Monday Brief

Brief

Dec. 10, 2001

THE FOUNDATION

“Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people; they fix too for the people the principles of their political creed.” –Thomas Jefferson

INSIGHT

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.” –Henry Ward Beecher

GOOD NEWS

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“The Bible was as much America’s founding document as the Declaration of Independence or Constitution. The Founding Fathers’ beliefs in liberty, equality before the law and representative government came from Sinai. The Constitution is a covenant reflecting a much older covenant.” –Don Feder

FAMILY

“The best news is that even the dimmest children now know they live in an actual country. For the first time in 50 years, kids have been exposed to emotional patriotism and have been confronted with the fact that there are other things of importance besides the mall, the latest rap CD and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ Will American history actually make a comeback in school? Could happen. The not so good news is the fact that children have learned that their country cannot protect them. Anthrax letters, suicide terrorists and fanatical foreign governments pose a threat that can never be entirely snuffed out. Some adults have learned this lesson too but apparently those adults do not inhabit Congress.” –Bill O'Reilly

CULTURE

“Crass elites who might not be able to earn a thin dime in another society refer to flag waving as jingoism and compete with each other to see who can show more smug contempt for our society and the ‘sheep’ who support it unfailingly. We are constantly reminded of the right to dissent, the right to protest, the need for tolerance, the need for diversity, the need for understanding – even understanding an enemy that literally boasts of the desire to see us suffer and die. While dissent is rationalized as an inherent right of citizen and non-citizen alike, the sacrifice required to keep our society afloat is not often mentioned.” –Sterling Rome

LIBERTY

“If the freedom-craving Iranian and Iraqi peoples could cry out to us today…. They are willing to risk their lives for our common ideals of freedom and democracy. They see the greatest instrument of democratic revolution – the American Army – so close they can almost touch it. They have heard President Bush promise to carry the war to all countries that support and harbor terrorists, and they know their own countries are in the forefront of the ranks of the terror states. They are ready to roll, and their hated regimes are vulnerable as never before. We do not have to invade, because we already have allied forces on the ground. We will surely have to support them once the fighting starts, but, just as the Taliban collapsed once our seriousness was manifest, and we delivered on our promises to the Afghan people, Saddam and the mullahs will follow suit. It would be shameful to lose this opportunity to reshape the Middle East, extend the zone of freedom, and deliver a terrible blow to the terror network. Now.” –Michael Ledeen

OPINION IN BRIEF

“The world community is prepared to believe that terrorist activity is not an expression of the Islamic faith. We say this because credible Koranic experts tell us so, and because the sense of religion is elementary respect for human life. … ‘Kill them, as God said; no Prophet can have prisoners of war.’ That was a sentence in the text the terrorists were guided by, found in the abandoned car in which one of them drove to the airport, to seal his fate and that of 5,000 New Yorkers. ‘Be steadfast and remember (that in) God you will be triumphant,’ his catechism went on. The Judaeo-Christian West does not have the authority to proclaim Islamic doctrine. However persuaded we are of the profanity of Sept. 11, declarations to that effect need to come, to be sure from theological exegetes, but most pointedly from political leaders. The United States, in company with Christian leaders of the West, should ask for specific affirmations from presidents and prime ministers and caliphs of the more than 50 Moslem countries. It would not be untoward to ask that, in the tradition of international signatories in recent history, on the order of the Atlantic Charter, they affix their names to a declaration. It would read: ‘We, political leaders of the community of Islamic nations, reject such terrorism as was practiced on September 11, 2001. The men who took this action in the name of Allah were impostors who profaned the word of the prophet.’ Not more would need to be said, but that Declaration of Islamic Doctrine and Modern Terrorism, with names and titles of world leaders, should appear everywhere, in parliaments and mosques, subway stations – and airports.” –Wm. F. Buckley

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“If John Sweeney is right, Osama bin Laden isn’t the only one terrorizing ordinary Americans. It turns out that George W. Bush is also ‘waging a vicious war on working families.’ That, at least, is what the AFL-CIO chief told delegates at their convention this week in Las Vegas. This union jihad launched in Las Vegas comes at a curious political moment… . In normal times, accusing an American President of waging a ‘vicious war’ on workers is politically over the top. But it’s fever-swamp-city at a moment when a commander in chief has Americans in Afghanistan risking their lives in a search for a man who really did declare war on the U.S.” –Wall Street Journal

THE GIPPER

“Why should we become frightened? No people who have ever lived on this earth have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, or done more to advance the dignity of man than the living Americans – the Americans living in this land today. There isn’t any problem we can’t solve if government will give us the facts. Tell us what needs to be done. Then, get out of the way and let us have at it.” –Ronald Reagan (1976)

GOVERNMENT

“[Almost three] months after the September 11th terrorist attacks, the grim reality of our situation has still not set in for many people in the media and in politics. There are whole international networks and governments devoted to our destruction – and it is only a matter of time before they have nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Some say that we are in more danger than at any time since World War II. But the American homeland, and especially its civilian population, never sustained such casualties and destruction during all of World War II as it did on September 11th. Nor were any of our enemies in a position to wipe an American city off the map during World War II. We are in greater danger today. And the war against us has only begun.” –Thomas Sowell

POLITICAL FUTURES

“President Bush clearly wants to keep things smoothed over in Washington so he can fight the terrorist menace abroad. His team thinks success is all about talk of ‘making progress’ with the good people of both parties. But at some point, he’s going to have to fight in public for what he believes. Unlike President Clinton, he can’t count on a sympathetic media to shame his opposition or make them unpopular for blocking his agenda. At some point, he’s going to have to choose between making real progress and smiling without victories through breakfast photo opportunities.” –Brent Bozell

FOR THE RECORD

CORRECTION: In Fridays’ Digest, we reported that the “Tax Me More” fund set up by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee “so those Democrats who are demanding we raise your taxes can put their money where their mouths are,” had taken in a grand total of $250 in its first two weeks. Gov. Huckabee tells us that the actual amount is $213. We regret the error!

Memo to every conservative governor in the Republic: When your state Houses start talking about tax increases in the middle of a recession, see Gov. Huckabee’s response!

SELECT READER COMMENTS

“ ‘America owes us!’ proclaims Al Sharpton? Excuse me!!! Owes him what?? My brother leaves Sunday for Afghanistan. So this Christmas, while Sharpton is enjoying his freedom, many of AMERICA’S men and women will be fighting to defend the liberty bestowed by God. While Sharpton and his Leftist ilk are sitting in Starbucks drinking their latte’s, and scripting their next protest, a wife and daughter in Virgina will not get to spend Christmas with the head of their household because he will be busy spelunking for bin Laden. We owe Sharpton what?”

“‘Beware of False Prophets’ is and always has been good advice. Islam, with it’s instructions to Jihad, follows the cultural dictates of a society anathema to peace. The problems presented by Jihadistan are clear. We must understand the only way to deal with such barbarism is to utterly defeat it.”

“If the Congressional Leftists are acting, as they profess to be, in a non-partisan manner since 9-11, please tell me how one would discern if they were acting in a partisan manner? They have stalled, obstructed, criticized and attempted to derail every effort by Republicans to restore the economy, cut taxes, clean up the education bill, etc, etc…”

THE LAST WORD

“One of these days, a police officer is going to pull me over for driving erratically. He will suspect that I am driving while intoxicated, but he will be wrong. In fact, I will be driving while being a little teapot. I am often a little teapot while driving. This is because my 20-month-old daughter is in the car, and she demands to hear her favorite CD, ‘Traditional Children’s Songs from Hell.’ At least that’s what I call it. It’s one of those CD’s with those old songs that we are required by federal law to expose our children to, because they connect us with a time when we were a simpler, happier, much stupider nation. …I am also forced to drive while doing the Hokey-Pokey and making the Itsy Bitsy Spider go up the water spout. But the worst song, from a driving standpoint, is ‘Where is Thumbkin?’ This is the one where you sing about, and display one at a time, the various fingers on your hand: Thumbkin, Ring Man, Pointer, etc. As you can imagine, this can create misunderstandings in traffic when your fellow motorists see you holding up Tall Man. I live in Miami, a heavily armed area, and I’m concerned that one of these days, some stressed-out driver is going to see me displaying Tall Man, and he’s going to respond with: Trigger Man.” –Dave Barry

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