Manage episode 235003875 series 306
Prager University Part 34.
- Preferred Pronouns or Prison
- Ben Shapiro- Why Has the West Been So Successful?
- The Left Ruins Everything
- The Chicago Fire: America at Its Best
- Why the Electoral College is Essential
- Is Denmark Socialist?
- Who Are the Racists?
Preferred Pronouns or Prison.
Watch this video at- https://youtu.be/cn5opUFNs-I
Published on Apr 15, 2019
“He.” “She.” “They.” Have you ever given a moment’s thought to your everyday use of these pronouns? It has probably never occurred to you that those words could be misused. Or that doing so could cost you your business or your job – or even your freedom. Journalist Abigail Shrier explains how this happened and why it's become a major free speech issue. Script: If you want to control people’s thoughts, begin by controlling their words. That’s totalitarian thinking. It was once completely foreign to America. Not anymore. Increasingly, Americans are forced to use language against their will or even their conscience or be prepared to suffer the consequences. And those consequences can be dire. Take, for example, the issue of transgenderism, the newest “civil rights battle” of our time. A decade ago, few people could even tell you what the word “transgender” meant. Today, expressing the “wrong opinion” on the issue can cost you your business or job—or both. Consider recent state and local actions punishing those who decline to use an individual’s pronouns of choice. In 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation threatening jail time for health-care professionals who “willfully and repeatedly” refuse to use a patient’s preferred pronouns. Under guidelines issued in 2015 by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights, employers, landlords and business owners who intentionally use the wrong pronoun with transgender workers and tenants face potential fines of as much as $250,000. That’s a steep price for saying “he” instead of “she” or “she” instead of “he,” or even “he” or “she” instead of “they.” What about the vast majority of citizens who hold the biology-based view that chromosomes determine your sex—male or female? Or those who have a deep-seated religious conviction that sex is both biological and binary—God’s purposeful creation? In December of 2018, Peter Vlaming was fired from his job as a French-language teacher in a Virginia school district because he refused to refer to a transgender student by the student’s preferred pronouns. Vlaming’s Christian belief prevented him from bowing before the notion that the student, who had been a “she” in his class the year before, was now suddenly a “he.” Vlaming was willing to use the student’s chosen new name, but he avoided using any pronouns when referring to this student. That wasn’t good enough for the school district; they needed to hear him say the words. You don’t have to be religious to believe that one person can never be a “they.” The Supreme Court has clearly decided that compelled speech is not free speech. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the Supreme Court upheld the students’ right to refuse to salute an American flag. Justice Robert Jackson wrote, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, religion or other matters of opinion.” And, Jackson went on to say, the state can’t force people to say things they don’t believe. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/preferr...
Why Has the West Been So Successful?
Watch this video at- https://youtu.be/RVD0xik-_FM
Published on Apr 8, 2019
The Western world has produced some of the most prosperous and most free civilizations on earth. What makes the West exceptional? Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire and author of “The Right Side of History,” explains that the twin pillars of revelation and reason — emanating from ancient Jerusalem and Athens — form the bedrock for Western civilization's unprecedented success. Script: Western civilization. It’s been around for a while, but suddenly everybody is talking about it. Some are anxious to save it; others are happy to see it go. But what exactly is Western civilization? Is it the great cathedrals of Europe or the Nazi concentration camps? Is it the freedoms secured in the US Constitution or chattel slavery? Life-saving medicines or poison gas? The left likes to focus on the bad—genocide, slavery, environmental destruction. But those have been present in every civilization from time immemorial. The positives are unique to the West—religious tolerance, abolition of slavery, universal human rights, the development of the scientific method: these are accomplishments of a scope and scale that only the West can claim. These aren’t the only achievements that make the West special and uniquely successful. As Western thought evolved, it secured the rights of women and minorities, lifted billions of people out of poverty, and invented most of the modern world. Progress hasn’t been a straight line, of course. But the arc of history is clear. The obvious proof is that the world is overwhelmingly Western. And, with few exceptions, those parts of the world that aren’t aspire to be. Why? Why has Western civilization been so successful? There are many reasons, but the best place to start is with the teachings and philosophies that emerged from two ancient cities: Jerusalem and Athens. Jerusalem represents religious revelation as manifested in the Judeo-Christian tradition: the beliefs that a good God created an ordered universe and that this God demands moral behavior from His paramount creation, man. The other city, Athens, represents reason and logic as expressed by the great Greek thinkers Plato and Aristotle and many others. These two ways of thinking—revelation and reason—live in constant tension. Judeo-Christian religion posits that there are certain fundamental truths handed down to us by a transcendent being. We didn’t invent these truths; we received them from God. The rules He lays down for us are vital for building a functioning, moral civilization and for leading a happy life. Greek thinking posits that we only know truth by what we observe, test, and measure. It is not faith, but fact, that drives our understanding and exploration of the universe. Western civilization, and only Western civilization, has found a way to balance both religious belief and human reason. Here’s how the balance works. The Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that God created an ordered universe, and that we have an obligation to try to make the world better. This offers us purpose and suggests that history moves forward. Most pagan religions taught the opposite: that the universe is illogical and random, and that history is cyclical. History just endlessly repeats itself—in which case, why bother to innovate or create anything new? For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/why-has...
The Left Ruins Everything.
Watch this video at- https://youtu.be/JXbR3oADwaM
Published on Mar 25, 2019
From the Boy Scouts to literature, from the arts to universities: the left ruins everything it touches. Dennis Prager explains. Script: If what I am about to tell you is true, almost everything we most treasure – freedom, beauty, reason, the family, economic well-being, and even goodness – is in jeopardy. Who or what poses this threat? The answer is the most powerful ideology of the last hundred years: leftism. Not liberalism; leftism – or, if you prefer, “progressivism.” Leftism destroys everything it touches. Here are a just a few examples: 1. The universities Perhaps the most obvious example – one that many liberals acknowledge – is the left’s near destruction of most universities as places of learning. In the words of Harvard professor Steven Pinker – an atheist and a liberal – because of the left, “universities are becoming laughing stocks of intolerance.” At almost every university – and now high schools and even elementary schools – students are taught to shut down – not debate – those who differ with them. And to rely on feelings rather than reason. 2. The arts Throughout history, the primary purpose of art was to elevate people – through beauty, artistic excellence, and emotional depth. To the left, the primary purpose of art, sculpture, and music is to shock. That’s why so much contemporary art is meaningless, and involves the scatological, meaning urine and feces. Yes, urine and feces. To give one of countless examples, in 2016, the Guggenheim Museum in New York featured a pure-gold working toilet, which visitors were invited to use. The name of the exhibit was “America" – so one could literally relieve oneself on America. 3. Literature The English department at the University of Pennsylvania replaced the portrait of the greatest English-language writer who ever lived, William Shakespeare, with a picture of a black lesbian poet. Why? Because he was a white European male. Leftist professors have replaced the pursuit of excellence with the pursuit of diversity. 4. Late-night television In America, late-night television shows were completely apolitical. The hosts believed their role was to entertain viewers and offer them relief and laughter after a difficult day. No longer. You cannot watch late-night television if you just want to be entertained. Late-night TV is now left-night TV. 5. Religion The left has ruined much of mainstream Protestantism and Catholicism, and non-Orthodox Judaism, which are now little more than left-wing organizations with religious symbols. In many churches and synagogues, one is more likely to hear the clergy talk about political issues than about any other subject, including even the Bible. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/the-lef...
Watch this video at- https://youtu.be/AcD5YVg9Z1Q
Published on Mar 18, 2019
It’s no longer a secret that many college campuses today are nothing more than leftist indoctrination camps. But what can we do about it? Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, offers a simple and effective solution. This video was made possible by a generous grant from Colorado Christian University. Script: Year after year, Americans pour billions of dollars into colleges and universities. I'm not talking about the outrageous tuition costs, living expenses, and fees – the debt pit students fall into. And I'm not talking about the tax money – our money – colleges and universities get from federal and state governments. I'm talking about the money Americans are handing over to these institutions of their own free will. In 2017, that number was $44 billion. $44 billion in donations in one year from alumni and other donors. And for what? To enhance the education of America's youth? Do you really think our college graduates are better educated, more literate, more versed in classical philosophy and American history than they were ten, twenty, or fifty years ago? If your child goes to college and spends four years partying, skipping class, and playing video games, consider yourself lucky. It's when they actually listen to their radical professors that you're in trouble. So what have our institutions been doing with all this money? Well, the University of Michigan's Vice Provost of Equity and Inclusion makes $400,000 a year. The university spends close to eleven million dollars annually on diversity and inclusion staff and programs, according to a recent report. What do you think Vice Provosts of Equity and Inclusion (and almost all schools have one now) do all day? They, and the small armies they supervise, spend all day, every day, looking for racism, sexism, classism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia and any other phobias they can dream up. If they don't find some bias somewhere, they're out of a job. So, guess what? They find it – even where it doesn't exist. The University of California at Santa Cruz now has an "activist-in-residence." His job is to mint new leftist activists – as if we have a shortage. Why are we voluntarily giving billions and billions of dollars to hopelessly corrupt institutions that overcharge, underdeliver and undermine the most basic values of Western Civilization? We should be starving this beast. Instead, we're feeding it. Are there exceptions to this rule? Colleges that are actually dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom? Of course, there are – and they are worthy of your financial support. But you can count them on two hands. The rest have a different mission. And they have more than enough coin to carry it out. The aforementioned University of Michigan has an endowment of 12 billion dollars. But that's small potatoes compared to Yale's $30 billion or Harvard's $40 billion. And donors keep giving them more. It's time to stop. You'd be better throwing your money into a bonfire. That's just a waste. But when you donate to your average university, you're actually hurting your society. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/divestu
The Chicago Fire: America at Its Best.
Watch this video at- https://youtu.be/RYulzUPHqOY
Published on Apr 1, 2019
The most famous fire in American history happened in Chicago on October 8, 1871. But it’s not the fire that was so remarkable; it’s what happened afterwards. Lee Habeeb, host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Our American Stories,” explains. Script: The most famous fire in American history happened in Chicago on October 8, 1871. But it’s not the fire that is so remarkable. It’s what happened afterwards. To understand why, we first need to know something about the city’s history. In 1840, Chicago was a small town of forty-five hundred souls. It ranked 92nd in population in the United States. Yet, only three decades later, by 1870—just a year before the great fire—Chicago was closing in on a population of 300,000, making it the fifth-biggest city in America and the fastest-growing city in the world. What led to all this rapid growth? In three words: location, location, location. “Chicago was near the center of the country, and near where the waterways and railways met,” city historian Tim Samuelson notes. “It was a perfect place for anything and anyone to get anywhere…” Timing had a lot to do with it, too. America was moving from a rural to an industrial power. Chicago was right in the middle of the action. Ironically, its rapid growth was almost its undoing. “[Chicago] had to build, and build quickly, and so they built it out of wood,” explained Sarah Marcus of the Chicago History Museum. “It was quick, it was easy, and it was cheap.” And, as it turned out, very flammable. By most accounts, the fire started on the city’s West Side, near the De Koven Street barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary. No one is sure of the cause, but it could have been anything, from vandals to a drunken neighbor to that clumsy cow of urban legend. Within minutes, the blaze roared out of control, tearing through Chicago’s business district. The fire was so hot, it created its own tornado of flame. By 3:30 a.m., all hope of saving large parts of the city was gone. Nearly 30 hours later, the fire finally died. The reason? There was nothing left to burn. The losses were staggering: The fire claimed nearly 300 lives, destroyed over 17,000 buildings covering almost 3.5 square miles, and caused damage of over $200 million–about 3.8 billion today. Roughly a third of the city lay in ruins, and one out every three people living in Chicago—nearly 100,000 residents—became homeless overnight. “All the law offices were destroyed, all the major hotels were destroyed, all the major department stores were destroyed, and all the major banks were destroyed,” Chicago weather historian Tom Skilling notes. In those days, there were no national or state agencies to help. Chicago was on its own. What was to be done? To most of Chicago’s citizens, the answer was obvious: Rebuild. Make the city better than ever. Yes, there were many victims of the fire, but there was no sense of victimhood. Even before the bricks stopped smoking, the people of Chicago went to work. First, the damage had to be assessed. The death and destruction were obvious. But there were some major pluses as well. The stockyards and meat packing plants had been spared. Two-thirds of the grain elevators survived. And most importantly, the railway and rail stock escaped major damage. This was critical because it would allow shipments of building materials and private relief aid to come pouring in from across the country and around the world. To view the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/the-chi...
Why the Electoral College is Essential.
Published on Apr 30, 2019
The Left wants to get rid of the Electoral College. However, the Electoral College is necessary to preserve our republic. Watch our video "Do You Understand the Electoral College?" here: https://www.prageru.com/video/do-you-...
Is Denmark Socialist?
Published on Apr 22, 2019
Socialism has failed across the world – from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to China, Vietnam, North Korea and, most recently, Venezuela. So now the left references countries like Denmark as “proof” that socialism works. Otto Brons-Petersen explains why they’re wrong: Denmark is just as capitalist as the United States. Script: I am a citizen of Denmark, the Disneyland of socialism, where everybody is happy and healthy. Forget the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela and all those power-mad Marxists who got it wrong. Denmark is the model to follow. There’s just one problem. It’s a fantasy. For it to be true, Denmark would have to be a socialist country. But it’s not. If it were, it would have gone “Venezuela” a long time ago. Sorry to bring all the new fans of socialism the bad news. But that’s the reality. Yes, it’s true that Denmark has high taxes and a high level of government spending—key features of a socialist mentality. But in almost every other respect, Denmark is a full-on free market capitalist country. And it has some of the strongest protections of individual property rights in the world. And it’s a particularly easy place to open a business. According to the World Bank, there is less bureaucratic red tape in Denmark than in any other country, except for New Zealand and Singapore. And the labor market is less regulated than in most countries. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: there are no minimum wage laws in Denmark. It’s not surprising then—or maybe it is surprising, given all the misinformation out there—that Denmark ranks consistently as one of the top-ranked free market economies in the world by The Fraser Institute in Canada and The Heritage Foundation. So, if Denmark is not a socialist country, what is it? The answer is pretty straightforward: it’s a small capitalist country (about the size and population of Maryland) whose citizens pay oodles in taxes in exchange for oodles in benefits. Well, what’s wrong with that? you might ask. Only this: for the government to pay out such benefits, you need citizens to make enough money to pay the necessary taxes. And that’s only possible through a free market economy. Let me explain—with some Danish history. Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden and Norway, made a remarkable economic recovery after the Second World War. The combination of a highly productive work force and—get this—low taxes created a lot of wealth. So like every other wealthy welfare state, Denmark became wealthy before it created the welfare state. Relative to Europe, Denmark’s economic high-water mark was in the 1950s; relative to the US, it was the early ‘70s. It was then, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, that the country’s ruling elite became preoccupied with wealth redistribution. But the price paid for this social experiment was steep and swift. The expansion of public spending led to a severe economic crisis. The national debt skyrocketed. It took decades of consolidation, structural reforms and curtailing of welfare schemes to straighten out this mess. This is the stuff you never hear about from the “Danish model” crowd. The sharp tax hikes and spending also sparked a widespread popular revolt and led to the emergence of the “tax protestors” party, Fremskridtspartiet. Even though the party no longer exists, the widespread desire to cut taxes remains. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/is-denm...
Who Are the Racists?
Published on Apr 29, 2019
To call someone a racist is a serious charge. Conservatives are accused of racism by the left on a daily basis. Are the accusations fair? Or is something else going on? Derryck Green of Project 21 provides some provocative answers.
Script: Every single day someone of prominence on the left—a politician, a cable news host, an entertainment figure—accuses someone on the right of being a racist. Here are typical examples: MSNBC host Chris Matthews said this: “The age of Jim Crow managed to find a new habitat in the… 21st-century Republican Party." Comedian Seth Meyers told his late-night audience that Republicans traffic “in open racism.” Tennessee state representative London Lamar, a black woman, announced that the entire state of Tennessee is “racist. Period.” This was just after she was elected… in Tennessee! And almost every criticism of President Barack Obama was labelled racist. The left calling the right racist isn’t new. It’s been going on for decades. Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, his son, George W. Bush were all accused of being racists. And, of course, from the left’s perspective, “racist” is essentially Donald Trump’s middle name. To call someone a racist is a very serious charge. A racist is a person who believes that one race is inherently superior or inferior to another. It’s not intelligence, character or values that determine an individual’s worth; it’s his or her skin color. To say that racism is foolish and stupid—not to mention evil—is to understate the case. But according to most Democrats, Republicans are that stupid and that evil. So, let’s examine some conservative policies to see if they are, indeed, racist. If they are, then the left has a valid complaint. And if they’re not, then the left is lying. The longstanding conservative opposition to Affirmative Action is a good place to start. It was Democratic president John F. Kennedy who, in 1961, first used the term “affirmative action.” But Affirmative Action in the way we think of it now wasn’t implemented until 1970, during the administration of a Republican president, Richard Nixon. The theory was that, because of historical discrimination, blacks were at a competitive disadvantage to other races and ethnicities. To erase that disadvantage, standards that most blacks presumably couldn’t meet had to be lowered. One could make the case that this policy had some utility when it was first put in place. But that was a long time ago. The conservative position is that blacks have repeatedly proven they can compete with anyone without the benefits of lower standards. There are countless examples of black success in every field, at every level. The policy is no longer necessary. But the conservative argument goes further. Study after study shows that, in the case of college admissions, affirmative action hurts more blacks than it helps. By lowering admissions standards for blacks (and some other minority students), colleges set many of these students up for failure. They get placed in schools for which they are not prepared. And high black dropout rates confirm this view. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/who-are...
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