In this issue

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 Sept. 22, 2008 / 22 Elul 5768

Don't let Internet rumors turn up election incivility

By Jonathan Gurwitz

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | First it was Barack Obama's turn. Now it's Sarah Palin's.

If you think that kind of ignorance is the sole province of right wing extremists, think again. During the primaries, I read letters to the editor and "facts" forwarded to me from men and women, whites and Hispanics, Christians and Jews from all walks of life. At the time, they more often than not came from disgruntled supporters of Hillary Clinton.

Opinion journalists, by definition, work in a field that is loaded with sociological landmines. If you have a public e-mail address, you expect to encounter a fair share of improvised explosive derisiveness.

In an election year, there's a lot more C4 and Hexolite lying around than usual. What's depressing, but not so surprising, is how many of these charges are loaded with small-minded bigotry.

You think you know who these people are? You think prejudice about race, gender, age or religion isn't playing a role in this election? Think again.

Before I had served on a grand jury, I thought I knew about crime in my hometown of San Antonio, who the criminals were and where they lived — until I heard the truckload of cases prosecutors presented.

The guys who beat their wives and molested their stepdaughters, the drug dealers and drug users — they didn't only live in the other part of town. They also lived in affluent neighborhoods and led seemingly respectable lives.

In my heart, I had always wanted to believe that anti-social behavior knew no socio or economic boundaries. Serving on a grand jury confirmed that belief. It also prepared me for work on the opinion pages.

Sometimes the messages of "truth" I read are sent anonymously. Other times they're signed by people who live in affluent neighborhoods, are successful professionals and lead seemingly respectable lives.

Frequently I laugh. Mostly I'm embarrassed for them. But as with my inaccurate map of criminal behavior, I am constantly revising my mental atlas of ignorance and bigotry.

Now Sarah Palin is the target of an Internet veracity campaign largely related to her Christian faith. I won't repeat the charges — there's not enough space. I will repeat what I wrote in a column refuting baseless lies against Obama: there's so much public factual material to rebuke Obama — or Joe Biden or John McCain or Palin — that there's no need to traffic in personal fiction.

Why do so many intelligent people help perpetuate such bunk? Why are so many otherwise fair-minded individuals privately susceptible to intolerance — or worse?

Part of what's at work here is the old psychology of partisanship — as long as something is remotely plausible, it's entirely acceptable in the promotion of a larger political purpose.

The Internet adds a new factor. It gives decent people the ability to read bigoted screeds and outright lies — the kind of garbage that formerly appeared only in poorly mimeographed newsletters of extremist groups — and then innocently forward them. That's how such notions move from the fringe to the mainstream.

Don't do it. Whatever your party, whoever your candidate of choice, don't spread lies based on hate and ignorance. Don't add to the incivility that has infected our body politic.

When in doubt, check Web sites like FactCheck.org and Snopes.com, which do a good job separating Internet falsehoods from facts.

Better yet, take advantage of the most underutilized function on the keyboard — the delete button.

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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© 2007, Jonathan Gurwitz