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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. 3, 2006 / 3 Teves, 5766

Demagoguery and the Patriot Act

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's difficult to know which is worse: When Congress disgraces itself by throwing federal dollars at indefensible parochial projects like the notorious "bridge to nowhere," or when it tries to grapple with serious issues facing the nation. The debate over the Patriot Act, the most important counterterrorism tool passed by Congress since Sept. 11, has revolved around absurd trivia, distorted and hyped by some members of Congress who either don't know better or are deliberately dishonest.


Janet Reno has endorsed the Patriot Act. The 9/11 Commission has called it a vital tool in the War on Terror. The Justice Department maintains that it was crucial to breaking up terror cells in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Buffalo, N.Y., Virginia and Detroit. Key provisions of the act were set to expire at the end of the year, and should by all rights have — with perhaps a few minor tweaks — been renewed with something like universal acclamation.


Instead, Senate Democrats filibustered its renewal (with the support of four Republican defectors), and when Republicans didn't have 60 votes to break it, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid exulted to a group of supporters, "We killed the Patriot Act." That's like saying: "I've got great news. I just set law enforcement back years and reinstated the arbitrary constraints that kept us from having any chance of preventing 9/11. Drinks are on me!"


The central provisions of the act are unquestionably desirable. It tears down "the wall" between law enforcement and intelligence that kept them from effectively communicating prior to 9/11 because of phantom civil-liberties concerns. (One frustrated FBI agent presciently warned, when he couldn't share information about what turned out to be two of the 9/11 hijackers, that because of the wall, "Somebody, someone will die.") It gives counterterrorism agents the same tools that have been used against drug dealers and the mob for years: a roving wiretap that follows an individual even if he repeatedly changes phones, and the ability to conduct no-notice "sneak-and-peek" searches. Not to apply these powers in the fight against terrorism would be suicidal.


Patriot Act critics focus chiefly on something called Section 215. It allows investigators to obtain records from a third party — say, from a bank — if they are relevant to a probe of a given target. Opponents of the Patriot Act make this provision sound as if it has brought the dark night of tyranny to America. They never mention it without saying it could be used to get library records, as if all counterterrorism agents care about is the reading habits of terror suspects. Liberal Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says Section 215 empowers the government to act as the "thought police."


Despite all the clamor, the government has apparently never used Section 215 to obtain library records. Even if it did, it wouldn't be scandalous. Library records were sought in the cases of the Unabomber and the Zodiac and Versace killers, with Americans' civil liberties remaining intact. It is conceivable that such records could be sought someday in a terrorism investigation because, as columnist Deroy Murdock has reported, five of the 9/11 hijackers used computers and the Internet at libraries.


A judge has to sign off on a 215 order, which is more of a check than what exists on other investigative tools. Prosecutors routinely use grand-jury subpoenas, which judges don't approve, in criminal cases. Administrative subpoenas, which the FBI can use in health-care-fraud cases, don't require a judge or a grand jury. The implication of the Democrats' position on Section 215 is that they want investigators to have more leeway tracking down health-care cheats than terror suspects.


Most other criticisms of the act are even more piddling and less meritorious. A temporary deal has been cut to keep the key provisions of the act — set to expire at the end of the year — alive for a few more weeks. Then, the debate will pick up again. Warning: More misunderstandings and demagoguery ahead.

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© 2006 King Features Syndicate

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