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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 30, 2006 / 3 Sivan, 5766

Hysteria at the ACLU

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was something missing from the full-page advertisement that the American Civil Liberties Union ran in newspapers around the country last week.


The ad kicked off an ACLU campaign called "Don't Spy On Me," which is aimed at pressuring federal and state regulators into investigating the phone companies that supplied domestic call records to federal intelligence analysts.


Subtle the ad wasn't. "IF YOU'VE USED A TELEPHONE IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS, READ THIS," shouted the headline in end-of-the-world-sized type. "AT&T, Verizon, and other phone companies may have illegally sent your phone records to the National Security Agency." The ad went on to charge that "millions of Americans" have had "their privacy invaded" by an "illegal secret arrangement" that allows "instant government access to every single phone call." It raised the alarming specter of Bush administration officials prying not only into the phone records of "political opponents, news reporters, and potential whistle blowers," but even into your calls to "friends, family, associates, lovers."


"Stop this abuse of power now," the advertisement urged. "File a complaint." Readers were directed to the new "Don't Spy On Me" page at the ACLU web site, where they can sign a petition telling the Federal Communications Commission to "get the spies off the line."


You would never know from all this heavy breathing that the data supplied to the NSA consisted of phone numbers only, stripped of any identifying names or addresses. Or that the calls themselves weren't actually monitored — no one was wiretapping any conversations. Or that the Supreme Court has ruled that the government doesn't need a warrant to collect phone records, since information voluntarily disclosed to a third party (such as the phone company) isn't protected by the Fourth Amendment.

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Perhaps the ACLU would dismiss those facts. Perhaps it would say they don't change the central issue — that the collection of this calling data represents a government encroachment into private behavior, with all the possibilities for abuse that entails.


But something even more important was omitted from the ACLU's ad — something so crucial to this issue that only an organization suffering from acute moral myopia could ignore it:


Context.


Nowhere in its advertisement does the ACLU make any mention of terrorism or Sept. 11, or of the horrific price we paid that day for failing to "connect the dots" before the terrorists could strike. Nowhere does the ad acknowledge that we are at war with the forces of radical Islam, or that the jihadists have been able to murder thousands of innocent people by infiltrating free societies and attacking them from within. The ACLU is passionate about protecting Americans' privacy; it says nothing about protecting American lives. How can an organization committed to civil liberties simply disregard the threat posed to the foremost civil liberty of all? Before blasting the government for data-mining through anonymous telephone records, shouldn't it at least consider whether doing so has prevented any attacks or saved any lives?


It isn't just the ACLU's advertising that provides no context for the phone-records controversy. The ACLU's web site also appears to provide none. There is no mention of counterterrorism on its home page or on its "Don't Spy On Me" page. There is, however, an animated movie featuring an intrepid hero who charges, "Someone has been secretly spying on us — tapping our phones, reading our e-mails, tracking every move we make." Naturally, the eavesdropping villains turn out to be George Bush and Dick Cheney.


To anti-Bush partisans, the administration cannot possibly have any legitimate interest in domestic telephone records, and it was an outrage for Verizon, BellSouth, and AT&T to have supplied them. "We cannot sit by while the government and the phone companies collude in this massive, illegal, and fundamentally un-American invasion of our privacy," the ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, thundered last week. Funny — that wasn't the way he spoke 18 months ago, when the ACLU itself was discovered to be using sophisticated data-mining to secretly amass information about its own members and donors. (Some ACLU board members were shocked by the revelation and publicly condemned it. "It is a violation of our values," board member Wendy Kaminer said at the time. "It is hypocrisy.") To be sure, the two cases are very different. The ACLU's data-mining was part of a fund-raising effort. The NSA's is part of the war effort.


Earlier this month, a British parliamentary committee issued its report on the terrorist attacks in London last July, and on what if anything could have been done to prevent them. It reached the obvious conclusion: "If we seek greater assurance against the possibility of attacks, some increase in intrusive activity by the UK's intelligence and security agencies is . . . inevitable." There is always some tradeoff between civil liberty and national security, and the point at which they balance is not fixed. Reasonable people understand what the ACLU seems to have forgotten: Before you can connect the dots, you have to collect them.

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.

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

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