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 Feb. 28, 2011 / 24 Adar I, 5771

Fighting for the public

By Jack Kelly

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The violent imagery and uncivil rhetoric journalists have sought but rarely found at tea party rallies are in evidence in the protests in Madison, Wis., against Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to trim the power of public employee unions.

The New York Times likened them to the protests against Arab dictatorships. But Wisconsin is a democracy, not a Middle Eastern autocracy. Those who subvert democracy are those who would shut down the government to thwart the will of the people, as expressed at the polls in November.

Wisconsin is nearly bankrupt. There is a $137 million shortfall in the fiscal year that ends June 30 and a projected deficit of $3.6 billion for the two years after that.

The deficit cannot be closed without trimming the pay and benefits of public employees. In 2008, these accounted for half of all state and local government spending, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. If government workers were paid the same as equivalent private sector workers, no state would have a budget deficit, calculated blogger George Noga, a certified public accountant.

Gov. Walker wants public employees in Wisconsin to contribute roughly half as much, proportionately, to their health plans and pensions as do workers in the private sector. The governor also wants to restrict public employee unions to bargaining for wages only, leaving the health and benefit packages and work rules up to elected officials to decide. And he wants the state to stop collecting dues for the unions, and to require them to win recertification elections each year.

If local governments in Wisconsin could make changes in these areas, Mr. Walker says they could save about $1.44 billion in the next biennium. That's critical, because the 57 percent of the budget that goes to aid to local governments already has to be slashed to close the $3.6 billion hole.

Without such flexibility, the only way state and local governments can control costs is to lay people off. One Wisconsin school district has sent preliminary layoff notices to a third of its teachers. Mr. Walker estimates that if his bill doesn't pass, up to 12,000 state and local government workers would get the ax.

The protesting public employees in Madison now say they are willing to meet Mr. Walker's demands on wages and cost-sharing for health care, but not on changes to collective bargaining aimed at keeping their wages and benefits under control down the road.

This is "an assault on unions," said President Barack Obama of Gov. Walker's plan.

That's true. But Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president most favorable to industrial trade unions, would have stood with Mr. Walker.

"Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself," FDR said in 1937. "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."

There's a critical difference between private sector unions and public employee unions, noted liberal Time magazine columnist Joe Klein: "Industrial unions are organized against the might and greed of ownership. Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed ... of the public?"

The primary reason public employee unions are a bad idea is because politicians pay them off with our money. These unions receive billions from taxpayers, who in return contribute millions to the politicians who gave them those billions.

This is a good deal for teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools, who this year will receive an average of $100,000 in pay and benefits for nine months work.

Milwaukee teachers aren't getting the big bucks because they've been doing a crackerjack job. In its ranking of the 100 worst performing schools in America, NieghborhoodScout found that eight were in Milwaukee.

Students in Milwaukee public schools perform half as well as the state average in most measures of academic achievement. And the state average isn't so great. Two thirds of Wisconsin's eighth-graders can't read proficiently, according to the National Assessment for Education Progress. This despite the highest per pupil spending in the Midwest.

Public employee unions are now among the biggest spenders in our elections, which is a good deal for the politicians who hand them our money. But it's a terrible deal for the rest of us.

As Mr. Klein wrote, far too many state legislatures "have been cowed by the political power of the unions and enacted contracts that force state and city governments to be run for the benefit of their employees, rather than for their citizens."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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