Inspiration

I take inspiration from a number of sources.  Below are the complete list of qotes I’ve put on this site which randomly appear on the side bar.  I hope they will also inspire you.

 

If I am to succeed, the sooner I know it, the less uneasiness I shall have to go through. If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more of life I shall have to wear it off: and if I do meet with one, I hope in God, and verily believe; it will be the last.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Page (15 July 1763); published in The Works of Thomas Jefferson (1905)

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.

— Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)

Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. — We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.

— Thomas Jefferson, Draft of Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (1775)

All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution.

— Thomas Jefferson, Draft Constitution for Virginia (June 1776)

No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands].

— Thomas Jefferson, Draft Constitution for Virginia (June 1776)

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

— Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence (1776)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

— Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence (1776)

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Dr. James Currie (28 January 1786)

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison (30 January 1787); referring to Shays’ Rebellion

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Stephens Smith (13 November 1787)

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison (20 December 1787)

Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Richard Price (8 January 1789)

Above all things, lose no occasion of exercising your dispositions to be grateful, to be generous, to be charitable, to be humane, to be true, just, firm, orderly, courageous, &c. Consider every act of this kind, as an exercise which will strengthen your moral faculties and increase your worth.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr (1787)

The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Hunter (11 March 1790)

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Lafayette (2 April 1790)

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution… They are not among the powers specially enumerated…

— Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on creating a National Bank (1791)

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Archibald Stuart, Philadelphia (23 December 1791)

Delay is preferable to error.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Washington (16 May 1792)

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Sinclair (1798)

I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Elbridge Gerry (1799)

I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush (23 September 1800)

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT. (1 January 1802)

If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Thomas Cooper (29 November 1802)

I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Dowse (19 April 1803)

There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Dowse (19 April 1803)

Whensoever hostile aggressions…require a resort to war, we must meet our duty and convince the world that we are just friends and brave enemies.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Andrew Jackson (3 December 1806)

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.

— Thomas Jefferson, “To the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Maryland” (March 31, 1809)

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

— Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

— Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

— Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

— Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts.

— Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac McPherson (13 August 1813)

England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac McPherson (13 August 1813)

He who steadily observes the moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven as to the dogmas in which they all differ.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Canby (18 September 1813)

Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Richard Rush (1813)

A man has a right to use a saw, an axe, a plane, separately; may he not combine their uses on the same piece of wood? He has a right to use his knife to cut his meat, a fork to hold it; may a patentee take from him the right to combine their use on the same subject? Such a law, instead of enlarging our conveniences, as was intended, would most fearfully abridge them, and crowd us by monopolies out of the use of the things we have.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Oliver Evans, (16 January 1814)

Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man’s and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend’s or our foe’s, are exactly the right.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Miles King (26 September 1814)

I cannot live without books.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (10 June 1815)

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey (6 January 1816)

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours (24 April 1816)

Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Francis W. Gilmer (27 June 1816)

I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Plumer (21 July 1816)

Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (1 August 1816)

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past, — so good night!

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (1 August 1816)

It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Mrs. Harrison Smith (6 August 1816)

I hope we shall take warning from the example [of England] and crush in it’s [sic] birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws our country.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Logan (12 November 1816)

Lay down true principles and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascendency of the people.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Samuel Kercheval (1816)

I believe… that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (1816)

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (11 January 1817)

The Pennsylvania legislature, who, on a proposition to make the belief in God a necessary qualification for office, rejected it by a great majority, although assuredly there was not a single atheist in their body. And you remember to have heard, that when the act for religious freedom was before the Virginia Assembly, a motion to insert the name of Jesus Christ before the phrase, “the author of our holy religion,” which stood in the bill, was rejected, although that was the creed of a great majority of them.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin (16 June 1817)

You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Ezra Stiles Ely (25 June 1819)

We were laboring under a dropsical fulness of circulating medium. Nearly all of it is now called in by the banks, who have the regulation of the safety-valves of our fortunes, and who condense and explode them at their will. Lands in this State cannot now be sold for a year’s rent; and unless our Legislature have wisdom enough to effect a remedy by a gradual diminution only of the medium, there will be a general revolution of property in this state.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (7 November 1819)

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany (1819)

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letters to John Wayles Eppes 24 June 1813

The art and mystery of banks… is established on the principle that ‘private debts are a public blessing.’ That the evidences of those private debts, called bank notes, become active capital, and aliment the whole commerce, manufactures, and agriculture of the United States. Here are a set of people, for instance, who have bestowed on us the great blessing of running in our debt about two hundred millions of dollars, without our knowing who they are, where they are, or what property they have to pay this debt when called on; nay, who have made us so sensible of the blessings of letting them run in our debt, that we have exempted them by law from the repayment of these debts beyond a give proportion (generally estimated at one-third). And to fill up the measure of blessing, instead of paying, they receive an interest on what they owe from those to whom they owe; for all the notes, or evidences of what they owe, which we see in circulation, have been lent to somebody on an interest which is levied again on us through the medium of commerce. And they are so ready still to deal out their liberalities to us, that they are now willing to let themselves run in our debt ninety millions more, on our paying them the same premium of six or eight per cent interest, and on the same legal exemption from the repayment of more than thirty millions of the debt, when it shall be called for.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letters to John Wayles Eppes (1813)

I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self- government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away, against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, and of treason against the hopes of the world. To yourself, as the faithful advocate of the Union, I tender the offering of my high esteem and respect.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Holmes (22 April 1820)

I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Charles Jarvis, (28 September 1820)

You seem to consider the federal judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions, a very dangerous doctrine, indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have with others the same passions for the party, for power and the privilege of the corps. Their power is the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Charles Jarvis (1820)

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

— Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography (1821), in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, liberals and serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, whigs and tories, republicans and federalists, aristocrats and democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last appellation of aristocrats and democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Henry Lee (10 August 1824)

I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Ludlow (6 September 1824)

All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights – among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.

— NH Constitution

All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

— NH Constitution

When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void.

— NH Constitution

Among the natural rights, some are, in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received for them. Of this kind are the Rights of Conscience.

— NH Constitution

Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his peers on, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

— NH Constitution

The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.

— NH Constitution

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

— NH Constitution

No person, who is conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, shall be compelled thereto.

— NH Constitution

All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery , and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses. For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.

— NH Constitution

Every subject hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a person for examination or trial in prosecutions for criminal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order, in a warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued; but in cases and with the formalities, prescribed by law.

— NH Constitution

Free speech and liberty of the press are essential to the security of freedom in a state: They ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.

— NH Constitution

Retrospective laws are highly injurious, oppressive, and unjust. No such laws, therefore, should be made, either for the decision of civil causes, or the punishment of offenses.

— NH Constitution

Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised, or kept up, without the consent of the legislature.

— NH Constitution

In all cases, and at all times, the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

— NH Constitution

The power of suspending the laws, or the execution of them, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived therefrom, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for.

— NH Constitution

The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any action, complaint, or prosecution, in any other court or place whatsoever.

— NH Constitution

The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.

— NH Constitution

No person can, in any case, be subjected to law martial, or to any pains or penalties by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature.

— NH Constitution

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

— US Constitution

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

— US Constitution

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

— US Constitution

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

— US Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

— US Constitution, First Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

— US Constitution, Second Amendment

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

— US Constitution, Third Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

— US Constitution, Fourth Amendment

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

— US Constitution, Fifth Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

— US Constitution, Sixth Amendment

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

— US Constitution, Seventh Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

— US Constitution, Eighth Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

— US Constitution, Ninth Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

— US Constitution, Tenth Amendment

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

— John Adams, Notes for an oration at Braintree (Spring 1772)

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.

— John Adams, The “Novanglus” Papers, Boston Gazette, (1774 – 1775) No. 3

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

— John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams (17 July 1775)

The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.

— John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams (12 May 1780)

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

— John Adams, Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1789)

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

— John Adams, Letter to John Taylor (15 April 1814)

When people talk of the Freedom of Writing, Speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

— John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson (15 July 1817)

No man is entirely free from weakness and imperfection in this life.

— John Adams, Diary (19 February 1756)

This is the most magnificent movement of all! There is a dignity, a majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire. The people should never rise without doing something to be remembered — something notable and striking. This destruction of the tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important consequences, and so lasting, that I can’t but consider it as an epocha in history!

— John Adams, Diary: On the Boston Tea Party (17 December 1773)

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.

— John Adams, Thoughts on Government (1776)

The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire an influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism.

— John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government (1787)

The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong.

— Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War” in Pennsylvania Magazine (July 1775)

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.

— Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.

— Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

— Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

— Thomas Paine, The American Crisis (1776 – 1783)

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. 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, First Principles of Government (1795)

When the rich plunder the poor of his rights, it becomes an example of the poor to plunder the rich of his property, for the rights of the one are as much property to him as wealth is property to the other and the little all is as dear as the much. It is only by setting out on just principles that men are trained to be just to each other; and it will always be found, that when the rich protect the rights of the poor, the poor will protect the property of the rich. But the guarantee, to be effectual, must be parliamentarily reciprocal.

— Thomas Paine, First Principles of Government (1795)

I never tire of reading Tom Paine.

— Abraham Lincoln, quoted in A Literary History of the American People‎ (1931) by Charles Angoff, p. 270

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

— Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House (1 August 1776)

It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

— John Philpot Curran, “Speech On the Right of Election” (1790)

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.

— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack of 1738

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

— Benjamin Franklin, notes for a proposition at the Pennsylvania Assembly, before Feb 17, 1755

Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY, deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY.

— Benjamin Franklin, used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania. (1759)

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

— Patrick Henry, Speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia (23 March 1775)

But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.

— Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, (1837-03-04)

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

— Ronald Reagan, address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (30 March 1961)

The ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others.
No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develope their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty.

— Baruch Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (1670)

The real disturbers of the peace are those who, in a free state, seek to curtail the liberty of judgment which they are unable to tyrannize over.

— Baruch Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (1670)

All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones. When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their Differences by Arbitration? Were they to do it, even by the Cast of a Dye, it would be better than by Fighting and destroying each other.

— Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Mary Hewson, Jan. 27. 1783

As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.

— Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography (1817)

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.

— Mahatma Gandhi, “An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth”, Chapter 27

Any politico who’s afraid of his constituents being armed, should be.

— L. Neil Smith, “The Brontosaurus in the Broom Closet,” The Libertarian Enterprise, 18 October 2009

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

— Mahatma Gandhi, “Interview to the Press” in Karachi about the execution of Bhagat Singh (23 March 1931); published in Young India (2 April 1931)

I’m a lover of my own liberty, and so I would do nothing to restrict yours. I simply want to please my own conscience, which is God.

— Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, January 21, 1927

The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.

— Mahatma Gandhi, From Discussion with BG Kher and others, August 15, 1940. Gandhi’s Wisdom Box (1942)

Pro libertate

— William Wallace, Said to be his last words

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me

— Joss Whedon, “The Ballad of Serenity” theme to Firefly, performed by Sonny Rhodes

They [the Alliance] will swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.

— Capt. Malcolm Reynolds (Serinity), Serinity

There are no good laws except simple laws.

— Chrétien de Malesherbes (1775)

Let all the laws be clear, uniform and precise. To interpret laws is almost always to corrupt them.

— Voltaire

Tis much more prudence to acquit two persons, though actually guilty, than to pass sentence of condemnation on one that is virtuous and innocent.

— Voltaire

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

— Adlai Stevenson, speech in Detroit, Michigan (7 October 1952)

Libertarians are self-governors in both personal and economic matters. They believe government’s only purpose is to protect people from coercion and violence. They value individual responsibility, and tolerate economic and social diversity.

— Advocates for Self Government (1995)

lib·er·tar·i·an: One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.

— American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2006)

Because libertarians do have a basic set of principles, you know that a libertarian will always come out on the side of any issue which maximizes personal liberty and responsibility — and which reduces government control over the individual.

— David Bergland, Libertarianism In One Lesson (Ninth Edition, 2005)

The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can’t tolerate a libertarian community.

— David D. Boaz, Libertarianism : A Primer (1997)

This country is a one-party country. Half of it is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn’t make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians.

— Hugh Downs, Politically Incorrect (31 March 1997)

A government which cannot conscript, confiscate, or counterfeit, and which imposes no criminal penalties for the mere possession and peaceful use of anything, is one that almost all libertarians would be comfortable with.

— David F. Nolan, “The Essence of Liberty”

“Our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Bablyon and evil as Hell.”

— Edward Abbey

If what your country is doing seems to you practically and morally wrong, is dissent the highest form of patriotism?

— The Use of Force in International Affairs, (Philadelphia: Friends Peace Committee, 1961)

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

— Abraham Lincoln

An armed society is a polite society.

— Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon (1942)

I would say that my position is not too far from that of Ayn Rand’s; that I would like to see government reduced to no more than internal police and courts, external armed forces — with the other matters handled otherwise. I’m sick of the way the government sticks its nose into everything, now.

— Robert A. Heinlein, The Robert Heinlein Interview, and other Heinleiniana (1990) by J. Neil Schulman

Take sides! Always take sides! You will sometimes be wrong — but the man who refuses to take sides must always be wrong.

— Robert A. Heinlein, Double Star (1956)

Progress doesn’t come from early risers — progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.

— Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)

People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.

— Young River Tam (Serenity 2005), Serenity

Key members of Parliament. Key. The minds behind every military, diplomatic and covert operation in the galaxy, and you put them in a room with a psychic.

— The Operative (Serenity 2005), Serenity

I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.

— Henry Ford

As long as we look to legislation to cure poverty or to abolish special privilege we are going to see poverty spread and special privilege grow.

— Henry Ford, My Life and Work by Henry Ford (Autobiography)

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

— Thomas Edison, This is presented as a statement of 1877, as quoted in From Telegraph to Light Bulb with Thomas Edison (2007) by Deborah Hedstrom, p. 22

Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.

— Thomas Edison, The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison (1948), p. 110

I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

— Thomas Edison, Response to the idea that he had failed after 10,000 experiments to develop a storage battery, as quoted in The World Book Encyclopedia (1993) Vol. E, p. 78;

Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages

— Thomas Edison, quoted in Everything You Need to Know about Being a Vegan (1999) by Stefanie Iris Weiss, p. 6

I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles.

— Thomas Edison, The Philosophy of Paine (1925)

Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.

— Nikola Tesla, On patent controversies regarding the invention of Radio and other things, as quoted in “A Visit to Nikola Tesla” by Dragislav L. Petković in Politika (April 1927)

General disarmament being for the present entirely out of question, a proportionate reduction might be recommended. The safety of any country and of the world’s commerce depending not on the absolute, but relative amount of war material, this would be evidently the first reasonable step to take towards universal economy and peace.

— Nikola Tesla, A means for furthering Peace (1905)

Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another’s point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse.

— Nikola Tesla, A means for furthering Peace (1905)

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

— Samuel Adams, 1779

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

— Robert F. Kennedy

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

— T.S. Eliot

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

— Helen Adams Keller

Conscience is a man’s compass, and though the needle sometimes deviates, though one often perceives irregularities in directing one’s course by it, still one must try to follow its direction.

— Vincent van Gogh

I am one of those who do not believe the national debt is a national blessing… it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country.

— Andrew Jackson, Letter to L. H. Coleman of Warrenton, N.C., 29 April 1824

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

— Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho (1983)

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

— J. K. Rowling, 2008 Harvard commencement speech

When a man blames others for his failures, it’s a good idea to credit others with his successes.

— Howard W. Newton

If it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive.

— William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599)

If your name means that much to you, live on and redeem it.

— Agrael (Heroes of Might and Magic V)

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

— Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant

Managers think about today. Leaders think about tomorrow.

— Dan McCreary

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.

— Mahatma Gandhi

A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless … someone’s got to make a wake up call.

— Warren Bennis

A leader is best when people barely know he exists; Not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they despise him. but a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say “We did it our selves!”

— Laozi

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

— George S. Patton

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

— George S. Patton

Often participants will have more chance of personal development by making a mistake and ensuring it does not happen again, than from being told the right way to do something.

— Daniel Siddins

Superior leaders get things done with very little motion. They impart instruction not through many words, but through a few deeds. They keep informed about everything but interfere hardly at all. They are catalysts, and though things would not get done as well if they were not there, when they succeed they take no credit. And, because they take no credit, credit never leaves them.

— Laozi

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.

— Mary Pickford

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.

— Bishop Desmond Tutu

If you think you can do a thing or that you cannot do a thing, in either case you are right.

— Henry Ford

Those who make no mistakes are making the biggest mistakes of all — they are attempting nothing new.

— Anthony de Mello, One Minute Nonsense (1992), p. 20.

After it is all over, as stupid a fellow as I am can see that mistakes were made. I notice, however, that my mistakes are never told me until it is too late.

— Robert E. Lee, quoted in Randall Bedwell’s May I Quote You General Lee? (New York: Gramercy Books, 2002), p. 63.

It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.

— Muhammad, Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1011.

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.

— Samuel Smiles, 19th C Scottish author and reformer., ‘Self-Culture: facilities and Difficulties’, Self-Help (1856), Ch 11

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

— Al Franken, Oh, the Things I Know (2003)

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.

— E. J. Phelps, Speech at Mansion House, 24th January 1899.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

— John Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love (1990), p. 85.

Always make new mistakes.

— Esther Dyson

Become a ‘possibilitarian’. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities- Always see them, for they are always there.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Men who are resolved to find a way for themselves will always find opportunities enough; and if they do not lie ready to their hand, they will make them.

— Samuel Smiles, 19th C Scottish author and reformer., ‘Helps and Opportunities: Scientific Pursuits’, Self-Help (1856), Ch 5

I see the same sadness in the eyes of conformists as I do in the eyes of those convulsing radically in opposition. I talk to people that aren’t like me, individually, thoughtfully. And I listen. If I walk away from a conversation thinking differently than before I entered into it, I have succeeded in doing something that doesn’t compute. If I haven’t interacted and challenged what I know, resulting in a change of perception, I am still running my own set of stupid old programs.

— Paul J. Schrag, Adbusters (2003)

At the risk of quoting Mephistopheles I repeat: Welcome to hell. A hell erected and maintained by human-governments, and blessed by black robed judges. A hell that allows you to see your loved ones, but not to touch them. A hell situated in America’s boondocks, hundreds of miles away from most families. A white, rural hell, where most of the captives are black and urban. It is an American way of death.

— Mumia Abu-Jamal, All Things Censored (2001, Seven Stories Press), pp. 55-56

We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don’t know.

— W.H. Auden

I would rather work with five people who really believe in what they are doing rather than five hundred who can’t see the point.

— Patrick Dixon, Building a Better Business p 14

“Thou shalt not get found out” is not one of God’s commandments, and no man can be saved by trying to keep it.

— Leonard Bacon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 511.

Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

— Edmund Burke

Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.

— Albert Einstein

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.

— James M. Barrie

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.

— E. M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)

All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if the nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears.

— Dame Rebecca West, “The Meaning of Treason” (Revised edition, Penguin Books, 1965), Conclusion, p. 413.

Treason is a charge invented by winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.

— Benjamin Franklin

But the chief penalty is to be governed by someone worse if a man will not himself hold office and rule.

— Plato, The Republic, Book I

I said I was bored, not idle. I have plenty to do, but it bores me to death.

— Brian Chabot, Often said, addressed to a former employer.

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

— Elizabeth Taylor, quoted in The Seven Deadly Sins (2000) by Steven Schwartz, p. 23

It’s only arrogance if you’re wrong.

— Anonymous

Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.

— Sydney J. Harris

Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

— Jack Benny, New York Times (1974)

A man’s only as old as the woman he feels.

— Groucho Marx

Il nous faut de l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace!

— Georges Danton, Speech, Assemblée legislative, Paris (1792-09-02), reported in Le Moniteur (1792-09-04)

Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure.

— Abraham Lincoln

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

— Mohandas Gandhi

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

— Theodore Roosevelt, Speech at the Hamilton Club, Chicago (10 April 1899)

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr (1787)

© 2016 Brian Chabot: An ordinary man… determined to do the extraordinary.