Home    Biographies    Add A Quote    About
Go To A Go To B Go To C Go To D Go To E Go To F Go To G Go To H Go To I Go To J Go To K Go To L Go To M Go To N Go To O Go To P Go To Q Go To R Go To S Go To T Go To U Go To V Go To W Go To X Go To Y Go To Z Miscellaneous

Top Left Corner whitespace Top Right Corner
The Letter G Whitespace Gambling Gardening Gender Roles Genealogy Generalship Generosity Genocide Gentility Geography Geology Germany Globalization Glory God Gossip Government Grammar Great Britain Greatest Generation Greatness Greed Gun Control Guns Whitespace Whitespace
Go to Contents
Gambling: A way of getting nothing for something.


It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.


A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.


[T]he British population is universally acknowledged to be the worst-educated of any Western country and, as one commentator wrote, any National Lottery may be construed as a tax on stupidity. In fact, it is as much a tax on hopelessness and impatience as stupidity. The poorest and worst-educated section of the population spends the most, both relatively and absolutely, on lottery tickets. Those who feel that there's no way to escape their predicament through their own efforts are most inclined to resort to the lottery; and every week [. . .] the selection of random numbers fans the embers of hope among innumerable people in despair.

The National Lottery is both a form of gambling and a true tax, by means of which the poor pay for the pleasures of the rich. A committee awards the profits to orchestras, art galleries, dance companies — even a theater group composed of radical feminist ex-prisoners. The largest beneficiary so far has been the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where a heavily subsidized seat can still cost $400. But like all gamblers, lottery ticket buyers think not of where their lost stakes go but of how they will dispose of their winnings.

Theodore Dalrymple

There is no such thing as "social gambling." Either you are there to cut the other bloke's heart out and eat it — or you're a sucker. If you don't like this choice — don't gamble.

Robert A. Heinlein

It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another but which one? Differences are crucial.

Robert A. Heinlein

Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win.

Robert A. Heinlein

I have no idea what is a flower and what isn't. I mean, I can tell what's obviously a flower, but the plants that produce a flower later always confuse me. They all look like weeds. Some of the weeds have caught on to this, and present a small blossom right away — don't kill me, I'm pretty! Here! Pluck me! It's on the house! So I stuck to uprooting filthy dandelions. Their leaves are ugly. Their purply stems offend. Their deep rubbery roots reveal their true characters. I roamed the yard, implement in hand, stabbing the earth and ripping out the interlopers. I heaped the dead like vanquished Orcs, and if I'd had the time I would have impaled the dandelion heads on sticks to warn off their kin.

James Lileks

[Y]esterday I doused the cracks [in the patio stones] with life-killing deathsauce from the fine folks at Dow. I heard Gaia herself weep as her precious weedy children wither and die. Now I'll have to reapply the stuff to make sure the weeds are vanquished. I've given up on the lawn, which looks like a sample book for prairie infestations, but I'll be switched if spurge gets a foothold on my patio. A man has to take a stand, he does.

James Lileks

What do gardeners do when they retire?

Bob Monkhouse

Cleaned the house today, as befits my job as a modern male. Did four loads of laundry, polished the furniture, cleaned the bathrooms, mopped the floor, and vacuumed. My wife was at the office. I was thinking of the roles in my parents' days, and the roles we have today, and I thought: my, we certainly changed things quickly. 4000 years of social roles upended in the span of a generation. Not that I mind: I got to listen to the radio and hum and steal a few minutes to play games, and talk to the dog. I don't know what women were complaining about. Go on, go to the office. I'm happy to stay at home.Of course, I know better. When I was working at home, I loved it, but it did feel isolated. Much better to be downtown. Even on the days where I really don't have to go into the office, I go there. The best part of the day is coming home, and that requires that you leave it. Going down the street to mail a letter doesn't count.

James Lileks

Well, blame the 60s; that's always handy. That's when gender roles began to be redefined — women were now told what they could do, and men were told what they couldn't do. Manliness took on a toxic taint. The ideal of masculinity in the early 70s, when I was growing up, was a guy who cried during a TV movie about a guy who cried because he never saw his father cry. Millions of young men duly learned to cry, emulated Sensitive Men, wept openly in front of women, and discovered that this filled sensible women with a feeling of pity & revulsion. It's one thing to be an unfeeling slab of whiskery disdain; it's another to be sobbing through a box of Kleenex every night because you once saw Dad run over a squirrel by mistake.

James Lileks

When did men become second-class citizens? At what point did our lives become the playthings of any woman we happen to come in contact with? Let me see if I have this straight, if you look at a woman, or heaven forbid, speak to her, she can charge you with sexual harassment. If she goes to bed with you, she can change her mind about it later and charge you with rape. Assuming you checked her I.D. to determine that she is, in fact over the age of consent (although the parents can still charge you with rape if she is over the age of consent, but under the age of majority). If she gets pregnant, no matter what efforts you took to avoid that outcome, she, and she ALONE, decides whether or not the child will be carried to term (subject to change at any point almost up to the point of actual delivery) or aborted. If she aborts, she can sue you for mental anguish (I haven't heard of it yet, but it's coming), and if she delivers, you're on the hook for eighteen years, even if you find out later that it's really not your child. Let us not forget also that the state will decide what you can pay for the privilege of seeing your child on some bullshit schedule decided by the state.

Patrick K. Martin

We are all discovering anew what any ancient bond servant (or Mom, if we'd been listening) could have told us: Keeping house is as unpleasant and filthy as coal mining and the pay's a lot worse.

P.J. O'Rourke

I don't think your thesis is going to stand up in this particular class. Perhaps you should try looking at the larger scales and write something like "Big Trains — Small Penises: An Exploration of the Growing Popularity of Large Scale Model Trains Among Evil-Doing White Men Who Obviously Have No Penises and are Compensating with Big Toys".

Or how about "Symbolic Rape: How Trains Going Into Tunnels On Model Railroads Symbolises Every Man's Wish To Rape and Control".

Or how about "Kill Them All: Why All Men Should Be Put To Death, Starting With The Model Railroaders".

Actually, you can't use that last one — a Toronto newspaper already had that article in its "Lifestyles" section, so you might be accused of plagiarism if you wrote the same sort of thing.

Jonathan Piasecki

Over the past ten years, for the first time, intelligence had become socially correct for girls.

Tom Wolfe

Genealogy (n): An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.

Ambrose Bierce

Battles are won by slaughter and manoevre. The greater the general, the more he contributes in manoevre, the less he demands in slaughter

Winston S. Churchill

An important difference between a military operation and a surgical operation is that the patient is not tied down. But it is a common fault of generalship to assume that he is.

Basil H. Liddell Hart

Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general.

Barbara Tuchman

To learn that Napoleon in 1796 with 20,000 beat combined forces of 30,000 by something called "economy of force" or "operating on interior lines" is a mere waste of time. If you can understand how a young unknown man inspired a half-starved ragged rather Bolshie crowd; how he filled their bellies; how he out-marched, out-witted, out-bluffed, and defeated men who had studied war all their lives and waged it according to the text books of the time, you will have learnt something worth knowing.

Field Marshal A.P. Wavell

There is a curiousity about high rank in the military that has a tendency to turn brain into bone.

Frank Worthington

Generous (adj): Originally, this word meant noble by birth and was rightly applied to a great multitude of persons. It now means noble by nature and is taking a bit of a rest.

Ambrose Bierce

[T]here is a crucial commonality between war and genocide, one not shared with the comparatively negligible lethalities of criminals and the individually insane. Both war and genocide depend, critically, on the habit of killing on orders. Pierson observes, tellingly, that atrocities "are generally initiated by overcontrolled personality types in second-in-command positions, not by undercontrolled personality types."

[. . .] The instinct that facilitated the atrocities at Belsen-Bergen and Treblinka and Dachau was not a red-handed delight in murder, but rather uncritical submission to the orders of alpha males — even when those orders were for horror and death.

Eric S. Raymond

Gentility is what is left over from rich relatives after the money is gone.

John Ciardi

Geographer (n): A chap who can tell you offhand the difference between the outside of the world and the inside.

Ambrose Bierce

Geology (n): The science of the earth's crust to which, doubtless, will be added that of its interior whenever a man shall come up garrulous out of a well. The geological formations of the globe already noted are catalogued thus: The Primary, or lower one, consists of rocks, bones of mired mules, gas-pipes, miner's tools, antique statues minus the nose, Spanish doubloons and ancestors. The Secondary is largely made up of red worms and moles. The Tertiary comprises railway tracks, patent pavements, grass, snakes, mouldy boots, beer bottles, tomato cans, intoxicated citizens, garbage, anarchists, snap-dogs and fools.

Ambrose Bierce

If you've ever hung around English-speaking Germans, you'll notice that they don't know how to say "please" properly. To us, it's a way of acknowledging your right to decide. They seem to think it's like the imprimatur of a federal judge, and that if they say it, it means you have to obey. They'll say, "Come HERE, please!" or "Sit DOWN please!", and the feeling you get is that by "please," they really mean, "Don't make me unholster my Luger."

Steve H.

German is essentially a language developed by a group of Teutons who gathered in the forest one day to come up with a language that their enemies would have no chance of grasping.

Jeff Lowery

Northern German is essentially Dog spoken in a guttural accent.

J. Mallett

What no one seemed to notice was the ever widening gap [. . .] between the government and the people. [. . .] And it became always wider. [. . .] the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting, it provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. [. . .] Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about [. . .] and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated [. . .] by the machinations of the 'national enemies,' without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. [. . .] Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that [. . .] unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' [. . .] must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. [. . .] Each act [. . .] is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' [. . .] And it is not just fear [. . .] that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty. [. . .] And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. [. . .] But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. [. . .] The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. [. . .] You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father [. . .] could never have imagined.

Milton Mayer

The larger the German body, the smaller the German bathing suit and the louder the German voice issuing German demands and German orders to everybody who doesn't speak German. For this, and several other reasons, Germany is known as "the land where Israelis learned their manners".

P.J. O'Rourke

You can always reason with a German. You can always reason with a barnyard animal, too, for all the good it does.

P.J. O'Rourke

Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him until he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with a verb in his mouth.

Mark Twain

When I got to page three, I finally found the verb and for the first time learned what the man was talking about. [On reading a German newspaper]

Mark Twain

A Bavarian is a cross between a man and an Austrian

Otto von Bismarck

The invisible hand of the market has become an informal but uncompromising lawgiver. Globalization demands conformity to the practices of the global leaders, especially to those of the United States. If you do not conform — or innovate — you lose. If you try to quit the game, you lose even more profoundly. The rules of international competition, whether in the economic, cultural, or conventional military fields, grow ever more homogeneous. No government can afford practices that retard development. Yet such practices are often so deeply embedded in tradition, custom, and belief that the state cannot jettison them.

Ralph Peters

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.

Napoleon Bonaparte

If God thought that nudity was okay, we would have been born naked.


"God is Dead!" (signed) Nietzsche
"Nietzsche is Dead." (signed) God (Graffito at UCLA, 1968)


God will forgive me, it's his line of business.


Mammon (n): The god of the world's leading religion. His chief temple is in the holy city of New York.

Ambrose Bierce

Ichor (n): A fluid that serves the gods and goddesses in place of blood.

Ambrose Bierce

Pantheism (n): The doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.

Ambrose Bierce

Piety (n): Reverence for the Supreme Being, based upon His supposed resemblance to man.

Ambrose Bierce

Reverence (n): The spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man.

Ambrose Bierce

Zeus (n): The chief of the Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter, and by modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob, and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance into the interior, have thought that these four names stood for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names.

Ambrose Bierce

All that night God and the Devil fought for my soul while the storm shrieked around me. As morning dawned, God emerged the victor. Now if only I knew which one was God . . .

Aleister Crowley

There are millions of universes looking for Gods, yet he hangs around this one looking for work.

Philip Jose Farmer

I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.

Benjamin Franklin

Everyone has faith in God though everyone does not know it. For everyone has faith in himself and that multiplied to the nth degree is God. The sum total of all that lives is God. We may not be God, but we are of God, even as a little drop of water is of the ocean.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

The most preposterous notion that H. Sapiens ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, shaper and ruler of all the universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest and least productive industry in all history.

Robert A. Heinlein

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent: it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No cheques, please. Cash, and in small bills.

Robert A. Heinlein

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

Robert A. Heinlein

[T]hat's why I'm not an atheist, as much as every single rational fiber of my being tells me I should be: don't know what I don't know. (And I know that for a fact.) I find no more empirical proof of God than my dog finds proof of satellite TV.

James Lileks

God does not give you a golden present to brood over a tarnished past.

Carl Manton

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just, and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money.

H.L. Mencken

It is a curious thing that God learned Greek when he wished to turn author and that he did not learn it better.

Friedrich Nietzsche

In fact, no gods anywhere play chess. They prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight to Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

Terry Pratchett

God (n): A comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh.

Mark Twain

The Believer had better face himself and ask squarely: Do I literally believe "God" has a penis? If the answer is no, then it seems only logical to drop the ridiculous practice of referring to "God" as "He".

Robert Anton Wilson

The objection of the scandalmonger is not that he tells of racy doings, but that he pretends to be indignant about them.

H.L. Mencken

Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth.

Will Rogers

The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.

Will Rogers

Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Lord Acton

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.

Lord Acton

While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill — little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago.

John Adams

To expect self-denial from men, when they have a majority in their favour and consequently the power to gratify themselves, is to disbelieve all history and universal experience.

John Adams

The sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions, it is usurpation and oppression.

Alabama Constitution

A mob is a mob, whether made up of government officials acting under the instructions of the Department of Justice, or of criminals & loafers & the vicious classes. [U.S. Federal Judge on raids in January, 1920 led by Atty. Gen. A. Mitchell Palmer and J. Edgar Hoover]

George W. Anderson

Before they question you. [Graffiti in Toronto, 1986]


Ray's Law of Official Corruption: As governments grow arithmetically, corruption grows exponentially.


A corporation will do things too stupid for a person to do. A government will do things too stupid for a corporation to do. The older and larger a corporation is, the more likely it is to resemble a government.


The economy grows at night — while the government is sleeping. [Latin American joke]


The more the government can do for you, the more it can do TO you.


Government Accuracy: Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.


Government expands to absorb revenue, and then some.


A "government subsidy" is getting just some of your own money back.


Prime Ministers' unemployment policy proceeds in a series of phased withdrawals. First it is to reduce unemployment. Next, to look as if they are reducing unemployment. Then to look as though they are trying to reduce unemployment. Finally to try to look as though they are trying to reduce unemployment. In fact this is the normal progress of most governments.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of Government: "The Prime Minister's recollection of the event is significantly at variance with the Defence Secretarys'."
Translation: "The Defence Secretary is lying in his teeth."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of Government: "Restructure the base from which the statistics are derived without drawing public attention to the fact."
Translation: "Fiddle the figures."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of Government: "The Cabinet was unanimous"
Translation: "The Prime Minister threatened to sack any minister who disagreed with him."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of Government: "To set the record straight" means "To present one's baser actions in a favourable light."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Local government operates on a gentleman's agreement that the officials won't tell how incompetent the Councillors are so long as the Councillors don't tell how idle the officials are.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Most government departments are memorials to dead problems.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Most government policy is simply government practice which no one has bothered to challenge.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The government does not spend money primarily for results. It spends it to demonstrate what it believes in. Most government expenditure is not economic but symbolic.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Office of the Prime Minister: Responsibility without power — the prerogative of the eunuch throughout the ages.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

"Opening up the processes of government" always results in a gratifying increase in the level of secrecy. Once a meeting is opened to the public, the members use it merely as a propaganda platform. The real decisions are then taken in private by smaller groups.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

If every problem should be seen as an opportunity, then government is a series of insoluble opportunities.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of Government: "The passage of time has perhaps clouded his memory."
Translation: "The old fool is gaga!"

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Prime Ministers should never pursue government leaks rigorously because the source nearly always turns out to be a member of the Cabinet.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

In government, a "clarification" is not to make things clear; it is to put you in the clear.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The chief function of junior ministers is to defend government mistakes, make unwelcome announcements, and justify unpopular policies. Good news is always announced by the Secretary of State. Unless the Prime Minister gets there first.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The best argument against a new government policy is to say it is in conflict with the national interest. In fact nearly all government policy can be shown to be in conflict with the national interest.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Any unwelcome defence initiative by the Cabinet can be resisted on strategic grounds. Conclusive strategic arguments can be found for and against anything.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

All government proceedings must be shrouded in the deepest possible secrecy. If this is done, it is then just possible for a man of intelligence and ingenuity to defend the thesis that politics is an honest and honourable profession.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The purpose of most Cabinet papers is to enable the PM to update his colleagues on things they may have missed in the newspapers.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

This common force of government is to do only what individuals have a natural and lawful right to do — to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the equal rights of each person; and to cause justice to reign over us all.

Frederic Bastiat

While we are all under the thumb of authority, authority becomes composed of those who, lacking the courage to stand on their own feet and accept their share of personal responsibility, seek the safety of official positions where they escape the consequences of error and failure. Active, energetic, and progressive persons, instead of leading the rest, are allowed to move only by the grace and favour of that section of the population which from its very nature lacks all the qualities needed to produce the desired results. Authority is the power to say no, which requires little or no ability.

Sir Ernest Benn

Dictator (n): The chief of a nation that prefers the pestilence of despotism to the plague of anarchy.

Ambrose Bierce

Queen (n): A woman by whom the realm is ruled when there is a king, and through whom it is ruled when there is not.

Ambrose Bierce

Prerogative (n): A Sovereign's right to do wrong.

Ambrose Bierce

Senate (n): A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors.

Ambrose Bierce

Referendum (n): A law for submission of proposed legislation to a popular vote to learn the nonsensus of public opinion.

Ambrose Bierce

Monarchial Government (n): Government.

Ambrose Bierce

Executive (n): An officer of the Government, whose duty it is to enforce the wishes of the legislative power until such time as the judicial department shall be pleased to pronounce them invalid and of no effect.

Ambrose Bierce

Capital (n): The seat of misgovernment.

Ambrose Bierce

Rabble (n): In a republic, those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections.

Ambrose Bierce

The marvel of history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.

W.E. Borah

The government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.

William J. Brennan

Any community's arm of force — military, police, security — needs people in it who can do necessary evil, and yet not be made evil by it. To do only the necessary and no more. To constantly question the assumptions, to stop the slide into atrocity.

Lois McMaster Bujold

FBI: Fear-mongering Bureau of Incompetence

Carl Bussjaeger

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.


The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.

Calvin Coolidge

Friedman's Law: Anything done by government will cost at least twice as much as the same thing done by private enterprise.

David Friedman

You can't reduce the deficit with higher taxes. Political rule number one is: government spends what government receives plus as much as it can get away with.

Milton Friedman

Myself, I think the problem with government is that it's every bit as efficient, kind, gentle, and well-run as your typical big business.

Randolph Fritz

To rule is not so much a question of the heavy hand as the firm seat.

Jose Ortega y Gasset

Government can have no more than two legitimate purposes, the suppression of injustice against individuals within the community, and the common defence against external invasion.

William Godwin

Society and government are different in themselves, and have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness. Society is in every state a blessing; government even in its best state but a necessary evil.

William Godwin

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.

Barry Goldwater

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Alexander Hamilton

The government . . . cannot possibly do anything that people can't do for themselves, for the simple reason that people comprise all that is government. Government is manned by the very same persons whose deficiencies are presumed to disappear when combined into a legal structure with bureaucratic, political trappings a process which makes an ordinary person, if anything, less able than before to accomplish things.

F.A. Harper

While every law restricts individual freedom to some extent by altering the means which people may use in the persuit of their aims, under the Rule of Law the government is prevented from stultifying individual efforts by ad hoc action. Within the known rules of the game the individual is free to persue his personal ends and desires, certain that the powers of government will not be used deliberately to frustrate his efforts.

Friedrich A. Hayek

Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let's play that again too. Who decides?

Robert A. Heinlein

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Robert A. Heinlein

In a "mature" society, Civil Servant is semantically equivalent to Civil Master.

Robert A. Heinlein

We hold that what one man cannot morally do, a million men cannot morally do, and government, representing many millions of men, cannot do.

Auberon Herbert

All plans of government, which suppose great reformation in the manner of mankind, are plainly imaginary.

David Hume

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.

Thomas Jefferson

A good government is one "which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread that it has earned."

Thomas Jefferson

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

Thomas Jefferson

Those who bear equally the burdens of government should equally participate of its benefits.

Thomas Jefferson

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.

Thomas Jefferson

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Thomas Jefferson

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

Thomas Jefferson

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

Thomas Jefferson

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

Thomas Jefferson

It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers, but by their distribution that good government is effected.

Thomas Jefferson

The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction.

Thomas Jefferson

It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also. . .

Thomas Jefferson

Evil acts of the past are never rectified by evil acts of the present.

Lyndon B. Johnson

I prefer a small government which may permit some evil to a large government that promotes evil at my expense.

Michael Lee

We, the people, are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts — not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the constitution.

Abraham Lincoln

The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves.

John Locke

The ultimate authority [. . .] resides in the people alone.

James Madison

Congress is a strange place. A man gets up to speak. He says nothing. Nobody listens. Then everybody disagrees.

Boris Marshalov

There aren't any three branches of government. It's all government. And it sucks. [speaking at the 1977 Libertarian national convention.]

John Matonis

A government can never be the impersonal thing described in textbooks. It is simply a group of men like any other. In every 100 of the men composing it there are two who are honest and intelligent, ten obvious scoundrels and 88 poor fish.

H.L. Mencken

Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.

H.L. Mencken

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.

H.L. Mencken

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.

H.L. Mencken

Is government, then, useful and necessary? So is a doctor. But suppose the dear fellow claimed the right, every time he was called in to prescribe for a bellyache or a ringing in the ears, to raid the family silver, use the family toothbrushes, and execute the droit de seigneur upon the housemaid?

H.L. Mencken

Government is a broker in pillage, every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

H.L. Mencken

The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic.

H.L. Mencken

The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power.

John Stuart Mill

Is it just or reasonable, that most voices against the main end of government should enslave the less number that would be free? More just it is, doubtless, if it come to force, that a less number compel a greater to retain, which can be no wrong to them, their liberty, than that a greater number, for the pleasure of their baseness, compel a less most injuriously to be their fellow slaves. They who seek nothing but their own liberty, have always the right to win it, whenever they have the power, be the voices never so numerous that oppose it.

John Milton

"Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
"Be quiet!"
"You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
"Shut up!"
"I mean, if I went around saying I was an emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!"

Monty Python

The State, that is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly, also, it lies, and the lie that creeps from its mouth is this: "I, the State, am the People".

Friedrich Nietzsche

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life; but only a fool trusts either of them.

P.J. O'Rourke

Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.

P.J. O'Rourke

Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.

P.J. O'Rourke

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

P.J. O'Rourke

Government is also boring because in a democracy, government is a matter of majority rule. Now, majority rule is a precious, sacred thing worth dying for. But — like other precious, sacred things, such as the home and family — it's not only worth dying for; it can make you wish you were dead. Imagine if all of life were determined by majotity rule. Every meal would be a pizza. Every pair of pants, even those in a Brooks Brothers suit, would be stone-washed denim. Celebrity diet and exercise books would be the only thing on the shelves at the libary. And — since women are a majority of the population — we'd all be married to Mel Gibson.

P.J. O'Rourke

Government subsidies can be critically analyzed according to a simple principle: You are smarter than the government, so when the government pays you to do something you wouldn't do on your own, it is almost always paying you to do something stupid.

P.J. O'Rourke

Our government gets more than thugs in a protection racket demand, more even than discarded first wives of famous rich men receive in divorce court. Then this government, swollen and arrogant with pelf, goes butting into our business. It checks the amount of tropical oils in our snack foods, tells us what kind of gasoline we can buy for our cars and how fast we can drive them, bosses us around about retirement, education and what's on TV; counts our noses and asks fresh questions about who's still living at home and how many bathrooms we have; decides whether the door to our office or shop should have steps or a wheelchair ramp; decrees the gender and complexion of the people to be hired there; lectures us on safe sex; dictates what we can sniff, smoke, and swallow; and waylays young men, ships them to distant places and tells them to shoot people they don't even know.

P.J. O'Rourke

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.

P.J. O'Rourke

When a private entity does not provide the desired results, it is (certain body parts excepted) done away with. But a public entity gets bigger.

P.J. O'Rourke

When government does, occasionally, work, it works in an elitist fashion. That is, government is most easily manipulated by people who have money and power already. This is why government benefits usually go to people who don't need benefits from government. Government may make some environmental improvements, but these will be improvements for rich bird-watchers. And no one in government will remember that when poor people go bird-watching they do it at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

P.J. O'Rourke

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil: in its worst state, an intolerable one.

Thomas Paine

Popular government is still only a theory, because no one has yet found a government that is popular.

Lawrence J. Peter

to be governed is [. . .], at the slightest sign of resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured.

pierre joseph proudhon

Only with a new ruler do you realize the value of the old.

Burmese Proverb

The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence.

Ayn Rand

A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away.

Ronald Reagan

The best minds are not in government. If they were, business would hire them away.

Ronald Reagan

Regulatory Mousetrap Theory: In making financial plans, always take into account the essence of government regulatory policy, which is: "You build a better mousetrap, and we'll build a bigger mouse."

Robert J. Ringer

The budget is a mythical bean bag. Congress votes mythical bean into it, and then tries to reach in and pull real beans out.

Will Rogers

Under government ownership corruption can flourish just as rankly as under private ownership.

Theodore Roosevelt

You can always rely on government to make the right decision, but only after it has exhausted every other conceivable alternative.

E.S. Savas

According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to . . . first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, so far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice, and thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain . . .

Adam Smith

It is the highest impertinence of kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.

Adam Smith

Princes [. . .] have frequently engaged in many other mercantile projects, and have been willing, like private persons, to mend their fortunes by becoming adventurers in the common branches of trade. They have scarce ever succeeded. The profusion with which the affairs of princes are always managed, renders it almost impossible that they should. The agents of a prince regard the wealth of their master as inexhaustible; are careless at what price they buy; are careless at what price they sell; are careless at what expense they transport his goods from one place to another . . . No two characters seem more inconsistent than those of trader and sovereign.

Adam Smith

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a many who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

Adam Smith

Though the profusion of government must, undoubtedly, have retarded the natural progress of England towards wealth and improvement, it has not been able to stop it.

Adam Smith

[C]ity governments are obsolete as an economic unit or a social form. All things considered, they are deeply damaging to the human spirit. City governments continue to exist only because of federal subsidies, bestowed upon them because they represent a concentration of client-voters. They foster the cancerous growth and abuse of bureaucratic and political power and are an unconscionable waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere — especially if those resources were never collected from taxpayers to being with. City governments ought to be abolished, if only as a public health measure.

L. Neil Smith

[E]very government in the world, just like every government in history, is a kleptocracy — meaning "government by thieves" — and every politician is, first and foremost, a soul-brother to every pickpocket, shoplifter, con-artist, cutpurse, mugger, burglar, and stickup man on the planet.

Government isn't about justice, it isn't about national defense, it isn't about protecting Americans from poverty or a loss of dignity, or pit bulls, or assault rifles, or underarm odor, or secondhand smoke, or crime in general — above all, it isn't about protecting Americans from crime — on the contrary, it's about extracting as high a percentage as possible of the wealth that the productive class creates before the productive class begins to notice that the whole thing is a scam. And before the productive class can begin to do something about it.

L. Neil Smith

From at least the time of [. . .] Abraham Lincoln, and probably long before, America has never been anything to Democrats and Republicans [. . .] but a bottomless reservoir of unearned wealth. The best among them have been educated to regard America's productive class as their property, their serfs. The worst are vampires, of a sort, who think of us as food, and there's nothing they won't destroy, no one they won't kill, to keep it coming.

L. Neil Smith

Governments will do anything — absolutely anything, no matter how violent or morally repulsive it happens to be — to prevent anybody from getting out from under their authoritarian thumb. If you don't shut your mouth, sit up straight, fold your hands, look at them when they're lecturing you, and spit that gum out this minute, they'll kill you.

L. Neil Smith

There is only one principle of public conduct. Do what you think right, and take place and power as an accident. Upon every other plan, office is shabbiness, labour and sorrow.

Sydney Smith

It seems there's no amount of money that Congress can not out-spend.

Thomas Sowell

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit [. . .] Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. [. . .] He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that.

Lysander Spooner

As long as mankind continues to pay 'national debts,' so called — that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for being cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered — so long there will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that money plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them in subjection. But when they refuse any longer to pay for being thus cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered, they will cease to have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers and blood-money loan-mongers for masters.

Lysander Spooner

When problems come to Washington they do not get solved, they get bigger.

Lt. Gen. J. W. Stansberry, USAF

I'm a small-government guy, so my default position on any issue is that, generally speaking, I'm on whichever side the government's not.

Mark Steyn

My objection isn't to the deficit, it's to the big wasteful government programmes that lead to the deficit. If the Dems wanted to balance the budget by cutting the spending, I'd be the first to dance up and down shaking my pom-poms. But they don't. They want to balance the budget by raising taxes, which is no help either way. I think deficits are morally neutral. If I go to the bank and ask them for a loan to buy a house, they'll look kindly on me. If I ask for a loan because I fancy a three-in-a-bed sex romp with two high-class hookers, they'll suggest I wait till I get my Christmas bonus. The portion of the deficit caused by Iraqi reconstruction is analogous to the house loan. Most of the rest — Bush's prescription drug plan for pampered seniors, the mohair subsidy, funding for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland — is analogous to the hooker blow-out. This spending has no plausible claim on the Federal Treasury: it would be objectionable even if Bill Gates personally wrote a cheque to cover the entire deficit. It's the expansion of the state that's wrong. The funding of it is secondary.

Mark Steyn

One of the reasons I'm in favor of small government is because there's hardly anything the government doesn't do worse than anybody else who wants to give it a go. Usually when I make this observation, I'm thinking of, say, Britain's late unlamented nationalized car industry. But when the government of a G7 nation can't run a small marijuana sideline as well as a college student with a window box, that seems to set an entirely new standard for official underperformance. Big government goes to pot, in every sense.

Mark Steyn

Whoever could make two ears of corn [. . .] grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind [. . .] than the whole race of politicians put together.

Jonathan Swift

Epitaph for the Therapeutic State: "Well then, maybe it would be worth mentioning the three periods of history. When man believed that happiness was dependent upon God, he killed for religious reasons. When he believed that happiness was dependent upon the form of government, he killed for political reasons . . .

"After dreams that were too long, true nightmares . . . we arrived at the present period of history. Man woke up, discovered that which he always knew, that happiness is dependent upon health, and began to kill for therapeutic reasons . . .

"When no-one believed any longer in the politicians, it was medicine, with its amazing discoveries, that captured the imagination of the human race. It is medicine that has come to replace both religion and politics in our time."

Thomas Szasz

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

Publius Cornelius Tacitus

How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today ? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.

Henry David Thoreau

Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.

Henry David Thoreau

Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

Henry David Thoreau

If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops.

Kelvin Throop

Surplus order is that excess order imposed not for the benefit of society, but exclusively for the benefit of those who control the state. Surplus order is the antithesis of beneficial or socially necessary order. The regime that imposes surplus order on its suffering citizens deprives itself of the Rousseauian justification for existence.

Alvin & Heidi Toffler

I do not rule Russia; ten thousand clerks do.

Tsar Nicholas I

The Legislature is in session: no man's wallet is safe.

Mark Twain

Govern a country as you would fry a small fish.

Lao Tzu

The only thing that distinguishes the institution of government from any and every other institution is its possession of the police power. It alone has the legal right to incarcerate a person or even take a person's life. Therefore, the more we delegate to our government responsibility for different aspects of our individual and social lives and thereby expand the incidence of police power, the more we move toward a compulsory, authoritarian society and away from a free society. To be truly free we must limit government, i.e., police power, to the administration of justice, and thus provide that social order which is essential to free intercourse.

Miller Upton

A government can no more determine prices than a goose can lay hen's eggs.

Ludwig von Mises

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence-it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.

George Washington

When we demand government efficiency, we should beware of what we're asking for. We're already getting way more government than we need..

John Weissenberger and George Koch

[G]overnment is nothing more and nothing less than other people telling you what to do.

Bill Whittle

[I]n the lexicon of the political class, the word "sacrifice" means that the citizens are supposed to mail even more of their income to Washington so that the political class will not have to sacrifice the pleasure of spending it.

George Will

The essential characteristic of government is its power of coercion.

Walter Williams

As a matter of fact and experience, the more power is divided the more irresponsible it becomes.

Woodrow Wilson

Grammar (n): A system of pitfalls thoughtfully prepared for the feet of the self-made man along the path by which he advances to distinction.

Ambrose Bierce

What really alarms me about President Bush's "war on terrorism" is the grammar. How do you wage war on an abstract noun? It's rather like bombing murder. [. . .] It's hard for abstract nouns to surrender. In fact, it's very hard for abstract nouns to do anything at all of their own volition — even trained philologists can't negotiate with them.

Terry Jones

I have been noticing an interesting phenomenon over the past few years. So many people have "learned" not to misuse the word "me" (Incorrect: My buddy and me did drugs last night. Correct: Me did drugs last night while my buddy watched because he was broke.) to the point that they have abandoned "me" completely and use "I" for everything (That last batch of drugs gave I a bad trip.)

John Kula

[T]he misuse of the pronoun "I" is a blight on the English language. Example: "He sold the drugs to my friend and I last night." There's nothing wrong with saying "He sold the drugs to my friend and me last night," unless of course you're saying it to the cops.

Jim Werbaneth

Negotiating with the French is the bane of a British Government's life. The last time we really got our own way with them was the battle of Waterloo.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it's worked so well?

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Newspapers — who reads them:
The Times is read by the people who run the country.
The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country.
The Guardian is read by the people who think they ought to run the country.
The Morning Star is read by the people who think the country ought to be run by another country.
TheIndependent is read by the people who don't know who runs the country but are sure that they're doing it wrong.
The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country.
The Financial Times is read by the people who own the country.
The Daily Express is read by the people who think the country ought to be run as it used to be run.
The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who still think it is their country.
And the Sun's readers don't care who runs the country providing she has big tits.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

If the people of Britain were really given power, the Lake District would become a giant caravan site, the Royal Opera House would be a Bingo Hall, and the National Theatre would be turned into a carpet sale warehouse. It looks like one already.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

When he has led his country into total economic disaster, the only remaining option for a political leader is to drape himself in the Union Jack.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

[According to a website,] British conversational habits are often constructed around the avoidance of embarrassment. The spectre of shame haunts every colloquy. It casts a dank shadow over the sunniest of interchanges, and the skilled conversant knows how to maneuver around it, ignore it, or acknowledge its inevitable victory and change the subject as soon as possible. When I read that piece (and I'm really not doing it justice here) I thought of my favorite British sitcoms, and how each seemed to have the common theme of mortification. Of being humiliated by an awkward moment. Of the dreadful implications of eye contact.

We don't do silent, flushed social dread very well. We yell and shout and grin and face the day with zip-a-dee-doo-dah on our lips; pained oh-god-kill-me-now interminable silence that follows when someone says something everyone was thinking just isn't comic gold for us.

James Lileks

And by the way, I've about had it with this "greatest generation" malarkey. You people have one stock market crash in 1929, and it takes you a dozen years to go get a job. Then you wait until Germany and Japan have conquered half the world before it occurs to you to get involved in World War II. After that you get surprised by a million Red Chinese in Korea. Where do you put a million Red Chinese so they'll be a surprise? You spend the entire 1950s watching Lawrence Welk and designing tail fins. You come up with the idea for Vietnam. Thanks. And you elect Richard Nixon. The hell with you.

P.J. O'Rourke

Isn't Tom Brokaw's plan to personally fellate every living WWII veteran thanks enough?

Philip Porter

I don't find any correlation between size and greatness.

Woody Allen

He who dies with the most toys, wins!


If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.


The Language of the City: "Undisclosed advance commissions to foreign government officials."
Translation: "Bribery."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of the City: "Placing one's own interpretation on the Finance Act."
Translation: "Tax Fiddles."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The Language of the City: "A short-term unauthorized loan from the company's account which was invested unluckily."

Sir Humphrey Appleby

In financial reports, "Irregularity" means there's been a crime but you can't prove it, and "Malpractice" means there's been a crime and you can prove it.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Ignorance and stupidity are essential skills in finance: When your partners are arrested you can always appear as a decent chap who was shamefully deceived by a lot of rotters.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

The chaps in the City don't mind people being crooks. What they mind is people finding out that people are crooks. Worst of all is people finding out that people knew that people were crooks.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

If you find that someone you're involved with in the City is a crook, you're in an impossible position: if you blow the whistle you lose all your money, and if you don't you're an accomplice.

Sir Humphrey Appleby

Reason (n): Propensitate of prejudice.

Ambrose Bierce

Tenacity (n): A certain quality of the human hand in its relation to the coin of the realm. It attains its highest development in the hand of authority and is considered a serviceable equipment for a career in politics.

Ambrose Bierce

Reason (vi): To weigh probabilities in the scales of desire.

Ambrose Bierce

Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. [12:15]

St. Luke

Refrain from covetousness and thy estate shall prosper.


If you think chasing filthy lucre makes you venal and reptilian, just wait till you meet the kind of person who would rather legislate themselves into honey than work for it.

Bill Whittle

That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms . . .

Samuel Adams

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicide, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.

Cesare Beccaria

Even liberal law professors have recently begun to concede. . .with embarrassment. . .that the Second Amendment actually does guarantee the people's right to own guns.

James Bovard

Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.

Sarah Brady, Chair, Handgun Control, Inc.

As for registration of guns I draw this line: If it is self-propelled or needs a trailer hitch to tow it, we must regulate it.

Patrick Buchanan

(Addressing the commemoration of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, 1995-07-14, Washington, DC)
In this changing, complex and exciting world with exploding expectations, we need to find some common ground. We need people and ideas to turn to bind us, and Mahatma Gandhi with his message of oneness for mankind is one of them.

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest. (Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446)

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American . . . The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

Tenche Coxe

If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.

The Dalai Lama

If the existing assault weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another [in] reducing death and injury.

Tom Diaz

If a gun bill will pass because of the politics of the situation, you must see to it that its burdens are imposed upon a man because of a criminal background and not because he is an ordinary citizen and perhaps poor.

General James H. Doolittle

Finding # 5 — The Commission determined that stolen weapons are more likely to be used in crime than legitimately purchased weapons and thus the use of stolen weapons poses a significantly greater threat to safety of the citizens of Florida.

Florida Assault Weapons Commission

Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins.

Sammy "The Bull" Gravano

No matter how one approaches the figures, one is forced to the rather startling conclusion that the use of firearms in crime was very much less when there were no controls of any sort . . . Half a century of strict controls on pistols has ended, perversely, with a far greater use of this class of weapon in crime than ever before.

C. Greenwood


The number of firearms required to satisfy the crime market is small, and these are supplied no matter what controls are instituted. Controls have had serious effects on legitimate users of firearms, but there is no case, either in the history of this country or in the experience of other countries in which controls can be shown to have restricted the flow of weapons to criminals, or in any way reduced crime.

West Yorkshire Constabulary, writing in "Police Review," Britain, following a six-month investigation into the real, as opposed to theoretical, effects of "gun control."

Chief Inspector Colin Greenwood

The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.

Alexander Hamilton

I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals . . . I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.

Robert A. Heinlein

Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such — gun — laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist.

Robert A. Heinlein

Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?

Patrick Henry

Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA — ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.

Heinrich Himmler

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their downfall.

Adolf Hitler

The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them. The government is administered by the representatives of the people, voluntarily and freely chosen. Under these circumstances, should any one attempt to establish their own system, in prejudice of the rest, they would be universally detested and opposed, and easily frustrated. This is the principle which secures religious liberty most firmly.

Zachariah Johnson

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.

Richard Henry Lee

A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.

V.I. Lenin

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation . . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far asthe public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

James Madison

To disarm the people — that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.

George Mason

I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers.

Allan Rock

We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest . . . So then we'll have to start working again to strengthen the law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time . . . The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of guns being produced and sold inthis country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of *all* handguns and *all* handgun ammunition — except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal.

Pete Shields, Chairman Emeritus, Handgun Control, Inc.

. . . the Communist government has had gun control for years. Guns control everything!

Yakov Smirnoff

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talkin' real money. More to the point, as there's only 30 million of us, you're talkin' our money. So far the gun registry has managed to register three million guns for $700-million. That's $233.33 per gun. Given that many of those guns are old and rusty, it's not an unreasonable presumption that the gun registry's already cost more than the guns. Which is pretty expensive for what was supposed to be a cheap way for the Liberal government to demonstrate its ideological bona fides to those who deplore the coast-to-coast "culture of male violence" as revealed by one crazy Algerian-Canadian son of a Muslim spousal-abuser . . .

Mark Steyn

It is safe to predict that passage of C-68 is not the end of the conflict, but the beginning of a wider conflict between government and some of its heretofore most compulsively law abiding citizens.

The Mackenzie Institute

The states cannot, even laying the Constitutional provision out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to general government.

U.S. Supreme Court

The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense . . . And . . . these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.

U.S. Supreme Court

The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner. [Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary]

US Senate

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.

Noah Webster

The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military. The hired servants of our rulers. Only the government and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.

Edward Abbey

They want to take your guns because they have plans for you that they know you would resist with violence.


Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

Tenche Cox

Americans may like guns because they were reminiscent of the smell of outdoors, military heroism, the intensity of the hunt or merely because they are fascinated by the finely machined metal parts. Maybe the origin of a gun speaks of history; maybe the gun makes a man's home seem to him less vulnerable; maybe these feelings are more justified in the country than in the city; but, above all, many of us believe that these feelings are a man's own business and need not be judged by the department of the Treasury of the Department of Justice.

Samuel Cummings

A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.

Sigmund Freud

There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men.

Robert A. Heinlein

"No, she's absolutely right," said Zeb, patting the enormous pistol at his hip. "This is a penis substitute. After all, if I could kill at a range of thirty meters with my penis, I wouldn't need to carry this thing around, now would I?"

Robert A. Heinlein

The great object is that every man be armed and everyone who is able may have a gun.

Patrick Henry

The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but historically has proved to be always possible.

Hubert H. Humphrey

False is the idea of utility . . . that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction (of liberty). The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . such laws serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. 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

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.

Thomas Jefferson

Americans have a right and advantage of being armed — unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

James Madison

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.

James Madison

If guns are outlawed, what will we shoot liberals with?

Sam Midkiff

Be sure to drink before hunting to give the animals a sporting chance to see some humans killed.

P.J. O'Rourke

The pistol is not a weapon; it is an impertinence. If two men are to kill one another, they should do so face-to-face, not from a distance, like vile highwaymen.

Arturo Perez-Reverte

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Amendment

The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner. (Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, Second Session (February 1982))

Subcommittee on the Constitution

Canada has vastly lower rates of handgun ownership [than the United States]. Long gun ownership is much closer, but, statistically, Canadians are slightly more murderous than Americans in this sphere: in the US, there are 1.7 homicides per 100,000 long guns; in Canada, it's 1.9. So British visitors to North America should be aware they're more likely to be killed by a homicidal Canadian rifleman than an American one. On the overall murder rate, if [Michael] Moore's interested in "cultural differences", it seems odd that he should avoid the most obvious one: Alberta Report's Colby Cosh, a braver man than I, points out that black Americans are 13% of the US population but commit over half the murders. Once you factor those out, non-black Americans murder at about the same rate as Canadians.

Mark Steyn

It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law.

Malcolm X

Bottom Left Corner whitespace Bottom Right Corner
Go To A Go To B Go To C Go To D Go To E Go To F Go To G Go To H Go To I Go To J Go To K Go To L Go To M Go To N Go To O Go To P Go To Q Go To R Go To S Go To T Go To U Go To V Go To W Go To X Go To Y Go To Z Miscellaneous
Bottom Left Corner whitespace Bottom Right Corner