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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 May 1, 2009 / 7 Iyar 5769

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The White House, commendably, seems to be trying to quiet the hysteria building around swine flu, but apparently the vice president didn't get the memo. Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden told Americans to stay out of airplanes, subways and other "confined spaces" on NBC's "Today Show."


When asked whether he'd advise members of his family against traveling to Mexico, he offered this: "It's not just going into Mexico. If you're anyplace in a confined aircraft and one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. . That's me. I would not be at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway."


The vice president's office spent the rest of the day trying to downplay the boss's irresponsible comments. Biden's staff claims the vice president was telling family members: "If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways." But the fact is, words matter and that is not what Biden said on TV. He wasn't telling sick people to stay home; he was instructing healthy people to do so out of simple, ignorant fear.


It's one thing for cable news — whose business model depends on whipping up public frenzy to drive ratings — to behave irresponsibly. It's quite another for the vice president to do so. Biden's foot-in-mouth disease could turn out to be more dangerous to Americans than the H1N1 virus.


At this point, swine flu is only a theoretical danger to most of us. The cases in the U.S. so far have been mild, and according to most experts there is little reason to believe this will change. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from the flu, and yet the media and Joe Biden can't help but spread panic about swine flu, which has killed one person here in America so far.


But what would happen if the public decided to take the vice president's advice and stay off public transportation? We have actual experience on this front and know the consequences. The anxiety that kept people off airplanes and generally frightened people into staying home after the 9/11 attack made it difficult to recover from a mild recession in 2001 — and that was at a time when we had a relatively healthy economy.


Imagine what would happen in the U.S. if similar fears were to drive Americans into their bunkers now when we are in the midst of the worst recession in almost 30 years? GDP declined 6.1 percent in the first quarter 2009, following a decline of 6.3 percent the previous quarter. Can you guess what would happen to the American economy if everyone stayed home for the next three months?


We are all going to die sometime and from some cause, natural or otherwise. In 2005, the last year for which data are available, more than 45,000 Americans died from automobile accidents, and nearly 20,000 died from simple falls of one sort or another. Should we never step foot in a car or bathtub again for fear it might kill us?


Communicable diseases are scary. But common sense and good hygiene are the best protection. This is not 1918 — when the so-called Spanish flu, which may well have been a variant of swine flu — killed more 50 million people worldwide. We have antibiotics and antiviral drugs. People are more educated and understand how disease spreads. And we have ways to communicate real threats when they occur, and to do so almost instantaneously.


But we also have the ability to spread misinformation and terror more broadly than at any time in history. The media make matters worse by screaming headlines and nonstop cable coverage on each new case that breaks out. This is the time for cool heads and genuine leadership. President Obama has shown both. Unfortunately, his second-in-command hasn't. Perhaps the most constructive thing the White House could do until swine flu blows over is quarantine the vice president.

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JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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