Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted July 28, 2003

"This just in: Children of divorce do better when both parents live in the same general vicinity. Stunning, I know. So go the findings of 'new research' into divorce trends and their effects on children. When it takes 'new research' to confirm the obvious, we might figure we've run out of things to explore. And yet, what's obvious apparently isn't so obvious anymore. What should be clear without succumbing to Freud's couch is that children need and deserve both parents, a mother and a father. I realize heterosexual unions have lost some of their luster, but there it is. The original plan." -- Kathleen Parker

"Yesterday, in the city of Mosul, the careers of two of the regime's chief henchmen came to an end. Saddam Hussein's sons were responsible for torture, maiming and murder of countless Iraqis. Now, more than ever, all Iraqis can know that the former regime is gone and will not be coming back." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"I would like to send this message to the American people and the American government that we, the Libyan people, we want to have a more constructive and fruitful relationship with the Americans.... We don't want confrontation and aggression and, you know, to fight anymore. It's over. It's behind us now." -- Moammar Gadhafi's son after news of Uday and Quasay Hussein's deaths

"We need to let the Iraqis form a provisional government now, not months or years from now. There was a constitutional government in Iraq before Saddam. There can't be an agreement on a new constitution immediately, so we should get the free Iraqi leaders to agree to some version of the old one, have them sign it as a temporary document with a fixed expiration date. Then help them craft their new one by that date. Publish a real road map to democracy, and assure them that no matter how long the fugitive Saddamites fight, we won't pull out until Iraq can stand on its own feet. We lost Vietnam for many reasons, but one of the top two was that we published deadlines for our withdrawal. We need to make sure that the enemies of freedom know we won't leave before it's time. And those messages need to get out to Iraq." -- Jed Babbin

"As long as I hold this office, I will never risk the lives of American citizens by assuming the good will of dangerous enemies." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"[A]t a safe remove from the danger, some are now trying to cast doubt upon the decision to liberate Iraq. The ability to criticize is one of the great strengths of our [republic]. But those who do so have an obligation to answer this question: How could any responsible leader have ignored the Iraqi threat?" -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

"If we are wrong [about Iraq], we will have destroyed a threat that, at its least, is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering. That is something I am confident history will forgive. But if our critics are wrong, if we are right ... and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in the face of this menace when we should have given leadership. That is something history will not forgive." -- Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair

"The WMD-hyping charge is nothing more than the Iraqi museum story Part II: A way for opponents of the war -- deeply embarrassed by the mass graves, torture chambers and grotesque palaces discovered after the war -- to change the subject and relieve themselves of the shame of having opposed the liberation of 25 million people." -- Charles Krauthammer

"History is the greatest of the humanities. To remind us of its consequentiality it leaves specimens of itself around for later generations to discover to their amazement and edification." -- Emmett Tyrrell

"...America's straight-talking, hard-nosed internationalism is having a salutary effect on hot spots around the globe...." -- Peter Brookes

"Despite the daily violence and the chaos, everywhere you go, Iraqis express their gratitude for the war that removed Saddam Hussein from power." -- Tom Brokaw

"You received the National Intelligence Estimate back in October, correct? ... So you read it. When the State of the Union address came out why didn't you say, 'Wait a minute, they can't say this. Haven't they read the sentence here by the State Department?'" - Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow
"I didn't; I was skeptical about that part of it...." -- Senator Jay Rockefeller, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in response

"Mr. Bush did not wag his finger and say 'Saddam Hussein did have radioactive relations with that yellowcake, Miss Niger.' All he did was say that the closest U.S. ally had learned something that it continues to believe to this day." -- Mark Steyn

"Howard Dean's 15 minutes of pop celebrity is just about up, John Kerry's still trying to get the ketchup stains off his tie, Joe Lieberman can't remember whether he's supposed to be a shark or a chicken, John Edwards has lost sight of the ambulance, Bob Graham can't decide whether to write about the bacon or the eggs he had for breakfast, Al Sharpton has lost his rhyming dictionary, and nobody has seen Dick Gephardt since St. Louis quit making shoes." -- Wesley Pruden

"The so-called conservative movement of the last 20 years, starting with the Reagan revolution of the 1980s, followed by the 1994 Gingrich takeover of the House, and culminating in the early 2000s with Republican control of both Congress and the White House, seems a terrible failure today. Republicans have failed utterly to shrink the size of government; instead it is bigger and costlier than ever before. Federal spending spirals out of control, new Great Society social welfare programs have been created, and the national debt is rising by more than a half-trillion dollars per year. Whatever happened to the conservative vision supposedly sweeping the nation?" -- Ron Paul

"President Bush said that he will not send troops to Liberia until he gets some bogus intelligence from the CIA to justify it." -- Jay Leno

"Jerry Springer is going to run for senate in Ohio. The Democrats think this is great -- it might be the embarrassing sex scandal they’ve been hoping for!" -- David Letterman

"A Chappaqua thrift store will auction three articles of clothing donated by Bill Clinton. It's a man's shirt and two women's items. They are authenticated by the labels on them -- People's Exhibit A, People's Exhibit B and People's Exhibit C." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted July 21, 2003

"The fact of the matter is that [homosexuals] ... should not be blamed or made scapegoats for the weakening of the fundamental institution of marriage. Men and women, husbands and wives by the millions, who care more for Mercedes-Benzes and four-car garages than for teaching their children values and helping with their homework, have done a fine job of that, thank you. Live-in heterosexual lovers who want the benefits of marriage without the responsibility or the costs, and who have no more regard for the well-being of children of a former marriage than they do for their boyfriend or girlfriend's Weimaraner, have done more to destroy this vital institution...." -- Bob Barr

"If the lipstick lesbian was the gay icon of the '90s, these days she's been replaced by her more controversial counterpart, the hasbian: a woman who used to date women but now dates men. Though (actress) Anne Heche is the most prominent example, many hasbians...are by-products of '90s liberal arts educations. Caught up in the gay scene at school, they came out at 20 or 21 and now, five or ten years later, are finding themselves in the odd position of coming out all over again -- as heterosexuals." -- Amy Sohn

"Many conservatives have great regard for history as a guide and as an indication of what to expect from the future, while many liberals have a utopian view of society that requires a suspension of disbelief in order to be seen as practical. Because much of current liberal politics is built on theory rather than practice, history can be an awful inconvenience. So-called 'Progressives' can ill afford an electorate versed in political and cultural history, so their only option is to debunk historical truths that contradict them, or to argue that history is always relative to interpretation. Herein lies the real danger to society as a whole. Questioning history in an effort to uncover the truth is healthy. Refuting a truth (regardless of its validity) because it doesn't support a political theory is the death-knell of liberty." -- Sterling Rome

"The fact that 10 million more people work for government than work in manufacturing highlights an important point. When government officials talk about 'creating jobs,' they usually mean creating government jobs. The trouble is that those in 'public service' expect to be paid well, and their perks are fabulous. Unfortunately, any method of paying salaries and benefits in the government sector has to destroy jobs in the private sector.... In short, governments can't 'create jobs.' Adding government jobs is never a net addition to employment opportunities, because it means a heavier burden on private employers and employees." -- Cato's Alan Reynolds

"I am fearful that Ms. Clinton will somehow slip past the GOP radar screen. That she will be underestimated by conservatives who don't realize that much of the public doesn't recognize the intensity of her liberal, dogmatic ideology. Indeed, I'm worried that she could even win the presidency in 2008. Let me also add that a new wrinkle has developed. While in England promoting her new book, Sen. Clinton played coy about any future presidential plans. But she noted that 2004 would hopefully see a Democratic man 'or woman' elected president. What woman? Surely she's not suggesting the current lone female candidate, Carol Moseley Braun, has any real chance of heading the Democratic ticket? Could it be -- despite her protests that she will not run in 2004 -- that Sen. Clinton might be 'drafted' into the nomination race if early primary results indicate a rudderless Democratic party?" -- Matt Towery

"If the purpose of naming an aircraft carrier is to convey the strength and seriousness of this country and our military, then we have certainly accomplished that. Something tells me that any potential adversary of the United States will take notice when word arrives that the USS Ronald Reagan has been sighted offshore. ...Ronald Reagan changed the course of history as few men have ever done." -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

"My husband's enduring legacy of freedom lives through you and those who will serve aboard the ship named in his honor for the next 50 years." -- Nancy Reagan

"If our society forgets the sacrifices that led to our founding, to our Constitution, to our Union, and to our dominant role in the world, then it will soon be as if none of those sacrifices were ever made. Even those citizens who so openly revile our country have cause to fear such an occurrence, for when freedom is lost, it is lost even to those who rebuke it." -- Sterling Rome

"I'm not implacably opposed to changing the Constitution, but the way we do that is by amending it, not by simply 'reinterpreting' it based upon the gut instincts of a few unelected lawyers." -- Jonah Goldberg

"What will conservatives be willing to risk in order to contain the growth of government, to preserve the traditional understanding of marriage, to uphold the American national identity? It often looks like not much, but there are some signs this might be changing." -- W. James Antle

"One thing is certain: those who worked and voted for less government, the very foot soldiers in the conservative revolution, have been deceived. Today, the ideal of limited government has been abandoned by the GOP, and real conservatives find their views no longer matter." -- Ron Paul

"This bloody past suggests to us that enemies cease hostilities only when they are battered enough to acknowledge that there is no hope in victory -- and thus that further resistance means only useless sacrifice." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Precisely which part of that statement [those 16 words from President Bush] isn't true? ...I suppose you can make the case that a British government claim should not have made its way into the President's SOTU without further verification. But why is that the top of the TV news day after day? Why would even the most dyspeptic Bush-basher see in those 16 accurate words of President's Bush's ... SOTU an opportunity to persuade Americans that there's a scandal in the White House, another Watergate, grounds for impeachment?" -- Clifford D. May

"The lies being spun by the far Left are weapons of mass deception. The hysterical Left opposed the war against Iraq, predicting tens of thousand of U.S. casualties. They were wrong then; why should we believe them now?" -- Charles R. Smith

"I know it's hard on America. And in some small corner of this vast country ... there's a guy getting on with his life perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, 'Why me, and why us, and why America?' And the only answer is because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do." -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressing a joint session of Congress

"He could have been in sales." -- MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, attempting to demean Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"I really don't think Rolex cares about how many watches Timex sells." -- CNN head Jim Walton, on the rise of Fox News Channel over his network

"Wishing death on people hasn't always been a damaging career move. In fact, if you wish death on conservatives, there's no problem at all.... But it's too bad that the TV-talk titans never uphold civility on conservatives' behalf, and liberals never suffer the slightest professional hiccup when their hate speech lights up the tube." -- Brent Bozell

"It's nice to be a centrist for a change." -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean remarking on his Democratic presidential competitors Carol Moseley Braun, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton coming out in favor of same-sex marriage, universal college education and central Department of Peace

"It's too bad we can't force political leaders to settle their quarrels personally with pistols or swords. If that were their only choice, then most conflicts would be settled by negotiations." -- Charley Reese

"All the TV shows are full of Democrats all furious, criticizing President Bush for the State of the Union Address. They said he exaggerated some of the facts. See, that's something Bill Clinton never did. Clinton never stretched the truth, Clinton never even came close to the truth." -- Jay Leno

"Iran test-launched its Shahab-3 missile ... that is able to reach Israel. Iran says they built the rocket and guidance system using their own expertise. So it's just a coincidence that Shahab is the North Korean word meaning This Side Up." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted July 14, 2003

"More powerful than any law, executive order or court decision is the culture of equality fashioned by the words to be found in that Declaration [of Independence]. It is that culture of equality -- a belief that all Americans are not only equal in the eyes of God but equal in the eyes of the government -- that binds us and unites us as one people 'indivisible.' Should a significant segment of the people lose faith in the principles contained in the document that represents the social contract we have with each other, that culture of equality will erode and America will cease to be a nation that promises and delivers 'liberty and justice for all'." -- Ward Connerly

"Unchecked judicial activism leads to the erosion of all the foundational principles of limited government. Federalism takes a hit because the federal court usurps state prerogatives; the separation of powers is damaged because the Court encroaches into the legislative sphere; the Bill of Rights is assaulted because the 9th and 10th Amendment rights of the people and the states (and the reserved powers doctrine) are diminished. And the rule of law takes a punch to the gut when the highest arbiter of law in the nation says that we are a government of men -- five out of nine robed men, to be more precise -- not laws." -- David Limbaugh

"And so much for the Founding Fathers' idea of a union of several self-governing states that would delegate to a central government only those limited powers needed for dealing with other nations in peace and war and for providing for the general welfare. Well, fellows, it was a nice try. And it's truly sad to watch what was devised with such high hopes evolve steadily into a heavily centralized, ever more socialized government yearly expands its control over the states and the people. Old Ben Franklin must have had a premonition when he replied, when asked what kind of a government the Constitutional Convention had come up, 'A republic -- if you can keep it'." -- Lyn Nofziger

"...[I]t says something unflattering about our era that prominent political figures -- who used to write declarations of independence, preambles to constitutions, Gettysburg addresses, and such -- now use the alphabet only to make primitive artifacts, like the letter-inscribed tablet that Charlemagne is said to have put under his pillow each night, in the hope he'd wake up literate. Conservatives, including most of the Founding Fathers, have always worried that the price of a democratic system would be a mediocre nation. But George Washington and William F. Buckley Jr. put together could not have foreseen, in their gloomiest moments, the rise of Clinton-style über-mediocrity -- with its soaring commonplaces, its pumped trifling, its platinum-grade triviality. The Alpha-dork husband, the super-twerp wife, and the hyper-wonk vice president -- together with all their mega-weenie water carriers, such as vicious pit gerbil George Stephanopoulos and Eastern diamondback rattleworm Sidney Blumenthal -- spent eight years trying to make America nothing to brag about. They failed. And that is, ultimately, what makes 'Living History' such a good nonread. If they're going to throw the book at us, and the book is by Hillary, the republic will endure (and the Republicans will prevail)." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"The Education Department of the State of New York will begin offering standardized math tests that every student can pass. The decision follows the resignation of the state's testing director who lost her job after 63% of New York student's failed the Math A Regents exam. 'Clearly, it is a disservice to public schools to give tests whose results imply students aren't learning essential skills,' said an unnamed spokesman for the New York Board of Regents. 'Now that the state's testing director is gone, we can offer an exam that more accurately reflects what students are really learning.' Here's a sample question from the new test: 'New York citizens contribute $43.8 million per year to the state department of education. Yet 63% of students failed the Regent's math exam. If "x" equals the amount of money taxpayers in other states contribute to New York state through the Federal Department of Education, how much does "x" need to be in order to reduce the math test failure rate to 50%?' Answer: Any number greater than $7 billion will be considered correct." -- Scott Ott

"There are some who feel like that conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: Bring them on. We have the force necessary to deal with the situation." -- U.S. President George Bush

"The principles enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence define the American way of life. Without those principles we become just another country, governed by whim and expediency, with no guiding vision beyond the ambitions of the latest politicians in power." -- Ron Paul

"Liberty, self-control and the external control of law all work together to keep us from being enslaved by our temporary desires. If we want to maintain independence, we should remember that." -- Marvin Olasky

"Freedom -- understanding it, living it, and teaching it. That, my fellow Americans, is what patriotism should mean to each of us today." -- Lawrence W. Reed

"Rough road behind. Rough road ahead. Bring it on. ...[T]he prize we seek, at this time in history, is a way of life. It's called freedom, liberty. Freedom is worth whatever it takes." -- Gen. Tommy Franks

"'The Nine Dwarfs' pursuing the Democratic Party presidential nomination have been relentlessly asserting that the Republican Party is beholden to the wealthy. It turns out, however, that it is the Democratic Party that has been addicted to the million-dollar contributions from the nation's fat cats. "A recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a nonpartisan campaign-finance research organization, reveals that the Democratic Party gobbled up an astounding 92 percent of all individual contributions totaling $1 million or more during the 2001-02 election cycle. Meanwhile, it was the Republican Party that received 64 percent of all individual contributions less than $200 per donor." -- The Washington Times

"You do?!" -- Diane Sawyer floored by the fact that General Tommy Franks agreed with Bush's "Bring 'em on" comment

"For some reason, if it's al-Qaida, Hamas or Hezbollah attacking America, they're 'terrorists,' but if they're attacking Israel or Jews, they're 'militants.' That's a real problem; words do have meanings." -- Peter Hebert, board member with, which is calling for a weeklong subscription and advertising boycott of The Washington Post for anti-Israel bias

"All the candidates from Washington, they all know each other, they all move in the same circles, and what I'm doing is breaking into the country club." -- Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean, whose son and three cohorts mere days earlier had been arrested for breaking into a country club to purloin adult beverages

"I liked the traditional duties of keeping a house. ...I'm not the greatest at it in the world, but I loved doing it. I mean, it was inviting people to come to your home and therefore it mattered to me what china we used, what the flowers looked like, what the menu was." -- Hillary Clinton on housekeeping

"Even in discussions with NASCAR, there is agreement that there is a perception that stock car racing is a good ole' boy's southern redneck cracker sport. ...When you see the Confederate flag, what is the perception you are going to get but of white supremacy? NASCAR does not allow cars, drivers or vendors to display Confederate flags, but fans are permitted to wave them in the stands." --Charles Farrell, director of Rainbow Sports, on what NASCAR fans are currently -- but not long if he has his way -- "permitted to wave in the stands"

"The danger for the Democrats in 2004 is that they will indulge their outraged inner liberal rather than compete for the political center." -- The Wall Street Journal

"But right now it's happening [unexpected success] on a much larger scale to someone called Howard Dean. If you've never heard of him, don't worry. You'll soon be never hearing of him ever again. But just for the moment he is, improbably, the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination." -- Mark Steyn

"Correspondents for The Washington Post, having failed earlier to get traction with complaining dispatches about strategy, tactics, quagmires and stalemates, are serving up a daily diet of gripes, beef and lamentation. 'Rock bottom' seems to be the popular destination. ...The occasional reporter, persuaded that there's a Pulitzer in here somewhere if only he could find it, makes bellyaching seem to be the universal order of the day." -- Wesley Pruden

"Proponents of this election to recall Governor Gray Davis claim they now have 988,000 signatures. Isn’t that amazing? I didn’t realize that many Californians spoke English! Where are they?!" -- Jay Leno

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was nearly killed Friday by a falling stage beam in Philadelphia. She's the swing vote. If that beam had fallen an inch to the left, gay couples who smoke in public restaurants would never get into Michigan Law School." -- Argus Hamilton

"The question is why did we give the guerrillas that opening? Why are we putting coalition forces into no-win situations where we have little to gain and are vulnerable to these kinds of flash-point attacks?" -- Donald Lambro

"Conservatives in Congress are appalled by White House demands that they hold their noses and vote for the biggest expansion of government in 30 years. What is the point, they ask, of having control of the White House and Congress if it is just to enact Democrat big-spending programs? Better to be back in the minority, many say. ... In short, the political calculation is penny-wise/pound-foolish in the extreme. Any prescription drug plan will be an albatross around the Republican Party's neck for generations to come. It's a bad deal." -- Bruce Bartlett

"Like all monarchs, Queen Hillary will not condescend to ask. The great prize must be offered to her by a band of supplicating Democratic grandees -- top hats in hand." -- Tony Blankley on whether Hillary Clinton will one day make a run for the presidency

"It's easier to declare yourself a gay drug-addicted kleptomaniac than a born-again Christian. Saying you are a born-again Christian at an elite Hollywood party is like wearing a swastika to a B'nai B'rith fund-raiser. There is visceral, palpable contempt." -- Hollywood publicist Michael Levine on the risk Mel Gibson is taking with his movie The Passion

web posted July 7, 2003

"It's well past time for [Leftism] to be declared a religion and banned from public schools. Allowing Christians to be one of many after-school groups induces hysteria not just because liberals hate religion. It's because the public school is their temple. Children must be taught to love Big Brother, welcoming him to take over our schools, our bank accounts, our property, even our toilet bowls." -- Ann Coulter

"Nowhere have people been willing to work as well for the common good as they do for their own benefit. Perhaps in some other galaxy there are creatures who would, but the track record of socialism among human beings on earth shows that this is not the place. Worst of all, the concentration of political power necessary to try to reduce economic inequalities has allowed tyrants like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot to impose their notions and caprices on millions of others -- draining them economically or slaughtering them en masse or exploiting them sexually. Mao Zedong, for example, had harems of young girls -- and occasionally boys -- for his pleasure in various parts of China. There is no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over other people is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else. Socialism has long sought to create a heaven on earth but an even older philosophy pointed out that the road to hell is paved with good intentions." -- Thomas Sowell

"Authority does not prove truth. ...Majority does not prove truth. The majority can and often has been dead wrong. That's why you cannot determine either the truth or the right or wrong of anything with a poll. You can only tabulate people's opinions. Beware of propaganda." -- Charley Reese

"For the Supreme Court to kind of wink and say an aggressive affirmative action is bad, [but] subtle affirmative action is good for a certain period of time just makes no sense to me." -- House Majority Leader Tom Delay

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's majority decision upholding affirmative action in admissions to the University of Michigan Law School was her classic split-the-baby formula, washed down with rambling rhetoric, and making a mockery of the law." -- Thomas Sowell

"[The Supreme Court] has dignified 'diversity' -- a flag of activist convenience, a wily obfuscation -- as a compelling state interest, and on its promoters' terms. 'Diversity' means 'more blacks.' That's why traditional African-American colleges are exempt from its strictures: as 100% black schools, they're already as diverse as you can get." -- Mark Steyn

"Affirmative action is a bit of sideshow that assuages us guilty liberals.” -- Newsweek editor Evan Thomas on "Inside Washington."

"Clarence Thomas is my color, but he's not my kind." -- Al Sharpton

"I could be an incredible voice in the Senate. Why? Because the media will cover me every single day." -- TV talkshow host Jerry Springer making his pitch for a U.S. Senate seat

"I am happy to report that Ann Coulter has lost her mind. The evidence for this is her most recent book, 'Treason,' a nearly unreadable slog through every silly thing anyone on the Left has ever said. Coulter conflates dissent with treason, opposition with treason, being wrong with treason, being right with treason and just about anything she doesn't like with treason. If the book were a Rorschach test, she would be institutionalized." -- Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen

"Polls show that, in terms of public trust, the news media now rank lower than used-car salespeople, kidnappers, tapeworms, Hitler, and airline flight announcements. (We [in the press] are still slightly ahead of lawyers.) Of course, these poll results were reported by the news media, so they could be wrong. In fact, there might not actually have been any polls; it's possible that some reporter made the whole 'media credibility' story up." -- Dave Barry

"There's nine Democrats currently running for president, enough to make a baseball team. Problem is, none of them is really in the Bush league." -- Lyn Nofziger

"I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets." --Dennis Miller on the Democratic presidential hopefuls

"They say over in France the wine region over there is going through an incredible heat wave, destroying all the crops. The crops are ruined and this has devastated the French economy. Proving once again: Prayer works." -- Jay Leno

"Iraq's heir to the throne King Sharif Ali returned to Iraq from exile. He demanded a constitutional monarchy and religious freedom. He looked like the best hope for peace until U.S. troops picked up the king because they thought he was a face card." -- Argus Hamilton



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