The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious
encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but
—Louis D. Brandeis
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a
little temporary safety deserve neither liberty
Continual dripping wears away stone.
We owe it to our ancestors to preserve entire those
rights, which they have delivered to our care;
we owe it to our posterity not to suffer their dearest inheritance to
—Philip Francis (attr.)
A society remiss in moral restraint must proliferate
legal restraints until it self-strangles in laws,
bureaucracy, and public debt.
When the state is most corrupt, the laws are most
We should never create by law what can be accomplished
We do not need changed programs now so much as changed
—Ezra Taft Benson
The worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of
the individuals comprising it.
—John Stuart Mill
Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable
condition, of nearly every other form of
—Benjamin N. Cardozo
“In the beginning was the word…” Our world is shaped by
the power of words. Great pivotal
movements, both good and evil—religious, political, social—have begun
in words. The tenets of
Jesus, Lincoln, and Gandhi, for example, have enhanced human welfare
beyond measure, while
the vituperations of Hitler, Marx, and bin Laden have brought torrents
of hatred and nauseating
savagery upon mankind.
When Lincoln was introduced to Harriet
Beecher Stowe, he quipped, “So you’re the little
lady who started the big war.” Indeed, her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin,
added unquestioned impetus to the national effort to eradicate
slavery—as the searing spark of John Brown’s sense
of justice swelled to a blaze of national indignation, and hundreds of
thousands laid down
their lives that others might share in liberty.
From the day when medieval troubadours
dispensed news and entertainment to this day
of instant replays, the importance of “the media” has not
diminished—nor from the Inquisition to
the Rushdie death plot have sinister forces ceased to interfere.
Journalism, now more than ever,
needs honest, wise and courageous people to serve the truth with
accuracy, fairness and appeal. It
they do this, good people will sustain them. If not, the compounding
crises of the times, the
burgeoning of technology with its sizzling impact on the public mind,
the increase of lewd,
sensational, violent and banalizing trends in the media, the
self-serving disclosure of state secrets
by an unprincipled few (and the resulting ominous harvest of gratuitous
espionage reaped by the
opportunistic enemies of freedom), and the crass, systemic political
bias of the many could
provoke legal strictures upon a profession that flourishes best in a
latitude of self-determination.
Let Americans, and news personnel in particular, contemplate in their
very bones—to abuse is to
Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned.
Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins
of liberty abused to licentiousness.
No nation can remain free unless its people cherish
their freedoms, understand the
responsibilities they entail, and nurture the will to preserve them.
—John F. Kennedy
Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people
forget God that tyrants forge their
chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is
incompatible with freedom.
This constitution [could]…end in despotism [if] the
people become so corrupted as to need
despotic government, being incapable of any other.
Liberty too, must be limited in order to be possessed.
We must be either the servants of duty or the slaves of
Fools conceive themselves to be more clever than the
eternal laws. They snatch goods from
nature’s store, and run. And one by one they all come back to pay—in
tears, in agony, in despair,
as fools before them have paid.
—Dr. Frank Crane
The hallowed flame of conscience unattended
wastes its wearied light as dying embers flicker
into ash; moral will cowering, slumps
in chains of vice; life’s sun spent
surrendering its height, careens
in brazen gambols on edge
of the adamant crypt
Courage is the resistance to fear—the mastery of fear,
not the absence of fear.
Gangs—groups of cowards afraid to face life like others!
Seldom do men sink lower than
organized crime—its brutality, depravity of conscience, cannibal
selfishness and perversion of
human faculty—damning their own souls and those who romanticize it. No
nation can survive
that fails to eradicate a moral disease so malignant.
The Lord worketh not in secret combinations. Whatsoever
nation shall uphold such shall be
destroyed. Wherefore suffer not that these murderous combinations shall
get above you, for they
are built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies.
Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell.
—2 Nephi 9:34
Violence does not and cannot exist by itself; it is
invariably intertwined with the lie.
Any religion, politics, or purpose needing terror,
treachery or seduction to establish it is false to
the extent thereof.
If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.
The terrorist, rampaging sacred demarcations of courage
into beastliness, of justice to vendetta, is
imbued of Satan, thus seeing evil everywhere, caring nothing for
sufferings of innocent
humanity—as his own humanity lies slain in an inward hail of lies and
moral non-sequiturs. If
there be further depths of obliquity, he delves them assuming the mask
of civility, the pose of
urbaneness, propagandizing evil with no more conscience than a grunting
boar slashing the
children of a village.
When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men
burn and bomb, good men must build
—Martin Luther King Jr.
The essence of a free government consists in an
effectual control of rivalries.
A faction [is] a number of citizens, whether a majority
or minority…actuated by some common
impulse or interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the
permanent and aggregate
interests of the community.
He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little
—John Stuart Mill