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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 Sept. 12, 2005 / 8 Elul, 5765

Mankind's deadly toll

By Lenore Skenazy


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the many disturbing aspects of the Gulf Coast disaster is the way everyone has been repeating this one phrase: A devastating hurricane hit was never a question of "if," they say, but "when."

It is the same wording people use when they talk about another terrorist attack here in New York.

For the last four years, an "if, not when" at the hand of man has haunted most New Yorkers' scariest daydreams. The London bombings turned up the volume. So does an anniversary like today.

But as we see the bodies in New Orleans and feel for the families there, it's obvious that Mother Nature harbors a wrath at least as terrible as Osama Bin Laden's. And guess what? A 'cane could drown N.Y.C., a headline in the New York Daily News announced Thursday. Said the story, "New York is a coastal city in a vulnerable spot."

Vulnerable again? It's enough to make a mere mortal wonder which to fear more: man or nature. And it is hardly reassuring to hear the answer: Humans are gaining the deadly edge.

This is a new distinction for our species. Until the last century, says Steven Katz, director of the Elie Wiesel Center at Boston University, nature was probably responsible for more death than murderous mankind. And if you count disease, nature still is — maybe. No one is absolutely sure about the math.

But if we are talking about natural disasters like floods and fires versus man-made evils like war and banishment, humans recently pulled ahead in the destruction sweepstakes.

"In the 20th century, the estimate is that 100 million people were killed by government," says Katz. These include all the soldiers who died in World Wars I and II — 5 million Russians alone in the first six months of fighting Hitler — as well as the 6 million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust, all the Chinese killed in China's civil war and later Cultural Revolution, millions more killed in the India-Pakistan War, millions slain by Stalin, as well as untold murders in Rwanda, Uganda, Croatia, Cambodia, Armenia, Argentina. ... The list, unfortunately, goes on and on.

What's worse, we civilians are only becoming more imperiled, says Stephen Couch, a sociologist at Penn State. "Centuries ago, wars were by and large limited to professional armies fighting one another," he says. "So the majority of casualties were military. Now, the majority of casualties are civilians."

This is a byproduct of what we call progress. "New weapons made new tactics possible, like the deliberate wiping out of civilian populations," says Couch, citing Dresden and Hiroshima.

Terrorism is just the latest military technique, and Couch is not optimistic about how it may evolve. "I think that the destructiveness of war is likely to remain the same or perhaps get worse, with all sorts of weapons of mass destruction, atomic proliferation and biological warfare. The history of weaponry is that if you have a weapon, it gets used."

Mother Nature will continue to wreak her tsunamis, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes, all of them devastating. But she does not spend her days devising new ways to destroy mankind.

That is what the Bin Ladens of this world do.

In New York, as we pray for all those lost and prepare for all eventualities, we must vow to work for peace. Because it's not Mother Nature that we can change.

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.

JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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