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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. 3, 2013/ 28 Elul, 5773

Who's Really Stalking Kids Online

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This is a new development, and it's a big one: A school district in California has hired a firm to monitor the public postings of its 13,500 students. It will analyze the students' content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and some other sites, looking for hints of "cyber-bullying, harm, hate, despair, substance abuse, vandalism and truancy," according to a story in the Glendale News Press.

I can totally understand why this would appeal to parents. Who among us hasn't worried about what's happening in our kids' lives at some point? And the company claims that in a pilot program last year, it intervened with a suicidal student.

But here's the rub: If, as a kid, I thought that all the grown-ups in my life were so worried about my mental state that they were frantically scanning my every interaction for evidence of my fragility — or cruelty — it would cause me to hate and despair. It's like telling kids, "I have to stand next to you at the party, hon. It's for your own good." Excuse me while I guzzle the Drano.

If what kids need for a healthy sense of self is someone who really believes in them, behold the opposite. This surveillance program is treating 13,500 students as if they were all in some kind of mental facility where everyone must be monitored or as if they were part of a terrorist cell.



The district's superintendent is quoted as saying, "The whole purpose is student safety" — which sounds strikingly familiar. Maybe the National Security Agency employs the same speechwriter? Anyway, I have no doubt the superintendent is sincere, but crying "Safety!" is the magic napalm so many interests deploy these days. How can an adult refuse to buy a product or service when it promises a new level of child protection? It's not only appealing; it's almost blackmail. Because now, if anything untoward were to happen without your having the program in place, someone could always demand: "Why didn't you see this coming?"

That's a tough question to answer, which is why I'm betting this service spreads. Unfortunately, it's also a question based on the most corrosive idea of our time — the idea that if we just gather every bit of information about absolutely everything and everyone, then (and only then) our kids can be safe. Hence, nanny cams. Hence, the "smart diaper" in prototype that monitors the chemical content of a baby's every pee. Hence, GPS trackers on kids, background checks for field trip chaperons, parental spyware to read kids' texts, and about a billion articles about a billion evils we should be on the lookout for every day in every food, toy, product, place and person our children encounter. Know everything! Your child's very life depends on it!

Society is saying that anything less than omniscience is putting our kids at risk.

And I'm saying that the big risk to kids today is a society that doesn't think they're ever safe or competent on their own.

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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