Dennis Prager is a lucky man. He is immune from so many of the human frailties.
I emerged at 10:30 AM today from my therapist's office and on my way to Jamba Juice, I plonked on my headphones and listened to the last half of Prager's radio show.
It was his happiness hour and P was interviewing by phone his friend Dr Stephen Marmer. P mentioned that he didn't think he'd ever been bored in his life.
On previous occasions, P has said that power holds no attraction for him. He's never had an attraction to drugs or alcohol or TV or rock music. He does not seek fame. He's not interested in the private lives of public figures. In fact, it seems that most of the vices that tempt us mere mortals are of no interest to Prager.
In his final hour, Prager answered on air some emails. He gets about 700 a week, about twice what I get (I'm sure his are on a much higher level). P said there was nothing wrong with lusting over Britney Spears. No thought could be immoral.
But what about the Tenth Commandment which forbids coveting? Aren't covetous thought then immoral?
Trouble In Torah Town
Chaim Amalek writes: This is from today's New York Times, the newspaper of record for jews everywhere. I wonder if they had such problems in the old days, when jews were confined to ghettos.
Is there an eruv in Los Angeles? What do the ultraorthodox of your community do? Are there any black-hat types in LA? Ask Marc W. (I don't have his address handy) if they have these things in Toronto.
Luke: There is a large eruv in my Pico-Robertson neighborhood, kept up by the modern orthodox shul Beth Jacob. But the ultraorthodox don't hold by it.
From today's NYTimes.com:
The fishing line forms the basic ingredient of an eruv, a symbolic enclosure within which Orthodox Jews are exempted from one of the stricter rules of the Sabbath: the ban on carrying anything in public. But in Borough Park, only some rabbis recognize the eruv, a series of strings that stretch around nearly the entire neighborhood. And the dispute over its legitimacy is the source of one of the biggest controversies in Borough Park since Orthodox Jews began moving to the neighborhood 90 years ago.
Luke: On the front page of the LATimes.com is an article on shabbas goys.
Do these controversies make Judaism look smart or stupid?
Chaim: A true jew does not care for what the goyim think, but only for what God thinks. Is it not odd that articles on religious practices that do in fact seem medieval (which they are) should appear in newspapers serving the twin centers of American Jewish Power - LA and NY - on the same day? What does KJ think of all this?
Luke: Chaim, you are so wrong here - "A true jew does not care for what the goyim think, but only for what God thinks." Have you never studied the book of Deuteronomy? Here's a quote from chapter four, vs 5-7 (following Luke's translation):
"I have taught you the Law as God commanded me. Keep it and do it, for this is your wisdom in the sight of the nations, who shall hear all these laws, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, that God so near to them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is so great, that has statutes and judgements so righteous as all this Torah, which I set before you this day?"
Dennis Prager comments that the Torah is explicit here that we are to make God look wise in our keeping of Jewish Law. When Jews like you say, "Who cares what the goyim think?", you're contradicting the sentiments of these Torah verses. What the goyim think is everything. We're to conduct our Jewish lives in a way that makes Judaism and God look good.
Chaim: I stand corrected. Of course jews should care what the goyim think. We would not be in control of mass media if we did not. What I meant to say was that to the torah pure jew of Borro Park, what counts is what the torah says must be done, not what the goyim then think of such and such a religious practice.
Does Chaim hold by the eruv?
Chaim: No - I think that they are treif. Therefore, I lead a gang of distinguished Litvakers (Lithuanian Jews) who cut down eruvim (vot?) wherever and wherever we see them - especially on a Sabbath, as once the Hassidim see what has happended, they are unable to follow us.
Discuss amongst yourselves in shul tomorrow: Who makes the best shabbos goys?
(I feel guilty making that joke. I make it only because my exposure to your web site has dulled my moral sensibilities.)
Prager decried the federal appeals court decision that sends Elian Gonzales back to Cuba.
What will the father tell Elian about why his mom died?
P tore into a Cuban caller who said that Cubans came to the US for money, not freedom. "Shame on you," P repeated five times.
2nd hour. P interviewed film music composer George Fenton, a Brit. P says the best music of the past 50 years has been film music, which he was introduced to by his son David.
3rd hour. A US News survey of four US cities to see which is most polite. The least polite was San Francisco.
P says that since the '60s, being a good person to the liberal crowd has meant having the right social/political views, rather than individual character building.
In his first 90 minutes, Prager condemned the Oregon move to open up adoption records. Folks who'd put kids up for adoption had been promised anonymity. Now Oregon will break its promise.
P says adopted kids who are obsessed with finding their birth parents lead meaningless lives. They think the solution to their emptiness comes in findin their biological parents
P thought that most of today's hottest male actors come across as boys - Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Christian Slater. They lack the moral authority of a John Wayne.
The boy-man is now the central character in the American moviegoer's experience. This is not the cause of the boy-man societal problem but reflects the boy-man.
Spacey in American Beauty returns to boyhood, rejecting the phoniness of tradional manhood.
Yesterday's stars were men - John Wayne, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart.
Today's stars who do come across as men tend to have traditional values - Tom Selleck, Mel Gibson.
Other exceptions - Harrison Ford. Robert De Niro. But these are character actors more than leadin men. DeNiro and Al Pacino play anti-heroes, against type.
Anthony Quinn appeared on the Dick Cavett TV show about 20 years ago. Asked about today's leading men, he replied "They have pretty faces and flat stomachs, but there are no men."
Jack Nicholson traditionally plays a boy-man lech.
P: We have a boy president. When I saw them and the VP standing in their tight jeans at their massive fundraiser last week, I thought, these are boys. Or maybe 50-year old men should wear tight jeans.
P mentioned a story in Weekly Standard last year about the trend of men to shave their body hair to look more boylike.
P says there are more good single women around than good single men. Most good men are married. P says he's encouraging his daughter to marry before 30.
P wrote the cover story in the latest June 5 Weekly Standard on the John Rocker controversy. It's available at www.Weekly Standard.com.
Here's an excerpt:
There is little question that a media mob set out after Rocker not for reasons of moral principle or damage to the sport but because, for all their talk against hatred, many liberals have a great deal of hate, and the liberal media frequently foment it. Had Rocker beaten his girlfriend or wife, he would have been ignored. Had he choked his coach as Latrell Sprewell, now a beloved New York Knicks player, did, he might have received a sympathetic 3,000 word profile in the New York Times Magazine....
Certainly had Rocker chosen his ethnic targets more carefully he would have escaped media censure. If he had mocked Mormons, as former basketball player Dennis Rodman did, he might have been fined by the league, but the media would have snickered, as it did over Rodman's insults. Had he attacked Cuban-Americans, he might even have been considered a fellow liberal. The good liberal owner of the Baltimore Orioles, Peter Angelos, reportedly decided earlier this year not to hire Cubans for his team because it would upset his plans to do business with Castro. This was a policy directly comparable to that of whites-only baseball team owners who didn't hire black players until the 1950s because it would upset their racist fans. Did the media go after Angelos for this? No...
Luke: Here is the Slate.com summary: The cover story likens the liberal response to the John Rocker controversy to the Chinese Cultural Revolution. What Rocker said wasn't that bad, and he's apologized for it, but the media continue to vilify him, not for his actions but for his thoughts.
P sees violent crime as America's foremost problem. The Wendy's massacre in Queens last week horrified him.
P detailed the past criminal record of the perpetrator, a black man. He'd been arrested for robbing several fast foot restaurants. The Queens DA asked that he be given $100,000 bail. The black liberal female judge reduced his bail to $3500. Then the black man went out and murdered five people at the Wendys.
P gave the address of the judge so people can write to her. Does she stick by her decision?
P heaps scorn and contempt on the criminal justice system, for its inability to apprehend and punish those who commit violent crime.
P believes that good people should own guns so they can protect themselves. P discussed the case of a young asian woman in NY who shot and killed someone who'd tied her up and robbed her store. And a man who was arrested by police for shooting an assailant. The man's gun wasn't registered.
NY makes it virtually impossible for good people to get concealed weapons permits. P passionately supports the right of good people to carry concealed weapons.
2nd hour. P discussed a 13-year old murderer of a teacher. P would treat murderers down to the age of 13 as adults. P would not treat rapists down to 13 as adults. Just murderers. As a statement of how serious murder is.
3rd hour. A Miller Beer commercial showing during the basketball playoffs has a man hitting on a woman. She tells him to bug off, that she'd rather "spend the night playing tonsil hockey with an unemployed clown."
Prager wondered if this intimated oral sex. Callers said it only meant deep french kissing.
P decried the desensitizing affect of TV. People are not allowing themselves to be vulnerable to others. Instead they are tough and cutting. P does not appreciate America's cruel humor. He's never liked jokes that destroy people and put people down.
TV robs children particularly of innocence and it develops a society where people keep up a rough exterior. We have more sexual freedom than ever but less love, less vulnerability.
If the WWII generation was the greatest generation, why are we so intent on overturning many of its values? Particularly why have we feminized our military?
P spoke out in favor of Memorial Day and doing rituals to honor it, such as hanging out an American flag.
P: In the secular Western world, the average person has no identity. Without a national or religious identity, people are lost. They don't belong.
P began with a letter from a man who came from an Eastern philosophical perspective. Man said he believed in Karma, therefore, things like yesterday's Wendy's massacre in New York did not bother him. The victims did something in a previous life which brought this on.
P said he did not believe in leaving justice to God. We, humans, have to do everything we can in this life to make our societies just. This is why belief in an afterlife renders many religious passive.
P spent most of his show discussing last night's Nightline TV program interview with a South African woman journalist who was raped by a black man. P, like the woman, repeatedly did not want to racialize the issue.
LF: Of course crimes like rape have escalated out of control since South Africa abandoned apartheid. P says he did not want to speculate why this is.
P says date rape is not as serious as rape by strangers.
In the third hour, P discussed the low climate created by the Clinton administration. In particular, comedian Robin Williams repeatedly used the F- word in the biggest political fundraiser for the Democratic Party this week. Both the President and VP wore faded blue jeans.
P: I want an aura about the presidency and adults that distinguishes them from children... That Robin Williams would feel free to use obscene language in front of the President of the US is a new chapter in American life. This would not have been imaginable in front of Jimmy Carter.
What happened to not telling certain jokes around women?
Dennis Prager spent his first hour attacking a widely placed ad attacking Dr Laura Schlessinger. Prager and Dr Laura have been friends for years though he rarely talks about her publicly.
Prager is a much deeper thinker. Dr Laura borrows from Dennis constantly, often uses his exact words and ideas and examples, frequently without crediting him. Dr Laura is a better talkshow host than Prager.
Dennis read the examples of Dr. Laura's so-called "hate speech" in the ad. Prager said her speech was not hostile. It was not language he would use. It was aggressive and confrontive but not hateful. The haters were the liberals and gay activists who were attacking her.
Several callers said they enjoyed Dr. Laura more when she was secular, in the early 1990s. A couple of years ago, she converted to Orthodox Judaism.
Several callers said Dr. Laura's tone and manner were hateful. Prager said he was not a fan of the way she frequently handled callers.
Then, in hour number two, Prager condemned the Dodgers for punishing and suspending the 19 players who got involved in a brawl in the stands with fans. P said don't ever say, I don't care who started it.
A fan started the fight and the Dodger players were only giving back to certain fans what they deserved. The players were acting justly. Stadiums don't police fans adaquately. Let them get away with foul behavior. The particular fan who started this incident by hitting a reserve Dodger catcher in the back of the head has not yet been located by the stadium.
Fred writes on soc.jewish.culture about Dr Laura: I think a lot of the change had to do with the coincendent drive by gays and lesbians to adopt. It has been said that she got a lot of her early views from anothe L.A. radio talk show host, author Dennis Prager, and both of them are strong advocates of the "traditional" family, with both a mother and a father to provide the appropriate developmental role models. She began to speak out against gay adoption, and, after that, it didn't really matter what she thought of the rest of the gay lifestyle. You either have to be for them %100 or you're literally a murderer. They won't accept anything in between.
Prager spent the first 90 minutes discussing 18-year old pop star Britney Spears' short dresses. He decried the sexualizing of children and what a bad example this sets for teenage girls.
Mothers called up complaining about such low pop culture. One mom said she encouraged her daughter to listen to the 70s pop band Abba as a substitute for Spears.
Then Prager talked about animal cruelty which he strongly opposes. Those who are cruel to animals will likely be cruel to people, said P, but those who are kind to animals may not at all be kind to people.
A caller said he had a blind friend who used a seeing eye dog. And people reacted with far more sympathy towards the dog than the blind person.
Prager discussed a small town man who was fined $50 for killing a six month puppy with a shovel. Prager thought the man deserved a bigger fine.
Prager condemned the new round of reality TV programming as described in the Sunday New York Times magazine.
Privacy is essential for human dignity, and these shows, by locking people up in houses full of cameras.
Caller: We've recreated the Roman empire here. We're in big trouble. Rome was the mob. A mob is very fickle and they determine what shows on TV. In the last 20 years we've raised a mob that has no clue.
P: I blame the media for putting this stuff on.
From the NY Times: "The Electronic Fishbowl" By MARSHALL SELLA.
"Could you handle the pressure of having your most private moments broadcast to millions? When a confessional culture meets up with the Internet (and spectacle-hungry network executives), exhibitionism becomes the ultimate extreme sport.
"Until recently, so-called reality entertainment was made up of flashy highlights edited from unstaged events. Mainstays of the genre included police chases, toddlers rescued from floodwaters and animals gone berserk. But mere excerpts didn't go far enough. The new obsession in TV (and on the Internet) is with capturing the rhythms of ordinary life -- or, at least, the kinds of intimate human interactions that have previously eluded the camera's gaze. A pioneer of this genre is MTV's "Real World," now entering its ninth season, which places a group of roommates under videotaped surveillance for four months. (The show was conceived as a jump-cut variation on "An American Family," the 1973 PBS documentary series that recorded 12 weeks in the life of the Loud family.) As oppressive as the "Real World" concept sounds, the show provides its subjects any number of exits and hiding places: the two camera crews that work the house bend heliotropically toward the topic of the moment and vacate the premises entirely for four hours a day. All in all, MTV seems to envision daily life as an endless game of pool in which people antagonize each other, then storm off to points unknown. But the latest breed of reality entertainment allows virtually no escape."
Prager: I predict that we will see suicide on TV in ten years. A cable company will tell people: 'We will pay you to let us videotape it. This way you will leave your family some money...'
P: This emanates from a profound boredom which comes from the decline of organized religion. This is not the ultimate degradation - that would be real gladiators.
People who have intimate relationships in their lives are less likely to watch this stuff. Watching people on TV is a substitute relationship. If you don't have vibrant relationships with real people, then you will seek virtual relationships.
I have an extremely happy home and I would never allow cameras to be there all the time. One's family is not something that one plays out for humanity.
This is the Jerry Springer Show taken one step further. On JS, real people yell at each other and humiliate each other. This is not enough. We need to ratchet this up further.
These shows add excitement to dull lives. Life is not inherently exciting unless you bring a value system to it that makes it exciting.
Do you consider licking envelopes exciting? No. But if you were just starting your own business and each of those envelopes were billing people for purchasing your product, then it would be exciting (which was Prager's experience starting his "Ultimate Issues" newsletter in 1985.
If you have a strong sense of purpose in your life, why would you want to be famous for sitting on the toilet? Why would you want to be famous unless it was for doing good?
In Prager's second hour, he interviewed clinical psychologist Patricia Dalton who writes in the Washington Post Sunday: Many of the women who come to me for therapy have an almost breathtaking lack of awareness of the price they stand to pay for casual sex. And the price they pay can be high indeed. It's as if they need a detailed informed consent form about the risks attached to sexual decision making, just like the ones medical patients sign before agreeing to treatment.
Therapists can help a woman examine her upbringing, her relationships with her parents, siblings and peers, and her sense of self. We can help her make decisions about how to handle her problems. But we can't magically restore the hope, optimism and innocence that these world-weary women have lost.
It is not by chance that both the sexual revolution and the feminist movement were launched in the '60s, with the development of an effective birth control pill. Women no longer felt they needed to act as sexual gatekeepers. Pregnancy could be prevented, and antibiotics could cure most of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) known at the time, which were predominantly bacterial, not viral. Sex was suddenly thought to be free of adverse consequences. "Whatever turns you on" was the vernacular of the day. Women went on to challenge and change many constraints that the fact of being female had imposed on their work and personal lives.
Prager: Women are society's sexual gatekeepers. If women say the gates will only open within commitment, that's what will rule in society.
Numerous female callers made eloquent expressions of female sexuality. When women make love, they open their souls. They give part of themselves away with everyone they are sexual with.
Does it hurt women to repeatdly engage in casual sex? Prager and the most eloquent callers argued yes.
Caller: My grandma told me. We are the treasure and men are thiefs.
This may not be pleasant to hear but it is true. It leads to a loss of innocence, hope and optimism.
Dennis Prager and his wife Fran attended her 24 year old daughter Anya's graduation from college this weekend. Anya gave a talk based on her senior thesis. She thanked her parents, who were crying.
Next on his radio show Monday, Prager discussed the discovery of a five thousand year old man who had numerous tattoos. Prager said that using the body as a canvass was a return to primitivism. Prager mentioned the numerous basketball players with numerous tattoos.
The movement to tattoos is a movement away from the higher civilization we should aspire to.
One caller suggested that tattoos were rites of passage. That society no longer provides such rites.
Prager's producer Manya asked Prager "You're not going to attribute tattoos to the decline of religion are you?"
Prager attributes tattoos to the decline of religion. The Hebrew Bible forbids tattoos.
In his second hour, Prager discussed a moral hypothetical.
A friend, a Ph.D. in educational psychology, asked kids about 12 years of age what would be the moral thing to do in the following story: A man's wife is dying and he needs a medicine to save her life. The medicine costs $2000. The man only has $1000. Man tells the pharmacist that he will pay the other $1000 later if he can only have the drug. The pharmacist refuses. Is it morally ok for the man then to steal the drug to save his wife's life.
All the kids said it was not ok to steal the drug. Prager says it is ok. Ethics are situational and absolute. The situation determines the absolute. Sometimes it is right to kill and most times it is wrong to kill, etc...
In his third hour, Prager tackled this topic:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress violated free-speech rights when it sought to protect children from sex-oriented cable channels like Playboy Television, the Supreme Court ruled today.
The 5-4 decision said Congress went too far when it required cable TV systems to restrict sex-oriented networks to overnight hours if they do not fully scramble their signal for nonsubscribers.
The anti-smut law was enacted as part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act following complaints that even though sex-oriented channels are scrambled for nonsubscribers, the picture and sound sometimes get through.
The Playboy Entertainment Group challenged the law as a violation of the Constitution's First Amendment free-speech protection. The law restricts such programming even to households without children, Playboy's lawyers contended.
The Clinton administration had argued that without the law, children whose parents did not subscribe to such channels would often be able to see and hear raunchy programming on poorly scrambled networks.
A Florida woman said she found her 7- and 8-year-old children and a playmate one afternoon watching the Spice channel, with scenes of a couple seemingly having sex with the ``groans and epithets that go along,'' the government said in court papers.
Luke: Prager believes that adults have the right to consume pornography but he believes that children should be protected from porn. Prager disagreed with the decision, just as he disagreed with the Supreme Court decision last month which upheld Erie, Michigan's right to ban nude dancing.
A caller challenged Dennis over why he was more concerned about children seeing sex than violence. Dennis countered with this analogy - if an uncle comes over to your house, loses his temper and slaps your child, this is much less damaging than if your uncle fondles your child. Children are more capable of dealing with most of TV's violent images than they are with sexual ones.
A female caller pointed out that children are sexually innocent while they are more experienced with violence. On the playground they have seen or experienced fights but they have not experienced sex. Prager strongly believes in protecting the innocence of children.
DennisPrager.net vs DennisPrager.com
I clicked on the "What's Related" button at the upper right of my Netscape browser and compared DennisPrager.com with DennisPrager.net
Popularity: In the top 360612 sites on the web
Popularity: In the top 371071
For my main site, www.lukeford.com:
Owner: Luke Ford
5/17 Prager supported the Dodger players who went into the stands to beat up some fans who'd kicked a Dodger player and stolen his hat.
P says the behavior of sports fans is a good gauge of America's morality.
Yitta Halberstam appeared on The Dennis Prager show on Tuesday, May 16th. She wrote the three "Small Miracles" books. She remembered Prager from 1970, when she last saw him. He was chasing some blonde around the Jewish convention.
Shannon posted to alt.radio.talk: Drew Hayes, is Program Director no more at KABC, given the elbow by President and GM Bill Sommers. Bought on board to engineer a "new & improved" KABC, Hayes misread the listener profile of Los Angeles, and assumed that all that was needed was a stream of largely combative schtick-angry hosts to lock up the market. Hayes did not understand that fickle nature of entertainment tastes in Los Angeles. Clearly rant radio has outworn its interest. For most of us the KABC lineup became a predictable daily dirge, boring banter served up as debate. I tuned out along with thousands of others, resulting in a 40 year ratings low for the station. It will take an age or KABC to regain its foothold, if at all. Quite frankly there are just better shows to listen to than the crew at KABC, ranging in diversity from new style invovative FM chat to classic, classy hosts such as Michael Jackson on KRLA. Apparently KABC is mulling over switching to a magazine and information format (?) and even seriously considering incorporating Spanish language programming. Whatever the "new" changes afoot, look for things to get worse at KABC before they get better. Expect some hosts to be bumped (John & Ken, Dennis Prager?) and some to jump ship (Larry Elder?)
Nelson Thurn writes on alt.radio.talk: To those not familiar with the Dennis Prager show, he is an EXTREMELY pompous talk show host who basically whines, bitches and complains all week (except for one hour per week) about how bad everything is or will be. His favorite phrase concerns all the institutions, beliefs, etc that he "has contempt for". Trust me, he has "contempt" for LOTS of things.
Anyway, a few years ago , he wrote a book about happiness (??????) and now classifies himself as an expert in the field. One hour per week (on Friday) he devotes an hour to happiness. Today he was discussing being a "malcontent". I thought he was going to bare his soul about how miserable his life is as a malcontent. Instead, he was offering advice to anyone (Other than himself) who needed help with the problem---Mr Happy would try to counsel the person. I just about drove off the road. The most unhappy, miserable person on the radio is going to give advice on how not to be a malcontent????!!!!!
What's next, Darryl Strawberry offering his helpful advice to anyone who might have a cocaine problem?? Apparently Prager is very adept at talking ( and talking and talking and talking), but he doesn't ever hear what he says. I think a person who devotes 80-90% of his shows to bitter, negative stories can officially be classified as a "malcontent"
Doodah writes: He doesn't listen much to callers to his show either. He acts as secondary screener, dumping callers his screener lined up that he'd just rather not deal with. Truly a radio dictator. Right up there with Doctor of Physiology (and she has indeed shared that with us hasn't she) Laura.
It's entrenched trolls like Prager and KABC's dumping the likes of Michael Jackson the year he wins talk show host of the year, that are earning KABC the drop in ratings they have so much earned. Of course, picking up offal like Ken and John have done their part too. I think we're seeing the death of LA talk radio as we saw the death of LA rock radio in the mid '70s. Sure, they'll linger on, but the personalities have all been burnt at the stake of capital greed and replaced by corporate programmable mannequins.
Dennis Prager To Publish New Porno Magazine?
Tommy Pines writes on alt.radio.talk: After years of daily advocating the use of pornography as a sexual outlet for the sexually denied like himself, Dennis Prager will publish a magazine called Repenthouse "A magazine for the guilty overweight middle aged Jewish husband". It will feature articles on middle aged masturbation, whether it's OK to masturbate on the Sabbath, photos of aging (post 40) Jewish American Princesses and features like "Why I waited 20 years after my Bar Mitzvah to lose my virginity". Prager will also answer reader questions in his usual arrogant, all knowing , abrasive manner. Coming on the heels of his imminent firing from KABC, this will be Prager next annoying endeavor.
Surfer: Along with his porno mag, you'll get a free carton of cigrettes to help you get hooked on nicotine.
Nelson Thurn: Prager has made many references to the latest book he's working on about sexuality. In his typical modest manor, he'll say "I happen to know quite a bit about the subject, since I'm writing a book about it". The thought of Prager, of all people,writing a book on sexuality falls somewhere between odd and stomache turning. Wonder if he'll interview that other wild puss magnet, Bill Bennett for the book. Prager is living proof that you don't have to know a damn thing about a subject to write a book about it----after all, his last book was about happiness!
Hildar: He may be bright and I agree he is but he has a terrible giggle which makes him sound foolish.
Pragerfan: Another women using her husband's computer and proving how intellectually starved she is.
Dennis Prager Says Loud Cell Phone Users Deserve Capitol Punishment
I endured a few days of "Capitol Punishment" this past week in Sacramento.
On Friday, May 12, I drove home via I-5. After coming over the grapevine, I tuned in to KABC to hear Dennis Prager complain about loud cell phone users in restaurants. He said they deserved capitol punishment.
Then he remarked that he will probably read on some website the headline, "Dennis Prager says Cell Phone Users Deserve Capitol Punishment."
Then Prager clarified that he thought such people only deserved torture.
On other occasions, Prager has said that the person who thought up the term "Social Sciences" should be dug up and cut into pieces.
Obviously Prager uses hyperbole in such instances. He understands this and so do his listeners. Yet sometimes Prager does not understand when his political oponents use similar hyperbole. Such as when Alexander Coburn wrote that he thought most Americans would like to see a bomb dropped on Miami's Little Havanna. Or Kim Basinger's husband on Politically Incorrect call for a lynching of a leading House Republican. On these two occasions, Prager lambasted the leftists for their vicious rhetoric.
Dennis Prager published an essay on Elian Gonzales in the this issue of The Weekly Standard. here's an excerpt:
Most conservatives pride themselves on holding “family values,” and what could be more in keeping with that than returning a child to his father? Furthermore, many religious conservatives believe that blood ties have religious significance. Thus, despite the fact that conservatives, like liberals, know nothing about the father or his relationship with Elián, and despite all the facts they do know—for example, that returning Elián to Cuba after so long in America will doom him to psychological abuse by a Communist regime kicked out of the World Psychiatric Association for using psychiatric drugs on political dissidents—many conservatives assume the words “biological father” settle the issue.
So, once and for all, let us correctly define family values. They are the belief that the nuclear family is the linchpin of civilization, that every child has the right to have a father and a mother committed to each other in marriage.
Family values, therefore, do not embrace either single parenthood deliberately entered into (as opposed to resulting from abandonment, divorce, or death) or two “parents” of the same sex. Family values have nothing to do with blood: One's spouse and in-laws, for example, are full-fledged family. Any family-values advocate who would rather children be raised from birth by one biological parent than by a non-blood mother and father holds blood values, not family values.
Dennis Prager castigated Bill Plaschke, the Los Angeles Times sports columnist who praised the Los Angeleno who mooned (flashed his bare butt) Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker.
On Monday, Plaschke wrote: Rocker sprinted from the right-field bullpen to the mound, and a city's conscience broke out. During 15 breathtakingly angry minutes, Los Angeles told the sports world, this is not over. It reminded everyone that insulting minorities, gays and immigrants in a national forum is a wound not easily healed.
Then, finally, with a 1-and-1 count on Kevin Elster and a man on first base, a fan spoke for everyone. He ran onto the field. He turned his back on the man who turned his back on us. And he mooned him.
Prager: This column is disgusting. The fan did not speak for me. Does Plaschke really want to encourage adults to moon Rocker while there are children around?
P: The American media has given Americans license to abuse Rocker, for his tasteless remarks to a Sports Illustrated reporter.
Like the media fomented the Los Angeles Riots in 1991, but repeatedly showing a heavily edited version of the Rodney King beating videotape.
Prager's outside-the-studio producer Laurie Zimmett attended last night's game and reported back to Dennis about how LA fans abused Rocker by chanting out obscenities. "Rocker eats sh--."
LA fans who chant "Rocker sucks" scare Prager more than Rocker and his original comments. People who throw items at a player.
In his final hour, Prager castigated artists who use their shows to proselytize. Dennis mentioned a Broadway performance of "Annie Get Your Gun," where Bernadette Peters and the cast (stopping applause after the play) made a pitch after the final curtain for the audience to donate to "Actors For AIDS." And the recent Bruce Springsteen concerts where he preaches against capital punishment.
Prager has no problem with artists involved in political causes or incorporating political messages in their art. But don't use people who came to see a play or a concert, and weren't expecting a political appeal, don't kidnap them. Don't misuse your venue. Use propriety.
It is fine for artists to lend their names to causes, but it would be absurd for a violinist, in between movements in a concerto, to pitch politics.
Prager gives a weekly Saturday morning sermon at Stephen S Wise temple but he does not push his political beliefs during his talk. Instead he teaches the Torah. That's what people came for. They came to shul to pray and listen to the Torah. He doesn't take advantage of the captive audience to push the Republican Party.
May 1st, 2000
Dennis Prager signed autographs for an hour yesterday at the LA Times book fair at UCLA. Prager senses a unease in the country despite its affluence.
On his radio show, Prager tackled the increase in multiple stranger murders. He discussed the issue privately earlier today with a leading criminologist (probably James Q. Wilson at UCLA). They agreed that this troubling development was in part copy cat, a desire by bad people for their 15 minutes of fame. That all the media attention given to the Columbine killers etc probably exacerbated the random killings.
In Pittsburg on Friday, a 34-year old man who still lived with his parents, shot and killed five strangers.
Prager wondered if we increased the number of carry a concealed weapon permits, that this might deter these stranger murders.
All these murderers are alienated from others.
Caller: "It's because we're addicted to TV. We're not connected to other people."
Prager: "Every society that introduced TV late found that violent crime went up dramatically."
Caller: "We underestimate how much we need to be listened to and connected."
Prager: "Read the book, Bowling Alone. More Americans are bowling than ever, but more people are bowling alone. People don't meet with people when they can stay at home and watch TV."
P referred to this article in today's Wall Street Journal: "Will a day at the races eventually mean a night at the Web site? How will the Net change horse racing?"
P: There's no sense of Americaness left. How will people be tied to their fellow Americans?
P believes in an armed citizenry armed by the police.
Prager decried the end of LA's male choir. From today's LA Times: They vowed to focus on the music, not the impending silence. So on Sunday night, the men of the Ellis-Orpheus Choir lifted their voices for the last time in a final concert before a packed crowd at Riviera United Methodist Church in Torrance.
The 112-year-old chorus, L.A.'s oldest men's choir, is disbanding because it has been unable to attract new members to replace those who have died or lost their voices to age, said choir director Randall Schwalbe. And though the Gay Men's Choir boasts a healthy membership in the Los Angeles area, men's choruses as a rule are fading away...
In his final hour, Prager discussed Sunday's column in the Washington Post, "Unconventional Wisdom."
The size of a tip isn't mostly about good service. It's about touching, squatting, scribbling and other tricks of the servers' trade. And while it's too late for him, Lynn recently described how today's waiters and waitresses can use the fruits of psychological research to boost their earnings:
Introduce yourself. In one California study, servers alternated between identifying themselves by name ("Good morning. My name is Kim. I'll be serving you this morning. Have you ever been to Charlie Brown's for brunch before?") and using the same greeting without mentioning their names. What's in a name? About two bucks: The size of their average tip rose from $3.49 to $5.44, Lynn said.
Slouch. Better yet, squat. In a study that Lynn directed, servers who squatted down next to the table averaged a full dollar more per tip than if they stood. But this probably won't work for everyone, Lynn cautions: "Servers need to exercise some judgment about whether a given table will welcome such informality."
The personal touch works--literally. Researchers at the University of Mississippi found the average tip increased from an average of 12 percent of the bill when servers did not touch customers to 14 percent if they casually touched them once on the shoulder for about a second and by 17 percent if they touched the customer's palm twice for about a half-second each time.
Smile--the bigger, the better. In one study, cocktail servers who gave customers a "small, closed-mouth smile" got tips that averaged a miserly 20 cents, Lynn said. Those who flashed a "large, open-mouthed smile" got an average of 48 cents--a whopping 140 percent increase.
It pays to be attractive--but only if you're female. Good-looking waitresses garnered 20 percent larger tips from guys than plain Janes. Hunky waiters, however, didn't collect more from women, Lynn found.
It's important how you say goodbye. Servers who wrote "Thank you!" on the back of the check got tips that were, on average, 13 percent larger than if they wrote nothing. (A related tip: Drawing a smiley face on the back of a bill boosted tips for waitresses. But waiters who drew ol' Smiley saw the size of their tips plummet. "Too personal, coming from a man," Lynn suggested.)
Prager: These studies comport with my common sense. Good looks don't really matter much for guys in attracting women. What attracts women is more subtle and deep.
As Dr. Steven Marmer says, women want men who are a combination of Alan Alda and Clint Eastwood.
Men who draw smiley faces look wimpy.
Prager noted that men tip far more than women, and give far more charity per income than women.
Extroverts and neurotics tip more, because they want people to like them.
A man phoned in, saying that he'd relied on his good looks to attract women. Now that he's aged, he's found he does not know how to interact with women. He never developed his personality.
Elton writes on the Prager List: "Why is no one here discussing the fact that KABC is at a 40-year low in the ratings and that radical changes are very likely in the next several months? Prager may be gone from L.A.! Shannon thinks that the station may go Spanish! No... you guys just go on and continue to talk about Elian."
Gil writes: In case you haven't noticed Dave, this isn't exactly a fan
club. I've done my part to get Prager to do what he does better -- but
he's the one making the decisions. AAMOF, when was the last time DP, er,
thanked anyone for suggesting how better he could conduct his show?
The following backs up something Prager has said for years. From today's front page of the LA Times:
For years, studies have backed up the popular assumption that a degree from an elite college puts a student on a path to prosperity with fatter paychecks than those of graduates from less exalted institutions.
Many studies still support that position. But recent research from, of all places, Princeton University, challenges that belief. At least for top students, what really matters is the student's drive, not the school, according to Stacy Berg Dale, a researcher at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation who researched the question with Princeton economist Alan B. Krueger.
"What seems to matter is a person's ambition or self-confidence," Dale said. The most ambitious students "will do well in life," regardless of their alma maters, she said.
Prager: Reform Needs Standards
Dennis Prager writes in the latest issue of The Jewish Week about the Reform movement's decision to allow its rabbis to officiate over same sex commitment ceremonies.
Prager notes there is nothing new in Reform's decision, as the movement does not set standards for what rituals its rabbis can perform.
P does not diss Reform. He delivers the Shabbat morning sermon at the large Reform temple Stephen S. Wise. Reform Judaism "has served as a way back into Judaism for many Jews who would not set foot into a Conservative or Orthodox shul. It is also a wonderful vehicle for experimentation with the tradition, especially the services, and as a result some of the most beautiful services in Jewish life take place in Reform synagogues."
Because of Reform's lack of religious standards, however, it is natural that rabbis of movements with standards (Conservative and Orthodox) do not look on Reform rabbis as their equals.
Reform Judaism thinks of itself as progressive, but frequently, writes Prager, it simply follows the spirit of the times:
* In imitation of the Gentiles, Reform dropped Kashrut in the 19th Century.
* Reform, at one time, was proud that it was non-Zionist.
* Many Reform temples used to celebrate Shabbat on Sunday, like their Christian neighbors.
* Reform at one time dropped almost all Hebrew and all rituals from its services, to make itself more like the Protestant churches.
P: "...We need standards-based Jewish denominations. This means that for those Jews who are willing to change talmudic law, but not Torah principles, there is no denomination."
Luke: I was listening to Dennis Prager this morning who interviewed UCLA psychiatrist Steven Marmer about finding the right mate. Dr Marmer said that he learned from his teacher Robert Stoller that we are drawn to people who can hurt us. Those who can't hurt us, don't attract us. We are excited by those who can hurt us.
We unconsciously scan the universe for people who can threaten or endanger us in the same ways we were threatened as kids. We're trying to undo the hurts we received from our parents, typically our opposite sex parent.
Rumdar: Luke, Dr. Marmur is way off base. Most guys I know are not looking to meet anyone as fucked up as their mother. It is just the opposite. For the most part single guys are scouring the universe looking to boff the best looking girl possible while spending the least amount of cash, time and effort. After we get it we then want someone who is not going to kvetch when we have to leave her to go spend time with our friends. Is Dr. Marmer Jewish? If so that is why his theory is so bogus. His scrotum sack was removed at birth by a domineering yenta mother. Hey Marmer....speak for yourself, your theory stinks.
Luke: Dr. Marmer used the example of a male patient who had a controlling mother. Thus he was always on alert when she was around, and pumping with adrenalin. Now he's attracted to a highly controlling woman. She makes life exciting for him. But she can also devastate him. He wants to recreate many of the dynamics of his childhood, but have it turn out good.
Excitement is the simultaneous rush of pleasure and danger, through replaying the key emotional events of childhood. If somebody is too easy, then they are boring and you're not excited by them.
Guys should look for women who had good relations with their father. They are less likely to hate men.
Good excitement is having to growing up. Having good sex. Learning. Bad excitement is love of possible harm. Going to the edge. Healthy excitement is learning new things and the thrill of intimacy. Boys fear intimacy while men do not.
Caller: I love my wife and we have a good relationship but I still lust for other women.
Dr Marmer: That's just part of male biological nature. Many men find it helpful to rechannel their sexual energy into variety of other pursuits - such as cars, work, sports... That's why many men work so hard.
Dennis: In latin America and parts of Europe, it is common for married men to get mistresses. But that is not permitted in the US.
Dr Marmer: That is why our economy is better. We work harder. Theirs is the more ancient way of dealing with things.
Recommended books: Sex Smart. How to be Your Own Dating Service.
Caller: Is porn an acceptable outlet for male sexual energy?
Dr Marmer: Depends on how it is used. Can be good or bad. Good if used to enhance the relationship.
Prager: Porn use is bad if used as a substitute for wife, good if used for desire for variety.
Hi. I'm Aline Zoldbrod, Ph.D., the author of Sex Smart, a licensed psychologist, and a sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. I'm happy to tell you more about my book. If you are mystified about why you turned out the way you did sexually, or how to solve your sexual problems, Sex Smart is for you. Sex Smart is also for you if you are a person who is simply intrigued by sexuality and wants to understand it more deeply. Sex Smart talks about sex in a way that is unlike most other self help books, because it discusses many of the non-sexual aspects of family life which contribute to adult sexuality. How your family touches, and whether or not your parents listened to you and your emotional needs. Whether or not you learned trust. What kind of message your parents gave you about your body. How your parents handled power. What you learned from your parents' relationship to you. Whether there was emotional neglect, alcoholism, or physical violence. What your parents taught you about friendship. Whether you felt you owned your own self or not. These probably aren't aspects of your family life that you think of as being tied to how you feel about yourself as a sexual person now.
I have always loved being a sex therapist. Each person's sexual development is so completely unique that figuring out the puzzle of each patient's (or a couple's) sexual problem is always interesting. For many years, I have been thinking about why people turn out so different sexually, why there are so many variations in sexual preferences and sexual pleasures and sexual problems. I did a lot of reading, trying to see if anyone had written a theory of sexual development that explained this phenomenon for me. I couldn't find one.
Many of my patients had erotic blocks which completely puzzled them. The other "how-to" books and articles they had read had not explained to them why they had the issues they had and hadn't helped to fix them. The problems themselves weren't unusual--things like lack of desire, difficulty getting aroused, orgasm problems, erection difficulties, premature ejaculation, sexual addictions and compulsions, sexual pain. These are garden variety issues for a sexual therapist to treat. But when I unraveled a number of these people's questions, it turned out that the answer lay in their family experience. And until they were able to understand the deeper events, the behavioral exercises suggested in the other articles and the books they had been reading didn't work. (For instance, a man with erection problems had been negatively affected by seeing his father beat his mother. A woman with sexual pain came from a family where no one ever touched each other affectionately.)
My patients thought my explanations made a lot of sense. But people lose a lot of what happens during the therapy siession within a few hours, let alone from one week to the next. They wanted a book to read that would reinforce and amplify what I was saying to them in their sex therapy sessions. But there was no book available I could recommend to them that explained what had happened to them the way I was describing it in the sex therapy sessions. As I treated more and more patients and looked carefully at why people had the sexual difficulties they had, I came up with my own integrated theory of what each of us needs to get in our family-of-origin to be able to enjoy being sexual as an adult. So I wrote Sex Smart, to help people understand that a lot of non-sexual events in family life turn out to profoundly affect how we feel about letting go sexually with another person. Understanding the basis of our sexual difficulties lays the groundwork emotionally. At the end of each chapter, Sex Smart goes on to give exercises to do.