Dennis Prager Returns From A Week Lecturing In Australia

Dennis arrived from the airport this morning (after his fifth trip to Australia) ten minutes before his show was due to begin. That’s the time he normally arrives as he lives ten minutes away. Occasionally he gets caught in traffic and has to do the first segment over the phone.

Dennis: “The first thing I have to say is that I was shaken at the death of Andrew Breitbart. I was shaken on the human level, on his family level, on how young he was, and for the cause of conservatism in the United States.

“I’m careful with adjectives. I try not to speak with adjectives and I try not to write with adjectives. One of the characteristics of my approach is that I try to let the listener and reader fill in adjectives and adverbs. Among the adjectives I almost never use is ‘irreplaceable’. Thank God most people are. He was not.”

“The left has a lot of Breitbarts. We don’t.”

“I got back in time to attend a private service for him. I want to take those four kids and hug them and say, ‘Your father was a great man.'”

“George Gilder taught me a lot. He lost his father during WWII. His dad was shot down. He said his father was always alive in the family and in his mind and that a boy having a father he loved and admired is infinitely different from a boy who never had a father.”

“If you lose a father at four, you will always have had that dad.”

James Q. Wilson is another loss. I was very close to James Q. Wilson.”

“I don’t think I ever met a more elegant man than James Q. Wilson. It’s a rare trait. You felt in the presence of a good man and a distinguished man. He was so sophisticated. He’s why I often call myself a WASPaphile.”

“I collect stamps, pipes, cigars, CDs, but the biggest collection I’ve always engaged in is that I collect good people. I say that to people. ‘You’re part of my collection. I have a good people collection.'”

Dennis says the Sydney Opera House is “one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It is up there with the Eiffel Tower, the Statute of Liberty.”

After taking in Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” at the Sydney Opera House, Dennis Prager, his wife and about 30 other people stood and applauded (out of an audience of 2,000). Australians don’t tend to stand and applaud. There’s a British reserve among Australians. “I couldn’t believe that everybody didn’t stand to applaud.”

“Americans are an open friendly warm people.”

Australians love to ask, what do you think of our country? Foreigners bring a unique perspective to a society.

“I said to one leader of the community, I think you are way over-regulated. You folks in Australia are the proverbial frog being boiled and you don’t know it. Let me tell you, you’re being boiled. He said, you’re right. When I raised this at a dinner party, some thought yes and others no.”

“In Sydney, you have four garbage cans. One was for plastics and glass. One was organic. One was paper. And one was just garbage. In California, we have three.”

“Not only are there four garbage cans, but they come and check that you do not have a larger garbage can. You are only allowed a certain amount of garbage a month. And the fines are extremely high, in the hundreds of dollars. If your home uses more than your allotted amount of garbage, then you are fined.”

“I couldn’t find any cigar stores. There are tobacconists where you can buy a few cigars.”

“I went to a tobacconist to try to buy a cigar. She lifted a cloth sheet covering a box of cigars. They can not be seen. The cigarettes must be a certain number of meters away from the consumer.”

“It was a mistake for Rush Limbaugh to call Sandra Fluke a prostitute and a slut. When the right makes a mistake, there’s hell to pay. When the left makes a mistake, there’s no price.”

“Rush carries the burden of being the mouthpiece for conservatism.”

“When Ed Schultz on MSNBC called Laura Ingraham a slut, he apologized and everybody moved on. When Rush does, the advertisers flee. Why don’t advertisers flee the New York Times?”

“When has the right called for advertiser boycotts of the left? New York Times writers who compared the Tea Party to Krystalnacht. Did any advertiser drop the New York Times?”

“I think Sandra Fluke told a lie.”

WSJ: “In her testimony, Ms. Fluke claimed that, “Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.” That’s $1,000 per year. But an employee at a Target pharmacy near the university told the Weekly Standard last week that one month’s worth of generic oral contraceptives is $9 per month. “That’s the price without insurance,” the employee said. (It’s also $9 per month at Wal-Mart.)”

Dennis: “New Orleans Saints players should be kicked out of the league if they, in fact, offered monetary rewards to teammates for injuring opposing players. If it was done outside of sports, they’d be in jail.”

Caller: “Australians are reserved. Timid. When I lived there, I had to change my own enthusiasm. When you’re enthused about something, they shut you down. Even when you’re feeling good, they make you aware of how you speak. When you live there, as an American, you have to tone yourself down. I can not be myself.”

Aussies would say in this circumstance, “You’re raving like a Yank.”

Dennis says that every taxi driver, except for one, didn’t talk. In America, you can’t stop them talking.

Dennis: “A lot of Republicans, like George Will, are glum and say we should give up on the presidency and just try to win the House and the Senate. I don’t give up on the presidency. If you give up on the presidency, it’s too dispiriting. It doesn’t work that way. That’s why many Republicans have endorsed Mitt Romney because they think he has a better chance of winning.”

“It’s wrong for Republicans to be in a funk about the Presidential race. You get in funk if you lose. Not before. The races for the House and Senate can’t be separated from the race for President.”

“Republicans have a moral obligation to act spirited even if they’re dispirited. It’s infectious in a bad way. It’s easy to be down.”

“I’ve felt my whole [adult] life that Time magazine international is on such a higher level than Time magazine America. They must think Americans are stupid. Time America is almost a comic book.”

“How does any big corporation impact your life? I’ve never understood that argument [that big business is more of a threat than big government]. Do they send anybody to arrest me? Do they pass laws? Do they tell me what to do? How can anybody compare the power of big government and the power of a big corporation?”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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