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 April 2, 2007 / 14 Nissan, 5767

Where's the bomb? On Fox Mondays

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Fox series "24" has reached the stage that plagues many successful entertainment franchises: As the show's directors keep trying to top what it did last season or in the last episode, the series is becoming so hyped that it is downright ridiculous.

I know: It also is ridiculous to expect any realism from a series about a thrill-seeking intelligence agent who keeps cheating death, beating the bad guys and saving the world in 24 hours.

The premise of "24" is that the show happens in real time. I've been able to suspend disbelief when the show's star Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, dies and is brought back to life — which has happened at least once. But don't expect me to believe that there are no traffic jams in Los Angeles. Even after a nuclear bomb toasted nearby Valencia.

In the show's first season, navigating through L.A. gridlock was a challenge for Bauer. Now, characters zip across the southland in record time, day or night. I've been in traffic jams on L.A. freeways at 10 p.m. on a Saturday. But this season, after a nuclear blast, bad guys have been able to scoot about town like it's Sunday morning.

This season started with Bauer being released after serving 18 months in a Chinese hell hole in which he uttered not one word — not even, "Where's the bomb?" Nonetheless, after having his ribs broken at the Russian consulate, Bauer has no trouble staying on his feet. Even the computer geeks can work after they've been wounded. Milo was shot in the arm. Terrorists used an electric drill on Morris. Yet, they're still at their desks.

Where's the beef? Where's the food? CTU chief Bill Buchanan doesn't even have pizza delivered to fuel the troops. In such a pressure cooker, there should be candy-bar wrappers and Coke cans everywhere. Apparently working for CTU means you don't eat.

Then again, maybe that's why Jack never goes to the bathroom.

Since its first season, "24" 's need for plot twists has required that characters take stupid pills to keep the plot twists coming. Bauer's daughter Kim was the stupid pill queen. One improvement this year: Dim Kim has yet to grace this year's show. Alas, that means that other cast members are stand-in stupid.

So when Bauer — who speaks fluent Russian, has intimate knowledge of weaponry and geopolitics — finds out where terrorists are launching a nuclear-armed drone, what does he do? Naturally, he leaves the room in the Russian consulate from which he could give CTU the launch location — so that he can make the call after entering a hall filled with hostile armed guards. Makes "intelligence operative" seem like an oxymoron.

Then, when the bad guys catch Bauer, the one good bad guy does the same dumb thing. He's dead.

And while real danger abounds — read: that little nuclear bomb that went off in Valencia threatens to poison Angelenos who survived the original blast — the aftermath apparently leaves the show's writers bored. So with a couple of nuclear bombs still in the hands of terrorists, Bauer decides to investigate his old girlfriend Audrey's mysterious death in China. The stupid pill again.

One reason the show has been a hit: Bauer may use torture with limited effect, even on people he allegedly loves, but it's often the information technology guys (and ladies) who save the day. Yes, the IT folks bicker, but when they're at their CTU stations, "24" becomes "The Office" — with national security at stake. Brains trump brawn and tech geeks rule.

Much has been made of creator Joel Surnow's conservative politics. He's a buddy of Rush Limbaugh. I am most impressed with the show's ability to buck political correctness by showing dangerous Muslims — including a family that whined about discrimination — as well as the cruel folly of treating American Muslims as if they all are dangerous.

Despite my grousing, I am still hooked. But I'd be happier with less action and more of Bauer and company dealing with the same irritating obstacles which everyday Angelenos face. Let "24" be real-time "24" again.

Just as James Bond movies became too slick, with too many gadgets and too few reasons to fear for Bond's safety — that is, before the return-to-basics "Casino Royale" — "24" has so much excitement, it's hard to get excited.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate