Independence Day With Ethics Alarms 4…Ethics Quotes By Americans To Preserve And Revere

“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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, edited, ratified and signed by him,  Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton, William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, John Hancock, Samuel Chase William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Benjamin Harrison Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark, Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkin,  William Ellery, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott, and Matthew Thornton.

“It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence now and independence forever. “

—-Daniel Webster, U.S. politician and orator

“Liberty is the soul’s right to breathe, and when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girdled too tight.”

—-Henry Ward Beecher,minister and abolitionist.

“When we were the political slaves of King George, and wanted to be free, we called the maxim that “all men are created equal” a self evident truth; but now when we have grown fat, and have lost all dread of being slaves ourselves, we have become so greedy to be masters that we call the same maxim “a self evident lie” The fourth of July has not quite dwindled away; it is still a great day–for burning fire-crackers!!!”

—-Abraham Lincoln

“Without an unfettered press, without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense – the sheerest mockery. If the press is not free; if speech is not independent and untrammeled; if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.”

—- Senator William Borah (R-ID), 1917

 “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

—-George Orwell

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

—- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

“The Republic may not give wealth or happiness, she has not promised these. It is the freedom to pursue these, not their realization, which the Declaration of Independence claims.”

—-Andrew Carnegie, American industrialist

“The freedom of America is the freedom to live your own life and take your own chances.”

—Thomas Sowell, scholar and social scientist

“Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.

Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.”

—–John Phillip Sousa, “The Stars and Stripes Forever”

“Democracy is like sex. When it is good, it is very very good. And when its is bad, it is still pretty good.


“The real democratic American idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance.”

—-Henry Ward Beecher, American preacher

“Democracy is moral before it is political.”

—- Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice

“The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself…always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by adversity.”

—-  Jimmy  Carter, President, philanthropist

“A constitutional democracy like ours is perhaps the most difficult of man’s social arrangements to manage successfully. Our scheme of society is more dependent than any other form of government on knowledge and wisdom and self-discipline for the achievement of its aims. For our democracy implies the reign of reason on the most extensive scale. The Founders of this Nation were not imbued with the modern cynicism that the only thing that history teaches is that it teaches nothing. They acted on the conviction that the experience of man sheds a good deal of light on his nature. It sheds a good deal of light not merely on the need for effective power if a society is to be at once cohesive and civilized, but also on the need for limitations on the power of governors over the governed.”

—- Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice

“In contrast to totalitarianism, democracy can face and live with the truth about itself.”

—-Sidney Hook, American philosopher and historian

“America’s experiment with government of the people, by the people, and for the people depends not only on constitutional structure and organization but also on the commitment, person to person, that we make to each other.”

—-Robert Hutchins, Dean of Yale Law School, later president and chancellor of the University of Chicago

“Of the many things we have done to democracy in the past, the worst has been the indignity of taking it for granted.”

Max Lerner, journalist

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

—-Abraham  Lincoln

“We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people — the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.”

—-Herman Melville, novelist

“What are the maxims of Democracy? A strict observance of justice and public faith, and a steady adherence to virtue.”

—- John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

“Self-criticism is the secret weapon of democracy.

—-Adlai Stevenson, politician, diplomat, two-time Presidential candidate.

“The Republic may not give wealth or happiness, she has not promised these.  It is the freedom to pursue these, not their realization, we can claim.”

—-Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist

“Liberty is the soul’s right to breathe.”

—-Henry Ward Beecher, minister and abolitionist

“Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

—– Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

—-Benjamin Franklin

“In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”

—-Clarence Darrow, lawyer

“Our adversaries [ the Confederate States of America ] have adopted some declarations of independence in which, unlike the good old one penned by Jefferson, they omit the words “all men are created equal.” Why? They have adopted a temporary national constitution, in the preamble of which, unlike our good old one, signed by Washington, they omit “We, the People,” and substitute “We, the deputies of the sovereign and independent States.” Why? Why this deliberate pressing out of view, the rights of men, and the authority of the people?”

—–Abraham Lincoln

“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.

—- Judge Learned Hand.

“Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration.It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!”

—-John Adams, Founder and 2nd President

“Don’t put no constrictions on da people! Leave ‘em the hell alone!

Jimmy Durante, entertainer

“The American people have a stake in non-conformity, for they know the American genius is non-conformist.”

—-Henry Steele Commager, U.S. historian

“You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.”

Clarence Darrow, American lawyer and orator

“Advocacy and belief go hand in hand. For there can be no true freedom of mind if thoughts are secure only when they are pent up.”

—-William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice

“I have made the great discovery that liberty is s product of order”

—-Will Durant, U.S. historian

“The Constitution is a delusion and a snare if the weakest and humblest man in the land cannot be defended in his right to speak and his right to think as much as the strongest in the land.”

Clarence Darrow, lawyer, writer and orator

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”

—- Judge Learned Hand

“The greatest right in the world is the right to be wrong.”

—Henry Weinberger, William Randolph, William Randolph Hearst, or someone else.

“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

—-James Madison, author of the Constitution, President

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

—–Thomas Jefferson, Founder, philosopher, President, in  The Declaration of Independence

5 thoughts on “Independence Day With Ethics Alarms 4…Ethics Quotes By Americans To Preserve And Revere

  1. I dedicate this post to Humble Talent

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

    I guess you could put up 100,000 romantic quotes or maybe even 1,000,000 but it will not change the fact that the agreements that once undergirded this Republic . . . are coming undone. It is up to forensic philosophy to try to describe and express what happened and why. Whatever has to be said, whatever is necessary to say, must be informed by realistic understandings that come from sober-minded individuals.

    I think I have concluded — in this more-or-less way — that the core of the problems that we are facing and witnessing today stem from the American Civil War. The war of the North against the South was an illegal, dishonest, destructive violation of the essence of what made the United States the United States. And it begins to see m to me that everything that spins out from that point is *tainted*. The liberation of the African American was never intended and to ex post facto assert anything of that sort is just one of the lies that got established.

    The deification of Abraham Lincoln deifies not only the lie that he did some Great Thing or had Great Intentions but covers over the essential hypocrisy that in order to force his political will he had to utterly violate the values and ideas inherent in the US Constitution! That is the essential meaning. That is the fact that cannot be covered over even when it is covered over. That is why lies are so destructive when they are internalized. Any person who has lies to them self and tried to carry on in life, but then had to face the lie and go back to the beginning point and rectify it — knows.

    Right now, going on right now, is the elimination of those ideas on which ‘liberty’ depends. And that will be done in the name of Liberty! And the real question is To what degree do you-plural resolve to participate in it? To what degree will you-plural remain attached to your complicity? To what degree will you-plural work to convince others that the Lie is the Truth?

    What is coming to fruition in America’s present will not allow you-plural or anyone to cover it over with Romantic Lies.

    T. DiLorenzo:

    “Tocqueville was correct in his rendition of how the Constitution was formed, but he likely never dreamed that an American president would ever send an invading army to kill some 300,000 of his own citizens in order to destroy the right of secession, a right that all of America’s founding fathers held as sacrosanct and that was at the very heart of the American system of government.”

    What interests me is this notion of ‘deification’. The establishment of a National Altar and a National Mythology. A National Religion really. The *American Civil Religion*. What interests me is always what I have said: How it is that people make an internal and personal choice to *but into* it. This implies investment and that something will be gotten out of it. The Self weds itself by voluntary decision. But my assertion is that there are profound ramifications when we invest in a structure that is based on lies or significantly interwoven with them. You can get along within such a system, and any one of us can get along with our own personal lies, but there comes a Day of Reckoning. How tragic and difficult this is. But even the basis of tragedy is that there was some sort of Lie (the tragic fault) that lay at the core of it.

    From the Claremont Review of Books (2002):

    As the title suggests, The Real Lincoln purports to go beyond the mountains of revisionist historiography to reveal Lincoln’s genuine principles and purposes. According to DiLorenzo, these had nothing to do with the perpetuation of free government and the problem of slavery: The “real” Lincoln did not care a whit about the “peculiar institution.” At the core of the “real” Lincoln’s ambition was an unqualified and unwavering commitment to mercantilism, or socialism as DiLorenzo sometimes intimates. Lincoln would stop at nothing to impose the “Whig economic system” upon America, and any opinion he voiced regarding slavery was merely instrumental in advancing this end. Lincoln’s “cause,” in the words of DiLorenzo, was “centralized government and the pursuit of empire.” According to DiLorenzo, Lincoln said this “over and over again,” although DiLorenzo does not trouble himself to produce a shred of evidence for this assertion.

    My argument is based — I should say will be based as I go forward from this point (these last years have been only about learning, reading, thinking, comparing, analyzing and no conclusions could be come to) — my argument is based on the predicate that in our present, today & now, we are witnessing a culmination of the deceptions that began earlier. The American System (I use the terms Americanism and Americanopolis to point in the direction of a necessary critical position) deviated from original Constitutional Principles and in notable ways crushed the ‘liberty’ which it yet extolls! Now, in our present, the governmental system, the corporate system, the academic system, the media system show them self as mature versions of that distorted intentionality. Now, and for the first time, *they* come after you-plural the so-called Conservatives. And now it happens that you suddenly notice that your own interests are threatened. In fact YOU are threatened. It is not just some possession or some minor right — it is you who are the obstacle.

    Yet pseudo-conservatism is not the needed conservatism because this pseudo-conservatism is really & truly a branch of progressivism, and that peculiar Postwar variety of it.

    What needs to happen — it will either happen or it won’t — is that all details, all suppressed truths and all suppressed facts, all the elements that have led to this horrifying moment, need to be *put out on the table for examination and discussion*. I can name a dozen major areas. Certainly beginning with the war of the North on the South and the destruction of ‘liberty’. That is an excellent, and necessary, starting point. But I can — and I will — go on from that point.

    If as I suggest the System was built on lies . . . then the first order of business is to confront them now.

    The System itself (I do not know what other word to use and I cannot define sufficiently what System means and how it must be talked about though *Cathedral* of perception and belief is possible) is now working to eliminate those who work in these areas! That war has only just begun.

  2. Meanwhile, as of yesterday, Baltimore moves ahead in the proverbial race to the bottom – followed closely by Seattle, Chicago, and NYC:

    “A crowd of shouting protesters yanked down the Christopher Columbus statue near Little Italy, dragged it to the edge of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and rolled it with a splash into the water as fireworks went off around the city on the night of the Fourth of July…

    The torn-down Columbus statue is part of a “re-examination taking place nationally and globally around some of these monuments and statues that may represent different things to different people,” said Lester Davis, a spokesman for Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, on Saturday night.

    “We understand the dynamics that are playing out in Baltimore are part of a national narrative,” Davis said. “We understand the frustrations. What the city wants to do is serve as a national model, particularly with how we’ve done with protesting. We’ve seen people who have taken to the streets, we have supported them. We are going to continue to support it. That’s a full stop.””

  3. I will go through paragraphs of Trump’s Rushmore speech and make some comments:

    Today, we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. (Applause.) I am here as your President to proclaim before the country and before the world: This monument will never be desecrated — (applause) — these heroes will never be defaced, their legacy will never, ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom. (Applause.)

    Richard Weaver wrote “Rhetoric in its truest sense seeks to perfect men by showing them better versions of themselves, links in that chain extending up toward the ideal”. He said that rhetoric is a tool of language, or an embellishment, but this necessarily implies that there has to be substance, something solid and real, at the core of a statement embellished by *rhetorical flourish*. He pointed out that a poem could be entirely rhetorical (and technically false) while yet it reveals something absolutely true — more true in many ways than something stated merely factually.

    At the core of conservatism and conservative concerns — and Weaver definitely defined intellectual conservatism — there has to be ‘real things’. But when rhetoric serves false things, or incorrect things, or false statements, and also when it serves non-intellectual sentiment and sentimentality, it then becomes something else altogether.

    America has gone to extremes in employing ’embellishing rhetoric’ that does not serve ‘truth’. Advertising and public relations — the rhetorical word for propaganda — has turned the art of deception and lying into a modern science. I think it goes even further. We need only review our own Media Systems — communication and perception purveyors — to understand the degree to which it is possible to construct mechanisms that do not reveal truth, and do not lead to it, but show how possible it is to trick and deceive.

    Is the insinuation clear enough? What more does it require to illustrate the point?

    In actual fact it is quite possible — it may even be probable — that whatever factions, whatever *rising demographic*, whatever group, whatever constellation of interests, that has set its eyes on toppling the monuments, if they go forward with their plans, and if they are not stopped, could very well destroy their legacy and ‘forget’ them. It is also not at all impossible that at some point Mount Rushmore could be dynamited. I surrounding Indians of the Black Hills would likely happily undertake that project. And perhaps 1/4 of America would today support the effort. What if it were voted on?

    President Trump — I respect him for this — is speaking directly to ‘certain people’ and to a certain demographic. It is their history. It is their nation. But who is he not speaking to? And by not speaking to them who is he naming and isolating?

    I would suggest — [“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell] — that he is speaking to the only people who could find the will to protect and defend what is theirs. And I further suggest that he is also speaking — in warning — to those who oppose that ownership and sovereign rulership.

    These are the lines that are forming.

    And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.

    Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.

    This is where I notice the most egregious lie — if I will be allowed to speak freely. One has to start at the first declaration and first understand that *our ancestors* did indeed work to establish very important things. And they did it all with an eye to their posterity: those who would proceed from them and come after them. And this all went very well indeed up to a certain moment in time when the idea of America, and America itself, was reinterpreted. Then, policy choices were made and the nation set out on a very very different path. And that *path* is now culminating in what we see in our present: social division and the lack of agreement. But the ‘causal chain’ is longer and more complex than what can be said in a paragraph.

    Our nation is witnessing the culmination of efforts to destabilize it and to take it off of its foundation, and these processes began 150 years ago. If one wants to understand that, one has to make an effort to study it. And if there is ‘truth’ there — truth that confronts a lie or a distortion — this can be brought our and it must be brought out.

    He is making inaccurate statements, though I understand them as rhetorically motivated.

    a) They do not want to ‘wipe out’ the history. What they have done is to rewrite it from *their* perspective. They are shifting emphasis. And when I say *they* I can only mean a new, rising demographic.

    b) They definitely have an interest in defamation. But they also are working in ambiguous zones where new understandings or new views are combined among people with an interest in doing so, in order to point to the ‘larger truths’ that support their cause and also their activism. As one example they notice that notions of supremacy very definitely operated in the Founders right up through Teddy Roosevelt. And they have attached such guilt-complex to the idea of supremacy that it is no longer an idea that can be thought. It has been rendered ‘evil’. But what if it is recovered? What if I describe a way for it to be recovered, understood anew? What if it is necessary within America today for the European Americans to recover their identitarian self-view and choose ‘supremacy’? That is: to recover their super-majority status? Is that wrong? Is that ‘evil’?

    c) Now ‘erase our values’, I am sorry to say, really has to have some time devoted to it. Nietzsche explored the idea or ‘transvaluation of values’. Of taking some value and inverting it. Of taking something that was not valued, or seen as being valuable, and giving it value. We live in a time of ‘transvaluation of values’. What Teddy Roosevelt understood as a ‘value’ had to do with his decisive power to boldly operate in the world to create things that he then declared as valuable. To claim, to assert, to *impose* aand to insist — these are (or they were) primary Americanist notions. The Panama Canal is a wonderful example.

    I have to keep returning to this because in my argument it is at the core. The North’s decision to invade and conquer the South and to kill so many in the pursuit of its objectives is, in a definite way, an example of *imposition* and assertion. But at the same time, to do that, required a destructive aggression that also was self-destructive. To defend the North is to stand with one set of *values*. To describe what the North did as wrong — to understand this politically and philosophically — is to stand with another set of ‘values’.

    What Donald Trump himself — he obviously did not write his fine speech! — means by defense of values is one question. But then the other part of this question is What values does the present United States stand for? What is it doing in the world? Is it serving *interests* or is it serving *values*?

    But it would be folly not to recognize that though there are definitely factions within the US that are opposed to Donald Trump, so have their always been factions that have had — legitimate — concerns about the use and abuse of power by *powerful elites*. nd those who defend the interests of those common people — the American worker and the American family — are linked in defense of values.

    While I understand Trump’s rhetoric the fact of the matter is that the United States is definitely involved in a value-war alongside it demographic war and whatever larger global and political war is also going on.

    d) I am very interested in the notion of ‘indoctrination of children’ because this is paideia.

    In the culture of ancient Greece and later of the Greco-Roman world at large, the term paideia (also spelled paedeia) (/paɪˈdeɪə/; Greek: παιδεία, paideía) referred to the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis or state. It incorporated both practical, subject-based schooling and a focus upon the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis.

    It can be asserted — I will definitely go in this direction and will eventually be capable of expressing it fully and coherently — that decisions were made, decisions that can be located in time and in the last 150 years (more or less) that have turned against the establishment of a proper foundation for the citizen. But since my ideas focus on the notion of ‘dispossession’ and I turn against the demographic universalism of late Americanism, naturally my notions will not be appreciated.

    But the point is: We have indoctrinated our children incorrectly. We have taught them not to be able to identify with them self. We have vilified necessary and proper identification. We have used lies and romantic distortions to do this. We have invested mightily in this and it is a falsely-employed and a falsely-based rhetoric that has been used in this process. True conservatism is thus necessarily a recovery of proper foundations.

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