“The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense.” —Alexander Hamilton

“No matter how worthwhile an end may be, if there is no constitutional authority to pursue it, then the federal government must step aside and leave the matter to the states or to private parties. The president and Congress can proceed only from constitutional authority, not from good intentions alone. If Congress thinks it necessary to expand its powers, the Framers crafted an amendment process for that purpose. But too often, rather than follow that process, Congress has disregarded the limits set by the Constitution and gutted our frontline defense against overweening federal government.” —Robert Levy

“We Americans have proven much better at assimilating immigrants than have most other nations—if you are disturbed by Latino demonstrations in Los Angeles, look at the Muslim riots and murders in Western Europe. But some of our elites have soured on, in Theodore Roosevelt’s word, Americanization. Education elites have produced bilingual education, which too often is neither bilingual nor education. Immigrants’ children need to learn to speak, read and write in English. Political and judicial elites have mandated bilingual ballots—even though applicants for citizenship need to show they’ve mastered English. Transnational elites, to use Professor Samuel Huntington’s word, have taught a version of American history that treats the Founding Fathers solely as slaveholders and tells us nothing about World War II but the internment of Japanese Americans. They want to encourage immigrants to remain in separate and oppositional cultural enclaves. As Theodore Roosevelt said a century ago, immigrants—and all of our children—need to learn and appreciate the American heritage, the brilliant work of the Founders, our expansion of freedoms and our vibrant system of representative government. American adults are snapping up copies of books about the Founders. American children, and especially immigrants’ children, need to learn the lessons of the Founders, too.” —Michael Barone

“Not all democracies are created equal. The customs and traditions of a society matter as much as its mode of government. It may be true that all people yearn for freedom, but history shows that some people yearn for the freedom to go forth and kill their neighbors… In other words, democracy isn’t bulletproof. Instances of disastrous democracy extend back to ancient times. Athens voted to attack Syracuse. It was a grinding, terrible defeat that spelled the beginning of the end for Athens in the Peloponnesian War. And, to leap to the 20th century, let’s remember that the Germans voted the Nazi Party into power; we all know how that turned out.” —Jonathan Last

By a vote of 317 to 93, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that seeks to curb or eliminate the practice of Internet wagering by blocking the use of credit card and wire-transfer transactions. Supporters of the bill call online betting the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling, an immoral practice that constitutes a threat to ‘the children.’ The lotto menu of my own state of Connecticut offers Powerball, Classic Lotto, Cash5, Mid-Day3, Mid-Day4, Play3, and Play4; not to mention 115 instant scratch-off games. There are currently 41 such states whose lottery-type games raked in a cool $49 billion in 2004 alone… Your good old-fashioned neighborhood bookie has been harassed and jailed as an immoral blight on the purity of the nanny state, while our surrogate mother herself continues to suck the blood out of her poorest citizens.” —Lisa Fabrizo

“What is wrong with Democrats? Can’t they see that when the face of their party belongs to ultra-leftists like George McGovern, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, they lose? For those who still believe not only in a strong two-party system, but also in compromise and conciliation in order to promote the general welfare and seek the common good, the [Joe] Lieberman defeat strikes an especially harmful blow. At the height of social conservative power in the Republican Party, pro-choicers and pro gay rights officials like Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were featured speakers at GOP conventions. Republican officials described their party as a ‘big tent’ with room for everybody. Lieberman’s loss reduces the size of the Democrats’ tent to that of a pup tent. The message it sends is that only those who conform to the left-wing fundamentalist worldview will be allowed in. Is that a message Democrats want to take into future campaigns?” —Cal Thomas

“[Thursday] British police and MI-5 ‘thwarted’ a plot to blow up between six and ten US airliners while they were crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Heathrow to JFK or Dulles or LAX… [G]reat (and well deserved) kudos were heaped on the police, intelligence, and security services in the U.K., the U.S. and Pakistan for banding together to stop this horrific act. Meanwhile in Marietta, Ohio another plot was broken up… Two guys walked into the Radio Shack and bought a number of pre-paid cell phones—maybe a dozen. The two guys refused to give the Radio Shack salesman their names when they wanted to purchase time on two of the phones, which the Radio Shack salesman thought was strange. So, he called the Sheriff’s office and told them about these two guys and the cell phones and the name thing. The Sheriff sent a car out looking for the two guys, found it, and [stopped it after a minor traffic violation]. The Sheriff’s deputy gets up to the car, sees about a dozen cell phones and what turned out to be $11,000 in cash. And smells Marijuana. The two guys [are] Osama Sabhi Abulhassan and Ali Houssaiky. After the bust, the deputies searched the car and found…airline passenger lists and airport security information, and so they called the Feds. Abulhassan and Houssaiky admitted to buying over 600 phones in the area over the past few weeks and…then they explained how ‘they send these [phones] overseas and they use the chips against the troops detonating bombs.’ Abulhassan and Houssaiky [are currently charged with] money laundering on behalf of Hizballah… That’s the way this war on terrorism is fought. CIA, FBI, MI-5 on the one hand. A Radio Shack salesman who smelled something funny and the Sheriff’s department of a small county in Ohio on the other. Both worked. It was a good day for the good guys.” —Rich Galen