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 July 27, 2007 / 12 Menachem-Av, 5767

Dumb and Dumber Debates

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The recent YouTube presidential debate — the oxymoronic event of history's longest political season — has been dubbed "groundbreaking" and "historic."

Let's also add "ridiculous."

Not that the concerns of snowmen aren't perfectly valid, of course. One of the questions posed during the CNN-sponsored "debate" came from a talking snowman who cited global warming as the most important issue for snowmen.

"What will you do to ensure that my son will live a full and happy life?" he asked the Democratic candidates.

And not that it isn't important to know what each candidate likes and dislikes about the other. In another taped question culled from about 3,000 submitted for consideration, each candidate was asked to turn to his or her left and say what he or she likes and doesn't like about that person.

Brilliant. If you're 5.

John Edwards turned to Hillary Clinton and said he wasn't sure about her coral-colored coat. Barack Obama said, "I actually like Hillary's jacket."

And everybody felt all better.

Some questions were serious, including one about health care for illegal immigrants and another about Iraq — but too many of the 39 were beyond silly.

YouTube invites silliness, which is part of its appeal, but inviting so-called "ordinary Americans" to film themselves posing questions to presidential candidates does not advance democracy, no matter how much hoopla we manufacture.

What anybody can do, anybody can do. Anyone can make a goofy video and ask a goofy question, but the man or woman intending to lead the free world should resist dignifying the charade.

Joe Biden came close to showing his disdain for this insult to American intelligence, such as it is, when a Michigan fellow asked whether he and his Second Amendment buddies could be sure their "babies" would be safe. He then cradled his own baby, a military-grade automatic weapon.

Biden said he wasn't sure the fellow was "mentally qualified to own that gun."

Even if the candidates were irritated by this faux show of democratic connectivity, they had no choice but to participate. If you refuse to play with the YouTubies, you risk being viewed as elitist and out of touch with Tha Peepul.

Thus, they all seemed relieved when a question was so silly that they could break from pretending to take the evening seriously. The candidates smiled broadly as two Gomers at RedStateUpdate.com wondered if it "hurt y'all's feelin's" that everybody talks about Al Gore all the time.

Naw, heck, no.

Yes, well, the Republic is certainly stronger for that.

Arguments favoring the debate have circled around the notion that this techie-feely approach would attract The Young 'n' Restless — that hallowed demographic of 18-to-34-year-olds so coveted by advertisers, newspaper publishers and politicians.

Turnout, alas, was less than spectacular. A total of 2.6 million watched the debates — 6 percent fewer than watched a more traditional debate from New Hampshire in June. Of those, 407,000 were ages 18-34, only slightly more than the 368,000 among the June audience.

Some critics have noted that the debate wasn't sufficiently democratic because CNN editors selected the final questions. Given that the questions aired apparently were considered the best of the lot, insufficient democracy would seem to be one of the few achievements of the evening. What genius, one wonders, lies undiscovered on the cutting room floor?

Otherwise, the only conclusion to draw from this exercise is that Republicans, scheduled for a similar trivializing gantlet in September, should decline. Let's give the Democratic candidates applause for gamesmanship, but concede that playing buffoon to the masses is not a requirement for the presidency.

If it is necessary to submit to anything demanded by anyone, then no one worthy will run for public office. To wit: At a recent off-the-record dinner party, a congressman was asked who he thought would make a good president. His response was telling:

"Do you mean among those running or those qualified people who won't run because they're unwilling to submit to the humiliation of our political process?"

Commenting on that process recently, Newt Gingrich doubtless spoke for many when he called the debates "auditions" and ridiculed "the idea of 10 or 11 people standing passively at microphones." He said he refused to "shrink to the level of 40-second answers, standing like a trained seal, waiting for someone to throw me a fish."

If America deserves a better candidate, it would seem that candidates real and hoped-for also deserve a better America.

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