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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 May 19, 2014 /19 Iyar, 5774

Our ancestors were way better than we are at killing each other

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) A Utah mother is accused of strangling six of her infants and stuffing them in her garage. A Connecticut 16-year-old allegedly stabs a girl in the neck because she wouldn't go with him to the prom. Another 16-year-old, this one in Pennsylvania, is arrested for stabbing 20 classmates and a security guard.

Fort Hood was the scene of another shooting, the second in five years, with a soldier killing three colleagues (13 died in 2009). A white supremacist in a suburb of Kansas City is charged with killing three on the eve of Passover. We recently marked the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. And any list of recent extreme violence need mention the atrocity of Sandy Hook, where 20 first graders and six adults were executed in December of 2012.

Anyone can see that we live in times of unprecedented violence, right?

Not so, according to a Harvard psychologist who places violence in historical terms and concludes that actually, humans have never been so safe from each other. His research suggests that people living today are less likely to meet a violent death than at any prior point in human history.

Steven Pinker is the author "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," an 800-page tome in which he spends six chapters defending the proposition that "we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species' existence."

Pinker refutes the cliche that the 20th century was the "bloodiest in history" by noting that, while it accounted for more violent deaths, that is because it also had more people. An additional illusory factor that warps our thinking is historical myopia — the closer an era is to our vantage point, the more details we can make out.

"Violence has declined on many scales of time and magnitude," he told me. "Homicide is down compared to what it was centuries ago. Wars are less common and less deadly, domestic violence is down, violence against racial minorities is down, people spank their kids less than they used to. So, pretty much any way you want to measure violence, the overall historical trend is downward."

You want to talk real violence? How about the An Lushan Revolt in the eighth century, an eight-year rebellion during China's Tang Dynasty that resulted in a loss of one-sixth of the world's population? That death count, adjusted to a mid-20th-century equivalent, would total 429 million lives. The Mongol conquests would account for the second worst thing that people have done to people. But, although wars were pretty evenly distributed over 2,500 years, Pinker argues that since the end of World War II, we have lived in an era that historian John Gaddis coined as the "Long Peace." Rich, powerful countries no longer go to war with each other.



"The world is more connected," Pinker says. "Countries trade with each other and it becomes cheaper to buy things than to plunder them. There's a norm against international war and conquest. It used to be if you were a big country what you would always try to do is expand your territory. That's just what countries did. Since the creation of the United Nations, there is an international norm that boundaries are pretty much sacrosanct. You've got to stay within your own boundaries and war is just not on the table as a legitimate way of settling disputes. Of course, that's not invariably followed, to put it mildly, but by and large the idea that war is just the continuation of policy by other means, which is the old cliché about how countries dealt with each other, it is just no longer true."

To the extent that his conclusions seem jarring, Pinker says blame the media. Violence might be on the wane, but not the attitudes that cause its magnification.

"People like to watch violence on the media," he said. "We watch it in movies, plays, and novels, and it grabs our attention on the news as well. So if it bleeds, it leads. Anytime there is a dramatic, violent event, you can be sure that you'll hear about it because news is about stuff that happens. It's not about stuff that doesn't happen."

I rattled off for him the recent headlines concerning violence in the United States, wanting to know if these sort of things happened in the past?

"There certainly were rampage killings, although probably the rise of electronic media have made that particular category of mass killing more common," Pinker says. "But you've got to remember that these kind of mass shootings, however dramatic they are, account for a tiny fraction of the violence that our country experiences. Every day 44 people are killed, that's a Sandy Hook and a half, day in and day out, 365 days a year. So, when you ask, is the country getting more dangerous, it's misleading to look at the school shootings. You're looking at a tiny fraction of the country's violence; that's just not where the bulk of the violence occurs."

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Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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