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December 2, 2014

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 28, 2012/ 5 Adar, 5772

Do We Have a Right to Lie?

By Bernard Goldberg



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm not sure I ever mentioned this, but before I became a journalist I used to play centerfield for the New York Yankees. Before that, I was the conductor of the New York Philharmonic. But I couldn't put up with the egos in the string section so I quit and became a world famous doctor who pioneered heart transplant surgery.

Okay, I'm a liar. Sue me. Better yet, call the cops! You'll be wasting your time, of course. It's not against the law to lie. Except sometimes it is, as Xavier Alvarez found out.

Xavier Alvarez went around telling people that he played hockey for the Detroit Red wings, that he was married to a Mexican starlet, and that he rescued the American ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis. None of that is true and the fact that Alvarez lied about it isn't against the law.

Here's what is, as explained in a New York Times op-ed by William Bennett Turner, who teaches a course on freedom of speech at the University of California at Berkeley: "In 2007, while introducing himself at a meeting of a California water board, he said that he was a retired Marine who had been awarded the Medal of Honor (both lies). He was quickly exposed as a phony and pilloried in the community and press as an 'idiot' and the 'ultimate slime.'"

But it didn't end there. The federal government dragged Alvarez into court and prosecuted him under the Stolen Valor Act, which says you can't falsely claim to have been awarded a military medal. And if you say you won the Medal of Honor, you can go to prison for up to a year. Alvarez was convicted but appealed to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which said the law is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

The case tis now before the U.S. Supreme Court. But it's not about whether the constitution gives us a right to lie. It's about how much power the federal government has over our lives. It's about whether the government can punish us if we say something that isn't true about ourselves — even when our lie doesn't hurt any particular individual; doesn't cheat anyone; and doesn't get in the way of the government doing its job.

Professor Turner says, "The court should rule in favor of Mr. Alvarez. Harmless fibbing should not be a federal offense."

Free speech, guaranteed under the First Amendment, of course, doesn't mean we can say anything we want anytime we want. You can yell "fire" all you want in your living room, but not in the proverbial crowded theater. You can say your next-door neighbor is a bank robber and a child molester— to yourself and maybe even to your wife. But if you go door to door and tell everyone on the block that lie, don't expect the U.S. Constitution to protect you.

So there are limitations on free speech. But should lying about being in the military and getting medals be counted among those limitations? The government says the law serves an "important" government interest. Lying about military medals cheapens both the meaning and the reputation of the medals, according to the government. Maybe, but that's going to be hard to prove.

Besides, as Professor Turner says, where will this end. "If the Supreme Court were to accept the government's argument, other disconcerting legislation could easily follow. Congress could enact a law that criminalized false claims by political candidates about their qualifications for office, or false claims about their opponents. Surely the government has an 'important' interest in preventing voter deception."

Xavier Alvarez is a jerk, that's for sure. But do we really want jerks thrown into jail? I'm with the professor on this one. Liars will be found out. They will be isolated and shunned. It is their reputation that will be tarnished, not the reputation of medals or the heroes who wear them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.

He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.


Previously:


02/16/12: Can Obama Win Re-Election by Promising Free Stuff?
02/06/12: The 5 Stages of Mitt
02/02/12: Florida Has Spoken; Cue the Fat Lady
01/30/12: The Other Global Warming Story
01/26/12: They See Racists Everywhere . . .
01/24/12: The Arrogant and Clueless Mainstream Media
01/23/12: Gingrich Wins SC --- Media Help Big Time
01/18/12: A New Entry for 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America
01/12/12: The Dream Ticket Could Be a Conservative Nightmare
01/11/12: Now 'Anybody But Romney' Has a Name
12/30/11: I Have a Confession to Make . . .
12/27/11: Know When to Hold 'em and Know When to Fold 'em
12/20/11: NBC News, the KKK and the State of Journalism
12/19/11: Mitt and Newt: Two Rich Guys Arguing Over Money
12/13/11: Donald Trump Is the Greatest; Just Ask Him
12/12/11: Rob Peter to Pay Paul: Bad Economics! Good Politics?
12/07/11: Yeah . . . and Fish Don't Know They're Wet, Either
12/06/11: Did the Media Play Fair with Herman Cain?
12/05/11: Obama to Blue-Collar America: Adios!
11/29/11: We Can Stop the Crazy Train Before It Gets to Greece
11/22/11: Who Can Beat Obama?
11/15/11: The Dumbest Media Question I've Ever Heard
11/09/11: What If Herman Cain Did It?
11/08/11: What If Herman Cain Were a Lib?
11/02/11: Who Can Beat Obama?
11/01/11: We're Approaching the Tipping Point
10/25/11: A Response to the Angry Purists
10/18/11: They're Waiting for Reagan to Hit the Campaign Trail
10/12/11: Read This!!! --- But Only If You Have Nothing Better To Do
10/04/11: Can Obama Win Re-Election?
09/27/11: It's NOT the Economy Stupid, It's Theology
09/20/11: Bad News on the Doorstep
09/09/11: Hypocrisy!
09/06/11: Back to the Future
08/24/11: Hillary vs. Obama in 2012? It'll Never Happen --- I Don't Think
08/22/11: Warning: Conservatives May Be Harmful to Your Mental Health
08/17/11: Warren Buffett, Coddled Billionaire
08/11/11: Too Much Balance in the Media?
08/04/11: All Aboard the Crazy Train
08/01/11: Liberal Hate Speech
07/25/11: With All Due Respect, Go Fly a Kite
07/20/11: Who Is A ‘Natural Born Citizen’?
07/18/11: Guess Who's Not Paying Their Fair Share
07/12/11: Against More Taxes? You May Be a Terrorist!
07/11/11: Casey Anthony: The TV Show
07/06/11: Standards and Double Standards at MSNBC
06/29/11: Is Jon Stewart A Racist?
06/21/11: Let's Play the Race Card --- Just for Fun Of Course
06/20/11: Sarah Palin and Weiner's Weiner
06/03/11: Memo to GOP: Turn Mr. Obama into Mr. Yesterday
05/20/11: I Get Letters From People Who Should Be Locked Up
05/09/11: Is ‘Torture’ Ever Justified?
05/02/11: The Promiscuous Use of the R Word
04/19/11: The Man Behind the Million Dollar Smile
04/12/11: What's the Difference Between Libs in Politics and Libs in the Media?
04/08/11: An Idea Whose Time Has Come — and Gone
03/28/11: The Pundits Are Driving Me Crazy --- And You Thought Qadaffi Is Nuts
03/14/11: No Liberal Bias at NPR — Just Ask NPR
03/10/11: The media's frustration
03/01/11: Progressives Lost in Time . . .
02/23/11: The Lamestreams Strike Again --- This Time in Madison
02/03/11: You MUST Own a Gun --- Or Else!
01/20/11: It Was Horrible, I tell you … HORRIBLE!
01/11/11: Here We Go Again . . .
01/06/11: You Go, Oprah
12/28/10: A Year-Ender --- The MSM and Obama's Fall from Grace 12/14/10: Thank Heaven for Rich People

12/02/10: The Phony Nobility of Wikileaks

© 2011, Bernard Goldberg

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