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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 Jan. 18, 2007 / 28 Teves, 5767

Protesting a library

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | George W. Bush is poised to choose Southern Methodist University in Dallas as the place for his library and museum. Lots of students and alumni are pleased, and several other schools, including Baylor and Texas A&M, wanted the library. The presidential libraries can teach something about presidential policies and politics the students might not otherwise learn. This is what the academic discipline of a liberal education is supposed to be about.


Presidential libraries are something else, too — shrines to burnish the memory and legacy of presidents. Except for the Nixon library, they're administered by the National Archives at taxpayer expense. They're a rich source of information that is otherwise hidden amid the politics, something you might expect every professor to dream of. But not at SMU. In an astonishing admission of ignorance of how the world works, even the world on a cloistered campus, 150 of the university's 600 professors say they're afraid academic freedom and political independence would be compromised by the arrival of new information. One professor frets that the public might confuse the Bush Museum with the university. (Only if they can't read.)


Professors, at least in theory, are dedicated to opening the minds of students, to teach the intellectual discipline and rigor that enables the young scholar to make discriminating judgments. Access to information, even information about how a president made the momentous decisions over his eight years in office, is crucial to education. This, alas, is a naive view on many campuses, where learning is dumbed down to make it fit the professor's own cramped understanding of politics.


This controversy is focused now on SMU, a private church school catering to upscale Texas families (and once a mighty college football power), but it goes to the heart of what's wrong on many other campuses, where the focus is less on education for citizenship than on force-feeding pre-digested and distilled ideology posing as learning. Universities differ in the ways they suffer this post-modern malady, but many — and maybe most of the most prestigious schools — have moved a long way from John Stuart Mill's idea that a liberal education should be concerned with civic education.


"The proper business of a university," Mill wrote, "is to give us information and training, and help us to form our own belief in a manner worthy of intelligent beings, who seek for truth at all hazards, and demand to know all the difficulties, in order that they may be better qualified to find, or recognize the most satisfactory mode of resolving them."


To her credit, Rita Kirk, chairman of the department of communications and public affairs at SMU, observed that the "wall" between her university and the Bush library would encourage a "robust debate" over politics and policy. Debate, after all, is what learning is about.


American parents pay an enormous price for the education of their children, up to $50,000 a year for four years for a bachelor's degree at the elite universities. The novelist Tom Wolfe observes that parents who are focused on getting their kids into Harvard pay little attention to what they learn after they get there. The schools with the best academic reputations are not necessarily those that actually impart the best education.


A new guide to colleges and universities sets out to help parents become better informed. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) has published "All American Colleges: Top Schools for Conservatives, Old-Fashioned Liberals, and People of Faith," to identify colleges that most closely adhere to Mill's vision of education. The guide looks at schools which require not only the study of the works of dead white men (Shakespeare, Milton, Plato) held in contempt in much of the academy today, but the crucial contemporary issues that are often ignored. The guide asks whether a particular university provides an environment for expanding "intellectual friendships," where men and women easily debate opposing ideas, where teachers encourage the student to examine unpopular opinions.


American history is the "discipline" that suffers most from indoctrination. Fashionable historians swing from denouncing America for past sins to championing the contributions, often little more than myths, of newly minted ideological heroes. This guide's persistent theme is that the properly educated man must know "what he knows and what he doesn't know." He seeks after "the good life" which does not refer to popular culture but to the "habits of consideration, courtesy, and fair-mindedness."


This sounds quaint today, but it was regarded as essential in earlier times as an ideal, if honored mostly in the breach. A liberal education is concerned with the process of learning, the ability to analyze ideas critically. Wherever the president places his library, the students on that campus ought to be able to do that. We owe them that much.

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