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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 July 19, 2012/ 29 Tammuz, 5772

Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The good people at Gallup perform a valuable public service by keeping track of what Americans consider the nation's most important problem. Five years ago, it was Iraq. Last summer, the economy weighed most heavily on the public mind. It still does this summer.

Or at least that is the view of the average men and women in the street. To their betters, however, the real problem facing the nation is something far different: Americans enjoy entirely too much freedom.

You can see this in the various proposals, which are legion, to take that freedom away. Late last month, there was a collective sigh of relief from the collectivist intelligentsia when the Supreme Court said Congress could force people to buy a consumer product. But within days, a writer for The Atlantic noted with a mixture of horror and dismay that the United States is "the only advanced country without a national vacation policy." He ginned up a handy infographic to illustrate the point.

Most Americans don't use all the vacation time they have now, but evidently federal mandates are needed nonetheless: The infographic quickly became a must-post item on approximately half the blogs in America. So did another infographic showing that the U.S. stands alone among advanced countries in the number of weeks of paid maternity leave it forces employers to provide (none).

We are all supposed to feel terrible about such marked contrasts, even though being unique implies nothing by itself. The U.S. also is the only nation in the world to apply an exclusionary rule. That rule says improperly obtained evidence cannot be used against a criminal defendant. In other advanced countries, a wrongful search can still nail you. America's way is better.

Apparently there is too much freedom at the state and local level, too. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing his bit in the fight against obesity by limiting non-grocery soda sales to containers of 16 ounces or less. Not content to rest on any laurels, the mayor's handpicked health commission is contemplating restrictions on movie popcorn and fattening milk beverages, too.

Meanwhile, the soda proposal is catching on elsewhere: Officials in Cambridge, Mass., say they might follow Bloomberg's lead. And they have a hometown hero to argue their case: Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman. Last heard making the case for compulsory exercise, Lieberman now contends humans "did not evolve to eat healthily and go to the gym; until recently, we didn't have to make such choices." That is because, back in the good old days, humans had to eat roots and bark for breakfast and chase their dinner through the woods. Now food is abundant and cheap, darn it. Lieberman's solution? "We need government on our side, not on the side of those who wish to make money by stoking our cravings and profiting from them. We have evolved to need coercion."

Thomas Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on defense and foreign policy, might or might not agree with the evolution part of that statement. But he certainly agrees with the coercion part. Following in the footsteps of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Time magazine and too many others to count, Ricks says we need to bring back involuntary servitude — or what he calls "the draft" or "national service."

Under Ricks' proposal, everyone would have to choose either 18 months of military service — "driving generals around, and generally doing low-skills tasks so professional soldiers don't have to" — or a longer period of civilian national service: teaching in the projects, cleaning parks, and so on.

Unlike other national-service buffs, Ricks offers a third alternative. "Libertarians who object to a draft could opt out," he says — but only if they "pledge to ask nothing" in return: "no Medicare, no subsidized college loans. … Those who want minimal government can have it." (Take that, you ingrates!) This would be a real zinger indeed, except that even libertarians still pay taxes — and taxes still rank as the single-biggest outlay for Mr. and Mrs. U.S. of A. In fact, this year Americans will pay nearly 4 percent more in taxes than they will pay for food, clothing and shelter — combined. But what have they done for their government lately?

Besides, Ricks says involuntary servitude would be grand because "the pool of cheap labor … would broadly lower (federal) personnel costs." That was pretty much the argument from Southern plantation owners, too. (Pssst: You know what else would lower federal personnel costs? A smaller federal government! But that's crazy talk, isn't it?)

The concern about excess freedom is bipartisan. Norman Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann at the liberal Brookings Institution agree that voting should be compulsory. Bill Keller, former editor of the liberal New York Times, agrees with Mitt Romney that we need a national ID card to keep track of people. The proposals go on and on.

Then there is Elizabeth Moon, a science-fiction writer. "If I were empress of the universe," she says, "I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will." Fortunately, nobody in public office has embraced that idea. Yet.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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