View Full Version : Words of Theodore Roosevelt

10-14-2005, 10:24 AM
The guy on Mount Rushmore. A republican who did write his own speeches.

"The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants, Roosevelt explained in 1918. "He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.

"Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

[ 10-14-2005, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: PatCox ]

John of Phoenix
10-14-2005, 10:36 AM
Any pithy quotes about executive privilege or secrecy? No?
Oh well.

http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/peace.jpg The Nobel Peace Prize 1906

Jim Hillman
10-14-2005, 06:18 PM
Interesting President to quote Pat, considering that during his Presidency we stole Panama from Columbia and asserted our right to intervene in our "spheres of influence", namely South America. He did send the Marines to put down a revolution in Honduras. I don't think Teddy would have sided with the left as it stands now, he was more of a doer than a talker.

Some other fine quotes from Teddy:

"Thrice happy is the nation that has a glorious history. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." (1891)

"Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger." (1894)

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
10-14-2005, 06:43 PM
I like this Teddy quote...."Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

10-14-2005, 06:50 PM
Bully, BULLY! smile.gif

He was a pip. Born to the manse, he made his way West as the pioneer scene was fading. Made his political bones as NYCs police comish, then to the governor's office, vice president etc.

He was pretty smart, and a prolific, good writer. In his hundreds of thousands of words, written over a fairly short lifetime, I'll wager you could find phrases to support most any position in modern politics. Not to call him fickle, just multifarious. smile.gif

10-14-2005, 06:57 PM
My favorite anecdote, from when he later took up a quasi-populist cause in the Bull Moose Party. Someone took a shot at him, which mildly wounded him in the breast in the middle of a speech. Hardly staggered, he took up the speech again with, "It takes more than that to kill a bull moose."

I'm not sure they make 'em like that anymore. smile.gif One of the best Americans.

[ 10-14-2005, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

10-14-2005, 11:10 PM
Jim, having an aggressive foreign policy is not the sole prerogative of republicans, nor was it Teddy Roosevelts most prominent policy. LBJ, after all, is the one who escalated Vietnam, and the neocons of today largely trace their roots to democratic senator Scoop Jackson.

Put simply, its a damnable lie that liberals are pacifists or wimps. Just because we happen to think Bush is fighting the wrong war doesn't mean liberals aren't up for the fight when the cause is right. Did one democrat vote against the action against Afghanistan? The Monroe doctrine far predates roosevelt, and noone has abrogated it yet.

But leave that aside, what would Teddy think of the power wielded today by the big corporations? Didn't they call him the "trust buster?"

Teddy was I think what you call a statesman, as opposed to a partisan hack or a party puppet. Thats why he went independant back in 1918, and thats what I am sure he'd do today. I don't think he'd at all approve of Mr. Bush's misadventures and corporate sellouts.

Cuyahoga Chuck
10-14-2005, 11:22 PM
When that statement was made Teddy had been out of office for almost a decade. It's easy to wax democratic when your political hide isn't on the line.
Nonetheless, I admire Teddy for what he did in his salad days. Once his kid got shot down in WWI his unflagging optimism failed him.

10-14-2005, 11:25 PM
Wasn't one of his speeches so long that it stopped a bullet?

10-15-2005, 11:34 AM
To be a little more complete, he pushed hard for legislation to control rabid business interests, and give the little guy a break and a living wage. People think of his cousin, Franklin, as a great crusader for such, but Teddy saw the right in this regard, and was pioneering as far as US presidents go.

I'm not sure, today, why a line worker at Ford gets thirty an hour plus benefits, but Teddy's resolve, at the time, was right.

P.S. What is with the obscene executive salaries these days? Millions of dollars! :(

When my pop was an executive at BF Goodrich, the tier just below vice-president, responsible for all European sales, he made 27 grand a year. The president made maybe three times that. Circa 1975.

Something is wrong with the wage structure, today. Idiots off the street, who can lift a barge, tote a bale, making thirty an hour, and executives making enough for three houses, and a sly bank account in the Caymans.

[ 10-15-2005, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Phillip Allen
10-15-2005, 12:00 PM
Without unions we would desperately need them. Without individual right to work, we would be owned by unions...Jimmy Hoffa style

I get upset by those who demand part of corporate profits while working for a regular wage.

As a wage earner, I invest my time first, along with my skills. At the end of the pay period, I am paid off and begin another period of time investment. My time is my own. My skills are my own. I invest these with the expectation of being paid at a pre-arranged rate…per unit of (my) time. Until I’m paid, my time is my own. My employer invests the money he pays me in the hope of collecting at a rate which exceeds that which he pays out (in advance). His investment includes the cost of my labor plus various other items including equipment and taxes and other costs incurred by him as a contractor. That is HIS investment. If he does well, he makes money. It is not my right to view his profit as in any part my profit. My profit is that which I get in return for my labor and skill…it goes no further at all. Conversely, my employer does not own me or any part of me after he signs the check…he certainly does not own me before I invest my own labor…my labor is my asset…the result of my labor is my employer’s asset…after he has paid for it.

For a union to demand any return based on the profits of the employer has always been coercion. No different in my mind than for me to demand part of the pie from the user of a bank I have been paid for building.

[ 10-15-2005, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: Phillip Allen ]

Cuyahoga Chuck
10-15-2005, 12:24 PM
I've been gone from an auto plant about five years where I was making about $24 an hour. But I was in one of the highest paid trades in the plant and production workers were well blow me. We made big money because we worked a lot of hours. Since hiring was all but eliminated for almost a decade the parts got made by giving everybody all the overtime they could stomach. The dough was nice but it was not conducive to a healthy life style. Plenty of heart attacks, strokes and divorces.
The UAW was not ignorant of the fact that the domestic auto industry was under attack. Most annual pay raises were given up long ago in favor of cost of living increases and an annual "profit sharing" payments if there was a profit. The bigger part of negotiations centered around protecting fringe benefits like health insurance and pensions and trying to divert certain types of construction from outside contractors to inside tradesmen.
One thing the UAW can't control is access to the bankruptcy courts. No matter how well disposed the employees are to lower expectaions in money and workload if the head honcho is an old school pocket filler and he can grab $20-50 million by going belly up the union contract becomes a guarantee of nothing.
If the domestic auto industry croaks it wasn't the employees that killed it.

Phillip Allen
10-15-2005, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Norman Bernstein:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> For a union to demand any return based on the profits of the employer has always been coercion. No different in my mind than for me to demand part of the pie from the user of a bank I have been paid for building.
I'm afraid I can't quite agree with you, Phillip... unions do what PEOPLE do, namely, they negotiate for the best deal they can possibly get. It doesn't matter whether the deal is structured as a pay raise, portion of the profits, or whatever. In fact, a deal which includes a part of the profits is a GOOD deal for many companies... it is PRECISELY what they do when they award stock options to executives: they are putting an incentive into the hands of people whose contributions can make a difference on the bottom line.</font>[/QUOTE]So...you beleive the bank owes me for the building I built...still...(very socialist)

Phillip Allen
10-15-2005, 02:21 PM
That would extend its tentacles in every direction: the boy who mowed my lawn is owed some of my cash. The waitress is owed some more of my cash and everyone who can claim contact owns what I make...amazing

Cuyahoga Chuck
10-15-2005, 04:32 PM
Even with two postings your metaphor is as clear as mud.
Any industry with an army of workers will do better if everybody is on the same page. And if a legal agreement will tighten up the operation why not?
And from a social, not a socialist, aspect, having a population that is secure in it's livelyhood, by whatever means, means we can have a more productive population than one where robber barons say who works, who doesn't and for how much. We have been their and done that.
We're headed for a lot of public disenchantment. With all the monsterous chicanery in the business world any worker that is thoroughly trusting of his employer must have been asleep for the last decade. It may not be far off that the public will realize that when they get their employment status on paper with signatures of all concerned they have ,at least, something to show a judge if the employer tries to shut down and pocket the proceeds.
Of course, today, every contract can be broached in some way. Even the US military is holding it's enlistees beyond the original terms enlistment.
If I was cutting your grass I would be inclined to get our relationship on paper. You are, obviously, one who harbors some strange economic theories.

Phillip Allen
10-15-2005, 04:50 PM
I recognise it is a complicated topic...I've got two young grandkids over now so don't feel like delving into long and convoluted topics...I'll try and get back to it later...

10-15-2005, 08:50 PM
Ish, rather than ask "why is an auto plant worker worth $30 an hour," why not ask, "why is my labor not worth $30 an hour?"

Without garbagemen and sewer workers, we would all be dying in the millions from typhus and other diseases, why is there labor not as worthy as the labor of a CEO?

Without the illegal immigrant stoop laborers who pick our vegetables for starvation wages, what would we eat? Why is their labor not worth a livingg wage?

If you say "because the market determines the value of their labor," than you miss the point. The market, the almighty free market, does not produce justice. That is the fatal flaw in the thinking of all those who think the free market is some kind of perfect law. Its not.

Phillip Allen
10-15-2005, 09:48 PM
Unfortunately Pat, any correction to make wages more in line with higher paid jobs...is downward. I don't know what you do to earn a living but what I am saying is that wages are leveled downward (lower wages do not rise to the level of higher paid workers)...it eliminates middle class income and even upper lower-income earners and separates the upper crust from wage earners in a radical polarization...we end up with those who have power at top incomes and the vast majority without not only a living wage but with no political power.