On PCs, terror, Columbus, casinos, amnesty, Opus Dei, etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Jun 01, 2006 8:05 PM

A sampler of quotations on issues large and small currently in the news. . .

Bill Gates of Microsoft and Paul Otellini of Intel, on whether the era of the PC is over: "Early next year, the number of computers in use around the world that are connected to the World Wide Web will pass the 1 billion mark. More than 250 million PCs will ship this year alone. Last year, laptops based on Intel Centrino mobile processors and Microsoft Windows XP outsold the highly popular iPod. Not only is the PC alive and well, but it continues to expand its global reach, delivering new capabilities, more choices, and more opportunities to more and more people every single day, in every part of the world."

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President Bush, at West Point: "We will never back down (to terrorism), we will never give in, and we will never accept anything other than complete victory."

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Vice President Dick Cheney, at the Naval Academy, on government monitoring of telephone calls involving terrorists: "If people in the United States are communicating with al-Qaida, they are talking to the enemy - and we need to know about it." And: "The president will not relent in the effort to track the enemies of the United States with every legitimate tool in his command. This is not a war we can win on the defensive. Our only option against these enemies is to monitor them, to find them, to fight them and to destroy them." And: "We are talking about international communications, one end of which we have reason to believe is related to al-Qaida or to terrorist networks. It's hard to think of any category of information that could be more important to the safety of the United States."

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"The Washington Post's" Guy Gugliotta, on efforts to trace the national and genetic origins of Christopher Columbus: "The goal is to determine once and for all whether Columbus, as traditionalists hold, was the son of Genoese wool weaver Domenico Colombo, or was instead a Spaniard named Colon; or Catalan Colom, from Barcelona; or a French Coulom or Colomb; or perhaps Corsican or Mallorcan."

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A pamphlet handed out during a Marseille, France, open house at the headquarters of Opus Dei, depicted in "The Da Vinci Code" as a conspiratorial and deadly sect: Opus Dei "has no monks, no murders, no masochism, and no misogyny."

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Author and senior Manhattan Institute fellow Walter Olson, on a rash of Indian tribe land claims filed with an eye toward building gambling casinos: "The new wave of Indian land litigation began in the Northeast but has now spread around the country. Claims by the Miami Indians spill over large portions of Illinois and Indiana. The Eastern Shawnee want 4 million mislaid acres in Ohio. New York's Onondaga, Oneida and Cayuga have claimed the land under such cities as Syracuse and Binghamton. In Colorado the Cheyenne-Arapaho managed to top that with a filing for 27 million acres including Denver. Near Allentown, Pennsylvania, the Delaware Indians failed in a bid for a tract that includes Binney & Smith's famed Crayola factory."

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General Peter Schoomaker, the Army Chief of Staff, on efforts to cut the defense budget: "This is a world where you're going to have to play a full-court press all the time (and) it's going to get worse and worse. . . . When I think strategically about the future, I think we're just beginning to see the type of challenges we're going to face (in the war on terrorism), and this country . . . has never been as vulnerable."

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President Ronald Reagan, on "amnesty" for illegal aliens as he signed the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act: "We have consistently supported a legalization program which is both generous to the alien and fair to the countless thousands of people throughout the world who seek legally to come to America. The legalization provisions in this act will go far to improve the lives of a class of individuals who now must hide in the shadows, without access to many of the benefits of a free and open society. Very soon many of these men and women will be able to step into the sunlight and, ultimately, if they choose, they may become Americans."

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The chorus from" Nuestro Himno" ("Our Anthem"), a Spanish-language reworking of "The Star Spangled Banner": "Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave above the land of the free, the sacred flag?"