May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Nov. 14, 2008
/ 16 Mar-Cheshvan 5769
Dumber rather than smarter
There should be a law against overused expressions. Come to think of it, "there should be a law" is one of them. Come to think of it, so is "come to think of it." Everyone probably has their favorite overused trite expression that they would like to see done away with. I have so many that it would be hard for me to choose which one I'd ban first. You might start with "no problem," "that is so cool," and "slippery slope." And don't forget the ever clever "24/7" which is said by practically everybody, er, 24/7. That witty phrase "You GO girl" should GO directly to the dustbin of tired clichés.
There's a hackneyed meaningless expression that politicians use that drives me nuts. Actually there are lots of hackneyed meaningless expressions that they use that drive me nuts, but there is one in particular that has gained in popularity in recent years. I heard it again today when at a press conference Barack Hussain Obama said, "I'd like to see an economic stimulus package enacted sooner rather than later." It's the "sooner rather than later" part that gets to me.
"Sooner rather than later" means nothing; it's a total bloviation of words. A waste of breath. Complete bull. Why not simply say, "I'd like to see an economic stimulus package enacted soon." Period. Sooner, by definition, already means rather than later - you don't have to say it. It would be like saying "Id like to have my coffee at a temperature that is hotter rather than colder." Or telling a waiter that you'd like your meal severed faster rather than slower.
Adding the "rather than…" thing is unnecessarily redundant. If you turn on a lamp you're making the room brighter rather than dimmer. Yes, of course you are. If you take a bath you're getting cleaner rather than dirtier. Uh huh. If you lose weight you're getting thinner rather than fatter. Yeah, that's usually how it works. And if you do something sooner rather than later it generally means that it got done sooner. Get the idea?
And speaking of speaking, has anyone besides me noticed that for such an "eloquent" speaker, Obama (when not reading from prepared text) says "y'know" an awful lot of the time? If you haven't noticed him using that phrase, it's because he says it very quickly so it's easy to miss. Sometimes he says it so fast that it kind of sounds like "yo" instead of "y'know." Listen for it the next time he isn't standing in front of a teleprompter. He also stutters when he is trying to talk fast over someone.
My theory on the "Obama Eloquence" thing is that he really isn't such an articulate speaker - it only seems that way because for 8 years we've had a president who couldn't speak in public at all. Whatever else you think about George W. Bush, you must admit the man had no way with words. Bush just couldn't express himself; he couldn't get his ideas across. This is a problem in an age where the act of communication is more important than the ideas you are communicating, unfortunately.
With Obama, it's not what he says, it's not even how he says it, it's the SOUND of his voice that people respond to - he sounds like a professional announcer. And he reads speeches extremely well from a teleprompter, knowing just where to place the emphasis, and how long the pauses should be. Clinton and Reagan were masters of that, but they didn't need to read it, they were just as smooth and articulate speaking extemporaneously. No "y'knows" or stuttering.
Americans like their presidents to sound strong - and between Obama and McCain who sounded stronger? You may not like what Obama is saying, but boy; he sure says it with strength and authority.
"What did that guy say?"
"I think he said he's going to raise our taxes."
"Well, that's okay, because he enunciates it so beautifully!"
Being good at public speaking shouldn't be the reason you get elected for president, but I think that's exactly what helped get Obama elected - or at the very least, it didn't hurt. The other thing that didn't hurt was the fact that he looked "cool." Of course voters should vote for someone based solely on their plan for governing, not on the way they speak or look. But we live in a time where people do judge a book by its cover.
At any rate, we now have a new president-elect. We know he has nice diction and mellifluent tones, but how this president will govern is anyone's guess. By all indications, our country will make a sharp turn to the left. Taxes will probably go up, social programs will undoubtedly increase, and big government will in all likelihood get even bigger. This country will be changed drastically, there's no doubt. The only question is, how soon will the changes take place? My guess is sooner rather than later.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
Greg Crosby Archives
© 2008, Greg Crosby
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K