Favorite Quotes

Here is the entire collection of quotations that rotates through the right hand navigation bar.

These quotes come from any number of places including politicians, philosophers, comedians, favorite television shows and movies, coaches, athletes, and more.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

— Thomas Jefferson

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

— Sir Arthur C. Clarke, The Three Laws of the Future

(The Technological Singularity is) the rapture for geeks.

— Ken MacLeod

It don’t make a shit.

— Bill Bradley, when asked if he wanted heads or tails in the coin toss in the 1968 game against Texas A&M

Don’t worry, Coach. I got this.

— Vince Young, to Mack Brown as he went into the Rose Bowl against Michigan with the Longhorns down ten points with ten minutes left.

I don’t know. Never had one.

— Darrell K. Royal, to Mack Brown on how to coach a team after a losing season

Will Rogers never met Barry Switzer.

— Darrell K. Royal

Football doesn’t build character. It eliminates the weak ones.

— Darrell K. Royal

Are you SURE Coach?

— James Street, Fayetteville ’69 (4th down)

When I was a kid and got in trouble, I’d always say, Mom, I’m in trouble. Well, Mom, I’m in trouble.

— Earl Campbell, trying to find the words to express himself after winning the Heisman Trophy, 1977.

You never lose a game if the opponent doesn’t score.

— Darrell K. Royal

We could never figure out why they didn’t choose to settle it on the grass in Dallas, rather than from a soapbox in Pennsylvania.

— Freddie Steinmark, on the protestations of Penn State and Joe Paterno that they deserved the MNC in 1969, after they refused the invitation to play the Horns in the Cotton Bowl.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

— Darrell K. Royal

If worms carried pistols, birds wouldn’t eat ’em.

— Darrell K. Royal

Ricky can’t come back next year, I have already checked. Oh yea he can’t sing either.

— Mack Brown, on what Ricky Williams can’t do

I don’t know if Earl’s in a class by himself, but it sure don’t take long to call roll.

— Darrell K. Royal

You’ve got to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket – you might have caught a fish.

— Darrell K. Royal

A head coach is guided by this main objective: dig, claw, wheedle, coax that fanatical effort out of the players. You want them to play every Saturday as if they were planting the flag on Iwo Jima.

— Darrell K. Royal

Hell, no. I’m not going to candy this thing up. These are work clothes.

— Darrell K. Royal, on fancy, striped uniforms

When you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.

— Darrell K. Royal

We would like to sign a punter. We’d rather not punt. But based on my experience, that happens some.

— Mack Brown

The tail should never wag the dog, but as long as football is in its proper place on the campus, then it’s good. I want to be remembered as a winning coach, but I also want to be remembered as an honest and ethical coach.

— Darrell K. Royal

And the baseball gods woke up and smiled on us.

— Augie Garrido, on the regional championship win over Arizona State in 2000

Once the ball is in the air, it’s mine. That’s like $10 million dollars floating in the air, and (a db) is not going to get $10 million dollars from me. If Bevo was sitting on $10 million dollars, I would pick Bevo up to get the money.

— Roy Williams

Once I get behind a db I act like he’s a dog. I’m not going to be caught by a dog. I don’t like dogs.

— Roy Williams

Leadership is what you do when nobody is watching.

— Cory Redding

Football’s so important in Texas. On the West Coast, it’s a social. On the East Coast, it’s a culture. Here, it’s a religion.

— Major Applewhite

If you want to surf, move to Hawaii. If you like to shop, move to New York. If you like acting and Hollywood, move to California. But if you like college football, move to Texas.

— Ricky Williams

Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.

— Bill Shankly

Tom Landry wore a coat, a tie, a hat and an expression that revealed nothing as he stood on the sideline, arms folded, watching his Dallas Cowboys at work. Hockey pucks show more emotion. He was the Great Stoneface, but nobody gives you grief about that if you go to five Super Bowls and win a couple of them.

— Ron Green, Sr., The Charlotte Observer, 1/24/02

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.

— Tom Landry

If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and a uniform that wasn’t the same as the one I was wearing, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother.

— Bo Jackson

I wouldn’t ever set out to hurt anyone deliberately unless it was, you know, important —like a league game or something.

— Dick Butkus

Football is a very short-term proposition. Football really prepares you for nothing. The only thing I got out of football was the ability to work hard, and that’s it.

— Gale Sayers

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

— Archie Griffen

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.

— George Bernard Shaw

America needs fewer laws, not more prisons.

— James Bovard

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 (1814)

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

— Benjamin Franklin

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.

— Thomas B. Reed (1886)

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.

— Jacob Hornberger (1995)

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

— P.J. O’Rourke

The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates

— Tacitus

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

— George Washington

No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

— Mark Twain (1866)

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

— Robert Heinlein

The true danger is when Liberty is nibbled away, for expedients.

— Edmund Burke (1899)

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none

— Thomas Jefferson

The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society.

— Mark Skousen

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which 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.

— Thomas Jefferson (1801)

The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.

— John Hay (1872)

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

— Thomas Jefferson

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.

— Thomas Jefferson

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

— Goethe

When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence.

— Gary Lloyd

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

— H.L. Mencken

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

— H.L. Mencken

It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.

— Henry George

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

— C. S. Lewis

Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.

— Lysander Spooner

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

— Samuel Adams

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.

— Somerset Maugham

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.

— Alexander Tytler

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.

— Justice Learned Hand

t is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.

— Charles A. Beard

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.

— Edward R. Murrow

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. 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 (1781)

It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal system to protect a citizen from himself.

— Justice Casey Percell

No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words “no” and “not” employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights.

— Edmund A. Opitz

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.

— Edward Langley

I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no way interferes with any other men’s rights.

— Abraham Lincoln

Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

— Thomas Paine

It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones

— Calvin Coolidge

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.

— Thomas Jefferson

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

— Voltaire

The war for freedom will never really be won because the price of our freedom is constant vigilance over ourselves and over our Government.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

First they came for the Jews, but I did nothing because I’m not a Jew. Then they came for the socialists, but I did nothing because I’m not a socialist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did nothing because I’m not a Catholic. Finally, they came for me, but by then there was no one left to help me.

— Pastor Father Niemoller (1946)

Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at its worst, an intolerant one.

— Thomas Paine

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

— P.J. O’Rourke

Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.

— Henry David Thoreau

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

— Mark Twain

There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress.

— Mark Twain

Talk is cheap – except when Congress does it.

— Cullen Hightower

The most fundamental purpose of government is defense, not empire.

— Joseph Sobran (1995)

When important issues affecting the life of an individual are decided by somebody else, it makes no difference to the individual whether that somebody else is a king, a dictator, or society at large.

— James Taggart (1992)

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power.

— P.J. O’Rourke (1992)

The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.

— Milton Friedman

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

— P.J. O’Rourke (1993)

The Government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.

— Ronald Reagan

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

— James Madison

The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals … It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.

— Albert Gallatin (1789)

The Constitution shall never be construed … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

— Samuel Adams

If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.

— Winston Churchill

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.

— Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446

Whenever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.

— Benjamin Disraeli, 1874

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

— Winston Churchill

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.

— P.J. O’Rourke (1993)

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

— Ronald Reagan (1986)

I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature.

— Sidney Hook

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

— Douglas Casey (1992)

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

— P.J. O’Rourke

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.

— Barry Goldwater (1964)

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.

— Milton Friedman

he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

— H.L. Mencken

There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself.

— P.J. O’Rourke (1993)

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

— Robert A. Heinlein

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

— Pericles (430 BC)

There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as “caring” and “sensitive” because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. Well, who isn’t? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money – if a gun is held to his head.

— P.J. O’Rourke

More laws, less justice.

— Marcus Tullius Ciceroca (42 BC)

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

— Thomas Jefferson

Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.

— William Allen White

I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war.

— Thomas Jefferson (1823)

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She well knows that by enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.

— John Quincy Adams (1821)

Whoever prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery must defend without compromise private ownership in the means of production.

— Ludwig von Mises (1920)

If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government that is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

— James Madison

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping, and unintelligent.

— H.L. Mencken

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?

— Thomas Jefferson (1801)

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

— Lord Acton (1887)

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 (1997)

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

— Winston Churchill (1903)

There never was a good war or a bad peace.

— Benjamin Franklin (1773)

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

— Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

— Albert Einstein

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

— George Bernard Shaw

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.

— Patrick Henry

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

— C. S. Lewis

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.

— C. S. Lewis

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

— C. S. Lewis

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

— C. S. Lewis

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

— C. S. Lewis

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.

— C. S. Lewis

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.

— C. S. Lewis

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

— C. S. Lewis

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

— C. S. Lewis

The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

— C. S. Lewis

Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.

— C. S. Lewis

We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

— C. S. Lewis

I am not a ‘democrat’, if only because ‘humility’ and equality are spiritual principles corrupted by the attempt to mechanize and formalize them, with the result that we get not universal smallness and humility, but universal greatness and pride, till some Orc gets hold of a ring of power–and then we get and are getting slavery.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

I am wholly in favour of ‘dull stodges’. A surprising large proportion prove ‘educable’: for which a primary qualification is the willingness to do work.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

I dislike allegory wherever I smell it.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

A crash is when your competitor’s program dies. When your program dies, it is an ‘idiosyncrasy’.

— Guy Kawasaki

Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.

— Guy Kawasaki

Simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across.

— Guy Kawasaki

Don’t worry, be crappy. Revolutionary means you ship and then test… Lots of things made the first Mac in 1984 a piece of crap – but it was a revolutionary piece of crap.

— Guy Kawasaki

Change brings opportunities. On the other hand, change can be confusing.

— Michael Porter

Finally, strategy must have continuity. It can’t be constantly reinvented.

— Michael Porter

If all you’re trying to do is essentially the same thing as your rivals, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be very successful.

— Michael Porter

Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.

— Michael Porter

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.

— Michael Porter

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

— Steve Jobs

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

— Steve Jobs

Change before you have to.

— Jack Welch

Be candid with everyone.

— Jack Welch

I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.

— Jack Welch

If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don’t have to manage them.

— Jack Welch

The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important – and then get out of their way while they do it.

— Jack Welch

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow citizens.

— Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

— H.L. Mencken

Collectivism doesn’t work because it’s based on a faulty economic premise. There is no such thing as a person’s “fair share” of wealth. The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully divided because if I get too many slices, you have to eat the box. The economy is expandable and, in any practical sense, limitless.

— P.J. O’Rourke, “How to Explain Conservatism”

Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer

— Ludwig von Mises

Liberals want the government to be your Mommy. Conservatives want government to be your Daddy. Libertarians want it to treat you like an adult.

— Andre Marrou

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.

— John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty” (1859)

OK, they know the play. After we score, we’ll be laughing about it.

— Vince Young, in the 2005 Texas-OU game, when told by his line that the OU defense knew the play.

Left-wing politicians take away your liberty in the name of children and of fighting poverty, while right-wing politicians do it in the name of family values and fighting drugs. Either way, government gets bigger and you become less free.

— Harry Browne

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

— Noam Chomsky

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

— Aldous Huxley

The care of every man’s soul belongs to himself. But what if he neglect the care of it? Well what if he neglect the care of his health or his estate, which would more nearly relate to the state. Will the magistrate make a law that he not be poor or sick? Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against their wills.

— Thomas Jefferson

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

— Plato

Every individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of society as great as he can. He generally neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. He intends only his own gain, and he is, in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention.

— Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”

I do not believe that the government should have its long nose poked into the private consensual relationships between people.

— John Anderson, Independent presidential candidate, 1980

When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.

— Fredric Bastiat

Manufacturing and commercial monopolies owe their origin not to a tendency imminent in a capitalist economy but to governmental interventionist policy directed against free trade and laissez faire.

— Ludwig von Mises

Tariffs, quotas and other import restrictions protect the business of the rich at the expense of high cost of living for the poor. Their intent is to deprive you of the right to choose, and to force you to buy the high-priced inferior products of politically favored companies.

— Alan Burris, “A Liberty Primer”

Perhaps the removal of trade restrictions throughout the world would do more for the cause of universal peace than can any political union of peoples separated by trade barriers

— Frank Chodorov

The legacy of Democrats and Republicans approaches: Libertarianism by bankruptcy.

— Nick Nuessle, 1992

I think the terror most people are concerned with is the IRS.

— Malcolm Forbes, when asked if he was afraid of terrorism

If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want for bread.

— Thomas Jefferson

Our forefathers made one mistake. What they should have fought for was representation without taxation.

— Fletcher Knebel, historian

Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.

— George Santayana

Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labor of his body and the work of his hands are properly his.

— John Locke, 1690

There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

— James Madison

Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone’s labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities.

— Robert Nozick, Harvard philosopher

Alcohol didn’t cause the high crime rates of the ’20s and ’30s, Prohibition did. And drugs do not cause today’s alarming crime rates, but drug prohibition does.

— US District Judge James C. Paine, addressing the Federal Bar Association in Miami, November, 1991

The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.

— Congressman Ron Paul, 1987

They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?

— Paul Harvey 8/31/94

If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence … and the courts must abide by that decision.

— US v Moylan, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969, 417 F.2d at 1006

Where is it written in the Constitution, in what section or clause is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battle in any war in which the folly or the wickedness of government may engage it?

— Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

There are many farm handouts; but let’s call them what they really are: a form of legalized theft. Essentially, a congressman tells his farm constituency, “Vote for me. I’ll use my office to take another American’s money and give it to you.”

— Walter Williams, economist and syndicated columnist

Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA – ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.

— Heinrich Himmler

Government does not grow by seizing our freedoms, but by assuming our responsibilities.

— Michael Cloud

The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, “See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk”.

— Harry Browne

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

— Ronald Reagan

The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.

— Justice William O. Douglas

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!

— Adolph Hitler [1935], The Weapons Act of Nazi Germany

To tax the larger incomes at a higher percentage than the smaller, is to lay a tax on industry and economy; to impose a penalty on people for having worked harder and saved more than their neighbors.

— John Stuart Mill

When taxes are too high, people go hungry.

— Lao Tsu

What’s *just* has been debated for centuries but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn *belongs* to you – and why?

— Walter Williams

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

— Henry David Thoreau

No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: “But what would you replace it with?” When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?

— Thomas Sowell

One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.

— P.J. O’Rourke

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

— Abraham Lincoln

When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the Center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

— Thomas Jefferson

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.

— Mohandas Gandhi

Force always attracts men of low morality.

— Albert Einstein

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear.

— Ronald Reagan

I’m not going to pontificate and tell you to execute your government at dawn, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

— John Lydon

When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty.

— George Mason

Equality of opportunity is freedom, but equality of outcome is repression.

— Dick Feagler

There are people who think that plunder loses all its immorality as soon as it becomes legal. Personally, I cannot imagine a more alarming situation.

— Frédéric Bastiat

The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.

— H. L. Mencken

Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn’t even get out of committee.

— F. Lee Bailey

Socialists make the mistake of confusing individual worth with success. They believe you cannot allow people to succeed in case those who fail feel worthless.

— Kenneth Baker

Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.

— Mikhail Bakunin

The American heritage was one of individual liberty, personal responsibility and freedom from government … Unfortunately … that heritage has been lost. Americans no longer have the freedom to direct their own lives … Today, it is the government that is free – free to do whatever it wants. There is no subject, no issue, no matter … that is not subject to legislation.

— Harry Browne

Communism is like one big phone company.

— Lenny Bruce

It must never be unpatriotic to support your country against your government. It must always be unpatriotic to support your government against your country.

— Stephen T. Byington

Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging than the drug itself.

— Jimmy Carter

If you ruin your life, you will pay the price of rehabilitating yourself … We are not punished for our sins, but by them. Liberty means responsibility.

— Michael Cloud

We are living in a sick society filled with people who would not directly steal from their neighbor but who are willing to demand that the government do it for them.

— William L. Comer

America was born of revolt, flourished on dissent, became great through experimentation.

— Henry Steele Commager

Good artists copy. Great artists steal.

— Pablo Picasso

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says, ‘Go!’–a leader says ‘Let’s go!’

— E. M. Kelly

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is the lightning that does the work.

— Mark Twain

If they get a hit, then I am throwing a one-hitter. If they get a walk, it’s my last walk. I deal with perfection to the point that it’s logical to conceive it. History is history, the future is perfect.

— Orel Hershiser

One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who only have an interest.

— John Stuart Mill

It’s very easy to find products that are not elegant. Microsoft Word is not elegant. It has an incredible number of features, but you almost need the manual by your side when you use it. Its features are one step beyond where you think they should be. People use Word for lack of a better word processor, not because they like it.

— Guy Kawasaki, “The Macintosh Way

Five card stud, nothing wild, and the sky’s the limit.

— Jean Luc Pickard, “All Good Things”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee; wish not one man more.

— King Henry, “Henry V” by William Skakesphere

“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

— Alice, “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

Mal: “If anyone gets nosy, just…you know… shoot ’em. “
Zoe: “Shoot ’em?”
Mal: “Politely.”

— “Serenity Parts 1 & 2”, Firefly

Do you know what the chain of command is here? It’s the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who’s in command.

— Jayne, “The Train Job”, Firefly

Alliance Commander: “You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?”
Zoe: “Fought with a lot of people in the war.”
Alliance Commander: “And your husband?”
Zoe: “Fight with him sometimes, too.”

— “Bushwhacked”, Firefly

Alliance Commander: “Seems odd you’d name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.”
Mal: “May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

— “Bushwhacked”, Firefly

Harrow: “You have to finish it, lad. You have to finish it. For a man to lay beaten… and yet breathing? It makes him a coward.”
Inara: “It’s humiliation.”
Mal: “Sure. It would be humiliating. Having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. Mercy is the mark of a great man. (lightly stabs Atherton with the sword) Guess I’m just a good man. (stabs him again) Well, I’m all right.”

— “Shindig”, Firefly

Book: “What are we up to, sweetheart?”
River: “Fixing your Bible.”
Book: “I, um…(alarmed)…what?”
River: “Bible’s broken. Contradictions, false logistics – doesn’t make sense.” (she’s marked up the bible, crossed out passages)
Book: “No, no. You – you can’t…
River: “So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah’s ark is a problem.”
Book: “Really?”
River: “We’ll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat.” (rips out page)

— “Jaynestown”, Firefly

Wash: “Yeah well, if she doesn’t give us some extra flow from the engine room to offset the burn through, this landing is gonna get pretty interesting.”
Mal: “Define interesting.”
Wash: “Oh god oh god we’re all gonna die?”
Mal: “This is the captain. We have a…little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then…explode.”

— Serenity

I’ll kill a man in a fair fight. Or if I think he’s gonna start a fair fight. Or if he bothers me. Or if there’s a woman. Or if I’m gettin’ paid. Mostly when I’m gettin’ paid.

— Jayne, Serenity

Mal: “It’s of interest to me, how much you seem to know about that world.”
Book: “Wasn’t born a Shepherd, Mal.”
Mal: “You’ll have to tell me about that sometime.”
Book: “No. I don’t.”

— Serenity

Wash: “Inara…nice to see her again.”
Zoe: (beat) “So…trap?”
Mal: “Trap.”
Zoe: “We goin’ in?”
Mal: “Ain’t but a few hours out.”
Wash: (confused) “Yeah, but…remember the part where it’s a trap?”
Mal: “If that’s the case then Inara’s already caught in it. She wouldn’t set us up willin’. Might be we get a shot at seein’ who’s turnin’ these wheels. We go in.”
Kaylee: “But how can you be sure Inara don’t just wanna see you? Sometimes people have feelings. I’m referring here to people.”
Mal: “Y’all were watchin’, I take it?”
Kaylee: (everyone looks guilty) “Yes.”
Mal: “Did you see us fight?”
Kaylee: “No.”
Mal: “Trap.”

— Serenity

Mal: “Zoe, ship is yours. Remember: if anything happens to me, if you don’t hear from me within the hour, you take the ship — and you come and you rescue me.”
Zoe: “What? Risk my ship?”

— Serenity

Operative: “That girl will rain destruction down on you and your ship. She is an albatross, Captain.”
Mal: “Way I remember it, albatross was a ship’s good luck, ’til some idiot killed it.” (to Inara) “Yes, I’ve read a poem, try not to faint.”

— Serenity

She is starting to damage my calm.

— Jayne, Serenity

So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.

— Mal, Serenity

Wash: “I’m a leaf on the wind…watch how I soar.”
Mal: (watching battle around them in grim satisfaction) “Chickens come home to roost.”
Wash: (flying debris glances off ship’s hull, rattling everyone) “It’s okay…I-I’m a leaf on the wind.”

— Serenity

Jayne: “Cap’n’s right. Can’t be thinkin’ on revenge if we’re gonna get through this.”
Zoe: “Do you really think any of us are gonna get through this?”
Jayne: (looks around, anxious) “Well I might.”

— Serenity

Operative: “Do you really believe that?”
Mal: “I do.”
Operative: “You willing to die for that belief?”
Mal: “I am.” (pulls out his gun and shoots at the Operative repeatedly) “Course, that ain’t exactly Plan A.”

— Serenity

Mal: “Ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. Know what the first rule of flying is? Well I s’pose you do, since you already know what I’m ’bout to say.”
River: “I do. But I like to hear you say it.”
Mal: “Love. Can know all the math in the ‘verse but take a boat in the air that you don’t love? She’ll shake you off just as sure as a turn in the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down…tell you she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens…makes her a home.”

— Serenity

Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment.

— Philip K. Dick

A tyranny based on … deception and maintained by terror must inevitably perish from the poison it generates within itself.

— Albert Einstein

Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion – the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals – the technique of the marketplace.

— Milton Friedman

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.

— Arthur C. Clarke, The Exploration of Space (1951), p. 111

As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.

— Arthur C. Clarke, Voices from the Sky : Previews of the Coming Space Age (1967)

One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of mind. Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

— Arthur C. Clarke

The fact that we have not yet found the slightest evidence for life — much less intelligence — beyond this Earth does not surprise or disappoint me in the least. Our technology must still be laughably primitive, we may be like jungle savages listening for the throbbing of tom-toms while the ether around them carries more words per second than they could utter in a lifetime.

— Arthur C. Clarke

Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.

— Arthur C. Clarke

Every revolutionary idea — in science, politics, art, or whatever — seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases:
(1) “It’s completely impossible — don’t waste my time”;
(2) “It’s possible, but it’s not worth doing”;
(3) “I said it was a good idea all along.”

— Arthur C. Clarke, Clarke’s Law of Revolutionary Ideas

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless or, which is the same thing, corrupt.

— Mohandas Gandhi

The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.

— Ulysses S. Grant

The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.

— Alexander Hamilton

Past studies by and large confirm the prediction that higher minimum wages reduce employment opportunities and raise unemployment, particularly among teenagers, minorities and other low-skilled workers.

— Masanori Hashimoto

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery! Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

— Patrick Henry

I never hurt nobody but myself and that’s nobody’s business but my own.

— Billie Holiday

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

— Thomas Jefferson

It’s no accident that capitalism has brought with it progress, not merely in production but also in knowledge. Egoism and competition are, alas, stronger forces than public spirit and sense of duty.

— Albert Einstein

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

If men are good, you don’t need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don’t dare have one.

— Robert LeFevre

Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.

— Abraham Lincoln

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.

— Mohandas Gandhi

Depressions and mass unemployment are not caused by the free market but by government interference in the economy.

— Ludwig von Mises

It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.

— P.J. O’Rourke

The essential psychological requirement of a free society is the willingness on the part of the individual to accept responsibility for his life.

— Edith Packer

When the government fears the people, it is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny.

— Thomas Paine

The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

— Thomas Jefferson

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

— Ayn Rand

Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.

— Will Rogers

Armed people are free. No state can control those who have the machinery and the will to resist, no mob can take their liberty and property. And no 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out … People who object to weapons aren’t abolishing violence, they’re begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically “right.” Guns ended that, and a social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work

— L. Neil Smith, “The Probability Broach”

Let him who would move the world, first move himself.

— Socrates

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.

— Mohandas Gandhi

That government is best which governs least.

— Henry David Thoreau

In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.

— Mark Twain

I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

— Voltaire

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any body of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.

— Noah Webster

Liberals believe government should take people’s earnings to give to poor people. Conservatives disagree. They think government should confiscate people’s earnings and give them to farmers and insolvent banks. The compelling issue to both conservatives and liberals is not whether it is legitimate for government to confiscate one’s property to give to another, the debate is over the disposition of the pillage.

— Walter Williams

Taking somebody’s money without permission is stealing, unless you work for the IRS; then it’s taxation. Killing people en masse is homicidal mania, unless you work for the Army; then it’s National Defense. Spying on your neighbors is invasion of privacy, unless you work for the FBI; then it’s National Security. Running a whorehouse makes you a pimp and poisoning people makes you a murderer, unless you work for the CIA; then it’s counter-intelligence.

— Robert Anton Wilson

The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, bows, spears, firearms or other types of arms. The possession of these elements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues, and tends to permit uprising.

— Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese Shogun, August 29, 1558

We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within its confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: … an end to the power of the financial interests. We demand profit sharing in big business. We demand a broad extension of care for the aged. We demand … the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of national, state, and municipal governments. In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education … We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents … The government must undertake the improvement of public health – by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor … by the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the physical education of youth. We combat the … materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of the common good before the individual good.

— from the political program of the Nazi Party, adopted in Munich, February 24, 1920

I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.

— George Mason

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

— The Wizard of Oz

t took about 150 years, starting with a Bill of Rights that reserved to the states and the people all powers not explicitly delegated to the federal government, to produce a Supreme Court willing to rule that growing corn to feed to your own hogs is interstate commerce and can therefore be regulated by Congress.

— David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom

First, God created idiots. That was just for practice. Then He created school boards.

— Mark Twain

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

— Edmund Burke

I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my value system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.

— Milton Friedman

One who uses coercion is guilty of deliberate violence. Coercion is inhuman.

— Mohandas Gandhi

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.

— Thomas Jefferson

There comes a time when a moral man can’t obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.

— P.J. O’Rourke

Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.

— Josef V. Stalin

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

— Richard Henry Lee (who drafted the Second Amendment as well as the rest of the Bill of Rights), 1788

The limitation of tyrants is the endurance of those they oppose.

— Frederick Douglass

There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something.

— Thomas Edison

Most economic fallacies derive … from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.

— Milton Friedman, Economic Freedom and Representative Government; 1973

Freedom is essentially a condition of inequality, not equality. It recognizes as a fact of nature the structural differences inherent in man – in temperament, character, and capacity – and it respects those differences. We are not alike and no law can make us so.

— Frank Chodorov

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.

— Ronald Reagan

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.

— H. L. Mencken

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 his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. 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

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

— The Declaration of Independence

Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hangs on the results. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the greatest historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.

— Ludwig von Mises

Not only can no one predict the future, we don’t understand the present – and there isn’t even any certainty about the past.

— Harry Browne

It ain’t so much what a man doesn’t know that causes him so many problems, but what he knows that ain’t so.

— Will Rogers

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

— William Shakesphere

Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.

— Montaigne

I have thought that a man of tolerable abilities may work great changes if he first forms a good plan and makes the execution of that same plan his whole study and business.

— Benjamin Franklin

People never believe in volcanoes until the lava actually overtakes them.

— George Santayana

Lance Armstrong: Hey, aren’t you Peter La Fleur?
Peter La Fleur: Lance Armstrong!
Lance Armstrong: Ya, that’s me. But I’m a big fan of yours.
Peter La Fleur: Really?
Lance Armstrong: Ya, I’ve been watching the dodgeball tournament on the Ocho. ESPN 8. I just can’t get enough of it. Good luck in the tournament. I’m really pulling for you against those jerks from Globo Gym. I think you better hurry up or you’re gonna be late.
Peter La Fleur: Uh, actually I decided to quit… Lance.
Lance Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking of quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying of that’s keeping you from the finals?
Peter La Fleur: Right now it feels a little bit like… shame.
Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn’t anything to regret for the rest of their life. Well good luck to you Peter. I’m sure this decision won’t haunt you forever.

— “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”

Cotton McKnight: I’m being told that Average Joe’s does not have enough players and will be forfeiting the championship match.
Pepper Brooks: It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.

— “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”

For the totalitarian mind, adherence to state propaganda does not suffice: one must display proper enthusiasm while marching in the parade.

— Noam Chomsky

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but the newspapers.

— Thomas Jefferson

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.

— Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.

— Lance Armstrong

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

— Lance Armstrong

Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down.

— Lance Armstrong

Two things scare me. The first is getting hurt. But that’s not nearly as scary as the second, which is losing.

— Lance Armstrong

An armed society is a polite society.

— Robert A. Heinlein

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.

— H.L. Mencken

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.

— George Washington

Public works are not accomplished by the miraculous power of a magic wand. They are paid for by funds taken away from the citizens.

— Ludwig von Mises

Everything government touches turns to crap.

— Ringo Starr

Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Brian: You know , I don’t even know why I agreed to do this show. This is just so not me. I would much rather just be home, listening to my old jazz records.
Brooke: Really? You know , I actually have quite a jazz collection myself.
Brian: Who do you like?
Brooke: DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Brian: Oh.
Brooke: I’m kidding. ( laughing )
Brian: Oh! You got me. You got me, yeah.
Brooke: No, I really like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster… ooh, and early Coltrane, before he got clean.
Brian:Yeah, yeah, no junk, no soul.
Brooke: No kidding. I mean, look at Chevy Chase.

— “Brian the Bachelor”, The Family Guy

A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.

— Hugo Black

I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

— Thomas Jefferson

The era of big government is over.

— Bill Clinton, State of the Union Address, January 23, 1996

A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?

— Cicero

Through an unwieldy combination of big government, big military, big business, big labor and big cities, we have created an unworkable mega-nation which defies central management and control. Not only is the United States too big, but it has also become too authoritarian and too undemocratic, and its states assume too little responsibility for the solution of their own social, economic, and political problems.

— Dr. Thomas Naylor, professor emeritus of economics at Duke University

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

— Edmund Burke

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it.

— Edmund Burke

The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest “functionaire” possesses who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose desecration it depends whether and how I am allowed to live or to work.

— Frederich von Hayek, “The Road to Serfdom”

Of all 36 ways to get out of trouble, the best way is – leave.

— Chinese Proverb

. . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

— Douglas Adams, Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, 1998

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; ‘life’, something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that’s the only explanation we had. The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes ‘On the Origin of Species’. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it’s yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we’re not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn’t read well.

— Douglas Adams, As quoted in Richard Dawkins’ Eulogy for Douglas Adams

The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.

— Douglas Adams, Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, 1998

I wrote an ad for Apple Computer: ‘Macintosh – We might not get everything right, but at least we knew the century was going to end.’

— Douglas Adams

The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate technology, led them into it in the first place.

— Douglas Adams

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.

— Douglas Adams

The simple truth is that interstellar distances will not fit into the human imagination.

— Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

— Douglas Adams, “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”

There is a theory which states that if anybody ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

— Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.

— Arthur Miller

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

— Edmund Burke

A government is not legitimate merely because it exists.

— Jeane J. Kirkpatrick

There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.

— Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”

The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but a swindling futurity on a large scale.

— Thomas Jefferson

I fear for our nation. Nearly half of our people receive some kind of government subsidy. We have grown weak from too much affluence and too little adversity. I fear that soon we will not be able to defend our country from our sure and certain enemies. We have debased our currency to the point that even the most loyal citizen no longer trusts it.

— A Roman Senator in A.D. 63

The one with the primary responsibility to the individual’s future is that individual.

— Dorcas Hardy, Director, Social Security System

We should distinguish at this point between “government” and “state” … A government is the consensual organization by which we adjudicate disputes, defend our rights, and provide for certain common needs … A state on the other hand, is a coercive organization asserting or enjoying a monopoly over the use of physical force in some geographic area and exercising power over its subjects.

— David Boaz

Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice.

— Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”

It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice; I consider the real vice is making losses.

— Winston Churchill

Anyone taken as an individual is tolerably sensible and reasonable – as a member of a crowd, he at once becomes a blockhead.

— Friedrich von Schiller

The real issue is control. The Internet is too widespread to be easily dominated by any single government. By creating a seamless global economic zone, anti-sovereign and unregulatable, the Internet calls into question the very idea of a nation-state.

— John Perry Barlow

Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. Bankruptcies and losses concentrate the mind on prudent behavior.

— Allan H. Meltzer

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

— Henry Ford

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

The standard of living of the common man is higher in those countries which have the greatest number of wealthy entrepreneurs.

— Ludwig von Mises

There are two kinds of people – those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group, there is less competition there.

— Indira Gandhi

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

— Groucho Marx

Men rise from one ambition to another – first they seek to secure themselves from attack, and then they attack others.

— Machiavelli

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as we do when the baby gets hold of a hammer.

— Will Rogers

Those who make peaceful change impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

— John F. Kennedy

Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.

— P.J. O’Rourke

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.

— John Kenneth Galbraith

Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

— Ronald Reagan

I am delighted to be here with you this evening because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like.

— Ann Richards, 1988 keynote address, Democratic National Convention

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

— Mark Twain

Politicians can’t give us anything without depriving us of something else. Government is not a god. Every dime they spend must first be taken from someone else.

— Gary Asmus

Democracies have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.

— James Madison

Citizen participation [is] a device whereby public officials induce nonpublic individuals to act in a way the officials desire.

— Daniel P. Moynihan

If I deny the authority of the State when it presents my tax bill, it will soon take and waste all my property, and so harass me and my children without end. This is hard, this makes it impossible for a man to live honestly, and at the same time comfortably, in outward respects.

— Henry David Thoreau

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

— Thomas Jefferson

The voice of the majority is no proof of justice.

— Johann von Schiller

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood, if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be like tomorrow.

— James Madison, James Madison, Federalist Paper #62

An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

— Benjamin Franklin

Terrorism is a direct response to the crimes our government has committed against foreigners (besides which, the actual terrorists are within our own government)

— Gore Vidal

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.

— Plato, 347 B.C.

Governments need armies to protect them from their enslaved and oppressed subjects.

— Leo Tolstoy

In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.

— Charles de Gaulle

The future inhabitants of [both] the Atlantic and Mississippi states will be our sons. We think we see their happiness in their union, and we wish it. Events may prove otherwise; and if they see their interest in separating why should we take sides? God bless them both, and keep them in union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better.

— Thomas Jefferson

The difference between death and taxes is, death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.

— Will Rogers

Greedy capitalists get money by trade. Good liberals steal it.

— David Friedman

“A well-crafted pepperoni pizza, being necessary to the preservation of a diverse menu, the right of the people to keep and cook tomatoes, shall not be infringed.”

I would ask you to try to argue that this statement says that only pepperoni pizzas can keep and cook tomatoes, and only well-crafted ones at that. This is basically what the so-called states rights people argue with respect to the well-regulated militia, vs. the right to keep and bear arms.

— Bruce Tiemann

The word politics is derived from the words “poly” meaning many and “ticks” meaning blood sucking parasites.

— Anonymous

I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.

— Thomas Jefferson

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.

— Benjamin Harrison

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

— Benjamin Franklin

You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.

— P.J. O’Rourke

Government is not the solution, but rather the cause of our problems.

— Ronald Reagan

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.

— Milton Friedman

There is only one way to kill capitalism – by taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

— Karl Marx

Politicians never accuse you of “greed” for wanting other people’s money – only for wanting to keep your own money.

— Joseph Sobran

Man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

— Ronald Reagan, farewell address, 1/11/89

Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.

— Malayan proverb

Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyrannical and cruel as unlimited despots.

— John Adams 1793

Whatever the issue, let freedom offer us a hundred choices, instead of having government force one answer on everyone.

— Harry Browne

I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution.

— Harry Browne

The free market punishes irresponsibility. Government rewards it.

— Harry Browne

Republicans campaign like Libertarians and govern like Democrats.

— Harry Browne

Government seems to operate on the principle that if even one individual is incapable of using his freedom competently, no one can be allowed to be free.

— Harry Browne

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.

— Albert Camus

A society that puts equality … ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.

— Milton Friedman

Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.

— Sallust

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

— Thomas Sowell

Gun bans don’t disarm criminals, gun bans attract them.

— Walter Mondale

We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans …

— Bill Clinton, USA TODAY, 11 March 1993, page 2A

Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.
Bob Porter: Don’t… don’t care?
Peter Gibbons: It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime; so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?
Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.
Bob Slydell: Eight?
Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled; that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

— Office Space

[talking on the phone] And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…

— Milton Waddams, Office Space

Peter Gibbons: Doesn’t it bother you that you have to get up in the morning and you have to put on a bunch of pieces of flair?
Joanna: Yeah, but I’m not about to go in and start taking money from the register.
Peter Gibbons: Well, maybe you should. You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear.

— Office Space

The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

— John F. Kennedy

In a republican nation whose citizens are to be led by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reasoning becomes of first importance.

— Thomas Jefferson, 1824

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.

— Plato

Patrick Henry did not say, “Give me absolute safety or give me death.”

— John Stossel, ABC News journalist

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

— H.L. Mencken

A caged canary is safe but not free.

— Walter Williams

He who regulates everything by laws, is more likely to arouse vices than reform them.

— Spinoza

I humble myself before God, and there the list ends.

— Sam Houston

It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

— C.S. Lewis