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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:33 pm
* “The Letters Editor at the SMH or The Age will publish a ‘I feel ashamed to be an Australian’ or ‘I have never been so ashamed to be an Australian’ letter.”—prediction from reader J. Softly, posted January 1
* “Our detention centres give me cause to feel utter shame to be called Australian.”—Melbourne Age reader Claire Nailer, in a letter published January 2
* “I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis.”—Brazilian Federal Judge Julier Sebastiao da Silva calmly responds to US plans that will require visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed
* “The question is, what have we seen in the aftermath of the capture of Saddam Hussein; have attacks gone up or gone down? Absolutely gone down.”—Brigadier General Martin E. Dempsey, commanding general of the 1st Armored Division
* “The Osama bin Laden thing is going to hurt him. There’s no—there’s no excusing this … there’s something—let’s put it this way. He seems to—he seems to not appreciate, as I said earlier, the glory of the unspoken thought … I’m scared to death that this guy just says anything. And it just—it feels like he’s undergone some kind of a political lobotomy here.”—James Carville on Howard Dean
* “CAFTA not only rhymes with NAFTA, but will extend the economic ‘disasta’ that Ohio knows something about.”—Dennis Kucinich launches a second career as a rappin’ rhyme masta
* “They even took our nuts.”—Baghdad resident Sabah Al-Kaisey complains about the thoroughness of US searches
* “I’VE PUSHED THE CAPS LOCK KEY DOWN. ARE THEY FREE YET?”—reader Bruce participates in Guantanamo Bay Lock-Up Day, “a special event designed to allow anyone in the world to protest against the illegal detention of hundreds of people in Guantanamo Bay in an independent, yet collective fashion”
* “He knows the lyrics to Outkast songs and, man, can that dude dance.”—a 16-year-old Howard Dean supporter supplies yet another reason to vote for the Vermont governor
* “You will never see a Jerry Springer or Cristina show on Cuban television. Or a commercial, for that matter. That alone proves socialism’s superiority over capitalism.”—Gloria La Riva puts all those complaints about mass death and poverty in perspective
* “The people I’m referring to cannot understand the phenomenon of cause and effect. They’re perplexed by issues comprising more than two sides. They don’t have the wherewithal to expand the sources of their information. And above all—far above all—they don’t think.”—the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Neal Starkman identifies the pro-Bush “stupid factor”
* “Post the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there was an expectation that Australians would become more isolated. We were told people would turn inward, they would care less about global issues and instead focus on their families and close circle of friends. There is now evidence that for scores of Australians nothing could be further from the truth. World Vision has found that since September 11 there has been a surge in giving to overseas aid organisations.”—the Rev.Tim Costello on Australian generosity
* “While individualism has flourished we, in our debt-laden castles and our fear of the unknown which the new world order of global terrorism has created, have become more selfish and less tolerant.”—the Sydney Morning Herald’s Geoff Kitney disagrees with Costello’s facts
* “What is important once Hutton is published is that if the BBC is criticised we learn from whatever is written – assuming of course that we agree with what is said.”—BBC director general Greg Dyke keeps an open mind
* “On Mars the Stars and Stripes flies—the Red Planet, how appropriate, red with the blood of workers poisoned by the toxic byproducts of the imperialist war machines march on the high frontier of space in its phallic symbols of globalised corporate power. Did you know that every rocket that takes off from Cape Canavaral kills 73 seabirds (on average) and has led to nervous conditions amongst neighbouring manatees.”—interplanetary political commentator Ogram N’otsgnik frees her mind
* “I am supporting General Wesley Clark for President. Not only as a ‘celebrity’ but as an American citizen and as a mother. I want my children to grow up with the same opportunities that I had to know and understand what’s going on in the world and to travel that world safely and with pride.”—Madonna, an endless source of pride to her own parents, endorses crazy Wes
* “Truly, it isn’t third-rate dictators like Saddam Hussein that pose a threat to the West. It’s moral primitives such as yourself.”—reader Joseph de Bonald on the author of this website
* “The wahabi/salafi axis has been exposed and will be crushed. No, not by the Americans, but by the very society they’re living in. People are fed up of their in-bred hatred. They’re fed up of these proponents of darkness and minute-minds. They’re fed up of being ostracised and pushed out of the world because of these animals. They’re fed up of having their religion defiled and hated because of these in-breeds.”—Bahrain’s Mahmood Al-Yousif has had enough
* “Is there anything more annoying than argyle?”—Maureen Dowd tackles the big issues
* “The Moon’s Ass Belongs to the US. So Don’t Be Landing Your Skanky Rocket on It. Don’t Even Be Looking at the Moon.”—bumper sticker suggestion from Vanity Fair
* “I think they made a mistake in going to a war on Iraq. Whatever the reason or motivation was I think it was a mistake.”—Australian Labor leader Mark Latham adopts the French position
* “You sit down. You’ve had your say and now I’m going to have my say.”—Howard Dean silences Iowa retiree Dale Ungerer’s dissent
* “So Tim 500 dead kids from the mid west and where’s your sorry ass. Guess you are at lunch practising being a legend in your own lunch time. Come on Tim, get down to that recruiting office and sign up for the big foreign adventure you so crave for all us to be on. Guess not. Now don’t choke on your afternoon latte you yellow belly coward.”—popular website commenter crock of tim
* “I learn via The Weekly Standard that I owe credit for a line I’ve used about Arnold Schwarzenegger—‘looks like a condom stuffed with walnuts’– to an Australian journalist named Clive James. I first heard the line from a civil libertarian in Vermont and had no idea it had come from James, or I would have given him credit. My apologies.” —columnist Molly Ivins, who in earlier media appearances had failed to even give credit to that civil libertarian
* “This president is not interested in being a good president. He’s interested in some complicated psychological situation that he has with his father.”—Howard Dean puts George W. Bush on the couch
* “I think we’re at risk with our democracy. I think we’re dealing with the most closed, imperialistic, nastiest administration in living memory. They even put Richard Nixon to shame.”—Wesley Clark, who voted for Nixon. Twice
* “Wait … you can’t own a gun there but you can use your baby as a squeak toy for your pet crocodile? This is what happens when a country is upside-down.”—Jim Treacher ponders Australian firearm regulations
* “I will vote for a Republican for the first time in my life. I will be voting for George W. Bush in the next election.”—feminist Phyllis Chesler
* “For a week I managed to persist in the happy belief that I was not living in a brutal police state. I fled home the next week, leaving all my illusions of the Arab world in my Cairo flat. I couldn’t wait to be in America again. On the long flight home, I promised myself I would never accept anything less than full democracy for my fellow Muslims in the Arab world or apologize for the tyranny that now masquerades as Islam.”—US-born Muslim Murad Kalam
* “How are we supposed to find hidden and buried WMDs in Iraq if, wherever one digs there, we just keep finding mass graves?”—poet Nelson Ascher
* “The march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe.”—Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar dreams big
* “We have an embarrassment of riches in this Democratic primary this year.”—Michael Moore gets it partially correct
* “Margo will be back on deck at the end of January.”—promises, promises from the Sydney Morning Herald
* “Australians are, I have found, ready to laugh at themselves if they think that the joke is funny and the humour not ill-directed. And the ability to be self-deprecating is the mark of confidence; it is, as much as anything else, the yardstick by which a society measures how tolerant and self-assured it is.”—Indian journalist Soumya Bhattacharya
* “Not only are we going to New Hampshire, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico! We’re going to California and Texas and New York! And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan! And then we’re going to Washington, D.C.. To take back the White House! YEEEAAARGH!!”—Howard Dean hits the self-destruct button.
And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to Cataluna, we’re going to Andalusia and Galicia and Extremadura and Valencia and Castilla-Leon! We’re going to Cantabria and Asturias and Castilla-La Mancha! And we’re going to Navarra and The Basque Country and Ceuta and Melilla! And then we’re going to Madrid. To take back the Palacio de la Moncloa! OLEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to Space Mountain, we’re going to the tea cups and Mr. Toads Wild Ride and the Pirates of the Carribbean and the Jungle Adventure and the Matterhorn! We’re going to the Haunted Mansion and Main Street and It’s a Small World! And we’re going to the Tiki Room and the Coutry Bear Jamboree and the Luau and a character breakfast! And then we’re going to the Electric Light Parade. To take back Cinderella’s Castle! YEEEAAARGH!!
And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to Kabul, we’re going to Kandahar and Bamiyan and Hindukush and Peshawar and Kashmir! We’re going to Fallujah and Tikrit and Baghdad! And we’re going to Timor and Chechnya and Yemen and Andalusia! And then we’re going to the Land of the Two Holy Places. To take back Mecca! Alllllaaaahu Akbar!
Oh, yah, yah. An’ ya know somethin? Ya know somethin? Not only are we goin ta Stoughton, we’re going ta Hayward an’ Ashland an’ Lac Du Flambeau an’ Appleton an’ Sturgeon Bay! We’re going ta the Dells an’ Prairie Du Chien an’ Spring Green! An’ we’re going ta New Glarus an’ Mount Horeb an’ Portage an’ Stevens Point! And then we’re going to Green Bay! Ta take back Lambeau Field! YAAAH HEEEEY DERRRRR!!
And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to Jogeva, we’re going to Marjamaa and Haapsalu and and Saare and Hiiu and Tartu! We’re going to Paide and Rapla and Viljandi! And we’re going to Parnu and Abja-Paluoja and Kivioli and Sillamae! And then we’re going to Tallinn. To take back the Riigikogu! Eeaaaaiiiiiaaaaa!
And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to Tenochtitlan, we’re going to Tlatelolco and Atotonilco and Coatepec and Tehuantepec and Oaxaca! We’re going to Tzintzuntzan and Xochimilco and Iztaccihuatl! And we’re going to Huehuetla and Zacualco and Acaxochitlan and Cihuatlan! And then we’re going to Popocatepetl. To take back The Temple of The Moon God! YEEEAAARGH!!
* “Al Gore’s endorsement of Howard Dean was a momentous event.”—New York Times columnist Paul Krugman
* “We have done ourselves a great disservice.”—ABC national editor John Cameron in a memo to staff after his network ignored or downplayed the death of cricketer David Hookes
* “Is it too early to open a bottle?”—UK Home Secretary David Blunkett responds to news of mass killer Harold Shipman’s suicide
* “Allowing women to mix with men is the root of every evil and catastrophe. It is highly punishable. Mixing of men and women is a reason for greater decadence and adultery. This is prohibited for all. I severely condemn this matter and warn of grave consequences.”—Saudi Arabian cleric Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh
* “I am proud to say I used my position as a teacher educator to influence the content of social science curricula and to champion peace and environmental education in schools as well as more democratic school environments and teaching practices.”—Greens candidate for Lord Mayor of Brisbane Drew Hutton reveals why so many parents are removing their children from the state system
* “Can you believe President Bush is still pushing the cockamamie claim that we went to war in Iraq with a real coalition rather than a gaggle of poodles and lackeys?”—can you believe Maureen Dowd is still employed by the New York Times?
* “You’ve got plenty of money in your pocket, and when you spend it, it drives the economy forward. So what would you like to eat?”—George W. Bush to reporters during an appearance at the Nuthin’ Fancy restaurant in Roswell, New Mexico
* “His political analysis is a joke.”—The Australian’s Stephen Romei on Mark Steyn. Here’s Romei’s own political analysis, from the same article: “The Democratic campaign, led by the uncompromising doctor from Vermont, may have started out as a Bush-hating contest, but it’s now a Bush-beating one. The hot competition between Dean, Kerry, Clark and John Edwards is forging a nominee who will shake the Shrub come November 2.”
* “If little things like this worried you, you’d never get anything done.”—78-year-old Australian farmer John Stratford, after lying injured in a field for two days following a tractor crash
* “Howard Dean’s bark was missing its bite. And his socks were missing their warp. Not to mention their woof.”—New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, missing her medication
* “If we ignore the jarring chasm between the wealthy, who own a lot of the country’s assets, and the rest of us …”—millionaire rock star and future ALP candidate Peter Garrett, pretending to be poor
* “We are becoming defensive, inward-looking. As a country, we are more inclined to protect our wicket, to go for the draw, rather than seek the victory. We’re not after the glorious outcome, we’re content to rejoice in mediocrity. We don’t think big any more.”—The Melbourne Age’s Geoff Slattery isn’t aware of Australia seeking victory in East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq
* “I think a slight majority will vote to throw Bush out.”—George McGovern, who has no personal experience of “slight majorities”
* “It’s the most depressing thing in the world to be called Saddam Hussein.”—Saddam Hussein Karim, one of thousands of similarly-titled Iraqis now changing their names