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Via the Patriot Post.

The Foundation

"I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home." --George Washington

Opinion in Brief

Anna Chapman -- one of the Russian spies arrested by the FBI

"When the FBI announced the arrest of 10 Russian spies living in deep cover for years, aka sleeper agents, Moscow's feelings were hurt. As if it were the announcement, not the arrests, that was the big problem. To quote the Russian foreign ministry: 'We don't understand the reasons which prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to make a public statement in the spirit of Cold War spy stories.' Why make a scene? Hasn't the new, enlightened American president just reset relations with the Soviet Union -- excuse me, Russia? ... Despite the spy-story trappings, this is scarcely a return to Cold War days. The Cold War was serious. This sounds more like one of Maxwell Smart's battles with KAOS; it's less John LeCarré than Mel Brooks. ... What were these sleepers supposed to be doing over here anyway, besides enjoying the American way of life? ... It seems even Soviet agents are hooked on the American Dream -- a cushy job, an SUV, and a townhouse in Cambridge conveniently near Harvard, or maybe a bungalow out in the leafy suburbs. In short, the good life. ... If there was anything suspicious about those arrested, it was that they were more American than the Americans. Which figures. They were American for all intents and, according to the FBI, subversive purposes. But there's no evidence, not even a whisper, of espionage. What would be the point? This is an age when state secrets are splashed all over the front page of the New York Times -- not just with impunity but with Pulitzer Prizes to follow." --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editor Paul Greenberg

Re: The Left

"Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the open-borders DOJ team have invoked a 'preemption' doctrine based on the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause to attack Arizona's anti-illegal immigration measure and oppose local and state enforcement of federal immigration laws. Never mind that the Arizona law was drafted scrupulously to comply with all federal statutes and the Constitution. You gotta love Obama's fair-weather friends of the Constitution. When a state acts to do the job the feds won't do, Obama's legal eagles run to the Founding Fathers for protection. When, on the other hand, left-wing cities across the country pass illegal alien sanctuary policies that flagrantly defy national immigration laws and hamper cross-jurisdiction enforcement, the newfound federal preemption advocates are nowhere in sight. The Obama DOJ's lawsuit against Arizona is sabotage of the people's will and the government's fundamental responsibility to provide for the common defense." --columnist Michelle Malkin

 

Government

"[T]o ascribe the word 'sector' to the limitless Unconstitutional and unnecessary public 'businesses' is pure subterfuge. The plunder sector is the only accurate title for what the government does outside its strict Constitutional scope. Any and all government 'stimulus' retards growth because it removes current and future wealth from its producers and gives it to central planners who are not subject to the market but to voters, a significant part of which do not pay for the bread and circuses they demand.... But if Barack Obama is trying to implode the system, and he is to succeed in doing so, how does he know that the people of this nation will not revolt? Does he assume that people will simply demand a government that makes all of their decisions for them? Perhaps he knows that this is a failing battle, but he realizes that if we manage to teeter for years on the edge, at least he will have accelerated the decline for fundamental transformation, swelling the public payroll and finances, sufficiently hobbling the private sector, weakening our morale and making people exponentially more reliant on government. Even if he cannot push all the way to totalitarian collectivism, he can still get us close enough that is almost impossible to repeal massive statism." --columnist Andrew Mellon

Liberty

"Today, Americans are stifled by big government, smothered by over-regulation, and taxed to death. Our Founding Fathers who risked everything they had -- their fortunes, their families, their lives -- to secure freedom for us would not recognize our current economic reality as anything even close to the economic liberty they worked so hard to secure. Yes, we are endowed by our Creator with the right to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'. But the government formed to protect those rights now makes it awfully hard for Americans to see economic liberty anywhere and nearly impossible to pursue financial security and the happiness that comes with it. It's time to reclaim a bit of that old time religion. It's time to secure economic liberty by cutting taxes, reducing regulations and shrinking the size of government. We've got to free individuals to use our God-given talents and imaginations to build a better life for ourselves and our children or we will eventually lose our liberty altogether." --columnist Rebecca Hagelin

Insight

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

The Gipper

"If there's any message that I wish to convey today, it is: be of good cheer. We're coming back and coming back strong. Our confidence flows not from our skill at maneuvering through political mazes, not from our ability to make the right deal at the right time, nor from any idea of playing one interest group off against the other. Unlike our opponents, who find their glee in momentary political leverage, we [nourish] our strength of purpose from a commitment to ideals that we deeply believe are not only right but that work. ... We are, and proudly so, but we are also the keepers of the flame of liberty." --Ronald Reagan

For the Record

"How might our founders have commented about [the] U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding our rights to keep and bear arms? Justice Samuel Alito, in writing the majority opinion, said, 'Individual self-defense is the central component of the Second Amendment.' The founders would have responded 'Balderdash!' Jefferson said, 'What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.' George Mason explained, '(T)o disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them.' Noah Webster elaborated: 'Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed. ... The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.' Contrary to Alito's assertion, the central component of the Second Amendment is to protect ourselves from U.S. Congress, not street thugs." --economist Walter E. Williams

Culture

"What are we to make of our current NASA chief, the distinguished retired Marine Corps major general and astronaut, Charles Bolden, who, in an interview with al Jazeera, listed a 'foremost' NASA objective as finding 'a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.'? ... Surely, there is some mistake? Did a right-wing satirist hijack the transcript and insert 'to help them feel good'? OK -- if it is a correct transcription, here are [some] off-the-top-of-the-head problems with this nonsense: NASA is supposed to launch rockets and other craft, study space, and travel above the atmosphere. Its duties, especially at a time of budget restraints, are not to make any one 'feel good,' much less 'the Muslim world.' ... The 'Muslim world,' I think, feels pretty good about itself; in contrast, I fear we in the West apparently do not. ... Worry not, Gen. Bolden, about Muslims and space. Relax -- soon there will be an intercontinentally-delivered Iranian bomb. The Syrians like space -- otherwise they would not be testing Scuds. And not long ago, Dr. Khan did his best to make Muslims acquainted with the potentials of nuclear energy released in the stratosphere. ... I could go on, but to the tiny degree that anyone in the Muslim world takes note of the NASA outreach, it will mostly be terrorists who equate our niceness with appeasement, and become encouraged that ex-American generals are now redirecting NASA to educate Muslims on their supposedly glorious scientific past, and not so interested in deterring them as was true after 9/11." --historian Victor Davis Hanson

The Last Word

"In his major addresses, Obama's modesty about his own country has been repeatedly on display as, in one venue after another, he has gratuitously confessed America's alleged failing -- from disrespecting foreigners to having lost its way morally after 9/11. It's fine to recognize the achievements of others and be non-chauvinistic about one's country. But Obama's modesty is curiously selective. When it comes to himself, modesty is in short supply. It began with the almost comical self-inflation of his presidential campaign, from the still inexplicable mass rally in Berlin in front of a Prussian victory column to the Greek columns framing him at the Democratic convention. And it carried into his presidency, from his posture of philosopher-king adjudicating between America's sins and the world's to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the first-person pronoun -- I. Notice, too, how Obama habitually refers to Cabinet members and other high government officials as 'my' -- 'my secretary of homeland security,' 'my national security team,' 'my ambassador.' The more normal -- and respectful -- usage is to say 'the,' as in 'the secretary of state.' These are, after all, public officials sworn to serve the nation and the Constitution -- not just the man who appointed them. It's a stylistic detail, but quite revealing of Obama's exalted view of himself. Not surprising, perhaps, in a man whose major achievement before acceding to the presidency was writing two biographies -- both about himself. Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama's modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence -- yet not of his own country's." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

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