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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 April 8, 2014 / 8 Nissan, 5774

Press Gets It Wrong Again on Mass Shooting

By Mona Charen




JewishWorldReview.com | In the aftermath of the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; Tucson, Ariz.; Virginia Tech; the Washington Navy Yard; and sadly, other locales, conventional wisdom held that the epidemic of mass shootings was a problem of gun control. I wrote columns attempting to draw attention to the mental health system in America that so wrongheadedly fails to treat the dangerous mentally ill.

Now, at last, the mental health angle on mass shootings has become conventional wisdom — just in time, perhaps, to be wrong again.

"Fort Hood shooter had mental problems" headlined USA Today. "Fort Hood shooter was Iraq vet being treated for mental health issues," announced CNN. A number of stories mentioned post-traumatic stress disorder as the possible culprit for Spc. Ivan Lopez's awful crime, and most discussions of the attack have sought answers in psychiatry.

Yet, unlike the gunmen in the other recent mass attacks, Lopez seems to have been sane. He was a married father of four and apparently close to his family of origin in Puerto Rico. He had been distraught by the recent death of his mother and apparently extremely angry with the military for delaying his leave to attend the funeral. But these are normal feelings and reactions. He was receiving treatment for depression and anxiety, and while he had been evaluated for PTSD, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post's commander, said Lopez did not experience direct combat in Iraq.

Ironically, Lopez had commented on his Facebook page about Adam Lanza, the Newtown murderer, writing: Lanza "pretends to be a victim of a mental illness followed by addiction to violent video games." He continued, "It is stupid to me that anyone can have easy access to a powerful weapon without being mentally evaluated. This makes the government indirect accomplice ... These bastards have perfected their way of attacking studying previous massacres to gain publicity and their minute of fame as a villain. But thanks to Hollywood and the sensational profiling by the media (they) give more power to those intelligent cowards."

And then he became one of those "cowards." It's mystifying and deeply disturbing, this mania to gun down large numbers of innocent people before committing suicide. While it's not unique to this country — there was a mass murder/suicide this week in Nigeria, and there have been others in various countries — it's fair to say that we have the dubious distinction of leading the world in mass shootings. It has become an American psychosis with such occult power that it can capture even someone seemingly normal like Lopez; someone who didn't hear voices or suffer delusions or live cut off in an autistic world of video games and loneliness. And the more it happens, the more it seems to appeal to the sadistic/enraged outliers in society who figure that's the way to exit these days.

But our puzzlement over the causes of this disturbing violence should not lead us to seize upon the explanation du jour.

The coverage of mental illness and PTSD in this case threatens to reinforce an utterly unfair stereotype of veterans. While veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have for the most part been honored for their service and welcomed home with open arms (in contrast to the treatment given returning Vietnam vets), they are burdened by civilians' misconceptions about PTSD. Social workers associated with Wounded Warriors Family Support, for example, have described to me the reluctance of some employers to hire them precisely because they fear that veterans are less mentally stable than other people.

In fact, the suicide rate among veterans is no higher than that for the comparable civilian population. Tim Worstall, writing for Forbes, crunched the numbers (comparing the rate of military suicides to male civilians, for example, since most members of the military are men) and found that the suicide rate among active-duty members of the military is actually a bit lower than the civilian rate.

According to a report for the Philanthropy Roundtable, veterans are more physically and mentally fit and better educated than the average civilian. Only about 1 percent of veterans lack a high school degree, compared with 12 percent of civilians. Seventy-eight percent have a high school diploma, some college or an associate's degree, versus only 59 percent of civilians. There are more civilians with college degrees than among non-officers in the military (29 vs. 19 percent), but 83 percent of officers have college degrees or higher.

Only about 25 percent of young civilians could meet the demanding mental and physical fitness tests required of all members of the military. Yet veterans' unemployment rate is two points higher than the average. Sensationalist stories about PTSD can make it that much harder for deserving vets to find work and reintegrate.

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Mona Charen Archives

© 2014 Creators Syndicate.

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