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Words of a Fether

Opinions on Faith and Life

Patriot Day

Do we really honor the victims of 9/11/01, and the soldiers who died since then? In honor of Patriot Day, I simply offer quotes about government, human nature, and history that deserve consideration. Most of these are from this site.


“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.” —Thomas Jefferson

“Of course the people don’t want war… But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship… Voice or no voice, the people can always to brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.” —Field Marshal Herman Goering who served as Adolph Hitler’s second in command and head of the Luftwaffe in World War II Germany, during a post war discussion.

“They feed the crocodile in the hope that he will eat them last.” — Winston Churchill’s observation about appeasers.

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” — Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” — George Bernard Shaw

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” — Theodore Roosevelt 1907

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” 
—Douglas Adams (1952-2001) 

“They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” —Benjamin Franklin

“Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” 
—Kelvin Throop III

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.” 
— Albert Einstein

“Once a wrong idea about reality has been formed, it becomes more difficult to discover the truth.” 
— Unknown

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” — Alexander Hamilton

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

“Every generation needs a new revolution.”

“Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  — Thomas Jefferson

Posted 2009-09-11 under government, The World, 9/11