Quotes

from the Founding Fathers, and others.

 

 

 


The sum of good government is
one "which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." Thomas Jefferson

"[An] act of the Congress of the United States... which assumes powers... not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void and of no force." Thomas Jefferson

"The Tenth Amendment [The powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.] is the foundation of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson

"... honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Thomas Jefferson

"In questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in man; but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated. ... A wise and frugal government...shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." Thomas Jefferson

"It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occuption, which give happiness." Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

"Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man Thomas Jefferson

"[T]he opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their, own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." Thomas Jefferson

"The declaration of rights [Bill of Rights] is, like all other human blessings, alloyed with some inconveniences and not accomplishing fully its object. But the good in this instance vastly outweighs the evil." Thomas Jefferson

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?" Thomas Jefferson

“A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." Thomas Jefferson

“The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave." Thomas Jefferson

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread." Thomas Jefferson

"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." Thomas Jefferson

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." Thomas Jefferson

"It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read." Thomas Jefferson

"There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive Thomas Jefferson

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." Thomas Jefferson

"It has long been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression,... that the germ of dissolution of our Federal Government is in the constitution of the Federal Judiciary--an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction until all shall be usurped from the States and the government be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed." Thomas Jefferson

"If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected." Thomas Jefferson

"Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson

"It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness." Thomas Jefferson


"Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.” Thomas Jefferson

"[T]he opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their, own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." Thomas Jefferson

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Thomas Jefferson

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people. To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition." Thomas Jefferson

"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means." Thomas Jefferson

“Educate & inform the whole mass of the people.They’re the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

"On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?" Thomas Jefferson

“The same facts impress us differently.” Thomas Jeffersonn [To John Adams]


"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please." Thomas Jefferson

""I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." Thomas Jefferson

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt." Thomas Jefferson

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." Thomas Jefferson


"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years." Thomas Jefferson

 

* * *

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence." John Adams

"[T]he conception of [the Constitution] and the deliberate union of so great and various a people in such a plan is, without all partiality or prejudice, if not the greatest exertion of human understanding, the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen." John Adams

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." John Adams

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." John Adams

* * *

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” James Madison

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison

"Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions." James Madison

"...powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated..." and "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined" James Madison

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." James Madison

"There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.... In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right...." James Madison [Why the Founding Fathers gave us a Republic, not a Democracy.]

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." James Madison

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...." James Madison

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."James Madison

"Whatever may be the judgement pronounced on the competency of the architects of the Constitution, or whatever may be the destiny of the edifice prepared by them, I feel it a duty to express my profound and solemn conviction ... that there never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them." James Madison

* * *

“... they that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

"I confess that I do not entirely approve of this Constitution at present; but, sir, I am not sure I shall never approve of it, for, having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that, the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment of others." Benjamin Franklin

"I grew convinc'd that truth, sincerity and integrity in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life; and I form'd written resolutions, which still remain in my journal book, to practice them ever while I lived." Benjamin Franklin

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Benjamin Franklin

“Sir, I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" Benjamin Franklin

"the Great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible." Benjamin Franklin

* * *

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government." George Washington

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence -- it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master." George Washington

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself … the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere retrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.” George Washington

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." George Washington

* * *

Alexander Hamilton wrote in "The Federalist No.8" that the destruction of life and property in war time and the alarm that such destruction causes makes nations resort to institutions that destroy their civil and political rights. He wrote: "To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free."


"A treaty cannot be made which alters the Constitution of the country, or which infringes any express exceptions to the power of the Constitution." Alexander Hamilton

"It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation." Alexander Hamilton [Proof that Hamilton did not always get it right.]

"The idea of restraining the legislative authority in the means of providing for the national defense is one of those refinements which owe their origin to a zeal for liberty more ardent than enlightened. " Alexander Hamilton

"In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. ... Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob." Alexander Hamilton and James Madison [Federalist No. 55]

* * *

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!" Patrick Henry

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." Patrick Henry

* * *

"Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty." Samuel Adams

"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions." Samuel Adams

"...it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." Samuel Adams

“When the government fears the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” Samuel Adams

“... no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd [morally corrupt] in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders." Samuel Adams

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." Samuel Adams

* * *

"Great learning and superior abilities, should you ever possess them, will be of little value and small estimation, unless virtue, honor, truth, and integrity are added to them." Abigail Adams [To her 11 year old son John Quincy Adams, June 1778.]

"What is it that affectionate parents require of their Children; for all their care, anxiety, and toil on their accounts? Only that they would be wise and virtuous, Benevolent and kind." Abigail Adams

* * *

"America is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." John Quincy Adams

* * *

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." William Pitt

* * *

"The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head" Noah Webster

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
Noah Webster

* * *

"These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." Thomas Paine

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government." Edward Abbey

* * *

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Aesop

* * *

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." St. Thomas Aquinas

* * *

“A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner, neither do uninterrupted prosperity and success qualify for usefulness and happiness. The storms of adversity, like those of the ocean, rouse the faculties, and excite the invention, prudence, skill, and fortitude in the voyager. The martyrs of ancient times, in bracing their minds to outward calamities, acquired a loftiness of purpose and a moral heroism worth a lifetime of softness and security.” Anonymous

"Patriots are not revolutionaries trying to overthrow government. Patriots are counter-revolutionaries trying to prevent government from overthrowing the U.S. Constitution." -
Anonymous

* * *

"... it is salutary for us to learn to hold cheap such things, be they good or evil, as attach indifferently to good men and bad, and to covet those good things which belong only to good men, and flee those evils which belong only to evil men." St Augustine

* * *

"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." Aristotle

* * *

"Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent." Mr. Justice Louis D. Brandeis

* * *

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
John Bright

* * *

The Ten Cannots:
• You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
• You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
• You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
• You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
• You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
• You cannot help small men by tearing do wn big men.
• You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
• You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
• You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
• You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

William J. H. Boetcker

* * *

“Instead of filling the role of protector of citizens’ ‘certain inalienable rights,’ our politicians are increasingly trying to assume the paternalistic role of provider. The problem, however, is that government has nothing to give of its own. It can only give that which it first takes away from someone else—by depriving that individual of his Liberty, particularly the fruits of his labor.” Matthew J. Brouillette

* * *

"The man who pushes an old lady into the path of an oncoming truck and the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of an oncoming truck are not to be denounced evenhandedly as men who push old ladies around." WF Buckley

* * *

"Government has no right to control individual liberty beyond what is necessary to the safety and well-being of society. Such is the boundary which separates the power of the government and the liberty of the citizen or subject in the political state." John C. Calhoun

* * *

"Wise men profit more by fools than fools by wise men; for that wise men avoid the faults of fools, but that fools do not imitate the good examples of wise men." Cato

* * *

“Grand Essentials of Happiness:
Something to do,
Someone to love,
Something to hope for.”
Allan K. Chalmers

* * *

“Go fuck yourself.” – Vice President Dick Cheney to VT Senator Patrick Leahy, June, 2004.

* * *

“People do not do what reason dictates; they do what their disposition impels them to do.” Frank Chodorov

* * *

"Victory is never final, defeat is never fatal, it's courage that counts." Winston Churchill

"Winston, if I were your wife, I'd poison your soup." "Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd drink it." Churchill's response to Lady Astor's threat.

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." Winston Churchill

* * *

"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 B.C.

* * *

Grover Cleveland rejected many congressional spending bills during his Presidency in the late 1800s, because, in his words, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."

* * *

In 1827, the famous Colonel Davy Crockett was elected to the House of Representatives. During his first term of office, a $10,000 relief bill for the widow of a naval officer was proposed. Colonel Crockett rose in stern opposition and gave the following eloquent rebuttal to the bill:
"We must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not attempt to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."
After he sat down and a vote was taken, instead of unanimous approval as had been assumed, the measure failed with only a few votes in support of it. (Legend has it that Crockett, one of the poorest members of the House at that time, was the only one to contribute substantially to a private charitable fund for the widow.)

* * *

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." John Philpot Curran

* * *

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.” Clarence S. Darrow
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow

* * *

"It is politically correct to express compassion for the plight of those who steal into the country under cover of night. It is politically correct to be sensitive to the feelings of those of Middle Eastern descent. It is politically correct to impose black lists, national ID cards, searches of private property without warrants and strip search little old ladies under the excuse of fighting terrorism. But it is NOT politically correct to say these things are a danger to our liberties. Do you feel safer yet?" Tom DeWeese

* * *

"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." Voltarine de Cleyre

* * *

“This country is a one-party country. Half of it is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn’t make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians.” Hugh Downs

* * *

"The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional right secure" Albert Einstein

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein


"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you that mine are greater.” Albert Einstein.

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein.

* * *

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office." Dwight D. Eisenhower

* * *

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." William Faulkner [about Ernest Hemingway]

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" Ernest Hemingway [about William Faulkner]

* * *

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo

"The sun with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do." Galileo

* * *

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice ... Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Barry Goldwater [Authored by Harry V. Jaffa]

* * *

For those who think that the North was fighting “to end slavery”:
"The sole object of this war is to restore the union. Should I become convinced it has any other object, or that the Government designs using its soldiers to execute the wishes of the Abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and a soldier I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side." General Ulysses S. Grant

* * *

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." Moses Hadas

* * *

Hawkeye in Last of the Mohicans:
CORA: [stiffly] You were acting for our benefit. And I apologize. I misunderstood you.
HAWKEYE: Well that is to be expected. My father ...
CORA: Your "father"?
HAWKEYE: Chingachgook. He warned me about people like you.
CORA: He did?
HAWKEYE: Yes. He said ... "do not try to make them understand you."
CORA: What?!
HAWKEYE: Yes. And "do not try to understand them. That is because they are a breed apart and they make no sense.”

* * *

“The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.” John Hay

* * *

"The jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and facts." Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

* * *

“There is nothing so good and lovely as when man and wife in their home dwell together in unity of mind and disposition. A great vexation it is to their enemies and a feast of gladness to their friends." Odysseus [in Homer’s Odyssey]

* * *

"The very purpose of the Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcomes of no elections." US Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson

* * *

“He that hath no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one.” Jesus [Luke 22:36]

* * *

"I hate a fellow whom pride, or cowardice, or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl; let him come out as I do and bark." Dr. Samuel Johnson

* * *

"The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all." JFK

* * *

"He had delusions of adequacy." Walter Kerr

* * *

"When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take from some and give to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare." Howard E. Kershner [Kershner’s First Law]

* * *

"I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them." General Robert E. Lee

* * *

"A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie." Vladimir Lenin

* * *

"Activity which is peaceful, voluntary, and honest, should not be subject to government interference." Libertarian Party

* * *

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." Abraham Lincoln

* * *

"Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it." Maimonides

* * *

 

 

"The federal government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers ... The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it ... is now universally admitted." Chief Justice John Marshall

* * *

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." Groucho Marx

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." Groucho Marx

* * *

“Not for fame, not for place or rank, not lured by ambition nor goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, these men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all, and died.” Confederate Chaplain Randolph McKim [Inscribed on the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery]

* * *

"The more profoundly we study [the Bible], and the more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation." President William McKinley

* * *

"I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office." H. L. Mencken

"Never attribute to malice what can easily be explained by incompetence." H. L. Mencken

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard." H. L. Mencken

* * *

“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.” John Stuart Mill

* * *


"Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress." Albert A. Montapert

* * *

"The tyranny of a principal in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy." Montesquieu

* * *

When old-time Brooklyn Dodgers pitching ace Don Newcombe was near the end of his career, someone asked him if he could still throw as hard as ever. "Yes, I throw the ball as hard as ever," he said, “but it just takes longer to get to the plate."

* * *

"Strange, isn't it? While we spend men and money to fight for freedom in other lands, the courts and Congress continue to nibble away at it here at home." Lyn Nofzige

* * *

"No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words 'no' and 'not' employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights." Edmund A. Opitz

* * *

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.” P.J. O'Rourke

* * *

"The heart has reasons that the reason does not know." Blaise Pascal

* * *

“Everybody complains about pork, but members of Congress keep spending because voters do not throw them out of office for doing so. The rotten system in Congress will change only when the American people change their beliefs about the proper role of government in our society. Too many members of Congress believe they can solve all economic problems, cure all social ills, and bring about worldwide peace and prosperity simply by creating new federal programs. We must reject unlimited government and reassert the constitutional rule of law if we hope to halt the spending orgy.” Ron Paul

* * *

"I readily and, I trust, feelingly acknowledge the duty incumbent on us all as men and citizens, and as among the highest and holiest of our duties, to provide for those who, in the mysterious order of Providence, are subject to want and to disease of body or mind; but I can not find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." President Franklin Pierce

* * *

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." William Pitt

* * *

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

“Nothing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God.” Plato

"If we are to have any hope for the future, those who have lanterns must pass them on to others." Plato

"You are so young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as judge of the highest matters." Plato

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"We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality." Ayn Rand

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“To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions everyday; I say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny." Ronald Reagan
"Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." Ronald Reagan

“…man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan

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“It is a very lonely life that a man leads, who becomes aware of truths before their times.” Thomas Reed

“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation." Thomas Reed

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“Reason and truth have rarely prevailed against demagoguery when the audience is too ignorant to tell the difference.” Charley Reese

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"Everyone has an equal and absolute right to sovereignty over his own body, his own property, and his own life, and to pursue his own happiness in any way that he chooses. No one has the authority to grant rights to anyone else, because human beings already possess all natural rights at birth. These rights include both personal and economic freedoms, and the only way they can be lost is if someone takes them away by force. The only right that an individual does not naturally possess is the right to violate someone else's liberty." Robert Ringer

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“It is not caving in to the bees to stop poking a stick into their hive.” Lew Rockwell

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"Our struggle is at the level of ideas and not that of men and institutions." Ben Rogge

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A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded, "Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful?" holding out his shoe, asked them whether it was not new and well made. "Yet," added he, "none of you can tell where it pinches me."

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

“There is need of a sound body, and even more need of a sound mind. But above mind and above body stands character—the sum of those qualities which we mean when we speak of a man's force and courage, of his good faith and sense of honor.” Theodore Roosevelt

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"The Constitution does not trust judges to make determinations of criminal guilt." Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

“Day by day, case by case, the Supreme Court is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

"What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become Justices of this Court, that enables them to discern that a practice which the text of the Constitution does not clearly proscribe, and which our people have regarded as constitutional for 200 years, is in fact unconstitutional?" Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

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"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." George Bernard Shaw

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one." George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." Winston Churchill, in response

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"...mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent... " Adam Smith

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"If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most persons would be contented to take their own and depart." Socrates


"The measure of a man's life is the well spending of it, and not the length." Socrates

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“I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. Adlai Stevenson

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“Ask a fellow if he favors organized prayer in the public schools. If he says ‘No’ he’s a liberal. If he says ‘Yes’ he’s a conservative. If he says, ‘Public schools? The Constitution grants the government no power to run any mandatory tax-funded youth propaganda camps,’ you have your hands on the wily libertarian.” Vin Suprynowicz

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"The task of history is to hold out for reprobation every evil word and deed, and to hold out for praise every great and noble word and deed." Tacitus

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“Once a federal law or policy is in place it is more difficult to kill than a vampire.” Cal Thomas

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"Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's interpretation of the Constitution." [June 2005 – in dissent re Kelo v New London.] Justice Clarence Thomas

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“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Henry David Thoreau

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“Hell no.” The answer always given by Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, in response to the recurrent question, “Any regrets?”

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”I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” Harry S. Truman

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"No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session." Judge Gideon Tucker, 1866

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"History may not repeat, but it often rhymes." Mark Twain

“Do what's right and you'll please some of the people and astound the rest.” Mark Twain

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and a lightening bug.” Mark Twain

"In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." Mark Twain

Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." Mark Twain

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“All other things being equal, God is on the side of the big battalions.” Voltaire

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"Between Democrats and Republicans, there's not a dime's worth of difference!" Alabama's Governor George Wallace

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“In our time, government has become the main source of America's troubles. It deprives us of freedom and self rule, makes us poorer, sows strife among us, undermines our families, and debases our souls." Malcolm Wallup

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"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Life is tough...but even tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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“God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.” Daniel Webster

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"He has no enemies , but is intensely disliked by his friends." Oscar Wilde

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“The Soviet Union tried for 70 years to plant Marxism with bayonets in Eastern Europe. Today there are more Marxists on the Harvard faculty than there are in Eastern Europe.” George F. Will

* * *

“We will not make inroads into the gun-violence problem until we acknowledge the underlying causes of youth behavior today, compared to yesterday. ... we must come to the realization that laws and regulations alone cannot produce a civilized society. It's morality that is society's first line of defense against uncivilized behavior.” Walter Williams

* * *

“America is at that awkward stage, where it's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” Claire Wolfe

* * *

“When good people with good intentions ignore the Constitution, they set the precedents that allow bad people with bad intentions to do the same." James Leroy Wilson

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