Happy Independence Day!

On the anniversary of the United States birth — before we became a corrupt plutocracy (back then we were a corrupt slave owning nation) — we did have some leaders who were inspirational.

Regular readers know that the quote of the day is often filled with terrific gems from some of the most insightful people though history. Its usually somewhere over there ————–>

Today, we have a special “Founding Fathers edition” of our favorite quotes:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.
-John Adams (1735-1826)


“That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
-Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794)

“There! I guess King George will be able to read THAT!
-John Hancock (1737-1793)

“Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter.”
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.
-John Adams (1735-1826)

“While Gen’l Howe with a Large Armament is advancing towards N. York, our Congress resolved to Declare the United Colonies free and Independent States. A Declaration for this Purpose, I expect, will this day pass Congress…It is gone so far that we must now be a free independent State, or a Conquered Country. “
-Abraham Clark (1726-1794)

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance.”
-John Adams (1735-1826)

“Equal and exact justice to all men — freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected, these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us.”
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Various sources . . .

Category: Philosophy, Weekend

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

7 Responses to “QOTD: “Founding Fathers” edition”

  1. ancientone says:

    Somebody ask David Koresh and his Branch Davidians how much bearing arms protected them from the government. This idea is one of the NRA’s fantasies to promote their cause; it doesn’t seem to have much practical use.

  2. CSF says:

    Great quotes, though at least a couple are apocryphal. John Hancock was president of the Continental Congress, and his name was the only one at the bottom of the first couple versions of the Declaration. Most of the other delegates had left Philadelphia after voting in favor of this treasonous document, and it was not until months later that most of them were able to sign the version which now sits at the Smithsonian.

    The good folks at Monticello have searched Jefferson’s documents in vain for the quote about the “right to keep and bear arms… to protect themselves against tyranny.”

    Happy 4th!

  3. diogeron says:

    Priests…dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.
    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

  4. InterestedObserver says:

    Regarding “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”……

    I really wonder what Ben Franklin’s reaction would be to the current NSA kerfuffle. I can’t imagine he’d be on the side of the NSA, but maybe that’s my confirmation bias stirring.

    • rd says:

      Franklin was the first Postmaster General. It would be interesting to see if he actively promoted keeping records of everybody’s mail and reading the mail of people corresponding overseas in order to prevent Loyalists from uprising against the young country.

      Somehow I doubt it.

  5. Blur says:

    “Opines are like arseholes; Everyone hath one”
    -Benjamin Franklin

  6. LauraS says:

    Democracy? It always contained a part that was excluded from the participation on the government decisions. In Athens, it was around 80-90 % of the population. Nowadays, it is approximately 99 %. And guess what? They are happy! There are some who make problems, but the Big Brother is watching them. Long live NSA.

    And even Detroit did not make it into the TOP 10 cities of the future.