President Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to President. Here they are! All 200 of them:

I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.
Albert Einstein
I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, "I want to go too! I want to go too!" And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: "We are all going.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Theodore Roosevelt
Some people want to be bank presidents. Other people want to rob banks.
Richard Ford
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Abraham Lincoln
In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem.
George Carlin
Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
Gore Vidal (Screening History)
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
H.L. Mencken (On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe)
Once a president gets to the White House, the only audience that is left that really matters is history.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had an agreement not to lie to each other.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively.
Jon Stewart
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.
Theodore Roosevelt
Katniss, I don't think President Snow will kill Peeta. If he does, he won't have any way to hurt you." "So, what do you think they'll do to him?" I ask. "Whatever it takes to break you.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
The French have a new president, the British will soon have a new P.M., and we envy them as we endure the endless wait for this small dim man to go back to Texas and resume his life.
Garrison Keillor
Don't blow off another's candle for it won't make yours shine brighter.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
I ascribe to Mark Twain's theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House.
Bill Hicks
In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
Nelson Mandela
He got one of those intelligent phones. Now he's trying to twit the President.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Presidents are selected, not elected.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The bible says no man can take your joy. That means no person can make you live with a negative attitude. No circumstance, no adversity can force you to live in despair. As Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of wheelchair-bound President Franklin D. Roosevelt, often said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write .
John Adams (The Works Of John Adams, Second President Of The United States)
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
Albert Ellis
If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President)
This man was the pope, president, and god of dodging the topic. Too bad for him he was dealing with the queen, holy mother, and empress of seeing through a man’s stream of shit.
Nicole Williams (Crash (Crash, #1))
Most of the mess that is called history comes about because kings and presidents cannot be satisfied with a nice chicken and a good loaf of bread.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
Bran was stripping her futon down to the bare mattress when she entered her apartment. It was sort of like watching the president mowing the White House lawn or taking out the trash.
Patricia Briggs (Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1))
Why did Mother ask you to help me rescue Gelsi?” I asked Leif. “She thought I could assist you in some way. Instead, I had tried to—” “Kill me? You can join the ‘I Want to Kill Yelena Guild.’ I hear they have six members in good standing. Valek is president since he had wanted to kill me twice.
Maria V. Snyder (Magic Study (Study, #2))
Whoever we are here, we might be princesses somewhere else. Or writers. Or scientists. Or presidents. Or whatever the hell we want to be that everyone else says we can't.
Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1))
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Abraham Lincoln (The Gettysburg Address)
Everything we see in the world is the creative work of women.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Ataturk: First President and Founder of the Turkish Republic)
Don't set your goals by what other people deem important.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
If dogs talked, one of them would be president by now. Everybody likes dogs.
Dean Koontz
In the year 2025, the best men don't run for president, they run for their lives. . . .
Stephen King (The Running Man)
If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.
Noam Chomsky
We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe- some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others- some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of men. But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
I can hear President Snow's voice in my head. 'On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the capital, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
There is one way in this country in which all men are created equal—there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is the court.
Harper Lee
I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.
Harry Truman
No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages 1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5. 3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.” 4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank. 5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13. 6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14. 7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15. 8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil. 9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19. 10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961. 11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936. 12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23 13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24 14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record 15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity 16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France 17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28 18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world 19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter 20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind 22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest 23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream." 24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight 26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions. 27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. 28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas 30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger 31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States 32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out. 33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games" 34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out. 35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa. 36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president. 37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels. 38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat". 40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived 41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise 42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out 43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US 44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats 45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Pablo
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. There is no District 12. I am the Mockingjay. I brought down the Capitol. President Snow hates me. He killed my sister. Now I will kill him. And then the Hunger Games will be over....
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
When Obama was elected president, a prisoner said “one black man in the White House doesn’t make up for one million black men in the Big House.
Angela Y. Davis
Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. “Yes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me—Gale, Cressida, the insects—giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. “I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do! And we must fight back!” I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.
Theodore Roosevelt
So the American government lied to the Native Americans for many, many years, and then President Clinton lied about a relationship, and everyone was surprised! A little naïve, I feel!
Eddie Izzard
Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.
Ronald Reagan
One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War'.
Winston S. Churchill
I have come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason, I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me.
Abraham Lincoln
Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it. {Letter to his son and 6th US president, John Quincy Adams, November 13 1816}
John Adams (The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)
What really alarms me about President Bush's 'War on Terrorism' is the grammar. How do you wage war on an abstract noun? How is 'Terrorism' going to surrender? It's well known, in philological circles, that it's very hard for abstract nouns to surrender.
Terry Jones
Who can tell me which president had a cross-eyed wife with a bad case of the uglies?" Chaney asked. "Make sure you get that down," Travis whispered. "I'm gonna need to know that for job interviews.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Executive Vice President? That's a nice way of saying he's someone's corporate bitch.
Jennifer Estep (Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1))
I think people are dazzled by Obama's rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president — which means, in our time, a dangerous president — unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.
Howard Zinn
The joke was that President Bush only declared war when Starbucks was hit. You can mess with the U.N. all you want, but when you start interfering with the right to get caffeinated, someone has to pay.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. -Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1918)
Nelson Mandela
As your mother, I can appreciate that maybe this isn’t your fault, but as the president, all I want is to have the CIA fake your death and ride the dead-kid sympathy into a second term.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.
John Adams (Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife)
We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or where will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for war seem to know who did it or where to look for them. This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed--for anyone, and certainly not for a baffled little creep like George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it off.
Hunter S. Thompson
Only nut cases want to be president. This was true even in high school. Only clearly disturbed people ran for class president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
John Adams (The Works Of John Adams, Second President Of The United States)
Miss Wormwood: Calvin, your test was an absolute disgrace! It's obvious you haven't read any of the material. Our first president was not Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and you ought to be ashamed to have turned in such preposterous answers! Calvin: I just don't test well.
Bill Watterson
Yesterday, the president met with a group he calls the coalition of the willing. Or, as the rest of the world calls them, Britain and Spain
Jon Stewart
I am Preachers little girl. And I'm gonna be just like him when I grow up. I'm gonna have a Fatboy but I want mine to be sparkly and I want a pink helmet with skulls on it. And instead of being the club President, I'm gonna be the club Queen cuz I'm gonna marry the biggest, scariest biker in the whole world and he's gonna let me do whatever I want because he's gonna love me like crazy.
Madeline Sheehan (Undeniable (Undeniable, #1))
And I have no control over which yesterdays I keep and which ones get deleted. This disease will not be bargained with. I can't offer it the names of the US presidents in exchange for the names of my children. I can't give it the names of state capitals and keep the memories of my husband. ...My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I'll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I'll forget it some tomorrow doesn't mean that I didn't live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn't mean that today doesn't matter.
Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
No marshmallows. "I don't believe this! I'm going to write the president of General Mills! Don't they have any quality control?" "I'm sure it's just a fluke" "Doesn't make any difference whether it's a fluke or not. It shouldn't have happened. When a person buys a box of lucky charms he's got expectations
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3))
Prolific irony - For 8 years, the finger on the button that could end the world belonged to a president who couldn't pronounce the word "nuclear.
T. Rafael Cimino (Mid Ocean)
What's great about this country is America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.
Andy Warhol
The President of the Universe holds no real power. His sole purpose is to take attention away from where the power truly exists...
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
It’s clearly a budget. It’s got lots of numbers in it.
George W. Bush
When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were thing like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess. When we were ten, they asked again and we answered - rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we've grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how 'bout this: who the hell knows?! This isn't the time to make hard and fast decisions, its time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love - a lot. Major in philosophy 'cause there's no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent. So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won't have to guess. We'll know. [from the movie]
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It's come to the point where you almost can't run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention." [Shrub Flubs His Dub, The Nation, June 18, 2001]
Molly Ivins
Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash. (Said to President Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner)
Stephen Colbert
Government has no right to hurt a hair on the head of an Atheist for his Opinions. Let him have a care of his Practices. {Letter to his son and future president, John Quincy Adams, 16 June 1816}
John Adams (The Portable John Adams)
You keep the title of 'president' even if you served only one term. The same goes for rapists.
Christy Leigh Stewart
I have no further use for America. I wouldn't go back there if Jesus Christ was President.
Charlie Chaplin
I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5-lb. perch in my lake. (Answering a reporter who asked him to name the best moment of his Presidency.)
George W. Bush
As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days.
Gore Vidal
If you love your country, you must be willing to defend it from fraud, bigotry, and recklessness--even from a president.
DaShanne Stokes
And we must fight back! President Snow says he's sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that? Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
One of the things that therapists do if you are suicidal, like a trick, is ask you about the future. They want to know what your plans are. Do you want to be the president? Do you want to be a rock star? They want to know if you want to live later even if you want to die now.
Albert Borris (Crash Into Me)
I want to be a scientist who studies the ocean when I grow up. I would go out to sea, and scuba dive, and find new things, and National Geographic will hire me.” Sure, Nudge. Probably around the time I become president.
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
When the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However [Dr. Rush] observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice... I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did. {The Anas, February 1, 1800, written shortly after the death of first US president George Washington}
Thomas Jefferson (The Complete Anas of Thomas Jefferson)
Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
The conclusion I have reached is that, above all, dogs are witnesses. They are allowed access to our most private moments. They are there when we think we are alone. Think of what they could tell us. They sit on the laps of presidents. They see acts of love and violence, quarrels and feuds, and the secret play of children. If they could tell us everything they have seen, all of the gaps of our lives would stitch themselves together.
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
Love is a necessity, just as lust is. Two instincts we modern humans have turned into our strongest emotions. Love gives us the desire to bond with a partner long enough to care for our children to an age when they can fend for themselves. Lust gives us the will to want to reproduce in the first place. These instincts are so deeply ingrained in our psyche that even with our advanced brains, they still govern us. We are now, for the most part, intelligent enough to decide who we want to love or have sex with. We can even control whether or not that sex results in offspring, but we can’t just ignore those instincts. From the simplest person to the most powerful kings, queens and presidents, our our lives are still governed by those two emotions.
D.S. Smith (Unparalleled)
A president cannot defend a nation if he is not held accountable to its laws.
DaShanne Stokes
A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.
Rachel Carson (The Sense of Wonder)
President Wilson says a leader must treat public opinion the way a sailor deals with the wind, using it to blow the ship in one direction or another, but never trying to go directly against it.
Ken Follett (Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1))
I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more.
José Mujica
Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled "My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles" when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save humanity, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator, Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge, in the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.
Osho
There were three boys in the doorway, backlit by the evening sun as Neeve had been so many weeks ago. Three sets of shoulders: one square, one built, one wiry. “Sorry that I’m late,” said the boy in front, with the square shoulders. The scent of mint rolled in with him, just as it had in the churchyard. “Will it be a problem?” Blue knew that voice. She reached for the railing of the stairs to keep her balance as President Cell Phone stepped into the hallway. Oh no. Not him. All this time she’d been wondering how Gansey might die and it turned out she was going to strangle him.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
from Bill Clinton speech- People are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power...
Bill Clinton
If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim.
Lyndon B. Johnson
To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
Barack Obama
For me, the most ironic token of [the first human moon landing] is the plaque signed by President Richard M. Nixon that Apollo 11 took to the moon. It reads, ‘We came in peace for all Mankind.’ As the United States was dropping seven and a half megatons of conventional explosives on small nations in Southeast Asia, we congratulated ourselves on our humanity. We would harm no one on a lifeless rock.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Mrs. Landingham, does the President have free time this morning?" "The President has nothing but free time, Toby. Right now he's in the residence eating Cheerios and enjoying Regis and Kathie Lee. Should I get him for you?" "Sarcasm's a disturbing thing coming from a woman of your age, Mrs. Landingham." "What age would that be, Toby?" "Late twenties?" "Atta boy.
Aaron Sorkin
You should have to pass an IQ test before you breed. You have to take a driving test to operate vehicles and an SAT test to get into college. So why don’t you have to take some sort of test before you give birth to children? When I am President, that’s the first rule I will institute.
Marilyn Manson
I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas. Kennedy himself was 9/10ths the way around the clock or he wouldn't have accepted such an enervating and enfeebling job -- meaning President of the United States of America. How can I be concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher?
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
What do Americans know about morality? They don't want their presidents to have penises but they don't mind if their presidents covertly arrange to support the Nicaraguan rebel forces after Congress has restricted such aid; they don't want their presidents to deceive their wives but they don't mind if their presidents deceive Congress- lie to the people and violate the people's constitution!
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
In case you haven't noticed, as the result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war-lovers with appalling powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed. In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as the Nazi's once were. And with good reason. In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanized millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want. Piece of cake. In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanize our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class. Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything. Piece of cake. The O'Reilly Factor. So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called "In These Times." Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic "New York Times" guaranteed there were weapons of destruction there. Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the First World War. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the First World War so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun. Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you? Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people too. I am a veteran of the Second World War and I have to say this is the not the first time I surrendered to a pitiless war machine. My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse." Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas! Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations and made it all their own?
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
It is time we admitted, from kings and presidents on down, that there is no evidence that any of our books was authored by the Creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology. To rely on such a document as the basis for our worldview-however heroic the efforts of redactors- is to repudiate two thousand years of civilizing insights that the human mind has only just begun to inscribe upon itself through secular politics and scientific culture. We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful.
Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
If you voted for a man who said "Grab em by the pussy," you have zero room to claim to protect anyone in bathrooms.
DaShanne Stokes
I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.
Henry Rollins
If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
Ronald Reagan
Only he who has no use for the empire is fit to be entrusted with it.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources--because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.
Lyndon B. Johnson
When a man touches a woman's body, he is not just touching her body. It goes MUCH DEEPER than that for a woman. He is touching parts of her soul-parts as diverse as how she feels about being a grandmother some day, to what is her favorite ice cream, to how much she loves her pet, and to her opinion of how the current President is governing. The man wants a sexual encounter and love is far from his mind; she desires permanence, commitment, safety, and security.
Jim Anderson (Unmasked: Exposing the Cultural Sexual Assault)
I search his eyes for the slightest sign of anything, fear, remorse, anger. But there's only the same look of amusement that ended our last conversation. It's as if he's speaking the words again. "Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other." He's right. We did. The point of my arrow shifts upward. I release the string. And President Coin collapses over the side of the balcony and plunges to the ground. Dead.
Suzanne Collins
If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
Hunter S. Thompson (Where Were You When the Fun Stopped)
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote - where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference - and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish - where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source - where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials - and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all. [Remarks to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12 1960]
John F. Kennedy
Caesar Flickerman asks if the president has a date in mind. "Oh, before we set a date, we better clear it with Katniss's mother," says the president. The audience gives a big laugh and the president puts his arm around me. "Maybe if the whole country puts its mind to it, we can get you married before you're thirty." "You'll probably have to pass a new law," I say with a giggle. "If that's what it takes," says the president with conspiratorial good humor. Oh, the fun we two have together.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Oh my God, not only is he older than the Grand Canyon, but he’s like the pope and the Fae King and the president of the United States all rolled up into one. To some ancient cultures he had been a god. He was going to hurt her so bad before he killed her so dead, and all she could think of was how hot his kiss had been in the dream and how delicate the touch of his finger was as it traced down her body.
Thea Harrison (Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1))
Be a King. Dare to be Different, dare to manifest your greatness.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.
Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom)
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, 'although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,' wrote Orwell, tends to be 'uninterested in what happens in the real world.' Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism 'has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.' A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
A confident woman wears a smile and has this air of comfortability and pleasantness about her.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu
And I know I’ve lost. Everything is lost. Everything is over. “As the newly appointed President of this fair planet of ours,” the Mayor says, holding out his hands as if to show me the world for the first time,” let me be the very first to welcome you to its new capital city.” “Todd?” Viola whispers, her eyes closed. I hold her tightly to me. “I’m sorry,” I whisper to her. “I’m so sorry.” We’ve run right into a trap. We’ve run right off the end of the world. “Welcome,” says the Mayor,” to the New Prentisstown.
Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
WHAT'S WRONG WITH ASSHOLES, BABY? YOU'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE, I'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE! YOU GO TO THE STORE AND BUY A PORTERHOUSE STEAK, THAT HAD AN ASSHOLE! ASSHOLES COVER THE EARTH! IN A WAY TREES HAVE ASSHOLES BUT YOU CAN'T FIND THEM, THEY JUST DROP THEIR LEAVES. YOUR ASSHOLE, MY ASSHOLE, THE WORLD IS FULL OF BILLIONS OF ASSHOLES. THE PRESIDENT HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE CARWASH BOY HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE JUDGE AND THE MURDERER HAVE ASSHOLES . . . EVEN THE PURPLE STICKINPIN HAS AN ASSHOLE!
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Being a reader is sort of like being president, except reading involves fewer state dinners, usually. You have this agenda you want to get through, but you get distracted by life events, e.g., books arriving in the mail/World War III, and you are temporarily deflected from your chosen path.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
[The American President] has to take all sorts of abuse from liars and demagogues.… The people can never understand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make ’em behave. Well, all the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
Harry Truman
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
John F. Kennedy
We will outstretch the hand if you unclench your fist.
Barack Obama
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia. [Epitaph, upon his instructions to erect a 'a plain die or cube ... surmounted by an Obelisk' with 'the following inscription, and not a word more…because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.' It omits that he had been President of the United States, a position of political power and prestige, and celebrates his involvement in the creation of the means of inspiration and instruction by which many human lives have been liberated from oppression and ignorance]
Thomas Jefferson
The truth is not simply what you think it is; it is also the circumstances in which it is said, and to whom, why, and how it is said.
Václav Havel
Men love women who are courageous for it means they can go all the way with him in his pursuit of his good dreams and intentions.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
Patrick Henry
Our country is the best country in the world. We are swimming in prosperity and our President is the best president in the world. We have larger apples and better cotton and faster and more beautiful machines. This makes us the greatest country in the world. Unemployment is a myth. Dissatisfaction is a fable. In preparatory school America is beautiful. It is the gem of the ocean and it is too bad. It is bad because people believe it all. Because they become indifferent. Because they marry and reproduce and vote and they know nothing.
John Cheever
We have nothing but our freedom. We have nothing to give you but your own freedom. We have no law but the single principle of mutual aid between individuals. We have no government but the single principle of free association. We have no states, no nations, no presidents, no premiers, no chiefs, no generals, no bosses, no bankers, no landlords, no wages, no charity, no police, no soldiers, no wars. Nor do we have much else. We are sharers, not owners. We are not prosperous. None of us is rich. None of us is powerful. If it is Anarres you want, if it is the future you seek, then I tell you that you must come to it with empty hands. You must come to it alone, and naked, as the child comes into the world, into his future, without any past, without any property, wholly dependent on other people for his life. You cannot take what you have not given, and you must give yourself. You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
Noam Chomsky
It was an excess of fantasy that killed the old United States, the whole Mickey Mouse and Marilyn thing, the most brilliant technologies devoted to trivia like instant cameras and space spectaculars that should have stayed in the pages of Science Fiction . . . some of the last Presidents of the U.S.A. seemed to have been recruited straight from Disneyland.
J.G. Ballard
Don't die without fulfilling your purpose.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash. (writing about US President Warren G. Harding)
H.L. Mencken
Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. Aristotle speaks plainly to this purpose, saying, 'that the institution of youth should be accommodated to that form of government under which they live; forasmuch as it makes exceedingly for the preservation of the present government, whatsoever it be.
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
Anybody who thinks that 'it doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid war on the other side of the world--or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property--or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons--or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.
Hunter S. Thompson
Women are the only people I am afraid of who I never thought would hurt me
Abraham Lincoln
Facts are threatening to those invested in fraud.
DaShanne Stokes
I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." (Washington DC, 12 May, 2008)
George W. Bush
Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.
Abraham Lincoln
The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions.
George Orwell
a writer must always tell the truth (unless he's a journalist)
Gore Vidal (The American Presidency)
He's a man [George W. Bush] who is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is a man who is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.
Christopher Hitchens
But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest JP court in the land, or this honourable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community.
James A. Garfield
Tam's shadow fell over hers, and he shadow-whispered, "I'm trusting you. I don't care about me, but if something happens to Linh..." 'I promise, we're only trying to help,' Sophie transmitted. Keefe let out a sigh that sounded more like a groan. "And I thought secret Telepath conversations were the worst. Just so we're clear," he told Tam. "I'M the president of the Foster fan club. And we're closed to new members." Tam's cheeks flushed. "Uh...not sure what that's about but...no worries there--no offense!" he told Sophie. She noticed he stole a quick glance at Biana after he said it. Sophie couldn't decide if she should feel relieved or insulted.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
One thing that's clear in the Scriptures is that the nations do not lead people to peace; rather, people lead the nations to peace.
Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May. 2. If you felt belittled when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables” then you should have felt equally concerned when Eric Trump said “Democrats aren’t even human.” 3. When the president of the United States calls women dogs or talks about grabbing pussy, we should get chills down our spine and resistance flowing through our veins. When people call the president of the United States a pig, we should reject that language regardless of our politics and demand discourse that doesn’t make people subhuman. 4. When we hear people referred to as animals or aliens, we should immediately wonder, “Is this an attempt to reduce someone’s humanity so we can get away with hurting them or denying them basic human rights?” 5. If you’re offended by a meme of Trump Photoshopped to look like Hitler, then you shouldn’t have Obama Photoshopped to look like the Joker on your Facebook feed. There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Know ye not that there is here in this world a secret confraternity, which one might call the Company of Melancholiacs? That people there are who by natural constitution have been given a different nature and disposition than the others; that have a larger heart and a swifter blood, that wish and demand more, have stronger desires and a yearning which is wilder and more ardent than that of the common herd. They are fleet as children over whose birth good fairies have presided; their eyes are opened wider; their senses are more subtile in all their perceptions. The gladness and joy of life, they drink with the roots of their heart, the while the others merely grasp them with coarse hands.
Jens Peter Jacobsen
Without knowing why or how, I found myself in love with this strange Wanderess. Maybe I was just in love with the dream she was selling me: a life of destiny and fate; as my own life up until we met had been so void of enchantment. Those things: mystery, fate, enchantment... they are things that young people offer us as soon as we get close to them. And if we're not careful, we can be seduced by, and drawn back into, the youthful world they preside over.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
I remember watching an episode of The West Wing about education in America, which the majority of people rightfully believe is the key to opportunity. In it, the fictional president debates whether he should push school vouchers (giving public money to schoolchildren so that they escape failing public schools) or instead focus exclusively on fixing those same failing schools. That debate is important, of course—for a long time, much of my failing school district qualified for vouchers—but it was striking that in an entire discussion about why poor kids struggled in school, the emphasis rested entirely on public institutions. As a teacher at my old high school told me recently, “They want us to be shepherds to these kids. But no one wants to talk about the fact that many of them are raised by wolves.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Boys are idiots. Girls are idiots, too, of course, but boys are a special kind of idiot. A girl, for instance, will vote for a boy in an election, or go to a movie that's about a boy, or buy a book that features a boy hero (or villain). Boys are much less likely to return the favor. They can't wrap their feeble minds around the idea that this girl might have anything in common with them. It's like they can't recognize girls as human beings.
Josh Lieb (I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President)
The President in particular is very much a figurehead — he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
The marriage of reason and nightmare that dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. Across the communications landscape move the spectres of sinister technologies and the dreams that money can buy. Thermo-nuclear weapons systems and soft-drink commercials coexist in an overlit realm ruled by advertising and pseudo-events, science and pornography. Over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century – sex and paranoia…In a sense, pornography is the most political form of fiction, dealing with how we use and exploit each other, in the most urgent and ruthless way.
J.G. Ballard
The American story has never been about things coming easy. It has been about rising to the moment when the moment is hard. About rejecting panicked division for purposeful unity. About seeing a mountaintop from the deepest valley. That is why we remember that some of the most famous words ever spoken by an American came from a president who took office in a time of turmoil: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Barack Obama
Because the world is so corrupted, misspoken, unstable, exaggerated and unfair, one should trust only what one can experience with one's own senses, and THIS makes the senses stronger in Italy than anywhere in Europe. This is why, Barzini says, Italians will tolerate hideously incompetent generals, presidents, tyrants, professors, bureaucrats, journalists and captain of industry, but will never tolerate incompetent opera singers, conductors, ballerinas, courtesans, actors, film directors, cooks, tailors... In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it." [First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801]
Thomas Jefferson (The Inaugural Speeches and Messages of Thomas Jefferson, Esq.: Late President of the United States: Together with the Inaugural Speech of James Madison, Esq. ...)
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country - bigger than all the Presidents together. We are still too near to his greatness,' (Leo) Tolstoy (in 1908) concluded, 'but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.' (748)
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
I was astonished, bewildered. This was America, a country where, whatever its faults, people could speak, write, assemble, demonstrate without fear. It was in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. We were a democracy... But I knew it wasn't a dream; there was a painful lump on the side of my head... The state and its police were not neutral referees in a society of contending interests. They were on the side of the rich and powerful. Free speech? Try it and the police will be there with their horses, their clubs, their guns, to stop you. From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country--not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root. The situation required not just a new president or new laws, but an uprooting of the old order, the introduction of a new kind of society--cooperative, peaceful, egalitarian.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to AIDS, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air-conditioning, a president who has stood in line at the clinic, at the DMV, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed and laid off and sexually harassed and gaybashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a Black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown. Always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker. Always a liar, always a thief, and never caught.
Zoe Leonard
The most thoroughly and relentlessly damned, banned, excluded, condemned, forbidden, ostracized, ignored, suppressed, repressed, robbed, brutalized and defamed of all 'Damned Things' is the individual human being. The social engineers, statisticians, psychologists, sociologists, market researchers, landlords, bureaucrats, captains of industry, bankers, governors, commissars, kings and presidents are perpetually forcing this 'Damned Thing' into carefully prepared blueprints and perpetually irritated that the 'Damned Thing' will not fit into the slot assigned it. The theologians call it a sinner and try to reform it. The governor calls it a criminal and tries to punish it. The psychologist calls it a neurotic and tries to cure it. Still, the 'Damned Thing' will not fit into their slots.
Robert Anton Wilson
When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
But every time I feel bad, I try to remind myself about what this little kid said to me once. She was loaded with personality-so ugly she was cute. And you knew she knew it too. "Carrie?" she asked. "What if i'm a princess on another planet? And no one on this planet knows it?" That question still kind of blows me away. I mean, isn't it the truth? Whoever we are here, we might be princesses somewhere else. Or writers. Or scientists. Or presidents. Or whatever the hell we want to be that everyone else says we can't.
Candace Bushnell
How do you turn catastrophe into art? Nowadays the process is automatic. A nuclear plant explodes? We'll have a play on the London stage within a year. A President is assissinated? You can have the book or the film or the filmed book or booked film. War? Send in the novelists. A series of gruesome murders? Listen for the tramp of the poets. We have to understand it, of course, this catastrophe; to understand it, we have to imagine it, so we need the imaginative arts. But we also need to justify it and forgive it, this catastrophe, however minimally. Why did it happen, this mad act of Nature, this crazed human moment? Well, at least it produced art. Perhaps, in the end, that's what catastrophe is for.
Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10½ Chapters)
I'm only a housewife, I'm afraid." How often do we hear this shocking admission. I'm afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire.
John Seymour (Forgotten Household Crafts)
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
Barack Obama
The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. IT is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are, like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a good Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as for revealing. At this feast it is he who has spread the board and it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He, we may dare to hope, who sometimes does, and always should, preside. Let us not reckon without our Host.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. --as quoted in THE RIVER OF WINGED DREAMS
Abraham Lincoln
Let my assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities. First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child. Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence. Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments. Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings. Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world.
David O. McKay
There is a significant moral difference between a person who commits a violent crime and a person who tries to cross a border illegally in order to put food on the family table. Such migrants may violate our laws against illicit entry, but if that's all they do they are trespassers, not criminals. They deserve to have their dignity respected.
Madeleine K. Albright (Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership)
That not all men are piggy, only some; that not all men belittle me, only some; that not all men get mad if you won’t let them play Chivalry, only some; that not all men write books in which women are idiots, only most; that not all men pull rank on me, only some; that not all men pinch their secretaries’ asses, only some; that not all men make obscene remarks to me in the street, only some; that not all men make more money than I do, only some; that not all men make more money than all women, only most; that not all men are rapists, only some; that not all men are promiscuous killers, only some; that not all men control Congress, the Presidency, the police, the army, industry, agriculture, law, science, medicine, architecture, and local government, only some. I sat down on the lawn and wept.
Joanna Russ (On Strike Against God)
They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true. I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
Ronald Reagan
Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s. Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation. And that is a vision of America that most of the people in this country cannot and will not abide.
Charles M. Blow
I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I'm right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women and children. There will be no survivors." The shock I've been feeling begins to give way to fury. "I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there's a cease-fire, you're deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do." My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. "This is what they do and we must fight back!" "President Snow says he's sending a message. Well I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?" One of the cameras follows where I point to the planes burning on the roof of a warehouse across from us. "Fire is catching!" I am shouting now, determined he will not miss a word of it, "And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I think we're raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional. We have kids in elementary school who are being urged to take stands on political issues, to write letters to congressmen and presidents about nuclear energy. They're not a decade old, and they're being thrown these kinds of questions that can absorb the lifetime of a very brilliant and learned man. And they're being taught that it's important to have views, and they're not being taught that it's important to know what you're talking about. It's important to hear the opposite viewpoint, and more important to learn how to distinguish why viewpoint A and viewpoint B are different, and which one has the most evidence or logic behind it. They disregard that. They hear something, they hear some rhetoric, and they run with it.
Thomas Sowell
The law presides over things of this world, finally. The world where shadow is shadow and light is light, yin is yin and yang is yang, I'm me and he's him. 'I am me and / He is him/ Autumn eve.' But you don't belong to that world, sonny. The world you belong to is above that or below that." Which is better?" I asked, out of simple curiosity. "Above or below?" It's not that either one is better," he said. After a brief coughing fit, he spat a glob of phlegm onto a tissue and studied it closely before crumpling the tissue and throwing it into a wastebasket. "It's not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness. 'I am he and/ He is me:/ Spring nightfall.' Abandon the self, and there you are.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
I wish that in order to secure his party’s nomination, a presidential candidate would be required to point at the sky and name all the stars; have the periodic table of the elements memorized; rattle off the kings and queens of Spain; define the significance of the Gatling gun; joke around in Latin; interpret the symbolism in seventeenth-century Dutch painting; explain photosynthesis to a six-year-old; recite Emily Dickenson; bake a perfect popover; build a shortwave radio out of a coconut; and know all the words to Hoagy Carmichael’s “Two Sleepy People”, Johnny Cash’s “Five Feet High and Rising”, and “You Got the Silver” by the Rolling Stones...What we need is a president who is at least twelve kinds of nerd, a nerd messiah to come along every four years, acquire the Secret Service code name Poindexter, install a Revenge of the Nerds screen saver on the Oval Office computer, and one by one decrypt our woes.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on its origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic "what your country can do for you" implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, "what you can do for your country" implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshiped and served. He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.
Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom)
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln (The Gettysburg Address)
Whenever we doubt our own ability to achieve, it is worthwile pondering the obstacles that others have overcome. To name a few... *Napoleon overcame his considerable handicap, his tiny stature, to lead his conquering armies across Europe. *Abraham Lincon failed in business aged 31, lost a legislative race and 32, again failed in business at 34, had his sweetheart die when he was 35, had a nervous breakdown at 36, lost congressional races aged 43, 46 and 48, lost a senatorial race at 55, failed in his efforts to become vice president of the U.S.A aged 56 and lost a further senatorial contest at 58. At 60 years of age he was elected president of the U.S.A and is now remembered as one of the great leaders in world history. *Winston Churchill was a poor student with a speech impediment. Not only did he win a Nobel Prize at 24, but he became one of the most inspiring speakers of recent times. It is not where you start that counts, but where you choose to finish.
Andrew Matthews (Being Happy!)
Some folks may be really bummed to find that "God bless America" does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them. For we know that God's blessing will inevitably follow if we are with the poor, the merciful, the hungry, the persecuted, the peacemakers. But sometimes we'd rather have a God who conforms to our logic than conform our logic to the God whose wisdom is a stumbling block to the world of smart bombs and military intelligence.
Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules; only outcomes. What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts. What precipitates acts? Belief. Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind’s mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history's Horroxes, Boerhaaves & Gooses shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the “natural” (oh, weaselly word!) order of things? Why? Because of this:—one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul. For the human species, selfishness is extinction. Is this the doom written within our nature? If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe that leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword. A life spent shaping a world I want Jackson to inherit, not one I fear Jackson shall inherit, this strikes me as a life worth the living.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Father! My father knows the proper way The nation should be run; He tells us children every day Just what should now be done. He knows the way to fix the trusts, He has a simple plan; But if the furnace needs repairs, We have to hire a man. My father, in a day or two Could land big thieves in jail; There's nothing that he cannot do, He knows no word like "fail." "Our confidence" he would restore, Of that there is no doubt; But if there is a chair to mend, We have to send it out. All public questions that arise, He settles on the spot; He waits not till the tumult dies, But grabs it while it's hot. In matters of finance he can Tell Congress what to do; But, O, he finds it hard to meet His bills as they fall due. It almost makes him sick to read The things law-makers say; Why, father's just the man they need, He never goes astray. All wars he'd very quickly end, As fast as I can write it; But when a neighbor starts a fuss, 'Tis mother has to fight it. In conversation father can Do many wondrous things; He's built upon a wiser plan Than presidents or kings. He knows the ins and outs of each And every deep transaction; We look to him for theories, But look to ma for action
Edgar A. Guest
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
Barack Obama
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
You know this girl. Her hair is neither long nor short nor light nor dark. She parts it precisely in the middle. She sits precisely in the middle of the classroom, and when she used to ride the school bus, she sat precisely in the middle of that, too. She joins clubs, but is never the president of them. Sometimes she is the secretary; usually, just a member. When asked, she has been known to paints sets for the school play. She always has a date to the dance, but is never anyone’s first choice. In point of fact, she’s nobody’s first choice for anything. Her best friend became her best friend when another girl moved away. She has a group of girls she eats lunch with every day, but God, how they bore her. Sometimes, when she can’t stand it anymore, she eats in the library instead. Truth be told, she prefers books to people, and the librarian always seems happy to see her. She knows there are other people who have it worse—she isn’t poor or ugly or friendless or teased. Of course, she’s also aware that the reason no one teases is because no one ever notices her. This isn’t to say she doesn’t have qualities. She is pretty, maybe, if anyone would bother to look. And she gets good enough grades. And she doesn’t drink and drive. And she says NO to drugs. And she is always where she says she will be. And she calls when she’s going to be late. And she feels a little, just a little, dead inside. She thinks, You think you know me, but you don’t. She thinks, None of you has any idea about all the things in my heart. She thinks, None of you has any idea how really and truly beautiful I am. She thinks, See me. See me. See me. Sometimes she thinks she will scream. Sometimes she imagines sticking her head in an oven. But she doesn’t. She just writes it all down in her journal and waits. She is waiting for someone to see.
Gabrielle Zevin (Love Is Hell)
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew--or a Quaker--or a Unitarian--or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim- -but tomorrow it may be you--until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril. Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end--where all men and all churches are treated as equal--where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice--where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind--and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood. That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe--a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office. ... This is the kind of America I believe in--and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a "divided loyalty," that we did "not believe in liberty," or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the "freedoms for which our forefathers died.
John F. Kennedy
Draft-dodging is what chicken-hawks do best. Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh (this capon claimed he had a cyst on his fat ass), Newt Gingrich, former Attorney General John Ashcroft—he received seven deferments to teach business education at Southwest Missouri State—pompous Bill O’Reilly, Jeb Bush, hey, throw in John Wayne—they were all draft-dodgers. Not a single one of these mouth-breathing, cowardly, and meretricious buffoons fought for his country. All plumped for deferments. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani? Did not serve. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney? Did not serve in the military. (He served the Mormon Church on a thirty-month mission to France.) Former Senator Fred Thompson? Did not serve. Former President Ronald Reagan? Due to poor eyesight, he served in a noncombat role making movies for the Army in southern California during WWII. He later seems to have confused his role as an actor playing a tail gunner with the real thing. Did Rahm Emanuel serve? Yes, he did during the Gulf War 1991—in the Israeli Army. John Boehner did not serve, not a fucking second. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY? Not a minute! Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MS? Avoided the draft. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-AZ—did not serve. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair John Cornyn, R-TX—did not serve. Former Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair John Ensign, R-NV? Did not serve. Jack Kemp? Dan Quayle? Never served a day. Not an hour. Not an afternoon. These are the jackasses that cherish memorial services and love to salute and adore hearing “Taps.
Alexander Theroux
Even a moment's reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely. That change in feeling and in thinking is combined in the words of a prophet of God in this dispensation. It was Brigham Young, and the year was 1877, and he was speaking at April general conference. He wasn't talking about time or schedules or frustrations with too many demands upon us. Rather, he was trying to teach the members of the Church how to unite themselves in what was called the united order. The Saints were grappling with the question of how property should be distributed if they were to live the celestial law. In his usual direct style, he taught the people that they were having trouble finding solutions because they misunderstood the problem. Particularly, he told them they didn't understand either property or the distribution of wealth. Here is what he said: With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the property which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God's servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it. [JD 18:354] Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital. The early Yankee families in America taught their children and grandchildren some rules about an inheritance. They were always to invest the capital they inherited and live only on part of the earnings. One rule was "Never spend your capital." And those families had confidence the rule would be followed because of an attitude of responsibility toward those who would follow in later generations. It didn't always work, but the hope was that inherited wealth would be felt a trust so important that no descendent would put pleasure ahead of obligation to those who would follow. Now, I can see and hear Brigham Young, who was as flinty a New Englander as the Adams or the Cabots ever hoped to be, as if he were leaning over this pulpit tonight. He would say something like this, with a directness and power I wish I could approach: "Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come. “A Child of Promise”, BYU Speeches, 4 May 1986
Henry B. Eyring
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. 2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times.... 3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger ... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created.... The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States.... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon—when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.
Christopher Hitchens
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)