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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. 22, 2009 / 26 Teves 5769

The greatest degeneration

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During the last six decades of the 20th century, a simple idea animated the American psyche. It was the idea that the American people could do anything.


It originated as the Great Depression came to an end and American men and women went to work and went to war to defeat fascism. American blood hallowed battlefields across Europe and Asia. And the United States emerged as the most magnanimous victor in history, turning enemies into friends and allies.


The American people bequeathed the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. Americans then shouldered a decades-long global burden to confront and contain the spread of communism. They challenged the injustices in their own society. They put a man on the moon. They achieved scientific breakthroughs that saved millions of lives and vanquished much of the primeval pestilence that has afflicted mankind. And they constructed an economic system that created unprecedented prosperity for billions of people around the world.


America's leaders captured the essence of this can-do spirit. In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy famously spoke of the burdens the American people are willing to bear. He said that the final success or failure of the American experiment rested in the hands of the nation's citizens, not its leaders. "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."


Ronald Reagan delivered his first inaugural address under circumstances not so different from today. "The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom."


The cure for America's problems and the hope for the future was not government, he said, it was the elixir that had unleashed the individual talents and energy of the American people in the past.


All these words, all these deeds reflected a generation of Americans whom Kennedy described as being "tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage." Over time, this group earned the distinction of being called the Greatest Generation.


What we have witnessed in recent years, what we are especially witnessing now, is the great undoing of the optimism and resourcefulness of the six decades that preceded it. Call it the greatest degeneration.


That degeneration is the result of the abandonment of principle, the politics of expediency, situational ethics and irresponsibility. It is the consequence of leaders who turned the revolutionary concept of government for the people into people as instruments for government. And now those people are demanding to know what the country will do for them.


The current economic crisis is called a failure of private markets. In fact, it's a crisis that began with the failure of government-sponsored enterprises — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — compounded by the failure of government regulators and congressional overseers who distorted free markets and encouraged irresponsible behavior.


The problem is not that government is the enemy. Government must do some things. Too often, though, a government with good intentions produces bad results. And a grave danger of the current degeneration into record bailouts is that Americans will abandon their ancient heritage of freedom and limited government.


President Obama acknowledged that danger in his inaugural address. "It has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things ... who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom," he said. "For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies."


Those could be the words of Kennedy or Reagan. Let's hope that as the priests of government salvation call for more burnt offerings, Obama can restore his predecessors' faith in the American people.

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.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

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© 2009, Jonathan Gurwitz

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