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It is not necessary for the politician to be the slave of the public's group prejudices, if he can learn how to mold the mind of the voters in conformity with his own ideas of public welfare and public service. The important thing for the statesman of our age is not so much to know how to please the public, but to know how to sway the public. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
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The best way to alleviate the obesity "public health" crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of public health. It doesn't belong there. It's difficult to think of anything more private and of less public concern than what we choose to put into our bodies. It only becomes a public matter when we force the public to pay for the consequences of those choices.
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Don't talk to me about appealing to the public. I am done with the public, for the present anyway. The public reads the headlines and that is all. The story itself is fair and shows the facts. That would be all right if the public read the facts. But it does not. It reads the headlines and listens to the demagogues and that's the stuff public opinion is made of.
J. P. Morgan
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The danger is in pleasing an immediate public: the immediate public that comes around you and takes you in and accepts you and gives you success and everything. Instead of that, you should wait for fifty years or a hundred years for your true public. That is the only public that interests me.
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Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superiour to all private passions.
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Legally speaking, the term 'public rights' is as vague and indefinite as are the terms 'public health,' 'public good,' 'public welfare,' and the like. It has no legal meaning, except when used to describe the separate, private, individual rights of a greater or less number of individuals.
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All buildings, large or small, public or private, have a public face, a facade; they therefore, without exception, have a positive or negative effect on the quality of the public realm, enriching or impoverishing it in a lasting and radical manner. The architecture of the city and public space is a matter of common concern to the same degree as laws and language""they are the foundation of civility and civilisation.
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The bourgeois public sphere may be conceived above all as the sphere of private people come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere regulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a debate over the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor.
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I think we should talk about what the objectives of the party are, whether that's restoring the Clause Four as it was originally written or it's a different one, but I think we shouldn't shy away from public participation, public investment in industry, and public control of the railways.
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In a mass television democracy - which all of us nowadays have - it is impossible to take basic political decisions with long-term consequences without the public knowing it, without the public understanding at least some of it, without the public forming its judgment, heterogeneous as it may be.
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A democratic public forms when citizens gather together to deliberate and make public judgments about local and national issues that affect their lives. By associating together for public discussion, citizens learn the skills necessary for the health of a democratic public; listening persuading, arguing, compromising, and seeking common ground. When these skills are nurtured within the institutions of a democratic public, citizens educate themselves in order to make informed political decisions.
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To attach full confidence to an institution of this nature, it appears to be an essential ingredient in its structure, that it shall be under private and not a public direction-under the guidance of individual interest, not of public policy; which, would be . . . liable to being too much influenced by public necessity.
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This is the paradox of public space: even if everyone knows an unpleasant fact, saying it in public changes everything. One of the first measures taken by the new Bolshevik government in 1918 was to make public the entire corpus of tsarist secret diplomacy, all the secret agreements, the secret clauses of public agreements etc. There too the target was the entire functioning of the state apparatuses of power.
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Secularism drew a radical distinction between public and private life, in which religion, in any traditional sense, was relegated to the private sphere with no hold over public life. There are many charms in secularism, in particular the freedom to believe what you will in private. But secularism also poses a public problem. There are those whose beliefs are so different from others' beliefs that finding common ground in the public space is impossible. And then there are those for whom the very distinction between private and public is either meaningless or unacceptable. The complex contrivances of secularism have their charm, but not everyone is charmed.
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The public does not like you to mislead or represent yourself to be something you're not. And the other thing that the public really does like is the self-examination to say, you know, I'm not perfect. I'm just like you. They don't ask their public officials to be perfect. They just ask them to be smart, truthful, honest, and show a modicum of good sense.
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The public owns the airwaves; Congress gave them to broadcasters for free, with the understanding that they would serve the public interest while trying to maximize profit. An aspect of serving the public is to use the immense power of electronic media to reflect evolving standards of respect for other people.
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Public education does not serve a public. It creates a public. And in creating the right kind of public, the schools contribute toward strengthening the spiritual basis of the American Creed. That is how Jefferson understood it, how Horace Mann understood it, how John Dewey understood it, and in fact, there is no other way to understand it. The question is not, Does or doesn't public schooling create a public? The question is, What kind of public does it create? A conglomerate of self-indulgent consumers? Angry, soulless, directionless masses? Indifferent, confused citizens? Or a public imbued with confidence, a sense of purpose, a respect for learning, and tolerance? The answer to this question has nothing whatever to do with computers, with testing, with teacher accountability, with class size, and with the other details of managing schools. The right answer depends on two things, and two things alone: the existence of shared narratives and the capacity of such narratives to provide an inspired reason for schooling.
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It is a fundamental principle of American democracy that laws should not be public only when it is convenient for government officials to make them public. They should be public all the time, open to review by adversarial courts, and subject to change by an accountable legislature guided by an informed public. If Americans are not able to learn how their government is interpreting and executing the law then we have effectively eliminated the most important bulwark of our democracy. That's why, even at the height of the Cold War, when the argument for absolute secrecy was at its zenith, Congress chose to make US surveillance laws public. Without public laws, and public court rulings interpreting those laws, it is impossible to have informed public debate. And when the American people are in the dark, they can't make fully informed decisions about who should represent them, or protest policies that they disagree with. These are fundamentals. It's Civics 101. And secret law violates those basic principles. It has no place in America.
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But, that's the whole point of corporatization - to try to remove the public from making decisions over their own fate, to limit the public arena, to control opinion, to make sure that the fundamental decisions that determine how the world is going to be run - which includes production, commerce, distribution, thought, social policy, foreign policy, everything - are not in the hands of the public, but rather in the hands of highly concentrated private power. In effect, tyranny unaccountable to the public.
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The trouble is that privacy is at once essential to, and in tension with, both freedom and security. A cabinet minister who keeps his mistress in satin sheets at the French taxpayer's expense cannot justly object when the press exposes his misuse of public funds. Our freedom to scrutinise the conduct of public figures trumps that minister's claim to privacy. The question is: where and how do we draw the line between a genuine public interest and that which is merely what interests the public?
Timothy Garton Ash
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Those of us in public office and those of us who aspire to public office have a responsibility to be reasonable, fact-based, in our rhetoric and to not suggest things that are unreasonable, to whip up a lot of emotion in public, which can lead to government overreach, fear, suspicions, and prejudice.
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I am for a government rigorously frugal & simple, applying all the possible savings of the public revenue to the discharge of the national debt; and not for a multiplication of officers & salaries merely to make partisans, & for increasing, by every device, the public debt, on the principle of its being a public blessing.
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The U.S. public is depoliticised, poorly informed on foreign affairs... and strongly patriotic in the face of a struggle with another Hitler. Even though the public is normally averse to war, even with modest propaganda efforts... the public can be quickly transformed into enthusiastic supporters of war.
Edward S. Herman
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I am singing in an operatic voice for the public, to bring something more to Rock and Roll. Because in a Rock and Roll performance, the singer talks to the public whereas in Opera the singer only talks to a character, inside a story. The public sees this as a picture, I want to transport this picture into the room where the public is.
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'Revelation assures us that 'righteousness exalteth a nation.' Communities are dealt with in this world by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general character. The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.
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Moralistic culture views government as a positive force, one that values the individual but functions to the benefit of the general public. Discussion of public issues and voting are not only rights but also opportunities to better the individual and society alike. Furthermore, politicians should not profit from their public service.
William Earl Maxwell
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To me, the conclusion that the public has the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of even the biggest businesses is empowering and hopeful, rather than disappointing. My conclusion is not a moralistic one about who is right or wrong, admirable or selfish, a good guy or a bad guy. My conclusion is instead a prediction, based on what I have seen happening in the past. Businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior, to reward businesses for behavior that the public wanted, and to make things difficult for businesses practicing behaviors that the public didn't want. I predict that in the future, just as in the past, changes in public attitudes will be essential for changes in businesses' environmental practices.
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For Sabina, living in truth, lying neither to ourselves nor to others, was possible only away from the public: the moment someone keeps an eye on what we do, we involuntarily make allowances for that eye, and nothing we do is truthful. Having a public, keeping a public in mind, means living in lies.
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American public opinion, as you can see in the polls, radically changed from being against airstrikes to being heavily in favor that [President Obama] decided to do airstrikes. This is a classic example of leading from behind where he waits for public opinion. And now it's the public who's demanding he do something.
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I think the public library system is one of the most amazing American institutions. Free for everybody. If you ever get the blues about the status of American culture there are still more public libraries than there are McDonald's. During the worst of the Depression not one public library closed their doors.
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You have celebrities who are pushed to the brink of a public meltdown, and so the public thinks that every person in the public eye has dirty secrets that they're keeping, or isn't what they seem, or is masking it and faking sincerity, faking authenticity, faking being surprised at award shows when you win a Grammy.
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I really don't want to produce artwork that does not have meaning beyond simple decorative values. I want to use public space to create a public voice, and a public consciousness about the presence of people who are, in fact, the majority of the population but who are not represented in any visual way. By telling their stories we are giving voice to the voiceless and visualizing the whole of the American story.
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For such will be our ruin if you, in the immensity of your public abstractions, forget the private figure, or if we in the intensity of our private emotions forget the public world. Both houses will be ruined, the public and the private, the material and the spiritual, for they are inseparably connected.
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I made my mistakes, but in all of my years in public life, I have never profited, never profited from public serviceI have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I could say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I am not a crook. I have earned everything I have got.
Richard M. Nixon
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Do you still believe i public opinion? Well let me tell you public opinion is a gimmick thought up by the English and Americans, it's them who are shitting us up with this public opinion rot, of you'll excuse my language, we've never had their political system, we don't have their traditions, we don't even know what trade unions are, we're a southern people and we obey whoever shouts the loudest and gives the orders.
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The year now is 1774. Poseurs or not, it is time to grow up. It is time to enter the public realm, the world of public acts and public attitudes. Everything that happens now will happen in the light of history. It is not a midday luminary, but a corpse-candle to the intellect; at best, it is a secondhand lunar light, error-breeding, sand-blind and parched.
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There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise, " and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean. We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o'clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: "You shouldn't be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!" In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.
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If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?
John F. Kennedy
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Restoring prayer ... will scarcely at this date solve the grievous public school problem. Public schools are expensive and massive centers for cultural and ideological brainwashing, at which they are unfortunately far more effective than in teaching the 3 R's or in keeping simple order within the schools. Any plan to begin dismantling the public school monstrosity is met with effective opposition by the teachers' and educators' unions. Truly radical change is needed to shift education from public to unregulated private schooling, religious and secular, as well as home schooling by parents.
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I was so inspired by Dr. King that in 1956 with my brothers and sisters and first cousins, I was only 16 years old, we went down to the public library trying to check out some books and we were told by the librarian that the library was for whites only and not for colors! It was a public library! I never went back to that public library until July 5th, 1998, by this time I'm in the Congress, for a book signing of my book "Walking with the Wind"
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Ownership by delegation is a contradiction in terms. When men say, for instance (by a false metaphor), that each member of the public should feel himself an owner of public property-such as a Town Park-and should therefore respect it as his own, they are saying something which all our experience proves to be completely false. No man feels of public property that it is his own; no man will treat it with the care of the affection of a thing which is his own.
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Creativity builds upon the public domain. The battle that we're fighting now is about whether the public domain will continue to be fed by creative works after their copyright expires. That has been our tradition but that tradition has been perverted in the last generation. We're trying to use the Constitution to reestablish what has always been taken for granted--that the public domain would grow each year with new creative work.
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The effort to make financial or political profit out of the destruction of character can only result in public calamity. Gross and reckless assaults on character, whether on the stump or in newspaper, magazine, or book, create a morbid and vicious public sentiment, and at the same time act as a profound deterrent to able men of normal sensitiveness and tend to prevent them from entering the public service at any price.
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And is it not the artists that make art? Well, no: criticism is now the substance of art making to such a degree that many of today's public artists do away with the product as an issue, and make public debate the contents of their art. In doing so they are not redefining art so much as redefining public space. The debate itself has become the public space.
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When people generally are aware of a problem, it can be said to have entered the public consciousness. When people get on their hind legs and holler, the problem has not only entered the public consciousness -- it has also become a part of the public conscience. At that point, things in our democracy begin to hum.
Hubert H. Humphrey
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