"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubt. " — Bertrand Russell
"We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon." — Eugene Ionesco
"Walking on water wasn't built in a day." - Jack Kerouac
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it." — Thomas Jefferson
"I'm worried about the state of education in America when 51% of the country fails a 1-question multiple-choice test after having 4 years to study." - Anonymous, 2004
"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." - Benjamin Franklin, Apology for Printers, 1731
"There is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom, for in that way one captures volition itself." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile
Roland: "Mary? What is she doing downtown?"
Cassandra: "There's only one reason Christian girls come down to the Planned Parenthood."
Roland: "She's planting a pipe bomb?"
Cassandra: "Okay; two reasons."
— from the movie Saved
"If you are not offending people who ought to be offended, you're doing something wrong." - Noam Chomsky
"Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other." -John Locke
"The First Amendment is written in terms that are absolute. Its command is that 'Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . .' That guarantee, can, of course, be changed by a constitutional amendment which can make all the press or segments of the press organs of Government and thus control the news and information which people receive. Such a restructuring of the First Amendment cannot be done by judicial fiat or by congressional action. The ban of 'no' law that abridges freedom of the press is in my view total and complete." - William O. Douglas, CBS Inc. v. Democratic National Comm., 412 U.S. 94, 156 (1973)
"I've never killed a man, but I've read many obituaries with great pleasure." — Clarence Darrow
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." - Marcus Aurelius
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people." - Giordano Bruno
"Having been called names, one looks back at one's own angry outbursts over the years, and I recall having once referred to Republicans as "hairy-backed swamp developers, fundamentalist bullies, freelance racists, hobby cops, sweatshop tycoons, line jumpers, marsupial moms and aluminum-siding salesmen, misanthropic frat boys, ninja dittoheads, shrieking midgets, tax cheats, cheese merchants, cat stranglers, pill pushers, nihilists in golf pants, backed-up Baptists, the grand pooh-bahs of Percodan, mouth breathers, testosterone junkies and brownshirts in pinstripes." I look at those words now, and "cat stranglers" seems excessive to me. The number of cat stranglers in the ranks of the Republican Party is surely low, and that reference was hurtful to Republicans and to cat owners. I feel sheepish about it." - Garrison Keillor
"The individual woman is required a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition." - Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973)
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense." -Thomas Jefferson
"Justice is about power and the people with the latter don't face the former. That's why only the weak like the idea of the rule of law." - Paul Wright, Prison Legal News
"I have - maybe ill-placed - a foreboding of an America in my children's generation, or my grandchildren's generation, when all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when we're a service and information-processing economy; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest even grasps the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas, or even to knowledgeably question those who do set the agendas; when there is no practice in questioning those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and religiously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in steep decline, unable to distinguish between what's true and what feels good, we slide, almost without noticing, into superstition and darkness." - Carl Sagan, 1994
"The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W. E. B. Du Bois
"It is not propaganda's task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success." - Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, German Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945
"That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." - A senior advisor to George W. Bush, to Ron Suskind, Summer, 2002
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
Paul Krassner: "You're against censorship, right - well, would you be for public screenings of outright pornographic films?"
Terry Southern: "Of course. That would be the only way to improve their quality. After the novelty wore off, people wouldn't support them unless they were really good - and then you wouldn't call them pornographic. It's the clandestine nature of the thing that causes those films to be so lousy and yet so expensive." - "Impolite Interview," The Realist, 1966
"Republicans stand for raw, unbridled evil and greed and ignorance smothered in balloons and ribbons." - Frank Zappa
"Dutch people are great. No matter how bad they think America is, the First Amendment is one thing they like. I tell them [about the indictment], and they say, 'I thought you had freedom of speech?' Yeah, if you're a Nazi, but not if it's about sex." - Ira Isaacs
Hey, who better to end this with?