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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|Lord Acton||I cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power ... Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.|
|Lord Acton||Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.|
|John Adams||A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.|
|Samuel Adams||The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,|
are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
by the artifices of false and designing men.
|Paul Begala||Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.|
|W. Lance Bennett||Perhaps the most obvious political effect of controlled news is the advantage it gives powerful people in getting their issues on the political agenda and defining those issues in ways likely to influence their resolution.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.|
|Sir Thomas Browne||The mortalist enemy unto knowledge, and that which hath done the greatest execution unto truth, has been a preemptory adhesion unto authority.|
|James Buchanan||If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country.|
|Gaius Julius Caesar||All bad precedents began as justifiable measures.|
|John C. Calhoun||To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...|
|William Ellery Channing||The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny.|
|Dick Cheney||It will be necessary for us to be a nation of men, and not laws.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.|
|Winston Churchill||The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charges known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments...Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilisation.|
|Quintus Tullius Cicero||During war, the laws are silent.|
|Bill Clinton||We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...|
|Council on Foreign Relations||[A] possible further difficulty is cited, namely, that arising from the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. This argument is countered with the contention that a treaty will override this barrier, let alone the fact that our participation in such police action as might be recommended by the international security organization need not necessarily be construed as war.|
|Clarence S. Darrow||When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.|
|Denis Diderot||Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.|
|John Dryden||War is the trade of Kings.|
|Frederick the Great||I begin by taking.|
I shall find scholars later
to demonstrate my perfect right.
|Erich Fromm||If you want a Big Brother, you get all that comes with it.|
|Rowan Gaither||We operate here under directives which emanate from the White House... The substance of the directives under which we operate is that we shall use our grant making power to alter life in the United States such that we can comfortably be merged with the Soviet Union.|
|William Henry Harrison||The plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators.|
|Adolf Hitler||Without law and order our nation cannot survive.|
|Aldous Huxley||Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.|
|Aldous Huxley||The end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.|
|Andrew Jackson||It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.|
|Thomas Jefferson||Why suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions?|
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the
suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that
suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties
might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was
shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases
wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that
operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost
prepared to live under its constant suspension.
|Thomas Jefferson||The concentrating [of powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.|
|Thomas Jefferson||No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.|
|Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.||One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society ... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.|
|William Langer||Having so pledged myself, and having been elected to my senatorship upon such pledge, and not having been elected to create an organization to which we would give a promise, either express or implied, that it would have the authority to send our boys all over the Earth, I cannot support the Charter. I believe it is fraught with danger to the American people and to American institutions.|
|Abraham Lincoln||I have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it.|
|Abraham Lincoln||My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.|
|John Locke||Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.|
|General Douglas MacArthur||Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervour - with the cry of grave national emergency. Always, there has been some terrible evil at home, or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the|
exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
|James Madison||War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.|
|Neil A. McDonald||Whatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish.|
|Lyn Nofziger||These things I believe: That government should butt out. \\|
That government should butt out.\\
That freedom is our most precious commodity and\\
if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away.\\
That individual freedom demands individual responsibility.\\
That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil.\\
That the executive branch has grown too strong,
the judicial branch too arrogant
and the legislative branch too stupid.\\
That political parties have become close to meaningless.\\
That government should work to insure the rights of the individual,
not plot to take them away.\\
That government should provide for the national defense\\
and work to insure domestic tranquillity.\\
That foreign trade should be fair rather than free.\\
That America should be wary of foreign entanglements.\\
That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time\\
with the blood of patriots and tyrants.\\
That guns do more than protect us from criminals;\\
more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government.\\
That states are the bulwark of our freedom.\\
That states should have the right to secede from the Union.\\
That once a year we should hang someone in government\\
as an example to his fellows."\\
|Col. Oliver North||I would have promised those terrorists a trip to Disneyland if it would have gotten the hostages released. I thank God they were satisfied with the missiles and we didn't have to go to that extreme.|
|Thomas Paine||Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.|
|Franklin Pierce||The dangers of a concentration of all power in the general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded.|
|William Pitt||Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.|
|William Pitt, Sr.||Unlimited Power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.|
|Plato||The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness… This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs, when he first appears he is a protector.|
|Plato||When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.|
|Bruce D. Porter||Throughout the history of the United States, war has been the primary impetus behind the growth and development of the central state. It has been the lever by which presidents and other national officials have bolstered the power of the state in the face of tenacious popular resistance.|