Freedom for Thought

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”
~H. L. Mencken

The 4th of July is Independence Day in the United States. I have a couple of reports to finish, so I don’t have time to write what would be an involved rant. So here are some of my favorite quotes, and a couple of graphics for you, regardless of where you live. (Graphics described for the print-impaired.)  We miss the recently deceased George Carlin; good humorists and satirists are always sorely missed!  For the young and/or those living abroad, Walter Cronkite was a news announcer of the thoughtful sort, before the era of ‘anchor desk personalities”.

Let’s just say that I am not impressed with knee-jerk patriotism (especially the drunken sort) that lacks critical thinking and the willingness to be informed.  I will say that within the realm of governance, freedom and safety are obverse and reverse of the same coin — when you have more of one, you have less of the other, and the current administration has sold an alarming amount of loss of freedom under the flag-waving of “safety, patriotism and national security”.

“The people who cast the votes decide nothing, the people who count the votes decide everything.”
~Josef Stalin

“The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny.”
~David Hume

“If crime fighters fight crime, and fire fighters fight fire, then what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that to us, do they?”
~ George Carlin

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.”
~Walter Cronkite

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
~Søren Kierkegaard

ditto: “Too often we…enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
~John F. Kennedy (former US president) Read the rest of this entry »