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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 March 23, 2006 / 23 Adar, 5766

This old house

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I live in a central California farmhouse built by my great-great-grandmother in the 1870s. But if the clapboard house looks more or less unchanged from its earliest photographs taken in the 1920s, the world down the road is unrecognizable.


In 1890, my grandfather was born here. Eighty years later he still related to us his grandmother's wild stories of post-Civil War Missouri. She along with her son, my great-grandfather, had come west from there on the new railroad. When they arrived, they built a shack not far from my front door.


Disease, drought and gunfights over water were the existential challenges that lapped around the early farm. For 50 years until the advent of running water, electricity and gas engines, the household's members worried whether or not they would eat.


My grandfather added a modern kitchen in the 1940s. And he faced more complex challenges than the elemental hunger and illness of his predecessors, such as trying to sell raisins for $30 a ton during the Depression.


The house and farm were saved in the 1970s by my parents' jobs in town. Before they died, they worried for us, the more affluent and leisured, about globalization that crashed fruit prices and about rising taxes, along with more government paperwork and requirements.


For us, the more privileged fifth generation who added another bathroom and enlarged the yard, the challenges were more postmodern — massive illegal immigration, the spread of rural meth labs, or the end altogether of family farms like ours.


But through all these cycles of American history, the populists in the house — whether reciting William Jennings Bryan's 1896 "Cross of Gold" speech or mounting Edwin Markham's poem 1899 "Man With a Hoe" on the staircase, where it still hangs — were at least able to make sense of the world along recognizable fault lines.


Democrats mostly were union people, desperate farmers or the less affluent who wanted greater government help for their weak farm prices, minimum wages and bleak retirements. I see them still in faded brown pictures, leaning in their overalls against Model-Ts in our driveway.


More affluent Republicans in town believed the less government and taxes, the better. Democrats were thought of as naifs for promoting democratic idealism abroad; conservatives were hardheaded realists who counseled us to keep our distance from a scary world.


Enemies overseas wore jackboots and advanced awful ideologies — fascism, Nazism, and communism — that were European-inspired and thus at least somewhat familiar.


All those conventional divides, big and small, I remember being rehashed in our dining room in the 1960s as generations of dead ancestors stared down in sympathetic silence from their sepia portraits.


But my children, the sixth-generation inheritors of the house, are facing a surreal world. The new leaders of the left, not much different in their lifestyles from those on the elite right, are now almost all multimillionaires. Their populism focuses on everything from gay marriage and unrestricted abortion to stopping Arctic oil exploration.


Jihadists don't wear uniforms. Even hostile countries that subsidize such terrorists deny doing so. Nazis and Stalinists never toppled an American office building; Islamists with far fewer resources have. And in a world of miniaturized weapons and easy global travel, they have a better chance of repeating their carnage than any of our earlier, more recognizable enemies.


It was once easy to rail at the interest charged by the local land bank or the freight rates of the railroad. But how do you compete against high-quality Chilean grapes in the local mega-store? Is the Wal-Mart, now only two miles distant, pernicious for destroying local hardware stores, or beneficial for providing low-cost goods for the legions of poor who prefer it — or neither?


But the greatest difference is that those first four generations who lived and died in this house shared a certain tragic vision of man's limitations. Perhaps they lost too many crops before harvest. Or they grew to assume that optimistic weather reports and upbeat cooperative newsletters were hardly to be trusted as "intelligence." They considered the choices in their many wars only between bad or worse, and that the Americans who fought them did not have to be perfect to still be good.


Now this relic of a house has a TV dish on the roof and automatic garage doors. Yet otherwise it must look about the same as when someone, whom I seem to know but never saw, built it right after the Civil War. But while we can still recognize it as the familiar solid house of old, I wonder whether it would say the same of us now inside.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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