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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 Feb. 26, 2007 / 8 Adar, 5767

Patent case of no Yankee ingenuity

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of America's quartet of slain presidents, it's not difficult to pick the name that resonates least today: There's Kennedy, Lincoln, McKinley . . . and coming in a very distant fourth, er, wossname. James A. Garfield was shot at the Baltimore and Potomac Railway Station on July 2, 1881, and took 2½ months to expire, which is almost as long as he'd been in office before he set off to catch the train. So, when my little boy looked up from his Picture Book of Presidents on Presidents Day and asked me to tell him something about Garfield, my inclination was to say that he took longer to die than any other assassinated president and then pass on to the thrills of Chester Arthur.

But, as it happens, those long weeks between the murderer's shot and Garfield's final breath are a fascinating period in American history and not irrelevant to our present troubles. Thanks to the marvel of transcontinental telegraphy, the president's slow demise was a protean media event, and newspapers filled with readers' suggestions on what to do to save his life. Herbal remedies, patent medicines and a "rubber bed" piled up in the White House mail room. The first problem was that the doctors didn't know where the bullet had lodged. So Alexander Graham Bell teamed up with Simon Newcomb and, applying the sound-amplification principles of Bell's telephone to Newcomb's electricity-filled wire coils, the two men hastily cobbled up a metal detector, tested it on various bullet-bearing Civil War veterans, and then assembled at the president's bedside. Within days.

The second problem was the heat. The temperature in Washington that summer soared to 105 degrees, which didn't make the ailing man's bedroom any more comfortable. Four days after the shooting, R. S. Jennings of C. H. Roloson & Co. in Baltimore cabled Garfield's doctor with the news that he had invented a "cooling apparatus" for "refrigerating the president's room." Another two days later and Navy engineers were helping install it at the White House: It forced air through cotton sheets below an ice-filled box to keep them wet.

In the end, Garfield never recovered. The hastily developed metal detector that worked fine at the veterans' home was supposedly thrown off by the springs in the president's state-of-the-art mattress. The crude "air cooling apparatus" was rendered less effective by the doctors' insistence on keeping the windows open, and it burned up ice — over 160 tons, for which the government paid the Independent Ice Company $1,176. Yet the air conditioning we take for granted today operates on broadly similar principles.

You don't need a metal detector to see that in 1881 an extraordinary event galvanized a nation's finest minds. All was energy and inventiveness, in the private sector, the military, even the bureaucracy: If you're looking for "root causes,'' Charles Guiteau was said to have shot Garfield because he'd failed to receive a federal job handed out as patronage baubles by the Washington spoils system. The new president had already complained of being stalked by wannabe federal officials "lying in wait . . . like vultures for a wounded bison." Two years later, his successor signed the Pendleton Act creating the modern civil service.

It's now accepted that Garfield died simply because of the amount of poking and prodding the doctors did with unsterilized instruments and grubby hands. Joseph Lister's ideas on antisepsis had become standard in Britain but not yet in the United States. Within three years of Garfield's death, Dr. William S. Hallsted opened America's first modern operating room at Bellevue: Today, if you suffered the president's wounds, you'd be home in three days. The metal detectors developed by Bell's successors are being used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and air conditioning is a transformative technology: Look at the fastest growing region of the United States — the so-called Sun Belt — and imagine its growth without the cooled buildings that keep the sun at bay.

America is now five years on from an even more extraordinary event. How have the private and public sectors responded? With longer lines at the airport and the cutting-edge technological innovation of making you bend down and remove your shoes (and even your gel-filled bra) while bored officials wander up the line barking incomprehensible lists of prohibited fluids: that would be a state-of-the-art system for boarding the Mayflower. The government failures of 9/11? They've taken the Department of Bureaucratic Timeservers and renamed it the Agency of Homeland Patriotic Vigilance: same great service, new hat. The continuing torpor of State, the dysfunctions of the CIA are unthreatened by anything beyond the merest cosmetic reform. Minor border security changes such as requiring passports for travel to and from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean take the best part of a decade to introduce; meaningful border security is scheduled for mid-century, though they won't say which one; as for support from the private sector, the Border Patrol's mission — "prevent the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the United States" — is so offensive that the NFL banned them from advertising in the Super Bowl program. "The ad that the department submitted was specific to Border Patrol, and it mentioned terrorism,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Washington Times. ''We were not comfortable with that.''

When my book came out, arguing that the current conflict is about demographic decline, civilizational will and globalized pathologies, a lot of folks objected, as well they might: seeing off supple amorphous abstract nouns is not something advanced societies do well. You're looking at it the wrong way, I was told. Technocratic solutions, new inventions, the old can-do spirit: That's the American way, and that's what will see us through.

Well, OK, so where is it? The glamor boys of the moment — Obama, Edwards — run on watery pabulum from the easy-listening oldies playlist. Five years after 9/11, we're not looking ahead, we're looking back — in the legislature, in the courts, in the media: Bush's "lies" about WMD, the Senate vote to authorize the "use of force" against Iraq, Joe Wilson's trip to Niger, Joe Wilson's self-leaking of his mischaracterization of his trip to Niger . . . rear-view mirror stuff, all of it, endlessly. On the dark shapes looming in the windshield — Iran, Sudan and much else — we operate ineffectually through yesterday's institutions, like the U.N. and the EU. Two billion dollars from American taxpayers go to the government of Egypt and in return they give Hezbollah's TV network a slot on the state satellite system. At the gas pump, we fund Hugo Chavez and the Saudi radicalization of Muslim populations around the planet. The obvious transformative technology — an alternative to the global economy's oil dependence — is as far away as it was on Sept. 10, and the Alexander Graham Bells of our day are busy inventing the ''self-repairing condom'' — a marvel of nanotechnology to be sure, but not one with much strategic use unless you can supersize it and unroll it down every Wahhabi mosque.

Measure 9/11, 2001, against 9/19, 1881, and you will recognize the outpouring of grief — ''The Sobbing Of The Bells.'' But in our time urgency and innovation are strangely absent: To modify Whitman, the slumberers decline to be roused.


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STEYN'S LATEST
"America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It"  

It's the end of the world as we know it…      Someday soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from a muezzin. Europeans already are.
     And liberals will still tell you that "diversity is our strength"—while Talibanic enforcers cruise Greenwich Village burning books and barber shops, the Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn't violate the "separation of church and state," and the Hollywood Left decides to give up on gay rights in favor of the much safer charms of polygamy.
     If you think this can't happen, you haven't been paying attention, as the hilarious, provocative, and brilliant Mark Steyn—the most popular conservative columnist in the English-speaking world—shows to devastating effect in this, his first and eagerly awaited new book on American and global politics.
     The future, as Steyn shows, belongs to the fecund and the confident. And the Islamists are both, while the West—wedded to a multiculturalism that undercuts its own confidence, a welfare state that nudges it toward sloth and self-indulgence, and a childlessness that consigns it to oblivion—is looking ever more like the ruins of a civilization.
     Europe, laments Steyn, is almost certainly a goner. The future, if the West has one, belongs to America alone—with maybe its cousins in brave Australia. But America can survive, prosper, and defend its freedom only if it continues to believe in itself, in the sturdier virtues of self-reliance (not government), in the centrality of family, and in the conviction that our country really is the world's last best hope.
     Steyn argues that, contra the liberal cultural relativists, America should proclaim the obvious: we do have a better government, religion, and culture than our enemies, and we should spread America's influence around the world—for our own sake as well as theirs.
     Mark Steyn's America Alone is laugh-out-loud funny—but it will also change the way you look at the world. It is sure to be the most talked-about book of the year.
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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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