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OTHER FREEDOM QUOTATIONS RELATED
Other Freedom Quotation
Sites · Other Quotations of Interest
to Freedom Activists
Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg-
"And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands,
all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.
History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
"Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought."
"At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been
due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries
whose objects differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous,
has been sometimes disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition."
"The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is
unfit to govern."
"Socialism means slavery."
Adams, John Quincy
"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled,
there will [the United States'] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.
But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher
to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator
only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of
her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that
by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners
of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of
extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice,
envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom."
July 4 1821
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human
passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge,
or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale
goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
Address to the military, Oct 11 1798
"A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow
the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.
While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose
their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first
external or internal invader.
If virtue and knowledge are diffused
among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great
"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty
and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore
is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote
its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer
a man to be chosen onto any office of power and trust who is not a wise and
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better
than the animating contest of freedom
go home from us in peace. We
ask not your counsels nor arms. May your chains set lightly upon you and
may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
"The Constitution of the United States shall never be construed to prevent
the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless
minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
Anderson, John B
"My heart is on the left and my pocketbook is on the right."
Anslinger, Harry Jacob
"Now this [hemp] is the finest fiber known to mankind, my God, if you ever
have a shirt made of it, your grandchildren would never wear it out. You
take Polish families. We'd go in and start to tear it up and the man came
out with his shotgun yelling, 'These are my clothes for next winter!' "
Anthony, Susan Brownell
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because
I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
Armentano, Dominick T
"If you have a right to affordable housing, then presumably I have an obligation
to supply it to you. If you have a right to reasonably priced medical care,
then I have a duty to make such care available to you. This approach to rights
appears to divide society into demanders with entitlements on the one side
and suppliers with unchosen obligations on the other. But such an approach
to rights appears incompatible with traditional notions of liberty and justice
in America. This commentary on specific entitlement rights does not mean
that the concept of rights is entirely meaningless in a political context.
Not at all. It simply means that we must define rights more carefully and
in a manner that offends neither economic reality nor basic notions of liberty."
"The Confusion over Rights", Feb 1994
Ashcroft, John David
"We do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for
unlimited wiretaps. Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian
capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across
the Web?" 1997
"If liberty is the exercise of freedom with responsibility, license is the
suggestion that you can exercise freedom without responsibility. Unfortunately,
it is possible to exercise freedom irresponsibly. But it is not possible
to exercise freedom inconsequentially." Louisiana Republican Party
Convention, Jan 27 1996
"So long as faith with freedom reigns
And loyal hope survives,
And gracious charity remains
To leaven lowly lives;
While there is one untrodden tract
For intellect or will,
And men are free to think and act,
Life is worth living still
Is Life worth living."
Bailey, Frederick Augustus Washington
"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation,
are men who want rain without thunder and lightning."
Barr, Robert L, Jr
"We should seek to establish a wall of separation between government and the economy.
The legitimate economic functions of government are to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes,
and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.
The government should stop attempting to 'manage' the free market."
Libertarian Party website
"America should not be the world's policeman. The American purpose is to provide a strong national defense,
not to engage in nation-building or to launch foreign crusades, no matter how seemingly well-intentioned."
Libertarian Party website
"The Fourth Amendment was designed for precisely this purpose to protect Americans from illegal searches
and seizures by the government. Yet the Bush administration, aided by many congressional Democrats and Republicans,
has worked to gut both constitutional and legal protections for the privacy rights and civil liberties of American citizens.
The next administration must reverse course, demonstrating that it recognizes it is tasked to defend a free society,
not undermine it."
Libertarian Party website
Bastiat, Claude Frederic
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society,
they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes
it and a moral code that glorifies it." The Law, 1850
Beard, Charles Austin
"There is but one way to know the truth, and that is not a golden one. It
is fraught with toil and sacrifice and perhaps ridicule. The seeker of the
truth must be fearless, he must not be afraid to enter the innermost holies
of holies, and to tear down the veils of superstition that hang about any
human and so-called divine institution. It is the truth that makes men free.
If the truth tears down every church and government under the sun, let the
truth be known and this truth only will be known when men cease to swallow
the capsules of ancient doctors of divinities and politics; and when men
begin to seek the truth in the records of history, politics, religion, and
"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation
as dangerous citizen these days is go about repeating the very phrases which
our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence."
Berlin, Isaiah Mendelevich
"I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men
interferes with my activity. Political liberty in this sense is simply the
area within which a man can act unobstructed by others. If I am prevented
by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree;
and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can
be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved. Coercion is not,
however, a term that covers every form of inability. If I say that I am unable
to jump more than ten feet in the air, or cannot read because I am blind
it would be eccentric to say that I am to that degree enslaved or
coerced. Coercion implies the deliberate interference of other human beings
within the area in which I could otherwise act. You lack political liberty
or freedom only if you are prevented from attaining a goal by other human
beings." from "Two Concepts of Liberty", Four Essays on Liberty,
pg 122, 1969
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
Birkett, Richard James
"There are at least two occasions in which you can yell "fire" in a crowded theater.
One is when there actually is a fire, and second, when the projectionist screws up,
you can yell "fire the projectionist!" Sept 25 2012
"The challenge for the Democratic Party is to keep the number of Democrats abandoning their party
below the number of new Democrats born. The challenge for the Republican Party is to
recruit more new Republicans faster than Republicans die." Sept 7 2011
"Old ideas were once new, and new ideas will become old. Truly original ideas are rare." Oct 9 2010
"A speaker or writer says as much or more about themselves than whom or what
they're talking about." Apr 12 2010
"Know your allies, and know your critics better." Dec 3 2009
(a different take on "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.")
"I'd rather live with the excesses of too much freedom than the repression
of too little freedom." Sept 1 2009
"War is like marriage: too easy to get into, too hard to get out of."
"Marriage is like war: too easy to get into, too hard to get out of."
Jan 11 2007
"So, President Bush thinks America has an addiction to oil. I suggest President
Bush try pushing (pun intended) the same strategy he's using to end drug
addiction: long prison terms for oil addicts and their gas station dealers
and kingpin oil company traffickers, seize and burn oil as contraband and
automobiles as paraphernalia, intercept and seize oil traffickers at sea
including shipments to other countries, eradicate oil at its source regardless
of the environmental consequences, provide military aid to countries that
cooperate, and impose economic sanctions and overthrow leaders of countries
that don't. Furthermore, addicts better not claim any life-saving need for
oil; they are still criminals nonetheless. Absurd? Absolutely! Unfortunately,
too many Americans don't think this strategy is absurd when applied to drug
addiction." Feb 1 2006
"War is the health of the State."
"War is the Health
of the State", 1918
Brandeis, Louis D
"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill,
it teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes a
lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become
a law unto himself; it invites anarchy." 1928
"They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone
the most prehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."
"If you want to be free, tell the truth." from interview with Brian
Lamb, Book TV, CSPAN, June 27 1989
Brennan, William J, Jr
"If there is a bedrock principle of the first amendment, it is that the
government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society
finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable." Texas v
"Freedom is living your life as you want to live it." from How
I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, 1973
"If you can't say 'fuck', you can't say 'fuck the government'."
Buchanan, James M
"Let those who would use the political process to impose their preferences
on the behavior of others be wary of the threat to their own liberties. The
liberties of some cannot readily be restricted without limiting the liberties
Buchanan, Patrick J
"To hell with empire, we want our country back."
Buckley, William F, Jr
"Pot is harmful, but people shouldn't go to jail for it" 1974
"The problem would not exist, except that in the United States there is a
market for the stuff, and that the stuff is priced very high. If we cannot
effectively prevent its insinuating its way into the country, what is it
that we can prevent? The answer, of course, is its price. The one thing that
could be done, overnight, is to legalize the stuff. Exit crime, and the profits
of vice. What we have now is a drug problem plus a crime problem, plus a
problem of huge export of capital to the dope-producing countries."
"Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found."
Bush, George Walker
"[W]e must remember that the best health-care decisions are not made by
government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors."
State of the Union, Jan 23 2007
"The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift
to humanity." State of the Union, 2003
"I'm conservative about most things. I have libertarian spirit and [am] not
that interested in being told what to do by the government." from
The Early Show, CBS, aired Sept 16 2003
"You wouldn't want libertarians in charge of a government. On the other hand,
politics informed by libertarian instincts the libertarian spirit
rather than actual libertarianism is a good thing."
from New York magazine, Jan 21 2002
"I have to say I think these [ONDCP anti-drug] spots are a waste of $3.5 million."
"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an
individual than the use of the drug itself"
Message to Congress, Aug 2 1977
"I do favor the decriminalization of marijuana."
"War is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together
in peace by killing each other's children." Nobel Peace Prize acceptance
"If the first casualty of war is truth, the second is human lives, and
what is true of other wars is also true of the war on drugs. Last week, the
federal government defiantly ignored the truth about marijuana in announcing
a new policy that will undoubtedly cause suffering and death. ... The Public
Health Service's message to these people: Drop dead. The bureaucrats admit
that 'HIV-wasting syndrome' is a serious and growing problem, that not much
is known about it and that 'there are currently no commercially available
effective treatments' for it. They don't deny that marijuana helps. But if
some people with AIDS will die sooner rather than later because they can't
get pot, the people at the Public Health Service are bravely resolved to
accept that sacrifice." Chapman's syndicated column, Mar 16 1992
Chomsky, Noam Avram
"The Libertarian Party is familiar here unknown elsewhere.
There's a long tradition of Anarchism, Libertarian thought outside the United
States, which is diametrically opposed to the positions of the Libertarian
Party but it's unknown here. That's the dominant position of what's
always been considered Socialist Anarchism. Now, the Libertarian Party, is
a Capitalist Party. It's in favor of what I would regard a particular form
of authoritarian control. Namely, the kind that comes through private ownership
and control, which is an extremely rigid system of domination people
have to people can survive, by renting themselves to it, and basically
in no other way." from
Capitalism, Libertarian Party, Anarchism", Pozner/Donahue, Feb
Winston Leonard Spencer
"There are two places only where socialism will work; in heaven where it
is not needed, and in hell where they already have it."
"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly;
you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against
you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse fate.
You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better
to perish than to live as slaves."
"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world
of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed,
it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all
those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings.
The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced,
the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands
should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."
Clemens, Samuel aka Mark Twain
"Prohibition only drives drunkenness behind doors and into dark places, and
does not cure it, or even diminish it." Letter to the Alta Californian
newspaper, May 28 1867
"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."
"Irreverence is the champion of liberty."
"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist
leaves the skin."
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
"When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty."
Coolidge, John Calvin ,Jr
"Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery."
Cooney, Ronald F
"One must have a commodious faith indeed to believe that the criminal, once
disarmed, will go and rob, rape, and murder no more, or that the very element
of society in whose best interest it is to ignore gun-control laws will accept
them and obey them. The ordinary law-abiding citizen is doubly vulnerable
if he obeys the law and surrenders the gun with which he protects his life
and property because other laws have failed, or he feels they have
failed, to protect him. Should he choose to disregard the law he, and all
like him who were not criminals before, become de facto criminals
in the eyes of the courts, a situation not unlike Prohibition, when a bad
law enacted with the best of intentions did less to stop drinking than shatter
respect for law itself.
The simplistic view of criminal human nature held by the
pro-legislation group is exceeded only by its unshakeable conviction in the
talismanic properties of coldly mechanical statute. They leave the distinct
impression that guns, and not the persons wielding them, are responsible
for crime and that by banning guns through legislative fiat one is striking
at the heart of the problem. Admittedly, this would be a simpler and tidier
world if such things could be, but it is far easier to outlaw guns than to
wish away the evil impulses which guns so often serve.
Any free society worthy of the name does not deny the reality
of these impulses, does not dispute that there is a darker side of man. Still,
the truly free society is less engaged in reforming man-brave and heroic
aspiration -than in allowing him to realize his potential for nobility and
hence to reform himself. No one claims that freedom showers unmixed blessings,
nor that it does not extract a toll." from
Freedom Under Fire", The Freeman, vol 25, no 11, Nov 1975
Coop, W Howard
"We have freedom to choose, but we do not have freedom to choose the consequences
of our choices.
If true freedom is to prevail and our cherished heritage
is to be preserved, citizens must be willing not only to claim their rights
but also to assume their responsibilities." from
Goes With Freedom", Scottish Rite Journal of Freemsonry, Southern
Juridiction, USA, Jun 2003
"If there should chance to be any mathematicians who, ignorant in mathematics
yet pretending to skill in that science, should dare, upon the authority
of some passage of Scripture wrested to their purpose, to condemn and censure
my hypothesis, I value them not, and scorn their inconsiderate judgement."
from De Revolutionibus Coelestibus
Coulter, Ann Hart
"I think we had enough laws about the turn-of-the-century. We don't need
any more." Politically Incorrect, May 7 1997
"We should begin by recognizing [the war on drugs'] costly and inhumane
dimensions. Much of the nation, in one way or another, is victimized by this
failure including, most notably, the innocents, whose exposure to
drugs is greater than ever.
This despite the fact that there are housed in federal
and state prisons and local jails, on drug offenses, more than 500,000 persons
half a million people! Clearly, no punishment could be too severe
for that portion of them who were kingpins of the drug trade and who ruined
so many lives. But by far the majority of these prisoners are guilty of only
minor offenses, such as possessing small amounts of marijuana. That includes
people who used it only for medicinal purposes.
The cost to maintain this great horde of prisoners is more
than $10 billion annually. And that's just part of the cost of this war on
drugs: The federal, state and local drug-control budgets last year added
up to almost $40 billion. ...
There are awful tales of tragedy and shocking injustice
hidden in those figures the product of an almost mindlessly draconian
system called 'mandatory sentencing' in which even small offenses can draw
years in prison.
Thousands of women, many of them mothers of young children,
are included among those minor offenders. Those children left without motherly
care are the most innocent victims of the drug war and the reason some call
it a 'war on families' as well as on drugs.
Women are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. prison
population, with almost 80 percent of them incarcerated for drug offenses.
The deep perversity of the system lies in the fact that women with the least
culpability often get the harshest sentences. Unlike the guilty drug dealer,
they often have no information to trade for a better deal from prosecutors
and might end up with a harsher sentence than the dealer gets. ...
Nonviolent first offenders, male and female, caught with
only small amounts of a controlled substance frequently are given prison
sentences of five to 10 years or more. As a result, the number of nonviolent
offenders in the nation's prisons is filling them to overflowing, literally.
The resulting overcrowding is forcing violent felons onto the streets with
early releases. ... And college students caught in possession of very small
amounts of illegal substances are denied student loans and even food
The [Drug Policy] Alliance and other organizations are
working to reform and reframe the war on drugs. And they are finding many
judges on their side, who are rebelling against this cruel system. We can
expect no federal action during the congressional hiatus in activity ahead
of the November elections, but it would be of considerable help if, across
the country, campaigning politicians put this high on their promises of
legislative action, much sooner than later."
"Mandated Injustice", 2004
"Every American was shocked when Robert
McNamara, one of the master architects of the Vietnam War, acknowledged
that not only did he believe the war was 'wrong, terribly wrong', but that
he thought so at the very time he was helping to wage it. That's a
mistake we must not make in this 10th year of America's all-out war
on drugs. It's surely time for this nation to stop flying blind, stop accepting
the assurances of politicians and other officials, that if we only keep doing
what we are doing, add a little more cash, break down a few more doors, lock
up a few more Jan Warrens and Nicole Richardsons, then we will see the light
at the end ot the tunnel. Victory will be ours. Tonight we have seen a war
that in it's broad outline is not working. And we've seen some less
war-like ideas that appear to hold promise. We've raised more questions than
we've answered, because that's where the drug war stands today. We're a confused
people, desperately in need of answers and leadership. Legalization seems
to many like too dangerous an experiment. To others, the war on drugs as
is now conducted, seems inhumane and too costly. Is there a middle ground?
Well, it seems to this reporter, that the time has come for President Clinton
to do what Presdient Hoover did when prohibition was trearing the nation
apart: a blue-ribbon panel to re-appraise our drug policy right down to its
very core, a commission with full investigative authority and the prestige
and power to override bureaucratic concerns and political consdierations.
Such a commission could help us focus our thinking, escape the cliches of
the drug war in favor of scientific fact, and more rationally analyze the
real scope of the problem, answer the questions that bedevil us, and present
a comprehensive drug policy for the future. We cannot go into tomorrow with
the same formulas that are failing today. We must not blindly add to the
body count and the terrible cost of the war on drugs, only to learn from
another Robert McNamara 30 years from now that what we've been doing is 'wrong,
Drug Dilemma-War or Peace?", The Cronkite Report, first aired
June 20 1995
"Anyone concerned about the failure of our $69 billion-a-year War on Drugs
should watch this 12-minute [LEAP] program. You will meet front line, ranking
police officers who give us a devastating report on why it cannot work. It
is a must-see for any journalist or public official dealing with this issue."
"Booze is the real culprit in our society. Booze is traffic accidents, booze
is wife beating. In my life I've seen many doctors and psychiatrists, and
all of them have told me that I'm better off with pot than with booze."
from autobiographical It's Not Easy Being Me: A Lifetime of No Respect
But Plenty of Sex and Drugs
Daniels, Mitchell Elias Jr
"Without endorsing what they [states that legalized cannabis] did, I think they had, under our system, a right
to do it. A lot of the worst problems we've got in this country and some of the worst divisions we have,
came when the right of citizens in community and in politics, like their state, had those rights usurped."
National Review, Dec 10 2012
"Hayek, when I thumb back through it [The Road to Serfdom]
and look at what I marked when I first read it, was the book that, to me, convincingly demonstrated what was already intuitive:
namely, the utter futility, the illusion of government planning as a mechanism for uplifting those less fortunate.
I read it together with dozens of other books, but the way he dissected and depicted the inexorable tendencies in
statism to self-perpetuation of bureaucracies, matched what I thought was the evidence I saw around me. ...
At the time, in the 1970s, it wasn’t hard to look at the wreckage, and say, ‘This isn’t working –
and the more government tries to do, the more bureaucracies it piles up, the more regulations it writes,
the less well off people at large seem to be. ... It was an environmental management agency and I told them then,
and I’ve told them since, that we did not intend to weaken or moderate a single rule that I knew of,
in terms of environmental standards. But I said that what we were determined to do was to make regulation consistent,
predictable and quick. We worked very hard on that. We measured to see if we were getting there.
So I guess that, if you say, correctly, that this job involves overseeing necessary regulatory activity,
that mentality came in some part from books like Hayek’s. ... By his [Charles Murray's]
definition [of a libertarian] I guess I’d say so [I'm a libertarian]. Like all these labels these days,
a lot of them have been transmuted out of their original meaning." interview in FiveBooks
Douglas, William Orville
"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."
"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both
instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must
be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims
of the darkness."
"If there is no struggle, there is not progress. Those who profess to favor
freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing
up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning.
they want the ocean without the awful roar of it's many waters. ...
This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical
one; or it may be both mental and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power
concedes nothing without a demand. ... It never did ... and it never will.
... Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out
the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them;
and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows,
or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those
whom they oppress." 1857 (or 1849 or both?)
"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions
has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the
right they first of all strike down."
"Who would be free themselves must strike the blow. Better even to die free
than live slaves."
"Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave."
"The reasons the pro-marijuana lobby wants marijuana legal have little to
do with getting high, and a great deal to do with fighting oil giants like
Saddam Hussein, Exxon and Iran. The pro-marijuana groups claim that hemp
is such a versatile raw material that its products not only compete with
petroleum, but with coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, pharmaceutical, timber
and textile companies. It is estimated that methane and methanol production
alone from hemp grown as bio-mass could replace 90% of the world's energy
needs. If they're right, this is not good news for oil interests, and could
account for the continuation of marijuana prohibition." 1995
Edison, Thomas Alva
"Religion is bunk."
Edwards, Alan James
"Isaiah Mendelevich Berlin acknowledged that there were many various schools
of thought when it came to the study of liberty and freedom. His distinction
therefore, was an attempt to bring together renaissance, contemporary, marxist,
and idealist philosophy, under one umbrella. Negative liberty, with its
renaissance/reformation philosophical origins, would appeal to those who
advocated the views of Hobbes, Bentham and Mill. Berlin not only separated
negative from positive freedom, but put them in order of priority. To Berlin,
negative freedom was the superior notion, the most significant. Positive
freedom had a much more individualistic focus, and clear negative liberty,
freedom from others, was seen as a more critical, desirable goal. Positive
liberty was all to easily corrupted.
'The positive sense of the word 'liberty' derives from
the wish on the part of the individual to be his own master'. Self realisation
and personal growth were the keys to positive liberty, human beings are complex
rational creatures, not automatons. Berlin continued, 'I wish, above all,
to be conscious of myself as a thinking, willing, active being, bearing
responsibility for my choices.'
Perhaps a more persuasive discussion of liberty is MacCallum's
He suggested that freedom was where, 'X was
free from Y to do or become Z', thus incorporating negative and positive
Berlin's distinction between positive and negative liberty
does present two aspects of liberty, but true liberty cannot be fragmented.
Berlin identified negative liberty as 'freedom from', and positive liberty
as 'freedom to', but true liberty consists of both." from "How Persuasive
is Berlin's distinction between positive and negative liberty?"
also see Isaiah Mendelevich Berlin,
Gerald C MacCallum Jr
Edwards, John Reid
"What I will do as president is, we will not be going in and raiding the
use of marijuana for medical purposes in states that have legalized it. I
think where democracy has worked, where voters have decided this should be
legalized, I will not as president go in and run contrary to the will of
the people in those states where it has been legalized. These raids that
are being done against patients, I will not do this as president of the United
States and would put a stop to it. I really think that we need to put the
FDA in charge of this." Town Hall meeting in Derry NH, June 8 2007
When asked "As president, would you stop arresting [medical marijuana] patients?"
Edwards responded, "I think the simple way to do this is for the President
of the United States to set up this commission, give them a short deadline
and, assuming their recommendation makes medical sense, to follow what their
recommendation is." Then when asked "What happens in that time, while this
study is going on?" Edwards responded, "I don't think you can say to people
who work for you `no, ignore violations of the law.' I think that's irresponsible
for the president to do. ... [I]t is what I believe is the right answer right
now," Then asked, "Even though it's legal in [some] states?" Edwards replied,
"My basic view is ... I believe this is the right way to deal with this."
Town Hall meeting at Salem Middle School, Salem, NH, Aug 22, 2003
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by
the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.
It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country
is closely connected with this." "My First Impression of the USA",
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
"The ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church
as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions
of the masses, and make its tool of them."
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation,
whose purposes are modeled after our own a God, in short, who is but
a reflection of human fraility. Neither can I believe that the individual
survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts
through fear or ridiculous egotism."
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education,
and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed
be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope
of reward after death."
"I know of no medical group that believes that jailing sick and dying people
is good for them."
"I've smoked marijuana and I don't think that's so exceptional for people
growing up in the 1960s. The fact that there's so much moral indignation
over it is one of the reasons there are so any problems with the disillusionment
and alienation of young people in this country."
Fox Quesada, Vicente
"Finally, we must consider legalizing the production, distribution and sale of drugs.
Legalizing, in this sense, does not mean drugs are good or does not damage those who consume,
this not the purpose, rather we must see this as a strategy to hit and break the
economic structure that allows mafias to generate huge winnings for its trade
that allows them to corrupt and increase covert power.
Additionally, countries where they have already implemented this strategy, consumption has not risen significantly.
Additional taxes on sales with steep tax rates, as is the case with tobacco, earmarking this revenue
for attacking addiction, consumption reduction, rehabilitation and population health.
Radical prohibition strategies have never worked. The cost of the fight against
organized crime, and in particular narcotics trafficking, has been enormous in our country.
What is happening is that this huge market of the United States in drug consumption,
the largest in the world, is generating the weapons that are sold to Mexican cartels,
and is generating the money that is laundered in the United States and brought to Mexico."
Aug 7 2010
"I believe it's time to open the debate over legalizing drugs. ... It must
be done in conjunction with the United States, but it is time to open the
debate. ... I would like to see some steps taken here in the United States.
We see the drugs are coming across the border and are distributed in Atlanta
and Washington and Chicago and all parts of the country." CNN,
May 12 2009
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." Historical Review of Pennsylvania,
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."?
"There never was a good war nor a bad peace."
"It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority."
"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs
to us by the laws of God and nature."
"When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don't deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I'm innocent.
When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don't own a
gun. Now they've come for the first amendment and I can't say anything at
"Ask not what the government can do for you. Ask what the government is doing to you."
Friedman, Milton R
"Every friend of freedom, and I know you are one, must be as revolted as
I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by
the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and an army of enforcers
empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence. A country
in which shooting down unidentified planes 'on suspicion' can be seriously
considered as a drug war tactic is not the kind of United States that either
you or I want to hand on to future generations." Open letter to
William J Bennett, Wall Street Journal,
Fromm, Erich Pinchas
"While a class was fighting for its own liberation from domination, it believed
itself to be fighting for human freedom as such and thus was able to appeal
to an ideal, to the longing for freedom rooted in all who are oppressed.
In the long and virtually continuous battle for freedom, however, classes
that were fighting against oppression at one stage sided with the enemies
of freedom when victory was won and new privileges were to be defended.
Is freedom only the absense of external pressure or is it also the presence
of somethingand if so, of what?
Can freedom become a burden,
too heavy for man to bear, something he tries to escape from? Why then is
it that freedom is for many a cherished goal and for others a threat?
in the Northern European countries, from the sixteenth century on, man developed
an obsessional craving to work which had been lacking in a free man before
Any understanding of freedom in modern society must start
with that period in which the foundations of modern culture laid, for this
formative stage of modern man permits us, more clearly than any later epoch,
to recognize the ambiguous meaning of freedom which was to operate throughout
modern culture: on the one hand the growing independence of man from external
authorities, on the other hand his growing isolation and resulting feeling
of individual insignificance and powerlessness.
the problem of freedom
is not only a quantitative one, but a qualitative one; that we not only have
to preserve and increase the traditional freedom, but that we have to gain
a new kind of freedom, one which enables us to realize our own individual
self, to have faith in this self and in life.
The peak in the evolution
of freedom in the political sphere was the modern democratic state
Does freedom from all primary ties make the individual so alone and isolated
that inevitably he must escape into new bondage?
the process of growing
freedom does not constitute a vicious circle; and that man can be free and
yet not alone, critical and yet not filled with doubts, independent and yet
an integral part of mankind"
Escape From Freedom
aka The Fear of Freedom, 1941
Gaddafi, Muammar Abu Minyar al-
"Mans freedom is lacking if somebody else controls what he needs, for
need may result in mans enslavement of man." Qaddafis
Green Book, pg 72, 1988
Galbraith, Louis Gatewood
"I've got a certain derring-do about me. I'm an explorer for the truth in a jungle of political overgrowth."
interview with Herald-Leader, 2011
"Newt [Gingrich] and Mitch [McConnell] are aliens, not conservatives.
They never met a bloated police state they didn't like."
interview with Herald-Leader, 2011
"This new prohibitionist mentality is the cornerstone of a new, yet old,
form of slavery where the 'status' criminal is the fodder for dealing anew
in human beings. Fathers and mothers are condemned to extraordinary prison
terms, torn from the arms of their distraught wives and crying children,
replaying those tragic scenes of forced family separation on the auction
block 150 years ago. The privatization of prisons has further institutionalized
this dealing in human beings as a form of commerce and it is just as immoral
and unchristian in this century as it was in the past. The madness of slavery revisited!"
The Last Free Man in America Meets the Synthetic Subversion, 2004
"For all you Petrochemical-Pharmaceutical-Military-Industrial-Transnational-Corporate-Fascist-Elite-Bastards,
I've got your karma right here."
The Last Free Man in America Meets the Synthetic Subversion, 2004
"I wouldn't sell them my gun, and I sure as heck wouldn't sell them my canteen."
speaking in opposition to the sale of Kentucky American Water to a German company
"My opponents are both honorable men, and I believe they're telling the truth on each other in those ads they're running.
If they're lying, we can't use 'em in Congress. If they're telling the truth, we sure as hell can't use 'em."
reference to Republican Ernie Fletcher and Democrat Scotty Baesler when Galbraith ran against them for Congress, 2000
"We can restore liberty by taking government out of our bedrooms, our
bloodstreams, our bladders, our brains, our businesses and our back-pockets."
"We're going to take the government out of your bedroom, your bloodstream,
your brain, your bladder, your business, your billfold, your back pockets,
your bingo halls and your Internet bulletin boards."
"Did my father's generation hit the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima so their
children would have to pee in a cup to hold a job in America?" 1995
"We live in a police state. There's no doubt about it. When we walk out of
our home, get in our car and go down the street, they can set up random
roadblocks; make us get out of our car; bring up a dog to sniff us and our
car's contents. Do you think John Wayne would have put up with that? John's
riding his horse down a trail. They drop a log in front of him and say, 'John,
get down off that horse, let this dog sniff you, we're going to take blood
out of your arm and make you pee in this bucket.' I believe John Wayne would
have said, 'I'm afraid not, Pilgrim. This is where I draw my line in the
sand.' I think The Duke would be with me on this one." 1991
"People would come here with smiles on their faces and money in their pockets.
They would leave with bigger smiles on their faces, but we would have their money."
"Our relationship with Mother Earth is the most basic relationship that we have in this birth-death cycle.
And when a government tells us that we cannot go to our mother source that is Earth,
and plant a seed in God's green earth, and utilize the green plant that comes up out of there
in its natural form for our fiber and food and medicine needs, then that government is awry
and that government no longer represents the best interests of the citizens of this country."
rally at the Lexington courthouse, 1991
"Ronald Reagan and George Bush aren't conservatives. They are aliens."
interview in Herald-Leader, 1991
"If Kentucky is going to survive ... they're going to have to reach back and
grab a plant that our granddaddies used to grow by the thousands of acres."
Fancy Farm picnic, 1990
"There's no doubt that I'm an old hippie, and I don't apologize to anybody for that.
Certainly those are the people who came together to stop the slaughter in Vietnam, and I'm proud of that. Compared to 'Republican,' I'll take 'hippie' every time."
interview with Herald-Leader, 1990
"People say, 'How can you be a practicing attorney and smoke marijuana?'
My response to that is: 'Hey, if slavery were still legal, I'd be heading the underground railroad.
If the Vietnam War were still going on, I'd be out in the streets demonstrating.
If segregation were still intact, I'd be sitting at a lunch counter somewhere."
interview with Herald-Leader, 1990
"If I was going to lie to you, I'd already be elected."
"The U.N. didn't win us any independence. Sure, anybody can get a float in the parade,
I'm all for that, but when they put the U.N. and the U.S. on the same level, there's going to be trouble."
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense,
reason, and intellect intended us to forgo their use."
"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble
reasoning of a single individual."
Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand
"Freedom is like birth. Till we are fully free, we are slaves"
"Civil disobience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless and corrupt."
"First they ignore you. Then they mock you. Then they punish you. Then you win."
"Let me stress once more that noncognitive ethics does not deny that cognitive
elements enter into all moral problems.
The rub comes when justifications
for moral rules are traced back to the most basic posits. Here are some examples:
It is better to be alive than dead. It is better to be healthy than sick.
It is better to be happy than miserable. It is better for a culture to survive
than perish. It is better for the human race to survive than become extinct.
Can such posits be justified by reason and science?"
act cannot be fully predetermined. Nor can it be the outcome of pure chance.
Somehow it is both. Somehow it is neither." from The Whys of a
Philosophical Scrivener, 1983, pgs 91, 101
Germanos of Patras, Bishop
"eleftheria i thanatos" declares Germanos on Greek Independence Day,
Mar 25 1821. The Greek phrase translates in English as "freedom or death".
Gingrich, Newton Leroy
"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering.
I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
Meet the Press, May 15 2011
"On September 16, 1981, Representatives Stewart McKinney and I introduced legislation designed to
end bureaucratic interference in the use of marijuana as a medicant.
We believe licensed physicians are competent to employ marijuana, and patients have a
right to obtain marijuana legally, under medical supervision, from a regulated source.
The medical prohibition does not prevent seriously ill patients from employing marijuana;
it simply deprives them of medical supervision and denies them access to a regulated medical substance.
Physicians are often forced to choose between their ethical responsibilities
to the patient and their legal liabilities to federal bureaucrats.
Representative McKinney and I hope the Council will take a close and careful look at this issue.
Federal policies do not reflect a factual or balanced assessment of marijuana's use as a medicant."
letter to Journal of the American Medical Association, Mar 19 1982
Goethe, Johann Wofgang von
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
"This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone
who conquer them each day anew."
"Which is the best government? That which teaches us to govern ourselves."
"To understand the nature of the present war
for in spite of the
regrouping which occurs every few years, it is always the same war
one must realize in the first place that it is impossible for it to be decisive."
Goldwater, Barry Morris
"Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue; extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice."
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."
"Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar."
"Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower
taxes and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects
that make tax cuts impossible?"
"I have little interest in streamlining government or making it more efficient,
for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for
I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.
It is not to inaugerate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence
to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or impose on the
people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attept to discover whether
legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined that it is
constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting
my constiuents' 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed their main
interest is liberty and that in that case I am doing the very best I can."
Conscience of a Conservative
"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be
properly armed." Federalist Papers
"Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that
they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the
possible change of things."
"I'm afraid of chemical-based drugs. But the ones derived directly from nature
concern me less. Things like mushrooms, peyote, marijuana, shouldn't be illegal.
You don't want people to operate heavy machinery while they're on those things,
but I have no problem with their use."
"It is my melancholy conviction that our renewed 'war on drugs' will have
much the same results as Prohibition did: swelling the police bureaucracy,
corrupting officials, increasing violent crime, enriching traffickers,
adulterating the product and failing to diminish the number of consumers."
"When the internal crisis of the totalitarian system grows so deep that it
becomes clear to everyone, and when more and more people learn to speak their
own language and reject the hollow, mendacious language of the powers that
be, it means that freedom is remarkably close, if not directly within reach."
Speech, Radio Marti, Sept 2003
"Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free
and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens
and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external
"All my adult life, I was branded by officials as 'an exponent of the right'
who wanted to bring capitalism back to our country, Today at a ripe
old age I am suspected by some of being left-wing, if not of harbouring
out-and-out socialist tendencies. What, then, is my real position? First
and foremost, I have never espoused any ideology, dogma, or doctrine
left-wing, right-wing, or any other closed, ready-made system of presuppositions
about the world. On the contrary, I have tried to think independently, using
my own powers of reason, and I have always vigorously resisted attempts to
"I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire
structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military
"There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than unwarranted
trust in them. Besides, to distrust words, and indict them for the horrors
that might slumber unobtrusively within them isn't this, after all,
the true vocation of the intellectual?"
Hayek, Friedrich A von
"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his
own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of
the individual and cannot really know freedom."
if we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize
that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification
for the use of coercion."
"We need government to prevent or minimize internal and external violence
and aggression and to keep the peace. But we obliged to recognize that no
group of men can be completely trusted with power. All power is liable to
be abused, and the greater the power the greater the likelihood of abuse.
For that reason, only minimum powers should be granted to government. But
the tendency of government everywhere has been to use even minimum powers
to increase its powers."
Head, Jeffrey L
"Liberty is freedom from encumberance in an environment where the unalienable
rights of mankind are both recognized and respected and where individual
'Free Will' is the avenue for interaction in society." from
"Liberty - It's
Communicable", Sept 19 1999, republished Apr 22 2005
"Americans have shed their blood by the millions for freedom, and that freedom
stretches from the United States throughout the world."
Heinlein, Robert Anson
"An armed society is a polite society."
"The free man is the man who is not in irons, nor imprisoned in a gaol, nor
terrorized like a slave by the fear of punishment ... it is not lack of freedom
not to fly like an eagle or swim like a whale."
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains
and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take,
but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" Saint John's Church,
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.
Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force,
you are inevitably ruined."
The deployment of freedom and liberty, two alleged
synonyms, tells the whole story. You almost never hear the word
liberty anymore. Yet freedom rings in our speeches incessantly.
Liberty has an old Jeffersonian quality to it. The word is suffused with
that soaring founding spirit, suggesting that we had come up with a new idea
that was much bigger than mere America. This was an idea that was "self-evident,"
that originated from the "Creator" and applied to "all men." The word freedom,
as it's been used in the last half century, is a strangely smaller concept.
We talk about "freedom and the America way." Freedom is a version of big
wild liberty that's been, well, domesticated. Freedom can easily fit into
as small a package as you want to wrap." from "Liberty and Justice
for Us", Mother Jones, Mar/Apr 2002, pgs 30-32
"The aspiration toward freedom is the most essentially human of all human manifestations."
"The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do."
"Freedom released the energies of the masses not by exhilarating but by unbalancing, irritating, and goading."
"Every device employed to bolster individual freedom must have as its chief
purpose the impairment of the absoluteness of power. The indications are
that such an impairment is brought about not by strengthening the individual
and pitting him against the possessors of power, but by distributing and
diversifying power and pitting one category or unit of power against the
other. Where power is one, the defeated individual, however strong and
resourceful, can have no refuge and no recourse."
"Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome
burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We
join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words
of the ardent young Nazi, 'to be free from freedom.' "
"Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality
is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority."
"Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity
more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom
to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly
a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic;
one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us
out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority."
"To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom
from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from
the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure.
They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to
plan, command and shoulder all responsibility."
"To some, freedom means the opportunity to do what they want to do; to most
it means not to do what they do not want to do. It is perhaps true that those
who can grow will feel free under any condition."
"Freedom means freedom from forces and circumstances which would turn man
into a thing, which would impose on man the passivity and predictability
of matter. By this test, absolute power is the manifestation most inimical
to human uniqueness. Absolute power wants to turn people into malleable clay."
Oliver Wendall, Jr
"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls
for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought, not free
thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."
Hospers, John J
"The most important distinction in the discussion of freedom is between freedom
from and freedom to. The Soviet expatriate in the U.S. is free
from the dictatorship to which he was subject in the U.S.S.R.; the American
businessman, after a regulatory act has been repealed, is now free from the
restrictions imposed by that regulation. But once this freedom-from has been
obtained, a person is free to do many things he could not do before: the
Soviet expatriate is now free to choose his own line of work, to buy property,
to become an entrepreneur and hire workers, and so on; the businessman is
free to conduct his business in a way he was legally prohibited from doing
before. The more one is free from restrictions, the more one is free to do
things that he could not do while bound by restrictions.
The two are thus intimately related, but they are not quite
two sides of the same coin. If I go mountain climbing and fall into a crevasse,
I am not free to move about, or do anything but remain there until help arrives;
my choices are extremely limited. And yet, if I went on the expedition
voluntarily, there is no question of my lacking freedom-from: nobody made
me go, I was not responding to anyone's command, nobody coerced me. My present
sad plight with regard to freedom-to is not the result of any lack of
freedom-from. True, I am not free-from obstacles to my getting out of the
crevasse-such as the height of the pit and the lack of rope, etc-but there
are no man-made constraints. Much, then, depends on whether freedom-from
is considered freedom from constraints or obstacles in general, or whether
it is freedom from man-made constraints and obstacles.
In the writings of the Founding Fathers, freedom always
meant freedom from tyranny and oppression. But in today's political climate,
the appeal of freedom has largely shifted to freedom-to.
For the free market to operate there must be freedom from
the whims of dictators and bureaucrats. The market can survive, though crippled,
with some degree of interference, but when the interference becomes severe
enough to keep a man from being able to estimate probabilities into the future,
or when his taxes become so high that it is no longer worth his while to
continue in operation, the market is no longer able to function so as to
produce a vast quantity of goods and services at competitive prices. Freedom-from
is indispensable to the market, and is indeed its chief condition.
Freedom-to is a highly beneficial consequence of the unimpeded
operation of the market. When entrepreneurs are free from economic controls
imposed on their activities by others, they will produce a proliferation
of goods, which the public is then free to consume. This freedom to on the
part of the public is the direct result of freedom from controls which makes
the market able to function." from
"The Meanings of Freedom",
The Freeman, Sept 1984, vol 34, no 9
"So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private
individuals will occasionally kill theirs."
Ingersoll, Robert Green
"When I became convinced that the Universe is natural that all the
ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into
every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls
of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light, and all
the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant,
a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world
not even in infinite space. I was free free to think, to express my
thoughts free to live to my own ideal free to live for myself
and those I loved free to use all my faculties, all my senses
free to spread imagination's wings free to investigate, to guess and
dream and hope free to judge and determine for myself free
to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the 'inspired' books that savages
have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past free from
popes and priests free from all the 'called' and 'set apart'
free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies free from the fear of
eternal pain free from the winged monsters of the night free
from devils, ghosts, and gods. For the first time I was free. There were
no prohibited places in all the realms of thought no air, no space,
where fancy could not spread her painted wings no chains for my limbs
no lashes for my back no fires for my flesh no master's
frown or threat no following another's steps no need to bow,
or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and
fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness,
and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives
for the liberty of hand and brain for the freedom of labor and thought
to those who fell in the fierce fields of war, to those who died in
dungeons bound with chains to those who proudly mounted scaffold's
stairs to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred
and torn to those by fire consumed to all the wise, the good,
the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the
sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and
hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still." Ingersoll's
"An honest God is the noblest work of man."
"It is a damned poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to
spell any word."
"It is a damned poor mind indeed that can't think of at least two ways of
spelling any word."
"It's a damned poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word."
"There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its
abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does
its rains, showers its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and
the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing."
"Freedom is the most important thing in the world." interview on
Howard Stern Show
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the
people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise
control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them,
but to inform their discretion by education." letter to William C
Jarvis, Sept 28 1820
"Instead of that liberty which takes root and growth in the progress of reason,
if recovered by mere force or accident, it becomes with an unprepared people
a tyranny still of the many, the few, or the one." letter to Lafayette,
"The remaining revenue on the consumption of foreign articles is paid chiefly
by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts, being
collected on our seaboard and frontiers only, and incorporated with the
transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and the pride
of an American to ask, What farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees
a tax gatherer of the United States?" Second Inaugural Address, 1805
"Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious
or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,
entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments
in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic
concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the
preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigour,
as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;
of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection
of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected, these
principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided
our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.
a wise and
frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, 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. This is the sum of good government." First Inaugural Address,
Mar 4 1801
"We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country, nor with
the general affairs of Europe. Peace with all nations, and the right which
that gives us with respect to all nations, are our object." letter
to C W F Dumas, 1793
"The fact well established in the system of agriculture is that the best
hemp and the best tobacco grow on the same kind of soil. The former article
is of first necessity to the commerce and marine; in other words, to the
wealth and protection of the country. The latter, never useful and sometimes
pernicious, derives its estimation from caprice, and its value from the taxes
to which it was formerly exposed. This preference to be given will result
from a comparison of them: Hemp employs in its rudest state more labor than
tobacco, but being a material of manufactures of various sorts, becomes
afterwards the means of support to numbers of people, hence it is to be preferred
in a populous country. America imports hemp and will continue to do so, and
sundry articles made from hemp, such as cordage, sail cloth, drilling linnen
and stockings." Mar 16 1791
God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong
will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they
misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy,
the forerunner of death to the public liberty.
And what country can
preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time,
that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The
remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What
signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be
refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is
its natural manure." Letter to William S. Smith, Nov 13 1787
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are
injurious to others." "Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1785)"
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. 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." June 1776
"The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise
disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial
distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed." from "Notes
on Religion", 1776
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither
inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for
the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage
than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater
... confidence than an armed man." Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria,
On Crimes and Punishment, 1764
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
(Editor's note: This quote is similar to, and may be the basis for, the
Wendell Phillips quote "Eternal vigilance
is the price of liberty.")
"When the people fear the government you have tyranny
when the government
fears the people you have liberty."
"Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people
fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is
our servant, not our master!"
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty,
than those attending too small a degree of it."
"I have a right to nothing, which another has a right to take away ... a
bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government
on earth, general and particular; and what no just government should refuse,
or rest on inference."
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and
never will be."
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of
opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical."
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government
from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of
"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself.
Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?"
"[W]e must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our
election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run
into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in
our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our
calling and our creeds
we [will] have no time to think, no means of
calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by
hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.
And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle
in one instance becomes a precedent till the bulk of society is reduced to
be mere automatons of misery. And the foreshores of this frightful team is
public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and
"If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines
they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls of
those who live under tyranny."
"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the
political world as storms in the physical."
"I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary,
too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. I believe it might
be much simplified to the relief of those who maintain it."
"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations ... entangling alliances
"State a moral case to a plowman and a professor. The former will decide
it well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray
by artificial rules.""
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to
"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free neither
restraining nor aiding them in the pursuits."
"To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual
debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and
servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the
people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy."
"Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity"
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government,
so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution
so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
Jesus (the Christ) of Nazareth
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Johnson, Gary E
"I'm not advocating breaking the law, but personally, I don't think you should
go to jail for smoking marijuana." Aug 11 1999
"Common sense or logic would dictate that when you take this issue on, when
you talk about legalization or decriminalization, if you are going to talk
about that, you are going to talk about taking it in steps, and certainly
the first step would be marijuana.
All of us can make a list out of
friends that have used drugs. Are our friends criminals for using drugs?
Yes, they are today given the laws that we have. Should they be criminals?
Are they criminals? For the most part, no they are not." June 30
"The nation's so-called War on Drugs has been a miserable failure. It hasn't
worked. The drug problem is getting worse. I think it is the number one problem
facing this country today ... We really need to put all the options on the
table ... and one of the things that's going to get talked about is
decriminalization ... What I'm trying to do here is launch discussion."
June 23 1999
"I'm going to enforce the laws that we have. But I think the laws need to
be changed and I'm going to work within the system to change the law."
"We're spending more and we're locking more people up
I have a fundamental problem with putting people in jail for drug use."
"What I've done since I've been in office is I have just done a cost-benefit
analysis of everything that's come across my desk
And right now, the
glaring cost-benefit analysis that has incredible cost and no benefit is
our war on drugs.
"They make a rout about universal liberty without considering that all that
is to be valued, or indeed can be enjoyed by individuals, is private liberty.
Political liberty is good only so far as it produces private liberty."
"Thank God for liberation." President of post-Taliban Afghanistan,
June 14 2002
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
"The Bill of Rights, in the eyes of its framers, was a catalogue of immunities,
not a schedule of claims. It was, in other words, a Bill of Liberties. When
civil rights are seen as claims and civil liberties as immunities, the
governments differing responsibilities become clear. For the security
of rights the energy of government is essential. For the security of liberty
restraint is indispensable."
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts,
foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that
is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market
is a nation that is afraid of its people."
"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope; and crossing each other from a million
different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which
can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression."
"Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make forceful revolution
peace and freedom
" Cuban Missle Crisis speech on TV
"Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable."
King, Martin Luther, Jr
"The stages of history are replete with the chants and choruses of the conquerors
of old who came killing in pursuit of peace. Alexander, Genghis Khan, Julius
Caesar, Charlemagne and Napoleon were akin in seeking a peaceful world order,
a world fashioned after their selfish conceptions of an ideal existence.
Each sought a world at peace which would personify his egotistic dreams.
Even within the life span of most of us, another megalomaniac strode across
the world stage. He sent his blitzkrieg-bent legions blazing across Europe,
bringing havoc and holocaust in his wake. There is grave irony in the fact
that Hitler could come forth, following nakedly aggressive expansionist theories,
and do it all in the name of peace. So when in this day I see the leaders
of nations again talking peace while preparing for war, I take fearful pause..."
Feb 25 1967
"I have a dream
I'm free at last, I'm free at last
" from "I have a dream" speech at Washington Mall, Washington,
"Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows."
"The time is always right to do what is right."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
Kirk, James Tiberius
"You said you wanted freedom. It's time you learned that freedom is never
a gift. It has to be earned." Kirk explains to Archonians who resist
Landru, a merciless authoritarian computer simulation of its human creator
of the same name, a long dead Archonian spiritual leader.
"Without freedom of choice, there is no creativity. Without
creativity, there is no life. The body dies." Kirk responds to Landru
computer simulation, arguing that it violates its own directive to "protect
the life of the body", from "The Return of the Archons" episode of Star
Trek, first aired Feb 9 1967
"You'll learn to build for yourselves, think for yourselves, work for yourselves,
and what you create is yours. That's what we call freedom. You'll like it
alot." Kirk explains to the native inhabitants of Gamma Trianguli
VI after the Enterprise kills their god Vaal, a computer, from "The Apple"
episode of Star Trek, first aired Oct 13 1967
"It is the nature of our species to be free
We will cease to exist
in captivity." Kirk explains to the "Companion" alien, from the
"Metamorphosis" episode of Star Trek, first aired Nov 10 1967
"We merely showed them the meaning of what they were fighting for. Liberty
and freedom have to be more than just words. Gentlemen, the fighting is over
here. I suggest we leave them to discover their history and their liberty."
Kirk explains to Mr Spock and Dr McCoy why their involvement in the
Yang-Khom conflict did not violate the Prime Directive.
Kizer, John B
"Isaiah Berlin, in his Two Concepts of Liberty, discusses a question
which is central to most arguments between libertarians and socialists
between 'voluntarists' and 'coercionists, ' The question is, what do we mean
by freedom? Berlin points out that socialists accept a definition of freedom
which he calls positive liberty, while libertarians assert that freedom is
really negative liberty. Now positive liberty is the 'freedom to' have such
things as employment, respect, and the like. Negative liberty is 'freedom
from' restraint. Positive liberty is equivalent to what libertarians might
refer to as power, that is, libertarians believe a given man is free to earn
a million dollars per year even though it may not be in his power to do so,
simply because he cannot provide the services required.
But, as Berlin points out, the deceptively phrased 'positive
liberty' has some nasty consequences. One of them is that since positive
liberty is unrelated to freedom as we usually understand it, then being
'liberated' (and we often find this usage of the word in current liberation
movements) is being forced to do something against our will because someone
else thinks it is good. This encourages confusion in the discussion of freedom.
To call negative liberty 'freedom' and positive liberty 'power' is to make
a discrimination which is fundamental. To call them both liberty, as coercionists
often do when it suits their argument, leads to confusion." from
Concepts of Liberty", The
Freeman, Sept 1976, vol 26, no 9
also see Isaiah Mendelevich Berlin
"Where there is authority, there is no freedom."
"Prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of
American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement.
That being so, the orderly thing to do, under our form of governance, is
to abolish a law which cannot be enforced, a law which the people of the
country do not want enforced." New York City Mayor LaGuardia, 1937
Lane, Rose Wilder
"Freedom means self-control; no more, no less."
The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority, 1943
"They've outlawed the number one vegetable [cannabis] on the planet."
Lewis, Clive Staples
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim
may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons
than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes
sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment
us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
of their own conscience." God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and
"As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of
corruption in high places will follow, and the power of the country will
endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people
until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destoyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety than ever before, even in the midst of
war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless." Nov 21 1864
"In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free, honorable
alike in what we give and what we preserve." Second Annual Message to Congress, Dec 1 1862
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.
Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it,
or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it." Inaugural Address, Mar 4 1861
"Those who would deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and
under a just God, cannot long retain it." 1849
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species
of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in
that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a
crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow
at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Speech
to the Illinois House of Representatives, Dec 18 1840
"The best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously."
"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word, we do not mean the same thing."
"The perfect liberty they seek is the liberty of making slaves of other people."
"We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts
not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the
weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging
thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot
build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and
should do for themselves."
"Let us be diverted by none of these sophistical contrivances wherein we
are so industriously plied and belaboredcontrivances such as groping
for some middle ground between right and wrong; vain as the search for a
man who should be neither a living nor a dead man."
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of
the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by
violent and sudden usurpations."
"Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be
It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by
men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be
read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed
or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes
that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.
Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which
is little known, and less fixed?
Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable
advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few
over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation
concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the
different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch
the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves,
but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This
is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are
made for the FEW, not for the MANY.
In another point of view, great injury results from an
unstable government. The want of confidence in the public councils damps
every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a
continuance of existing arrangements. What prudent merchant will hazard his
fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans
may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer
will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation
or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors
and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In
a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which
requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy.
But the most deplorable effect of all is that diminution
of attachment and reverence which steals into the hearts of the people, towards
a political system which betrays so many marks of infirmity, and disappoints
so many of their flattering hopes. No government, any more than an individual,
will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable,
without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.
Federalist Papers #62
"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We
hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the
noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did
not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled
the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle,
and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this
lesson too much
to forget it."
"The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans
possess over the people of almost every other nation
governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed unlike the
citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people
with arms." Federalist Papers #46, pgs 243-244
"From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy
can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest
will, in almost every case, befelt by a majority of the whole; a communication
and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing
to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious
individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of
turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal
security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in
their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians,
who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed
that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights,
they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their
possessions, their opinions, and their passions." Federalist Papers
"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to
danger whether the government have too much or too little power."
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of
fighting a foreign enemy."
"Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in
the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by
Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished
in their short history."
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity
been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride
and indolence in the clregy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both,
superstitution, bigotry, and persecution."
"The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty."
"Power in defense of freedom is greater than power on behalf of tyranny and oppression."
"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
"One revolution is still necessary: the one that will not end with the rule
of its leader. It will be the revolution against revolutions, the uprising
of all peaceable individuals, who will become soldiers for once so that neither
they nor anyone else will ever have to be a soldier again."
"To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
"The freedom of individuals to choose, without intrusive state regulation,
is the prerequisite of morality. A coerced 'choice' does not reflect virtue,
only compliance. In other words, you cannot force a person to be moral; you
can only make them conform. True morality requires freedom and cannot exist
McWilliams, Peter Alexander
"Responsibility is the price of freedom. So is tolerance."
Mencken, Henry Louis
"All I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it
"I believe in only one thing: liberty; But I do not believe in liberty enough
to force it upon anyone."
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to
prove that the other party is unfit to rule and both commonly succeed,
and are right."
Mikuriya, Tod H
"Cannabis is leading the way for a more holistic type of medical care, a
general revolt against corporate rationed care and traditional pharmaceutical
company approaches to medicine. Patients use marijuana to get off toxic drugs.
They find fellowship in compassion clubs. They find empowerment in fighting
against prohibition, standing up to police and demagogues. Our opponents
can threaten our freedom, but they can't kill our spirit." 2001
Mill, John Stuart
"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."
"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to
conscience, above all liberties."
Muller, Herbert J
"In formal terms, freedom in this book [Issues of Freedom] will mean 'the condition of being
able to choose and to carry out purposes.' This definition has three immediate
implications: (1) the primary dictionary meaningabsence of external
constraints; (2) practicable purposes, or an actual ability with available
means; and (3) a power of conscious choice, between significant, known
alternatives. It accordingly involves the common ideas of freedom
from, freedom to, and freedom of, but it leaves open
the question of freedom for what. In simple words, a man is free in
so far as he can do something or choose not to do it, can make up his own
mind, can say yes or no to any given question or command, can decide for
himself the matter of duty or for what. He is not free in so far as he is
prohibited from following his inclinations or is obliged to do something
against his own volition, whether by direct coercion or by fear of consequences,
even though it might be better for him than his heart's desire.
Granted that such statements may ring bells, they are none the less meaningful
and refer objectively to a recognizable conditiona condition that feels good
but may not produce further good, may lead to folly, sin, or unhappiness." Issues of Freedom, 1960
Murphy, Patrick V
"I look forward to working in the growing reform community and to expanding
support for better drug policies. By saying that our drug laws need to be
overhauled, I am representative of the nation's police chiefs. ... A 1996
Police Foundation survey showed that 85 percent of chiefs want major changes
in drug policy; 60 percent said that law enforcement has not reduced the
problem. Current drug laws assign police a `mission impossible.' Those laws
must be re-examined." 1996
"If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of
Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents."
June 22 2005
"Hemp is petroleum, hemp is food, hemp is clothing, hemp is paper, hemp is
10,000 different things from dynamite to cellophane to rope to canvas. It's
a shame our farmers can't grow it. I'm in favor of a war on drugs, but I'm
not in favor of a war on flowers and herbs. I think that's a waste of money.
Stress is the greatest killer on this planet and the greatest medicine for
stress is cannabis. Marijuana is not drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower.
God put it here. If he put it here and wants it to grow, what gives the
government the right to say God is wrong?"
"They're not scared of you, they're scared of what you represent freedom."
fictional George Hanson portrayed by Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider, 1969
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because
I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't
speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up."
"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said
nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social
Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not
a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so
I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand
up for me."
Editor's note: With such disparate differences between the two versions
above, I wonder how many other versions of this quote are out there. Niemoeller
(or Niemoller), being German, probably stated it in German, so translation
into English can be a source of disparities. If you have good reason(s) to
believe any one version was actually written or spoken by Niemoeller (or
Niemoller), and/or was more accurately translated, please email us. Also,
email us if you know which spelling of his last name Martin preferred.
Nofziger, Franklyn C "Lyn"
"I am a Republican because I believe that freedom is more important than
government-provided security. Sometimes I wish I were a Democrat because
Democrats seem to have more fun. At other times I wish I were a Libertarian
because Republicans are too much like Democrats." from
Lyn Nofziger.com, Oct 19 2004
"Before she [Nofziger's daughter] died she underwent heavy chemotherapy that
caused nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite. None of the legal medications
including the marijuana substitute Marinol helped to alleviate the symptoms.
In desperation, we turned to marijuana to see if that would help. Fortunately,
people know a lot more about where to find marijuana than people of my
generation. And the marijuana did help reduce the side effects of the
chemotherapy to the point where she regained her appetite and actually began
putting on weight. Obviously, it did not save her life nor did we think it
would. However, it made a portion of the last weeks of her life considerably
more bearable both to her and to her family. Since then I have learned that
marijuana can also help persons with glaucoma, the wasting symptoms of AIDS,
multiple sclerosis and other afflictions. Because of this I have become an
avid supporter of efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. An
administration that claims to be both compassionate and conservative should
enthusiastically support legislation that truly is compassionate and that
also returns rights to the states that the Tenth Amendment theoretically
guarantees to them." from
Reagan Aide Among Medical Marijuana Supporters" by Jim Burns, July 25 2002
"When our daughter was undergoing chemotherapy for lymph cancer, she was
sick and vomiting constantly as a result of her treatments. No legal drugs,
including Marinol, helped her. We finally turned to marijuana. With it, she
kept her food down, was comfortable and even gained weight. Those who say
Marinol and other drugs are satisfactory substitutes for marijuana may be
right in some cases but certainly not in all cases. If doctors can prescribe
morphine and other addictive medicines, it makes no sense to deny marijuana
to sick and dying patients when it can be provided on a carefully controlled,
prescription basis." from
Marijuana: Reagan Aide Lyn Nofziger Dead at 81 Supported Patients' Rights"
"It seems to me that the very definition of compassionate conservatism should
convince President Bush to support legislation that would allow states to
legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In fact, if the president
understands the meaning of those two words ('compassionate conservative'),
not to support Frank is to reject the philosophy for which he says he stands
and on which he ran for president." from
Marijuana: Reagan Aide Lyn Nofziger Dead at 81 Supported Patients' Rights"
"I don't like government."
"Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt,
I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.
Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead."
"Turncoat Roberts: Chief justice’s surprise ruling means limited government is dead",
Washington Times, July 5 2012
"Ted was a young boy, appearing to be a hippie but quite opposite in fact, working hard and playing hard,
playing rock and roll like a deviant. People would question my sanity, I played so much.
So I got my notice to be in the draft. Do you think I was gonna lay down my guitar and go play army?
Give me a break! I was busy doin’ it to it. I had a career Jack.
If I was walkin’ around, hippying down, getting’ loaded and pickin’ my ass like your common curs,
I’d say “Hey yeah, go in the army. Beats the poop out of scuffin’ around in the gutters.”
But I wasn’t a gutter dog. I was a hard workin’, motherfuckin’ rock and roll musician.
I got my physical notice 30 days prior to. Well, on that day I ceased cleansing my body.
No more brushing my teeth, no more washing my hair, no baths, no soap, no water.
Thirty days of debris build. I stopped shavin’ and I was 18, had a little scraggly beard, really looked like a hippie.
I had long hair, and it started gettin’ kinky, matted up. Then two weeks before,
I stopped eating any food with nutritional value. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer-stuff I never touched-buttered poop,
little jars of Polish sausages, and I’d drink the syrup, I was this side of death, Then a week before,
I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up.
See, I approached the whole thing like, Ted Nugent, cool hard-workin’ dude, is gonna wreak havoc on these imbeciles in the armed forces.
I’m gonna play their own game, and I’m gonna destroy ‘em. Now my whole body is crusted in poop and piss.
I was ill. And three or four days before, I started stayin’ awake. I was close to death, but I was in control.
I was extremely antidrug as I’ve always been, but I snorted some crystal methedrine. Talk about one wounded motherfucker.
A guy put up four lines, and it was for all four of us, but I didn’t know and I’m vacuuming that poop right up.
I was a walking, talking hunk of human poop. I was six-foot-three of sin. So the guys took me down to the physical,
and my nerves, my emotions were distraught. I was not a good person. I was wounded. But as painful and
nauseous as it was – ‘cause I was really into bein’ clean and on the ball – I made gutter swine hippies look like football players. I was deviano.
So I went in, and those guys in uniform couldn’t believe the smell.
They were ridiculin’ me and pushin’ me around and I was cryin’, but all the time I was laughin’ to myself.
When they stuck the needle in my arm for the blood test I passed out, and when I came to they were kicking me into the wall.
Then they made everybody take off their pants, and I did, and this sergeant says, “Oh my God, put those back on!
You fucking swine you!” Then they had a urine test and I couldn’t piss, But my poop was just like ooze, man,
so I poop in the cup and put it on the counter. I had poop on my hand and my arm. The guy almost puked. I was so proud.
I knew I had these chumps beat. The last thing I remember was wakin’ up in the ear test booth and they were sweepin’ up.
So I went home and cleaned up.
They took a putty knife to me. I got the street rats out of my hair, ate some good steaks, beans,
potatoes, cottage cheese, milk. A couple of days and I was ready to kick ass. And in the mail I got this big juicy 4-F.
They’d call dead people before they’d call my ass. But you know the funny thing about it? I’d make an incredible army man.
I’d be a colonel before you knew what hit you, and I’d have the baddest bunch of motherfuckin’ killers you’d ever seen
in my platoon. But I just wasn’t into it. I was too busy doin’ my own thing, you know?"
interview in High Times, Oct 1977
"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of
preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset
to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic."
"In a nation of 250 million people the FDA only has enough compassion to
help 34 seriously ill patients. This is absurd! People's lives are at stake."
Hussein other quotes
"I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical
marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources."
O'Rourke, Patrick Jake (P J)
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys
to teenage boys." Parliament of Whores, 1991
"There's only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please.
And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the
"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're
looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs,
we should test them for for stupidity , ignorance, greed and love of power."
Ortega y Gasset, Jose
"Order is not pressure which is imposed on society from without, but an
equilibrium which is set up from within."
"Life cannot wait until the sciences may have explained the universe
scientifically. We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient
characteristic of life is its coerciveness: it is always urgent, 'here and
now' without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point-blank."
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
from Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, 1943
"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" from
"All that is needed [for control] is that a state of war should exist."
from 1984, 1949
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted,
all else follows."
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what
they do not want to hear."
"If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom
of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish,
inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary
"Political language and with variations this is true of all political
parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists is designed to make lies
sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity
to pure wind."
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls
"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
The Most Misquoted Quote:
"Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready
to do violence on their behalf."
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand
ready to do violence on their behalf."
"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready
to do violence on their behalf."
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night
to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to
visit violence on those who would harm us."
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to
visit violence on those who would do us harm.
"On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite
all the time."
the consequences of being at war, and therefore danger, makes the
handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable
condition of survival."
"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's
mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo
the fatigue of supporting it." The American Crisis, 1776
"What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that
gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods,
and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should
not be highly rated." 1776
Palin, Sarah Heath
"I think we need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts. And if somebody is going to
smoke a joint in their house and not do anybody else any harm, then perhaps there are
other things our cops should be looking at to engage in and clean up some of the other
problems we have in society that are appropriate for law enforcement to do and not
concentrate on such a, relatively speaking, minimal problem that we have in the country."
Freedom Watch, June 12 2010
Paul, Ronald Ernest
"I would like people who are dying with cancer and AIDS to have access to
whatever they want and make their own choices, especially under a state law."
Response to inquiry into Paul's position on federal raids of medicinal
cannabis clubs, Londonderry NH, Aug 19 2007
"I would like to see all governments out of the marriage question."
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Speech before Massachusetts
Anti-Slavery Society, Boston, Massachusetts, Jan 28 1852
(Editors note: This quote is similar to, and may have been derived from,
the Thomas Jefferson quote "The price of freedom
is eternal vigilance.")
Pickering, Thomas Reeve
"In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known."
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the
argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." Speech before Great
Britain Parliament, 1783
"There are two ways of holding beliefs. Some are held by the explicit profession
of certain articles of faith, as the Apostles' Creed when recited in the
words of the Book of Common Prayer. The other form of belief is held implicitly
by reliance on a particular conceptual framework by which all experience
The resistance of an idiom of belief against the impact
of adverse evidence, which would impel it to modify its conceptual framework
in favour of alternative conceptions, may be regarded under three headings
 power of a system of implicit beliefs to defeat valid objections
one by one is due to the circularity of such systems. By this I mean that
the convincing power possessed by the interpretation of any particular new
topic in terms of such a conceptual framework is based on past applications
of the same framework to a great number of other topics not now under
consideration; while if any of these other topics were questioned now, their
interpretation in its turn would similarly rely for support on the interpretation
of all the others.
 To the stabilising power of circularity we
may add secondly the capacity of a well developed interpretative framework
to supply secondary elaborations to its beliefs which will cover almost any
conceivable eventuality, however embarrassing this may appear at first sight.
 This third defence mechanism of implicit beliefs may be called
the principle of suppressed nucleation. It is complementary to the principle
of circularity. Circularity protects an existing system of beliefs against
doubts arising from any adverse piece of evidence, while suppressed nucleation
prevents the germination of any alternative concept on the basis of any single
new piece of evidence.
Circularity, combined with a readily available
reserve of epicyclical elaborations and the consequent suppression in the
germ of any rival conceptual development, lends a degree of stability to
a conceptual framework which we may describe as the measure of its completeness.
We may speak of the completeness or comprehensiveness of a language and the
system of conceptions reflected by it
without in any way implying
approval of the system as a true belief.
The assimilative power of
an existing scientific framework thus appears no less creative and offers
no less scope for the application of scientific genius, than its capacity
to sprout into new and entirely unexpected forms. Indeed the conservative
and the reforming aspects of discovery remain always combined; we have
assimilation to the extent to which new conceptions form an extension of
the old and innovation in so far as the new stands in contrast to the old.
Contradictions to current scientific conceptions are often disposed
of by calling them 'anomalies'. This is among the most handy assumptions
in the epicyclical reserve that is available for the adaptation of any theory,
in the face of adverse evidence.
The confident use of any expressions
including the word 'science' or its derivatives like 'scientific method',
'scientific observation', 'natural law', etc., convey the writer's belief
in a certain body of allegations, in the rightness of a certain procedure
for arriving at such allegations and of confirming them, without his ever
having taken the responsibility for affirming this belief. The use of the
scientific idiom by writers of scientific method establishes in fact from
the start a tacit understanding between them and their readers on the
trustworthiness of the method which they arc setting out to analyses. Writers
on the nature of science who unquestioningly believe in science and may assume
the same of their readers, will find no difficulty in carrying out an analysis
of science in objective terms.They may define science as the simplest description
of the facts or the most economical survey of sense data; they may pretend
that science is not concerned with the truth or that it only makes provisional
statements so as to provide stimulus for new experiments. They may say that
science is a free creation of the mind, forming part of a conventional game
or that its value lies entirely in its usefulness. As long as everybody is
tacitly agreed about the nature of science and implicitly accepts the authority
of science, it may not become apparent that statements of this kind only
refer to certain formal aspects of science which do not account for its
Stability Of Beliefs", 1952
Quayle, James Danforth
"Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana
We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who
are a menace to society." Mar 1977
"In most cases, liberationist theologies have taken root in situations that
call for freedom from existing government and economic structures.
In the U.S., issues of hunger are most frequently linked to lack of money,
not arable land, and lack of money is linked either to un- or underemployment
or entitlements. Addressing these issues does not necessarily require a complete
political restructuring. A religious culture seeking an effective, faithful
response to these issues would not pursue freedom from existing government
and economic structures, but would manipulate them in order to strengthen
an alternative community, a community formed by a coherent set of values
that are at odds with the surrounding culture. This response forms an identity
of "exile," not liberation. Ironically, the notion of exile is poorly understood
by Americans, even though immigration and assimilation are the basis of our
vigorous commonwealth. In other parts of the world, exile is both a legal
construct and a way of life." from The Christian Century, Oct
18 1989, pgs 931-934
"There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men.
To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. That and
nothing else." from Anthem, 1938
"Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order
to 'do something.' By 'ideological' (in this context), I mean groups or movements
proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory)
political goals. (E.g., the Conservative Party, which subordinates reason
to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the 'libertarian'
hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for
capitalism.) To join such groups means to reverse the philosophical hierarchy
and to sell out fundamental principles for the sake of some superficial political
action which is bound to fail. It means that you help the defeat of your
ideas and the victory of your enemies."
"For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do
not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I
disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration
of some conservatives, the so-called 'hippies of the right,' who attempt
to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming
simultaneously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism.
Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand
either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun
by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the
collectivist movement, where it properly belongs."
"Any alleged 'right' of one man, which necessitates the violation of the
rights of another, is not and cannot be a right."
"There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or
logic. Force or persuasion. Those who know that they cannot win by means
of logic, have always resorted to guns."
"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual
rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."
"Of all the statist violations of individual rights in a mixed economy, the
military draft is the worst. It is an abrogation of rights.
It negates man's fundamental rightthe right to
lifeand establishes the fundamental principle of statism: that a man's
life belongs to the state, and the state may claim it by compelling him to
sacrifice it in battle. Once that principle is accepted, the rest is only
a matter of time."
"If the state may force a man to risk death or hideous maiming and crippling,
in a war declared at the state's discretion, for a cause he may neither approve
of nor even understand, if his consent is not required to send him into
unspeakable martyrdomthen, in principle, all rights are negated in
that state, and its government is not man's protector any longer. What else
is there left to protect?
The most immoral contradictionin the chaos of today's
anti-ideological groupsis that of the so-called 'conservatives', who
posture as defenders of individual rights, particularly property rights,
but uphold and advocate the draft. By what infernal evasion can they hope
to justify the proposition that creatures who have no right to life, have
the right to a bank account? A slightly higherthough not much
higherrung of hell should be reserved for those 'liberals' who claim
that man has the "right" to economic security, public housing, medical care,
education, recreation, but no right to life, or: that man has the right to
livelihood, but not to life."
"The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim
that it represents the best way to achieve 'the common good'. It is true
that capitalism doesif that catch-phrase has any meaningbut this
is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification for capitalism
lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man's rational
nature, that it protects man's survival qua man, and that its ruling principle
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the
power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals,
one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes
impossible for men to live without breaking laws." from Atlas
"Civilization is the progress of society towards privacy."
"Degress do not matter... one does not bargain about inches of evil."
"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage
where the government is free to do anything it pleased, while the
citizens may act only by permission."
"Civilization is progess toward a society of privacy. The savage's
whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe.
Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."
"When you see that trading is done, and not by consent, but by compulsion.
When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission
from men who produce nothing. When you see money flowing to those who deal,
not in goods, but in favors. When you see that men get richer by graft and
pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect
them against you. When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming
self-sacrifice, you may know that your society is doomed.
"The question isn't who is going to let me. It's who is going to stop me.
"Of course Dad [Ronald Wilson
Reagan] was for [cannabis] legalization. He wasn't crazy. He didn't want
his kids in jail!" 2002
Wilson other quotes
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving,
subsidize it." 1986
"Freedom is not the sole perogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and
universal right of all human beings." London, June 1982
"... because I don't think government has a right to take one dollar more
than government needs, we gave the surpluses back to the people in the form
of tax rebates. We gave back over eight years $5.7 billion to the people
of California. We stopped the bureaucracy dead in its tracks, the same way
I would like to stop it at its national level." Washington Post,
Apr 27 1980
"I just don't believe the farmer should be made to pay a special price for
our diplomacy, and I'm oppose to [the Soviet grain embargo]." Jan
7 1980, Washington Post, pub Jan 8 1980
"If adults want to take such chances [using cannabis], that is their business."
Radio address, Aug 1979
"For many years the United Nations has had before it two covenants, the Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Covenant on Economic,
Social, and Cultural Rights. Both specifically omit the right to own property
or to be protected from arbitrary seizure without compensation ... What is
apparently little known by the American people is that President Carter has
signed both of these United Nations covenants which, in effect, nullify the
inalienable right of an individual to own propertyif they are ratified
by the United States Senate, United Nations treaties become laws of the land,
superceding all other laws." Radio address, Mar 1978
"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest
there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up
to man's age-old dream the maximum of individual freedom consistent
with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless
of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice
freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned,
'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among
them bounties, donations and benefits.' " Oct 27 1964
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't
pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected,
and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset
years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like
in the United States where men were free."
"We will never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family
from fear and harm."
"No nation ever taxed itself into prosperity."
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
... We've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to
be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to
government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable
of government himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone
else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.
The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to
pay a higher price."
"The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite
at one end and no responsibility at the other."
"Americans who value freedom had better be more concerned about the gun control
crowd than the criminals. The criminals want your money. The Neo-Totalitarians
want your freedom."
"I’m generally pretty libertarian in these matters, because Americans are quite good,
actually, at finding a way to deal with these extremely divisive and difficult moral issues.
And it’s not that I’m a relativist. It’s not that I believe everybody has their own morality.
But I do understand that there are different ways of thinking about how these issues are going to play out in people’s lives,
and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt in governing their own lives.
Sometimes when things are out of whack the government has no choice but to step in.
But I’m wary of the government stepping in to too many issues. ... I don’t like the government
involved in these really hard moral decisions. While I don’t think the country is ready for
legislation to overturn Roe v. Wade, certainly I cannot imagine why one would be in favor of partial birth abortion.
I also can’t imagine why one would take these decisions out of the hands of the family. ...
I have lots of respect for people on both sides of this [same-gender marriage] divide, because there are really hard issues.
I don’t ever want anybody to be denied rights within our country. I happen to think marriage is between a man and a woman.
That’s tradition, and I believe that that’s the right answer. But perhaps we will decide that there needs to be
some way for people to express their desire to live together through civil union." interview with
Christianity Today, Dec 2010
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.
When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
Robertson, Marion Gordon (Pat)
"We’re locking up people that take a couple of puffs of marijuana and the next thing you know they’ve got ten years
they’ve got mandatory sentences and these judges, they throw up their hand and say ‘What can we do, it’s mandatory sentences.’
We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes, and that’s one of them.
I mean, I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe criminalizing marijuana,
criminalizing the possession of just a few ounces of pot, and that kind of thing,
I mean it’s costing us a fortune, and it’s ruining young people.
The young people go into prisons, they go in as youths, and they come out as hardened criminals."
700 Club, Dec 22 2010
Romney, George Wilcken
Vietnam war "the most tragic foreign policy mistake in the nation's history."
1967? or 1968?
Romney received "the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get" Interview
with Lou Gordon, Sept 4 1967
Romney, Willard Mitt
"I am prolife. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother."
Boston Globe, 2005
"I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard."
gobernatorial debate, 2002
"America's greatest innovation is freedom. Without freedom, we have nothing,
With freedom, nothing can hold us back."
Franklin Delano (FDR)
"In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world
founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech
and expression everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every
person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world. The
third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic
understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life
for its inhabitants everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom
from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction
of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation
will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any
neighbor anywhere in the world."
Jan 6 1941
"Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who labors. If those taxes are
excessive, they are reflected in idle factories, in tax-sold farms, and hordes
of hungry people, tramping streets and seeking jobs in vain. Our workers
may never see a tax bill, but they pay. They pay in deductions from wages,
in increased cost of what they buy or in unemployment throughout the land."
Oct 19 1932
"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public
servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is
warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency
in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.
Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to
tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary
to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any
other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce
that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand
by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but
is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should
be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell
the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
May 7 1918
Rothbard, Murray N
"Freedom is a condition in which a person's ownership rights in his own body
and his legitimate material property are not invaded, are not aggressed against."
from For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 1973
"If liberty should be the highest political end, then what is the grounding
for that goal? It should be clear ... that, first and foremost, liberty is
a moral principle, grounded in the nature of man. In particular, it is a
principle of justice, of the abolition of aggressive violence in the affairs
of men. ... Justice, not the weak reed of mere utility, must be the motivating
force if liberty is to be attained."
Samper Pizano, Ernesto
"If repressive action fails, the road left is legalization of drugs."
Schmoke, Kurt L
"I recommend we eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana possession and
redirect funding from law enforcement efforts to prevention and education
programs. The war of drugs should be led by the surgeon general, not
the attorney general."
"By a very conservative estimate, a hundred million people have died at the
hands of their own governments in this century. Given that record, how bad
could anarchy be?"
"I must explain what I mean by a global open society. I emphatically do not
mean a global government. Governments by their very nature interfere with individual freedom. When there are many
countries to choose from, one can emigrate; but a global government would
be oppressive almost by definition. ... A global open society has to recognize
that all rules are imperfect and subject to improvement. We also need rules
for changing the rules ..." from
The Age of Fallibility:
Consequences of the War on Terror, pg Prologue xiv, 2006
"A special wariness is necessary in discussions of freedom, not only because
of the inherent problems of the concept, but also because an Orwellian Newspeak
has made it fashionable to describe the trade-off of freedom for other things
as an expansion of 'new freedoms' or of freedom in some 'larger' sense. The
incremental trade-off of freedom for other things is accepted by everyone
except a pure anarchist. But the extent of this historic trade-off is too
momentous an issue to be concealed or confused by pretty words. Force is
the antithesis of freedom, but force must be used, if only to defend against
other force. Force against murder, for example, includes
third parties who may be detained or subpeonaed as witnesses or forced by
law to serve as jurors.
the question at any point is how much more
freedom are we prepared to sacrifice for how much prospect of reducing the
murder rateor how much more freedom are we going to demand at the cost
of how many more lives of murder victims? Trade-offs involving freedom are
often painful, if only because only other urgent needs are considered worthy
of weighing and balancing with it.
It is instead muddied over by those
who define freedom as options (freedom to) and who have many options
to promise in exchange for our freedom.
The mere fact that something
may outrank freedom does not make that something become freedom.
verbal sleight of hand is practiced with such statements as 'security is
merely an aspect of freedom.' " from
Decisions, 1980, pgs 116-118
"What would make still more sense would be to admit that we are not God,
that we cannot live other people's lives or save people who don't want to
be saved, and to take the profits out of drugs by decriminalizing them. That
is what destroyed the bootleggers' gangs after Prohibition was repealed."
"What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they
don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When
you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long."
"One of the bitter ironies of the 20th century was that communism, which
began as an egalitarian doctrine accusing capitalism of selfishness and calloused
sacrifices of others, became in power a system whose selfishness and callousness
toward others made the sins of capitalism pale."
"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules
and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a
radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today."
"Blacks were not enslaved because they were black but because they were
available. Slavery has existed in the world for thousands of years. Whites
enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black was
brought to the Western hemisphere. Asians enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved
other Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans, and indeed even today in
North Africa, blacks continue to enslave blacks."
Spence, Gerald L
"[P]eople have not yet discovered they have been disenfranchised. Even lawyers
can't stand to admit it. In any nation in which people's rights have been
subordinated to the rights of the few, in any totalitarian nation, the first
institution to be dismantled is the jury. I was, I am, afraid."
"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill
the world with fools."
"... if the people had reserved for themselves no veto upon the acts of the
government, the government, instead of being a mere servant and agent of
the people, would be an absolute despot over the people. It would have all
power in its own hands, because the power to punish carries all other powers
with it." Essay on Trial By Jury, 1852
"For more than six hundred years that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215
there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional
law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries
to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent
of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount
duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that
are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in
violating, or resisting the execution of, such law." The Right
"Freedom From Freedom Froms cautions the reader that freedom
can mean enslavement. 'Freedom from want' can mean that government will make
your charity choices for you, 'freedom from overpopulation and starvation'
can mean that the government will control your reproduction, "freedom from
drugs' means they'll break your door down in the middle of the night, lest
you destroy some 'evidence', and 'freedom from sin' means they'll decide
how you will worship, among many other things. 'Freedom from pollution' means
that the Superfund will extort money from small businesses (and hence, from
consumers) for cleaning up the 'toxics' in discarded pizzas and cardboard
boxes, accomplishing little other than the enrichment of environmental lawyers.
'Freedom from Un-American Activities' meant that they'd nab you for scratching
your butt during the National Anthem. And more of the same. Beware, then,
of false freedoms, as well as false prophets; seek 'Freedom From Freedom
Froms'." Introduction, Freedom From
"I'm for personal freedom. I'm for freedom of the marketplace
if Donald Trump delivered the mail, you could send letters for 12 cents,
and also gamble with the stamps." Libertarian Party News, May
"Legalization is the only way to beat it. Let kids try it. Take out the allure,
take out the mystique and take off the price tag."
Sullivan, Andrew Michael
"Is there nothing that smoking pot cannot help? No wonder it's illegal. It
could put some pharmaceutical companies out of business."
Vs Alzheimers", The Daily Dish, Oct 12 2006
Sweet, Robert W
"... marijuana [gives] a sense of relaxation and ease. What then is wrong?
As to marijuana, particularly today, the answer is nothing. It is reported
to be our fourth most important cash crop. In 1972, President Nixon's Commission
on drug laws recommended the regulation and taxation of marijuana, a
recommendation repeated in 1982 by the National Academy of Science, Whatever
can be said about heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs, 27 years is long enough
to learn that the prohibition against marijuana should be abolished."
"It is time to abolish prohibitionto cease treating indulgence in
mind-alteration as a crime."
"The war on drugs has failed to stop the traffic, or alter the social patternes
which produce the phenomena ... It is expensive and diverting, and has come
close to causing foreign excursion, subversions, and has caused us to reconsider
whether or not as a nation we wish employ assassination as an expression
"For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the
very definition of slavery."
"Its not about marijuana, it's about states' rights. The federal government
has no right to interfere when a state makes that kind of decision. ... The
federal government should stay the hell out of it." Response
to inquiry into Tancredo's position on federal raids of medicinal cannabis
clubs, Londonderry NH, Aug 19 2007
Thompson, Hunter Stockton
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but
they've always worked for me."
Thoreau, Henry David
"I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least';
and I should like to see it acted upon more rapidly and systematically. Carried
out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe'That government
is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that
will be the kind of government which they will have." from On the Duty
of Civil Disobedience, 1849
"Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor
to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress
them at once?
it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy
is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate
and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does
it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens
to put out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it
always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce
Washington and Franklin rebels?" from On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,
"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State
comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from
which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly."
from On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1849
Tocqueville, Alexis de
"Liberty is generally born in stormy weather."
"All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought
to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it."
"... liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without
"Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery
than unequal in freedom."
"In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press
ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates
"Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts
it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each
man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in
common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy
seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."
Truman, Harry S
"When even one American who has done nothing wrong is forced
by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril."
Trump, Donald J
"We're badly losing the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to take
the profit away from these drug czars."
"History has shown us that neither systems, nor governments, nor dictators
are eternal, but the spirit of freedom is."
"The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can
for the benefit of the other third."
"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."
"Let the laws be clear, uniform and precise; to interpret laws is almost always
to corrupt them."
Walberg, Timothy L
"House must work together to balance the budget and make certain that taxpayer
dollars are going to meaningful programs. We must restore fiscal responsibility
in our government. ... From Battle Creek to Adrian, men and women in the
7th District continue to stress to me that they want health care decisions
to be made by patients and doctors, not by the government and insurance
companies. I look forward to studying the market-based health care reforms
proposed by the President. ... The war on terrorism is the calling of our
time, and we cannot shirk our obligation to protect our families and nation
from the enemies of freedom."
Weekly Wrapup", Jan 26 2007
"Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere. From trade our citizens
will not be restrained, and therefore it behooves us to place it in the most
convenient channels, under proper regulation. Free as much as possible, from
those vices which luxury, the consequences of wealth and power, naturally
"Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by swamp. ... began to separate the male from female
Hemp at Dawn ... rather too late." Diary, 1765
"What was done with the seed saved from Indian hemp last summer? It ought
to have been sewn again ... as it is more valuable than common hemp."
(Editor's note: This quote shows Washington knew Indian hemp (cannabis)
was used for purposes more valuable than hemp fiber. Indian hemp was typically
used to make hashish back then.)
"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans
are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can
call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed,
and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts
will deliver them."
"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the
American people's liberty, teeth and keystone under independence. The church,
the plow, the prairie wagon and citizens' firearms are indelibly related.
From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences
and tendencies prove that, to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle
and pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms,
and more than 99 and 99-100 percent of them by their silence indicate they
are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and
everywhere restrains evil influence. They deserve a place of honor with all
that's good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour."
"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should
have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence
from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own
"Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And,
like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
"I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe
should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention
of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness
and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that
they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail
properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the
dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing.
Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of
detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy." June 1 1837
"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard
and defend it."
"No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or
if he fall in defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country."
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority.
It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the
people against the dangers of good intentions. 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."
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are
in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce
unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed,
and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be,
on any pretense, raised in the United States."
"The laws designed to solve the drug problem are the drug problem."
"When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her."
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's
original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made,
through disobedience and through rebellion."
Wilson, Robert Anton
"Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us."
Wilson, Robert C
"The 'permissive' lawmaker would sanction such vices as drinking, pornography
and the rest of the current issues. The 'disciplinary' legislator would do
away with those indulgences of which he disapproves. In either case, the
right of the state to grant permission is considered obvious and a priori.
Thus the advocate of limited government can be made to sound more libertine
than libertarian as if opposing prohibition and advocating drunkenness
were one and the same thing." from
or Liberty?", The Freeman, June 1973, vol 23, no 6
"The history of Liberty is the history of resistance."
"The free market offers us the opportunity to get rich, or poor, in competition
with everyone else. The free market doesn't offer us special privileges,
favors, subsidies, breaks, exemptions, monopolies, handouts. And it is this
that accounts for the free market's unpopularity."
Zappa, Frank Vincent
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion.
At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery,
they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the
brick wall at the back of the theatre."
"Censoring what you say is one of the ways in which people who are not nice can take away your personal freedom."
"Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are in my opinion
more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality."
"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced."
"I've smoked ten marijuana cigarettes in my life. And they've given me a
sore throat, a headache, and made me sleepy. I can't understand why anyone
would wanna use the stuff. It seems such an impractical pastime as you can get sent to jail for it."
"People like to own things."
"Religion has mostly proven to be a real-estate scam."
Other Freedom Quotation Sites
Armed Females of America's Notable Quotes
Bartlett's Fimiliar Quotations
Jeff Christen-Mitchell's "Art of the Quote"
Freedom's Nest's Quotes
Fully Informed Jury Association's Quotes
Haff's "The Theory and Reality of Government"
Mann's "The Nature of Freedom"
Marihemp's Anslinger Quotes
Radical Academy's Philosophical Quotations
D Scott Scheibe's Right to Keep Arms & Liberty Quotes
Walter E Williams' Quotations From Framers of the Constitution ... and Others