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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 June 7, 2012/ 17 Sivan, 5772

Growing independence from both parties

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his 2007 book, "The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800," historian Jay Winik writes that among Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, none "believed in political parties, which they feared would lead to 'rage,' 'dissolution,' and eventual 'ruin' of the republic..."

The latest poll from the Pew Research Center, "Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years," seems to indicate that the American people have come around to their way of thinking.

The poll, writes The New York Times, found that "the share of self-identified Republicans has declined over the last two decades to about 24 percent of the country, from about 31 percent. The share of Democrats has stayed about steady -- to 32 percent, from 33 percent -- while the share of independents has risen to 38 percent, from 29 percent."

And while "Americans of different races are no more polarized in their political views than they were 25 years ago," suggests the Times, the poll indicates that "Republicans have moved farther to the right -- on economic issues, at least -- than Democrats have move to the left" and the parties "appear to have lost some of the people who were closer to the middle of the political spectrum and retained those closer to the extremes."

In short, more Americans are ditching the big two political parties, leaving hardliners behind. The result? Political stagnation. So much for well-reasoned debate and consensus. So much for moving the country forward.



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What appears to frustrate voters is that not enough members of either party seem capable, or interested, in solving our problems. Instead, their primary concern appears to be achieving and holding onto power and the perks of office. Democrats answer the problem of increasing debt with more debt. Republicans want to reduce the size and cost of government, but won't make meaningful cuts. The media play a major role in perpetuating the gridlock by mostly ignoring solutions, focusing instead on the political horse race and the names politicians call each other.

The response from Democrats to a serious proposal for repairing health care as proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was a TV ad in which an actor portraying Ryan tossed an elderly woman in a wheelchair over a cliff. This is not a serious response to a serious proposal. It is street theater.

A major reason for government's inability -- even unwillingness -- to repair its own dysfunction is that we are still living off the inertia of government's central role during the Great Depression, and later "The Great Society" in which government presented itself as everyone's savior. Personal responsibility for one's life and accountability for wrong decisions took a back seat.

"A Time for Governing: Policy Solutions from the Pages of National Affairs," a new book compiled by the quarterly journal, National Affairs, contains essays that address credible solutions to our major economic problems that nearly everyone, regardless of party affiliation, acknowledges must be solved for a stable American future.

In his essay "Beyond the Welfare State," National Affairs editor Yuval Levin addresses the heart of the problem: "Human societies do not work by obeying orderly commands from central managers, however well-meaning; they work through the erratic interplay of individual and, even more, of familial and communal decisions answering locally felt desires and needs."

Levin adds, "In our everyday experience, the bureaucratic state presents itself not as a benevolent provider and protector, but as a corpulent behemoth -- flabby, slow and expressionless, unmoved by our concerns, demanding compliance with arcane and seemingly meaningless rules as it breathes musty air in our faces and sends us to the back of the line.

"Unresponsive ineptitude is not merely an annoyance. The sluggishness of the welfare state drains it of its moral force. The crushing weight of bureaucracy permits neither efficiency nor idealism. It thus robs us of a good part of the energy of democratic capitalism and encourages a corrosive cynicism that cannot help but undermine the moral aims of the social-democratic vision."

Is it any wonder the public decreasingly identifies with either party and that a growing majority wishes to be "independent" of both? It will take more than the election of a new president and Congress to fix this. It will require a new way of thinking -- which is really an old way of thinking -- by "we the people."


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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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