Quote-a-palooza

“On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?” – Thomas Jefferson

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’… I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character… And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

Read his I Have a Dream speech and Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

“You don’t need religion to tremble at the thought of unrestricted embryo research. You simply have to have a healthy respect for the human capacity for doing evil in pursuit of the good. Once we have taken the position of many stem cell research advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail or an appendix, then all barriers are down. What is to prevent us from producing not just tissues and organs but humanlike organisms for preservation as a source of future body parts on demand?… The slope is very slippery.” – Charles Krauthammer

“In what they insist is not a political maneuver, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are working with the organizers of a meeting of the ‘North American Baptist Fellowship,’ tentatively scheduled for January 2008. Hoping to attract thousands of Baptists of different stripes, the conference will focus on how faith should relate to public life and feature discussions on ecology, racism, religious liberty, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and more. However, this effort to unite the Baptists on liberal issues does not include the largest Baptist group in America – the Southern Baptist Convention. A Baptist group that doesn’t represent the largest group of Baptists is like a council of churches that doesn’t represent churches – which is exactly what the Institute on Religion & Democracy found in a new report, ‘Strange Yokefellows.’ It shows that the National Council of Churches (NCC) gets most of its donations from non-religious groups that push an agenda on life and marriage contrary to the doctrinal beliefs of people in the pews. The question facing the church is, will it adhere to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – or Jimmy, Bill, and the Sierra Club?” – Tony Perkins

“If you assail the right of the people to honor God, then you assail the first principle of their self-government, which is that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights leading to the consequence that the only form of government that is legitimate is a form of government that respects those God-given rights. No God, no republic. No God, no representation. No God, no due process. No God, no sanctity of individual rights, liberty, and life. The denial of God is an assault not only upon the people’s conscience, but upon their claim to have from God the right to govern themselves through representative institutions. The triumph of this false doctrine of separation, therefore, portends not only the persecution of our faith, but the destruction of our liberty.” – Alan Keyes

“With freedom goes responsibility. Sir Winston Churchill once said you can have 10,000 regulations and still not have respect for the law. We might start with the Ten Commandments. If we lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no need for other laws.” – Ronald Reagan

“Conservatives don’t speak much of ‘ideals.’ They think, more modestly, in terms of norms, which are never perfectly realized, but only approximated by sinful man. Consider homosexuality. Whereas the liberal wants to impose ‘gay rights,’ by law and coercion, the conservative sees homosexuality as a defect, which to some extent can and must be tolerated, because it can’t be ‘eradicated,’ but it can’t rationally be exalted to the plane of normality; and he knows that all talk of ‘same-sex marriage’ is nonsense, like trying to breed calves from a pair of bulls. But to the liberal, the only issue is equal rights; human nature and normality have nothing to say to him. What the conservative sees as life’s mysteries, the liberal sees as mere irrationality. One word is notably absent from the liberal vocabulary: enough. For the liberal, there is hardly such a thing as ‘too much’ government. There is no point at which liberals say, ‘Well, we’ve done it. We’ve realized our dreams. We have all the government we need, and we should stop now.’ No, they always want more government. There is no such thing as enough government.” – Joseph Sobran

“Americans are torn between two irreconcilable positions on the Iraq war. Some want the war to be a success – variously defined – and some want the war to be over. Conservatives are basically, but not exclusively, in the ‘success’ camp. Liberals (and those further to the left) are basically, but not exclusively, the ‘over’ party. And many people are suffering profound cognitive dissonance by believing these two positions can be held simultaneously. The motives driving these positions range from the purely patriotic to the coldly realistic to the cravenly political or psychologically perfervid. Parsing motives is exhausting and pointless, but one fact remains: ‘End it now’ and ‘win it eventually’ cannot be reconciled… Another Democratic dodge is the demand for a ‘political solution’ in Iraq… Saying we need a political solution is as helpful as saying ‘give peace a chance.’ Peace requires more than pie-eyed verbiage. In the real world, peace has no chance until the people who want to give death squads another shot have been dispatched from the scene. It reminds me of the liberal obsession in the 1980s with getting inner-city gangs to settle their differences with break-dance competitions. If only Muqtada al-Sadr would moonwalk to peace!” – Jonah Goldberg

Quote-a-palooza

“On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?” – Thomas Jefferson

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’… I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character… And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

Read his I Have a Dream speech and Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

“You don’t need religion to tremble at the thought of unrestricted embryo research. You simply have to have a healthy respect for the human capacity for doing evil in pursuit of the good. Once we have taken the position of many stem cell research advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail or an appendix, then all barriers are down. What is to prevent us from producing not just tissues and organs but humanlike organisms for preservation as a source of future body parts on demand?… The slope is very slippery.” – Charles Krauthammer

“In what they insist is not a political maneuver, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are working with the organizers of a meeting of the ‘North American Baptist Fellowship,’ tentatively scheduled for January 2008. Hoping to attract thousands of Baptists of different stripes, the conference will focus on how faith should relate to public life and feature discussions on ecology, racism, religious liberty, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and more. However, this effort to unite the Baptists on liberal issues does not include the largest Baptist group in America – the Southern Baptist Convention. A Baptist group that doesn’t represent the largest group of Baptists is like a council of churches that doesn’t represent churches – which is exactly what the Institute on Religion & Democracy found in a new report, ‘Strange Yokefellows.’ It shows that the National Council of Churches (NCC) gets most of its donations from non-religious groups that push an agenda on life and marriage contrary to the doctrinal beliefs of people in the pews. The question facing the church is, will it adhere to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – or Jimmy, Bill, and the Sierra Club?” – Tony Perkins

“If you assail the right of the people to honor God, then you assail the first principle of their self-government, which is that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights leading to the consequence that the only form of government that is legitimate is a form of government that respects those God-given rights. No God, no republic. No God, no representation. No God, no due process. No God, no sanctity of individual rights, liberty, and life. The denial of God is an assault not only upon the people’s conscience, but upon their claim to have from God the right to govern themselves through representative institutions. The triumph of this false doctrine of separation, therefore, portends not only the persecution of our faith, but the destruction of our liberty.” – Alan Keyes

“With freedom goes responsibility. Sir Winston Churchill once said you can have 10,000 regulations and still not have respect for the law. We might start with the Ten Commandments. If we lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no need for other laws.” – Ronald Reagan

“Conservatives don’t speak much of ‘ideals.’ They think, more modestly, in terms of norms, which are never perfectly realized, but only approximated by sinful man. Consider homosexuality. Whereas the liberal wants to impose ‘gay rights,’ by law and coercion, the conservative sees homosexuality as a defect, which to some extent can and must be tolerated, because it can’t be ‘eradicated,’ but it can’t rationally be exalted to the plane of normality; and he knows that all talk of ‘same-sex marriage’ is nonsense, like trying to breed calves from a pair of bulls. But to the liberal, the only issue is equal rights; human nature and normality have nothing to say to him. What the conservative sees as life’s mysteries, the liberal sees as mere irrationality. One word is notably absent from the liberal vocabulary: enough. For the liberal, there is hardly such a thing as ‘too much’ government. There is no point at which liberals say, ‘Well, we’ve done it. We’ve realized our dreams. We have all the government we need, and we should stop now.’ No, they always want more government. There is no such thing as enough government.” – Joseph Sobran

“Americans are torn between two irreconcilable positions on the Iraq war. Some want the war to be a success – variously defined – and some want the war to be over. Conservatives are basically, but not exclusively, in the ‘success’ camp. Liberals (and those further to the left) are basically, but not exclusively, the ‘over’ party. And many people are suffering profound cognitive dissonance by believing these two positions can be held simultaneously. The motives driving these positions range from the purely patriotic to the coldly realistic to the cravenly political or psychologically perfervid. Parsing motives is exhausting and pointless, but one fact remains: ‘End it now’ and ‘win it eventually’ cannot be reconciled… Another Democratic dodge is the demand for a ‘political solution’ in Iraq… Saying we need a political solution is as helpful as saying ‘give peace a chance.’ Peace requires more than pie-eyed verbiage. In the real world, peace has no chance until the people who want to give death squads another shot have been dispatched from the scene. It reminds me of the liberal obsession in the 1980s with getting inner-city gangs to settle their differences with break-dance competitions. If only Muqtada al-Sadr would moonwalk to peace!” – Jonah Goldberg

The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World

Yesterday, I finished The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World by John O’Sullivan. I had high hopes for the book given its topic and some rave reviews I’d read.

My high expectations were exceeded. It provides an interesting account of how these three revitalized the West and freed the East and other Communist enclaves around the world.

Interesting tidbits included:
– Ted Kennedy (D-MA) meeting multiple times with Soviet leaders attempting to undermine American foreign policy and weaken American negotiating positions at summits.
– Contrary to media and liberal stereotypes, Reagan was not the crazy man with an itchy trigger finger on the button. (Which normal Americans knew all along.) In fact, his ultimate goal was the elimination of nuclear weapons completely.
– While Soviet apoligists in the West were urging further detente with the Soviet Union since they were going to beat us anyway, the Soviet leadership knew what Reagan knew: their time was limited and their empire crumbling.
– In fact, once the Soviets realized the direness of their econmic situation and the fact they had no credibility in much of their Empire, they realized thy had no place to turn by to their liberal sympathizers in the West. Although O’Sullivan doesn’t use the term that I recall, the “useful idiots” have always been there for the Soviets.
– Contrary to the common perception, Gorbachev was not eager to let the empire go and people be free, rather he merely accepted it as inevitable and therefore nothing to prevent it. (As O’Sullivan points out, it’s a remarkable sign of how little we expect from Communist leaders that we laud him for not violently repressing Eastern Europe when they sought independence.) In fact, when the Baltic states declared their independence, he did use violent actions to attempt to keep them in the Russian empire. (He had declared that the freedom movement in Eastern Erope would stop at the borders of the Soviet Union.)
– America and some Western allies were sadly ready to go along with the, despite having spent decades denying the legitimacy of Soviet occupation of Lativa, Lithuania and Estonia. (The more I learn about then-Secretary of State James Baker, the less I like him.) Fortunately, Margaret Thatcher put a stop to that.
– Just like Reagan reversed America’s policy of detente, John Paul II reversed a similar policy of conciliation within the Catholic Church. In Eastern Europe, he refused to recognize the legitimacy of Communist regimes, which had been gaining in favor among some in the Vatican and the Eastern European dioceses. In Latin America, he made it clear that liberation theology was not an acceptable Christian doctrine, which undercut Communist claims to be acceptable under Christian doctrine.
– Reagan was far from an enthuiastic supporter of the Contras. In fact, he rejected the first proposal to fund them as he preferred non-violent options when possible. We only ended up supporting them because it was by far the least bad option.
– By focusing the Iran-Contra investigation on the transfer of funds to the Contras, the Democrats seriously misplayed it. The American people liked funding anti-Communist rebels. The Democrats would ahve been far better off focusing on the transfer of arms to Iran, which the American people hated.
– Similarly, years of denoucing Reagan as an out-of-touch President controlled by his handlers (far, far from the truth) also hurt the liberals in the Iran-Contra investigations: how could Reagan be responsible for all that happened if he was so out of touch?
– It stunned me how quickly liberals have lined up to makes apologies for and defend America’s enemies. It began to be true starting in the 70s and continues to this day.
– SDI was never about allowing us to be able to launch an uncontested first nuclear strike. It was about allowing all nations to destroy their nuclear weapons, switching from weapons of offense and destructive retaliation to a position of true defense. (He repeatedly offered to allow all nations to participate in its use for defensive purposes.) It was a shield, not a sword. This would also have allowed us not to worry so much about rogue states acquiring nuclear weapons. We would not be worrying so much about Iran and North Korea right now if we had listened to the Gipper on this one.

I would consider this book a must-read. You’ll learn a lot and gain a deeper appreciation for Reagan. He was a truly revolutionary figure, who I respect even more now after reading the book. Read it!