Jewish Journal

Letters to the editor: UCLA’s agenda, Eshman’s pomegranate tree and the wealthy Americans

Posted on Jan. 22, 2014 at 10:24 am

The Liberal Agenda 

Dennis Prager contends that American university curricula promote a liberal agenda (“UCLA’s Further Deterioration,” Jan. 10). In fact, the opposite is true. The traditional university education subtly taught generations of students that the only subjects worthy of academic study were those that focused on Western white societies from the perspective of white Western males. Contemporary university curricula correct for this bias. I agree that a student majoring in English should be exposed to the foundational literature of the language. However, I also firmly believe that including the study of non-white, non-Western and non-male perspectives in literature enhances the students’ education, enabling them to understand their own humanity and that of others through exposure to a wide range of life experiences. I am encouraged that our future leaders are receiving such an education.

Lorie Homer Kraus, Los Angeles

Thanks to Dennis Prager for his fine article on UCLA’s further deterioration. I will definitely not be sending my kids to that institution. Just where, then, is it safe to send kids without them being subject to leftist, America/Israel-hating propaganda in most of today’s academia?

Richard Levine via e-mail

For many years I have ignored Dennis Prager’s stabs at journalism as being useless and lacking in credibility.

His recent attack on the UCLA English department caught my attention. His entire basis of attack was based on a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that he labels “as reported.” Dennis has long since lost the distinction between fact and opinion. 

But he did manage to get one thing correct: The University of California has lost more than a billion dollars in state funding. I hope Dennis will join the bipartisan effort to reinvest in higher education in this state.

But I think I’ll ignore his columns for another 20 years.

Howard Welinsky, Toluca Lake

Dennis Prager responds:

Lorie Homer Kraus’ letter verifies the point of my article. Shakespeare is taught, not because the American university believes in literary greatness — for the most part, it doesn’t — but because he is a “white Western male.” That is what Ms. Kraus was taught in college. Reread her letter and weep for what the left has done to the arts and to students’ minds.

To Richard Levine: As our universities have substituted indoctrination for education, students at most universities will be, as you write, “subject to leftist, America/Israel-hating propaganda.” What I suggest to parents who recognize this is to have their son or daughter take a year off prior to entering college — to work, to study their religion and to become intellectually prepared for the ideological immersion that awaits them at college. Kids right out of high school are the easiest people to influence.

Mr. Welinsky writes that he will ignore my columns for another 20 years. Apparently he has ignored them for the past 20. In my more than 100 columns for the Jewish Journal, I couldn’t find one about journalism. And as regards losing the distinction between fact and opinion, allow me to help Mr. Welinsky understand it: That the English department — and virtually every other department in the liberal arts — at UCLA and other UC campuses — has been politicized is a fact. Whether that is a good or bad development is opinion.

Protect the Pomegranate

I’m a fan, and I just now read your Jan. 10 “Pom Wonderful” column.

I’ve had issues with mold, as well. Before you do anything, get a second opinion.

I’ve heard horror stories regarding “mold experts,” and not to say that your abatement specialist isn’t wonderful, but if the pomegranate means that much to you, and I can see that it does, better to get a second pair of expert eyes to review it.

Julie Goldberg via e-mail

Keep the Rich From Getting Richer

Mark Mellman’s essay (“Rich Still Getting Richer,” Jan. 17) about economic inequality does a good job of using facts and figures to challenge the Republican economic theory of “trickle-down,” but I believe one set of figures tells the whole story: In the eight years Bill Clinton was president, taxes were raised on the rich, and 23 million jobs were created, while in the eight years George W. Bush was president, taxes were cut on the rich (not once, but twice!) and only 3 million jobs were created. These figures disprove the theory of trickle-down both ways: Raising taxes on the rich does not hurt job growth, and cutting taxes on the rich does not create job growth. And these figures do not come from a Democratic pollster, they come from the Wall Street Journal (“Bush on Jobs: The Worst Track Record on Record,” Jan. 9, 2009,). 

Reality has disproven trickle-down. If Republicans truly care about fixing the problem of economic inequality, they should advocate for policies that work toward that goal, rather than advocating for bogus policies that only line the pockets of the rich. 

Michael Asher, Valley Village



The correct contact information for Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills’ Jan. 10 Shabbat Shira,  the Shabbat of Song event (Calendar, Jan. 3),  is (310) 409-4634, tebh.org

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