April 21, 2014
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
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
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
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
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
August 2, 2013/ 26 Meanachem-Av, 5773
Chris Christie pulls a Dowd
A. Barton Hinkle
Chris Christie has gotten in touch with his inner Maureen Dowd.
Back in 2005, a woman named Cindy Sheehan was camping outside President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Sheehan's son Casey had died in the Iraq War that Bush had started, and Sheehan's vigil turned her into a heroine for many of the war's opponents, including Dowd. "The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq," wrote the New York Times columnist, "is absolute."
Unfortunately for Dowd, other parents also had lost children in Iraq, and some of them stepped forward to say they still continued to support the war, which had a rather complicating effect on Dowd's overall point. But that is a logical consideration, and Dowd was not trying to make any logical arguments. She was trying to overwhelm them with sentiment.
Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, did the same last week when he tore into civil libertarians concerned about domestic spying. The House had then just finished debating legislation sponsored by libertarian Republican Rep. Justin Amash to rein in the National Security Agency. Speaking "as a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001," Christie said he wanted "us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that's going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought."
Dismissing those holding "these esoteric, intellectual debates," he continued: "I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't, because that's a much tougher conversation to have."
In one regard, Christie is right: It certainly is hard to tell someone who lost a loved one on 9/11 that the government should refrain from taking any step that conceivably might prevent a future attack. It is hard because doing so could add to their pain, and people of good will do not want to make anyone's suffering worse.
But in another more important regard, Christie is wrong - as Christie's own behavior should demonstrate.
Example: Back in February, Christie signed an executive order loosening restrictions on alcohol sales. (The order lets establishments that have seasonal licenses to sell booze start doing so two months earlier.) No doubt he had good reasons, such as helping businesses recover from the economic hit of Hurricane Sandy.
On the other hand, according to the Centers for Disease Control alcohol annually causes 75,000 premature deaths in the United States - which is 25 times the death toll of 9/11. Would Christie be willing to sit down with the widows and orphans of drunk-driving victims, or of alcoholics who slowly drank themselves to death, and explain why he is making it easier for people to drink? That would be a tough conversation to have. But it would not make Christie wrong on the merits.
Here's another: Last month Christie, a critic of Obamacare, vetoed a bill to make the expansion of Medicaid in New Jersey permanent. Would he sit down with the widows and orphans of people who died from a lack of affordable health care and explain his "esoteric, intellectual" rationale for the veto? That would be tough, too. But it would not, ipso facto, make him wrong.
Christie has been more open to gun control than other Republicans, but he does not support a total ban on all private firearms. Would he tell the widows and orphans of gun violence why? Christie does not support putting armed guards in schools to prevent mass shootings. Would he explain why to the grieving parents of Newtown, Conn.?
Government exists to protect all people's rights, not some people's feelings. A country in which the government can, in the name of national security, invade any home or arrest any person, with no explanation and no appeal, might be secure from foreign invasion. But its people are not safe - they are simply threatened by a different menace.
For all their intensity, emotions simply do not provide a good basis for settling disputes. They do not tell us whether a proposed remedy might actually work; or, if it works, whether it would do more harm than good; or whether some other remedy might cost less and work better. They do not tell us what is right, and what is wrong. Raw pain should command our sympathies. But it should not overwhelm our senses.
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.
• 07/29/13: Should Click and Clack wind up in the clink?
• 07/08/13: Commit any felonies lately?
• 06/18/13: Citizens and the State: the problem is bigger than you think
• 06/06/13: Political derangement threatens basic rights
• 05/30/13: Should we fear ex-Marine --- or those who detained him?
• 05/23/13: Professor of Constitution goes to war against it
• 05/23/13: REVEALED: IRS letter to tea party groups
• 05/15/13: Today on NPR: The smothering tax burden
• 04/30/13: What does Boston say about diversity?
• 04/25/13: For some libs, 'courage' = agreeing with them
• 04/18/13: Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal
• 04/11/13: Cognitive dissonance on guns
• 04/04/13: Do unto others, but not unto us, say the media
• 04/01/13: Observations from the auto shop holding pen
• 03/14/13: The nation-building follies
• 03/12/13: Will the right come around on pot?
• 03/07/13: Another U.S. dupe falls for a dictator
• 02/28/13: How dare you say that here!
• 02/26/13: Eating Frito-Lay chips at gunpoint
• 02/20/13: Death Star petitions are just what we need
• 02/13/13: ObamaCare proves law correct --- deep down you knew it would
• 01/29/13: It's Time to Get Judgy About Incompetency
• 01/23/13: Look who's mocking fascist fear-mongering now
• 01/16/13: Only in Washington could you get away with referring to spending and tax increases as spending 'cuts'
• 01/09/13: Obama begins his second term, Bush's fourth
• 01/07/13: Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?
• 01/03/13: Why, historically, January is the perfect time to debate the filibuster
• 12/26/12: When libs devalue diversity
• 12/20/12: Mark Your Calendars
• 12/13/12: Gun control, ad infinitum
• 12/11/12: Fracking can help fix the CO2 problem
• 12/06/12: Let's open the door to lots more immigration
• 12/04/12: Who's watching the kids? Just about everyone
• 11/29/12: The Real Middle-Class Champion was Mocked and Opposed
• 11/26/12: It's time to cut a deal on the budget
• 11/20/12: The case for a carbon tax
• 11/15/12: Cue the hysterics. Reports of Democracy's Death Greatly Exaggerated
• 11/07/12: The $4,000 Trash Can: We need regulation, but not this much
• 10/23/12: The Ballad of Islamist Rage Boy
• 10/17/12: Undermining the values that enable people in poverty to escape it? Sadly, yes
• 10/11/12: How Much Is This Tax Cut Gonna Cost Me, Doc?
• 10/04/12: Warrantless spying skyrockets under Obama
• 08/20/12: The wrong side absolutely must not win
• 08/14/12: America was not built on dirt alone
• 08/02/12: Libs Discover Their Inner Cheney
• 07/30/12: Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not
• 07/23/12: Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
• 07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
• 07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
• 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