DP noted that leftist actor Richard Gere, who called for love rather than violence in the war against terrorism, was roundly booed in New York.
DP then read from yesterday's New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — As he leads the country in a war on terrorism, President Bush has won over some unlikely supporters, prominent Democrats who campaigned for Al Gore in last year's presidential campaign.
Many Democrats who once dismissed Mr. Bush as too naïve and too dependent on advisers to steer the United States through an international crisis are now praising his and his advisers' performance. Some are even privately expressing satisfaction that Mr. Gore, who tried to make his foreign affairs expertise an issue in the campaign, did not win.
Sounding relieved that Mr. Gore is not president, Representative James P. Moran, Democrat of Virginia, said: "I feel comfortable with President Bush. I never thought I would utter those words."
Mr. Moran continued: "Even though I'm a Democrat and think the Supreme Court selected our president, I don't think it's to our disadvantage to have George Bush as president. Sometimes you need a certain amount of braggadocio in your leaders."
Perhaps out of a desire to rally around Mr. Bush, not one of more than 15 prominent Gore loyalists interviewed said their candidate would have done a better job.
The bluntest assessments were from Democrats who spoke on the condition that they not be identified. Several said the nation was fortunate to have Mr. Bush in power, and they questioned whether Mr. Gore would have surrounded himself with as experienced a foreign policy team as Mr. Bush did. Citing Mr. Gore's sometimes rambling speech in Des Moines on Sept. 29 in which he praised Mr. Bush, some Democrats also questioned whether the former vice president would have been as nimble at communicating to the public.
One former senator who was a staunch Gore backer said he was relieved that Mr. Bush was president because he feared that the former vice president would think he had all the answers.
"He may know too much," the former senator said. "And he would have tried to micromanage everything."
Luke says: These are points that Prager made in the campaign when many people criticized Bush as stupid and unable to communicate. Prager wondered again if those who regarded Bush as a buffoon are engaged in soul searching?
But does Prager search his soul when he's wrong about significant issues. He says he does but that does not come across on the air. Prager now admits he was wrong about the Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, the trading of land for peace.
DP says that as knowledge of sex robs children of innocence, so knowledge of evil should rob adults of naivete. DP notes that many wonderful people have lovely sounding liberal ideas which simply do not work, because, among other things, these folks are naive about human nature and human predispositions towards evil.
DP spoke against Americans hysteria about anthrax. Americans are prone to hysteria, previously it's been about alar on apples, teachers molesting kids, missing children, secondhand smoke...
Oct 22, 2001
Dennis Prager read approvingly from this Daniel Pipes column in the New York Post:
October 22, 2001 -- WHAT do Muslims think of Osama bin Laden? Ask Westerners and you'll hear how marginal he is.
President Bush says bin Laden represents a "fringe form of Islamic extremism . . . rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics." American specialists on Islam agree. "Osama bin Laden is to Islam like Timothy McVeigh is to Christianity," says Mark Juergensmeyer of the University of California. Karen Armstrong, author of a bestselling book about Islam, reports that the "vast majority of Muslims . . . are horrified by the atrocity of Sept. 11."
Well, that "vast majority" is well hidden and awfully quiet, if it even exists. With the exception of one government-staged anti-bin Laden demonstration in Pakistan and very few prominent Islamic scholars, hardly anyone publicly denounces him. The only Islamic scholar in Egypt who unreservedly condemns the Sept. 11 suicide operations admits he is completely isolated. American officials are still waiting for Muslim politicians to speak up. "It'd be nice if some leaders came out and said that the idea the United States is targeting Islam is absurd," notes one U.S. diplomat.
They don't because the Muslim world is bursting with adulation for the Saudi militant.
* "Long live bin Laden" shout 5,000 demonstrators in the southern Philippines.
* In Pakistan, bin Laden's face sells merchandise and massive street rallies have left two persons dead. Ten thousand march in the capitals of Bangladesh and Indonesia.
* In northern Nigeria, bin Laden has (according to Reuters) "achieved icon- ic status" and his partisans set off religious riots lead- ing to 200 deaths.
* Pro-bin Laden demonstrations took place even in Mecca, where overt political activism is unheard of.
Everywhere, The Washington Post reports, Muslims cheer bin Laden on "with almost a single voice." The Internet buzzes with odes to him as a man "of solid faith and power of will." A Saudi explains that "Osama is a very, very, very, very good Muslim." A Kenyan adds: "Every Muslim is Osama bin Laden." "Osama is not an individual, but a name of a holy war," reads a banner in Kashmir. In perhaps the most extravagant statement, one Pakistani declared that "Bin Laden is Islam. He represents Islam." In France, Muslim youths chant bin Laden's name as they throw rocks at non-Muslims. Palestinians are especially enamoured. According to Hussam Khadir, a member of Arafat's Fatah party, "Bin Laden today is the most popular figure in the West Bank and Gaza, second only to Arafat." A 10-year-old girl announces that she loves him like a father. Nor is she alone. "Everybody loves Osama bin Laden at this time. He is the most righteous man in the whole world," declares a Palestinian woman. A Palestinian Authority policeman calls him "the greatest man in the world & our Messiah" even as he (reluctantly) disperses students who march in solidarity with the Saudi.
Some people think that if we, the US, acted different in the Middle East, we wouldn't be so hated. No, says DP, we're hated because our society is open and free and prosperous.
Why does the US support Arab dictatorships in countries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia? Because if these countries had elections, Islamic fanatics would take over. If we allowed Mubarak and King Foud to be overthrown, the folks who would succeed them would be like the leaders of Iran and Osama Bin Laden.
Prager read from this column by Fouad Ajami in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:
We should be under no illusions about our struggle against Osama bin Laden and the cultists and terrorists arrayed around him. Although we control the sea lanes and skies of that Arab-Muslim world, he appears to hold sway over the streets of a thwarted civilization, one that sees him as an avenger for the sad, cruel lot that has been its fate in recent years.
The military campaign against bin Laden is prosecuted, and will surely be won, by the U.S. But the redemption of the Arab political condition, and the weaning of that world away from its ruinous habits and temptations, are matters for the Arabs themselves.
A darkness, a long winter, has descended on the Arabs. Nothing grows in the middle between an authoritarian political order and populations given to perennial flings with dictators, abandoned to their most malignant hatreds. Something is amiss in an Arab world that besieges American embassies for visas and at the same time celebrates America's calamities. Something has gone terribly wrong in a world where young men strap themselves with explosives, only to be hailed as "martyrs" and avengers. No military campaign by a foreign power can give modern-day Arabs a way out of the cruel, blind alley of their own history.
Oct 15, 2001
Here are the newspaper articles Dennis Prager read from on his show today. DP admitted he could do a much better job with his web site DennisPrager.com in linking to these articles.
The usual government and media suspects are advising Americans not to "panic" amid the latest anthrax mailings, and of course that's right. The risks to any single person are small enough that it makes little sense to stockpile Cipro or buy a gas mask. But we hope all the cautionary words don't deflect attention from the genuinely scary prospect here: State sponsorship.
The more rational hypothesis is that these were organized acts of terror, and that the anthrax wasn't produced in random basements.
Several circumstantial links to Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network are already known. Some of the World Trade Center hijackers, including suspected ringleader Mohamed Atta, visited an airfield near the site of the Boca Raton, Florida, anthrax mailings.
The anthrax package sent to a Microsoft office in Reno, Nevada, was mailed from Malaysia, another al Qaeda haunt. One of the September 11 hijackers, Khaled Almihdhar, visited Malaysia earlier this year, appearing in a surveillance tape with another suspected associate of bin Laden. The terrorist's followers also met in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, in January 2000 as part of the plot to bomb the USS Cole in Yemen later the same year.
The leading supplier suspect has to be Iraq. Saddam Hussein used weapons-grade anthrax against his own Kurdish population with lousy results, before turning to more efficiently lethal chemical weapons. U.S. intelligence sources believe Saddam has stockpiled thousands of pounds of biological agents, including anthrax. U.S. officials let Saddam know during the Gulf War that if he used such agents against U.S. forces he would get a destructive response.
Ending this war won't end terror, of course. Saddam or no, others will want to use anthrax or the like, and even after this week we still believe the greatest threat is nuclear terrorism. Americans are simply going to have to live from now on with a certain level of risk. The good news is that most Americans have been doing precisely that, with 110,000 showing up at Michigan Stadium as usual this autumn weekend.
New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani put it well the other day when he said that Americans should begin to behave the way the British did during the London blitz: Cope with the danger when it appears but otherwise go cheerfully about your lives. Meanwhile, the government has to do everything possible to destroy the anthrax threat at its state-sponsored source.
Thomas Friedman, NY Times foreign affairs correspondent writes Oct 12:
The White House has asked U.S. networks to limit broadcasts of statements by Osama bin Laden. I wish that instead of censorship, the president would respond to him. Here's what Mr. Bush could say:
Dear bin Laden: I've listened to the statement you released through Al Jazeera TV. Since I know that no Arab or Muslim leader will dare answer you, I thought I would do it. Let me be blunt: Your statement was pathetic. It's obvious from what you said that you don't have a clue why we're so strong or why the Arab regimes you despise are so weak.
You spoke about the suicide attacks on us as being just revenge for the "80 years of humiliation and disgrace" the Islamic nation has gone through. You referred to the hijackers as a Muslim vanguard sent "to destroy America," the leader of the "international infidels," and you denounced the Arab regimes as "hypocrites" and "hereditary rulers."
What was most revealing, though, was what you didn't say: You offered no vision of the future. This was probably your last will and testament — I sure hope so — and you could have said anything you wanted to future generations. After all, it was your mike. Yet you had nothing to say. Your only message to the Muslim world was whom to hate, not what to build — let alone how.
In part it's because you really don't know much about Islamic history. The Muslim world reached the zenith of its influence in the Middle Ages — when it preserved the best of classical Greek and Roman teachings, and inspired breakthroughs in mathematics, science, medicine and philosophy. That is also when Islam was at its most open to the world, when it enriched, and was enriched by, the Christian, Greek and Jewish communities in its midst — whom you now disparage as infidels — and when it was actively trading with all corners of the world. Your closed, inward, hate-filled version of Islam — which treats women as cattle and all non-Muslims as enemies — corresponds with no period of greatness for Islam, and will bring none.
It was also revealing that the only Arab state you mentioned was Iraq. Interesting — Iraq is led by a fascist dictator, Saddam Hussein, who used poison gas against his own people, who squandered Iraq's oil wealth to build himself palaces and who raped Kuwait. But you are silent about all that. What bothers you is our targeted sanctions to end such a regime — not the regime itself.
In other words, you not only don't understand the Muslim past, you don't understand its present. The reason these past 80 years have been so stagnant for the Arab-Muslim world is not because we in America have been trying to keep you down. Actually, we haven't been thinking about you much at all. No, the difference between American power, Chinese power, Latin American power and Arab-Muslim power today is what we've each been doing for these past 80 years. We and others have been trying to answer many questions: How do we best educate our kids? How do we increase our trade? How do we build an industrial base? How do we increase political participation? And we judged our leaders on how well they answered all those questions.
But people like you want Arabs and Muslims to ask only one question of their leaders: How well did you fight the infidels and Israelis? I know that who rules Jerusalem is a deeply important part of your heritage, and every Arab-Muslim leader must address it. But it can't be the only question. Yet, because people like you have reduced it to the only question, and tried to intimidate every Arab who wanted to ask other questions, you have allowed your region to be led by scoundrels, like Saddam.
Yes, you've wreaked some havoc, bin Laden, but don't flatter yourself into thinking you can destroy us. You have to build something strong to destroy something strong. But you can't. Because all the intellectual and creative energies in the Arab-Muslim world — which are as bountiful as in any other region — can never reach their full potential under repressive regimes like Iraq or leaders like yourself.
Stalin and Mao killed a lot of their own people, but even these thugs had a plan for their societies. You, bin Laden, are nothing but a hijacker — a hijacker of Islam, a hijacker of other people's technology, a hijacker of a vast Arab nation's anger at its own regimes. But you have no vision and no plan for your people. Which is why your epitaph will be easy to write:
Osama bin Laden — he destroyed much, he built nothing. His lasting impact was like a footprint in the desert.
From the Saturday New York Times:
In mosques yesterday, Muslims gathered for Friday Prayers, and in many instances the preaching was political and sharply anti-American. Here is a sampling from some of the largest mosques in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
New Delhi: Praise for Taliban, and Raised Fists
The thousands who came to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in this city of almost 14 million people, spilled down the grand sandstone staircase toward the bank of waiting cameras. Their imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, had just roused them with a fiery denunciation of the United States and moral support for the Taliban's call for jihad, or holy war.
"Islam isn't terrorist," he had thundered. "It is America that is the big terrorist." Then he emerged at the top of the stairs, his head wrapped in a white turban and his eyes shielded by sunglasses, to lead them in call-and- response chants.
When he shouted "America," they fiercely replied, "Down, down!" When he cried, "Taliban, Taliban," they answered, "We salute you!"
London: Fiery Denunciations of Bush and Blair
At the central mosque in Birmingham, one of the biggest in Britain and Europe, Sheik Riyadh ul-Haq preached against President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair, accusing them of hypocrisy.
"Bush and Blair have not exhausted all the legal channels of communication, nor did they pursue the course of justice," he said to the faithful. "Any evidence they have presented has been conjecture at best.
"On this pretext they are bombing Afghanistan, which has never had anything to do with what happened on Sept. 11," he said.
His theme today, he said, was whether Muslims should believe Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush "when they say this is not a war against Islam. My conclusion was that I don't believe them. Their actions belie their claim because they are bombing Muslims in Afghanistan, a totally ravaged country.
"They say they are not against Muslims, but Blair has participated in campaigns against Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan and all three are Muslim countries."
Dennis Prager praised the column "Idiocy Watch" at TNR.com, including this:
"Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It is infuriated by thoughtful hesitation, constructive criticism of our leaders and pleas for peace. It despises people of foreign birth. It has specifically blamed homosexuals, feminists and the American Civil Liberties Union. In other words, the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder. Whom are we calling terrorists here?"--Barbara Kingsolver, novelist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 27.
DP mentioned the report that a CIA squad had Osama Bin Laden in their sights on their first day in Afghanistan but they didn't shoot him because a military lawyer said they had no legal basis to do so.
Prager spent his show picking apart the argument that the US support for Israel triggered the terrorist attacks September 11.
DP said that argument was analogous to saying that the Nazis hated Britain in WWII for supporting Czechoslovakia.
DP says that the US is the world's only Judeo-Christian society. The only country that takes the Old and New Testament seriously.
DP says that the US pays Egypt three billion dollars a year to not attack Israel. But Egypt isn't making peace with Israel, it's hatred continues undiminished and Egyptians who visit Israel are shunned.
Oct 1, 2001
Paul Johnson On Islam
British journalist Paul Johnson writes in the National Review:
Bold and uncompromising words were spoken by American (and British) leaders in the immediate response to the Manhattan Massacre. But they may be succeeded by creeping appeasement unless public opinion insists that these leaders stick to their initial resolve to destroy international terrorism completely. One central reason why appeasement is so tempting to Western governments is that attacking terrorism at its roots necessarily involves conflict with the second-largest religious community in the world.
It is widely said that Islamic terrorists are wholly unorthodox in their belief that their religion sanctions what they do, and promises the immediate reward of heaven to what we call "suicide bombers" but they insist are martyrs to the faith. This line is bolstered by the assertion that Islam is essentially a religion of peace and that the very word "Islam" means "peace." Alas, not so. Islam means "submission," a very different matter, and one of the functions of Islam, in its more militant aspect, is to obtain that submission from all, if necessary by force.
Islam is an imperialist religion, more so than Christianity has ever been, and in contrast to Judaism. The Koran, Sura 5, verse 85, describes the inevitable enmity between Moslems and non-Moslems: "Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans." Read On
Dennis read from this column by liberal E.J. Dione in the Washington Post:
With the polls running 14 to 1 in favor of war, it makes you proud to live in a nation that gives the smallest minority the freedom to speak out against our government -- even in a time of crisis. So why was I skeptical over what seemed a reflexive response? Many on the left are so mistrustful of American power, so certain about our baleful influence on the rest of the world, that they seem to have a problem whenever the United States goes to war.
But unless you're a pacifist, it's hard to argue that war is not justified in a case when a nation has come under direct attack, as ours just has.
Fascism, as George Orwell noted long ago, is one of the most overused words in the political lexicon. But in this case, the United States is battling forces whose ideas approach some of the classic definitions of fascism.
Our adversaries use terror in an attempt to impose regimes that would deny basic human liberties. They combine backward-looking appeals -- in this case linked to peculiar interpretations of Islam -- with promises of regional, if not global, domination. They use modern methods to upend modernity. How can progressives do anything but stand against these movements?
Progressives should be wary of any attempts to excuse or rationalize the horrors of this month. It is important to insist that human misery does breed support for terrorism. But using the existence of poverty and injustice to explain away these suicide attacks will only undermine arguments for alleviating injustice.
Dennis read from Time columnist Lance Morrow:
A day cannot live in infamy without the nourishment of rage. Let’s have rage. What’s needed is a unified, unifying, Pearl Harbor sort of purple American fury—a ruthless indignation that doesn’t leak away in a week or two, wandering off into Prozac-induced forgetfulness or into the next media sensation (O.J. … Elián … Chandra …) or into a corruptly thoughtful relativism (as has happened in the recent past, when, for example, you might hear someone say, “Terrible what he did, of course, but, you know, the Unabomber does have a point, doesn’t he, about modern technology?”).
Let America explore the rich reciprocal possibilities of the fatwa. A policy of focused brutality does not come easily to a self-conscious, self-indulgent, contradictory, diverse, humane nation with a short attention span. America needs to relearn a lost discipline, self-confident relentlessness—and to relearn why human nature has equipped us all with a weapon (abhorred in decent peacetime societies) called hatred.
As the bodies are counted, into the thousands and thousands, hatred will not, I think, be a difficult emotion to summon. Is the medicine too strong? Call it, rather, a wholesome and intelligent enmity—the sort that impels even such a prosperous, messily tolerant organism as America to act. Anyone who does not loathe the people who did these things, and the people who cheer them on, is too philosophical for decent company.
It’s a practical matter, anyway. In war, enemies are enemies. You find them and put them out of business, on the sound principle that that’s what they are trying to do to you. If what happened on Tuesday does not give Americans the political will needed to exterminate men like Osama bin Laden and those who conspire with them in evil mischief, then nothing ever will and we are in for a procession of black Tuesdays.
Sep 25, 2001
Dennis Prager read the entire column by Gerald Posner in today's Wall Street Journal.
DP says that Bush's leadership during our terrorism crisis, he's proved his critics wrong. People were wrong who dismissed him. They need to ask themselves where they went wrong in their thinking.
DP never cared about Bush's braininess. DP says that every normal person has the intelligence to be President of the United States. DP cares about morally educating people, not about their IQ.
DP frequently said over the years that Al Gore scared him. For many reasons. One, was his book on the environment which argued that the greatest threat is environmental degradation. DP argues that it is human evil, like what happened September 11, 2001. Another was Gore's lack of self - so that he hired Naomi Wolf to teach him how to be more masculine.
Since the murderous terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush has come alive in a way I did not think possible. It was as though the attack on America--which he rightly called an "act of war" from the start--gave him a focus and clarity I had not earlier seen.
If there was a single event that convinced me my initial feelings were wrong, it was the president's rather remarkable speech to the country and a joint session of Congress last Thursday. Like Franklin Roosevelt or Winston Churchill, he rallied a country's spirit, he had the courage to tell us the bad news that the upcoming battle would be neither swift nor easy, and he declared that those who would destroy our culture and values would not prevail.
I had always found Mr. Bush stiff in his scripted speeches. But last Thursday he was infused with passion and outrage. His sincerity was heartfelt, and boosted almost all who listened to him. And precisely because we all know he is not a masterful orator, the power of his words and the forcefulness of his delivery carried even more impact. He rose to this most important occasion.
DP says: Republicans are more comfortable waging war while Democrats tend to have a soft spot for third world evil. They don't mind fighting evil in Europe by white people, such as Bosnia.
Gerald Posner came on as a guest. He laughed about Prager's essay of years ago - Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry. Posner and Prager pointed out such examples as bussing and bilingual education.
At the top of the third hour, DP said the terrorist attack destroyed some bad ideas current in America. Such as:
* Multiculturalism. We need to unite behind our American culture.
* Patriotism. "Flag waving" was a term of opprobrium. Now we see how beautiful and necessary patriotism is.
DP wondered if the actors who assailed Bush like Julia Roberts were going to apologize.
Sep 24, 2001
Prager read from and praised this column by William Safire in today's New York Times:
"We're looking for links" between Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist group and Iraq's Saddam Hussein, said Colin Powell yesterday. So far, our secretary of state can see "no clear link" between bin Laden's forces in Afghanistan and the America-hater publicly laughing at our grief in Baghdad.
Powell does not want to acknowledge any evidence of sponsorship of bin Laden by Iraq because that would demand a crushing blow at an Arab state. It might limit the diplomatic convoy of consensus he is assembling, which will travel at the rate of its most grudging member.
Do we respond to our initial, catastrophic defeat in a wholly multilateral way? That would mean seeking intelligence crumbs from Saudi and Egyptian potentates, negotiating cautious U.N. resolutions, hunkering down to limit the damage of suicide bombers, and beginning a phased air and ground assault on bin Laden's "base" in Afghanistan to be followed up with joint police work for years around the world. It would fight yesterday's terrorist war.
Or do we recognize now the greater danger of germ warfare or nuclear attack from a proven terrorist nation, and couple expected retribution for this month's attack with a strategy of pre-emptive retaliation? Such use of our superpower need not require our "going it alone"; civilized nations unafraid of internal revolt will understand the threat to their citizens and stand with us.
In his second hour, Prager critiqued Deepok Chopra's love letter to America published in a full page ad in Sunday's New York Times.
Prager debated Chopra at a Young President's Organization conference in Hawaii a few years ago and found his moral compass broken.
Dennis Prager's brother, a professor at Columbia University in New York, emailed that he was the only one in his department with a US flag on his car.
DP responds to those who look down on flag waving - I'm not asking you to stand up for the country or for nationalism or to be patriotic. Just stand up for what is right.
DP thanks God that George W. Bush is president. Bush understands that the USA is a beacon of light in the world and that darkness hates light.
Sep 20, 2001
Dennis Prager returned from two days observing the start of the Jewish year, Rosh Hashanah.
He tackled the widely discussed view that the attack on the World Trade Center was a criminal act, not an act of war. Nonsense, says DP. He quoted New York Times foreign affairs correspondent Thomas Friedman who estimates that half the Arab world applauded the attack and half were appalled.
DP compared the Islamic terrorists to the Nazis - they want to kill all Americans.
A caller watched Black Entertainment Television where many black callers said the attack on the World Trade Center was only an attack on white America. DP remembered his black caller on July 4th who said it was not a special day for them as they did not feel part of the history of this country. They felt excluded and hence did not celebrate July 4.
DP says that unfree societies hate free societies. One key part of the reason that the Islamic world hates the USA is that American women can wear short skirts and vote. In the Islamic world, women must cover themselves head to toe, and have few rights.
Dennis wishes that the Islamic terrorists behind the recent attacks were not representative of Islam. But the facts on the ground are that much of the Arab-Islamic world supports the terrorism against the USA.
What Islamic clerics need to do is not so much denounce the attacks on the World Trade Center. That is easy. But condemn sucide bombers and proclaim that suicide bombers go to hell rather than heaven.
What's particularly evil is that the terrorists who did this lived in America for years first. They were educated in America and worked in America and enjoyed America's freedoms and used those freedoms to commit great evil.
In Prager's last half hour, he had Bill Mahr of Politically Incorrect on the show. Mahr got into controversy when he called the WTC terrorists courageous (for sacrificing their lives for what they believed in) and the US "cowards" for lobbing missiles from two thousand miles away.
DP seems to handle Mahr with kid gloves, being much more gentle than one would expect. Is it because Mahr frequently has Prager on as a guest on his show? The human reaction for a guest on someone's show is to be respectful towards its host.
LOS ANGELES, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Bill Maher, the irreverent host of late-night talk show ``Politically Incorrect,'' apologized on Wednesday for saying some U.S. military actions were ``cowardly'' -- a remark many said was not only politically incorrect but offensive.
In a statement issued through his publicist, Maher said his views ``should have been expressed differently.''
``In no way was I intending to say, nor have I ever thought, that the men and women who defend our nation in uniform are anything but courageous and valiant, and I offer my apologies to anyone who took it wrong,'' Maher said.
According to a transcript on ABC's Web site (http://www.abc.com), Maher made the reference while discussing past U.S. military campaigns. ``We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away,'' he said. ``That's cowardly.''
Maher contrasted the U.S. military actions to those taken by attackers who flew hijacked commercial airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last week. President George W. Bush has called the attacks ``cowardly acts''.
``Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly,'' Maher said.
In his statement Wednesday, Maher said his criticism of U.S. military actions ``was meant for politicians who, fearing public reaction, have not allowed our military to do the job they are obviously ready, willing and able to do, and who now will, I'm certain, as they always have, get it done.''
Norman Podhoretz writes for the Wall Street Journal:
As for the Palestinians, their contempt for America is hardly exceeded by their loathing of Israel.
For example, the mufti--or chief cleric--appointed by the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat has prayed that God will "destroy America," while the editor of a leading Palestinian journal has proclaimed: "History does not remember the United States, but it remembers Iraq, the cradle of civilization. . . . History remembers every piece of Arab land, because it is the bosom of human civilization. On the other hand, the [American] murderers of humanity, the creators of the barbaric culture and the bloodsuckers of nations, are doomed to death and destined to shrink to a microscopic size, like Micronesia."
The point is that if Israel had never come into existence, or if it were magically to disappear, the United States would still stand as an embodiment of everything that most these Arabs consider evil. Indeed, the hatred of Israel is in large part a surrogate for anti-Americanism. Israel is seen as the spearhead of the American drive for domination over the Middle East. The Jewish state is a translation, as it were, of America into Hebrew--the "little enemy," the "little Satan"--and to rid the region of it would thus be tantamount to cleansing an area belonging to Islam (Dar-al-Islam) of the blasphemous political, social, and cultural influences emanating from a barbaric and murderous force. But the force, so to speak, is with America, of which Israel is merely an instrument.
Sep 17, 2001
While giving the sermon at his temple Saturday morning, Dennis Prager broke down crying about the terrorist attacks.
Prager wanted professional sports to resume its schedule earlier to not give the terrorists any victories. But DP's wife convinced him that was wrong. DP was impressed how many professional athletes did not want to play.
DP was impressed by the comment by New York Jets coach Herman Edwards: "The country needs a diversion? Then they should go to church."
Falwell, Robertson On 700 Club
"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," Falwell told Robertson on the 700 Club Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. "Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. Falwell went on to blame the ACLU and federal courts for "throwing God out of the public square." He continued:
"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"
This came on the heels of a vicious column by conservative hatchet-gal Ann Coulter, who wrote earlier this week: "We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
Prager said the timing of Falwell and Robertson's comments was inappropriate. This is a time for uniting the country.
DP: I don't disagree with Falwell's theology. I don't know if I agree either. But certainly the doctrine of collective responsibility, that if a community sins deeply, it separates itself from God, the source of life, and then bad things happen, goes back to the Torah, the most sacred document in Judaism.
SingleMom (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes on the Prager List (email@example.com):
It is now a few days after our national tragedy. I went to the dennisprager.com website to seek guidance, solace and condemnation of the liberal Democrats who surely had to be responsible for the WTC disaster.
I found no mention of the world changing terroist act. Instead, Prager's website frontpage continues to offer for sale his radio show tape$, lecture recording$, appearance$, the Denni$ Prager catalog which offers "birthday, wedding and anniver$ary gift$" and his crui$e to Antarctica.
Has the world gone mad? How can Prager's web page ignore the World Trade Center horror while continuing to hawk his schlock? Is this a sad sick amplification of his policy to $ell, not give away, the "Prager Perspective"? If the country's moral compass is broken and the words of wise man Prager compiled in the "Prager Perspective" can help fix it, why does he insist on selling it rather than distributing it freely for all mankind? Does he want to fix the nation's broken moral compass or just pocket gelt by selling his newsletter? Has the world gone mad? Has Prager gone mad? His behavior is shameful to be seen by the goyim.
Terrorism in this nation will not stand. God bless America.
Sep 13, 2001
Dennis Prager agrees with the Wall Street Journal that we're on the verge of World War III. DP rejected the notion that if we simply got rid of Usama Bin Laden that we'd be ok.
DP found FOX News coverage more realistic than CNN which concentrated on the hilarity of Yasser Arafat giving blood and Palestinians saying we're victims too. Arafat is the father of modern terrorism.
Sep 12, 2001
I was struck by the similar moral tone the whole country has taken. The whole country sounds like Prager - seeing this event overwhelmingly in moral terms. The country seems united that these attacks must be revenged with force. That we must tackle evil with force. That we must beef up security and defense and intelligence. The whole country is sounding like Prager with its moral rhetoric and hatred of evil.
Prager said Secretary of State Colin Powell should resign. He condemned Israel's assassination of a terrorist a few weeks ago.
Callers said it was a particular comfort to have Prager on the air in times of crisis.
In his first hour, Prager interviewed Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post.
This is not crime. This is war. One of the reasons there are terrorists out there capable and audacious enough to carry out the deadliest attack on the United States in its history is that, while they have declared war on us, we have in the past responded (with the exception of a few useless cruise missile attacks on empty tents in the desert) by issuing subpoenas.
Secretary of State Colin Powell's first reaction to the day of infamy was to pledge to "bring those responsible to justice." This is exactly wrong. Franklin Roosevelt did not respond to Pearl Harbor by pledging to bring the commander of Japanese naval aviation to justice. He pledged to bring Japan to its knees.
You bring criminals to justice; you rain destruction on combatants. This is a fundamental distinction that can no longer be avoided. The bombings of Sept. 11, 2001, must mark a turning point. War was long ago declared on us. Until we declare war in return, we will have thousands of more innocent victims.
Sept 10, 2001
Dennis Prager published in the Los Angeles Times:
Last month in Seattle, a 26-year-old woman threatened to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. As a result, a major freeway was closed in both directions for four hours during the morning rush.
According to news reports, many motorists yelled obscenities at the woman, urging her to jump. This has caused some soul-searching among Seattle residents. But the issue is much more morally complex than simply expressing compassion for the woman and contempt for the shouters.
But to react only with revulsion toward the yellers--as appropriate as such a reaction is--exemplifies another problematic trend in American life: compassion for the individual at the expense of the many.
This woman decided to take her personal grief over a broken romantic relationship into a public place and thereby bring misery to tens of thousands of people. If the yellers represent the coarsening of American life, the woman and those who only express compassion for her represent the widespread narcissism and misplaced compassion that also afflict American life. It is heartless not to empathize with the pain of rejected lovers, let alone with the pain of those who threaten or commit suicide.
Dennis Prager On Life
I found this on DennisPrager.com:
The Nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The prostitutes' bodies are thrown on Iran's roadsides, or more often in open sewers. It has been a year since the first bodies were discovered-in Mashhad, Iran's holiest city. To date, there have been 21. One suspect recently confessed to 16 of the murders. But the mystery-and the horror-extend far beyond the individual killer or killers. Many hard-line supporters of the regime have publicly cheered the murder spree, which last month claimed two new victims in Tehran, as a moral cleanup campaign. "Who is to be judged?" demanded the conservative newspaper Jomhuri Islami. "Those who look to eradicate the sickness [like the killer] or those who stand at the root of the corruption [like his victims]?"
The main suspect in the Spider case is Saeed Hanaei, a 39-year-old construction worker with a background of mental illness and a criminal record.. Hanaei has no regrets. "Why should I feel remorse?" he says. "After killing them I removed all trace of them. They had no value to me." In another country, such remarks might be dismissed as the musings of a psychopath. But there are justifications for such heedless killing in Iran's Islamic criminal code, which declares some people unworthy of the blood that runs in their veins. Therefore their lives can be taken with impunity. "If the killer can prove that the victim was a 'waste of blood'," says one legal scholar who asked not to be named, "then there will be no charges against the killer."
Newsweek, August 20, 2001
How the Oslo Peace Accords (which I supported) Hurt Israel
We have finally acknowledged the terrible truth of Oslo: We are trapped.Yitzhak Rabin assured us that, if the Palestinians reneged on their commitments, Oslo could be reversed. But he forgot one detail: the price. To uproot the terrorist state in the making will turn us into international pariahs. Oslo has created the worst of all possible scenarios: It has empowered the Palestinians to threaten our safety and embitter our lives but left them weak enough to hide behind international immunity. Oslo tempted us with its promise of a rational Middle East, and we admitted that we live in the Arab world. We lowered our guard, celebrating our ordinariness and stripping ourselves of sustaining myths of heroism and self-sacrifice. The terror of this time is that we find ourselves stranded in one of the world's most irrational and intolerant regions--without the Zionist self-sufficiency that made us confident we could endure the Arab world's enmity, and without the faith in a new Middle East that made us confident we could overcome it.
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic, August 6, 2001
Unabomber's Brother "Doesn't Defend Himself"
There is a gentleness to Mr. Kaczynski. He is a vegetarian and a Buddhist with a soft, flat Midwestern voice. He'll open the door for you before getting in the driver's side of his plain Chevy Prizm. When troubled youths asked, "How can you turn in your brother?" he didn't defend himself, he said, but told them, "Sometimes you have to be in a situation before you can figure out what you would do." New York Times, August 5, 2001
The Prager Perspective: If even David Kaczynski, one of the true moral heroes in America, does not know how to defend the most obviously right thing a human being can do - stop a brother from slaughtering and maiming innocent people - we are in worse shape than I thought. See my article on David Kaczynski from The Prager Perspective, June 1, 1996.
Atheist Converts to Judaism!
I try hard to keep any latent theological concerns out of my work. I started in a fundamentalist home. I went to a very conservative church school. But I went to a liberal theological school, at Harvard. And then I converted to Judaism. I'm not a theist. I don't have any faith issues at stake. Archaeologist William G. Dever, in an interview published in the New York Times, August 4, 2001
The Prager Perspective: How on God's earth does a proclaimed atheist convert to a monotheistic religion? I would love to know the rabbi who "converted" Professor Dever. Is the rabbi an atheist? Does the rabbi think a a person becoming a Jew ought to at least be able to say the shma (the Jewish credo, "Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord is God, The Lord alone")? And why would someone want to join the religion that introduced the world to God, if he doesn't believe in God?
Monica Lewinsky was an Israeli agent -- Syrian defense ministry
The Syrian defense minister, too, announced that the affair was a Zionist plot. "Monica Lewinsky is a young Jewish girl that Mossad hired and pushed into working as an intern in the White House." Marjorie Garber, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at Harvard University and the director of Harvard's Center for Literary and Culture Studies (cited in the New York Times, August 5, 2001).
Shimon Peres, dove, puts the nations' condemnations of Israel into as clear a perspective as one can:
"We have a problem the Irish, English, Spaniards and Russians don't have - we have suicide bombers," said Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, among the most dovish members of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government. "What can you do about a suicide bomber? Threaten to kill him? Will it scare him? Once he starts out on his journey, there is nothing we can do to stop him," he said.
Washington Times, August 2, 2001
DP says: Something that gives you pleasure plus escape equals addiction. It's true for TV, drinking, drugs, porn...
DP praised this Aug 17 column by William Raspberry:
Stuart Newberger is an exceptionally patient man, and it is not his fault that I didn't quite get the lesson he was at such pains to teach.
I had called him because he, as a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, is representing the seven families that sued to overturn Virginia's "moment of silence" statute. They lost, and Newberger plans to appeal the decision of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to the next level: the U.S. Supreme Court.
All I wanted to know was: Why?
He seemed a little surprised at my question. Didn't I see the lurking culprit right away? That sneaky little "pray" right there between meditate and engage?
"I have nothing against a generic moment of silence," he told me. "Indeed, I told the court that. And if it was truly a moment of silence, I doubt that the families I represent would have initiated the lawsuit.
"But that really isn't what the law is about. This law makes it mandatory that a million Virginia school kids, kindergarten through 12th grade, perform this exercise every morning. And 'pray' was deliberately included in the formulation because, as one sponsor of the bill said, without it, this would be a silent moment with no meaning."
Newberger understands (and so do I) that what the people who drafted this legislation really want is straight-up prayer in public school classrooms. But they've long since lost that fight. A moment of silence during which children may pray is their attempt at a consolation prize.
But the lawyer sees it, as did Judge Robert B. King in a stirring dissent, as a "Trojan horse,"another attempt, wrote King, at invading "the hearts and minds of Virginia schoolchildren -- in an effort to once more usher state-sponsored religion into public schools."
All this from a mere moment of silence during which "the teacher may not indicate his or her views on whether students should use the time to pray or not pray . . . or to pray aloud in front of students, nor permit any other student, or groups of students, to pray aloud"?
IN PRAGER'S FINAL HOUR, HE DISCUSSED THIS:
August 14, 2001 by Wendy McElroy, firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 17, 1971, the idea of fathers as sexual predators was inscribed on the radical feminist agenda. A group called the New York Radical Feminists held a two-day conference on rape at which social worker Florence Rush declared, "The family itself is an instrument of sexual and other forms of child abuse...the sexual abuse of female children is a process of education that prepares them to become the wives and mothers of America."
In the latest issue of The Women's Quarterly from Independent Women's Forum, Rael Jean Isaac writes of the conference as a turning point. Radical feminists had not really considered child abuse because, as Andrea Dworkin commented, "we never had any idea how common it was."
How common is it? In her sensational and influential book Father-Daughter Incest (1981), the psychiatrist Judith Harman estimated that victims of incest numbered "in the millions." Is this a reasonable estimate?
The answer calls for some rough math. According to the 1999 study on Child Maltreatment conducted by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect, the female child population was then 32,600,000. The sexual abuse rate is given as 1.6 for every 1,000 girls. Assuming that every attack was incestuous, this means 52,160 girls were sexually assaulted. The Bureau of Justice Statistics basically supports this number.
Its report, Sexual Assault of Young Children, indicates that 50,700 (or 1.56 per 1,000) girls were sexually assaulted by adult male family members during 1996 -- presuming a constant population. If true, this means that about 2.9 percent of women were incestuously assaulted before the age of eighteen. In a population of 130,000,000 women, about 3.7 million women would be victims.
These figures are probably inflated if only because they assume that every incident involves a new child and is not a repeat attack. Nevertheless, Herman's estimate is plausible...and horrifying.
Feminists should be applauded for shedding bright light on the sexual abuse of children. They should be deeply ashamed of how they have used it. Feminists have attached the pain of children to a political agenda of their own.
Herman's book bluntly states that the rape of daughters is "an inevitable result" of the "patriarchal family structure." That is, the traditional family with gingham curtains in the kitchen and a father who comes home after work each day results in the rape of daughters.
In his final hour, Dennis Prager discussed a Mormon video club in Utah which edited Hollywood movies, removing profanity, sex and nudity. For instance, it removed about 90 profanities from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
DP remembered a member of the House of Representatives who complained, on religious grounds, about the line-up of naked women in Schindler's List going into the gas chambers. But that is exactly how the Nazis did gas the Jews, naked. It was not a sexy scene.
My wife and I sometimes play this game at movies - what excuse will they have for this woman to take her top off? Because it is completely unnecessary. I remember SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Was it critical for Gwyneth Paltrow to remove her top?
In the vast majority of cases, the profanity, nudity and violence is unnecessary.
Is it always wrong for a religious person to see and hear these things?
I recently saw the 1999 version of THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and my wife and I thought it was wonderful. Rene Russo goes topless and has sex. And it was gratuituous. Did my wife and I feel that we were sinning? No.
The Mormon Church tells its members to not watch R-rated movies.
DP says there are many films that he will not watch (such as SEVEN and HANNIBAL) because watching them will reduce him.
"I'm not good at seeing torture. I know how real it is. To me, these are not movies. I know that the number of people who've been tortured is enormous. I just don't see an actor and ketchup.
"I think people are better off for having watched SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. My wife has taken it upon herself to watch it every Memorial Day so she will better enter the spirit of the day.
"There are movies where I could [this editing] but there are other movies where I think profanity and nudity and violence are appropriate."
After a couple of cell phone callers dropped off, Dennis said "you should invest in the most incompetent companies - the cell phone companies of Southern California."
Dennis Prager notes that the American Bar Association, now fighting to keep that black man in Texas convicted of committing murder at age 17, from capital punishment, has moved steadily left. That's as stupid as the Bar taking conservative positions. It's supposed to have been above politics and have people respect the bar. For good reason, President Bush doesn't send the names of judicial appointments to them.
Almost all the professional organizations are now liberal because liberals are the most devoted to politics. Conservatives prefer to stay home with their family and with their religion.
Amnesty International argues that only the US, Iran and Congo still execute criminals. First of all, few countries have official executions. But the question is whether a policy is right or wrong, not whether despicable regimes also have that policy. That Belgium does not have capital punishment does not move me. Europe has bequeathed to us two World Wars in the last century, Nazism, Communism and more death and torture than any other continent.
According to polls that DP knows, most Europeans favor capital punishment. Europe simply has less democracy than the US.
Amnesty International argues that if you're not old enough to vote, you're not old enough to be executed for murder. The answer is - it takes more knowledge to know who to vote for than to know that murder is wrong. My eight year old knows that murder is wrong but he does not know about the policies of Mr. Bush vs Mr. Gore.
The novelist Doris Lessing yesterday claimed that men were the new silent victims in the sex war, "continually demeaned and insulted" by women without a whimper of protest.
Lessing, who became a feminist icon with the books The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook, said a "lazy and insidious" culture had taken hold within feminism that revelled in flailing men.
"I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed," the 81-year-old Persian-born writer said yesterday.
"Great things have been achieved through feminism. We now have pretty much equality at least on the pay and opportunities front, though almost nothing has been done on child care, the real liberation.
"We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?
"I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men.
"You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives."
Lessing said the teacher tried to "catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish". She added: "This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing.
"It has become a kind of religion that you can't criticise because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not.
"It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests.
"Men seem to be so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did."
DP says: Men are more capable of enduring torture, fighting enemies, going to war, than they are of being yelled at by a woman.
If women denied sex to evil men, that would be the end of all evil on earth. If a woman said, 'Honey, if you participate in that lynching, I will not sleep with you for a year,' that racist would become a member of the NAACP. All men are more interested in sex than in hating. Men are not a complex sex.
Womanhood is innate, manhood is socially constructed.
I've changed entirely my views of co-education. I'm for single sex schools through college.
In his first hour, Prager interviewed a female ethics professor (Maryanne Jennings) in Arizona who discussed the Andrea Yates case. Yates drowned her five kids and now wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
The prof noted that the same crowd which wants to get Yates off for her homocidal hormones, also decries the glass ceiling, and wants to integrate the Armed Forces. So women should get off at times for their hormones, but not face any discrimination for their hormones.
The prof has had four kids, one miscarriage and is now heading into menopause.
Prof: "Unless we take the position that life is tough but that does not legitimate this type of behavior.
"Her call to the police showed she understood right and wrong. She knew she had done something wrong and she knew the appropriate people to call at this point were the police."
Dr. Jennings published a book - Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore.
"It is a commentary on how our lives have deteriorated because we live in the fast lane and don't take the time to do something elegant."
DP: Men don't have anything like post-partum depression or other excuses for their behavior.
Dennis Prager said that if anyone doesn't see the moral gulf between Israel and its neighbors needs moral finetuning.
So Prager got a call taking him up on his statement. The caller asked Prager about his support for the Oslo Peace Accords over the past eight years. Doesn't DP then need his moral compass tuned?
No, DP replied.
I've never heard Prager admit any need for moral change or moral finetuning in his vision.
DP said that he was wrong strategically about Israel and the peace accords, but that he was not wrong morally. DP never gave a moral equivalence between Israel and its enemies. He just formerly thought it was in Israel's best interest to try to make peace with its Arab-Islamic enemies by trading land for peace.
Then Prager derided a federal court judge who overturned a Maine statute that prevented the guardians of mentally ill people registering the mentally ill under their care to vote. DP says that if you're not mentally strong enough to register to vote, you shouldn't vote. DP suspected that activists from one particular party [Democrats] were behind this move.
In his second hour, DP discussed the Tom Hanks film Castaway. DP thought it remarkable how many people thought it was too long and slow moving. DP found the film riveting and was never bored once during its two-and-a-half hours.
He did think the film had a fatal flaw - the protagonist did not seem to develop despite four years alone on the island. And there was no whiff of spirituality, religion or God in the movie. You'd think someone alone on an island for four years would turn to something like God?
In his third hour, Prager read approvingly from this New Republic article by Gregg Easterbrook (who once praised in print Prager's book on Happiness):
These days, disclaimers at the end of movies assure you that no animals were harmed during filming. As The Wall Street Journal detailed in a hilarious recent article, Hollywood takes this vow seriously. Camera crews are not allowed to kill flies or ants; when a script requires dead insects, movie crews must find bugs that have died "naturally" (at the end, let's hope, of long, fulfilling lives). For the scene in Cast Away in which Tom Hanks spears a crab, modelers spent more than a month fabricating a mechanical crustacean so no real one had to be killed. And what did the caterer serve the cast while the clockwork-crab scene was being shot? Probably crab salad.
Of course, it's a good thing that horses are no longer pushed till they die during filming. Yet even as Hollywood congratulates itself for its excruciating animal-friendliness, every third film glamorizes the slaughter of human beings. Movies today rarely depict the mistreatment of animals, because filmmakers don't want to give audiences the wrong idea. Depicting screaming women slashed with knives, on the other hand--why, that's entertainment. The whole promotional campaign for last winter's big-studio hit Hannibal centered on boasts that the film sunk to new lows in its representation of extreme acts of cruelty, building up to a helpless FBI agent having his brain cut out and cooked while he was still alive. But no ants were harmed! If movies depicted the brutalization of animals in anything like the way they routinely depict the brutalization of men and women, activists would chain themselves to theaters.
DP says: Outside of college administrators, Hollywood has the least courage. To use the jargon of the "humane" crowd, think of the thousands of dollars spent on mechanical crabs could've been given to poor people.
It's staggering the People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) think it's wrong to kill a crab but PETA has no position on abortion.
Dennis Prager spent the first two hours on the suicide bombing in a Jerusalem restaurant which has killed at least 20 Israelis so far. It portends war.
Prager says it was a sin for him to support the Oslo Peace Accords, whereby Israel traded land for what it hoped would be peace. Instead, it inspired more Palestinian suicide bombers.
In his final hour, DP discussed his column in today's LA Times:
Dennis writes in today's LATimes.com:
Americans would do well to ponder the human and social costs of so much litigation. The legal profession and the party that protects it have helped destroy a lot of goodness. The practice of players throwing the last-out-of-the-inning ball to fans is a kind little gesture. But why would any player now do it, and why should any team allow it?
The legal war against goodness is ubiquitous. Friendly lawyers have warned my wife and me not to allow children who visit our home to jump on our large trampoline. Given the number of children injured each year falling off trampolines, we are setting ourselves up for financial ruin.
We long ago decided to allow children who visit us to use the trampoline. But we know that many parents with trampolines have gone the other way.
The number of acts of joy and kindness the legal profession quashes is growing.
The cost to society from trial lawyers, judges and Americans who look to courts as better bets than lotteries is profound. But the cost to the souls of lawyers may be greater.
Many people who graduate from law school are worse human beings than they were prior to enrolling. Why? Because law school teaches students to stop thinking in moral terms and to start thinking in legal terms--to ask, "Is it legal?" rather than, "Is it right?"
Dennis Prager recalled reading a description of Bill Clinton as our first "white trash" president.
Clinton apparently had brought a guitar with the words "F--- Fascism" to a White House dinner with rocker John Mellancamp.
"I know that a significant portion of our secular elite believe it is no big deal to appear at such a function with the F--- word on your guitar. Particularly when the sentiment is so beautiful."
Dennis lamented the decline of all male institutions such as the Rotary Club, to which he belonged for three years in the early 1980s in Simi Valley. "Where it was macho to do good work."
DP says that men prefer to hang out with men, and women prefer to hang out with men. Sexually, it is probably the other way around. But when it comes to social life outside of marriage, men want to be with men. And generally, women also want to be with men. That's why feminists push so hard to get into every male club. Why don't these feminists just make their own clubs?
Guys prefer to have their own conversations and to be without the inevitable sexual tension that comes with including women.
Now that Rotary Clubs accept women, it is women who are largely running the show. Men drop out rather than compete with women. When men don't have specific duties that they are indispensable for, they will allow women to do the work.
When there were no women in Rotary Clubs, men took on the charity tasks.
DP believes it is unethical to force a group to take in members of the opposite sex.
DP says that in his three years at Rotary Club, he never once heard business discussed. There was no ban on it, people just didn't do it.
Dennis Prager discussed this article in the USA Today by a recent graduate of Amherst College.
By Kimberly Shearer Palmer
One day when my 14-year-old sister and I got on the topic of her eighth-grade dances, I explained how my friends and I used to dance when we were at her middle school not so many years ago: Get close to the guy, move your hips and try to feel the music. She quickly told me I was outdated. "They don't let us dance like that anymore," she explained.
"Dirty dancing" — or "freak dancing" — is under assault from a phalanx of parents and school administrators disturbed by its semi-sexual nature, or "boys thrust(ing) their pelvises into girls' behinds," as a recent USA TODAY Cover Story put it. My sister's school is among hundreds of middle and high schools that banned it; some also prohibit certain suggestive songs.
Stop the music, parents and school administrators say, before intimate contact on the dance floor invites even more intimate contact away from prying eyes.
To young ears, that just sounds absurd. To older ones, it should sound like a short-circuited fire alarm, one that has rung off and on for decades. Parents who try to stop freak dancing will be as successful as their parents, who tried to still Elvis' swiveling hips and stop the spread of rock 'n' roll. All of which wouldn't matter much — except that in flailing at the behavior they see, they're missing a more subtle opportunity to influence teens in ways dance bans never have.
Freak dancing is just the frothy crest of a sexually charged cultural tsunami. In fact, it's a relatively tepid activity in our lurid culture.
Keeping middle schoolers from dancing close to each other doesn't teach them how to deal with an MTV world that screams sex at them whenever they turn on the television. After-school programming features TRL, short for Total Request Live, which showcases music videos with more hips bumping and grinding in each song than words. Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On, Sisqo's Thong Song and Destiny's Child's Bootylicious feature just what their titles suggest. Even just hearing a song such as Shaggy's It Wasn't Me, a song about "banging on the bathroom floor," forces kids to imagine a vivid sexual act.
If MTV's Spring Break features three people French kissing at once (which one weekend's edition did), then kids who watch it inevitably will wonder whether they should be doing it, too. This sexually charged atmosphere isn't going away.
[F]reak dancing is a partial antidote — a healthy outlet for burgeoning hormones charged by that culture. Clothes stay on, and kids are in full view of other students. Far worse things can happen — do happen — when students go off by themselves, after school or at private parties. And those things were happening long before freak dancing arrived.
In contrast to groping in dark basements, freak dancing is all about community. At Friday night dances in seventh and eighth grade, I remember looking forward to "freak lines," in which three to 10 people got in a line, boy-girl-boy-girl, and moved their hips together. All this happened before my first kiss. I was shy in the classroom, but on the dance floor, I felt far more comfortable interacting with members of the opposite sex.
In my mind, dancing closely with other people had nothing to do with sex. It was just a way of learning about this whole new guy-girl thing without any pressure, and with my trusted girlfriends close behind me.
DP says: This line about such dancing having nothing to do with sex is a give away that it was written by a woman. For the males doing the dance, it had a lot to do with sex.
The callers agreed. Women phoned about how they had done such suggestive dancing as kids and it didn't seem sexual to them, but that they had no idea of its affect on the guys.
Dennis Prager said he felt like a Jewish reincarnation of C.S. Lewis.
July 24, 2001
You might not think people would choose to listen to conversations in a frat house. Yet every afternoon Opie and Anthony spend four hours calling each other gay, drooling over hot moms and barraging women to "whip 'em out." It's not even a carefully constructed frat chat: an hour before airtime, six staff members, all guys, sit around watching Jackass, shooting baskets and occasionally surfing news websites. They're less like people preparing for a radio show than people waiting for a pizza.
The office even looks like a frat house. Porno tapes line the bookshelves. Opie's desk, littered with such research material as Maxim, FHM, Stuff and Seventeen, is flanked by two Britney Spears posters. Anthony's desk, littered with a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen book, video and T shirt, sits under a poster of the twins. "Look how hot they're getting. And that's an old picture," Anthony says. On further inspection, he dismisses Mary-Kate as the priss. "Ashley is the goer."
The entire country will have a chance to hear what guys talk about when they're trying really hard to sound like guys. Infinity Broadcasting, the radio arm of Viacom, this month began syndicating The Opie & Anthony Show, based in New York City, to such cities as Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia, and will soon have them on about 20 stations. Viacom hopes O&A can duplicate their ratings success in New York, where they are often No. 1 in their prime demographic-- men 25 to 49. Gregg (Opie) Hughes (he looks like Opie from The Andy Griffith Show), 36, and Anthony Cumia, 39, are the descendants of Howard Stern, replacing his sour trangressiveness with male realpolitik: while Stern interviews strippers, O&A just want them to take off their clothes.
But O&A are often clever, hammering at the outer band of humor that gets laughs from discomfort. Like listening to a gay man perform oral sex on a woman for 'N Sync tickets.
Luke says: I listened to Dennis Prager's nationally syndicated radio show Tuesday and he said it was as interesting to him that Time found that funny, as that they do that on radio.
DP says: It's disturbed me a long time how much junk is on TV and radio. But TV and radio frequencies are as limited as our rivers. There are a certain number of rivers in America. What if the U.S. decided to sell the rivers to companies who could do anything they wanted with those rivers. If you want to pour in toxic waste, you pour in toxic waste. But you'll say, the rivers are really there for the public to enjoy. That is what it is like in TV and radio. There are rivers of video and audio - they are TV channels and radio frequencies. They are the rivers of communication in our society.
This notion that the broadcast wavelengths are a public trust where people should cringe and shiver realizing their responsibility is dead.
Dennis also discussed a black female alderman in St. Louis who was giving a long speech to delay a vote. She needed to go to the bathroom which would've ended her filibuster. She asked for permission to go to the bathroom and then resume her filibuster but was denied. So, surrounded by her supporters, she urinated into a trash can and kept up her filibuster. This has made national news. Critics say the alderman demeaned her position by urinating in public. The woman's supporters accuse the critics of racism.
Luke says: I remember at UCLA the much greater freedom several black girls in my dorm felt with urination. I remember several of them coming into the men's room to urinate rather than bother walking down the hallway to the ladies' room.