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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

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

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Oct. 8, 2008 / 9 Tishrei 5769

Bafflement

By Tony Blankley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was a joke going around conservative circles during the mid-1960s that we conservatives were warned that if we voted for Barry Goldwater, America would get deeper into the Vietnam War. The punch line was that we did vote for Goldwater and America did get deeper into Vietnam. (Of course, President Lyndon Johnson had campaigned on that warning, and then it was he who got us deeper in.)


I couldn't help thinking of that old joke Monday. It had been only Friday that members of the House had been warned that if they voted against the $700 billion bailout, the world's stock exchanges would crash. Well, 171 representatives did vote no (though the bill passed anyway), and sure enough, on Monday, from Moscow to London to Paris to Frankfurt to Asia to New York, the markets of the world did crash.


Moreover, by Monday, experts were divided on why the markets were going down and what should be done about it. I was in a hotel room in Santa Fe, N.M., waiting to give a luncheon speech. All morning, I couldn't take my eyes off CNBC's coverage of the worldwide market crashes. What caught my attention (along with the vertiginous market drops taking place) was that the opinions of many of the world's leading financial experts and practitioners ranged between conflicting certainties and admitted bafflement at both causes and solutions.


There were several experts who said the market crashes indicated that the $700 billion bailout was judged insufficient. Many others argued that the market crashes had nothing to do with the bailout but rather were reactions to the increasing evidence of economic contraction around the world. Particular attention was paid by a few experts to the news that China would not be importing any gasoline next month, which they said was evidence that China's economy (and therefore Asia's economy) also would be contracting.


Others pointed to Europe's banks — which only last week had been predicted loudly by elite Europeans to be safe from financial contagion — suffering contagion from New York's financial disease.


Experts were equally conflicted over cures. There was a large group of confident-sounding experts asserting that what was needed was an immediate worldwide coordinated interest rate drop of 100 basis points by the central banks of the world. But for each such assertion, there was another confident-sounding expert firmly pointing out that the problem wasn't the price or quantity of money at banks but rather that the banks were sitting on their cash instead of lending it because they didn't trust any borrowers — including fellow banks.


And so the morning went. It was a mix of false confidence, bafflement and fear in the faces of grizzled stock market pit operators, pension fund managers, Ivy League finance professors, hedge fund operatives, elegant European financiers, worldly Muslim bankers, hard-faced New York asset managers, richly dressed private-equity fund owners, shrewd Asian bankers, and an occasional foolish-looking politician shaking his fist futilely at the disgraced former Lehman Brothers CEO.


This pitiable parade of recently powerful personages got me thinking of what it would have been like if there had been a cable medical television network in 1348 to report on the emerging plague that came to be known to history as the Black Death. Early reports in December 1347 would have announced unusual deaths near the docks of Genoa. This would have been attributed (and was at the time) to a recent rain of frogs, serpents, lizards, scorpions and other venomous animals in the lands between Persia and China.


As the plague reached Burgundy in the middle of 1348, the results of a study ordered by the king would have been reported. A commission of University of Paris professors concluded that the catastrophe was caused by the astrological place of Saturn in the house of Jupiter. Medieval experts had long been aware of the dangers that the feared planet Saturn could give rise to when in certain conjunctions.


The cable medical news network's Rhineland correspondent certainly would have reported on the possible success at holding back the plague that the Germans seemed to be having for a while as a result of the urgent intervention of the flagellants — a group of monks and laymen who believed the plague was the direct result of human sin (see, for comparison, the current explanation by Obama and McCain that greed has caused the financial crisis). The flagellants whipped themselves in public for the public good.


After that was seen to fail, undoubtedly the worldwide viewers of the medieval TV network would have seen in Strasbourg on St. Valentine's Day, Saturday, Jan. 9, 1349, the ritualistic burning to death of 1,884 Jews, who were thought to be causing the plague by poisoning wells. After the burning, the mob would have been seen holding on high the synagogue's ram horn, which carefully was described at the time as the device to secretly signal the enemies of Strasbourg to descend on the city and destroy it.


Notwithstanding the best efforts of the most trusted experts at the time, one-third of European humanity was killed by the Black Death. An old order was destroyed. Because of the premature occupation of those millions of graves, the increased value of surviving labor began the birth of the modern world. And 660 year later, experts still are debating whether it was fleas on rats, anthrax, some form of mad cow disease or some other phenomenon that caused those terrible days of tribulation.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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