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 April 2, 2014 / 2 Nissan, 5774


By Nat Hentoff

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ever since Eric Holder became our chief law enforcement officer, I have described him as being Barack Obama's faithful vassal, who supports the president's defiling of the Constitution. But recently, there has been a valuable exception: Holder's call for reforming America's prison system, a topic I have repeatedly covered.

As reported in multiple media outlets, the attorney general spoke to the American Bar Association in San Francisco last August. He was adamant about the state of America's prisons:

"It's clear ... that too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason. It's clear, at a basic level, that 20th-century criminal justice solutions are not adequate to overcome our 21st-century challenges.

"And it is well past time to implement common sense changes that will foster safer communities from coast to coast" (justice.gov, Aug. 12, 2013).

According to The Guardian's Dan Roberts and Karen McVeigh, the first of the administration's common sense reforms would include keeping "minor drug dealers" from serving "mandatory minimum sentences that have previously locked up many for a decade or more" ("Eric Holder unveils new reforms aimed at curbing U.S. prison population," Dan Roberts and Karen McVeigh, The Guardian, Aug. 12, 2013).

Last month, Holder elaborated on this plan in testimony to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, according to Teresa Welsh of U.S. News & World Report.

"The measure," Welsh writes, "would reduce the base offense and sentencing associated with substance quantities involved in drug dealing crimes, reducing the average sentence by 11 months."

So the average sentence is reduced, but not by much. What's the big deal? Well, "the change would impact almost 70 percent of all drug trafficking offenders, as many who are imprisoned for such offenses are nonviolent criminals" ("Should Sentences for Nonviolent Drug Offenders Be Reduced?" Teresa Welsh, U.S. News & World Report, March 13).

Furthermore, small as this first step is, Welsh reports, "the Sentencing Commission estimates that if adopted, the proposal would reduce the Bureau of Prisons inmate population by 6,550."

And dig this:

"The government spends almost $83 billion each year on a prison system that has grown by 700 percent in the last 30 years. U.S. prisons are 40 percent over capacity, and half of all inmates are serving time for drug-related crimes."

Holder calls this a part of his "Smart on Crime" reforms, and he's not alone in wanting to bring justice, of all things, to the boundless "War on Drugs."

Welsh goes on: "This move has found bipartisan support in Congress, with both Democrats and Republicans sponsoring a prison reform bill also favored by the administration."

Anything "favored" by the Obama administration usually gives me no confidence. But what are the chances that Holder's welcome reform gets adopted?

It doesn't look good. Welsh gives you a sense of how rigidly stiff and self-righteous the opposition is: "The National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a group representing assistant U.S. attorneys employed by the Department of Justice, said the drug sentencing system does not need to be 'fixed.'

"In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the group said that 'we are winning the war against crime' because more criminals are serving longer sentences. The association said no changes should be made to current sentencing law until more is known about how it could impact crime rates."

The Sentencing Commission vote on the proposal is due this month. If the "Smart on Crime" reform passes, Welsh writes, it "would take effect in November" as long as Congress does not voice any opposition. We'll see if there is sufficient bipartisan support for Eric Holder to have a somewhat more favorable place in U.S. history.

Maybe the money saved by this initiative will move it along. Brian Resnick of National Journal writes:

"Reducing the prison population by 6,550 would mean, on average, a savings of $169,238,900 a year, per data from the Urban Institute. Money aside, the human-interest case for sentencing reform is easy to make" ("Eric Holder's War on Drug Sentences -- a Bright Spot in Obama's Second-Term Legacy?" Brian Resnick, National Journal, March 13).

Resnick then quotes Holder's remarks to the Sentencing Commission:

"This overreliance on incarceration is not just financially unsustainable; it comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate."

Joining this Democratic attorney general is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who, according to Resnick, told the Conservative Political Action Conference last month:

"The idea that we lock people up, throw them away, and never give them a chance of redemption is not what America is about. Being able to give someone a second chance is very important."

Resnick adds that "in 2012, Pew found that 84 percent of Americans agreed with the statement, 'Some of the money that we are spending on locking up low-risk, nonviolent inmates should be shifted to strengthening community corrections programs like probation and parole.'"

According to Pew, whose polling I find generally reliable, 77 percent of Republicans also agreed with the statement.

Furthermore: "Sixty-nine percent of Americans agreed with the statement, 'One out of every 100 American adults is in prison. That's too many, and it costs too much.'"

Hillary Clinton is currently polling ahead of other potential 2016 presidential candidates -- of either party. What's her position on this?

At the very least, it would appear that Eric Holder has a firm majority of We The People behind him. In his testimony before the Sentencing Commission last month, he made this stinging point: "Today, the United States comprises just 5 percent of the world's population, but it incarcerates almost a quarter of the world's prisoners."

Does that make you feel proud?

To be continued next week, with more on the reawakened Eric Holder.

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.

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

Nat Hentoff Archives

© 2013, NEA