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Monday, May 22, 2006

"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." —Benjamin Rush

"The reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country... If children were forced to learn about the Constitution, about how government works, about how this nation came into being, about taxes and about how government forever threatens the cause of liberty perhaps we wouldn't see so many foolish ideas coming out of the mouths of silly old men." —Lyn Nofziger

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of thing Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." —C.S. Lewis

"Morale is slipping in Iraq. Fighters are growing doubtful of success. A comprehensive strategy for winning the conflict is nonexistent. Is this an assessment of the U.S. military? No, it is an assessment about the insurgents who oppose the elected Iraqi government. While U.S. opinion polls show a growing number of Americans are pessimistic about the prosecution of the war, documents authored by an al-Qa'ida operative and seized by U.S. soldiers...offer hope to the American side that success may be closer than we think... From comments made by al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden and others, we know the terrorists believe America will give up as it did in Vietnam, Lebanon and Mogadishu when a majority ceases to support an operation. This is the main strategy of the terrorists. The documents not only underscore that strategy, they reveal the terrorists' frustration in their inability to make it work beyond an occasional car bombing, attack on a police station or civilian gathering... These documents ought to encourage not only the U.S. government, but also American public opinion, that the virtues of patience and commitment are likely to achieve the stated objectives of freedom and a self-sustaining Iraqi government." —Cal Thomas

"The freedom of thought and action we Americans enjoy today seems as natural as the air we breathe. But there is a danger we may take this freedom for granted. We must never forget it was bought for us at a great price. The brave and resourceful Americans whose sacrifices gained our Independence and preserved it for more than 200 years against formidable foes have set an example of unflinching loyalty to the ideal of liberty and justice for all." —Ronald Reagan

"Another area where people tend to ignore threshold effects is immigration. A certain amount is absolutely necessary to our economic health. There are many foreigners with skills Americans don't have, and we would all be poorer if we had no immigration at all. Even illegal immigration is benign up to a point... But once a certain threshold is passed, the cost of immigrants starts to rise above their benefits. In a worst-case scenario, they no longer assimilate and become a cancer within the body politic, the way Quebec is in Canada, where the francophone population is deeply alienated from the rest of the country. It would be very bad for the United States if the Spanish-speaking population were to develop in a similar way, isolated from the rest of society, but demanding special privileges and concessions from the English-speaking majority. Thus the question of whether immigration is good or bad for the country depends crucially on its amount. Like salt, a certain amount is necessary, a little more is benign but too much can be cancerous, culturally and politically. Keep the question of thresholds in mind whenever someone declares a policy to be absolutely good or absolutely bad. Whatever their position, such extreme statements are probably wrong." —Bruce Bartlett

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