As you may recall, a couple of days ago I notified my Marin readers that Michael Medved would be giving a talk at Book Passage to promote his new book, The 10 Big Lies About America: Combating Destructive Distortions About Our Nation. His talk was so good I actually supported my independent book seller by buying the book on site, rather than coming home and buying it at Amazon for a lower price. I thought both Medved and Book Passage deserved the custom, so I cheerfully parted with that extra $12.00.
For those of you who’ve listened to Medved’s shows, what I’m about to tell you won’t surprise you. He’s a clear speaker, a very organized thinker, optimistic, and has a tremendous grasp of historic and statistical information. This last especially impressed me, because, while much of the data he recited was familiar to me, I could never, in a million years, have remembered and recited it with such ease. For me, all those factoids would have been vague remembrances that I would have been afraid to state, since my grasp of details is so hazy. He is, in a word, smart.
Considering that this was a Marin venue, the turnout was impression. I’m not good at estimating crowds, but I’d say about 70 people were there — which is no shabby showing for a conservative talk reading at a small Marin bookstore. The crowd was enthusiastic and respectful. Only one man was somewhat challenging, since he rattled on about statistics regarding infant mortality, mass poverty, and minimal health care in America, as opposed to Europe, but Medved dealt with him factually and politely.
Medved pointed out correctly that America’s statistics are always skewed because we have such a vast influx of immigrants, and they, in the first generation, tend to have higher infant mortality, shorter life spans, and greater poverty. He also pointed out the corollary to those immigrant based statistics: In America the majority of those in the lowest 20% economically will leave poverty behind and move up the economic ladder, shedding their infant mortality rates along with their poverty.
In that, America is distinctly different from Europe, which provides its immigrants with basic services that are better than those here, but that also leaves them trapped and alienated forever in banlieus, slums, ghettos, and other stagnant immigrant communities. (Medved didn’t make that last point about Europe, but I did.)
The ability to rise up, of course, has always been America’s promise. Long time readers will recall my post about the New York Tenement Museum and Iving Berlin, in which I noted that census documents from the Tenement Museum revealed that all of the residents’ descendants, without exception, had moved up the economic ladder. Irving Berlin, of course, was the quintessential (although definitely not the only) American immigrant success story, and a story of the type that simply does not appear in other parts of the world.
As I noted above, since I was impressed with the book, I actually bought it (no waiting for Goodwill or the library this time) so that Medved could sign my copy. Also, because I’m not opposed in the least to a bit of self-promotion, I forced on Medved a slip of paper with my blog information — and he was kind enough to say he’d check it out. Of course, on the way home, I realized that for the past few days, my blogging has been somewhat inconsequential. I’ve been tagging other things of interest in the blogosphere, but haven’t been doing any original writing.
So, Mr. Medved, if you’re checking out this blog, lest you think the last few days represent the entire scope of my work, let me direct you to some of my favorite posts, not only at my own blog, but also at American Thinker and Pajamas Media.
On my blog in the last few weeks:
1. Is Barack Obama evil? (To which I answer “no.”)
Pajamas Media posts:
And a few of my favorite American Thinker articles (with the whole archive list here)
To Mr. Medved, I ask that you read my blog. To my readers, I ask that you read Mr. Medved.