Rick writes the Prager List: I used to listen to Prager every day, especially when he was on KABC. Now, I maybe tune in once or twice a month, and every time I do, he is always talking about a topic that I've heard him beat to death several times already. So, the short answer is, I don't listen much now because I've heard it all already...
Nelking writes: Prager was recently spouting off about how it is virtually impossible for people of opposite sex to be friends. His theory seemed to be that one of the two individuals involved would "want more" out of the relationship than the other. Since Prager did not excuse himself from the theory, I have to wonder, when he begins to make conversation with a female, are his thoughts so centered on boning her that he couldn't possbily carry on a platonic friendship with her...or.....(and this is perhaps more likely, knowing Prager's conceit) does he think that any woman he happens to talk to, that has common interests with him etc, would be too ravaged by the desire to have mad sex with him that she could never just accept him as a friend.
Two other quick thoughts...if Prager has never had any female friends and has no female siblings, exactly how the hell did he come to be the self proclaimed expert on women? Also, do you think Prager's children are going to be in need of therapy at some point due to his mixed messages? He seems to be telling his younger kid "Be friendly to strangers. It's ok to converse with people you meet" (a philosophy I agree with, by the way) but then he turns around and tells the older kid "What ever you do, don't even attempt to strike up a platonic friendship with a female. One of you will end up sexually frustrated and/or will act like the main character in "Fatal Attraction".
What I find ironic is how he often brags that he talks about "every issue" there is. While I'll admit that, over the course of a year, Prager will touch briefly on many topics including film, clothing styles, music, computers, etc, it is pretty obvious that ALL of these other sundry topics take up perhaps 20 % of his show content, while the other 80% is the same old crap he bets into the ground (his religious beliefs, Pro- israel beliefs, hatred of colleges, etc.
Rick writes: I think he used to be quite open-minded and rational, but it appears that he now is "stuck," and unable to move in any interesting directions. I really wonder, too, how his move to KRLA has altered his approach. Clearly the folks at KRLA have a much more religious focus (not a bad thing, mind you), but perhaps that has allowed him to feel more relaxed about focusing so strongly on his religious beliefs and turning his back on his wider audience. I used to enjoy him when I felt he was really trying to get all points of view, but it surely doesn't seem that is the case any longer.
Prager wonders about this photo of Richard Gere hugging Yasir Arafat's spokeswoman Hannah Ashrawi (former lover of ABC anchor Peter Jennings). Why would Gere do that? Prager speculates that many if not most actors believe their work is meaningless, as most movies today are vapid.
The human being needs meaning even more than he needs sex. You can lead a full and rich life without sex. But you can't lead a rich life without meaning.
So actors seek out political activism as a way to give meaning. Artists have traditionally been on the left.
Most people get meaning from their work and their family and their religion. Most Hollywood actors don't get much meaning from any of those categories.
Second hour: Author Jon Katz spent a year with 12 dog-human relations, including the Dog-Divorce club, where women get a dog after a divorce, to write his new book, The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family.
Katz worries about people anthropomorphizing animals. Animals are no longer "adopted", they are "rescued."
Katz says it is not good for pets to be viewed and treated as human. It's not good for people to do this and it is not good for their pets.
People are struggling to connect with others. Dogs are a blank canvas they can paint their emotions on to.
If people are lonely and disconnected, they need to get help, not transfer their issues on to their dogs. We are asking to do too much. We're breeding generations of neurotic dogs. They're not trained properly (only 3% in America). Training a dog means teaching it to exist around people. They don't get enough exercise.
Four hundred thousand kids are bitten a year by dogs. A trained dog won't bite. It'd be better to have training laws than leash laws.
Because of this aggressive, neurotic behavior, towns across the country are passing tough leash law. Dogs are being asked to lead lives that are not natural to them. Because we are not treating dogs like dogs, we are not allowing them to live like dogs.
Katz says women are more likely to anthropomorphize animals. All eight women Katz followed (not all unhappily married) said they felt they got more emotional support from their dogs than from their men.
It's not good for people to believe dogs are doing things for them that dogs can't do. Dogs can't give love.
Vet calls: It's damaging because such people don't develop human relationships to provide that love. It's disturbing to see people developing these spirituality theories about animals. Animals do not have souls.
Katz: The smartest dog is not as smart as a three-year old.
From Publishers Weekly: Katz, a novelist and nonfiction author (A Dog Year; Geeks), here explores the bond between dogs and their owners. Focusing on 12 people-dog relationships in Montclair, N.J., and drawing on current research into attachment theory, interviews with animal workers and psychiatrists, as well as conversations with dog owners, Katz offers nuanced portraits of what happens when humans depend on dogs to satisfy their emotional needs. He contends that high divorce rates, an unstable workplace and the shrinking extended family are some of the reasons that people have come to rely on pets instead of one another during times of crisis. Donna, a divorced woman with terminal cancer, turns to her Welsh corgi for comfort and as an antidote to loneliness. In a darker portrait, Katz tells the story of Jamal, a troubled 14-year old and the owner of a pit bull whom he clearly loves, and yet beats daily. Katz also describes the laudable work of Betty Jean, who devotes her life to rescuing dogs from shelters-but who gives little attention to her grown children or grandchildren. Although Katz, a dog owner himself, appreciates the strong tie between humans and dogs, he fears that many owners use their pets as support during hard times, only to discard them later: Kate's German shepherd, for example, helped her recover from her husband's death, but she gave the dog away when she remarried. In this well-written and thoughtful account, Katz makes a convincing case that dog owners must be more self-aware and responsible when they use their pets as human substitutes.
THIRD HOUR: Study links depression, suicide rates to teen sex
Dennis Prager believes that early sex leads to depression.
By Karen S. Peterson, USA TODAY
The findings are particularly true for young girls, says the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that sponsored the research. About 25% of sexually active girls say they are depressed all, most, or a lot of the time; 8% of girls who are not sexually active feel the same.
The study comes in the midst of a flurry of new reports on the sexual activity of teenagers. Such research is fodder for the growing debate on sex education in schools. The Bush administration backs abstinence programs. The Heritage study taps the government-funded National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health. The Heritage researchers selected federal data on 2,800 students ages 14-17. The youngsters rated their own "general state of continuing unhappiness" and were not diagnosed as clinically depressed.
The Heritage researchers do not find a causal link between "unhappy kids" and sexual activity, says Robert Rector, a senior researcher with Heritage. "This is really impossible to prove." But he says that study findings send a clear message about unhappy teens that differs from one portrayed in the popular culture, that "all forms of non-marital sexual activity are wonderful and glorious, particularly the younger (teen) the better," he says.
An Orthodox rabbi tells me: "Dennis Prager gives more mussar [a school of introspective Jewish moral instruction that began in the 19th Century] than all the Orthodox rabbis in town."
Sgil46: Like I observed the other day, the reason the Left is so quick
to presume some nefarious meaning to what someone on the Right might say
is that they've been keeping their own racism undercontrol with the PC
version of double-think, projection.
Gil writes DP: I fully understand your frustration and the conundrum you find in seeing that threat of lawsuit is bordering upon terrorism. But why not stick to the problem itself without adding the hyperbole? Spotlight and Lambast extortion of all kinds, and especially extortion of "do what I want or be sued." Don't let anyone forget that legislators are predominantly lawyers!
Sgil46: DP hasn't dealt with the build-up the Left made to stage their
tantrums agains the war either, which is on a par with this last caller
Gil writes Dennis: Those who argue that GWB [President George W. Bush] was lying are either foolish or partisan. Most of us have been told how foolish and/or bad it was that GHWB didn't take out Saddam when he had the chance.
After Saddam claimed he had WMD, but refused to show us where and how he destroyed them gave us the sense of urgency we needed to finish the job -- even while the Left threw outrageous tantrums berfore the war that we NOT finish the job. In other words, GWB showed tremendous courage and resolve despite the demands not to do what turned out to be the right thing.
This is driving the Left nuts -- like spoilsports or gamblers who cannot stand losing. Now that we have done what the Left was complaining about GHWB for the last 13 years, so much so that we all have a sense that we needed to take Saddam out, they are NOW complaining the lack of WMD to be found removes the justification they claimed was there all along.
But we Americans know they are wrong because they even told us Saddam was bad enough to be removed just for him being the monster he was. You are right Dennis -- they will always want to call GWB names because they have left themselves nothing else.
The Left had been griping how ineffectual GHWB had been, and that W only wanted to rescue his Dad's legacy. Afterall, Saddam was soooo bad, that he SHOULD have done it despite world's limited sanction. (of course they were also griping that GWB was ignoring world opinion this time!) So now that Saddam is out, like they said he should have been in 1992, now they're griping that the prime motivation isn't in evidence -- despite the risk that the WMD appeared to be there. Saddam wanted the world to think he had them as part of what may have been a bluff. So let's assume he was bluffing and W read it correctly as a bluff. What would've been the right thing to do then?
Sgil46: Well, We shouldn't risk waiting until he did have them, nor
should we willing to be extorted into stalling any longer by a bluff that
might provide him enough time to go fully nuclear. So we must call his
bluff while it still seemed like a bluff. The Leftist extremists didn't
make making that decision any easier. So even if W knew there were no
WMD at the time, he had to play the high-stake poker game carried on by
Saddam because the stakes would be higher later in the game.
Sgil46: wrong DP. The ACLU does ask what is best for America -- and
then proceeds to work against it.
Sgil46: Should you seeing an opportunity to bring it up again with DP, I'd like to get him to explore what he's missed about people being afraid of being called judgmental. It's time he explored it.
DP says: In the last ten years, government and other forms have dispensed with asking "sex" for asking for "gender." Gender is subjective. It is whatever sex you identify with. "Sex" is objective. You are male or female.
From Foxnews.com: Modern Wedding Parties Bend Gender Roles
This summer, as Americans walk down the aisle, wedding-goers will be seeing more men in the bride's party and more women in the groom's party, according to experts.
"It's absolutely becoming more popular," said Elizabeth Howell of the Emily Post Institute (search), an etiquette organization formed in 1946 by famous civility expert Emily Post.
"If a woman has a particularly close male friend, or a man has a particularly close female friend, why not?" she said.
Howell doesn't see any problem with the gender-bending trend. In fact, in 2001, Peggy Post updated her great-grandmother-in-law's wedding etiquette book to include protocol for opposite-sex attendants.
So what are the rules for these Friends-era weddings? Do “bridesmen” wear hot pink suits if the bridesmaids’ dresses are that color? Do “groomswomen” wear tuxedos? Howell said opposite-sex attendants should try to blend in with the rest of the party.
"A man on the woman's side can wear a tuxedo. A woman on the man’s side can wear a dress that matches the bridesmaids' dresses. Or perhaps she would feel more comfortable in a pantsuit or a dress that matches the men's clothing," Howell said.
And then there's the question of what opposite-sex attendants should be called. Howell prefers "honor attendant" for both genders to terms like bridesman, best woman and man of honor. But Olivia Johnson of upstate New York was recently asked to be her friend Ian's "best man."
"We were drunk when he asked me to be his best man," said the 26-year-old. "But I hope that's what I'll be called," she said.
The blizzard of suicide bombing in Israel is directly connected to the new Middle East peace plan. Every time Israel considers peace, there's an avalance of Muslim attacks.
High Schoolers Don't Write Term Papers, 5-19-2003
Third hour: The importance of writing. Most kids aren't learning to write at school. Writing is a mirror to the brain. Writing is a work-out for the mind.
DP says his son David, at UCLA, would like to write well. But DP says David's teachers gave him much better grades on writing than he deserved.
We spend too much funding public education. The money goes to bureaucracy while the education does not improve.
Professors think unclearly. DP knows that because he reads their writing. One's writing is a window into one's mind.
Art was never for people who had to take courses in it. It was always for the masses. Artists today have contempt for the masses.
Trial Lawyers To Roll Drug Companies, 5-19-2003
Second Hand Smoke: No Proof of Harm, 5-19-2003
Bad Reporting from Baghdad, 5-16-2003
Man Survives Car Crash, Then Falls Off Cliff, 5-14-2003
Bachelorette Parties Get Hot, 5-14-2003
NYT Reporter Fabricates Stories, 5-12-2003
Typing Monkeys Don't Write Shakespeare, 5-12-2003
Suicide Bombers "Paradise" on Display, 5-12-2003
Republicans Help Trial Lawyers, 5-12-2003
What Tax Cut?, 5-12-2003
Jews Moving Right, 5-8-2003
Grandparents: Too Much of a Good Thing, 5-8-2003
Ventura Has to Take Cross Down, 5-5-2003
How the UN Opposes Adoption, 5-2-2003
A Marine Comes Home, 5-1-2003
Norman Mailer Incoherent, 5-1-2003
Severe Acute Media Syndrome, 4-28-2003
French-Iraqi Collusion, 4-28-2003
Ashley Banfield: Landon Lecturer, 4-28-2003
Dutch Justice or Getting Away with Murder, 4-16-2003
History Fuels Arab Anger, 4-16-2003
CNN Silence Controversy, 4-15-2003
CNN: All the News We Want to Print, 4-15-2003
V. Hansen: Media Is an Ignorant Mob, 4-15-2003
DeVillipin and His Syrian Pal, 4-14-2003
Intellectual Onanism, 4-10-2003
I Was Wrong!, 4-9-2003
Gunther Grass: We Reject You, America, 4-8-2003
Middle Ages Warmer than Today, 4-7-2003
Conservatives at Law School: Not There, 4-2-2003
Son of Saddam, 3-31-2003
Michael Moore: Booing the Booers, 3-28-2003
U of Maryland "Stupidity" Cartoon, 3-26-2003
Human Shield: I Was Wrong, 3-24-2003
Waiting for America (go to end of article), 3-19-2003
(Links from www.dennisprager.com)
DP on LA Lakers ejection from playoffs: What did they have to play for? They had no motivation after winning three championships. They had no fire.
Greg writes: Luke - Is it just me but have your views on Dennis Prager changed somewhat radically the last few years. Before, you used to fawn over everything he said, now I see many critiques.
Like you, I like listening to him a lot, since he is different than almost any other conservative talk show host (and really does make me "think a 2nd time"), but he infuriates me because he uses his obviously extensive intelligence dishonestly in a way so as to constantly slam anyone to the left of center. I have found him, especially since 1993 and Clinton, but even more so since going nationwide again, to be much more like Rush, and much less like Religion on Line, which is one of the reasons I liked to listen to him. He has become, to me, a Pat Robertson clone whereas he used to be an honest thinker. Now he uses his skills dishonestly.
I belong to a conservative synagogue, I am probably closest to an athiest (although I'd love to believe that the Torah is the written word, and the Talmud the oral word, directly from God, I can't believe it despite the best efforts of Orthodox friends and institutions). I love the traditions, am bringing my kids up Jewish, have an Israeli wife (my kids have Israeli citizenship also, I don't), have been to Israel many times and have strong associations with Israel. Politically I am generally left of center, but I certainly switch around on many different views. I would more correctly call myself an anti-Republican (at least anti-Republican as they presently stand, there are many Republicans I have liked in the past, I find the party now to be close to evil).
That said, I am certainly not a Democrat, even though I agree with them far more frequently than I do with the Republicans (I don't even remember what I'm registered as, I switch it around frequently to vote in different primaries, or just for fun). I am fairly libertarian, although I don't really fit there either. I guess that the person or people with whom I agree most philisophically would be Thomas Friedman and George Soros (to the extent that I really know what Soros believes in, he is not as fully well written as is Friedman).
As to Prager, I find him intellectually dishonest in many ways. The primary way would be his methodology in analyzing situations and the conclusions he draws from them. He frequently finds the most absurd situation, and then somehow analogizes it to everyone he dislikes (ie - the left). Therefore, OJ goes free, almost gets his evidence against him suppressed, has a circus trial, and therefore all defense lawyers are evil and have lost their morality. He'll even find a dozen stories on it, and suddenly that's the norm. It's not just that subject, he does it with everything he believes passionately in. This is not to say that those stories are not true, and they may be emblematic of deeper concerns, but he has this absolutist way of looking at things that somehow pigeon-holes everyone into these distinct (and absurd) categories that they must be in if they disagree with him. Furthermore, when you try to call him up and disagree with him, he sucks all of the life out of your call by insisting you answer silly sylogisms ("wouldn't you agree that the sky is blue?" Aha, like I said......). A caller's greater point is almost always lost if they try and discuss a broader subject, or wrap several ideas into one coherent thought in a way he does, because he'll spend you whole call picking apart just one tiny little statement ("Give me a specific example of Bush's diplomacy failing." Then forcing the person to spend time on that specific issue before letting them move on to a greater point).
Interestingly, he does nothing similar to people with whom he agrees but who make absurd statements. He comes off as very open-minded for saying where he disagrees with present-day conservative Republicans, but he never takes that next step with them in exploring why these disagreements may point up to more fundamental failures of morality than a simple slip of the tongue, or a difference of opinion no different than Dodgers vs. the Angels. Thus, he was willing to concede that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell were wrong to blame the ACLU, gays, and a whole host of liberal American institutions for 9/11, but he never went the next step and discussed how the right wing has a whole "hate America" crowd as well, which is a far more mainstream part of the Republican party than the left wing "hate America" crowd is to the Democratic party. If they were on the left saying those things, he would've neatly wrapped that up into his worldview that the US is engaged in a civil war, and this is just an example typical leftist thinking that needs to be condemned, along with anyone else left of Newt Gingrich.
Speaking of his latest civil war stuff, it makes me ill, because it's true, and because he's so dishonest about it. Of course the US is engaged in a civil war, and it started in the 60's, but it started in the 1860s and continues to this day. How could he be considered even the slightest bit honest in mentioning that this is the 2nd civil war, that the South was wrong on that one and is right on this one (that was basically his comment today - that the South's victory would've destroyed the nation in the 1st civil war, and will save the nation in this one), without noting the philo-confederate views of so many of the people fighting the "civil war" for his side. The present civil war does emanate from the 1960s - from the civil rights movement, and the opposition to desegregation in the South. How can he so conveniently fail to find a thread in the fact that the whole Southern Republican party owes its power to the love of the confederacy and hatred of the north, stemming from the first civil war? I know he'd probably find some idiotic, tortured, reasoning to separate the two - he'd be wrong - but he hasn't even tried. He doesn't even discuss the fact that so many southern states (just about all of them) celebrate Robert E. Lee's b-day but not Lincoln's, that a statue of Lincoln, along with just about every black person, would not be allowed in most Southern public places. He doesn't even note the number of Southern states with the Stars and Bars on their state flags (put there in 1956 in response to Brown v. Board of Ed and in support of segregation). He can't even note that so many Republicans are philo-confederates so that they speak before organizations that trumpet the confederacy, or speak in favor of segregation, or turn a blind eye to discrimination in the name of "personal choice."
One would expect that if the people he idolizes so much lie blatantly, then he would repudiate them in the most uncertain of terms, since he is so dedicated to "truth" and "honesty." Therefore, why doesn't he point out the obvious lies of the republican senators that he loves so much when they declare that Democratic obstructionism is unprecedented, and they are acting in a way never before seen, when the Republican fillibustered 2 Clinton appointments just 3 years ago, in fact one of the lead obstructionists back then was none other than John Ashcroft, and another was Bill Frist? Why not point out what liars they are, how can anyone trust anything they say, how endemic it is to all Republicans that they can't confront the liars and evilfolk within their own party, etc.....
What I always liked about Prager in the early 90's and 80's was that, as an intelligent person, he wasn't afraid to admit areas of cognitive dissonence (sp?), in other words, places where he just couldn't intellectualize something, where the contradictions were so great that he had to just go forward on emotion (such as, saying he believes that the Torah and Talmud are the actual word of God, but coming up with little compromises on issues such as Shabbat and Kashrut, or premarital sex, or even something as simple as the conundrum of having people you really like who disagree with you in fundamental ways - see above discussion). I actually agreed with him on much of that, and in that sense, he helped me work through some issues I constantly considered. However, time has not been good to him or his integrity. Now, he simply brushes those things aside and comes up with intellectually dishonest arguments that brush aside the vast, mushy middle reality that exists in the world. Only this way could someone like him, one of the least "real world" people in the US, claim that college professers are screwed up in large part because they don't live in the "real world" ever.
Anyways, I thought I detected a certain exasperation on your part with some of the things Prager said recently, and I was curious if this is trend, or if I just misread you (and I'm not talking about "reporting," but "commentaries.").
Prager says Rebecca Steinfeld is devoting her entire life to showing how evil Israel is. Where does Prager get this? She wrote one article for the UCLA Daily Bruin. Hardly amounts to devoting a life.
Just like Prager "devoted ten years" to writing his happiness book, as he keeps repeating. Well, actually, Prager had fulltime jobs on other topics and would've only had a few hours at most to devote exclusively to the happiness book.
Daniel writes: The classroom is the professor's domain. He determines the course of study; he directs the "conversation"; and he confers grades. His relationship to the students is, by definition, hierarchical. He is, ostensibly, the superior scholar, the model to which his students aspire. Most students crave their professor's approval; typically, many of them are still teenagers. If they are graduate students, they depend on the mentorship and good recommendations of their professors. Where is the advantage, for a student, in voicing dissent? Most students, in fact, see the academy as a place to absorb wisdom; thus their disposition is to believe rather than to doubt. It's a remarkably weak professor--a professor oblivious to his own authority--who has to shout down a student. Dissent in a classroom rarely rises above the sound of a raised eyebrow.
Thanks for pointing out, however, Prager's various devices for saving face. Sometimes I forget these things, or I'm simply not aware of them. I'm inclined, however, to cut Prager some slack. I think he probably feels beleaguered. A lot of people positively hate him. He incites much more fury than most conservatives to the right of him. It must unnerve him a little, even after twenty years of broadcasting, to know how many listeners are gunning for him.
Nelking writes: Daniel, Very well thought out response! Actually, I don't disagree with much, if any, of what you say about teachers. I did not mean to give the impression that I thought that the average college professor walks a minefield of sorts on a daily basis and, that if he makes one simple error, his students will jump all over him. You are very correct in your comment that the teacher is, by nature, in a position of superiority and that,if a student does disagree with the teacher, he or she should do so in a respectful and, perhaps, infrequent basis.
Nonetheless, I still feel that Prager is out of line to CONSTANTLY point out how "easy" college teachers have it in terms of facing those who disagree because, if there is one occupation where the person has even more control of the situation than a college professor, it is a talk show host, especially one who operates his show as Prager does.
I won't rehash Prager's techniques again but I did think of one other little "perk" that Prager has that the average professor does not-------an army of willing and able ass kissers. Any time Prager feels the urge, he can check to see who is waiting and then select one of these pitiful souls who begin "Oh Dennis. You don't know what an honor it is to speak with you! You are without a doubt one of the deepest thinkers of this, or any other, generation! I consider you my mentor!".
It's been a while since I was in college but I sure as hell don't recall students falling all over themselves to smooch a teacher's ass like some of these callers do.
Jewish Commentator Dennis Prager Talks To Muslim Commentator Amir Taheri
I arrive at Nessah (Nessah.org) at 142 South Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills at 7PM. The crowd builds to about 500 people.
I'm surrounded by nubile female UCLA Persian Jewesses. I love Persian women. They are shapely, well-dressed, demure, educated, and perfumed. I'm soaked in Star Jasmine perfume, which helps me concentrate on the words of the learned speakers.
One girl says she loves Prager's voice. She's become a Republican. A college guy says she is only the second Jewish coed he's met who's a Republican.
Prager begins by praising the Persian community for being so wonderful. For picking up moving over here, learning the language, making a ton of money, building big synagogues, raising families and integrating into American society.
DP says Iran will never recover from the loss of its Jews. As the Bible says, those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed. America has blessed the Jews and been blessed by them. In Iran, the opposite.
Cultural Muslim Amir Taheri points out that Iran never persecuted or segregated its Jews.
Amir inquired about the radical Israel-hating English Jewish coed [Rebecca Steinfeld] Prager had on his show today in the second hour. "Was she ugly?" Prager says she was pretty but her values were so ugly, he had a hard time looking at her.
Amir is no representative Muslim. He's like the Douglas Rushkoff of the Muslims. If all Muslims adopted his religious practice, like if all Jews adopted Rushkoff's ideas, there would cease to be Islam and Judaism. Amir does not hold by Islam's tenets.
Taheri said he is first an Iranian. If the religion of Iran had been Buddhist, he'd be Buddhist today. He views himself as a product of Iranian culture - including the Jewish, Zoroastrian and Islamic strands.
Prager said that's depressing. It seems that all the tolerant Muslims are the secular Muslims. Amir rejected the term secular though it fits him. A lot of people don't like to be labeled accurately.
Amir discusses the Islamic reward of 72 virgins. Prager says he's American and therefore virginity is not important to him. DP gives that line a lot.
Prager doesn't see any reason for optimism for the moral health of Islam. Amir saw many reasons but how much credibility does he have to pronounce on this when he doesn't hold by his religion?
Amir wondered why so many Americans hate America. He named Lewis Lapham (editor of Harpers Magazine) and Democratic Senator Joe Biden who says Bush stole the 2000 election.
DP says many American intellectuals are alienated. They are not rooted in Americanism nor in Christianity. Thus they hate those who are rooted in Western traditions.
Amiri says the late Shah was the best possible ruler for Iran at the time and that he executed only 312 people, while the Ayatollah Khomeini executed tens of thousands of people when he took power (competing religious leaders, communists, liberals).
DP concluded: He has a hobby of collecting good people and Amiri is one of them.
DP says Jews are not haters. You don't go to pro-Israel rallies and find people calling for the death of anyone.
When Prager made his documentary in Israel last year, he couldn't find an Israeli to say he hated Arabs.
Prager went to a 10,000-plus demonstration for Israel on Wilshire Blvd in Westwood last year and he spoke to a policeman who said the demonstration was much more peaceful than pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
DP wished there would be more Muslims like Amir.
Nelking writes on the Prager List: One of Prager's current themes (which he is beating into the ground) is how college professors are isolated, immature, etc because they were never in the "real world", ie they went right from being a student to being a teacher without ever having a "real" job. Let's think about this----what do college professors do? By and large, they lecture and, quite often, write.
And what does Prager do? Well, he lectures and writes. He does, of course have his radio show but even his most ardent fan must admit that, for the most part, the show consists of Prager "lecturing" the listeners. This is what Prager has apparently been doing for 25 years (or is it 20, I've grown a bit numb to his constant references).
Ok, so what did Prager do during the years between bombing out of grad school and lecturing/writing/having a talk show? I'm sure he would have mentioned it if he had ever had a "real" job, lasting more than a few months. Can anyone else imagine Prager tending bar for a few years, driving a cab, working a construction job then going out to slam down a few kamikazes with his co-workers? I sure as hell can't. I would suggest that, with his career choice, his religious beliefs that dominate his life and what I assume is a much greater than average salary, Prager lives AT LEAST as isolated and "unreal" life as the average college professor.
Shannon writes: Hey this is the dude that is just "discovering" jazz. His knowledge of popular culture is appaling, and his rigid polemicist worldview prevents him from having any empathy or understanding of people who are different. To him, people are sets of monolithic carricatured groups, all working independantly of each other...He is an isolationist with a siege mentality (he's "fighting a civil war" of values in America currently), and in that sense, he is as remote and disconnected as any college professor that I am aware of.
Shannon writes Dennis: "Bet you thought you were going do another one of your grandstanding, sarcasm laden tirades using a naive, ill-informed college student as a bully pulpit. You have no idea how much satisfaction I gained from hearing you have your parade rained upon by the articulate Englishwoman [Rebecca Steinfeld] you had on air today."
The Blushing Bride
By Olivia Barker LAS VEGAS -- Swaths of skin glisten under a pair of disco balls at the Olympic Garden, a topless cabaret on the north end of the Strip. Patrons ringing the shiny black stage linger over Corona longnecks and Coke cocktails. The air is ripe with the scent of sweat, smoke and after-shave.
A typical Saturday night of mild sinning in Sin City, except this one features a twist more intoxicating, to certain observers, than those served with the martinis. Up here on the second floor, the ogled aren't prosthetically enhanced (at least above the belt), and the oglers aren't middle-aged men.
As Johann, Paris, Danny and Tommy gyrate to Justin Timberlake, Diana Vincent flutters her hand in front of her face. ''He is so hot!'' shrieks Vincent, 32.
Danny, clad in a black-and-red thong, is sliding his bare bottom and back against her seated friend, Czari Anulao, a gauzy white veil pinned to her long brown hair. Minutes later, Anulao is breathless but beaming. ''I liked it,'' says the 29-year-old biotechnician from Sacramento.
An hour-plus later, how many scantily clad studs have shimmied in her lap? ''I lost count.''
Anulao is getting married soon, like half a dozen other women in the red-velvet-shrouded room, some crowned by condom-studded veils. One bride-to-be is tethered to a male blowup doll. Meet a new generation of bachelorettes, for whom swearing is as natural as squealing, the craps table is as alluring as the cosmetics counter, and bawdiness is next to godliness.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Dennis Prager says: "Men who strip are boys. They are not men. Women are turned on by men.
"This isn't a new generation of bachelorettes. This is exceptional in female nature. "Women are getting back at men with these things. Women don't like that guys do this before the wedding. So they do it too.
"Female sexuality is more about alluring males than acting like males by ogling male bodies. Females don't ogle male bodies. It is male nature to ogle female bodies. There is no equivalent to Playboy for women. Playgirl is bought by gay men.
"This whole thing of bachelorette parties with male strippers is a creation of masculinism. If men do it, I'll do it."
Kelly, 33yo female caller: "Women have these bachelorette parties because they feel so threatened by their men having their bachelor parties."
Dennis: "Ask any guy, moral considerations aside, if he'd like to have sex with the attractive stripper and he'll say yes. Most women will say no.
"We've confused equality with sameness. Women have been sold a bill of goods, to act like men, think like men, dress like men. It's a real loss to society. Femininity and masculinity are gorgeous.
"This is an effort to de-emotionalize sex, which runs against female nature.
"As a woman, would you like to go into a private room to get a lapdance? Men want that."
Dennis Prager goes to Stanford and why am I not surprised by his response? DP's so predictable 98% of the time. He could've written this identical column without ever going to Stanford.
This problem, of professors never having had to live in the real world or work with adults, should not be underestimated. I recall interviewing on my radio show years ago a professor who had uncovered data showing that male high school and college teachers were the group least likely to remarry after divorce. Living and working around so many young and attractive women makes it very tough to commit to one adult woman.
It is no reflection on anyone at Stanford -- everyone I met was unfailingly polite -- to say that I felt it necessary every day to drive off campus to breathe the air of the real world outside the campus. But for those who love such a cocoon, it is no wonder that much of the outside world (especially the middle class world) is often regarded with fear and contempt. No wonder many professors do not know how to write in language accessible to that world. Many of them literally can't speak to the rest of us.
It is worth noting who brought me to Stanford: a combination of conservative and Jewish groups -- the Hoover Institution, a unique island of non-leftist thought at a major university, Stanford Republicans and a number of Jewish groups, most particularly Chabad at Stanford (the university's major Jewish group, the Hillel Foundation, deemed me too conservative to co-sponsor).
I went to the Stanford Chabad House off campus after my lecture to meet with students, among them three representatives of the College Republicans. Only in America does one find Christians from the Bible Belt utterly unself-consciously mingling with a Hasidic rabbi.
Conservative Hypocrites vs Liberal Hypocrites
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Dennis Prager spoke on the Bill Bennett gambling controversy: Only conservatives can be hypocrites because only conservatives argue for standards of personal behavior. Do a search for "liberal hypocrite" on the internet and search for "conservative hypocrite."
I did that search on Yahoo and found 87 results for the term "liberal hypocrite" and 16 results for "conservative hypocrite."
On Google, I found 129 results for "liberal hypocrite" and 29 for "conservative hypocrite."
Cridland writes Matt Welch: Ford is a neat guy to have on Prager's case, because his affection for the broadcaster doesn't seem to interfere with frank appraisal. Impetus for the cited item can be found at this link, found on Ford's site several weeks ago.
It seems Ford is giving Prager a taste of his own googly medicine.
Ford's page would be a daily read if only he'd do more page layout. But tenses and voices fly around like fruit in a blender and it gets very difficult to understand.
William F. Buckley writes in the National Review: "The sad business of William Bennett requires discouraging commentary. There is, first, the existential point, which is that Bill Bennett is through. We speak, of course, of his public life. He is objectively discredited. He will not be proffered any public post by any president into the foreseeable future. He will not publish another book on another virtue, if there is any he has neglected to write about. It is possible that the books written by him on the subject, sitting in bookstores, will work their way to the remainder houses. These are the consequences of the damage he has done to himself. It could always be that his inherent talents will prevail over undiscriminating fate. There are those who hope it will be so.
"A second question immediately arises: Has justice been done? Only in a raw parsing of the term, because what he did can correctly be deemed a private act immune from retributory sanction. It was wanton behavior, indisputably, but it was his own money being dissipated. The manner in which this was done raises eyebrows. If he had spent millions in decorating costs, his story would merely have been the tale of one more spendthrift. There is something about gambling when done other than on a scale associated with gin rummy and bridge, that is inherently censorious. Sensible criticism focuses on the unbounded character of his dissipation. When connected to stories of arrivals at casinos at three o'clock in the morning, to pump the $500 slot machines until dawn, what is depicted is addiction at pathological levels. The public thinks to reproach such conduct, not to okay it under the libertarian rubric."
Dennis Prager argues against anti-Zionism
Asserting that the United States is currently experiencing an ideological civil war, conservative and controversial radio talk-show host Dennis Prager spoke to a standing-room-only crowd last night.
His lecture, entitled “The Pathology of Anti-Americanism and Anti-Zionism,” analyzed the causes of sentiment against the United States and Israel.
Prager began his lecture by addressing what he called the illogical nature of anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment. “Of all the groups in the world, the most hated seem to be Americans and Jews,” he said. “It needs to be explained.”
Prager pointed out that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the European world as well as American intellectuals responded by wondering what the United States did wrong to deserve the aggression it received. “We live in an upside-down world,” he said.
Prager described Israel as a tiny country — the size of New Jersey — that is one of the most developed, and one of the most self-critical, in the world. “The largest Israeli demonstration in Israeli history was made against itself,” Prager noted. “The two most hated countries are the ones with the most vociferous self-hatred,” he said.
Prager then turned his attention to Israel which, he said, consumes Arab life. He also spoke about the refusal to recognize the legitimacy of an Israeli state. “There is no acknowledgment, none, that Jews have claims to the Middle East,” he said. “The new leader of the Palestinian Authority wrote a book denying the Holocaust. An entire world of lies in the Arab world has been built about Jews.
“To know the Arab-Israeli dispute takes 60 seconds,” he continued. “The Jews overwhelmingly believe that the Palestinians have a right to Palestine; it is not the same the other way around.”
Anti-Zionism is intrinsically related to anti-Semitism for Prager. He asked why the existence of Pakistan or Panama have never been in question, although they were also carved out of previously-existing countries.
“Of all the states on Earth, every one of which was created in bloodshed, only one has its existence constantly challenged,” he said. “And then we wonder why people equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.”
Prager pointed to Tuesday’s Israel Independence Day celebration and the accompanying protests by advocates for Palestinians as an example of the injustice that Israel faces. “Can you imagine if we had a July 4 celebration but there was a counter demonstration showing how many British were killed in 1776?” he asked. “One side wants the other dead and not the other way around. The head of Hamas often says, ‘We love death more than the Israelis love life.’ ”
Prager then tackled the issue of anti-Americanism, identifying two groups that are primarily responsible for its spread: the Arab world and the European left. “The United States is the obstacle to the spread of leftist ideas and Islam,” he said. “The world will be dominated in your lifetime by one of three ideologies: Islam, leftism-socialism, like in Europe, or Americanism.
“[In Europe] a person should be taken care of from cradle to grave . . . . They resent us for capitalism,” he added.
Another source of European resentment is that the United States is the most religious of the world’s industrialized nations, while Europe is relatively secular, Prager said. “That’s America: God and liberty,” he added. Prager went on to describe what he called the the United States’ “civil war.”
The ideological battle in the United States is between European elements and traditionally American elements. All colleges, he asserted, represent the European influence. “For all intents and purposes, you are living in Europe,” he proclaimed. “Go 100 miles south and you start to enter the U.S.”
He described leftism as a product of modern alienation. “What the left has created is a huge body of people alienated from national, religious and even sexual identities,” he said.
“You are to be utterly unrooted. “There isn’t right or wrong,” he added. “You’re not rooted even there in a moral foundation.”
Prager concluded by emphasizing the divide between Americans and “European leftists.”
“There are two separate Americas,” he said. “Who we agree with and who wins will determine how our children will live.”
Students at the talk said they appreciated Prager’s unique perspective.
“He challenged many of the thoughts so frequently voiced at Stanford,” said junior Megan Richer.
“At Stanford we’re never exposed to speakers like this,” commented junior and Hollywood actor Ben Savage. “His views and people who share his views are drowned out on college campuses.”
Said senior Jake Gardener, “I came in here very critical and very skeptical, but I agree with the underlying themes he was talking about. Maybe he takes them to an extreme, but in the end a lot of what he said resonated with me.”
From May 8, 2003 report:
“This is one of the great days in world history, one of the most optimistic in human history,” Prager said.
Not everyone in White Plaza yesterday agreed with Prager’s assertion. “We feel like when they celebrate Israel’s independence, they are missing the point, because it’s not independence, its creating a country over someone else’s country,” said a protester who wished to remain anonymous. “Any celebration should be joined by remembering what came before the Palestinians were driven out of their homes.”
Response to the protest was varied. “I was pretty upset that there were people who don’t believe in my country’s right to exist and that they came out when we were not making a statement about anything — just celebrating our version of the Fourth of July,” said freshman Nitzan Ackner, who was born in Israel. Amrani, however, made it clear in his speech that he was not bothered by the demonstration.
“I am not upset to see their [Palestinian] flag,” he declared to cheers from the crowd. “Their colors and ours can and should live together . . . .They are not going to secede Israel because Israel is a reality and it is not going away.”
Prager seconded Amrani’s sentiments. “There is a difference in our two demonstrations — ours has not a hint of hate,” he said. “They [the pro-Palestinian movement] want us destroyed. There is not any hate felt here, no ‘anti’-feelings. On the other side, it is steeped in hatred —of Israel, of Jews.”
Levine wins Times award for powerful 'Harmful to Minors'
From LATimes.com: Judith Levine, whose provocative book on children's sexuality created a firestorm of controversy even before it was published, was awarded a Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the current interest category Saturday night.
"Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex" presents the argument that children are often deprived of realistic advice about sex. She also makes a case that young Americans are entitled to safe, satisfying sex lives.
The award came as something of a surprise, given the topic and that one of the finalists was Samantha Power, who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," which documents the United States' failure to confront global crimes against humanity.
Levine was rebuffed by numerous publishers before the University of Minnesota Press accepted the manuscript. One publisher called the book "radioactive." But the judges for the book prizes thought differently, calling the work "a cogent and passionate critique of the war against young people's sexuality.
An uncompromising humanist and feminist, Judith Levine exposes the moral panic behind such policies as 'abstinence-only' sex education and insists on adults' responsibility to give affirmative support to children's and teenagers' sexual development."
The judges also commended the University of Minnesota Press for its courage in publishing the book in the face of attacks by outraged state legislators. Levine was presented the prize, a commendation and $1,000 at UCLA's Royce Hall as part of the 2003 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
From Publishers Weekly: "In America today, it is nearly impossible to publish a book that says children and teenagers can have sexual pleasure and be safe too," writes journalist Levine (My Enemy, My Love). Levine has somehow pulled that off. Western European countries assume that "sexual expression is a healthy and happy part of growing up"; thus Levine argues that sex is not necessarily bad for minors, and that puritanical attitudes often backfire. According to her, as the age of sexual initiation drops in America, the age of consent is rising. She observes that most so-called pedophiles are attracted to teenagers rather than kids an important subtlety recently aired in the media. (Still, her call for common sense on pedophilia is marred by an inadequate acknowledgment of the extent of online child porn, as documented in Philip Jenkins's recent Beyond Tolerance.) She notes the disturbing trend toward pathologizing young children's eroticized play and criticizes mainstream America for letting the Christian right steer sex education toward an emphasis on abstinence. Compounding that, she says, the right wing has expunged abortion discussions.
A reader from Orlando, FL, writes on Amazon.com: "Perhaps this woman was molested when she was young, and is trying to make herself to believe it was right. I am aware of children/adolescent sexuality, but letting them to have sexual experiences with adults is something absurd and it only can come from a sick source. This woman needs psychiatric attention, before she corrupts all our society. Out there are kids who had been sexually abused, and are struggling with those feelings. Perhaps, and I have no doubt, she wrote this with no bad intentions, but this won't help, not a little with the awful and critic situation we have in our countries today, pregnants teenager, abused children, young killers. This book serves well as a how-to-pervert-children/adolescent manual."
Another reader writes: Judith Levine writing about the development of children's sexuality, and the impulses parents feel to protect them, is a little bit like a male professional football player trying to write about the ins-and-outs of feminism. It is NOT that she gets facts wrong. In fact, a lot of her statistics are fascinating and do prove the point that adults willfully underestimate the power of child/adolescent sexuality.
It is that she gets the facts right, while missing the MUSIC of child/adolescent development. If she were writing about drugs, for instance, she would insist that the statistics on first-time heroin-use deaths are wrongfully used to scare children and teens away from trying it, since many/most aren't killed by it and may learn that heroin is "not for them".
As someone who works as a counselor for teens in a public school setting, I can tell you that the number of girls who continue to get victimized by their four-year-older, six-year-older, ten-year-older, twelve-year-older "boyfriends" (i.e., men in their twenties who prefer their females "young and dumb") is legion. While the THEORY is that we should educate, nurture and support the healthy sexuality and self-esteem of all these girls, believe me -- they are in no way prepared for what they have gotten themselves into, once they have found out that their biological equipment works and is a fast-track to -- they hope -- a little bit of love and acceptance (in lieu of genuine self-esteem). While Ms. Levine mocks these assumptions -- perhaps assumes that most girls are little-Judy-Levines-waiting-to-blossom -- the human consequences are enormous. Many of them begin a lifetime of disappointing experiences with men, which results -- quickly -- in the next generation of children to be raised with deficits.
So...it is easy and fun to attack "the Right" and "the Christian Right" over and over again, while waving the ramparts, and it all is an enjoyable read. But it has little correspondance with the reality I work with day by day. As for her assumption that children/adolescents can enjoyably have sexual experiences with adults, let's just say that the kids I talk to don't represent it that way. They are mired in shame and disgust and feel badly ripped-off.
I think Judith Levine enjoys the idea of teen/young-teen sexuality more than taking a sober look at the realities, statistics notwithstanding. Whimsical, theoretical...and...clearly the work of a non-parent. Her assertion that she has nieces, or nephews, and KNOWS people who have children, or that freshmen in college talk to her with an ease and honesty they don't speak to their parents with, just makes me kind of laugh.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Dennis Prager said: It is not a good thing for adults to have sex with teenagers. It's not pedophilia but why is it good?
"Levine argues that love may ruin teenage girls more than sex." There's an intelligent argument. It can only mean that this woman [Levine] was probably hurt in some love relationship and it has distorted her outlook on life.
"I'm amazed how often women are saying that it is good for teenagers to have sex. There's something pyschologically sick with many women of the intellectual class. They are so remote from their feminine instincts. The woman by nature is the protector of innocence and of her children. To want your child to have sex is so distorted of the feminine mind...
"The male brain is sex oriented. I want to have it. I want to take it. But the female brain is more love oriented. It's not, 'I must touch a male leg and I must rub a male. I must have sex.' That's not the way a young female raised in a healthy environment thinks. She wants to be hugged and stroked and she has fantasies about being touched... Adult females have been the guardians of their daughters. Most women want sex within a context.
"A very very attractive male, brilliant, kind, a winner. A religious Jew in his late twenties. He was telling me that for religious reasons, he does not have sex. He's keeping that for marriage. In every case in the past few years that he's gotten to know a woman, in every instance, about ten times, they've offered sex to him. And at every instance he said no because of religious reasons. In nine of the ten instance, the woman hugged him. She was so relieved. She had offered sex because that is what young women today are told is the only way to get a guy. You get love through sex. Men use love to get sex, women use sex to get love. It made him all the more desirable to me.
"We live in a new world where sex is expected so fast of the female...without any hint of commitment that a distortion has taken place in the feminine psyche.
"If you go to amazon.com, it is fascinating to see how many women have written reviews to say how good the books is. Something has happened to the females, as females get more masculine and men get more feminine. It is a sad development for society.
"I want to know how many adults regret having sex as a teenager and how many regret not having sex as a teenager. I'm glad I didn't have sex as a teenager. Forget morality and religion, let's talk pragmatism.
"A lot of women who had sex early do not enjoy it as much later in life."
A man calls: "I partook early on... I can't get emotional oneness with my wife because of the stupidity I had as a young lad with sexual escapades in college and whatnot. It keeps me from getting to that next level of intimacy that God has blessed us with. I hope my children will not go down the same path. Sex is a drug and I became an addict. I came out of high school with good morals and values, only experiencing it a few times, but after going to the moral wasteland that is college and it becomes a free for all. Like the caller who said nine out of ten women say yes to the sex..."
Dennis: "They don't say yes to the sex, they offer it.
"I thank God that I did not have sex as a teen. I believe it has contributed immensely to my energy, my love of life, my love of sex. I speak to so many people who started early and don't love it later.
"It's good to do what your hormones tell you to do when you are 15? What good does it do? Intercourse should be considered a cosmic event, not on the physical level of urinating."
The Palo Alto City Council has passed a resolution discouraging eye rolling, and disrespectful gestures and comments. Dennis Prager says that the further left you go, the more you encounter a totalitarian impulse. Liberalism has become feelings based. It's not a coincidence that a woman is behind these new laws. Women are more concerned about feelings. Women's feelings get hurt easier than men's. Liberalism is a feminine movement. Conservatism is a masculine movement. In the public sphere, feelings-based policies are generally bad ideas. In the private realm,
You don't rib a woman. You rib men because women are more likely to get their feelings hurt. If one kid is allergic to peanuts, the liberal bans peanuts in school because we feel for the kid. Conservatives are thought-based and hence won't ban peanuts because one kid is allergic.
SGil writes: Dear Dennis, This tactic is identifiable as reinforcing the art of the agressive compromise. The city council makes it officially out-of-order to respond naturally to anything odd, humorous, laughable or ridiculous in any outrageous or flagrantly stupid statement, any extreme proposal. By preventing such stupidity from being "laughed out of court" (so-to-speak), the oddest proposals may be put up as a starting points from which its opponents must find some way to compromise.
As always, it is my desire that you'll explore what I just told you, and reveal and explain this and its implications to your audience. What we hear, day in and day out, on talk radio from various fringe group spokesmen is rehearsed monologue, dogged determinism to repeat nonsense even in the face of specific revelations to the contrary. I do not know HOW you do not blow a stack when it happens to you, other than you've taken the vow never to get angry with callers. Ah, but after the call, you should open up the lines so that people like me can rip them to shreds. PLEASE?
Can a liberal and a conservative love and marry each other and have it work? Prager has his doubts. Prager says it is a comfort that he agrees with his wife on almost every political issue. They don't agree on how to run a home. DP leaves all decorating issues to his wife.
DP: "Neither of us are a yes-person.
"If I came home to a woman who said, 'George Bush is one of the worst presidents we've ever had and I don't understand how you think he's doing a good job for the country.' It would be painful that on some of my deepest convictions are not shared by my wife. I want to come home to peace and to a shared valued system.
I don't think of my political views as the same as my taste in cars. My views reflect my soul. I want to be able to share my soul with my wife, my deepest feelings.
A conservative Christian and Jew have more in common than a liberal Christian and a conservative Christian. (DP strongly opposes religious intermarriage but supports racial intermarriage.)
Prager says he doesn't trust adult who say we should follow the ideas of children.
The number of people who quote Anne Franke as though she were a philosopher. "Despite all I've seen, I still believe people are basically good."
People on the left hate distinctions - age distinctions, merit distinctions, national distinctions...
Dennis Prager writes: The first thing you have to do when hearing Hollywood stars make foolish comments is to avoid being surprised. As a rule, over the last few centuries, artists have been more likely to be morally confused than members of almost any other profession (except academia). Many, perhaps most, great artists are geniuses in one area and underdeveloped elsewhere in life. It seems that when God grants great artistic talent to an individual, that individual is given few other gifts, least of all moral clarity or wisdom.
First hour. Prager rips the media for its coverage of Iraq, citing Victor Davis Hanson of National Review and Franklin Foer of The New Republic positively, and CNN, Peter Arnett (worse than a whore, real prostitutes are only sad women who've made sad choices) and New York Times (R.W. Apple) negatively.
Second hour. Prager has on a family to promote home-schooling. Their kids are not good examples. They are horribly inarticulate, don't know who Stalin was, have barely an idea about Hitler, and admit they have few friends their own age.
Third hour. Prager welcomes the repercussions that some Hollywood stars feel for ripping into the president and his war on Iraq. These stars are used to being adored and think they should still be adored no matter what they say and do. Celebrities should understand they are famous for being actors, not for their political philosophies.
From the Dixie Chicks and Martin Sheen to Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, stars who speak out against President Bush and the war in Iraq are seeing repercussions.
"There's a piling on, and we're isolating people. That's just wrong," says Kevin Costner, standing up for "courageous" Bull Durham co-stars Sarandon and Robbins.
A Baseball Hall of Fame event April 26 to celebrate Bull Durham has been canceled because Sarandon and Robbins, who have been vocal in their criticism of President Bush, were to be featured.
* Calls and e-mail have come in threatening to boycott ABC and its advertisers if Janeane Garofalo's sitcom Slice O'Life gets on the schedule. But the comedian, who has been outspoken against the war, says she's going ahead with the show. ABC already had pushed it back to midseason.
* A Lipton iced tea ad featuring the Dixie Chicks may be in jeopardy — creators are at work on a backup ad idea — as the public continues to react to Natalie Maines' anti-Bush comments four weeks ago. At Thursday night's Country Music Television video awards show, Brett Butler suggested "forgiving" the Dixie Chicks, and the audience booed.
* Handlers for Avril Lavigne are eager to brush off the singer's recent anti-Bush statements as backstage banter, especially as her sold-out Try and Shut Me Up tour hits the USA on Tuesday. A record label spokeswoman says Lavigne's young, hip audience isn't likely to respond as vehemently as the Chicks' country fans.
XXX says: THAT is where I get my dismay for DP. Every time he gets an eye-witness account to what he derides in society, he acts like its tacky to dig deeper, & comes up w/ an excuse to avoid it further. & b4 that, he gets a student telling him that her profs cut her off, & DP cuts her off all while bemoaning that the profs cut off students
DP cuts off those who r giving him real-time data. HE SHOULD BE TAKING NAMES AND BUILDING A CASE. That's what I would do in a similar position. If one REALLY wanted reforms to be implemented, that's how to begin going about it. ALL DP does now is let people vent off steam. He does NOTHING to aid their plight. If you wanted to be a real thorn in his side -- a legitimate one for justice -- that's how you could really strike his weak point. It's not often his screener lets in calls like that -- but when s/he does, it's a regular event for DP to cut in off quickly. Each time you record such an event, ask the question: Why didn't DP seek to put this person in touch with others who've experienced such injustice? Why doesn't he dig deeper? His listeners would gobble it up. One has gotta wonder if he is serving two masters when he doesn't find ways to offer something other than short-shrift to people who supply him with further evidence of what DP rails against. IT IS AS IF DP THRIVES WHEN PEOPLE ARE MISTREATED. Could that be it?
Let me tell you -- DP really pisses me off when he does this. I think that rant could be edited to make a damn good case for DP being far less than he pretends to be at about 10:55 a girl student, between classes at UCLA, called in about the profs cutting her off. at 10:56, a GI student called in about 3 straight Fs he'd gotten from a prof who was virulently anti-military. He went to the dept head and got each one fixed to a B. The dept head said each was an A value, but the dept head couldn't give him an A because that would be "too much." DP said he'd believed him -- and then gave the GI the traditional brush off "oh, I see we're outa time." OTOH... when DP wants to make points deriding a weak opponent, that is when he's gonna get an opportunity to make himself look good, then the caller gets to hang around until after the break.
Dennis Prager Announces He's Not Running For US Senate
Dennis Prager said on his nationally syndicated radio show that he is not running for US Senate. He said that he believed he could've raised the requisite amount of money and that he could've won, in part because he has such good relations with minorities.
I noticed no groundswell for Prager to run. I found not a single post on an internet newsgroup about Prager running.
I think most non-fans of Prager's will have found his trial balloon attention-seeking and emotionally manipulative.
DP: "I met with important people in Washington about this. I was given tremendous support within the Republican party. Articles were written encouraging me.
"One important person in Washington D.C. told me that I already had more influence than two-thirds of senators.
"I know there was at least one candidate who was delaying his decision until I announced.
"The arguments for my not running were not so much the problems of campaigning. Campaigning has some allure to me. I love people. I like to meet people who live lives different from my own. I feel comfortable with people who are different from me, racially, religiously..."
The reasons Prager listed for not running were all positive ones - that his life is so wonderful and imbued with meaning.
DP: "A decisive element was being with my youngest child as he enters his teen years (he would be 12-18 years old if Prager served from 2004-2010). Unless you are a senator or congressman from a state close to Washington DC, you can not live a normal family life. My family is my treasure.
"The other reason is the gift of what I can do with this [nationally syndicated] radio show."
Prager played a call from yesterday's show from 16-year old Mike who told Dennis that he was his "home school professor."
Prager couldn't think of anyone who left talk radio to run for public office while many people left public office for talk radio.
DP: "I want my ideas out. I want to changes hearts and minds. Thousands of you volunteered to work for me if I ran for Senate. Would you work for me if I want to change America outside of politics? I've undergone a major metamorphosis."
If Prager wants to change America, he might start by making his website dennisprager.com more user friendly.
Prager's eldest son David is working as an intern for a [state?] senator.
Dennis says the California Democratic party is a particularly dirty one. "I have about as skeleton-free past as is possible to have," says DP. "No one running would have the paper trail like I do. I have thousands of articles, thousands of radio shows, four books, thousands of lectures. You don't think you can isolate segments that would make me look evil. That was a factor. If you have a good person who loses credibility by [undergoing such scrutiny], that's a net loss."
SGil writes: How about Bob Dornan? He was a successful talkshow host before running. DP probably rather not mention Dornan because he was already afraid he'd have been compared to him (perhaps an unmentioned reason for DP not running). Moderate republicans would see Bob Dornan coming down the street and swiftly move to the other side. In 20 years on the air, I don't think DP ever gave Dornan even a single mention, let alone any interview time. [LF: I've heard Prager mention Dornan positively several times.]
If DP said what you say he said (I didn't hear him say this even though I listened to this broadcast) then Dornan is DP's 800 lb gorilla sitting in the living room. (Also, though not quite the same: Reagan was a talk show host (or maybe just a commentator, I'm not sure) between his runs for Prez in 1976 and 1980. However, he was already a past public office holder, so it's not strictly speaking the same). Oh, and his buddy, Bruce Hershensohn, was a TV commentator and stand-in talk show host before his run for Senator.
Who Killed Rachel Corie?
Dennis Prager writes: Rachel Corrie, the Olympia, Wash., college student killed trying to protect a Palestinian house -- a house, remember, not even a human being -- against an Israeli bulldozer, will probably not merit a footnote in history books. That's too bad, because her life and death, the way she has been portrayed in some media, and the reactions of her college are powerful examples of an America with many morally confused individuals.
A Seattle Times columnist described her as a martyr. Her hometown paper, The Olympian, published numerous pictures of a sweet-looking woman from childhood on. It omitted the one photo of Rachel Corrie that USA Today, to its credit, published -- Corrie screaming anti-American invective while burning an American flag in Gaza. Read On
In his third hour, Prager interviewed the director, writer and producer of Gods and Generals, Ronald Maxwell. Prager loved the film.