This Week In Quotes: Nov 5 – Nov 11

“Ethics,” in modern practice, basically consists of taking what the law would term mala in se offenses (bad in and of themselves; the sort of thing that people have a visceral, morality-based reaction to) and turning them into fairly minor mala prohbiata offenses (bad only because they’re prohibited by state action).

More importantly, though, the nature of the prohibited behavior is seriously mutated: Don’t be partisan, unfair, and biased in reportage becomes merely Don’t get caught donating to a political party. And a clean bill of health on the latter is taken to be a clean bill of health on the former– which, of course, it’s not.

This is of course self-serving nonsense. “Ethics” in modern practice has simply become a method of evading actual ethical behavior by creating a checklist of Don’ts which are almost entirely unrelated to the actual ethical transaction; compliance with this silly list of Don’ts allows actors to violate the real ethics of the profession like there’s no tomorrow. — Ace

This is a cutesy paradigm liberals always deploy. Liberals want gay marriage, of course; so who is to blame for the current prohibition?

Republicans politicians? Of course– they oppose it, in the main.

Democrats? Like Obama, who says he’s anti-gay-marriage? No. Obama gets a pass because “political reality” is forcing his hand.

The liberal media always does this to excuse away positions they don’t like in politicians they do. Republicans are never given a pass for also being reflective of, and captive of, public will. Republicans are assigned full blame, as if they are entirely above and beyond considerations of political reality and have an entirely free hand in selecting their position. Therefore, if they select a position liberals don’t like, they are fully morally culpable.

It’s only Democrats, apparently, who are ever influenced by public opinion to take positions liberal commentators don’t like. Democrats are innocent as lambs because they have good intentions. (Which the media assumes — they assume, for example, Obama really wants gay marriage, despite the fact that he never says so. So, they assume he’s lying. It’s a fair assumption– but then please note he is lying to the public, huh?)

So once again Obama will take a position liberals claim is repugnant and/or disastrous but that’s okay, after all, he’s just doing what he needs to do to be elected.

Like when Robert Byrd started his own Klan chapter. — Ace

If there is no moral foundation for a system of laws, then the law is reduced to “These are the rules. They’re the rules because I say so, and I control all of the guys with guns.” We can ask those who survived Pol Pot, Stalin, or Mao how that worked out. (Hitler’s Nazism was not state atheism; it was filled with the occult. Anyone who watches Leni Riefenstahl‘s “Triumph of the Will“ and doesn’t see religion is willfully blind.)

So the law is either codification of morality or it is thuggery. The real argument is about which moral code will be implemented by the law. To claim to reject a moral underpinning for the law is either a wish to live in a place where the law is whatever one guy says it is today, or else it is a disingenuous attempt to substitute your own moral code for the one that has already been codified. — Beregond

“Trust me. I’m going to make sure this healthcare bill is never, ever, ever implemented.” — John Boehner

Here’s, here’s the deal. Most new jobs are created by small businesses. Many small businesses pay tax at the individual income tax level because of how the are organized. For example, sub chapter S corporations or limited partnerships. Therefore, if you raise the top rate you’re taxing job creators.

…For 53 or nearly 53 weeks we had consecutive job growth. The longest period in, one of the longest periods in economic history. You gotta remember, let me put this, put this in perspective. I come to office, there is a dotcom bubble burst. Then 9/11 comes and the country is in severe economic hardship. The tax cuts, in my judgment, stimulated an economic vitality and a lot of jobs were created. Now the question is, how do we create them? And part of the debate is should government try to create the jobs or should the private sector try to create the jobs. My argument is keeping taxes low will encourage the private sector to create jobs. — George W. Bush

A distinguished colleague of mine likens the wiggy mood of the nation to that of a hormonal teenager. What do you call an electorate that seems prone to acting out irrationally, is full of inchoate rage, and is constantly throwing fits and tantrums? You call it teenaged. — Graydon Carter

It sounded like he was plagiarizing Michael Moore. — George Bush on Osama Bin Laden

During the campaign, I recall Bush saying: “This is a dangerous world, and this cat [Obama] isn’t remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you.” — Matt Latimer

If job qualifications were the determining factor in U.S. presidential elections, voters would never have gone for an unaccomplished ex-state senator from a corrupt big-city political machine over a veteran U.S. senator, former naval squadron commander and war veteran. — Andrew Malcolm

As conservatives and libertarians have pointed out time and again, the health-care system is not the reason for these statistics. Here’s the way I put it a couple of years ago: “In this country, a premature delivery followed by death would be counted toward the infant-mortality rate; not so in some other countries. And whatever we think of our health-care system, it is not to blame for the fact that America has a lot of car wrecks and homicides. When health economist Robert Ohsfeldt and John Schneider adjusted for these factors, the U.S. had the highest life expectancy of any developed country. (And they didn’t correct for obesity rates, which would make our advantage look even bigger, just like our waistlines.)” — Ramesh Ponnuru

It isn’t irrational to accept the testimony of eyewitnesses to miracles. What is irrational is to reject a priori, with no investigation, the possibility of miracles in general and of Jesus Christ’s resurrection in particular – which is, of course, precisely what the worldly wise do. — Antonin Scalia

I would tell George Bush, in my moment of frustration, I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist. But I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that, we as human beings don’t always choose the right words. — Kanye West

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