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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 30, 2009 / 6 Iyar

The Sties Have It

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I first heard the news that a highly contagious pathogen was rapidly spreading among the public, threatening to infect a large segment of the population, I admit I wasn't too worried. At this time of year, I figured, who doesn't come down with a case of NBA Playoffs Fever? But once the thrilling seven-game Bulls-Celtics playoff series was over and I switched channels, I discovered that the media had gone absolutely hog wild (ha!) over Swine Flu.


In their initial reports, the TV news programs took their typically reserved, even-handed approach to the story, reassuring viewers that the severity of the flu outbreak was still mild and, by taking proper precautions, members of the public would likely be able to avoid infection. Unless, that is, one of your coworkers had it. Or a neighbor. Or maybe one of the other kids at your children's school. I mean, who knows where those urchins have been sticking their grubby little fingers, right? In which case, NOTHING CAN STOP IT! WAIT, WHAT WAS THAT NOISE? DID SOMEONE SNEEZE? AAUGH, THE PIGS ARE COMING FOR US! WE'RE DOOMED!"


Thankfully, we were reassured to hear that more news would be forthcoming at eleven, assuming we lived that long. Perhaps we should just be glad the TV news shows covered the story at all, considering that not even one young, attractive blonde appears to have been infected.


Federal officials, meanwhile, were a little more sober-minded, with top officials going on TV to tell us that now is not the time to panic. "Once those of us in the government are all safely ensconced in our secret, hermetically sealed, flu-free subterranean complex, then you can panic all you want," was the implied message.


The unfortunate reality, however, is that these days, scaring the living daylights out of us is practically the only way to spur Americans to do anything. Take the Y2K "crisis." In the months leading up to December 31, 1999, experts warned us that unless we mobilized a massive nerd army to reprogram a bunch of old computers, a horrific technological Armageddon straight out of the Terminator movies would inevitably ensue. Then, come the morning of January 1, 2000, we all awoke to find that nothing had changed, except that many of us were suffering from millennial-sized hangovers. The nerds had saved us, it turned out.


Or maybe they hadn't. We'll never know what would have happened if we had just ignored the warnings, and not bothered to go back and add a "19" to the date tags in all those old programs. Nothing maybe. But then again, the doomsayers might have been proven right, and all the world's machines would have risen up in unison and enslaved us in some sort of post-apocalyptic Dystopia, ruled over by a muscle-bound cyborg with a thick Austrian accent intent on destroying our economy and undermining the foundation of human civilization. Hey, wait a minute…


But part of the reason that we have to be terrified into action is that the American public has the average attention span of a hyperactive ferret. Sure, we can get all up in arms about the latest crisis for a little while, but soon enough some other shiny object is going to catch our eye. The Iraq War is a good example. Unquestionably, we are the only nation in modern history to be engaged in a major, prolonged military conflict with a mostly apathetic public. In a recent public opinion poll of national priorities, "winning the war" came in behind "the economy," "global warming," "healthcare reform" and "getting to the bottom of this whole Miss California-gay marriage controversy."


Of course, the fact that this strain of swine flu originated in Mexico only exacerbated the problem, feeding into existing stereotypes about our neighbors to the south. Anti-immigrant groups in particular seized on the episode to decry Mexican pig hygiene standards and called on the government to build a border fence, lest more Mexican pathogens come streaming into the country to take jobs away from hard-working, American-born infectious agents.


But overall, now that the swine flu threat seems to be subsiding, I have to credit the American public for not giving in to widespread panic. We didn't refuse to leave the house wearing anything short of a full-body biohazard suit, we didn't launch a nuclear attack against Mexico and we didn't react to anyone who sniffled in public by pointing and shouting, "He's got it, he's got the pig disease! Kill him!" (OK, maybe I did that, but only a couple times).


And just to show that there's no longer any reason to fear, our government officials are already leading the way, as they begin to emerge from hiding and instantly resume their long love affair with pork.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

04/30/09: Planning of the Apes
04/08/09: No more phoning it in
02/26/09: Tuning in to the English Channel
02/19/09: 25 AND COUNTING
02/13/09: A new life, dead ahead
01/29/09: NOW STARRING ... EVERYBODY!
01/15/09: You know the type
01/08/09: Just in time, here comes 2009
11/20/08: Hotels go for the green
11/06/08: Something does not compute
10/30/08: Early adopters tech their chances
10/21/08: Cyberspace invaders
10/21/08: Keeping up disappearances
09/17/08: Victims of math hysteria
08/07/08: My newfound sense of self (promotion)
06/24/08: Getting the brand back together
05/29/08: Phrased and confused
05/13/08: Take this job and love it
04/17/08: News you can (re)use
04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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