Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recommended web site for conservatives

Thanks to Janet we have a new web site/aggregator of all our favorite conservative thinkers:

From Peter Robinson and Rob Long:

"Dear Readers:

Why a new web site? Because we are lazy. It is that simple.

Sitting around with our pal Hugh Hewitt, we were bemoaning the fact that all of our favorite writers were not collected in one place. Hugh said “Rob Neppell of Kithbridge can fix that.” Hugh was right. And Rob did.

The result is, our public service to lazy people everywhere (though we'd be happy to make a profit from it as well. E-mail if you'd like to advertise.)

As you can see, this is a giant aggregator of the very best in interesting, smart, funny center/right writers and intellectuals. We have no doubt missed someone along the way, and we reserve the right to tweak the list, but at the outset we decided that we really would limit the writers we publicize to those we consider "must reads," that is, if we saw the byline, we had to read what followed.

Take a look around the site. There are old warriors, young turks, and all sorts of conservatives, from paleo- to neo-, crunchy to wet, but all deserving our, and we think your, attention. All under one roof.

We'll add features as we go along, but as we enter the season where the blizzard of columns, blogs, analysis, and essays that we want to read becomes an unmanageable maze of websites and hyperlinks, we are pleased to give you a virtual shortcut to the brightest stars in the conservative sky.

Enjoy! And come back often!"

Thanks, Janet!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

C-SPANers take a whack at the Civil Forum at Saddleback...

WWDS? I'll be curious to see what Dennis has to say this coming week about the candidates' Q&A at the civil forum at Saddleback last night. I was probably like many people who watched, and had to see what the Sunday morning pundits had to say about the Obama and McCain performances.

I think I picked the wrong show to watch. I started out watching Fox News Channel but for some odd reason I switched over to C-SPAN. What was I thinking??!!?? Any and all civility that Rick Warren was promoting by asking a question and then letting the candidates answer at will was completely spent last night so that nothing was left for the C-SPAN callers. C-SPAN allows you to rake anyone over the coals as long as you don't use foul language.

The only thing I learned from listening to today's callers was that there are a lot of people walking around out there with tin-foil on their heads so as to keep the extra-terrestrials from taking potshots at their cerebral cortexes and implanting spy-ware and nano-monitoring devices.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little too harsh, a little too critical. Maybe there really are ET's who want to know what we're thinking, and if they can decipher our thoughts, their ET supervisors will replace humanoids in all the important earthly jobs with chimpanzees and Poodles.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and hazard a guess that Earth would be safer in the hands of Coco the Chimp. I don't know any famous Poodles but if any of them are related to the people who called into C-SPAN this morning, the dogs better ready for work.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Saddleback Civil Forum on Presidency

Did you watch it tonight, Saturday, August 16th? Rev. Rick Warren came up with some good questions for each candidate to answer, and each had an hour - separately - to do this.

I hope you all got a chance to see it. It dramatically pointed up the differences between Senators McCain and Obama on a wide range of issues, in a low-stress environment.

It was a well-thought-out technique of interviewing, with each man off-stage while the other answered.

Well done, Pastor Warren! And thank you.

"The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin"

I have to recommend the book, "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin." Like many people, I thought I knew about Ben Franklin and what contribution he made to the new country of America but I was bowled over by the depth of this biography and just how long it took Franklin to get on board the "independence!" train.

I learned how well-respected he was overseas and disdained here, and why Benjamin Franklin became the standard bearer, the definition, as it were, of what being an American really means. It is Frankin's legend that drew immigrants then, as it does today.

Anyone who doesn't believe that America is unique in all of history should spend time with "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin."

Whopping good August meeting!

When I say "Whopping..." I don't mean whopping as in large I just mean whopping as in great meeting.

There were only four of us (Angie, Marjorie, Roger and me - no relation to the Michael Moore movie) and yet - and not too surprising - it was the kind of meeting that covered the Prager Group gamut. Who would think that four people could keep up lively and inspirational conversation for two hours?

We owe it all to Dennis!

And we did it without smoking cigars. (I just listened to a podcast where Dennis bravely bared his soul and risked it all by admitting how much he loves to smoke cigars and pipes. It sounded like pipes take a backseat to cigars because I have never heard of a Pipe Bar, only a Cigar Bar. But you can correct me if I'm wrong.) Dennis spoke of the recent trip to a place with a humidor and where he and Allan spent a delightful two hours in conversation, puffing on their cigars. We just drank coffee and pop and snacked on sandwiches and potato chips at Panera's. The conversation put us on equal footing, me thinks.

We missed the rest of you, though. Didn't want you to think you weren't missed.

I have to keep this short because I'm supposed to be doing my homework but I wanted to mention that I found a wonderful treasure-trove of editorials when I loaded up I-Tunes with podcasts. The subjects vary but all are very interesting and especially timely.

I put them on my IPod Shuffle and was in hog-heaven all afternoon at work listening to these 3-4 minute long audio versions of well-written editorial/opinion pieces by Investors Business Daily. There are tons of them in the archives, so many that I have many more to listen to tomorrow.

If you don't have an IPod or MP3 player, you can still listen on the computer, through I-Tunes. The advantage to I-Tunes is that they will probably run one right after another. At least that's what they do on my IPod.

One can also get the written op/eds as well as the audios here: or subscribe to the audio versions through I-Tunes. I just couldn't help but share this with you all.

Oh, yes, another great - and accidental - find at my local library: David McCullough recorded a speech he gave in 1993 when he was receiving an award. The audio CD is entitled "The Course of Human Events" and is one of the best, and most inspiring speeches I've heard in a long while.

The Course of Human Events By David McCullough Read by David McCullough
Simon and Shuster put it together and I recommend everyone who likes David McCullough and history take a listen. I understand that there's a written version of the speech, as well, but listening to Mr. McCullough speak definitely added to the enjoyment. I haven't returned the CD yet because I plan to listen to it again.

Back to my homework. Have a good few weeks, folks, and hope to see you at the next meeting.


Prager Group - July meeting

I'm not the recording secretary that Sonny is, but I will do my best to share with you at least a sense of what transpired at our meeting at Panera Bread last Sunday afternoon.

Janet and her husband, Frank, were there along with Kerry, Owen, Angie and her "ball-and-chain" Danny (for a guy who doesn't listen to the radio show he hasn't missed a meeting yet!), and there was Kathy and Cindy. Mike was there long enough to get something to eat but had to answer his page to go help sick people. There was a really unexpected guest, Jim, from Kobe, Japan. And we had David with two of the world's best behaved children, and finally there was Renee, Harvey and me.

It was the first meeting for many people but there was no shyness that might be associated with being a first-timer. I've been to most meetings and I still love to hear everyone - old and new - introduce themselves and share what they feel about Dennis Prager, what we've learned from him and what a steadying influence he is.

We met in the Panera community room and had it all to ourselves. Except that there was a guy in the corner, ostensibly working on his laptop, with ear buds in. Jim kept his head down the whole time, and had said it wouldn't bother him for us to have our meeting. As it turns out - we learned at the end of our meeting - that he has also listened to Dennis.

Of all the subjects that Dennis brings to our attention, in those hours on the radio, we all seemed to gravitate toward the current political campaign. I believe - correct me if I'm wrong - that some of us would have really liked to talk Happiness Hour or Ultimate Issues Hour, but for the most part we just enjoyed being together, in what we believe to be a "safe" environment. There's a level of comfort that we don't always feel elsewhere among our family and friends.

We don't all agree on everything - even the big issues, we're not all religious, we're just a diverse group of individuals who seem to revel in the Clarity of Thought that Dennis Prager adds to the cosmos of ideas and events.

Our concern over the upcoming election and the troublesome idea that a truly liberal candidate could make it into the White House next January has many of us losing sleep. We were all invigorated, though, with some caplets of rhetoric that we can use to promote the Republican candidate, John McCain.

I will be reaching out to all of you in the next few weeks to build our own set of talking points to use when we get an opportunity to promote our candidate. We're not all glib-tongued spokespersons but with a few points in our sack of speeches, we believe we can make a difference in the upcoming election. Of course, I just might take the easy way out and carry a sign, make a bumper sticker or wear a T-shirt that says something like, "McCain - The Only Change I Can Live With." Okay, that's not terribly pithy but I'm open to suggestions!

I'm still feeling the effects of a lively and enlightening Sunday afternoon well-spent with other Dennis Prager fans. I really wish you all could have been there.

Harvey's still looking for a downtown meeting place for us for next month. We'll keep you posted.

And, thanks to Jim, we have a great picture of the entire group from Sunday. I'll post the picture and names on the blog as soon as I can. We lost a dear friend to cancer this week and have out-of-town company coming in on Thursday, so my web work will probably have to wait until Sunday.

As for the birthday present for Dennis, I'll keep you posted on the progress. (You guys were great and I know Dennis will appreciate it.)

Until August then! Hang in there, Everyone.


PS - We're going to try and keep our birthday present for Dennis under wraps until August 3rd, so mum's the word!

You don't have to follow the crowd to be going in the right direction.
1 Image View Slideshow Download Selected