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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 June 12, 2007 / 26 Sivan, 5767

From JFK to 9/11: Why People Believe in Conspiracies

By Dennis Prager


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Vincent Bugliosi's remarkable 20-year work on who killed John F. Kennedy has just been published. Containing about a million and a half words and thousands of footnotes, "Reclaiming History" is probably the most detailed examination of one moment in time ever written. It reconfirms that a man named Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the American president.


As one who never doubted the original U.S. government report that Oswald acted alone, I am deeply grateful to Bugliosi for the service he has rendered our country. But I also regret that he had to.


Why did he have to? Because it was necessary to definitively refute all those who believe, despite bipartisan government reports and excellent books such as Gerald Posner's "Case Closed," that there was some conspiracy to kill President Kennedy and that Oswald was not the only shooter.


There is not a shred of evidence that there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy, but that is entirely irrelevant to those who choose to believe that there was one. The lack of evidence only reinforces their belief that a conspiracy has been hidden.


One would think that someone would have come forward in the last 44 years to tell the world about the conspiracy. He or she would become a major figure in history, not to mention the likelihood of becoming very wealthy. But somehow, despite the fact that the government can rarely hide for months even what it wishes to hide, both Democratic and Republican administrations acting in cooperation with each other have hidden these facts.


As Bugliosi pointed out to me, it would in fact have had to be a double conspiracy — first, the plot to assassinate, and then the plot by a much larger group, including many honorable people involved in the investigation, to cover up the original conspiracy.


Likewise, given the vast amount of planning and implementation — and the large number of people — that would have been involved in arranging the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center towers and part of the Pentagon, not one person has come forward — not one American or foreigner, not one leftist or rightist — to reveal a U.S. government plot to murder thousands of Americans and bring down two of the tallest buildings in the world.


Why, then, do people believe in these and other conspiracies? (Of course, there are known conspiracies — Osama bin Laden and others conspired in the 9/11 plot — but there are no successful hidden conspiracies. I cannot think of one in my lifetime.) There are at least six major reasons:


1. Many people find it impossible to believe that a few utterly unimpressive individuals can do so much damage. Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who can best be described as simply a loser, could change history all by himself? It doesn't seem to make sense.


2. Many people want to blame those they loathe for as much of what they do not like as possible. Just about everyone who believes in hidden conspiracies attributes those conspiracies to those they hate. People who hate President George W. Bush blame him and his administration for 9/11. Egyptians who hate Israel have blamed AIDS on Israeli prostitutes. Indeed, attributing to Jews hidden conspiracies — the "world Jewish conspiracy," the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" — is the oldest and most common belief in a hidden conspiracy.


3. One should never underestimate the power of boredom — and the subsequent yearning for excitement — to affect people's thinking and behavior. Belief in a hidden conspiracy is far more exciting than accepting prosaic truths. Figuring out the "mystery" of who killed JFK is a much bigger thrill than accepting that one jerk was responsible. Deciphering who was "really" responsible for 9/11 is a lot more interesting than accepting that 19 Arabs with box cutters did it.


4. People who feel powerless over their own lives are far more likely to believe that some invisible force controls their fate than people who believe that they are the masters of their lives.


5. There is, apparently, a great yearning among many people to believe that there is hidden knowledge and that they have access to it. It makes them feel special, perhaps even superior to the rest of us who do not have access to this hidden knowledge.


6. In Western societies, it appears that secular people are more likely to believe in hidden conspiracies than the more religious. It may be that the religious already believe in an invisible power that governs the universe — G-d — and therefore seem to have much less of a psychological or emotional need to believe in invisible powers on earth.


Whichever reason or reasons apply, the bottom line about those who believe in hidden conspiracies is this: They choose to believe in them. Their psyche, their emotions, and/or their political agenda bring them to their belief in a hidden conspiracy. Never the facts.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.


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© 2007, Creators Syndicate

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