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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 December 20, 2012/ 7 Teves 5773

Good laws will never abolish all evil

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is remarkable how confident so many people are that they know what causes -- and just how to prevent -- horrific massacres like Friday's bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

In a TV interview over the weekend, one observer insisted that the mass-murder in Newtown was all too predictable, given America's failure to implement an obvious and desperately overdue reform. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" this individual demanded, showing no hint of uncertainty about exactly what needs to be fixed.

Who was that?

Was it Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, amplifying his call for Congress to take a "vote of conscience" and enact a nationwide assault-weapons ban? Or the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, who excoriates "the National Rifle Association and other apologists for murder" for resisting more aggressive gun control?

Was it Connecticut's departing senator, Joe Lieberman, resurrecting his longtime warning that the brutality that pervades American entertainment "does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent"? Or presidential adviser David Axelrod, enlarging on a plea he posted on Twitter: "All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn't we also quit marketing murder as a game?"

Was it Liza Long, whose blog post about her son's psychiatric problems -- "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" -- went viral, leading to an appearance on NBC in which she argued that the way to deal with mass shootings is to deal with madness of potential perpetrators: "It's easy to talk about guns but it's time to talk about mental illness."

Was it former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, who contended on Sunday that the most effective means to prevent Newtown-style bloodbaths might be to ensure that school employees are armed? Was it Larry Pratt, head of the 300,000-member Gun Owners of America, decrying gun-free zones as a "lethal insanity" that gives homicidal gunmen an unconscionable advantage over their victims?

In reality, it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who asserted within hours of the atrocity in Newtown that 26 innocent souls perished because "we've systematically removed God from our schools." If only Americans would let God in "on the front end," said Huckabee, schools ravaged by murder wouldn't need Him so often "on the back end."

It was a graceless thing to say, and Huckabee was rightly criticized for rushing to exploit a ghastly horror in order to promote his particular agenda. But Huckabee was far from the only offender. In the wake of Newtown there was no end of sanctimony from politicians and pundits who declared not just that America must do something to avert such terrible killings, but that they know precisely what that something is: More gun control. Less gun control. Better screening for mental illness. Restoration of school prayer. No media publicity for mass killers. A crackdown on hyperviolent video games. Armed guards at schools.

How can such terrible evil be thwarted? The desperate need for answers better yet, for an answer is always palpable after a Newtown, an Aurora, a Columbine. That urge to turn back cruelty, to find effective responses to anguish and pain, is so intensely human. The yearning for an end to suffering runs deep in our species, and at its best has been a powerful force for justice and progress. "We can't tolerate this anymore," President Obama said in Connecticut on Sunday. "These tragedies must end." At the level of heart and gut, who doesn't share that feeling?

But tragedy will always be part of the human condition. Some evils we can never hope to eliminate -- not even with the best will in the world. No regulation or reform can undo all homicidal insanity. Still less can legislation guarantee universal integrity and decent character. It will always take more than law and politics to make men and women kind, honest, and moral.

None of the nostrums prescribed after this year's shooting rampages in Connecticut and Colorado would guarantee that nothing like them will ever recur. Stringent gun laws haven't prevented frightful massacres of students in Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom. There were mass killings in America long before there were video games -- and long before the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public school unconstitutional.

Nightmares like the one in Newtown are rare. Yet a free society cannot make them absolutely impossible and still remain free. Good laws can do a lot, but they will never abolish all human evil. For that, there is ultimately only one answer: the cultivation of human goodness.

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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