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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 August 21, 2013/ 15 Elul, 5773

Steve King's inhumane farm bill measure

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | In one of the early episodes of “Portlandia,” the satirical show that makes fun of all things Portland, Ore., a couple dining out interviews the waitress about their potential chicken dinner.

Specifically, they want to know details of the chicken’s diet (sheep’s milk, soy and hazelnuts), his free-roaming privileges and roaming area (four acres), whether he had friends and was a happy chicken, and so on. Their server answers patiently, even producing Colin’s papers. Colin, that is, the chicken.

So goes the joke on people who get a tad carried away about the quality of life of the animals whose slaughter they ultimately condone and whose flesh they consume. It was, if you’ll pardon the expression, delicious.

But the reality side of the factory farm story isn’t so tasty. Humane treatment of animals, whether being bred as pets or for display in grocery stores, is a work in progress, the relatively few successes of which are meager testament to our own humanity.

Inasmuch as the way people treat animals reveals their character, the way we mass produce animals for human consumption reveals much about our nation’s character. That character is being tested even now on Capitol Hill.

While most eyes this summer have been riveted by human bloodshed from Syria to Egypt, a handful of animal rights advocates has been glued to the farm bill, which, you’ll recall, became controversial when House Republicans severed a food stamp provision that customarily has been attached to the measure.

What may have escaped much notice, however, is an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that would preempt state and local laws governing food production and other animal-related industries, including puppy mills, confinement of farm animals, animal fighting, shark finning and the sale of meat from horses, dogs and cats.



Despite strong opposition from animal rights groups as well as nearly 200 fellow House and Senate members, King has invoked the Commerce Clause to defend his amendment. He avers that having so many different laws in different places violates the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce. One of the problems, as he sees it, is that states such as California that have strong laws about how chickens must be raised (enough room in a cage to stand and spread their wings) can impose their standards on other states that sell their egg products in California: “The impact of their large market would compel producers in every other state to invest billions to meet the California standard of ‘means of production.’ ”

King, whose legislative history regarding animal welfare is poster material for cruelty (and dunderheadedness) — he thinks dogfighting is fine and children ought to be able to watch — also promises that his amendment will put an end to “radical organizations” such as the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

I probably should confess that I love anything with a heartbeat and there is no humane treatment I could imagine opposing. Do I think we should play classical music for cows as they amble to the slaughter? Oh, why not, if it makes them less anxious.

More to the point, is making a hen’s cage a little larger really so cost-prohibitive that we can’t manage to make a miserable life a tiny bit less miserable? Is someone’s taste for foie gras so worthy of protection that we condone force-feeding cruelly confined ducks until their livers bloat and become diseased?

The list of humans’ cruelty to animals is too long and too horrible for this space. The fact that some states aim to protect animals seems to me cause for celebration rather than federal opposition. Here’s a thought: Instead of trying to undo what some have done in the spirit of a more humane society, why not encourage other states to become part of the movement?

As King said in his defense of dogfighting, there’s something wrong when we outlaw dogfights but allow people to fight. The obvious difference is that people who step into the ring have a choice in the matter — and state-sanctioned torture of animals would seem to undermine the notion that humans are of greater value to the Divine.

The fate of King’s amendment will be determined when Congress reconvenes in September. For now, dozens of animal rights organizations, as well as the head of the National Conference of State Legislators, are lobbying hard to kill it.

Humanely, of course.

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