Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Top Twenty Five Talkers

NewsMax lists the twenty five most influential talk-radio personalities in America. There are a couple of surprises on the list. You can read the critieria which were used to rank them at the link and also see the complete list. Here are the top ten:

  1. Rush Limbaugh
  2. Bill O'Reilly
  3. Don Imus
  4. Michael Savage
  5. Sean Hannity
  6. Laura Ingraham
  7. Glenn Beck
  8. Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  9. Neal Boortz
  10. Al Franken

It's interesting that only the last of these is a liberal (unless you count Imus as a liberal). Personally, I find Imus, Savage, and Franken very hard to listen to and O'Reilly almost as hard to watch on his tv show. I haven't heard Laura Ingraham's show, but I like her style when I see her on television. Schlessinger doesn't do politics so its hard to compare her to the others.

In my opinion, Rush and Glen Beck are the two best hosts on this list. Hannity is good on occasion, in the rare moments when he's not talking about himself and his other enterprises, when he's not fishing for praise, and when he gives his guests a chance to say something.


Confirming Jeremiah

The UK Telegraph reports on a fascinating archeological discovery:

The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the British Museum's great Arched Room, which holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.

But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered - Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.

Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim.

Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city.

The small tablet, the size of "a packet of 10 cigarettes" according to Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, is a bill of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.

The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem.

Evidence from non-Biblical sources of people named in the Bible is not unknown, but Nabu-sharrussu-ukin would have been a relatively insignificant figure.

"This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find," Dr Finkel said yesterday. "If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power."

There's more at the link.

No doubt this find is causing a bit of squirming among a few Biblical critics who have spent their careers promoting the idea that the Old Testament record is historically unreliable.

HT: Joe Carter

Unseen Toll of Illegal Immigration

Michael Linton writes at First Things about how illegal immigration, and the businesses that rely upon and promote it, corrupt everyone involved.

His is a personal anecdote about a restaurant at which his daughter worked. It's not a story about illegals committing atrocious crimes but rather how the very circumstances under which these men live and work corrodes their moral lives and the lives of those who work with them. It's a good read.


Modern Ed

Viewpoint readers in college or concerned about the education on offer from many of our institutions of higher ed might want to read Victor Davis Hanson's recent column titled Blissfully Uneducated. He begins with this:

Is "ho"-the rapper slang for the slur "whore"-a bad word? Always, sometimes, or just when an obnoxious white male like Don Imus says it? But not when the equally obnoxious Snoop Dogg serially employs it?

Is the Iraq war, as we are often told, the "greatest mistake" in our nation's history?

Because Israel and the United States have a bomb, is it then O.K. for theocratic Iran to have one too?

Americans increasingly cannot seem to answer questions like these adequately because they are blissfully uneducated. They have not acquired a broad knowledge of language, literature, philosophy, and history.

Sometime in the 1960s-perhaps due to frustration over the Vietnam War, perhaps as a manifestation of the cultural transformations of the age-the university jettisoned the classical approach [to education] and adopted the therapeutic.

Instead, our youth for a generation have been fed a "Studies" curriculum. Fill in the blanks: Women's Studies, Gay Studies, Environmental Studies, Peace Studies, Chicano Studies, Film Studies, and so on. These courses aim to indoctrinate students about perceived pathologies in contemporary American culture-specifically, race, class, gender, and environmental oppression.

Such courses are by design deductive. The student is expected to arrive at the instructor's own preconceived conclusions. The courses are also captives of the present-hostages of the contemporary media and popular culture from which they draw their information and earn their relevance.

The theme of all such therapeutic curricula is relativism. There are no eternal truths, only passing assertions that gain credence through power and authority. Once students understand how gender, race, and class distinctions are used to oppress others, they are then free to ignore absolute "truth," since it is only a reflection of one's own privilege.

Read the whole thing at the link. A lot of people are saying what Hanson is saying - our colleges and universities, or at least too many of them, have abandoned the idea of grounding their students in the knowledge gained by our forebears and have become instead a simulacrum of the communist re-education camps where students are sent to be inculcated with leftist orthodoxies about race, gender, and class.

Perhaps the fate of Antioch College will serve as a salutary object lesson for some of these "schools."