Government, Politics, and Freedom

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 He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his 
 enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he 
 establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
     -- Thomas Paine

 They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little 
 temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
     -- Benjamin Franklin, _Historical_Review_of_Pennsylvania_, 1759.

 History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark. 
 --Lord Whorfin              

Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the 
alternatives of choice.  Without the possibility of choice a man is not 
a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.
 -- Archibald Macleish

[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.
 -- Voltarine de Cleyre

First they came for the fourth amendment, But I said nothing since I 
wasn't a drug dealer.  Then they came for the sixth amendment, but I 
kept quiet since I knew I wasn't guilty.  Finally they came for the 
first amendment, and by then it was too late to say anything at all.
 --  Mark Eckenwiler

The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of 
tyrants and patriots alike.  It is its natural manure.
 -- Thomas Jefferson

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car 
keys to teenage boys.
 -- P.J. O'Rourke, _Parliament_of_Whores_

1935 will go down in history.  For the first time, a civilized nation 
has full gun registration.  Our streets will be safer, our police more 
efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.
 --Adolf Hitler

Hence it happened that all the armed prophets conquered, all the 
unarmed perished.
 --Machiavelli, 'Il Principe.'

If I knew what you've made during the year, if I know what your 
withholding is, if I know what your spending pattern is, I should be 
able to generate for you a tax return. I am an excellent advocate of 
return-free filing. We know everything about you that we need to know. 
Your employer tells us everything about you that we need to know. Your 
activity records on your credit cards tell us everything about you that 
we need to know. Through interface with Social Security, with the DMV, 
with your banking institutions, we really have a lot of information...
We could literally file a return for you. This is the future we'd 
like to go to.
  - US Internal Revenue Service Document Processing System project
    manager, as reported by _Wired_, Dec. 1994, p. 174.

Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.
  - Seneca, 65 CE

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, 
hardworking, honest Americans.  It's the other lousy two percent that 
get all the publicity.  But then, we elected them.
  - Lily Tomlin

There is a First Amendment right to speak in a encrypted way... The 
right to speak P.G.P. is like the right to speak Navajo.  The 
Government has no particular right to prevent you from speaking in a 
technical manner even if it is inconvenient for them to understand.
  - Eben Moglen, Columbia U. professor of law and legal history, in a
    _New_York_Times_ article by John Markoff, Sep. 21, 1993

I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my 
country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to 
betray my country.
  - E. M. Forster

Only in a police state is the job of a policeman easy.
 -- Orson Welles

In a Time/CNN poll of 1,000 Americans conducted last week by 
Yankelovich Partners, two-thirds said it was more important to protect 
the privacy of phone calls than to preserve the ability of police to 
conduct wiretaps.
 -- Philip Elmer-Dewitt "Who Should Keep the Keys"
    TIME Magazine, 04Mar94

We can't be so fixated on our desire
    to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans ...
 -- Bill Clinton  (USA TODAY, 11 March 1993, page 2A)

Our society has embraced the bloodthirstiness of trial law like no 
other.  In a courtroom, one can reap the benefits of total war without 
the bloodshed.  You can destroy another's freedom, their ability to 
earn money, retain property, or keep their families.  A Court Order to 
have one's fields sown with salt doesn't seem that far fetched to me.
 -- Scott Ruggels

No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of 
arms forever.  There is no greater power in the universe than the need 
for freedom.  Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies 
cannot stand.  The Century learned this lesson once.  We will teach it 
to them again.  Though it take a thousand years, we will be free.
 -- Citizen G'Kar

 Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.
 -- Mark Twain

It is impossible to live pleasurably without living prudently,
honorably, and justly; or to live prudently, honorably, and justly,
without living pleasurably.
 -- Epicurus (B.C. 341-270)

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
  -- Tacitus

The more laws that are written, the more criminals are produced.
  -- Lao-Tse, Tao Te Ching

Never trust a government that doesn't trust its own citizens with guns.
  -- Thomas Jefferson

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the
masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous
and its speaker a raving lunatic.
  -- Dresden James

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a
revolutionary act.
  -- George Orwell

The American people are tired of liars and people who pretend
to be something they're not.
  -- Hillary Clinton, 1992 60 Minutes interview

One of the shrewdest ways for human predators to conquer their
stronger victims is to steadily convince them with propaganda
that they're still free...
  -- Dr. N.A. Scott

None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe
they are free.
  -- Johann Von Goethe

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
  -- Voltaire

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the
price of chains and slavery?
  -- Patrick Henry

The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than
the crowd.  The man who walks alone is likely to find himself
in places no one has ever been.
  -- Alan Ashley-Pitt

The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered
by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those
which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.
  -- Dresden James

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there,
no Constitution, no Law, no Court can save it...
Where do you stand Citizen?
  -- Judge Learned Hand (1961)

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian
of true liberty.
  -- James Madison

If you can't say Fuck, you can't say, Fuck the government.
  -- Lenny Bruce

Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am
convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate
in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the
profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank.
You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its
charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true,
gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will
ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a
den of vipers and thieves.
  -- attributed to President Andrew Jackson, who in 1836 forced the
  closing of the Second Bank of the U.S. by revoking its charter

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not
from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want
of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the
nature of coin, credit and circulation.
  -- John Adams

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and
causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have
been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and
the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by
working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is
aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed.
  -- Abraham Lincoln, shortly before his assassination

The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy
the American's freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the
citizen of his plight.
  -- John F. Kennedy, at Columbia University,
  10 days before his assassination

The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become
corrupt, our people careless...From the conclusion of this
[Revolutionary] war we shall be going down hill. It will not be
necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will
be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will
forget themselves in the sole faculty of making money, and will never
think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The
shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion
of this war, will be heavier and heavier, till our rights shall
revive or expire in a convulsion.
  -- Thomas Jefferson

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into
  -- Aristotle

Imagine if a scientist claimed he had made up a law of physics or
chemistry.  He'd be carted away to a lunatic asylum. As we'd expect,
much of political law is complete fantasy.
  -- Richard J. Maybury, Whatever Happened to Justice?

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
  -- William Pitt, speech to the House of Commons, [Nov. 18, 1783]

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to
think things out...without regard to the prevailing superstitions
and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the
government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable...
  -- H.L. Mencken

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand
by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the
degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic
to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is
unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency
or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either
event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the
president or anyone else.
  -- Theodore Roosevelt

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