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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 Nov. 5, 2012/ 20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773

Poll dancing: Why this is the un-callable election

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With just days to go, this is the un-callable election.

Between daily tracking polls, punditry, Intrade gambles, Nate Silver predictions, ­Real ­Clear ­Politics averages — and hurricanes — heads are spinning with anticipation and angst.

Who’s going to be the next president?

Maybe Barack Obama; maybe Mitt Romney. It could be a landslide! For either one. Or not.

Such are the discussions along sidewalks, over cocktails, in corridors and in checkout lines. What the heck is going on? It’s anybody’s guess.

One thing going on is information saturation that reflects but also shapes reality. To what extent may not be knowable, but it can’t be denied that the constant barrage of analysis, projection and prediction influences the very thing — human behavior — that the quantifiers attempt to capture.

As of Friday, Romney and Obama were within a percentage point of one another — 47.5 percent Obama to 47.2 percent Romney — in the national polling average posted by RealClearPolitics. Over at Intrade, the prediction market, odds favored the president 66.5 percent to Romney’s 33.6 percent. RealClear put Romney’s net favorability-unfavorability rating at plus-6.3 percent to Obama’s plus-3.7 percent.

Then there’s political polling guru Silver, who consistently shows Obama in the lead for the Electoral College and, as of Friday, puts his chance of winning at 81 percent.

Combining all the above in some sort of meta-analysis, facing East while balancing on one foot and slicing carrots on the diagonal, you have to figure Obama will be our president for another four years.

Then again, people are unpredictable. Things happen. Weather happens. Ballclubs win and lose. Moods swing. Humans fib. Babies cry.

One thing we know without a study or a poll is that people tend to like winners. Thus, when one individual seems to be leading, people don’t want to identify with the loser and so align themselves with the top dog. The perception of loser-ness lends momentum to the apparent winner.

But what if the sentiment is only toward winning-ness and not a true preference?

Ever been surprised to find yourself hesitating in the voting booth? In the moment of truth, we don’t so much change our mind as recognize it.

Doing the right thing is easier when you’re alone with your thoughts than when someone is in your face or ear, probing your innermost thoughts. Humans don’t always want their private feelings known and may respond in ways they think will cause them the least discomfort.

Even though most people’s votes may indeed be predictable owing to party affiliation, ideology or some other reason, other more nebulous factors also come into play.

As The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi reported Friday, studies show that emotional events related to a variety of things — even a favorite team’s recent performance — can influence voting patterns to a small but measurable extent. Researchers found, for example, that when a hometown team wins, so does the incumbent.

Basically, when people feel good, they go with the status quo.

One study cited found that in every election between 1964 and 2008, on average, a hometown victory meant a 1.61-percentage-point margin for the incumbent in the team’s county. That’s not a huge number, obviously, but when the difference between candidates is a single point, it can be significant.

Thus, Farhi proffered that should Obama win a second term, he may owe a thank-you note to Ohio State’s football team.

The mega-storm Sandy that is still afflicting several states, including especially New York and New Jersey, where people are hungry and bodies are still being recovered, can’t be discounted as a factor. Notwithstanding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s praise for Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s surprise endorsement of the president (and the unearthing of Romney’s suddenly unwelcome promise to dismantle FEMA), the mood of voters come Tuesday may not be coherent by any previous standard.

Anger at feeling underserved, no matter the logistical implausibility of government agencies meeting so many victims’ needs at once, could turn emotions in unexpected ways. Unhappy people may even vote against their own best interests as an expression of frustration. This is, of course, assuming these people can even get to the polls.

Any or none of the above could shift the course of this election. We’ll know when we know. As for the two fine men vying for this impossible job, each should remember that no mandate comes with this victory. The winner of the pie-eating contest gets more pie.

Vote — and good luck, America.

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