May 24, 2013
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
May 25, 2007
/ 8 Sivan, 5767
Pomp and prejudice
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | 'Tis the season for college graduation speeches, with celebrities major and minor dropping inspirational nuggets to be forgotten with the first sip of celebratory champagne. Do you remember anything said at your commencement, or even who said it?
When Chris Matthews asked an assorted panel of guests on his NBC-TV shout show what they might say on Graduation Day at Slam Dunk U., the answers ranged from the practical to the pretentious: don't run up credit card debt, tell your parents you love them and thank them for their efforts, and whatever you do, "don't follow your bliss." That presumably means "don't do your own thing." No quarrel here with that. Nobody expects much wisdom or even wit with the pomp and circumstance, but one guest decried the study of the humanities. Can't have our politicians stumbling over words of more than a syllable, and who among them could absorb the insights imparted by the arts, by letters and literature?
But just as all politics is local, so is the best of literature, which starts in the human imagination and rises to the universal. The finest literature is always political in the broadest sense of the word. No one can read Sophocles' "Antigone" without contemplating the relationship between the private life of family and the public power of law. That tension is central to our democratic system, and the best op-ed pages brim with examinations of how much the government should restrict liberty for the public good. When Achilles, for example, throws a jealous fit against Agamemnon when the commander of the Greek forces steals his mistress, he raises questions about his authority and qualifications for leadership. Bill Clinton, for another example, was impeached for lying under oath about a similar private matter, raising questions about his public judgment. Woodrow Wilson, no stranger to matters of the mind, insisted that "Shakespearean range and vision" are crucial to understanding politics.
Op-ed pages once regularly published poetry. John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline brought high culture to Washington; Robert Frost read a poem at his inauguration. The original verse was called "Dedication," hailed as a tribute to the new Augustan Age in America, made of strength and pride, "firm in our free beliefs without dismay,/In any game the nations want to play./A golden age of poetry and power." When the glare of the sun on newly fallen snow blinded his view of the podium, Robert Frost, aged 87, fell back on his memory of another poem, "The Gift Outright," which celebrated the nation's emancipation from colonial rule.
The university in America traces its origins to Plato's Academy, where Socrates and his young interlocutors were devastated by Sparta's victory over Athens in the Peloponnesian War. In their approach to the "examined life," they sought clues to how such catastrophe could be prevented, and reflected on how they could restore the glory that once was their birthright. They recognized deep connections between thinking and living. Scholarship was about the route to wisdom. To know oneself is to know the world.
The modern American university rarely encourages such dialogue. Political correctness often inhibits honest examination of the larger issues. Nowhere is this clearer than in the banning of the Reserve Officer Training Corps from the campuses of the elite universities. These universities celebrate "diversity," but it's diversity tailored to narrow bigotries and prejudices.
In a ceremony not long ago at the White House honoring 58 ROTC graduates, President Bush noted the importance of the inclusion of military training in academic life. Several of the graduates had endured long commutes to take their training because their own campuses did not allow military courses. "Every American citizen is entitled to his or her opinion about our military," the president told cadets from 50 states in the first such joint commissioning ceremony. "But surely the concept of diversity is large enough to embrace one of the most diverse institutions in American life. It should not be hard for our great schools of learning to find room to honor the service of men and women who are standing up to defend the freedoms that make the work of our universities possible."
One of the cadets was a graduate of Columbia University in New York City. Columbia bans ROTC even though it shared the island with the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, destroyed by enemies of the mind on September 11. There may be a professor at Columbia familiar enough with Shakespeare's "Henry V" to recall the king's rebuke of absent men at Agincourt who "hold their manhoods cheap." President Bush put it in a slightly different way: "Your university may not honor your military service, but the United States of America does." Hear, hear!
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.
Suzanne Fields Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields
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