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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 March 7, 2008 / 30 Adar I 5768

Crime and Punishment for Reading

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If an author can't make the Oprah cut, the next best thing may be getting censured by a university.


Ever heard of Todd Tucker?


Didn't think so. Obviously, some have because he has books and readers. But he's not Michael Crichton or John Grisham.


Yet.


Tucker's name recently surfaced beyond Amazon's pages when one of his books sparked an investigation at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) because a janitor was reading it.


So you're thinking, this book must have been pretty bad. Something like "Poached Puppies and Other Pet Recipes" or "What's So Wrong With Necrophilia?"


No, the book was a nonfiction account of a real incident in American history — "Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan" (Loyola Press).


The current controversy began last fall when Keith John Sampson, a student and university employee in his 50s, was reading Tucker's book during a break from his janitorial duties.


Wrong place, wrong time, wrong book.


On the basis of the cover alone, a co-worker sitting across from Sampson complained that the book was offensive. The cover shows the Notre Dame dome and two burning crosses amid a crowd of robed and hooded Klansmen.


The pages inside tell the story of a 1924 street fight between Notre Dame students and Klansmen, who had gathered in South Bend purposely to terrorize the university's Catholic students. The clash lasted two days, during which the fighting Irish prevailed, and is recognized as a turning point in Klan history.


But never mind. The co-worker apparently wasn't interested in the content. The cover art was deemed traumatizing enough to prompt the shop steward to reprimand Sampson, saying that reading a book about the Klan was comparable to bringing pornography into the workplace.


A few weeks later, Sampson heard from the school's affirmative action office that a racial harassment complaint had been filed against him. In a November 2007 letter, affirmative action officer Lillian Charleston told Sampson that he demonstrated "disdain and insensitivity" to his co-workers.


"You used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your black co-workers."


The letter also noted that by the "legal 'reasonable person standard,' a majority of adults are aware of and understand how repugnant the KKK is to African-Americans." Sampson was ordered not to read the book in the presence of his co-workers.


Charleston is right that reasonable people know how repugnant the KKK is to African-Americans. But reasonable people also know how repugnant the KKK is to people of all races. Reasonable people also know that history is what it is. Reading about it isn't an incitement to riot or an endorsement of the bad guys.


Following a few weeks of relatively quiet controversy, a smattering of media reports and chatter in the blogosphere, Sampson received another letter from the affirmative action office saying that no determination could be made as to whether his reading choice was intentionally hostile. Therefore, no disciplinary action would be taken.


This time, Charleston insisted that the university doesn't restrict reading materials and that she was merely addressing "the perception of your co-workers that you were engaging in conduct for the purpose of creating a hostile atmosphere of antagonism."


"Of course, if the conduct was intended to cause disruption to the work environment, such behavior would be subject to action by the university," she wrote.


Was Sampson being intentionally hostile and antagonistic?


One might argue that he was inconsiderate to continue reading the book once he realized others found it distasteful. Maybe Sampson has bad manners, but if bad manners are our new standard for disciplinary action, everybody's under arrest.


You see, meanwhile, how vexing mind reading can be.


Yet, mind reading was the crux of this case and scores of others where the interpretation of speech codes hinges on unanswerable questions that require the power of divination: What was he thinking? What was she feeling?


And who decides what thoughts are acceptable and which feelings are sacrosanct?


A reasonable person might like to flip the question Charleston posed about whether Sampson's book choice was intentionally hostile as follows:


What could be more hostile in a university environment than investigating a student's reading choices on the basis of a bystander's perceptions? That's not just hostile, but sinister.


To read is sublime; but to read a mind is tricky.

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