Home
In this issue
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. 14, 2008 / 16 Mar-Cheshvan 5769

Dumber rather than smarter

By Greg Crosby


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | 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

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles