Saturday, November 11, 2006

Great quotes

There is so much going on now around the world that it can be hard to sift through the propaganda, the opinion and the crap. In times like these, some great quotes can be a nice alternative to heavy reading and analysis:
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
Mark Twain

In 1866, the Supreme Court wrote:

"[I]t is the birthright of every American citizen when charged with a crime, to be tried and punished according to law. The power of punishment is alone through the means which the laws have provided for that purpose, and if they are ineffectual, there is an immunity from punishment, no matter how great the offender the individual may be, or how much his crimes may have shocked the sense of justice of the country, or endangered its safety. By the protection of the law, human rights are secured; withdraw that protection, and they are at the mercy of wicked rulers, or the clamors of an excited people."
Ex Parte Milligan , 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 118-19, 18 L.Ed. 281 (1866).

"The denial of due process in parole revocation simply mirrors society's overall attitude of degradation and defilement of a convicted felon. It is sad 20th Century Commentary that society views the convicted felon as a social outcast. He has done wrong, so we rationalize and condone punishment in various forms. We express a desire for rehabilitation of the individual, while simultaneously we do everything to prevent it. Society cares little for the conditions which a prisoner must suffer while in prison, it cares even less for his future when he is released from prison. He is a marked man. We tell him to return to the norm of behavior, yet we brand him as virtually unemployable, he is required to live his normal activities severely restricted and we react with sickened wonder and disgust when he returns to a life of crime."
Former Chief Circuit Judge Donald Lay

"Trends in the educational, legal, political and media systems all urge contemporary men and women to view themselves as wronged by various forces real or imagined; to get angry and fight back; to fixate on any harms of which they may have been the target; to search out wrongs about which to become outraged."

"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 (1737 - 1809)

"A ruler, to stay in power, must convince the people that the enemy is ever at the door."
Nicollo Machiavelli

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
Thomas Jefferson

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain Security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
Thomas Jefferson 1778

"Application of power without pre-existing authority is misuse of power."
George Rusling, Sr., 1996

"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."
Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984)

"Experience should teach us to be on our guard to protect liberty when government's purpose are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment of men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis from Olmstead v. United States

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them."
Frederick Douglass

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always."
Mahatma Gandhi

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968), Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16,1963

"The truth is that Sex Offender Community Notification and Registration has been legislated "not because it's good crime control but because it's good politics."

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both."
James Madison (Fourth President of the United States)

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...building a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Robert F. Kennedy

"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
Abraham Lincoln

"The laboring people found the prisons always open to receive them, but the courts of justice were practically closed to them."
John Peter Altgeld (1847-1902)

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead - American Anthropologist

"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet, with assured hope, that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
Abraham Lincoln

"The more corrupt the state, the numerous the laws."

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

"I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go."
Abraham Lincoln

β€œIt doesn't require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.”
Samuel Adams

"Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored."
Aldous Huxley

"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."
Theodore Roosevelt

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
Sir Winston Churchill

"The priceless heritage of our society is the unrestricted constitutional right of each member to think as he will. Thought control is a copyright of totalitarianism, and we have no claim to it."
Justice Robert H. Jackson
Source: US Supreme Court, American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 442 (1950)