-- Congratulations to my Harvard professor, Thomas Schelling (who instructed
me in "game theory") for his having received the Nobel Prize for
his unique scholarship in this area. Professor Schelling gave us some
insightful advice about how to drive and how to wage war. If your adversary
thinks you to be unpredictable, you have a better chance of overcoming that
is the purpose of our education? | October 12, 2005
September 30 — Back in the 1970’s when The Conservative
Caucus (TCC) was getting a full head of steam, Claudia and Tom Riner
succeeded each other as TCC’s State Coordinator in Kentucky.
Claudia and Tom have a wonderful family, and Peggy and I
were delighted to play host to them and their children on one very memorable
Tom who is the Pastor of the Christ Is King Baptist Church
in Louisville is also a Democratic Party state legislator, with a rock solid
Christian conservative stance.
Today, The Washington Times reported on the
courageous stand taken by their son, Noah Riner, the student body President
at Dartmouth College, who was a mere child when he visited our home near
"On Sept. 20, Noah Riner, student body president of
Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., gave a speech welcoming incoming
freshmen. He emphasized the importance of character, citing the example of
Jesus Christ who ‘gave His life for our sin.’
"The next day, the Student Assembly’s vice president
for student life resigned, calling Mr. Riner’s speech ‘reprehensible and
an abuse of power.’ In the Dartmouth student newspaper, the president of a
campus Jewish group wrote a column calling the speech ‘inappropriate,’
‘disrespectful’ and ‘the complete antithesis of the values that
Dartmouth espouses.’ The student newspaper’s editorial board, while
noting that the Ivy League college was founded in 1769 as a Christian
institution, criticized Mr. Riner for ‘preaching his faith from a
"The following are excerpts from Mr. Riner’s speech:
"You’ve been told that you are a special class. A
quick look at the statistics confirms that claim: Quite simply, you are the
smartest and most diverse group of freshmen to set foot on the Dartmouth
campus. You have more potential than all of the other classes. You really
"But it isn’t enough to be special. It isn’t enough
to be talented, to be beautiful, to be smart. Generations of amazing
students have come before you, and have sat in your seats. Some have been
good, some have been bad. All have been special.
"In fact, there’s quite a long list of very special,
very corrupt people who have graduated from Dartmouth. William Walter
Remington, class of 1939, started out as a Boy Scot and a choirboy and
graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He ended up as a Soviet spy, was convicted of
perjury and beaten to death in prison.
"Daniel Mason [a 1993 Dartmouth graduate] was just
about to graduate from Boston Medical School when he shot two men, killing
one, after a parking dispute.
"Just a few weeks ago, I read…about P.J. Halas, class
of 1998. His great-uncle George founded the Chicago Bears, and P.J. lived up
to the family name, co-captaining the basketball team his senior year at
Dartmouth and coaching at a high school team following graduation. He was
also a history teacher and, this summer, he was arrested [on charges of]
sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student.
"These stories demonstrate that it takes more than a
Dartmouth degree to build character.
"As former Dartmouth President John Sloan Dickey said,
at Dartmouth our business is learning. … But if all we get from this place
is knowledge, we’ve missed something. There’s one subject that you won’t
learn about in class, one topic that orientation didn’t cover, and that
your [undergraduate adviser] won’t mention: character.
"What is the purpose of our education? Why are we at
"Martin Luther King Jr. said: ‘But education which
stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. …We must
remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character —
that is the goal of true education.’
"We hear very little about character in our classrooms,
yet, as Dr. King suggests, the real problem in the world is not a lack of
"For example, in the past few weeks we’ve been some
pretty revealing things happening on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane
Katrina. We’ve seen acts of selfless heroism, and millions around the
country have united to help the refugees.
"On the other hand, we’ve been disgusted by the
looting, violence and raping that took place even in the supposed refuge
areas. In a time of crisis and death, people were paddling around in rafts,
stealing TVs and VCRs. How could Americans go so low?
"My purpose in mentioning the horrible things done by
certain people on the Gulf Coast isn’t to condemn just them; rather it’s
to condemn all of us. Supposedly, character is what you do when no one is
looking, but I’m afraid to say all the things I’ve done when no one was
looking. Cheating, stealing, lusting, you name it — how different are we?
It’s easy to say that we’ve never gone that far; never stolen that much;
never lusted so much that we’d rape; and the people we’ve cheated, they
were rich anyway.
"Let’s be honest: The differences are in degree. We
have the same flaws as the individuals who pillaged New Orleans. Ours haven’t
been given such free range, but they exist and are part of us all the same.
"The Times of London once asked readers for comments on
what was wrong with the world. British author G.K. Chesterton responded
simply: ‘Dear Sir, I am.’
"Not many of us have the same clarity that Chesterton
had. Just days after Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the Gulf Coast,
politicians and pundits were distributing more blame than aid. It’s so
easy to see the faults of others, but so difficult to see our own. In the
words of Cassius in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘the fault, dear
Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.’
"Character has a lot to do with sacrifice, laying our
personal interests down for something bigger. The best example of this is
Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before his crucifixion, Jesus
prayed: ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless
not my will, but then, be done.’ He knew the right thing to do. He knew
the cost would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway. That’s
"Jesus is a good example of character, but He’s also
much more than that. He is the solution to flawed people like corrupt
Dartmouth alums, looters and me.
"It’s so easy to focus on the defects of others and
ignore my own. But I need saving as much as they do.
"Jesus’ message of redemption is simple. People are
imperfect, and there are consequences for our actions. He gave His life for
our sin so that we wouldn’t have to bear the penalty of the law, so we
could see love. The problem is me; the solution is God’s love; Jesus on
the cross, for us.
"In the words of Bono: ‘[I]f only we could be a bit
more like Him, the world would be transformed. … so I ask myself a
question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said
He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that’s the
"You want the best undergraduate education in the
world, and you’ve come to the right place to get that. But there’s more
to college than achievement. With Martin Luther King, we must dream of a
nation — and a college — where people are not judged by the superficial,
‘but by the content of their character.’
"Thus, as you begin your four years here, you’ve got
to come to some conclusions about your own character, because you won’t
get it by just going to class. What is the content of your character? Who
are you? And how will you become what you need to be?"
Loyalty | October 7, 2005
AGAIN, PARTISAN LOYALTY PROVES TO BE A
SNARE AND DELUSION
My friend, Dr. Chris Manion,
who serves on The Conservative Caucus Foundation Board of Trustees, sent me
this message today (October 3), following George Bush’s contemptible
nomination of Harriet Miers to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court:
It was true in the 1950’s,
when Dean Manion gave up on both parties; it was true in the 1970s, when
you and Jim Lucier gave Jesse Helms "the speech" that called for
a third party at the Manion Testimonial dinner on May 8, 1974, at the
Mayflower Hotel; and it was true in the 1990’s, when you ran for
We need a new party that is
true to America’s principles in deed as well as in word. Talk is cheap
to these pols, but their lobbyist friends are very expensive, so money
just rolls out of the door – along with our freedom.
I am outfitting the library
from mom and dad’s, where you and I sat last May; I found this article
from the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch of Thursday, May 12, 1966, page A-20:
constitutional form of government in this country has been destroyed by
the whims, fixations, and ambitions of the justices of the United States
supreme Court,’ Clarence Manion said today. Manion, who spoke at a
meeting of the rotorya [sic] club of saint Louis, is former Dean of the
Notre Dame university school of law.
" 'If the current
decisions of the present Supreme Court are correct,’ Manion said, ‘then
all of the hundreds of decisions made by the Supreme Court prior to 1950
are wrong. The test of validity for what the government does today is not
what the constitution provides, but what five judges of the supreme court
will think about what has been done by the government.
" 'Thus, there are no
operable restrictions upon the power of the Federal government today
except the unpredictable mix of sociological predilections and fixations
that are entertained by the justices of the supreme court.
" 'This is not the
legacy of government by constitutional law that was left to Americans by
their forefathers. On the contrary, this is predictable government by
peculiarly unqualified men who are completely beyond the reach of the
"Manion recommended that
Congress exercise the authority provided it in Article Three of the
Constitution and deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to hear appeals
in cases involving constitutional questions."
Miers | October 6, 2005
MIERS LOYALTY TO BUSH AGENDA
IS PART OF THE PROBLEM
October 4 — Alan Keyes and I discussed our concerns about
President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to be a justice of the U.S.
Among the matters we considered were her reported support
for (1) the International Criminal Court (ICC), (2) homosexuals in the U.S.
military, (3) homosexual adoption, (4) women in combat, (5) the "No
Child Left Behind Act", and (6) other matters concerning which she
faithfully served George W. Bush, whom she has characterized as the most
brilliant man she ever met.
President Bush has promised that she won't change. Frankly,
that's what concerns me.
Miers | October 5, 2005
HARRIET MIERS IS LOYAL TO
BUSH’S LIBERAL AGENDA
The following quotes from,
respectively, Elaine Donnelly and David Frum underscore the reasons why
George Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to serve on the U.S. Supreme
Court is so outrageously bad:
"I am very disappointed
by the President’s choice for the Supreme Court, and regret that I have no
choice but to explain the apparent implications of the nomination of Harriet
Miers to the Supreme Court.
"Ms. Miers does not have a
judicial "paper trail," but her record as White House Counsel is a
legitimate cause for concern. Democrats and liberals who are willing to use
the military for purposes of social experimentation have reason to be
"As White House Counsel, Ms.
Miers either approved of the DoD’s illegal assignments of women in units
required to be all-male, which is still continuing in violation of the law
requiring notice to Congress in advance, or she was oblivious to the legal
consequences of those assignments; i.e., a future court ruling requiring
young women to register with Selective Service on the same basis as men
because they are now being assigned to land combat.
"In either case, White
House Counsel Harriet Miers has apparently allowed the Administration to
flaunt the law. (I am assuming that the many messages I sent to the White
House on this issue were forwarded to Ms. Miers, among others, as the public
debate developed over the past 18 months.)
"In the same way, I can
only conclude that Ms. Miers approved of the Bush Administration’s
incomprehensible retention of Clinton’s "don’t ask, don’t
tell" (DADT) regulations, which are different from the 1993 law that
Congress actually passed. Again, either Miers is for Clinton’s
indefensible, expendable policy, or she does not understand the implications
of DADT. President Bush could have eliminated that administrative policy
early in his Administration while upholding the law. Instead, the confusing
illogical of DADT could result in the law being declared unconstitutional by
a future Supreme Court decision, with our without reference to foreign court
"Judge Michael Luttig, as
a member of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote unequivocally
about the difference between the law and DADT. Instead of naming Luttig or
someone like him to the Supreme Court, Bush has named a less-than-stellar
nominee because she is an old friend. That relationship would be enough to
recommend Ms. Miers to any other administration job, but not to the Supreme
Court. Too much is at stake.
"In August I took the
precaution of making a special trip to Washington to ensure that everyone
concerned with the Roberts nomination understood what the Lohrenz v.
Donnelly & CMR case, which D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Roberts helped to
dismiss, was all about. I also raised the judicial issues of deference to
the military and opposition to foreign court opinions being used in Supreme
Court decisions. Democrats did not raise the Lohrenz case, which was fine,
and Roberts gave excellent answers on the judicial/military issues that CMR
is concerned about.
"But on both of these
judicial/military issues, we now have a nominee who is likely to confuse the
issue of what the Administration’s position is on women in combat,
registering women for Selective Service, and gays in the military. To which
policy will the Supreme Court defer?
"As with women in combat,
the President has said one thing and done another, and let us down. What’s
worse, it appears that he has let the military down."
"I believe I was the first
the name of Harriet Miers, White House counsel, as a possible Supreme Court.
Today her name is all over the news.
I have to confess that at the time, I was mostly joking. Harriet Miers is a
capable lawyer, a hard worker, and a kind and generous person. She would be
an reasonable choice for a generalist attorney, which is indeed how George
W. Bush first met her. She would make an excellent trial judge: She is a
careful and fair-minded listener. But US Supreme Court?
"In the White House
that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity
of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man
she had ever met. She served Bush well, but she is not the person to
lead the court in new directions - or to stand up under the criticism that a
conservative justice must expect.
"The harsh truth is, at
this 5 year mark in the administration's life, that its domestic
achievements are very few. The most important, the tax cut, will likely
prove temporary, undermined by the administration's overspending. The
education bill, the faith-based initiative, and the rest do not amount to
much. Social Security reform will not happen; work on tax reform has not
even begun; the immigration proposals are disasters that will never become
"The Miers nomination…is
an unforced error. Unlike the Roberts's nomination, which confirmed the
previous balance on the Court, the O'Connor resignation offered an
opportunity to change the balance. This is the moment for which the
conservative legal movement has been waiting for two decades--two decades in
which a generation of conservative legal intellects of the highest ability
have moved to the most distinguished heights in the legal profession. On the
nation's appellate courts, in legal academia, in private practice, there are
dozens and dozens of principled conservative jurists in their 40s and 50s
unassailably qualified for the nation's highest court. Yes, Democrats might
have complained. But if Democrats had gone to war against a Michael Luttig
or a Sam Alito or a Michael McConnell, they would have had to fight without
weapons. The personal and intellectual excellence of these candidates would
have made it obvious that the Democrats' only real principle was a kind of
legal Brezhnev doctrine: that the Court's balance must remain forever what
it was in the days when Democrats had a majority of the votes in the U.S.
Senate. In other words, what we have, we hold. Not a very attractive
doctrine, and not very winnable either.
"The Senate would have
confirmed Luttig, Alito, or McConnell. It certainly would have confirmed a
Senator Mitch McConnell or a Senator Jon Kyl, had the president felt even a
little nervous about the ultimate vote.
"There was no reason for
him to choose anyone but one of these outstanding conservatives. As for the
diversity argument, it just seems incredible to imagine that anybody would
have criticized this president of all people for his lack of devotion to
that doctrine. He has appointed minorities and women to the highest offices
in the land, relied on women as his closest advisers, and staffed his
administration through and through with Americans of every race, sex, faith,
and national origin. He had nothing to apologize for on that score. So the
question must be asked, as Admiral Rickover once demanded of Jimmy Carter:
Why not the best?
"I worked with Harriet
Miers. She's a lovely person: intelligent, honest, capable, loyal, discreet,
dedicated ... I could pile on the praise all morning. But there is no reason
at all to believe either that she is a legal conservative or--and more
importantly--that she has the spine and steel necessary to resist the
pressures that constantly bend the American legal system toward the left.
This is a chance that may never occur again: a decisive vacancy on the
court, a conservative president, a 55-seat Republican majority, a large
bench of brilliant and superbly credentialed conservative jurists ... and
what has been done with the opportunity? …
"There have just been too
many instances of seeming conservatives being sent to the high Court, only
to succumb to the prevailing vapors up there: O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter.
Given that record, it is simply reckless for any conservative president to
take a hazard on anything other than a known quantity of the highest
intellectual and personal excellence.
"The pressures on a
Supreme Court justice to shift leftward are intense. There is the negative
pressure of the vicious, hostile press that legal conservatives must endure.
And there are the sweet little inducements--the flattery, the invitations to
conferences in Austria and Italy, the lectureships at Yale and Harvard--that
come to judges who soften and crumble. Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous,
anxious personality. It is hard for me to imagine that she can endure the
anger and abuse--or resist the blandishments--that transformed, say, Anthony
Kennedy into the judge he is today.
"Nor is it safe for the
president's conservative supporters to defer to the president's judgment and
say, ‘Well, he must know best.’ The record shows I fear that the
president's judgment has always been at its worst on personnel
DeLay | October 4, 2005
September 29 — Tom DeLay
deserves to have his side of the story told and here it is for your
"This morning, in an act of blatant political
partisanship, a rogue district attorney in Travis County, Texas, named
Ronnie Earle charged me with one count of criminal conspiracy, a reckless
charge wholly unsupported by the facts.
"This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments
in American history. It is a sham, and Mr. Earle knows it. It is a charge
that cannot holdup even under the most glancing scrutiny.
"This act is the product of a coordinated, premeditated
campaign of political retribution, the all-too-predictable result of a
vengeful investigation led by a partisan fanatic.
"Mr. Earle is abusing the power of his office to exact
personal revenge for the role I played in the Texas Republican legislative
campaign in 2002 and my advocacy for a new, fair and constitutional
Congressional map for our state in 2003.
"As it turned out, those efforts were successful. Texas
Republicans did indeed win a legislative majority. A fair and representative
congressional map was drawn and approved by the Legislature. And the Texas
Congressional delegation now, after the 2004 elections, fairly represents
the values and attitudes of the state.
"Over the course of this long and bitter political
battle, it became clear that the retribution for our success would be
ferocious. Today, that retribution is being exacted.
"Mr. Earle, an unabashed partisan zealot with a
well-documented history of launching baseless investigations and indictments
against his political enemies, has been targeting a political action
committee on which advisory board I once served.
"During his investigation, he has gone out of his way
to give several media interviews in his office — the only days he actually
comes to the office, I’m told — in which he has singled me out for
personal attacks, in direct violation of his public responsibility to
conduct an impartial inquiry.
"Despite his longstanding animosity toward me — and
the abusive investigation that animosity has unfortunately rendered — as
recently as two weeks ago, Mr. Earle himself publicly admitted I had never
been a focus or target of his inquiry. Soon thereafter, Mr. Earle’s
hometown newspaper ran a biting editorial about his investigation,
rhetorically asking what the point had been, after all, if I wasn’t to be
"It was this renewed political pressure in the waning
days of his hollow investigation that led to this morning’s action. In
accordance with the rules of the House Republican Conference, I will
temporarily step aside as floor leader in order to win exoneration from
these baseless charges.
"Let me be very, very clear. I have done nothing wrong.
I have violated no law, no regulation, no rule of the House. I have done
nothing unlawful, unethical or, I might add, unprecedented even in the
political campaigns of Mr. Earle himself.
"My defense in this case will not be technical or
legalistic: it will be categorical and absolute. I am innocent. Mr. Earle
and his staff know it. And I will prove it.
"Here in Washington, there is work — hard, hard work
— ahead of our conference. We have a war to win, a region to rebuild, a
budget to balance, taxes to cut, a government to reform and a nation to
lead. In coming weeks, the House is committed to major legislation reforming
our border security and immigration laws, alleviating the rising costs of
gasoline and heating fuel before the winter and saving tens of billions of
dollars through reforming federal entitlement programs. My job right now is
to serve my constituents and our nation in support of this ambitious and
"As for the charges, I have the facts, the law, and the
truth on my side, just as I have against every false allegation my opponents
have flung at me over the years. Once exposed to the light of objective
scrutiny, every one of their frivolous accusations against me has been
dismissed, and so will Mr. Earle’s."
Most Liberal President | October 3, 2005
— I was privileged to be among the speakers at the annual conference of
the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) held at the Key
Bridge Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn, Virginia, along with Congressman Ron Paul,
Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell, and M. Stanton Evans,
Founder of the National Journalism Center.
In my remarks, I indicated
that, as measured by the size of the Federal budget in non-defense areas,
George W. Bush is the most liberal President in American history.
My own five-year experience as
a department head in the Federal government demonstrated to me that every
additional dollar of Federal spending is one less dollar of liberty for
American families and individuals, in the sense that judges, politicians,
and bureaucrats to the extent they have these additional dollars co-opt
decision making which, in a freer society, would be reserved to the people.