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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 April 13, 2010 / 29 Nissan 5770

Turn Off the Sound

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The television is on way up in a corner of the office. But with the sound off, it's scarcely noticeable. And much preferable. It's like watching a baseball game without the play-by-play. You get the game without the intruding patter. If you look at all, it's almost soothing. There's nothing to agree or disagree with, just the familiar rituals. Bats swing and connect noiselessly, the crowd roars soundlessly. Like the softly colored pictures, the silence is a steady assurance.


Yes, the world is still out there somewhere. Or as the Israelis say when they turn on the TV, it's just to see if we're still here. With a newspaperman, it's an occupational habit. So the television screen stays on even if the sound is off — on the off chance that some of the Breaking News might actually be breaking news. It could happen.


This afternoon, the newscast shows two familiar figures, personifications of their respective national characters:


On one side is the prototypical Frenchman. Nicolas Sarkozy is making a visit to Washington. The premier is grinning, grimacing, gesticulating. … He is clearly not from one of the hand-mute peoples. Just as clearly, he is enjoying himself, the way a voluble college lecturer does when he purses his lips before making a particularly eloquent point, caught up in his brilliance and politesse.


Dapper, energetic, the voluble M. Sarkozy might be in a bistro explaining why one pinot noir has it all over another, or why one of the who-knows-how-many varieties of brie is superior to the others. His hands slice the air, his economical Gallic shrug says it all. C'est la vie, non? He can say more with a wry look than anyone not French could say in a whole book. Naturally the greatest of mimes, Marcel Marceau, would be French. They have a talent for the nonverbal.


On the other side of the screen — handsome, intelligent, restrained, smooth — is the American president. Barack Obama seems almost immobile by comparison, even when he opens his mouth to say something agreeable and no doubt elevating. He's taller, quieter, younger but just as commanding, if not more so. Calm, cool, confident. He exudes tact yet power.


The actors recite their lines, mutual admiration is expressed, and the play is concluded without a hitch. Well done. You feel like applauding at the end, so flawlessly do they exchange their respectful, soundless volleys.


It's a nice picture. Then I make the mistake of turning on the sound. The two speak but they're not really saying anything. They're talking about invoking sanctions against Iran's nuclear program, but it's been clear for some time that such talk is empty. And Iran's mullahs know it. For they proceed to develop their Bomb, heedless of all the world's verbiage.


It's an open secret by now. It's all been a charade, the endless talk about never allowing Iran to get its finger on the nuclear trigger. The more the two men on the little screen talk, the emptier their words grow. In the style of Dr. Strangelove, the West has learned to stop worrying and start loving the (Iranian) Bomb. These are the years the locust has eaten, and soon there will be no way of recovering them.

Letter from JWR publisher


Already public opinion is being readied to accept what we'll be told is the inevitable. It's really the best of all possible worlds, you see, all things considered. The word being used to describe the emerging and indeed already de facto policy is containment, appeasement having acquired a bad odor in the Thirties. It requires no action on our part, just words. It's less strategy than drift.


The two leaders, so different in style, seem essentially the same. They exchange platitudes about preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power even as it becomes one. Month after month, the centrifuges whirl and the rockets are tested. But the voices emanating from the tube still repeat the same, unconvincing lines.


I look to the right side of the screen, then to the left, and it is hard to tell any difference between their positions. America turns out to be not so exceptional after all — just another former great power managing its decline in the most sophisticated way. We could be at the Quai d'Orsay circa 1938. Plus ca change, plus c'est le mÍme chose. The more things change….


Different as they are in outward manner, both politicians seem much the same familiar type: social democrats in the accepted European mode. Fashionable, articulate portraits in inertia. Figureheads who leave the real governing to the civil servants, the professionals, the bureaucrats. For the experts know what is best for the rest of us. They'll explain it to us once we've been properly prepped. We are to be good patients, uninquisitive, passive, accepting whatever is done to us. Mustn't make a fuss. Doctor knows best.


Or as Nancy Pelosi said about the health-care bill, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy…." One day, when the Iranians test their nuke, we'll be told that this, too, has been all for the good. The best of all things in the best of all possible worlds.


I've heard enough. I turn off the sound. Ah, that's so much better. The scene is so much more impressive without words. Or as Chesterton said about Times Square when he first glimpsed its glittering lights: "What a glorious garden of wonder this would be, to anyone who was lucky enough to be unable to read."

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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