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Monday, April 24, 2006

"Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country." —Noah Webster

"Just think about the situation Christ's disciples were in after He left them. Here was a group of peasants, powerless, up against the most powerful empire in the world. Possible prison time was the very least of their worries. They knew that torture and execution could be in their future if they refused to stop preaching the name of Jesus Christ. But they couldn't stop. To a man, they kept talking about Christ's life, death, and resurrection to anyone who would listen. None of them would deny or retract their story. Eventually, just as the authorities had threatened, most of them were executed for it. But still, all of them maintained to the very end that Jesus had risen from the dead—that they had seen Him, touched Him, talked with Him. What would inspire men to suffer and die for a belief? Only one thing—the absolute certainty that their belief was true... Which leads me inescapably to one conclusion: Jesus' resurrection was not a lie. These apostles would have turned state's evidence in a heartbeat, copped a plea, unless they had seen the risen Christ in the flesh... Their courage, their steadfastness, proves that their story is the truth. And that makes it a truth worth living—and dying—for." —Chuck Colson

"Ever since the late 1960s, the tax code has included alternative minimum tax provisions theoretically designed to prevent the 'rich' from using loopholes to avoid paying any federal income tax at all... Three things are now pulling middle-class families into the maws of this tax. First, unlike the normal income tax, the AMT was never indexed for inflation. As wages have crept up with prices, workers making relatively less-affluent incomes have crept closer and closer to the threshold that will subject them to the AMT. Secondly—and ironically—the cuts in the income-tax rates secured by President Bush are causing more middle-class families to have lower tax bills under the ordinary tax, thus exposing them to a potential AMT liability that would essentially seize the income that the Bush tax cuts would let them keep. Thirdly, the AMT does not allow deductions for dependent children, state income taxes or property taxes. Under AMT, more children means more federal taxes, and a more valuable house means more federal taxes... Why won't an all-Republican government push to simply abolish the AMT? Because it has already made plans to spend every penny of revenue the AMT will bring in to the federal coffers from its expanded taxation of middle-class families." —Terence Jeffrey

"The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the 'little' choices of years past—by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation, [which was] whispering the lie that 'it really doesn't matter.' It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away—the decision that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity—or dishonor and shame." —Ronald Reagan

"Every new sweeping tax law Congress enacts—always called a 'reform' —makes the job even more complicated and, if possible, more confusing. And the tax code longer. But we're all supposed to swear, on penalty of perjury, that we've done our best to find it... Is tax reform the answer? It's more like the problem, since every reform tends to complicate tax law only more. And the longer and worse the tax code gets, the less chance there is of really reforming the thing. What to do? Don't mend it, end it. Abolish the tax code and start all over. Think about it: Would anybody starting from scratch come up with a system as indecipherable and counterproductive as the one we've got? So why not opt for a clean break with the past? Abolish the Internal Revenue Code and begin anew." —Paul Greenberg

"In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change." —Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace

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