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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Feb. 15, 2010 / 1 Adar 5770

A ride in Big Brother's Audi

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Audi Motor company's idea of an environmentally-correct America, to judge from the TV commercial it spent several million dollars to air during the Super Bowl, is one in which homeowners could be arrested for using incandescent light bulbs, customers choosing plastic bags at the supermarket would be mandhandled by the Green Police, and anyone tossing an orange peel into his kitchen garbage pail might suddenly find himself in the beam of a searchlight, hearing a voice bark through a loudspeaker: "Put the rind down, sir! That's a compost infraction!"

It's also a place where highway traffic would back up at an "eco-roadblock," but a motorist driving a "green" car like Audi's A3 TDI would be waved right through the checkpoint.

Of course, the notion of an environmental police state terrorizing citizens for not being sufficiently "green" is just parody meant to be laughed at. Or is it? On its website, Audi USA earnestly describes its Green Police as "caricatures" created to "help" consumers "faced with a myriad of decisions in their quest to become more environmentally responsible citizens." And what better way to "help" them than with scenes of ruthless Greenshirts handcuffing hot-tubbers whose water is too warm, or raiding the home of residents who threw a used battery into the wrong trash bin?

"Green has never felt so right," proclaims Audi's dystopian ad. Others agree. David Roberts, who writes for the environmental webzine Grist (and who has called for putting global warming skeptics on trial like Nazi war criminals), says the "thrill" of the ad "turns on satisfying the green police." The commercial makes sense, he writes, only "if it's aimed at people who acknowledge the moral authority of the green police — people who may find those [environmental] obligations tiresome and constraining . . . but who recognize that living more sustainably is in fact the moral thing to do."

On Twitter, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom expressed his approval more concisely: "That 'green police' Audi commercial hits home." He would know. Under a composting ordinance Newsom signed last year, throwing orange peels, coffee grounds, or greasy pizza boxes in the trash is now illegal in San Francisco, and carries fines of up to $500 per violation.

There was a time when Americans were thought capable of deciding for themselves what to do with their coffee grounds or whether to carry their groceries home in paper or plastic bags. It isn't only in San Francisco, and it isn't only when it comes to "green" issues, that such mundane or personal choices are being subjected to government coercion. One thin slice at a time, liberties we once took for granted are replaced with mandates from above. Instead of leaving us free to choose, Big Brother increasingly makes the choice for us: on trans fats. On gambling. On smoking. On bicycle helmets. On health insurance.

In Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reported last week, new regulations will soon require thousands of restaurant workers to undergo state-designed training on handling food allergies, and every restaurant menu will have to be revised to include a new message: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy." In Pennsylvania, the Reading Eagle notes that it is illegal for volunteers to sell pies or cookies at a charity bake sale unless the treats were "prepared in kitchens inspected and licensed by the state Agriculture Department." In Oregon, an eight-year-old boy was suspended from his public school on Monday because he came to class with a tiny plastic toy gun from his G.I. Joe action figure.

It isn't to evil dictators with a lust for power that Americans have been slowly surrendering their autonomy. It is to well-intentioned authorities who genuinely believe that freedoms must be circumscribed for our own good. At the White House on Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama announced what The New York Times called "a sweeping initiative . . . aimed at revamping the way American children eat and play — reshaping school lunches, playgrounds, and even medical checkups — with the goal of eliminating childhood obesity."

Nothing in the Constitution allows the federal government to take charge of "revamping the way American children eat and play." It is only our passivity that makes such an encroachment possible. This used to be the land of the free. Is it still?

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.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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