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[P]retty soon the snake starts eating its own tail: We underfund public services, therefore public services don't work, therefore we underfund them.

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A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good. A government is invigorated when each one of us is willing to participate in shaping the future of this nation.

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The crossroads where government meets enterprise can be an exciting crossroads. It can also be a corrupt crossroads. It requires moral rectitude to separate public service from private gain.

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Think of civil society and the state as joined in a marriage of necessity. You already know who the wife is, the one who is supposed to love, cherish and obey: that's civil society. Think of the state as the domineering husband who expects to have a monopoly on power, on violence, on planning and policymaking.

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[King] would want us to know we can argue fiercely about the proper size and role of government without questioning each other’s love for this country.

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Activists measure progress against the standard of perfection, or at least the most perfect possible choice. Historians gauge progress against what came before it.

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Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it. All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.

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The death penalty is a barbaric anachronism, a crude instrument not of justice but of revenge. Most countries banished it long ago. This country should banish it now.

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Climate change has become a wedge issue. It’s today’s flag-burning or today’s partial-birth-abortion issue.

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Ricketts, Taylor

Feb 21, 2011

We only value something when we measure it.

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These programs are like vampires, you just can’t kill them. Just when you think they are dead, they manage to rise up.

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[Hurricane] Irene’s got a middle name, and it’s Global Warming.

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World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.

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Peace is not just the absence of war. True peace depends upon creating the opportunity that makes life worth living. And to do that, we must confront the common enemies of human beings: nuclear weapons and poverty; ignorance and disease.

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Peace, prosperity, and democracy cannot endure if imposed from the outside. We should cease to make false distinctions between peacekeeping and prevention; they are in fact inextricably linked.

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We cannot build our country or any country in the world without peace.

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I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

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