www.halley.cc[ ed halley ]

Quotations and Inspirations

On Politics

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

--Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759


Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

--William Pitt, 1783


In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

  • The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.
  • The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.
  • The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants--everywhere in the world.
  • The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression gainst any neighbor--anywhere in the world.

--Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Congress, 6 January 1941


To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.

--Thomas Jefferson, Bill for Religious Freedom, 1779

The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.

--Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800

No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced [in the elementary schools] inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.

--Thomas Jefferson, Elementary School Act, 1817


There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statue or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

--Robert Heinlein, Life Line, 1939

On Computing

The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.

--Edsgar W. Dijkstra

The opinions expressed on my private web pages are not those of any other individual or organization.
Contact Ed Halley by email at ed@halley.cc.
Prose, Artwork, Designs 1996-2003 Ed Halley
All Rights Reserved