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Comment Dated Oct 12, 2009
OLD AMERICAN WISDOM
What happened to it?
"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been unfurled, there will her [America’s] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom."
-- John Quincy Adams, as the U.S. Secretary of State, before he became President, in an address on American foreign policy, July 4, 1821
"Hang your electricity! If you want to make your fortune, invent something which will allow those fool Europeans to kill each other more quickly."
-- Advice allegedly given to Hiram Maxim, inventor of the first successful machine-gun, by a friend in 1883, causing him to give up experiments in electrical engineering