Monday Brief

Brief

Aug. 27, 2001

THE FOUNDATION

“The foundation of our empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period; the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent; the Treasures of knowledge, acquired through a long succession of years, by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into being as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.” –George Washington

INSIGHT

“I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” –Frederick Douglass

GOOD NEWS

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’.” (John 20:29)

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51)

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” (1 John 2:9)

“Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:19)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“European democracy was originally imbued with a sense of Christian responsibility and self-discipline, but these spiritual principles have been gradually losing their force. Spiritual independence is being pressured on all sides by the dictatorship of self-satisfied vulgarity, of the latest fads, and of group interests.” –Alexander Solzhenitsyn

FAMILY

“Scripture teaches that parenting is a sacred trust. Yes, children are delightful and bring us great joy, but they’re a weighty responsibility. And every child exists for his own sake, with dignity in his or her own right, simply by virtue of being human.” –Charles Colson

CULTURE

“For years the hedonists have been winning the war for dominance in our moral attitudes, routing the social conservatives on most battlefronts. But the troops of tradition have begun to rally, as hardscrabble reality counterattacks laissez-faire ethics. Nearly everyone sees now that the bad behavior writ large in the celebrity culture can wreak havoc and harm when it intrudes in the lives of ordinary people.” –Suzanne Fields

LIBERTY

“…[F]reedom requires that very warrior ethic we seem to assume is the exclusive province of national military forces. To assume that someone else will protect your rights is sadly incorrect and we are seeing the evidence of it as our freedoms erode. There is only one person you can depend upon to vouchsafe your freedom and that is you. Once you hire that job out to somebody else, you’re finished.” –Michael Peirce

OPINION IN BRIEF

“Yes, Israel must respond [to Palestinian terrorism], but the response must aim at a total transformation of the current situation. In waging war in full against Arafat’s PLO, Israel must make it clear to the world at large, to the Palestinian people, and, perhaps most importantly, to themselves that the key issue is political. The key issue is freedom. If they can pull it off, it will save more than Israel. It might even have an effect on the Department of State.” –Michael Ledeen

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“If a total, nationwide ban on the possession of firearms is supposed to curb gun crime, then why is it that the English are increasingly the victims of gun-wielding criminals? According to a study released about a month ago …, the criminal use of firearms in the United Kingdom has increased by ‘almost 40 percent in three years, to 3,685 incidents from 2,648.’ Now, what makes this fact especially interesting is that three years ago was precisely when England passed a comprehensive ban on the private possession of handguns. According to the logic of gun control advocates, there should have been less, not more (let alone much more) gun crime. …A total, nationwide ban on the possession of firearms has not kept guns out of the hands of criminals. …[A]ll that has been accomplished by the British gun ban is the disarming of people who obey laws. …It is … historically incontrovertible that gun violence in this country only became a problem relatively recently, irrespective of the fact that firearms have been common items in American households since the colonial era. It was not so very long ago that most high schools had shooting clubs, yet school shootings were unknown. Teen-age Boy Scouts practiced marksmanship – on targets, and without harming themselves or anyone else. How do gun control groups account for all of this? They don’t. Facts and evidence that contradict their sloganeering are simply ignored, dismissed, or swept under the rug. …Meanwhile, gun control groups both here and abroad will continue to push for the disarming of law-abiding citizens –with the practical effect that they are at the mercy of well-armed criminals. This is disgraceful and unconscionable – and can no longer go unchallenged.” –Washington Times

THE GIPPER

“We must always ask: Is government working to liberate and empower the individual? Is it creating incentives for people to produce, save, invest, and profit from legitimate risks and honest toil? Is it encouraging all of us to reach for the stars? Or does it seek to compel, command, and coerce people into submission and dependence? Ask these questions, because no matter where you look today, you will see that development depends on economic freedom.” –Ronald Reagan

GOVERNMENT

“The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the Kyoto-Bonn accord ‘is sketchy, and details are to be worked out over the course of the next year to 18 months.’ In short, it’s an excuse to keep the Kyoto process alive, save the face of bureaucrats who have built whole careers out of global warming hype, and justify domestic tax hikes and restrictions on energy use that just grow the power of government, domestically and internationally. The United States doesn’t escape the clutches of the new ‘Kyoto-lite’ accord just by virtue of Bush’s opposition. Rules on energy use, agriculture, taxation and industrial activity that are imposed abroad in the name of Kyoto can be exported in many ways, especially to U.S. companies that have a growing presence in every corner of the globe. The Achilles’ heel of the Kyoto process has always been science, not politics, and not economics, devastating though this treaty would be to the world economy. Global-warming theory is built on uncertainty, and it’s no closer to being proven than the proposition that the sun rises because the rooster crows. The science of climate change becomes less certain the more we know. …Most government reports on climate change have ceased to be independent of global-warming politics. …Climate change is the subject of debate within the scientific community. We still have a primitive understanding of the chemical and physical interactions between human industrial activity and the ‘natural’ climate. People are part of nature, too. We do belong on this planet, after all. It’s too bad the Bush administration has not taken the issue of scientific uncertainty dead-on when it comes to global warming because it has left them at a political disadvantage. In combatting the fear-mongering coming out of Europe, the president shouldn’t hesitate to go after the pseudo-scientific underpinnings of the Kyoto mindset, using the genuine spirit of intellectual inquiry to ward off the attack of the global bureaucrats. Otherwise, more events like Bonn (next stop: Marrakesh) will strengthen Kyoto’s status as a ‘vampire’ treaty – dead, but still preying on the living.” –Jack Kemp

POLITICAL FUTURES

“It’s amazing how facile power dons switch from big guy to little boy. One day they’re wowing star-struck skirts because their tax-funded jobs make them hot shots. The next day they’re hiding behind staffers and lawyers who invoke the big guy’s ‘private’ life, and get all teary-eyed about the sanctity of his family.” –Debra Saunders

FOR THE RECORD

“Congress spends far too much. In fact, Congress will spend nearly $2 trillion in 2002, 11% more than it spent in 2001. Until the spending spree is brought under control, we should fully expect Congress to exceed its budget and resort to accounting tricks year after year. American voters should understand that Congress will always find a way to spend every last dollar sent to Washington. Remember, politicians get votes by promising everything to everyone, always at the expense of some other invisible taxpayers. Most politicians are unashamed of their unconstitutional pork-barrel spending, even highlighting during campaigns their ‘accomplishment’ of spending more and more of your money. The federal government cannot maintain a budget surplus any more than an alcoholic can leave a fresh bottle of whiskey untouched in the cupboard. We must change our perception that a budget surplus is healthy for the economy, because every dollar parked in the federal treasury ultimately is spent by Congress. Those dollars could have been spent, saved, or invested in the private marketplace. With a spendthrift Congress, high federal revenues simply mean more federal spending. The only way to end the unconscionable waste is to drastically reduce federal revenues by cutting taxes. Voters need to regain control of the nation’s finances by rejecting the big spenders at the ballot box.” –Rep. Ron Paul

SELECT READER COMMENTS

“But the constitution, which at any time exists till changed by an explicitly and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all.” –George Washington. But not the misconstructions of said constitution, which we are to oppose. And at which point of Federal violations and violations imposed by a majority of States can we say that the Constitution is null and void?
Editor’s Reply: That would, of course, be the logical extension of Washington’s assertion – and constitutional disregard would now seem to be the standard modus operandi in all three branches.

The Federalist notes: “Mrs. Gloria Steinem proclaimed from the Left Coast, ‘We should have been able to retire [Senator Helms] much earlier. He never represented the majority of opinion in his state, only those with enough ability to go to the polls’.” Did I miss something, or did Comrade Steinem clearly imply that the liberals in North Carolina are too stupid to know how to vote? Maybe they should all move to Florida….

The Federalist asks where the word “turtle” appears in the Constitution. It appears in the same section that mentions social security, Medicare, FBI, BATF, the Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Reclamation, foreign aid, EPA, HUD, Department of education, etc. Could this be what is wrong with our once great republic?

Congressional Service
Comment: Instead of 9-month vacations for members of Congress, I argue for a constitutional amendment setting the aggregate of their compensation, benefits and allowances at one half the median income of the families of the United States. This would keep them back in their districts trying to earn a living like the rest of us.

“Mr. Sharpton declared, ‘In a time that we no longer have a Cold War, there is no real threat to American security….’ He is either ignoring or is oblivious to the facts that both the former Soviet Union and China (thanks to Clinton) have nuclear warheads pointed at us right now.”
Editor’s Reply: Just IGNORANT!

THE LAST WORD

“Now Jesse Helms won’t run again,
To which the Dems all say ‘Amen.’
They’re glad to see Old Jesse leave
And when he’s gone they will not grieve
For he stood firm and tall and strong,
Fought for the right, opposed the wrong.
When all was said and all was done
He put his country number one,
Bucked the left with all its men,
Stood for the U.S. not UN,
Was always there when duty called,
Was not, like some, by pow'r enthralled.
But still he never saw the day
He was afraid to join the fray.
And so because he took a stand

He leaves behind a better land.” –Lyn Nofziger (AKA Joy Skilmer)

It's Right. It's Free.