Quote-a-palooza

“Some people believe, and I am among them, that the power of the media today constitutes the most significant exercise of unaccountable power in our society. It is unaccountable to anyone, except for those who exercise the power. I believe that the domain of culture is as important as the domain of government or the economy.” —Jeane Kirkpatrick

“The salient feature of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Russia is that they’re running out of babies. What’s happening in the developed world is one of the fastest demographic evolutions in history. Most of us have seen a gazillion heartwarming ethnic comedies—’My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and its ilk—in which some uptight WASPy type starts dating a gal from a vast, loving, fecund Mediterranean family, so abundantly endowed with sisters and cousins and uncles that you can barely get in the room. It is, in fact, the inversion of the truth. Greece has a fertility rate hovering just below 1.3 births per couple, which is what demographers call the point of ‘lowest-low’ fertility from which no human society has ever recovered. And Greece’s fertility is the healthiest in Mediterranean Europe: Italy has a fertility rate of 1.2, Spain 1.1. Insofar as any citizens of the developed world have ‘big’ families these days, it’s the Anglo democracies: America’s fertility rate is 2.1, New Zealand’s a little below. Hollywood should be making ‘My Big Fat Uptight Protestant Wedding’, in which some sad Greek only child marries into a big heartwarming New Zealand family where the spouse actually has a sibling… This isn’t a projection—it’s happening now.” —Mark Steyn

“Because we need nutrition, we feel hunger. What does it tell us that all men have spiritual hungers? Only that they are all deluded? Or is it that they all crave the ‘poison’ of religion? If the spiritual is a mere delusion, of which our animal nature has no real need, how odd that it should be a universal delusion, rather than a local cultural eccentricity. Even a Darwinian materialist, after all, might concede that piety can have its bright side, just as the love of truth or beauty does. For that matter, how does belief in evolution itself conduce to survival? If it’s necessary, why did it take mankind so long to think of it? If it’s not necessary, what purpose is really served by advocating it?” —Joseph Sobran

“Military success on the ground now demands that we expand the rules of engagement to allow our troops to shoot more of the jihadists, disarm the militias, train even more Iraqis troops to take over security more quickly, and seal the Syrian and Iranian borders. This solution, of course, is easier said than done. The military must use more force against those who are destroying Iraqi democracy at precisely the time the American public has become exasperated with both the length and human cost of the war. Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can’t. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It’s that elemental.” —Victor Davis Hanson

“The evidence is overwhelming that the Founders were religious people who wanted a religious country that enshrined liberty for all its citizens, including those of different religions and those of no faith. But our educational institutions, especially the universities, are populated almost exclusively by secular individuals and books who seek to cast America’s past and present in their image. Are we a Judeo-Christian country with liberty for people of every, and of no, faith? Or are we a secular country that happens to have within it a large number of individuals who hold Judeo-Christian values?… If America abandons its Judeo-Christian values basis and the central role of the Jewish and Christian Bibles, its Founders’ guiding text, we are all in big trouble, including, most especially, America’s non-Christians. Just ask the Jews of secular Europe.” —Dennis Prager

“Not that many complimentary things are said about politicians. When a problem arises, people say, ‘Government ought to do something.’ They seem to have forgotten that it’s the politicians who are running the government. Many think things can be changed by electing different politicians, but I ask: Given the incentives politicians face, why should we expect one politician to differ significantly from another? We should focus less on personalities and more on rules. The kind of rules we should have are the kind that we’d make if our worst enemy were in charge… We have a set of rules that are known, neutral and intended to be durable. Those rules were created by our founders and embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Those rules have been weakened by a Congress of both parties that picks winners and losers in the game of life. The U.S. Supreme Court, which was intended to be a neutral referee, has forsaken that role and become a participant. All of this means we can expect a future of bitterly fought elections and enhanced conflict.” —Walter Williams

“President Bush is willing to raise taxes. That reality was a big surprise to me 16 years ago, in 1990, when I was working in the White House. It’s less of a surprise to me in 2006, when I am on the outside—because, after a while, you learn to identify the warning signs… Advisers are telling Bush that such bargaining will result in a solid domestic-policy legacy, as well as the shoring up of congressional support for the Iraq war. But history tells me that, if he raises taxes, he will demolish—as did his father before him—what little remains of his presidency.” —Jim Pinkerton, Bush(41) policy aide

“According to the Cuba Archive, which is meticulously documenting the deaths of each person killed by Cuba’s rulers since 1952, Batista was responsible for killing approximately 3,000 people… So far the archive has documented more than 8,000 specific victims of the Castro regime—including 5,775 firing squad executions, 1,231 extrajudicial assassinations, and 984 deaths in prison. When fully documented, the body count is expected to reach 17,000—not counting the tens of thousands of Cubans who lost their lives at sea while fleeing Castro’s Caribbean nightmare.” —Jeff Jacoby

Quote-a-palooza

“Some people believe, and I am among them, that the power of the media today constitutes the most significant exercise of unaccountable power in our society. It is unaccountable to anyone, except for those who exercise the power. I believe that the domain of culture is as important as the domain of government or the economy.” —Jeane Kirkpatrick

“The salient feature of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Russia is that they’re running out of babies. What’s happening in the developed world is one of the fastest demographic evolutions in history. Most of us have seen a gazillion heartwarming ethnic comedies—’My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and its ilk—in which some uptight WASPy type starts dating a gal from a vast, loving, fecund Mediterranean family, so abundantly endowed with sisters and cousins and uncles that you can barely get in the room. It is, in fact, the inversion of the truth. Greece has a fertility rate hovering just below 1.3 births per couple, which is what demographers call the point of ‘lowest-low’ fertility from which no human society has ever recovered. And Greece’s fertility is the healthiest in Mediterranean Europe: Italy has a fertility rate of 1.2, Spain 1.1. Insofar as any citizens of the developed world have ‘big’ families these days, it’s the Anglo democracies: America’s fertility rate is 2.1, New Zealand’s a little below. Hollywood should be making ‘My Big Fat Uptight Protestant Wedding’, in which some sad Greek only child marries into a big heartwarming New Zealand family where the spouse actually has a sibling… This isn’t a projection—it’s happening now.” —Mark Steyn

“Because we need nutrition, we feel hunger. What does it tell us that all men have spiritual hungers? Only that they are all deluded? Or is it that they all crave the ‘poison’ of religion? If the spiritual is a mere delusion, of which our animal nature has no real need, how odd that it should be a universal delusion, rather than a local cultural eccentricity. Even a Darwinian materialist, after all, might concede that piety can have its bright side, just as the love of truth or beauty does. For that matter, how does belief in evolution itself conduce to survival? If it’s necessary, why did it take mankind so long to think of it? If it’s not necessary, what purpose is really served by advocating it?” —Joseph Sobran

“Military success on the ground now demands that we expand the rules of engagement to allow our troops to shoot more of the jihadists, disarm the militias, train even more Iraqis troops to take over security more quickly, and seal the Syrian and Iranian borders. This solution, of course, is easier said than done. The military must use more force against those who are destroying Iraqi democracy at precisely the time the American public has become exasperated with both the length and human cost of the war. Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can’t. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It’s that elemental.” —Victor Davis Hanson

“The evidence is overwhelming that the Founders were religious people who wanted a religious country that enshrined liberty for all its citizens, including those of different religions and those of no faith. But our educational institutions, especially the universities, are populated almost exclusively by secular individuals and books who seek to cast America’s past and present in their image. Are we a Judeo-Christian country with liberty for people of every, and of no, faith? Or are we a secular country that happens to have within it a large number of individuals who hold Judeo-Christian values?… If America abandons its Judeo-Christian values basis and the central role of the Jewish and Christian Bibles, its Founders’ guiding text, we are all in big trouble, including, most especially, America’s non-Christians. Just ask the Jews of secular Europe.” —Dennis Prager

“Not that many complimentary things are said about politicians. When a problem arises, people say, ‘Government ought to do something.’ They seem to have forgotten that it’s the politicians who are running the government. Many think things can be changed by electing different politicians, but I ask: Given the incentives politicians face, why should we expect one politician to differ significantly from another? We should focus less on personalities and more on rules. The kind of rules we should have are the kind that we’d make if our worst enemy were in charge… We have a set of rules that are known, neutral and intended to be durable. Those rules were created by our founders and embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Those rules have been weakened by a Congress of both parties that picks winners and losers in the game of life. The U.S. Supreme Court, which was intended to be a neutral referee, has forsaken that role and become a participant. All of this means we can expect a future of bitterly fought elections and enhanced conflict.” —Walter Williams

“President Bush is willing to raise taxes. That reality was a big surprise to me 16 years ago, in 1990, when I was working in the White House. It’s less of a surprise to me in 2006, when I am on the outside—because, after a while, you learn to identify the warning signs… Advisers are telling Bush that such bargaining will result in a solid domestic-policy legacy, as well as the shoring up of congressional support for the Iraq war. But history tells me that, if he raises taxes, he will demolish—as did his father before him—what little remains of his presidency.” —Jim Pinkerton, Bush(41) policy aide

“According to the Cuba Archive, which is meticulously documenting the deaths of each person killed by Cuba’s rulers since 1952, Batista was responsible for killing approximately 3,000 people… So far the archive has documented more than 8,000 specific victims of the Castro regime—including 5,775 firing squad executions, 1,231 extrajudicial assassinations, and 984 deaths in prison. When fully documented, the body count is expected to reach 17,000—not counting the tens of thousands of Cubans who lost their lives at sea while fleeing Castro’s Caribbean nightmare.” —Jeff Jacoby