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December 2, 2014

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 June 12, 2013/ 4 Tammuz, 5773

IRS taxing of tanning beds and other Obamacare absurdities

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | It is reassuring that amid so much government dysfunction, the Internal Revenue Service has resolved the question of when and whether to tax tanning beds under the Affordable Care Act.

Do not be concerned about that giddiness you feel. You are not having a nervous breakdown but are suffering a symptom commonly associated with recognition that the absurd has become the accepted norm — and that you are, in fact, alone.

Indeed, the IRS’s tanning ruling comes in the nick of time. Amid incessantly breaking news — NSA surveillance, IRS political targeting, DOJ seizing — Americans were beginning to feel that no one over the age of 12 was in charge. The finger-pointing and blame-shifting have been a feast of cannibalizing acronyms.

“The CIA did it.”

“IRS pleads the Fifth.”

“They’ve gone rogue in Cincinnati.”

What? No DOJ to rehab?

But the night is young.

Lest you wilt from suspense, the tanning bed challenge has been resolved as follows: Obamacare, the concision of which even President Obama prefers to the name “Affordable Care Act” (ACA), calls for a 10 percent sales tax every time some pale face exposes himself to potentially harmful, cancer-causing rays, thus affecting everyone’s health-insurance premiums. (Note to tanning bed businesses: Buh-bye, now.)

But, wait, there’s an exception: If such beds are offered as part of a gym or fitness center at no extra charge, no tax will be imposed.

Note to citizens: If you have inferred from the preceding that “risky” behavior will result in higher taxes, you get a blue ribbon in dot-connecting. Please join the National Security Agency.

Despite the IRS’s impressive resolution of the tanning bed conundrum, one is struck by the unfortunate timing of its several displays of (a) incompetence and/or (b) ideologically driven harassment — just when the agency is charged with implementing and overseeing large swaths of Obamacare.

As you doubtless recall from your careful reading of the health-care legislation way back in 2009, the act includes at least 47 new tax provisions. Also, recall that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the ACA’s individual mandate (you must buy insurance or else) by categorizing the mandate as a tax.

Which is to say, the IRS has some big work ahead. No one seems to know how much, though running estimates are that thousands of new agents will be needed.

In addition to deciding which organizations qualify for tax-exempt status, as in the case of tea party and patriot organizations recently targeted for prolonged, special scrutiny, our nation’s revenuers will also be redefining “religious.” Determining whether a religious or charitable institution qualifies for tax-exempt status has always been part of the IRS’s dubious bailiwick, but Obamacare has upped the ante by requiring some religious affiliates to provide health care — such as contraception — that violates their conscience.

Whatever one’s personal positions on reproductive matters, the historically higher standard of individual conscience has been scuttled by the Obama administration in deference to a universal health-care plan that leaves the definition of religious organization and, therefore, conscience to a bureaucracy of accountants.

Even if one were disinclined to care much about other people’s moral beliefs, there’s something disconcerting about the conga linecrowd determining what constitutes religious enough. Those deemed not truly religious will be denied conscience protections, as has already occurred. Among other consequences, many charitable organizations that have served society’s least fortunate will have to shutter their doors, inviting new legions to rely on taxpayer-funded social services.

Or is this, indeed, the point? Dependency, after all, is a constituency with life tenure.

Such concerns may seem remote, but freedom of conscience is fundamental to other freedoms we similarly take for granted. Obamacare largely dismisses such considerations, and its punitive nature soon will be felt by more than those burdened by conscience. Come next January, as insurance rates climb and many businesses opt to pay government fines, sending their workers into government exchanges, all those people who believed, as promised, that they could keep the insurance they like will learn otherwise. Oops.

At the center of these disappointments and revelations will be the nation’s new, expanded army of tax enforcers — this time examining not just your beliefs but also your medical records.

No worries. Once you’re medicated, the anxiety passes quickly. Eventually you will forget when everything wasn’t absurd. And you won’t be alone anymore.

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