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Gizmotude Quotation Archives



Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature … Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. ~~ Helen Keller


We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship. ~~ E. M. Forster [Two Cheers for Democracy]


It is in the half fools and the half wise that the greatest danger lies. ~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Illusions: they fit like an iron lung, and can keep you going indefinitely. The persons suspected of stealing them are to be considered armed and dangerous. ~~ Kathleen Norris


In a moment of extreme danger things can be done which have previously been thought impossible. Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas. ~~ Erwin Rommel


When one is on a tightrope, the most dangerous course is to stop. ~~ Henry A. Kissinger


You take a number of small steps which you believe are right, thinking maybe tomorrow somebody will treat this as a dangerous provocation... If there is no reaction, you take another step: courage is only an accumulation of small steps. ~~ George Konrad


I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to incur it. ~~ William Tecumseh Sherman


Personal ads are dangerous. You have to separate the ones who are lying from the ones who are hallucinating. ~~ Rita Rudner


For me words still possess their primitive, mystical, incantatory powers. I am inclined to use them as part of an attempt to make my own reality more real for others, as part of an effort to transcend emotional danger. For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience. ~~ Ingrid Bengis


The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must--in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures--and that is the basis of all morality. ~~ John F. Kennedy


To bemoan the messiness of politics is not just a folly; it betrays a dangerous impatience with basic human realities. It is like becoming disturbed that people do not fall in love sensibly--and so deciding to computerize the problem. ~~ Theodore Roszak


An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains. ~~ Henri Frederic Amiel


Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder. ~~ Paul Valery


Women and men of retiring timidity are cowardly only in dangers which affect themselves, but the first to rescue when others are endangered. ~~ Jean Paul Richter


I am not afraid of letting my affection carry me too far; there is no danger of excess where there ought to be no limits. ~~ Pliny the Younger


The more amiability and esprit de corps among the members of a policy-making in-group, the greater is the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions directed against out groups. ~~ Irving L. Janis


The reason doctors are so dangerous is that they believe in what they're doing. ~~ Robert S. Mendelsohn


Nonviolence does not admit of running away from danger… Between violence and cowardly flight I can only prefer violence to cowardice. ~~ Mohandas K. Gandhi


One of the most dangerous forms of human error is forgetting what one is trying to achieve. ~~ George Soros


It is dangerous to abandon oneself to the luxury of grief: it deprives one of courage, and even of the wish for recovery. ~~ Henri-Frederic Amiel


He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so. ~~ Walter Lippmann


[To fanatics] all thought is divinely classified into two kinds--that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous. ~~ Robert H. Jackson


Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal. ~~ George Bernard Shaw


I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position. ~~ Mark Twain


You are so afraid of losing your moral sense that you are not willing to take it through anything more dangerous than a mud puddle. ~~ Gertrude Stein


It is hard for many people today to make the distinction between religion and religiosity, the latter a dangerous parody of the former. ~~ Abigail McCarthy


If we are to regard ourselves as a grown-up nation--and anything else will henceforth be mortally dangerous--then we must, as the Biblical phrase goes, put away childish things; and among these childish things the first to go, in my opinion, should be self-idealization and the search for absolutes in world affairs: for absolute security, absolute amity, absolute harmony. ~~ George F. Kennan


You cannot settle a new country without suffering, exposure, and danger. Cheerful endurance of hardships and contempt of surroundings become a virtue in a pioneer. Comfort is a comparatively new thing in the United States. ~~ Ida Tarbell


Love is a dangerous angel… Especially nowadays. ~~ Francesca Lia Block


Celebrity worship and hero worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but who are famous because they are great. ~~ Daniel J. Boorstin


Perhaps extreme danger strips us of all pretenses, all ambitions, all confusions, focusing us more intensely than we are otherwise ever focused, so that we remember what we otherwise spend most of our lives forgetting… ~~ Dean Koontz [Fear Nothing]


An unwillingness to believe in impending danger is a very human quality. ~~ E. V. Cunningham [Howard Fast]


If there is anything more dangerous to the life of the mind than having no independent commitment to ideas, it is having an excess of commitment to some special and constricting idea. ~~ Richard Hofstadter


There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference. ~~ Helen Keller


The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything … or nothing. ~~ Lady Nancy Astor


The most dangerous thing in the world is to leap a chasm in two jumps. ~~ David Lloyd George


The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides. ~~ Margaret Thatcher


There is no greater mistake and no graver danger than not to see that in our own society we are faced with the same phenomenon that is fertile soil for the rise of Fascism anywhere: the insignificance and powerlessness of the individual. ~~ Erich Fromm


I have lived long enough, and have experience enough of the conduct of governments and people, nations, and courts, to be convinced that gratitude, friendship, and unsuspecting confidence, and all the amiable passions of human nature, are the most dangerous guides in politics. ~~ John Adams


If a man has no vices, he's in great danger of making vices about his virtues, and there's a spectacle. ~~ Thornton Wilder


The game of life is to come up a winner, to be a success, or to achieve what we set out to do. Yet there is always the danger of failing as a human being. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself. ~~ Voltaire


We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten. ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


The most dangerous word in any human tongue is the word for brother. It's inflammatory. ~~ Tennessee Williams


The danger of success is that it makes us forget the world's dreadful injustice. ~~ Jules Renard


The chief danger which threatens the influence and honor of the press is the tendency of its liberty to degenerate into license. ~~ James A. Garfield


California is in no danger of sliding into the Pacific. It will eventually slide into Canada. The continental plate it's sitting on is traveling north, not west. ~~ Deane Jordan [1001 Facts Somebody Screwed Up]


If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger? ~~ Thomas Henry Huxley


There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they were quite devoid of goodness. ~~ La Rochefoucauld


Men who are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives. ~~ Walter Lippmann


Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need--a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ~~ Jerome K. Jerome [Three Men in a Boat]


Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive. ~~ Henry Steel Commager

Anything scares me, anything scares anyone but really after all considering how dangerous everything is nothing is really frightening. ~~ Gertrude Stein


Great men help dazzle the people… after that, they dazzle themselves even more dangerously. ~~ Cardinal de Retz


No wonder men were often frightened of women. They had a way of getting to the heart of things, a dangerous place sometimes. ~~ Nevada Barr [Blind Descent]


The average politician goes through a sentence like a man exploring a disused mine shaft -- blind, groping, timorous and in imminent danger of cracking his shins on a subordinate clause or a nasty bit of subjunctive. ~~ Robertson Davies


For the first time she had dimly realized that only the hopeless are starkly sincere and that only the unhappy can either give or take sympathy--even some of the bitter and dangerous voluptuousness of misery. ~~ Jean Rhys


Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time. ~~ John Stuart Mill


He was one of those dangerous people who are soft, squidgy, and cowlike provided they have what they want. ~~ Douglas Adams


Powerlessness frustrates; absolute powerlessness frustrates absolutely. Absolute frustration is a dangerous emotion to run a world with. ~~ Russell Baker


Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive. ~~ Josephine Hart


It is dangerous for a national candidate to say things that people might remember. ~~ David Broder


Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. ~~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton


The coward is always in danger. ~~ Portuguese saying


Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~~ George Bernard Shaw


Women really go beyond the call of duty to attract men. I wonder what a man would do in a similar situation. Let's say someone decided that in order for a man to look attractive in a bathing suit to a woman he had to pour hot wax dangerously near to the most sensitive part of his body and have it ripped off at least once every two months. How many men do you think would sign up? I think Evil Knievel would say, "Too risky." ~~ Rita Rudner


Because courage consists in transcending normal fears, the highest kind of courage is cold courage; that is to say, courage in which the danger has been fully realized and there is no emotional excitement to conceal the danger. ~~ Walter Lippmann


Learning takes us through many states of life, but it fails utterly in the hour of danger and temptation. Then faith alone saves. ~~ Mohandas K. Gandhi


Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver, but less daring. ~~ Herman Melville


Danger for danger's sake is senseless. ~~ Leigh Hunt


A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. ~~ Marshall McLuhan


The army is a dangerous instrument to play with. ~~ George Washington


Next to power without honor, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humor. ~~ Eric Sevareid


Was that what, ultimately, war did to you? It was not the physical dangers--the mines at sea, the bombs from the air, the crisp ping of a rifle bullet as you drove over a desert track. No, it was the spiritual danger of learning how much easier life was if you ceased to think. ~~ Agatha Christie


In many cases the most dangerous part of a car is the nut that holds the steering wheel. ~~ Joe Moore


In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous. ~~ Robert G. Ingersoll


Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times. ~~ Sir Winston Spencer Churchill


The fool mistakes power for virtue, acclaim for merit, nonconformity for dangerousness, conviction for truth, revenge for justice, license for liberty, and kindness for weakness. ~~ Unattributed


The most dangerous temptations are not due to the active, sudden flames of desire, "the lusts of the flesh," but to the disinclinations of the flesh, its indolence and sluggishness, our tendency to become creatures of habit. ~~ Sigrid Undset (See Said Who?)


The great danger is that in the confession of any collective sin, one shall confess the sins of others and forget our own. ~~ Georgia Harkness


An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. ~~ Elbert Hubbard [Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams]


Kindness and intelligence don't always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps: there are always failures of love, of will, of imagination. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships. ~~ Barbara Grizzuti Harrison


Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. ~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence. ~~ Lewis Mumford


In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility--I welcome it. ~~ John F. Kennedy


Advertising men and politicians are dangerous if they are separated. Together they are diabolical. ~~ Philip Adams


Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission to the impending visitation, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance. ~~ Saki


It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. ~~ George Bernard Shaw


A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. ~~ Alexander Pope


Surely a King who loves pleasure is less dangerous than one who loves glory? ~~ Nancy Mitford


Do not needlessly endanger your lives until I give you the signal. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and like the grave, cries "Give, give." ~~ Abigail Adams


What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents. ~~ Robert F. Kennedy


Against the disease of writing one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease. ~~ Peter Abelard


But the great danger of communism does not lie in its false promises. It lies in the fact that it is an instrument of an armed imperialism which seeks to extend its influence by force. ~~ Harry S Truman


It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. ~~ Soren Kierkegaard


Everyone with experience with cats knows how skillful they are at jumping on to tables and mantelpieces crowded with odds and ends, even though they cannot see them when they begin their jump. Charles had no such skill. Every jump he made was fraught with danger to property, and after he had knocked over sundry pieces of valuable glass and china I had to put everything breakable out of his reach. And he was ridiculously proud of his ability to knock things over, to judge by the satisfied expression on his funny little face. Only when a pile of books nearly cascaded on top of him as a result of his efforts to dislodge them did he show any sign of dismay. After two subdued minutes behind the curtain he was at his tricks again. ~~ Michael Joseph


There are dangers in sentimentalizing nature. Most sentimental ideas imply, at bottom, a deep if unacknowledged disrespect. It is no accident that we Americans, probably the world's champion sentimentalizers about nature, are at one and the same time probably the world's most voracious and disrespectful destroyers of wild and rural countryside. ~~ Jane Jacobs


All generalizations are dangerous, even this one. ~~ Alexandre Dumas


Those who make some other person their job… are dangerous. ~~ Dorothy L. Sayers


There can never be enough said of the virtues, the dangers, the power of a shared laugh. ~~ Francoise Sagan


First, is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills--against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. ~~ Robert F. Kennedy


There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. ~~ John Adams


… a strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, or self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Beware of the danger signals that flag [relationship] problems: silence, secretiveness, or sudden outburst. ~~ Sylvia Porter


Liberty is always dangerous--but it is the safest thing we have. ~~ Harry Emerson Fosdick