Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted July 22, 2002

"We're captive to this culture of relativism. There's no truth, so who are we to impose our values on anyone else? All anybody can do -- like a business school teacher -- is help people think through problems and arrive at their own conclusions while telling them that no conclusion is any better than any other -- a formula for disaster. This is what modern worldviews teach. But what happens when you allow people to arrive at their own moral conclusions? They do what is right in their own eyes, and we end up with the likes of Enron and WorldCom." -- Charles Colson

"Freedom, by definition, includes freedom to do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. Thus we should not be surprised that there is a considerable amount of vice, licentiousness, and vulgarity in a free society. Given the warped timber of humanity, freedom becomes a forum for the expression of human flaws and weaknesses. But if freedom brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the best. The millions of Americans who live decent, praiseworthy lives deserve our highest admiration because they have opted for the good when the good is not the only available option. Even amidst the temptations that a rich and free society offers, they have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen. The free society does not guarantee virtue, any more than it guarantees happiness. But it allows for the pursuit of both, a pursuit rendered all the more meaningful and profound because success is not guaranteed, it has to be won through personal striving." -- Dinesh D'Souza

"The crisis in the markets is as much about moral meltdown as it is bad business practices. Too many high-flying CEOs have been willing to engage in massive fraud, to lie, cheat and steal to get ahead. ...Our economic system depends on honesty, on an underlying morality, on public confidence in the truth of market information." -- Ken Connor

"No corporation on earth comes close to the accounting fraud practiced year after year by the federal government." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"The history of liberty is largely the history of the observance of procedural safeguards. The existence of so many bogus civil liberty concerns should not blind us to real ones." -- Maggie Gallagher

"Apparently the only thing which will mollify the Democrats in Congress is for the U.S. government to take control of each and every activity of each and every corporation in the United States. Been there. Done that. Didn't work out so well. We called it: 'The Soviet Union'." -- Rich Galen

"What Americans can do is start demanding more of all their leaders -- ethics from businessmen, morality from church leaders, vision from politicians and depth from them all." -- Larry Seaquist

"The temptation of some greedy CEOs is personal enrichment. But the temptation of many politicians is political survival." -- Cal Thomas

"The FBI should stick to fighting crime, and leave public relations to the Chamber of Commerce and political correctness to the ACLU." -- Debra Saunders

"Since September 11th, some congressional Democrats have imitated chameleons, altering their observable ideological coloration for tactical political advantage. Like their reptilian counterparts, the motivation has been simple: Survival." -- Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

"Lost in all the outrage over the corporate accounting scandals is one fact politicians do not like to acknowledge: The auditing problems at American companies cannot rival the bookkeeping shambles of the world's largest enterprise -- the U.S. government. Exaggerated earnings, disguised liabilities, off-budget shenanigans -- they are all there in the government's ledgers on a scale even the biggest companies could not dream of matching." -- Martin Crutsinger

"I think it'd be nice if some of the political opponents would stop taking potshots at the president for things that started long before he came into office." -- Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), responding to Democrats' salvos against Bush and Cheney's ties to big business amid the growing number of recent corporate scandals -- most of which have their roots under the Clinton regime

"A Zogby International poll of college seniors came up with a fascinating finding. Almost all of the 401 randomly selected students around the country -- 97% -- said their college studies had prepared them to behave ethically in their future work lives. So far so good. But 73% of the students said that when their professors taught about ethical issues, the usual message was that uniform standards of right and wrong don't exist ('What is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity')." -- John Leo

"If you keep emulating Clinton, eventually you become Clinton." -- Rep. Tom Tancredo

"I would bet you that I can find you 4,000, 5,000 FBI agents who wish to God they weren't assigned to Whitewater, Monicagate, Bill Clinton -- that instead they were on the trail of Osama bin Laden and the people who were plotting mass murder against us." -- Geraldo Rivera, forgetting Bill Clinton's role in hunting down Osama bin Laden

"There's no harm in this rhetoric, but it is nave to suppose that business can be regulated by some kind of national honor code." -- Washington Post editorial in response to President Bush's assertion, "There is no capitalism without conscience; there is no wealth without character."

"In South Africa, we call it Apartheid. In Nazi Germany, we'd call it fascism. Here in the United States, we call it conservatism." -- The Reverend Jesse Jackson's insights into the momentum of the American political culture

"The job comes with a salary and health care benefits for her and her partner, and they are entitled to that benefit. I'm not going into specifics ... whatever their medical needs are, they're entitled to have them covered under the city's health plan just as any other families on the city payroll." -- Vernon C. Grigg III, attorney for San Francisco elections head Tammy Haygood, fired from her position somewhat shy of tenure, who is seeking reinstatement and restoration of health benefits especially to cover medical procedures for the female-to-male sex change that will make her partner her "husband"

"There are going to be some happy rats tonight." -- Louisville's Metropolitan Sewer District director Bud Schardein, after Southern Comfort distillery spilled 1,500 gallons of the liquor down the drain.

"So, Your Honor, the Pledge is unconstitutional because it says 'Under God'. Guess that means when you were sworn in with your hand on a Bible, and at the end of your oath repeated, 'So Help Me God' that makes your job unconstitutional, therefore you have no job, which means your ruling doesn't mean anything." -- Dennis Miller addressing the U.S. 9th Circuit Court

"They'll stoop to anything to win, those Republicans, even quote their opponents." -- Ann Coulter

"I went to a new 99-cent store today -- Wall Street!" -- Jay Leno

"Janet Reno will host a Miami fund-raiser called Janet Reno's Dance Party. She has a new dance named after her. You put your right hand over your right eye, you put your left hand over your left eye, and then you clear Al Gore of all wrongdoing." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted July 15, 2002

"It [the International Criminal Court] puts American servicemen and women at fundamental risk of being tried by an entity that is beyond America's reach, beyond America's laws, and can subject American civilian and military to arbitrary standards of justice." -- Ari Fleischer, the President's press secretary, observing that the ICC is a serious threat to U.S. sovereignty

"All investment is an act of faith, and faith is earned by integrity. In the long run, there's no capitalism without conscience; there is no wealth without character." -- President George W. Bush

"Our politics suffers from a shortage of people who put character and country before career and personal gain." -- Cal Thomas

"Trust is one of those things that is much easier to maintain than it is to repair." -- Thomas Sowell

"In the legal arena, material misrepresentations of fact are called 'fraud.' In Washington, such misrepresentations are called 'politics'." -- Ken Connor

"While Tom Daschle is on his mission to try get SOMETHING to stick to President Bush, we are seeing the clear signs of the...Democrats returning to their roots -- anti-business, class warfare." -- Rich Galen

"There is something to be said for popular abolition of the death penalty; there is nothing to be said for its incremental abolition by this court." -- Justice Antonin Scalia

"If they [foreign entrants] have visas and are from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan or Syria, they now pose national security concerns and must be fingerprinted and photographed. ...It's a little like the search for communists in the government after World War II." -- CNN's Bruce Morton

"He may be alive. If he is, we'll get him. If he's not alive, we got him." -- U.S. President George W. Bush when asked if Osama bin Laden was still alive

"If this sounds like Mr. Bush has come down squarely on Israel's side in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, that is how it looks in the Middle East and in Washington." -- Peter Jennings on the President's peace plan, perhaps playing dumb

"I am a liberal, which means I believe in dissent and I believe in listening to others." -- PBS's Bill Moyers

"[I] would spend more time speaking from the heart [on] the basic challenges of the country." -- Albert Gore responding to a query about running in 2004

"A liberal judge who finds God unconstitutional is precisely the stuff of which Republican dreams and Democratic nightmares are made." -- Jonah Goldberg

"There are enough fools in Washington to destroy the country without any help from Muslim terrorists." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"Remember the good old days when a guy ran for president and lost and you never heard from him again?" -- Greg Crosby

"Bill Clinton has still got some of us snowed, and the younger, the more snowable. Actually, a piece by Bill Clinton on the law and how to get around it might have been of considerable interest. Much like a piece by Willie Sutton in a banking journal. It would have had a True Confessions kind of appeal." -- Paul Greenberg

"Julian Bond is in rare form as the NAACP convention opens in Houston, Texas. Bush this ... right-wingers that ... racism this, that and the other thing. The same tired old 'we're so picked on' story, Chapter 342." -- Neal Boortz

"The geniuses at WorldCom, Arthur Andersen, Enron (remember them?), Global Crossing, and Qwest have done for top executives at major corporations what Monica Lewinsky did for White House interns." -- Rich Galen

"The first case of mad cow disease has been discovered in Israel. Gee, I hope this doesn't make any people in the Middle East go crazy!" -- Jay Leno

"Janet Reno announced ... she will hold a Janet Reno's Dance Party in Miami based on the Saturday Night Live sketch about her. This can only mean one thing. After leading the War on Drugs for eight years, she has gone over to the other side." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted July 1, 2002

"Whiny parents wonder why public schools have abandoned standards, forsaken accountability and adopted appeasement as their primary educational mission. Oh, who could be to blame for such an abysmal abdication of responsibility? Who?" -- Michelle Malkin

"The civil liberties of foreigners is not a concern, but when things done to them set a dangerous precedent for American citizens, we need to proceed with caution, if at all. There is no magical line in the Constitution that divides citizens and non-citizens or protects us from the Orwellian tactics imposed on them. Establishing an enormous system for the purpose of storing personally identifiable information and tracking people's every move lays the political and technical foundation for a national ID card. Anyone who doesn't think so has taken a few too many puffs from the peace pipe." -- Joel Mowbray

"Prohibiting citizens from banding together to express their political opinions in the public marketplace of ideas would have been unthinkable to America's Founding Fathers." -- Ken Connor

"I fully expect this outrageous [circuit court] decision will be overturned by the Supreme Court, and in the meantime, call on these liberal judges to stop accepting their taxpayer paychecks as they are no doubt offended by the words 'In God We Trust' on all U.S. currency." -- Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr

"Make sure the government treats others the same as you would want the government to treat you. ...Once you consent to the government ignoring the Constitution, you deny yourself the protection of the Constitution." -- Charley Reese

"Americans have also only begun to understand that if radical Islam is one face of our enemy, the other is the radical Left." -- David Horowitz

"It was the Israelis who sympathized with the murder of 3,000 of our citizens. It was the Palestinians celebrating and dancing in the streets." -- Rush Limbaugh

"Statehood before peace is guaranteed to increase the violence." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Arming pilots remains the smartest and sanest approach to making the skies safer immediately." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"I've been here 18 years and I can say with total confidence that there's no special interest that completely owns, lock stock, the Republican conference. But, by golly, I think the Democrats in the Senate are a wholly owned subsidiary of [the Association of Trial Lawyers of America]. They ought to be embarrassed." -- Sen. Mitch McConnell

"On occasion we make mistakes but that's not because there's any bias. CNN is not pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli. We're fair, we're responsible in our reporting, we try to be as accurate as we possibly can be." -- CNN news chief Eason Jordan, apologizing on Israel Television for his network's provision of far more time to the families of homicide bombers than to the families of those they are murdering

"People [were] running around spending those [Bush tax refund] checks to spur on the economy and it's money the government can't afford." -- NBC's Matt Lauer on tax reductions. The government can't afford it?

"He disgusts me. And I know I'm not supposed to say this because I'm a good Democrat, but I didn't want to [talk] to him because he lied to me when he said, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman,' and then put the scarlet-letter b*****b on her for the rest of her life. I still hate you!" -- Rosie O'Donnell on Bill Clinton

"Opponents of the death penalty are heralding the Supreme Court ruling last week banning the ultimate penalty in cases involving defendants with IQ's less than 70...which, some...might suggest, gives Democrats a license to kill." -- ACU's Chuck Muth

"Hillary Clinton, they say, has put on 30 pounds since she's been a Senator. In fact, she has gotten so heavy that today Bill hit on her." -- David Letterman

"...the affable Eva Braun of morning television." -- Ann Coulter on Katie Couric in a "Today Show" interview

"If Richard Nixon's presidency was the stuff of tragedy, Bill Clinton's was closer to farce. ... Bill Clinton's great contribution to the presidency was to trivialize it, to turn it into a Hollywood production." -- Paul Greenberg

"We will miss him.... Anyone who is despised by the like of Garrison Keillor can't be all bad." -- Wall Street Journal on Jesse Ventura's decision to leave after just one term

"As the number of incompetent Palestinian suicide bombers suggests, in this [terrorism] field it's hard, by definition, to get people with experience." -- Mark Steyn

"...[L]ooking at the newly hired luggage inspectors, we might be safer if the passengers frisked the inspectors, rather than vice versa." -- Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder

"Scientists in England say they have invented a cell phone so small that it can be placed in a tooth by a dentist. Isn't that amazing -- I didn't know England had dentists!" -- Jay Leno

"The FBI warned ... a boatload of al-Qa'ida fighters is sailing toward Los Angeles to attempt a beach landing. No one's worried. This is Los Angeles, and the moment they try to land, they will be driven back into the sea by Crip gunfire." -- Argus Hamilton



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