The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

—Louis D. Brandeis

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

—Benjamin Franklin

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 be destroyed.

—Philip Francis (attr.)

A society remiss in moral restraint must proliferate legal restraints until it self-strangles in laws, bureaucracy, and public debt.

—Ralph Sheffield

When the state is most corrupt, the laws are most multiplied.


We should never create by law what can be accomplished by morality.


We do not need changed programs now so much as changed people.

—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 freedom.

—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 lose.

—Ralph Sheffield

Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned.

—Heinrich Heine

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

—George Washington

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.

—Patrick Henry

This constitution [could]…end in despotism [if] the people become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.

—Benjamin Franklin

Liberty too, must be limited in order to be possessed.

—Edmund Burke

We must be either the servants of duty or the slaves of force.

—Joseph Joubert

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

of darkest


—Ralph Sheffield

Courage is the resistance to fear—the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.

—Mark Twain

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.

—Ralph Sheffield

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.

—Ether 8:19-ff

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.

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Any religion, politics, or purpose needing terror, treachery or seduction to establish it is false to the extent thereof.

—Ralph Sheffield

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.

—Ralph Sheffield

When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.

—John Adams

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.

—James Madison

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.

—John Stuart Mill

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