Dennis Prager is an Ass

Okay, I usually try to avoid ad hominem attacks on politicians and my fellow pundits (and human beings in general, for that matter). If you remember your Logic 101 class, such argument present as a logical fallacy. But I was listening to the Dennis Prager Show briefly (Radio AM 1170 KCBQ just before noon as I was driving between teaching sites and got to experience one of those “Oh my God, he couldn’t have possibly have been stupid enough to have actually said that?” moments.

And my outrage has only grown since that moment. Thus this little bit of unprofessional punditry venting.

The issue Prager was pontificating on was the forced mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent after Pearl Harbor. Prager made the ludicrous and outrageous claim that there was nothing “racist” about the incarceration program. To prove this he pointed out that the mass internment was only carried out on the west coast. Expo facto, it was the outcome of legitimate fears that the thousands of Japanese-Americans residing on the West Coast (and, somehow, not those in the Pocanos) might become fifth column agents of their ancestral homeland.


Prager did go on to say that he thought the interment was “probably” wrong. Bully for you, Denny. But his overarching point was that the internment of thousands of American citizens based on their ethnic identity was an example of how non-xenophobic America actually is. Racism, for Prager, you see, is an artificial construct foisted on the American public by the victim-mentality liberal Democrats and not, even peripherally or incidentally, an actual part of the American experience.

(Note to Prager: Dude, maybe you should consider stopping inhaling so deeply on those cigars you love and claim don’t really give you cancer. At a minimum they seem to be giving you dementia or early onset Alzheimers…)

Look, Dennis, I can agree that Americans as a whole are not particularly more xenophobic than other peoples on this planet. I’ll even go so far as to say that, as a Nation, we have done a pretty good–and better–job of mixing more diverse people from more cultural, ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds under the same national roof than pretty much any other country one can think of. But to claim that xenophobia has never reared its ugly head in decisively mass-popular ways in American history is, at best, incorrect. At worst it is deliberately deceptive, disingenuous, divisive, disrespectful and delusional.

When WWII broke out the US found itself at war with the Empire of Japan—and the fascist dictatorships of Germany and Italy. Now, when our government set out to incarcerate thousands of Americans of Japanese descent—in many cases second and third generation Americans—in direct violation of their basic Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment Protections (as the Courts and Congress would later find) did it similarly set out to deal with the potentially equal (and even greater, given the numbers involved) danger of millions of Americans of German and Italian descent rising up to support their homelands?

When the war broke out my father, a first-generation American of Italian descent was a chemistry undergrad at the University of Niagara Falls. Did the government round up this dark-skinned Sicilian and send him to a government camp? Oh, wait a moment, they did! He was in the ROTC at the University. When the war started he was called up within months and sent off to an Army camp in Biloxi, Mississippi for basic and officer training. Coming out a second Louie, he went on to serve in combat in France, Italy, Austria and was part of the Japanese occupation forces.

So why did my dad get a uniform and a gun while Americans of Japanese descent, many of whom had lived in America longer than his family had, got the boot into Manzanar? Gee, what is the key difference between an American of Japanese descent and one of Italian descent?

To argue that racism played no role in the WWII internment policy is the logical equivalent of saying Hitler’s policies were not race driven – he simply targeted dangerous individuals who just happened to be overwhelmingly Jewish in heritage. (Given Prager’s own strong roots in the American Jewish community I would think that he of all people, indeed would be a tad sensitive to any instance of a government rounding up and incarcerating mass numbers of its own citizens for any reason, said incarceration being non-lethal or otherwise. But such is the sad case of AM talk conservatism that such obvious sensitivities and corollaries become sacrifices on the altar of ideological fervor.)

The Roman statesman Cicero once famously stated a simple theory of guilt and innocence. “Show me he who benefits and I will show you the guilty man,” he claimed. Who directly benefited from the incarceration of over one hundred thousand Americans of Japanese descent? Did it heighten security on the West Coast when dozens—hundreds—even one?—real case of American citizens of Japanese descent conspiring with the enenmy to subvert their country of birth or adoption? And even if there is record of a minute handful of countrymen participating in such schemes, what in the history of American constitutional thought could therefore justify the mass prophylactic incarceration of tens of thousands if US citizens?

To answer truthfully answer this question just follow the money. Who got their stuff? Their farms, their business, their houses, cars and personal possessions seized by the government upon their removal to remote desert encampments—what happened to it all? Why, it was auctioned off at pennies on the dollar to their white neighbors and business competitors who, through the tyranny of government, were able to achieve what they could not through the fair exchange of the free market. And when these citizens were finally released (only after which did the Supreme Court boldly step in to close the door on a flagrant abuse of the Constitution) they didn’t get their stuff back. It would take a half century, by which time many of the internees had shuffled off this mortal coil, before the US government would apologize for this egregious injustice and award monetary compensation to the survivors of the internment and their descendents.

Probably wrong, Dennis? Not racist? To say either is logically and factually incorrect. Beyond that, it is definitely insulting to hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens whose families suffered the indignity and injustice of the internment policy. It crosses the line from insensitive to inflammatory and pushes right up against the boundary of outright immoral. What next, arguing that slavery was just another economic institution—probably wrong, but not race-based?

You, sir, should be ashamed. And so should San Diego News Radio 1170 KCBQ for broadcasting someone whose views are inaccurate, irresponsible and downright reprehensible. You, sir, owe the thousands of Americans of Japanese descent victimized (and, yes, Mr. Prager sir, there are such a thing as real victims) by their own government and fellow citizens—and their hundreds of thousands of descendents, an apology, post haste.

Of course KCBQ broadcasts Prager and the rest of its AM-squawk lineup for the most noble of reasons—it’s a business model that makes them a nice buck, no matter how vilely obtained.

So I have to ask myself, if I was an American of Japanese descent, enraged by such talk, would I a) continue to ever listen to KCBQ and b) ever patronize a company so insensitive to my only family history as to advertise on a program such as Prager’s and a station such as KCBQ ever again? A list of which you can find by clicking here. And might I send a strongly worded message condemning both Dennis Prager (who can be reached here) and KCBQ (which can be reached at for the audacious awful content of his mind and their programming?

You bet I would. Indeed, as a second generation American of non-Japanese descent, that is precisely what I am doing. And precisely what members Japanese American groups (examples of which can be found here and around the country should be doing.

Prager, in the unlikely event he ever reads this or hears any negative blowback to his statements will, no doubt, try to dismiss my call as yet another call from whacky liberals to silence freedom of speech. That is, of course, utter bupkis. Prager has every right to say anything he wants. He does not, however, have any right to say it on commercial radio. As the wag said, if you want free speech, own a newspaper. Prager has no right, per se, to say what he wants on the radio. He’s only there because it makes money for the people (and himself, not incidentally) who own the stations that broadcast him and gains customers for the advertisers who pay him and them. If the marketplace as represented by listeners and other concerned consumers care to show the companies (which can be found here) that pay for his platform that he’s costing them more than he makes them, he’s gone from the airwaves.

And the world would, in my opinion be a better place. Hey Dennis, ain’t the free market a great thing.

Meanwhile, Dennis, your statements about the internment of Americans of Japanese descent today was one of the most galling, inaccurate and offensive things I have ever heard you send over the airwaves. Which, given the competition from some of your previous statements, is no small thing.

Oh, and Dennis—you’re an ass.


59 Responses to “Dennis Prager is an Ass”

  1. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Thank you for giving a voice to many who, to this day, refuse to stand up and take action.

    Domo arigato Sensei Luna.

  2. mlaiuppa Says:

    My Grandfather was Sicilian. Neither he nor the rest of the family were interred during WWII. Of course, they lived on the east coast.

    I’m German on my Mother’s side. They weren’t interred either.

    Have we learned anything from the illegal, racist (and as you’ve pointed out capitalistic motivated) internment of American Citizens of Japanese decent?


    Because the internment of American Citizens of Middle Eastern decent was suggested after 9/11. Thankfully, our government has more sane civil servants in public office now than it did back then.

    Unless you’re a Native American.

  3. Carl Luna Says:

    Do itashi mashite, Susan. On the money as usual, mlaiuppa. At least we seem, as a nation, to have learned something between December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001.

  4. Robert M. Wada Says:

    (This is a continuation of what I was writing, but I guess I ran out of space and it disappeared. Hope you received the first part… Did you receive the first part..?)

    I was unable to finsh the last message..but I wanted to close by saying, if I were not so proud to have served in the Marines with my brother, I would have said I regret my service for this country for idiots like Prager, but I am so proud of being a Marine, no idiot is going to change that and I speak for all four of my brothers who served and fought in a war for Prager’s right to say such trash…
    Semper Fi to all Marines..
    Robert M. Wada
    USMC Korea 51′-52′

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  6. Joyce Miyamoto Says:

    Dear Carl,

    I do not know what was said about the Japanese American Internment as I didn’t listen to Dennis Prager but as a former Canadian and having gone through interment in Canada I would like to say that if you didn’t experience evacuation and interment you wouldn’t understand. My parents lost everything they owned and I was separated from my father for four years while he went to a labor camp and the rest of our family went to another. If Mr. Prager is a family man I wonder if his wife would have tolerated this sort of treatment. He would probably be furious as we were when it happened to our family and many others. Some spoke out for which they were punished while others tried to show their spirit by making the most of what happened to them.

    It is sad that people who speak out against the Japanese are only creating a negative attitudes for all other kind hearted people. Many Caucasians even came to our aid knowing that they could have been black balled against their own fellow men.

    It was a tough time for all of us but through it all the Japanese Americans and Canadians prevailed and became what they are today because of their strength and character.

    Joyce Miyamoto
    Honolulu, HI

  7. Nolan Says:

    Boy, talk about disingenuous. I was listening to Mr. Prager as well. His basic thesis was that foreigners are much more welcomed in the United States than in most other countries. For example, an Indian is more liked to be welcomed in American than an American would be in India. That’s a FACT that stems from our history as a nation of immigrants. As Prager points says “That decision [to intern the Japanese] was based on fear, not racism. Whether or not that fear was justified, I don’t know”.
    Now, Mr. Wada is too blinded by his hatred for this country to see the truth. His claim that the reason Japanese Americans were singled out only because they looked different from Italian and German Americans, Irish Americans, etc., is patently absurd. For one, the Japanese were a much more self-segregating sub-populous than any of those other group. This was a legitimate cause for fear given that we had just been attacked by a country whose citizens were reluctant to assimilate. Secondly, it was well-known at the time of internment that Japanese spies in Hawaii had a direct hand in the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Thirdly, Japan was the only country that had attacked the American homeland. Of the latter two points, neither can be said to apply to any other of the Axis nations.
    Let’s look at the land issue. As you contest, internment was a means deduced by the government to steal land from Japanese land-owners and give it to whites. Why not take your argument a step further and say that our entire involvement in WWII was a pretense for stealing land from Japanese Americans? It makes sense, no WWII, no internment. Perhaps the Holocaust was a myth as well Mr. Luna.
    Now, was internment a mistake? Most-likely it was. Was it the result of racism? Absolutely not. As Mr. Prager stated, it was more an over-reaction based on fear than having anything to do with racism. You should be careful when throwing around the term “disingenuous” when your entire objection is based on an irrational hatred for your country and an over-zealous eagerness to see racism at its heart.

  8. Nolan Says:

    Sorry, I forgot to elaborate. Prager said he didn’t know whether the FEAR of the Japanese was justified. Not whether or not internment was. Quoting people out of context is indeed disingenuous. I weep for the future of our country with people like Mr. Luna teaching in our colleges.

  9. Nolan Says:

    One more thing. Nearly half of those interned were of European ancestry. I bet Mr. Luna knows that too…Hmm…why would he not mention that? Agenda maybe? I hope our college professors aren’t THAT ignorant.

  10. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Response from Dennis Prager:

    Dear Ms. Miyamato:

    I never in my life “spoke out against the Japanese.” Any references to Japanese-Americans I ever expressed have been in the positive.

    You will notice that the professor, another one of those people who yell “racism” where there is none and thereby damage the fight against real racism, never once quoted me directly.

    I did say that the internment, which I consider a moral wrong, was not animated by racism. I still believe that. Unlike the professor, quick to judge America 66 years after Pearl Harbor, I do not believe that Franklin Roosevelt and all the other Democrats who supported him were racists.

    Thank you for contacting me.

    Dennis Prager

  11. Carl Luna Says:

    Mr. Nolan:
    A word or two on the meaning of words. defines “concentration camp” as: Unabridged (v 1.1) – concentration camp–noun: a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc., esp. any of the camps established by the Nazis prior to and during World War II for the confinement and persecution of prisoners. [Origin: 1900–05, applied orig. to camps where noncombatants were placed during the Boer War]

    As the entry points out, the concept of the concentration camp was not developed by the Nazis but by the British to incarcerate Boer civilians during the Boer War so as to deprive Boer guerillas of the support from said civilians. Given that the internment centers for American’s of Japanese descent were a series of “guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities…” the use of the term “concentration camp” to describe them is factually accurate. It is, also, emotionally loaded, admittedly. But, then so to is the legacy of that policy.

    “Racism,” meanwhile, is defined as: Unabridged (v 1.1) -rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm] –noun
    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    Was slavery racist? Was segregation? Or were these institutions based on legitimate security concerns or sound policy initiatives based on the historical contexts of their times? My father told a joke about his experiences as a swarthy-skinned Sicilian doing military training in the deep south: A swarthy Sicilian-American gets on a bus in Biloxi, Mississippi during WWII. The bus driver looks at him and says “Back of the bus, back of the bus.” The Sicilian-American fellow says, “I’m not black, I’m Sicilian.” The bus drive looks at him and says, “Off the bus, off the bus.”

    Did my father experience anything that might meet the dictionary definition of racism in his experiences in the South during WWII? Are you, Mr. Nolan, arguing that America has never experienced intense, institutionalized racism in its history?

    Mr. Nolan, you dismiss my argument as being “based on an irrational hatred for your country and an over-zealous eagerness to see racism at its heart.” Many people profess to “love” their country when what they are really in love with is their sense of self. Such people, having no empathy for the problems of others, reject any criticism of any reason for the country they “love” because it is an assault on their own ego. To love someone is to want the best for them—not one’s self. Criticism of one’s country when that country is legitimately wrong, with the hope of making one’s country an even better place, is far more of a demonstration of “love” than is willful ignorance of mistakes and injustices simply for the ego-satisfaction of saying “my country is perfect and, by inference, so I am. This is not love of country. It is the love of Onin disguised as patriotism.

    Three last points. First, you state in your third post that “Nearly half of those interned were of European ancestry.” That statement is simply in factual error. An estimated 11,000 people of European ancestry (primarily German) were interned during the war (as opposed to over 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent). Most of these were foreign German nationals who, in many cases, had family members voluntarily accompany them into internment. There was nothing voluntary for the Americans of Japanese descent who were overwhelmingly American citizens. Given the small number of Americans of Japanese descent in the overall population, especially given the huge percentage of Americans at the time of German descent, to argue that the treatment of these two groups was equal is simply ludicrous.

    Third, you ask “Why not take your argument a step further and say that our entire involvement in WWII was a pretense for stealing land from Japanese Americans?” That is also a ludicrous non-sequitur. Well, actually, the US did enter the war to protect property – our battleships, to be precisely, bombed at Pearl Harbor. American entry in to WWII was, by any measure, a just and noble cause. But what we did to Americans of Japanese descent—and the fact their properties were seized and never returned—was simply neither just nor noble.

    And, given all the justifications of the internments you provide, why do you then hesitate and say it was “probably a mistake?” What is the basis for your reversal? Why do you simply not have the courage of your convictions to argue that yes, indeed, the internment WAS justified and that under similar circumstances a similar policy might be justified in the future (or even the present)?

    Finally, you advise me to “be careful when throwing around the term ‘disingenuous’.” Here I must agree with you. defines disingenuous as:
    dis·in·gen·u·ous [dis-in-jen-yoo-uhs]–adjective
    lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere: Her excuse was rather disingenuous.

    As such, it is an inaccurate word to use to describe Mr. Prager’s remarks. Ultimately, I fear, he—and you—actually believe you can reinterpret words and history at whim to make them comport to whatever world view you hold. “Delusional” would, therefore, be the appropriate adjective to describe Mr. Prager’s—and your—opinions.

  12. Dear Mr. Nolan « Political Lunacy Says:

    […] I posted this as a comment in response to a series of comments I received for Friday’s Blog, “Dennis Prager is an Ass.” But it’s jjust so spiffy a comment I find myself compelled, in my ego, to publish it as a […]

  13. Nolan Says:

    Where to being…First of, regardless of what the dictionary definition of the word concentration camp is, it has (for obvious reasons) become synonymous with the Holocaust in the psyche of the country and (I presume) the entire world. So, regardless of it’s dictionary definition, you’re attempt to depict internment camps as concentration camps is a disingenuous (there’s that word again) attempt to rile up your audience while putting a false image in their mind of what internment was.
    Here’s a fact, no property was “seized” from any Japanese land-owners. This may be a matter of semantics, but I believe in being precise. In fact, some Japanese land-owners were able to find custodians for their land while they were in the camps. Others, it is true, were forced to sell their land very cheaply, which is terrible, but their land was not “seized” as you so artfully put it.
    Don’t mistake my characterization of internment as “most likely a mistak” as back peddleing. My argument was that, as Mr. Prager stated, it was not motivated by racism. When I say it was most likely a mistake, I mean that it was most-likely not necessary in hindsight.
    I will not argue that there have been certain points in our nations history where we have been guided by irrational fear into perform unjust acts. Indeed, one of the most important reasons for our nation being a both a Republic as well as a Democracy is because the founders recognized that, in a Democracy, such fears amongst the majority could have disastrous effects. I submit that, even with the intense fears our nation had after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it is a testament to the greatness of our system that chaos did not break out, leading to a popular vigilantism against Japanese Americans. If I only had your description of our countries motives as a basis for my opinion, that’s what I would expect to happen.
    Lastly, perhaps my numbers were off in regards to the number of Europeans interned. But, wouldn’t the internment of only one American of German decent kill your racism argument. You said yourself it was due to fear of the Germans. Why than is the internment of the Japanese attributed to racism?

  14. Nolan Says:

    good to know..I was wondering why you were responding to a point about concentration camps that I never made (but should have). I thought I was losing my mind.

  15. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Mr. Nolan,
    So because of one dispicable act…no one else is allowed to use the word concentration camp even though it would be used correctly. Okay, got it. Concentration camps can only be used for Jewish incarceration and extermination (opps, sorry…incarcertaion is for Japanese Americans)…Just want to get this “precise.”

    Quote from Mr. Nolan “No property was ‘seized’ from Japanese landowners.” Gee, could that be because we weren’t ALLOWED TO PURCHASE LAND? We were only allowed to lease it and do you think we were refunded that land lease? Do you think the land leasers were compensated for their loss of land and equipment? Your definition of precise is pathetic. I have a long list of landowners and I guarantee you they LOST their land. Was it seized on Dec. 8, 1941? No, when the farmers were interned and they were unable to continue the payments, the banks seized the land. For the few who had friends willing to keep the farm going, they enjoyed the luxury of coming home to their own land. But those are few and far between.

    Your numbers WERE WAY off…Before you lecture DR. Luna on getting history accurate, why don’t you try the same?

    I didn’t know that because an act of racism happens to more than one ethnic group it is no longer racism. I guess you would call that equality. Thank you for your early morning history lesson.

  16. mlaiuppa Says:

    Looks like Dennis Prager *is* an Ass.

    And Nolan is following behind with a broom.

  17. Nolan Says:

    Again, you’re misunderstanding my point. I was simply pointing out the obvious logic behind Mr. Luna’s use of the word “concentration camp”. It is a term that conjures certain images in ones mind, images that are NOT an accurate depiction of internment.
    Like I said, perhaps my numbers were wrong. Don’t you think it curious though that Mr. Luna neglected to mention the internment of Citizens of European decent. It’s because his thesis was that Japanese were interned because they look different, therefore, internment was a result of racism. He would not have been able to make that point if he admitted that WHITE people were interned too.

  18. Nolan Says:

    And all the land issues were an unfortunate CONSEQUENCE of internment, not the REASON for it, as Mr. Luna would have you believe. That was my point.

  19. Nolan Says:

    mlaiuppa. Thanks for the well though-out counter-argument. You must have taken one of Luna’s classes.

  20. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Land issues were NOT a consequence. Sheesh…are you for real?

  21. Susan Uyemura Says:

    I think everyone should leave the name-calling out if an education discussion is to occur.

    However, Mr. Nolan, you might want to try use some respect as well. Dr. Luna has a Ph.D. therefore should be addressed as such.

  22. Nolan Says:

    You can call internment camps concentration camps but I can’t call Mr. Luna “Mr.”? Is he not still a man? Regardless, it wasn’t an intentional slight. And yes, I am for real. There are other interpretations of history than believing an evil cabal of white-racist’s conspired to steal land from the Japanese during WWII. I didn’t really that was so far-fetched.

  23. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Mr. Nolan,
    This is America. You can call anyone anything you want — however, if you want a conversation that is to educate the public then properly addressing everyone by their respective titles keeps the conversation at a level above name-calling.

    I am well aware of other interpretations of history. I just find it amusing that those who have not lived it/through it or even studied it can have educated opinions.

  24. Nolan Says:

    Excuse me, but I have studied history. Only, I took what my professors taught me and followed it up with my own research. You’d be amazed what you can learn when you break out of the Liberal Indoctrination machine.
    Let me get this straight…Nobody can study and/or have an opinion on ancient Egypt, Rome, Christendom, The Renaissances, because they didn’t experience those times themselves? Good to know.
    On a final note, my brother has a Ph.D in Molecular Biology and he insists on being called Mr. I’m working toward my law degree but I don’t expect to ever be referred to as “Councilor” accept in a professional setting. It’s been my experience that most Ph.D’s are not ego-maniacal enough to insist on being referred to as “Dr.” in casual conversation. I’ll give Mr. Luna the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s no such ego-maniac.

    • Janet Brown Says:

      To accurately participate in this dialogue, I must tell you a story — a true story:
      My father, a very young white male, marched out of Indiana and into Europe in August of 1944 — in October of 1944, he was surrounded in the Vosges Mountains of Eastern France. Trapped for almost a week, they had run out of ALL supplies and their situation was desperate. Several prior unsuccessful attempts at rescue had failed when the men of the 442nd “Go For Broke” Regiment were sent in to rescue them. These men refused to give up until they had successfully rescued my father and 210 other men — it took almost a week of vicious fighting, some of it hand-to-hand, in bitter winter weather —- their casualties (KIA and wounded) would surpass the number of men they rescued. They accomplished what two other units of “white” soldiers had not been able to achieve —– why —- because they refused to give-up until their mission was completed —- because as one veteran told me: “They were fellow American soldiers and we were their last hope” Another 442nd Veteran told me that as they walked up into the mountains to rescue my Dad, they passed other soldiers walking down from the mountain who told them: “Don’t go up there — you will get killed” But, they marched on and because of their stoic dedication and bravery, my sister and I were able to know and love our Dad —- we still carry memories of him in our hearts —- memories that would not have been but for the bravery of the 442nd. The enormity of the gift that these men gave to our family still resonates some 65 years later. The moral of this story is this: Many of the men of the 442nd that rescued my Dad came from the concentration camps that you are discussing — yes — concentration camps — let’s call them what they were — it is important to do that — let’s not sanitize the word — they walked out of those camps to serve the very country that had turned it’s back on them. Shame. Shame. Shame on us and thank God for them. Today, these same men speak very little of their experiences — (they are dedicated to remembering those friends they left behind laying under the marble crosses in the Military Cemeteries in Europe) — these men came home, reclaimed their families from the afore-mentioned concentration camps, surveyed what little property and businesses they had left, and set about rebuilding their lives — over the past 65 years, their contributions to this country have continued as they have served all of us as lawyers, doctors, businessmen, farmers, teachers, artists, and, politicians and, above all esle, loyal American citizens —- the latter the title is the one that they covet above all else — they raised families without a hint or moment of bitterness — their stories left untold until just recently — stories that are difficult to tell and even more difficult to absorb —- such gallant men — so gentle — so honorable —- could we have done the same — would we have served so well? Let’s not devalue their contributions to this nation by sanitizing the words we use to discuss their situation — they were racially discriminated against — Period —— but, as a community they can teach us all a lesson in humility and loyalty — that is, for those of us willing to listen ——- Are you listening, Mr. Nolan —– Mr. Prager ???

  25. Nolan Says:

    Seeing as how you have lived through internment (as your comment implies), it stands to reason that you would be able to look at the situation objectively, and in it’s entire context. Of course you’re going to be influenced by your experience (which I’m sure was horrible). Hindsight is always 20/20, and with the benefit of context, it is hard to argue that internment was solely motivated by racism and land-grabs.

  26. Nolan Says:

    (*wouldn’t be able to look at it objectively). Forgive me, I haven’t slept. I need to start proof-reading these comments.

  27. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Mr. Nolan,
    If you are going to quote me, please do it correctly?
    “Nobody can study and/or have an opinion on ancient Egypt, Rome, Christendom, The Renaissances, because they didn’t experience those times themselves? Good to know.”

    I said…”I just find it amusing that those who have not lived it/through it or even studied it can have educated opinions.”

    This means you can STUDY IT…so try it sometime.

  28. Susan Uyemura Says:

    PS My comment implies no such thing that I have lived through it. That is your ASSumption. Not based on fact.

  29. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Mr. Nolan,
    Call him Dr. Luna, Mr. Luna or even Carl. The fact you refuse to attempt a minor thing such as respect shows me, you are either unable or unwilling to give out what you haven’t received.

  30. Nolan Says:

    Wow, you lefties are really pleasant people ya know that? Of course you implied that. You implied that you’re more qualified to speak on the subject for one of two reasons. Either you lived through it, or have studied it. For the latter to be true, YOU would have had to have ASSUMED that I had not studied the issue. Since I have, extensively, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed your knowledge came from the former qualification.

  31. Nolan Says:

    A Ph.D doesn’t mandate that I respect anyone. However, like I said more than once (and you choose to ignore conveniently), is that I don’t mean anything disrespectful. You’re refusal to understand even the simplest argument or clarification is really growing tiresome.

  32. Susan Uyemura Says:

    “Lefty” namecalling again. Tsk tsk.

  33. Nolan Says:

    Now Susan, you called me an Ass. Don’t be a hypocrite.

  34. Nolan Says:

    And I love how “lefty” is a pejorative to you. Call me a righty and I’ll take it as a compliment.

  35. Nolan Says:

    Ya know what’s ironic in all this? I’ve always loved Japanese people and culture. My first love was a Japanese woman. I’ve wanted to go to Japan ever since I saw the beautiful mountains of Nagano when they had the Olympics there. And you know what, I think internment was WRONG. I just don’t like my country being unfairly depicted as a racist nation.

  36. Carl Luna Says:

    Whoa — heated discussion. But then it is a hot bottom issue. Nolan — I don’t care what you call me. I do wish you facts were more accurate, however, and your empathy meter was a tad higher. Susan, tried to email you directly in response to your emails but they keep getting bounced back to me. Apologies. Something wrong with the address you provided.

    Let the debate continue….

  37. mlaiuppa Says:

    Salem, MA.

    A bunch of Americans are burned for witches. Coincedentally, their property is confiscated by those who coveted it.

    It’s always about the money.

  38. Susan Uyemura Says:

    Dr. Luna,
    My apologies, my server went down. It’s all back up again. Feel free to email me directly.

    I do enjoy a good debate. (I said good)…I only wish more Japanese Americans would get involved and stand up rather than “turn the other cheek.” Those days of “gaman” are over and I refuse to sit and let uneducated people tell me about my family and community history. I’ve conducted enough oral histories to know that 200 people can’t tell their own personal history and come to the same conclusion unless they believed it to be true.

    Maybe 120,000 Japanese Americans got together and this is a conspiracy to get money from the government. Camp really was fun (say sarcastically)…

    Don’t you think it’s interesting that Mr. Prager only responded to one email?

  39. terry Says:

    Yes, Dr. Luna, you did use argument ad hominem which weakened any impact you may have had on those who actually heard that portion of Prager’s program. More importantly, you missed the main point and went off on a tirade against Prager. He was talking about the U.S. being one of the least xenophobic countries in the world, not a terribly difficult argument to make. A caller brought up the Japanese internment as a major exception to the main line of Prager’s contention. Instead of agreeing and perhaps saying it was one of the few exceptions to prove the rule, he tried to justify his feeling that it wasn’t a valid example. I’m sure on reflection he would have thought better, for while Japanese-American detainees were not tortured, starved, and forced into labor as were U.S. soldiers and civilians in the Philippines and as Chinese and Koreans had been in their homelands by the Imperial Japanese Army, it was tough enough for those unjustly incarcerated. So, if Prager erred by overly crediting the Indian woman who told him on his recent trip that she had only felt at ease in two places in her life, one of them being America, you erred by jumping off into your long-winded, unnecessary blog post that indeed the Japanese-Americans had been treated horribly. Let us agree that they rebounded with amazing dedication and grace, many of them forgiving the injustice at least outwardly and getting on with reassembling their lives. It is too easy to make a strong case when you are choosing your argument on an isolated point, rather than refuting the main line of contention. Oh well, I guess that what blogs are for in many cases — off-the-mark argument. Don’t mean to overly defend Prager either. He’s quite to the right, but he’s one of the few I’ve heard let his callers convince him that he’s not always right from time to time. Sort of distinguishes him from most of the breast-beating crowd on either side of the political spectrum. Perhaps that’s why you tune him in on occasion???

  40. Big G Says:

    It’s amazing how off-target the anti-Prager commentary is. I heard the Prager show and his comments on the Japanese internment camps made perfect sense to me. But I knew there would be so many who cannot think rationally because of the brainwash going on at universities. (I know, I spent 12 years studying in them only to end up working in one, but fortunately in the sciences.) So many people are all too eager to point out racism where it doesn’t exist.

    BTW, expecting Prager to join in this discussion is also irrational. I’m amazed he responded at all.

  41. Richard Gorski Says:

    Why don’t you go on his show and debate him you ass

  42. Carl Luna Says:

    Your articulate comment reflects well on the you as an observant commentator. And, if you are representative of Praeger enthusiasts in general, equally well on that audiene demographic. As for your suggestion, I think it is an excellent idea. Why don’t you contact Mr. Praeger directly and suggest it to him. Having him slap down an upstart and obviously ill-informed academic (an academic social scientist from which, I take it, you came up with the clever acronym a.s.s.) such as myself could only be entertaining talk radio at its best.

    (FYI: I have offered to debate this and other points with Mr. Praeger but he is, apparently, most discriminating in his guest choices. He particular likes to interview particularly inarticulate, confused and, often, simply absurd guests representing dissenting viewpoints thereby guaranteeing the triumph of his side. At least on the radio. I do know he is much more open to fair fights in various non-broadcast debates.)

    Carl Luna

  43. Everything San Diego » Blog Archive » Dear Mr. Nolan Says:

    […] posted this as a comment in response to a series of comments I received for Friday’s Blog, “Dennis Prager is an Ass.” But it’s jjust so spiffy a comment I find myself compelled, in my ego, to publish it as a […]

  44. Everything San Diego » Blog Archive » Dennis Prager is an Ass Says:

    […] Here, Tamonia brought us this interesting story:Okay, I usually try to avoid ad hominem attacks on politicians and my fellow pundits (and human beings in general, for that matter). If you remember your Logic 101 class, such argument present as a logical fallacy. But I was listening to the Dennis Prager Show briefly (Radio AM 1170 KCBQ just before noon as I was driving between teaching sites and got to experience one of those “Oh my God, he couldn’t have possibly have been stupid enough to have actually said that?” moments. […]

  45. john wariner Says:

    Please, don’t be too hard on ol’ Dennis. I listen to him, because in Houston that’s all we have on AM. I stomach the dude for about five or six minutes every other week. The reason that I say don’t be too hard on him is that he’s a hoot, the man’s so into himself that if global warming turned eighty percent of the planet into toast, Dennis would be out side making bonfires and smoking cigars. “It’s a liberal hoax!” he’d shout until the skin on his flesh peeled off.

  46. Carl Luna Says:


    I empathize. San Diego AM radio is tediously redundant, as well. I actually fine Mr. Praeger to be the least unreasonable of the conservative voices on the AM scream machine. Which is why it galls me when he goes off the deep end every now and then, which is what I still hold he did on the issue of WWII internments. But I’ll cut him some slack. You have to fill two hours of radio a day, five days a week, it’s inevitable that you’ll say the occassional stupid thing.

  47. Bill Says:

    Quoting the doctor…
    (FYI: I have offered to debate this and other points with Mr. Praeger but he is, apparently, most discriminating in his guest choices. He particular likes to interview particularly inarticulate, confused and, often, simply absurd guests representing dissenting viewpoints thereby guaranteeing the triumph of his side. At least on the radio. I do know he is much more open to fair fights in various non-broadcast debates.)

    Guests such as Noam Chomsky, Christopher Hitchens, Arianna Huffington, just a few examples of his typical on-air offerings. Very unfair characterization on your part, sir.

  48. Bill Says:

    You know, Doctor, I just re-read your statement and find it impossible for you to know anything about Prager’s show. He made his name by searching out the best opposing viewpoints and allowing for an open, intellectually honest debate. Had this column been about, say, Medved, I might have conceded your point.

  49. Dr. Paul C Kuehne Says:

    “Oh, and Dennis—you’re an ass.” That about sums of the intellectual depth of your response, dear professor. This “unprofessional punditry venting” I suspect is not so uncommon to both your classroom and personal discussions. Oh, by the way, great endorsement for an Diego Mesa College. Your ringing professionalism will draw students from afar to this institution. And, oh, please don’t drive while listening to this radio station. I may be dangerous to other drivers around you.

  50. Dr. Paul C Kuehne Says:

    “Oh, and Dennis—you’re an ass.” That about sums of the intellectual depth of your response, dear professor. This “unprofessional punditry venting” I suspect is not so uncommon to both your classroom and personal discussions. Oh, by the way, great endorsement for an Diego Mesa College. Your ringing professionalism will draw students from afar to this institution. And, oh, please don’t drive while listening to this radio station. It may be dangerous to other drivers around you.

  51. Carl Luna Says:

    Hi Doc,

    Thanks for reading the blog — albeit a year or so late. But any reading is good reading. Oh, and a spoiler alert (given your time-deficit attention): Democrats win the 2008 election. The economy plummets between spring 2008 and spring 2009 and the Steelers win Superbowl XLIII. Just trying to help you catch up with the times.

    Oh, and yes, Dennis Praeger was an ass on the issue of WWII Internment. On many other issues he can be spot on. But not this one. Which is OK because I am an ass on average of twice a day. Just ask my wife or daughters. I, however, will often admit it when I am.

  52. Mike Says:

    I know this is an old post but it seems to have an omission in it that is important. Some Italians were placed in custody in the US during WWII. This makes your argument the way you posed it a lot weaker.

    You also may be invoking another logical fallacy by claiming that Dennis is saying “that xenophobia has never reared its ugly head in decisively mass-popular ways in American history.” Did he really say that? Or do you want the reader to believe that he said that in order to make your argument appear to be stronger?

    Wylie, TX

  53. Carl Luna Says:


    See my response in today’s post.


  54. Are You Listening, Mr. Prager? « Political Lunacy Says:

    […] a year, in this case) after the original post and thread were generated.  Such is the case with my post from March, 2009, taking AM talk jock Dennis Prager to task for stating that racism played no role […]

  55. GT Says:

    Dear Mr Luna.

    I read your entire “editorial”

    Since you opened with the word ‘logical’ I kept looking for some logic but had to give up when I merifully reached the last sentence.

    You couldn’t carry Dennis Prager’s dirty socks.

    What do you teach, Ceramic, Driver’s Ed?

    Two quick Questions:

    Several Japanese Americans served in the U.S. Army
    Was that another example of racism?

    Japanese who were interred, received compensation, but African Americans, brought here as slaves, did not. Is that racism.?

    I have a lot to help you with but you’re not that sharp.
    You’re the part of the Ass that most resembles Obama’s logo.

  56. Carl Luna Says:

    Ddear GT,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. You might check out the most recent comments on this thread:

    In that blog a reader who had a personal connection to Japanese Americans who served in the US Army in WWII has an answer to your question concerning whether that was another example of racism: Yes.

    The compensation came after the fact and was given expressly because the internment process was wrong — and racist.

    As far as your witty comments on logos and socks, I am disappointed — as I think Mr. Prager would be–as you do not reflect well on the thoughtfulness of his listeners.

    But keep reading and posting. Feedback is always welcome.


  57. Glen Says:

    I think you missed some of what Dennis said… it wasnt just Japanese but Germans and Italians were also interred in camps, so it isnt against a particular race at all but concern over the loyalties of people from other countries.

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