Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted April 25, 2005

"An effective war against terrorists begins at our borders and extends to the places where radicals meet and organize for the next attack. If it comes, will government officials be able to honestly say they had done everything they could to prevent it? They won't if they haven't controlled our borders." -- Cal Thomas

"Politicians are obsessive about the appearance of impropriety, while the actual corruption steams full speed ahead. Making the federal government less powerful would be the best method of reducing actual corruption." -- Paul Jacob

"To tell you the truth, I am not a feminist. I don't want to commit the same mistakes Western women have committed. I like that family should be the major principle for women here." -- Shatha Al-Musawi, one of 87 women in the Iraqi National Assembly

"The American people need to see us protect our borders and enforce our laws. And then, they'll be willing to talk about a guest-worker program." -- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

"[The Demos] are just desperate. They're not offering ideas in the debate, they're not being constructive, their members are taking pot shots at Tom DeLay." -- Karl Rove

"If you're wondering why there's so little grass-roots support to date for the president's [Social Security reform] plan, it's because the focus has been on green-eyeshade issues such as solvency, transition costs, unfunded liabilities and rates of return. Actuaries to the barricades! Seriously, this should be an emotional issue about liberty and opportunity, not solvency dates." -- Ed Crane

"They're terrible people, liberals. They believe -- this can really summarize it all -- these are people who believe you can deliver a baby entirely except for the head, puncture the skull, suck the brains out and pronounce that a constitutional right has just been exercised. That really says it all. You don't want such people to like you!" -- Ann Coulter

"It hasn't been quite like this in other parts of the state. It's a rarity that we get this." -- Chris Link, PETA's campaign coordinator, who is traveling to protest KFC in 12 Texas cities, after the manager of a KFC turned the sprinklers on the protestors

"I do think that it is sometimes appropriate to kill a human infant. For me, the relevant question is, what makes it so seriously wrong to take a life? Those of you who are not vegetarians are responsible for taking a life every time you eat. Species is no more relevant than race in making these judgments." -- Princeton University Professor Peter Singer

"[I] walked through a neighborhood of Bethesda, Md., yesterday morning. ... Every driveway had a Washington Post thrown on it. Every car (virtually) had either a Kerry bumper sticker or, more likely, a hate-Bush sticker. Sample: 'What Would Jesus Bomb?' It was the perfect image of a little, conformist village. I doubt that those Midwestern Republican towns Sinclair Lewis loved to mock could have been so suffocating." -- Jay Nordlinger

"Boy, this confirmation battle really heated up over John Bolton, the president's plain-spoken nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Democrat Party's comely obstructionist, charged Mr. Bolton needs 'anger management lessons.' I don't know about you, but nothing makes me want to hurl a chair through the window and punch someone's lights out like being told I need anger management lessons." -- Mark Steyn

"Veteran Republican congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois has announced he will not run for re-election, meaning Republicans will have to find someone to replace him. It's kind of a question of lose Hyde and go seek." -- Lyn Nofziger

"If this country had a national psychologist, I'm afraid the Democratic party would be diagnosed with terminal projection. They have done nothing except accuse their opponents of every moral failing that they themselves are practicing." -- Duane Patterson

"The State Department is continuing to function even after Colin Powell left? Is that possible? And under the guidance of a woman who was verbally thrashed by Senate Democrats for not promising she would oppose the President at every turn?" -- Rich Galen

"The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday a record number of Americans paid their taxes online this year. The system still has a few bugs. They haven't yet figured out a way to get the shirt off your back through the telephone wire." -- Argus Hamilton

"We have a new pope! Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany is now the most powerful Catholic in the world. Well, second most powerful if you count Mel Gibson." -- Jay Leno

"Environmental groups have spent the last 40 years defining themselves against conservative values like cost-benefit accounting, smaller government, fewer regulations and free trade without ever articulating a coherent morality we can call our own. Most of the intellectuals who staff environmental groups are so repelled by the right's values that we have assiduously avoided examining our own in a serious way..." -- Environmentalists Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

web posted April 18, 2005

"Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision." -- Dick Armey

"As I watch government at all levels daily eat away at our freedom, I keep thinking how prosperity and government largesse have combined to make most of us fat and lazy and indifferent to, or actually in favor of, the limits being placed on that freedom." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Any politician who starts shouting election-year demagoguery about the rich and the poor should be asked, 'What about the other 90 percent of the people?'" -- Thomas Sowell

"The government taxes you when you bring home a paycheck. It taxes you when you make a phone call. It taxes you when you turn on a light. It taxes you when you sell a stock. It taxes you when you fill your car with gas. It taxes you when you ride a plane. It taxes you when you get married. Then it taxes you when you die. This is taxual insanity and it must end." -- J. C. Watts, Jr.

"Today the percentage of taxpayers who rely on professional tax preparers is at an all-time high. The 67 percent of tax filers who do not itemize may think they avoid compliance costs, which include nagging uncertainty about whether one has properly complied with a tax code about the meaning of which experts differ. But everyone pays the cost of the tax system's vast drag on the economy." -- George Will

"Give me a break -- They say taxes are inevitable ... like death. At least death doesn't come every year." -- John Stossel

"There aren't many border-control success stories these days, but Arizona's Minuteman Project is quickly becoming one. ... How ironic that the people who President Bush derided as 'vigilantes' are acting as much-needed extra eyes and ears for law-enforcement officials. The Minutemen have all but sealed the U.S.-Mexico border in the 23-mile stretch they patrol. Their success suggests that, organized in larger scale with a cooperative federal government, groups like Project Minuteman could be a substantial contribution to border security. At the very least, the Minutemen are bringing some much-needed attention to the nation's woefully porous borders. We hope President Bush and others who prefer the status quo are watching." -- The Washington Times

"I think it's a bad idea to have a man there who doesn't have much regard for the UN." -- Joseph Biden on John Bolton

"When she announced his nomination as ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice argued that John R. Bolton would be effective because, like former ambassadors Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, he was one of 'the strongest voices' in defense of American interests. There is something to that: The United States sometimes needs to stand up to rogue political appointees or gangs of autocrats at the United Nations, and the reforms the institution badly needs are unlikely to go forward without some unceremonious pushing from the U.S. ambassador." -- Washington Post editorial endorsing John Bolton for U.S. Ambassador to the UN

"The liberal take on Catholicism is that it's a controversial religion because of its positions on abortion, sodomy and various other crucial planks of the Democrat platform (curiously, positions that are shared by all three of the world's major religions)." -- Ann Coulter

"Every politician knows that when you don't have anything to say, shout it out. This is the Democrat strategy in the two big food fights consuming Washington this week, plotted by the Democrat firm of Obstruction, Encumbrance, Loiter, Dally and Stall. Keep talking and maybe something to say will turn up." -- Wesley Pruden

"President Bush said Friday he plans to make his income tax cut permanent. It gives people a choice. You can either have the three hundred dollar rebate check mailed to your home address or you can have it sent directly to the gasoline station." -- Argus Hamilton

"Approximately 5,000 people attended the funeral of Johnnie Cochran on Wednesday, including O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. Actually, O.J. played a major role at the funeral, as he led a slow speed procession to the cemetery in a convoy of white Ford Broncos." -- Dennis Miller

"The United States announced a plan that will tighten all borders by 2008. Mexico announced a plan to have all their people here by 2007." -- Jay Leno

"There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as caring and sensitive because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he is willing to do good with others people's money. Well, who isn't?" -- P.J. O'Rourke

web posted April 11, 2005

"We should remember Pope John Paul II not just as the greatest pope of modern times but also as a valiant fighter for the truth. ... By combating the falsehoods of Communism and proclaiming the true dignity of the individual, his was the moral force behind victory in the Cold War. Millions owe him their freedom and self-respect. The whole world is inspired by his example." -- Margaret Thatcher

"Many law professors, and others who hold contempt for our Constitution, preach that the Constitution is a living document. Saying that the Constitution is a living document is the same as saying we don't have a Constitution. For rules to mean anything, they must be fixed. How many people would like to play me poker and have the rules be 'living'? Depending on 'evolving standards,' maybe my two pair could beat your flush." -- Walter Williams

"Personally, I dislike much of [President] Bush's 'compassionate conservatism.' Indeed, I find it astounding that even as Bush has moved the Republican agenda leftward in many key respects, the left has screamed all the louder about how 'right wing' he is. But simply because I think Bush is wrong about, say, Medicare, it doesn't mean I think it's a sign the conservative movement is falling apart." -- Jonah Goldberg

"I'm proud of every single one of you [in the Minuteman Project]. You are not vigilantes. You are heroes." -- Rep. Tom Tancredo

"The judiciary is supposed to be the ultimate protector of our freedoms, the Constitutional creature that guards us against the depredations of Congress and the presidency. Instead, it has become our greatest source of anguish." -- Jed Babbin

"Jane Fonda just won't shut up. And her crocodile tears will not stop flowing. She has contracted an acute case of Aging Celebrity Hippie Syndrome. ... Fonda's cynical non-apology 'apology' keeps making headlines, just as she and her book publicists had hoped. This isn't about making amends. This is about making money. Me! Me! Me! Hanoi Jane rides again." -- Michelle Malkin

"In a democracy, every player in the political system is held accountable by someone else. The media also need a check and a balance. If the media think it's unfair that there's someone 'driving up their negatives' and damaging their credibility, they ought to realize they also live in that democracy. Get used to it." -- Brent Bozell

"All Americans should be concerned about the effort by Republican leaders in the Senate to unilaterally change the rules." -- former Democrat Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell on the "constitutional option" of an up or down vote on judicial nominees

"My generation was brought up on right or wrong with no in between, and red was always in your face. It's abrasive to me. [Grading in] purple is just a little bit more gentle. Part of my job is to be attuned to what kids respond to, and red is not one of those colors." -- A teacher at Public School 188 in Manhattan

"We are fighting. But the Marines keep coming. We are shooting, but the Marines won't stop." -- A terrorist in Fallujah

"On the bright side, after two weeks of TV coverage of the Terri Schiavo case, I think we have almost all liberals in America on record saying we can pull the plug on them. Of course, if my only means of entertainment were Air America radio, Barbra Streisand albums and reruns of 'The West Wing,' I too would be asking: 'What kind of quality of life is this?'" -- Ann Coulter

"If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others." -- Martin Peretz

"John Bolton's nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations got a boost this week when 59 ex-diplomats sent a letter to the Senate opposing his appointment. Along with North Korea's reference to Mr. Bolton as 'human scum' and John Kerry's passionate disapproval, what more could the Senate want by way of recommendation?" -- The Wall Street Journal

"As to 'crack-ups,' that's only a neurotic way of saying that these days most of the intellectual debate is within the right. If, like the Democrats, all you've got are lockstep litmus tests on race and abortion and all the rest, what's to crack up over? You just lose elections every two years, but carry on insisting, as Ted Kennedy does, that you're still the majority party. Ted's quite a large majority just by himself these days, but it's still not enough." -- Mark Steyn

"Identifiers threaten all Americans by exposing them to the threat of identity theft by private criminals and abuse of their liberties by public criminals.... In addition, national identifiers are incompatible with a limited, constitutional government." -- Rep. Ron Paul

web posted April 4, 2005

"The liberal line, both in politics and in the media, is Congress somehow behaved unconstitutionally [in the Terri Schiavo case]. All federal courts except the Supreme Court are created by Congress. The Constitution itself gives Congress the authority to define or restrict the jurisdictions of federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Is the Constitution unconstitutional?" -- Thomas Sowell

"The message from Uncle Sam seems clear: If you want to get away with filing inaccurate documents with the IRS, first hire illegal aliens." -- Terence Jeffrey

"[W]e can hardly expect an out-of-control Congress to help us bring the judiciary under control." -- Jeff Jacoby

"Before his time as president is over Mr. Bush may find that the biggest can of worms he has to contend with in his second term is not Iraq, is not terrorism and is not Social Security, but instead is his weak and wishy-washy handling of the illegal alien problem. At this point it is the one problem that is arousing the ire of significant numbers of Americans. And Bush's solution to it, amnesty disguised as a guest worker program, is no solution at all." -- Lyn Nofziger

"The reason people are confused [about personal retirement accounts], I believe, is that they hear Republicans say [they] won't solve the problem. That confuses them because for more than 30 years conservatives and free-market advocates have been saying, correctly, just the opposite. Properly designed, personal retirement accounts not only will achieve solvency, they are the only sustainable way to do so and at the same time provide workers higher retirement benefits without raising taxes or increasing the retirement age." -- Jack Kemp

"OK, I get the hang of this game. Sending Bolton to be UN ambassador is like ... putting Sudan and Zimbabwe on the Human Rights Commission. Or letting Saddam's Iraq chair the UN Conference on Disarmament. Or sending a bunch of child-sex fiends to man UN operations in the Congo. And the Central African Republic. And Sierra Leone, and Burundi, Liberia, Haiti, Kosovo, and pretty much everywhere else. All of which happened without the UN fetishists running around shrieking hysterically. Why should America be the only country not to enjoy an uproarious joke at the UN's expense?" -- Mark Steyn

"When people ask, 'Why do [the Arabs] hate us?', one answer is that they are exposed to anti-American crackpottery that all too often is made in America." -- James Taranto

"True, society helps shape the people we become. But knowing the environment these kids come from, it simply strains believability that nature wasn't a bigger culprit than nurture. Science backs all of this up, of course. Studies show that if you give a little boy a Barbie doll, he's more likely to pretend it's a shapely gun or knife." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Under the old regime [in Iraq], this whole [government set-up] thing would have been decided about eight seconds after the polls closed on January 30 with Saddam having received 107% of the votes and his announcing the senior governmental officials (many of whom had names like Uday and Qusay) right on the spot." -- Rich Galen

"They had the annual Easter egg roll at the White House and, not missing an opportunity, President Bush said the Easter Bunny would be out of eggs by the year 2030 and that 4 percent of all the eggs should be put in a private account." -- Jay Leno

"[T]he Atlanta courthouse attack that left four murdered; the Wisconsin church shooting, where seven were murdered, and Monday's high-school shooting in Minnesota, where nine were murdered.... All three attacks took place in areas where gun possession by those who did the attack as well as civilians generally was already banned -- so-called 'gun-free safe zones.' ... Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying 'This Home is a Gun-Free Zone'? ... As with many other gun laws, law-abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, would obey the sign. Instead of creating a safe zone for victims, it leaves victims defenseless and creates a safe zone for those intent on causing harm." -- John Lott



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