Quote-a-palooza

“Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors.” – Joseph Story

“We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it.” – Calvin Coolidge

“In the American faith, the people are prior to the Constitution, not formed by it, and July 4 celebrates the day we brought into being that new something: the Americans. One of the persistent tropes of Americans is that we are a new nation… And yet America’s is now almost certainly the oldest Constitution still operative on the face of the Earth. We may still be young, relatively speaking, as a people, but we are ancient of days as a polity. The endurance of America as one nation, under God, is a testament to the enduring power of what the men of 1776 bequeathed to us.” – Maggie Gallagher

“Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt. Let us also include a permanent limit on the percentage of the people’s earnings government can take without their consent. Let our banner proclaim a genuine tax reform… Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine… And we must make it plain to international adventurers that our love of peace stops short of ‘peace at any price.’ We will maintain whatever level of strength is necessary to preserve our free way of life. … I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.” – Ronald Reagan

“Barack Obama now has cited the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War as a model of the way Osama bin Laden should be tried in the (unlikely) event he’s ever taken alive. He recommends Nuremberg as an example to follow because, he says, those trials embodied universal legal principles. The Nuremberg trials a model of international law? Those stone-faced judges in Red Army uniforms peering down from the bench at Nuremberg, shoulder boards in place and guilty verdicts at the ready, must have been there as representatives of Comrade Stalin’s well-known devotion to universally accepted legal principles. This is not to say that the judges at Nuremberg couldn’t demonstrate exquisite tact. For example, not a one noted the Soviets’ responsibility for the Katyn Massacre, a war crime none dared accuse them of at the time. In 1946, the Soviets were still Our Fighting Russian Allies. And so the mass execution of the Polish army’s officer corps in the Katyn forest was pinned on the Nazis, who were conveniently at hand. What would one more war crime matter in a record already so monstrous? Nor did any of the judges at Nuremberg make much of the infamous Nazi-Soviet Pact that precipitated the whole, bloody cataclysm that was the Second World War. That alliance between fellow dictators was simply tossed down the memory hole. It became a non-event. At Nuremberg, the Soviet Union was invited to sit in judgment of its old partner in aggression- on a charge of waging aggressive war. To wit, the war of aggression that the Soviet Union joined with Nazi Germany to ignite in September of 1939. Barack Obama would have been on sounder ground if he had cited the proceedings at Nuremberg not as an example of justice but irony. You have to wonder if anybody remembers any history any more. Barack Obama doesn’t seem to. The unthinking simply assume, as Sen. Obama does, that Nuremberg was some kind of model of justice. Hey, the Nazi leaders were hanged, weren’t they?” – Paul Greenberg

“‘A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ Because of the inclusion of the M-word (militia), gun-control advocates have long argued that the Second Amendment applies to militia, but not to individual citizens. Last week, the Supreme Court put an end to that nonsense when it issued a decision overturning the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns- even in citizens’ own homes… It was ‘an inevitable ruling,’ explained George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley. ‘Even though I’m an advocate of gun control, it’s very hard to read the Second Amendment and not see an individual right.’ Yet, somehow, four justices did not see that the fundamental right- actually, it’s more than a right, it’s a basic human instinct- of self-defense.” – Debra Saunders

“Why did the Founders bother toiling in the summer heat of Philadelphia in 1787 writing a Constitution when they could have relied on the consciences of Supreme Court justices like Anthony Kennedy instead? Kennedy is the Supreme Court’s most important swing vote and its worst justice. Whatever else you think of them, a Justice Scalia or Ginsburg has a consistent judicial philosophy, while Kennedy expects the nation to bend to his moral whimsy… In a 2005 interview, Kennedy said of the court, ‘You know, in any given year, we may make more important decisions than the legislative branch does’… He went on to note how judges need ‘an understanding that you have an opportunity to shape the destiny of the country.’ So much for the country’s destiny being shaped by a free people acting through their representative institutions, within certain constraints it enshrines in the Constitution. That wouldn’t allow nearly enough room for what Jeffrey Rosen, in a devastating profile of the justice in The New Republic, calls Kennedy’s ‘self-dramatizing moralism.’ On any politically charged case, we are supposed to wait with bated breath while the famously agonizing Kennedy decides which side he is going to bless with his coveted fifth vote. In so doing, Kennedy believes he is, in Rosen’s description, creating ‘a national consensus about American values that will usher in what he calls ‘the golden age of peace.’ Observers less besotted with Justice Kennedy than Justice Kennedy might put it differently: making it up as he goes along.” – Rich Lowry

“There are new studies and new polls that strongly suggest that we are breeding increasingly stupid kids here in America. Like our tasteless tomatoes, they merely look good and healthy. But of course there is more than one way to test intelligence. So, while only 43% of our 17-year-olds know that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900, as opposed to, say, 1750-1800 or after 1950, they are very good at text-messaging. They also probably know the names of Britney Spears’ kids, which is more than Ms. Spears does at any given moment, but they have no idea why December 7, 1941, was a day of infamy. They also don’t know what ‘infamy’ means. What makes the situation even more pathetic is that these kids, for the most part, have a terrifically high opinion of themselves. To be fair, nothing much has ever been asked of them, let alone demanded, and yet they are constantly being told how special they are. Hardly any of them are expected to do chores, and as teachers have been ordered by craven school boards to pass along any student who’s breathing, D’s are frowned upon and F’s are verboten. As a result, 18-year-olds, who can barely count up to 18 without taking off their shoes, automatically get their high school diplomas… However, the greatest danger of this backsliding into the abyss of ignorance, this 21st century version of the Dark Ages, where emotions and self-satisfaction constantly trump logic and intelligence, is that Democrats may never again lose a presidential election.” – Burt Prelutsky

“This sense that America is in need of fixing in order to be a great country points to Obama’s real patriotism problem. And it’s not Obama’s alone. Definitions of patriotism proliferate, but in the American context patriotism must involve not only devotion to American texts (something that distinguishes our patriotism from European nationalism) but also an abiding belief in the inherent and enduring goodness of the American nation. We might need to change this or that policy or law, fix this or that problem, but at the end of the day the patriotic American believes that America is fundamentally good as it is. It’s the ‘good as it is’ part that has vexed many on the left since at least the Progressive era. Marxists and other revolutionaries obviously don’t believe entrepreneurial and religious America is good as it is. But even more mainstream figures have a problem distinguishing patriotic reform from reformation… Obama… will ‘remake’ the country. Well, what if you don’t want it remade? And Michelle Obama- who believes America is ‘downright mean’ and is proud of America for the first time because of her husband’s success- insists that Barack will make you ‘work’ for change and that he will ‘demand that you, too, be different.’ What if you don’t want to work for Obama’s change? What if you don’t want to be ‘different’?… The notion that what America needs is a redeemer figure to ‘remake’ America from scratch isn’t necessarily unpatriotic. But for lots of Americans who like America the way it is, it’s sometimes hard to tell when it isn’t.” – Jonah Goldberg

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