Quotes of the Day – Archives

  • There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. – Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (12 Jul 1817-1862)
  • Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him in so far as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth – whether about the President or about anyone else. – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US president (1858-1919)
  • Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members. – Pearl S. Buck, Nobelist novelist (26 Jun 1892-1973)
  • I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again. – Anne Frank, Holocaust diarist (12 Jun 1929-1945)
  • We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. – John F. Kennedy, 35th US president (29 May 1917-1963)
  • The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life — the sick, the needy and the handicapped. – Hubert Horatio Humphrey, US Vice President (1911-1978)
  • “As a general truth, communities prosper and flourish, or droop and decline, in just the degree that they practise or neglect to practise the primary duties of justice and humanity.” – William Henry Seward, Secretary of State, Governor, and Senator (16 May 1801-1872)
  • “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.” – Thomas Pynchon, novelist (b. 8 May 1937)
  • President, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom – and of whom only – it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for president. – Ambrose Bierce, author and editor (1842-1914)
  •  I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people’s politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true. – Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, author and science communicator (1958- )
  • Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. – Maya Angelou, poet (4 Apr 1928-2014
  • The absurd does not liberate; it binds. – Albert Camus, French author and philosopher (1913-1960)
  • Did you know that the worldwide food shortage that threatens up to five hundred million children could be alleviated at the cost of only one day, only ONE day, of modern warfare. – Peter Ustinov, actor, writer and director (16 Apr 1921-2004)
  • Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism. – Earl Warren, jurist (1891-1974)
  • All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty. – Henry Clay, statesman and orator (12 Apr 1777-1852)
  • It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which make the defense of our nation worthwhile. – Earl Warren, jurist (1891-1974)
  • Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.
    – William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist (1564-1616)
  • Listen to the wind, it talks.  Listen to the silence, it speaks.  Listen to your heart, it knows. – Native American proverb
  • Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake. – Viktor Frankl, author, neurologist and psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor (26 Mar 1905-1997)

  • I had a dollar. I met a man with a dollar. We exchanged dollars, and when we parted we each still had only a dollar.

    I had an idea. I met a man with an idea. We exchanged ideas, and when we parted we each had two ideas.  – Author Unknown

  • No human being is illegal. – Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

  • One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. – Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)
  • The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued. – Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States (1964-)
  • I raise up my voice – not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back. – Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate (1997-)
  • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me– and there was no one left to speak for me. -Martin Niemoller, pastor, initial supporter of Hitler, concentration camp survivor (1892 – Mar. 6, 1984)

  • Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens. – William Beveridge, economist and social reformer (5 Mar 1879-1963)

  • Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss, author and illustrator (2 Mar 1904-1991)

  • I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. – Will Rogers, humorist, actor & social commentator (1879-1935)
  • A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. – Fyodor Dostoevsky, novelist (1821-1881)
  • The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. – Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President (12 Feb 1809-1865)

  • The limits of tyrants is prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. – Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, editor, and orator (1817-1895)

  • It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. – Ansel Adams, photographer (1902-1984)
  • Once or twice in every generation a line is crossed so egregiously that where you stood on the issue will forever define you. – Kara Vallow, artist (b. 1967)
  • If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. – Samuel Adams, revolutionary (1722-1803)

  • Remember, tomorrow we are not crowning a king, or bowing down to a dictator. Tomorrow, our new employee starts his temp job. We’re the boss– Audra McDonald, actress and singer (b. 1970), on Jan 19, 2017

  • Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. – Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (17 Jan 1706-1790)

  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. –  Martin Luther King, Jr.,speech while being honored at the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council’s Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award banquet, April 28, 1965
  • Rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. The individual or nation that feels that it can live in isolation has allowed itself to sleep through a revolution. The geographical togetherness of the modern world makes our very existence dependent on co-existence. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Because of our involvement in humanity we must be concerned about every human being. – Martin Luther King, Jr., commencement address at Morehouse College, 1959
  • I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. – Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1959
  • A society that presumes a norm of violence and celebrates aggression, whether in the subway, on the football field, or in the conduct of its business, cannot help making celebrities of the people who would destroy it. – Lewis H. Lapham, editor and writer (b. 8 Jan 1935)
  • You must protest 

    It is your diamond duty

    Ah but in such an ugly time the true protest is beauty.

    -Phil Ochs, folksinger (19 Dec 1940-1976)

  • Business!  Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance and benevolence were all my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.  Jacob Marley – ” A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

  • It isn’t time to give up, curl up or shut up. It’s time to stand up, act up & speak up. The threat isn’t the hate of some but silence of many. – Sen. Corey Booker

  • Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community. – Andrew Carnegie, industrialist (25 Nov 1835-1919)

  • The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.– Chinese Proverb 

  • To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human-history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. … And if we do act, in however a small way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is in itself a marvelous victory.  – Howard Zinn, Aug 24, 1922 – Jan 27, 2010