"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?"
-- Thomas Jefferson
"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."
-- Charles A. Beard
"In 1945, corporations paid 50 percent of all federal tax revenues. Today they pay 7 percent. The government is borrowing money from the people it should be taxing - a major reason for the huge deficits."
-- Michael Parenti
"While public school history courses in the United States stress the horrors of the German Nazi murder of 6 million Jews and Josef Stalin's pogroms against racial minorities and political dissidents in the Soviet Union, the facts that the U.S. Army's solution to the 'Indian Problem' was the prototype for the Nazi 'Final Solution' to the 'Jewish Problem' and that the North American Indian Reservation was the model for the twentieth century gulag and concentration camp, are conveniently overlooked."
-- Jonathan Ott
"1935 will go down in history! For the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead in the future!"
-- Adolf Hitler
"It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty...to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
--John Adams, 1771
"[Y]ou have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt you will pay that respect which is due to the opinion of the court; for as, on the one hand, it is presumed that juries are the best judges of facts, it is, on the other hand, presumable that the court are the best judges of law. But still both objects are lawfully within your power of decision."
--U.S. Chief Justice John Jay, instructing jury in Georgia v Brailsford, 1794
"For more than six hundred years -- that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215
-- there has been no clearer principle of English or American
constitutional law, than that: in criminal cases, it is not only the
right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law,
and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also
their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the
justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid that are, in their
opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating,
or resisting the execution of such laws.
Unless such be the right and duty of jurors, it is plain that, instead
of juries being a "palladium of liberty" --a barrier against the
tyranny and oppression of the government-- they are really mere tools
in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression
it may desire to have executed."
-- Lysander Spooner, 1852
"The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress
to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience;
or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable
citizens, from keeping their own arms."
-- Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S.
Constitution ratification convention, 1788
The Constitution preserves "the advantage of being armed which Americans
possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the
governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
-- James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46.
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they
are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America
cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the
people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular
troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A
military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but
such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will
possess the power."
-- Noah Webster, An Examination of The Leading Principles of the
Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787.
"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it."
-- Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of New York, 1998.
"As prisoners become sources of profit for the State, we can guarantee one thing: there will be more of them."
-- James S. Lawrence, The Injustice Line, 1996.