Monday Brief


Jun. 7, 2010

The Foundation

“[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” –Federal Farmer


Re: The Left

“President Obama and congressional Democrats say the DISCLOSE Act, which is expected to come up for a vote soon, is aimed at ensuring transparency and preventing corruption in the wake of Citizens United v. FEC, the January decision in which the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on political speech by corporations and unions. But the bill’s onerous, lopsided requirements suggest its supporters are more interested in silencing their critics. … The anxiety and uncertainty created by the new rules would be compounded by the fact that they would take effect 30 days after the law is enacted, before the FEC would have time to issue regulations clarifying them. Opposing an amendment that would have postponed the effective date until Jan. 1, Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., said he wants people to worry about a fine or prison sentence when they dare to speak ill of him. ‘I hope it chills out all – not one side, all sides!’ said Capuano. ‘I have no problem whatsoever keeping everybody out. If I could keep all outside entities out, I would.’ Similarly, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., upon unveiling the bill, said ‘the deterrent effect should not be underestimated.’ For those who view nonpoliticians as meddlesome ‘outside entities’ and criticism of incumbents as a crime to be deterred, the chilling effect of campaign finance laws is a feature, not a bug.” –columnist Jacob Sullum

Faith & Family

“Again and again, Americans find themselves at war with each other over public schooling. Yet furious conflict over religion in this country is almost unheard-of. … So why does the endless variety of religious life in the United States lead to so little strife, while the strife over public schooling never seems to end? The answer is no mystery. America is a land of religious freedom, in which people decide for themselves what to believe and how to worship. No religion is funded by government. No church or synagogue has a state-supported monopoly. Elected officials have no say in the doctrines of any faith or the content of any religious service. Religion flourishes in America because church and state are separate. And it flourishes so peacefully because no one is forced to support anyone else’s faith, or to attend a church he isn’t happy with, or to bring up children according to the religious views of whichever faction has the most votes. Religion is peaceful because it is government-free. Liberate the schools, and they too would be at peace. Taxpayer-funded, one-curriculum-fits-all schooling makes conflict inevitable. There would be far less animosity if parents were as free to choose how and where their children learn as they are to choose how and where they worship. Separation of church and state has made America an exemplar of religious pluralism and tolerance. Imagine what separation of school and state could do for education.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

Reader Comments

There is a Time to Fight was a powerful essay, a call to arms. In the sense that ballots carry more weight than bullets. Alas, the Republicans have a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It is easy to forget that Reagan was not a ‘mainstream’ Republican, but a true maverick, unlike a Senator from Arizona. RR was not the choice of the Establishment Republicans, but of the people. He won because of the message he presented, which we do not hear often (except for this web site). Mark Alexander is right, it will be a difficult time, but a necessary one. The longer we wait, the harder to rebuild that ‘shining city on the hill.’” –Tim

“I’m pretty sure it was Thomas Paine and not Sam Adams that said, ‘Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.’ But, as usual, you are still right on target.” –MaryJane

Editor’s Reply: You are, of course, absolutely right. That was a last minute edit and as often as I have used quotes from both of these Founders, I should have picked it up right away. Thank you for pointing this out – it has been fixed on the Web.

Your observation that Tipper Gore may have been the ClimateGate hacker is both funny and ironic, given that Al Gore invented the Internet.” –Brian

“Tipper finally found out that Al really didn’t invent the Internet.” –Mathew

Political Futures

“When Israeli soldiers defend themselves from violent attacks by these ‘peace activists,’ they are always acting ‘disproportionately’ and thus deserving of denunciation, censure and ostracism from the ‘world community.’ One wishes the haters of Israel would direct some of that zeal to the real enemies of freedom and religious pluralism: radical Islam. … President Obama said it is important to learn ‘all the facts and circumstances’ behind the incident before reaching conclusions. The facts and circumstances are already known. It is a fact that those trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza hate and wish to destroy Israel. And any circumstance will be created or used to achieve that objective. Again, we’ve seen this scenario before and surely will see it again, and again, and again, unless and until the world wakes up to the clash of civilizations too many want to ignore, hoping it will go away. It won’t until one civilization crushes the other.” –columnist Cal Thomas

For the Record

“Question: If Israel is always hell-bent on murder, massacres and genocide, why is it so bad at it? If its battle plan called for a slaughter, why kill ‘only’ nine people? Why not sink all of the boats? Meanwhile, is it really the case that Hamas is objectively ‘good’ at public relations? Or Hezbollah? Or Iran? Really? I just don’t see it. To me, these PR operations are less ‘Wag the Dog’ and more Baghdad Bob (the Monty Pythonesque spokesman for Saddam Hussein’s regime). But instead of everyone laughing at the lies and idiocy, millions of people nod their heads in agreement. North Korea recently sank a South Korean ship. The international reaction has been muted and sober. Turkey – the Palestinians’ new champion – has been treating Kurdish nationalists harshly for generations; no one cares. The Russians crush Chechens, the Chinese trample Uighurs. Real genocides unfold regularly in Africa. Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb. Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. So is Iran. And yet the only villain as far as much of the world is concerned is Israel. Always Israel. But none of these facts matter. Indeed, it’s tiring even to recount them in an environment where big lies matters more than obvious truths, where self-defense is ‘aggression,’ where restraint is ‘genocide,’ and where the heirs of Gandhi wield steel pipes.” –National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

The Last Word

“For reasons I am not clear on, the White House press corps’ own personal Delta Dawn, Helen Thomas, decided she needed to opine on the current state of affairs in the Middle East. Here’s the transcript of Helen Thomas’ truly frightening position: Q: ‘Any comments on Israel?’ Helen Thomas: ‘Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. [She laughs] Remember, these people [the Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land and it’s not Germany and it’s not Poland.’ Q: ‘So, where should they go? 'HT: 'They should go home.’ Q: ‘Where’s home?’ HT: ‘Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else.’ Ok, let me stipulate that I am not an expert on Helen Thomas. Nevertheless, I am quite confident in stating that she is not of Native American heritage. Inasmuch as she was born in Kentucky in 1920, we must assume that she has, over the last 90 years, bought into the theory that if you have taken over a country for enough time, you sort of own it. But, under the Helen Thomas Theory of Primacy, all 310,000,000 people who falsely claim to be ‘Americans’ should immediately leave what we now call the United States and return to the country or region of the world from whence our ancestors came. Helen Thomas is a joke. The fact that she is a left-wing joke protects her from her White House briefing room colleagues. If she were a RIGHT-wing joke, there would have been demands that the Hearst Corporation immediately fire her for what amounts to hate speech, if not astonishing stupidity. Either she is too old to know what she’s saying, or she knows what she’s saying. Either way, her chair in the White House briefing room should be declared vacant.” –political analyst Rich Galen

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