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The media are much scarier than Ebola

WHY do some things scare people more than others?

One reason is that people engage in a rational assessment of risk and conclude the appropriate level of fear. For example, people feel free to walk alone at midnight in Times Square but not in Central Park because they have made a rational assessment: Times Square, which at midnight is almost as bright as day and filled with people — usually tourists — is safer than Central Park.

A second reason is that emotions rather than reason cause people to fear something. Some years ago I was a guest on the television show “Politically Incorrect,” the Bill Maher-hosted predecessor to his current HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” One of the other guests was the late Christopher Hitchens.

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Islamic State (ISIL) is ‘non-Islamic’?

PRESIDENT Obama declared in his recent address to the nation that “ISIL is not Islamic.” How does he know? On what basis did the president of the US declare the group of Muslims that calls itself “Islamic State” is “not Islamic”? Has he studied Islam and Islamic history and concluded that ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group which slaughtered 166 people in Mumbai, most especially guests at the Taj Hotel, and which to...

Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 September 2014 02:56 )

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On losing a parent

My father, Max Prager, died last week. Here are some thoughts on the death of a parent. 1. Longevity Parents who live long are very lucky. Not only for their longevity, and not only because they get to see their children grow into adulthood, and not only because they may see grandchildren, but for all those extra years to reconcile with their children. Had my father died when I was a teenager, we would not have had the decades since then to get closer.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:22 )

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Israel now: A free state vs. a police state

LET’S drop the names “Hamas” and “Israel” and make a list of the characteristics of two imaginary warring entities. We’ll call them Entity A and Entity B. Entity A: • Declares that its raison d’etre is to annihilate Entity B. • Sends missiles to explode in the most populated parts of Entity B in order to kill as many civilians as possible. • Uses families and individual civilians as human shields to protect its own leaders from attack. • Tortures and kills domestic pol...
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What’s the preoccupation with the Redskins?

GIVEN how much evil there is in the world; given how many signs of moral, intellectual and economic decline there are here in America; and given the increasing irrelevance of America to world events, it is fair to ask why the American left is preoccupied with the name Washington “Redskins.” The Washington Redskins have been in existence for 82 years. For about 80 of those years, virtually no one, including the vast majority of American Indians, was troubled by the name. Yet, it is now of s...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 July 2014 02:07 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Nominations open for NBN Bonei Zion Prize for outstanding immigrants

Marcy Oster Nominations have opened for the Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize recognizing outstanding English-speaking immigrants to Israel. ... [Link]

Lawyers for Palestinian-American woman want to bar terrorism from trial

Marcy Oster Lawyers for an American of Palestinian descent accused of concealing her conviction on terrorist bombings in Israel are seeking to bar references to terrorism at her trial. ... [Link]

Israeli envoy: Jordan king blasting Israel to appease his Arab allies

Cnaan Liphshiz Israel’s ambassador to Jordan suggested that King Abdullah’s recent claim that Israel kills Arab children en masse stems from pressure by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. ... [Link]

Danish health director: No reason to ban circumcision

Cnaan Liphshiz Denmark’s national health authority does not think non-medical circumcision is risky enough to justify a ban on it, the body’s director said. ... [Link]

European rabbis seek laws singling out anti-Semitic hate speech

Cnaan Liphshiz European rabbis called on governments throughout the continent to pass laws targeting hate speech against Jews. ... [Link]

Ireland’s Upper House calls on government to recognize Palestine

Marcy Oster Without voting, Ireland’s Upper House accepted the nonbinding motion for formal recognition of Palestine statehood. ... [Link]

Women of the Wall smuggle Torah scroll into Kotel plaza

Cnaan Liphshiz Women who brought in a small Torah scroll into the Western Wall Plaza in defiance of the site’s rules were allowed to finish praying. ... [Link]

Dutch mayor likens jihadis to Jews who left for pre-state Israel

Cnaan Liphshiz A Dutch mayor said Holland should not prevent Islamists from leaving for Syria just as it let Jews immigrate to prestate Israel. ... [Link]

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