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Monday Brief

Brief

Nov. 26, 2001

THE FOUNDATION

“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.” –Dr. Benjamin Rush

INSIGHT

“If the enemy is numerous, disciplined, and about to advance, how should we respond to them? I would say, first seize something that they love for then they will listen to you.” –Sun-Tzu

GOOD NEWS

“The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.” (Proverbs 16:17)

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” (Psalm 103:15-18)

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:7)

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“Frightful this is in a sense, but it is true, and every one who has merely some little knowledge of the human heart can verify it: there is nothing to which a man holds so desperately as to his sin.” –Soren Kierkegaard

FAMILY

“The liberal ruling class still has not shed its visceral dislike of the American military. This tension, which began in the Vietnam era, was still evident during the presidency of Bill Clinton, when mutiny, or at least disrespect for the commander in chief pervaded the military services, and the Clintonites felt a corresponding contempt and disdain for those in uniform. And while the Gulf War certainly displayed the American military to good advantage, it was not crucial enough to our security – or was not perceived to be – to engender the kind of reverence that military heroes earn when their exploits really do protect the way of life back home. The idea that serving in the military is an opportunity for honor and heroism, instead of a license to commit crimes against innocent civilians, has returned. And children all over America … will love and admire American soldiers, airmen and sailors.” –Mona Charen

CULTURE

“Why do so many educated people believe multiculturalism will work in the U.S.? Or do they believe it? The political left endorses multiculturalism as an assault on U.S. national identity. Libertarians endorse multiculturalism, because they favor anything that dissolves the state, and there’s no better way to dissolve a state than to dissolve national identity. Neoconservatives endorse multiculturalism, because they see it as endorsement of American values by outsiders. The unending flood of immigrants from different cultures is the neoconservatives’ answer to the denigration of American values by the political left. These positions are understandable if incompatible, but none are legitimate reasons for constructing a political Tower of Babel.” –Paul Craig Roberts

LIBERTY

“While thankfully in the United States we do not have to face such severe threats to religious liberty [as under Taliban control], other, subtler forms of intolerance for religious diversity still surface from time to time. This year for example, the American Psychological Association proposed to strip religious colleges and universities with psychology programs of their accreditation unless they agreed to hire and admit professors, administrators, board members and students of all faiths on an equal basis. Religious colleges could keep their accreditation, in other words, only if they essentially transformed themselves into secular schools. …The wheels seemed greased for dramatic new change, imposing a new uniformity of opinion on religious schools in the name (of course) of diversity. Enter the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty – not quite the U.S. Special Forces perhaps…. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty defends the rights of all Americans of whatever creed to have and express their religious views, both individually and communally. The net effect of removing the accreditation of religious colleges’ psychology departments, the Becket Fund argued, would not be to increase diversity but to use the APA’s delegated power from the federal government to discriminate against schools with religious viewpoints. A major no-no, in other words, from a constitutional perspective. For the U.S. government to delegate accreditation decisions to an organization that does not respect religious liberty would be a blatant violation of the First Amendment. …Surprise! The APA beat a quick retreat. …Proving that even in America, the price of religious liberty, no less than any other kind, is eternal vigilance. Good thing for us, the Becket Fund is at post.” –Maggie Gallagher

OPINION IN BRIEF

“Many voters seem to think that Mr. Ashcroft’s move [restricting Oregon prescriptions intended to facilitate self-murder] takes away a right to suicide. You see, they don’t believe people should have to commit suicide without a doctor’s help. Forget that some 86 Americans kill themselves every day without a doctor. They are so enamored with the possibility of exiting holding Marcus Welby’s hand, they fail to notice that they would turn Marcus Welby into that ghoul, Jack Kevorkian. They think their doctor will try to talk them out of it. But in an era where cost-cutting is king, Oregon doctor William Petty worries that some sick people are coerced – gently or not-so-gently – to choose death: ‘You can envision that people will get inadequate pain medication, and be told that their pain is not controllable and will get worse.’ The answer: death, the final pain control.” –Debra Saunders

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech on the administration’s ‘new’ Middle East policy left much to be desired. His statements at the University of Louisville were meant to deflect criticism that the administration has not been involved enough in brokering negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Instead, they left more questions than answers. …Peace must start with the determination of Israelis and Palestinians to stop the violence. Yet, rather than aid that process, Mr. Powell displayed a philosophy of moral equivalence that will only harm efforts toward peace. By likening the ‘concession’ that Palestinians must give up terrorism to the concession that Israelis must cease their occupation, Mr. Powell made defending the security of Israel’s borders a crime on the same level as terrorism. His lack of definitive measures to follow through with this ‘new’ policy leaves the Palestinians room to continue pointing fingers and defending policies of terrorism. It leaves the rest of the world with a lesson in how to perfect ambiguity.” –Washington Times

THE GIPPER

“Great nations which fail to meet their responsibilities are consigned to the dust bin of history. We grew from that small, weak republic which had as its assets spirit, optimism, faith in God and an unshakeable belief that free men and women could govern themselves wisely. We became the leader of the free world, an example for all those who cherish freedom. If we are to continue to be that example – if we are to preserve our own freedom – we must understand those who would dominate us and deal with them with determination.” –Ronald Reagan (1978)

GOVERNMENT

“The special bipartisanship that existed in the immediate aftermath of September 11th is officially over. Many in the media are mourning the loss of their coveted ideal: neutered politicians who engage in group hugs and sing God Bless America. Not to sound jaded or cynical, but the political process has never worked that way, and shouldn’t ever work that way in a democratically elected government.” –Joel Mowbray

POLITICAL FUTURES

“Invoking historical inevitability, designed to induce fatalism, is the recourse of movements reluctant to allow their destinations to seem like choices. Marxists always hoped the idea of inevitability would undermine resistance by inducing fatalism, and hence passivity.” –George Will

FOR THE RECORD

November has been “National Adoption Month,” and Saturday, November 17, 2001, was the second annual “National Adoption Day,” when more than 1,500 children in 16 participating cities were legally adopted into their new families under streamlined court proceedings. The first of these events last year finalized over 1,100 adoptions nationwide. An estimated 127,000 U.S. children are eligible for adoption. In Los Angeles County alone, around 450 children were adopted at this year’s event, although over 3,500 children in that jurisdiction are still orphans.

THE LAST WORD

(Excerpts from the Media Research Center)

NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) [recently] opened with a skit making fun of the stupidity of questions posed by reporters at Pentagon briefings. The skit featured a parody of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld…. With C-SPAN graphics on screen, the fake reporters posed these questions:

– A male reporter: ‘We’re getting reports of U.S. special op forces being dropped into Taliban areas with camouflage and night vision goggles. This means the Taliban soldiers won’t be able to see our troops, but we’ll be able to see them. Is that fair?’

– A female reporter: ‘With our military campaign stalled and the opposition forces seemingly bogged down in a quagmire, isn’t there a danger the U.S. will look like a weakling and thus lose the support of the Afghan people?’

Rumsfeld character: ‘Isn’t that the same question you asked last week?’
Reporter: ‘Oh, I’m sorry. Okay, with our military moving so rapidly and opposition forces easily overrunning Taliban areas, isn’t there a danger the U.S. will look like a bully and thus lose the support of the Afghan people?’

– Another male reporter: ‘We’re being told that Northern Alliance forces are firing back at Taliban troops who have fired on them even though the Taliban troops missed. Does the U.S. condone that?’
Rumsfeld: ‘Now what kind of question is that?’
Reporter: ‘Thought provoking?’
Rumsfeld: ‘No.’
Reporter: ‘Incisive?’
Rumsfeld: ‘No. Remember what I said about your question the other day?’
Reporter: ‘That it was idiotic?’
Rumsfeld: ‘And?’
Reporter: ‘And that I am an embarrassment both to myself and to my newspaper?’
Rumsfeld: ‘That’s right.’

“If only the real Rumsfeld was that tough.”

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