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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. 8, 2013/ 27 Teves, 5773

Peering Into the Abyss

By Paul Johnson





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In one respect Barack Obama's reelection is historically appropriate. He's a weak leader and, by reports, an idle one. Such a man is well chosen to lead America into a period of decline.

Just prior to World War I the U.S. became the world's largest economy, a position it has held for more than a century. But the latest report from a European think tank suggests that China will overtake U.S. output within four years. Obama will close a long and glorious chapter in world history, not with a bang but a whimper.

Not that the world's soon-to-be-new economic leader appears any more confident. China has also recently elected new leaders, albeit by the rubber-stamp process of totalitarian states. The outgoing boss departed with a speech of singular gloom, predicting a possible regime collapse if China doesn't come to grips with the problem of corruption.

This gloom reflects the astonishing success of a recent New York Times investigation into the secret private wealth of China's leading Communist ruling family. Although the paper's website in China was closed down immediately, the damage had been done. Among the 100 million or so educated Chinese who constitute the nation's elite opinion-formers, all now know that the combined wealth of this one family is well over $1 billion.

The article also draws attention to the damaging disparity between China's wealthy and its poor. More than 150 million Chinese in the countryside live on less than $1.50 per day. While it's true that lower incomes have recently been rising fast, the gap between the richest and poorest has been widening.

Such gaps, created by corruption, could destroy the Communist Party and with it the state. At the back of Chinese historical memories is a fear of China's returning to an age of warlordism, with the country dissolving into a series of semi-independent states at perpetual war with one another.

To avoid this China needs to stamp out corruption as quickly as possible and introduce radical measures to ensure workers get a fairer share of the wealth they work so hard to produce. Both objectives are obvious enough, but there are grave doubts as to whether the Chinese system, with its flagrant corruption and gross inequalities at every level, is physically and intellectually capable of such fundamental reforms.

The truth is Communist China has a history of producing monstrosities. Mao Zedong's government was one of centralized tyranny. During the last 30 years of Mao's rule 70 million Chinese were killed—the largest number of deaths in history that can be directly attributed to a single regime.

Under Mao's successors the killing has largely ceased, but the people still suffer. Chinese Communist capitalism has produced economic growth on a colossal scale. But along with that has come comparable corruption and huge disparities in wealth that could eventually detonate an explosion of rage and violence.

The U.S. need fear no such prospects. But by electing Obama to a second term, it has taken positions similar to those Britain took with Stanley Baldwin in the 1930s: safety first, avoid all the big issues, prefer palliatives to fundamental solutions, leave the budget unbalanced and simply contract new layers of debt, leave unresolved such major issues as Iran's drive for nuclear weapons, neglect the nation's defenses so it no longer has the capacity to deploy a decisive military presence to the world's hot spots.

Four more years of relative—and in some aspects absolute—decline may not fatally undermine the Pax Americana that has kept the world at peace for an unprecedented eight decades. But it will severely erode all the margins of security.

In the past the U.S. has shown its capacity to reinvent its gifts for leadership. During the 1970s, in the aftermath of the Nixon abdication and the Ford and Carter presidencies, the whole nation peered into the abyss, was horrified by what it saw and elected Ronald Reagan as President, which began a national resurgence.

We must pray this happens again. The alternatives are too dreadful to contemplate.

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Previously:


11/27/12: Men Blinded by Their Brains
10/24/12: The World's Most Unlovable Man
07/17/12: Make the Euro A Joking Matter
04/17/12: Silent witness
03/13/12: To pick an American President
12/13/11: American Culture Rides High
10/20/11: Who Can Lead Us To Safety?
08/23/11: Wanted: Global Role Models

07/05/11: Debt: A Moral Issue

06/08/11: The Moral Logic of Intervention
03/10/11: China's Secret Weakness: Is history repeating itself?
02/10/11: Assessing America's Foes
11/29/10: Wanted: Someone to Trust
10/19/10: Are Universities Worth It?
06/01/10: The English Language and Freedom
04/20/10: Listening and Telling the Truth
02/28/10: There Is No Keynesian Miracle
10/20/09: A Job Waiting for a Woman?
07/21/09: Obama Has to Be World Sheriff
03/24/09: Short works of genius that cheer up the writing profession
02/11/09: What would Darwin do?
01/27/09: Are you sophisticated? Here's how to find out
01/06/09: What did they talk about in the Ice Age? The weather, of course
09/09/08: Time, and our appalling ignorance of it
08/19/08: Eye-stopping glimpses of an exotic and forbidden world
06/30/08: How to fill a lecture hall, and how to empty it
06/23/08: Americans should count their blessings
05/20/08: Pajamas for Presidents
05/13/08: Literary woodlice boring needless holes in biographical bedposts
04/01/08: When markets come crashing down, send for the man with the big red nose
04/01/08: Quality for dinner. Pass the Fairy Liquid, Old Boy
03/25/08: In search of an American President with brains and guts
03/18/08: Technological warfare against mice won't work. Try cats
03/11/08: What is a genius? We use the word frequently but surely, to guard its meaning, we should bestow it seldom
03/03/08: Fiction as a crutch to get one through life
02/26/08: Impatience + Greed = Trouble
02/13/08: Shakespeare, Neo-Platonism and Princess Diana
02/07/08: Where Industry Has Failed Us
12/19/07: People who put their trust in human power delude themselves
12/12/07: What is aggression?
12/04/07: Pursuing success is not enough
11/07/07: Are famous writers accident-prone?
10/31/07: Courage needed to disarm Iran
09/20/07: Who Will Say ‘I Promise to Lay Off’?
07/24/07: Greed is safer than power-seeking
04/02/07: Benefactors must be hardheaded
03/07/07: American idealism and realpolitik
11/28/06: Space: Our ticket to survival
10/24/06: Envy is bad economics
10/11/06: Better to Borrow or Lend? Rethinking conventional wisdom
08/22/06: Don't practice legal terrorism
08/08/06: A summer rhapsody for a pedal-bike
08/03/06: Why is there no workable philosophy of music?
07/11/06: Historically speaking, energy crisis is America's opportunity
07/06/06: The misleading dimensions of persons and lives
06/06/06: First editions are not gold
05/23/06: A downright ugly man need never despair of attracting women, even pretty ones
04/25/06: Was Washington right about political parties?
04/12/06: Let's Have More Babies!
04/05/06: For the love of trains
03/29/06: Lincoln and the Compensation Culture
03/22/06: Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast
03/15/06: Europe's utopian hangover
03/08/06: Kindly write on only one side of the paper
02/28/06: Creators versus critics
02/21/06: The Rhino Principle

© 2009, Paul Johnson

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