Prager blasted PBS's Frontline program on faith and doubt at Ground Zero for not having a representative of evangelical Christians.
Frontline producers are New York liberals and they don't meet evangelical Christians.
The rabbis interviewed by PBS didn't make much sense. One, Conservative Rabbi Irwin Kula is an atheist.
Rabbi Kula said: "Nothing really changed between 9/11 and post-9/11 regarding how I felt about God. ... Before 9/11, already for many, many years, I did not believe in the popular voyeuristic God who watches what we do from outside. That died. That image died for me a long time ago. What I believed in is the experiences that we name "God." Those experiences were the experience of love and experience of connection and the experience of caring and the experience of feeling both small and large. The experiences of connection, fundamentally. Those experiences, I recognize, are what I call "God." ... I've been called an atheist quite a few times in the last 10 weeks. You have to develop some pat responses to "atheist." What I say to people is, "I have an atheism, but it beams with holiness." But atheism is the greatest cleanser. Atheism may be the most religious posture in a moment in which either most people think they have to believe in something they don't believe in, or the people that actually believe in that God are doing so much damage. So maybe atheism is the great corrective right now and is actually the most religious response."
DP: This shows how the liberal denominations of Judaism and Christianity have deviated from a normative approach to God. Unbelievable.
I read many reviews of the Frontline show and none mentioned the lack of conservative Christians on the show.
Sunday morning I spoke to a friend.
Luke: "Why am I shelling out $30 to a singles function with 600 people when I could go to Friday Night Live where there will be 1800 singles my age?"
Friend: "Because at FNL, 95% of people will be liberal while at the Prager function you are more likely to find someone with common values."
So I drove 30 minutes up to the Glendale Hilton for the Dennis Prager KRLA 870 AM singles shindig from 1-5PM, September 1.
I kept my yarmulke in my pocket. I looked around when I arrived and saw no one else with a kipa. Dennis didn't have one. I estimate the crowd at about 500 people. The last event, a few months ago, sold out at 600.
I strolled around looking for attractive young women. There were fewer than a dozen under the age of 35. I talked to most of them. I don't believe that any of the young cuties were Jewish.
I saw about 15 people I knew from Jewish life and I estimate the crowd was about one-quarter Jewish.
I sat during Prager's lecture next to a 26 yo blonde Nurse Practicioner who lives in Santa Monica. She had a volleyball scholarship to the University of Michigan. Weighs 145 pounds on a 5'8" frame. We wrote notes, filling two sheets of paper, to each other throughout Prager's talk. She didn't want to date me or anyone else who can't lift her up and thrown her on his shoulder.
I asked her how long she'd been listening to Prager. She said she'd never heard of him. Her father made her attend today's program. Like dozens of young women I know, she described herself as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."
Prager spoke for over an hour on eight reasons why people don't marry. Then he took about 60 minutes of questions. All of Prager's comments were familiar to me.
#1- We compare people to images of perfection, largely created through the media, so of course real people can't live up to these.
#2 - We are afraid of pain and all marriages entail pain and suffering.
[Fred writes: i.e. being trapped with someone. Forever. Even if they decide to put on 60 lbs, and lose all interest in you.]
Ten years ago, I would've been thrilled to attend a Dennis Prager singles function. Now I'm spoiled listening to Prager on the radio every day and I just cruise such a function looking for hotties, of which there were few Sunday. I estimate the average age at the event was 45.
Dennis said his wife Fran says he's worst driver in the world, and it is only because of divine protection that he doesn't get into accidents. Prager was last in a car accident at age 22.
Prager spoke out against men shaving their chests. He said it was effeminate. Dennis says he showers with his youngest son Aaron who's envious of all of Prager's body hair.
By staying single, men become more effeminate and women become more masculine.
Dennis said he didn't yell at his eldest son David when he crashed and totaled Prager's luxury car.
Khunrum writes: "What Him Worry? You schmucks who hang on his every word will buy him another."
Dennis says one should get excited about as much of life as possible. He says that 45 Sabbaths out of the year, he has friends, two couples, come to his home in the afternoon to schmooze. That gets Dennis excited.
Dennis says he didn't look back on his first marriage, which ended in divorce after four years, as a mistake. He got a beautiful son, David, out of it. Dennis says that he and his wife were simply wrong for each other. He didn't go around thinking what a jerk she was. He entered therapy to figure out why he'd make such a bad choice for him for a marriage partner. Then he married happily in 1988.
Dennis said he was always least interested in women who displayed themselves with overtly sexual clothing. Women who wore terribly short skirts etc repelled him.
Dennis said he almost fell off his chair when a widow told him that a man, on a second date, asked her if she enjoyed oral sex.
Khunrum writes: Did you get stale crackers and cheese for your 30 beanies?
Luke: There was popcorn and soda and ice and deep moral teachings.
Sunday's event, while billed as a singles program, was actually the actualization of Dennis Prager's long promised "Dinners with a Difference" Micah Center for Ethical Monotheism dinner program for blacks and whites to get to know each other better. This was dinner with a difference. It started at 1PM and the dinner was popcorn and soda.
On his radio show, 9/2/02, Dennis Prager frequently talked about what a "good looking group" it was Sunday at the Glendale Hilton. Did we go to different events?
Dennis keeps talking about all the attractive women he spoke to Sunday at the event. "It was an impressive looking group."
I thought about a third to a half of the people there were dressed way too casually, particularly the men - in jeans and hawaiin shirts.
Fred writes: I have an ex-partner who could have you an hour lecture on why not to get married that would at least have the virtue of being funny. He'd start out by asking you this. Suppose someone were to make the following offer to you:
1. For the rest of your life, you can't sleep with anyone else.
2. 1/2 of everything you own or obtain is mine.
3. You now have to work like a dog to buy me a house that I want to live in (but of course, I'll own 1/2 of).
Great deal, eh? His favorite movie is an old Burt Reynolds comedy called Paternity. In this film, Reynolds decides he wants to have a kid. One of his friends tells him "Are you crazy? Look at you life. No mortgage. No wife. No kids. You have everything!" Next time you're up here, I'll introduce you and have him set you straight.
Dennis Prager was unpleasantly surprised to find out that his event was covered by the Los Angeles Times. Dennis says he's instinctive reaction whenever he finds out he's in the paper is, 'Oh no.'
Why does Prager react that way? My guesses:
* He takes himself and his work teaching good values very seriously. He's devoted a lifetime to fighting evil and promoting goodness and he knows how easily his good name can be tarnished.
* Prager's a control freak. He hates being edited. He wants to get his values, and his presentation of himself and his life, out to the public without the mediating of journalists. Prager, like most people, wants to control his image.
* Prager instinctively dislikes and distrusts journalists as a group. He distrusts their tendencies to secular, liberal values.
Karen S. Kim wrote for the News Press in the Los Angeles Times:
The event kicked off with an icebreaker that involved participants responding to prompts like, "If you have been married less than three times, step forward." Women, who outnumbered their counterparts by a large margin, stood on opposite sides of the room from the men, stepping forward until a couple was able to touch one another.
Single women of all ages were dressed to the nines for the gathering, fixing their impeccably prepared hair and makeup from time to time. Men wore everything from Hawaiian shirts to jeans and T-shirts to suits and ties.
All eyes roamed the room, giving prospective mates the once-over. Some made their minds up quickly.
"The idea of actually meeting anyone didn't hit me until I came here and saw how many people were here," said Mike Stoker of Torrance. "But looking around the room, I don't think there's anyone here that's my type. I have high standards."
[Prager responded on air that Mike's comment was immature and that with such attitudes, Mike would never marry. I spotted a half a dozen attractive women under 35 and I believe that I spoke to every one. Not one was Jewish. Prager feels free to talk about the narcissism of singles. I've noticed that married men tend to be so randy that they're dying for almost any woman other than their wife. Married men tend to have much more generous standards for female attractiveness. I don't understand how Prager could keep talking on the air about the high number of attractive women. Prager said he wanted to take photos of the women at the event to post on his website but he didn't because it wasn't right.]
For some attendants, Prager, rather than the prospect of meeting an available mate, was the draw for the event. "I've loved him for over 20 years, and I'm going to marry him after I kill his wife," Lee Winters of Los Angeles said. "I'm not here to meet anyone but to be close to him."
Dennis Prager spoke out about this: NEW YORK –– In the almost-anything-goes world of radio, home to Howard Stern and Don Imus, a pair of New York shock jocks discovered what goes too far: sex inside St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Opie and Anthony, co-hosts of WNEW-FM's popular afternoon drive-time program, remained off the air for a second day Tuesday while a 350,000-member Roman Catholic group pushed for their station to get its license revoked. The pair allegedly broadcast a live, eyewitness account of a couple having sex in the landmark Manhattan church.
"Nothing would make us happier than for WNEW's license to be revoked," said William Donohue, head of the Catholic League, which has also demanded a hefty fine for WNEW's parent company. The station is one of 180 owned nationwide by Infinity Broadcasting.
Over the past decade, the standards for broadcasting have coarsened, led by the envelope-pushing antics of Stern, Imus and a legion of imitators.
But Opie and Anthony went beyond most. In 1998, they were fired from a Massachusetts station after announcing on April Fool's Day that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino had died in a car crash.
Last year, ads for their program were yanked from 40 Westchester County buses after officials discovered that their "WOW" logo was a code encouraging women to doff their tops.
And two months ago, the FCC imposed a $21,000 fine on Infinity after citing three "indecent" bits that appeared on the show between November 2000 and January 2001, one involving incest.
DENNIS PRAGER spoke out agains the Tom Leykis show. Leykis once called Prager around 1991 to argue with him about FCC fines against competitor's of Prager's then station KABC. Prager called Leykis a snotty guy. Leykis then spent an hour of his KFI show blasting Prager.
DP: Do you have to be a conservative to find this troubling? If this really is a liberal/conservative divide, we are in trouble.
Dennis Prager was once interviewing a New York Times science journalist and used the word 'clitoris.' And one station carrying Prager's show cancelled him after that. A conservative Sacramento station cancelled Prager because his views on pornography were too liberal.
THIRD HOUR: Dennis discussed this 8/6/02 WSJ article: University of Washington psychology professor John Gottman, a leading divorce-prediction researcher (www.gottman.com), has videotaped thousands of couples and codes positive and negative facial expressions, body language and comments.
Research shows eye-rolling after a spouse's comment can be a strong predictor for divorce, while marriages with traditional gender roles often are highly successful.
Dr. Gottman and his colleagues have calculated that strong marriages have at least a five-to-one ratio of positive to negative interactions. When the ratio starts to drop, the marriage is at high risk for divorce.
Four negative qualities are the strongest predictors for divorce: contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling. Couples also need to be aware of subtle negatives such as facial expressions.
The people with the highest expectations for marriage usually end up with the highest-quality marriages.
Another strong risk factor for divorce is whether the wife influences decision-making. In troubled marriages, the wife wields very little influence over her husband.
Age difference is a risk factor when the woman is much older than the man, but the reverse isn't a problem.
Finally, it has become clear that many marital disagreements simply can't be solved. In one study, researchers interviewed the same couples four years apart. To their surprise, 70% were still talking and fighting about the same problems in exactly the same way as they were four years earlier. The result has been a push for "acceptance" therapy, encouraging partners to accept the enduring foibles of their spouses rather than trying to change them.
DENNIS PRAGER: The most successful couples were those that shared a traditional view of gender roles. That makes perfect sense to me.
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor, wrote to www.TheJewishweek.com: Dennis Prager’s visceral hatred of the left has blinded him into violating the 11th commandment: Thou shall not stereotype.
In his screed against the left, “Why the Left Backs Palestinians” (Opinion, July 19), he portrays the entire left as anti-Israel. Prager names few specific people, but among those he includes as “a man of the left” is my dear friend James O. Freedman, the former president of Dartmouth College, implying that he too must be anti-Israel.
I have known Jim for more than 40 years and can vouch for the fact that he, like many other men and women of the left, is strongly supportive of Israel. Prager has characterized me, in other contexts, as a man of the left as well. Yet as he well knows I, along with other liberals like Professor Irwin Cotler, have long been leaders in pro-Israel activities on college campuses and throughout the world.
I, along with many other liberals, spearheaded the campaign against divestiture instituted by Noam Chomsky, and I am now writing a pamphlet for distribution on college campuses entitled “The Liberal Case for Israel,” which demonstrates that you don’t have to be a right-winger to support Israel.
Prager is correct in observing that many people of the extreme left — particularly old-line Stalinists — have always opposed Israel. I and many other moderate leftists have been fighting against these extremists for years. Prager also ignores the elected political left in America, which has always been staunchly pro-Israel.
To condemn the entire left because of some extremists would be comparable to condemning the entire right because Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak and many others on the extreme right are virulently anti-Israel. One should not generalize about “the left” any more than anyone should generalize about “the Jews.” Dennis Prager knows better than to paint with so broad and inaccurate a brush.
Dennis Prager had Joshua Muravchik on his show. Muravchik is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism" (Encounter). This article in the Wall Street Journal Europe is adapted from a longer piece which appeared in the Weekly Standard, a U.S. magazine:
On Dec. 10, [University of New Hampshire] Marc Herold released a "dossier" claiming to have "documented" 3,767 civilian deaths in the American air campaign in Afghanistan. What this has to do with economics and women's studies, his putative fields, is anyone's guess, but the professor finds time to update his count daily in a data base on the web.
Mr. Herold found few takers in the U.S. because journalists -- at least those who work for what Mr. Herold contemptuously calls the "mainstream corporate media" -- have been skeptical of his peculiar methods of counting.
But just last month, the center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, arguably Germany's most respected newspaper, commented that in contrast to U.S. government reticence on the subject, "a study published in January by the University of New Hampshire speaks of nearly 4,000 civilians killed since October 2001. Since then, the number is said to have reached 5,000 victims. This would mean more people have been killed in Afghanistan than through the attacks in New York on September 11." The same comparison was drawn in Der Spiegel.
In Britain, the leftist Guardian called Mr. Herold's work "a systematic independent study . . . . based on corroborated reports," while a Times story cited the 4,000 figure sympathetically. The BBC reported Mr. Herold's conclusions and described his methodology in terms that made it sound highly credible.
In France the Communist Party organ L'Humanite also reported Mr. Herold's figures. And Le Monde Diplomatique carried a long essay by Selig Harrison characterizing Mr. Herold's work as based on "meticulously gathered evidence on the ground from relief workers and journalists." Mr. Harrison returned to the subject in a piece in the International Herald Tribune, this time calling Mr. Herold's count "a credible University of New Hampshire study."
...[M]y persistent questioning had driven Mr. Herold to the web to check me out. He replied that he had learned that I am a neo-conservative and therefore answering my queries did not justify "the opportunity cost of my time. . . . I 'owe' you absolutely nothing."
Dennis Prager laughed throughout the 2001 Jerry Zucker movie Rat Race. His wife Fran laughed so hard she choked on her popcorn.
Dennis spoke for the first time about Joe Eszterhas' recent column in the NY Times. Joe's written 14 films, many of them filled with sex, infidelity, violence, slashing, prostitutes, etc... He now goes to church and he regrets his life work. So he writes an article for the New York Times regretting his work. And which part of his work does he regret? That he had characters who smoked. It is so absurd.
You can't argue that Basic Instinct and his many other films have been a service to humanity. The way he eroticized murder.
Joe Eszterhas's piece is so funny that only someone in Hollywood could write it. Because Eszterhas has throat cancer, ergo, smoking is wrong. The narcissism is amazing.
Joe Eszterhas writes 8/9/02: I've written 14 movies. My characters smoke in many of them, and they look cool and glamorous doing it. Smoking was an integral part of many of my screenplays because I was a militant smoker. It was part of a bad-boy image I'd cultivated for a long time — smoking, drinking, partying, rock 'n' roll.
Smoking, I once believed, was every person's right. Efforts to stop it were politically correct, a Big Brother assault on personal freedoms. Secondhand smoke was a nonexistent problem invented by professional do-gooders. I put all these views into my scripts.
DP: Has Eszterhas ever portrayed marital sex? And what about alcohol? How many tens of thousands of innocent people die each year because of drunk drivers and criminals committing crimes while under the influence of alcohol?
Kathleen Parker writes on Jewish World Review: Between the woman in "Basic Instinct" ice-picking her lover to death during sexual intercourse and the pantyless woman crossing her legs while smoking a cigarette, which is more offensive? Which more likely to be imitated? And by whom, young girls?
First, one might hope that young women impressionable enough to want to imitate fictional movie characters aren't watching "Basic Instinct." If they are, the cigarette is the least of our worries. I'm far more concerned about the brutality of the imagery on our collective psyche and spirit than I am that someone might think Sharon Stone looks cool smoking a cigarette.
Tammi Bruce writes on FrontPageMagazine.com: Of what exactly has he finally realized his culpability? His portrayal of Sharon Stone as a psychotic lesbian ice-picktress? Or Stone as a stalked victim-to-be in “Sliver”? Or Linda Fiorentino as psycho-whore-maybe killer in “Jade”? Nope — he’s upset he glamorized smoking. That’s right. Why? Eszterhas has been diagnosed with throat cancer, has lost most of his larynx, and has difficulty speaking after years of what he termed being a “militant” smoker.
While anyone getting cancer is a tragedy, and he deserves the best of luck in his recovery, Eszterhas’ personal hypocrisy is truly stunning and worthy of criticism. Yes, it’s good he finally recognizes that glamorizing smoking can influence people, but what about glamorizing violence? Perhaps I’ve been living on a planet different from Eszterhas’ but the fact that smoking causes cancer has been known for decades. As has film’s impact in general on an audience’s social attitudes and mores. This is where the real danger of his movies comes to light. Choosing to smoke is ultimately a direct personal decision. The impact on attitudes, however, especially about women, is much more sinister and insidious problem.
What are the common themes in his films from the 1990’s? Like “Basic Instinct,” “Jade,” “Showgirls,” and “Sliver,” alternately sexualized violence against women (and men!), glamorized murder, portrayed women as whores who were not to be trusted and declared in image and word that violence against women is erotic, understandable and inevitable. After all, if you don’t kill them, they’ll kill you first! This sick contribution to our popular culture demeans both women and men, and has made Eszterhas, and other associated with his films, very rich and famous.
SECOND HOUR: Prager read a letter from Sarah, now 30 yo, who was was raped at age 17. Sarah explained that women need to believe that rape is about violence, not sex, or they would get turned off to sex.
Female therapist after female therapist told her that her rape was about violence, not sex, and that helped her disentangle what happened to her from sex.
For Sarah to progress to a healthy sex life, she had to completely disassociate the rape from sex. So even though it is not true, it is good for women to believe rape is about violence rather than sex.
DP says that therapists don't help their patients by lying. When men don't sexually control themselves, they rape. That's the honest truth. Some women who've been raped don't like it being called violence because it is not honest to what was done to her. She was sexually violated, not just mugged or beaten.
Dennis Prager blasted a Delta captain who would not fly Israeli minister Dan Melchior from Cincinnatti to Toronto because he was a security threat. As reported by the Associated Press Aug 11 and Israeli radio. Delta has stonewalled the issue.
Caller: "I called Delta and all they did was attack me and attack you."
DP praised the 1946 Alfred Hitchcock film Notorious.
DP agreed with all but one paragraph of this Sandy Banks column in the LA Times. Here's the paragraph:
"These days we profess to understand that rape is not about sex, but about violence and rage and that the victim is no more to blame than someone held up for money at the point of a gun. Rape is no more a result of sexual passion than domestic violence is an expression of love."
Banks further writes: And yet we continue to shield rape victims, as if they've done something shameful. Our complicity in the silence may actually further the stigma, adding to the burden that rape victims face by ratifying their sense of shame.
There have been halfhearted efforts to move the media to change. "Our society needs to see that [shame] and attend to it, not hide it or hush it up," wrote editor Geneva Overholser, in a 1989 commentary in the Des Moines Register. "We will not break down the stigma until more and more women take public stands."
DP read his essay, "Why my son's best friend is black."
People overwhelmingly prefer to socialize within their racial and social group as they age however.
DP writes: First, you can't make friends among members of groups that you don't meet. For whatever reasons, many black Americans have been choosing segregation. You can see it at lunch tables in many schools, in the separate black graduation ceremonies and dorms at colleges, in the proliferating number of race-based professional organizations, and in choosing to live in racially segregated neighborhoods.
Second, it is most relevant that my son is a religious Jew and that his friend is a religious Christian. Though they don't really know it, their friendship has been rendered much more likely because of this, even more than because of their mutual love of swimming, tortoises and video games.
One consequence is that his primary identities are Steven, American and Christian. This is not often the case in contemporary African-American life, where racial identity often trumps one's individual human, religious or American identity.
NEAR THE END of DP's second hour on this topic, he got a caller who said that blacks are following the example of Jews in spending their money within the group.
DP: What do you mean?
Caller: Well, if a Jew were to get into a car accident, he'd mostly likely seek out a Jewish lawyer to represent him and a Jewish doctor to treat him.
DP: I've been a Jew for 53 years and I've never heard of it. Jews don't seek Jewish lawyers. They seek good lawyers.
DP said the guy was completely wrong. DP said he was glad he had his radio show so he could correct people's misapprehensions.
LUKE FORD SAYS: I think Dennis is wrong. Every group tends to prefer to socialize and do business with similar types of people. Jews, generally speaking, prefer to hang out with fellow Jews and to do business with fellow Jews. Jews in shuls I go to seek out fellow Jewish lawyers and professionals.
Anyone who observes Jewish Law, which Prager so greatly advocates, will have a hard time interacting with non-Jews beyond making money. Jewish Law makes it nigh impossible to eat and drink with non-Jews because of the laws of kosher. Judaism is set up to keep Jews separated from the goyim. Many, if not most, orthodox Jews believe that contact with non-Jews, beyond business, is contaminating.
Most orthodox Jews I know would not be happy that their kid's best friend was a black Christian.
Prager took a call from his friend Jesse Lee Peterson, who was just written up in the Washington Times:
A conservative activist says that he was booed, jeered and called "the white man's boy" by a crowd of nearly 300 black reporters and media figures for speaking against reparations at last week's annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, presented his opinions during a Friday debate with Michael Eric Dyson, author and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, on "The Case For/Against Reparations for African Americans."
"During the question-and-answer period, Dyson and others in the audience called me ignorant and accused me of being 'the white man's boy,'" Mr. Peterson said. "They attacked my education and the way I speak and told me that I was a pawn for the white man."
DP writes: There is a great evil, and many in the West either defend it or excuse its totalitarianism and antisemitism. It is Islamic extremism. Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Palestinian society have created totalitarian regimes that, in each or all cases, have terribly oppressed women; enslaved and slaughtered a million blacks who refuse to be subjugated to Islamic totalitarianism; use religious police to whip men who drink alcohol; torture Christians who live or work there; have developed a unique theology of cruelty in which God is depicted as a provider of scores of young women to all Muslims who blow themselves up while murdering Jews and Americans; and, like Nazism, it has made Jew-hatred its centerpiece.
DP talked about this Washington Times article: A new study shows that fathers of the evangelical and Catholic faiths may be better parents than secular dads, if judged by the time they spend with their children in activities or at the dinner table.
The author of the study, reported in the Journal of Marriage and Family, said the findings contradict a stereotype that conservative Protestant fathers leave child rearing to stay-at-home wives. "Evangelical Protestant fathers, including Southern Baptists, are very involved with their children, which I found surprising, given their tendency to embrace traditional gender attitudes," said W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia.
A few years ago, when DP endorsed the Zone diet of Dr. Barry Sears, I tried it and I have tried to stick to it eversince because I've found it makes me feel better.
A couple of weeks ago, after listening to Prager's repeated endorsements of Propax.com, I tried the product and immediately felt more energetic and clear thinking. Thanks Dennis.
DP blasted this LA Times headline about the latest Palestinian homocide bombers in Israel: "16 Die as Violence Again Sweeps Mideast"
Violence just erupts or does somebody do it? Two Palestinians died as they attempted to kill as many Israelis as possible.
It's Dennis Prager's birthday.
DP spoke about 10,000 Palestinians celebrating the suicide bombing at Hebrew University in Jerusalem that killed seven people, including five Americans. DP wondered why there have been no Israeli celebrations when Palestinians have been killed. When do Israelis cheer when Palestinian civilians and kids are accidentally killed by Israeli solders?
MSNBC reported on President Bush's anger over the Jerusalem bombing, then added, "He did not explain why he was angry." MSNBC didn't understand why President Bush would be angry about the murder of five Americans?
What have Palestinians contributed to science, literature, medicine, culture? All they export is terror and death and dressing up kids as suicide bombers.
Yassir Arafat is one of the few persons to speak before the UN wearing a gun.
DP read from Yossi Klein Halevi's column in the 8/1/02 LA Times: Finally, we draw strength from the realization that we are the front line in a global war against a new barbarity. Humanity is poised between breakthrough and breakdown, between unimagined scientific and medical advances and the forces of terrorist dissipation and religious reaction that would send us back to the Middle Ages. Not surprisingly, the Jews once again find themselves the primary targets of those intent on world domination.
As history has repeatedly proved, what begins as a threat to the Jews ends with a threat to civilization. In clinging to a semblance of normal life and refusing to be terrorized, we are fighting a war whose implications extend far beyond Israel. Terrorists around the world are watching this conflict to see whether terrorism breaks Israeli will. Whether or not the world recognizes it, we know we're holding the line for its future as well as ours.
DP praised this Charles Krauthammer column: To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.
For the first side of this equation, I need no sources. As a conservative, I can confidently attest that whatever else my colleagues might disagree about -- Bosnia, John McCain, precisely how many orphans we're prepared to throw into the snow so the rich can have their tax cuts -- we all agree that liberals are stupid.
We mean this, of course, in the nicest way. Liberals tend to be nice, and they believe -- here is where they go stupid -- that most everybody else is nice too. Deep down, that is. Sure, you've got your multiple felon and your occasional war criminal, but they're undoubtedly depraved 'cause they're deprived. If only we could get social conditions right -- eliminate poverty, teach anger management, restore the ozone, arrest John Ashcroft -- everyone would be holding hands smiley-faced, rocking back and forth to "We Shall Overcome."
THIRD HOUR: Dennis said he was the only person in his income bracket who had no stock holdings. DP said his wealth was invested in his home and a condominium. DP praised this Robert Samuelson column:
The stock market's fall, it seems, has created a new social crisis. People in their late fifties and their sixties are postponing retirement or, if already retired, returning to work. Their savings have been devastated. They can't afford not to work. But this "crisis" may be a blessing in disguise if people step back and consider the larger implications. It's pushing Americans toward working longer and saving earlier -- exactly what they ought to do.
Sounds alarming. But these and other stories ignore the broader social context. For decades, Americans have been encouraged to retire ever earlier, even though they're healthier and live longer. Social Security, Medicare (federal health insurance for those 65 and over) and private pensions have made retirement the ultimate middle-class entitlement. People have wanted more "golden years" and less "grind." In 1963, 80 percent of men from 60 to 64 worked, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2001, only 57 percent did.
The trouble is that as baby boomers approach their sixties, the country cannot afford to have so many fit people become economic dropouts.
DENNIS PRAGER says people should work at all ages. In his first hour, Dennis interviewed his father Max, aged 84, who was still active, and married for 62 years.
DP says we should stop supporting Big Brothers/Sisters because the organization has sent out a message to all its 500 or so chapters demanding there be no discrimination against homosexuals who want to be big brothers/sisters. Homosexuals should not be the mentors and models for kids.
Why would you place a young boy in the hands of somebody who could be sexually attracted to him? Would you want some strange man looking after your daughter?
DP says chapters of this organization should disband and form new groups.
Why don't radicals start their own organizations, a gay big brothers/sisters program?
DP tried all day to get a hold of Big Brothers/Sisters, but like all such radical organizations, they don't like to defend their views to anyone who might have a different view. The pro-choice is only pro-choice when it comes to extinguishing nascent human life.
DP has given his time and made free speeches for Big Brothers in the past.
DP urged people to protest to BBS. He emphasized that one should never yell or use obscenities when registering a protest.
From Foxnews.com: LOS ANGELES — Big Brothers-Big Sisters of America Inc., the organization that for nearly a century has provided adult mentors to help kids from single-parent families, has imposed a new rule that demands that all 500 U.S. affiliates sign up for homosexual mentors or risk being kicked out of the program.
"You cannot discriminate against a person based on race, sex, sexual orientation," said Khush Cooper, a lesbian and longtime big sister. Cooper said she's as good as any straight mentor and supports mandatory inclusion of gays because it helps stop prejudice. "I don’t think my being gay or lesbian affects how I can teach a kid how to ride a bike or how I can help with their geometry at school. It just has no bearing on it," she said.
"It's another case of political correctness gone wild," said Peter Sprigg, senior director of Culture Studies at the Family Research Council. Sprigg said sexual preference must be taken into account when considering role models for children. "They don't allow adult men to serve as mentors for young girls and presumably that is in large part because of the risk those mentors might view those children as potential sexual objects. So it makes no sense whatsoever to allow homosexual men to serve as mentors to young boys," he said.
"There are many job opportunities and volunteer opportunities in which a person's sexual orientation makes no difference at all, but working with young children is not one of those cases," he said.
DP talked about a close friend in college, who, within a year, changed from bisexual to homosexual. The friend told Prager that it was not uncommmon for him and his gay friends to sit on a bus next to a fellow gay stranger, put their coats over their laps, and mutually masturbate each other.
DP said heterosexual men would act the same way if women allowed it. If a beautiful woman sitting next to you on a flight would stroke your thigh, then men would usually go as far as they can get away with.
Caller: Heterosexual men are not like that. You Dennis are like that. That's because while you act heterosexual, you think like a homosexual.
DP read from today's LA Times article about online access to risky sex: A year after testing positive for HIV, a 40-year-old entertainment publicist returns time and again to the "bathhouse" in his backyard. Inside a cinder-block shed, with jazz blaring in the background, he taps away at a computer, trolling for sexual partners.
His bathhouse is the Internet, specifically the Los Angeles chat room of Gay.com, a wildly popular Web site that offers flirtatious banter, personal ads and the opportunity to quickly turn virtual encounters into real-life sex.
Two years ago, the publicist met another guy the same way. During sex, the condom broke. That's how he says he caught the AIDS virus. "It's like playing Russian roulette," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "I got the bullet."
Luke Gets Mail
Lawrence Szenes-Strauss writes: While looking at some articles on the battle in Jenin in April, I came across your site. Pikuach nefesh -- the saving of a life -- is considered to be of utmost importance in Jewish law. There are only three sins over which death is preferable: murder, incest/aldultery and avodah zarah. (Usually mistranslated as "idol worship," avodah zarah is understood to refer to the pagan religions which surrounded the ancient Israelites, whose worship DID involve idols, but more to the point it involved human sacrifice. As such, avodah zarah is considered to be an affront both to God and man.)
Other than the three sins mentioned above, any Jewish law MUST be broken if that law stands in the way of saving a human life. No Jew who understands halachah -- Jewish law -- would ever refuse a blood transfusion. I'd be glad to entertain the notion that some Talmudic rabbi proposed the idea and was quickly shot down by his peers, provided that you can give me the citation. (A frequent cause of misunderstanding concerning the Talmud is the fact that it is a record of legal discussions, not a straight legal code. Every so often one of the conversants says something revolting, but far more often than not a rebuttal is recorded, and that rebuttal accepted as the law.)
While Jews are certainly not immune to racism -- no more than are Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or atheists -- Israel Shahak is not the place to start learning about Judaism and Jewish values and laws. His grudge sometimes proves to be valid, but he is selective about information in such a way that it favors his views and soils the name of religious Judaism. He is what is called in many circles a "self-hating Jew."
If you'd like to read a solid introduction to Jewish ethics and morals, try "The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-By-Day Guide to Ethical Living" by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. To believe that one can learn about Jewish religious values from Shahak -- rather than the perversion of those values, which he sometimes doccuments accurately -- is to believe that one can understand Roman Catholicism by reading about the recent abuse scandals.
I hope this doesn't seem like too much of a rant. I just find it troubling when information which seems so out of line with my religion is called fact without accompanying evidence.
A Jew is required to save a non-Jewish life just as much as he is required to save a Jewish life, with or without notice from "goyim."
An extension of this myth, which Shahak embraces, is that Shabbat may only be violated to save a Jewish life. Again, this is a perversion of true Jewish law. Shahak's story about the orthodox Jew who left a non-Jew to die on Shabbat rather than call an ambulance -- in line with the Chief Rabbinate's ruling -- is problematic for two reasons.
1. The chief rabbinate of Israel has ruled very explicitly that Shabbat must be violated for the purpose of saving any human life, be it Jewish or not. They phrased this ruling very carefully, because there is a belief among the more ignorant in the orthodox community that this is not the case.
2. The Summer 1966 edition of the magazine Tradition recounts an interview with Mr. Shahak who, when asked to identify the mysterious orthodox Jew who would have let that man die, acknowledges that the Jew of whom he spoke did not exist.
In reading Shahak's writings, one gets the impression that his upbringing was not just "orthodox" in the sense that we now use the word. His claims - - that one should curse a non-Jewish cemetery, or that a non-Jew cannot be saved if it means violating Shabbat -- do line up with certain streaks of eastern-European superstitious drivel which sadly have accumulated in some Jewish communities over the centuries. These streaks come from several sources and types of conditions, but the formula is usually something like this:
1. The Jewish populace of a relatively isolated area spends many years unconnected to the Jewish community at large, falling into a certain degree of ignorance with regard to Jewish legal writings which, like any other written work, can only be understood in their cultural context.
2. Antagonistic relations with neighboring non-Jewish communities lead to a perverted reading of complicated works such as the Talmud, resulting in distorted Jewish "laws" which the Talmud's authors would have rejected, and which most Jews do as well.
Another distortion is Shahak's claim that the ritual washing of hands after a meal -- which is almost non-existant in most of the Jewish world anyway - - constitutes worship of some kind of "satan." This does not hold water, if you'll pardon the expression. Firstly, Jewish law strictly and very harshly forbids the worship of anyone or anything but the one God. Secondly, mainstream Jewish theology does not really make a place for an anti-God figure akin to the Christian idea of Satan. What Shahak speaks of -- what he often speaks of in his distortions -- is an uninformed interpretation of the doctrines of Kabalah.
A bit on Kabalah: It is a mystical tradition which found fruition during the 16th Century in the town of Tzfat (usually inexplicably spelled "Safed" in English). The recent popularization of pseudo-Kabalah as a new-age spirituality has led to a widespread belief that Kabalah is part of mainstream Judaism. It is not, any more than snake handling and poison-swallowing are parts of mainstream Protestantism. Most Jews who take the time to learn anything about Kabalah beyond its poetry find the belief system to be anti-Jewish at best and remarkably disturbing at worst. Multiple godheads are often the subject of Kabalistic doctrine; the very basis of mainstream Judaism is the existence of one indivisible God. Kabalah holds that sexual union between husband and wife emulates sexual union between a male God and a female nation of Israel; mainstream Judaism holds that God has neither body nor bodily image of any sort and has no gender. (We usually refer to God as "He" simply because English -- like Hebrew -- cannot gracefully express gender neutrality in a sentient being.) Kabalah also has, I admit, some remarkably insulting things to say about non-Jews. They do not have a place in mainstream Judaism, many of whose followers view Kabalah as a heretical offshoot religion.
There exist Catholic communities in which people pray directly to saints with the understanding that they are lesser gods. The people in these communities, while often extremely pious and God-fearing, are not following Catholic doctrine but their own ideas, based upon distortions of the concept of an interceding saint. Shahak is their equivalent in Judaism: he was raised in an oppressive, ignorant and xenophobic pseudo- orthodox environment which, coupled with horrifying childhood trauma, led to his unique interpretations of the Jewish religion. I do not question that he was taught as a child not to save non-Jews on Shabbat, and I believe that he really was told to curse the mothers of non-Jews who die. I only contest the notion that the religion of his upbringing was proper Judaism.
I'm sure that Mr. Shahak was an excellent chemist, but he was not a scholar of Judaism. In any case, the onus of proof should lie with the claimant; Shahak does not convincingly back up any of the bizarre claims he makes about Judaism. Telushkin, by contrast, cites the Bible, Mishnah, Talmud and whatever else he needs, chapter and verse. A true scholar gives his sources, so that they may be checked. Shahak was not a true scholar of religion.
Dennis Prager appeared on Aaron Brown's CNN program last night to discuss the kidnapping and murder of a five-year old girl (Samantha) in Southern California.
DP said it was wonderful that thousands of people showed up to the funeral. It shows community. That we feel your pain.
Charlie Richards, Prager's radio show producer, said it was strange for strangers to show up to the funeral.
I think much of the difference is that Charlie is a Protestant, a private individualistic religion, and Prager is part of Judaism, a communal religion. When a Jew is killed anywhere in the world, all Jews are supposed to mourn. We mourn as a people and celebrate as a people. Every murder is a public act.
Read this article by Amram Hassan, castigating Jews in LA who did not show up to the funerals of the two Jews killed in the LAX July 4th shooting: "On Sunday, I am sure many of you were busy with things like family, soccer or work, or maybe you were gardening in your back yards. I am sure that everybody had a reason why they were not at the memorials held for the victims of the LAX attack."
Dennis Prager writes in the LA Times: But we harm our children and our society when we instill a fear of strangers in them. When we tell them not to talk to strangers, we are in effect telling them that everyone in the world, except for the few people they actually know, is a threat. This is not a message I have conveyed to my children. In fact, within common-sense guidelines--never go anywhere with a stranger, never approach a stranger who calls to you from a car, never open the house door without knowing who is there or without an adult's permission--I actually want my children to talk to strangers.
But aren't there real threats from bad strangers, and don't we have the obligation to protect our children from them? This question raises a much larger issue that we Americans seem disinclined to face: What prices are we willing to pay to reduce risks?
For decades, well before the current threat of terrorism, the foremost concern among many Americans has been eliminating all risks to their physical security. Our society has been preoccupied with real threats to health (fattening foods, air pollution) and with greatly exaggerated threats (secondhand smoke, heterosexual AIDS, Alar in apples, breast implants, seesaws and much more).
In his third hour, DP discussed the latest Tiger Woods controversy. DP likes Tiger Woods because he sees himself primarily as a human being rather than as a member of a race.
Tiger is now in trouble for playing in the Masters golf tournament at a country club that does not allow women members. How can a black man, who knows the pain of racial discrimination, allow discrimination against women?
DP says it is simple. Race counts for nothing. Sexual difference are significant.
Guys like to be with guys and women like to be with guys, and that is a fact of life that feminists don't like to acknowledge.
DP discussed a NY Times article about a Columbia University study that shows kids are better off with home care rather than day care. DP notes that the only people asked to comment on the article were working women (who mainly have hyphenated names).
Not one person who's decided to be a fulltime mother are quoted because they are not considered to be experts.
Tamar Lewin writes in Sunday's NY Times: Contradictory truths emerging from the nation's most comprehensive child-care study are partial snapshots, too. But in the heat of the continuing debate over working mothers, they have heightened the anxieties many parents already feel.
Last week, in Child Development, the journal of the Society for Research in Child Development, a group of respected Columbia University researchers reported that children whose mothers worked more than 30 hours a week by the time they were 9 months old got lower scores on school readiness tests at age 3.
"Each study shines a light on different factors," said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek of Temple University, a researcher on the original analysis of the child-care study. "They don't find the same answers because they're asking different questions. The new study looked at the effects of early maternal employment. Our study looked at the effects of spending a long time in child care. The findings may look contradictory, but really they're complementary. What we need to be doing, now, is trying to put it all together, to look at the whole child."
This is Prager's last day on the air before going on vacation for a couple of weeks.
He got a caller who said he had anti-Semitic friends. These friends had given him some horrific quotes from the Talmud about non-Jews and the caller wanted to know if they were true.
DP answered: One. The Talmud is Judaism's second most important book, next to the Bible. (Many would disagree with this ranking, placing the Talmud as more important.) Two. The Talmud is a collection of conversations. It is a huge work, the size of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. If you scour it, you will find many troubling comments, including, 'Don't talk too much with women.' But this is not reflected in Jewish history.
Prager is not familiar with bad comments about non-Jews in the Talmud. Sheesh, he must not have studied it much.
DP notes that every society has different standards for how it treats the in group and outsiders.
For a more thoughtful response to this caller's question, see my entry on Israel Shahak.
I thought Dennis Prager's response was dishonest. He's written that Judaism must change its laws regarding non-Jews. For instance, that if a non-Jew passes his hand over an opened bottle of kosher wine, it is forbidden for a Jew to drink it. DP does not mention this.
DP has written about Orthodox Jews who believe that Jewish Law states one should not break the Sabbath to save the life of a non-Jew.
DENNIS PRAGER writes on Townhall.com: The American government sure is easily baffled. An extremist Egyptian Muslim chooses July 4th to murder Americans and Israelis who are flying from an American airport on Israel's national airline -- and the official line is that we can't call this terror or even identify the murderer's motives?
This country's officials are in a state of denial and confusion that is almost as frightening as the terrorism they are supposed to be fighting. The FBI says that unless Hadayet is linked to a terrorist organization, he did not commit an act of terror. But if that is now America's criterion for defining terrorism, Timothy McVeigh did not commit an act of terrorism. He wasn't linked to a terrorist group.
DP says the government and the FBI look stupid for saying they did not know the motive of the Egyptian murderer of two Jews at the EL AL counter at LAX on July 4th. DP says the motive was clearly terror and hatred of Jews.
As AndrewSullivan.com wrote: "READ KORAN": That's the bumper sticker long affixed to Hesham Hadyat's front door - put there again the day of the killing (and then removed). He was angry that Old Glory was being flown from the apartment window above him after September 11. Employees say he was virulently anti-Israel. He went to LAX with the intent of killing - and somehow he missed the Delta counter and ended up at El Al. And we're supposed to think that "so far we have no indication of any type of prejudice against any particular organization or nationality." What planet are these FBI denialists on? It's irrelevant whether Hadyat was connected to official terrorist groups. In fact, if he is unconnected, his Jew-killing is more troubling. He is simply responding to the hate that the Arab and Muslim world has been stoking against Jews for decades. He needed no official instruction to tell him to kill Jews and Israelis. He wasn't poor: he was a prosperous immigrant who drove a Mercedes. The only instruction he needed was affixed to his door: "Read Koran." Why should we be surprised when, under the current circumstances and stoked by the new anti-Semitism from the Arab world and Europe, Hadyat took the Koran's injunction to kill Jews literally? And when is our government and p.c. media going to recognize we have a problem here? Can you imagine if a white supremacist had shown up at an African airline counter and killed blacks? Would anyone be "puzzled" about the motive?
Matt: hey, quick question: when did howard stern praise dennis prager?
And has prager ever praised or even mentioned howard stern?
SECOND HOUR: DP castigated baseball owners and players for the possibility of another strike. DP called them greedy. Why are they more greedy than Prager or anyone else who tries to maximize his earning potential? Why are baseball players and owners showing anymore contempt for fans than garbage collectors or police who strike?
DP praised this Charles Krauthammer column: Because if the players do strike, they may one day come back. But I will not. And if baseball loses me, there will be no one else left.
There are not too many fans like me left. The younger generation has no interest in baseball. They play soccer. They watch football. My son, himself once a fine Little League pitcher, finds it quaint that the old geezer sits around watching players adjust their batting gloves, britches and private parts -- with the occasional interruption for a hack at a pitch.
If baseball loses me, it has lost its best customer. In fact, my brother, another lifelong fan, quit on baseball after the 1994 strike. Never went to another game. On principle.
I gave baseball one last chance. And this is it. If the players strike this time -- ruin the season, cancel the World Series and, once again, devalue the game -- not only am I not going back. I am going to root for its total collapse, for Major League Baseball to disappear.
From Dennis Prager's latest column: All those who disagree with American support of Israel -- the Arab world and its supporters in America such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the left and the State Department (privately, if not publicly) -- explain American support of Israel by attributing it to the "pro-Israel lobby" and its alleged power over Congress.
The first reason [this charge is untrue] is that it ignores Christians, specifically evangelical Christians. These Americans have supplanted Jewish Americans as the most powerful support group for Israel. They believe the Bible when it says, in Genesis, that God will bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse the Jews. They are, incidentally, quite right: America and the Arab world today are examples of that biblical promise. They also believe that the return of the Jews to Israel was prophesied thousands of years ago in the Bible.
This, more than any other single factor, explains the powerful support given to Israel by President George W. Bush. The president is a Bible-believing Christian (and therefore considerably more supportive of Israel than his father, whose Christianity was more "mainstream Protestant"). If the "pro-Israel lobby" were the reason for American support of Israel, and if it were synonymous with Jews, President Bush would hardly be susceptible to its influence. President Bush received few Jews' votes and few Jews' money.
Dennis Prager says: I consider Tom Cruise such a fool. He has contempt for that which I hold dear. It will be hard for me to see his movies anymore. I can't watch Jane Fonda because I can no longer see her as an actress because she has so given her life over to radical politics.
From Foxnews.com: NEW YORK — He's an all-American movie star, but Tom Cruise said his children will be making All the Right Moves — by moving out of America. "I think the U.S. is terrifying and it saddens me," he told the British paper the Daily Express. "You only have to look at the state of affairs in America."
At the Minority Report premiere Cruise, who is known for his role in the Mission Impossible flicks as a slick superagent for Truth, Justice and the American way, said his adopted children Isabella, 9, and Connor, 7, will grow up outside the United States. They will probably be raised in Australia, his ex-wife Nicole Kidman's homeland.
Cruise, whose character became similarly disillusioned with America in Born on the Fourth of July, said raising children in the U.S. is a risky business. He said he could no longer keep his 'eyes wide shut' to America's terrorism threat, crime, faltering financial status and corporate corruption.
"I do worry about my children. As a parent you are always concerned," he told the paper. "I just want them to be in a place where they are going to be strong enough to make the right choices. Unfortunately, we're in a position where people are so irresponsible that human life holds such little value to them."
Dennis Prager says: It will now be tougher for me to see a Tom Cruise movie. To speak of America as terrifying and a bad place to raise children is about as condemnatory a statement as one can make about one's country.
Here is a twice divorced man. A single father. Once you divorce, you better make it your business to take care of your children. You've chosen to divide or destroy your children's family. Tom Cruise has essentially he doesn't want to be a dad. He wants to become an uncle to his kids. If Cruise allows his kids to be raised in Australia, he obviously doesn't want to be a father. Raising kids isn't important to him.
Cruise has decided to deflect attention away from his irresponsible fathering by crapping on the US. If the US is so bad, shouldn't Cruise do something about the industry contributing to its demise? Like Hollywood.
DP says there are radio shows that contribute to the decline of America. I suspect he's thinking of the Tom Leykis show. DP says he is not thinking of Howard Stern, who's praised Prager on a couple of occasions.
DP: America is a laid back, relaxed people who don't get upset easily. But eventually there will be a blowback.
These Hollywood types know they don't merit the money and honor they receive. They feel empty inside. They feel that any society that can give them so much must be sick.
Only people who worship money think that people poorer than them are unhappy.
Dennis Prager has wondered in the past if women over 30 years of age find Tom Cruise sexy. DP has noted with sadness that today's leading male actors, like Cruise, seem to be more boys than men.
THIRD HOUR: Prager admits he spends an hour a day playing computer games. Current favorite - spider solitaire. Prager admits he's plagued by the question of wasting time. Religious people tend to be plagued by this question.
DP says he can't fathom people who sit in coffee shops and just stare out. DP thinks you should either read a book or talk to someone.
Dennis and his guest, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, rejoiced over President Bush's speech yesterday calling for new Palestinian leadership. DP and Charles sounded the happiest they have in two years over the Middle East. They finally feel that things are going in the right direction.
Second hour. The drifter questioned by police in Utah over the disappearance of the girl. He'd shot a policeman and been released from prison after a couple of years. Judges who let dangerous people out of jail are complicit in the crimes of these dangerous people.
Third hour. The need for roots - national and religious. "As a general rule, I do not find people interesting who are not rooted in a country and religion." We need to raise boys and girls with an identity of male or female. The more identities you have, the richer you are.
Caller said he worked with social workers, who generally did not have roots or strong identities. Therefore, when anything came around, they checked it out.
I guess that's why secular people seem much more taken with social fads and fashions than the religious.
Dennis Prager gave out the first Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism at the LA Press Club dinner Saturday night. Daniel Pearl's parents, regular listeners to Prager, asked him to hand out the award.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall St. Journal bureau chief Daniel Pearl, called on journalists "to uncover seeds of hatred before they germinate," as he joined with his wife Ruth to accept the first Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism on behalf of their son, Saturday night at the 44th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards in the Grand Ballroom of the Le Meridien Hotel at Beverly Hills. "We are hopeful that Danny's legacy will inspire other journalists to continue his quest for truth and understanding," said Pearl, "to create new bridges among cultures, and to uncover seeds of hatred before they germinate." That understanding doesn't come easily, as the Pearl's have learned. The Pearl family asked that no photographs be taken of them, out of concern for their safety.
DENNIS noted that the LA Press Club's press release on the award wrongly stated that Pearl was killed for being a journalist. He was not. He was killed for being an American and a Jew.
DP wondered why Tom Cruise, on last week's issue of Time magazine, is so popular with women. He wondered if Cruise was big with women over 30.
DP hosted terrorism expert Steve Emerson in the second hour.
DP hosted Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in the third hour to talk about the rabbi's new book on Judaism for the world.
I called in (experienced a panic attack both talking to the screener and then on the air) to ask the two if they want to re-evaluate their glowing portrayals of Judaism in the light of their own controversial position within Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Boteach, an ordained Chabad rabbi, was kicked out of the Chabad movement and banned from its every shul in the world. Boteach is also banned from every Orthodox shul in England.
Dennis widely lectures throughout Jewish life, and is on the board of a Chabad day school and often speaks for Chabad, but is rarely asked to speak by other Orthodox institutions.
Rabbi Boteach has said that his split from Chabad is the single most painful thing in his life.
DP and Rabbi Boteach papered over their alleged alienation from Orthodox Judaism. But in the Orthodox circles I mix in, and this is largely Modern Orthodox, Prager and Boteach receive more criticism than praise.
If Judaism is as wonderful as Prager and Boteach say it is, how come they are so alienated from that section of Jewry that most practices Judaism - the Orthodox?
Rabbi Boteach says he "loves Rabbi [Harold] Kushner. He's another thinker who's most influenced me."
This is weird. Conservative Reconstructionist Rabbi Kushner is an atheist and diametrically opposed to traditional Judaism in many ways. Rabbi Kushner denies that God is all powerful and is shaky in affirming that God is eternal and existed before the universe came into being. Rabbi Kushner denies that God answers prayer and can intervene in our daily lives.
Rabbi B and Prager discussed the new movie Unfaithful. Prager saw it twice. They both thought it unrealistic that a happily married woman, Diane Lane, would have an affair with a young stud. The men say that women have affairs when they feel neglected by their husbands while most men who have affairs love their wives.
First hour, DP discussed a poll conducted by Bill Bennett's organization that finds that only 5% of American college students consider American values superior.
2nd hour. Happiness. Guest: Psychiatrist Dr. Steven Marmer. The most important thing for a woman to do for her hubby - make him feel admired and heroic. For hubby to wife - make her feel cherished.
3rd hour: Opening guest - CNN commentator Lou Dobbs who says we should be more specific about our war against terror. Admit that it is a war against Islamists.
Dennis Prager is furious with the US Supreme Court ruling that the retarded may not be executed.
DP notes that the definition of retarded is highly subjective.
DP notes that the ruling noted that there's a growing consensus against executing the retarded. Really? Consensus among whom? The NY Times?
What makes a human human is not intelligence but the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. This decision will lower people's respect for the retarded, though groups who lobby on behalf of the retarded will rejoice with this decision.
The life of a person murdered by a retarded person is now worth less than the life of a person murdered by a non-retarded person.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A divided Supreme Court reversed course Thursday and ruled that executing mentally retarded people is unconstitutionally cruel, giving scores of inmates on death row the possibility of a reprieve.
``It is not so much the number of these states that is significant, but the consistency of the direction of the change,'' Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority.
``The practice ... has become unusual, and it is fair to say that a national consensus has developed against it,'' Stevens wrote for himself and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
``This consensus unquestionably reflects widespread judgment about the relative culpability of mentally retarded offenders, and the relationship between mental retardation and the penological purposes served by the death penalty,'' Stevens wrote.
In the future, the ruling will mean that people arrested for a killing will not face a potential death sentence if they can show they are retarded, generally defined as having an IQ of 70 or lower.
IN THIS THIRD HOUR, Prager discussed this Reuters story:
DALLAS (June 19) - Passengers who are too large to squeeze between the arm rests of Southwest Airlines Co. seats will be charged double for flying the low-cost carrier, the company said on Wednesday.
Starting next Wednesday, its ''people of size'' policy will require passengers who need seat-belt extensions or cannot lower the arm rests on their seats to purchase two seats if they are flying on a plane near or at capacity.
...of course thousands of social conservatives freaked out at the thought of a children's network running a show about gay parenting--specifically, one entirely devoted to the discussion of gay mommies and daddies rather than, say, one merely featuring a gay parent as a character. Even without seeing the special, conservatives could be relatively certain of two things. One, that the program would depict only glowing images of gay families, with an emphasis on the pain endured because of the closed-mindedness of others. (Which it did.) And two, especially with Rosie involved, the underlying message would be one of acceptance. (Which it was.) Yes, the special included voices (including Falwell's) asserting that homosexuality is sinful, and Ellerbee stressed repeatedly that she wasn't trying to tell anyone what to think. But conservatives (like the rest of us) understand that nothing promotes acceptance of a political, racial, cultural, or religious subset faster than positive depictions on television. This is precisely why my friends and I tend to cheer programs like Ellerbee's--and precisely why many more conservative folks do not.
Moreover, you don't have to find the show itself objectionable to question whether the whole topic of sexuality--whether of the homo- or hetero- variety--is appropriate fare for children. The "Nick News" series itself is aimed at kids ages 8 to 14. Ellerbee started the program by emphasizing that it was not about sex, but expressed the hope that it would serve as "a good starting point for a discussion of your own family's beliefs about this subject." But many folks might consider second, third, or fourth graders a bit young to chat with about issues of alternative sexuality. (Ellerbee's position seems to be that if a child is old enough to have learned naughty words like "fag" or "queer," they're old enough to discuss what it means. Try telling this to the mother of a five-year-old whose older brother has just taught him to say "rug muncher.")
Dennis Prager spent the first two hours on the sexual molestation issue. In the first hour, he spoke with a Mr. Donahue, of the Catholic Civil Rights League, a conservative organization. Mr. Donahue said that priests were overwhelmingly abusing boys rather than girls (only 2% of molestation cases). He talked about a gay mafia within certain Church seminaries. That the church had become more permissive of homosexual activity since Vatican II. He did not call for weeding out all gay priests, only those who were sexually active.
Donahue said that while most gay priests were not molestors, most molestors among priests were gay. Donahue doubted there were any more molestors among priests than clergy of other religions.
Dennis spent his second hour elucidating why he thought that it was more damaging for a minor to be sexual with an adult of the same sex than of the opposite sex, because such activity has the potential to confuse a minor about his sexual orientation. Many callers agreed.
DP blasted the news media for calling the Catholic priest issue a pedophilia issue when it is overwhelmingly teenage boys who are being molested, rather than pre-pubescent children. DP says the media is skittish about confronting the overwhelming homosexual component of the story. DP says the priest-molestation issue makes the Boy Scouts case stronger of not having avowedly and openly homosexual scout masters.
In his third hour, DP discussed the World Cup. He stayed up late (till 1:15AM) to watch the US victory over Mexico 2-0. DP dissed the American dissing of soccer. He said it is a great sport, easy to understand.
DP wondered why a guy who scores a goal takes his shirt off. DP says he loved understated reactions. "I love it when a guy hits a grandslam in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the World Series and he shakes everybody's hand. Today a guy gets high-five when he bunts.
"What is interesting about the game was the emotional investment of Mexicans. To defeat the United States is so much more important to Mexicans (including Mexicans living in the US) than among Americans for the US to beat Mexico. According to a Zogby poll, 58% of Mexicans believe that the Southwest US belongs to Mexico. Only 10% disagree.
"Unlike the Palestinians, no Mexicans are blowing themselves up to get back that territory. Imagine if Mexicans acted like the Palestinians? 57% of Mexicans according to the poll believe that Mexicans should have the right to enter the United States without US permission. Should Guatemalans be allowed to enter Mexico without permission? Because Mexico has a similar issue with Guatemala, their southern neighbor, as the US with Mexico.
"If I were a Mexican, I too would want to come to the US to get ahead, even if it was illegal.
"That someone from Mexico would come here and become an American yet still cheer for Mexico doesn't bother me. US has tremendous impact in the world. A US World Cup victory won't mean much to the US but it will mean more to a less powerful country.
"A Mexican-American who puts out a Mexico flag on July 4th bothers me.
Prager writes on WorldNetDaily.com: Far more adult children stay home today because it is often quite pleasant to live with one's parents. This is a break – a positive and significant break – with the past.
Very few people in the past would have liked living with their parents beyond childhood. In fact, very many people did not like living with their parents during their childhood.
Of course, this is not the first generation of children to love or respect its parents. And surely many people today, just as in the past, have serious problems with their parents. But this generation of Americans (and quite possibly other Westerners) was raised with more freedom, autonomy and respect than probably any in history.
Dennis praised David Brooks article in the Sunday New York Times Sunday magazine:
America has this amazing ability to not decline. America's history doesn't follow the normal life cycle of nations. American standards of living actually surpassed European standards of living around 1740. For about 260 years, in other words, America has been rich. And yet decline hasn't come; Gibbon would have nothing to write about here. American workers are still the most productive on earth, two-thirds more productive than our counterparts in Great Britain, for example. American technology is still the envy of the world, and her universities are the queens of learning. Three-quarters of the Nobel laureates in economics and the sciences over the past few decades live and work in the United States. Spending more on defense than the next 15 nations combined (while still devoting only around 3 percent of the G.D.P. to the military), America is now the undisputed great power of the globe. And as the Yale historian Paul Kennedy wrote recently in The Financial Times, never before in human history has the disparity between the world's greatest power and the next greatest power been so wide.
Overall, this is not a picture of a nation of orgiastic self-indulgence. Furthermore, despite all of our earnest resolutions, Americans are still terrible at languorous ease. We can't take a vacation for a week without bringing our laptops along, let alone laze away at health spas for weeks on end slicing sausages, the way the Germans do. American beaches still aren't Rio-style thong expos, nor are they southern European nudist zones, where 70-year-old women who grew up with corsets and propriety suddenly get the urge in advanced retirement to throw off the vestments of civilization and let the vein patterns protrude in the breeze. Despite leadership from the top, we haven't really learned to relax about adultery, and serious sex surveys do not depict a nation of serious kinkiness and sensuality. Picture a typical American man going on the Internet looking for some pornography. In a few minutes he can't help himself: he's clicked over to LendingTree.com and he's checking out the latest mortgage rates. His sexually bored wife bursts in on him with disgust etched in her voice: ''What is it men have about refinancing? Can't you at least look at a few leather or barnyard sites and at least pretend to enjoy yourself?''
The reason America hasn't been corrupted by all its wealth is that in this country we have transformed the nature of money. If you have enough of it, and you are sloppy enough with it, and if you have a system that promiscuously sloshes it around from the deserving to the undeserving and back again so that there are great flows of wealth oozing all over the place and great tales of opportunity in every ear, then pretty soon money is no longer just a thing you hoard in the bank.
Dennis Prager writes on WorldNetDaily.com: Beyond that and the possible aim to create a religious adult community, there is no other reason that justifies expelling a child for a stripper's sins. And as far as sins go, strippers do considerably less harm to our society than many trial lawyers and television producers. Even regarding stripping, moreover, it is hard to believe that any school would expel the child of an actress who took off her clothes in a feature film, even though far more people would recognize that mother than a mother who stripped at a local strip joint. Unquestionably, there is a hypocritical bias against strippers. Those who strip for millions of dollars in films are considered stars while those who do it in clubs for a hundred dollars a night are considered sinners. I suspect that few religious schools would even consider expelling Sharon Stone's daughter, despite the actress' stripping in "Basic Instinct."
So, then, who is the biggest villain here? It is the person or persons who publicized the mother's work. Until someone told the school, no one was hurt (but the stripper herself), and the daughter was receiving a religious values-based education that would likely ensure that she never becomes a stripper. That person or whoever publicized the case is probably the biggest sinner here. Gossiping often hurts more people than even stripping.
Prager Claims Israel is Legitimate
Dennis Prager gave a lecture at UCLA last week on the moral case for Israel. UCLA's student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, headlined its frontpage article on the speech: "Prager Claims Israel is Legitimate."
Here's part of the article:
By Kelly Rayburn
For Dennis Prager, a "moral case for Israel" is so obvious it is ridiculous that he would even have to lecture on the topic to a group of UCLA students.
When it comes to bloodshed in the Mideast, the author, theologian and radio talk show host sees one culture as morally right and the other as morally wrong. Those who believe all cultures are by nature morally equal are naive and misguided, he said Tuesday in Kerckhoff Grand Salon.
"My nine-year-old can understand that," he said.
The question of Israel's legitimacy as a state – an issue debated widely throughout the world in politics, the media and at universities – has an irrefutable answer in Prager's mind: Israel is as legitimate as any country, and the tiny democracy has every right to defend itself from Palestinian terrorists and neighboring "police states." Prager said few people realize how small Israel is – "you can jog across Israel without having run a marathon." Those who don't support Jewish control of such a small piece of land are anti-Semitic, Prager said.
Many who sympathize with the plight of Palestinians argue that there is a difference between condemning the state of Israel and anti-Semitism. For many, the issue is not whether Jews deserve a homeland, but whether the displacement of Palestinians by the state of Israel is acceptable. Whether Palestinians were forced off their land by the creation of Israel – and, if so, how many were forced off – is a question still debated fervently today. But setting demographic and geographic arguments aside, "there is no country in the world that was created without displacing some people," Prager said.
IN HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW MONDAY, DP described universities as a moral wasteland. It seems that the more educated you become, the more morally backward.
DP noted that he did not make a speech about Israel's legitimacy. He was not debating that. He was making the moral case for supporting Israel. So why the Daily Bruin headline? Because on the campus that is debated. It is so bad that on this college campus they don't take it for granted that Israel should exist.
Dennis Prager hosted guest screenwriter Dan Gordon, author of five books, a former Sergeant in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), a peace activist and a dual Israeli-American citizen, to talk about his recent trip to the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin.
Gordon wrote in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles: I was in the Jenin refugee camp on April 16. In addition to noting that there was no smell of death in the camp and that the booby-traps and anti-personnel bombs laid out by the Palestinian gunmen were still very much in evidence, I heard a story, which I did indeed find chilling. It was told to me by Dr. David Zangen, chief medical officer of the Israeli paratroop unit, which bore the brunt of the fighting in Jenin. Zangen stated that the Israelis not only worked to keep the hospital in Jenin open, but that they offered the Palestinians blood for their wounded. The Palestinians refused it because it was Jewish blood.
That is a chilling story to an American of my age, with memories of white, bigoted-racial purists refusing to accept blood from African Americans in the segregated South. The Israeli response, which could easily have been, "fine, have it you own way," was to fly in 2,000 units of blood from Jordan, via helicopters, for the Palestinians. In addition, they saw to it that 40 units of blood from the Mukasad Hospital in East Jerusalem went to the hospital in Ramallah, that 70 units got to the hospital in Tul Quarem and they facilitated the delivery of 1,800 units of anti-coagulants that had come in from Morocco, and thus, were somehow acceptable to the Palestinians where Jewish blood was not. (This information was later confirmed to me by Col. Arik Gordin [reserves] of the IDF Office of Military Spokesman, who supplied the exact numbers of units of blood and anticoagulants and the names of the hospitals to which they were delivered.)
[HAROLD ZIER from Melbourne, Australia, writes the Jewish Journal 9/6/02: On August 25, there was a meeting in Melbourne, Australia, organized by the State Zionist Council of Victoria. The guest speaker was [Dr. David] Zange. Zangen categorically denied ever having said anything like that to Gordon, and denied being aware of any incident in which Palestinians had refused blood from the Israelis."]
DENNIS PRAGER and Gordon talked repeatedly about the morally low level of those who refuse blood because it comes from the enemy. Yet neither Prager nor Gordon mentioned the religous Jews who don't want to receive the blood or organs of non-Jews, because non-Jews in their view are inferior to Jews, and non-Jewish blood would contaminate Jews.
Check out these links: Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak.
IN DENNIS PRAGER'S third hour, he discussed this Sacramento case where the Assembly of God Capitol Christian Center kicked out a five-year old girl from its day school when CCC found out the mother was a stripper.
From the 5/19/02 Sacramento Bee: A 5-year-old Rancho Cordova girl will return to kindergarten at the Capital Christian School after being expelled last week because administrators discovered her mother works as a nude dancer. Christina Silvas, 24, agreed to stop working at Gold Club Centerfolds off Highway 50 for at least the next three weeks so her daughter can graduate from kindergarten and attend the end-of-the-year pool party she had been looking forward to, among other things. During those three weeks, Silvas said, she will explore several job offers that local businesses, including an insurance company and a radio station, made after her plight became national news and fodder for radio talk shows around the world.
From 5/16/02 KCRA: SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The recent story of a 5-year-old being expelled from her church school because her mother is a stripper had a lot of tongues wagging Thursday. And the legality is among the first topics being discussed.
Christina Silvas, 24, works at Centerfolds in Rancho Cordova. That work pays her rent and her daughter's $400 monthly tuition at Capital Christian Center. The church gave Silvas the choice of quitting and getting some financial help from the church or having her child expelled from the school. "We asked her to change her occupation and then we could walk with her," said the pastor of the church, the Rev. Rick Cole.
Martin Sieff of United Press International (UPI) has written about Europe and its media and their treatment of Israel: