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A few quotes, by way of introduction

A few quotes, to introduce myself, and to give some glimpse into who I am, what I value, and what has inspired me:

Compiled for a publisher, and reprinted here as an introduction to this blog and this writer, and also as a sort of short-hand preface to my (first) book, which should be released shortly.

My apologies for the chaotic mix of fonts - Blogger must be one of the worst digital publishing platforms available, but I have put too much effort into this site to easily switch, and have neither the technical savvy nor the patience to labor over its bugs. Sooner or later I do transfer all articles from this site to the far superior format at Wordpress, so you can check there for a more esthetically soothing format if you like. (I would transfer the entire site to Wordpress in an instant if I knew how to transfer the enormous body of links and resources that have been compiled on the Blogger site. For now, there are two sites - one that works well, and one with an excellent resource directory. Maybe someone more technically literate can help me figure out how to bridge the two.)

Wordpress: Writings of J. Todd Ring

I have sworn upon the alter of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.Thomas Jefferson

For reasons I do not fully understand, fiction dances out of me. Non-fiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning. – Arundhati Roy

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. - Henry David Thoreau

The theme of much of what I write, fiction as well as non-fiction, is the relationship between power and powerlessness and the endless, circular conflict they're engaged in….I believe that the accumulation of vast unfettered power by a State or a country, a corporation or an institution -- or even an individual, a spouse, friend or sibling -- regardless of ideology, results in excesses such as the ones I will recount here.

Arundhati Roy

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. – Thoreau

If necessary, let us forgo one bridge across the river, go `round a little there, and throw at least one span across the greater gulf of ignorance that surrounds us. – Henry David Thoreau

In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity, in founding a family or a state, or acquiring fame even, we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear no change or accident. – Thoreau

I took my stand in the midst of humanity, and I wept for them, for they came into the world blind, and they seek to leave the world blind. - Jesus, The Gospel of Thomas

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. - The Buddha

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

A single step on the path of enlightenment is greater than being the ruler of the universe. - The Buddha

When I reflect upon the ruts in a road, I am forced to think, how much deeper the ruts of the mind. - Thoreau

It is never too late to give up your prejudices. - Thoreau

Life is rounded by a little sleep. - Shakespeare

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. – Thoreau

A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. – Thoreau

(TV is perhaps the most ugly, pathetic and vacuous example, next to heroine. - JTR)

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. - Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. But it is uncharacteristic of wisdom to do desperate things. – Thoreau

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? - Thoreau

Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. - Thoreau

It's not enough to be busy. The question is: what are we busy about?

- Thoreau

I do not wish, when I come to the end of this life, to find I had not lived. – Thoreau

They are busy, as an old book says, laying up treasures that moths and rust will corrode, and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool’s life, as they will find out at the end of it, if not sooner. - Thoreau

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. – Thoreau

Silence is the communing of a conscious soul with itself. If the soul attend for a moment to its own infinity, then and there is silence. She is audible to all men, at all times, in all places, and if we will we may always hearken to her admonitions. – Thoreau

We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. - Thoreau

The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything it is very likely to my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? – Thoreau

I became convinced that non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. - Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience"

"The truth must be told.

A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order, and say of war, this way of settling differences is not just...cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.

A nation that continues year after year, to spend more money on military defense (sic) than on social uplift, is approaching spiritual death.

It is a sad fact...the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world, have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries.

Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit, and go out into a sometimes hostile world, declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism.

I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism. We are presently moving down a dead end road.

All men are brothers. All men are created equal. Every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth. Every man has rights that are neither derived by nor conferred from the state. They are God-given.

I have not lost faith. I'm not in despair. I haven't lost faith because...

You shall reap what you sow.

With this faith we shall be able to speed up that day, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

With this faith we will be able to speed up the day, when all over the world, we will be able to join hands, and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last.""

- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything.

- George Soros

They must find it difficult…those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority. – Gerald Massey

Where is the knowledge that is lost in information?

Where is the wisdom that is lost in knowledge?

- T.S. Elliot

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than
the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

– Thomas Jefferson

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees
in every object only the tracts which favor that theory.

– Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending
too much liberty than to those attending too small a
degree of it. – Thomas Jefferson
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be
that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a
– Thomas Jefferson

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind. - Thomas Jefferson

Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.

- Thomas Jefferson

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American,
it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. - Thomas Jefferson

If there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own - that thing is the preservation of their own liberties and institutions.

- Abraham Lincoln

The people of the United Statesare the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. - Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1859, in a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio

A diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. - James Madison 1825

I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another. – Thomas Jefferson

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies ... If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] ... will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent [that] their fathers conquered. - Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the re-charter of The Bank Bill, (1809)

I do verily believe that a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth. - Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute
so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
– Thomas Jefferson
The purpose of economic competition is to eliminate competition.
                - John Kenneth Galbraith

I hope we shall crush in its infancy the aristocracy of our monied corporations
which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid
defiance to the laws of our country. – Thomas Jefferson
The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an
aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied incorporations
and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy,
the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar.
Thomas Jefferson

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism: ownership of a government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

- FranklinDelanoRoosevelt

Society must take every means at its disposal to defend itself against the emergence of a parallel power which defies the elected power. – Pierre Elliot Trudeau

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain
silent. – Thomas Jefferson
Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue,
and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein

Put fear behind and save the country. – Simon Bolivar

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

- Eleanor Roosevelt.

No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. - Thoreau

Public opinion is a weak tyrant, compared with our private opinion--what a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates his fate. - Thoreau

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly. - Thoreau

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.Jefferson

The future holds ominous portent, and signs of great hope. Which result ensues depends largely upon what we make of the opportunities.

- Noam Chomsky

The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…

- Winston Churchill, on facing the threat of fascism (the first time)

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. – Martin Luther King Jr.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. - Thoreau

Ultimately, men hit only what they aim for; therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim high. - Thoreau

There is more day yet to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
– Henry David Thoreau

It aint’ over `till it’s over.

- Yogi Beara

This post first appeared on Writings Of J. Todd Ring, please read the originial post: here

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A few quotes, by way of introduction


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