Monday Brief

Brief

Oct. 29, 2001

THE FOUNDATION

“Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety.” –Daniel Webster

INSIGHT

“When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.” –Abraham Kuyper

GOOD NEWS

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” –Acts 18:9-10

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10)

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“We get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when, and only when, we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.” –A. W. Tozer

FAMILY

“For the last half century, Western industrialized nations have made slowing population growth one of their top priorities, both at home and abroad. The message took, to the point that now we’re asking, ‘Where have all the children gone?’ …This ‘birth dearth’ is accompanied by the ‘graying’ of the population. Median ages in the industrialized West are steadily rising. …‘Where did all the workers go?’ you ask. They’re the children we aborted, or the ones we didn’t have because they didn’t fit into our lifestyle. They’re the children we didn’t have because we were too busy with our careers. They’re the brothers and sisters a nation of only-children will never know. And, to paraphrase Tennessee Williams, they’re why Americans will find themselves dependent on ‘the kindness of strangers’ in their old age. We bought into a worldview that frowned on childbirth, that ignored God’s word to Abraham that his descendants would be as many as the stars. It was considered an act of environmental vandalism, or denial of a woman’s potential to have children. Some Americans thought nothing of scolding pregnant women who already had two kids. And the birth dearth is the result. In the end, it turns out, that the best investment for our future is the one the Bible prescribes: investing in those who call us ‘Mom and Dad.’” –Charles Colson

CULTURE

“If Sept. 11 doesn’t cause us to finally get serious about plugging our porous borders, nothing will. … Roughly 40 percent of all illegal immigrants enter on visas, then stay on illegally after their visas expire. The Immigration and Naturalization Service does little to track visa holders once they’re here. … The status quo has powerful patrons – businesses who pay immigrants wages Americans won’t accept, colleges desperate for students, politicians who rely on the ethnic communities for votes. But immigration policy is a national concern. And Middle Eastern demolition crews aren’t the only security threat. Millions who come here illegally each year pose a different challenge. Many are unassimilable and constitute a growing alien bloc that could fragment the nation.” –Don Feder

LIBERTY

“Patriotism is not an outmoded concept. It is not jingoistic. It is not the cause of this war – the terrorists are. But our patriotism will help to keep us united and focused as we face the enemy. Most of us don’t love America simply because we are its citizens. Patriotism for us is not some mindless emotional attachment to our nation. While it generates visceral feelings of pride it has intellectual moorings as well. It springs forth from a deep devotion to our founding principles, chief among them being our glorious freedom safeguarded by the rule of law. Patriotism is vitally important because it is about more than mere survival. It emboldens us in our struggle to preserve our distinct way of life, because it understands that peace is not ‘so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.’” –David Limbaugh

OPINION IN BRIEF

“It happens every time ideologues turn violent. A great mystification descends. Who could have done this? What could they have hoped to accomplish? What were their reasons? It is as if the crazed need reasons for what they do. They need only a wild belief, and a determination to destroy any competing belief, any alternate reality, any other way of life. Whether that way of life is represented by gleaming modern skyscrapers in the West or ancient Buddhas from the East, both must be reduced to rubble. For they represent the Other, the Great Satan, the Infidel, and must be obliterated by the faithful. …Terrorism comes from terrorists. It comes from True Believers who are so unhappy with reality they think they can ignore it, or better yet destroy it. Their nostrums and doctrines may differ in content from unruly time to unruly time, but not in violent spirit. Their demands are a pretext for their violence, not an explanation of it.” –Paul Greenberg

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“President Bush joins a long list of people who have kicked around the idea of a Palestinian state, only to be kicked by it in return. …Israel created the Palestine Authority that today is Arafat’s fiefdom, and would willingly grant it statehood. But on one condition: that this state provide concrete evidence that it has the resolve and the rule of law indispensable to peaceful coexistence. President Bush understands that security is a life-and-death issue for Israel. But how to put it lastingly in place on the ground? …The time for Bush and others to experiment is after the defeat of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and anyone else who incites the Palestinians against Israel in pursuit of selfish ambitions. Only after the Palestinians have acted in their own interests and given an unqualified yes to peaceful coexistence can their emerging state be considered on its merits. Speculating – or even worse, temporizing – now over Palestinian statehood will be interpreted all over the Arab and Muslim world as a sycophantic bid for friendship, therefore a sign of weakness, and a good reason to rush out to the nearest anti-American demonstration. Without Israeli approval and ratification, Palestinian statehood must remain notional. For the administration to spend political capital on the question at this moment, when Palestinian factions are competing to kill Jews, is to oblige Israel either to ensure that any Palestine state is stillborn, or else consent to running its own existential risk. That’s a no-win choice for everyone.” –National Review

THE GIPPER

“Few Americans accept the belief of some of those now in positions of importance in guiding our foreign policy that America’s purpose in the world is to appease the mighty out of a sense of fear or to appease the weak out of a sense of guilt. But a question remains. Is the faulty thinking that has led us to these particular treaties an isolated particle, or is it part of a much larger whole? …Proving that we are civilized in a world that is often uncivilized – and unapologetically so – is hardly necessary. The themes of a sound foreign policy should be no mystery, nor the result of endless agonizing reappraisals. They are rooted in our past – in our very beginning as a nation.” –Ronald Reagan (1978)

GOVERNMENT

“The last thing most Americans want to do now is to restore the original constitutional republic, with severely limited powers, and with neither a huge welfare state at home nor a military colossus abroad. Does this mean ‘blaming America first’? I don’t blame the U.S. Constitution, which, if adhered to, would have kept us out of the Middle East cauldron that has now scalded us. I don’t blame ordinary Americans, who hardly know what their government is and does. I don’t even blame our present government for the crimes of bin Laden and his allies; the blood of thousands is on their heads. But I certainly do blame our arrogant, short-sighted elites for putting this country on a collision course with simple-minded fanatics who don’t distinguish between the innocent and the guilty. It was foreseeable and avoidable, on our own founding principles – principles to which our elites have no more attachment than bin Laden does. The question now is whether the war on Afghanistan will solve the problem or make it even worse. It may destroy bin Laden and weaken his network, without (if we’re lucky) creating a wider war and making us more enemies in the future; but even if it succeeds in its immediate aims, it certainly won’t take this country back toward constitutional government. It’s already doing just the opposite.” –Joseph Sobran

POLITICAL FUTURES

“The axiom guiding conservatives ought to be that when tax dollars pay for it, the public has a right to see it, subject only to reasonable, but necessarily narrow exceptions for national security, law enforcement and legitimate personal and commercial privacy concerns. When movement conservatives thus become the FOIA’s [Freedom of Information Act’s] best friends, not only will it help create a crucible of public exposure for the bureaucracy with its cozy relationship with the special interests, the national news media will have countless more reasons to come calling at your doors.” –Mark Tapscott

FOR THE RECORD

“Liberals are up to their old tricks again. Twenty years of treason hasn’t slowed them down. Earlier prescient advice from the anti-American crowd has included: dismantling government intelligence agencies ‘brick by brick’; toppling the Shah of Iran and giving Islamic fundamentalism its first real foothold in the Mideast; turning the U.S. armed forces into a feminist consciousness-raising session; demanding continued dependence on Arab oil in order to preserve mud flats in Alaska; indignantly opposing a missile defense shield; promoting endless due process rights for aliens who are illegal, diseased or criminal; disarming the public; and purging the nation of insidious references to God. Most people would be embarrassed at a track record like that, especially after Sept. 11. But instead of hanging their heads in shame, liberals have boldly returned to their typical hysteria and defeatism.” –Ann Coulter

SELECT READER COMMENTS

“Regarding Lefty Sen. Joe Biden, I don’t know whether it’s the confluence of their messages or just an optical illusion caused by my aging eyes, but I keep finding myself reading ‘bin Laden’ as ‘lad Biden.’”

The Federalist noted, ‘White House Deputy Press Secretary Claire Buchan said, "We have confidence that the networks will handle this responsibly.” What planet did she come from?’ Two hints: 1) Its one planet removed from Earth, 2) Its not Mars.“

"I wonder if the HGTV people noticed what happened when Levi Strauss & Co. honored homosexual ‘partners’ by offering them the same benefits as married couples. I found that Lee’s make a great pair of jeans, and I guess a lot of people did ‘cause their stock tanked.”

“Regarding members of Congress fleeing from the anthrax threat, I am perfectly content to have the Congress out of town for whatever reason!”

“Truly the mark of ultimate political correctness is shown when all opinions are 'respected.’ The right to express an opinion is to be respected always. Only a fool respects foolish opinions and only a coward does not clearly identify foolish opinions. Who is the greater fool? The fool or the one who follows the fool?”
Editor’s Reply: Or as our friend Bill Bennett says, “Everyone has a right to their opinion but that does not make every opinion right!”

“I caught this weeks edit error – under "From the states…” you spelled California with a ‘C’ and not a ‘K'alifornia!“

The Federalist keeps body-slamming the Beltway crowd, and that just makes me so angry – please keep it up!“

THE LAST WORD

"I tell you, it’s part and parcel of the whole gummy zeitgeist that urges you to eat plenty of roughage, drink nothing but purified water, slather sunscreen on yourself till you feel like a Vienna sausage in mayonnaise, and never, ever offend anyone. The Mommy State, the PR society. Insufferable niceness. If instead of calling the old, poor, crippled, and blind what they are, and instead call them Senior Citizens, underprivileged, mobility-challenged and Differently Visioned, why, then, everything will be better. I could live with being crippled. If anyone called me mobility challenged, I’d pull a gun. Which I may do anyway.” –Fred Reed

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