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 1, 2012/ 8 Shevat, 5772

Dot-gov has it all to help Americans do better

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week in his State of the Union address, President Obama claimed to share President Lincoln's opinion "that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more."

I thought about that today while running errands and noticing that virtually every billboard in my town directs citizens to federal government websites to help us do stuff.

"Take time to be a dad today," urges one, with directions to visit www.fatherhood.gov. That's the site of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, where our federal government helps men learn the skills and habits associated with being a good father.

A block farther, a concerned woman on a billboard asks, "Could I have lupus?" She, and we, are directed to visit www.couldihavelupus.gov, an initiative of the National Women's Health Information Center, which is a service of the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This snazzy federal government site offers much of the same information that can be found at the not-for-profit www.lupus.org, where the Lupus Foundation of America provides support and education.

In fact, the .gov site even links to lupus.org, among sites of other nongovernmental organizations for lupus.

Heading toward home, I saw a billboard for first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign with Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" characters dancing beside the words, "Eat right. Be active. Have fun. Be our guest at www.letsmove.gov."

Of course, those old, familiar food-pyramid billboards are being replaced with information about www.choosemyplate.gov, the new and improved program to help Americans eat more healthfully, though the abundance of .gov sites designed to improve our nutritional habits is almost too numerous to count.

Multiple nutrition sites are operated by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture and even the Department of the Interior (nutrition for American Indians falls into its domain). It's amazing we're so obese, really.

If .gov sites are any indication, and in light of the president's caveat that our government should do for us only what we really cannot do better for ourselves, I've concluded that our federal government basically is convinced we need help with everything.

Deciding what car to buy? Go to the Department of Energy's www.fueleconomy.gov, where you'll be guided through analyzing the fuel economy of the various new and used cars you're considering.

Need a shopping list for things you must have on hand in your baby's layette? Go to www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy, where you also can learn the ins and outs of birthing classes, breast-feeding and circumcision.

Need a name for that baby? Go to www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames, where the Social Security Administration will hook you up with lists of the most popular girls and boys names in America.

Our federal government thinks of everything.

Lucky for us, Mr. Obama is working to make our .gov sites even better.

In December, a report titled "State of the Federal Web" revealed that our federal government has more than 1,400 domains hosting more than 11,000 .gov sites. The report includes data to be used in the .gov reform initiative, the goal of which is to cut waste and streamline service delivery and "customer service."

What the report doesn't include is any discussion about the cost of all these websites, information that isn't even available from the Government Accountability Office because, as a senior press agent there told me, "That has not been studied by our office."

Let's all applaud the effort to streamline and reduce the number of .gov websites. But implicit assumption remains that offering customer-friendly parenting advice or landscaping ideas or a plan to drop weight before bikini season is an appropriate function of the federal government of the United States of America.

At a time when our government borrows money just to keep the lights on, we would do well to remember we're not customers of our government, we are citizens - citizens who don't need as much help as our .gov believes.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks