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  Quotations - General  
[Quote No.46946] Need Area: Friends > General
"A different world cannot be built by indifferent people." - Peter Marshall

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[Quote No.46948] Need Area: Friends > General
"No man [or woman] can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who considers pleasure the hightest good." - Cicero
(106 BC - 43 BC)
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[Quote No.46953] Need Area: Friends > General
"In our time all it takes for evil to flourish is for a few good men to be a little wrong and have a great deal of power, and for the vast majority of their fellow citizens to remain indifferent." - William Sloane Coffin

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[Quote No.46954] Need Area: Friends > General
"Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without." - William Sloane Coffin

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[Quote No.46961] Need Area: Friends > General
"Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit." - Napoleon Bonaparte
(1769 - 1821)
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[Quote No.46975] Need Area: Friends > General
"...whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it be called." - John Stuart Mill

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[Quote No.46976] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Free market capitalism:] Trade between two individuals, entered into freely, always results in benefits to both parties. Otherwise, why should they trade?" - W.M. Curtiss

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[Quote No.47004] Need Area: Friends > General
"Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh, ...make haste to be kind!" - Henri-Frederic Amiel

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[Quote No.47005] Need Area: Friends > General
"Jealousy is a terrible thing. It resembles love, only it is precisely love's contrary. Instead of wishing for the welfare of the object loved, it desires the dependence of that object upon itself, and its own triumph. Love is the forgetfulness of self; jealousy is the most passionate form of egotism, the glorification of a despotic, exacting, and vain ego, which can neither forget nor subordinate itself. The contrast is perfect." - Henri-Frederic Amiel

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[Quote No.47026] Need Area: Friends > General
"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe [when politicians make decisions about them] while the legislature is in session." - Mark Twain

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[Quote No.47029] Need Area: Friends > General
"There are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." - Edward H. Crane
Founder and president of the Cato Institute
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[Quote No.47031] Need Area: Friends > General
"A wise [freedom-loving] man neither suffers himself to be governed, nor attempts to govern others." - Jean de la Bruyere
(1645 - 1696) French essayist and moralist
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[Quote No.47032] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Martial Arts and Self-Defense:] Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." - St. Augustine
(354 - 430), Bishop of Hippo Regius, philosopher and theologian.
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[Quote No.47040] Need Area: Friends > General
"Man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it's up to him to decide by his own reasoning mind which he wants to be." - Ayn Rand

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[Quote No.47050] Need Area: Friends > General
"The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself." - Robert Ingersoll

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[Quote No.47054] Need Area: Friends > General
"Repentance won't cure mischief [only self-disciplined restraint will]!" - Gaelic Proverb

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[Quote No.47056] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Those contemplating evil should remember...] Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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[Quote No.47067] Need Area: Friends > General
"If you make the law the palladium [safeguard] of the freedom and the property rights of all citizens, and if it is nothing but the organization of their individual rights to legitimate self-defense, you will establish on a just foundation a rational, simple, economical government, understood by all, loved by all, useful to all, supported by all, entrusted with a perfectly definite and very limited responsibility, and endowed with unshakeable solidity." - Frederic Bastiat
French lawyer and politician. Quote from 'Plunder and Law', published 1850.
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[Quote No.47087] Need Area: Friends > General
"I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization." - Roger Ebert
movie critic
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[Quote No.47099] Need Area: Friends > General
"There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(1749-1832) German Philosopher
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[Quote No.47101] Need Area: Friends > General
"A government big [and powerful] enough to give you everything you want is a government big [and powerful] enough to take from you everything you have." - Gerald Ford

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[Quote No.47105] Need Area: Friends > General
"You say that I have been dished up to you as an anti-federalist, and ask me if it be just. My opinion was never worthy enough of notice to merit citing; but since you ask it, I will tell it to you. I am not a federalist. What I disapproved from the first moment also, was the want of a bill of rights, to guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government; that is to say, to secure freedom in religion, freedom of the press, freedom from monopolies, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, freedom from a permanent military, and a trial by jury, in all cases determinable by the laws of the land." - Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President. Source: March 13th 1789, Jefferson letter to Francis Hopkinson.
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[Quote No.47106] Need Area: Friends > General
"[If government's role is not to redistribute wealth, what is its proper role?] To create conditions in which [free market] competition will be as effective as possible, to [protect private property rights and] prevent fraud and deception, to break up monopolies — these tasks provide a wide and unquestioned field for state activity." - Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974. Source: 'The Road to Serfdom'.
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[Quote No.47109] Need Area: Friends > General
"Collectivism is a doctrine that holds that the individual has no rights, and the ultimate standard of value is the group to which 'he belongs.' Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors. Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas -- or of inherited knowledge -- which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men. Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination." - Ayn Rand
(1905-1982) Author. Source: Racism, 'The Virtue of Selfishness', p.126.
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[Quote No.47123] Need Area: Friends > General
"Patriotism isn't the same as nationalism. The former is a healthy love and respect for your country, but the latter is blind, total, and unrestricted support for any and all legislation, policies, or activities of a nation. Nationalism is the extreme, whereas patriotism is the goal, because good patriots know when to challenge their political leaders, laws, and policies when they become unjust or immoral." - Rev. John Triglio Jr. and Rev. Kenneth Brighenti
'Catholicism for Dummies', 2003.
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[Quote No.47125] Need Area: Friends > General
"Politics is show business for ugly people. [In particular, each media release and appearance has a focus-group tested story and script that has been carefully crafted and practiced to appeal to the respective political party's or politician's audience.]" - Sir Bob Geldof

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[Quote No.47126] Need Area: Friends > General
"Even at the best of times politicians like to run fiscal deficits as spending buys votes...Knowing very well that voters prefer transfer payments over more productive spending such as infrastructure investments, political leaders of all colours willingly deliver, even if it is plain wrong. Prostitution knows no boundaries. Allow me to illustrate my point with a few numbers. The multiplier on transfer payments is estimated to be [according to Source: Woody Brock, 'Strategic Economic Decisions'] circa 0.85, i.e. the impact on GDP for each $1 of transfer payments [i.e. social security] is about $0.851. Meanwhile, the multiplier on infrastructure spending can be as high as 3:1 or even 4:1. Say for argument’s sake that our government decides to build a new airport. For every $1 spent by the government, the private sector usually invests $2 or even $3 alongside the government, meaning that as much as $4 will be pumped into the economy for every $1 of public spending, creating many more jobs than the $1 of transfer payments does. Yet the buffoons running the asylum don’t seem to get it." - Niels C. Jensen
Absolute Return Partners LLP. Quote from 'The Absolute Return Letter', July 2013.
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[Quote No.47139] Need Area: Friends > General
"What experience and history teach is this - that [most] people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it!" - Georg Hegel

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[Quote No.47144] Need Area: Friends > General
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807-1882), American poet and novelist. Source: his novel, 'Kavanagh', published 1849.
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[Quote No.47146] Need Area: Friends > General
"All men by nature are equal in that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man; being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions." - John Locke
(1632-1704), English philosopher and political theorist. Considered the ideological progenitor of the American Revolution and who, by far, was the most often non-biblical writer quoted by the Founding Fathers of the USA. Source: 'Second Treatise on Government' (Chapter 2), published 1698.
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[Quote No.47147] Need Area: Friends > General
"Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty." - Calvin Coolidge
(1873-1933), 30th US President. Source: Speech, 1924.
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[Quote No.47148] Need Area: Friends > General
"A national government is a government of the people of a single state or nation, united as a community by what is termed the 'social compact,’ and possessing complete and perfect supremacy over persons and things, so far as they can be made the lawful objects of civil government. A federal government is distinguished from a national government by its being the government of a community of independent and sovereign states, united by compact." - Black's Law Dictionary
Source: Piqua Branch Bank v. Knoup, 6 Ohio St. 393. [Black's Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition, 1968, p. 1176]
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[Quote No.47154] Need Area: Friends > General
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt
(1708-1778) 1st Earl of Chatham, English Statesman, Orator. Source: Speech, House of Commons, 18 November 1783.
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[Quote No.47156] Need Area: Friends > General
"You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings!" - Pearl Buck

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[Quote No.47157] Need Area: Friends > General
"Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have." - Saul Alinsky

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[Quote No.47159] Need Area: Friends > General
"Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean [always] to do harm. But the harm [to others, usually] does not interest them." - T. S. Eliot

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[Quote No.47165] Need Area: Friends > General
"Those political institutions are best which subtract as little as possible from a people's natural independence as the price of their protection." - John Henry Newman
(1801 - 1890)
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[Quote No.47167] Need Area: Friends > General
"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 power and authority was derived, and treats him [and her] accordingly." - Henry David Thoreau
(1817 - 1862)
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[Quote No.47175] Need Area: Friends > General
"Few people are as kind as they think they are, and none are as kind as they could be." - Dr. Mardy Grothe

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[Quote No.47185] Need Area: Friends > General
"The most certain test by which we can judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities." - Lord Acton
(1834-1902), John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, historian.
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[Quote No.47196] Need Area: Friends > General
"[The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: ...‘There is an exceptionally beneficial and fruitful advantage to be derived from the study of the past. There you see, set in the clear light of historical truth, examples of every possible type. From these you can select for yourself and your country what to imitate, and also what, as being mischievous in its inception and disastrous in its consequences, you should avoid.’ — The Roman historian Livy] Are We Rome? Monumental sums for bailouts. Staggering increases in public debt. Concentration of power in the central government. A mad scramble by interest groups with endless claims on the treasury. Mushrooming regulations on enterprise. Demagogic class warfare appeals. Higher taxes on the productive. Decline of virtues once widely embraced as essential for strong character. These things ring familiar in 21st century America just as surely as they dominated the ill-fated Roman welfare state of two millennia ago. Both Rome and America were born in revolt against monarchy—Americans against the British and Romans against the Etruscans. Wary of concentrated authority, both established republics with checks and balances, separation of powers and protection of certain rights of at least certain people, if not all. Despite shortcomings, the establishment of the Roman Republic in the sixth century B.C. and the American Republic in the eighteenth century A.D. represented the greatest advances for individual liberty in the history of the world. The history of ancient Rome spans a thousand years—roughly 500 as a republic and 500 as an imperial autocracy, with the birth of Christ occurring during the transitional years in between. As demonstrated by the historian Thomas Madden in his 2008 book, ‘Empires of Trust’, the closest parallels between Roman and American civilizations are to be found in Rome’s first half-millennium as a republic. We in our day can derive the most instructive lessons and warnings from that period. The tyranny of the empire came after the republic crumbled—the truly awful consequences of decay, which America can yet avoid. The paramount lesson of the Roman experience is actually not peculiar to Rome. It may be, in fact, the most universal lesson of all history: No people who have lost their character have kept their liberties. Roman society at the time of the Republic’s founding was basically agricultural, made up of small farmers and shepherds. By the second century B.C., large-scale businesses made their appearance. Italy became urbanized. Immigration accelerated as people from many lands were attracted by the vibrant growth and opportunities the bustling Roman economy offered. The growing prosperity was made possible by a general climate of free enterprise, limited government, and respect for private property. Merchants and businessmen were admired and emulated. No one should claim that Romans fostered a libertarian society. They took liberty to new heights in many ways by limiting the power of the State, but shortcomings were plentiful. This much is clear: The liberties they achieved were made possible and sustained for centuries by traits of character on which liberty always depends: courage, hard work, personal independence, and self-reliance. Rome’s remarkable achievements in sanitation, education, banking, architecture, and commerce are legendary. The city even had a stock market. With low taxes and tariffs, free trade and considerable private property, Rome became the center of the world’s wealth. All this disappeared, however, by the fifth century A.D.; when it was gone, the world was plunged into darkness and despair, slavery and poverty. Why did Rome decline and fall? Rome collapsed because of a fundamental change in ideas on the part of the Roman people—ideas which relate primarily to personal responsibility and the source of personal income. In the early days of greatness, Romans regarded themselves as their chief source of income. By that I mean each individual looked to himself—what he could acquire voluntarily in the marketplace—as the source of his livelihood. Rome’s decline began when the people discovered another source of income: the political process—the State. In short, it was a [political, educational, sociological] character issue. Rome rose to greatness on the pillars of strong personal character. It foundered when its people sacrificed character for less noble things like power and the false, temporary ‘security’ of a handout. When Romans abandoned self-responsibility and self-reliance, and began to vote themselves benefits, to use government to rob Peter and pay Paul, to put their hands into other people’s pockets, to envy and covet the productive and their wealth, they turned down a fateful, destructive path. As the late Dr. Howard E. Kershner put it, ‘When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take from some and give to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare.’ The legalized plunder of the Roman welfare state was undoubtedly sanctioned by people who wished to do good. But as Henry David Thoreau wrote, ‘If I knew for certain that a man was coming to my house to do me good, I would run for my life.’ Another person coined the phrase, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ Nothing but evil can come from a society bent upon coercion, the confiscation of property, and the degradation of the productive. In the waning years of the Roman republic, a rogue named Clodius ran for the office of tribune. He bribed the electorate with promises of free grain at taxpayer expense and won. Thereafter, Romans in growing numbers embraced the notion that voting for a living could be more lucrative than working for one. Candidates for Roman office spent huge sums to win public favor, then plundered the population afterwards to make good on their promises to the rent-seekers who elected them. As the republic gave way to dictatorship, a succession of emperors built their power on the huge handouts they controlled. Nearly a third of the city of Rome itself received public relief payments by the ‘When Romans abandoned self-responsibility and self-reliance, and began to vote themselves benefits, to use government to rob Peter and pay Paul, to put their hands into other people’s pockets, to envy and covet the productive and their wealth, they turned down a fateful, destructive path.’ time of the birth of Christ. The historian H. J. Haskell describes this tragic turn of ideas and events: ‘Less than a century after the Republic had faded into the autocracy of the Empire, the people had lost all taste for democratic institutions. On the death of an emperor the Senate debated the question of restoring the Republic. But the commons preferred the rule of an extravagant despot who would continue the dole and furnish them free shows. The mob outside clamored for ‘one ruler’ of the world.’ It’s frightening to consider how easily a sturdy people, when they let their guard and character down, can be bought and paid for by the welfare state. And once they sell themselves for that mess of pottage from politicians, it’s not easy to turn back. Speaking of the emperor Augustus, who ruled from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. and who tried to reduce the free wheat program by briefly introducing a means test, Haskell cites the emperor’s biographer and contemporary: ‘[H]e was inclined to abolish forever the public distribution of grain, for the people had come to rely upon it and had ceased to till the fields; but he had not proceeded further in the matter because he was sure that, from a desire to please the people, it would be revived at one time or another.’ In response to a severe money and credit crisis in 33 A.D., the central government extended credit at zero interest on a massive scale. Government spending in the wake of the crisis soared. In 91 A.D., the government became deeply involved in agriculture. Emperor Domitian, to reduce the production and raise the price of wine, ordered the destruction of half the provincial vineyards. Following the lead of Rome, many cities within the empire spent themselves deeply into debt. Beginning with Emperor Hadrian early in the Second Century, municipalities in financial difficulty received aid from Rome and lost a substantial measure of their political independence in the bargain. The central government also assumed the responsibility of providing the people with entertainment. Elaborate circuses and gladiator duels were staged to keep the people happy. One modern historian estimates that Rome poured the equivalent of $100 million per year into the games. Under Emperor Antoninus Pius, who ruled from 138 to 161 A.D., the Roman bureaucracy reached mammoth proportions. Eventually, according to the historian Albert Trever, ‘the relentless system of taxation, requisition, and compulsory labor was administered by an army of military bureaucrats…. Everywhere were the ubiquitous personal agents of the emperors’ employed to crush tax evaders. There were plenty of taxes to evade. Emperor Nero is said by Roman historian Gaius Suetonius in De Vitae Caesarum to have once rubbed his hands together and declared, ‘Let us tax and tax again! Let us see to it that no one owns anything!’ Taxation ultimately destroyed the wealthy first, followed by the middle and lower classes. ‘What the soldiers or the barbarians spared, the emperors took in taxes,’ according to historian W. G. Hardy. Late in the Third Century, Emperor Aurelian declared government relief [social security – welfare] payments to be a hereditary right. He provided recipients government-baked bread (instead of the old practice of giving them wheat and letting them bake their own bread) and added free salt, pork, and olive oil. Rome suffered from the bane of all welfare states, inflation. The massive demands on the government to spend and subsidize created pressures for the multiplication of money. Roman coinage was debased by one emperor after another to pay for expensive programs. Once almost pure silver, the denarius, by the year 300, was little more than a piece of junk containing less than five percent silver. Prices skyrocketed and savings vanished. Businessmen were vilified even as government continued its spendthrift ways. Price controls further ravaged a battered and shrinking private economy. By 476 A.D., when barbarians wiped the empire from the map, Rome had committed moral and economic suicide. Romans first lost their character. Then, as a consequence, they lost their liberties and ultimately their civilization. I close with an old story whose relevance to the Roman one will be clear in a moment. It’s about a band of wild hogs which lived along a river in a secluded area of Georgia. These hogs were a stubborn, ornery, and independent bunch. They had survived floods, fires, freezes, droughts, hunters, dogs, and everything else. No one thought they could ever be captured. One day a stranger came into town not far from where the hogs lived and went into the general store. He asked the storekeeper, ‘Where can I find the hogs? I want to capture them.’ The storekeeper laughed at such a claim but pointed in the general direction. The stranger left with his one-horse wagon, an axe, and a few sacks of corn. Two months later he returned, went back to the store and asked for help to bring the hogs out. He said he had them all penned up in the woods. People were amazed and came from miles around to hear him tell the story of how he did it. ‘The first thing I did,’ the stranger said, ‘was to clear a small area of the woods with my axe. Then I put some corn in the center of the clearing. At first, none of the hogs would take the corn. Then after a few days, some of the young ones would come out, snatch some corn, and then scamper back into the underbrush. Then the older ones began taking the corn, probably figuring that if they didn’t get it, some of the other ones would. Soon they were all eating the corn. They stopped grubbing for roots and acorns on their own.’ ‘About that time, the stranger continued, ‘I started building a fence around the clearing, a little higher each day. At the right moment, I built a trap door and sprung it. Naturally, they squealed and hollered when they knew I had them, but I can pen any animal on the face of the earth if I can corrupt them enough to depend on me for a free handout!’ I’ll say it one more time for emphasis: No people who have lost their character have kept their liberties! " - Lawrence W. Reed
He is an author, public speaker, economic historian and president of FEE - the Foundation for Economic Education [- America’s oldest ‘free enterprise’ research and educational institute, headquartered first in Irvington, New York and now Atlanta, Georgia. Its mission is to inspire, educate and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society. It focuses primarily on reaching young people, ages 16-24, through seminars, publications, social media and online lectures. A core component of the Foundation’s message is the critical, indispensable connection between character, liberty, and a free economy. Its flagship journal, ‘The Freeman’, is available online, in print, and via Kindle. FEE is sustained entirely by the voluntary, tax deductible contributions of other foundations, individuals and businesses who believe that character, liberty and a free economy are worth supporting.]
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[Quote No.47201] Need Area: Friends > General
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin

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[Quote No.47202] Need Area: Friends > General
"Since it was first recognized in [the] Magna Carta, trial by jury has been a prized shield against [government] oppression ...." - U.S. Supreme Court
Source: Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 84 (1942)
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[Quote No.47203] Need Area: Friends > General
"The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that." - John Adams
(1735-1826) US Founding Father and 2nd US President. Source: John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
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[Quote No.47204] Need Area: Friends > General
"Constitutions are checks upon the hasty action of the majority. They are the self-imposed restraints of a whole people upon a majority of them to secure sober action and a respect for the rights of the minority." - William Howard Taft
(1857-1930) 27th US President. Source: Veto Message, Arizona Enabling Act, 1911.
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[Quote No.47205] Need Area: Friends > General
"By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil, which no honest government should decline." - Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President. Source: Jefferson letter to Mr. A. Donald, on February 7th 1788.
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[Quote No.47215] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Individualism and diversity:] It takes all sorts to make a world." - English Proverb

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[Quote No.47219] Need Area: Friends > General
"To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves." - Aldous Huxley

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[Quote No.47221] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Envy:] Some folk are always thirsting for water from other people's wells." - Jessamyn West

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[Quote No.47222] Need Area: Friends > General
"Envy shooteth at others and woundeth herself." - Thomas Fuller, M.D.

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