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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 May 22, 2007 / 5 Sivan, 5767

Our government versus privacy: Bad news and good

By Nat Hentoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell recently, and urgently, telling a Senate committee that the president must have even more powers to collect data from our e-mails and phone calls — under the much manipulated and evaded Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — I had a question: If George Orwell were still alive, coming to the United States as a visiting professor of countersurveillance, would his name be on a no-fly list, sending him back to England?


After all, it was Orwell, in "1984" (a novel that turned into a documentary), who predicted ours eventually becoming a society under increasing surveillance:


"How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate, they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to."


There is not yet universal individual surveillance, but as reporter Dan Kennedy wrote in the Boston Phoenix: "It's not that you're being watched. It's that you might be, and that you have no way of knowing whether you are or not."


For one of many examples of how this administration reminds me of the slogan of the fabled and feared 19th century Pinkerton Detective Agency — "We never sleep" — then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld instituted in 2002 the Counterintelligence Field Activity Office (CIFA) to keep an unblinking eye on terrorism groups and foreign intelligence services inside the United States. CIFA, however, was barred by law from domestic spying on Americans.


But CIFA's database, in 2003, began to ignore that prohibition, gathering information — as Mark Manzetti reported in the April 25 New York Times — on "antiwar groups, churches, student activists" and other Americans who had been taught at some point in school that they had a First Amendment right to dissent from government policies.


The Pentagon pictorially and vividly named this Pentagon CIFA database "Talon" (a claw of a predatory animal). Much of what we have learned about Talon's extra-legal activities came from a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union for documents that were released, under that law, by the Pentagon last year.


Among Talon's trophies — likely to have been shared with the databases of other intelligence agencies — was an entry in 2005 that a "church service for peace" was about to be held in New York City. Presumably, Talon, through its liaisons with local enforcement agencies, informed the New York Police Department (long known for its "excesses" in surveillance) that this church service should be observed — maybe with plainclothes officers in the pews.


Another rather striking Talon entry warned that a "Stop the War" rally in Akron, Ohio, was "a potential terrorist activity." The legacy of J. Edgar Hoover — and his COINTELPRO (counterintelligence operation) surveillance and infiltration — still lives and thrives!


But since Hoover himself left us in 1972, he never could have conceived — nor, for that matter, could have Orwell — the ever-expanding advances in government surveillance technology that causes more Americans to have a sense, however fleeting from time to time, that some electronic tendril of government may be watching over them, but there's no way to be sure.


However, in a sudden shaft of good news for those of us who still harbor a hope that we have some privacy left, there is a government official — James R. Clapper, the Pentagon's new intelligence chief, who has responded to complaints from citizens (not only professional civil libertarians) that his increasingly controversial Talon database is acting beyond and beneath the law.


As reported by Reuters and The New York Times, Clapper has recommended to Defense Secretary Robert Gates — who is not as invincible to second thoughts as his predecessor — that the Talon database be declawed. As of this writing, Gates has not yet given the dismantling order, but it appears reasonable that Clapper would not have gone public with his desire to retire Talon if he has not had some encouragement from Gates.


An ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner, much involved in trying to regenerate the Bill of Rights, called Clapper's intention a "positive step" but cautioned that, as has happened in the past, the Pentagon could continue this kind of domestic spying under another name. "What we don't know about Pentagon surveillance within the United States," he told The New York Times, "far exceeds what we do know."


Still, I offer a toast to James Clapper, as I believe Orwell also would.

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.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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