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 6, 2010 / 22 Iyar 5770

Grads hear from preachy president

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last Saturday, President Obama delivered one of four commencement addresses he will give this spring, but rather than inspire the new graduates of the University of Michigan to envision and embark on their own versions of the American dream, Mr. Obama offered a puzzling and preachy message on his version of civics.

Speaking at the "Big House," U of M's famed football stadium, the president instructed the 8,500 graduates and roughly 70,000 spectators in "Democracy 101." The edited version: Government is good.

Even Michigan grads didn't necessarily appreciate his remarks, and that's saying something. The school's student newspaper, the Michigan Daily, ran this headline: "Graduates offer mixed reviews of Obama's speech."

Full disclosure: I went to the school up the road. The one with Sparty. And Tom Izzo. And the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

Where I live, one gets used to a certain intellectual superiority emanating from Ann Arbor. I imagine it's a feeling similar to the smugness some schools have about always going to the NCAA men's basketball tournament rather than crossing fingers to reach the NIT — it's just a given. But I digress.

So forgive me if I'm unimpressed that the University of Michigan (I cannot bring myself to capitalize the word "the") was able to convince yet another sitting president to speak at its commencement ceremony. Mr. Obama is the fourth to do so in the past 50 years.

Beyond mere graduation speeches, presidents have come to the campus of U of M to unveil major initiatives (the Peace Corps, the Great Society) as well as to offer in-depth explanations of policy.

But not this president. In fact, one graduate noted that his speech seemed to be a recycled version of the talk he gave a year ago at Notre Dame University. Another was quoted as saying, "It didn't seem to have anything to do with us," meaning the graduating class of 2010.

Indeed. U of M's graduates, as well as thousands more who attended Michigan's 50 other public and private colleges and universities, face a 14.1 percent unemployment rate in the state. "Brain drain" has reached epic proportions. The state's 15 public universities serve 300,000 students, nearly half of whom will leave the state after earning their degrees.

Some of the people with the best chance of rescuing this state were sitting in the seats in front of their president on Saturday afternoon. Talk about an opportunity.

Letter from JWR publisher

He could have encouraged them to pursue their personal goals for success and achievement right here in a state that desperately needs their talents. He could have inspired them to become a new generation of businessmen and women who could re-create the state's dismal economy and save its dying cities. He should have invited them to make Michigan a laboratory for new thinking and new solutions that would let them reach their individual goals. He ought to have said, "Go for your dreams and take this state with you on your ride to success."

Instead he said this: "So, class of 2010, what we should be asking is not whether we need 'big government' or a 'small government,' but how we can create a smarter and better government."

There's your answer, graduates. Go work for the government.

Mostly, Mr. Obama lectured his audience under the guise of the question: "How will you keep our democracy going?" This is a question he posed just after telling the story of Benjamin Franklin being asked, "Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?' And Franklin gave an answer that's been quoted for ages: He said, 'A republic, if you can keep it.' If you can keep it."

Even at Michigan, they know that the words "democracy" and "republic" are not interchangeable.

Other gems for the grads: Don't use words like "socialist" to describe the government's growing usurpation of personal freedom. It's uncivil to say things like that.

And participate. You don't necessarily have to run for office, but get involved. (Read: Be ready to pay hefty taxes. That's a great way to participate.)

It's no wonder the next generation seems cynical. On the day on which they might be the most able to imagine that they could reach their loftiest personal dreams and most ambitious goals, they were asked to "contribute part of your life to the life of this country."

Time for the real world, I guess.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks