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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 August 6, 2013/ 30 Menachem-Av, 5773

Fun Control

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Guns and children don't go together, right?

Well, actually, often they do. Chances are that if you have a kid or ever were one (especially if there was a Y chromosome involved), at some point you played cops vs. robbers, aliens vs. predators, SEALs vs. Osama — some good guy/bad guy confrontation. Often it involved a toy gun made out of anything — sticks, Play-Doh, pizza. And it was pretty obvious to everyone that there was nothing lethal going on.

Unfortunately, that point is no longer obvious to many of the people in charge of our schools.

Over just the past few weeks, children as young as 5 have been reprimanded and even suspended for a Hello Kitty bubble gun, a Legos gun and a gun made out of a sheet of paper with one quarter cut out so it resembled a very chunky "L."

The Hello Kitty gun was a particularly bizarre case, in that it involved not only bubbles — how terrifying — but also hearsay. The girl, age 5, didn't actually bring the "weapon" to her Pennsylvania kindergarten. She simply told another girl there that she owned a bubble gun and was going to shoot her with it. For this she received a suspension of 10 days, later reduced to two, thanks, I guess, to the lawyer her parents engaged. This lawyer was quoted as reassuring the school that the girl "had never fired a real gun."

Which is sort of like having to reassure the school that although a kindergartener was spotted pretending to drive, she had never actually hot-wired a car.

The Legos drama, which unfolded about a week ago, concerned yet another 5-year-old (what an out-of-control generation!), who made the blocks into what he called a gun. Looked pretty lame to me. Nonetheless, his parents were told that if he ever does this again, he will be given the apparently standard 10-day sentence for imaginary weapons possession. The principal explained, "While someone might think that making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old" — gee, who could possibly think that? — "to other 5-year-olds, that might be a scary experience."

Seeing your friend disappear for 10 days because he was playing "wrong" might be a scary experience, too. But no matter. We must keep our children safe! Which explains (if that's the right word) the third incident, involving a fifth-grader who brought that L-shaped piece of paper to school. According to press reports last week, "a classmate saw the 'gun' and reported it to the school official."

Now, it's pretty rotten for a kid to report another kid for a piece of paper. But the fact that the school official didn't send the snitch straight back to class is evidence that deliberate obtuseness is now the default position of school administrators.


How on earth can you treat a piece of paper as if it were truly dangerous? It's easy once you have been trained to ignore your common sense and overreact to even the most minuscule, laughable threats — which is exactly what our society has decided is prudent.

If you've seen old ladies being patted down at the airport, you've watched this obtuseness in action. The TSA workers are not allowed to use their brains to consider the incredible unlikelihood that a diabetic grandma in a wheelchair is a terrorist. But that doesn't matter. Brains off, fear on.

And when, in the wake of Sandy Hook, schools implemented new "safety" rules — for example, parents having to call 24 hours in advance of a visit — those haven't made anyone safer, either. But in panic mode, people overreact. Stay in panic mode every day since Columbine or 9/11 or Sandy Hook and overreaction becomes a way of life.

And the home of the brave becomes the home of "Yikes! An L-shaped piece of paper!"

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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