Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted March 28, 2005

"In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"Supporters of Michael Schiavo's effort to end his wife's life have asked how conservatives, who claim to believe in the sanctity of marriage, can fail to respect his husbandly authority. The most obvious answer is that a man's authority as a husband does not supersede his wife's rights as a human being -- a principle we never thought we'd see liberals question." -- James Taranto

"The question is not whether the suffering and dying person's life should be terminated, the question is what kind of nation will we become if they are? Their physical death is preceded only by our moral death!" -- William Federer

"It is too...easy to be cavalier and heroic about 'dying with dignity' when somebody else is doing the dying." -- Lawrence Henry

"Sadly, the highway bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week was a pork-stuffed budget-buster. ... In 1987, Ronald Reagan vetoed a highway bill he called a 'textbook example of pork barrel politics.' That bill contained 152 earmarks. The 1998 highway bill, the first one after Republicans took control of Congress, had 1,850 -- more than 12 times as many. This year's bill, after 10 years of Republican control, has more than 4,000." -- Rep. John Shadegg

"Given that the two centuries of socialists' experiments, whether by utopians, Marxists, or Fabians, always ended in economic failure and a loss of personal liberty, why are people around the globe still proudly proclaiming themselves socialists?" -- Richard Rahn

"It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so -- because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States." -- John Bolton

"In journalism, diversity is a club the left uses to increase the hiring of lefties. Feminists say they want more female columnists when what they really want are only more liberal female columnists. Or, in their lingo, they want 'authentic' women. So when the left pushes for more diversity in a profession that is overwhelmingly liberal already, it really is pushing for less diversity of ideas." -- Debra Saunders

"The Los Angeles Times' editorial...on the Terri Schiavo case is so hysterical and over the top that we have to wonder. The law saving her from imminent starvation, the paper opines, 'amounts to a constitutional coup d'ètat.' We guess that means the Florida judiciary is the legitimate government of the United States. The Times doesn't go so far as to mention Hitler, but it does say that 'some social conservatives are happy to see the federal government acquire Stalinist proportions when imposing their morality on the rest of the country.' So saving one woman from starvation is the equivalent of starving millions to death." -- James Taranto

"Even if Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton weren't two of the more far-sighted thinkers in the Bush administration, appointing them respectively to the World Bank and the UN would be worth it just for the pleasure of watching the Europeans, the Democrats and the media go bananas over it." -- Mark Steyn

"The U.S. Senate passed a bankruptcy law that makes it tougher to escape credit card bills. It's high time. If people want to spend money they don't have and run up debts they can't repay they will have to run for Congress like everybody else." -- Argus Hamilton

"For the life of me I don't know why scalping tickets should be illegal. It seems to me that buying low and selling high is in the best American tradition; it's what capitalism is all about. ... As far as I'm concerned the only scalping that ought to be illegal is what the Indians used to do. That, when you stop to think about it, is a real hair-raising experience." -- Lyn Nofziger

"In a study of public safety officers -- not even the general population -- female officers were found to have 32 percent to 56 percent less upper body strength and 18 percent to 45 percent less lower body strength than male officers -- although their outfits were 43 percent more coordinated. ... Another study I've devised involves asking a woman to open a jar of pickles." -- Ann Coulter

"[C]affeine can have serious side effects if we ingest too much. This fact was first noticed in ancient Egypt when a group of workers, who were supposed to be making a birdbath, began drinking Egyptian coffee, which is very strong, and wound up constructing the pyramids." -- Dave Barry

"Well folks, on the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, gas prices in California have hit three dollars a gallon in some places. Three dollars a gallon! Didn't we win that war? I mean, I know there's no weapons of mass destruction, but apparently there's no gas there either." -- Jay Leno

web posted March 21, 2005

"When your insurance company has to buy its way out of a frivolous lawsuit, guess whose premiums go up. When developers trying to build homes or apartment buildings get sued at every turn by environmental extremists, guess what that does to rents and mortgage payments." -- Thomas Sowell

"The Iranians and the Syrians have worked like Siamese twins in a desperate effort to drive us out of Iraq, and the terror war will continue until somebody wins, and somebody loses. Either we defeat them, and drive them from power, or they will defeat us, and drive us out of Iraq, with all the terrible global consequences that would follow." -- Michael Ledeen

"The appointment of John Bolton is of a piece with the shake-up strategy. The message he takes to New York is a simple one: George W. Bush is here, he's demanding change, and he's not going away. So get over it." -- Wesley Pruden

"Let's be frank: These international bureaucracies don't work. The UN already is dealing with a sex scandal in the Congo, genocide in Sudan and the Oil-for-Food fiasco in Iraq. Why would we want to create more unaccountable international bureaucracies [with the Law of the Sea Treaty] and put them in charge of our oceans?" -- Ed Fuelner

"There was a time when 'fear of God' meant piety, or at least conscience. Today, it more accurately describes the worldview of secular liberals who get itchy and twitchy at any reminder of our religious roots as a nation." -- Mona Charen

"Currently the big fight is Social Security reform. The official Congressional Democratic [sic] leadership position is that there is no problem that a modest soak-the-rich tax increase couldn't fix. Well, as the current unfunded liability of Social Security is $3.7 trillion, we know with precision the minimum level of tax increase needed to fill that void -- $3.7 trillion. That would be the largest tax increase since ... well, since tax increases were invented by the pharaohs at the dawn of civilization. And we wouldn't even have a bunch of pointy buildings to show for it." -- Tony Blankley

"I can understand why the transnational jet set -- the EU, the UN, the NGO neo-imperialists, the foreign correspondents for CNN, the BBC and so forth -- have a preference for strong, centralized states. The State Department was still in favor of keeping the Soviet Union together even after the Soviets had given up on it. It's a pain in the neck to have to update your Rolodex every half-century or so." -- Mark Steyn

"Liberals have been completely intellectually vanquished. Actually, they lost the war of ideas long ago. It's just that now their defeat is so obvious, even they've noticed. As new DNC Chairman Howard Dean might say, it's all over but the screaming." -- Ann Coulter

"The thought of [John Bolton] representing us at the United Nations is driving the Bush-bashing, French-kissing, Blame-America-First crowd...into a frenzy. ... If [he] just tell[s] the truth, Teddy Kennedy's head may finally explode." -- Oliver North

"Some of our editorialists need a tablet or two of extra-strength Midol and other palliatives for cramps, bloating, headaches, tension, irritability and backache. They're having hot flashes now that President Bush is sending to New York a man who regards his job as first to look out for American interests. The New York Times, still in recovery from a full swoon, can't imagine a real American standing up straight, looking the nation's enemies in the eye and telling them to stuff it." -- Wesley Pruden

"Dan Rather may claim to be an unbiased reporter but he can't ignore the fact that from beginning to end he and the Democrats have at least one thing in common -- rats. As in RATher and DemocRAT. Hardly a coincidence, wouldn't you say?" -- Lyn Nofziger

"You know, our mayor's race [in L.A.] is kinda like the elections in Iraq. It's a lot of foreign-speaking people, in the desert, voting for people they've never heard of." -- Jay Leno

"The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues. Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected -- and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

web posted March 14, 2005

"While people in various countries in the Middle East are beginning to stir as they see democracy start to take root in Iraq, our own political system is moving steadily in the opposite direction, toward rule by unelected judicial ayatollahs, acting like the ayatollahs in Iran." -- Thomas Sowell

"Doesn't anyone wonder why the NAACP does not have events celebrating the first black woman secretary of state? Why does an organization whose mission is to advance the lot of blacks not celebrate Clarence Thomas, our black Supreme Court justice?" -- Star Parker

"My name is Walter Moore and I'm running for mayor, and you know what? I don't speak Spanish and I don't intend to learn." -- Los Angeles GOP mayoral candidate Walter Moore

"[T]he [Supreme] court's evidence for a consensus against the death penalty for those who murdered before their 18th birthday is pitifully thin. In recent years, it notes, executions of juvenile murderers have been few and far between, and five states that used to allow it no longer do. That's a 'national consensus'?" -- Jeff Jacoby

"Freedom has a momentum of its own." -- Paul Greenberg

"With hindsight, the fellow travelers were let off far too easily when the Iron Curtain fell like a discarded burka. Little more than a decade later, they barely hesitated a moment before jumping in on the wrong side of history yet again -- and this time without the excuse that the ideological virtues of Communism had merely gone awry in practice." -- Mark Steyn

"In reality, of course, the 'international opinion' standard is appealing to some justices precisely because it gives them unfettered discretion to pick and choose the 'opinions' that should influence American law. At the end of the day, the opinions the justices are really deferring to are their own. The new standard of 'international opinion' is just one more vehicle that allows Supreme Court justices to make up the law as they go along." -- John Hinderaker

"It surprised quite a few people at CBS and elsewhere that, without being able to pull up the ratings beyond third in a three-man field, that they tolerated [Dan Rather's] being there for so long. ...Dan gave the impression of playing a role, more than simply trying to deliver the news to the audience." --Walter Cronkite

"When you have a tax, where you pay the same tax whether you're wealthy or you're poor, that's not fair." -- Charlie Rangel

"And the really bad news? Social Security is not the tough problem. It's the easy one. The tough one is Medicare. ... Given the scale of the challenge, it might be understandable for our leaders to crawl under their desks and curl up in a fetal position, moaning and weeping and hoping the problem will go away." -- Steve Chapman

"By the way, when's the next Not In Our Name rally? How about this Saturday? Millions of Nionists can flood into Trafalgar Square to proclaim to folks in Iraq and Lebanon and Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority that all the changes under way in the region are most certainly Not In Their Name." -- Mark Steyn

"As long as greed, stupidity and cowardice remain a part of the human condition, there will be a constituency for Democrats." -- Jack Kelly

"Jackie Robinson was honored in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. What a ceremony. It doubled the number of statues in the rotunda because when it was mentioned that he was a lifelong Republican and Richard Nixon supporter, the Democrats turned to stone." -- Argus Hamilton

"[T]he [Supreme] Court lives by a commandment of its own: 'Thou shalt make no sense.' Long ago it rejected any clean standard for interpreting the establishment clause, opting for a confusing morass instead." -- Rich Lowry

"A wise man named Lawrence Summers of Harvard and a foolish man named Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado are in danger of losing their jobs for excessive flapping of the lips without prior cerebration. When we say that God's greatest gift to Man is the faculty of speech, we don't necessarily mean the speech of faculty." -- Jay Homnick

"Eighty-seven-year-old West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd is in trouble after he compared Senate Republicans to the Nazis. He would have compared them to the Ku Klux Klan but he used to be a member." -- Jay Leno

"You can be sure our soldiers in Iraq are not all brave heroes gladly risking their lives for us sitting comfortably back here at home." -- CBS's Andy Rooney, from his commentary "Our Soldiers in Iraq Aren't Heroes."

web posted March 7, 2005

"For years, the first president of the United States has been almost lost in the murky combo we've dubbed Presidents' Day, which seems to celebrate no president in particular. It was a very '90s thing -- to celebrate everything and therefore nothing. Widening the lens of history, we lost definition and hailed the result as ... Diversity! Washington, Lincoln, Millard Fillmore, Bill Clinton, why discriminate?" -- Paul Greenberg

"Both parties have called for changes to ensure a more accurate vote count. Republican efforts have centered on reducing voter fraud, while Democrats have called for making access to the ballot box easier and simpler." -- Devlin Barrett

"Until the shape of the new Europe begins to emerge, there's no point picking fights with the terminally ill. The old Europe is dying, and Mr. Bush did the diplomatic equivalent of the Oscar night lifetime-achievement tribute at which the current stars salute a once glamorous old-timer whose fading aura is no threat to them. The 21st century is being built elsewhere." -- Mark Steyn

"There's never been a war that was predictable as to length, casualty or cost in the history of mankind." -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in answer to a reporter questioning the length of the war in Iraq

"Back in the days of the divine rights of kings, it might be understandable why a given monarch might think that what he wanted was all that mattered. But, in an age of democracy, how can millions of people live together if each one asserts a divine right to impose his or her will on others?" -- Thomas Sowell

"These [nominated] judges deserve better treatment in the United States Senate. A minority of senators apparently don't want judges who strictly interpret and apply the law. Evidently, they want activist judges who will rewrite the law from the bench. I disagree. Legislation should come from the legislative branch, not from the judiciary." -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

"The Supreme Court's judicial activists are cutting off the branch on which they sit. By rejecting the law and putting their personal opinions in its place, the justices invite the people to imitate them and disregard their decrees with the same willfulness they disregard the Constitution. If Anthony Kennedy isn't bound by the framers' words, why are the people bound by his?" -- George Neumayr

"Patriotism is the alpha and omega of national strength, even if occasionally misappropriated as the last refuge of a scoundrel. Undivided devotion to the United States and embrace of its hallowed ideals and heroes are what make the nation flourish." -- Bruce Fein

"The professors have ideas; the rest of us have emanations of our psychological needs and neuroses. ... There is no comparable academic industry devoted to studying the psychological underpinnings of liberalism. Liberals, you see, embrace liberalism for an obvious and uncomplicated reason -- liberalism is self-evidently true. But conservatives embrace conservatism for reasons that must be excavated from their inner turmoils, many of them pitiable or disreputable." -- George Will

"Hey, you know, a lot of people like to bash Bush. I'm not going to bash Bush here tonight. I saw 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' I think Bush is a genius. I think Bush did some things this year nobody in this room could do. Nobody in this room could pull off. Bush basically re-applied for his job this year. Now can you imagine applying for a job? And while you're applying for that job, a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you sucked at that job? It would be hard to get hired, wouldn't it?" -- Chris Rock

"People are already talking about the next presidential election. There's stories all over about who might run. At a recent speech, a prominent Democrat said that Hillary Clinton should not run because she can't win. Immediately after the speech, Hillary told her husband to shut up." -- Conan O'Brien

"In his classic 1964 essay, 'The Paranoid Style in American Politics,' historian Richard Hofstadter described [the paranoid] mentality. ... Hofstadter wrote at a time of liberal ascendancy, and "angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers,' and noted, 'the paranoid style is an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life.' These days it is recurring on the left -- a point that first became clear seven years ago last month, when, as CNN reported then, First Lady Hillary Clinton 'blamed the sex allegations on a "a vast right-wing conspiracy".' Its ironic that today Mrs. Clinton seems quite sane compared with many in her party." -- James Taranto

"The differences between America and Europe in the 21st century are nothing to do with insensitive swaggering Texas cowboys. Indeed, they're nothing to do with Iraq, Iran, Kyoto, the International Criminal Court, or any other particular issue. They're not tactical differences, they're conceptual." -- Mark Steyn

"People talk about potential [Social Security] benefit cuts as if they would be war crimes. The unspeakable truth is that benefit cuts are ultimately inevitable, because the baby boom's retirement costs will force them. Social Security and Medicare, according to various government projections, would require at least a 30% tax increase by 2030. The wiser policy is not to wait; it is to pare benefits now." -- Robert Samuelson

"A gullible public learning only what is filtered to them by a biased media is not a hopeful sign for the future of a democracy. Some of the public have begun to wake up but more need to do so. Many in the media also need to wake up to what they are doing, or failing to do, when their politics taints their work." -- Thomas Sowell

"America suffers from a dangerous separation of its mind and soul. Its elite intellectual institutions are too often hostile to the country's culture and Founding values." -- David Frum

"Mr. Bush should cross the Rubicon and fight to end judicial filibusters with every weapon in his political arsenal." -- Bruce Fein

"Like the words 'diverse' and 'tolerance,' 'free speech' means nothing but: 'Shut up, we win.' It's free speech (for liberals), diversity (of liberals) and tolerance (toward liberals)." -- Ann Coulter

"If I were Harvard President Lawrence Summers -- given Womanhood's reaction to his suggestion that innate gender differences might account for men's higher achievement in math and science -- I'd be sorely tempted at this point to say: 'I rest my case'." -- Kathleen Parker

"A few researchers now suggest that everyone, even the elderly white-haired Lutheran grannies of rural Minnesota famously harassed by airport security officers as suspected Islamist terrorists, be tested for HIV infection. This would be a criminal waste of resources that could be usefully applied to finding better treatment for the disease. Perhaps we could combine AIDS testing with airport security." -- Wesley Pruden

"Because of the taping scandal I suspect that in the future there is going to be one fewer Wead among the Bushes." -- Lyn Nofziger

"To call it Islamic terror is discriminating, it's bigoted, it is not the right thing to say. ... We just take for granted that there is an Islamic terror movement because we do have some fanatic people who come from Islamic countries. ... When we had the Ku Klux Klan we didn't call them Baptist terrorists. When Hitler was killing Jews, we didn't call it Christian terrorists." -- Rep. Charlie Rangel when asked why France refuses to designate Hezbollah as an Islamic terror group



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