Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted February 23, 2004

"In our attempt to blame poverty on prejudice, we have taught the poor to be prejudiced against the basic values necessary to sustain a free and civil society.... We've taught them there are no real absolutes to the human condition -- except perhaps that the highest value in life is to acquire things." -- Star Parker

"Our out-of-control budget also erodes personal freedom. When government grows, as Thomas Jefferson once famously put it, 'liberty yields.' Dollar by trillion dollar we are voluntarily giving up our liberties for a government that promises us, in return, a blanket of protection from cradle to coffin. Republicans are steering us in the direction of the 'workers' paradise' of a European socialist welfare state. The reply from the Democrats is faster, faster." -- Stephen Moore

"Generally speaking, it is the libertine Left that is pushing for a radical remaking of the status quo. It is the libertine Left that is driving activist judges into ordering legislatures around like servants. It is the libertine Left that pumps money into liberal candidates and demands orthodoxy from Democratic politicians. It is the libertine Left that is driving Democratic candidates and the media into declaring that somehow, civil unions are now 'in the middle,' instead of 97 percent of the way toward 'gay marriage.' It wouldn't be fair or accurate to pin the divisiveness charge on the Right and only the Right." -- Tim Graham

"To rejoin -- in spirit -- Washington's army, America needs to rediscover the Founders' commitment to liberty, justice, and individual rights." -- John Ridpath

"A realist disregards intentions and looks at capabilities. Intentions amount to intangible thought and therefore can change on a dime. Capabilities, however, involve hard, measurable objects like missiles, bombers, submarines and ships. It takes a great deal of time to change capabilities." -- Charley Reese

"Part of the appeal of al-Qa'ida -- what it uses to recruit people and funds -- is its mystique. Superhuman feats, brilliant execution, masterful planning. That aura feeds its ideology of historical inevitability, that ultimately it will prevail over Western decadence, because the seemingly high-tech West lacks the diabolical and methodical will that Islamism brings to the war." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Terrorist organizations haven't sprung up from Eritrea or Burkina Faso. Terrorists aren't the impoverished. They are generally more affluent and better-educated than the truly deprived." -- Jed Babbin

"I think we are best off facing the harder question squarely. To be generous in spirit and worthy as a culture, do we really need to abandon our commitment to traditional marriage? That's where gay marriage -- and civil unions too -- will inexorably take us." -- Peter Wood

"Kerry's 1997 book on foreign policy, which he touts as prophetic on the war on terrorism, predicted that various Mafias -- not al-Qa'ida, not Islamic fundamentalism -- posed the biggest threat to national security. It also underscored Kerry's view that the war on terrorism is nothing more than a law enforcement problem." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Science, for all the good it actually accomplishes, is seldom neutral on the moral scale because it's at the mercy of man, and can be used for good or ill, altruistically or villainously." -- Suzanne Fields

"Conversation without point or purpose -- often the journalistic norm -- is chitchat and blather." -- Bill Murchison

"Unlike other nations, American identity is not based on ethnicity or geography. It's based on a moral proposition. This proposition comes straight from the faded and yellowed document: The Declaration Of Independence." -- Chuck Colson

"Reviewing the bidding, then, Kerry's position is that he voted against a war he was really for and voted for a war he was really against. But the war he was really for he never said he was for at the time. Except when he was writing to voters to say that he was. And that he wasn't. Confused? Don't feel bad. Trying to keep up with Kerry's shifting stands can be baffling even to those of us who have followed his career for decades. You'll be hearing a lot more about them before this campaign is over." -- Jeff Jacoby

"Like I said last week, now that John Kerry seems to have the Democratic presidential nomination wrapped up, the pols and pundits are beginning to focus on who should be his running mate. Jane Fonda has been ruled out." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Washington honors the Platinum Rule above all: 'Do it unto others before they do it unto you'." -- Wesley Pruden

"I suppose some might now try to suggest that...only [Bush's] teeth [were there], this doesn't show that he was there." -- White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, commenting on a record of a 1973 dental exam given to Bush at Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Alabama

"I'm plucky, but I'm not stupid." -- U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

"John Edwards said earlier today, after the Wisconsin primary tonight, 'We will have achieved our goal of a two man race.' The bad news -- the two men are John Kerry and George W. Bush. .... You see who is campaigning with John Kerry? Ted Kennedy. Imagine those two giant heads coming down the street together. They must look like the Macy's Day Parade." -- Jay Leno

"Never mind that George W. promised to reduce federal spending: The fact of the matter is that he has not done so. What he has reduced is the use of the veto, reduced it to zero." -- William F. Buckley

"We as Republicans have exploded the number of earmarks [pork-barrel spending]. We seem to have no shame." -- Rep. Jeff Flake

"Virtually everything that the government does costs more than when the same thing is done in private industry -- whether it is building housing, running prisons, collecting garbage, or innumerable other things. Why in the world would we imagine that health care would be the exception?" -- Thomas Sowell

web posted February 16, 2004

"You may have heard me say we have a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. It's because I believe so strongly that freedom is etched in everybody's heart. I believe that, and I believe this country must continue to lead." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"Wars are fought only by people and leaders who believe that what they have is worth fighting for, and if need be dying for." -- Craig McMillan

"Divided though we Americans are, surely we can agree on this proposition: The United States needs a national security policy that addresses the specter of global terrorism." -- Clifford D. May

"Saddam Hussein is gone. It is a good thing for Iraq and the world. An assessment of our intelligence capabilities should continue, but that investigation should not be politicized. It is too important for that." -- Cal Thomas

"Only removal of Saddam's regime could change the strategic environment. Mr. Bush's action accomplished that goal. American troops were not attacked by WMDs as they advanced on Baghdad, thus proving the wisdom of preemption." -- Willam R. Hawkins

"Whether we like it or not, the precedent that the United States might act decisively against regimes that were both suspected of pursuing WMD acquisition and doing nothing to allay those fears, has had a powerful prophylactic effect in the neighborhood." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"No one can deny that America's freedoms have been systematically eroded by government, in recent years. Since the first purpose of government is to protect America's freedom, it is a perfectly legitimate function of government to analyze, and to correct the laws and regulations that are eroding those freedoms." -- Henry Lamb

"I know in my heart and my brain that America ain't what's wrong in the world." -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

"If I'm so big on ordinary people, how am I going to resist all the people who are tugging at my sleeve or doing it electronically, saying, 'Don't quit'?" -- Howard Dean, vowing to muster on

"Pakistan has become the world's nuclear Wal-Mart. The father of the Pakistani bomb, jetsetter scientist A.Q. Khan, turns out to be the godfather of global nuclear proliferation." -- Peter Brookes

"The president should not be the national school superintendent, the pharmacist in chief, the curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or the inspector-general of Janet Jackson's breasts. And, if neither politicians nor the electorate understands that at a time of war, then republican government is doomed." -- Mark Steyn

"...[E]specially throughout much of the South and the West, Massachusetts Democrats are held in only marginally higher regard than members of the Jackson family." -- Chris Weinkopf

"We know how to beat standard-issue national Democrats. We do it regularly. When you stand up and say here's a Massachusetts liberal whose voting record is nearly identical to Ted Kennedy's, you just lost 45 percent of the electorate -- and that's the starting point." -- Grover Norquist

"Democrats have minds that do it through talking points, and Republicans have minds that do speeches. (Mr. Bush has given a dozen memorable speeches already; only one of his Democratic challengers has, and that was 'I Have a Scream.')" -- Peggy Noonan on the Bush/Russert interview on "Meet the Press"

"Democrats say they are looking for someone to balance a John Kerry ticket. I guess they need someone who's short, bald, and married to a poor woman." -- Jay Leno

They don't know John Kerry's record.... He is the Olympic gold medalist when it comes to special-interest money." -- Senator Zell Miller, the Georgia Democrat who's campaigning for George W. Bush's second term

web posted February 9, 2004

"Democratic governments are not immune from the forces of history that overthrew Soviet tyranny. All governments overreach and no government is permanent. So let us fear government but not exaggerate its powers. It can cause enormous damage and it must always be fought. But in this struggle, we are on the right side of history. The power of human choice, aided by the logic of economics and the laws that operate without any bureaucrat's permission, are our source of hope for the future." -- Lew Rockwell

"A democracy run by two barely distinguishable parties is not in fact a democracy. ...[T]he two-party system prevents expression of any ideas the two parties agree to suppress. How much open discussion do you hear during presidential elections of, for example, race, immigration, abortion, gun control, and the continuing abolition of Christianity? These are the issues most important to most people, yet are quashed. The elections do however allow the public a sense of participation while having the political importance of the Superbowl." -- Fred Reed

"[M]any who call themselves conservatives see government increasingly as the solution to every social ill and -- let us be clear on this point -- this is a historic departure from the limited-government traditions of our party and millions of its most ardent supporters.... Conservatives know that if you reject these principles of limited government and urge others to reject them you can be my ally, you can be my friend, but you cannot call yourself a conservative." -- Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)

"The First Amendment says nothing about a right not to be offended. The risk of finding someone else's speech offensive is the price each of us pays for our own free speech. Free people don't run to court -- or to the principal -- when they encounter a message they don't like. They answer it with one of their own." -- Jeff Jacoby

"For the record, the other candidates with strong hair are John Kerry and John Edwards. They both have what I would describe as Ken hair, as in Barbie and Ken, although Kerry is more Lumberjack Ken, while Edwards is more Star Trek Ken. The other contenders all have average hair, except Dennis Kucinich, who appears to be using some kind of tofu-based mousse." -- Dave Barry

"Saddam was a very bad man, running a very dangerous regime in the heart of Terrorist Central in the Middle East. Getting rid of him and his murderous accomplices was absolutely the right thing to do -- even if no weapons of mass destruction ever turn up." -- Donald Lambro

"The U.S. could have either retreated and allowed Saddam free rein -- or gone to war and removed him. Those were the only two ways to go. Under the circumstances, and given what every intelligence agency on the planet agreed was going on in Iraq, the president made the right choice, indeed the only choice." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Mistakes will be made in the intelligence business. It's both art and science. But accountability is critical to maintaining the integrity, credibility -- and morale -- of the intelligence community." -- Peter Brookes

"We can ignore politics, but it won't ignore us." -- Steven Greenhut

"The big story is Republicans have become a big-spending party. And I think the White House is really the ringleader of the spending spree. ...The State of Bush's Union has become in some ways a State of Dependency and a State of Entitlement." -- Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth

"So long as elections -- whether primary or general elections -- are just contests in rhetoric and personalities, the reality of what has actually happened under various plausible-sounding schemes gets lost in the shuffle. And so long as media pundits treat politics as just a contest among politicians, there is no need for them to let the voters know the facts." --Thomas Sowell

"It looks like he had Botox injections, too." -- Howard Dean, on glimpsing country singer Willie Nelson's apparently cosmetically enhanced visage on a giant TV screen

"Saddam Hussein was a weapon of mass destruction." -- Sen. Joe Lieberman

"There is much to say about WMD and David Kay.... But I will try out on you only a little medical metaphor: If you operate to excise a tumor and it turns out to be benign, are you wrong to have operated? Should you have left it alone, hoping for the best? Okay, the doctor is out (you'll be glad to know)." -- Jay Nordlinger

"John Kerry is riding high, but on Howard Dean's horse, and it's a skittish critter. The governor is still rubbing his raw rear end. ...Howard Dean won the Pundit Primary, and John Kerry is winning the Pundit Runoff." -- Wesley Pruden

"Is there anything about [John Kerry] the war-hero/VC symp, 'Irish'-Jewish-Brahmin, left-wing moderate, pro-abortion Catholic, patrician-tribune-of-the-people that's real?" -- Don Feder

"Late today a white powder was found in the office of Al Sharpton. Turns out it was just powdered sugar from some of his donuts." -- Jay Leno

"Congressmen in committee hearings [last] Wednesday blasted the FCC over the sex and violence on television. Polls show Democrats object more to violence while Republicans object more to sex. This may explain why there are more Democrats than Republicans." -- Argus Hamilton

"If we had discovered that Hitler had been killing people other than Jews and that a million, not 6 million, had died, and that instead of Zyklon B gas he used other agents, would the United States have been less justified in removing him and his horrid regime from power? Saddam Hussein is gone. It is a good thing for Iraq and the world. An assessment of our intelligence capabilities should continue, but that investigation should not be politicized. It is too important for that." -- Cal Thomas

web posted February 2, 2004

"Little in Hollywood these days provokes any thought. The utter lack of morals and standards of many of the people in Hollywood is directly reflected in their work. Life also imitates art as players in Hollywood are frequently violent, addicted, or adulterous and never once held to the same standards as the rest of society. And to some, the opportunity to use film making as a political propaganda tool is too much to resist." -- Sterling Rome

"Those who want to take our money and gain power over us have discovered the magic formula: Get us envious or angry at others and we will surrender, in installments, not only our money but our freedom. The most successful dictators of the 20th century -- Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao -- all used this formula and now class warfare politicians here are doing the same." -- Thomas Sowell

"But today's darkness eludes touch. It goes to and fro in the land, and walks freely up and down in it, recognizing no racial or political boundaries. It tempts all. It's a kind of equal-opportunity bigotry. It ensnarls the courts in endless disputations that defeat good will. It substitutes educanto for learning, and quotas for simple justice, once again putting group entitlements before individual rights. It labels any black spokesmen who don't adhere to the party line -- Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, luminaries all -- traitors to their race. A new intolerance divides us by Race and Gender and Ethnicity and Language, and into Minority and Majority, and generally makes many out of one, reversing that most American of mottos, E Pluribus Unum. Indeed, Al Gore, in one of his dimmer moments, once actually defined that phrase as 'out of one, many.' Which is good enough for government work in these multicultural times." -- Paul Greenberg

"Iowa has such a lousy record of picking winners that this year's caucuses might not be all that consequential. In 1992, Bill Clinton got about three percent of the vote and came in fourth -- after Tom Harkin and 'uncommitted.' Dukakis was third in 1988. The winner of the money primary, i.e. the most money at the start of the election year, is far likelier to win a nomination than Iowa's choice." -- Kate O'Beirne

"Policy makers still think that if we just hand out more money the world's problems will be solved. Many nations are like rebellious teenagers who try to figure out just how many times they can kick us in the teeth while still taking our money. I firmly believe if they were told that the jig is up, they would suddenly fall in line just the way teenagers do when it finally occurs to them that they might be out in the cold if they don't shape up." -- Paul M. Weyrich

"'Munching a porcupine, quill by quill' is how Winston Churchill once described the hellish combat in World War II's China-Burma-India theater. The quip is apropos of the War on Terror as well. And Syria seems to be our newest quill. ... Ignoring complaints and warnings from most of the rest of the world, Syria continues to sponsor terrorism, pursue weapons of mass destruction and allow foreign fighters and terrorists to seep into Iraq. This behavior must meet serious consequences, and soon." -- Peter Brooks

"There's still going to be an unresolvable ambiguity about what happened. [Some of the looting] was designed by [Saddam's] security services to cover the [WMD] tracks." -- Dr. David Kay on "unresolvable ambiguities"

"My only role in politics today is sort of the Westchester County constituent worker for the junior senator of New York." -- Bill Clinton

"Our choice is not between a unipolar world and a multipolar world. Our choice is for a just, free, and democratic world." -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

"Conservatives in general are a trusting lot, so accustomed to losing that they are grateful for even symbolic gestures." -- Joseph Sobran

"There are troubling signs that the ship of conservative governance is off-course. One more compromise of who we are as limited-government conservatives and our majority could be gone as well. It is time for conservatives to right the ship." -- Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence

"The great paradox of the civil rights revolution is that instead of enforcing and expanding equality before the law, the revolution created differential rights based on race, gender and, any day now, sexual orientation. The great liberal revolution, centuries in the making, that brought forth equality in law has been overthrown. In its place we see rising a new feudal legal order of status-based rights." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"But overpromising is a bipartisan affliction, illustrated by the cliché that no child, regardless how lazy and ill-behaved, will ever be 'left behind.' " -- Alan Reynolds

"Bill Clinton felt our pain so deeply there was no price he was not willing to have taxpayers bear to make us feel better. ... Mr. Bush too, has this unattractive tendency to believe there is a government agency to fix every leaky pipe in the nation. Mr. Bush may not have announced a national campaign to eradicate athlete's foot [in the SOTU], but it wouldn't have been much of a stretch if he had." -- Steve Moore

"I don't know that you can ever make Democrats happy on the spending side, but we sure did try." -- Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, on the $820 billion omnibus spending bill

"As for the Bush White House, the message [from the Democrats' voting] is that there will be no easy landslide. Democratic voters aren't eager to follow some of their loopier pundits and financiers into the 'liar, liar' fever swamps. They want to win. They're looking for a serious candidate who'd make a credible president. Mr. Bush and his fellow Republicans have a fight on their hands." -- The Wall Street Journal

"The Founders believed the recess appointment power was necessary because they envisaged large gaps between congressional sessions and presidents needing the power to make appointments for federal posts. Oh, would those days of infrequent congressional sessions return." -- Cal Thomas

"You have to go back to James Garfield in 1881 to find a president [before George W. Bush] who did not veto a single bill. And Garfield had an excuse -- he was shot after he had served only four months in office and died soon after." -- John Fund

"So the question for my fellow New Hampshirites is to figure out what the conventional wisdom is and then vote against it. Dean's dead? Hey, let's vote him back to life! Kerry's surging? Let's send the creepy maître d' back to whatever snot-nosed Boston restaurant he crawled out of. This is going to be a tough call." -- Mark Steyn

"Yes, of course liberalism is a mental defect. Liberals are wracked by self-loathing as the result of some traumatic incident -- say, driving drunk off a bridge with your mistress passed out in the back seat and letting the poor girl drown because you're a married man and a U.S. senator, just to take one utterly random, hypothetical example off the top of my head." -- Ann Coulter

"And campaigning in New Hampshire General Wesley Clark called the Republican Party a heartless organization. He then went on to say that's why he quit it four months ago." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush needled reporters at an appearance at the Nothin' Fancy Cafe in New Mexico Thursday and then the president bought ribs for everybody. This is a time-honored tradition. Politicians always hand out pork during election years." -- Argus Hamilton



Site Map

Email ESR

Conservative Site of the Day


2004, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.

You've seen the banner, now order the gear!
Visit ESR's anti-gun control gear web site for T-shirts, mugs and mousepads!