„Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.“

—  Mae West, #684 in The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (2006) by Robert Byrne
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Mae West13
1893 - 1980
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„Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man a sub-prime fish loan and you're in business, buddy.“

—  Stephen Colbert American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor 1964
A parody of the "Give a man a fish..." proverb alluding to the subprime mortgage crisis of the aughts on The Colbert Report (14 May 2008)

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„Give an inch, he'll take an ell.“

—  Thomas Hobbes English philosopher, born 1588 1588 - 1679
Liberty and Necessity (no. 111).

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„You know, I have a theory about Charlie Haughey. If you give him enough rope, he'll hang you.“

—  Charles Haughey Irish politician 1925 - 2006
BBC Ireland correspondent Leo Enright at the end of Haughey's premiership.

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„You might as well expect all rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.“

—  Chief Joseph Nez Percé Chieftain 1840 - 1904
Context: Too many misinterpretations have been made; too many misunderstandings have come up between the white men and the Indians. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect all rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the Great White Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me.

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