Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted February 25, 2002

"I love this country and I love the people in it. And I think that we've been through a very difficult time. And we're going to identify where the real evil is, root it out, and make the country a better place." Michael Moore, describing the Bush administration, not terrorism, as the real evil, in an interview with CNN's Aaron Brown CNN on February 19

"The budget Mr. Bush proposed ... deserves kudos for clarity of purpose. It is a serious budget for a serious war -- a just war that must be fought, won and paid for. The feckless and spineless appear to prefer a superficial war. Superficial war was the coin of the last administration. Bill Clinton offered bombast, declaring war against terrorism in 1998. Was that rhetorical excess? A more apt description is words without deeds. September 11 demonstrates that the price for waging a superficial war is stiff." -- Austin Bay

"Teaching children to disregard their consciences is the surest path to lawlessness." -- Alan Keyes

"The American Civil Liberties so committed to 'diversity,' abortion rights and gay rights that when one of these causes comes into conflict with free speech, it is free speech that is likely to suffer." -- John Leo

"We need to get money out of government. Only then will money not be important in politics. Campaign finance laws will not make politicians more ethical, but they will make it harder for average Americans to influence Washington." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Under Shays-Meehan [campaign finance provisions], the authors of the Federalist Papers may have suffered prison time and heavy fines, an irony that underscores the fundamental nature of political speech." -- Phil Kent

"And thus, perhaps, Mr. Clinton's real military legacy: The wars that might have been avoided, the wars that we must fight, now that he's gone." -- Philip Gold

"I'm strongly opposed to the $4 billion in terms of the tax provisions that will provide for vouchers." -- George W. Bush's best friend when it comes to education, Sen. Ted Kennedy

"There is evil in the world, and it coagulates, it gathers force, and if it bursts its bounds endangers everybody. 'Axis of evil'? Yes, there can be such things. How could we ever have doubted it? What dream were we living in, what sort of mist, what fog?" -- Michael Novak

"The 'street' in any given Arab country consists of 278 state-sanctioned mullahs already preaching death to the Americans and Jews, five state-controlled newspaper opinion columnists preaching ditto, 577,000 state security officers making sure nobody says anything to the contrary, and 73 million people who would very much like to be living in New Jersey." -- Michael Kelly

"Terror isn't about throwing off oppression, and it never has been. Terror is about the obscene joy to be had in creating chaos." -- Michael Long

"When did a lack of money and accomplishment become a mark of virtue?" -- Ann Coulter

"It's ideology, not poverty, that causes political violence." -- Don Feder

"The mere wealth of America is not what engenders love of country. In fact, the least affluent areas are probably the most patriotic." -- Mona Charen

"The House took a vote on campaign 'reform.' The media won." -- Brent Bozell

"Only those in denial reject the proposition of a leftism that dominates the written and visual media alike." -- Ross Mackenzie

"The New York Times is middle-of-the-road. There is no active, aggressive, important publication of the left in America. And so as a consequence The New York Times -- when compared to The Wall Street Journal's editorial page -- may be considered to the left of it. But to call The New York Times left-wing is absurd." -- Normal Pearlstine, editor-in-chief of Time-Warner magazines

"Do uniformed personnel need another large across-the-board pay hike, the second broad increase in two years, or could the services meet their needs with more targeted pay raises?" -- Washington Post

"To what can the orgasmic sound of Congress protecting itself from the sin of tainted campaign contributions be compared? It's like the owner of a house of ill repute who, during a raid by the vice squad, demonstrates her commitment to civic virtue by firing the piano player." -- Cal Thomas

"Campaign finance reform is a delusion, as likely to reform American politics as the Boy Scout's oath is likely to reform Osama bin Ladin." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

"Secretaries of state usually don't concern themselves with big problems, like condoms. [Powell] might wish he had punted this one to his pal Donald Rumsfeld. Virgins and how to protect them should more properly be the concern of the secretary of defense." -- Wesley Pruden

"The Winter Olympics are going on! There's so many events scheduled for this weekend that they had to bring in five additional crooked judges! Don't you just miss the old days when skaters would just whack each other with pipes?" -- David Letterman

"The New York Times said Ken Lay sold $20 million in Enron stock immediately after Sherron Watkins warned him in August the company might collapse. Life isn't always fair. He must feel terrible knowing that he missed a pardon by one president." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted February 18, 2002

"But actually, 9-11 marked a cultural watershed, not an economic one. Although a case can be made that there has been a gradual return to more traditional and virtuous cultural values over the past several years, certainly a new spirit of patriotism and faith arrived in response to the terrorist war against the United States. Just take a quick inventory: American-flag lapel pins by the thousands; heart-felt renditions of 'God Bless America' at sporting events; a measurable increase in the appreciation of friends, family members and co-workers; people more seriously undertaking their daily responsibilities; a greater attraction to the miraculous heritage of the Founding Fathers; once self-full Americans now giving to charities and volunteering for community service. With these have come the duty of courage and the understanding of the clear differences between right and wrong, and between good and evil. Moral relativism is out the door. There can be no doubt that American culture has changed since 9-11. Predominantly, it is a change for the better." -- Larry Kudlow

"Let us be convinced that there is not enough hate or anger to silence the cries for liberty or to extinguish the flame of justice and truth. We must have faith that those who now are apathetic, anxious for security at all costs, forgetful of the true spirit of American liberty, and neglectful of the Constitution, will rise to the task and respond accordingly." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Bush's three bad guys -- North Korea, Iran and Iraq -- are ideologically well chosen. All are heirs to the totalitarianisms of the 20th century. (Hence 'axis of evil.' Axis: fascism/Nazism. Evil empire: Soviet Communism.) North Korea is more Stalinist than Stalin. Iran is the Soviet Union in pre-Gorbachevian foment. And Iraq is Hitlerian Germany, a truly mad police state with external ambitions and a menacing arsenal. Thank God for North Korea. Mentioning it is the equivalent of strip-searching an 80-year-old Irish nun at airport security: It is our defense against ethnic profiling." -- Charles Krauthammer

"It is possible today for American students to pass through elementary school and high school, and obtain a university degree without gaining any appreciation for the men who founded their country." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"The sole purpose of our Constitution is to define the limited role of government in order to guarantee individual rights." -- Tom DeWeese

"The budget Mr. Bush proposed ... deserves kudos for clarity of purpose. It is a serious budget for a serious war -- a just war that must be fought, won and paid for." -- Austin Bay

"Notwithstanding the isolated pockets of international hyper-ventilation, we do not treat the detainees in any manner other than a manner that is humane." -- Donald Rumsfeld

"Does anyone think for a moment, that if those waging holy war on this country, people fully prepared to die in the process of doing so, had access to weapons capable of inflicting infinitely greater death and destruction on us -- and against which we had no defense -- they would refrain from using them?" -- Frank Gaffney

"[W]e...need to remember that the real enemy is a tactic -- terrorism. As the recent bombing in Israel proves again, terrorists want to hurl their victims into confusion and blind fear." -- Tony Snow

"The new laws passed by Congress in the name of fighting terrorism pose a greater danger to the civil liberties of American citizens than to the operations of terrorists. Powers once assumed are never relinquished, just as bureaucracies, once created, never die." -- Charley Reese

"For some reason, we got the mentality along the way that conservatism was about leaders -- and it never was. It was always about the grass roots, about people who had decided to move for themselves and then created the leaders who corresponded to their needs." -- Alan Keyes

"Stripped of its halo, campaign finance reform is the Washington elites' way of enhancing their power: the media elites, by enlarging their importance in politics; the incumbent pols, by strengthening their incumbency." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

"The self-financed fat cat would have a clear advantage over the local citizen who works hard to build support for a campaign for elected office." -- Rep. J.C. Watts

"[T]he choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted constitutional laws and sabotaging the death penalty." -- Justice Antonin Scalia

"It's...not fair that the tax dollars of citizens and legal immigrants must subsidize -- and hence reward -- the college tuition of students who entered the country illegally." -- Debra Saunders

"The left doesn't love success; it loves victimhood. You can never do enough...for victims." -- Bill Murchison

"[I]nstead of creating...sitcoms with the warmth and spirit of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' or dramas as clever as 'The Rockford Files' -- shows still popular decades later -- cable instead has chosen to flush positive values down the commode." -- Brent Bozell

"Imagine Ronald Reagan reading a poll to tell him what to think." -- Peggy Noonan

Unfortunately, the media elite in our society have, for the most part, become so insular and out of touch with their audience that they believe that as long as they have the approval of their fellow elites, the rest of us don't matter. It is simply assumed that any worthwhile person must share their ideology." -- Sterling Rome, assistant to CBS's retired anchor Walter Cronkite

"Now, there are plenty of people who have argued with it, but I think the fact that someone has told a lie, even a big lie or maybe several big lies over a lifetime, does not mean that they're an inherently dishonest person. But, you know, this may mark me as one of those people -- I believe in redemption and that Bill Clinton -- is he an honest person? I think he is an honest person. Did he lie? Yes, he lied, and on those occasions he was dishonest. ...But I don't have any argument with anyone who wants to say, 'Well, Dan, I think you've made a mistake.' My answer to that is, 'Man, I've made a lot of mistakes over my lifetime'." -- Dan Rather

"The reason that the World Trade Center got hit is because there are a lot of people living in abject poverty out there who don't have any hope for a better life." -- Ted Turner at Brown University. Asked moments later if he would allow public access to his vast landholdings in Montana, Turner replied: "Can I live in your home with you? We believe in private property in this country."

"Today's question. What is the difference between Al Qaeda and Congress? Today's answer: Al Qaeda plans attacks while Congress plans a tax." -- Lyn Nofziger

"The Olympics have started! There were 77 countries represented in the Parade of Nations, including India. There was one person on the Indian team, one person, and India has a billion people! Think of the pressure that guy must be under! Mexico brought four competitors to the games. Good luck getting them to go home after the games. There was one embarrassing moment during the ceremony when the Germans came walking in. They kept on walking and they now occupy Idaho and Montana." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush opened the Winter Olympics in Utah Friday night. Everyone was frisked as they entered a stadium ringed with troops and patrolled overhead by F-16 fighters. The president wanted to show the world that the terrorists didn't win." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted February 11, 2002

"At a time when our entire country is banding together and facing down individualism, the Patriots set a wonderful example, showing us all what is possible when we work together, believe in each other, and sacrifice for the greater good." -- Sen. Ted Kennedy speaking on the New England Patriots victory and his hostility towards individualism

"College campuses are home to elitists who are out of touch with and have contempt for American values.... Americans as donors and taxpayers have been far too generous with the higher education establishment. It's about time we stop paying for campus anti-Americanism and academic dishonesty. Nothing opens the closed minds of college administrators more than the sounds of pocketbooks snapping shut." -- Walter Williams

"It isn't too far a stretch to suggest that the 28,000 new federal employees hired to upgrade airport security will become union members and, while they aren't likely to strike, might tie up the entire air transport simply checking ... each ... and ... every ... bag ... very ... very ... carefully ... in ... the ... interests ... of ... passenger ... safety. And for higher pay." -- Rich Galen

"Liberalism is embarrassed by success and prosperity because independent and free people do not need liberals -- and above all, liberals need to be needed. Otherwise, they'd have to find real work instead of careers in politics, entertainment, class warfare (the only kind of war in which they believe) and, yes (and here I might be guilty of self-incrimination), column writing." -- Cal Thomas

"It really is refreshing -- literally refreshing -- to have a president people admire and can follow cleanly again." -- Peggy Noonan

"America-hating has become a badge of identity, making possible a chest-beating, flag-burning rhetoric of word and deed that makes men feel good. It contains a strong streak of hypocrisy, hating most what it desires most, and elements of self-loathing. ('We hate America because it has made of itself what we cannot make of ourselves.') " -- Salman Rushdie

"I don't think they (the big pharmaceutical companies) are the bete noir that all my friends think. I think they need to make profits, we need to do research." -- U2 singer Bono, finally making some sense

"Until now, the war had been about Sept. 11. The campaign against the Taliban and al Qaeda is a campaign of revenge and justice. That campaign is not yet over, but the war, the real war, is not about last Sept. 11. It is about preventing the next Sept. 11 -- and in particular, a nuclear, chemical or biological Sept. 11." -- Charles Krauthammer

"There are seven nations on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist states. All shop at Beijing's weapons-of-mass-destruction superstore, though some only buy accessories." -- Don Feder

"...[T]he Constitution gave us a legislative supremacy government, one that puts the decisive powers in that branch which most closely represents the ultimate holder of sovereignty." -- Mark Tapscott

"But even in wartime, the Constitution doesn't protect just freedom of popular speech, or the right to support the government, or the expression of political views that don't make anyone mad." -- Steve Chapman

"It does not do, to countenance the threat of being killed, to commit suicide." -- William F. Buckley

"If politicians don't respect the law, why should citizens respect politicians?" -- Debra Saunders

"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." -- Thomas Sowell

"Government has ceased to mean upholding and reinforcing the traditional rights and morals of the governed; it now means compulsion in the service of social engineering." -- Joseph Sobran

"What also struck me, aside from how frightening much in this speech was, were the things that were missing. Very little with respect to minorities, the uninsured, the homeless, the elderly, Enron workers who have lost their life savings." -- Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly on President Bush's State of the Union speech

"You said we do not go around killing innocent people. I take your point, except you've just launched an investigation to see whether in fact we did." -- ABC's Sam Donaldson to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Donaldson apparently missed the implicit "intentionally" there

"[W]e cannot let the Clinton legacy go. We're living vicariously through Chelsea because as a country we don't want to let a very popular former President out of our hands...." -- E! Online's Ted Casablanca on GMA about Chelsea's new hair style

"I think what we actually heard in the State of the Union speech was the 'police' State of the Union speech. ...I'm supportive of the President's efforts to fight against terrorism in our country and around the world. But it's increasingly clear that it's coming at the expense of a number of necessary programs for Americans.... The union is clearly less than perfect and the President did not make that case." -- Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

"John [Walker] loves America. John did not do anything against America." -- Frank Lindh, little Johnny's father

"I don't know. I'm what you call a 'newbie'." -- Response from a protester brandishing a placard that read, "No New War Against Somalia" at the World Economic Forum when asked if he knew where Somalia was

"Whether the terrorists in Guantanamo are getting enough Froot Loops is not where the country is right now." -- Ann Coulter

"President Bush called the Patriots -- that's tradition for the president to congratulate the winning team. President Bush is such a classy guy, he even called the Rams and gave them advice on what to do after choking." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush lifts weights. He likes to stay in shape. He can bench 180 pounds -- or, as Clinton calls it, 'half an intern'!" -- David Letterman

"The Super Bowl crowd booed Bill Clinton during his turn to read Abe Lincoln's words before the ballgame. Their booing made no sense at all. You would think that after five or six nights in the French Quarter, they would see things his way." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted February 4, 2002

"The world loves us, bleeding and suffering nobly, at the moral high ground of Ground Zero. To which we say: no thank you. Our paramount national duty today is to prevent another Sept. 11, not to glory in the moral high ground -- the moral vanity -- of the victimhood we suffered last Sept. 11." -- Charles Krauthammer

"The pre-occupation of some in the media -- and of self-styled human rights groups -- with the way Taliban prisoners are being treated (which is better than they have treated us) reveals that too many among us are still not willing to do what it takes to combat terror." -- Cal Thomas

"They feed us, let us shower, pray, write home. They even gave us a mattress, prayer mats and a copy of the Koran. What a bunch of twits." -- Kathleen Parker

"We would be doing a great disservice to all nations to blur the distinction between combatants and stateless terrorists." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"Even the most humane societies cannot afford to treat agents of terror as regular, uniformed soldiers." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Modernity, which is another name for the American experience, is incapable of seeing wholeness." -- Paul Greenberg

"The Enron collapse provides an example of how government does so much to prevent the market from working properly in the first place." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Business is the center of the American economy. You can't have jobs without healthy businesses. And business is what we do best in this country -- better than any other nation on the planet." -- Larry Kudlow

"To Dan Rather and to a lot of other powerful members of the chattering class, that which is right of center is conservative. That which is left of center is middle of the road." -- Bernard Goldberg

"I think [Bush's] sending a message to the media, 'Watch out, because I know you're all liberals. I know you're all against me, and I buy that myth,' which is the oldest myth in the business. There's not a word of truth to it." -- CNN's Bill Press on Mr. Bush reading a copy of Goldberg's book "Bias" about the media

"Jeffrey Dahmer's parents undoubtedly would have said he was a vegetarian." -- Dennis Prager on comments by John Walker Lindh's parents that he "loves America" and did no treasonous acts

"Poor old Peter, Tom, and Dan, Hanging on as long as they can. Replace those fossils With three John Stossels. Topple TV's Taliban." -- F.R.. Duplantier

"Maybe they figured how do we beat Bill O'Reilly? Maybe we create a two-hour program and call it Chung-King?" -- Fox's Shephard Smith on the announcement Connie Chung has jumped to CNN

"Muslim religious leaders who are all males are known as Imams. Do you suppose if they ever let women have the job they'll call them Ima'ams?" -- Lyn Nofziger

"You may have seen that both [Al] Sharpton and [Jesse] Jackson have rushed down to Houston, to pose for pictures and agitate in front of Enron. To call these two 'ambulance-chasers' is almost a waste of breath now. But aren't they ever embarrassed? Aren't their supporters?" -- Jay Nordlinger

"American Taliban fighter John Walker is now in the process of a plea agreement. The charges might drop from traitor to just idiot. Did you see Johnny Walker's father on TV saying, "My son loves America"? Yeah, right -- like O.J. loves his wife." -- Jay Leno

"Congress sent a delegation to Guantanamo to inspect the prison that holds al Qaeda terrorists. It wasn't a pretty picture. They saw torture, malnourishment, and hopeless faces, but the Navy is not responsible for Castro's side of the fence." -- Argus Hamilton



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