Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted October 27, 2003

"The Left is so busy saying John Ashcroft is Hitler, and President Bush is Hitler, and Rudy Giuliani is Hitler that the only guy they wouldn’t call Hitler was the foreign guy with the mustache who was throwing people who disagreed with him into the wood-chipper." -- Dennis Miller

"As in the years of the Cold War, much is asked of us and much rides on our actions. A watching world is depending on the United States of America. Only America has the might and the will to lead the world through a time of peril toward greater security and peace. ... And as we've done before, we accept the great mission that history has given us." -- U.S.Vice President Dick Cheney

"Though still in prison, Joel Steinberg has a job lined up with a cable TV show in New York City. He qualified for this position...[by beating] his illegally adopted 6-year-old daughter to death in 1987....The recycling of perpetrators is simply part of the media game now....Jayson Blair...Stephen Glass...Roman Polanski...Marv Albert...Sydney Biddle Barrows, the 'Mayflower Madam'...Dick Morris...Or take the colorful career of Al Sharpton....[who] was an unprincipled racial agitator in New York. He was a co-perpetrator of the Tawana Brawley rape hoax. He also helped inflame a dispute between a Jewish storeowner and a black tenant. Picketers from Sharpton's National Action Network, sometimes joined by Sharpton himself, screamed about 'bloodsucking Jews' and 'Jew bastards,' threatening to burn down the building. After weeks of this, one of the protesters ran into the building, shot three people and ignited a fire that left seven dead. Sharpton's role in this bloodbath disappeared down the memory hole. Now he is a 'civil rights leader.' ....[T]he rapid refurbishing of appalling people is a constant threat in a culture with no higher standard than non-jugmentalism." -- John Leo

"How can there possibly be liberty and justice for all, when, in the name of justice, people claim rights to income, food, housing, education, health care, transportation, ad infinitum? We can't. Positive rights to receive such things, absent an obligation to earn them, must violate others' liberty, by taking some of their income without their consent. They are really just wishes, convertible into benefits for some only by employing the government to violate others' rights not to have what is theirs taken." -- Prof. Gary Galles of Pepperdine University

"There is no such thing as a free lunch and there are not enough rich people around to support a bloated welfare state. Sooner or later, everyone has to pay the tab. Like California, there is an immense day of reckoning coming for the U.S. as a whole, one people aren't being told is underway. So remember the golden rule of all socialist bureaucracies: 'In any situation, even life-threatening ones, bureaucrats will always act like bureaucrats in their own interests.' When you throw one group of rascals out, don't put more rascals in!" -- John Loeffler

"The time is long overdue to get rid of the outdated notion that liberal Democrats represent ordinary people. They represent such special interests as trial lawyers who keep our courts clogged with frivolous lawsuits, busybody environmentalists who think the government should force other people to live the way the greens want them to live, and of course the teachers' unions who think schools exist to provide their members with jobs. ... Someone has said people are not born stupid, but are made that way by education. Certainly that is true of what too often passes for education these days." -- Thomas Sowell

"Then again, can one really blame [the United Nations member states] for being reluctant to pony up [with military and economic aid for Iraq] when prominent American politicians are working to undermine the Iraq reconstruction effort? ...[T]wo Democratic presidential candidates, John Kerry and John Edwards, say they'll defy the UN and vote against funding Iraq's reconstruction -- even though both of them voted for the war resolution last year. Howard Dean also says if he were in Congress, he'd vote 'no,' unless he could get a tax increase in exchange for an affirmative vote. Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman intend to vote 'yes.' Wesley Clark courageously takes no position." -- James Taranto

"This is a response to a tragic situation. People are responding to cries for help and I think it's legitimate." -- Governor Jeb Bush signing emergency state legislation to save the life of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, whose husband won his legal battle to starve her to death against the wishes of her parents, who want to care for her

"Our own history should remind us that the union of democratic principle and practice is always a work in progress." -- Condoleezza Rice

"One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician's objective. Election and power are." -- Cal Thomas

"Nowhere in this country are racial quotas likely to get voter support. But such quotas exist because elected officials do not have to risk their careers by voting for quotas because they can leave that to judges." -- Thomas Sowell

"I've been troubled for some time about the reporting of all news organizations on the situation in Iraq. We often seem to be captive to the individual dramatic incident -- and those of us in television subject to one that comes with great video." -- ABC president David Westin

"Today our Democratic leaders look south and say, 'I see one third of the nation and it can go to hell.' " -- Democrat Sen. Zell Miller

"Americans are always asking why the rest of the world hates them. Well, the reason is Dennis Miller. ... You've all gone mental if you liked [his performance]." -- Elton John at benefit concert in LA where both performed in which Miller suggested we drill in ANWR

"I'm flattered. And of course, I'm also entertained, by the fact that they seem to ignore the reality that I lost." -- Senator John McCain on Democrat presidential candidates trying to emulate his campaign for President in 2000

"Even though he has only been a Democrat for a few weeks, Wesley Clark has already figured out that the key to being a real Democrat is creating new programs without figuring out how to pay for them." -- Christine Iverson, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee

"It's reported that Tom Arnold may run for governor of Iowa. So I guess he got turned down for center position on 'Hollywood Squares.' .... I don't know if he's right for governor. I see him more as the governor's embarrassing brother." -- Jay Leno

"I said then as I say now: Bill Clinton's inability to understand what was fueling the rise of bin Laden as a phenomenon -- not as an individual -- was the greatest U.S. foreign-policy failure of the last half-century. It has affected hundreds of millions worldwide. Even if we get him now, who will be the next bin Laden? There are many willing candidates standing in line. Islamic radicalism exists today because Clinton didn't dismantle al-Qa'ida when he had the chance." -- Mansoor Ijaz, former Clinton administration Middle East liaison

"But why does this country, after it wins a war, habitually assume that the world has been permanently repaired? Why did we go on a holiday from global watchfulness in the roaring '90s, just as we had in the roaring '20s?" -- Former CIA Director James Woolsey

"We're all for Congress paying close attention to what it spends. But would that our honorable representatives were applying as much skepticism to the fine print of, say, the energy bill as they did to President Bush's $87 billion request for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan." -- Wall Street Journal

web posted October 20, 2003

"We have seen freedom's power in Europe and Asia and Africa and Latin America, and we will see freedom's power in the Middle East... Every person in every culture has the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America owns the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but the ideals they proclaim belong to all mankind." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"In a public school in St. Louis, a teacher spotted the suspect, fourth-grader Raymond Raines, bowing his head in prayer before lunch. The teacher stormed to Raymond's table, ordered him to stop immediately and sent him to the principal's office. The principal informed the young malefactor that praying was not allowed in school. When Raymond was again caught praying before meals on three separate occasions, he was segregated from other students, ridiculed in front of his classmates, and finally sentenced to a week's detention. ... In another display of tolerance at Lynn Lucas Middle School, school administrators snatched three students' books with covers displaying the Ten Commandments, ripped the covers off, threw them in the garbage, and told the students that the Ten Commandments constituted 'hate speech.' (Also, it would be insensitive to expose the Ten Commandments to students who had never been taught to count to 10.)" -- Ann Coulter

"[T]his battle is a battle of civilizations. One civilization believes in liberty and one does not. The problem is that the civilization that has liberty has not produced anywhere the depth of belief in liberty that the opponents of liberty have produced. That is why most Europeans (and their supporters in America on the Left) see dying or killing for almost anything as pointless. When you don't believe in anything except not dying, you don't really believe in anything. For this reason, European civilization is in peril. The great question mark is America. America is already in the midst of a civil war, thankfully still non-violent. It is between those who fervently believe in America and in Judeo-Christian revelation and those who fervently believe in neither. If the former win, the Islamic totalitarian threat, like the totalitarian threats before it, will be vanquished. If the latter -- as represented by the Left, many Democratic Party leaders, pacifists, the cultural elite, and academia -- win, liberty will have been nothing more than an aberration that lasted a few hundred years." -- Dennis Prager

"In characteristic fashion, the Democrats are piling on -- now Lieberman, now Dean and now Clark. The party has lost its birthright, has no soul, consists only of splintered interest groups and consequently has no critical mass. This is a party two-thirds of whose members cannot name a single one of the 10 presidential wannabes -- those wannabes, such gravitas do they have, listing at the Baltimore debate (for instance) their favorite popular songs. A party of monstrous egos such as Clark's, Clinton's and Teddy Kennedy's. Yet a party careening left, the remains of whose soul may reside in precisely the candidate it can neither nominate nor elect -- Joe Lieberman. He has warned that the party risks being captured by the 'far ideological left' and vowed: 'I'm not going to stand back and let this party be taken over by people who would bring us to the political wilderness again.' Maybe not. But the operative question remains: Are the likes of Kerry, Dean, Clark, and (prospectively) Hillary prudent guides for leading the party out of the wilderness - or in?" -- Ross Mackenzie

"Hospitals are open. Schools are open. Children are back at school. Iraqis are taking more and more responsibility for their security. There is a flourishing free press with over 160 Iraqi newspapers that have started up since liberation. ... Ninety-five percent of the country is at peace and returning to normal daily life. ... Iraq is now a central front in the war on terror [and serves] as a model for the region.... If we choose to ignore terrorists in Iraq, we will wind up hearing from them on our own soil. That is why success in the reconstruction of Iraq is so critical." -- Dan Senor, senior adviser to L. Paul Bremer, U.S. interim Iraqi administrator

"If you gave an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, would they eventually write a speech for Howard Dean?" -- James Taranto

"All this talk about whether the threat from Saddam Hussein was imminent is a bright-red herring. The question was whether Saddam should have been stopped before he became an imminent threat, and he has been." -- Paul Greenberg

"Have Islamists -- many of whom are backed by Saudi Arabia -- successfully established beachheads in such places as the Pentagon's chaplain corps and America's prisons, mosques and colleges with a view to dominating moderate Muslims and creating a potential terrorist 'Fifth Column' within the United States?" -- Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

"There's something terribly wrong when an American soldier overseas can't receive Scriptures in the mail, but a Muslim chaplain can preach freely among al-Qa'ida and Taliban enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay." -- Michelle Malkin

"I'm hoping for the best, but I have my doubts. The presence of so many movie stars and Kennedys on his [Schwarzenegger's] victory podium is not a great portent." -- Jonah Goldberg

"[T]he firing of Davis is a completely reasonable instance of democracy, justified by the completely natural desire people tend to have of wanting to keep some of their money." -- Paul Jacob

"America has an educational system worthy of David Duke.... Most black leaders have simply sold out the future of black kids to teachers unions." -- Rich Lowry

"The French, it isn't a question that they are not our friends anymore, they are leading the world against the United States every time that we turn around. It just wasn't against us going to war in Iraq, every single time that they turn around they are subverting the efforts, to try and make themselves more important in the world. France is insignificant to the world." -- Sen. John Ensign

"There is only one decent and humane reaction to the fall of Saddam Hussein: good riddance." --President George W. Bush

"The good news is that the White House got a highly credible and eminently qualified individual -- veteran UN weapons inspector David Kay -- to head its investigation into Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The bad news is that no one seems to be paying the least bit of attention to the facts reported by Mr. Kay to Congress on Oct. 2." -- Helle Dale

"I don't care if [Arnold Schwarzenegger] got just two more votes [than Cruz Bustamante], it's a mandate. The only way to take [the California gubernatorial recall election results] is that we lost. As far as I'm concerned, just own up to it. It's over. We're done. We're dead." -- Democrat political consultant Joe Cerrell

"2nd down and 2 from the 27 yard line. Pittman showing more change of direction than Arianna Huffington, breaking a tackle and picking up a first down." -- Al Michaels calling an NFL game last week

"Perhaps every election day everywhere should be preceded by recalls of current incumbents." -- Paul Jacob

"Don Rumsfeld spoke at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley on Friday. He said he's very surprised that Saddam Hussein's supporters are still fighting. Republicans can never understand why the Democrats don't just roll over and play dead." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted October 13, 2003

"Too many suburban parents may be too easily satisfied that their schools are doing a good job because the students there score in the top 10 percent or 20 percent on standardized tests. Suburban schools may look good compared to inner-city schools, but both look bad compared to their counterparts in other countries." -- Thomas Sowell

"Feminists who are quick to file lawsuits for even the smallest slight in this country are strangely reluctant to make common cause with women in nations like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Why? Is it because championing those women would imply that Western society -- which feminists have so long derided as sexist -- is far better than any others when it comes to the treatment of women? Is it really arrogance, as the liberals would have it, to believe that the system and the culture we've inherited is superior to others? Or is it ingratitude to deny it?" -- Mona Charen

"I happen to think George W. Bush is vulnerable in 2004. But not on the war.... It would make more sense to argue that Mr. Bush has done such a fabulous job on the war...that the whole anti-terror thing has been pretty much wrapped up and we urgently need to get back to focusing on new federal standards for mandatory bicycling helmets, or whatever Democrats consider important these days." -- Mark Steyn

"The Republican Party may have once stood for fiscal responsibility, but it has since succumbed to the temptation of playing Santa Claus to whatever voter blocks it thinks will swing the next election. To those who see government spending mainly as a means to buy re-election, reducing waste is a thankless and potentially dangerous distraction." -- Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl

"The Democrats have long been unhinged by this president. They could bear his (Florida-induced) illegitimacy as long as he was weak and seemingly transitional. But when post-9/11 he became a consequential president -- reinventing American foreign policy and dominating the political scene -- they lost it." -- Charles Krauthammer

"[I]ntelligence leaks, like water seeping into the ship of state's hull, undermine our ability to navigate the roiled waters of our nation's security." -- Peter Brooks

"The deterioration of public school education is most prominently observed in social studies, where, as education scholar Chester E. Finn, Jr. observes, 'the lunatics have taken over the asylum'." -- Suzanne Fields

"What is wrong with social studies today is a large number of those who determine what is taught...don’t think it’s important to teach what it means to be an American." -- Sen. Lamar Alexander

"In our system of government, laws affecting family life are under the jurisdiction of the states, not the federal government. ... Conservatives argue vehemently about federal usurpation of other issues best left to the states, such as abortion or gun control. Why would they elevate [marriage] to the federal level?" -- former Sen. Alan Simpson

"Regarding Howard Dean's comments: It's not that the right wing has hijacked the flag and patriotism, it's that the left wing abandoned them long ago." -- John Nienstedt, Sr., President, Competitive Edge

"To answer his critics, the president...has to keep making them face this big picture. Do they really think that in today's world we have to wait until a threat is 'imminent'? Do they really deny that Saddam Hussein was a serious threat to the world order, or think that he'd desist from weapons of mass destruction? Would they really divert the requested $87 billion to health care and ignore future risks of terror?" -- Wall Street Journal

"But then everybody knows, only the right creates conspiracies, and only the left believes in them." -- Kathleen Parker

"Wesley Clark's most passionate fans think he's too good to be true, and they're probably right. ... What's...disturbing to party professionals is what a klutz the general has shown himself to be in his first week in the public eye." -- Wes Pruden

"We have a...political front made up of thousands of politicians and bureaucrats who are collectively approaching a level-5 (as measured on the FDR scale) state of terminal drooling over the possibility of having the entire population of this nation by their medicinal short hairs." -- Neal Boortz

"Congress howled last week when it got an itemized list of the cost of rebuilding Iraq. It includes nine million dollars for instituting zip codes in Iraq. Isn't there enough violence in that country without adding postal workers to the mix?" -- Argus Hamilton

"I keep hearing in the press that the United States is going it alone -- what a funny thing to say. We have 32 countries working with us in Iraq. Eleven of our 19 NATO nations have forces in Iraq today. NATO is assisting Poland as it prepares to lead a multinational division in south-central Iraq, comprising forces from 17 different nations in that one division." -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

"Those who question the wisdom of removing Saddam Hussein from power, and liberating Iraq, should ask themselves: 'How long should Saddam Hussein have been allowed to torture the Iraqi people? How long should Saddam Hussein have been allowed to remain the greatest source of instability in one of the world's most vital regions? How long should Saddam Hussein have been allowed to provide support and safe-haven to terrorists? How long should Saddam Hussein have been allowed to defy the world's just demand to disarm? How long should the world have closed its eyes to the threat that was Saddam Hussein? Let us be clear: those were the alternatives to action." -- NSA Condoleezza Rice

web posted September 29, 2003

"Dear Intimidated Christian: I want to thank you for coming by the office last week to vent your frustrations over the anti-Christian remarks your professor has been making in the classroom.... [H]e was wrong to say that expecting a pay raise would make him 'as stupid as those Christians who still think that Christ is returning after 2000 years.' ....My main reason for writing you today is to convince you to change your mind about letting this incident go without making a complaint. You admitted in my office that you would not even consider going to his class wearing a cross around your neck because you would be afraid of flunking the course. If you were serious, that means that you ... have just paid tuition to the State of North Carolina to have one of its employees insult your religion (or, as you said, your personal Savior) and to infringe upon your constitutional right to freely exercise your religion.... I want you to demand an apology from him for calling you stupid previously.... You should also insist upon an in-class apology, so that he will no longer intimidate other Christians.... If you get your apology, you will have made your point and the professor will likely think twice before again spewing his anti-Christian remarks in the classroom. If, on the other hand, you experience retaliation, I will make certain that you get a lawyer, free of charge. I will also urge you to contact the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ( ).... If the professor wants to stand by his remarks you can help him to do so by printing his name and his exact quotation in a letter recounting your experience in his classroom. The letter could be sent to donors, the alumni association, and to local churches telling them the truth about the institution that relies so heavily upon their donations. Remember that you are angry with your professor because you believe that he is wrong and you are right. If you are right, you will be taking a very powerful ally into this battle. On the other hand, your professor wants to save the rain forests because they're pretty and he likes monkeys. You aren't really afraid of this guy, are you?" -- UNC-Wilmington Professor Mike S. Adams

"One of the most common questions I am asked is, 'What can I, a simple citizen, do to make our country better?' The answer: Change the little things first.... Here is a seemingly small project that any American who works at almost any company can initiate. If successful, it will send shockwaves through the country: Rename your company's 'holiday' party a 'Christmas' party. Nothing is quite as symbolic of the narcissism at the heart of contemporary 'progressive' policies than the belief that because there are non-Christian employees at a company, its Christmas party may not be called one. ... And when someone asks you whose idea it was, tell them it came from a Jew who doesn't observe Christmas, but who loves and honors the fact that the vast majority of his fellow Americans do." -- Dennis Prager

"I have always considered John Ashcroft a friend, and I certainly appreciate the difficulty of his current job, but like many of those who have supported him in the past, I find myself stunned not only by his failure, rhetoric aside, to understand the need to balance the demand for security with the need to safeguard individual freedom but with the way in which he is trying to consign anyone who questions anything the government does to the ranks of terrorist sympathizers. He knows better, and those he is now attacking have every right to resent the mischaracterization of their motives and integrity emanating from his office." -- David Keene

"The conservative Right (I'm not talking of fascists), traditionally, was not internationalist and certainly not revolutionary. Business, stability, national interests, and political realism ('our bastards,' and so on) were the order of the day. Democracy, to conservative realists, was fine for us but not for strange people with exotic names. It was the Left that wanted to change the world, no matter where. Left-wing internationalism did not wish to recognize cultural or national barriers. To them, liberation was a universal project. Yet now that the 'Bush-Cheney junta' talks about a democratic revolution, regardless of culture, color or creed, Gore Vidal claims it is not our business, and others cry 'racism'." -- Ian Buruma

"Is America engaged in a major international war that requires a massive and prolonged response? If so, mustn't we act before terrorist threats become imminent? ...If so, isn't it smarter to fight the war on terror in the streets of Baghdad than the streets of Brooklyn?" -- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

"Americans are a brave and courageous people who rise to meet most challenges. But when the battle is over and the challenge has been dealt with they tend to become maudlin." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Instead of the liberating force it can be, public education is treated as a prize in a tug of war, one more monopoly to be protected against competition, just another source of political patronage." -- Paul Greenberg

"It's time to put the teaching of American history and civics back into school, so students can understand what it means to be an American." -- Sen. Lamar Alexander

"Democrats [with their filibuster of judicial nominee Miguel Estrada] have shown they do not care about the advancement of Hispanics, but rather only with the advancement of Democrats who happen to be Hispanic." -- Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

"The two best anti-poverty programs are work and marriage, and the government withdrew its assistance from any poor person who openly engaged in either of these activities." -- Sen. Jim Talent

"A reminder that television sometimes has trouble with perspective, so you may want to note that in some areas of Iraq, things are peaceful." -- CBS anchor Dan Rather correcting an earlier story that conditions in Iraq are utter chaos

"And the government helped to catch them." -- Barbara Walters on Enron
John Stossel responded to Walters: "The private sector dropped the stock. That's what really caught them. When government loses money, they don't go to jail. They don't get hauled up and punished for it, they just get more money."

"...[W]e...we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every ... of people from every planet ... every country on earth in this state." -- California's Gov. and recall target Gray Davis

"It is an inappropriate and unfortunate time for this debate to be occurring." -- Sen. Hillary Rodham-Clinton on her vote to sustain the practice of partial-birth abortions

"If his father wasn't a Nazi, he wouldn't have any credibility with conservatives at all." -- Bill Maher on Arnold Schwarzenegger, comparing conservatives to Nazis

"Apparently, the [New York] Times' stylebook now requires all reports of violence anyplace within 1,000 miles of Iraq to be dated from Bush's speech declaring an end to 'major combat' operations." -- Ann Coulter

"It's amazing, isn't it, that Democrats never worry about federal spending unless it is for defense." -- Mona Charen

"The feminist women's organization NOW has endorsed Carol Moseley Braun for president. Once again NOW has shown it is so far behind the times it should change its name to THEN." -- Lyn Nofziger

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." -- Grover Norquist

"If you gave an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, would they eventually write a speech for Howard Dean?" -- James Taranto

"The city of L.A. has put a ban on all lap dancing in the city. Looks like we'll never get to host the Democrats' convention in this city again." -- Jay Leno

"Ronald Reagan is revealed to be a great letter writer in the new book Reagan's Letters. It includes touching love letters he wrote to his wife. Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton will publish a book of fund-raising letters her husband wrote to her." -- Argus Hamilton

"I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote." -- General Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wesley Clark running for the presidency



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