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)

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world – and never will.”
~Mark Twain

“How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot.”
~Albert Einstein

“When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.”
~Charles Evans Hughes

“You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.”
~Abbie Hoffman

“To respond to evil by committing another evil does not eliminate evil but allows it to go on forever.”
~Václev Havel

“When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence.”
~Gary Lloyd

“The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.”
~John Stuart Mill

“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”
~James Bovard

This bumper sticker is by the Peace Resource Project:

(Description:  A black-rimmed bumper stick, with a quote in white letters, “IN A TIME OF UNIVERSAL DECEIT TELLING THE TRUTH IS A REVOLUTIONARY ACT” — George Orwell )

This cartoon is (C)2006 by editorial cartoonist Ted Rall & Universal Press Syndicate:

(Description: A six-panel black and white cartoon, titled, “NICE DEMOCRACY YOU GOT THERE”  Two white men are talking in all six frames; the one on the left is wearing a baseball cap and a patriotic tee shirt printed with “NYPD FDNY 9/11”, and the one on the right is simply wearing a dark button-down shirt.  The one on the right speaks in all six frames, the one on the left listens impassively and does not reply until the last frame:
The one on the left finally replies, angrily, “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE!”
To which the one on the right responds, “NOR IS FASCISM” and turns to leave. )


  1. 11 December 2008 at 18:30

    […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by macleodaj on 2008-11-10 Freedom for Thought – bookmarked by 6 members originally […]

  2. 13 September 2008 at 3:38

    […] It’s there in the realm of national security, where anyone who is suspected of activity can be detained for years without legal process, and tortured as well.  Even ordinary, law-abiding citizens cannot expect to have the same safeguards for rights and liberties that they used to.  “Freedom isn’t free.” […]

  3. Jason said,

    13 July 2008 at 15:04

    very true. I like this post. I have to add something myself, but I will do it on my blog.

  4. saydrah said,

    9 July 2008 at 21:32

    I love the comic!

  5. qw88nb88 said,

    7 July 2008 at 6:04

    I have the Descriptions for the images entered.

    Any ideas from people? Other people have been able to access the Descriptions, as far as I know. Is there more than one way of accessing them?

    Meanwhile, I went and posted the Descriptions into the body text. *sigh*


  6. Fledchen said,

    6 July 2008 at 20:30

    The bumper sticker and cartoons are missing alt-text

  7. shiva dan said,

    6 July 2008 at 19:54

    Ted Rall is awesome :)

  8. Maddy said,

    5 July 2008 at 16:39

    Very apt, even for us latecomers.

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