Dennis Prager condemned the National Council of Churches for leading their website (ncccusa.org) by asking "What Would Jesus Drive?" Instead of focusing on the Islamic riots in Nigeria that murdered dozens of Christians after a newspaper article wondered if Mohammed would want to marry one of the Miss World contestants. Miss World was to be held this year in Nigeria but has now been moved due to the Islamic riots.
The Western press reports it as unrest and riots, not focusing on the particular element of Muslim murderous rage.
Senior Religious Leaders Demand Cleaner Cars, Launch "What Would Jesus Drive?" Campaign As American cars continue to get fewer miles per gallon, a delegation of American religious leaders - carrying an open letter to automobile executives from more than 100 heads of denominations and senior religious leaders from 21 states - was in Detroit Nov. 20 to launch a major national effort to get Ford, GM, and Chrysler to build cleaner, more efficient cars. Against a backdrop of controversy about Chevrolet's sponsorship of a Christian music tour, evangelical Christians are announcing a new, "What Would Jesus Drive?" advertising and outreach campaign. The delegation met with top auto executives and leadership at the United Auto Workers. The initiative, a cooperative venture of the NCC and other faith groups active in the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, has drawn widespread media attention at both the national and local level.
SO, I USED THE DENNIS PRAGER test, and surfed over to www.dennisprager.com to see what he had on his front page at this important time in our history. I found this:
"One of America's most respected thinkers, Dennis Prager is an author, lecturer, teacher, and theologian with a nationally syndicated radio talk show originating from Los Angeles on KRLA 870 AM. He is a best selling author who has written four books and almost a thousand articles. His opinion pieces appear frequently in Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. He has lectured in 45 US states, 9 of Canada's ten provinces, and on seven continents. For information on bringing Dennis to your business, religious, educational, or other group click on Speaking Engagements. We hope you find this web site informative and user-friendly. By using the margin to the left you will be able to see and read about Dennis's professional life. By using the margin above you will be able to view and order Dennis's lecture tapes, show tapes, Torah commentary tapes, and essays."
SO I DON'T SEE any moral superiority on behalf of Prager over the NCC on the basis of what is on the front page of their web sites. Dennis urged his listeners to phone the NCC about their priorities as represented by the front page of its site.
You could ask - why, when Jews are being murdered in Israel, does Dennis Prager lead his website by saying how respected he is?
First hour - How shocked Prager was when Kennedy and then Oswald were murdered. Where were you when this happened?
Second hour - the necessity of pain for happiness. DP mentioned his female physical trainer tortures him for an hour (presumably several times a week).
Reminded me of how Prager has previously said that at dinner parties, he prefers to talk to women.
That if he had a choice between having lunch with a man and a woman, he'd prefer to have lunch with a woman.
That almost all his employees have been female.
Prager has joked that in college, he was thrilled when he met women who said they could have sex just like a man.
Prager once had a guest, an Orthodox woman writer, author of a book on miracles, who recalled Prager at a Jewish conference in the 70s was chasing some blonde.
I remember the most embarrassed Prager was on the air was when a woman asked him what his greatest vice was...
Prager talked about how angry he gets when one partner in a marriage separates or divorces because the other partner was unfaithful. That's pure ego says Prager.
I'm not insinuating for a second that Prager's behavior has been improper. To the contrary. Prager reminds me of the second president of the US, John Adams, who wrote in his autobiography to the effect:
The appeal of young women, however, is to me exceedingly strong. I am of an amorous disposition. Since an early age, I've been most fond of the society of females. Yet I keep myself in rein.
I've had my favorites among them and spent many an evening in their company and this disposition, although controlled, engaged me too much until I was married. I will give no enumeration of my youthful flames. It would be considered no compliment to the dead or to the living.
I will say that all the women I've known are modest and virtuous girls and have always maintained that character through life. No virgin or matron had cause to blush at the sight of me or to regret her acquaintance with me. No father, brother or son ever had cause for any grief for any intercourse between me and any daughter or mother or any other relation of the fairer sex.
THIRD HOUR: "Every day you seem to read about Muslims massacreing people (latest example in Nigeria over the Miss World pageant)." At least the Nazis tried to hide their murder. Muslims, particularly Palestinians, revel in it. (DP)
Prager On The Internet
JJ writes: KRLA in LA stopped broadcasting DP's program on the internet. Does anyone have a web site where I can listen live?
CBolton writes: Since I am here in Boise, I too listen over the net. I went to Dennis' page and there is a link to a San Diego station. The problem is that it didn't work and I called the company supporting the webcast. Even after loading a plug in from them it didn't work. They finally gave me a "backdoor" entrance to the San Diego station. It uses my Windows Media Player just click http://22.214.171.124/ Let me know how it works.
Mike writes: I've been listening to KCBQ out of San Diego. A virtually identical format except you get San Diego news instead of LA news. Their listening software also forces you to get an obscene amount of popups, a new one each 1/2 hour. Don't leave the software running over the weekend, you'll have a screen filled with popups... sigh. http://www.kcbq.com
Doug writes: You can try http://www.ktkz.com (1380 KTKZ in Sacramento) to hear the first 2 hrs of the show.
Prager spent two hours on the fears of liberals, their attacks on dodgeball and all sorts of kids games. For instance, the more liberal the Jews, the less likely they were to visit Israel or send their kids to Israel in the past two years of terrorist incidents. The Reform movement cancelled their summer trip to Israel. The Orthodox didn't cancel. The Orthodox loves their kids as much.
Prager spent three dull hours on this superb article by Michael Pollen in the New York Times Sunday magazine. I don't know why Prager views it as depth to go round and round repeating points for three hours:
Even in 1975, when ''Animal Liberation'' was first published, Singer, an Australian philosopher now teaching at Princeton, was confident that he had the wind of history at his back. The recent civil rights past was prologue, as one liberation movement followed on the heels of another. Slowly but surely, the white man's circle of moral consideration was expanded to admit first blacks, then women, then homosexuals. In each case, a group once thought to be so different from the prevailing ''we'' as to be undeserving of civil rights was, after a struggle, admitted to the club. Now it was animals' turn.
That animal liberation is the logical next step in the forward march of moral progress is no longer the fringe idea it was back in 1975. A growing and increasingly influential movement of philosophers, ethicists, law professors and activists are convinced that the great moral struggle of our time will be for the rights of animals.
IF THE PRAGER LIST is any indication, there's been little discussion on it for months. Prager-List subscribers have found little of interest to discuss in Prager's recent shows.
Dennis Prager writes on www.townhall.com: First, a truly bad marriage is akin to life imprisonment, and innocent people do not deserve such a punishment.
Second, it only takes one person to divorce. Assuming that all divorced people sought their divorce is as untrue as it is unfair.
Third, when there are no children involved, a divorce's social costs to society are minimal and therefore unworthy of our attention. Furthermore, as a rule, it is far better for society to have people marry and divorce than never to marry. When people marry, they begin to grow up, and society needs grownups.
Fourth, regarding children and divorce, the effects of divorce usually depend on what happens after a couple divorces. By far, the worst consequence of divorce is the large number of fathers who voluntarily or involuntarily (because of selfish ex-wives or feminized laws) leave the lives of their children. When both parents stay thoroughly involved in their children's lives, sharing physical as well as legal custody, the adverse effects of divorce can be minimized, and depending on how bad things were prior to the divorce, a child's life can actually improve.
Prager praised this Peggy Noonan column:
For the past 100 years it has seen itself as the party of the little guy. It was the natural home of those who felt we must use government to help people in need. The Democrats would take the money of the rich and create with it programs that would ease the lives of the poor and distressed.
That is why the Democratic Party existed. It is why it conceived and fought for a national retirement system for the elderly, and later for free medical care for the poor. It is why it fought too for civil rights, and for equality for all who felt they had not been given equal treatment, from ethnic and religious minorities to women.
Those are the things it stood for a 100 years. Now jump to 2002, to four days ago.
The Democrats took a hard hit. In an off-year election in which the opposition is headed by a sitting president who lost the popular vote by half a million votes in 2000, and whose administration is presiding over recession and war, the Democrats should have cleaned up. At the very least they should have lost nothing. And yet they lost almost everything. They lost Massachusetts to a Mormon! They lost Maryland with a Kennedy! The president and his party picked up support from one end of the country to the other, and the Democrats lost their one national power base, the Senate. Now they have only the media. That's a lot, but Paula Zahn is not a state, at least not yet, and she doesn't get a vote in the Senate.
Prager read from this George Will column:
As the Democrats' recriminations begin, their diminished House membership may be tempted to say: Four times since our 1994 shellacking (52 seats lost) we have tried to recapture the House with Gephardt's centrism. It is time to try the high-octane liberalism of California's Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic whip. Such reasoning contains the seeds of future defeats.
America's temperate political struggles generally take place between the 40-yard lines. This year they took place between the 49-yard lines. Most Republicans shelved their bold ideas (Social Security reform, school choice). Most Democrats, by flinching from opposition to the president's tax cuts, rendered incoherent their criticism of his economic management. And they forfeited their redistributionist egalitarianism. But that forfeit spared them an even worse electoral spanking.
Tuesday's results demonstrate the stupidity of the "It's the economy, stupid" school of political analysis. Voters are almost always moved by social currents deeper than the eddies on the economy's surface.
Prager praised this column by liberal Nicholas Kristof:
Yet these days, the intelligent left is dumbing down and showing signs of slipping into a similar cesspool of outraged incoherence. It's debasing and marginalizing itself by marshaling epithets rather than arguments. President Bush is criticized not just for catastrophically frittering away our budget surplus or for rushing us into a mess in Iraq. Rather, Citizens for Legitimate Government put it this way in its e-mail newsletter: "We have an Idiot Usurping Lying Weasel for a President."
The latest leftist silliness is the suggestion that Senator Paul Wellstone was assassinated. Liberal Web sites are suggesting such a conspiracy. Sample headlines: "Wellstone Murdered? Last Politician Similarly Killed Was Running Against John Ashcroft"; "They Shoot Leftists, Don't They?"; and "Most Liberal D-Sen. Wellstone Plane Shot Down."
When my columns criticize the Bushies, I get torrents of e-mails cheering me on, but in terms so strident that they appall me. After I noted that Vice President Dick Cheney, while at Halliburton, did millions of dollars' worth of business with Iraq, a reader wrote: "Dick Cheney is a maggot feeding on the decaying flesh of human misery."
DP commented on the funeral for Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone. It is hard to imagine a funeral for a conservative being turned into a political event. But for liberals, liberalism is a substitute religion, hence you will get a politicized memorial service. Politics is their life.
Interesting that the Wellstone children asked that Vice-President Cheney stay away. If a Republican senator died, do you think his family would request that a Democratic VP stay away from the funeral? Of course not.
Senator Trent Lott was booed when his picture was shown at the memorial service. Classy crowd.
The Democrats told the Republican he can't campaign while they politicize the memorial.
I prefer Orange County's values to San Francisco's. No offense intended to the fine Giants organization, but the thought that the Bay Area, home to many of the most radical folks in America, would be celebrating a win over the traditional folks of Orange County was too painful to contemplate. And when San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown announced that San Francisco would "be embarrassed to lose to Anaheim," rooting for Anaheim became a moral obligation.
I did not like all the little sons of players in the Giants' dugout. Whether it was manager Dusty Baker's idea -- his 3-year-old son was so ubiquitous, he had to be lifted by Giant J.T. Snow after the player crossed home plate lest the tot be trampled by another Giants player running right behind him -- or just another San Francisco idea to be different and overthrow tradition, it reeks of narcissism. Perhaps when the nation got to see Dusty's little boy crying hysterically when his dad's team lost, the idea may have lost some of its cuteness even to fans who liked it.
And am I alone in finding Barry Bonds standing still after he hits a home run obnoxious (not to mention narcissistic)? Mere mortals run the bases when they hit home runs, not stand around and then slowly trot around the bases.
DP blasted the public health establishment which wants to keep the government from making available a vaccine for smallpox because of the minute risk of the immunization. You can't even choose to get innoculated. The establishment is so arrogantly sure that they know what is best for you.
DP read from today's WSJ editorial:
President Bush will decide any day now how many Americans will be able to get smallpox vaccinations. Let's hope he is guided by facts and freedom, rather than by the zero-risk mentality that dominates today's public health community.
So far the health bureaucracy has focused only on the risks if it allows Americans to get the vaccine, rather than the risks if it doesn't. Two weeks ago the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that Mr. Bush restrict the vaccine to 510,000 hospital workers. This is an improvement from its initial recommendation of 20,000, but barely. What's striking about this is that the people charged with protecting public health are so unwilling to trust the public.
It is true that smallpox is riskier than most other common vaccines. Doctors usually cite a one-per-million death rate and note the serious, if rare, side effects that can accompany the vaccine. Take a closer look at the numbers, though, and the risk to healthy patients looks a lot less severe.
William J. Bicknell, a public health professor at Boston University, recently went back to look at statistics from 1968, the last time the U.S. collected data on mass smallpox vaccination. Of about 14 million people vaccinated, 5.6 million received first-time vaccinations and 8.5 million were re-vaccinated. Of the 14 million, nine died, and another 572 had complications.
DENNIS PRAGER then ripped into Randy Cohen's Ethicist column in the NY Times Sunday Magazine:
The courteous and competent real-estate agent I'd just hired to rent my house shocked and offended me when, after we signed our contract, he refused to shake my hand, saying that as an Orthodox Jew he did not touch women. As a feminist, I oppose sex discrimination of all sorts. However, I also support freedom of religious expression. How do I balance these conflicting values? Should I tear up our contract? J.L., New York
Randy writes: This culture clash may not allow you to reconcile the values you esteem. Though the agent dealt you only a petty slight, without ill intent, you're entitled to work with someone who will treat you with the dignity and respect he shows his male clients. If this involved only his own person -- adherence to laws concerning diet or dress, for example -- you should of course be tolerant. But his actions directly affect you. And sexism is sexism, even when motivated by religious convictions. I believe you should tear up your contract.
Had he declined to shake hands with everyone, there would be no problem. What he may not do, however, is render a class of people untouchable. Were he, say, an airline ticket clerk who refused to touch Asian-Americans, he would find himself in hot water and rightly so. Bias on the basis of sex is equally discreditable.
Some religions (and some civil societies) that assign men and women distinct spheres argue that while those two spheres are different, neither is inferior to the other. This sort of reasoning was rejected in 1954 in the great school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, when the Supreme Court declared that separate is by its very nature unequal. That's a pretty good ethical guideline for ordinary life.
There's a terrific moment in ''Cool Hand Luke,'' when a prison guard about to put Paul Newman in the sweatbox says -- I quote from memory -- ''Sorry, Luke, just doing my job.'' Newman replies, ''Calling it your job don't make it right, boss.'' Religion, same deal. Calling an offensive action religious doesn't make it right.
Dear Ethicist: I write a weekly column on ethics for a national newspaper and I recently inflamed an entire ethnic group (to which, coincidentally, I happen to belong) when I suggested that observing a tenet of its religious practice was unethical, and perhaps even illegal. Some in the community have responded with name-calling, even going so far as to label me an antisemite. Whose behavior is more egregious?
Prager critiqued the article by Larry B. Stammer in Sunday's 10/20/02 LA Times:
The Times poll of priests asked respondents to characterize their sexual orientation. A combined 15% identified themselves as homosexual (9%) or "somewhere in between, but more on the homosexual side" (6%). But among younger priests -- those ordained for 20 years or less -- the figure was 23%. The figures, particularly for the younger priests, are higher than most estimates of the percentage of U.S. gay men, but lower than some estimates of the percentage of homosexuals in the priesthood, which have ranged up to 50%.
Just as many traditionalists have blamed the sexual abuse scandal on homosexuals in the priesthood, many liberals have blamed the church's requirement that priests be celibate.
Psychologists and other experts on sexuality generally say sexual abuse of children is not connected to sexual orientation or celibacy. Most offenders suffer from arrested psychosexual development and are heterosexual, those experts say. But such views have done little to discourage arguments in the church and the secular media about celibacy or the renewed efforts by the Vatican to discourage the ordination of homosexuals.
DP: Political correctness makes our great newspaper lie. Almost all estimates of the percentage of exclusive homosexuals puts the number at three percent. Homosexual activists put it at 10%. Yet the LA Times says that there are estimates that more than 23% are homosexual.
Most of the sexual molestation of Catholic adolescent boys is done by gay priests.
It was funny to hear Prager rip into the article and its author Larry B. Stammer. DP says, "Oh well, we might as well give him a call. It's not like they will come on the show but at least we tried."
Larry Stammer comes on the show. Prager immediately switches tone to cordial and grateful from hostile. They have a lovefest and say how much they respect each other.
Innumerable times I've heard Prager rip into writers and professors and only once he's on the air ripping someone does he say, oh, we might as well at least try to contact the guy so he can respond. Why doesn't Prager plan better and try to book the writer he plans to rip before going on the air?
Why the opposition to the car? It's part of the Left's desire to control people. Europe is a train culture and America a car culture. Europe is an apartment complex and American a private home place. Europe venerates the UN and America is the Long Ranger culture. America is individual oriented.
From USA TODAY: ATLANTA -- Traffic is notoriously bad in this metropolis once dubbed ''The Poster Child for Sprawl.'' Only five of the 13 counties in the Atlanta metro area have any form of public transportation, and rush-hour accidents regularly snarl traffic along the already-crowded main arteries.
Still, it seemed peculiar when the Chamber of Commerce, known for its unrestrained boosterism, called traffic congestion the greatest threat to Atlanta's continued economic prosperity.
Cities now view bad traffic as much more than just a nuisance for harried commuters. It's bad public relations in the never-ending competition against other cities over the quality of life. Cities believe that out-of-control traffic congestion hurts their ability to attract new businesses. And in some places, gridlock is the political issue of the day.
THIRD HOUR: Interview with author Neil Gordon, who wrote a Salon.com piece about Ira Einhorn.
Prager protested the increased use of profanity in the media. In a recent issue of Premiere magazine, director Brett Ratner, pictured in bed reading a script, says "I can't believe this is my fu--ing house." And Premiere did not use dashes. DP doubts that John Ford and Hollywood directors earlier this century used profanity while giving an interview and the profanities were published without dashes.
DP says he does not care about the use of profanity in private.
Equipment reviews in stereo magazines will use the s--- word with abandon.
DP says he knows how these Hollywood types think. We artists don't have rules, maybe you religious people do. I'm not going to be a hypocrite and talk nice for you when I use this language with all my friends. I'm honest. I curse all the time privately and publicly. I'm not hurting anybody, like you who want to invade Iraq. I just use bad words and they're not even bad. They're just words. They don't hurt anyone. Maybe you should curse more and invade less.
THIRD HOUR: All sex scenes on TV and in movies destroy the innocence of children but not all violence scenes do the same. Cartoon violence and moral violence (High Noon) do not destroy a child's innocence. Moral violence shows the child that good triumphs over evil. A documentary about serial killers would take away a child's innocence.
Culture influences personal behavior. It will be interesting to see how fans behave in Anaheim versus San Francisco in the World Series. The fans of the San Francisco Giants are about the most vulgar around. And the San Francisco Bay Area is a leftwing secular environment, as compared to the more conservative and restrained Anaheim and Orange County.
Why are those who blow up pizza parlors and nightclubs in Israel "militants" but those who blow up a nightclub in Bali are terrorists? If it turns out that terrorists were killed in the car bomb in Bali, will anyone include them in the death toll? I doubt it, but western media do it with Palestinian terrorists in Israel. Where are the liberal commentators saying that we have to understand the Bali terrorists grievances against Australians? Surely such Bali terrorists must be fighting for a just cause? What did Australia do to deserve the Bali bombing?
Prager praised this article in the Guardian, a leftist British newspaper, entitled, Don't Blame The West:
Clive James writes: The shock wave from the car-bomb outside the nightclub on Kuta Beach in Bali went all the way to Australia in a matter of minutes. As soon as the young Australian survivors stopped trembling long enough to touch one button at a time, they were calling home to say they were all right. But there were some young Australians who did not call home, because they were not all right. The Australian casualty list is lengthening even as I compose this opening paragraph, and by the time I reach a conclusion the casualty list will be longer still. I owe it to my dead, wounded and bereaved countrymen to say straight away that I have no clear idea of what that conclusion will be. This is no time to preach, and least of all from a prepared text.
Some of Australia's commentators on politics might already be realising that. Now they, too, must feel their way forward: the bomb has done to their certainties what it did to the revellers in the nightclub. Before the bomb went off, the pundits had all the answers about the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. In the year and a bit between September 11 2001 and October 12 2002 they had, from the professional viewpoint, a relatively easy time. One didn't question their capacity for sympathy: Australian journalists pride themselves on being a hard-bitten crew, but most of them could imagine that being trapped hundreds of feet up in a burning building was no fit way to die. What one did sometimes question was their capacity for analysis.
About the hottest Dennis Prager show I've ever heard - his second hour interview with former supermodel Janice Dickinson....
Janice: "Supermodels can't walk, talk and snort cocaine at the same time."
Tons of talk about sex, nudity, drugs, stars, pedophilia, incest, Studio 54.
Janice kept talking about how she wrote this titillating tell-all book to help the children. She recommends that nobody enter modeling until they've finished their education, at which time, most of them will be too old to model.
Janice has a 15-year old son and 8-year old daughter.
Janice: "My attitudes changed once I gave birth. I couldn't run around anymore. I was married. I chose to stay home with my son. I got upset after my divorce and I started hitting the bottle."
Janice was helped by AA.
Janice was intimidated about going on Dennis Prager's show because he's known as square and Mr. Morality. Prager decried this characterization of him and that he strikes fear into many people.
Janice: "Can we talk about strip clubs?"
Prager would not go in that direction.
From Publishers Weekly: Supermodel [Janice] Dickinson's sex- and booze-soaked autobiography brings readers on a roller-coaster ride through the world of modeling, the emptiness of superficial relationships and the perils of drug addiction. Admitting that "terror is a great motivator," Dickinson fought like a tigress to establish her career. Courageous and confident of her worth, she demanded $20,000 for a job when the going rate was $5,000. Bolstered by Andy Warhol's advice, "you make your own luck," Dickinson represented Hush Puppies, Max Factor and Virginia Slims and ignored Calvin Klein's comment, "models aren't supposed to think." As a result, Dickinson is more interesting than some might expect, immersing herself in details about modeling and refining her skills as a photographer. Friendships with then-struggling actor Bruce Willis and her sisters have surprising warmth. The obligatory sensationalism is here concerning affairs with Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Liam Neeson and Sylvester Stallone along with accounts of her multiple marriages and a near-fatal car wreck. While denouncing her hedonistic existence, Dickinson is also honest enough to acknowledge the stimulating aspects of success and glamour, explaining why they lure insecure personalities and imprison them past the point of no return. The book is sometimes predictable and psychologically simplistic, but Dickinson comes across as a triumphant survivor. Her willingness to recognize her own flaws makes it easy to relate to her positive message and should inspire readers searching for solutions to career and personal conflicts. Color & b&w photos.
Globetrotter writes on Amazon.com: There is no doubt that Janice Dickinson, even in her late fourties, is a stunning beauty, with her exoticaly shaped features and almond eyes. But her intellectual level is an illustration of immaturity, naivete and most probably all the drugs she took over the years that quickly killed most of her brain cells. What was she thinking when she decided to write this book (considering it wasn't actually her that penned the words but some moron writer who decided to "capture in almost Janice's "spirit" by using words such as f** and s** in almost every sentence)? Did she desperately need money for a new house or something? And who is supposed to be the recipient of this trash? Middle aged women, aspiring models or horny men?
The only message Janice delivers clearly is that she is not a thinking woman. She slept around for decades, took endless supplies of every drug imaginable, has three failed marriages and two children out of wedlock behind her, oh and the disputable title of the first supermodel (I personally thought it was Naomi Campbell that holds the title). She blames all this shame on her abusive father. I say, get over it, old woman! The funniest parts are towards the end of the book where Janice makes a weak attempt to be philosophical about her wasted life. "I made my share of mistakes but I'm proud of who I am today". Well, who are you? What is your contribution to this society? If you're tempted to buy this book because of the nude pictures, buy it, scan it and return it proudly.
THIRD HOUR: The National Council of Churches (left-wing Protestant group) protested Jerry Falwell's 60 Minutes comment that the founder of Islam, Mohammed, was a terrorist. The NCC said the comment put Christian lives in danger. What a derogatory thing to say about Islam, that its members may murder innocent Christians because of the comments of a pastor in Virginia. That's already happened in India. The NCC has insulted Muslims more than Falwell did. The NCC adds legitimacy to Falwell's critique of Islam as a terroristic religion.
What about all the derogatory things said about Christianity and Judaism yet its inherents don't murder innocent people because of movies like The Last Temptation of Christ.
THIRD HOUR: The National Council of Churches (left-wing Protestant group) protested Jerry Falwell's 60 Minutes comment that the founder of Islam, Mohammed, was a terrorist. The NCC said the comment put Christian lives in danger. What a derogatory thing to say about Islam, that its members may murder innocent Christians because of the comments of a pastor in Virginia. That's already happened in India. The NCC has insulted Muslims more than Falwell did. The NCC adds legitimacy to Falwell's critique of Islam as a terroristic religion.
What about all the derogatory things said about Christianity and Judaism yet its inherents don't murder innocent people because of movies like The Last Temptation of Christ.
How Can There Were No Riots After The Angels Advanced To World Series?
The Anaheim Angels advanced to the World Series for the first time but there was no rioting. How come? Could it be that Orange County is a white Republican bastion and doesn't riot? Of course that's the reason.
Dennis Prager said to a policeman at the Angels' stadium, "A lot easier than if the Dodgers won?" The policeman said, "Boy, is that right."
"The orderliness was so touching to me it was a throwback to the 1950s," said Prager on today's radio show. "That's the world I like. That's the world of Orange County."
Gary from Santa Ana gave Prager two tickets, three rows from the top, after hearing Prager spend two hours of his radio show, and one column, on how he gave up tickets to an Angels game because he kept the Sabbath. DP was there with his son. DP cried when the Angels won.
DP: "When there's a coarse crowd, I don't feel there's kinship."
THIRD HOUR: Prager discussed the New York Times obituary for Stephen Ambrose which ascribes his death to lifelong smoking. How come obits for people who die of AIDS aren't described as practicioners of unprotected anal sex? People who die of obesity as gluttons? The only group you blame for their own death is smokers.
The one time Prager hung up on a guest was when he called the city manager of a city in Orange County. The city manager, citing health insurance risks, said no city employee was allowed to smoke, even in their private lives. Prager wanted to know if city employees were allowed to engage in unprotected anal sex? The man wouldn't answer the question.
When I go to the Richard Goldstein NY Times' Ambrose obituary, I notice that there is no reference to his smoking. The AP report, which was initially published in the NY Times, said: "Ambrose, a longtime smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer in April."
The NY Times and other media doesn't like to give AIDS as a cause of death.
Several callers said their mothers died of lung cancer and that the first question people always asked them was - was she a smoker? When they said yes, they could see the relief on the faces of their questioners.
Dennis Prager writes in the 10/11/02 Jewish Journal: "Is there an issues that some Hollywood star — director, producer, actor actress — has not publicly commented on? It’s hard to name one."
Why did the JJ leave in that grammatical error? "issues" To make Prager look stupid?
Prager then gives a reasoned essay about the lack of support for Israel among Hollywood Jews:
The Palestinian/Islamic/Arab war to destroy Israel is the moral test of our time. If you are silent on this issue, you are either morally confused, immoral or lack courage.
Many of us have long argued that leftists do not ask, "Who is right and who is wrong?" but rather, "Who is strong and who is weak?" in determining their positions on world and national issues. The substitution of power criteria for moral criteria is one of the reasons the left so often takes immoral positions. It is, therefore, helpful to hear such a candid acknowledgment of Hollywood liberals’ moral confusion. Not to mention ignorance — no Palestinian city has been "turned into rubble."
Most of Hollywood’s Jews have little or nothing to do with Jewish causes, Jewish communal life or Judaism. Their causes are those of the left, their community is largely like-minded Hollywood folks and their values come from liberalism, not Judaism. Moreover, the silence on Israel of Hollywood’s most prominent Jews enables the non-Jewish stars to remain silent. If the Jews don’t care about Israel, why should they?
Ever since I learned that Richard Wagner — whose music is among the greatest ever written — was a racist anti-Semite, I learned that I had to disassociate artists from their art. So, I never expected anything morally significant from artists, in Hollywood or anywhere else, and am therefore not surprised at Hollywood’s silence about Israel’s suffering. But it remains a moral failure.
[Prager] lies about the real subject of the Times article — that a group of Hollywood Jews are trying to find a way to reach the community, which can only happen in a language the community speaks. The problem for Prager is that artists speak a language he refuses to learn.
Prager declares himself intellectually dead by his own hand, since he reduces art to nothing more than diversion or decoration, and artists to nothing more than mindless children.
[LF: I think Prager understands these leftists all too well but like their counterparts in academia, they want to believe themselves on such a high level of communication that mere mortals like Prager can't understand their cant.]
But he has to do this, otherwise he would have to live with contradictions, a balance impossible for most conservatives who split the world into good and evil, and especially deny their own contribution to the evil one is fighting. Artists teach nothing if not connection, and connection breeds sympathy, and sympathy sometimes exceeds itself, chesed (lovingkindness) without gavurah (restriction).
But the impulse to unlimited compassion is better than the impulse toward unlimited judgment, else we would not pray every day for God’s mercy. The liberal fantasy is the dream of what might be, like the bounty of a Botticelli spring, and the conservative fantasy is kitsch, cowboy art, nostalgia for a world that never was, with punishment for those who tell the truth about that self-deception.
Prager’s politics may even be Jewish heresy. The Torah is brave enough to recognize our own role in the creation of Amalek while still calling for Amalek’s destruction, but the Torah is braver than Dennis Prager, who has yet to move to Israel with his family, so his children can ride the buses until they’re old enough to join the army, rather like the son of that terrible leftist Michael Lerner.
[LF: Tolkin is a moron. A couple of years ago, Prager condemned the Reform movement for cancelling their kids' trip to Israel due to the fighting. Prager encouraged his own son David to spend a year in Israel after high school (returning in the summer of 2002), delaying college a year, to study Torah in a yeshiva. Prager broadcast for a week from Israel in the middle of the terror and made a documentary about Israel's struggle.]
The right-wingers here who call for the harshest treatment of the Arabs, while keeping their children out of the Israel Defense Forces, are cousins of those rich leaders of Hamas who strap the bombs on the children of the poor, never on their own. Prager gets his courage by proxy, the courage that gives him the right to call me a coward.
From Washtimes.com: Miss America 2003, Erika Harold, announced in Illinois yesterday that she has won her battle with pageant officials over the right to talk about teen sexual chastity.
Saying that The Washington Times "brought this controversy to the forefront" in an article yesterday, the 22-year-old former Miss Illinois told reporters in suburban Chicago that she is now permitted to talk about sexual-abstinence education as part of her youth-violence prevention platform. Miss America Chief Executive George Bauer removed the restriction after intense discussions during a trip to Washington, she said.
DP says baseball is a wholesome game for kids to follow. It has less violence than other games. While FoxNews is conservative, Fox TV tends to the raunchy. During last night's Angel game, an ad came on for the African-American comedy Cedric that Fox TV will show. 'You will laugh your panties off.' And the guy looks in the camera and says, 'And I want your panties.'
If Fox can't keep raunch off its sports programming, then sports should not sell to Fox. It is domestic non-violent terrorism. This is not the time to run raunch. My nine-year old son was watching the game.
Caller: I was looking forward to the show but now I'm not. It's offensive to women. Cedric says his show will be so sexually stimulating that women will want to send off their panties.
Cedric the Entertainer...is an equal opportunity offender, hilariously making fun of everything from fat cafeteria ladies to the flatulent qualities of Mexican food.
Except for "The Wire," a gritty urban crime drama, all the shows Cedric named are basically white. "Friends," in fact, is notoriously whiter-than-white; even in a big city like New York, the friends never seem to make any black acquaintances. But it is pretty funny, and the fact that Cedric admits to enjoying it rather than more politically correct shows may say more about racial progress than any number of threatened boycotts by Al Sharpton.
Dennis Prager writes on Townhall.com about foregoing an Angels playoff game to observe the Sabbath: God and my religion are more important to me than attending a baseball game, no matter how significant the game. If I had violated the Sabbath to attend it, I would have been saying that in the competition for my priorities, the Angels defeated God. And if a baseball game leads me to compromise my religious beliefs, what would happen if I were really tested? What if I had to risk my life for a persecuted stranger, as Christians in Europe during the Holocaust had to (and only a noble few did)? We practice for big sacrifices by passing the tests of smaller ones.
A second religious reason concerned my children. They have been raised to forgo some fun things like TV on the Sabbath. How could I look them in the face and tell them that some of their desires have to relinquished, but mine don't? My son will always remember that Dad, whom he knew to be a big Angels fan, gave up his final-game tickets because the game was on a Saturday. I hope that will count for something in his life.
Prager picks up a lot of reports from www.drudgereport.com, including this one:
Singer Harry Belafonte took to the AM radiowaves on Tuesday morning to slam Secretary of State Colin Powell as a sellout to the black race! Belafonte, appearing on San Diego's 760 KFMB, told host Ted Leitner that Powell was like a plantation slave who moves into the slave owner's house and only says what his master wants him to say.
"There's an old saying," Belafonte began. "In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master... exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him.
"Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture."
For close to twenty minutes, Belafonte ripped the entire Bush administration, including an attack on Attorney General John Ashcroft. "There's something wrong with men who think the way Ashcroft does and who manipulate the justice system the way he does." Belafonte likened Ashcroft's tactics to the McCarthy era: "Families were destroyed, neighbors spied on neighbors. Now we find Ashcroft cutting in under the guise of catching terrorists, suspending liberties and rights. To deny those rights, to any citizen, to any people, is to cast a great shame on us and lead us back to another dark period."
Belafonte also sang the praises of the United Nations as a pillar of global democracy, and decried President Bush for failing to attend the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa earlier this year.
Dennnis Prager derided the notion that people with a certain skin color should think a certain way. But American black leadership says that by having black skin color, you must think like a liberal. This holds true for the feminist left as well.
SECOND HOUR: Prager interviewed social psychologist Jeff Waller about his new book Overcoming Evil. DP asked prof, a mild Christian, if he could see himself committing great evil under certain circumstances. Prof said yes. DP said he could never do evil. As evidence, DP said when he was 15 years old and went to hockey games, he would stay seated during fights while everyone else stood and cheered.
Miss America silenced
From Washington Times: Miss America 2003, Erika Harold, yesterday said pageant officials have ordered her not to talk publicly about sexual abstinence, a cause she has advocated to teenage girls in Illinois.
"Quite frankly, and I'm not going to be specific, there are pressures from some sides to not promote [abstinence]," the 22-year-old woman from Urbana, Ill., told The Washington Times.
In her first visit to Washington since winning the crown Sept. 21, Miss Harold resisted efforts by Miss America officials to silence her pro-chastity opinions. "I will not be bullied," Miss Harold said yesterday at the National Press Club, as officials tried to prevent reporters from asking questions about her abstinence message. Miss Harold, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois, was "furious" as she arrived for yesterday's press conference, an acquaintance said.
George Bauer, interim chief executive officer of the Miss America organization, and other pageant officials had sternly directed her to talk only about the issue of youth-violence prevention and to say nothing about sexual abstinence, said Miss Harold's acquaintance, who asked not to be named.
DP: Many people, like Ted Kennedy, know that they are morally confused. Ted Kennedy castigated the Shah of Iran, making way for the Ayatollah. Ted Kennedy is right not to trust his own moral judgment. Such people want the UN to make the moral decisions.
Since when in history have those who've been right not been alone? If you are a Christian, don't you believe that Jesus was alone? Jesus was abandoned by man and felt abandoned by God? How can a Christian believe that one can't be alone on Iraq, without UN approval, and be right?
The Jews have consistently been alone through history. Were they always wrong?
When Bush is called a unilateralist cowboy, that means he's the Lone Ranger.
Religion seems to be morally useless on the great world issues like terrorism and what to do about Iraq (with the exceptions of Orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians).
Dennis Prager celebrated the Angels series victory over the New York Yankees. Prager rejoiced over the pain of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, as detailed in today's NY Times.
"I can't answer what went wrong," Steinbrenner said in a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla. "That's got to be answered by Cashman and Joe Torre. Cash kept assuring me we were the best team. He told me we'd win."
Pity Brian Cashman, the general manager, who naturally told the Boss that the Yankees would win and now has to explain how they lost in four games. How can he explain the Yankees' permitting 31 runs in the series? Or those pathetic starting pitchers? Or the Yankees' sluggishness and sloppiness? How can anyone try explaining to Steinbrenner that his $171 million investment disintegrated?
"I'm not a good loser," Steinbrenner said. "I'm a graceful loser. But, being a good loser, that's something I'll never get used to."
DP says there's a moral infection in the central authorities of Christian denominations because of their opposition to the war of Iraq. A Vatican foreign affairs minister says war should only be undertaken against Iraq if the UN approves. The mainstream Protestant World Council of Churches opposes the war. Now a leading Mormon has spoken against the war.
In his second hour, DP hosted author and actress (Everybody Loves Raymond) Patricia Heaton, author of the new book "Motherhood and Hollywood." Patty's a Presbyterian conservative pro-life Christian.
DP revived all his well-worn stories about how horrid it is for conservatives in liberal Hollywood.
DP brought up Jessica Lange's anti-Bush remarks. He said no conservative star would go overseas and say you were embarrassed to be an American. Why feed Spain's anti-Americanism?
DP wondered if any group gave as many awards as entertainment. How about Jewish life? Jews and synagogues are constantly throwing dinners honoring everyone who will get people to buy expensive tickets to a fundraising dinner.
From USA Today: Hollywood, which banded together after Sept. 11 to raise funds, flags and patriotic fervor, is mobilizing an anti-war front to protest President Bush ( news - web sites)'s plans for an attack on Iraq.
Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Danny Glover, Martin Sheen, Jessica Lange, Ed Asner, Joanne Woodward and Jane Fonda are among the list of U.S. artists speaking out against the Bush administration's policies.
Dozens of celebrities have signed the ''Not In Our Name'' anti-war declaration that ran as a paid advertisement in the Los Angeles Times on Friday and last month in The New York Times. Playwright Tony Kushner, filmmaker Oliver Stone, actor Ossie Davis, performer Mos Def, writer Gore Vidal and historian/author Howard Zinn are among the signers of the declaration. It also opposes threats to civil liberties and the government's treatment of Arab-Americans.
Lange spoke against war while in Madrid last week. The actress said she ''hates'' Bush and said his call for an attack on Iraq is ''unconstitutional, immoral and illegal.''
NY DAILY NEWS/RUSH AND MOLLOY.... Patricia Heaton still isn't naming names, exactly, but she is begging the pardon of fellow actress Michelle Pfeiffer after suggesting on TV that the 44-year-old star had a face-lift. You'll recall Heaton told David Letterman last week that a "very famous actress" on the "cover of a big fashion magazine" was denying she'd had any nips or tucks - even though Heaton claimed to have interviewed the actress' plastic surgeon. Pfeiffer happens to be on the cover of the new Harper's Bazaar, where she talks about her fear of plastic surgery and Botox treatments. Yesterday, Heaton said she was just trying to be funny. "In an attempt at being humorous, I made statements regarding an actress and plastic surgery that were completely fabricated," the "Everybody Loves Raymond" cast member told us. She added that it is "erroneous" to construe she was talking about Pfeiffer.
DP: I don't believe one can think clearly and honestly and believe that the New Jersey Supreme Court made the right choice (allowing the substitution of Democratic Senate candidate Lautenberg for Torricelli).
Sex and the College Newspaper
From NY Times: Ms. Krinsky is one of a growing number of sex columnists at college papers across the country who are reflecting a striking openness among many undergraduates when it comes to the discussion of sex. The columns include "Sexpert Tells All" in New York University's Washington Square News, The Daily Californian's "Sex on Tuesdays" at the University of California at Berkeley and Meghan Bainum's odes to experimentation and safe sex in The Daily Kansan at the University of Kansas. Subjects range from sexual arousal to oral sex etiquette to bondage.
DP says this is a sign of our times...the result of the decline of organized religion. DP says kids are giving so much homework that it detracts from their love of learning.
Male Sex Columnists
Erin O'Connor writes: Glenn Reynolds is deeply displeased with the New York Times' belated and slanted coverage of the hallowed tradition of campus sex columny. Glenn has been following the phenomenon for quite some time now, and he speaks with authority on the subject. One question he has asked repeatedly: Why are all the campus sex columnists women? Our theory is that a man could not be a campus sex columnist in today's male-unfriendly campus culture. When women students write provocative, often self-revealing columns about sex, when they opine about desire and deliver precociously expert advice, they are celebrating sexuality and expressing their own liberation. They are titillating readers while at the same time making a feminist statement. They are loved by all (except certain campus conservatives, whose sensibilities do not count in the moral calculus of campus culture).
But if a male student were to write columns on, say, oral sexual technique (as Yale sex columnist Natalie Krinsky has famously done) he and his paper would be up on harassment charges so fast it would make our puritanical academic heads spin. There would be protests, possibly even stolen press runs. There would be sensitivity workshops and the paper would face defunding. Men, after all, do not have a sexuality that can stand up to public exposure. They are, after all, potential rapists, each and every one. Male sexuality is no laughing matter and should not be treated lightly--and playfully--in the inky pages of a student rag.
Talkshow host Hugh Hewitt is going to a church retreat this weekend. So he gave his two tickets to the Angels playoff game against the Yankees Saturday afternoon to fellow talkshow host Dennis Prager. DP spent two hours of his radio show today discussing why he won't go to the game because it violates his Jewish Sabbath.
According to an Orthodox Jewish perspective, Prager publicly desecrates the Sabbath every Sabbath by driving, to a Reform synagogue no less.
DP spent two hours discussing the matter on his show today. I've heard him spend about 30 hours of his radio show discussing this same thing. He brings it up frequently.
Prager said he was not going to the game not because he feared God would punish him. Prager does not believe God punishes people for violating his so-called ritual laws like the Sabbath but only for violations of ethical commandments, such as not cheating. Where does Prager find support for this view in Jewish text?
In the shma, which Jews are supposed to say three times a day, it says, quoting Deuteronomy, that God will bless Israel if it keeps God's commandments and punish it if it doesn't. There's no mention of a distinction say, between the laws of adultery and the laws of business ethics and the laws of the Sabbath.
DP says he keeps the Sabbath for his own sake. It makes him happier. DP believes he will be happier in the long run by observing the Sabbath.
DP believes that God gave the Ten Commandments, and if he didn't believe there was a divine element to it, he would be looser in his observance.
But Prager is inconsistent here. I've often heard him say that because God says do not commit adultery, that is a powerful reason for men to not commit adultery. But the Seventh Commandment, in its literal Biblical meaning, only applies to married women. Married men in the Biblical time were allowed to have sex outside of marriage with concubines. Only later rabbinic decrees forbade married Jewish men from sex with concubines. It's the same rabbinic crew that forbids the use of electricity on the Sabbath and driving on the Sabbath, prohibitions Prager does not observe.
A friend called and asked me what I would do if it was a key sporting event for my team, the Dallas Cowboys. I said I would not go publicly to a sporting event on the Sabbath or some other secular event. But if it were a key game, like the Cowboy playoff game against the St. Louis Cowboys about four years ago, I might watch the game alone at home. It still violates the Sabbath but it does not do so publicly, which is a much more severe sin, because it brings down the community.
DP: "I gave up a lucrative drive-time opportunity, which would have changed my career for the better, because I would not do an afternoon radio show that would've required I broadcast after the onset of the Sabbath on Friday afternoons."
Prager does broadcast on yom tov sheni (the extra day of Jewish holy days that traditional Jews observe in the diaspora but Prager does not observe).
This discussion reminds me of a ridiculous discussion I had on a recent Sabbath. I was raised a Seventh Day Adventist. Like Jews, SDAs observe the Sabbath from Friday night to Saturday night. An Orthodox Jewish woman said to me, 'Gentiles are not allowed to keep the Sabbath.'
There's a Jewish Law that Gentiles, on penalty of death, are not allowed to keep the Sabbath. Now, this like many parts of the Jewish tradition, makes no sense to me. I'm not going to deride it. I don't know enough.
But as I said to this woman, what are you going to do? Christians, like Jews, believe they inherit the Hebrew Bible and its traditions and laws. They interpret most of it differently from Jews. So some Christians are going to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath? What are you going to do? Throw rocks at them, verbal or real? I think it is a beautiful thing that many non-Jews keep the Sabbath.
Mattben027108: hey luke, there's a lot of criticism of dennis in your
prager summaries these days
Dennis protested the New Jersey Supreme Court allowing the Democrats replace their US Senate candidate Robert Torricelli with Frank Lautenberg. DP said it was unethical and bad for democracy.
Mickey Kaus writes: "I would add that the court doesn't appear to have made any effort to discern a statutory scheme here. The operative rule seems to be: "We're going to do what we think is right unless there's an incredibly clear black-letter statute saying we can't. And then we can always declare it unconstitutional." Does the elected legislature have any role to play here at all? (It's ironic that the court pays such attention to finding what it thinks is the most democratic way to pick a lawmaker, even as it brushes aside the actual work-product of those democratically-elected lawmakers, namely statutes.)"
William Safire writes: "Yesterday the New Jersey Supreme Court set aside the election law and approved poll-directed, final-month pinch-hitting. This establishes a new political practice: If your candidate begins to fall behind in surveys, forget primary results and substitute a candidate whose recent activities and views cannot be thoroughly examined by media nor whose stamina can be tested on the trail."
DP says a vote for the Green party is a vote for Republicans and a vote for Libertarian is a vote for Democrats. Don't delude yourself. Ralph Nade enabled George Bush to become president.
There's a sense of decorum and care for the country, and obligation to higher standards, that exists in the Republican Party that doesn't exist in the Democratic Party. When the Republicans lost to a dead man in the Missouri senate race, they didn't contest it.
A conservative believes that the purpose of a judge is to rule justly. A liberal believes that the purpose of a judge is to make society better. Dennis had this discussion with California judge Cruz Runosso.
The New Jersey Court doesn't make an argument for its decision. It issues an order.
In his second hour, Dennis Prager was thrilled with actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond), who was on Bill O'Reilly's show. She said she was pro-life, would vote to ban abortion if a justice on the US Supreme Court. Wasn't this an unpopular stand? She said that in the end, she will have to stand before God, not Barbra Streisand.
Prager read from 9/27/02 WSJ article by Paul Marshall:
On Wednesday, gunmen entered a Christian charity in Karachi, Pakistan, separated Christian from Muslim workers and methodically shot seven Christians in the head. Although this massacre is the sixth in a series of attacks aimed at Christian targets in Pakistan, much of the media has played down religion's role in favor of a secular storyline.
The New York Times described this latest attack as ending a lull in assaults on "Western targets" and suggested that the charity was chosen because it was not as well guarded as "foreign embassies and Western companies." It quoted a police official saying that the attack was designed to drive away "Western business." Agence France-Presse quoted a human-rights worker arguing that the violence was not against Christians but against those "striving for a tolerant society." CNN International opined that there "is no indication of a motive."
This approach is typical. After the massacres at a Pakistani Christian school and hospital in August, Reuters headlined its story "Pakistan attack seen aimed at West, not Christians," while the BBC said: "The attack appears aimed at Western interests, rather than Pakistan's Christian minority." The Associated Press argued that the assaults were "directed against western interests."
Just War On Iraq
From LA Times: Jewish groups have been struggling with Bush's new military doctrine that allows for preemptive, unilateral war by the United States.
The Rabbinical Council of America, a leading Orthodox group, supports Bush unequivocally. "The longer we wait, the more problems that could ensue," said Rabbi Steven Dworken, executive vice president of the council.
A war with Iraq is "a continuing of a war on terrorism," he said, adding that Hussein is of the same "genre" as Osama bin Laden. "He has a regime that could destabilize the entire region and have repercussions all over the world," he said.
The executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, an organization of Reform synagogues, also supports Bush, but with some caveats. International cooperation is "far better" than unilateral action, the organization said, and it emphasized that nonmilitary action is preferable to war. But it asked only that the Bush administration explore those options while insisting that it get the approval of Congress before acting.
LA Times Cries For Poor Misunderstood American Muslims
LA Times says American Muslims are victims of a sad fate. Because Muslims attacked the US, they've been isolated.
Muslims say in the article: What more can we do?
Dennis Prager says there's been nothing more disappointing than the total lack of Muslim condemnation of Islamic terror bombers in Israel. The Muslims have set themselves back. How come there has not been a single Muslim demonstration against terror in the US? Or elsewhere? How about a demonstration that Salmon Rushdie should be allowed to live? How about a demonstration that suicide bombers go to hell rather than heaven? How about a demonstration for the woman in Nigeria who was sentenced to death for having sex outside of marriage?
The Times article is written by secular Christian Teresa Watanabe, who on the first day of Passover, in year 2000, published a long blistering article to the effect that the Exodus from Egypt never happened. I'm still waiting for her followups ripping the foundations of other religions on their holiest days.
Teresa Watanabe writes: A year after the Sept. 11 attacks, American Muslim leaders increasingly fear their community is being pushed to the margins of the American political system.
Until the attacks, Muslims had been making steady gains in moving into the American mainstream. Muslims were just beginning to win appointments to government commissions.
Evidence of a hardening of attitudes against Muslims—at least on the part of some Americans—comes in several forms. So far this year, more than 20 books on the "Islamic menace" have been published. Two of those books are the best-selling titles among 7,219 books on Islam at Amazon.com: "American Jihad: The Terrorists Among Us," by Steven Emerson, and "Militant Islam Reaches America," by Daniel Pipes.
Leading figures among evangelical Christian denominations have made a series of public statements denouncing Islam as an evil.
And polls show that although Americans have gained familiarity with Islam, their increased knowledge has not led to greater approval.
"The tragedy," said Aslam Abdullah of the Los Angeles-based Minaret magazine, "is that American Muslims were working so hard to be accepted as equal citizens, and now all of a sudden they find they have to prove their loyalty all over again."
Many Muslim activists blame what one called "a troika of evangelical Christians, right-wing conservatives and the pro-Israel lobby" for their plight.
Indeed, the Times poll showed that unfavorable impressions of Muslims are stronger among Republicans than among either Democrats or political independents.
Thank God It's Not Gore-Reiner
Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post: The New York Times reports that Gore wrote the speech "after consulting a fairly far-flung group of advisers that included Rob Reiner." Current U.S. foreign policy is the combined product of Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz and the president. Meanwhile, the pretender is huddling with Meathead.
Had it not been for a few little old ladies baffled by the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach, Fla., American foreign policy today would be made by Gore-Reiner instead of the Bush brain trust. Who says God doesn't smile upon the United States of America?
In the past few years, organized religion has only shown its moral failings, with few exceptions. From the Muslims who support suicide bombers to the Christians who oppose the war against terrorism... The foreign affairs minister of the Vatican said the US should not wage war against Iraq without the approval of the UN. So the UN determines morality, not God?
The foreign affairs minister could not issue a statement on the most important issue in the world now without the approval of the Pope.
A Methodist leader said the US should not act unilaterally against any country. DP points out that if the US acts against Iraq or anyone, that action is either right or wrong, whether or not done with UN approval.
Did God get UN sanction when he sent the Flood that destroyed the world in the book of Genesis?
When the great moral issue of terrorism rose, Hollywood was nowhere to be found. When a democracy was attacked by terrorism, Hollywood and its overwhelming Jewish component, was silent.
Barbra Streisand said Republican insiders industries had much to gain by a war on Iraq. DP said it was a scummy statement. To accuse President Bush, who said that we might need to die and kill to stop Iraq from building weapons of mass destruction, of being out for personal gain is scummy.
Caller: If Hollywood players endorsed Israel, it would be an endorsement of the Republican party, which has stood solidly behind Israel. Republicans stand for peace through strength.
From DrudgeReport.com: Barbra Streisand has reminded Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt in a blistering memo: "Sadam Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center."
The Streisand memo, released by the President of the Barbra Streisand Foundation, Margery Tabankin, warns Democrats to "get off the defensive and go on the offensive."
The singeractressdirectorproducer took time out from rehearsals for a performance she's giving on Sunday for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to remind Gephardt [spelled "Gebhardt" in a faxed memo obtained by DRUDGE] not to "ignore the obvious influence on the Bush Administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies, the logging industry... just to name a few." Streisand notes: "Many of these industries, run by big Republican donors and insiders, clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq."
Streisand urges the Democrats to "publicly convey this message to the American people." While there are serious problems with Iraq, Barbra feels that we can't let this issue become a distraction from the country's domestic problems and the President's inability to fully dismantle the al Qaeda [spelled "Al Queda" in the fax] network. After all, Saddam [spelled Sadam in the fax] "Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center."
Feel free to call Barbra or me at 310-395-3599 if you would like to discuss this further, Tabankin offers to Gephardt.
Capitol Hill's top reporter, Ed Henry at ROLL CALL, later confirmed Streisand penned the "confidential memo" urging Gephardt to take the offense against Bush. Tabankin tells Henry she sent the memo after she had a phone conversation with Streisand. "We had just watched Tom Daschle's speech," said Tabankin. "We were both very emotional."
There's hardly a cause in the world that isn't attempting to harness Hollywood's star power to raise awareness and cash.
Yet the question of Israel and whether to wholeheartedly embrace its cause is posing a surprisingly provocative and uncomfortable dilemma for many in the industry, all the more notable because the movie business was founded by and is still well-populated by Jews. It's one issue on which few are speaking out, rare in a town where people spout off on almost every political concern from guns to whales.
"There's been a puzzling silence," says Dan Gordon, screenwriter of "The Hurricane" and a strong supporter of Israel. "We're in an industry that takes stands on everything. People can't shut us up! I'd love to see the indignation about homicide bombers that is reserved for smokers. You smoke in this town, and you're dead. Rob Reiner will come after you."
And though few in Hollywood are nervous about appearing pro-environment or anti-smoking, there is trepidation about the unwelcome typecasting that being unabashedly pro-Israel might bring.
Publicist Howard Bragman goes further: "It's easier to come out as a gay in Hollywood than as a Jew. I'm frankly shocked at how many people are in the closet about their Jewishness."
Israel's consul general in L.A., Yuval Rotem, says he's made dozens of phone calls trying to get a high-profile Hollywood figure to visit Israel and so far has failed. "Ever since March, when we lost 140 people in one month, which was the trigger for our incursion into the territories, I've asked this question over and over again: 'Where have they been?' " Rotem says.
Even today, with the exception of Holocaust-related films and documentaries, it's not uncommon for projects to be dismissed as "too Jewish." There have been few movies made about Israel...
"Liberals are on the side of the underdog," says writer-director Michael Tolkin, author of "The Player" and "Changing Lanes." "The people who've had their cities turned into rubble look like the underdog. There's embarrassment about being a Jew and a feeling of alienation from the Jewish community, a fear that it's been taken over by the right wing." At times, the left in Hollywood sounds as anguished as the left in Israel.
"One thing everybody shares is total depression and disappointment over the peace process' failing," says Marge Tabankin, who runs both Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, which is devoted to domestic Jewish causes, and the Streisand Foundation, which handles actress Barbra Streisand's diverse charitable donations. Speaking personally, she says, "I don't know where to put my heart and soul in my volunteer time as a person who cares both about human rights and the existence of the state of Israel."
Reiner, Katzenberg, Seinfeld, David Geffen, Harvey Weinstein and Adam Sandler all declined to comment for this article.
As Tolkin sees it: "Everybody in Hollywood is obsessed with story and used to thinking their way out of a plot. There's no obvious way out of this. I don't know anyone who can get three paragraphs through a discussion of the Middle East crisis without being struck mute."
DENNIS PRAGER said that Marge Tabankin must be really morally confused if she can't simultaneously support "human rights and the existence of the state of Israel."
Dennis Prager writes 9/24/02 on Townhall.com: I took the news of the forced resignation of Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene -- for having had sexual contact with an 18- or 19-year-old woman 11 years earlier -- very hard.
You see, in 1995, Greene and I were the two most vocal voices in America in defense of a 4-year-old boy taken away from his family and given over to a birth father whom the boy had never seen. The boy, Danny Warburton, was known as "Baby Richard," though at the age of four, he was hardly a baby. The Illinois Supreme Court, in a vote of 5 to 2, overturned a lower-court ruling to leave Danny with his parents and his brother, and to hand him over forever to a birth father who soon after abandoned the boy again. The justices did not even provide a way for Danny to communicate with his family, the only family he had ever known. At Danny's birth, the birth mother had legally given adoption rights over to the Warburtons, a fireman and homemaker -- his parents virtually from birth.
There are many children in Illinois and elsewhere who lead better lives, who are more loved, because of Bob Greene's work on their behalf. Bob's own children need to know that and never to forget it. Their dad strayed morally, and he has acknowledged it. But their dad is a good man. They should know that a lot of us know that. And always will. Not least, the Warburton and Prager families. Whatever sins he has committed pale alongside the good he has done, just as whatever good the five Illinois justices did pales alongside the bad they did.
When I realize that the five justices who ruined lives are still honored citizens in Illinois and that Bob Greene, who helped so many, is in disgrace, I recall the ancient Jewish proverb that the good get their punishments in this world and the bad in the next.
Doug writes on the Prager List: Dear Dennis: Don't you think that you ought to wait for the German election before you generalize your criticism of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder against all of the Federal Republic of Germany? Perhaps the Germans will repudiate him by electing Edmund Stoiber. You cite FRG Christian Democrat MP Wolfgang Schäuble's WSJ piece (http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110002291) worrying about German-American relations, but if millions of Germans elect his party, that should speak louder than some of the outragous comments from some in Schroeder's party.
Dennis Prager repeated his charge that leftist academics live in a cocoon where their friends write the blurbs promoting their books.
So I picked up Prager's book on happiness, turned to the back cover, and saw that at least three of the four people writing blurbs for the book are personal friends of Prager - Rabbi harold Kushner, Professor David Gelernter, and Dr. Stephen S. Marmer.
Prager is not shy either about writing blurbs for his friends Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and Rabbi Harold Kushner.
Most people live in cocoons. Most people design their lives to maximize the time spent with people of like minds.
Prager says he has to confront people who disagree every day on his radio show. Professors have to confront people who disagree every day in their classes. Prager rarely has guests he disagrees with because he finds it uncomfortable to debate his guests while he serves as host of the show.
I was hoping Prager would talk about this story. I remember Prager had Bob Greene on his show to talk about the Baby Richard story.
What's the Story With Bob Greene's Firing?
Nancy Nall writes: [T]here are three things everyone tells you about Bob Greene. Number one: He's a hack. Number two: He's a horndog. I don't think I'm even into the penumbra of libel saying that, because I am telling you, everybody in Chicago journalism has a story about Bob chatting up a sweet young thing with a gleam in his eye, and there was that incident with trying to pick up my friend who worked at Esquire, while he was on tour promoting his "Good Morning, Merry Sunshine" book, about what a great dad he is.
Did I say three things? I was wrong. The third thing you learn with your own eyes: This man wears the second-most preposterous toupee in the history of hairpieces, bowing only to Jim Traficant's. They all tie together, in my mind. The horndog requires the hairpiece, which is sort of a metaphor for his hack-ness, his false, treacly, icky prose that only fools the willfully blind.
It started with the Baby Richard case, one of those awful adoptive/bio parent tug-of-wars we witnessed some years back. I wanted someone to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the adoptive parents? Who knew they had a contested adoption on their hands within a couple weeks after taking Baby Richard home? And knew the law wasn't on their side, but chose to drag the case out for years, appealing and appealing in the hopes of finding a judge who would rewrite the law? I wanted someone to wonder whether those people, who only gave up the kid after calling all the media to witness the transfer of this poor child, might bear, oh, a teensy bit of blame for how terrible it all turned out.
From BOB LAURENCE, TV Critic, San Diego Union-Tribune to Jim Romenesko: Greene gets sacked for having an affair with a young woman of legal age more than 10 years ago? Something about this story doesn't ring true. Either the Trib is the most puritanical, self-righteous, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou workplace this side of Dr. Laura's broadcast booth, or there's more happening here than either side is admitting. I suspect it's the latter, which is the really disturbing part. What we have here, it appears, is two entities -- Greene and his bosses -- who are in the business of distributing truth quietly agreeing to tell something less.
XXX: If he had sex with a man instead of a young woman of legal age, nobody would have dared to challenge him.
DP spent his last two hours promoting marriage and cursing singlehood. DP was not impressed by the argument of some men who say they've been burned once with a marriage ending in divorce and don't want to marry again. Have such men ever had a car accident? Yet they continue to drive?
Women who live with such men, or date such men, should say: "Honey, I understand you've been burned before by marriage and commitment. I too have been burned. I was burned sexually. Therefore, I don't want to have sex again unless I'm married."
A single man of 28 phoned to say he was happy sleeping around. DP said he had just as strong a sex drive as the caller but he chose to get married so he could lead a deeper life. DP related that when he was 30, he was on a date with a pretty blonde. DP sensed she would go to bed with him if he desired. DP thought to himself, 'Is this what my life is about? Going to bed with pretty blondes?"