Lingua publicus

The last month in quotes...

"The outlines of a deal are beginning to emerge. China gives President Clinton air time for his speech. Mr. Clinton says what China wants to hear on Taiwan. Then, in classic Clinton fashion, the White House tries to have things both ways, denying that U.S. policy has changed when in fact it has, and not for the better." --Washington Post

"This plays into the whole conservative view of the liberal media, which is that it's a fundamental view of an America that is essentially anti-American. It is saying that the American military is such an evil institution that it will go out and do this to its own people." --Cokie Roberts on "media plays" in reference to the CNN-Time nerve gas story

"Politics should be limited in scope to war, protection of property, and the occasional precautionary beheading of a member of the ruling class." --P. J. O'Rourke

"It's so disgraceful that this no-good, treacherous, treasonous, fat, bald-headed lying
weasel, hasn't resigned." --Don Imus on CNN's Peter Arnett and his fable story about the U.S. using nerve gas on American deserters during an operation in the Vietnam war.

"Today, Clinton could stand on the South Lawn surrounded by rumors involving Sharon
Stone, one French horn, two sheep, a quart of Wesson oil, a pair of handcuffs, a dog collar, and
Donna Shalala, and people would say: 'He's my main man'." --Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnicle.

"As the early readings necessarily predate the European 'discovery' of the Western Hemisphere (1492), Australia (1606), and New Zealand (1642), please make it clear whether the temperatures recorded by the Aztecs, Incans, Australian aborigines, and Maoris are in centigrade or Fahrenheit or whatever." --Mathematical statistician J. Gart, offering to confirm Clinton's recent assertion that "the five warmest years recorded since the 1400s all occurred in the 1990s" -- Washington Times

"The Treasury Department's claim that the Secret Service enjoys a privilege that shields its agents from testifying before Kenneth Starr's grand jury has been rejected once again, this time by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. On Tuesday that court determined that the Secret Service had not made a sufficiently compelling factual case that this previously nonexistent privilege is necessary to ensure the ability of the service to protect the president. The unanimous three-judge panel declined to create a rule under which the sworn law enforcement officers of the Secret Service would be required to withhold information from the sworn law enforcement officers of the Office of Independent Counsel. ... The appeals court's decision should not be appealed, and Mr. Starr should now be permitted to hear from the agents. Mr. Starr faces a no-win situation. He is forced to expend energy and time litigating such frivolous issues as whether a previously unknown privilege has suddenly materialized, and he is also to blame for the length of his investigation." --Washington Post

"I've been called homophobic. I've been called stupid. I've been called unintelligent, and I've
been called a nigger by so-called gay activists." --Reggie White on the arbiters of tolerance.

"If we cared about excellence in teaching, we'd be doing everything differently. Our organization has been as guilty as everyone else. We've been concerned about getting a warm body in the classroom." -- Sue Carmen of the National Education Association.

"[Parents] have the greatest interest in the schooling their children receive, and they are the ones who have the greatest competence in the matter,"
-- Milton Friedman on providing private education vouchers to parents

"[It´s] blatantly unconstitutional...the kind of tax that sparked the Boston Tea Party.´´ -- Libertarian Party Chairman, Steve Dasbach, on the "Gore-tax" quietly being levied against all long- distance bills.

"The press criticism story that might have been written, in short, is: publication funded by rich liberal William Hambrecht complains that another publication is funded by rich conservative Richard Scaife. But you don´t learn that kind of thing from press critics proclaiming themselves above the battle..." --Wall Street Journal on magazine "Brill's Content."

"You´ve got to pity the poor Democrats in Congress. Most of them are on record against capital punishment, since they naturally don´t want to diminish their constituent base." --Wes Pruden

"EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; excluded industry by violating the (radon law's) procedural requirements; (and) adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the agency's public conclusions." -- North Carolina U.S. District Judge William Osteen on the Environmental Protection Agency's bogus 1993 secondhand smoke finding.

"The scope of this proposed access is unparalleled and moves us a step toward a police state." -- Canada's privacy commissioner Bruce Phillips on law enforcement demands for access to encrypted data.

"The drafters of the Constitution would be horrified if they knew that the federal government would one day have the ability to create a national ID system and demand that every newborn baby be assigned a number by the federal government. One wonders if the Founders would have fought for liberty if they knew how that precious right would be eroded by their political descendants." -- Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas)

"Any effort, policy or program that (is in someway based on the notion) that blacks are inferior is a non-starter with me." -- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

"No White House spokesman has ever been so charming and witty in striving to keep the American people ignorant. None has ever stonewalled with such placid geniality..." --Stephen Chapman on the soon-departing Mike McCurry.




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