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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 Sept. 5, 2006 / 12 Elul 5766

Musings, random and otherwise

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you were one of the journalists kidnapped in Gaza last month and ordered at gunpoint to become a Muslim, what would you have done? Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wiig announced their acceptance of Islam on a videotape released by their kidnappers — "because they had the guns," Centanni later said, "and we didn't know what the hell was going on." Whether their acquiescence was an act of cowardice or of prudence, reasonable people can debate. Clearly it wasn't their only choice. If I were ever told, with a gun to my head, to recite the shahada or die, I hope I would have the courage to take the bullet. And I hope I would remember the example not of Centanni and Wiig, but of Fabrizio Quattrocchi, an Italian security guard taken hostage in Iraq in 2004. Quattrocchi's jihadi captors, intending to make a video of an infidel's craven death, ordered him to kneel beside an open grave with a hood on his head. Defiantly, he stood up, tried to rip off the hood, and shouted, "I will show you how an Italian dies!" They murdered him an instant later, but he died bravely, on his feet, refusing with his last breath to be humiliated by savages.


Whenever disaster strikes, some sage invariably declares that the devastation is actually good news, since the money spent on rebuilding will give a boost to the economy. Last week that hoary economic fallacy showed up in, of all places, The Economist. In a report marking Katrina's first anniversary, the magazine discerned a "silver lining" in the storm's massive damage: "There are plenty of jobs in New Orleans these days." That recalled USA Today's headline after Florida's terrible run of hurricanes in 2004: "Economic growth from hurricanes could outweigh costs." The story quoted an economist who acknowledged the "real pain" caused by the destruction. "But from an economic point of view it is a plus," he said. In 2001, Paul Krugman had said much the same thing about 9/11: "Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack . . . could even do some economic good," he wrote. This is like calling it an economic "plus" when your car is totaled, since you now have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a new one. But of course that's illogical — the car dealer's gain is negated by your loss. If your car hadn't been wrecked, you would have spent that money on something else — a sale that some other vendor will now be denied. Similarly, the billions spent to clean up and rebuild after a Katrina or a 9/11 represent not a net gain, but a net loss. But for the disaster, those billions could have been channeled to more productive uses. Instead they must be spent merely to regain lost ground.


"Traffic congestion is choking our cities, hurting our economy, and reducing our quality of life," begins a new report from the Reason Foundation, the respected libertarian think tank. Rush-hour gridlock paralyzes 39,500 lane-miles of roadway each year, eating up $63 billion in lost time and fuel. But much worse is to come. By 2030, the number of severely congested lane-miles will reach nearly 60,000 per year, an increase of more than 50 percent. Commuters in the largest metropolitan areas will spend 65 percent more time in traffic than they do now. Within 25 years, at least a dozen major cities will be choked with travel delays worse than in today's Los Angeles, which is notorious for having the worst traffic congestion in America. The solution is the obvious one: Build more highways, and manage them more intelligently. "The old canard 'we can't build our way out of congestion' is not true," the authors write. They estimate that 104,000 new lane-miles will be needed by 2030, at a cost of about $21 billion a year, much of which could be raised through electronic tolling. The return on that investment would be a stunning 7.7 billion fewer hours spent in traffic each year, along with all the wealth and freedom those time savings would generate. All this is heresy, of course, to the car-haters and PC nannies who are forever lecturing us to quit driving and use mass transit. But we are overwhelmingly a nation of drivers; the real "mass transit" is the traffic on our highways. If the highways don't grow to keep up with that traffic, the strangulating misery of gridlock will only get worse.

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

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