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Quotes / Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!

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Hutchinson: Are you mad? You speak treason.
Doctor: Fluently!

Martin: What do you say we have one more drink and get down there and cut that shark open?
Ellen: Martin? Can you do that?
Martin: ...I can do anything; I’m the chief of police.

Dr. Franklin: It won't be admissible in court.
Delenn: There are higher courts, Steven. Surely we will find justice in one of them.
Babylon 5, "The Paragon of Animals"

"I can't let that happen! If worst comes to worst, I'll have to defy Harker — and take the consequences! Because there's a moral law that's above some man-made laws! I've fought tyrants before... thought it meant defying their inhuman decrees!"

"It was a close place. I took [the letter giving Jim away] up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 'All right, then, I'll go to hell!'—and tore it up."

"Screw protocol, Reid's in trouble!"
Prentiss, Criminal Minds, "Amplification"

"Those who break laws are scum. And those who abandon their friends to follow the law... they're lower than scum!"
Kakashi, Naruto

Hermione: After what McGonagall and Snape have said? You'll be expelled!
Harry: SO WHAT?! Don't you understand? If Snape gets the Stone, Voldemort's coming back! Haven't you heard what it was like when he was trying to take over? There won't be any Hogwarts to get expelled from! He'll flatten it, or turn it into a school for the Dark Arts!

Uhura: Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We're to put back to Spacedock immediately to be decommissioned.
Spock: If I were human, I believe my response would be "go to Hell." [beat] If I were human.

Picard: I am about to commit a direct violation of our orders. Any of you who wish to object should do so now. It will be noted in my log.
Data: Captain, I believe I speak for everyone here, sir, when I say... "to hell with our orders".

"There are times, sir, when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but you ignore their personal liberties and freedom. Order a man to hand his child over to the state? Not while I am his captain. If you wish, you can accompany us to Starfleet, where we shall see."
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Offspring"

Sisko: Mr Odo, you're not going to take the law into your own hands.
Odo: The "law"? Laws change depending on who's making them. Cardassians one day, Federation the next. But justice is justice.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "A Man Alone"

Sulu: You'll find that more happens on the bridge of a starship than just carrying out orders and observing regulations. There is a sense of loyalty to the men and women you serve with; a sense of family. Those two men on trial... I served with them for a long time. I owe them my life a dozen times over. And right now they're in trouble, and I'm going to help them; let the regulations be damned.
Tuvok: Sir, that is a most illogical line of reasoning.
Sulu: You better believe it. Helm, engage!
Star Trek: Voyager, "Flashback", during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

"Well, there's the law and there's what's right. I'm gonna do what's right."
Sartana, Machete

"Troopers! I just received new orders: our superiors say the war is cancelled. We can all go home. Bison is getting paid off for his crimes, and our friends who have died here... will have died for nothing. But, we can all go home. Meanwhile, ideals like peace, freedom, and justice, they get packed up. But, we can all go home. Well, I'm not going home. I'm gonna get on my boat, and I'm going up river, and I'm going to kick that son of a bitch Bison's ass so hard that the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it! Now, who wants to go home...and WHO WANTS TO GO WITH ME?!"
Col. William F. Guile, Street Fighter

"Being legal doesn't make it right."

"Regardless of the circumstances, we were saved by Ichigo Kurosaki in our time of need. It is now time that we returned the favor. Even if that should require violating our own statutes, to allow such a debt to go unpaid would bring eternal shame upon the entire Gotei."
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Bleach

Magrat: What's she doing?
Nanny Ogg: I reckon she's going to topple Duke Felmet.
Magrat: But what about the rule about not meddling?
Nanny Ogg: Ah well, see, there's another rule. A more important rule. And Esme's followed it all her life.
Magrat: Which is?
Nanny Ogg: When you break the rules, break 'em good and hard!

"I used to believe that being a good soldier meant doing everything they told you. That's how they engineered us. But we're not droids. We're not programmed. You have to learn to make your own decisions!"
Captain Rex, Star Wars: The Clone Wars

"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world - No, you move."

"If this is justice, I don't want this career."
A.D.A. Casey Novak, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, "Poison"

Master Samurai: Those not specially summoned must remain at the ready in their rooms. That is the rule. Along with you, now.
Jonathan: The rule... Are we to overlook an emergency in a friend's home because of this rule!?

Sokka: The [Fire Nation] army's gonna blame the villagers. They're headed there right now to get revenge.
Katara: What was I supposed to do?
Sokka: Leave! Do nothing!
Katara: I will never ever turn my back on people who need me. I'm going to go down to the village, and I'm going to do whatever I can.

"I'm a man of many contradictions. I've thought long and hard about a speech about ethics, about responsibility, about rule of law. Then I decided...I'd just do this... (shoots Jorge Montez in the head) ...and hang the consequences."
Marshall Tom Davies, Red Dead Online

"So what if we're not all lions? It's up to us to stop [the hyenas]!"
Kion, The Lion Guard

Kaladin: Breaking out would be against the law, though.
Syl: I'm no highspren. Laws don't matter; what's right matters.
Kaladin: On that, we agree.

"If someone else could help 'em, we wouldn't be doin' stuff as the Phantom Thieves to start with!"
Ryuji Sakamoto, Persona 5

Eroica: Ren, we have to take Cyan here to Portland. Right now. We just have to. Otherwise, we're just sending her back to death row.
Renate: We're supposed to be back in Ashland by noon, and it's almost eleven-thirty now. We're doing some backstage tour meet and greet thingie-whatsis. [The Chaperones] are going to freak if we're gone for the entire day and then miss Lysistrata on top of it. And my parents will ground the crap out of me. And it's what, a four and a half-hour drive from here, if we don't hit major traffic?
Eroica: But otherwise you don't completely hate the idea, do you?
Renate: Nope.
Cyan: What, you're not afraid of getting grounded?
Eroica: For smuggling you into Portland? Oh, I'll totally get grounded for that. Probably won't see my car keys for a month, at least. My dad's not that lenient. But it's still nothing compared to what your parents plan to do to you.

Belknap: My community practice had a budget. It was nothing like enough. You’ve seen the way it is down in the J. I could barely cope. Malnutrition, low-grade pollution disorders, addiction, chronic disease. People were dying – really, actually dying, I mean – because I couldn’t afford the treatments for everyone. So I tried to work the system. I filed false subsist vouchers, claimed for practice expenses that didn’t exist, defrauded the welfare system, just so I could bulk up my budget and afford the things I needed. The things my patients needed. The Administratum caught me, fair and square. Tore up my license, kicked me out and told me I was lucky not to get a custodial.
Zael: See?
Patience: So you just practise now anyway? As a rogue medicae?
Belknap: Listen, mamzel friend-of-Zael’s. The formal infirmaries automatically deny treatment to any clan members injured in street clashes. Any drug addicts. Any persons who’ve lost their subsist code. Any child who doesn’t present with a registered parent or guardian. The Administratum, by its own figures, recommends there should be one practicing medicae for every five thousand citizens of any Imperial city. You know what the split is here in Petropolis? One medic for every hundred thousand habbers. A hundred thousand, so help me! You think the God-Emperor of Mankind is happy that’s the way it is here? I’m just trying to even down the stats!
Ravenor Returned

Doing the right thing shouldn’t be considered a crime. It should come natural like breathing. I don’t care if people call it stupid, or that they say that you should mind your own business… there’s nothing wrong with helping someone in need. If doing the right thing is a crime, then call me guilty. It will be the only thing that I’m truly guilty of.
Akira Kurusu, The Queen and the Shogun

Myth & Religion

Real Life

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain Reason, and not by Popes and Councils, who have so often contradicted themselves. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.
—Reformer Martin Luther in his trial at the Imperial Diet of Worms.

Rules are not necessarily sacred; principles are.

Sinatra had indeed been active in left-wing (by American standards) activities. In 1946 he blasted Franco...In 1948 he supported Henry Wallace against the proto-McCarthyite Harry S Truman. Undeterred by the harm to his career, Sinatra ran a letter to the then liberal New Republic imploring Henry Wallace, as heir to Roosevelt, 'to take up the fight we like to think of as ours—the fight for tolerance, which is the basis of fight for any peace'...three months later he was publicly branded a Communist and sacked from his radio show; by 1949 Columbia Records had broken with him and by 1950 MGM dismissed him from his film contract. A has-been at thirty-four.

He was a lonely and distraught figure. He spent his says in the offices of the Belgrade Circle headquarters, where he drank too much coffee and smoked too many cigarettes. He was a one-man crusade against the nationalist madness. He was pointedly ignored by the Serbian media, who usually only quoted from him after his comments appeared in my articles...The student protestors who mounted demonstrations against the Milošević government never invited him to speak, preferring to listen to rants by Serbian nationalists, who fomented the war in the first place. These speakers condemned Milošević for betraying the nationalist cause. The callous indifference of the university students hurt Zivotic tremendously.

He died of a heart attack in 1997, a year before I left the Balkans. His loss for Serbia was tremendous, for with him went one of the few remaining moral voices in the region.
Chris Hedges on Prof. Miladin Zivotic, Serbian anti-fascist

If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.
Wikipedia, from the "ignore all rules" policy


I wanted Frank Black to be heroic in a way that men are not allowed to be heroic. There’s a line in an episode coming up where he says, “Somehow, we can’t do the right thing anymore, because to involve yourself in somebody else’s problems is to needlessly invite them on yourself.” And I think that’s become the world we live in. It’s frightening. You cannot reach out. You can’t do anything truly altruistic anymore without taking into consideration, first of all, the legal consequences. The question is: how can we act heroically? How can you reach out and help someone?
Chris Carter on Millennium

...when Kirk or Picard (or Sisko or Janeway or Archer) is faced with violating the Prime Directive to resolve a crisis, you can usually count on scads of pretentious brooding, circular arguments, and heart-rending shots of suffering natives, culminating in the moment where the Captain defies all logic and everything he stands for by shouting, 'Screw the Prime Directive, I'm going in!'

The Smoking Man doesn’t want Mulder killed because they would risk turning his work into a crusade, but by taking Scully away from him in such a soul crushing way they have sent him a warning to do as he’s told. Unfortunately they don’t understand quite who they are dealing with. Mulder is not the sort of man who is told how to behave and will be off chasing the next X-File as soon as possible. And shagging vampires.


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