Originally posted on: 2005-11-20

Original location: http://blog.chrisheath.us/?p=12

What this isn't: My favorite quotes, I find that ranking things such as these is non-trivial.

What this is: A collection of quotes I have come upon recently. I'm going to just put them down in the extended and maybe you'd like to talk about them. However, feel free to post your favorite quotes as well.

Some of them are a bit long, but I think they speak for themselves.

More quotes can be found at wikiquote.org.

italics :-) & bold are mine, of course

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All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are. -- H.L. Mencken , American Writer 1880-1956

On some positions,
  • Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?"
  • Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?"
  • And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?"
  • But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?"
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

A lot of national leaders recognise that the security of their countries depends on a good relationship with the US, so they value the opportunity to be received in the White House - the palace where all decisions are made. When America votes for the person who rules here, it has a huge effect around the globe. If you're in a bazaar in Cairo or pushing a cart in Shanghai, that choice will have a large effect on your personal security and prosperity.

It is therefore important for their leaders to be able to go into the Throne Room. If they're lucky when they get there, they'll be given a bigger quota for their apples or, perhaps, American backing for the dam they want to build because we'll vote for the loan in the World Bank. It sounds arrogant, but it's true.

Our power is so great, and so unlikely to be challenged for many, many years, that you have to go back to Rome for any kind of parallel. It's a misnomer to speak of the United States as being merely a super-power. We're a super-duper power, and I don't know that the world has seen one of those before.
-- Admiral Stansfield Turner, former head of the CIA Daily Telegraph, June 16th 2003

  • If the possibility of the spiritual development of all individuals is to be secured, a second kind of outward freedom is necessary. The development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit in general requires still another kind of freedom, which may be characterized as inward freedom. It is this freedom of the spirit which consists in the interdependence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudices as well as from un-philosophical routinizing and habit in general. This inward freedom is an infrequent gift of nature and a worthy object for the individual. -- link
  • The pioneers of a warless world are the youth who refuse military service. -- link

Albert Einstein

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music. -- Angela Monet

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. -- T.H. Huxley

If you want to rule the world, your need to control oil. All the oil. Anywhere. -- Michel Collon , from Monopoly

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I think that's a good one to end on.
Thoughts, suggestions, critique?
Have at it!

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