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  • “Excelsior!”
  • “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
    Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (1816 August 1)
  • “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
    Benjamin Franklin (1738, 1759, 1775)
  • “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.”
    Louis Brandeis – Supreme Court Justice (1916–1939)
  • “The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter … But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
    Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (1823 April 11)
  • “To suppose that God Almighty has confined his goodness to this world, to the exclusion of all others, is much similar to the idle fancies of some individuals in this world, that they, and those of their communion or faith, are the favorites of heaven exclusively; but these are narrow and bigoted conceptions, which are degrading to a rational nature, and utterly unworthy of God, of whom we should form the most exalted ideas.”
    Ethan Allen, Reason: the Only Oracle of Man (1785) “Of The Eternity and Infinitude of Divine Providence” (Ch.II, §III)
  • “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.”
    Steven Weinberg
  • “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
    James D. Nicoll (1990 May 15)
  • “I am not at all concerned about that [if ‘the Lord was on our side.’] for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”
    Abraham Lincoln
  • “I’m not anti-Americain, I just want them to learn things.”
    Miriam Margolyes (2007 Dec. 20) the Graham Norton show, Series 2, No. 11

Things to look for[edit]

  • “It is better to be on hand with ten men than absent with ten thousand.” —attributed online to Amir Timur (AKA Tamerlane) and/or Genghis Khan.
  • “God gave us two texts, scripture and creation, and if they seem to contradict it’s because we haven’t understood one of them yet.” —The Expanse paraphrasing St. Augustine
  • “All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.”
    — Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 99 BC – 55 BC)
    • “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”
      Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
      • Both according to Ira D. Cardiff in his book What Great Men Think About Religion (1945)
Yankee breakfast[edit]
The Chicago Tribune made a study and came up with these facts: Foreigners call all Americans Yankees. Southerners say that Yankees are northerners. Northerners say that Yankees are from the New England states. People in New England say it is the Vermonters who are Yankees. Vermonters reply that a Yankee is just someone who eats pie for breakfast. –Woolery Digest
“To foreigners, a Yankee is an American. To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner. To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner. To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander. To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter. And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.”
  • 1981 July 13: “To a Vermonter, a Yankee is anyone who eats pie for breakfast.”
    Time, Vol. 118 No. 2.GB
  • 1980: “Frost quickly demolished the theroy. ‘A Yankee,’ he decreed, ‘is someone who eats pie for breakfast.’”
    Vermont Life, Vol. 35–36, p. 21.GB
  • 1954: “A VHS member sends us a clipping from a western newspaper which goes thus: ‘Foreigners call all Americans Yankees, Southerners say that Yankees are Northerners, Northerners say Yankees come from the New England states, people there say it’s the Vermonters who are Yankees, and Vermonters say a Yankee is someone who eats pie for breakfast.’ To be a simon-pure Yankee, however, a Vermonter must not only eat pie for breakfast, but eat it with a knife.”
    News and Notes, Volumes 6–10, p. 39, Vermont Historical Society.GB
  • 1953 Dec. 18: “What Is a Yankee? Foreigners call all Americans Yankees. Southerners say that Yankees are Northerners. Northerners say Yankees are from the New England states. People there say it’s the Vermonters who are Yankees. And Vermonters say a Yankee is just someone who eats pie for breakfast. —Charles O. Poole”
    Chicago Tribune, p. 20
  • 1916 Aug. 3: “Reference to the Yankee who eats pie for breakfast has been one of the stock laugh-producers for many years.”
    Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper, No. 3178, p. 3 (p. 117 in collected Volume No. 123)GB