Favorite Quotes:
The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offence.
-- E.W.Dijkstra, 18th June 1975.
We cannot talk of freedom unless we have private property.
-- Gavriil Popov, Mayor of Moscow, September 11, 1990.
It is seldom that any liberty is lost all at once.
-- David Hume
...if you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral, everything would be lawful, even cannibalism.
-- Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov"
Let parents, then, bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
-- Plato, "Laws"
I have prevented my kids from watching MTV at home. It's not safe for kids.
-- Tom Freston, MTV president, 4/14/95 Buffalo News.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
-- William Pitt, 1783 speech to the House of Commons.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759.
Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven.
-- Pierre Corneille
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 them.
-- Thomas Jefferson
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
-- Henry David Thoreau, "Walden," chapter "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," 1854.
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
-- Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
-- Thomas Jefferson.
Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.
-- John Derbyshire
For us, murder is once for all forbidden.... It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born, or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man; the fruit is always present in the seed.
-- Tertullian (c. 160-230).
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again -- and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
-- Mark Twain, Following the Equator, 1897.
The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.
-- Mark Twain.
We are the first generation of man to try to build a society without a moral reference point.
-- Arnold Toynbee.
The world expects of Christians that they will raise their voices so loudly and clearly and so formulate their protest that not even the simplest man can have the slightest doubt about what they are saying. Further, the world expects of Christians that they will eschew all fuzzy abstractions and plant themselves squarely in front of the bloody face of history. We stand in need of folk who have determined to speak directly and unmistakably and come what may, to stand by what they have said.
-- Albert Camus.
The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain neutrality.
-- Dante.
When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.
-- Abraham Kuyper.
Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.... Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
-- Albert Einstein.
Those who are struggling today, those who are far away and doing that which is completely contrary to the Christian conscience, are not first to be blamed. It is my generation, and the generation that preceded me, who turned away. Today we are left, not only with a religion and a church without meaning, but ... with a culture without meaning.
-- Francis Schaeffer.
The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.
-- Paul Johnson.
Preach the gospel at all times; if need be, use words.
-- Francis of Assisi.
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.
-- John Adams.
There are only two possible forms of control: one internal and the other external; religious control and political control. They are of such a nature that when the religious barometer rises, the barometer of [external] falls and likewise, when the religious barometer falls, the political barometer, that is political control and tyranny, rises. That is the law of humanity, a law of history. If civilized man falls into disbelief and immorality, the way is prepared for some gigantic and colossal tyrant, universal and immense.
-- Juan Donoso-Cortes, Spanish philosopher, statesman, and writer.
Everything that emancipates the spirit without giving us control over ourselves is harmful.
-- Goethe.
In his 1996 essay, 'Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died,' novelist Tom Wolfe said philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was right in his prediction that humanity would muddle through the 20th century, living off the 'mere pittance' of the morality it had inherited from Christianity. But that inheritance is now overdrawn, spent.
-- Charles Colson.
We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution) ... Any attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.
-- Justice Joseph Story, appointed by President James Madison in 1811.
Why is it, I often ask liberals, that they uphold these few words from Jefferson ('separation of church and state') as holy writ but ignore almost everything else he wrote? Jefferson...wanted the state to remain very, very small and occupy only a tiny corner of a large public square filled with private institutions and citizens virtually untouched by taxation and government regulation. Liberals nowadays reason using a far different logic. In their syllogism, church and state must be separate. The state must own or control everything. Therefore, the church must retreat to near nothingness. This is not the America Thomas Jefferson wanted. This is what he declared independence against.
-- Lowell Ponte.
When you abolish Jesus Christ and the Bible from not only the classroom but also a two-minute time slot before high school football games, you are not practicing religious neutrality. You are substituting a new religion for an old one. When classroom instruction is anchored in Darwinian evolution, state socialism, and a passionate amorality, you are looking at a New Established Religion -- secular humanism. There is no religious neutrality in this, and there never could be. Secular humanism has supplanted orthodox Christianity as the unofficially established religion of the United States. Government schools are the chief hotbed of this new religion. It is relentlessly anti-Christian. Christian parents who turn their precious children over to vigorously anti-Christian religionists are not only sinful; they are foolish.
-- P. Andrew Sandlin.
It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of Divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles. He can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author. When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well executed statue or a highly finished painting where life and action are imitated, and habit only prevents our mistaking a surface of light and shade for cubical solidity, our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talents of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How then is it, that when we study the works of God in the creation, we stop short, and do not think of God? It is from the error of the schools in having taught those subjects as accomplishments only, and thereby separated the study of them from the Being who is the author of them ... The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of the creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of His existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter; and jump over all the rest, by saying that matter is eternal.
-- Thomas Paine, 1797.
Tolerance is a virtue when you put up with a lesser evil for the sake of a greater good, such as social peace. It isn't a virtue at all -- it becomes a vice -- when it means abandoning your moral standards out of cowardice or pusillanimity.
-- Joseph Sobran.
Were the talents and virtues which heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all? Away, then, with those absurd systems which to gratify the pride of a few debase the greater part of our species below the order of men. What an affront to the King of the universe, to maintain that the happiness of a monster, sunk in debauchery and spreading desolation and murder among men, of a Caligula, a Nero, or a Charles, is more precious in his sight than that of millions of his suppliant creatures, who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God! No, in the judgment of heaven there is no other superiority among men than a superiority in wisdom and virtue.
-- Samuel Adams.
The Ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer.
A general state education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
-- John Stuart Mill.
The socialist state requires greater and greater degrees of force to make it function. If resources and wealth are allocated on the basis of need rather than production, people will compete to be more needy rather than more productive.
-- Linda Bowles.
The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.
-- Norman Thomas, one of the founders of the ACLU, who ran for president multiple times on the Socialist Party ticket.
My business is not to remake myself, but to make the absolute best of what God made.
-- Robert Browning.
When we propose to ignore in a great man's teaching those doctrines which it has in common with the thought of his age, we seem to be assuming that the thought of his age was erroneous. When we select for serious consideration those doctrines which "transcend" the thought of his own age and are "for all time", we are assuming that the thought of our age is correct: for of course by thoughts which transcend the great man's age we really mean thoughts that agree with ours. Thus I value Shakespeare's picture of the transformation in old Lear more than I value his views about the divine right of kings, because I agree with Shakespeare that a man can be purified by suffering like Lear, but do not believe that kings (or any other rulers) have divine right in the sense required. When the great man's views do not seem to us erroneous we do not value them the less for having been shared with his contemporaries. Shakespeare's disdain for treachery and Christ's blessing on the poor were not alien to the outlook of their respective periods; but no one wishes to discredit them on that account.
-- C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night.
The populist, a believer in the ability of people to handle their own affairs better than an elite, will tend to believe in present equality. The elitist, with his optimism about the superior ability of elites to handle people's affairs, will tend to believe in future equality.
-- Jeffrey Bell, Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality.
[Radio] is nothing but a conduit through which prefabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums; it penetrates the mind, filling it with a babble of distractions -- news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but merely create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas.
-- Aldous Huxley. (And what would he think of today's TV ???)
The only thing he taught me was how not to be a father ... He walked out the bloody door and was never around ... For someone who was praised for peace and love and wasn't able to keep that at home, that's hypocrisy.
-- Julian Lennon, on his father, John Lennon.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
-- Voltaire.
Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins.
-- Mafia informant Sammy "the Bull" Gravano.
What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence -- moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how 'democracy' (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient dictatorships, and by the same methods? The basic proposal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be 'undemocratic.' Children who are fit to proceed may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. We may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when 'I'm as good as you' has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish. The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway, the teachers -- or should I say nurses? -- will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men.
-- C.S. Lewis
Welfare is a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Cosmic visions of society are not just visions about society. They are visions about those people who hold these visions and the role of such people in society, whether these people are deemed to be leaders of a master race, the vanguard of the proletariat, saviors of the planet, or to have some other similarly self-flattering role as an anointed visionary group "making a difference" in the unfolding of history. Heady cosmic visions which give the sense of being one of the anointed visionaries can hold tyrannical sway in disregard or defiance of facts.
-- Thomas Sowell, The Quest for Cosmic Justice
Conservatives, when seeking to describe the kind of society they find congenial, instinctively look to the past, whereas liberals and radicals look to the future. We cite the past because it seems to confirm our view of human nature; they cite the future because it cannot disprove their view of human nature.
-- John O'Sullivan, National Review, 21-April-1997.
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
-- Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, FrontPage.com interview, 31-August-2005.
I've always believed there's really no such thing as a double standard. When people appear to apply a double standard, it means they are actually applying a hidden single standard--one they don't want to admit.
-- Joseph Sobran, 25-Feb-2003.
He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. ... Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.
-- John Stuart Mill.
When freedom destroys order, the yearning for order will destroy freedom.
-- Eric Hoffer.
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 to-morrow.
-- James Madison.
A government with all this mass of favours to give or to withhold, however free in name, wields a power of bribery scarcely surpassed by an avowed autocracy, rendering it master of the elections in almost any circumstances but those of rare and extraordinary public excitement.
-- John Stuart Mill.
To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.
-- Voltaire.
[Journalists] cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority.
-- G.K. Chesterton, in The Ball and the Cross.
Our separation of economy from the home is part of a long fragmentation process. Each of the modern ideas that might have once been part of this complete breakfast have come to claim that they are complete all by themselves. We have separated everything from everything else. We have accomplished this by separating everything from the home. Feminism has separated women from the home. Capitalism has separated men from the home. Socialism has separated education from the home. Manufacturing has separated craftsmanship from the home. The news and entertainment industry has separated originality and creativity from the home, rendering us into passive and malleable consumers rather than active citizens.
-- G.K. Chesterton.
Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.
-- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
That which you inherit from your fathers, You must earn in order to possess.
-- Goethe, Faust, Act I, Scene 1, Randall Jarrell translation.
Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm - but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
T. S. Eliot.
There is a great deal of implicit knowledge involved in habits, rules & traditional customs that, before we understood them, were regarded as irrational. We are now beginning to understand that such things may have persisted because they were in fact rational & useful.
F.A. Hayek.
Maintained by Clark Coleman (clark.coleman@att.net)
Last modified: Tue Jul 9 15:13:04 2002