Home
In this issue
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 August 10, 2009 / 20 Menachem-Av 5769

Anxiety Attacks

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Maybe it's the dog days, but three friends recently got in touch within a 24-hour period to catch up. Or more like it, to catch their breath.


One reported the onset of panic attacks. Another is seeking treatment for depression. The third began an e-mail asking for help with: "Reports of my employment have been greatly exaggerated."


The first two were women, 40-something and 50. The third is a man in his 50s. They all have one thing in common: No job.


No one is starving yet, but "yet" seems less remote than it once did.


"What if I can't find a job? Ever?" asked "Sandra." She laughed, but it was nervous laughter. Sandra isn't at all sure things will work out.


Though mired in the unemployment doldrums, none of my friends fit into the categories of outraged citizens known as "teabaggers" or "townhallers." Teabaggers are conservatives who staged tax protests this year; townhallers are those now confronting congressional leaders as they return home to chat up constituents.


Those town hall meetings aren't going so well. They have become explosive events punctuated with shouting. On Long Island, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) had to be escorted to his car by police. Bishop later temporarily suspended town hall events.


Generally considered a fringe group, the demonstrators have been described derisively by Democratic leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that some were "carrying swastikas." Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Chuck Schumer of New York have dismissed the protesters as irrelevant.


It's easy to disregard such people, especially as reports surface that some of the protests have been coordinated by FreedomWorks, the Washington lobbying group of Dick Armey, the conservative former House majority leader. Also, a Connecticut fellow named Bob MacGuffie and four friends who formed a political action committee last year have been distributing a memo instructing people how to infiltrate town hall gatherings and harass Democratic members of Congress.


Even so, I'm not so sure these protests are insignificant. Are my three friends really so far removed from such expressions of acute frustration? Lately, they have a new understanding of how uncertainty, complicated by unemployment and growing debt morphs into anger.


And then, perchance, to rage?


Sandra feels it.


"Angst about health care is real because people are just anxious in general. They don't have jobs, and those who do are worried about losing them. They're saying, 'Holy cr-p, I've got $10,000 on my credit card, and you're talking about change? Guess what, dude, I can't handle any more change right now.' "


But it's really not necessary to scare people with science-fiction scenarios to inspire opposition to an overhaul of health care that would add $239 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years (according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office). This would be in addition to the $11 trillion in deficits already expected between 2009 and 2019 under President Obama's budget plan.


Why would anyone be upset?


The rest of August promises to be a battle of ads for and against health-care reform, all of which are likely to add to the nation's free-floating anxiety. The crux of this anxiety is a loss of trust, which may be reflected in Obama's plummeting job approval. A poll by Quinnipiac University shows that just half of those surveyed approve of the president's performance, down seven points in the past month.


Here's how a Florida real estate appraiser summed up the zeitgeist: "People don't believe the politicians or the government stats when they know five couples who are losing their house and cars…. Basically, it's a total disconnect from government, and government cannot influence their decisions unless they give them money, yet every giveaway reinforces their lack of faith."


The town hall protests may be orchestrated, but nobody had to manufacture the anger on display. With unemployment at 9.4 percent, the dog days are beginning to feel like the dogs of war.


Congress and Obama might want to take note.

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.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

<

© 2008, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles