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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 11, 2013/ 3 Tamuz, 5773

Our Insecurity About Security

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Security Theater" is the fantastic phrase invented by security guru Bruce Schneier to describe the kinds of charades we go through to make ourselves feel safe. It's what happens when you're at the airport and you go through the explosives detector and the TSA folks take you aside for a private patting.

Personally, I don't mind them touching me — that's just their job. I mind the fact that WORRYING ABOUT ME is their job. I'm straggling through the line, meek and stocking-footed, a skinny, 50-something lady with glasses and a suitcase they can SEE is full of salami. (Whenever I go visit my mom in Chicago, I bring fabulous Vienna-brand salami back to New York. Yes, I KNOW New York is where great salami is supposed to come from, but I bring salami TO it. Come to think of it, maybe that's why the TSA folks search me.)

And yet, the only things they ever find on me — besides cholesterol oozing from every pore — are stray barettes or a dime I forgot to fish out of my pocket. So the machine is picking up every little last metallic bit as if it is a threat to safety in the skies. If doctors were this sensitive, we'd have exploratory surgery for every pimple. It's overkill masquerading as "caution."

It's the problem that defines our era. Which brings me to a letter I just got from a mom. You'll see the connection.

"At my daughter's middle school (7th and 8th graders), I have to sign in and get a badge to walk — 10 feet — to the glassed-in administrative office to sign my child in and out of school.

Apparently parents can't walk 10 feet in a public space without having had a background check and signing in. I have to show my driver's license to two sets of people, as well.

My son, a high school student, asked me to bring him a notebook one day. I had to sign in at the front desk and get a badge, walk to the counselor's office for his grade, sign in AGAIN, sign another form to leave the notebook, then sign back out again at the counselor's office and again at the front desk. It took me over 15 minutes to drop off a forgotten notebook. I told my son NEVER AGAIN could I bring him anything. It was ridiculous. Talk about 'security theater!'"

Well, yes, let's. Schneier's hypothesis is that there's security we can't see that actually DOES make us safer (everything from diplomacy to plain clothes detectives), and then there's some security that we DO see that doesn't make us any safer at all.

If we were just a bit more mature about the fact that life can never be competely secure, maybe we could cut back on the latter. At schools, we're wasting time and goodwill by treating all parents like potential perverts or snipers. A friend of mine who went to accompany her son's field trip last week was almost turned away because a computer glitch failed to find her background check. Without it, the school couldn't trust her to chaperone the class.

Even though you'd think — rationally — that not having enough chaperones is probably more dangerous than having a mom along without a background check, too bad. In our fear, we are willing to waste human capital.

And then there's wasting capital captial — money. To date, funding the TSA has cost us $60 trillion. As the website Online Criminal Justice Degree calculates it, that works out to $6 million per gun found — none of them belonging to a terrorist.

When the time comes that we decide that over-caution is costing us more in decency and dollars than it is creating in real security, I hope we will scale back. And, by the way, that time is now.

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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