Quote-a-palooza

“Every voter ought not merely to vote, but to vote under the inspiration of a high purpose to serve the nation. It has been calculated that in most elections only about half of them entitled to vote actually exercise their franchise. What is worse, a considerable part of those who neglect to vote do it because of a curious assumption of superiority to this elementary duty of the citizen. They presume to be rather too good, too exclusive, to soil their hands with the work of politics… Popular government is facing one of the difficult phases of the perpetual trial to which it always has been and always will be subjected. It needs the support of every element of patriotism, intelligence and capacity that can be summoned.” – Calvin Coolidge

“I must confess that Fred Thompson] is the only one [of the GOP presidential candidates] I don’t have major reservations about- apart from his electability. Yes, I worry that he supported McCain-Feingold and that he might not be a strong supply-sider. But on most issues, he seems reliably conservative and appears to have a solid and strong character. I do believe that with Fred, we know what we are getting. I find his lack of ‘fire in the belly’ refreshing. He strikes me as one of the few presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan whose primary motivation is not personal aggrandizement but rather serving and leading the nation in very troubled and dangerous times. I see him as almost being drafted into this project, and his refusal to drool publicly over the prospect of becoming the most powerful man in the world is positively delightful.” – David Limbaugh

“Our party must be the party of the individual. It must not sell out the individual to cater to the group. No greater challenge faces our society today than ensuring that each one of us can maintain his dignity and his identity in an increasingly complex, centralized society. Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business… frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite. Our party must be based on the kind of leadership that grows and takes its strength from the people…[O]ur cause must be to rediscover, reassert and reapply America s spiritual heritage to our national affairs. Then with God s help we shall indeed be as a city upon a hill with the eyes of all people upon us.” – Ronald Reagan

“Senator Hillary Clinton’s Christmas commercial, showing various government programs as presents under a Christmas tree, was a classic example of calculated confusion in politics. Anyone who believes that the government can give the country presents has fallen for the oldest political illusion of all- the illusion of something for nothing. Santa Claus may turn out to be the real front-runner in the primaries, judging by the way candidates are vying with one another to give away government goodies to the voters. Santa Claus is bipartisan. The Bush administration [unveiled] its plan to rescue people who gambled and lost in the housing markets when the bubble burst. We now have a bipartisan tradition of the government stepping in to rescue people who engaged in risky behavior- whether by locating in the known paths of hurricanes in Florida or in areas repeatedly hit by wildfires over the years in California or by doing things that increase the probability of catching AIDS. Why not also rescue people who gambled away their life’s savings in Las Vegas? That would at least be consistent. Apparently the only people who are supposed to be responsible are the taxpayers- and they are increasingly made responsible for other people’s irresponsibility.” – Thomas Sowell

“Politicians exploit public demands that government ought to do something about this or that problem by taking measures giving them greater control over our lives. For the most part, whatever politicians do, whether it’s rent controls to produce ‘affordable’ housing, or price controls to eliminate ‘price-gouging,’ the result is a calamity worse than the original problem. For example, two of the most costly housing markets are the rent-controlled cities of San Francisco and New York. If you’re over 40, you’ll remember the chaos produced by the gasoline price controls of the 1970s. Socialist agendas have considerable appeal, but they produce disaster, and the more socialist they are, the greater the disaster.” – Walter Williams

“I am old enough to remember when America’s colleges and universities seemed to be the most open-minded and intellectually rigorous institutions in our society. Today, something very much like the opposite is true: America’s colleges and universities have become, and have been for some decades, the most closed-minded and intellectually dishonest institutions in our society. Colleges and universities today almost universally have speech codes, which prohibit speech deemed hurtful by others, particularly those who are deemed to be minorities (including women, who are a majority on most campuses these days). They are enforced unequally, so that no one gets punished when students take copies of conservative alternative campus newspapers left for free distribution and dump them in the trash. But should a conservative student call some female students ‘water buffaloes,’ he is sentenced to take sensitivity training- the campus version of communist re-education camps. The message comes through loud and clear. Some kinds of speech are protected, while others are punished.” – Michael Barone

“The stark headline appeared just over a year ago. ‘2007 to be ‘warmest on record,’ BBC News reported on Jan. 4, 2007. Citing experts in the British government’s Meteorological Office, the story announced that ‘the world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007,’ surpassing the all-time high reached in 1998. But a funny thing happened on the way to the planetary hot flash: Much of the planet grew bitterly cold… Given the number of worldwide cold events, it is no surprise that 2007 didn’t turn out to be the warmest ever. In fact, 2007’s global temperature was essentially the same as that in 2006- and 2005, and 2004, and every year back to 2001. The record set in 1998 has not been surpassed. For nearly a decade now, there has been no global warming. Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to accumulate- it’s up about 4 percent since 1998- the global mean temperature has remained flat. That raises some obvious questions about the theory that CO2 is the cause of climate change. Yet so relentlessly has the alarmist scenario been hyped, and so disdainfully have dissenting views been dismissed, that millions of people assume Gore must be right when he insists: ‘The debate in the scientific community is over.’ But it isn’t. Just last month, more than 100 scientists signed a strongly worded open letter pointing out that climate change is a well-known natural phenomenon, and that adapting to it is far more sensible than attempting to prevent it. Because slashing carbon dioxide emissions means retarding economic development, they warned, ‘the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.’ Climate science isn’t a religion, and those who dispute its leading theory are not heretics. Much remains to be learned about how and why climate changes, and there is neither virtue nor wisdom in an emotional rush to counter global warming- especially if what’s coming is a global Big Chill.” – Jeff Jacoby