"Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind."
-- U.S. General William Westmoreland
Comments: Yes. Clarity is one virtue of a dictatorship.
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -- George Bernard Shaw
Comments: This quote is insightful in that it points to the fact that behind almost all rejections of political liberty is an underlining fear of it.
"I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe ... Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger." -- Daniel Webster, June 1, 1837
Comments: In other words, foreign foes are most often pointed to by leaders wishing to grip control, but the real threat is usually much closer to home.
"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees."
-- President Bill Clinton, August 12, 1993
Comments: This is Bill openly sharing the contempt that he and most politicians have for individual liberties. It is sad, very sad. I'm sure Thomas Jefferson and others would be rolling in their grave.
"Give me Liberty or give me... well, whatever you thinks is best for society"
-- Slashdot .sig
Comments: This ought to be the rallying call of today's nanny state.
"People who are willing to rely on the government to keep them safe are pretty much standing on Darwin's mat, pounding on the door, screaming, 'Take me, take me!'"
-- Carl Jacobs, Alt.Sysadmin.Recovery
Comments: I'm no Darwinist, but there is some insight in this comment.
"When the President does it, that means that it's not illegal."
-- Richard M. Nixon in an interview with David Frost, 19th May, 1977
Comments: Unfortunately, this is the "above the law" attitude that many world leaders have. But it isn't even just the law they play fast and loose with, its actually peoples lives and their nations futures.
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)" --Ayn Rand
Comments: This could be called the "tyranny of the majority". Two wolves and a lamb voting on the lambs fate will never fall in favor of the lamb. So, this would be why unrestrained democracy isn't a good thing. By "restraint", I mean something that prevents liberties from being voted away.
"We must ensure that new technology does not mean new and sophisticated criminal and terrorist activity which leaves law enforcement outmatched -- we can't allow that to happen"
-- Al Gore - Sept. 16, 1998
Comment: This statement wouldn't be so bad if Gore was proposing that law enforcement get going on technical development to keep pace. But sadly, he, along with most politicians, would rather take the opposite route of holding back technology (through legislation and general interference). A great example of this is cryptography. Rather than turning their attention to developing and working on great crytographical research for government purposes, many governments just harass people who develop the technology in hopes that they can keep it out of the hands of terrorists and criminals (when really all they do is annoy law-abiding citizens).