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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 Oct. 30, 2013/ 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

Hooray for snooping

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It happened years ago in Calgary, Alberta, where the National Conference of Editorial Writers was holding its convention that year. Was it in the '70s or '80s, and does it matter? Much has changed since then, and not for the better. The organization started as a simple meeting of a few editorial writers to shoot the bull, but by now it's cast its web wider and vaguer, becoming the Association of Opinion Journalists, whatever "opinion journalists" are. Anybody who ever started his own blog or wrote a letter to the editor?

The disappearance of the old-fashioned editorial writer has pretty much paralleled the disappearance of the old-fashioned newspaper. It is not a change for the better.

Our annual meetings ought to be as personal and idiosyncratic as any other anarchists' convention. Ideally, they would be as gossipy as tea in the servants' quarters after our masters have turned in for the night and left the household in peace.

But even by the time we met at Calgary, editorial writers were putting on airs -- just as the once baronial publishers who used to own American newspapers, generation after generation, were losing theirs. Once great newspapers began going public or just going under, their editorial voices growing blander and blander till they weren't there at all.

We should have known what was going to happen once we started following parliamentary procedure, holding plenary sessions and adopting sonorous resolutions by the ream. But we just sat there quietly, listening to professors of journalism address the State of the Profession -- as if our ragtag bunch were one, and as much a conspiracy against the laity as any other.

That year at Calgary, one solemn resolution proposed that we stop talking to the CIA, since a number of journalists abroad had been assassinated on the pretext that we were all CIA agents, capitalist spies, tools of imperialism and, well, you know the rest. As if the killers were so lacking in imagination they couldn't come up with some other excuse to do away with us if they hadn't invented this one.

So there we were in all too solemn convention assembled, First Amendment or no, debating whether we should gag ourselves. I dissented, being an American, and unaccustomed to being told whom I could talk to or not talk to. Memory grows furtive, but I believe the resolution was defeated. That it was ever considered was disgraceful enough.


These strange days, the National Security Agency has succeeded the CIA as the villain du jour in the more respectable reaches of the Fourth Estate.

It seems the Boardwalk-and-Park Avenue sector of the press is shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that our snoops have discovered meta-data, and have been keeping tabs on phone calls and emails by the millions all around the globe, noting their time, origin and duration. Without regard to race, creed, color or social and political status. A distinguished German chancellor -- wasn't that Herr Hitler's old title? -- is as likely to have her cell phone tapped as some scroungy terrorist from one of the indistinguishable Stans in Central Asia. Like democracy, espionage is a great leveler.

A court's permission may still be needed to peek at the contents of such messages, but that's not enough for the New York Times-ish editorialists among us, who profess themselves horrified when they discover that our national security agency should be so interested in protecting our national security.

It occurs to some of us that, if the CIA and FBI and NSA had been allowed to talk even to each other before September 11, 2001, that date might not have become another one that will live in infamy. If only Big Data could have been mined back then the way it is now, the country might have been a lot safer. Along with the thousands of innocent victims who found themselves in the Twin Towers that fateful day. Not to mention others rushing to their rescue as firefighters and cops. And the troops who were stationed at the Pentagon as airliners were turned into flaming engines of destruction, their passengers and crews wiped out. Including those who, like the ones aboard valiant United 93, were the first to mount a counterattack against the terrorists in this still continuing war.

How soon we forget. Now our chattering class can be counted on to object, vociferously and repetitiously, to snooping on our enemies. It's an old reflex, an echo of the genteel distaste embodied in Henry Stimson's remark when, as secretary of state in 1929, he disbanded the department's code-breaking office because "gentlemen don't read each other's mail."

But even Mr. Stimson, a gentleman of the old school, learned better as the threats to the nation's security mounted in the '30s, and changed his mind. It remains to be seen whether our current crop of respectables are as educable.

By now dozens of New York Times editorials have denounced the use of meta-data merely to protect the country. To hear the Times tell it, that new kind of intelligence-gathering isn't just a prudent precaution. It's part of the process of creating a "national surveillance state." We're all supposed to shudder at that point. Those of us without so finely developed a suicidal instinct can only respond: Surveil away!

But a funny thing happened on the way to the next outraged editorial in the no longer so good or gray New York Times: The Times itself realized it had been the object of "a malicious external attack," to quote one of its executives. An attack not by the CIA or NSA or FBI but by sophisticated hackers who called themselves the Syrian Electronic Army, a euphemism for what appears to be an arm of Bashar al-Assad's ruthless regime in Syria.

Months before that computerized attack, the Times had complained that hackers had stolen the corporate passwords of all its employees, gained access to 53 of its computers, and snuck into the email accounts of a couple of its reporters who cover China.

Shocking. Suddenly the Times had use for the FBI, which it called in to investigate this wholesale breach of its electronic walls. It may have won a Pulitzer Prize or two for undermining national security itself by revealing how our snoops traced the communications and finances of terrorists, but this was different: Its own security had been compromised.

The rest of cyber-America will prove just as vulnerable if our intelligence agencies aren't allowed to mine enough data to track and prevent such hacker invasions. But it may take a while before that realization filters down to the Times' own editorial writers. There's always got to be somebody who's the last to catch on.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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