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The good and the bad...

web posted September 24, 2001

"The way to deal with this problem is not to suddenly become a police state and say we are not going to be free and we are not going to go about our lives. We are going to go after the people who are posing this very serious danger and that's what we need to do." -- DefSec Donald Rumsfeld

"This is a war that has been launched against the United States and we need to understand that, but we do not need to cease being the United States of America in response to these attacks." -- AG John Ashcroft

"The administration has steadily moved in the right direction...from talking about justice to talking about victory...from talking about criminals to talking about enemies and...from talking about retribution to talking about defeating. These are very important changes." -- Newt Gingrich

"The loss of so many lives in New York and Washington is now called an 'intelligence failure,' mostly by those who crippled the CIA in the first place, and by those who celebrated the loss of its invaluable capabilities. ...Those who inflict their aesthetic on the rest of us are never around to clean up the resulting mess. ... The intelligence community was successfully assaulted for actions taken under constitutionally mandated orders, and with nothing left to replace what was smashed, warnings we might have had to prevent this horrid event never came. ...The next time America is in a fight, it is well to remember that tying one's own arms is unlikely to assist in preserving, protecting and defending what is ours." -- Tom Clancy

"We are placing tremendous trust in our president to pursue our enemies as our commander-in-chief but Congress must remain vigilant as to not allow our civil liberties here at home to be eroded. The temptation will be great to sacrifice our freedoms for what may seem to be more security. We must resist this temptation." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"And I said then [during a visit to New York], I would like to repeat, that my father's generation went through the experience of the second world war, when Britain was under attack, during the days of the Blitz. And there was one nation and one people that, above all, stood side by side with us at that time. And that nation was America, and those people were the American people. And I say to you, we stand side by side with you now, without hesitation." -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair

"In the midst of so much carnage, compassion and courage, congressional cowardice is shameful." -- Oliver North

"We do not need to 'neutralize' or 'punish' or even 'apprehend' terrorists. We need to kill them. Perhaps our greatest national weakness is our short attention span, and I fear that, in a surprisingly short time, we will forget our just anger." -- Ralph Peters

"Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause. Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve. Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together. ... You don't know my people. You don't know what we're about. You don't know what you just started. But you're about to learn." -- Leonard Pitts

"Now again the civilized world has witnessed the true nature of barbarism, not the Hollywood presentation but the reality." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell

"We are all Israelis now." -- Paul Greenberg

"This is the start of a long war, with civilians in the front line. We will never win it if we are ashamed of ourselves, our culture, our history." -- Mark Steyn

"Some facts are so simple that clever people can't accept them." -- Robert Locke

"The world changed on Sept. 11 and our response should be a sustained, aggressive response to international terrorism, its organizers, proponents, financiers and supporters. The thousands of Americans who were killed deserve nothing less." -- Edwin J. Feulner

"Patriotism is profitable, and freedom will prevail." -- Larry Kudlow

"On watching evil perpetuated against our nation we deepen our understanding of freedom and what's worth fighting against as well as fighting for." -- Suzanne Fields

"George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions and...wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where." -- CBS's Dan Rather

"We will have to revisit our freedoms.... America has been changed by all this." --NBC anchor Tom Brokaw

"The biggest symbol to most people at this point is that they thought Colin Powell was the force of moderation in this administration, the guy who would keep the Bush administration from doing really extreme things. [But] on the biggest issue of all, national missile defense, he seems to be going along with the rest of them." -- Time senior correspondent Johanna McGeary, on her disappointment that the Bush administration is not "a house divided."

"In politics you have to use imagery to send a message to people. Leadership delineates the difference between a town manager and a president. A president should know how to use imagery, symbolism to lead. ... If President Clinton had a better moment than he did in that hangar in Oklahoma City, I never saw it. He lifted the spirits of an entire nation that day. That's what a president does. He provides comfort. And he finds a way to inspire people, to lift them up as well." -- Rep. Dick Neal (D-MA) on his preference for Clintonesque "symbolism" in political leadership

"I don't buy the notion Air Force One was a target. That's just PR. That's just spin. He's a new president and he doesn't have the experience that Bill Clinton had." -- Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA)

"If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush! Why kill them?" -- Hollywood producer and consummate Leftist Michael Moore

"We have such a diverse student body and emotions are so high right now. The idea was to keep from offending some of our students." -- Lehigh University vice president Barry Gaul why an official there ordered the removal of the American flag from a university campus bus

"I want justice. There's an old poster out West that said: 'Wanted, dead or alive'." -- President George W. Bush on how "wanted" Osama bin Laden really is

"Cold fury is not as much fun as white-hot passion, but it's a lot more effective. Cold fury must be the recipe for the day." -- Wesley Pruden

"These colors do not run." -- Manhattan street vendor sign advertising U.S. flags

"The most stunning crime in modern memory seems to have been accomplished with knives and box-cutters." -- Joseph Sobran

"It's no accident that the American people are constantly fooled by the fakery of phony politicians. They're not fooled by fake ballplayers, because they can't just talk a good game, they have to play a good game." -- Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder

"Can it really prop up Israel, contain Iraq, appease Iran, intimidate Libya, bomb the Taliban back into the Stone Age (admittedly, by the look of them, not too great a distance), police the Balkans, deter the Chinese from invading Taiwan, build a space shield to ward off rogue Russian missiles, meet its obligations to South Korea, keep India and Pakistan from brawling with atomic bombs, cut off the drug traffic from Latin America, create fortress-like borders to prevent a repeat of Tuesday's horrors -- can it do all this, and at the same time ward off recession and remain the motor of the world economy?" -- Robert Harris, writing in the London Daily Telegraph

web posted September 17, 2001

"...[T]he nation's decade-long holiday from history came to a shattering end." -- George Will on the terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C. and New York

"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended. I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist the local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. ...Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts...." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"[We have] been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"This should put an end to discussion of funding our defense budget at levels inadequate to deal with two major contingencies simultaneously. We now have one at home; how long will it be before we have one elsewhere?" -- Frank Gaffney

"I don't want to bring them to justice. I want to defeat them." -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

"We have here a battle between the forces of freedom and the forces of tyranny, between the forces of democracy and the forces of terrorism. It is not accidental. Arafat can shed crocodile tears and donate his blood. He's been shedding innocent blood -- including innocent American blood -- for decades. ... What we a network of terror. There is an empire of terror. There are chiefdoms. Arafat has his own chiefdoms. Bin Laden has his own chiefdom. The Hezbollah in Lebanon have their chiefdom. There is Hamas and Islamic Jihad working under Arafat's chiefdom. And they enjoy the support and sponsorship in close cooperation with such sovereign states as Iraq and Iran, havens in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern regimes. They work together, both in material support and of course political support. These regimes that are part of this terror network are developing now nuclear weapons. If we don't dismantle this terror network in time, the regimes and the organizations that have absolutely no inhibition in destroying the United States and its allies.... Amid the smoking ruins of the twin towers, you could see the silhouette of the Statue of Liberty holding that torch of liberty very proudly and very high. It's that flame of liberty that these people want to extinguish." -- Benjamin Netanyahu

"The 'long peace' is over. We sought this war no more than we sought war with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan or cold war with the Soviet Union. But when war was pressed upon the greatest generation, it rose to the challenge. The question is: Will we?" -- Charles Krauthammer

"We may never know exactly how many helped him or exactly what they did, but I have no doubt that airplane was bound for some landmark and that whatever Tom did and whatever the guys who helped him did they saved many more lives. And I'm so proud of him and so grateful." -- Deena Burnett, widow of passenger Thomas Burnett who was on United Airline Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania

"Those who died as a result of these cowardly acts will not have died in vain. In their names, and in the name of every man, woman, and child in America we will see that punishment is swift and sure." -- Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)

"Tough words will not be enough. A single retaliatory strike will not suffice. There needs to be a decision by free nations everywhere to rid the planet of people and organizations that engage in such acts. The first step -- even before military action is contemplated or taken -- is to expel from this country the people and organizations tied to radical terrorist groups in the Middle East." -- Cal Thomas

"Americans are slow to anger but mighty when angry and their proper anger now should be alloyed with pride. They are targets because of their virtues -- principally democracy, and loyalty to those nations which, like Israel, are embattled salients of our virtues in a still-dangerous world." -- George Will

"Let nobody think that Americans are incapable of facing this foe and defeating him.... We shall rise to this. We shall take our revenge. We shall absorb these blows, and strike back a hundred times harder. Let America's enemies crow today: Tomorrow they will tremble, and weep." -- John Derbyshire

"Those who have perpetrated these acts are waging war against the United States. This is not simply terrorism; it is a determined assault aimed at destroying a free society using instruments of mass destruction against which there is, for all intents and purposes, no sure defense -- notably, hijacked commercial airliners. Even greater than the threat to our people and property is the prospect that, with the unleashing of these Pearl Harbor-style bolts-from-the-blue, the civil liberties and freedoms we have taken for granted for so long -- and that make America the unique and great nation it is -- may never be quite the same." -- Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

"As for the U.S. response to the September 11 attackers, it should be fierce and unrelenting, serving the cause that animates virtually all just wars: establishing the peace in a way that half-measures and wishful negotiations never can." -- Rich Lowry

"Make no mistake about it, those people who find joy amidst our suffering are the cheerleaders who keep international terrorism alive." -- Rabbi Marvin Hier

"Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the President of the United States declared war on all of the Axis powers because the U.S. at that time recognized that all of them were accomplices in the threat against the United States. We now know which countries sponsor, support, and harbor terrorists. They are Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Libya. It is time for the United States to declare war against these powers and to immediately strike against the tyranny that reigns on their shores." -- Michael Savage

"The likely victims of our war against terrorism are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"The media is dead wrong when it says this proves we don't need missile defense. Soon, the same countries that supported these terrorists that just attacked us will have missiles capable of hitting the U.S. We need to defend against their use." -- Admiral Thomas H. Moorer

"When asked, 'If you could be a famous person (for one day), who would you be?' Close to half of the 9-to-11-year-old girls mentioned either Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, singers 'whose images in the media,' in the survey report's words, 'tend to be highly sexualized.' Along with the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, Spears, 19, and Aguilera, 20, have been the leading lights in the teen-pop boom of the past few years. ... Children's exposure to harmful popular culture is a matter of both supply and demand. Corporate America bears most of the responsibility for the first, parents for the second. Currently, neither is close to meeting their respective obligations. But that doesn't stop either party from whining about destructive messages poisoning an entire generation of children." -- Brent Bozell

"Equal protection of law is a human achievement, the product of a thousand-year struggle. Today this extraordinary achievement counts for less than 'gaining a share of the minority vote' or compensating minorities for discrimination their forebears experienced. When equal protection is lost, it will be lost for everyone." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"The idea that every job in this huge, bloated bureaucracy that is the federal government needs to be filled is nonsense. President Bush would do a major service to the Republic and to the taxpayers if he left most of them vacant for the next three years and four months." -- Lyn Nofziger

"As the Pentagon scurries to try to find a replacement for Vieques, it is dismally likely that Bush will concede in hopes of dousing a pestiferous fire -- almost any politician would. Let us hope, rather, that the president decides to stand fast against the cranks and their media buddies for the sake of the soldiers, sailors and Marines whose lives could depend in a dangerous future on the intense training that Vieques provides." -- Woody West

"The per-pupil cost of public schools averages $6,000, compared with $3,100 for private schools. In other words, all else being equal, we could abolish all public schools and the taxes that support them tomorrow, let the market replace them with private schools, and cut the total cost of education by nearly half. Why isn't this done? The short answer is that there are many people on the payroll of the education bureaucracy who would be unhappy." -- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

web posted September 10, 2001

"The government's chief function is extorting money from us and giving it to others. It has the power to do with impunity what private persons would go to prison for doing. It is, literally, organized crime." -- Joseph Sobran

"Politics is the other form of warfare that sometimes rests on dividing and conquering. Liberals are two-faced enough to pretend they never participate when, in fact, it's so often their very signature." -- Brent Bozell

"Negotiations are the bane of the West. Nothing will shake our faith in the delusion that we can settle our differences with totalitarians, tyrants and thugs at the conference table." -- Don Feder

"If we allow minor things such as paper and pencils to be lifted from us with meager resistance, there's no telling what the enemies of freedom might demand of us when they return tomorrow." -- Frederick B. Meekins

"When equal protection is lost, it will be lost for everyone." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"Today we keep labor in its place by onerous taxes and stifling regulation -- and by offering the poor a sham of an education in isolated schools that are protected from competition and accountability." -- Paul Greenberg

"Before we pony up more cash for the UN's dubious utopian schemes, President Bush ought to explain to Kofi Annan and his colleagues that We the People want more of our people looking after how all that money is spent. It's time for a subtle reminder that we have rebelled before over 'Taxation Without Representation'." -- Oliver North

"Our culture of victimology works oddly, as you may have noticed. We care about victims all right -- those afflicted with this disadvantage or that one: women, ethnic minorities, the disabled. The list is long. The oddity is in the omissions. Murder victims seem to excite less compassion than do their murderers." -- Bill Murchison

"Liberal Democrats seem to be guided by a worldview that sees man as perfectible and government as the primary change-agent. They rarely confront a problem for which they don't envision a government solution." -- David Limbaugh

"Humanitarians with armies are dangerous things." -- David Dieteman

"Every nation's future is only as reliable as its military." -- Ross Mackenzie

"When the State censors, it trespasses upon the mind and coerces conviction. Censorship is therefore a form of aggression, and aggression isn't conducive to peace." -- Myles Kantor

"Ignoring or downplaying black achievement promotes the victim attitude, where people believe that in order for them to be successful somebody else must perform some benevolent act." -- Walter Williams

"...[H]ow short the distance from ridiculous to mainstream has become." -- Charles Colson

"What really sets Jesse Helms apart is that he is the last prominent unabashed white racist politician in this country." -- Washington Post columnist David Broder under the title "Jesse Helms, White Racist."

"Among editors and reporters of the national media -- papers, magazines, TV -- a 'liberal bias' is not so much denied as ignored, despite overwhelming evidence that it exists." -- Robert J. Samuelson in a column appearing on the same page as David Broder's above calumny

"That's a lot of hokum.... There is no liberal bias in the press in the whole. In fact, if there is a bias, it's on the other side." -- Time magazine's Jack White

"No one gets to stay forever. And it's better to leave when someone wants you." -- Bill Clinton to a Chappaqua neighbor who told him she wished he could still be president

"There's some pretty foolish ostracism going on." -- Ralph Nader on the fact he can't get an audience with any Democrats, who accuse him of stealing votes from Al Gore and throwing the presidential election to Bush

"I'm very, very concerned about the Bush presidency. I'm worried about the kind of cuts he might make in domestic programs that mean something to a lot of people, including people in my family who depend on certain things from the government." -- actress Sarah Jessica Parker

"Cows are people, too, and drinking their milk is a denigration of their creaturehood." -- PETA

"Something is clearly wrong when you begin to feel nostalgic for Warren Christopher." -- John O'Sullivan

"At one time, there were more guns than lawyers in this country. Now look at the mess we are in." -- Dick Boland

"It's okay for the Irish of Notre Dame, the Trojans of USC, the Spartans of Michigan State and San Jose State, to have names that identify them with ethnic groups. But somehow it's demeaning to Indians. Where will it end? Not, I suppose, until we change the names of Indiana and Indianapolis, Sioux City and Sioux Falls, the Mohawk Valley, the Navajo Trail, Redman chewing tobacco and Pontiac automobiles." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Clinton's like one of those 1-900 phone sex lines: he has no area code; he's from everywhere and nowhere." -- Mark Steyn

"In my humble opinion, Democrats are devoid of character, which is what gives them their natural immunity to scandal. In my humble opinion, the Vichy government is alive and well inside the United States Senate. It is time to dissolve that absurd body and make the chamber into a respectable broom closet. In my humble opinion, because of his willingness to show up anywhere, anytime, for money, Bill Clinton will go into the history books as the Pay-Per-View President." -- Norman Liebmann

"I've spent the last three months talking to people all across Florida, and I think they share my vision for Florida -- building the best educational system in the country, preserving our environment, managing our growth and standing up for our elders." -- Janet Reno, on her bid to be Florida's next governor. Presumably that vision didn't include the incineration of a religious compound or the deaths of two innocent people

"I don't want to see this election turn into a Bill Clinton agenda and a Janet Reno agenda from the Clinton years. It's crazy. It's the worst thing the Democratic Party could do." -- Hillsborough County Democratic chairman Mike Scionti

web posted August 27, 2001

"Yet, there is something to be said for the compulsions of the fathers. Men, as has been frequently noted, have their failings. The urge to make things right is their counter-failing, their allegory to women's urge to nurture. The male urge is of course ridiculous. Who can fix the world, even for one child? But its ridiculousness makes it great. In every life, there should be someone who believes that whatever goes wrong must be fixed, and if not fixed, must at least be made to go away." -- Michael Kelly

"The Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom must not depend on the whims of IRS bureaucrats. Religious institutions cannot freely preach their beliefs if they must fear that the government will accuse them of 'politics.' We cannot allow churches to be silenced any more than we can allow political dissent in general to be silenced. Free societies always have strong, independent institutions that are not afraid to challenge and criticize the government." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Freedom is such a precious commodity. Yet sometimes the freest of people devalue it the most." -- Ward Connerly

"The worst thing in the world that could happen for the Coalition for the Homeless is for the homeless problem to be wiped out." -- Rush Limbaugh

"The tax cut does not get into the Medicare and Social Security trust funds, as some protest. What would eat into them is hog-wild spending on other items. That's where a problem could arise." -- Sen. Zell Miller (D) on why Bush's budget is still solid

"No event over the past quarter century has had a more profound impact on the U.S. economy and the prosperity of the 1980s and '90s than the Reagan tax cut of 1981." -- Stephen Moore

"Liberty. It depends on fighters who understand that just because something is popular doesn't make it correct. ...We struggle forever on slippery slopes to preserve what makes us unique as a nation." -- Paul M. Rodriguez

"Every dollar absconded by the burgeoning beast of government weakens personal freedom and builds the fetters that will eventually choke the life out of any republic." -- Chuck Baldwin

"...[B]lame, and complicity in murder, attaches to all those who willfully refuse to recognize the limits of diplomacy and the duty of active self-defense." -- George Will

"Evil cannot co-exist with good, anymore than sickness and wellness can. An individual inclines toward good or evil, and so does a culture." -- Cal Thomas

"Third-party liability is all the rage in a nation in headlong flight from personal responsibility and convinced that every ill can be cured by punitive damages." -- Don Feder

"Men are still biting the apple every chance they get, still blaming the temptress for their fall from grace." -- Kathleen Parker

"Bush's willingness to spend $250 million of taxpayers' money for embryonic stem-cell research reflects a statist, collectivist view of government." -- Larry Elder

"One is more admired for claiming to do good than for proving to be right." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell

"Maybe history is its own reward. Those who cherish and study the past for its own sake will find it full of surprises -- some of them heartbreaking." -- Joseph Sobran

"This is the justification for totalitarian government. The reasoning is that government, not individuals, know best." -- Diane Alden

"In avoiding the Star Chamber, America has recreated it: a star chamber of rules and rights, not privy councillors this time. But despotic nonetheless." -- Amity Shlaes

"Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong." -- Time magazine's Jack White on a recent poll showing French disapproval of Bush foreign policy

"Jackson, the charismatic national symbol of human rights...." -- Connie Chung on Jesse Jackson

"In a time that we no longer have a Cold War, there is no real threat to American security. I think the question is, what is this obsession that we are seeing that comes out of Washington where we are gearing up toward a threat that is not there, towards some real fantasy that is looming?" -- Rev. Al Sharpton on forming an exploratory committee for a presidential bid in 2004

"Animals eat other animals. So long as they do so, there is no rational justification for human beings not to eat animals as well. Humanity faces a moral decision: imprison all predators, or pass the hamburgers." -- David Dieteman

"...[A] teacher who is too ignorant to spell her subject, and too lazy to use a dictionary, ought to be flipping burgers. Simple burgers, with no moving parts." -- Fred Reed

"Gary Condit is what our soggy therapy culture calls 'a work in progress.' On the other hand, the work may be finished. The California congressman is interesting politically not because he's been working without either zipper or conscience -- the town is full of between-the-sheets artists working without a net -- but because he's the test of whether Bill Clinton can be successfully cloned." -- Wesley Pruden

"Publicly announcing a strategy on reshaping a presidential image, even the right strategy, has two ill effects. It warns the punters to be on their guard against your advertised manipulation, and it suggests that the president may be a potted plant moved around the political spectrum at the whim of others." -- John O'Sullivan

"Jen Crawford has assumed an elevated position on the governor's staff." -- Brian Lee of the Montgomery Journal in a story about the advancement of Maryland Governor Parris Glendening's rumored paramour, Ms. Crawford, in his administration

"According to the White House, doctors say that George Bush has the lowest heartbeat ever recorded by someone in the White House. Well, second lowest -- Dick Cheney got his down to zero, didn't he?" -- Jay Leno

"The New York Times predicted that Al Gore will face competition for the 2004 nomination from Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. The debates should be thrilling with these five guys. If they were cards, you'd fold." -- Argus Hamilton


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