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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 Oct. 15, 2012/ 29 Tishrei, 5773

The Dems' phony smiles

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After two debates, one presidential and one vice presidential, we can fairly conclude that Obama and Biden are happy warriors.

They just smile and smile and smile.

Whereas President Obama’s smile during his debate with Mitt Romney seemed to be an afterthought, proffered as recompense to relieve the strain of his lackluster performance, Vice President Biden’s was an Uzi. From the time he sat down next to Paul Ryan, he was locked and loaded with the pearliest chompers since Matt Dillon donned horse veneers to impress Cameron “There’s Something About Mary” Diaz.

No matter what Ryan said (except when he told a personal story), Biden smiled. Like the Cheshire cat, he smiled. Like an Ultra Brite model, he smiled. Like someone trying to seem friendly, bemused, stunned to hear such malarkey from his debate opponent, fill-in-the-blank, he smiled. But Biden’s was no friendly smile. It looked like one, otherwise known as acting, but it was no more sincere than Biden’s repeated references to Ryan as “my friend.”

It was a tactical weapon intended to intimidate and out-psych his wonky opponent.

As we all learn, usually painfully, a smile isn’t always a smile. The difference between a smile and a grimace, after all, is a matter of a few muscles. Or as Shakespeare had Hamlet say: “That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”

No, I’m not calling Biden a villain, but when someone employs a smile with purpose, as he obviously did, there’s good cause to examine the behavior more closely. What did he intend? What impression was he hoping to make? What was the effect on his audience?

Post-debate commentary has included the likelihood that Democrats, deflated since Sub-Obama’s encounter with Uber-Romney, saw Biden as a mirthful wonk-slayer. A Goliath in years and stature, he slew young David from Accounting. Which is, of course, not the way the story is supposed to go.

Non-Democrats, including Republicans and independents, likely saw Biden as dismissive, rude and unnecessarily condescending. A man confident of his facts doesn’t have to deflect a weak argument with a sneer or a smile. A senior statesman can afford to be gracious, especially if he believes the facts are on his side.

But were they? Fact-checkers are furiously whittling away, but one obvious and potentially harmful error was the vice president’s incorrect assertion that our murdered ambassador and staff in Benghazi hadn’t asked for and been denied additional security. In congressional testimony the day before, State Department officials admitted exactly that.

Biden did render a satisfying “gotcha” of his own when he reminded Ryan that the Wisconsin congressman had written the Obama administration two letters requesting stimulus funds. Ouch.

Ryan, persistently respectful, managed to maintain as close to a poker face as one can under the circumstances.

Biden’s smile, though it may be the most remembered part of the debate, probably didn’t work as intended. Democrats may have overlooked the inauthenticity of the smile, not to mention Biden’s repeated interruptions, because he was projecting the aggression they were feeling. As their agent, he was compensating for the president’s perceived weakness. The anger they feel is really toward Obama, of course; Ryan was merely his stand-in.

Research on smiles is extensive and fascinating. Sincere smiles, which have a name — the Duchenne smile — are related to health and longevity, among other things. But studies also show that different kinds of smiles convey different messages. Our deep brains instinctively decipher smiles and generally know what they mean. A sincere smile conveys confidence, humor and contagious well-being. An insincere smile is hostile — and creepy.

When Biden and Obama project a Duchenne smile, it is indeed a sunny day. They both are blessed with dazzlers and both obviously have recognized the advantage this gives them in politics. Obama’s legendary likability most likely is linked to his billion-buck grin.

To receive a warm smile is its own reward. To be on the receiving end of an insincere smile, or one that doesn’t fit the message being delivered, is psychological trickery. Think of Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” She smiled even as she delivered psyche-crushing information. The disconnect between what her victims were seeing and what they were hearing and feeling was torturous. Similarly, the teacher who smiles and says “Johnny made a bad choice” is confusing and potentially enraging.

Finally, a politician who smiles while trying to take you down may be a pro, but he’s no friend.

“Who do you trust?” Biden asked Americans as he looked directly into the camera.

Well, now, funny you should ask.

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