Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted June 24, 2002

"As far as I'm concerned, parents definitely ought to make nuisances of themselves when schools are secretive about what they're teaching students. After all, our tax dollars are paying for it and, more than that, we -- not the schools -- are ultimately responsible for our kids." -- Charles Colson

"What we should learn is not to put our trust and faith in men who are corruptible." -- Charles Colson on the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and subsequent political scandal

"The odd thing about the war on terror is not that we have to shave our principles to succeed, but instead the degree to which our principles and our interests coincide." -- Mona Charen

"You can't cure a disease without a proper diagnosis, and you can't win a war without naming the enemy." -- Kathleen Parker

"Let's stop waiting for terrorists to do us harm and start doing them harm. ...starting now, and then start planning the victory parades." -- Cal Thomas

"In the name of 'the war on terrorism,' the U.S. government kills Muslims in Afghanistan who have never lifted a finger against the United States, but refuses to profile Muslims on its own territory who might be planning terrorist incidents." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"Criticism is being heaped now for government inaction against terrorism before Sept. 11 -- when few of us could ever conceive of a major attack on America. Just imagine what will be hurled against George W. Bush when all of us could -- and did -- imagine such an attack marked by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction given to some terrorist group like al-Qaida. And yet his administration did not act. Why risk this? Why risk us?" -- Kenneth Adelman

"All I know is that, at least in my time, more of these things were prevented than occurred. And we tried to stay on top of them and did the best we could. ...[W]hen I was president, far more terrorist incidents were prevented than actually occurred." -- Bill Clinton, trying to shore up that shrinking legacy

"Preserving the Constitution, fighting off the nibblers and chippers, even nibblers and chippers with good intentions, was once regarded by conservatives as the first duty of the citizen. It still is." -- Wesley Pruden

"Those who betray our nation do not deserve our birthright. We cannot allow these snakes to call themselves Americans." -- Michelle Malkin

"[Leftists] favor dictatorships over democracies abroad, and criminals over victims at home." -- David Stolinsky

"Bush sits on his political capital like a squirrel facing an eight-month winter." -- Mark Steyn

"It is less important to have unanimity than it is to be making the right decision and doing the right thing, even though at the outset it may seem lonesome. Leadership in the right direction finds followers and supporters. I would submit that in the event that another decision has to be made, and the president makes it ... [w]e'll find that in a relatively short period of time, there will be support across broad areas for doing the right thing." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"Why do we take Israel's side [in the war against Jihadistan]? Israel is a democracy and a long-standing U.S. ally. And while it is a 'Jewish state' it affords political and civil rights to Christians and Moslems as well. By contrast, the Palestinian leadership has been a long-standing supporter of U.S. enemies from Castro and Brezhnev to Khaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Have we already forgotten the scenes of those Palestinians dancing in the streets on September 11th celebrating bin Laden's attack on the U.S.? Have we forgotten Israel's response? Israel lowered its flags to half-staff. Benjamin Netanyahu stated, 'Today, we are all Americans'." -- William J. Bennett and James C. Dobson

"G. W. Bush guards his political capital like an heirloom rather than invest it for even greater gains." -- Deroy Murdock

"We're going to take a quick break and come back and talk about the tax cut, if anything can be done about it. ...If anything should be done about it." -- NBC's Tim Russert

"Karl Rove declared war on the estate tax this week. You know, the tax only one-half of one percent of Americans pay?" -- Time magazine classist Margaret Carlson arguing that a minority should be exploited

"I went to a luncheon yesterday and Hillary Clinton was there. ... She was simply terrific. She was so well informed, she speaks without any written material, you know. We do a lot of kidding around, but boy, I was impressed." -- Barbara Walter

"The Israelis ... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists?" -- Ted Turner

"If Aaron Brown is the face of CNN, that must mean that Ted Turner is the other set of cheeks." -- Rush Limbaugh

"The unemployment rate is back down again at 4.5 percent. It's so low now that the only person unemployed is Al Gore!" -- Jay Leno

"The Washington Post reports President Bush in April ordered covert action to topple the government of Iraq and placed the CIA completely in charge. It will be a nice change of pace for the agency. They've been overthrowing Fidel Castro since 1959." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted June 10, 2002

"We need to teach our kids why social [Leftists] -- including, sometimes, their teachers -- claim that all violence and anger are wrong: It's an expression of hostility toward America itself and an inadequate understanding of sin and the need for justice. And we must make sure that they know why -- in the face of great evil -- getting angry isn't wrong. It's the necessary prologue to justice." -- Chuck Colson

"Hate crimes legislation sets a dangerous precedent. Instead of punishing people for the criminal act, such legislation punishes attitudes, beliefs, and speech, thereby minimizing and trivializing a person's behavior. Whether you drag someone behind a truck for fun or because you have animus against a particular class of people, the penalty ought to be the same. Law enforcement officers weren't meant to be 'thought police.' And in a free society, people should be punished for their bad deeds, not their personal opinions or beliefs." -- Ken Connor

"Too many people are afraid of holding black politicians to the same standard as everybody else. Exhibit A: Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Georgia Democrat, a woman whose every spoken word is a veritable piñata of imbecility; attack it from any angle and something stupid will drop out....She believes she has an undiminishable right to say unpopular things. Fair enough. But she also believes she should not be judged harshly as a result. This, to me, is the real racism. It says that we cannot -- dare not -- judge nutty black politicians by an objective standard." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Moral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place. ...We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name. We will lead the world in opposing it." -- President George W. Bush

"Let's stop waiting for terrorists to do us harm and start doing them harm. We shouldn't be thinking about deterrence. We should be planning to wipe them out, starting now, and then start planning the victory parades." -- Cal Thomas

"It is the Achilles heel of the struggle for innocence that we can so convince ourselves that certain things are unthinkable and unspeakable that we lose vigilance in opposing those who are quite ready to think, speak and do the most monstrous things." -- Alan Keyes

"Thousands of Americans died, at least in part, because of ethnic squeamishness by federal agencies. But that was before September 11th. Now we all know better ... don't we?" -- Mark Steyn

To psychologically cower and hope that Sept. 11 cannot happen again is infantile." -- Woody West

"Nuclear deterrence only works when nations define their self-interest rationally." -- Jonah Goldberg

"America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world." -- Thomas Sowell

"Do you feel, Senator, as if they are trying to demonize you literally, I mean, is that what's going on here?" -- Judy Woodruff tossing softballs to Tom Daschle and his wife in a recent interview

"But what is the point of these high-powered investigations [on intelligence failures] if our leaders have no intention of doing what's necessary to strengthen our security, including tightening illegal immigration controls, strengthening border security, requiring coordination between federal and state agencies, sensible targeting of Arab suspects, allowing pilots to have guns in the cockpit and arming the often disarmed National Guard in our airports?" -- David Limbaugh

"There's a whiff of hypocrisy in the air. One reason aggressive agents were restrained as they tried to go after Zacarias Moussaoui is that liberals like myself -- and the news media caldron in which I toil and trouble -- have regularly excoriated law enforcement authorities for taking shortcuts and engaging in racial profiling. As long as we're pointing fingers, we should peer into the mirror." -- New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof

"It's a new day. Communism is dead. It's even dead in Cuba. I hate to say it, it's dead." -- California Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer, who "hates to say" Communism is dead

"The messages from the original story are medieval messages, to be scared of the wolf, et cetera. The lesson and messages are actually wrong. The solutions are violent. They are not relevant to modern children." -- Connecticut filmmaker James Thomas on his revisionist version of "The Three Little Pigs," entitled "Four Little Pigs"

"We don't want our Hispanic kids, or any kids, to feel like we're teaching a bias approach." -- Angela Miller, social studies curriculum manager for the Houston Independent School District, on changes in the treatment of the Battle of the Alamo to include less "chest thumping" about the fight for Texas independence from Mexico, as that might make recent student immigrants from Mexico "uncomfortable"

"I'm tired of the 'can't win against evil' way. I'm sorry, you cannot. They'll run you over. So that is my one big passion. 'Ten Stupid Things People Do to Let Evil Win.' That will be my next passion book. I am angry." -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

"It is the rare American journalist who will say something unexpected or prematurely accurate. Instead, the American press travels as a herd, but it is not a happy herd. Its bovine practitioners hate each other." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell

"Moral: Nothing may prove so unreliable as Reliable Opinion, nothing so unrealistic as what we're told is unavoidable reality. Think of all the conventional wisdom that has proven anything but wisdom over the last half century...." -- Paul Greenberg

"It's no piece of cake. But it sure beats listening to Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor." -- Sen. Jesse Helms on his recent heart surgery and rehabilitation

"If it hadn't been for the United States, the national anthem of almost everyone from Siberia to the English Channel would be 'Deutchland Uber Alles'." -- Rich Galen on French protests against the U.S.

"Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, are about to release a new book they wrote called "Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of The American Family." That's when you know the book is boring -- when the title is boring." -- Jay Leno

"The New York State Education Department deleted what they considered to be insensitive references from classic literature on the high school English exam. Every reference to race was cut. How the word English survived is anybody's guess." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted June 3, 2002

"All Memorial Days are days in which Americans ought to give thanks for freedom and the fact that somebody sacrificed for their freedom. ... Our wars have won for us every hour we live in freedom." -- President George W. Bush

"We cannot take for granted the hard-won blessings of this country -- created by the wisdom and character of people like George Washington, as well as the blood and deaths of the patriots who supported them -- and then also demand that their words and deeds mirror our notions today, in a time with much easier choices." -- Thomas Sowell

"Memorial Day is a day we remember and honor those who fought and often died for their country. It is fitting that we do so. It is not, however, a day that we are called on to forgive those who have brought on us the horrors of war. As a nation we are not called on to do that; as individuals, as the years pass by and memories fade some of us will. But some can never." -- Lyn Nofziger

"...[U]ntil V-T Day arrives, the White House warns that more of us may have to die. Well, more than 3,000 of us have already died -- in lower Manhattan, in Washington and in rural Pennsylvania -- and I believe that the circumstances of this new war justifies extending the honors of Memorial Day to these dead." -- Daniel Henninger

"Would Mohammed Atta object to armed pilots?" -- Ann Coulter

"Most of us feel as though we've lived through eight months of memorial days. From the empty graves of Ground Zero to the broken ring of the Pentagon, we can't help but remember our country and the men and women who died loving it. But America's determination lives on -- in the spirit of our military." -- Ken Connor

"Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilant and committed in our fight to protect the freedoms and dreams on which this nation was founded." -- Bill Simon

"...[A] Rambo-like cowboy intent on going after Saddam Hussein with or without Europe's support." -- NBC's Campbell Brown on President George W. Bush's diplomatic consultations in Europe last week

"Indeed, in looking back on the weeks and months that preceded September 11, I must say, I -- like so many of my journalistic colleagues -- was embarrassed. We often neglected important news, especially from overseas, in favor of the softer yet perhaps more popular news." -- CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who further noted the TV media in particular had gotten "fat and happy"

"Is this a conservative's view of American history?" -- Matt Lauer to Lynne Cheney on her new children's book on American history

"Talk about scaring seniors -- this may be a little over the top. But it is sooo fun to bash Republicans. :)" -- Memo reply from a staffer in Demo Rep. Marcy Kaptur's office regarding a draft opinion piece designed to "scare seniors" away from any plan to privatize even a small part of Social Security by comparing it to "corporate gambling." (The reply was mistakenly sent to some Republican staffers.) House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt responded to the finding: "If that is scaring people, then we're going to have to go back to the dictionary and figure out the word 'scare,' because if it's scaring them, it's scaring them because of what is in the president's proposal"

"Well! I've just been asked the question that leads to an answer, which is then characterized as inflammatory in the media. And the question is, should I refuse to answer -- and therefore not be accused of being inflammatory or alarmist or something? Or should I just give the same honest answer I've given for six, eight, 10, 12 months?" -- Donald Rumsfeld

"Underperformin' Norman is so September 10th, in thrall to all the old shibboleths -- gun control good; profiling bad. You can't blame the public for concluding that a war effort which targets 86-year-old nuns with tweezers is all effort and no war." -- Mark Steyn

"Anything they're hearing, they're putting it out now in the form of an alert. If they get a fax saying that terrorists are going to disguise themselves as Dolly Parton and show up at various grocery stores to sell pancake batter -- they'll issue an alert." -- Rush Limbaugh

"Recent polls show that Yasser Arafat's popularity is slipping in the Middle East. He's becoming more and more unpopular. You know where he's doing really bad? With the Jewish vote. He'd better start going door to door to get their votes." -- Jay Leno

"The New York Times says cable news ratings have sunk to pre-September 11th levels. The public is sick of pundits. If you saw James Carville and Bill O'Reilly and they were both drowning, would you continue reading the newspaper or eat lunch?" -- Argus Hamilton



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