Dennis Prager bought a new cell phone/PDA in Minneapolis for $450. Three days later, he dropped it in the toilet and it stopped working. Is he morally obliged to tell the company he broke it by dropping it in the toilet (without them asking how it broke?) If they pressed him how it broke, should he lie?
Prager went into Verizon in Minneapolis and told them the truth. The help looked up Prager's contract. He said, you don't have insurance. DP said, "I don't recall anybody asking me if I wanted insurance. Normally I do get insurance on these things."
He said, they are not offering everybody in CA the insurance. You'll pay for the insurance. Put down for the $50 deductible. Here's the new phone.
DP says: Early on in life, I vowed that I would be strict with myself in truth telling. I did not cheat in high school. The dominant factor was self-image. I want to like myself. I want to respect myself. I believe you have to earn these things, from yourself, others and God. And you only earn it by how you act. But there was a powerful voice in me that said, if they ask you, tell the truth, but if they don't, don't.
Braving 80 degree temperatures and mild sunshine, about 130 people turned
out Thursday afternoon, September 9, for a Bush-Cheney '04 California
Jewish Coalition rally.
The 'I am a gay American' defense
I get tired of Prager fishing for compliments. Today he began his show asking his listeners to write in with distinguishes his show.
Colin Powell's A Moron
I loathe this man. He's now apologizing to the Arab world for the abuse of a few Iraqi prisoners by Americans in the Abu Ghraib prison.
"I understand apologies to all Iraqis, but not to all Arabs," says Dennis Prager. "This [reflects] the contempt that many in the West feel for the Arab. They are children. We don't have the same moral demands of them than we do of Americans. I respect the Arab world. Therefore, I make the same moral demands on them that I do on us."
If the Arab world is a collective that needs to be apologized to, then the Arab world is a collective that has much to apologize for, notes Dennis Prager on his radio show today.
The Arab world has far more to apologize to the West for than vice versa. Except for the US, Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak would be strung up in Cairo like Mussolini. It was the US that rescued Kuwait in 1991 from Saddam Hussein. Powell opposed both wars against Iraq (1991, 2003).
Powell's an appeaser of evil. Is the Arab world embarrassed about what Saudis did to America on 9/11? Where are the Islamic protests against terrorism? We should stop cowering before the Arab Islamic world. They are our enemy. Where are the honorable Muslims? Why aren't they demonstrating against the slaughter of Nick Berg? If Christians or Jews did anything similar, Christians and Jews would fall all over themselves to say this is not authentic religion.
Author Karen Armstrong and her ilk expect nothing of Muslims. Only of Christians and Jews.
To scream "God is great," while slowly severing the head of a man who came to Iraq to help Iraqis... Why is there no Islamic protest? Why is the liberal news media more obsessed with the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by Americans than the beheading of an American by Islamic terrorists?
Hot Man On Man Action At University Of Judaism
I was in hog heaven Wednesday night enjoying a combative but civil panel discussion on same sex marriage (Dennis Prager and Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky against and Conservative Rabbi Elliott Dorff and Orthodox-ordained Rabbi Steve Greenberg for) moderated by kindly Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman.
I arrive to UJ an hour early. I chat about Jewish journalism with Rob Eshman. I wouldn't have the patience to deal with the whingeing that he and managing editor Amy Klein must get every week. Jews know how to complain in the most dramatic terms. While I prefer to gouge out the eyes of my subjects, the Journal always plays it responsibly.
Dennis Prager ambles up. He spots me, has a start of recognition, and ignites into a huge smile.
"So where are you theologically?" he asks me. We shake hands.
"I [affiliate] Modern Orthodox," I say. "Just like baseball has rules, I accept that Orthodoxy defines the rules for Jewish life."
"You won't like our [Jewish Journal] cover story on gay marriage then," says Eshman. It's by the kindly Julie Fax (Orthodox), who everybody talks to because she's so nice.
Eshman is such a gentleman that it makes me feel bad that I hate his newspaper.
The only reason Rob feels safe setting foot on UJ is his good relationship with its head of adult education, Gady Levy, who organized tonight's event.
The Journal lost $60,000 in Chabad advertising when they ran some lengthy (in my view ponderous and dull, in LA Times style) stories on a financial dispute in Marina Del Rey over a Chabad shul.
I tell Dennis, "But when you must do historical [or literary] scholarship for things like the historicity of the Exodus, then you must leave religion behind and only follow the evidence. So, I don't think [modernity] and [Orthodox] Judaism are compatible."
I don't have as much faith in Judaism as Prager, the great Jewish synthesizer does, even though in some ways I'm more observant and I affiliate with more traditional shuls.
Organizers expected the event to sell out immediately. Some stupid Fiddler on the Roof program did. But this did not. Dennis Prager talking about the program on his radio show this week and plugging it on his website brought in dozens of people.
If it had been a traditional UJ program, it would've weighed 90-10% liberal. Tonight, I sense by the applause that the crowd is in favor of gay marriage and other liberal nostrums by 65-35% (but other observers thought it was 50-50).
I hear Rabbi Kanefsky (the most liberal Orthodox pulpit rabbi in the West, he played the documentary Trembling Before God at his shul, only one to do so in the West) was initially reluctant to take part in the program. I think he feared that the crowd would be 90% against him and he'd get booed and hissed.
I wonder if he also feared that Orthodox zealots would burn down his home for taking part in a panel discussion on same sex marriage. Orthodox Judaism opposes it. Reform Judaism accepts it. Conservative is torn but leaning liberal.
There's a support group for Orthodox homosexuals in Southern California, and to the best of my knowledge, Rabbi Kanefsky was the only Orthodox rabbi who would talk to the group, and only on the condition that the meeting was opened up to everybody, and it was not just a specifically homosexual group (because the practice of homosexuality is completely against 3000 years of Jewish tradition, while it has been rampant elsewhere in the world until Christianity).
One of the panelists asks me if I'm living with Cathy Seipp ("Flattering to you," says Cathy Thursday), the love of my life and my reason for being. No, it only seems that way. I am at her house often for movies, munchies and malicious gossip. Thursday night we'll have beans and Shadow of a Doubt.
Wordsmith David Finnigan, the best writer to regularly grace the pages of the Journal, is covering tonight.
The crowd is excited. "I thought you'd be here," say several friends. They know I love controversy. Nothing like a good fight to get me excited.
I see an Orthodox rabbi friend who teaches classes on compassionate communication. I teach virtual classes in savagery.
Class is now in session. Achtung! Pay attention! Work means freedom.
All of the panelists get vigorous applause. Rabbi Dorff, a UJ professor, and Dennis Prager get the loudest.
Eshman is a superb moderator. His questions are short and to the point.
A pro-same-sex law professor, Marcy Strauss, from Loyola Marymount hopes Americans can return their attention to same-sex marriage and away from the butchery in Iraq. She gives a five minute lecture on American law and receives polite applause.
Now the fight begins.
Dennis Prager is my hero and tonight is just another reason why. His charisma, learning, and powerful oratory outshine everybody else. His humor is the sugar on the traditional pills he dispenses.
In all the pictures of Rabbi Steve Greenberg, I've seen a soft kindly, well, gay clean-shaven man with grey hair. Tonight he sports a savage black beard and it transforms his face into that of a warrior.
I'm shocked to learn that Rabbi Greenberg, the first (and only?) avowedly practicing homosexual ordained-Orthodox rabbi lectures regularly at the new left-wing Orthodox seminary Chovevei Torah (started by Jewish activist Rabbi Avi Weiss) as well is a lecturer at Rabbi Yitz Greenberg's CLAL.
About half the crowd vigorously applaud the notion of same sex marriage.
About 80% of the male crowd (which I estimate is about 5% Orthodox) do not wear head coverings and only a handful of married women cover their hair (traditionally required in Judaism).
Rabbi Greenberg admits that the Torah pictures love exclusively in heterosexual terms.
All this love talk by Orthodox rabbis creeps me out, reminding me of my Christian heritage. Guys, if I wanted to hear about God and love, I'd embrace Christ and my father.
R. Greenberg says it is impossible for him to imagine that God does not believe there is a way for two people of the same sex to express their love in some marriage ritual.
As God's beliefs are unknowable, R. Greenberg is on safe ground. All we have is Torah text.
Rabbi Kanefsky furrows his brow, shakes his head, bobs and weaves and generally exudes more compassion, care and concern than heterosexual men are generally thought capable of.
Rob to Rabbi Kanefsky: "Rabbi [Joseph] Hertz wrote that the two primary purposes of marriage are building a home and raising a family. If you agree with this, what in this formulation precludes gay marriages?"
Rav Yosef, as he prefers to be called: "Rabbi Hertz would never have [allowed for gay marriage].
"If there is a wonderful movie playing at 8PM and Shabbat is not over until 8:34PM, an Orthodox does not have a thought of trying to catch that movie. Our belief in the Torah as the word of God is so absolute... It is often that a child will run up to me Friday night or Saturday morning wanting to know the bracha (blessing) to say over an icecream sandwich. An Orthodox person submits to the word of God, to the wisdom greater than mine."
Rob and Dennis are on first name basis as they are the only non-rabbis on the panel.
"Yes, Mr. Eshman," says Dennis.
Rob asks Dennis why is gay marriage not just another form of evolution in the Jewish tradition.
Dennis says there's a difference between evolution and revolution. The Torah started an evolution away from slavery but there is no basis in Jewish sacred text for sanctioning same-sex marriage. That would be a revolution.
DP recalled a debate he had with Alan Dershowitz at the 92nd Street Y. They agreed on nothing. DP told Alan, "When you disagree with the Torah, you believe the Torah is wrong. When I disagree with the Torah, I believe I am wrong."
DP pleaded with same-sex marriage advocates from within the Jewish tradition to state explicitly that nothing in the Jewish tradition sanctions this and that they believe they know better on these matters than the Torah. DP praised David Ellenson, a leader of Hebrew Union College (Reform seminary), for doing just that in a speech reported in The New York Times (which is regarded as almost holy writ by many Jews).
After Prager delivers a particularly blunt point, one man in the audience yells "bullshit," and several others scream at Dennis.
DP said that while he held to traditional standards, he had compassion in his personal relations. He asked R. Greenberg back stage if he had a partner and if his partner was here tonight. DP said he tried for years to find a boyfriend for conservative homosexual KABC talk show host Al Rantel.
Rabbi Dorff says the Torah uses the word "abomination" for eating shrimp and violating Shabbat.
He says society has an interest in promoting marriage, including same-sex marriage, so that people will take care of each other and society won't have to. Heterosexuals are being complicitous in promoting homosexual promiscuity by not allowing for same-sex monogamous marriage.
DP: "I won't respond to the promiscuity but I will respond to the shrimp."
He noted that the text in Leviticus which calls homosexuality an abomination is a general proclamation, not limited to the Jewish people, as the "abomination" outburst against shrimp is. Also, the ban on same-sex male sex in Leviticus comes between the ban on bestiality and the ban on child sacrifice.
Prager seems to thunder down as if from Sinai. All the other panelists speak softly and sensitively.
Rabbi Kanefsky looks in deep pain. He says there is no room in the texts of Judaism for same-sex marriage. He says there are no prohibitions in the Torah that the Talmudic and later rabbis overturned.
He shuckles (sways back and forth, as though in prayer).
Dennis sneezes repeatedly.
Rob asks Rav Yosef if a two-guy couple applied for a family membership at his shul Bnai David, would it be granted? Rav Yosef said no way.
Rav Yosef: "How can respect go only one way? How can the Orthodox community be asked, as they should be, to respect others regardless of their sexual orientation, and not accept that a person who is homosexual would not respect the standards of the synagogue they choose to participate in."
The Jewish couple next to me are intermarried. He's a Republican. She's a psychologist and a liberal. They applaud for opposite punchlines.
R. Greenberg says Rav Yosef is a man of "incredible heart and generosity" and his shul is more welcoming than many Orthodox shuls. The two men almost hug.
R. Greenberg asks three things of Orthodox shuls:
* No condemnation of homosexuality and no ridiculing of homosexuals.
* Allow homosexuals to be open about their homosexuality and say they are not interested in being set up with the opposite sex because they have a gay partner.
Rob: "After they call an ambulance..."
R. Greenberg: "Orthodox shuls have not fully adjudicated this question.
"It is improper to agitate for gay and lesbian advocacy in an Orthodox synagogue."
* Some point about compassion that eludes me because my manly mind does not think in these terms.
Rav Yosef: "We have adjudicated [same sex marriage by forbidding it]. We will observe the law. When it comes to judging individuals, we will leave that to God."
My mating instincts are more along the line of the caveman who smashes a woman over the head with a rock and drags her by her hair five miles home to his hovel.
Back stage, Dennis asked Rav Yosef what he thought about same-sex civil marriage and DP indicates Rav Yosef was ambivalent.
All week I've been getting phone calls from a fervent Orthodox rabbi who believes Prager will be stronger against same-sex marriage tonight than Rav Yosef. My friend has little to fear from Rav Yosef's stalward defense of Jewish Law in its Orthodox interpretation.
R. Greenberg wants to interpret the Leviticus ban on man-on-man action as forbidding rape and forceful sex (isn't all sex forceful?). Prager puts out the prohibition is right next to the one against bestiality. Does that bestiality one only applying to forceful bestiality? Of course not.
DP: "The issue of lesbianism is not addressed in law but it is addressed [in the Torah]. That a law does not exist in the Torah does not mean that the Torah is not against it. There is no law in the Torah, 'Thou shalt not rape.' There is not even a Hebrew Torah word for rape. The absence of a law against rape in the Torah does not mean that the Torah is not against it. It's primarily a matter of values. The value in Torah is male-female.
"Rabbi Soloveitchik said the issue was loneliness. I do not agree. Adam was not lonely. When God says it is not good for man to be alone, it is not Adam saying that. He was having a great time. What is good for man? A woman. The Torah would have to have neon lights to make it more obvious that it wants a man and a woman to bond. For 3200 years, there has not even been a minority voice that same-sex marriage is OK.
"If there is same-sex marriage, [Rav Yosef's Orthodox synagogue Bnai David Judea] will be declared in a few years morally equal to racists. Because homophobia, in the popular culture, is considered as vile as racism."
"I don't know why you are applauding [or for which side of the argument]. Canada has hate laws more rigid than we do. In Canada, if you say it is not as good to bond with the same sex as the opposite sex, you are now liable to hate laws. You are verbally discriminating. You are hating same sex couples.
"Ultimately, his synagogue may be considered legally racist. Just look at what the Boy Scouts are going through.
"We don't know diddly squat about the etiology of homosexuality. We don't know zilch. We don't know if it's genetic, pre-natal, post-natal, psychological... Ask Anne Heche [sexually confused actress]. Many lesbians had perfectly wonderful sexual lives with men and then were battered by a man and decided they could get more tenderness from a woman. They will because women are more into tenderness than genital contact.
"Homosexuality was universal. One book said it shouldn't be. The Torah. Now Jews are saying the Torah is wrong. I don't know what use the Torah is if when one passionately disagrees with it, one drops it."
Rabbi Dorff to Prager: "You want a lot of people that the Torah wants put to death, put to death?"
Rabbi Dorff: "The book allows slavery. A person who's a...mamzer [bastard] can't enter the Jewish people for ten generations. If you are going to be fundamentalist, then you have to be fundamentalist all the way. Stoning rebellious children."
Dennis: "This really arouses the passions of people. See, the Torah really is a piece of crap."
Rabbi Dorff: "No."
Dennis: "Please. Be honest. The Torah is great when it agrees with you and it stinks when it doesn't.
"I'm not Orthodox and I will answer that. We don't have any record of kids stoned."
Rabbi Dorff interrupts.
Dennis: "Wait. I didn't interrupt you, and it was difficult for me. The Torah has many laws on the books to be laws on the books. The Torah teaches us how to evolve. Families, if you want total control over your children. OK. But before you kill your kids for being disobedient and bringing dishonor to the family, you can't. You must bring them to a court. They'll do it for you. The Torah was ingenious. It abolished the ability of a parent to kill a child, something that still happens among Israel's neighbors (tens of thousands of honor killings a year). Did any Jewish court in history stone a kid? We have no record of it.
"I don't base my opposition to same-sex marriage on punishments. I base it on the values of the Torah.
"The Torah allowed slavery under such conditions that, as the Talmud put it, a man who buys a slave ends up buying himself a master.
"How do we know the Torah does not want slavery? By its stories and its values. How do we know the Torah wants male-female marriage? By its stories and its values."
Rabbi Greenberg: "It's hard to listen to Dennis because of his positivist readings of text and your personal... You're not an Orthodox Jew. You hold a scripture of halacah (Jewish Law) as an ideal that you don't keep. You describe yourself as a person who rejects [Torah Law]."
Dennis: "Not true. I reject some of the rabbinic laws. I don't keep Yom Tov Sheni (extra day of Jewish holiday in the diaspora, started two thousand years ago because of uncertainties over the Jewish calendar, when the moon over Jerusalem was full). Rabbi Dorff keeps Yom Tov Sheni.
"I apologize. I shouldn't personalize it. The Conservative movement is racked over redefining marriage but they don't have the courage to knock out Yom Tom Sheni. It's so weird."
Rabbi Greenburg: "I just want to understand. Evangelical Christians believe that God has a single divine intent in every verse and their pastor knows what it is. We believe that God hides multiple meanings in every verse and it is our job to figure them out.
"The rabbis [of the Talmud], who you sometimes like and sometimes don't like. Sometimes you use them as evidence for your opinions and sometimes you reject them out of hand. This is what they did and this is what Elliott and I are doing. Are you a fundamentalist or not?"
Dennis: "I don't know what fundamentalist means because it is only used as a perjorative. It's like saying, are you a schmuck?"
"I believe the Torah is divine. I don't believe it has such elasticity that despite all its verses against homosexuality and for the heterosexual ideal, we know better. I don't think the rabbis are divine. That's why I'm not wearing a yarmulke and at Rabbi Kanefsky's shul. I'm prepared to change rabbinic law. I am not prepared to change Torah law. I don't know why that is so bizarre."
Rabbi Greenberg: "The law is inviolable. Let's apply it correctly."
Rav Yosef: "There's a piece in the last 15 minutes. More than anything else, I'm sad. I'm upset. I'm not going to sleep well tonight."
Rav Yosef mentions a story from when he was an assistant rabbi in Riverdale (to Avi Weiss). He wouldn't marry a Cohen to a divorcee because it is prohibited by the Torah. Rav Yosef cried when he told the couple and he seemed to be crying tonight. Rav Yosef said we should all be crying over this.
A lot of women and compassionate men in the audience eat up his approach. Frankly, the only reason I think there should ever be for tears in public is if the Dallas Cowboys fail to advance in the playoffs. That's when I tear my garments and wear sackloth and ashes.
Rav Yosef: "Adhering to the law [in this respect] without tears is as unfaithful to the Torah as changing the law."
Rabbi Greenberg: "The notion that homosexuality is born of [social trends]... If we have models of real people living decent lives that are gay and lesbian that that will engender people to become gay is preposterous."
Dennis: "That's a sleight of hand, which you did not engage in once this evening. I did not say that they [kids] will become gay [once that possibility is socially acceptable]. I said they will consider the same sex as a marital possibility."
Heckling from the audience.
"Sorry, folks, that is a fact. Unless you believe that Greeks are genetically different from Americans... In ancient Greece, women were for procreation and boys, if you could afford one, were for sex. You don't think society has any effect on who we are attracted to? If it is so fixed, how come [men have sex with men] in prisons, on ships? It is 0-6 [Kinsey scale, where zero means heterosexual in deed and in fantasy] and because of the Torah, I want to keep it as close to zero as possible."
Rabbi Dorff: "It is not enough to have tears. That's abdicating responsibility. We have to get rid of those aspects of our social policy that cause such tears. The same kind of moral obligations I would impose on straights [getting married], I would apply to gays.
"It is better for a child to have two parents rather than one."
Rabbi: "We have homophobia in this country that is dressed up as religious. It looks like it came from the Torah."
Rob Eshman says his Conservative rabbi wife Naomi Levy (author of books on loss and prayer) wants another man around the house (and in their marriage?) every day to fix things.
Firm in my belief that Judaism does not allow for same sex marriage, shedding no tears, I go home and sleep soundly. Thursday morning, I awake refreshed to do the will of my Creator.
Stu Bykofsky writes in the Philadelphia Daily News: "Dennis Prager, the pro-Israel, ethicist/moralist... I heard Dennis Prager prattle about happiness in your life and he went on and on and on about it, but no politics on that day. He was cordial, almost syrupy, to callers."
Dennis released his ire about this remark, claiming over and over again that it made no sense.
Luke Ford’s Failed TV Shows
Dave Deutsch writes:
How Hot Is This?
Heather Mac Donald debated author David Cole (Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security) on Dennis Prager's Show March 24 on the Patriot Act.
Heather writes her dear dear friend Luke, her reason for being and her unshakeable moral foundation in an age of relativism: "Wow. You must be the only person in the country who wasn't listening to Richard Clarke; I am so grateful for your ears. David Cole is a lyin', cheatin' vermin. And they must have sprung me on him just as they sprung him on me, because in the past, he has refused to appear on the same stage with me."
I heard Dennis Prager say today that he did not believe in the Documentary Hypothesis (which is held by virtually everybody who has studied the evidence (has a PhD in Bible or Hebrew related to this document) for the origins of the Torah). The D.H. says that the Torah is composed by various authors and edited together over centuries.
I say Prager has not studied the evidence (neither have I) because he does not know the relevant languages of the ancient world. Prager is not a Bible scholar (nor are the overwhelming majority of rabbis). Prager has been teaching the Bible his adult life but one is not a Bible scholar, nor an economist, unless one has a PhD in that subject from a reputable university.
It does not bother me that people believe things against the evidence if this does not lead to deleterious results.
Prager has taken the same approach to the book THE BELL CURVE. He's never read it and he's never studied IQ but he instinctively hates it and he feels his feelings and values are sufficient for dealing with the questions raised by this book.
Why young women are exposing themselves: Part two
Dennis mentions how touched he was by a handwritten letter from George Bush thanking Dennis for his column of appreciation for his minute with George Bush. What are the odds that George wrote that handwritten letter? One in a hundred.
Angel writes: "Mr. Prager has made a "big" deal about John Kerry using the F word. He said it was a big deal because it was in a print interview, not in private conversation. On his website, he published an article that denounced John Kerry and defended GW Bush because his "swearing" was private. There is a big problem. When he first said this on his radio show, I emailed him with links to official news sites that showed that GW Bush swore to Tucker Carlson in a print interview..Tucker mentions this in his books..and numerous other interviews...Bush also swore in an interview with Talk Magazine. Mr. Prager brought this up on his show defending Bush's swearing...saying only that Mr. Bush swore in private. I emailed Mr. Prager links proving that Bush swore identically to Kerry..He responded once only saying that he didn't believe it....then he wrote the article...But Bush did the same thing Kerry did."
Why Young Women Get Naked
Dennis Prager said he was the first Jew to see THE PASSION (July of 2003).
DP: The Today Show comes to my house and interviews me for half an hour about the movie and uses 12 seconds, the most controversial part of what I said.
The task of the media is to foment misunderstanding. Understanding does not sell ad revenue. The media loves controversy.
Dennis sarcastically congratuled the Jewish establishment, including the ADL, for making this movie such a media sensation.
(Was it just me who detected a note of "I know better than the idiots who run Jewish life" in Prager's remarks?)
Dennis claims he's never addressed what he thought of the movie but I remember hearing him say he did not like it. Watching a guy get tortured for two hours was not his idea of a good movie. DP clearly said he wished the movie had never been made and that it was bad for the Jews.
"I raised Mel Gibson's consciousness and he was very willing to work with me to make any changes to the film that didn't conflict with the film and the Gospels account. It didn't work out that way because of all the noise about it. It was about having a comment at the beginning and the end.
"This is the most violent film ever made. It's about a man being tortured. I don't think it's effective. Of course it stands in your memory. If this were done to Charles Jones for two hours, you'd be moved."
Dennis Prager pointed out the liberal biases of Sunday's New York Times. First this article:
Are men offended that they are called rowdy and needing the civilizing influence of women? No. Women, in the liberal worldview, may be offended for possessing civilizing tendencies.
"Generalizations are the mother of wisdom," says Dennis. Not all generalizations are right but wisdom is seeing patterns in life. And patterns in life are generalizations.
Leftist Randy Cohen, the Ethics columnist writes: "To serve a client is not to endorse him. Lawyers have been known to represent murderers and tobacco companies."
To the liberal mind, tobacco companies and murderers belong in the same sentence.
Here are some of her questions:
Where did she get the idea there are starving Americans? I want to know their names. If this had been a gift to the ACLU, do you think the NYT would be asking these hostile questions?
These are just three examples of the leftist orientation of America's major paper from its Sunday edition.
Jackieblogs.com writes: "What does Dennis Prager have to say for the fact that his personality is subject to a level of reverence (from some, including -- it would seem -- himself) that should be reserved for the God he claims to worship? I've never heard the guy, but reading about him from you makes me think of a less slimy Jim Bakker."
Dennis Prager On Janet Jackson's Bare Breast
Dennis Prager says MTV has done more to harm this country than any other institution. There is not a close second.
With its fast cutting images, it has disabled the brains of America's youth, rendered them unable to concentrate on any idea for longer than two seconds.
At professional football games in the past, the halftime entertainment was wholesome -- marching bands and cheerleaders.
Then the decision was made to make halftime a theatrical performance. The sport was not enough, entertainers had to be brought in.
Only Justin Timberlake can believe that he ripped off the top of Janet Jackson by accident. MTV is entirely responsible.
I don't blame MTV. It's like blaming Rottweiler for attacking somebody. I blame the NFL. The NFL chooses the entertainment during halftime.
I'm not thrilled with that kind of music. I'm broadening my horizons.
The halftime show is part of the downward spiral of American culture along with John Kerry using the F-word in a Rolling Stone interview.
Capitalism without values will destroy itself.
Dennis Prager and his family got to meet President Bush this weekend and Dennis found it one of the most moving times of his life.
Dennis says he's never been interested in celebrities. He never got any autographs as a kid. He's lived in Los Angeles for 28 years and never attended one Hollywood party. He has access to anybody he wants to meet and he's never used it to meet celebrities.
This weekend he was in Philadelphia for a gathering of national Republican legislators sponsored by the Congressional Institute. There were two joint sessions. Dennis spoke (on America the chosen nation) at a dinner and President Bush spoke at a lunch.
"And if it sounds like I am boasting, I am. It was a crowning moment of my life. Normally these guys are bored out of their minds at speeches but they were quiet and attentive when I spoke. They gave me a standing ovation and I'm not into standing ovations. That's not why I speak."
Dennis says the president was not at his speech. Dennis says the president contains greatness.
"I wouldn't stand in line to shake almost anybody's hand.
"My wife and I prepared our words to say to the president. We said similar things for similar reasons."
Dennis spoke first. He said to President Bush: "I want you to know that at my synagogue each week, I include a prayer for you."
Prager's wife Fran said that when she lights the Sabbath candles each week, she prays for him.
Dennis: "He didn't just move on. He said that those who understand prayer understand. He was so touched by what we said. He was so touched that he asked to stand for a picture with us and they took several pictures. I was beaming like a kid in the candy store. It may have been a silly grin, I was so excited. I was a seven year old. I felt like I was in the presence of greatness.
"I know he hears from Christians so often that he is in their prayers that I wanted him to hear from Jews that he is in our prayers too.
"I have an astute fakery meter.
"Another thing moved me was watching him go from person to person. He doesn't make himself the center of attention. He's very different from our past president [Clinton]. Wherever Clinton went, he was the center of attention.
"I broke into a sweat when he spoke. He is the dyke holding back the waters of chaos. I never admired his father. He spoke without notes. He was witty, passionate, full of conviction.
"I know brains when I meet them. This man is very bright."
I've heard Dennis say in the past that he doesn't know how to recognize intelligence like his friend Joseph Telushkin does. It is goodness that Dennis usually claims a great radar for.
I surmise that the President and Prager spent about 30 seconds together.
Prager On Messianism
Adam: Hi Luke, I've been looking on your website about Dennis Prager and it's really good. I love Mr. Prager and he's really influenced me. I want to ask you if you've ever heard him speak about Moshiach. What are his views about Moshiach and the Ultimate Redemption?
Luke: He says he's unsure if Moshiach is coming soon. About the only time he talks about moshiach is with humor
Adam: OK Thanks a lot. Have you heard him talk about the Lubavitcher Rebbe before?
Luke: He ripped David Berger's article in Commentary about Chabad's messianism. DP wrote in support of Chabad. Google. You can find it.
Second hour. Prager's guest is Irshad Manji who's published a book, The Trouble With Islam. She claims to be an observant Muslim but is on thin ice with many of her coreligionists for many reasons. I do not believe she observes Islam's laws of modesty. She says she does not observe Islam's laws of ritualized prayer. She says she's an active lesbian.
I think it is incredibly arrogant for someone who cannot write or speak Arabic to write a book on the religion whose sacred texts are written in Arabic. I would never dream to write a book "The Trouble With Judaism" if I was not literate in its sacred texts written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Yet Irshad feels no compunction about pontificating on Islam based on English translations of the Koran.
I would not be pleased by a public lesbian who does not read Hebrew who pontificates on Judaism.
From Publishers Weekly: Islam is "on very thin ice" with one follower, Canadian broadcaster Manji. Her book will be an unsettling read for most of her fellow Muslims, although they may find themselves agreeing with many points. She describes how childhood days spent at her local mosque left her perplexed and irritated; she complains that the Middle East conflict has consumed Muslim minds. She highlights several grievances many Muslims probably share: what she casts as Saudi Arabia's disproportional and destructive influence on Islam, how the hijab, or veil, has become a litmus test for a Muslim woman's faithfulness, and the need to question the accuracy of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). The exclusion of women from Muslim leadership is criticized as well. However, Manji's arguments would be better taken-and easier to follow-if not accompanied by an unceasing list of Islam's misdeeds. Manji often chooses the most controversial Koranic passages (rarely providing current scholarship for a more accurate reading of key verses), and her treatment of Islamic history is selective. She mistakes the negative fan mail she receives from Muslims who have seen her on television for the views of all Muslims, and lambastes those who present a sympathetic view of Islam, including the late scholar Edward Said. The writing, though energetic, is unfocused, with personal stories that are sometimes confusing. Although the book raises important points, Manji's angry tone and disjointed writing may obscure some of the valid questions she asks of Islam and Muslims.
I haven't listened much to Dennis Prager the past two days because the primary theme has been for listeners to call up and share their feelings about Dennis. No kidding. Yesterday it was, "Call me up and tell me what I've said over the past year that has moved you." Yawn.
One old woman phoned. She'd listened to Dennis say that petitionary prayer was shallow. The purpose of prayer was to examine yourself. This woman had been used to praying for the welfare of her loved ones every evening. So she took Prager's words to heart and stopped praying.
When I pray to God, I tell him what's on my mind, whether it is petitionary or not. If you're truly communicating with someone, you don't screen out petitions. I don't expect God to grant my petitions but I share what I worry about. It's stupid to tell people not to make petitionary prayers, only to morally examine themselves, because if most people take that advice seriously, they will the crone and stop praying.
I love it when intellectuals try to rationalize something so inherently non-rational as religion.
What is it that intellectuals most want? As someone who grew up on college campuses and has some intellectual pretensions of his own, I think I know -- to feel important and to be acknowledged as important. If they don't get that acknowledgement, intellectuals create revolutions. (Eric Hoffer, The True Believer)
Who knows how history would've changed if Martin Luther had only been given a bishopric or Moses had been given an important position in the religion of Egypt or if the Seventh Day Adventist Church had published my father's Sabbath School lesson quarterly in 1979.
It's All About Me
I listened to the second hour of Dennis Prager's show. He discussed the death of Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre's dad and whether Brett should play tonight in the big game. But the first couple of segments of the hour weren't about Favre at all -- they were about Dennis.
Does Dennis get right into the topic? No, first he had to take a dozen calls from around the country from people guessing which way DP would come down on the issue. Why? That was boring, self-aggrandizing and added nothing to the show. Yet DP does this all the time, just to revel in how unpredictable he is. I remember Prager doing it over a golfer who might leave a golf tournament to attend the birth of his baby.
I predicted DP's opinion then like now -- that the athlete has responsibilities to others in the sporting contest and should meet those responsibilities before his personal life.
I don't know any other talkshow host who so often takes calls guessing which way the host will come down on a particular topic.
Dennis heard from a mother whose daughter graduated from Shalhevet High School with Prager's son David. The girl has dropped out of college to play electric violin with a rock band. "You wont believe how much she's grown up," says the mom.
Dennis says you will grow up more from traveling with a rock band than going to college. Your growth is delayed for four years.
DP: Billionaire George Soros is dedicating his life to unseating George Bush. Why? Because Bush and his supporters believe that America has a mission to save the world. Soros does not like that because he believes that he can save the world. Soros is in a long line of Jews with Messiah complexes. From Karl Marx to George Soros.
"War is not the answer." A common leftist line. What's the rightist equivalent? There isn't one. College graduates on the left say, "War is not the answer." A totally stupid line. What's the right-wing equivalent?
Dennis Prager uses Hans Zimmer's theme for the movie Gladiator as the intro to his show.
DP and his family watched the movie Pirates of the Caribbean last night. They loved it and its musical theme.
DP: So what if it is genetic? Nobody argues that lesbians are genetically determined. The issue is homosexual conduct, not homosexual orientation.
What about bisexuals? They by definition have a choice.
What about kids and their right to be raised by a mother and a father?
The quote from Deuteronomy 7:3 has nothing to do with interracial marriage. Kristof lies.
When Religion Makes People Worse
Dennis Prager says he has brought people to Christianity and Judaism who became worse human beings after becoming religious. I've experienced the same thing. It's a painful topic.
I had a roommate who went from secular to Orthodox, in part because of me. He borrowed money from me to participate more fully in the Kaballah Center and he never paid me back. He became obnoxious. He spoke ill of me to his rabbi.
I've brought people to Orthodox Judaism who became nastier after they became more observant of Jewish Law. They use their religion as a tool to bludgeon others.
DP: "I remember a kind nonjudgmental young man, about 20 years old. He studied under me. He then became Orthodox. After that, nobody was quite pure enough or good enough or religious enough, including me. I regretted that I ever influenced this young man because he was nicer before he became religious. Now he was sanctimonious about his religion and everyone else was a bunch of sinners.
"I'm thinking of a man who thanked me as a catalyst for his taking Christianity seriously. He became Mr Righteous and everyone else was impure.
"The trait that characterizes these people is self-righteousness, like the longtime smoker who quits and preaches to others against smoking.
"If you don't have emotional balance, becoming religious is not going to fix you."
Dana, operator of the unofficial Dennis Prager email list says he's shutting it down December 31st unless someone else wants to take it over.
"Serves Dana right," I think, "because he kicked me off the list in 1999 and squashed expression when I wanted to stir things up."
Dennis Prager remembers how the late Los Angeles Herald Examiner wouldn't run his column criticizing LA Times cartoonist Conrad because it had a policy of not attacking its rivals. American newspapers don't like to criticize each other.
The vast majority of the press establishment is bored by reporting news. They wish to shape your understanding of the news. The presidential surprise trip to Iraq on Thanksgiving robbed their opportunity to shape the news.
Why wasn't 13 reporters enough for Bush to take along? Because it didn't give the NY Times weeks to report in advance that the president was seeking a photo-op in Iraq, that he was trying to "bolster his image." That's what the press wanted to do and the president, with his surprise trip, robbed them of that opportunity.
Reporters no longer want to report, they want to shape your attitudes. They see themselves as an alternative to political power. They see themselves as more powerful than simply reporting. On this occasion, they feel beaten by the president. Who won the power struggle? The president did and we are pissed.
Centrality is more important to the news media than their liberal ideology. That's why they don't like the Internet (where you can get raw data) and talk radio. They want to influence the way you see the world. If you have alternative ways of seeing the world, the NY Times has less influence.
Because talk radio is a dynamic medium, there is criticism in real time. You call up and have your say. You can't call CBS News and get on and say why Dan Rather's report was slanted.
In his happiness hour, Dennis Prager asked what was it you most wanted from your spouse to feel love. Not one man would call up and say sex. Society has feminized men. It's not a kind word and a soft touch that men most want from their woman. They want sex.
Why did John A. Muhammad get the death penalty? Because he didn't have a million dollar defense team.
Only the LA Times of major American paper reported this story:
DP comments on the suppresion of a European report about anti-Semitism: There is a massive desire not to acknowledge Islamic hatred of Jews.
'Baby Richard' doing fine -- 7th-grader has straight A's
BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Legal Affairs Reporter
The crying 4-year-old boy the world knew as "Baby Richard" eight years ago is now a smiling, 7th-grade, straight-A student at a Catholic school in the south suburbs, according to a new book.
His real name is Danny and he bears no emotional scars from being abruptly taken from his adoptive parents, the Warburtons, and given to his birth parents, the Kirchners, said his psychologist, Karen Moriarty.
Moriarty held a reception at the Pump Room Monday night to release her book, Baby Richard -- A four-year-old comes home.
The book says Danny has turned out fine. It takes aim at the Kirchners' critics and the media, which Moriarty said told only the Warburtons' side of the story.
On hand was James Heiple, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois, vilified as the author of the unanimous opinion ordering Danny be returned to his birth parents. He and his clerks said they were glad to see from the pictures in Moriarty's book that Danny seems to be doing OK.
DENNIS PRAGER says: Karen Moriarty is a profoundly irresponsible psychologist.
DP notes there's much less criticism of women in public life than of men. You won't get called anti-male but you will get called anti-women at the drop of a hat.
Of course, he'll get straight As. He's probably frightened out of his mind that if he gets a B, he'll be rejected. His parents and psychologist have so brainwashed the kid that he doesn't remember the family that raised him his first four years.
DP's producer Alan Estrin suggested getting Moriarty on the show. DP said he didn't think he could control himself because this woman has behaved so despicably.
DP: It is narcissistic for gays to say that children do not deserve a mother and a father when they begin life. The Left has been successful in taking the good nature live-and-let-live attitude of the American people. "We are the new blacks. We deserve equality."
No decent person I know advocates separate rules for gays and the things that were part of discrimination against blacks.
There's no law against lesbians who want to be artifically inseminated from having children and raising children with her lesbian lover.
If you allow two gays to marry, why not a brother and a sister? Why not three people?
Saying that heteros who've divorced can't speak about keeping marriage between men and women is like saying that people who've had car accidents can't speak about driving safety.
I believe in discriminating in favor of children so that they are adopted by a loving mother and father who are married to each other.
I can't think of a more important issue than preserving marriage. If we can't, we don't deserve civilization.
Prager, Other Media Burned By Weekly Standard WOMD Story?
Stephen Hayes, author: Generally not. Blogs and talk radio, yes.
DP: If the NY Times reports it, the network news will.
Pentagon Debunks Reports on Osama-Saddam Ties Some Outlets Run With 'Weekly Standard' Story
By Seth Porges NEW YORK -- Several newspapers and other media outlets had egg on their face Monday after reporting or endorsing a Weekly Standard story revealing new evidence of an "operational relationship" between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
Several outlets, including the New York Post, The Washington Times and FOX News, ran with the story. There was just one problem: On Saturday, the Pentagon issued a press release stating that "news reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq ... are inaccurate." Despite this, the New York Post on Monday titled its editorial on the subject: "Bush Was Right."
In the current Nov. 24 issue of the conservative journal The Weekly Standard, Stephen F. Hayes writes that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein "had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda."
The magazine's revelations allegedly came from a "top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by The Weekly Standard." The Pentagon press release, however, states that the classified sections of the document contained "raw reports" and "was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida and it drew no conclusions."
Sgil46: DP is paining me
again. He does an inadequate job speaking for Capital Punishment. I wish
he would just drop it.
Sgil46: One of the things that Rush began that didn't really exist before
he made his break thru, and the various spin-offs of his style (like DP
who graduated from ROTL to his current incarnation) was that the common
man no longer just had to listen to the various opinions which came forth
The internet; "fan" blogs like your DP page, offer people like myself
the outlet for exposing those flaws. Talkradio is becoming more of a limited
agenda, as it's MCs get more coopted, as they become part of the mainstream
Grief Grips Army Families
Recent banner headline in the USA Today after 15 US troops were killed in Iraq.
Dennis Prager: That's not news. That's a human interest story, a feature. What do you think would grip the families of those killed in Iraq?
Can you imagine if newspapers did this every day during WWII?
It's just the news media's insidious way of pushing their agenda.
The Newsweek cover: Bush's $87 Billion Mess - Cronyism, Waste... How come there weren't any such covers during WWII? You don't think Roosevelt had messes and cronyism and waste?
It's the sadness of the loss, not the greatness of the cause, that grips the media.
HILARIOUS MOMENT: Dennis Prager says he believes himself to be about the least self-referential talkshow host on the radio.
That's precious coming from a guy who can't conduct an interview without saying, "Let me tell you about me."
Prager then said he's realized that he has the task of explaining Christians to Jews and vice versa. And this task has fallen to him because he does it better than anybody else.
DP is considering asking listeners to hand out his essay on Mel Gibson's film The Passion at movie theaters.
Dennis writes: "Early this past summer, Mel Gibson invited me to see "The Passion," his film on the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The invitation was significant in that I was the first practicing Jew and active member of the American Jewish community to be invited. He did so because he believed, correctly, that he could trust me. I have long worked to build trust between Jews and Christians, especially traditional Christians."
Do You Want To Be Happy?
Dennis Prager says many people do not want to be happy.
If you don't do everything you can to be happy, you are selfish. You are immoral. You are dragging down those around you. If you don't work to get happier, people should leave you.
You should try therapy, medication, whatever... Unhappiness is often a plea for attention. There are far better ways to this end.
A religious person who's unhappy makes God and religion look bad.
If you are poor yet refuse to work, I won't give you charity. If you are unhappy, and refuse to work on it, I won't be charitable towards your unhappiness.
Watching TV to cure unhappiness is like eating donuts to cure obesity.
The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior
By William M. Arkin, a military affairs analyst who writes regularly for The Los Angeles Times.
Dennis Prager says: This is common for the secular media to paint all fundamentalists as the same - be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Why is the general a Christian extremist? Saying we're hated because we are a nation of believers? I'm not even Christian and I believe that is why they hate us. Our beliefs are fundamental to this conflict with Islamic extremists. Those who do not believe can not defeat those who do believe.
Boykin was speaking to a Christian audience so it was natural for him to invoke the name of Jesus.
Nobody knew about these comments until the LA Times and NBC News reported them. These comments were made to Christian groups. He did not go on TV to make these comments, which would've been unwise. Only because Arkin publicized the comments can they make us more hated in the Muslim worlds.
Because Boykin believes in prayer, repentance and faith in God this makes him a Christian extremist? Boykin told an Oregon congregation that Bush was appointed by God.
Dennis: I can only understand the triumph of George Bush as the intervention of God. What if somebody said he believed Martin Luther King was the product of divine intervention to do non-violent combat against racial discrimination?
Arkin is a secular extremist. I have not read anything extreme that Boykin has said or done.
It's not the General who scares me. It's the LA Times writer. But the article is so revealing of the Times and the author's secular biases, that I'm thrilled it was published.
The only community in the US that believes in fighting evil is the evangelical Christian. Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims are all divided.
Boykin did not say the God of all Muslims was an idol. He said the God of a terrorist was an idol. I agree. I agree that Osama Bin Laden's God is an idol. For the secular writer, everyone who believes in God is lumped together. He lacks sophistication. Boykin did not smear Islam. He smeared the terorist.
Better To Marry And Cheat...
Dennis Prager says he prefers men like Kobe Bryant who commit to marriage and children, and commit adultery, to single men who go from woman to woman.
I prefer a guy who drives for years and then has an accident to a guy who has never driven a car.
If a 19 year old girl starts in with a macho basketball player, then decides to not go further, the guy should stop. But we live in an age where the concept of female responsibility for sex is zero. Women can start the motors running and then leave. And she's innocent and he's a brute.
Maybe, darling, you should learn a lesson that you don't start in with a sports star at his hotel room if you don't plan to go through with sex. Five minutes of doing stuff is a lot of time.
There's no relation between a stranger who rapes a woman and a man who starts in with a woman and doesn't stop when she asks him. You can't call both rape. The second isn't rape.
The Chicago Cubs fan who interfered with the Cubs catching a foul ball. Narcissism. He thought of himself not his team. Point two. It is evil that people want to kill this guy. People over-identify with their sports teams these days because they don't have a religious identity.
BigFish writes: So what exactly was she doing, as part of her job, sneaking up to his room voluntarily?
POV guy writes: By flirting with him, accepting an invitation to his room, visiting his room and making out with him? Then f--king him? What hotels have this on the room service menues? I want a room for life.