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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 Feb. 18, 2013/ 8 Adar, 5773

Obama is wrong to make young people think college is mainly about making a living

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | How did Barack Obama become, by Oscar Wilde's definition, a cynic?

Last week President Obama boasted in his State of the Union address that his administration was preparing tools so parents and students can "compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck." Part of a national movement to quantify the return on investment students get from college, Mr. Obama's "scorecard" will include information about the jobs and salaries of individual colleges' alumni.

Mr. Obama never had a moment of vocational education until he went to Harvard Law as his trade school at the age of 27. But he apparently didn't encounter Wilde's definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

For there could be no greater act of cynicism than to attach a monetary value to a college education. And by encouraging the notion that higher education is primarily about an economic payoff, the president is undermining a peculiarly American invention, the liberal arts degree.

In his heart, Mr. Obama, who read Nietzsche, Weber, Sartre and Tocqueville at Occidental College and Homer, Cicero and Virgil once he transferred to Columbia, must know that is true.

Every member of his Cabinet holds a liberal-arts degree except Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, who graduated from West Point -- but then went and got a master's degree in English from Duke, which is not what you expect from a future chief of staff of the U.S. Army. Mr. Obama's vice president double-majored in history and political science. Indeed, not one person close to the president went to college with the plausible notion of monetizing his degree.

Certainly not Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano, valedictorian of her class at Santa Clara University, who got a degree in political science. Nor Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who holds a degree in sociology from Harvard. Nor Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who majored in history at Columbia. Nor Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who graduated from Yale in political science.

Six years ago, Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson delivered the commencement address at Dartmouth College, which once rejected my petition to create my own American Civilization major because the faculty committee knew I was drawn to journalism and thought my proposal too career-oriented. In his address Mr. Paulson, a onetime English major who went on to run the investment firm Goldman Sachs, said:

"And to you parents out there who wonder about your sons and daughters graduating today with English majors -- I like to hire English majors. ... Seriously, as an employer, I have long believed in a liberal arts education from a U.S. college or university. I believe that Shakespeare, Socrates and the Peloponnesian wars are great preparation for successful careers."

How much bang in today's marketplace do you suppose you get from the Peloponnesian War?

Mr. Obama -- no Dwight Eisenhower, whose Cabinet once was described as nine millionaires and a plumber -- is offering his college initiative at a time of great peril to the liberal arts.

In 1990, David W. Breneman, who had just completed six years as president of Kalamazoo College in Michigan, identified 212 institutions as liberal arts colleges. Two decades later, the number had dropped to 130.

An evaluation of the state of liberal education prepared late last year by three respected specialists -- no romantics, as one of them is an Ernst & Young accountant -- warned that "American higher education will be diminished if the number of liberal arts colleges continues to decline."

Where the president has gone wrong -- along with those college trustees contributing to the 39 percent decline in the number of liberal arts institutions -- is in assuming that Americans need to be trained for a living rather than educated for life. This is more than a semantic distinction. It is the difference between reading Shakespeare in college and mastering accounting.

Seventy-one years ago tomorrow, my uncle, who later died in a PT boat in combat off Guadalcanal, wrote a letter to my father, then a high school senior. He wasn't much for preaching, but in this letter he wrote from the heart:

"If you went to a trade school you'd have one thing you could do & know -- & you'd miss the whole world of beauty," Philip Alvan Shribman wrote from the U.S. Navy transport ship Crescent City somewhere in the Pacific. "In a liberal school you know 'nothing' -- & are 'fitted for nothing' when you get out. Yet, you'll have a fortune of a broad outlook -- of appreciation for people and beauty that money won't buy. You can always learn to be a mechanic or pill mixer etc., but it's only when you're of college age that you can learn that life has beauty & fineness. Afterwards, it's all struggle, war: economic if not actual. Don't give up the idea & ideals of a liberal school. They're too precious, too rare, too important."

In this letter, cherished by three generations of my family, my uncle argues that the liberal arts were what the Allies were fighting for in World War II.

I think he was right, and I think it is a tragedy that this American treasure is under assault from a president who himself was the beneficiary of those values and that outlook -- and from the audacity of hope that led him as a young man to believe that the way to make a difference in his life and in others' was to study Herodotus, Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle, thinkers almost impossible to monetize in today's market.

College debts and rising tuitions are true crises. But if you wonder whether college is worth it -- if you doubt lazy mornings reading Milton and difficult afternoons in the chemistry lab have any value -- don't look at the government's jobs and salary figures. In Virginia, where those figures already are available, the College of William and Mary, which provides one of the most prized diplomas in America, ranks seventh in the state in salaries for recent graduates. I bet those liberal arts alumni of Thomas Jefferson's university do very well in the long run.

Instead, take a look, if you must, at the return-on-investment rankings for alumni 30 years out. Eight of the top 10 colleges specialize in the liberal arts. It turns out that you can get a pretty good bang out of mastering the Peloponnesian War after all. It is, in fact, priceless.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



02/11/13 The war inside the GOP
02/04/13 Presidential politics, frozen in place
01/28/13 Speech invokes past for present and future
01/14/13 If Obama's inaugural address is to be remembered at all
01/21/13 Identity crisis in the GOP
01/07/13 History meets firearms
12/31/12 In search of our better angels
12/24/12 Wounded in war, Inouye just kept serving his country
12/10/12 President as change agent
12/10/12 Another overtime election
12/03/12 Defining the Obama presidency: Our re-elected chief executive has the whip hand now, but how will he use
11/19/12 New Hampshire 2016
11/12/12 Obama's second chance
11/05/12 America's first martyr to free speech
10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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