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6,095 quotations, showing Caesar to Chesterton
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All bad precedents begin with justifiable measures.
People readily believe what they want to believe.
49 BC - from
De Bello Gallico III
The real friend of this country is the guy who believes in excellence, seeks for it, fights for it, defends it, and tries to produce it.
The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off its own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees.
I sensed that power is a blind and omnipresent force, that it is indiscriminate and immoral, and that men who wield it are also prisoners of it.
1970 - from his book
Gentlemen, Players and Politicians
The essentials of Canadian politics are few: the system needs enough good men to make it work and enough fools to make it interesting. Of all the parties, none is more interesting than the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
Columbo's New Canadian Quotations
John Robert Columbo
The danger of democracy has always been the danger of an electorate seized by passivity.
Columbo's New Canadian Quotations
John Robert Columbo
Politics is made up largely of irrelevancies.
Now that they are called masters, they are ashamed again to become disciples.
Campbell, Charles M.
[Canadian, U.S. and Australian studies] show that little or no connection exists between immigration and the welfare of the receiving population.
Jun. 1997 - from a speech in Vancouver
In a democracy, government isn't something that a small group of people do to everybody else. It's not even something they do for everybody else. It should be something they do with everybody else.
Mar. 25, 1993
Save the community and you will save the individual. Teach the man his responsibilities, and his rights will take care of themselves.
Columbo's New Canadian Quotations
John Robert Columbo
Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified for having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people's anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble - yes, gamble - with a whole part of their life and their so-called 'vital interests'.
A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad... Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better, whereas enslavement is a certainty of the worse.
1960 - from
Resistance, Rebellion, and Death
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.
We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
1951 - from
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.
An Absurd Reasoning
To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
An Absurd Reasoning
Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.
An Absurd Reasoning
Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
More and more, when faced with the world of men, the only reaction is one of individualism. Man alone is an end unto himself. Everything one tries to do for the common good ends in failure.
Politics and the fate of mankind are formed by men without ideals and without greatness. Those who have greatness within them do not go in for politics.
1935 - from
Canadian Bill of Rights
I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
[Description of homosexuals as 'abnormal' is] of a critical and discriminatory (although not
discriminatory) nature. ... In Canada we respect freedom of speech but we do not worship it.
May 10, 2000 - from a statement censuring popular radio host Laura Schlessinger, as quoted in the
Governments will always misuse the machinery of the law as far as the state of public opinion permits.
Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work.
1970 - from an interview in
Cardozo, Benjamin Nathan
Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.
1937 - from
Palko v. Connecticut
302 U.S. 319, 327
I think a lot of people are afraid of freedom. They want their lives to be controlled, to be put into a box... Why should someone put a limit on how much fun I can have, how much I can accomplish?
from an interview in
The less [government] the better. As far as your personal goals are and what you actually want to do with your life, it should never have to do with the government. You should never depend on the government for your retirement, your financial security, for anything. If you do, you're screwed.
I mean the only thing that could explain this love of tax cuts is a lowered IQ.
Jul. 24, 1999 - on the CNN television show
Carlson, Mary Ann
We must be able to arrest people before they commit crimes. By registering guns and knowing who has them we can do that ... If they have guns they are pretty likely to commit a crime.
In the long run every government is the exact symbol of its people, with their wisdom and unwisdom.
1843 - from
Past and Present
Tell a man he is brave, and you help him to become so.
The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.
I grow daily to honor facts more and more, and theory less and less.
He that has done nothing has known nothing.
1832 - from
All great peoples are conservative; slow to believe in novelties; patient of much error in actualities; deeply and forever certain of the greatness that is in law, in custom once solemnly established, and now long recognized as just and final.
1843 - from
Past and Present
No lie can live forever.
quoted by Martin Luther King in his commencement address at Oberlin College, June, 1965
I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
Nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die.
Democracy means despair of ever finding any heroes to govern you, and contentedly putting up with the want of them.
Past and Present
What are facts but compromises? A fact merely marks the point where we have agreed to let investigation cease.
What the liberal really wants is to bring about change which will not in any way endanger his position.
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.
"Tut, tut, child," said the Duchess. "Everything's got a moral if only you can find it."
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
'Well in our country,' said Alice, still panting a little, 'you’d generally get to somewhere else - if you ran very fast for a long time as we’ve been doing.' 'A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. 'Now,
, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'
Through the Looking Glass
There are two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.
We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.
An incomplete success.
1980 - describing the disastrous attempt to rescue the U.S. embassy hostages in Iran, quoted in
Read My Lips
by Parris and Mason
Philosophy should be founded on detailed, positive knowledge of actual processes in the world and not on abstract assessments of human capacities.
Carver, George Washington
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
1641 - from a speech in the British Parliament
If they move this far with a threat of a [strike] vote, imagine how far they will move with a vote [to strike].
Feb. 26, 1999 - quoted in the
by John Ibbitson, gloating after the Ontario government made major concessions to try to settle a contract, but refused union demands for pay increases of 12% - 20% over two years
Modern man has left the realm of the unknown and the mysterious, and has settled down in the realm of the functional. He has turned his back to the world of the foreboding and the exulting and has welcomed the world of boredom.
The Fire Within
Speech is the gift of all, but thought of few.
After I am dead I would rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
Cattell, Raymond B.
Historically most cultures have not felt it necessary to remove the last vestiges of poverty (if that were possible) before proceeding with cultural creation. Pericles persisted with the construction of the Parthenon despite poverty and other distress in Athens. ... As in Upper Egypt or at Minos, the many had to be 'exploited' by the few. ... In our present age, probably through the Christian religions rather than the political Athenian-Icelandic form of democracy, and in the absence of evolutionary ethics, it is frowned upon to push ahead with creations meaningful and possible (at first) only for a few. It is as if an army were compelled, by internal prejudices, to advance single file abreast, regardless of the tactical formation for success.
1994 - from
How Good is Your Country
, Institute for the Study of Man, Washington D.C.
Today ... in certain political groups, the term 'egalitarian' no longer refers to the liberal philosophy of equal justice and democratic organization, but to a Watsonian belief that with suitable conditioning all can be brought to the same intellectual level.
Education: We must do better or perish as the nation we know today.
The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk, but to the majority that does not want to listen.
Escapism is laudable, perhaps the only truly honorable course for humane men - but only for them. Those who remain in the world, if they will not surrender on its terms, must maneuver within its terms. That is what conservatives must decide: how much to give in order to survive at all; how much to give in order not to give up the basic principles.
Odyssey of a Friend
... each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself.
1952 - from the forward to his book
When I took up my little sling and aimed at Communism, I also hit something else. What I hit was the forces of that great socialist revolution, which, in the name of liberalism, spasmodically, incompletely, somewhat formlessly, but always in the name of direction, has been inching its ice cap over the nation for two decades.
Aug. 25, 1948 - from a statement before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee
A landmark 1992 study by Quebec researchers Andre Raynauld and Jean-Pierre Vidal estimated the cost of smoking to non-smokers was $24 million in 1986. But because smokers die earlier, they showed a net transfer to non-smokers of $1.4 billion in saved pensions alone. Add smokers' excise taxes and there was a $4.3 billion net transfer from smokers to non-smokers.
Jul. 8, 1996 -
from "The price of golden eggs",
As I learned more about the history of Canada, I was convinced that if we have to start redressing everyone there is no end to it.
Behavioural scientists fare no better than journalists or politically active citizens in predicting the future of American political institutions or the outcome of an election only two years away.
1990 - from her essay in
Chandler, Raymond Thornton
The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
1953 - from
The Long Goodbye
Channing, William Ellery
The office of government is not to confer happiness, but to give man opportunity to work out happiness for themselves.
Sep. 1827 - from the
Grandeur of character lies wholly in force of soul -- that is, in the force of thought, moral principle, and love; and this may be found in the humblest condition of life.
Chapin, Edwin Hubbel
Neutral men are the devil's allies.
Chapman, John Jay
I want to find someone on the earth so intelligent that he welcomes opinions which he condemns.
Benevolence alone will not make a teacher, nor will learning alone do it. The gift of teaching is a peculiar talent, and implies a need and a craving in the teacher himself.
Memories and Milestones
The world of politics is always twenty years behind the world of thought.
Chapman, Maria Weston
We may draw good out of evil; we must not do evil, that good may come.
1885 - from her speech "How Can I Help to Abolish Slavery," delivered in New York
One of the little-noticed facts about racial preferences in university admissions is that applicants of Asian ancestry are penalized, not helped. Why? Not because they've suffered less discrimination on average than, say, Latinos. But because, as a group, they've been too successful -- particularly when it comes to college grades and law school test scores. The diversity [some universities] seek is an oddly one-dimensional kind. Race overrides everything else.
Apr. 5, 2001 - from "Worshipping 'Diversity' At The University of Michigan", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
There is a war going on between law enforcement and privacy, and privacy is losing.
Feb. 22, 2001 - from "Technology Widens Privacy War", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
In action, be primitive; in foresight, a strategist.
1956 - from "Leaves of Hypnos" in
, quoted in
The International Thesaurus of Quotations
by Ehrlich and de Bruhl
John Ralston Saul points to Thomas Jefferson's analysis that men are divided into two groups: on the one hand there are those who fear and distrust the people; on the other hand there are those who identify with the people and have confidence in them. Our civilization has increasingly put those who fear and distrust, in power over the people. We must stop this, we must listen to the people...
May. 29, 1998 - from Hansard Nova Scotia
Context [in liberal parlance] suggests that "working families" are those who must work hard to make a living, in contrast to the rich who keep bankers' hours. But bankers' hours have gone the way of the typewriter. In fact, as research by MIT economist Dora Costa and others has shown, hours worked by the college-educated have been increasing and those worked by the non-college-educated have been declining since 1940. At that time, the rich really did work fewer hours than the non-rich, but no longer. Today, those in the top 10 percent of earners work an average of 52 hours a week, whereas those in the bottom 10 percent of earners work only 45 hours.
Aug. 18, 2000 - from "Working families and other myths", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
Though out-of wedlock births in the United States have skyrocketed in the past several decades, the number of babies available for adoption has plunged. Only 1 percent of women with unplanned pregnancies choose adoption. ... The decline in domestic adoptions is lamentable not principally because it denies children to infertile couples, but because it almost universally translates into more unhappy children. ... What is so troubling is to witness every segment of society with influence over young pregnant girls setting them up for trouble. ... It seems doubtful that the stigma against premarital sex will return with its former authority. But at least we can remind girls, at every step of the process, what a wise, unselfish and moral thing it is to place a child for adoption.
Jul. 7, 2000 - from "The baby dearth", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
Democrats ... believe that all money belongs to the government, which is why they refer to "spending" money on a tax cut.
Feb. 12, 2001 - from "About those Reagan tax cuts", Creators Syndicate Inc.
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.
Democracy is not an easy form of government, because it is never final; it is a living, changing organism, with a continuous shifting and adjusting of balance between individual freedom and general order.
Justice is the bread of the nation; it is always hungry for it.
Cheney, Lynne V.
People who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today are unlikely to have a strong sense of how today affects tomorrow. It is only when we become conscious of the flow of time that the consequences of action - whether it is taking drugs or dropping out of school - become a consideration. It is only in perspective on our lives that motives besides immediate gratification can come into play.
Chesterfield, Lord Philip
Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.
Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character, and one of the best instruments of success. Without it genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies.
Politicians neither love or hate. Interest, not sentiment, directs them.
Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
Mar. 10, 1746 - from a letter to his son
Chesterton, Gilbert K.
I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.
The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.
1901 - from
A Defense of the Humilities, The Defendant
A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
1925 - from
Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.
1900 - from
What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.
Sidelights on New London and Newer New York
The simplification of anything is always sensational.
Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
Apr. 19, 1930 - from a column in the
Illustrated London News
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
1917 - from
A Short History of England
Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.