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December 2, 2014

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 Nov 17, 2011 / 20 Mar-Cheshvan 5772

A pretend stick shift for pretend drivers

By Dale McFeatters




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some people -- and you know who you are -- say America's decline from greatness paralleled the gradual disappearance of the manual transmission. The fact that most young American males knew how to drive, in an era when every transmission was manual, is said to have given the U.S. a great advantage in World War II.

Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, fewer than 10 percent of cars and light trucks sold in this country have a manual clutch and gear shift. But from Europe, a fountain of bad ideas, like loaning money to the Greek government, comes something called the clutch-less manual transmission, allowing the driver the illusion of man mastering machine without the actual hassle of knowing how to use a clutch.

A clutch for those unfortunate enough not to have taken, as I did, their driver's test in a '57 Plymouth with the gear shift mounted on the steering column, is a pedal just to the left of the brake. Easing it out while easing down on the gas pedal, in theory, gets the car moving. Get either movement wrong and the car shudders and jerks and then stalls, usually in front of a crowd of guffawing yokels. It was a harsh school, but did I mention we won World War II?

For an extra $1,000, rather a lot to pay for mechanical nostalgia, Ford will sell you a Focus that allows you to pretend you're driving a manual transmission, without, of course that pesky clutch and also without a real gear shift. Instead you press a button on the side of the PRND knob.

If you forget to shift when you're supposed to, the car does it for you with, one hopes, an audible sigh of disgust emanating from the GPS.

The Journal says the Focus "feels like an automatic (author's note: perhaps because it is), "except for a subtle but noticeable stutter when moving out of first gear. It's a catch familiar to someone who's driven an old-school manual -- the car is engaging a clutch. But it has provoked complaints from some buyers of the new Focus."

Invade us now, somebody. You can march right in and take over. We're a nation that can be spooked by first gear.

Instead of having the service manager slap the clueless customer around, the Journal says, "Ford has launched a campaign to educate buyers about the clutch less manual and is considering ways to recalibrate the transmission to smooth out the performance." In other words, surrender.

In the 1950s you could buy LPs -- the audio version of a stick shift -- that consisted solely of the sounds of high-powered sports cars going through their gears at Europe's great racetracks. This item shows just how far gone those days are: Porsche says 55 percent to 65 percent of buyers in this country opt for the clutch less manual transmission.

Porsche offers both standard and clutch less transmissions with seven speeds. A factory representative says the clutch less is much faster than a standard unless you're a world class driver, which any American who commutes by car can tell you is in alarmingly short supply.

There have been 11 cars with manual transmissions in my life. I've held on to two of them, basically because I like driving them and also to stay in training for a fantasy I've been entertaining since the stick shift began to disappear.

We're at a vintage auto show and on exhibit there is a Ferrari Testa Rossa, sometimes it's a Duesenberg J, in any event two of the most beautiful cars ever made. A distraught attendant shouts, "Can anybody here drive a stick shift? We really have to get this Ferrari back to town."

Your worries are over, my friend.

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 by clicking here.


Previously:


11/16/11 Clinton's ‘vast experiences’: Did NBC pick the wrong Chelsea?
11/15/11 Occupy protesters, you've made your point. Now, scat
11/10/11 Our vets are a national problem?
11/09/11 Requiem for a once-great sport
11/08/11 A toilet as smart as its occupant
11/07/11 Prerevolutionary gems in need of TLC
11/04/11 Feds must stop scam of stealing from dead children
11/03/11 Bank listens ‘very closely’ to customer lynch mob
11/01/11 TV that's leading the people away from ‘core socialist values’
10/31/11 NATO should not be a victim of its success
10/28/11 Iran mulls getting rid of president and presidency
10/27/11 Bienvenidos a Dayton and bring your businesses with you
10/26/11 Archivists long for Obama's teleprompter
10/25/11 United Nations to run the Internet?
10/24/11 Attention, world: You've got the cash. We've got the houses
10/19/11 Oil pipeline must be in America's future
10/18/11 U.S. plans ‘limited’ mission in an Africa with no limits
10/17/11 Social Security's grave mistakes
10/12/11 NASA's help-wanted sign for astronauts
10/10/11 Saving Thomas Jefferson''s chimneys
10/06/11 Uncle Sam's answer to deadbeats --- robo-calls
10/04/11 Christie should ignore jibes on his weight
10/03/11 Iran says its warships will head for Jersey shore
09/29/11 Europeans bristle at Obama's lectures
09/28/11 Jessica Rabbit for the defense
09/27/11 Russia learns outcome of next March's presidential election
09/26/11 Another try at leaving no child behind
09/23/11 This generation needs a job more than a name
09/22/11 In the lane next to you: A driverless car
09/20/11 Cloudy, cool, chance of falling satellite
09/14/11 Humanitarian extortion
09/13/11 Paging Dr. Watson; he's there in 3 seconds
09/09/11 Forecasting 100 percent chance of heavy metal
09/08/11 A jobs program at Obama's doorstep
09/07/11 Iran's government afraid of the water
09/06/11 Congress returns, tanned, rested and testy
09/05/11 Space nations must clean up after themselves
09/02/11 Osama bin Laden died a failure and he knew it
09/01/11 Time to retire political pie in the face
08/31/11 Labor Day celebrates what, exactly?
08/30/11 These arrestees really are framed
08/25/11 When in an earthquake, block traffic
08/23/11 A case for discretion in deportation arrests
08/22/11 Tough times or not, parents shell out for school
08/18/11 Being unpleasant for fun, profit, promotion
08/17/11 Time to prepare for the end game in Libya
08/16/11: ‘Super Committee’ starts facing reality
08/15/11: World's fastest plane disappears even faster
08/12/11: British cops track rioters through security cameras
08/11/11: Relax. There is no Death Star
08/10/11: House pages run final errands
08/09/11: U.S. treading water on job creation
08/08/11: Uncle Sam, the world's permanent guest
08/05/11: Most 9/11 victims not on federal death records
08/04/11: Russian PM calls U.S. a ‘parasite.’ He should be so lucky
08/03/11: Congress goes from one bind to another
08/02/11: D.B. Cooper may no longer be a mystery
08/01/11: Libya's latest weapon against NATO --- lawsuits
07/29/11: He'll always be known as Hot Wheels Handler
07/25/11: Recruiting children to save a dying town
07/22/11: Bachmann's admirable medical candor
07/12/11: Social Security's grave mistakes
07/08/11: Debt crisis need not be constitutional crisis
07/07/11: Startups entice new talent with kickball, treehouses
07/05/11: Stranded tourists get rare treat
06/30/11: The dollar Americans refuse to spend
06/27/11: The hangman doesn't cometh





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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