In this issue
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 15, 2012/ 22 Shevat, 5772

Step away from that cookie and grab some air

By A. Barton Hinkle

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "It may be better to live under robber barons," wrote C.S. Lewis, "than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep … but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." Now there was a fellow who knew a thing or two.

Lewis would not be surprised by a recent jeremiad in the journal Nature, arguing that sugar is just as bad for you as tobacco and alcohol, and we all ought to be forced to eat a lot less of it. The authors think it would be grand if the government slapped hefty taxes on foods with added sugar, and outlawed the sale of sugary drinks to minors, and kept sugary-drink-selling stores away from schools and any place inhabited by people who are poor and fat and therefore, presumably, stupid. (Well — "low-income areas plagued by obesity" is how the news stories put it. But we all know what they meant.)

Self-appointed food police have been pitching Twinkie taxes, soda taxes and so on for years. And like advocates of every stripe, they are sometimes prone to exaggerating.

Last month, researchers (including one at Virginia Tech) claimed slapping a penny-per-ounce tax on soft drinks would raise $13 billion in revenue, save $17 billion in health costs, and prevent (kid you not) 2,600 premature deaths a year — all because it would lead the average adult American to cut nine calories a day. Nine.

Meanwhile, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has ginned up some good publicity by erecting a couple of anti-cheese billboards in Albany, New York — dairy country, that is. The billboards show a man's fat gut and a woman's hamhock thighs and say it's all cheese's fault.

The FDA, for its part, continues to move forward with plans to restrict salt. The agency started studying the issue five years ago. By last December it had published a proposal in the Federal Register seeking comments on "current and emerging approaches designed to promote sodium reduction."

But the FDA will have to work faster if it wants to keep up with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His administration already is spearheading a "nationwide effort to reduce salt in restaurant and packaged foods." It also has banned trans-fats and smoking in bars, launched a P.R. campaign against occasional smoking, and is in the process of restricting alcohol sales and advertising in the city.

Bloomberg is doing this with the approval of his own conscience: As he said at a U.N. conference last fall, making "healthy solutions the default social option" is "ultimately government's highest duty." New York Sen. Chuck Schumer evidently agrees and wants to get in on the action. He has asked the FDA to review and possibly ban powdered caffeine. He's worried a new product called AeroShot could become the next "club drug." No word yet on Schumer's thoughts about NoDoz or coffee.

As Lewis said, such paternalism "stings with intolerable insult." It stings all the more because in some cases the government has exacerbated the very problem supposedly requiring redress. Take high-fructose corn syrup, which the Nature piece urges regulating more tightly and which is widely used as a sweetener in the U.S.

Why is it widely used? Blame Washington's import quotas on foreign sugar — and its massive subsidies for corn. Corn is the runaway winner in the farm subsidy Olympics: The Environmental Working Group estimates Americans have shelled out nearly $80 billion in corn subsidies over the past decade and a half.

So first we're forced to pay on the front end for the overproduction of corn, thereby encouraging the use of high fructose corn syrup, and now we're supposed to pay again on the back end, through soda taxes and the like, to prevent ourselves from drinking too much of it. Brilliant.

This is not an isolated case, either. Recently the EPA imposed strict new smokestack regulations on power companies to reduce, among other things, the release of highly toxic mercury emissions from electricity generation. Wouldn't want people to breathe that, right? At the same time, new federal light bulb standards effectively have required consumers to purchase newer and more efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.

And hey, guess what? The average CFL bulb contains about five milligrams of mercury. According to Scientific American, when a CFL breaks, "mercury escapes as a vapor that can be inhaled and as a fine powder that can settle into carpet and other textiles." In fact, the hazard from CFLs is significant enough that when one breaks, a certain federal agency recommends (a) evacuating all people and pets from the area, (b) opening a window and airing the room out, (c) shutting off your central air system, and (d) collecting the debris and powder in a sealable glass container, since a plastic bag can't contain the vapor.

Which agency offers those recommendations? The EPA – the very same one that imposed the new smokestack emissions rules. Lewis would not be surpised by that, either.

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

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


02/08/12: Lessons in heresy 02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips? 01/11/12: Shut up, they explained 12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports! 12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas 02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books

01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home

© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle