#NSA Quote of the Day: Andrew McCarthy edition

June 10, 2013

Quotes, actually, as there are two from his latest post at NRO’s The Corner blog. Both, I think, reflect the way I’m leaning in the uproar over the NSA’s telephone record and Internet data collection program:

How are Americans supposed to rely on congressional oversight to keep the administration in check if the administration misleads Congress about what it is doing?

Which is a huge part of the problem the administration has defending these programs: having been shown repeatedly to be idiots at best and bald-faced liars at worst in scandal after scandal, how are Congress and the general public supposed to trust them now, even though they might actually be telling the truth about how the data is collected and used?

The fable of the boy who cried wolf endures for a reason, you know.

And then…

If politics were logical, we would say: “It is necessary to have awesome national security powers but they can only be trusted in the hands of honorable officials; since the officials we have cannot be trusted, we need to get new officials.” But politics is not logical: It is a lot easier to slash the powers we need than the officials we don’t. That is where this is headed, and I fear we’ll regret it. 

As I’ve been saying, “baby, bathwater.” This is my fear, too.

PS: McCarthy is a writer you should must have in your news reader. Even if you disagree with him, his arguments are always edifying and thought-provoking.


Quote of the Day: Mark Steyn edition

June 10, 2013

After observing that the US government issues so many security clearances that it couldn’t possibly properly vet them all:

One reason for the citizenry not to entrust its personal information to the government is that the big, bloated, blundering government is stupid enough to entrust it to Edward Snowden, as it was previously stupid enough to entrust it to Bradley Manning (the Wikileaks leaker). It’s only a matter of time before the halfwit leviathan entrusts it to a Major Hasan or a Tamerlan Tsarnaev. 

Quite.

(Do read the rest. Steyn is quotable in almost every paragraph he writes.)


Churchill understood what Progressives want

May 13, 2013
Winston_Churchill_1941_photo_by_Yousuf_Karsh

“Wisdom”

It’s a heckuva busy day today with little time for posting, but I have to share this gem via Steven Hayward at Power Line. It’s an excerpt from a longer quote from Winston Churchill’s closing speech in the 1945 General Election, which the Conservatives sadly lost. Read these two paragraphs, and tell me if you don’t recognize the modern Democratic Party, at least by reflection:

Look how even today they hunger for controls of every kind, as if these were delectable foods instead of wartime inflictions and monstrosities. There is to be one State to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. The State is to be the arch-employer, the arch-planner, and arch-administrator and ruler and the arch-caucus-boss. . .

A Socialist State once thoroughly completed in all its details and its aspects—and that is what I am speaking of—could not afford to suffer opposition. . . Socialism is, in its essence, an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy, tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils. . . Have we not heard Mr Herbert Morrison descant upon his plans to curtail Parliamentary procedure and pass laws simply by resolution of broad principle in the House of Commons, afterward to be left by Parliament to the executive and to the bureaucrats to elaborate and enforce by departmental regulations?

Churchill was of course criticizing the British Labour Party, which had been founded as an explicitly Socialist, albeit non-Marxist, party, but how well this describes President Obama and the dominant left wing of the Democratic Party! The worship of the administrative state, government by regulation and “boards of experts,” the inescapable, inexorable need to control everything — that bolded portion illustrates the progressive “theory of legislation” perfectly: pass a vaguely-worded bill, and let the unelected bureaucrats fill in the details with the full force of law. I’m surprised Goldberg didn’t quote this in “Liberal Fascism.”

Be sure to read the rest. While Hayward is thinking of Obamacare and the IRS scandal, I think Churchill’s quote reflects the heart of the professional Democratic Party in general.

Back to work…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: James Madison on making Congress obey its own laws

March 23, 2013

In regard to the duty to serve in the militia and who might be exempt, James Madison said that members of Congress…

“…ought ever to bear a share of the [burdens] they lay on others in order that their acts may not slide into an abuse of the power vested in them.”

(cited in “The Founders’ Second Amendment,” Kindle edition, location 6281)

While Mr. Madison was talking about militia duty, it seems to me that his recommendation is applicable in many, many instances, and as valid now as it was then.

Wise man, that Jimmy M.


Quote of the Day: “When your own side is asking…” edition

March 8, 2013

From Senator Ron Wyden, during Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster:

Mr. President, what it comes down to is every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.

That’s liberal Democrat Ron Wyden (1), from the liberal state of Oregon.

Second term isn’t turning out to be as much fun as you thought it would be, eh, Mr. President?

Footnote:
(1) And good for him, too. Seriously.


Quote of the day: Message to Obama from Cicero

February 13, 2013
"Time for a lesson, Barack."

“Time for a lesson, Barack.”

And I don’t mean Cicero, Illinois, but the great Roman lawyer and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero (1):

“Whoever governs a country,” Cicero wrote in On Duties,  “must first see that citizens keep what belongs to them and that the state does not take from individuals what is rightfully theirs. . . . Indeed, the chief reason we have a constitution  and government at  all is to protect individual property. Even though nature led people to come together into communities in the first place, they did so with the hope that they could keep what rightfully belonged to them.”

Smart people, those Romans.

via Roger Kimball

Footnote:
(1) And whose prose tormented me in Latin classes. Caesar, Livy, Tacitus, Virgil… no problem! But Cicero? That man broke every rule of grammar you ever learned and made you thank him for it. That’s probably the real reason Marc Antony had him killed.


Quotes of the Day: Churchill on the election

November 11, 2012

Shamelessly lifted from Steven Hayward. These seem very apropos:

On questions of economic law is does not matter at all what the electors think or vote or say.  The economic laws proceed.  (1929)

“All men are created equal,” says the American Declaration of Independence.  “All man shall be kept equal,” say the British Socialist Party.

It is an error to believe that the world began when any particular party or statesman got into office.  It has all been going on quite a long time. . .

Nothing would be more dangerous than for people to feel cheated because they had been led to expect attractive schemes which turn out to be economically impossible.

The Left is going to learn the truth of that first one not too long from now.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: fading exceptionalism edition

November 8, 2012

Roger Kimball of PJM (who, like me, has egg all over his face from predicting a big win for Romney) heard from an English friend after the election and shared this excerpt from the email:

You just don’t care about being a Great Power any longer. That’s what this is about. The world should start sucking up to China instead now, as Americans have shown they’ve no appetite for world leadership any longer. You’ve had a century in the sun, and now you’ve decided to become Sweden instead of shouldering the burden. The 47% have won and you’re going to slip into social democracy and in 4 years time no-one — Christie, Rubio, Ryan — will be able to do anything about it.

RIP American Exceptionalism

Perhaps I’ll feel better in a few days/weeks/months, but, right now, I fear this nameless Englishman is all too right.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: mendacity and malice edition

November 7, 2012

Mary Matalin, in National Review Online:

What happened? A political narcissistic sociopath leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform. Instead of using his high office to articulate a vision for our future, Obama used it as a vehicle for character assassination, replete with unrelenting and destructive distortion, derision, and division.

And, as they say, those were his good points.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Churchill on #ObamaCare: “Never give in!”

June 28, 2012

Okay, he wasn’t talking about ObamaCare –something far worse, actually– but the words he delivered to the students of the Harrow school I think are fitting to recall in light of today’s news:

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Bring on November.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the evening, Hope and Change Edition

March 31, 2012

From Abe Greenwald:

There are all sorts of ways to have a bad political week, and most don’t involve secretly colluding with the Kremlin and watching your signature policy initiative deliquesce at the Supreme Court.

“Deliquesce.” Abe’s obviously a H.P. Lovecraft fan. We approve.


Entitlement spending as vote-buying heroin

January 27, 2012

Liberals decry all the corporate money in politics, while conservatives worry that President Obama plans to spend a billion dollars to fund his reelection campaign.

Bill Whittle calls that “chump change.”

In another of his Firewall videos, Bill examines what he calls “The Vote Pump:” the money the federal government can use to make sure you vote the way the statists want. It’s eye-opening, to say the least.

Interesting, isn’t it? We currently take in more than enough revenue to fund the actual government (setting aside for the moment how many of those are legitimate functions), but what’s killing us is the nearly 60% of all federal spending that goes toward entitlements.

And it’s a percentage that, under current conditions, is only going to go up as the population ages.

Bill calls this a vote pump — money in, votes out. I think of it more as a form of economic heroin: give people “free money” and make them dependent, afraid to give it up. And, no matter how much they realize intellectually that the system is unsustainable and bad for the nation, that fear will lead most to vote to keep in power those who promise to keep the smack coming — the statists, whether Democrat or Republican.

It’s as de Tocqueville once wrote:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. (1)

So when conservatives mock Gingrich for proposing a lunar base (“Too expensive!!”) or lefties decry all the money for the military (“Think of the children!!”), just take another look at Whittle’s chart and remind yourself of what the real problem is.

And then look at Greece to see where it will lead.

Footnote:
(1) Arguably misattributed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: a question for Democrats

August 13, 2011

Hmmm…

When will we get done with the fool idea that the way to make a party grow is to scare away everybody who has an extra dollar in his pocket?  God forbid that the Democratic Party should become a mere gathering of the unsuccessful! –John W. Davis, Democratic presidential nominee (1924)

Some things don’t seem to have changed.

via Steven Hayward


Weinergate quote of the day

June 1, 2011

I’ve been avoiding* the whole Weinergate imbroglio, but this line from William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection made me laugh:

We don’t expect much of our politicians, but we do expect them to know if they’ve taken pictures of their own crotches and uploaded them to yfrog.

We live in strange days, indeed, when something like that can be written in all seriousness.

*Other than a few jokes on Twitter. I’m weak, I know.


Quote of the Day, evening edition, Reagan special

November 14, 2010

From Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address, via Gay Patriot:

Our Government has no power except that granted by the people.  It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people.  All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states.  The states created the federal government.

History may not repeat itself, but it sure likes to reuse themes.


Quote of the day

December 11, 2009

President George Washington, via The Anchoress:

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquent – it is a force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

Perhaps one of those times has arrived when the servants must be reminded just who is Master.


Quote of the day

October 23, 2009

The voters, including the fabled “moderates,” need to be persuaded, not pandered to. Running a liberal squish in a largely conservative district will not cause moderate voters to squeal with excitement over the billowing expanse of the GOP’s enormous tent, and rush to see what other wonders might be hidden inside.

–Doc Zero, Rogue Stars Rising


Quote of the day

October 20, 2009

The White House trying to dictate who’s a news organization. Democrats out to gut a business group. Obama media allies damning Americans as racist, unpatriotic and treasonous. Is this the America Obama promised when he campaigned to end the cynical and divisive politics of the past?

–Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun-Times


Quote of the Night

October 13, 2009

Allahpundit pwns the Lizardoid:

Oh, and apologies to LGF on behalf of our “wingnut blog” for failing to cover this sooner. Granted, there were not one but two items about it sitting in Headlines for hours, but when a site that gave up blogging about Iran and the New York City terror plot to focus on the urgent threat from creationism tells you you’re falling down on the job, you listen.

Feeling beat up


Quote of the day

April 29, 2009

Obama has signed one major piece of legislation: the stimulus. But how big an achievement is that? Getting Congress to spend money is like getting a wino to drink.

–Matthew Continetti, "Obama thus far"

Hee hee

 


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