In this issue

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 Sept. 11, 2008 / 11 Elul 5768

Let government mind your own business

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Out in the Pacific time zone, the nanny-statists have been busy. In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a law banning restaurants from using trans fats when preparing food.

In Seattle, city councilors passed a measure requiring shoppers to pay 20 cents for every plastic or paper bag they use in grocery, drug, or convenience stores. In Los Angeles, a new "moratorium" forbids new fast-food restaurants within a 32-square-mile section of the city that is home to 500,000 low-income residents. "Ultimately," the moratorium's sponsor declared, "this ordinance is about providing choices."

In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom has proposed a mandatory composting-and-recycling law that would oblige residents and businesses to separate their waste into multiple color-coded bins, whose contents would be inspected by city trash collectors. Individuals failing to "separate the coffee grounds from the newspapers," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "would face fines of up to $1,000 and eventually could have their garbage service stopped."

Of course it isn't only on the Left Coast that government paternalists are busily restricting freedoms in order to spare adults the trouble of making decisions for themselves.

Regulators in Boston want to stamp out the sale of cigarettes in drugstores and on college campuses and to shut down cigar bars altogether. It makes no difference to the city's health commissioner that tobacco products are lawful and that many individuals enjoy them despite their well-known health risks. "Why," she asks indignantly, "would you want to sell something that has absolutely no redeeming value and ends up killing a lot of people?"

Sagging pants, a ridiculous fashion trend in which pants are worn low enough to expose underwear, has been criminalized in communities from Louisiana to Michigan. In Riviera Beach, Fla., where a ballot initiative banning sagging pants passed overwhelmingly, violators can be hit with a $150 fine for a first offense, and up to 60 days in jail for repeated infractions. "It's not our intent to get rich off of fines or lock people up in jail," Mayor Thomas Masters insisted. "It's about a simple message: Pull up your pants."

There was a time - younger readers may find this startling - when society was able to convey such messages effectively without resorting to prosecution. There was similarly a time when grown-ups could decide on their own whether to have a Big Mac for lunch, or to take home their purchases in a disposable bag, or to grab a pack of smokes at the corner drugstore. The fact that some people disapproved of their choices was not a sufficient reason to deploy the state's police power. Freedom, it was understood, necessarily included the freedom to choose unwisely.

No longer. Politicians today may invoke "freedom of choice" when extolling abortion, but freedom evaporates when it comes to matters they consider really important.

Thus Hillary Clinton, campaigning earlier this year in Zanesville, Ohio, endorsed government action to prod individuals to "quit smoking, to get more exercise, to eat right, to take their vitamins." In 2007, John Edwards told Iowa voters that under his universal healthcare proposal, "You can't choose not to go to the doctor . . . You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK." John McCain, coauthor of an egregious campaign-finance law, is adamant that voters not be allowed to exercise their First Amendment freedoms without Washington's help. "I would rather have a clean government," he says, "than one where, quote, First Amendment rights are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."

If I had my choice, I'd rather have the First Amendment. But Congress took that option off the table.

There is no limit to the nanny-statists' ideas for saving us from ourselves. In Dallas, it is illegal to publicly display a toy gun. California's energy regulators floated a proposal for requiring homes and buildings to install thermostats that the government would be able to control remotely. The script for "Jersey Boys," a musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, had to be rewritten after a Chicago theatergoer complained that the actors were lighting up on stage, in violation of the city's smoking ban.

Eternal vigilance, Americans once understood, is the price of liberty. Well, that was then. Americans today are busy absorbing more important lessons. Like "put out that cigarette." And "pull up your pants."

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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