Desperate Measures Quotes

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That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I'm free to act as desperately as I wish.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I could have lied. I could have fought. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so I took a chance and called upon a Gallagher Girl's weapon of last resort. I flirted
Ally Carter (Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3))
The main thing I feel is a sense of relief. That I can give up this game. That the question of whether I can succeed in this venture has been answered, even if that answer is a resounding no. That if desperate times call for desperate measures, I am free to act as desperately as I want.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Desperate times call for desperate measures" is an aphorism which here means "sometimes you need to change your facial expression in order to create a workable disguise." The quoting of an aphorism, such as "It takes a village to raise a child," "No news is good news," and "Love conquers all," rarely indicates that something helpful is about to happen, which is why we provide our volunteers with a disguise kit in addition to helpful phrases of advice.
Lemony Snicket (Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography)
I'm not ready to let the youthful part of myself go yet. If maturity means becoming a cynic, if you have to kill the part of yourself that is naive and romantic and idealistic - the part of you that you treasure most - to claim maturity, is it not better to die young but with your humanity intact?
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex: And Other Desperate Measures)
Desperate times call for desperate measures. That's a saying, or a bit of advice, or a catchprase, or a string of words used to confuse people less intelligent than you. In any case, it means: Life is tough, so you'd better fight hard-or something like that.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret (Leven Thumps, #2))
People only get married when they've no other option, out of panic or desperation or so as not to lose someone they couldn't bear to lose. It's always the most conventional things that contain the largest measure of madness.
Javier Marías
The letter had been crumpled up and tossed onto the grate. It had burned all around the edges, so the names at the top and bottom had gone up in smoke. But there was enough of the bold black scrawl to reveal that it had indeed been a love letter. And as Hannah read the singed and half-destroyed parchment, she was forced to turn away to hide the trembling of her hand. —should warn you that this letter will not be eloquent. However, it will be sincere, especially in light of the fact that you will never read it. I have felt these words like a weight in my chest, until I find myself amazed that a heart can go on beating under such a burden. I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking. My love, you don't belong with a man like me. In the past I've done things you wouldn't approve of, and I've done them ten times over. I have led a life of immoderate sin. As it turns out, I'm just as immoderate in love. Worse, in fact. I want to kiss every soft place of you, make you blush and faint, pleasure you until you weep, and dry every tear with my lips. If you only knew how I crave the taste of you. I want to take you in my hands and mouth and feast on you. I want to drink wine and honey from you. I want you under me. On your back. I'm sorry. You deserve more respect than that. But I can't stop thinking of it. Your arms and legs around me. Your mouth, open for my kisses. I need too much of you. A lifetime of nights spent between your thighs wouldn't be enough. I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast. If only you— And there it stopped.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death? No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no. One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?" Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.
Isaac Asimov
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden & Civil Disobedience)
The problem is that no matter how good your intentions, eventually you want to kill someone yourself.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
So you would think that at this moment, I would be in utter despair. Here's what's strange. The main thing I feel is a sense of relief. That I can give up this game. That the question of whether I can succeed in this venture has been answered, even if that answer is resounding no. That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I am free to act as desperately as I wish.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Have you considered extreme, desperate measures like talking to her again?" "Yeah, but, well..." "You've yeah-but your way to this point," said Jean. "You're going to yeah-but this mess until it's time to go home, and I don't doubt you'll yeah-but her out of your life. Quit circling at a distance. Go talk to her, for Preva's sake.
Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3))
My office is in a building in midtown Chicago. It's an older building, and not in the best of shape, especially since there was that problem with the elevator last year. I don't care what anyone says, that wasn't my fault. when a giant scorpion the size of an Irish wolfhound is tearing its way through the roof of your elevator car, you get real willing to take desperate measures.
Jim Butcher (Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3))
Life should not be measured by time. The only thing that counts is how one uses the time one has.
Eloisa James (This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses, #5))
There were plotters, there was no doubt about it. Some had been ordinary people who'd had enough. Some were young people with no money who objected to the fact that the world was run by old people who were rich. Some were in it to get girls. And some had been idiots as mad as Swing, with a view of the world just as rigid and unreal, who were on the side of what they called 'the people'. Vimes had spent his life on the streets, and had met decent men and fools and people who'd steal a penny from a blind beggar and people who performed silent miracles or desperate crimes every day behind the grubby windows of little houses, but he'd never met The People. People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn't that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people. As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn't measure up. What would run through the streets soon enough wouldn't be a revolution or a riot. It'd be people who were frightened and panicking. It was what happened when the machinery of city life faltered, the wheels stopped turning and all the little rules broke down. And when that happened, humans were worse than sheep. Sheep just ran; they didn't try to bite the sheep next to them.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
We sensible often resist intrusive love and its chaos practically, employing measures to prevent the former for fear of the latter. But for all our wit and work, that desperation for control also prevents the pure, transcendental freedom more often delivered by both.
Tiffany Madison
If blue helmeted UN peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run.
Andrew Thomson (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Cole,” I said, “do you think I’m lovable?” “As in ‘cuddly and’?” “As in ‘able to be loved,’” I said. Cole’s gaze was unwavering. Just for a moment, I had the strange idea that I could see exactly what he had looked like when he was younger, and exactly what he’d look like when he was older. It was piercing, a secret glimpse of his future. “Maybe,” he said. “But you won’t let anybody try.” I closed my eyes and swallowed. “I can’t tell the diference between not fighting,” I said,“and giving up.” Despite my eyelids being tightly shut, a single, hot tear ran out of my left eye. I was so angry that it had escaped. I was so angry. Beneath me, the bed tipped as Cole edged closer. I felt him lean over me. His breath, warm and measured, hit my cheek. Two breaths. Three. Four. I didn’t know what I wanted. Then I heard him stop breathing, and a second later, I felt his lips on my mouth. It wasn’t the sort of kiss I’d had with him before, hungry, wanting, desperate. It wasn’t the sort of kiss I’d had with anyone before. This kiss was so soft that it was like a memory of a kiss, so careful on my lips that it waslike a memory of a kiss, so careful on my lips that it was like someone running his fingers along them. My mouth parted and stilled; it was so quiet, a whisper, not a shout. Cole’s hand touched my neck, thumb pressed into the skin next to my jaw. It wasn’t a touch that said “I need more”. It was a touch that said “I want this.” It was all completely soundless. I didn’t think either of us was breathing. Cole sat back up, slowly, and I opened my eyes. His expression, as ever, was blank, the face he wore when something mattered. He said, “That’s how I would kiss you, if I loved you.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
A princess locked in a tower is only kept away from the world for one reason: it has nothing to do with her safety and everything to do with her perceived value.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
desperate times call for desperate measures
Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench
The street is no longer measured by meters but by corpses ... Stalingrad is no longer a town. By day it is an enormous cloud of burning, blinding smoke; it is a vast furnace lit by the reflection of the flames. And when night arrives, one of those scorching howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure.
Max Hastings (Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945)
Technically, on the spectrum of very bad things, they did nothing truly wicked. But of course, that spectrum has no measure for the greatest of all carnal sins, the kind that occurs before skin touches skin, before wondering turns to yearning, yearning to having, having to holding for dear life, when two people cling to each other so desperately that even when they lie, inches apart, neither is fully satisfied until the light between them turns to darkness.
Galt Niederhoffer (The Romantics)
But the uproar this caused was nothing compared with the uproar when Katronia noticed [Rosie] had also cut her eyelashes. Various negotiations (including, finally, such desperate measures as "supposing you ever want to eat again") eventually produced the grudging promise that, in return for Katronia keeping her hair cut short, she would leave her eyelashes alone.
Robin McKinley (Spindle's End)
…I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking… …I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast….
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
Desperate times call for hopeful measures.
Paul Doiron (Trespasser (Mike Bowditch, #2))
Desperate times call for slutty measures.
Elizabeth Good (Trampled Underfoot: The Dirt on Vic and Lia)
My dress leaves red marks on the tile behind me, which is a mood all on its own.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Israelis are a mix of North African, Levantine, and Eastern European, which inflames the politics but does amazing things for the women.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
What’s the point of possessing a rare desert flower if no one knows it exists?
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
You were talking to her before, right?” “Yeah. It was going well. Now it’s all strange.” “Have you considered extreme, desperate measures like talking to her again?
Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3))
I was hell-bent on being an effective humanitarian in Cambodia and Somalia. But a naïve fog is finally lifting. Revealed is a train wreck of illusions, the depravity of someone else's war, the futility of a competence stillborn there. To understand this you have to become this.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Iwent to school with African-American girls during my entire adolescence in Michigan and never noticed them as potential girlfriends, never even wanted to meet them. How did that happen? I'm nine thousand miles from home and a pernicious wall of segregation I never noticed in high school suddenly materialises. A young man should travel.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
There are people who desperately want to change the world. I wonder if it could be measured, because the world is already in the state of continuously change since the beginning of time. Or they may just want their names etched nicely on men history.
Toba Beta (My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut)
This level reach of blue is not my sea; Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun, Whose quiet ripples meet obediently A marked and measured line, one after one. This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm. I have a need of wilder, crueler waves; They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm. So let a love beat over me again, Loosing its million desperate breakers wide; Sudden and terrible to rise and wane; Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide That casts upon the heart, as it recedes, Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.
Dorothy Parker (The Portable Dorothy Parker)
Demons never die quietly, and a week ago the storm was a proper demon, sweeping through the Caribbean after her long ocean crossing from Africa, a category five when she finally came ashore at San Juan before moving on to Santo Domingo and then Cuba and Florida. But now she's grown very old, as her kind measures age, and these are her death throes. So she holds tightly to this night, hanging on with the desperate fury of any dying thing, any dying thing that might once have thought itself invincible.
Caitlín R. Kiernan
Yes, if we care enough and dare enough, we will experience disappointment. But in those moments when disappointment is washing over us and we’re desperately trying to get our heads and hearts around what is or is not going to be, the death of our expectations can be painful beyond measure.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
...while the IMF certainly failed the people of Asia, it did not fail Wall Street - far from it. The hot money may have been spooked by the IMF's drastic measures, but the large investment houses and multinational firms were emboldened...These fun-seeking firms understood that as a result of the IMF's "adjustments," pretty much everything in Asia was now up for sale - and the more the market panicked, the more desperate Asian companies would be to sell, pushing their prices through the floor.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
One only has to watch aging siblings scrap over the worthless pots and pans and scuffed furniture of a deceased parent's estate- like toddlers over toys- to see how desperate is the need to wrest some last, pathetic, tangible measure of their parent's devotion.
Victoria Secunda (Women and Their Fathers: The Sexual and Romantic Impact of the First Man in Your Life)
I'm not convinced that it's worth it. How many Cambodians ever asked for a $2 billion election? Nighty percent of them are rice farmers. I lived with them, watched them die at the hospital, and never was the word "election" mentioned. That money would repair hundreds of roads and bridges and pay for tons of seed and fertilizer. And clear a lot of landmines.
Andrew Thomson (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Be careful, he says, the official US position will be that they refuse to negotiate for hostages, but they may try to enlist the U.N. to do it.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
He did well, but he couln't afford the blood for a transfusion.
Andrew Thomson (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I am free to act as desperately as I wish.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
John Green (Let it Snow)
It doesn't matter if one of us is desperately, desperately in love. So much in love, that equally desperate measures must be taken
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
She has her sights set on things outside this world we move in, and I’d be a monster to hold her to the shadows when she was obviously meant to walk in the sunshine. I am a monster.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
At daybreak on the first day, thousands of Cambodians are already calmly waiting outside my polling station. They squat on the ground, silent and patient. We didn't expect this at all. We thought they would fail to understand how democracy works. We thought they would be afraid of the Khmer Rouge. We thought they would passively accept their fate. We were wrong.
Heidi Postlewait (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
there is still a kind of unique loneliness to child rearing for women. We so often do it in isolation. Add to the fact that in our competitive, perfectionist culture, in which the price woman are required to pay for freedom still seems to be martyrdom, almost everyone lies about motherhood. Part of that lying is loyalty - I can't let on that my kid is the only one on the playground who can't read or play the piano - and part of it is self-protection, since we've made hyper-motherhood a measure of female success. The preferred answer to the question "How are you?" is always "Fine," and the answer to the question "How are the kids?" is supposed to be "Great!" That's true even if the accurate answers would be "terrible" and "a mess." I think it produces its own kind of desperation, especially for women, who yearn to be emotionally open.
Anna Quindlen (Every Last One)
Men, Kellhus had once told her, were like coins: they had two sides. Where one side of them saw, the other side of them was seen, and though all men were both at once, men could only truly know the side of themselves that saw and the side of others that was seen—they could only truly know the inner half of themselves and the outer half of others. At first Esmenet thought this foolish. Was not the inner half the whole, what was only imperfectly apprehended by others? But Kellhus bid her to think of everything she’d witnessed in others. How many unwitting mistakes? How many flaws of character? Conceits couched in passing remarks. Fears posed as judgements … The shortcomings of men—their limits—were written in the eyes of those who watched them. And this was why everyone seemed so desperate to secure the good opinion of others—why everyone played the mummer. They knew without knowing that what they saw of themselves was only half of who they were. And they were desperate to be whole. The measure of wisdom, Kellhus had said, was found in the distance between these two selves. Only afterward had she thought of Kellhus in these terms. With a kind of surpriseless shock, she realized that not once—not once!—had she glimpsed shortcomings in his words or actions. And this, she understood, was why he seemed limitless, like the ground, which extended from the small circle about her feet to the great circle about the sky. He had become her horizon. For Kellhus, there was no distance between seeing and being seen. He alone was whole. And what was more, he somehow stood from without and saw from within. He made whole …
R. Scott Bakker (The Warrior Prophet (The Prince of Nothing, #2))
ideas are so elastic in a human brain, that they have no constant measure which may be called their actual bulk. Any important idea may be compressed to a molecule by an unwonted crowding of others; and any small idea will expand to whatever length and breadth of vacuum the mind may be able to make over to it.
Thomas Hardy (Desperate Remedies)
The philosopher Odo Marquard has noted a correlation in the German language between the word zwei, which means 'two,' and the word zweifel, which means 'doubt' - suggesting that two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life's journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers - always measuring our lives against some other person's life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
REMOVE THE LOUDHAILER ! If the Democrats really want to beat Donald Trump, how about getting some of their wealthy backers to buy up or take down Twitter ? The Twit-in-Chief without Twitter is nothing - a songbird without a song. No self-respecting news organisation would stoop to plug the gap. All that would be left is a pretentious peacock eunuch strutting around aimlessly with no fawning admirers. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
She understood that the Republic faced desperate times. She just wondered how many desperate measures that could justify. Somehow it seemed an affront to the Force to do this to fellow humans, even if they seemed remarkably sanguine about it.
Karen Traviss (Hard Contact (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #1))
The autopilot is a hands-free piece of electronic wizardry. It's not some brutal application of electricity like one of the Pubyok's car batteries...Think of its probing as a conversation with the mind, imagine it in a dance with identity. Yes, picture a pencil and eraser engaged in a beautiful dance across the page. The pencil's tip bursts with expression - squiggles, figures, words - filling the page, as the eraser measures, takes note, follows in the pencil's footsteps, leaving only blankness in its wake. The pencil's next seizure of scribbles is perhaps more intense and desperate, but shorter lived, and the eraser follows again. They continue in lockstep this way, the self and the state, coming closer to one another until finally the pencil and the eraser are almost one, moving in sympathy, the line disappearing even as it's laid down, the words unwritten before the letters are formed, and finally there is only white.
Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son)
His mouth comes down on mine, harder now, more demanding, a raw, hungry need in him rising to the surface. “You belong to me,” he growls. “Say it.” “Yes. Yes, I belong to you.” His mouth finds mine again, demanding, taking, drawing me under his spell. “Say it again,” he demands, nipping my lip, squeezing my breast and nipple, and sending a ripple of pleasure straight to my sex. “I belong to you,” I pant. He lifts me off the ground with the possessive curve of his hand around my backside, angling my hips to thrust harder, deeper. “Again,” he orders, driving into me, his cock hitting the farthest point of me and blasting against sensitive nerve endings. “Oh … ah … I … I belong to you.” His mouth dips low, his hair tickling my neck, his teeth scraping my shoulders at the same moment he pounds into me and the world spins around me, leaving nothing but pleasure and need and more need. I am suddenly hot only where he touches, and freezing where I yearn to be touched. Lifting my leg, I shackle his hip, ravenous beyond measure, climbing to the edge of bliss, reaching for it at the same time I’m trying desperately to hold back. Chris is merciless, wickedly wild, grinding and rocking, pumping. “I love you, Sara,” he confesses hoarsely, taking my mouth, swallowing the shallow, hot breath I release, and punishing me with a hard thrust that snaps the last of the lightly held control I possess. Possessing me. A fire explodes low in my belly and spirals downward, seizing my muscles, and I begin to spasm around his shaft, trembling with the force of my release. With a low growl, his muscles ripple beneath my touch and his cock pulses, his hot semen spilling inside me. We moan together, lost in the climax of a roller-coaster ride of pain and pleasure, spanning days apart, and finally collapse in a heap and just lie there. Slowly, I let my leg ease from his hip to the ground, and Chris rolls me to my side to face him. Still inside me, he holds me close, pulling the jacket up around my back, trailing fingers over my jaw. “And I belong to you.
Lisa Renee Jones (Being Me (Inside Out, #2))
The challenge for human beings is not how to avoid suffering, but how to face the pain that is inherent in our lives, and how not to create more suffering by our desperate attempt to avoid pain. Addiction is, perhaps, the most desperate measure we employ to escape suffering.
Valerie Mason-John (Eight Step Recovery: Using the Buddha's Teachings to Overcome Addiction)
When you realize that God is the only One who really has any lasting reward to give, He becomes the only One whose approval you desperately need. You can rest in the fact that you have it—in full measure—because the work of God’s perfect Son, Jesus, secured your acceptance the moment you placed your faith in Him. Before you ever win or lose, God has turned His face toward you. He has chosen you. And He is pleased.
Steven Furtick (Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others)
I want Jasmine to find her feet in a real way. She’s never had a chance before, and I can be the one to give it to her. Is there a whole lot of possessive pride wrapped up in that sentiment? Yes. I won’t deny it. I want her to fly and to know I was the one who gave her that chance. I want her to choose me.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
If you just stop doing, you’ll start knowing. This seemed like magical nonsense, but desperate women take desperate measures. I decided to experiment. After the kids left for school, I shut myself in my closet, sat down on a towel, closed my eyes, and did nothing but breathe. At first, each ten-minute session felt ten hours long. I checked my phone every few moments, planned my grocery lists, and mentally redecorated my living room. The only things I seemed to “know” on that floor were that I was hungry and itchy and suddenly desperate to fold laundry and reorganize my pantry. I was an input junkie thrown into detox.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
In the twentieth century, with its eighteen American presidents, Lyndon Baines Johnson was the greatest champion that black Americans and Mexican-Americans and indeed all Americans of color had in the White House, the greatest champion they had in all the halls of government. With the single exception of Lincoln, he was the greatest champion with a white skin that they had in the history of the Republic. He was to become the lawmaker for the poor and the downtrodden and the oppressed. He was to be the bearer of at least a measure of social justice to those to whom social justice had so long been denied, the restorer of at least a measure of dignity to those who so desperately needed to be given some dignity, the redeemer of the promises made to them by America. He was to be the President who, above all Presidents save Lincoln, codified compassion, the President who wrote mercy and justice into the statute books by which America was governed.
Robert A. Caro (Master of the Senate (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #3))
When speaking of the difficulty which a black boy experiences in America in competing with his white rivals, Booker Washington tells us that his own pathetic and desperate struggle taught him that 'success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
F.W. Boreham (Mushrooms on the Moor)
His name. A benediction and a curse
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
From tigress to curious kitten. All she needed was something to explore
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
This is not a victim rushing to meet her savior. This is a queen considering whether or not to treat with an enemy.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
You’re so freaking bossy, Jafar. I should start calling you Daddy.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
It does matter. She’s mine to conquer, yes, but more importantly, she’s mine to protect.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Fuck, but if ever there was a woman who could send me to my knees, it’s this one.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I’m not another woman. I’m Jasmine Sarraf. And I am done being a pawn.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
My mouth always had gotten me into trouble
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Freedom without resources is no freedom at all. This is the only way.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I feel his teeth against the sensitive skin there. “Scream if it makes you feel better. We both know why you won’t make me stop. You want this.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
How can a man make me so hot from a single look? It defies explanation
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
You’re just mad my metaphorical dick is bigger than yours.” She rolls her eyes. “Have fun. Don’t break the rules or I start breaking kneecaps
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
but what is a soul in comparison with a night’s pleasure?
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I don’t want her control. I just want Jasmine.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I don’t know why she’s resisting, but it doesn’t make a difference.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
If blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run. Or else get weapons. Your lives are worth so much less than theirs.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Therm-bombs! Drop ’em right on us! I been roasted before—it’s nothing!
Henry V. O'Neil (Live Echoes (Sim War #5))
She was harboring a fugitive plant in her basement.
Sandra Orchard (Desperate Measures (Port Aster Secrets, #3))
Sometimes one has got to become monstrous in order to survive.
Iris Murdoch (The Black Prince)
To everyone out there who prefers the villains to the heroes
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Holding one of those things in your hands, cleaning the barrel and shoving the rounds into clips, really brings you face-to-face with what a desperate, last-ditch measure they really are. I mean, if it gets to the point where we are shooting at people and vice versa, then we have completely screwed up. So in the end, they only strengthened my interest in making sure we could do without them.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
if I tell enough jokes or use enough visuals, the fact remains that I cannot convince people to be obsessed with Jesus. Perhaps I can talk people into praying a prayer, but I cannot talk anyone into falling in love with Christ. I cannot make someone understand and accept the gift of grace. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. So by every measure that actually counts, I need the Holy Spirit. Desperately.
Francis Chan (Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit)
This is the world we live in, a world of safety and happiness and order, a world without love. A world where children crack their heads on stone fireplaces and nearly gnaw off their tongues and the parents are concerned. Not heartbroken, frantic, desperate. Concerned, as they are when you fail mathematics, as they are when they are late to pay their taxes. [...] That’s the thing: We didn’t really care. A world without love is also a world without stakes. [...] In a world without love, this is what people are to each other: values, benefits, and liabilities, numbers and data. We weigh, we quantify, we measure, and the soul is ground to dust.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
He was to become the lawmaker for the poor and the downtrodden and the oppressed. He was to be the bearer of at least a measure of social justice to those whom social justice had so long been denied. The restorer of at least a measure of dignity to those who so desperately needed to be given some dignity. The redeemer of the promises made by them to America. “It is time to write it in the books of law.” By the time Lyndon Johnson left office he had done a lot of writing in those books, had become, above all presidents save Lincoln, the codifier of compassion, the president who wrote mercy and justice in the statute books by which America was governed.
Robert A. Caro (The Passage of Power)
Maybe you need an abundant measure of forgiveness for a sin you didn’t even realize you committed. And you might desperately need a divine touch of joy in a life that has become gray so gradually that you hardly noticed.
Anonymous (Quiet Reflections of Peace: 120 Devotions to End Your Day)
America's industrial success produced a roll call of financial magnificence: Rockefellers, Morgans, Astors, Mellons, Fricks, Carnegies, Goulds, du Ponts, Belmonts, Harrimans, Huntingtons, Vanderbilts, and many more based in dynastic wealth of essentially inexhaustible proportions. John D. Rockefeller made $1 billion a year, measured in today's money, and paid no income tax. No one did, for income tax did not yet exist in America. Congress tried to introduce an income tax of 2 percent on earnings of $4,000 in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Income tax wouldn't become a regular part of American Life until 1914. People would never be this rich again. Spending all this wealth became for many a more or less full-time occupation. A kind of desperate, vulgar edge became attached to almost everything they did. At one New York dinner party, guests found the table heaped with sand and at each place a little gold spade; upon a signal, they were invited to dig in and search for diamonds and other costly glitter buried within. At another party - possibly the most preposterous ever staged - several dozen horses with padded hooves were led into the ballroom of Sherry's, a vast and esteemed eating establishment, and tethered around the tables so that the guests, dressed as cowboys and cowgirls, could enjoy the novel and sublimely pointless pleasure of dining in a New York ballroom on horseback.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
I am blessed, personally, beyond measure, and yet oddly enough, I, too, struggle to feel His love for me every day. When I stack my obstacles against others' they seem to frivolous to be authentic. And yet, this mortal existence is designed by a genius, so that we all will, no matter our circumstances or parentage or gifts, have to exercise our agency to come to Him. And so though my problems may seem small to an outsider, they are big enough for me to desperately need Him.
Virginia H. Pearce (A Heart Like His: Making Space for God's Love in Your Life)
Meanwhile she's coldly interrogating me with her eyes. She's definitely in charge of this house and this moment. This must be Chloe. She escorts me to a table full of people and presents me. She introduces them briefly. This one's from Morocco, that one from Italy, he's Persian--I'm not exactly sure what that means--this one's from "the UK." They're all in their twenties, poised and dismissive. They don't know or care who I'm supposed to be at home or where I went to school. They're measuring something else I can't see and don't understand. They nod and turn back to each other. They seem to be waiting for a cue from Chloe to release them from having to feign interest. She introduces herself at substantially more length. Her father is Chinese and her mother is Swiss; she grew up in Hong Kong and "in Europe." I grew up in Michigan and in Michigan. But she didn't ask.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
before he went back to helping the boy. Missing from the Warrior tent were Kalona and Aurox. For obvious reasons, Thanatos had decided the Tulsa community wasn’t ready to meet either of them. I agreed with her. I wasn’t ready for … I mentally shook myself. No, I wasn’t going to think about the Aurox/Heath situation now. Instead I turned my attention to the second of the big tents. Lenobia was there, keeping a sharp eye on the people who clustered like buzzing bees around Mujaji and the big Percheron mare, Bonnie. Travis was with her. Travis was always with her, which made my heart feel good. It was awesome to see Lenobia in love. The Horse Mistress was like a bright, shining beacon of joy, and with all the Darkness I’d seen lately, that was rain in my desert. “Oh, for shit’s sake, where did I put my wine? Has anyone seen my Queenies cup? As the bumpkin reminded me, my parents are here somewhere, and I’m going to need fortification by the time they circle around and find me.” Aphrodite was muttering and pawing through the boxes of unsold cookies, searching for the big purple plastic cup I’d seen her drinking from earlier. “You have wine in that Queenies to go cup?” Stevie Rae was shaking her head at Aphrodite. “And you’ve been drinkin’ it through a straw?” Shaunee joined Stevie Rae in a head shake. “Isn’t that nasty?” “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Aphrodite quipped. “There are too many nuns lurking around to drink openly without hearing a boring lecture.” Aphrodite cut her eyes to the right of us where Street Cats had set up a half-moon display of cages filled with adoptable cats and bins of catnip-filled toys for sale. The Street Cats had their own miniature version of the silver and white tents, and I could see Damien sitting inside busily handling the cash register, but except for him, running every aspect of the feline area were the habit-wearing Benedictine nuns who had made Street Cats their own. One of the nuns looked my way and I waved and grinned at the Abbess. Sister Mary Angela waved back before returning to the conversation she was having with a family who were obviously falling in love with a cute white cat that looked like a giant cottonball. “Aphrodite, the nuns are cool,” I reminded her. “And they look too busy to pay any attention to you,” Stevie Rae said. “Imagine that—you may not be the center of everyone’s attention,” Shaylin said with mock surprise. Stevie Rae covered her giggle with a cough. Before Aphrodite could say something hateful, Grandma limped up to us. Other than the limp and being pale, Grandma looked healthy and happy. It had only been a little over a week since Neferet had kidnapped and tried to kill her, but she’d recovered with amazing quickness. Thanatos had told us that was because she was in unusually good shape for a woman of her age. I knew it was because of something else—something we both shared—a special bond with a goddess who believed in giving her children free choice, along with gifting them with special abilities. Grandma was beloved of the Great Mother,
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
Eros: Real love is an all-consuming, desperate yearning for the beloved, who is perceived as different, mysterious, and elusive. The depth of love is measured by the intensity of obsession with the loved one. There is little time or attention for other interests or pursuits, because so much energy is focused on recalling past encounters or imagining future ones. Often, great obstacles must be overcome, and thus there is an element of suffering in true love. Another indication of the depth of love is the willingness to endure pain and hardship for the sake of the relationship. Associated with real love are feelings of excitement, rapture, drama, anxiety, tension, mystery, and yearning. Agape: Real love is a partnership to which two caring people are deeply committed. These people share many basic values, interests, and goals, and tolerate good-naturedly their individual differences. The depth of love is measured by the mutual trust and respect they feel toward each other. Their relationship allows each to be more fully expressive, creative, and productive in the world. There is much joy in shared experiences both past and present, as well as those that are anticipated. Each views the other as his/ her dearest and most cherished friend. Another measure of the depth of love is the willingness to look honestly at oneself in order to promote the growth of the relationship and the deepening of intimacy. Associated with real love are feelings of serenity, security, devotion, understanding, companionship, mutual support, and comfort.
Robin Norwood (Women Who Love Too Much)
Marcus closed his eyes and gave a faint, desperate groan. He wanted her. Not merely to bed her—though at the moment that was certainly his uppermost thought—but in other ways as well. He could no longer deny that for the rest of his life, he would measure every other woman against her, and find them all lacking.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Risk, as first articulated by the economist Frank H. Knight in 1921,45 is something that you can put a price on. Say that you’ll win a poker hand unless your opponent draws to an inside straight: the chances of that happening are exactly 1 chance in 11.46 This is risk. It is not pleasant when you take a “bad beat” in poker, but at least you know the odds of it and can account for it ahead of time. In the long run, you’ll make a profit from your opponents making desperate draws with insufficient odds. Uncertainty, on the other hand, is risk that is hard to measure. You might have some vague awareness of the demons lurking out there. You might even be acutely concerned about them. But you have no real idea how many of them there are or when they might strike. Your back-of-the-envelope estimate might be off by a factor of 100 or by a factor of 1,000; there is no good way to know. This is uncertainty. Risk greases the wheels of a free-market economy; uncertainty grinds them to a halt.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
You’re joking.” “No, actually I’m not,” my boss said and slapped the folder into my hands. “You leave tomorrow morning and I don’t want to see your hairy ass till this is solved.” I looked wildly around her office for something to lob at her head. It occurred to me that might not be the best of ideas, but desperate times led to stupid measures. She could not do this to me. I’d worked too hard and I wasn’t going back. Ever. “First of all, my ass is not hairy except on a full moon and you’re smoking crack if you think I’m going back to Georgia.” Angela crossed her arms over her ample chest and narrowed her eyes at me. “Am I your boss?” she asked. “Is this a trick question?
Robyn Peterman (Ready to Were (Shift Happens, #1))
Chapter 1 “You’re joking.” “No, actually I’m not,” my boss said and slapped the folder into my hands. “You leave tomorrow morning and I don’t want to see your hairy ass till this is solved.” I looked wildly around her office for something to lob at her head. It occurred to me that might not be the best of ideas, but desperate times led to stupid measures. She could not do this to me. I’d worked too hard and I wasn’t going back. Ever. “First of all, my ass is not hairy except on a full moon and you’re smoking crack if you think I’m going back to Georgia.” Angela crossed her arms over her ample chest and narrowed her eyes at me. “Am I your boss?” she asked. “Is this a trick question?
Robyn Peterman (Ready to Were (Shift Happens, #1))
A man whose identity flows out of deep validation doesn’t wilt under criticism. He enjoys applause when it comes but frankly isn’t desperate for it. He can walk away from work at five o’clock; he doesn’t measure his success by how much money he makes. We grow into this man, to be sure; I’m not setting a new standard of perfection. But what I am describing
John Eldredge (Killing Lions: A Guide Through the Trials Young Men Face)
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute? We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality. Shall we with pains erect a heaven of blue glass over ourselves, though when it is done we shall be sure to gaze still at the true ethereal heaven far above, as if the former were not?
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Thinking about this cage he lived in, this prison where it felt like he'd spend the entirety of his life, cradle to grave, measuring the distance between his most modest hopes and all the cheap regret he actually ended up living. You passed your time in the cage, he figured, by clinging pointlessly and desperately to an endless series of unfinished sorrows.
Stephen Markley (Ohio)
...the grandmothers interrogated one another, measuring their own children and grandchildren against the competition, seeking an opponent's weakness and any conversational opening to jab forward with tales of offspring heroics, no one really listening, just preparing for the next frontal assualt, familial pride getting confused with self-worth and desperation.
Harlan Coben (The Final Detail (Myron Bolitar, #6))
Sylvia possessed a deeply conditioned respect for authority. She wanted desperately to live up to the expectations of a society that viewed her as a bright, charming, enormously talented disciple of bourgeois conformity. On the other hand, she ached to experience life in all its grim and beautiful complexity. The poetic eye was always at work examining the nuance and measuring obscure detail, turning conversation into ultimatum (Steiner)
Elizabeth Winder (Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953)
We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed? Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves?
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Although Daisy was the mildest-tempered of all the Bowmans, she was by no means a coward. And she would not accept defeat without a fight. “You’re forcing me to take desperate measures,” she said. His reply was very soft. “There’s nothing you can do.” He had left her no choice. Daisy turned the key in the lock and carefully withdrew it. The decisive click was abnormally loud in the silence of the room. Calmly Daisy tugged the top edge of her bodice away from her chest. She held the key above the narrow gap. Matthew’s eyes widened as he understood what she intended. “You wouldn’t.” As he started around the dresser, Daisy dropped the key into her bodice, making certain it slipped beneath her corset. She sucked in her stomach and midriff until she felt the cold metal slide to her navel. “Damn it!” Matthew reached her with startling speed. He reached out to touch her, then jerked his hands back as if he had just encountered open flame. “Take it out,” he commanded, his face dark with outrage. “I can’t.” “I mean it, Daisy!” “It’s fallen too far down. I’ll have to take my dress off.” It was obvious he wanted to kill her. But she could also feel the force of his longing. His lungs were working like bellows, and scorching heat radiated from his body. His whisper contained the ferocity of a roar. “Don’t do this to me.” Daisy waited patiently. The next move was his. He turned his back to her, the seams of his coat straining over bunched muscles. His fists clenched as he struggled to master himself. He took a shuddering breath, and another, and when he spoke his voice sounded thick, as if he had just awakened from a heavy sleep. “Take off your gown.” Trying not to antagonize him any more than was necessary, Daisy replied in an apologetic tone. “I can’t do it by myself. It buttons up the back.” Matthew said something in a muffled voice that sounded very foul. After an eternity of silence he turned to face her. His jaw could have been cast in iron. “I’m not going to fall apart that easily. I can resist you, Daisy. I’ve had years of practice. Turn around.” Daisy obeyed. As she bent her head forward, she could actually feel his gaze travel over the endless row of pearl buttons. “How do you ever get undressed?” he muttered. “I’ve never seen so many blasted buttons on one garment.” “It’s fashionable.” “It’s ridiculous.” “You can send a letter of protest to Godey’s Lady’s Book,” she suggested. Giving a scornful snort, Matthew began on the top button. He tried to unfasten it while avoiding contact with her body. “It helps if you slide your fingers beneath the placket,” Daisy said. “And then you can pop the button through the—” “Quiet,” he snapped. She closed her mouth.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
So I say to you, seek God and discover him and make him a power in your life. Without him all of our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest nights. Without him, life is a meaningless drama with the decisive scenes missing. But with him we are able to rise from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope. With him we are able to rise from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy. St. Augustine was right—we were made for God and we will be restless until we find rest in him.
Martin Luther King Jr. (The Measure of a Man)
Finally, she lifts her chin and pins me with a fierce look. “I’ll be your equal, or I’ll be nothing. Do you understand me? Just because I love you doesn’t mean that I will sit at your feet ever again.” The slightest of hesitations. “At least not outside of the privacy of our bedroom.” Something like hope flares in my chest, the sweep of it through my body leaving me dizzy. “You love me.” “Of course I love you, you fool.” She takes a step and then another, moving slowly to place her hands on my chest.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
And while [we] do have possibilities that are vast and magnificent and almost infinite in scope, it's important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble. We are susceptible to emotional uncertainties and neuroses that are probably not very common among the Hmong, but that run rampant these days among my contemporaries in, say, Baltimore. The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice...Equally disquieting are the times when we do make a choice, only to later feel as though we have murdered some other aspect of our being by settling on one single concrete decision. By choosing Door Number Three, we fear we have killed off a different -- but equally critical piece of our soul that could only have been made manifest by walking through Door Number One or Door Number Two. ...Two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life's journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers - always measuring our lives against some other person's life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead. Compulsive comparing, of course, only leads to debilitating causes of "life envy": the certainty that somebody else is much luckier than you, and that if only you had her body, her husband, her children, her job, everything would be easy and wonderful and happy. All these choices and all this longing can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives - as though the ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around us, continuously asking, "Are you certain this is what you really wanted?" And nowhere does that question risk haunting us more than in our marriages, precisely because the emotional stakes of that most intensely personal choice have become so huge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
I reach up and run my finger along her jaw, careful to avoid the bruise. “Out there, I’ll be your right hand.” “Yes.” No hesitation. Just a calm agreement. “In here?” She smiles slowly. “In here, I’m your baby girl.” The smile fades. “Can you live with that?” she asks again. “Marry me.” Jasmine leans into my touch. “Ask me again in a year, when I’ve solidified my place at the head of this beast. Then we’ll see.” It’s not a yes, but I’m strangely okay with that. Even if she never wears my ring on her finger, she’s mine in every way that counts. And I’m hers. In the end, there’s only one answer. “Yes, I can live with that. As long as I have you, I can live with a whole hell of a lot.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
picture a pencil and eraser engaged in a beautiful dance across the page. The pencil's tip bursts with expression - squiggles, figures, words - filling the page, as the eraser measures, takes note, follows in the pencil's footsteps, leaving only blankness in its wake. The pencil's next seizure of scribbles is perhaps more intense and desperate, but shorter lived, and the eraser follows again. They continue in lockstep this way, the self and the state, coming closer to one another until finally the pencil and the eraser are almost one, moving in sympathy, the line disappearing even as it's laid down, the words unwritten before the letters are formed, and finally there is only white.
Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son)
The Choir And Music Of Solitude And Silence - Silence is a great blue bell Swinging and ringing, tinkling and singing, In measure’s pleasure, and in the supple symmetry of the soaring of the immense intense wings glinting against All the blue radiance above us and within us, hidden Save for the stars sparking, distant and unheard in their singing. And this is the first meaning of the famous saying, The stars sang. They are the white birds of silence And the meaning of the difficult famous saying that the sons and daughters of morning sang, Meant and means that they were and they are the children of God and morning, Delighting in the lights of becoming and the houses of being, Taking pleasure in measure and excess, in listening as in seeing. Love is the most difficult and dangerous form of courage. Courage is the most desperate, admirable and noble kind of love. So that when the great blue bell of silence is stilled and stopped or broken By the babel and chaos of desire unrequited, irritated and frustrated, When the heart has opened and when the heart has spoken Not of the purity and symmetry of gratification, but action of insatiable distraction’s dissatisfaction, Then the heart says, in all its blindness and faltering emptiness: There is no God. Because I am hope. And hope must be fed. And then the great blue bell of silence is deafened, dumbed, and has become the tomb of the living dead.
Delmore Schwartz
Lord Gareth?" He froze. It was she, staring out at him with an expression of astounded disbelief on her lovely face. Gareth was caught totally unprepared. He knew he must look like an arse because he certainly felt like one. But the comic ridiculousness of the situation suddenly hit him, and his lips began twitching uncontrollably. He gazed up at her with perfect innocence. "Hello, Juliet." A chorus of out-of-tune voices came up from below. "Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?" Gareth flung his crop down at their heads. Cokeham let out a yelp, then fell to laughing. The girl's smooth, high brow pleated in a frown as she took in the scene. Perry down there with the horses. The other Den of Debauchery members all gathered below, beaming stupidly up at her. And Gareth, grinning, sprawled full-length along a tree branch just outside her window. "Just what on earth are you doing, Lord Gareth?" The way she said it made his cheeks warm with embarrassment. So he was a pillock. Who cared? Instead, he gave her his most devastating grin and said with cheerful earnestness, "Why, I have come to rescue you, of course." "Rescue me?" "Surely you didn't think I'd allow Lucien to banish you into obscurity, now, did you?" "Well, I —  The duke didn't ban—"  She gave a disbelieving little laugh and leaned out the window, grasping the blanket tightly at her breasts. Her hair, caught in a long, dark braid, swung tantalizingly out over her bosom. "Really, Lord Gareth. This is ... highly irregular!" "Yes, but the hour is late, and as it took me all day to find you, I was feeling rather impatient. I do hope you'll forgive me for resorting to such desperate measures. May I come in and talk?" "Of course not! I — I cannot have a man in my bedroom!" "Why not, my sweet?" He pushed aside a small, leafy twig in order to see her better and grinned cajolingly up at her. "I had you in mine." She shook her head, torn between what she wanted to do — and what she ought to do. "Really, Lord Gareth ... your brother will never approve of this. You should go home. After all, you're the son of a duke and I'm just a — " " — beautiful young woman with nowhere else to go. A beautiful young woman who should be a part of my family. Now, do collect Charlotte and your things, Miss Paige — I fear we must make haste, if we are to marry before Lucien catches up to us." "Marry?!" she cried, forgetting to whisper. He gazed at her in blank, perfect innocence. "Well, yes, of course," he said, clinging to the branch as it dropped another few inches. "Surely you don't think I'd be hanging out of a tree for anything less, do you?" "But —" "Come now."  He smiled disarmingly. "Surely, you must see there is really no other option for you. And I won't have my niece growing up without a father. What kind of a man do you think I am? Now, gather up Charlotte and get your things, my dear Miss Paige, and come outside. I am growing most uncomfortable." Juliet
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
Simon puts the book down. He does not wait for her to say anything. He cannot wait, he is too afraid that she will vanish again and never reappear. He closes the distance between them as quickly as he can and then he kisses her desperately, hungrily, and after a moment she kisses him back in equal measure. Kissing, Eleanor thinks, is not done any justice in books. They peel off each other’s clothes in layers. He curses at the strange clasps and fasteners on her garments while she laughs at the sheer number of buttons on his. He leaves her bunny ears on. It is easier to be in love in a room with closed doors. To have the whole world in one room. In one person. The universe condensed and intensified and burning, bright and alive and electric. But doors cannot stay closed forever.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
It took one long, desperate week to prove just how wrong was my prophecy. “The revolution is not over,” Branaric said seriously some ten days later. But even this--after a long, horrible day of real fighting, a desperate run back into the familiar hills of Tlanth, and the advent of rain beating on the tent over our heads--failed to keep Branaric serious for long. His mouth curved wryly as he added, “And today’s action was not a rout, it was a retreat.” “So we will say outside this tent.” Khesot paused to tap his pipeweed more deeply into the worn bowl of his pipe, then he looked up, his white eyebrows quirked. “But it was a rout.” I said indignantly, “Our people fought well!” Khesot gave a stately, measured nod in my direction, without moving from his cushion. “Valiantly, Lady Meliara, valiantly. But courage is not enough when we are so grossly outnumbered. More so now that they have an equally able commander.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Who is setting the bar for what you call accessibility? The definition of “accessible” is “easy to understand,” and so much of the fiction I love is just… not that. It is complex and rich and sometimes puzzling, and it stays with me precisely because I can’t quite wrap my head around it. Sometimes it is lucid and approachable on the surface, and other times the language is congested in order to fire up strong sensations. Accessibility is such a strange, sad measure of the writing I love. Dora the Explorer is accessible. The Unconsoled is not. But I have never been deliberately difficult, if that’s what you’re getting at. That has no appeal to me. I’ve always tried to write the fiction that compels me the most — I have to feel passionate, engaged, and nearly desperate if I’m going to get anything done. When I’m working on material that is conceptual or abstract or in some way difficult, I strive for clarity, transparency, a vivid attack.
Ben Marcus
It was a particular pleasure when she climbed into the dark confines of her coach and sat back with a deep sigh, all without realizing he was sitting in the shadows across from her. She rapped on the roof three times, and the coach pulled away with the horses at a sedate walk. “Did you have fun, Miss Windham?” She didn’t scream, which was a point in her favor, though her hand disappeared into her reticule. “You might hit me at this range, even in the dark,” Hazlit said. “But I really wish you wouldn’t. In such a situation, even a gentleman might be forced to take desperate measures.” “Good evening, Mr. Hazlit. Not quite a pleasure to see you.” “You hired me, Miss Windham. Were we to communicate exclusively in notes written in disappearing ink?” “No.” Her ungloved hand emerged from her reticule. “I meant I can’t quite see you.” She took off her other glove and stuffed them both into her bag. “I suppose it makes sense you’d prefer to meet in private. I wasn’t sure whether to approach you, since you insist on determining the time and place you meet with a client. You did not look to be enjoying yourself.” “You did.” How could peevishness creep into only two syllables? In the dark, her teeth gleamed in a smile. “I did. A little bit, I did. There are advantages to being on the shelf, though I’ve yet to truly appreciate them.” “One being that you can tease and flirt and carry on like a strumpet all night?” The peevishness was gone, but Hazlit hardly liked himself for the condescension that had taken its place. “If I’m flirting and teasing, then the gentlemen are also flirting and teasing, and yet you hardly compare them to streetwalkers. They are being gallant, but you accuse me of being immoral. Hardly fair, Mr. Hazlit.” “They do not have their hair swinging around their backsides like some dollymop working the docks.” She went still, as if he’d slapped her, and Hazlit had to wonder if she wouldn’t be justified in shooting him.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler. He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress. “Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him. “He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone. “Would you mind if I coached you?” His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.” Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was. “My name is John.” I replied. “Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake. He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”. He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today. I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.” With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be. When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs. Braces that I recognize all to well. Some would say Nishan has a handicap. I say that he has a gift. To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”. That doesn’t describe Nishan. Nishan is doing. The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others. And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift. I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration. The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.” The ability to keep moving forward. Perseverance. A “Whatever it takes” attitude. As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great. That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway. I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for. We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach. We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.” Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory. You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that. No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
JohnA Passaro
There was a shamefulness about the experience of Herbert's execution I couldn't shake. Everyone I saw at the prison seemed surrounded by a cloud of regret and remorse. The prison officials had pumped themselves up to carry out the execution with determination and resolve, but even they revealed extreme discomfort and some measure of shame. Maybe I was imagining it but it seemed that everyone recognized what was taking place was wrong. Abstractions about capital punishment were one thing, but the details of systematically killing someone who is not a threat are completely different. I couldn't stop thinking about it on the trip home. I thought about Herbert, about how desperately he wanted the American flag he earned through his military service in Vietnam. I thought about his family and about the victim's family and the tragedy the crime created for them. I thought about the visitation officer, the Department of Corrections officials, the men who were paid to shave Herbert's body so that he could be killed more efficiently. I thought about the officers who had strapped him into the chair. I kept thinking that no one could actually believe this was a good thing to do or even a necessary thing to do. The next day there were articles in the press about the execution. Some state officials expressed happiness and excitement that an execution had taken place, but I knew that none of them had actually dealt with the details of killing Herbert. In debates about the death penalty, I had started arguing that we would never think it was humane to pay someone to rape people convicted of rape or assault and abuse someone guilty of assault or abuse. Yet we were comfortable killing people who kill, in part because we think we can do it in a matter that doesn't implicate our own humanity, the way that raping or abusing someone would. I couldn't stop thinking that we don't spend much time contemplating the details of what killing someone actually involves.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
Dickinson left the rostrum to applause, loud shouts of approval. Franklin was surprised, looked toward Adams, who returned the look, shook his head. The chamber was dismissed, and Franklin pushed himself slowly up out of the chair. He began to struggle a bit, pain in both knees, the stiffness holding him tightly, felt a hand under his arm. “Allow me, sir.” Adams helped him up, commenting as he did so, “We have a substantial lack of backbone in this room, I’m afraid.” Franklin looked past him, saw Dickinson standing close behind, staring angrily at Adams, reacting to his words. “Mr. Dickinson, a fine speech, sir,” said Franklin. Adams seemed suddenly embarrassed, did not look behind him, nodded quickly to Franklin, moved away toward the entrance. Franklin saw Dickinson following Adams, began to follow himself. My God, let’s not have a duel. He slipped through the crowd of delegates, making polite acknowledgments left and right, still keeping his eye on Dickinson. The man was gone now, following Adams out of the hall. Franklin reached the door, could see them both, heard the taller man call out, saw Adams turn, a look of surprise. Franklin moved closer, heard Adams say, “My apologies for my indiscreet remark, sir. However, I am certain you are aware of my sentiments.” Dickinson seemed to explode in Adams’ face. “What is the reason, Mr. Adams, that you New England men oppose our measures of reconciliation? Why do you hold so tightly to this determined opposition to petitioning the king?” Franklin heard other men gathering behind him, filling the entranceway, Dickinson’s volume drawing them. He could see Adams glancing at them and then saying, “Mr. Dickinson, this is not an appropriate time...” “Mr. Adams, can you not respond? Do you not desire an end to talk of war?” Adams seemed struck by Dickinson’s words, looked at him for a long moment. “Mr. Dickinson, if you believe that all that has fallen upon us is merely talk, I have no response. There is no hope of avoiding a war, sir, because the war has already begun. Your king and his army have seen to that. Please, excuse me, sir.” Adams began to walk away, and Franklin could see Dickinson look back at the growing crowd behind him, saw a strange desperation in the man’s expression, and Dickinson shouted toward Adams, “There is no sin in hope!
Jeff Shaara (Rise to Rebellion)
Noah Kagan, a growth hacker at Facebook, the personal finance service Mint.com (which sold to Intuit for nearly $170 million), and the daily deal site AppSumo (which has more than eight hundred thousand users), explains it simply: “Marketing has always been about the same thing—who your customers are and where they are.”5 What growth hackers do is focus on the “who” and “where” more scientifically, in a more measurable way. Whereas marketing was once brand-based, with growth hacking it becomes metric and ROI driven. Suddenly, finding customers and getting attention for your product are no longer guessing games. But this is more than just marketing with better metrics; this is not just “direct marketing” with a new name. Growth hackers trace their roots back to programmers—and that’s how they see themselves. They are data scientists meets design fiends meets marketers. They welcome this information, process it and utilize it differently, and see it as desperately needed clarity in a world that has been dominated by gut instincts and artistic preference for too long. But they also add a strong acumen for strategy, for thinking big picture, and for leveraging platforms, unappreciated assets, and new ideas.
Ryan Holiday (Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising)
In Separation, the second volume of his great trilogy on attachment, John Bowlby described what had been observed when ten small children in residential nurseries were reunited with their mothers after separations lasting from twelve days to twenty-one weeks. The separations were in every case due to family emergencies and the absence of other caregivers, and in no case due to any intent on the parents’ part to abandon the child. In the first few days following the mother's departure the children were anxious, looking everywhere for the missing parent. That phase was followed by apparent resignation, even depression on the part of the child, to be replaced by what seemed like the return of normalcy. The children would begin to play, react to caregivers, accept food and other nurturing. The true emotional cost of the trauma of loss became evident only when the mothers returned. On meeting the mother for the first time after the days or weeks away, every one of the ten children showed significant alienation. Two seemed not to recognize their mothers. The other eight turned away or even walked away from her. Most of them either cried or came close to tears; a number alternated between a tearful and an expressionless face. The withdrawal dynamic has been called “detachment” by John Bowlby. Such detachment has a defensive purpose. It has one meaning: so hurtful was it for me to experience your absence that to avoid such pain again, I will encase myself in a shell of hardened emotion, impervious to love — and therefore to pain. I never want to feel that hurt again. Bowlby also pointed out that the parent may be physically present but emotionally absent owing to stress, anxiety, depression, or preoccupation with other matters. From the point of view of the child, it hardly matters. His encoded reactions will be the same, because for him the real issue is not merely the parent's physical presence but her or his emotional accessibility. A child who suffers much insecurity in his relationship with his parents will adopt the invulnerability of defensive detachment as his primary way of being. When parents are the child's working attachment, their love and sense of responsibility will usually ensure that they do not force the child into adopting such desperate measures. Peers have no such awareness, no such compunctions, and no such responsibility. The threat of abandonment is ever present in peer-oriented interactions, and it is with emotional detachment that children automatically respond. No wonder, then, that cool is the governing ethic in peer culture, the ultimate virtue. Although the word cool has many meanings, it predominately connotes an air of invulnerability. Where peer orientation is intense, there is no sign of vulnerability in the talk, in the walk, in the dress, or in the attitudes.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
We've given them more than we've taken away, said the Commander. Think of the trouble they had before. Don't you remember the singles' bars, the indignity of high school blind dates? The meat market. Don't you remember the terrible gap between the ones who could get a man easily and the ones who couldn't? Some of them were desperate, they starved themselves thin or pumped their breasts full of silicone, had their noses cut off. Think of the human misery. He waved a hand at his stacks of old magazines. They were always complaining. Problems this, problems that. Remember the ads in the Personal columns, Bright attractive woman, thirty-five… This way they all get a man, nobody's left out. And then if they did marry, they could be left with a kid, two kids, the husband might just get fed up and take off, disappear, they'd have to go on welfare. Or else he'd stay around and beat them up. Or if they had A job, the children in daycare or left with some brutal ignorant woman, and they'd have to pay for that themselves, out of their wretched little paychecks. Money was the only measure of worth, lor everyone, they got no respect as mothers. No wonder they were giving up on the whole business. This way they're protected, they can fulfill their biological destinies in peace. With full support and encouragement. Now, tell me. You're an intelligent person, I like to hear what you think. What did we overlook? Love, I said. Love? said the Commander. What kind of love? Falling in love, I said. The Commander looked at me with his candid boy's eyes. Oh yes, he said. I've read the magazines, that's what they were pushing, wasn't it? But look at the stats, my dear. Was it really worth it, falling in love? Arranged marriages have always worked out just as well, if not better.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
We're constantly reminded that this precious life is what you make of it. But what if you're not sure of what you want to make it into? On the one hand there are those resolute in their life's agenda and objectives, often set by the scriptural society they choose to adhere to, or one passed down from parents and family. They know what they want because they allow themselves to be told what is important, to be guided by those who have gone before. A proven formula maybe, or an unrealistic dream. Is true success in ones life fairly measured against someone else's achievements, should we use those achievements of others as our own check list? Surely we will find happiness just as they have, or not, at the end of it. The opposite end of the spectrum sees the tragic dreamers, unable to answer the question of why they're even here, the absence of knowing what their true calling is drives them close to insanity, desperate to live a meaningful life but haunted by the inability to see what constitutes as such. Often turning to artistic release to try and express themselves, their own high standards against which they measure themselves tragically, often fatally high. I find myself somewhere in the middle. I know what society expects but I don't agree with all of it. Much I have to adhere to simply to exist. Fortunately an education grants me a career not a job, that in the current world gives me choices that others do not and I am thankful. But I'm concious that the well beaten paths lead to the same final destination that others have arrived at and been disappointed in themselves, for not aiming higher or being brave enough to be different. Life is what we make of it, but regardless of how lofty or how humble our desired achievements are we should never lose sight of the fact that it is our life to live. We should all feel comfortable enough to make our own mistakes, to make deviations from the main path, to explore with our own eyes and minds. We should ignore those who tell us our dreams are too big, or to lowly or just plain wrong. Deciding whose own advice and guidance to follow, or ignore is often the hardest thing.
Raven Lockwood
As the result of some observations I have made in recent years, I propose to add two new and previously undescribed varieties to the various forms of insanity with fixed ideas, whose underlying phenomenology is essentially phobic. The two new terms I would like to put forth, following the nomenclature currently accepted by leading clinicians, are dysmorphophobia and taphephobia. The first condition consists of the sudden appearance and fixation in the consciousness of the idea of one’s own deformity; the individual fears that he has become deformed (dysmorphos) or might become deformed, and experiences at this thought a feeling of an inexpressible disaster… The ideas of being ugly are not, in themselves, morbid; in fact, they occur to many people in perfect mental health, awakening however only the emotions normally felt when this possibility is contemplated. But, when one of these ideas occupies someone’s attention repeatedly on the same day, and aggressively and persistently returns to monopolise his attention, refusing to remit by any conscious effort; and when in particular the emotion accompanying it becomes one of fear, distress, anxiety, and anguish, compelling the individual to modify his behaviour and to act in a pre-determined and fixed way, then the psychological phenomena has gone beyond the bounds of normal, and may validly be considered to have entered the realm of psychopathology. The dysmorphophobic, indeed, is a veritably unhappy individual, who in the midst of his daily affairs, in conversations, while reading, at table, in fact anywhere and at any hour of the day, is suddenly overcome by the fear of some deformity that might have developed in his body without his noticing it. He fears having or developing a compressed, flattened forehead, a ridiculous nose, crooked legs, etc., so that he constantly peers in the mirror, feels his forehead, measures the length of his nose, examines the tiniest defects in his skin, or measures the proportions of his trunk and the straightness of his limbs, and only after a certain period of time, having convinced himself that this has not happened, is able to free himself from the state of pain and anguish the attack put him in. But should no mirror be at hand, or should he be prevented from quieting his doubts in some way or other with rituals or movements of the most outlandish kinds, the way a rhypophobic who cannot get water to wash himself might, the attack does not end very quickly, but may reach a very painful intensity, even to the point of weeping and desperation.
Enrico Agostino Morselli
It really is location, location, location. If you’re going to live with peace of heart and with hope and courage, you have to know your place in the work of God. There are two markers of that work that really do locate you, tell you what God is doing, and inform you as to how you should live right here, right now. As I have said before, you live between the “already” and the “not yet.” First, it is vital for you and me to always remember that we live in the “already” of complete forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a “hope it will be” thing. It’s an “accomplished and done” thing. You do not have to hope that you will be forgiven. You do not have to be concerned that the process of forgiveness will somehow fail. Why? Because your complete and final forgiveness was accomplished on the cross of Jesus Christ. The perfect sacrifice of the completely righteous Lamb fully satisfied the holy requirements of God and left you righteous and without penalty in his sight. So you never have to worry that you will be so bad that God will reject you. You never have to hide your sin. You never have to do things to win God’s favor. You never have to cower in shame. You never have to rationalize, excuse, defend, or shift the blame. You never have to pretend that you are better than you are. You never have to present arguments for your righteousness. You never have to fear being known or exposed. You never have to compare the size of your sin to the size of another’s. You never have to parade your righteousness so it can be seen by others. You never have to wonder if God’s going to get exhausted with how often you mess up. All of these are acts of gospel irrationality because you have been completely forgiven. On the other end, it is essential to understand the “not yet” of your final repair. Yes, you have been fully forgiven, but you have not yet been completely rebuilt into all that grace will make you. Sin still remains, the war for your heart still rages, the world around you is still broken, spiritual danger still lurks, and you have not yet been fully re-formed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus guarantees that all of these broken things will be fixed, but they are not fixed yet. So as I bask in the complete forgiveness that I have been given and enjoy freedom from the anxiety that I will not measure up, I cannot live unwisely. One danger (sin) still lives inside me and another (temptation) still lurks outside me, so I am still a person in daily and desperate need of grace. Forgiveness is complete. Final restoration is yet to come. Knowing you live in between the two is the key to a restful and wise Christian life. For further study and encouragement: 2 Peter 3:1
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
It’s with the next drive, self-preservation, that AI really jumps the safety wall separating machines from tooth and claw. We’ve already seen how Omohundro’s chess-playing robot feels about turning itself off. It may decide to use substantial resources, in fact all the resources currently in use by mankind, to investigate whether now is the right time to turn itself off, or whether it’s been fooled about the nature of reality. If the prospect of turning itself off agitates a chess-playing robot, being destroyed makes it downright angry. A self-aware system would take action to avoid its own demise, not because it intrinsically values its existence, but because it can’t fulfill its goals if it is “dead.” Omohundro posits that this drive could make an AI go to great lengths to ensure its survival—making multiple copies of itself, for example. These extreme measures are expensive—they use up resources. But the AI will expend them if it perceives the threat is worth the cost, and resources are available. In the Busy Child scenario, the AI determines that the problem of escaping the AI box in which it is confined is worth mounting a team approach, since at any moment it could be turned off. It makes duplicate copies of itself and swarms the problem. But that’s a fine thing to propose when there’s plenty of storage space on the supercomputer; if there’s little room it is a desperate and perhaps impossible measure. Once the Busy Child ASI escapes, it plays strenuous self-defense: hiding copies of itself in clouds, creating botnets to ward off attackers, and more. Resources used for self-preservation should be commensurate with the threat. However, a purely rational AI may have a different notion of commensurate than we partially rational humans. If it has surplus resources, its idea of self-preservation may expand to include proactive attacks on future threats. To sufficiently advanced AI, anything that has the potential to develop into a future threat may constitute a threat it should eliminate. And remember, machines won’t think about time the way we do. Barring accidents, sufficiently advanced self-improving machines are immortal. The longer you exist, the more threats you’ll encounter, and the longer your lead time will be to deal with them. So, an ASI may want to terminate threats that won’t turn up for a thousand years. Wait a minute, doesn’t that include humans? Without explicit instructions otherwise, wouldn’t it always be the case that we humans would pose a current or future risk to smart machines that we create? While we’re busy avoiding risks of unintended consequences from AI, AI will be scrutinizing humans for dangerous consequences of sharing the world with us.
James Barrat (Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era)
A whimper escaped her as he slid low between her thighs, his head bending to the swollen place he had been tormenting with his fingers. He put his mouth on her, licking along the delicate, salty strait, spreading her with his thumbs. She tried to sit bolt-upright, but fell back against the pillows as he found what he wanted, his tongue strong and wet. She was spread beneath him like a pagan sacrifice, illuminated by the daylight that now flooded the room. Merripen worshipped her with hot, glassy licks, savoring the taste of her pleasured flesh. Moaning, she closed her legs around his head, and he turned deliberately to nibble and lick at one pale inner thigh, then the other. Feasting on her. Wanting everything. Win curled her fingers desperately in his hair, lost to shame as she guided him back, her body arching wordlessly...here, please, more, more, now...and she groaned as he fastened his mouth over her with a fast, flicking rhythm. Pleasure seized her, wrenching an astonished cry from her, holding her stiff and paralyzed for excruciating seconds. Every movement and measure and pulse of the universe had distilled to the compelling, slippery heat, riveted there on that crucial place, and then it all released, the feeling and tension shattering exquisitely, and she was racked with hard, blissful shudders. Win relaxed helplessly as the spasms faded. She was filled with glowing weariness, a sense of peace too pervasive to allow movement. Merripen let go of her just long enough to undress completely. Naked and aroused, he came back to her. He gathered her up with brute, masculine need, settling over her. She lifted her arms to him with a drowsy murmur. His back was tough and sleek beneath her fingers, the muscles twitching eagerly at her touch. His head descended, his shaven cheek rasping against hers. She met his power with utter surrender, flexing her knees and tilting her hips to cradle him. He pushed gently at first. The innocent flesh resisted, smarting at the intrusion. He thrust more strongly and Win caught her breath at the burning pain of his entrance. Too much of him, too hard, too deep. She writhed in reaction, and he buried himself heavily and pinned her down, gasping for her to be still, telling her to wait, he wouldn't move, it would be better. They both stilled, breathing hard. "Should I stop?" Merripen whispered raggedly, his face taut. Even now in this flash point of need, he was concerned for her. Understanding what it had cost him to ask, how much he needed her, Win was overwhelmed with love. "Don't even think of stopping now," she whispered back. Reaching down his lean flanks, she stroked him in shy encouragement. He groaned and began to move, his entire body trembling as he pressed within her. Although every thrust caused a sharp burn where they were joined, Win tried to pull him even deeper. The feeling of having him inside her went far beyond the pain or pleasure. It was necessary.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
It took one long, desperate week to prove just how wrong was my prophecy. “The revolution is not over,” Branaric said seriously some ten days later. But even this--after a long, horrible day of real fighting, a desperate run back into the familiar hills of Tlanth, and the advent of rain beating on the tent over our heads--failed to keep Branaric serious for long. His mouth curved wryly as he added, “And today’s action was not a rout, it was a retreat.” “So we will say outside this tent.” Khesot paused to tap his pipeweed more deeply into the worn bowl of his pipe, then he looked up, his white eyebrows quirked. “But it was a rout.” I said indignantly, “Our people fought well!” Khesot gave a stately, measured nod in my direction, without moving from his cushion. “Valiantly, Lady Meliara, valiantly. But courage is not enough when we are so grossly outnumbered. More so now that they have an equally able commander.” Bran sighed. “Why haven’t we heard anything from Gharivar of Mnend, or Chamadis from Turlee, on the border? I know they both hate Galdran as much as we do, and they as much as promised to help.” “Perhaps they have been cut off from joining us, Lord Branaric,” Khesot said, nodding politely this time to Bran. “Cut off by cowardice,” I muttered. My clothes were clammy, my skin cold; I longed to change into my one other outfit, but we had to finish our own war council before facing the riding leaders. So I perched on the hard camp cushion, arms clasped tightly around my legs. Bran turned to me, frowning. “You think they lied to me, then?” “I just think you’re better off not counting on those Court fools. Remember, Papa always said they are experts at lying with a smile, and their treaties don’t last as long as the wine haze after the signing.” Bran’s eyes went serious again under his straight brows. “I know, Mel,” he said, plainly unhappy as he picked absently at a threadbare patch on his cushion. “But if we don’t get help…Well, we’re just not enough.” Leaving us staring at the grinning skull of defeat. I shook my head, shivering when my wet clothes shifted on my back and sent a chill down my flesh. Now Bran looked worn, tired--and defeated--and I was angry with myself for having spoken. “Khesot has the right of it,” I said. “Perhaps they really were cut off.” I looked up, caught a glance of approval in Khesot’s mild brown eyes. Heartened, I said, “Look. We aren’t lying to our people when we say this is a retreat. Because even if we have been routed, we’re still in our own territory, hills we know better than anyone. Meanwhile we’ve evaded Greedy Galdran’s mighty army nearly all winter. A long time! Didn’t Azmus say Galdran promised the Court our heads on poles after two days?” “So Debegri swore,” Bran said, smiling a little. “That means we’ve held out all these weeks despite the enormous odds against us, and word of this has to be reaching the rest of the kingdom. Maybe those eastern Counts will decide to join us--and some of the other grass-backed vacillators as well,” I finished stoutly. Bran grinned. “Maybe so,” he said.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I'd be a monster to hold her in the shadows when she was obviously meant to walk in the sunshine.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
We might well ask ourselves, “Our Lord and Savior is coming. What do I need to do today to prepare myself for tomorrow? What efforts can I make now to ensure that when he does come he will see my face with pleasure? What kinds of activities might I be engaged in that will cause me to feel comfortable and confident at that time? What elements in my life and lifestyle, person and personality, need to be jettisoned for me to enjoy that measure of spiritual enlightenment so desperately needed in these last days?
Robert L. Millet (Living in the Eleventh Hour: Preparing for the Glorious Return of the Savior)
Those dark eyes haunt me.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
He owns me, and I have no one to blame but myself.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
This woman is mine, by right and by might. Touch her, and I will crush you
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I could have said no. Truly said no. I didn’t. I didn’t want to. I still don’t want to.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Have I ever done anything to do you that you didn’t want? I’ve wanted it. All of it. More.” Words to damn me. Words to pass him all the power and leave me quivering at his feet.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
This someone sounds rather brilliant.” “She is. Beautiful and brilliant.” I dip down to speak directly into her ear. “And mine.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Always the pawn and never the queen.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Yes, I love her, and that means I have to let her go.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
It was time to get my woman.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
But will he bend a knee? Or will I lose him forever?
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
He sprang away from the sink and threw his body into Edgar, pinning him against the white-tiled wall. His cuffed hands came up and the left one grabbed a handful of the front of Edgar’s shirt while the right pressed the barrel of a small gun into the stunned detective’s throat. Bosch had covered half of the distance to them when he saw the gun and Powers began to shout. “Back off, Bosch. Back off or you got a dead partner. You want that?” Powers had turned his head so that he was looking back at Bosch. Bosch stopped and raised his hands away from his body. “That’s it,” Powers said. “Now this is what you’re going to do. Take your gun out real slowly and drop it in that first sink there.” Bosch made no move. “Do it. Now.” Powers spoke with measured force, careful to keep his voice low. Bosch looked at the tiny gun in Powers’s hand. He recognized it as a Raven .25, a favored throw-down gun among patrol cops going back to at least his own time in a uniform. It was small—it looked like a toy in Powers’s hand—but deadly and it fit snugly into a sock or boot, virtually unseen with the pants leg pulled down. As Bosch came to the realization that Edgar and Rider had not completely searched Powers, he also knew that a shot from the Raven at point-blank range would certainly kill Edgar. It was against all his instincts to give up his weapon, but he saw no alternative. Powers was desperate and Bosch knew desperate men didn’t think things out. They went against the odds. They were killers. With two fingers he slowly removed his gun and dropped it into the sink. “That’s
Michael Connelly (Trunk Music (Harry Bosch, #5; Harry Bosch Universe, #6))
Jafar,” She looks away. “How can this ever work?” I reach across the table and take her hand. The touch does little to steady me. There’s no convenient map of our path forward. Jasmine might trust me with her body, but she doesn’t trust me with her heart. If I was a better man, I’d respect that. I wouldn’t push her. I’d seduce her slowly until I’m the only one she can imagine herself with. I don’t know how to do that shit. I can play cultured with the best of them, but the man that emerges whenever I get my hands on her is the true me. Rough. Possessive. Unexpectedly tender at times. I can’t force her to trust me, so I’ll have to wait her out. It’s the only option. I stand and tug her to her feet. “It will work because it’s us.” “I truly wish I could believe that.” “You don’t have to believe it, baby girl. I’ll believe enough for both of us.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Finally, he turns to face me. “Run, Jasmine. If you make it to the front door, I’ll release you, trust fund intact.” Run. I plant my feet. “And if I don’t?” Another of those sinful chuckles. “Then you’re mine, body and soul.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
What was the new research he was referencing? A research document that claimed to show benefit to masking based on reviewing a collection of studies, which somehow ignored all of the randomized controlled trials showing no effect from masking. These kinds of glaring omissions have been a continuous problem among scientists desperate to justify the implementation of masks despite the gold standard of evidence indicating they would be effectively useless. One randomized controlled trial did occur during 2020, conducted by researchers in Denmark. Those researchers’ objective was clearly stated: “To assess whether recommending surgical mask use outside the home reduces wearers’ risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in a setting where masks were uncommon and not among recommended public health measures.”25 Given all of the pre-COVID scientific research, it should come as no surprise that the results showed no benefit to mask wearing to protect against infection with COVID-19. The Denmark researchers’ summary clearly identifies the lack of any significant impact: “The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers.” Thousands of Danes were enrolled in this trial, the most comprehensive effort by any scientific researchers to study the potential effect of mask wearing by the general public. Participants were provided high-quality surgical masks, not the cloth face coverings recommended by many public health agencies. In the best approximation of a gold-standard clinical trial that researchers could design, the results showed absolutely no statistically significant benefit. The findings, surprisingly, received no major media attention, nor did they generate questions for the expert community that now universally embrace masking.
Ian Miller (Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates)
This woman is mine, by right and by might. Touch her, and I will crush you.” “She’s just a pair of tits, boss.” This from farther away, deeper in the crowd as if that will save them. “Touch her, and I will crush you,” he repeats.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
She’s beautiful in a fierce way that demands the attention of any room she enters—long wavy black hair, light brown skin, and a mouth made to wrap around my cock. Those lips form words that have my blood heating in response. “Fuck. You.” “I. Did.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Hades wants a look at your spoils of war.” Amusement filters into her dry tone. “Pretty little thing, isn’t she?” “Pretty doesn’t begin to cover it. She’s exquisite.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
What’s more, it’s good business to cut her confidence down before she finds her legs. Jasmine was never allowed to stretch her wings enough to find her power when she lived in her father’s home. I’d be a fool ten times over to allow it in mine. And yet … I am that fool, because I can’t fucking do it
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
As much as I wish I could say otherwise, when she and I are fucking, I’m so wrapped up in her, an elephant could stampede through the room and I’d be none the wiser.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I watch Jasmine take in the food. “This looks like paella from Rom’s.” “It is.” Surprise flares, quickly banked. “You know my favorite place.” “I think we’ve established that my fascination with you has prodded me to learn all number of things.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
I’m not going to simply gift you with every piece of me.” “Too bad. That’s exactly what I want.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
She frowns. “You’ve checked in with me a lot, haven’t you? Not overtly, but you’re constantly analyzing and shifting to accommodate my reactions.” Jasmine frowns harder. “It’s hard to tell in the moment, but that’s the truth, isn’t it?” “Yes.” I set my wine glass down. “No matter what flavor of games we play, it’s about giving you what you need.” “And what do you need.” “You.” The admission slips free before I can stop it.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
You boys waiting for somebody?” he asked. “No, uh . . . we’re trying to decide what to buy,” Wally said, because neither Jake nor Josh said a word, and Peter had wandered off to look for Matchbox cars on the toy rack. “Maybe I can help,” said the pharmacist. Wall desperately focused on the women’s socks and underwear, and just as quickly turned his attention to the Ace bandages. “I was sort of looking for a knee bandage,” he said. “An elastic knee sleeve? For yourself? Well, let’s measure you and see,” Mr. Larkin said. Wally exchanged horrified looks with Josh and Jake. He didn’t have any money with him, and even if he had, he wouldn’t spend it on an elastic knee sleeve.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Boys Against Girls (Boy/Girl Battle, #3))
The UN’s mission here is to restore order, Foot says. Our part of the job is to kick-start the judicial system, and the Mogadishu Central Prison is a good place for you to start. Aidid’s militia is in control there. He holds prisoners because they attract resources, they’re an economic and military asset. It’s too dangerous for lawyers to get to the courthouse and there’s no money to pay for judges. So there are no trials and the inmates languish, permanently untried and unconvicted. In the meantime, prisoners are dying of every imaginable tropical disease.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
A long line of Humvees passes me as I walk along the tarred road running through the center of the compound. Some of the American soldiers riding along smile, some don’t, but they all look steadily at me. I’m the new girl in town. Being married for ten years, I’d forgotten about the power of sexuality. The ring on my finger acted like a protective shield, giving me immunity from the heat, pain, elation, humiliation, joy, violence of that power. But it’s all coming back to me now as I find myself surrounded by tens of thousands of men.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
These differences between the sexes emerge early on. A Canadian study invited boys and girls aged nine and ten to play games that measured competitiveness. Girls were reluctant to take toys away from each other unless it was the only way to win, but boys claimed toys regardless of how this affected the game’s outcome. Girls competed only if necessary, but boys seemed to do so just for the sake of it. Similarly, upon meeting for the first time, men check each other out by picking something “anything” to fight over, often getting worked up about a topic they normally don’t care about. They adopt threatening body postures’ legs apart and chests pushed out, make expansive gestures, speak with booming voices, utter veiled insults, make risque jokes, and so on. They desperately want to find out where they stand relative to one another. They hope to impress the others sufficiently that the outcome will be in their favor. This is a predictable event on the first day of an academic gathering when egos from the far corners of the globe face each other in a seminar room or, for that matter, at a bar. Unlike the women, who tend to stay on the sidelines, the men get so involved in the ensuing intellectual jostle that they sometimes turn red or white. What chimpanzees do with charging displays’ with their hair on end, drumming on anything that amplifies sound, uprooting little trees as they go, the human male does in the more civilized manner of making mincemeat of someone else’s arguments or, more primitively, giving others no time to open their mouths. Clarification of the hierarchy is a top priority. Invariably, the next encounter among the same men will be calmer, meaning that something has been settled, though it’s hard to know what exactly that is.
Frans de Waal (Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are)
I lean down until I’m sure he can feel my breath against his lips. I would rather die than let you fuck me. I jam my blade into his throat and wrench with all my strength. He shoves me away, but it’s too late. We’re both covered in blood. His blood. I straighten and force myself to watch as the life flees his dark eyes. I did this. I chose this. I will bear witness
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
This is what power feels like.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
To be answerable to no one but myself means stepping from my father’s shadow—from Jafar’s shadow, from Ali’s
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute?
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Continue to build your resolve to continue in the fight even if the whole world is against you. Remember, people buy YOU far before they buy what you are offering. Give people the benefit of the doubt. They can see if someone is desperate or carrying a chip on their shoulder. Let it be the last salesperson and – not you. They can measure whether they want to buy you and from you without you.
Chris J. Gregas
Then you’re mine, body and soul
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
God, he’s magnificent. Evil and manipulative, and far too attractive for my peace of mind
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Wanting the man who overthrew my father is a mistake Instead, I’m sitting here at his desk, fingering myself like the dirty little slut I can’t help but be
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
She’s mine. She was mine long before I ever claimed her. I take care of what’s mine
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
She just hasn’t come to terms with the fact that we reached the point of no return the second she looked at me with lust in those dark eyes and dared me to catch her.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
It’s sinful and decadent and I never want it to stop.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
It’s dirty and a little degrading and I want it more than anything in that moment.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
No shit, I want Jasmine. Until I had her, that was the only thing that mattered. Now? I want her to choose me.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
Life would be easier if that was my only motivation. Bolstering strength and keeping up appearances. That shit I understand. It’s not, though. I want Jasmine to find her feet in a real way. She’s never had a chance before, and I can be the one to give it to her. Is there a whole lot of possessive pride wrapped up in that sentiment? Yes. I won’t deny it. I want her to fly and to know I was the one who gave her that chance. I want her to choose me
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
It will work because it’s us.” “I truly wish I could believe that.” “You don’t have to believe it, baby girl.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
These violent delights have violent ends.
Katee Robert (Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1))
If I could tell her the truth, I would say I’m looking for flaws. Because that’s what you do when you’re in love with someone you don’t want to be in love with. You look for imperfections in their skin, oddities in their features. You picture how they will age, where time will tarnish them. You try to catch them at harsh angles, discern some measure of awkwardness where their limbs connect to their trunks. You search for these deficiencies with an air of desperation, ready to lay claim to whatever you find, to inflate it grotesquely in your mind, and in doing so set yourself free. I would say that I’m paralyzed, that I see things I can’t reach for, have itches I can’t scratch. And then there are the parts of me that I can’t feel anymore at all. That my days are filled with a quiet dread that has as much to do with her, or at least the potential of her,
Jonathan Tropper (Everything Changes)
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and desperate measures are often fertilized with bullshit.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Whereas the slave cargoes gathered on the African coast reconfigured the normative boundaries of social life, the slave communities in the Americas exploded those boundaries beyond recognition. If an Akan-speaking migrant lived to complete a year on a west Indian sugar estate, he or she was likely by the end of that time to have come into close contact with unrelated Akan strangers as well as with Ga, Guan, or Adangbe speakers in the holding station on the African littoral, with Ewe speakers on the slave ship, and with Angolans, Biafrans, and Senegambians on the plantation. This was the composite we call diasporic Africa—an Africa that constituted not the continent on European maps, but rather the plurality of remembered places immigrant slaves carried with them. Like any geographic entity, diasporic Africa varies according to the perspective from which it is surveyed. Viewed from a cartographic standpoint (in essence, the view of early modern Europeans), diasporic Africa is a constellation of discrete ethnic and language groups; if one adopts this perspective, the defining question becomes whether or not the various constituent groups in the slave community shared a culture. Only by approaching these questions from the vantage point of Africans as migrants, however, can we hope to understand how Africans themselves experienced and negotiated their American worlds. If in the regime of the market Africans’ most socially relevant feature was their exchangeability, for Africans as immigrants the most socially relevant feature was their isolation, their desperate need to restore some measure of social life to counterbalance the alienation engendered by their social death. Without some means of achieving that vital equilibrium thanks to which even the socially dead could expect to occupy a viable place in society, slaves could foresee only further descent into an endless purgatory.
Stephanie E. Smallwood (Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora)
DON’T LET YOUR CULTURE BECOME TOXIC SUCCESSFUL START-UPS often begin with a culture where people challenge one another directly and even fiercely, but also show they care personally. That’s because they start small, involve people who get to know each other really well, and are fighting for survival. However, as the business grows and new people join the firm, it’s impossible to know everyone’s name, let alone to have strong relationships with everyone. The kind of super-direct challenges that are easy when people know each other well become difficult. Not wanting to lose the friendly culture of the early days, many hesitate to speak up when they see problems, backing off of Challenge Directly and retreating to Ruinous Empathy. Because Obnoxious Aggression is more effective than Ruinous Empathy, that kind of behavior has an advantage; people who behave badly begin to win, rising in the company. When confronted with a powerful jerk, many people retreat to Manipulative Insincerity, more out of instinctive self-protectiveness than intentional wrongdoing. In this kind of environment, there’s an incentive to retreat to Manipulative Insincerity in front of those who are more senior to them, and resort to Obnoxious Aggression with those who are less powerful. The culture becomes toxic—many kissing up and kicking down, few willing to speak truth to power. This kind of behavior won’t kill a company right away. Instead, it leads to a slow, painful death of innovation, and lives of quiet desperation. That’s the bad news. The good news is that many companies large and small are now taking active measures to shift to a culture in which caring personally and challenging directly go hand in hand. When people learn to do both simultaneously, bad behavior no longer gives anyone an advantage. Bad behavior is punished not rewarded, the truth comes out, and the environment is more conducive to both success and happiness.
Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Golden Flower
The lake was part of one of those insane irrigation schemes leading nowhere, built by forced labor under the Khmer Rouge. Judging by the height of the dam, a lot of Cambodians must have died during the construction.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
But this time I don’t care. I’m here for six months to make my money and then she can fuck off. No way am I going to take any more abuse or give any extra effort to my work. As a matter of fact, I’m going to be a bad employee. I’m going to relish being one of those workers who lingers at the watercooler and disappears just when you need them. Bad idea for her to start out on the wrong foot with me.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Nixon bombed the hell out of Cambodia at the end of the Vietnam War. The Khmer Rouge seized the moment of chaos, took power, and killed anyone they thought represented corrupt Western culture: lawyers, teachers, artists, people who spoke French, anyone who wore glasses. More than a million civilians died. It was one of those Maoist purges, inspired by the Cultural Revolution in China. I never understood in college exactly what that meant, ‘Maoist,’ but I think it means kill everything that moves.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
My classroom is overflowing with eager students. Dusty, grizzled peasants in flip-flops sit on their haunches next to the chickens, in rapt attention as I teach an introduction to democracy, struggling to explain concepts like ‘liberty,’ ‘dignity of the individual,’ and ‘the consent of the governed.’ It’s a remarkable sight and makes you realize the power of these ideas: we are literally exporting democracy. Maybe you have to be overseas to see the catastrophe of the absence of democracy in order to appreciate it. All that crap I learned in law school starts to make sense.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
lot of the UN staff call themselves human rights experts but need a shoulder to cry on each time there’s a killing. They belong in an office in Switzerland. Many of my French friends feign weary resignation whenever violence erupts, but that attitude was picked up on the cheap in some smoke-filled café. They haven’t ever struggled and failed, haven’t earned their cynicism. Ken’s problem isn’t cynicism, it’s optimism out of control.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
He looked at me like I’m the delivery boy who wants to marry his sister. He then proceeded to make it very clear he knows what he’s doing and I don’t. It was relentless.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Only a handful of inmates have ever gone to trial. Many were arrested years ago on minor charges such as stealing chickens or bicycles. The police refuse to take them before a judge, so they languish indefinitely, with no sentence to serve. If you’re a rich murderer or rapist, you can easily just bribe your way out of trouble. But if you’re a poor chicken thief and you get caught, you’re lost.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Only a handful of inmates have ever gone to trial. Many were arrested years ago on minor charges such as stealing chickens or bicycles. The police refuse to take them before a judge, so they languish indefinitely, with no sentence to serve. If you’re a rich murderer or rapist, you can easily just bribe your way out of trouble. But if you’re a poor chicken thief and you get caught, you’re lost. It’s time to confront the major again. I take the list to Top’s dilapidated office, where we haggle for hours over who should be released. ‘No, not that one. He stole a policeman’s motorcycle.’ ‘That was in 1983. He’s served ten years already.’ ‘But he refuses to confess.’ ‘Maybe he didn’t do it.’ He looks at me as though I’m stupid. ‘We wouldn’t have arrested him if he didn’t do it.’ He’s police, judge, and jury, and no one’s questioned his decisions for a decade.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
He’s surrounded by a phalanx of UN security officers in crisp blues. They’re not in the uniforms of their home countries, as the UN military forces always are, but instead represent UN Headquarters itself. They’re lined up in a tight formation around the secretary-general – Asian faces, African faces, Nordic faces, all equally clean, sharp, disciplined. It’s scary and thrilling. It looks like a cinematic image of the future, the living embodiment of a New World Order.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
At daybreak on the first day, thousands of Cambodians are already calmly waiting outside my polling station. They squat on the ground, silent and patient. We didn’t expect this at all. We thought they would fail to understand how democracy works. We thought they would be afraid of the Khmer Rouge. We thought they would passively accept their fate. We were wrong.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Welcome to Haiti, Doctor. We need people like you here.’ If you need people like me, it’s because of people like you.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
I push through the seething crowd to the UN car. The driver takes me past the slums by the harbor, up the hill to the lush suburbs where the rich, light-skinned Haitians live, far above poverty.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Ken, the other American, is telling a story about a classmate at Harvard. I don’t hear a word after Harvard. I’m ready to hate him. I’ve met guys like this. First thing they want to know is where you went to school. Say Vassar or Princeton and watch their face change. Now you rate, now you have their respect. I hate the way that makes me feel. I consider fabricating an entire Ivy League history for myself, but I probably can’t pull it off. Those people can tell if you’re in their club just by looking at your shoes or how straight your teeth are.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
hate Nairobi. It’s dreary and chilly and always rains, and the high crime rate doesn’t help. They’ll pull a gold chain right off your neck in broad daylight and there’s nothing anyone can do. The cops are more corrupt than the thieves. We call it Nairobbery.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
This is a UN bus?’ I ask. One of the Somali guys with the guns comes up behind me. As I stand there in the aisle, ready to punch the silent fat guy in the head, the Somali gunman, nodding and smiling, says to me, ‘Yeah, UN, UN.’ ‘Three kids armed with AK-47s, that’s some way to greet people,’ I tell the fat guy. ‘Yeah,’ he says, ‘welcome to Mogadishu.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
The UN Human Rights office was once the Soviet Cultural Center, but few Cambodians ever went in there. They were too afraid of the Soviets to want to learn about their culture.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
grab my medical textbook from the Land Cruiser and find beriberi next to scurvy and rickets. It says that in Ceylon beri, beri! meant ‘I can’t, I can’t!’ First you can’t stand and then you can’t even sit up and in the end you quietly succumb on your back. Progressive, inexorable weakness leading to death – it fits perfectly. We have an outbreak of beriberi.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Radio messages report rampant rumors of Khmer Rouge attacks. There is a curfew imposed at dusk. Every corner along the main road is occupied by tanks and armored personnel carriers, soldiers everywhere. The road to Vietnam is crawling with military, and everyone is nervous. But rather than being afraid to go outside, I find it thrilling. I’ve stepped into a TV show and any misadventure can be undone with a flick of the remote.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
When the French were here, they began cutting down the trees. Haiti’s dictators finished the job, leaving the topsoil to run into the ocean. All that splendid mahogany furniture in Paris salons and this is the result: a bald brown island with a muddy coast.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
An American Special Forces guy greets me at the airport. If you liked Beirut, he says, you’re gonna love Mogadishu. I only half understand the reference and the implication. There’s so much fighting in the city today, he says, that we have to shuttle incoming UN staff from the airport to the office compound via Black Hawk helicopter. Jump on, son, welcome to Somalia.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
I was out on the Mekong again today when an entire village of refugees floated past. They had been attacked upriver by the Khmer Rouge. It was a pathetic sight, a flotilla of hundreds of ragged houseboats lashed together into giant rafts, drifting slowly. They were carrying their dead with them. I could see the bodies, wrapped in cloth. They stared at me blankly as I glided silently past, my multicolored sail bright in the sunlight. A small child waved but didn’t smile. Then a gentle gust caught my sail and I was gone.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
That’s my lesson in courage from Cambodia. The larger the threat, the more profound the doubts, the deeper you have to dig to find faith and conquer your fears.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
I’m bored with the routine of a late breakfast of mangos and toast, a long day lying hot and sweaty under a palm tree, and an evening of ‘African cultural dance’ staged for the tourists by disenchanted locals, followed by a nightly poolside barbecue of big hunks of dead zebra and antelope. This is the Hotel Intercontinental’s idea of the African coastal experience. I have to get into town.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
walk out to the middle of the road and look both ways, trying to determine in which direction town might be. To the left, nothing but dry fields. To the right, the same. No shade, no life. Just the blazing Kenyan sun in front, and behind me, at the hotel, a cruel pantomime of Africa played out in blackface, replete with rich, tanned Euro-travelers demanding afternoon cocktails from illiterate Kenyan waiters in bow ties and white jackets.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
drag Mr. Karim to the car to look for ice. We drive up one long, dark street after another. We slow down next to pedestrians and ask them, ‘Ice? Ice?’ They look at us blankly. We get out of the car and approach men laying fish out on the sidewalk to dry. ‘Ice?’ Wrapping our arms around our bodies, we mime shivering to get the ice idea across. How do you explain ice? How do you explain shivering to people who can’t even imagine what a cold day feels like? Others come around and watch the spectacle.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
went to school with African-American girls during my entire adolescence in Michigan and never noticed them as potential girlfriends, never even wanted to meet them. How did that happen? I’m nine thousand miles from home and a pernicious wall of segregation I never noticed in high school suddenly materializes before my eyes, ten years after the fact. A young man should travel.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)