"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;
like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.
Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
George Washington
(1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'
in a speech of January 7, 1790
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
Our government has been very irresponsible.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    We ought to be taking more responsibility for ourselves and to be more tolerant of those who do not share our beliefs. Giving more fuel to government will result in a huge bonfire that serves nothing but to engulf all.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    What a shame that our drug-abusing, boozed-up, or otherwise intellectually-challenged compatriots cannot comprehend the need for government to force people to do as they should or pay the consequences.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    AMEN!! Of course, freedom assumes personal responsibility which has not always been unknown in this country. Liberty is NOT license. I am always stunned by some of the input in these pages....from people who have no idea what government coercion means....and who equate being embarassed with being tortured. Hmmm....perhaps for them it is. Wouldn't you agree that that certainly implies they know their deeds are evil and are ashamed...but I digress. I believe it was William Pitt who said "God will rule the affairs of men or tyrants will."
     -- Michael , Houston, TX     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Sure, it shouldn't be left to irresponsible action, but that only occurs thru the inaction of the people (as we have since since Jan 2001)... this does not make it troublesome or fearful... no, that is the role of the Radical Religious Right and Governing Oil Powers (GOP), as aided by the inaction of the bumbling middle (that some have mislabeled a lazy liberal left only because they have no understanding what a true leftist really is).
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Just more evidence of the fact that George Washington was the greatest leader in the history of this country.
     -- warren, olathe     
    I think it is a good quote.
     -- David S., Indio     
    When you are fighting, you should never give up, and never run away.
     -- Sakura Kinomoto, Peoria     
    When evil scientists fight, fight back...
     -- Fredricco Pasta, Spain     
    Oh, how I wish we would listen to our Founding Fathers.

    "Avoid foreign entanglements".

    And, many other words of wisdom.
     -- Bruski, Naples FL     
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    Leave it to Reston to believe that he/she is of a much greater superior intellect than that of most eloquent, knowledgeable and truly wise George Washington. LOL!
     -- Mary - MI     
    Sometimes Reston makes some sense but not this time.( I should change "Sometimes" to rarely.)
     -- jim k, Austin     
    To apply practical wisdom of experience at times is daunting. Initial attack fire fighting, is one of a few hats I have worn. When flying in, wind direction, safety zones, and points of deployment are critical to the safety of all. There is no second chance. Training on live fire, I was of, one of the last crews to have the privilege. Highland wild fires for the Forest Service. Fire does not tolerate ignorance, nor is ignorance tolerated within the crew. The triangle must be broke. Remove any one of the three legs, the fire will cease. Never approach from above, but attack the base of the fire. A ( moment, is the most indivisible amount of time ). Never turn you back, on the fire !
    Be responsible for yourself, first, then teach others the proper way of observance and attack. Then everyone gets to go home. Bad leadership does cost lives. Safety first ! There is no room for little hitlers on a crew. They always cloud commonsense, and should be weeded out before allowing to endanger another. Now the Patriots must be about the job of containment, and suppression. Sometimes, it takes working in harmony, with the natural laws of nature to accomplish the desired effect !
    Semper Fi
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    I knew there was a reason I liked your post, Semper Fi Ronw13,
    What you wrote is spot on!
     -- Warrdoc, Elk Grove,CA.     
    You should never mistake a conventional arrangement insane asylum for government. Government is the force of reason and eloquence.  As far as that last sentence, I wish President Washington wouldn't been so hard on himself.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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