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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 Feb. 11, 2011 / 7 Adar I, 5771

George Washington World Theme Park

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of my many gripes has been that for quite awhile now real places have been slowly turned into "family friendly theme parks." Las Vegas, the ultimate adult getaway spot, one day decided to remake itself into a family vacation destination. As it turned out, it didn't work and now the Vegas city fathers are trying to change it back. Other cities, however, have been and continue to be homogenized.

New York's Broadway theater district and mid-town 5th Avenue have gone the theme park route as well. What was once gritty, grimy Times Square has been sanitized for your protection. On 5th, where classy upscale stores used to line the avenue you now have tourist /child friendly shops like The Disney Store, Coca Cola and NBA. A city needs a bit of grit and character to be authentic. Who wants the whole world to be a giant Disneyland? And even historical places are now getting the theme park treatment.

The following announcement was printed recently on the web site for "The District, the Tourists guide to Washington, D.C." MOUNT VERNON, Va. - Historic Mount Vernon celebrates George Washington's 279th birthday with a "Surprise Birthday Party" for the General! Daily from February 19 through February 21, the party features "General Washington" receiving surprise birthday cheers, 18th-century music and birthday gifts presented from his 18th-century friends. On Saturday, February 19, and Sunday, February 20, have a taste of Washington's favorite breakfast - hoecakes swimming in butter and honey with "the General" himself! The weekend leads up to a grand holiday party for the first president on Monday, February 21, with free admission, spirited military demonstrations, the new "Surprise Birthday Party" celebration, and a moving wreathlaying ceremony at Washington's tomb.

Schedule for Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Join "George Washington" for breakfast as he enjoys his favorite morning meal, "hoecakes swimming in butter and honey", cooked over an open fire (while supplies last). Pull up a hay bale and chat with the Father of Our Country about politics, farming, the Revolutionary War, and life in the 18th century.

1:30 p.m. "George Washington's Surprise Birthday Party" Join characters from the 18th century as they help visitors surprise General Washington with rousing birthday cheers and a serenade! After the birthday surprise Washington will be presented with gifts which he will describe and react to during a speech to his birthday visitors. The surprise is reminiscent of Washington's birthday in 1778 during which the Continental Artillery band serenaded Washington at Valley Forge. All day: New this year: the cavalry comes to town! The Second Continental Light Dragoons will ride throughout the estate on horseback.

"A surprise birthday party for the General?" "General Washington will receive birthday cheers and gifts presented from his 18th Century friends?" "Pull up a bale of hay and chat with the Father of Our Country?" "Join George Washington for breakfast?" That's right, come early and have a pancake breakfast with your favorite costumed character, George Washington. Wow, that beats Goofy any day, doesn't it? Maybe it isn't quite as thrilling as breakfast with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but it comes pretty darn close. Yeah, and sit right down there beside ol' George and ask him any thing you want.

Well, I cannot tell a lie, I hate it. It trivializes George Washington by turning him into some sort of cartoonish cross between a costumed character and Santa Claus. I can just see the impersonator walking around in the powered wig and white stockings and answering moronic questions such as "how come you dress like this?" and "how do you eat with wooden teeth?"

I'm sure there are millions who think this is wonderful, I think it is insulting, idiotic, and shows once again how we as a people can't appreciate anything unless we manage to turn it into some sort of amusement park or childish game. Doesn't anyone else see that this sort of stuff blurs the line between fact and fantasy? Or is that the whole idea? Does everything have to be interactive for "the kids?" Can't "the kids" learn to appreciate history without having some kind of "entertainment" experience?

To mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum has undergone a facelift too, to the tune of $15 million. The place has become more "hands-on" as they say. Whenever I hear the expression, "hands-on" I know that something has been dumbed-down. Yes, now you too can stand at a podium and give the same inaugural address that President Reagan gave. Amateur impersonators should have a field day with that.

One room is dedicated to Reagan's ranch and everything in it relates to President Reagan's cowboy side, including a full size stuffed horse that kids can climb all over. The critter is true in every detail of a real horse with one exception…the thing has no legs. I guess the idea was to make it easy for young kids to get on it, but I'm sorry, it just looks like a horse with its legs cut off, which it is.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that next year visitors to the library can actually have breakfast with President Reagan and chat with him while going horseback riding….but how do you go riding on legless horses?

History by definition is interesting and fascinating as it is, you don't have to make it "a fun experience." Taking American history seriously is more important than ever today given the fact that our public schools do such a lousy job of teaching it, if it's taught at all. Honor the memory of our great past presidents by giving them the dignity that they deserve. Let's not turn them into costumed characters. Keep the hands-on experiences and goofy impersonations in the theme parks where they belong.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby

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