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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 July 9, 2013/ 2 Menachem-Av, 5773

A Sandal Scandal

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Parents: Be very, very, very afraid of everything that exists on earth that is not the size of a trampoline. (And then be very scared of THEM. And bouncy houses! Don't forget to be scared of them, too!) Anything smaller could pose a choking hazard.

Take, for example, the Stride Rite shoe called the Joanna sandal. It's a kiddie sandal decorated with a metal flower about the diameter of a checker. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns, "The firm has received six reports of the flowers detaching and eleven reports of flowers loosening."

And?

"No injuries have been reported."

That's right. A couple of decorations have detached from a shoe, and suddenly it is right up there with glass shards in applesauce: "Consumers should immediately take the recalled shoes away from children and contact Stride Rite to receive a prepaid envelope for the return of the shoes," says the commish.

This is exactly the kind of safety charade that goes on every day. Stride Rite, hearing that its flowers can detach (as can almost anything if you pull hard enough), pretends to worry about this "danger." My guess is that it's actually worried about lawsuits. An official product recall heads those off at the pass: "You can't sue us! We already warned you!"

Meantime, the CPSC pretends to regard the decoration with abject horror, as if no one there had ever seen anything that size — such as, say, a coin or the cap from a milk carton or an acorn.

This dance of fake danger has become so common that there are recalls almost weekly for things that are abundantly safe — for example, teddy bears with button eyes. After all, those could become detached.



"This is risk aversion to an unsustainable extreme," says Ben Miller, a policy analyst at the common-sense-endorsing organization Common Good. "What lesson should a company like Stride Right take from the recall? It's impossible to manufacture a shoe — or, for that matter, any product — that's completely incapable of causing any level of danger. A recall like this doesn't promote safety so much as it promotes hiding behind a wall of lawyers and crossing your fingers that a product recall doesn't put you out of business."

He's so right. Any product can, under some circumstances, turn lethal. That's a fact we can't seem to get a grip on without running to issue a new warning or law.

In turn, all those excess warnings make everyday life seem terribly dangerous. That's one of the reasons for helicopter parenting. Parents are told that everything is out to kill their kids unless they (like our product recalls) are exceedingly, excessively vigilant.

We are scaring ourselves silly. It is silly to worry about the dangers of the flower on a sandal. But until we agree that a product must pose a real threat before we issue warnings or start to sue, we'll just keep getting sillier.

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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