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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 Nov 17, 2010 / 10 Kislev, 5771

The sickly state of the First Amendment

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The premier historian of the Bill of Rights, professor Leonard Levy, explained why our Constitution was not fully operative until the first 10 amendments became part of it: "We have a Bill of Rights because The state, even the democratic state, cannot be trusted. A Bill of Rights is a bill of restraint against the state."

A consensus of polls -- and the daily news -- reveal a deep distrust of Congress and of this president, as was also true of his predecessor. Accordingly, the state of health of the First Amendment, from which all our individual liberties against the state flow -- freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and persistent petition of Government for redress of grievances -- is vital to all of us. Our voices need to be heard.

Every year, I watch for the State of the First Amendment national survey by the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and in Washington. In "Name That Freedom" (New York Times, Oct. 24), John Schwartz concisely and disturbingly reports on the most recent survey by the Center:

"While 61 percent of those surveyed this year knew that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, just 23 percent volunteered that it also supports freedom of religion, and 18 percent cited freedom of the press. Freedom of association? Fourteen percent. Only 6 percent of those polled could cite the right to petition the government for grievances, the fifth major freedom guaranteed under the First Amendment."

How many of you knew the First Amendment's five freedoms?

Since leaving the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor has vigorously pursued her mission to teach the citizenry why they are Americans. In May, at a New York conference, talking about her interactive website for the new generation in our schools -- iCivics.org -- she also focused on the civic ignorance of Americans as a whole:

"Barely one-third of Americans can even name the three branches of government, much less say what they do (and) less than one-fifth of high school seniors can explain how civic participation benefits our government. Less than that can say what the Declaration of Independence is, and it's right there in the title. I'm worried."

Not only the First Amendment, but much also of who we are -- and our tumultuous history of what it keeps taking to restrain the state from treating us as King George III tried to do -- is unknown to the citizenry.

Throughout the continuing debate on actually accomplishing education reform, there is hardly any concern about making the Constitution come alive, at least for young voters. Why, for example, do we have a Fourth Amendment? Because British customs officers and troops -- having written their own writs of assistance ("general warrants") -- would barge into homes and offices of American colonists and turn everything upside down, including those early Americans.

Years ago, while I was interviewing Justice William Brennan in his chambers at the Court, he suddenly asked me: "How can we take the words of the Bill of Rights and make them part of student' lives?"

We haven't done that yet. Dec. 15 will mark another anniversary -- the 219th of the ratification of adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. In how many classrooms will that liberation day be mentioned -- or anywhere else in these United States? But some teachers are bringing the First Amendment into their students' lives.

Despite, for example, its actual showing what can be done to make the First Amendment part of students' lives, little national attention was paid to the stirring patriotic testimony on April 22 before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions by Clare Struck.

She is a guidance counselor at the Malcolm Price Laboratory School, part of the University of Iowa's College of Education at Cedar Falls, Iowa. She told of her school's revolutionary (going to the roots of the American Revolution) Elementary Citizenship Program:

"The elementary staff and administration expressed concerns about the students not transferring the level of respect (for one another) they demonstrated in the classrooms to the more unstructured areas of recess, lunchtime, hallways and before and after school. "We collectively decided to move forward with a proactive response to instill the core tenets of citizenship. We taught students how to advocate for their own rights and those of others."

Imagine that! James Madison came back to life in that school!

Continuing, Clare Struck showed how those students learned their ownership of democratic citizenship from "the teaching and reinforcing the five freedoms of the First Amendment to all our of our PreK through 5 students."

They learned their individual freedoms by actually practicing them as a basic part of their education.

Among those of our youth uneducated in their freedoms, although there was a sharp rise in the youth vote that brought Barack Obama to the White House, the percentage of young voters in the midterm elections dropped considerably. In "Less Involved Young Voters Say They Felt Abandoned" (New York Times, Nov. 1), 21-year-old Jessica Kirsner, vice-president of the University of Miami College Democrats, explained:

"It's not the fad anymore. It's not the fad to be politically knowledgeable and active."

I expect that when the kids at Clare Struck's Iowa elementary school become old enough to vote, the notion that being an active citizen is just a fad would strike them as ludicrous. Even un-American.

But in how many of our elementary schools -- and all the way through graduate schools -- are "the core tenets of citizenship" a naturally active part of their curriculum? Like Sandra Day O'Connor, I worry.

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.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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