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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 July 6, 2012/ 16 Tamuz, 5772

Washington's Finest Moment

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For all the talk of incivility in the Nation's capital, the last week has restored my faith in the basic decency of the people who live there. Although the storm that hit Washington and the surrounding area June 29 has not received as much national attention as hurricanes, tornados, and other natural disasters usually do, the human toll has been high. In the Washington metro area alone, five people died in the storm and more than 20 have died subsequently from the heat, as hundreds of thousands suffered days without electrical power. But through it all, most people have behaved admirably.

The storm, known as a derecho, came without warning. Winds as high as 90 miles per hour ripped through the suburbs, felling trees and downing power lines. Lightning lit up the skies in a nonstop show of Nature's fury, as water lashed against buildings and anyone unlucky enough to get caught outside unawares. The city and suburbs went dark — and stayed that way for hours, even days. Tens of thousands in the area still do not have power.

Those who could afford it sought shelter in hotels in areas where electricity was available. But demand overcame supply, and within hours, no rooms were available in a 60-mile radius. Thankfully, many residents who had power opened their homes to the less fortunate.

But perhaps the most remarkable show of civility occurred on the streets. Traffic lights were out in wide swaths of the region, making already hazardous driving conditions caused by debris-ridden streets even more dangerous. It was a recipe for anarchy, but instead, most people used common sense and courtesy to make driving possible.

I took to the streets the afternoon after the storm hit. As I approached the first traffic light outage, I was amazed to see that nearly everyone treated the intersection as a four-way stop. Drivers stopped at the intersection and let the cross traffic through, a few cars at a time. If only two cars were at the intersection, drivers yielded to the right, allowing a smooth flow of traffic without backups or collisions.

Patience seemed to rule the day. It wasn't perfect; there were some drivers who seemed oblivious to the spontaneous application of basic traffic rules — or thought they could take advantage by ignoring them — but most people abided. Left to their own devices, the great majority cooperated to the benefit of all.

This says something more about our society than simply that people pull together in a crisis. It speaks to the essential character of Americans. We obey the law and follow the rules largely out of sense that it is the right thing to do.

We line up in queues without being forced to, a simple enough custom but not one universally followed in many places, as any international traveller can attest. We pay the taxes we owe, even though the chances of being caught cheating are relatively low. We don't run red lights, even in the middle of the night. We don't steal, even when no one is looking and goods are left unprotected.

Without such internal, personal controls on behavior, life would be hellish. The 17th Century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that in nature without government, "life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." But Hobbes' view was devoid of the concept of natural law, which John Locke described this way: "The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind . . . ."

When ordinary people are left on their own, without enough police to govern their action or government to provide the services they need, either they behave rationally — according to reason — and survive or they ignore that inner morality and risk everyone's life, including their own. Washingtonians and their neighbors in Maryland and Virginia displayed enormous self-control last week. Now if only the politicians who live here could display that same principle in government, the country would be a better place.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


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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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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