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206 mush quotations of 6,095, showing Ashurst to Lenin

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If you have wondered how we strayed so far from the ideas that made our western democratic societies great, read on. The quotations below reveal the thinking (or lack of it!) of leaders and opinion-shapers of our time.

In a few cases, the quotations are from people now reviled by our society. Read these in the context of today's world of ever-growing and ever-encroaching governments.

Ashurst, Henry Fountain
 When I have to choose between voting for the people or the special interests, I always stick with the special interests. They remember. The people forget.

quoted in Aldem's Political Quotations
Augustine, Jean  
 We don't want something for youth at risk, we want something for black youth at risk

Aug. 29, 2001 - from a speech in Toronto announcing special Liberal government support programs for black youths, quoted in the National Post
Bane, Mary Jo
 We really don't know how to raise children. If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there's no equality. ... In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.

1977 - quoted by Associated Press in a story published in the Tulsa Sunday World
Bell, Daniel
 The nature of change in the techno-economic order is linear in that the principles of utility and efficiency provide clear rules for innovation, displacement, and substitution.

1976 - from his book The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, New York, Basic Books
Benmurgui, Ralph  
 [Re: Ontario government plan to ask teachers and parents if they want school uniforms] That's what you build fascism on.

Feb. 04, 1999 - CBC Television
Bradley, Ben
 We don't print the truth. We don't pretend to print the truth. We print what people tell us. It's up to the public to decide what's the truth.

Brown, Jerry
 The government is becoming the family of last resort.

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council  
 [Description of homosexuals as 'abnormal' is] of a critical and discriminatory (although not abusively 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 National Post
Carlson, Margaret
 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 Capital Gang
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.




Carter, Jimmy
 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
Casselman, Leah  
 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 National Post 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
Chisolm, Brock
 The idea of good and evil is a myth created by the politicians, the priests, and all those who have an interest to keep it at their mercy.

1945 - quoted in Brock Chisolm: Doctor to the World, by Allan Irving
Chrétien, Jean  
 I am not a lawyer.

Dec. 30, 2000 - evading a legal question by reporters; Chrétien is a lawyer. Quoted in "2000: The year the music died", by Peter C. Newman, National Post
 If you look at only one aspect of life [taxes], maybe you would prefer living elsewhere.

Jul. 25, 1999 - quoted in Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper while he was Prime Minister, encouraging critics of high taxation to leave Canada
 The problem with cutting taxes is the people don't realize, because they think they have more cash is because they have a pay increase and so on. ... It's not very visible because it's not a huge sum of money on every pay...

Sep. 8, 2001 - quoted in "No more tax cuts, PM says" by Shawn McCarthy, published in the Globe and Mail
 I'm not interested in patronage because I'm a Liberal.

Feb. 2, 1990 - quoted in the Ottawa Citizen, reported in Quotations From Chairman Jean by van Wegen and Wood
 Why buy automatic rifles, nuclear arms, to have fun with. It's dangerous, and when they're in the house, there could be a child who will use that, and sometimes the family circumstances are not very happy, and they could use them.

Nov. 1997 - quoted in Saturday Night Magazine, reported in Quotations From Chairman Jean by van Wegen and Wood
 I promise that [transfer payments] will not go down, and I hope the we will be able to increase them... I really do not intend to lower the level of transfer payments, not at all...

1993 - from a leaders' debate during the federal election campaign, reported in Quotations From Chairman Jean by van Wegen and Wood. Chrétien subsequently won the government, and immediately cut more than seven billion dollars from annual transfer payments to Canada's provinces for health care and education.
 I have never been doctrinaire on issues. That is one of the great things about being a Liberal; you can base your decisions on the circumstances without having to worry about your established public image.

1985 - from Straight from the Heart



 They know that I am a Liberal and they know that the Liberal mentality is very different from the Tory mentality, because the Tory mentaility is orientated to serve the big business interests.

Jan. 11, 1993 - quoted in the Ottawa Citizen while his party pandered to businesses and raised more money from big business than all other parties in Canada combined
 [Government social engineering in northern Canada] gives us a chance to build the kind of society we want, without repeating the mistakes of the past.

1970 - quoted in Trade Secrets by Pat Carney, when Chrétien was Minister of Indian Affairs
Clark, Joe  
 ...there are enough natural divisions in the country without political parties creating new ones. And I think Britain, quite legitimately, has ideological politics. Europe legitimately has. Canada and the United States have not historically had ideological politics.

Jul. 29, 1998 - interview in The Edmonton Sun
 The number of true believers in the electorate is diminishing. People don't make commitments, they make judgments from time to time on which party, set of policies or person, best suits them. So I'm not finding a lot of ideological talk in the [Progressive Conservative] party.

Jul. 29, 1998 - interview in The Edmonton Sun
Clarkson, Adrienne  
 I think in the world today there isn't a situation like this, with somebody in my place and somebody in hers. Because of this uniqueness, because of our being women, I think that Canada is very well assured to go into the 21st century looking ahead and doing the right thing.

Jan. 12, 2000 - from remarks at the swearing-in ceremony of female Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin of the Supreme Court, quoted in the National Post
 We cannot have homeless people in our society. It's just wrong. As long as there are any, it will be on our agenda.

Apr. 1, 2000 - quoted during a tour of Nunavut
 I sometimes characterize Canadians as a sullen people addicted to doing good.

Oct. 14, 1999 - in an interview on CBC television, quoted in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
 I have become governor-general of this country. I understand what this country represents. ... What you've seen [from me] is what you're getting [as governor-general].

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Activists to move into Rideau Hall", by Robert Fife, published in the National Post
 [Advocating hiring policies that favour women] Ninety-nine times out of 100 it's going to happen the other way around so a little bit of redress doesn't hurt.

Sep. 9, 1999 - from a speech to Women in Educational Administration in Ontario, quoted in "Broadcaster has lived her life in the public eye", by Jonathon Gatehouse, published in the National Post
 [The government of Ontario's decision to merge seven city bureaucracies in the Toronto area into one city of Toronto, saving $300 million] ... is a manifestation of a kind of cruelty women are best able to understand. We are basically being bashed. We are being abused in the worst possible way.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Couple used to taking political centre stage", by Luiza Chwialkowska, published in the National Post



 We [are] more like the Europeans ... in our ability to understand and employ state capitalism, our ability to distinguish between social democracy and communism, our social programs, and our lack of urban violence. I think if we go through with this [North American Free Trade] deal, those arguments are going to be no longer possible to put forth to Europeans.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Broadcaster has lived her life in the public eye", by Jonathon Gatehouse, published in the National Post
 Our problem with the U.S. is not insufficient access; it is debilitating dependence.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Broadcaster has lived her life in the public eye", by Jonathon Gatehouse, published in the National Post
 In this [North American Free Trade] agreement I am very concerned because we have given to potentially the most powerful partner, and the one that already has the most influence on us, what they have always wanted, and we get nothing in return.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Couple used to taking political centre stage", by Luiza Chwialkowska, published in the National Post
 As a woman, I fear that the gradual Americanization of our society might mean that I could not get on a subway alone.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Couple used to taking political centre stage", by Luiza Chwialkowska, published in the National Post
 ... European countries are basically tribal. The French, Germans, and Italians are tribes... racism can arise in a country like that. ... We [Canadians] are not a tribe. We are a series, a group, a conglomeration of people. ... That is a positive thing in many ways.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Couple used to taking political centre stage", by Luiza Chwialkowska, published in the National Post
 [On being appointed president of Canadian publisher McLelland and Stewart] I'm going to hire people and fire people. I'm going to do all sorts of stuff and really have fun.

1987 - quoted in "Couple used to taking political centre stage", by Luiza Chwialkowska, published in the National Post
Clinton, Hillary
 I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.

commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents
 We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.

1993
 ... it's about time we start thinking about the common good and the national interest, instead of just individuals, in our country.

1994 - from a speech about health care reform
Clinton, William Jefferson
 If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.

Aug. 12, 1993 - from a speech



 I am here because I want to redefine the meaning of citizenship in America. ... If you're asked in school 'What does it mean to be a good citizen?' I want the answer to be, 'Well, to be a good citizen, you have to obey the law, you've got to go to work or be in school, you've got to pay your taxes and - oh, yes, you have to serve ...

from a speech at the Volunteerism Summit
 The last time I checked, the Constitution said, 'of the people, by the people and for the people.' That's what the Declaration of Independence says.

quoting, in fact, from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
 I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child. [Fact: there is no record of any black church being burned in Arkansas when he was a boy.]

 Once again, the gun lobby and its allies in the leadership of Congress are standing in the way of real progress. We battle not just for the safety of our families, but for the soundness of our democracy.

 When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly ... [Now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.

Apr. 19, 1995 - from a speech after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City
 We'll all have to regroup and find new ways to achieve the same objective.

Apr. 8, 1997 - quoted by the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal after a federal court upheld California voters' passage of Proposition 209 banning affirmative action programs
 You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.

May 28, 1993 - from a speech at Philadelphia city hall
 There is no reason for anyone in this country- anyone except a police officer or military person- to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns.

1993 - from his speech upon signing the Brady Bill
 The purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.

1993 - from an interview on MTV
 [Thomas Jefferson’s view of equality meant that] you had to be white, you had to be male, and ... you had to own property. ... [Our history is the story of] new and higher definitions - and more meaningful definitions - of equality and dignity and freedom.

1997 - from a speech advocating "a living Constitution", non-traditional interpretation of the American Constitution to accommodate "our changing times"



 I think the definition [of an impeachable offense] should include any criminal acts, plus a willful failure of the President to fulfill his duty to uphold and execute the laws of the United States. The third factor that I think constitutes an impeachable offense would be willful, reckless behaviour in office, just totally incompetent conduct in the office and the disregard of the necessities that the office demands.

In an interview with John Whitehead while a presidential candidate. Quoted in Time Magazine, September 21st, 1998.
 There would almost have to be some sort of club or organization at the school -- because if you think about it, your parents are still pretty well separated... Most neighborhoods are still fairly segregated. Most houses of worship are still fairly segregated... We have to find a disciplined, organized way out of this so that we reach every child in an affirmative way before something bad happens.

Nov. 10, 1997 - from a speech at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes
 A wage-based premium.

Pledged not to raise taxes, this is what Clinton called the tax he planned to impose to pay for his health care reforms. Quoted in Read My Lips by Parris and Mason
 Over time, we have had to redefine the words that we started out with [in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution], not because there was anything wrong with them and their universal power and strength...but because we were limited in our imaginations about how we could live and what we were capable of and how we should live... We are redefining, in practical terms, the immutable ideals that have guided us from the beginning.

1997
 We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...

Mar. 1, 1993 - at a press conference in New Jersey, quoted in USA Today
Craven, Bill
 If we [legislators] don't watch our respective tails, the people are going to be running the government.

Aug. 25, 1998 - quoted in the Los Angeles Times commenting on California's citizens' initiatives
Crosbie, John  
 If we told you what we were going to do, you'd never have elected us.

1975
Cuomo, Mario
 We see our mission to be the completion of the work of Creation.

 It is possible to get to heaven in a Cadillac, but it is hard.

de Gaulle, Charles
 There can be no question of my addressing a message to Canada to celebrate its centennial. We can have good relations. We must have excellent relations with French Canada. But we are not obliged to offer congratulations for the creation of a state based on our past defeat and on the integration of part of the French people into a British system.

Dec. 09, 1966 - from his response to a Canadian request for a message for Canada's centennial celebrations



Dewey, John D.
 A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience.

 The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society that is coming, where everyone would be interdependent.

1899
 Independent self-reliant people would be a counterproductive anachronism in the collective society of the future where people will be defined by their associations.

1896
Dinkins, David
 I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.

responding to accusations of tax evasion
Dixon, Kathleen
 [Rejecting colleague Richard Zeller's proposal to teach a course on political correctness] We forbid any course that says we restrict free speech.

Sep. 28, 2000 - quoted by Larry Elder in "The politically incorrect professor"
Fry, Hedy  
 [Supporting her oft-repeated claim of widespread racism and hate in Canada] We can just go to British Columbia in Prince George where crosses are being burned on lawns as we speak.

Mar. 21, 2001 - from a speech in the House of Commons. Fry's subsequent attempts to bolster this false claim were described as "an outright lie" by the mayor of Prince George and contradicted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Gephardt, Richard
 What we have is two important values in direct conflict: freedom of speech and our desire for healthy campaigns in a healthy democracy.

supporting restrictions on free expression during political campaigns, quoted in "Memo to First Amendment: Look Out!", by George Will, Creators Syndicate Inc.
Giuliani, Rudolph
 Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it.

1998 - from a speech
Givens, Willard
 A dying laissez-faire must be completely destroyed and all of us, including the 'owners,' must be subjected to a large degree of social control. ... An equitable distribution of income will be sought. ... And the major function of the school is social orientation of the individual. It must seek to give him understanding of the transition to a new social order.

1934
Gladstone, William E.
 Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence; Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.




Goebbels, Joseph
 It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.

Gore, Al
 During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet.

Mar. 09, 1999 - in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN
 Any government official who ... lies to the United States Congress will be fired immediately.

Jun. 29, 1997 - from a report in the Seattle Times
 My first pledge will be to restore integrity to the White House. And I'll fire anyone who has lied to the American people or the United States Congress.

Feb. 02, 1988 - during a presidential debate
 I believe that Government has the right to be involved in the growth and progress of our children..

1996 - from a speech at the Democratic national convention
 I will say that I think that the ethical standards established in this White House have been the highest in the history of the White House.

Oct. 13, 1996 - during an appearance on Meet the Press
 I dialed the phone at the White House to ask for the money, but my voice was not heard in the White House, My request for money was heard in the donors office through his telephone earpiece. Therefore no crime actually took place in the White House.

from a brief of his defense against charges that he broke the law by making fundraising calls from his White House office
 I'm asking you in your sermons to do the work of the Lord here on earth. I ask for your help in getting that message out urgently tomorrow.

Oct. 14, 2000 - asking black preachers during a national conference call to get out the Democratic vote in the U.S. presidential election, reported by TIME Magazine, Oct. 15, 2000
 We can build a collective civic space large enough for all our separate identities, that we can be E Pluribus Unum -- Out of One, Many.

Jan. 1994 - inverting the meaning of the original U.S. motto - Out of Many, One - in a speech to the Institute of World Affairs in Milwaukee, quoted by Investor's Business Daily, October 25, 1996
 Seeing ourselves as separate is the central problem in our political thinking.

1991 - from a speech to a communitarian conference in Washington, quoted in Spiritual Politics by McLaughlin and Davidson, 1994



Grafstein, Jerahmiel (Jerry) S.  
 We want to employ the federal government's authority and unparalleled reputation ... to the question of clean drinking water. There is a moral imperative, a political imperative, to do that. There isn't a region in the country ... that hasn't got a serious problem.

Apr. 8, 2001 - Proposing that the federal government take over provincial responsibility for Canada's largely-excellent water systems, quoted in "Ottawa Asked to Regulate Drinking Water Safety" by Tim Naumetz, National Post
Greer, Germaine
 Women fail to understand how much men hate them.

1969 - from The Female Eunuch
Haig, Alexander
 That's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude.

1983 - in a television interview
Hayes, Steve
 They give them something to do and prepare them for life in the general population.

justifying Tennessee Corrections Department computer job training programs for two dozen of the inmates on death row, quoted by Government Computer News and by PC Magazine, Feb. 6, 2001
Hill, Anita
 Women should be supported regardless of proof.

Jan. 24, 1994 - quoted by Roger Kimball in "Trial by Zeitgeist" published in National Review Magazine, Vol. 46
Himmler, Heinrich
 Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.

1935
Hitler, Adolf
 The higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.

1933 - from a broadcast speech
 It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole ... that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual. ... The greater the readiness to subordinate purely personal interests, the higher rises the ability to establish comprehensive communities ... This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture ... we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man.

1925 - from Mein Kampf
 Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers.

from a letter to Herman Rauschning, quoted in Why Does Socialism Continue to Appeal to Anyone?, by Robert Hessen
 Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.

from a letter to Herman Rauschning, quoted in Why Does Socialism Continue to Appeal to Anyone?, by Robert Hessen



 I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired for himself according to the principle: benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual. But the state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.

1931
 This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

Hoover, J. Edgar
 Justice is incidental to law and order.

Jackson, Rev. Jesse
 Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Western culture has got to go!

Feb. 1992 - leading students in a protest at Stanford University
Jukes, Steven
 We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word 'terrorist'... We're trying to treat everyone on a level playing field...

Sept. 27, 2001 - from a directive to Reuters staff and an interview about it, after the World Trade Center attacks, quoted by John O'Sullivan in "Call them what they are - terrorists" published in the National Post
Kissinger, Henry
 Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will pledge with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.

May 21, 1992 - from an address to the Bilderburgers Organization meeting at Evian, France
L'Heureux-Dubé, Claire  
 Under our society's democratic principles, individual freedoms such as expression are not absolute, but may be limited in consideration of a broader spectrum of rights, including equality and security of the person. [emphasis added]

Jan. 26, 2001 - from the dissenting opinion in R. v. Sharpe
Lamer, Antonio  
 Thank God we're here. It's not for me to criticize legislators but if they choose not to legislate, that's their doing. If they prefer to leave it up to the court that's their choice But a problem is not going to go away because legislators aren't dealing with it. People say we're activist, but we're doing our job.

Jul. 12, 1999 - quoted in the National Post
 Let's face it, the judicial system is very, very fragile. Watch it, criticize it, control it properly, yes, but judge-bashing must stop. The court process is like a psychodrama, and the actors, or judges, have come to command a certain degree of respect, or it's chaos and the whole system falls apart.

Aug. 1998 - quoted in "Who runs Canada?" by Neil Seeman, published in the National Post, Jul. 24, 1999
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich
 All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero...