QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Selected by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

(For list of quotes by author, click here)

Quote of the Week of August 13, 2017:

Trade and commerce civilize.
Trade and commerce unite people.
Trade and commerce break down superstitions by exposing people who hold them to other ideas.
Trade and commerce teach and enlighten.
Trade and commerce enrich, both materially and ethically.
Trade and commerce promote peace.
Trade and commerce create society.
One of the most regrettable, repeated patterns of human thought
is the notion that greatness and glory are found in the successful use of brute strength --
in the strong or the best-weaponed subjugating others and restricting their freedom of thought and action.
And when this brute strength, being successfully established as a ruler
is cloaked in ermine, housed in marble buildings and called by grand titles,
it is worshipped as something super-human and (at least semi-) divine.
Too many people laud and celebrate military conquerors
as well as state officials who extended and increased the power of the state.
It's a childish and destructive sentiment.
Don Boudreaux
"Cafe Hayek," August 7, 2017

Quote of the Week of August 6, 2017:

I was never molested by any person
but those who represented the State.
Henry David Thoreau Walden, Or, Life in the Woods, 1854

Quote of the Week of March 5, 2017:

Briefly, the State is that organization in society
which attempts to maintain a monopoly
of the use of force and violence
in a given territorial area;
in particular, it is the only organization in society
that obtains its revenue
not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered
but by coercion.
The State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion;
that is, by the use and the threat
of the jailhouse and the bayonet.
Murray Rothbard
"Anatomy of the State," in
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays, 1974.

Quote of the Week of January 29, 2017:

from the Bowler Hat scene:
Detective Parette: "Whatta we do? Whatta we do?"
Detective Michael McCann: "Start arresting people."
Thomas Crown Affair, " 1999.
Directed by John McTiernan
Screenplay by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer

Quote of the Week of December 25, 2016:

Entrepreneurs, in my opinion,
are the heroes of the world.
Skyler J. Collins
Toward a Free Society: A Short Guide on Building a Culture of Liberty, 2015

Quote of the Week of December 11, 2016:

Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy
because you have nothing to hide
is no different than saying
you don't care about free speech
because you have nothing to say.
Edward Snowden
Suddenly Snowden on Reddit, May 21, 2015

Quote of the Week of November 13, 2016:

"What the hell was that?" Lloyd asked. "An Alien?"
"A drone," Jim replied.
"I definitely think it's the cops.
They must be using that drone to do recon."
"For what?"
"To look for resources and see what people are up to.
It's a hell of a lot safer for them to send that drone out
than to let officers go knocking on people's doors
under the current circumstances.
Someone would probably get shot.
It also uses less fuel."
"That Big Brother stuff makes me paranoid.
I was happier thinking it was an alien," Lloyd said.
Franklin Horton
Legion of Despair, 2016

Quote of the Week of November 29, 2015:

"After that you were a policeman."
Nod.
"This presents a small problem:
you were dismissed.
Could you comment, please, on that."
"I am trustworthy, loyal and helpful.
But I struggle with obedient."
Robert B. Parker
Paper Doll, 1993.

Quote of the Week of November 8, 2015:

The proper antidote to bigotry, then,
is rationality, including the commitment
to a fully conceptual mode of functioning.
How else could one come to understand the injustice of discriminating
among people on the basis of morally irrelevant characteristics?
How else could one understand trade
as the proper principle for human relationships,
and benevolence as a precondition for trade?
David Kelley
Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, 2003

Quote of the Week of November 1, 2015:

Ahmed Ibn Fahdian: [given a Viking sword]: I cannot lift this.
Herger the Joyous: Grow stronger.
The 13th Warrior, 1999.

Quote of the Week of October 25, 2015:

"You ready for some lunch?"
"Since breakfast," I said.
Robert B. Parker
Stardust, 1990

Quote of the Week of October 18, 2015:

Even now my memory of Jud on that night
was that of a laughing man--
a man who at any moment in the exuberance of his feelings
gave the impression he might pick me up
and whirl me around
in his delight that I was a woman
and he was a man.
Robert H. Rimmer
Come Live My Life, 1977.

Quote of the Week of September 13, 2015:

The clerk . . . endorsed and stamped their papers.
He stuck them in the stat machine, then handed them back.
"That'll be five pounds."
Pollux converted the figure in his head and swore under his breath;
he was beginning to think that Mars
was the Land of the Fee.
Robert A. Heinlein
The Rolling Stones, 1952.

Quote of the Week of August 30, 2015:

We should not expect our government schools
to provide an unbiased study and a full understanding
of our involvement in foreign wars.
But that will come as alternatives to government schools,
with their federal government controls, develop.
Ron Paul
Swords into Plowshares, 2015.

Quote of the Week of August 16, 2015:

You think me "impractically idealistic" to hold politicians
to the same moral standards to which we hold private citizens.
Government, in your view,
"must deal with monumental affairs" --
monumental affairs whose successful management, you believe,
requires that government officials
"follow Machiavelli's practical advice."
It is an odd argument that insists that, because politicians have higher responsibilities than do private people,
politicians should therefore be held to lower moral standards.
I reject this argument.
Don Boudreaux
"No Excuse-Making," Cafe Hayek, August 13, 2015

Quote of the Week of July 26, 2015:

"Frank," remarked Jim when Smythe was gone,
"there is something about that guy I don't like."
. . .
"He reminds me of something Doc used to say.
'Every law that was ever written
opened up a new way to graft.'"
Robert A Heinlein
Red Planet, 1949.

Quote of the Week of July 12, 2015:

I nodded and went to work on the heavy bag,
circled it, keeping my head bobbing, punching in flurries--different combinations.
It wasn't like the real thing.
But it helped to groove the movements so that when you did the real thing,
muscle memory took over.
Robert B. Parker
Paper Doll, 1993.

Quote of the Week of June 8, 2015:

Abigail Chase: What led you to asume there's this invisible map?
Ben Gates: We found an engraving on the stem of a 200-year-old pipe.
Riley Poole: Owned by the Free Masons.
Abigail Chase: May I see the pipe?
Ben Gates: We don't actually have it.
Abigail Chase: Did Bigfoot take it?
National Treasure, 2004

Quote of the Week of April 5, 2015:

"Dogs do not respect
one's sleeping space much," I said.
"Did we sleep curled up on one small corner of the bed
while the three pooches spread out luxuriously?" Susan said.
"I wanted them to feel at home," I said.
"We need to be very clear on one thing.
When I visit, we are not sleeping with three dogs."
"No." I said.
"And when we make love
we are not going to be watched by three dogs."
"Of course not," I said.
Robert B. Parker
Stardust, 1990.

Quote of the Week of March 9, 2015:

Why does it matter for Objectivists
to recognize benevolence as a major virtue?
It matters because of the importance to us
of the values we gain from others:
economic exchange, the communication of knowledge,
and the reaffirmation of our own identity.
These are all forms of trade among individuals,
and to live by trade requires
benevolence as well as justice.
David Kelley
Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, 2003.

Quote of the Week of February 9, 2015:

Had government monopolized light bulb production, for example,
we'd be told that the private sector couldn't possible produce light bulbs.
The private sector won't produce the size or wattage people want,
critics would insist.
The private sector won't produce specialty bulbs with only a limited market,
since there would be little profit in that.
The private sector will produce dangerous, exploding bulbs.
And so on.
Since we have lived with private light bulbs all along,
these objections seem laughable to use.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, 2014

Quote of the Week of January 11, 2015:

Herger the Joyous: We shall pray for your safe return!
Ahmed Ibn Fahdian: Pray to whom?
Herger the Joyous:In your land one God may be enough,
but here we have need of many.
I will pray to all of them for you.
Do not be offended!
Ahmed Ibn Fahdian: I'll be in your debt!
Herger the Joyous: Goodbye, Arab!
Ahmed Ibn Fahdian: Goodbye, Northman.
The 13th Warrior, 1999.

Quote of the Week of January 4, 2015:

One activity marks the state more than any other
as the enemy of liberty,
and it is here that supporters of liberty
must concentrate their efforts.
The activity, of course, is waging war.
David Gordon
Introduction to Second Edition of Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, by Murray N. Rothbard, 2000

Quote of the Week of December 28, 2014:

Coincidence exists
but believing in it
never did me any good.
Robert Parker
Pale Kings and Princes, 1987

Quote of the Week of December 21, 2014:

In order to live, man must act;
in order to act, he must make choices;
in order to make choices, he must define a code of values;
in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is--
i.e., he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge)
and the nature of the universe in which he acts--
i.e., he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy.
Ayn Rand
The Romantic Manifesto, 1969.

Quote of the Week of August 3, 2014:

"What do you know about Stratton?" I said.
"Anything I don't?"
Farrell looked tired. He shook his head.
"Just what I read in the papers,
and if you've ever been involved in something the papers wrote up,
you know better than to trust them."
Robert B. Parker
Paper Doll, 1993.

Quote of the Week of June 15, 2014:

The worship of the state
is the worship of force.
Ludwig von Mises
Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, 1944

Quote of the Week of May 18, 2014:

May the smoke be with you.
Bob Hart
Heat & Smoke: Mastering the Dark Art of Real Barbecue, 2011

Quote of the Week of April 13, 2014:

Syrio Florel: You are fearing for your father, hmmm?
That is right.
Do you pray to the gods?
Arya Stark: The old and the new.
Syrio Florel: There is only one god
and his name is Death,
and there is only one thing we say to Death:
"Not today."
George R.R. Martin
Game of Thrones, 1996

Quote of the Week of March 23, 2014:

I would love to see the day
when parents react to a child's announcement
that he or she is going into politics
with the same horror and shame that would overcome them
if their child were to announce
that he or she is going into armed robbery.
Don Boudreaux
www.cafehayek.com, March 20, 2014

Quote of the Week of February 9, 2014:

People try nonviolence for a week,
and when it doesn't "work"
they go back to violence,
which hasn't worked for centuries.
Theodore Roszak
Quoted in The Steps of Nonviolence, by Micahel Nagler. 1999.

Quote of the Week of February 2, 2014:

The only alternative to persuasion
is coercion.
Ron Paul
The School Revolution, 2013

Quote of the Week of January 5, 2014:

Yoda: I am wondering, why are you here?
Luke: I'm looking for someone.
Yoda: Looking? Found someone, you have, I would say, hmmm?
Luke: Right...
Yoda: Help you I can. Yes, mmmm.
Luke: I don't think so. I'm looking for a great warrior.
Yoda: Ohhh. Great warrior.
[laughs and shakes his head]
Yoda: Wars not make one great.
George Lucas
The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

Quote of the Week of November 3, 2013:

"Is she safe?"
"No, no not at all, but she's in good health," Hellibolt said.
"Dammit man, you told me Kasiria would be safe
as long as I allowed her to follow her will."
"No, I believe I said she would live.
You never truly live
if you're always safe," Hellibolt said.
Selina Rosen
Jabone's Sword, 2010

Quote of the Week of September 29, 2013:

I got directions from Sedale and walked on down toward Canterbury Farms.
The racing stable was across town,
but in Alton
across town was not a voyage of discovery.
Robert B. Parker
Paper Doll, 1993.

Quote of the Week of September 8, 2013:

He could find the dark cloud
under virtually any silver lining.
John Gaspard
The Ambitious Card, 2013

Quote of the Week of June 30, 2013:

The essential feature of government
is the enforcement of its decrees
by beating,
killing
and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference
are asking ultimately
for more compulsion and less freedom.
Ludwig von Mises
Human Action, 1949.

Quote of the Week of June 23, 2013:

"Do you think I should have told them
about that voice I heard?"
"No," said Ron, without hesitation.
"Hearing voices no one else can hear
isn't a good sign,
even in the wizarding world."
J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999

Quote of the Week of June 16, 2013:

"That's the trouble with crime."
He smiled.
"The company's bad."
Louis L'Amour
The Ferguson Rifle, 1973

Quote of the Week of May 20, 2013:

Distrust any speaker who talks confidently about "we,"
or speaks in the name of "us."
Distrust yourself if you hear these tones
creeping into your own style.
The search for security and majority
is not always the same as solidarity;
it can be another name for
consensus and tyranny and tribalism
Christopher Hitchens
letters to a young contrarian, 2001

Quote of the Week of April 21, 2013:

It is our choices, Harry,
that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities.
J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999

Quote of the Week of April 7, 2013:

She smiled.
The smile made me want to say Oh boy,
but I'm too worldly
to say it out loud.
Robert B. Parker
The Judas Goat, 1978

Quote of the Week of March 17, 2013:

There is no safety in ignorance.
Massad Ayoob
Gun Proof Your Children, 1986

Quote of the Week of March 3, 2013:

Harry Potter wasn't a normal boy.
As a matter of fact,
he was as not normal
as it is possible to be.
J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999.

Quote of the Week of February 17, 2013:

"[A]ddiction,"
this is a word
attached to any habitual behaviors of others
we do not like.
Jeffrey Tucker
"The Myth of the Cell-Phone Addiction," in
Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo, 2010.

Quote of the Week of January 13, 2013:

Reaching out to others
often becomes the first step
back to human reality.
When someone then responds with love and caring
the recovery process is on its way.
But this rarely happens in the psychiatric system.
When a patient reaches out,
the psychiatrist puts a pill in the hand.
Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy, and Love
Must Replace the Drugs, Electrochock, and Biochemical Theories
of the "New Psychiatry,"
1991

Quote of the Week of January 6, 2013:

Inara:
What did I say to you about barging into my shuttle?
Mal:
That it was manly and impulsive?
Inara:
Yes, precisely,
only the exact phrase I used was "don't."
Joss Whedon
from, "The Train Job," Firefly: The Official Companion, 2006

Quote of the Week of November 11, 2012:

Custom has the enviable power,
of coming to conclusions
upon the most debatable points,
without a moment's consideration--
of turning propositions
of a very doubtful character
into axioms--
and of setting aside almost self-evident truths
as unworthy of consideration.
Herbert Spencer
The Proper Sphere of Government, 1842

Quote of the Week of August 26, 2012:

The right to be let alone
is the underlying principle
of the Constitution's
Bill of Rights.
Erwin N. Griswold
Address, Northwestern University Law School, June 11, 1960

Quote of the Week of August 19, 2012:

The danger is not that a particular class
is unfit to govern;
every class is unfit to govern.
Lord Acton
April 24, 1881

Quote of the Week of August 12, 2012:

The limits of tyrants
are prescribed by the endurance
of those whom they suppress.
Frederick Douglass
Letter to Gerrit Smith, March 30, 1849

Quote of the Week of August 5, 2012:

"He is an earnest man of piecemeal convictions.
I do not believe he will grant himself
the time to examine them so closely
that he would see that no concordance
is possible among them."
Easley shook his head, "Oh, no, sir.
They must be in concordance, my good friend,
in some habit of way,
for otherwise he would go mad.
Perhaps you meant
that it is a harmonious unity of convictions
that he lacks."
Hugh laughed and threw up his hands.
Edward Cline
Sparrowhawk: Book Three: Caxton, 2004.

Quote of the Week of July 29, 2012:

I plugged a Johnny Hartman tape into the stereo
on the assumption that it was never too soon
to start his education.
He paid no attention.
Robert B. Parker
Early Autumn, 1981

Quote of the Week of July 22, 2012:

Edgar Cullis could not contest this assertion.
His knowledge of practical politics
lay in land patents and statutes.
His mind was not friendly to hypotheses . . . .
Edward Cline
Sparrowhawk: Book Four: Empire, 2004

Quote of the Week of July 8, 2012:

The point about complexity
counts against government intervention, not for it.
The major contribution of F.A. Hayek to social theory
is to point out that the social order--
which extends to the whole of the world--
is far too complicated to be managed by bureaus,
but rather depends on the decentralized
knowledge and decisions of billions of market actors.
In other words, he gave new credibility
to the insight of classical liberals
that social order is self-managing
and can only be distorted by attempts to centrally plan.
Planning, ironically, leads to social chaos.
Jeffrey Tucker
Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo, 2010

Quote of the Week of July 1, 2012:

I welcomed the blizzard,
with its ferocious winds
and deep, drifting snow.
This may be enough to keep the wolves,
also know as the Peacekeepers,
from my door.
Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire, 2009

Quote of the Week of June 24, 2012:

I contemplate with sovereign reverence
that act of the whole American people
which declared that their legislature
would make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibit the free exercise thereof,
thus building a wall of separation
between church and state.
Thomas Jefferson
Letter to the Baptists of Danbury, connecticut, 1802

Quote of the Week of June 17 2012:

"Why do you want to know all this?
Furniture and everything?"
"It's good to know what you can.
I'm not sure even what I'm up to.
I'm just gathering information.
There's so much that I can't know,
and so many things I can't predict,
that I like to get everything I can in order
so that when the unpredictable stuff comes along
I can concentrate on that."
Robert B. Parker
Looking for Rachel Wallace, 1980

Quote of the Week of June 3, 2012:

None loves the messenger
who brings bad news.
Sophocles
Antigone, circa 442 B.C.E.

Quote of the Week of May 20, 2012:

Fear is what you feel
when you wait for something bad to happen . . .
and fun is what you have
when you figure out
a way to make something good happen.
O.T. Nelson
The Girl Who Owned a City, 1975

Quote of the Week of May 13, 2012:

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts,
nor even to found a school,
but so to love wisdom
as to live according to its dictates,
a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.
Henry David Thoreau
Walden, 1854

Quote of the Week of May 6, 2012:

I fear the Greeks
though bearing gifts.
Virgil
The Aenid, circa 19 B.C.E.

Quote of the Week of April 29, 2012:

Requests are received as demands
when others believe
they will be blamed
or punished
if they do not comply.
Marshall B. Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 2005

Quote of the Week of April 8, 2012:

Society is produced by our wants,
and government by our wickedness.
Thomas Paine
Common Sense, 1776

Quote of the Week of March 18, 2012:

It is the besetting vice of democracies
to substitute public opinion
for law.
This is the usual form
in which the masses of men
exhibit their tyranny.
James Fenimore Cooper
The American Democrat, 1838

Quote of the Week of February 19, 2012:

A free society cherishes non-conformity.
It knows that from a non-conformist, from the eccentric,
have come many of the great ideas of freedom.
Free society must fertilize the soil
in which non-conformity and dissent and individualism can grow.
Henry Steele Commager
Speech, National Conference on Adult Education, 1954.

Quote of the Week of January 22, 2012:

"You look like the dragon won today."
Robert B. Parker
Looking for Rachel Wallace, 1980

Quote of the Week of January 15, 2012:

It has been often said
that he who begins life
by stifling his convictions
is in a fair way to ending it
without any convictions to stifle.
John Morley
On Compromise, 1874

Quote of the Week of January 8, 2012:

I had rather be shut up
in a very modest cottage
with my books, my family and a few old friends . . .
than to occupy the most splendid post
which any human power can give.
Thomas Jefferson
Letter to A. Donald, 1788

Quote of the Week of January 1, 2012:

The most dangerous man, to any government,
is the man who is able to think things out for himself,
without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.
Almost inevitably he come to the conclusion
that the government he lives under
is dishonest, insane and intolerable,
and so, if he is romantic,
he tries to change it.
And even if he is not romantic personally
he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
H.L. Mencken
A Mencken Chrestomathy, 1949

Quote of the Week of December 11, 2011:

"Truth walks toward us on the paths of our questions."
Maurice's voice once again echoed in her mind.
"As soon as you think you have the answer,
you have closed the path
and may miss valuable information.
Wait awhile in the stillness,
and do not rush to conclusions,
no matter how uncomfortable the unknowing."
Jacqueline Winspear
Maise Dobbs, 2003

Quote of the Week of December 4, 2011:

I have a friend who's an artist
and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with.
He'll hold up a flower and say,
"Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree.
But then he'll say,
"I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is.
But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull."
I think he's kind of nutty. . . .
There are all kinds of interesting questions
that come from a knowledge of science,
which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower.
It only adds.
I don't understand how it subtracts.
Richard Feynman
What Do You Care What Other People Think? 1988

Quote of the Week of November 27, 2011:

Il est defendu de tuer;
tout meurtrier est puni,
a moins qu'il n'ait tue en grande compagnie,
et au son des trompettes.

It is forbidden to kill;
therefore all murderers are punished
unless they kill in large numbers
and to the sound of trumpets.
Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
"Rights," 1771

Quote of the Week of November 20, 2011:

If a nation values anything more than freedom,
it will lose its freedom;
and the irony of it is
that if it is comfort or money that it values more,
it will lose that too.
W. Somerset Maugham
Strictly Personal, 1941

Quote of the Week of November 13, 2011:

A boy adopts a hero for two reasons:
because a hero captivates his soul
and serves as a projection of his innermost self;
and because a hero seems to have solved many problems
that may worry a boy,
or at least demonstrates the capacity to solve them.
The hero is an idealization of successful living,
even though he may die in a story.
The death may be gallant, brave, tragic, or perhaps even foolhardy.
But living or dead, a hero is the stylistic embodiement
of living on one's own terms--
noble terms, grand terms, exciting terms--
terms, in short, that complement any youth's
uncorrupted, untamed, unabridged projection
of what is possible to him in life.
Edward Cline
Sparrowhawk: Book Two: Hugh Kendrick, 2002

Quote of the Week of November 6, 2011:

Sitting across from her, Jesse could feel her energy.
There was a sense of intelligence
and of kinetic sensuality that radiated from her in equal portions.
"Are you thinking long thoughts?" Rita said.
"Mostly I'm thinking, wow."
"Good," Rita said. "I like wow."
Robert B. Parker
Stone Cold, 2003

Quote of the Week of October 30, 2011:

Even people like me who are familiar with chimps
barely even know there are two
"closest living relatives" to humans.
Like an embarrassing relative,
bonobos are frequestly missing from the family tree.
According to Microsoft Word's spell-checker
"bonobo" isn't even a word.
Vanessa Woods
Bonobo Handshake, 2010

Quote of the Week of October 9, 2011:

In the broadest sense, the press means all media of communications--
newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television.
It includes every method by which men spread ideas and information.
The press is the profession that communicates knowledge.
Ayn Rand
Columbia University radio series, "Ayn Rand on Campus," aired 1962-1966
"The Role of a Free Press,"
Quoted in Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed,
Edited by Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz, 2009

Quote of the Week of October 2, 2011:

Those who expect
to reap the blessings of freedom must,
like men,
undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
Thomas Paine
The American Crises, September 12, 1777

Quote of the Week of September 18, 2011:

It has often and confidently been asserted,
that man's origin can never be known;
but ignornace more frequently begets confidence
than does knowledge;
it is those who know little, and not those who know much,
who so positively assert
that this or that problem will never be solved
by science.
Charles Darwin
The Descent of Man, 1871

Quote of the Week of August 21, 2011:

Il vaut mieux hasarder de sauver un coupable
que de condamner un innocent.

It is better to risk sparing a guilty person
than to condemn an innocent man.
Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
Zadig, 1747

Quote of the Week of August 14, 2011:

"My crew is honest,
but I won't vouch for the other passengers or for the limpets."
"Limpets, sir?"
"Never heard the term at Lion Key?" Ramshaw chuckled.
"That's our name for bureaucrats, and customs officials,
and other two-legged albatrosses."
Edward Cline
Sparrowhawk: Book Two: Hugh Kenrick, 2002

Quote of the Week of July 17, 2011:

"You missed a golden opportunity," I said.
"For what?"
"To take off all your clothes
and make a martini and surprise me at the door."
"I thought of that," Susan said,
"but you don't like martinis."
"Oh," I said.
Robert B. Parker
Looking for Rachel Wallace, 1980

Quote of the Week of July 10, 2011:

Anyway, I have to argue about flying saucers
on the beach with people, you know.
And I was interested in this:
they keep arguing that it is possible.
And that's true. It is possible.
They do not appreciate that the problem
is not to demonstrate whether it's possible or not
but whether it's going on or not.
Richard Feynman
The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist, 1998

Quote of the Week of June 20, 2011:

Either the people in a relationship
have the authority to establish
the conditions of their relationship (liberty)
or someone outside the relationship
has the authority to establish those conditions (mastery).
In principle, all relationships between contracting, consenting people
are personal, irrespective of the nature of those arrangements.
It is inconsistent to abhor
intrusion into relationships taking place in the bedroom,
while embracing intrusions into relationships
taking place in the boardroom, or vice versa.
Louis E. Carabini
Inclined to Liberty: The Futile Attempt to Suppress the Human Spirit, 2008

Quote of the Week of June 13, 2011:

"Well, don't hold out on us.
I throw a lot of investigative work your way."
"Yeah, and it's real exciting too, " I said.
"Don't knock it, money's good."
"Money's not everything, Jack," I said.
"Maybe not, but you ever try spending sex?"
"There's something wrong with that argument,"
I said, "but I can't think what right now.
I may call you later with my comeback."
Robert B. Parker
Early Autumn, 1981

Quote of the Week of June 6, 2011:

He closed his eyes
and was asleep
before he could get his worries organized.
Robert A. Heinlein
Farnham's Freehold, 1964

Quote of the Week of May 29, 2011:

En general, l'art du gouvernement
consiste a prendre le plus d'argent
qu'on peut a un grande des citoyens,
pour le donner a une autre partie.

In general, the art of government
consists in taking as much money as possible
from one party of the citizens
to give to the other.
Francoise-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
"Money," 1770

Quote of the Week of March 27, 2011:

I don't know what's the matter with people;
they don't learn by understanding,
they learn by some other way--
by rote or something.
Their knowledge is so fragile.
Richard Feynman
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! 1985

Quote of the Week of March 20, 2011:

Self-sufficiency
is the road to poverty.
Russell Roberts
The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity, 2008

Quote of the Week of March 13, 2011:

"You look different."
"In my former life, I was an actor."
"What's an actor?"
"An actor is a person who entertains others
by being someone else.
Sometimes he is paid with money;
other times, with rotten fruit."
Edward Cline
Sparrowhawk, 2001

Quote of the Week of March 6, 2011:

"Do you think I could be quite wrong?"
That thought had occurred frequently.
Isabel's training as a philosopher
would have been in vain
had she not opened herself up to doubt.
Doubt was a constant,
a condition of her being.
"Often, " said Isabel thoughtfully.
Then she added, "But not now."
Alexander McCall Smith
The Right Attitude to Rain, 2006

Quote of the Week of February 27, 2011:

It goes without saying that we are fallible.
With the best will in the world,
we can still make mistakes.
But reason--in the global sense in which I define it here--
offers us the possibility of self-correction.
That is one of its unique characteristics.
Other alleged paths to knowledge,
such as faith or feeling,
do not share this possibility;
that is, they lack an inbuilt self-correcting dynamism.
Sometimes they may disclose a truth,
sometimes not,
but they have no internal means
to distinguish,
no internal standard by which to detect error
or the way to its correction.
Nathaniel Branden
The Art of Living Consciously, 1997

Quote of the Week of February 20, 2011:

The next time you are tempted
to snap at someone
or cut in front of another driver,
consider whether you'd like to be in their story that evening.
Consider whether this is the kind of contribution
you'd like to make to their life.
Mary Mackenzie
Peaceful Living: Daily Meditations for Living with Love, Healing and Compassion, 2005

Quote of the Week of February 13, 2011:

According to Marx,
all the value of a good derives
from the labor that goes into its production.
This labor theory of value is in opposition
to the subjective theory of value,
which posits the value of a good or service
is determined by individuals,
regardless of the time and energy (labor)
that went into its production.
The labor theory of value is fallacious;
if it were not so,
one of my paintings (God forbid!)
would be as valuable
as one by Vincent van Gogh.
Louis E. Carabini
Inclined to Liberty: The Futile Attempt to Suppress the Human Spirit, 2008

Quote of the Week of February 6, 2011:

He frowned down at the boy:
"You don't believe in vaporous spirits, do you, Mr. Frake?"
"No sir," said the boy. "Not in any."
"Why not?"
"If they existed, nothing would make sense."
Edward Cline
Sparrowhawk, 2001

Quote of the Week of January 30, 2011:

The French are professional sensualists.
Debra Ollivier
What French Women Know about Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind, 2009

Quote of the Week of January 23, 2011:

"You're not a stranger;
you're an old friend
we haven't know very long."
Robert A. Heinlein
Friday, 1982

Quote of the Week of January 16, 2011:

She noticed the spurning of the Marmite.
That, she said, was her test of acculturation.
Only the most determined of anglophiles would eat Marmite,
and not even all of those.
For the rest, it was an inexplicable British taste,
quite beyond sympathy.
Drinking lukewarm beer
and taking tea with lashings of milk were understandable,
even to a Texan for whom iced tea was only natural;
but to spread on one's toast
a salty black yeast paste
was beyond comprehension.
Alexander McCall Smith
The Right Attitude to Rain, 2006

Quote of the Week of January 9, 2011:

Aime la verite,
mais pardonne a l'erreur.

Love truth,
but pardon error.
Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
Sept Discours en Vers sur l"Homme, (1738)

Quote of the Week of January 2, 2011:

I have never been able to conceive
how any rational being
could propose happiness to himself
from the exercise of power over others.
Thomas Jefferson
Letter to M.D. Tracy, 1811

Quote of the Week of December 26, 2010:

[I]n Russia the terrific fear of the young girl worker
is the fear of losing her job.
Once it is gone, it is almost impossible for her to get another job,
since under the collectivist state,
the government is the only employer.
And if the government has discharged you,
it is rather unreasonable to expect
the same boss to take you back again.
Ayn Rand
Interview on life in Russia, in the Boston Post, 1936
Quoted in Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed,
Edited by Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz, 2009

Quote of the Week of December 19, 2010:

"I have to avoid chocolate apparently.
And that's very hard.
Even the thought of chocolate is difficult for me.
It's such a yearning."
Isabel agreed with this.
"Chocolate involves major philosophical problems," she said.
"It shows us a lot about temptations and self-control."
She thought for a moment.
There was a lot that one might say about chocolate,
if one thought about it.
"Yes," she concluded, "chocolate is a great test, isn't it?"
Alexander McCall Smith
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, 2005

Quote of the Week of December 5, 2010:

Reading is a habit;
I think it should be a daily ritual,
like brushing your teeth. . . .
[W]e need to make time for books!
Alexandra Stoddard
Living a Beautiful Life, 1986

Quote of the Week of November 28, 2010:

Isabel smiled.
Listening to Derek had made her feel better.
There were countless injustices and difficulties in this world,
but small points of light too,
where the darkness was held back.
Alexander McCall Smith
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, 2005

Quote of the Week of November 14, 2010:

"Daddy boxed in college, you know."
"I know."
"Did you ever box?"
"I don't box," Jesse said. "I fight."
"What's the difference?"
"Rules," Jesse said.
Robert B. Parker
Stone Cold, 2003

Quote of the Week of October 17, 2010:

Instead of rushing through our lives to get somewhere--
instead of saving up real living for later--
I think it's important to remember
that each single day is all we have.
Single days experienced fully
add up to a lifetime lived deeply and well.
Today is your life--
not yesterday and not tomorrow.
If we have tomorrow,
it will be a gift,
but what we do today, right now,
will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows.
Alexandra Stoddard
Living a Beautiful Life, 1986

Quote of the Week of October 10, 2010:

Sandrine picked a flower and started pulling off its petals.
To my surprise, however, rather than the familiar refrain,
"He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not,"
Sandrine carefully intoned:
He loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all"
(Il m'aime un peu, beaucoup, passionnement, a la folie, pas du tout).
I instantly thought that Sandrine was one clever little girl
until I learned that, no, this is the standard French refrain.
This is how French girls have been thinking about love forever:
He loves me a little.
A lot.
Passionately.
Madly.
Not at all.
How unfair. While we American girls
are stuck in the absolutes of total love or utter rejection,
the French girl is already primed to think
in nunaces and in an infinite gamut of romance.
Debra Ollivier
What French Women Know About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind, 2009

Quote of the Week of October 3, 2010:

May you hover like butterflies
and only land on flowers
that open to hold you.
Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Love You Two, 2010

Quote of the Week of September 26, 2010:

If we were left solely
to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress
for our guidance,
uncorrected by the seasonal experience
and the effectual complaints of the people,
America would not long retain
her rank among the nations.
Henry David Thoreau
On the Duty of Civil Disodedience, 1849

Quote of the Week of September 19, 2010:

That so few now dare
to be eccentric,
marks the chief danger
of our time.
John Stuart Mill
On Liberty, 1859

Quote of the Week of September 12, 2010:

I'm not confused,
I'm just well mixed.
Robert Frost
Wall Street Journal, August 5, 1969

Quote of the Week of September 5, 2010:

It may then be seen
that in obedience to principles and practice well understood,
true wine lovers sip their wine.
Every mouthful thus gives them
the sum total of pleasure
which they would not have enjoyed
had they swallowed it all at once.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Physiologie du Gout, 1825

Quote of the Week of August 29, 2010:

It could be shown
by facts and figures
that there is no distinctly native
American criminal class
except Congress.
Mark Twain
Following the Equator, 1897

Quote of the Week of August 22, 2010:

One thing that doesn't abide by majority rule
is a person's conscience.
Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

Quote of the Week of August 15, 2010:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing wax--
of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass, 1872

Quote of the Week of August 8, 2010:

Curiosity is one of the most
permanent and certain characteristics
of a vigorous intellect.
Samuel Johnson
"Rambler," no. 103, March, 1751

Quote of the Week of July 11, 2010:

She returned to the kitchen and switched on the radio.
It was the end of a news programme,
and the world, as usual,
was in disarray.
Alexander McCall Smith
The Sunday Philosophy Club, 2004

Quote of the Week of July 4, 2010:

I join those in opinion
who think a Bill of Rights necessary.
Thomas Jefferson
letter to Edward Rutledge, 1788

Quote of the Week of June 20, 2010:

Dancing begets warmth,
which is the parent of wantonness.
Henry Fielding
Love in Several Masques, Act 3, scene 7, 1728

Quote of the Week of May 23, 2010:

"Goddammit," Hanson said. "We can fire you.
"You can," Jesse said.
"But you can't tell me what to do."
Robert B. Parker
Stone Cold, 2003

Quote of the Week of May 16, 2010:

Never has so much false arithmetic
[been] employed on any subject
as that which has been employed
to persuade nations it is in their interest
to go to war.
Thomas Jefferson
Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782

Quote of the Week of May 9, 2010:

A cult is
a religion
with no political power.
Tom Wolfe
In Our Times, 1980

Quote of the Week of April 25, 2010:

Mirian: "I guess I can put two and two together."
Nick: "Sometimes the answer's four," I said,
"and sometimes it's twenty-two."
Dashiell Hammett
The Thin Man, 1934

Quote of the Week of April 18, 2010:

Now, ye want to know
how to get from here tae there.
Well, I'll tell ye.
It's verra simple: don't obey.
If someone give you orders, ignore them.
Don't obey anything
but your own judgment.
Nicholas Dykes
Old Nick's Guide to Happiness: A Philosophical Novel, 2008

Quote of the Week of April 11, 2010:

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness.
Robert Herrick
"Delight in Disorder," in
Hesperides; or the Works both Human and Divine of Robert Herrick, 1648

Quote of the Week of April 4, 2010:

Sam: "There are a lot of ways to make the world a better place
without using the political process or the law.
. . .
I don't believe you make the world a better place by legislation.
You're just as likely to harm as you are to help.
And when you use legislation,
you discourgage the private actions that might do the job in a more effective way."
. . .
Laura: "This comes back to our old argument.
I don't want to wait for people to become better.
I'm not as patient as you."
Sam: "And I'm not as comfortable with coercion as you are."
Russell Roberts
The Invisible Heart, 2001

Quote of the Week of March 21, 2010:

War is the health of the State.
Randolph Bourne
Essay: "War Is the Health of the State," in
The State, 1918 (unfinished at his death).

Quote of the Week of February 21, 2010:

I regard smuggling as a right and proper activity.
The smuggler is brave enough
to defy the parasites in Whitehall
and hopefully smart enough
to outwit their minions.
Smuggling is a noble business, always has been.
Nicholas Dykes
Old Nick's Guide to Happiness: A Philosophical Novel, 2008

Quote of the Week of February 7, 2010:

"You don't know that," said Molly.
Peter, unable to think of a good answer,
settled for looking annoyed.
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Peter and the Starcatchers, 2004

Quote of the Week of January 10, 2010:

"Hell, we've got them cornered," Jesse said.
"Can your people do the clerical work?"
"Am I the homicide commander?" Healy said.
"Can they do it fast?"
I am the homicide commander.
I am not God."
"I thought they were the same thing," Jesse said.
"Think how disappointed I am," Healy said.
Robert B. Parker
Stone Cold, 2003

Quote of the Week of January 3, 2010:

"Look Sam, I hope it won't offend you, but--"
"Very little offends me. Disagreement never offends me."
Russell Roberts
The Invisible Heart, 2001

Quote of the Week of December 13, 2009:

Libertarianism is, of course, first and foremost a political idea--
based on respect for liberty and (therefore) opposition to the use of force.
Since nowadays government is the chief initiator of force--
mandating, prohibiting, taxing, censoring,
and in general intimidating and controlling at will--
libertarians are united in the desire to restrict government power.
Jon Osborne
Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video: Movies for the Libertarian Millennium, 2001

Quote of the Week of November 15, 2009:

"What do you think?" I asked.
"All my clients are innocent."
"Yeah," I said, "of something, anyway."
Robert B. Parker
The Godwulf Manuscript, 1973

Quote of the Week of October 18, 2009:

Nothing is lost
that we do not first see as lost.
Terry Brooks
Magic Kingdom For Sale: Sold, 1986

Quote of the Week of July 5, 2009:

After centuries of bloody wars
against power gone amok,
it is frightening how easily man casts his lot
with the authority of the uniform.
Robert H. Rimmer
Proposition Thirty-One, 1968

Quote of the Week of June 14, 2009:

Whenever students are involved in planning what they will be doing,
it is likely that good teaching is going on.
This planning involves real choices
and not simple preferences such as what color crayon to use,
or the order in which a set of topics will be discussed.
Students may be asked to select a topic for study,
to decide what resources they will need,
or to plan how they will present their findings to others.
People learn to make informed choices
by actually making informed choices.
Following directions
--even perfectly--
does not prepare people to make life choices
and deal with the consequences of those choices.
Dr. Martin Haberman
Star Teachers: The Ideology and Best Practice of Effective Teachers of Diverse Children and Youth in Poverty, 2005

Quote of the Week of May 3, 2009:

As NVC [nonviolent communication] replaces our old patterns
of defending, withdrawing, or attacking in the face of judgment and criticism,
we come to perceive ourselves and others,
as well as our intentions and relationships,
in a new light.
Resistance, defensiveness, and violent reactions are minimized.
When we focus on clarifying what is being
observed, felt, and needed
rather than on diagnosing and judging,
we discover the depth of our our own compassion.
Through its emphasis on deep listening--
to ourselves as well as others--
NVC fosters respect, attentiveness, and empathy,
and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart.
Marshall B. Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 2005

Quote of the Week of April 19, 2009:

No matter how rational or intelligent one may be,
one cannot always attain certain knowledge
of the consequences of one's actions.
. . .
This uncertainity, which is an inherent part of life,
does not change the principles of moral action.
The race is not always to the swift,
or success to the rational--
but that's the way to bet.
Ronald E. Merrill
The Ideas of Ayn Rand, 1991

Quote of the Week of March 8, 2009:

Our emotions and sensations inform us
about the status of our needs.
Pleasurable emotions,
like joy, excitement or delight,
tell us that some of our needs have been met
or we believe they will be.
Painful emotions,
like fear, anger, sadness, hurt or embarrassment,
tell us that some of our needs aren't met,
or we believe they won't be.
Wayland Myers
Nonviolent Communication: The Basics As I Know and Use Them, 1998

Quote of the Week of February 15, 2009:

Youth cannot know
how age thinks and feels.
But old men are guilty
if they forget
what it was to be young.
Professor Albus Dumbledore in
J.K. Rowling's
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2003

Quote of the Week of February 1, 2009:

Political freedom is the corollary
of economic freedom.
. . .
If individuals are not free
to buy and sell on the market,
they turn into virtual slaves
dependent on the good graces
of omnipotent government,
whatever the wording of the constitution may be.
Ludwig von Mises
Planning for Freedom, 1952

Quote of the Week of January 25, 2009:

The direct use of physical force
is so poor a solution
to the problem of limited resources
that is is commonly employed
only by small children
and great nations.
David Friedman
The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, 1973

Quote of the Week of January 18, 2009:

Many people believe down deep:
If children have nothing to fear,
how can they be good?

Goodness that depends on fear of hell
or fear of the policeman
or fear of punishment
is not goodness at all--
it is simply cowardice.
Goodness that depends on hope of reward
or hope of praise
or hope of heaven
depends on bribery.
A.S. Neill
Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing, 1960

Quote of the Week of January 11, 2009:

Why would the governments estimate
the costs and expected price so poorly?
What is their incentive to do so accurately?
They have no stockholders to face,
only taxpayers.
Taxpayers tend to have fewer places to turn
than investors in a private company.
Russell Roberts
The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism, 2001

Quote of the Week of January 4, 2009:

No matter in what area we look, then,
we find no evidence of equality among men.
We find instead the most all-encompassing diversity and inequality.
. . .
This diveristy or inequality,
far from being a problem to be overcome,
is the basis of much of our civilized social order.
If all individuals were the same,
there would be no division of labor, no trade would take place,
and there would seem to be little purpose
to any social intercourse.
It is the differences between individuals,
not their similarities,
which provide us with opportunity for personal growth
and for ever-richer social order.
H. George Resch
"Human Variation and Individuality," in
The Twelve-Year Sentence: Radical Views of Compulsory Schooling,
edited by William F. Richenbacker, 1974

Quote of the Week of December 21, 2008:

It is a deformity in some "radicals"
to imagine that, once they have found
the lowest or meanest motive
for an action or for a person,
they have correctly identified
the authentic or "real" one.
Many a purge or show trial
has gotten merrily under way in this manner.
Christopher Hitchens
Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, 2006

Quote of the Week of November 16, 2008:

The key to fostering connection
in the face of a "no"
is to remember that
"no" is always "yes" to something else
and, as such, it is the beginning,
not the end of a conversation.
Inbal Kashtan
Parenting from Your Heart, 2005

Quote of the Week of October 26, 2008:

Punishment is at the root of violence on our planet.
There are ways of maintaining social rules and regulations
that do not involve any kind of punishment.
If we ask two questions of ourselves,
we will see that punishment never works.

First question: What do we want the other person to do?
Now, if we ask only that question,
one can make an argument for punishment.
You can probably think of times when you know
that somebody was influenced to do something
either by being punished for what they had done
or out of a threat of punishment.
However, when we add the second question,
we see that punishment never works.

What is the second question?
What do we want the other person's reasons to be
for doing as we request.
Marshall B. Rosenberg,
Teaching Children Compassionately: How Students and Teachers Can Succeed with Mutual Understanding, 2005

Quote of the Week of October 19, 2008:

Happiness is the legal tender of the soul.
Joy is wealth.
Robert G. Ingersoll
"The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child, " 1877

Quote of the Week of October 12, 2008:

The plot thickens.
Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
in "A Study in Scarlet," 1887

Quote of the Week of August 17, 2008:

In our own society
we could do much more than we do now
to encourage self development.
We could, for example,
drop the increasingly silly fiction
that education is for youngsters
and devise many more arrangements
for lifelong learning.
Robert H Rimmer
The Harrad Experiment, 1966

Quote of the Week of July 27, 2008:

"Nothing clears up a case
so much as stating it
to another person."
Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
in "Silver Blaze," 1892

Quote of the Week of June 23, 2008:

Individuals are kind and decent . . .
as individuals and to other individuals.
Eve is in no danger from her neighbors and friends,
and I am in no danger from mine.
But she is in danger from my neighbors and friends--
and I from hers.
Robert A Heinlein
Methuselah's Children, 1958.

Quote of the Week of May 18, 2008:

"You were a tramp, weren't you . . . ?"
"Not a tramp," Thomas corrected gently, "a hobo."
"Sorry--what's the distinction?"
"A tramp is a bum, a parasite, a man that won't work.
A hobo is an itenerant laborer
who prefers casual freedom
to security.
He works for his living,
but won't be tied down to one environment."
Robert A. Heinlein
Sixth Column, 1949

Quote of the Week of May 11, 2008:

The more a man knows,
the more willing he is to learn--
the less a man knows,
the more positive he is
that he knows everything.
Robert Ingersoll
"On Learning and Genius," in
The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Dresden Edition, Volume Twelve. 1900.

Quote of the Week of April 13, 2008:

Good teaching
is a process of "drawing out"
rather than "stuffing in."
Dr. Martin Haberman
Star Teachers: The Ideology and Best Practice of Effective Teachers of Diverse Children and Youth in Poverty, 2005

Quote of the Week of March 16, 2008:

Jefferson helped enshrine liberty in the American consciousness.
It is what the American Dream is all about.
Not the dream of riches,
but the dream of the pursuit of happiness
as the individual perceives it.
Russel Roberts
The Invisible Heart, 2001

Quote of the Week of March 9, 2008:

[K]eep your bow.
We must trust these people,
though not to the point of foolishness.
Christopher Paolini
Eragon, 2002

Quote of the Week of February 10, 2008:

Here we subscribe to the ethos
that it is not enough
to have the courage of your convictions,
but you must also have
the courage to have your convictions challenged.
Christopher Phillips
Socrates Cafe, 2001

Quote of the Week of February 3, 2008:

The either-or fallacy
is the false assumption that there are only two positions, A and B,
so if A is wrong then B must be right.
The fallacy is that discrediting A does not demonstrate B.
Both A and B could be wrong
and a third alternative could be correct.
Michael Shermer
Why Darwin Matters, 2006

Quote of the Week of January 27, 2008:

The impetus for this book is Libertarianism.
The basic premise of this philosophy is that
it is illegitimate to engage in aggression against non-aggressors.
What is meant by agression is not assertiveness, argumentativeness,
competitiveness, adventurousness, quarrelsomeness, or antagonism.
What is meant by aggression is the use of violence,
such as that which takes place in murder, rape, robbery or kidnapping.
Libertarianism does not imply pacifism;
it does not forbid the use of violence in defense
or even in retaliation against violence.
Libertarian philosophy condemns only the initiation of violence--
the use of violence against a non-violent person or his property.
Walter Block
Defending the Undefendable, 1976

Quote of the Week of January 20, 2008:

It is a curious anomaly.
State power has an unbroken record
of inability to do anything
efficiently, economically, disinterestedly or honestly;
yet when the slightest dissatisfaction arises
over any exercise of social power,
the aid of the agent least qualified to give aid
is immediately called for.
Albert Jay Nock
Our Enemy, the State, 1935

Quote of the Week of January 13, 2008:

I had us moved into a corner
where I could put my back against a wall.
Wild Bill Hickok had once, just once,
made the mistake of sitting with his back to the door.
I'd hate to make him feel,
wherever he is,
that he'd died in vain.
Donald Hamilton
The Demolishers 1987

Quote of the Week of January 6, 2008:

It is time that we squarely face the fact
that institutional schoolteaching
is destructive to children.
John Taylor Gatto
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 1992

Quote of the Week of December 30, 2007:

The weary yeare his race now hauing run,
The new begins his compast course anew;
with shew of morning mylde he hath begun,
betokening peace and plenty to ensew.
So let vs, which this chaunge of weather vew,
chaunge eeke our mynds and former liues amend,
the old yeares sinnes forepast let vs eschew
and fly the faults with which we did offend.
Then shall the new yeares ioy forth freshly send
into the glooming world his gladsome ray:
and all these stormes which now his beauty blend,
shall turne to caulmes and tymely cleare away.
So likewise loue cheare you your heauy spright,
and chaunge old yeares annoy to new delight.
Edmund Spenser
Amoretti, Sonnet 62, 1595

Quote of the Week of December 23, 2007:

Raise your glass.
Repeat after me:
We drink to a great moral truth:
Good Friends! Good Wine! Good Bread!
Joy unsurpassed unto the end!
Angelo M. Pellegrini
Wine and the Good Life, 1965

Quote of the Week of December 16, 2007:

There is a name for a society where only the police have guns.
It is called a police state.
John Ross
Unintended Consequences, 1996

Quote of the Week of December 9, 2007:

The current near-hysterical preoccupation with safety
is at best a waste of resources
and a crimp on the human spirit,
and at worst an invitation
to totalitarianism.
Michael Crichton
State of Fear, 2004

Quote of the Week of December 2, 2007:

If we had no other means to judge the Nazi doctrines,
the single fact that they seek shelter behind the Gestapo
would be sufficient evidence against them.
Doctrines which can stand the trial of logic and reason
can do so without persecuting skeptics.
Ludwig von Mises
Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, 1944

Quote of the Week of November 25, 2007:

Government is a dirty business.
Robert A. Heinlein
Friday, 1982

Quote of the Week of November 18, 2007:

There is an old saying among the Oaxacanos:
The most bitter remorse
is for the sins one did not commit.
John D. MacDonald
Dress Her in Indigo, 1969

Quote of the Week of November 11, 2007:

[B]uzzards have a pact
with death.
Louis L'Amour
The Broken Gun 1966

Quote of the Week of November 4, 2007:

I want it to be understood at the core of the society
that the right to weapons is a fundamental right.
As long as you have a relatively law-abiding society,
weapons in general ownership and use
prevent tyranny from taking hold.
Nothing else in history has ever managed it.
John Ringo
There Will Be Dragons, 2003

Quote of the Week of October 28, 2007:

Censorship is an ancient evil,
and liberation from it
is the fuel of progress.
A.C. Grayling
"Information," from, The Heart of Things: Applying Philosophy to the 21st Century, 2005

Quote of the Week of October 21, 2007:

Oh, "tanstaafl." Means "There ain't no such thing
as a free lunch."
Robert A Heinlein
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, 1966

Quote of the Week of October 14, 2007:

Men are whipped oftenest
who are whipped easiest.
Frederick Douglass
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, 1881

Quote of the Week of October 7, 2007:

"Are you trying to get me drunk?"
"Never," Peter smiled.
"I dislike women who don't know what they're doing.
Let's say I'm trying to make you amenable."
Robert H. Rimmer
Proposition 31, 1968

Quote of the Week of September 30, 2007:

Conservatism, though a necessary element in any stable society,
is not a social program;
in its paternalistic, nationalistic, and power-adoring tendencies
it is often closer to socialism than true liberalism;
and with its traditionalistic, anti-intellectual, and often mystical propensities
it will never, except in short periods of disillusionment,
appeal to the young and all those others
who believe that some changes are desirable
if this world is to become a better place.
Friedrich A. Hayek
The Road to Serfdom, 1944

Quote of the Week of September 23, 2007:

A good heart will help you
to a bonny face . . . ."
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights, 1847

Quote of the Week of September 16, 2007:

Ira furor brevis est.
Anger is a short madness.
Horace, 65 to 8 B.C.E.

Quote of the Week of September 9, 2007:

But it is not the capital employed
that creates profits and losses.
Capital does not "beget profit" as Marx thought.
The capital goods as such are dead things that in themselves
do not accomplish anything.
If they are utilized according to a good idea, profit results.
If they are utilized according to a mistaken idea,
no profit or losses result.
It is the entrepreneurial decision
that creates either profit or loss.
It is mental acts, the mind of the entrepreneur,
from which profits ultimately originate.
Profit is a product of the mind,
of success in anticipating the future state of the market.
It is a spiritual and intellectual phenomenon.
Ludwig von Mises
Planning for Freedom, 1952

Quote of the Week of September 2, 2007:

School is a twelve-year jail sentence
where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned.
John Taylor Gatto
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 1992

Quote of the Week of August 26, 2007:

I thundered hot water into the big tub,
setting up McGee's Handy Home Treatment for Melancholy.
A deep hot bath,
and a strong cold drink,
and a book on the tub rack.
John D. MacDonald
A Deadly Shade of Gold, 1965

Quote of the Week of August 19, 2007:

It is because peaceful agitation and passive resistance
are weapons more deadly to tyranny
than any others
that I uphold them. . . .
[B]rute force stengthens tyranny. . . .
War and authority are companions;
peace and liberty are companions.
Benjamin Tucker
"The Philosophical Anarchists," Liberty, July 31, 1886
as quoted in The Debates of Liberty, by Wendy McElroy, 2003

Quote of the Week of August 12, 2007:

Why is our government
so often dimwitted, slow and wasteful?
Because the Founders planned it that way,
thank heavens.
Richard J. Maybury
Whatever Happened to Justice?, 1993

Quote of the Week of August 5, 2007:

The more one's vocabulary
and writing (and reading)
ability increases . . .
the more one will use the dictionary!
Walter H. Head
A Born-Again View of Religion Versus A Philosophy of Thinking in Principles, 2001

Quote of the Week of July 29, 2007:

In wine-drinking cultures,
children used to be given a few drops
of wine in their water to accustom them to the taste.
People grow up with wine at the dinner table;
it's part of the family meal.
Since children aren't prohibited from touching the stuff,
it doesn't become "forbidden fruit" like beer and wine do in our culture.
As a result, kids don't bend over backward
to get their hands on it when the adults aren't around,
and then proceed to get drunk.
Leslie Brenner
Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape, 1995

Quote of the Week of July 22, 2007:

A cucumber should be well sliced,
and dressed with pepper and vinegar,
and then thrown out,
as good for nothing.
Samuel Johnson Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, October 5, 1773

Quote of the Week of July 15, 2007:

Certain people never learn
that if they push enough folks around long enough,
sooner or later they'll start shoving somebody who won't take it.
He'll blow right up in their faces
and demolish them and the surrounding landscape;
and they--those who are left--
will scream about how misunderstood and abused they are,
and why didn't somebody tell them
the guy was dangerous so they could be nice to him?
It never seems to occur to them
that there's a very simple answer:
just be nice to everybody.
Donald Hamilton
The Demolishers 1987

Quote of the Week of July 8, 2007:

Nothing is so useless
as a general maxim.
Lord Macaulay
Machiavelli, 1827

Quote of the Week of July 1, 2007:

The Libertarian Creed rests upon one central axiom:
that no man or group of men may aggress
against the person or property of anyone else.
This may be called the "nonaggression axiom."
Murray N. Rothbard
For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 1973

Quote of the Week of June 24, 2007:

Let no one put off studying philosophy when he is young,
nor when old grow weary of its study.
For no one is too young or too far past his prime
to achieve the health of his soul.
The man who alleges that he is not yet ready for philosophy
or that the time for it has passed him by,
is like the man who says
that he is either too young or too old
for happiness.
Epicurus
Letter to Menoeceus, Fragment 122. Circa 300 BCE.
Quoted in The Essential Epicurus, translated by Eugene O'Connor

Quote of the Week of June 17, 2007:

Government's a disease
masquerading as its own cure.
L. Neil Smith
The Proability Broach, 1980

Quote of the Week of June 10, 2007:

The alternative is not
plan or no plan.
The question is: whose planning?
Should each member of society plan for himself
or should the paternal government alone plan for all? . . .
Laissez faire does not mean:
let souless mechanical forces operate.
It means: let individuals choose
how they want to cooperate in the social division of labor
and let them determine what the entrepreneurs should produce.
Planning means:
let the government alone choose and enforce its rulings
by the apparatus of coercion and compulsion.
Ludwig von Mises
Planning for Freedom, 1952

Quote of the Week of June 3, 2007:

But the other vitality is still there,
that rancorous, sardonic, wonderful insistence
on the right to dissent, to question, to object,
to raise holy hell and,
in direst extremity,
to laugh the self-appointed squad leaders
off the face of the earth with great whoops
of dirty, disdainful glee.
Suppress friction and a machine runs fine.
Suppress friction, and a society runs down.
John D. MacDonald
A Deadly Shade of Gold, 1965

Quote of the Week of May 27, 2007:

"I like you, young man.
You show considerable skill at making me feel
like a woman instead of an old lady."
"Let's say that I like ladies,
young and old,
with a dash of vinegar."
Robert H. Rimmer
The Rebellion of Yale Marratt, 1964

Quote of the Week of May 20, 2007:

Fuzzy language causes
fuzzy thinking.
Richard J. Maybury
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, 2000

Quote of the Week of May 13, 2007:

While I'm a great believer in karate, judo, and other variations
on the theme of unarmed combat,
nothing is quite as effective
in discouraging the unfriendlies of the world
as a blue steel sidearm.
A.E. Maxwell
Just Another Day in Paradise, 1985

Quote of the Week of May 6, 2007:

It is a curious fact
that as the government's revenues increase
so do its needs.
Frank Chodorov
The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, 1954

Quote of the Week of April 29, 2007:

Those who cavalierly reject the Theory of Evolution,
as not adequately supported by facts,
seem quite to forget
that their own theory is supported
by no facts at all.
Herbert Spencer
Essays Scientific, Political and Speculative, 1891

Quote of the Week of April 22, 2007:

A half hour with Thomas Jefferson
is more enlightening
than a week with anyone else I know,
except maybe James Madison or Patrick Henry.
Richard J. Maybury
Whatever Happened to Justice?, 1993

Quote of the Week of April 15, 2007:

A government is as strong as its income.
Contrariwise, the independence of the people
is in direct proportion to the amount
of their wealth they can enjoy.
We cannot restore traditional American freedom
unless we limit the government's power
to tax.
Frank Chodorov
The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, 1954

Quote of the Week of April 8, 2007:

At eighteen months he weighed over a hundred pounds,
with enormous feet and a head like a bear.
His greeting was overwhelming,
like being mauled by a grizzly;
but I didn't mind.
I mean, it showed that he remembered me and, dammit,
love is where you find it.
There aren't that many humans around
eager to hug and kiss me.
Donald Hamilton
The Demolishers 1987

Quote of the Week of April 1, 2007:

No politician has yet gained votes
by advocating the amendment
of the multiplication table,
but many a seat in parliament
has been won on an implied promise--
equally fantastic--
to repeal the law of supply and demand.
Sir Ernest Benn
The State the Enemy, 1953

Quote of the Week of March 25, 2007:

E pur si muove.
Italian for, "And yet it does move."
Attributed to Galileo Galilei
Parting remarks supposed to have been spoken under Galleleo's breath
after his public recantation of his heliocentric ideas,
upon his conviction by the Inquisition
for believing that the Earth was not the center of the Universe, 1633.

Quote of the Week of March 18, 2007:

It is quite a three-pipe problem.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"The Red-Headed League," in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892

Quote of the Week of March 11, 2007:

"You just don't get it, do you?" Kenner said.
"You think civilization is some horrible, polluting human invention
that separates us from the state of nature.
But civilization doesn't separate us from nature, Ted.
Civilization protects us from nature."
Michael Crichton
State of Fear, 2004

Quote of the Week of March 4, 2007:

"Remember the engineer's creed."
"When the results don't agree with the theory,
believe the results
and come up with a new theory."
John Ross
Unintended Consequences, 1996

Quote of the Week of February 25, 2007:

The right of a person to the product of his own labor
is the foundation of economic liberty.
The requirements of liberty in the economic realm
can be met in no other way.
The question at issue is how to distinguish
between what is mine and what is thine. . . .
There are three ways to handle this problem:
1. Each person may have whatever he can grab.
2. Some person other than the one who produces the goods and services
may decide who shall have the right of possession or use.
3. Each person may be allowed to have whatever he produces.
These three methods cover all the possibilities;
there are no others.
F.A."Squatty" Harper
Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery, 1949

Quote of the Week of February 18, 2007:

By preventing a free market in education,
a handful of social engineers,
backed by the industries that profit from compulsory schooling--
teacher colleges, textbook publishers, materials suppliers, and others--
has ensured that most of our children
will not have an education,
even though they may be thoroughly schooled.
John Taylor Gatto
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 1992

Quote of the Week of February 11, 2007:

The affinities of all the beings of the same class
have sometimes been represented by a great tree.
I believe this simile largely speaks the truth.
As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds,
and these, if vigorous,
branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch,
so by generation I believe it has been
with the great Tree of Life,
which fills with its dead and broken branches
the crust of the earth,
and covers the surface
with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species, 1859

Quote of the Week of February 4, 2007:

A lasting order
cannot be established
by bayonets.
Ludwig von Mises
Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War,

Quote of the Week of January 28, 2007:

I don't argue with lasers;
you can neither bribe them
nor sweet-talk them.
Robert A. Heinlein
Friday, 1982

Quote of the Week of January 21, 2007:

That's why they can never make it.
They kill off the good ones.
They gut their dreamers.
Their drab stone discipline is a celebration of mediocrity.
If we can restrain ourselves
from killing off our own rebels,
our doubters and dreamers,
all in the name of making ourselves strong,
then we can prevail.
But if we use their methods,
then any victory will be but victory
of one iron symbol over another,
and mankind will have lost the battle
whichever way it goes.
John D. MacDonald
A Deadly Shade of Gold, 1965

Quote of the Week of January 14, 2007:

If one has a book, Mr. Boone,
one is never alone.
They will talk to you when you want to listen,
and when you tire of what they are saying,
you just close the book.
It will be waiting for you
when you come back to it.
Louis L'Amour
The Cherokee Trail 1982

Quote of the Week of January 7, 2007:

You aren't compelled to loan your car
to anyone who wants it,
but you are compelled to surrender you school-age child to strangers
who process children for a livelihood . . . .
Your great-great grandmother didn't have to surrender her children.
What happened?
John Taylor Gatto
The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher's Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling, 2000

Quote of the Week of December 31, 2006:

Some people would advise us
that there may be realities so frightening,
or so discouraging and demoralizing,
that we would be better off not knowing anything about them.
In my judgment, however,
it is nearly always more advantageous
to face the facts with which we must deal than to remain ignorant of them.
After all, hiding our eyes from reality
will not cause any reduction of its dangers and threats . . . ."
Harry G. Frankfurt
On Truth, 2006

Quote of the Week of November 12, 2006:

It is not written in the stars
that I will always understand what is going on--
a truism that I often find damnably annoying.
Robert A. Heinlein
Friday, 1982

Quote of the Week of November 5, 2006:

A man with a rage
is always going to be a victim, never a victor.
He loses perspective.
He can't act, except emotionally.
Robert H. Rimmer
The Premar Experiments, 1975

Quote of the Week of October 29, 2006:

I do not trust fervor.
Every time it has burst out somewhere,
it has brought fire, famine, misery. . . .
And contempt for man.
Fervor is the weapon of choice for the impotent.
Frantz Fanon
Black Skins White Masks, 1988

Quote of the Week of October 22, 2006:

More than any group we can think of,
Harleys and their owners
constitute the world's largest
and most active
mutual admiration society.
Paul Garson
Born to Be Wild: A History of the American Biker and Bikes, 1947 - 2002, 2003

Quote of the Week of October 15, 2006:

When private property is in constant danger
of being taken from the one who has saved it,
he will "eat today's production today"
rather than save. If the marauding is prevalent enough,
he will not even find it feasible to save the seed
for next year's planting of food crops;
and once the incentive to save is that far gone,
civilization will have reverted back
to the hunter society of primitive man.
It would seem, then, that the claim of one renowed person who said,
"Only well-fed people can be free,"
could more accurately be stated in reverse:
Only free people can be well-fed."
F.A. Harper
Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery, 1949.

Quote of the Week of September 3, 2006:

The process of science
is fueled by what I call Darwin's Dictum,
defined by Darwin himself in his letter to Fawcett:
"all observation must be for or against some view
if it is to be of any service."
Michael Shermer
Why Darwin Matters, 2006

Quote of the Week of March 19, 2006:

I am here tonight for the purpose
of defending your right
to differ with me.
I want to convince you that you are under no compulsion
to accept my creed; that you are,
so far as I am concerned,
absolutely free to follow
the torch of your reason according to your conscience;
and I believe that you are civilized
to that degree that you will extend to me
the right that you claim for yourselves.
Robert G. Ingersoll
"Free Speech and Honest Talk," 1888

Quote of the Week of March 12, 2006:

Stop worring about whether she loves you.
One thing is fundamental;
if you give love instead of asking for it,
if you love openly,
defenselessly discarding forever the proposition,
"I'll love you if you'll love me,"
which most people live by,
then you will discover
a wonderful serenity in your life.
Robert H. Rimmer
The Harrad Experiment, 1966

Quote of the Week of November 13, 2005:

Detailed instructions
are the death
of initiative.
Robert A. Heinlein
Sixth Column, 1949

Quote of the Week of November 6, 2005:

Dream good dreams.
John D. MacDonald
Nightmare in Pink, 1964

Quote of the Week of October 30, 2005:

I read a great deal.
It's the only way we have
to lead more lives than one.
John D. MacDonald
Nightmare in Pink, 1964

Quote of the Week of October 23, 2005:

[I]t isn't foolish or wicked
to enjoy.
Wickedness
is hurting people
on purpose.
John D. MacDonald
Nightmare in Pink, 1964

Quote of the Week of December 26, 2004:

And say not thou "My country right or wrong."
Nor shead thy blood for an unhallowed cause.
John Quincy Adams
"Congress, Slavery, and an Unjust War," 1847

Quote of the Week of December 19, 2004:

A chief event of life
is the day in which we have encountered
a mind
that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays: Second Series, 1844

Quote of the Week of December 12, 2004:

How many unjust
and wicked things
are done
from habit.
Terence
Heauton Timoroumenos, circa 150 BC

Quote of the Week of December 5, 2004:

In the kingdom of the blind
the one-eyed man
is king.
Desiderius Erasmus
Adagia, 1500

Quote of the Week of November 28, 2004:

A belief is not true
because it is useful.
Henri Frederic Amiel
Amiel's Journal, November 15, 1876

Quote of the Week of November 21, 2004:

'Mid pleasures and palaces
though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble,
there's no place like home.
John Howard Payne
"Home Sweet Home," from Clari, the Maid of Milan, 1823

Quote of the Week of November 14, 2004:

If you put a chain
around the neck of a slave,
the other end fastens itself
around your own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays: First Series, 1841

Quote of the Week of November 7, 2004:

There is no worse heresy
than that the office
sanctifies the holder of it.
Lord Acton
Letter to Mandell Creighton, April 3, 1887

Quote of the Week of October 31, 2004:

It is better that ten guilty escape
than that one innocent suffer.
Sir William Blackstone
Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765

Quote of the Week of October 24, 2004:

The sorrow for the dead
is the only sorrow
from which we refuse
to be divorced.
Washington Irving
"Rural Funerals," from, The Sketch-Book, 1819-1820

Quote of the Week of October 17, 2004:

During war we imprison
the rights of man.
Jean Giraudoux
Tiger at the Gates, 1935

Quote of the Week of October 10, 2004:

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away,
for expedients,
and by parts.
Edmund Burke
Letter to Sherriffs of Bristol, April 3, 1777

Quote of the Week of October 3, 2004:

It is the characteristic
of the most stringent censorships
that they give credibility
to the opinions they attack.
Voltaire
Preface to "Poeme sur le desastre de Lisbonne," 1758

Quote of the Week of September 26, 2004:

There is no greater fallacy than the belief
that aims and purposes are one thing,
while methods and tactics are another.
Emma Goldman
My Disillusionment in Russia, 1923

Quote of the Week of September 19, 2004:

[W]e never listen
when we are eager to speak.
La Rochefoucauld
Maxims, 1665

Quote of the Week of September 12, 2004:

The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course
of larceny, murder, rapine, and barbarism.
We are always moving forward with high mission,
a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims
while incidentally capturing their markets,
to civilize savage and senile and paranoid peoples
while blundering accidentally
into their oil wells and metal mines.
John T. Flynn
As We Go Marching, 1944

Quote of the Week of September 5, 2004:

Man is a plant which bears thoughts,
just as a rose-tree bears roses
and an apple-tree bears apples.
Antoine Fabre d'Olivet
L'Histoire philosophique du genre humain, 1824

Quote of the Week of August 29, 2004:

Governments have ever been careful
to hold a high hand
over the education of the people.
They know, better than anyone else,
that their power is based almost entirely
on the school.
Hence, they monopolize it more and more.
Francisco Ferrer The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School, Translated by Joseph McCabe, 1913.

Quote of the Week of August 22, 2004:

How many a man
has dated a new era in his life
from the reading of a book.
Henry David Thoreau
Walden, "Reading," 1854

Quote of the Week of August 15, 2004:

You shall have joy
or you shall have power,
said God;
you shall not have both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals, October, 1842

Quote of the Week of August 8, 2004:

Human felicity is produced
not so much by great pieces of good fortune
that seldom happen,
as by little advantages
that occur every day.
Benjamin Franklin
Autobiography, 1731

Quote of the Week of August 1, 2004:

Of all the enemies to public liberty
war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded
because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes.
And armies, and debts, and taxes
are the known instruments
for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
James Madison
Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491, "Political Obseervations," April 20, 1795

Quote of the Week of July 25, 2004:

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong
gives it a superficial appearance of being right,
and raises at first
a formidable outcry in defense of custom.
Thomas Paine
Common Sense, 1776

Quote of the Week of July 18, 2004:

Morality cannot exist one minute without freedom. . . .
Only a free man can possibly be moral.
Unless a good deed is voluntary,
it has no moral significance.
Everett Dean Martin
Liberty, 1930

Quote of the Week of July 11, 2004:

A man should never be ashamed
to own he has been in the wrong,
which is but saying
that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
Alexander Pope
Thoughts on Various Subjects, 1706

Quote of the Week of July 4, 2004:

Far from establishing liberty throughout the world,
war has actually encouraged and built up the development of dictatorships
and has only restored liberty in limited areas at the cost of untold hardship,
of human suffering, of death and destruction
beyond the conception of our fathers.
Robert A. Taft
A Foreign Policy for Americans, 1951

Quote of the Week of June 27, 2004:

Passion, joined with power,
produceth thunder and ruin.
Thomas Fuller
Gnomologia, 1732

Quote of the Week of June 20, 2004:

The century is advanced,
but every individual begins afresh.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (17491832)
Maxims and Reflections, collection.

Quote of the Week of June 13, 2004:

We thought, because we had power,
we had wisdom.
Stephen Vincent Benet
Litany for Dictatorships, 1935

Quote of the Week of June 6, 2004:

The wicked are always surprised
to find that the good
can be clever.
Marquis de Vauvenargues
Reflexions et maximes, 1746

Quote of the Week of May 30, 2004:

Every central government
worships uniformity;
uniformity relieves it from inquiry
into an infinity of details,
which must be attended to
if rules have to be adapted to different men,
instead of indiscriminately subjecting all men
to the same rule.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America, 1835

Quote of the Week of May 23, 2004:

We find it easy to believe
that praise is sincere:
why should anyone lie
in telling us the truth?
Jean Rostand
De la Vanite, 1925

Quote of the Week of May 16, 2004:

How is the world ruled
and how do wars start?
Diplomats tell lies to journalists
and then believe what they read.
Karl Kraus
Aphorisms and More Aphorisms, 1909

Quote of the Week of May 9, 2004:

Women deprived of the company of men pine,
men deprived of the company of women
become stupid.
Anton Chekhov
Notebooks, 1892-1904

Quote of the Week of May 2, 2004:

Anger always thinks it has power
beyond its power.
Publilius Syrus
Sententiae, circa 1st century, BC

Quote of the Week of April 25, 2004:

And I cannot see,
why arms should be denied to any man
who is not a slave,
since they are the only
true badges of liberty.
Andrew Fletcher
A Discourse of Government with Relation to Militias, 1737

Quote of the Week of April 18, 2004:

It is one thing
to praise discipline,
and another to submit to it.
Miguel de Cervantes
The Dialogue of the Dogs, 1613

Quote of the Week of April 11, 2004:

Kings are naturally lovers
of low company.
Edmund Burke
Speech on the Economical Reform, 1780

Quote of the Week of April 4, 2004:

When once the itch of literature
comes over a man,
nothing can cure it
but the scratching of a pen.
Samuel Lover
Handy Andy, 1842

Quote of the Week of March 28, 2004:

The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries,
and, owing to this,
what is called crime is very often not a crime at all,
for it contains no element of violence or harm.
P.D. Ouspensky
A New Model of the Universe, 1931

Quote of the Week of March 21, 2004:

The best way to suppose what may come,
is to remember what is past.
George Savile
Miscellaneous,

Quote of the Week of March 14, 2004:

When a government takes over a people's economic life
it becomes absolute,
and when it has become absolute it destroys
the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning
of the people it governs.
Maxwell Anderson
The Guaranteed Life, 1938

Quote of the Week of March 7, 2004:

The number of those
who undergo the fatigue
of judging for themselves
is very small indeed.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
The Critic, 1799

Quote of the Week of February 29, 2004:

When all the fine phrases are stripped away,
it appears that the state is only a group of men
with human interests, passions and desires
or worse yet . . .
an obscure clerk hidden in some corner
of a government bureau.
In either case
the assumption of superhuman wisdom and virtue
is proved false.
William Graham Sumner
Commercial Crises, 1879

Quote of the Week of February 22, 2004:

Every great advance
in natural knowledge
has involved the absolute rejection
of authority.
T.H. Huxley
Lay Sermons, 1870

Quote of the Week of February 15, 2004:

The object of the state
is always the same:
to limit the individual,
to tame him, to subordinate him, to subjugate him.
Max Stirner
The Ego and His Own, 1845

Quote of the Week of February 8, 2004:

Happiness is never as welcome
as changlessness.
Graham Greene
The Heart of the Matter, 1948

Quote of the Week of February 1, 2004:

Fear is the foundation
of most governments.
John Adams
Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote of the Week of January 25, 2004:

The test of a vocation
is the love
of the drudgery
it involves.
Logan Pearsall Smith
Afterthoughts, 1931

Quote of the Week of January 18, 2004:

There can be no freedom
where there is no safety to property or personal rights.
Whenever legislation . . . breaks in upon personal liberty
or compels a surrender of personal privileges,
upon any pretext, plausible or otherwise,
it matters little whether it be
the act of the many or the few,
of the solitary despot
or the assembled multitude;
it is still in its essence
tyranny.
Joseph Story
A Discourse Pronounced Upon the Inauguration of the Author as Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University on the Twenty-Fifth Day of August, 1829, 1829.

Quote of the Week of January 11, 2004:

Truth often suffers more
by the heat of its defenders
than from the arguments
of its opponents.
William Penn
Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693.

Quote of the Week of January 4, 2004:

To preserve liberty,
it is essential that the whole body of the people
always possess arms,
and be taught alike,
especially when young,
how to use them. . . ."
Richard Henry Lee
Letters from the Federalist Farmer, 1787

Quote of the Week of December 28, 2003:

He that would know what shall be,
must consider
what hath been.
H.G. Bohn
Handbook of Proverbs, 1855

Quote of the Week of December 21, 2003:

Most all the time,
the whole year round,
there ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas
I'm as good as I kin be!
Eugene Field
"Jest 'fore Christmas," in Love-Songs of Childhood, 1894

Quote of the Week of December 14, 2003:

Every strengthening of the State machine
means a weakening of the individual,
but every improvement in the individual
means a strengthening of the nation.
Sir Ernest Benn
The State The Enemy, 1953

Quote of the Week of December 7, 2003:

I cannot live without books.
Thomas Jefferson
Letter to John Adams, June 10, 1815

Quote of the Week of November 30, 2003:

We call our schools free
because we are not free
to stay away from them
until we are sixteen.
Robert Frost
Introduction to Collected Poems, 1939

Quote of the Week of November 23, 2003:

Power
when yielded by abnormal energy
is the most serious of facts.
Henry Adams
The Education of Henry Adams, 1907

Quote of the Week of November 16, 2003:

What I like in a good author
is not what he says,
but what he whispers.
Logan Pearsall Smith
Afterthoughts, 1931

Quote of the Week of November 9, 2003:

Power is not happiness.
William Godwin
An Enquiry concerning Political Justice, 1793

Quote of the Week of November 2, 2003:

The office of government is not to confer happiness,
but to give men opportunity
to work out happiness for themselves.
William Ellery Channing
Christian Examiner, Sept/Oct, 1827

Quote of the Week of October 26, 2003:

The first sign of corruption
in a society that is still alive
is that the end justifies the means.
Georges Bernanos
Why Freedom, 1955

Quote of the Week of October 19, 2003:

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation
can be trusted to act humanely
or to act sanely
under the influence of a great fear.
Bertrand Russell
"An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, " in Unpopular Essays, 1950

Quote of the Week of October 12, 2003:

Experience is the name everyone gives
to their mistakes.
Oscar Wilde
Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892

Quote of the Week of October 5, 2003:

Politicians are the same all over.
They promise to build a bridge
even where there is no river.
Nikita Khrushchev
Comments to press, October, 1960

Quote of the Week of September 28, 2003:

Mankind are greater gainers
by suffering each other to live
as seems good to themselves,
than by compelling each to live
as seems good to the rest.
John Stuart Mill
On Liberty, 1859

Quote of the Week of September 21, 2003:

Watch out for the fellow
who talks about putting things in order!
Putting things in order always means
getting other people under your control.
Denis Diderot
Supplement to Bougainville's "Voyage," 1796

Quote of the Week of September 14, 2003:

The project of a national education
ought uniformly to be discouraged,
on account of its obvious alliance
with national government.
This is an alliance of a more formidable nature
than the old and much contested alliance
of church and state.
William Godwin
An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, 1793

Quote of the Week of September 7, 2003:

My toast would be,
may our country be always successful,
but whether successful or otherwise,
always right.
John Quincy Adams
Letter to John Adams, August 1, 1816

Quote of the Week of August 31, 2003:

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.
James Truslow Adams
The Adams Family, 1930

Quote of the Week of August 24, 2003:

So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons,
Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise
and make them miserable.
Aldous Huxley
Ends and Means, 1937

Quote of the Week of August 17, 2003:

The nearest approach
to immortality on earth
is a government bureau.
James F. Byrnes
Speaking Frankly, 1947

Quote of the Week of August 10, 2003:

The king presupposes subjects;
the leaders, followers.
Ignazio Silone
The School for Dictatorships, 1939

Quote of the Week of August 3, 2003:

No government can be long secure
without formidable opposition.
Benjamin Disraeli
Coningsby, 1844

Quote of the Week of July 27, 2003:

On my arrival in the United States,
I was struck by the degree of ability
among the governed
and the lack of it
among the governing.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America, 1835

Quote of the Week of July 20, 2003:

Experience keeps a dear school,
yet Fools will learn in no other.
Benjamin Franklin
Poor Richard's Almanac, 1743

Quote of the Week of July 13, 2003:

I speak truth,
not so much as I would,
but as much as I dare;
and I dare a little more
as I grow older.
Montaigne
Essays, III

Quote of the Week of July 6, 2003:

When we are planning for posterity,
we ought to remember that virtue
is not hereditary.
Thomas Paine
Common Sense, 1776

Quote of the Week of June 29, 2003:

[F]orce, the vital principle
and immediate parent
of despotism.
Thomas Jefferson
First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Quote of the Week of June 22, 2003:

The shortest way to ruin a country
is to give power
to demagogues.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Antiquities of Rome, circa 20 B.C.

Quote of the Week of June 15, 2003:

The appalling thing about war
is that it kills
all love of truth.
Georg Brandes
Letters to Georges Clemenceau, March, 1915

Quote of the Week of June 8, 2003:

Experience has always shown us hitherto
that revolutionaires plead "reasons of state"
as soon as they get into power,
that they employ police methods and look upon justice
as a weapon
which they many use unfairly
against their enemies.
George Sorel
Reflections on Violence, 1906

Quote of the Week of June 1, 2003:

All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They.
Rudyard Kipling
"We and They," 1926

Quote of the Week of May 25, 2003:

No man can think clearly
when his fists are clenched.
George Jean Nathan
"Indignation," in The World in Falseface, 1923

Quote of the Week of May 18, 2003:

Whenever government assumes to deliver us
from the trouble of thinking for ourselves,
the only consequences it produces
are those of torpor and imbecility.
William Godwin
An Enquiry concerning Political Justice, 1793

Quote of the Week of May 11, 2003:

Truth no more relies for success
on ballot boxes
than it does on cartridge boxes.
Political action is not moral action.
William Lloyd Garrison
The Liberator, March 13, 1846

Quote of the Week of May 4, 2003:

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions,
that I wish it to be always kept alive.
It will often be exercised when wrong
but better so than not to be exercised at all.
Thomas Jefferson
Letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787

Quote of the Week of April 27, 2003:

History has taught me
that rulers are much the same
in all ages, and under all forms of government;
that they are as bad as they dare to be.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Letter, 1798

Quote of the Week of April 20, 2003:

Power gradually extirpates from the mind
every humane and gentle virtue.
Edmund Burke
A Vindication of Natural Society, 1756

Quote of the Week of April 13, 2003:

The theory of free speech,
that truth is so much larger and stranger
and more many-sided than we know of,
that it is very much better at all costs
to hear every one's account of it,
is a theory which has been justified on the whole
by experiment, but which remains
a very daring and even a very surprising theory.
It is really one of the great discoveries
of modern time.
G. K. Chesterton
Robert Browning, 1914

Quote of the Week of April 6, 2003:

Governments are suspicious of literature
because it is a force that eludes them.
Emile Zola
Le Roman Experimental, 1880

Quote of the Week of March 30, 2003:

The true civilization is where every man
gives to every other
every right that he claims
for himself.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Interview in The Washington Post, November 14, 1880

Quote of the Week of March 23, 2003:

If all mankind minus one
were of one opinion,
and only one person were of the contrary opinion,
mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person,
than he, if he has the power,
would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart Mill
On Liberty, 1859

Quote of the Week of March 16, 2003:

The true university of these days
is a collection of books.
Thomas Carlyle
"The Hero as Man of Letters," in On Heroes and Hero Worship, 1841

Quote of the Week of March 9, 2003:

Among the calamities of war
may be justly numbered
the diminution of the love of truth
by the falsehoods which interest dictates
and credulity encourages.
Samuel Johnson
The Idler, November 11, 1758

Quote of the Week of March 2, 2003:

Of all the passions,
fear weakens judgment most.
Cardinal de Retz
Memoires, 1718

Quote of the Week of February 23, 2003:

Hatred is a feeling which leads
to the extinction of values.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
Mediations on Quixote, 1914

Quote of the Week of February 16, 2003:

The defect of equality
is that we only desire it
with our superiors.
Henry-Francois Becque
Querelles Litteraires, 1890

Quote of the Week of February 9, 2003:

The first thing naturally
when one enters a scholar's study or library,
is to look at his books.
One gets a notion very speedily
of his tastes and the range of his pursuits
by a glance round his bookshelves.
Oliver Wendel Holmes
The Poet at the Breakfast-Table, 1872

Quote of the Week of February 2, 2003:

A man's liberties are none the less aggressed upon
because those who coerce him do so in the belief
that he will be benefitted.
Herbert Spencer
Social Statics, 1850

Quote of the Week of January 26, 2003:

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty.
It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply
even the best of laws.
He that would make his own liberty secure
must guard even his enemy from oppression:
for if he violates his duty
he establishes a precedent
that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine
Dissertation of First Principles of Government, July 7, 1795

Quote of the Week of January 19, 2003:

Many can argue,
not many converse.
A. Bronson Alcott
Concord Days, 1872

Quote of the Week of January 12, 2003:

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these:
first, a right to life;
second, to liberty;
thirdly, to property;
together with the right to support and defend them
in the best manner they can.
Samuel Adams,
"The Rights of the Colonists," August, 1776

Quote of the Week of January 5, 2003:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
"The Road Not Taken, " in Mountain Interval, 1916

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