Monday Brief

Brief

Jan. 7, 2002

THE FOUNDATION

“What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?” –Thomas Jefferson

INSIGHT

“Such is the self-righteous fury of democracies, past and present, when they fall victim to unprovoked attack. A culture that is characteristically slow to anger, shockingly ill-prepared in times of peace, and full of domestic concern with the most trivial of issues suddenly awakes from its slumber, taps it arsenal of free-thinking individuals, and then by consensus and law chooses not merely to defeat but to eradicate its enemies.” –Victor Davis Hanson

GOOD NEWS

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)

“Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:9)

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Galatians 5:14)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“This distortion of divine love into an endorsement of self-adulation is insidious. It creeps right into worship. We claim to be praising God because of His love for us. But if His love for us is at bottom His making much of us, who is really being praised? We are willing to be God-centered, it seems, as long as God is man-centered. We are willing to boast in the cross as long as the cross is a witness to our worth. Who then is our pride and joy?” –John Piper

FAMILY

“A baby – born and unborn – is precious to God. It is not a disposable commodity. A child’s life should not be subject to our finances, our fears, and our convenience. We somehow have lost the sense of sacredness that a new life embodies. We are throwing away precious human life – our future generations. And until we regain our respect and reverence for valuable human life – until we realize that our babies belong to God, not to us – we will no doubt continue to find America’s newborns crying in cardboard boxes and abandoned in dark empty hallways.” –Charles Colson

CULTURE

“The profession of journalism also experienced a dramatic cultural change during the latter half of the 20th century. From its inception until the 1960s, journalism operated like a guild. Apprentices began their careers as copy boys, made their way through a succession of newsroom jobs, and graduated, in time, to become reporters or editors. Along the way, they acquired important tools of the trade – experience, skepticism, and an informed humility about what they could and could not do. That tradition came a cropper sometime between the Second World War and Watergate. Journalists began to fancy themselves more as professionals – akin to doctors and lawyers – or as intellectuals. Media organizations sought out and promoted young graduates of elite educational institutions and set them loose without any of the basic training that earlier generations took for granted. In addition, reporters began to view themselves as crusaders rather than eyewitnesses. They set out to change the world rather than to describe it. This combination of factors produced a press corps too often afflicted with the odd combination of callowness, callousness, cluelessness and arrogance. As the intelligentsia turned sharply leftward in the 1960s, so did the press. …Patriotism became deeply unfashionable. So did optimism. The things that made Americans proud had the opposite effect on media stars, who found the old-fashioned customs embarrassing. …This would explain why the press, once seen as the voice of the Common Man, now has become his nemesis – and why polls continue to rate journalists just above felons in terms of public approval.” –Tony Snow

LIBERTY

“The challenge we face today is ignorance regarding the conditions of freedom, and all that is required to preserve freedom from threats both foreign and domestic. The elite opinion in America – from the most distinguished professors in our most distinguished universities, to political intellectuals and pundits, to those in the media and Hollywood – would counsel us to talk with our enemies rather than killing them. At home they would have us exchange our liberties for security. They would ignore the Constitution and expand the illegitimate scope and power of a government that already operates with little Constitutional conscience. And they would call this victory. These people, and these opinions, are wrong, and they are more of a threat to the enduring freedom and happiness of America than Osama bin Laden and his militant Islamic cronies.” –Thomas L. Krannawitter

OPINION IN BRIEF

“Sometimes it is hard to know the truth, but you don’t get around that by reporting every claim by an enemy regime with a long history of lying – and then pretending to believe that it is just as credible as what you have learned from more reliable sources. Much of the media has a confusion between being objective and creating an arbitrary ‘balance’ between ‘the two sides.’ Objectivity is about facts. Medical science can be objective about the facts about a disease without being neutral as between the bacteria and the patient. Medical researchers’ objectivity about the facts is what enables them to discover how to save the patient’s life and kill the bacteria. News-gathering does not have to stop during a war. But news is what has actually happened. Rumors and speculation are not news. Nor are American military plans news. Reporting these plans and jeopardizing Americans’ lives is espionage.” –Thomas Sowell

WORTH REPEATING

“Bill Clinton has cried out for help. Recently, he assembled a group of people, including various members of his former staff, assorted political hacks, political toadies, groupies, for-hire character assassins and criminal lawyers. He asked them to cite his accomplishments and remind the people what he had done for the country. Although not asked specifically to participate, I feel an obligation to respond to the request of the former president by citing a few of his accomplishments, and giving credit where credit is due by reminding the people what he has done to the country. The Little Rock wrecking crew left festering situations and unattended issues strewn all over the globe. Like nouveau riche hillbillies, they wasted the resources they inherited…. Clinton talked about education but did nothing about improving it other than stuff money into the pockets of the education unions. Clinton misused the men and women in the military, leaving them bereft of resources, overextended and discouraged. He prattled on about the fiscal illness of Social Security and Medicare, but never offered a remedy. He invited an energy crisis by ignoring its looming presence while pandering to wacky American greenies. He disregarded clear signals that a sagging economy required help and handed his successor an impending recession. He undercut the moral standards of the nation by modeling a contempt for decency. He undermined the law by skirting its intent and corrupting the processes of the Justice Department itself. On his last day in office he issued 140 pardons to murderers, his brother, drug dealers, terrorists, big-money political contributors and friends of the family. During a scandal-drenched eight years, it was credibly charged or proven that this president had sexual relations on government property and during working hours with a young White House subordinate, groped a female visitor in the Oval Office, paid his way out of a pants-dropping charge, was credibly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, organized a White House hit team to assassinate the reputation of his accusers, took money from Chinese communist donors, solicited political donations while on government property, entertained known criminals, drug dealers and arms smugglers at private White House gatherings, hid subpoenaed documents in the living quarters of the White House, rented out the Lincoln bedroom, sold seats on Air Force One, violated the War Powers Act, bombed an aspirin factory in Sudan, used the IRS and the FBI to attack political enemies, used taxpayer-paid lawyers and aides to defend himself against charges of sexual misconduct, lied under oath, lied when not under oath, shredded documents, suborned perjury, tampered with witnesses, and obstructed justice. A number of Clinton’s actions were so unique as to warrant special mention. U.S. federal Judge Susan Webber Wright found Bill Clinton in civil contempt for lying under oath and obstructing justice and fined him $90,000. He was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct disbarred him for five years and fined him $25,000. The Supreme Court of the United States barred Clinton from practicing law before the high court. Bill Clinton never uttered a word of regret for the 19 innocent babies and children who were burned to death at Waco. He used the power of his office to protect the right of abortionists to kill healthy babies seconds and inches from birth. He used brute force and automatic weapons to force a helpless child, Elian Gonzales, to return to a prison island called Cuba, while openly condoning a massive invasion by hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. Clinton masterfully practiced the sick politics of personal self-destruction. He bartered away his mind to the educational unions, his heart to the homosexual lobby, his conscience to radical feminists, his country to the Lippo Group, and his legacy to his loins.” –Linda Bowles

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“The Middle East at the moment is more than unusually rocky. Islamist extremism is a threat to several Arab regimes. On the run from Afghanistan, al Qaeda terrorists can count on clandestine networks to help them regroup and start all over again. The Saudi royal family has never been so unpopular. Poverty and oppression everywhere are breeding discontent, perhaps revolution. Any day, some Palestinian suicide bomber may spark a wider conflagration involving Israel and its neighbors. The good news is that the United States has fought and won a campaign that numerous critics judged certain to end in shipwreck. Victory, they held rather patronizingly, would inflame the ‘Arab street’ with a generalized anti-American sentiment. Nothing of the kind has occurred. On the contrary, Arabs everywhere have taken note of American political resolve and military capacities. They know that the United States is doing what it has to do, and that power in the pursuit of national interest is only normal, not in the least shocking. Had the United States failed to react as it did to September 11, the Arabs would have lost all respect for it, and their anti-Americanism would have conveyed contempt for people too feeble to defend themselves.” –National Review

THE GIPPER

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” –Ronald Reagan

GOVERNMENT

“I believe many Americans, including this correspondent, would support massive spending of tax dollars if the money would fix social problems and make the world a better place. But the brutal truth is that we don’t have the solutions to most of the world’s dilemmas, and this ‘spend more money’ philosophy is simply designed to make the left feel better about life. It is a shell game extraordinaire, and we are the nuts.” –Bill O'Reilly

POLITICAL FUTURES

“[Democrat Senator] Leahy has shut down the judicial-confirmation process. Biden is on the warpath to end missile-defense development. Tom Daschle killed economic-stimulus legislation in its cradle in the hopes of prolonging a recession for the political gains he thinks such a slowdown will bring. The list goes on and on. The extreme partisanship displayed by Daschle’s gang would be repellent in any year, but it is alarming during wartime.” –Hugh Hewitt

FOR THE RECORD

Though The Federalist does not make a practice of mentioning focus group or political polling, this memo from the Gallup organization is worth noting:

It was a remarkable year for President George W. Bush, whose ascension to the White House last January was clouded by the disputes that erupted over the 2000 election process. Bush’s approval ratings for the first nine months of the year – prior to Sept. 11 – were neither unusually strong nor unusually weak, averaging 57%. After Sept. 11, however, Bush’s job approval ratings took an extraordinary jump, averaging 87% across 10 polls conducted between Sept. 14 and the end of the year – including the highest job approval rating in Gallup Poll [70 year] history, a 90% rating on Sept. 21-22. At the end of 2001, Bush was overwhelmingly named as the man Americans admire more than any other – far ahead of Secretary of State Colin Powell, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani [despite Time magazine’s cover] and Pope John Paul II. In fact, more Americans mentioned Bush this year in response to the “most admired” question than have mentioned any other man in any of the other years in which Gallup has asked the question. [And we should note of equal importance here, that First Lady Laura Bush was named the most admired woman in 2001.]

SELECT READER COMMENTS

“Don’t you think your free bumper stickers should say ‘Annoy a Leftist’ instead of ‘Annoy a Liberal’? This would be more in line with your stance that the term ‘liberal’ has been hijacked from libertarians by the opposition.”
Editor’s Reply: You will note that The Federalist ceased using the word “liberal” when referring to Leftists in any of our publications. Though the word “liberal” is still best understood and used most often in the conservative media when referring to Leftists (including our popular “Annoy a Liberal” bumper slogan), we think it is time to call these constitution slayers by their real name. After years of Leftmedia talkingheads when it suits their purposes referring to anyone to the right of the Clintonista regime as “right-wing,” we advocate that all conservative journalists, opinionists and political leaders appropriately label those who seek to eviscerate our Constitution and our heritage of liberty, for what they are – LEFTISTS!

“I am a Jewish man. A former marine. A conservative republican. A lifetime NRA member. I believe in God and share all your views. Why do you want to leave me out and only have a "nation of Christians” as you noted in your Christmas edition, when you claim to have Judeo-Christian values?“
Editor’s Reply: Our point was, as stated, that we do not advocate for a "Christian nation” which might exclude Jews, but a nation of Christians. And, perhaps you missed the last paragraph of the Christmas edition: “We know that some of our readers are of faiths other than Christianity. We hope this message will serve to enlighten your understanding of our faith, and we wish God’s blessing and peace upon you and your families, in whatever setting you may worship.”

THE LAST WORD

On New Year’s Day, skywriter Jerry Stevens piloted his bright yellow, double-winged Grumman AgCat named “Holy Smoke” over Palm Beach County to fill the heavens with messages of God’s love and God’s praise. At 10,000 feet, this retired acrobatic pilot spelled out letters visible for 35 miles, each three-quarters of a mile long. Inspired to this mission a few years ago at his home parish, Ascension Roman Catholic Church in Boca Raton, Stevens says, “You can’t imagine what it’s like when you’re feeling low, wondering if God is listening to your prayers. And then you walk out of your house and up above in big letters right over you, there’s ‘God Loves You.’ This is God’s work, not mine.”

Unfortunately, the message he drew across the sky, “God is Great,” prompted a slew of concerned calls to police. This English translation of “Allahu Akhbar” caused worries the skywriting was prelude to another terrorist attack. One resident remarked, “I was just wondering if a terrorist group was paying for someone to write that.”

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