Respectable and Reprehensible: Quotes for Consideration

“…that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…” -Declaration of Independence


“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.” -Fred Rogers


“A free society is one in which those who are different or unpopular are as safe as those who are not.” -John McAfee


“Thinking doesn’t pay. It just makes you discontented with the things you see around you.” -Robert Heinlein


“We ain’t a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the fucking irony in that.” -ShitMyDadSays


“We are here to change the world, not just to follow rules, earn money and die.” -Keanu Reeves


“It’s not a big deal until you make it a big deal.” -Seth Gecko


“Maybe if we underpaid politicians and overpaid teachers there would be smarter people and less shitty laws.” -Morgan Freeman


“Two percent of the people think. Three percent of the people think they think. Ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.” -George Bernard Shaw


“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it”-Edward Bernays, “Propaganda” 1928


“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” -Proverbs 16:18


“No power granted government goes unabused.”  -Lew Rockwell


“Most experts agree: bombing people makes their children hate you.” -The Internet


“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -Mark Twain


“Without deviation from the norm progress is not possible.” -Frank Zappa


“Re-examine all you’ve been told. Dismiss what insults your soul.” -Walt Whitman


“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” -Verbal Kint 


“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” -attributed to Mark Twain


“Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.” -Edward Bernays, “Propaganda” 1928


“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” -H. L. Mencken


“Mr. Chairman, we have in this Country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the Fed. The Fed has cheated the Government of these United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the Nation’s debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Fed has cost enough money to pay the National debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of these United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Fed and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it. Some people who think that the Federal Reserve Banks United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lender.” -Louis T. McFadden, (R) PA, 1934 


“What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group’s conclusion is ‘no’. The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” -Maurice Strong, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)


“You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.” -George Lucas


“Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense. Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.” -General Douglas MacArthur, 1952


“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within which, opposed to all our great traditions, have gravely weakened the structure and tone of our American way of life.” -General Douglas MacArthur, 1951


“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear—kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor—with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.” General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

COMPARE WITH…

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, exposing the country to greater danger.” Herman Goering, Nuremberg trials, 1948


“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” -Edward Bernays, “Propaganda” 1928


“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” -Douglas Adams


“There is a principle which is a bar to all information, proof against all argument, and which can never fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation.” -attributed to Herbert Spencer


“…all ruling power is, is the willingness and ability to do things the ruled may not, or have been conditioned to believe they cannot do.” -Michael Rivero


“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.” -President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961


“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. -Woodrow Wilson, 1916


“In any situation, the best thing to do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt


“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it…   …And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.” -President John F. Kennedy, addressing the American Newspaper Publisher’s Association, 1961


“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.” -President John F. Kennedy, addressing the American Newspaper Publisher’s Association, 1961


“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.” -John Steinbeck, East of Eden


“Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service…   …War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” -USMC General Smedley Butler, “War is a Racket” 1935


“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” -Mark Twain, 1904


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” -Carl Sagan, “The Demon Haunted World”


“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” -US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld


“In the first place, it is obvious that not only is wealth concentrated in our times but an immense power and despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the hands of a few, who often are not owners but only the trustees and managing directors of invested funds which they administer according to their own arbitrary will and pleasure. This dictatorship is being most forcibly exercised by those who, since they hold the money and completely control it, control credit also and rule the lending of money.” -Pope Pius XI, 1931

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