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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 April 1, 2009 / 7 Nissan 5769

Libs' dirty shame

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1996, Milos Forman directed "The People vs. Larry Flynt," the propagandistic film that made a "First Amendment hero" out of the publisher of Hustler, a racist and filthy porn magazine. Frank Rich of the New York Times dubbed it "the most timely and patriotic movie of the year."


Even if you've never seen the movie (or read Hanna Rosin's contemporaneous debunking of it in the New Republic), it's easy to guess why the film was a favorite of people like Rich. It whitewashed Flynt while demonizing conservatives as religious prudes.


Before it was screened in Washington, James Carville — who played a Comstockian scold in the movie — said in a speech introducing the film, "Milos Forman lost his parents in the Holocaust." And then he pressed the point home: "The first thing a totalitarian state goes after is pornography, and when they do, the public applauds. It gets worse from there."


This is the sort of statement that is so stupid it almost sounds smart. Cracking down on porn was hardly the first priority of the Nazis or Soviets. More important, if a state is already totalitarian, it has already "gone after" the things that really matter — like liberty. Banning "On Golden Blonde" is an afterthought.


Now, I'm not in favor of a federal ban on porn (though it's fine with me at the state or local level). But the notion that smut is the canary in the coal mine of our liberties is a profoundly asinine and dangerous myth, and it may be costing us the things that really matter.


The argument from supposedly liberty-loving liberals goes like this: We protect "extreme" and unpopular speech because if that is safe, they'll never get to our core liberties. If they can ban trash, argue the slippery-slopers, what's to stop them from banning criticism of politicians?


One problem: While Frank Rich et al. are preening on their soapboxes for making filth as American as apple pie, the government, under Republican and Democratic presidents alike, has been banning criticism of politicians.


Just last week, the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that it has no principled constitutional problem with banning books.


The case before the court, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, involves a documentary-style film, "Hillary: The Movie," that ran afoul of campaign finance laws designed to censor so-called stealth ads as well as electioneering paid for by corporations or unions.


To be fair, the film does amount to partisan advocacy. It's a scorching indictment of the former Democratic presidential front-runner, produced by an unapologetically conservative outfit. It's as one-sided as a MoveOn.org-produced documentary about George W. Bush would be. But, some might wonder, should partisan advocacy ever be illegal in a democracy?


Several justices asked the deputy solicitor general, Malcolm Stewart, if there would be any constitutional reason why the ban on documentaries and ads couldn't be extended to books carrying similar messages. Stewart, speaking for a president who once taught constitutional law, said Congress can ban books "if the book contained the functional equivalent of express advocacy" for a candidate and was supported, even slightly, with corporate money. Such advocacy, Stewart conceded, could amount to negatively mentioning a politician just once in a 500-page book put out by a mainstream publisher.


Virtually every newspaper in America is owned by a corporation; does that mean they can't endorse candidates anymore? To even ask such a question as if it were reasonable shows how close to the heart of our democracy the poison has reached.


When the myth that the Patriot Act targeted libraries — it didn't — was all the rage, liberals manned the parapets. When some citizens — not government officials — destroyed Dixie Chicks CDs, the collective response from liberals was to channel Martin Niemoller: "first they came for the Dixie Chicks ..." New York Times columnist Paul Krugman compared it to Kristallnacht. When then-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer made the off-the-cuff suggestion — in response to some unfunny idiocy from Bill Maher (and a bigoted comment from a Republican congressman) — that Americans needed to "watch what they say," Rich (again) concluded that Fleischer's comment was as significant for our domestic freedom as 9/11 itself.


But when the Obama administration approves the constitutionality of banning politically relevant books before the Supreme Court, where's the outrage? Yes, there are some sober, responsible editorials. But the soapboxes stand unmanned by the self-appointed paragons of freedom.


But perhaps they're right to be silent. It's not as if anyone is trying to ban Hustler.

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