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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 December 26, 2012 / 13 Teves 5773

How should we deal with agonized loners?

By E. Thomas McClanahan


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) One spring, when my son Michael was 6, we heard the shrieks of a baby rabbit outside. I went out and grabbed it and shooed away the cat. The rabbit seemed to be in shock, so we put it in a large grocery bag with some water and a carrot.

The next morning it was dead. That night I went upstairs to say goodnight to Michael and he cried — perhaps because on that day, he learned the world was a hard, cruel place, where no quarter was given for innocence, and he grieved for a world he thought he knew, a world now lost.

At Sandy Hook, it was as if we all lost something. Another boundary crossed — now it's 6-year-old kids? But on present trends it won't be the last bloody outrage.

Some tortured soul watches the tube and sees how it's done, how you get noticed, this is how you get people to stop ignoring whatever grievance you're nursing and pretending you don't matter. Yeah, you just go kill people. Look at the coverage. That really gets noticed.

The customary bonfire over guns broke out soon after. It's understandable that people want to do something and perhaps this time something constructive will emerge. But this is about more than guns.

Mexico has strict gun laws, but guess who ended up with the weapons? Judging by news accounts, parts of the country are free-fire zones. Switzerland hasn't been free of mass public shootings, but it has a very low crime rate despite widespread gun ownership.

What does Switzerland have that Mexico doesn't? You'd think that might be a fruitful line of inquiry, along with exploring better ways to spot people who are mentally unbalanced and prone to violence. Decades ago, the laws on involuntary civil commitment were loosened and many people were deinstitutionalized. Did those changes go too far?

It's also hard to shake the feeling that some essential glue is coming unstuck in our civilization, even though violent crime has fallen overall. You get a sense of a steady fraying at the edges; the things that strike us as extreme seem progressively more extreme.

In the last century, maybe you could say this was happening to entire countries. Wars brought slaughter on a scale never before seen. Now whatever solvent is at work is down in the granular level of society, in families and relationships. Many are becoming atomized particles free of attachment.

The glue that holds us together is what scholars call social capital. It fosters families and the voluntary networks that make communities work through cooperation rather than compulsion.

But building social capital exacts a subtle cost in personal freedom. A community rich in social capital is a peaceful place, the best sort of place for people, especially children, to flourish. But it says, "I'm watching you," and the members of that community know that if they stray too far they may pay a price.

We've moved far beyond that in many ways. In "Coming Apart," Charles Murray writes that the values that once kept lower-income white families together — and buttressed America's prosperity — are dissolving, leaking from low-income America and concentrating in upscale America, where divorce has dropped and out-of-wedlock births are rare.

Among many low-income families, a perverse kind of personal freedom — freedom of the most destructive sort — is winning over restraint and commitment.

The voice that says "You don't own me, You can't tell me what to do, I'll show them, To hell with them all!" — that voice is the siren song of our age.

We all have those moments, but a few are driven to actions that remind us our primitive origins are not buried as deeply as we supposed. And yes, these agonized loners get what they want.

They get noticed. Part of any solution involves politics and policy, especially a reassessment of how we care for the mentally ill. But more broadly, it also has to do with social capital, and I don't know how you fix that solely with politics.

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.

E. Thomas McClanahan is a member of the Kansas City Star editorial board. Comment by clicking here.

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