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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 Jan. 12, 2011 / 7 Shevat, 5771

The Exploitive Rhetoric of Tragedy

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the wake of the horrendous shooting rampage in Tucson, why isn't anyone talking about banning "Mein Kampf"? Or "The Communist Manifesto"? Or for that matter, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "The Phantom Tollbooth"?

After all, unlike Sarah Palin's absurdly infamous Facebook map with crosshairs on congressional districts that some pundits have blamed for the violence, we have some evidence -- suspect Jared Lee Loughner's own words -- that these books were a direct influence on him.

And to listen to partisan ghouls such as Keith Olbermann exploiting this horrific crime, any rhetoric or writing or images that contributed to it must be stopped, and those who don't accept blame and then repent (specifically Palin) must be "dismissed from politics."

Note: It's apparent from evidence found by the authorities and from interviews with the alleged killer's friends and acquaintances that Loughner has fixated on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since 2007, long before anyone heard of the "tea parties" or, in most cases, Palin. Moreover, his grievance with Giffords appears to be unrelated to any coherent -- or even incoherent -- ideological platform. Rather, it drew on the bilious stew of resentments this young man cultivated as he lost his grip on reality.

Indeed, according to a fascinating interview in Mother Jones with one of Loughner's close friends, this twisted soul was apparently an ardent believer in "lucid dreaming" in which he could control an alternate "'Matrix'-style" reality.

Something similar seems to be taking hold in more respectable quarters. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman insists he wasn't surprised this happened because he saw it coming, even though the facts in this dimension don't support his premonitions.

But rather than beat up on those who've migrated from the reality-based community, it might be worthwhile to take them at their word.

If these people seriously believe that the tea parties and Palin's "lock and load" rhetoric are to blame, then what shall we do about it?

It's hard to find a serious answer to this question. For most of these ideological ambulance chasers, it seems enough to lay the blame at Republican or right-wing feet in an effort to anathematize ideas they don't like.

But that's shortsighted. Misplaced panics like this have a momentum and logic all their own. Already, Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) has drafted legislation to ban the use of symbols (crosshairs on a map, for instance) or language ("lock and load!") that could foster violence. "The rhetoric is just ramped up so negatively, so high, that we have got to shut this down," he told CNN.

That opens the bidding. The question is, where will it end?

If the alleged shooter had been inspired by a movie or TV show -- as any number of murderers have been over the years -- would those blaming the tea parties join with social conservatives in blaming Hollywood? Would they celebrate new laws to "shut down" such fare?

Mark David Chapman, who murdered John Lennon, claimed to be in part inspired by "Catcher in the Rye." Should that be banned? Or if not banned, should we "dismiss" from public life anyone who doesn't denounce J.D. Salinger?

When the subject of censorship or the "chilling" of free expression comes up in other contexts, the very idea that books, movies or TV can be blamed for the actions of the criminal or the deranged is met with unbridled scorn. I actually disagree with that. If books can inspire us positively, surely they can inspire us negatively, too. But we understand that we don't blame books for the rare demons who feed on them.

No doubt this will cause eye-rolling among those who simply want to keep the focus on demonizing conservatives and never bother to think ahead about the consequences of their misplaced hysteria. One noble exception is Slate's Jack Shafer, who probably goes farther than I would when he writes, "Any call to cool 'inflammatory' speech is a call to police all speech, and I can't think of anybody in government, politics, business or the press that I would trust with that power."

Meanwhile, many proud liberals, not to mention dedicated journalists, see no problem with fueling a mass panic over our "political discourse." The fact that liberal rhetoric and images are often just as "extreme" is irrelevant. Also irrelevant is any violence that might be linked to such rhetoric. And the fact that the shooting suspect's motivations may lay in a reality of his own design? That's irrelevant too.

These critics' aim is simply to exploit this horror as an opportunity to yell "shut up" at their political opponents.

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