Skip to main content


While the phrase sound bite is relatively new - namely because it required the capture, editing and rebroadcast of sound :-), the concept of a short oft-quoted and remembered bit of text most definitely is not! Follow me below the dingledoodlesquiggliedKosagnocchidividerthingie fold after a word from our sponsor...

Here at Top Comments we strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group email by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!  

Long before there were sound bites, media moments, spin statements... people have taken memorable bits of sermons, speeches, etc and turned them into famous top comments quotations. Every Independence Day, I subject Casa Brillig to a discussion of the Declaration of Independence which the Boston Globe prints on its Op-Ed pages. Hopefully K1 will look up from the comics to join in; hopefully the prospect of a 2013 Netroots Nation Registration if she gets more involved in political discussion will be a motivating influence :-). In honor of our Founding Fathers, I went looking for quotes that resonate especially well these days, by three who signed the original American protest document. Enjoy, comment, and share your own findings/favorites!

John Adams:

Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
  -- Defense of the Constitutions, 1787

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
  -- Argument for the Defense, Rex v. Wemms (Boston Massacre Trial), December 4, 1770

Independence forever.
  -- last public words, as a toast for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826

I agree with you, that in Politics the Middle Way is none at all. If We finally fail in this great and glorious Contest, it will be by bewildering ourselves in groping after this middle Way.
  -- letter to Horatio Gates,  March 23, 1776

Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people . . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.
  -- Letter to H. Niles  February 13, 1818

Benjamin Franklin:
Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
  -- Poor Richards Almanack, 1749

They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
  -- Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.
  -- writing as Silence Dogood, No. 8, 1722

Thomas Jefferson:
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.... There has never been a moment of my life in which I should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my friends & books.
  -- letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
  -- letter to Archibald Stewart, Dec 23, 1791

If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.
  -- letter to Col. William Duane, 1811

It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.
  -- letter to Richard M. Johnson, 1808

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From first time TC nominator (YAY!) Lorinda Pike:
egarratt explains the difference between D's and R's by choice of Sheriff.
From Steveningen:
In Hunter's diary Rep. Joe Walsh says Tammy Duckworth isn't a 'true hero', Jaxpagan nails the truth.
From social democrat:
I'll recommend the DailyKos Electoral College Projection animation Jeffrey L Albertson posted here.
From ZedMont:
Nominating ban48's comment from today's Abbreviated Pundit Roundup.
From peregrine kate:
I'd like to nominate this comment made by Pluto (in her own diary).  To describe the U.S. version of capitalism as "predatory," and then to explain clearly and succinctly why it deserves that label, is a fine contribution to our collective understanding. (Her sig file isn't bad either.)
From Noddy:
vacantlook brings an insightful quote from The Newsroom to a discussion on MinistryofTruth's diary STOP Telling me "Both sides do it".
From Yours Truly, brillig:
So much confusion on the ACA. lgmcp points out a nifty quiz to take then share with those who need to learn the truth.

Top Mojo for yesterday, July 2nd, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
  1) but will they learn??? by Sue B — 138
  2) AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by Tom Stokland — 129
  3) I'll believe it when the jail sentences are handed by Tom Stokland — 126
  4) I haven't set foot in a Walmart since '06. by Broke And Unemployed — 113
  5) This drought & heat was predictable by FishOutofWater — 101
  6) No, sadly, they will not learn. by Tom Stokland — 99
  7) finally by dark daze — 98
  8) DOD report a few years ago on climate change by Don midwest — 97
  9) I doubt that even this... by JackND — 97
10) Totally awesome with me by kos — 93
11) Exactly.  The fact that this was an issue for the by lineatus — 90
12) "our "homeland security" is focused on by gooderservice — 84
13) National security state is too focused by Jesselyn Radack — 82
14) I consume a lot of British media and so here is my by SantaFeMarie — 82
15) Just more proof that Romney's only ideology... by markthshark — 80
16) I know that since I am a bleeding heart by mariachi mama — 79
17) Duh. by rk2 — 79
18) I commend AC for his courage. It takes a lot by rubyr — 78
19) Keep hitting him on Bain. by TomP — 78
20) James Inhofe is close by by nofltwlt — 77
21) And... by RichM — 76
22) Welcome... by wyvern — 73
23) This is the part that got me thinking... by DemocraticOz — 72
24) And 911 is down here in Fairfax County--as is my by pelagicray — 71
25) Not surprising - but he has reasons to be private by harrije — 70
26) Oh and... by RichM — 70
27) Since this is CNN-related, are we to assume... by BenderRodriguez — 69
28) Here's the pithy, to the heart framing meme by bkamr — 67
29) A picture you won't see on the Romney 2012 website by Scarce — 66
30) I keep insisting that Global Warming is THE issue by westyny — 65

Top Pictures for yesterday, July 2nd.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site