In this issue
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. 20, 2009/ 2 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Doggone idea

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The news hit me like a rolled-up newspaper to the side of the head.

According to The Washington Times' Inside the Beltway blog, Robert Davi, a tough-guy Hollywood actor, and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., an alleged conservative, did something tough guys and conservatives don't often do.

They got a bill onto the floor of the U.S. House seeking a $3,500 annual tax deduction for pet expenses.

I love animals. I still mist up when I think of the time my dog Jingles ran off in the '70s. But Americans have lost their bearings where their pets are concerned.

According to the American Pet Products Association, we spend $45 billion a year on our pets -- that's up 5 percent over last year, despite a nasty recession.

Nearly $20 billion alone is spent on dog grub -- including the expensive "gourmet" stuff. That's up 5 percent too.

And since the pet food recalls of 2007, says ABC News, here's another trend: More pets are enjoying home cooking.

If Rover overeats, no problem. There are doggie personal trainers now. There are doggie gyms, doggie aerobics classes and doggie weight-loss programs. "Biscuit Watchers?"

If Rover is having behavioral problems -- or perhaps he is depressed -- the dog psychiatrist will treat his woes. "What's that, boy? You see a cat in the inkblot?"

Here's something Americans are doing for their pets that many won't do for themselves: buying health insurance.

Of course, despite all the pampering and care, our pets will succumb to old age. When they pass, a whole industry is ready to assist.

There are doggie funeral ceremonies now. "Rover was a good shepherd, I shall not want, as he lies down in green pastures ..."

Pet deaths are announced in pet obituaries. "Buster is survived by his emotionally distraught owner and his favorite toy, Squeaky."

And let us not forget another growth industry: pet cemeteries, complete with pet headstones. "Here lies Rover down by the levee, we sure do wish he saw that Chevy."

And now tax deductions for pet owners?

Davi argues that pets are good for us. They bring down our blood pressure and lift our spirits. A tax deduction would encourage pet ownership.

He says the deduction would be good for the economy. People would spend more on their pets -- a needed boost to retail spending.

It is true, too, that the recession is causing animal shelters to see decreases in budgets at the same time they see a surge in surrendered pets -- a deduction might cause more people to adopt.

These are all fair considerations, but they miss the larger point: We have to stop letting our emotions rule our heads.

Look, our tax code is an incredible mess precisely because well-intentioned people got their special breaks added in.

Now it takes a case of bourbon and a busload of CPAs to file our taxes every year.

Our emotions, skillfully exploited, have brought us all kinds of government programs that have bloated the budget and exploded the deficit.

If we have any hope of staving off a fiscal nightmare, we've got to keep our wits about us -- we've got to put logic and reason back in charge.

Speaking of nightmares, when your dog's paws twitch as he sleeps, he isn't having one.

What the heck is a dog nightmare, asks comedian Gary Shandling.

Your dog dreams he's drinking out of a toilet bowl and the lid falls on his head?

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© 2009, Tom Purcell