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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Dec. 17, 2009 / 30 Kislev 5770

Another Line Crossed

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "One can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


—Lewis Carroll
"Through the Looking Glass"


Slowly but with increasing momentum, the great juggernaut of government continues to cross the line between life and death, good and evil, till all is moral murk.


Thou Shalt Not becomes Thou May or May Not under Certain Conditions, Reservations, Guidelines and Stipulations listed in Executive Order 1234, Sections A, B, C and so endlessly on. … Data multiply, wisdom diminishes, money flows to no clear end, and humility vanishes. Especially the kind that once inspired awe in the presence of the miracle that is life.


Now one more line has been crossed with great fanfare and called Progress. Just as promised, this administration has announced it will be sponsoring more experimentation with the earliest, most vulnerable form of human life. "Safe as a child in his mother's womb" becomes an ironic phrase.


The bright line that once protected the human embryo from such experiments has grown increasingly dim over the years — till it grows faint.


For a time government hesitated, as if it knew it was about to tread on sacred ground. But something there is in Homo sapiens that cannot resist violating old rules. All we need be told is: Thou shalt not. And we do it.


It's a story as old as Eden, as new as our president, and as gothic as Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" — but without the character development.


It's the oldest temptation known to man: We shall be as gods! We shall create life — and then destroy it to satisfy our scientific curiosity. This is called Progress.


Moral recklessness, if presented as high-minded idealism, can be quite attractive. It may even become a political cause. What was once cause for trepidation becomes cause for celebration. Complete with photo-ops, presidential press conferences, and souvenir pens. Once we looked down the slippery slope we were on with fear and trembling; now we look back with pride at how far we have come. Down.


Here is how the Washington Post, in language as murky as the ethical grounds on which the administration based its decision, began its story on this latest Scientific Breakthrough:


"WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Wednesday approved the first human embryonic stem cells for experiments by federally funded scientists under a new policy designed to dramatically expand government support for one of the most promising but also most contentious fields of biomedical research…."


Contentious? Let's hope so. Let's hope it will always be contentious to create or destroy human life — in this case, both — for research purposes only.


Promising? Absolutely. Such experimentation has yielded a multitude of promises. Indeed, nothing but promises. Not a single cure.

Letter from JWR publisher


The proven benefits of using adult stem cells, a practice that raises no moral objections, are now recorded in the scores. And using stem cells derived from placental tissue — no ethical issue there, either — has achieved similar, impressive results. But in the news coverage of the stem-cell debate, the distinction between embryonic and other kinds of stem cell becomes blurred, much like the ethical issues involved.


What this kind of research most definitely has produced is research grants. If that revenue stream is to be maintained, justifications for such experimentation must be broadcast till they become part of the fashionable, unquestionable culture. Something every enlightened citizen believes automatically, without reflection.


Name a debilitating disease, and embryonic stem cells are sure to cure it, or so we are told. Remember all those commercials for embryonic stem cells in the 2004 presidential campaign? If only enough Democratic senators were elected, a star like Michael J. Fox would be cured of Parkinson's. ("What you do in Missouri matters to millions of Americans like me.") In the race for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, voters were told that "George Bush and (GOP candidate) Michael Steele would put limits on the most promising stem-cell research…."


Given the magical power of embryonic stem cells, Christopher Reeve was going to rise up out of his wheelchair and be Superman again. Wonder-working televangelists who make the paralyzed walk have nothing on Democratic campaign committees.


How strange: For years now, state and private funding has been available for experimentation on embryonic stem cells. Yet it still has to produce a single demonstrated cure. Maybe only federal dollars are magic.


With all the attention focused on the unfulfilled promise of embryonic stem cells, there's scarcely any mention of what really has changed: Scientists now have found a way to convert ordinary skin cells into the kind needed for experimentation.


Result: There is no longer any need to cross ethical boundaries. But there is still a political need to paint the opposition as mean-spirited ogres opposed to science, progress, medicine and probably apple pie, too. For there are grants to be handed out, an industry to be built, propaganda to be made. And, always, more ethical lines to be crossed.

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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