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Tag Archives: quotations

The Supreme Court, on Nipples <— Dave Barry


Woman protesting with nipple-shaped pasties.

I think we can all agree that this is very important.

We need our highest judicial body to stop this childish bickering and get back to debating the kinds of weighty constitutional issues that have absorbed the court in recent years, such as whether a city can legally force an exotic dancer to cover her entire nipple, or just the part that pokes out.

Dave Barry, Dave Barry is Not Making This Up

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Freedom of Expression, Humor, Politics

 

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Err on the Side of Innocence <— Ben Franklin <— Blackstone


Blackstone’s Ratio, mentioned by Ben Franklin in this quote, identifies why the benefit of the doubt must always be given to the accused, especially if the accusation is really bad.

That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.

Benjamin Franklin, letter to Benjamin Vaughan (1785)

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Politics

 

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Many Laws = Corrupt Government <— Tacitus


When laws are carried out not only for the public good, but also to target and punish, it dos society great harm.

The more numerous the laws,
the more corrupt the government.

Publius Tacitus, Annals (117 AD)
(Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges)

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Philosophy, Politics

 

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Another’s Happiness, Equal to Your Own <— Heinlein


In the later novel, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, a character refers to the earlier book’s comment: “Dr. Harshaw says that ‘the word ‘love’ designates a subjective condition in which the welfare and happiness of another person are essential to one’s own happiness.”

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert Anson Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in People, Philosophy, society

 

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Too Soon? Still Funny <– George Bernard Shaw


“When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth…and take all the fun out of it.”

Life does not cease to be funny when people die

any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

— George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor’s Dilemma (1906)

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Humor, Politics

 

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Government’s Power to Give, is Its Power to Take <– Albert Jay Nock


Gerald Ford's famous paraphrasing of Nock's statement: "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."Address to Congress (08-12-74)

You get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it;
and whatever power you give the State to do things for you carries with it the equivalent power to do things to you.

Albert Jay NockThe Criminality of the State (1939)

(note that the famous version is often misattributed to Jefferson, Goldwater, or Reagan, but is actually from Gerald Ford)

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Politics

 

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I’ll Defend, to the Death, Your Right <– Evelyn Beatrice Hall


Evelyn Beatrice Hall was paraphrasing Voltaire's mindset, not quoting him. The closest he ever came was "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too", in Essay on Tolerance

What a fuss about an omelette!‘ he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that!

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now.

— Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in The Friends of Voltaire, summarizing Voltaire’s defense of a censored book (1906)

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Freedom of Expression, Philosophy, Politics

 

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