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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 Dec. 28, 2007 / 19 Teves 5768

On the bright side?

By Greg Crosby


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A new year and a new reason for hope. Good news doesn?t exactly flow off the television screen or out of the radio on a regular basis. Nor does good news scream out at you in large bold headlines from our newspapers and magazines, so it was a very pleasant surprise when I opened my December issue of Commentary Magazine and read the article entitled, ?Crime, Drugs, Welfare — and Other Good News." The authors of the piece, Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin, scholars at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington are not being sarcastic with that title, either. There really is good news to tell.


Try these stats on for size:


  • Teenage drug use has fallen by 23 percent since the 1990s, and by more than 50 percent for certain specific drugs, such as LSD and ecstasy.

  • There is less abortion. In 1990 abortions reached a high of 1.6 million, the number of abortions performed annually in the U.S. has dropped to less than 1.3, the lowest level since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

  • The U.S. divorce rate is at its lowest level since 1970.

  • Higher educational scores. The high-school dropout rate, now less than 10 percent, is at a 30-year low. The mean SAT score was 8 points higher in 2005 than it was in 1993.

  • Teenagers are drinking less, anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than in 1996 depending upon the grade in school. Binge drinking has dropped to the lowest levels ever recorded.

  • Teens are smoking cigarettes less than ever before.

  • The number of high school students having sex has declined by more than 10 percent since 1991. And the birth rate for teens since that time has gone down by 35 percent.

  • According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, both violent crime and property crime are at their lowest levels since 1973. In some places, even lower: New York City, it was reported a few days ago, is expected to have much fewer than 500 homicides this year, the fewest since the early 1960s. Compare that with 1990, when New York recorded 2,245 homicides.

  • As far as welfare is concerned, since 1994 the U.S. caseload has dropped 60 percent ? virtually every state in the union has reduced its caseload by at least a third and as much as 90 percent in some states. Overall poverty, child poverty, black child poverty, and child hunger have all decreased.


Unfortunately, not all the news is good. Illegitimacy is at an all-time high, the marriage rate continues to sink, and popular culture largely remains "a cesspool of violence and vulgarity." Furthermore, the condition and strength of the American family has thus far, they say, not yet begun to turn upward. However, the authors write, "the progress we have witnessed over the last 15 years is impressive, undeniable, and beyond what most people thought possible."


So, as we begin 2008 we Americans have solid reason to be optimistic about our future society. Sure, we need to be concerned about the ongoing coarseness in American culture and the decline of the American family, and perhaps one day, these too, shall start to improve. Sometimes, things do change for the better, not often enough and not quickly enough it seems, but it does happen. Sometimes people wake up and do the right things, and sometimes good solid values and ethics win over the bad.


One thing is for sure ? if decency, honor, and ethics make a comeback anywhere in this world, you can bet it will be in the United States of America!


Happy New Year!

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby

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