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 May 30, 2013 / 20 Sivan 5773

Sexual assault: When the government turns the accused into the victim

By Cathy Young

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A joint letter from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education to the University of Montana earlier this month signals a stepped-up federal initiative to combat sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. While the problems are undeniably real, the government's proposed solutions may jeopardize such basic values as free speech and protections for the accused.

The letter, which follows a review of that university's response to sexual harassment and assault, explicitly states that its recommendations are a "blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country." This is not just friendly advice from Uncle Sam: Schools that don't comply may lose federal funding.

The guidelines depart from earlier norms in several important ways. "Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature," physical or verbal, is deemed actionable regardless of if it is severe or pervasive enough to limit educational or work opportunities (the legal standard for sexual harassment). Indeed, colleges are specifically warned to act before offensive conduct rises to such levels. Any requirement that such conduct be "objectively offensive" -- even to a "reasonable person of the same gender" -- is deemed unacceptable. Subjective perceptions must be taken into account as well.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which defends freedom of speech in academia, notes that these rules theoretically target any sex-related expression that offends anyone, from a classroom discussion of sexual morality to an unwelcome request for a date. Though in practice, as attorney and author Wendy Kaminer points out in a web column for The Atlantic, religious conservatives offended by talk about sexual liberation are not likely to get equal attention.

While criticism of the letter has focused mostly on speech, it also raises disturbing issues of fairness for students accused of misconduct. The government has reaffirmed its position, first expressed in 2011, that campus disciplinary proceedings for reports of sexual offenses must use the lowest legal standard, "preponderance of the evidence": If those adjudicating the charge believe there is more than a 50-50 chance that it is true, they must find the accused guilty. Previously, most colleges used the higher standard of "clear and convincing evidence."

The guidelines also mandate proper training about sexual violence for college officials and student jurors who handle such complaints -- which, in practice, often amounts to indoctrination in presumption of guilt. At Stanford University, such a training program has used materials stating that one should be "very, very cautious in accepting a man's claim that he has been wrongly accused."

Sexual assault can shatter lives, no doubt. But so can wrongful accusations, and sometimes in acquaintance or dating situations telling the two apart is wrenchingly difficult. The Justice Department is currently investigating a complaint about the University of North Carolina's handling of sexual assault charges. One complainant, Landen Gambill, says she was devastated when a student panel rejected her claim that her former boyfriend had repeatedly raped her. Meanwhile, Gambill's ex-boyfriend has told the student newspaper that the case was a harrowing ordeal for him -- he was barred from campus for months and grilled with invasive questions about his sex life -- and that he still faces harassment from people who know his identity.

Which of them is the real victim? No one knows. Yet federal civil rights officials seem concerned exclusively with the accuser's rights. Even with no criminal penalties at stake, the imbalance is troubling, however worthy the goal of protecting students from sexual victimization. Civil libertarians, and feminists who support true equality, should oppose this egregious and biased misuse of government power.


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JWR contributor Cathy Young is a regular contributor to Reason magazine and Newsday, where this first appeared. Comment by clicking here.

© 2013, Cathy Young