Sunday, July 04, 2010

Words to Ponder on the Fourth

And now a few words from the patriots....

"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

Thomas Jefferson

"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society."

John Adams

"....that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln

"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."

Mark Twain

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

"I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

James Baldwin

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

Robert F. Kennedy

"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it."

Eleanor Roosevelt

The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only 'what is.'"

Lenny Bruce

"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan."

Martin Luther King

"There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.

Malcolm X "

"I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions."

Dorothy Day

"If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's his problem. Love and peace are eternal."

John Lennon

"The liberals in the House strongly resemble liberals I have known through the last two decades in the civil rights conflict. When it comes time to show on which side they will be counted, they excuse themselves."

Shirley Chisholm

"In America.... you can still reach through the forest and see the sun. But we don't know yet whether that sun is rising or setting for our country."

Dick Gregory

"The energy, the faith, the devotion - which we bring to this endeavor - will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"As I was walkin' that lonesome highway, I saw a sign there, said "NO TRESPASSIN'. But on the other side - it didn't say nothin'! - That side was made for you and me."

Woody Guthrie

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Tom Degan


"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac


At 11:43 AM, Blogger Wildernesschic said...

John Lennon all the way ... Happy Fourth of July...
Great quotes great post xx

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

And don't forget the ladies, my dearest friend...

"Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

Abigail Adams - July, 1776

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

Oh and - the reason our Declaration was written:

"To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent."

Thomas Jefferson

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Nance said...

James Baldwin: "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

Most of my political blog buddies are so bummed out right now, they can't even bring themselves to write anything for the Fourth. Thank you for rising to the occasion, Tom.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Ali said...

Watching the dems as we head into election season makes me think of one of my favorite Twain passages:

I went away then in a thoughtful mood. I said, this is a good pleasure excursion. I like it. The passengers are not garrulous, but still they are sociable. I like those old people, but somehow they all seem to have the "Oh, my" rather bad.

I knew what was the matter with them. They were seasick. And I was glad of it. We all like to see people seasick when we are not, ourselves. Playing whist by the cabin lamps when it is storming outside is pleasant; walking the quarterdeck in the moonlight is pleasant; smoking in the breezy foretop is pleasant when one is not afraid to go up there; but these are all feeble and commonplace compared with the joy of seeing people suffering the miseries of seasickness.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Beautiful thoughts, Tom. Your knowledge, scholarship and recall is most impressive. Thank you.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Bill_in_DE said...

Speaking of Mark Twain, here's one that makes me think of conservatives:

"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right."

At 2:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."

How I wish sane folks would adopt this strategy!
Ridicule & mockery are much underused rhetorical instruments!

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Great quotes for this holiday. Thank you for your research.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger P M Prescott said...

Great quotes. I don't remember who said it: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

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At 9:34 PM, Blogger Beth said...

All wonderful quotes. We have something precious here, and I hope we can protect it from those who would try to force their own beliefs and agenda on it.


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