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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 Nov 13, 2011 / 16 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Who gets to judge political truth?

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, a compound of political pandering and moral exhibitionism, was whooped through the Senate, a.k.a. the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” by unanimous consent; the House, joining the stampede, passed it by a voice vote. So Xavier Alvarez now hopes the Supreme Court will save him from punishment for lying. And his is not the only case arising from government supervising speech that is demonstrably, or arguably, inaccurate.

The Stolen Valor Act allows fines and imprisonment for anyone who falsely claims to have been awarded any military decoration or medal authorized by Congress, with the severest sentences for claiming the highest honors. Alvarez, having won a seat on a California water district board of directors, introduced himself to other members by saying: “I’m a retired Marine of 25 years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I got wounded many times by the same guy.” All this was rubbish.

Leaving aside the question of how exactly Alvarez’s shabby behavior stole any hero’s valor, the constitutional question remains: Is the Stolen Valor Act compatible with the First Amendment, which the Supreme Court has held does not protect only truthful speech? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says no. And the Supreme Court has held that “constitutional protection does not turn upon the truth, popularity or social utility of the ideas and beliefs which are offered.”

Given that some false statements are constitutionally protected, which kinds are not? Defamatory statements are not, if they are made with a culpable state of mind and if they injure another person. When Justice Elena Kagan was a law professor, she noted “the near absolute protection given to false but nondefamatory statements of fact outside the commercial realm.” But Alvarez defamed no one, and it is unclear how his fabrications about himself caused America’s armed forces reputational harm. Furthermore, his lies did not fit any of the other four traditional categories of unprotected speech — obscenity, fraud, incitement, or speech integral to criminal conduct.



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Another problematic case is percolating in Ohio, where the government can fine or imprison candidates or other participants in the political process who violate the state’s “false statement” law, which says: No person shall “make a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official” or “disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not,” if the statement is intended to influence an election.

Former congressman Steve Driehaus, a Cincinnati Democrat who considers himself pro-life, says he lost his 2010 reelection bid because the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, through its political action committee, ran ads saying — falsely, Driehaus insists — that when he voted for President Obama’s health-care legislation, he voted for taxpayer funding of abortion. Ohio’s law had a chilling effect on political speech when a billboard company, aware of Driehaus’s complaints, refused the SBA List’s business. The list did, however, run radio ads against Driehaus.

A judge has ruled that Dreihaus’s suit against the SBA List, charging “substantial economic and reputational harm” due to defamation, can go to trial. The group is challenging the constitutionality of the false-statement law.

Until the eve of the House vote on the health-care legislation, Driehaus and about a dozen other antiabortion Democrats vowed to oppose the health care bill unless abortion language was changed. It was not, so the president, trying to provide cover for those Democrats, agreed to issue an executive order purportedly limiting the funding of abortions under the legislation.

But the president of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, contentedly dismissed the order as merely “a symbolic gesture.” The National Right to Life Committee, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other pro-life forces grimly agreed.

Now, suppose Driehaus and the right-to-life groups are equally sincere in their opposite interpretations of what the health-care law permits or requires regarding public funding of abortion. Should an Ohio government panel composed of political appointees be empowered to determine that the Susan B. Anthony List’s contention was intentionally or recklessly false?

For weeks before the election, voters heard Driehaus’s dispute with the Susan B. Anthony List, then voted against him. Isn’t that how political arguments should be settled? Or did voters, to the extent that they expressed support for the list’s interpretation of the facts of the health-care law, somehow violate the false-statement law?



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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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