Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

He Said That? 8/22/17

Here it is, in cold, hard black-and-white prose, a damning indictment of President John F. Kennedy in his own words. From a dinner honoring Nobel Prize Winners April 29, 1962:

I want to tell you how welcome you are to the White House. I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet. Whatever he may have lacked, if he could have had his former colleague, Mr. Franklin, here we all would have been impressed.

Irrefutable proof: John F. Kennedy praised Thomas Jefferson, white slave owner and perhaps the paramour of some of his female slaves. Kennedy may not have known about the paramour part, but he certainly knew Jefferson was a slave owner. Kennedy Airport, Kennedy Center, thousands of schools and streets: erase the name of this obvious racist who praised a slave owner. No historical sin is too small that it should not be rectified after the fact by erasing all memorials to—in a better world all memories of—the sinner. To be replaced, of course, by those many historical figures who were perfect.

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He Said That? 2/7/17

From Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809, Letters of Thomas Jefferson:

And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.”

He Said That/ 7/12/16

An oldie but goody from Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777), founder of the University of Virginia (1819), third president of the United States (1801–1809), political philosopher, editor of Jefferson’s Bible (1819), and one of the most influential founders of the United States, letter to William Stephens Smith (1787):

There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

He Said That? 11/4/15

From Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Letters of Thomas Jefferson:

And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.

He Said That? 2/10/15

From Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence:

[I]f a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was & never will be.

From a letter to Charles Yancey, 1/6/1816

See “People Sign ‘I Support Illiteracy’ Petition to ‘Spread Illiteracy’ in America,” SLL, 2/10/15

He Said That? 12/14/14

From Thomas Jefferson, among many noteworthy accomplishments, he was the third president of the United States and chief author of the Declaration of Independence:

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, May 28, 1816.

http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/private-banks-quotation

Brevity is indeed the soul of brilliance. Jefferson managed to warn of the two biggest financial dangers now facing America 198 years ahead of time: banking establishments (i.e. the Fed and the banking cartel) and “spending money to be paid by posterity,” or deficit financing, in one sentence. That one sentence is more insightful and valuable than 99 percent of the economics theses published since.