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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 14, 2013/ 3 Shevat, 5773

Hagel vs. too-big-to-fail Defense Department

By Mark Steyn



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you had buttonholed me in the Senate men's room circa 2003 and told me that a decade hence Joe Biden would be America's vice president, John Kerry Secretary of State, and Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense, I'd have laughed and waited for the punch line: The Leahy administration?

President Lautenberg? Celebrate lack of diversity! But even in the republic's descent into a Blowhardocracy staffed by a Zombie House of Lords, there are distinctions to be drawn. Sen. Kerry having been reliably wrong on every foreign policy issue of the past 40 years, it would seem likely that at this stage in his life he will be content merely to be in office, jetting hither and yon boring the pants off whichever presidents and prime ministers are foolish enough to grant him an audience. Beyond the photo-ops, the world will drift on toward the post-American era: Beijing will carry on gobbling up resources around the planet, Tsar Putin will flex his moobs across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Arab Spring "democracies" will see impressive growth in the critical clitoridectomy sector of the economy, Iran will go nuclear, and John Kerry will go to black-tie banquets in Europe.

But Chuck Hagel is a different kettle of senatorial huffenpuffer. And not because of what appears to be a certain antipathy toward Jews and gays. That would be awkward at the Tony Awards, but at the Arab League the post-summit locker-room schmoozing should be a breeze. Since his celebrated "evolution" on marriage last year, President Obama is famously partial to one of those constituencies, so presumably he didn't nominate an obscure forgotten senator because of his fascinating insights into the appropriate level of "obviousness" the differently oriented should adopt. So, why Hagel? Why now?

My comrade Jonah Goldberg says this nomination is a "petty pick" made by Obama "out of spite." I'm not so sure. If the signature accomplishment of the president's first term was Obamacare (I'm using "signature accomplishment" in the Washington sense of "ruinously expensive bureaucratic sinkhole"), what would he be looking to pull off in his second (aside from the repeal of the 22nd Amendment)? Hagel isn't being nominated to the Department of Zionist and Homosexual Regulatory Oversight but to the Defense Department. Which he calls "bloated."

"The Pentagon," he said a year ago, "needs to be pared down." Unlike current Secretary Leon Panetta, who's strongly opposed to the mandated "sequestration" cuts to the defense budget, Hagel thinks they're merely a good start.


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That's why Obama's offered him the gig. Because Obamacare at home leads inevitably to Obamacuts abroad. In that sense, America will be doing no more than following the same glum trajectory of every other great power in the postwar era. I feel only a wee bit sheepish about quoting my book "After America" two weeks running, since it's hardly my fault Obama's using it as the operating manual for his second term (I may sue for breach of copyright and retire to Tahiti). At any rate, somewhere around Chapter Five, I suggest that, having succeeded Britain as the dominant power, America may follow the old country in decline, too:

"In what other ways might the mighty eagle emulate the tattered old lion? First comes reorientation, and the shrinking of the horizon. After empire, Britain turned inward: Between 1951 and 1997 the proportion of government expenditure on defense fell from 24 percent to seven, while the proportion on health and welfare rose from 22 percent to 53. And that's before New Labour came along to widen the gap further.

"Those British numbers are a bald statement of reality: You can have Euro-sized entitlements or a global military, but not both. What's easier to do if you're a democratic government that's made promises it can't afford – cut back on nanny-state lollipops, or shrug off thankless military commitments for which the electorate has minimal appetite?"

Democrats put it slightly differently: In 2004 John Kerry demanded to know why we were building firehouses in Iraq but closing them in America (the municipal fire department apparently falling, like everything else, under the federal government). Barack Obama prefers to say that it's time for the United States to do some nation-building at home – the pilot program in Afghanistan having worked out so well. Either line will do, and, like Britain's inverted budget priorities, both implicitly acknowledge that a military-industrial complex and a dependency-bureaucrat complex are incompatible. And that's before you factor in Washington-size borrowing, under which, within this decade, the interest payments on the debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. America can fund the Pentagon or the People's Liberation Army, but not both, not for long. Having gotten the citizenry to accept a supersized welfare bureaucracy, Obama reasonably enough figures he can just as easily get them used to a shrunken American presence in the wider world.

So the President is looking for his equivalent of Denis Healey, the Labour Cabinet minister who in the 1968 defense review announced an all but total withdrawal of British forces from "east of Suez" – a phrase that in the imperial imagination is less geographic than psychological.

Kipling's English Tommy on the road to Mandalay:

"Ship me somewheres east of Suez..."

And then a cheeseparing defense minister says: No, we won't. Not now, not ever again. It's over.

Who would you hire for the Pentagon's east-of-Suez moment? According to the Washington Post, Obama picked Hagel to "bridge the partisan divide."

Even for the court eunuchs of the palace media, that must be hard to type with a straight face: He seems to be all but entirely loathed by his own party. Nevertheless, he is technically a Republican, not to mention a bona fide war hero. Only Nixon can go to China, and only a pro-life, pro-gun, climate-denialist, homophobic, Strom Thurmond-loving medal-draped Republican can go to the Pentagon and tell them to start clearing out their desks. Obama has picked a guy whose rhetoric is more anti-Pentagon than his own, and who, unlike most of the Cabinet senators, has a record of executive experience that suggests he may well live up to it.

If he pulls it off, it'll be a big part of Obama's legacy. And, if he doesn't, I'm sure the media will be happy to remind everyone that, oh well, Hagel was a Republican.

But beyond the politics is a real question. He's not wrong to raise the question of Pentagon "bloat." The United States has the most lavishly funded military on the planet, and what does it buy you? In the Hindu Kush, we're taking 12 years to lose to goatherds with fertilizer.

Something is wrong with this picture. Indeed, something is badly wrong with the American way of war. And no one could seriously argue that, in the latest in the grim two-thirds-of-a-century roll call of America's unwon wars, the problem is a lack of money or resources. Given its track record, why shouldn't the Pentagon get a top-to-toe overhaul – or at least a cost-benefit analysis?

Just to be clear: I disagree with Hagel on Israel, on Iran and on most everything else. But my colleagues on the right are in denial if they don't think there are some very basic questions that need to be asked about the too-big-to-fail Defense Department. Obama would like the U.S. military to do less. Some of us would like it to do more with less – more nimbly, more artfully. But, if the national security establishment won't acknowledge there's even a problem, they're unlikely to like the solutions imposed by others. "Petty" and "spiteful"? No. Obamacare's other shoe.


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"After America: Get Ready for Armageddon"  

In his giant New York Times bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Mark Steyn predicted collapse for the rest of the Western World. Now, he adds, America has caught up with Europe on the great rush to self-destruction.

It's not just our looming financial collapse; it's not just a culture that seems on a fast track to perdition, full of hapless, indulgent, childish people who think government has the answer for every problem; it's not just America's potential eclipse as a world power because of the drunken sailor policymaking in Washington—no, it's all this and more that spells one word for America: Armageddon.

What will a world without American leadership look like? It won't be pretty—not for you and not for your children. America's decline won't be gradual, like an aging Europe sipping espresso at a café until extinction (and the odd Greek or Islamist riot). No, America's decline will be a wrenching affair marked by violence and possibly secession.

With his trademark wit, Steyn delivers the depressing news with raw and unblinking honesty—but also with the touch of vaudeville stand-up and soft shoe that makes him the most entertaining, yet profound, columnist on the planet. And as an immigrant with nowhere else to go, he offers his own prescription for winning America back from the feckless and arrogant liberal establishment that has done its level best to suffocate the world's last best hope in a miasma of debt, decay, and debility. You will not read a more important—or more alarming, or even funnier—book all year than After America. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2012, Mark Steyn

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