Quote-a-palooza

“Somewhere in our growing up we began to be aware of the meaning of days and with that awareness came the birth of patriotism. July Fourth is the birthday of our nation. I believed as a boy, and believe even more today, that it is the birthday of the greatest nation on earth… In recent years, however, I’ve come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy Fourth of July.” – Ronald Reagan

“In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man- these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress.” – Calvin Coolidge

“[W]hen push comes to shove- when we have to make real-life decisions and not theoretical ones- we know that at least in America, the dominant Judeo-Christian values and the religions that adhere to them have generally made better people. This does not mean that all religious Jews and Christians in America have been, or are today, good people, and it certainly does not mean that all irreligious people are bad. It means simply that if our lives were hanging in the balance, we would be inexpressively happy to know that 10 men we did not know, walking toward us in a bad neighborhood, had just come out of a Bible class. But that is no small thing. And nothing has ever replaced that book and the American religious expressions based on it to make good people in the same numbers that it has.” – Dennis Prager

“America became an economic power despite, not because of, Hamiltonian intervention. Hong Kong and much of East Asia went from abject poverty to affluence in a few decades not because their governments gave people ‘tools they need to compete’ – they didn’t- but because they exercised limited powers. I wish… Hamiltonian conservatives understood that freedom and prosperity have nothing to do with bureaucrats managing society through schooling and tax manipulation. Prosperity comes from leaving people free in a legal system that respects their persons and property so they can pursue their dreams while taking responsibility for their actions. Free people find their own tools if the state leaves them alone. In the era of big government, the last thing we need are champions of the statist Hamilton. What we need now are champions of the libertarian Jefferson, who said in a very un-Hamiltonian way: ‘I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it’.”- John Stossel

“I’ve never understood all the nonsense about how we should be sympathetic toward illegals who came here to work and find a better life. We don’t extend such sympathy to other people who routinely break the law. We aren’t sympathetic, for instance, toward people who break into banks or hold up grocery stores in order to support their families and get a fresh start in life. We don’t get teary-eyed about folks who engage in insider trading or bribery in order to send their kids to college and enjoy the American dream. We feel sorry for these lawbreakers, and than clap them into prison. I’m an immigrant myself, and I’m pro-immigration, but that means legal immigration. America can afford to take in a decent number of immigrants every year. We need workers in certain fields, and should admit those kinds of workers.”- Dinesh D’Souza

Quote-a-palooza

“Somewhere in our growing up we began to be aware of the meaning of days and with that awareness came the birth of patriotism. July Fourth is the birthday of our nation. I believed as a boy, and believe even more today, that it is the birthday of the greatest nation on earth… In recent years, however, I’ve come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy Fourth of July.” – Ronald Reagan

“In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man- these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress.” – Calvin Coolidge

“[W]hen push comes to shove- when we have to make real-life decisions and not theoretical ones- we know that at least in America, the dominant Judeo-Christian values and the religions that adhere to them have generally made better people. This does not mean that all religious Jews and Christians in America have been, or are today, good people, and it certainly does not mean that all irreligious people are bad. It means simply that if our lives were hanging in the balance, we would be inexpressively happy to know that 10 men we did not know, walking toward us in a bad neighborhood, had just come out of a Bible class. But that is no small thing. And nothing has ever replaced that book and the American religious expressions based on it to make good people in the same numbers that it has.” – Dennis Prager

“America became an economic power despite, not because of, Hamiltonian intervention. Hong Kong and much of East Asia went from abject poverty to affluence in a few decades not because their governments gave people ‘tools they need to compete’ – they didn’t- but because they exercised limited powers. I wish… Hamiltonian conservatives understood that freedom and prosperity have nothing to do with bureaucrats managing society through schooling and tax manipulation. Prosperity comes from leaving people free in a legal system that respects their persons and property so they can pursue their dreams while taking responsibility for their actions. Free people find their own tools if the state leaves them alone. In the era of big government, the last thing we need are champions of the statist Hamilton. What we need now are champions of the libertarian Jefferson, who said in a very un-Hamiltonian way: ‘I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it’.”- John Stossel

“I’ve never understood all the nonsense about how we should be sympathetic toward illegals who came here to work and find a better life. We don’t extend such sympathy to other people who routinely break the law. We aren’t sympathetic, for instance, toward people who break into banks or hold up grocery stores in order to support their families and get a fresh start in life. We don’t get teary-eyed about folks who engage in insider trading or bribery in order to send their kids to college and enjoy the American dream. We feel sorry for these lawbreakers, and than clap them into prison. I’m an immigrant myself, and I’m pro-immigration, but that means legal immigration. America can afford to take in a decent number of immigrants every year. We need workers in certain fields, and should admit those kinds of workers.”- Dinesh D’Souza

Bonds hatred can be blinding

SI.com – Writers – John Donovan: Fans mystify with Bonds pick, get it right with Junior

There are none so blind as those who will not see. As an example:

Sunday, we saw the result of baseball fans around the country lining up strongly behind Bonds. More than a million of them, voting in ballparks and filling out online ballots over the past several weeks, decided that Bonds should start in this year’s All-Star Game in San Francisco. The whole maelstrom that has engulfed him for years, the one that will come to a head in the days and weeks ahead — you know, the whole steroids thing — simply did not matter to the voting fans. Or, at the least, it didn’t matter enough to keep Bonds out of the starting lineup.


What’s strange, though, is that a lot of different polls — ESPN/ABC, CBS News, USA Today, the Associated Press, CNN and many others — have indicated that most fans don’t believe Bonds when he claims he’s never used performance-enhancers. A good chunk of fans, the polls say, don’t want him to break Hank Aaron’s career home run record. (He’s now only five away from tying it.) When he finally pushes past Aaron’s mark, many fans told the pollsters that they won’t consider it a genuine record. Many polls show that fans, simply put, just don’t like the guy.

So either those polls are way off, or the ballot boxes were stuffed, or fans changed their minds, or they simply don’t care about any of that stuff anymore, or they don’t think any of that should apply to an All-Star Game, or they don’t think any of it should apply to this particular All-Star Game, or … something.

I’m not the hugest Bonds fan, but I to tend to defend him a lot, because people are so irrational in their hatred of him. John Donovan argues that Bonds should not have been voted to the All-Star Game this year essentially because he’s a pill popping jerk. Bonds’ current performance never enters the discussion. (In fairness, fans tend to vote based off a combination of past performance and who’s having a good first half, often voting for the names they know over who might be having a good first half. Prince Fielder, while a worthy All-Star is an exception to this rule as he was voted in over perennial All-Star Albert Pujols.)

The fact is, Bonds passes both the career performance and the current performance test. He’s an inner-circle member of the Hall of Fame, as long as the writers don’t let their dislike for him get in the way of doing the right thing. And he’s currently leading the major leagues in OPS (onbase percentage plus slugging, a good quick and dirty guide to rate player’s offensive values)! And even with his reduced playing time, he’s fifth in VORP (Value Over Replacement Player, a measure of how much better Bonds is than the freely available talent that would replace him if he were injured). (Phillies fans: Chase Utley is forth and Aaron Rowand is 30th!) He’s 13th in the National league in Win Shares and 24th in the majors (which takes into account his really poor fielding). (Utley’s 1st and Rowand is 8th in the NL!)

An All-Star Game without Barry Bonds, which Donovan, and no doubt many others, were rooting for might be a game, but it wouldn’t be worthy of the name “All-Star,” no matter what your personal opinion is of him. Fans may dislike him personally and not want him to succeed in his quest, but they can recognize greatness. If only sportswriters eyes were so open.