“Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

One of the most famous quotations by Benjamin Franklin is: “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” (Commonly heard as “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”) The source of this oft-cited quip is a letter Franklin wrote to French scientist Jean-Baptiste Leroy on November 13, 1789. But there are some interesting things about the … Read more

Jefferson’s bloody “Tree of Liberty” quote still fertilizes freedom and fanaticism

One of the signs held by a gun-toting protester against the Democratic health care proposal earlier this year said “IT IS TIME TO WATER THE TREE OF LIBERTY!” This is a shorthand reference to an oft-used and abused quotation by Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the … Read more