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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 July 1, 2010 / 19 Tamuz 5770

Fourth of July Thoughts

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Happy 234th birthday to America! The Fourth of July is the celebration of our nation's birth, of course, but it's also an ideal time to reflect on what our country is all about. A good place to start would be the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence specifically mentions three unalienable rights which human beings possess by birth and by their Creator - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nobody can deny us these things, no one. And since they are "unalienable," we cannot rightfully surrender them either. (Yes, it is UNalienable, not INalienable.)

The right to life is pretty self-explainatory, as is the right to liberty. But the right to the pursuit of happiness is many times mistaken to mean the right to happiness itself, or worse, the right to have fun. The Declaration does not state that we have a right to happiness, it states only that we have a right to pursue happiness.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness" he was echoing what was written in the seventeenth century by two Englishman. Philosopher Richard Cumberland said that promoting the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the "pursuit of our own happiness" and John Locke wrote in his 1693 "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" that "the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness."

Happiness as stated in the Declaration didn't really mean "happiness" the way we think of it today. Pursuing happiness was akin to pursuing property ownership, having worldly things.

In his "Second Treatise on Government" Locke described the most desirable government as one that protected human "life, liberty, and estate." The first and second article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776 states as follows:

"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

When writing the final drafts of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin agreed with Jefferson to substitute the word "happiness" for the word "property." So happiness it became.

Property rights were at the very heart of the dispute which led to the American Revolution. At that time when Americans listed the rights of man, they often said "life, liberty, and property." Boston's 1772 "Rights of the Colonists" were typical. It said: "Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First, a right to life; secondly to liberty; thirdly to property." As with happiness, this is not a right to property itself, but a right to use one's talents to acquire property, and to use it as one sees fit, as long as one does not hurt oneself or others.

The idea of breaking away from England was part of an effort towards a more limited government. The Americans who protested against British intrusion on colonial liberties were not revolutionaries seeking the radical restructuring of society, they simply wanted to preserve their traditional and unalienable rights. This was quite a bit different from what became the French Revolution soon after.

The American Revolution was about Americans defending their traditional rights, while the French revolutionaries despised French traditions and attempted to change everything, to start from scratch: new governing configurations, new provincial boundaries, a new "religion," a new calendar, and the guillotine for those who objected. Americans didn't want to destroy everything, they wanted to get big government (the King) out of their lives and let them alone to shape their own destiny as they had for many decades before British encroachments began.

In this regard you could say that the American patriots were true conservatives. They wanted the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that living under the British government with its restrictive acts and taxation made impossible. The British constitution was "unwritten" - it was a flexible collection of documents and traditions, too flexible for the colonists. It gave the government too much leeway over the colonists liberties and rights.

You might say that the British constitution was a "living, breathing Constitution that changes with the times." Sound familiar? Sort of like what far-left liberals want to see in our own Constitution today. The Founding Fathers would have hated this. They risked their lives to stop it.

In those famous words of Patrick Henry: "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty G0d. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

G0d Bless America.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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