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 March 9, 2010/ 23 Adar 5770

The right to cuss

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks do California lawmakers think they're doing?

Ah, yes, you speak of a resolution the California State Assembly passed last week to make the first week of March "Cuss-Free Week." It embraced the idea from a teenager who had formed a No Cussing Club in 2007 at his school.

But considering what California's overzealous politicians have done to their state — spending, high taxes, high unemployment — cursing is one of the few occupations Californians have left!

You make a fair point. With a $20 billion deficit in the state's budget — and many of the state's lawmakers still living in denial — some argue there are more important matters to deal with. The California Senate decided to shelve the resolution until the budget is dealt with.

They should kill the gosh-darn thing! Why should any state government try to control the words people use?

Good intentions. Some politicians feel that the resolution — unlike a law, a resolution has no penalties associated with it — might encourage more civility among citizens, something that has waned considerably in recent years.

Ah, put a sock in it. Cussing isn't the cause of incivility — it is a symptom. People cuss because they are stressed, broke and worried about the future. When government bodies overstep their bounds, they encourage manners to get even worse!

Funny you mention that. Judith Martin, Miss Manners, says that good manners and etiquette are the philosophical basis of civilization. When manners are strong, people restrain their impulse to cuss or be rude and abrasive — without the need for government laws or resolutions.

Miss Manners said that. Kiss my grits!

She says the chief role of our government bodies should be to focus on the big issues — to punish serious conflict involving the loss of life, limb or property — but now our government has gotten into the business of controlling what people say.

And controlling what people cannot say, those dirty, lousy basset hounds!

Letter from JWR publisher

The California resolution is mild compared to what some states have done. According to the First Amendment Center, South Carolina tried, last year, to impose criminal penalties of up to five years for cursing in public places. Many other states have laws that "prohibit profane, vulgar or blasphemous language."

You're shishkabobbing me!

What is interesting is that all such laws are unconstitutional. The First Amendment "protects profanity in the public sphere unless it crosses the line into true threats, fighting words or incitement to imminent lawless action," says the center.

Well, "stuff" on a shingle!

The U.S. Supreme Court clarified the matter in 1971. It reversed the conviction of a man who had worn a jacket into a California courthouse that displayed the words "(BLANK) the Draft." The court ruled that the state had no right to "cleanse public debate to the point where it is grammatically palatable to the most squeamish among us."

California stepped into the horse pucky on that one!

The point is this: the upside of difficult economic times is that we are all forced to get back to the basics, including government bodies. Rather than meddle with personal behavior and other extraneous matters, local governments should clear roads when the snow falls; states should have the National Guard ready when disaster occurs; the feds must get the deficit under control before they even think about initiating new programs.

Son of a beeswax, I've got it! Why don't we require politicians to cut spending by $1 every time they do something that causes us to cuss?

Now there's an idea.

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© 2010, Tom Purcell