Quotes Archive

“To befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
— President Theodore Roosevelt

“Sometimes inefficiency is the price we pay for democracy.”
— Rebecca Lutto

“No [real] journalist makes $5 million a year… Those in power fear and dislike real journalists.”
— Chris Hedges

“If we don’t speak up, we are cowards and accomplices.”
— Judith Hertog, on China’s repression in Tibet

“Economic policies command bipartisan support only when they’re incoherent.”
— Steven E. Landsburg

” A real free market does not allow one person to damage another person with impunity.”
— Michael Rozeff

“Much corporate environmentalism boils down to misleading statistics and hype.”
–Business Week cover story investigating the impacts of corporate environmental initiatives

“What kind of economy grows for decades on end but doesn’t allow most of the population to share in the gains from that growth?”
–Mark Weisbrot

“Yes, our regulatory agencies are incompetent. But they are incompetent by design.”
–David Goldstein

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
–Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
–Aldous Huxley

“The greatest power of the mass media is the power to ignore. The worst thing about this power is that you may not even know you’re using it.”
–Sam Smith

“Now as through this world I ramble, I see lots of funny men, Some rob you with a six gun, And some with a fountain pen.”
–Woody Guthrie in “Pretty Boy Floyd”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.

“When one hundred million people don’t vote, the nation is not bitterly divided. The nation mostly doesn’t give a shit.”
— Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone writer

“Only in Washington, perhaps, is honesty considered a major gaffe.”
— USA Today editorial, Oct. 23, 2006

“Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won you earn it and win it in every generation.”
— Coretta Scott King

“the practice of arbitrary imprisonments have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.”
–Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #84

“Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.”
–Bernard Berenson, Notebook, 1892

“In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.”
–BBC television special

“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”
— Thomas Paine

“Small scale is critical to local life, to the ability of local people to control what happens where they live.”
— Paul Weyrich

“The best way to protect your own freedom is to watch everybody else’s back. That’s the essence of community.”
— ski racer Bode Miller

“No replastering, the structure is rotten”
–Slogan of French student protestors in 1968

“The exercise of true leadership is inversely proportional to the exercise of power.”
–Stephen Covey

“There’s no point in collecting all that (phone spying) information if you don’t analyze it, and when you do it’s inevitable that you learn things about at least some innocent people that those people thought were nobody else’s business, certainly not the government’s.”
–Eugene Robinson

“You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.”
–Cesar Chavez, 1984

“If you think you are too small to make an impact, try sleeping in a room with a few mosquitoes. ”
–West African proverb

“What good shall I do this day?”
–Benjamin Franklin

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
–Lily Tomlin

“Political freedom is a society’s safety valve, allowing the passionately critical a nonviolent way to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo.”
— David Cole

“In 1997, 20 officials in the federal government were empowered to wield the top secret stamp. Now [2006] there are 1,300”.
— Paul McMasters

“The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

“All the people ought to decide, but now most states are tossed on the scrap heap and ignored”
— Former Congressman John Anderson, on the need to change the Electoral College

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.”
— Elvis Presley

“Domestic spying initiatives never die, they just get new acronyms.”
— blogger Frank Sennet

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. . . The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

“Ye that dare oppose, not only tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!”
— Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

“Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. ”
— Chinese proverb

“I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”
–Judge Learned Hand, 1944

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Don’t fully trust anyone until he has stuck with a good cause which he saw was losing.”
–Morton Blackwell

“Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past, while we silence the rebels of the present.”
–Henry Steele Commager

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
— Harriet Tubman

“A CEO’s dream team”
— Business Week’s Lorraine Woellert on corporate leaders’ enthusiasm for John Roberts and Harriet Miers

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
— Maria Montessori

“The notion that the press was used in the [first Iraq] war is incorrect. The press wanted to be used. It saw itself as part of the war effort.”
— Author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges

“What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

“If it were really the case that terrorists “hate us for our freedoms,” we’d be getting more popular with Al Qaeda every month.”
— Julian Sanchez of Reason.com

“They [the FDA] really consider the fish industry to be their clients, rather than the U.S. public.”
— Deborah Rice, former EPA toxicologist

“Town meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people’s reach…”
— Alexander de Tocqueville, from Democracy in America

“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.”
— Thomas Paine

“My heart trembles when I reflect that God is just”
— Thomas Jefferson

“We don’t need people who can spit back facts. We’ve got Google.”
–Professor Roberta Golinkoff

“Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn’t even get out of committee.”
— F. Lee Bailey

” There are only two reasons for buying a book, after all. Either we intend to read it, in which case most of us find a printed version preferable, or we don’t intend to read it, in which case a printed version is absolutely essential.”
— writer Geoffrey Nunberg

“If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents.”
–U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D – NY

“Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy.”
— David Korten

“The only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war. ”
— Richard Nixon in “Real Peace,” 1983

“Those who own the shipping lines and run the ports have become overly dependent [for security] upon remote technologies that are neither as thorough nor perceptive as the human eye.”
— James Spinosa of the Longshoreman’s Union

“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”
— Indira Ghandi

“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become instruments of tyranny at home.”
— James Madison

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”
— Molière

“When your paper, The Washington Post and all three major networks participate and promise to not report, is this not a conspiracy?”
— American Free Press report on the Bilderberg Group

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
–Albert Einstein

” If you don’t know what your government is doing, you don’t live in a democracy.”
–Jane Anne Morris

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

“The growing wealth aquired by them [corporations] never fails to be a source of abuses.”
–President James Madison

“Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.”
–Pablo Picasso

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
— Muhammad Ali

“A news conference is a device by which the establishment keeps large numbers of reporters from covering the news every place else.”
— journalist an dauthor Sam Smith

“A country in which 42% of the population is totally misinformed is not a country where democracy is safe.”
— Paul Craig Roberts

“I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.”
— President Harry Truman

“For too long, too many people dependent on Social Security have been cruelly frightened by individuals seeking political gain through demagoguery and outright falsehood, and this must stop.”
–President Ronald Reagan, Dec. 16, 1981

“Any nominee for the position of attorney general who has to defend himself from charges of supporting torture is already an unfit candidate. Any senator voting for this man is unfit to represent his or her constituents.”
–Wendy Miller, in a letter to the NY Times

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
U.N. Convention Against Torture

“I’m most troubled by the fact that we stick it to the people who can afford it the least.”
— Pfizer Inc. executive Peter Rost, in a candid interview

“We know how to punish retailers and manufacturers that don’t provide quality and value. But we’re lousy at fighting effectively for what we really need — reliable insurance policies; affordable health care; safe, healthy food.”
— Shoshana Zuboff, writing in Fast Company magazine

“Never do anything against conscience — even if the state demands it.”
— Albert Einstein

“Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.”
— Woodrow Wilson, 1912

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

” The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time. ”
— Jackie Robinson

“The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.”
— President Dwight Eisenhower

“Make sure you vote, if you haven’t already. Because there are places in this world where powerful forces will do everything they can to try to stop you. Places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Ohio.”
Jay Bookman, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The origin of all power is in the people, and they have an incontestable right to check the creatures of their own creation.”
— Mercy Otis Warren

” I think the very concept of an elite commission deciding for the American people who deserves to be heard is profoundly wrong.”
–former Congressman Newt Gingrich on the “Commission on Presidential Debates”

“…the F.E.C. is a blight on American politics that must be scrapped and replaced with nonpartisan regulators who have the interests of voters, not politicians, at heart.”
–N.Y. Times editorial, Sep 21, 2004

“The word ‘radical’ derives from the Latin word for root. Therefore, if you want to get to the root of anything you must be radical. It is no accident that the word has now been totally demonized…”
— Gore Vidal

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
–Abraham Lincoln

“Neutral men are the devil’s allies.”
–Edwin Hubbel Chapin

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”
— Will Rogers

“…it’s too much show business and too much prompting, too much artificiality, and not really debates. They’re rehearsed appearances.”
— Former President George H. Bush on the events staged by the Commission on Presidential Debates

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
— George Orwell, 1945

“…we have allowed corporations to decide the fate of the cities. We hardly speak of democratic development.”
–Glen Ford, publisher of The Black Commentator, speaking in Chicago, June 29.

” When the oil prices plummet…the oil companies will be gone quicker than fire through a gas line, and all of us will be left picking up the pieces of our destroyed local economy”
— Maggie Palmer , writing from Pinedale, WY

” More often than not “fair” and “balanced” may be mutually exclusive ”
–Neal Gabler, in LA Times op-ed

” If you ask the government for permission to protest it, you deserve to be told no.”
–Manhattan Libertarian Party Chair, Jim Lesczynski

“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”
— James Madison, writing to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798

” To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit the target.”
–Ashley Brilliant

“The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe for tyranny.”
–Rose and Milton Friedman in ” Free to Choose”

“First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure.”
— Mark Twain

“…every American should have absolute control over his or her personal information”
— George W. Bush as candidate, 2000.

” Polls are the corporate media’s standardized tests to determine how well we have learned what it has taught us.”
–author and journalist Sam Smith

“We do not know what is being done in our name. Worse, we do not ask.”
— Ben Ehrenreich, writing on Camp X-Ray (Guantanamo Bay prison)

“Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.”
–from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s final speech April 3, 1968

“Will people ever be wise enough to refuse to follow bad leaders or to take away the freedom of other people?”
— Eleanor Roosevelt, Oct. 16,1939

” Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law.”
— former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

“Everybody’s for democracy in principle. It’s only in practice that the thing gives rise to stiff objections.”
— Meg Greenfield

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
— James Madison, while a U.S. Congressman

“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1843

“When it comes to the news, the corporate view is `objective,’ all else is `propaganda.”
— Studs Terkel

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution”
— Abraham Lincoln (debating Stephen Douglas), 1858

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

“If we dwell in a community that is comfortable, then it’s probably not broad enough a coalition.”
— Bernice Reagon, of the pop/gospel group “Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

“In previous eras, this was known as thievery. Now it’s just the way things are done.”
–anonymous comment from NY Times article on bogus billing fees.

“Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.”
–President Dwight Eisenhower

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”
— President Ronald Reagan

“The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next.”
–Helen Keller

“Patriotism does not oblige us to acquiesce in the destruction of liberty. Patriotism obliges us to question it, at least.
–Wendy Kaminer, 2003.

“…he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.” — Abraham Lincoln, from his First Debate with Stephen Douglas at Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858.

“One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” –Charles Austin Beard

“America’s leadership and prestige depend not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.”
–President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address in 1961

“No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
–James Madison, from “Political Observations,” 1795