Here are some quotes that will challenge your thinking, help you to realize where this country came from and where it is headed, and help you to become a part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.
It would be a healthy exercise for every politician to look in the mirror every morning and remind himself that he holds office only because, in a two-man race against another mediocrity, a modest majority of those half-informed people who imagined that their votes mattered reckoned that he was the lesser evil. And they weren't too sure about that.
Joseph Sobran, June 18, 1998

The suppression of unnecessary offices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes. These covering our land with officers and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun that process of domiciliary vexation which once entered is scarcely to be restrained from reaching, successively, every article of property and produce.
Thomas Jefferson

Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence...
Clark, Supreme Court, Mapp v Ohio

Implicit in the term 'national defense' is the notion of defending those values and ideals which set this Nation apart... It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties... which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, U.S. Supreme Court, US v Robel

The mushrooming of surveillance has been explained by the sense of panic and crisis felt throughout the government during this period of extremely vocal dissent, large demonstrations, political and campus violence, and what at the time seemed the inauguration of a period of wide- spread anarchy. While officials... suggested that these crises justified the surveillance, they failed to recognize that the rights guaranteed by the constitution are constant and unbending to the temper of the times...
Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, 1973

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt to the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

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. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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

Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured.
Thomas Paine, 1791

The makers of your Constitution sought to protect Americans... They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone - the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men.
Louis D. Brandeis, 1928, Olmstead v US dissent

Apart from constitutional considerations, no-knock laws are bad. If its people are to have a respect for law, a nation must have respectable laws, and no law is respectable if it authorizes officers to act like burglars, and robs the people of the only means they have for determining whether those who seek to invade their habitations violently or by stealth are officers or burglars.
Senator Sam Ervin

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
California Proposition 209, Approved by referendum, November, 1996

When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. But men of intellect will believe anything -- if it appeals to their ego, their vanity, their sense of self-importance.
Vox Clamantis in Deserto, Edward Abbey

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
Vox Clamantis in Deserto, Edward Abbey

All forms of government are pernicious, including good government.
Vox Clamantis in Deserto, Edward Abbey

All power rests on hierarchy: An army is nothing but a well-organized lynch mob.
Vox Clamantis in Deserto, Edward Abbey

The ideal society can be described, quite simply, as that in which no man has the power or means to coerce others.
Vox Clamantis in Deserto, Edward Abbey

Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law.
Vox Clamantis in Deserto, Edward Abbey

You need only 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.
C.A. Beard

If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonal experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.
Henry David Thoreau

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
Henry David Thoreau

Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.
Henry David Thoreau

This American government -- what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.
Henry David Thoreau

The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine.
Henry David Thoreau

Talk about slavery! It is not the peculiar institution of the South. It exists wherever men are bought and sold, wherever a man allows himself to be made a mere thing or a tool, and surrenders his inalienable rights of reason and conscience. Indeed, this slavery is more complete than that which enslaves the body alone. . . . I never yet met with, or heard of, a judge who was not a slave of this kind, and so the finest and most unfailing weapon of injustice. He fetches a slightly higher price than the black men only because he is a more valuable slave.
Henry David Thoreau

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few went to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David Thoreau

If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.
Henry David Thoreau

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Thomas Jefferson

A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation.
Thomas Jefferson

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas Jefferson

We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.
Thomas Jefferson

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.
Thomas Jefferson

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.
Thomas Jefferson

What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson

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

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. . . . It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
Thomas Jefferson

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Thomas Jefferson

There is not a single crowned head in Europe whose talents or merit would entitle him to be elected a vestryman by the people of any parish in America.
Thomas Jefferson

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.
Thomas Jefferson

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

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficient . . . the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
Justice Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court

The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy.

The Privacy Act, if enforced would be a pretty good thing. But the government doesn't like it. Government has an insatiable appetite for power, and it will not stop usurping power unless it is restrained by laws they cannot repeal or nullify. There are mighty few laws they cannot nullify.
Senator Sam Ervin, principal sponsor of the Privacy Act of 1974

Privacy is the penumbra of the Bill of Rights.
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

An internal tax on consumption essentially differs from a tax on visible property because, in the last case, nothing is more requisite than an account of what a man appears to be possessed of, whilst, in the other, it is necessary to know the quantity and quality of the article consumed; and in order to attain that knowledge a severe inquisition must take place... and... extraordinary & dangerous powers must be given to the collectors.
Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury

Rights that depend on the sufferance of the State are of uncertain tenure.
Suzanne LaFollette, 1926

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