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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 19, 2009 25 Iyar 5769

Photographic fraud

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The media have an obvious vested interest in constantly urging that cameras be allowed in more places where governmental decisions are being made, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Like so many things that are said to be good for the public, this is something that would be good only for its advocates — and harmful to the process of making decisions in the public interest, as distinguished from providing a forum for grandstanding.


The adage that "seeing is believing" should be a warning. What you see in politics is what politicians want you to see. You believe it at your own risk — and at greater risks to the country.


Televised Congressional hearings are not just broadcasts of what happens to be going on in Congress. They are staged events to create a prepackaged impression.


Politically, they are millions of dollars' worth of free advertising for incumbents, while campaign finance laws impede their challengers from being able even to buy name recognition or to present their cases to the public nearly as often.


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The real work of Congress gets done where there are no cameras and no microphones — and where politicians can talk turkey with one another to make deals that could not be made with the public listening in.


To be a fly on the wall, able to listen in while these talks were going on, would no doubt be very enlightening, even if painfully disillusioning. But that is not what you are getting in video footage on the evening news.


Some might argue that, in the absence of the cameras, many people might not know what is going on in Congress or in the courts. But being uninformed is not nearly as bad as being misled.


For one thing, it is much easier to know that you are uninformed than to know that you are being misled.


Quite aside from the fraudulence of a photographic facade, even if everyone involved played it straight, there is often remarkably little to be learned from observing a court case, for example, unless you understand the legal framework within which that case is to be decided. That is especially so in appellate courts, including the Supreme Court.


The same thing applies in many other contexts. You could watch televised brain surgery for years without getting a clue, if you had no medical training that would enable you to understand what is being done and why — and what the alternatives are that you do not see on camera, much less know whether the surgeon has consummate skill or is botching the whole thing.


The more complex the issue, the more likely that understanding the context is vastly more important than seeing a picture and hearing sound bites.


Wars are especially susceptible to being distorted on camera. A dramatic event with emotional impact need not tell you what its military significance is. The viewer is able only to react emotionally, in circumstances where rationality can be the difference between life and death, not only for the combatants, but also for the societies from which they come.


Even when televised Congressional hearings are meaningless in themselves — the real decisions having been made off camera — their implications can be devastating. But implications cannot be televised.


Over the past two decades, judicial confirmation hearings have often become exercises in character assassination against nominees that Senators oppose for political reasons having nothing to do with the inflammatory charges that are aired on nationwide TV.


Judges who have for years supported civil rights have been depicted as racists. Other events in their careers have been twisted beyond recognition. Utterly irrelevant questions have been raised to appeal emotionally to uninformed television viewers.


The most direct harm is of course to the nominees. But the most important harm is to the public and to the country. Not only are many top-notch people lost and many innocuous second-raters appointed in their place, many other top-notch people refuse even to be nominated, rather than see the sterling reputation of a lifetime destroyed by political demagogues.


None of those lost people and their talents are televised, though they may be far more important than what is televised.

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.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

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