In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 May 17, 2007 / 29 Iyar, 5767

The media is the politics

By Suzanne Fields

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The "debates" between the current crop of presidential wannabes bear little resemblance to the stirring intellectual drama of Lincoln and Douglas, but they accurately reflect our times. Short answers to trivial questions for short attention spans. There's little opportunity for eloquence in a sound bite and it's not likely that television audiences would stay tuned if there were.

Politics is a victim of the electronic culture, just as the voter who chooses his candidate based on it. When body language becomes as important as verbal expression, when intellect is reduced to image, caricature inevitably becomes substance. In less than half a century, our culture has undergone a radical transformation in how we process information. That's the good news. The bad news is that it can only get worse.

The shift from reliance on carefully wrought ideas, developed through language, to learning through imagery, is almost total. It starts in the crib. A new study reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine finds that 40 percent of babies under three months watch television regularly and 90 percent of children under the age of 2 do. These babies have not yet been counted in the Nielsen ratings, but they have established their favorite shows, often the ones their parents watch.

In a random telephone survey of 1,000 parents of children ages two months to 2 years in Washington state and Minnesota, parents said they let their babies watch television for "fun and education." Few of them admit they use the tube as an electronic babysitter.

In other studies, doctors suggest that babies who watch television experience changes in their brain development at a time when they should be learning to talk through association with the larger of their species. Tweens and teens who overdose on television are more at risk for making poor habits of learning, leading to poor grades.

Adults who grew up in a transitional society with a strong reliance on the written word are more likely to use the electronic media selectively. But the percentages are declining. We joke that we rely on our children to teach us how to program our computers and cell phones (who's joking?), and we don't think much about what our kids have lost in the bargain.

The shift from the printed page to what we see on a flickering screen has wide-ranging ramifications for how we think. The printed newspaper is losing circulation as its readers move to the Internet and television, which means the gatekeepers of information are becoming a different breed, too. That's why Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy the Wall Street Journal from the nurturing Bancroft family has struck horror in the hearts of newspaper readers.

We're losing the patience developed through reflection and perception provided by leisurely reading long and complex books, or even magazine articles and the op-ed pages. Camille Paglia, who writes about culture, likens the young to the astronaut in Stanley Kubrick's epic film "2001: A Space Odyssey," who spins helplessly in space when a master computer goes amok. "The new generation, raised on TV and the personal computer but deprived of a solid primary education, has become unmoored from the mother ship of culture, " she writes in "The Magic of Images," an analysis of the ways education fails the young. The young are flooded with disconnected images and fragments of ideas. They're left without the ability to make or sometimes even understand coherent argument.

Most of the current political candidates are smart and well educated, but they dumb down content to fit the audience, tailoring their messages to a shrinking framework. Youngsters for whom flickering images become more important than an expanded vocabulary built up through books depend ever more on the acceleration of the delivery of dribs and drabs of information. "The computer, with its multiplying forums for spontaneous free expression from e-mail to listservs and blogs, has increased facility and fluency of language but degraded sensitivity to the individual work and reduced respect for organized argument, the process of deductive reasoning," says Paglia.

How we process information tears down the wall between the popular culture of entertainment and the side of politics that enables us to critically assess character and measure intellectual content. When I watch from my treadmill episodes of the television series "24," which depends on intense action drawing on images guided by fast-moving technology, I run twice as fast as when I watch the news. When it's over I look forward to settling back into the printed word. The tiny tots raised in front of the television screen may never learn to do that.

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