Monday Brief

Brief

Dec. 17, 2001

THE FOUNDATION

“If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” –Samuel Adams

INSIGHT

“The characteristic of heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have chosen your part, abide by it, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common heroic. Yet we have the weakness to expect the sympathy of people in those actions whose excellence is that they outrun sympathy and appeal to a tardy justice. If you would serve your brother because it is fit for you to serve him, do not take back your words when you find that prudent people do not commend you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

GOOD NEWS

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“Given the way the battle lines are drawn, it’s easy to conclude that public policy fights are between the forces of ‘faith’ and the forces of ‘reason.’ Secular warriors frequently depict the struggle in these terms and, all too often, Christians acquiesce in this depiction. …There is no fundamental opposition of faith and reason. On the contrary, faith and reason are mutually supportive. In fact, conservative Christian views on moral issues can be shown to be rationally superior to the alternatives proposed by secular liberalism. Secularists say they want to resolve disputes about morality and public policy on the level of reason. …When we engage in honest, rational debate on issue after issue, the Christian position is vindicated, and secularist ideology fails.” –Charles Colson

FAMILY

“Parenting must be given the priority it deserves. Parenting is not a hobby; it is a full time occupation. One cannot ignore his or her children and expect them to turn out well. … Wallowing in moral and spiritual poverty while surrounded by material and financial prosperity is the sad story of many American families…. It takes time and effort to instill the fundamental principles of character and conviction into our children. There is no short cut, no easy way to raise honest, considerate children.” –Chuck Baldwin

CULTURE

“All right. I am now officially sick-and-tired of the growing hand-wringing, and moral temporizing over the fate of that traitor, John Walker who is, at this writing, sitting in a shipping container under the watchful eyes of US Marine Corps at Camp Rhino in Ahf-gahn-ee-stahn. I am officially sick-and-tired of hearing the ‘a young man who made bad choices’ discussion…. And, I am officially sick-and-tired of suggesting there is any question about what to do with him. Do the words ‘last cigarette’ and ‘blindfold’ fit here? Oh, yes. I know: He’s someone’s son. His parents are acting like Chandra Levy’s mother and father. They’ve taken to sending out baby pictures of the little tyke. We await the standard ‘first bath in the kitchen sink’ photo. Then they released his ‘Dear mama and papa’ letter. Just a young man who made some bad choices. Bad choices. Here’s a guy who grew up in those two hotbeds of modern Conservative thought, Suburban Washington, DC and suburban San Francisco; went to Yemen, then Pakistan, then Afghanistan only to end up with shrapnel in his leg, looking like Charles Manson in a burnoose. Puh-leeze.” –Rich Galen

LIBERTY

“The events of September 11th understandably made Americans far more concerned about their safety here at home. All of us want action taken to diminish the threat of terrorist attacks, and President Bush is doing a very good job of pursuing bin Laden and his cohorts overseas. The proper focus should be on identifying those responsible and using limited military force to bring them to justice. We should arrest or kill the perpetrators abroad, use our armed forces more wisely to defend our borders, and reform immigration laws to keep terrorists out. Unfortunately, the focus in Congress seems to be on a domestic agenda that will adversely affect millions of ordinary Americans without making us any safer. … History demonstrates that the powers we give the federal government today will remain in place indefinitely. How comfortable are you that future presidents won’t abuse those powers?” –Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)

OPINION IN BRIEF

“We interrupt television’s chattering class of pundits and pols who are already celebrating America’s stunning, swift victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan for a brief reality check. The story so far: President Bush’s war against world terrorism and all nations that ‘harbor or support terrorism’ is impressive but incomplete. So far, we have sunk the harbor, but not the boats. … Terrorism is not a labor-intensive occupation. A handful of terrorists can wreak horrendous havoc. As long as any fragment of bin Laden’s far-flung and well-financed al Qaida has any means of pulling off any terrorist deeds, no nation is safe and none can rest.” –Martin Schram

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“Recently the … [Consumer Product Safety Commission] filed a lawsuit against Daisy Manufacturing Co. (the maker of the Red Ryder) that seeks to force Daisy to recall two of its popular BB-gun models, for no other reason than that they are … BB guns. Even Santa must be scratching his head. Daisy has been selling one of the models for nearly 30 years and the other since 1984; in total 7.5 million would be up for recall. Daisy, moreover, has already passed six CPSC reviews since 1981. Strangest yet, the ‘defect’ the commission now claims to have found in the Daisy rifles is actually common to the entire air-gun industry. Ah yes, but this isn’t about safety; it’s about politics. Former Commission Chairman Ann Brown needed one last hurrah before she resigned this month, and what better target than air-guns? They’ve been on the ‘naughty’ list of zero-tolerance types for years – gender-neutral, antiviolence folks don’t want little boys playing with toy soldiers, much less real hardware. And a victory over Daisy (which, along with other BB-gun makers, has a spotless record of self-regulation) would mean control over the whole market, 100 million BB guns strong. Even if the lawsuit fails, the commission might be able to scare retailers into dropping the products for fear of liability. …And so we have a suggestion for Santa. This Christmas Eve, as he delivers Daisy BB guns to expectant children all across America, he might bring along an extra load of coal. And he might just drop it down a certain Washington chimney – observing all the proper safety procedures, of course.” –Wall Street Journal

THE GIPPER

“Our principles were revolutionary. We began as a small, weak republic. But we survived. Our example inspired others, imperfectly at times, but it inspired them nevertheless. This constitutional republic, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, prospered and grew strong. To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world – nothing more and nothing less.” –Ronald Reagan

GOVERNMENT

“Limited-government types worry that wars lead to permanent expansion of government budgets and programs. Civil libertarians fear the fight against terrorism will do irreparable damage to basic freedoms. Those concerns are valid, but the current war also forces our leaders to focus on the essential tasks of government, instead of dreaming up nonsense to justify their existence. It may also compel both the public and elected officials to ask whether the government might have done a better job combating terrorism in the months and years before Sept. 11 if it had not been distracted by so many less urgent matters. Earlier this year, politicians could curry favor with voters by using their power for whatever worthy cause that came to mind.” –Steve Chapman

POLITICAL FUTURES

“Saddam Hussein thought he had survived the world’s armada, and so defined the Gulf War as success, not defeat. The unbiased touchstone of success – Baghdad not stormed, Hussein’s head not in a noose, and the Imperial Guard not liquidated – suggested that he, not us, knew better. And so, like Churchill in 1939, we now face the same enemy in the same place because of naiveté and the misplaced humanity of the past. A defeated army – now and always – must not merely surrender. Rather it and its infrastructure must be dismantled and its ideology disgraced.” –Victor Davis Hanson

FOR THE RECORD

From the “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like (??????)mas” Files….

“We are trying to accommodate everybody,” said Mission Viejo Mayor William S. Craycraft, announcing the California city’s annual holiday display will now be secularized with Santa Claus, winter scenes and flags.

John Rothschild, legal counsel to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, on being sued for constitutional violations by eight Wisconsinites protesting department bureaucrats’ prohibition on including religious ornaments among the handmade decorations solicited for the Madison Christmas tree: “We accept all types of ornaments, so we haven’t understood why it was necessary to file a lawsuit. That [refusal of religious ornaments] happened before a letter went out to clarify that in fact we have no policy, regarding religious ornaments.”

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and other homosexual Leftist groups are on a mission of holiday revenge against the Salvation Army – in several states, organizing a vindictive coordinated effort to stuff the bell ringers’ red kettles with phony $5 bills together with a written censure of the Salvation Army’s stance opposing “normalization” of homosexual relationships.

A Frederick County school administrator said employees would be prohibited from handing out Christmas cards in the school because cards with a Christian message “may not be a legally protected right on a public school campus.”

A Pennsylvania fourth-grader was prevented from handing out religious Christmas cards to classmates.

Two Minnesota middle school students were disciplined for wearing red and green scarves in a Christmas skit and for ending the skit by saying, “We hope you all have a merry Christmas.”

Two Massachusetts ninth-graders were prohibited from creating Christmas cards that say “Merry Christmas” or depict a nativity scene.

An Illinois principal warned a second-grade teacher not to read a book about Christmas from the school’s library to her students.

An Oregon superintendent required students to remove all “religious” holiday decorations from their lockers but allowed secular decorations.

A Georgia county school board deleted the word “Christmas” from the school calendar after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened legal action.

**Repeat after us: God bless us everyone! Merry CHRIST-mas!

SELECT READER COMMENTS

“As a retired US Navy veteran of Vietnam, my thoughts on this *&%$^#%* Walker. If there was ever a case for a military tribunal, it is for this cockroach. He can be clearly charged with sedition, brought to a fair trial in the finest military tradition, then executed by firing squad.”

“What these ‘I’m OK, You’re OK, Everything’s OK’ Leftmedia and their ilk have said if little Johnny decided to convert to Christianity, adopt traditional Western ideals and read the writings of the Founding Fathers (aka ‘dead white guys’) – much less, subscribe to The Federalist. One wonders if they would have given their blessing to his joining the Young Republicans, the ROTC and the National Rifle Association, and competing in shooting sports, with something other than the AK-47 with which he was captured?

"It’s not that Congress gave themselves a pay raise that bothers me most, it’s that the XXVII Amendment to the US Constitution (Submitted to the States on September 25, 1789 and ratified on May 7, 1992 after Michigan approved the amendment) specifically holds that ‘No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened’. Any of them who accept the additional pay in January are in violation of our Constitution!”

THE LAST WORD

“Is God…. God is in charge. When we pray, does God hear? When we believe, will we still fear? We pray for peace, dear God – one day, For loved ones who’ve been swept away. May they walk with you now, hand in hand, May they watch with you now, o'er this great land. When we pray to God, His ears do hear! And when we believe, we shall not fear!” –Johnny Hart in the comic strip “B.C.”

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