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Quotes of the day: Thomas Jefferson

Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 9:30 PM EDT
Apr 12 2014

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was a spokesman for democracy, embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of man with worldwide influence. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Christian creeds and doctrines, the clergy's own fatal inventions, through all the ages has made of Christendom a slaughterhouse, and divided it into sects of inextinguishable hatred for one another.

Compulsion in religion is distinguished peculiarly from compulsion in every other thing. I may grow rich by an art I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment: but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor.

Delay is preferable to error.

Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.

Do not be too severe upon the errors of the people, but reclaim them by enlightening them.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Experience has already shown that the impeachment the Constitution has provided is not even a scarecrow.

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without a rebellion.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it.

I have not observed men's honesty to increase with their riches.

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

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

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

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

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

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

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

If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should all want bread.

In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Information is the currency of democracy.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

It is as useless to argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason as to administer medication to the dead.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is not by the consolidation, or concentration, of powers, but by their distribution that good government is effected.

It is part of the American character to consider nothing desperate.

Merchants have no country.

No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.

On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.

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

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

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human.

Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember it, turn to a dictionary. It produces great praise to a lady to spell well.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

The art of governing consists simply of being honest, exercising common sense, following principle, and doing what is right and just.

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

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehood and errors.

The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.

The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do.

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

The possession of facts is knowledge, the use of them is wisdom.

The second office in the government is honorable and easy; the first is but a splendid misery.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.

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

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

The way to silence religious disputes is to take no notice of them.

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

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

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

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.

We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.

We must be contented to amuse, when we cannot inform.

We should consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.

Were armies to be raised whenever a speck of war is visible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would have been exhausted on dangers which have never happened, instead of being reserved for what is really to take place.

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.

When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

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

Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Thomas Jefferson


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Quotes of the day: Tom Clancy

Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 10:03 AM EDT
Apr 12 2014

Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 - October 1, 2013) was an American novelist and historian best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, and for video games that bear his name for licensing and promotional purposes. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


America is a country with a First Amendment, and you're allowed to publish just about anything you want, as long as it's not real secret information. Of course, nobody really does that except for, you know, you guys in the media.

America is the most inventive country in the world because everybody has access to information.

Beware the fury of a patient man.

Courage is being the only one who knows how terrified you are.

Fighting wars is not so much about killing people as it is about finding things out. The more you know, the more likely you are to win a battle.

Helicopters don't fly, they vibrate so badly the ground rejects them.

I've been telling people for 12 years that if you want to get a nuclear device into the United States, just bring it through the port of Miami disguised as cocaine.

I've made up stuff that's turned out to be real, that's the spooky part.

It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.

Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.

Look, technology is another word for tool. There was a time when nails were high-tech. There was a time when people had to be told how to use a telephone. We got past that. Technology is just a tool. People use tools to improve their lives.

Man is a creature of hope and invention, both of which believe the idea that things cannot be changed.

Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?

Remember, for every shot you fire, someone, somewhere, is making money.

Success will ruin your life.

That's the ultimate pornography... There's nothing more pornographic than glorifying war.

The army recognized early on that, you know, black people are pretty much the same as white people, they just tend to be a little bit darker. They make just as good soldiers.

The good old days are now. OK? The human condition today is better than it's ever been, and technology is one of the reasons for that.

The thing you have to understand about fighter pilots is they never quite grow past the stage of little boys buzzing past girls on their bicycles.

There are people in government who don't want other people to know what they know. It's just another example of elitism. And I spit on elitism. Show me an elitist, and I'll show you a loser.

There's two kinds of people in the world, the ones who need to be told and the ones who figure it out all by themselves.

Things rarely happen for a single reason. Even the cleverest and most skilled manipulators recognize that their real art lies in making use of that which they cannot predict.

Victory comes only to those prepared to make it, and take it.

Wars are begun by frightened men.

What do I know about sex? I'm a married man.

What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It's not good at much else.

Whenever somebody comes up with a good idea, there's somebody else who has never had a good idea in his life who stands up and says, 'Oh, you can't do that...'

You'd better not kick a tiger in the ass unless you have a plan for dealing with his teeth.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Tom Clancy


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