Charity is not a health care system.

— Dr. Terry D. Dickinson, executive director of the Virginia Dental Association, defending dentists against critics “who include public health experts, some physicians and even some dental school professors — [who] say that too many dentists are focused more on money than medicine.”

The President feels very strongly that this is part of his work as Commander-in-Chief, to make sure that those men and women are handled well and given the best possible treatment; that that’s part of the successful prosecution of this war.

— Karl Zinsmeister, assistant to the president for domestic policy, Oct. 16, discussing via conference call implementation of recommendations of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors.

We have thousands. We have thousands of people who don’t know that they are brain-injured. And we think what’s happening is that a truck goes over, an IED goes off, and one guy or two guys are really seriously injured. And so the system goes right into play for them. They’re MedEvaced. They’re taken care of. But the other five guys in the truck were thrown against the walls, and they had a blast effect. They just pick up and they go.

— Harriet Zeiner, a Veterans Administration neuropsychologist, in a September 2006 PBS piece on traumatic brain injuries incurred by Iraq War veterans.

We are parties to a treaty that outlaws torture. Torture is unlawful under the laws of this country. The president has said that in an executive order. But beyond all of those legal restrictions, we don’t torture — not simply because it’s against this or that law or against this or that treaty. It is not what this country is about. It is not what this country stands for. It’s antithetical to everything this country stands for.

— attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Oct. 17.

We have gone to great lengths, including statutory efforts and the recent executive order, to make it clear that the intelligence community and our practices fall within U.S. law.

— White House spokesman Tony Fratto, Oct. 3, responding to reports that the Justice Department issued a secret opinion that was an “expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.”

I know from the military that if you tell someone they can do a little of this for the country’s good, some people will do a lot of it for the country’s better.

— John D. Hutson, the Navy’s top lawyer from 1997 to 2000, Oct. 3, arguing that legal opinions allowed brutal treatment blur the rules for American interrogators.

One of those constructive forces is enhancement of individual human freedoms through the strengthening of democracy, and the fight against deprivation, torture, terrorism and the persecution of people throughout the world. The struggle for human rights overrides all differences of color, nation or language. Those who hunger for freedom, who thirst for human dignity, and who suffer for the sake of justice — they are the patriots of this cause. I believe with all my heart that America must always stand for these basic human rights — at home and abroad. That is both our history and our destiny. America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way round. Human rights invented America.

— Jimmy Carter in his January 14, 1981, farewell address as president.

Global warming has occurred. We have far more CO2 in the atmosphere than we had 100 years ago. That’s factual. A number of people question how close the linkage is [to global warming]. It’s prudent that we do everything we can without killing the economy to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, regardless of how you look at the correlation. But I’m not at the point yet where I’ve been able to say the cap-and-trade system would be effective without substantially harming the economy and that it would create a substantial reduction of CO2.

— Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback, discussing climate change, Aug. 16, 2006.

I think we have to accept the view that scientists have that there is global warming and that human operation, human condition, contributes to that. And the fact is that there is a way to deal with it and to address it in a way that we can also accomplish energy independence, which we need as a matter of national security. It’s frustrating and really dangerous for us to see money going to our enemies because we have to buy oil from certain countries. We should be supporting all the alternatives. We need a project similar to putting a man on the moon.

— Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, discussing climate change during the June 5 GOP debate.

I don’t try to get into the middle of the science of global warming. … There may be [a human role in climate change]. But whether there is or there isn’t, it doesn’t release us from the responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. It’s the old boy scout rule: you leave your campsite in as good or better shape than how you found it. It’s a spiritual issue. [The earth] belongs to God. I have no right to destroy it. I think we work toward alternative energy sources. [We need to make it] like the Manhattan Project or going to the moon. We need to accelerate our energy independence.

— Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee discussing climate change, March 7.

Few people in global warming can tell you exactly what’s happening. And there is a difference in opinion as to how fast because ice ages have come and gone, how much of the country would be warming, how much the glaciers are receding — how much of that is attributable to mankind, and how much of it is attributable to the natural cycle? But I don’t think you have to answer that question to do what I’ve recommended. I think we have lots of reasons to be energy independent.

— Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter discussing climate change, Jan. 8.

I believe climate change is real. I think it’s devastating. I think we have to act and I agree with most experts that we may at some point reach a tipping point where we cannot save our climate. I don’t think we’re there yet, but the overwhelming evidence is that greenhouse gases are contributing to warming of our earth and we have an obligation to take action to fix it.

— Republican presidential candidate John McCain discussing climate change in campaign Web site video.

I don’t think everybody knows everything about global warming, because you have reputable scientists on both sides of that argument. … [If the government were to play a role] then you have to deal with the volcanoes and you have to deal with the pollution of China. So, do you want to invade China to make sure they don’t pollute? And what are you going to do about the volcanoes? They are all contributing factors to global warming. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do what we can to slow up the emissions and stop subsidizing big oil companies.

— Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul discussing climate change with Bill Maher, March 30.

You’re seeing the climate get warmer or climate change is occurring and I believe that human activity is contributing to that. I don’t know what proportion of the change is due to human activity but my policy is to adopt what I refer to as a ‘no regrets policy’ — to take action that allows us to become more energy efficient and ultimately become energy independent as a nation. … I would like to see us work on a global basis on this effort. I really don’t think it’s productive for us to act solely on a unilateral basis to reduce our greenhouse gases if we have developing nations like China and India continue to increase their output of greenhouse gases and not be party to a greenhouse gas effort.

— Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discussing climate change at Business and Industry Association National Leaders Forum, May 29.

I have no doubt that global warming exists. I just question the cause and what we can do to ameliorate it. But I wonder why the Sierra Club isn’t going crazy about the environmental aspects of massive immigration into the U.S. The fact is, Americans consume more energy than anyone else, so if a person moves here from another country, they automatically become bigger polluters.

— Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo discussing climate change, May 31.

Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto. NASA says that the Martian South Pole’s ice cap has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter’s caught the same cold, because it’s warming up too, like Pluto. This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle. Silly, I know, but I wonder what all those planets, dwarf planets and moons in our solar system have in common. Hmmmm. Solar system. Hmmmm. Solar? I wonder. Nah, I guess we shouldn’t even be talking about this. The science is absolutely decided. There’s a consensus. Ask Galileo.

— Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson discussing climate change with Paul Harvey, March 22.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues appearing Thursdays.

2 replies »

  1. Based on Fred Thompson’s “it’s all the sun” quote above, I think I should probably address the whole “climate change on other planets means that the sun is causing the Earth’s climate to heat up too” myth sooner rather than later.

    At least a few of the Republican candidates aren’t completely useless on global heating. But if Thompson is trying to claim the (mythical) mantle of Reagan and he’s the candidate, that just makes denier myth busters like me all that more important.