brother-in-law of the victim, think he's an "idiot" for doing so.

Can one appreciate the level of irony behind the idea that a murderer has a better sense of right and wrong than his detractors?

This is what we're up against. The politicians and the pundits can talk about jobs, the economy, terrorism, etc., etc. but all of it is tangential to the central problem facing America today: we've got to get our moral mojo back. That doesn't mean everyone must become a fire-and-brimstone religious fanatic. But it also doesn't mean that the pseudo-intellectual legalese, or therapeutic psycho-babble that passes for cogent thought is any better. It means getting back to an almost forgotten idea that is so simple, yet so over-archingly transcendent, it could literally solve most of our problems:

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Such is the essence of morality, for it requires both empathy and imagination, equal measures of give and take, and a genuine reverence for one's fellow man — even as all of it accrues to one's self-interest in the process. It doesn't get any better than that, my fellow Americans.

Happy New Year!

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.

Comment on JWR Contributor Arnold Ahlert's column, by clicking here.



Previously:


12/27/10:
PC Airport Safety is an Oxymoron
12/23/10: Getting America Back On Track
12/20/10: A Collectivist Coalition of Convenience
12/15/10: The President Who Wasn't There
12/13/10: Tech-No!
12/08/10: A Lethal Military, Inclusive or Not
12/06/10: The ‘Unexpected’ Consequences of Progressivism
12/01/10: Leakers and Losers
11/29/10: ‘We Won’, Part One
11/22/10: Keep Your Hands Off My Constitution
11/17/10: Grope and Change
11/14/10: Taking Back Our Country, One School At a Time
11/11/10: Checks (and Balances), Please
11/08/10: Curtain Up, Progressives Down
11/04/10: Last Chance, Republicans
11/01/10: By Their Own Words Shall Ye Know Them
10/28/10: Progressive Determination to Undermine American Elections
10/25/10: Shock, but more importantly, action: De-Unionize Public Schools now
10/20/10: Multiculturalism? Check, Please
10/18/10: Healthcare: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vs. The Constitution
10/11/10: Vote for Restoring the Rule of Law in November
10/11/10: Dems: Running From Clarity
10/07/10: Hypersensitive Hogwash
10/04/10: ‘Comprehensive’ Con Artists
09/29/10: Why Dems Are Going Down in November
09/27/10: The Unholiest of Unholy Alliances
09/22/10: Two Words for Republicans to Remember: ‘I Won’
09/20/10: Purging ‘Me First’ Politicians
09/17/10: No More ‘Lesser of Two Evils’
09/15/10: ‘Recovery’ Arms Race
09/13/10: ‘Bigots’ in the Majority --- Again?
09/09/10: Giving Voters Something to Vote For
09/07/10: Irresponsible Dems, Incomprehensible Bills
09/02/10: War Weary Americans vs. Implacable Islamists
08/31/10: A ‘Dream’ Debased
08/25/10: American ‘Bigots’ Versus Media Propagandists
08/23/10: Recovery Bummer
08/19/10: An Unholy Alliance of Radicals
08/16/10: You've Lost America, Mr. President
08/13/10: The Twin Towers of Progressive Disconnect
08/11/10: A Far Better ‘National Discussion’
08/09/10: It's ‘Only’ One Dead Nun
08/06/10: Incremental Tyranny
08/04/10: Ground Zero Mosque: Context Counts
08/02/10: The Arizona Ruling: a Gift for November
07/29/10: The United Cities of America
07/26/10: JournoList: ‘Coordinated’ Ideological Bankruptcy
07/20/10: Go For Broke Or Get Out of the Way
07/14/10: You're a Liberal/Progressive if You Believe…
07/12/10: $33-an-hour--For Sleeping On the Job
07/08/10: Extortionist Government
07/06/10: ‘Commerce Clause’ Totalitarians
07/01/10: Another Public School Travesty in MA
06/30/10: Calling YOUR Bluff, Mr. President
06/28/10: A Trifecta of Progressive Corruption
06/23/10: Plug the Darn Hole --- In Our Border
06/21/10: Our Empty-Suit-in-Chief
06/16/10: Betraying Our Children
06/14/10: Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
06/07/10: Politically Correct Warfare
06/01/10: Bill Maher's ‘Black’ President
05/25/10: A Mosque At Ground Zero
05/23/10: Libs Stand Tall --- For Mexico
05/19/10: The 'Unintended Consequences' of Liberalism
05/17/10: 'Los' Suns: Stuck on Stupido
05/12/10: Union Audacity: Yes We Will!
05/10/10: Greeks, Leaks and and Double-Speak
05/05/10: Twelve Million Illegals --- or Thirty?
05/02/10: Republicans: Playing Not to Lose Doesn't Cut It
04/28/10: Arizona: Progressivism's Waterloo?
04/26/10: Son of Amnesty
04/22/10: Mortgages and Moral Meltdowns
04/20/10: Bashing Christians — Or Gays?
04/15/10: Personal Integri-‘tea’
04/12/10: Fools, Tools and Ghouls
04/08/10: (Tea) Party On
04/05/10: The Triumph of Mediocrity
04/02/10: Two For the Road
03/29/10: The Innate Immorality of Liberalism
03/24/10: The Art of War
03/22/10: I Want My Country Back
03/18/10: A Perpetual Process
03/17/10: American Exhibitionists
03/15/10: A Light Bulb Moment of Clarity
03/10/10: Little Things Mean A Lot
02/03/10: Budgetary Fork in the Road
02/01/10: Liberal Economic Illiteracy
01/27/10: ‘Roe-ing and Wade-ing’ Back to Reason
01/25/10: Arrogance When Up, Denial When Down
01/20/10: Connecting the Educational Dots
01/19/10: The Next Tea Party?
01/15/10: The Myth That Keeps on Giving
01/13/10: Airport Security Begins Away From the Airport
01/11/10: Secrets and Lies
01/08/10: Embracing Bigotry — or Rejecting Bullying?
01/06/10: Hanging by an Ideological Thread
01/04/10: Our ‘Wonderama’ Bureaucracy
12/30/09: A Day Off
12/28/09: Dangerous Myths
12/25/09: I, Me, Mine
12/23/09: A Very Harry Christmas
12/21/09: My Opinon
12/18/09: The Party of Repeal
12/15/09: Privileged Exemption
11/30/09: ‘Settled’ Science and Unsettled Children
11/30/09: American Sharia Law
11/23/09:The Trial (Travesty) of the Century
11/04/09: American Vampires and Their Political Enablers
11/01/09: ‘Opting Out’ of Insanity?
10/28/09: Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer. Brain Required
10/26/09: Communism: Nazism With Better PR
10/21/09: Just Asking
10/16/09: Cost Projections vs. Actual Costs, or Hope and Change vs. Reality
10/14/09: News you can use …
10/07/09: Incremental Insidiousness
10/05/09: MIA: Common Sense and Common Decency
09/30/09: Iran: Bad Options and Unpreparedness
09/21/09: Crying Racism: the Last Refuge of Scoundrels
09/11/09: 9/11 Cannot Be Sanitized
09/08/09: ‘Truthers’ and Consequences
09/01/09: A ‘Paper Trail’ Challenge for the Mainstream Media
08/31/09: Drowning in Amorality
08/26/09: The Republican Recovery Program

© 2010, Arnold Ahlert

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