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George F. Will
American author, columnist, commentator

A disquieting era of genetic manipulation is coming, one that may revolutionize human capacities, and notions of health. If we treat moral scruples impatiently, as inherently retrograde in a scientifically advancing civilization, we will not be in moral trim when, soon, our very humanity depends on our being in trim.

Jan. 20, 2000 - from "Scruples and Science", published by the Washington Post Writers Group
Today Internet pornography is protected from regulation, but not Internet political speech. And campaign finance "reformers" aspire to much, much more regulation because, they say, there is "too much money in politics."

Mar. 11, 2001 - from "Memo to First Amendment: Look Out!", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
It is repellent to hear the political class complacently discussing tax cuts as if they are just one of three options for using the surplus, in no way morally superior to spending or debt reduction. The nation's economic product is not the government's property. The gusher of money that comprises the surplus did not well up, like oil from Spindletop in 1901, because government punched a lucky hole in the ground. The money got into the government's hands because the government extracted it from productive Americans, using tax rates that are too high because they extract too much. Judged by their projected results--large, chronic surpluses--the rates do not establish a reasonable relationship between pressing public needs, as distinct from political appetites, and the private sector's wealth-creating capacity.

Feb. 18, 2001 - from "Rational semi-exuberance", published by the Washington Post Writers Group
[Liberals say] art is whatever an artist says it is, and an artist is anyone who produces art. So the word "art" has become a classification that no longer classifies, there being nothing it excludes. How perfect, now that "inclusive" is the day's ultimate accolade because it is an antonym of "judgmental."

Jan. 25, 2001 - from "An artists bill of rights?", published by the Washington Post Writers Group
Conservatives rightly associate the culture of gambling with habits of mind inimical to self-government. However, when they ascribe gambling's explosive growth to government's ravenousness for revenues, they neglect their possible complicity. An indiscriminate celebration of wealth, disassociated from concern for the moral worth of the ways of acquiring wealth, may help explain why gambling and conservatism have waxed simultaneously.

Jun. 27, 1999 - from his column "Gambler nation"
... any legislation abridging the rights of a single interest to participate in politics is constitutionally suspect.

Jun. 27, 1999 - from his column "Gambler nation"
Something has changed ... we now have people entering politics, particularly legislative life, hoping to, planning to, determined to have careers there, to stay there as long as possible, and using all the many facets of the modern government that permeates our lives in so many ways, all its myriad regulating and subsidizing activities, to further their career... We now have a modern government that makes it worthwhile wielding this power, and it makes it possible to bend public power for the essentially private purpose of maintaining a career.

Oct. 18, 1992 - in a televised interview on the C-SPAN program Booknotes
The concern is less that children will emulate the frenzied behavior described in porn rock than they will succumb to the lassitude of the de-moralized.

from Morning After
The theory is that election to Congress is tantamount to being dispatched to Washington on a looting raid for the enrichment of your state or district, and no other ethic need inhibit the feeding frenzy.

from an essay in The Oread Review, University of Kansas
Gambling has been swiftly transformed from a social disease into social policy. A generation ago, legalized gambling was rare and generally stigmatized. Today it is ubiquitous ... [and encouraged by] governments that run lotteries. Those lotteries prove, redundantly, that it's better to deal with the private sector than the public sector. In casinos, slot machines are the gamblers' worst bets, and even they keep only about 15 percent of the money fed them. Government keeps about 50 percent of the money spent on lottery tickets. Often lottery revenues are dedicated to education or some other popular goal. But money is fungible, and it is difficult to demonstrate that the availability of lottery revenues substantially increases spending on, say, education--that is, that those revenues actually change states' spending priorities.

Jun. 27, 1999 - from his column "Gambler nation"
In a 500-channel environment, [the rationale that government must subsidize alternative programming] is as absurd as public television's recent slogan 'If PBS doesn't do it, who will?' Who? The History Channel, Discovery, Arts and Entertainment, Bravo, the Outdoor Channel, the Travel Channel, Nickelodeon, CNN, and scores more. And all of them do something public television does not--they pay, as opposed to consume, taxes. The public television lobby still argues that no matter how many choices the market offers, government must offer other programming. The lobby also argues, with antic illogic, that such programs as Sesame Street serve sizable audiences but no private, taxpaying broadcast entity would be interested in broadcasting them. Still, 'concern' for 'children' is the card that presumably trumps all others nowadays, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting plays that card vigorously in defense of its subsidies.

Aug. 1, 1999 - from his column "Who needs public broadcasting"
... legislating to regulate cultural change is like lassoing a locomotive with a cobweb.

Jun. 27, 1999 - from his column "Gambler nation"
Perhaps nowadays gambling appeals because the rest of life is enervatingly predictable.

Jun. 27, 1999 - from his column "Gambler nation"
Once you lose the sense that not everything is the federal government's business, the floodgates are down, and everything in ... life becomes fair game for career politicians to use the federal government's omnipresent, omniprovident role to bolster their careers.

Oct. 18, 1992 - in a televised interview on the C-SPAN program Booknotes
A determined assault on poverty is not only compatible with conservatism, but should be one of its imperatives in an urban, industrialized society.

from The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts
Freedom is not only the absence of external restraints. It is also the absence of irresistible internal compulsions, unmanageable passion, and uncensorable appetites.

from Statecraft as Soulcraft
The essence of childishness is an inability to imagine an incompatibility between one's appetite and the world. Growing up involves, above all, a conscious effort to conform one's appetites to a crowded world.

from Statecraft as Soulcraft
For 40 years Congress has passed a crime bill in every two-year session, except the last one. The criminal class has not been impressed.

Nov. 15, 1993 - from "Are we a 'Nation of Cowards'?, published in Newsweek Magazine
This age ... defines self-fulfillment apart from, even against, the community. The idea of citizenship has become attenuated and is now defined almost exclusively in terms of entitlements.

from The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts
The best use of history is as an inoculation against radical expectations, and hence against embittering disappointments.

from The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts
Ohio's Supreme Court recently joined Wisconsin's in affirming the constitutionality of school choice voucher programs that leave it up to parents to choose where the vouchers are redeemed: They can be redeemed at religious schools without violating the First Amendment proscription of 'establishment' of religion. Do the teachers' unions have [U.S. Vice President Al] Gore on such a short leash that he still opposes such voucher programs that would empower poor parents to make the kind of educational choices that he and Tipper made?

Jun. 20, 1999 - from his column "Promises from Carthage"
Voters do not decide issues. They decide who will decide issues.

1976 - from a column in Newsweek Magazine