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As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with... Video
As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self-government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation, in the quarrels between different nations or between governments and their subjects. Our course should always be in conformity with strict justice and law, international and local.
Ulysses S. Grant
It is with appreciation and gratefulness that I accept from you this scroll for the Los Alamos Laboratory, and for the men and women whose work and whose hearts have made it. It is our hope that in years to come we may look at the scroll and all that it signifies, with pride. Today that pride must be tempered by a profound concern. If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of the nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people of this world must unite or they will perish. This war that has ravaged so much of the earth, has written these words. The atomic bomb has spelled them out for all men to understand. Other men have spoken them in other times, and of other wars, of other weapons. They have not prevailed. There are some misled by a false sense of human history, who hold that they will not prevail today. It is not for us to believe that. By our minds we are committed, committed to a world united, before the common peril, in law and in humanity.
Oppenheimer, J. Robert
No greater mistake can be made than to think that our institutions are fixed or may not be changed for the worse. ... Increasing prosperity tends to breed indifference and to corrupt moral soundness. Glaring inequalities in condition create discontent and strain the democratic relation. The vicious are the willing, and the ignorant are unconscious instruments of political artifice. Selfishness and demagoguery take advantage of liberty. The selfish hand constantly seeks to control government, and every increase of governmental power, even to meet just needs, furnishes opportunity for abuse and stimulates the effort to bend it to improper uses. .. The peril of this Nation is not in any foreign foe! We, the people, are its power, its peril, and its hope!
Charles Evans Hughes
The greater the share the people have in government, the less liberty, civil or religious, does a nation enjoy.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. We here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
And who can suffer injury by just taxation, impartial laws and the application of the Jeffersonian doctrine of equal rights to all and special privileges to none? Only those whose accumulations are stained with dishonesty and whose immoral methods have given them a distorted view of business, society and government. Accumulating by conscious frauds more money than they can use upon themselves, wisely distribute or safely leave to their children, these denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw a light upon their crimes. Plutocracy is abhorrent to a republic; it is more despotic than monarchy, more heartless than aristocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in the hour of its calamity. Conscienceless, compassionless and devoid of wisdom, it enervates its votaries while it impoverishes its victims. It is already sapping the strength of the nation, vulgarizing social life and making a mockery of morals. The time is ripe for the overthrow of this giant wrong. In the name of the counting-rooms which it has denied; in the name of business honor which it has polluted; in the name of the home which it has despoiled; in the name of religion which it has disgraced; in the name of the people whom it has opprest, let us make our appeal to the awakened conscience of the nation.
William Jennings Bryan
Sympathizing and selfish people are alike, both given to tears.
The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many. Let it be the study, therefore, of lawgivers and philosophers, to enlighten the people's understandings and improve their morals, by good and general education; to enable them to comprehend the scheme of government, and to know upon what points their liberties depend; to dissipate those vulgar prejudices and popular superstitions that oppose themselves to good government; and to teach them that obedience to the laws is as indispensable in them as in lords and kings.
It is not surprising that many should be captivated by the proposal, with its delusive simplicity and adequacey, for the outlawry of war. War should be made a crime, and those who instigate it should be punished as criminals. The suggestion, however futile in itself, has at least the merit of bringing us to the core of the problem. Even among its sponsors appear at once the qualifications which reflect the old distinction, so elaborately argued by Grotius, between just and unjust wars. "The grounds of war," said he, " are as numerous as those of judicial actions. For where the power of law ceases, there war begins." He found the justifiable causes generally assigned for war to be three â€” defense, indemnity, and punishment. War is self-help, and the right to make war has been recognized as the corollary of independence, the permitted means by which injured nations protect their territory and maintain their rights. International law leaves aggrieved states who cannot obtain redress for their wrongs by peaceful means to exact it by force. If war is outlawed, other means of redress of injuries must be provided. Moreover, few, if any, intend to outlaw self-defense, a right still accorded to individuals under all systems of law. To meet this difficulty, the usual formula is limited to wars of aggression. But justification for war, as recently demonstrated, is ready at hand for those who desire to make war, and there is rarely a case of admitted aggression, or where on each side the cause is not believed to be just by the peoples who support the war. There is a further difficulty that lies deeper. There is no lawgiver for independent States. There is no legislature to impose its will by majority vote, no executive to give effect even to accepted rules. The outlawry of war necessarily implies a self-imposed restraint, and free peoples, jealous of their national safety, of their freedom of opportunity, of the rights and privileges they deem essential to their well-being, will not forego the only sanction at their command in extreme exigencies. The restraints they may be willing to place upon themselves will always be subject to such conditions as will leave them able to afford self-protection by force, and in this freedom there is abundant room for strife sought to be justified by deep-seated convictions of national interests, by long-standing grievances by the apprehension of aggression to be forestalled. The outlawry of war, by appropriate rule of law making war a crime, requires the common accord needed to establish and maintain a rule of international law, the common consent to abandon war; and the suggested remedy thus implies a state of mind in which no cure is needed. As the restraint is self-imposed it will prove to be of avail only while there is a will to peace.
Charles Evans Hughes
One can conclude that certain essential, or fundamental, rights should exist in any just society. It does not follow that each of those essential rights is one that we as judges can enforce under the written Constitution. The Due Process Clause is not a guarantee of every right that should inhere in an ideal system. Many argue that a just society grants a right to engage in homosexual conduct. If that view is accepted, the Bowers decision in effect says the State of Georgia has the right to make a wrong decision--wrong in the sense that it violates some people's views of rights in a just society. We can extend that slightly to say that Georgia's right to be wrong in matters not specifically controlled by the Constitution is a necessary component of its own political processes. Its citizens have the political liberty to direct the governmental process to make decisions that might be wrong in the ideal sense, subject to correction in the ordinary political process.
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