Quotations about   emergency

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No man knows his true character until he has run out of gas, purchased something on the installment plan, and raised an adolescent.

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Marcelene Cox (1900-1998) American writer, columnist, aphorist
“Ask Any Woman” column, Ladies’ Home Journal (1955)
 
Added on 17-Sep-21 | Last updated 17-Aug-22
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Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. Modern tyranny is terror management. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that authoritarians exploit such events in order to consolidate power. The sudden disaster that requires the end of checks and balances, the dissolution of political parties, the suspension of freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

Timothy Snyder (b. 1969) American historian, author
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017)
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Added on 5-May-21 | Last updated 5-May-21
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Nobody but radicals have ever accomplished anything in a great crisis. Conservatives have their place in the piping times of peace; but in emergencies only rugged issue men amount to much.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881) US President (1881), lawyer, lay preacher, educator
Diary entry (1876)
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Added on 9-Oct-20 | Last updated 9-Oct-20
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It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of a man is tested.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
“Abraham Lincoln,” The North American Review (Jan 1864)
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Added on 13-Jun-17 | Last updated 13-Jun-17
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In the Laundry we supposedly pride ourselves on our procedures. We’ve got procedures for breaking and entering offices, procedures for reporting a shortage of paper clips, procedures for summoning demons from the vasty deeps, and procedures for writing procedures. We may actually be on track to be the world’s first ISO-9000 total-quality-certified intelligence agency. According to our written procedure for dealing with procedural cluster-fucks on foreign assignment, what I should do at this point is fill out Form 1008.7, then drive like a bat out of hell over Highway 17 until it hits the Interstate, then take the turnoff for San Francisco Airport and use my company credit card to buy the first available seat home. Not forgetting to file Form 1018.9 (“expenses unexpectedly incurred in responding to a situation 1008.7 in the line of duty”) in time for the end of month accounting cycle.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Atrocity Archives (2004)
 
Added on 20-Dec-16 | Last updated 20-Dec-16
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How many people have died because they could not abandon their baggage?

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
 
Added on 3-Nov-15 | Last updated 3-Nov-15
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Three very crowded hours went past. They involved quite a lot of phone calls, telexes, and faxes. Twenty-seven people were got out of bed in quick succession and they got another fifty-three out of bed, because if there is one thing a man wants to know when he’s woken up in a panic at 4:00 A.M., it’s that he’s not alone.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
 
Added on 15-May-14 | Last updated 8-Jun-21
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It is incumbent on those only who accept of great charges, to risk themselves on great occasions, when the safety of the nation, or some of it’s very high interests are at stake. An officer is bound to obey orders: yet he would be a bad one who should do it in cases for which they were not intended, and which involved the most important consequences. The line of discrimination between cases may be difficult; but the good officer is bound to draw it at his own peril, & throw himself on the justice of his country and the rectitude of his motives.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to John B. Colvin (20 Sep 1810)
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Added on 16-Aug-12 | Last updated 14-Jul-22
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The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.

Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) Russian politician, Marxist, intellectual, revolutionary [b. Lev Davidovich Bronstein]
Diary in Exile, 5 Apr 1935 (1958)
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Added on 21-Dec-11 | Last updated 18-Mar-22
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It is true, the bill is said to be founded on necessity; but what is this? Is it not necessity, which has always been the plea of every illegal exertion of power, or exercise of oppression? Is not necessity the pretence of every usurpation? Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

William Pitt (1759-1806) British Prime Minister (1804-06) [William Pitt the Younger]
Speech to House of Commons (18 Nov 1793)
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Speech on a bill changing the process of governing India. Cf. Milton.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Jan-20
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