In this issue

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 December 27, 2012/ 14 Teves, 5773

Two Kinds of Crazy

By Arnold Ahlert

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This is a column about two different subjects. One is the slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut, the other the so-called fiscal cliff. Both have been on my mind, but not for the reasons repeated ad nauseam by the people in my profession — who make me ashamed to be one of the people in my profession.

First Newtown. I am somewhat familiar with the town because I have an acquaintance who owns a house there. It is a picture postcard type of town, that has doubtlessly been shattered, perhaps irreparably, by the kind of evil that remains as alive as it is unexplainable. The only columnist who came close to explaining the kind of insanity that prompts someone to shoot little children was Mark Steyn, who perceptively recognized that such madness is an "exercise in hyper-narcissism." As someone from a family with more than its fair share of mental illness, I can attest that such hyper-narcissism, or more simply, being completely involved in an entire universe of one's own making, is the primary ingredient for deranged thinking.

What part of Adam Lanza's universe prompted his maniacal turn? Damned if I know, but I'll tell you something I do know: nobody else, not even the so-called experts, has the slightest clue either. Which brings me to my reason for writing about this tragedy — now, as opposed to when it happened.


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What ever happened to decency and decorum? The politically motivated frenzy that occurred, even as the bodies of 26 people were still lying in the classrooms and hallways of Sandy Hook Elementary School, was nearly as unspeakable as the crime itself. So were the equally despicable efforts of a news media determined to get the story out first — and fill in the correct facts later.

Why the rush? Why was it necessary to interview traumatized children, clog the town with satellite trucks and reporters, set up cameras at the funerals of children, and hammer the story home over and over, day after day, even as the worst thing that can happen to a parent, namely outliving their own child, didn't present even the slightest impediment to the horde of sensation-seeking muckrakers? Why the endless analysis regarding cause and effect, from guns and video games to Asperger's syndrome, and Hollywood, or any other "insightful" theory, that any expert — or two-bit columnist without a shred of credentials — cared to pony up?

Political advantage? People who exploit dead children and anguished parents to press an agenda are soulless ghouls. The people's right to know? Spare me. I could give you laundry list of things the people had a right to know about before the presidential election, and the same self-anointed gate-keepers were more than happy to keep a ton of information suppressed until after it was over.

Ironically, the Benghazi story offers a clue as to what these people are really all about. Most of the MSM didn't give a hoot about four murdered Americans, or the most transparent disinformation campaign in recent memory that followed those murders, until Benghazi became a story about which general was making it with which bimbo. In short, we have become a nation where sensationalism trumps substance, and decency and decorum are little more than anachronisms that only a decreasing number of dinosaurs who now constitute a minority of Americans choose to consider. I could say shame on the majority, but I'm pretty sure that word has no meaning anymore, either.

Speaking of things that lack meaning, the latest feeding frenzy surrounding the fiscal cliff is the epitome of emptiness. Even the term "fiscal cliff" is nothing more than media-promoted, sensationalist crap designed to do little more than stoke political division. The real story? We're a nation $16 trillion in debt, running trillion dollar-plus deficits four years and counting, up against the debt ceiling again, with no end in sight. Furthermore, we're not going broke, my fellow Americans. We are broke, and the only thing propping us up is the fact that Europe sucks worse than we do, and the Chinese aren't completely convinced that we're the deadbeats we've become.

And even as this historic tragedy becomes clearer and clearer, the level of ignorance among the public is breath-taking. If you ask a hundred people who's lending America more money than anyone else to finance that debt, you'll one hundred incorrect answers. It ain't China, folks, and the correct answer to the question reveals just how little the so-called fiscal cliff matters.

The correct answer is America. In other words, were buying our owndebt. How? By printing money to purchase it. If I had a nickel for every blank stare I get when I try to explain that concept to people, I could retire. Most people cannot comprehend the utter monstrousness of debasing the currency in order to maintain the fiction that spending isn't the problem. They don't understand that until America's spending addiction is forcefully addressed, every other aspect of the fiscal cliff negotiations is meaningless.

Honest to Goodness, does anyone seriously believe the even $4.6 trillion of cuts over the next ten years, which is the largest number being considered — even as it remains politically undoable — can even remotely make up for more than $5 trillion of deficit spending that just took place over the last four years? Can they possibly believe that taxing the "rich" even at the lowest threshold currently considered ($200K for an individual, $250K for a family) is the panacea they've been told it is? Can they possibly be so oblivious that they don't know Republicans and Democrats are negotiating grains of sand, even as the genuine problem is a large as the Sahara?

When I started writing this column, I thought it was about two different things. Maybe it's not. Adam Lanza was certainly insane. Yet what do you call a majority of Americans who either don't know — or more likely, don't care — that they are aiding and abetting their own economic annihilation, as well as that of their children?

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© 2012, Arnold Ahlert