On Iraq, inflation, the Democrats, teen sex, sneezing, etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Dec 27, 2006 1:43 PM
On Iraq, inflation, the Democrats, teen sex, sneezing, etc.

Quotes addressing topics currently in the news . . .

Private David Webster of the 101st Airborne Division, reflecting on the Feb 15, 1945, death of a comrade in Germany — as quoted by Stephen Ambrose in his book “Citizen Soldier”: “He wasn’t 20 years old. He hadn’t begun to live. Shrieking and moaning, he gave up his life on a stretcher. Back in America the standard of living continued to rise. Back in America, the racetracks were booming, the night clubs were having record profits, Miami Beach was so crowded you couldn’t get a room anywhere. Few people seemed to care. Hell, this was a boom. This was prosperity. This was the way to fight a war. We wondered if the people would ever know what it cost the soldiers in terror, bloodshed, and hideous, agonizing deaths — to win a war.”

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Washington Post reporter Josh White, writing from Iraq: “With . . . the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its efforts here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency, and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.”

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Vice President Dick Cheney, Nov. 3: “(The war) may not be popular with the public. It doesn’t matter, in the sense that we have to continue what we think is right. That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re not running for office. We’re doing what we think is right. . . The president has made clear what his objective is. It’s victory in Iraq. And it’s full speed ahead on that basis. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

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Nobel economist Milton Friedman, who died last month: (1) “If government is to exercise power, better in the county than in the state, better in the state than in Washington.” (2) “Inflation is taxation without legislation.” (3) “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” (4) “A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.” And (5) “If a tax cut increases government revenues, you haven’t cut taxes enough.”

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Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, anticipating the Democratic takeover of Congress: “My fear is that the Democrats after 12 years of trench warfare and a pretty rough time . . . basically (will) come out and seek vengeance for everything that’s taken place. If they do that, I think they (will) make a pretty big mistake because the public will say, ‘These guys are no different than Tom DeLay and his crowd.’”

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Virginia’s Democratic Senator-elect Jim Webb, in an October 2005, interview: “The problem with the Democrats is that they got away from the (Andrew) Jacksonian message. The Democrats used to be the party where people went when they needed a voice on the national level. You cannot develop a national strategy based on group rights, minority rights — you can’t do it. The Democrats need to understand that and get back to what they used to do.”

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Essayist and former Hollywood critic Ben Stein: “This is a nation that is absolutely drenched in juvenile sex. . . . Movies in large part are about teenage sex. Whole TV networks . . . are largely about teenagers and sex. Music, if you can call it music, is very, very largely about teenagers and sex, and teenagers listen to it incessantly. Look at fashions for young girls. They are getting dressed like Parisian streetwalkers from the 1950s. . . The culture is selling an entire nation on pedophilia and sexualizing children at an explosively early age.”

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Helen Thomas, longtime doyenne of the White House press corps — on bias in the press: “This liberal bias is a bias on the part of the right-wingers that they’re creating. There is no liberal bias. This is baloney.”

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ABC’s political director Mark Halperin: “If I were a conservative, I understand why I would feel suspicious that I was not going to get a fair break (in the press). . . . The mindset at ABC . . . is just too focused on being more favorable to Nancy Pelosi, say, than Newt Gingrich. . . . You’re seeing here a (CBS) ‘60 Minutes’ piece about Nancy Pelosi. I don’t remember Newt Gingrich getting a piece that favorable in 1994.”

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Jan Morris, in The Wall Street Journal: “We are entering the sneezing season. ‘Coughs and sneezes,’ it used to say on official posers, ‘spread diseases’ — and of course in a health-conscious age the sneeze is decidedly not, as it were, socially correct. I cannot help liking it, though. I like doing it, and I quite like hearing it, too. In my opinion there is nothing like a good sneeze, and it seems to me that among all our varied physical functions the sneeze stands entertainingly alone. The sound of a sneeze can be downright majestic, especially if it is one of those convulsions that take a long time to reach fulfillment, keeping everyone in suspense, not least the sneezer, until the moment of explosion arrives.”