Monday Brief

Brief

Nov. 29, 2010

The Foundation

“A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.” –James Madison

Re: The Left

South Koreans watch as the North Koreans attack Yeonpyeong Island, killing two soldiers

“How did the White House respond to North Korea’s shelling of South Korea? Our president is said to be ‘outraged’ – according to his spokesmen. That’d be a first. For has Barack Obama ever shown more than Thoughtful Concern on any matter, foreign (Iran’s nuclear program) or domestic (the national debt)? Early on Tuesday morning, as the Koreans were collecting their dead, the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, issued a statement calling on North Korea ‘to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the armistice agreement’ signed in 1953. … Dispatches from Washington Tuesday evening said President Obama wasn’t planning to speak publicly about the shelling on the peninsula, preferring to issue a written statement later on. Why rush? It’ll doubtless be neatly typed. Can you imagine a Harry Truman, or, for that matter a Reagan or Kennedy or Eisenhower or either Roosevelt just having an aide issue a press release when an ally comes under fire? Isn’t it time for the current occupant of the White House, officially acclaimed a great statesman by the Nobel committee, to say something to both enemies and friends to assure the peace? Or do we have to sit through another yawner from his soporific press aide? … As I write these lines, the current occupant of the White House remains silent, as in Silence Gives Consent. In this case, to war.” –columnist Paul Greenberg

For the Record

“Those who made excuses for all of candidate Barack Obama’s long years of alliances with people who expressed their contempt for this country, and when as president he appointed people with a record of antipathy to American interests and values, may finally get it when they feel some stranger’s hand in their crotch. As for the excuse of ‘security,’ this is one of the least security-minded administrations we have had. … The rules of criminal justice in American courts were not designed for trying terrorists. For one thing, revealing the evidence against them can reveal how our intelligence services got wind of them in the first place, and thereby endanger the lives of people who helped us nab them. Not a lot of people in other countries, or perhaps even in this country, are going to help us stop terrorists if their role is revealed and their families are exposed to revenge by the terrorists' bloodthirsty comrades. What do the Israeli airport security people do that American airport security do not do? They profile. They question some individuals for more than half an hour, open up all their luggage and spread the contents on the counter– and they let others go through with scarcely a word. And it works. Meanwhile, this administration is so hung up on political correctness that they have turned ‘profiling’ into a bugaboo.” –economist Thomas Sowell

Looking for Value

So what is The Patriot Post’s Brief anyway? It’s possibly the most useful thing you could read on Monday.

Our team of contributors puts together each Monday’s Brief by sifting through dozens of opinion articles by leading conservative thinkers and looking for the best analysis of the issues facing our great nation. You’ll find the latest on the Left’s takeover of the health care system, updates on the airport security nightmare, timeless advice from “The Gipper,” comments from our readers and much more!

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Nate Jackson

Managing Editor

Government

“Obama’s non-stop world tour has not made America any more loved or any safer. Soft power has not stopped terrorists or the regimes that arm and fund them. If anything it has emboldened them. And the civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani, one of the FBI’s Most Wanted, ended with his unprecedented acquittal on 284 out of 285 charges, including all the murder charges, leaving only a single charge of conspiracy. The Ghaliani trial, presided over by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, a Clinton nominated Federal judge, who did everything but put on a cheerleader uniform and wave his pom poms for the Al Qaeda terrorist, was a farce that ended a millimeter away from freeing one of the FBI’s Most Wanted men. The media is trying to spin it as a victory, but that’s like describing a game between the New York Yankees and a little league team as a success because the Yankees managed to win by one point. Ghaliani was never convicted of the crimes he committed. He was only convicted of conspiracy, which in this context essentially means being a member of Al Qaeda. It gets him off the street, but it does not convict him of the crimes he specifically committed. It’s not justice. It’s barely containment.” –columnist Daniel Greenfield

The Gipper

“We warned of things to come, of the danger inherent in unwarranted government involvement in things not its proper province. What we warned against has come to pass. And today more than two-thirds of our citizens are telling us, and each other, that social engineering by the federal government has failed. The Great Society is great only in power, in size and in cost. And so are the problems it set out to solve. Freedom has been diminished and we stand on the brink of economic ruin. Our task now is not to sell a philosophy, but to make the majority of Americans, who already share that philosophy, see that modern conservatism offers them a political home. We are not a cult, we are members of a majority. Let’s act and talk like it. The job is ours and the job must be done. If not by us, who? If not now, when?” –Ronald Reagan

Opinion in Brief

“The liberal world came up with the idea of giving trophies to kids who lose; they don’t want their children feeling bad. Conservatives, on the other hand, teach their kids how to lose well. They are less worried about their children feeling bad. A couple of years ago, I gave a speech on happiness to the students and faculty of a prestigious high school in the Los Angeles area. The subject was the need to act happy even when one isn’t feeling happy – because it is unfair to others to inflict our bad moods on them and because we will never be happy if we allow our feelings to dictate our happiness. From what I experienced that day and learned later, liberal students and faculty generally loathed my speech; conservative students generally loved it (there was no conservative faculty to speak of). Why? Because conservatives are far more likely to be comfortable with the idea that feelings are not as important as behavior. Those who know that feelings must not govern us, but that we must govern our feelings, are far more likely to be happy people. The upshot of all this? There is an amazingly simple way to defeat the left: Raise children who are grateful to be American, who don’t complain, who can handle losing and who are guided by values, not feelings.” –radio talk show host Dennis Prager

Faith & Family

“Anyone who thinks dysfunctional government is going to help achieve their dreams is putting their faith in the wrong place. People who believe a politician of whatever party or persuasion can make their life better than individual initiative are doing more than dreaming; such persons are displaying cult-like faith, which can never be fulfilled. The rules for achieving the American dream may no longer be taught in and supported by culture, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. The rules are known to previous generations: studying and staying in school; achieving at least an undergraduate degree; avoiding drugs that harm your mind and body; getting married before you have children and working hard to stay married as an example to those children and to benefit society; saving and investing for retirement so as not to burden taxpayers and relatives; living within one’s means; demonstrating personal honesty and professional integrity, which comes from character developed in one’s youth, usually with a sense of right and wrong once imposed by parents and affirmed by culture.” –columnist Cal Thomas

Culture

“Kye Allums, a shooting guard on the George Washington University women’s basketball team, has decided that she is a he. Changing her name from ‘Kay-Kay,’ Allums is believed to be the first Division I college basketball player to go public about being a ‘transgender’ person. … Spurred by a track-and-field controversy four years ago, NCAA rules prohibit sexual reassignment surgery or hormone treatments for athletes to retain their eligibility. Allums, a junior, has pledged to forego those steps while she retains her eligibility for college basketball. But in the meantime, in the midst of a culture that doesn’t dare utter a discouraging word about gender denial and genital self-mutilation, Allums is listed on the GWU website as a male member of the women’s basketball team. All the press reports swoon about how ‘he’ – who remains a woman in every biological way – is handling this so bravely as a role model: ‘I’m trying to be an example for other people to not be afraid of who they are.’ (The Good Lord must be so grateful for the creative editing of Creation.) … What the transgender revolutionaries want is a culture that allows children to choose an opposing gender while they’re still in school sports. … The gender-bending activists on this issue want their preferred standards of ‘non-discrimination’ imposed nationally, all at once, in high schools and colleges, and in professional sports, to teach allegedly ignorant Americans to respect ‘gender identity and expression.’ If it takes such ‘courage’ for Kye Allums to become honored as a public example, why does it seem that no one has the courage (or fairness in the media) to oppose or even question this war on reality?” –columnist L. Brent Bozell

Reader Comments

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The Last Word

“It’s a lame-duck session [of Congress]. Time is running out. Unemployment is high, the economy is dangerously weak and, with five weeks to go, no one knows what tax they’ll be paying on everything from income to dividends to death when the current rates expire Jan. 1. And what is the president demanding that Congress pass as ‘a top priority’? To what did he devote his latest weekly radio address? Ratification of his New START treaty. … President Obama insists that New START is important as a step toward his dream of a nuclear-free world. Where does one begin? A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare. We voluntarily disarm while the world’s rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret. Just last week we found out about a hidden, unknown, highly advanced North Korean uranium enrichment facility. An ostensibly nuclear-free world would place these weapons in the hands of radical regimes that would not hesitate to use them – against a civilized world that would have given up its deterrent. Moreover, Obama’s idea that the great powers must reduce their weapons to set a moral example for the rest of the world to disarm is simply childish. Does anyone seriously believe that the mullahs in Iran or the thugs in Pyongyang will in any way be deflected from their pursuit of nukes by a reduction in the U.S. arsenal? … The worst thing about this treaty … is that it is simply a distraction. It gives the illusion of doing something about nuclear danger by addressing a non-problem, Russia, while doing nothing about the real problem – Iran and North Korea.” –columnist Charles Krauthammer