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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 Oct. 21, 2008 / 22 Tishrei 5769

Decency calls for an end to the extreme hate speech

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Decent Americans have an obligation to refute scurrilous lies about Barack Obama. Not just Democrats — Republicans have a responsibility to discredit the inflammatory falsehoods flooding the Internet every day. Especially Republicans.


Why?


For the last eight years, George W. Bush has endured every manner of character assault from the rabid left. He was an idiot unworthy of the presidency. A white-knuckle drunk who could not be trusted near the nuclear button. He stole an election — then another election — to enrich his corporate friends with an illegal war.


Thief, murderer, mass murderer, war criminal — these are the decent words citizens have used to express political differences of opinion. The amazing thing is that the hysteria of Bush hatred hasn't gone beyond words.


Words have consequences, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., reminded us last week. One wonders where his public counsel has been through these ugly years.


If you truly endorse the notion that someone is a mass murderer who must be stopped, then someone will hear that endorsement and act on it. When the assassination of an archbishop and a presidential candidate racked Mexican society in 1994, author and Nobel laureate Octavio Paz wrote, "Verbal violence and ideological violence are the antecedents of physical violence."


Before the 2004 election, I met a young couple who had made a fortune in the dot.com boom, moved from California to Texas and — in their forties — lived lives of leisure, traveling the world and supporting the charitable and political causes of their choice.


They enjoyed a healthy piece of the American dream. But one obstacle blocked their path to happiness — Dick Cheney. They needed him to keel over and die. "Just a heart attack, G-d please," the wife told me.


I waited for the punch line. There was none.


When well-adjusted, well-educated Americans can pray for the death of an elected leader, what do you suppose the maladjusted and ignorant can do? What has happened to our civil society?


Part of the answer goes back to a tumultuous election four decades ago. Another president, another decent man, a champion of civil rights was hounded from office as a war criminal. It's been downhill from there.


Bill Bishop, a journalist, and Robert Cushing, a retired professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, explain this deterioration in "The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart."


Over the last three decades, Americans have increasingly sorted themselves into economically, educationally and politically homogeneous communities.


Living in such communities provides validation and comfort. But it also breeds intolerance and extremism, as Bishop recently explained in Slate:


"Homogenous groups are privy to a large pool of ideas and arguments supporting the group's dominant position. Everybody hears the arguments in favor of the group's belief, and as they're discussed, people grow stouter in their beliefs.


"We are constantly comparing our beliefs and opinions to those of the group. There are advantages to being slightly more extreme than the group average. It's a way to stand out, to ensure others will see us as righteous group members. "If you have sorted yourself into the community of people who believe Bush is a war criminal, it requires only a few steps for members of that community to righteously seek some misguided notion of justice.


If you have sorted yourself into the community of people who believe Obama is an Islamic terrorist, it requires only a few steps to progress to the kinds of repulsive threats the Secret Service is now investigating.


I read e-mails and letters from such people every day, people who have lost all sense of balance, proportion and decency by sorting themselves into successively more intolerant tribes — a digital age "Lord of the Flies."


I am embarrassed for them. Mostly, though, I am fearful for our nation.

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

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