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. 18, 2008 / 12 Adar I 5768

Straighten up and fly right

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Start with the title, the Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights. Bill of rights? That smacks of the unattractive trend in America of even pampered people's quickness to see themselves as victims, when they have no idea what real hardship is.

Kate Hanni is a former Napa real estate agent who became a full-time passenger advocate after being stuck on the tarmac in a plane in 2006 for nine hours — she claims and contemporary stories reported, without adequate food, water or toilets. Hanni told the New York Times that her nine hours on the ground constituted "imprisonment."

She added, when we spoke over the phone, that a coach seat is smaller than the space mandated for each prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention. "People were victimized that night," Hanni told The Chronicle's George Raine last year. That's why she started a nonprofit group — you can find it at www.flyersrights.org — to fight the airlines and stand up for America's new victim group, stranded passengers.

The thing is, for all of her over-the-top rhetoric about victimization, imprisonment and passenger rights — which, it is important to note, passengers cede to the pilot and crew when they board a plane — the lady has a point.

And I have to believe that if the airlines had been more responsive to complaints such as Hanni's, she would not have found so much support from the flying public and lawmakers.

Hanni's journey began on Dec. 29, 2006, when Hanni, her husband and two sons set out from SFO for Alabama by way of Dallas. Because of a mechanical problem, their Dallas-bound flight, American Airlines Flight 1348, left an hour late. That hour delay put the plane into a series of storms moving across West Texas. Flight 1348 was one of 85 American flights diverted from Dallas.

Flight 1348 then sat on the Austin tarmac for nine hours. Hanni said she got water from the bathroom sink, and she gave her only food (pretzels) to her son. Families ran out of diapers. The stench was unbearable.

Worst of all, unlike the flight diversion caused by bad weather, the hours on the tarmac were avoidable. As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, American Airlines saved its four gates for regularly scheduled planes, and denied gate access to flight 1348. Finally, the captain, at risk to his own career, told passengers he was going to an empty gate — without permission.

As Hanni sees it, the airline put money before the safety of passengers, some of whom had medical issues. So she put together a list of "rights" — such as letting passengers deplane after three hours, making sure passengers have adequate food and water, as well as access to medical services and working toilets, and reimbursing passengers for 150 percent of ticket price for long delays, for whatever reason.

Lawmakers have offered pared-down versions of Hanni's package. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, has introduced a federal version of the bill. New York has its own measure and Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has introduced a bill for California.

Give credit where credit is due. Hanni is absolutely right to argue that it is unhealthy to force people, especially those with health issues, to sit in planes without fresh air, without potable water, without food, for hours on end when a plane is on the ground. The government should require that airlines have the necessary provisions, and because the airlines lack the simple manners to release passengers after they've been sitting on the ground for hours, Washington should pass regulations to force them to do it.

I'm all for airlines making money, but not when they turn a plane into an unhealthy human stew.

David A. Castelveter, chief spokesman for the airline industry lobby, the Air Transport Association, told the New York Times that Hanni should not be the focus. "It's about the issue. You can't legislate customer service.''

But if lawsuits from passengers with health problems and lawsuits from passengers like Hanni and fellow travelers who have outrage issues — not to mention all that negative publicity — can not get the airlines to straighten up and fly right, they deserve to be regulated. Reasonably regulated.

I still worry about a country in which people view nine hours on the tarmac as intolerable adversity. What do we do when something really bad happens and there is no on-flight service?

But when airlines subject passengers to unsanitary and unhealthy conditions, when there is no necessity, they have only themselves to blame for creating Kate Hannis.

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