Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prager University

I attended the "Obama the First 100 Days" tonight featuring Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager, and Hugh Hewitt. There were a lot of interesting topics discussed, and I think I got a few ideas for future posts.

At the end of the night, Dennis Prager asked everyone to check out a new project of his called Prager University. It's on You Tube. I looked at it when I got home and was impressed with the first course. I don't typically listen to Prager, but I still found this very interesting. The clip is five minutes long, and I am keeping this post short so you will have time to watch it. Enjoy!


Kram said...

Those guys were fantastic. I had a great time.

I'm impressed with Prager University. Very simple but very true! I like simple!

the anonymous guy said...

That clip had some awesome surprises. I love the part about how America believes that everybody is born equal.

That's so cool but it leaves me with a question:

When did America start believing that everybody is born equal?

(Date, please. You can round to the nearest decade or century.)

Kevin said...

That is a difficult question to answer. America is a very broad term.
If by America he was referring to the people as America then I would say that most believe that. When that happened I cannot tell you. I am also very aware that there are people that do not think we are born equal. What the percentage is? I have no idea. I would like to think it is greater than 50% believing we are born equal.
If by America he was referring to the government then that is even more of a difficult answer. Does born equal mean all have a right to vote? If so then I would say the 1960's. If you want to look at it from written words that delegates of the States agreed on, you could say the 1770's. If you look at tax laws then no we do not think all are equal. Are you going to look at opportunities to succeeded? I think we do okay with that, of course you have to think about affirmative action.
If he was referring to America as a whole, people, government etc., on a worldly scale, I really have no idea what to tell you about that. I have a feeling most believe we are better than the rest of the world.

I am curious why or how you think America does not believe we are born equal?

the anonymous guy said...


So when did the America Prager is talking about actually come into existence?

Andy D said...

Anonymous Guy,

I think Kevin gave a pretty good answer. I would say in today's America everyone is born equal. I think this has been around since the civil rights movement, so my answer would be somewhere around the 1960's or so.

the anonymous guy said...

Got it.

So apparently the "birthday" of the country Prager is talking about isn't 1776, but the 1960s, and this new country was vehemently opposed by most white conservatives. (e.g. Ronald Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.)

I'm sure "Professor" Prager makes this all very clear in another lecture... after he's done making it all so... simple.

Andy D said...

I think citizens of the United States after passage of the Constitution were much more equal than in almost any other nation in the world. The nation wasn't perfect, and isn't today. Any nation composed of humans will never be perfect.

On the other hand, there is not better nation on the planet. There is no country that has more opportunity for its citizens than the United States.

Kram said...

It is quit simple, actually! Mr. Prager is talking about "American Values." Values are not provided by government, organizations, or individuals but by the members participating in that society.

Anon, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're referring to slavery. Well, the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. I firmly believe that in 1776 America believed that all men were created equal. The SAD reality is that the values at that time were different than the one's we have today. But... the Declaration of Independence provided the tool needed to begin the long hard fight to get to where we are today!

So, the correct answer to your question is 1776.

Your implication that Reagan was a racist is so out of character for a Liberal. How dare a man oppose legislation that created more Federal red tap and inevitably create more dependence on government, right?

the anonymous guy said...

Funny. I never thought of the right to vote as bureaucratic "red tape."

But maybe that's why I'm a Democrat.

And I call B.S. on your everybody-is-equal-under-slavery stuff. People who believe that "everybody is equal" don't buy, sell, rape, breed, lynch, enslave people of different-colored skin.

Andy D said...

Sometimes I think your desire to argue blinds you to reading what people are saying.

Kram never said the right to vote was red tape.

No one on here is arguing that slavery was a good thing. It wasn't then and it isn't now. However, when you judge historical figures by todays standards, you start down a very slippery slope. Very few people on either side of the aisle can withstand that kind of scrutiny.

the anonymous guy said...

Andy, you're not even trying.

Kevin said...

In your mind white conservative equals racist?!
I am from the south and a white conservative. I wonder what you think of me.
Let me guess what you think I do on a Saturday, sit on the front porch in a rocking chair drinking sweet tea, carving a piece of wood, eating fried chicken, shooting the shit until the night so I can participate in my usual cross burning and lynchin followed up by a Sunday of watching the race.

New York Times columnist Tom Wicker wrote in 1991: "There’s no doubt about it—the Nixon administration accomplished more in 1970 to desegregate Southern school systems than had been done in the 16 previous years, or probably since. There’s no doubt either that it was Richard Nixon personally who conceived, orchestrated and led the administration’s desegregation effort." Nixon white consertative.
Looks like you anonymous guy are just as guilty as us racists for taking the actions of one man and applying to a group of people.

Perhaps Reagan was not against it because he was racist but because he was a conservative concerned about the federal government overstepping their bounds by telling states how to run elections.
US Constitution, Article I, Section 2: "the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the STATES get to set the voting rules not the federal government.
Why do liberals assume that when a white conservative makes any statement on voting they are racist?

Bad science to only explore one cause of an action.

the anonymous guy said...

Pack, you're accusing me of a logical fallacy.

I said the "white conservatives" opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. That's historically a fact: that's who the opposition was, by and large. And a lot of them were of course overtly racist.

However, it would be a logical fallacy to do this:

white conservatives held racist views and opposed the voting rights act and the civil rights act THEREFORE all white conservatives are racists and oppose the voting rights act and the civil rights act.

The first part is true. The second part is false. You're accusing me of stating the second part.

Kevin said...

No you did not. You said "Ronald Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965." not "white conservatives." You said the "white conservatives" opposed the "new country" Prager was talking about.

I am accusing you of a logical fallacy because you are making one.
Look at your statement in your last post "were of course overtly racist." Why "of course?" When you say things like "of course" in that context you are making the jump to "all white conservatives are racist."
I saw a black man today and of course he was eating fried chicken. See what I mean?

the anonymous guy said...

pack: ????

you lost me between "of course" and the black guy's fried chicken.

of course a lot of the people who opposed legislation that gave black people the right to vote were racist. That was the whole point for a lot of people. Still is. I don't see why that's hard to admit.

But not all white conservatives are racist.

Kevin said...

When in here have I denied, i.e. not admitted, that a lot of people who opposed legislation...were racist. I have looked back at all my comments and I don't think I've denied it.
I know people are racists. I know that is why some opposed the Voting and Civil Rights Acts. I have not denied that.
I have taken issue with you implying that all white conservatives were racists and that is the reason they did not want the Civil and Voting Rights Acts. I have taken that understanding from this paragraph:
I said the "white conservatives" opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. That's historically a fact: that's who the opposition was, by and large. And a lot of them were of course overtly racist.The first sentence is you miss quoting yourself, which I have already pointed out. Even so yes white conservatives did oppose the Acts. That is a historical fact that I will not deny. The problem here is the next sentence. Had you said, "Some of those white conservatives were racist," we would not be having this discussion because I would agree with you. When you say "of course" that changes things. Read what you said this way: Of course those against it were racist. You said "a lot", which is the same as most. Which means to me that you think most white conservatives are racist. That is incorrect. Applying the way that some people think or act to a whole group of people is wrong. That is the fried chicken thing I was talking about. Yes some black people do like fried chicken. When I said of course he was eating fried chicken that showed that I expect all black people to eat fried chicken. Just like you expect all white conservatives to vote racist. Both statements are wrong in logic and in reality.

Kevin said...

Oh and just to make sure you are clear on things:
The 15th amendment from 1870 gave people the right to vote regardless of race.

The voting rights act simply put removed the testing or taxing requirement to vote. The civil rights act outlawed racial segregation.

All three were passed with few dissenting votes. 31 of the 37 States approved the 15th amendment, including the deep south. 80% of the Senate and 80% of the House passed the Voting Rights Act. 73% of the Senate and 69% of the House for the Civil Rights Act. That does not really seem like a lot of racists had a huge vote. As a quick look too. Of the 33 senate seats up for reelection in 1964 only 4 did not get reelected. One of them for sure voted against the C.R. Act.
This of course and a lot is BS.

the anonymous guy said...

K. You misunderstood me. I coulda been clearer. We both agree that not all white conservatives are racist.

But I'm reading the Sotomayor coverage of what many white conservatives are saying...

And it makes me wonder why they're sputtering racial indignity about Sotomayor's comments when they were all giddy about this guy.

Kevin said...

Well I am glad it was a misunderstanding and not the way you thought.

I have looked at Alito's transcript and it appears different, although slightly, than Sotomayor's. Before I go any further I think the criticism of Sotomayor's comment is petty. However if it is part of a trend it is a big deal. The difference between what you showed and what she said was that while they both said their backgrounds formed who they are, she took it further by saying that makes her better than another race.