Last modified on 1 November 2014, at 15:20

August 4

Quotes of the day from previous years:

2003
I can't die. It would ruin my image. ~ Jack La Lanne
2004
We are defined by how we use our power. ~ Gerry Spence
2005
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ (born 4 August 1792)
2006
If you divide suffering and dross, you may
Diminish till it is consumed away;
If you divide pleasure and love and thought,
Each part exceeds the whole; and we know not
How much, while any yet remains unshared...

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
2007
In each human heart terror survives
The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear
All that they would disdain to think were true:
Hypocrisy and custom make their minds
The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.
They dare not devise good for man’s estate,
And yet they know not that they do not dare.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
2008
Throughout American history, there have been moments that call on us to meet the challenges of an uncertain world, and pay whatever price is required to secure our freedom. ~ Barack Obama
2009
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
2010
Contrary to the rumours that you've heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth. ~ Barack Obama
2011
I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together — unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction — towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren. ~ Barack Obama
2012
We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
~ Barack Obama ~
2013
All love is sweet,
Given or returned. Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
2014
We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached — their fundamental faith in human progress — that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.
For if we lose that faith — if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace — then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.
~ Barack Obama ~
2015 
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can! ~ Barack Obama
  • There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there. ~ Barack Obama
  • People ask me... "What do you still bring from Hawaii? How does it affect your character, how does it affect your politics?" I try to explain to them something about the Aloha Spirit. I try to explain to them this basic idea that we all have obligations to each other, that we're not alone, that if we see somebody who's in need we should help... that we look out for one another, that we deal with each other with courtesy and respect, and most importantly, that when you come from Hawaii, you start understanding that what's on the surface, what people look like — that doesn't determine who they are. And that the power and strength of diversity, the ability of people from everywhere … whether they're black or white, whether they're Japanese-Americans or Korean-Americans or Filipino-Americans or whatever they are, they are just Americans, that all of us can work together and all of us can join together to create a better country. And it's that spirit, that I'm absolutely convinced, is what America is looking for right now. ~ Barack Obama
  • On September 11, 2001, the world fractured. It's beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day, and the days that would follow — the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction. ~ Barack Obama
  • To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope. ~ Barack Obama

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


SuggestionsEdit

Entitle us to the Liberty of proving the Truth of the Papers, which in the Information are called false, malicious, seditious and scandalous. ~ John Peter Zenger, acquitted 4 August 1735 of slander on the grounds that what he published was true.


Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number —
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you —
Ye are many — they are few.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • 3 InvisibleSun 15:58, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 15:02, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) I might eventually rank this a 3 or 4, but again attempting to gain favor for one of my favorites above.

The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats though unseen among us, — visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower...

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~


I know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And that's what I ask. But they get mad at the straight line. ~ Helen Thomas

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 3 eventually

...we seem to be more tolerant now of what I think we should not tolerate. ~ Helen Thomas

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 3 eventually

You don't spread democracy through the barrel of a gun. ~ Helen Thomas

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 3 or 4 eventually

When one of you young queens has finished, can you bring this old queen a drink? ~ Queen Elizabeth

  • 2 for comedic value. Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I am almost glad we have been bombed. Now I feel I can look the East End in the face. ~ Queen Elizabeth

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

It is the addition of strangeness to beauty that constitutes the romantic character in art. ~ Walter Pater

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 3 eventually

Every intellectual product must be judged from the point of view of the age and the people in which it was produced. ~ Walter Pater

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 3 eventually

Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end. A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to to be seen in them by the finest senses? How shall we pass most swiftly from point to point, and be present always at the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy. To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. ~ Walter Pater

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 4 eventually

What we have to do is to be forever curiously testing new opinions and courting new impressions. ~ Walter Pater

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC) might rank this a 3 eventually

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war...That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. ~ Barack Obama

  • 4 because I completely agree with Obama here. I shortened the original verse in order to correspond with the initial message, the main message of the quote. Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) though inclined toward a 3 or even a 4 eventually.

A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.' ~ Barack Obama

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

...it bothers me when I hear people say that government is the enemy. They don't understand its fundamental role. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races. ~ Barack Obama

  • 2 Zarbon 04:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Someone once said that every man is trying to either live up to his father's expectations or make up for his father's mistakes, and I suppose that may explain my particular malady as well as anything else. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I am a prisoner of my own biography: I can't help but view the American experience through the lens of a black man of mixed heritage, forever mindful of how generations of people who looked like me were subjugated and stigmatized, and the subtle and not so subtle ways that race and class continue to shape our lives. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3, or eventual 4.

We will need to understand just how we got to this place, this land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we will need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

War might be hell and still the right thing to do. Economies could collapse despite the best-laid plans. People could work hard all their lives and still lose everything. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 and leaning toward a 4 for this one. Zarbon 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Values are faithfully applied to the facts before us, while ideology overrides whatever facts call theory into question. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 20:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3 or even 4 eventually.

All the money in the world won't boost student achievement if parents make no effort to instill in their children the values of hard work and delayed gratification. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 20:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Identities are scrambling, and then cohering in new ways. Beliefs keep slipping through the noose of predictability. Facile expectations and simple explanations are being constantly upended. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 20:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 3 or even 4.

I was sorry to leave. Not simply because I had made so many new friends, but because in the faces of all the men and women I'd met I had recognized pieces of myself. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 20:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) very little context presented here; would require more information for clarity.

The blood of slaves reminds us that our pragmatism can sometimes be moral cowardice. Lincoln, and those buried at Gettysburg, remind us that we should pursue our own absolute truths only if we acknowledge that there may be a terrible price to pay. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 04:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

But deliberation alone could not provide the slave his freedom or cleanse America of its original sin. In the end, it was the sword that would sever his chains. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 04:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3 or eventual 4, but either trimmed of the inital "But" or extended for more context.

For in the end laws are just words on a page — words that are sometimes malleable, opaque, as dependent on context and trust as they are in a story or poem or promise to someone, words whose meanings are subject to erosion, sometimes collapsing in the blink of an eye. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 04:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3 or eventual 4, but either trimmed of the inital "For in the end" or extended for more context.

The very interconnectivity that increasingly binds the world together has empowered those who would tear that world down. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 01:55, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

No person, in any culture, likes to be bullied. No person likes living in fear because his or her ideas are different. Nobody likes being poor or hungry, and nobody likes to live under an economic system in which the fruits of his or her labor go perpetually unrewarded. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 01:55, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

I reminded the men in the audience that being a father meant more than fathering a child; that even those of us who were physically present in the home are often emotionally absent; that precisely because many of us didn't have fathers in the house we have to redouble our efforts to break the cycle; and that if we want to pass on high expectations to our children, we have to have higher expectations for ourselves. ~ Barack Obama

  • 3 Zarbon 01:55, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 08:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

We've been told that our crises are somebody else's fault. We are distracted from our real failures and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants, and as people have looked away in frustration and disillusionment, we know who has filled the void. The cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests, who've turned government into only a game they can afford to play. ~ Barack Obama


America's faced big problems before. But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, commonsense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions. ~ Barack Obama


  • As much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. ~ Barack Obama
  • 3 Kalki (talk · contributions) 12:21, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more. ~ Barack Obama


What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. ~ Barack Obama


In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. ~ Barack Obama


With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. ~ Barack Obama


We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. ~ Barack Obama


This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. ~ Barack Obama


Promoting science isn't just about providing resources, it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It's about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient, especially when it's inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. ~ Barack Obama


The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. ~ Barack Obama


We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can. ~ Barack Obama


While America's revolutionary origins and republican form of government might make it sympathetic toward those seeking freedom elsewhere, America's early leaders cautioned against idealistic attempts to export our way of life; according to John Quincy Adams, America should not go "abroad in search of monsters to destroy" nor "become the dictatress of the world." Providence had changed America with the task of making a new world, not reforming the old; protected by an ocean and with the bounty of a continent, America could best serve the cause of freedom by concentrating on its own development, becoming a beacon of hope for other nations and people around the globe. ~ Barack Obama


I love America too much, am too invested in what this country has become, too committed to its institutions, its beauty, and even its ugliness, to focus entirely on the circumstances of its birth. But neither can I brush aside the magnitude of the injustice done, or erase the ghosts of generations past, or ignore the open wound, the aching spirit, that ails this country still. ~ Barack Obama


A declaration is not a government; a creed is not enough. The Founders recognized that there were seeds of anarchy in the idea of individual freedom, an intoxicating danger in the idea of equality, for if everybody is truly free, without the constraints of birth or rank or an inherited social order- if my notion of faith is no better or worse than yours, and my notions of truth and goodness and beauty are as true and good and beautiful as yours- then how can we ever hope to form a society that coheres? Enlightenment thinkers like Hobbes and Locke suggested that free men would form governments as a bargain to ensure that one man's freedom did not become another man's tyranny; that they would sacrifice individual license to better preserve their liberty. ~ Barack Obama


Identities are scrambling, and then cohering in new ways. Beliefs keep slipping through the noose of predictability. Facile expectations and simple explanations are being constantly upended. ~ Barack Obama


Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. ~ Barack Obama


Peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting. ~ Barack Obama


The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another — that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such. ~ Barack Obama


The world must remember that it was not simply international institutions — not just treaties and declarations — that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. ~ Barack Obama