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 May 3, 2007 / 15 Iyar, 5767

Truck Driver With a record

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you've turned on your TV or radio this week, you've heard the question: How could a man with James Mosqueda's criminal record possibly have been approved to haul 8,600 gallons of explosive gasoline? There ought to be a law, some say, to ensure that never again will there be a gasoline-fueled fire that melts down part of a key San Francisco area overpass — and, they suggest, this never would have happened if the "hazmat driver" did not have a criminal record.

In Mosqueda's case, he has a serious criminal history. The tanker truck driver was convicted of a number of crimes, including felony possession of stolen property in 1994 and felony heroin possession in 1996.

If you were to ask any reasonable person to describe the ideal person to transport gasoline in the wee hours of the morning, I suppose it would be a person with no criminal convictions, who has never imbibed alcohol, and who has crack reflexes, an aversion to speeding, a calm persona and a keen appreciation for driving freeways in the stillness of the night — not someone with a serious prior drug conviction.

Now back to the real world.

The sort of person who is willing to haul a huge load of hazardous material down the highway in the middle of the night may not be astronaut material. (And after Lisa Nowak's diaper-run to Florida, it seems that not all astronauts are astronaut material.)

While Mosqueda's record would give anyone pause, the most salient information about his criminal history is that he has not been convicted of a crime in more than 10 years. He passed his driving tests. He worked in an industry that at times drug tests drivers. He received a Transportation Security Administration clearance that found he was not a threat to the United States and that he had a legal right to work in America.

The bottom line: America is the land of second chances. Yes, certain convictions should keep someone from working in a particular job: For example, you don't want sex offenders teaching elementary school. But outside those special circumstances, this country has an interest in seeing those who have served their time in prison participate in America's workforce — where they can pay their taxes and play by the rules.

If state lawmakers decide to throw needless hurdles in ex-cons' rehabilitation, then every criminal sentence threatens to be a life sentence, and decades of playing it straight can count for nothing.

Margaret L. Richardson, director of the Clean Slate Practice in Berkeley, Calif., has been appalled at the fallout from this story. As she put it, "Once that debt has been paid, it shouldn't be used again and again to prohibit that person from moving forward" — with a new job, a safe place to live or educational opportunities. Driving a truck affords men without a college education the opportunity to earn a living wage — and it is not in California's interest to pass laws, as one assemblyman has hinted, to make it harder for adults with records to make a living.

If Mosqueda broke any laws, then authorities should throw the book at him. If he was speeding, as the California Highway Patrol suspects, there should be stiff legal consequences. But for once, let California have a disaster not followed by a stampede to pass laws that hurt the wrong people, because Sacramento cannot pass a law prohibiting steel from melting at 3,000 degrees.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate