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The good and the bad...

web posted August 19, 2002

"Tradition is the manner in which we express a common understanding, a sense of community. Such are the very common joys of my small-town life. Joys that I remain very sensible about, for I know what it is to live in a community and to share common ideals. This sort of life is rooted in human interconnectedness in a way that much of American life has ceased to be." -- Armstrong Williams

"Gore's people-vs.-the-powerful rhetoric was always guilty of reducing American life to a cartoon. A bear market has induced much of the media to embrace the same hysterical worldview; hence Gore looks 'prescient.' Some conservatives are happy to see that the Democrats may well nominate Gore in 2004, believing that he's a sure loser. But it's not a good thing when one of the two parties in the most powerful country in the world loses its grip on reality." -- Ramesh Ponnuru

"We will fight them on the streets, from the rooftops, from house to house. We will never surrender." -- Saddam Hussein, offering his best Winston Churchill impression

"When it comes to foreign policy, no nation -- including one as powerful as the United States -- can afford to interfere in the internal affairs of another nation every time it disapproves of the way it treats its citizens. If we were to intervene against every regime that repressed its people, we would need a military five times the size of China's and a defense budget exceeding our gross national product. We would be at war with at least every other nation on the globe -- simultaneously. But given the limitations on our resources -- we have to make choices based on priorities that are viewed through the prism of our national interests. Other considerations must, at most, be secondary." -- David Limbaugh

"Each July 4, we celebrate the founding of our nation, but how many Americans understand, much less respect, the founding principles?" -- Walter Williams

"Democracy is untidy. Freedom is untidy. Liberation is untidy." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"Nothing other than principle and the burdens of history urge support for Israel in its dire hour of need." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Unmasking the enemy is crucial because there is no way to expect any nation, least of all our own, to gird itself for a sustained war against an ill-defined or undefined foe." -- Diana West

"More than anything else, the Middle East desperately needs an infusion of democracy, opportunity and freedom. Iraq is an ideal place to set an example." -- Mona Charen

"Before he leads the nation into war with Iraq, President Bush will certainly have to lay his poker hand face up for close scrutiny. Meanwhile, outside presidential circles, betting of a different kind goes on -- to the effect that the president's cards are high ones." -- Bill Murchison

"Truth appears in Washington with the frequency of Halley's comet, but when it does it shines like the tail of that infrequent celestial visitor." -- Cal Thomas

"Today, we know better than to believe that character does not count. Experience tells us that dishonesty has real costs." -- Malcolm Wallop

"Politicians are seldom willing to solve any problem by simply stopping what they have been doing to create the problem. Instead, they come up with new programs that ignore the real cause." -- Thomas Sowell

"Huge political talent. Huge political vision. ...I think President Clinton's role in modernizing the Democratic Party around a set of economic ideas and also holding onto the principles of social justice, and presiding over the greatest prosperity in human history -- those would seem to me to have to be central to his legacy." -- New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines suggesting the Clinton legacy is the "greatest prosperity in human history"

"I don't think it's a liberal agenda. It happens that journalism will always be spending more time on issues that seem to be liberal to some people. The problem of the downtrodden, the problem of civil rights and human rights, the problem of those people who don't have a place at the table with the powerful." -- Tom Brokaw

"Meanwhile, the Left has an hilarious bumper sticker: 'Celebrate Diversity.' In the newsrooms of America, they celebrate diversity of race, diversity of gender, diversity of orientation, diversity of everything except the only diversity that matters: diversity of thought." -- Mark Steyn

"Ants are sentient beings, like we are, and have a right to life like we do, and they shouldn't be shown the level of disrespect the producers of ant farms show them." -- PETA's Stephanie Boyles

"Whoa! Why would they do that? Don't they think it's kind of painful? It's just so not right." -- Anna Nicole Smith on Palestinian homicide bombers

"George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are not included in the revised version of the New Jersey Department of Education history standards -- a move some critics view as political correctness at its worst. The Pilgrims and the Mayflower also are excluded, as well as the word 'war,' which has been replaced with 'conflict' in lessons about the early settlers, colonization and expansion. Also gone are most references to the inhumane treatment many American soldiers endured in wars overseas during the 20th century." -- Washington Times

"America is a society built around suspicion of government action, not worship of it." -- Washington Post editorial

"What liberals mean by 'no evidence' is always that there is lots of evidence, but arguably not enough to convince an O.J. jury." -- Ann Coulter

"In my humble opinion, government bureaucrats are like over-the-counter diet pills. Nobody really expects them to work." -- Norman Liebmann

"Yesterday Dick Cheney was giving a speech in San Francisco when a heckler, a man in the crowd, stood up and yelled, 'Dick Cheney is a corporate crook.' It's good to see Al Gore getting back into politics." -- Jay Leno

"The National Weather Service will give secret weather forecasts to the White House to help the U.S. fight terrorism. Their predictions are usually right on the money. Just yesterday they reported that the five-day forecast for Iraq is two days." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted August 12, 2002

"Anti-Americanism is ubiquitous, a direct consequence of America doing her duty, the resentment of followers, not leaders. To be sure, anti-Americanism is an ignoble and irrational emotion. Like anti-Semitism, which in some ways it has replaced, it is impervious to facts or logic." -- Paul Johnson

"Our own elites whine that we have dumbed everything down to the lowest common denominator. Maybe, but the world's billions have responded by voting with their feet, pocketbook, and remote control for almost everything American." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Fortunately, most business leaders are honest. However, those few who have not been honest have imposed significant costs on the rest of us." -- Malcolm Wallop

"Corporate executives who cheat investors, steal savings and squander pensions will meet the judgment they fear and the punishment they deserve." -- John Ashcroft

"This few-against-the-many tommyrot is a staple of political discourse on the Left. You hear it mostly in bad times, whose reality, like that of tornadoes and hurricanes, is a fact of life." -- Bill Murchison

"My concern is not what [Attorney General John] Ashcroft and President Bush will do with the new powers granted the government to conduct the war on terrorism. It is what a future attorney general like Hillary Clinton could easily do with those powers. This is not a trivial matter." -- Paul Weyrich

"There are countries which harbor and develop weapons of mass destruction, countries run by people who poison their own people, countries whose leadership has got a terrible record when it comes to valuing life, particularly inside their own country. And these are real threats, and we owe it to our children to deal with these threats. ... [I]t's important for my fellow citizens to know that as we see threats evolving, we will deal with them." --U.S. President George W. Bush

"Obviously, Saddam's overthrow could destabilize the region, but since when is stability the highest standard for American foreign policy? Destabilizing a stable system of cruelty and oppression sounds pretty good to me. We're all for destabilizing the mob, right?" -- Jonah Goldberg

"Now the networks would have us believe their new reality shows aspire to loftier ideals like romance and marriage. Perhaps no one watches these shows and takes them seriously. Maybe on a certain level it's easy to laugh because we know, don't we, that true relationships cannot be that plastic. We know, don't we, that true love is patient and kind and not boastful. All we have to do is tell this to several million youngsters who are now learning the opposite from 'reality' TV." -- Brent Bozell

"Very much so. You don't have, I mean, it's unprecedented to have a religious office in the White House. It really breaks down the wall of separation of church and state." -- Helen Thomas to Phil Donahue on why the president is "far to the right"

"But in the public square the Constitution is beyond criticism. The American civic religion affords it Biblical or Koranic status, even to the point of seeing it as divinely inspired. It's the flag in prose. ...The Constitution of the United States is emphatically not something to be debunked, especially in the afterglow of sole-superpower triumphalism." -- New Yorker senior editor Hendrik Hertzberg, unhappy that Americans respect the Constitution

"At Rutgers University, researchers with the National Marriage Project have published a report called 'Why Men Won't Commit: Exploring Young Men's Attitudes about Sex, Dating, and Marriage.' The study offers the top ten reasons men are reluctant to say, 'I do.' Among them: They can get all the sex they want without marriage. They want to enjoy the single life as long as possible. They want to avoid the financial pitfalls of divorce. And they're afraid marriage will demand too many changes and compromises. ... Modern women have far more freedom of movement than their sisters in the ancient world. But human nature is still fallen. This means that men are as predatory as ever -- and women today are paying the price for it in a culture that doesn't demand marriage." -- Chuck Colson

"I was gonna say the older woman's revenge, finally! Because, you know, how many movies have we seen when men, where men in their forties, fifties, sixties are with twenty-four year-olds, and nobody blinks an eye?" -- Katie Couric applauding the plot of a movie in which a 40-year-old woman has sex with a 15-year-old minor

"Federal spending is wildly out of control. Federal taxes now consume more of the legitimate private economy than at any time in our nation's history except WW II. The federal budget is full of billions in unconstitutional and wasteful pork, and no serious person can argue otherwise.... An income tax would be wholly unnecessary if Congress restrained itself and spent your tax dollars only on legitimate constitutional functions like national defense." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"I agree with the committee's conclusions, fully accept their findings and take full personal responsibility. It has always been my contention that I believe that at no time did I accept any gifts or violate any Senate rules." -- Sen. Robert Torricelli, speaking before the Senate after being "severely admonished" by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting gifts in violation of Senate rules

"I think the Democratic Party could not have made a worse choice in choosing Terry McAuliffe as chairman of the DNC. He stands in the shade of Bill Clinton." -- Democrat Senator Zell Miller

"The Founders were not democrats and socialists..., but conservatives who had a healthy distrust of political passions and who devised a complex system designed to frustrate the schemes of social redeemers and others convinced of their own invincible virtue." -- David Horowitz

"Do you think that was an appropriate remark?" -- Transportation Security Administration guard at Connecticut's Bradley International Airport, to WWII veteran Fred Hubbell, 80 years old, who after two pat-down searches crankily asked the screener poking into his wallet, "What do you expect to find in there, a rifle?" Hubbell was jailed briefly and cited for creating a public disturbance in the incident; he intends to pay the associated $78 fine rather than contest it

"We have instructions to confiscate anything that looks like a weapon or a replica. If GI Joe was carrying a replica then it had to be taken from him." -- LAX spokesperson on why a woman was forced to remove and discard a 2" plastic rifle from a GI Joe doll set she purchased as a gift

"A man who hates America hates humanity." -- Paul Johnson

"People are driving way too fast. Speed is the primary ingredient toward that." -- Georgia Democrat Gov. Roy Barnes, with an adroit observation on cause and effect

"The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now." -- Louis Proyect, Columbia University

"How do you change [California Democrat Gov. Gray Davis's] opinion in two seconds? Tell him the check bounced." -- Green Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Miguel Camejo spoofing the growing evidence that Gray Davis exchanges policy stances for campaign donations

"If Bill Clinton really had a plan to nail al-Qaida, would Time magazine be the first to say it? Bill Clinton would have called a press conference on September 12th, and that would've been the news." -- Rush Limbaugh

"'Grab a rifle, jump in a ditch, fight and die.' Is he not inhaling again?" -- CNN's John King, stupefied over Bill Clinton's claim he would personally defend Israel under attack

" Treasury Department officials say al-Qaida still has lots of cash despite an international dragnet against them. How much are we paying these geniuses? If anybody knew exactly when to get out of the stock market last year, it was al-Qaida." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted August 5, 2002

"In the past, investors made no distinction between their own interests and those of corporate management. They inclined towards the GOP because it was the party of corporate capitalism, while the Democrats were the party of labor unions. If, however, investors and corporate managers seem to have different or opposing interests, then investors will want friends in politics to protect them against their employees. And the GOP will have to choose between befriending shareholders and taking the side of CEOs." -- John O'Sullivan

"The dark is never quite so black as at the bottom of a mine, and religion is never quite so heartfelt as when all other hope has vanished." -- Wesley Pruden

"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." -- Dinesh D'Souza

"When character is lost, rules and punishments cannot take its place." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"We must never forget that we are defending a free society, not just a particular plot of land located in North America." -- Doug Bandow

"There is a difference between casualties from collateral damage and casualties from deliberate slaughter." -- Ben Shapiro

"The tears for slain children, by men who send their women and children out to die as suicide bombers, are the tears of crocodiles." -- Wesley Pruden

"Socialism is really a theory of economic theft and what it produces is poverty. Socialist systems ... are fundamentally incompatible with human liberty." -- David Horowitz

"Just as Ronald Reagan gave American culture a renewed patriotism and self-confidence that outlasted his presidency, Clinton has bequeathed America a culture of criminality and rationalization by the powerful." -- Ann Coulter

"Here is Goldberg's General Rule on Patriotism: The more negative your view of America, the more positive your view of the United Nations." -- Jonah Goldberg

"A civil society is weakened when there is one standard of justice for private companies and individuals, and another for well-connected people in government." -- Richard W. Rahn

"...[W]ars have been used throughout modern history to justify rapid expansion of state power at the expense of personal liberty. We cannot remain free if we allow the endless, undeclared war on terror to serve as an excuse for giving up every last vestige of our privacy. ...Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves what kind of society we hope to leave our children and grandchildren. A civilized and free society would not be discussing, much less seriously debating, any proposal to enlist private citizens to act as federal neighborhood snitches." -- Ron Paul

"Let me tell you what is impressive. You're not wearing a flag. Well, I don't want to damn you with my praise, but I say hip-hip-hooray for that...." -- Phil Donahue to Tom Brokaw, who echoed what he'd said before, "...I think if you wear a flag, it's a suggestion somehow that you're endorsing what the administration is doing at the time. And I don't think journalists ought to be wearing flags"

"I'll give you that a lot of the media is liberal. In fact, I think that's probably a gimme." -- CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in an interview with Ann Coulter on her book "Slander"

"There was corporate malfeasance both before he [George W. Bush] took office and after. The difference is I actually tried to do something about it, and their party stopped it.... And one of the people who stopped our attempt to stop Enron accounting was made chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. That is a fact; an indisputable fact." -- ex-U.S. President Bill Clinton

"At a dinner party in Los Angeles recently, our hostess was about to say some grudgingly kind words about President Bush and the way he was handling the war on terror. She prefaced her remarks by saying, 'Now, I know everyone at this table voted for Al Gore, but.' Well, she knew no such thing. She just presumed it. ... This false reality is a phenomenon that permeates media circles. ... You see, they are -- for the most part -- clueless. Clueless about this country. Clueless about you." -- Pat Sajak, Imprimis Magazine

"Decades of scientific evidence show that the cholesterol and saturated fat in beef, chicken, pork and dairy products dramatically increase the risk of colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity and other diseases. This is no doubt just the first of many lawsuits holding the food industry at least partially to blame for America's diet-related epidemics." -- Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group of doctors affiliated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, on Caesar Barber's suit against fat

"The American people seem quite comfortable with Bush. Which can only mean one thing. That Bill Clinton was a president of quite unnecessary brilliance." -- Peter Ustinov

"Osama bin Laden may be using porn sites as a means of getting messages to members of al-Qa'ida. You know what this means -- Clinton could catch bin Laden before Bush!" -- Jay Leno

"Dick Cheney was sued for fraudulent accounting Friday as George W. Bush was asked to release his Harken records. It makes no sense. How can an administration that was elected 5-4 after losing by 500,000 possibly have any accounting problems?" -- Argus Hamilton

"No accountability? Missing billions? Fantasy bookkeeping? Pick any federal agency you like. WorldCom's $4 billion is less than a third of the $12.1 billion Medicare misplaces every single year. It's less than a thirtieth of the $142 billion the federal government has overspent its supposedly binding budgets by in the last five years. It's less than one-sixtieth of the new $248 billion farm subsidy bill, three-quarters of which goes to a bunch of multimillionaire play-farmers like Ted Turner and David Rockefeller." -- Mark Steyn

web posted July 29, 2002

"Forget global warming. There's a daddy drought that's blighting the social landscape. The National Fatherhood Initiative has compiled some startling statistics. In America today, 34 percent of all children are living in households without their biological fathers. More than a quarter of American children are raised in fatherless homes. About 40 percent of the kids who are growing up in what the group calls 'father-absent homes' haven't seen the old man in the past year. Children raised without paternal guidance are two to three times more likely to do poorly in school, be victims of child abuse, use drugs and commit crimes than their counterparts from intact families. This simple statement of fact should serve as a call to action." -- Don Feder

"Does anyone wish to compare this vice president's integrity with his predecessor, Mr. 'no controlling legal authority'?" -- Cal Thomas

"I don't know when it will happen, but I guarantee you that the current bout of anti-corporate St. Vitus's Dance will eventually seem ludicrous in hindsight. But it looks like the hysteria will continue to rage for awhile longer, as there's a congressional election coming up and Dick Gephardt, who would walk on puppies to regain control of Congress, will die before he lets the issue die. ... The most obvious sign that we'll regret this feeding frenzy: The Senate passed a bill 97-0 containing a bunch of arcane reforms and draconian punishments that -- I can guarantee you -- very few senators thought through. Now, in theory, it is certainly possible for unanimous votes to reflect sound thinking and measured approaches to public policy. But it is never the way to bet. ... This doesn't mean Congress shouldn't do anything now; it does mean that it shouldn't try to do everything now. And if the choice is between Congress trying to do too much and doing nothing at all, I'll opt for nothing every single time. ... [So] Don't just do something, stand there." -- Jonah Goldberg

"I'm sure that some of the people in Congress that stopped a lot of the reforms I tried to put through are probably rethinking that now. Arthur Levitt, my Securities and Exchange commissioner, tried to stop the Enron accounting issues using the same accounting company being consultant and accountant and the Republicans stopped it." -- Bill Clinton, forgetting that some of those people included Teddy Kennedy, Joe Lieberman and 20 other Senate Democrats led the charge to override Clinton's veto of a 1995 securities protecting corporations from some lawsuits by disappointed investors

"All he needs to know is how to put on his suit and what not to touch. We could even train a monkey to do this -- in less time...." -- a Russian journalist's opinion on the possibility of 'N Sync's Lass Bass visiting the International Space Station via a Russian space vehicle

"Fewer books have been translated into Arabic over the past millennium than Spain translates in an average year. Some 65 million Arabs (two of three of them women) are illiterate. It is little wonder that such an isolated culture became a breeding ground for the Islamic fundamentalism that spawned September 11 or that its perpetrators enjoy such a high level of public support there today. That might not seem fertile ground in which to try to establish democracy. But the fact that roughly half of Arab adolescents interviewed say they want to emigrate suggests the human desire for freedom is universal. With President Bush making reform a major plank of America's new policy in the Middle East -- and with Arab thinkers like these willing to speak frankly about the need for change -- the day when bright and ambitious Arabs no longer need to take their talents abroad could come sooner than many think." -- Wall Street Journal

"Whatever you do professionally, don't leave your values at home when you go to work." -- Dennis Prager

"One of the most precious political legacies the Founding Fathers left Americans was federalism. ...The way to fight terrorism in such an age is not with outmoded centralization, but with decentralization. That means the Founders' federalist design is not a rumor from the past, but a blueprint for a future of safety and freedom." -- John Seiler

"But conservatism -- real conservatism -- pays no heed to the comings and goings of dictators and politicians. It is a matter of the heart." -- Richard Poe

"The classical idea of civic virtue -- the adult citizen accepts responsibilities in exchange for carefully delineated rights -- is all but gone." -- Victor David Hanson

"Open borders for terrorists means a police state for citizens." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"If we don't start calling a spade a spade soon, predictably the backlash of American resentment will grow toward a group (Muslims and Islam) that may not be deserving of such broad-brush contempt. Just as not all priests are sexual predators, clearly not all Muslims are sympathetic to terrorism. But in the absence of clearly defined truth, it becomes increasingly problematic to tell the good guys from the bad." -- Kathleen Parker

"Well, the closest parallel would be the investigation of Spiro Agnew in the '70s when he was Richard Nixon's Vice President. Now you recall that Agnew was ultimately forced to resign. Now, no one is suggesting that Mr. Cheney is another Agnew, and Cheney's personal integrity is not under investigation by the SEC." -- CNN political analyst Bill Schneider suggesting that "the closest parallel" is not the same thing as "suggesting" two things are the same

"Despite the turmoil on Wall Street, President Bush today stood by his proposal to allow younger Americans to risk some of their Social Security payroll deductions in stocks." -- Dan Rather

"Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were Saudi. Osama bin Laden is Saudi. Saudi money finances the madrassahs in Pakistan and mosques around the globe, including in the United States, that preach belligerent, America-hating, anti-Semitic Wahhabi Islam. American citizens in Saudi Arabia are held as prisoners. And Saudi Arabia declines to cooperate in the war on terrorism. We are, we keep hearing, the most powerful nation in the history of the globe. Why, then, are we permitting ourselves to be so abused by a primitive, cruel, uncivilized gang who happened to have the good luck to plant their tents over an oil field?" -- Mona Charen

"Who would the people turn to right now to get out of this mess? They'd probably vote for Clinton." -- Washington Post reporter David Maraniss on Clinton as the savior from the economic problems of late

"The administration is up to its neck in involvement in the corporate corrupted culture." -- Jesse Jackson

"...[America is] in the dark ages...because...we are the only country in the whole world without dominant state-controlled media." -- Michael Moore

"I've never been a hunter but if they ever get around to declaring that open season on bureaucrats I'll probably go get me a license, especially if it includes does." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Sometimes the best-laid plans of a bureaucracy demonstrate only that bureaucrats have too much time on their hands." -- Wesley Pruden

"Many of us already have experienced via airline travel what happens when you give people sudden power over their fellow citizens. I'm trying to be polite here, but you know what I mean. Sometimes morons happen." -- Kathleen Parker

"There's no book in the library called Great Moderates in American History. Moderates have not contributed one thing to the greatness of this country, and they never will." -- Rush Limbaugh

"Given the choice between government scrutiny of business or business scrutiny of government, I know what I'd opt for." -- Mark Steyn

"Of course we have to profile people. We live in some weird time now where we're all trying to convince each other that we shouldn't profile people. When 19 out of 20 people are from a certain country, and they blow up the two biggest buildings in your country, if you don't start looking at people who are visiting here from that country, you're not being open-minded. You're being dead. Okay?" -- Dennis Miller

"Stocks are bad, corporations are corrupt and people are losing jobs. Do you think God might be a little upset about that pledge thing? 'Hey, you're all on your own now!'" -- Jay Leno

"The White House said the budget deficit hit $165 billion ... despite the huge surplus only eighteen months ago. There's no shame in that. When George Bush campaigned for president he promised he would run this country like a business." -- Argus Hamilton



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