We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.
[N]o country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
... if it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary.
Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
'O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.'
[After a pause.] Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.
For in a Republic, who is "the country?"
Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle?
Why, the Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant;
it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong,
and decide who is a patriot and who isn't.
Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't.
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
Now what I contend is that my body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it. If I do harm through my experimenting with it, it is I who suffers, not the state.
Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk
this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man
label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right,
you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.
If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many people can successfully resist. What is its seat? The inborn requirement of self-approval.