The Echo Chamber
Thursday, June 10, 2004
  6:22 AM

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004)

A great man died Saturday. Ronald Reagan was a champion of simple, powerful ideas. He believed that the purpose of government is to serve people, not people the government. He believed right makes might, and that evil brings weakness. He understood that communism was evil because it held people in captivity. These beliefs allowed him to see that the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse even as the State Department and the CIA argued otherwise.

He had a servant's heart. He understood that his position was not his to exploit – he refused to even take off his coat and tie in the Oval Office. Even in his decline, his wife Nancy sought to continue his service by raising awareness and funding for Alzheimer's research. Recently, Nancy bravely came out in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

When Reagan came to office many people felt that the best days for America were behind it. We were experiencing a new form of misery – economic stagnation with inflation. This prompted the creation of the "misery index" and a new word "stagflation."

Reagan had this bizarre idea that he could stimulate the economy by cutting taxes. It worked. And the government was rewarded with increased tax revenues as the economy improved.

On a personal note, much of my optimism about the future is due to Mr. Reagan. I would have been less likely to join with Phil in saying that things are getting "better all the time" were it not for the influence of this remarkable man during my formative years.

From Mr. Reagan's 1994 farewell letter:

In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you."

May God bless Ronald Reagan.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004
  8:15 PM

[Joseph Horan]
All I Need to Say is Watch THIS!!! 

Monday, March 22, 2004
  11:01 PM

[Joseph Horan]

SPRING BREAK WAS WONDERFUL!! It was nice to take a break from the world of theology and music and sleep! In the meantime however life went on, babies were born, others died, and the "PEACE" movement marched again. Take a look through those pictures at LGF and tell me if these people really love peace! Then after you look at their faces and their signs, read THIS bleat by Lileks (He will be president someday, I hope!). Here is my only question ... Why do these people only protest AMERICAN actions? There are atrocities being visited upon innocents all around this globe and yet the only things the "PEACE" movement finds worthy of protest is George Bush. I hope and pray that, like me, most of our country sees the hypocrisy and irrationality in it.  

Monday, March 15, 2004
  9:26 AM

Kerry Writes Off Americans Who Voted Bush in 2000

[Stephen Gordon]

I'm not a big fan of hecklers. My freedom of speech stops when it interferes with another's freedom of speech. Nevertheless, once Senator Kerry choose to engage the heckling Cedric Brown, he showed why he should never be President.
The town meeting was contentious at times, with 52-year-old Cedric Brown repeatedly pressing the candidate to name the foreign leaders whom Kerry has said are backing his campaign.

"I'm not going to betray a private conversation with anybody," Kerry said. As the crowd of several hundred people began to mutter and boo, Kerry said, "That's none of your business."

Here's the Kerry comment that started all this:
"I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, `You gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that," Mr. Kerry said, according to a transcript from a reporter who attended the session.
And here's how Kerry is spinning it now:
"I think the quote, the quote in the comment I made publicly, I believe, was that I `heard from,' that's the direct quote," Mr. Kerry said. "I've likewise had meetings. I've also had conversations. I said I've heard from, that was what I believe I said."
Mr. Brown persisted:
"I just want an honest answer," Cedric Brown, 52, who owns a small sign company, told Mr. Kerry.

"Were they people like Blair or were they people like the president of North Korea?" he asked, referring to the British prime minister, Tony Blair. "Why not tell us who it was? Senator, you're making yourself sound like a liar."

Because Kerry didn't like the question he did what all good politicians do, he sought to change the subject. But what he sought to change the subject to boggles the mind:
"Are you a Democrat or a Republican ? what are you?" he asked. "You answer the question."

After Mr. Brown said he voted for Mr. Bush in 2000, Mr. Kerry added: "See? Democracy works both ways."

Kerry delivered the last line while looking at the crowd with a conspiratorial smirk. Kerry apparently believes that people who are registered Republicans and who voted for Bush are morally disqualified from pubic discourse.

What was the "See? Democracy works both ways" crack supposed to mean? Last time I checked it was Kerry who was running for President, not Cedric Brown. Brown's question, as rude as he was, is legitimate. A man can be known by the company he keeps. Since Kerry has said that foreign leaders want him to win, voters have a right to know who. Not to betray the confidence of those leaders - Kerry has already done that - but to better know Kerry.

But here's what Kerry's final remark really meant: "See, I can be an S.O.B. too." Kerry wants to be seen as a scrapper. Fine, be tough. Americans like tough. This was not tough. Kerry thinks he needs to be treated with kid gloves. He would like to campaign in a world where questions raised by Republicans are automatically illegitimate and suspect.

Who else is going to raise the tough questions?

Thursday, March 11, 2004
  9:38 AM

[Stephen Gordon]

After a speech yesterday, John Kerry turned to the union representatives who were standing behind him and said,

"These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen."
Kerry's spokesman has said that the comment was about the GOP attack machine, not the President. I'm not buying it. The last portion of Kerry's speech that day was an attack on the President and administration policies. From the speech:

…this is the most important race of our generation.

This is the most significant moment of crony government and crony capitalism that I've seen in my political life. And we've learned the truth of what George Bush thinks -- exporting our jobs is good economic policy. I believe that creating jobs here in America, keeping good jobs here and exporting goods, is good for our economy.

That was the end of the speech. Kerry then turned and talked with the union reps thinking that he was off-mic. If he was talking about the GOP "attack machine" there would have been no way for the union reps to know. He had just been talking about the President.

One Fox News commentator argued that we now know that this is what Kerry really believes. I disagree. Just because he thought he was having an off-the-record exchange with union representatives doesn't mean he said what he really believes. Rather, I see this as an insight into Kerry's character.

Character is doing the right thing at times when you think that you'd never be caught for doing the wrong thing. Kerry was throwing "red meat" to a few members of his base; making them feel like confidants for a moment. All he had to do was stab his opponent in the back to do it. This he was happy to do.

Clinton was a master at the winking confidence game. The difference was that he had charisma, a personal warmth that made even his opponents want to like him. Kerry has none of that charm.

Kerry has the Democratic partisans, but that's not enough to get elected. He needs swing voters, but they don't like him. When you can't inspire people to vote for you, you must make them vote against the other guy. Kerry has nowhere to go but negative. And it's a long time until November. Middle America is going to get sick of John Kerry.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
  12:47 PM

Quote of the day:

The senator [John Kerry] is a mass of contradictions: He voted to support the war but against funding the troops. Which he says means he was against the war but does support the troops.

-Mark Stein


Thursday, March 04, 2004
  12:57 PM

I'd like to respond to what some (Andrew Sullivan) are calling a HUGE failure on the part of the Bush Administration to take out Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi. You can find a report of the "blown" chances here: Money Quote

Military officials insist their case for attacking ZarqawiÂ’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.

The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late — Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. “Here’s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we’re suffering as a result inside Iraq,” Cressey added.

And despite the Bush administrationÂ’s tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, ZarqawiÂ’s killing streak continues today.

That's it! They discovered that Bush really did concoct this war in Texas for political gain, just like Ted Kennedy said. I would like to interject some reality into this story for everyone who is salivating at the thought of it(I saw the actual break of the story on Nightly News this week and Tom Brokaw was grinning ear to ear).

Let's say that Bush had launched an attack into Northern Iraq in the Summer or Fall of 2002 or even December of 2002. IMMEDIATELY, the move would have been viewed as a declaration of war by Hussein, the UN, and the Democratic Party. President Bush would have been lambasted as a straight war-monger who cared not for the sovereingty of any other nation besides the US. Wait, they called him that anyway. Maybe he should made a stupid foreign policy move and started the war months early while inspectors were still on the ground.

Second note: Those who ask why this is different from Clinton not getting Bin Laden are completely missing the relevant facts. Libya OFFERED Bin Laden to us...three times actually. Al-Zarqawi wasn't offered to us by Iraq. The difference therefore is in the issue of national sovereignty. We wouldn't hav violated Libya's by taking Bin Laden, we would have been crucified for violating Iraq's.

UPDATE: Read this post and tell me again why Andrew Sullivan was touted as a conservative....

Now, they're after Internet pills. Yes, there are some addiction issues (but, then, there always are). But why cannot the state treat citizens and doctors as grown-ups? What business is it of the government to decide whether someone cannot use a prescription medication for pleasure or relief if she decides it's something she wants to do and a doctor is prepared to prescribe it? Ditto steroids. Frankly, the way in which the internet has broken down some of our puritanical attitudes toward the pharmaceutical revolution has been a great step forward for human freedom and medical or recreational choice. I guess the possibility that someone out there may be experiencing actual pleasure is enough to send the government into a full-scale panic. We're used to the insane war on illegal drugs. Now they want a war on the legal ones as well. Can't Rush Limbaugh protest this incursion of over-weening government? Oh, wait ...


Two neocons solving the world's problems

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