Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted September 23, 2002

"U.S. women don't need CEDAW because they already enjoy full rights, privileges and protection [under the U.S. Constitution]. As former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, 'We should share the experiences of American women worldwide'." -- Charles Colson

"It couldn't be plainer.... There was no declaration of war during the Civil War, there was no declaration of war during the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, or any of Bill Clinton's wars.... There's one commander-in-chief, not 535 of them.... To [Leftist] Democrats, the Constitution is an obstacle, and why is it an obstacle? It's because the Constitution spells out our freedoms. The Constitution limits government." -- Rush Limbaugh

"If you harbor terrorists, you are a terrorist; if you finance terrorists, you are a terrorist." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"Surrender terrorism, or surrender power." -- British PM Tony Blair

"If a preemptive action will be supported by a broad coalition of free countries in the United Nations, all the better. But if such support is not forthcoming, then the United States must be prepared to act without it." -- Binyamin Netanyahu

"No one wants to say the obvious, that Arab armies have not fought well in a pig's eye, that assassins rarely make good soldiers and rhetoric loses every round with a well-aimed rifle. Israel makes quick work of Arab coalitions, and Saddam's soldiers surrendered in '91 to whomever they could find to take surrender." -- Wes Pruden

"Let's get coldly serious: Arm the pilots, fortify cockpits, man flights with marshals, and profile passengers. We don't have a transportation secretary who is willing to do these things. Someday when something terrible happens we'll wish we did. Why not coldly remove Norman Mineta now?" -- Peggy Noonan

"Again and again, the West has waited till the Gates of Hell were opened and the flames were at our doorstep before taking action against a clear and all too present danger. In the '30s, Hitler marched into the Rhineland, and the West shrank back, only emboldening him for further forays. Not until Pearl Harbor was turned into an inferno did the United States enter that war. Could we please just this once act in time?" -- Paul Greenberg

"Let's see, the five terror collaborators busted in Lackawanna, NY, were all male, in their 20s and early 30s and of Middle Eastern descent. Hmmm. Kinda like the 19 terrorists from September 11. But we wouldn't want to 'profile' anyone now, would we? No, that would be wrong." -- Chuck Muth

"The president expresses a moral clarity that resonates with the American people. That is his greatest strength." -- Marshall Wittmann

"Every time the world press corps decides that President Bush is heading down a diplomatic blind ally, he ends up on another four lane highway to success." -- Rich Galen

"And when true and legitimate leadership is offered to a noble cause, the world will embrace it, as they are already beginning to show." -- Oliver North

"One of the great untold stories of the recent American crime drop is that our closest European 'neighbor' -- the United Kingdom -- now surpasses us in virtually every category of crime. London currently has twice as many per capita robberies, assaults and auto thefts as New York City, four times as many burglaries, about 50 per cent more rapes and almost as many murders. Londoners should consider taking long vacations in New York. They will be much safer." -- Iain Murray (himself a Brit), director of research, Statistical Assessment Service

"...[F]oreign policy could have caused what has happened. ...We represent the rich, ... [while other countries are] very, very poor. The people in these countries don't have adequate housing, don't have adequate hospitalization, don't have adequate medical care, don't have adequate education. They are not going to live forever in the shadow of the riches that we display constantly in our movies, in our travels around the world, in our airlines, in our shipping. They're not going to put up with that forever." -- Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite saying "blame us that we were attacked on 9-11."

"...[If the U.S. would be] less greedy, taking better care of our poor and our needy, and stop making impossible demands on our planet's resources, I think we would plunge our enemies into shame." -- CBS's Bob Simon contending we brought 9-11 on ourselves by not driving more fuel-efficient cars

"Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, has missed more than one out of every 10 votes in the Senate since 1995, the second-highest voting-absenteeism rate in the 100-member Senate. Only Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican, in poor health at age 80 and leaving office in January, has missed more votes this year than Mr. McCain." -- Billy House, Arizona Republic

"Congress is in the midst of an unprecedented spending binge. Since 1998, federal discretionary spending has increased on average by nearly 7% every year, growth unseen since the late 1960s. Excluding the emergency spending as a result of September 11, federal spending is increasing almost 4 times as fast as inflation, and 50% faster than median family income." -- Sen. Phil Gramm

"I think, unfortunately, ...[the war talk] has more to do with politics, because I think they were very, very anxious to change the subject away from the economy and the corporate governance things and scandals." -- Former Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart

"...[It is] speciesist to think that the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center was a greater tragedy than what millions of chickens endured that day, and what they endure every day because they cannot defend themselves against the concerted human appetites arrayed against them." -- Karen Davis, president, United Poultry Concerns (which, as you may have guessed, is an animal rights group, not a farmers' lobby.)

"In the old days, they called us a rogue state. They were right in accusing us of that." -- Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi

"With a disregard for reality rarely found outside a Monty Python dead-parrot sketch, these folks [who oppose a national response fighting Islamic extremist terrorists] have unilaterally declared that the war on terrorism isn't a 'real' war with all of the real fighting and killing the word implies. Rather, it's a metaphor, like the 'war on cancer,' the 'war on drugs' or the 'war on squirrels' (a private war between my dog and the tree-rat menace)." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Al Gore is saying that an online report quoting him as saying that he'll run for president once again is wrong. He's saying that the online report is false and that he's sorry that he invented that whole thing." -- Jay Leno

"A U.S. spy plane busted an al-Qa'ida leader by tracking a pizza delivery to his hideout in the Philippines. This would happen in Southeast Asia. Within the hour, Henry Kissinger took credit and declared that the Domino Theory was right all along." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted September 16, 2002

"The terrorists have persuaded themselves that Americans are a nation of rich, clever cowards, who are willing to kill but not to die for their country and its interests. From Hiroshima to Somalia, from Vietnam to the Sudan, America has sought to conserve its sons and to do its killing with the most efficient technology possible. This long-range, antiseptic approach to warfare reached its apogee in the Persian Gulf War and especially in President Clinton's pinprick attacks on Iraq, Sudan, and selected terrorist bases; our willingness to suffer casualties reached its nadir in our panicky withdrawal from Somalia and our super cautious deployments in Kosovo. Leaving aside the merits of any of these engagements, from them many of our enemies around the globe drew the conclusion that America was a technological colossus but a moral midget." -- Charles R. Kesler

"Times of tragedy and war naturally bring out strong emotions in all of us. Yet we must be careful to preserve personal liberty and privacy rights in the months ahead. Sometimes the people are only too anxious to sacrifice their constitutional liberties during a crisis, hoping to gain some measure of security. Yet nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willingly gave up some of our cherished liberties because of their actions." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"In the end, though nobody will say it, the United States will do nearly all the heavy lifting -- and take the casualties in getting the job done and abuse later from the fainthearts who will have sat on the sidelines. We can expect a hand from Britain, as always, and Israel and those most like us." -- Wesley Pruden

"It seems to me that objective meaning is flowing, like transfused blood, into all sorts of concepts which were tragically anemic not too long ago. Patriotism is of course the most obvious example. Freedom is another word people are reacquainting themselves with. But we've also seen good and evil (and even capitalized Good and Evil) used by all sorts of politicians and commentators normally embarrassed by such morally loaded -- and hence unacceptably judgmental -- words." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Terrorism, the warfare of the new century, is engaged in for the specific purpose of destabilizing free societies. The terrorists succeed if free people cower in fear and begin to restrict their treasured freedom and liberties. We should never succumb to terrorist-inspired fear. We can never allow such people to win. Instead, we must renew our commitment to the most fundamental liberties and to the rule of law." -- Charles Colson

"But events are demonstrating the vitality and utility of nations. Nations govern territory and can be held accountable for what tolerated groups do when enjoying sanctuary in that territory. In combating nations that support terrorists, the pertinent nations are few, and they can be given incentives -- offers they can't refuse -- to police their portions of the planet." -- George Will

"I've been reading reactions to the President's UN speech, and I'm amused at how people don't seem to get it. Oh, now he's being a multilateralist? Now he believes in the UN? No. . . . It's of a piece with the administration's behavior since 9/11: Let all the carpers and obstructionists gather on the tip of the thinnest branch, then show up with a saw and announce they have five minutes to come hug the trunk, which incidentally is covered with sap and stinging ants. It was sheer malicious brilliance to cast the entire case in terms of UN resolutions, because now the UN has to chose: either those resolutions mean something, or the UN means nothing. Why, it's almost as if the UN painted itself into a corner--and woke up to find this rude simple cowboy holding the brush. How the hell did he do that?" -- James Lileks

web posted September 9, 2002

"As one is always obliged to explain when tiptoeing around this territory, I'm not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture -- rule of law, universal suffrage, etc. -- is preferable to Arab culture: that's why there are millions of Muslims in Scandinavia, and four Scandinavians in Syria. Follow the traffic. I support immigration, but with assimilation. Without it, like a Hindu widow, we're slowly climbing on the funeral pyre of our lost empires. You see it in European foreign policy already: they're scared of their mysterious, swelling, unstoppable Muslim populations." -- Mark Steyn

"While the conflict in Afghanistan may be the first battle of the 21st century, it certainly won't be the last. The war on terrorism will not end soon. The terrorists who attacked us on September 11th, for them it was the opening salvo. They do intend to strike again, we know that. And as President Bush has said, 'The advance of human freedom depends on us, our nation.' ...The advance of human freedom does depend on each of you. All over the world, people long for what you defend -- liberty, democracy, tolerance, a future without fear. And that's why we'll prevail. Your spirit, and the spirit of the men and women standing watch for liberty at this moment all across the globe are our guarantee that in the 21st century, the American people will continue to live in freedom." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"Peace, in hostile situations, requires that no party be too publicly, or too sincerely, peaceful." -- Joshua Kleinfeld

"Decisive war is about politics, the governing of land and people. Precision-guided weapons make for wonderful television, but technology is not strategy and wars are about more than just blowing things up." -- William R. Hawkins

"Why does the best military in the world, one that has easily disposed of all competitors over the past decade and a half, need to be transformed? The short answer is that the world has changed -- not in all ways but in important ones." -- Mackubin Thomas Owens

"Philosophy is intended to show us facts that are so obvious that we might miss them. Most philosophers, it seems, have been asleep on the job for a long time." -- David Gelernter

"Yasser Arafat condemns terror all the time, and it doesn't make him any less of a terrorist." -- Ben Shapiro

"...[O]ur Founding Fathers enshrined a constitutional separation of powers for the ages undeluded by the fantasy that angels would win elections." -- Bruce Fein

"This is a man who said he would not arm up. This is a man who told the world that he would not harbor weapons of mass destruction. I will first remind the United Nations that for 11 long years, Saddam Hussein has sidestepped, crawfished, wheedled out of any agreement he had made not to develop weapons of mass destruction. ... And so I'm going to call upon the world to recognize that he is stiffing the world. And I will lay out and I will talk about ways to make sure that he fulfills his obligations." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"The only effective way to restrain government spending is by limiting government's explicit tax revenue." -- Milton Friedman

"The sole purpose of [the Johannesburg environmental] summit, under the sponsorship of the United Nations, appears to be to bash the West generally, and the United States in particular." -- Rich Galen

"...[The UN Summit on Sustainable Development is] another massive waste of money. Another diversion from the real needs of the poor. Another boondoggle for the rich to jet somewhere exotic to gush over their concern for the poor." -- Ken Adelman

"I guess it's tough to be a limousine liberal without a limousine." -- Tony Blankley on Bill Moyers being arrested for drunk driving

"What is the difference between politics and movies or TV?" -- NBC's Tim Russert to retiring Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who is resuming his acting career; Thompson replied, "The pay."

"Looking at it from the outside, it seems to me we have maximum incentive now for him [Saddam Hussein] not to use these weapons and not to give them to anybody. Because he knows all of America is ready to go after him, and would if he did that. If he knew for sure we were coming, he might have maximum incentive to use them and to give them to other people." -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

"Members of Congress have the only job in the country whose occupants can set their own salary without regard to performance, profit or economic climate." -- Council for Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz

"I am sixty-five years old as I finish this book and facing the question that comes to everyone blessed with long life. Has my time passed? Is it time to withdraw from public duty, retire to my home in Oak Creek, and pursue my private interests? My third term will end in 2004, and I must soon decide whether I want another." -- Arizona Republican (so to speak) Sen. John McCain, from his forthcoming memoir, "Worth the Fighting For"

"Whenever you want to know the answer to some intricate or hard-to-answer question, follow the money." -- Rush Limbaugh

"Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do." -- Ann Coulter

"The liberals have cultural hegemony on their side, but neither logic nor facts." -- Mona Charen

"Gerhard Schroeder, huffing and puffing in the final days of a campaign for re-election as the chancellor of Germany, assailed President Bush for his determination to rid the world of a brutal tyrant who in fact reminds a lot of people of someone in Mr. Schroeder's distant past. ...[I]f unleashes bacteria or cyanide or a nuclear weapon it will be against America, not Germany. That's just a risk to American children that Mr. Schroeder and his brave European compatriots are willing to take." -- Wesley Pruden

"It's being reported that President Clinton had a plan to get rid of Osama bin Laden. Do you believe that? He couldn't even get rid of Paula Jones!" -- Jay Leno

"Germany refused to turn over terrorism evidence against alleged 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui unless we promise not to give him the death penalty. They don't believe in giving mass murderers the death penalty. They believe in giving them Czechoslovakia and Poland." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted September 2, 2002

"The lesson of 9-11 isn't to be found in past instances of American intolerance or in trying to find fault in our actions around the world. The lessons of Sept. 11 are simple enough and don't need complicating. A good and just nation was attacked by evil people, and we responded with heroism, charity and nobility. If that's too simplistic for you, fine. We can argue about it on Sept. 12." -- Jonah Goldberg

"...[F]ew things are so deadly as a misguided sense of compassion." -- Charles Colson

"Justice is recognized when it springs from common values. And, as with war on terrorism, those who oppose evil must agree on what it is and resist it vigilantly. " -- Paul M. Rodriguez

"Americans...need to be told first that it is not power, nor revenge, nor ego, nor bellicosity that prompts American action, but a unique sense of justice amid a world that talks just, but in self-interested inaction proves itself to be precisely the opposite." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"The only realistic way to effect regime change in Iraq is through the application of military force." -- Former Sec. of State James Baker

"One of the criticisms about the September 11 terrorist attack on America was that we should have seen it coming. Some sort of preemptive action might have stopped the terrorists from hijacking our planes and killing our people, some critics said. ... We now have another opportunity to forestall perhaps even worse assaults on our people and freedoms by removing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power before he can unleash weapons of mass destruction on Israel and, perhaps, the United States. ... It is America's job, even if we must do it alone, to make sure he does not succeed." -- Cal Thomas

"This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes." -- Vice President Richard B. Cheney

"The Marines are ready for any mission." -- USMC Commandant, Gen. James Jones

"The Islamists are militarily weak but culturally secure. The West is just the opposite. There's more than one way to lose a war." -- Mark Steyn

"The NEA represents, and presumably reflects the mentality of, the people who are delivering -- inflicting? -- public education. That is as frightening, in its way, as any foreign threat." -- George Will

"To liberal Democrats, the Constitution is an obstacle, and why is it an obstacle? It's because the Constitution spells out our freedoms. The Constitution limits government." --Rush Limbaugh

"On the subject of money, we know that Arafat has over a billion stashed away (I'm talking dollars, not whatever they spend in the P.A.). A former top Arafat aide, Jawad Ghussein, has spilled the beans. He escaped the P.A. within an inch of his life, going to Jordan -- with Israel's help -- and then on to London. Because he has fingered Arafat as a thief, Ghussein is now being denounced by the PLO as a thief himself. Thus do these goons behave in time-honored Soviet fashion. ... Remember the name of Jawad Ghussein: a man of some conscience from the Palestinian ruling class." -- Jay Nordlinger

"The real reason Democrats want to raise taxes by canceling the [Bush/Republican] tax cut is so they can spend the money to buy votes. To the extent that tax cuts and deficits prevent them from doing so, that is a good thing." -- Bruce Bartlett

"But should government run the economy in a free society? Remember, there is a simple description for government control of the economy: socialism. America, however, was founded as a capitalist country. The Constitution grants Congress exceedingly limited regulatory and tax powers, because the Founders were tired of having their business affairs managed by the Crown. So they created a strictly limited government, which allowed freedom and capitalism to flourish." -- Ron Paul

"...[Leftists] are panicked at the idea that America might defend itself by attacking Iraq, but are perfectly copacetic about living in a radioactive world. They seem not to understand that -- unlike their other insane policies, such as school busing -- their heartfelt desire to keep Saddam Hussein in power will affect their children, too. Nuclear annihilation cannot be safely confined to the outer boroughs." -- Ann Coulter

"A federal court tells the Bush administration it is abusing its power in the campaign against terrorism." -- ABC anchor Peter Jennings, who forgot to mention that the court denied the Justice Department increased powers based on the precedent set by the Clinton administration and Janet Reno

"It would take a revolution at the New York Times, the Washington Post and the TV networks to get them to tell their readers and viewers that they had deceived them about the dangers of DDT, global warming, nuclear power and the ozone hole. ...The first draft of history that they write is riddled with major errors such as these, and it may be a hundred years or more before the media admit that they got a lot of it wrong." -- Accuracy in Media Chairman Reed Irvine

"Here was the headline yesterday on Yahoo! dealing with the FBI investigation into leaks from the Senate Intelligence Committee: 'FBI Reportedly Probing Senators Over 9/11-Related Leaks' ...[H]ere's an image I think we could have done without." -- Rich Galen

"In my opinion, there is nothing that opens the closed minds of academic administrators better than sounds of pocketbooks snapping shut." -- Walter Williams

"You already know that the average Major League baseball player makes $2.3 million per year. You also know that the average Major League baseball player will go on strike on August 30 if the remaining issues with the owners are not settled by then. So, there's really only one question left to answer: Who cares?" -- Rich Galen

"The FBI is warning of possible terrorist attacks against landmarks in and around L.A. Landmarks? I didn't know we had any. .... The bad news: There's 40 al-Qa'ida terrorists heading toward Los Angeles. The good new is that they're stuck on the Ventura Freeway! They won't be here until 2010!" -- Jay Leno

"CBS News paid for a video of al-Qa'ida terrorists killing a dog. The tape also shows them shooting up a pick-up truck. This video was so sad it was only a beer away from being voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame." -- Argus Hamilton



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