"Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny."
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall
one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform."
"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once."
"If you can't appreciate what you've got, you better get what you can appreciate!"
"It is unseemly, even pathetic, for the would-be leaders of a great power
to pine for the pity gleaned on the day America lay bleeding and wounded."
"The world apparently likes the U.S. when it is on its knees.
From that the Democrats deduce a foreign policy—
remain on our knees, humble and supplicant,
and enjoy the applause and "support" of the world."
"Sympathy is fine. But if we "squander" it when we go to war to avenge
our dead and prevent the next crop of dead, then to hell with sympathy.
The fact is that the world hates us for our wealth, our success, our power.
They hate us into incoherence. The Europeans...disdain us for our excessive
religiosity (manifest, they imagine, by evolution being expelled from schools
while prayer is being ushered back in)—while the Arab world despises us as
purveyors of secularism. We cannot win for losing. We are widely reviled as
enemies of Islam, yet in the 1990s we engaged three times in combat—in the
Persian Gulf and in the Balkans—to rescue Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo,
Muslim peoples all. And in the last two cases, there was nothing in it for the U.S.;
it was humanitarianism and good international citizenship of the highest order.
"The search for logic in anti-Americanism is fruitless.
It is in the air the world breathes. Its roots are envy and self-loathing—
by peoples who, yearning for modernity but having failed at it,
find their one satisfaction in despising modernity's great exemplar.
On Sept. 11, they gave it a rest for a day. Big deal."
"Negotiate! What is to negotiate?"
"All of it began the first time some of you who know better,
and are old enough to know better, let young people think that
they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long
as they were doing it in the name of social protest."
"Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation
away from extinction."
"Every once in a while, somebody has to get the bureaucracy by
the neck and shake it loose and say 'stop doing what you're doing.'"
"It's so hard for government planners, no matter how sophisticated,
to ever substitute for millions of individuals working night and day
to make their dreams come true. The fact is, bureaucracies are a
problem around the world."
"[Democracy is] one of the most powerful political movements of our age...
Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority
or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life
is infinitely precious, that every one of us put in this world has been
put there for a reason and has something to offer."
"This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had
no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in
all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of
this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government
or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a
little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our
lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."
"If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid
of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government,
recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll
eat you last."
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We can preserve for
our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we
can sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years
of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our
children's children say of us we justified our brief moment
here. We did all that could be done."
"Let me remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Likewise, moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue."
"Freedom has only one enemy it cannot defeat, and that is negligence."
"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists."
"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 had
the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed
and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks
that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing
for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important
than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no
chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of
better men than himself."
"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends
than that good men should look on and do nothing."
"Understood as a central consolidated power, managing and
directing the various general interests of the society,
all government is evil...The best government is that which
"It is difficult beyond description to conceive that space
can have no end; but it is more difficult to conceive an end.
It is difficult beyond the power of man to conceive an
eternal duration of what we call time; but it is more
impossible to conceive a time when there shall be no time."
"The word of God is the creation we behold and it is in this
word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that
God speaketh universally to man."
"Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in
its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an
intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the
same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a
country without government, our calamities are heightened by
reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."
"If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and
the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service
of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and
thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered;
yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict,
the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem
too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would
be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be
"Peace is not an absence of war."
"SO LONG as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social
condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates
hell on earth and complicates a destiny that is divine with human
fatality; so long as the three problems of the age -- the degredation
of man by poverty, the ruin of woman by starvation, and the dwarfing
of childhood by physical and spiritual night -- are not solved; so long as,
in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words,
so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot
"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself
I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore,
and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother
pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the
great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
"The main business of natural philosophy is to argue from
phenomena without feigning hypotheses, and to deduce causes
from effects, till we come to the very first cause, which
certainly is not mechanical...What is there in places almost
empty of matter, and whence is it that the sun and planets
gravitate towards one another, without dense matter between
them? Whence is it that nature doth nothing in vain; and
whence arises all that order and beauty we see in the world?
To what end are comets, and whence is it that planets move
all one and the same way in orbs concentric, while comets
move all manner of ways in orbs very eccentric, and what
hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another? How
came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art,
and for what ends were their several parts? Was the eye
contrived without skill in optics, or the ear without
knowledge of sounds? How do the motions of the body follow
from the will, and whence is the instinct in animals?...
And these things being rightly dispatched, does it not appear
from phenomena that there is a being incorporeal, living,
intelligent, omnipresent, who, in infinite space, as it were
in his sensory, sees the things themselves intimately, and
thoroughly perceives them; and comprehends them wholly by
their immediate presence to himself?"
"If perhaps there are babblers who, although completely ignorant
of mathematics, nevertheless take it upon themselves to pass
judgement on mathematical questions and, improperly distorting
some passages of the Scripture to their purpose, dare to find
fault with my system and censure it, I disregard them even to
the extent of despising their judgement as uninformed."
"Look around you and look at history. You will see the
achievements of man's mind. You will see man's unlimited
potentiality for greatness, and the faculty that makes it
possible. You will see that man is not a helpless monster by
nature, but he becomes one when he discards that faculty:
"Men have free will. There is no guarantee that they will
choose to be rational, at any one time or in any one
"Since reason is man's basic tool of survival, rationality is
his highest moral virtue. To use his mind, to perceive
reality and to act accordingly, is man's moral imperative."
"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power,
have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government
and form a new one. This is a most valuable and sacred right
- a right which we hope will liberate the world."
"I believe there are more instances of the freedoms
of the people being abridged through gradual and
silent encroachments by those in power, than by
violent and sudden usurpation."
"They that can give up essential liberty
to purchase a little temporary safety,
deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"The state is not armed with superior wit or honesty,
but with superior physical strength.
I was not born to be forced.
I will breathe air after my own fashion.
Let us see who is the strongest."
"The law will never make men free;
it is men who have got to make the law free."
"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of
intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the
approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of
false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in
others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed
social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has
breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have
"Some people say there are too many thorns among the roses.
Others are thankful for the roses among the thorns."
"No matter what the object is, whether business, pleasures, or the
fine arts; whoever pursues them to any purpose must do so con amore."
"I do believe that where there is a choice only between cowardice and violence,
I would advise violence."
"We make war that we may live in peace."
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick
themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."
"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
"There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world,
and the worst of it is half of them are true."
"For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use
being anything else."
"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small,
large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour
and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently
overwhelming might of the enemy."
"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for
the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look
upon the outrage of our nation and our altar."
Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee."
Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."
"We have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat,
and France has suffered even more than we have."
debate on the Munich Agreement in the House of Commons.
Lady Nancy Astor heckled him by calling out "Nonsense."
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
After receiving a Minute issued by a priggish civil servant,
objecting to the ending of a sentence with a preposition and
the use of a dangling participle in official documents,
Churchill red pencilled in the margin:
"This is the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put."
"We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds.
We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the
hills. We shall never surrender!"
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased
at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take,
but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death."
"It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who won the freedoms enjoyed
for protesters to burn the flag."
"Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need."
"Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength --
they are invited by the perception of weakness "
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points
out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who errs, and comes up short again and
again (but)....who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at
the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid
souls who know neither victory or defeat."
"We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariff, and foreign
policy; but we can not afford to differ on the question of honesty
if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is...an
absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a
man is honest we have no right to keep him in public life, it matters
not how brilliant his capacity. Without honesty the brave and able
man is merely a civic wild beast who should be hunted down by every
lover of righteousness. No man who is corrupt, no man who condones
corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community.
If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath,
if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the
statute law. Under the higher law, under the great law of morality
and righteousness, he is precisely as guilty if, instead of lying in
a court, he lies in a newspaper or on the stump; and in all probability
the evil effects of his conduct are infinitely more widespread and more
pernicious. We need absolute honesty in public life; and we shall not get
it until we remember that truth-telling must go hand in hand with it,
and that it is quite as important not to tell an untruth about a decent
man as it is to tell the truth about one who is not decent."
"Don't ask someone which computer they drive.
If they're a Mac driver, they'll tell you.
If not, why embarrass them?"
"The best diplomat I know is a fully-activated phaser-bank!"
"I've never understood the female capacity to avoid a direct answer
to any question."
"I'm used to the idea of dying. But I have no desire to die for
the likes of you."
"In this zinc-plated, vacuum-tube culture!?...
I am attempting to create a mnemonic-memory device
using stone tablets and bear claws."
"Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That is the only planet
in this galaxy that can make that claim."
"We must acknowledge once and for all that the purpose of diplomacy
is to prolong a crisis."
"Diplomats and bureaucrats may function differently, but they achieve
exactly the same results."
"Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you."
"How 'bout them Cowboys!"
"You know that face on Mars? NASA did the dumbest thing.
They said it wasn't a face, it was a pile of rocks.
If they'd said it was a face, they'd have full funding!"
"Some try to tell me thoughts they cannot defend.
Just what you want to be, you will be in the end."
"Haven't you heard? There's no such thing as happiness.
You just have to be happy without it."
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
"For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace."
The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
WHOSE woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Here Freedom Flies In Your Heart Like An Eagle
Dusty old helmet, rusty old gun,
They sit in the corner and wait -
Two souvenirs of the Second World War
That have withstood the time, and the hate.
Mute witness to a time of much trouble.
Where kill or be killed was the law -
Were these implements used with high honor?
What was the glory they saw?
Many times I've wanted to ask them -
And now that we're here all alone,
Relics all three of a long ago war -
Where has freedom gone?
Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle.
Let it soar with the winds high above
Among the spirits of soldiers now sleeping,
Guard it with care and with love.
I salute my old friends in the corner,
I agree with all they have said -
And if the moment of truth comes tomorrow,
I'll be free, or By God, I'll be dead!
If you can keep your head
when all about you are losing theirs
and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself
when all men doubt you,
but make allowances for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
or being hated, don't give way to hating -
and yet don't look too good nor talk too wise.
If you can dream
and not make dreams your master.
If you can think
and not make thoughts your aim.
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two imposters just the same.
If you can bear to hear
the truth you've spoken
twisted by knaves
to make a trap for fools,
or watch the things
you gave your life to, broken
and stoop to build'em up
with worn out tools.
If you can make one heap
of all your winnings
and risk it on one turn
of pitch and toss and lose
and start again at your beginnings
and never breathe a word about your loss.
If you can force your heart
and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone
and so hold on when there is nothing in you
except the will which says to them "Hold On"!
If you can talk with the crowds
and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings
nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends
can hurt you,
if all men count with you,
but none too much.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth
and Everything that's in it,
And - which is more
You'll be a Man, my son!
To Be Or Not To Be
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.-- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
A Poet's Advice
A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings
This may sound easy, it isn't
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel -- but that's
thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is
feeling -- not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a
single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever
you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other
people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.
To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best,
night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the
hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop
As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working
just a little harder than anybody who isn't a poet can possibly imagine.
Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like
somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time
-- and whenever we do, we are not poets.
If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and
working and feeling, you find you've written one line of one poem,
you'll be very lucky indeed.
And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is:
do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world -- unless
you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight til
Does this sound dismal? It isn't.
It's the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.
A Time For Choosing
I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for
us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our
experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."
This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no
other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the
long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this
election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or
whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little
intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us
better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest
there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down.
Up to man's age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent
with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of
their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice
freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned,
"The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads
among them bounties, donations and benefits."
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without
controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that,
it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come
to a time for choosing.
Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater
service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little
more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function,
government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.
Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're
denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems
impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption
that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell
us we're always "against," never "for" anything.
We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment
by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security
as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those
entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its
fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program
means that we want to end payments...
We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with
nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling
out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism,
all over the world.
We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring
for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that
each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability
will take him.... But we can not have such reform while our tax policy
is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes
in our social structure...
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and
discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional
proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's
share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so
fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware,
and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist
the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize
that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't
socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that
government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your
own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid
of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that
you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.
If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake.
We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb
from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the
free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United
States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the
welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.
They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.
There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the
courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that
"the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great
forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits-not animals."
And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond
time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children
this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take
the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least
let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our
brief moment here. We did all that could be done.