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. 17, 2009 / 23 Shevat 5769

Guilt Complex (and the Stimulus Package)

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I feel guilty about it, if you want to know the truth.

Maybe I better explain.

One of the provisions slipped into the pork-packed "stimulus" package authorizes billions for digitizing medical records. It also establishes a National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

According to Betsy McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York, that's not a good idea. She explains, at Bloomberg.com, that the national coordinator will monitor everyone's medical treatment to make sure doctors are "doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective."

In other words, the government will be able to begin "guiding" doctors' decisions — it will be able to dissuade costly treatments, say, for older folks who the government figures may croak soon anyhow.

That's why I feel guilty.

I write for a living, you see. Writing is hard. Because I am unable to concentrate at home, I go to a coffee shop or diner every morning. One of my favorite spots is Panera Bread.

But most mornings, I encounter a problem: retirees.

There are dozens of them at Panera Bread. They are in their 60s, 70s and 80s — one woman is 93. They are healthy and cheerful. They talk loudly and laugh boisterously.

Who can blame them for being so upbeat? They are a reflection of an incredibly successful civilization that, our current recession aside, produced unimaginable wealth — and unimaginable advances in health care.

Some of the retirees have new hips and knees, no doubt. Their tickers, successfully bypassed and rerouted, are beating as good as new. They've likely outlived a number of maladies that might have been their end if not for the amazing drugs and medical innovations that America has produced.

But I am unable to write when the retirees are socializing at Panera Bread. One fellow has a powerful, booming voice and loves to use it. One lady has a cackle that sounds like fingernails scraping a chalkboard. Another fellow breaks out whistling for no reason at all — a loud, screeching whistle that makes concentrating impossible.

It is a touch ironic that as they enjoy their coffee and camaraderie on one side of the room, I sit on the other side working in order to fund some of their good fortune — to fund Medicare and Social Security.

It isn't their fault that Social Security is a giant Ponzi scheme — that they are drawing out way more than they paid in and that I'm surely paying in way more than I'll ever draw out.

It also struck me as ironic that the more they talk and cackle and whistle, the less work I am able to get done. The less I produce, the less I am able to bill. The less I am able to bill, the less taxes I am able to pay to fund the Medicare and Social Security that contributes to their cheerfulness.

But nothing is more ironic than this: Some of my retiree friends likely voted for the politicians — the Democrats — who have promised to give them the most stuff.

Surely, the retirees had no idea that Democrats would slip a provision by them through which the government would begin monitoring — and eventually denying — costly medical treatments to older folks just like them.

After all, says liberal Democrat Tom Daschle, who authored the idea, America's elderly need to become more like Europeans — more willing to accept their fates and "forgo experimental treatments."

In other words, it's just a matter of time before some nameless, faceless bureaucrat — not an elderly patient's doctor — decides which treatment is "cost-effective" based on the patient's age.

It pains me to bring up the most ironic point of all, but there is no escaping it: This could be the only time in my life that the decisions made by a heartless government bureaucrat might unwittingly benefit me.

It has occurred to me that as there are fewer retirees talking, cackling and whistling at Panera Bread — as the government denies them treatment — I'll finally be able to get some work done.

Such are the callous, thoughtless, perverse musings that only the government can encourage.

At least I feel guilty about it.

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© 2009, Tom Purcell